Friday, December 30, 2011


We finally got some snow cover.
Too bad Friendie and Grammie have colds....
or we would be out doing this!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Missing Minnesota Boy

One son didn't get to come home for Christmas.
He moved to CO this past summer.
He is working 3 part time jobs (although teaching snowboarding doesn't really seem like work).

Back in October, when I went to my Quilt Retreat, I stopped at our local quilt shop before leaving town.
I spotted a quilt made up by a local quilter using 2011 Minnesota fabrics.

I decided it would make a great quilt for my Minnesota Boy.
So I made it for him for Christmas.

 I sent it to him and he opened it on Christmas eve.
He was all alone...with the cats...and sounded pretty lonesome.
I am sure he (and the cats) enjoyed wrapping up in his Minkee backed quilt.

Jill Fischer designed this quilt pattern.
She also machine quilted it for me.
She does lovely work.
(When her website is up again, I will share her link)

I made asked her to pose for a photo...
and sign my pattern.  :)

I added a large border so it would fit my 6'2 Minnesota Boy.

And in case you are wondering why I call him my Minnesota Boy....

one summer, while on a road trip with his cousin, he came home with this...
on his thigh! really is that large....
kids now days....
gotta love em!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Meet My Family

My family in 2011.
You never know what a new year will bring!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
The house is back in order after last evenings festivities....
and now we are heading North to celebrate with our married son and his wife!
Let us all remember the reason for this Christmas season!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yarn Along

I am finally able to join with Ginny in the Yarn Along today.
These little gifts are on their way to two little sweeties.
The leg warmers were just a random 30 stitch K2 P2 pattern.
The little booties are a free pattern that I got here.
Both simple....
and simple is good!

I am so enjoying this little book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young.
I hope Sarah wont mind me sharing just one page from her book.
December 21
My plan for your life is unfolding before you.  Sometimes the road you are traveling seems blocked, or it opens up so painfully slowly that you must hold yourself back.  Then, when time is right, the way before you suddenly clears--through no effort of your own.  What you have longed for and worked for I present to you freely, as pure gift.  You feel awed by the ease with which I operate in the world, and you glimpse My Power and My Glory.
Do not fear your weakness, for it is the stage on which My Power and Glory perform most brilliantly.  As you persevere along the path I have prepared for you, depending on My strength to sustain you, expect to see miracles--and you will.  Miracles are not always visible to the naked eye, but those who live by faith can see them clearly.  Living by faith, rather than sight, enables you to see My Glory.

Psalm 63:2; 2 Corinthians 5:7; John 11:40

Merry Christmas Friends!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Counting Down The Days

Yes my friends, this is Christmas week!
We have been enjoying some concerts, plays and gatherings of friends and family.
I have been finishing up some gifts.
I haven't made one. single. sweet. ....yet.  Emily and I will do that once her school break begins.

Are you ready?

Thursday, December 15, 2011


We are in the middle of Christmas preparations.
I am loving every minute of it.
Even if neither of my boys will be home for Christmas this year.
(boo hoo)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mice, Stockings and Mom and Dad

My daughter called with some bad news.
Mice had found their way into her Christmas decorations.
It appears they have been living there for a long time.
Every thing that was fabric was chewed up,
and everything that wasn't fabric had "moisture" damage.

 Dad immediately got on the internet and researched the best way to take care of the rodent issue.
He has been quite successful.

A snowman runner that I had made her the Christmas we weren't together was ruined....
so were their Christmas stockings.

Even though I still have the pattern for that snowman runner....
I made 5 of them....
total burn out!

I knew I could replace their Christmas stockings pretty easily.
So yesterday I came up with these.

They are reversible.
She didn't think she wanted names on them,
but I can still add them if she changes her mind.

Take that you nasty mice!!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Second Week

Once I have lit the second candle of our Advent wreath, I know it is time to get the Christmas cards in the mail.

The photo is ready.
The letter is written.
The envelopes are still blank.

Good thing there are two more days before we light the next candle!

I have 3 quilts that need binding.
I just have to make myself work on them.
Tonight a few friends are coming over to work on Christmas projects.
Tonight the binding will be pleasant.  :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Shout Out For Old Gate's Farm!

I really like homemade soap.
I like it a lot.

My supply was getting low.
Very low.

