Have you ever just had no time at all to keep up with the things you need or want to do? Since our Charity Crop in October, it’s been that way for me. Thanksgiving seemed to come and go so quickly and now we’re 5 days away from Christmas Eve Night!! I just can’t believe how fast time has flown!
I’m busy finishing up mini books and layouts for albums that I’m giving as gifts. I’ve not wrapped the first present so that will be a chore, Pat’s dad is coming in Friday afternoon so I have cleaning to do before then, and somewhere I have to find the time to do my candy making!
Speaking of baking:
What do you bake for Christmas? It’s been a tradition for quite a while now that my mom, my sister, and I get together and make candies. We make pecan logs that are nothing like those you buy in the store, homemade coconut/chocolate balls kind of like Mounds that are so good, and my mom stirs up two or three batches of her wonderful fudge. This in itself is her all day job while my sister and I work on the rest. This fudge is what I think of as old-fashioned. If you cook it one second too long it turns to a very dry, sugary texture, which is what makes it such a pain in the patootie. It’s buttery and fudgey and vanilla flavoring-y and oh so good! My sister and I fight over this stuff so we literally have to do the “one for you, one for me” thing when we divide it up. Yep, we’re all grown up, can’t you tell?
I also add to my candy trays the butterscotch-peanut butter-cornflake crunchies, I call them. Some people say they make them with some sort of crunchy asian noodle? Anyway, they taste like a Butterfinger without the chocolate and these are the things that I could make 3 batches of and still have my family whining for more. They are like vultures when I put my tray down, and there are nothing but miniscule crumbs left afterwards. This year, I’m baking oatmeal lace cookies as my extra. These are wonderful buttery chewy cookies and believe it or not, you might think they’re no good when you have that first bite and then something clicks and before you know it, you’ve eaten a dozen. If it weren’t for all the butter, you might think they were good for you.
One other new recipe I’m trying is Pioneer Woman’s French Breakfast Puffs. These look so good with cinnamon and nutmeg! Click on her link to the right and check her out. There are amazing recipes on The Pioneer Woman Cooks.
Wal-Mart Late at Night:
Last night I tried to finish up most of my shopping. I accomplished most, but not all so that means one more trip out at some point before Christmas Eve. I started in Hobby Lobby, then Target, and then for some reason I went into Wal-Mart. I had actually boycotted the place for a long time, but recently have had to suck it up and venture into the hell that is Wal-Mart, and at 10:30 at night, the people in there scare me! I did manage to find one DVD for someone and a greeting card. but for some reason it took an hour and a half! What’s with that place? Is it completely another dimension where you can’t get in and out in less than 10 minutes? You would think with every single register open (yeah, right) that you could easily get what you need and be back to your car in record time. And everyone is so courteous in WM as well. I tried to go up an aisle and this guy had his cart on the right side and his body on the left. I stook there a minute and he completely ignored me. After another minute or so I decided not to say anything and went up another aisle to go back down the aisle I needed. The guy’s still standing there, but I manage to get in front of what I needed to look at and do you know he steps in front of me, no excuse me, to grab what he’s been looking for. He stands way too close for comfort looking at said item and then throws it in his cart and leaves. Now there have been ruder people in WM and I’m sure everyone’s had an experience, but you just have to wonder about people sometimes. Do they only come out to shop at Christmas and that’s why Wal-Mart is even more creepier at this time of year as opposed to normally?
So an hour and a half later, I’m standing in a checkout line that actually only had two people ahead of me with just my DVD and card still wondering why I came in there in the first place and how did so much time go by. Weird!
What I’ve made for Gifts:
Money is quite tight this Christmas (hence sucking it up and going to WM) so I decided to make a few things as gifts. Hopefully, my family will enjoy them and appreciate them, but with my crew, one never knows.
For my nephew I made a mini book out of Bazzill square and circle shaped biscuit boards and Tinkering Inks’ Blur line. (Click on the image to see a larger version.) I had tons of pictures so the extras I sanded, mounted on chipboard, and attached them to another ring that attaches to the main mini book. Hopefully, he’ll like it. They’re actually eight pages, but I’m showing one set so you get the idea.
I’m starting a scrapbook for my sister. I’ve gotten one page done and may do another, but I thought it would be neat to give her a new layout for her book at different times during the year. Still need to do my journaling on this layout, but I really love how it turned out.
Then there is this layout that I did and decided it would be a great gift to my grandmother. I’m hoping to get a frame for it, the one thing I forgot last night. This is a thank you letter to my grandmother for always being there for me.
And finally, I’m working on mini books for my cousins. Melody and Melinda lost their dad (my dad’s younger brother) unexpectedly back in 2003 and their mom the next year from lung cancer. This past April, my dad’s older brother passed. I’m doing a book on him for his daughters, Lisa and Claire. I scanned and printed every picture I have of my two uncles and my aunt and actually completed Melody’s and Melinda’s.
For my dad’s older brother, it’s been much more difficult to get the books done. I really loved him. He was a wonderful artist, a jokester, quick witted, a smart ass, and a night owl just like me! I loved sending him something via the Internet knowing it would crack him up. He had a stroke during heart surgery my first year in college and had been in a wheel chair ever since. He got a lot of enjoyment out of his computer and I can’t even delete his address from my address book. I think it’s so hard because even though he could be a butt at times, I admired him. He could look at my drawings and tell me what I needed to do to make them better. Your nose isn’t made up of lines, but shadows, he would say. He would compliment me on how I printed my Christmas card addresses, good penmenship a must! And, man did he love to hear about something funny we did as kids because a few days later here came the drawing making fun. My sister had a horrible bicycle accident and the next week the drawing came of her holding a trophy, the bike chain around her neck, cuts and band-aids everywhere, hair a mess with grass and such all in it, a bike wheel in the other hand, and just they way he drew her expression, and her clothes and shoes; you couldn’t stop laughing even though you knew how badly she was hurt. For me, I loved playing the piano, had braces at the time, and loved catalogs. Daddy must have said something to him about me and my catalog addiction so the drawing came of my sitting at a piano, braces shining done in gold pencil, red hair drawn in of course, my glasses exactly like the ones I wore, and different items all around me labeled with tags with catalog numbers printed on them. I also loved rice so in a bubble above my head, I was singing “Rice Gets in Your Braces” to the tune of “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” Sweet, right? UGH! I miss him terribly. My cousins wanted the monument marking his burial place to be special so they took a copy of his handwriting and had it engraved on the back of the monument. I know he loves it!
Sorry to be so melancholy, but this Christmas has been that way for me. I miss traditions and family members no longer with us. I see the kids growing up and not caring as much about family as they should. I really hope that I can instill in Jake the importance of your family and keeping them close. Keep yours close this Christmas, okay?
Merry Christmas to you and yours!!