Wednesday, December 20, 2017

FROST.....Thick - Heavy - Beautiful

I can't even begin to tell you how beautiful our valley was on December 8th & 9th.  I've seen thick frost, but never this thick.  It was so heavy it actually broke off a big branch from our birch tree.  Some of it looks like snow, but it was ALL frost!  I actually had over 50 photos loaded to post but I figured that was totally an overload so I cut it way back.  I took 145 photos and I thought cutting it to 50 was doing good, but then I cut two more times.  Beautiful, other words can describe it.  Even pictures can't tell the beauty of what we were able to witness.
And yes, that is my husband out there working in the heavy frost, trying to clear out old, dead trees.
The sun shining at the bottom of this bush almost made it look like it was on fire. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Where Did My E-mails Go?!

Late afternoon, yesterday, I went to check my emails, and this is what pulled up.
N.O.T.H.I.N.G......I had absolutely nothing on my screen.  Every single e-mail, along with all my folders were gone.  I went in to check if there were any deleted files, sent files, junk files, drafts, etc...again, nothing.  All that I could see was "There are no items in this view" on the main screen and 981 Unread feeds.  I checked to see what the Unread feeds were and they were all from MSNBC News, Updates: News and Features, Popular Government Questions from, Microsoft at Work, and Microsoft at Home.  I called a technician and he had no idea what had happened but he stated that there was  no way to get it back.  All my folders.....aghhhhhhh....I had numerous folders with things pertaining to my little grandson, family, recipes, church, photography, etc.  Gone, all gone.............breaks my heart!

UPDATE.....Short but awesome story, my emails plus are all back!

Dominion Griddle - The Best

Is there anything better on an early, Saturday morning, than pancakes on the griddle and fried eggs?  Actually, yes.......I also like bacon (didn't have any) and hash browns (after thought).  But if nothing else, the pancakes and eggs were great.
And, the best griddle I have every had, is one that has to be, I'm thinking, at least 40-50 years old (for a surety, 35 years old).  It was my husbands mothers griddle and she passed away in 1982, so how long she had it before that time, I do not know.  One thing I do know, is it is the best, ever.  I've used it a L.O.T in the years since her passing and it cooks everything great.  It has even heating throughout the entire cooking space.
It is very well seasoned and by the few scratches it has, I don't think that the top was originally black.  It has seen its day.  When I first started using it, it did not have a temperature dial on it so I took the face plate off of an old wrist watch and adhered it in place so I would know where to place the setting for pancakes and then if I cook something else, I adjust accordingly.  When I got it where I liked it for pancakes, I put the watch face plate where I needed it so the number 3 space (my lucky number) would be my cooking spot.  It's gotten a bit grungy over the years, but hey, it works.
The name brand is "Dominion" and it was manufactured in Mansfield, Ohio.  Oh how I wish I could find another one of know....just to put in storage just in case something does happen to this one.
It is on its last leg, literally.  Both of the legs have been broken and mended a few times using liquid weld.
This leg actually got a dose of liquid weld this morning, after its busy morning of making pancakes.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Sausage and Cabbage Soup

If you like cabbage soup, then you are going to LOVE This Recipe that I found on the Spend with Pennies, blog.  Her photos alone make you want to devour this soup, even if you don't like cabbage. 
I cannot eat onions, which she has in her recipe and she also uses heavy cream, which I rarely have on hand.  Because of those two reasons, I changed up the recipe, added different spices and a few other ingredients and for us, it is the perfect soup.  I say this because it is now classified as one of my favorite soups.....really.
1 - 14oz. pkg. Hillshire Farm smoked sausage, cubed or sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tsp. dried minced garlic
2 - 14.5oz. cans chicken broth
3 medium potatoes; cubed
2 carrots, sliced
3-4 cups cabbage, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced (optional)  I put this in if I have it on hand.
1/2 - 1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley (crushed a little in your hand)
1 tsp. McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/2 cup (1 Cube) butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour mixed with 2 tablespoons powdered milk
2 cups milk
1.Cook sausage in butter on medium heat until fat has cooked off.
2. While sausage is cooking, cube, slice, and chop the potatoes, carrots, cabbage & celery.
3. When sausage is done cooking, add broth, garlic, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, celery, sea salt, pepper, parsley, and McCormick  seasoning.
4. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
5. Melt butter in a small saucepan.  Stir in the flour and powdered milk mixture and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
6. Add milk and whisk until smooth.  Continue whisking until thick and bubbly.
7. Add milk mixture to the soup and stir well.
8. Allow to simmer 5 minutes.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas Entryway Desk and Horseshoe Tree

