My Friends ~ You Guys are the Best!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Looking Back and Going Forward

I remember where I was that night, very well. We were still living in the brick house that belonged to my mother. That evening all the kids came for dinner. We talked, we laughed and before the clock struck midnight, we unplugged the computer….just incase!

You probably remember that night, too! We had a little cash on hand, a pantry well stocked, bottled water, and extra batteries! We were as prepared as we could be, given all the circumstances. Y2K or not, we would be okay for a while.

This past decade has seen many changes in our lives. We’ve added eight grandkids! My hair is grayer, dh’s beard is longer. Mom passed away, along with dh’s brother, my best friend, and numerous others we were close to. They are missed.

We scaled down, moving back to the mobile home we had “loaned” to DS#1 and his family. We started raising chickens, rabbits and goats, along with our Border Collies and “herd” of cats! And now we also have horses. Our life is different, richer in some ways, poorer in others.

We decided to home school, began eating a more natural diet (no more Crisco!), and started a home based business. We live within the grace of each season….we garden, we gather, and we put up! We are healthier, if not wiser; happy and tired.

We enjoy slow cooking and cooking outdoors. We love watching the animals and look forward to each year’s new additions. We daydream together and share what we have with others. We study and pray. We take each day, one day at a time.

What will ten more years bring? What changes will we see? Only He knows. Our present and our future is in His Hands. May we find favor in His Sight.

Happy New Year! May you be blessed in ways you never dreamed!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

No Pouting Here!

Santa’s done come to town!

And he did very, very good!

For those of you who didn’t do or don’t know about the Secret Santa Soriee Georgie and Amy organized… all started back in October, when over a hundred of us signed up for the SSS. Since I like surprises (as long as I don’t have to cook for said surprises) and love getting something in the mail that isn’t a bill, I naturally signed up!

Hence the excitement began and we were blessed with the opportunity of getting to know fellow bloggers a little bit better, while they got to know just how weird some of us really are! LOL

Okay, moving right along to the good part….

After the mailman left the package from my “Secret Santa” at my daughter’s house two days ago…I finally got it!!! And there is someone named Smith in North Dakota that has made me a very happy person! My box full of goodies could not have been a better fit!

First there was a little spiral bound “thought book” to start each day with a thought that blesses. Among all the wonderful thoughts, is a reminder that I love.

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ~ Abe Lincoln

My little book contains 101 of these positive quotes to start each new day! Excellent!

Then there was a cute little note pad with magnets to hang on the fridge. I probably won’t hang it there, because it is just too cute and too sweet. If I place it on the fridge one of my daughters or granddaughters is sure to accidentally “borrow it.” It is going in my purse.

Next there was a set of two (the smaller one nestled inside the larger) wooden boxes with the word “BELIEVE” inscribed on a tile insert on the lids. These are beautiful, heavy wooden boxes with neat metal hinges and clasps. I love them. Youngest son already asked if he could borrow one for his ammo (pellets) box? NO ~ hands off! These are mine.

Then I got a wonderful Gifts in a Jar Cookie Cookbook. Each recipe includes gift tag artwork to be used for the instructions. I have to say, I love the gifts in a jar concept and love being gifted with such wonderful delights. I had rec’d a much smaller version of this gift a couple of years ago. This book is about 5 times larger, with many more recipes and ideas.

And when I say we really enjoy the gifts in a jar ~

I really mean it! This is a picture of “Brownies in a Jar.” My cousin gives me two of these every Christmas and it is one of the gifts we all look forward to. Notice I said two…..she gives us two….and you are only seeing one, ‘cause we have already made one disappear!

Finally, there was CHOCOLATE! Some Russell Stovers and Nestles Crunch, both….and one of the Russell Stovers had a coconut cream filling…it was wonderful and no one fought me for that one! LOL

So, Smith in Dakota….you are the BEST! You really helped to make my Christmas special. Praying you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and 2010 is a very blessed year for you! Thank YOU!

Sorry, the above mentioned CHOCOLATE could not be reached for comment and was unavailable for pictures.

Merry Christmas,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On Blogging, Old Age, and Christmas

Ernest Hemingway could have been speaking of “blogging” (as well as letter writing) when he said, “It’s such a swell way to keep from working and yet feel you’ve done something.”

It seems I have sit here and "wasted" way too much time! But, "help, I sat down and I can't get up!"

I think it is because I dislike winter. I dislike the shorter days, the cold temps, and the fact you can’t buy a good watermelon (or a good tomato) in December or January…which btw, is when they sound really good to me!

