Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spring Flowers

The weather has been so beautiful lately. Although it is still the middle of February the weather has been like spring. It is weather like this that makes me love living in Oregon. Monday, Gary and I went out to get the garden ready for spring planting, our little puppy ( who is no longer really little at 40 plus pounds) enjoyed "helping" us as well, although messy, watching her dig with such gusto made us laugh. The little bulbs popping up around the yard, as well as the heather and plum tree in bloom where so happy looking I had to post their pictures to the blog. I love following the seasons, and, as a gardener, love watching every cycle the garden presents- one of the most hopeful things to me, is seeing all the spring surprises that pop-up to remind me that spring and summer are near, I look forward to another year of gardening.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Just a quick post to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day. I have had a wonderful and restful Saturday- I was able to spend the large part of today needle felting. I made two Valentine Gnomes for our seasonal bookshelf. If you haven't tried needle felting yet, I would highly suggest it, it is a very organic, and cathartic craft that always leaves me feeling relaxed.

Tomorrow we plan to have a nice family Valentine celebration, I have planned a fun glittery craft for my Sunday school class.

Signs of spring are all around- bulbs popping up everywhere, and beginning to blossom, and I have noticed the days getting a bit longer. Time to order my seeds, and get the garden ready!
Hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Groundhog Day!

I love to follow the seasons and holidays throughout the year, February is a nice time of year, signs of spring are all around, even though it is still Winter. Groundhog day, also known as Candlemas has always been a holiday I like to recognize. Some years we eat glazed jelly doughnuts, they are brown and only glazed on the outside, a lot like the winter ground, but are filled w/ berry jelly, also a lot like the winter ground - all the roots ready to burst forth with spring and summer beauty providing us w/ fruits, berries, and veggies, as well as pretty flowers. This year I decided to pull out my Groundhog shaped cookie cutter, I got it a few years back- here is a link for a similar one I found at Amazon-

 I baked a nice batch of Sugar cookies, and had a lot of fun decorating them while Sarah and Joe were at school. Our whole family enjoyed them. We also decided, now that the kids are older that we would watch Groundhog Day the movie, which was interesting and had some very thought provoking messages that were interesting to think about- yet again only if your kids are in their teens. Otherwise I would suggest reading a fun Groundhogs day story to the kids- Gregory's Shadow or Gretchen Groundhog, It's Your Day.

Our day was Sunny until evening, so the local zoo's hedgehog did indeed see his shadow, I believe Phil the groundhog saw his as well- so six more weeks of winter for us.
Candlemas Day is what Groundhog day is also called, as some churches bless candles on this day for use in the church for the coming year, some Christians used to light candles for baby Jesus and his mother on this day as well. I love a little Candlemas poem that I read in My Festivals Family and Food book by Carey and Large-

" If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will take another flight.
If Candlemas Day be cloud and rain
Winter is gone and will not come again. "
I have included pictures of our Groundhog cookies, as well as our books, and our two resident Groundhogs who join the house's decor from mid January to mid February.

Our Christmas 2009.

Here are a few of our Christmas decoration pictures, I have a very eclectic mix of ornaments and decor, I love Scandinavian Christmas things, I was able to make some new additions to my Cardboard village, in my living room I like some of my more modern whimsical items, and my tree is a conglomeration of it all- Modern, old world, Scandinavian, Victorian, as well as our fun Sci-Fi Hallmark ornaments, we love our Star Trek ornaments, it all comes together to create a fun and warm environment, not to stuffy and perfect, but still beautiful. We had a nice Christmas this year, different gifts for the kids now that they are in their teens. We had fun watching Christmas movies, Sarah did the singing Christmas tree again, we had one snowy day, and did a nice amount of baking. I was able to bake lots of Gingerbread boys, and sugar cookies, we all had fun decorating them, as well as current cookies, snowballs, lemon tassies, spritz, Krumkaka, and rosettes. I made a Gingerbread Chalet, and two Gingerbread trees as well. We had a fun family celebration here on Christmas Eve, and the day after Christmas, on Christmas day we had a nice quiet meal together of one of our favorite holiday meals- Duck w/ orange sauce, and all the yummy side dishes, it was very nice.

Our New Puppy.

As you can tell, I have been unable to post since November. I was all organized for a lovely Christmas holiday season, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a little black, furry, very cute little puppy. Gary (hubby) went to the grocery store to pick up some holiday baking goods for me, and couldn't resist bringing home a puppy from a litter being given away outside the front of the store. When he called and said he was bringing her home I was not too happy, don't get me wrong, I love animals, but I know the amount of work that goes into puppies and I also know that my old, set in her ways, lab Xena would also probably not be too happy w/ the new little critter. But when I saw her for the first time, I couldn't resist, she was absolutely adorable. Even Xena was tolerant. So began my very hectic winter. Our little puppy is named Cordelia (a suggestion from my sister)- we call her Cordy for short. She was 6 weeks old when we got her, and was supposed to be mostly lab- her mother was a fairly pure Golden lab, and the father was thought to be some type of black lab mix. She is now roughly 15 weeks, and has grown to a large 34 lbs. Yikes! We are pretty sure the daddy must have had something pretty big mixed w/ him like Mastiff or Newfoundland. She loves to chew (everything), she can reach the kitchen counters, she is very playful, and very smart. Potty training has been a big challenge, but we are getting there. We are just now settling in to a nice schedule, and I am hoping to be able to get back to my crafting in time for spring, as well as updating my blog more often. I will do my intended Christmas posts, and finish out w/ a Groundhogs day post as well. Here are some pictures of our new addition.