About Me

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Within the confines of this blog, you will find bits and pieces of the life and times of myself, my family and friend dear and near., far and wide, few and far between. You will find bits and pieces of my world, tho small to some, but huge to me. You will find everything from 'soup to nuts',; recipes, hobbies,crafts, gardenings,loves of my life, GrandLoves-a-Plenty, and even my pets... Sooo, if you can handle family life, enjoy the tour of my 'Stuffings'.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

We would like to thank all of you who have taken the time out of your busy day to take a peek at our family and leave your kind comments. Blogging has been a blessing for me, meeting you all in such a personal heartfelt way. May your year be filled with fun and adventure., laughter and tears to wash away any troubles, and hugs from around the world. God has blessed us with each other.

Have a most wonderful year and
Dar n' Bill

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A GrandLove Christmas

And a GrandLove Christmas it Was!!!

Nine of eleven GrandLoves in this family picture are being hugged by us on each end.

What a fun, busy Christmas weekend we had.
The little ones kept the house feeling warm with their constant giggles and grins.
There was music in the air with much of their singing, gentle humming, or the sounds of Christmas coming from the many music boxed snowmen for the children to play with.

The scents 'screamed' Christmas as we baked, filled slow-cookers, casserole bowls, cookie platters, appetizer trays. Spiral hams were cut and plated, gently glazed with brown sugar and cranberry sauce. Fruit trays were sampled as fast as we could fill them. Little fingers were grazing the tables of goodies, some sweet, some savory.

Grandpa took a chair at the head of the table, happily letting the smallest of GrandLoves fill his plate with blue chips, salsa, TX Caviar, Saultz, sausage and dips, Pumpkin Glazed Almonds, many fresh vegetables from the platter.

Soon the table and counters were covered with more than we could eat in one sitting.
Surely there would be left-overs.

There was that gorgeous Glazed Ham, Marshmallow-Toasted Sweet Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, Green Bean Casserole, Swiss Mixed Veg. Bake topped with Toasted Onions, Crockpot Mac N'Cheese that was the best I've ever tasted, and so much more.

After dinner, full tummies and quiet little ones, the excitement began all over again. Before the cousins each opened gifts from one another, of which names had been drawn just after Thanksgiving, a very special time is shared. This year Katie read a book she wrote titled, "My Best Day Ever." She wrote about baking with her Mom, of which she did most of the work...so cute. Next it was Syrus' turn, as he stood tall in front of the fireplace and family and sang and played his Recorder to
"It's a Holly Jolly Christmas." Can that kid sing and play. Watching our GrandLoves gain confidence, pride and respect, is such a heartwarming feeling.

For the 'big kids,' like me and any teen that thinks they can handle the defeat of a gift being stolen from them during ' The Game,' much fun was about to begin. Poor Hannah, our first Granddaughter, 16 of age, was stolen from so often, that she finally accepted the Dremel Tool and Magnet on a Stick with a smile rather than a grimace. We sure have a lot of fun during, what has become a tradition during our Christmas together. I can just imagine what it's going to be like when all the little ones are grown and playing along. I can't wait.

After all the exchanging and games, the little ones all had a chance to search for the Christmas Pickle on the Christmas tree. There are rules~~~no touching the tree, and no going behind the tree. There were little noses peeking here and there, giggles, a little push and shove but the tree is still standing.

The tradition goes, the first to find the Christmas Pickle gets a prize. They know the prize is always the same and that the winner must share. This year, Syrus was the lucky fella to find the Pickle Ornament. He happily opened the trio of Canned Popcorn and did share. What a great time for the kids. Of course, there is always a picture to keep.

And Then, There was PIE!
Tummies began to settle from such a wonderful meal, but there is always room for pie~
There were Caramel Apple, Coconut Creme and Chocolate French Silk Pies. How do you choose? I had a sliver of each, and I mean a sliver. Mercy, how wonderful.

The fun continued as some of us vegged the rest of the afternoon, while the younger ones and their parents, played board games, Wii Dance, Boxing and Skiing. I always choose a Memory Game, reason, I need to work on mine.

Sorry this got too long, but how do YOU cram a weekend of Christmas into a few lines.

