December 26, 2010

White Christmas

I guess all those years of watching "White Christmas" finally paid off! We had a beautiful white Christmas this year! Luckily the snow didn't start falling until the afternoon, so we were able to see Mom safely home and then come back safely to our home! The picture above is from last night, off of our back deck.

This was the view from our front door. You can hardly tell that's a Moravian star hanging there to the left! I think we got somewhere between three to six inches - it is up for debate in our house!

I was hoping to get a picture of the steps, but I wasn't willing to hang myself out there that much! I don't think we've gotten above freezing today and I am officially freezing in this house! The kids are going out there to walk around and take in the sights, but I am content to sit on the couch and watch them take in the sights!
Here's a really lousy picture of the 'Divine Miss M's' quilt. I gave it to her on Christmas eve. I don't know if she liked it or not. It's really hard for a two year old to get hyped up over a quilt, but especially when she's trying to wake up from her nap. Plus she was really counting on a roller coaster - I know, I know, it was as big a surprise to me as it was to her parents! I don't see one in the back yard. Santa must have thought twice about it!
I hope everybody had a nice Christmas. We had a very nice, low key day. I was a little leery of how it would all turn out. We, like everybody else in the world, were short on extra cash for Christmas spending. This year has been quite busy and thinking of Christmas gifts or making Christmas gifts were put off until it was almost too late. Then with both of the kids getting the flu, it was difficult to get anything done around here. Luckily, the kids were very careful selecting what they wanted for Christmas and provided some excellent lists for Santa. They also did an excellent job with what little money they had to get gifts for RL and me. I was so proud of them. I think we all had a wonderful day and enjoyed everything we received, especially since so much thought went into it. In the next few days I'll try to post some pictures of the beautiful handmade gifts I've received from my on-line buddies. I was so surprised and pleased to even be thought of let alone receive the beautiful gifts they put time into. Thank you! In the meantime, enjoy your time off work and Happy New Year!

December 21, 2010

T'was The Week Before Christmas.....

... and the little ones were full of hope.
See, Ginger doesn't always look like she hates us!
Most of the time, yes, but on that rare occasion.....

My children are ill. Both of them - hit right upside the head by the flu. First L fell and fell hard. We weren't sure if it was a cold or strep. I took him to the doctor when he said he felt horrible. L doesn't complain a whole lot and when he does you really have to listen. So, off we went to the doctor to hear he had the flu and a temperature. He kind of went into hibernation mode, nursing a bottle of Gatorade. He still sounds like he could cough a lung up, but he is getting better every single day. I think I detected a wee bit of cabin fever yesterday. It's been a little over a week now, so I am glad to see little signs of improvement every single day. R was going to stay well. We got her going on Vitamin C and lots and lots of hopes and prayers that she wouldn't fall next. Boy, did she ever fall - and hard! That kid has been knocked on her butt! We have found NyQuil and DayQuil and sing praises! She slept last night for the first time without coughing all night long.

Before she fell, she made these beautiful snowflakes. They are hanging now in the living room from the ceiling. Ginger had NO idea what to think when she first saw them twirling around. They are nice. A little understated than the paper chains we had last year, but understated is a good thing! A very good thing!

Before both of them fell, RL had a party at work and volunteered cupcakes. I don't know what he had in mind, but I had seen some cupcakes online somewhere that looked good. I couldn't find the red and white striped cupcake cups they had used in the original picture I saw, so I settled for these.
We made chocolate cupcakes and iced them with our regular homemade icing with just a touch of peppermint. Then R came into the kitchen and suggested we add a little bit of pink in the icing bag so the icing would come out looking sort of airbrushed. I think it turned out very nice! We then crushed candy canes and sprinkled that on top.

They were very good and refreshing. How do I know? Do you think I'm going to let something that looks this good go out the door without trying it? You know me better than that!

Since everybody is feeling puny, we have decided to wait on fixing all the Christmas goodies until they actually feel up to eating them. Sore throats are getting in the way of that right now. I think fudge without nuts would be fairly easy to get down, don't you?

In the meantime - you better be good because Santa's watching you! Or maybe some of his elves just never know!

December 17, 2010

Ready or Not - Here it Comes!!!!

