Monday, December 31, 2012

I'm at a loss for words...

My very dear internet friend, Susan "Peachy" Keene called me with tragic news.
Her beloved husband, love of her life, best friend and soul mate unexpectedly passed away late this morning. Tim was only 55.

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For those of you who pray, please lift Susan up in prayer.
If you don't pray, please send positive and loving thoughts.
She needs them all.

Peachy, even though I'm over 500 miles away, know that I'm here for you. If you need anything, just ask.
Love you.

My first 2013 offering is on TDIPT Merc TONIGHT...

It's my Primitive Cardinal!

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Before you ring in the new year, why not stop by and see all the wonderful offerings we'll have!

See you tonight!

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Happy New Year, everyone!!

:> )





Sunday, December 30, 2012

YAY!! I've Got New Puppy Pics!!!

The Boston Terrier breeder sends out weekly photos until we can bring her home.

Here's my precious Stella!!!

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OMG! I don't think I can wait another three weeks to get her!! Heck, I KNOW I can't!!


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Look how cute she is!!

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Look again!!!

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Man, these next three weeks are going to be TORTURE.
BUT I'm on cloud 9!!

So until then, I'll just float around the house.

:> )







It snowed and snowed and snowed...

and snowed.
It finally stopped long enough for hubs and I to get outside and do some snow removal.

It's awesome out there!

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View from the front door...

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The whole time hubs and I were outside, Gracie was inside "supervising."

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Happy, snowy Sunday, all!!

:> )





Friday, December 28, 2012

I asked Gracie...

if she wanted to go outside and play in the 2' of snow.

Her reaction...

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I then told her I spent an hour snow plowing a winding path for her all around our property.

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Her response...

"I have absolutely no desire to run around a frozen maze like Jack Nicholson did in The Shining."

Oh well. I guess the tiny axe for her to carry is out of the question too.

((giggle))


Happy Friday, everyone!!!

:> )




Thursday, December 27, 2012

Yippee!!! We got another foot of snow...

It's a great day to make snow angels and eat Christmas cookies!

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Hope your day is just as awesome!!

P.S.
Life's too short, so always make the best of it. Get yourself outside and enjoy the weather and stop complaining about it.


From Millan.Net

:> )

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boy! The Weather Channel says...

tonight we're in for a foot and a half of snow on top of the foot we already have!

But I'm ready...

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((giggle))

If you don't hear from me tomorrow, we either lost power or we're digging out.
Heck, my guess will be both!
A good thing I've got some Christmas cookies left.

For all of you in the blizzard's path, happy shoveling!

Now where did I put the Bengay???

:> )






The most cherished of Christmas gifts...

are the most thoughtful ones.

As my mama handed me the last gift bag under her tree, she said my sister and her worked on this together.

I reached in and pulled out this framed photo of me and Darla taken a few Christmases ago.


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Monday, December 24, 2012

And she brought forth her first born son...


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wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room at the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock at night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in the manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:7-14


That's what Christmas is all about.

Merry Christmas.



Sunday, December 23, 2012

I was going to wait until it's official in January...

BUT I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

Yesterday, my sweet hubs brought me (through a blizzard) to pick out my Christmas present!

Meet... Stella.
I tried to fade out my big Mardi Gras head next to her.
((giggle))


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As soon as I picked her up, I knew she was the one! I'm totally smitten!!

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She is only a wee 4 weeks old, so we have to wait until January to bring her home.

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YaY for puppy breath!!!!

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I asked her if she wanted to come live in the country with us and have an awesome doggy life.

She said, "Yes."

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She then mentioned something about wanting to have her own blog.
Sigh.
I told her we'll have to wait and see.

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Many of you know how heavy my heart has been since we had to say goodbye to my precious Darla. I've had a tremendous void after her passing.
There is something so very special about the Boston Terrier breed. If you have one, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

I just hope Gracie will welcome her new baby sister with open paws and be a fantastic big sister like Darla was to her.

I am ready to move on. It feels right.
I know Darla approves.



Wishing everyone a joyous, blessed Christmas!!!

:> )

Friday, December 21, 2012

Just checking...

You still here too????

Whew.

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((giggle))

Happy Friday.

Be merry.

