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Wednesday 28 December 2011

Here today, gone tomorrow

It's amazing really, and I'm sure you all feel the same way, after all the time, effort, money, anticipation, and love we put into preparing for Christmas and the rest of the holidays, that it's over in the blink of an eye.  Yet, we continue to do it year after year after year.  We sure are creatures of habit.

Anyway, I really did have a great Christmas this year, better than I have had in many years.  I was blessed with having one of my twins, Phil,  driving all the way home to spend eight days with me and also his older brother and girlfriend visiting lots.  Good times.  Like most families, we played silly games and laughed until our insides ached.  I just wish it could have gone on longer but sure am grateful for every minute.  Thanks guys.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and you were able to share it with those who mean the most to you.  Christmas also can be very depressing for some as they cannot be with loved ones and I feel for them.  Also, there were a few sad losses, including a well-known, delightful gentleman who was a long-time florist here, Murray (on Christmas Day) - he and I would have a few chuckles when I visited his sister's Flower Boutique, My Maries.  Rest in Peace Murray, you were one of the good guys.  Many of you are now looking forward to New Year's Eve and then it's back to normal.

Here I should have included a photo of my darling grandson, whom I didn't see this Christmas because they are out of town, too far to travel at this time of year, enjoying some of the presents we sent him.......................

I can't wait for my next trip down to see them all and when I do, there should be another addition to the family.

Last evening I had the pleasure of spending time with two good friends (Helena and Janis) from where I used to work (the Library) and we played Scrabble.  What fun that was.  Here's a picture of us taken by my host's daughter before she "escaped", LOL...............

Here's the gorgeous ladies on their own.............

I also was very blessed in receiving gorgeous flowers from my brother Phil, his wife Alison and children Beth and Cait for Christmas. They live in Wales and remember me every year.  Thanks guys if you are reading.

Actually, I did very well with regards to presents.  My son Gareth and his lady, Chelsie, bought me a DVD player, son Dave, wife Niki and grandson Rhys a much needed safety rail for getting in and out of the bath and son Phil a lovely bathroom scale and adorable wall plaque.  I was spoilt.  Here's the wall plaque..............

Just before Christmas I found two adorable lamps in the Queen's Cupboard, our local antique store but the shades were dappled with paint splatters.  Too bad really because they were rather cute.  Anyway, I bought two new shades and put one lamp in the bedroom and the other in the living room.................

Well that's about it for now.  I think I should get dressed and take a walk to the Mall and see what's happening there.  It's really cold so I had better put on some long johns, kidding, but it is minus 12.  See if I can find some "stuff" for a new project, LOL.  Have a wonderful day.

Thursday 15 December 2011

Just over a week until Christmas

Last evening, my friend Laurie, a wonderful artist,  who lives down the hall from me, (from, and I sneaked downstairs (I say sneaked, because I was in my housecoat and didn't want anyone to see me) to take some photographs of the Lobby which had been decorated so prettily by the supers of our building, mostly by Ruth, her hubby Ron did the heavy work.  Every year they go out of their way to make the entranceway so cheerful for us and our visitors, but then they are very dedicated and work very hard all year round so it's not surprising that they put a little extra effort in at Christmas time.  Thought you might like to see how welcoming our apartment building is....................

Yesterday I went for lunch with a new friend, Dawn.  Very nice and most interesting lady.  We ate at a reasonably new restaurant called "Embers" and I must say, the lunch was delightful.

Talking about friends, another lovely lady I know, Gloria, who lives in my apartment building, offered to make some cookies for me.  I have given up doing anything finicky like that because of my arthritic fingers (my excuse, LOL) so she whipped me up a batch, love her heart.  Thanks so much dear friend.  They really are good.  There are called "The Breakfast Club Cookie" (my darling daughter-in-law gave me the recipe when I was visiting this summer, and she's a good little baker) and here's the recipe just in case you want to make them for yourself.  Gloria said that the mix was a little dry, so perhaps add another egg and the almonds perhaps should be chopped up a little...............


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup large flake rolled oats
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 ½ tbsp. liquid honey
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup whole almonds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp. flax seeds
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt until evenly blended. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and honey until smooth and creamy using an electric hand mixer on high speed, about 1 minute. Beat in egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Add flour mixture and beat on medium low speed until just blended, about 15 seconds.
Gently fold in almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, raisins and cranberries.
Use a 1.5 oz. ice cream scoop to drop mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 3 inches apart. Flatten each cookie using the bottom of a glass and bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. These stay soft and chewy for days in an airtight container.

Later today a group of ladies from the Library and myself are picking up Chinese food and going to visit a colleague who recently has had surgery.  She's doing very well and we thought it would be a nice treat for her.  I haven't had Chinese food for ages so I'm really looking forward to it.  Talking about the Library ladies, I just took them a little something for Christmas. When I worked there, each department used to get a gift basket from the Board of Directors/Management and we all looked forward to them so much but the last year or so it has been downsized to a gift card for about $8 per person for a local coffee joint.  Personally, I would rather have had the gift basket so, I made one up for my department and took it over..................

I'm looking forward so much to one of my out-of-town sons coming to visit.  He should be here on the weekend and plans on staying for around ten days, at least until after Christmas.  We are going to have so much fun with my son who lives here and his girlfriend.  I would so love to be with my little grandson and his mum and dad, but I will be with them in spirit and will chat with them on the phone.  Nothing says Christmas like a little child opening a gift, the expressions, the oohs and aahs, so precious.

