Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Where's The Party?

Yes, that's what I asked when I got up this morning :o( After sleeping 18.5 hours the previous night (I hate to say it but it's true), I woke up feeling like I was partying all night but didn't remember the actual "fun" portion of the party. Do you remember in my post Mr. Sandman Bring Me... I stated that something was going to give soon and it wasn't going to be pretty? Well I officially hit the wall. At least I got to enjoy a bit of Christmas before doing so.

As you may have noticed, I have not been around to update my Blog. Do I have the flu? I wish! Is it my Fibromyalgia? I could tolerate that. No, the reason I have not been around is that I have been hit with a severe attack of vertigo :o( For anyone who hasn't had a vertigo attack, this is what it feels like. Imagine yourself drunk but not having the benefit of actually drinking any alcohol. The world feels like it's spinning around you. I can't eat, watch television, read a book, stitch, work on the computer, let alone drive. I have a tremendous pressure in my head with a constant (and loud!) ringing in my ears. One minute I'm famished and the next I can't even think about food. One minute I'm so hot I have sweat dripping and the next I'm so cold that I can't feel my fingers and toes. I sleep a lot and I sleep hard. Sometimes I wake up and I think I'm coherent but I can't feel certain parts of my body (maybe they are still asleep!). The dreams are awful and plentiful. I wake up wondering if some of them actually happened or not. Sounds like fun, huh? ;o)

It all started about a year and a half ago when I got my first attack. At the time I thought it was the flu but then it happened for three or four months in a row. Somehow and for some reason it went away and then about nine months later it was back and worse than before. I was popping Gravol like they were candy but it didn't do much good. Finally, after one of the more severe attacks that lasted seven days, I had had enough. The hospital wouldn't take me and the after hours clinic was useless. I saw my family doctor and asked if I could try Serc. I had read about it on the internet and heard through people that it helped with vertigo.

Serc definitely has helped. It has taken an agonizing weeklong torture down to about a day and even sometimes that day is so mild that I have a hard time knowing that it is an attack. What happened this time? I have no idea. I don't know if my body just couldn't handle any more or if the generic Serc I am taking is just not as effective. I'm thinking it's the former. I talked to my pharmacist and he states there should not be any difference between the Serc and its generic drug. I have a feeling that the circus I have been attending with work and LTD, along with the holiday season, just wore me out and made my body vulnerable.

In a few weeks I have an ENG (electronystagmography) test at the hospital. Supposedly it will determine if my problem is in the inner ear or with the central nervous system. Neither sounds appealing to me but if they can find a cause, I will be happy just to know.

Monday, December 25, 2006

We Wish You A...


It seemed that Santa arrived again while we were sleeping. I guess that must have meant that I was a really good girl this year ;o) DH, in an attempt to make my Christmas perfect, had stuffed my stocking full of goodies, placed a card on the tree and prepared a scrumptious breakfast by candlelight. I was so touched that he did this considering we had agreed no to do anything for each other this year but then again, we never listen to each other ;o) My sweetie got me all of my favorite things - a box of chocolate covered cherries (Lowney's of course), four delectable truffles by Godiva, a pack of Scratch & Win tickets (in which I won $10 from!), a CD (Matt Dusk ~ swoon!), fuzzy socks (to match my pajamas) and a book (Nobody's Mother, Life Without Kids by Lynne Van Luven). Am I spoiled or what! :o) The "kids" each got their own gift. Pickles got a package of Carrot Slims and unbelievably he loves them! Do you know how hard it is to buy for a rabbit???? Brie got a stuffed toy with TWO squeakers in it and Duncan got a nice big doggy bone :o)

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After breakfast we packed up the car, with both dogs in tow, and headed down to the ocean to spend Christmas with DH's family. It was a beautiful day, with no snow in sight, and we could have swore it was early fall. Once everyone arrived and we were somewhat settled in, the gift opening began! With eight adults, one baby and SIX dogs, you can just imagine what kind of madhouse we had going :o) All the gifts were wonderful and well thought out. My MIL loved the Flower Lady that I stitched for her -

