Friday, December 23, 2022


  It's all everyone is talking about, the cold, the wind, the snow (we have just 4 inches here but other places closer to Lake Michigan have much more) and the cold. Did I mention the cold? This little blue jay is all puffed up trying to stay warm as the birds are eating me out of house and home.  I want to open the door and let them all in the house.  I've heard from Brian in England, Jenny in Australia, our son checked in from the other side of the state.  The weather people have the maps all colored in pretty colors, and they are jabbering about nothing but telling people to go home and stay there.   Of course there are plenty of people out there who are invincible.  

Take care wherever you are and have a peaceful Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Tis the Season

This is probably the last post before Christmas because things are ramping up and so am I.  Baking is the name of the game around here. I ran out of room in the freezer so I put everything in coolers on the front porch because it's colder out there than in the freezer....and they are predicting (read: warning)   the coldest temperatures in 40 years for this weekend, starting Thursday. With blizzard conditions thrown in for good measure.  Why not?  I'm sure no one has anything to do this week, right?  Australia friends keep posting photos of your flowers and visits to the beaches and sleeveless arms and legs sticking out of shorts. It gives me hope.

Saturday, while this side of the state was getting 12 inches of snow, we were on the other side of Michigan with dry pavement and a few peeks of the sun.  We went to watch our Ceci in the Christmas extravaganza her dance studio/school performs each year.  This is her second year in the show and it is magnificent.  Completely professional in every way, lights, music, costumes, sets, we loved seeing her in several dances.

After the show she wore a snuggly onesie to keep warm while we had lunch to fortify her for the second performance.  She and our Adelaide are joined at the hip and we are all sorry they live 2 hours apart.
I had a bonus treat the other day when I went to the elementary school I go to to read to a class of first graders.  That day, Adelaide's orchestra was travelling to each elementary school for a Christmas concert and I just happened to be  here when she was.  She's in the blue hat on violin. It was a treat for both of us.
Highlights - of course meeting friends.  We had two friend dinners last week but I only remembered a photo for this one.  

And much, much fun we caught up on all the news in a two hour Christmas call with Brian (in England.)  Here, he is in Italy in September and since then he's been to Portugal and Budapest.  

PH is really climbing the mountain with this puzzle.  It's taken him longer than any.  I told him he has to have it finished and back in the box by Sunday so today while we watched the final January 6 congressional hearing on television he started to really power through. You can see from the photo on the box he's on the hardest part  - all red and white and points.  

I still have not picked up a needle but I AM thinking about it so there's forward progress.

                               Everyone, have a nice holiday weekend - whether it snows or not!

Friday, December 9, 2022

Seasonal bits

 Well, hello out there.  Even I am tired of looking at the horse blanket but there is just so much jollying  going on but not much to document so I've not been good about changing your view.

Baking. That's what 's been going on. Cookies, candy, bread, it's been like Disney's Fantasia in the kitchen and the freezer is on its way to being open-at-your-own-risk full.  But I put an audiobook in my ear and the time and chores just disappear.  So far I made 500 normal sized peppermint patties and when I realized I was going to run out and yet had a few parties to go to I made another batch but made the patties mini party sized.  That gave me another 200.  That worked very well. But I'm down to 24  normal sized mints and in my mind that means I've run out. Honestly, there just wasn't room in the refrigerator for anything once I had the patties in tins and stored.  Where do they all go? Well, it's my dish to pass at parties - three so far and one more to go - and gifting friends. It is so nice to be able to get together with our friends and be at gatherings again!

I had Elizabeth make a batch of seafoam (honeycomb) and it worked well for her.  She used a slightly bigger pan so the pieces weren't as deep as the ones I made. Australia Judy said there is an Australian candy made with bits of honeycomb and chocolate.  So when Elizabeth finished with the big pieces we put the broken bits and honey dust into the remaining chocolate and put them into a mold.  Yes, Judy, we should go into production!! Delicious.

I was just beginning to have a free shelf in the refrigerator till yesterday when I made peanut butter balls (buckeyes) and two batches of almond toffee. You don't want to know how much chocolate, butter, sugar and eggs I go through in these two months!!  

This year 've decided, too, to make the cookies mini in size because really, who needs the big size? There are two more to go, regular sugar cookies and the chocolate teddy bears which are formed not  cut out.  There was also some stollen made the other day.  I'm playing with what I put in it and this year did dates and the candied lemon and orange peel I made myself.  

About 2 months ago I dropped a cast iron doorstop on my foot and after the pretty colors went away I was left with a lump just about where the nail would go if I were to be crucified.  The whole thing didn't impede any walking in any way except the lump was exactly where the shoes hit the top of my foot.  After a couple of months I decided there was something going on in there because it wasn't going away itself and went to the doctor.  Sure enough there is a bone chipped.  He thinks if I don't aggravate it with shoes it might heal itself so for a few weeks this donut patch lifts the shoe just enough.  Artist Friend Barb couldn't resist adding the artwork.

I think she was modelling my foot patch after this guy.  He was maybe 10 feet away on the other side of the dining room window.  You can see to the right the branches of the felt tree I keep in the window.  This gentleman has 8 points. That's a puddle of corn at his feet and he found it.  We have a deer out back that has a broken back leg so I throw out a couple of cups of corn and hope she finds it.  Sometimes she does.  
PH once asked me if I wanted him to teach me how to sleep sitting up.  If I see he's out I put a blanket  over him.  This Santa was one of those sew it and stuff it pillow things we've had since the kids were tiny.  Stuffed up Santa eventually was a lost soul at Christmas.  We always brought him out but he kind of languished in a corner forgotten till it was time to pack it all up again.   A few years ago I split his seams, took the stuffing out and made this blanket front and back matched up reversible.  Forgotten no more, he is used every day during  the season. 

So, other than that?  No stitching whatsoever.  I packed it all away in the spare bedroom when the girls were going to be here before Thanksgiving and left it packed up.  I did take the butterflies out of the to-do basket because this is what I'll start on soon as I feel like it.  It's the only thing layered and ready and so won't make a mess till I'm feeling like piecing again come January. Oh! And I did finish a baby quilt  before mid-November but can't find a photo.  I can't believe I didn't take a  picture! 

So that's it in a nut basket.  Hope your holiday preps are going smoothly and you even choose to let something go.