Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Change of Perspective

In case you have some of that eggnog left in your refrigerator and want to whip up some of the eggnog fudge I showed in the previous post..

Eggnog Fudge

2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup eggnog
2 cups marshmallow cream (7 oz jar)
8 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled
3/4 teaspoon rum extract
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
3/4 cup chopped maraschino cherry (I omitted the cherries)
butter a 9x9" glass dish
mix sugar, butter and eggnog in sauce pan
boil for 5 minutes
remove from heat
add marshmallow creme, chips, rum extract
stir until smooth
add nuts and or cherries!!
Chill one hour
cut into squares store in fridge.

This is really, really yummy!

So yummy in fact you may skip the chilling stage and just eat it warm with a spoon??

Very little excitement between Christmas and New Years at my house. I was thinking that could be "dead week" like in college right before finals... (you remember??) Kinda dreading taking down the Christmas decorations, but ready for them to be gone.. Don't feel like shopping, certainly don't feel like baking, can't work in the yard, too wet and cold, who wants to clean house, do book work?? Naturally this would be a PERFECT time to use the computer!! Oh wait, it stopped working??? Not that practically new laptop that I love, love, love!!!

Not the computer that has my pictures and programs that have practically become my life's blood... Yes, sadly that is the computer.

I was bemoaning the fact that I had to go in the office and use the OLD relic (did I say reliable) computer? I thought I would check my email and do a post. So... I had an email from my sister-in-law Judy. I had asked her a few months ago to forward me the newsletter she does monthly for St. Vincent de Paul. It had been in the "inbox" for a few days, but I hadn't taken time to read it, since my good computer was out of commission.

Here is a copy of one of the articles she wrote after she visited one of the shelters St. Vincent de Paul supports.

I visited the Eugene Service Station this week, decked out in my reliable cold-weather garb, complete with fingerless gloves and gray stocking cap. At the desk, Ed instructed me to sign in and asked, “Do you want to take a shower?” The Service Station was packed, and people were pressing in, waiting to sign. I scribbled my name and moved on with the flow, aware of curious eyes on this newcomer. Recounted later, that experience garnered some chuckles, especially from the husband who eyeballed my outfit and said that I should have taken the shower. But it was a shock as well, to approach a doorway with every intention of doing my job. step through, and suddenly become one more face in a crowd for whom home and family -- perhaps survival itself -- is the Eugene Service Station. Our lives are full of doorways that represent not only entrances and exits but our daily reactions to inner strengths and frailties, simple luck or the lack thereof, and our reactions to the plights of those around us. The cold weather of late has brought to the fore just how many people really did set out one day to do their job and ultimately found themselves in the crowd at the Eugene Service Station. Going there is easy. You just step through that doorway, and you’re one more homeless adult, deserving of a hot shower, a meal, and a place at the table. Thanks to recent cold-weather donations, there has been survival gear to distribute. While I was there, a couple pulled in with 160 brand-new ponchos, asking only that this unneeded resource from their garage be used to help others. At every turn, St. Vinnie’s asks itself, “Can we do it?” With your generosity, partnership, and concern for the plight of individuals and families, the answer has always been, yes! From a grateful clientele and a staff continuously humbled by your generosity, thank you. -- Judy Hunt, editor

So, as I was saying... never mind about the laptop.

Sometimes I forget to consider how much I take for granted, how I come to expect that every little thing I want, becomes a necessity. Have I mentioned lately how thankful I am for all the wonderful things I have, that are too numerous to list??

Well in case you missed that post, I am!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Delights

I can't remember a year that we didn't have fudge at Christmas, it is almost as expected as the Christmas tree. Along with the traditional chocolate fudge, this year I made eggnog fudge that was delicious! Oddly enough none of my kids care much for desserts... I know strange, but true. Now don't think they don't consume junk food, or anything with sugar, pie, cake, fudge... nope they rarely will try it... I know I'm a terrible mother, kids that don't like dessert?? This might be because they don't care about eating when they aren't hungry... And dessert follows a meal?? They when they are hungry they want real food, not something sweet.