And I really dislike looking at the stack of dirty dishes I should be up washing! So, here I sit…and sit…and

Tomorrow evening, I am cooking for dh’s brothers, their significant others and my sweet mother-in-law. Really, I am only doing this for her and dh. Granny is 91 years young. This is my “gift” to her.

So, I need to get myself busy, wash the dishes, move the clothes in the washer to the dryer, start another load, pick the chicken (I did managed to cook tonight) off the bone and a few other things, that if done tonight will make tomorrow go much smoother.

Do you put things off? I think each year I get worse. I don’t really think it is an age thing so much, as maybe I am just giving in to my true lazy self. I wonder which is worse…old age or discovering you are really lazy? However, being true to oneself is a good thing…Right?

Today is December 22 (okay, it has only been the 22nd for about 19 minutes), and I still need to write out at least four Christmas cards. Obviously, they’ll be a little late.

I can remember Granny Dorothy saying things like, “Well, Christmas just sneaks up on me anymore.” And I would think something like…why? It comes at the same time every year. Now I am discovering how wise Granny really is….Christmas is one sneaky holiday!

Remember in the movie, The Little Rascals, Darla is sitting there saying (about Alfalfa), “Please, don’t let him say my name … please don’t let him say me name.”

Now I feel like saying, “Please don’t let it be old age…please don’t let it be old age.”

Maybe, it is that seasonal dysfunctional disease or somethin’. Come spring, it will all be better. I promise!

Oh, and relax! It is only 367 days, 17 hours, 30 minutes, and 19 seconds until Christmas 2010. Now, don’t you feel better?

Be joyful everyone!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

I hope I am doing this right. It may take me a couple of tries to iron out the kinks or give up! Either way, maybe I'll learn something! LOL

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Wow, I did it! That's what I like about blogging. You guys force this dog to learn new tricks. *smile*

I was going to get a lot done today. Instead I had three extra kids, so someone else could get something done. Maybe that is what being grandma is all about.

If you where going to make something disposable, what would you pick? I'll tell you what I'd pick....SOCKS! I get tried of matching up socks. I think the dryer eats about a third of them anyway!

The kids watched The Jungle Book today...not the cartoon, the other one. Which ended in a big fuss over the name of the wolf. So here is a bit of trivia for when you are faced with the same situation. Mowgli's animals friends are Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther and the wolf's name? Grey Brother.

My friend Frannie now has a Candy Cane Coiffure for Christmas ~ Bold red stripes in her blond locks! She is so cool...she is a hoot and I love her. She is in her mid 60's! What fun!

Liz Curtis Higgs asked, "If your heart is full, is okay that your mind is empty?" My vote is YES! It is that time of year.

I miss so many people this time of year! I become a sentimental blubbering basket case....then it passes and I think about all the good memories from years gone by and I am happy. Then I have to cook supper and ......oh never mind. I think holidays are an emotional drain sometimes.

I went out and cut Granny's hair tonight, so she is ready to receive her Christmas visitors in "style" now. (Granny lives across the pasture. She is 91 y/o.)

I still have about a dozen presents to make. I keep telling myself, I work better under pressure. Self is getting a good laugh.

All and all, it has been a good week. For one the temperature has slowly come back up from the teens of a few nights ago to 56 today with lots of sunshine. Secondly, Tiger Woods is no longer on Yahoo each time I check my email. And last, dh nearly has the new well house done. Life is good.

May the next few days, be ones of great joy for each of you and may your families be blessed. Remember, the most important present you can give is "presence."

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fa la la, la, La la la la.....

Just a few quick updates. It is that time of the year, when we seem to meet ourselves "coming and going" as they used to say. And life around here is no exception I have lots of good intentions, but time seems to be traveling at the speed of light toward December 25th, fortunately for me, we celebrate our family Christmas with everybody on January 1st. *smile* We made a point to start doing this *tradition* when the grown kids started getting married. We didn't want them to feel pulled between which house, what time, and guilty over being one place, while feeling the need to be somewhere else. So we started our own thing!

The lovely necklace pictured here is from The Silver Cottage website. I am going to try to add a link to the site....but you all know I am not very good at that. If my attempt doesn't work and a web search doesn't show you were to go, leave me a comment and I'll try to point you in the right direction!

I haven't finished my shopping for this Christmas and I am already planning what I want to buy for next!!! But now I know about this site, so I can order anytime during the year and hide my gifts away....(Okay, there have been a couple of years when I hid them a little too well! But I am going to get better organized... .really!). Anyway wanted to share the lovely work this stay at home mom does! Be sure and look at the bracelet made with two strands of beautiful Amethyst chips and drawn together by a single dragonfly with an adjustable length. Gorgeous!

