Tuesday, December 28, 2010

White Christmas!

Grandbaby's first Christmas was a white Christmas!

Snow Cones

 New bird feeder works great!

Never too old for Mr. Potato Head or Elmo!

 Why is it they only want to play with the packaging - never the toy?

Peek a boo!

Beautiful snow.

This is the first time in over 60 years NC had a white Christmas.  We got 10 inches where we live.  It is so pretty.  The weather has been sooo cold, 18 degrees when I got up this morning.  Of course in typical NC fashion it is supposed to be 60 degrees on Saturday - go figure.  We had a wonderful Christmas.  Very busy and crazy at times but wonderful.  Grandbaby's first Christmas was almost overwhelming.  Too much, too fast, enough to wear a little one out (and the big ones too).  Being with family was the best part.  Having everyone together laughing, teasing, fussing, eating, opening gifts - the works.  It was so much fun.  I wish we could have those times more than just once a year.  Maybe with the new year we can try to do that.  I would love to have family gatherings more often without any purpose other than to be together. 

I am on vacation this week with lots of plans to do things around the house.  The list is pretty long.  So far all I have accomplished is watching a few movies and knitting.  That wasn't really on the list but it works for me.  Maybe today will be more productive.  I'll let you know about my progress. 

Hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas.  Make the most out of the next few days and make plans for the best new year. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Luke 2:8-20

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you:  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Almost here

Can you believe it - Christmas is almost here.  I love this time of year and the excitement that builds as the day approaches.  I love that I am on vacation until next year!  I love peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and coffee for breakfast.  I love surprises and small heartfelt presents.  I love family gatherings and sharing laughs.  I love neighbors and friends smiling and exchanging baked goodies.  I love the excitement that little kids have and how they could almost burst at the mere thought that Santa is on his way.  I love Christmas music and lights. I love the glittering of the Christmas tree at night. 

I love that no matter what our worries and troubles are they seem a little lighter this time of year.  The worries aren't gone, trust me mine are still here, but I think the anticipation of Christmas and all that it holds makes our load a little lighter in some small way.  There is a hope beyond our belief.  There is a peace that dwells within us. There is a great love that is more than we can ever imagine.  There is Christmas.

I hope as the day approaches you find hope, peace and love in all that you see and do.  I hope we all remember what Christmas really is and can enjoy it for all that it can be. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Getting Ready

Sleeting and snowing.

Goodies all around.

Presents being crafted.

Some presents are done.

Candies cooling on the table.

Christmas will be here before we know it.  I'm getting ready - are you?  Our weather is crazy as usual.  We've had the coldest December in history here in NC.  We have had 4 "snow events" this month alone.  That's just not heard of in these parts.  I have been busy getting things together and trying to get some presents finished up.  I'm not in panic mode (yet).  I know what I have to do and what is left to get.  I just need the time do it all.

This afternoon we will be enjoying our neighborhood Christmas party.  Should be a ton of fun because we have the best neighbors.  I can't wait to try all the goodies.  Oh that reminds me - the candies in the picture above are chocolate covered peanuts - one of my favorites.  The recipe is crazy simple and you make them in the crock pot.  You've got to give it a try.

Chocolate Covered Peanuts

2 - 16 oz jars lightly salted dry roasted peanuts
8 blocks white bark (found in the baking isle)
1 - 12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips
1 - 12 oz bag milk chocolate chips

In crock pot:

Pour peanuts into crock-pot making a little well in the center.
Pour chocolate chips in center.
Place white bark on top of chocolate chips.
**Do not let any chocolate touch the sides or bottom of the crock-pot

Cook on LOW for 1 1/4 hours until chocolate begins to melt.

Stir well to coat peanuts. Spoon onto waxed paper in the size you want the peanut clusters to be. They will harden in about an hour. Can put on cookie sheets and place in refrigerator to speed up the hardening process.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sweet Santas

Oh how I love Santa Claus!   I do!  I have several Santa's throughout  the house and I thought I would share just a few of my favorites.  The one above is a gourd that my mom painted several years ago.  It is my favorite Santa.  It is a little piece of my mom that I can have every Christmas and it is so special to me.  I love the details that she painted and how loving he looks.  

