Monday, December 30, 2013

A Few Of My Favorite Things

As this year draws to a close, I thought I would share
  a favorite photo of each month of 2013 today.
Beginning in the upper left corner and working clockwise, 
the photos start with January and end with a new and
unpublished photo for December.  The center photo is
 a one of my favorite sunsets. 

I want to thank my blog friends for your visits and comments
on my blog.  I'm looking forward to another fun year of blogging
and seeing what you are doing!  Happy Monday!

Until next time...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Day After

It was a beautiful Christmas and we are still looking at our gifts and eating leftover turkey and cookies and candy and pie....oh my!  

The kitties got to open their gifts first.  Oh yes!  Stormy loved her new red mouse.  She rolled and tossed the catnip-filled mouse for quite a long time.  We finally had to make her move so we could open our own gifts!

Santa was good to me and I got new earrings, a scented wax warmer, new Christmas ornaments, gift cards, a CD, a neat earring holder (because Santa knows I love my earrings!), and a Nook, which I can't wait to set up and have time to read!  I'm sure I'm leaving something out, but that was just the gifts under the tree.  I'd already gotten an early gift of a new winter coat and boots!  

I have to say that I know boots are all the rage now, but I'm just not a big wearer of boots.  It's mostly due to this bum ankle of mine that I broke years ago and they're just not comfortable.  However!  Sometimes MissouREE weather calls for boots and I needed to be prepared!  I'd just as soon not wear a coat either, but I will if it gets really cold.  That little rascal, Callie, put a tear in the arm of my coat I just bought last year.  Would anyone like to have a cute little calico?

Haha!  Just kidding, Callie!

I do hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  I have a question.  Do you leave your tree up for a while yet, or do you take it down as soon after Christmas as you can?  I like to keep mine up until New Year's Day most years.  The lights are so pretty that I want to enjoy it as long as I can.

Enjoy your Friday and the weekend!!

Until next time...

Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas!

 We are now just days away from Christmas!  It is a busy time,
a beautiful time.  I will be checking my lists and making sure that I have not forgotten anything.  All but a few last minute things are done.  I
still have some baking to do and the big dinner to cook on Wednesday.  
 This will be my last post until after the holidays. 
So, from my house to yours....
Merry Christmas!!

Christmas, my child, is love in action.
Every time we love, every time we give,
     it's Christmas.  
~Dale Evans

Until next time...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December Note Card Party

The days are just flying by and it's time again for Vee's Note Card Party.  I wavered between Christmas note cards and wintery note cards.  Since I just took these photos last Saturday, wintery note cards won out.  I did show the barn already in a collage in my last post. 

December's wintery breath is already clouding the pond, 
frosting the pane, obscuring summer's memory... 
~John Geddes

There is nothing in the world more beautiful than 
the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow.  
~William Sharp

Snowflakes are like kisses sent down from heaven.  
~source unknown

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire;
it is the time for home.       
~Edith Sitwell

Be sure to stop by A Haven for Vee to see some beautiful photos that would make delightful note cards.  And, thanks to Vee for hosting this fun party!

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time...

Monday, December 16, 2013

Winter Has Arrived

Saturday scenes from my kitchen window.


A little bit of freezing rain fell on us Friday, but it warmed up to just rain the rest of the day before changing over to snow.   We had between 2-3 inches when it came to an end. 

The sun was shining brightly yesterday so BG and I hopped in the truck and headed out to run some errands.  First stop was at my aunt's house to check on her.  She had another fall the night before and she has a huge knot on her forehead with lots of bruising.  She says she's okay, but will be seen by a doctor today. 
More winter scenes from our drive.  These are SOTC shots.

BG is taking the rest of his vacation days until after Christmas.  He can keep the kitties company downstairs while I get things finished up for Christmas.  If I put them downstairs and shut the door, they will sit on the step and claw at the door and meow until I cave in and let them back upstairs.  

