Thursday, December 31, 2009

Catastrophe Averted

A could-have-been catastrophe was averted by a couple of quick thinking tried-it-all cooks. My older sister had collected all the ingredients to make what was to be the best fruitcake ever, and if you do any baking at all, you know how expensive it can get to fix anything like a fruitcake or an Italian Cream Cake or the like.It was a day or two before the big event for which the cake was planned, so Mary proceeded to follow the directions to the letter. She combined the fruit and nuts and other necessary ingredients and let it set for the two hours recommended, eagerly awaiting, but very impatiently, of course, to get the cake all baked and iced with that delicious brown sugar frosting that she remembered Mom making when we were kids. She had done exactly what the recipe had said, or so she thought, but when she turned the cake pan up- side-down, over the beautiful cake plate which she had previously selected, so her cake would look it's best, the wonderful expensive fruitcake fell all to pieces.Frantically, she called Mom. "Mom, you've got to help me. What am I going to do?" The cake ingredients were so expensive, and she had her heart set on that wonderful fruitcake for all the family that had come home for Christmas.Mom says,"Just calm down. Form it into little balls, and cover them with chocolate. They'll be fine." And of course, Mom was right. Several of us pitched in and proceeded to form the fruitcake into little balls while others melted the chocolate bits with a tad of crisco in the microwave and drizzled it over the entire collection of cake balls. Mary sprinkled the tops with some red and green candies. Wallah! They were a smashing hit with all the family.No one the wiser that it wasn't the original plan from the start.(Maybe next time, we'll try a different flavor coating. There are so many options.)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thirty one years later.....

I was afraid it would not all be the
same when I hit publish. Here we are,
thirty one years later.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

And they said it wouldn't last....

I can't believe I am putting these pictures on my blog, but like they say,

After you reach a certain age, it doesn't seem to matter as much as it once did.

We are all going to get older. The only other alternative we have is to die
young, and I'd rather not go just yet. There is still a lot more I would like to
do in this life.These are not the best pictures in the world, but they are the

only ones I have of these particular days.December 23, 1978 and December

23, 2009.Several years and several pounds ago.Thirty one years, to be

exact, but let's not talk about how many pounds ago.We are both retired now
and living a simple, but comfortable life. We both spend our days, doing

pretty much what we want to. He is a very social person, and spends most
of his days visiting all the neighbors and the restaurants, catching up on all

the news, and chatting with all the local folks. He is an avid story teller,
as everyone in our life will agree. I've always said he was like E.F.Hutton.When he talks,

everyone listens.(I think E.F. Hutton was a highly advertised stock broker on TV, back in the
day.)As for myself, I spend a great deal of my time doing crafts. There are so many things I

want to try and do in that area. My home is filled with projects I have collected over the years
with the anticipation of getting to them all. I am beginning to think it is hopeless to even think I

might accomplish that task. I want to try my hand at everything.If I attempt it and feel it is not
satisfying to me, I will put it aside in hopes that it will interest me more at a later date, and most

usually, it will. Maybe several years later though.There are a few other things that I still must do, even
though I am retired, so my time is never really completely my own, but I manage to squeeze in

quite a few things that I do enjoy on a regular basis.Most of which do not mean a hill of beans to
anyone else, but to me, they give me peace and contentment. What more can one ask for.
The Big Day is almost here,and I only hope the family gets a fraction of the pleasure out of the
day as my sister,Vicki and I have, in collecting, crafting, and wrapping everything to make their

Christmas enjoyable. I have been really sick with a sinus infection, and had to call Vicki in for
support through it all.She has been a GodSend. Thank you, Vicki.
P.S. I found this verse yesterday and at the risk of sounding like I'm tooting my own horn, I wanted to post it. I thought it was a really nice verse.
I'll go ahead and hit publish. I worked on this piece forever yesterday and still couldn't get it just right, so hope it's not too much of a mess when I post it today.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our Redneck Christmas

Lots of folks have different variations of the Redneck Christmas. I am not real sure as to what others do, but this is how we do it.We begin several weeks before the party to gather up things we already have, but would be willing to part with. Kinda like Spring Cleaning.Wrap these items. Wrap as many as you want to. The more gifts to open the longer the fun lasts. We put all the gifts in one room. Guests form a circle in another room.All presents are numbered.One through whatever.Then the same numbers are written on bits of paper and put in a basket or hat,etc.The numbers are passed around the circle of people, one at a time. The person drawing, picks a number, the corresponding gift is retrieved. The drawing person must open the gift since they are first. Then every person thereafter has the option of switching their unopened gift for any already opened gift of any one in the room.It gets pretty funny after awhile. Everyone gets something they dearly love and want to hold on until the end, but there is always that chance that someone will trade you out of it, and you must let it go.Most of us go home with lots of new-to-us things. You can get some really nice things, but then there is always the chance you can get the not-so-great gifts.(There is always a jokster in the crowd who brings that kind of gifts.We've had some pretty strange gifts from those folks on occasion).Overall, we all have a great time. Everyone brings a dish or two for the meal. It is a really exciting time for our family. We all grew up with yard sale and consignment store treasures, so this is the best of both worlds. No great cost for anyone, but lots of new-to-you items. Great fun.
The picture I've posted is a few of the No-Cost containers I have decorated for the Redneck Christmas. I love using up some of the Christmas trimming to make the No-Cost packages pretty.The wrapping materials nowadays, cost as much, if not more than what's inside. In my opinion, it is such a waste of money, when you can make the packaging just as pretty, by using recycled odds and ends from your Christmas collection box of years gone by.
(We are hearing there is a slight chance of A White Christmas in our area. A little would be nice.)
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Just A Splash Of Christmas!

