December 31, 2011 - Goodbye to 2011

It was a good year, and it was a bad year. The good was that Mr. Granny and I are still alive and kicking, the family stayed healthy and happy, the Arizona property sold (that took a lot of weight off my shoulders), and the garden produced a lot of good food for our table. The bad was the tragic death of our little pet rabbit and the garden was the worst it has ever been in my entire gardening life. As far as the garden goes, I don't know if the blame should be placed on the purchased compost, which wasn't nearly as nice as in past years, the weather, which was so much cooler than normal, or the gardener, who is getting so very old and addlepated. Oh well, we'll try again, and hope the 2012 garden is beautiful and bountiful.

While many of you have already started your 2012 garden plans, I sit here in the middle of 20 boxes of Rhino flooring waiting to be installed. New counter top materials and kitchen sink have been ordered, and there will be much varnishing and painting going on in my house. We've lived in this house for over 20 years, and it was last updated in the mid-70s. It's past time to rid it of the Harvest gold sink and counter tops, and move into the present time with wood flooring. It's a big task to take on, and I'm not without worries that i'll absolutely hate it when we're finished, but Robin is holding my hand and giving advise through the entire process. I don't always listen to her, sometimes I just follow my gut feelings....If the floors look horrid, it won't be her fault. We each picked a different wood, and I stuck with my favorite. At least with the new laminate flooring, if I absolutely hate it, it can be pulled back up and used in the bedrooms!

Stacks of flooring in the front entry.

It's called "Embossed Oak". Yes, that's the new vacuum in the background, along with my step stool for reaching up to the ceiling. They really aren't part of my living room decor, LOL!

My vacuum cleaner decided to poop out on my just before Christmas. It wasn't old, maybe two years, and it was the best (most expensive) Kenmore that Sears sold, but I'd had a lot of problems with it. When a much less expensive Shark Navigator went on sale, based on the good reviews I decided to buy it. My goodness, I cannot believe how much dirt it is pulling out of my carpets! I'm definitely happy with the purchase. Of course, a new vacuum cleaner means I must clean the entire house. I've vacuumed floors, walls, ceilings, upholstery and fireplace brick. I've scrubbed baseboards and light fixtures. I've polished furniture and rearranged and rehung pictures. The dining room is finished, the living room is almost done, and I'll be moving on down the hallway by evening! There will be no New Year's Eve celebrations in our house tonight. Granny will by too worn out, and probably in bed by nine!

I'd like to wish all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. May your gardens be blessed and bountiful

December 28, 2011 - The Seeds of Hope and Friendship

The first 2012 seed catalog arrived today! Does that mean I dare hope spring will soon be here? Or that I dare hope our 2012 gardening season will be better than it was in 2011? I hope, I hope, I hope!!!

Thank you to Robin for the gift of membership to Mike the Gardener's Seeds of the Month Club! Seeds of friendship will grow in my garden this year.

How adorable is this card from my dear Sassy Butterfly? It looks like Otto and Annie walking in a wiener wonderland, LOL! And a stocking stuffed with two new varieties of tomato seeds! I'm very anxious to try them.

Of course, I can't leave out my gift to me! Free seeds from Wintersown. org! If you haven't sent for yours, be sure to do so ASAP!

Now, if that doesn't give us HOPE that spring is coming, I don't know what will!

December 27, 2011 - Christmas Past

I made it through Christmas! I had 16 of us crowded inside for dinner, and we actually managed it. This being our first winter at home in probably fifteen years, maybe more, I wasn't sure I could find room to seat everyone. Usually our family dinners are during the summer, and we have outdoor seating. Our dining room table only seats six. We set up a card table, and brought in the patio table for another eight seats. The teenagers ended up in the TV room, holding plates on their laps, so we actually had empty seats at the tables.

Santa showed up......

.....and brought us presents to open.

Then we had dinner.

Corn Chowder
Baked Ham
Scalloped Potatoes
Green Beans (from the 2011 garden)
Cole Slaw
Deviled Eggs
Relish Tray
Crescent Rolls
Jalapeno Corn Muffins
Raspberry Jam (2011 garden)
Jalapeno Jelly (2011 garden)
Pumpkin Pie/Whipped Cream
Apple Pie
Christmas Cookies

Mr. Granny sneaked off for a nap while everyone was still here! I'll have to speak to him about his manners. Luckily, our guests were just our kids and grandchildren, so they really don't care if Grandpa goes off to bed.....just as long as Grandma keeps the food coming.

We had a wonderful day with our family. I hope all of you also had a wonderful Christmas day.

December 24, 2011 - Merry Christmas!

Wishing each and every one of you a..........

Merry Christmas

Happy Hanukkah

Blessed Holiday Season

December 14, 2011 - I Just Can't Trust My Kids!

The other day, Mr. Granny and I went out for a day of Christmas shopping. While we were gone, our daughter Amy came over to the house with her camera, determined to get some good photos of the kids. She wanted to get at least one that was good enough to frame as a gift for me for Christmas. The venture turned into a real comedy of errors. As soon as she would get them seated together and begin to take a picture, one or the other would move. At one time, the boy ran into the bedroom and hid under the king sized bed. Three year old Alicyn had to crawl under the bed and pull him out by his head.

Amy didn't tell on them, but I'm sure she interrupted a party when she came in. I have a feeling the moment we left those kids headed straight for the kitchen to mix up a batch of those "funny" brownies....if you know what I mean. I have no idea where they got "that ingredient". Mr. Granny and I have never been into that type of thing. It must be the friends they keep. Anyway, I doubt I'll ever trust them to stay home alone ever again.

You'll never convince me they weren't stoned!