I have a list of things that I want to accomplish this week.  The shopping is done, but the wrapping isn't.  The cards have to be done today and gotten in the mail.  Do you have a lot left to do for Christmas?  We only have one full week left to get it all done!  

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Enjoying The Season

It's that most wonderful time of the year.  A very busy time.

Remember to take a moment and slow down from all the busyness and  just enjoy the season...perhaps with a nice cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows or whipped cream on top.

Or, take time to enjoy a beautiful sunset.  Watch the sky a few moments to see the colors change until they fade into darkness.

Notice how pretty the barren tree branches look against the sky.

Take a moment 
to gaze out the windows and 
watch the birds 
busy at the feeders
or just resting 
in the trees.

If you can, make time for a little nap during a busy day.  Falling asleep to Christmas music is wonderful!

I don't recommend sleeping under the tree, but that is a favorite spot for my kitties right now.

Are you still busily getting ready for Christmas?  Or have you been able to slow down and enjoy the season?   Some folks thrive on last minute shopping.  I'm not one of those.  Are you?  I have to confess that I'm often addressing Christmas cards the last week and the house will need to be cleaned...again.  I need to get some gift wrapping done.  A nap sure sounds good to me!

Until next time...   

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Musings - Burlap

I have my tree up!  And a few little Christmas things sitting here and there around the house.
I'm happy to report that so far, the kitties have not toppled the tree.  We're hopeful that after a little scolding and spraying with the spray bottle on their furry little selves, that they will leave it alone.  Yep, sure they will!  

It's cold here, but we only had a tiny bit of snow.  As of this writing, I'm not sure
what to expect when I get up in the morning.  Which will be this morning when you read this.  Confused yet?

The outside is still to be decorated.  I want to get some cedar and fir branches cut.  The wreath is on the front door and that's all I've done out there.  It's just too cold for me to be outside right now!  That's okay, I still have plenty to do inside to keep me busy.

Is burlap still in?  The photo above was taken in Branson while we were there last month.  One of the trees was covered with things made of burlap or at least had touches of burlap.

Here's a Snowman ornament that was kind of cute.  It looks simple to put together and paint.  Not that I would copy their idea or anything. 

I've never been into decorating with burlap that's been all the rage and it just occurred to me recently why I've kind of ignored all the burlap out there lately. 

I was into burlap when burlap wasn't cool!  (Can I still use that word?  Cool?  I'm old enough to remember when that word was popular!)  

Here's a very old photo of one of our burlap covered trunks that BG and I made.  (Ignore the ugly slipcover and a friend's purse.)

In our early years of marriage, storage was very much in short supply.  I loved my magazines even back in those days, and one day I happened upon a set of directions for a fabric covered trunk and immediately showed them to BG and we decided to make a set.  I bought burlap for my fabric and brass hardware to embellish the trunks and voila!  We had a pair of nice sized trunks that I used as end tables and also to store extra bedding and such.  These trunks came in very handy for many years.

The burlap served me very well as a covering for the trunks for a very long time, but I think that I grew tired of seeing burlap and have avoided it ever since!

Can you believe that I kept the magazine pages all these years?  I ran across them when looking for something else and I just had to share.  If anyone would like the directions to make their own fabric covered trunk or trunks, just email me and I'll be glad to send a copy of the directions to you!
Until next time...

Friday, December 6, 2013

Something Old (Memories) and Something New (To Me)

~Window display at Kirkland's on the Landing in Branson~

Do you have your Christmas shopping done?  I'm not a big fan of shopping, other than flea market/antique browsing, but I do enjoy looking around during the Christmas season.  The pretty displays, the colors, the lights, and the scents of Christmas help to make it a beautiful time of year.  

 ~Dick's 5 & 10 in downtown Branson~
When I was a youngster, I was always excited to get to go to town at Christmas and look at all the displays and boxes of toys at the dime store.  This was, of course, before the time of the big box stores.  The variety store that we once had in our small town was called Mattingly's.

