Tag: New Year

Rob discovers he got COVID for Christmas, and finds himself living in a Hitchcock film — in his head.


Group Writing: Mamaw Reviews


New ideas are borne of new experiences. New experiences require a willingness to move. That could be a new job, new house, new food or even new books or movies. Being flexible of mind and willing to consider new perspectives built this country and makes us better men and women. I see a lot of that on Ricochet. New ideas being filtered through the old.

My mom turned 87 last year. A former matron and dispatcher in our small town, she’s a nervous wreck around her grandchildren and tough as nails physically or mentally. She declined an offer out of high school to move to DC and work with the FBI; and instead started a family here in the rolling mountains of Southwest Virginia.

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From the golden hills of Jerusalem, a voice sang out to the people. It called them with a plaintive and powerful sound, telling them that an auspicious time had arrived. As it called to them, they put aside their tasks and readied themselves for this significant occasion. It was an ancient sound that rallied them […]

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Bullet Journaling Changed My Life


I am not exaggerating, either. Bullet journaling came to my attention because of some Instagram stories Bethany Mandel did toward the end of 2018, and I immediately loved the idea (Editor aka Bethany’s note: You can access the stories on my Instagram account as saved stories). I love to plan, but pre-designed planners just don’t work for me because they’re never exactly right. I had been keeping track of events on my phone calendar, but a bullet journal is so much more than that – it’s whatever you want it to be! 

For those who don’t know, bullet journals are basically day planners that you customize yourself. You use whatever notebook you want, and create your own table of contents at the beginning so you can easily find the many things you’ll keep in it (calendars, lists, notes, etc.). There are infinite ways you can use a bullet journal, but I set mine up to have my yearly goals first, and then “monthlies” containing events, tasks, and goals for each month on a two-page spread. Some people do “dailies,” as well, but I use “weeklies,” because when I set up my to-do lists, I change my mind regularly about what I want to accomplish each day, making it much easier to just have one weekly to-do list. My weeklies also have a small calendar for the week, a habit tracker, and a shopping list. 

Word of the Year


I don’t know if this is a specifically Christian practice or if people who aren’t Christians do something similar, too, but it’s become a Thing in my church community to choose a “word” for the year. This is usually an area where we want to see God grow us, something to pray about and focus on as the months continue. Now, I realize that the way I’ve written this paragraph kind of sounds like I’m being critical about having a prayer word (as some call it, including myself), but I actually love the idea.

This year isn’t the first time I’ve had a prayer word. Last year my word started out as “maturity,” but then about a month in, it changed to “abide” and remained that way for the rest of the year. I had a Scripture passage to go with it (John 15:1-11), which I memorized and reviewed once a week. It was the right word for me for that time, and I did, praise Jesus, see some growth in my abiding in Christ.

The Milky Ocean, Tug-of-War, and a Few Games


This year, on Saturday, April 14, at 9:12 AM, the angel Mahodara Devi descended to middle earth on a peacock holding a trident in one hand and an auspicious serrated wheel in the other. The angel delivered the blessings from Lord Brahma to the Khmer people. It’s the start of the Khmer New Year.

The New Year lasts three days. Families from all over the country are gathering to welcome Mahodara Devi with a white tablecloth, two bottles of perfume, five candles, five incense sticks, 11 types of fruit, and two glasses of clean water. But they’re also gathering to enjoy food and drinks, singing and dancing, and paying a visit to the monasteries. They play traditional games and strangers are welcomed to join in.

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Most of the posts dealing with food at this time of year deal with Christmas food. There are cookie posts, and posts on how to cook turkeys, and what to do with leftovers, and what to do when you’re eating with relatives of different political persuasions. (Ignore them? Mock them? Burn them at the stake?) […]

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It’s Cambodian New Year, Let’s Dance


ramvongCambodian New Year, or Choul Chnam Thmey in the Khmer language, usually falls on April 13 or 14. This year it falls on April 13 and ends on the 15th; yep, our New Year celebration is three days long.

This is year 2560 of the Buddhist calendar. Even though we refer to the Buddhist calendar, New Year has nothing to do with Buddhism; it’s a mix of Hindu and animistic beliefs. According to the Khmer almanac, on the first day an angel came down from Mount Meru and stayed on middle earth for three days.

Anyway, New Year is not about religions; it’s about food, games, singing, and dancing. Food and games are out, so I’ll bring you music instead. Singing and dancing are part of any Khmer celebration. Until recently we even celebrated Pchum Ben (Festival of the Dead) with singing and dancing. But after having about 20 percent of the population slaughtered by the Khmer Rouge, Pchum Ben has become a very somber affair — you rarely see singing and dancing any more.

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Last night, we partied hard. We watched several movies with our kids, giving them a very rare late night. We spared no expense in our largesse: hot cocoa with marshmallows, fresh mandelbrot and ice cream sandwiches.  This morning, the house feels deserted. 4 sleeping children, and one sleeping wife, leaving just me and the two youngest […]

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What Have You Read This Year?


You’ve all read at least one book this year. I know you have, since Ricochetti are famously literate — not the many-leatherbound-books type (though I have more than my fair share of those). I really enjoy learning what other people read; it’s an eyes-into-the-soul kind of feeling, and I always learn of a few more books to add to my list. So please, post your list of the books you’ve read in 2015!

The Top 10 Best “Top 10 Best Lists of 2015” of 2015


shutterstock_350554172Once again, it’s that time of year for journalists to fill their editorial holes with thousands of “Best of the Year” lists. But with so many websites competing for attention, how do you decide which lists are worth your time? To help, I’ve compiled the Top 10 Best “Top 10 Best Lists of 2015” of 2015.

BoredPanda’s Best Drone Photos Shot In 2015: There are plenty of best photography collections out there, but with the explosion in consumer drone technology comes a new form of aerial pics. (Last month I saw a quad copter buzzing my house, so I’m thankful there were no photos of me shirtless in the backyard chucking grapefruit at that infernal contraption.)

IGN’s Best Games of the Year: I don’t know anything about video games outside of Solitaire and Scrabble (and whatever annoying thing my kids are into this week), but gaming news site IGN lists the hottest apps swamping millennials’ playstations.

Who’s on Your Airing of Grievances List?


castanzaToday is Christmas Eve eve, which means it’s time to enjoy Frank Costanza’s Festivus, an annual tradition when we participate in the “Airing of Grievances.” This is a special day to skewer those deserving of our ire.

Many folks are on my list, from politicians, journalists and celebrities to my neighbor upwind of me who partakes in the “herb.”

I will start the list with Terry Fine. Terry is a professor at University of Central Florida who wrote an article suggesting Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or even Happy Holidays is “exclusionary.” Instead, Terry wants us to greet each other with “Happy Federal Holiday.” Because guv’ment is our true religion, amirite?



tankAre fireworks allowed in your area? If so, which did you enjoy this New Year’s? Which were disappointments that you wish you’d burned before you payed for them?

What fireworks of yesteryear earned their places in Valhalla? Have you forgiven your parents yet for black snakes? Is your closet full of poppers and candy cigarettes?

Speak now or forever hold your powder!