Friday, December 4, 2020

Tomorrow!

Whimsy and Hugs!

I have finally jazzed myself into the beginning phase of decorating. Honestly, I was toying with the idea of just decorating with the red, green, and white everyday items and not hitting my huge, wonderful Christmas closet at all. Then this morning, the Grinch turned the corner and issued herself a challenge. Here's the plan  which began in the wee blue hours of the morning...


Step 1: Today I cleaned out the Studio and pried open that closet. No such luck that my textile tote would be on the top... So I shuffled and heave-hoed until I freed it... I nabbed what I think is the Nativity... and then I got a tote of greenery and one other "mystery" container. It is what it is for 2020... I have shut the door and moved furniture back in front of the door. Plenty of holiday cheer for this season, and it seems the challenge of working with the unknown kinda jump started my jets... 


Step 2: Tomorrow I sort and begin just a few little areas. I need to clean and dust as I go... I hope to finish it all in the one day. At least I hope to have enough plan to motivate me...


Step 3: I am sending out some beautiful cards I have been hoarding for several years... and a few I made for 2020. I then will attempt to simply plan some Christmas devotions,  reading, crafting, cooking, ---- comforts and joys... I am almost finished with gift-shopping this year. 


I will not be cracking 18 eggs for two people! However, before Christmas morning arrives, I will definitely do this easy omelet- divided in thirds... so we will have leftovers!

Stay tuned! 


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Stitchin' in the Moonlight...


Good Wednesday morning! I have been stitching a little in the "moon window" of my house. Here I view her majesty, the moon, in the wee hours of the morning rather than watch her rise in a blaze of titan glory... Although I miss my bed in the eastern bay window of my old place, I will admit I am totally in love with the western moon in the winter when the trees oblige in silhouette before her brilliance...

Bottom line: I love me some moon... whenever I can get her! 



I found this blur of a memory tucked into a book. The thought struck my mind that neither one of those people is still alive (although I am blessed to actually be alive, and I know it)--- and both of them are (I don't make sense, do I? It is too early????)... My dear dad  is sitting there in those green service clothes he wore every day to Ma Bell...  I often tease my son that his room has the same scent as Bell Telephone Company did years ago... it is a technology smell of wire and, I like to think, magical ozone... lol Science and Math were not my strengths... Shocker, I know...  Daddy passed away many years ago, but even through those years technically "apart" he still teaches me daily...and brings me perseverance and contentment.  That thin, teen thing (me!) sitting next to him has something in her hand? or she's pointing? I remember that day and oh, those clothes... I would charge my Discover to the max and then some for those arms! lol

This morning I pointed my camera at the moon, at my stitching (which you'll see in a moment) and then at myself (which you won't!) ha ha ha! I couldn't find this girl in the viewer--- but a Cinderella's godmother/swamp witch sort of person was staring at me with shock and disbelief! Whew... If any human ever needed self-care and a beauty regimen, it might be this girl! Ugh! I used to think care giving was aging me, and then now... I suppose it is the nagging worries I constantly "shoo" out of my mind... Health, my son, this unusual year, the Pandemic, for Heaven's Sake, my friends and family and their trials... "Welcome to the Jungle," my Gramma would say. "It happens to the best of us... " It couldn't be the "Ticking Villain" called time. could it? Naw... not for moi. 


Dawn has arrived, rosy-fingered, (nod to Homer) and I feel rested.... well,  more than usual. I hope to bring out a few touches of Christmas today, with the key concept of "Comfort and Joy" as this year's theme, if you will. What more could we petition? 






Wowza! My fabric looks electric blue in the illumination of my Ott light. I am strangely okay with that... call me mellow yellow! Yeah. yeah. yeah.... Stay safe. Stay Merry and Bright... and I wish you all... Tidings of Comfort and Joy!


Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Jingle Bell Rock!

After a pretty wonderful, full day the house is picked up and the laundry spinning in anticipation of  new ideas for the season here "en casa." I also need to work on a couple Christmas journals and my cards. I used to send 145 cards, but now have settled down a bit to 75 or so... 



We woke up about 1:30 a.m. here. I started that cute cross stitch, and by 5 o'clock, still pre-dawn, we were binge-watching, drinking pumpkin spice coffee and nibbling on those sugared pecans. My son took a nap while I finished lunch prep. I lost track of time in my cooking zone and had the Thanksgiving feast ready by 10 a.m.  lol...  So... we ate it then. I am such a weirdo, and my son is the ultimate good sport!




Mixed reviews on the recipes. Five stars to that homemade mushroom soup on the green bean casserole! It and the roast beef made the meal fabulous!

Hope you all were happy and safe today. 





