Friday, December 24, 2010

Silent Night...


A cold, soft rain is gently falling on this silent night.


The halls are decked.


The presents are wrapped.


The baking is done.


The menu is planned and prepped.


I'm just waiting now... waiting for the arrival of my loved ones.  I wish for each of you a holiday filled with the wonder and peace of Christ's love.

God bless you each and every one.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

{Sigh}


I wish... my tripod would have held steady as a rock...


I wish... the clouds would have given me just a 30 second break instead of racing past in a supernatural smoke pattern giving the full impression of the plague in Charlton Heston's version of The Ten Commandments.


I wish... I had a better shot of this event, but I don't.  I do have the memory of seeing it... and appreciating another miracle of God's creations.  I have to say, it was worth setting the alarm for 1:45 to see the peak at 2:14.  I'm thinking I should have climbed right back in bed, but now I'm blogging because there just hasn't been enough time lately.

I've been doing the Christmas Crazies chores for the past week.  I am not the one with the perfect gifts bought for everyone by June 30th, wrapped and ready by December 1; baking and decorating checked off; cards sent; menu planned; groceries bought and calmly awaiting the celebration of the birth of our Savior at this point in time.  No, not me.

It is madness not to be more organized and not to get started sooner.  Every year, I resolve to do better.  Every year, I am rushing around like a chicken with my head cut off (are there any others of you out there who have actually SEEN a chicken with its head cut off?  NOT a pretty sight!)  Well, this chicken is about to have to hit it!  Or Santa's little people will be disappointed at the Bungalow! 

Hope you all have a very happy first day of winter and that you caught the beauty of this lunar eclipse with your own eyes... It was spectacular.

Merry Christmas to all... and to all a good day!  Ho Ho Ho... ;)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

MaMaw's Plum Cake


Lately, I've had my MaMaw on my mind... alot.  As my siblings and I will from time to time discuss, we hardly knew our grandparents.  We always lived too far away for frequent visits; therefore, they never shared in our everyday lives.  At least not until the last few years of my MaMaw's life, when she moved to our area.  Unfortunately, she died at the young age of 60; so there were only a few years.  One of the fondest memories I have was of she and I going to T, G & Y (the old school Walmart-- my Dad always referred to it as Tough Grimy and Yellow.  Anyway, I digress.) to get my very first out-on-my-own Christmas decorations.  I still have many of those, but my favorite acquisition was a plastic Santa figure about three feet tall.  It was a little more than I should have spent on my budget at the time, but I so loved him.  She encouraged me to buy it and I did.  I still remember driving home with Santa perched between us in the front seat singing Christmas carols all the way home.  He STILL makes me happy.  We had such a fun time that day!  Sweet memory. 


MaMaw wasn't really a great cook, but she was plenty-good in our eyes!  Cakes were her best creations!!  Seems she always had a cake or homemade fig filled tea cakes.  And, she would always have the real Cokes in the small glass bottles!  Such a treat for us (we always drank milk at home!). 


I enjoyed making one of these last week.  The smells reminded me of her... and of that fun Christmas shopping trip.  Merry Christmas, MaMaw.

*NOTE:  there are no jars of plum baby food  with tapioca to be found.  I used prune baby food and it turned out just fine.  I am sure you could use applesauce or pumpkin or whatever. 

Wishing you a happy memory today...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Waistcoat Pattern by Sirdar

 
Finished this project up yesterday!  The yarn, Inca by Katia, is so very soft.  It is 53% wool and 47% acrylic.  (Please don't comment about the crepe-y, turkey neck... yes, I have some miles on me.  Should have cropped that business out of there, but I'm not going back to attempt that.  LOL)

 
 
The pattern is quick and easy, a waistcoat by Sirdar (#9320).  It is supposed to have one large button, but I decided that I liked it better belted.  It gave more shape to the back.

 
 
And, I think I am going to have fun wearing it!!  Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.  Now, I have to stop my playing and get back to the chores!

