Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sun Today, Snow Tomorrow

Oh, the weather outside is... sunny?  It's 34 deg. F outside and the wind is forecast to begin blowing soon.. and snow is forecast for tomorrow!  Amazing.  But for now the sun is illuminating our dining room and it's oh so pleasant inside with the fire burning away in the pellet stove.  I just noticed that there are 3 bottles of sparkling cider still on the floor from our Thanksgiving dinner.. lol!  We better put them outside to chill.  :-) Kristi bought these chair covers last year, aren't they cute?


This is my view from my easy chair in the den.. it sure brightens my mood when I see this sunny room.


I have been hand addressing my Christmas card envelopes.. I am using the same card as I only used half of them last year.  I have my printer print them up as he uses glossy paper and they turn out so pretty.. I do the design using one of my own photos.  



I wrote our annual Christmas family newsletter yesterday and Dayle took this photo of the boys for it.. and my daughter sent a cute photo of our two granddaughters for me to use and I found two new photos of Shawn's boys for it too.  


Kristi's grandmother sent this to her, it's the cutest thing.. it's an emergency preparedness kit - a dozen candles that fit in a canning jar, they screwed on a pvc pipe end cap on the lid which goes down into the jar for storage and when you need light if the power goes out or some more dire emergency, you are set for light for quite a while.  Isn't this a neat idea?  


I noticed Simba, our feral cat friend, sunning himself on our back door welcome mat.. 


I was trying to get a photo and my iPhone tapped the window and up he rose in alarm, looking for trouble.  LOL!



I put my wooden Nativity carousel on the table.. we lit it for dinner the other night and the boys were fascinated seeing the top twirl around driven by the heat of the candles.  


My swimming companions, Gracie and Denise, could not join me today to go to the hot springs to swim.. so.. I twisted Dayle's arm and after much complaining and whining he has agreed to accompany me for lunch at Big T's and then to swim.  I hope the weather holds out today!  And I also hope the snow does come tomorrow although it's supposed to change over to freezing rain and then to rain.. but a short snow is still fun.. isn't it?  What are you up to today?

((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Monday, December 5, 2016

It's SNOWING and Cozy Living Room

Hello!  I'm as happy as I can be!  It's snowing!  And we're doing more decorating and tidying.. and it's looking so festive around here!  


I took some photos outside and then Dayle took my iPhone outside and got some more.. he's getting quite artsy and got this neat one with the lamppost in it!


The snow was collecting on the bamboo and papyrus by the pond.


Oh how pretty it is.



Lots of fluffy white flakes.


Our house.. which needs a new red paint job next summer.. right?


A peek of the barn from the driveway.


The deck.. do you see something cute?  Kristi's sister found this VW bus cooler on a trip to Texas and bought it for her and gave it to her for her Christmas present!!  :-)



Are you chilled from the walk outside?  Please come on in and warm up by the fire!  And have a seat on the new sofa!  Each end actually reclines, by a motor activated by a slim lever in the side of the cushion.  The chair is also a motorized rocker recliner.  Oh my, it's very comfortable.


A better view of the sofa.  I still have some decorating to do but it's mostly done!  I think I need a few Christmas pillows for the sofa.. right?


Looking from beside the tree for a better look at the new chair with the baby grand piano in between.  I've been practicing my Silent Night on the piano and have started teaching the boys to play.  


Dayle cleaned the fireplace and the glass doors, laid a fire and lit it for me.. isn't he a dear?


Such a cozy room at Christmas time.



My beloved Jim Shore Santa, sleigh and three reindeer.  


The tree being decorated by Hayden and Caleb. 


Kristi put the things up high and I also hung ornaments.  I do have more crocheted hearts and snowflakes to add.. but it still looks great as is.



I think I'll go in and do some more piano practicing.. do you play an instrument?  I see my 2 wood firkins under the piano, I think I need to put those somewhere else, and the rope you see if from 3 very large glass fishing floats that I keep under the piano because.. I'm not sure where else to put them!  LOL!



I'll have more photos to show you as I finish up the decorating.. how are you coming on yours?  Have fun during this season!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

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 *H*A*P*P*Y* * *H*O*L*I*D*A*Y*S*!*!*!*
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Friday, December 2, 2016

Swimming in the Hot Springs

Greetings!  My sister Denise, Gracie and I went swimming at Bonneville Hot Springs on Wednesday.  The water was extra warm and it felt nice as my feet were kind of cold, the weather was rainy and chilly.  My sister snapped some photos in the lobby while I brought the car around.  The lodge staff were involved in decorating while we were there.  Below is a cute Santa.

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The fire was blazing in the lobby.



The tree was up but not decorated yet.


