"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark."

~ Saying of the Gladdagh Gypsies of Galway


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winter in the Orchard


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'm Perplexed?

I am not complaining. Let's get that out there now. I know this could be a lot worse.

But I am perplexed....perplexed at the women who talk about how they love/loved being pregnant. I am curious what it is they loved about it?

Did they love the nausea? The feeling of a hangover without the booze?

Did they love the weight gain? The shortness of breath?

Their husband having to put on their socks and shoes for you?

The expanding waistline which requires a whole new wardrobe? *cha-ching cha-ching*

The aversion to foods? The feeling that you need to eat a whole cow right.now! ?

The heartburn? The heartburn brought on by drinking water? Or even eating bread?

The heartburn that feels like someone is stabbing you in the back with a knife?

The heartburn that requires you to buy a gallon of milk every other day just to calm it's embers?

The heartburn that requires you to sleep sitting up because if you lay down, it worsens?

The heartburn that is with you 24/7 regardless of tums, pepcid or milk?

The frequent trips to the potty in the middle of the night that hurt because the baby is on your full, pea-sized bladder that can clearly hold no more than a rain drop?

I am just curious what all these women who love/d being prego love/d about all of the above? Please indulge me :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Wrap-Up

I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas (if you celebrate!) with your family & friends!

This is my family on Christmas Eve! Down in front is my Dad & Mom, and along the back, from left to right, we have my sisters fiance, Frank, my sister Kellie and her son, Ben, my brother-in-law, Jay, my sister Mallory, my brother, Kyle with Mal & Jay's daughter, Madelyn, and of course me and my bump with hubby on the end :)


Uncle Bob got his 'leg lamp'! For those unfamiliar, watch the movie 'A Christmas Story'!



This is my nephew Ben, amazed with all the presents!


Christmas Morning, Whinny helps Daddy check out his presents!



And this is me on Christmas Evening with Allen's family, my nieces Valaree and Annaliese :)


So, what's everyone planning for New Year's Eve? Any traditions?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!


Wishing all of my readers a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

'Twas 2 days before Christmas

And today found me picking up the last of the gifts, wrapping and baking :)

I made up these Chocolate Biscotti's from a recipe I found at Farmgirl Fare. I decided to take them a step further and dip them in white chocolate :) They'll be packaged with some gifts in the morning. Cheesecakes are in the oven now and Thumbprint dough is in the fridge and waiting for me to roll it out and bake it up tomorrow morning :)


And I now know the joys of trying to gift wrap with a cat in the house! She wouldn't, couldn't, absolutely WOULD NOT leave the ribbon alone!!




Sunday, December 19, 2010

Silent Sunday

'Waiting for Santa....'


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Silent Saturday


Guarding the Hay

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

And the first Blizzard hits!

All last week the news channels were warning us of a blizzard coming our way starting Sunday night. Here is a view from our back patio door around noon on Sunday.


"Blizzard? Ahhh, I am too tired to worry about a blizzard!!"


This is a view from the back patio door around 4pm on Sunday. A nice, light powdered sugar dusting of snow :)
Enough to give a festive touch to the season......


But by Monday morning, things had changed....and this kitty knocks out whatever is in her way to ensure a front row seat to the show!


This is about noon yesterday (Monday). I worked from home due to road conditions. [I love my boss!] Apollo would be the crazy one hanging out his head in the blizzard, watching me work through the window, and obnoxiously calling out to me to come let him out to play in the snow!


And this is at around 4pm yesterday.....right before I decided to venture out and put the horses out back for a romp in the snow. Walking 4 horses back through the orchard to their pasture in what seemed like 10 ft of snow is usually not daunting, unless you are 7 months pregnant and you know your husband will kill you when he gets home and sees what you've done ;)


Yes, the horses pasture is back past all those apple trees you see lined up behind the barns. And this pic is also from 4pm-ish yesterday.