I love nothing more than having all the boys home at the same time. As fun as it was having little ones, it was everyone home everyday. Now that they are grown, it is so special having them all home at the same time. It is fun for Sam to have some one to "play" with, and what a big help I find all their free advise on parenting...

I am constantly amazed how I don't realize many of life's truths until I experience them for myself. Who would have thought that a mother would love their great big babies with the same fervency and devotion as when they were tiny little babies?? That is what makes the holidays happy times, for this mom. This is where I would put that wonderful picture of the 4 sweet babies if only I had one ... unfortunately another one of life's truth, even grown they won't always cooperate...

I'm hoping you had a wonderful Christmas and the very best new year ever!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Old ways are the best ways...

I convinced myself that I could take my Christmas card addresses where I have them on a list on my computer and make labels...all by myself. No Dusty, no Vin, all by myself... Well I must say after many, many hours of frustration.... I think I like them better handwritten. There is a personal touch that can't be mimicked on a cold electronic machine...

For a special treat to cheer myself up since I lost the battle with the computer... I'm using these adorable vintage stickers on the envelopes. I try and use my old special things, but I rarely see these and I have lots and lots of cards... But too bad, I'm licking them (uck) and off they go to wish my friends and family a very merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blog Crush??

This is a picture of me with my dog, oh wait, I don't have a dog... Oh it can't be me, I don't have any presents wrapped...
But as far as the crush goes...It is a long and convoluted story, so I will give you the short and sweet version. I secretly, when I think no one is watching go to these blog sites that...well... give information on how to do clever things to your blog. (Oh great, now you won't respect me) The only problem is that I love all the great ideas and clever little tricks that make blogs unique and personal. Well that is not the problem, the real problem is... I don't know what in the world they are talking about... I read it a dozen times and then reread it and then chicken out, because I would be so bummed if I screwed up and couldn't retrieve what I would no doubt erase or misplace. So... unless I am really, really determined on an idea, then I just bookmark that (whatever I love) and move on...
But, the truth is I know where to look for secret little things...things you have no idea you would ever need, for example Sheila has had a problem with her comments not allowing comments, no reason just stopped working. I told her a few times but... then Cindy, tells her the same thing and now she believes it!! So...I go to the Blog Doctor, look for a post where he leads someone through a situation another blogger is having like this nightmare and send the post to Sheila.
I am thinking oh my, am I ever the smart one... Yes, you guess right some how next thing you know the entire blog is gone... then its back partly but without the cool banner and template she had but still... no comments!!
So I emailed Vin (the computer doctor/genius) with all the details, lots of details and some were a little obscure and unrelated...but the good news is he fixed it!!! You can leave a comment, go, try it for yourself! For that matter go tell Vin the Blog Doctor, what a great guy he is! He did this the same day I emailed him!! How sweet is that?? Actually if you have a question or problem ask him, I think he might know everything... I think he is pretty amazing... does it sound like I might have a blog crush on him...yikes!! Don't tell Dave.. actually don't tell anyone how embarrassing! I hope he likes this card!
which I won't send to him ... gee, I'm just kidding!! But I do think that was pretty cool what he did.

Speaking of cards here is another sweet one.

Kinda reminds me of the weather we are having!

Just a darn good thing I found these socks (in the box of cards),now I won't have to worry about cold feet at those special holiday parties!!

I think these old cards are so fun.

I love this one with the Irish Blessing, I had it more in mind for St. Patrick's Day..

I found this one that seemed so familiar, but couldn't remember where I had heard it...
Oh yeah, our previous pastor said it every Sunday for years!! Who said I wasn't listening??

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Happenings

We are experiencing Arctic Blast Weather here in the Willamette Valley. In truth we had a huge snow fall (about an inch) and frigid conditions (below freezing). It is a little embarrassing how we get so worked up over our weather. When other areas of the country have several feet of snow and move along like no big deal, but we are virtually "frozen" the schools are closed and many businesses. It feels like a holiday!!
Yesterday was to be Sam's program at church and he has his first talking part, certain to be a star as he is the most dramatic child alive!

