Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Week 2015

  It's Christmas week here at Honeysuckle Hill.  The decorations (minimal as they are) are up, the few gifts we buy are bought, and the both of us are down with  the crud. lol Here's Santa at the dining room table, overseeing the festivities. This table cloth will be  changed out soon for the holiday one and the candles will be it for Christmas supper. I've been digging out the holiday music cd's too.

 We're appreciating all the blessings as we wind down another year together. We've made new friends and  lost old friends as they transitioned from this place to the next. We are blessed to have lots of love at our house and all our needs are met well enough.

 The gifting stags are in their place of honor at the front door in front of the great mirror on the antique book trough table.  The little tree is up and the holiday linens are out. I am baking cookies and breads and making gift baskets. 

The Santas have collected at the top of the entertainment center, which is covered in a soft red and green plaid wool scarf with strands of gold through it. 

In short, except for deciding what exactly I making for Christmas supper, I am as ready as I will ever be to usher out the old year and in the new one soon enough. And for now, I will sit around looking at the baubles-each with it's own special memory- listening to my favorite cd of Christmas songs by Nat King Cole, and generally basking in the love and warmth of the season. I still get Christmas cards from a few people, even though I have not sent them out myself for a few years now.  And it's all so lovely, isn't it ?

Happiest of Holidays to you all...whatever you celebrate.  And all of life should be a celebration, don't you think ??


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony, please come around: Something is lost and needs to be found!!"

  After an emotional and traumatic Friday morning of having to put our little angel to sleep, I somehow managed to lose my car keys. Well, they weren't actually lost until Monday, because I had no intention of going anywhere all weekend.  I was feeling punky and oh-so-sad plan was to just lay low and rest.  After all, I had a big party coming up on the 22nd. And my house is a mess. Blah blah blah  Anyway Monday morning came and I decided to go grocery shopping and then come home and make that gorgeous pot pie for the potluck.  Got dressed, got my coat on and... couldn't find my car keys. I drove home from the veterinary hospital, so I knew I had them here. I turned this place upside sown, after completely emptying my purse. Twice. I looked on the pockets of every coat and pair of pants that I own. I looked under cabinets, under sofas and chairs and tables. I looked under the refrigerator.  I traced my path back to the car and looked all around outside it and then inside it.  I looked in the fridge. I looked in the oven. I looked in both bathrooms. I walked out to the burn pit and then to Caylees's grave. 

  No keys. Nada. Zip. Nuttin'.

  Thinking that when I hit big roadblocks, I change where I'm going...I went in the bedroom and changed clothes and thought, well...I'll make something different for the potluck out of whatever I have in the pantry. I'll start some house cleaning. Surely they'll show up...they have to be here somewhere.

  I took a rake to the burn may remember that a few years ago I hauled the Irishman's truck keys out in a handful of paper and advertisers and burned them up. The replacement cost was...more  than I care to spend, shall we say. So I was really afraid I had done that again. There was no sign of them.

  Might I mention here that, when I couldn't find them at first, I thought I'll just get the spare key that I keep hidden in the sewing machine table/altar in my office. The spare key is not there either. I ALWAYS keep it there. So, I called husbandman to ask him if he  A) had taken my keys accidently and B) had he used the spare key and not put it back...when I was in the hospital maybe?  As the phone started to ring, I could hear it in the living room.  Grrr...

  Several people told me to pray to St Anthony, the patron saint of lost things. I'm not always a big fan of the saints, but hey...well, he must have been on vacation on Monday, because the day came and went and no keys.

  Tuesday morning came and went. Most of Tuesday afternoon. I took a long nap, really not feeling good today. Have decided to cancel the party because we are sick and don't want to spread this bug around.  :(   When I woke up from my nap, one more time I said

"Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony, please come around:
Something is lost and needs to be found!!"

  I went into my closet where the last pair of jeans I had on Friday was laying across the back of a chair. I had checked the pants and had the thought about what a mess the closet was. Then I wondered if the keys could have fallen out of the pocket when I tossed them on the chair and voila ! there were my keys. Hiding and cozy in the floor. Behind the chair. 

 Sigh... the spare key is still on the lam. But I can drive again. Tomorrow I will go out and pick up some groceries and come back home, because tonight I really feel crappy. But there are some good sales going on and I need a few basics.

  Feeling bad about cancelling the party, but I'm sure that the WHO and the CDC would applaud my actions. lol  I was really looking forward to it.

   And now I'm tired and the bed is calling me and I think I will  be able to get some sleep.  Hope you all stay well. I'm blaming the coumadin  that won't let me eat any green vegetables because they contain Vitamin K which plays a major role in clotting.  Vitamin K is also essential for a healthy immune system. Grrr...

  Blessings and love to you all...tomorrow will be a brighter day. 


Monday, December 14, 2015

Dance of the Ladybug Faeries...

...and here we have one of about 200 gazillion ladybugs that have chosen to infest my house this spring-like winter.Yesterday I must have vacuumed up about a hundred, and soon as I put the cannister vac with the closed bag system (yes--I learned an important lesson the year I used the wand on the bagless and emptied it into the garbage only to have them all crawling up out of the garbage can like a Wes Craven film and re-infesting my entire house) away, 20 more came out of nowhere.
Our first encounter with this seasonal phenomenon came the second year we lived here and the Irishman was getting the kerosene heater out of storage in the garage and found almost 5 pounds of the little beggars inside it around the wick.  since then  it's a battle we fight almost every late fall and winter. They drive me crazy, they stink and I feel like they're crawling on me all the time. Little terrorists.

