Monday, December 27, 2010

A white Christmas

Look what was outside my door on Christmas morning!  We had a
lovely white Christmas, filled with fun, food and great gifts. 

"This one has my name on it!"

"Look what I got.  It said on the tag 'one size fits all'!
Do you think I fit?"

"Unwrapping presents is exhausting work!"

This scene greeted me outside my kitchen window this morning.

 Another scene just to the left of the one above.  Cold, but beautiful!

The sun came out in the afternoon and the heavy frost soon melted 
away.  It was beautiful while it lasted.  

Thankfully the highways in the area remained clear for holiday travels.

Hope your Christmas was wonderful, too.  See you in a few days!

Until next time...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas present and Christmases past

How's the Christmas preparations coming along at your house?  I've done all the decorating I'm going to do.  Above are a few little Christmas touches around the house.  The two pics on the left and the one in the middle of the glass jug are more of my Never the Same purchases.  I couldn't resist the old sled, makes me think of winter's past when I was young and would go sailing down the snowy hill.  Those were the days when we seemed to have more snow than we do now.   The star ornament is from Silver Dollar City in Branson and is supposed to be wood from an olive tree in Bethlehem.  In the upper right are what we call our Silver Dollar City trees...a mini version of the real thing you see all over the park at SDC.  And finally, the nativity is a special treasure given to me by my younger brother many years ago.

Christmases Past

My children many, many years ago.  They have always made Christmas fun and as you can see from their expressions...they always had fun!  There are so many memories of Christmases past that it would fill a book.

Here are two guys I really miss at Christmas.  My two brothers...they were always a lot of fun to be around at Christmas, too.  The younger brother on the left gave me the Nativity set.  This photo was taken many years ago, but fond memories still remain. 

I have a lot of wonderful memories of Christmases past and other photos I'll have to share another Christmas.  One of my favorite memories was of the time when my little brother went to the door leading to the room where the tree was and where Santa would be leaving his gifts.  He was only 4 or 5 at the time and he opened the door just enough to peek in the room and went running back to the table to tell everyone that he saw Santa!  I don't know who he saw...but he certainly believed he saw Santa!

Christmas is a fun, magical time for children and for grownups, too.  But, we remember the real reason for the season and that is the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.  May the joy of this special season fill your hearts with love, peace and happiness this Christmas and throughout the New Year.

Edited to add:  Click here Mary at Little Red House for more mosaics.

Until next time...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cookies coming soon...

My kitchen survived my efforts to set fire to the oven...just kidding!  If you read my last post, you know what happened when I set the self-cleaning cycle on my stove.  I'm happy to say that I did get it cleaned and it is now awaiting those cookies and breads I've yet to bake.  Some of that will be done this weekend.  Here's a cookie recipe that we all loved and was given to us at a Christmas Open House a few years ago.  It is very quick and simple to make, you don't want to ice these.  I'll share the recipe for the iced sugar cookies next week. 

Carolyn's Home Tour Sugar Cookies
1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup powered sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
Mix the shortenings and sugars together and add the egg and vanilla.
  Stir in the flour and baking soda.  
Roll into 1 inch balls and press down with a fork.
Sprinkle with colored sugar.
Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet
 in a 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

Happy Holidays and happy baking! 

Until next time...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Old Scrooge

Do you know one?  An old Scrooge?  You know...Bah! Humbug!  I confess to feeling a bit like the ole guy today.  Just about everything I touched today turned into a disaster.  I'll just tell about a few.

First of all, I started watering my plants.  Reaching up high atop my Hoosier cabinet in the kitchen where I have plants and Christmas decor, I grabbed a plant and didn't realize that a smaller plant that I'm starting in a vase of water was caught on the larger one.  It came spilling over the top onto some things I'd rather not have wet.

Next, after the cleanup and getting the rest of the plants watered, I decided to turn on the self-cleaning feature on my oven.  I checked the oven and decided (wrongly) that it didn't need any pre-cleaning, as it didn't look too bad to me.  Well, about 10 minutes after it started heating up, I happened to still be in the kitchen and looked at the oven and saw flames all over the oven.  I've done this before and this was the first time I ever saw flames!  So, off goes the oven and it's still awaiting cleaning.  I was too aggravated by then to tackle the job.

And besides all the mishaps, my computer didn't have internet connection all day.  After calling my internet provider, it was determined that I had a bad modem, so a trip to WalMart in the next town was called for.  Then it was on to the setting up of this modem where the real fun began.  After talking to 3 people, who I could barely understand, I'll just say that I finally have internet connection.  But my good temper hasn't quite been restored yet! 

I hope to get my oven cleaned tomorrow, and the Christmas cards done.  It's still bitterly cold here and we have a little snow on the ground which makes it look a lot like Christmas!  Cheer up, Scrooge....talking to myself here.  Tomorrow is another day!  Hope it's a good one wherever you are.

Until next time...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let it snow!

Oh the weather outside is frightful.......let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

It's snowing and so very cold and windy tonight (it's still Sat. night to me)!  I've finished wrapping gifts tonight, except for a couple of things I still need to get.  The decorating is done and next on my to-do list is addressing Christmas cards.  If I'm not careful, I just might be ahead of schedule this year...that would be a change! 

I can't decide whether to do a Christmas letter this year or not.  It is a time saver when you have several people you like to write a little note to and usually end up writing the same thing in each one.  Do you do a Christmas letter to go with your cards? 

Also, to do is the baking of cookies and some breads.  I've gotten a couple of new recipes that I want to try out.  One is a Cranberry Cake recipe that I saw over at Jackie's blog that looks very yummy.  She got the recipe at Taste of Home and I know their recipes are always good.  Do you have a favorite tried and true recipe that you have to make every Christmas?  I'll share my recipe for my sugar cookies that my family always look forward to another day, I didn't realize how late it's getting.

