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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A change

Notice anything new?christmas door 11.11 003

Look closer.christmas door 11.11 002
Now do you see it?christmas door 11.11 001
Yesterday I painted the front door yellow. I was meaning to do that in the summertime and never got around to it. When I put up the swag on the door I noticed that it didn’t even show up against the cranberry red door. I wanted it to stand out. Now it stands out.  But I’m not sure I like this color of yellow. I think there will be repainting in the spring.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It’s family time

It’s always fun to have family around at the holidays.
christmas 11.11 001 Scott and Dan at Grandma Rose’s for Thanksgiving.christmas 11.11 008
Jennifer, Chris and Scott.
christmas 11.11 004 Charlotte always makes the table so festive.christmas 11.11 011
Charlotte (Meemaw) and Brayden make an advent candy countdown.
christmas 11.11 025
I decorated today..here’s a little preview.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Getting in the spirit


Every year the Christmas spirit comes on me slowly like a wave in the ocean, smoothly and serenely floating toward me till one day it crashes upon me and my heart is filled with joy. I never know what is going to make me swell with that happy feeling. Sometimes it is triggered by a Christmas party where just being around all those happy people makes me happy too. Or sometimes it’s a song heard on the radio that just makes you sing along even though you’ve heard it time and time again. Once in a while it’s a memory of Christmas past that sweeps you up in nostalgia and longing for those who are no longer with us. Often it’s the rituals of this time of year…the decorating, the cookie baking, the Christmas ham…that weave into the fabric of our lives. The bright colored lights decorating the homes along the street and the downtown area all say that this is the time of year to be happy. It might be the comfort of the familiar old movie like It’s a Wonderful Life or White Christmas that makes you smile. I welcome the feeling to come. Be in my heart and make me full of wonder.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Is it time yet?

I’ve been like a little kid on a trip asking every hour…are we there yet? Only I have been asking every day…can I get my decorations out yet? yes, Peggy…now you can. Tomorrow is the day I bring the bins down from the attic and go to town getting the house all spruced up for Christmas.
   First there is the “Putting away of Fall Decorations” which takes about an hour. Why, oh why did I put out so many pumpkins? LOL
  Then it is time to bring down the two small tabletop trees and all the bins. Remember I pledged to “keep it simple”.  Let’s see if I can.
019 Scenes of Christmas past.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Truly Blessed


Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
-- Marcel Proust

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers. May your day be happy and your tummy full. May you take the time to be thankful for you are truly blessed.

People who live the most fulfilling lives are the ones who are always rejoicing at what they have.
-- Richard Carlson
I can’t begin to count the ways that I am blessed..good husband, good children, good family and friends. Every day I thank God that I am so lucky to have been blessed like this. I love my life and am so grateful for my blessings.

Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it.
-- Ralph Marston


A little French here and there

How exciting….my new shower curtain and curtains arrived today. bathroom 11.11 001 Here is the before:bathroom 004
I loved these ribbon curtains but it was time for a change.bathroom 11.11 007
Here is the vanity before…bathroom 005
and after..
bathroom 11.11 005 I think the bathroom isn’t the only thing that’s changed..LOL.
Here is over the toilet before…
bathroom 012 and after…..
bathroom 11.11 003 please excuse the pictures in the frames. I haven’t had time to find the right black and white photos yet. There are a few things I need to tweak…new shower hooks and a new soap dispenser, but most of it is done. How quickly things can change!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It just speaks to me

image How did I live without the internet? It’s like having decorating books and design ideas right at your fingertips all the time. I love to read the blogs of other women and see how they decorate their tables and rooms. It allows me to view gardens and villas that I would never have access to otherwise. It is like a giant design school. This picture is from Artie’s blog near Niagara Falls. There is something about this that speaks to me in a big way….the blue vases, the tulips and the framed letters on the wall along with the rustic table. I just love it.

Our living room

In 2006 we added on to our house and made a sunroom. It became our dining room and family room and we spend most of our time in there. Our living room became a place to pass through rather than sit. I occasionally would take in a book and read by the window. Today we moved the furniture around to face the fireplace for the winter. living room 11.11 006

It made it feel cozy.
living room 11.11 001
But it cuts the room in half. living room 11.11 003 But for the winter it will be just fine.
living room 11.11 004

Monday, November 21, 2011

Time to be thankful

turkey card

all that your heat might desire

Be Thankful
By Author Unknown

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Philosophy


When I saw this I just had to repost it. I think this will be my new philosophy for Christmas this year. Keep it simple. I’ll try to remember that when I open all the Christmas bins in the attic.

Pictures as promised

The house looks ready for Christmas on the outside. This is the first winter that I put garland on the picket fence. (why didn’t I think of that before?).

outdoors 11.11 001 Usually I tie the sled up but this year I just put it by the back door. outdoors 11.11 002
I even tied a wreath to our French light pole out back. outdoors 11.11 003
Here is Don up on the roof putting roofing tar on the inside of our gutters. He said, “Do you have to take this picture for your blog?”outdoors 11.11 004
It’s nice to have most of the decorating done before the cold, snowy weather comes. It does make me antsy to continue decorating the whole house. (Be patient, be patient….LOL)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Getting an early start

