Saturday, November 24, 2007

Counting It All Joy


Ahhhhhh, the next few hours will be spent completely alone. Yes! Thanks be to God. I am going to spend them visiting blogs and enjoying reading about how Thanksgiving was spent and about others' Christmas plans. Since my own decorating plans are on hold until my sis leaves for Iowa in a few days, I have the luxury of having this down time and I am counting it all joy.

Picture Source

Friday, November 23, 2007

Collapsing, Relaxing, Relapsing

The last guest left last night around 11. Phew! Long day! For all of you women (men, too) who have ever prepared a Thanksgiving feast...kudos! Anyone who can pull off the shopping, planning, baking, cooking, cleaning, decorating, inviting, etc., well you could run the country!

It was also a very busy day right here at my haven because Alison of Brocante Home (see sidebar) was sending tons of traffic my way. Today, she has posted her five finalists so if you have a chance to check on any of them, vote for your choice. No, I was not a finalist, but man that was fun. If there's ever another Puttery Challenge, I'll be certain to let you know.

Anyone planning to hit the stores today? One of my young friends was going to hang out at Best Buy in the wee hours of the morning hoping to be early enough to snag the laptop for a little more than $200. When he drove by last evening at 9, he found the queue extending all the way around the building. He was actually quite grateful.

Off to work...should be a wild and crazy day. You have a good one, but I hope that you have the opportunity to just relax.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!



At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. ~Albert Schweitzer

It's so true! My blogging buddies have come to mean a great deal to me and you do "spark" me. That's not nearly as painful as it sounds! :) I am grateful for each and every one of you!

Wishing all of my fellow Americans a very Happy Thanksgiving! To the rest of the world, a thankful Thursday as well.

A Votive for the Thanksgiving Table




This is one of my favorite, easy holiday decorations. I suppose that it's pretty self-explanatory, but all one needs are cranberries, a votive candle, and an empty grapefruit or orange half. I rest mine in a small decorative dish. Place the votive inside the hollowed out grapefruit half, sprinkle the cranberries all around both inside near the candle and outside lining the dish. Nothing to it! I make several to use around the house and they smell terrific. It lasts several days; I keep making up new ones throughout the holidays.

Kari and Kijsa have some wonderful ideas for the Thanksgiving table. They're two very creative gals and did you know that they are sisters, too? (Currently, I am fascinated by the dynamics of sisters. ;>) Anyway, if you haven't already, run over there and have a look!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Preparations



Yesterday found me washing the china and gathering bowls, pickle dishes, candy dishes, stemware, etc. None of the stuff had been used since last Christmas so it all needed a good cleaning. I've gathered it all in a pile on one table and there it waits.

FlyLady tells me to review the menu and the supplies. Terrific! This means yet another trip to the market and the orchard. This hosting Thanksgiving dinner has proven as challenging as anything I've done in many years. I am following FlyLady's holiday schedule as if it were the Holy Grail.

Everyone who offers to do something gets taken up on the offer. For that reason, I don't have to think about stuffing, squash, pecan pie, peanut butter pie, or beverages. Yay!

If I can make it ahead, I'm going to do it. That's where FlyLady's mashed potato recipe comes in.

MAKE AHEAD MASHED POTATOES

14 potatoes, peeled and boiled
1 stick butter
1 (8 oz.) pkg. of cream cheese
1 c. milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mash all ingredients together. Place in casserole and bake for 30 minutes. This dish can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Bring back to room temperature before baking. It can also be frozen, thawed and baked, and will be the same as freshly made!


I have FlyLady's recipe, but can't find the link so have posted this one from www.Cooks.com. (FlyLady's is better. LOL!)

Here's to excellent flying techniques today, tomorrow, and especially on the big day!

(I imagine that all my Canadian pals get a kick out of watching me scurry about like this safe in the knowledge that their Thanksgiving is next year. And friends from even further away must truly shake their heads.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Decorating


If one is wise here in the northern part of the country, one takes advantage of a mild day to string lights and decorate window boxes before snow arrives and complicates the issue.

I am neither wise nor willing to do a lot of decorating this year. Nevertheless, the window box needs help and it would seem the prudent thing to do to decorate it if for nothing other than curb appeal. The thought of adding tipping greenery and searching for winter berries on this already busy day has my head spinning. LOL!

My daughter called yesterday to ask if I could help her decide where to place her shining white stars. I arrived to find this ladder. Yes, she had been on it. I tried to remain calm as I told her that there was no way that that ladder was a safe choice. She promises me that she's going to call someone with an adequate ladder. I made her promise not to call her brother since he has two little boys who need him. See? One never stops worrying about the kids!

For all of you in the throes of Thanksgiving plans and doings, may your time be well spent on the things that really matter.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Rock Walls



When the leaves have fallen and a tree stands naked again, one sees the beauty in form alone. Limbs arch skyward; if broken, they point to the ground or are caught up in the arms of their fellows. A simple beauty there is in bare branches.

Other views become clear as well. The rock walls of New England stand visible as a testament to a time when the forests were fields and farmers used the offerings of the stony ground to line their properties and keep their livestock contained.

As a child, I loved the rock walls that meandered for miles through the woods. I love that my parents allowed me the luxury of spending time there. Recently, I started another book that describes some of the time spent among the pines and the rock walls. Yes, I am the queen of beginning paragraphs. Anyway, it starts like this:


Long ago, more than a hundred years, the pathway through
the woods was a busy stagecoach trail. There had been houses along its route from the little village by the river to the larger town of Aberdeen sitting ten miles northwest in the foothills of Aberdeen Mountain. Then there had been harried travelers eager to arrive elsewhere, but now there was nothing but trees, wildflowers, an old cellar hole, and a rusty-hinged gate along a crumbling stone wall.


The Very Spot


This had been a thoroughfare, now only a path for fishermen to
follow through the pine into the meadow until finding the stream that meandered down from the mountain miles above. Children, awed by the bits and pieces of a former time... old spoons, broken glass, a belt buckle... played for hours near the cellar hole until their hunger sent them scrambling for home.



Gee, just once I'd like to finish the book. :)




P.S. Some of us even build our own rock walls...here's a little photo of my daughter's backyard where she has been laboring for a few years now on a rather lengthy rock wall that surrounds her property. This is the east side. She despises straight walls so hers are curvy and follow the land just as the old-timers did.










DB