Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

2007 is almost gone and a brand new year is about to begin. I always get excited at the thought of a brand new year. As far as resolutions go, I usually don't make the usual ones; losing weight (though I need to), being organized, etc.
But this coming year, I do plan to spend more time with my family. Not just my immediate family, but extended family that I don't get to see enough. They don't live so far away, it just seems we are so busy we don't have time to visit. I am also going to eat out less. The amount of money we spend eating out is ridiculous when I can make the same meal at home for the fraction of the cost.
The coming of the new year also brings one of my favorite events of the year. Seed catalogs! (doesn't take much to excite me). I got the Burpee catalog in the mail Saturday and alreay the pages are dog earred and worn. I always make a list of what I want, then when I total my order up I am shocked and have to go back and re-think my order.
These Flavorbust hybrid pepper is beautiful! I am definitely going to order these. They are so pretty and have a long yeild.
I seem to have a pepper thing going this year. I love this Big Daddy pepper! Look how huge it is! Our family is big on pepper and this pepper is sweet and works well for roasting.

I am also like the sound of the EZ Serve lettuce. This is advertised as a sweet, buttery soft leaves. Usually I only grow Black Seeded Simpson, because that is our favorite. But I am going to give this one a try.

I also like the look of that Peppermint Twist geranium, but I have never had very good luck growing geraniums from seed.

Here's hoping 2008 is the very best year for you and your family!



Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Well, actually merry day after Christmas! Christmas Eve and Christmas day went by in a whirlwind. Fortunately, most of our family lives within a half hours drive, so we were with "kith and kin" both days.

I made these marshmallow snowmen and sugar cookies for my friend and has so pleased how they turned out. The snowmen are just two marshmallows on a skewer then dipped in white chocolate and decorated with melted chocolate and an M&M nose.

My dear son Yngwie got me this adorable doll for Christmas! It is made of celuloid and is only a couple of inches tall. I absolutely love it!
My dear husband got me these two Christmas kids to put under our tree. They are so cute!
One of the highlights of yesterday was seeing my great niece who is just two dressing up with all her princess attire. Now is she a diva or what!

It's back to work today. :( Hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed day!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Apple Butter!

I absolutely love apple butter! I have previously written how when I was growing up our neighbours made apple butter in a huge copper kettle outside and how much I enjoyed being there. Maybe the fond memories "of old" is part of my liking of this sweet, spicy, preserve.

Last night I made a few jars that I will put with homemade bread for Christmas gifts for my neighbors. The recipe comes from my Aunt Nadine.

20 Minute Apple Butter

8 cups applesauce

5 cups sugar

1/2 cup red hot cinnamon candies

1/2 cup vinegar (yes, I really mean that)

5 teaspoons of powered cinnamon

a few drops of oil of cloves

Bring applesauce, sugar, candy, vinegar, and cinnamon powder to a boil in a large kettle. ( A really large kettle because this mixture "pops" like crazy!) Boil for 15 minutes stirring constantly so that it doesn't stick then add a few drops of oil of cloves. (I usually find this is the pharmacy area of the drug store.) Boil 5 more minutes. Pour mixture into hot sterilized jars and turn upside down for 12 hours to seal.

This is almost, but not quite, as good as the apple butter of my childhood.
Hope everyone has a blessed day!


Monday, December 17, 2007

Good Morning!

Just popping in to say a quick "Hello".

I finally got my neice's apron finished this weekend. It was a little tedious inserting the lace around the scalloped edge and pocket, but I love the finished product.

Just one more week until Christmas Eve! I love this time of year. Yngwie and I went to the mall yesterday evening to pick up a few things we wanted to get for his friends and it was so packed you were shoulder to shoulder. But I was pleased to see that everyone was in a great mood. No shoving, yelling, etc. Everyone full of the Christmas spirit. I was even more pleased to hear many cashiers saying "Merry Christmas"! I am sure everyone has heard about that debate.

I know this week is going to fly by as we are so busy.

Hope everyone has a blessed day!


Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Show and Tell!

Join Kelli over at http://kellishouse, for Show and Tell. It's been awhile since I have participated in Show and Tell and I have missed it!
Today I thought I would show you some of the special ornaments on my trees.
This very old ornament belonged to my Grandmother (who is 95 years old!) when she was a child. It was given to her at a Sunday school Christmas party. Over the last 90 years time and use has taken a toll on it. After this year, I am going to frame it and keep it out all year long.
Have you ever seen one of these on a tree??? Yngwie place this "binky" on the Christmas tree 14 years ago, when he was two, and it has gone on the tree every year since.
This old Santa also belonged to my Grandmother. This was given to her by her aunt.
Any child of the late 1960's early 1970's remember her? It's Dawn! I love small dolls and used several of them on my tree. I guess I got a little heavy handed with my ornaments this year and ran out before I finished decorating all the way around. So I pondered for a moment, what could I use to finish the tree? Then it hit me! I ran into my craft room and pulled out a couple of boxes of Happy Meal toys, twisted floral wire around them and hung them on the tree! That is why Dora The Explorer is hanging from my tree.