Happy Thanksgiving!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Hello on Thanksgiving... a really quiet day planned for my son. We decided to stick to Keto today since so many delicious recipes kept popping up. I enjoyed today in the kitchen with these recipes. We are having a delicious roast beef instead of turkey. I have it cooking in the slow cooker with onions, celery, a few stewed tomatoes, and some pepperoncini... 


Even though the main dish is different, I wanted those sides we always fix. So I made them--- even cooking fresh cranberries. I remember how much Mama enjoyed cranberry sauce with nearly everything. 

cranberry sauce


Servings: 10-15


Ingredients

12 ounces of Cranberries

1 cup of sweetener

1 cup of water

¼ teaspoons of cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of nutmeg


Preparation  Start  Rinse cranberries Boil water with sweetener over medium high heat  Add in cranberries until it boils  Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes  Add in spices, taste and adjust to taste Allow to cook and chill in the refrigerator  The Taste Test Tip You can add pecans, orange zest, or even allspice


Per Serving (For 15 Servings) 2g Net Carb 16g Total Carb 1g Fiber 0g Fat 0g Protein 11g Calories





One Thanksgiving I had made the big, traditional feast in my home up north. My parents and some friends of my son's were coming, and I made a run with my son to Walmart at 3 a.m. to buy groceries...  Procrastination always combined with the need to wait for the month's paycheck! Then a huge snowstorm hit. It was too slick to even consider getting my parents out... So we packed up the entirely cooked dinner in huge baskets and shipped and slid over here through the woods. I think my son's friends came. too... 




Candied Pecans.


These taste like the real deal and they're sugar free!


Ingredients: 2 cups raw pecans (you can use roasted too, just skip the first step)

4 tbsp butter

3 tbsp sweetener

1 egg white

1 tsp vanilla flavor or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp water (total)

Dash of cinnamon

Dash of sea salt


Directions: 1. Roast pecans in a 350F oven for 10 mins and let cool 2. In a bowl, separate egg yolk from egg white 3. Whisk egg white and 1 tbsp water until foamy. Add cooled pecans in and mix into egg whites 4. Line baking pan with parchment and add pecan egg mixture and roast at 350 for 10 mins. 5. Make your caramel by getting out a saucepan and putting it on low to medium heat. 6. Add butter, sweetener and cinnamon and remaining water mix until combined. Set aside. 7. Take pecans out of the oven and mix. Put back to roast again for 5 minutes 8. Take out pecans and heat up your candied sauce. Pour pecans in and mix. Add back in baking pan and roast a final time for 5 minutes. 9. Take out, top with sea salt and let cool! Enjoy! 




These pecans were so easy although they took a long time to make. I doubled the nuts but not the caramel sauce. Next time I will know better! lol...  Still tasty, though, 


LOW CARB GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE


*Ingredients*


Soup:

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 half white onion,

diced 12 oz. white button mushrooms

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

3 ounces cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


Casserole:


2 tablespoons avocado oil or butter

2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut

12 oz sliced mushrooms

1/2 white onion, thin sliced

1 cup shredded cheddar


Topping:  (I think I will probably use the traditional can of fried onions here)


1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup crushed pork rinds

1/2 cup sliced almonds


*Instructions* 1. In a food processor, pulse the 1/2 white onion and 12 ounces of mushrooms until finely chopped. 2. In a large skillet, melt the butter and saute the onion and mushroom mixture over medium heat until cooked thoroughly, about 8 minutes. 3. Add the heavy cream, chicken broth, and cream cheese to the pan and reduce over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove from pan and allow to briefly cool. 4. Wipe out the skillet, and melt the butter or oil, and saute the additional sliced onions and mushrooms until tender, about 8 minutes. 5. While this cooks, blanch the green beans in boiling water for about 7 minutes, or steam in the microwave in a glass bowl with 1/2 cup of water. Drain well. 6. Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray. Mix together the blanched green beans, sautéed mushroom and onion mixture, shredded cheddar cheese, and most (maybe all) of the reserved mushroom soup. Combine well. 7. Cook in a preheated oven at 375˚F for 20 minutes. Stir well. Sprinkle the topping over the casserole and return to the oven for 10 more minutes. 8. Allow to cool and enjoy! *Nutritional Information* Calories: 357 Fat: 30g Protein: 12g Total Carbs: 12g Fiber: 4g Net Carbs: 8g *Per serving. Makes 10 servings. 




So... how is your day looking for 2020. My son and I would have been alone anyway. We have decided we are doing all we can to avoid a problem. The results are up to something or someone else. 


I send the very best to you all and hope for safety and good health for all of you. 


I have a sweet cross stitch kitted for a Thanksgiving start, and I am planning to get a few more rows on a shaggy blue afghan I'm making for a gift. 



