28 December 2010

showcasing a few gifts

My Jerry's eldest son is an artist, who uses various media. This year, he made prints, very limited for family only {fourteen, entitled "Son's Potential"}. Today, we framed it and hung it. I forgot to take a pic for this post {but I'll try to remember tomorrow}.

I love his pottery, so he gave me this piece pictured here. It has a feel that just doesn't translate in pictures! I absolutely love this. And I will be using it. Often.

My Jerry's eldest child and her family gave us these handmade ornaments. I especially like the snowflake and have hung it above the entrance to the wide hallway so that it can hang there for the rest of the winter. She also crocheted some dish~clothes, which are cotton and work well as hot~pads for placing between a steaming bowl and the table. I really like cotton, so these will be used frequently!

A dear friend made me a spice~tea mix and gave me a huge jar filled with it. I'll include the recipe below. I've already used a third of it, so I can tell you that it's very tangy {wink}. It's pictured with the green crocheted slip~cover over it, with the apron and calendar in front.

My mother made me the apron, which is lovely and I've been wanting one, so it will be used often as well! She makes wine, so that's the very cool print reference. And it's a cotton~blend, so it will wear well.

Memom and I have a tradition, in which she always gives me a pocket~calendar {something I can carry easily} every year. I adore this. She's been doing this since I was thirteen. This year's is tremendously packed during the months of June through October with appointments and notes regarding my husband's wreck this summer. I always save the calendars and so I have quite a few in my file~cabinets. I especially like this new one for several reasons; besides being just the right size for notes and things, I love the design involving tea and gardens and such.

Here's the recipe my dear friend included in her card for me.

Spiced Tea Mix
One pound jar Tang Drink
One package lemonade
Three~quarter cup instant tea
Two cups sugar
One teaspoon ground cloves
Two teaspoons ground cinnamon

Mix all ingredients well, place into jar, and cover tightly. To serve: stir two teaspoons mix in one cup boiling water. Yield: thirty servings.

I like it a bit stronger so I use two tablespoons per mug. Also, I'm fairly certain that you could use sweetner, such as Splenda, in place of the sugar. Since it is primarily instant powders, you might cold simply mix it with cold water and serve over ice for a change of pace. Since it's been cold here in Mississippi {last night got down to fifteen degrees}, I haven't tried it iced and have only drank it hot in large quantities {like an entire teapot at a time}.


25 December 2010

white christmas

My husband is fifty~five, his mother is seventy~five, and this is the very first white christmas either of them can remember having! It isn't much, but it's a huge lot for Mississippi! Merry merry!

And by the way, our puppy's name is Sophie. We tried out different names, but none seemed to suit exactly; but Sophie seems a good fit for a variety of reasons. So, Sophie it is

24 December 2010

Merry Christmas Eve

My husband's oldest grandchild made this snowflake. It's very intricate, even if the boy himself says that it's super simple to make. Don't sell yourself short, this is wonderful!

If you'd like to see some of the details, click on it to enlarge the pic.

Merry merry, everyone!

20 December 2010


You may remember Pearl from previous entries, these two pix have been posted in the past. Pearl is a sweet cuddler with a huge heart. I got to be close to her, and loved how she would get so very relaxed and snuggly with me. She'd tunnel under the covers, or squeeze into the tightest space between my husband's thigh and the chair. She wasn't a yippee~dog, unless she was outside and wanted in. Or something was out and she was in. Or my husband called out, "who wants a treat?" That actually sounds like she yipped lots, but that wasn't really the case.

I'm at a loss of adequate words. Please pardon me if things are a bit jumbled. Pearl had a rough weekend. This morning, she was stroking out, in constant seizure. She isn't with us anymore.

This has been a rough year for my husband in many ways, and to have lost Pearl...words fail.

18 December 2010

Welcome home, newest lil girl

{with a wink from Santa, all's well}

Earlier today, my husband was Santa for a benefit for the local high~school's girls' slow~pitch softball team held at Applebee's. It was a pancake breakfast with sausage and coffee and orange juice that was very good and a nice way to start our weekend. Only a few kids got confused cuz mommy had taught them never to talk with strangers and never to take candy from strangers and now mommy wants them to sit on The Stranger's lap, talk with The Stranger, and quite possibly accept a Candy Cane from The Stranger. Confusing, terrifying, troubling...