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Our nephew, and his parents, was pleasantly surprised by his new Dory Rocker that my FIL made -

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I was very touched by the lovely cabinet that I received from my in-laws :o) DH put it up in the living room for me and it now holds a few of my special horse models -

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In all the giving and receiving, the dogs were not forgotten in the least! While we had hors d'oeuvres, the dogs got biscuits and dip (I kid you not!). Each dog received a bag of handmade cookies by my MIL, a special Christmas hanky from my SIL/SO, and a toy from my other SIL/BIL. Brie decided to pose with her hanky on but the way DH took the picture, it looks like she is sporting a pair of bunny ears :o)

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We "attempted" to take a picture of all the dogs together but this was the best we could do -

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From left to right we have Misha (Burmese Mountain Dog), Duncan (Australian Cattle Dog), Samson (a mix of Jack Russell and Lhasa Apso), Brie (Miniature Dachshund), Briar (Boxer) and Buddy (a Terrier mix). You try to arrange a picture with six unruly dogs and see how easy it is ;o)

My MIL put on a wonderful Christmas dinner as always. Everything was delicious and again, I behaved myself :o) While we waited for dessert and for our supper to settle, we decided to put on a fire...OUTSIDE! Yes, it was THAT nice that the boys went out and built a small campfire overlooking the ocean. I can't tell you how peaceful and tranquil it is down there. My MIL figures this should be our new Christmas tradition and I for one agree, just as long as we have the same nice weather year after year ;o) Instead of marshmallows, we snacked on a Chocolate Explosion Lava Cake for dessert and was it ever yummy! I will see about getting the recipe from my MIL if anyone is interested.

For our evening finale, we all participated in a rip roaring IQ game :o) I have come through it knowing that I am just as smart, or dumb, as those around me. LOL! It really is a neat game though so I will leave you with another brainteaser -

How many times does the digit 3 show up between the number 1 and 50?
For the one person that guessed and guessed correctly, 15 it is!

If you think you know the answer, post it in the comment section :o)

I hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as I had!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

For a number of years now, DH and I have alternatively switched Christmas Eve and Christmas Day between the two families. We used to try and do it all on the same day but it just got to be too much. Two turkey dinners in one day proves to be a very bad idea! LOL! Plus, with my parents now living 45 minutes away and DH's parents living about an hour and a half away, it's just not humanly possible. This year, it was Mom and Dad's turn to have us on Christmas Eve and it worked out very well seeing that it landed on a Sunday.

DH, Brie and I arrived at the lake shortly after lunch. I was quite impressed with Dad's tree, for a second year in a row, as he managed to part with another $20 and buy one from a tree farm again instead of venturing into the woods and coming back with his typical Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Now you may be chuckling at this but I'm very serious. To be truly honest, I think Charlie Brown's tree was actually fuller than some of those that Dad managed to bring home. Let me put it this way, even Brie would have hit a branch if she was thrown through Dad's tree this year ;o)

As predicted, the living room was full of presents. Brie be-lined for them right away and managed to find Duncan's gift but not hers. I think Mom was sneaky this year and put it up where she couldn't find it. Last year Brie was able to pick out her own gift and it was a dog leash, not food! I guess I taught her well as nothing surprises me much anymore. I'm quite good at my PGTs (Present Guessing Techniques) ;o)

Mom put together a scrumptious but elegant Christmas meal. I even ate some of her squish (squash)! I was good and took a little bit of everything, trying not to overload on one thing more than another. DH's plate needed sideboards but the boy can take all that food and not have to face the consequences afterwards :o) The meal was topped off with our traditional family dessert, Jell-O Squares. It's nice and light and the perfect ending to a huge meal. We've had this in our family for as long as I can remember and it wouldn't be a Christmas meal without it :o) If anyone is interested, here is the recipe -

Jell-O Squares

1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
2 1/2 cups graham wafer crumbs
1 1/4 cups boiling water
3 oz (85 g) package of Strawberry Jell-O
pinch of salt
250 ml whipping cream
1 cup icing sugar

Add melted butter to graham wafer crumbs and mix well. Keep aside about 1 cup for topping and press the remaining mixture into a 9 x 11 pan.

