Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!

I must be getting better because I actually made chocolate chip cookies today and didn't burn any of them. I also made 2 pumpkin rolls (yum) and 2 more batches of rice krispie treats. Nathan got to pick sprinkles to put on those rice krispie treats so now we have blue ones and red/green ones. Very colorful treats!

My sister and brother-in-law came to town tonight so let the festivities begin! Tomorrow my kids and grandkids all come. It will be a wonderful family gathering. My only regret is that my mother couldn't come. She is older and afraid of traveling in the bad weather we are expected to get so she cancelled her trip. She will stay in Memphis with my Aunt Jean where it's warm and toasty! I know they'll enjoy their time together.

I got our beagle a new plush doggie bed for Christmas and she hasn't come out of it since (just kidding of course!) She does love it though. Kristi came today and we filled all of the stockings and wrapped the rest of the gifts. As they say, I am ready for Christmas now.

It's so late but I'm watching Narnia- Prince Caspian tonight. You know how hard it is to turn off the TV in the middle of a good movie! Sooo, I have a pot of coffee and a laptop and I'm taking advantage of the quiet before everyone gets here tomorrow.

A very Merry Christmas to you all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

Well, the weather outside is frightful,
but the fire is so delightful.
And since there's no place to go-
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

We are expecting snow tomorrow, just in time for Christmas. I feel sorry for everyone who has to travel tomorrow. I know it will be a mess in the midwest and probably lots of other places.

All I have left to do is bake cookies. I made fudge yesterday but it didn't set up. My husband was delighted as he loves fudge sauce on his ice cream and now he has an ample supply! We even joked when I made the fudge that if it didn't set up, he got it! I think he jinxed me!

I have to admit that I'm not the best cook anymore. Years ago I was a great cook but as I got busy and I didn't cook much, I lost the touch. Maybe it's the desire more than the touch. A few years ago I tried to make 2 coconut pies for Christmas dinner. The first batch burned as I had the heat too high and walked away for "just a moment". You know how that goes! Anyway, I was disgusted and started over. The pan was beyond repair at the time and I think it took weeks of soaking and boiling water to get the black off. The second batch went fine and I added the mix to a purchased graham cracker crust. The minute I picked it up to carry it into the dining room to cool, the foil pan buckled and the entire messy pie covered my carpet. I was so upset, I cried. I just wasn't meant to have coconut pie that year. I'm a little more careful these days in carrying food around over carpet!

I have the ingredients to make coconut pie this year but the memories are still quite painful. I might opt for coconut cake this year instead. I am making pumpkin rolls today along with a few varieties of cookies. If I can get them done without burning a pan, I'll be doing good!

Meanwhile, Patrick has found a new favorite toy. He is enjoying the plastic ornaments I have in a glass basket on the coffee table.

I just painted two of my bathrooms recently and redecorated them. I did a flower arrangement for my new pink bathroom. What do you think? I have a lot of off white shabby chic in there and it's so feminine now. I won't let the boys use it!

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Very, Very Cold Outside!

Well, I've finally started to think about Christmas shopping. I have a whole 1-1/2 weeks to do it so that should be enough. We're going light this year as most Americans, I suppose.

I had the girls over last week to make stockings for everyone we were missing and now I just need to fill them. The decorating is done and the house is organized. I stocked up on candy canes. All I have left to do is shop I guess.

Sarah and David took Grace to a Holiday concert this week and got their picture taken so I thought I'd share. Nathan and Patrick were also over. Patrick is finally a Nana's boy. He doesn't normally like anyone but mom and dad but somehow, I won him over. Finally. Now he follows me around with his arms raised to be held. What a joy- he's such a cutie! Nathan will be 3 in two weeks. My, how fast those babies grow. This Christmas will be pretty special for all of us.
By the way, Grace saw the Salvation Army volunteer at the store ringing the bell the other day and Sarah explained to her about why we give money to them. The next time they went, Grace donated a dollar from her piggy bank for what she called "kids that didn't have homes." Sarah was raking the leaves later that day and she said that Grace stood on the porch ringing the wind chimes for a good half hour yelling "stop and give money for kids." Someday she'll be a bellringer I guess!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lions, Tigers & Bears- Oh My!

I talked to my neighbor yesterday - she called with alarming news. We have a mountain lion in our neighborhood. Wow, that's hard to imagine. It's not like I live in Colorado or Wyoming. This is Missouri, you know, the Midwest , with homes and farms everywhere. I knew there were black bears in Missouri and I guess I knew there were mountain lions but who knew they were within a mile?

It's pretty creepy really. Another neighbor has found two dogs that were killed and the remains of a deer with a huge cat paw print nearby. I think he is going to set out bait to photograph the animal. You can't shoot mountain lions in MO, they are protected. Our Conservation Dept has released breeding pairs in past years and I think they have collars on to monitor them. I know they mostly eat deer but I seem to be creeped out now going outside after dark, not knowing what is lurking out there.

We have a miniature beagle but she is a tough little thing and I don't worry too much about her. She chases away even large dogs and coyotes- she got plenty of experience at our last farm. She is a cow girl so to speak. During the day, she hangs out with the cows across the road. When there are calves, she breaks them in with play! She probably thinks she's a short cow. She even cuddles and naps with them on occasion. Hopefully the big cat won't mess with her or the calves.
There is one calf over there right now that's black and white. It looks like a goat from a distance but I saw it in the road last week and it's definitely a calf! Those calves like to sneak under fencing for the better grass near the road.

On a lighter note, I am all decorated for Christmas. I have a few sewing needs this week to finish before we have lots of company for Christmas. My husband has a
really old favorite rocking chair. You know, the kind you keep in the basement and normally don't let people see. Well, he decided he wanted to plant it in the guest room so he can read in there at night. I found some great fabric that matches my curtains in there and I'm going to cover the cushions. I doubt he'll even notice but I will! Isn't it pretty?

We've been busy redoing the bathroom fixtures and painting. New faucets, lights, towel racks, it really looks pretty good. Next year I hope to change out the sinks. It's too close to the holiday for that much of a mess for me. It can wait for now.