Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Last of 2014 and looking ahead to 2015

With the last days of December, 2014 and a New Year just around the corner it is only fitting to take a look back and share a bit of the year with you.   Lots of pictures, just saying....

January was bittersweet.  We loved Quincy and letting him go was the hardest.

His favorite pose should a camera be pointed his way .........unless there was a statement to be made.

As the months moved along and after much discussion/planning I decided to leave my job.  It has been a big change but a good one.  

It's given time to:

Finish this blanket that my daughter started  a long time ago.

Rediscovered yarn in my stash.   The lap blankets at the left were done with Noro yarn.  It's wonderful to knit with.  Those blankets have since been given to my parents.  The crochet blanket in a new addition for us.

And we traveled this past summer.  Let's say it celebrated birthdays and our 25th anniversary (in November).  Venice is one of my favorite places.  We were fortunate to have the opportunity to spend a short stay in both Venice and Rome along with a cruise that included Greece and Turkey.

 Back home again there was time for the garden.
The dahlia tubers purchased earlier in the spring yielded beautiful pink blooms.  The hibiscus was a purchase.  And even after the blooms were done, they still looked pretty in this ceramic dish.
And the boys of summer, Nate heading left and Noah right.  Nothing better than a warm day and water to splash in.

The super moons, awesome to look at but my photos never did them justice.

As fall as you can get on one tree.  With mild and dry temperatures this fall our Japanese Maple displayed a beautiful range of color.

And then came the birds.   It has been a pleasure watching them but they are not team players when it comes to getting a photo taken.

And last but not least, hummingbirds.  

no , really, we haven't gone to the birds!


 This was the year to stitch new Christmas ornament patterns.  I really enjoyed stitching the Santa snow globe.  I ended up making three, with variations.  Two were sent as gifts and one for me.  The red tree above also was sent as a

It was really nice having stitched ornaments on the tree this year.  We tried to go kid friendly. The green red white garlands are knitted lengths and one garland crocheted in the style of paper garlands that we made at school.

And today, December 30th marks my parents 64th Anniversary.  It's been a long ride for them.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Some years ago for their anniversary I made a stitched ornament.  Of course it was "safely put away" and when the time came it was never found.   Add to the safe keeping a move or two and now finally, it's done and delivered.  And this year's gift, ordered well in advance I might add, still has not arrived.  Maybe tomorrow, fingers crossed.

And that's a bit of my 2014 in photos.   

I'm thankful for what we have and what we can share.  I'm hopeful for a good year ahead.  

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

shortest day, longest night

December 21st, let winter begin.  I'm already dreaming of Spring!  Yes, it is a bit early for that so this is my pre-planning stage.

Amid the hustle and bustle, bad drivers, poor manners and frantic moments there has been time to be still and quiet.   It's taking that deep breathe and exhaling .....and realizing that what does get done for Christmas is just fine and what doesn't (ie should there be more baking, more decorating) won't be missed.  Spending the time together is really what is important.

Thursday afternoon we had the pleasure to attend Noah's Christmas concert.   All kids are the same, lined up on stage ready to start. Until they have met the sights of their families, little eyes search row by row and then a smile and even a wave and then it's time to get the show on.   It was a lot of work for the children and their teachers and so much fun to watch.   It brought back memories of my daughter's concerts and way back to some of my own.

Noah did quite well but didn't last too long on stage.  It wasn't that he didn't know his part or hadn't practiced  but the sensory overload was too much.  He did try and we're proud of him.  After the concert en-route to the car there was a certain amount of complaining and feet dragging ...please understand that routine and consistency are important  for him....bad enough the car was parked elsewhere, it started to rain and the car was a few blocks away.   Part way along the route the dragging feet changed to a soldier high step march.....things really weren't so bad.  Once home he bounced out of the car, checked the outdoor decorations, smiled and headed to the front door.  One last  momentary turn  to us and Noah said "See you Sunday" no prompting, clearly and loudly.   The best present we could receive!

Both boys visited today with their parents.  Everyone was kept busy...big people/little people. Lunch/ play time and Christmas decorations to check out.  Exciting times ahead.

