The beast and I…

Me and… Charlie...
Me and… Charlie…

We had an early Christmas at Fred’s parent’s  house – it was so nice… the food was tasty, the house was decorated beautifully and there were photos taken (thanks for this one LTS)! This is me with a grip on Charlie enough to get a photo… I felt like a wrestler… ha ha…

Normally I schedule my posts ahead of time… I got up this morning, and went to check to see what I had to say… Hmmmm, nothing? Ohhh nooooo! So here is a quick post of the beast and I. Hope that your holidays have been bright and that you are getting back to normal now… My posts will return to normal after the first of the year, let me know what you want to hear more about!

Wishing you a great day! If you’re in Charleston, SC I will be at Galerie on Broad (29 Broad Street) today. It should be a beautiful day to walk around downtown and check out the local galleries. Hope to see you there!

F L A S H B A C K

O N E   Y E A R   A G O…        Featured Artist… Bill Davidson!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…   Artist to watch… Scott Hamilton!
Catch you back here tomorrow!

The best cookies for decorating… a holiday tradition!

Christmas Cookies!
Christmas Cookies!

Growing up we had a tradition in our house… Christmas cookies… bake them and decorate. There was nothing better! To top it off they are the tastiest you will ever eat! The frosting sets so they don’t get smushed into each other. You don’t need any special tools (we use zip top storage bags). Make and bake the cookies. Then make the frosting. Scoop some of the “white” into a zip top bag, then divide the frosting into bowls of whatever other colors you like. (Red, green and blue is what we usually did, in addition to white). Add food coloring to each bowl and get it the color you like. A good “grinch” green mix blue and yellow food coloring until you hit that great green… or if you don’t feel adventurous, just use the green food coloring. Next, snip the very corner of the bag, and the frosting will flow through that to decorate. Easy and so much fun. You really see the artsy folks stand out here! Click HERE to print the recipe minus all the photos, etc.

Decorate however you like, neat, messy, in whatever colors you create!
Decorate however you like, neat, messy, in whatever colors you create!

 

CHRISTMAS BUTTER COOKIES

Sift 2 3/4 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

In mixer bowl add 3/4 cup soft butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Beat until fluffy and light. Slowly beat in flour mixture. CHILL ONE HOUR.

Flour your work surface and roll out dough. Use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

YIELD: 4 dozen (IF you don’t eat the dough… good luck to ya!)

FROSTING

Mix 1/4 cup butter, 4 cups (1 box) confectioner’s sugar, 1/4 cup scalded cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Blend until smooth. Scoop into separate bowls and add food coloring (hint: yellow and blue mixed makes an awesome ‘grinch’ green). Scoop colored frosting into Ziplock bag (doesn’t have to be Ziplock, any zip top is fine, I use freezer quart size bags) and snip a little off the corner. Squeeze onto cookie to decorate! If you need the frosting thinned a bit more, I have great luck just using light cream, add a little at a time until it will easily come out of the bag to decorate.

 

F L A S H B A C K

O N E   Y E A R   A G O…        Plans to make, gifts to take… remember the reason for the season!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…   Thank you to artist Dan Corey, an artist who knows the reason for the season!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Handmade wooden painted ornaments… treasures!

Christmas ornaments made by Joe Fidler
Christmas ornaments made by Joe Fidler

I have a gorgeous collection of Christmas ornaments that my dad made. I made one, can’t remember which one, I think it turned out too thick for my liking…  he really made each one so different, and they look festive displayed in this wooden bowl that he made. He’s a handy kind of guy. If I was in MI I would be learning how to make all this stuff… treasures!

Are you getting everything on your list accomplished? Well, no worries, me either, ha ha! It’s what the holidays are all about! Have a great day!

F L A S H B A C K

O N E   Y E A R   A G O…        Yet another wicked cool sky!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…   Recipe for butter Christmas cookies with frosting – beautiful to decorate!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

The not tough dog toy that stood the test of time… kinda!

Charlie Christmas...

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make you so happy… Our niece bought Charlie some dog toys for Christmas. He. Loved. Them. We don’t buy him toys because he destroys them in ten minutes. We make one exception… Christmas. We buy him a toy and he loves it more than anything for a full ten minutes and then it is destroyed beyond belief. Lindsey bought tough-destroy-resistant toys. Nearly indestructible ones, for a normal dog. Ten minutes and *BAM* missing leg… ten minutes on the other and *BAM* missing ear… then the not-tough toy, the braided blue/green/white toy. Now THIS is the not tough dog toy that stood the test of time… kinda… I guess the term “time” is relative. For some it may be years, others months, some weeks, and a few… a day. He pulled the fuzz.. he tossed it around, he chased after it… whoa, this is the one that’s going to last! I re-wrapped it for Christmas day and he had a blast ALL DAY… the stuffing was gone, but he was good about not swallowing it. He would finish by UNBRAIDING the three pieces… and there they were… three individual pieces… which I would braid again, tie in a knot and give back… that lasted until Christmas night when there wasn’t much left to braid. So I traded him for a cookie. He was good with it. I think he was pooped! This will become a Christmas tradition! Hope you all had a nice holiday!

