Wednesday, December 29, 2010

all's well that ends well

all's well that ends well....the saying goes.

in the car on christmas eve, over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house is where and when i fixed my camera. alright, *fixed* is a relative term.....but it's working again--just in time:)

so do you ever push buttons? and make things worse? is that your intention? it wasn't mine. yeah, i'm talking about cameras and perhaps, other people. hmmmmm? you know, pushing buttons, stirring the pot.

the boys are off school and big red has the week off. i'm loving it. mostly;) i haven't even had a bit of sniffles in over four years....and wouldn't you know it, i have a full-blown nasty cold this week. this morning, i awoke with the voice of a dude or a 40-year smoker. awesome. red's calling me *madge*. but i have all i need right here, right now....and the cold will disappear in a few days. just here to slow down the pace of the season, which does go all too quickly.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

hoping for a christmas miracle

now i did it.

i took this last picture of true and wanted to adjust the camera a bit. that's all.

but then, the camera began acting all odd.

so, i twirled every dial. and pushed every button.

some--maybe 47 times.

and now my camera is acting all weird and making beeping sounds. like it's gonna' back-up.


just in time for the holidays.


so, if you need me. i'll be in the other room with my head in the camera manual-- hoping for a christmas miracle.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

for anytime or all the time

i've mentioned in previous posts that i am not a baker. however, there is one recipe that even I, cannot mess up. trust me. i (with the help of our youngest) have baked 18 loaves and counting of this yummy-scrummy chocolate chip pumpkin bread since the wednesday before thanksgiving.

my dear friend and former neighbor would bring this to us every once and awhile. she also would bring us cake*pops*, cookies, soup. i miss her living so close....and i miss her cooking for us.

a few months after she and her family moved back to california, i made cookies. all by myself--they were pretty good too. when the boys came home from school i had them sitting on a plate with ice-cold milk. guess who made you cookies? the boys guessed amy. all the way from california. c'mon.

so here's her recipe:
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
*mix above ingredients in large bowl.
add following ingredients--mix:
3 c. sugar
3/4 c. water
1 c. oil
1 small can pumpkin
4 eggs
1 (6 oz) pkg. chocolate chips
*grease loaf pans w/crisco. bake at 350degrees for:
1 hour for 4 small loaf pans
or 1 1/2 hours for 2 large loaf pans
let cool a few minutes, then turn out on rack.

i've made a teeny-tiny adjustment out of the idea i could make this a teeny-tiny bit healthier. i substitute 1/2 cup applesauce in place of 1/2 cup of oil. i still use a 1/2 oil. you could skip the chocolate chips. i've thought about doing it....but, i'm scared. what happens to people who pass on chocolate? it can't be good. ;)

p.s. you can move back here amy. that photo at the top of the page--it's from miami or bangladesh. not michigan. not even my backyard.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

what i asked for....

i have a confession: this weekend i made my first turkey dinner--complete with dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy. yep, my very first. ever.

when dreaming about christmas this year and my intentions for the holidays, i realized that i truly have everything i could ever want, materially. perhaps, even more than i really want. new gadgets don't make my skirt fly up or curl my toes in the way they to do for some people. and i have plenty of sweaters. however, what i did want was time with those that mean the very most to me--those relationships and doing things--making memories that will last a lifetime.

so after r's basketball game (which they won in double overtime....phew, that was exciting!!!!) my folks headed back to our house. they were coming to teach and supervise their turkey making recipe and methods (tent-foil steam roasted, just like my grandparents used to do. i swear, my dad looked so much like my grandpa folding the aluminum foil so precisely--very engineer-like). i followed all directions. with hardly any back-talk;) really--you measure the celery and onions? really? this much butta'?

r played board games with my folks and won *legitimately*--says my dad, while big red and i hand-washed the china.

what a fun and sweet and lovely night. we also decorated one gingerbread house and made two kinds of cookies. alright, the cookies were from an envelope mix--because really the fun is in the rolling out, shape making and decorating. well--b says it's in the *eating*.

later we caught the last hour of "it's a wonderful life". and, you know, it really is.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

our family tree

i changed my header photo. it is from our big christmas tree.

it is so much how i feel at christmas--bright and happy and nostalgic.

that stripe-y ornament is from my grandparent's. not just from them--but from the trees they had each year. i'm pretty sure it is from the 1930's.

the turquoise bulb is straight from my own parent's very groovy silver aluminum tree. that tree had it's own rotating light wheel that would cast red, blue, yellow on the tree--and for a brief few seconds the yellow would become green and the blue would turn all violet before turning red. those turquoise, magenta and purple balls are all circa 1962. i remember sprawling out on the floor staring into that light wheel, while listening to my dad's christmas records on the stereo.
this is probably the last year we had that groovy tree--1972. (it says so on the back of the photo. it also says i am 5 years 4 months) and maybe, the last year my mom had that totally remarkable hair. i can almost smell the "adorn" hairspray. my mom wasn't in many of my childhood photographs. she did most of the picture-taking. well, because as you can see my dad did not count or give us any warning to smile or anything. i think my mom is telling my little sister and i to say....*cheese*. i'm pretty sure my mom doesn't show up again in a photo until the early 1980's. in those days, the self-photograph wasn't so common. but i digress.

and then there are the ones we--big red and i have collected. all together on one tree. traditional christmas--passed from one generation to the next.

i love this family tree of ours.