Add salt to the package of Jell-O and pour in the boiling water, mixing well. Place in fridge too cool to an egg white consistency.

Mix whipping cream and icing sugar until cream is whipped. Add it to the Jell-O mixture and mix well. Pour onto wafer crumb base and sprinkle on wafer crumb topping. Place in fridge to set, about three hours. Keep refrigerated.

If you have any questions, I might be able to answer them :o)

After dinner it was present time! Woohoo! And believe me, I wasn't the only kid there ;o) Between Mom and Brie, there was a huge tie, lol! As usual, DH and I were spoiled but everything will be put to good use. The neatest thing I got was a 1GB Verbatim U3 Smart Drive from Dad. What a cool gadget! It's got this neat picture software on it and it will definitely come in handy when sorting and storing my many pictures. It's also got an email program but I'll need to spend more time with that before I get brave enough to try it :o) I couldn't believe it but I also got some stash this year! I got two sets of DMC floss (66 skeins in total) and a 2-meter piece of moss green Monk's Cloth for my next Swedish Weaving project. Again, very spoiled indeed!

Mom was very touched by the pillow I stitched up by Pine Mountain Designs -

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Dad was pretty pleased with his new John Deere tractor that I stitched as well -

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More than likely, it will go down in their bedroom along with the antique John Deere tractor seat that we got him last year :o)

Brie was like a mad dog, helping DH and I open our gifts, and it didn't stop until she got her own gift. It goes to show you just how smart she really is :o)

DH, Brie and I left Mom and Dad's at a reasonable time and when we got home, I was pretty much ready for bed but..."apparently" Santa arrived while we were out and there was a box waiting for me under the tree. Now this was a definite no-no as DH and I agreed not to do anything for each other this year. I quickly unwrapped it and inside the box was a beautiful, soft pair of penguin fleece pajamas! The funny part was...I quickly explained to DH that I had bought "him" something and that it was hiding under the couch so I had easy access to it on Christmas morning. His answer..."I know." You see, DH thought it was a great idea to hide "my" gift under the couch as well (for easy access) and came across the wrapped gift that I had hidden there :o) Can you see how much we think alike???? Scary! LOL!

Since I was wide-awake by this point, I thought I might as well open the rest of the gifts under the tree :o) I have some wonderful friends and each gift they send me is special. I was tickled pink with one in particular though. It came from my good friend in British Columbia -

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It's a little Norwegian Fjord pin and I just adore it! It reminds me so much of the Fjord ponies that we used to have, Princess in particular. This is one item I will treasure dearly :o)

A big THANK YOU to all!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mr. Sandman Bring Me...

SOME SLEEP! Please! I'm working off of very little this week and I'm desperate for a good night's sleep. Every inch of my body is screaming :o( I've tried television induced (do you know how many things are wrong with Lake Placid?), literature induced (I've finished my most recent book), food induced (put it this way, my "lifestyle change" has been thrown out the window) and drug induced (prescription people!) sleep but nothing is working. Maybe my next step is to ask DH to hit me over the head with the good ol' rubber mallet ;o) I think that would be too tempting for him though, lol! I have no idea if it's a FM High or that I just can't turn my brain off but something is going to give pretty soon and it probably won't be pretty. Knowing my luck I'll sleep right through Christmas!

The good thing is, I have gotten back to my stitching :o) Gathering Eggs is still on hold but only for the time being. There are a couple of projects that I want to complete over the holidays and then it will be back to her. I finally finished up my PIF gift and it's on the way to the UK as I type! I'm not going to post pictures yet because I know Karen comes by my Blog on a regular basis and I don't want to ruin the surprise for her. I still have three slots available to PIF so feel free to sign up if you are up to the challenge ;o)

I also dug out my Snowmen WIP and completed him -

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I stitched him on the 25 count Moss Green Lugana that was called for but he was done over two and not over one. I still value my 20/20 vision! LOL! I was really unsure of the colors in the variegated silk (Belvedere Gardens) so that is why I didn't finish him up before this. I'm still not sure of it but I have to say that it's growing on me :o) Right now I'm working on his mate, Be Merry. I doubt they will be turned into ornaments as they will be too big but I might attempt to make them into cubes. We'll see!

