Saturday, December 30, 2017

Farewell 2017...Welcome 2018...

Saying farewell to 2017 is easy even though I feel like time is speeding faster than I can keep up.  Mr. C and I chose "Discover" as our word for 2017 and it did not disappoint us.  We discovered much in the past 12 months.  More on this as I post.  I managed to make Martha Stewart's Egg Nog Caramels. Click this link for her recipe.   It was almost a soupy disaster however I managed to cut and roll them into little bite-sized bits of yumminess.  Wrapped in parchment paper and bundled to give as gifts they were successful after all.

Having our home listed for seven months with the first broker and then 5 months with the second broker was a huge discovery for us.  We spent a ransom in upgrading everything from the landscaping to re-painting the exterior trim from blue to white and lots of indoor paint and carpet based on each broker's suggestions.  Well! We had only seven people actually tour in person and we had ZERO offers.  Not even an insultingly too low of an offer.  We became exhausted living in a fish bowl 24/7...just in case of a showing.  We also became very discouraged with the lack of effort put forth by the brokers.  December we removed our home from MLS.  As you can see in the photo above, we are not done spending time and money on trying to find a buyer who wants this beautiful peaceful serene home.

Our powder room will be current and hopefully appeal to the finicky buyers there are nowadays.  Mr. C is a very hard worker and he very much deserves to have this home sold.  He is so ready to move out of our native state.  We took a road trip recently to confirm how much our chosen destination tugs at our heartstrings.  Yes, Yes, Yes!!!  Now we merely have to overcome our rapidly declining purse strings and move on...PLEASE!!!
I have no witty year end post.  I do have some thoughts on how I would like 2018 to be kind to us.  I am not going to select a word as I have done in so many past years.  Instead I am going to be much more MINDFUL of how I spend my time and talents. I am in charge of my Creative Bliss...she says while stamping her feet!
I would like to share this quote by Sally Berger which I recently saw on a Mary Englebright image:
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started."  How very fitting for me due to my always waiting for the right time or the right knowledge or the perfect situation.  "If not now...when?"
I have been so grateful for you, my faithful followers, as you share your time and talents with blogland and other social media forums.  I am inspired and humbled.
Blessings for Peace, Love, Bliss and lots more Creativity for all of 2018...xo <3

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