Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all the joys of the season to each and every one of you.  I hope you have friends and/or family to spend time with.  Our thoughts and prayers are especially with those who are dealing with tragedy at this most festive time of year.  We have several friends and relatives who are facing the first Christmas without a loved one and that is always difficult.  Of course we have that hope of seeing them again because of the birth of our Lord...there is hope in sorrow and in joy.

We went to the light show at the Boise River in Caldwell on Tuesday evening as we thought it might snow last night....

The park is alongside the river for several blocks and they had light strings and nets on every tree and bush, and silhouettes of deer and sleighs etc. in between!

Both of the bridges were decorated - the light reflecting on the rapids and small waterfalls were impossible to photograph with a point and shoot digital but lovely to see.  It was freezing (literally) with a bitter breeze, but we had a wonderful time.

We did not get snow last night, it waited until 8:30 this morning and has not let up since.  This photo was early, the blanket of snow is thick and the world is always muted and quiet in the snow.

Since I was a small child Christmas has always been that time when we prayed for snow, that 'white Christmas' was the ideal.  Sleds and snowballs and playing with the cousins, grandma making hot chocolate as much to warm our hands as our insides. I suspect my parents were not as thrilled as I was when the snow got there before they had to drive to Grandmas house!  (I do understand that now!)  Part of the magic of the snow is the way everything is beautiful in it!  Junkyards become works of art, fence posts wear little white hats, and the world is lovely.

Today, in our world, there is turmoil and fighting, loss and sorrow, fear and hate.  I will look out my window and remind myself that there is also peace and beauty, and that during this season, we celebrate the birth of the author of that peace.

Merry Christmas to all!!!

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Feel of Winter

Oh I know the actual start of winter is the 22 of December but it is feeling like winter now, and I love it.  Hubby is not having as much fun, but I suspect really that raking the leaves doesn't bother him that much and he does enjoy being outside in the cold and crisp!  We both love the grey days - as long as we can stay warm, and we are noticing that this year with the new roof we think we are having an easier time keeping the house warm. 
Leaves on the ground and the firewood on the porch!
I am finishing up the Christmas presents to send to the kids, so every spare minute is crafting!  I have begun a new part time job, working 2 or 3 days a week for about 5 hours a day.  It really did just fall into my lap, it is working in insurance and I know how to do it and it is kind of nice to get out in the public again for a little while, the money that I bring in will go into the emergency fund and the travel to see the grandkid fund!!

As we are getting close to Christmas I will share my new favorite candy recipe, and the story of how I found it.  On our trip to California we had stopped at this roadside attraction called the 'Barn at Avila' between Pismo and Avila along the coast.  We looked at the wares and then went into the ice cream and candy shop, I bought a 3 inch square of 'Butter Pecan Fudge' and we all had a small taste - it was wonderful and I decided I had to get a recipe for it, this recipe tastes very much like the fudge at the coast and is really easy to make.  It is modified from a "Taste of Home" recipe.

Butter Pecan Fudge
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup toasted pecans
  1. To toast the pecans - place in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until you can smell the pecans. You can also toast the in a frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Measure out powdered sugar in to a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Grease an 8x8 baking pan with butter and set aside.
  4. Combine butter, white sugar, brown sugar, whipping cream and salt in a medium size pot. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it begins to boil and the bubbles do not disappear when you mix them. It will only take a few minutes to come to a full boil.
  5. Set a time for 5 minutes and stir the mixture constantly while it boils.
  6. Once the 5 minutes are up, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in pecans.
  7. Pour the fudge in to your prepared pan. Allow fudge to cool until room temperature before cutting, mine set up pretty fast but the recipe said the preferred time was 24 hours.
single blurry piece, it sets up firm
 This stuff is melt in your mouth delicious!!  You can diet in January!!  Enjoy.