Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

As 2009 comes to a close,
I'd like to say . . .

From my Happy Home to yours!!!
I wish you good health & happiness in 2010.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Wishes

Merry Christmas to you!!

May you find peace and contentment amidst the busyness of the season.

May you find time to sit in quiet reflection .

Hold close those you love so dearly.

Capture the moments with a photo (or two).

Remember what and who really matters ~ put your focus there.

The endless chores will get done ~ one way or another.

They always do ...

And if they don't, Christmas will go on.

It always does ...

And next year, and all the years to follow ~

Christmas 2009 will remain a warm & happy memory.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

A White Christmas Comes Early

We saw it all yesterday.
Rain, sleet,and by late afternoon it became
We recently had some trees pruned.
Several days later the arborists attached this sprig of real mistletoe to our front door with a note of thanks.
I had been keeping it on the door thinking the cooler air would keep it fresher until I found the perfect place inside to hang it.
This morning it lay on the welcome mat (I think there is a welcome mat under there somewhere).
My last head of lettuce.

Frosty broccoli and carrots.

The nandina is looking so Christmassy today.

A few days ago I was marvelling at how this geranium had just put out some new blooms.

I just read an article advising that we leave our hummingbird feeders up all winter as there is one type of hummer that winters here. I doubt they will be looking for a nip of nectar today.

My son's attempts at getting up our steep driveway last night weren't too successful. The car spent the night perched half way up. Not to worry because it will be melted in no time. I can already hear the drip, drip, drip of the ice melting off the branches.
It sure is going to be a festive backdrop to the Christmas carols that will be ringing through my house today as my kitchen becomes Cookie Central.
My thoughts are with all of you as we scurry about making our final preparations for Christmas day. May you find time amidst the busyness to pause and embrace the fleeting moments before they melt away.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What's Old is New Again

By the time I finished reading this thrift store book, it had seen better days.

As you can see it is pretty old, but it was a wonderful read.
"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"
Have you ever read it?

I considered re-thrifting (is that a word) it. I also considered throwing it away. That is until I saw a little decorating article in the local paper. They offered this tip.

Take an inexpensive old book and rip the covers and binding off of it.
Then start folding the pages back until you have . . .

A unique holder for your Christmas cards.
I chose to put a few of my favorite vintage angel cards in there.
They seem to fit in well with the old book feel.

Which also seems to work pretty well with my old vintage Shiny Brites.

Monday, December 14, 2009

We Have A Winner (or Two)

We're so happy this morning because we get to announce the winners of the giveaway. But first we'd like to say a great big thank you to dining room furniture for sponsoring this giveaway. Oh yes, and we would also like to thank all of you who entered. It was fun to read your comments, hear from old friends and new friends and even a lurker or two :-). So, without further delay . . .

The first winner of this sweet little snowman cake plate is Judy at
Just A Little Something For You. If you have not had the pleasure of visiting Judy yet, please do yourself a favor and stop by for a visit. She is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. Not to mention she has a real talent for creating beautiful gifts for others. Recently she transformed her garage into a beautiful dining room and hosted a family dinner party there. It was a stunning transformation and I was truly envious of her family members :-)

And, the winner of the second snowman cake plate is Sherri at Sherri's Jubilee.
If you haven't been to Sherri's blog yet, you are in for a real treat especially now as her home is beautifully decorated for Christmas. She is an avid reader and gardener and makes beautiful jewelry. She is practically my neighbor even though we have only met through our blogs.

Congratulations Judy & Sherri!!
Please e-mail me your addresses and I will forward them to dining room furniture and they will ship your prizes from there.

I truly do wish that I was able to send a prize to all of you who entered. Though that isn't possible I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to visit me and leave your sweet comments.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

In The Christmas Kitchen With a Giveaway

Tis the season for holiday baking.
When the weather outside gets chillier as the winter winds begin to blow ~ the warmth of the kitchen is more welcoming than ever.

What will you be baking this season?
Perhaps it will be a pie or two.
Which flavor says Christmas to you and yours?
Perhaps it's pumpkin, or apple ... maybe even mince meat.

Maybe cookies are more your style.
Christmas cookies hold many dear memories for me.
My mom always made many different varieties of cookies at Christmastime. Then they would all be placed into tins lined with wax paper and stored in the coat closet until it was time to make pretty plates of them to share with friends and neighbors.

Maybe you like to bake fancy little cakes and serve them to your friends with a warm and fragrant pot of tea.

You might even like to create beautiful masterpieces out of gingerbread.
Maybe the whole family works together on this kitchen project.

We recently visited the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC where the National Gingerbread House competition was taking place. I can only imagine the many hours the competitors spent in their cozy kitchens creating these masterpieces.

It doesn't matter whether we're baking a batch of cookies or a fancy gingerbread house. What really matters is the memories we are making and the love we add to our baking right along with the flour and butter.
For many years my sister & I would get together and bake Christmas cookies. We made many different varieties and stayed up long into the night mixing and sifting, baking and talking, sipping coffee and laughing.
While we can't get together and do that any more, I still have all my fond and rich memories of our fun times in the Christmas kitchen.

