Thursday, December 26, 2019

It is Word of the Year time again!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Both of my dear grandmothers turned 20 in 1919. I like so much to imagine them then... hair all dark and maybe bobbed. My Gramma Minnie, Mama's mother, told about getting her beautiful brown hair cut as a bride married 9-1-1919. She said she kept on a kerchief for a few days until she felt familiar enough with her inner self to show it to my Paw-paw. That's probably one reason I have always felt a kinship to O. Henry;s "Gift of the Magi."

Remembrance inspires and heals the broken parts as I realize my forebears' transitions in life. I have always employed them and my dear Mama and Daddy as role models, for better or worse at times. I search through myself to resurrect little essences of their spirit, little attributes and habits, small assurances they did not really pass away too far to be able to be  somewhat present in my daily round.

I enjoy the possibilities of choosing a word of the year. I think it is fun to have an inspiration for the whole year ahead. a sort of emotional "hitching my wagon to a star" kind of moment. I shy away from heavy (although maybe needed) words lest they prove ironic or too portentous  and filled with foreshadow and shades of sadness. I mean, with the sudden loss of my entire former home and its contents in 2019, I am so glad my word "fabulous" brought feathers to my soul and prompted a kind of happy dance and flip of a boa over my often drooping shoulders. Thank goodness my word was not "Eliminate." huh? Similarly, I avoid words such as "strength" or "acceptance" because I don't want any eerie connections or predictions!

So. This year I am going with the advent of a new decade, the dawn of a centennial span since those roaring 20's we heard so much about.  My word is simple. "ROAR." Roaring 20's for the nod this year. It is timely and easy to remember. I mean it in a kind way, not that I intend to snarl my way through the next 366 days. I mean it that I will do what lions do... prowl, be on guard, take pride in my life, and warn others before I demand something... speak up and be happy in my own pelt... 

I have long been an employer of acronym to enhance an essay, write to win a contest, promote a slogan... So since my word has only 4 letters, it just practically begged for that contrivance. R- reach. I need to stretch and keep busy in the day to day living... O- organize... always, always.. not just lumping all similar items in the same general place but determine where and when items will be needed and used, thinking about the proximity of something (as in devoting precious prime cabinets and drawers to seasonal things)... and organizing my hours to find time to roar for myself. A- authenticate I want my life to look as much like the dear Creator intended as possible now. Maybe I have already muddied a lot of his still waters he had planned, but drawing a clear, authentic picture of myself as seen in his eyes. that is a good goal... and finally, another R- realize. This beautiful verb can mean both taking our current circumstances into perspective and accomplishing our true potential! Win/win.

So, I am woman, hear me roar into the 20's. Or as my rebuttal to T. S Eliot, not with a whimper but a roar... I learned that from my Mama. 


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Just around the corner

I don't know about you, but I am thinking I am calling it! I have one last surprise gift I am trying to finish, and a few to wrap for an after-Christmas party. I am making my cards and have fallen into my old pattern of sending cards later than I would like. I decided to make myself an address book. I found a blank traveler's notebook and divided the pages, gluing a cute scrapbook alphabet block on every third page. Then I just have been snipping around the return addresses on each card I get and gluing those little labels on the appropriate page. So far, it's great.

Only one day until Christmas Eve. I know we aren't predicted to have snow, and maybe that will help someone travel or get around better! The only baking I have done has been chickens and roasts, briskets and ... frittata. Those are approved for my son's Paleo eating plan.

Have a wonderful and blessed season celebrating the birth of our Lord! I will be seeing you after Christmas!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Holiday Howdee from the Wild Prairie!

These low-light days and big-moon nights are just perfect for wild winds to tease my cat to distraction. She thinks every sound from outside means trouble. Particularly motors. Oh, how she hates motors... from the UPS truck to our farm renter and his fall fertilizer tractor... the propane truck and the highway trucks in granny low, as my dad called it.

My son had such a good idea this week. We decided to try to make beef jerky. What a fun mess! We assembled the marinade ingredients and he slithered the meat... sirloin steaks this time. The whole process from start to finish occupied the course of two days. We gave it a 6 or 7 out of 10 star rating and chalked up some learning points. My oven's low is 170 degrees, just about perfect. We dried it for about 5 hours.

I usually have about 8 or 9 little get-togethers to exchange gifts..  By my calculations, might be in a pinch! 

Have you chosen a word of the year for 2020? I have not settled in on one. 2019's word was "fabulous." That was a fun word, Darlings... Indeed!

We marinated a lovely round steak for today and a good-sized brisket (which I just took out of the crock pot to cool, slice, and sauce for tomorrow. Our house smells so yummy! I used to stress over brisket but the slow cooker or the instant pot and half sized cuts have eliminated all that. I watch a show on Amazon called The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I would LOVE to have her brisket recipe!

My job list still includes some more journals to make and finish, a couple crochet projects, any baking I can allow, and all the wrapping and cards. Nope. I sure started early enough, I made some gifts in January last year. I guess it's classic Aesop Tortoise/Hare... I am loving my Advent and Luke Devotional...

