Friday, December 23, 2011


We have dodged a huge blizzard which is inundating Kansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. We may see a few flurries and that will add to the festiveness of the season.

When I think of Christmas, I recall past times with family. I've spent the past 43 years with my husband, 40 years have included our son, Sean, and 38 years have included our daughter, Melinda. For the past 19 years we have been grandparents, and each year we have been more blessed than we could ever have imagined.

It's so easy to lose the spirit of this time when there are so many activities going on. Today I encourage you to take the time to go out of your way to do something unexpected for someone. Pray for not only guidance for yourself, but also for your neighbors, not only the ones you know, but for those you don't know. Behind each door are difficulties that are not necessarily shared. Smile, it is contagious. Be reflective. Be thankful for all that you are. Know that God will be by your side at all times. Thank the people you interact with. All of us need a boost of encouragement.

This may not be in your plans today, but now that I have written it down, it will be on my agenda.

Thank you to all of you for your support for me and my family. You give me strength each day.

Stay warm,

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Coffee in bed this morning, a treat from my favorite husband. What a nice gesture for a loved one. The decorating is complete, the shopping is done so next on the agenda is to finish up the baking. It's a good thing the inner baker comes out at these special times.

I've completed the banana bread and pumpkin bread mini loaves, the pecan sandies, Oreo/cream cheese balls, peanut butter blossoms, and white chocolate pretzel sticks. Today I'm going to tackle decorated sugar cookies. Wish me luck, I need it.

It's so nice to be retired and have the time to put together treats for friends who don't have the pleasure of time. I remember too well the stress of being young with children and working away from my home. So appreciative when someone remembered my family and shared their spirit of the season with us.

Keep your fingers crossed that I have all the ingredients I need today since I don't drive. Steve is busy working on our son's basement so he won't be home for a while. Oh well, it's always gives me a chance to touch base with the neighbors if I find I'm short of something.

Here's a great, easy recipe for all of you.

Oreo/cream cheese balls:  Cream together one package of Oreo cookies (crumbled) and eight ounces of cream cheese. Form into walnut sized balls. Refrigerate for over an hour, dip in melted almond bark. Cool.  Eat!

Love to you all!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I am so excited to share our event from last Saturday morning. Steve and I hosted a fund raising Christmas brunch for our neighbors. It was time for the house to be adorned for the season, time to give to those less fortunate, time to bake, and time to share with friends. This was the perfect way to be motivated to do all of it at one time.

I like to take time to go through my house and decide how I want it to look and feel for Christmas. Steve always reminds me to "shop" the decorations he's displayed in the family room, before I decide I need to purchase something new. Funny that after 42 Christmas seasons how many things I have to choose from, even though I have deleted numerous items in the past. (Remember when everything had to look country or the homemade phase?). Well, when I feel the pressure of an event, I do much better setting a deadline rather than doing a little bit here and there.

The tree was adorned, the holiday dishes set the festive table, the menu was selected so the only thing left was to order the perfect morning weather. As it turned out, we could not have chosen a more perfect day for a brunch. In Nebraska, we had already had our first beautiful snow and the early morning brought a frost that turned the trees and bushes into shimmering white icicles. The temp was warm enough so some braved the short walk to our house in just sweaters and the sun shown bright.

Our company enjoyed mimosas, orange juice, coffee and a few bloody Marys. We served Creme Brûlée French toast, egg casserole, fruit, Swedish Hamballs and Christmas cookies.

Our generous guests brought donations for the women's shelter and later in the afternoon a few of us delivered them. I would call the effort a great success and a reminder to all of what the season is all about.

Today is the day I have set aside to start the Holiday baking. Must get the stash ready so I have something in hand when I visit my friends' homes.

I'm blessed to be able to still do this again this year. I must take advantage of these fleeting moments. The past two years, I didn't think I would have, have flown by too quickly.

Breathe, and enjoy the season,