:> )

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Whoever is happy...

will make others happy too. He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery." ~Anne Frank

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There is much sadness, despair and misery these days. At times it seems hopeless.
As a society, we seem to have lost our way.

But we don't have to give into it. We simply have to change it. The change begins from within. The change begins with you.

So be that light to others and pass it on.














Monday, December 17, 2012

A new cookie for Santa...

Between you and me, 2012 hasn't been the best year for us here at the Countryfolk homestead.
Recently losing my precious Darla and dealing with the complications from my mama's back surgery, I'm ready to kick 2012 in the shin, send it on its way and ring in a better 2013.

That being said, I am finally able to take the time to bake some Christmas cookies. But unfortunately, I will only be baking a few batches instead of my 400+ cookies.
Oh well... But my hips and thighs will thank me.

You all know I am a Christmas cookie nut and I've been chomping at the bit to try this new recipe! (I posted the link a few days ago)

They are called "Dark Chocolate Shortbreads."
Well, I baked my first batch yesterday and I was not disappointed!!! YaY!!!

Santa will be pleased!!

"Ho! Ho! Holy Moly!
That's a good cookie!!"


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Now they aren't a super sweet cookie, but man, they are rich! The bursts of coarse salt
(I know... sounds weird, doesn't it?!) gives it that fantastic salty/sweet flavor!!


Here's what you'll need:

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or coarse grained salt (I used coarse sea salt)
1/2 cup dark chocolate, cut into small pieces

Directions

Cream the butter and sugar.
Mix in the flour, cornstarch and salt.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients followed by the chocolate.
Shape the cookies as you like an place them on a parchment lined baking sheet with an inch of space between them.
Place the baking sheet in the fridge and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 350F oven until they just start to turn a light golden brown, about 8-14 minutes, remove and let cool. (The shortbread will still be rather soft when it is done but it with crisp up as it cools.)

The next batch I bake, I plan to tweak it just a bit by adding more of the dark chocolate. Also, I rolled them into 1" balls, flattened them and baked them for 11 minutes. They came out perfect.

So if you're looking for a more "adult" Christmas cookie, I'd definitely recommend this recipe.

Happy baking and be merry.

:> )



Saturday, December 15, 2012

Perhaps they are not stars,

but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy."
~Unknown

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As we mourn and grieve with the families for their tremendous loss, please continue to lift them up in prayer.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Reindeer humor...

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Happy Thursday.

Be merry.

:> )

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies!

Well, it's that time of year! Woo-hoo!
Time to break out my stretchy sweat pants to fit my soon to be expanding waistline... hips... thighs...

This weekend I plan to be covered from head to toe in flour, have chocolate smeared all over my face while sporting my stretchy sweat pants.

Man, I can't wait to try a few new recipes I found on Pinterest. The first one is Dark Chocolate Shortbreads and the other is Homemade Nutter Butters.
Hopefully, I won't eat them all before Santa's arrival.
(But there are no guarantees in life except for death and taxes.)
Also, here's a recipe for Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Pops for you canine furbabies. These are so cute!

I thought I would share with you again some of my favorite cookie recipes.


My Daddy's Favorite Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

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1 1/2 C - Flour
1/2 C - Unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp - Baking powder
1/4 tsp - Baking soda
1/2 C - Softened butter
1 C - Sugar
1 - Egg
1 1/2 tsp - Vanilla
Large jar of Maraschino cherries

Frosting:
1 C - Semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C - Sweetened condensed milk
4 tsp - Maraschino cherry liquid

Cream butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. Sift together flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda and powder.
Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Shape into 1" balls and place on un-greased cookie sheet. Press in the center with your finger.

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Drain maraschino cherries and reserve the liquid. Place a cherry in the center of each cookie.

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In a small saucepan combine and melt chocolate chips, condensed milk and cherry liquid.
Frost each cookie. Yep, you frost 'em BEFORE you bake 'em.

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Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes. (9 works perfectly for me)



Tea Time Tassies

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Dough:
Two 3 oz pkgs-Cream cheese (softened)
1 C-Butter (softened)
2 C-Flour


Mix all ingreds. (Chill dough for a few hours so it's not so sticky to work with.)
Roll dough into small balls, place and press into mini muffin tins to form wee "crusts".


