Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mug shot of me and my daughter. She used Photoshop because she is smart like that! It's a wonderful thing. Fixed my fly-away hairs, whitened my teeth. She naturally looks this gorgeous....I don't as you'll see on my Christmas morning picture below....rolling fresh out of bed, in all my glory here to share with the world!
You see, we've had snow...a lot of snow....for us. It's snowed for about 2 days. Little more to come this afternoon. We've been working on that blasted !#%$&^$( jigsaw puzzle....ready to throw it into its box. Some artist who thought it would be funny to make several areas in the same color tones, just to drive me nuts. You stare at the pieces over and over again, hoping you will find a glimmer of hope. When all else fails, you start focusing on the shapes. Yes my friends, I know you have suffered this pain along with me, and understand why I had to make a change and stop working on it before I went's still on the coffee table, taunting me. That's when you shift gears, and watch the whole ENTIRE season 1 of Castle dvd. Yes, the son pulled through for me! Watched episode after episode while doing my cross stitch (which is just about done FYI)
Then when your husband forces you out of the living room that you've been holding up in and announces "There's a game on today" (translation FOOTBALL) you realize you made actually need to get up, shower, get out of the pj's you've been living in and move to a different room. Fortunately, that's when I was able to bust out my new Cricut machine. I was good this year, I was very, very good, because Santa also got me a new Canon photo printer. What do you get when you have a Cricut+Photo printer?=SCRAP BOOKING!!!!! Life is good my friends, oh yes indeed it is! I will be listening to my new Brad Paisley c.d. while figuring out the intricacy of my new devices. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I'll be in the artsy craftsy mode for the remainder of the day if you need me!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!

Our tree nestled into the corner of Acorn Cottage. I love laying on the couch with a blanket and something hot to drink and gaze at the lights and ornaments each and every night.
This is a German Smoker my husband brought home for me from his trip to Germany. If you have never seen one before, they open up and you put a small incent cone inside and light it. The "smoke" come out of the Toy Makers mouth and it looks like he is really smoking his pipe!

There is no room for anymore gifts! Each year I say I am going to be conservative, and something happens....and I keep finding things that I can't resist. It isn't until the morning of Christmas when I realize I went overboard. What can I say...I love spoiling my family!

One of my most precious decorations of all times. My elves that climb their ladder to help decorate the tree. They are just the cutest thing in the world!
Well, I have approximately one hour until the daughter arrives home from college and then chaos will ensue. No doubt more shopping for last minute items and then baking, baking, baking.
I can't wait!!!!
I hope you all have a wonderful CHRISTMAS. May there be much joy and laughter in your homes. Lots of hugs and kisses ( you did remember the mistletoe didn't you????). Some quiet time to reflect on the reason for the season, and memories to last a lifetime! You are all very dear to me and I am so thankful for the friendships I've made. God Bless and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Anticipation

Right now it the time of the season that I love the most. The excitement of finding the last of the gifts to go under the tree, working on putting the finishing touches on gifts, and deciding what else I would like to bake for Christmas goodies.
I LOVE sitting in the living room in the evening by a nice fire, looking at the Christmas tree lights while thinking about things I can do to make this Christmas memorable for my family. I love finding some funny things to put in the kids stockings, and even though they are grown, I think they look forward to getting into their stocking almost as much as opening their gifts!

It's the time when neighbors are extra kind to one another. I had a little elf stop by my door with a bag of baked goodies, and beside tasty treats, my neighbor had made 2 Christmas c.d.'s with her favorite Christmas songs to share. These acts of kindness warm my heart. Nothing in life brings me greater pleasure that being able to give. Being kind and thoughtful to others make me warm and fuzzy inside like no other feeling in the world. Sometimes it's hard to pull yourself away and reflect a moment...but I always ask there someone I could do something nice for? Maybe it's the girl at the coffee shop who always has a smile on her face in the morning, or the postman who weathers the elements to delivery Christmas cards of good cheer, or the lonely elderly neighbor who always has time to talk. It doesn't have to be something big and fancy...just a little something to acknowledge them. The rewards you get supersede their happiness of being remembered at this magical time of the year.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Life Lesson #237

Here are my beauties.....although I THOUGHT I would never see the project completed. Months ago Dan the Man and I went blackberry picking over at a farm and picked 18 POUNDS of blackberries. I was on a mission....a mission to make blackberry jam, just like my Mom used to make.
I got not one, but two books out about canning and decided to go with the "old fashioned" recipe that only calls for fruit and sugar.......

Had my jar sterilized, lids ready to, stirring, waiting for the jam to slide off the spoon just like the illustrations showed in the bible of all canning Ball.

Something wasn't looking right...things weren't thickening up....time for a crisis call to Mom to ask what was going wrong. My sister answers my Moms phone and puts me on speaker phone so we can all three talk. I tell Mom my dilemma and she says..."Did you use pectin?" and I told her "No, I making the old-fashioned recipe" and Mom says "Oh, I never do that...I always use pectin"....about then I hear my sister cackling (isn't that what witches do?) in the background and she says "Nancy, I've never canned before BUT EVEN I KNOW YOU HAVE TO USE PECTIN"....that will be one of those statements that will never be erased from my head. Long story short...I made a LOVELY batch of Blackberry Syrup that will be fabulous on my Swedish pancake recipe (although I'm Danish).....but there is light at the end of the tunnel.....I still had enough blackberries and went back to the store, bought pectin and managed to pull though with a batch that came out! Yes! For more kitchen disasters and entertaining stories stay tuned to Acorn Cottage....News at 11:00p.m.

I know, I know......what does a fox have to do with all this? He just happened to show up in our backyard...a rare site indeed! My photo-op lasted about two seconds, as I opened the door, with all the steam coming out from the kitchen, and scared the little guy and he took off! Between the clouds of steam and flash from the camera, I'm sure he thought he saw a haunted mansion and wanted to get as far away from Acorn Cottage as possible! Not to mention the cook in the kitchen with smears of berry on her, probably looking like blood just to add to the vision. Oh my!
So much for making the woodland creatures feel welcome......

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Magic

I love lighting candles year round...but it's especially nice during the holidays. My mother in law gave me some lovely candle stick holders with Yankee sampler Red Berry & Cedar candles to burn and the scent is heavenly!
Mini marshmallows in hot cocoa....doesn't get much better....except maybe some shaved chocolate on top of that!
Love to bake and try new recipes each year...can't wait to have some time off to bake and try new recipes! I love listening to Christmas music and making a day of it!
My son loves peanut brittle. I just got my mittens on a recipe by Paula Deen for English Toffee which in my sons mind, will beat out the peanut brittle!
Pretzel rods, dipped in melted white chocolate and decorated. So easy and so cute in the decorative cellophane bags. Nice little gifts to put on co-workers desks just because, or delivery to random people who are nice!

What traditions to you have each year?