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Archive for December, 2010

Do you ever notice that when you are filled with anticipation (Vacation, weekend, holiday dinner, etc) that time seems to slow waaaaay down prior to the event. It’s a freak of nature or the time-space continuum – The more you want it – the slower time goes.
Crazy huh?

We had a good Christmas week. 4 days of Christmas, Lights, opening gifts, laughing and joking around, and of course Muppet Christmas Carol. Holiday festivities include Christmas Eve – Ham dinner, Christmas Day Turkey dinner, as well as cookies, pies, cakes and gift foods throughout the other two days.

On a day that should be centered around giving, I find myself questioning if its simply surrounded by sloth and gluttony disguised as Love and giving. Have we turned the holiday into self (and other) indulgence? Don’t get me wrong, we give… Money to the Salvation army elves outside of stores, toys for tots, Christmas Angels, and the like. But that is not a centering, that is the fringe elements. Most of us do for family first.

I cringe as I write this, because I like our family celebrations.

I think next year I shall take one of the days and volunteer my time at the homeless shelter; serving food to the homeless or washing dishes, or whatever they need.

Gratitudes:
I am so grateful that during this cold spell, that I have had a roof over my head and central heating. It was unseasonably cold this December. I am also grateful for the snow we received on Christmas! what a wonderous gift!!! A White Christmas! So rare and so beautiful and so very festive. I am grateful for the friends and family I have in Georgia as well as the friends and family in other states. I am grateful for the friends and family that encompass all races, religions, political affiliations and tin-hat collections.
Life is so good to me, even when I fail to recognise the goodness at the time – I can always look back and focus my view on how much worse it could have been, rather than focusing on how much better.

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Winter’s chill, blanketing the world in white,
A time for stories, crafts and sharing.
A time for appreciation, introspection and gratitude.
Forcing us to seek solace and comfort in the little things;
A warm fire,
A cozy blanket,
A snuggle,
and most of all, each other.

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I may have to try these! They sound good too
and I do like my sweet potatoes.
I found them on Carrots ‘n’ Cake

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Makes 16 cookies

Ingredients:

•1 cup old fashioned oats
•1/4 cup all-purpose flour
•1/3 cup packed brown sugar
•1/2 cup shredded coconut
•1/2 cup raisins
•1 cup mashed sweet potato
•1/4 cup canola oil

Directions:

•Pre-heat oven to 350*F.
•Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Blend well.
•Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
•Use a tablespoon to portion cookie onto baking sheet. Flatten cookies with back of spoon.
•Bake for 18-20 minutes.
•Remove from oven. Cool on wire rack.
•Eat and enjoy!

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My chick order got canceled.

We ordered my chickens from Ideal, and I was so excited! They were bought and paid for and ready to go go go.
Feb. 1st I was going to get a box full of fuzzy chicks. Whooot!

The next day Ideal called my cell phone and the lady (was very nice) explained to me that I ordered a bit too early and that she could still place my order if I didn’t care that I didn’t get the chickens I desired. I was like, ‘What? You aren’t going to send me the Cornish nor the Brahmas?” I was totally floored. She also explained that if I wished, I could order Jan. 22 and get the order sent the way I wished it.

Guess what? I canceled the order and am going to order Jan. 22.
I mean really.. I want the ones I want.. ya know?
and I suppose it doesn’t matter when I order, because I get to keep the same due date.. and I’ll still have a box of fuzzy chicks on Feb. 1st.

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I only make them once a year because, well…. I’m the only one that really eats them.
Each year I’ve tried a different recipe searching for the pefect one and this year I found it.

I found it here!

I made a few changes, when I made them. I put those changes in italics, but you can still get the original recipe at the link.

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. Almond extract
3/4 cup Whole Wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of craisins
Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl add the raisins and cover with water. Let them sit for five minutes. This will help plump them up.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth and creamy. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture. Blend until combined. Stir in the oats and raisins.

Spoon about a tablespoon of dough into a round ball, leaving space between each cookie. They will spread a little. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes. Take them out when they are golden at the edges but still a little under baked in the middle. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to cooling rack.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

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Christmas 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all,

Life is good for us in Ga. We have many blessings to count – Health, Home, Family, Friends, and above all Laughter in our lives – and that’s just to name a few.

I hope this letter finds everyone blessed and joyous. It is cold outside as I write, 28 degrees, and I am dressed warmly in thermals under my clothes and two pairs of socks. Yes, I am a wuss. 😉 Luckily it doesn’t dampen my enjoyment of winter. A warm fire, a blanket and a cup of hot coffee or tea!

