Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Seeding Our Souls

Taking a bit of a break from pressing some new fabric --
Cutting will just have to wait...

The weather here last week enabled me to pretend it was spring and paint and install my garden gate. Those warmish sunny day eventual turned more to the norm for this season wet and about 30 degrees cooler.

Looking out though from my sunroom and having the RED of the gate there brings a smile to my face. Color makes me happy. I thought I completed the gate project until spring by adding a holiday wreath to the door, but lo and behold a local friend brought me over a cutting of roses to plant.

This is a cutting from her Peggy Martin-Katrina roses --
I kinda grimaced at the thought of possibly killing it off but Chris said just plant it and cover it with a jar. OK?!?

Another wonderful color source popped up in my email this morning, and if you love color and haven't found Design-Seeds, then I encourage you to do so. This was part of today's posting.

Design Seeds ---  Color Palette

bing search different seeds and stand back....
what comes up for images would fill a hundred Pinterest Boards and one photo is better than the next - interesting, colorful...

Seeding our souls comes from all sorts of directions, especially this time of year. Enjoy them all - take an opportunity to soak them in.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cinnamon Baked Ornaments

Whenever I am looking for a bit of inspiration I love to go wandering on Pinterest. When Pinterest was new I used to go off on Pinterest Hops... something I called finding a great Pin then using it as a jumping off point to find out about -- just about anything.

This week when we decided on making a tree that Ralphie could not destroy I went searching for ornaments. Today I found a fun Pin for,

It all sounded a bit ooey-gooey sticky, but how wonderful to have ornaments that smelled like cinnamon.

I decided to give it a try.
Early this evening I through all the ingredients in a bowl and dug in.
First slowly, but it all came together just how Cassie said it would on her blog. I would encourage anyone wanting to give it a try -- click over to Cassie's site for complete directions and  go for it.

Mine are baking away in the over, and I be decorating them tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December? Really?

The weather here in Paducah has been very un-December like.

So much so that a purchase made last month, with the understanding that the whole thing might have to wait for spring came together.

The weather for Mon-Wed called for sunshine and temps in the 60s. Perfect for painting, and installing things in the yard.

I have spent most free time over the summer working to clear out flower beds and get rid of things that were just way too much to handle. The last of these was cleared out in October. In the plans is a make-over to the back yard, next spring.... and part of this was to put a new entryway into the are from the front of house. Having selected a large trellis, with a garden gate and side wings -- turned out the ordering in October was a good idea.

Long story short....
DH and I spent Mon/Tue painting the new stuff,
and it was installed today.

Now I just need to go buy a wreath for the gate and we're set!
Do you like the color?

 Ralphie watching from the sunroom.
Thank you weather gods.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


thy name is dollar store,
especially when you're looking to make some not important to be permanent tree ornaments.

I stopped by the dollar store this morning to find some string to finish making the paper garland for Ralphie's tree.

You can see how one can be a bit tempted.
But, I held out picked up just the string and spent the evening gluing the pieces together.
One-by-one, laid out a previously glued pair-
added glue to this, then laid the string in place
and topped the whole thing with another pair.

Throughout the process Ralphie stayed close by playing with a few paper pieces he was able to swipe....

Then happy as a clam when all was done.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Ralphie's First Christmas

Ralphie is the new cutie in our lives, and at 5 months old he is a wild kitten. Naturally, as soon as the Christmas tree was up he was there crawling around -- sticking his nose into each branch... that is until he discovered the lights. At that point it became all about the lights.
David and I saw this and had a bit of a family pow-wow. Yes, a spray bottle of water is now close by the tree to catch Ralphie and try to teach him to stay away; but, we've been here before so we decided to dedicate this tree to Ralphie.

No fancy ornaments this year. This year we will purchase some plain ornaments and make a bunch of paper ornaments. Just in case.

So tonight we pulled out some fun papers, a couple of templates, scissors, gluesticks and the ornament making began.

As I write this this evening we have a bunch of stars ready to be made into two-sided ornaments. And, all those little circles are ready to be strung into a garland.... tomorrow.

With this I say goodnight -- and hope you join me back here for the continuing  saga of Ralphie's First Christmas Tree.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Letter Writing Continues

Well the letter to my older self is underway, but is turning out to be much longer than I thought.

So, I hope you all are having a wonderful Sunday and are filling it with all sorts of pleasurable activities...

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Mundle Bread Tradition

My mom has been making mundle bread --
A type of biscotti like cookie for as long as I can remember.

Traditionally, they were plain with just pecans added and sprinkled with powder sugar when served. Over the years, though my mom started to switch things up -- she added chocolate or butterscotch chips to the batter; then she started filling them with jam. Everyone in the family, and extended family has their favorites. Sherene likes plain, Rick likes his filled with blueberry jam, Maurene is the fan of butterscotch and Aragorn likes his apricot jam.

