Sunday, December 27, 2009

More Christmas

Not home much as we gather with family visiting in town.
We'll have a lot to do when we are finally back here.
Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

May the peace of the season fill you as we celebrate the reason for the Season!! Enjoy the time with your family and friends. It is this time that the memories are made from.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Silver Lining

Too Many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
- Maurice Setter

There almost always is a silver lining if you look hard enough for it. It often can be hard if we are looking for "Perfect". You know that saying a bad day at the beach is still better than a day at work. I have found that setting my expectations lower often leads to some amazing events. I know that may sound anti -productive. Aren't we a society that says set your expectations high or you will never go anywhere? In some instances that os true, regarding education and jobs but when we look at how we spend our time or the receiving of "things" we need to modify and adjust. Having kids helps a great deal with this. Your time is not your own and you never know when you will have time. So make the best of whatever time you get when you get it. Gifts- expecting nothing means anything you get will be great! The perfect vacation, time and experience tells me and shows me that adversity in weather and circumstances if with in reason allows for a more meaningful experience.
Don't overlook the silver lining, it may be hiding the gold!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Elves in the Kitchen . . . .

Lot's happening in the kitchen these days. Cookies, Candies, Gingerbread houses . . . coffee cake, chex mix, Sticky buns, appetizers, it is all good and all messy. Everyone has had a hand in the making and baking.

We have our favorites that we make every year and then some are biannual and some new every year.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Messy parts of Holiday

The Holidays are not without the messy parts.
All the baking, pans, flour, sugar . . . . then the wrapping, ribbon, tape and paper scraps . . . . the card sending, envelopes, letters, stickers, stamps, It can create quite a messy area when you have it all out.
I would not trade any of it.
Sometimes I would like more space out of the public eye for some of the mess but that is all. The rest can stay as it is part of what makes it all a whole. It is the preparation, the waiting, the hurrying. it is almost here are you ready?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Quilt

This was created to fill the need that every child have a special Christmas Quilt. so my old friend who now has a beautiful daughter adopted from China has a Christmas Quilt. I love to do things like this. I like to create with my hands. I love putting all the colors together. This had not pattern just strips fit together with center Santa Theme fabric. Doing it this way, I had to do a bit of fussing to make it all work but in the end it was fine. I used Satin Blanket binding for the edge, it was a fast way of finishing it as well as it goes with the book Pumpkin Blanket which is a favorite of my kids.
I did not make it very big- 40 inch square which means it may not have growing power but we'll cross that bridge later, for now it will be just right.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Elf buisness going on here

Well I know it is not for everyone but making things is what I like to do. I love looking through books for just the right idea. Trying to figuare out if I have what I need. The biggest thing I never have is enough time. Always pulled in a 1000 directions and the interruptions, that really can eat up time. So this time of year I am busy baking, making art, sewing, knitting, quilting, but then again I am all year through. it is not just a Holiday thing.
Right now we are down to about 3 days and I have a weeks worth to finish!! wish me luck

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ordinary moments

As said before, the ordinary quite often is the extraordinary. Do we ever know when the last time we will do something for a loved one whether it is because they outgrow it or because other forces have changed our paths. Enjoy each moment. Live, laugh , love, but the greatest of these is Love. Be sure to sit in front of your Christmas Tree and enjoy it. Be sure to read the family Christmas books that you love, in other wards as the clique says " stop to smell the roses"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lake Effect Snow

The southern and eastern shores of the Great Lakes of North America are notorious for the heavy snowfall they receive each winter (Fig 1), especially from late November to early January. This is due to what is known as the lake-effect snow, and it may lead to large regional differences. For instance, 50 cm of snow may accumulate over the course of a few days near the shore, and 50 km from the lake shore the ground may be bare. Lake-effect snow occurs elsewhere as well, e.g. near Lake Baikal in Russia, but nowhere is it so pronounced and has it such an effect on ground and air transportation.

Last week we were getting Lake Effect from Lake Erie which is unusual. THe bands were very strong and went in land much further than usual.

Lake effect influences our every days- we could get a lot or nothing. We can get snow when there is no storm moving through. we can get inches and feet of snow thanks to the big lake Producers. As soon as Lake Erie freezes over the Lake effect ends. Lake Ontario is much deeper and does not tend to freeze over ever.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Trees


Just a few of the trees in our house. As you can see we have an everything goes Tree - all the ornaments have a story. Being that our house is 187 years old . . . how many Christmas trees has it seen? What did they do during the Civil war, during WWII? I am sure many years it was as cold as it is right now. We have not turned on the Furnace yet- heating with our wood stove ( Center of the Universe) it is not to bad. Today we are having 40-50 mph winds and snow so it is rather drafty and not getting to warm but then that is why I knit and quilt after all. Need to rationale it somehow.
We love our tree and all that is on it.m It is one of the traditions we love best. What traditions do you love about the Holidays?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Always out of Season

What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night,
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime,
It is the little shadow that runs across the grass
and loses itself in a sunset.

Death comes,
and always out of season.
It is the command of the great Spirit
All nations and people must obey.