He whipped up this hat yesterday, when he was finished he said "now that was an easy project!" Maybe he was hoping to convince me to make one? Or maybe thinking Dad would get a creative bug?? Unfortunately the program was delayed until next week...

Thankfully the cookie party I was going to wasn't cancelled. Feast your eyes on these lovelies!!
I was more than a little impressed with these adorable cupcakes. Oh my gosh I said (screamed) those are the cutest things I have ever seen!!

Who did those??

Are they made from sugar paste?? No.... They are gum and tictacs !!!

As for who the domestic diva that created them???

Here is a hint

Yes, the love bird!
Not just cute, but clever too!!

Miss Brandi is contemplating... how did she do that ???

Her mom was just a little amused that the one she thought not quite so domestic, out shines the rest of us!!

A few more little cuties around the house

Here is a good idea for the Christmas table.I thought you might enjoy the cookie recipe I took. It is from Dave's Grandma Jone's.

Time to get to work cleaning the igloo, I mean house, and I need to get Iron Man to do something besides make a creative mess.

Please pray for sun!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Clear as mud..

Dawn has on her holiday finest and is ready for the fun to begin.

It seems as though in my attempt to be clever and somewhat witty I occasionally am vague and unclear. On that note maybe I should just come right out and say… My elderly parents are living with us. They have the guest room which is slowly becoming less guest like and more like their own.
To say my mother and I have different styles of decorating would be possibly the understatement of the century.. Over her lifetime, she has spent very little time, energy or money worrying about the finer details of home décor, (Quite possibly because she had bigger issues to consider.) On the other hand I have spent way too much time, energy and money on all the details and plan to spend more in the future… (at least as long as other bigger issues don’t get in the way.)
While they don’t care so much how their room looks,

it needs to be safe and possibly able to hold their clothes? I need to find a way to incorporate the very few things that they like without making the room look like it doesn’t belong to the rest of the house. Unfortunately the room is situated where it is in plain view and we can’t keep the door closed because of heating issues… Which is another HUGE issue as we heat with wood and it is fairly hard to control, not to mention if you are standing up moving around it is much warmer than sitting or would that be called a hot flash??… Maybe a platform that elevates chairs could be in my decorating future??
All I can say is, “it is much harder to accept the hospitality than offer it.” It makes one look at the options they might be facing in the fast approaching years. I hope I was nice enough to my boys that they find me a good home in a quiet neighborhood that serves delicious food a lovely garden and the décor is to my taste ??? Oh yeah and takes teenagers (Sam).
In all seriousness it has been a fairly easy transition over the past month and we will not spend a lot of time worrying about what might come next.

I invited 3 of my dad’s sisters to lunch one day this week. They have spent Wednesdays together for years laughing, carrying on and generally having a great time. It was fun to be part of the craziness, and no, I wasn’t the loudest.

The sisters pose here with a stand in for their sister Allene, she would have liked to have joined us but she lives out of state and is undoubtedly having her own crazy good time!

If you had wondered why I am usually laughing, carrying on and generally having a great time, I'm thinking it might be genetic...

My friend Jori

treated 7 friends to a royal treat Thursday evening.

They all made a wonderful crown that they wore home.
Crown making is serious business

Occasionally one must start over!

The final product is worth the effort

what lovely crowns and a perfect fit!
Jori said we might need an inservice on crown etiquette………how not to get tangled with another friend’s crown when out for coffee, how to handle crown envy, what crown goes with what outfit, what to do when a bauble pops off of the crown, how to drive a compact car with a large crown, how to reapply glitter, crown maintenance, how to wear your crown in the workplace and not cause a scene……..these are all very important things!

Do you remember the teaparty for Emily's 16th birthday where she and her friends made crowns?
If you are interested in a crown making event, email me and we can arrange a party!

I was beginning to think the 2 dozen totes that hold Christmas decorations were a permanent fixture scattered around the house. Thankfully since I was having get togethers this past week I was forced to finish and now I can say yippee let the celebrating begin!!