Friday, December 30, 2011

Why I Love Duck Tape

What's with my love affair with duck tape you're thinking........not because you can make a lovely poinsettia plant....

or a beautiful prom or wedding dress, or fix a small tear in your garden hose.....but because when you do this ......
[...melt the handle of your slow cooker in the oven the day before you need it for a family gathering]... you can use it...

for a temporary handle. It DOES work! It did get a few laughs and suggestions to hubby that he buy me a new slow cooker. I put the kibosh on that quickly! The slow cooker is only a year or 2 old and I knew I could fix it. I found a glass cover at the thrift store, unscrewed the handle, and just put it on here, perfect fit.

I also use it to hold my photo sensitive candle on the window sill that is too narrow. No one sees the tape so it's the perfect solution.

It's also a good solution to stop the leak in my favorite water bottle that I use for my ice tea at work. The bottle is plastic, large, and uses a straw and I use it all of the time. The plastic cracked because I fill it 2/3 full with tea and freeze it then at noon I pour my room temperature tea into it and have a nice big bottle of ice tea for the afternoon or when traveling. I used super glue and put the duck tape over it. I know, I drink too much tea.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Day at Our House

Now that hubby's children are grown and have children of their own it is harder to spend Christmas Day together, but we had a very successful and fun day this year.

Christmas Eve I attended church with SD Jessica and 2 of my grandsons. After church we came home to collect SS, the 'baby', hubby, some gifts, and my deviled eggs and headed 6 blocks to my BFF's (and hubby's former SIL) for the extended family gathering.

Gifts were exchanged

The 2nd and youngest granddaughter in the family visits with her great grandma (whom the family thought they were loosing just 2 months ago).

SD and her daughter spent the night on the 24th, Chuck drove over Christmas Day. SS and his family (they have 3 boys) came over just in time from Grandpa to cook breakfast for us all.
He didn't make anything fancy, but it is a family tradition and we look forward to it. It's the one day of the year he cooks and cleans it all up.

Checking out our youngest grandchild's gift.

Our son in law played the guitar while his daughter sang and danced. Granddaughter M is quite the entertainer! One of the boys joined in the dancing. Thanks Chuck! It was unexpected and so much fun, a great family time.

Notice the boy in the background with the tool belt, he LOVED it.

The kids got out a couple of games, including Twister.

It was a great holiday: we hosted my family on the 18th, hubby's kids on the 25th, and had some of our friends over on the 26th. I only wish the WHOLE family (his & my children) would be here all at the same time.......

I am going to see my remaining 2 grandchildren on Thursday, but not under the happy circumstances I had hoped for. Their other grandma passed away Monday morning. Granddaughter T (11) was close to her, Grandma Pat took care of her a lot. I got to know Pat when I'd visit my granddaughter during the day while her mom and dad were at work.
Friday I am picking my my 8 year old granddaughter so she can spend a long weekend with us. We will probably have our 6 year old grandson here on New Year's Eve too....what can a grandma do with a boy who LOVES Pokemon and a girly girl on New Year's Eve????

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I Cried.....

This Christmas made me see one of my grandsons so happy to unwrap a tool belt, as I watched FIREPROOF, to know my sons went to visit my mom yesterday and today, to have such a great afternoon with the kids and grandkids at our house, and because not all of my children and grandkids could be here. The older I get the more emotional I get. .....details to follow in future posts..........

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas to me!

My daughter and her children make gifts for the grandmas every year, this year they made paper mache bowls...... Amy always has the cutest photos of her children taken! Aren't they adorable??? Am I a bit prejudice??? sure, I am. The boys (11) is my first grandchild and I just cried when I heard that he was born, hubby thought something terrible had happened because I was on the phone and sobbing.

Each bowl they made had a theme....mine was chocolate, wonder why....there was also some chocolates included. Every year Amy gives us a photo calender....we REALLY look forward to it, especially because then I get to see photos that I don't see otherwise. Amy's a great mom but not so good about sending photos, I can deal with that!

Gotta finish wrapping gifts today and pick up a few groceries.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm Lovin' It!