But this is perfect weather for the woolly ones :) They LOVE to romp around in the snow....especially Apollo. But even Gypsy busts a few moves and feels good in this weather! She might be 26, but she is 6 at heart! (Unfortunately, my camera battery died before I got the little ones out so no photos of their snow fun)



And this was about 6pm last night. The small, teeny tiny light you see (if you can even tell the difference between it and the snowflakes) just above the roof of hubby's work van is him plowing a path from the barn to the pasture for me. Like I said, he was less than thrilled that I tromped through all that snow to walk out 4 horses. I'll admit, I was a tad exhausted....but this chick still cleaned 4 stalls afterwards too! Who says being prego has to leave you on the couch!!! I just need more breaks into between my work ;)


And there is something about being bundled up, outside in your barn, with your horses, in frigid, single digit temps that makes you warmer than you probably are. I wasn't cold at all last night; out there chucking ice from water buckets, flinging frozen poo balls and waddling my way through snow drifts! I love wintertime with the horses :)
It's funny, just a few months ago, back in November, Allen and I were bringing in the horses and there were bugs all over. We mentioned how weird it was to see bugs in November....and just a few short weeks later, not a bug in site ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Recipe: Grandma's Spritz Cookies


As I promised in my post yesterday, I would get my Grandma's Spritz Cookie Recipe posted. So many people make these cookies, yet I have found the recipes differ from person to person. So, here is the way my Grandma made 'em and now, the way I make them! Enjoy!

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks, room temp
  • 2.5 cups sifted AP flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp almond flavoring (or butter or whatever suites your fancy. I like Almond!)

Cream together your butter and sugar. Add your unbeaten egg yolks & beat well. Mix in your flavoring and your food coloring. Slowly add your flour & salt in and mix well to combine. Fill your spritz press with your dough and then press out your cookies onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake approx. 8-10 minutes at 375* (Oven cooking times vary depending on your oven!)

Other Options: Add sprinkles or candied cherries to your spritz cookies!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Baking, Take 1

This weekend I started my holiday experimenting baking. The funny thing about me and baking is that I am not much of a bakery type of gal. I don't really dig cake, or frosting's for that matter among other things. Yet, I seem to bake a decent amount.

So anyways, I started with something I honestly would never eat; Homemade Toasted Coconut Marshmallows! I know that sounds strange, but I am just not much of a marshmallow fan or coconut (in this form) fan either! Yet, I watched the Barefoot Contessa make them and then decided I needed to try them out. Hubby likes marshmallow and coconut so he could be the judge!

I must say, though I haven't tried one, they look and smell delicious and hubby is addicted to them :) He is requesting these be a new holiday tradition to be made every year!

Then I tired a 'new' recipe from a cookbook I picked up at a local antique store copyrighted from the '60's. They spell 'cookie' as 'cooky' in this book - cracks me up! Anywho, these are Butter Waffers (recipe to come soon for those interested). Because they contain Allspice, I thought they had a slight pumpkin pie-ish taste and hubby said they tasted like a Snickerdoodle. Regardless, they were good!


And then last, but not least, I whipped up two batches (to start) of my Grandma's Spritz Cookie recipe :) I know I said I am not a bakery fan, but these spritz cookies do me in; I think I ate half my inventory today! I don't know what it is, but I LOVE these :) And I even use Grandma's old crank & turn Spritz press to make them! These keep well so I will be doing a few more batches in other Spritz shapes and in green color too. I might even experiment dipping some in chocolate.


I know everyone's Spritz recipe can vary and I am happy to post my Grandma's to share...soon. Right now, I have OD'ed on cookies and milk (gesh, this kid sure has me craving things I normally do not eat!) and it is time for me to hit they hay!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Roulette; A Poem for Animals

This poem was written by a reader of the blog, House of the Discarded. It is so true and hits home for all animals. Please, think before you decide to bring an animal into your home. It is a lifetime commitment. And it is not ok to get rid of it because you're going on vacation or having company for the holidays. And remember all this too before you decide an animal wrapped under your tree is a cute idea!

