While we are only in the shadow of the birth of Jesus Christ, the relevance of this big event holds true even today. The meaning carries such strength and power, and its giving couldn't be easier. To love, to extend the hand of kindness, to share and witness what grace has to offer for everyone has significant meaning. For in giving to others, we gain a sense of peace, quiet joy, and a feeling of worth. We can't possibly solve the problems of the entire world, but within our own sphere, we truly have the power.
There are two ways to look at this very stressful thyme called the HOLIDAY SEASON. You can view it as a super explosion of stuff that needs to be done, here, there, everywhere, or you can take a different look, seize the opportunity to view the magic and spiritualness of the whole thing called Christmas Thyme. SHARE A LITTLE JOY BELIEVE KEEP THE SPIRIT REMEMBER THE TRUE MEANING
So in the interest of HO HO HO and having the MERRIEST, take a long look around at what you have, what you don't really need, feel the moment…. deep breath now….ENJOY!
Merry Xmas from Sam
For we need a little Christmas right this very minute, candles in the window, carols at the spinet. And we need a little Christmas right this very minute…. We need a little Christmas now. -song by Jerry Herman
Glad Tidings of Joy. The countdown has certainly begun. Are you readying your home for Christmas? Remember nature when decorating: evergreens, pinecones, fruits and nuts, boxwood, berries, dwarf shrubs,and topiaries of rosemary and myrtle. Think also of cranberries, spices like cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, clove and ginger… so fragrant. Add candles, lights, poinsettias, and your house will be transformed into Christmas wonderland.
Find many pictures and ideas on Pinterest, in magazines, and craft shops. You're only limited by what you want to achieve.
Timely Tip; Remember pets, keep them warm while outside, and keep those bird feeders filled.
Now how about a recipe, see EARTHLY DELIGHTS for GRAHAM CRACKER TREATS >>>>>>>>
December brings to mind many thoughts. Family, holiday fun of crafting, cooking, and celebrating, decorating the house, sharing delicious food and drink with friends, remembering memories of Christmas past, and the most important, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.
With the recent snowfall and drastic drop in temperature, we had to shift quickly into winter mode, rakes to shovels, sweaters to heavy coats, and gym shoes to boots. Thoughts of transforming our homes into Christmas splendor indoors and out took a back seat. Now it's thyme. Get those lights out, tree up, and stockings hung…can you believe 22 days until Christmas!
Now no stressing, stay focussed, take a breath…do a little, do what makes you happy, but remember seasonal calm goes to the top of the list. But most of all….ENJOY!! "HAVE A HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS IT'S THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR"…. -Holly Jolly Christmas, Burl Ives
Ok we'll address the weather later. We're thinking about it but let's move on right now. To the good stuff, although you might look at the coming holiday in a negative way, let's be positive, grateful, and thankful for what we have. COME ON, I know you know that you do…ok..ok. So let's take a look at reducing your stress a bit. Here's what I do to try to and make it a little easier. Make a plan a week or two ahead. And, I want you to write it out. Titles can include: decorating, cleaning, menu, grocery list, and whatever else you want to include on this list. I do my list on a notepad, you might use the computer or phone. Your decorating may be already done, not even started, or nada. Your choice, it's ok whatever you decide. But let me just say, a pumpkin, fall tablecloth, a few purchased flowers, fruits and nuts can do wonders and be all you need. Cleaning will be confined to where you need it the most, where the people will be. Pick up is major for those areas. Do it ahead. Menu is major too. With the menu goes timing. When you eat dictates everything, from when you put the turkey in the oven, to calling the guests to the table. Think it through. If you can make it in advance, do it. I'm not cooking a whole turkey, just 2 large turkey breasts and I'm cooking it ahead, slicing it, then reheating the next day. Your grocery list will come from your menu. This will also include snacks and drinks too. Think ice, mixers, precut, premade, and pre baked. Stick to basics, don't try out new recipes. If you have
others bringing food, add that to the list. Most important think about you..take a breath, a break, squeeze it in! Yes, find the small pleasure and grab it. It's yours. AHHH!
We just have to talk about it, but you see I have this obsession with weather. So picture-sharing thyme.
Sun. Sam helping w/Xmas
Mon. good thing decorating
Stay warm folks. For me I'm purchasing a new electric blanket.
