Monday, November 30, 2009
Woke up this morning to a gray day, but oh the temperature is amazing.......50's all day. I know that's not a big deal to some of you, but yesterday afternoon was like soup......lukewarm soup. Warm and humid. So I am so loving the overnight change.
I am reading blog after blog of holiday transformations....astounding cuteness and great ideas. Me? Well, I did manage to get all the fall out and back in the attic and the Christmas boxes down, thanks to my son before he left to go back to college.
It was a wonderful week and weekend, relaxing and visiting with family and friends. Not much shopping happened here, but I have three weeks to get it all done, right????? um, hum, I do work best under pressure. So the hours will be full for the next three weeks. I don't need a blinking reminder or even a paper calendar to remind me just how many days are left before Christmas! I can only take one day at a time anyway. It's good for me to plan, though, and I will be doing LOTS of that, so as to be efficient in my "only three weeks or so" left. But again, I can only do the twenty four hours in one day at a time, so I MUST be reasonable. Remember my post on Perspective? Um, hum, I'm going to be reading that post regularly to keep me in line!! I am continually telling myself, "It's only November 30th, not even Dec. 1st yet, so ease up, self. "
And keeping all those expectations in a reasonable frame of reference.....yep, that's a big job. We can encourage one another to remember what's truly important, and realize we are all in different places.......yes, I need someone reminding me of that.
That's why it's so good to have friends all over the place, of every age and ability, of all frames of mind....so we can encourage one another.
Wouldn't it be better if Thanksgiving were in EARLY November??? I would sure like to have a week or two extra after Thanksgiving, wouldn't you?
Well, today is my day to go visit my little quint friends, so decorating will wait for tomorrow here at my house........it's going to be a great day! I hope yours is as well. I'll celebrate December 1st with Christmas decorating, as I am sure many of you will........I am just so thankful to be able to do so......see you tomorrow, and perhaps I'll have a few pics of progress being made around here.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
1 pound carrots, peeled, chopped
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla extract
3 T. flour
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter or margarine (softened)
Combine the carrots with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil; boil until very tender, drain. Combine the hot cooked carrots, sugar, baking powder and vanilla in a mixer bowl. Beat until smooth. Add the flour and mix well. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the margarine and mix well. Pour into a 9x9 inch baking dish coated with nonstick spray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until top is a light golden brown; do not overbake. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar (I skip this as it is already sweet enough!). Serve warm. Yield: 6 servings
I usually double this and there are hardly ever leftovers!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Subject: Notes on dusting
Remember...a layer of dust protects the wood beneath it.
'A house becomes a home when you can write 'I love you' on the furniture.'
I used to spend at least 8 hours every weekend making sure things were just perfect - 'in case someone came over'
Finally I realized one day that no-one came over; they were all out living life and having fun!
NOW, when people visit, I don't have to explain the 'condition' of my home They are more interested in hearing about
the things I've been doing while I was away living life and having fun. If you haven't figured this out yet, please heed this advice.
Life is short. Enjoy it!
Dust if you must ....... but wouldn't it be better to paint a picture or write a letter, bake cookies or a cake and lick the spoon or plant a seed, ponder the difference between want and need?
Dust if you must, but there's not much time ...with shrimp to eat, rivers to swim and mountains to climb, music to hear and books to read, friends to cherish and life to lead..
Dust if you must, but the world's out there with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair, a flutter of snow, a shower of rain. This day will not come around again.
Dust if you must, but bear in mind, old age will come and it's not kind.
And when you go - and go you must - you, yourself will make more dust!
Share this with all the wonderful women in your life.
I JUST DID.
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.
Many women are afraid of their first mammogram, but there is no need to
worry. By taking a few minutes each day for a week preceding the exam and
doing the following exercises, you will be totally prepared for the test and
best of all, you can do these simple exercises
right in and around your home.
Open your refrigerator door and insert one breast in door. Shut the door
as hard as possible and lean on the door for good measure.
Hold that position for five seconds. Repeat again in case
the first time wasn't effective enough.
Visit your garage at 3AM when the temperature of the cement floor is just
perfect. Take off all your clothes and lie comfortably on the floor with one
breast wedged under the rear tire of the car. Ask a friend to slowly back
the car up until your breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled. Turn
over and repeat with the other breast.
