December 31, 2009

december snapshot

1. A fun reflection in the looks like the barn is buried in the snow.
2. My very favorite Christmas cookie, spice drop spritz. I guarantee I ate at least half of this platter. I wish I was kidding. 3. Cute little bowls that were a gift from my hubby. 4. I love vintage Christmas postcards. 5. Icy crystals make a weed look beautiful.

See you next year!

December 30, 2009

meadow-brook girls

A whole new facet of Meadowbrook life has been brought to my attention. Books. Early this month, a dear cottage friend sent me this little gem.

Have you ever? I squealed when I opened the package. Who would have thought!

I so very much wanted to read it before posting about it, but as I don't want the month to end without sharing, I have only had a chance to skim the story.

Written in 1913, and also known as "Fun and Frolic in the Summer Camp", the story follows the adventures of Grace, Harriet, Hazel and Margery, four friends from the New Hampshire town of Meadow-Brook.

With a little help from Google, I discovered that the Meadow-Brook girls also have adventures Afloat, Across Country, By the Sea and In the Hills. I also came across the Bobbsey Twins at Meadow Brook. A new collection has begun!

Thanks for thinking of me Jen! I could not possibly love the Girls more.

December 27, 2009

21 years ago today....

...this precious little after Christmas gift arrived.

Our second little boy, born on his grandma's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom!

He started off pretty scrawny, then rapidly turned into a butterball. I love squishy babies. His feet were square, and Nordstrom had the only shoes that fit. We only had one style option and the sales girls said they had never seen little feet that wide (fat) before.

For a while when our boys were little, we had no grass in the backyard. I would give them each a hose with a trickle of water, and they played for hours. Good, clean fun and at least two baths a day.

For the longest time, he spoke his own language.

Once he started speaking English, every single thing he said was funny. He was the most entertaining kid ever. He was so good natured and never met a stranger.

He loved to collect rocks, read books, and take apart pretty much everything that crossed his path.

He had a real life encounter with the tooth fairy one night, and protected the family from space aliens. He heard them coming through his baby brother's nursery monitor, and was extremely frustrated that we didn't take the threat seriously.

He and my husband hatched some rescued goose eggs in an incubator. They truly thought he was their mother and followed him everywhere.

Time flies. It goes too fast. Before we knew it, he was done with high school. Where did that little boy go?

Then, last spring he joined the National Guard and is working toward becoming a helicopter pilot. In August of this year, we watched him graduate from boot camp along with 1200 other young men and women.

The proud parents with our boy.

Today we went for a drive in his new wheels, a Subaru something, turbo something...I've never been able to retain car model and engine info. We braved frostbite for a few pictures, and saw a bit of the countryside on a pretty winter day. His birthday. His twenty first birthday.

Happy Birthday Buddy. We are so proud of you and love you to pieces. We can't wait to see where your life leads, and look forward to watching you grow into the man you're meant to be. Thanks for being our boy.

December 22, 2009

the best little christmas story

Rescued from the garbage after my youngest cleaned his room one day.

He also threw out all his precious kindergarten and preschool artwork. Thank goodness I checked the trash bag.

From his first grade journal....

Subject: Merea and Jofis
Date: 1-7-01
Merea and Jofis had a litl babea namd God
and ther wes a sno strm enen (and then) it stopt.

Love it.

The table is the last thing I have to show Christmas wise. Unless you want to see the "wrapping center" otherwise known as "all the paper products in Montana just exploded all over my house". I won't bother with a photo, as I'm pretty sure many of you have your own version of that beauty going on at your own house.

Several years ago, Martha Stewart via K-mart actually had Christmas linens in my dining room colors. Score! I still can't believe I didn't stock up better at the after Christmas sale.

Speaking of Martha, I'm not sure if she and K-mart are having a spat, but she has an extremely limited section of Christmas decorations this year, and absolutely nothing in the home goods department. Jaclyn Smith seems to be taking over. And while Jaclyn was by far the prettiest Charlie's Angel, she is no Martha Stewart when it comes to cheap imported Christmas wares.

