Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wishin' You And Your Kin A Happy, Healthy, Safe And Prosperous New Year...

Be sure to swing by The Humble Arts tonight to see our humble offerins'!

We'll leave the light on for ya.

See you in 2010!!
God bless...
:> )

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Don't Be Late, For This Very Important Date...

Comin' this February, we at The Humble Arts are havin' an Alice In Wonderland theme!!

Oh what fun! I've got all kinds of ideas swirlin' around this noggin of mine!

So be sure to mark the date on your calendar.

Oh! And don't forget to ring in the New Year with us! We'll have new Humble Arts offerins' on New Year's Eve!

So we'll leave the light on for ya along with a noisemaker and some confetti!

See you then...
:> )

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We Got Lake Effect Snow...

Enough to use "Bob" the snowblower! YaY!

I couldn't be happier!

Neither could he...

:> )

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Here's A Sneak Peek At My Humble Arts Offerin' for January...

Meet... Honest Abe.

We're comin' up on a brand new year and my Firewood Folks© have a new look for 2010!

Mr. Lincoln is my first.
I'll continue to wield my axe and work on many more fun lovin' and expressive Firewood Folks© in the comin' year.

:> )

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas With Countryfolk...

I hope everyone had a wonderful time with kin, as much as we did this Christmas!

Christmas eve, we hopped in the car and headed over to my mama-in-laws for a delicious turkey dinner. Man, did I ever put on the feedbag.

I just love her sweet lil' Christmas tree...

Here we are Christmas day.
Man, ya gotta keep your nose hairs in check when ya snap a pic from this angle. Yikes!

Me and my precious Darla...

Hubs and our mamas.

Now its my turn.

Here's mama's house. We had another wonderful dinner and again I slapped on the feedbag!

Gee, I wonder who I get my "decoratin' gene" from??
I guess the (clutter) apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

My niece and her beau.

I got the biggest kick out of my sister's Christmas tree. She made it into a snowman! She's so clever!!

Comin' home on the back country roads we came across these cuties. You know that expression "Looked like a deer in headlights?"
Here it is, literally.

Now it's time to put on the biggest pair of sweatpants I can find to accommodate my expanded waistline, kick back and watch Christmas Vacation for the 100th time this week.

:> )

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The True Meaning Of Christmas...

Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room at the inn.

2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock at night.

2:9 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.

2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in the manger.

2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

2:14 Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Wishin' you all a blessed Christmas and the merriest of holidays.
God bless...
:> )

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

There's No Lights On In The Barn...

Not so many years ago,
If you were to take a drive,
Across America's farmland
And thru the countryside;

If by chance your ride should happen,
As the day was nearly done,
Most every farmstead on the road,
Would have the barn lights on.

The farmer and a kid or two,
Or maybe even more.
Each one busy with a task,
Doin’ up the evenin’ chores.

Milk the cow, feed the chickens
And gather up the eggs.
Throw some hay down from the loft
And water the sow and pigs.

Sometimes my mind will wander back,
And I’ll recall those days, now gone,
Of peaceful winter evenings,
And the lights on in the barn.

The smell of all the cattle,
Mixed with the grain and hay.
To me it was a pleasing smell,
Though, to you, it may not sound that way.

And while filling up the water tank,
I’d watch the cats at play.
A nearly perfect ending,
To another busy day.

Then gazing toward the house,
I could see the kitchen light.
Momma’s fixin’supper,
To feed us all tonight.

And the warm glow from that window,
Made this country boy work hard,
To get in to that apple pie
And that chicken fried in lard.

But the trend today is larger,
And fewer family farms.
Not so many places left now,
With the lights on in the barn.

They tell us that it’s progress,
And nothin’ stays the same.
We must look toward the future,
And not the past from where we came.

And I know, that is true,
But tell me, what’s the harm?
If I feel a twinge of sadness,
Cause There’s No Lights On In The Barn.

Everything is gettin’ big,
And no one seems alarmed,
That the chickens and the hogs now,
Are mostly raised on Factory Farms.