There were several aisles in Mattingly's much like the ones in this photo I snapped in Dick's 5 & 10 last week.  A little wave of nostalgia always hits me when I visit this store in Branson.  I think about the selection of toys for kids when I was young and what there is to choose from today.  Back then it was a treat to get a new board game, or coloring books, or a new doll.  When I outgrew the dolls, I got clip-on roller skates for my shoes to sail around on in the basement.  What fun my younger brother and I had racing around the corners.  I was also excited one year to get some new, snowy white ice skates!   

 ~My grandmother holding my cousin, my mother holding my
younger brother, my older bother, and me holding my new doll~.

Today's shopping is often an overwhelming experience.  There is almost too much to choose from that even adults have a hard time making up their minds.  Maybe that's why I'm not a fan of shopping.  :)  

I ventured out yesterday to do a little shopping.  Actually, the real reason I went to our nearest big city was because the adapter for my laptop went kaput.  I have a desktop computer, but the laptop is the one I seem to use most.  It must have something to do with being able to recline in the LazyGirl LazyBoy.  

  ~The Market Place~
Once I had the new adapter in my little hands, I headed to one of my favorite flea markets/antique shops.  The adapter was free because I'd just gotten one in August and they told me it shouldn't have gone out so soon.  So I thought, hey, I've saved myself some money that I could use for shopping!  Don't you like the way I think?

I spotted this pretty Pfaltzgraff Winterberry platter that was in perfect condition for a few bucks.  Winterberry is one of my favorite Christmas patterns and I have the plates, mugs and other pieces, so I just had to bring it home with me.

Callie liked my find, too.  What am I going to do with her?  She is into everything.  The platter is 16 1/2 inches long, so you can see how she's grown.  I'll be happy when she outgrows some of her curiosity.  She has to investigate every single thing that's brought into the house.  Note:  I just finished soaking the platter in bleach before it's put in the dishwasher. 

After a bit of browsing at my favorite shops, I headed to WallyWorld to buy a few essentials.  While there, I also picked up some needed ingredients for our Christmas dinner.  The turkey and ham are already in the freezer ready to bake.  I have most everything I'll need except for the salad fixings so my grocery shopping for Christmas is mostly done.  

While stopping for a nature call at WallyWorld, I still had my camera in my pocket and, on a whim, I thought "why not"?  No one was around and the lighting was good.  So, here is my "selfie" with dark circles around the eyes, hair askew and all.  Remember, I'd been shopping all afternoon.  I'm not sure why I was bending down.  My hair is normally tucked behind my ears, but what you see is what you get.  My left hand holding my jacket looks deformed, but I was only trying to hold it closed.

I'm so behind this year.  Hopefully this weekend I'll get some help and get the house decorated.  If not, at least I have a new platter and food to put on it!  

Until next time...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Beautiful Lights

As the sign on the door says, come on in!  Let's take a tour of one of my favorite spots to visit during the Christmas season.  We're at Silver Dollar City in Branson.  Many of you have seen my SDC posts and photos from past years, but for those of you who may not know about SDC, it is an 1880's theme park that is always beautifully decorated at Christmas with over 5 million lights.  You can read the history of Silver Dollar City here if you'd like to learn more about the park.  Okay, let's see some photos!

All of my SDC photos were taken with my little Canon Elph pocket cameraIt did a fair job, but I don't think any camera could fully capture the beauty of all the lights.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of SDC.  This is only a small sampling of the park which covers around 100 acres.  I did a lot of walking up and down the hills and, yes, I stopped to rest quite frequently!  We sipped on hot chocolate and sampled some of the goodies all around the park.

I had a video that I took of the 5-story special effects tree on the village square to share with you, but it wouldn't upload.  The tree changes colors frequently and the music plays to the special effects every 15 minutes or so.   It's enjoyed by kids, both young and old.

