"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told." -Mark Twain


Food for my Soul

Why does it seem that the holiday season seems to go by WAY to quickly? I purposely unplugged (at least for the most part) and just enjoyed the season, my family and "the reason for the season". 

I have no doubt you are sick to death of everyone's Christmas decorations, ....so you can continue to look or come back in a few days! ha! Notice my 98 cent Black Friday poinsettias?  When clustered together they look like a million. (At least in my humble opinion.) I had them all over my house and they still look lovely. I usually get rid of them the first of January. 

I brought in my red checked chairs out of storage because I knew I would need all the seating I could get at Christmas. I like the chairs in this room, so I think I will save up and get them reupholstered and keep them right where you see them. 

My Mom brought me back this very primitive Nativity from Bethlehem. I have shown it before, but it is always worth showing again. It is so basic and unadorned that I just love it. ....And especially for the fact that it came from Bethlehem. 

I love this little Nativity inside a dome. I look for unusual Nativity's every year. This year my Hubs and I want to make a huge one for our yard. 
 One of my New Year resolutions for 2012 was to actually wrap the Christmas presents. For too many years I spent most of Christmas Eve night up stuffing things into bags. This year I actually got it done. And before Christmas Eve!!  I realize there are a lot of sacks in the pictures below, but if you will look there are also a lot of wrapped gifts as well. Believe me, I did SO much better and I intend to do that again next year. 

 Miss Leightyn was obviously the star of Christmas this year. She was so interested in everything and actually would "oooooh" each time she got a present. Of course, the attention was on her! 

 We had four generations here to celebrate Christmas. Isn't that what Christmas is all about? It was a perfect day. 

 In case you can't tell, Leightyn has everyone (including my parents) wrapped around her little finger. 

 The rest of the pictures are just snapshots I took around the house as I was waiting for our Christmas guests.

 This is the dining room table, set with my (original $15.99 per plate) birthday gift from last year that we got for under $2.00!!

 One of my favorite decorations this year was this simple chalkboard. I had the chalkboard already and I copied (yes, straight up copied because I LOVE it SO much) from The Lily Pad Cottage and her original chalkboard. I ran off a picture of her creation and one of my students copied it for me in under an hour. Oh my word. Didn't she do a great job?  

 I also pulled the bookshelf part of this out of our storage. It originally had a bottom to it, but it has gone to "hutch heaven". I kept the shelf part. The Hubs and I got this for a wedding present and it was bright yellow at the time. And I loved the bright yellow. Then when the bottom part of the hutch "died" I painted these shelves black (this was waaaaayyyyy before blogs) and paired it with a black dresser for one of my boys. Then this month I pulled it back out and painted it with ASCP Old White. I put wrapping paper on the back, just for some Christmasy spirit! 
(See that little door in the picture?  That leads to my dish closet. I LOVE that dish closet!) 

 If you look closely in any of the kitchen pictures you will notice the construction (and in some cases DEconstruction that is going on. Ignore it!) 

 I made this Santa for my oldest (30 years ago), so he has to come out each year. (He as in Santa, not my oldest!) 

 My Hubs made us both eye doctor appointments in January. Now I understand why he made one for me. I swear this looked okay in the camera! (Sorry!!!) 

 Every single year my sister gets me the "official" ornament from the White House as well as the Oklahoma "official" ornament. Believe me, I have some beautiful ornaments! 

I know I am looking forward to 2013.  I was born on the 13th day of the year (yes, the big day is coming right up), and I have always loved the number 13 for that reason. Plus, if 2013, is half as good as 2012 (when Leightyn was born), then I have nothing but good things to look forward to.

Thank you for reading each time I post. Thank you for your sweet comments. Here's looking forward to 2013. Happy New Year!

Linking to:
Wow Us Wednesdays
Metamorphosis Monday 


Pineapple Cream Pie

I promised to post recipes for the holidays and I have been VERY remiss about doing so. 
Which is ironic.
Because I cook all the time.
But when I think about "hmmm, this would be a good post", then the food is half gone.
Or not arranged for a picture.
Such is the life of this 
Pineapple Creme Pie...
but you are getting the recipe anyway.
Because it is that good. 

I have shared this recipe before, but it is worth sharing again. And then sharing with your friends. And friends of your friends. 

I always make this for holidays. It doesn't matter what time of year it is, I make this. And I make it randomly throughout the year. I have a tradition when cooking during the holidays of using old-school recipes. I like to use my Grammie's recipes and my Grandmother's recipes. I like to use my Mother's recipes. I like to use recipes from the women of the church where I grew up. Many of them are now gone, but as I make the recipe I always think back to my memories of these wonderful women and I say an individual prayer for each of those women and the impact they had on my life. 
I cannot say enough how important all the women mentioned above have been to me on helping to form my values.
There are not enough prayers of thanksgiving!