No, I didn’t get out my decorations (inside) but I got out my decorations. (outside). It was a beautiful day here in Bradford with sunny skies and temps around 54 degrees. Don and I took advantage of the nice weather to put up some outside lights, garlands, and wreaths. Each year the outside decorations get simpler. At one time we strung flashing colored lights all around the outside eaves of the house. Then the next year we just did our bushes out front. There is nothing prettier than the white lights shining out of the snow. Gradually we reduced it to just doing our front and back porches. So today we put a large wreath on the front of the garage, some garland and snowflakes down by the light pole, and icicle lights on the breezeway. Of course the old sled is at the back door. (pictures will follow tomorrow since I forgot to take any today.) Here is a picture from last year. blog header wintertime

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Not yet

Repeat after me…..I will not get my Christmas decorations out until after Thanksgiving.
   Christmas is everywhere and I’m determined to not start the season so soon. Let’s get through one holiday before we start another. I want to enjoy having my family home for Thanksgiving first. Then there will be time to climb up into the attic and bring down all those bins. Each year I say I won’t put out as much as I did last year. But when I peek into those boxes and see my lovely decorations I go wild. It takes the whole day to decorate the sun room, living room and I even put a tree in my kitchen. But I put on Christmas music to put me in the mood and sing along while I put up wreaths. Each year I do things a little differently. I enjoy having different themes. One year I did the Christmas garden as my theme.

christmas 2009 038 christmas 2009 058

And I always put up sentimental things like the letters my children wrote to Santa and the picture of mom and I at Christmas.
christmas prep 003 christmas prep 002 Of course, Christmas is my very favorite holiday. I remember the Christmas I had a Martha Stewart Christmas. Every time my sister would call me I’d be busy making a Christmas craft or baking some wonderful cookies. It’s always busy around here during December.

What are you reading these days?

Have you read a good book lately? I recommend the new Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. Don’t be scared off by it’s large size.

image I am loving every page and learning about the computer revolution urged on by this innovative but caustic at times personality. He challenged his staff to do  the impossible. His genius comes through in this book.

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oh, Happy day.

It is certainly time to celebrate! Today I had an eye appointment with Dr. Lu's office. I've had an eye problem ever since the stress of my father's passing caused me to have a cyst on my retina. This made straight lines become zig-zags and things to look to me like I was looking through a fun house mirror. After many doctor appointments and surgeries I am gaining back clearer vision. The doctor today was “amazed” and “ ecstatic” that I have come such a long way. My vision is clearer than it has ever been in my bad eye. Even though I cannot read or see smaller print and the letters on the page go up and down and disappear my vision is much better than it has ever been. It is so nice to go to the doctor's office and hear good news!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hors d’oeurves


What a wind that blew in last night! We had a thunderstorm that knocked my friend’s dead tree branch right off the tree and onto her neighbor’s roof causing a little damage.

Today I have been scouring my cookbooks for an hors d’oeurve recipe to take to a neighborhood party tomorrow evening. I have finally settled on Sausage Wellington, an easy and delicious recipe given to me by my sister, Diane. Our new neighbor is giving a party to meet her neighbors..how nice. Here is the recipe in case you would like to try it someday.

Sausage Wellington

Peggy Karrasch

What you need:

2 cans (8 oz. Each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

1 pound Jimmy Dean mild Italian sausage

1 egg white, beaten

sesame seeds

8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese, softened

Make it:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook the sausage in frying pan till crumbled and done. Drain. Mix in the softened cream cheese.

Unroll the crescent dough: separate into 16 triangles. Arrange in 11 inch circle on parchment or foil lined baking sheet with short sides of triangles overlapping in center and points of triangles toward outside. (there should be a five inch diameter opening in center of circle).

Spoon sausage and cheese mixture onto dough near center of circle. Bring outside points of triangles up over filling, then tuck under dough in center of ring to cover filling.

Wash with egg white and sprinkle on sesame seeds.

Bake 35-40min at 375 degrees until golden brown.

Monday, November 14, 2011

More favorite quotes

Have you ever thought about all those things you didn’t do because you thought you shouldn’t but wish that you would have? Remember to do those things that make you the happiest. image

When we were young, do you remember how your eyes would light up when you discovered something new that made you smile? Do you remember laughing so much that you were out of breath and you had to pee, but you kept laughing anyway because it was just so much fun to laugh and giggle? Do you remember being wonder-filled? Do you remember staying up late into the night telling tales and having fun with your best friend? When did it all stop? And why?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Can you say snow?

Some people like snow. I find it an unnecessary freezing of water”..Carl Reiner

Yes, it’s finally here…our first official snow on the ground. We woke up to the ground covered and flakes fell off and on all day. The roads were slushy this morning but by afternoon it had melted off the highways and on some parts of the lawn. The temperatures will be going up in the forties tomorrow and most of it should be gone.
    I tried to take some pictures but I can’t get my SD card to work in my computer tonight. So I’ll leave you with pictures of snow last winter (they all look the same, don’t they?) Today’s snow was not as deep as this.snow again 006

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Bad news today…my grandson Dan is in the hospital. It seems the MRSA that he had this summer on his forearm has come back. He went to the emergency room at PennState and the next day to the doctor there who told him to go back to the hospital. Chris went up and brought him home and took him to the family doctor who told him to go immediately to the hospital. They admitted him because his forearm was swollen twice it’s normal size and was infected. They lanced and drained it and are giving him doses of antibiotics and pain medication. Poor Dan! Here are some pictures of him during happier moments. chris thanksgiving 09 014
  dan's graduation 015 letchworth park 008 lake house july 2008 079 chris' visit 006