19 December 2008

What's for Christmas Dinner? Help!

I need help. There's only a week left before THE day and I have a BIG problem. I haven't decided what to cook for Chrismas Dinner yet.

I've asked the husband for his opinion; no answer, no guidance, no help. Besides he might ask for his all time favorite and I am not going there. Ick!

The winter in autumn weather we're having is playing havoc on my shopping. But of course I would not have it any other way.

After much reflection (and web surfing) I've narrowed it down to these finalists:
Glazed ham, mashed potatoes, vegetable, homemade bread with herb butter
* Roast beef, new potatoes and other root vegetables, Yorkshire pudding
* Lamb, rice pilaf, stir fry asparagus, focaccia
* Apricot glazed Cornish Hen (stuffed), stir fry asparagus, Yorkshire pudding or homemade bread or focaccia

Other holiday meals--
* Cheese fondue. Not being man-food, I'll have to serve that with a meat/cheese tray. It's so hard at times to make a meat and potatoes man happy when you're an international/gourmet food aficionado, but at least my grown kids take after me. That's a comfort in my old age.

* Christmas Morning: breakfast sausage (maple), plattar (Swedish pancakes), potatoes. Just eggs, sausage and fried potatoes for the man cub; he doesn't do pancakes. Good thing I have 4 working burners now.
* Christmas night: blessed leftovers.

So what are you all having? I am always open to other ideas! That is unless it's hot dogs and bologna --my hubby's favorite foods :)

Advent blessings! Aimee

17 December 2008

A Walk in His Gardens--mountains & snow

Snow on the mountains~
and points in between.
In the Northwest we are getting hit hard by winterlike weather and I can tell that for most people this is getting old, very old.
But not for me.
No, with every new weather report my glee & childlike delight are more then evident. And when -- for a moment -- it looks as if it might be going away,
I feel sad.

I just can't help it; it's the way I am made.

I love the winter carpet on the rolling countryside, by the rivers, lakes and waterfalls, in the forests and even on the high desert. I love it on houses--especially if they're Victorian ones and on old churches too. I love it by ponds and falling from the sky. I even love it as it covers our decks and paths

But my favorite...and I am sure this will be difficult to guess.
Yea, the mountans & foothills.
But I want you to know--this is a good thing.
Because if it wasn't for my love of snow and the mountains & foothills, I would have missed this..
and this.

And if it wasn't for my almost obsessive love of the snow and mountains, I would have missed this on the way down from one of those trips..

and then I couldn't have shared it with you.
Advent blessings, Aimee
Cascades, Coast Range, Foothills & near Bend--all in Oregon, Colorado.
Colorado photo: © J. Blessings. All Rights Reserved. Used here by permission.

My Favorite Things

Let's start out with the link first for those that might need a refresher -- or just a musical interlude:

We’ve all heard the song--“My Favorite Things“--you know from the Sound of Music. The one sung during the big thunderstorm, that sends all of the kids into Maria’s room? Yep. That one.

So right now we’re enjoying one of my favorite things that just so happens to be on Maria’s list too--snow--and I am in a great mood because of it!

And because I am in such a great mood, and because Christmas can be stressful (and I don’t want any of you feeling sad or bad)… I’m wondering what are a few of your favorite things? Things that make your world a brighter, happier place?

Do you like raindrops on roses?

I really like roses-especially the miniatures and climbing, very fragrant ones but I certainly do not like rain. At all.

After all we get rain, or some form there of, for almost 9 months a year here in the Pacific NW . OK maybe a slight overstatement; a very small exaggeration. But Lewis and Clark, the explorers hated over wintering here and it was because of the icky cold rain. They really did. Look it up. I must be their descendant-somehow-give me snow and I am good. Or sun. Lots of sun.

But back to the list--I am really a dog person now, although there are certain cats that I hold in deep awe. I just don’t like the fact that when you think they like you they're really saying they own you. Or at least that's what I've heard. Sounds scary (LOL)

I do like copper on kettles but not as much as I used to--more into natural wood and marble now. And cast iron. Nice black cast iron. Good stuff.

So I’ll go with the ponies (but I would prefer Arabian or Fjord horses or Icelandic ponies as my Welsh pony was way too ornery for me!! Of course he wasn‘t cream colored come to think of it--more a buckskin), apple strudel (warm with whipped cream please), snowflakes and schnitzel please!

And those are just my favorite things from the song...

What about you?

Song lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II
Music” Richard Rodgers
Film: The Sound of Music
Blessings, Aimee
Photo: Near Leavenworth, WA

Like a Child in Winter

I hate to admit it, but I've never quite grown up.

Surely this grandmother jests, you say, but I have proof and that is-
I really LOVE all the winter-like weather we've been getting lately.

It’s so true…the minute a perfect snowflake falls from the sky, I lose
all semblance of being a mature woman and I become a little child again, totally entranced and exhilarated by the falling snow beyond my window! I race around shooting photos of it, I constantly check to see how deep it is and I even wake people up to tell them it's snowing.
And I’m not embarrassed about it. Not even a tiny bit.
Just ask my long suffering husband, best friend and DIL.



I think of all the past blessings in my life and so many have been accompanied by snowflakes---

As a child, the 2-3 ft snowfalls we used to get, sledding and building snowmen.
And snow days!

As a teenager, a failed attempt to walk on water, like Jesus, on the not quite frozen enough stream behind our home.
And the very cold horseback ride home afterwards by our kind neighbor.

As a kid/teen, skiing--at Mt Hood, Hoodoo, in Washington state and even near the rural town we lived in when I was younger; and ice skating (I know it‘s indoors and ice, not snow, but it’s white and it's frozen).
It counts in my world.
As a college student, one Thanksgiving visit to a friend's family in very rural Idaho (population: 13) I just knew they should, logically, have snowfall at that time of the year and then having this wish come VERY true (much to their total shock and my immense joy!)
And the very long, very slow, very crowded bus trip back to college since we couldn't fly because of all the snow!

As an adult, a magical, wintertime train trip from the NW to the Rockies with my mom (just after being in sandals only, warm Hawaii for about two-three weeks!).
We arrived in blizzard-like conditions.

As a married woman and mom, watching my kids make snowmen and…many, many more wonderful times in the beautiful snow covered mountains of the Northwest!
Where Paradise was a (very) snow covered meadow instead of a wildflower filled one!.

So, despite snow being dangerous, and my fervent wish & prayer that no more weather related accidents will occur, I feel very blessed right now surrounded by this beautiful pristine carpet of white, powder snow.
I feel like a child; it's as if God knows the desires of my heart:)

“For he saith to the snow,
Be thou on the earth.”
Job 37:6 KJV
Thank you God!
Blessings, Aimee

Photos: camellia, mushrooms and rose hips in snow.
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