Last night, DH came home with my two pieces that were taken to the framers earlier in the week and all I can say is...they look FANTASTIC! I'm so pleased! I can't post pictures yet but look for them after Christmas ;o)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm Too Sexy For...

My new sweater!!!!

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LOL! So what do you think? Since Brie has been acting like such a brat lately, I was able to get some revenge last night when DH brought home her new sweater :o) A friend of ours makes them and I had brought Brie over to her house to have it custom fit. The problem with having a l-o-n-g dog is that most of the "outfits" out there are way too short. Dachshunds have a very deep chest that narrows quite abruptly at the waist so they are not (or should not be) the same thickness all over. This sweater was long enough but she brought it in at the waist and lengthened it underneath so that it covers most of her hairless tummy. Since Brie is a "girl" doggy, we don't have to worry about the trap door ;o)

Brie is usually quite a ham in front of the camera but she was in no mood last night to be bothered. DH and I worked together to get this shot -

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I still have to get a picture of her in her John Deere outfit but I'll wait to torture her another day ;o)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Here Comes Santa Claus

Yes, only one more week until Christmas Eve. It's hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner! Literally! Are you ready? I'm getting there. There are a few items that I am quite worried about even though it was said that they would be guaranteed for December 25. Basically it's out of my hands at this point. Maybe Santa is going to drop them down the chimney ;o) I have one more thing left to do on my list and that should be easy to complete this week. Maybe I should just bite my words now... At least the Christmas cards were completed and mailed out on Friday! Whew!

On Friday night, my parents along with my Gram, arrived for supper and a good old fashion slide show :o) DH did a wonderful job with the Shepherd's Pie. It has now become one of my favorite dishes after cooking a roast. Supper was topped off with a yummy lemon meringue pie from Mom :o) Afterwards, we all settled in to watch some slides. Talk about being taken back in time! Whoa! It was quite amusing to see all the old cars and clothing of the early seventies but it was my baby pictures that were quite a hit with DH. I didn't know I had so many bad facial expressions! LOL! One important note - the invention of Huggies should be on the top 10 list of best inventions!!!!

Brie has been a total brat this past week! I have no doubt that she knows Santa is coming. The dog is just too smart. I keep telling her Santa will not come if her behavior continues but my warnings have been falling on deaf ears. She put on a good show for Mom, Dad and Gram. She just LOVES her grandparents and great grandparent but this is the perfect time to act up. I had better not tell her that she's spending Christmas with all her cousins because we'd never get her to settle down then!

The rest of the weekend was spent watching Christmas shows and finishing up gifts :o) I finally got to see It's A Wonderful Life! DH and I stayed up late Saturday night so we could watch it. Yes, I am paying for it now but it was such a good movie that I had to see how it ended! No wonder it's so popular. I just can't figure out why I never saw it before now. Today DH and I watched Christmas Vacation, Mickey's Christmas Carol and The Small One. If you have never seen The Small One I highly recommend it. It's such a wonderful story. Just ask Katie ;o)

On Saturday night DH and I also went through our DVD collection. It's insane! We narrowed down the ones we wanted to keep and even that is a HUGE pile. We took the ones we didn't want into Blockbuster Video and they gave us a $115 credit! Woohoo! Now we have some new movies to watch. I got Over The Hedge, An Unfinished Life, March Of The Penguins and Flight Plan. DH picked up Beowulf & Grendel.

