New Years Eve

It's time to celebrate another "New Year".  

Some of us will go out and celebrate, and some of us will stay at home  where it's quiet and safe.  I chose the latter.  I do not go out on New Years Eve!
 Please be safe.  
And for goodness sake,, "Don't drink and drive"!

Just to be able to see another year is "huge"  for me.. I'm so thankful for my life and want to say it to the world...

"Thank You for another year"
I'm also thankful for my loved ones who are all well and happy!  I'm happy for all the new bloggie friends I've made this past year and wanted to wish you all a wonderful year ahead.
 May thieves break into your home and steal your debts.    May the pockets of your jeans become magnets for $100.00 bills.  May love stick to your face like vaseline and let laughter assault your lips.  May happiness slap you across your face and your tears be that of joy.  And the problems you had forget your home address.

Let this New Year bring blessings to you and your family.  I also pray that it brings you so much joy!

"Happy 2011"


Christmas Day Goodies

Christmas Day was the first time  I did not have one or more of my children with me to celebrate the holiday.  It was odd to say the least but each did call to wish me good tidings.  They also sent gifts to me in the mail.
Each picked out such wonderful gifts for me... My son and daughter-in-law gave me 5 gift cards for my favorite stores.. (You know what I'll be doing with the after Christmas sales!).   My daughter Cyndi sent me a good read and two gift cards for "itunes and the app store".. to go with my new ipad and the iphone I also received.  They all know how much I love books.
  My sister,  niece and nephew also sent such wonderful gifts, ( I'll talk about these at a later date).
Christmas was very good to me this year.

One of the gifts I need to talk about are  "French Croissants" from my youngest daughter.

A few days ago I received,  from the Fedx truck, a box with these wonderful buttery delights packed in dry ice.  The note enclosed said, "Keep frozen until ready to use"

Gina told me she heard about these croissants on "Oprah's Favorite Things" program.  Oprah said, "These are the closest thing to the real thing in France".  My daughter remembered my telling her about the croissants I had in France and that I have never had any in the states that could even come close.  She wanted me to have them with my Christmas Breakfast.

After reading the directions I took out 5 and placed them on a parchment lined baking pan, covered them with another piece of parchment and let rise on Christmas Eve, while I slept.  When I woke Christmas morning they were huge!

Before putting them in the oven,  the directions said to brush with an egg wash.

Then I waited.... peeking through the glass  oven door, to see them brown and rise a bit more.  In all it took only 12 minutes of baking.  They came out fluffy like clouds.

What more can I say?  Oprah was right. 
These were so buttery and light, and oh so good!  No butter needed on these little gems, they were so greasy with butter.  I did put a bit of blueberry jam that I made this past summer.  
I had to eat two!

Now you can savor fresh-baked croissants just like those in a French patisserie. Shipped frozen, made by French pastry chef Jean-Yves Charon. The web site is easy to pull,, just look for "Galaxy Desserts".

A big "Thank You" to all my family for being here with me in spirit and for the wonderful gifts... Gifts that I will use over and over.
Although I did not look forward to being alone this year,,, it was indeed a

 "Merry Christmas"


Neighborley delights

I spent yesterday morning making my edible Christmas Gifts
for all my neighbors... Everyone on my street talks throughout
the year and I so love to walk down to everyone's home on
Christmas Eve with treats for each of them.
I even took one to my Doctors office yesterday, set it in the
lunch room for all the staff... (they loved it).

This year I chose "Cranberry Orange, Pistachio" Xmas cake.
It's a loaf cake and so good to sit with a cup of tea in the mornings
or evening.  

All together I made 8, no 9... have to count houses down my

 For delivery and display I simply used red plastic disposal plates.

Rolled parchment paper and cut tiny pieces of the round to create
a filler on the plates..
Makes for a nice look.

Using red plastic wrap tied with a bit of ribbon,  then attached a
Christmas card on each.... there, ready for my Christmas Eve
walk down the street.

My only regret,  I am not able to walk around bloggie land and
give out my tasty Christmas Loaf Cakes to all my friends on this
street.  Just know in my heart I am knocking on all your doors

"Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night"



1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately.. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls. 

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare.. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat.. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat. 

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and

size of Santa, position yourself near
them and don't budge. Have as many
as you can before becoming the center
of attention.. their like good shoes,, they
will be gone if you don't get them now!

