Monday, December 31, 2007

Ending(the year, not my blog) on a Natural Note...

This is my 100th post, WOW!! Please, if you have pets, take time to read about Soshie.

I can't believe I have stuck with it this long. Never in a million years did I expect to make friends this way, I love that. My writing is terrible, mostly because I rarely have time to sit and compose anything, it just comes out in messed up spurts and bunches or I think of something to say and never get the time. Oh well. Maybe by my 200th post I'll be more coherent. I will leave you with the sunset(pics taken across the street from our driveway and back to the right, I *wish* this was my view) and our oak tree.

(oak in our backyard, my namesake, lol)

(neighbor's extra lot)

(trees in sunset, yes this is where the dreaded coyotes live)


(beautiful. may all of us experience a peaceful and prosperous new year)

New Year's Resolutions

I'm not making any Resolutions for 2008 except to love myself and family however I need to in order to remain peaceful, calm, engaged, and happy.

A New Year’s Prayer:

May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you most,
and by making you anxious to be there to help.
God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead

Pope John XXIII, 4/11/63:

"May He banish from the hearts of all men and women whatever might endanger peace.
May He transform them into witnesses of truth, justice and love.
May He enkindle the rulers of peoples so that in addition to their solicitude for the proper welfare of their citizens, they may guarantee and defend the great gift of peace.
May He enkindle the wills of all so that they may overcome the barriers that divide, cherish the bonds of mutual charity, understand others, and pardon those who have done them wrong.
May all peoples of the earth become as brothers and sisters, and may the most longed-for peace blossom forth and reign always among men and women."

Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols. ~Thomas Mann

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. ~Ellen Goodman

He who breaks a resolution is a weakling;
He who makes one is a fool.
~F.M. Knowles

Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past. ~Henry Ward Beecher

New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. ~Hamilton Wright Mabie


(I don't mean to take away from Soshie's passing~click her name or scroll down~, but I realized that I am 3 posts shy of having 100 for my first year of blogging. Expect 2 more today to get me there.)

My mom had it quilted by a quilting buddy of hers in North Carolina. I LOVE the quilting design she used! The pattern is "Confetti" from Super Simple Squares by Lyndia Milligan & Nancy Smith. I used fabric from my stash plus some salesmans samples my mom gave me and a purchased border. It is HUGE, probably could fit a king sized bed if need be, but almost like a bed spread on our queen bed.


Now I have to bind it and get a bed(frame) to use it with. We're on a mattress and box spring on the floor now. It is too long to use like that.


We made the decision to have our sweet Soshie cat put down. Saturday morning when my parents left she was acting a bit woozy, having a hard time getting her claws retracted and falling over as if her back legs were weak. That night and yesterday she was worse, difficulty breathing, her heart racing, yowling, drawing her hind legs up, and just in a lot of pain. She was also incontinent, never a good sign. I'm pretty sure she was suffering from an Aortic Thromboembolism, she had many of the symptoms. We are very sad to lose her. She was slowly recovering from her mylar streamer ingestion and we had hoped she'd be good as new soon.

About Aortic Thromboembolism from Westlake Animal Hospital in Austin, Texas:

Another complication of heart disease in cats is the development of a blood clot, clinically known as aortic thromboembolism, which usually forms in the heart and travels through the blood stream. Most commonly, the clot lodges at the branch of the aorta that feeds the back legs, shutting down blood flow and causing partial or complete paralysis. This condition is excruciatingly painful and requires immediate medical attention. Cats experiencing an aortic thromboembolism will be unable to move their back legs and may vocalize due to the pain. Aortic thromboembolism usually indicates significant heart disease; two thirds of cats that develop this condition will die or be put to death humanely. In cats that survive aortic thromboembolism, recurrence is common.

Common clinical signs include tachypnea, panting associated with any activity, dyspnea, coughing, anorexia, vomiting, weight loss and lethargy. Some cats will develop hind leg paralysis, loss of femoral pulses, and cool limbs due to thromboembolism. Syncope or sudden death may also occur. Often, a heart murmur, gallop rhythm, or abnormal lung sounds are detected on auscultation of the heart. The cat may have experienced recent stresses such as anesthesia, surgery, boarding, or car rides that caused it to develop heart failure. Common symptoms include rapid breathing, panting from activities that are not normally stressful, difficulty breathing, coughing, loss of appetite, vomiting, weight loss and listlessness. Some cats may be paralyzed in their hind limbs due to a blood clot that forms in the heart and lodges at the branch of the blood stream that supplies the back legs. Some cats can have fainting spells or may die suddenly.