Freeze two metal bookends overnight. Strip to the waist.
Invite a stranger into the room. Press the bookends against one of your
Smash the bookends together as hard as you can. Set up an appointment with
the stranger to meet next year and do it again.
YOU ARE TOTALLY PREPARED!
AND, just a thought for all the women out there.......
Ever notice how all of women's problems start with
When we have real trouble it's HISterectomy!
Send this to all women to have a laugh AND, don't
forget to have a mammogram!!!
A Friend Is Like A Good Bra...
Hard to Find
Always Lifts You Up
Never Lets You Down or Leaves You Hanging
And Is Always Close To Your Heart!!!
Share this with a friend!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
On to other things......what do you have going on this week? I suggest we all make our grocery lists and get there asap......who wants to shop with EVERYONE on the planet? Let alone, before all the cranberry and pumpkin is gone!!!!
What about you? Do you prefer to shop in a relatively quiet store or do you love the hubbub of the holiday season joining everyone else shopping? I just do better when I can think about what I need to buy, so I do better in a relatively quiet environment.
Remember my post about turning my to-do's into TA-DAs???? Well, this morning I was playing around in Google and guess what I found?? A place to help make your ta-da list......ok, so apparently, I wasn't the only clever individual that thought of this....so I'll share.....but click here for a place to find a way to make your lists.....it's up to you to do the checking it TWICE, though....I don't think they will do it for you.
And what about Black Friday, which I heard they were going to rename GREEN Friday....I guess because so much money is spent on that day???? Or to get away from the darkness idea?? Will YOU be up at 4:30 with the die hard shoppers waiting in line? Um, not me........I may do some online shopping, but I just don't think I'll be among them.....
And lastly, I'll leave you with a few more recipes for the upcoming holidays......it's always nice to have options for company coming over, isn't it? Or for the guys that will be watching the football games endlessly....keep those men happy by feeding them......and they won't mind you blogging all the day while the games are on!! ;).......hey did someone call me SASSY??????
Cranberry Meat Balls
2 c. bread crumbs
1/2 c. milk
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 t. garlic salt
1/4 t. onion salt
1 pound ground beef
1 can water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped
1 16 oz. can cranberry sauce
1 12 oz. jar chili sauce
2 T brown sugar
1 T. lemon juice
Combine bread crumbs, milk, soy sauce, garlic salt and onion salt in a bowl and mix well. Add the ground beef and water chestnuts and mix well. Shape into 1 inch meatballs. Place on a 10x15 inch baking pan.
Bake at 350 for 18 to 20 minutes or until cooked through.
Combine the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Cook until the mixture is smooth and the cranberry sauce is melted, stirred frequently. Add the meatballs, stirring to coat. Spoon into a chafing dish or crock pot. Serve with wooden picks.
This sauce is also good with premade meatballs you buy frozen. Easy and good!
Smoked Gouda and Apple Stuffed Mushrooms
The flavor blend of apple, pecans, and Gouda cheese is wonderful in these mushroom caps. Serve them as an appetizer or a side dish.
2 lbs. very large fresh mushrooms (about 30)
2 T. butter
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 c. shredded smoked Gouda cheese
1/4 c. soft bread crumbs
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
3 T. ground pecans
1 T. butter, melted
Remove and chop mushroom stems; set caps aside.
Melt 2 T. butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushroom stems, onion, and garlic; saute for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and next four ingredients. Spoon evenly into mushroom caps; place caps on a rack in a broiler pan.
Combine pecans and 1 T. melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over each filled mushroom cap.
Bake at 350 for 15 to 17 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Change oven setting to broil, and broil mushrooms 1 to 2 minutes or just until browned on top. Yield: 30 appetizers
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I asked the Lord to tell me
Why my house is such a mess.
He asked if I'd been 'computering',
And I had to answer 'yes.'
He told me to get off my fanny,
And tidy up the house.
And so I started cleaning up...
The smudges off my mouse.
I wiped and shined the topside..
That really did the trick.....
I was just admiring my good work.
I didn't mean to 'click.'
But click, I did, and oops - I found
A real absorbing site
That I got SO way into it -
I was into it all night.
Nothing's changed except my mouse.
It's very, very shiny.
I guess my house will stay a mess.......