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Have a great holiday season!!
Merry Christmas !!!


Egg Nog

If you're like most holiday revelers, you've got a few parties to attend this season. Odds are that upon walking through the door, you'll come face-to-face with a large bowl of murky liquid known as eggnog.

Your first reaction may be one of confusion, but try to keep it together. Although eggnog ain't much to look at, it's impossible to get away from. Around the holidays, sales of this gelatinous liquid skyrocket, and so do the Web searches.

In fact, over the past week, online lookups for "what is eggnog" have bubbled up to a 23% gain, and related searches on "eggnog recipes" and "eggnog cookies" spiked as well. But wait, eggnog lovers -- there's more.  Online searches for "eggnog history" is starting to soar, and the equally mysterious "why is it called eggnog" is also posting gains.  You can check out recipes  Ingredients vary, but most recipes call for milk, sugar, eggs (duh), flour, and nutmeg.

So, why is it called eggnog?  There are a few theories on how the drink earned its unfortunate title. The site explains, "One version says that eggnog derives from an Old English word for strong beer, hence 'noggin.' Another version attributes the name to Colonial America where colonists referred to thick drinks as 'grog' and eggnog as 'egg-and-grog'."

And remember, the name literally means "eggs inside a small cup."

 Originally, eggnog was a combination of eggs and, well, nog. Nog being a "kind of strong beer originally brewed in East Anglia." The blog goes on to explain that various forms of alcohol have been substituted over the years.

 George Washington had his own recipe for the holiday drink.  GW liked to use three different types of liquor in his nog: Rye whiskey, rum, sherry.  "Nobody could tell a lie after having a few cups of that."

Eggnog, in one form or another, has been around for centuries. In fact,  the drink was enjoyed by the pilgrims way back in 1607 (and you thought they didn't know how to party). Mental Floss writes that eggnog may have originated even earlier in the 14th century.
And while eggnog is often made with liquor (keep it away from the kids, parents), it doesn't have to be. You can get the same flavor from many a non-alcoholic recipe.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - 
I am a lover of Egg Nog. 
I even made an Egg Nog Pie and ate most
 of it in one sitting.

Don't you  just love holiday trivia.. how our traditions
were started and who started them..
This article was found on yahoo today.

We only have a few more days to get our shopping
finished for Christmas.
Go slow and be safe, but get it done.


The Flowers of Christmas


Pity the poor poinsettia. All it ever wanted was to be a nice emblem for the holidays: To be patiently wrapped in red foil and hoisted on hostesses, to festoon festive Christmas sweaters, and to be eternally mimicked in plastic. But somewhere along the way it picked up a bad-girl reputation as a lethal beauty -- lovely to look at and terribly toxic if tasted!
But are the rumors true? Are pretty poinsettias potentially poisonous? About 70 percent of the population will answer yes, and although every year there is a bumper crop of stories explaining otherwise -- the myth persists. And myth it is. Poinsettia's are not poisonous, merely the victim of a popularly enduring urban legend.
It all started back in the early part of the 20th century when the young child of a U.S. Army officer was alleged to have died from consuming a poinsettia leaf -- a story which was later retracted.
But, as these things have a habit of doing, the toxic potential of the poinsettia took on a life of its own. Now many people treat poinsettias as persona non grata (or poinsettia non grata, as the case may be) in their households.
According to the American Medical Association's Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants, other than occasional cases of vomiting, ingestion of the poinsettia plant has been found to produce no ill effect. And other experts have weighed in as well.
The Society of American Florists worked with the academic faculty of entomology at Ohio State University to thoroughly test all parts of the poinsettia and conclusively established that there were no adverse effects. In 1975, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission denied a petition to require warning labels for poinsettia plants.
As for your pets, the American Veterinary Medicine Association of America does not include poinsettias on its list of plants that are a threat to animals. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals states that ingestion of poinsettias may cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal tract irritation, which may include drooling, vomiting, and/or diarrhea -- but nothing severe or fatal.


