Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Tree's Coming With..'s been a hectic hectic week....and it's only midweek! But, alas, the tree is still up, still glimmering in the evenings, still bringing joy. And so it will be coming with us....

in to 2009! Can you believe it's time for a new year already? Man! This year just FLEW by! We won't even discuss the fact that I looked back on some of my "goals"...loose term apparently....creative goals...and I didn't accomplish a single one! EEEK! NOT good! I told my dear friend, Paulette ( ) that I'm sick of being that person with all of these ideas and goals and dreams and not going after them! 2009 will be different! It's THE YEEEEAAAAAAARRRRR of CHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANGE !! Did you use a big booming movie-trailer-type voice when you read that? If not, you didn't get the full effect...let's try again...It's THE YEEEEAAAAAAAAAARRRRRR of CHAAAAAAAAAAAAANGE!!! Yes...full impact! I can't wait to share with you my dreams and goals and the changes I have planned for the coming year! It's going to be so much fun!!! More on that to come!

One thing I'm going to commit to do is READ MORE BOOKS!!!! And look! Look what my coworker friend, Tracy, gave me today as my Christmas gift! Her all-time favorite book

She was aghast that I hadn't read it before! So she promptly went out and purchased a copy for me....hardback because she's most certain I will want to read and re-read this book several times in the future. She says it's THAT good! I can't wait to dig in!

Since I plan to get my nose back in the books....I'm going to revamp the blog and add a bookshelf thingamajig or something similar. The blog will be changing in 2009 too! More content...more pics....more good stuff!!!

And so 2008 is winding down, and I could beat myself up a little for all the stuff I SAID I was going to do and didn't do...but instead I'm going to just move on and make certain 2009 is a great year! I'm ALMOST brave.....almost! :o) It's so exciting!

If your tree's still up....enjoy the glimmer and the continuing holiday season. I know we are....even this gal...

Nobody could be more thrilled that the tree is still with us then Miss Ellie Mae the fat really..she is FAT and a cat! and she LOVES the tree. Just laying under it when the lights are on. It's her most favorite thing to do! I'm sure the view from underneath is magical, but there's no way I'd fit under the tree to check out her's a low-to-the-ground tree. ;o) So I'll just enjoy watching her enjoy being under there.

Time's ticking's almost time to say
Adios 2008!


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Finding Solace In Needlework

Okay...I think I'm over it...the Dallas loss.....I'm over it. I found some solace in my needlework...specifically Ann Rayner...I worked on this lovely sampler for quite a while this evening, though you probably can't tell much progress...

trust me....I made a very small dent in this beautiful sampler! may even see a finish in 2009!

I played around with the new camera for a bit...trying to capture some lovely pics of the tree ornaments close up...

Obviously I have a lot of learnin' to do! But it's so fun to get close-up clear pics for a change!

I'm hoping the guys will undecorate and dismantle the tree at some point in the next couple days while I'm at the office. I don't think I want to go in to the new year with tree up...some years I do....and some years I take the tree down the very next day after Christmas....this year is a happy medium apparently.

When do you take your tree down? Do you go with the whole 12 Days of Christmas and leave it up into January or are you a Christmas Night The Party's Over Take The Tree down kinda person?


My Sundays....

have just opened up. To think...I passed on taking a lovely long Sunday afternoon NAP to watch the impossible train wreck that is my beloved Cowboys................

tsk tsk..........

Thank goodness American Idol starts in a couple weeks.....something to look forward Sunday schedule has opened up considerably.....thanks to the 'boys. :o/ This'll take a while to get least 8 months...............til preseason 2009.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Goin' to the Dogs

That's what this post is doing! All's I can say is I've played a little with the new camera, but the Jakester has been practicing being a paparazzo.....and the dogs have been willing paws to cover the punches at the Nikon D40...just willing subjects. Right now we're just on "Auto" mode.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We've had a fabulous Christmas morning!!! So fun having all the kiddos home this year!

Fantastic news....better pics are on the way! Just LOOK what my favorite Santa gave me!!!

I'm overwhelmed already! The battery is charging and I'll be reading up on the wonders of the Nikon D40! WOOOOHOOO!!!! A far cry from my Nikon Coolpix L4!! EEEEK! Frightening! and Fun!

More Christmas festivities pics later! I hope you're enjoying this wonderful day with your family and those you hold dear!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Counting down?