Please, please, if you have pets, make sure you NEVER have any mylar or other kind of streamers(like from balloons) or ribbons in your home. Objects that go into an animal's intestine can cause a rupture, cut, puncture, or blockages.

Around the 4th of October, Soshie ate a streamer that was attached to a small rubber ball, a child's toy. Soshie stopped eating and rapidly began losing weight within days and we didn't know what was wrong. Soshie was 11 years old, we'd never seen her eat thread or even play with something such as a mylar streamer in her whole life. I would never have guessed that she'd have done this except that I saw the evidence two weeks later when she passed the streamer. The damage had been done, the muscle tone in her intestines was weakened. She continued not to have an appetite and I fed her a liquid diet with a syringe for about 3 weeks. She finally had the strength and will to eat and seemed to be headed for a more normal life but she struggled with painful constipation to the end. The stress of this is likely what lead to her heart issue. So, please watch what you bring into your home that a cat could swallow. Soshie and I never want this to happen to another cat, ever!


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Winter Visitors...

First, don't think I could have lived another minute without this news:

You Are a Yule Log

While you do have holiday spirit, you have a secret, heathen past.

I can't take pictures of the beautiful cardinals and other winter birds we feed on the front porch. The window is just too dirty and they are too skittish. But yesterday we enjoyed the company of this critter. This was the best I could do with the screen and filthy window!

(Sandy Cheeks?)

(Rosie watching from the table)

(Rosie just about to burst with excitement)

(Ruby was a latecomer to the show but just as enthralled)

Speaking of other visitors, my parents are leaving for Oklahoma this morning. We wanted them to stay here longer but my dad is anxious to get back to North Carolina. Last year the kids and I went back with them for 3 weeks but Ryan has some doctor appointments(his broken arm and adenoids) that we have to be here for. I think we're planning an April or August trip, depends on if Mark wants to train for the Asheville Citizen Times half-marathon or the 10K Springmaid Splash trail run. I'm betting on the 10K, he really enjoyed that run.

We are going to try and get the lights off the house and possibly take the tree down. Amy and I are really sick so it might end up being a two day job. I managed to get my parents' afghan finished last night but still have most of the ends to weave in(I'm sending a yarn needle and instructions with mom). My lovely and sickly helper modeled the afghan this morning.

(it measures approximately 66x40 inches)
(its also symetrical in several ways)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Morning

Gifts in abundance:
And a few of my favorite things(a gift from my mom):

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Woke this morning to the sound of thunder....

How far off, I didn't need to wonder. It has been raining for almost 6 hours now and the temps have dropped 3 degrees. Wonderful, but I need to go buy some cat food(and litter, gah!). Guess I'll wait til mom wakes up so we can go to Hancock fabrics too. Can't remember why we needed to go there but we talked about it a few days ago.

The kids are figuring out how to send pictures but I'm thinking they need to resize them or change the settings on the camera so it doesn't make them so huge. I'm not a big fan of trying to learn a new system, my picture program is SO easy. But, even after uninstalling my McAfee it is still not working. Sigh.

Not sure when mom and dad are leaving. They haven't mentioned it to me yet. I'd like them to stay at least through the weekend but we've all got doctor appointments in early January(she needs to be back before the 11th).

Never did hear from Mark's parents about yesterday, they just never showed up. She had called the night before to confirm that they'd be here shortly before noon and then when Mark called to see where they were, she acted like we knew it would be for the night meal. His mom has dementia and I think maybe his dad just goes along with whatever she says, no matter how nuts, because it is easier than fighting her. She has a mean personality and holds life-long grudges. The dementia just magnifies all that hostility. It is sad and Mark doesn't handle it well. His job is so demanding that he has to take opportunities and make plans in advance(and hope he doesn't have to cancel) so not seeing them yesterday means we won't do Christmas with them at all, unless it is sometime in January(which would totally not work for his mom).

