My Creative Mind

My Creative Mind

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Eggnog, Garfield Style!

We love Eggnog...during the holiday season we make Eggnog lattes rather than anyone of our other favorite lattes. Seems like Garfield and Jon love Eggnog too! So, here is our Santa Eggnog picture for 2006. We agree with Garfield and Jon, Eggnog tastes better in Santa hats!

Christmas 2006 has come and gone. Christmas Eve we spent with our kids here in town: dinner, games, movie and then the reading of the Christmas story. This year Kaitlyn and Tristan shared the responsibility- each reading half. Each year the children take turns reading, this has been a family tradition since our own boys learned to read and is now being passed on to the grandkidlets. Always warms my heart to hear them as they read the story.

Christmas Day morning Ed and I got up bright and early and spent most of the day with Momma~gave her her packages (camera battery died as soon as I turned the camera on!!! grrrrr!!!), we went down to the dining hall for a nice ham dinner, back to her room to watch Elf (her favorite part was the singing in the bathroom part - if you haven't seen the movie I will not spoil it for you). One of her gifts was a digital photo frame that I had loaded with 100's of pics (gotta love those 2.0 GB disks!) that she seems to enjoy oohing and aahing over. She kicked us out about 3 p.m. I think she was ready for a nap but we teased her telling her she was tired of US!! It was a good day for her and her spirits were up....always a good thing for me as I get so emotional when she is down.

4 p.m. dinner at the kids house. Dinner, games, football, laughter...more games and lots more laughter. Around 8 p.m. I started to feel "wierd", wasn't sure what was going on but knew I didn't feel well...we left at 9, a bit early for us but, I just needed to be home...I went to bed and did not wake up until 3 p.m. the next day. Achy body...headache...slight fever. It is pretty much gone now but it knocked me out for a while. I missed a whole day of my life!!! good thing it hit after the holiday and not before!

Yesterday I worked through the morning but did not return after lunch, was still a bit tired and business was slow so the boss said he would handle the office alone (do you all see as many red flags as I see in that? LOL). Today and tomorrow I am using up the last of my use it-or-lose it vacation time and will return to the office NEXT YEAR LOL.

We were suppose to go to Diamond Lake today but I feel the need to stay home one more day so will go tomorrow if I am feeling up to it. The kids are all going up tomorrow afternoon. How fun to ring in the New Year sledding, making snow angels, having snow ball fights and laughing with the grandkids! Today will be spent preparing easy meals to toss in the oven or microwave so that we can spend as much of the wknd outdoors as possible. (Overnight breakfast casserole, meatballs for spaghetti dinner, etc.) Will take the crock pot and keep redhot punch going all day for warm ups between outings.

Happy New Year to all!

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

For Ryan, Chris and Bob

Have a Beary Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

MM MM MM MM Can you smell it???

Oh the smells of Christmas! Is there anything better than the wide variety of Christmas smells all around us?

Wassail, peppermint, ginger, sage, cinnamon, coriander, pumpkin pie. Candles burning with their new and various scents. Can you smell snow in the either, but I can smell the Christmas trees, wreaths and greens all around.

I love the smells of Christmas!

Sunday afternoon Ed took over the kitchen for "Ed Bread Day". OH MY....Christmas really hits home when the first batch of Ed Bread hits the oven...the house smells so wonderfully yummy and Christmasy!

The first year we were married my DMIL sent us a bread recipe and insisted we try it, well...Ed and I thought the mix of ingrediants were just too way out there for our tastes so we passed on making it up. (DMIL always had a MUST try recipe up her sleeve!!!). Finally Ed made up a batch just to tell his mom that, yes we tried it (we knew we wouldn't like it). LOL doesn't it figure that it has become Ed's specialty bread, and our pal Bruce dubbed it "Ed Bread". We love this bread!

Each year Ed bakes many many round loaves of this bread, varying the size of the loaf to match the size of the family we give them to. A small round for our widowed neighbor, a large round for our friends who travel to Wilsonville each year to spend the holiday with a group of family members, medium loaf for others. In years past Ed has baked as many as 30 loaves...the list has narrowed and he doesn't bake nearly as many now.

When the boys were little we would pack all the bread in boxes...I would make a list of who was to get what size and off we would go ~ delivering bread all over town, one of the boys would run to the door hand the bread over with a hearty "MERRY CHRISTMAS" shouted as they ran back to the car and off to the next house we would fun to share the gift of giving with our children. After getting their licenses the boys would go through the list and pick a few people they wanted to deliver to and off they would go bread and list in hand to deliver a bit of Christmas cheer and their dad's Ed Bread, Ed and I would deliver the rest. While the boys were in college, and home on break, they would grab the list and boxes of bread and would be gone for hours and hours as they delivered bread and visited with those they had not seen for months, frequently we would later hear from the recievers how much they enjoyed visiting with the boys (oh the pride of a mothers heart).

