Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 ~ The Year In Pictures

This has been a year of unexpected struggles for me. A year of dealing with what is and what won't ever be again. Some of the struggles I thought were behind me. Others have been new skirmishes on new terrain. However, where shadows are, sunshine is, too. Overall, it was a good year and one of the fastest ones that I can recall.

2011 - Looking Back

January - Holding Ainsley for the first time.

February - Showing off my first painting after my first (and only) class.

March - Getting ahead of spring-cleaning.

 April - Watching the waves on Galveston Island.

May - Making memories on Mother's Day weekend.

June - A month of sun, fun, fresh veggies and lampshades.

July - Babysitting Miss Ainsley.

August - Nana house-sits and Ainsley entertains.

September - Birthday month for Nana and "official" picture time.

October - A road trip to the Smokies with Twin Sis.

November - Seeing what the Nutcracker Market is all about.

December - A month of giving, receiving and special birthdays.

Happy New Year to you and yours. I hope 2012 is a year of prosperity, promise and peace.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Baby Ruth Cookies

I love how Facebook brings you together with long-lost friends you would never have reconnected with otherwise. One such friend sent me this cookie recipe for the holidays. Baby Ruth is my favorite candy bar, so it was a perfect fit.

The key to a great, gooey, soft cookie is not overcooking. I removed mine from the oven in 10 minutes. The next batch I left in for 12. They were hard and had to be thrown out.

Baby Ruth Cookies
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (or margarine)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 - 1 1/2 cups of Baby Ruth candy bars chopped

Sift flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla.
Stir in dry ingredients untill well blended, then mix in candy.
Chill dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Drop dough by teaspoons onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake 10 - 12 minutes, but do not overcook. They will NOT be brown, but a blonde color.
Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack.

Yields: 2 1/2 - 3 dozen

Click on link (Foodie Friday) for more delicious recipes.

Leslie Has A Birthday

As hard as it is to believe, my Leslie turns 26 today. I'm grateful for the joy she's brought to my life. She's outgrown my lap, but she'll never outgrow my heart.

Happy Birthday, Leslie! May your wishes come true.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dogsitting Charlie Girl


My daughter is on a flight to Las Vegas to celebrate her birthday tomorrow with friends. I reluctantly agreed to dogsit while she's away. So far this morning, my firewood tarp has been left in pieces and firewood has been scattered all over my patio. Not exactly how I envisioned my vacation, but...

Live and learn.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Magical Tree

I find great pleasure in putting Christmas carols on, dimming the room lights and staring at my tree. Night or day, it's truly magical.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Homemade Christmas

Our family draws names for Christmas, and after much debate, we decided on homemade gifts this year. Instead of swapping lists and shopping for each other, we would make a one-of-a-kind something, orfor those less craftymaybe bake a favorite goodie to exchange.

Yesterday found me working diligently on one of my gifts. I've never crocheted scarves before (I'm the queen of afghans), but this is turning out to be the Year of the Scarf. It's ice blue, velvety soft, and I hope I'm done in time for Santa to deliver it!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Home for Christmas - 2011

Welcome to my home, sweet home! At the end of long days, it is my haven of rest, and I'm grateful for God's provisions. I didn't do a lot of "decking the halls" this year, but I do hope you enjoy looking around.

I found this old window at an antique mall. My twin sister was kind enough to buy it for me. It hangs in an opened arch over my piano. I wonder what stories it could tell.

 This wreath seemed to fit it perfectly.

Wrapping gifts is a joy for me, and I take great pains in choosing paper.

Extra Christmas ornaments make a lovely display in my Waterford bowl, a wedding gift from almost 30 years ago. It is a treasure of mine.

The decorative plate is dated 1985, the year my daughter was born.
It was another gift from my beloved twin, and another treasure of mine.

An evening shot of my piano. I LOVE the many reflections in this picture.

A simple mantel of beads and balls.

For my dining room table, I started with an old garland, spray painted a few pine cones, scattered some old ornaments and strung an ancient string of chipped green lights I can't seem to part with.

My tree is the real show stopper. It was purchased after moving into my home a few years ago. I had lived in an apartment for five years, and needed something new and fresh. I could spend hours just staring at its splendor.

 My daughter's dear dog Charlie was visiting Grandma and was wondering when she could join the festivities inside.

A nighttime shot, looking in.

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you and yours have a very merry Christmas, and I'm excited to see your home and all your holiday cheer.

Linking up with:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Musing

It's been awhile since I've been to Blogville, but I'm here today, grateful for a God who is bigger than any problem that arises. Storm clouds are hovering around those I love, but I am a witness that, when day turns to night, and life isn't going as we planned, God will lead us through the fog if we put our hand in his.