I have come to terms with it. Christmas is coming whether I am ready or not. Christmas cards are slowly trickling out. We had great plans to make our own only to have other things get in the way and have to resort to store bought cards. Maybe next year we'll have it all together. It could happen. The house will never be clean enough to suit me, so I am trying to step over the 'little stuff' and move the 'bigger stuff' until I get some Christmas things finished. I've got to check the stocking stuffers to make sure we are 'even'. Don't want uneven stocking stuffers between the kids! Orders are slowly trickling in. We're still waiting for one. Wouldn't you know, it's one that needs some further work!
We never did make it to the dentist on Wednesday. We had a sick boy, so I called and cancelled. He continued to get sicker so I called our doctor who said he could see him the next morning. Thank goodness! What started out as a sore throat and a slight cough, turned into a 102 temp and more coughing. He has the flu. I knew I should have taken him in for his shot. Bummer. We just couldn't get him to a 'good spot' to take him and now he has to suffer. Poor kid. I think he's feeling a little better now that his fever has broken and he's chugging gatorade like there's no tomorrow. It's also given him a chance to watch all the DVDs of 'Firefly' that he's been wanting to see again. Add to that a native Floridian who has NO FREAKIN' IDEA how to drive in ice and had to drive in ice yesterday to get to the doctor and you'll have an idea how our week is going!
I also need to properly thank some people for some wonderful gifts that have come my way. I haven't forgotten and I will thank you! I have really been blessed with some thoughtful and talented friends. I'll take pictures soon and post them so you can see just how talented they are.
Oh - I made the Divine Miss M a rag quilt for Christmas and I need to take pictures of that too. She used to be Little Miss M, but she started REALLY developing a personality, so the kids now refer to her as the Divine Miss M. Somehow it is more fitting!
Happy Holiday Crafting!

December 13, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

With a windchill in the teens today, I figured it was a good time to clean the house and update the old blog. The house will never be clean, so I took a blog break! That's at least something I can accomplish!

The Christmas elf has been baking! The cookies in the above picture were GREAT! They had peanut butter in the middle and chocolate on the outside. They made a small batch and that was probably a good thing!
These are also fabulous cookies that the Christmas Cookie Elf makes. I sure hope Santa brings jeans in a bigger size this year!

Our Christmas parade was this weekend. It was such a dreary day! I thought nobody would show. We normally have a huge parade, but this year it was kind of sparse. We live close to the parade route and have gotten there so early in years past to just stand and freeze. This year we decided to leave a little later and missed some of it! Bummer! I guess the marchers were cold and wanted to get the show on the road! The sun did peek out for a short while and made the parade bearable.

We had a little something for everybody.

Big old flashy cars with flames!

Tiny new cars with three wheels.

Sheep! Perfect for the knitter!

Jeeps for the Army and WWII buffs.
That reminded us to go by the memorial at the park before we headed for home.

The town puts wreaths on the tributes. Makes it even more special than usual.

And then, on the walk home, the Christmas cookie elf/photographer/knitter got a little distracted and wanted to follow the sheep home. What am I going to do with that girl????

Thanks for your input regarding our dental dilemma. L has a post-op appointment on Wednesday. That will be his last visit with that dentist.

December 4, 2010

Gross, Isn't It?

What fun we have had this week! We were going along okay - nothing exciting, but nothing dull. Then L tells me Wednesday that his jaw is bothering him. I asked him if it was the same jaw his wisdom tooth was removed from last November. Yes. Hmmm. I told him to let me know in the morning how he was feeling. The next morning he was really complaining. He could hardly open his mouth and it appeared he had a small opening in the gum area where his wisdom tooth had been removed. We have an interesting dentist. He works Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. He closes on Thursday at 2:00. I called him at 1:20 to see if they could possibly see L because he wasn't in any shape to get through the weekend. We rushed like idiots to the office. We got there and they took him back right away. Turns out he had a build up of infection in that area. Then the dentist comes out and tells me that a 'fragment' of either bone or tooth was caught in that area and he had to open it up and take it out. He filed down the jaw a little and then stitched it up. Okay. I understand that sometimes happens. Then I got a lecture about how if I had brought him in for his yearly cleaning they might have been able to catch it sooner. Okay, okay. I'll take my scolding. Then I went back to pay for it. $300. Hmmm, really? The dentist left the area and L tells me he has a souvenir to show me. He asked the assistant if he could keep the 'fragment' and she told him he could. That little 'fragment' you see in the picture was what was in his jaw. Can you believe it? No wonder he was in pain! The dentist left that in his jaw during his wisdom tooth extraction! It was trying to work it's way back out and that's where the infection, pain and hole all came from! Needless to say, we will be looking for a new dentist - SOON!

