Friday, December 6, 2019

Christmas cards selfies

 Getting a group shot on Thanksgiving Day, to use in our Christmas cards, was a bust.  So I took it upon myself to wrangle Hubby into some selfies for our own pics for our own cards.
{Please note - we aren't exactly well-practiced at this!}
 After all, our peeps are grown.
 Though we will forever be "The Cannary Family" there are {realistically} only two of us here at Camp Rustown.  And those grown peeps can decide whether or not to send their own cards.
Two of them will likely be wed in the coming year.  And they can chose to take up that tradition or not.  As The Girl put it "that's something your generation does, Mom". 
Fair enough.
One of these made it to the Christmas card - the others are just plain fun.  And full circle we have come, back to our first Christmas card with just the two of us.  
And it doesn't make me feel sad at all!


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

We came, we saw, we gave thanks

Thanksgiving has come and gone.
We snacked, then we feasted. We each said what we were thankful for, and it made our hearts full.
There were eight of us!
We enjoyed adult bevvies out by the firepit.
We caught up on news, rekindled memories, and just relaxed.
We didn't get him to change out of his PJ pants, but we got Bubbie to sit out there with us for hours.
We got to know LA a little better and it made us glad to see Firstborn so happy.
We braved the crowds and the fog to cut a tree (but this will be different for sure next year)
And we enjoyed time spent with all of our peeps, furry or not. 
{and Christmas is 3 weeks away - can it be so?} 


Monday, December 2, 2019

Empty Nest Menu #15

Menus will be very simple until we get to Christmas week...

Monday - Tilapia, sauteed fresh veggie {grocery shop, pull winter scrubs out}
Tuesday - Pork Stir Fry with potstickers {pick up Mother in Brenham and bring her to Austin for follow up eye appointment, sewing in the p.m.}
Wednesday - Crockpot of pinto beans with chili meat, corn muffins
Thursday - Grilled Chicken, sauteed veggie {need to order sink and fridge filters}
Friday - Butternut Squash Soup and Grilled Cheesers
Saturday - OUT {morning putseying at home, pick up party at 7 Creeks at lunchtime, Hubby's office Christmas party in the evening}
Sunday - Creamed Turkey and Toast with peas and carrots {pick up party at Perissos at noon, pick up wines at Torr Na Lochs on the way home}


Friday, November 29, 2019

5 thing Friday - Fall sights, Mother, The Girl, craftin', fun at work

 The view looking down the road from the entrance to Highlands:
Mostly it is green up there, from all of the cedar, but occasionally you will see some Fall color.  And usually Stubby runs up to us the minute we pull in.  Fall is a close second to being the prettiest season in Central Texas.  We are out playing in it today, cutting our Christmas tree at the tree farm!
My mother's to do list.  Her handwriting is not all that terrible for an almost 90 year old.  I can still read it!  Also, we got all of the things done when we visited.  I go pick her up on Tuesday to bring her to (hopefully) her last eye surgery follow-up visit.
The Girl has been sending me make-up pics, ha ha.  GUESS WHAT?  She is moving back to Austin in the early summer!  She is getting a transfer and a promotion and is super excited. {as am I} I love that she will be closer to her brothers - 2020 promises to be a great year for us!
 Teddy makes the nicest winery doggie.  The owner gave him lots of treats for being so good. {another fun thing The Girl will be able to do with us!}
I made some cute little jar ornaments for my co-workers.  I spent $4 total since I had all of the things to fill them.  Each one is slightly different with jingle bells, a sprig of berries and greenery, and some fake snow.  I hot-glued the lids on and tied some ribbon scraps on them.  Super frugal and cute!  I am also making them a cookie tray with peppermint chunk topped brownies and some snowballs cookies.
 And for some unknown reason I took on the whole Secret Santa and Potluck Luncheon plans at work.  Since Rad Tech week was lame, I didn't want the holidays to be the same.  We all deserve to feel a little festive at a place where we spend so much of our waking time!  I made a cute wreath to hang near a box I gift wrapped for Secret Santa questionnaires.  I typed up the questionnaires and copied them and set them out, then hung a sign-up sheet for the luncheon.  Then I sent out a department-wide email to everyone.  Here's hoping we'll have some fun merry making!
Ho! Ho! Ho!


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Long weekend re-cap: birthday, Brenham, Rohan, Highlands, Westcave

