Monday, December 31, 2012

Open the door and let 2013 in.

Another year is about to come to an end. It has been a pretty good year. No major changes, no major health issues. And at our age that is a good thing.
Soon it will be time to take down the Christmas decorations. The house seems so bare for a few days, even tho, I get out some of my Snowman collection. But since I enjoy college football, I won’t start till the bowls
 games are over. I plan on taking the tree down on Wednesday. My mom always left the tree up till the New Year. And on New Year's Eve, like on Christmas Eve, the lights stay on all night. She always said it was bad luck to greet the New Year with no tree and no lights. Another thing she did was, at midnight she would open the front door to welcome in the New Year. Now that we spend a quiet New Year’s Eve at home, watching football, I find myself doing the same things she did. Maybe not the opening of the front door, it is suppose to be below zero out there. Brrrr. But I do leave the tree up and the lights on. Amazing how we follow what we grew up with.
Do you have any family traditions that you follow? Do you make New Year resolutions?

Happy New Year to all.

Stay warm,

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

The Feast of the Holy Family honors the family group of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. This feast developed only in the 17th
 century. Built on the Gospel accounts, this family is looked
upon as an excellent domestic unit representing the ideal family life. To promote family life and build up devotion to the Holy Family, a feast was established for the Universal Church in 1921 (under Pope Benedict XV), and it is currently celebrated on the Sunday after
Christmas or on December 30 when Christmas falls on Sunday.

Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body
Col 3:12-21

Have a Blessed Sunday

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Funnies- Snake Slithers into man's pants

Need a laugh today? Check out this  Friday Funny.

KCCI-TV Meteorologist  Kurtis Gertz got quite a surprise during a live broadcast from the Iowa State Fair on Aug 8, 2002 when a snake slithered up his pant

Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

OH NO, where did he go?????

I was catching up on the newspapers yesterday. Didn't get them read over the holiday. This one reminded me of some our family Christmases. With 13 grandkids and 10 adults sometimes we had quite the mountain of wrapping paper.

Have  a good day.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Here's to warmer weather.

For all of us who have had enough of winter already. I know, it has just started. But it was minus 1 when I got up this morning with a feel like temperature of minus 12.  The high forecast for today is 17. And with the winds, even tho low, it is going to be another very cold day. And more white stuff on the way for tomorrow. 
Enjoy the video. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields
and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them,
"Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger."
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
"Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." Luke 8-14

Have a blessed Christmas with all your family and friends. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Scripture

When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
"Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb
. Luke 41

Have a Blessed Sunday.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dancing rainbow dots

A bright, sunny day here in Iowa. And, boy, do we need it. Some of our Iowa interstates are still in bad shape. Travel isn’t recommended on some, even this morning. But the sun will go a long way in make that situation better. It is pretty out, especially for those of us who can stay inside.
Iowa will definitely have a white Christmas. And, I would bet, the roads will be good by evening.

One blogger recently talked about shadows on sunny days Check out the shadows in the snow pictures above. My favorite are the dancing rainbow dots. This time of the year, the early morning sun, is just at the right angle to cause rainbow dots on our living room walls around 8 each morning. This is caused by the sun shining on the crystal balls on our anniversary clock. As the pendulum spins, the rainbow dots dance on the wall. So pretty to watch. Great way to start my day.

                       Have a relaxing, blessed weekend.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Not fit for man or beast!

Welcome old man Winter. The blizzard arrived as scheduled. The weathermen predicted it would start snowing around 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon and it did. Actually, it was 2:55. Early. I wouldn’t have cared if it didn’t come at all. My yardstick measured 10 ¼ inches of snow. And the winds have and are still blowing in the 35-40 mph range.  Roads are closed, travel not recommended. The Blizzard warning is in effect till noon today.  Wish the wind would go down. The last Blizzard we had was Christmas Eve 2009 and we lost power for 8 hours. Our house got down to 40 degrees. Let me tell, you 40 degrees indoors when the wind chill outside is 20 below zero isn’t much fun. We borrowed a friend’s four wheel drive work pickup, he owns two, and headed for a motel. Roads were being closed behind us as we headed to the city. Our lights just blinked. Hope that isn’t a sign of things to come. And the birds are huddling as close to the house for warmth. No feeding them for now. I had six pair of cardinals fighting for food before dark last night. Along with a lot of other birds. I think they knew what was coming.

Me and my big mouth. Just as I finished writing this and was going to insert pictures the power went out. For 2 hours. It got down to 58. A bit chilly. Hope that is the end of power outages for this winter.

Patio picture taken in the dark at 10 p.m. Other patio picture at daylight this morning.