Three nights ago I decided to order some soap.
I follow the Old Gate's Farm blog.
They make and sell soap.
The rustic look sucked me in. :)

It was my very first Esty experience.
Total rookie!
I placed an order.
I wanted two of each soap.
I only ordered one.
I sent an email to Kris.
She set up an Etsy special order listing for me.
Not only did she adjust the shipping, but she must have packaged my order and mailed it at dawn's first light!!!   :)

Three nights ago I ordered soap.
Now that is customer service!!!!

Its not too late to get some stocking stuffers my friends!

Doodle Stitching 17 Cents

On Black Friday I did a little gift exploration on
I was watching a couple of the Lightning Specials, put them in my Cart, but ended up removing them before the 20 minute purchase time was up.

A few days later I received an email from Amazon.
Because of a glitch in the system, some Black Friday shoppers were unable to purchase the Lightning Specials they had in their Cart.

Because I had moved a couple items into my Cart, the computer must have decided I was entitled to their "Glitch" apology. 

Amazon put $10 in my account!
I had 5 days to use it.
It had to be used on an item that is distributed by

I knew what I wanted.
It cost $10.17.....
so my part was the 17 cents!

Merry Christmas to me!!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Soup's On

I had some ground beef....
and it felt like a soup day.

I dug out a new recipe.
I thought it was tasty...
so I will pass the recipe on to you!

Spicy Potato Soup

1 pound ground beef
4 cups cubed peeled potatoes
1 small onion, chopped
3 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
4 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

In a large Dutch oven or soup kettle, brown ground beef; drain.  Add potatoes, onion and tomato sauce.  Stir in water, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 hour or until the potatoes are tender and the soup has thickened. 
Yield:  6-8 serves (2 quarts).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

In Others' Words

Enthusiasm is easier than obedience.
~Michael Griffith~

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hot Water Drinks

Today was a good day to mix up our winter supply of hot water drinks.
My husband likes his "Russian" Tea.
The rest of us like Hot Cocoa.
Both are good for warming you up on a chilly day!

Hot Cocoa Mix

2 1/2 cups powdered milk
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 cup cocoa powder

I fill the cup about a quarter to a third full of dry mix and then add boiling water.
Don't forget to top it off with marshmallows!

Russian Tea

Equal parts Tang  (an instant orange flavored breakfast drink in powdered form)  and lemon flavored ice tea mix
I just guess on the spices....sorry I can't be more specific.
The gallon container I filled had 2 1/2 teaspoons of the allspice and cloves and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon.

He uses a cinnamon stick to stir it and that gives the drink even more cinnamon flavor.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Handel Messiah

What makes choir boys so happy?

Listening to Handel's Messiah.....
found today in MINT CONDITION at a brief stop at the thrift store!
I don't want to boast about the cost....
but the loose change in my car's cup holder covered it.

Now I wish I had my music score from days gone by.....
I could sing along!
(When no one is listening)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Coconut Obsession

We woke up to a light dusting of snow.
It made me think of the large bag of fluffy white coconut sitting on my table. 
The coconut that did NOT get used yesterday because the Nutty Apple Muffins did NOT get made during nap time.  :(
Christmas decorating without my 'helper' took priority.

So today I am in the mood for coconut and chocolate!
After totally tearing apart my not so organized recipe cupboard....
I found it!




No Bake Fudgy Oat Cookies

2 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine oats and coconut - set aside.
In a saucepan, combine milk and butter.  Stir in sugar and cocoa; bring to a boil.  Add oat mixture, stirring constantly; cook for 1 min.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
Drop by rounded Tablespoon onto wax paper.
Yield about 3 dozen.

I will continue to be obsessed with that bag of coconut, so I might as well get this over with  ;)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What's Baking?

Just taking a break from my Christmas decorating to share the recipe that I am going to be making during Friendie's nap today.

I couldn't resist a box of assorted vintage Christmas cards, so today I am sharing this little cutie:

A recipe for a very Merry Christmas:
Take a heaping measure of happiness
 and add a cup of good cheer
Then season with spice for a day that's extra-nice
To remember all through the year.

Nutty Apple Muffins

1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup 2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups diced peeled apples
1 12 cups chopped walnuts
3/4 cup flaked coconut

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.  In another bowl, beat eggs, sugar and oil.  Stir in apples, nuts and coconut.  Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fill 18 greased muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday's Secrets

This was suppose to be my "Black Friday" project.
It didn't happen.
So I planned it for Saturday.....
I didn't even attempt Sunday.
Monday morning I got up determined to do it....
and I did!