I have to go to the post office either tomorrow or Tuesday....well, since it is 1:28 a.m., make that later today or tomorrow. But, I still have to package three gifts and finish the Christmas cards. Maybe while I am filling up on coffee in a few hours.....What? You asked why I'm not working on cards now? Because I am working on laundry...lots of laundry and I only sit down and work on this post in between folding loads of clothes.

Elijah is still awake and we are also watching Five Mile Creek and talking about the "land down under" we are throwing in a bit of schooling here in the middle of the night! Doesn't everybody live like this?

Jenny (DD#1) is coming tomorrow afternoon, to bring Teamer and pick up Joey and Mac. Hopefully, (and I may be dreaming) I will then get a little more done on the house.

I am planning on preparing an early holiday dinner for Granny D. and all of dh's brothers and significant others, however I still have to figure which day/evening will work best.

I received a new book to review yesterday. It is a devotional by Keri Wyatt Kent. It looks wonderful....there again, TIME.

Today was the first really nice day since I promised new pictures of Rodeo and I forgot. I still have the pictures on my "to do list".

If you haven't tried the Cast Iron Pan Candy on Suzanne McMinn's Chickens In the Road is so good! I had eight kids here yesterday and we made it. The recipe is incredibly simple. A nice rich toffee and then we drizzled melted white chocolate over it...just because! It was like eating Heath bars....all the Heath bars you want. I think I sampled way too much!

Suzanne has lots of ideas to make your Christmas special, that are very economical friendly *cheap*. Many of her ideas will enrich your life, too.

Okay, not proof reading this tonight, so if you find mistakes just correct them and be joyful!

Enjoy the season!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Baby Has A Name ~ finally

Just wanted you all to know, our big, tag playing, puppy - er, I mean baby horse is now officially Rodeo! Since he is constantly in motion and wanting to kick up his heels, it seemed like a good handle. It was either that, or Pesky! I like Rodeo better.

I know, I should have taken a new picture to celebrate the occasion, but hey ~ it's two o'clock in the morning and like I said earlier, it's cold! Pictures will follow. Really, I promise!

Oh Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Brrrrr, my feet are cold! We were greeted this morning with ice in the feed buckets! Which was only made more curious, because the National Weather Map (courtesy of Yahoo) showed our temperature at a whooping 70 degrees! I’m not kidding! My feet told me, it was a lot closer to 32 than 70. Wonder what South Pacific island the weather dude was dreaming about?

We made it through Thanksgiving *correction* we grazed our way through Thanksgiving! On Saturday prior to turkey day, I taught a cooking class at the local college and we made a complete Thanksgiving dinner. Then I cooked Wednesday and Thursday for family members. Come Saturday after Thanksgiving, grown daughter #1 and her family came down, so we did what any red blooded American family would do, we grilled! And it was goooood! Since Thanksgiving we have pizza’d, taco’d. and had hamburgers! But now I am completely out of cranberry salad and I am going to be forced to make some more. I miss it. Dh misses it.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and your dinner was delicious!

DD#1 brought down a “new” cake and the recipe is so simple. If you have a thing for “salty~sweet” stuff, you’ll love it. I’ll post it at the bottom. If you are trying to lose weight before Christmas, you might want to just pretend you didn’t see it.

Today I started on some of the gifts that have to be mailed. Without giving out too much information *no pictures* we got out the sack of pine cones that have been piled in the corner of the kitchen for the last month, for the boys to do a project with. At the time, I was pouring candles, so I had this wild idea ~ and why not?

So I took a pine cone and dipped it in the soy wax, which was still fairly warm. After allowing the wax to drip for a minute or so, I sprinkled gold glitter all over the wet wax. Let me tell you, it came out so nice and it smells so good, I did 16 more! Dh was even impressed! I think these will look great set about in groups of three or four with a little greenery placed around them. And I figure the cost was mere pennies per pine cone!

Here’s this marvelous cake recipe…supper easy too!

Salty Caramel Chocolate Cake

Bake a Chocolate fudge cake according to the package directions. And let cool.


1 8 oz pkg. of cream cheese - softened
1 stick of butter - softened

Beat together, and add

1 small jar caramel (ice cream) topping

Continue beating and add enough powdered sugar to make it the right consistency to spread.

Then add 1 tsp. coarse ground sea salt.

Beat until well blended and spread on cake.

This makes more than enough icing for one cake, so bake two and share with someone. The sweet, salty taste is awesome.