While I sit here on my hiney.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Oh I must apologize for the delay in picking the winners....yesterday was a full day. Lots of kisses and laughter from five of the sweetest toddlers I know, as well as normal routine, and then a prospective college dinner with my youngest. This college choosing has become quite the challenge. My middle son filled out ONE application. He knew where he wanted to go and filled out the application! Not so with my daughter! I am praying lots over this decision!
So with such a busy day, last night I was just too tired to pick the winner from the giveaway. So that leaves us with a task for this terrific Tuesday.....pick a winner!!!!!!! It is my joy to do this giveaway....after last week's post on perspective, so many of you said kind things, but it made me realize how we all struggle with this. We all need daily reminders to keep the balance, to juggle what we do and still remember the important things! Thanks friends, for the encouragement and the honesty in which you commented. Sure made me feel better!
So the giveaway. NOTHING scientific was employed to do this giveaway. Not surprising to me, as I haven't a scientific bone in my body...just ask my hubby! =)
I took my white paper and wrote each of your names on there, and cut them into little strips, then I placed them in my butter colored SLaHOME ruffled bowl, and drew out two names. The first one was the winner of the AllModern.com $50 gift certificate,
and that winner is APRIL, !!! Congrats April......hope this makes your day a happy one! April is facing some of the same issues I am with her daughter college shopping as well as marking some very sentimental milestones in her senior's school life. She has her last sports banquet coming up, as her talented daughter is a cross country runner. You know that's going to be emotional! Good luck April, and I hope you find something you love! I'll get you set up with Jamie, via email, to use your $50 gift certificate from AllModern.com! Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!! You can visit April to congratulate her at Straight from the Heart!
Then the winner of the SLaHOME products is Wendy from RelativelyUnique...... a new reader and follower! Congrats to Wendy; and here's what Wendy wins.......drum roll please.....A SL Everyday Grilling Cookbook, a Evanston Table topper for a small table, a set of Gail Pittman Hand Painted Coasters (Wendy can choose whether she wants the green or yellow ones), a set of Abingdon Votive Holders and a pair of Somerset square bowls, which were once a part of the Somerset Trio.....sorry but the third sister left the trio! Wendy, if you will email me, we can set you up to receive your SLaHOME winnings. I'll also throw in a few of our small cookbook that I use for giveaways at parties!
What a fun day to share with my friends. I hope your day is blessed whether you were a giveaway winner or not. You've all surely blessed MY life! thanks!
Monday, November 16, 2009
I'm off to see my favorite quintuplets friends...I haven't seen them in nearly three weeks! I'll have a fun and busy day...what about you?
Oh, and the drawing will be tonight....if I get a chance; I've got a dinner to go to with daughter and I will draw when I get home or in the morning! Good luck, and go enter if you haven't done so!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Take care and relish in the fact that you are TRULY loved by our Heavenly Father, who lavishes on us His love and many, many things that we cannot even begin to imagine! Happy Sunday!
If you didn't sign up for the giveaway, go back to Saturday's post and sign up! Drawing happens on Monday!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Well, yesterday's post on Perspective really struck a chord with so many of us, right? We all seem to be able to relate.....it's worth the investment put into it to decide what we want to value, to pursue, to concentrate on, and to spend our time on.
Alas, but now I find that I've thought deeply enough for now, and I am ready to lighten things up.....so I decided since it's Friday the 13th, noted by some to be a superstitously unlucky day, that we can make it a lucky day! I'm going to make it a LUCKY GIVEAWAY DAY! I've got several things to give away today.
FIRST UP: I was contacted by Jamie at AllModern.com who suggested..."Perhaps your readers would be interested in a giveaway for modern kitchen or office accessories, wall art, lighting, etc..."
So I thought.....well, maybe they would!!! There is a huge selection of kitchen or office accessories from which to choose, so really all you have to do is head over to allmodern.com and browse to see what you would like for free. All Modern sells modern furniture and house wares from brands like Vitra, Alessi and Knoll......you'll want to check them out today!
Jamie is willing for a lucky reader to pick out something with a $50 value and let you try it out for FREE....who doesn't LOVE, LOVE, LOVE a giveaway????? After all, we are starting our shopping for the holidays, right? So browse a little and come back and tell me what you would choose if you are the lucky winner. Here's a link that will take you there: Vitra
SECOND UP: I had a few samples left over from my sample sale last week, and I thought perhaps a few of you might just want to win a few SLaHOME products???? Perhaps someone would find themselves interested in a few little pieces from SLaHOME???? I'm deciding at the moment just which pieces will be in the giveaway, so bear with me....
