Childhood, Christmas, Humor, Nonsense, Tater Tots

Screw it, I’m Eating Tater Tots- Episode 21 Do We Know It’s Christmas Time?

I’ll get to the random in a bit, but first I want to ask you a favor. I just got word this week that a childhood friend of mine is in need of some serious cheering up and, after last week’s Christmas card post, I knew I could count on my faithful readers to help.

I want to flood my friend Tonda’s mailbox at the Oak Grove Manor Nursing Home in Ohio since she is very dear to me and to many other individuals we went to high school with. She is battling a terminal illness during COVID and therefore no one can visit. So if you have an extra card, would you mind sending one to her with a brief note of encouragement?

If you have a friend who enjoys writing or sending cards, you are more than welcome to pass this information on! I’d love for Tonda to receive a flood of mail from all around the globe! Thank you so much ahead of time.

Do you know I used to be obsessed with Menudo?

Not the soup.

52 Mexican Menudo Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

The Puerto Rican boy band.


Between the years of 1982-1984 I was obsessed with Menudo.

Bop or Tiger Beat magazine are to blame.

I wallpapered the walls of my room with that magazine’s cutouts of Ricky, Ray, Charlie, Roy, and the other guy (I didn’t really like him, but it didn’t stop me from taping his face all over my room).

I even mailed the Puerto Rican tourism board for information when I was 13 years old. Why? What in the hell was I going to do with that information?

Puerto Rico Travel Guide | Visitor Information | Discover Puerto Rico
Courtesy/Discover Puerto Rico

I was overjoyed when it arrived in my mailbox in a large yellow envelope the size of a college acceptance letter.

Then I put that nonsense all over my walls, as well.

MENUDO.Puerto Rican music group.Supplied by Photos, inc..Ricky Stock Photo - Alamy
Who let the second-grader out on a school night?

Then Ricky Martin came along and kind of ruined Menudo for me.

50 Ricky Martin File Photos Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images

Back in 1999, when this song came out (no pun intended), I told all of my friends that, ahem; I discovered him first.

People made fun of my Menudo obsession back in the 80s, and all I know is that I liked boy bands before they were cool.

Meditating With Candles and Incense
Courtesy- Elly Fairytale (Pexels)

Do you need good vibes?

I’ve discovered that we need to raise our vibration. Unfortunately, t’s not as dirty as it sounds, but long story short, the lower your vibration, the worse off you are.

An easier way to think of this:

Low vibration = negative vibes

High vibration = positive vibes

This past fall, I had a holy shit moment.

I considered all the activities that lower vibration and, at one point; I was doing all of them.


If you do all of these things, you’re not alone.

There were days when I did every single one of them.

Some days within one HOUR.

However, there are several things you can do that help to raise your vibration.

Because it is unrealistic to expect you to give up all of the other negative stuff at once. We are only human and must be gentle with ourselves. We are carrying some heavy burdens.

I see you and I see the invisible burden you bear.

My invisible burdens were the source of much of that negative low vibration shit. Because if I feel like shit? I wanted to make others feel like shit, too.

It took a lot of soul homework to come to that conclusion.

More of that to come.

Instead of gossipping, let’s listen to some music.  🙂

Do you need a squirrel in underpants?


Yes, you do.

2020 seems like the perfect year to commemorate with a squirrel wearing underpants on your tree, doesn’t it?


Do you need this recipe?

Salted Caramel Muddy Buddies
Courtesy/ A Pumpkin and a Princess

Five words – Salted caramel Rolo Muddy Buddies.

Do you know that this song was about John Lennon?

The Universe plopped this song into my lap one rainy October evening:

I used to love this song when it was popular, but I had no idea what the song was about. So I looked it up, and discovered it was a tribute to John Lennon, who had been assassinated a year and a half earlier. I seemed only natural to include it in this month’s tater tot post.

40 years after John Lennon’s untimely death.

Do you need to watch this?

YES, you do. This girl is brave.

This, too.

I watched this movie one evening in October while assembling an IKEA coffee table, and it was as random as that statement. But it was also reassuring because it is largely based in the 70s, which is when I spent most of my childhood. And Helen Reddy died this past fall, so I felt compelled to pay tribute to her.

I’ve finally started watching The Crown,. My parents have been watching this for years and enjoy it, and now I am hooked as well.

This should be in the music section below, but I added it here instead. Read the article from Rolling Stone here for the details. Be sure to listen all the way to the end.

Do you need to listen to this?

Here are some songs I have been playing on auto-repeat lately.