Each year we buy one new ornament for our tree. This year it was this glass Hamburger!
This is our Living room tree! It is 12 foot tall and his a real 'bear" to put up and take down, but once completed, we love it!

This is our family room tree. Mostly Hallmark ornaments, but also some handmade and vintage ornaments as well. I have never been able to figure out how to take a good picture of the tree with just the Christmas lights on with my digital camera. It always turns out blurry.

I hope everyone has a great weekend



Thursday, December 13, 2007

Creme De Menthe Truffles

These truffles are soooo good! This recipe comes from the Land O Lakes Holiday cookies magazine.

Creme De Menthe Truffles

1/3 cup Land o Lakes heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup Land of Lakes butter
1 (10 oz) package of creme de menthe baking chips (substitute 60 Andes mints if you can't find them)
1 (12 oz) package vanilla flavored candy coating
2 drops green food color

Powdered sugar

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (melted)

Combine whipping cream and butter in a 2 quart saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until melted (4-5 minutes). Add cream de menthe chips. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. (2-3 minutes). Cover, refrigerate at least 2 hours or freeze for 1 hour until firm.

Dust hands with powdered sugar. Working quickly, shape into 1 inch balls. (Truffle mixture will be soft, repeat dusting hands to make rolling easier). Place balls onto wax paper lined baking sheet, refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, melt candy coating in a deep 1 quart saucepan over low heat; stir until smooth (8-10 minutes). Stir in food color until well mixed. Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes.

Remove truffles from refrigerator. Place truffle in candy coating mixture. Use a small spoon to coat truffle; immediately remove and place onto waxed paper. Repeat with remaining truffles. (Work quickly so the truffles do not melt). Refrigerate until coating is set (about 10 minutes).

Drizzle each truffle with melted chocolate. Refrigerate until set (10 minutes). Store refrigerated up to two weeks.

Makes 48 truffles.

Have a great day



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm still alive!

There I go neglecting my blog again! Wow, this time of year is so busy. Last week-end was our open house and it went wonderfully! I was afraid that either no one would come or that everyone would come at one time, but neither happened. We had 87 people over the course of the evening, from 6:00 p.m. to when I ran Yngwie's friends off at 1:00 a.m. (They did help me clean up some). I was having so much fun that I forgot to take any pictures! I am so upset over that, but life goes on. I have the pics that I took just before our guests start arriving.
The top photo and the above are of the dessert island. I will share the recipe for the mint truffles tomorrow, they really turned out good and were very easy to make.

I was afraid that I would run out of food and made waaaaay too much! We have been eating leftovers for 4 days.

I still have alot of Christmas shopping to do, as I put it off getting ready for the open house, so I am going to try and get it done this week during my lunch hour.

Yesterday, we had record breaking highs for our area. It was 74 degrees! I would complain but with the ice storms that are to our west, I would rather have the heat. We are expected to get the tail end of that storm this weekend.

I hope everyone has a great day!



Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dishcloths and Rambling

Good Morning everyone! We are still having warmer than normal temperatures here in SW Virginia, but by Sunday we should start cooling down to temps in the 40's.

While blog surfing, I have noticed many bloggers who live "up north" are already getting snow! Now I would love to have a white Christmas, and I think snow is beautiful, however; I really don't like snow! I have to go to work and I live out in the country where usually we are the last to have our roads scraped. Fortunately, I have a 4-wheel drive SUV and don't usually have to much trouble getting in to work.

One of my blogging friends "Mammy" asked to see the dish cloths that I had made for Christmas presents, so here they are. They are very simple to make with one row single crochet and the next double. Then I did a shell stitch around the perimeter. Really quick and easy!
I am giving these dish cloths along with an embroidered tea towel to my sister, grandmother and neice this year. The tea towel below is my favorite, it is going to my grandmother.

We are still decorating and getting ready for our Open House. It's next week and I am so excited! I love having all my friends and family to visit with during the holidays. Ygwie has been getting into the decorating act as well. He decorated his guitar amps and drum set with Christmas lights! I think it looks pretty cool!

This photo is the top of the bookshelf in my kitchen with all my vintage Santas, elves, etc. See that really "messy" looking, small Santa in the middle on the cake plate in front of the angel? I made that in the first grade out of an egg carton. I can't believe it has lasted for 40 years! (oops, told my age, didn't I!)

