Thursday, December 30, 2010

"An optimist stays up until midnight
to see the new year in. A pessimist
stays up to make sure the old
year leaves."
Bill Vaughn
Ring out the old, ring in the new
Ring, happy bells, across the snow
The year is going, let it go
Ring out the false, ring in the true
Alfred, Lord Tennesynon
New Year's day is every man's
Charles Lamb
Be always at war with your vices,
at peace with your neighbors,
and let each new year find
you a better man.
Benjamin Franklin
Many people look forward to
the new year for a new start
on old habits.

Monday, December 27, 2010

As Christmas always does, it came on silent
feet . When we are
young we wait with baited breath in our beds
hoping to hear Santa on the roof or the
pawing of a Reindeer hoof. As adults we
hope to get all of the toys assembled before
the first awaking - and then the family grows
up and as the years go by the family changes.
Our family has changed a great bit in
the last few years with the loss of my
husband and our youngest daughter. It
seemed to me that the family had
become very small. Now it is changing!
Richard and Sheri's girls are growing up
and beginning to start lives of their own.
What a joy it is to see the family growing
We began our celebration in the family
room with an appetizer table set with
goodies to sample as we opened our
gifts. A beginning of our Christmas feast.
Danyel, the family clown, cut a pumpkin
face in the Gouda Cheese.

I didn't take as many pics this year as I
normally do, guess I was just to busy enjoying
myself. This is daughter Joan in the white
sweater, in the foreground, is Sheri's oldest
daughter, Brandi, our child that has been
so ill this year and is now recovering nicely.
Sorry this picture is so dark but I did want
to get am overall picture. This is a small
portion of the room.
Brani and her fiance' Curtis. This young couple
will be married next April and we are all
looking forward to the nuptials.
For the first time in 47 years there was a
toddler in the house! What a wonder it was
to have this little one with us. Her name is
Savannah and she is 18 months old. She is
the daughter of Lisa's significant other.
This is Sheri, Richard's wife holding her.

Savannah and her daddy.
The best pictures of Savannah are not on the
camera. They are in my memory. She loves
loves animals. Well, guess what - Eloise is
just the right size for this little one.
The best memory is of Savannah getting
down in the crawl position and kissing
Eloise on the nose. Happenings to fast
to get a camera picture.
All in all, it turned out to be a lovely day. The anticipated snow storm changed its mind and all were able to travel safely. Gifts were exchanged, some very nice, so very funny, all received in good spirits. To me, the most important part of the day, is the meal we share together. There is something about the "breaking of bread" as a family that personifies the spirit of the season and goodwill toward men.
Eloise and I wish each and every one a happy, healthy, and peaceful New Year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

IT'S ME ....
My stocking is hung - it looks just like me.
No way HE can make a mistake!
Our friend, Miss Elinor, brought mom and
me these wonderful cookies to share
with Santa. They are out on the counter
for him to help himself. I will add milk
Friday night to help with his flight

I know it's early - but - I have
been watching for him.

I'm ready!!
We had both of our chimney's
cleaned so your pants won't get dirty.
I promise not to peek!
Eloise and Doris

Monday, December 20, 2010

A short history to introduce you to
my treasure chest. It is my theory
that every girl needs a treasure chest.
I was born and raised in the city
of Washington, D. C. This was
during the time when it was fashionable
for gentlemen to smoke Cuban cigars
and ladies to use long cigarette holders.
My how times have changed!
My father owned and operated
a tobacco shop in downtown
Washington and I often visited with
him after school. At that time
Cuban cigars came packaged in beautiful
mahagony boxes with inlaid tops.
This is the one he gave me for
my treasure box. I think I got this when I
was about 8 years old. I often think
of this box and its contents as to this
day it resides in my bedroom.
The original treasures in this box
were my favorite paper doll and all
of her clothes, my best marble, an "aggie"
of course, and my most precious
- my Wheaties box top
decoder ring!
My ideas of treasures have changed
over the years but these are
cherished memories.
I have a new treasure box!
My friend Barb gave me this beautiful
box for Christmas. It came
filled with cookies which I have
transferred to a tin to keep fresh and
this box is now on my dresser as a
companion to the cigar box.
My treasures have changed but
the memories are as near and dear to
me as any memories could be.

