Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Just a Little More Christmas.....

Gentle Friends, I thought I would wrap up the year with a little about our lovely Christmas........we had invited some friends over for Christmas dinner which we had set for early evening - but the morning was quiet and serene.  I  took the easy way out for breakfast with a cranberry/walnut croissant breakfast cake - that with coffee hit the spot.  After opening gifts and lazing about for a while I got to work on dinner......

The star of the dinner was this 17lb ham-a saurus!!  One of the big bosses at Rico's work gave it to him.  It was then my job to work out that it needed to go into the oven around 10am to be coming out for dinner at around 5pm - along with the ham we had sauteed green beans with almonds, potato grand mere (garlicky escalloped potatoes), biscuits and for our traditional Birthday Cake for baby Jesus, I made my great-grandmother Walton's lemon pound cake........

..... here's a snap of the table before we sat down to dinner.

Last Saturday evening we made a short trip over to the other side of the neighborhood to one of the most Christmassy houses around .....  we parked up on a hill from the house and walked down......

... there was a crowd of folks and cars slowly going up and down the hill admiring all the decorations...

 I walked across the street to take this snap so that you can get an idea of the scale of what was going on.....

..... looking behind he tree the actual house is covered in presents and decorations so that the whole scene is one continuous explosion of Christmas......

... this is looking from down the street a bit...

.....the tree lights changed colours, there was a whole train set up and running around the bottom of the tree.  The Ferris wheel you see was spinning and although you can't tell there was tons of blinking and flashing and movement - and the children that were there on the street and in the cars were so excited and fun to watch.

Well, that's about it for today sports fans - only 359 days until next Christmas!!  
Thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Little "Monthly" stitchin'

Gentle Friends, over the last few days off...... and away from the daily grind.... I did precious little stithcin'.  I did just enjoy being a big ole lump - knocking back the egg"nog", popping the pfeffernusses' and munchin' on lebkuchen. I thoroughly embrace Germanic baking traditions I didn't grow up with.......
......... and let me tell you it was great fun!!

The little stitching I did get done was a bit on the Monthly Animals Sampler.  For some reason that kitty cat in the January took forever and now I'm on to February.........  I'm leaving the long stitch whiskers to the end.

.... as you might remember I am using my own conversion to WDW and not the charted DMC.  I am trying to stay within the colour groups charted, but when I can't I choose something I like.

That's about it for today sports fans (or tonight) thanks again for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Gentle Friends, just stopping in to wish you all a very......
........Merry Christmas!!!!!!

Take care,

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas at Union Sqaure

Gentle Friends, I who really do not like to shop - retail anyway, made a trek downtown to Union Square to do some last minute shopping....  and I had my camera and thought you might enjoy some snaps.....

.... I got this shot from inside Macy's looking out over the Square.... 

....  this is one of two skating rinks here in the City - the other is way down on the Embarcadero and is the bigger of the two - but this one looked like fun and I had a cup of coffee and enjoyed just being out with the Merry Makers.........  sometimes I feel so Grinchy about Christmas and how overly commercial it all is - it was nice to just relax and enjoy the bright blue day........ 

 ... Macy's decorates their windows this every year and it looks great, I took the first snap from just to the left of the star on top of the tree.....

... as I was walking away from the Square I thought how great is the tree in NM....  this used to be "City of Paris"  - you can read about it HERE - and if you look closely you can just see the original skylight from the CoP building.  The tree in the atrium is gigantic and a real stop for any Christmas tree lover......

I am off for the rest of the week so the Postings will be sporadic.   
Thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Friday, December 19, 2014

Some More Exchange Stitchin'

Gentle Friends, a couple of days ago I showed you the wonderful exchange things I received.... and today I'm going to show you the things I stitched and sent.......

....  For the HOS Christmas Ornament Exchange I made Kathy this piece, from PS Book #191 "Nordic Holiday" - using a mystery piece of 36ct linen, and the called for DMC red and green.  I finished it as a Pyn Keepe, using a cream braid, then laid a red and green wired ribbon with gilt edges and green Pyns.  I totally love the way this turned out, even the Hag Claw liked it, I may have to whip up a few of these for our tree, as all the patterns in Book 191 are great.

For the Private Exchange that I did with Shirlee, I stitched up Jenny Bean's Christmas Ornament 2010, from Shakespeare's Peddler.  I used mostly the called for Belle Soie silks, I changed a couple, because they didn't look very nice on the 36ct piece of linen I was using. 

I chose this chart because I knew that Shirlee likes carols, houses and samplers, and this sort of said all those things to me.  Another thing I changed in the chart a bit is I left off the large letter "J" that was at the bottom.  I tried stitching an "S" instead, but I couldn't make it look right.  I also changed the date  - on the chart it had a date of 1824, which meant nothing, but is the date on most of the Jenny Bean charts - so I found that "Silent Night " was composed in 1818, and that does mean something.


There you go sports fans, another week down and only a few short days until Christmas.  It's pouring again here, and has been all day........  It may be a KFC night.........  Have a super weekend!!

