Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Year Ends

This was a very good year.  
I am looking back on it and remembering all the things I did, some of the things I didn't do , some things I wish I had done.  
I'm glad I did my day by day posts, I'm glad I had a good garden.  I'm glad I had vacations and visits and company.  
I'm glad that I had everyday days.
I want more of them.
It has been so cold this fall heading into winter Jim hasn't done much work.  They don't work Fridays in the winter which meant long weekends at home for projects and enjoying family visits.  

We started that vacation with our daughter coming back home from college.  Even if she didn't come from very far, there is a familiar coat hanging on the hooks.

Jim's sister came to visit and she has been longing to paint the living room so that was in the plan, but first we had all three boys during mom's volunteer time. 
Those lower shelves have two baskets that hold my cookie cutters and various other small tools and trinkets, and make a lovely noise when dumped and great play toys as well.

 I was glad for the chance to take everything off the walls and make a fresh start.  I have wanted to paint that mirror forever, and finally got around to it with the painting fever going on.

Lynette's choice for a holiday treat were these cinnamon roll pancakes that are making their way around pinterest.  They were pretty easy to make, but we had a hard time with the melted butter and cinnamon in the bag.  At first it was too hot to hold, and then after cooling was too stiff to squeeze nicely onto the pancakes.  And the taste?  Only ok.  

Jim's sister brought us Spam for a treat.  I know people make fun of it.  We ate a lot of it when I was a kid.  I know I liked it then.  She says buy the real thing or else,
(you will regret it)

I made cut-out cookies to take to Lorene's for supper on Christmas day.  I haven't made any for a few years.  They were a family tradition when I was a kid, and when my kids were little. They were raised with soft cookies and some of these must have been thinner than others.  Who wouldn't want to find this note among the cookies? 

Christmas day was a nice day.  A beautiful day for the time of year and since we've had more below freezing days than not since the middle of November.  The temperature was in the 40s so Zane got his birthday present early and had one good days of jumping before the temps plunged again.  

December 29th.  A lovely fall of snow, but after my folks got here the next day, the wind blew all that snow around.  I'm glad I have a built in snow removal system.  

Mother/Daughter lunch date with our favorite.  Lo Mein.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Day by Day--November

I love this reminder of my days.
I'm not sure I want to do it another year.  I need another idea.  
And some self-discipline.
Some of these photos are rather lame.
The photos of people this month aren't very good. The main reason it that I don't have a very good camera, another is that I could remember to put the setting on 'active', the last reason, is those boys are active.  

2. Lynette's first pumpkin pie, using prepared pie crust (mine), all by herself.
3. 'Family' garland that came with a crafty weekend invitation with a special friend.
4. Pretty much self-explanatory.
5. This doctor's appointment marks the start of a battle on a decade's old plantar's wart.
6. Sunrise, I know, again.  The sunrise every morning is one of my favorite things about this place.
7. This is what happens when you try to get a 3-year old and a 1-year old in the same place at the same time to look the same way to get a photo,
8. I love my big wooden spoon.  I love how water and big spoons entertain toddlers for a long time.
9. My daughter's dorm.  We pick her up there every Sunday morning.
10. A box is one of the best toys ever for pre-schoolers.
11. Snow!! It's only November!!
12. The camera is in the hands of a one-year old!
13. Painting fabric paint on the bottom of my felted slippers is supposed to keep them from wearing out.
14. 8 degrees seems so cold for November.
15. This lovely card and candy from a dear friend on our crafty weekend.  (and where are the photos from the crafty weekend?, who knows? I think I was too busy playing not clicking.)
16. Now it's -3 degrees!!!  I am not ready for January weather in November.
17. Our favorite card game. 
18. This photo really belong to the crafty weekend, but I'm scrambling for photos in a few spots. This house is as cute inside as out. And I even got to stay there and look all around.
19. Sunrise through the apple tree.  I just love to see the sky on fire.
20. I forgot to take a photo of my actual sewing machine that was deemed unfixable in the hands of the repairman.  The tension knob was broken, and the stitch length adjuster (which had never worked properly) was frozen and broke. So, it is no longer with us. It was about 50 years old.  I am saddened, this is the kind of machine I learned to sew on, mom remembers sewing my baby clothes on it.  My machine was my sister-in-laws graduation present.  It was used then.  
21. Barry is in one of those cloth bins.  
22. I love the mindless watching of these bubble thingys.  I remember when I was a kid I would watch the bubble rise in a bottle of Cornhusker Lotion. It was thick and glutinous and worked just like these things.  I wonder if either are ever around anymore.
23. What I've been reading.  This is a good synopsis of the events running up to and through D-Day.  It also is a stark reminder of just how close we came to losing everything.
24. Love this scarf.  No pattern, just a picture and some measurements. One daughter's request.
25. I seriously love little boys in little mittens drinking from little mugs.
26. The boys decorated cupcakes at home for Thanksgiving while we were in Indiana.
27. Turkey, my favorite for thanksgiving. Except for the stuffing.
28. Covered bridge in Indiana.
29. Mississippi River Bridge.
30. I was getting desperate for filler.  It is too had to get state signs when you are going over rivers.  
1. Finished fancy knit baby afghan.  I love to work the patterns on these.
2. Me, by Barry. Ugh.
3. Scarf for my other daughter. Griffyndor. 
4. I closed out my safety deposit box, after months of wondering where on earth I put the second key.  I was resigned to pay for the missing key, but I found it by chance.  
5. Look very, very closely and you can see the fluttering hands over the keys.
6. 'Aren't you glad we're here to help you eat all these cookies you baked, Gramma?' Somewhere there is supposed to be a photo of the cookies we baked.  hmmm