Excerpts from book: Beyond the Ridge by Paul Goble
A Lakota story about how they view death.
It is well done.

This book has Grace and simplicity in the discussion of loss and death.
Sometimes living with each other is a challenge but living without a loved one is so incredibly difficult. The grieving process is so individual and often very long.
The hard part is when the rest of the world is back to "normal" and you are not and that they expect that you should be. The best gift is of your time/& presence, words are often unnecessary.
After living through calling hours and having a good friend there for us- just in the room it was just the best. There presence said I care and love you and it made the difficult task all that much easier. Unfortunately we have been able to return the favor- not something you would like to have to do. Accompanying someone on their journey of grief is perhaps one of the greatest gifts you can give.
In memory of my cousins wife who left to fly with the Angels on 12/4/09
A life ended all to soon. Godspeed Jean. You are missed.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Morning Light

Well this is early morning light here at Chestnut Hill. It is not everyday we get sunshine here in Western NY so we need to note it when we do! Right now with the sun lower in the sky both in the AM and PM it is very pretty as it shines into the house.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December List

whoops hit enter which posts this without making an entry.

Anyway . . . . our list for things we wna to do or do in December.

1. get the Tree and Decorate it
2. Decorate the house
3. put up the trains
4. go to Holiday Concerts one for each kid plus the Community band
5. Go to Teazarr at church
6. Go see Firetruck Parade
7.Work at Food link
8.Watch Polar Express
9.Read favorite Christmas books with cocoa around to see holiday lights
11.Watch the Grinch
12.Angel Tree gifts
13.Christmas caroling at local adult home
14.make/send Christmas cards
15.Make Gingerbread houses with Searings
16.Make/decorate Anise cookies
17.Deliver Neighbor gifts
18.Make holiday candy
19.Go see fantastic Mr. Fox
20.Go see Firetruck Parade
21.Get a Poinsettia
22.Make a special ornament
23.Make Greenery arrangements
24.Breakfast with Santa
25. go see trains
26. Put green on Grandpas Grave
27. make a wreath
28. go for moonlight walk
29. Review 2009
30. plan for 2010
31. Wrap gifts~~

Friday, December 4, 2009

December Corn Picking

To my cousins in the south of here I live in the city . . . . but we are suburban rural. I have many amenities nearby but yet tonight in this early December winter night they are picking corn. The field to the west is tonight the field to the east is still standing. The dog barks at the corn picker machine. I like to hear it but it is to cold for the windows to be open like in the spring when they are planting. Last week they were harvesting beans on the way into the kids schools and the road was white out or "bean out" conditions. The Chaff made it very hard to see. We also know we are rural when the manure spreader is making its rounds!! PEE U
Our December sky does not look like this picture, it is gray dark and no sun.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

First Snow

Not lasting snow but first snow none the less. Always fleeting always beautiful.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December First

Wow how did it get to be the last month of the year so fast?
Why does December go so fast?
How can we stop and smell the roses in December?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Getting the Tree

We used to walk out the door and our property bordered on a Christmas Tree Farm so we would harness up the sleds load them with kids and we would be off for a Saturday AM of tree selection. Well all that ended when the farmer decided to sell his property into a subdivision. We then decided to go to Stokoes Farm . That has been our destination lately. We take a tractor ride out to the trees cut one down ride the tractor back get the tree tied and into the car then go for Hot cocoa and a cookie, visit the animals, reindeer, stand near the bonfire, check out the Charlie Brown trees, the gift shop, the hay maze and this huge slide which is not always open. Then we load up the car , have a homemade cookie for the ride home and usually homemade Hot cocoa when we get there- this year the mama was all out of milk- imagine that! So no homemade Hot cocoa!eek

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thankful thoughts

Thanksgiving 2009
This day found us home. No better place to be. After a short hike nearby we sat down to a delicious meal that everyone contributed to. Kids made orange cranberry relish, place cards etc.. Mashed potatoes and gravy arrived, rolls, relishes, stuffing and sweet potatoes.
So many other contributions, after dinner we all tried Elderberry wine and then worked on a puzzle, games to be played, naps to be taken and papers to be read. We are thankful for family, warm houses, plentiful food.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mighty Muffins

I am not sure which I like more- Cookies or muffins. . . . Muffins are magical, your own personal little cake full of sweetness and goodies. Pictured above are Pumpkin, Banana Chocolate Chip, Blueberry cream, Cranberry orange. Totally love the tops off the pumpkin muffins, crunchy but soft on the inside full of spicy goodness. I am just experimenting with streusal toppings- boy you really have to load it on there in order to have it well covered after you bake them. Also working at Temperature - instead of just say 375 for 30 min doing 425 for 15 min then reducing it to 350 for 10-15 min. They rise more and have a nicer shape and are more firm on the top. Most of these went to neighbors and the rest went into work.
Nothing like fresh baked goods for Breakfast!! gotta love it .

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mundane Monday

Some days are just that 'days' and we are thankful that they are ordinary in their beauty and everyday life. For if they were not just another day, it might mean that we had crisis in our lives. Today I am thankful for 3 backpacks by the door and shoes laying around, a beautiful sunrise and Fog in the fields.
All is good.