Gathering Eggs has been gathering dust. My stitching was put on hold this past week and I really miss it :o( I laced up two projects this weekend but I find it so hard on my back. Thankfully there are no more in the near future. These two projects will be dropped off at the framers tomorrow. I also made one of my Blankets In A Bag -

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This is going to my aunt from my parents this year :o)

DH was also busy today and surprised me with Mr. Cedar Snowman -

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Isn't he cute???? We saw these a few weekends ago when we were down at the ocean visiting DH's parents. They were on some of the shops in St. George but we couldn't find out where they were being sold. DH had brought home some cedar clippings from a tree that had blown over so he tried his hand at making one of our own. I think he did a fantastic job! I'm so happy with my snowman :o)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Happy Birthday To...

My MIL! Luckily she has been having one of those extended celebrations as it has been spanning out for almost a couple of weeks now :o) I imagine she is probably out again today as well!

DH and I went down to the ocean this past Saturday to have our own birthday party for her and we had a wonderful visit. It was nice and relaxing with lots of yummy food and DH even made creme brule instead of a traditional birthday cake. I think it went over rather well ;o) Brie got to play with Cousin Buddy and Cousin Samson. We were a little appalled at her "flirty" behavior though :-o

I was finally able to give my MIL her gift that has been done for a few months now! The pattern is called Spring Garden and it's by Hob Nobb Designs -

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I tried a few new camera angles and I love the way it picks up the details of the stitching -

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During our visit, my MIL got out a new IQ game that they had bought for Christmas. I can't remember the name of it but it had a number of cards and as the difficulty of each IQ puzzle got harder, the higher the points. We went through a few of them just for fun and it really is an interesting game. One question I remember was for 12 points, I think, so it was one of the harder problems. Here's what it said -

A man gets into a waiting taxi. He tells the driver the address of where he wants to go. The two exchange no other conversation and have never met before. Along the way, the taxi driver stops and is able to lure the man out of the car and kills him. The taxi driver has never done anything like this before and it's completely out of his character. What made him kill the other man?

If you think you know the answer, let me know :o)

Boy, I'm a little disappointed in you guys! I only got one guess :o( The answer to the above problem is - the taxi driver had found out that his wife was having an affair but he had no idea who the man was. When the man got into his taxi and gave the destination address as the taxi driver's home, the driver knew it was the man his wife was having an affair with so he killed him.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Girl's Night Out!

YES! After about a month of planning, I finally got a night out with the girls :o) I can't even remember the last time I went out with "people" besides DH. It was almost too weird! LOL! To be brutally honest, I don't get out much at all so this was a wonderful and much needed treat. DH was a little jealous I think but in reality I don't think he wanted to stay home with Stinky Brie ;o)

Since a wonderful friend of ours could not join us, we devised a replacement for the evening and thus the birth of Flat Shannon -

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Hey, we didn't want her to miss out on all the fun! Plus, Katie and Faith Ann were traveling together so it was only fair that Flat Shannon travel with me :o)

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We began the evening by dinning out at an awesome restaurant called Seasons that specializes in Mandarin cuisine. As always, I was not disappointed and I wish I could go back for more right now! We each ordered an appetizer before the main meal and we were all surprised at Flat Shannon's appetite.

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She sure didn't have to worry about over eating with that slim figure of hers ;o) We tried to get Flat Shannon to pay our bills but it was a no go as she didn't bring her wallet. Typical!

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After reading our fortune cookies, we headed over to Stitch Night.

The stitching group welcomed Flat Shannon with open arms. They were all curious about the newcomer to the group ;o) Katie unloaded a pile of Christmas ornaments that she just happened to "whip" up. I swear that girl has too much energy! Faith Ann brought her Christmas Village by Victoria Sampler and I can't wait to see her progress with this project. The fabric she chose is GORGEOUS! I'm so in love but I've got too much on my plate to even contemplate that but usually those are the famous last words. LOL! Flat Shannon put a few stitches in but she didn't get too far with her project.

Shortly after 9pm (did I mention we were going to the late, late show?) we headed up the hill to the movie theaters. Flat Shannon finally got her Starbucks while we shopped around Chapters, waiting for the movie to start.

