Sunday, November 29, 2009

Deck the Halls!

Every year my goal is to have all of my Christmas bought and wrapped before Thanksgiving.  I never quite make it, but I get pretty close.  Then, I set a goal to have my house decorated, inside and out, by the end of the Thanksgiving weekend. Again, I don't always make it, but it's possible that I did this year!  We had  Thanksgiving here, and it was a wonderful day.  My daughter came the day after, and I was well on the way to finishing when she arrived.  I drive myself this way so that I can really enjoy the holidays.  Since I work so many hours, I don't really want to spend my evenings decorating after work..and so I move!

Here are some of the presents that I haven't put under the tree yet..they've been upstairs on this bench for awhile.

Greenery over the kitchen island...

I have a lot of gingerbread men and houses that I like to put in the kitchen.  Here are some of them on my baking center...

What do you do with piles of Christmas potholders?  It seems that most of my decorations are all old, family collected items.  Some of these potholders were made by my friend, Junella.  They are treasures.

Here is the fireplace mantel in my dining room.  I made these stockings years ago from panels they used to sell at fabric shops.

The buffet in my dining room..

The reason for the season...

Here is the mantel in my living room.  I used to dance and teach dance, and for many years collected nutcrackers and ballerina ornaments.  I always put the nutcrackers on my mantle.  My granddchildren call me Honey, and when my oldest granddaughter was about 3, she got confused about what they were called and called them Honeycrackers...that name has stuck!
These are some stockings that I made many years ago from an old quilt.  The book that you see in this picture is Mrs. Sharp's Traditions by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  It is the original book that is out of print.  A new one has been printed, I have it, but I really like the original better. I need to do a post on that wonderful book...all of my blogging friends need a copy!

More pictures of my entryway..

My son made this lampshade with the help of an artist friend of his about five years ago.  It is beautiful!

Here is a sign I like to keep under the tree...and I mean it!

Finally the tree..with and without flash!

May the Lord bless you and all of your family during this wonderful season!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

This year I am so blessed to have to have TWO tables to set.  Most of my family and a couple of friends will be here this year.  I am serving my usual Hot Pilgrims to enjoy during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (that's the only one to watch!).  Here's the simple recipe:

Hot Pilgrims
1 large container of Cranberry Juice Coctail
1/2 container of Aspen Mulling Spices
(Cinnamon Schnapps to taste for those who would like it)
Heat and serve in Irish Coffee cups

My sister is letting me borrow a really beautiful copper beverage server for the Hot Pilgrims.  Look at the pretty napkin rings on Table #1.  I found those last year after Christmas at the Party Store in town.  I've used my Blue Willow with my turkey plates.  On Table #2 the white plates are from Big Lots, and the pumpkin tablecloth and napkins are from Wal Mart many years ago.  All of the goblets on both tables came from Ross or Wal Mart, and the flatware is Oneida Michaelangelo.  Notice my two-year-old granddaughter's place setting.  I found that at Cracker Barrel.

Have a wonderful Thankgsiving, Friends!

Table #1

Table #2

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My "Village"

When I was a young woman, I used to love to watch the movie, Funny Farm, with Chevy Chase and Madolyne Smith.  I related to the movie because I wanted to move to the country surrounded by hills, live in a "village" and be a writer.  Well, I have since moved to the country surrounded by hills, and I am an aspiring writer (retirement, maybe??).  Some people might not think of my small town as a village, but I do.  And the part in the movie where Chevy says, "cue the deer"...well, I would have fallen for that when I moved here.  The deer are everywhere...including downtown at times. They used to fascinate me...not so much anymore.

We have a town square with a beautiful courthouse, and at Christmas, the lighting will make you catch your breath!  We have a bandstand (gazebo) and at important times of the year it is used for a band, or for caroling, or for announcing the winner of Wassailfest.  Wassailfest is a really unique local event every year when downtown is closed to traffic.  The stores open up for shopping and make their own brand of wassail.  Once you've tasted about eight, you can vote for the best one.  The Christmas tree and downtown lighting are very important events held on the Friday night before Thanksgiving.  When the 4th of July comes, we have fireworks and flags surround the entire perimeter of our downtown. Speeches are made by elderly veterans. We have old churches, and old train overpasses, and lots of old buildings.  We have the oldest bakery in Texas, and a beautiful park with a Founder's Oak.  We say the pledge of allegiance and still pray at many public gatherings.  We're as close to a village as I think we can be.

Each season here has it's appeal.  The winters are fairly mild although we have several freezes and the occasional light snow.  Spring is beautiful with the wildflowers..bluebonnets being the flower of choice for Texans!  Spring is also the time that festivals start coming to the hill country.  You could go to one every weekend in the spring.  Summer is busy here.  We have two rivers, a lake, and a waterpark that all attract people from all over the nation.  When fall arrives, the city gets quiet and peaceful again.  For Texas, we have very nice fall color, especially around the rivers. 

I love it here!  I love living and working here, and I love the people I've met.  Even though I've been here 13 years it hasn't lost its appeal to me.
When I was that young woman watching Funny Farm, I used to pray that the Lord would move me to a place just like this.  I didn't know it at the time, but He had picked out the perfect place for me and for my family.  My sister has since moved here, as have my nephews, and my mom is about to move. One of my sons lives here and one lives near here, and I'm hoping that my daughter will move here soon.  It's like the Lord is gathering us together, and I feel very blessed by that!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Met Monday...My Embroidery Machine

A few years ago, I bought what has turned out to be one of my most used and favorite sewing Janome 300E embroidery machine. I can find something that is very inexpensive, and once I embroider a name, or whatever, on becomes a great gift for someone. I found these very cute aprons at Target around Valentine's Day. They are going to be worn by my granddaughters when we make our gingerbread houses for Christmas. They have muffin-shaped chef's' hats with cherries on top..very cute! I also make a lot of Santa hats each year. Scroll down to see the quick transformations!

We Gather Together...

We have had more cold days in October this year than I can ever remember. It's beginning to feel more like Thanksgiving every day. Although this is not my Thanksgiving table, it could work as one!

There is a little town about 5 minutes from my house named Gruene, TX. I found the brown toile plates there a couple of weeks ago, and the larger salad plates (they're sort of a muddy beige although they look white in the pictures) came from the Dollar Tree. The acorn salt and pepper shakers, and the acorn and pumpkin dishes came from Family Dollar. My clear gold cups and saucers are old, possibly depression era?

I found the place mats and napkins at a garage sale in Gruene awhile gotta love .25 napkins and place mats! Leaves are tucked into the napkin rings, and the flatware is Oneida Michaelangelo. My sister bought the pumpkin tureen for me several years ago.

Hope your fall is blessed with family, friends and lots of laughter!