Yes, I am having blogger withdrawal. There has been so much going on around my house, I simply did not have the time nor energy to post a blog. Wow! I never thought that would ever happen, but I enjoy this little project I've started this winter as much as I do blogging.It's the little pouches I've been making. My sister,Vicki, is in from her home in North Carolina, and she is the quilter in our family, so maybe I can pick her brains while she's here. I hope to spend a little time with her and have her tweak my pattern and techniques. I have been making the pouches in all sizes and colors, and matching up coordinating fabric for the linings.I can use a little guidance on the different types of closures for them, also. Between the two of us I hope we can perfect it to where I can hopefully sell a few at the local flea markets and yard sales.I have been more excited about this project, than I have over any of the other projects I've done in awhile.Today, I tried to work on a little more decorating. I have plenty of decorations up already, but Christmas is my favorite time of the year, and I like to stretch it out for at least 4 to 6 weeks. Pop is not wild about having everything decorated up, but he tolerates it. He can be a 'scrooge' at times. I think he worries about the expense more than anything else. He has every reason to worry about that though. Everyone has so much 'stuff'. You cannot buy anything for folks that they don't already have, but if you don't buy something for everyone, there is always someone who gets upset. Most folks don't like gift certificates. They say they are too impersonal.It's hard to know what to do when it comes to pleasing everyone and not breaking the bank in the process. It is very easy to see why Pop hates to see the Christmas season come. I usually do 90% of the shopping and all the wrapping. That helps to keep him from getting so tore up over it all. He loves seeing the kids open presents around the tree. It brings back memories of when his 2 girls were babies and everything was so simple and uncomplicated.Progress, age, and the state of the economy changes a lot of things.
The picture I've posted is a few of the little splashes of Christmas I've been working on today. I have spoken before of having so many little bits and pieces left after all the Christmas doings are done. These are a few bits and pieces I've hot glued together and I place them around the house where ever I think it needs a Little Extra Splash of Christmas. I try to put in bits of red, green, gold, and silver. Usually things that are bright and sparkling. I love to make these about as much as any part of Christmas. Making something pretty from things lots of folks would throw away. That is so sad, but it seems that is the American way. Toss it and buy more. Usually on credit.
Sorry! That's not a very happy thought to end my blog with, but I will close for tonight and get back to my pouches, and gift wrapping.
Merry Christmas To All and to All a Good Night!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Having Fun With My Little Pouches!

Who would have thought that a grown woman could have so much fun. I have hit on something that I dearly love to do. I love material. I love hand stitching. I love mixing and matching fabrics. I really don't know how or why I have fallen in love with these little pouches, but I have. I like to make things that are usable for one thing.Then when you toss in all the other aspects I just mentioned, I guess that was the clincher. Making something useful and pretty from something I already had. No expense involved. I have found many uses for the pouches myself, so I would imagine they would be handy for most women. We are having a Redneck Christmas Party again this year, and one of my sisters said for me to have some ready for that. Things are slowing down around the farm, so I do have a little more time to work on my crafts. I have the chickens, dogs, and goats to check on daily, but that doesn't take too long, if I don't let the goats out to graze. I try to let them roam on the property to get fresh grass as long as there is fresh grass. Then they must be content with hay and corn.Pop has been helping the neighbors with their tobacco stripping lately, and he brings home the stalks. I go out and scatter them over our new yard for fertilize.They are great for that.Other than that, and keeping coffee for the coffee drinkers, the only other duties I have are making a pot of soup, or chili, or some type of meal for the day.Since there are just the two of us, so we don't cook big meals.We have a coffee drinking neighbor who brings supper in on occasion. He is a bachelor who loves to cook.He will bring us some of whatever he has cooked up on occasion, and we will share our meals with him on occasion. I sent him home with a container of vegetable beef soup last night.He had brought chili and zucchini bread a night or two ago.It's great to live in a small community such as ours. There is so many bad things happening in the world nowadays, we are truly blessed.But back to my pouches. I was saying, I don't have that much to do, most days, so I have been working on the pouches non stop. I hate being interrupted for anything, I enjoy them so much. I had a doctor's appointment yesterday. It really threw a chock in my wheel. But,hopefully, I'll get back to them today(except for a hair appointment).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy

I write this in memory of my Dad, on his birthday. If he had lived 3 more months,he would have been 84, as was his Dad,when he died, but it was not meant to be. He was diagnosed unexpectedly, that June, with cancer.It was more than one human could endure.He had survived a quadruple by-pass in 1996.He had survived a stroke. He had lived with prostrate cancer for many years,with doctors keeping it in check.He operated bulldozers in and around Hardin County, Kentucky,for 30 years, before retiring, on account of the accumulation of dust in his lungs.I have heard many folks say that my Dad was one of the best bulldozer operators this country has ever known. That makes me so proud.He sold his 120 acre farm,and relocated the remainder of the family to an island in south Georgia.There, he and Mom remained for 28 years, and finished raising their last five children.We were never wealthy in a monetary sense, but we were extremely rich in so many other ways. Dad made sure we always had a home that no one could put us out of. That in itself, was worth more than gold.We never went hungry. Dad made sure we always had land to grow most of our own food. Us kids learned so much by living the simple life that we led, we've had very few problems surviving any of the hard times we've had to face during our lifetime.We never had a lot of the luxuries which a lot of folks had, but we were a lot richer in so many ways that others only dreamed of. Dad was one of the strongest men I have ever known, and his large hands were his trademark. It's been said you can judge a man's heart, by the size of his hands, and it must be true. Dad had one of the biggest hearts, I've ever known. I could fill a book with stories that friends and family have shared with me, about him. He was a loved man and will be remembered by many for years to come.

We Love and Miss You Daddy. Our thoughts are with you daily.Your loving, second born child of nine,Sue.