** Adding a note:
  • The necklace was an $18 find at Canton Trade Days!  I have never been a jewelry person, but I love this gaudy thing.  Go figure!!  Life change?  Who knows?  Menopausal mania?  Don't care.  Love it!  Love the $18!
  • The belt, I've had so long I have no idea where I found it.  I'll be very, very sad when it finally wears out because I wear it with LOTS!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rejoice.


Just checked my e-mail and I had the most wonderful surprise!!


A sneak peak of Christmas card options from Little Man and his folks!  Doesn't that smile just fill your heart with JOY?
He is wearing his uncle's "vintage" smocked Christmas outfit that his Great-Granny and his Noni made that 27 years ago.  My how time flies.


Thank you so much, Amanda!!  Just made my day!  XOXOXOXOXO

Monday, December 6, 2010

Heartstrings...


The tree is up and I am looking forward to a visit from the Little Man.


Our ornaments go all the way back to 1974 versions... added to over the many years... each with a story to tell, a smile to bring, a heartstring to tug. 


Little Man was scouting for his own tree this past weekend, wearing his Tree-huntin'-stocking-cap knitted with LOTS of love by his Noni!  LOL!


"It's this one, Momma!"

Oh, I can't wait!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Trade Day Fun


I feel like it is getting time to say goodbye to fall... even though it doesn't officially end until December 20. 


Yesterday morning, a beautiful carpet of golds, oranges and reds welcomed me into the yard.  God's work is amazing.  So beautiful.  So perfect.  Fills my heart with gratitude and a deep sense of appreciation.  Won't be long until all the leaves are gone and Ol' Man Winter will be comin'.


I enjoyed the last of my birthday (almost a month ago... love to make it last) celebration by meeting my dear, dear friend Barbara in Canton for the day.  We used to go almost every month to meet up, along with Amanda, and enjoy a great day of visiting.


Food has always been a big part of the fun.  Not healthy food.  Fun food.  Man, the smells are just heavenly.


Amanda, we sure missed you... had to leave a few of these on the plate.  Couldn't take up all your slack.  =)


...so that we could have room for some other taste-bud delights!  Well, I need to end my break from decorating... Christmas is on the way!  Back to it!!  Happy weekend to all!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Easy Comfort

A bitter north wind roared into town last night.  It has been steadily stripping away the fall foliage from our trees... leaving some naked, down to their winter bark.  Evan has needed comfort from a nagging backache; I have needed comfort from missing my Little Man and his folks (always takes me a few days to get back on track after a visit).  So, I'm sharing a couple of easy and comforting recipes we have enjoyed the past couple of days.  They are from the Taste of Home Prizewinning Recipes.


Mexican Chip Casserole by Doris Heath

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 can Mexicorn
1 can chopped green chilies
1 package (10 oz.) corn chips
1 can (10 oz.) enchilada sauce
1-2 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese

In a skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is browned and onion is tender; drain.  Add soup, corn and chilies;  mix well.

In an ungreased shallow 3-qt. baking dish, layer meat mixture, corn chips and enchilada sauce; top with cheese.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees until heated through (15-20 minutes).
YIELD: 6 servings


Yes, there are only two of us.  Yes, in less than seven hours after coming out of the oven, there were only two pieces left... which are gone now.


Cheddar Pear Pie by Cynthia LaBree

4 large ripe pears, peeled and thinly sliced.
1/3 c. sugar
1 T. Cornstarch
1/8 t. salt
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)

TOPPING:
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I used a sharp, aged cheddar)
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt

In bowl, combine pears, sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Pour into pastry shell.  Combine topping ingredients until crumbly; sprinkle over filling.  (NOTE:  I always combine all dry ingredients and mix well before adding moist ingredients.  Don't know if that really matters... but, I'm obsessed with it.  What can I say?)

Bake at 425 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is melted.   Cool on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes.  Serve warm.  Store in the refrigerator.  YIELD:  6-8 servings.

Wishing lots of warm comfort for all!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cup of Coffee and a Newspaper (a.k.a. Milk and a Book)


This is how I have started my mornings over the past week... a cup of coffee for me and a cup of milk for this one.  A good read and we were all set.