The next few days are going to be a whirlwind of activity.   We're doing a Christmas Day lunch, buffet style.  The kitchen/family room already has the extra serving table set up.  Next up will be the final decorating and setting up the main table.  It will all come together....fingers crossed.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!   And Happy New Year too!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A definite maybe

Making some Peppermint Bark has always been on my to do list.  I found a microwave version for melting the chocolate.  The dark chocolate came out great so onward to the white chocolate....to my dismay, it started to go thick.  I quickly added the oil and peppermint flavoring and stirred like mad.  Ok, it's spreadable and covered the dark chocolate and topped with crushed candy cane...it can't be that bad, right?   It's currently in the fridge getting cold.  Taste testing later.

Second up, Rice Krispie squares, that goodness for the microwave.  This recipe worked great!

Lastly will be Peppermint cookies.  This recipe I found last year and never had a chance to make a batch.  So here goes.

As for the ornaments, only two more to trim and finish and then pictures.  I'm pleased with the results thus far.

From soggy BC, take care......

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It's beginning to feel like ...

a mini Santa's workshop here.  Today was the day to sew together recently stitched (and 2 not so recent) cross stitch ornaments.  Eight sewn and stuffed and ready to be trimmed.  The only hiccup was the sewing machine.  I'm down to the last ornament the bobbin needs a refill, of course.  That done and the machine re-threaded and of course there was an issue .....many words, many times undoing, redoing and finally it was good to go.  This is a Brother machine and overall is great, especially being a featherweight.  I still miss my old Singer.  Heavy as it was ......   Currently it's stored in the garage along with a 'new to me' machine that was put out for claim in the garbage room.
So early in 2015 I'll tend to having them serviced.

Last night overnight and early this morning heavy winds and rain.  Apparently another storm is due overnight with more wind.  Bring on the candles.  As much as I enjoy real candles we have adapted to using the battery operated tea lights.  Definitely an advantage with our grandsons.

stay warm and dry!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Saturday morning

Another very early start this am.   DH has already left for work. And I'm ready for my second cup of coffee.

Rain is hitting the windows, definitely a soggy day ahead.  It's still very dark outside.  Too early to put out the bird feeders.  So long as I remember to keep  to the bird schedule ...otherwise there are a lot of bird complaints when the feeders are hung, especially from the hummingbirds.  Who could have imagined something so small could make such noise!

This afternoon we hope to put up the outdoor lights, at least on the patio area.  We have a long covered patio  so there are many options for decorating.  Directly adjacent  is a large hedge, trees and garden area.   Let's see how far the lights go.

I just realized how silent it is in here right now ...... so let there be Christmas music ....  much better!

It's too easy to get caught up in the stresses of December and forget the simple pleasures.  Light twinkling, music playing and a warm fire going.  Add good company, comfort food and a glass of wine.

Wishing everyone a good weekend.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Come December

I'm finally back to the keyboard....call it blogger's block, akin to writers block, it's been a long gap since my last post.  In that time I have been productive with projects: knitting, stitching, crochet and sewing.  It is amazing the stored stash in the closet....now being put to good use.

My new role to homemaker/retired person has come about with ease.  It is a new life for sure.  And there is no lack of things to fill each day.  Home baked bread is a regular part of each week.  It's been fun trying recipes.  And home made soups are great, especially during this cold snap.

The family stuff hasn't changed a lot.  I'm grateful to be able to be nearby for my parents.  Health issues have been hard on both of them. We're thankful to have them.  Our grandsons are growing and doing well.   Both boys are on the Autism Spectrum.  All words are treasured.

DH and I celebrated our 25th Anniversary in November. Where did the time go? Our celebrating was low key as we had a wonderful holiday in the summer.  Now he says "We're going for Gold".

Since our loss of Quincy the beginning of the year, we have yet to make the decision to add a new canine to our household.  We've come close but it's not time yet.  So for now we enjoy the outdoor birds that visit.  Hummingbirds are the newest addition.  Anna's Hummingbirds stay all winter.  We have two feeders set up for them.

Come December, I'm grateful for:

1.  Sharing a life with DH.
2.  Family and friends.
3.  Plenty of crafty stash.  lol
4.  Simple pleasures.

How about you.  What are you grateful for?

till next time .....