Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wax Paper

I love it...where would I be at Christmas time, or any other time, without it. Every important leaf and flower in my life was pressed between two pieces of waxed paper and placed in a heavy book. When baking a layer cake I cut out wax paper circles to place inside the pan so the cake comes out whole. Learned this from my Mom and still do this especially with birthday cakes. wonderful Christmas caramels wouldn't taste so wonderful if you didn't have to unwrap the wax paper before eating the caramel. My favorite candy store Beernstsens still wraps their most delicious suckers in waxed paper. You can make pictures and place mats by using two pieces of waxed paper and placing things like leaves and such between the sheets. When I was a girl sandwiches for lunch were wrapped in waxed paper. I was reminded recently how much I love waxed paper when my sister, Angel, posted her fruit cakes on our family web site. Anyone would want a slice of those beauties bundled in waxed paper and on the cupboard to cool.

You can make a butterfly with two pieces of wax paper and some broken color shavings...just cut out in the shape of a butterfly two pieces and put the shavings between the papers. Iron on low heat...make a little hole in the top to hang it with and put it in a window.

I hope you are taking time to have fun with your holiday celebrations.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A favorite short Christmas story about the gift of love


by Pearl S. Buck

He woke suddenly and completely. It was four o'clock, the hour at which his father had always called him to get up and help with the milking. Strange how the habits of his youth clung to him still! Fifty years ago, and his father had been dead for thirty years, and yet he waked at four o'clock in the morning. He had trained himself to turn over and go to sleep, but this morning it was Christmas, he did not try to sleep.

Why did he feel so awake tonight? He slipped back in time, as he did so easily nowadays. He was fifteen years old and still on his father's farm. He loved his father. He had not known it until one day a few days before Christmas, when he had overheard what his father was saying to his mother.

"Mary, I hate to call Rob in the mornings. He's growing so fast and he needs his sleep. If you could see how he sleeps when I go in to wake him up! I wish I could manage alone."

"Well, you can't, Adam." His mother's voice was brisk. "Besides, he isn't a child anymore. It's time he took his turn."

"Yes," his father said slowly. "But I sure do hate to wake him."

When he heard these words, something in him spoke: his father loved him! He had never thought of that before, taking for granted the tie of their blood. Neither his father nor his mother talked about loving their children--they had no time for such things. There was always so much to do on the farm.

Now that he knew his father loved him, there would be no loitering in the mornings and having to be called again. He got up after that, stumbling blindly in his sleep, and pulled on his clothes, his eyes shut, but he got up.

And then on the night before Christmas, that year when he was fifteen, he lay for a few minutes thinking about the next day. They were poor, and most of the excitement was in the turkey they had raised themselves and mince pies his mother made. His sisters sewed presents and his mother and father always bought him something he needed, not only a warm jacket, maybe, but something more, such as a book. And he saved and bought them each something, too.

He wished, that Christmas when he was fifteen, he had a better present for his father. As usual he had gone to the ten-cent store and bought a tie. It had semed nice enough until he lay thinking the night before Christmas. He looked out of his attic window, the stars were bright.

"Dad," he had once asked when he was a little boy, "What is a stable?"

"It's just a barn," his father had replied, "like ours."

Then Jesus had been born in a barn, and to a barn the shepherds had come...

The thought struck him like a silver dagger. Why should he not give his father a special gift too, out there in the barn? He could get up early, earlier than four o'clock, and he could creep into the barn and get all the milking done. He'd do it alone, milk and clean up, and then when his father went in to start the milking he'd see it all done. And he would know who had done it. He laughed to himself as he gazed at the stars. It was what he would do, and he musn't sleep too sound.

He must have waked twenty times, scratching a match to look each time to look at his old watch -- midnight, and half past one, and then two o'clock.

At a quarter to three he got up and put on his clothes. He crept downstairs, careful of the creaky boards, and let himself out. The cows looked at him, sleepy and surprised. It was early for them, too.

He had never milked all alone before, but it seemed almost easy. He kept thinking about his father's surprise. His father would come in and get him, saying that he would get things started while Rob was getting dressed. He'd go to the barn, open the door, and then he'd go get the two big empty milk cans. But they wouldn't be waiting or empty, they'd be standing in the milk-house, filled.

