Bye-bye, 2008...

I had been a follower of several blogs for a while before I started my own, and although it seemed like a neat thing to do I often wondered if anyone would ever read what I had say... It's now been almost a year since I started this little blog and I can truly say I have been so overwhelmed at the wonderful people I've met this year. I'm always telling Hubby about the goings-on in all my blogging friends' lives and have often wished that I could sit down over a cup of coffee with each one of you and chat in person.

As we start 2009, I took a look back through some of the pictures I saved on my computer this past year...

We had a little weather surprise in March......

The garden begins to grow.....

New life begins......

Fresh peaches......

Make a wonderful cobbler!

My favorite summer spot- the back deck.......

Summer 'maters......

"Who me? I didn't do it..."

"Honey, somebody's at the back door...."

The finished project- my Daddy and the tractor he restored this year.

Me love fuzzy bottoms....

The stand-off......

Hubby's new niece, Maddie, in her first Halloween costume.

Our barn wreath for Christmas...

So long, 2008..... *sigh*

But the Little Terrorist says, "Welcome 2009!"

(On second thought- we probably don't want to know what she's REALLY saying!!)


Merry Christmas, Y'all!

Although I will still be visiting all my wonderful blogging friends, I will be taking a little vacation from my blog this week. For all of you who visit here- I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful Christmas!!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Isaiah 9:6


Liza Minelli lays an egg.

Some of you may remember the Little Terrorist and how she held three eggs hostage back in the spring.... if you'll recall, one of the eggs was hers but the others were two very large green eggs she plopped her hiney on just to show off her brooding abilities. The egg that actually belonged to her turned out to be a tiny little rooster, and one of the green eggs never hatched- but the other hostage turned out to be a hen.

Fast forward six months.....

This is the hostage today, otherwise known as Liza Minelli. She has turned out to be a rather striking hen- she is part Araucana and part Silver Penciled Hamburg. (Yep, Hamburger was the culprit.) Over the weekend, I kept noticing Liza wanting to go inside the Silkies' coop... I assumed she was hungry and wanting to eat some of the leftovers in their feed dish. But while the Silkies were outside and I had my back turned, Liza promptly ran inside the coop and into one of the nest boxes. I found Hubby and told him to come quick- Liza was about to lay her first egg. We waited anxiously and about 10 minutes later, we were rewarded with this-

Liza has inherited the green egg trait!

Now if you'll excuse me, I must indulge myself in some "chickie love".....

Isn't Beau handsome? *sigh*

Gertie, Clementine and Sadie busily pecking. Have you ever seen anything so sweet...
Oh dear......
Please- not the fuzzy bottoms.....

I can't... help... myself......


A Christmas Tag

My lovely and talented bloggy buddy Alexis from Tales from the Back Acher has pointed her finger at me to do a "Christmas tag"... so here goes!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? I love them both, but egg nog gets the nod this time of year!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Definitely wrapped.

3. Colored light on house/tree or white? I like all white.... I am funny about everything looking uniform. (My best friend is laughing her head off right now- she knows what a freak I am. Hush up, Polly.)

4. Do you hang mistletoe? YES!

5. When do you put your decorations up? I usually like to start putting things up Thanksgiving weekend, but this year I'm a little behind.....

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? I love all of it! But if I had to choose just one- cornbread dressing. I could live on a deserted island with a pan of that stuff and be as happy as could be.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? I have a large family and I remember being so excited about everybody being together on Christmas Eve.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Believe it or not, I actually never had a thing about Santa.... my parents never put much emphasis on that, and plus, when I was little we didn't have a chimney, and I was way too rational to believe that my Mother would let a strange man in a red suit into our house on Christmas Eve. (Told you I was a freak...)

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes!!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? I love lights, but I also love ribbons and bows and ornaments that have sentimental value. One day, I hope to have a tree with all handmade ornaments!

11. Snow. Love it or dread it? Love it! We usually don't have much snow in this part of the country at Christmas, but I keep hoping....*sigh*

12. Can you ice skate? No. Two words- weak ankles.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I remember being excited about certain gifts.... I have a picture of me when I was about 3 or 4 with a little train I wasn't expecting to get. You can tell by my face I was thrilled!

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? I always take time to read the story of Jesus and remember WHY he was born. I love the song "The Angels Cried"... especially the part that says, "the Angels knew what was to come; the reason God had sent his Son from up above... it filled their hearts with joy to see, but knowing of his destiny, came tears of love...."

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? FUDGE!!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Ever since I can remember, the menu for my family's Christmas gathering has always been- homemade Hot Tamales and chili- YUMMO!
17. What tops your Christmas tree? An angel.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving. (But I love getting homemade Christmas candy and fudge, too!)

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? "What Child is This"... I also love "Silver Bells"- that was my Momma's favorite.