This old leather fold up purse is now

in my treasure box. It was always

carried by my mother.

It contains several silver dollars which I

am sure that many of you have never seen.

Her theory was that if she carried them

with her always she would never want.

They were passed to me upon her


This beautiful porcelain box was given to

me by my husband on our 58th anniversary.

It is to large to put in my treasure box

but it contained a note.

This note is now in my treasure box.

A favorite cameo bracelet that I wore
on a special occasion with special
memories - now in the box.

My mothers charm bracelet that holds
the gold coins that my father refused to
return to the government. Telling my mother
that if the economy failed under
Mr. Roosevelt he would still be able
to be groceries for the family. I am now
ready to pass this along to my
Last but not least by any means. Sorry I
have no picture. A note written on
a sheet of notebook paper, written by
a young child that reads as follows:
Dear Tooth Fairy,
I put my tooth under my pillow
wrapped in a kleenex,
Please leave me a dime or a
quarter. Best of luck
to you.
Unsigned -
I have been unable to decide which of my two girls wrote this note but
needless to say it the most precious possession in my treasure box. This is the most nostalgic time of year for me. I know how lucky I am to have the family that I do but Oh, how I miss those that are no longer here. I hope that each of you will take the time to remember your loved ones at this time of year.
The shopping is finished, most of the cooking is done, just a few more dishes to prepare on Christmas eve and of course the Turkey and roast to cook on Christmas day. A quick vacuum through the house, a bit of a pick up and I am as ready as I ever will be for the big day.
Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year to all.
Doris and Eloise

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On Monday I had planned to attend the meeting of the Blue and Gray hooking froup in Gettysburg, however, the meeting was called off due to the uncertain weather forcast. It was a real disappointment to many of us but we will have our Christmas celebration in January so all is not lost.
I could not afford to waste the day so the Christmas preparations continued:
I made spiced nuts to give as gifts. I had
not made this receipt for some years and had
forgotten just how good it was. Of course, I had
to taste to make sure it was right!
Then on to a dessert for Christmas day.
Chocolate cupcakes for all of the chocolate
lovers in the family. My house is very small
so I like to serve buffet style and have everyone
help themselves. That also gives me a
chance to circulate and talk with everyone.
I admit, I am bored with this whole thing.
Nothing in the pot for me yet. Geesh, I
live here too. You would think that a girl with
a bumb leg would get some attention. No,
just a lot of food going on in the kitchen.

Ooops! I underestimated the food preparation.
This is a crock pot full of chicken gizzards and
thigh pieces cooking for ME!

Well, she is still working on Christmas stuff.
On the cooling rack are the spinich balls. I
made 60 of these last week and they are almost
all gone - so another 60 - requested by
friends. Also a great receipe for a
small gift for friends that request them.

And I always find myself with this!

I am planning to serve a pork loin roast as
well as a turkey for Christmas dinner. So
another make ahead dish in the freezer.
This is the raisin sauce for the roast.
It is yummy and goes over any type
of pork.

I have lots of tools in my kitchen but
not many "gadgets." However, I love this gadget.
It is a digital therometer that has never
let me down. Several weeks ago I bought
prepacked half turkey breast (boned)
thinking that if it roasted nicely I could purchase
several of those to supplement
the roasted turkey. It roasted beautifully
and Eloise and I have been having
it for our dinner the last several nights.

When I cook chicken for Eloise I skin it so
that she doesn't get to much fat in her
diet, as well as remove all of the fat
that I can. I freeze this until I get enough
to render. I was surprised one afternoon
when listening to Jacque Pepin's cooking
show to hear him say that rendering
chicken fat was a French way of doing
things. It was something that my mother
mother always did. I just thought it
was a "waste not, want not" thing. I do
know that until you have tasted an
egg fried in chicken fat you have not
had the full delight of a fried egg!
After the fat is rendered it is liquid gold!
I use it to make liver pate' one of my
special holiday dishes. This is not a make
ahead dish but I will wait until
Christmas eve to prepare it.

No matter what I do in the kitchen
it always ends up this way!!