Happy Day After Christmas!!! Busy-ness as usual here at the Sonier Casa. Carry on.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Santa Baby....

Boy was he good to us!! The girls totally made out like bandits this morning with new clothes, boots, sleep pants, bath stuff, earrings, books, and so forth. Ryan got a Cowboys shirt, fishing gadgets, a guitar lesson book, some music and some video games(football ones). Mark got a new zipper jacket(and Ryan one to match) and I got some earrings and shower gel. The big things the kids got are a laptop for the girls to share and a Kodak Easy Share camera with photo printer dock. NICE!!!

(one of my favorite painted ornaments done by my mom when I was very young)

I made a wonderful dinner for us all. We had a turkey breast, broccoli-spinach rice casserole, boiled potatoes, field peas, homemade butter and homemade yeast rolls. Mark's parents were supposed to come over and eat dinner but they always balk at the last minute, which is why I didn't rely on his mom for any of the food. I hate that they always(ALWAYS) screw up anything we ever make plans for. Sigh. Anyway, we had a super tasty meal, then we played with the camera, computer and Ryan's football games. Mom napped on the couch with Muffin and I took Buttercup outside where Mark, the girls and I played with Ryan's new frisbee. We just finished supper of leftovers and I'm so stuffed! My camera is back to not letting me d/l pictures and I'm not real thrilled with the Easy Share software(its on the girls' laptop). Not being a camera savvy person, I have no clue how to resize them(one pic was 1200K) or send them to myself or what. It isn't as easy a program as mine(when it works). Hopefully soon I'll be able to share pics again, it drives me nuts not to show you our present opening session and goodies from this morning!

Hope everyone had a wonderful, restful day today! Ryan and Sarah are sick with fever and chills, sore throats and body aches. Amy and I have the sore throat and are hoping it stops with that.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!



Fireplace and tree

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Overheard from the bathroom last night...

Water running, kids getting ready for bed.

Amy: "You might not want to use that toothbrush"

Ryan: "what?"

Amy: "I used it to clean the bathtub"

Ryan: "pffffff"

We were just howling!!

Mark(from living room): "Don't use my toothbrush"

Ryan: "okay"(sound of toothbrush being put back in holder)

Saturday, December 22, 2007


My parents arrived here Wednesday afternoon and the shopping has commenced!!

I'm a homebody kind of person, hate crowds, hate standing in line, hate
shopping, but mom loves it so we go. Thursday we were in
Hobby Lobby and a woman complimented my crocheted purse. Then she
asked my opinion on some yarn and techniques and patterns and so on. I
think I spent 45 minutes exchanging ideas with her, and we traded phone numbers.
We went back yesterday to get some stuff for the girls' christmas and
met a woman who was making a crib set for her grandson(due early January).
Mom and I were helping her with selecting fabrics(a really neat one
with army helicopters on it for the comforter and bumper pads, and a
khaki and a black to do a bedskirt in) and bias tape(she's having it
made and knew nothing about sewing at all).

We spent at least an hour talking to them. Mom told them about
how her quilting friends in North Carolina had made over 40 quilts to
donate to Walter Reed for the soldiers. Supposedly every injured
soldier gets a quilt when they go there. This woman's son has been in
Iraq twice and will go back in 2009. This last time, he had
appendicitis and had to be flown to Germany for surgery and then on to
Walter Reed for recovery or something. He got a quilt! No way to
know if it was one of my mom's group's though. Mom said there is a big
variation in quality of those quilts, some are poorly done.
Anyway, she got their address and is going to make a patriotic quilt for the baby.

Isn't it just neat to run into people like that? I love it!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I've been tagged!!

Mitchypoo at Knitting and Losing got me, with a bum finger and all!

8 Things I’m passionate about

1. My family, nothing beats them!
2. My home. Not that it is immaculate or remotely fashionable but it is HOME.
3. My pets. Having animals makes me happy and my loved ones happy.
4. Nature. I love being in nature, outside, looking at the stars or clouds, trees, water, you name it I love it.
5. Creating. Making things is a great way to grow and is a wonderful stress reliever.
6. Music. I have music going 24/7, not kidding, I have a sleep cd that plays all night long. Music is engaging to me.
7. Cooking. I'm not the best cook but I love doing it. I'm not even one to branch out to trying new(weird to me) things. Cooking feeds souls as well as hungry folks!
8. Reading. I don't want to read every best seller out there or every self help or sci-fi book, I just love to read!

