Saturday, December 1, 2007

One Hundred!

Today is the day that I am celebrating my 100th post. And to honor the day, I am shamelessly requesting comments in order that my pretty pink depression glass jar may be filled with your names. Someone other than myself will draw the winning name.



I have been pondering what to gift as I sit here sipping my coffee this morning. Originally, I hoped to give a Country Living subscription because that is my very favorite decorating magazine...then I thought that many of you may already receive it. Soooo, for those of you who might, I will substitute a Christmas Joy Keepsake book from Susan Branch. If anyone has both, we'll worry about it later! :)
My twin Vee celebrated her 100th post yesterday and she is giving away one of the most adorable of her creations. Check it out right *here* !
Edited to Add: You only have the weekend to be considered. I'll be announcing the winner Monday morning bright and early. Thanks!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Hope in the Mail



Yes, sometimes hope arrives in the mail. ;>

When I saw this creation of Margo's (see Robolady on the sidebar), I knew that I had to have it. It is intended as a Christmas gift for my niece, but I'm liking it terribly well. LOL!

The photos don't do it justice, but I'm sharing anyway. If you have the opportunity to visit Etsy shops or the gals who work so hard on crafts and treasures, you may find that your Christmas shopping is easier than you could imagine!

I love it on the Christmas tree! Perhaps I'll just tag it and leave it right there!


Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Don't Want to be a Humbug

But in this season it is well to reassert that the hope of mankind rests in faith. As a woman thinketh so she is. Nothing much happens unless you believe in it, and believing there is hope for the world is a way to move toward it. ~ Gladys Taber

So I found one of my favorite little Christmas books yesterday... Christmas Joy by Susan Branch. The quote above is from the opening pages and the following snippets are from page 43.

For some, Christmas is a time of high anxiety. It has always been my opinion that people, including myself, create an unnecessary stressful atmosphere by their own lack of planning. Susan has this to say about what happens to those who wait until the last minute to pull things together: they...hurry instead of bustle, they buy the first thing that they see, they spend too much money, and it's no wonder that so many are not sleeping and not celebrating. Her remedy is to shop all year long. (Mine is to stop by at FlyLady's.)

Forcing myself to sit down with a notebook and pen, I finally created a plan. It's late for said plan, but most of it will include online shopping. I already feel the anxiety level dropping a notch. How about you? How're the planning and shopping coming along at your house?

This year, I'd like to do more meaningful things and try some new things...no time for that if I am still wrapping gifts at midnight on Christmas eve, which has happened more than once. To avoid all that, I am getting all planning done before December 1 the FlyLady way.


One of the new things that I'd like to try is sugaring fruit for a fruit bowl. Susan says that one just stirs up an egg white, rolls the fruit in it, then rolls the fruit in white sugar. It looks just heavenly, don't you think?

Hmmmmm...wonder if there'd be any trouble with critters.




Picture Source

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mexico Meets Narnia Tree

And so it was that little sister decided to leave a day early. Not a problem. She left me a note on the table and off she went with nary a word. Fine. Really Fine. It gave me an entire extra day to get started on Christmas decorating. I can read the writing on the wall and it said, "Ha ha, you're it!"

Good thing that I have been paying some attention to all the decorating blogs such as Linda's at Restyled Home and Melissa's at The Inspired Room and Terri's at Windlost (though I know that Windlost is not entirely about decorating.) What I have learned there, I have been able to apply, which is a diggedy dog good thing as I have precious little natural talent.

So without further ado, I'll share what I was doing yesterday. Please forgive the quality of the pictures...Santa Baby already knows what I want for Christmas. ;>



Here's how things looked in the morning. Yes, I moved the sofa down through that same narrow hallway, but I had help this time! The tree is in the high corner of the room so I hoped that the idea that Linda had shared of a tree on an antique trunk would look good so let's see...




I'm happy with the look. Now what is that "stuff" all over it? That is my "buying time" look where instead of getting out all the ornaments right now, I toss on all the silk poinsettias that I can round up and call it good. I have never been able to pass on actually getting out the ornaments at some point, but this may be the year. (Well, shoot! I'll take a daytime photo...hang on.)



There! That's a titch better. You can see the riot of poinsettias and the crocheted angel tree topper that my mother made me. The crystal icicles are quite difficult to see. I think that I need another string of lights...white, thank you. And the garland in the center may not be quite enough. Gee whizkers, it's amazing what the cruel, hard light of day has done to my beautiful tree. However, the trunk idea did save me a small fortune since I was able to use my regular tree without having to purchase a new taller one. (Thanks, Linda!)


Yesterday, I also went tipping...evergreen tipping that is. My carpenter allowed me to use his property and he even went along and dragged out the bags for me. Nooooo, I am not being charged. :) Anyway, just to prove that I was a very busy gal...here is the window box awaiting winterberries. I'm hoping that I'll find some red today!