I can not show the final project yet....
it is a secret.  :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday - - No Thank You

I stayed home today.

No Black Friday shopping for me.

Maybe I have no sense of adventure.

Maybe I am just getting old.

Snow is in the forecast.
So I packed away the autumn decorations...
and added some winter fun to our front porch.

Our friends gave me permission to cut some pine branches from their property.
I was excited to find them with pine cones still attached.

I decided to go with the old toy theme this year.

Our elderly neighbor gave us this sled before she moved to assisted living last year.
I found the skates with the wooden blade guards at the Goodwill....
both are repeat decorations from last year.

This little electric lantern came from the Goodwill...
I especially like the flickering bulb.

Now it just needs a light dusting of snow!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Walking On Thin Ice

This is our 10th Thanksgiving here in Minnesota.
I will always remember our first year here.

We live on a recreational lake.
There is a channel that connects two small lakes.
It is just on the other side of our property.
The channel does not freeze over. 

Because there is always some open water, the waterfowl that do not migrate can be found nearby.
They stick around until the ice houses start showing up.
Right now the ice is very thin.
But there have been years that ice houses are in place long before now.
Over the years we have observed there is one very coveted spot on the lake.

10 years ago there was a beautiful new ice house sitting within the view of my kitchen window.  Someone had pulled it out there behind their pickup truck....then went off to enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner.

Now it was our first year in a new community....and my husband was "on-call".  So our first year here I made a huge Thanksgiving dinner for just my own little family.
I spent MANY hours in my kitchen....
cleaning up.
(You know the drill)

The sun was shining and the temperature was was a beautiful day.
A beautiful day unless you parked your new ice house on the coveted spot on our lake.
I watched it slowly sink....
all day long.

The next day there was a photo and interview in the paper....
that happens in small town USA.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Now What Did I Find At The Goodwill?

My youngest daughter is going to be so excited!

I found her a portable sewing machine.
(The machine she got from her great-grandma is in a cabinet)

I needed to order some bobbins before I could see if it worked....
they came yesterday.

The machine is 26 years old....
is really clean....
works great...
and came with 2 manuals.

I know Emily is going to love it!

And I love that it only cost $25.99!

I will pull it out next time she is in the sewing mood....
which rumor has it will be this upcoming weekend.  ;)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lemon Thyme

It sits in my window....

waiting to be used...

waiting a long 'thyme'.

I found a bread recipe on Emily Fay's blog that I am eager to try...
but first I need to buy some fresh lemons.

What would you do if you had a lovely container of Lemon Thyme growing in your window?

Friday, November 18, 2011


I am sorry if my previous post sounded a little 'Scrooge like'.
I am all for reducing the stress of the Christmas season by some advanced preparations....
I just won't decorate or pull out the Christmas music until Thanksgiving has passed.

I have ordered our fresh trees and have requested they don't get delivered until as close to the end of November as possible....but there are no guarantees.
I have also picked up some vintage Christmas items at the Goodwill this past month....
including a box of cards that I think I will incorporate into my decorating this year.

I am also working on a couple gifts....but I know my that list isn't very long this year.
I really won't be a "Scrooge".....once December rolls around.  :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lost In The Shuffle

I went out yesterday.
Each stop had Christmas decorations already on display.
Some were playing Christmas carols.

I really hate that!
What happened to THANKSGIVING????

Thanksgiving will not be lost in the shuffle in our home!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thank You Friend!

A friend stopped by with a treat....

because I have been 'under the weather'.

I am sure that is why I am feeling better today!

Thanks Angela!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


The weather was perfect for a walk among the flags.
There are 1700 local Veteran's whose families have honored them with an American Flag.  
They are all over town.

Each flag has a name and military information.

I paused to honor ours.

Thank you to all who have served and to those who continue to protect our freedom.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hansel and Gretel Lost In The Woods?

I had just vacuumed the floors.
So what was this mysterious trail that lead through my kitchen to the closed door of the toy closet?

It got bigger the closer I got...

I was wondering where my jar of egg shells ended up!

A jar that was once full!

Oh "Hansel".....
enjoy your egg shell play....
because tomorrow "The Witch"  "Grammie Gretel" will do a better job of hiding them!

(I saved egg shells to add to my garden soil...
until I found out our dog dug up the garden soil to eat the shells!)