After being dazzled by the sights and sounds of Christmas, you might think that I hurried home from Branson and put my own tree up and have the house ready for the holidays.  Nope.  I'm still awaiting a bit of help getting all the totes carried upstairs.  It's been a little hard getting back into a routine after our little trip.  How about you?  The decorating all done at your house?
Until next time...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Scenes From Branson

We didn't get reservations for Thanksgiving in Branson this year nailed down as early as we would have liked because we didn't get word that our kitty-sitter would be available until later than usual.  When I called for our reservations, Paulette told me that they were booked solid this year but had one available for 2 nights.  I sighed and said we'd take it even if we had to go elsewhere for the next 2 nights.  She said she would put our name on a waiting list in case there was a cancellation.  She called back the very next day and told us the happy news that someone had cancelled and the condo was available for the 4 nights we requested.  I had asked for our usual place, but it had been sold. 

Not knowing what this condo would look like, we cautiously opened the door and this is what I saw.  And snapped as soon as I put down my cold drink.  Then I told BG not to bring in any of our stuff until I snapped a few shots.  He just shook his head.  Wouldn't you think that he would know by now that bloggers just have to get these shots?  :)

This shot shows the color of the main area of the condo better than the first photo.  I just fell in love with this color.  It almost made me want to go home and paint over the red walls in my kitchen.  Almost.  

Above are a couple more views of the condo and the deck.  I loved the terra cotta color in the master bathroom, too.  The other bathroom was done in a nice soft shade of what I would call eggplant.  The master bedroom was done in a light tan and the other bedroom was a nice shade of green.  The large sofa had a pull-out bed.  The only complaint I heard was that they missed the recliners that were in the other condo.  

We very much enjoyed this beautiful and relaxing condo and the only thing we had to bring with us was food and our clothes.  We had ordered a turkey dinner and stopped to pick it up and some groceries before heading to the condo.  Our son had work in Branson on Wednesday, and after he arrived we went to the Landing to eat dinner the first evening and the next day we just had to heat the turkey and other food.  

We didn't get away from the condo very much this trip.  Our children both work very hard and it is a time for them to relax.  We had lots of food, we played card games, went to Silver Dollar City one day, and to downtown and to the Landing a couple of evenings.  More about that in another post.

Is there anyone who doesn't know who this guy is?  Ha!  While relaxing and playing cards, we also watched some TV.  Duck Dynasty was playing almost continuously one day.  I haven't watched many of the shows, so this was a lot of fun.  We love Phil!

I'll have more to come from our Branson trip in a day or two, I've saved the best for last!

Until next time...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hello December!

We are back from our Thanksgiving trip to Branson.  We couldn't have asked for better weather and we had a wonderful time.  Now it is December and time to think about getting ready for the next holiday.  I'm more than ready to decorate after a day or two of rest.  I'll post more about our Branson mini-vacay in the coming days.  Right now, I'm just too tired and sleepy from driving and unpacking and hugging furbabies to find all the photos I want to share.

Lots of relaxing was done at the condo we rented.  It was very nice and I loved the colors which I'll show another day.  This was the view from the deck.  The water looked so blue and we saw a few boats cruising around from time to time since the weather was so nice. 

All too soon it was time to pack the car again and say goodbye to our favorite place to visit.  We love the Ozark mountains and the friendly folks in Branson.  Here we are heading north on Hwy 65.  I'm always thankful that we have had such good weather for traveling in all the years we've been going to Branson for Thanksgiving.  I'd not want to drive these hills on bad roads! 

As you might imagine, the furkids were very glad to see us arrive home. Can't you just see the enthusiasm on Callie's face?  :)  We had a friend come to the house twice a day to see to them, but we always wonder how they feel about our being away from them for a few days.  

Did you have a nice Thanksgiving?  I will be around to visit as soon as I can.  It's always fun to get away for a few days, but there's no place like home and I'm happy to be back!  See you soon.

Until next time...