Thursday, December 30, 2010

Love having a Fireplace....

...especially during a rainstorm.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Looking In

I love looking into our house (and other peoples:) and seeing the glow of lights from the tree.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas at the Garvers

So glad my Mom is with us for another year (and will be for many promised mom!)

Socks....always a good gift for Dad!

Wison....the comedian.

Brother Robert, Mom and our nephew Nate.

Enough computers?

Enjoying the new slipcover.

Brad and his fiancee Laurel.

Love the t-shirt from Sam, bicycle MPG-infinity!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

The tree is finally up...

...and Sam's home.

Happy happy Joy joy!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Eating Tips

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can and quickly. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an "eggnog-aholic" or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it!!!! Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it.

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, pumpkin and mincemeat - have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips: Start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

thanks to Rural Revolution from whom I stole this....Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wood Floors

We decided to pull up the carpeting in the family room last week...
....and wish we'd done it years ago!

The floors are not in great shape, but compared to the dirty, grimy, 'less than 5yr.old' carpeting (whole other post there....ugh) they are a breath of fresh air, literally. 9+ cats had taken their toll on the carpet (aka~ alternate litter box).

You can sort of see that the carpeting was once very pretty....or at least clean.

The red is the 'water-proof' there's an idea. I'm not sure there's much hope once a cat chooses a spot to use to relieve themselves, but having the urine stay in the carpeting rather than soak down to the floor doesn't help.

Our Christmas tree will be going in that back corner....someday.

Notice the corner of the couch where our much loved cats (said dripping with sarcasm) have sharpened their claws. I can only assume this process is necessary for all the hunting they do around here.

And then we covered the floor with a rug...I think it makes the sitting area more cozy and we like the warmth under our feet (and the cats may need a new decorative accessory to ruin).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas decorations are up.... we must go get a tree!

And when we do, hopefully I'll post some pics of the finished product. For now, here's one of my favorite decorations made by our eldest son when he was about 6yr. old....I just love it.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I'm making vanilla.....did you know you could do that?
(I didn't)

You need good vodka, and I'm not sure what constitutes 'good' but this was the most expensive one that Costco sold (don't laugh) so that's what I went with.

Using a fairly sharp knife, I cut down the middle of 9 vanilla beans
(3 beans per cup of vodka) ....

....leaving an inch at one end.

Put vanilla beans in a glass jar, cover with vodka, secure lid and
store in cool, dark place for 2 months.

This was started a month ago and it's turning a nice brown color but still tastes a bit Because I don't drink vodka I'm just doesn't taste like wine:) Since commercial vanilla extract usually has simple syrup added to it, it won't ever taste quite like that. I could add sugar water but probably won't, it'll be fine for baking.

....from a recipe on Simply Recipes