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!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

These ladies....

I realize I haven't posted Christmas Eve or Christmas Day yet, but I wanted to post about some of the entertaining I did the month of December.  And about some of the ladies in my life. 

Here's the deal peeps....I had my mind made up that I was going to have a great Christmas this year.  And I was going to do everything I could to make it so.  I am no longer living in one room in a basement and I was going to make up for lost time.

At the top of my calendar page I wrote MAKE MEMORIES!
If someone asked me to do something, I tried.
And I planned.
And I entertained.

One of my original plans was to have a cookie exchange with family and friends, but that just kind of seemed a bit overwhelming.  Maybe next year.  So I asked my crochet friends, if they would do one.  We meet on Thursday mornings at our local coffee shop every week.  We had the cookie exchange at one of our regular meetings.  I enjoyed it and the cookies were delicious.  My plan was to give them to neighbors and such, but that never happened! 

This is Debbie.....We tend to call her "Dammit Debbie!"  You can see why in this picture!
She made blankets this year for friends for Christmas presents. 
(heart of gold I tell ya)
 This is Kay's work of art.

Kay works circles around us....
Yep...fastest crocheter ever...and good teacher. 

And this is Cheryl.  She joined the group a year or two ago, after her youngest daughter went off to college. She needed something to occupy some of that free time.  This blanket seems to be doing the job!
And this is the daughter that went off to college.  She joins us now and then.   
You would think Annie was an intermediate crocheter, making a Christmas tree and all....but the tree was supposed to be a square (teehee) and Kay whipped up the star for her.  We turned a mistake into a work of art.  We're nice like that! 
I worked on a school colors scarf for my sister and some Christmas dishcloths.
Oh...and this peppermint White Mocha drink - aka - Winter Wonderland!

Our locally owned coffee shop, Big Ben, has the best drinks with whipped topping!

Then there are the Purdue ladies I worked with for almost 15 years.  When you spend eight hours a day for 15 years with someone, you become close.  None of us actually work at Purdue anymore, for one reason or another, and we call ourselves the Quitters!  I decided I was going to shine the silver this year.  Most of these pieces came from rummage sales.
And I got the house all dressed up for Christmas... 
and they came over for Brunch,
We also celebrated Marcia's 70th birthday!
 Group photo.  We do this every year.  It's tradition.
See Cheryl, holding Dixie.  Yep, she is the same Cheryl in the crochet group!  She joined the Purdue girls first, even though she worked for IU!  She liked us better!!!
We had a little gift exchange, as did the crochet girls.
And let's see if I can remember the menu that day. 
Ham slider sandwiches
tossed veggie salad
fruit tray
few other odds and ends.
The week of Christmas, I changed the table cloths....the silver was still shiny, and had the Chata Chicks over....Yep, Chata Chicks.  That's going to take some explaining.

You would think I was a bit proud of this room!

Here's the CHATA CHICKS story in a nutshell.
When I moved out here, I didn't know the neighbors.  I met one neighbor, Treva.  She liked wine and so did I. So, we'd sit and chat and drink a glass of wine.
Then, I invited Kim, and Treva invited her neighbor, Jane, to join us.  After we met a few times, I got tired of calling them my "wine" friends.  We have much more in common than drinking wine!
So one time when we all go together in Treva's camper, which is nothing like my Coral Belle I must say,
I brought an agenda.  And the first item on that agenda was Name.  We needed a name.  I kept coming up with Cassville Ladies Auxillary, and stuff like that.  Treva wanted something more sassy, saying my name sounded like we bake casseroles!   
So, I wrote down all the names of the bottles of wine and such that we had. including the extra shot someone wanted to try which was equal parts of Fireball and RumChata. 
(I don't care for fireball so....) 
We all live in Cassville, so we came up with Cassville Chata Chicks.  It's Sassy.

So I had the Chata Chicks over for Christmas, actually a couple of days before Christmas.  I made a special Sangria drink that involved heating cranberries until they popped open, in a mix of sugar, Pinot Grigio, and white grape juice.  I got the recipe from and the recipe is called Cranberry Rosemary Sangria.  Click here for the recipe.  Even if you don't make the recipe, buy some cranberries just to hear them pop!  It's kinda fun.
Oh and a sidenote...if you live in a climate that freezes, like I do, you won't be able to find Rosemary for this drink in the winter.  Kind of a faux' paux' (did I spell that right?  It's French for mistake) on his part, I think.

The Chata Chicks all brought food over and it was delish.  I made rumake' again, and little sausages, and some other odds and ends.   The made cheese ball and chex mix, and these yummy cookies, and grape salad. 

We never opened the wine because we had the sangria and eggnog.  It's the first time I've ever liked egg nog.
It was all so good.

 After having the Chata Chicks over on Thursday, and still needing to prepare for Christmas Eve on Saturday, well....I got all dressed up to go to a friends open house on Friday,  and did...not...go.  It was a very wet, rainy Friday evening, that turned to sleet. And it was out of town.

 But it was the first time I got to wear this outfit anywhere, so by golly I'm taking a pic!  I still haven't worn it and you can't even see it in the pic.
oh well....
So, that's some of the ladies I have in my life.  It all sounds very busy, but this was over a month's time.  One thing I wanted to tell you about is these delicious treats. 
My Purdue friend, Cecilia (CC) used to always make them.  She couldn't be with us this year.  So I made them.  The best part is you can assemble them the night before and keep them covered in the fridge.  They are good hot or cold.
You need bacon, almonds, and pitted dates.  Don't get the huge medjool ones though.  They are too big.  You stuff the dates with an almond, then wrap it with bacon, and insert a round toothpick through it to hold it all together.  That part takes a little while so have a seat and watch some telly, or do what I did and talk on the phone, while you are making them.

Then, put them on a broiler pan on 325 degrees.  They take about an hour and you do need to turn them. Watch them so they don't burn.  It helps to line the broiler pan (the bottom part-not the slotted part) with foil to catch some of the grease. 
Pop these in your mouth for yummy goodness!

Cindy Bee


  1. Sounds like you have several wonderful groups of friends, the food all looked amazing. Are you exhausted?

  2. How nice to have so many great friends and you are such a great hostess. By way your family likes to party, you've have plenty of practice. You could be a professional party planner. Do you need another job?
    That one photo with the yellow bee fabric . . . I have that too and every time I look at it I think of you, my bee lady friend :)
    Have a great day!
    Connie :)


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