Sunday, December 23, 2007

...Peace on Earth...

...goodwill towards men...

...have yourself a
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Santa Claus Has Come To Town!!

I don't do it often - usually only when I'm sick with pneumonia and the doc is threatening to throw my butt in the hospital. Theeeeen I'll take a day off work. But this season struck me with the notion to take one of my personal days today and do a wee bit of shopping for Christmas. So, I lined up a wonderful sub to take my class for the day - so I could play!

Off I ran from store to store - helping Santa with wish lists from my son and daughter. This is the first Christmas in a couple of years where I can afford to 'play Santa', so I was happy to do my part to make Santa's visit merry and bright!

Oh, but I wasn't the only elf out spreading holiday cheer!

After returning from trip #2, a box greeted me at my front door! It was chock-full of goodies from my amazing blogging buddie, Jolene! She had a drawing 'at her place' a week ago, and I was the oh, so lucky winner!

Tucked inside was a treasure of Christmas cheer! A jar of the most dangerous trail mix - nuts, raisins, m&m's - uh...this won't make it until Christmas, I can tell you that right now!

Some sparkley presents all ready for a note or tag to someone, a bag of candy cane Hershey kisses !!! (just when you thought kisses couldn't be improved!) and the nicest family Christmas card that I have ever, ever seen or received! Jolene is amazing....and her creativity and thoughtfulness is so evident in her card... simply beautiful!

But wait.... there's more! A pair of fuzzy ice skates hang on my tree - whispering of winter fun and memories! So cute!

And then, an item that you can't eat, but you are so tempted to try!!

I was shocked when I found out that this dear gal actually drove to my house and delivered my present in person!!! But she thought I was at school (which I normally would be) and I had no idea she was out front, so we didn't get to met face-to-face! I am so bummed about that!

I found her number, called her up immediately and had the NICEST visit with her! What a doll, she is! And she's just as sweet, funny, kind and nice on the phone as she is on her blog! We're going to try to get together for lunch over the next couple of weeks - that would be so wonderful! Jolene, what an angel you are and I thank you so much for this treasure! : )

Tomorrow, it's baking day for a cookie exchange - I'll be making Cranberry Shortbread Cookies. I got so much done today that I'm all set to have a wonderful weekend.

Blessings have found their way to me - in so many forms... and I am grateful for all of the wonderful things that have happened to my family and my dear, dear friends. I am especially grateful that I am able to do for those people who have stood by me without falter these past years. I experienced the bleakest holiday two years ago. One that stripped me of joy, cheer, hope and security. This year, I will quietly give thanks to Him for all of the goodness, blessings and joys that grace my life every single day and for being able to feel joy, cheer, hope and security once again.

I wish you blessings of your own for you, your family and your friends.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Come... put on your walking shoes.

Let's take a walk and enjoy the beauty.

Fall has finally arrived in the desert, along with a tease of winter. I had planned on spending yesterday in my my mom would say...

"Get out - and blow the stink off of you!"... terms of endearment.. truly! The clouds, sprinkles and breeze are balm for the soul...

...beautiful, isn't it??

Last night was a perfect night for a fire, favorite p.j.'s, and a yummy pot roast... all happy in my Le Creuset!

Have I told you that I love my Le Creuset sooo much that I take it with me up to the cabin when I go? (um, along with my favorite knife and wooden spoon... my trinity of cooking!)

The new book by Nicholas Sparks, The Choice, was a perfect activity to do today... an easy read and perfect for the day. (grab a tissue before the last few chapters, though)
Hmmm.... looks as if one or two of Santa's elves were busy while M and I ran to IKEA today!

Those sly guys.....

M and I headed over to IKEA to check out a new mattress for her. I love this place, but I also know that once you get in there, you can't get out without picking up tons of things you just KNOW you need! So, I've steered clear because of finances and determination.

Well, let me tell you! I can't BELIEVE what we walked out of there with and for the price!! One twin-size mattress, one complete set of twin sheets, one complete set of queen-size sheets (my absolute FAVORITE sheets are my pink ones from here... and a complete set - flat, fitted and two pillow cases comes to about $28.00!!!), a twin-size DOWN comforter, two FEATHER DOWN pillows, a red throw pillow, a tri-picture frame, two dish towels, a set of 4 drinking glasses, and a package of 100 tea lights.... all of this... for $262. That's it. !!!!!!!!


I'm thinking of making my vegetable soup tonight since I didn't last night... so I think I'll put a log on ... change into my loungy p.j.'s, maybe pour a glass of merlot and go whip up something 'wicked' in the kitchen! The sky is rolling with gray, heavy clouds and there is much to be grateful for and to celebrate. My wish is for your week to be peaceful and that you find time during it to wear your favorite p.j.'s, sip something yummy and enjoy the moment.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Best Laid Plans....