Have a great time preparing and celebrating our Lord's birth.
We live because of Him.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Circle of Loves

It's bitter cold outside our windows,
Our nostrils freeze as we breathe.

The bright sunshine deceives us,
But giving no relief.

A wheel of mittens,
Or a row to go,
Our GrandLoves will play warmer
Through wind, ice and snow.

Finally, I finished the scarves and mittens for our 11 GrandLoves. The little ones each get mittens and toys, while the tweens and teens get scarves and gift cards this year.

I think they all realize that Grandma and Grandpa are soon to open an even tighter wallet of fixed income, so it's always a pleasure to see their grateful smiles with the slightest of material things. Praise the Lord, they know we love them and have saved the best for last. I'm so happy that each of them have come to know that the greatest gift is ' love.'

Our Christmas together is this weekend. For years now, those that have room for the 20 of us, have taken turns hosting our weekend. It will once again, be family photo time, (note to me)-(bring camera). Maybe we can have our daughter, the photographer, do photos again, hint, hint, Little One.
The host and hostess provide a main meal of their choice. The rest of us bring appetizers or a dish to pass, lots of Christmas cookies and gifts for the children who have drawn names amongst the cousins. They become bright-eyed as they open their packages. To a Grandpa and Grandma, it's the best part, seeing those sparkling faces and well behaved gigglers. Wow, how I love Christmas.

You will not hear from me for awhile. After our busy weekend in Baraboo, this Grandma is going to finally curl up under a cozy quilt and take a long winters nap in my chair with the heat of the wood fire, tucking me in even deeper.
Sleep, Sleep Deep, Sleep.

When I awake, there will finally be time to deck the halls. Those of you who have followed me for awhile, know that I do not put up my outside lights until there is snow on the ground or it's bitter cold outside. Well, we have both, so I will be most busy placing a few lights, wreaths, and most welcome, I will be lighting my star on the barn to ' light the way.'

I wish you all a safe journey, wherever your travels may take you.
I wish you the Joys of Christmas.
Christmas is every day. Enjoy it's calm.

Monday, December 5, 2011

No Rest in Sight

Have you seen it? Have you seen the calendar and how close it's getting to Christmas?

To me CHRIST-MAS is every day of our lives.
We have so much to be grateful for in our daily living.

There seems to be a rush to please everyone on our list just a bit more during the Season that has Reason.

My fingers have been flying, crochet hook is hooking, knitting needles are clanking, the sewing machine is clattering, one stitch at a time.

The kitchen smells of spices for cookies and cakes.
Canning jars are still being filled and pies are being baked.
Fruitcake, since I'm the only one that treasures it, is in it's safe haven, just for me, citron excluded.

With our family Christmas coming this weekend already, there are still a few things to finish to keep the kiddles fingers and toes toasty-cozy.

Here are a few of the finished projects.
A lacy shawl-scarf to fall beautifully over a woolen peacoat.
or this duel colored scarf as soft as a feather.
for all seasons, is a tank top or t-shirt over-lace~~~
hmmm, I may hang onto this one.
beanies, string scarves and mittens,
just fun stuff for the wee ones.
While waiting for my canner to come up to temperature in the shop,
there were nature notions waiting to be turned into a winter wreath.
Ok, so it's lop-sided, but still will grace the barn.
With all the snow outside that is sure to stay,
canned venison will make plenty of stews and soups,
~Comfort Food~
The weather outside is delightful
piled high on the tire swing of summer.

Dear Bill is busy playing in the winter wonderland, taking nearly 4 hours to clear out the homefront, the cabin drive and yard, and the neighbors.
He LOVES his tractor.
Each year, our Bridal Wreath shrub which was planted in 1980 when we were first married, spends the winters under a blanket of snow. May she grow very old with us.
Snow stuck to the garden fence says the snowfall was heavy at first.
Heavy enough to nearly cover the spruce cones trying to sneak a peak.
It is 3 days and nights since the snow fell and it still clings to the branches creating a picture postcards.
The powerlines connected to the house still hold a thin blanket.
With all the white out there, I never tire of this sight out my windows to the north.
Our little red barn .
I hope you enjoyed this lengthy trip up north in God's Country, as we like to call it.

