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Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting ready to ring in the New Year!

Can it possibly be that we have already used up an entire decade of the new Millennium? It's hard to believe that ten years ago we were worried that computers would crash, airlines couldn't fly, and we wouldn't be able to buy the necessities of life, isn't it? LOL!

Well, today I am thinking of the old year past as well as what 2010 might bring for us. Our Christmas day was quite white and cold, but delightful all the same. Our area was under blizzard conditions and warnings for two days straight, and we weren't sure if the kids could even get here from across town. But after several tries and many dig outs from the driveway they made it!

We had a huge pot of creamy potato soup on, along with shrimp, ham and turkey sandwiches, and of course all kinds of munchies. We trimmed way down this year on gifts and the kids all seemed to love their presents all the same. Book gift cards and mall shopping certificates made it easy for me to shop, too.

We have a tradition for the person who is passing out presents to wear a Santa hat. Well, I couldn't find our Santa hat this year, so Julia (age 14) is doing the honors as Jester instead! (And no, she is not as tall as the door! I was sitting on the floor when I took her picture!)

The second and last quilt that my mom embroidered and I made into a quilt was gifted to daughter Marcella. And she loves it, too! She almost cried.

So what does next year bring?

I plan on making a serious commitment to reducing my stash, and keeping track of it. I've thought about doing this for several years now, and I've done pretty good on reducing the stash, but not the "keeping track" part. Judy Laquidara over at Patchwork Times does such a good job of this, and even has you check in periodically. So each month, I am going to do a stash report here on my blog as well as at Judy's. If I start using it up faster, it might even be more than once a month. If I can figure out how to do a "ticker" I will add it to the sidebar and that would make it pretty easy.

That's about all I have plans for right now, besides my annual Cambria CA and Beaver Island MI retreats. Of course, we make the annual trek to MN in the summer for hubby, but other than that, maybe it will be a nice year of staying home, gardening, canning, quilting and knitting in 2010. How about you?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mojo Christmas to You!

I found it! I found it! All I needed to do was start baking and it showed up!
(Recipes are at the end of this posting as well as a quilt!)

I made 7 dozen One Cup Cookies and
4 dozen candy canes or peppermint patty cookies
1 pan of Cherry Bliss bars
They were all wrapped and delivered that evening for a little cheer to my neighbors before all their frazzled events began.

Then Hubby and I finished the decorations on the outside of the house, so we would be ready for my niece Carol and her family to arrive. (Stick with me - there IS a quilt!) In addition to the 24 wreaths with red bows hanging on the fencing around the house:
See the reindeer antlers? Do you remember the Locust thorn in my foot last year? At least I've found a use for them!

Then there is Hubby's childhood sled is at the front door:

The tree is decorated along with the stair garland in place.And at last we are ready for Christmas! Let the fun and quilts games begin!

My niece Carol and her family arrived Sunday for snacks between their bell ringing and scout activities. She was very close to my mother, and I thought she and her hubby would enjoy a quilt made from the embroidered squares my mom made before she passed away. Carol and Tom received a quilt from me as a wedding present, oh so many years ago, and it has worn out. So, it's time they have another, don't you think? Mayo the dog is pretty goofy with friends, but Carol's eyes lit up when she saw the quilt!

Merry Christmas!

Recipe: One Cup Cookies

1 c. white sugar
q c. brown sugar
1 c. butter
1 c. oil
1 egg
1 c. Rice Krispies
1 c. Oatmeal
1 c. Choc chips
1 c. pecans
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
3.5 c. flour
1 tsp vanilla

Mix well, and drop by small spoonfuls (about the size of a walnut) on
a greased cookie sheet. Pat down to make a little flatter.

350 degrees about 8-10 minutes (mine took about 15).

Optional to add butterscotch or Peanut Butter chips.

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red food color
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Heat oven to 375. Mix thoroughly butter, shortening, confectioners'
sugar, egg and flavorings. Blend in flour and salt. Divide dough in
half: blend food color into one half.

Shape 1 teaspoon dough form each half into 4 inch rope. For smooth,
even ropes, roll them back and forth on lightly floured board. Place
ropes side by side; press together lightly and twist. Complete cookies
one at a time. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Curve top down to form
handle of cane.

Bake about 9 min or until set and very light brown. Mix candy and
granulated sugar. Immediately sprinkle cookies with candy mixture;
remove from baking sheet.

About 4 dozen cookies.

I finally got tired of making the twists, so I just made patties
instead, put the peppermint pieces on top and baked them that way.

And the Cherry Bliss bars are from I changed the cranberries to dried cherries.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Who's Got my Mojo?

Each year, I really seem to overdo the decorating for Christmas. A huge snow village here, garland everywhere, snowmen all over the tops of my cabinets and shelves in the kitchen, angels in the living room, nativities in the dining room, a huge tree in the living room, and at least one more tree downstairs in the family room. You see, I absolutely LOVE Christmas! This year? Not so much. I've struggled with even getting the tree decorated. Yes, it's done, and I do love it ever so much....but nothing else is done. No garland, no snowmen, no angels are even out of the boxes, and they are even still downstairs! Where has my Christmas mojo gone? I've gotten the shopping done, and all the wrapping is out of the way. I SHOULD be able to enjoy the season, but it sort of seems flat to me this year. I don't know why.

In the meantime, on Sunday, we have a birthday to celebrate first. Our Kaitlyn is getting grown up now, and will be 11! It's hard to believe my youngest grand daughter is a "tween"!!!

My friends, the Amazing Quilt Babes have had their annual Christmas party. We always have it on the first Saturday of December, and I so enjoy their company. We decided to meet at Carol's house this year. She made soup, and the others brought salad, home made bread, cheese and crackers and yummy chocolate trifle. We played Left, Right, Center with Fat Quarters, and then talked and laughed a lot more. We truly intended on playing some games, but we ran out of time. Imagine that!

We think this is our 18th year together! BFFs for sure - too many secrets shared!

Here's Carol's Christmas quilt hanging from her balcony over the living room. Isn't it just beautiful?

Our group also makes a baby quilt for the first time Grandma. Carol is the LAST one, now, expecting her first grandchild. This quilt was made by us as a surprise for her soon-t0-be Lydia Louise (spinner of purple cloth in the Bible). The embroidery was a bear for me, but we all knuckled down and got it completed in time for the surprise! Lydia still hasn't arrived yet - we are all still waiting!
The quilt has to be quilted yet in this picture.


Hopefully, the Christmas mojo will be back after lunch tomorrow, and I can get the rest of the house Holiday Happy! If I wait too much longer, it will be time to take it all down, won't it?