Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Goodbye Christmas Decorations!

When I woke up this morning I could not wait to SEW!!! However.... this home was a mess! So, I just went for it and took down every Christmas decoration, including the tree (which I almost always leave up till after the first). I was on a roll. And now I'm blogging, so the sewing is just going to have to wait. Some days are like this, and you know what? It feels good and peaceful around here. Annnnnnnd, I did this all in my pajamas! How's that for a busy yet relaxing day?  :)

Before I began I asked the Lord to please help with the chore of un-decorating, because usually it's an entire weekend job. Not today! Even Superman, who was steering clear of the house, remembering all the other 30 un-decorating weekends, came in at 11 a.m. and said, "Wow! You did that fast!"

I would take a bow, but I must bow before my Maker who answered, "Yes", to that prayer and helped me not get all distracted as I usually do. Thank YOU, LORD!
So now I want to show you some pictures of my china hutch. Into it I put some fun favorite things. It's the only part of the house that is not standing empty (all my regular decorations are still stuffed in the closet), so it's all I will be able to show you today. Ready?  :)

Some things just make ya happy, whether you are gifted in decorating or not! What do you have in your house that makes you happy (besides the people in it with you, I mean)???  In case you can't tell, I collect Smootchers! My first set, a boy and girl on a bench, him with a Bible in his hand, were a gift from my Grandma Meyer (dad's mom), then I got the angels at an estate sale, which is really a bit sad, because they used to be someone else's happy items, and Snow White and Dopey are from my Amy. I have Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus smootchers, a princess and a frog, which we use daily, as most of these are salt & pepper shakers. I even have a pair of smootchers by Hummel. People give them to me for gifts, saying, "OH! I saw these and thought of YOU!" Don't you love when that happens?
 Anyhoo, goodbye Christmas decorations... see ya next year, same station, same bat channel, same bat time! (Let's see how many of you are old enough to remember that...  lol.)

Monday, December 28, 2009


Instead of sewing little quilts for our December's A Year of Schnibbles challenge, we got to sew these little tuffets...or pincushions...or coasters...or doorknob hangers. Cute, aren't they?

A couple weeks ago, Superman had meetings in another town, and my Bernina and I tagged along. All week, I sewed and Christmas shopped. That was it. That was enough.  :) It was a gift of time from the Lord, because I had been asking for His mercy in getting everything done in time. He cares about everything and hears our every prayer!!!!

It was nice to return home with a huge jump start! And, everything did get completed before Christmas. I was amazed and thankful! 

It's almost 2010, ready or not, here it comes!!!! 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Hams!

Christmas is for hams!
And I'm talking the kind for ovens and also the kind that stands up on two legs and think they are hysterically funny -- as in every member of my side of the family. 
We got it from my dad, Barney. 
Though he is not Irish, HE IS FULL OF BLARNEY!!!!
We kids took after him.
So, our Christmas Eve gathering, where we serve ham made by hams, is full of plenty-o-laughter!
Anyhoo, whether I serve ham on Thanksgiving or Christmas or both - everyone wants my recipe!
Here it is, straight from an old Christmas issue of Bon Apetit!
Are you a ham, too????
(p.s.... i did not like the buttermilk spoon bread.)

Merry Christmas !!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Okay, Secret-Surprise-Giver.....  End my death of curiosity and revive me with revealing who you are!!!  :)  After yesterday's post, I got an email that Jolly Jabber DID NOT send that surprise to me, but that some Secret Santa must've. Hmmmmm..... Who do I know that is THAT RICH to send such a lavish gift? My brain hurts trying to figure it out. LOL!  So.... Whoever you are that has blessed my life -- THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP OF MY HEART AND HEAD!!!!  :)   XOXOXO

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Christmas Surprise From Santa!!!!!

Not all of Santa's surprises come via the chimney!
Not at all!  
Sometimes they are brought by wonderful brown trucks (UPS)!
And sometimes they come right when they are needed most!!!

My entire morning was spent on the phone trying to take care of all the fraudulent charges on our credit card. Sigh. Not exactly on my to-do list, but, obviously, it was top priority. 

I had just hung up with the very last call, when I looked out my window in time to see the UPS man running (literally) to my door. Wracking my brain for what had been ordered, I opened the door and there on the welcome mat was a most welcome sight .... 

For me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(especially ones that I can turn into quilts and other handmade items!)

