Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Thanksgiving at our house was wonderful this year, and we are very thankful that our refrigerator now "overfloweths" with so many leftover goodies!...  Heaven only knows how many pounds I've just put on in just this one weekend, but I'm not about to let that bother me now!

 It's time to pack away all our turkeys, pilgrims, and cornicopias, to haul out the holly and put up our Christmas tree (or in some of our cases, trees!), on this 4th Sunday before Christmas, the season of Advent.

AdventWreathGirlGlitter Pictures, Images and Photos
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

~12th century, author unknown.  
The original Latin was translated by John Mason Neale in 1851.

May the spirit of this Christmas season bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.


 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gettin' Ready for Turkey Day!

Gee...  Remember me?  I know, it's been a while, but I am determined to make myself sit down, take a break, hands to keyboard, as I escape back to Blogland, to catch up on where I've been and what I've been doing.  It's been too long since my last post, and I simply have to catch up!
Let's see, a couple of weeks ago, I was able to visit with one of my very best friends.  I don't get to see her very often, so it was wonderful to go out for breakfast, do a little shopping, talking and laughing, till time put its foot down, demanding we should say "So long...  till we shop again"!..  As she dropped me back off to my house, she gave me a gift to open, and once I was settled in, here is what she gave me!


I opened the box to find a cat...   made of resin, I think?  She stands just about a foot tall, is a heavy piece, and I was careful not to drop her.  To my surprise, she came with at least a half dozen outfits, to change according to the seasons or holidays!!  I put this little red velvet dress on her, as there was not a Thanksgiving outfit included..  Very pretty, but as well you can imagine, I can see crocheting her a little pilgrim outfit for next year!  I saw a crochet pattern for one HERE.  I may or may not have to alter it for size, but either way, it should be cute, don't you think?!  I love that I can change her little outfits, just as if playing with my dolls when I was a little girl!  She's beautiful, Mare, and I love her!  ((big hugs))...  Thank you!

In the week or so following, I've been working on a Christmas swap package, so that I could send it out on time, to Emma, over at Land of Emma!  This Advent Swap, hosted by Lynda over at Hookin' With LaaLaa, sounded like great fun to me, and I couldn't wait to sign up!...  I hear Emma just got her package, and now she has to wait till December 1st, to open Gift #1!!  There are 24 more little goodies for her to open, one each day, right up through December 25th!  I really am enjoying this event so much, I think I'm already hoping there will be another Advent Swap next year!

So tell me, have all the "Potter-heads", among my Blogland friends and family, seen the big movie yet?!  I got to see Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 this past Friday night!  They say it broke all kinds of records!  In spirit of the occasion, I of course wore my Harry Potter t-shirt, and the radish earrings I made myself!!  (I almost lost one, in fact, at the theater, but was happy that I DID find it!)...  Without spoiling anything, I'll only say one part of the movie broke my heart, but I knew it was coming, having read all the books.  Still, I LOVED the movie as a whole, and can't wait for the next part to come out..   I heard maybe in July?  I don't know whether to be excited, or sad that it's the last one!

The holidays are here, and in typical fashion, I transform into the epitome of Clark Griswold, packing as many projects and preparations in as I possibly can, in hopes of making the holiday absolutely perfect!

We most recently went to the big holiday parade!  We froze of course!  No matter how many layers you put on, it seems inevitable, but we had such a great time!!!

I Love a parade don't you? Pictures, Images and Photos

My favorite float this year??..  Well typically, we have a number of fire trucks lit up with lights, and often carrying children and grandchildren of the crew members of each department/company.  A fireman from one particular department brought in the holidays by dancing to Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" on top of the truck as it drove by!!!  What a kick!!  We girls LOVED that, and hope he'll be back in the parade again NEXT year!!!  Whoo-hoo!!!

Among the surest signs of the holidays are the crowds!  These may be tough economic times, but you wouldn't know it by trying to make your way through them in the stores!!..