Such is the owner of the 
Pineapple Creme Pie recipe.
She called it Pineapple Chiffon Pie. 
Ruby was not only my across-the-street-neighbor, she was the grandmother of my best friend.
I spent many a meal at Ruby's lunch table.
I hope she knows how much I enjoyed that.
When I lived in Kansas no one had ever heard of Pineapple Cream (or Pineapple Chiffon) pie. I was glad to share the recipe with them. It always won them over once they made it. I like to think that there are hundreds of people out there eating Pineapple Cream (or Chiffon) pie because of Ruby. She would have enjoyed that.

Besides making the wonderful pineapple pie, I also try to be like Ruby when it comes to feeding others. She never knew how many of the neighborhood children would show up at her (hot) lunch each day. But she never seemed to mind. She always had plenty. She always expected us to come back. Again and again. I hope that is the kind of hostess, friend and neighbor. I promise you if you try Ruby's Pineapple Cream (or Chiffon) pie, you will LOVE it. And you will understand why I thank God every time I make it that He put Ruby into my life. 

Ruby's Pineapple Cream (or Chiffon) Pie

1 pie crust--already baked
1 1/2 C. milk
2 T. (heaping) flour
3/4 C. drained crushed pineapple (I just basically use the whole can)
3/4 C. sugar
2 eggs separated

Put milk on to heat. Mix sugar and flour together. Add this to the hot milk, stirring constantly and well.
Stir in beaten egg yolks.
Stir constantly, so the yolks stay smooth.
Bring to a soft boil and continue until the mixture thickens.
This will take about 7 minutes. (although with my new gas oven it is very quick!) 
Believe me, the end result is worth it. Keep stirring...or whisking (which is what I use).
Remove from heat and add drained pineapple.
Stir. While this mixture is cooling,
beat the egg whites until thick and frothy.
FOLD in the egg whites. (The FOLDing is important so the pie stays light and fluffy).

Pour into baked pie crust.
Refrigerate until cool.
Before serving top with Whipped Cream.

Sit back and enjoy....and thank me...and Ruby!

Linking with:
On the Menu Monday
Thistlewood Farm Recipes
Foodie Friday
Wow Us Wednesday
Open House Thursday


"More is More" on the Mantel

 I have lamented on here before about decorating my massive mantel. It is on a focal wall in our living room. The living room is our least used room in the house and the last one to be decorated. Since the fireplace is the first thing you see when you walk in the house, I like for it to always look nice.I seem to always stray from my moderate mantra when decorating the mantel and instead use the idea that "more is more".

 After I had taken about half of the pictures I remembered I had not turned on the fireplace chandies. I like how the flickering bulbs tie in with the giant gold frame...and this year Santa. 

 I'm usually a pretty simple person, but for the two Christmases we have been in this house, the mantel has tended more towards the "blingy" side. Last year I used red and silver and a "fire and ice" idea throughout the mantel. This year I brought in more golds to counter (and blend???) with the red and silver. 

 I bought the silver trees and wire reindeer at the Dollar General store probably 15 or more years ago. They were only a few dollars each. 
 I have no idea where I bought the Santa. My best guess is either Wal-Mart or Target...after Christmas. That is my usual method of operation. I got the giant red balls at K-Mart about ten years ago, and the silver balls are cheapola plastic that come in the big package. The red sequin shapes are all cheapo ornaments as well. The red "boingy" balls are from the floral section of the store and were bought after Christmas. I have used those things in the tree, in poinsettias, and as filler on shelves. This year they get to "boing" on the mantel. 

 Aren't the "boingers" great? I have them in red/green too on top of a hutch in the den

 I have to use three strands of greenery on this massive mantel to make it look the least bit full. I have probably 300 lights on top and another strand that drapes the front. I try to make sure there are always lights positioned next to the sparkly items. Of course it helps that this all sits in front of a gianormous mirror as well!

 The big chandy looks all sparkly and pretty both on and off when reflected with all the bling from this mantel.

 There are dozens of trolleys that go by our house each night during the holiday season. In addition, there are walking tours that travel our neighborhood. Because of that I like to leave the big door to our living room open and have the glass storm door where gawkers sight-seers can catch a glimpse. 

 I hope that my "more is more" attitude on the mantel looks festive to all visitors. 

 I also hope that the "More is More Mantel" made with Wal-Mart, Target, KMart and Dollar General decorations just shows that things can be decorated on the cheap and still look nice.
Does Christmas ever bring out the "more is more" attitude in you? 

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