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Monday, December 29, 2008

Another Year Has Come and Gone


I've been blogging since September, and you have been with me as I have shared...


my blackberries I pick all summer...


and quilts I make in the winter.




I've told you how I love to write and my longing to be published.


You've visited Jackson County's miniature Stone Mountain...


and gazed at our elegant visitor down by the creek.



I've shown you my arrowheads...



and the Mail Pouch Tobacco Barns along the road.


And I took you to Bridge Day so you could gaze off the bridge and dream of gliding down to the river below.


I've shared my love of collecting...




and we've crafted many things.


We've shared a recipe or two.






But, best of all, I've become friends with all of you!

Happy New Year.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Most Unique and Surprising Gift

Hi everyone, hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas.

We didn't have a white Christmas, we had a wet one. But, we had a very nice visit at my sister's house with all the family, including my son's girlfriend. They are getting married next month.

I got some very nice gifts and I want to thank my family for them.

My oldest son, Charley, got me a very unique present for Christmas. He said I would never guess in a million years what it was.

Well, he was right. I would never have guessed in a million years.

When I was young I was crazy about Herman's Hermits, especially their lead singer, Peter Noone.

Anyone who knew me then, knows this.

I was a member of their fan club.

I had all their records and albums.

I had a scrap book filled with magazine and newspaper clippings. I even entered a contest to see how many words you could make from the letters in Herman's Hermits. I thought for sure I would win, but alas, I never.

I went to a concert at the Charleston Civic Center all by myself. I can't remember how old I was, but I'd say I was probably around 12 at the time. My parents dropped me off at the Civic Center. I sat in the 5th row, front and center, in an aisle seat. The policemen stood beside of where I sat and he held back the crowd that formed in the middle aisle. A very nice girl beside of me let me look through her binoculars. Being in the 5th row, I got a really good close up of him, and I swear he looked straight at me and grinned and winked. I was shy and quiet and I didn't rush the stage, I just sat there and excitedly listened to my favorite singer in the whole wide world.


I still have my records and albums........



my fan club membership card, and his brownie recipe I cut out of a fan club magazine.








But, I never had his autograph..........that is until now. And who cares that is says to Charley (my son didn't know it was going to be personalized or he would have requested to have it say to Janet).



Well this is my unique, surprise gift I received for Christmas.

Did anyone else receive a gift that they would have never guessed in a million years what it was?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Memories and Traditions

I sadly have no pictures of me at Christmas when I was a child.
I don't understand this, because my mom loved to take pictures.
But, for some unknown reason, we have none taken at Christmas time.

My earliest memories are of Christmas at school.

I remember sitting quietly on my knees at my school desk holding my useful gift of a pair of gloves while the other children excitedly played with their toys they received.

I remember singing in the choir in the Christmas program. We sang The Night Before Christmas while children on stage acted the story out. I can still see it vividly in my mind.

In the fifth grade I received a doll that walked. I remember taking it to school and demonstrating her to the class.

I remember the mixed nuts we would get every year at Christmas time. They were placed in a large bowl and we would crack them and eat them. The english walnuts were my favorite.

And the candy I remember the most were the chocolate balls. Mom displayed them in her white milk glass candy dish with a lid on it. I think everyone had one of these candy dishes.





We went up into the woods and cut down our tree.

And the icicles on the trees! A tree wasn't decorated if it wasn't covered from top to bottom with icicles. I remember my Aunt Gracie's Christmas trees. The icicles hung so perfectly on her tree, as if each icicle was placed on exactly one by one. In my child's eyes, her tree was so beautiful. And she had this large pine cone that she stood upright, it was the largest pine cone I had ever seen.

We opened our gifts on Christmas Eve at our house when I was a child. We now open them on Christmas morning.

After I married and had children, Mom and Dad would come out on Christmas morning with the presents and watch as the children opened them. Mom loved her grandchildren and she loved Christmas. She would wear an old Santa hat on her head. It was kind of tattered, the jingle bells on the side were pinned on and the ball on the end was made of clumped up tissue paper.


Mom wearing her Santa hat, with my youngest son David, who is now 20.


