Monday, December 28, 2009

It is Time to Blow Out Some Candles

As we are ushering out yet another year I am greeting a new age. Today I have happily skipped into the wonderful age of 54.

Where have the years gone? It truly does seem that I was just 18 years old not so very long ago. My mind still believes that I am 18 but with much more wisdom. I now get a full nights sleep and I do appreciate eating all my vegetables. After all, at my age fiber is so important. LOL

Hugs, Sue

Friday, December 25, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Morning Casserole...A Favorite

Whether it is just SH and me on Christmas day or the whole family and friends I will always make my Christmas Morning Casserole. Now for a "do ahead" (no it is not doody head. I will save that for another post) person like myself this is perfect. I make this the night before then pop it into the fridge and take it out in the morning and in the oven it goes. Depending on how many I have at the house in the morning I will make a larger batch and put it into one of my bigger pans.

I am presenting the recipe as I have it written but I almost always add a little more sausage than what it calls for and I will add a little more onion to the O'Brien hash browns. This is so simple and so yummy.

Christmas Morning Casserole

1 large pkg. O’Brien frozen hash brown potatoes

1 c. diced ham or bulk sausage, browned

2/3 c. grated cheddar cheese

12 eggs

2/3 c. milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Line the bottom of 9 x 13 pan with partially thawed hash browns. Sprinkle with meat. Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour eggs over the meat. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator overnight. Remove the plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


xxoo, Sue

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Cookies

Many years ago I had a neighbor that had a persimmon tree. One day he offered me several very ripe persimmons. I told him I didn’t know much about persimmons and I really didn’t know what to do with them. He told me I could make cookies or breads with them. O.K. but I still didn’t know much about persimmons. Do I chop them? Do I mash them? How does this get into the cookies? Keep in mind this was before the internet so I really didn’t have easy access to recipes using persimmons. He told me that he would get back to me.

The next day he gave me a very sketchy recipe for persimmon cookies. This recipe immediately reminded me of how my great grandma Nanny would have put together one of her recipes. The recipe seemed more like reminders of ingredients. I could tell that this was an old recipe. My neighbor said the recipe came from a lady who was 85 years old. Well, any who, I figured out the recipe and put it into a more recipe like format.

These have been one of our favorite winter time cookies. As a matter of fact I even changed the name to "Winter Cookies".

These cookies freeze well and taste even better after they have been frozen for a week or two. It gives the spices a chance to blend. Enjoy!

Winter Cookies (Persimmon Cookies)

1 cup persimmon puree
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup salted butter or margarine
1 ½ cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp orange juice
3 cups sifted flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cloves
1 cup chopped nuts
Raisins if desired (the original recipe didn’t give an amount. I haven’t used raisins so I can’t say how much to put in. If I did I would use golden raisins)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Thoroughly mix the persimmon puree and baking soda and let stand.

Cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.

Thoroughly mix the vanilla, lemon juice, orange juice and egg into the sugar mixture.

Give the persimmon puree a few stirs with a fork (it will be very gel like) then add to the sugar mixture and mix until blended.

Sift the flour again with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Gradually blend the flour mixture into the sugar mixture. Mix until thoroughly blended. Stir in the nuts.

Drop level tbsp of dough, 2 inches apart onto a lightly greased, or parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes.

Makes 5 dozen.

These are a perfect cookie for breakfast. They are cake-like and pair perfectly with tea or coffee.

I want to thank everyone for their get well wishes. I am feeling much better from my annual head cold. As far as head colds this one wasn't as bad as some. I was just tired.

Hugs and love too all, Sue

Friday, December 18, 2009

I Could Mark My Calendar!

I woke this morning with a COLD! I was determined to get through this month without catching one. Every December, like clockwork I get a cold.

My favorite things right now...Kleenex and Vicks. Funny how Vicks reminds me of my great grandma Nanny. That was her favorite cold remedy.

Well sweet friends...back to bed for this girlie. Thank goodness I received my Victoria magazine the other day.
Hugs, Sue

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This and That...

I am not sure this image has anything to do with this post, I just like it! :)

It has been a very busy and hectic few months for me. Between all of the craft faires that Mom and I have been in and replenishing the inventory, we also flew to Austin, TX for our nephew’s wedding. Did I say I also have a full time job? Of course I have...I tend to have my whiney moments. I am a Litigation Analyst and this job has become increasingly demanding over the last 12 months but I so love this job and would not trade it for anything. I prepare my Department’s defense regarding certain matters for our State’s Attorney General’s Office. It really isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Needless to say when I do finally get home I find the quiet of my sewing/craft room just what I need after a long day. It is therapy!