Filling:
2-Eggs
2 Tbsp-Butter (softened)
1 ½ C-Brown sugar
2 tsp-Vanilla
Pinch of Salt
1 1/3 C-Chopped walnuts (I've also used pecans, they are just as tasty)


Spoon filling into individual muffin tins. (Don't overfill) Bake at 325° for 20 minutes. Gently remove each with a knife tip. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar while still warm.

I tweaked the recipe a little. Instead of two 3 oz. pkgs. of cream cheese I plopped in an 8 oz. package. Worked just fine. But if its too sticky, throw in a pinch or two more of flour.

Cream your butter and cream cheese.

Add your flour to form your dough.

Oh man, this is the tedious part, pressing out the dough into those mini muffin tins. Since its a tad sticky, stick your finger in a lil' flour before you press out your crusts. Works like a charm!


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Now its time to mix up the goopy filling. Talk about a pure sugar rush! Try some of that and you'll be flying around your kitchen like a hummingbird.

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Spoon the mixture into each wee crust. I use a teaspoon and it still gets all over the place.


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After coming out of the oven, let them slightly cool. Use a knife tip to gently pluck 'em out of there.

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Finally, sprinkle confectioners sugar over them, hide 'em from your family and you're done!


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Best Ever Victorian Butter Cookies

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2 1/2 C ~ Flour
1 C ~ Sugar
1 C ~ Softened butter (two sticks)
1 ~ Egg
1 tsp ~ Baking powder
2 Tbsp ~ Orange juice
<---- Shhhh... That's the secret ingredient.
1 Tbsp ~ Vanilla
Yes, you read that right.

Frosting
4 C ~ Confectioners sugar
1/2 C ~ Softened butter (1 stick)
3-4 Tbsp ~ Milk
2 tsp ~ Vanilla

Combine butter and sugar. Add egg, OJ and vanilla. Add baking powder and flour. Mix thoroughly. Divide dough into three equal portions. Wrap each in wax paper, refrigerate until firm. (2-3 hours)

Roll out dough on well floured surface to 1/4" thickness. Cut with 3" cookie cutters.

Bake at 400° for 7-10 minutes or until edges are lightly brown. Cool completely.

Mix frosting ingredients until fluffy. Frost and decorate cookies.



If anyone has a delicious cookie recipe you'd like to share, please do.
Heck, I'm always up for a good cookie.

Be merry!

:> )

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Twas the night before Christmas...

when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Ummmm... I spoke typed too soon.

It's Christmas Mouse 2012

He's on top of the world!

(He's having a "Titanic moment" too.)

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Being a Smart Phone Zombie, Christmas Mouse is puzzled by the candlestick telephone.
(He's wondering where the App Store pad is)
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He's now insisting Grant Wood's famous painting American Gothic be "revised."
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To this...
Sigh
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He loves reading his pocket Constitution to George and Thomas.
He has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of a bigger pocket to carry his pocket Constitution in.

(Yes, the pursuit of a bigger pocket thing is in the Declaration of Independence. But only for mice.)

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Checking in on Baby Jesus.
(He's doing just fine.)

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Christmas Mouse is in total awe of presidential greatness.
(Me too. But unfortunately for all of us they don't grow 'em like this anymore.)
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So until next year.

If there IS a next year.
**Insert sinister laughter**

Let's see, we've got the end of the Mayan Calendar which could mean the end of the world as we know it, a possible Zombie Apocalypse, the "Fiscal Cliff," solar flares destroying the planet, even more horrible reality television shows, the return of the McRib Sandwich...

Who knows???!!!
**Cue the Twilight Zone music**

;> )

Happy Tuesday!

It's after midnight so it's officially Tuesday.
Man, I should have never had that cup of coffee this evening!
Next time decaf.

**giggle**




Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmastime around the homestead...

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Our lil' Christmas Mouse and his antics.
He's a bit of a handful.

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If you've forgotten about all the trouble he's gotten in over the years, click on the links below to stroll down memory lane.
They will surely give you a giggle.

Christmas Mouse 2008.

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Christmas Mouse 2009.

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Happy Monday, everyone!!

Be Merry!

:> )


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