Friday, December 22, 2017

Things to be merry about!

In the midst of all the craziness that surrounds getting ready for the holidays, Hubby and I have managed to have some fun time.  And although there has also been the hustle of getting everything done on time, worry over bills, and health and family concerns, I am choosing to find the happy in the season today, so that I don't lose sight of what is important and get bogged down and stressed out.
I work a full day today, after an exhausting day yesterday, but it's FRIDAY!  I have my To DO list all ready for the day and it looks totally doable.  So, here's my list of Happy for today:
*All of the presents are bought, wrapped and ready to go under the tree tomorrow.  And I only have a couple of errands after work and they are quick ones.
*The menus are made, the food bought and stored, and I have a bacon quiche in the oven for dinner.
*It's payday and we are all caught up on bills, Hubby got a bonus, even!
*The Girl, and Scout and Dutch, will all be here to enjoy the weekend which will include liberal amounts of good wine and card playing and delicious food.
*All of the laundry and ironing are caught up.  The house is clean, Christmas-y, and beautiful.
*I got to have a very nice lunch with my mother yesterday and take her some new flannel sheets and a safer bath rug, as well as vacuum and sweep her downstairs, move some plants inside.
I guess I could keep listing - it's a great exercise in perspective.  The point is, we are almost there - Christmas Day -  and I can take a moment to live in the moment and enjoy the weekend - and so can you!  
Merry Christmas from the Cannary Family! 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Art exchange

One of the ladies I work with makes some beautiful art with acrylics on canvas.  I commissioned her to make a couple of them for Dutch and she such a great job!  You may not be able to tell from the photo, but there are streaks of copper in there, along with iridescent blue, some turquoise, and that fresh green.  There are a set of two 11x14's, and two smaller 8x8's.  I think Dutch will love making a collage of them on her walls, maybe along with some of her own photography!
 I can't wait to see what she thinks of them - they are stunning in person.
As a thank you for doing that during such a busy time of the month, I finally finished stitching a little something for my artsy friend.  {The real Corgi is in the background giving her approval}  She really liked her artsy gift, too, and it occurred to me that I really need to make time to do more of this - being creative helps stave off some holiday stress and homemade heartfelt gifts are so great!
Only a few days left to go until Christmas, and I am almost ready.  Time to put stitching aside and get to making cookies!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Mealplan Monday #172 and #173

Last week was a success in terms of clearing out the freezer!  I made several creative meals and there is space in there now to grocery shop like I mean it.  I've got two weeks worth of shopping to do, so here are two weeks of menus. On to the holidaying!
Monday - The Dad Favorite: Hamburger Patties, mashed potatoes, ranch beans
Tuesday - Sammie Night - maybe Cranberry Pecan Turkey Salad on Sourdough
Wednesday - Pizza takeout
Thursday - Crockpot Chicken, dressing, butternut squash
Friday - Bacon Quiche, skillet hash browns, fruit
Saturday - Brisket, coleslaw, jalapeno corn casserole
Sunday - Tamale Dinner (tamales, crockpot pintos, salad, queso, salsa, and chips
Monday - Breakfast is Maple Sausage & Waffle Casserole, Lunch will be appetizers and drinks.
Dinner is Spiral sliced Ham, Creamy Broccoli and Cauliflower, glazed carrots, and rolls.  We will have a Buche de Noel for birthday cake for Bubbie, and all enjoy a special wine
Tuesday - Cowboy Chicken in the crockpot, tortillas
Wednesday - Unstuffed Pepper Casserole (so good!), salad
Thursday - Leftovers!
Friday - Pork Chops, sweet potatoes, salad
Saturday and Sunday are TBD

Friday, December 15, 2017

5 thing Friday - weekend fun, Burnet lights, unkillable potted plant, puzzle table, stitching