It's Christmas at our tree, no lights on the house but can you smell it??? Ed Bread, yummy!!!

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Gingerbread Houses and Blue Ribbons...

...what do they have in common? Well for this post the only thing Gingerbread Houses and Blue Ribbons have in common is the fact that they are going to be the two topics for this post...

For years my sister hosted our whole family for the long Thanksgiving wknd...we have a large family so this was a huge gift from her to our family~allowing her home to be over run with kids, the living room over run with men watching football, the kitchen over run with cooks (too many!!!), and just about every inch of her house pretty much full of noise and chaos...bathrooms running out of toilet paper, the sink always full of dishes, dogs and kids everywhere...the mud room full of NOT MUD...but goodies (that is where the yummy stuff was always kept, like momma's pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting)...the barn was where the kids would gravitate as they got a bit older. My parents would take their motorhome over a day or so ahead of time so when it got too loud we knew we could find a couple of minutes of peace out there. My brother would pull his camper in the yard somewhere and my sister always had their camper ready for Ed and I a place to be as well. My sister, a very gracious hostess, really knows how to throw a party! I bet she was never so glad to see tail lights on cars as she was the Sunday after Thanksgiving...the whole fam damily come and gone!!!

During the weekend a few traditions took place.
  • At some point, usually on Friday night, we played BUNCO. Hilarious time with lots of "I'm gonna win!" and "You won last year!" and of course "DUCK" as the Bunco Buddy was tossed from table to table. Everyone got to play, no matter what your age! Even the littlest ones played, maybe with a bit of help from an older cousin or grandma, but they got to play too. There was always alot of laughter and ribbing that went on during BUNCO
  • Friday morning the ladies would get up VERY EARLY and head off to Bend (an hours drive on a NORMAL day) and be there in time for the after Thanksgiving doorbusters. The last time we were all together we left the farm around 4 a.m., got about 5 miles away and turned back...the roads were a solid sheet of black ice...staying home just seemed to be the better choice!
  • NOW...this is where the gingerbread house fits in...each year Ed and I would bake gingerbread walls, roofs, chimney's and people for a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. Ed would mix up his secret (yes, it is a secret...and he still won't even tell me!!) recipe for mortar icing. After dinner on Thanksgiving, after the pumpkin pie had been served...after the dishwasher had been run and emptied for the umpteenth time...the ladies and children would take over my sisters master bedroom...card tables were set up all over the place. The gingerbread workshop was open!!! Everyone would put together their own gingerbread house...the ladies did large houses, the kids did smaller houses. My mother had the BESTEST assortment of candies and sprinkles and colored coconut (NO COCONUT FOR MY SISTER, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!). Necco wafers. Peppermints. Licorice. Jelly Beans. M&M's (holiday colors!!). Smarties. Tubes and tubes of colored icing. I think momma must have started buying candy around Easter! We would continue to work on our houses throughout the weekend and then try to figure out how to get them transported back to our own homes on Sunday!
I have continued the tradition with my momma, albeit on a much smaller scale!! Now we do a prepackaged gingerbread house on or around Thanksgiving. Then, on Christmas Day we decorate gingerbread people to give to the staff who are working that holiday as a thank you. Here is a picture of Christmas 2005 GingerPeople.
My sister spent Thanksgiving with momma this year so earlier that week I took a gingerbread tree kit and all the needed items (hand mixer, measuring spoons, mixing bowls..etc) over and left them in mommas room. My great-niece, MacKenzie (who just had her 8th bday on Saturday!!!) "helped" Grandma Broken Arm decorate the tree...which we are now refering to as "The Leaning Tower of Christmas". On Christmas day momma and I will again make GingerPeople for the staff who will be working that day.

And Blue Ribbons???? Well, Ed told me a little while ago that I should enter Gramma's Aprons in the county fair, he is SURE I will get a blue ribbon...LOL cracking me up...gee, can you say "This man is in need of some serious points and will do or say anything to get them??" LOL OK, so I gave him a couple of points.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Like Chopping Wood ~~ Warmth X2

I am working away at getting Gramma's Aprons (Novemeber 6th post) quilted....and loving the process, it's been a long while since I have completely handquilted a quilt.