"What the--," he could hear his father exclaiming.

He smiled and milked steadily, two strong streams rushing into the pail, frothing and fragrant.

The task went more easily than he had ever known it to go before. Milking for once was not a chore. It was something else, a gift to his father who loved him. He finished, the two milk cans were full, and he covered them and closed the milk-house door carefully, making sure of the latch.

Back in his room he had only a minute to pull off his clothes in the darkness and jump into bed, for he heard his father up. He put the covers over his head to silence his quick breathing. The door opened.

"Rob!" His father called. "We have to get up, son, even if it is Christmas."

"Aw-right," he said sleepily.

The door closed and he lay still, laughing to himself. In just a few minutes his father would know. His dancing heart was ready to jump from his body.

The minutes were endless -- ten, fifteen, he did not know how many -- and he heard his father's footsteps again. The door opened and he lay still.


"Yes, Dad--"

His father was laughing, a queer sobbing sort of laugh.

"Thought you'd fool me, did you?" His father was standing by his bed, feeling for him, pulling away the cover.

"It's for Christmas, Dad!"

He found his father and clutched him in a great hug. He felt his father's arms go around him. It was dark and they could not see each other's faces.

"Son, I thank you. Nobody ever did a nicer thing--"

"Oh, Dad, I want you to know -- I do want to be good!" The words broke from him of their own will. He did not know what to say. His heart was bursting with love.

He got up and pulled on his clothes again and they went down to the Christmas tree. Oh what a Christmas, and how his heart had nearly burst again with shyness and pride as his father told his mother and made the younger children listen about how he, Rob, had got up all by himself.

"The best Christmas gift I ever had, and I'll remember it, son every year on Christmas morning, so long as I live."

They had both remembered it, and now that his father was dead, he remembered it alone: that blessed Christmas dawn when, alone with the cows in the barn, he had made his first gift of true love.

This Christmas he wanted to write a card to his wife and tell her how much he loved her, it had been a long time since he had really told her, although he loved her in a very special way, much more than he ever had when they were young. He had been fortunate that she had loved him. Ah, that was the true joy of life, the ability to love. Love was still alive in him, it still was.

It occured to him suddenly that it was alive because long ago it had been born in him when he knew his father loved him. That was it: Love alone could awaken love. And he could give the gift again and again.This morning, this blessed Christmas morning, he would give it to his beloved wife. He could write it down in a letter for her to read and keep forever. He went to his desk and began his love letter to his wife: My dearest love...

Such a happy, happy Christmas!



Friday, November 24, 2006

Old Gramaw Almost asleep

Seen here with my sweet grand babies watching The Polar Express after a wonderful family Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Enjoy your day tomorrow

A Child's Prayer

Thank you for the world so sweet

Thank you for the food we eat

Thank you for the birds that sing

Thank you God for everything

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Christmas carol

Here  comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus,

Right down Santa Claus lane

Vixen and Blitzen and all his reindeer

Pullin' on the reins

Bells are ringin', children singin'

All is merry and bright

Hang your stockings and say your prayers

'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight!

Monday, November 20, 2006

An Interesting Day

I like to have different Christmas trees every year since my children are grown and gone.  Before that it was always the tradition of the same decorations which I also loved but it is a little sad without my children to discover them on the tree.  So now I sort of have themes.  It's always a little hard to come up with something.  This year, though, I'm going to use the four little trees I bought a few years ago.  I've used them before but not as my living room tree so I'll see if it works out.  I'm going to paint them first...the big one will be black, the next will be silver, the next gold, and maybe the little one will be blue or pink, not sure yet.  The biggest one will have all white decorations.  I looked around for some today and they are not easy to find. not at the treasure stores or at the seasonal places.  I don't even know if fake trees will take a spray paint.  It should be a learning experience.  I did find a white angel that I'm going to use.  I'm looking forward to Christmas cleaning the living room so I can get started on my new project.  Hope whoever stops by is also having fun preparing for Christmas.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Good Day To Decorate The Yard

I put some decorations out in back, the side and in the front.  It was warm (39) and sunny and there was a Packer Football game in town so not a good day for shopping.

I have a big Santa in front, Owen will be so excited to see will his Dad and Aunt I'm sure.  I have a candy cane path, some green and white lighted candles and also some chrystel ornaments on the bushes in front.  When the sun hits them they shine and put out tiny little's so cool but I can't catch it in a picture.