8 Things I want to do before I die

1. Have great-grand children!
2. See both coasts of the USA
3. Finish all my projects
4. Go to Africa or Greece
5. Visit Alaska
6. Have an immaculate house
7. Have enough of what I want
8. Have enough forks for my guests to use(this would come in handy now actually)

8 Things I often say

1. God BLESS America!
2. Ryan, unload the dishwasher
3. Daisy, OUT!!
4. Why are there (fill in the blank) on the floor(counter, table, bed)?
5. May I speak with Mark please?
6. What do YOU want for dinner?
7. NO
8. Yes

8 Books I’ve recently or currently reading

1. Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry
2. Bible(on going)
3. A Girl Named Zippy
4. The Hobbit(again)
5. The Long Winter
6. Caesar's Way
7. The Quick and Easy Vegetarian Cookbook
8. Arabian Nights

8 Songs I could listen to over and over(I could have listed 800 with no problem!)

1. Song for a Winter's Night(Sarah McLaughlin-original by Gordon Lightfoot)
2. Joy to the World(Three Dog Night)
3. Sweet Surrender(John Denver)
4. Windsong(John Denver)
5. Teach Your Children(Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)
6. The Air That I Breathe(kd lang- original by The Hollies)
7. Stone and Sea(Eden's Bridge)
8. A Living Prayer(Alison Krauss)

8 Things that attract me to my best friends

1. Honest
2. Kind
3. Funny
4. Intelligent
5. Compassionate
6. Open Minded
7. Temperate
8. Balanced(or is that the same as #7?)

8 People I think should do Crazy 8s

Ha, if 8 different people read this blog and want to play they are more than welcome to do so!

Boy Am I Sidelined!!!

I was blazing through my chores yesterday and came to the one that is usually my favorite, chopping veggies. I bought 10 green bell peppers on sale and needed to cut them up to freeze. I was on the last piece of the last pepper and the knife(and my hand) was wet. I sliced through the tip of my right thumb, bad. Luckily I was able to keep pressure on it for about 45 minutes and it didn't bleed too much. Mark brought me some gauze, liquid bandaids and a finger cot(metal splint) so I was fixed up in a jiffy. It probably needed stitches but I'm not sure they could go where this injury is very well. This morning it was throbbing pretty bad and I can't do simple things like put on clothes or crochet without some major adjustments. Actually, I can't crochet much at all so that afghan(Christmas present) might be way late getting to its recipient.

Mark is out of town today, he had to pick up equipment on one of their patients in McKinney and then meet someone for lunch to deliver some helios bases the guy bought, and then meet with a pharmacist who wants to sub-lease their Commerce office from them. It would be nice if he didn't have to work any more 12-hour days. He left this morning before 6.

So, that leaves me to get the rest of the house in order. There is laundry to be done, fresh sheets to be put on the beds(that ought to be interesting with my thumb), mopping, decluttering, and menu planning. Sigh. I'm wearing my favorite shirt though, it says, "After viewing her calendar for the week, she went ahead and pre-medicated.", how funny is that?

Oh yeah, wanted to tell about this! My neighbors are having their concrete slab(the whole house) stained to look like rock. It is exquisite! There are geometric designs scored into the concrete and painted leaf accents here and there. I think they used 3 or 4 different browns including a saddle tan, a rust and a dark chocolate. Last night Puppy-girl and I went over because they were unloading the POD that has been on their driveway since late September. I thought maybe the floor was finished but it isn't quite. They just didn't want to have to rent the pod for another month. Anyway, I would LOVE to have that sort of flooring but worry about the hardness and lack of sound absorbing that concrete has. They said the worst problem has been the fact that my dad's sealant job on the slab was so good that it has been hard to get the stain to take(my dad built this house in 1979). The artists are having to scrape the entire floor by hand with a razor blade putty knife contraption. It is taking "for freaking ever" said the lady of the house. Maybe when it is done they'll let me take a picture or three to share.