So to say thanks to all my blogging friends, especially y'all that left such sweet comments on yesterday's post, I am offering you a Lucky day giveaway. Please pass along the info to any blogger who wants to join in......I'll be back with pics of the SLaHOME pieces up for the giveaway...in the meantime, let me know what you'd like to win from Allmodern.com..
And become a follower if you aren't already. The drawing for this giveaway will be Monday morning, the 16th......good luck! Go blog about it for an extra entry, and tell your friends.....
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I was over visiting the Nester's blog this morning, and her blog post today was about perspective--something I've been mulling over in my head for the last few weeks....a coincidence, perhaps? Nah, I don't think so. We get nudges all the time from the most unexpected places to remind us who we are, who we belong to, who we are called to be, and who we show others we are and/or portray ourselves to be......yea, especially that last one. In the blog world, it's easy to show the side of ourselves that looks good, looks crafty, chic, or crazy organized. It's easy to show the one decorated table or buffet that looks really good and have others assume the rest of my house looks just as good, or that the rest of my food is just as awesome as the one or two recipes I just shared. It's easy to show the good and pretty yet sweep the rest under the proverbial oriental rug. What's for real?????
In reality, I'm just a mom, a wife, a friend, a sister, a church goer, Bible believer, wanna be decorator.....just to name a few. I'm really not even a writer, nor a photographer, and there are days when I'm hardly even a cook. Sometimes I'm lazy and can spout great ideas, but not follow through with any of them. Somedays I forget to pray, yet I find myself promising to pray for many others. Somedays, I get discouraged and want to just run away. Does that make me any different than anyone else? You answer that.......I'm thinking it makes me just like you...and you, and you. Now, maybe you don't have a lazy bone in your body, and I certainly don't mean to offend anyone, but surely you get tired. So tired you just.can't.move. Sometimes I read blogs, books and magazines and wish my home were something that it isn't....something that looks like a magazine, when in reality PEOPLE LIVE HERE, and it will never look like a magazine. Then I remember how God has provided a place for us to live, be warm and full, and to offer in hospitality to others. Yep, then I remember that it's really not about us, NOT ABOUT ME.......ouch. OUCH......sometimes the stick of reality hurts. But in the same turn, it is refreshing. To realize I am so abundantly blessed is such a comfort. My perspective turns from pain to prosperity, knowing that if all the material things were stripped away, I have riches untold that are sure and will never go away. My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and will indeed provide for me what I need. It's just that need sometimes gets a little turned around in my head......yep, you know that feeling.
The reality is that the Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease; they are new every morning! Indeed, great is HIS faithfulness, no matter how wobbly and inconsistent mine may be. I am SO VERY THANKFUL that it doesn't depend on me...that His gift is just that....a gift. Were it dependent on me, I would lose out every stinking day. I would be just a few hairs short of what I need......
.......and so back to the perspective issue. I know what keeps me grounded. I know what makes me real.....I know I need daily reminders of "it's not about me"......because I so easily get side-tracked. I need a double dose of that before the holiday season kicks in.....to remind myself what truly is important. Whether I have a Christmas tree that looks like that one I drooled over may not be the most important issue. It may not be worth the energy it will take me to "OVER- deck" the halls if it means that something important doesn't get done. This may be a year that I need to decide it's okay to scale back a little if it means I have a little energy left over for the people in my life........ouch. So really what this means for me is a little more planning of what is reality for me this year, this season. A realization that my expectations may be too big is really a gift to myself. I can only do so much and to dwell on it and be sullen because I cannot do it all and have it all, truly hurts those around me. So perspective, while sometimes it reveals what may initially be disappointing, is in truth a gift we can give ourselves. It is helpful to remember we are human and have limits. It means, in my case, I have to be less idealistic and more realistic. But the cost of that gift is worth it to me and my family. And I also have to remember there are others with bigger battles to fight, who need me to come along side them and gird them up for the battle. That is worth a whole lot more than a lovely tree, my friends.
Perspective......it's what's real.