If that's not a smile to wake up happy to, I don't know what is!  I love my little early riser!  He and Noni share their love of the early hours, along with Pop Pop.  Early bird gets the worm!  Hee hee... or the beautiful smiles and laughter.


I was able to make Story Time with Alex at his local Library.  I love old libraries... I love books... and I am so very happy that this Little Man does, too.  He never tires of bringing us books to be read.


Little Man and Momma shakin' their eggs along to the songs!


At the end of story time, the kids get to float the balls on a colorful parachute.


Running underneath at the end seems to have been his favorite part.


And, this... sweet, sweet baby-to-come was among our greatest blessings to be thankful for this holiday.  He or She will be making a summer arrival and we know Little Man will be an awesome big brother!!


Amanda and Jerry made a wonderful Thanksgiving for Pop Pop and me.  I am deeply grateful.  I hope each of you  had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well.  I'll soon be around to see what everyone has been up to.  It's amazing how much you can get behind in a week!  LOL!  And then, there is Christmas to get ready for!!  Blessings to all!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Peasy Sweater

It's been a really busy week.  Historic Tyler on Tour planning is in full swing.  The usual busy work of bill paying, bookkeeping, etc.  We are looking at another Old Girl (historic multiplex), which involves lots of research and phone calls.  I've enjoyed a couple of Skype visits with Little Man.  And, we just got back from a day trip into Dallas to visit with Evan's family.  Lunch at Houston's, always a treat!  Plus an excursion to Costco's!!  We enjoyed the best coffee cake for dinner!  I know it wasn't a healthy dinner... but it was soooooo good.  Hope you have all been enjoying a nice weekend, too.  I continue to be grateful for all the sweet and encouraging comments on the watercolor painting.  You are all too kind.



Finished the Peasy sweater this week.  Back into my familiar medium.


Choosing buttons after blocking.  Went with the shell ones.  I never could get a photo with good color on this yarn.  Very frustrating!


Now, I've started on the fun colors... with a small detour along the way.  I think Little Man needs a stocking cap to wear when he goes to cut his Christmas Tree.  =)  Gotta get busy!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The End Product and a Big Thank You



It still has to be matted and framed, but this was how it ended at 5 PM yesterday afternoon.  We still had a three hour drive home and I was pooped when I pulled in the drive.  I want to give very special thanks to the encouragement I received from my blogging friends.  I read your kind comments yesterday morning before heading back to class and the boost of encouragement was just so very special.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.



There is so much to learn, but I am very excited about this medium.  I had always thought watercolors had to be pale and light... Soon Y Warren is the Caravaggio of watercolor.  Well, not the dark, darkness of Caravaggio, but you get the idea.  She sees watercolor as a vibrant medium.  I love it!! 

Again, I thank my encouragers!  XOXOXOXO

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nightmare of a Novice


My friend, Patrice (who is an artist) talked me (who is NOT an artist) into taking a Soon Y. Warren Watercolor Class.  Oh, my goodness!  We are on day 2 and I hope I make it through tomorrow!  It is so overwhelming if you don't have a clue what you are doing.  That's why I call this post the Nightmare of a Novice; but I will say, that today, I had a few, tiny, flashing, brief moments of excitement... that some minuscule portion of my work would almost come out in a way that pleased me.  Almost.  I could catch glimpses of possibility... which were quickly dashed by the glare of reality.  Glimpses, never the less.


The layers in this process seem endless.  We started at home by doing our drawing and adding frisket (a rubber-like substance) to keep some areas (highlights) free of paint.  Then we did a yellow wash over the whole sheet, except over the flower area.


Then we added  layers of green and red to the bowl... a layer of blue to the cloth (which will be red!).  Then we worked the first layer on our flower... then a background layer...


Then the red layer... over the blue... over the yellow for the cloth...


Then, one more layer over the background... and, it is drying until tomorrow  morning... when we will begin again!

This is Patrice hard at work on hers, which looks much better than mine!  I'm exhausted and about to hit the sack.  Hope the nightmares of the day don't continue into the night... lol...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remember...

Remember... to thank a veteran today... and to teach our future generations to appreciate the price of the freedom we enjoy.

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