I half-heartedly entered the craft faire holiday season in September not expecting to sell a lot of my totes so my inventory was miniscule at best. I only had about 20 totes on hand when I started. This year I would have been happy to just make my table fee. I do the shows mostly for Mom. She makes the cutest felt ornaments and she always does well and being on a fixed income any extra money is most welcomed. Much to my amazement it seemed everyone wanted one of my totes. Fast forward… I was buried in my sewing room since September using any spare moment I had replenishing the inventory. My totes take about 6 hours to make. I painstakingly do a lot of hand work that cannot be seen. This mostly involves tacking down stabilizers. Yesterday was my last show for this season. I had 10 totes and came home with only two! That may not sound like a lot of sales but it really is because my items could be considered on the pricier side for a craft faire. Almost all of my totes were bought by people who were going to give them as a Christmas gift. Every time I heard that I just wanted to cry from joy. Not that they were buying one of my totes but the fact that they were buying something hand-made for someone special. My shelves are almost bare and knowing all of my totes that I lovingly constructed will be enjoyed by someone on Christmas makes my heart happy. O.K. enough about all of that, I wanted to finally share some pictures with you!

This is just a very small sampling of Mom's felt items. She has at least 25 different designs. Everything is lovingly stitched by hand.

A lady once asked her where she got the die cuts to make her ornaments. Imagine the look on her face when Mom told her that she cuts everything out with scissors. I swear the woman looked at my Mom like she had lost her mind. She could not get over the work and the detail. When Mom use to make her clothes all of her buttonholes were done by hand. They were the most perfect buttonholes you ever saw. To this day I have never seen a buttonhole done by a machine that can compare to hers.

Mom has been making these little guys for at least 25 years.

My humble offerings

I use fabrics that I like. This year I went with the "how cute is that!" fabrics. Last year I went mostly with elegant and traditional fabrics. I guess this year people were looking for cute!

Have a blessed week.

xxoo, Sue

P.S. I will be posting some of my favorite recipes soon!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Red and Green...The Colors of Christmas

Have you ever wondered why the traditional Christmas colors are red and green? I recently came across an article that explains this. It also explains some of our other traditions that we associate with this most blessed time of the year. Now whether this is correct I cannot say for sure but I certainly have to agree with this notion.

Red symbolizes the blood that Jesus spilt to redeem us from our sins.

Green is the color of life. Therefore, green symbolizes the potential for eternal life that Jesus' sacrifice made possible for all of us. The evergreen tree is green all year round. So it also symbolizes eternal life.

The flame of a candle, the lights on the tree and the star are all meant to remind us of the new star that appeared to proclaim the birth of the sweet baby Jesus.

The bell is a reminder of the bells worn by sheep. They provide a means for the shepherd to find the sheep that has wandered from the flock and become lost. They symbolize our pleas to the Good Shepherd for guidance back to His flock.

The candy cane is shaped like a shepherd's staff. It symbolizes the responsibility that we all have to be shepherds, to help each other and guide each other back to God.

Finally, the bows on the top of the presents are symbolic of brotherhood. It should be a reminder that, just as the ribbons are tied together, we should all be tied together by the knowledge that we are all God's children and therefore brothers and sisters.

Have a blessed day,
Hugs and love, Sue

P.S. I have a very nasty virus on my computer at home. It is so bad that it won't let me access any antivirus software. This virus somehow bypassed my McAfee. It may be awhile before I can get back to regular posts (not that I was posting regulary anyway :)). Things have settled down for me and I was so ready to start posting again. I have so much to share with you! In case you are wondering, I am doing this post from work during my lunch break.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Am Smitten

I visited the Shabbyfufu blog (gotta love the name) and was completely overtaken by the squeal elves. Now when you come across a home that simply makes you giddy from all its cottage cuteness you can’t help but let out little squeals of delight. These are a few pictures of the romantic Christmas d├ęcor that made my heart skip a few beats.

Isn't she beautiful? Did I hear a squeal?

Oh my

Perfectly white. Who says white doesn't make a statement.

I think this table is dreamy.

Subtle Christmas decor.

I am loving this dresser.

This is only a sampling of pictures of this lovely home. There are more pictures at Shabbyfufu.

Hugs and much love to everyone, Sue

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cooking, Decorating and Laundry?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I have been visiting many blogs today and everyone is decorating for Christmas. Where is this energy coming from? I want some! Just kidding. I am looking forward to all the pictures.