I had a heck of a time finding any stencils that I wanted to use for the border quilting, finally decided on three different ones that I liked somewhat equally ~ mixed and matched and came up with a plan to use all three! I knew I wanted to put flowers on Gramma's Aprons...thought I might want something vine-y with leaves between the flowers...really like cabling so played around with what I had and what I found and am really liking how it is all coming together... even if it would make some seasoned handquilters gag from using all three of these stencils on the same quilt!! LOL

Just like chopping wood for the winter woodpile, this is keeping me warm while working on it and will keep me warm when it is ready for use. While working on it each evening it is draped over my legs...Akira usually is content to wiggle his way under it and lay on my lap..which is much easier for me to quilt since he is not laying on my bossom, his favorite place to nap!!!

Today is KatieBugs last volleyball game of the year....wrestling is about half over for Rex and is just around the corner (all 3 grands)...always hopping with the grandkids, and we try really hard not to miss a moment of any of it.

Christmas gift purchasing is pretty much done at our house, an easy year for us, we knew what we wanted to do for almost everyone early on and had pretty much finished our shopping even before it was time to get started! This afternoon we will get boxes ready to be mailed out on Monday. Still no tree up at our this late date I am thinking it will not happen. Decorating didn't happen either. I do have a few things out that are out only at Christmas but we are not decorated like usual, Ed usually does a fantastic job of getting a nativity display on the lawn and lights on the house, nothing this year. As I mentioned in an earlier post, between his continued recovery from back surgery and my so very graceful fall off the deck (landing on my right shoulder) neither one of us is in any kind of shape to do any of the lugging and toting around that it would take. Next year! Next year!! Next year!!!Here is a pic of my Christmas quilt, it went on our bed this morning. This was finished in 2003, but I think I started it in the top done but couldn't make up my mind if I wanted to do the applique Before or After the machine quilting so we used it on the bed for 2 years as an incomplete top. I finally decided to do the applique AFTER I got it back from my machine quilting lady. She did an absolutely wonderful job! The quilting is holly leafs and berries, makes me smile. There are usually 10 or more bears dressing in their holiday attire on the bed as well..but they are packed away, waiting for next year!

And today was Antenna Ball Changing here is a pic of the one coming off...I warned Jack-dolph to keep his eyes closed but he must have peeked at some point while the car was speeding along and now I see he has lost an eye...poor Jack-dolph!! Jack-man is currently on the car, but I don't have a picture to show you...soon...I love Antenna Balls!!!

There you have update for what is worth!

What are you up to???

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Blogger Beta

Well....I made the switch...not because I wanted to but becuase I don't have time to finish setting up my website. I think after the new year I will be making another change and you will be able to find me at a different address.

I hated not being able to leave comments on various blogs...grrrr... I am MCM on to see if I can post comments again!


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Does your family have one of those days of the year where it seems several historical family events have taken place...on different years, but the same date? Ours does and it is December 10. Let's go back a few years to the beginning...

...30 years ago, on the night of December 10, my then hubby-to-be gave me my engagement ring. We had been dating for sometime and he had asked me to marry him three times since April of that year. I just wasn't ready to commit, although we had dating exclusively and had spoken often of marriage, I just wasn't ready to take our relationship to the next level. In August I moved to Seattle, in October he broke up with me stating that not living in the same town wasn't working well (we had done that for 8 months already and it really WASN'T working well), in November I realized that I loved him and that absence DOES make the heart grow fonder...early in December I proposed to HIM while talking on a payphone! He drove up to Seattle a few days later and slapped that ring on my finger before I changed my mind. LOL The whole thing wasn't as funny then as it has been since...and he has NEVER hesitated to tell people that I asked him to marry me!! and I never let him forget he had to explain to my mother why he thought he should be allowed to marry me! That WAS as hilarious then as it is now!!! My dad?...well, I think my daddy was just glad to get his youngest child (of 5) married off!!! LOL

And then.....25 years ago, December 10, 1981 my niece Traci-Roo was born. Just thinking about Traci makes me smile! Traci is the youngest daughter of my oldest brother and is 8 weeks younger than our son Ryan. When our children were young and we had family gatherings, Ryan and Traci were two peas in a pod. I didn't realize how much Ryan means to her until Traci came for a visit a couple of years ago. Each time she comes she and I spend time together, just the two of us...they are times I will treasure forever. She is such a blessing to my life. Traci lives in North Carolina and is a true Southern Belle! Oh my, as soon as I answer the phone and hear "Aunt Pam" I know it is Traci, boy...sometimes I have to stop and really listen because her accent is so strong! She lives the farthest from my momma but has more contact with grandma than anyone. She calls, sends cards, always a gift for the special days of my mothers life. Traci has been out for several visits with my mother and usually stays for severals days to a week, she pampers grandma and makes her laugh, she is creative with her time spent with grandma. Traci is beautiful, tall, intelligent and her spirit is just as beautiful. I wish she lived closer but we make the best use of email and our cell phones and I always look forward to her visits.