Happy Thanksgiving from Missouri!




Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Cherry Sampler


No... not Keto... No. Didn't have this recently. In fact, this little cherry pie was commissioned by Mama many moons ago. I popped up in my Facebook feed this morning, and I just had to show you guys a treat for these blustery days... Cherry pie is tough to beat, and I must admit I am tempted!



Have you kept up with table settings and all that loveliness since you've been home more? I still set the table at times, but actually we eat our one meal a day on pretty china---- but in the living room watching TV. 


Man, I can't get over how much I would like a piece of this pie! Or apple pie, my dad's preference... lol


Today, as always, little Callie took up her post as watcher. She waits like this every time my son goes in to town for his weekly "Diet Dew" run... 



I "toted" up all the Autumn stuff and began to slip little touches of wintry cardinals here and there. I have really fun ideas for my trees this year... If Lady Luck wants, she can have the Christmas textiles close to the front of everything else in that Christmas closet! That would wrap the house in cheer -- right away. Don't hold your breath! 


Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

November feels like Time...

Moments of crystal mist... that sounds like November, does it not? Last night the banshee-wind was so fierce she cracked open my dreams and became a part of the story. I could have sworn I woke from my dream and locked an interior door against intruders, then peered outside to see if I could glimpse their shadows. I lay there musing whether I had done so or dreamed it until I realized my dear Mom and Gramma had been there talking to me... so that must have been my subconscious dreaming away, allowing the troubling storm inside but protecting myself with company who would never hurt me... not in one million years. It must have been some storm because we woke up to discover the earlier gales in mid-day had blown two duck decoys into our yard! Now my yard is miles away from the nearest lake or even a pond... ????????  Seriously????  No clue. Somewhere a wayward member of a flock of ducks may be safer because that decoy didn't get employed in a hunter's morning... 


My son has to take some time off before the new year because his company allows only 40 accrued hours of paid/earned leave to carry over a calendar and fiscal year... Since he works from home and never calls in, he had a week and a half in June and another batch stored up for the close of 2020. So he has been taking Fridays off, and we have been binge-watching some television series. 

I have been considering the Fall holidays and Christmas. Isn't it amazing how different the world over has become? Most people have bigger families to consider. I have some dear family and friends I cannot see this year. I am truly grateful for the telephone and the computer. The virus is up in arms, running rampant  here, and several friends have had it now-- all recovering, thank goodness! But our county has seen deaths and serious sickness from it. I guess I have to come up with an alternative to the cozy chats so dear to my heart around my table. For now... For at least this year anyway... Stay tuned. My wheels are churning, --- mainly through the nights as I have completely reversed my biological daily clock and spend most days truly exhausted from these mental gauntlets I navigate from sunset until early light. I think I might be getting  feeling a little older... lol. It is about time! I usually am about the age of these girls in my spirit... Which one would you be? I would like to think I am the confident one in the center, but truly I am either the one on the right feeding her face and checking to discover what everyone is thinking... or I am more like the sober socks, second from the left, mulling over what next to do...  

If I feel I am aging too much, I will just have to ......stop and take a nap. Hugs!

Photo source: Pinterest



Have yourselves some happy November days and restful nights, and I will do the same. I have much to be grateful for. Thankful. Grateful. Blessed... 

Whimsy and Hugs!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Happy Veteran's Day!

Just a couple quick reflections on one of my favorite veterans, my sweet dad. He served in WW2 and was stationed in Japan. It makes me happy to honor him on these military holidays. 


My month is flying by, it seems. I have packed away a lot of Fall and will be setting out some Christmas in the next few chilly days. 28੦ tonight! Brrrr! I had the AC on this morning!  I have been working on projects... and I have a ton of help in the planner stages!



I finished my Mayflower sampler. So now I am on to other projects. Have a great week...












Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Packing Away the Hocus... Keeping out the Pocus

Unlikely  topic here. I have just been lying here in bed trying to sleep and... it just is not happening! That isn't unusual, and since I don't have a classroom of teenagers to "enchant" with the intricacies of our English language, I don't really suffer if I pull an all-nighter.



In three short days the fluff and major stuff of Autumn has disappeared. I usually leave out a few things and my turkeys... It really matters only to me, as I have mentioned before. All I know is I am ready for the metamorphosis into Christmas and winter touches. Every year I write a plan to thin out my holiday decor, and I did eliminate a few things last summer. But do we do this before the season or after? My gramma used to say, "It won't eat anything." So into the bins they go... every last pumpkin and Easter egg, patriotic star, witch, and sprig of holly. 



I watch videos of people who live in those tiny houses. I couldn't store my holiday stuff in one of those, but... I enjoy the unique idea of eliminating by choice...  However, this is not another litany about clutter or down-sizing.