My granddaughters and I decorated the Christmas tree on Friday. For me that was a big deal because I rarely get them over the holidays because Momma and Daddy always have to work the next day and they live 200 miles away. I must admit that I was exhausted Friday morning because I was up until 1 AM cleaning up from our Thanksgiving feast. At that point it now became a 21 hour day for me. I tend to be a control freak so needless to say I would not let anyone do the cooking or would I allow anyone to help with the clean up. But I would not change a thing because I love it and we had a wonderful time.

The tree decorating went very slow because I was moving very slow. At one point the girls were wondering if we would ever get the tree finished. As the evening rolled around we finally got it decorated.

The only mishap was I could not get the bottom branches to light. Either I missed a plug or they have finally burned out. Quite frankly, I did not want to rummage around inside the tree looking for the plug. Maybe next year.

I really have been very busy these last few weeks. I so want to get back to my blog. I miss everyone. In the next few days I will post some pictures of our trip to Texas. The weekend before Thanksgiving my husband’s nephew got married. It was a beautiful wedding.

We returned to Sacramento on Monday. On Tuesday morning I had to start a marathon shopping trip for Thanksgiving. Since I was having 19 people I had to carefully plan my day so I could get all the shopping done. Before I began my shopping I thought I would get some laundry started. You probably know where this is going. Yes, my 12 year old washing machine went out. Instead of the grocery store, my first stop was Sears. 45 minutes later and much poorer I had my new washer ordered. Oh and a dryer too. The dryer was even older than the washer and I figured it was only a matter of time before that was going to break down. I now finally own a matching washer and dryer. How many decades did this take? :)

I have been on vacation for the last two weeks and quite frankly I need to get back to work so I can get some rest. I AM POOPED!

Many hugs and much love to everyone, Sue

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

For All of My Dear Friends

From the bottom of my heart, I am wishing you and your family a bountiful and blessed Thanksgiving.

Hugs and much love, Sue

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Morning Tea

I am sitting here this beautiful morning with thoughts of you.
As we sip our tea please think of me and I will think of you.

Have a blessed day.
Love Sue

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Anxiously Waiting

I would love nothing more than to say that fall is in the air. It is my favorite time of year. Alas, I cannot say that. It is once again over 100 degrees here in Northern California, compounded with humidity. But I know that fall is right around the corner with all of its nurturing glory and all of her traditions. I don’t think there is any other time of year that has more family traditions.

There are so many things to love about this time of year. The first sign of fall is when we are ready to decorate our homes in all the colors that seem to hug us. There is something very soothing about the colors of fall. These are the colors of nature after all.

Fall is a time to slow down. It is a time for Mother Nature to nurture us. It is time to take in everything she has to offer.

Fall deocrating can be so effortless.

Fall is apple pies. One of my guilty pleasures is a piece of apple pie for breakfast. Shhh, don’t tell anyone.

The first signs of fall bring the anticipation of Halloween. Whether it is helping the little ones choose just the right costume, or for me and my SH it is the anticipation of all the little ones that come to our door that evening, it seems young and old find Halloween fun. I still remember when our boys were little and how much fun we had making their costumes.

Like many of you I am ready for fall. I love everything about it. The fun, the traditions, the decorating, families coming together, the scents that fall brings with it, and the cooler weather. Oh yes, the cooler weather. I am of the age that I relish cooler weather, but that is for another discussion. LOL!

I am wishing you a very blessed and safe weekend.
Love Sue

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's a Rooster Party...I am a Little Late

I woke this morning to the rooster crowing (well not literally) only to discover I had no internet connection. Aghhh! Now what? Well a morning cup of coffee in my opinion can solve just about anything. Or at least help you start thinking straight. Can you relate? After I got the brain in full functioning order I thought I would try again. Nothing. I waited and waited and tried and tried. Still nothing. By now I am getting perturbed. Do I call the internet service people and wait for what would feel like an eternity? I thought I had better not call, because by now I am running out of patience and I really didn’t feel like being nice to these people because this has been happening on a regular basis lately.

Later in the day, WHA-LA, I am reconnected and I can finally participate in the rooster party but by this time I need to leave for my hair appointment. Oh brother, am I ever going to participate in the rooster party? Well, yes I am. I have been bursting at the seams to share this handsome devil with you. He has always had a place of honor in my kitchen.

He really is a handsome devil. My husband and I were junking one day and he was helping me find the second half to something. I can't even remember what it was now, maybe a candleholder. As he was bent over in the biggest box I have ever seen, he said he couldn't find what I was looking for but he said he found a rooster. I thought a rooster? What do I want with a rooster. As he came out of the box with the rooster he said he had never seen my eyes get so big. Oh my. He was gorgeous. Now the big question, how much? He said $20.00. What? It can't be. I read the tag, yep, $20.00! By now I know people were eyeing this rooster. Maybe it was because I couldn't hide my excitement. I thought I have to get out of here now with this rooster because I felt if I even waivered for a moment someone was going to snatch him. No way!