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Somehow, Flat Shannon was able to get in for free. Maybe they mistook her for a child because of her size ;o)

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We then loaded up with popcorn and I was able to get my Coke slushie fix. Ahhhhh! Goooood slushie!

Okay, I have to ask this...when did Jude Law get so scrumptious???? Holy Moly! I wish someone would have put a warning label on The Holiday because WOW! That's right, WOW! What a wonderfully romantic movie and I really want to see it again. I'm SO in love with the little English cottage and town. I wish there were places like that here. They look to be so quaint and quiet.

The movie got out at 12:15am and it was a foggy drive home. Luckily I had my co-pilot and Sarah's Sweet Delights to keep me awake :o)

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Myself, Flat Shannon, Katie & Faith Ann

We hope you had a great night Shannon!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

C Is For Cookie

Since I had a request for the Chocolate Dipped Cinnamon Thins, I thought I would post the recipe here for everyone :o) This recipe comes out of the Treasury Of Desserts book and it was the first time that we have tried it. The cookies are pretty good, even without the chocolate!

Chocolate Dipped Cinnamon Thins

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces broken bittersweet chocolate

Place flour and cinnamon in small bowl; stir to combine.

Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add sugar; beat well. Add egg, vanilla and salt; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture. Beat at low speed until well blended.

Place dough on sheet of waxed paper and roll back and forth to form a log about 12 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Securely wrap log in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm. Log may be frozen up to 3 months; thaw in refrigerator before baking.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut dough with a long, sharp knife into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until set.

Melt chocolate. Dip each cookie into chocolate, coating 1/4 of cookie. Let chocolate set before storing cookies between sheets of waxed paper. Cookies can be stored at cool room temperature or in refrigerator. They do not freeze well.

Makes about 2 dozen.

Shannon was also looking for a chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe and this one just may suit her needs. It's an old family recipe that's been made over and over and over again :o)

Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix shortening and egg together. Add both sugars and vanilla, making sure they are well combined. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Add chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spoon on ungreased pan and flatten with floured fork. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Makes about 1-2 dozen cookies. We usually double the recipe :o)

If anyone has any question about these recipes, please feel free to email me. I hope you will try them out and if you want, leave your feedback and let me know what you think. Please note - I am not responsible for weight gain ;o) Enjoy!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree


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Voila! There you have it! No fuss, no mess and no swearing! Well, the air was blue in the kitchen for awhile but that's to do with another matter ;o)

By the time I woke up this morning, the tree was already in the stand and waiting in the kitchen. I was quite surprised that a) it was standing and b) DH was able to get it standing straight without my help. In the past, this has always been a two-person job and even with the two of us we always managed to get into some kind of trouble. Oh the tales I could tell but I have given my solemn oath to DH that I will not publicly share them ;o) I have to admit that having a smaller tree does help and the tree stand that DH bought is working just fine. In a way it almost seemed TOO easy!

While DH was busy baking in the kitchen, I was in charge of decorating the tree once it was brought in to the living room. I decided that if we were to have a tree this year, it was going to be simply decorated. I didn't really relish the idea of bringing up all those boxes from the basement, or should I say crawl space. So for the second year in a row, our tree consists of only ornaments that DH and I have given each other every year, over the past fourteen years. This is the ornament that I got for DH this year -

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You might be wondering what DH was baking today :o) Well, he managed to get a loaf of banana bread and lemon bread done. I hate to say it but his lemon bread definitely surpasses mine but at least I still hold the title for best banana bread ;o) He also made a pan of my favorite squares. They are called Choco Squares and the recipe was featured in the Winter 2001 issue of Saltscapes magazine. It's been awhile since I've had them but I sure do remember how they taste! DH also baked the batch of Chocolate Dipped Cinnamon Thins that were waiting in the refrigerator, only minus the chocolate. Poor DH was having issues with melting chocolate this weekend and I have no idea why it gave him such a hard time. Hence the blue air in the kitchen :o)

