In my blog I plan to chat about nature, crafts, baking, gardening, beekeeping, family, and whatever else seems appropriate at the time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A whole lotta everything!

This post is a mish-mash of a lot of things. First of all, concerning the last post about Summer Place. I will try to explain the best I can. You know how you're going for a drive in the country and you see farm land, then all of a sudden you see a row of houses on the edge of the farm land? At least you see that in Indiana. Well, Summer Place is behind one of those houses, along the edge of a farm field. It is a private house that people live in. In their back yard is "Summer Place." They even have a ferris wheel (although I don't think I've ever seen it work) and a train car. They hold "events" and I've been to a couple of them. A car show and this Christmas dinner and movie. I can't remember if the car show was free or you had to pay an entrance fee, but I know you didn't have to buy advance tickets. For the Christmas show, you have to buy advance tickets. And I THINK some or all of the money is donated to a charity. Here is a pic I tried to take of their back yard. It kind of gives you an idea that it's just a big back yard with a 50's town in it!

This would be as you are walking from their house, to Summer Place.

A couple of weeks ago when my nieces spent the night and we went to the We Care park....we also decorated Christmas cookies.

They really enjoyed decorating them and I hope it becomes a tradition. But I have to find a new recipe.

We ate a couple of the cookies.
But here's the thing.....
they were only good that night. By the next morning they were hard as a rock! And it was a Martha recipe.

We were taking them to the family reunion, so I posted on our family website to please take one, act like they are the best ever, and toss them if you need to. I don't know what happened to them. I should have drilled holes in them, and hung them on our tree!

We took them to the family reunion, but apparently Aunt Nancy does not read the family website. So, you know how someone is talking to you, and you are not paying attention to waht they are saying, because you are thinking of something else, and that something else is funny, so you smile. But you know you can't laugh because the person that is talking to you might be saying something serious. You don't really know what they are saying, you are only hearing waaa wahh wah wah... well that happened to me at the family reunion. I don't even remember who was talking to me. I only remember watching Aunt Nancy and Aunt Betty talking to each other, then Aunt Nancy picked up a cookie and TRIED to take a bite. That is when I smiled (and wanted to laugh). Then she gave it a funny look and said something to Aunt Betty and walked over and threw it in the trash! I'm laughing about it now......still.....I guess you had to be there...and shame on her for not reading the family website.
I am not laughing about this pain in the ass cookie sheet though. (sometimes you have to curse to get your point across) It will no longer be a cookie sheet, it has now become an ice cube tray and I'm sure these cubes will be adorable in the punch I'm serving on Christmas eve.

But we're talking about baking. And Pammy Sue, I apologize for making fun of your Christmas cookies.
These LOOK ok, but they are missing half of their back sides... which were stuck in the above baking sheet

and these speak for themselves.
(reminds me of the joke....nevermind)
So I used the rest of the mix and put them in mini-muffin cups, only I think they taste horrible.

And here's the other thing...I usually make things from scratch. Only because I have never had much luck with box mixes.

And what was I thinking when I bought a whole wheat gingerbread mix anyway? I was probably thinking of something healthy and that they'd be cute in the above baking sheet. And maybe they will taste better once I heat them and put cool whip on them....blah good.
Now, the pie, I made from scratch for my husband's boss...


And these coconut macaroons-another Martha recipe - good, but very rich. I should have cut the chocolate in half since I used mini-chips instead of chunks, as the recipe states to use.

I also dipped some pretzels in white chocolate and they turned out just fine. And then, last night my Sister calls and says, "I had the best baking day..blah blah blah." (glad someone did). We decided my problem was I strayed from tradition. She did not. Mexican wedding cakes and peanut butter cookies with kisses in the center. I did not make those...yet. Maybe tonight. They are tradition. Our Mom always made them. Still does actually. And I usually add oatmeal scotchies and shortbread to the mix. Next year, I'm sticking with tradition.
Another tradition I have is that I hide the gifts I get for the boys I watch. They are older now, and they just kind of 'hang out' here. However, they're parents are working long hours right now, so they are hanging with me this week. And I hid their gifts.
One was hidden in one of the stockings below... gift cards are easy to hide.

The other was hidden behind this picture -see it sticking out.

In the middle of hunting

The older one found our tree topper, still in the tin

so he stopped hunting and put it on our tree. We were actually saving it for my niece, who every year gets lifted up to put our angel on our tree. But that's ok, because I thought it was cute that he did this for us. And he'd be mad if he knew I used the word cute when talking about something he did.
Cute. The first time I ever watched him he was three years old. {sigh}

They only found their gifts by playing the "hot and cold" game. Have you ever played it? When you are looking for something, the person that hid the item tells you if you are hot or cold.
You're hot when you get close to finding it and cold when you are moving in the wrong direction.

And now the dog update....

First of all, I really appreciate all of your ideas, concerns, comments. And Queen, I would not get mad about what you said. It's the truth. I do realize that when you get an older dog, you have 'history' to work really do. Who knows what they've been through. So I figure it's a trade-off. You deal with the puppy stage or you deal with history. And we did get him a cage right off the get-go, but thanks for the idea....I think Brenda gave me that idea. It made a huge difference with the other dog. He no longer thinks play-time is in the middle of the night. I've researched and watched shows on Animal Planet and some things they suggest do work. I think he might have had an upset stomach from the antibiotics he was on. And he is no longer peeing in the house. I keep a very close eye on him. He might be getting more secure with us. He is certainly still getting in trouble.

He's not allowed on the furniture.

He really is a good dog.


he has made his way into our hearts.

Besides, what's one more? Right Rebekah
(I can't believe I said that!)
Have a peaceful and Merry Christmas.



  1. Hahaha. I love the gingerbread men missing their backside comment! :) And also glad to hear your new addition stays! :) You're awesome Cindy!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful time you have it...Hugs from South Texas..Birgit

  3. I had one of those baking days last week. I was trying to make these sweet and salty nuts in the oven. They did not look burnt but they certainly tasted burnt. In the trash. Then i dipped my cookie/cream cheese balls in the white chocolate, put the tray in the fridge and when I opened the fridge the whole tray ended up on the floor. In the trash. Thank goodness the day before our Christmas party my baking turned out fine. I saw Rebekah came home with another dog also. Not me, I value my life right now. Have a wonderful Christmas!!!!!

  4. Hi b, Birgit, and Brenda,

    Must be the post where only "b" names comment! I really was pretty frustrated making those cookies and such, so I know how you felt Brenda. I actually did some more baking on Christmas eve morning, and those did turn out. I stuck with tradition. And yes we did decide to keep the Welsh, who still doesn't have a name, but life was easier with just Dixie. It really was. Hindsight. Oh well...he's a cutie. In the running for names is Baxter and Ralphie. We had a wonderful Christmas eve and Christmas Day. I hope you all did too.


  5. Cindy, what a wonderful idea to play the hot and cold game to find the gifts. I’m going to have to try that one. The cookie story is so cute. Glad Auntie didn’t break a tooth :) That baking pan is a PIA--how did the ice cubes turn out? So glad you hanging in there with the doggy. He just needs you. He will figure it out I know. :)


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