The weekends have become a happy jumble of going and doing.  Last Saturday we picked up our wine club wine from Bell Springs at lunchtime while listening to live acoustic guitar and eating wood fired pulled pork pizza topped with fresh arugula and a caprese salad (YUM)
You can barely see her, but she's there...singing her heart out.  Incidentally, they weren't busy at all for a pick-up and it was gorgeous weather!
From there we traveled northeast to Perisso's for Sip and Stroll - live music there, too, which was great!  And check out this wine bottle tree!  We had some delicious dessert treats there.
Then, because we love the sunsets and the longhorns and the wine, of course... we went to Torr Na Loch.  I know you can't tell it from the first photo above, but it was a momma longhorn with her baby skipping along behind.  So cute! {I think if you click on the photo, you may see it better.}
 And enjoyed a seasonal appetizer plate, some Dolcetto, and many compliments on Hubby's Santa attire...
If it seems like we are at TNL a lot...well, we are.  Great wine, very friendly people, and the best sunsets!
Plus, the owner's dogs are so sweet - this one decided to nap at our feet.  In my next life, I'd like to come back as a winery dog!
After that, we decided to make a trip into Burnet to check out the holiday festivities.
Lots of lights, lots of local crafts.  Kinda nippy outside, and just perfect.
We didn't get to stroll though Little Bethlehem - waaay too many people waiting in line.
We ended up at Highlands after a long day and enjoyed us some shrimp stir fry and card playing.  I so love the weekends now.
I know I said I was done decorating, but my kolanchoe died.  So I washed out the pot and shoved some fake greenery in there.  Tied it with a red ribbon.  I'm no genius, but I think I can keep this plant alive...
I hauled in a table from the back patio, cleaned it up, added a tablecloth, a puzzle, and some card games.  Then I stashed one of those $5 popcorn tins underneath it with three plastic Dollar Tree bowls.  They also have puzzles, so I pick some up next time I am there.  Instant puzzle table in front of the tree.  It's cozy in here - we should hang out here more.
Being under the time gun with gifts zaps my creativity.  However, it does propel me thru finishing up on things I've been neglecting, like stitching a gift for a co-worker.  Christmas will be here before you know it and I am not quite ready...but I will be. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Home Sweet Home!

On Sunday, I convinced Hubby to head back from Highlands after breakfast so I could get some more Mrs. Claus work done!  I am 99% done with Christmas gift shopping, but starting to feel under the time gun for a couple of crafts I'd been meaning to do.  I am meeting up with a bestie in Round Top on Sunday and I wanted a low stress cute little decor craft to go with some homemade treats.  So I made these:
It took all of about 30 minutes.  I had Hubby cut down some of the leftover blocks from the giant Jenga set, faux stained them using a brush on/wipe off method with craft paint, then cut a $1 vinyl sign I got at Dollar Tree to fit the blocks.  I brushed on some Mod Podge to seal it.  Admittedly, this was not my brilliant craft idea, but I cannot find the link back to the blog I found it on! (when I do , I will update).  I may even make several more sets, including one for our own bookcase.  Whatcha think?

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Meal(un)plan Monday #48

Today I am visiting my mother and making one small trip to the grocery store for milk, ziplocs, and other random things, but we will eat out of the pantry and freezer this week so as to use up some stuff, give the grocery budget a break, and prep for holiday meals.
So please enjoy this pretty pop of color I spotted at Highlands on a dreary day, and know that we will be mostly eating leftovers and recycled dinners with maybe take-out Chinese on Sunday if I am successful in clearing out the freezer!