{checking each other out}

Then I went to my writers group which meets at our local public library. We won't meet again til after the new year, so the group was sort of bitter~sweet. It was a good way to end my morning.

Then I went to the local animal shelter to fill out the paperwork and take care of the fee and such and pick up our newest member to our home. A little eleven week old chiweenie who is already bonding with my husband. He is in the process of teaching her all about football, while she watches the game with him. This is a good way to start my afternoon.

16 December 2010

Peace On Earth

Earlier today, my husband and I went to Tupelo for the six month follow up post surgery on his knee and tibial plateau. Yea!! All looks great, he is walking and moving just fine and there are no signs of rejection of the hardware {so the screws, brackets, and nuts and bolts should be good to stay inside}.

His boss gave him a gift certificate for Applebee's so that's where we went for lunch. It was so good and we had a good waitress. Her name was "Holly", how apropos.

Then we stopped at Books~A~Million, cuz we love big books {and we cannot lie}. Their boxes of cards are fifty percent off and so I selected this design. The dove is trailing a red ribbon that wraps about the earth. In gold print on the ribbon it says, "Peace on Earth". The inside of the card is mostly blank, so lots of writing room. It does say in gold, "Season's Greetings". The card stock is heavy, cream, and lightly textured. La Petite Presse is the line, illustrated by Rachel Newcomb, and this design is "Noel".

Fifteen cards for five dollars plus tax is a good deal for pre~Christmas. I am thinking that I will spend some time tonight writing some more cards for some folks on our list. I'd no idea that I had so many folks I wanted to drop a note to.

Also earlier this evening {late afternoon}, my husband's mother's assisted living home had their annual Christmas dinner, complete with a visit from Santa, who passed out candy~canes and lots of booming greetings and cheer. He was also one of the responding paramedics who ended up cutting the clothes off my husband six months ago when it was proven that two vehicles cannot occupy the same space, especially not if my husband's leg is between said colliding vehicles.

Two of my husband's daughters were there, along with his youngest grandchild~~seven months old! She was a huge hit amongst the residents and the staff members. Her great~grandmother held her for a good long time and there will be a nice pic of Santa and the two ladies...a full seventy~five years between the ladies' ages!!

Well, I'm off to watch Ovation's Nutcracker Dance Off!!

15 December 2010

dumbfounded face

Ok, I'm not entirely sure of this, but I do think that this is truly an example of ironic.

And stupidity.

In oh so many ways.

In 2009, a three month old died of malnutrition while her parents left her unattended to go to an internet cafe, playing an online game which involved raising a virtual child. Earlier this year, the couple {father age 41 and mother age 25} were found guilty of negligent homicide. They each are sentenced to serve two years in prison. However, the mother's term has been suspended, as she was pregnant, with their second child {who was due in August 2010}.


yeah, wrong on so many levels.

10 December 2010

hark! the holidays!

A few years ago, I'd purchased several boxes of these cards on clearance post~holidays. It was, I think, fifty cards for five dollars. I'd also bought other cards, including some Ed Gorey's.

But these are my favorite, the pirouettes of this girl in the snowy winterland reminds me a bit of childhood blizzards in Pennsylvania. I addressed the last one this evening. I only have ten cards ready to go out, but if I should find something that is perfect, I'll write some more to send. But I am not too worried, there are other options.

06 December 2010

Caroling Dogs

This evening was our monthly book~group meeting. One of the ladies gave me this lil pop~up card by Tres Panache of Caroling Dogs. And a beautiful thin metal bookmark with a blue cord and quote by Anais Nin {"Dreams are necessary to life."}. Very apropos!

I'm also a member of the online BookMooch {see the bar on the left}. So far, I've given 85 while receiving 77. For the most part, I've enjoyed this very much. It's a great way to pass on the reads, while adding some titles to my permanent collection; tho some I just relist as moochables. Actually, I maintain the list, but when it comes to preparing and posting the books for the mail system, my husband does that~~I just jot the mailing address and hand them off to him. He wraps them nicely and sends them off; which is good, cuz I tend to wrap things like a three year old child might, folks can always tell which gifts are from me.

