Monday, November 29, 2010

Blue Christmas

When those blue snowflakes
start fallin'
That's when those blue memories
start callin'

You'll be doin' all right
with your Christmas of white
But I'll have a blue
blue blue blue

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Whooo Are You??

From my craft room today,  I kept hearing some tiny little "whoo whoo whoo" 's.  Several times, I peeked my head in to check, but could't seem to see anything that could possibly be causing that noise.  Finally, as I sat patiently waiting for the little "whoo" to come again, from out behind a small silver tree popped a little guy with great big eyes.  He looked directly at me and said, "Tell me who are you?"  I had the same question for him and his brother who peeked out as well.  Turns out, the two of them are little Christmas Owls who were perched inside those silver tree's when they were brought inside.  They are darn cute, wouldn't you say?

I've wanted to try my hand at needle-felting for awhile, so when I saw these sweet little guys in a needle-felting kit in an etsy shop called fancytiger, I swooped them right up.  It's amazing that loose roving can be rolled into a ball an pricked with a big pin for a few minutes to turn out some darling little owls, (or whatever you want to turn out).  The needle didn't have the same effect on my fingers.  Turns out fingers don't felt...

Whoo-whoo are you??

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

To Infinity...And Beyond!

Standing in line at the post office yesterday, I was feeling proud that my first Christmas box was complete.  Stuffed with toys, candy and all kinds of Christmas delights, this first box of the season was getting ready to start it's long oversea's journey to Germany. 

The last couple of days have been very chilly, especially for us coastal inhabitants who are used to a mild 40 degree winter.  With a tiny skiff of snow on the ground and ice-covered roads, I was feeling a bit of a nip in the air.  While waiting my turn in line, I shuffled around and stamped my feet to keep them warm.  The activity proved a bit much for the toy inside the box, which I had not been able to turn off before packing.  From the depths of Christmas wrapping and peppermint candies, a not-so-small voice was heard to say, "To infinity....and BEYOND!" 

Oh, Buzz.  Quiet down.  You have a long way to go and I so hope that the people in customs have a sense of humour.  No, that noise is not a bomb.  It is only a small toy who thinks that he is a space ranger.  He's not.  Just a toy.

Please Mr. Postman, send him on to the small boy who is waiting for his Christmas package from his Grandma and Grandpa.
Thank you.

(Pop over to Mary's Writing Nook for a Christmas book swap.  Sign up's are until November 29th and you don't have to have a blog to join. Come on.  It's a fun little swap!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Movie Night

In the up-coming hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it's important to take some time for yourself.  To unwind, laugh and relax.  One fun way to do that is to plan a movie night with family and friends.    Make some fun different popcorn seasonings to sprinkle on plain popcorn and maybe a special popcorn snack. 

For our movie night, we had seasonings of such fun flavors:  BBQ, Chili, Vanilla Spice and Chocolate.  Also offered was Chewy Graham Popcorn. (the recipe is below)

Pick a fun, light-hearted movie; something that you don't have to pay 100% attention to in order to get the gist of the film.  We watched "The Proposal" with Sandra Bullock.  A laugh-out-loud fun movie. 

How do you like to relax with your top people during the busy holiday times?  Any traditional get-togethers that you do every year?

Chewy Graham Popcorn
10 cups popped popcorn
1-1/2 cups raisins
2-1/2 cups graham cracker cereal
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup chopped dried dates
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Toss together first 5 ingrediants, reserving 1 cup of the mini marshmallows.  In a small bowl, combine remaining ingrediants; stir into popcorn mixture - toss well.  Pour into a large baking dish or pan.  Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of mini-marshmallows over top.  Bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes. 
Serve and enjoy! 

There will probably be plenty left to send everyone home with a bag of their own!

Happy Movie watching!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Keepin' It Cozy

November is the time to start cozying up by a warm crackling fire with a nice hot cup of coffee or tea and a good book.  The weather outside is beginning to be frightful and these coffee cozy's are so delightful. 

 They are super easy to make and really quick.  You can find them in the latest edition of Quilts & More magazine, or just eyeball them and whip them up yourself.  The idea's for the applique's on the front are endless.   I made up a handful of them yesterday and will be including them in Christmas packages when they go out. 