Also, be sure you check on Stellan updates here......awesome reports of what God is doing for that family!!!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
What are you working on this year to give as gifts? Will you be making personalized gifts to put under the tree, or to share with friends and family? Will you be scouring the malls for some inexpensive, yet personal and fitting gifts? What's your plan?
Well, for my neighbors, (rather than give them MORE cookies than they actually need), my tradition is to give them Christmas morning breakfast goodies. I try to do a selection of things, not all sweet, so that there is something for everyone! I deliver them on Christmas Eve afternoon or evening, depending on when they are home. Some things I've included in the past are my Sausage Biscuit bites (they are simply angel biscuits with crumbled sausage in them, but one of my family's favorites; then there is the Cheese Strudel, and I love the recipe because it makes four pastries. I usually include some kind of muffins, because I love muffins--easy and quick. I also have a recipe for butter rolls that I sometimes include........I need to start planning so that I am ready. I make several platters to share with my neighbors.....they seem to enjoy it. Do you have a special tradition you do for your neighbors??? Please share in the comments so we all can gain from one another's ideas! Thanks for coming by!
Monday, November 9, 2009
I was just over here, at the Sunny Side, and she reminded me how critical Stellan is right now and we can be sharing with one another to pray....so would you stop right now and pray for Stellan?????
For those of you that follow McMama from My Charming Kids,
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I have accumulated many things and got rid of some, but still have way too much that I don't want to put away. If there is something in the pics you are interested in, please let me know....we can strike a deal perhaps! Or if you'd like a typed list of what is still available, I can email it to you. This is not pics of everything, there's more. I have a stack of books, too available. I'll post more pics of what is available tomorrow.
The food all turned out wonderfully, and my dear friend Barbara was here all day helping me in the kitchen. She is such a great sport about helping, and a gracious hostess as well. I loved the way the set up worked this year. I had all the eats and drinks set up in the kitchen rather than the dining room and the "store-front" set up in the dining room. In previous years, I had the reverse, but this seemed to work better. So I was very pleased with that. The food table looked beautiful and the food was all good. Hmmm, lots left though, but I cannot seem to scale back enough--perhaps its in my genes to prepare to feed an army! My stepfather is like that, too, and always makes enough food to feed the multitudes.
So I took lots of pics to share...hope you don't get bored, but I'll share. It was a fun time, and I wished each of you could have been here. So maybe you'll get a feel for how things were through looking at the pics. Enjoy. Oh, and I'll share more of the recipes tomorrow.
Monday, November 2, 2009
I have two days to get ready for my Open House and Sample Sale.......I wonder if I will get it all done....so I leave you with two of my recipes that I will be serving on Wednesday. They both are always a hit at parties, and fairly easy to make:
Marinated Cheese (ok, I didn't say all healthy, too!!! :)
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. white wine vinegar
3 T. chopped fresh parsley
3 T. chopped green onions
1 t. sugar
3/4 t. dried basil
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2 oz.) jar diced pimento, drained
1 (5.5 x 2 x 1inch) block sharp Cheddar cheese (8 oz.), chilled (like Cracker Barrel brand)
1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, chilled
Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs
Combine first 10 ingredients in a jar; cover tightly and shake vigorously. Set marinade aside.
Cut block of Cheddar cheese in half lengthwise. Cut cross-wise into 1/4 inch slices. Set aside. Repeat procedure with the cream cheese. Arrange slices alternately in a shallow baking dish, standing slices on edges. Pour marinade over cheese slices. Cover and maridnade in refrigerator at least 8 hours.
Transfer cheese slices to a serving platter in the same alternating fashion, reserving marinade. Spoon marinade over the cheese slices. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve with assorted crackers. (I like Triscuits) Yield: 12 to 16 appetizer servings
Pepper Jelly Dip
1 c. sharp cheddar, grated finely
1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. chopped green onions, green tops included
Mix together and add enough mayonaisse to hold it together. Mound on a plate and top with your favorite hot pepper jelly. Serve with crackers. ( I like Wheat thins with this one)
GREAT quick & easy recipes for the upcoming Holiday season. Enjoy!!! And speaking of cheese, this is my daughter right before the Homecoming dance this weekend. She went with her friend Jacob. Sorry the picture has some shadow......the sun was shining, for which we were thankful!