What is it that I'm lovin? to see most of my grand kids for Christmas (so far) and will see the remaining 3 soon.....watched 2 of 3 Christmas concerts.......and the weather has been unseasonable nice!!! NO SNOW to dig out from under (yet). I don't mind one bit not having snow for Christmas, in fact I like the greenish grass bare. Yesterday I drove to my daughter's to watch my granddaughters concert. It was a long day, I left at 9AM and arrived home at 6:45PM. It was in the mid 30's with sunshine part of the day, my coat stayed in the car, a sweater was fine. I had to do a little shopping on the way there and again on the way home....because I didn't leave as early as I wanted to.

I didn't stay at Amy's after the program because the kids wanted to go to their tae kwon do party and Amy wasn't feeling too good either.

I stopped at these shops (first time ever in 15 years that I have been driving past) to see if I could get a good Christmas decoration photo...but as I was turning around I spotted the last shop-a St Vincent de Paul I had to stop in. It was really nice....and....I found some red flats that I had been looking for and some shoes for one of my grandsons. Both pairs of shoes were like new. I also picked up 3 other little things.....for a grand total of under $5. I think God likes me to be a thrifty shopper because so many times he puts those things I am looking for right in front of me.

Sky blue pink sky on my ride home. I got home after dark and only saw 1 dead deer on the way. This is a bad time of year for night driving..........too many deer just run out in front of cars.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Cookie Rules

*If you eat a Christmas cookie fresh out of the oven, it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the test and thus calorie free.
*If you drink a diet soda after eating your second cookie, it also has no calories because the diet soda cancels out the cookie calories (water has the same properties here).
*If a friend comes over while you're making your Christmas cookies and needs to sample, you must sample with your friend. Because your friend's first cookie is calorie free, rule #1 is yours also. It would be rude to let your friend sample alone and, being the friend that you are, that makes your cookie calorie free, as well.
*Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually fall off as you move. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.
*Any calories consumed during the frosting of The Christmas cookies will be used up because it takes many calories to lick excess frosting from a knife without cutting your tongue.
*Cookies colored red or green have very few calories. Red ones have three and green ones have five - one calorie for each letter. (Make more red ones!)
*Cookies eaten while watching "Miracle on 34th Street" have NO calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel.
*As always, cookie "pieces" contain no calories because the process of breaking causes calorie leakage. Any cookies consumed from someone else's plate have no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to their plate. (We all know how calories like to CLING!)
*Any cookies consumed while feeling stressed have no calories because cookies used for medicinal purposes NEVER have calories. (It's a rule!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


A few minutes before they left for home my 8 year old granddaughter composed this acronym (I hope that is what it's called) from Christmas:

Chocolate everywhere

Holly on the walls

Reindeer on my roof

Ice and snow

Singing people

Trees in the house

Mistletoe hanging in the doorway
Angels singing in the sky

Santa coming down the chimney

See the first line? Can you tell she's my granddaughter??? Notice the spelling? her imagination? My daughter's children are prolific readers and I am positive that makes a big difference.

I'm off to see a Christmas concert today and another tomorrow. I had to miss one because it was at night and I don't like driving for almost 2 hours in the dark.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Snapshots

On Sunday my daughter and her family, my sister and her son, my SS and his family were here to celebrate Christmas, the first of our three Christmas parties. The weather was mild and sunny, the best of both worlds (according to the radio announcer-green grass, no snow- no shoveling and no mowing). I barely had the cleaning, wrapping, decorating, cooking finished in time. We really had a nice afternoon....all the kids got along well...even the children did! OK, that was a not so funny joke. My daughters 2 girls, ages 8 and 3. I think they are growing their hair for Locks of Love, the oldest one has donated once already. The little one is on the quiet side but she sure makes the cutest faces.

My daughters son, my oldest grandchild is 11. He is saving up for a Kindle Fire so I let him test out my Nookcolor to get a feel for it. Before his family left he went downstairs and picked up the toys without being told. Ahhhh, it looks so nice...until this weekend, that is.

I decorate the mantle with vintage albums and tree toppers....a couple of the toppers are new, I needed more so it would not look so empty.

Some vintage figurines. I used to have vignettes all over my house but it got to be too much. I love to decorate but hate to put it all away in January.