~Hope you all are finding a bit of time for some Christmas crafting~

While you're out and about in blogland today, stop by Stacey's Treasures to say Hi and for a chance to win some beautiful Dream Catcher Earrings.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What a Sweet Puppy

A new puppy has come to live and chew-up things at our house.  His name is Gustav, which is a very dignified name for a puppy, so for now, we will call him Gus.  Here he is pictured with his brother, Ranger.  Gus is the guy in the back.

Gus was born, in early September, to a nice little family who lives on a farm.  His mama, Amanda, has had a rough life but has overcome her many obstacles.  Abandoned by her last family, Amanda lay beside the country road where she was left for several days.  She had given up hope and had just decided to stay put in-case her people changed their mind.  My nephew drove by what he thought was a dead dog on his way to work for the better part of a week, until one morning, he saw her move.  Stopping his truck, KP soon decided that the sweet Amanda was alive, though maybe not for long.  He loaded her up and took her to his own mama, my sister Susan.  Under Susan's gentle hands, Amanda soon started eating and enjoying her world once again. 
Amanda, according to the vet, has Border Collie and Carter roots.  Not sure what Carter is and can't seem to find anything when I've googled the breed.  Supposedly a cattle dog. 

Enter Chuck Norris onto the scene, (known simply as Chuck to his family and friends).  Chuck is a Great Pyrennees and the gaurdian of my younger nephew, Jordan's flock of sheep.  He's a very big boy and loves everyone, including the sweet Amanda.  It was love at first sight for Chuck when he first layed eyes on the beautiful red-haired young lady.  Amanda, who had some issue's with trust, wasn't quite so sure, but it didn't take her long to return the loving looks that Chuck was sending her way.  Well, as you know, one thing can lead to another and before long, Amanda and Chuck were the proud parents of five bouncing baby boys.  Yes, you heard my right.  Five BOYS!  All boys.  Good golly, Miss Molly! 

Pictures were posted to Facebook and the family album quickly filled up with the latest new arrivals.  How could a girl resist?  So, with much gnashing of teeth, I made the decision, with Riff saying, "Get one if you want", to bring a new puppy into our world.  Gus is, at 9 weeks old, 22 pounds and already my protector and friend. 

What a sweet, sweet boy!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Poinsetta Paul

Poinsetta Paul
Originally uploaded by paulaniz67
Poinsetta Paul was a quiet man
who, once a year,
came to town.

He had a rakish grin
that made the ladies
hearts spin -
and a devilish look in his eye.

(Fabric by Monica Solorio-Snow)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Fabulous Fall Foods Friday - Winner!

Fabulous Fall Foods Friday was so much fun!  We had a total of 34 recipe's submitted all the way from the first submission of Stacey's Zucchini Cookies to the last submission of Sammie's White Chicken Chili.  I want to thank each one of you for playing along.  You all posted some yummy fall recipe's! 

I used to pick our winners by listing out your names, in the order the recipe's came in, for each time you posted.  A now, drum roll please!, our winner of the Gooseberry Cookbook, Homemade Harvest, is Stacey!  Stacey, your new cookbook will by flying to North Dakota very soon, with a couple of other little tuck-in's to keep it company.

I decided that since you all participated so much, that a second winner was in order, so told me that  Carol would like a couple of handmade potholders, fall-themed of course, to come her way.  Yeah!  

Thanks for playing along, all.  Happy Cooking! 

Monday, November 01, 2010

Turn the Page...Tuesday

It's once again time for Turn the Page...Tuesday hosted by the fabulous Adrienne at Some of a Kind
October was a really busy month for me at work, so I needed my books to be easy reads but mysterious, in honor of the seaon.  My first choice was "Here on Earth" by Alice Hoffman, the author of "Practical Magic".  
Chapter 1 begins:

Tonight, the hay in the fields is already brittle with frost, especially to the west of Fox Hill, where the pastures shine like stars.  In October, darkness begins to settle by four-thirty and although the leaves have turned scarlet and gold, in the dark everything is a shadow of itself, gray with a purple edge.  At this time of year, these woods are best avoided, or so the local boys say.  Even the bravest among them wouldn't dare stray from the High Road after soccer practice at Firemen's Field, and those who are old enough to stand beside the murky waters of Olive Tree Lake and pry kisses from their girlfriends still walk home quickly.  If the truth be told, some of them run.  A person could get lost up here.  After enough wrong turns he might find himself in the Marshes, and once he was there, a man could wander forever among the minnows and the reeds, his soul struggling to find it's way long after his bones had been discovered and buried on the crest of the hill, where wild blueberries grow.