Dear Martha Stewart Everyday....
Please work out whatever issues are affecting your inventory levels at K-mart. I need at least three and preferably four full aisles of your product, or it just isn't Christmas. As an alternative, you could potentially consider hooking up with another peddler of all things cheap Christmas. I'm not picky, I just need access to you and your wares in an inexpensive, big box setting.
Sincerely looking forward to your quick attention to this matter,

Christmas Eve is at our house with friends and family, then just us and pajamas all Christmas Day. My hubby is allowed to get dressed to feed the cows, then has to get back into uniform as soon as he's done.

I'm planning to enjoy, not stress over, the next couple days. There's a lot to be done, but none of it really matters.

What matters is the litl babea Merea and Jofis had.

And why he came.

This year, I'm going to remember what Christmas is really all about.

December 18, 2009

oh christmas tree

Old glass bead garland.....

Pretty indents....

Snowy scenes...

Flocking, glitter, and I'm not quite sure how to describe the gourd-like funny shaped little guy bottom right. But I like him.

Toppers....none of which reside on my tree. My fake tree has a very flat top. Not quite sure what to do about it. It's naked for now.

I break one almost every year. This year, this gorgeous one fell off my china cupboard as I was moving everything around to take more photo's. I watched it fall in slow motion, but my hands were full. My first photography casualty.

Rest in peace (or should I say pieces) my Shiny Brite friend.

December 16, 2009



Snowmen are adorable and heartwarming. Snowmen make you smile. Snowmen don't have to be put away after Christmas. Occasionally, snowmen are appropriate in my neck of the woods until June. I love my snowman collection. Many are gifts, and that makes them even more special to me.

Years ago, my boys made the block snowmen that sit on the mudroom porch shelf.

Most of the rest of my collection sits just inside the mudroom door.

Another snowman family lives in the dining room.

A few more dining room odds and ends....

Santa and these ornaments are all I have in my kitchen for decoration.

Most of my Christmas decor is in my dining room, but I have a few touches in the family room as well. Many of these things end up as centerpieces for tables on Christmas Eve.

My niece got me hooked on mosaic (is that the correct term?) candle holders. She has them in all colors, for all seasons, and they are so pretty with a candle burning inside. I want to learn to make them. Has anybody done it?

This little angel is one of my very favorite pieces. I think it came from my grandmother. Correct me if I'm wrong, mom!

Up next...the tree.

December 15, 2009


There seems to be a never ending supply of cute kids where I live. Last weekend, I got to take photo's of yet another set of cousins belonging to my little niece. The weather did a major warm up, and they dressed for winter success with hats, scarves and mittens, so we were good to go.

Little miss cutie pie here - I love the outfit. Fluffy and fun.

This guy was such a good sport - he did whatever I asked with a big smile and a great attitude.

And adorable little bro - he was so funny to listen to. His favorite Christmas color is blue. Mine too.

Thanks gang (and mom and auntie) for climbing fences and letting me drag you around the farm. And good job dodging the cowpies! I had fun and I hope you did too.

I just recently realized that Christmas is next week, not two weeks away as I previously thought. Were you guys in the know? Why did you not tell me? I need to rearrange my entire schedule to accommodate this startling turn of events.

Are you ready for Christmas?

December 13, 2009

firehouse chicken enchiladas

When I started this blog, I really thought I would post many more recipes than I have, but as it's winter, and dinner is usually ready after dark, and my family usually attacks the food before I can take pictures, it hasn't happened. Being the weekend, I was able to make dinner midday, so I thought I'd share.

My oldest spent two years as a resident firefighter while he went to college. Firehouses are famous for good food, and he did his fair share of cooking while there. These enchiladas are one of his creations, and they quickly edged out my old standby chicken enchilada recipe. That is probably due, in large part, to the block of cream cheese in the filling.