In back I have the drummer boy and the nativity scene.  The pictures above are from my yard.

I'm going to do some reading.  I have a good book.  Nicholas Sparks, A Walk To Remember.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A knitting craft

This is one of my knitting projects.  It's fun and easy to make and a cute Christmas decoration too.



Knit this Santa as a cuddly toy, Christmas door hanger or homemade Christmas ornament.


  • small amounts of worsted weight yarns, in red, white and black, plus your color choice for face

  • small amount of pillow or toy stuffing

  • US size # 8 needles ( 5 metric)

    Gauge - 5 sts = 1 inch

    Directions: NOTE - Legs and arms are worked the same, except for the hand part. See below.

    For Legs, with black, cast on 4 sts. Knitting across, increase 1 st in each st across.

    ( 8 ) sts.
    Row 2 - Purl
    Row 3 - Knit
    Row 4 - Purl. Cut black, join white.
    Rows 5 and 6 - Knit across in white.

    Cut white, join red. Work in stockinette st, ( knit 1 row , purl 1 row ) for 8 rows.
    Bind off. Make another leg the same.

    For Arms - cast on and work through row 2. Cut black, and join white, and start working on row 5. Finish as above.

    Fold arms and legs in half and sew seams, set aside.

    Body - with red, cast on 26 sts. Work in stockinette st until work is 2 inches long from beg. Work 2 more rows in stockinette st, then bind off.

    Fold body in half on sides, and sew up back seam of body. Sew legs to bottom and arms at top, each side.

    Head - With color choice for face, cast on 7 sts.
    Row 1 - Knitting across, inc in each st across ( 14 sts )
    Row 2 -Purl
    Row 3 - Knitting across, inc 1 st in every " second " stitch across ( 21 sts )
    Purl 1 row, knit 1 row, for 4 rows, then purl one more row. Cut yarn. Join white and knit 3 rows. Cut white. ( note that white will end at the knit row, you will now begin on purl side )
    Join red, and purl across.
    Next row - Knitting across, decrease 3 sts evenly spaced across ( 18 sts )
    Next row - Purl across.
    Next row - *Knit 2, knit 2 tog * repeating between *'s across row, ending knit 2 ( 14 sts)
    Next row - Purl across.
    Repeat these last 2 rows ( 11 sts )
    Next row - Knit 2, knit 2 tog, knit 3, knit 2 tog, knit 2. ( 9 sts )
    Next row -Purl.
    Next row -* Knit 1, Knit 2 tog * repeat between *'s across row. ( 6 sts )
    Next row -Purl
    Next row -* Knit 2 tog * across row ( 3 sts ), turn and purl these 3 sts tog.

    Cut yarn and fasten off. Sew up back seam of hat, then as you sew down back of head, stuff head lightly, and finish sewing seam.

    Sew head to top center of body. Embroider eyes on top of head.

    Beard - With white, cast on 2 sts, and knit 1 row.
    Row 2 - Knitting across, inc in each st ( 4 sts )
    Row 3 -Inc in first st, knit across, inc in last st ( 6 sts )
    Row 4 - knit across.
    Row 5 - Inc in first 2 sts, knit across, increasing in each of last 2 sts. ( 10 sts )
    Row 6 -Knit across.
    Repeat last 2 rows , 3 more times. ( 18 sts ), ending on a knit row. Bind off.

    Sew beard to front of face, extending narrow ends up to top sides of hat.

    NOTE - We bent the tip of the hat to one side of head, and sewed it in place.

    For white pompom for tip of hat, wind white yarn around your first 2 fingers tightly about 12 times. Slip off fingers, tie center of the loops firmly. Cut loop ends, and trim even into a small ball shape. Sew this to tip of hat.
  • Thursday, November 16, 2006

    Trying again, first entry

    My other journal became corrupt when it was hacked by?

    Here is a recipe that is a good snack I think...

    Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

    1 Devil's Food Cake Mix

    14 ounce can pumpkin

    1/c cup water

    bake at 350 degrees for 16 minutes.

    This makes 24 cupcakes at one point each. 

     Accompanied by a cup of tea and a good book, they hit the spot and help to warm up a winter evening.