Eight years ago, on December 10, Ryan (then 17 yrs old) underwent the last of many surgeries to correct a life threatening case of pectus excavatum at the UCLA hospital. Ryan, my sister (have I thanked you Nancy??) and I flew to CA a couple of days before for all of the pre-op stuff. My sister and I had an appointment at the bloodbank (Nancy, just for you, I won't go into detail about that ~¿*) Ryan had a long list of appts all day and into the late afternoon. My sister, MY HERO (the bag lady)!!!, found us an awesome suite (this is a story OF LOVE that has to be told but at a later time!!) while Ryan and I finished up his appointments. The next morning he was admitted to the surgical unit and whisked away. Surgery was to be 7 hrs. I was not going to leave the hospital so Nancy and I set up camp in the lobby (I am very experienced at setting up camp in hospitals while waiting!!). Nancy kept me company, she was my second set of ears when we would get updates throughout the day, she made sure I ate and made me laugh. When Dr. Fonkalsrud finally finished and came out to talk to us she was the first one to jump up and hug him, even though she was NOT excited about the picture he showed us of the bar implanted IN Ryan ~ as in seeing the INSIDE of Ryan~bones, bar, muscle etc bleck!!! Ryan and I stayed in LA until the end of the month(again, my sissy is the bestest!), but Nancy had something else to do...she boarded a plane (while I cried like a baby and begged her not to leave me alone in a strange place with my baby boy laying in the hospital!!!) and flew to CO one day ahead of her first grandchild's birth...I think Nancy had had enough of Dr's and hospitals! Ryan's surgery was a success! We love Dr Fonkalsrud for what he did for Ryan! While Ryan was in the hospital Mark Hamill was touring, giving away gifts and etc to people (mostly kids) who were stuck in the hospital during the holidays. Ryan doesn't have much memory of this....but Mark interviewed my sister (who was hilarious!!!) and I and gave Ryan a truck load of gifts. When Ryan and I flew home we were greeted at our teeny tiny commuter airport by so many people! There were signs, balloons, and people...friends, family, Ryan's boss, some of his teachers, his local Dr...all Ryan wanted to do was go home but these people came to show their love for this young man. That wasn't all....we were escorted by more friends for the 20 mile drive home...and when we got home Ed had decorated the house knowing that I could not get a tree up nor would I have the energy to decorate! Roy arrived home from college the next day.

Five years ago ~ December 10, 2001 ~ myself along with many of our family members woke up early and headed to yet another hospital, Legacy Emmanuel in Portland. This was a day we, as a family, had waited for for a long time - infact we had had two other dates set for this life saving surgery but my brother was not well enough...isn't it strange NOT be well enough for something that will save your life? Well, his medical team did not think he would survive surgery...he was too weak...his labs weren't off...something had always been not quite right...BUT on December 10 it was time! off we went...several cars worth. Our siblings and some of their children had come from miles away so that we could be together as a family. Our son took the train down from Seattle to be with us. Cell phones were close by to call my parents with progress updates (my mother had stroked exactly 4 months earlier and wasn't able to travel). I was the first to be checked in, but first my sister had to write in INK..."cut here, remove kidney, liposuction please, stitch up with care" across my side from my back to my belly button. LOL Gary checked in next (he didn't and doesn't need liposuction!!). We were quickly separated from our family and each other...I was given one more time to "confidentially" back out???? What? are you crazy??? let's get this show on the road!!! (the process for the donor is a very interesting process to say the least and took months!!) We went through the final hoopes and then were put in the surgical holding area with our spouses....I was they wheeled my gurney past Gary I hopped off...we held each other tight, told him I love him...grinned at him big time then gave him a hormone patch, telling him that since he was soon to be part female he might want to keep it handy!! and off I went....many many hours later I was informed that my surgery was a kidney was perfect for Gary...Gary's surgery was successful and the very second HIS NEW kidney was transplanted it began to function!!! We could ask for nothing more!!! Thank you Jesus!!! Gary and I were a perfect match...his medical team had never seen a match so perfect. Here is a picture of Gary and I taken in January of this year.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Just the way it's gotta be....

