Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Where's the Bear? #7

Here's what I'm planning on doing today:

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Candied Bacon

Along the lines of new traditions, JP found a recipe for Candied Bacon that he wanted us to try.

It was a simple recipe, actually.  First you lay out the strips of thick cut bacon on a cookie sheet, and cover them with a brown sugar and spice mixture.

Next you bake them in a 250* oven for 2 hours.

Once it is cooled, you can sample your, sweet and salty, meaty, crispy treat.

Bon appetite!

The Great Trifle Tragedy of 2014

I decided to try a traditional English Trifle for dessert this year...something new, which might become THE new tradition for Christmas.

I had 6 lovely individual trifles ready, but on the way to the refrigerator, I bumped the edge of the tray.  Four out of six tipped out, and one completely smashed (the one made in JP's great-grandmother's glass.)

From here on out, this shall be known as the Great Trifle Tragedy of 2014.

I managed to salvage some of the trifles, and they were quite delicious.  I don't think that this will become the new Christmas tradition on Poplar Ridge, however. 

Just a trifle, really...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Where's the Bear? #6

The winning caption for the last picture is:  "Oops!  I think I just squeezed the Charmin!"

Here is the new picture for the week!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Checklist #2

We are a mere day and a half away from Christmas Vacation, and the Big Day itself is looming ever nearer!  We are slowly but surely getting things squared away and ready to celebrate!

The Christmas cards finally arrived, and I have written our yearly letter (carefully fitting it on the front side of one page only!).  About half of them have been sent out, and I am working on the rest.


All of the gifts have been wrapped.


The girls and I baked Christmas cookies today, and delivered a basket full to my parents.


We even took the afternoon off yesterday, and went to watch "Mary Poppins - the Musical".  Afterwards we stopped at our favorite Indian restaurant for take out.  It was a lot of fun!

The dog still needs a bath and a haircut (can't see her eyes any longer...that's the cue.)  The girls' room needs to be swept and dusted.  There is a washer full of clothes that need started and a basketful that need to folded.  I just found out that my brother and family will be celebrating with us too (hooray!)  There is no end of things to do, but Christmas is coming, and we are READY!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Where's the Bear? #5

The caption for last week's picture is:

"Just chillin'"

Here is a new picture for this week!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Indoor Activities

We had another dreary weekend, so we all chose indoor activities.

JP scanned about 400 old slides in to the computer.

I did laundry and played board games with the girls.

J & L used the entire dining room table to build a maze for their hex bugs.

In other news, I went to work today for the first time in about 2 1/2 months!  I found this note on my computer when I arrived. 

I actually never dreamed that I would someday be working in the same practice as my husband.  I hope that I was helpful today, and didn't slow down anyone.  It seemed to go very smoothly, and as I was leaving, the nurse told me to "come again!" 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Auld Lang Syne

This weekend, I dug out a handful of discs containing slides that my Dad scanned and saved for me about 10 years ago.  I found a bunch of wonderful photos, and thought I would share a few of them here!

This is my Mom & I sledding in Idaho - look at our
dog, Beatrice, tearing down the hill in front of us!

I love this photo!  I would guess I'm about 4 or 5,
which would make my little brother 2 or 3.  This
is in Boise, Idaho.

This is my Uncle V, visiting Idaho from Pennsylvania.  He
 is absolutely flying down this hill!  Ironically, he was
 killed several years after this when the small plane
 that he was flying crashed.

And here I am, aged 7 1/2, visiting Crater Lake,
 OR with my family.  L was just a year older
 than me when she visited this past summer!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Our Town

I came home from an outing this afternoon feeling warm and fuzzy because I love our little town so much!  For all of its bad points (including drilling and mining going on all around us), there is so much positive here!

The school system here is quite good. The elementary school, in fact, is the 2nd largest in the state, and the PTA works tirelessly to bring quality experiences to the kids.  I had the opportunity today to visit the local Vo-Tech school as well.  Every year the culinary students prepare a huge holiday buffet that is open to the public.  My mother and I waited in line for over an hour to sample the fare.  The highlights for me were the cheesy seafood grits, the corned beef brisket, and the bananas foster over ice cream with candied pecans and whipped cream.  It was interesting to chat with the people sitting nearby, and to see the culinary program in action, but I don't think that I'm up to standing in line for 1 and quarter hours again next year.

Afterwards, I drove toward home, but stopped in the downtown area to look in a couple of stores.  These range from antiques, to a boutique which sells $83 Miss Me jeans for kids, to local pottery.  I chatted for a few minutes with the owner of the artisan shop who took a landscaping class with me a few years ago.  Finally I stopped at the bank, where a flautist and harpist were playing in the lobby.  Parking downtown is much more pleasant with the back up camera on my new Subaru!

We just finished a pleasant family dinner, where we laughed and told stories.  J went to the city today with the 6th grade chorus to see A Musical Christmas Carol.  There are brownies in the oven, and we  are settling in to watch "It's a Wonderful Life."

A pleasant weekend to you all!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Where's the Bear? #4

The winner of last week's caption contest was Paul S:  "If I want to get in shape for Christmas, I'm just going to have to grin and BEAR it!"

The winner of the special edition 1st day of Deer Season caption is:  "Fear the BEAR!"

Here is the picture for this week:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Checklist #1

This year, for the first time in several years, I am actually feeling somewhat excited about the Christmas season!  Perhaps this phenomenon has something to do with the fact that I am not feeling stressed out by work and activities at the moment.  Doesn't matter why, I'm going to run with it!

Over the weekend, we got the Christmas tree dusted off and set up, and decorations up too.


Kali loves lying under it for some reason!

We planned to go to Light Up Night in town and the Christmas parade over the weekend, but it was cold and rainy, so we stayed home and watched Christmas movies instead.


I think that all of the Christmas gifts (and Birthday gifts for L) have been ordered, and many have already arrived!


We attended J's Holiday Choral Concert last night.  The kids did a great job!


In the meantime, I've taken advantage of the mild, dry days after last week's monsoon to do some last minute gardening outside.  I spent another 3 hours at the Library and got their flower beds ready for winter - looks so much better.  I weeded the strawberries in the garden, cleaned up all the leaves, and mulched a few of the beds.  It's getting there!

And this year I even remembered to deer proof my little evergreen shrubs!

Now it's time to make dinner for the troops!

T out.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Where's the Bear? #3

The winning caption for last week is:  "Caution:  BEARly awake!"

Here's the new picture for this week.  Captions must be in by next Wednesday AM for this one!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Where's the Bear? #2

In honor of the first day of Deer Hunting in PA, I'm putting up a new picture of J's giant bear.

I was out in the tree house myself this morning, wearing orange.  It was raining and cool, but not unpleasant to be out there, watching the chickens and cats.  There were 2 large flocks of robins scattered over the grass, cocking their heads and doing their robin-y thing.  Too bad this wasn't a sign of pending Spring, but merely hungry robins, who haven't made their way Southward yet.

No sign of any deer, however, for a solid two hours.