I still have her Santa hat. It is displayed on top of my entertainment system.




And I remember being an angel in the church play and reciting these lines:

Luke chapter 2 verses 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14

And the angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying. "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."


Merry Christmas to everyone!



Hold onto your memories and traditions and tell your children and grandchildren of the baby Jesus's birth.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hunting for Mistletoe

As homes around the country are trimmed for the holidays, many will hang a ball of mistletoe above the doorways in addition to garlands of evergreen and boughs of holly.

Where did the legend of the mistletoe begin?

Why does this cute little sprig of nature turn scrooges into smoochers?

One legend attributes this practice to the English, who after every kiss, plucked a berry from the bunch and discarded it. When the berries were gone, tradition called for the kissing to stop.

In the past this parasite was used for medicinal purposes. It grows in ball-like clumps high in the tops of certain hardwood trees. It puts down roots into the tree bark, drawing water and nutrients from its host. Appropriately, mistletoe's scientific name, Phoradendron, means "thief of the tree" in Greek.

Now to the hunting of mistletoe!

And I do mean hunting. In West Virginia you get out the shotgun and POW! POW!

Mistletoe shooting is a tradition in the southeastern United States.
It is the most effective way of getting it out of the tree.

So, if you ever wondered where mistletoe came from, look below and you will see.


Prize sighted in top of a Gum tree.


Getting ready.....



Aim and fire......





Prize on the ground....



Isn't it pretty?



Ready to take home



Wow! That's a big bunch of mistletoe!
Someone's bound to get kissed this week, don't you think?



Remember, mistletoe is poisonous and should be kept safely away from young children and pets.

Friday, December 19, 2008

SHOW AND TELL FRIDAY - Christmas Ornaments

For my Show and Tell Friday Post, I decided to post some of the ornaments I hung on my Christmas Tree. I have a small tree this year and have no room for many home made ornaments that are still packed away, but this will show you a sampling of them.


Here is my angel tree topper. I made this from an old cone that thread was on. She has snowflake wings, yarn hair with a side ribbon, pretty detailed face on a painted wood ball, bead necklace, lace bodice and buttons down the front. It fits nicely on top of the tree. I love her!


Here is a felt reindeer with cinnamon stick antlers, a bowling pin snowman, the cardinal and dove are made from felt and the angel is made with an icicle ornament with her wings shaped from red ribbon.



Here is a Santa with a mop beard and one of my cinnamon stick scrabble ornaments with David's name on it.



Here is a snowflake ornament made by my cousin Vera at Intouchwith, a Santa's list ornament made with a small wooden spool with list attached, a quilted birdhouse made from a vintage quilt piece with a cardinal on it (one of my favorites), in the low left hand corner is a gingerbread girl made from a lightbulb, and an open Christmas ball I put glitter on and inserted moss and a cardinal.



Here is an elf made from baby blocks, a snowman on the left made from a pine cone, a Santa made from a dowel rod, a pretty sheep made from wrapping yarn around a card stock cutout .



Below is an angel made from a craft stick, a hobby horse from a cinnamon stick, a gingham wrapped candy cane, and in the bottom an ornament made from one of my mom's old wooden spools (I love those because they were my mom's old spools and I made quite a few of them).


Here is one of my cookie cut out ornaments I made from an old quilt, my birdhouse I made from a napkin holder, a close up of my felt dove.



Here is a close up of the felt cardinals, a wooden birdhouse I stained and glued pearls and wedding bands on (this would be good to give newlyweds), and a stuffed heart I made from an old piece of material.


Hope you enjoyed some of the ornaments hanging on my little tree. The ones I showed are all hand made.

Now go over to Kelli's site to see everyone else's Show and Tell Friday posts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

WINTER-TIME by Rbt. Louis Stevenson and a Whimsical Snapshot!



WINTER-TIME

Fate lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
and tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding-cake.

by - Robert Louis Stevenson





A whimsical Winter-Time picture taken at our bird feeder last winter.

I love poems that rhyme.
Robert Louis Stevenson is one of my favorite poets.
What about you?

And I just had to add my favorite winter-time picture David took last year at our bird feeder. The woodpeckers are a sight to watch!




