faMily photo

My cousin got married the Friday before Christmas. Amazingly my parents and all four of "us kids" were able to attend and we got some family photos.

We are in birth order - I'm the oldest, Gary, then Merilee, and Doug is the baby. 

Merilee's handsome husband, Val. This was a candid shot, not a pose, and isn't it great.

I love this photo of my mom and her daughters and daughters-in-law. Kimberly, in maroon and gray is Doug's wife and Lesa in black is married to Gary. We're a good team when family events are happening. We enjoy being together and my sisters-in-law are SO good to my mom.
Posted by Picasa

best holiday memories

Favorite memory from mid December. The party with my friends that get together each month to sew...or whatever. Wonderful, talented ladies that I love to associate with. They made the most wonderful Christmas magic this year with beautiful decor, magnificent music, and delicious food.

Posted by Picasa


thanKs HaLLmark

I made myself a little sign, so I'd remember what's important. I need to make a shift in direction because I'm focusing too much on little details and fussing too much over "stuff." The other day I stopped what I was doing and said to myself, "You've spent the whole morning managing things." That's boring and unfulfilling. Yes, it's Christmas so some of that's to be expected, but I was getting too involved with process and not people.

I love Hallmark's shopping bags. I love their font - they've used this font on their website and on their print ads and even on the pocket calendars they give away. That font makes me smile.

Don't you love my little wall reminder. Sometimes I glare at it and say, "Life is a STRESSFUL occasion." And that would be very true. But it's special too and so is Christmas.

Posted by Picasa


NYC lights

I wanted to share some of the gorgeous storefronts from our NYC trip in November. Harry Winston was a huge wow. The jewelery stores seemed to go all out.

I think this was Tommy Hilfiger.

Salvatore Ferragamo (don't know correct spelling).

Rockefeller Center ice skating rink.

Bergdorf Goodman 

We're excited to be going into the Apple store. It's 1:00 am and we had to keep our tradition of always going after midnight. The place was packed and the lines were long. It's so amazing.
Posted by Picasa


quick Christmas saLad

This is a salad recipe that I forget, then remember, then make three times in one week. It's called Ambrosia.

It's an old recipe that I got from a little typewritten recipe booklet that was put together by the "Epionean Club." When Scott was an ophthalmology resident, the wives of the interns and residents belonged to the Epioneans. I don't remember the origin of the name, but the group was led by the wife of one of the faculty members. She was from Georgia and was large and elaborate and friendly to everyone and her Ambrosia Salad was at every gathering.

It's so easy to make and perfect for a little get-together at home like the one we had here last week or to take to a potluck party. (Note the Jigglers jello in the picture. I made them so Scott would have something he likes.) I included it when I took dinner to a friend the other night, and, since she loves coconut, she just loved the salad. 

The salad is delicious with fresh oranges, and I use them sometimes when I know they're good, sweet oranges. I usually buy a can of pineapple slices and cut them up instead of using tidbits because my dad says that the tidbits are made from the leftovers of the pineapple - the core and sides - and the whole slices are the best part of the pineapple. Just a little tidbit I knew you'd want to know :)   

You can find many varieties of the salad on the internet from basic to elaborate. It's also known as Five-Cup Salad. This is the recipe I like best: 


1 cup canned pineapple tidbits
1 cup (1 large can) mandarin oranges
1 medium bottle maraschino cherries
1 cup coconut
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup whipping cream, unwhipped
1/2 cup sour cream

Drain the pineapple, mandarin oranges, and cherries. Whisk together the whipping cream and sour cream but don't whip the cream. Combine all ingredients in large bowl with lid and refrigerate overnight or at least about 3 hours. (Don't stir too much or the maraschino cherries will turn the salad pink.) Serve in a pretty serving bowl.


Today I

Loved my little grandbaby Hollis and watched TV with Emmett for a long time. Played ping pong too and SWAT team and cars.

Thought about my family all day and hoped they know how much I love them.

Went to Ross (I call it Rrrrrross) and quickly found exactly what I went for and felt happy about that.

Talked to a favorite friend on the phone and felt gratitude for her and for friendships that are there in spite of neglect or busy-ness.

Made and took dinner to two different people and had two more people come to my house for dinner. Enjoyed it kind of. Was still cleaning the kitchen at midnight.

Listened to Christmas music through it all and later a bit of Jimmy Fallon which alternately makes me laugh and makes me disgusted.

Went to bed with a shiny sink which I try to do every night and mostly succeed. (A habit that remains from years of following Flylady.)

Typed this blog post while sitting in bed, because I'm trying to convince myself that anything is better than nothing.


...cookie day...

Since it's National Cookie Day and this blog is dedicated to cookies (and distractions, which I've had a lot of this evening), I want to share the blog of a cute niece-in-law. 

It's an awesome cooking blog called High Heels and Grills. Sarah and her husband, Zach, post great recipes on their blog. She's the heels and he's the grill. Sometimes, if we're lucky, we get to see pictures of their darling baby who has this cute little face that you could just squeeze. Oops, that's on Facebook, not the blog. 

So back to cookies. I still remember seeing Sarah's very creative version of Sugar Cookies in this blog post

These are cookies to keep in the front of the recipe binder - including the photo. These are cookies to make for a baby shower or Christmas cookie exchange. I'm pretty sure everyone will ask for the recipe because sometimes it's just too labor intensive to make cut-out cookies. These bar cookies have the perfect flavor without the work. 

If you just want to dream about Christmas cookies, then today's special treat is Sarah's Christmas Cookie blog post and link up here. I love checking out all of the bloggers who link their cookie recipes from their blogs to Sarah's blog. If you've never experienced a "link party," this is a great one to check out.