Friday, December 15, 2017

Harry & David Pears...

Thank you Tom and Joanne for the lovely Harry and David Pears.  Thankfully I opened the box and discovered the pears are ripe and need to be eaten right now!  I believe the instructions inside the box should be on the outside.  Who knew the pears would ripen faster in the gift box left on the kitchen counter for two days.  Well there is no way two of us can eat nine pears right now. So...

I got busy washing and cutting and prepping to save the pears.  Even Mr. C was shocked to see so many pans on the stove.  I made 8 cups of simple sugar syrup.  Then boiled both the syrup and pear slices together for two minutes.

Now my pear slices are cooling. These slices are no longer crisp but rather mushy.  The will have to be eaten like sautéed fruit.  I will be searching Google and Food sites for interesting ways to use these.  I do love a crumble coffee cake or cobbler.

Here is my resulting mason jar and two quart baggies of "preserved" Harry and David Pears.  Do you have any favorite ways of eating "mushy" pear slices? I would love to have you share your recipes.  Thank you very much. 
I have been handwriting my Christmas cards.  Yes, I do prefer to handwrite the envelope address and a personal message inside each card.  Sometimes this is the only time of year we connect with past friends or family and I want everyone to know I am thinking of them with each pen stroke.
Staying busy this time of year is a must, yet we also must take time for ourselves to eat right and get enough sleep and not stress over everything.  Do only what you can do and others will understand.
Merry Christmas Blessings...xo

Monday, December 11, 2017

Needle Tatted Wreaths...

My desire to blog more often is strong yet my failing to do so is stronger.  Life keeps interrupting my desires.  I have managed to be a tiny bit creative and productive.  A simple ball of crochet thread in size 10, a long tatting needle in size 5 and some inexpensive beads in size 6.0 are allowing me to make some small Christmas Wreath ornaments. 

I can pack these supplies in a small tote and keep them ready for any spare time I might have.  Of course I must also have excellent daylight or lamp light to see so that leaves out any evening TV time when Mr. C must have complete darkness. 

The beads get strung onto the thread before any tatting begins.  The beads don't always fit over the needle eye so I use a dental flosser loop for stringing which makes it so much faster and easier.

Here is the process of tatting.  Chains and rings and nothing more.  This link to Rusti Kate might be helpful.  Her YouTube how to videos are very easy to follow.  Thank you Rusti Kate.  So while life stays busy my fingers also stay busy.
Our weather is unseasonably warm and sunny. California is on fire and my prayers are for everyone affected by these horrific fires.  Thankfully Mr. C and I are safe and our children and grandchildren are far. 
I continue to enJOY each of your blogs and holiday decorations.  Thank you for sharing.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night...xo

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Pocket Letter Fail...

For those of you who follow me on FaceBook you already got my opinion of my local Post Office.  I was so proud of myself for completing 17 Pocket Letters for my International mail recipients.  I had taken one to my local Post Office and confirmed with the clerk that my International postage was sufficient to send my envelope on its way.  So I came home and completed all 17.  I mailed them.  Two days later I collected my mail in the pouring rain and there were all 17 of my envelopes.  I have no photo here but I did on my FB post.  They were wet and soggy and the imbecile at the post office had rubber banded them all together with a note.  It said these must mail as a parcel and I would need to add an additional $12.35 postage to each one!  Excuse Me!!!  I am not wealthy and therefore that cannot happen.  To put it mildly, I was incensed!!!  I have had lots of issues with my mail being delayed and returned by the idiots at the Post Office but this tops them all. I am sad and angry and feel the worst for my recipients.  I had to switch up my plans...