Anyhoo, you can imagine that I wanted to cry when I opened the box from FatQuarterShop and saw this HUMONGOUS stack of 
fabric (click on L' Amour to see how stinkin' cute this fabric is...and how much they sent to me - wow!

The card said,

"Have fun!! You have been a good girl."  

So... while I was busy taking care of someone who was naughty and not nice with our credit card, Santa's surprise had been on its merry way to moi! I had no clue (duh, which makes it a surprise! LOL)!

Remember how I told you about the Santa letter giveaway at JollyJabber??? Well, this is where my fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun surprise of love came from!!! Now, next time I share about some fabulous giveaway, be sure you take heed and let your fingers click on over to the blog I tell you about, 'cuz you just never know.... (And I wasn't even listed in her winners, so you reeeeeaaaally just never know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

THANK YOU, JOLLY JABBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Apple Pie

Apple pie is not only American, it's Christmastime to our family. Superman adores it. My daughter called just a bit ago for my recipe, and I just turned an old devotional page into a jpg for her...and you!  :) Merry Christmas baking!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20th's Devotional

I liked today's devotional, so here it is for you...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Dearest Santa...

How I've missed you and Clausette (hug the Dear for me, please, and tell her I faithfully wear the red velvet apron she made me; the glistening snow balls dangling from the hem are a kick)!

No need for sugarplums to dance in my head when I have magical memories of my last visit. Ahhhh...the snow, the chorus of elves singing all my Christmas favorites, the village that always twinkles like a night packed with stars... I'll have you send your sleigh again, soon; I promise.

I still thrive on baking batches and batches of cinnamon rolls for you all; it makes me laugh remembering how the stacks of them tottered as you whisked up the chimney!!!

Awakening on Christmas morning is still as fun as ever! You always know what I want! OK, that was a joke, since I send you a letter every year with my list! Christmas humor, you know!!!   HO HO HO!

Anyhoo, Santa Dear, you know how much practice I need quilting (yes, still having a bit of trouble cutting off points). That means... PLEASE SEND ME FABRICS! Since this letter is very, very late, I have some elves who can help this year, over at FatQuarters.com. I am going to go hightech on you now, so don't roll over (it's painful watching you try to get up, ya know), just order from them and they'll ship them to you, so that you can drop them by on Christmas Eve when you pick up the hot, gooey cinnamon rolls....

MY LIST:  :)

1.  Oh, you know it's not for me, Jolly One! I have all those five young pregnant (one with twins) girlfriends, remember?!

2.  This one's for me! You know my weakness for dots and anything Moda and Fig Tree Quilts (that reminds me; I need to visit her blog. It's been too long!)

3.  Love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Need I say more????!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, there's my list! Sorry it's late; do what you can!  :)

See ya next week! (Yes, I think I will take you up on a short whisk around the city. I have a new jacket and scarf I would like to try out. It's such fun watching the ends of the scarf blow in the wind!)

Thanks, Santa!

Liz  (P.S. Bloggerinas.... to join in the fun of Fatquarters' "Dear Santa", go here, to the Jollyjabber.

Another Idea!

After a friend read yesterday's post, she showed me another site that had the same coasters but with a cute & different twist. I wanted to let you know about these, in case you liked them better! The picture below came from Suzanne's cute blog.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Darling Last Minute Gift To Make

It came in yesterday's mail. Superman pulled up next to our mailbox, I hopped out of the car, turned the key to our little box, and then hopped up and down with glee --the charm pack I had won from Pinkpincushion & Missouriquiltco.com had arrived!!!!

Of course, I had to lay them all out for you to see (top picture)!

But there's more!
No, not more fabric, but a surprise for you!

I'm going to teach you to make the most darling and useful last minute gifts - coasters!
They are easy-peasy!

1.  Pick 6 coordinating charm squares (5" x 5"), two for the base, four for the top.
2.  Fold the four top fabrics in half; press.

3. Place the two base fabrics WRONG sides together.
4. On top of this base, you will place one of your folded squares, on the left side.

5. Take the next folded fabric and place it on top of the base, folded edge towards center (though I layed mine wrong for the pictures...), laying the left half of it UNDER the top half of the folded piece already there.

6. Repeat this process two more times, working  your way around.

7. Pin each folded fabric, carefully keeping them centered on base.
8. Sew all around the outer edges using a 1/4-inch seam; trim corners.
9. Turn right side out by reaching through the opening from the center of the four folded fabrics. Push out corners. Press.
10. If you want, top-stitch 1/4-inch all the way around the edges.

