Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So many craft ideas....so little time to do it all.


There are so many Christmas craft ideas that I like, and I just can't do all of them. Today, I am having a fun, messy time, and glittering everything for Christmas.  I am making those cute bottle brush trees, altering several thrift store ornaments, and getting the spirit going. See my November 19th post for the bottle brush trees. I nearly have all my shopping done. I feel that I am accomplishing things that I have been planning for a while. Tomorrow is Christmas tree cutting day. We are fortunate to have good friends who have several acres of noble fir Christmas trees, and they let us pick our own.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Yum...Pumpkin Cupcakes!


I am still cooking special dinners for hubby. He is responding with a much better personality, and I am the happy wife to be living with a partner who is not extremely grouchy. Today, I made a new recipe, Pumpkin Cupcakes. I am a pretty good baker, so this trial recipe came out really good. I have many more pie pumpkins to use this fall and winter, the puree is easy to make. 


Pumpkin Cupcakes


2 1/4 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 c butter, softened
1 1/3 c sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 c milk


Preparation -
Heat oven to 375 degrees
Put cupcake liners in a muffin tin
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a bowl.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, beat in eggs. Blend in pumpkin. Mix in the dry ingredients alternately with milk, blending until batter is smooth after each addition.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. 
Bake for 25 minutes. 
Yield, about 24 cupcakes. Frost as you wish, butter cream, cream cheese or ?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I just love to wear pretty scarves!

Ladies have loved scarves for centuries!

There is a look for every women!

 
I just adore the wonderful tie on this model!
I having been enjoying the color, fun, style, and beauty of wonderful scarves for the past few years.  I think that the right accessories will finish an outfit. Hey....I am almost 60 and we are not too old to wear this look. There are so many ways to tie a scarf, and looking around the Internet I have looked at many sites that show interesting  and different ways to tie one on for your own style. Check out Tip Junkie for 12 trendy ways to tie a scarf. I like to go to Ross for scarves, the price is good, and there are many colors/styles.  Go forth and enjoy the scarf!  Your outfit will go from OK to Wow! You will like it. I promise.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


It is time to give thanks for all my blessings. I have enormous gratitude for all of the love, and great parts of my life. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey is just around the corner!

We are seeing many wild turkeys around here at this time. They aren't very good to eat. We go with a farmed bird. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving

I making my lists and checking them twice for the shopping for Thanksgiving. It is going to be a fun holiday, and I need to make sure that I have everything on hand...no running out to the store to get something. Today, I am getting the house in order, and the laundry done. I am checking my table decorations for the dinner...I do the table at my sister's home. Now, should I put a real pumpkin or a big candle in the center of the table. My sis is a real traditionalist, and I like to change things around for interest. She supports me, because otherwise she would have to do it.  Now, for some new appetizers.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Orange Cranberry Bread



This is so good, love it! Easy too. I am sure that you will too.


Ingredients


2 c Flour
1 c Sugar
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 c Fresh Orange Juice
1 T Orange Zest
2 T Canola Oil
1 Large Egg
1 1/2 c Fresh Cranberries


Directions


Preheat oven to 375, and lightly spray a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in orange zest, orange juice, egg, and oil. Mix until just combined. Stir in the fresh cranberries. Spread into the loaf pan.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn out onto a cooling rack.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Altered Bottle Brush Trees


I found the two basic materials to make 2 of these trees today.  Goodwill had 3 old bottles that will work perfectly, of course I purchased them.  I found the trees that are used in the mini village sets.  I have the odds and ends to decorate them, old jewelry, papers, and laces. Rusty Rooster Vintage shows how to make these on her blog.


I also found some cute vintage looking Christmas things at Homegoods, they still have a pretty good selection. At Ross, I got some speciality syrups for Hubby, blueberry, raspberry, and cinnamon maple. Let's see...some house gifts to take for any dinner invitations, and small decorative containers to put homemade treats into. I guess that I have Christmas spirit a little early this year.

Update on Cooking for Hubby



My first try at cooking a duck dinner was wildly successful. I found a recipe named Fool Proof Wild Duck, it used orange marmalade, orange juice and involved using an oven bake bag for 2 hours. Delicious!  I also made pumpkin custard (with my homegrown pie pumpkins) for dessert. Success!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Karen Valentine Design - Great Ideas!


This great craft ideas are from Karen Valentine, the woman who create my blog design. Check out her ideas at My Desert Cottage. I really like the snowman, and how easily she changed it from OK to Wow. If you want to have her design a new blog look for you I highly recommend her, Valentine Design. Every blog that she designs is unique and personalized for you. I have her button on the left sidebar.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What to do.....cooking?

What to do...when the days turn dark too soon for me?  I have to adjust myself, and change my ways.  I have decided to cook much better for hubby and myself.  Maybe he won't be so grouchy if I cook him some good food...he loves good food, and his cooking is often terrible. His idea of cooking is grilling two steaks until rare, and then get out some bagged iceberg lettuce. No 30 minute meals for him, only 10 minute meals. Ugh! I don't really enjoy cooking dinner...I think that is from working full time (34 years) and then coming home...to make dinner. There is much more to this part of the story...hubby always made sure I made it home and hour before him...so I had to do the cooking.  Sure, I have some standbys that I made all the time then. I know that I can do much better. I really need to plan, and learn new things to make.  I have found some things that we like from Pioneer Woman Cooks. She shows photos of the instructions, and I like her style of cooking.  I am not the Art of French Cooking type of gal. The Internet has helped me find good recipes, some of my favorites have some from online recipes.  Yesterday, hubby shot some ducks, and I an going to find a good way to make them! I am off to the Ducks Unlimited website to find a good recipe!

