Sunday, December 27, 2015

There was a jiggling in the Force.....

No spoilers. Just jell-o. I got a Star Wars jiggler mold for Steve on his birthday (he was 51, what else do you give someone that age?) and finally used it this month. Which makes sense, right? 

When all the jigglers were together in the blue glass pie pan, it was hard to discern who the characters were. From top to bottom we have: Darth Vader, Chewie (and it appears he was....), R2 and C3PO, Yoda, and a Storm Trooper. (did you get them right?)
As for this new movie? Well, tears dripped down my face several times. Not during the times you might expect, though. The opening scene of words and theme music really got to me and the last scene on the hilltop made me sniff, too. If you have seen the middle movies(the only really good ones, if you watch them un-altered), you won't need to follow the lines in this one. I think they cribbed most of their dialogue from those classics. Which made me laugh a great deal (I may have annoyed a few people). All in all, I have to agree with Tony. It was extremely satisfying..and it wasn't even a Snicker's Bar. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015


We always miss Tony, but we seem to feel it more on Christmas. In ages past, the boys would sleep by the lighted tree. We'd leave the Christmas lights on all night, inside and out. Makes for a very bright household! We left the lights on this year, but Jon opted to sleep in his room with Kila. They woke up VERY late. Another thing Tony would never let happen. The first things we usually open are Santa presents and Christmas socks. Jon found a Hallmark tractor  this year. A tractor very similar to the one he drove for Brooks (It appears I don't have any of those photos posted to share, cept on FB. How silly!). 
 Steve found a box of candy cane Christmas lights in his loot. Maxwell wasn't as impressed as Steve was.
 How irritating-I can't turn this photo of Jon's ammo box full of candy. The perfect preppers box. Inside is a part of a 2x4, assorted KitKats, Rolos, the ammo was added after the candy was removed!
 Our tree. The first one purchased from Jon's former Boy Scout Troop. It was a lovely tree. I'll be sorry to take it down in 10 or so days.
 Jon got me a lovely oven mitt. On me, it is an elbow mitt, but I rather like it. We were amused to discover the tag had 22 different languages on it, all stating this was 'not for commercial use'. It, however, didn't state what was not to be used. The mitt? The logo? The tag?
 Another of my gifts included bird seed and a new feeder. In my haste to fill said feeder, I forgot to cinch the catch on it and poured out a measure onto the porch. Moses is waiting for someone to stop by.... They did later, but only after Moses left!

 Supper was yummy! Jon's volunteerism got us a lovely ham earlier, so the not thawed turkey went back in the freezer. (they did have a dress down call on Christmas Eve Day--it was a false alarm, but they were ready!) After dinner I had some spice cookies that needed decorating. I think it was a great deal of fun!
                                               Jon's cookies.

                                                              Steve's cookies.
 Kristen's cookies (note, they are sideways again. Dadburn blogspot!)
 Another of Steve's sideways cookies.
                                                Dorothy's cookies (also sideways).
 We ended the evening with a few hands of Triominoes. Steve and Kris were left in the dust as Grandma and Jon blasted away. It was touch and go for a while. At one point, Jon forgot there are more ways than one to reach a solution. He had the numbers 4,4, & 5. Steve told him his score was 8 and 5 or 13. Jon looked up and said, "I thought it would have been 9 and 4....." Jon finally got into the math groove. Here is Jon's closing round of points. 44. Grandpa would have been very grumpy with this grandkid of his!!!! Nest time we'll skype Tony and he can play with us.....I wonder if that would work?????

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Winter begins!!

December 22 and it has been a LOVELY day!!! I made a LOT of cookies and delivered them to my loved ones. (I think it was 7 batches and nana bread and assorted other treats) I also delivered my Advent Collection for the food pantry. I know it isn't Christmas yet, but I wanted to get it there before next Monday. That is the day the pantry is open. 
Steve spent a bit of Monday working on the dryer, which officially gave up the ghost today. I was irritated, but the clothes will dry eventually.
I wanted to make a stuffed crust pizza. Using a line (sort of) from 'Ground Hog's Day', I had the ingredients..... The bread machine made the pizza dough. It was dubious, but delicious! Then,the edges were filled with a quarter of a mozzarella cheese stick, half of a smoky, and so on til the circle closed.  Ragu pizza sauce covered the crust (yeah, cheating, but I do easy!), topped with Parmesan cheese, chopped up smokies, deer burger, and cheese. 