When we drove over the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks from Oregon to Washington, we enjoyed seeing several lighted displays leading to the bridge.  On the way back it was getting dark already so I snapped a few photos.


I just got these two, but there were many more clever lighted scenes, skaters on a frozen pond and even salmon jumping up a waterfall.  :-)


My son and his friend went sturgeon fishing yesterday afternoon in Ernie's boat.. they did not catch a fish but my son did catch this image which I thought was kind of cool.



Yesterday we attended the Portland Women's Forum meeting which was fun, we exchanged gifts, sang Christmas Carols, had a great lunch and had a white elephant sale.  Then we came home and waited for the furniture delivery man.  They took away our old sofa and love-seat and brought in the new antique red sofa and a chair.  It's a lot roomier in the living room now.  I'm going to decorate in there today and will try to take some photos for my next blog post.

Do you decorate for Christmas?  Do you do it minimally or go all out?  Here's to a wonderful weekend!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

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 *H*A*P*P*Y* * *H*O*L*I*D*A*Y*S*!*!*!*
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Upgrade and Tree Up

Greetings my friends!  My Hibiscus has been blooming quite a bit lately, it was mad, I think, because we'd hung a hanging basket outside where it sits in the dining room window cutting off it's light.  When I asked Dayle to move that basket, it thanked me by putting on buds.  :-)


Dayle and I were out running errands all afternoon yesterday.. and we came upon this fabulous public art installation by our light rail max station.. I just love this thing!  In the day it's amazing but at night it really puts on a show, the colors change and move.  I put my phone out the window.. yes I did.. and snapped this image.  Isn't it fun?  I went to the dentist, we went out to lunch, bought dog food and went to look at a new sofa and chair for the living room.  Our old set was all scratched up by our cat, Lucy, and needed to be replaced.  We did find a set, can't wait to show you, it should be delivered tomorrow.


My big news is that after waiting for a LONG time.. a new MacBook Pro was brought out by Apple.  My 4 year old laptop was pretty filled up and Dayle needed a newer one, so of course I had to get a new one so he could have my old one.. right?  I ordered one right after the announcement and then impatiently watched the process online as my order was received, prepared for shipment and finally shipped.  I eagerly watched the tracking - it started out in Shanghai, China. Then on to Japan, Korea, Anchorage, Alaska, Nashville, Tennessee and finally it was on the truck for delivery!!  It came on Friday.  Exactly one month to the day I put in the order.  Then began the (to be honest, painful) process of transferring data and programs and photos, etc.  I finally had to call Apple tech support and talked to "Eddie", my new best friend.  I used the "migration assistant" and via bluetooth the data was transferred overnight.  


THEN.. trying to figure out how to turn on the thing.. lol.. and I was missing a bunch of stuff.. oh EDDIE.. turn on the cloud to get the stuff I didn't have.. buy an update of QuarkXPress so that would work.. load MS Office 2016.. etc, etc, etc.  But after toiling away over the weekend I'm in business.  Sheesh.  I got the Space Grey color as they didn't bring out gold or rose gold (fie on you, Apple!).



We have the tree up!  I will be working hard this weekend to decorate the tree and everything else.  More on that soon.


I saw this image on Facebook.. it's not mine and I'm not sure whose it is.. but I borrowed it.  If you know the photographer, please let me know so I can give credit.. but isn't this gorgeous!  Mt. Hood and Timberline Lodge at night with a sky full of stars.  I am getting the pull of my heart to go up and visit soon.


We're off to the hot springs today.. before it closes and becomes a rehab facility.  :-( . What are you up to, today?  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Hello friends!  We sure did have a good Thanksgiving day yesterday.  I hope you had a good one if you celebrate.  If you don't have Thanksgiving where you live, you might want to start.. LOL!  It's a day to have a feast to celebrate all the things you're thankful for.  Each of us went around the table to say what we are grateful for, it was nice.  Mainly it was for each other.  :-)


I put on a fresh tablecloth and had my tall son hand me down my turkey dishes from the cabinet above the fridge.  I found my fall napkins and set the table with candles, crystal and silverware.  I wish you could smell the house right then, the aroma of roasting turkey with sage dressing.  


For this photo I set a few things on the turkey platter, my pilgrim couple and my 2 majolica ceramic turkeys.


I saw one of these turkey plates on a blog a few years ago and thus began a search for some.. and found a set on Replacements.com.  It's called "His Majesty" by Johnson Brothers.



Dayle is our turkey chef.  He chops onions, celery and parsley and sautes it butter, then adds organic chicken stock and dried dried bread cubes, pepper, salt, poultry seasoning and lots of rubbed sage.  Then he stuffs what he can into the turkey and puts the extra in baking pans.  He had begun to carve the turkey before he remembered we hadn't taken a photo.. lol.