Never had so many cardinals at the feeders at one time.

               Stay warm and stay safe. And those of you in warm climates, think of us that aren't.

P.S.  Check out my daughters blog today. It is very interesting and has a lot of fun activities for kids on these snowy days.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fun packed weekend.

We had our family Christmas this past weekend. It was a wonderful time. Lots of laughs and lots of food. Always fun to spend a weekend with our four daughters, their husbands and all 13 grandkids plus a grandkid to be. We have a granddaughter getting married in June 2013. Every year, up to this year, we have rented 5 rooms at the motel, for the Saturday night of our family weekend. But now that the kids are all older (11 the youngest and 23 the oldest) they aren't as interested in a weekend with a pool. So this year we had it at Daughter no 2’s house. She has a big house with a kitchen, living room, dining room, family room and an all season room so we knew there would be room for all of us. We had a couple of extras people this year. Our No. 3 Daughter received her Doctorate this past Saturday. Her in-laws came for the ceremony, too.  So we had a double celebration. We went to the ceremony in the morning, had lunch after at the No 2 daughters house, opened gifts in the afternoon and in the evening all of us invaded the bowling alley/pool room. Hubby and I didn't bowl but it was fun to watch. Hubby loves to shoot pool and he had a few kids join him in the pool room. It was a fun time for all. Then it was back to the Daughters house for more food and fun. We had a hotel room and, boy was I glad. It was nice to leave around 10. We knew they all would stay up lots later doing their thing. And we were right.  We love them all dearly but we were ready for some quiet.  It was a bit hectic in the morning, but most of us did make it to church on time.

 Hope all of you have as much fun as we did at our Christmas weekend. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What were they thinking? and Why?

Dec. 13.
Got my new computer a couple of days ago. WOW. It is really nice. It is taking me a while, though, to get the hang of Windows 8. It is so different. I am the only one that uses my computer so I have never have used a password to log on. Windows 8 insists on you using one. What a pain. Took some time and a lot of googling but I found how to do away with the password login. Had an" h" of a time opening a new email. I was using Windows Live Mail on my old computer, not on this one. Microsoft decided we need to learn a new one, again. Grrrrr. I went with Very similar to Windows Live except it doesn't accept Pop Servers. Back to Google. After some more "hours" on Google, I finally got that figured out. As you can tell, Microsoft decided for some unknown reason to “hide" everything in Windows 8, even the start menu button. Finding anything from Control Panel to Shutting down or Restarting is hidden in Windows 8. Wonder what their thinking was? and what the heck was wrong with Windows 7. I really liked it. Some of this stuff is becoming easier but I still find everything more time consuming. My newest problem is saving pictures to a folder. Now Microsoft insists I use Skydrive. I am still very much undecided on whether I like it or if I am going to uninstall it. It will be interesting when I do daycare books at the end of the month. I was using Excel 2007. This computer came with Office 2010. Sure hope there isn’t a lot of difference there. One think I do like about this computer, no actually two things, NO DUCKTAPE and it starts every time without jiggling the screen or rebooting 10 times for it to come on. They say it is good to challenge your mind as you age to keep it working and alert. Well, after I figure all this out, I should be VERY alert and all brain functions should be good to go or I will be a total basket case. Hopefully, in a couple of months, I will decide that I like Windows 8 as much as I did Windows 7. 

Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dancing Nativity scene

Our little 3 yr. old daycare gal has been enjoying the nativity set in the bay windows. She rearranges them every morning and we put them back like I think they should be before she heads home. This morning she arranged them totally different than the past mornings. Doesn't it look like some sort of dance going on? She takes dance and the Christmas recital is coming up, so she is constantly practicing her moves. She must have thought they should dance, too. And shouldn’t we all. Out of the mouths of babes.

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10 -11

Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre! Psalm 149:3

Notice the camel. Not sure what the point is of the dog on the camel. Hee hee
                                                           Enjoy the season.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Things that go 'bang' in the night.

What a night. The wind blew all day yesterday and most of the night. One of the things about old houses, something always rattles or bangs during winding nights. Another thing about our house, when the wind is in the North, it is super warm in here. In fact, our bedroom is like a sauna.Way too hot for a good night sleep. When the winds are in the South, it is cold in here.  Winds, out of the North, gusting to 40 miles a hour, something banging in the night and a hubby still coughing, made for one short night. I am tired. This could be a long day.

It is 3 above zero with the wind chill minus 15. Here is the view out our sunroom this morning. Don't think we will be using that room for a while.