 It was cut it not quite in proper pieces, but they were eaten clear to the crust! Normally, I end up eating Steve's crusts, so this was good. You can see the cheese and the meat inside the edge. Not a bad pizza!

 Then, during the latter end of  baking cookies for the guys to take to work, it started to snow!!! Yes, I squealed!!!!!!! Jon took many of the photos-I begged him to!  I wanted to go out for a walk, but he reminded me of something very important. Something I learned as a kid in Alaska. When the snow is right, you make a snowman! You don't wait. The next day the great snowman snow might be gone. The most important rule of snowmen building. NOT ALL SNOW IS GOOD FOR BUILDING WITH.

 So, I created Marge. Jon kept checking on me, cuz it was taking so long. The walks sort of got cleared as I went, so it wasn't all play! However, the play was GREAT fun!! Isn't she cute? She is a bit short, the snow is full of dirt and leaves and grass, but she makes me smile!!!!! I just had to take a snow person selfie.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

December warmth~

Moses and Maxwell T. Silverstone know how to enjoy a cold December day! Thankfully, it has gotten warmer, although we still don't have any snow. It tried today (12-20), but after a brief snain, nothing. 
 As you may have noticed from previous readings, I absolutely ADORE red salmon. I had some and wanted to do something different with it. I found a super delish, amazing, tasty recipe and opted to use it. The odd part? I've seen this recipe elsewhere, but when I read the one found on the link highlighted, it made my mouth water! The words and phrasing Marzia used were perfect!
 I didn't use as much honey as the recipe called for and the fish was still slightly frozen. Thus, the photos in the link are much better than mine. The caramelizing she did was beautiful! However, I am sure ours tasted better (Alaskan salmon does). :o)
 I'd like to share another link. This one takes you to a nativity you can stick to your fridge. I have a great many nativities around my house and this one is fast becoming a favorite. I've sent off into the world copies of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and His manger. Sharing His birth and sharing an author friend at the same time is pretty cool. The magnets are the worst part, for me. I had some that were great and those were the ones I sent away. The ones I had left were wimpy, as magnets go. Some of them would not even adhesive spray stick to the shape (they would fall off after they dried!). Many of them were perfect for sticking to the fridge, but alas, you could not stick the baby to anything but the space above the magnet on the manger or Mary. He floated! I learned some magnets have 'power' levels on the back. I needed something stronger than 2. It was a great deal of fun to color and I'll do more for next year.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

50's Christmas Tree!

Coming up with new ways to use old things is one of my favorite things to do. I made tree garlands from old worn out fake Christmas trees in 2012 (follow link!). I made SEVERAL different kinds of garlands and placed them all over the house. I had so much FUN! Over the years adaptation has been necessary. The garland over the blue curtain is now on a different door and the garland I made for the stairwell was taken apart (hanging that garland was always dangerous as the stairs are super steep!!) and I turned part of it into my 50's tree!

When you google dress form dummy trees, you get a zillion hits and images. I have had this lovely dress form for several years and often put her (I call her Oprah, she does dress very well!) in some of my Gunne Sax dresses. Unfortunately, she needed oiled and the dresses were too small for her. SO, Steve fixed her up. She was prime material for a project! I decided to take this dress dummy from 1915 and decorate her. She is pretty short, so I asked Steve for a box to set her on. She is now a smaller version than she used to be, although, her waist is still an inch larger than mine was in the 80's....
 I wanted to give her a 50's look. Where would we be without google??? I looked for ideas on skirts and tops and came up with a red top and button up sweater. I originally had her in a bright red sweater, but it was too big!!!!
 I added a bungee cord to hold in the fake boughs. Steve straightened out the hook parts and then ended up cutting them off to make them a little shorter. They were sticking in her rib cage area!!!
 If you use real boughs, it is a good idea to create a chicken wire 'cage' to put the branches and decor in. The odd garland from the stair, I bent down to make a fringe. This was wrapped around her middle to make a waistband.