Take care,

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It Was Cold and Rainy

Gentle Friends, last night by the time I finally made it home through the traffic and idiot drivers  - who BTW - get more idiotic the wetter the roads become - (ever heard of a turn signal???) I was in no mood to make dinner - and nothing we could order sounded very appealing......  so after we dealt with the Who hounds we then got back in the car and back on the road again......... our destination was.......

... we're only about a 10 minute drive from this, our favorite Mexican restaurant, we got there quickly and found parking in under 5 minutes ( a Christmas miracle if there ever was one!!!)  

The place was virtually empty, who else is crazy enough to go out in a storm??? - so we had our pick of tables.  The waitress brought out some warm chips and salsa - and menus, but I knew it was Albondigas night and that was what I braved the storm to get!!- every Tuesday they make this soup.  There is a different soup each evening.

This soup - is a hearty vegetable and spicy meatball soup.  When it is brought to the table they also bring a small plate with chopped onions and cilantro and cold rice to add to the soup.  It is really delicious....

.... what's a Mexican meal without a nice cold beer to wash it down with!!  Rico had Chicken Flautas....

........ by the time we finished up dinner the rain had slaked off to a mere dripping drizzle, so the restaurant started to fill up.  It was a warm, delicious and filling meal - and I'd fight another stormy night to get me some more of this soup!!!

That about does it for today (or I should say tonight) sports fans.  
Thanks again for stopping by - do stop again!!

Take care,

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Little Baking

Gentle Friends, I found a really nice recipe Cranberry Bread - called "Christmas Cranberry Coconut Christmas Bread" - from over at Mennonite Girls Can Cook.......

.... easily gotten ingredients, and full, and I mean full of flavour!!!  I am loving this bread, and it will become a staple on our Christmas Morning Breakfast Buffet.

......  It was moist and just delicious - if you like a little sour and little sweet then this is the bread for you.

That's about it for today sports fans - thanks for stopping by, do stop again.

Take care,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Some Wonderful Exchange Pieces Arrived.......

Gentle Friends I thought today I would catch you up on some of the really spectacular stitched lovelies I've received in the past few days.......  starting with an Exchange piece that was Angel Stitched by Terri over at Dixie Sampler.  She hosted a Haunted Harvest Exchange this Fall, and my partner had some serious family health issues so couldn't fulfill her obligation  - and - Terri jumped right in and a wonderful box arrived a few days ago.....  with this....

.... great Pyn Tray.....and also she also included with the Tray.....

........ some fun goodies......

I did a Private Ornament Exchange with Shirlee fromover at The Easily Influenced Stitcher....  she sent a super box of Christmas Cheer........

 .....  the box held a load of wrapped gifts, that went under the tree, and the ornament she stitched in our exchange this year for our tree......  we did it last year and I was so happy to do it again......  and planning for next year......   :)

.... and the last Exchange piece arrived yesterday..... I took part in the HOE Christmas Ornament Exchange and received from Jayne, from over at  Jayne's Stitching Tales, this super ornament....

.... along with Shirlee's lovely ornament it now graces the tree and they look wonderful!!!

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Friday, December 12, 2014

Castro Christmas Lights

Gentle Friends, here in the City, as with many cities, there are some really fun and lovely decorations for Christmas.......  here's a snap of the annual Christmas Tree on Castro Street.....

...... we were down there for dinner last week when I got the snap.....

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thrifty Thursday

Gentle Friends, I thought I should get a post up about some things I picked up last weekend........

....From l to r........   a little dish from Gray's Pottery, in pink lustre ware and art deco pattern with a ship, another small dish, unmarked but this time with shamrocks in each corner, a little trinket box from Wedgwood, and some DVD's....  I also found a great two handled Bunnykins cup with a Winter scene........

....... and this is the back side of the cup....

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again.

Take care,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tree Decorating in Silver and Stitches

Gentle Friends, so today is my tree day posting..... as you recall I hauled out the silver ornaments and gave them a good polish so that they would be nice, shiny and reflective......

.... here they are after being dried off..... and here's our tree....

... we waffled back and forth as to using a real tree or our stand by artificial tree....... all afternoon..... by the time we finally decided to put up a tree at all, it was far too late to go get one, so out of storage and up went the stand by tree.  We got all the silver ornaments on and it looked nice, but then Rico suggested I get out the stitched ornaments and put them on also.... and now I really like the tree, seeing all lovely pieces I've been gifted over the years makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about Christmas....... and such they conjure such wonderful memories....... here's a few close ups.....

...... I am really blessed to have so many friends in the stitching world stitch such wonderful pieces for me to put on my tree.  It's one of the great things about Exchanges, being able to sit back and see all the warm hugs these great little Christmas treats represent!!!

That about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again.

Take care,

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tree Decorating

Gentle Friends, over the weekend we decided that yes, we were putting up a tree.  For a little while it looked like neither of us could had the gumption or enthusiasm to get a tree up, lit and decorated.  

Once we got going it went up fast and the light got put on - Rico had an idea about this years tree -  to only use my silver ornaments with a few special others mixed in.......  so I hauled out the box of silver snowflakes and medallions and got to polishing  Now they are sparkly clean and up on the tree......  after tonight with the addition of a few other ornaments it will be a done deal.... and maybe I'll remember the camera....