Now, I'm off to mop this wreck of a kitchen.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Beginning to Look Something Like Christmas....

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Santa is making his way to our house! Hope he brings something fun for the kids! I shopped til I dropped yesterday and have spent all the money so I guess I'm done. There are a few more Santa items I need to get, mostly in the form of chocolate.

I did manage to get one of the six things on my revised list done. I hung the stockings!!! This picture is from 3 years ago. Now they are under the bottom edge, held on by nails and thumbtacks. We take them down when Santa fills them so they won't stretch or break from the weight of the goodies.
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(Mark's, Sarah's, Ryan's, Amy's and Molly's)

My parents are leaving this morning from North Carolina and will be here sometime tomorrow(or late, late tonight if they decide to drive through). Mom was recently diagnosed with Type II diabetes so our Christmas menu will have to change slightly to accomodate that. I'm looking forward to having them here and the kids are really excited about it! Which reminds me, my dad gave Ryan his old metal detector last January. We've never assembled or played with it but Ryan asked if we could get it fixed up for a present a few weeks ago.

Last night, or very early this morning I should say, we were awakened by some noise. Neither one of us could place what it was but it was loud and definitely real(not our imagination). After I fell back to sleep I dreamed that we had a ghost and at different times either Mark or I would become possessed by this ghost. There was a phrase we said, in that deep growly "possessed" voice, the same thing each time. I wish I could remember what it was because words in your dreams are supposed to have deep meaning. It was something along the lines of "its my turn to blah, blah, blah", or "I'm going to blah, blah, blah", or some other kind of statement. Man I hope it comes to me, it was a very strange and powerful dream. Dreaming of ghosts or spirits, especially ones that possess, has to do with either something in your subconcious or your concious needing to come out to the surface. Possibly, a part of your personality that is being neglected or repressed, either willfully or not. It typically means a change, a drastic one! We shall see!!!

Oh yeah, I found a new pizza crust recipe! We've tried it twice as "focaccia" but tonight I'm going to roll it out thinner and use it for our pizza. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Busy-ness Continues....

We've been busy. Busy wrapping, busy shopping, busy cleaning, busy tidying, busy cooking, busy taking care. Self-imposed stress? YES! Most of these things have to be done anyway so they don't count, but there are extra things this time of year that we tell ourselves MUST be done before Christmas, or before the relatives come, or before we do this or that. The good thing, is that for some reason this is not a bad stress for me this time. It will get done, things will fall into place. The mess of laundry will be neatly in the drawers, the mess of yarn will be wound and put in baskets.

Today's busy-ness includes more shopping, more cleaning, some painting, some sorting, a bit of laundry, vacuuming, mopping, crocheting, decluttering, and baking(pumpkin cake I blogged around Thanksgiving)!
~~***UPDATED**~~~ I am 99% done with the shopping part!!! YEEEEHAW!!!

Ryan goes back to the orthopedist tomorrow, early. We'll find out if his arm is healing like it is supposed to and hopefully when he can get his cast off! This weekend was two weeks since the break. The cast doesn't slow Ryan down much at all, he is even still able to play his guitar a little.

After yesterday's pictures, my camera is now back to not uploading pictures but we've figured out that it is my McAfee being incompatible with the camera software. Not sure what to do about it yet, I have the online version of McAfee so it isn't like I can uninstall and reinstall as I like.

Anyway, I have some great pictures of the dogs to share and I CAN'T!! Talk about frustrating! Oh well, I have a ton of other stuff, however boring, to keep me occupied today.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Yum, my favorite treat of the season!

We went to Target last night while the girls were at a birthday party at Pump It Up. Can't post much about our trip because it involves Christmas presents! But, I happened upon the frozen treats section and found Dreyers Peppermint Ice Cream(the lower fat version)!! This I can share with the whole family, except Ryan won't eat it, silly boy. It is ooooh so good!! So good I had to take pictures!

Here I am enjoying it:
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And here are Ruby and Rosie enjoying some peace under the tree:
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Meme, meme Christmas!

Found this at the Lowdown From Lois and thought I'd play along...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Paper please!

