Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

December 27, 2016

Dragging Towards the New Year

I was a busy baking bee in the days leading up to Christmas.  I wanted to make goodie plates for my friends as well as try a couple new recipes.  The result was:

Peanut butter fudge and Italian knot cookies.....

Banana breads and cranberry breads...

Gingerbread cookies...

Rice krispie treats....

And for Christmas Day, snickerdoodle blondies.

Took a few closeup pics of the ornaments too.  They look so pretty with the lights.

These next 2 ornaments were made by me when I was about 9 or 10.  I have 6 of them.

Part of the Putz village.  A few years ago I dyed those trees pink and added the glittery snow.

I am so glad I got this multicoloured tinsel tree.  I'm not sure where I picked it up but I'm gonna guess Fred Meyer, out in WA.  It's sooo pretty and sparkly.  I want to keep it out year round.

I lined up the reflection of the deck rail lights on the driftwood thing.

Christmas Eve was rainy which was awesome.  I got all my errands done early and had time to do some food prep for the next day and update the family photo album.  We got Chinese takeout for lunch/dinner but unfortunately it didn't set well with either of us.  Needless to say it'll be awhile before we will get Chinese again!!  

Christmas Day was cold and clear.  We visited my mom in the morning then headed home to finish all the food prep for the kids' visit that afternoon.  Russell got us all scratch tickets but only 2 of those were $10 winners unfortunately.

Some of the food stuffs.  I forgot to take a pic of the deli platter I made with the meats and cheeses. A few years ago we ordered them from Stop & Shop and were shocked at how little stuff was provided for the prices.  It's cheaper to do these myself.  It's more time consuming, but it's fun. 

Happy with his shrimp and the horseradish/ketchup sauce he makes.

My amazing and awesome stepkids and girlfriend.  


The day went by really fast.  The kids left around 3 or so and we just hung out and grazed on the leftovers.  Now it's time to take everything down and put it away till next year.  Everything looks so pretty, colourful and glittery but it's time to get the house back to normal.  Hoping to have everything cleaned up by the end of the week.

Looking forward to seeing 2016 end. It was mentally and emotionally exhausting.  George Michael dying on Christmas Day was a terrible surprise.  This year took a lot of great people.  Some expected due to age, but the others weren't.  We are hoping for a quiet New Years Eve.  We're just gonna hunker down at home and order a pizza, and go to bed early.  Our days of staying up to midnight are long over!  

I'm hoping 2017 will be a better year.  Happy New Year everyone.  See ya on the flipside. 

December 19, 2016

Taking Some 'Me' Time

I've finally had a few days to myself where I could spend the day in pajamas and vegetate.  Well not really vegetate...I was really productive doing fun things alongside the chores and errands.  I really needed this time too.  

This is another Mill Hill beaded cross stitch kit.  This one was hard because of all the light coloured floss against white paper.  And then stitching all the white beads on it too.  

I have OCD (shocking), so when I finished the polar bears, I realized I had 23 finishes for the year.  23 is not as aesthetically pleasing as 24, so I did this ornament over the course of two days.

There was an amusing conversation on Facebook that revolved around a stocking for Russell.  I offered to get one for him him and write his name in glitter if he wanted, and our daughter in law chimed in with, 'make it pink glitter'.  Challenge extended?  CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.  

I promised myself that I wouldn't go nuts with the Christmas themed altered art like I did last year, mostly cause we just don't have the room.  I'd seen something similar to this on Pinterest and I really wanted to do one for myself.  I'm a real sucker for the 'vintage look', even though decorations in the 40s and 50s didn't really look like this.  You can find all the vintage-looking items online...I got that ballerina (which is supposed to be a skater for this project) from the Tiny Things Are Cute website last year.

I unearthed a set of 30 mini coloured LED lights and thought they might look good on a winter tree scene.  My first attempt, I did a silhouette tree with the lights.

But you can't see the tree at all and when you look at it, all you could see were the lights.

So I spent a few hours, fixing the tree by adding green and snow.  I made the ground white and added trees in the background, then used blue, green, silver and crystal glitter paint all over it.

It's still dark but at least the tree and ground stand out better.

Whipped up a quick Christmas gift.

The grocery store was out of my fave Lofthouse sugar cookies so I made a dish of cheesecake bars. I'd never made this before and it was so good I was eating it right out of the dish!  I gave my stepdaughter a huge hunk of it just to get it out of my house!!

And then I made a batch of my own sugar cookies.  More baking to be done later this week.

I do love the dark winter nights and Christmas lights.  It's so cozy in our livingroom.  (I was watching 'Big Bang Theory').  Sagan's in Pepper's bed, which I washed.  He seems to be using her bed more than he's using the couch, which is a surprise.  Sometimes I see him coming out of my craft room, where Pepper's ashes are, and I would like to think that he's gone in there to visit her.  

I have the most thoughtful friends ever.  My friend Sarah sent me this Sasquatch ornament.  She's a believer, like me.  

Again on Facebook, I'd happened to comment on my friend Ami's decorations post (really just in passing), that the little blue misfit plane was my fave and how cute he is.  Imagine my utter shock when this showed up at my house from Ami!  I so appreciate my friends.  I am truly humbled by their gestures.

I expect to be somewhat busy this week.  I have a lot of baking I'd like to do, and of course cleaning the house and trying to eradicate some of the glitter that's ground into the carpet.  We'll be hosting the kids on Christmas Day and doing deli platters which we (read: I) assemble ourselves.  It costs a little more and takes a little work, but they are so much better than the ready-made platters from Stop & Shop.  Their large size which allegedly feeds 16-18 people is a joke.  Yeah, 16-18 if every person took just ONE slice of cheese or ONE slice of meat.  

I hope everyone has a good week!  

December 16, 2016

Pepper Pepperoni Puppington: Best. Dog. EVER!

Pepper's been my gal pal since February 2003 when she was adopted from the Tacoma Pierce County Humane Society.  We bonded almost right away and she was my constant companion from then until December 1, 2016.  She was about 2 at the time of adoption, so she lived to a ripe old age.  She was well traveled:  Long Beach WA, Neilton WA, Cannon Beach OR and all across the country in 2011 from Washington to Massachusetts.  She even went to Maine with us that fall.

Gotcha Day, February 19, 2003, Bonney Lake, WA

Halloween 2003, Maris Farms Corn Maza in Buckley, WA

She hated costumes, headgear and posting for corny photos.

She snuggled with me every night on my bed.

She went to my office quite a few times.  My bosses Steve & Robyn, and my friend Debby, loved her too.

Windy late afternoon on Long Beach, Washington

Cannon Beach, Oregon 2005

She loved snow

Downtown Tacoma, September 2006

Christmas morning with her new toys.

Princess P

After we moved east in 2011 at my mom's house

Romping at Scusset Beach.  This is the way I want to remember her.  In the past year she went downhill so much and could hardly walk anymore.  But she did live 14 months longer than the ER vet gave her in September 2015 so that's something.

Such a sweet face, soulful eyes and velvety ears.   

In the past couple of years, you could see that her spark was going.

But sometimes the old happy pup would come through.

She was trying to steal the empty pizza box.  This is one of the last pics I took of her.

I miss her so much.  I have her back though, in a nice cedar box and the place also sent a paw print in clay.  And I have her collar and tags.  Bye little Beanie.  I will always love you.