 So I am on countdown to the party. Cleaning and de-cluttering (as much as I can). And now I have to get beets today and try to fit that in to everything else. Had an opportunity to get a bunch of small beets that I will can whole, mostly pickled, some plain. Can't pass it up. My pantry is so

  I have a daily list of things to do, and in between I have things like tonight's holiday potluck with the La Vista gang. Was thinking of making the roasted vegetable pot pie (remember the one with the little biscuit angels dancing on the crust ?

 Then I thought maybe a pasta dish would be easier...a porcini mushroom tortellini with a pumpkin butternut squash sauce. Not entirely home made stuff, but even I can only do so much... I am feeling better, but still running a little slow. Woke up to rain that has been going on all night and yesterday, but supposed to stop. And now it has and the sun is out and streaming through the window. Thank goodness. Got the chickens loosed and fed and the critters all taken care of.  Have a grocery list made and will head to town in a bit.. Yesterday the Irishman helped me take down all the light fixtures and clean them and put them back up (he's much better on a ladder than I am).  They were all full of ladybugs and dust. I got more napkin rings made, but only a few. I put a couple of small pork tenderloins in the crockpot with some taters and carrots and that cooked while we cleaned, napped and watched a couple of movies. He slept on the couch for over 2 hours about an hour after we got up (late) and I think it made him feel a little better, although last night he was a coughing fool again...

  Alright. I have a grocery trip on my  Monday list, then back home to clean the spare room and get it ready for potential guests from out of town. That and the aquarium are on today's list. That's probably all I can manage. We'll see.  lol

  Have a wonderful Monday. The weather is cooling off here starting today (last few days have been in the high 60's) and I am hoping it will stay sunny at least. And maybe dry up some of the mud. 


Saturday, December 12, 2015

ZZZZZzzzzzzzzziiiiiiipppppp...and it's 2 weeks til Christmas

 As you can see...I have done some minimalist decorating. I have the little fiber optic tree on the side table in the living room and some wreaths and what-not. The Gifting Stags are in their place of honor.  The other day I was at Goodwill (looking for work sweatshirts for my honey who runs a burn table and tears up clothes like you wouldn't believe) and they were having 50% off all housewares. I got a beautiful never used table cloth that will fit my big table with the leaf in it and 8 napkins for about 6 dollars. It's a Christmas cloth with poinsettias and holly and is just gorgeous.  I have washed it and will put it on the table the day of the party. 

 Am having my annual Winter Soup Party on Friday, starting at 6.  So far, 24 people have rsvp'd they're coming. Holy crowds, Batman !!  With spouses that will be 48 people.  Oh well...I can handle it.  And they won't all show anyway.  Right ?  ****  lol   Have decided that this year will be all eco-groovy, using no disposables. Will be hitting the thrift stores for a few extra bowls and spoons and if need be, use pint canning jars for extra glasses.  All cloth napkins ( have a million of them).  In my moment of insanity, I started making festive napkin rings...

I save the rolls from paper towels and toilet paper for starting seedlings in. I just cut them to size and wrapped in glitter tape and put a mini bow on. Both from Dollar General. Unfortunately, the bows won't stick to the glitter. I have to get glue sticks for my gun tomorrow and attach them with that. I have gold and silver glitter tape and multi-color bows. And there is glitter everywhere, including all over my face. lol

  All the invitees will bring everything except the soups and coffee and spiced cider and hot chocolate. And I have a new friend who's in culinary school who has offered to bring her black bean soup. I might just let her.  lol  All the soups I make will be made with stuff that's in my pantry. I may put out some pickled items for snacks too. But maybe not. We'll see.

  The tentative menu is  Cream of Potato Soup (with an array of toppings on the side)
                                        Indian Spiced Lentil Soup  (made with coconut milk)
                                        Vegetable Beef Soup made from all dehydrated and grown here vegetables
                                        Carrot and Butternut Squash Soup

 What do you think ? If Caylee brings her black bean soup, that should feed the multitudes...with people bringing breads and cookies and crackers of all sorts and who knows what else, I think we'll be set.


  I'm especially grateful to be so busy with all keep my mind off things a little.  We had to euthanize our beloved pup Caylee this week...she had a malignant tumor that had filled her belly. She couldn't eat, barely drink and was basically starving to death.  You know me and my has been really hard, and the other two dogs are going around to all her favorite places to sleep and looking for her. We are all laden with grief at this loss, and though it was the kindest thing to do, it was extremely difficult to let go of my best buddy of 7 years. 


  Are you all ready for the holidays ? I am lucky--don't buy much in the way of gifts, though I did find a couple of really good deals for a couple of things for the boy and the Irishman.  And I never do much shopping usually til the week of Christmas.  Will have a nice dinner that day...not sure what yet, but something spectacular  (Hah! Cornish Game hens maybe)  Will do a little baking this week as well... 

 And with that, I am signing off and heading for bed. The dreaded nasty cold that has been making the rounds has hit me too the past few days, but today I felt better.  Hopeful that is a good omen...not a good time to be sick.

  Blessings of love and Peace, from our house on Honeysuckle Hill to yours....