We got our shopping done though, and it's just a matter of preparation now!  (Yeah..  You see that canned gravy there??..  Believe me, you really don't WANT my homemade gravy on the Thanksgiving table!..  Always a better baker than a cook!)...   I've been complaining about the weight-gain I've put on lately, so Dear Daughter rolled her eyes at me for buying the marshmallows!...  But I'm sorry!  You just can NOT have Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes without mini-marshmallows melted all over the top of them!!!

Well, onto decorations!  I've set them all up!


There's no place like home sweet home for the holidays!


I've seen people use these turkeys as soup dishes?.. But I use mine as a candy dish, usually for after-dinner mints!  It is definitely one of my favorites, of all my Thanksgiving decorations!


My plastic canvas turkey tissue box!...  Nice to have around after a chilly night, out watching the parade!!


Here's a turkey towel topper I crocheted this year!  I like a turkey who can look me straight in the eye...   So I gave him TWO!!  (The pattern suggests a sideview, with only one eye, but is just as cute... Just a matter of preference!)

In remembrance of the First Thanksgiving, we can't forget the Pilgrims and Native Americans who started the tradition that we know and love today!


Of course, there wasn't football, or Wii, or 6-packs of Bud in the 'fridge!...  But recently, Dear Son and I took a virtual field trip to Plimoth Plantation, to see what the first thanksgiving was really like!  I'd love to visit this plantation, in person, if I could ever make the trip!


This little pilgrim, found at a yard sale, is part of a salt -n- pepper set, but it's mate was lost I assumed, as I purchased it and this little native american girl that was with it instead.  I don't know what she's for exactly, as she was too big for toothpicks, but too small for silver/plasticware...  I'll figure something out for her, but in the meantime, she's just plain cute I think!


I've had this Native American doll for a good many years...  Childhood Dream porcelain doll, "Tasime", 1991, from Avon.  The little turkey next to her was brought home by my son, from school one year, made by one of the very talented homeroom mommies!


This is my Thanksgiving Kewpie Doll!  She stands about 11" tall, dressed in her crocheted pilgrim dress I made myself, years ago...  She's one of my favorite decorations too!  I love her little face!


I kept out my crocheted pumpkin, and a few purchased gourds, set just above Dear Son's school  books and supplies.


These little cups are dear to my heart, as I remember them placed where Dear Son and Dear Daughter sat at the Thanksgiving table, when they were still little!


Here are the Thanksgiving cookie cutters I've used through the years!  Oh, the yummy goodies we've made from them, and the fun we've had decorating all the sugar cookies, after they've cooled..   How many of us have said, "Oops, one broke!  I guess I'll have to eat it!"  Not a tear shed there!  That was half the fun!

Here's a Thanksgiving apron I just finished yesterday!  I'm ashamed to say I started it two or three years ago, at LEAST!..  But I finally made it a point to "git 'er done"!


The applique designs come from a book I LOVE, called Special Occasions, by Teresa Nelson; published by Hot Off the Press, Inc.  Looking at it now, I could have laid out the whole design a little better, so the corn was not sewn into the hemline of the apron!!..  but I'm happy enough with it!  Now, do I dare WEAR it?!  I think probably YES! 


With some leftover corn fabric, from the apron, some natural colored paper twist, a little cardboard, and a thin layer of batting, you can make some refrigerator magnets too!


Well, I'm sure I'm not alone when I say, "Much to do today!"  I'd like to get some sugar cookie dough made and refrigerated this morning.  I've got some work to do with Dear Son.  Then later I hope to get some cleaning around the house done!  We'll see if time allows for me to bake cookies tonight or tomorrow.  A friend just recently gave me a baggie of ingredients to make "Amish Cinnamon Loaf"....   Sound familiar?  A delicious friendship bread to make, and then pass on to friends!  I suppose I'm one of the very few who haven't tried making this yet, but I'm looking forward to it!