2. Real tree or Artificial? Real. We've had fake ones in the past and will probably again but for now we enjoy the search for the perfect tree. And, we can get one to fit our 12 foot ceilings.

3. When do you put up the tree? About 2-3 weeks before Christmas.

4. When do you take the tree down? Depends on how dried out it is. Usually a few days after Christmas.

5. Do you like eggnog? It is ok, not my favorite but I definitely don't mind drinking it if forced, lol.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A red barn my dad made for my Breyer horses and Barbies.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, but not a real one, it is a very small tree ornament set. I'd love the Lennox china version but that would be many hundreds of $$$s and I don't really have a place for it.

8. Hardest person to buy for? My husband. He gets what he needs throughout the year, and things he wants too. He's weird about gifts too, very picky.

9. Easiest person to buy for? My kids are super easy.

10. Worst Christmas gift ever received? I'm not real sure, can't recall any that were just too horrible. Except the Marilyn Monroe phone I got last minute from my horrid cousin.

11. Mail or email Christmas card? Neither, I don't do them.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Home Alone, Christmas Vacation, The Santa Clause, The Muppet Christmas Carol(and the original too). I love the funny ones, not so much into the old sappy ones. I love all the animated ones from childhood, Rudolf and Frosty and Meisterberger Bergermeister and the Grinch and Mr. Heat Miser....

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? As soon as we have the money.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I can't recall.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Chex Party Mix, my version with honey mustard coating. I love most holiday foods, can't go wrong with them I say.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Both at the same time...the more the merrier!

17. Favorite Christmas song? Andy Williams version of Do You Hear What I Hear, Sarah McLachlan's Christmas stuff, Burl Ives, Gene Autry, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, Julie Andrew's version of Favorite Things(Andy Williams does a good one too, as does Babs). I'm very musical so I love most holiday music except for extreme rock or rap or countrified stuff.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We usually stay home and have my parents and occasionally brother and/or others come to our house.

19. Can you name Santa's reindeers? Yep. Uh, did you want me to do it now?

20. Do you have an Angel on top or a star? Nothing.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Morning

22. Most annoying thing(s) about this time of year? Self-imposed stress

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Buttery Goodness....

I made BUTTER today!!! We've been getting raw(organic/added-hormone-free) milk from a dairy co-op for several weeks now but I've been concerned about the fat content of the milk(for me anyway). I didn't want to scoop the cream off and toss it out but didn't have a need to make whipped cream either. Some of the other families in the co-op make yogurt and kefir on a regular basis and yesterday I found out I could make butter! The benefit of this is that I'll be skimming my milk, making great tasting fresh butter, and buttermilk all at the same time! I can drink the skim and use the butter and buttermilk for cooking and baking!

First, I put about half the gallon into a widemouthed insulated drink dispenser(like a rubbermaid type thermos), covered it with foil and let it sit in the fridge overnight. This morning I used a wide spoon to scoop the cream into an old pickle jar. I let this sit out for about 30 minutes to warm up a bit, then shook the crap out of it for 15-20 minutes or so. It turned into BUTTER!!!! Amazing! I drained the buttermilk off and then rinsed the butter with cold water 3 times to get the remaining buttermilk out of it(that makes it go rancid quickly if you don't get it out). It made about 2/3 cup of butter and maybe a cup of buttermilk. Yummmmy!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Getting in the Spirit!!

But first, I had to do a massive restructuring of the China Cabinet. We cleaned it out a few weeks ago so it could be moved to allow for the Christmas tree. I'd seen several bloggers post pics of their own lovely hutches with paper or fabric as a backdrop for their collections so I went in search of paper. Found it at Hobby Lobby, 1/2 off in fact.

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(china cabinet before move)

I took the rest of the stuff out, cleaned the shelves, taped the paper up and reloaded it with only "china" type stuff. We've decided to put a glass door on one of our bookshelves and make it be our rock cabinet.

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(mostly full)

Then I thought, maybe I should decorate it for the holidays...

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(the deer-aren't they sweet?- decided to move next to the button tree, which took me hours to complete-never again)

Mark got the house lights up but we'll need a fuse or two for the ones on the back. Our neighbors across the street have their runway up.

I also hung up my(mom's) Joan Walsh Anglund calendars from the early 1970s.