Mistletoe, on the other hand? Not so innocent. Along with inspiring smooching if stood underneath, mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal distress, a slowed heartbeat, and other reactions if ingested, due to the presence of harmful chemicals like viscotoxins. Although not thought to be fatal, it can cause severe reactions.
In pets, mistletoe may cause gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular collapse, dyspnea, bradycardia, erratic behavior, vomiting, diarrhea, and low blood pressure. Yikes!
So keep the mistletoe securely fastened above your door, but fear the poinsettia no more. 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

No, I did not write this article. Found it on yahoo and thought it interesting enough to share with you.
I'm one to always have Poinsettias during the Holidays in my home.  They also grow out in my yard.  Here in Florida they get to be bushes if taken care of, and they bloom each December, right on schedule. During the year they are just green plants, then the leaves turn red at the top of the bush, as if they know it's Christmas.

"Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Everyone" 


out with the old

An early Christmas gift to myself and you will see
it does not take much to make me happy!

Just look at that faucet.
Bright and shiny and new.
It has a soap dispenser.
The spray is on the nozzle.
It's so much taller.
Oh my!

We took out the old sink finally and put in the new stainless steel sink..
I could not be happier to get that old dirty scratched
thing outta here!

This kitchen reno of mine has been in the works for almost a
year now.. so many things have kept me from finishing it but
yesterday the new sink went in and I'm so happy!

This is the kitchen when I first moved in the town house.

And this is how it looks today... still not finished but this past week
I told myself "It's time to get working on it once again".
For those of you that don't know
I've done all the work myself.
Yes these two hands are responsible for
the demo and all.

I think tossing the old sink has been the most important part
to me... and I'll say it again.. "I'm so happy".

There is still so much more to do,, the counter top and the back
splash.. but let me gush at the sight of this beautiful new sink.....
Taking a bow here,
along with a BIG SMILE.


my christmas wreath

I went on a search for a large 'Christmas Wreath' for the front wall on the
outside of my house.

I found all the large wreaths to be so expensive... so
I went to my local Dollar Store.

Found two 6ft packages of garland.
Made a large wire circle and wrapped the garland around it.

Like most of you "I have a large storage box filled with Christmas decorations"

I chose mostly Poinsettias for the decorations around the wreath.

My largest expense was this "Red Bow"... $5.00 at JoAnns.

During a nice walk in the woods with my sister, we found some pine cones
and they also grace my wreath...

Notice the tiny, "Battery operated Tea lights".. I put a few around the
wreath, with wire.

That is me, walking around inspecting my work, in progress. It's a chilly 
night here in Clearwater but I still have my shorts on.

This past few days were spent getting my sister ready
for her flight home.. she so wants to spend Christmas
with her children  and grandchildren this year.
I did have the pleasure of her company for the past three
months. We have such a good time with her yearly visits.
This year I was lucky to have her here when I needed
her most... nurse me back to health!
She flew out yesterday. Tampa to Miami to London.. should be catching her flight from London in about an hour, then home to Jeddah  (7am
or so).  She has been flying for two days now.. bet she is
tired.... She told me the airport in London is so cold and she left
with only a sweater. 14 hour layover there but they have a great
VIP lounge for her to relax while waiting.  She said the shopping
also is great in the airport, (like she had room for more gifts).
Funny thing, in the Tampa ap her three bags were over the 72lb
limit and we had to do a bit of shifting her belongings from one bag
to another to get them legal....(they were full of xmas gifts for her

Me and  Dolly at our "see you soon" lunch yesterday.

Maybe tonight I'll get back outside to finish the decorations

but I'm a bit sad, and it's so chilly out.  This was not the
winter weather I thought I was getting when I left the fridig
Central Illinois winters.... 
No.. tomorrow is another day,, it's Crochet tonight. 
Am finishing a shawl for myself, to use on these drafty
evenings.... I'll get that posted soon!

Happy Holiday Shopping everyone!


Garage Saleing Bird Feeder

I found this really sweet bird feeder while garage sailing yesterday.
I paid all of $1.50 for it....
Was a blustery chilly day here in So. Fla and was perfect for going
from sale to sale.
Although I really liked the shape, the color  was a bit 'foo foo' for me,
so I got out my brown craft paint, watered it down and put it on the
blue....then craft gloss sealer... with hopes of keeping it safe from the
outside elements....

I'd have many bird feeders and houses outside but as I said once before
I have this sweet old man that lives down the street,  he came up to me
once telling me 'how my yard is looking like trailer park'. It was very
hard for me, being the lady that I am, to simply turn and walk away without saying some nasty thing to him.
 I continue to put my little garden accessories out there in spite
of his grumpy self.

