Friday, January 7, 2011

It's Come this Far

Dishes are done; supper is ready for the oven when it's time; final decorations are down; beans are gathered, clothespins, too. (More on that later.)

I awoke to find John already taking down the lights on the deck as fast as he could. Guess he's ready to get on with the year.

Lower resolution

Higher Resolution

Now all that's left is my little angel standing guard over the Christmas aprons or else she's joining John in a hallejulah.

Lower Resolution

*Higher Resolution

Wish that my pumpkin pie would finish baking so I could carry on with the day.

Hope that you're having a great one!

ETA: *Experimenting Again

Thursday, January 6, 2011


A dark picture taken last evening showing what it'll be like this evening when we settle down to honor the day. Peeking closely, you can see that the clock high on the wall says a little after 4 in the afternoon. I am already noticing the lengthening days. (Happyone keeps me well informed on length of days.) Because you can't see it so clearly, I'll save the furniture arrangement story for another day when the tree is down.

I'm certainly going to miss my Christmas things, including my newly inherited Christmas village. This is a little church with the manger scene outside. The wee worhippers are just about lighted out. I love how the door is open a crack allowing the glow to spill out and giving another peek inside. 

As always, I'm comforting myself by saying that Christmas is not a day of the year, but a matter of the heart. And before this very year is out, we'll be celebrating all over again. Have a Merry 12th Day of Christmas!


If you checked in on my post early yesterday and had any questions, I did some clarifying that might be of interest. 


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with Ham

Oh I have such exciting things to tell you...  Sure! Believe me at your own risk.

Dismantling Christmas means that I have stripped the tree of everything except the angel top and the lights. We will enjoy it this evening and tomorrow. I must think of a good Epiphany Supper. Last year, as I recall, I gathered the Nativity Set and plenty of candles and we ate by candlelight. I remember looking up at Nan as she ate her meal quietly and she smiled back at me. It was her first celebration of Epiphany and, quite frankly, she found it unusual and said so, but once she got into it, all was well.

Today I am babysitting for my little sister Molly (the poodle). Mother has a luncheon invitation. Molly can't stay behind at my niece's because my niece has a killer cat who has nailed poor Molly on a daily basis for over two weeks. Molly is quite the nervous wreck over the whole thing with my mom right behind her. Mother and her granddaughter are going to have to figure out a plan. So far, they've tried separate rooms with Molly whimpering incessantly and the cat yeowling. Not pleasant.

Friday, the baby grand (I've got to stop calling him this as he's nearly four years old and it makes him sound like a piano) is coming for the afternoon. I will pick him up at school after going through a security check even though I will have visited twice before...I'm going along for the pick-up run tomorrow afternoon as well. Believe me, if anyone took my baby grand, it'd be The Ransom of Red Chief all over again. He's a handful that baby grand. I already know what I'm serving him for supper. Every single time I ask him if he'd like something to eat he responds hopefully with "mac and cheese?"

So on that note, I'm sharing our favorite recipe for Macaroni and Cheese with Ham.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with Ham


* 3oz uncooked macaroni  (cook and drain)
* 3 Tbs butter
* 1 heaping Tbs flour
* ½ cup evaporated milk
* 4 oz grated cheese of choice (I use several or whatever is on hand)
* 2 eggs (beaten)
* 3 oz chopped cooked ham


* Heat butter until bubbly
* Stir in flour
* Whisk in milk
* Whisk well and cook until slightly thick stirring constantly
* Stir cheese into slightly thickened mixture until melted.
* Add a small amount of mixture to the beaten eggs to temper and then add the remaining cheese mixture and stir in until smooth.
* Stir ham and macaroni into the cheese sauce and heat until warm without boiling on top of the stove. (This is the way I prefer it; although, the ingredients may be baked in a casserole dish for 20 minutes at 325F)

To clarify, since Robin is questioning the 3 oz of macaroni... Yes, this is correct. This recipe serves four, if you are the type who sticks to such things. If not, it serves two. Sorry that I didn't share that earlier. (If you're dieting, a serving, one quarter of this recipe, equals 2 proteins, 1 bread, 1 fat, and ¼ milk.)

Printable Recipe

ETA Again: Oh my this was sooo good! I thought that I should whip some up because, truth to tell, it's been a few months and I was second-guessing myself. We don't have this often because it is too creamy, so delish. It's hard to keep to a ½ cup serving. I did, but just barely. There's no way that John could though. He's getting the other 1½. For Friday's supper, I'm making a meatloaf, serving vegetables, leaving out the ham, and using this recipe in place of potatoes.  

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dismantling Christmas...Slowly

It is always difficult for me to put away Christmas. This is a discussion I've had before at Haven so I know that some of us struggle with it. We are divided between those who can not wait to get things back to order and those who want to hang on a bit longer. I'm one of the hangers on who keeps decorations up until Epiphany on January 6. Neighbors drive by slowly and ask themselves if it is Christmas lights they are still seeing here. Guilty as charged.

This year, I've decided to take a slightly different path. Each day I am taking down a little bit more of Christmas until Friday morning when the tree itself will come down. Since Christmas is stored upstairs, this gradual dismantling will help my knees, my back, and ohhhh my aching behind. (I fell down icy steps Christmas Eve and haven't been the same since.) So far, all poinsettias are put away, many bulbs, and assorted decorations. The wreath made of springs has become a train wreath for the grands, the candy canes are saved in a pitcher for hot chocolate this winter and peppermint milkshakes. And, as always, some Christmas things remain out all year long. The kitchen night light is a case in point.

Taking things slowly and steadily makes a lot of sense with other things as well. It's when impatience sets in that situations begin to nosedive. Benjamin Franklin had it right when he said that haste makes waste. The older I become, the more sense taking things a bit slower makes. It's not necessary to do it all in one day.

We are facing a number of challenges in this new year. Most are ones that we dragged along with us from last year, but somehow a bright, new year looks more hopeful than a tired, old one. You may wish to read "Behind the Scenes" in the coming days as I'll be adding more information there. Perhaps I need a "Behind the Scenes II and III" as well. Pacing myself is going to be an important part of my year.

Looking forward to doing some catching up in Blogdom today. I really do miss you when I'm away from the computer.

A blessed day to you...
Photo taken January 2010. This year the ground is almost bare. I like this year.