Thanks Lindsey!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

I think I’ve found where I want to live… finally!

WhereIWantToLive socialmediaseo.net

I think I’ve found the place I want to live… Charleston, SC is great, don’t get me wrong. It’s picturesque, has lots of history, is filled with artists and galleries… but it’s hot. OH. SO. VERY. HOT. During the long summers we like to dream about places that we’ll move to that will be nice and chilly! I have finally found that magical place! It’s right here in this image. Snow (not the black icky icy/slushy stuff on the side of the road), nice deep snow, perfect for cross country skiing, or sledding. Big, beautiful “Christmas trees” everywhere with snow on the branches and lights in the trees! A church steeple would be nice too. I want to build a snowman, and walk with Fred and Charlie through the freshly fallen snow.

RRRRRRRTTTTTT! I know, that’s not how life is in the ‘snow’. I’m from Michigan, so I understand what you’re thinking. But I’ve been in South Carolina for 23 years, so my memory of the pain-in-the-heiny part of snow and driving is more of a distant memory. Yep, this is where I want to live if we ever move… and if this doesn’t work out… maybe Whoville??

Whoville seuss.wikia.com

Where is your dream place to live? Catch you back here tomorrow!

Twas the night before Christmas…

TwasNightBefChristmas beingpaternal.blogspot.com

Can you believe that The Night Before Christmas was written 189 years ago? It was originally a poem that appeared in the newspaper (anonymously!) on December 23, 1823!  I still read this book every year… it’s a tradition better than making cookies that I’ll eat, ha! I wish you and your family a blessed Christmas full of health and happiness!

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads,
And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap —

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:

“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer and Vixen,
“On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donder and Blitzen;
“To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys — and St. Nicholas too:

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:

He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:

His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Image and poem are not mine… I think that’s pretty obvious, but thought I would mention just-in-case!

A night so beautiful it looked like a painting by…

DSCN1298

Here is a photo from my past trip to Michigan. The weather was fair for the most part, a tad bit rainy, but no snow… the sunrises/sunsets are AMAZING. It’s probably best that I don’t live on the water because I would never get anything done! As soon as I get in the front door from taking photos… BAM the sky moves, more sun/bright colors peek through, and back I go! This is the coolest little tree my dad made. More people stopped to look at it! It’s not much to look at during the day, but come dark… WHOA! Absolute magic! It’s an umbrella/table. On the top he put a round thingy… he attached the light to it at the top and secured them to the deck at the bottom. If I remember right he used smaller green lights to be the “tree” and bigger colored lights to be the “bulbs”. He scrunched and secured in areas as well so it wasn’t a straight shot from top to bottom… very cool indeed! The combination of the tree, the awesome sky and the “old fisherman crossing” sign just made this such an interesting subject. Those features coupled with the telephone pole and electric lines screamed to me… COLIN PAINTING. Funny how certain scenes remind me of a specific artist… This one was Colin Page!

Hope you’re out and about decorating and making things special for whichever holiday you’re celebrating! For us, it’s Christmas… we have the tree (check!), it’s decorated (check!) and it looks so beautiful! Next few days we’ll get some lights in a tree outside, then we can kick back and relax!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Christmas Tree… Fresh or Fake?

2011 Christmas Tree...

Well, it’s that time of year… time to put up the Christmas tree! Have you ever had a tree fall over after you’ve decorated it? In the 20 years that we’ve been married we’ve had two trees topple over… devastating consequences… the first tree had lots of glass (beautiful) bulbs… only a few of the glass bulbs survived… it happened as soon as we finished decorating it. It was beautiful. We went to bed and CRASH! Ugh… hours of cleanup and then cement blocks to keep it from falling over. Over the years we finally gave up the cement blocks. Do we REALLY need those big heavy things? Nah… We decorated the tree and a few days later CRASH. Tree toppled… water was everywhere. We had one of those big heavy duty stands that seemed (at the time) to hold about 90 gallons of water! We UNdecorated the tree (sigh)… and moved it to the sunroom… if it floods in there all is well… then we put a little cup hook in the moulding and have tied the top of the tree to it. You can’t see it, but it’s keeping the tree from taking a dive! That (and the cleanup) is the downside of a fresh tree. But the smell, ahhhh… I guess it’s what you grow up with. We always had a fresh tree, so I can’t think of anything but.

Whether fresh or fake, Christmas trees and their beautiful lights can give off such a nice warm glow. I love that! The bonus is that we can see the Christmas tree that’s in our sunroom, but it’s in a cooler room away from the fireplace!

Enjoy your tree! Catch you back here tomorrow!