20. Candy Canes. Yum or Yuck? Yum, but only the peppermint kind- I don't like the cinnamon or fruity ones.

21. What do you want for Christmas? I would love to have a nice coffee pot, since my other one conked out and the $12 dollar one from Wal-Mart I replaced it with smells like it's on fire when it brews.
22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party? No.

23. Do you dress up for Christmas Eve or wear PJ's? Are you kidding? Pajamas all the way!
24. Do you own a Santa hat? Ummm, I think I do- it's probably buried in a box of decorations somewhere.
25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with? Mine and Hubby's families.

This was fun.... I'm going to bend the rules a bit now- instead of nominating anybody in particular, just leave me a comment answering one of the questions, or do the whole tag on your blog! (Just be sure to let me know so I can come over and read yours!)


Fraker Farm Friday Foodie

Just a little friendly advice- do not invite me into your kitchen to bake bread unless you want to spend the next three days cleaning up the ingredients. This picture was taken AFTER I tried to clean my mess up, so you can imagine what the BEFORE picture was like.

Like many of you I am a dedicated follower of Susan over at Farmgirl Fare. When I read her posts about the wonderful breads she turns out, it makes me have this burning desire to be a bread maker, too...... I make decent sweet loaf breads from time to time, and of course, biscuits and cornbread, but I would really love to not be so intimidated by bread. In fact I would love to feel confident enough to try all the wonderful breads I see on Susan's blog. While Hubby was off from work last week, we ate at one of my favorite restaurants- McAlisters. They're a little pricey on some things, but I love eating there because they serve delicious creamy soups in homemade bread bowls and it is absolutely wonderful. I found a recipe similar to McAlisters' famous potato soup, and I've been wanting to try it out in the new Lodge dutch oven Hubby bought for me last week. (squeal) Rainy days get me in the mood to bake, so since it was wet and gloomy outside my dining room window yesterday I thought, "why not try to make your own bread bowls?"

I searched the internet for homemade bread bowl recipes, and finally found one that sounded easy enough for a beginner like me.

This was the start of a very messy experiment. You know things are not looking good when you make this kind of a boo boo just opening the bag of flour.

Once the yeast dissolved and I mixed the other ingredients together, I placed the bread lump in a warm oven to rise.

While the dough was rising, I turned my attention to cleaning up the awful mess I had made in my kitchen.
(This next picture makes me want to run away. It really should make you want to run away, too. I can't believe I'm actually showing you my messy kitchen. But, like Pioneer Woman says, I'm just keepin' it real.)

The next step... make the soup! I found the recipe for it in this book given to me by my wonderful in-laws. (They know I'm a recipe junkie.....)

It's called Bacon Potato chowder... if you can't see this picture very well but would like the recipe, let me know and I'll be happy to email it to you. (My email address is on my profile page.)

Meanwhile, back to the bread baking.....

The big lump is divided into four little lumps, and once they rise for 30 more minutes, they're ready to bake. Go here for the recipe I used- I followed it pretty much as is, but I did cut the sugar down from 1/2 cup to a 1/4, and I also divided my dough into 4 large rolls instead of 8 smaller ones. (Oh, and I also brushed the tops with egg whites.)

Ta-da!! A dutch oven full of potato chowder, crumbled bacon for the top, and my first ever bread bowls...

And now for the moment of truth.....

Well, Hubby's too busy eating to let me take his picture, but I did get a thumb's up!! Yay!!

Have a great weekend everybody!!


Santa's workshop, it ain't....

My sewing table/work space/disaster area.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Hubby was off from work last week and we had a great time taking some little day trips- one day we went to buy a ham and some other goodies, and another day we did some sight-seeing and Christmas shopping. It was wonderful to have him home all week, but now he's back at work and I'm here all alone...*sigh*... but I have enough cleaning and laundry to keep me company for at least a couple of days. (Rats.) However, I've been looking through my pattern collection for some Christmas decorations and gifts to make, so once I'm finished with the chores, my trusty sewing machine and I are going to have a little fun. Yay!

The last couple of days we've had snowflakes falling... not enough to stick on the ground for very long, but enough to get me humming Christmas music. I've spent the last couple of days digging out Christmas CD' s, and there are boxes of decorations are in the living room waiting to be unpacked. I usually start putting them up the day after Thanksgiving, but this year I didn't- hopefully in the next few days I'll get around to that.

While I was away from my computer last week, I got some great news- I was the lucky winner of wonderful Miss April's 100th post give-a-way at her blog, Straight from the Heart!
*gush squeal*

The box arrived with so many goodies inside, it felt like Christmas morning!
Inside were some cute little fuzzy socks....

A gorgeous ornament.....

And this wonderful little serenity prayer cross!

And have you ever seen a bigger Hershey bar in your life?

(By the way, April- Hubby did not manage to steal it away from me- although it was a fight 'til the end! LOL)

This morning I've been thawing out waterers only to have them freeze again, so I think I'll just stay inside for a couple of hours until it warms up and check in on all my blogging buddies- I've missed you!