Sunday, December 20, 2009

10 reasons why I need to stay busy

You might wonder, now that my fall craft show season is over and the next show isn't until February, whether or not I am taking some time off and relaxing a bit. In answer to that question-yes, I have taken a bit of time to get many of the projects completed around the house that were put on the back burner while I was running back and forth to craft shows over the past few months. I have painted nearly every room in our house and am now in the process of rehanging pictures, rearranging furniture and generally putting the house back in order. Whether or not that sounds relaxing, I don't know, but it is for me.
Now that my inside projects are nearing completion, I took some time today to give the animals some attention. I thought that it might be nice to take some holiday photos while I was out with my little friends. They were all so happy that I was spending time with them. I was very busy with the animals today...very busy indeed.
First I spent some quality time with the kitties. They were so excited.
Then I went out to give my sheepies some much-needed attention.
Can't you see the happiness on their little faces?

Of course the dogs really wanted to spend some time with me as well. They weren't wagging their tails or anything, but I could tell how thrilled they were that I was with them.

"Please mom, go back to work...pleeease?"
I couldn't tell for sure what the chickens were thinking, but I bet they had a good time as well.

"Somebody, make it stop!"
"Here, Mira, let me get this ridiculous thing off of you.....what is that crazy woman thinking???"

Hmmm, maybe it's a good thing that I don't normally have a lot of free time.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Let the baking begin!

Those of you that know me well are aware that I normally don't do my holiday baking until Christmas eve. I am a freshness freak and like to have everything "out of the oven" fresh for Christmas day.....which also makes me just a plain old freak because that means that I am baking for six or seven hours and never get to really enjoy the day. This year, however, I am changing things up a bit. Our daughter and son-in-law are coming in next week from California and we haven't seen them since their wedding in August, our son will also be here from Iowa City for a couple of days, plus we have the whole family coming here, to our tiny little house, for Christmas dinner, so I have a lot to do and I don't want to spend all of my time chained to the oven. It hurts me to say this, but I am baking some things ahead of time and putting them into the <gasp> freezer! I know, I know, it's hard to believe that word is even in my vocabulary....I must be mellowing with age.

I make a variety of scrumptious desserts for the holidays, some new, some tried and true, but there are a few 'must haves' that we absolutely can not do without. One favorite is a coveted recipe that my mother got from one of my aunts before I was even born. My mother guarded this recipe with her life. Over the years, she would make it for friends and neighbors, but when they would ask for the recipe....well, let's just say things got ugly! After my sisters and I were grown mom passed the recipe on to us...this old family recipe, which I, in turn, guarded with my life and passed on to my daughter. You can only imagine my horror and dismay when, one day as I was flipping through an old Betty Crocker cookbook, I saw a photo and description that bore a striking similarity to our secret family recipe. I studied the page, went down the ingredient list line by line, measure by measure...OMG, it was the exact same freakin recipe! Unless we are somehow related to Miss Betty Crocker we have been living a lie for some 50 years....we stole our family recipe from Betty Crocker.....does it count as stealing if she is a fictional character??

In an attempt to redeem our good name and share the deliciousness, I will pass this recipe on to you.

Nut Cups (or as Betty likes to call them-Pecan Tassies, call them whatever you want Betty, you're not real so who is going to listen to you? Whatever).


1 Cup softened butter ( if you use margarine don't tell me about it)

6 oz. softened cream cheese (2 small packages-please don't use fat free...I don't even know what that means)

2 Cups flour

Cream together butter and cream cheese, gradually add flour until well combined. Mold dough into mini muffin tins to form the crust. Bring the dough all the way up the sides of each tin making sure not to get it too thin along the sides or bottom.

1 Tablespoon softened butter

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg slightly beaten

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

Mix all filling ingredients together and fill crusts with mixture to about 3/4 full. I know, this doesn't look very appetizing, but trust me you will like it. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.

Be careful not to do this when you fill the crusts...

Any little bit of filling that goes over the edge of the crust does this (below) and makes it really hard to get the little buggers out of the pan.......and then they fall apart...
Like this (below). When they fall apart you have to eat them to hide the's the law....OK, not really, but it isn't really an old family recipe either now is it?????


Wednesday, December 9, 2009


You may have heard that it is snowing a little here in the Midwest. We got about 10 inches of snow overnight and today winds are gusting between 30-40 miles an hour which makes it feel like.....well, let's just say it's pretty nasty out!

The animals are not wanting to venture away from the shelter of their barns.
The snow really started piling up in drifts this afternoon with the high winds.
You can see the horses in there somewhere.....
A couple of hours later the inches of snow were still multiplying.....I figure by morning I may have to tunnel through to get to my equine friends!
There really shouldn't be a 'high surf' situation going on in the horses' water tank, but the wind had other ideas and was making waves and ripples below the little icicle ridge.
Although they are appropriately dressed for it, the sheep don't seem overly amused by the frigid weather.

"OK, where'd the grass go? I know it was out here somewhere!"

"Frozen. Sheep."

"Starving. Frozen. Sheep."

But, a few of our fuzzy friends didn't seem to mind the adverse conditions.

Bailie prepares for take-off into the wind.

As does Emma....and of course, Jolly Ball.

and awaaaaay she goes!

"Darling, I simply ADORE this scrumptious weather MWaaaH!"

"Yeah, right, I'm not going out there!"

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