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Christmas 2015

We had a very relaxed Christmas Day of just the 4 of us.  We had brunch foods mostly late morning and then everyone is big and was able to find something to eat when they wanted it.  Waffles, yummy coconut flake & raspberry pancakes, Gpa’s fresh maple syrup, yogurt in my bowl, hash browns, bacon.

No one has been interested in family photos lately so I tried one with me & the dog.  She is fine with photos from my camera but really doesn’t like selfies with my phone!  How does she know it ends up on here?

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So I worked on a selfie with me & the dog.  As good as it gets….
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Miss K had mercy on me and sat near me…. ♥

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P slightly allowed one….
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All while the dog got special attention and play.

Later we played a new card game that JP had bought.  Exploding Cats.   It is fun and we enjoyed several rounds.  I was out first in this round.

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Winter Views

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She just loves, loves, loves the cold and snow.  I don’t want to even be out.  P just does what needs done and comes in.  The dog thinks ….. ‘ahhhh….. my perfect life….. here on top of the ice-encrusted snow…. just basking’.

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Sometimes she aims her big nose right into the cold wind.  Just loving the cold air!

She does like to come in with me on the below zero days for a few hours.  Her big dog prints after our bit of the HUGE store to hit the east coast. (1/20) So glad we didn’t take all the snow before it got to the east!  :)

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Be shocked…. those mornings when the sun arises so late, I saw a sunrise!  I know people talk about them.  It just isn’t something I aim to see in my life.  ;)

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And one day I could see a cardinal from the computer all the way to the bushes.  There are berries that grow in there for them.  Another day I saw 2 females in the birch tree closer the house.  I finally found the bird feed and the bird feeder and have it outside.  I hope they find it.

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Pumpkins

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Finally in January there are some days at home to cook pumpkins that we harvested this fall.  They’ve been happily waiting their turn in the basement and garage.  One day I cut and deseeded 2.  I roasted them in the oven until soft and then processed in my Victorio strainer.  Love it!!  I had close to 8 cups of pumpkin!  In the evening I made a double batch of muffins with fresh ground wheat.  I was short 2 eggs so read and chose a banana for the substitute.  I put in 1/2 chocolate chips and half pecan pieces.  I don’t need all the amount of chocolate chips to cloud my thinking of how many muffins I consume!

I also announced that night that I needed someone else to cut pumpkins!  So while the muffins were in the oven, my farmer cut 3 more pumpkins for me.  And in the meantime, I had looked at the Victorio book closer and it said to cook in 1″ – 2″ cubes and then process.  Yippee!!  That takes away the scooping hot flesh out of the rines.  The next morning, I cut one more pumpkin.  I was glad to have the oven on most of the morning since the temperatures outside were struggling to find only 0’F that day!

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With the pumpkins cubed before cooking, I was able to get 22 cups of pumpkin in the freezer and had only about 7 cups of trash of skin.  The skin came out all dried and cleaned of the nutrients.  I’m glad to have more pumpkin in my puree than back to the trash.

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Using 10 pumpkins has barely made a dent in what P grew this summer.  He did admit last night that I don’t have to cook them all.  :)

Here is my whole wheat muffin….. ummmmm…..

muffin

I’m done with processing pumpkins for now.  Three days worth gave me about 40 cups of pumpkin puree in the freezer and 4 batches of pumpkin muffins (most in the freezer).  I think that is plenty really.

Hello Mom!

All the planets aligned and we took a short trip to visit my mom in Ohio.  (JP could be home, live-in, love on the dog best, know chores w/o training, catch the in-laws if needed, know how to deal with any power outage (did), and snow plowing.  So thankful!!  Adult kids just rock these things!!)

I took this embroidery project for mom & me to share.  Before we left, I traced all the embroidery onto the background and basted it to another layer of fabric to help with show-through.  I took a small tote to keep it all contained and she can take it with her if needed.  Hoops, needles, all the floss, instructions, the paper pattern if needed, and choices of scissors.  She has good eyes and good dexterity to handle all this.  :)   And she enjoys hand work!  pattern image

She can do the embroidery at her own pace and her own rules. I hope I stressed that enough.  NO deadline, NO police overseeing her work or mine!  Later, I’ll piece the blocks and finish it.  The center embroidery is about 8″ x 30″.  Now, if I was smart, I’d piece those blocks now.  *sigh*

I also made a half-size notebook for her to follow along with the 365/30 lists; yes, really this year it is 366 days and I remembered to add that!  Each day is a prompt for a list.  Top 5 flavors of ice cream.  Friends you went to school with.  Plans for the month.  etc.  I roughly have done this for a bit over 2 yrs.  I’m hit & miss so usually do a few days at a time.  And I took her a selection of pens so she could have a new one and have a feel of the pen that she likes.

