Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year! (almost)

We had the new year tradition of black-eyed peas, for supper tonight.  I know, I know, we were a day early, but that is ok.  I made enough, we can have more tomorrow. I added a big meaty hambone from the freezer and made it into soup.  It was pretty yummy.  The hubby had fished all day.  After a day of fishing, he always comes in starved and raves over whatever I fix.  He liked them.
I've had the best week off from work.  I did so much organizing, cleaning, and really enjoyed being home. I have yet to sew.  Maybe I'll get to it tomorrow or on Monday.  I don't go back to work until Tuesday.
I've been thinking of all my blessings this year, and am so thankful.  I've also been thinking of things I'd like to do in the new year.  I am so project oriented, I tend to get caught up in my projects.  I really have to work at being social. I do love to have company though, so my new year's resolutions will include:

Spend more time with friends. Invite them over for a meal.

And of course, I have lots and lots of projects for 2012:
Read the bible through
Finish the widow quilt I am currently working on
Complete the laundry room re-do
Faux paint the concrete floor of the screened porch
Finish the 2011 Thangles Block of the Month quilt
Plant some tulips (have the bulbs in hibernation in the closet now)
Get more Command Hooks for our closets to further organize them (love those things!)
Finish the shirt/star quilt I started a couple months ago
Make another widow quilt

Friday, December 30, 2011

Out with the old, In with the new

You just can't imagine how hard it is for me to get rid of these old slippers.  My son bought them for me about 10 years ago.  They were a couple of sizes too big, so they flopped around on my feet.  But I wore them, and wore them, and washed them over and over again (they shrunk!). They were from Old Navy and were pure wool, even the sole, so they didn't make a sound when I padded around on the hardwood. I've never been able to find exact replacements, but my group at work gave me a gift card for Christmas, and I did find some similar wool slippers with wool soles......not exact, and without the sentimental value, but I guess they will do.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Urge to purge - Part 2

Yes, I know, the picture has nothing to do with purging stuff from our home.  But, it was such a beautiful sunset tonight, I had to snap it.  No editing either, straight out of the camera.

Back to the purging -- I spent most of the day cleaning out the laundry room.  I am going to be adding some more cabinets in there for more canned good/pantry type storage.  I am getting tired of the open wire shelving.  It looks so messy. And they just don't hold much.

My to-do (done) list for my holiday time off:
Clean out linen closet
Clean out front bedroom closet
Clean out the laundry room
Purge some from the kitchen cabinets
Give things away to someone who can use them
Take the rest to Goodwill

I still have some more things I'd like to get done.  Hopefully, I'll get back on the quilt I am making.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Some Interesting Family History

Today I took my mom to see her sister, who is in a nursing home in a little city an hour or so away.  As we were traveling she told me a story I'd never heard.  She said my grandfather, my Dad's dad, was commissioned to carve a cemetery marker.  I was able to find in on, a pretty interesting site for those interested in ancestry.  If he carved it soon after this person died, he was about 30 years old at the time.

I've heard many stories of this grandfather.  He died when I was young, so I don't remember much about him.  From what I've heard he was a very unique person, with exceptional intelligence, however, he was also a very difficult and hard man. I think my dad inherited much of his intelligence and creativity, but thank goodness my dad was more like his sweet mother, and he was determined not to be the kind of man his dad was.

 Anyway, I thought this was pretty unique, and a bit of family history I'd never heard.

Last lights

I am one who always likes the Christmas stuff put away by Christmas night.  So, as we were taking the tree down, we figured out why that one strand didn't light up, and fixed it! I had to take a few more shots.  By this time, it had no snowflakes, only lights.

Had fun playing with the camera on manual mode.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

My family always celebrates on Christmas Eve.

My nephew and brother contemplating.....

 Before the bokeh.

 I love the blurred look.  The hubby just didn't understand why someone would want a blurred picture.  Ha...yeah, I know you can't tell who it is, but still, I think it is dreamy.

My personalized fishing rod, the hubs got me.

Yummy.  Christmas morning breakfast.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Scenes of the season

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Has anyone out there had Cracker Barrel's yummy seasonal cinnamon french toast?  I promised the hubby I would make some for Christmas breakfast.  I used Pioneer Woman's recipe for the bread.

I was worried that I had too much cinnamon sugar mixture, but I think I could have used a little more.

Striped Bass

Jim's catch of the day.  These are big fish!  Not a great picture, but what do you expect when you ask a stranger to take a picture with your phone.

Christmas light bokeh

I've been playing with my camera, trying to capture some Christmas Light Bokeh.

I'm a novice at photography, so I am just learning, but it is fun.  Wouldn't this be a great shot IF ALL THE LIGHTS ON MY PRE-LIT TREE WORKED!!