Ta da!
(I used ones I had already made, that's why the fabric is different in the finished product.)

Once you make the first one, all others take less than three minutes to put together! Great gifts!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Liz, Julia, & Company!!!! FINALLY!!!!!

oH, MY bloGGERinaS!!!!!!!!


Julia and I have been in the kitchen for hours. HOURS!

And there's no other place I'd rather be!

(Alice in Wonderland can't come to theaters soon enough,
because I have been grinning all morning long over my merry doings!)

Anyhoo, I am on my third Christmas CD,
and am just now frying up the beef for Julia's
Boeuf Bourguignon .
Yep, I said it -- FRYING!

(my mom would be proud; that's all they did in her day)

Anyhoo, this is gonna be a long post,
so hurry and make yourself a hot cuppa peppermint hot chocolate!!!

I now have four minutes before i must stir the beef...
(For me, the wine must be 2006 Côtes du Rhône, made in France, which I bought at Vons. The burgandy is rare these days, I guess, and the Beoujolais is yukky!)

 While surfing the net the other day, I decided to
"le Creuset"

lololololollllloollll hoohohohohohohohHOHO

i DISCOVERED THAT williams sonoma had a special on
one piece...

the one I could afford (thanks to Christmas gift money; early).

I've just created a MASTERPIECE, and it's not even finished yet!!! (OH! DO MAKE this BOEFFM
My eyes are closed (or were, lol) ,
I'm praising God,
and my creation is in the oven. mmmmm

I know I am not going in order, but,see, I am writing as I go and have gone. lol. OH! See how happily crazy I have become? I'm not even making sense.:) And I don't care, because I am having
so much fun!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish you were here with me  !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, but you are, reading, here with me!!!!

Thank you!!!!!
Let's get to the beginning, shall we?

Okay, this morning I got up and got busy sewing. I have sewwwww many projects to prepare for our trip,
where I will sew them and be merry.
Anyhoo, remember that I told you yesterday that Superman and I have one of our BFF couples over every Christmas.
I cook, I decorate, I love it....
But this year, Superman is flying us up, up and away.
That meant I needed to hurriedly set the table before we're off...
Perhaps not as cute as some Christmas' past,
but fine, oh, fine!
(the dishes were my mom's)

Julia... &... Liz....

Not having her Volumes 1 & 2,
Knopf offered me their copies of Julia's pages...
And thus I begin.

Her recipe is all over Google, so I won't repeat,
but here is my story with Julia....

Turn on the Christmas music and begin.
Quarter those mushrooms and make them happy in butter and oil.

Then, tackle the peeled pearl onions (I am not giving the recipe, since Knopf graciously did.)

Now, get your fresh herbs all tied together, because they are gonna bake with your pearls!

Plop them in your dish and cook them for the amount of time Julia instructs.

After browning the beef how Mrs. Child tells you (and it does take some time. For me, I learned that it needs more oil added as time goes by. Also, I decided to put a clean paper towel on the bottom, so that the beef's uncooked juices would be absorbed into the paper towels).
{I made my onions and mushrooms first, having only one Le Creuset dish; darn that!)

This is what my beef looked like browning (I made 2/3 of her recipe, not needing a full recipe)...
{Be sure to take your paper towels and dry the beef right before putting in each
2-inch cube; I did it all at once, then had to do it again before placing the beef in the
Le Creuset (love it, love it, love it) dish!}

Add the browned veggies...

Stir in the flour and freshly ground pepper...

Next, cover with wine and beef stock (mine did not poof up in steam as in the movie...wah!) and place it in the oven....and continue to follow her directions.

And then...

Have a holly jolly day as you go about your Christmas bustling and praising,
being carried away on the fragrant Boeff aroma,
to times past with Julia...
in her kitchen...
and now yours!!!
I am sooooo clapping with  joy!
I DID IT!!!!
(and rats, forgot to take a picture of the finished product, as i was bustling my bootie to get out to a cookie exchange party!)

Anyhoo, Merry Christmas and Bon Appetit!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

'Tis the Season... to be Caring!

During this season of giving, it's nice to give a gift that says,
"I care!"

These twelve Disappearing Nine-Patch blocks are taking a trip to Ireland!

Once they arrive at their destination, they will meet up with more blocks, get stitched together for life, and will then wrap themselves around the heart of someone in Ireland, whose home got destroyed in the recent floods. 

