Saturday, December 29, 2007

Or On A Rainy Day...

There are a million or more puddles to splash through here in the Pacific Northwest and my new houndstooth rubber boots are just the ticket to stomp through each and every one that I can find. (The boots are courtesy of Brittany. A Christmas present that came late. Boy, was she fussing and fuming looking out the window for that UPS truck!)
Riff is wise enough to know that I am cooped up inside with my Puddle Ducks all week and need an outing. He suggested that we take a drive somewhere tommorrow. I'm always up for a drive, come rain or shine. The hard part is deciding which way to go ~ north, south or east. We can't go west from here ~ unless we have an ocean-going boat, which we do not. So many choices and beautiful places to go. I still have hours to decide, but which ever way we choose, you can bet your hinnie that I will be wearing those houndtooth boots!
May you all be blessed with weekend adventures...and puddles....

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Happy Day After...

Merry Merry Christmas from our house to yours...
We had a wonderful day ~ was able to talk to all of our kids, sisters and brothers and parents except for my brother Joshua in New York. Our phone calls stretched from our home on the Oregon coast to our state's biggest city, Portland, on to the Blue Mountains in the far corner of our beautiful Oregon, forward to the plains of Northern California, rushing through the high desert of Wyoming, and finally to the wintery town of Baumholder in Germany. Christmas would not be Christmas for us without the connection of all of our loved ones near and far.

Noah was a very excited little guy. His eyes were all bugged out as Mommy was opening his presents for him. He was trying to grab all that pretty paper and put it in his mouth just as quickly as possible. He was looking around as if to say "WHAT is going ON?!!" Very funny and cute.

I was handing out gifts madly when I paused for a moment and noticed that Muffin had snuck her way upstairs and was happily engulfed in paper, ribbons and boxes. What a silly pooch!

Remember those gy-normous stockings that I knit and felted for Dustin and Shilo? They didn't think Santa could fill them, but fill them he did. Their smiles were just as gy-normous...

Boy did I ever have a hard time keeping up on my "daily" Christmas trivia! The picture above represents the gift that will be coming the lucky winners way ~ I just don't know for sure what that gift is yet ~ could be made from the fabric ~ could be made from the yarn. The next week will tell the tale. Jeni and Stacey will be getting packages in the mail before the end of January. Thanks to everyone for playing along and for all of your information you added with your answers. I really enjoyed playing the game.

I hope all of you had the Merriest of Christmases this year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Frosty The Snowman

The answer to yesterdays trivia question is:
"Frosty the Snowman". This snowman is one that Shilo and her friend David built when we had a big-for-us snow here last winter.

Today's trivia question is:
In The Nutcracker what is the godfather's gift to Clara?

Leave your answer in my comments for another chance at the after-Christmas drawing.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Steamer...

Yesterdays trivia answer:
In Holland, Santa arrives on a steamer (or ship). But Jodi went another step and told us that he arrives by ship then makes his rounds in a sleigh. Thank you, Jodi!

When I was a kid, Santa came to our house on an evening night the week before Christmas in a firetruck. Such a special memory. He would come running into the house (any house in our tiny town with the porch light on) with paper bags stuffed full of nuts, chocolate drops, gumdrops and an orange for every kid there. Even after we moved to our country home, we would go into Grandma Simmons house for this special evening. The light is still shining in my eyes....

Todays trivia question is:
What song contains the line "There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found." ?

Leave your answer in my comments to be entered in the after-Christmas drawing.

Noah is feeling much better today. His temperature spiked up to 102 during the night, but the doctor said that his lungs and ears are clear, just a viral infection. He is doing so much better already. Our little grandbaby is smiling again. Yah!!

Merry Christmas~

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke...

The answer to yesterdays trivia question is:
The two Gospels that tell the most complete Biblical Christmas story are the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Read them for yourselves. It's beautiful...

Todays question:
In Holland, does Santa use a sleigh or a steamer for transportation?

At our house, our Christmas preparations are winding down, just waiting for the big day. There are no presents under the tree at this point. I thought the temptation for the little puddle ducks hands would just be to great, so instead all of our past Christmas stuffed animals and our little kid Christmas books are hanging out under the tree. Santa is there, along with Rudolph, Bullwinkle dressed up as Santa, a teddy bear dressed up as a reindeer, a gingerbread man and a few other Christmas creatures setting alongside Christmas in the Big Woods, Winter Poems, A Cranberry Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. The little ones are loving to hear these stories almost daily and all have their favorite stuffies that they grab when they come through the door.