My Daughters family LOVES the pumpkin roll, even though they had some the day before they finished up 2 rolls Sunday. My SIL left a message on my answering machine saying I was his favorite MIL (well, maybe his only one) and asking if I had baked 2 pumpkin rolls for Sunday...if not it was OK too, but it sure would be nice if I had. He made me laugh so I kept the message and listened to it a couple of times. He is a wonderful husband and father.

Love the smile.

Our youngest grandson checking out his gift with dad.

"My" 2 boys and their stockings.

I needed a quick centerpiece and wanted to fill this with ornaments but they were buried in a box so I pulled out old aluminum cookies cutters and threw them in this brandy snifter along with some tiny balls and called it a centerpiece. I had several platters of cookies surrounding it so the table wasn't quite this bare. In the background you can see a couple of the nativity scenes I had on display, along with some Santa's (that my grandson added to the mix).

I know there will be more holiday photos to follow!

I have 2 more gifts to purchase, wrapping to do, and school concerts to attend this week.

Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Anne Frank/the Friday 56

"One must apply one's reason to everything here, learning to obey, hold your tongue, to help, to be good, to give in, and I don't know what else." If you haven't read this book, read it! It is now a banned book and I think everyone should read it. At our book club meeting/Christmas party on Tuesday we exchanged books and I received this one.

Busy week here....I know I was busy at home on Monday, Tuesday I worked and had book club in the evening, Wednesday I worked and did a little cleaning & laundry, Thursday I worked and had my work party that night, this morning I did some shopping and am in the process of baking 2 pumpkin rolls (requested by my son in law) and cookies, tossing in some laundry and computer time for good measure. Before Sunday I have to clean, wrap, and finish decorating. My side of the family is coming on Sunday mom is not coming this year (she does not feel up to it). Looking forward to Christmas with some of the grand kids then!!!!!

Back to work here! Have a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Before Christmas Thrifty Finds

Groceries for the week needed to be bought and a small bag of unwanted items needed to be dropped off at the local thrift course I had to go in and look around. This is what came home with me:
2 extension cords (one with a button on the cord that turns the lights off) 2 stretchy bracelets
one necklace with a (fake) suede cord that will be refashioned
one coin charm that will go on my Duchess of Dollars (red hat) bracelet
one magazine,
large birthday gift bag,
1 sympathy card
bag of 4 yards of 1" ruffled lace (for craft projects)
2 packages of clips for Christmas lights
2 Christmas beanie babies
new Dora baseball cap
book of knock knock jokes
glow stick
Easter deviled egg dish
new Green Bay Packer ornament
2 large patriotic buttons
twin size vellux blanket
men's white t-shirt
and a red/white long sleeve t-shirt for me
.....drum roll.....all for $8.19.......and it came in a large orange Fleet Farm bag....the best for putting the trashed wrapping paper in after all the gifts are opened. Many of the items are not for me. Our local thrift store has the best bargains.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Wonder of Christmas (3)

The children's room, they could dress up like a character, do a craft, and touch any of the nativities in here.

The animals are so whimsical here (below is a close up)

looks like chocolate to me :-)

Life size baby here, sometimes the little ones come to kiss the baby.


window frame

This large, outdoor, set was hand made by a young boy and sold in a garage sale when the family moved. The pattern and patterned paper was purchased from Sears (I think and was about $3). The paper for the figures came on a long roll and was glued onto masonite. The paper had to be pieced together. Many years later the family who purchased it at the garage sale donated it to the church so they displayed it in their annual Nativity Scene Display. One year a man came and looked very closely at it, the next year he was back again....checking it out very carefully. One of the workers at the church asked if she could help him....well, come to find out he was the boy who made it so many years ago. He knew it was his because it had been glued onto Masonite and not wood like the instructions specified and when his family moved out of town they put it in their garage sale. The church offered to return it to him but he said it was where it belonged. Truth is stranger than fiction. Right?

Made from rolled paper, see below.

One necktie that was found in a box with the nativity scene that was donated, when the owner of the display saw it she started to cry, as it had belonged to her husband and she had memories of him wearing it. She did not know it was in the box with the figurines.

I had to take a photo of this gentleman's tie. The nativity can be found almost anywhere, if you look hard enough.

a teeny, tiny one.


Love it!

And this concludes my photo journal of the Nativity Scene Display "the Wonder of Christmas" Thanks for coming along with me, I hope you enjoyed it, I certainly did!