Tomorrow we're supposed to have more snow. With the new telecommute policy at my son's workplace, he can stay at home on slick days. Tonight was his Christmas party, but he just chose to stay home and watch some movies and make jerky even though I had bought him some new clothes to wear...

What are your favorite traditions of Christmas? I would love to listen to them. 

Merry Christmas!!

Wouldn't it be fun to see you at my table?

Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Whimsy and Hugs!

Can we just say wow-za to the speed of this December? I am fairly certain the 4th of July was last week and Halloween was yesterday... and Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Here I am despite the preparation and planning... just barely stuffing and sorting and generally giving my holiday a triage to determine what comes next. Me thinks I had one too many cups of tea with a good book...

It's definitely something to try... I am sure I put this basket out for her...

I definitely think she knew not to sit on the table, but surely her basket would be ok... Nope! She had time out for this!!!

It ticks her off to watch my son head off to work. He works from home three days a week, and just started back this week from two months of telecommuting. She pines around all day and gets happy around 4... 

This is a delicious candle from a dear friend. I made supper for two other dear friends tonight... chef's salads and crescent rolls. Pretty tasty. 

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Second Sunday of Advent...

Whimsy and Hugs!

May your December be full and happy... just like this little guy and his buddy my son found waiting on the porch! One flew away quickly. but the other one stayed there until after we left .....but flew off later, so he's ok...

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Christmas in Bevier

Today was the annual craft fair in my adopted hometown. It's always fun to be there and visit with dear ones. I always exchange gifts with a friend from the city there. This year one of my gifts for her was a Sherlock Holmes junk journal I created, She. loved. it! My son did the photos I found in a multi-step process... She has always loved Sherlock Holmes and Steam Punk. Home run!

Merry Christmas!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Little things

I have been working in my studio on several Christmas gifts, and I have the mess to prove it! I can't begin to imagine all the wonderful tools and glue, snippets, and beads... Were these really just poked all over the house? Wow!

I have a few visitors in my old curved front cabinet... From Miss Autumn and Miss Winter Precious Moment to the little pixie and Snowflake beanie and sweet Snowflake girl... Happy Christmas!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Monday, December 2, 2019

December Daily

I can't believe how cozy I was... right up to the part where I dumped a cold can of Diet Coke upside down in bed with me... You should have seen my bail out! Cat flying/getting the heck outta Dodge, covers crackling, and yours truly doing a little dance on this blustery-filled morning. Suddenly I am not as thirsty! 

We sold the absolutely gigantic stereo that would have played this vintage 78 collection. I just kept a few for the covers.

I chose a blue truck in honor of my dad's blue '47 Chevy in the barn. I plan to tuck some real evergreen around this one...

Made this chicken again today, but with boneless chicken white meat pieces, We had it and its sauce and a huge steamer with broth-steamed vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, onion, zucchini, carrots, garlic) on baked sweet or Irish potato. Guess who picked Irish... lol Well, Faith 'n Begorry, I sure did!

The Paleo Kitchen's Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs 


Juice of 2 lemons 

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil or melted fat of choice 
1 teaspoon garlic powder 
2 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken thighs 
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
1 clove garlic minced 
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves minced 
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
2 tablespoons raw organic honey melted 

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F with the rack in the middle. 

2. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic powder in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. 
3. Add the chicken thighs and coat the chicken in the marinade. Season the thighs with salt and pepper. 
4. Place the chicken thighs skin side down on an elevated rack on a rimmed baking sheet. 
5. Roast the chicken in the hot oven for 30 minutes. 
6. While the chicken is cooking, combine the garlic, thyme, mustard, and honey in a small bowl and mix well. 
7. Take the chicken out of the oven and brush the honey mustard on both sides of the chicken. 
8. Flip the chicken skin-side up and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the thighs are cooked through and the skin is nicely browned. 
9. Remove from the oven and brush on extra honey mustard if desired.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Have a great week!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Decembering With You

Happy December First. We were greeted with wild swirls of big-flaked snow that melted as soon as the roaring winds gave permission for each dancer to touch the muddy earth... Missouri cannot make up her mind and focus on a season for very long. My son and I both incorporated the storms outside and the wailing of my windows (usually indicating gusts of at least 35 miles per hour) into our sketchy dreams. I heard him cry out in the midst of a dream: How much do you want for this place? I asked him what he meant, but then there was total silence for about ten minutes. Then he loudly shouted: I AM  ALL  Right!!! My dreams were more of the usual kind for me... with what I love to call "visits" from my parents and grandparents. We were trying to all get in a car to go somewhere together in the midst of a huge downpour... Laughter. Lost things... Snatches of the rich life.

For this year's Advent devotions I am reading one chapter of Luke each day. My candles came from my mother's stash, and the tea was Holiday by Harney and Sons. 

Happy December!

Whimsy and Hugs!