Now, I really need to get back to work. With 11, yes eleven GrandLoves, I still have 5 pair of mittens and a hat to make. Toodle-do~

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

I sure looked forward to this evening, and a long, long nights rest.
There was so much to get done the past several days but I was only focusing on 'today.'

By early evening, around 3 p.m., the sky began to darken, it was very overcast, a gray day. The predicted snow began to fall and fall hard.
At first glance, it looked like it actually would not be too bad, fluffy looking.

I would never make a weathergal, as what appeared to me to be ' fluffy,' turned out to be fast, furious, WET, very wet stuff and it is sticking, really sticking around this time. You know, it's that kind of snow that ' heart attack shoveling' is made of.
The snow sure is beautiful, until you wake in the morning and see what has to be shoveled. To tell you the truth, I really do not mind. I love the look of the dreaded white stuff, but I do not care so much anymore, for the wet, damp stuff. Give me the dry snow. That's the kind that you can fly through on the snowmobiles, sleds and the tobaggans, skis and snowshoes, snow tubes, snowboards and flying saucers.

Sadly, no snowmen are assembled. This snowfall is perfect to build Frosty the Snowman. The children will giggle with glee. They know that ' snowman ' snow, is also ' snow day, alias, NO School, Snow.

We are getting our share of the measurable glistening flakes. The rain gauge is filling fast tho rain gauges really do not count for snow measuring like a good old yardstick.
I spent a few hours altering a Bridesmaid dress last night and this afternoon, for my niece and Goddaughter, Tracy. A tuck here, a tuck there and before you knew it, she was smiling at the success. I love, Love, LOVE this girl and would do all I can to help her.
Tracy's dress is a navy blue with a silver bow and cape. The bow down the back is as lovely as she~~~stunning~~~
studded with sequins and beading.
My day was not over.
The boys, my man and son Andy, were busy in the butchering center in the shop, butchering the deer that Andy harvested for many winter meals.

Since the shop was warmed by the woodfire, I took the opportunity to keep them company while I whipped up a few more swags, one for Tracy, one for Mom, one for my elderly neighbor, and one for our door. I'm pleased that they turned out festive and will substitute a wreath, that is, unless I change my mind. I'm entitled, aren't I? I rather like the Circle of Life that the Wreath represents for me. What do you think? Like? All of the boughs, pine, cedar with the cones, balsam and the red Winterberries, all came from the edge of my woods by the house. I'm so fortunate, Not to have to pay out of pocket, for my supplies.
There were GrandLove Gifts to finish wrapping for our Christmas in Baraboo, WI. I can hardly wait. This will be the first time in several years, that our immediate family Christmas will be away from home.
Of course, Christmas Eve will still be at the farm. There is never a question about it.
So, in between the loads of laundry, making and serving 3 meals, paying bills, altering a gown, wrapping the venison the boys cut, a little knitting, a little crocheting, sweeping, vacuuming, mopping the floors, visiting, gift-wrapping and, of course, chatting with Mom on the phone for half an hour, there's always time for Scrabble, right?
Not really. Today was just too jam-packed. Hmmm, no wonder my eyelids are getting heavy, my muscles relaxed.
Nighty, night, it's time for bed.
Time for me to rest my weary head.

Have a Fantastic Sunday

Friday, December 2, 2011

Put Another Log On the Fire

Yes, Folks, Put Another Log On the Fire
Baby, It's Cold Outside
Zero Degrees This Morning
The Sun IS Shining

Tho this Photo is Blurred
And the Colors Unsure,
It is the Snowplow Coming By
Yes, Another Reminder that
Fall has Passed and Winter is Well on It's Way
It's Time to Split the Pumpkin and Gourds
For the Birds and Deer and
Fill their Feeders With Seeds, Peanut Butter/Seed Mix
and Tallow
It's Time to Slide My Hands Into
The Comfort of Woolen Mittens

And Time to Finish Knitting Socks
To Warm my Toes for Another Season of
Snow, Wind and Ice
And Still Save Time to Play

Have Another Great Day