Have a good Monday and if you are where the weather is cold, stay warm. I am hoping I can stay in all day. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Easy Homemade Salami and Old Fashioned Fudge

Slowing but surely, I am getting ready for our family Christmas next week. Yesterday, I made homemade Salami.  My mother –in-law gave me this recipe fifty years ago. She made it every Christmas and it was always a hit. My in-laws owned the local locker/butcher shop back then so the meat was always the best around. I have been making it every year since I received the recipe. It is so simple and makes a great gift. Kids love its mild favor. And so do adults.

Homemade Salami

4 Lbs hamburger. Can use half ground pork and half beef.
 2 cups water

Add to the water:

4 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp onion powder
½  tsp garlic powder
5 Tablespoons  Morton Tender Quick Salt( a curing salt)

Add to meat and mix well. Your hands work the best. Wet hands and Shape into 3 rolls. Wrap in foil shining side in. Refrig for 24 hours.
Poke holes in bottom of rolls and place on a cookie sheet with a rack.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Before baking, ready for its 24 hour curing time.
After time in the oven.

And, of course, like every year, we have to taste it. Make sure it is good to give as gifts..

I am hoping my hubby is up to making fudge today. Every Christmas since we had kids old enough to eat fudge, my hubby makes his old fashioned  fudge recipe. It, too, is a recipe from his mother.

Old Fashioned Cocoa Fudge

2/3 cup cocoa
3 cups sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 ½ cup milk
¼ stick butter
1 tsp vanilla

Lightly grease 9” pan thoroughly. Combine dry ingredients  in a heavy sauce pan. Stir in milk. Bring to a bubbly boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once boiling, boil without stirring to 234 f (soft-ball stage) or until small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water forms a soft ball.
Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla. Do not stir*. Cool at room temp. to 110 ( pan is barely warm to touch) Beat with wooden spoon until fudge thickens and loses its gloss. Quickly spread in pan. Coo completely cut into 1 inch squares.

*Hubby starts beating instantly at this point.

No marshmallow crème for him or candy thermometer.
This, too, we give as gifts.

As one granddaughter said when I mentioned that, maybe, Grandpa wouldn’t be up to making fudge this year “ wouldn't be Christmas without Grandpa’s fudge”.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Have you ever cooked/baked with Lavender?

This morning, while checking my twitter account, I noticed a tweet about culinary Lavender. Never knew there was such a thing. Decided to check it out on Swagbucks. As I figured it is dried edible lavender flowers.  The first site went on about making sure you used safe Lavender, free from pesticides and chemicals. That made sense. I wouldn’t want to make anyone sick or worse, dead. It said that some Lavender is better suited for cough drops, some salads, cookies or tea. “A bundle added to the grill to smoke meats adds a lovely flavor”. Now I was curious. I wanted to know what it tastes like. So, on with the hunt.  

Here are a couple of answers I found.
You can substitute lavender for thyme or marjoram.
A sweet flavor with just a touch of citrus.

 But the best answer I found was this:
“At first bite, lavender tastes exactly like it smells: a little bit like evergreen, a little bit like  mint, a little bit like rosemary and a little bit like flowers -- spicy flowers. Lavender is surprisingly peppery.”

You can read more about it here.

Found recipes here:

I used to grow lavender. I think I will plant some come spring.

Have you ever cooked with Lavender? Did you like the taste?
Let me know, please.

Take care.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Orange and yellow car.

I decided, that since I am not doing cartwheels just yet, that I would do Wordless Wednesday. Or, at the least, fewer words. Hubby and I are feeling lots better but not up to par, yet. Did do daycare today, tho.

Take care, and stay well.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Weather matches how I Feel

A dreary Monday morning here. Matches how hubby and I are feeling. He is back in bed and I am sitting here waiting for the Dr. office to open. If we hadn't had the flu shots, I would say we have the flu.  I haven't  called off a daycare very many times over the years but I knew, if I didn't, it would be a supper long day. Hope the Doc gives some magic pill.

I felt pretty good yesterday evening. Even took a couple of shots of the sunset. I never get tired of it.

Have a good Monday.

A big P.S. We DO have the flu. And we had the flu shots. What a bummer.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It is a very foggy moring in my part of the world. I have a ton of things I want to get done today, but here I sit, watching football. I do have a pot of hamburger/vegetable soup on the stove simmering. Oh and I did venture out to feed the birds. It is like a warm spring day out,except it is December 1. Not your typical Iowa morning. Came back in and grabbed my camera. I should just hang it around my neck. That way it would be handy. Seems like I am always finding something to capture with it. 

Take care and Enjoy the rest of the weekend.