The "lady in red" on the right was the last doll that "Santa" ever brought to me when I was 18 years old.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!



Sunday, November 25, 2007

My Goodness!

Boy, have I been neglecting my blog! With the holidays well under way, I have been so busy.

We had a great Thanksgiving! I had my mother-in-law and my Dad, sister and two of her children for dinner. As always, we ate way too much and then just kind of crashed on the couch after the meal.
Yesterday I found these Christmas plates at TJ Max! They are perfect for my blue and white kitchen.
I thought I would show you some of my favorite Christmas decorations. Now, these are not going to win any awards for being beautiful, but they are very special to me.

This nativity set originally belonged to my great grandmother. There used to be a cardboard stable, but it fell apart many years ago. The Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, tree, and the angel in the right are all part of the original set. It looks like that sometime in their life someone tried to repaint the faces, and didn't do a very good job! The angel on the left belonged to my mother when she was little. Unfortunately she can't fly as she is missing a wing! The little lamb I won for rememembering Bible verses in Sunday school when I was about 6 or 7 years old. My husband made the "new" stable about 20 years ago.

I have also been doing some sewing and crafting! I crocheted some dish cloths for my sister, neice, and grandmother and I am now in the process of making some dish towels to go with then. I bought some bar towels at the store and I am embroidering them in colors to match the dish cloths. This one is for my sister, who loves cats.

I hope everyone has a blessed week!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Getting ready for the Holidays!

This past weekend, we started getting the Christmas decorations down from the attic. We are having an open house the first week of December so I started my decorating.
Usually this hutch in my kitchen holds cookbooks, depression glass, jadeite, etc.. various kitchen stuff. This year I decided to make a Christmas display inside. I removed most of the glass ware, leaving some to the green depression glass, because green is a "Christmasy" color. I took some more detailed photos that I will share a little later. I have gotten 3 trees up, and have two more to go. Isn't that ridiculous? But I love Christmas trees!

What should I put on the doors of the hutch? For some reason they seem bare, or unfinished. Do you think a holiday dishtowel, or maybe cover the glass with stencils?

Have you seen these? They are so cute. Little ornament shaped bottles of coke. I picked up three last night at Wa!mart and we drank them with our supper. They would be so cute for a childs Christmas party.

Hope everyone has a blessed day!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I love mail!

Look what came for me this week, all the way from Germany! Thank you so much Anita! I love the pinks in this beautiful stocking. Can you see all the exquesite stitching with the beadwork! It is absolutely gorgeous and I am so proud that it is mine! Right now I have it on my Christmas tree in my Victorian living room. But I plan for this stocking to stay out all year!

This past weekend a bunch of Yngwies friends gave him a surprise Birthday party at a local restaurant. Here is a photo of the cake that his grandmother made him for the party. The image on the cake is Yngwie when he was just 1 month old with his first guitar! Little did we know that guitars would play such a huge role in his life. He is a very accomplished musician not only with guitars, but also with drums and a little bit of mandolin too!

I am getting so excited about Thanksgiving! The newspaper ads are full of sales on turkeys, sweet potatoes, cranberries, all the fixins' for a Thanksgiving meal! Yngwie and I have dental appointments this eveing and after we are hitting the grocery stores to buy our supplies while they are on sale!

Hope everyone has a blessed day!


Monday, November 12, 2007

Planning Thanksgiving!

Kelli is hosting Giving Thanks. It can be a story, recipe, Craft idea, etc...Anything to do with Thanksgiving.

We are having Thanksgiving at our house this year. I can't hardly wait! I have already started buying the non-persishables. Our menu is pretty typical except for one thing. My son always wants "Coca-Cola Salad". I found this recipe in an old recipe book by Betty Feezor ( My son was probably about three the first time I made it and he loved it! I have made a few changes to the original recipe. This has become a tradition for our family at Thanksgiving. For whatever reason, this is the only time of year I make this. I guess that's why it's special!

Coca-Cola Salad

1 (16 oz) can pitted cherries

1 small can crushed pineapple

2 small boxes cherry jello

12 ozs. Cola

1 (3 oz.) cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

Drain the juice from the cherries and pineapple into a bowl, and add enough water to make 1 1/2 cups of liquid. Pour into medium saucepan. Bring to boil and pour over jello. Stir until dissolved then add drained fruit and cola. Chill until set. With electric mixer, mix cream cheese and confectioners sugar until it is a spreadable consistency. You may need to add a little bit of milk, but just a dab. Spread over jello salad. If you like nuts, you could add them when you add the fruit, or you can put them on top of the salad. We prefer ours without.



Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday Show and Tell

This week for show and tell, I would like to tell you about a 25 year quest for two vases. When my husband and I got married, we were very young and very poor! We would go to the flea market on weekends to find things to decorate with.

