Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve

It's the last day of 2016. 

What a year it has been.  Last January I selected the word "Beautiful" as my focus word for 2016.  Sometimes the word would be a shining beacon and other times it was "yeah...right...".  

But sitting here I realize that "Beautiful" was a good word.  I learned to let go of what 'didn't bring joy' and to find what did make life beautiful.  I learned to try to focus on and fix what needed mending.  And I learned some things can not be mended.

Goodbye 2016...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Glass Blowing Interview at Whimsy and Cozy

Earlier this month Zoe Robins interviewed me for a post on her blog site.  We talked about my glass blowing classes.  Check it out at:

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Celebrating Christmas Around the World at the VA Home

Team Red, White, and Blue are very active with socials at the new VA Home in Clarksville.  So far Himself and I had not made it over to take part.

That is, until the "Christmas Around the World" social right before Christmas.  Different staff members prepared foods from their heritage/home countries for the residents and guests to snack on.

There was Korea...



The Caribbean (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic)...


and the Philippines.

Our job?  To mingle and visit.  Himself made a new friend; I bet we'll be seeing Mr. H soon.

Monday, December 26, 2016

What Do You Get the Cat Who Has Everything?

She loves to play with balls... so balls she got!

Oriental Trading Company has the very ones we were looking for...and a LOT of them.

One hundred and forty four to be exact!

Bonus!  They glow in the dark!

First order of business was to de-stink them.  I really really do not like that rubber smell.  A couple weeks in a bag of fresh (!!) cat litter did the trick.

Then Himself washed them to get rid of all the residue.

Wow they are bright!

Dried and ready to go for some...

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Christmas Hallelujah

Wishing you all the blessings that Christmas is.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Party Time

My goal this Christmas season was to slow down and enjoy without putting a ton of stress on myself.  One way was to cut back on the Christmas parties.  Yes, the parties are fun but most of them are held in the Nashville area at night - an hour to an hour and a half drive one-way.  There is something tiring about a 3 hour drive to a 2 hour party, especially when you get home around midnight.

So we decided to go to ONE party and a local one at that; the Team Red, White, and Blue Christmas party.

We all got together for a potluck meal and visiting.  

My bring for the potluck were 'red, white, and blue' stuffed eggs (the red came out more to find a better coloring agent) and Ethiopian style lentils (to the left still covered).

For the kids, there were crafts and a visit from Santa bearing gifts.

The other stress relief was that we decided to host only one gathering at our home.  We decided to have a Christmas luncheon for the Extension Homemakers members.  To keep it "EHC" I used recipes from one of our lessons called "Kentucky Proud".

We served -- 


Butternut Squash Soup
(This recipe was everyone's favorite).

Bourbon braised Beef
(the recipe is for a stew - I made it as a pot roast)

Green Casserole - panko
(I used panko instead of bread crumbs.  My greens were collards, chard, and kale).

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake
(Himself used a regular cake pan instead of a bundt pan).

The cutting back worked wonderfully.  It was a much more relaxed time for us.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Haiku

I have been working on learning to write haiku poetry (more on that later) and have discovered that today is National Haiku Poetry Day.

Well alrighty then!  Here is a Christmas haiku for you...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Rocking to "Linus & Lucy" (aka The Charlie Brown Song)

Here's a little lagniappe for you tonight.  Be prepared to smile!

Painting a Christmas Ornament or Two

For this month's painting social with Team Red, White, and Blue we did Christmas ornaments.

I picked out a cute little owl and a Bethlehem star.

"Horsefeathers" is such a cute place to create.  They have about 8 shelves full of things to chose from.

I recently was admiring some Australian Aboriginal art, so I decided to give it a go on my star.

Himself observing...

Not having a stippler I had to make do with the back of a paint brush.  Next time I'll bring my own.

Love that color palette!

Now to work on the owl...

What had more paint...the owl or my fingers?

Detailing his eyes.

Almost done.

I love the way they came out!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Light

Madonna and Child among the Jade

At Urban Jungle, the challenge for December was to do a styling featuring 'plants and light'.  This is my interpretation of the theme.

To see what other's have created, go to:
(Will have active link on 22 Dec)


Monday, December 19, 2016

O Christmas Tree... How Green Are Your Branches (Part One)

Today is "Look For An Evergreen Day".  Around here if you start looking for a tree this late, you'll be lucky to find a "Charlie Brown" tree!  Or you will find yourself cutting a cedar.

Two years ago, we got not one but two balsam for $10 each around the 15th on Walmart clearance.

Last year we bopped over and there were NO trees at in they stopped doing trees.  OH NO!  So we zoomed over to Lowes...they had about 10 worse-than-Charlie-Brown trees left at full price.  No way.  And cedars make Himself sneeze.

We had no tree last year.

This year we shopped as soon as we got home from Thanksgiving.  And Lowes ordered in way more trees...

Didn't take long to find the perfect tree!!

Wait a minute!  What do you mean I can't have a 12 foot tree??

Oh alright... 6 foot then...

But not one of these...too much needle.  Douglas firs are nice...for someone else.

Ahhhh, here's what I'm looking for... Fraser firs!

Gotta drag out the good ones to compare.

Narrow it down to two...


This is it!!

The Lowes staff kindly netted it up for me.  They offered to trim out the base, which I declined.  When I told them I wanted the trimmings to decorate with, they pointed over to an area where they dumped the branches they trimmed off trees.

I could have them...for FREE!

I restrained myself from doing a happy dance right there.  Soon the trunk was full of tree AND branches.

Stay tuned for Part Two... The Decorated Tree!