Monday, November 29, 2010

Fun Monday .... Christmas Shopping

The final November edition of Fun Monday, hosted by Julie at Another Chance Ranch ( in case you missed it)
She asks today of all the players :
"When do you start your Christmas shopping? On Black Friday? Cyber Monday? And, who is the hardest person to buy for?"

Well, first of all - Christmas is banned in my house until after my birthday. I have spent too many birthdays running around worrying about what to do for everyone's christmas that I have, quite literally, forgotten that it was my birthday. A hazard of being born at this time of year. So I refuse to get into the Christmas thing until December 1st. The 30th of November is a super special day, as it's mine & Daddy's birthday.

Who wants to fight a black friday crowd anyhow? I mean, check these goons out ...

who the heck gets up at 3 am to shop? Not I said the fly. I am a hide in the house type anyhow. I will shop when the mood hits me, and I am inspired. There has been many a Christmas Eve-eve that I've spent running around all over town for last minute wowzer gifts. And it turns out fine. Besides, all I can think of doing when I'm in a mall of people frothing at the mouth is that I'd rather get a cinnamon roll and a cup of cocoa and curl up by the fire away from the mess.

Snuggling is more important than shopping. always.

who is hardest to shop for? Bar none, my dad. To understand, you must know the backstory. When he was a kid, he was the typical kid. Until his 8 year older brother was killed by a drunk driver. His mom (Gramma Flash) went into a deep depression and was more or less comatose for nearly 2 years. When she 'woke up' Dad had changed deeply. He no longer wanted any toys. Every Christmas & Birthday was the same answer for Gramma when she would ask for his list "It's OK Ma, I don't need anything". He was 11. His list is the same now. No matter what he gets or doesn't get, he's fine either way, and to get any reaction out of him, even if it's something he really adores is the same. Very calm & reserved. Can't get a rise out of him. SO, I would love to come up with something for the man who has everything, and whose birthday I share (I was not aware enough to remember it, I was his 30th birthday present). Any ideas? He has everything he could want.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fun Monday!

It's just another manic monday ..... that Miss Julie over at Another Chance Ranch ( has made a little more interesting.
Once again, friends, I signed on to play this monday. Not sure what to do with this one, but I will try!

Julie queries "What is your favorite beauty product? Any why?"

Simple enough. Except I am the most unorganized, frazzled, not really worried about how I look woman on the planet. No, really I am. I rank right up there with Mama grizzlies & my mares in the pasture, only - I groom my mares pretty regularly & use product to keep their manes lookin' SHARP.
So, that leaves me a little bit out of the loop here. But, believe it or not, I do have a few favorites. No, really - Jessica, you can stop snickering. lol.

Now, I must tell you, My Gramma Lily was a massive advocate for beauty products. She was a huge fan of the entire Oil of Olay product line. She used the creams, the capsules, the toners & face wash. She was like a walking talking spokeswoman. And, it did her well. I would love to have skin as soft as hers, but I just don't have her dedication to it.

It would not surprise anyone that one of the products that tops my list is Pantene. I usually get the stuff that's supposed to be for long hair. It smells great to me, and that is one of the major determining factors in my hair product purchases.

What you may not expect though .... the Olay Daily Facials. I love them. It also is a big nod to Gramma's reccomendations. You see, I'm pretty horrible about remembering to care for my skin. So, when I do remember, I don't like to pick up a bottle of whatnots & fight with finding a washcloth in my ramshackle bathroom (I have 2 little boys, and a husband, remember. Things like this are usually found in strange places, and never when I need them). That is the beauty of the Daily Facials. They are these lovely little disposable washcloths with the good smelling olay facial cleanser permeated into them. You just wet them, lather up, wash, rinse & toss. Wonderful. Perfect for travelling too.

Here is another little throw back to my Gramma Lil. She always had this stuff around the house. I keep some, rarely use it, but with winter coming, I'm sure it will be gone in no time. Again, the smell is awesome. Cherry-Almond? How can you go wrong??