It wasn't a real exciting weekend, but I feel like we "saw miles and miles of Texas, gonna live here 'til I die". (name that song)  I took Thursday and Friday off, just to get a break from the crazies at work.  Well, and Thursday was my birthday.  Aaannnd we had to get a new water heater installed.
So I figured I may as well cook the turkey early!  I brined it the night before.  I have had good luck with this brine I loosely based on one by Martha Stewart where she adds a cup of bourbon and orange peels to the brine.  It turns out soooo good! 
The next morning I  got up early, threw the turkey into the oven, went to Dunkin' and bought some goodies, then barracaded myself in my craft room/office until lunch time.  At which time the plumbers were done {I'm pretty sure the aroma was driving he and his helper crazy} and we headed to Pok-e-Jo's for some BBQ.
When we got home, we carved the bird, put it into foil containers in the freezer, separated out the fat and drippings and froze them, then put the carcass and the odds and ends of celery, carrot, and herbs into a crockpot and let it go all night.  I also made a pie to take to my mother's house, and a full pan of dressing for the freezer.  We went to Chi'lantro for a quick meal to go and Netflixed it for the evening.
The next day, I strained out the crockpot of bones and now have some wonderful soup stock in the freezer!  We headed to Brenham, stopping to pick up some smoked pork for sammies on the way.  We helped my mother run a couple of errands and do some odds and ends chores.  {there always seems to be a long list of things we need to do there, just not enough time to do it all!} On the way home, we stopped at Rohan for some mead and wine.  After another couple left, we were the only ones there.
The tasting room is small but cozy and the tasting room lady was really nice.  We ended up getting a growler refill of the Orange Spice mead and a couple of Christmas gifts.
 And I enjoyed a Tempranillo!
The next morning {what day is it...?} we headed to the Hill Country with a stop in Liberty Hill to eat at Hobo Junction Cafe.  The breakfast was HUGE but we figured we would skip lunch.  {And it turned out that we were happy we ate a hearty breakfast}
 We stopped at Highlands to check on it.  Yep, its still there...
I took a little walkabout in my practical trekking shoes and made a note of some deer tracks.  The weather was gorgeous!
Then we headed over to Marble Falls to meet up with the owners of Fiesta Winery so I could write a piece about their new-ish tasting room.  And we followed that up by visiting our friends at Save The World.  {I wrote both articles Sunday morning so you may be able to see them on the Texas Wine Lover website sometime in the future
On the way home we popped into Bent Oak to admire Audreys' mad decorating skillz and enjoy a relaxing glass of wine.  I don't know why we don't stop in there more often.  Its such a cozy spot - smells great, has friendly people, serves delightful wine.  We headed home to meet up with...THE GIRL!  Yay!  We enjoyed some chicken tacos for dinner and hit the hay early.
Sunday morning, I wrote those articles early then we headed over to Westcave Cellars to pick up our December shipment.  We will not be able to attend the pick-up party, so we made our own party.  They had live music and it was beautiful weather.
 We picked up some gyros from a food trailer along the way.  We must have been starving - we inhaled them.  So good!  We will definitely stop there again the future.
Teddy enjoyed some breezes and some down time, too.
We got a bottle of wine signed by one of the owners as a Christmas gift to Hubby's boss, admired the sleeping vines a bit, then headed home to eat crockpot soup.  And once again we all hit the hay early.  It was a fun weekend and I finally felt rested and ready to tackle the week ahead.  Can you believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we are less than one month away from Christmas?  Crazy!


Monday, November 25, 2019

Fuller nest menu and Thanksgiving table

Last Sunday I dragged out all of the stuff I had bought at Hob Lob to decorate the Thanksgiving table.  I didn't spend a whole lot of money, but I did want to create a table that I could use into the Christmas holidays with a few minor changes.
I started by using one of my older tablecloths that fits when you put two extra leafs in the table!
I placed a swag of magnolia-like leaves into the center of the table, bending it into curves.  The leaves have a lovely blue-ish sheen on them that will go well with this room. 
I dug around and found these mercury glass votive holders I got from the Target Dollar Spot years ago.  They had some melted wax in the bottoms, so I just ran very hot water in them, let them sit, and they were easily wiped out.  Note to self: use the little tea lights in them from now on!
I wove some burlap ribbon in along the swag, then and added in a taller votive holder, my blue velvet pumpkin stems, some white pumpkin picks, and a few large pinecones.
It needed something, I thought.
So a little moss from Dollar Tree was placed here and there.
I went ahead and set out the gold chargers and the wine glasses.  I kind of wish I had just bought plain white napkins, but I'm not going to stress that tiny detail!  We will use the white plates from last year and I will get the silver down.  I plan on serving buffet style.  
And later in the week, I found these  rustic glam gift tags at Target and used a Dollar Tree marker to write names on them before tying them onto the wine glass stem.  Placecards managed!  And now, the week's Fuller Nest Menu:

Monday - Taco Salads {grocery shopping super early, if I didn't do it Sunday}
Tuesday - Beef Stew Crockpot, corn muffins {Bubbie home!}
Wednesday - Order pizza {getting Bubbie's car serviced}
Thursday - The usual turkey feast, and my peeps are bringing the desserts
Friday - Pulled Pork on buns, Jalapeno Corn Popper Salad, Ranch beans {tree farm day!}
Saturday - Leftovers {decorating the tree, maybe going to a winery}
Sunday - Turkey Soup {Christmas movies}

It's going to be a great week!


Friday, November 22, 2019


Months ago Hubby brought home 3000+ corks.  I am not kidding.  THREE THOUSAND.
They are from a co-worker of his who used to be a bartender.
One of my putsey-ing activities on Sunday was to sort through the bags of them, pulling the plastic ones out for recycling and putting the rest in a box.  What in the world am I going to do with all of them!?
I already have them in various places around my house.  
In a giant IKEA vase in the kitchen...
...a smaller vase in Scout's old room... the china cabinet...
...and, in a few of my potted plants.  {Which I like the looks of, but let's just see if the squirrels will let them be.}
And while I love the organic look of corks, I am growing weary of trying to find ways to use them.  I have already done a couple of crafts with them, and I kind of feel over it.  I might use some of them for place card holders on the Thanksgiving table if I can dig out my glue gun in time to do that.  I offered a bag to my sister, but I really have no idea what to do with the rest!  P.S. my collection grows a little every weekend...



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