Christmas Roulette

By: Kristen J.

Red and green stringed beads,Deafen ears once alert For the true souls in need.


Wide eyed and sweet,Once just a kitten at play,Has worn out his welcomeand can no longer stay.

Family time is coming;Turkey, stockings and snow.Too many guests in the house,He will be the one to go.


Kids have lost interest,A new dog is in store!The reasons are endless,He matters not anymore.


The entity of convenience;A commitment on sale.To Kijiji a loved one,Once they become stale.


In the crate he goes,A tearful goodbye even made.The memories are many,But too quickly do they fade.


“Don't worry” promises mom“He'll get a good home soon”.But he is left at the shelter,Heat is low, darkness looms.


The family is in bliss,“A good home” they had said.And still he sits at the shelter,crouched on a newspaper bed.


In fear and terror he sits,The cage so cold and black,He watches the door intently,Sure his family will come back.


Green eyes once so brighthave dulled with passing days.With confusion setting in,Ever vigilant, he still waits.


With empty promises of liesthe family has eased the load.But no happy home awaits,No fork at this end of the road.


He bears no ill-thoughtsNo anger or blind rage.He just wants to understandThe events leading to this cage.


With but one simple thought,A loved companion so easily goes,Blind illusions ease the guilt,And dim the lights on death row.


A new kitten for Christmasmarks where this tale started.But home for Christmas turnedhim to the House of the Discarded.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

'Tis the Season - Etsy Finds!

'Tis the Season and I am feeling just that as I browse through some new favorites I have recently marked on Etsy. I must say, this group I am featuring have been some of the nicest, most enthusiastic, most 'Tis the Season kinda people :) Check out their shops...enjoy...buy a present for someone....

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I LOVE this bracelet. Isn't it gorgeous and oh so holiday-ish! It is by Ami Designs out of Europe. You must check out her shop; I am in love! I love the way she pairs together her colors. Everything feels so festive in there right now!



Ohhh and these earrings by Classic Keepsakes! Her shop is so festive right now too. She has some gorgeous ruby colored pieces as well...check.it.out!!



You've got yourself and others their holiday oufits already, right? But what about man's best friend. He needs to be stylin' too! Check out the ca-ute dog collar's with bows over at Silly Buddy!



How about this ring! There is something eclectic, yet mysterious about it. And I love it! Do check out Chelle V.2 -- lots of unquiness in this shop!! And she is a fellow Ohioan!



I know I have featured La Femme on a past Favorite Etsy Finds blog post before, but what can I say, I love thier stuff! And the color of this necklace fits right in to my 'Tis the Season Theme! Check out their shop; I love their pieces!



And how about we end this weeks Etsy Finds with something sweet! Something from SweetSweeterSweetest to be exact!! These candy canes are so beautiful I would almost feel guilty to eat one!


The talented candy maker behind these beauties tells me “Working with sugar is challenging, but the first time I watched the stripes appear as I twisted the molten candy, I was hooked! I’m so happy to share them with you, have a very Merry Christmas!”



Merry Christmas indeed! Have a Wonderful Weekend and be sure to take a peek at each of these talented Etsy Artisan's!

Complete Novice Chronicles, Take 1

As my previous post suggests, my due date is getting closer and closer. It's time to face reality; their will be a child in our home soon -- 24/7. And the title of my blog couldn't be more fitting for this adventure my husband and I are about to embark on!

I decided it is time to start taking some of the 'baby classes' offered by the hospital. I am surrounded by sisters, sister-in-laws and friends with babies. But this is how I am; I want to take a class on all this too! And Read; I love to read. Though I am no fool; I know nothing will prepare me for the experience more then the actual experience itself!

Enter Chronicle #1 - The Breastfeeding Class. (Boy is this blog ever about to enter into uncharted territory!) I am not going to lie. Breastfeeding has always seemed so 'taboo' to me...until I ended up in my current position of will I or won't I try to breastfeed my own child baby. (I can tell you, for certain, you won't see me breastfeeding a kid approaching his first birthday!! No Way!)