Usually I decorate my entryway desk and horseshoe tree with more glittery and cutesy stuff during the Christmas Season.  This year I decided to make it all about Christ and decorated everything around the Birth of Christ.  I have more nativities but I didn't want it to be overly cluttered.  I love nativities and the feeling they bring into our home as opposed to all the glitter and glitz decorations.  Don't get me wrong, I still like the Christmassy decorations but it's nice this year to just feel something different when I walk by the desk/tree.  Most of the nativities and decorations have a story to tell and have a special place in my heart.
First off, let's start with the horseshoe tree.  I had all glittery ornaments on to begin with but then wanting to keep with the nativity theme of decorating, I took three nativity ornaments off of my Christmas tree to put on the horseshoe tree.
For the life of me, I can't remember if this clay ornament was given to me or if I purchased it myself.  I'm thinking it was given to me from my daughter, but.....................
To get the Santa with the Baby Jesus ornament, many years ago, my father and I (can't remember if anyone else was with us, or not) went to the mall in Orem, Utah, specifically to see if I could find this particular ornament.  I can't ever remember my father shopping with me, other than going to a mall in Salt Lake, City, as a child, and this one time.  Yep, special ornament, for sure!
I purchased this wooden nativity for no other reason than I Just Liked It!
I liked the wooden Nativity ornament so much that several years ago for Christmas, I used the idea of it and using our scroll saw, I made several larger wooden Nativities and gave them away for Christmas presents.  And of course, I kept one for myself.
Right in front of the horseshoe tree, I place my nativity crystal that lights up and changes colors.  It looks like it is hiding the horseshoe tree, but it really isn't.....only if you get down on eye level to take a picture.
My mother gave me the next two nativities.  Not too long after getting married, my mother and I went to a craft show in Lehi, Utah where I fell in love with the wooden nativity.  It folds shut and the star shows through a round circle cut out in the doors and there are holly berries painted on both doors.  Geese, I can't just sit here and tell you about it, I will go and take a picture and add it to the photo line-up.....ha!  I had no idea she purchased this one for me.  She surprised me with it at a later time.
The porcelain nativity that is sitting in front of the wooden nativity was also a surprise from my mother.  We went to a department store in Lehi, Utah, called Broadbent's.  During Christmas time, this store is decorated to the MAX.  It is beautiful during the holiday season.  Once again, I mentioned how pretty I thought it was and the next thing I knew, it was mine.  My mother was just that way...she really got enjoyment out of serving others.  Oh, I forgot to mention that this porcelain nativity is also a trinket box.  Ok, I will need to take another picture.  Yes, I'm having fun.
This little tree is made from a little clay pot, half a styrofoam ball, moss, a cinnamon stick, fake pine garland, bows, ribbon flowers and a wooden star.  I made these one year for all my friends and I kept one for myself and have placed it with all my nativities.  To me, it brings both worlds together...Christ, and knowing that Christ will always be in Christmas, and the pleasure I get of giving to others.
In this next photo, I love the picture of the Christmas tree shape with the verse from Luke 2. I found this on the internet one year and it was a free graphic so I printed a bunch, put them in frames and gave them out as gifts.  The photo of Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus was a gift to me.  Love it.  The "Let Him In", key and the Star of Bethlehem, were gifts given last year and this year from our Stake Relief Society presidency. 
And lastly, is a plaque that was not originally part of my decorations.  We went to our ward Christmas party the other night and these little plaques were all over the tables.  They announced for each family to take one home after the evening of dining, singing, a short program, and Santa.  How did they know to make something that would fit so perfectly with my nativity themed desk/tree?!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Excel"LINDT" Christmas

A few month back, I gave my friend a birthday present that included a Lindor Lindt, candy bar and the thought wishing you an Excel"Lindt" Birthday came to my mind.  From there, I proceeded to make her a birthday card.  The next two photos show the outside and inside of the card.
After thinking, thinking, and thinking some more, on what we could give the sisters in our ward for a Christmas present, the Excel"LINDT" idea popped into my mind again.  So with that thought in my head, I talked to my counselors and secretary, and we decided to go with it and make a tag using the same theme but changing it from birthday, to Christmas.  Now we just had to think of what to give with it.....the Lindor Lindt balls, candy bars, sticks, or what.  After searching the net, I came up with these little bags (at Target) that were perfect.  They were 0.8 oz. and contained two balls in each bag.  Now all that was left was to punch a hole in the top corner of the bag (It was pretty thick so I had to use a leather punch to get through all the thicknesses) and tie on the tags.
Quick, easy and........well, let's be honest....who doesn't love Lindor Lindt chocolates?!