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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The "tween" week

The week between Christmas and New Year's (the "tween" week) is always the most relaxing. After the bustle of Christmas...decorating, baking cookies, and present buying, it's nice to just sit and relax. I have so enjoyed my family. Today we all jumped in the car and went to a used book and music store called McKay's. It's a great place to wander around in. It's very organized by subject and the aisles are clearly labeled. It's like a big book store only the prices are ridiculously low. I got about 8 decorating books and not a one was over two dollars. There was also a free bin outside and I rooted around and found four novels to read. Scott who is really into music loved the large selection of vinyl records and Chris found some movie dvd's. I also discovered a really neat store that I will have to remember. It was rather small...but so me. I found a wire basket I just loved.
I'm having so much fun playing with the young ones. Sara loved her shopping cart and food items that nana gave her and we've been playing "shopping". Sean is busy with his Uncle Chris so doesn't have a lot of time for nana.
It's only a quarter after 8 and I fell like it's midnight. Young kids can do that to you. Enjoy your tween week.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice

What did you do on this..the longest, darkest day of the year? Today it rained (not snowed, isn’t that strange?) all day and we went to Olean to finish up some shopping and have a nice lunch out at Applebee’s. It was great to eat pain free (the meds are kicking in) and shop with Don.
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I found this beautiful plaid ribbon at Bon Ton and I like it so much I may never take it down after Christmas. ribbon 12.11 007
And these acorns found their way to Chatham lane too. ribbon 12.11 011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mrs. SuperClaus

What is Mrs. Claus doing while Santa is supervising the toy factory and training the new reindeer? Why making cookies of course.
   Today I turned into Mrs. SuperClaus and did all my cookie baking in one day. I began at eight and completed at five making dozens and dozens of our favorite cookies to take to my son’s for the holiday. I made Peanut butter kiss cookies, peanut butter Reese’s cup cookies, peanut butter fudge, date creams, Unbeatables, Russian Tea Cakes, Pecan Tassies and rum balls. Tomorrow I’ll finish with some truffles.
   Where did all that energy come from you may ask.  Steroids! Yes, I’m back on steroids. This past week I had a nasty breakout of lichen planus in my mouth. It’s an autoimmune disease with no identifiable cause and no real cure. I’ve had it all over my skin for the past year, but this week it presented itself with large sore white  lesions  all inside my mouth. The dentist gave me a treatment to use every 6 hours and some steroid pills to take. That’s the downside. My mouth is very sore and I can’t eat hardly at all. The upside is that the steroids give me undeniable energy. The great thing is that I have lots of cookies to take. The bad thing is that I can’t eat a one of them. :( This isn’t a picture of my sugar cookie tray. I have to make sugar cookies tomorrow. The dough is in the fridge waiting.

image OH, by the way…the doctor told me to reduce my stress (usually the cause of the outbreaks.)


The world is changing and not all of it to the good in my humble opinion. Basic values like respect, humility, kindness seem to be in short supply at times as we bustle around hurrying from one thing to the other. Quality has been overtaken with the thrill of velocity. Let’s do it quick, let’s make it fast…forget the joy in taking time to create a product. Old ways are disappearing to be replace by new customs. I know one sign of being old is looking back on the “good old days” and complaining about the new changes. But is this a better world today than before? I’m not sure. Hopefully we can hold on to old traditions and old joys.
  All this editorializing is leading up to my comment today. What about Christmas cards? As I speak to people they are telling me that they are no longer indulging in the Christmas tradition of sending a card to their dear friends and family. They state that the price of stamps has made it an extravagance. When did it happen that you can’t spend less than fifty cents on your close ones to wish them well during the season? The economy has made us scrooges? Some people send only to those out of town reserving emails or phone calls to people seen daily.
   One of the happiest Christmas tradition is opening the mailbox to see whose card is being delivered. Ripping open the envelope, seeing the happy signature or reading an accompanying message keeps your heart in touch. Are we growing distant from people now? Or in the fast day of email and texting is that the new way to communicate and am I old fashioned? If so…let it be.  I like getting cards!xmas 12.11 017

Monday, December 19, 2011

Why didn’t I think of that?

image When you come across a great idea you just have to share it! How about this? I could have used this the other day when the guy from India was telling me to “remove the cord from the router to the computer and attach it in the modem”. LOL!image

The Christmas Table

fburg house tour 12.11 072 It’s Christmastime at the table and I have used a garden Christmas theme this year. The black, white, red and green compliment my room.fburg house tour 12.11 073
This year I added beautiful read and green April Cornell napkins that I bought at one of my favorite shops in Fredericksburg..A Place in Time. fburg house tour 12.11 071
This bowl was found in Ross’s and seemed to match the theme.
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Other little new touches .. this glittery white Santa holding a cardinal.
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And this shiny green bird who found a home in the cage. fburg house tour 12.11 070 fburg house tour 12.11 069
But my favorite of all is the alert rabbit which I love. fburg house tour 12.11 067
What fun it is to decorate!