So anyways, I went to this class alone. The description said husbands are encouraged/welcomed, but I thought, c'mon really? Whose going to bring their husband? Is it necessary? [And besides I have 4 horses that needed fed and cleaned!] Well, I will tell you who brought their husbands .... everyone in the dang class but me! *sigh*

I shall also note that it is a good thing I came from work - translation - I was dressed semi-appropriately! I didn't realize dress code for a Breastfeeding Class was designer, spiked heel boots, jackets, purses etc etc etc....you get my drift. If I had come from home, I would have been in jeans, a sweatshirt and tennis shoes. God Bless the Women, I guess, who feel the need to look like they are walking the catwalk at 8 months+ prego ;)

I won't go into to much detail about this class - you can get the idea - but I will say that I am glad I attended. Great info and so much I didn't know or realize. And I am sure if I attempted to breastfeed w/o going to this class, I wouldn't have stood a chance at being successful!

But, one thing I want to know, in the video they showed us, why was the woman demonstrating with her baby dressed in lacy, leopard lingerie? *cough* That was less than flattering on her *cough* I sure know, breastfeeding or not, after giving birth, that is the last thing you'll see me in! More like my favorite pj pants donning bleach spots all over them, a hole and probably an oversized shirt of my husbands with a turkey, deer or bass fish plastered over the front of it! Now that is sexy, eh! Oh yeah, and probably hair that hasn't been brushed in 2 days ;)


Monday, December 6, 2010

Smack of Reality!

This is a photo of the bulletin board hanging next to my desk at work. (Do you think I have enough kid pictures on it! How will I have room for my own kid! ha!) I always have a 4 month outlook posted on it for various reasons but also maybe to subconsciously make me panic about upcoming events.


So as you can see from my self added arrows, the 4 month outlook now shows today, as well as the baby's due date. I cannot believe I am looking at today and the baby's due date on the same wall! For each of the next few months that pass, when I take down the past month and bump each of those others up a notch, that means another month closer to the baby being here! WHOA - can we put the brakes on this? Or wait, maybe can we get this rolling? I'd love to feel myself again ;) Heartburn after every meal is really becoming a drag; especially when the it doesn't matter what the meal is. It could be PAPER and I'd have heartburn. Bahhhhhh

P.S. The Life on a Southern Farm blog has a giveaway going on today through Dec. 9 for one of their awesome 3 Hole Chicken Nesting Boxes. If you have or are planning to get some egg layers, these would be awesome! I know hubby would be shocked and in awe if I have this under the Xmas tree for him this year!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Life of a Cat!

Look closely! There is a [spoiled] black cat in these phots :)





Saturday, December 4, 2010

Looking for inspiration....

I am trying to pick colors for our nursery. I am not an interior decorator. I hate making decisions about decorating! If I see something I am don't think right away "that's it", then I don't like it!

So, we have no 'theme' for our nursery! I just want to pick some colors and we'll go from there! I finally decided, or so I thought, I'd do some kind of sage-y green color and find a chocolate colored floor rug since the floor in the nursery is a wood floor. So, we went this evening to look at colors and I found something I really liked, which was no where close to a green!

We bought a sample, got it home, and put some on the wall. I am not sure how I feel about it now. I think it is awful close in color to what I have the hallway painted in. But, we'll see when I add on the second coat.

The trim in the room is white and we cannot really afford to replace it, though I really despise the white trim! So I am hoping to find a color that will look nice with the white trim, or find a color that I can mesh with the trim if I were to paint that as well.

I want something different than your usual nursery colors and I am not finding much inspriation as I look online. I like warm, earthy tones and bold, bright tones. I am not into cold and pastel tones.

So, help me! Give me your ideas for a nursery design or colors. Or send me the places you look when you need inspiration for decorating a room in your home. PLEASE!