In Here on Earth, Alice Hoffman weaves a dark tale of the loss of innocence and love and of the absolute control one person can hold over another.  It is a story that deals with the hardness of abusive relationships and the ties that bind the abused to the abuser.  It was a good story, written beautifully, almost poetically, but fairly heavy and dark. 

From the back cover:
After nineteen years in California, March Murray returns to the small Massachussetts town where she grew up.  For all this time, March has been avoiding her own troubled history, but when she encounters Hollis--the boy she loved so desperately, the man who has never forgotten her--the past collides with the present as their reckless love is reignited.  This dark romantic tale asks whether it is possible to survive a love that consumes you.  The answers that March Murray discovers are both heartbreaking and wise, as complex as they are devastating--for in heaven and in our dreams, love is simple and glorious.  But it is something altogether different here on earth...

My second choice this month was a Dana Girls Mystery.  A couple of years ago, ours neighbors were moving to the city to be closer to their kids and grandkids.  Riff and I helped them get their yardsale all set up and ready to go.  Once they were ready for business, Sharon told me to pick anything I wanted from their treasures.  She had two sets of books out that she had marked for a really cheap price.  I LOVE old books; the smell, the feel, everything.  One set was the first 9 Dana Girl Mysteries from Carolyn Keene, the author of the Nancy Drew series.  I had not heard of the Dana Girls, but loved the look of the books so snatched them up.  Right next to them was a set of the first 7 of the Cherry Ames, Nurse books.  They are just as wonderful and Sharon piled them into my arms as well.  Bless her hide, from one book lover to another.

October seemed the perfect month to break out one of the Dana Girl Mystery's, so I choose Book 8; "The Clue in the Cobweb".  What a fun series.  Takes me right back to being 12 and reading all these fun mysteries that I could get my hands on. 

The beginning:
"Jean, you've been playing with that old machine for over an hour.  When are you going to study?  Time's almost up."
The Dana sisters, Louise and Jean, were alone in their rooms at the Starhurst School for Girls.  During the entire study period, Jean, the younger, fair-haired one, had been absorbed in a queer-looking contraption she was trying to build.

The girls go to boarding school and their aunt and uncle are their guardians.  Captain Dana, the uncle, is captain of an ocean liner.  The girls recieve a call from Aunt Harriet;  Captain Dana is in town and wants to take them for dinner.  At dinner, he mentions trouble on the boat.  It seems that a passenger, Miss Katherine Blore, started the voyage but didn't make it to the other shore.  Did she fall overboard?  Or is something more sinister going on?  The girls take all the clue's and start a journey to find the answers.  A journey that will take them out west before bringing them right back home to solve the mystery, in the cobwebs of course.
Such fun books.  If you are a lover of the old classics, try a Dana Girls Mystery, if you can find one.  They aren't easy to come by.  I just got lucky!
Maybe next time I'll take you on a Cherry Ames adventure. Should be fun!

Hey! Stop over at Adrienne's to see what others are reading, and join in.  Really, it won't hurt and we'd love to see what you've been reading.


The Brave Little Lion

Once upon a time, there was a brave little lion who wanted to go trick-or-treating.  His Bana made him a little costume and bag for his goodies and they ventured out to get some treats without any tricks.  At first, the little lion wasn't so brave.  He needed someone to hold his hand and he couldn't get the words "Trick or Treat" out of his little mouth.  He was brave enough to whisper a little "Thank you" to the treat givers.  As time went on, the little lion got braver and braver until finally he looked at his people and said, "I go by myself".  As the elders watched, the brave little lion walked right up to the next treat giver, said a quiet "Trick or Treat" and a "Thank you", then came bouncing back, yelling, "I DID IT!!!   I said Trick or Treat!" 
What a Brave Little Lion.  We knew you could do it!