Friday, December 27, 2019


Wow.  Another year in the books.  Our weekend with our family happened the weekend before Christmas and we had a great time - good food, sleepovers, runs in the woods searching for signs of deer,  good food again, lots of cookies, no one was sick.  Here in chronological order starting Friday the 20th and ending Christmas eve.

 The quilts were a hit with the girls, and I am getting word that lots of snuggling is going on at home.

 Gone are the days when they used to tuck the babies in - now it's their turn for happy naps.

 Adelaide takes part in the children's Christmas Eve choir at church.

 My brother, sister and I at my brother's house on Christmas Eve, along with nieces, nephews, etc.  We take this shot - and this pose - every year and someone always makes a joke just before we snap the picture.  Of course, now everyone has their phones out and captures the moment.  
 You had to be there.
He is testing out the chapstick.

OK,  from this, a whole week later, it seems like a long time ago!  But PH and I are still sharing moments and memories.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019


May the actual event exceed your anticipationImage result for vintage christmas images black and white

Saturday, December 14, 2019

December days

'Tis the season where we gather around food with friends and we are no exception.  The baking, cooking and passing out of goodies - well, sometimes I need to press the pause button and just be the guest. 
     That's what made lunch with Friend Laurie so relaxing.  We took ourselves to a nice little spot in town and had something delicious for lunch and talked and talked.
 After lunch I showed off our new walking bridge that spans the river that runs through town and connects two parks, one brand new.  This is the new jewel in Lowell's crown.  On one side we have a new interpretive log cabin highlighting the fur trading that put Lowell on the map, new pickle ball courts, playground and concession building.  Just about all you can ask for until you walk this gorgeous pedestrian bridge across the river and find another park for soccer and ball games. 
 The Lowell Museum was gifted a beautiful doll house over 20 years in the making. 
 And sure enough, the room I liked best was the kitchen.  There are cookies in the oven, doughnuts on the butcher block table, aprons and cakes. 
 You could almost step into this house and make yourself comfortable.
 Last night along the riverfront, what I often refer to as Lowell's front porch, the city again hosted an evening with Santa.  For several years our daughter and son-in-law roasted chestnuts and sold paper cones of them.   I wish you could smell them.  
 This year the weather was perfect.  No rain, snow, freezing temperatures.  It was a perfect evening to come, meander, take your kids to see Santa, have a free hot dog, cookie and hot chocolate and enjoy what the city has to offer.   There is always something going on here and it's always just nice.
 The kids could hardly take a break from the chestnut crowd.  They barely had time to look up, and couldn't even offer samples to the people in line to see Santa.  They cooked and sold and I'll bet they came home smelling pretty good!
    Look at this crowd!  These people are all waiting to see Santa.  This riverfront walk is, as I said, Lowell's front porch.  This is where things happen, where people come together.  Next year the new Showboat will once again be the backdrop.

 It isn't always about food.  Sometimes it's about school programs.  Our Adelaide was part of the high school's musical revue.  Two days earlier Elizabeth's orchestra performed their concert. 

    And this little kitty is a gift from Friend Laurie.  She is into making itsy bitsy critters. She didn't know what I would do with it, but I think this is a pretty good spot for her.  She has a beautiful red velvet heart.  Maybe she will be a pin some days.
      I hope your December days are just as much fun and delicious as they can be.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Everything is better with butter

Wow.  Time sure flies when you're having fun. Last post was leading up to Thanksgiving and now we're a couple of weeks gone. It's the time of year for just about everything to come to a head in three short weeks.  Shopping, baking, wrapping, school concerts, Santa visits and parades,  family gatherings with people we might see just once a year, and sadly, for some good friends, hospital vigils. 

Today, though, I took some time to make butter.  Why, you ask?  Well, Elizabeth came home from school last week and told me she made butter in science class.  You know, something in one form changes to another sort of lesson.  She said it took about an hour to shake that cream in a jar.    Then, I indulged in some couch time and watched Alton Brown.  He was making clotted cream.  Pretty close to butter if you don't agitate it.  So I was intrigued and decided to try it because how often does the same idea come to you in a couple of days?

I thought using the stand mixer would be better than shaking a jar but I was wrong.  It took forever and never did clot. Forever.  And ever.

So yesterday when the kids were here for dinner I told my tale of mixer woe and Elizabeth said I had to use a jar and just shake it till my arms fell off and eventually you will feel and hear that it "changed."

So, today,

 I bought a pint of heavy whipping cream and started shaking while watching the impeachment proceedings.  This was good.  I didn't need to even think about how hard to agitate the jar.  It just kind of happened by happenstance.
 And sure enough, after about 25 minutes, certainly not the hour Elizabeth said it would, it changed into a clump of curds.
 I rinsed and rinsed till the water ran clear,
 put it in a bowl, added a pinch of salt and squooshed it together and
voila!  Creaminess, smooth, tasty butter.  I wish I had bread in the house.  Oh, wait!
I remember we have a loaf of homemade Latvian bread in the freezer, a gift from friends Aina and Terry.  Now this is good, folks.  Fresh, creamy light butter on toasted home made bread.  For very little effort.  The possibilities are endless.