Monday, November 22, 2021

Some Holiday Cheer

My brother-in-law had to come into town, and he stopped by for a visit.  I always like it when he stops by cause he's good company, and he always brings me a goodie or two.....or five.  ; )  He brought over some spices for meat, some salsa, and a turkey!  My sister-in-law also sent me a throw.  I've been wanting a red plaid throw, and that was thoughtful of her.

I've been cooking for many years, and although I do well, I have to say that my kids cook wonderfully.  My son used the meat spices a few days later and rubbed them into some pork ribs.  They were sooooo good.

I made my brother-in-law a cup of coffee, and we had a nice chat.  Now, I've known this family since I was 16, and we go way back.  He told me stories of old, and remembers things about my family that even I forgot.  He has a sharp memory, just like my middle brother does.  He remembers going over my parents' house and my mom cooking Venison steaks for all and string beans with tomatoes and onions.  I forgot about my mom's string beans, they sure were good.  My mom and dad were always gracious to company.

My dad used to make us try everything, from Venison to Tripe, which is sometimes added to Menudo.  I will not eat Venison any more.  Since living in the mountains, the deer are my friends now haha.

When the heavy rains came last month, my brother-in-law brought over a lantern in case we had a power outage.  It's a sturdy one that lights up a room.

We didn't have one then, but last week we did, and I was glad to have this lantern handy.  Candles are fine for an outage that lasts for an hour or so, but this was a seven hour power outage that went into the night, and it was cooooold.  Thankfully, the heater my brother installed warmed me up after it was over.

Salsa from the stores is good, but I made a homemade salsa over the weekend with tortilla chips.

I couldn't find the traditional Martinelli's Sparkling Cider that we have for Thanksgiving, but I did find this at the store.  Have never tried it, any thoughts about it?

I enjoy watching The Pioneer Woman show, and love some of her kitchen items as well.  When I was at the grocery store, I picked up a jar of this to add to my spaghetti.  It was so delicious.

I gave my brother-in-law this Panettone to take home to my sister-in-law.  They are really good, and that will be my gift to family this year.  I gave my neighbor one also.  My in-laws brought some holiday cheer to my home last week, and that meant a lot to me.

I just realized this post has a lot of food in it, but I did tell you that I love food, and it seems to taste better during the holidays, doesn't it?  You know I have a thing for gnomes - I saw this coffee cup at the store and just had to bring this fellow home.  I love the original ginger snaps dipped in coffee also.

 A pleasant Thanksgiving to you all.


Monday, November 15, 2021

The Tree That Guided Me Home

When I first moved to the mountains, it was last January.  Although Christmas was over, there was a big tree on the edge of the road to my house that was still lit up.  This tree is huge, and it's nothing fancy, but has white lights adorning it.  When it's dark out, you can see it from a distance.  I used to go very early to the grocery store before the crowd, but it was around 6:00 and still dark out, and a little scary as well.  I didn't know my way around yet, and everything was unfamiliar to me.  One time it started to snow, and I couldn't see the road in front of me and had to turn around.  Well, this huge tree sits along the main street, somewhere between my house and the stores.  Whenever I drove down that road in the dark, I would see the lit up tree and know I wasn't far from the store, and whenever I drove back, I would see the bright tree again, and know I was almost home.  This lit up tree guided my way home.  I will forever be thankful for that, as it helped me when I needed it the most, at a time when I didn't know where to go or which direction to turn.  Since then, I am familiar with the roads, and I go to another grocery store which opens up a bit later when it's light out.....and which also has a better bakery section.  ; )

 The tree is lit up again this Christmas season.  I haven't taken any pictures of it when it's dark out yet, but you can see by this photo just how big and tall it is.


Monday, November 8, 2021

Autumn At The Creek And Caramel Apples

Autumn is still lingering, and I wanted to take a drive to the creek, cause this is my first Fall here and wanted to see what it looks like.  We'll start from my house.

This is the road that takes you to the stores and everything you need downtown.  It only takes about 3 minutes to get to the store, but it can be tricky when it's raining heavy or snowing.  People sometimes drive too fast on this road, and I've seen a couple deer since I moved here lying on the side of the road while trying to cross from one side of the street to the other and into the woods.  It made me sad, and wanted to shout out my window, "slow down people!"

Almost to the creek, and I can see fog on the hills, which look so pretty.

At the creek now, and there is an abundance of water from the rain.  The colors are beautiful.

There is always a surprise that awaits me at the creek, but I didn't expect to see her.....

or her.

A couple more pictures at the creek.

Driving home I see that our mountain rests with a halo of fog, and there's already snow on the peak of the mountain.  It's getting colder, and yesterday when I got in my car it was 29 degrees, and there was already frost on the windows.  

As I pass the cow farm, I see that all the cows' faces are black, but this one is uniquely white.

We had some more rain Thursday and the wind blew fiercely, causing many of the leaves to swiftly dance and fall.

I start to laugh every time I see these pictures of Mia making caramel apples.  She loves food, and she is a girl after my own heart because I love food too.  When Nel sent me these pictures, she said that making caramel apples totally takes her back to her childhood, and she hopes Mia will love making them as much as she does.

I know that the Christmas season has started when I see my favorite Holiday cookies on the shelf at the store, and also my favorite Fruitcake.  Do you like Fruitcake? 

Nel mentioned one day that since we are in such difficult times, that it would be nice to decorate for each season a couple months before, so we can enjoy the holiday more.  I thought that was a great idea, and have already decorated for Christmas.  I'll show you soon, but here is a peek at what I've done so far.  I loved this mitten ornament, and had to bring it home with me.


Monday, November 1, 2021

The Day Francesca Was Born

When Jess was in labor with Francesca, I was a bit nervous, because it's one thing when we have the experience of delivering, but when mothers see their daughters in pain, it's a whole different story.  I remember not wanting this precious baby to be born on Halloween.  There was a Chapel in the hospital, and I went inside and prayed for a long while for a healthy baby to be born.  I went back to the delivery room to check on Jess, and seven hours later a sweet girl came into the world.  She wasn't born on Halloween, but on the next day, November 1, which happens to be All Saints' Day.  I was so excited, I couldn't stop smiling.

Come along with me for Francesca's 4th Princess Birthday party.

This is the most delightful cake I've ever seen!

Jess was so creative when she decorated the table.  I like how she added pumpkins, as her birthday comes in the Fall.

Princess dresses hung on the clothesline.

Her best friend made the day even more special.

Crowns for everyone all around.

Happy Birthday, my love.