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Extra Special Guest Bedroom

I just love this guest bedroom. I am creating mine own room with this vibe. I have an old iron bed frame, and I recently purchased a extra comfortable mattress for the bed.  I figure that if my guests have to share a small double size bed, then I will make it very nice. I have it on a slight angle from a corner.  There is an old dresser with a very large mirror next to it. The dresser is my Grandmother Lila Hawley's first furniture purchase as a young bride in 1919. There is an old lamp that came from my MIL. I am fortunate to have acquired an old crochet bed covering that I have re-purposed as a bed skirt over a white underskirt. I have added vintage quilts, and embroidered pillow cases. My accessories are different from this room, there is a large window with a lace window covering. The wall behind the headboard has a lace drapery, with a large old mirror. I would like to add a nice chair. So...all my friends who see my blog will know what they can expect when planning a visit. It is like a nice room in a B & B.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dutch Oven Cooking - Chili Cooking Competetion

Cowboy Beans
We attended the November Dutch Oven Cooking today at the park in town.  There was a great turnout, almost 40 people. There were 19 dutch ovens with various foods to potluck.  The theme today was Chili, so about 14 different recipes were made to determine the best, by peoples' choice. Hubby and I aren't really Chili lovers so this was a challenge for us. I found a recipe for us, and we just took it from there.  It came out very good...but we did not win. I made a dessert, Fresh Berry Cake. I have many Marionberries frozen, and often make a dessert for the dutch oven cooking.
I am a member of the steering committee, and the committee is making some changes. We will have a theme for cooking each month. We are starting a system of volunteer hosting the monthly gathering, to be shared by the willing folks in our club. Therefore, the leadership activity is involving many different people on an occasional basis. I like this because I am getting bored, and losing interest. The responsibility was causing overload. We are also initiating a 1 pm time for the food to be ready.

If you are interested in Dutch Oven Cooking check out the International Dutch Oven Society IDOS

Friday, November 11, 2011

Floppsy - A Blacktail Deer Buck


This photo is an Ode to Floppsy, a Blacktail Buck Deer.  He had been a fixture here, around our home for several years. He grew up here, and sired many a fawn.  I named him Floppsy because he had a right ear that flopped down beside his head.  He was easily recognized. I found out today that one of our neighbors allowed someone to shoot him on their property. I knew that they had killed a deer, but I hoped it was just one of the small bucks hanging around. No, it was Floppsy.  Hubby thinks that I am silly, to be sad. Now, he is a story I can remember from time to time.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Working in the Vegetable Garden


I have completed the fall work in the garden this week. The most time consuming task is putting compost on all the beds.  I have shoveled many wheelbarrows of well composted manure onto the top of the raised beds.  The long term weather forecast is for another long, wet winter and spring...that means that moving compost in the spring will be a difficult task. The beds will be ready to go next spring. I have changed to this type of raised bed, and I recommend this to most people.  My long term goal is to have a no till garden. The raised beds are not walked on, and are easy to care for. They are very well drained, warm up early, and are highly productive. I use black soaker hoses in the garden,  and never use an overhead sprinkler system. This watering method cuts down the weeding a great deal. I use other methods, plastic mulching rolls, floating row covers, small homemade individual greenhouses over the tomatoes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Update on Girlfriend Gathering


Not quite a pix of us...but it is really fun. I am the tall, redhead beauty, second from the right. OK, the update...I spoke with 3 of my retired friends, and they are all for a lunch gathering at the coffeehouse.  It is in the works!  Wow, I am excited! It is a go!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

How about a Girlfriend Gathering?


I have been thinking about my girlfriends from work. A bunch of us are now retired and just don't see each other very often. I am missing them..and hope that they feel the same. The question is how to go about this...hum...well, I think that I may call a few and see what they think.  My neighbors have a really cute coffeehouse, and they serve lunch.  I am sure that they would like a lunch bunch there...then no one has to open their home, decorate, and have the hassle.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Joyful Path


Wow, today's Brave Girls Club message is so truthful and touching. Joy can be felt anywhere, at any time, in any situation...this is the truth. Sometimes, I can just lift my face to the sun, close my eyes, breath deeply...and I find joy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Communication with Pets


I love this book, PetSpeak.  It is an older book, and easily available used.  I found my copy at Goodwill, however, Amazon has the book available from used booksellers at very low prices.  I am stilling reading this book, and learning so much about cats and dogs. The really fun thing is to use my knowledge to communicate with my pets. My 3 yr old Lab, Radar, is very smart, and now I understand him, from his point of view. He and I have spent about 2 months alone the past few months. We have developed a close bond, and he knows my actions and thoughts pretty well. Wow, it is a very special to be able to communicate almost by thoughts and body language alone. I recommend this book to everyone! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I know where I will be November 12, Molly Mo's!


I just love their shows...oh yea!  Hum...they will have great things. Gotta call my sis to tell her. Oh yea, Oh yea!