I learned about this from P. S. I Quilt; that Bloggerina has roots over there, so you know that her heart needed a little warmth and care, too. That's why I took the time during the bustle to get these made. 

If you are interested in making some blocks for those victims over in Ireland, then do read Rachel's post on what to do (she gives details about the flood, too.)

P. S. These blocks are very easy and quick to make. Even a couple of them helps!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Julia and a New Christmas Memory?

Okay, you know my fettish with Julia Child.

Ever since the Julie & Julia movie came out this past summer, I have thought...and thought...and thought! of making Boeuf Bourguignon.

Well, guess what?

I am finally going to make it!

Since I pre-ordered the Julie & Julia DVD, it should be freezing its little plastic wrapper off on my porch (UPS leaves it there, saving me a trip to their headquarters), awaiting my homecoming and its soon-to-be warmth from our DVD player on Friday, December 12th, when I will serve this hot concoction and be enthralled by the delights of the movie, once more.

It's going to be a bit tricky, because I have to make the recipe a whole week ahead of time, and then freeze it and reheat it. My hope is that it will not lose one tiny delightful burst of flavor... but we'll just have to see about that. Some things simply cannot be helped, and making this dish all nice and fresh for next Friday night's dinner is one of them.

So, in the meantime, while I'm waiting for Superman to fly back to me, I am getting mentally prepared.

  1. Looking up info on folks who have attempted this dish....Julie Powell, in her original blog post (oh!!! I just noticed that she made it on December 11! I am not that far off!), Jess over at KnopfDoubleday, and even a supposedly easier, real-live FRENCH version that the New York Times turned me onto by Ginette Mathiot.  According to Ginette, "You could make Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon once in your life and learn a lot, but sometimes having that much detail can be intimidating." She believes her recipe better reflects "daily reality." I suppose she is right, given our ultra-packed schedules, but... I must make Julia's recipe once! And, quoting from the movie Princess Bride, "It's the only way I can be satisfied!"  :)
  2. Looked up Mastering the Art of French Cooking to discover which public library shelf I can go pluck it off of tomorrow. You'd think I'd break down and buy my own copy; however, it's Christmas and there are too many gifts to buy for too many others. So, thank the Lord for free libraires! Hoooray!
So, you just know I am going to take pictures and blog about my excursion through Julia's past, through her cookbook. I'm really getting kind of giddy... though very nervous. It might be a "simple stew" but the process seems a bit daunting. When I accomplish this tasty dish, it will be like finishing a marathon!

And, who knows? This might be the newest Christmas tradition, of making Boeuf Bourguignon, having friends over to eat it and watch Julia & Julia, white lights twinkling and all!

Hey, have you made it?????? If so, tell me all about it. Was it worth the time? Did you like it? Was it fun to make? Etc.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

First, did you like that scrumptious Christmas Italian Toast (OK, it's really French toast....)??? What?! You've been too busy to try it? No worries, there's still time - you have all of December to whip up a batch...or two... or three!!!!!!!!!!!!! I haven't even had time to make it myself, yet; but I can't wait to lift a golden forkful into my yearning palate!

If there's one thing that makes it seem like an idylic Christmas, to me, it's snow. Where I live, I have to pray like crazy to even have the remotest chance for snow. Seems that desert areas prefer sunshine raining down, not white, fluffy snowflakes!

Well, guess what I got to see today? Yep, snow! Lots and lots of it!!!! Not raining down, but sitting there in glistening heaps upon the hills and mountains, and flocked trees were abounding! As kids, we five begged my parents for a flocked tree. But...those white beauties were only for the rich and famous. We were lucky to get the green Charlie Brown tree!

So, today, driving up the interstate, I soaked it all in, feeling like I was living inside the frosty landscape that adorns Christmas cards! Thank You, Lord!!!!

We stopped and ate breakfast in the most darling cafe (in the picture). The biscuits and gravy were a rare treat! YUM!

Also, this verse kept coming to mind, "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of distress, for the day of war and battle" (Job 38:22-23)?

God is in control of everything!!! Even the weather does His bidding!  I'm glad He sent some of it down so that Superman and I could be surrounded by Christmas.  :)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Christmas Italian Toast

This is a must-have for me in December; it's the only time I can find this Italian bread (which is a good thing, 'cuz imagine how I'd resemble Santa Claus if I ate it all the year through!) 

It's a treat - enjoy!

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Fun of Chrismtas!

Stop long enough to enjoy the ride; Christmas decorations, fun, and fellowship are over before we know it!