When I saw this photo, I was embarrassed by how big the sour cream dollop/blob looked, and tried to hide it with a sprig of cilantro in another photo. It ended up looking silly, so I ditched the cilantro and I am going to just proclaim my love of sour cream. I love it people, and I'm not ashamed!

Firehouse Enchiladas

Four chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I poach mine)
1 pkg chicken taco seasoning
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
chopped black olives
1 28oz can green chile enchilada sauce - must be green sauce!
shredded Mexican blend cheese - I use Costco's blend, but any combo will do
8 large flour tortillas

In a skillet, sprinkle the taco seasoning over the cooked and shredded chicken. Add recommended water and simmer about five minutes or so. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted and blended. We add chopped black olives as well, which I know isn't authentic, but I have a friend from Mexico, and she assures me that pretty much nothing I consider Mexican food is even close to the real stuff anyway.

Pour a layer of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Divide the chicken filling between the 8 tortillas, and sprinkle with cheese. Roll each tortilla, and place seam side down in the pan. Cover with remaining enchilada sauce and top with a ridiculous amount of shredded cheese.

Cook at 350* 35-45 minutes, until bubbly, or until it spills all over your oven, which happens pretty much every single time I make it. Top with an appropriate amount of sour cream, and in the name of all that is not authentically Mexican, enjoy!

December 11, 2009

all that glitters

I love glitter.

I love German glass glitter and I really love Martha's new tinsel glitter.

I love cheap crystal glitter and I especially love mica flakes.

Last year, I glittered everything that crossed my path. I glittered trees, candle rings and wreaths. I glittered centerpieces and snowmen. I got glitter in my eyes, glitter was glued to my fingers for days, and I was still finding glitter around the house in April. Glitter may be beautiful, but it has it's downside.

Glitter consumed an entire month of my life last year.

While on my glitter bender, I was not satisfied with just glittering objects I already owned. I had to create new things to adorn.

I have always loved Christmas villages, and last year decided to make my own. I found a kit of Martha Stewart's at Michaels, and used that as a pattern. It was extremely fun and addictive. And at times, frustrating and annoying. Glitter can take you to emotional extremes.

Using the basic patterns, I was able to add a few variations to make them unique. I used cardstock, which makes them pretty fragile. Chipboard is recommended, but that seemed too complicated for me.

My hubby drew out a pattern of our barn. I think it's my favorite.

Or maybe the church is my favorite.

I was going to make a replica of our house, but burnout finally hit and I could glitter no longer.

This year, since I have only recently emerged from glitter rehab, the glitter has stayed in the cupboard. When I got my collection out today to pose for these pictures, I felt glitter's sparkly pull. I fear a tumble off the glitter wagon is in the near future.

Must. Stay. Strong.

December 9, 2009

granny's back

I always have a project going. Quilting, scrapbooking, and many miscellaneous Christmas projects...quite a few have been completed, and many more are unfinished in the cupboard. I tried knitting once, but was never able to relax and find my groove. I ended up at the chiropractor to fix the consequences of stress knitting and that was the end of that. I also tried, for approximately five minutes, to learn to crochet a baby afghan. My sister makes the prettiest little blankets, and it looked like fun. I never took up my hook though.

Yesterday, with the arrival of my Garnet Hill catalog, a new obsession was immediately born. I am in love with this (photo from Garnet Hill website) granny square (although I suppose it's hexagon) afghan.

My love of all things granny started last year with this scarf.

It was ridiculously priced at $68.00, so I simply admired it in the store. Apparently, everyone else thought it was over priced as well, and a full year later, it was on a killer clearance so I snatched it up.

I have to admit, I never, ever, dreamed I would be into granny squares. Some things from the seventies should never be seen again, but with the right yarn and color combination, I feel sure granny is here to stay.

Any other granny lovers out there?

Will it be easy to learn?

Crochet on.