Our tiny Noah is sick for the first time. The Doctors office couldn't get him in today, as two of the Doctors were out sick, so he has an appointment in the morning. Poor little guy has a fever and a very rattly chest. I'll give you an update tomorrow...

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus...

(originally uploaded here )
The answer to yesterdays trivia question is:
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. An oldie AND a goodie!

Todays trivia question is:
What two Gospels tell the most complete biblical Christmas story?

Leave your comment for another chance in the after-Christmas drawing.

Lots of Christmas coming from my craft room today, but, nope, I'm not going to show you yet. Too many sneaky eyes out there...
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


(originally uploaded here )
The answer to yesterdays trivia question is:
In Laura Ingalls Wilders book, The Long Winter, the Christmas barrel was late in arriving due to a good old-fashioned prairie blizzard. When we were kids my mom read all the Laura books to us out loud in the evenings. I have read them to my children as well, and we have started Brittanys collection of the set.

Todays trivia question is:
What song features a child sneaking downstairs and catching his mommy in a compromising situation?

Be sure to leave your answers in my comments for a chance to win the after-Christmas drawing!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cindy Lou Who...

(originally uploaded by Nick )
The answer to yesterdays trivia question is:
Cindy Lou Who is the little girl who mistook the Grinch for Santa Claus. She caught him stuffing all the presents and the Christmas tree up the chimney. He told her that he was only taking the tree to fix the lights that were out. What a mean old Grinch. His heart hadn't grown 3 sizes yet....

Todays trivia question is:
In The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder, what weather condition delays the delivery of the Christmas barrel?

Leave your answer in my comments for another chance to be entered into the after-Crhistmas drawing for something fun and handmade!

I participated in the Secret Santa Swap hosted by Donna at Chookyblue this year and received this fabulous quilt wall-hanging from Lynda at Heavens to Bettsy
Isn't this fantastic? She did such a beautiful job and I absolutely love it! The colors are just perfect and would fit in almost all of the rooms in our house. I have hung it in my dining room for now, but think that it may find it's way to our bedroom after I paint sometime this winter. Thank you, Lynda. I love it! (yes, I opened it as soon as it came. I'm kind of like a little kid, you know. Can't wait!)
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Feliz Navidad...

Dustin wishes you a Merry Christmas!

(originally uploaded by Picassina )
Yesterdays trivia answer:
In Mexico, you will be wished Feliz Navidad. Thank you everyone for all of the correct answers today.
Quite a few years back, I went to see a comic at one of the local bars, The Silver Dollar, right before Christmas. He did the Feliz Navidad song, but the lyrics were changed to say instead "Police Nabbed my Dad". That's all I remember of the song, and that it was hysterical (could have been the beer that was adding to the hilarity, I suppose). I can no longer hear that song without singing "Police nabbed my Dad" to myself. I try to refrain from singing it out loud if I'm in polite company...

Todays trivia question is:
In 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas', who mistook the Grinch for Santa Claus?

Leave your answers in my comment section for another chance at the after-Christmas drawing. Good luck!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

We Three Kings

Brittany and Noah wish you a Merry Christmas!

(originally uploaded by Bookish on flickr)
The answer to yesterdays trivia question:
The names of the three Kings are Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. Read my comments to see the Norway spellings from Britt-Arnhild and the gifts that they brought baby Jesus from Donna. Thanks for playing!

Today's question is:
How is Merry Christmas wished in Mexico?

Leave your answer in my comments for another chance to be entered in the after Christmas drawing!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

There are 8 Reindeer...

(originally uploaded here )

Yes, Brittany and Jeni, there are 8 reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh ~ Thank you Brittany for supplying their names for us ~

Today's trivia question:
Name the Three Kings~

Be sure to leave your answer in my comments to get your name in the after Christmas drawing. You can play everyday ~ The more right answers, the more chances to win!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Trivia : Bert and Ernie

(originally uploaded by brr7 on flicr)
Yesterdays trivia answer:
Bert and Ernie are the names of two friends in the classic movie, It's A Wonderful Life. One of my favorite Christmas movies.

