Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Contentment

Christmas contentment? Not yet, but I think it's just around the corner. I'm not done shopping, still haven't baked, but I am done with the decorations. Here's a quick look around the acre.

The living room tree.

The family room, too dark but you get the idea.

A snowman that I made many years ago...he's got a bird's nest on his shoulder.

Some sweet things on a table Glen made me one year for my birthday.

The nativity...the most important addition to the Christmas decorations.

My little "village." Each piece is small and was given to me by the kids when they were wee ones.

A better view of the living room.

That's the highlights. I enjoy all my Christmas things....and still I think I could live without it all. The older I get the less I seem to need.

I have a couple of gifts planned for post-Christmas giving and one for Christmas day. I have a watchcap on the needles for the hubby that I think I can get done for Thursday. I want to make some pajamas for two good friends, but we won't be seeing each other until somtime in January, so that's a big "WHEW." I can start those after Sunday.

I'm hosting the in-laws for Christmas on the 27th. Then it's my birthday and New Year's Eve, which will probably find us at home again this year. My mom will be here and maybe I'll fix something different for dinner. Any ideas?

My post wouldn't be complete without my blessings list...

...vaseline, which is helping the chapped lips

...the patience God is bestowing on me as I get older, I couldn't manage without it brings me so much joy and contentment bread machine, rediscovered after a long exile, its hum is music to my ears go-to pants worn but so loved

...candlelight, which warms my heart in so many ways

...after Tuesday, no work until January 5th

I am looking forward to finishing up shopping tomorrow and doing some baking on Tuesday evening. Candlelight service on Christmas Eve and home for "breakfast." I make a version of the Bob Evans breakfast casserole, a cinnamon streusal cake and fresh fruit for our evening meal after church. What are your plans? Wherever you are and wherever you'll be, I hope you are finding peace and feeling contented.

"The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have, and to be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach." ~ Lin Yu-t'ang

Friday, December 12, 2008

Plum Pudding And The Bread of Life

We've been down with colds here, but hopefully we're all on the mend. I'm behind, but looking to make up for lost time. Once the decorating is complete, I'll turn my attention to baking (a real joy for me). The picture above is all about plum pudding. My mom tells me my great-grandma made plum pudding with "hard sauce." Anybody know of a recipe? I have come across one or two, but haven't tried it yet. A few years ago I made fruitcake by request (Mom's), and it was pretty good....moist and sweet. This year Mom has talked of nothing but date bars. That will be first on my baking list.

When I first encountered the blogging world, I came across so many interesting blogs to read. I'm not sure how I found Yaya (or she found me), but I have been so blessed since I did. Since first "meeting," we have enjoyed a lovely friendship. A couple days ago, I was uplifted by a wonderful surprise from Idalia.
A package filled to the brim with several lovely items, many handmade. Thank you, Idalia, for your thoughtful kindness to me. Feast your eyes on this....

A sweet banner, machine embroidered by Idalia. This will stay up all year....I have to find just the right spot.Some delicious carmel sauce from's made with goat's milk. Ice cream is going on the grocery list...
A machine-embroidered towel, in the softest terry I've ever felt.
Handmade ornaments and two....yes TWO...lavendar sachets. Oh, if you could only smell the sweet fragrance.

Idalia also included several handmade yo-yo's and some Earl Grey cream tea, from the English Tea Store. I know I'm ringing the same 'ole bell, but I am so blessed these last months, I can hardly believe it.

The only certain thing about life these days is that it's very uncertain. My days don't seem to be my own anymore, and I'm trying to take it all in stride. Jesus told us not to heed earthly cares, for He is our bread of life.....we have all we need as long as we have Him. As you know, my blessings are abundant, and here's a few of them... Lord and bread of life

Sweet friends that make my days happier

My dishwasher...I realized tonight as I loaded her up how happy I am to have this convenience.....I mean, a girl can only do so many dishes by hand

Hot tea....heaven on earth

#2 pencils....freshly sharpened with a soft eraser (because I make a lot of mistakes : 0)

Next time I hope to have some picture of my finished Christmas decorations. I made good headway today. I'm keeping you all in my prayers....

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Peppermint Tea and A Christmas Tree

Greetings from snowy Michigan. We woke up to a winter scene....not a lot of snow, but enough to get one in the mood for Christmas. Sadly, I didn't snap a picture before'll just have to take my word for it : )

I spent all morning and afternoon over at my mom's doing lots of things around the house and getting her ready for church tomorrow. Boy, the time flies when I'm over there. She loves the company and I love her, so I guess that works. When I came home, this is what I did next....

Some peppermint tea and red sparkly nail polish for the toesies. I like being a girl.

Short post tonight....I'm off to the Advent Tea at church. Good friends, a good message and more tea! What more could a girl ask for? Hope you are warm and cozy tonight.

"If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you." ~Gladstone, 1865

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Blessings Near and Far

"Christmas angels to and fro, bent on deeds of kindness go."

Today when I came home, there was a surprise waiting for me. My friend Kathryn sent a lovely care package for me, all the way from Australia.
Kathryn, your kindness was just the "pickmeup" I needed today.

Included in the parcel was a calendar with beautiful pictures of Australia, some biscuits called "TimTams".... not found around these parts.

Some lovely lace, and cotton and silk embroidery thread, hand-dyed by a "lady in the country." Also, the pattern I requested and can't wait to try. I really love everything...the thread colors are favorites. Thank you Kathryn for your are a blessing to me.

I found a picture for Mom's room, we were both delighted with it...a really good fit.

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas around here. I usually keep the same wreath on the fireplace during the holidays that I have there all the time, but this year I wanted to try something new. I still have to put up a slim tree next to the fireplace...I'm working slower than ever before.

Tonight was the first Advent service. Not many people, but so peaceful. I am blessed to have my church so close to home, which makes getting there midweek even easier.

I am also thankful for the blessings of... mom, and the quality time we spend with each other

....a warm coat, and I've been needing it...chilly here crock pot, good for busy days

....all the wonderful people I have met through blogging. Even though you all dwell far from me, it's so nice to have you close in heart....and on the computer screen : )

"Friends are kisses blown to us by angels."
~Author Unknown~