Do you need to read these links?

400 Years After the “First Thanksgiving”, the Tribe That Fed the Pilgrims Continues to Fight For its Land Amid Another Epidemic

The Difficulty of Remembering John Lennon Today

Interactive Map Reveals Which Indigenous Lands Your Living On

Mrs. Hering’s Original 1890 Chicken Pot Pie Recipe that Launched Marshall Field’s Food Service and the Walnut Room Restaurant.

Fisher-Price Toy Museum Instagram page is all you need for Christmas

Department Store Museum I shared this in Friday’s post, but wanted to share it here too in case you missed it.

Don’t Let Shopping Ruin Your Holiday Season

Make Yourself Immune to Secondhand Stress

Steve Aoki’s 15 Best Songs: Critics’ Picks | Billboard

The John Candy Joke that Still Makes Steve Martin Cry

John Candy’s daughter is absolutely lovely, looks so much like him, and has a YouTube channel where she interviews character actors and former SCTV alum who worked with her dad.

Do you need to read these?


Love, light, and healing to all of you, dear ones.

28 thoughts on “Screw it, I’m Eating Tater Tots- Episode 21 Do We Know It’s Christmas Time?”

  1. I just posted a comment (I hope—let me know if it didn’t come through) and then I was scrolling back through and realized I forgot to tell you one thing I know you’d love to know: The very first concert I ever attended was Helen Reddy. I was in first grade, and I LOVED her. 1971. Maybe 1972, depending on the time of year, which I can’t remember. My previous music crush was Andy Williams (which my older cousins who loved Donny Osmond—the 70s equivalent of Menudo—teased me about mercilessly), so clearly I was kind of a weird kid (musically and otherwise), but I will always treasure my memory of attending that concert with my mom. Also the Neil Diamond one I reluctantly attended with her in 7th grade, but that’s a different sort of story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is the only comment that came through.

      OMG, I love this. You need to watch the documentary then. It’s a bit cheesy but I did kind of love it.
      I LOVE ANDY WILLIAMS. You’re going to laugh. In the mid-’90s, I had a tape in my car of his Christmas music and listened to it on the way to and from work. Even in the summer.
      I feel so exposed.


    2. OMG Rita…. Helen Reddy was my first concert too but I was in 7th grade. The opening act was Barry Manilow and it was at an outdoor place here in Ohio called Blossom Music Center.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally need an underpants wearing squirrel…. I mean, who doesn’t? And the mug hugging gingerbread house is divine. But I don’t care how low my vibrations are, I’m not giving up gin.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Empty Garden has always been one of my favorite Elton John songs. I remember so clearly the day John Lennon was killed. It was my freshman year at Bowling Green. It was the week leading into finals so I was studying in the first floor common room of McDonald Hall, with the radio going of course. I mean you can’t study in complete silence. 😊 The DJ broke in to announce he had been shot and everyone was just shocked. Hard to believe it’s been 40 years, or that I am 40 years older. That just can’t be right! Thanks so much for sharing the video. It was nice to hear the song again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The other day Eric was like, “who would watch the Crown?” and then I saw that they have Diana this season and I was like, me, I would watch the Crown. I don’t care much for the royals, but who doesn’t love Princess Diana?! Oh and about the vibrations. I just started Yoga and I can tell it is changing me. I look forward to it, I miss it when I don’t do it, and I feel so in tune while I’m doing it.

    And yes, I do need a squirrel wearing underpants.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ani, I am solely watching The Crown to get to the Diana years LMAO.

      I love that it is changing you! We are going to be all changed and shit by next year. That is going to be so amazing when I come sleep in the tent in your yard. I hope I am a best-selling author by then. 😉

      We all need the squirrel.


  5. Wait we are SUPPOSED to use crystals? Like crystal meth? I kid. Even when I am super tired, I have to workout. I’ve had maybe two glasses of wine the entire pandemic, so I guess I am so barely vibrating. I wonder if I have a pulse. 😉

    I have the same hair as Ricky Martin, but mine is more scragglie and less artsy and thin. Bottom line, he wears it better than me.

    Mini and I watched one episode of The Crown. We want to keep watching, but haven’t had the chance. It is harder to commit to watching an episode because it is an hour – unlike Dead to Me. Which is silly, because we rarely watched just one episode of Dead to Me.

    Trains, Planes, and Automobiles is one of my favorites. Love John Candy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have no idea how to use crystals either. Like are they supposed to be worn or held or dangled? No clue. Barely vibrating made me laugh loudly.