Oh, I've planned this night for several days... since the first weather forecast predicted rain moving in for the weekend!

I ski-daddled out of school right behind the kiddos and made my way to the library and store. Then home an hour later for an easy dinner and pink pajamas! The rain began it's plip-plop in earnest about an hour ago and the plan is for it to continue on and off for the weekend. Oh ye-ahh......

Plans for tomorrow??


Well, ok.. maybe a few...such as....

make some scones for breakfast, maybe or maybe not
stay in my pajamas for the day
read the new book by Nicholas Sparks
do a load or two of laundry
and most importantly....

make a batch of my wickedly fantastic vegetable beef soup...
of course... in my Le Creuset!

a Yankee Candle (Frosted Pumpkin) scenting the air, a firelog burning quietly in the fireplace, Christmas lights glowing around the house, a cat snuggled down into the comforter...snoozing contently.... appointments, no time commitments, no obligations to anyone... for a whole day.

pure decadence, I tell you!

May your Saturday bring you the ability to take time to enjoy the beauty of this time of year in peace...doing what you like to do the most!

*By the way...thank you all my dear buddies for your kind wishes and comments for a Happy Birthday! Each one was so appreciated! You are wonderfully kind-spirited women! Simply amazing, you all are! : )

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

It's My Party!

Gifts, balloons, flowers, love, family and friends!

Yes, a party was had all day long yesterday to celebrate my humble existence on this planet. I always love starting the day at work because I get to have my name announced with the 'birthday's' during morning announcements and then up to the office I go to get my birthday sticker and my birthday balloon - a la Sheila! Then 'happy birthday' sung by my oh, so sweet class! My son surprised me at lunch with a so beautiful bouquet from my daughter and him...and lunch! It was wonderful spending time with nice... so very nice. Sweet gifts and birthday wishes from my buddies at work who just never cease to amaze me with their kindness and generousity!

After work commitments, the ya-ya's and I met at our favorite little place - for celebrating, of course!

A little 'nectar of the gods' ...

courtesy of my new buddies from Montana, Jean and Ron! They were in the booth next to us and we all struck it up so well that they became such an honored part of our evening! (Thank you again, Ron and Jean, for your kindness and generousity! We all love you!)
Blessed am I to have so many amazing, kind, intuitve, supportive, funny, inspiration- al and strong women in my life! To ALL of my girlfriends.....everywhere....
Thank you for your friendship! Being a part of your lives is the BEST gift of all!

Saturday, December 01, 2007



the perfect start to a perfect day....

It's cloudy and damp; the desert having been soaked by a storm that came in yesterday morning. My flowers and plants got the best soaking that they've ever had! The desert smells fresh, clean, revived! The cool air makes for a crisp breeze - our version of fall! Saturday's don't get any better than this!

Well, maybe an added tidbit here and there....

Cranberry Almond scones hot out of the oven with a creamy cup of coffee to celebrate such a beautiful day! It's a recipe that my dog apparently loves! I had made up a batch of the dry ingredients to take to the cabin last week for Thanksgiving. I mixed the flour, sugars, powders along with the dried cranberries and put them in one of the bags that we were taking up with us. Problem was ... when I came home from school the next day, the bag was no longer where I had left it. As a matter of fact, it was out in my back lawn...the ziploc bag ripped open... and a pile of 'dry ingredients' laying there in the grass... minus the cranberries, but decorated with blobs of dog drool. Lovely. So I whipped up another batch and put it UP on the shelf where said dog could not reach it. What possessed a dog to drag a bag of flour out into the yard and pick out the cranberries is beyond me.

Anywhoo, it really is a wonderful way to start such a wonderful day. Plans are to be home alone and clean. Afterwards, I am going to take a deep breath and go out into the garage and open a box or two of Christmas things. I have a beautiful garland to replace my autumn one around my front door with. I am struggling with opening the box of other decorations, though. Hard to do at this point in my life's journey. But a beautiful spirit at school has gently suggested that I try it. So try I am. A pot of homemade vegetable soup in my Le Creuset, a firelog burning and peace and gratitude - all filling the air of my home this evening.

What is your 'favorite' day like for you this time of year?

Cranberry Almond Scones
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. butter, chilled and diced
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/3 c. white sugar
grated zest of one orange
1/3 t. almond extract
3/4 c. milk
1 egg
In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl, toss cranberries with sugar; add to flour mixture along with orange peel and nuts. Mix lightly. In another bowl, beat together cream, extract and egg; slowly pour into dry ingredients, mixing with rubber scraper until dough forms. Knead dough 4 or 5 times, being careful not to over handle. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Shape into a circle and cut into 6 wedges. Place scones on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes; until golden brown.