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(this and the horseback tree haulers are tied for my favorites)

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(this is my second favorite)

All this while biting my nails over the Cowboys game, so glad they won!!!!

Now I'm off to make more pizzas for our dinner and chill out on the couch.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The *BEST* Enchiladas

Look no further. Homesick Texan has come up with the secret ingredient that makes these Cheese Enchiladas absolutely perfect! Kid you not. I've tried them with regular grated cheese and with velveeta. The regular cheese ones were fabulous but I'm not a huge velveeta fan unless it is in a rotel dip. The best thing is that it is EASY PEASY and oh so comforting, especially served with plenty of sour cream.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Bow to the Emperor, Bow I SAY!

Otherwise known as farting around on the innernets....

I'm Joshua Abraham Norton, the first and only Emperor of the United States of America!
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

I think I might be sick or maybe(hopefully) just sunburned. Although usually I don't get sunburned at park day. My face is burning hot and I feel like crud. Sigh.

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(Pine cone wreath. We had to toss it last year because it was falling apart. My dad made it about 20 years ago but it hadn't been used in quite a while.)

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(This year's tree in the afternoon sun. I love the winter sun, just makes the most beautiful shadows in our home.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

This one is COOL!...

Found at Pea Soup.

What kind of soap is in your bathtub right now?
None, I need to buy some.

Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator?
Not a one.

What would you change about your living room?
The placement of our back door. It is right next to the fireplace so we can't put furniture there. Wish my dad would let us relocate it to the other side of the big window(hahaha). I would also like to have some built-in cabinets along our main wall.

Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty?
Being washed as I type, it is nearly 11pm.

What is in your fridge?
Lots of foods, cheeses, sauces, veggies, raw milk, butter, jelly, the usual fridgy stuff.

White or wheat bread?
Whole wheat is what I think this is asking, white or whole wheat. But, nowadays you can get whole wheat that is white. This needs changed. We eat 100% whole wheat though.

What is on top of your refrigerator?
An empty ice container that usually goes in the freezer.

What color or design is on your shower curtain?
I don't have a shower, just a bath tub, so I have a lacy window panel. Mark has a Texas flag curtain.

How many plants are in your home?
2 cacti and an aloe vera plant.

Is your bed made right now?

Comet or Soft Scrub?
Baking soda.

Is your closet organized?
Organized just has to mean I know where things are right?

Can you describe your flashlight?
Yes, but will I?

Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home?
Glass-a-holic here. Hate plastic, unless I'm drinking a cola and I will use a bumpy restaurant style cup.

Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now?
Yes, a 4 quart pitcher of sweet tea and a 2 quart pitcher of green with french vanilla and zen teas too. In the fridge, by the way.

If you have a garage, is it cluttered?
Crowded but not cluttered.

Curtains or blinds?
Curtains, but metal blinds in the kids' rooms and in the dining room. Curtains cover all of them though.

How many pillows do you sleep with?
Two if I am on my left side, one if I'm on my right.

Do you sleep with any lights on at night?
No, they drive me INSANE!!!! We have to cover the alarm clock and the blinking light on the vcr and such.

How often do you vacuum?
Several times a week.

Standard toothbrush or electric?

What color is your toothbrush?
teal and white, and yellow and white, I have two.

Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch?

What is in your oven right now?
Empty bundt pan and something else.

Is there anything under your bed?
No, it is on the floor.

Chore you hate doing the most?
Most of them.

What retro items are in your home?
Don't know, I don't keep up with "home fashion".

Do you have a separate room that you use as an office?
We use our dining room.

How many mirrors are in your home?

What color are your walls?
Creamy white(living room), wall paper in kitchen, dining and bathrooms, lime green in Ryan's and light pink(soon to be turquoise) in the girls' room.

Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home?

What does your home smell like right now?
Clean laundry.

Favorite candle scent?

What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now?
Spicy ones.

What color is your favorite Bible?

Ever been on your roof?
Yes, several times.

Do you own a stereo?

How many TVs do you have?
Three but one is needing repaired.

How many house phones?

Do you have a housekeeper?
My husband!

What style do you decorate in?
Found objects.

Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints?
Muted prints.

Is there a smoke detector in your home?
My nose.