Todays question is:
Not counting Rudolph, how many reindeer are there pulling Santa's sleigh?
Be sure to leave your answer in my comments to be included in the after Christmas drawing.

This is my latest diaper bag. It is in a Christmas box and on it's merry way to Texas for Weston Lee, our littlest grandson who is scheduled to join the world sometime in late January. I love how this one turned out. The bag is knit out of 100%wool yarn and felted. I made the buckin' bronc and cowboy out of wool felt and appliqued them on the front piece by piece. Yee-Haw!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Little Bit of Our Storm...

First, these guys are our hero's. They have come in from all over the West and are working around the clock to get power restored to all parts of the Coast. What an incredible job they have done and are still doing. They won't be finished for a long time yet to come. Thank you so much, Linemen. You guys are wonderful!!

Next thing, our Shilo turned 18 last tuesday, December 4th. Not a darn thing wrong with turning 18 in the dark with no hot water for even a shower. Things could definately be worse, our house was still standing strong. Riff actually found a birthday cake at Fred Meyer which was opened for business thanks to generators. He bbq'ed sirloin steaks on the grill, made alfredo noodles and pea's on the Coleman camp stove, I whipped up some Kool-Aid and we had a party! Happy Birthday, Shilo Christine!

Hundreds of houses on the North Coast look just like this, with their gable ends just completely gone.

This is our neighbors house from our "old" neighborhood, which is really not far from our "new" neighborhood. It actually looked like the tree didn't damage the house much, thank Heavens.

Hundreds of thousands of our trees were either tipped over, roots and all, or have just been sheared off. It's an incredible sight.
I have been nursing a nasty cold all week, so really didn't get out to see much of the damage, (plus that was a big no-no. You were not supposed to be out looky-looing at all), so these pictures are just from our neighborhood.

Please keep all those whose homes have been devastated in your thoughts and prayers...


(originally uploaded over here )I can't figure out why this link isn't working ~ hmmm...

Yesterdays answer:
Germany is the country in which the Christmas tree tradition began. I love all the history and tidbits that you all are leaving with your answers. Keep it up!!

Todays trivia question is:
In the movie "It's a Wonderful Life", what two friends share their names with two "Sesame Street" characters?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Today's Trivia

(originally uploaded at flicr by Bob Travis)
Yesterdays answer:
There are 4 weeks in Advent, traditionally marked with a series of 4 Advent candles, one lit each week of Advent.

Today's question:
In what country did the Christmas tree tradition begin: Spain or Germany?

Leave your answer in the comment section for a chance at the after Christmas drawing.

Friday, December 07, 2007

We're Back!

and safe and sound. We just had our power restored late this afternoon after being out since last Sunday. Those 137 mph winds that were clocked here in Astoria did some mighty big damage to the entire Oregon, Washington and Northern California coast. I'm not sure how far north the winds reached, but I am here to tell you that there are still thousands of people without power right now and one small mountain town that I know of, Vernonia, that is completely flooded out. Our thoughts and prayers to all of those people who are still in the dark tonight. May you all keep warm and fed.

I will have some pictures to share tomorrow of just a bit of the local damage. We have some friends whose garage is flattened to the ground, others with trees laying on their homes. We came very close to losing our big picture window, but all is intact and we will get the insurance adjuster out when things calm down. Our damage is very minor.

What a time to start a daily trivia post, huh?! Thank you all for participating in last WEEKS question. Yes, the answer is "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and all those correct answers are in my little basket.
Today's question is:
Traditionally, how many weeks are there in Advent?
Leave your answer in my comments section to be entered into the after Christmas drawing and check back for tomorrow's question and todays answer.

Blessing all ~ Stay safe all you Coast dwellers...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmas Trivia

Miss Shilo and her nephew, Noah, would like to wish you a Merry Christmas.

I have decided to post Christmas trivia questions from now until Christmas day. I will be posting the question, then following up with the answer the next day (as long as we have power and I'm able to log on ~ a big wind storm is brewing right now~). I will be taking all of the comments with the right answers and putting them in a basket every day. Out of those correct guessers, I will pick one name from the basket after Christmas to recieve something special from me as a thank you for visiting me and playing along.
Todays question is:

What song contains the line "Let's be jolly, deck the halls with boughs of holly"?