Sigh, this didn't get downloaded on to the computer the first time around.  So, here it is.  Decorated by the illustrious company of Zane and Barry. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Giving Thanks

I have just discovered it is past time for another day by day post.   '
I really wanted to tell my story about Thanksgiving first.  
Tell, not show, you'll find out why later.  

We went to Indiana to be with the Troyers for the holiday.  I like to take trips with my husband, we enjoy the visiting time and seeing new places.  
Seeing new places isn't nearly as exciting in late fall when everything is dull colored under cloudy skies.  And trips aren't nearly as exciting when driving through a state and a half with snowy wet roads at 31 degrees and visibility less than a mile.  
We got there unscathed, because we are old and cautious, not wanting to end up like some of those zipping past us that end up in the median later on in the day.  
It is lovely to be with new friends and to see new houses, new ideas for decorating, new traditions for the day, and eat lots of good food.
We had turkey there, just like we do at home.
It was stuffed--I haven't had that before.
We had mashed potatoes and gravy--check
Green beans with onions--we usually do that casserole with the fried onions on top.
Cheezy noodles--that was a new one but a keeper recipe anyhow.
Bread and buns with jelly and butter--check. 
What we didn't have:
black olives
sweet potatoes
We still stuffed ourselves beyond capacity, visited long around the table, washed the dishes (by hand, mind you, the dishwasher was broken), staggered into the living room and waited to be empty enough for pie.  
Now pie, that's tradition.  
We had pumpkin--I brought that.
And apple--brought that, too.
Cherry--yep, used to that.
Pecan pie--I've seen it, and only one bite ever has made it into my mouth.
Raisin--not sure about that one.  

I forgot to mention the table.  It was beautiful.  The lady of the house set it beautifully with a lovely set of dishes.  We had cheese cake in goblets, date pudding in pink depression glass bowls, sparkling grape juice in another goblet and a water glass.  
I had a lovely photograph of my table setting, but here is the only sadness of the whole trip.  When we were out driving around to see the country, on our way back, I got flustered and deleted all the pictures off my camera. 
(and I had no other battery for my other camera, it was at home)
There are no perfect pictures of one table setting with the turkey behind.  There is no photo of the longest covered bridge in the world.  There is no picture of the sunset that day.  
What I do have is not perfect, I took a few after the deletion, had a few on another camera and got a few off Jim's phone, but I was rather demoralized after all that.  

We really had a lovely time, we felt at home, these people fit in our lives just like...
well, I was going to say an old shoe, but that sounds kind of bad, or family, but you just take what you get there.  
Really, they are just our kind of folks.  
That's the best kind. 

This. Is. All, I. Have.
Dinner time

Beautiful dishes.

Madison, Indiana--tree city.  
The first tree grew out of the root itself, Now, they plant one.

We saw the cutest ever soap shop!

 Covered bridge, one of four in their county.

Over the Mississippi

We really did go out of state!