Here he is on my dining room sideboard.

Thank you for visiting. Please click on the rooster icon and visit the other ladies that have participated in the rooster party.

xxoo, ~Sue

Monday, August 24, 2009

I Miss the Whimsy

I don't know about you, but when Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion stopped publication it made me very sad. When I pulled this perky publication from the mailbox everything else ceased to exist for at least an hour. God forbid dinner was cooking (just kidding). The colors alone were enough to pull anyone out of grumpy mood. Well, we have Mary back. No it's not her magazine but she is now blogging. Yipeeeeeeee! It's time for a happy dance. Or should I say a coloful and whimsical happy dance.

I have collected ME fabrics for a long time. I have made many of my tote bags from her fabrics and those are always the first ones to sell at my craft shows.

Mary's Blog

xxoo ~Sue

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Power of Forgiveness

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

I read something the other day and it said, “If God didn’t forgive, heaven would be empty.”

It made me think about the power of forgiveness. I believe if we cannot completely forgive we cannot have a full life. We cannot move on until we have forgiven. Forgiveness heals and allows us to grow. It removes our mental and physical pain.

Forgiveness is freedom. Unforgiveness is destruction.

All of us have had the misfortune of being hurt, but if we remain resentful and don’t forgive, it will become a burden on our hearts and bodies. With each passing day it gets heavier until it is carried into our physical bodies. For some, the result is health problems.

I carried with me a hurt for a very long time. It eventually became a burden. Call it stubbornness, call it the ego but in my mind if I offered up forgiveness then somehow I was saying that it was O.K. that you hurt me. We don’t forgive others for their benefit, we forgive others for our own well being. Each time we forgive, a burden is lifted and the heart is opened.

One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody everything every night before you go to bed. - Bernard Baruch

Love Sue

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Grandma Gets Busted!

I am taking a vacation week from work (the one that pays the mortgage) because our granddaughter, Miss J is staying with her grandma and grandpa. We don’t get to visit very often. They live about 200 miles away and Mom and Dad work weekends so it really makes it challenging and the fact it is 200 miles one-way, it is difficult to make it a day trip.

Here in Sacramento, it has been our great fortune to be hosting the Library of Congress Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition at our downtown museum. Our city will be the only stop on the west coast. I wanted to start our week together by going to the exhibit. Now I really thought I was going to get a lot of resistance from this 9 year old little girl, but to my surprise and delight when I told her about the exhibit she said, “Grandma that would be so cool.” Now mind you, she is a 9 year old, Barbie loving little girl but she likes history (yeah). So with quarters in one hand for that pesky parking meter and my camera in the other we headed off for the exhibit. As we wandered the exhibit we were so taken with all of Mr. Lincoln’s artifacts and actual writings. I knew that Mr. Lincoln’s Bible was also on display and we eventually came across it. That is when my camera came out. I snapped the picture knowing that I was going to treasure it. I am not sure why I was wasn’t going crazy taking pictures sooner but I am soooo glad I didn’t because I wouldn’t have gotten the picture of Mary Lincoln’s jewelry either. As soon as I snapped that picture, Grandma was BUSTED! A security guard said there was no picture taking allowed. I said I was very sorry as I quickly put my camera away. Honestly there were no notices posted because I was looking for them. He was very nice about it but I kept thinking he was going to make me delete my two pictures. That didn’t happen because he quickly headed to the other room because, you guessed it… someone else was taking pictures. Whew!

Anyway, it was a fascinating exhibit and I want to go again because there was so much to see and absorb.

This Bible is so beautiful. The color is so rich. You can double-click on the pictures to enlarge.

Mrs. Lincoln enjoyed spending money and she spared no expenses for which she was ridiculed. Because of the war, times were hard for many and people thought it was not right to spend so lavishly while so many were suffering.

My little Miss J thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit. So far our week has been a trip to the zoo, baking cupcakes, watching movies and games of Monopoly. The little stinker is ruthless. She wants those hotels! Who knew!

Our Little Miss J. We were at the zoo in a little excursion train.

Hugs and blessings to everyone.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Taking a Little Break

Hi all. I have been a little brain dead lately and don't have a lot to post. All is very well with me though. In my spare time I have been in the sewing room making all my lovely handbags, preparing for several craft shows this year. It is getting to be that time of year.

I am still visiting all my blog friends regularly. I wouldn't miss any of your posts for the world. You all inspire me and many give me some of the best laughs.
Hugs to all of you!