Last year, at 88, my mom really did not feel up to making any, so I thought it was time for me to give it a try. I made the favorites and shipped them off with all the other holiday treats, and a special batch was made for mom. This year when she visited for Thanksgiving there were batches made, and the recipe shared.

I also found out there were some MB lovers in David's family, too. Over brunch, as we planned our 2nd annual holiday baking day my niece Lauren and I chatted over the possibilities of making them with chocolate batter...hmmm; how to do this successfully.

I ran into a new product (to me) and gave it a try.
Here is the original recipe:
3 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 TB baking powder
1 Ts vanilla
3-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts

to this I added 4 TB of
This worked, but it isn't quite right yet.
Not chocolately enough -- a little on the sweet side--think next time I will add 2 TB of the sweet ground cocoa, then add 2 TB unsweetened ground cocoa.

To make the cookies after the dough is made --
Split dough into 4 parts -- roll each into a long log on a large cookie sheet.
To fill press a furrow into the dough log, fill with your favorite jam (my is Trader Joe's cranberry sauce) and pinch dough closed.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes until slightly browned; then take cookies out slice logs and turn them over. Lastly, bake cookies again from between 8 -10 minutes. (8 for softer cookies -- 10 for dryer crunchier cookies.)

I like experimenting with recipes.
Do you?

The holidays are officially here. WOOHOO!!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Leaves Gone = Holiday Decs Up

It is hard to believe how whole days can be swallowed up,
but today was one of those days.

The early morning hours were totally consumed with moving leaves from everywhere into giant mounds awaiting the large suck-up machine to arrive. Me with my rake and Dave with the blower...

This is one project that seemed like 'no sweat', but turned into a much bigger pile to deal with. The best thing though after all was said and done was looking out on a leafless yard. Perfectly awaiting holiday decorations.

With help from some local friends the lights went up!
Then there was only the entryway to pull together...

Now the Hughes place has a nice welcome to the holidays entryway!


Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Time for Planning

Happy Thursday!

As I began to approach the challenge of writing everyday for the month it seem natural that I should put down a list of all the things I want to do, and all the things that have to be done... this reminded me almost immediately that I've been wanting to take some time and work on a

5-Year Life Plan...
One that hits on the basics areas of - personal - career - fun.

The universe is conspiring --- thank you universe.

I'm thinking about beginning the process by writing a letter to my 5 year older future self. Have any of you ever done this? It was an idea introduced to me in a book purchased for a teenage niece many years ago. The letter idea helps say the who I am today and write about what I want to see in my life waaaay out there.

So, tonight with a cup of tea and a pile of white paper and a whole array of colored pens, (no one said it could not be illustrated or just pretty with color), and write my letter. Then I believe I will have the beginnings of the plan.

Have any of you ever done something like this, or made a more official 5 year plan? I would love to hear how you got started and any other tidbits to get this going.

From searching on-line there are those that like to do flow charts...
and some who like spreadsheets...

I'm thinking about starting a notebook...hmmm/ something I can add pages to and move them around, or pull out a page to hang above my desk.....

And, if there is anyone that would like to join in on the adventure I'd love to have company!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Waving So-Long

Well, my darling dh and I have just returned from dropping mom off in Nashville. It is a longish trip and the cats were certainly glad to see their food authorities return home.

Mom and I spent our last full day hanging out together by working on some Hanuakah mixed media canvases for her to take back with her for friends in Seattle. (true confessions, we baked a batch of our favorite cookies, too.)

It all starts with a blank canvas -- and sometimes a spark of an idea.
Mom and I went looking for images of Menorahs on Pinterest to help the spark take shape.

Where do you go when you're
in need of a bit of inspiration?

Then layer by layer the canvas takes shape.
I think her friends will enjoy our attempts at Menorahs.
This is Mom and I at one of our outings while she was here visiting.

It was hard to leave her heading for home...
So long mom...
missing you already.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Accepting the Challenge

Thanksgiving is behind us. Family visiting me in Paducah from far off places have headed home, or in the case of my Mom will be heading home tomorrow.

One more trip to Nashville to see her on her way, and I will have time on my hands (NOT!) As December is laying out in front of me I have a long, long list of things to do, and things I want to do....

Kinda like yours I am sure.

I was actually thinking about it all and trying to think of a way to share it all when this call to action from Cheryl Sieboda popped up in FaceBook.

She has challenged us blog writers to post everyday from now til the end of the year.

Perfect, right?

So here's where you will find me...once a day.

There are some amazing bloggers who have signed on for the challenge, too. You can find all of their links by click over to the official,
31 Day Blog Writing Challenge page.

If there's a special topic you'd like me to cover I would love to know.

Talk with you again tomorrow...
In between a trip to and from Nashville.