On a happier note, I put my Christmas tree up earlier this month. Its brilliance brings me great delight in the evenings, along with a fire in the fireplace, Christmas music in the background and hazelnut coffee in my cup.

Until we meet again, my blogging pals, I pray that your December days are merry and bright.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Giving Thanks

Life is filled with seasons, and at this season of my life, I am most thankful for my dear parents. They have set a godly example to me through the years and have been such pillars of strength, offering unconditional love, prayers and wisdom. My gratitude for them is immense, and only eternity will reveal the full impact their lives have had.

I'm linking to Spiritual Sundays, where Thanksgiving is this week's theme.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mosaic Monday: Sky Gazing

For the last week or so, I've been snapping pictures of the sky as I make my way to and from work. It started with a breathtaking sunrise, and it's continued almost daily. I'm having so much fun that I've decided to make this a part of my day. I never cease to be awed by God's masterpieces.

Here are a few shots from the past couple of weeks. Remember, these are taken with my iPhone, while driving as fast as the law allows, trying to watch the road and watch the sky. Sometimes my windows and windshield  are dirty to boot, but the majesty always comes through.

Linking to Mosaic Monday.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Daughter and Granddog Photo Shoot

I love it when my kid comes to visit for the weekend. Several weeks ago, she'd asked me to take some shots of her and Charlie for a possible Christmas card, so we did that on Saturday. It was perfect weather, and all three of us had loads of fun. Here are a few outtakes.


Even though the one on the left is a hairy mess, drools a lot and normally smells bad, I love them both!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunset Blues

I just returned from a trip to the Smoky Mountains with my twin sister. One evening we grabbed our cameras and went sunset chasing. I couldn't resist sharing this shot of gorgeous blues on Smiling Sally's Blue Monday blog.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Smoky Mountain Getaway

If you've been holding your breath, wondering where I am and when I'll blog again, you get to breathe out now. The twin and I just returned from a birthday road trip to the Smoky Mountains, my very favorite spot for ushering in fall. It was a refreshing time for us both.

Words can't describe the beauty—and cameras can't quite capture it—but I'm posting a few of the masterpieces the Master created while we were there. Enjoy.

Alas, tomorrow, I return to "normal" life, but I'll carry these memories with me for a long time to come. If you've never experienced the Smokies in the fall, you should put it on your calendar for next year. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Back in June, I posted about bringing a pop of orange into my living room via a light-weight afghan. I've worked on it sporadically, at best, but it is now finished. Someone requested I post an "after" picture, and here it is. It's exactly what I hoped for....and just in time for fall!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Do Not Worry

As a divorced woman, way past my prime, the realities of life occasionally haunt my habitat. What will tomorrow look like for me? Will I have to work till I'm deaf and drooling? Will I die in my house alone?

During such times of anxious thinking, God's Word is my greatest source of strength. A particular inspiring reading for me is the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus instructs us not to worry about the necessities of life.

"Consider the lillies of the field," he said, "how they grow." They don't work or sew, yet kings aren't clothed in such royal finery.

And what about the birds of the air? They don't sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet, not a day goes by that they aren't fed.

"Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow," Jesus said, and I hear him talking to me. "Even if your health fails and your work ends and you're deaf and drooling and others aren't there for you and can't provide for you, I can, and I will. So cease the worrying, sweet child of mine. I'm all you need. " ♦

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:26 (NIV)

I'm linking up with Spiritual Sundays
Please click over and be blessed.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Amazing God

My dad had cataract surgery last week. I talked to him right after the procedure. He was in good spirits, hoping the outcome for this eye would be as good as the first one had been. Isn't it amazing what skilled physicians can do?

The Great Physician is even more amazing.

Need heart surgery? (Psalm 51:10)

Eye surgery? (Luke 24:31)

Ear surgery? (Mark 7:35)

Or maybe you need cosmetic surgery. God's skilled hands aren't limited to making the old LOOK new; he makes the old BRAND new. (2 Cor. 5:17)

Best of all, his office never closes, and the transformation is free.

I'm reposting my blog from earlier this week and linking to a favorite place of mine: Spiritual Sundays. Click on over!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Chocolate Sundae at Lunch

I generally choose to lunch in my car and let the world go by. Call me weird, but I enjoy the serenity and alone time. Once the burger is finished, I head over to Sonic and order a chocolate sundae. True, I often pay more for the sundae than the burger, but the creamy, rich treat is well worth it to me. Especially during these dog days of summer.

I'm sharing at Simple Pleasures today.