Are you in the Christmas countdown mode? Presents wrapped? Cards mailed? Goodies trayed up? Egg Nog in the frig? I would say 'check' to each of those pretty much. Just need to go to the store to pick up some oysters for the traditional oyster stew on Christmas Eve...and pick up the prime rib for Christmas dinner. And a few stocking stuffers....and that's it! It'll be here and be over before we know I want to take time to enjoy every single minute this week. Well...every single minute that I'm not at work anyway! ;o)

Look what came in the mail today!

Quilts for All Seasons....and Some for No Sandy Klop!! A quick leaf thru showed me several quilts that will be on my "MUST DO" list. I'm getting ready to settle in and really look thru this great new book and start planning 2009 quilt projects!!

I typically always start a quilt on New Year's Day. Always. This New Year's start is going to be the Moda Collections for a Cause Heritage quilt...

all those half square triangles! Oh goodie! ;o) Actually...the fabrics are so beautiful, that I can't wait to start it!

We were hunkered down this past weekend....blizzard conditions......horrid wind chills....the cold is unbearable sometimes it seems. blizzard....Jake went snowboarding....ALL...DAY....LONG. He's still out there. He'll be home by 10:00...that's when the ski park closes.....I don't know how he can stand it. The hubs and I are seriously discussing retreating back to the Lone Star state....enough of the cold! BRRRR!!! It's a difficult decision one that's sure to take some time. My bones are too old for the cold though! And he doesn't enjoy the outdoor winter activities like he used to. He used to make it his MISSION to be the first one out on the ice for the ice fishing season....this year...he hasn't even looked at his bucket...or tried to find his tip-ups.....we think he's over it. So this weekend...we were all tucked inside...watched movies and lounged around. It was great!! We didn't lose power...or cable....and we had plenty of snacks and other it was fine holing up for a couple days.
We're so very lucky that we didn't get the awful ice etc that some of the more southern states tend to get. Nope...just cold....and WIND...LOTSA LOTSA wind. BRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!

I hope you're staying warm and being warmed by the season!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

For Twyla...

Tonight was the second meeting of the Jo's Little Women Club (JLWC) out at my friend, Twyla's shop ( If you're at all familiar with the commercial insurance industry, you know there are several "D-Day" x-dates to deal with....and one of the worst is the dreaded 1/1s. Well...I have quite the slew of 1/1s working right makes for a harried and haggled nutso day. Today was that sort of day. I was tired...I was cranky....the forecast calls for I did not go to JLWC tonight...even though it would have been fabulous to see my pal, Twyla. So I promised her that I would be there in spirit and that I would work on the blocks for the 1st quilt...and I did. There's photographic evidence up there. I didn't think I was going to like the cakestand blocks...but oh my goodness they are ca-yoot! Love them! :o)

I'm glad tomorrow is Friday....I'm glad we're almost done's taking longer this year....bad economy = almost non-existent Christmas bonus = way less money = slower to buy gifts. But we're almost done and the plan is to have it all done, wrapped and under the tree by Sunday evening. Factor in there the haggled work day that's certain to be there tomorrow, the SNOW they are forecasting to fall from the sky tonight...the BLIZZARD they are predicting to hit on Saturday..and..well...I've got my work cut out for me! :o) It's fun though....tis the season!!!


Sunday, December 14, 2008


I am grinning from ear to ear....BIG TIME grinning!!! WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!! We ROCK!


Blustery Cold Sunday, Treasures & a Winner!'s AWFUL outside! Seriously! below zero temps....howling wind.....brrrrrrrrrrr! Good thing I'm in for the day! I have a pot of white chicken chili on the stove...Mexican Wedding Cake cookie dough chilling in the frig, waiting for baking, the tree is lit, the dogs are napping, Christmas cards are waiting to be's a busy day!