I participated in the Christmas Ornament Swap hosted by Kathleen Marie at The Open Window. These are all the delightful ornaments that came to me from Miss Pea in Canada. Thank you, Pea. I love them. You went way above the call of duty with all of these darling ornaments. I have all the crystal-y suncather ornaments hanging in my kitchen window. They look beautiful...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Meet Muffin...

I have been meaning to introduce you to Muffin for quite some time now. Muffin is a 12 year old lab cross that joined our family back in September. She had brought her luggage and checked into the local Humane Society in July, soon twisting the staff around her tail with her loving, happy personality. But, poor Muffin, nobody seemed to want an old doggie for their own. Everyone was scared that they would love her to much and she would go to Heaven in too short of a time. Our own 12 year old lab, Blackie, had been lonely since our Hannah passed away last Christmas, so we decided to bring Muffin home. They could keep each other company. It has worked out splendidly so far.

Muffin had been found in the south end of our county just running around in the woods. A gathering of people took over a meadow for a wedding in July and Muffin latched on to all of the little kids who were in attendance of the grand event. These same people loved her but couldn't keep her so they called our Doggie Police to come and find her a good home. Muffin's toenails were so long that she could barely walk and she had a horrible bladder infection raging inside of her. Muffin does have an implant with her registration in it, but they could not locate her owner, somewhere in a different county of our state. We were told that a lot of the homeless people's dogs are implanted with this type of registration, so they think that our Muffin was homeless. The Clatsop County Humane Society took good care of her and got her all doctored up before trying to find her a family to love. You now know the rest of the story. Muffin is no longer homeless and she rather enjoys sleeping on her doggie bed and going for long walks...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Baby Doodle Bug Hats

These two baby hats are now in my etsy shop just waiting to warm the heads of some wee ones for the winter season. They are made of wool and acrylic yarn and would give any baby a jaunty fashionable air. I tried to get Noah Bean to model for me, but he was having none of that...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mile High Apple Pie

Our little Thanksgiving Butterball, Noah Thomas.

Paula's Mile High Apple Pie

Pastry for double-crust pie
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 10 apples)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

Line a 9 inch pie plate with pastry; set aside. In a large bowl combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt; add apples and toss to coat. Pour into pastry shell. You will have to do some of this by hand as your apples will pile up a "mile high". Sprinkle the pecans over the apples. Spoon the caramel topping over top of all. Using a cookie cutter of your choice or a knife, cut a whole in the center of the upper pie crust to vent. Position top crust over pie and press bottom and top crust edges together to flute. Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Remove foil; bake 30 minutes longer or until filling is bubbly. Enjoy with homemade whipped cream.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Thanksgiving Chat...

"Over the river and through the wooods to Grandmothers house we go. The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and blinding snow ~oh!"
This song reminds me of my childhood Thanksgivings. I remember singing it loud with my sisters and brother, mom joining in as well, as we were headed into town to Grandma and Grandpa's house for our Thanksgiving celebration. There were always lots of cousins and aunt's and uncle's waiting for us, the house filled past it's capacity with love, laughter and pies. Our plates would be filled and we would pop those black olives over our fingers before sucking them off into our waiting mouths. So many pies to choose from, pumpkin and my Aunt Judy's sour cream raisin were always my favorites. After dinner, the wee ones were always bundled up in our winter gear and sent outside to run off some of that pent up energy and giggly-ness.
I can only hope that my children's Thanksgiving memories are just as special. I truly think they are...

Catie An is my Swap Sister and we couldn't be more on the same page if we tried. I was lounging around the house in my pajamas one day (yeah, right!) when the phone rang. It was Catie on the other end ~ what a wonderful surprise! Catie had opened her box of Thanksgiving goodies from me and just couldn't stand it another minute. We had made virtually the same garland for each other using vintage tinsel garland and vintage postcards!! Talk about being on the same wavelength. It was really incredible to talk live to my swap sister. Catie is an amazing woman and I have so enjoyed getting to know her.