Friday, December 16, 2011

I missed you

One of my favorite sayings is “Computers are wonderful things..when they work.” Unfortunately Verizon had quite a problem this week and my computer was out from Tuesday until today when I spent over a half an hour with a tech support person who ran me through getting back online. It’s nice to be back. 
   This has been a rather quiet week. Yesterday I went to a Kinzua Kuties (my former Red hat group) party at the Pennhills club. It’s always nice out there and the food was delicious. Today I have Literary Club where we will hear a talk on Christmas sweaters.
  I’m gearing up to make Christmas cookies next week to take with me to my son’s house. I’m cutting down on the amount of cookies I’m making this year. It seems they don’t all get eaten each year. I’ll also make a Swedish Tea Ring which has become a tradition on Christmas morning. I’m almost finished with my shopping, just a few more things to buy.
This vintage Santa is from our childhood. santa watercolor

Monday, December 12, 2011

Linda’s home

Linda’s house was decked out for the holidays. fburg house tour 12.11 027
Her baker’s rack was done in white and silver with icicle lights. fburg house tour 12.11 029fburg house tour 12.11 028 My special favorite is her French tree with all the Francophile ornaments.fburg house tour 12.11 026 fburg house tour 12.11 025
The baker’s rack in the kitchen was dressed up with silver framed black and white photos of us as children and our mother and father.
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fburg house tour 12.11 011 fburg house tour 12.11 003  The mantle was done with silver deer and lights.
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Linda made the Santa boots.fburg house tour 12.11 016


image It’s funny how you can be influenced by the things that you see. I’ve been seeing branches with tags on them for quite a while on the web used in different ways. When I came across some cute Christmas tags at my favorite florist Jan William’s I immediately knew I wanted to hang them on my branches in the metal vase. fburg house tour 12.11 086
The images were so old fashioned they cried out to me to bring them home. fburg house tour 12.11 088
Some of the branches are wired with white lights. I’ll put up a picture of them lit up later on. fburg house tour 12.11 085

Getting out of Dodge

There are many, many reasons why I love to travel and get away from my hometown..great food, new visions, beautiful things, feasting my eyes, great company and fresh alive feelings. It is so much fun to see new things. And of course copy them when I get home in a different way.
One of my favorite stops in Fredericksburg is the World Market where goods from all over the world are for sale. I can always find a treasure or an unusual food there and at Christmastime there are so many delights. This year I found some Eiffel Tower and Arch de Triumph ornaments. I knew exactly what I would do with them when I got home..make a little tree for on my French table. (It helped that I had bought a table runner with French writing on it at Hobby Lobby).
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I needed a vase and found this faux mercury glass one at Marshall’s. It held the branches I cut from a bush in my yard perfectly.
fburg house tour 12.11 060 It has found a home temporarily on my bathroom window sill. fburg house tour 12.11 061
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The mercury glass birds were found at Target.
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It fits in perfectly in my Frency bathroom.

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Fredericksburg 2011

Every year my sisters and I have a tradition of meeting in Fredericksburg and going on the tour of homes in December. This year we had a special treat. On Friday night we attended a dinner theater production of White Christmas. fburg house tour 12.11 041  After a nice meal we had a short singalong and then the musical started. It was just as good as the movie with an excellent cast, production numbers, and wonderful every changing sets. fburg house tour 12.11 046
Me, Diane and Linda at the theater. fburg house tour 12.11 039fburg house tour 12.11 040

Monday, December 05, 2011

Lewiston Home Tour 2011

One of my very favorite things to do is go on a home tour. I love seeing other people’s homes and how they decorate. In Lewiston, NY they have two a year..a kitchen tour in the summer and a Christmas tour. My friend Linda and I made the two hour trek to Lewiston which is above Niagara Falls yesterday. lewiston home tour 12.11 002 There were five houses on the tour, but the first one spoiled me for the rest. It was right in town and very small, but decorated by a professional and had so much charm. lewiston home tour 12.11 001
I could tell by the outside that this was going to be one of my favorite. I loved the ornamental cabbage adding so much color. The landscaping had that attention to detail that I love. Notice back in the corner the plant stand with fresh greens.
lewiston home tour 12.11 003 The front was so welcoming. I loved these urns filled with fresh greens, silver balls, mesh silver ribbons and silver painted twigs. lewiston home tour 12.11 004
The windowboxes and over the door also sported greenery.
lewiston home tour 12.11 006 lewiston home tour 12.11 007 We were not permitted to take pictures inside but kindly the owner took my camera in and took pictures for me! lewiston home tour 12.11 011
This was the living room. The pictures can never do justice to how pretty this was in person. On the mantle were moss balls and silver ornaments.
lewiston home tour 12.11 012 Here was her tree.
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We talked to this designer about where he found that wonderful wide mesh silver ribbon (Hobby Lobby or ACMoore.)
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The tablescape was beautiful. It’s hard to see but behind the bench was a wall of silver twigs.
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The outside was as pretty as the inside with a lot of things to look at. lewiston home tour 12.11 018

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lewiston home tour 12.11 019 This was a great start to our tour.