In case of fire, what are the items in your house which you’d grab if you only could make one quick trip?
Well, we had a fire scare a few weeks ago and I made it out of the house with my children and that is it.

Paying it Forward....

Found this at Knitting and Losing and it seems like a fabulous way to exchange handmade goodies!

"I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this Pay It Forward exchange. I don't know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog."

Are ya up for it? I am! Just leave a comment with your email address in it and I'll contact you for your mailing address(USA only please) and will get something good in the mail to you next week(original said within the year). You are free to keep the item for yourself or re-gift it, it doesn't matter to me. I also want to include, in my version, that if you find this post sometime in the distant future and you are the 3rd person, quite likely you won't get anything because I'd rather get this done before Christmas. If you play, put this on your own blog and pay it forward by sending handmade items to the first three commenters you have! What fun!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Blue Brain....

Your Brain is Blue

Of all the brain types, yours is the most mellow.
You tend to be in a meditative state most of the time. You don't try to think away your troubles.
Your thoughts are realistic, fresh, and honest. You truly see things as how they are.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about your friends, your surroundings, and your life.

Green is my favorite color but the blue description is pretty much dead on.

Not much else to blog about today. Tom spent the night in our bedroom last night. We keep our door shut to protect Soshie from the raptor sisters. Tom was sleeping by the bookshelf so we just left him in with us. The two nights previous he slept in the living room. I am wondering if he is suffering from catzheimer's or something. He never did ask to go outside all day yesterday. This morning he went out at 6:45 and was back by 8:30, don't think his people ever let him in their house. It isn't that they don't want to, I just think his timing was off. They all work so I don't think anyone was home.

Ryan gets his hard cast on this morning, he wants Dallas Cowboy blue, hope they can accomodate. The girls and I have to go to the healthfood store to get green tea for me. I haven't been drinking it for about 2 weeks now and I can tell a difference in how I feel, plus my bp is higher than usual. Could be from all the salty party mix I've been eating this week too.
***updated, 4:22pm*** to include Ryan in his red cast. He wasn't thrilled with the red but I like it. This picture makes him look tiny but he's about 5 foot 10 inches and 120 pounds. I was standing up and he was sitting on our bed that doesn't have a frame so that must be what makes it look so weird.
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My goal today, my only goal, is to locate my white dmc floss. I want my PEACE banner finished! Ok, make that two goals, I also want to get some rows done on a Christmas present I'm crocheting. It would be nice to have that done by the end of this coming weekend. Not an unreasonable goal.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Tagged Again!....

It's a Meme, an online game of tag. Answer the questions, tag someone else, that is how the game is played. Karen from Leaping From the Box got me this time around.

Here are the questions and they pertain to the past week(check out my previous post for accomplishments during the month of November):

1. What did you accomplish?
2. Did anything not go as expected?
3. What was the highlight of your week?
4. Did anything exciting happen you did not expect?

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1. I managed to get some lovely felt Christmas ornaments made with help from my daughters. I finished a knitted scarf and a crocheted hat. I made party mix and moved furniture so we could set up our tree. The hutches have remained mostly clear of junk(what is there now is stuff from the china cabinet, taken out so we could move it).

2. I truly did not expect to find myself this far along with an unfinished major Christmas present! Also, I lost my white dmc floss and can't finish my festive PEACE banner(shown in photo).

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3. Finding the perfect Christmas tree was the highlight of my week. It took about 20 minutes to get it set up with no monkeying around with it at all. There are no bent trunks, no holes or gaps, no weirdness, just a perfect Christmas tree! I spent less than 15 minutes putting the lights on, and thanks to the girls, it is now nearly all the way decorated! Trust me, the times are important, it usually takes us HOURS to get the tree up and days to get it decorated!!

4. Well, I did not expect to be at the ER with Ryan on Saturday night with a broken arm. I also didn't expect to get in and out of the ER within 2 hours on a Saturday night. That was the amazing part!! He gets his plaster cast Tuesday morning.

Now for promised Piggie Cuteness...
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(Basil spreading Christmas cheer)

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(Shimmer just before she flew into a fit)

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(Moonshine, Basil, and Bevo looking festive)

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(Shimmer and Stella being angelic and not fooling anyone!)