Friday night I made the annual batch of fudge, the rolo pretzel candy, and whipped up the dough for chocolate crinkle cookies. Saturday, it was a morning out pal'n around with my buddy, Kimm. We hit up Goodwill and found tons of great things! Photographic evidence below:

I spent less than $25 for all that! WOW! That's a Princess House crystal chip-n-dip...perfect condition...three bucks! And I snagged that lovely crocheted tablecloth for another three bucks! Granted, it's needing laundered, and if the stains don't come out, I plan to overdye it and just prim it up! A Frankoma pottery gravy boat in perfect condition...great jars, and a cool pottery acorn..never mind that's it's an ashtray...I LOVED that fire red and I collect acorns, so it was a score! That's a Pier 1 sun mirror...with the $35 price tag still on the back...four bucks! I plan to plant a terrarium in that large open glass container! And the jars are always useful! I was pleased with my finds this time around! Kimm scored some great things too! We always have so much fun. Then lunch afterwards and home in time to bake the chocolate crinkles. Then the hubster and I went to the mall for a bit to try and get some gift shopping done. Dinner out..and we're nestled all snug inside today.

BRRRRRRRRRRR! Hmmmm.... -1 temp in Sioux Falls right now....or 72 in Dallas? Gee...I wonder what sounds more enticing!?!?!?! :o/'s Sunday and time to draw for the Nest charm squares! I asked Jake to pick a number between 1 and 10 and he chose 7. Soooooooooo....Melissa!!! You are the winner! Thanks for everyone that left a comment. I'll try and do cool giveaways every now and again. They're always fun!!

I hope you're warm wherever you are and enjoying the season!


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Back Among The Living, Feathering The Nest and My First Blog GIVEAWAY!!

Well...I think I'm going to make it! Thanks for everyone's suggestions on cold remedies. I have been out of the office the past two days....sleeping it seems. I HATE being away from the office and 'wasting' the days by sleeping! UGH! But it's obviously what I needed. I'm on the mend. :o)

This evening I wandered downstairs and finished piecing the Nest quilt....that great line of fabric from Moda. Nest. You might remember I purchased a bunch of sets of the 5" cut squares from that line. The fabrics just spoke to me in way.....they kept saying, "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha"...and all's I could think of was the Brady Bunch while I was sewing! And That 70s Show! I loved it! Nothing fancy...just pieced the squares all together for a really 70s patchwork look!

And I think I have the PERFECT backing in the stash! Look how great this Heather Bailey Pop Garden print looks! Perfecto mod 70s quilt!

I think it'll be a great casual summer quilt!

Would you like a jump start on your own Nest quilt? Thought I'd try my first every blog giveaway! Nothing major....but a great little stash of the Moda 5" Charm Squares from the Nest line!

We won't get complicated here...just leave a comment, let all your friends know, and I'll draw a winner on Sunday.

Tis good to be back among the living! :o)


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Tis the Season!

I tried...I tried very hard to shelter myself...but apparently Tis the Season! There are a multitude of people at the office hacking and sneezing.....I avoided those people. But then...GASP! The hubs got sick. can feel sorry for me for a bit because all of us women know how men are with the common cold. And at night he would want to cuddle....all the while sniffling and coughing....*SIGH* and now.....this is me...

I came home from the office mid afternoon on Friday with horrible sounding cough...granted all my coughs sound horrible, but it was to the point where I couldn't stop!!! So home early I try and get a jumpstart on nursing myself back to health over the weekend. Stayed in yesterday in my jammies....resting and sippin' Alka Seltzer Plus cold....oh yum..NOT!

Today...felt a little better...had to venture out for some Tide...the laundry was taking over the baseement! Then back home and in the stretchy yoga pants and big shirt....didn't do much of anything else other than watch football. Still...I'm sneezing...coughing...stuffy head....No fever (YAY) but my head hurts...waaaah! Do I extend my weekend another day? I can't see that I would be doing ANYONE any favors by going in to the office like this tomorrow. *SIGH* It's such a busy time for us though..........guess I'll finish sipping my cup of tea and down another shot of cold meds and hit the sack...see how I feel in the morning.

Anyone have any fantabulous remedies for the common cold? Would love to hear them! Tis the Season!


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas Q&A

My dear friend, Paulette, sent this to me in an email..and I don't think I figured I'd make it my blog post for the day!!!

Christmas Q&A!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Wrapping paper, with a few smaller gift bags, but mostly wrapping paper! With bows!

2. Real tree or artificial?

A real looking artificial tree....and then pine smelling Yankee candles in the background. :o)

3. When do you put up the tree?

The weekend after Thanksgiving!

4. When do you take the tree down?

Sometimes I've taken it down the day right after...other times I've left it up until New Year's......depends on my mood I guess.