...this year we have opted out of putting a tree up. Well, I should say I opted out of putting a tree up. Ed is still on a 10# weight limit and my shoulder is still giving me fits from the fall I took in October. We are getting old! (Don't be surprised if I do put the tree up afterall!!! I love Christmas trees)

So, since I do not have a 2006 Christmas tree picture to show you I will show you one from 2005. See the package under the tree? As soon as the tree was up and decorated he decided he belonged under the tree...and that is where he could be found if he was in the house, even after we put the wrapped packages under the tree he would still find a way to nestle in a nook or a crannie.

Tomorrow is Open House at the office. Boy will I be DELIGHTED to have this over with for several reasons. This year we cut the time to two hours rather than three, by 7 p.m. tomorrow night I will have been at the office for 12 hrs....and will be ready for the weekend.

What are you up to???

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

He is just too cute!!

JJ called last night...
he wanted me to know that my heart is singing
"Hark the Harold Angels Sing"
because he loves me!
He is so funny!!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006


....don't we all like leftovers...ready to finish off when we are.

Well, I have leftovers on my 2006 Quilty Goals. Five leftovers to be exact, not to be confused with my UFO pile which is as yet uncounted!

Countryside Cottage is a BOM that I started earlier this year. I really wanted to get this one done and in a frame to start the handquilting...the blocks were a quilt finish but the center is all applique and I couldn't find the needed time to get it as is sits I need to finish the applique and then set the blocks for a completed top. No hurry on this...didn't have a plan for this once completed.

Rhythm and Blues is also a BOM. The blocks are finished I just need to set them and move this along. Again, no plan.

Garden Pinwheels are leftover blocks from another BOM that I finished in 2000. The completed quilt is one I really love. I did extra blocks for pillowshams, bloster pillows and etc. This is currently sandwiched and pinned ready for some zoom lines, would be a quick and easy finish. Not sure why I bought so many of the extra blocks but it could be that I found them in the clearance pile for $1.00/block. So...I put 9 together for a lapquilt. Again, no hurry...I will send this to a friend in Canada and since she has no idea it is coming it is not on a MUST DO NOW list for me.

Over the doorhanging depicting a sewingroom complete with computer, stash, plants, machines and of course a cat! This is at the border stage. Again, a quick finish if I would just make the time to do it but it hasn't called my name in a few months so it is sitting right where it was when I last pulled it out.

Hot pads!! Oh my goodness. My momma would flip if she saw what I am currently using in the kitchen for hot pads...they are not even good enough to be called rags...they are just TRASH!! But I haven't made new ones yet so that is what I am using. I have some wonderful FQ's ready to be made into beautiful and colorful just hasn't happened. I was hoping my friend Barbara would have pity on me and make me up a few but that hasn't happened! LOL She would do it in a heartbeat if I asked her but I was hoping she would get the hint and do it without being asked.

And last by certainly not least is Gramma's Aprons. I am handquilting this and so enjoying the process. There are 7 aprons left to do before I start on the borders. I will continue to work on this and hope to have it done sometime next month, maybe a birthday gift to myself! I used a bit heavier batting than I usually use knowing that I will use it during the coldest months here in Oregon.

Now...all the rest of what is in MCM in various stages....ugh!!!..I have been giving a few projects away from time to time, repurposing a few projects...and hanging on to a few things that I am not quite ready to make a decision about. There is a gal in Linda's WTIL group, Sarah, that is amazing at creating with leftover odds and ends. While I go through this and that I keep Sarah in mind, knowing that if I send something her way it will be completed and some little one will be the beneficiary. I am enjoying thinning out what is in MCM ~ either by completing my projects or by passing them along ~ and feeling the weight of it all lifting from my shoulders. About half of the UFO's are mine, the other momma's.

Other than working on my Gramma's Aprons, I am hoping to get a couple of table toppers, a couple more sets of placemats, and one name banner done before Christmas. All are quilt as you go so finishing them will be just a matter of putting on the binding~easy-peasy projects!

That is it from me. You most likely will be seeing less and less of me as the end of the year draws close, just too many things going on to be online (or even home!!) much.

I will leave you with a picture of a Nativity I made the year we were expecting our first born child, 1979. (Casualities over time: Mary has had to have surgery to attach her hands and the cow has recovered nicely from horn re-attachment...other than that, all is well! Just to give you an idea of size, the camels measure 13" tall.) It is all done with Mother of Pearl paint and is just beautiful when only the lights on the Christmas tree are shining.

Enjoy December!
The most wonderful time of the year!!!