The feeder had some really nice flowers and leaves painted on it so I
just went around them with the brown.

The light today was not going to cooperate for me so the photo
was a bit dark....I took another photo facing my town house and what
comes into view first are the Christmas decorations. The feeder is
somewhat showing.

I'll post soon about my Christmas Wreath on the wall outside.
I went on a search for a large wreath but did not want to pay
$50.00 or more for one... went to the dollar store and made my own.
I'll have that up in a few days.. once the outside decorations are completed.

Have a great shopping week everyone!


Christmas is coming

Tomorrow is December 1st... time to get ready for the Christmas Season.

I've finished my shopping.
Packages in the mail.
Put up the house lights today.
Posted a new blog header.

I took some Christmas wrap and put it on the wall for the background.
Nothing I did could get the light glare off the wall, (it's from my dining
room chandelier) the best spot in the house with a bright light.

After taking several photos, each with an assortment of Christmas decorations saved  from years past, I decided less is more... I did get a Christmas card with a Snoopie dog.  I cut away the greeting leaving just Snoopie playing the piano.
My thoughts were "Snoopie looking up at the tree", might add a bit of fun
What was funny, over the years I saw Snoopie everywhere at Christmas time but because I needed one.. took me 4 stores to find the card with the perfect image.

My family will be scattered around the world for Christmas and it's just me and the man for the holiday so I decided to forgo putting up the large tree this year.. I did decorate the house, both inside and out. 
My sister felt bad for me not having a tree,, I said to her "I want a Charley Brown tree"...
She bought me one and it will grace my coffee table this year.

ok everyone, I'm ready for the Holidays!
Let the games begin!



I have a lot to be thankful for this year.
I made it to see another Thanksgiving and coming from a family with bad hearts, this is  huge! 
My older brother Tom died 26 years ago on "Thanksgiving Day" from his heart troubles...and each year this day is bitter sweet for our family. It's very hard for me to know "I'm older than my brother".

For the first time I have my sister with me on Thanksgiving.  This will be her first  in the states in 50 years, so this one is very special for us all....
I would love to have all our family,  there might be about 40 of us scattered around the world but I'm again thankful everyone is healthy and happy! 
My mother-in-law,, I'm so thankful for her on this day... she will celebrate her 99th birthday on the 25th of November... Bless you Momma Helen!

I've taken a short break from my blog this month... as hard as it was... but I needed some down time to recoup and to spend some quality time with my sister. She will be here until early December and I will not see her for another year!
She and I were (and still are) very close all our life but we parted when I was only 19,, she married and lived in the middle east and I came back to the states to live.. we saw each other, one, maybe two times a year and this was very hard on us both,  but we have remained very good friends and it makes my heart smile to have her in my life.

 My daughters home.

During this past month I've been working on a crochet table cloth for my daughter, the one living in Guam... she has a dining room table that no one makes cloths for.  It has a large triangle glass top.   I offered to make her one. Last night she sent photos of her table with the cloth and I'm thrilled to see "It fits".  I was given the measurements in an e'mail and did my best but I think it needs to be a bit longer on the sides... she is happy and that is all that matters.

I think it took most of the month of November for me to crochet.  I might have worked on it two hours each day.. I carried it with me to doctor visits... I had maybe 5 this month then while  watching TV in the evenings.
I found crochet to be very soothing, and it keeps me grounded and calm.

Gina lives on a Navy base and does not have access to the stores we all enjoy here in the states.. she was very happy to receive her cloth just in time for her Thanksgiving dinner.

yes, it needs to be a bit longer

Today was spent shopping for our Thanksgiving dinner.. going from store to store, for napkins... I know, it's late and all the stores had none.  I found some simple dishcloths, perfect size and color... tied some festive garland around them and they are perfect!  The photo below is my prototype.   I will have maybe 8 persons for dinner so it's not going to be a lot of work.. well maybe the cooking part. Turkey, Ham, Ribeye and all the trimmings!  ( got to please everyone, especially my sister)!  Dolly will be making her special Chestnut stuffing and I'm ready for it now.

My dish cloth napkins. Tomorrow I'll finish working on the tablescape.

I want to take this time to say  "Happy Thanksgiving" to everyone and wish you all happiness and much love in your lives!