5. Do you like eggnog?


6. Favorite gift received as a child?

Oh my...that's a hard one! I LOVED getting my Barbie Town House...but also clearly remember getting my stereo with a color organ on the bottom...8 track and turntable...I was rockin' and there was color flashin'! Woo!

7. Hardest person to buy for?

Love 'em or Hate ' cards have since made everyone easy to buy I don't have a hardest person anymore.

8. Easiest person to buy for?

The kids are always easy to buy for!

9. Do you have a nativity scene?

Yes...several. I am hoping to just stumble upon a lovely larger antique one someday.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

Never email! Mail...when I get around to it! Why is it so hard to find time to send Christmas cards nowadays?

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

Thighmaster and Abs of Steel tapes...the Christmas after I had Jake...and the hubs will still swear to this day that I asked for those items. LOL I can laugh about it now.........

12. Favorite Christmas movie?

I will watch Elf every time it's on...Will Farrell cracks me up! But the kids would say 'A Christmas Story'...and I would agree, because I love the marathon that's on and I love subjecting the kids to 24 hours of Ralphie!

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

I always say I want to have it all done by first of December, but that never happens!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

Yes. Okay. I will admit it. I have regifted something that I've received for Christmas to someone else...but not necessarily as another Christmas gift.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

My chocolate peanut butter fudge. And Mexican wedding cookies.

16. Lights on the tree?

Lots of clear ones!!!

17. Favorite Christmas song?

O Come All Ye Faithful....and Silent Night....and Away in a get the pic! I love them all!

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

Stay home.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Yep! Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen; Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. And Rudolph.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

Christmas morninig now. When the kids were smaller and the grandparents sent gifts, they got to open grandparents gifts Christmas Eve evening. But now we're all Christmas morning.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?


22. Favorite ornament theme or color?

Old glass ornaments... and the ones the kids made thru the years.

23. What do you want for Christmas this year?

Nothing. Well, I want LOTS of stuff but don't need lots. So I'll say a cushy new robe...some comfy new jammies....chocolate covered cherries....that'll do it. :o)

24. Angel on the tree top or a star?

Star usually.

25. Favorite Christmas dinner?

Our family tradition is a yummy prime rib dinner! Can't wait!!! I can almost smell that puppy roasting in the oven! YUM!

Okay...your turn!


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

El Yum-mo Dallas Memories!

I transplanted up here to South Dakota about 16 years, 7 months, and 27 days ago from the Dallas area. You know...that place down south that's WARM most days of the year!

There are lots of things I miss about the DFW area.....concerts....nightlife...flea good food! When I lived in bestest friend down there, Edie, and I would frequently go to lunch at a Mexican chain restaurant...El Chico. We loved lunching there and I was EXTREMELY addicted to their yummy relish that they would bring out with the chips & salsa. It was heaven!

So imagine my surprise, when late one night, I was thinking of the things I miss about the area and thought of lunches w/Edie at El Chico and then the relish, and decided to email El Chico himself (ha!'s not a HE...but go with me on this)...I decided to email El Chico to see if they ever jar up, sell and ship their relish. And I got a reply...the very next morning......with the answer that NO they do not jar up, sell and ship their relish. HOWEVER, their chef was happy to share his recipe! OMG! Look what I've been making!

We are on our second large batch...and I do mean large. The recipe starts out "Take 1/2 gallon of sliced carrots...." makes a large slightly spicy and tangy batch of El Yum-Mo RELISH!!! It's so super easy and oh so super yummy...and the perfect way for me to reminisce about the good ol' metroplex! Here's how you make it:

Place in large container 1/2 Gallon sliced carrots (Here's the best part! It says FROZEN carrots! How flippin' easy is that! Frozen sliced carrots! I used 2 bags)

On top of the carrots, add 1 Quart of onion cut in about 1" chunks.

On top of THAT, add one large jar/can of jalapenos WITH the juice.

Add 1 Cup white vinegar

Add 1 Quart water

Add 1 tsp salt

Mix and let marinate in frig for at least 24 hours (yeah a person could wait that long!). Stir and enjoy!

We enjoy it with chips...and also..the way my bestest DFW pal Edie & I would eat it....warm up some corn tortillas...put a little butter on the tortilla....add some relish...roll it up and OMG......fabulous!!! It's completely addicting...and a great way to get your veggie servings in each day! ;o) Enjoy!