Wednesday, December 30, 2009


It has been snowing off and on for a week, so I thought I'd warm up by posting a few flower photos from the past year.


White Wednesday is hosted by Faded Charm Cottage.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

White Wednesday, Christmas present edition

I usually "wrap" presents in gift bags. My kids don't think it's much fun, but I love being able to reuse the bags and hate the waste of paper.

This year, I came up with a compromise. I wrapped boxes we can reuse (mostly shoe boxes because the boys seem t outgrow their shoes every other month) and bought pretty ribbon, too.

I found some "carry out" style boxes that hold little treasures.

And a couple of large white boxes for bigger gifts.

We can store Christmas decorations in the boxes and reuse them, the ribbon and even the gift tags next year.

Everyone was happy with this idea.

Merry Christmas.

White Wednesday is hosted by Faded Charm Cottage.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


During this last week before Christmas, among the last of the shopping, wrapping, baking and letter-writing, Baby reminded me to slow down.

I put down my list, which has grown to epic proportions this week, and enjoyed the tree and Christmas music.

Skitter Kitten sat on the arm my chair and purred.

My oldest son was out playing in the snow, and my youngest son was practicing piano.

Peace, in our homes, in our towns, in our countries, and in ourselves--that is my wish for Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday 12/17/09

Old friends are one of my greatest treasures. They know my past, including my mistakes, and accept me for who I am. They are the ones who can share my joys, console me in times of crisis, and give me great advice. I am so fortunate for my decades-old friendships.

My friends who live close by have been a great support. We don't have any relatives closer than 4 hours away, so I have been able to rely on local friends to help in times of trouble, and to celebrate holidays and family milestones.

Even though many friends are in different parts of the country, we keep in touch. Sometimes we plan vacations together, or visit each other. Those are special times. Thank goodness for email, and free weekend calling on my cell phone so we can chat and share photos between visits.

I enjoy making new friends, too. The internet has given me some great new cyber-friends. Blogging and emailing are wonderful for someone who works at home like me.

I'm so thankful for my friends.

And now, to get to know you better, I have one of those questionnaires. My answers are on them.

Please post yours in the comments, or on your blog with a link.

What is your salad dressing of choice? Balsamic Vinaigrette. I hate most creamy dressings, except a perfectly made Caesar.

What is your favorite sit down restaurant? La Belle Vie -a great Minneapolis French restaurant that we go to on birthdays or anniversaries.

What is your favorite fast food restaurant? Big Bowl (Asian food) carry-out

What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of? Fresh cherries

What are your pizza toppings of choice: black olives, sausage, and green peppers


Are you right-handed or left-handed? Right.

Have you ever had anything removed from your body? Tonsils, ovarian cysts (twice), gall bladder--I'm not sure what other non-vital parts are left!

What is the last heavy item you lifted? The coffee table, to make room for the Christmas tree.

Have you ever been knocked unconscious? Yes--pre-op drugs


How many televisions are in your house? Two. we had one for years, but when we completed our family room this summer, we broke down and got a second.

What color cell phone do you have? Black.

If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die? NO

Last person you talked to? DH

Last person you hugged? Youngest son before he left for school.


Season? Fall. I love the colors.

Holiday ? Easter. Growing up, this was when we had our family reunion on my Mother's side. I hope to go this year.

Day of the week? Friday--no after school activities for the kids, so no driving.

Month? September/October


Missing someone? Parents and sister's family---they'll all be together for Christmas and we can't go. :-(

Mood? Over-scheduled

What are you listening to? News on the radio.

Watching? Looking at my computer, and watching the birds at the bird feeder

Worrying about? My niece.

What's the last movie you saw? UP. We rented it this weekend. I was so surprised by the love story aspect.

Do you smile often? Yes. I have so much to be thankful for.

If you could change your eye color what would it be? More green. My mom's eyes are an amazing green, but mine are hazel.

Do you own a digital camera? Yes. Dh and the boys got it for me for Christmas last year.

What's on your wish list for your birthday? New headphones for my iPod.

Can you do pushups? A few

Can you do a chin up? NO

Does the future make you more nervous or excited? Excited

Car wreck? Hit by a drunk driver 21 years ago, and a couple fender-benders where I was rear-ended.

Do you have an accent? Midwesterners think I do.

