holiday gift plans

Did you know Christmas shopping in an unexpected sleet storm bites? If I didn’t know before I sure do now! Gah! Add in that special circle of hell also known as Wal*Mart and my day today was pretty horrid! I did get a couple of gifts at the local used book store though – yay! That almost redeemed the rest of the day.

I actually have very little shopping to do since I’ve made quite a few presents already. I wish I could tell you more about them but I don’t want to ruin any surprises for my anyone in my family who might be reading this. I thought I could do a post about possible handmade gifts, but I’m making so many of them it would give too much away! Sorry!

I can tell you though, that one of the best things we’re doing to save money this year is a “hand me down” Christmas exchange with the little ones in my family. All the kids have way more toys and books than they can use so they’re picking out some their own stuff to give away to their cousins. I think it’s going to work out really well, and the kids love anything that’s “new” to them, they don’t care if it’s not new in a box! I’m so psyched the rest of my family was as excited to do it as I was! (We haven’t done gift exchanges between the adults in my family for years. There are waaaayyyy too many of us!)

Next up is holiday cards. I think I’m going to have to give up on the idea of making all my own cards. I’ve done it before, but not during a year when I was making all the gifts too! A girl has only so much time for this stuff! At this point I’ll be doing good just to get the cards in the mail on time.

All in all I’m coming along really well with my plans and I shouldn’t have to do any unexpected last minute shopping. I’m soooo glad of that!

ps. This is the final day of NaBloPoMo! Wooohoooo! I think I’ll let you all catch up on your feed readers before I post again! 😉

photohunt: metal

When I was visiting my parents for Thanksgiving this week I took the opportunity to take pictures of their gorgeous old tractor. The photohunt challenge this week is metal, and it certainly qualifies!

We had a lovely half inch of snow fall on us to make the day, and the pictures, perfect!


Crud. It’s almost 11:00 pm. I was about to shut down my computer after a verrry long day and I realized I hadn’t posted yet. This will have to suffice.

mmmm, pie

Happy Thanksgiving peeps! I hope yours was as lovely as mine. And I hope you had pie.

not much today

I don’t wanna! I don’t wanna! I don’t wanna write today!

</end whine>

I’m in Maine. ~happy sigh~ My mom cooked dinner and it was lovely. My boy painted with my father. We chatted and chatted. Now we’re about to have a scrabble game. All is well in my world. Tomorrow will be even better. 🙂

See ya then.


it’s all about the pie

So this past Saturday I had committed to working at a bake sale for a local charity that I’m involved with. Well you can’t go work a bake sale and not bring something baked to sell! I knew others were bringing cookies so that was out. What’s even easier than cookies? Pie. Pumpkin pie is way easier than cookies! Apparently other people don’t think so though.

I brought six pies and I got a number of comments about how ambitious that was. More ambitious than dozens of cookies? No way!

Cookies have to be portioned out evenly on the pans so they all look the same. They have to be watched carefully as they cook or they’re likely to burn. They have to be baked in batches because there’s never enough room in the oven. You have to wash the cookie sheets in between batches since you never have enough of them. You never ever get to leave the kitchen when you make cookies.

Six pies? That’s just six pre-made crusts spread over six tin foil pans. A few ingredients all mixed together in the biggest bowl you have. All can be baked at once. All come out at the same time. Plus or minus a minute or two of cooking time won’t ruin them, and they take long enough to bake that you can go sit on the couch for a while! Easy peasy!

At least I thought so, until I got an email from someone who bought one, loved it, and asked if I would make more for her. Huh? She thought I did if for a living. Huh? It occurred to me that not everyone realizes how easy it is to make a pumpkin pie. Have they always just had the crappy ones from the grocery store and don’t know the difference? Seriously?

Have any of you never made a pumpkin pie?

If you haven’t you really should try it. Don’t worry about the crust. No one cares about the bottom crust anyway, just use the Pillsbury ones that you unroll out on to the pie plate. (Now pies with a top crust are different. You really need to make homemade crust for that. Sorry!) Pumpkin pie is all about the filling.

