Monday, November 30, 2009


This is what I was doing as hubby watched the Vikings clobber da Bears yesterday.  I admit it.  I love Christmas trees, and I tend to put quite a few, a lot, hundreds of decorations on my tree.

This is a new tree.  We bought it at Maynards (well, actually Menards, I just call it Maynards.)  We are leaving a couple of days after Christmas so the tree won't be left up way into January as I have been known to do, so we jut decided we didn't need one of those high priced trees.  The tree was really, really cheap inexpensive, so don't look too closely at the needles.  They're almost that cut paper look.   As I said, cheap. 

But it had the LED lights and was seven feet tall, so I figured we'd take a chance on it.  Turns out the shape is lovely, it has lots of lights, and it's quite full.  Not too bad for $23 with a $5 rebate!  Honest!

The ornaments are a cranberry red and gold, with lots of crystal icicles.  Oh, and one blue, one green and one pink.........antique ornaments that were my moms.

We really like our cheap tree.  Stop by and see it for yourself!

Friday, November 27, 2009


In addition to the regular all American Thanksgiving meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, corn caserole, salads, pies etc, etc, etc, we had a couple of "family" appetizers.  Son Chuck brought venison sausage made from this year's deer hunt.  It was very good.  

And the smoked salmon below came from our trip to Alaska this summer.  Son Chris smoked and canned it for us, and it was very good also.

And I want you all to know that I did not get up early today and join the mobs rushing into the malls looking for the bargain of the century.  Nope.  Not me.  Ain't gonna happen!  I did run into town for lunch at daughter Kari's house.  I had pumpkin pie with whooped cream.  Now I'm fixing a meal exactly like the one we had last night, minus the pies.  And then I think I'll take the CHEAP artificial tree out of it's box and see how bad it looks.   I like to have my tree up the whole month of December, and on into the first week of January.  But, we're leaving for our winter trip on December 28th this year, so if I want to enjoy it for a few weeks I'd best put it up now. 

Have I told you about our winter trip?  We're heading somewhere we've never been.  Texas!  It's an easy trip.  We'll hop on Interstate 35 and head down to San Antonio and from there to Corpus Christi and the Navy base there.  Then we plan to meet our dear friends from Maryland,  Glenn and Carole, and then we"ll head across the bridge to North Padre Island where we plan to camp for awhile.  Carole is my quilting buddy, and Glenn is Ernie's golfing and biscuits and gravy buddy, so we hope to have fun.  And, of course, I plan to take advantage of the Gulf for photos and other blog opportunities.  I'm looking forward to the trip, the sunshine, and the Gulf.  Oh, and a stop in Oklahoma to meet a blogging friend!  See you soon, Lisa! 

Thursday, November 26, 2009


The turkey is in the oven.  The potatoes and sweet potatoes are in the fridge, cooked, mashed, and buttered up yesterday, ready to put in the oven to heat up a bit later.  Five pies line the counter and juices of many kinds are on ice in the cooler.  The table is set, with a tablecloth no less!  Other tables and seating are lined up, ready to take their place in the middle of the sewing/computer/office/guest room when the teen aged grandkids have filled their plates.  The bathroom received a disenfecting, floors are vacuumed, clothes are put away, and piles of papers have magically disappeared!  I am ready for Thanksgiving dinner!

But I am missing our two sons that we won't see today.  Chris and Amy in Alaska won't be here, but we will be thinking of them as we taste the smoked salmon he gave us and that I have been hiding since we came home from Alaska.  Thank you Chris!  We love you both and miss you so much.  We also won't be seeing Lenny and Connie, and the youngest of our fifteen grandkids, Samuel.  They are in North Dakota and not able to come today.  And Lenny's daughter, Courtney, will be spending the day with her mom and that side of the family.  We also won't be seeing the oldest of our grandkids as Kjirsten has to work.  She works at a nursing home, and will be bringing love and joy to her patients as she works with the elderly who are so often alone and forgotten on holidays.  And our grandson-in-law, Clayton, Katie's husband, also has to work.  He is one of those cell phone people who follow behind the user making sure their phone is working!  He's one of your people if you have that phone company!   Please be nice to him if you need his help today.  We will miss all of you and love you dearly.