This Santa is from my favorite Aunt.  It is a pill bottle that she painted.  She is also a detail painter and I love his eyes.  (Sorry the picture isn't that great.  My photography skills aren't up to par this morning.)

This is another Santa my Auntie J painted on a wine cork.  Isn't he cool.  I love his sweet face and he looks so happy.

This Santa I have had for a long time.  A lady at my church made him and I had to have him.  He sits in a chair with his friend and patiently waits for the big day. 

These are just a few of my Santas, but special ones.  I love that they were made by very special people in my life and they are treasures.   That is one of the reasons I love this time of year - memories and sharing. 

I hope you have special people and wonderful treasures that make your Christmas beautiful.  Make the most of what is left of the weekend.  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Catching Up

So a lot happened while I was away from blog land.  I am going to use this post to kind of catch you up on what I've been up to. 

I participated in our church's 1st real craft show.  It was great!!!  I made candy arrangements and they were a hit.  I love making these things.  Kind of like flower arrangements, but with candy.  Folks really seem to like them.  I was very pleased with how many I sold and the number of orders I got.  The candy Christmas trees were a big hit.  I even made topiaries with dumb dumb suckers and they turned out nice.  I wish I had pictures of everything to share with you - sorry.

Another BIG thing that happened was Hubby and I celebrated 25 years of marriage.  Isn't that awesome!!!  That's a mighty long time to put up with someone.  There is no doubt in my mind that man loves me.  It has been an amazing 25 years and I can only hope the next 25 are even better.  There is a lot to be said for marrying your soul mate.   He really is the love of my life.

Thanksgiving came and we had all of my family over.  It was so nice. We enjoyed each other and had too much to eat.  I love those family times.

Well I know that was a quick update but I think I hit the really big things that happened on my time away.  I did miss you all and hope to be able to start back to my regular posts.  I do have some new things to show you that I have made recently and so many things to tell you.  Thank you again for checking in on me and know how much I appreciate you time.

Talk to you soon!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Major Award

I'm still here.  I hope you haven't given up on me.  I've been plowing through a rough patch but can see a clearing just ahead.  I have so much to tell you.  I'll start with a post I drafted a couple of weeks ago and will work really hard to get you up to date on things over the next few days.

I am so excited to announce that Hubby won 2nd place for his Cream Ale in the Piedmont Brewers Cup home brew competition!!!  Ain't that crazy!?!  (Yes I used the word ain't.)  I don't really understand everything about it but I will tell you what I think I know. Home brewers can send in their best beers to compete with other brewers from 5 states, NC, SC, TN, GA, and VA (I think).  There were 19 flights (categories) and a best in show.  Hubby submitted 4 of his brews.  He was SHOCKED when they called his name for 2nd place for his Cream Ale.  He didn't expect to place at all.  I am so proud of him.  He now knows that he really is good at this brewing thing.  The Cream Ale is the lightest beer he makes and is a great summer time beer.  It's what they call a lawn mower beer.  You know - you've been out in the yard all day, it's hot and you just want to drink a beer and cool off - this is the beer.  I'm not sure what it would compare to in retail beer.  Really home brew just doesn't compare to retail beer - it's so much better.  The judging was held at a new local brewery called Roth Brewing Company.  These boys have got it going on.  We ventured out there to try some of their beer and to check out what the competition was like.  Let me just say Hubby was in heaven.  He was thrilled to be at the brewery and checked it all out.  The guys there are awesome.  We walked in to the tap room and were immediately greeted by Eric, the head brew master.  He made us feel right at home.  They had 3 beers on tap and they were all GREAT!!  I think our favorite though was the cinnamon porter.  This is an awesome beer that we will definitely go back to have more.  I even asked for the recipe which Hubby told me was not proper in brew world.  I told him I thought it was a compliment.  Usually if I cook something and am asked for the recipe I take that as a complement.  Hubby said it was different (I guess it's a brewer thing).  

So now we address Hubby as "Awarding Winning Brew Master", he's not just a brew master anymore.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What the.....?

Do you ever have those weeks where you just have to say "What the......?"  I tend to be having more than my fair share of those lately it seems.  Another crazy week here and lots of things going on.  I will hit the highlights of my week for you.

