Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Snow Play

After a great breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes we went out to play in the snow.
Here's Winnona hunkered down in the barnyard.

And a Winnona eyed view of the farmhouse.
Enough snow to make it pretty but not enough to have to shovel.
Just right.........

Until we tried to go sledding.  Because the fields were mowed earlier in the fall, the grass was a little too tall and the snow a little too little to make it possible.  But this team gave it a valiant effort for a while trying to make a "sled run" by pushing snow over onto the trail.  But finally they gave up and we went for a hike.

Down to the pond which was mostly frozen except for a couple of nose holes.  Whose nose we aren't quite sure.  Probably snapping turtle we think.

Everything is downhill from the farm house.  Unless of course it is uphill from there.  That's what happens when you live in the foothills.  There's Winnona in the distance.

From the pond we hiked down, down, down to the stream.  Which was still flowing beautifully over the rocks.  I was the only one who ventured ALL the way down as you can see from this shot.

We walked all around what we call the white trail, even when it's not snowing, and took this shot of the fields and mountains on our way back UP. 

Check out that wood lot.  No wonder the house is so warm in this very cold December weather.
There is NOTHING like a wood stove to warm you down to the bones.

Here's the woodsman bringing some more back in to the stoves.  Any one wanting to help split is more than welcome. It's great exercise and food is provided to keep up your strength!  J

Later on Winnona put on her new socks and here she is modeling them.

Carrie leaves tomorrow and we'll be sorry to see her go.  But 2011 is right around the corner and we have LOTS to do so we'll have to stop this playing stuff and get busy.  J

Santa Knows

Somehow Santa always knows what you need or want. 

A new Associate Attorney needs information on dealing with the tax implications of actually having a salary.
Santa to the rescue.

The loving daughter took pity on Mr. Dunk His Camera and got him this fine gift. 
This is camera #3 within the past 3 months, can he keep it out of the drink??  
Anybody want to place a bet?  :-)

WOW now this flag is definitely big enough to display what I love!
Thank you Carrie!!!   Winnona can hardly wait to display it when she's settled in her site.

Click this pic to see the logo on the hat.  When I first met David he was riding a Harley and was definitely Born to Be Wild......ah what a difference the years make.  :-)

Well I tried clicking it and it still isn't readable enough so here you go.

Sporting new Celtic earrings to remind her of a college semester in Ireland,  Carrie is already engrossed in one of several book gifts.   This one really grabbed her interest and having read it myself, I can say it is a great read.  Title: See You In A Hundred Years.
Check it out.

Thanks to my dad, I'm ready to take on the Everglades and any other mosquito infested kayaking trail.  The suit also comes with mesh pants which I did not model.
Pretty attractive huh??

Santa even left gifts for Winnona
brand new socks!

And a platform step for her short legged owner.

We had a wonderful time under the tree as the snow fell outside.  Later we watched one of our holiday movies.  This year Miracle on 34th Street.   And then off to bed to rest up for some snow play tomorrow.
See you then.

Holiday Fun Part I

Carrie has returned to work and the party is over so I thought I'd take time to post something about our grand holiday.  But so as not to spring too much on you at once, it's coming in parts, just like it happened for us.

I start the celebration on the Winter Solstice.  It's hard to do it up right since it isn't one of those Federally sponsored holidays that our nation supports by closing all its offices, declaring a holiday and giving folks vacation days.   But it should be.  The longest night of the year and the days beginning to wax rather than wane is definitely reason to celebrate.   Makes for a great reason for another cake and presents wrapped in gold.

But since our sweetheart doesn't get the day off we moved the celebration to the 24th
Chocolate stout toasts to more sunshine and warmth!

A little girl talk at the foot of the tree before trimming it.

And home made venison pizza with games for the eve.

Trimming the homegrown tree with home made ornaments and bubble lights!
Love those bubbles!!

Awaiting the morning.

Stockings hung on the stair railings since there is no mantel on a wood stove :-)

Check in tomorrow to see what Santa brings to such good little girls and "sometimes David"  :-)

Crackers on the road???

Most of the focus here has been on keeping warm in this “high temperatures below zero” abnormal weather. That has really slowed things down. But I’m still cleaning out and the loads are going off to the Good Will and Salvation Army.  This is hardly the weather  for yard sales and I’m just not inclined to store it all until things become more “normal” if there is such a thing anymore.

One nice thing about cleaning out “stuff” is that you find things you looked and looked for but never could find.  In this case it was my National Parks Passport and it was right in plain sight.  How I could have missed it is just beyond me but I did and so I don’t have my Cumberland Island stamp among others.  BUT  since that’s a place I plan to return to J it’s not problem.  AND the universe was watching out for me when I tried to buy a replacement passport book and they were out of them. 

Yesterday I did manage to do something else as well.  I made some pizza crackers and they were so good I thought I’d share them with you. I call them pizza crackers because they sort of look like tiny little pizzas and taste a bit like it too.  They are made with flax seeds, fresh tomatoes or dried this time of year, garlic, onion, red bell pepper, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes.  After soaking the flax seeds over night I put the seeds into the food processor, add everything else and turn it into glop.  I put the mix on the dryer sheets by the teaspoon and using the spoon back, spread each one out to be thinner.  They are oddly shaped but they will dry more quickly than if they were  thicker.  I could spread the mix out and cover the sheet and then score them to make the normal square crackers but after a few times of that I decided it took too long and odd crackers were more in tune with my style if you know what I mean.  J

Here they go into the dryer, eight trays of them.