This evening, DH and I made ourselves a little picnic and put our feet up while admiring our Christmas tree :o) There is nothing that I love more than to just sit back and take in its beauty. The best nights are the ones where I turn out all the lights, except those on the tree. I grab my nice heavy quilt that was made by my mother, because it's snowing outside, and I curl up on the couch. I lie there and just take in the smell of the tree and watch how the lights dance on the ceiling. Ah! Pure, simple bliss...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Santa's Little Helper

Look what arrived in our mailbox this week :o)

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Isn't that just the cutest little thing you've ever seen???? This is our newest nephew and I can say without a doubt that he's not only cute but he's got a wonderful temperament as well. If someone could guarantee me that my child would turn out like that, I would have ten of them! Okay, maybe not ten but I'm sure motherhood would be much more appealing ;o)

DH and I both had the afternoon off so we hooked up and decided to get a few errands done. We met at the framer's where I'm getting some pieces framed for Christmas presents :o) DH brought Brie in with him and she was sporting her new red coat. I promise to take some pictures of her this weekend :o) We then went next door so I could get our Mango Lime Salsa by Stonewall Kitchen and I also picked up their Raspberry Salsa. It looked intriguing so it will be interesting to see if it's as good as the Mango. It was on to the toy store where we picked up a gift for our nephew. If it wasn't so crowded, I'm sure DH and I could have played all day in there! LOL! We had one more stop downtown and that was at the German bakery where we picked up some bread and cinnamon buns. Yummy! Boy was it cold though! DH and I weren't thinking clearly and neither of us had any change for parking so we ended up far away, on one of the side streets. I don't think the $10 parking ticket was worth the frozen ears though :o(

Before we headed for home, we made the most important stop...the Christmas tree. Yes, we now have our tree and what a nice tree it is :o) We went to the same guy that we did last year and although it's not a big tree, it's full and nicely shaped. It was the first one I looked at and I've learned, the hard way, to always go with my first instinct. I have to say that just picking up the tree has started to put me in the holiday mood. We are thinking about putting it up on Sunday. That seems to be good timing as Christmas Vacation will be on television :o) That has become a classic in our household now including The Christmas Story. I have yet to see It's A Wonderful Life but it's my goal to watch it this year. What's your favorite Christmas movie?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bah Humbug! Part III - The Return Of The Christmas Tree Stand

Seeing that his initial plan wasn't working, the evil Scrooge
decides to attack from the inside. He sends his
Scrooge Troopers in with the last available weapon...
the Christmas tree stand. Again, Young DH
gets wind of the evil plan but will he be
able to save Christmas for
Princess Pumpkin...

Yes, tree stands are another issue in our household. I have no idea why. When I was growing up, we always had the same stand year after year. It was metal, painted white with red and green stars on it. From what I can remember, Dad never had a problem getting the tree to stand straight but then again, we're talking about my Dad ;o) Right from the beginning, DH and I have had problems with tree stands AND trees. We've tried different stands over the years ~ metal ones and plastic ones. I can't say that I have been impressed with any of them.

I've been desperately trying to convince DH to invest in this super cool new tree stand from Canadian Tire that enables you to straighten the tree without fuss. It was like it was invented just for us! No fuss, no mess, no swearing! You get the picture ;o) And plus, with his $60 "savings" we'd be breaking even! I doubt DH appreciates my skewed reasoning, LOL!

At least DH is trying and he was pretty proud the other night when he came home with our new tree stand that only cost him $6.15 after he cashed in his Canadian Tire money :o) Since we are "supposed" to have a small tree this year (small to us usually means at least 6'), it should work well. To reinforce it, DH is going to mount it to a piece of wood. My thoughts ~ yes it should technically work but I've had enough Christmas tree disasters to know the real truth ;o) I'm going in with my eyes wide open! DH might be avoiding the tippy tree but there's still the leveling to contend with. We've tried this stand before and where did it end up? It was pitched out the door, still attached to the tree! Will this be the fate of our new Christmas tree stand? Only time will tell...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bah Humbug! Part II - The Christmas Lights Strike Back

Having heard that the Scrooge Troopers are in full force,
Young DH decides to head them off on a different path.
The evil Scrooge is determined to ruin Christmas
for the Princess Pumpkin this year and
Young DH refuses to let that happen.
In his gallant attempt, Young DH
will try anything but
will that be enough to stop
the evil Scrooge...