Monday, December 15, 2008

CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS BOOKS

I love children's books! I like to write them and collect them.

Among others, I have lots of Little Golden Books.

I decided to get out some of my children's Christmas books to display during the holidays. You can click on the images to see a large version of the picture. I love the graphics on the covers.



There's....... Polly's Christmas Present, The Cat That Climbed the Christmas Tree, A Little Christmas Treasury, Christmas Mice, The Curious Little Kitten's First Christmas, A Stable in Bethlehem, The Animals' Christmas Eve, The Christmas Story and The Happiest Christmas.




And here's....... The Poky Little Puppy's First Christmas, The Christmas Bunny, The Littlest Christmas Elf, Jingle Bells, Little Critter's The Night Before Christmas, a Tell-a-Tale Book The Night Before Christmas, Noni the Christmas Reindeer, and Christmas Mouse.



And..... Tom and Jerry's Merry Christmas, Donald Duck's Christmas Tree, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Biggest, Most Beautiful Christmas Tree, and The Christmas Tree That Grew.




Still more.....Pooh's The Sweetest Christmas, Baby's Christmas, The Nutcracker, and The Joy of A Peanuts Christmas 50 Years of Holiday Comics!




Last, but not least.....I Can't Wait Until Christmas, Big Bird Meets Santa Claus, Annabelle's Wish, Raggedy Ann and Andy Help Santa Claus, and Mickey's Christmas Carol.




And here is a fun Christmas board game called Santa's Special Delivery.




Is your favorite book pictured above? Which one is your favorite?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

BREAKFAST FOR US AND THE BIRDS

My husband loves tomatoes with thickening (I call it tomato gravy) for breakfast. His mother always made it and after I married him I had to learn to make it.

We had it for breakfast Saturday ( along with some sausage gravy for 2 of my boys who do not like the tomato gravy). It's very good and easy to make, and a lot better for you than the sausage gravy.


I thaw out a quart bag of stewed tomatoes. You could use a quart of canned tomatoes, but all of mine are frozen. You can thaw them in the microwave, but I find it easy to just put it in the skillet, turn the heat on, and put a lid over it. It doesn't take long to thaw this way.





After a few minutes, this is what it looks like thawed:




Put cornstarch into a bowl. (sorry, but I don't measure this-probably 2 or 3 Tablespoons)


Add milk and stir till smooth. (Sorry, I don't measure the milk either, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 cup. You can start out with the small amount, and can always add more later)


Pour into the tomato mixture. Do this while the tomato mixture is hot and bubbly. Stir constantly until mixed thoroughly.




Add more milk, if necessary, to get it to the thickness you like.


Finished tomato gravy poured on top of crumbled up drop biscuits, topped with dabs of butter.
MMMmmm.....MMMmmm!


If you're real hungry you can fry some eggs and bacon to go with it.


After we ate, my husband put some suet out for the birds. He had to stand with one foot on a chair and the other on the deck railing in order to reach up far enough to hang it on the tree limb. This is the same tree where the hornet's nest was this summer.



But his risk taking was worth it, here is our first red feathered customer. You don't usually see cardinals eat suet, but I guess he was hungry.


What's your favorite winter bird to watch?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVID

As I stated Thursday, I have three sons, each one unique in his own way.

Davy is my baby, and a special one at that. I lost a baby about a year and half before I had Davy. I know God has a reason for everything, if I hadn't lost that baby, I wouldn't have had Davy. So he holds a special place in my heart. He is my quiet child. He looks like my oldest son and shares the same interests as his oldest brother. He is a whiz at computers, his mom doesn't know what she'd do without him at times. He has a beautiful smile when you are lucky enough to see it. He's our night hawk and would rather stay up till 3am than see the sun rise in the morning. He loves taking pictures and was the first one in the family to get a digital camera.

My how fast they grow, he's not a baby any more, in fact he's not a teenager any more.

Happy Birthday to David, my youngest son.


My baby boy, from the beginning, he was a wonder....



with the cutest smile...


My computer whiz and my photographer, always a camera in his hand....





My quiet child, always deep in thought...






Happy 20th Birthday, David. Love, Mom.