There is lots of crap at work.  I wish I would win the lottery already and not have to worry about work but I don't see that happening anytime soon.   I guess I will just have to suck it up and plow through.  What is wrong with people anyway?   How can "professional adults" act the way they do?  I swear sometimes I feel like I go to an adult daycare 5 days a week.

Had lots of meetings at night.  Our women's group at church is getting ready for our first craft show.  Exciting!  Lots of work and stress getting it pulled together but I know it will be great. 

Little Girl had to go to the ER this week.  She had an allergic reaction - to what we don't know- and got pretty bad off.  Very scary!!!  She is good now and will have to carry and Epipen with her from now on.

Got to keep Grand Baby yesterday and had a blast.  She is such a hoot and makes me laugh.  She can always make me smile.

Oh and I bottled beer all by myself yesterday morning.  I am pretty proud of that.  The fact that Hubby trusts me enough with his precious elixir to bottle it alone says alot.  I just hope I didn't screw anything up. There is so much to do and remember.  You have to sanitize everything!!!   I can't wait for this batch to condition and be ready to drink.  I am hoping I didn't over carbonate it and there are no infections.  Keep your fingers crossed. 

Here is Little Girl's pumpkin she carved last week.  I didn't get the chance to post pictures of it last week.  I think it is very unique.  

I hope your week was good and not as crazy as some others.  I am looking for a good and positive week ahead.  Thanks for checking in on me.  Know that I appreciate you stopping by and I will try harder this week to post more than just once. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chili Halloween

Another busy week.  Lots of meetings after work and a chili cook off at Little Girl's school.  It was fun being part of the competition.  We didn't place but had  requests for our recipe.  The school went all out for a good cause.  This is one of their big fundraisers for Relay for Life (cancer research). 

 There was even a real cowboy band there.  They played lots of good cowboy and christian music.  Everyone dresses as  a cowboy for this shindig. 
We had our Trunk or Treat at church last night.  Our theme was Horton Hears a Who!   I thought you might get a laugh from this picture.  We counted 220 kids that got treats from our trunk.  We saw lots of princesses, spidermen, wolverines, iron men, and fairies.  There were even the traditional ghosts, vampires, and scary monsters.  There will be trick or treating at the house tonight and I can hardly wait.  I love to see all of the little kids dressed up and I have to make a comment on every body's costume.  I usually get a smile or a giggle.  Hope you have a safe and happy halloween.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Enjoying Saturday

Grand Baby spent a good portion of the day with us yesterday.  She is growing, growing and into everything.  She makes me laugh.  It won't be much longer and the cats won't be able to stop and take a break during a chase.  I don't know what Grand Baby would do if she caught one. 

We had a another great weather day.  Started chilly but turned out nice.  I spent a little time on the deck enjoying the late afternoon.  For the beer drinkers I hope you have tried Samuel Adams' Octoberfest.  It is wonderful.  You need to hurry if you want to try it because it will be gone soon.  They only brew a limited supply so once it's gone you'll have to wait til next year. There might be brewing at the house today depending on how the Head Brewmaster fills when he gets up.  I think I shared my germs. 

I am looking for quick knitting ideas.  I want to knit or crochet some quick Christmas gifts for a craft sale.  Any ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Brewer Inginuity and Other Things

I am always surprised at the creativity of home brewers.  I shouldn't be, although I am.  Really if you think about it they are creative folks.  There is a lot that goes into beer recipes, the planning of it all and tons of work goes into the brewing process.  It really is a creative process.  We had another brew day at our house over the weekend.  The weather was perfect.  Pictured above is Hubby's (Head Brewmaster) latest toy.  He has hounded me for weeks for one of my 50% off coupons from Michael's (craft store).  I finally gave in and we had to make a trip to the craft store (he never wants to go there with me).  Anyway he had to purchase a Pasta Machine that is used for crafting with polymer clay.  This is his grain mill.  He had to take a drill bit to it and rough up the mill part so it would actually grab the grain and crush it.  Now that we have a couple of hundred pounds of grain stored in various places throughout the house this was a must have.  I was actually impressed.  There are future modifications planned for this new piece of equipment that will only enhance its use.  Brewers are very creative and frugal too.    

I did enjoy being the assistant brewer, knitting and sunning.  It was great. 