And now, my favorite, can't believe I lived without it product. I get it at the tack stores. Now, don't wrinkle your nose up. You didn't really think that MY list would be entirely devoid of something that was originally intended to be used on livestock, did you? Well, if you did, you don't know me too well. No, it's not Mane & Tail - that stuff stinks. In more ways than one.
I am ADDICTED to Cowboy Magic. The Detangler & Shine to be precise, though, I love all their fantastic products, and have used all of them on both the horses & myself (except the green spot remover --- I don't need that personally. Yet.)
This stuff smells great and is bar none the best detangler I have ever found. Anywhere. Ever. I have removed massive snarly gnarly thorn and twig encrusted gigantic rat nests with this. And that doesn't even say what it has done for my horses. (heh heh)
They sell it in 2 sizes that I have found. I keep the bigger one in the barn, the smaller one in my bathroom.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fun Monday on a Tuesday .... again. OOPS!

So, Julie @ Another Chance Ranch set the question::
When do you start decorating for Christmas?
So you go all out? Or just put up a tree? Do you have a theme each year?

Personally, I love the Christmas thing. I start decorating Decamber 1st. I can't bear to do it any earlier than that, because my birthday is the 30th of November, and I have to be in birthday mode before I can indulge in Christmas. May even have to wait until the 2nd now, because my favorite niece's birthday is the 1st of December (should have been the 30th - just sayin')

I try to go all out, but I am too broke to really do so. I have to have a tree, a wreath, and anything else is just frosting. Candles should be everywhere around here too.

I prefer my tree to be decked out in all white lights with all white & silver decorations, but I am starting to lean towards other things. A tree iced in white just seems so .... nearly natural. I will probably keep to white lights this year and do all 'rustic' ornaments. I love that country look ... barn stars, paper, cloth & wood ornaments, gingham, fake berries ... the works.
My one guilty pleasure during the year in preparation for christmas is that I collect blown down bird nests. I was told once that they are good luck, and I love the way they look in the tree. Especially when I find them that are made with my horse's hair. Brings a little of them into the house with me :)

You can find Ms.Julie at and sign up to play along as well. I will play as long as I'm welcome to! Thanks, Julie!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Fun ... aka Julie Made Me Do It

Julie over at Another Chance Ranch is hosting a neat game this month, and I'm playing along, because Lord knows, I need something to write about that isn't me complaining. No one likes a bitcher. That's what I'm told. SO, here's today's assignment:

Tell us about your Thanksgiving Day meal. Do you have a menu planned? Do you have the traditional turkey dinner, or go a bit more non-traditional? What is your favorite go-to dish for Thanksgiving? Any recipes you'd like to share?
You can find Julie at She's got a great site there.

OK. So, this is an easy one for me. We go traditional. BIG time traditional. We make the same kind of bird - every year. It's always stuffed with my Gramma's home made stuffing, which consists of : chopped up stale or toasted home made bread, diced onion, celery & mushrooms, butter, spices & chopped up giblets *though, I must confess - these last few years that I have been in charge of making it, the giblets seem to just, get lost. Or, the dog eats them. It's befuddling. AND, no one has noticed the difference.*
I make mashed potatoes, and tend to occasionally slip a rutabega in the mix when no one is looking. heh heh.
Also on the list is homemade cranberry compote, pumpkin pie, fruity jell-O, green bean casserole(for my hubbs), sweet potato casserole 2 ways ... one with marshmallows, the other with pecans, spring peas with butter, plates full of hawiian rolls, cheese & crackers, veggie plates & occasionally a dip or two. Not to mention the deviled eggs ... or as my son calls them, neviled eggs - thankyou, Cartoon Network & Chowder. I owe ya.

SO, here is my recipe for Nevilled Eggs, er... Deviled Eggs ala Swede :)
Boil as many eggs as you think are necessary, then throw in a few more for good measure.
When they are fully hard boiled, peel and slice long ways, dumping the yolks into a bowl. To the yolks, add a fair amount of Miracle Whip, a dash of yellow mustard, and a splash of cream. Season as desired, mix the dickens out of them, and pipe into the waiting whites. sprinkle with paprika for colour. ENJOY.

