S’more than a Bonfire


The Foodie:

Last week I had a get-together with six of my sixteen cousins and many of their family (the six who grew up next door and across the street) and there was neither a wedding announcement nor an obituary involved.

You know how it goes … remember how much fun we used to have? We really need to get together. I promise I’ll call. Then we all get so busy we never do.

Well, last week, spur of the moment, I organized a bonfire at my house. We had a blast!

Here is what I did to have a party that I could actually enjoy.

• I organized as much electronically as I could. That means I used Facebook and text messaging as much as possible. Because this came together in just a few days there was no time for formal invitations.
• Buy S’more fixings (wish I had this list before my party … I forgot :o)
• Everyone asked if they could bring something. Sure! A snack or something sweet. Also, I asked them to bring chairs. Those bag chairs are so comfortable and perfect with cup holders. Handy!
• I “dialed” the main course. You just can’t go wrong with pizza and wings.
• Plastic and paper everything.
• I had several drink buckets overfilled with ice. They must have brought a lot of beer because I think I actually put more back in the refrigerator than I purchased that day. No worries … beer never goes to waste around here.
• I placed a plastic storage box for empties next to the drink buckets. I kept a garbage bucket close by with extra bags inside.
• I made one signature drink — a quick sangria. I thought I made a lot. I guess not because it was gone before the ice could melt.

Quick Sangria
(Makes a little less than a gallon)

2 – 1.5 Liter bottles Sangria (I like real but whatever ready-made sangria you enjoy works just fine)
1 – 12 oz. frozen concentrate lemonade
1 – 12 oz. frozen concentrate limeade or other juice (I used white grape and peach on the 4th)
1 – Cup Orange-flavored vodka (I mixed some pear vodka with citron for the bonfire – be creative)
2 – Lemons
4 – Limes

Mix the sangria, juice concentrate and vodka. Add fruit, cut into wedges and lots of ice. Serve in large glasses filled with ice. Enjoy!

When the food was put away and my family back home, I sat by the fire happy that I didn’t over think this get together and truly enjoyed being with people who know me as well as I know myself.


How Do You Spell Spirit and Loyalty?



When I was 13 years old my brother started his four wonderful years at the University of Notre Dame.  I attended my first college game in the fall of 1971 and I believe it was against Navy…don’t hold me to that one, though.  Anyway, we were there for the bonfire and pep rally.  The game was almost an anti-climax but who cared?  I was sold.  I wanted to go to Notre Dame.  Period.  No talking, just action.  In 1972, just one year later, Father Theodore Hesburgh decided to admit women as Notre Dame Undergraduates.  Score!  So, study I did getting higher SAT’s than my brother and having a higher class rank.  I applied.  I was rejected.  A boy from my high school class with lower grades and test scores got a full scholarship to play what else?  Football.  And I was rejected.  I had no plan B but needed one fast.

I applied to Canisius College.  I got in.  In the fall of 1976 I entered as a freshman, waiting for the pep rallies.  There were none.  I waited to learn the fight song.  There was none.  No marching band, no football stadium, no identity, no spirit, no loyalty…at least that’s how my wounded 18 year old heartfelt.

How did I end up here?  It was so unfair – lucky freshmen flocked to the South Bend and I was in Buffalo.  Buffalo?  Are you kidding me?  Really?

Well, I was just dumb.  Seriously dumb.  What I found at Canisius was an intimate learning environment where professors knew me by name and guided me through the maze of opportunity.  I became involved in student government and sat on several search committees.  I did television shows promoting Canisius College with Rev. Ryan, S. J. and met my husband of nearly 30 years. 

I even found school spirit with our horrible basketball team just off NCAA probation for violations surrounding NBA trouble maker, Larry Fogel.  I loved my four years at Canisius and I made friendships that have lasted to this day.  Add to it my 21 years of work service to my alma mater and you have nearly half my life lived as a devoted Golden Griffin.

Tonight marks the second annual bonfire and C-Block Rally in the Quad.  Better yet, the unveiling of the newly arranged fight song.  A real live fight song!  I only had to wait 34 years!

Go Griffs!!!!  Beat Niagara!!!!

Life is good!


Twitter: MidMajorMom

Twitter: JudeCaserta