November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving (a day late)

We're kind of laying low today. Lots of work for the big day and lots of eating has left us with no desire for anything else. How did your day go? Here's a brief run down of our day.
Every year RL makes the dressing. One of us mans the toaster while one of us chops up everything else that goes into it. For years RL has stacked the toast like a house of cards so the toast would stay dried out. This year R had to step it up! She made "Toast Towers"! The toast was cut to lock into the other pieces and then a flag was made to finish it. 'If a job is worth doing - it is worth doing all the way' is her motto!

Here are the chocolate chip pies I made. These are my favorite. Notice the lovely crusts that our toast tower builder made. No store bought crusts for that girl!

This was her lovely creation for Mom. Mom has always loved mincemeat pie, so R made the mincemeat from scratch and then made a beautiful pie crust to go on top. I think she said it was a shaker weave pattern. Once again - all the way and over the top!

RLs favorite - pumpkin pie, with the necessary 'testing spot' in the center! L had decided no sweets for him so he passed on the pies this year. What will power! Wonder if he could loan some to me for Christmas!?!

Here's the pie crust for the chocolate chip pie before the chocolate chip goodness got into it.

It's not ALL about pies around here. Here is a deer track RL and R found on their walk the other day. We have a new park in town with a walking trail and they said they found all kinds of deer tracks! I wonder if the town council would frown on a tree stand in the park........

Fire Cloud! Isn't it beautiful? Every once in a while we are lucky enough to see one. This was at the walking park too.

And here's the view from the walking track. Give me that over a treadmill any day!
Shoot! After the Thanksgiving we had I should be there right now.

November 22, 2010

Fall Football

About once a year we get free tickets to attend a Wake Forest football game. Last year we went to our first ever college football game and loved it. This year tickets were available and RL jumped on it.
Guess who we played? What? The orange and purple aren't a dead give away?

Here, maybe that big orange flag will help a little.
Going to a game you don't expect to win is kind of a mixed bag. It can be a wee bit slow if it's not a massacre - which can be better than a massacre.
When it gets a little slow the photographer will sometimes find other things to photograph. Like maybe her socks. Believe me, it was a great day for hand knit wool socks!

See, we sat in the nose bleed section. The tickets said section MMM. We passed M. We passed MM. Somewhere around that section we thought they had accidentally typed one too many Ms on the ticket. No way could they have a MMM section. They DO have an MMM section. It's about twenty feet under flying aircraft.

Oh no - photographer must have been bored again! The full moon over Winston-Salem was very pretty.

Shoot - thought you would be able to see the final score. Clemson won 30 -10. I wouldn't call that a massacre, would you?

We did score a touchdown! YES! So many people were leaving the game by this point. It was thrilling to see the team score! When they score this guy stands in the end zone and waves this HUGE flag.

These guys run up and down the field. Last year when we beat Elon, they got a real workout. Needless to say, they didn't this year.
All in all it was a great day for football!

November 11, 2010

Fall Is In The Air!!!!

This has been one funky fall. One thing I've learned since moving to North Carolina, is that the weather is just as unpredicatable as living in Florida. With Florida chances are it's going to be warm. But it can surprise you! This fall is one of the weirder ones since we've lived up here. Sometimes it's like someone turned on a switch and all the leaves changed at once. Other times, it's like not all the trees got the memo! This is one of those years. Most of the trees are in the process of changing now, so we're getting a little closer to what I would consider a 'normal' fall.

Here's the latest finished knitting project! Last year for Halloween, my Ravelry buddy, Aredhel, sent this yarn to me. I wasn't sure what to do with it. I knew it would be socks - that's always a given! But I didn't know if I wanted a pattern, plain, black heels and toes, regular heel or patterned. I just over thought it. So....I put the yarn away and pulled it out this year as soon as fall was in the air and decided to knit plain socks, eye of partridge heel and let the yarn speak for itself. I'm really glad I did. When I took the socks outside for their photo shoot, I noticed how they really were showing fall colors. Thanks Aredhel! I am anxious to wear them.
This is my view from the computer desk right now. The yellow just brightens up the sky. I love the contrast of the blue and yellow.