I sincerely hope your Thanksgiving is blessed, and you have more to be thankful for than you did last year. :D

Friday, November 5, 2010

Oh, That's right - I blog too!

I am the first to admit, I am behind on things. There has been a move, now we're remodeling the new pad. The big kid is in a new school, the little kid is busy, busy, busy & into everything. Literally. Everything. It's a constant chase with him. He's a lot of fun because of it, too.
Hub's job is going alright, his school is doing great too. I'm very proud of him so far. In the midst of this, I am juggling caring for my animals, and trying to find a nearer to me place to keep them, doing my own homework for 3 classes, and all the housework, cooking, and some of the home improvements.
So, imagine my surprise when one day, not too long back, my dear sweetheart came in & says to me "I don't suppose you feel like baking anything delicious, would you?" which, was really funny, because in spite of the madness around me I did. I really, really did. I needed this new place to be filled with smells that were familiar to me - chocolate or cinnamon. Something .... wafting from the oven making it more mine.
"Actually, I have been thinking about doing some baking." I shocked him.
"Really? Great!" he sounded too flabberghasted for my liking.
"WHY. What have you volunteered me for now?" I snapped to him. He's done this before when I had too much going on, so my hackles were instantly up.
"No, no no.... I didn't volunteer you for anything -- yet. It's just that work is having a fundraiser for Relay for Life, and they need people to send in some sweet things, and I thought, if you felt like it, maybe?" he queried.
"Hmmm." had to think about this one. I hate baking for people I don't know/like. I find it a waste of time. but this was charity. "Alright. But, I'm not baking any cakes. No one knows how to cut them up right to feed a crowd. I can do cupcakes. How many do you need?"
Clearly he was surprised.
I asked him for flavors, he had no idea. So, I gave him an extensive list of somewhat oddball flavors that all spoke to me "FALL". I told him to choose 3. Here's what I came up with...

Pumpkin Spice with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting ... topped with a candy corn for a little festive color.

Tiramisu ... coffee soaked cake topped with my special mascarpone frosting & cocoa powder

And, finally - the showstopper (though you couldn't tell by looking at it, necessarily) S'Mores.
Graham cracker crust, chocolate cupcake topped with graham cracker crumbs & a toasted 'marshmallow' frosting.
Got some great reviews on the Tiramisu & S'Mores. The pumpkin was good, but kind of predictable for what it's worth.
And, just when I thought it was over, my son tells me he needs some cupcakes for his school's cake walk for their fall party. AND, that he needs s'more cupcakes for his class halloween party the following week. Oh, and I brought some s'mores to a friends' party as my 'dish to pass'.
I've had quite enough cupcake baking for now. I will be taking a hiatus until nearer to Christmas when I will have to gear up for cookie mode. But, we'll hit on that later.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fun Monday on a Tuesday

Playing along with a game from Julie over at Another Chance Ranch .... you can find her here :
The game as I understand it, and mind you - I could be wrong, is to voice my humble opinions on today's election.
Well, as it stands here in Michigan, it is another round of the same old same old. Big mud slingin' between Donkeys & Lelephants, Green party & libertarians added to the hodge podge this time around. And well - I don't care much for any of our choices. The big one here is the gubernatorial race. Personally, I think that ol' Jenny did one hell of a job screwin' things up. The little game she played with the MSP was enough to make me want to slap the mole off her face. But, since we are now blessed with term limits here in Michigan, thankfully - she is out one way or the other.
I opted today for the businessman over the politician.
I am starting to truly believe that if you don't have a really sound background in business, then you have no business deciding where the state's money should go. So, for me, today is mostly about the businessman. I am hopin' that we can wake up tomorrow with Rick Snyder as our new gov.
Other than that, I'm thinkin' it's a safe bet we'll be stuck with Upton for another 2 years. He's been in congress for too long. He's in my preferred party, but he doesn't vote like it.

But, there is still time, irregardless of your opinion to get out & VOTE!! Oh, and if you happen to live in Hagar Township, be sure to stop in and sign the petitions to get our township board a much needed RECALL. I signed it, hubby did too - we'd love to see those 3 buggers out.