When I got home after tipping (Yes, I did wear blaze orange and I looked simply fetching...trust me), the quality of the light was so delicious that I had to run for the camera, even if it isn't the best camera, and grab this photo before the light faded. Leaving you with this and a wish for a golden day for us all!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Single Serving Quick Bread Pudding

On cold mornings, nothing satisfies quite as well as a hot breakfast. When I feel the urge to splurge on scones or something off my plan, I make this banana bread pudding recipe. It is so yummy and nutritious that I am rescued from sinning on my diet. Perfect! Oh, it can be doubled, just adjust the cooking time up to 10 or 12 minutes. Easy!


Beth's Breakfast Banana Bread Pudding for One

Ingredients:

* 1 egg
* 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
* 1 slice bread whole wheat
* 1/2 to 1 whole ripe banana, diced
* 1/4 cup milk
* 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
* 1/2 tsp. vanilla
* 1/2 cup granola, if desired

Method:

Combine everything together (except the granola) in a cereal bowl. Microwave approximately 7 minutes or until set. During the last minute of cooking, sprinkle on the granola. Serve with warm cream or milk. This is especially good with fresh berries or even dried berries (a few tossed in before cooking).

I am cheating again with the picture...this one has apples, which I think I'll have to resort to myself since the bananas are all gone...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hmmmmm, Which One to Choose...


I've been thinking about Christmas traditions of late and which memories are the most vivid and why. Oddly enough, one of my favorite memories is of my grandfather's response to the beautifully wrapped gifts beneath the tree..."Just look at that. They're much too beautiful to open!"

A favorite, but brief tradition from childhood, was the gingerbread house. It began sweetly enough one year and ended all too soon. I suppose that it ended because it was a big pain for my poor mother to pull off every year. As I recall, she tried again to revive it with my children...also brief. Still, I remember it so fondly that I want to re-create it for my grandsons. Now they are still a little young yet to appreciate such things, but I think it would be nice to start early.

Being a smart gal ;>, I'm thinking a kit is the way to go. The one above or the one below are the two that I'm considering.








First Gingerbread Source

Second Gingerbread Source

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Acceptance: My Answer?

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, and the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God who has worked wonders for you... Joel 2:25 and 26a



So this is where I'm hanging out today over there on that chaise with my laptop. Wait. I don't have a laptop; I'm just pretending. ;) Trying to keep my lid on has become a fulltime pastime of late, which leads me to the rest of my story today.

A week ago, my friend brought me a sheet of paper with too many words on it. Definitely too many to read at the time as I was b-u-s-y. It was a decorative item that his sister had framed and placed on her wall. He asked her to please make a copy and that is how I now have it. I was so busy flying around last Sunday that I barely took the time to acknowledge the gift. (I know. I told you that I'd be relaxing in that big stuffed chair, but you know all about the land of make-believe. ETA: And that was two weeks ago...the golden library pic...where does the time go????) Since I was much too busy to bother reading it, I popped it into the recipe notebook I was using for Thanksgiving notes and recipes. See? There it is on the right.



You may vaguely remember that I had offered to host Thanksgiving. I offered to host Thanksgiving for everyone except my sister's beloved. I really didn't want him here. I don't like him much. It's not even that I don't like him; it's that I don't like what he represents to me...loss and a lot of change. Anyway, I was going through the week happy that he would not be attending. Then my sister said that if he was not welcome then she was not welcome and that they'd be going to McDonald's. Oh the drama of it all!

A few short minutes later, there I was face to face with the gift in my recipe notebook. It says:

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems.

When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation—some fact of life—unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's World by mistake.

When I focus on what's good today, I have a good day, and when I focus on what's bad, I have a bad day. If I focus on a problem, the problem increases; if I focus on the answer, the answer increases. (The source for this material is, apparently, Alcoholics Anonymous.)

It was enough to get us all safely through Thanksgiving. I am not sure that it is enough to get us all safely through Christmas. I am still working on my one day at a time philosophy.

Now on to happier things... I had soooo much fun reading blogs yesterday. It resulted in my adding several more to my growing list in the sidebar. One was Little Red House where Mary hosts lovely tours of her charming home and writes about all manner of fun things. Check out her tribute to the movie "The Birds."

Then I visited Posie Gets Cozy where one can see the most lovely photos. This is the one that I want to share, but don't look until you finish reading here or you'll pop over there and you won't be back in a hurry. LOL! When you arrive there, you'll see a clump of Christmas lights. Just a clump. Anyway, that was the spark to begin my Christmas decorating. See?



Do you think that I can get away with my clump, too? I kinda like it. This could be the easiest decorating I've ever done!

Lastly, Vee (BumbleVee) at The Bearister Bookcase posted an incredibly compelling story about a late night visitor. You'll find it fascinating and food for thought.

Have a wonderful Sunday and a blessed week!

ETA: I'm confusing Melissa by not naming my picture source...oops! It's Pella.com

DB