Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Diapers for Everyone - Help a Mother Out (no not me, but read on please)

I follow a blog written by an up and coming photographer in San Francisco (the city of my early adulthood).  I am not sure how I found her blog(s), but I love her writing and I really love her photographs.  She has recently been branching out with new projects and HAMO (Help A Mother Out) is one of those projects.  If you are interested in reading about this organization (which can be done in any city), please read Julie's blog  here

I personally do not think that most of us ever think about the homeless and less fortunate needing diapers.  Even if the less fortunate are on public assistance and food stamps (you cannot buy diapers with food stamps), they can rarely pay for housing and food, much less diapers.  Please if you want to know more then be sure to read Julie's blog entry.  She tells you about her involvement with a local homeless woman and her three children that led her to this new venture. 

Thanks for reading.

Four Little Monkeys Sitting on a Couch

Here are my four grandchildren sitting on the couch in my living room.  They range in age (from left to right) Sarah-19, Cameron-5 months, Jeremiah-6, Sami-10.  Do you know how hard it is to get all four of them to sit still and look toward the camera?  I must have taken 10 pictures and this is the only one where they all kind of looked in my direction and no one had their hand in front of someone's face. 

Cameron taking a bath in my kitchen sink.  He usually has his bath in a Tummy Tub (if you do not know what that is, be sure to google it, they are the greatest invention for babies).  He loved being in the sink and of course loves his feet which he discovered a few weeks ago.  He has two bottom teeth that his parents forgot to tell me about, so you can imagine my surprise when he put my finger in his mouth and bit down!  Yeow!  those things are like razor blades.

And since we have a mechanic in the family, there is always at least one car that needs some work.  This time the Boston clan needed new brakes on the VW Station Wagon, so it was accomplished in my driveway.  Thank goodness it was a 50 degree day, with no rain.  It turned out to be more work than a normal brake job due to corrosion from salted roads, and required a pry bar to remove the piston from the caliper.  It all turned out good, and they have new brakes for their trip home.  

It was wonderful to have all three of my children home at the same time (with their respective spouses and children).  That does not happen very often, so I was a happy person.  There are more pictures, taken by my SIL and one of the DILs, so when I get them I will post more pictures. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and will stay safe and warm for New Year's. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The First Grade Christmas Party

On Monday I got to deliver this to the first grade classroom where my 6 yo grandson attends school.  Since we all know that homemade goodies are no longer allowed in most public schools, I could not open the box to take a really good picture, so this one will have to do.  This cupcake creation was baked by the local Target, and it turned out so cute. 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday - Funday

Mannland5 is hosting Sunday-Funday - Getting to know you.  Join in, answer this weeks questions, then go here and grab a McLinky back to your blog.  Play it will be fun!

Today's questions..

1. Middle name?

2. What do you think is your best asset (physical)?
not bad legs for an old lady

3. If you could only eat one type of cuisine for a year, what would it be (Mexican, American,Chinese..etc.)?
Chinese (I love all those veggies and noodles)

4. Walmart or Target?
Target, but I do shop at Walmart too!

5. Favorite State besides the one you live in?

6. What side of the bed do you sleep on, left or right?

7. King or Queen size bed?

8. Beer or wine?

9. Water..ice-cold or room temp?
room temp

10. Christmas..love it or hate it?
Not really a fan of the commercial version we have these days.

Now it is your turn, go ahead, it is fun. 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree!

I have been very slow getting into the holiday spirit this year.  Last night I was very tired, so I took a nice hot bubble bath and suddenly I was in the holiday spirit, so I climbed the steps to the attic, got the tree and one box of decorations and at 10:30 PM, I put up my tree and decorated it.  I live in a small house with a very small living room, so the tree is small and I only used about one-eighth of the decorations I own, but I think it looks festive.
What do you think?

Had to put it in front of the fireplace or move out some furniture, so in front of the fireplace it went.  I don't use the fireplace because it does not make much heat and I hate to pollute the earth just to see a fire.  If it heated, now that would be a different story.   Those things on the tree that look like little white cotton balls are actually lights that in person look like snowballs, they are so cute.  I love to turn off all the house lights and just enjoy the tree lights.

Now on to wrapping the gifts, not one is wrapped yet, but I am confident I will get them done before Christmas morning (or maybe I will just plop them all in gift bags and call it done). 

Well it is Friday and my first time to particiapte in Yes I Did Friday.  It is time for that chance to tell all the things you did, that you probably shouldn't have....but also to tell some things that you did that were great.

 Jeanette at And on to Today is hosting this blog carnival every Friday. Here is what you do.....go on over to Jeanette's blog, sign Mr. Linky, leave Jeanette a comment and write your own Yes I Did Friday confession. Don't forget to also grab Jeanette's button....

Come on...play along...you know it will feel good to tell.

1,  I did take a bubble bath at 10PM on Thursday night and then get the holiday spirit, so I went to the attic, got the tree and a few decorations, which are now set up and looking much like Christmas in my living room.  

2.  I did work one day this week for cash, which I will now spend on buying good eats for Christmas Day.

3.  I did put off Christmas gift shopping again this week, I only have a few things to buy, but cannot bring myself to go into a store.  I hope I can get in gear and get it done by Monday.