I put my son in charge of the green bean and french fried onion casserole.. it takes a math major to convert the ingredients by two and a half.  :-)  Plus, he needs to learn to make this stuff.  I was the "overseer".  He also peeled the fresh yams and potatoes and put them on to boil.  When the yams were almost done, we drained them and put them into one of my Dansk red enameled steel baking pans and I cut butter and dotted them with it and sprinkled that with brown sugar and shook some "cinnamon plus" over the top and then spread miniature marshmallows over that and baked it.  While those were in the oven I mashed two batches of potatoes with half-and-half and some salt.  I put those in my red Dansk pot and covered them to keep them warm.. after adding a chunk of butter on top and sprinkling them with paprika.  



I then made a slurry of water and flour, added some more broth to the turkey drippings and whisked it all together until it thickened.. and the gravy was PERFECT!  Here is our dinner all set to savor each bite.  :-)


Now it's the day after, we're watching a good movie on TV, by the fire and working up an appetite for.. LEFTOVERS!  LOL!  This scene is behind me.


I will close with a poem I wrote years ago when all my siblings and their children came to the farm for Thanksgiving.  We've all had our families grow with grandchildren and now have separate dinners - but this one will remain in my memory as one of the best times in my life.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 


The Heart of Autumn

Memories -- they roll through my mind.
All the years of Thanksgiving celebrations.
I remember them, with family & friends,
Different places, different faces.

Now, our home is where we gather.
It is because it is so right here.
The big old farmhouse, the barn,
The big oak tree obliges with leaves of red.

The family arrives, Dad brings ice cream.
Mom brings the pies fresh from her oven.
Robert, my only brother, brings his
Family from afar. Thank you brother.

As I open the door to our farmhouse
Welcoming Sister Roberta and her clan.
We all walk into the warm, steamy fragrant room.
Drinking in the smell of roasting turkey and sage.

Baby sister Denise brings her young ones,
What would the day be without them?
Thanksgiving day, we have always come together
The family draws tight as if by an unseen magnet.

The table is set with my finest china,
Napkins are folded like sculptures.
Goblets await cider, candles are alight.
The preparations reach a crescendo.....

Then, Dayle pulls his perfect creation,
The biggest turkey he could find,
From the oven, and the room quiets.
We all gather around, and glory in the scene...

A family, full of love and cheer.
This is the true America, our pilgrim
Ancestors would be proud, of what
Their brave adventure has wrought.
And we are filled with thanks.

Copyright 1995 by Teresa Kasner

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Wow, it's amazing how things can change in one year.  This photo is from our Thanksgiving dinner last year.  This year there will only be 6 of us around the table.  At least we don't have to add 4 leaves to the table!  LOL!  If you are new to reading my blog, our daughter and our two granddaughters live in Ohio and do not spend the holidays with us since they moved 5 1/2 years ago.  Our son and his family have moved to California and my son is now a long haul truck driver and will not even be home for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  :-(  

But we will have a turkey and all the fixing and I'll set the table with our turkey dishes, silver and crystal and we will feast and be happy and toast all our blessings and the year ahead.  I hope those of you who celebrate will have a great day with friends and family and a delicious meal.  I will have photos on Friday of our day tomorrow.


I noticed that there were a few flowers on the back of my Christmas Cactus in the bay window behind our easy chairs.  I asked my son to turn the pot around for me and lo and behold.. there were lots of flowers in bloom on it!  I had consolidated 3 different plants into one pot and so you will see 3 colors of blooms, white, coral red and one from my mother's room that I rescued right before she passed away - it's a magenta pink rimmed flower with a white center.  Isn't this neat!  


Kristi snapped this photo of Simba - he's all curled up on a chair.  She feeds him treats that he loves.  Our little wild cat.



I've been a homebody for a few weeks.. trying to absorb things.. we have a fire in our pellet stove which warms and soothes me.. I immersed myself in the Country Living Christmas issue while my warm little dog sat in his place on my lap.  I'm already thinking of packing away my little ceramic turkeys and bringing out the Christmas decorations.  :-)


In this issue they had their real estate section as usual but this time it was all red houses in honor of the season.  I've been campaigning with Dayle for years now to paint our house red to match our barn.  I showed him this one, which is similar in building style to our old farmhouse and lo and behold he said maybe!  That's better than in the past.  :-)  (The photo is blurry, I snapped this with my phone out of their magazine.)


I wanted to thank all of you who sent good wishes to Dayle and Kristi.  Dayle perked right up after some rest.  His back is better and no more dizziness.  Kristi is not doing well and has been taken to the doctor by our son, please keep her in your good thoughts.

And so.. I will wish you a wonderful day tomorrow and hope love and joy are in your heart.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-)