And we have already seen one son and his family.  Kevin, Molly and Joe and Justin stopped by for a short visit while on their way to Molly's parents.  Her dad has had some health issues lately, so they are spending their day with him.  We are so glad they had the time to stop by for a quick update on their busy lives.  Son Kevin has a new job, Joe needs to take his ACT's and Justin is attending a new school this year, and Molly takes care of all her boys!  It's so much fun to listen to their hunting stories and the "activities" of the 14 and 16 year recent one involved putting a Christmas tree on the top of their house when their parents were gone.

Soon the others will arrive.  Kari and Mike, Katie, Aaron, Adam, Ben and Anna;  Gail, Jacob and Caleb; Chuck, Thea and Nicolas; Lance and Tya, Jaden and Madison, and my sister, Lois.   If I counted right, that makes twenty of us.  A bit crowded in a tiny apartment, but I can handle it if they can!

I am so thankful for my family; kids, grandkids, siblings and their kids and grandkids,  I am thankful that my parents brought me to church every Sunday and taught me to love the Lord from whom all our blessings come.  I am thankful that I live in a country where I can attend the church of my choice.  I am thankful we have a democracy, and men and women willing to protect us and to guarentee we keep our rights.  I am thankful for my husband, who was one of those troups for twenty years.  I am thankful for a home and many comforts foreign to the majority of the world.  I am thankful for my health.  I am thankful for the sobriety of my daughter.

I am most thankful for God's gift of His only Son, who died for me on the cross so that I may spend eternal life with Him in Heaven.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!  Praise Him all creatures here below!
Praise Him above ye heavenly host!  Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Amen.

Wishing my friends a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.  Please celebrate safely.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


CINNAMON, GINGER, NUTMEG AND COCOA.  BAY LEAVES, PASTA SPRINKLE, MARJORAM, AND CINNAMON STICKS.  Oh, I guess that last group doesn't sing as well as the others do, does it?  But just try this........If you're going to Penzey's Spice Store... parsley sage, rosemary and thyme.  You can sing that easily!

Okay.  So we went to the spice store yesterday and I got the above listed spices.  And my eyes and nose feasted on the sights and smells of Penzeys.  Ummmmmmmm, smell nirvana.  We also went to a Half-Priced Book Store.  I picked up two expensive quilting books for cheap.  Actually much less than half price.   We dined at Q-Cumbers, a buffet place with a giant salad bar.  A stop at a chocolate store proved that we were very strong, healthy one purchased chocolate treats!  Isn't that awesome?  We thought so too, so to celebrate our strength in healthy eating choices we stopped for a cup of coffee and a piece of pumpkin cheesecake.  With whipped cream.  Oh, yes we did!  And it was a very good thing.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I have three sisters.  I also have one brother but this isn't about you, Paul!  I am the oldest of the sisters, and of course the wisest, the smartest, the nicest, and the fattest.  Well, maybe some of them are true.  I guess only two of those descriptions are true, oldest and fattest.  Oh well.  Anyhow.  Tomorrow my youngest sister, Lois, has a doctor's appointment in Minneapolis.  I will pick her up at six and we'll head to sister Ruth's house, and sister Betsy will also drive there, and then the four of us will go up to Minneapolis.  The appointment is early, so we should have the better part of the day for sisterly bonding, lunch, shopping, and other fun things.

And speaking of shopping.  I would like to go to one of the Penzeys Spices stores.   Do you know Penzeys?  Oh, me, oh, my!  What a wonderful treat to walk through the aisles of the store, in one breathing in the sweet smell of basil, in the next the rich smoky chipotle pepper, and in yet another the aroma of the Northwoods Seasoning that transports you Up North to the lake and a fish fry.  Penzeys has any spice or herb or seasoning that you can imagine, and the prices are reasonable.  A couple of months ago I bought several in the glass jars, but now when I need to replace them I'll buy them packaged in a plastic bag, thus making them more ecomonical.   The stores are not located in every state, and many states have only one store, but they are growing.  Check online to find the nearest Penzeys Spices store and Go. There. Right. Now.  You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


and legs, and arms, and shoulders, and fingers, and little toes.  Oh, my aching everything!  Thursday we helped daughter Gail move into an apartment.  On the fifth floor.  On a little hill with 15 steps to get to the front door!  Then Friday and Saturday I helped unpack, sort and clean.  And when I say clean I mean CLEAN!  Most of her furniture and things had been stored in a garage for six years, and then was in a storage unit for the past year while she was getting her life together.  What a filthy mess!  Furniture didn't need to be dusted, it needed to be scrubbed.   All the kitchen stuff needed to be run through the dishwasher, some things more than once. She is washing all the clothes and linens. And she needed to sort things to throw, things to give away, things to return to the jerk, her soon to be ex, and things to keep.  We have piles and boxes and black garbage bags stacked everywhere.  What a mess.  We are making headway though, and should have things put together soon. 