      So now you’re new nickname is Ricky.

      There are several episodes of The Crown that are snoozers. Boring. And I’m like, why am I watching this again? Then they get me! Bam! It’s very good once you get further in. Again, I’m just in for the Diana years. 😂

      ME TOO. He was the best. ❤️


  6. I am 100% sending a card to Tonda.
    So, it’s YOU we need to talk to about Menudo? 😉 Kidding. I remember the name, but they weren’t on my radar. I was probably stalking Billy Idol and Simon Lebon around that time; I had bigger fish to fry. I do wonder if Ricky Martin knows that you are the one to thank for his success though.
    I need to watch the Helen Reddy movie!!
    I need squirrels in underwear. I love LOVE the Crown!
    OMG. EVH and Wolfgang. THE TEARS!!!
    SO many good things in this post, it’s hard to mention them all. I was trying my damndest to do the interactive map to see what indigenous people were original to where I live. (I believe it’s the Seminole Indians) but I could not get it to work. Surely it was user error.
    TINY GINGERBREAD HOUSES. Sorry, I got excited.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you so much, friend. She will appreciate it so. ❤️

      So what you are saying is that I should ask Mr. Martin to send his residual checks to me?

      You do need to watch that Helen Reddy movie. I liked it! Mike wouldn’t have liked it so I watched it when he wasn’t here. It took me four hours to watch it because I would pause it and do other things. It’s like I needed to absorb it. It wasn’t deep or anything. 😂

      Every time I watch that Distance video I cry. It’s so touching. What a good dad. What a good son. ❤️

      I did the map and there were five tribes in my area! I’ve heard of all of the names before because I have seen them on rivers, streets, towns and the like.

      I love that you try to comment on everything. That makes me so happy. ❤️


  7. I will send Tonda a card. I can’t imagine being in a medical facility (hospital, nursing home) all alone, not being able to have any visitors. So heartbreaking.

    Speaking of cards, I got yours today and I loved it. A handwritten note ~ you made my day!

    Have you watched Hillbilly Elegy? That was really good. Brian and I are now in the middle of watching The Queen’s Gambit and loving.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that is what no one is thinking about. The other side of Covid. The people who are sick and can’t have their loved ones visit because of the restrictions. Thank you for sending her one. ❤️

      I am so glad it made your day! 😘

      I did watch Hillbilly Elegy! It was really good. We have The Queens Gambit on our list. Need to watch that.


  8. I am a little rusty, so of course have forgotten that the best strategy for me here would be to take notes so I don’t forget all of my insightful comments by the time I get to the end of the post. Next time! I want to be surprised by the Menudo thing, but I’m not Kari-I could never underestimate the coolness of a girl with such fashion sense. The yokes and chests of my sweaters were never so exquisitely adorned! Empty Garden–what I lacked in pitch and tone, I made up for in feeling and volume on that one. I hope Tonda like a good ramble, as that is what I can give.I must recommend Tom Papa’s standup You’re Doing Great (and any others of his you find as well). I thought the gingerbread men cookies at Trader Joe’s that rest their crotches on your coffee cup were cute (wait, that doesn’t sound cute at all), but those houses?!?!?! (swoon). My mom didn’t put up a tree this year, so I went over there expecting to feel all like a burnt out bulb…her house is bee-you-ti-ful!!!! There is decor everywhere and somehow it is so tastefully done, as opposed to the tag sale technique I seem to use year after year. (How did I remember everything I wanted to comment on so that I could just keep talking?!?! I didn’t. I opened up the post on my phone while commenting on the computer) Thanks for being here, friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you started out the comment with, “I’m a little rusty..”

      I know that Tonda will LOVE your note and in fact, I knew you would send her one. I know you of all people can appreciate all that a nursing home resident needs during this time, my dear friend. 🙂

      I just saw Tom Papa on my Netflix feed the other night! So I shall add him to my watching list.

      I love that your mom’s house is BEAUTIFUL! That makes me so happy for her and you! Sending all of you so much hugs and love. I have missed you and your comments so much. 🙂


  9. Steve Aoki is an argument in this house. Some people love him. Some people do not. I’m not admitting the camp to which I belong.

    I love tator tot posts! I imagine they are so much work but they make me smile. Thank you for them!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We were there (at her window) the night she got her first two cards from classmates. I know she felt so much love and support just from those two….getting more from all over will blow her away. Thank you, Kari, for including Tonda, and thank you to all who send cards, or even just good vibes her way.

    Liked by 1 person

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