Thanks fro stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lest we Forget

Gentle Friends, "a date that will live in infamy"........  December 7th 1941........


"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."    George Santayana


Just some thoughts for the day.........

Friday, December 5, 2014

Visiting Country Cousins

Gentle Friends, over the weekend we had other visitors from the south..... Fresno to be precise.... my Dad would say "It was Grab-Ass heaven " for the who hounds!! 
 Here's a snap of a worn out Lolly and a super sweet Ju-ju  Bee.....  

.... and here are Nietzsche and Shunka.....  ready to "Not be left behind"  it seemed that anytime any one went near the front door every hound in the house would look to see if it was a chance to make a break and run down the hall barking.........  I know the neighbors loved it immensely!!

... and after all the excitement even the "Mokie" Dog needed a rest on a "Warm from the dryer" sheet!!!

That's about it for today sports fans - have a wonderful weekend.  We are expecting more rain WOOHOO!!!!!  It's been nice and damp for the last couple of weeks and I love it - we need every drop we can get!!!

Take care,

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tis the Season.......

Gentle Friends, one of the things I love about the Christmas season, is anticipating the fun edible things that are only available during this time of year......  

...... over the weekend I found some of them.....  Bud's Egg Nog, an SF original and just grand with a hit of handmade Kentucky "NOG."  When I got home with the Bud's I found that we were out of MM - so back out to the store to buy more, what's "Egg" without the "NOG."  I also found  some Panettone and chocolate covered Lebkuchen - delicious!!  I was turned on to Lebkuchen when I was on vacation in Germany - in the lovely town of Nuremberg, Germany - I impatiently wait for this cookie every year and do a little jig when I find the first "kuchen's."  For me it jump starts the Christmas season!!  They also come with a plain glaze, but that touch of dark chocolate really is nice!!

Sunday I was still in the mood for some pie, pecan to be precise..... and I knew I had a recipe for Pecan Pie Bars from "Little Kitchen" Blog.  You cane click HERE to get the recipe.  What is so nice about these is a twist addition of chocolate!!


That's about it for today sports fans, thanks again for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Visiting the Flower Mart

Gentle Friends, continuing our Thanksgiving Eve........ after we left the Mall we headed to the SF Flower Mart.  I've talked about it here in other Posts, but it is a lovely place and so much to see......

..... there is just tons of Christmas greenery everywhere including box wood, magnolia, all sorts of different pine, cedar, eucalyptus..... you name it and it can be found here......

..... there were lots of lovely wreaths, catering to all kinds of different tastes..... 

.... we were after flowers and came away with some really nice ones.....

.... but we'll be back to pick up some poinsettias and garland and maybe a wreath or two next weekend!!

Here's my annual snap of our Thanksgiving gathering, we sat down to dinner around 3 pm......   Turkey, dressing, sweet potato souffle, squash casserole, green bean casserole (a request), cranberry sauce, biscuits..... followed by Dot's Pumpkin Pie, Banana cream pie and Chocolate Mousse (another request).  It was a really lovely meal and a super afternoon!!

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by, do stop again soon!

Take care,

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Visiting Market Street

Gentle Friends, so sorry about the erratic Posts lately, but I tried to pre-schedule some of the pictures for Posts, before writing anything....  kinda dumb, but in my mind it seemed like a plan.  I thought I had put dates on the Posts further into the future so I could go back and write about the pictures - because what is a picture without and explanation..... but they popped up early so I deleted those Posts......... and here we are now........

I took Wednesday off before Thanksgiving, to run errands and just take a break before the long Holiday weekend - because I knew the long weekend was not going to be much of a break. 
One thing I wanted to do was to head downtown and stop at Lupicia.....


.... my Christmas tea place - I had gotten a call from them that the Holiday teas were in ...... and so Rico and I made a fun day out of it - starting off with breakfast a Red Cafe down in the Mission and then it was off to the mall - Westfield San Francisco Center....  they had decorated for the Holidays.......  but we headed for Lupicia first......

.... and they had plenty of tea for me to ogle and buy.....

... the annual Christmas bag...... 

..... probably my favorite tea they make, with hints of chocolate and spice and silver bits.... it is so Christmas it hurts!!

After Lupicia we walked around a bit and ended up under the great dome......

..... this is a tough picture to imagine but the snowflakes  are all moving and falling against the blue background it is just wonderful......  this area directly under the dome is now a fun restaurant and bar - the snow images morph and change to..... 
... a stained glass ceiling that sort of sparkles and shimmers - this really lovely space leads on to....

... and open area were Santa sits and visits with children, we were there much too early to see Santa -  he must have been off feeding his reindeer or polishing his sleigh.....

.....but his sitting area with the trees and chartreuse chair lend a very festive touch.....
 and behind this set up is.....

..... a large open decorated space, the hanging ornaments don't show as well in the picture as they do in real life, but they are really nice for large store decorations.

From the Mall we headed for the Flower Market.  It is one of the things we have done every year.  We go get flowers for the the Thanksgiving table and for around the house.......... we also get ideas for Christmas decorations.  I'll post about that tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,