Yesterday R was walking around snapping pictures of our backyard, so I thought I would share some of them.

Soon it will be raking time. Better enjoy them while they're still on the trees!

October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
I love this picture! Years and years ago my best friend came over with her little girl for Halloween. My little Ninja Turtle and Miss Piggy weren't too sure of her and she looked like she wanted to get the heck out of there! I love the way Miss Piggy has her protective arm on Donatello's leg. You never know about those ballerinas!

October 27, 2010

Today In History....

Twenty-six years ago today I married my best friend. Well, I wasn't so sure he was my bestest friend at the time, but I had an inkling he would be! I was scared to death that day! I thought I was doing the right thing. However, as my Dad and I walked down the aisle, he kept telling me, "We can turn around anytime you want. Just say the word." He was as responsible for me marrying RL as anyone else was. At one point we had stopped dating and Daddy went out to lunch with RL and arranged a little 'meeting' later that afternoon. I was sitting in the car for the drive home from work and Daddy pulled alongside the road where RL was standing. I was furious with Daddy! How could he do that when he knew I wasn't even speaking to RL!!! My window was rolled down, RL didn't say a word, just threw a large envelope in the window and off Daddy and I drove. I wouldn't even touch the envelope! (Yes, I was, and can still be, a brat!) I finally picked it up and inside was a marriage proposal. Needless to say, I said yes. Twenty-six years later and I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I married my best friend. We have been together through thick and thin - and I'm not just talking about weight here either! We've raised two great kids. Stood by each other as both of our fathers died and supported one another while we supported our mothers through the grieving process. We've moved 600 miles away from everything I ever knew to find that the new place was a pretty good place after all! We've had lots of happy, tearful moments too - like when he was baptized by my Dad. Or when both of the kids were born and we were both scared to death! It's been a good run so far and I look forward to the future.

Now, onto fibery goodness! The stupid picture loaded wrong! Oh well - turn your heads. You'll get the general idea. My Ravelry buddy has been a real stinker! I wasn't expecting it, but she dyed this yarn for me just for Halloween. It's called "Bootiful". I love it! The colors are perfect and I cannot wait to knit some cool socks with it! She also sent some peanut butter cookies and an adorable pumpkin bucket. Gee, you would think I never baked for my family! They ate those cookies like there was no tomorrow. I guess I need to get the recipe. Send it on Aredhel!
As for other 'goings on'....well, it's starting to be fall. The acorns are falling from the trees like I've never seen before! I thought I would have to start wearing a hard hat just to get the mail. We can hear them hit the cars late at night. Scares you to death the first time you hear it! Then add tornado warnings to that and you have a fun time! I stayed up with the kids last night until the tornado warnings expired. RL was comfy in bed snoring away. One of us had to be awake to move the kids into the center of the house and slap a mattress over them! Of course I would have had to flip him off of the mattress first....but I was prepared! And I wasn't even a boy scout! Go figure. Hope everybody else is enjoying fall in their neck of the woods!

October 16, 2010

Fair Time In The City

Fall around these parts means lots of things. Acorns pelting you when you walk down to the mail box. Changing Leaves. The fair. This year we didn't have anything entered, but we decided to go and take in the sights.
Boo! It's a sheep ghost!

These poor little sheep! They were in these covers, in a barn that was a little too warm. We wanted to liberate the sheep!
This is highly unusual. There are normally lots and lots and lots of mega pumpkins. However, this year we haven't had much rain, so we haven't had many pumpkins. These were the only three. At least you were guaranteed a ribbon!

This is Bob. He's a 22 year old Percheron. This picture doesn't show just how MASSIVE this horse was! They had eight of them. RL loves VWs. So, when we were looking at the horses and saw how much they weighed - between 1,700 and 2,200 pounds - he said, "Wow! That's more than a VW!"

These were some wooden turned bowls. Beautiful! Unfortunately we didn't get to see the demonstration, but we still got to admire the handiwork.

The chainsaw artist was there - we missed his demonstration too! They had these sculptures for a silent auction. They were really cool!

Quilts were hanging from the rafters in the arts and crafts building. So many beautiful quilts!

And while we were at the fair, Ginger was enjoying a nice, warm pile of clean laundry! Does she know how to party or what????