Homemade Granola

We love this stuff! Made two batches this morning. Recipe under the tab.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Wedding

My friend and walking buddy got married today!  I wish them lots of love and laughter.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Widow's Quilt

I started another memory quilt today, after much debate regarding which pattern to use.  I ended up using the old tried and true strip twist pattern.  This is for a lady whose husband passed away last spring.  Made from his shirts.

Yellow was his favorite color and he had one solid yellow shirt.  I think it adds a nice punch to the plaids. Not bad progress for only  about 2 1/2 hours work. (of course that doesn't count the many, many hours cutting up the shirts. ~7??)

On a more Christmasy my purging today I found this great Christmas afghan.  Jim's neighbor made it for him when he was a single man. I love it with our Christmas quilt on the bed.

Urge to purge - part 1

Around this time of year I feel the need to get rid of stuff or in other words I get an "urge to purge."   Christmas time always reminds me of just how much stuff we all have - stuff that we don't need, can't afford, don't have room for, etc. etc. etc.

So this year I decided to start my purging early, before Christmas.  Hopefully there will be some folks with little funds for gifts that might find a treasure in my Goodwill donations.

This is what the front bedroom looked like while I was purging.....
I managed to get it all in my trunk, the backseat, and the passenger seat for our ride to the Goodwill store.
 And this was just part 1.  There will be a part 2 coming up after Christmas.  Then I'll try to go through our clothes and shoes.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Texas Hot Cocoa Cakes

Just finished these two little Texas hot cocoa cakes. One will go in the freezer for Christmas Eve and the other will go with us tonight, with a couple of jars of pickles, to our friends house for dinner.


Jim caught this fish a couple of weeks ago.  I try to post all the things I want to remember because every year or so I make a blog book.  He got a great fish and I think this is a very handsome picture of him too!

Adhesive Capsulitis (frozen shoulder)

I am going to deviate from my normal posts to talk a little bit about my frozen shoulder.  It most often affects women aged 40-60.  This is my second time and it is much, much worse than the first.  It started about three months ago with intense pain upon moving my left arm to the left and back.  The pain was only when I made those moves.  Then it gradually got worse.  More pain and increasing limitations on my movements.  After two doctor visits, 6 weeks of anti-inflammatory meds, and finally a visit to an orthopedic doctor, I was diagnosed with frozen shoulder and given a shot of cortisone. The pain wakes me up in the night, I couldn't pull a shirt over my head and had trouble taking off coats. And finally my stomach decided to revolt against the anti-inflammatory meds. In the image below, the left is the normal shoulder joint and the right is the inflamed one because of adhesive capsulitis.

Just in case any of you experience this, there is hope.  It normally proceeds in three stages.  The acute pain stage, the frozen stage (where the pain diminishes) and the thawing stage.  I am hoping that I am nearing the end of the pain stage.  I also just started physical therapy which should help to loosen it and work it out. There is no known cause except sometimes people get it after they've had an injury and have had to keep their arm immobile (not my situation). People with diabetes are more likely to get it (again, not my situation) and there is some thought that it is linked with autoimmune diseases (possibly my case).

I am trying to keep walking to help me stay reasonably fit, and of course that helps with the mental side of the pain.  And count my blessings. Today as I walked listening to some good gospel music, I was reminded of all I have to be thankful for - good walking legs, a comfortable home, a husband, ...the list goes on and on.

On a seasonal note......I have finally starting to decorate for Christmas.  Unfortunately, a couple of strands of lights on our pre-lit tree are not working.  We put it up and I've decorated it with only snowflakes (which I love, love, love).  That may be all I do. I like simple anyway.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Present

We had our Christmas with the kids while we were in Louisville.  Look what they bought me!!  Yey! I have been wanting this book.  The book is based on the results of "The Famer's Wife" magazine contest of 1922.  Inside are the letters from farm wives who answered the question, which was basically "would you want your daughter to marry a farmer", and they are so heartwarming.  Each letter has two quilt blocks to go with it.  I plan to get started on these blocks to make us a big quilt from all my civil war scraps.


We got home a bit ago from our trip to Louisville, Kentucky to see Elijah graduate from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  I am so very proud of him!  He will start on a Masters of Theology in January while his wife is finishing up her Bachelor's.  Then they have plans for a Ph.d.  He hopes to be a Seminary Professor and Associate Pastor some day. New Testament Greek is his passion.

The chapel was decorated so pretty with wreaths and greenery.  It was a beautiful ceremony on a cool, but sunny, day.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Peppermint Kiss Sandwiches

These are so easy, yet very yummy! Square pretzels, peppermints kisses.  Bake on parchment paper at 325 degrees for ONLY two minutes.  Let sit for one minute and top with another pretzel.
I am sure they would also be good with regular chocolate kisses.

Jill and her quilt

I think she was thrilled with her quilt....