4.  I did receive a $30 gift card from a friend, and yes I am going to use it for something I want.

5.  And I did put off wrapping the gifts that I have already purchased for about the 3rd week in a row.  

Not very exciting, but this is my first time at Yes I Did Friday.  Come join in, it is therapeutic.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Day of Work & Christmas Trees

As some of you know, some may not know, I have not had a regular job in over a year.  In addition to not having said job, I also closed up my cleaning business in the fall of 2008.  The economy hit my business really hard and I went from cleaning 3-4 houses a week in the first half of the year, to cleaning 3-4 a month by September.  That being said I had a few regular customers that I still work for on an 'on call' basis. 

Today I cleaned a house for one of those customers.  I usually work for her 1-2 times a month and I love to clean her house.  When I arrived this morning I found that she had decorated her house and since I have not decorated mine yet, I fell in love with her decorations. 

Thought I would share a few pictures I took (with her permission). 

This tree is 12 feet tall, and so beautiful.

This is the 'Candy' tree

This is the tree she put on her porch for the 'dogs'
That ribbon has paw prints on it, so cute!  

So now I need to get inspired an put up a tree at my house.  My grandchildren will not be happy if they arrive on Christmas morning and 'The Graminator' does not have a tree and stockings hung by the chimney with care.  They might divorce me! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Virtual Cookie Exchange

This virtual cookie exchange is hosted by Tracy/Gothic Butterfly, click here to see all the recipes. 

Mexican Wedding Cookies

A simple cookie whose resemblance to a snowball makes them a fun holiday cookie.  They're fragile, so handle them gently when you roll them in the powdered sugar.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, plus more as needed
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts (you can use hazelnuts, pecans or almonds)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter until light and fluffy.  Add 3/4 cup of confectioners' sugar and cream together.   

Combine the flour, salt, and chopped nuts in a bowl.  Add the dry ingredients to the dough and beat until just combined.  Stir in vanilla.

Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or as long as 2 days (or wrap very well and freeze indefinitely).

Heat the over to 350 degrees.  Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and bake on ungreased baking sheet until the tops are just turning brown and the bottoms are golden brown, 10-12 minutes.  

Put the remaining confectioners' sugar in a pie plate or shallow bowl.  Cool the cookies on the sheets just enough so you can handle them; use a spatula to transfer them in batches to the plate of sugar.  Roll each cookie in the sugar until coated and then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.   Roll them in sugar again once cooled.  Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for no more than a day or two.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Advice From Maxine!!

Yep, Maxine is one smart cookie! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

He is not Rudolph, but he is a cute Reindeer!

Cameron's parents took him to the voting place this week, where they were voting on Senator Kennedy's replacement.  I could not resist posting a picture of a little reindeer with his papa!

He is getting so big and cuter everyday.  Here he is sitting up.  Soon he will be crawling so his parents better get on that kid proofing in their house or he will have to come live with the Graminator.  Ssh, don't tell them!

A River Runs Through It! (should I build an ark?)

This picture of my front yard was taken about 15 minutes ago.  Yep, that is a small river running through my  yard.  In past years this happened occasionally, but this year it is the norm.  I will be anxious to see what happens in the spring, will I have grass there?  Who knows.  At least it is not snowing, yet!   How can I be sick of winter in early December. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Christmas Ornament

On Saturday night I watched two of my grandchildren for a few hours so their parents could go out to dinner and complete their Christmas shopping.  When they came to pick up the children they had a few surprises for me.  First they had discovered a See's Candy kiosk at a local mall.  This is a big deal because growing up in California we always had See's Candy, but here in the south no one has ever heard of it.  So of course they bought me a few different kinds of candy (mostly sugar-free since I am a diabetic).  I am trying to ration this candy, but it is sooooo good.  Second, they presented me with a new Christmas ornament.  The picture below is exactly like the one they got me, except it has all our family names on it.  I LOVE IT! 

A few years ago this same DIL got me an ornament with all the names on it, but since then I have a new SIL and grandchild, so now I have an updated ornament to hang on my tree.  She is just sweet that way.

I was out searching the web and found a site that sells these ornaments, along with many, many others.  If you go to www.personalizedfree.com you to can purchase an ornament of your choice.  They are all so cute and they make them for all size families.  

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Holiday Spirit

Yesterday I finally started to get the holiday spirit.  Guess I have recovered from Thanksgiving and now I am starting to feel the Christmas season invade my body.  I got my first gift yesterday, from a lady that I work for occasionally.  It is so cool, and now I cannot wait to make cookies. 

It is so cute, I have never made 3-D cookies before, but I am going to give it a try so that I will have a centerpiece for my table.

I also was in such a holiday spirit last night that I made 6 lbs of fudge and I also make coconut bon bon's .  The bon bon's taste like a Mound's Candy Bar because I use dark chocolate to dip them in.  Here is a picture of the fudge in the pan before I cut it. 


While the fudge was cooling I made the bon bon's.  They are time consuming because you mix them up, then you have to let it get cold in the refrig, then you form them into balls, then you let them them get cold in the refrig.  After they are nice and cold you dip them in hot melted chocolate, one by one by one by one...well you get the idea.  So here is a picture of a few pieces of fudge and a few bon bon's. 

My DIL was here this morning and sampled both.  She said 'just give me a box of these for Christmas, and I will be happy'.  I assume that means they taste good!

What yummy dessert type thing do you make for Christmas?