Last week, one woman who mooched from me sent my husband and I are card in the mail with a very nice message~~to let us know that it's folks like us that make BookMooch so fun. It was especially nice, since a little appreciation can go such a long way!!

Thanks, ladies!

And thanks so very much to my husband, for helping me in so many ways!

04 December 2010

Holly House

Yesterday, about five minutes into CSI:NY, I jumped up and went to root in the closet for holiday decorations. Good thing we have TiVo. It was the opening scene of winter~wonderland, good cheer, twinkly lights, snow, and window decorations that prompted the latent desire to see what was what. I've been meaning to paw the front room's closet where my husband's three artificial trees reside. But I've not been feeling festive, and that puts a damper on things.

So when the whim whips me into action, I act on it. Even if that means pausing a show, throwing aside my latest project {a fuzzy neck warmer, a cowl sort of thing}, rousting the princess pearly pup from my shoulder, and stirring up a commotion. My husband came to see what I was doing and the look on his face was one of dismal dismay, but he indulged me, carrying boxes and bags into the living room.

He's good to me that way.

Then I went back to the room which held my ornaments and toted them out so that I could go thru them too. I never decorate with all of everything at one time. It's too chaotic and tacky. I unwrap everything, look at it, think about it, set some aside, rewrap, repack, and tidy things up and away.

I showed my husband some glass ornaments that my great grandparents and my grandparents had, the repacked them. Then I showed him some lace wreaths my mother made, a fragile star she made, and a couple angels made of various pasta pieces that her friend had made. One of which was crumbled and an arm was missing from the other. The arm, of course, was made of elbow~macaroni {what else would an arm be made of?}. I showed him some stars that I'd made years ago and a plaster tree that a dear friend painted. There were other ornaments that I didn't share this time, but reboxed for some future year.

All of that was put away, and left on the table were a dozen or so small stained glass ornaments that my family made and some floss needle work round ornaments that I'd made. He'd already strung some lights on the small{ish} tree and I set out a box of small glass balls. We decorated the tree and stood back to eyeball it. It looks full enough, but not too much so.

I spread a white sheet about the base, under the very small green and red furry skirt. And he topped it with a sparkly gold metal star that he'd had amongst his things. I set out a crocheted tree festooned with lots of lil miniature items that his first wife had made, and the bears that he and she and their children had painted. We hung the Santa faces that his eldest daughter and her mother had crocheted. Frosty sits in his wreath above the hall door and bells on ropes hang off the front door knob.

Over looking all this is an angel my husband's first wife had had. She had hundreds of dolls and this particular one is the only holiday decoration I leave out year~round. She's an angel in gold and red flowing robes, with golden hair, golden wings, and of course, a golden halo. She stands atop the corner of one of the china~cabinets that is near a sketched portrait of his first wife and their framed wedding certificate. Christmas was her very favorite holiday and her birthday is only just one day before Christmas Eve.

I know that things are very different. I didn't go all out on decorations. I didn't include manger scenes {I'm thinking that perhaps her youngest and oldest daughters might want them} and I didn't decorate outdoors. I am not she, and I wouldn't want to try to emulate her habits.

Last year, my husband and I went to my folks' place for the holidays. Since I hate to come back to decorations after the fact, we didn't unpack and place anything last year. This year, we will be home for the holidays. It's not much for some folks, but it's enough for us~~especially for our first time to decorate here at home. I wanted to blend some of his things from both his marriages, to honor his first wife, and to honor our own union.

I've never decorated this early before, usually opting to decorate my tree a few days before Christmas and then taking it down and packing everything up shortly after the New Year. I've never had an artificial tree before, and it is a bit different {not as full and big} but I like it; it suits us. Even tho the various presents have been wrapped for months now, we decided to wait til the weekend before Christmas to bring them out and set them under the tree.

I'm not sure how long I will feel festive, but for now, I'm alright. My husband is watching the SEC football game. My pupsicles are engaged in deep Zen meditation, doing their dead~dog impressions. And we're about to watch "The Tin Man"~~a four hour plus version of the Wizard of OZ. All's right in my world.

For now.