Here is one of my knitted dolls sunning with me enjoying the great weather too.

This post should have been made several days ago but the weekend caught up with me and I have been sick all week.  This is the first time I have touched a computer since I left work on Monday.  I believe my good friend brought some germs home with her from her Mediterranean cruise and shared them with me at dinner on Friday night.  I pretty much feel like crap and have slept more than any one human should.  I do feel a little better today and hopefully will be back to normal in a day or two. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

BBQ, Brew, and Knitted Goodies

Over the weekend we were invited to a pig pickin by one of Hubby's brewing buddies,  Bone Mop Brewing.
He cooked a whole hog in a pit and had some great beer to go with it.   I LOVED his version of Oktoberfest.  I think that was my favorite.  He also had a great Citra Lite, Summit Pale Ale and Honey Kolsh on tap that he brewed.  He also had a Cran-Raspberry Hooch that was very good too.  There was a good crowd of home brewers and hang gliders there and lots of corn hole being played.  I loved the Oktoberfest brew.

Hubby fell in love with Bone Mop's keezer - you have to look at his web page to know what I'm talking about.  It is a freezer/refrigerator that can keep your homebrew kegs icy cold with taps on the outside of it.  Bone Mop's version holds 4 homebrew kegs - great for parties!  Did I tell you I loved the Oktoberfest brew.  We had a great time and enjoyed good beer and pig - thanks Bone Mop!

As promised, here is a picture of the giveaway goodies I sent out a week or so ago.  I heard from Urban Muser that she got her package over the weekend and now know that everyone has received their goodies.  Thanks again for being loyal followers and blog buddies!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

1st Blog Award!!!!

Can you believe it!?!  My first blog award!!!!  My friend over at Implausible Yarn was gracious enough to pass this lovely blog award along to me.  Thank you Heather, you made my day!

Along with this recognition come some responsibilities and there are rules.  

So this is how it works -

Grab your lovely award and post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.

Contact those blog owners and let them know they've been chosen.

That's it - it really is that simple.  The hard part is picking 15 - there are so many good ones out there.

So here is my part of paying it forward - I am awarding the "One Lovely Blog" award to;


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Stuff in My Car

Marshmellow Man riding in the car.

I have admitted before I tend to be a slob.  I like to have stuff around me.  I have a lot of stuff in my car.   I never understood those people who keep their vehicles immaculate.  Where's their stuff ?!?  I don't get it, don't you have stuff?  There is really no rhyme or reason to the stuff in my car, it's just there.  Even when I supposedly "clean" the car out some of the stuff stays.  It stays because it's mine and I like it.  A while back I was sitting in the carpool lane at school and started to look at the "stuff" in my car and decided to take a few pictures. 
 My Little Mermaid sunglasses.
Yes, they are mine and I threaten my
children when I see them wearing them.

Dairy Queen Blizzard antenna topper.

Johnny Depp when he was a pirate.
I love Johnny Depp.

Sponge Bob Square Pants
Love him too.

Sometimes Scruffy inventories the stuff in the car.

There is a lot more stuff in the car that I just didn't take pictures of (I don't know how I missed Sock Monkey).  What you see is the stuff that gets to stay in the car all of the time except for Scruffy (she doesn't ride well) and Marshmellow Man (he lives on the mantle now).

Disclaimer - my teenager wanted me to be sure you understood that all of the "toys" in the car are mine.  She is truly embarrassed by them. :-)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Beer, Dogs and Rain

We bottled beer over the weekend - 150 bottles to be exact. 10 gallons of pale ale and 5 gallons of red.
Time to brew again soon so we can build the stock back up. 

This is Buck - a friend's dog that we cared for last week.  We had Susie at our house all week and ran over to the friend's house and took care of Buck and Dakota.  Sorry no picture of Dakota - she wouldn't be still for even a second.  All of our dog duties are done.  Everyone came home and went home safe and sound yesterday.

We had more than our fair share of rain last week, well over 10 inches.  It rained everyday.  It was nice to have some dry weather Saturday.  We had rain Sunday. 