Whew!...  Gee, if you got this far, I thank you for sticking with me, and for stopping by!!  Wishing everybody lots of love, fun, and extra special memories in the making, as we inch closer and closer to Thanksgiving Day!


Today I am linking with the following very talented crocheters!!
See all their links on my right sidebar!
Marie Anne, at Every Day Crochet


Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Fun 2010

There's a chill in the air, but the sun is shining on this strangely quiet day after Halloween.  Hmmm..  Still, I sit at my computer, my cup of coffee nearby, in very good spirit!  Our Halloween was very nice, all-in-all!  Being in the new apartment building we're in now, it was a little disappointing that we could not hand out candy to any little trick-or-treaters this year.  But looking out my window, I could still see a few little witches, princesses, cowboys, etc, wandering the neighborhood, with their bags full of goodies..  So cute!  I was surprised, actually, to see how many of the grownups who dressed up as well!


My Halloween started, of course, with a quick post on my blog, then a mad dash to church!  In the spirit of the holiday, I chose to dress down a bit, wearing just a t-shirt and slacks..  But it was a Charlie Brown Halloween t-shirt, and one little boy there really liked it apparently!  I had so much fun listening to my little 3-year old friend, Alec, his face so lit up in all his excitement, go on and on to me about how funny it was to him that Charlie Brown kept getting rocks when he went trick or treating!..  "Everybody got candy, and he got a ROCK!!", he kept saying.  It was like he just couldn't fathom WHY, but it was still so funny to him!!


Well, I ran a couple quick errands afterwards, then headed back home as quickly as I could.  Dear Daughter spent much of the day with us!  Her schedule is such a nightmare right now, so I was so glad she could make the time!  We got right down to business, setting out our bowls of orange frosting, and various little candies...


..to decorate our traditional Great Pumpkin cookies!  We had fun and laughs, gabbing and catching up on the latest goings-on with each other, while decorating the 3 dozen or so cookies I'd baked!  Close by, our little "Franken-bu" was chewing away at his new Halloween spider, working his way to find the squeaker somewhere inside!!  Hmm...  This toy must be made of a much higher-quality, tougher type of material than other chew toys he's torn apart in only seconds!!  This one is a real challenge!


Having finished the cookies, the next step was to find "umpteen" containers to store them all in.  You don't want to just pile them up on top of each other, or the frosting will get all messed up, and we just cannot have that, now can we?  We worked hard on these little masterpieces!...


I love them!..  What do you think?!!


After putting the cookies away, it was time to carve our pumpkin!  The night before, I sprayed it with bleach.  They say it keeps better when you do this. I guess I'll see, but I only sprayed it on the outside of ours. (HERE is one interesting source that mentions this and other methods.)   I didn't spray or dip the inside, because I want to smell pumpkin when the candle's lit inside...  not bleach!...  Then I spread out a plastic garbage bag, and got out our big spoons to clean out all the pumpkin innards!


Darn, I forgot to save the seeds this time around, for roasting...  but it was fun carving his face anyways!  Did you know that the tradition of carving pumpkins originated from the Irish!  They carved turnips and squash to scare away the devil and any other evil demons that may have been lurking about.  As they immigrated to America, they found pumpkins to be far more plentiful, and so the tradition evolved to the Jack-O-Lanterns we know and love today!
 

We used vaseline on all the places that we carved out, because I think it at least helps keep the color better on those areas, if nothing else.  As you can see, his nose is a little SHINY, so we must have went a little too heavy on it there!..  Our Jack-O-Lantern came out nicely, though, I think!  After that, Dear Daughter had to head home, and I cooked up some dinner for Dear Son and myself!  Later, our candlelit pumpkin flickered and glowed, looking just perfect, as we snacked on our Halloween goodies, and watched the ball game on t.v.!  The Rangers played so well the night before, that I was sorry to see this night's final score...  Oh well, better luck to them tonight, I hope!

You know?..  the day went so fast, 
I never did get to watch any Halloween movies!... 



Maybe later today!