She is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!! 
We had gotten our hands on a short string of battery operated Christmas lights. There were perfect for this project of mine! I 
 I tried the three light settings and preferred the white lights. The blinky ones were a bit much. Jon suggested we name this Christmas gal Lady MacBeth, because she was disguised as a tree. I told him it wouldn't work. She doesn't have hands and couldn't wash out that spot. I then said, the one thing we will NOT name her is Holly. Jon grinned and said, "Short?" I had no choice. Our Christmas tree is now Holly Short (see awesome books by  Eoin Colfer!). Jon also decided Holly needed a helmet. It didn't last long. We were pretty sure Foaly would have wired this Yuletide gown with a potent arsenal!
 Introducing, a lovely 50's dress made exclusively for Captain Holly Short, LEPRecon. (Lower Element Police for the uninformed!)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Krispy Brownie Fluff

This is not a recipe to make in minutes. But, it is absolutely delicious! You need a few ingredients and patience. I'll share my photos and directions below, but I also understand how irritating it is to not find the recipe til you get to the bottom of a blog. Therefore, the recipe is first. :o)
1 box of brownies
4 cups mini marshmallows/small jar of marshmallow cream
1 1/3 cup chocolate semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 TB margarine or butter
2 cups crispy rice cereal
Bake brownies. While still warm sprinkle on marshmallows or drizzle on cream. Place back in oven for 2 min to melt and then spread over brownie. COOL completely. 
Microwave chocolate, marg/butter, and peanut butter until smooth. Add cereal and mix to coat completely. Drop on to cooled marshmallow layer and spread to edge of pan. Cool completely before cutting. 

So, you will need your basic box of brownies made per directions on box. You can make home made brownies, but I prefer the lazier method. I bake them in a larger cake pan (9x13). (The directions I have for this recipe suggest lining the pan with parchment paper or non stick foil. I've never done this. I don't know why it is suggested, but am sure someone had a good reason.) When the brownies are done and still warm, you sprinkle 4 cups of mini marshmallows on top--or dab on blobs of Marshmallow cream. Place back in the oven for 2 minutes, or so, and spread across the brownie to make a lovely sticky white layer. This is the patience part cuz you need to let the whole thing cool completely. I sometimes will put them in the fridge to help speed things up toward the end of my patience and to make sure the marshmallow is stiff.
 After a long time, find a microwave safe bowl and put 3 TB of butter or margarine in it. Add 1 cup of creamy peanut butter, and 1 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. I used semi-sweet. Microwave and stir until the chips are melted and ingredients combined together.
 Add to this chocolate goo, 2 cups of crisp rice cereal. Most people use the plain rice krispies, my family prefers the chocolate kind. Mix completely and drop onto the confection you are creating.
 Once it is all smoothed on top of the marshmallow, no one will know you have layers of decadence waiting to be cut! But, you have to wait again. The chocolate topping needs to solidify before you dive in with a knife. I actually broke the tip of one of my best knives on the edge of one of these. So, now I cover it and let the layers meld together and soften the brownies if I've baked them too long.
 Finally, it is time to cut into these delectable brownies. Hooray! The marshmallow pulls away, reluctant to leave its chocolaty home, but you must prevail. The brownies are sooo messy and yummy. They can be served on a plate with a fork, but licking a plate is less acceptable than licking fingers. So, go for the finger/hands method. They wash.
 I did not include how many you can cut from each pan of Krispy Brownie Fluff. If you have my family, larger pieces are more efficient. Your family might be different. No matter, have fun and enjoy!

Thursday, November 05, 2015

It's a Parade!!!

Hops are one of the strangest, most fascinating plants around. You can use them in many ways (most people make beers from them) and in later fall, they are an organic (and somewhat itchy) confetti! 
 I decided, since we had such a pretty day, the things needed taken down. Usually Steve does this, but I opted to this year. (he is working on the roof instead!)
 When you tug on the sharp vines (the vines have some sort of coating that scratches) to get them out of the trees,  dried petals release from the cones and float down through the sunshine onto the ground. Lovely!

 They would make a beautiful indoor dried floral arrangement, if the petals were more firmly attached.
 The single start I got from Elgin (I think this is where I got it) grows up into my neighbor's tree almost every year. We try to aggressively trim it, to help contain the vines. But, missing a couple of weeks allows it to escape and the darn thing takes off. Hoping someone on Tex's side can get her tree free from this confetti creature.
 No parade is complete without balloons or Japanese Lanterns to line the path.
 Dancing fairy lights illuminate the world as they reflect off the tiny pond.
 Spectators oooh and ahh over the display of colors gracing the participants.
 Even the dollar plants are ready to empty their purses into the crowd!
 Everywhere you turn, it is apparent the parade is here for a long couple of weeks, rain or shine. I, for one, am very thankful.