I really appreciate DH's attempts at trying to make this a good Christmas for me but I have a feeling it's just not in the cards this year. A few nights ago, he dug out the outdoor icicle lights, determined to decorate the house for the holidays. For once he actually decided to listen to me and agreed to check the lights "before" they were put up. Last year he failed to do this and half the lights were out so the lights remained up but they were never turned on. So, last night I decided to offer my help in checking the lights, thinking that it would start to put me in the Christmas mood. Out of the nine strands of icicle lights, only three worked, thus began the task of checking e-v-e-r-y light bulb. After about an hour or so, I only managed to get half a strand working therefore still leaving SEVEN strands still not working. I finally decided to throw in the towel since my right index finger and thumb were throbbing with pain :o( Yes, that's right, my "stitch-ing" finger! Nothing is worth sacrificing the stitching finger ;o)

Gathering Eggs only received a bit of attention yesterday but I did make it through one of those awful pink flower/tree thingies. She has definitely been working up faster than I expected but those thingies have been slowing me down. I'm not sure how much stitching I'll get done tonight as we are heading to Mom and Dad's for supper.

Not too long ago, DH showed up and poked his head in the window where I sit at work. He had just come from Canadian Tire where he spent $60 on three strands of LED lights! Ouch! And these were not the icicle LED lights either. I really think LED lights are the way to go. There is no way on this earth that I want to fight with mini icicle lights each year! I guess the reason why they are so cheap is that they come with so much "frustration" :o) Thankfully, reason took over and DH decided to return the $60 lights but now he figures that he has "saved" $60 and that warrants a nice bottle of whiskey. As skewed as his reasoning is sometimes, I still love him ;o)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bah Humbug!

Wow, I can't believe that it's been almost a week since I last posted! I have no idea where the days went to, let alone the end of November. As I write this, I am looking out my window at the beautiful snow that is steadily falling and it truly is a wonderful sight. What do you think?

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Now ask me tomorrow what I think of this horrible "white stuff" and I guarantee it will be a different story ;o)

With the arrival of this snow, along with the month of December, it means we are all the more closer to the big day. To be honest, I can't seem to get into the holiday spirit. My Christmas cards remain in their box, our annual letter has not been written and the Christmas lights are not up. I don't even want to get into what I think about getting a tree this year :o( I am happy that our ornaments have been bought though. Since our very first Christmas together, DH and I have exchanged ornaments :o) DH receives a pewter ornament with a note engraved while I get a handmade ornament from the same lady that comes to the Christmas Craft Fair on the first weekend of December. This is my ornament for this year :o)

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I really hate the fact that I sound like Mrs. Scrooge but it's been hard seeing family traditions go by the wayside each year :o( DH and I used to host a Christmas party for friends and family and it was something that I really enjoyed doing. Once my energy hit the zero level, we had to give it up. Brie missed her Santa visit this year and I was quite upset about that. Maybe I would be in a better frame of mind if it weren't so consumed with LTD and work at the moment. Sigh!

On the stitching front, I have been making great progress on Gathering Eggs!

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Notice the big difference from the last picture I posted :o) As with all my bigger projects, I usually end up with a love/hate relationship. There are days when I really love her and I find the colors so bright and uplifting. Then there are other days when I'm disliking her and thinking that the colors are so garish and awful. I'm doing quite well at avoiding the urge to start something new but there are days when I'd love nothing better :o) Lately, I have been working away at my 2007 Stitching Goal List and it should be interesting to see how well I do next year. I would have to say that making a list for 2006 was somewhat of a success. I managed to finish six out of the planned eleven, two of which were big projects. There's still time left but I doubt I will squeeze in any more from the list before the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve ;o)