We put a new floor in the kitchen and dining room this year. It looks so Good! It is a wood laminate and once the glue from the original floor was gone, it was easy enough to put in. This spring I plan on painting the kitchen. 😀

We were blessed to have my hubby’s family here to visit us through the month of November and share Thanksgiving with us. Somehow the holidays don’t seem like the Holidays unless you share them with family and friends. It was a good visit and we thoroughly enjoyed the time spent. I am so fortunate to be able to get along with my in-laws.

Our Oldest son is working hard in school and bringing home good grades! Additional money from his grant and hopefully the HOPE scholarship will come into play this year. Keep your finger’s crossed.

Our Youngest son has been working both in the store and the pharmacy now. He got his permit this month and with any luck will have his driver’s license by the new year. He’s also working on getting into school – with the thought of going into Psychology. I can so see him in Psychology.

Hubby is working harder than ever at Lexicon. I am hoping that they will give him an assistant this year, but he doesn’t think so. The good news is that he loves it there and they love him! 😀 It’s a great company to work for and we are so blessed to be a part of it.

We’re thinking of making a craft table for him in what was the master bedroom vanity. We don’t use it for anything other than storage and the make-over will allow him to get back to the hobbies he loves.

Oreo has gotten big and is finally settling down. It is hard to have a “Puppy” that weighs 60-80 lbs. LOL! Willow and Oreo are getting closer to being friends as well.

The little mini farm is going well. I moved the chicken pen back into the back yard (I say me… but the boys did all the work. Ha) and drastically cut down my numbers. I have Cornish Bantams on order for my birthday and I’m excited. Yeah, I’m back to the Bantams. They are smaller louder birds, but they forage on their own. I had to foot the bill for these lazy Marans and yet I was still surrounded by bugs. What good is allowing chickens to free range if they don’t eat the bugs?

We will be setting up a pen for goats this year – probably in the fall. Although it would be nice to find two little doelings in my xmas stocking this year, since I’ve been so good! (hint hint wink wink) 😉

My apple trees got a fungus this summer and it took me a long time to clean it up. Soon (after they go truly dormant – this week of 25’s should do it) I’ll go out and prune them back hard. The book says I have to burn the clippings so as not to spread it. I’m good with not spreading it to the other trees.

My chestnut trees did not like the dry year and will need some fertilizer to bring them back. My Peach tree is doing surprisingly well and I even got peaches this year. I didn’t get to eat any… but they were there. Squirrels just love my yard.
Pecan and Almond trees are doing alright, but I lost the last two hazel nut saplings. I’ll have to wait a season or two and replant those.

I won’t be having a garden next year either. There just isn’t time. I have been working in the Church office and helping out at Adventure club and Mops (mothers of preschool club), Secretary of our Woman’s Circle, and trying to keep up with my writing.
Even though I won’t be planting a garden this year, I will be shopping at the farmer’s market. By shopping there, we support the local businesses and I get fresh fruits and Veges.

God is Good, Life is Good, and we have much to be thankful for.

Love and Hugz to all,

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Hollendaise Sauce

This is the recipe from straight off the website. I use Lemon juice and skip the salt and cayenne.
We also just use a sauce pan on the stove instead of a double boiler. But Its a wonderful (albeit fattening) sauce to top veges, turkey, eggs benedict, or .. just about anything.

2 tablespoons white-wine or tarragon vinegar or fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons boiling water
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions
Melt the butter and keep it warm.

Heat the vinegar or lemon juice until just warmed. Have small saucepan with boiling water and a measuring tablespoon ready.

Place the top of a double boiler over (not in) hot water. (This means the bottom of the top of the double boiler sound not make contact with the water heating in the bottom half of the double boiler.)

Place the egg yolks in the top of a double boiler and whisk until they begin to thicken. Now add 1 tablespoon of the boiling water. Continue to beat the sauce until it begins to thicken. Repeat with the remaining water, one tablespoon at a time, beating the mixture after each addition.

Now add the warmed vinegar or lemon juice. Remove the double boiler from the heat. Beat the sauce briskly with a wire whisk. Continue to beat the mixture as you slowly pour in the melted butter. Add the salt and cayenne and beat the sauce until it is thick. Serve immediately.

Your Sauce Separated, Now What?

1. If the sauce starts to separate, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of cream and beat the sauce with a wire whisk until it is smooth once again.

2. If the sauce has curdled, you can put it in a blender and blend it. This will alter the texture a bit.

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