In the meantime I was able to sew 10 Origami Coin Purses using fun Mahjong themed fabrics.  I found this on Sew4Home and here is the link.  I love these coin purses and they have lots of uses.  I won't divulge the purpose for this group so as not to spoil any holiday gift idea.  I may need to sew a few more.  I enjoy being able to sew these. The first ones I made, I hand sewed metal snaps and it took lots of time and work.  Then my friend Donna of Brynwood Needleworks introduced me to Kam Snaps.  WOW!  So much easier and quicker.  Thank You Donna.  Check out the links and you will find the pattern so you can make some for your gift giving.
On our Home front, Mr. C and I have removed our home from being listed.  We kept at it for an entire year and had NO Buyer and NO offers.  Only a handful of showings and nothing positive.  After meeting with our broker and the VP of Sales and Marketing for Coldwell Banker Grass Valley, we heard nothing new to encourage us to stay listed.  They stressed the importance of us being "STRATEGIC" with our marketing...that is there job and what we are paying them for!  They also stressed we must be "STRATEGIC" in our pricing...which meant they wanted us to drop the sales price another $50,000 and include an additional $2500 for the Buyer's agent commission.  My very wise husband said, "Anyone can sell dollar bills for 50 cents." 
Weather wise we have had some very good soaking rain the past couple of weeks.  The mountain ski resorts have gotten good snow and are open for the season.  Looks like we will not be having a drought this year.  Autumn has shown her colors and now the trees are barren.  Winter is just around the corner.  Happy Thanksgiving my fellow Americans and Safe Travels to all...
Blessings to each of you around the world and may you take time to enjoy the Magic of the Season... 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Sewing and Pocket Letters...

Hello November.  You are beginning the month in a most productive manner.  Thank You.
I thought I was done sewing Dresses for Girls Around the World...until my local ladies invited me to join them.  I have just completed six dresses and here they are shown on the sewing room love seat.  I was able to unpack enough of my sewing supplies and machine in order to sew these.  Now I have renewed zest and will continue to sew.

Yesterday, today and the rest of this week I decided to make a mess on my studio work table which is 4' x 9' and such a joy to work on.  It is high enough that I don't have to lean over and kill my back.  This is also where I do all my sewing fabric cutting.  With the holidays coming all too quickly, I decided I better get busy.  I gathered supplies and got to work...actually this is pleasure for me.

I am creating some Pocket Letters for Christmas mailings.  Due to the cost of postage, I am keeping them very simple. Just a few stickers and some chocolate and a little surprise charm.

I decided to use one of my many 2018 calendars I buy from multiple charity organizations.   This little fox just melts my heart. I will have lots of variety when I am finished.  The post office is already getting busy.  We have November birthdays to celebrate. My Granddaughter Amy and Mr. C's Sister along with some friends.  Happy Birthday to each of you. 
We are getting rain and the Fall leaves are blanketing the ground. Winter is near and I feel the chill in the air.  I shall try my very best to Embrace Winter this it is not my favorite season. 
November Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving to those in our United States of America.  Bliss and JOY...

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Goodbye Omaha & October...

Mr. C and I took the Amtrak Train to Omaha Nebraska specifically to see my baby sister and her family.  I had not seen her in almost 25 years.  No photo of our initial hug but I can assure you it was the deepest hug ever!  This is Wendy and her husband Harold.  They live a simple life in a very small town and yet they are happy and surrounded by family.

We had our reunion at the local park.  It was a dreary rainy day but we felt warm with layers of love.

Wendy and I sat together at one table so we could catch up while we were eating.  Wendy raised five Daughters and now has lots of Grandchildren.  They all sat at other tables and visited together.  The little bit of rain and cold didn't stop the kids from playing and running all over.  Everyone but us brought food and it was all very good.  Thank you everyone for driving and gathering and feeding us.

This is Candice, fourth daughter and Auntie to all her nieces and nephews. Here is a photo of a gift Candice made and mailed to me in 1999 right after we moved to Northern California. It is her image right down to the glasses.  Everyone, including Candice, was very surprised I have saved it all these years.  I will save it forever because she made it just for me.

Here is a group photo Mr. C took of all of us.  We kept our visit shorter due to the complete exhaustion from our train trip and no sleep and due to the cold wet weather.  My sister's town doesn't even have a motel so we still had to drive 25 miles to our night of sleep.
I am forever grateful for the wonderful visit and time we shared together.  The next morning we took Wendy and Harold to breakfast at the local diner and we got to visit for another couple hours before it was time for us to hit the road to Arkansas.  That might be the next post.
October has come and is leaving.  Leaves continue to Fall.  We expect rain here and snow in the mountains this weekend. Winter is not far away. Mr. C and I are hunkering in for another Winter here.  No offers and No Buyer.  We are most depressed at our continued living in LIMBO!!!
Happy Halloween and may you receive No Tricks and only TREATS...xo