Friday, December 8, 2017

A thing of beauty

The Girl helped me put up the Kid's Tree, too.
That tree has is almost 50 years old, and we have put it up as an extra tree when we moved into Camp Rustown 20 years ago.  It lived in my MIL's attic for several years until she gifted it to us.  Many Christmas seasons have been celebrated around this tree.  Nevermind that it is obviously fake and is not pre-lit - when its decorated with all the kid ornaments from over 28 years, it is a thing of beauty.
I bought a new tree skirt for it this year from Michael's.  I would have loved to make it myself, but sometimes you have to admit you don't have the free time to sew one and just go buy one!  I love the red pom poms on it.  As we were decorating it, I told The Girl that these are the final collection of ornaments we were putting on it, because it was already almost too full, and all of you kids have aged out of kid tree ornaments.
Her:  Well, how many ornaments per kid, mom?  
Me:  I bought one for each of you until you turned 20.  
Her:  And how old is Bubbie?  
Me:  He will be 19 this Christmas.
Her: have two more to buy mom.
Me:  Oops.  
So the above little red truck is for this year! 
 Last year was an eagle and flag - to celebrate his finishing up on his Eagle Scout requirements.
 The red moon and star was from his first Christmas, 1998.  
He arrived Christmas afternoon!
 Two moose making mores over a campfire - he was 11 and loving camping.
And some glittery reindeer from 2015.  Sometimes I bought them to mark something, sometimes because I saw them and thought it would fit - this is one of those.
I guess there will be one more Christmas ornament for him next year, too.  And I'm thinking of swapping out the ribbons and wire hangers on them to twine like Pottery Barn uses - I like the combo of rustic and glitzy.
And I'm really loving this tree and all of it's special memories...

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas plus one

Scout and Dutch will be joining us for Christmas, which makes me feel all kinds of happy! {I had to find an alias for her, as I did everyone else!}
I don't know a lot about her that I can share here, other than she is from Amsterdam and is pretty much on her own, except for us.  She is warming up to us, different as we are from her own family, I am sure.  But she and Scout seem perfectly matched in temperament and personality.
 Scout helping to cut down the perfect tree
She accompanied us to the tree farm the day after Thanksgiving and took family photos, even though she was missing a baby shower.  And she and Scout have been coming over on Sunday nights where we are gradually learning more about her, and she about us.
 Firstborn and Scout hauling said tree to the truck
Scout and  Dutch at the tree farm
Seeing her ever-changing haircolor makes me wish I could pull off purple, too!
One of the traditions I hold most dear is that of the Christmas stocking - you're never too old for one.  I couldn't find an appropriate one for her, so I used one of ours as a pattern and made one using fabric I already had.  It's not perfect, but I hope she will like it!
I think all it needs is some embellishment and her name on the front.  And now I need to finish up everyone's stockings and presents!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Mealplan Monday #171

Monday - Hamburger Helper, corn (Bubbie cooks)
Tuesday - Ranch Pork Chops with onions and peppers, mashed potatoes, zucchini
Wednesday - 15 Bean Soup with turkey legs (from T Day!)
Thursday - Spagetti and Meatsauce, salad
Friday - Freezer find, veggie
Saturday and Sunday are TBD, but we will be busy both days!

Friday, December 1, 2017

5 thing Friday - Gus, Sidecar, Scout, birthday, Santa's helper

My sister and I have called a truce, of sorts.  We have been communicating about our Mother and we even came up with a schedule to call her and visit her.  That way, we don't double up and leave big empty spaces of time when no one is checking on her.
Gus approves.
Hubby and I visited Sidecar Tasting Room one day a couple weekends ago.  They have a cute little house in the middle of Dripping Springs.  Cozy places to sit...
...outside or in...
and a fun place to play a game of cards or whatever.  I love the vintage-y wallpaper.  And the Snake Charmer wine was delightful!
Scout and Michelle had us over for dinner at their new place.  Its so new, there are still boxes to unpack!  They made steaks with mushroom butter, green beans, and mashed potatoes with gravy.  It was all so good!  We met the three (yes, three) kitties and had a nice time visiting.
Birthday #57 happened.  Hubby bought me a pretty bracelet that matches a pendant he bought me a few years ago.  When I showed him how they matched he didn't even remember that he had bought it - but said he thought it was a pretty design (again).  He just happened upon the bracelet.  It was meant to be mine, I guess!
The Girl was a huge help to me over the Thanksgiving holiday, getting all the Christmas down and hanging ornaments and lights.  I could not have done it without her - I was so tired!  I think I ran the dishwasher twice a day and stood cooking til my feet throbbed!  But I had such a great time.  I am looking forward to Christmas!
Happy December!


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