Have a wonderful Sunday and stay warm! 

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Christmas meme

I saw this meme over at Vee's yesterday and thought it might be fun to do.  Join in the fun, too!  Just copy and paste the questions and put in your own answers...easy!

1. Hot Chocolate or Apple Cider?
        Hot chocolate

2. Turkey or Ham?
        Turkey.  And ham if there will be several for dinner.

3. Do you get a fake or real-you-cut-it-yourself Christmas tree?
        We have a slimline fake that doesn't take up so much space in the living room.  We have a tree downstairs, and it is usually fake, and several small ones scattered around the house.  I use fresh greenery for a centerpiece that I cut from our trees and to decorate with outside.

4. Decorations on the outside of your house?
        Cedar cuttings from our own woods shaped into swags for the lights and also to put in pots with red berries or bows.  Usually lights, but not yet this year...we may skip them. 

5. Snowball fights or sleddin’?

6. Do you enjoy going downtown shopping?
        On a rare occasion.

7. Favorite Christmas song?
        O Holy Night

8. How do you feel about Christmas movies
        We usually watch Christmas Vacation every year for the laughs.
9. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music?
        It's never too early, I love Christmas music!

10. Stockings before or after presents?
        We don't do stockings anymore.

11. Go to someone else’s house or they come to you?
         My house.  In years past, when there was more family, we went to several houses.

12. Do you read the Christmas Story? If so when?
         Usually, no specific time. 

13. What do you do after presents and dinner?
         We play games and eat the dessert we were too full to have at dinner.
14. What is your favorite holiday smell?
         Fresh cut cedar and the smells of baking.

15. Ice skating or walking around the mall?
         Ice skating was something I did as a youngin' and would love to be able to do again if I still had those young ankles.

16. Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas day?
         It is a tradition at my house to have pizza then open gifts on Christmas Eve with just my immediate family, then the big dinner on Christmas Day with whoever can come to join us.
17. Favorite Christmas memory?
         Probably the year we made a large Barbie Doll house for our daughter and it turned out so well and she was just so surprised!  Her first words were "Oh, I'm so happy!"  My son got a Dallas Cowboy uniform and didn't want to ever take it off.

18. Favorite Part about winter?
         When I know all my traveling family is safe at home or in a hotel when the highways are icy or snow-covered.

19. Ever been kissed under mistletoe?

Have a good Wednesday everyone!

Until next time...

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Magic Tree


How would you like to decorate this beautiful tree?  It's
  covered with a total of 37,000 lights.
  It's called The Magic Tree and can be seen in Columbia MO.
  The Magic Tree was previously in the yard of the man who decorates
 it but was moved this year to The Village of Cherry Hill. 
 The traffic became unmanageable after a few years on
his street so a new home was found this year on a
  cherry tree that will grow larger.  The former Magic Tree was a
 mature crab apple and had twice the lights as this year's tree.

I was in Columbia after dark the other night and driving down
West Broadway I saw a very similar tree to the Magic
Tree by a church and also a tree covered in all white lights
in a yard a few blocks down the street.  All very beautiful!

Until next time...

Friday, December 3, 2010

A late start...

Hi Ho, hi ho, it's off to work shopping I go.........Yep, I'm afraid to say that shopping is not the most fun I've ever had!  I don't mind when I know what I'm looking for, but this Christmas I don't have but a couple of ideas!  Help!!

And yes, I'm just now getting ready to leave and it's past noon.  I just couldn't tear myself away from the blogs today.  I am going by Michaels to pick up some craft glue after reading about this wonderful craft over at Vee's blog.  Thanks, Vee, you may have helped to get me in the Christmas shopping spirit.  At least for craft items!

Isn't this cute?  It's one of the items I purchased at Never the Same, a little shop in one of our nearby towns.  It's made from an old wine bottle...they drilled a hole in the back to stuff some lights in, painted, and voila!  I also bought a larger bottle and other goodies I'll show another day.

This was our tree from last year.  I haven't gotten it put up yet this year because I just know Princess Chunk Stormy will be climbing it like last year and I fear for it's life!   The tree, that is, and just maybe Stormy (just kidding!) if she breaks some of my treasured ornaments.  I buy one or two each year and have ornaments from several years and while they are not expensive they are special to me.   I do remember that I lost some red balls off the tree last year, hence the bare spots you see....hmmm, wonder how that happened? 

Until next time.....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday again?

How can it be that it's already a week past Thanksgiving?  Didn't we just sit down to turkey a couple of days ago?  I'd better get out and do some Christmas shopping!  Have you finished or are you just getting started?

 I saw four deer late in the evening yesterday.  I grabbed my camera and
went out to the patio to get a photo.  This one was a little 
braver than the other three.  You can just see the white tails running
away from me below.  

Did you see in the news recently about the 44 lb. (yes, that big) cat that died at age 10 of congestive heart
failure?  Prince Chunk had appeared on a couple of tv shows.  He looked a lot like our own Princess Chunk 
Stomy who is being put on a diet after reading about PC.  She is getting a bit chunky herself and I just can't imagine 44 lbs leaping upon my chest while I'm sleeping!  Can 44 lb cats even leap?  I
don't want to find out. 

She likes to sleep on her back.  Maybe that is because she's getting such a
big belly? 

Okay, no more dry food plus canned food, or ice cream whenever she can mooch some.  She loves her ice can you say no to an ice cream lover?  I'll just keep a picture of Prince Chunk in mind.

I'm off to run a few errands, one of which is to pick up some cracked corn for my feathered friends.  I've not seen as many birds this winter as I usually do.  How is the population in your neighborhood?

Until next time...