When I see that many dirty dishes I
just get into my usual position in the
bed. Especially the last few days because
It is soooooooo cold.
Hope everyone is having fun decorating and cooking for Christmas. I love this time of year and seem to spend most of it in the kitchen. It is so much fun to pull out the receipe's that are special for this time of year. Next thing on my agenda is to try Pamela's gingerbread. I had forgotten how much my girls loved gingerbread and lemon sauce when they were little. Guess I will look up the old receipt and compare it with Pamela's and probably try both.
Our weather is miserably cold and condusive to staying indoors, a perfect excuse to be in the kitchen. Take care of yourselves - stay safe.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It all started las Friday. My friend Traci was here and on the
spur of the moment I suggested that we go
to the Red Lobster for lunch and a little shopping.
That took care of the rest of Friday.
Saturday morning I had the meeting of the ATHA
chapter in Boonsboro and the on to meet
Richard at the mall to choose a Christmas tree.
That took all of Saturday. On Sunday after the morning
duties were finished, I worked on some handmade
Christmas present that I should have started
in August.
Monday I left home at 9:30 and shopped all
day until time to come home and feed
Tuesday I had a class to teach (morning gone)
and then into Boonsboro to pick up prescriptions
and a little shopping at the dollar store.
Wendesday was the luncheon and gift exchange
of my Pearl McGown Chapter hooking group.
This was near Ellicott City so of course, took
the whole day.
When I got up this morning my legs told me
that if I planned to go out today, they were
staying home and I would be without them
for the rest of the holiday. Also, it was fiercely
cold. It was time for a TIME OUT!
So the first order of business was to start
the wood stove. Coffee in front of the stove, dressed
warmly, a real treat.
Then I looked around - Oh my, Oh my -
Clothes hung over a chair

Pile of diry clothes on a small table in the

Overflowing hamper

Sink full of dirty dishes

Trash overflowing.
Time for a whole day of TIME OUT!!!
Now it is about 5 in the evening and the mess is
all cleaned up and a few more things are fixed
for Christmas. In addition to cleaning the above mess
I have made 2 quarts of plain turkey gravy and
2 quarts of giblet gravy.

I have arranged my "Snow People" collection with
a center piece made of styrofoan and covered
with antique ornaments

These cuties sit on the edge of the table

I had decorated the tree last Sunday afternoon.
If you look closely you will see that the top
portion has no ornaments. I am not tall enough
to hang them and have to wait for Richard
to do that.

Close up of some of the ornaments.

My kitchen and dining area are all in one and I
have hung cute decorations on every door handle
in the kitchen area. It is really festive looking.

Most of the ornaments on the kitchen cabinets
are handmade either by me or by friends and
given as presents in past years.
I have fixed this arrangement to be used as a
center piece for the Christmas dining table. The
ornaments are all antique and very fragile so
no longer go on the tree.

They really look beautiful in these glass
candle holders.

The front door arrangement has been hung.

As well as the back door. I do not know why
but in the country everyone seems to come in
the back door. Have you noticed that?
And of course, my ever present helper. Under the
covers as usual on a cold, cold day. Just this little
foot and leg sticking out. I love her crazy poses under
the covers. She gives me a smile every day.
Hope each of you has caught the spirit of the season and is having a great time getting ready for the big day. I still have much to do but am looking forward to the family gathering. Take care of yourselves, keep warm, and above all, drive carefully in this busy season of the year.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Yesterday was the meeting of the Boonsboro Chapter of ATHA. It was our annual Christmas gathering with wonderful goodies to eat and an exchange of handmade Christmas ornaments.
As you can see the goodie table was loaded with
wonderful homemade treats
The rest of this entry concerns the handmade
ornaments. I am not going to attempt to tell you
who made what because to many names would be involved.
This is only a sampling of the ornaments
that were exchanged.

There were many more ornaments than I show here.
Many were wrapped and I could not get
pictures of them. All were very creative. Some were
sewn, others were felted, but most were hooked.

I hope that you are enjoying this little
show of ornaments. It shows some of the creative
juices that are flowing in this group.

I had no idea that such a variety of patterns
and ideas existed for ornaments.

My hope in showing these wonderful hooked items
to you is that you will get your creative juices
flowing and make your own interesting ornaments
for next years tree.