We’ve taken out the fences,
And..the barn.... it’s been torn down.
It takes a lot of room,
To turn 16 rows around.

My favorite memories take me back,
To the way we used to farm.
To a peaceful winter evening,
With the lights on in the barn.

Written by: Lewis Baumgartner

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I Went For A Walk Today...

And stumbled upon a "Charlie Brown Tree" on the trail.

I couldn't resist....

Shhhh... It will be our lil' secret.
:> )

Friday, December 18, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear...

Have a great weekend folks.

Santa Claus is comin' soon...
:> )

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Daddy's Favorite Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies...

We lost my daddy to cancer back in 1994. Christmas has never been the same for me.

This next recipe was his favorite Christmas cookie. Even though he's gone, I continue to make them every year.

I bake them listening to his favorite Christmas song, Burl Ives "Have A Holly Jolly Christmas."
I can still hear him singing along to it, at the top of his lungs and (intentionally) a little off key.

Here' what you'll need:

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

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 ungreased cookie sheet. Press in the center with your finger.


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


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.


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

I hope he's able to get a whiff of them in Heaven.
Merry Christmas, Daddy.
:> )

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cheese Pinecones...

I love these!
They are perfect for your holiday hors d'oeuvres table.

Here's what you'll need:

2 C (8 oz) - Shredded Swiss Cheese
1/2 C - Butter (softened)
3 Tbs - Milk
2 Tbs - Dry Sherry (Or milk for non alcohol)
1/8 tsp - Ground Red Pepper
1 C - Finely Chopped Blanched Almonds
3/4 C - Sliced Almonds
1/2 C - Whole Almonds

Beat cheese, butter, milk, sherry and red pepper in medium bowl until smooth; stir in chopped almonds.

Divide mixture into two equal portions; shape each into tapered oval to resemble a pinecone. Insert sliced and whole almonds into cones. Cover; refrigerate 2 to 3 hours until firm.

Arrange on a wooden board or serving plate. Garnish with a spring of rosemary, if desired. Served with assorted crackers.

Makes 12-16 appetizer servings.

:> )

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gingerbread Caramel Corn...

Here's what you'll need:

10 C - Lightly salted popcorn
1 C - Lightly salted Cashews
1 C - Packed Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 C - Butter
1/4 C - Light Corn Syrup
1 tsp - Ground Ginger
1 tsp - Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp - Baking Soda

Preheat oven 250 degrees. Line a shallow baking pan with foil.

Combine popcorn and cashews in prepared pan; set aside.

Combine butter, brown sugar and syrup in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Wash down sugar crystals with a pastry brush if necessary.

Attach candy thermometer to side of pan making sure it doesn't touch the bottom. Continue boiling without stirring for another 5 minutes or until sugar reaches soft-crack stage (290 degrees).

Remove from heat, stir in ginger, cinnamon and baking soda. Immediately drizzle mixture slowly over popcorn mixture; stir until evenly coated.

Bake for one hour stirring quickly every 15 minutes. Transfer to a foil lined baking sheet; spread in a single layer. Cool completely, (10 minutes). Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes about 10 cups.

Why not put some in decorated mason jars and give 'em as lil' gifts. It's pretty AND tasty!
:> )

Friday, December 11, 2009

Twas The Night Before Christmas...

when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Well... except for this (stirring) lil' mouse.

Remember his antics from last year??
He's baaaaack!!



Dang it! I was hoping he wouldn't find the cream cheese.
I didn't think his lil' mouse muscles could open the refrigerator. (Sigh)


Taking another peek at baby Jesus.


I explained to him those candy canes weren't real. But he wouldn't listen.




He is such a wisenheimer.


Taking some time to educate himself by reading The Declaration of Independence

(Man, I wish other Americans would follow his lead.)


Telling Santa what he wants for Christmas.



I hope you did.
:> )

Have a great weekend, folks!
I'll be busy baking Christmas cookies.
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