I had a busy but productive Monday.  Hope you had a good one.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Knitting Dolls

So here is my latest addiction.  These sweet little dolls are so simple and quick to knit.  I love little projects like this.  They are fun to make and this is an easy to take with you project. These dolls are great for knitting on lunch break or while watching TV.  You only need a little yarn to knit these so they are great for using up left overs. 

I ran across the pattern for these while surfing.  I am looking for a knitted or crocheted doll pattern that would be age appropriate for Grand Baby.  She is almost 7 months old and everything goes in her mouth.  I want to make her a doll but want it to be safe.  If you have any suggestions please let me know.  Any way, I ran across these cuties at Holly Marie Knits.  This is her petite doll pattern .  I love that her pattern is written as a tutorial - excellent! 

You can see my dolls are all different sizes.  I don't follow patterns very well.  I can - I just don't a lot of times.  I kind of take patterns as suggestions.  I will follow them the first time I make something (most of the time) and then I kind of play with it to make it the way I want.  I know that's not always good - but hey, that's how I roll. ;-)  

I do love these little dolls and I think they can be so many wonderful things.  I'm seriously thinking about Christmas Angels. 


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dog Sitting

We are dog sitting Big Girl's pup this week while she and her sweet family are on a well deserved vacation.  Susie came to spend time with us Saturday.  That was 5 days ago and the cats are still not over it.  Susie stays outside so she really can't bother the cats.  But those of us who live with cats know how their minds work.  Indi has stood guard at the back door and attacked at every opportunity. She is very brave behind a pane of glass. Our door will be worn out by the end of the week. 

Scruffy  is totally disgusted that we have even allowed a dog on the property.  She spends most of her day upstairs and ventures downstairs only to eat.  She did go outside the other day.  She went out the front door and decided she would go around back to lounge on the deck.  She forgot the dog was there.  It took her close to 10 minutes to cross the deck in extreme slow motion-stealth mode.   

Susie is very busy and excited about everything.  She has the sweetest personality and can be goofy.  Here she is giving me a hug and getting a scratch behind the ear.  It started raining here Sunday and hasn't let up.  So far I think we have gotten 6 inches and they are predicting 3 to 6 more before it ends.  Poor Susie has had a very wet week.  We have tried hard to keep her dry and have made her a camp with tarps on the back deck.  We keep finding her dry blankets to sleep on.  No matter how hard we try she still gets soaked.  We've been letting her spend lots of time in the garage just to get a break from the rain.  I know she will be glad when her family gets home.  

P.S.  Giveaway goodies were put in the mail today. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

100th Post Giveaway

and the winner is.....


SURPRISE!!  Yep that's right - everybody who posted a comment on my 99th post is a winner! Thank you for being such loyal followers.  It is nice to have good friends and folks you love supporting you.  I really appreciate it.  I will be sending your goodies out early this week.  I hope you like your surprises.  I will post pictures of your goodies once you let me know you've gotten them.   I will wait til then so I don't ruin the surprise.

Thank you for following my little blog and letting me share my crazy life.  I hope you have had a great weekend. 

Talk to you soon!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Surprise Giveaway!!!


This is my 99th blog post.  This weekend I will hit 100!  Can you believe it?   I think that's a good reason to celebrate.  As a way of thanking you for checking in on me from time to time I am having a surprise giveaway.

I know there are some of you who check in on a fairly regular basis but never comment.  Comments are the life blood of any blog and is what keeps the blogger going.  I need comments!   I love comments!!  Take a few minutes this time to leave a comment even if  it is just a hello.  Let me know you are out there. 

The giveaway drawing will be held Sunday afternoon so get your comment posted by noon Sunday.  I will let you know the winner Sunday on my 100th post. 

Talk to you soon!  Good Luck!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Last day of summer...

Today is sadly the last official day of summer.  I will miss it.  I won't miss the hot and drought we have been having though.  Fall is exciting and beautiful.  We see the seasons change and begin to anticipate the holidays.  Cooler weather will be welcomed around here.  We have had record heat and no rain for a long, long time now.  In fact, it was kind of strange going to the pre-season opener last night for the Carolina Hurricanes NHL hockey team with the temperatures in the 90's.  Believe it or not,  ice hockey is very popular down here in the south.  We love it!  But thats a story for another time.  Make the most of this last day of summer.  

I will have a big announcement soon - so stay tuned.