Once you finish your baking, you will undoubtedly want to show it off a little.

Can't you just picture your pie, cake or festive cookies sitting on top of this cute little snowman?
Well, guess what???
That's right ~ Giveaway Time!!

Recently I was asked if I would be interested in doing a giveaway to one of my readers. Of course I would because I really appreciate my readers. The hardest part for me was deciding on an item to giveaway from the many choices offered by dining room furniture.
I was amazed by the variety of wonderful items at this site. If you have never visited them, please take a moment to do so. They are nice people, in fact so nice that they are letting me giveaway
not 1, but 2 of these cutie pie snowman plates!!
So, if you would like to be entered in the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post before midnight on Sunday, December 13th. If you don't have a blog, please leave your e-mail address so that I can contact you. Once I choose the 2 winners, your prizes will be shipped directly from the company.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Goodbye November . . .

This year Thanksgiving was different in a good way. Normally we host it at our house, but this year my sister-in-law offered to take the hostess duties. They have a new house with a bigger kitchen and she was ready to put it to the test. I was quite happy to be the guest. It was thoroughly enjoyable to sit in my jammies through the entire parade. I did get up during the commercials (of which there were many :) to put the finishing touches on my contributions to the meal.

We even took a nice long walk before dinner.
That way there was a bit less guilt when it came time to eat these yummy desserts. My sister-in-law earned an A+ in her hostess duties.

~ A family picture ~
During dinner there was a big storm complete with thunder, lightening and hail. That seemed a bit odd for November. After a most delicious meal, we played games until it was time to say goodbye.

The rest of the weekend was spent Christmas decorating and checking up on the blog world (when my husband wasn't looking ;-). I had planned to post some Christmasy things around my home today, but the very dark and rainy weather outside wasn't conducive to good picture taking. Soooo, instead I put this in the crock pot. I have just recently discovered A Year of Slow Cooking. If you have never visited this blog, I suggest you head right over there for a visit. Such great crock pot recipes to save time in the kitchen at this busy time of year. It's so nice to come into the house after a busy day and smell dinner rather than have to think about what in the world I can throw together for dinner.

I hope your week is off to a good start.

*** See you in December ***

Monday, November 16, 2009

One Last Boat Ride Before Winter

A beautiful Sunday found me washing my car and my husband cleaning the boat in preparation for it's long winter nap. When he finished he came in the house asking if anyone was interested in one last boat ride?
Peanut couldn't get in the boat fast enough.
Would you like to join us? All aboard . . . here we go.

The sun was shining and the water was calm. No Dramamine needed today :-)

Look at all the sailboats.

If I lived in this house I think I would have trouble leaving that fabulous wraparound porch.

Here's another pretty house that sat out on a point. I can imagine it would be a great spot to watch the sun set.

The trees look so pretty when they reflect their autumn colors into the water.

Thanks for joining me on one last cruise before we sail into winter.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Last weekend we took a little trip to Tennessee. Normally this particular trip is a straight shot across I-40 which takes you through part of the Smoky Mountains. It is always a beautiful drive on a sunny day.
On this trip we were detoured off of I-40 due to a rock slide.

It was still a pretty drive, but the color change was nearing the end.

Tennessee was the place my parents retired to 21 years ago. Lots of happy memories were made by our family as we took our yearly family vacations here. The purpose of this visit was to attend a memorial concert at the church where my mom and dad were members. The concert was performed beautifully and when they finished with the hymn titled "The Holy City" I was moved to tears as I recalled my mom playing Tony Fontane's version of it over and over when I was a child.

We also took a walk through this little tunnel which leads to the walking trail that went by my parent's house.

There are new owners in the house now, but we felt so fortunate to be able to meet them. They moved to Tennessee from Michigan just like my parents did many years ago.

They were kind enough to invite us back to the house to see the changes they have made. I thought this fall display in the front yard was so cute. It was evident that they are very happy in the house and I know that would make my parents feel so good.

Since we were staying right near this antique mall, I felt the need to stop in and check it out ;-)

Now we are back home and it's time to think turkey.

As we all know Thanksgiving is right around the corner in America.

Our thoughts turn to roasting that big bird. . .

Harvesting our crops . . .
Cooking and baking . . .
Family & Friends.

This week we received our first Thanksgiving card. How nice to be thought of by family far away.

Have you seen these adorable stamps?
Perfect for sending a card to those special people who mean so much to you, but you won't be seeing this Thanksgiving.

Today I lit a cranberry candle and wrote out a list of the people in my life who I won't be with on Thanksgiving, but wish I were. Tomorrow I will pick out some special cards to send to them. The lessons I have been learning this year have taught me to never take anybody or anything for granted.

Have a beautiful weekend.