Then you just walk away and 24 hours+ later (depending on the humidity) voila!!  Great crackers for the home made soups so good in this cold weather and for salads when it’s warmer or for just eating out of hand as I seem to do with about 1/3 of what I make as I of course have to test them to see if they are crunchy enough or if I need to leave them in the dryer longer.  Right?? J

Wonder where I can find room for this dryer in the RV?  How DO I decide what to take and what to give away….forever…..or until I realize I should have kept it and have to re-buy it.  J   Easy in some cases but much more difficult in others.

Snow is predicted for tomorrow which is very uncommon in December for us or it was until last year when on the 18th we got two feet.  Crossing my fingers this is not Snowmageddon Part II.

Great Idea for December Birthdays

Bitter cold continues here and the weather goddess took no pity and gave no break for my birthday.  First let me say that I hate having a birthday in December.  Especially one sandwiched in between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  You know all your life that parents and partners simply take one of your other holiday presents and wrap it in birthday paper.   PLUS, you never get anything but winter clothing and can never have a pool party,  J  With all that grumbling said, this year I’ve figured out how to compensate for the lack of sunshine, warm temperatures and being sandwiched in. 

Have birthdayS.

My birthday is December 7.  Yes I know, everyone's comment is.... “Pearl Harbor Day”.  I will not mention my mother’s too often repeated comment about when the real bomb was dropped.  I never thought that was funny but she sure did. 

This year December 7 was on a Tuesday but I had one festive day after another, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.   Now that’s how to do it.

David made me my favorite moist chocolate birthday cake with yummmmmmyyyy butter cream icing.  This is what happens when you ice it too soon.  Warm cake - the letters slide downhill. J   It was supposed to say “HB 2 U” on one line and “60 Something” on the next but here’s what happened.

Still it was delicious and since it was a sheet cake, there are  LOTS of leftovers.  Mmmmm 

Day #2   I had delicious home made carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing with my friend Pam who gifted me with a pair of merino wool socks she had hand knit just for me.  WOW!   Cupcakes were delicious and socks are beautiful, warm and I feel her friendship every time I wear them. 

Day #3  My friend Lynda took me out for dinner to the local Thai Restaurant just off our Downtown walking mall where we had a great time chatting and eating Pad Thai.   The restaurant allows you to choose your level of spice from 1 to 5.   IF you actually can eat all your #5 entree they post your picture on the wall of fire eaters.   Wimp that I am, I had #1.  Lynda, whom I consider to have a fire retardant tongue had #3.   I forgot my camera so no pics of us, the restaurant, the firewall or the delicious pad Thai.  L

Day #4  Out to the Mud House with my friend Kathy.  Espresso for her Hot Chocolate for me.   Like everyone else, she wanted to talk about “the trip” and my plans.  Easy conversations.  GREAT and get things squared away so I can be out there permanently.

And so concludes my birthdayS.    I highly recommend that if you are unfortunate enough  to have a December birthday, this is the way to do it.  Make it special, make it last for days!!!!

Cold Motivation

Well I just have to grumble about this weather thing.  Today’s high is 34 and the low is 18.  The normal lows, not highs,  in early December here are in the mid 30’s.   And there’s no end in sight.  We actually had a dusting of snow – WHAT? – on Sunday morning.  All the more reason to get in gear to get out of here.  Cold motivation for sure!!

Coming back of course we found quite a few more things than the furnace that need to be taken care of.  Luckily “most” of those are inside.  But when you don’t have a furnace, you have to split firewood weather or not.

We’ve noticed a lot more stuff that needs to go.  Quite a lot and have been inspired by others’ blogs to get rid of even more.  But this time of year is not conducive to yard sales and we hope not to be here in the spring sooooo it looks like lots of donations.  J

So what else have we been doing you ask?  Or maybe not, but I'm going to tell you anyway.  Our local theater “The Paramount”, refurbished about a decade ago to its early 1930’s elegance, showed the holiday film It’s A Wonderful Life last Friday.  What a great and timeless movie.  And so wonderful to see on a BIG screen.  No matter how big your home entertainment center is, there is nothing like the even bigger screen in the movie theater with other people laughing and ohhing around you.  Throughout the year, the Paramount brings in The Metropolitan Opera simulcasts to our little city as well as lots of stars who are on tour.  But their showing of vintage movies for the reasonable price of $6 a seat is a really great community service.   Earlier this year they had the newly redone version of The Wizard of Oz and the color and sound were fantastic. 

Tonight is the 43rd annual "Messiah Sing In" which will be directed  by Dr. Donald Loach of the University of Virginia’s Music Department, who started it back in 1968. Don’t you love traditions? The community all comes together at the University of Virginia’s great musical acoustic space Cabell Hall and you sit in whatever sectional part you are going to sing (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) with  scores provided by the music department for a donation to their scholarship fund unless, like many in the community, you’ve been doing this for years and have your own score.  (That’s ME)  There is also a volunteer orchestra of whoever shows up.  Hopefully one trumpet at least if you know the Messiah!  Listeners sit in the loge or the balcony and it is a wonderful no rehearsal, no professional singers, no big deal, fun for all.  Beautiful singing of magnificent music. If there is a “sing in” in your neck of the woods, give it a try.  You’ll love it I know.

Sorry no pictures.  I’ll try to do better next time.  Although not wanting to be outside for more than 5 minutes does limit my opportunities.

Thoughts are things.  Make them good ones.  Life is a Law of Attraction.