One of the things we began to collect is called "Black Amethyst". It is a glassware that looks like it is black but in fact it is such a dark purple that it just looks black.
Anyway, We bought a black amethyst "loving cup" for a couple of dollars. Then one day we saw two more of the loving cups, but one was in cobalt blue and one was milkglass. I wanted them so bad, but they were $25 for the pair and we just didn't have that much money to spend on something we really didn't need. So I decided I would save a couple dollars each week out of my check and go get them then. Imagine my disappointment when they were gone!

So for the next 26 years I began a search for the blue and white loving cup vases. I looked at every antique store, every flea market, everywhere from Pennsylvania to Georgia. I never ever saw them. Every day I checked Ebay, but no luck.Then as fate would have it, this past spring, my husband checked ebay, not even looking for the blue or white vase and he found the blue one! I was estatic! I placed a huge bid on it but ended up only paying $19.00 for it with shipping! Now I only needed to find the white one.
During our vacation, which we didn't go anywhere except local attractions, we were walking past an antique store downtown, not really planning to go in, then my husband says "I don't believe it". Sitting right on top of a chest in plain view was the white loving cup! Finally, after 26 years of searching, I have all three! I love the shape and color of these vases. I guess so much that I actually have 3 of the blacks ones!
Now, Iwill continue my search for a Rose O'Neil childs tea set that I saw at an auction but sold for more than I could afford. I will find one!

Head on over to for more show and tell!

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Jeez Louise!

I started a post Monday about my son's birthday, when I hit submit only the title went! I haven't been able to get back on until today!

So, Yes! Our dear sweet son Yngwie turned sweet 16 on Monday at 7:10 p.m. Ever since his very first birthday, I have taken a picture of him every
year at 7:10 p.m. And here he is enjoying a birthday meal at Olive Garden.

Yesterday was election day and there was no school so I took the day off to chauffer Yngwie and his girlfriend around town. We went to the mall, the Science Museum, the downtown market area and had some hot chocolate than met up with the rest of his band "The Deposit" and made pictures for their upcoming CD.

I have been so busy! Trying to get ready for the upcoming holidays, I will be having Thanksgiving for our family at our house and we have decided to host an Open House the first weekend in December. So this weekend we will actually be putting up our Christmas trees. I know!! It's way to early, but I usually put up 3-4 Christmas trees and I want to get all the decorating out of the way so I can focus on food, fun and fellowship for the open house.

I have been doing some sewing and have made a couple of cell phone holders. I hope to get some pictures of those tomorrow. They will be part of the Christmas gift for the girls I work with.

Hope everyone has a blessed day!


Monday, November 05, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

It's that spooky day of the year where all the children get to dress up and go out trick or treating!

Yngwie is too old for trick or treating:( But last year he and his friends went to a Halloween Party dressed as the rock group Kiss. They had so much fun! They won first place for the best costume. My friend and I had made the costumes from clothes from the Goodwill and lots of glue, paint and glitter!

Yngwie and I will be going up to my grandmothers tonight to hand out candy. I'm also changing the hooks on the back on her necklaces to the kind that are magnetic so it's easier for her to put them on.

Here's a shot of our SpongeBob and Yngwie "jack o lanterns"

Here is the recipe for the cream cheese sugar cookies! We like these so much better than plain sugar cookies. The cream cheese gives them a much richer taste.
Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
1 c. sugar
1c. butter, softened
1 (3 oz.) pkg cream cheese
1/2 tea. vanilla extract
1/2 tea. almond extract
1 egg
2 1/4 cups self rising flour
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, cream cheese, almond and vanilla extracts and egg. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour until well blended. Chill the dough for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out 1/3 at a time to 1/8" thickness. Cut into desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place 1" apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 7-10 minutes in preheated oven or until light browm. Cool cookies completely before frosting.
Hope everyone has a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pumpkin Carving Party!

Good Morning!

Last Saturday our family went to a pumpkin carving party hosted by the fun, witty and wonderful "H" family!

Mr "H" was teasing me that he was going to be on my blog, so Mr. "H" here you are!!!!
We had a wonderful time! There was lots of fun, friends and of course, FOOD! I made some cut out cream cheese sugar cookies that I will share the recipe for tomorrow.

Everyone did a great job on their pumpkins! Yngwie did Spongebob and Dear Husband and I did musical notes and guitars on ours! The Pukin' Punkin" was compliments of Yngwie's friend Garrett!
Tomorrow is Halloween! We will be heading up to my Grandmothers house in town to help her hand out treats to all the little "spooks" in her neighborhood. I really miss trick or treating! If it was acceptable for adults to go, I would!
Hope everyone has a blessed day.