The rest of the goodies from Catie. I LOVE the vintage turkey sugar dish. It has found a special place on my dining room bookshelves where no little grubby fingers can reach it. Catie made those great gift tags to use on my holiday wrappings and isn't that turkey hat just about one of the funniest things you've ever seen. Dustin may be wearing it to work the day before Thanksgiving...

I'm Thankful for you all. May you all be blessed with kindred souls...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Big Thank You...

to my friend, Wende .

Wende brought this adorable vintage step-stool to me for a Puddle Ducks Daycare Grand Opening gift. Isn't it just the sweetest thing?! One of my little puddle ducks, Sam, has claimed it as his own. He will hunt it down when he first arrives in the morning and drag it with him everywhere. I know that you might not think it possible, but Sam actually "lounges" on this step-stool, all kicked back with his arms hanging down at the sides. It's the cutest thing. Thank you, Wende, we adore it!

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Picture of Me...

Mary over at Mary's Writing Nook added me to a meme challenge one day last week. The meme is to post a picture of yourself on your site. Above is a self portrait drawn by myself at age 4. I still look the same~lol! My mom had gotten little kits where each of us kids drew something, then she sent them in and our drawings were transfered onto this plastic plates. I still have mine, but not sure if my brother and sisters have theirs.

Here I am for real. I am usually the one taking the picture and don't allow the camera to be taken from me very often for pictures of me. I don't take nice pictures and I don't like them taken. This is all you're going to get and it is a great representation of my evenings, knitting away.

I pick any of you who would like to join in to post a picture of yourself.
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christmas Secrets...

If you are in my neighborhood and you listen closely, you will hear the sound of knitting needles clicking and clacking, sewing machines humming and embroidery needles whoosing through fabric. Christmas time is coming and there are many secret gifts being made in Santa's little craft room...

It's a handmade country Christmas ~ going back to where we all belong....

Friday, November 09, 2007

Dark Northern Mornings

As I turned the lights out last night and prepared for a long nights sleep, the wind was howling around the house and shouting down the chimney. Rain was pouring down the window in sheets, daring me to come outside and play in the squall that had blown ashore. Instead, I tucked myself into bed, turned out the lights and the rhythm of the rain was my lullaby. Popping my head out of the covers this morning, a darker than usual world greeted me, sending my mind back 35 years to the dark northern mornings of my childhood.

The year is 1972. I am 5 years old and my Mommy is brushing my golden hair into tight ponytails that pull my eyes squinty until they loosen up. "OW, Mommy that hurts!". My sisters are waiting, impatiently, at the door for me and we walk out into the dark Alaskan morning to join our cousins on our morning trek to the bus stop down the road. We have our flashlights in hand because it is pitch dark, just like midnight. Looking up Roosevelt Drive I can see all the flashlight beams bobbing down the road from the lights of the other kids who live on our street. We're bundled up tight, hoods up on our winter parka's and secured tightly around our chubby cheeks. It's dark and hard to see as we stumble our way to the big red building, (was it a fire station?), where the school bus will pick us up. Reaching the bus stop, we join the others who are already waiting. Laughing and scrambling feet can be heard in the dark morning air. "The Bus!", someone yells and we all run to get in line. Brakes squeak, the door whooshes open, we troop on, take our seats and the big yellow bus whisks us away to our day of learning and friends.

Ah, those childhood memories are sweet...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Puddle Ducks Waddle In...

Puddle Ducks Day Care is officially open. I have so far 3 little ones joining in the fun and have had to turn away countless phone calls for infant care. Under my license I am only able to have two little ones under the age of 24 months. I wouldn't want more babies at one time than that anyway. It would just be way to hard to have more and with Noah only 2 months I really don't want another infant. I have a dad and two more kids coming on Friday for an interview with me and two more that may start next week. It's all coming together. Yeah!
Our first real project was today. I have been crafting some garlands for the holidays and thought it would be fun to make some smaller ones with the kids. We had a wonderful time with paper, glue and yarn.

These are the finished garlands that the little puddle ducks made. The top one is a 5 year olds work and the bottom was made, with a little help, by a 2 year old. They turned out really cute and the kids were so proud of them and excited to show them off to mom and dad.

Noah Bean's bear garland. I think he may have had just a wee bit of help from his Mommy...