Here are a couple more of my little decorations, just to fill in some space, LOL

And my lovely white Christmas cactus coming along just fine.

'Til the next time, have a wonderful week and don't get too frazzled with all the shopping, baking, partying, etc.  Remember the real reason for Christmas and take time to reflect on that.  Without that, it would be just another day.

Sunday 11 December 2011

Everthing has come to a HALT

For a couple of weeks, it was go, go, go with Craft Shows, out to dinner with friends and now it has come to a halt, nothing much happening now and no plans for anything either, except for a couple of lunch dates this week, to which I am looking forward, so I will have to fill you in regarding what I have been doing lately.

I found this little beauty in one of my favourite stores, "The Queen's Cupboard", but it was ucky looking, painted in pinks and blues and didn't seem to belong anywhere.  I painted it, yes, you guessed, cream and put it above my doorway.  I think it looks so posh there.............

This one without the flash

I bought a lovely white Christmas cactus from our local Florist, "My Maries" - I have always wanted a white one.  My pink one is flourishing and must be in it's fourth bloom this year.  Here's a peek at the white one......................

Just imagine what this is going to look like when it is in full bloom.

Remember I told you about my footstool reno?  Well, here are a few pictures from beginning to end.

I was going to re-upholster the seat of it but decided that it looked rather nice as it was, so for now it will stay like this.

My dear friend Laurie, who lives down the hall, not down the lane like Mary Jane, surpised me the other day with a delightful snowman.  She knows how much I love anything "cream" coloured and she spotted this in one of our local gift stores and bought it for me......................

He/she is adorable and is made out of cream felt and adorned with some bling - looks just like me all dollied up for a night on the town, LOL  Thanks again buddy.

After running around this afternoon picking up a few things, like stamps to mail some cards, which I should have done a week or so ago, I settled down to make some delicious home-made chicken/vegetable soup.  My soup is more like a stew.  It has everything in it except for the kitchen sink, and I'm not too sure about that either sometimes.  I get so carried away and half the time I couldn't tell you what I put in it, but it sure tastes great...................

Laurie, the genteel one, said "Put it in a pretty bowl and set the table with your best napkins and tableware" and I said, "Phooey, I'll just take a picture of it in the pot" and so I did and here it is, LOL

Well, to finish off for this evening I thought you might like to see a few photos of my place all ready for Christmas, remembering that it is just an apartment and I am kind of restricted when it comes to space and I wouldn't want to overdo it and have the place look Tinseltown, so here goes...................

Last but not least, I am sure looking forward to one of my sons coming home for Christmas.  He hasn't been home in a couple of years and this visit I have a spare room all set up ready and waiting.  Safe trip home son.

Monday 5 December 2011

I've heard of Auckland, but, DORKLAND?

Well, it's official, I am a DORK.  I can't believe what I just did.  I decided to take a walk to the Mall to pick up some wrapping paper and some more ornaments to make some decorations and just as I was almost there, I realized I didn't have my purse with me, so that meant, no wallet, no credit cards, no debit card and no bus pass.  I was a little put out, to say the least.  I had to trudge all the way back home, dragging my shopping basket on wheels behind me, to warm up (it's -2 Celsius at the moment) and rest for a few minutes and do it all over again.  Just a little Senior moment I'm afraid, LOL  I don't think I have ever done that before.  Okay, I'm warm enough, so off I go again.

This time, it was fine.  I even met a lovely friend, Janis and she gave me a ride home.

On a more positve note, I put up my Christmas Tree.  This year I decided to change my colour scheme.  I had the same ornaments, etc. for the last six or seven years so decided it was time for a change.  I don't have a lot of room for a tree, being in an apartment, but I think this two and one half foot tree turned out pretty awesome.......

It looks really great in the evening with the lights blinking.  I guess you will have to take my word for it though, LOL  The angel on top was a gift from a dear friend, Nancy, quite a few years ago.  We worked together at the Library and a group of us would go out for dinner quite often, especially at Christmas time and this was the gift I received from her that one Christmas.  We still keep in touch but now it is Tuesday night at the movies, cheap night, LOL  I thought I would sell my old tree decorations at my last Craft Show this Saturday so I bagged them up all nice nice and will sell them for $1 per item.  Some of them cost quite a bit and came from our local Art Gallery.

I also made a little inside door decoration, just to add some holiday atmosphere, keeping with the same colours.......

I figured I should also take the time to start wrapping presents and also writing Christmas cards.  It's not that I don't like giving or receiving gifts and cards but wrapping and writing are not my favourite things.  I used to love to do this when I was a lot younger but now with all the aches and pains I find it a chore, so I guess it should mean more to the recipients because of the ordeal I have to go through, right???  LOL  I am kidding, honest.

At one of the craft shows I recently did I found a couple of gorgeous little gold framed mirrors.  My intention, of course, was to paint them cream but when I got them home I decided to leave them just the way they were.  They really are very attractive............

This one shows more detail, but unfortunately I am also featured in it!!!!

Well, I guess I had better get back to wrapping, but before I do, I would like to thank those of you who said they would pray for my friend who underwent surgery last Friday.  Thank you so much and happy to report that she is doing quite well.  Until next time, TTFN

Just adding this little bit - it's now 2.00 a.m. and I have just finished wrapping a few gifts.  That's less I have to do tomorrow, LOL but, I still haven't written out the cards and the overseas ones should have gone long ago, but they'll get there, they always do.  Goodnight.