We spent over an hour “in the cedar chest”, though contrary to my SIL’s wonderment, we were not literally IN the chest.  It was fun to look and peruse the important things to her she keeps there.  She had things to give me but others she just asked and put that on my list but she wasn’t ready to send it home with me yet.  Later, I took Phil there and he fixed the safety chain so the open lid doesn’t fall on anyone’s head.

I had my new Doxie Go scanner with me for such a case as this.  A first anniversary letter to my parents from her mom.  Super sweet!

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I wanted to stop and see the chapel where we were married.  It wasn’t a great day for photos and I promised P no pix so he willingly drove us there.  But then I DID want photos so P took some with mom & me.  But obviously we didn’t dress for photos.

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The chapel was locked but I suppose one benefit to the cloudy day was that we (and my camera) could see in and the inside doors were open for a good view.

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A lot has changed in 32 years on the seminary campus!  I’d not seen this set of stones for the Wall of Remembrance.  Behind this memory area, I saw our childhood swimming pool has since been removed.  Mom received a family membership with her work at the university.

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We are so thankful that my brother & sister-in-law have mom living with them.   The days can be long & quiet for her but the meals are delicious from that kitchen and their activity and meals home with her are good.  They are perfect care-givers.  Two of their sons and their families came for supper one night.  The great-grands are growing like weeds and are taking on the double-digits with ease and lots of food.

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Special thanks to my dear brother & SIL for packing and sending MY bag that was accidentally left behind in the garage while P packed the car.  #criedfor4days   It arrived safe and sound a few days later!  (brand-new doxieGo, brand-new tablet, my 2 filofaxes that hold 3 journals, book, new & old pages for journals…. A framed print is still there waiting for TLC traveling conditions)

P was glad that dSIL asked if he could “fix this”.  Oh yes!  He was so glad they asked. P had already mentioned while we were packing that he hoped they had jobs for him.  With that willingness, my dB had a job for the next day as well.  It is hard for us to plan ahead, with leaving in winter weather and the health of his parents, but my brother needs a running list for next time.

left but received

We headed home on Sunday as they headed to church.  Me in my ‘no hairstyle, no make-up, sweatpants’ for travel.  Mom looking lovely and nearly ready for church!

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November Intentions

I saw this blog post idea and thought I’d try it.  At least for this month!  This is just my personal list — not my job work.

  • paint bathroom closet
  • vac out part of aquarium water & replace
  • re-pot 2 coleus that were outside over the summer
  • draw floor plan of house for advice on a design group where I’m a member
  • sand treadle machine cabinet for living room sewing corner
  • finish New Feathered Star piecing
  • make a Featherweight sewing machine cover
  • brush the dog at least 1x a day
  • 2 quilt guild meetings
  • more blogs posted ;)

That is enough for a busy month with customer quilting deadlines for Christmas as well.   I suppose other intentions will wait for the rest of winter!

new feathered star beginning

new feathered star very beginning

Not for the House

This spring’s kitties have found it quite fun to hang out at the back door when it is dark and they know P is in the house.  I am allergic to cats so they aren’t allowed inside.  Neither do I want to have a pile at the door every time anyone (me especially, b/c this is my blog and life is all about me, right? I know not!)  needs to go in or out.   My back door is just for us but FIL uses it too.  Please, I prefer guests to use the front door.  :)

Meanwhile, the other night after P put the dog in the barn for bedtime and checked the buildings, he bought in an armload. This is only 3/8 of the 2015 kitties but they are big!  And friendly.   And would LOVE being in the house.   Now that the cat-whisperer is on her own, we have super-friendly cats.  It makes no sense!

I think these are Mary (first named Larry and then she needed to be Mary), her brother Daryle, and her other brother Daryle.

3 kitties Sept 22
He is smiling because he thinks this is funny.  I don’t!  We have been having “no deck” lessons for a few nights now.  :D  Lessons are between me & the cats.

Cherished Time

 

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We seldom get time with both our kiddos and so we made plans for a few nights out over Labor Day weekend when they both had Monday off as a legal holiday.

We met at JP’s place and it was just over 1 hour for P & me and about 1:20 for Miss K.  A perfect place to meet!  Both cars arrived within 5 mins of each other.  He is in a safe and residential neighborhood and the landlord was fine to have an extra car there for a few nights.  Blessings!

We grabbed supper to go and then had just over 1 hr to our hotel.  Rest for all the weary!!   Both P & Miss K were in the middle of that awful fall congestion junk that has been all over. Even though we hadn’t seen her in 8 weeks, they got the same thing at the same time. :\

Good treats out to eat — ice cream, SBx (Miss K & me x 2!), breakfasts out brought to our table, etc.

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Saw the lake areas —
I aimed for sun and the others aimed for shade.

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A fun afternoon of miniature golf —

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No one wanted a group selfie but me.

Visited downtown and the capitol building —

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Rest, movies, naps, hand-sewing for me, and maid service.   Just the topping on the real treat of having our kids with us.  I’m so thankful for my family!

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