It strikes me that my cat and I are literally "wound too tight," and we are gonna snap a widget if we don't cool it down. She is a curious thing, but her nerves are just shot. If the slightest noise comes her way while she's in snoop mode, it's all four paws-jump straight up in the air- and "mean mug" my son... who may or may not have made the noise to scare her! Then she powers through the house and climbs the door frames or leaps from the top to top of cabinets, sometimes scratching at the cornice molding... It is hilarious, and she always comes back for more...


My son is a tease. He likes to cast empty pop cans into an empty corner or hallway while I am deep in some project or dreamy idyll... And though I cannot get all four of my paws in the air or leap and scratch about, I startle, and even scream pretty easily. His day is complete, and though he swears he is "sorry," we all know he. is. not... lol  He gets that mischief honestly. My grandfather was a tease... One day when I was a junior in high school, Paw-paw was recovering in bed (now my bed thanks to a last minute rescue from the auction pile) from a slight stroke. He asked me in a weak, scratchy voice, "Who is that woman?" and he pointed to my gramma, his wife of 50 years or more. She tried to get him to recognize who she was... and she left the room crying. I sat there pretty appalled! Then he looked over at me and winked! "That was sure funny, wasn't it?" He was laughing and speaking just fine... Well, I hiked out of there and informed Minnie Samantha what her husband had pulled... It was not pretty... 




If you knew my mother, you knew she was not exactly filled with any type of nonsense... She was strong, spoke her thoughts, and a worker... Dropping everything to look at the moon or chase a rainbow would not seem natural for her. I used to think it must have been some fey trickster to drop off a baby steeped in whimsy and nonsense and fairy dust like me. But I now see Mom was a magnet for the magic. She fed it, and planted it, and she enjoyed it... while keeping her feet securely in the "mundane." So I think my son picked that up... 


But I seriously need to calm the heck down. As I have mentioned, I do not walk due to arthritis, so I put the miles on one office chair after another... This morning I absent-mindlessly carried my phone in to wake my son up... to go to bed (Beeswax)... but he falls asleep at his computer which complicates his health issues. He is never all that appreciative at the time, but... it happens. Moms are like that...  While I was rolling through the kitchen, I somehow brushed open my phone to a YouTube newscast I had been watching. Suddenly a man was talking loudly in a 2 A.M. kitchen in the dark. ?He was so very near!.. I screamed like an Irish banshee, which scared my cat into action, which scared me again, so I screamed again --- louder than before... which petrified my cat... and we really woke up my son, who raced out to save our lives... Nobody was laughing... (except probably... my grandfather.)

Anyway. I am pretty awake...




Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Happy November ... and a bonus hour!

How did you spend that magical hour "they" returned to us? I watched YouTube videos of cross stitching and quilting...  And I actually logged five solid hours of sleep without waking!!! Never do that! It feels so wonderful.


I am nearing the shoreline on that "Coming to America" stitch... I must say I was/am out of my league on this project.... Huge! I bought these stamps for my Thanksgiving cards.



So... yeah. This is real pumpkin spice creamer. It is from Aldi, so technically it isn't my brand (International Delight)... although it's delicious and worth every carb, I'm afraid...


Today I am carefully packing back all my Halloween decor and a bit of Autumn. I will use small amounts of leaves and pumpkins tending toward the white ones until closer to Christmas. However, I will try to have all Christmas done soon... After all, I decorated for Fall before August 15th! I should be in retail! lol


I think November is a beautiful month. It has been reclaimed for me because I used to rather hate it. I have lost a lot of dear family and friends in November, and some really low moments have colored its "aura" in the past, but about ten years ago I decided to just stop that kind of mental chatter. I treat our eleventh month as one-twelfth of the gift of a year it is... Consequently, November's gentle chill has become one of my favorites. 


Here's a little "blast from the past" as my son and I headed to school in the late 80's--- Diet Cokes in hand and November-chill ready. We have so much fun. Happy times...


Last night we staked out in the dark kitchen to watch for that beautiful full blue Harvest moon... Our cat was simply beside herself about what in the actual world was happening!!! I don't think she likes the dark at all, and I analyzed her that it was a flashback to the two years she spent in the basement at her previous home... oh, boy... Mumbo jumbo! Sigmund would love that! I was fairly sure I was watching first light of the moon through the woods behind our house, so I called him in to share the prize. The laugh he gave me was priceless! ... Astronomy: FAIL!  We fortunately discovered this lunar beauty slipping the horizon way ----way to the left through a different window!!! My son thinks I was originally watching a security light from a neighbor, which would not have been too fruitful...


Stay safe and cozy! November dawns!