Last time you cried? Saturday night, after talking to my sister about her Christmas plans.

Plans tonight? Drive oldest son to get his H1N1 shot, and to Lacrosse practice--then have dinner.

Name 3 things you bought yesterday? Two magazines for the boys, and a book for my great niece.

Have you ever been given roses? Yes. The last time was on Valentine's day. We went out to lunch, and DH had ordered a sweet little bouquet to greet me when we arrived at the restaurant.

Met someone who changed your life? Yes. DH.

How did you bring in the new year? At home with family playing games until midnight.

Would you go back in time if you were given the chance? Yes

What songs do you sing in the shower? None

Who was the last person you took a picture of? My sons.

Are most of the friends in your life new or old? True friends are people I have known for years.

Do you like pulpy orange juice? Yes

What is something your friends make fun of you for? My fear of heights

Last time you ate peanut butter and jelly? This summer.

What were you doing 12 AM last night? Reading and waiting for DH to get home from work.

What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Hit the snooze button.

Check out other THANKFUL THURSDAY posts at Rhondi’s blog.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday 12/10/09

This past Sunday, we had a tree-trimming party and invited friends and neighbors. We had a wonderful time. It gave me a chance to reflect on how fortunate we are to have so many special people in our lives.

We moved to MN 17 years ago, from FL. I had never lived in the midwest but my DH grew up in this part of the country. We were hours away from our closest family (DH's) and very far from my extended family.

Fortunately, DH had some friends from college nearby, and we have some very nice neighbors. They have included us in their family events and celebrations and we have never felt lonely.

This year, we invited the friends of our children, and the friends' families. Now we have new friends to enjoy.

After the tree was decorated, we all enjoyed coffee or punch and cookies. I had the kitchen table set up as a cookie decorating station. It was the most fun I have had in a long time.

This Thankful Thursday, I'm so thankful for the friends who have made MN a great place to live and raise our children.

Who are you thankful for?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.........

It's WHITE WEDNESDAY, inside and out.

This is the first nativity scene DH and I had. It's made of paper and folds flat in an envelope---perfect for a young couple with little storage and even less money.

My dear S-I-L gave us this tree about 10 years ago. It came with red and green balls and we kept it decorated that way for years. After enjoying so many of everyone's WHITE WEDNESDAY posts, I decided to add a little more white to my decorating.

This is on our four-season porch, and I love the way the sun plays on the ornaments.

As I looked around our house, I found a few more winter whites.

Yes, that is a cotton garland on the bookcase. I found it at a small shop, and laughed until it hurt. I grew up in the south, and in early November, the fields were beautiful--white with cotton. It's a sight I don't get in Minnesota.

One of my orchids brings a tropical touch to the winter landscape.

Outside, we finally have our white, too. Yesterday we had a real Minnesota snow storm, and it painted the yard with a lovely white.

You'll find more links to all things white on Faded Charm Cottage.
Have a warm and wonderful White Wednesday.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I am so thankful for ADVENT, and for the time each evening when we light our Advent candle.

This time of year is often cluttered with shopping, cooking, parties and other must-dos. While each can be a pleasure or a chore, depending on how overwhelmed I'm feeling at the time, sitting down to dinner with my family and lighting the advent candle gives us all a chance to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and prepare our hearts for Christmas.

Please visit Rhondi’s blog and check out the other THANKFUL THURSDAY participants.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


A little WHITE WEDNESDAY whimsy from my china cabinet.

This china was my M-I-L's second-best china. The best went to the oldest granddaughter, who graciously hosts many family events. The everyday china went to my S-I-L who is married to DH's oldest brother.

I was thrilled to get this set. We use it only for special guests at small dinners--we only have 8 place settings.

When we began decorating for Christmas on Sunday, I planned to add quite a bit of white and silver to the trimmings. This is new for me. We usually have so much snow outside that the thought of more inside made me feel cold.

When I started following Annie at THE BUNNY BUNGALOW, I learned the joys of decorating with white.

Even though few of my every day decorations are white, I am planning to incorporate more white in the future.

Stay tuned for more Winter Whites this month.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Skitter Kitten

In non-skitter mode.

Strange, but true, Skitter Kitten got in my lap today. FOR THE FIRST TIME, without food to entice her. Sorry, no photographic evidence.

I will remember this December 1st for a long time.