So here’s my recipe for easy pumpkin pie, adapted my way from the back of a can of pumpkin.

1 – 15oz can of pumpkin (do not use the One-Pie brand, only use plain canned pumpkin)
1 – 12oz can of evaporated milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla (I use just a little extra – and I do use homemade vanilla so that makes a slight difference in taste.)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
dash ground cloves

Mix well with whisk. Pour into pie shell.
Bake at 450 for ten minutes then turn oven down to 350 for another 30 minutes. At this point it’s good to cover the crust with a little tin foil (or a crust cover if you have one) to keep them from over browning. I hate burnt crust! Keep baking for another 10-20 minutes – until you stick a fork in and it comes out clean, and it doesn’t jiggle. Really scientific!

Oh, and no, I didn’t bake more pies for her. I have to work on my real job so I sent her this recipe instead!

wish list

One of the reasons why I waffled about participating in NaBloPoMo was that I was afraid the pressure of posting every day would make me despise my own blog. Well, if you could see my stats, you’d know, as I now realize, that my real fear should have been that I would make you all despise my blog. ~bwahahahaha!~ Have mercy, this was the dumbest of my dumb ideas evah, but I vow to see it through! Just don’t expect a freaking post on December 1st. Sheesh.

So the boy finally made his Christmas wish list yesterday – we haven’t written our usual ‘Dear Santa’ email yet but at least I know what he wants now. (You read that right, no old fashioned letter in this house, we send an email to the North Pole!)

Here’s the list:

It’s funny, it seemed like such a normal list at first. Then it went off the deep end! Clearly, it’s a very bad thing that my husband is a techno-geek and we have so many electronic things around the house. Now the boy wants them too, and thinks they are basic necessities. He is just like his father. Well, maybe his mother too. But his father is much, much, much worse. His father might actually give him a digital camera. (A used one, but still (!) a camera for a 5 year old.)

And what do I want for Christmas? I just want a new a kitchen faucet, and maybe a decent soup pot. Really high tech eh?

ps. dear family members, that is not supposed to be a hint! (at least, it’s only a hint to my husband!) 😉

pps. what do you want for the holidays?

ppps. if you really want to give me something, you can click on my ads! hee hee…

moments I love

My friend Megin tagged me for this meme because she knew I’m stuck for things to write about. Lucky for me it’s a good one. 😉 It’s one of those memes that’s been twisted around a bit and it’s now become the “5 moments I love” meme. Perfect!

  1. That moment when I completely finish the last loose ends of a project. When I send off the final email or drop the package in the FedEx drop and I know it’s done and I did a good job. I love that moment.
  2. That moment at night when I get in bed and put my head on my pillow and my whole being completely relaxes and I let the day drift away from me. I love that moment.
  3. That moment when we start a fire in the fireplace and it starts to roar to life, I hear the first crackles and hisses and pops of heating wood, and I can stare into the dancing of the light. I love that moment.
  4. That moment when I go in to the boy’s room in the morning, rub the back of his neck and watch him awaken to a new day, all warm and fuzzy headed, with pillow creases on his face. I love that moment.
  5. That moment when a new email notification appears in the corner of my screen. I check it in anticipation, and yes! it’s a comment! I love that moment.

I had such fun with this one, thanks Megin!

Now I know I’m supposed to tag some people, except I’m not gonna! If this one speaks to you, consider yourself tagged, and let me know if you do it so I can read it!

photohunt: reflection

I’m posting in a hurry this morning because I’m rushing off to work at a bake sale for a local charity that I’m involved with. I baked a bunch of pumpkin pies for it last night! The scent made me feel like the holidays are finally upon us and it’s nice because I hadn’t really felt that yet.

Anyway, this week’s photohunt challenge is: reflection. I think this photo is reminiscent of Christmas lights without actually being too Christmasy. I’ve always loved playing with Lite Brites but I don’t remember ever having one of my own. Did you have one when you were a kid?

on a roll with the bullets

I might as well just keep this bullet theme going today too, but let’s be random shall we?

Okay, I’ve now wasted even more time. Gotta get something accomplished. See ya tomorrow. 🙂

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