I decided to test the theory about walking for 30 minutes; to lift the spirits, to exercise the body, to trigger the brain cells, thereby making myself more productive. I needed a happiness surge. We were hit a few days ago with an arctic blast, a big chill, a drastic drop in temperature and none of us are happy right now. There we were frolicking at 58 degrees, raking our leaves happily, when
yep, November reality kicked in. Geeze!! Suddenly the pressures of the daily grind hit hard. All because I was caught unexpectedly by this cold front. I needed a change in attitude…. Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections. (unknown) So outside I went, big coat, gloves, scarf, adjusting my mental attitude as I walked. Not so bad. The sun was out, the geese flew above honking, and I caught the scent of smoke.. I bet someone had their fireplace going.. umm wonderful thought. It all began to feel a little better. Endorphins kicking in, stresses ebbing…… And, it all seemed a little easier to take. Yes one foot in front of the other, one thing at a thyme. So time to head back, there's coffee and a muffin waiting. I have some things to do today and I feel OK.
October ended on a wonderful note. Couldn't resist a final picture of this tree.
Beautiful isn't it? As November entered bringing us a taste of the cold and
frost, it also teased us a little with warmth and sunshine. A last hurrah, a gift,
a token to guide us into nature's next season. So we must continue our clean-
up of fall's leaves, tidy our planting beds, plant those flowering bulbs before
the ground freezes, and finish your final pruning and cutting back. Now is a
good time for yard aeration. Remember the tools, hoses, plant pots and
containers and ready them for a put away. Are you thinking snow plow and
generator. It's on Ron's mind and his list of things to do this month. Also on
tap for us…Xmas decorating outside. Lights on the roof happen while its dry
and not to windy. We like to be ready by Thanksgiving Day. Stay tuned!
Sam keeping watch
We decided to take a break after roof activity and take Sam for a walk through our nature preserve which happens to sit right alongside our neighborhood. It was so peaceful.
And what's a Fall without a football game with the family. UCBEARCATS of course. Ron and Ben's alma mater.
We're ready on this end. The 6 o'clock hour is approaching and the candy bucket is full. Now all I need are all the ghosts and goblins, big kids, little kids, anybody in a costume…they all get treats.
*Towns in USA with Halloween Theme names…
Frankenstein, Mo.; Scary, W. Va.; Spook City, Colo.;
and Candy Town, Ohio.
* Did you know $1.9 billion is spent on Halloween candy each
year? Take that Valentines Day!
* First jack-o'-lantern was made from a turnip.
* The tradition of going out and asking for candy was not
introduced to the United States until World War II
*Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America. *The fear of Halloween is known as Samhainopobia. *Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday; Xmas the 1st. *Snickers is #1 as the most popular chocolate candy bar for trick-or-treaters. I'll be watching for you….
Can you stand it? A book review and a recipe. Well the fall season has me wound up. So much to share. And baking is such a big part of the next few months. Oh the smell wafting from the oven is too much. Yes, had to sample. Delicious! Baked apples are a favorite. Easy to make, a favorite from my childhood and this recipe I've adapted a little bit from my Mom's. She so loved Baked Apples. A wonderful memory from way back when, is going apple picking with my family. Up early, something hot to drink, and out the door to the apple farm. Sun just rising, a chill in the air, and all those apples just waiting to be picked. Such fun. We brought home at least 2 bushels. Kept them in the garage because it was cold out there. We were so hungry after picking, and Mom fixed a big breakfast. A happy memory! So see this recipe on EARTHLY DELIGHTS. Enjoy!
Isn't this a great book cover? And the inside does not disappoint. From Country Living, Happy Halloween is a delight. This is another one of my go to books that I've had for years.You'll find it all in this paperback book. Four chapters of recipes, party ideas, decoration how-to, adorable costumes, and of course there has to be pumpkins. Colorful pictures and easy to understand ways to carve that special jack-o'-lantern. There's also templates provided and the cover just happens to be a stencil. A fun must have book, a tingling guide to Halloween. Definite A++.
Wait a minute…whose this guy? He that makes all things possible!
Taster of all my recipes, resident handyman, my sidekick to all my
mindful wanderings…husband Ron. Taking a rest here from our
weekend of leaf collecting. Why he's even thinking about hanging