This is a big milestone for her, and she is so excited to finally have a place to call home.  Please hope and pray with me that it will work out and she will be happy and will stay healthy.  After all, her parents had to put their signature on the lease too, and we can't afford to pay for it if she screws up.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I started a new project last night.  Can you figure out what I'm making?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The final results for the weekend deer opener are:  Southern group:  Son Chuck got one  Northern group:  Son Kevin got one and the two 14 year old grandsons, Adam and Justin, each got one!   No one sent any pictures to me though so you can't prove it by me!  

Saturday, November 07, 2009


Check this out!  Grandson, Adam, just got his first deer, on his first hunt, at first light, on the first day of deer hunting season.  He must be one excited 14 year old!  He emailed a picture to his mom from his cell phone, so check it out on her blog.  Also recieved word via a text from our other daughter, that our son, Chuck, got a deer just minutes into the season . 

Thought to ponder:  Is this the kind of hunting that our generation did?  I remember waiting the whole weekend for hubby to come home with the news of the hunt, whether they filled out or not, who shot what, where, and then waiting a week for the pictures to be developed!  Now, via a text, Thea knew Chuck had gotten a deer within minutes of the shot, and Adam sends a photo via cell phone to his mom and now it's out there on the blog for the world to see, within an hour of the shot!  Amazing, isn't it?


What is your decorating style?  Is it one style or is it a combination of styles?  I wonder if there is a style called "Things I Love, and things from my grandma, and I don't care if it goes together or not, wish I lived in a log home style?"  That's my style, I think.  The above is my china hutch, not a piece of china in it!  This is the first piece of good furniture we bought, an Ethan Allen maple/birch hutch, over 40 years ago.  We bought a table and six chairs at the same time, but I gave it to one of our kids to use, and I haven't seen it in ten years.  Hum, wonder what it looks like or if it's still in usable condition!  But back to my hutch.  On the top is a clock that was my grandparents.  There are pieces of pink depression glass on one side, found at garage sales,  and on the other side are a couple of wine decanters, one old from my grandmother, and two modern.  The top shelf is carnival glass, from the other grandmother via my mom.  The other shelves are pottery pieces I've picked up in various places: Alaska, Prince Edward Island, Havana, Florida, and Wells, Minnesota, and my winter decorating.  Snowman plates fount at a thrift store.

My barrister cabinet, or lawyers cabinet, or bookshelf, whatever you call it, that belonged to my dad,  is now lighted.  Hubby put in strips of LED lights so the glasswear would really shine, and it does.  These pieces are also a combination  of goodies acquired in different ways.  The top shelf has my grandmothers stemwear, really old, also a tiny crystal sleigh that was bought on the morn of the day that I was born.  Hey, a good line for a song, uh?  No, really, my dad bought my mom a tiny crystal sleigh the day I was born.  It's now an antique!  On he second shelf  are green depression glass water goblets from my grandmother, and a beautiful fluted bowl that my mom had, and the lovely moustache cup that I found at the thrift shop for 75 cents.  The bottom shelf also has a beautiful bowl of my mom's.  See, I don't have one style, just a combination of things I love.

And then the top of the entertainment cabinet has other stuff all together.  I just mix it all up and call it good.  The square plate was a birthday gift last year from my sister, Betsy.  It says "Only God can turm a mess into a message."  What  do you suppose she was trying to tell me?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


This is what I've been working on recently, a bag for my daughter-in-law, Thea, who celebrated a birthday today.  I bought the fabrics down in Florida this past winter at a big annual truck load sale at a sewing machine dealership.  They each have a touch of glitterly gold in them, and were really beautiful.  I wish my photography was better.  Thea said she liked the bag.