We picked up the birch logs beside the road near Clearwater on Thanksgiving weekend. We cut three two-inch pieces to use as the heads, and then cut three different lengths for the bodies. The arms are birch branches and the wings are birch twiggies...with a few leaves and pods still attached. Add a barbed wire halo...and that's all there's to it. Now they need a little decor...that's where I'm stumped. Kathy said they should be holding a bird house or wreathe...I haven't found anything suitable as yet. Elmer figured they should be holding songbooks. Those wouldn't last too many hours in our B.C. rain. Do they make songbooks out of plastic? I'm open to suggestions.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Yesterday was my day for baking heritage cookies! Here's the recipe for this spicy little morsel...
- 1 cup margarine
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup syrup
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. cloves
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground star anise (or ground anise seeds)
- 6 cups flour (approximately)
- Cream margarine and brown sugar; add eggs and mix well.
- Add syrup and buttermilk to which the baking soda has been added. (* Roger's Golden syrup is my syrup of choice, but I think it's a Canadian syrup.)
- Measure 4 cups flour and mix with all the spices, before adding to butter mixture.
- Continue adding flour until a soft dough is formed.
- Refrigerate dough.
- When cold, roll dough into 1/2 inch ropes. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet and freeze until ready to bake.
- With a sharp knife, cut rope into 1/4 inch slices and place on cookie sheets.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.
Some got delivered next door for the grandkids, and we eat them like 'peanuts'...a handful at a time.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Apparently they are the hottest trend and selling as fast as the stores bring them in. I originally thought they were just a way for merchants to display their trees without taking up floor space. But they have many practical benefits, so people are snapping them up...they save space, and they are safe from kids and pets. And they look quite pretty hanging as a chandelier...the ornaments don't get caught up in the branches but hang straight down. And (this is the best one) there is so much more room to pile the presents under the tree!
Most of my decorating still needs to happen, and I'm ready for something new. But upside trees and blue poinsettias won't be found here. I'm sticking to the tried and true!
Enjoy the season!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
What I never realized is how big these cacti are. Many of them are over 25 feet tall (that means it's been around for more than one-hundred years)...with some towering as high as 50 feet and weighing 8 ton.
We visited the dessert museum near Tucson, where we could learn about everything dessert...such as, there are over fifty varieties of cactus growing in Arizona. However, we enjoyed our dessert experience so much more when we got right down and touched it.
We rode horseback through the trails of Catalina State Park...which was a wonderful experience. We wandered around the raw dessert near a rest stop and took some pic's of the mighty saguaro. That was a dangerous place...those cacti have a way of attaching themselves to you. We later spent a lot of time pulling cactus thorns out of our sandals with tweezers.
Jim & Kathy flew down from Manitoba and spent a week with us in the Phoenix and Tucson area. We spent four relaxing days at a Wyndham resort near Tucson, and then took a trip out to the wild, wild west.
We had a wonderful lunch at 'Big Nose Kate's', and enjoyed some great music while we dined...all in the company of some most interesting characters. The local sheriff ordered his meal but was called away before he had a chance to touch it. One splashy gal came and joined us outside for some pic's. It was rather fun to re-live those 'wild-west' days...which weren't all that long ago. In Tombstone all the original buildings are still standing.
We spent a few days in the Phoenix area before Jim and Kathy left for home. We visited dairy farms and factory outlets. And for our last hurrah...
we visited the U.S. Airways centre in downtown Phoenix.
Yup...that's Steve Nash on the lower left. Never mind that New York has the ball at the moment...the Phoenix Suns played a great game and came out on top!
It was a fun experience to be part of such an enthusiastic fan club, and a great way to end our Arizona vacation.
The following morning found Jim and Kathy packing to fly home. It looks like we'll be needing to make one more stop at a mall for another carry-on bag. That's what happens when the Canadian dollar is so valuable!
So that's it for Arizona...and saguaro cacti! We won't forget our experience anytime soon.
And now, back to the things at hand. Should I shovel those 'snowflakes' off the sidewalk or let nature take it's course?
Enjoy your day!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I just love all the ornate detail & fancy moldings!
I think the cooks were watching the Grey Cup game though!
Every room had it's own tree...
...and most also had their own fireplace.
What a lovely place to visit...and get inspired!
I came home with a few ideas, an advent calender and a wonderful Christmas book for the grandkids.
I'm thinking there's a reason these trees grow only along the stream beds. They've got massive roots and have a constant supply of water, no matter what kind of a drought they are facing.
Which brings to mind these words in Jeremiah 17:7-8...
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.
Aren't those great roots?
It's a great tree that can withstand the harsh drought and heat of the dessert. May this strong and mighty sycamore remind me to trust God in every circumstance of life...and stay rooted in Him.
Enjoy your Sunday.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Our supper was less than gourmet and went down real quick. I had company coming and needed to make a dessert. So what's a warm and comforting dessert on a chilly winter night? It had to be something quick...and preferably warm since I was still chilled through and through. How about bumbleberry crisp? I have lots of bumbleberries in the freezer and usually a bag or two of crumbs for the topping, so it's a quickie dessert.
Mix together to form crumbs and sprinkle over fruit mixture. (I double or triple the recipe & freeze the extra crumb topping for next time.)
Friday, November 23, 2007
I'm taking you back on the road again. I just have to share a few pic's of 'red rock country'.
We camped among the Arziona sycamores which grow along Oak Creek...
had a wee salad at a great place with a view...
We took a hummer tour up the mountain tracks (where no sane person would drive!), and learned all about the 'flora & fauna'.