Mistletoe Me!

Sunday was the 10th annual Mistletoe Market.  I have a really awful tradition of shopping for myself more than others, but this year it was early enough and the planets aligned, and …  I bought several gifts.  You can’t see those, because some of them are for some of you, but I will show you the fails  the stuff I bought for myself.

I bought coconut pound cake and cranberry pumpkin bread from Apron Strings, but unless you live near Portsmouth, Virginia, you’re out of luck.  And you don’t even get photos because the Knight and the vultures at work devoured it all.  I did get a bite of the coconut and a whole slice of the pumpkin, so  I can assure you it was fabulous.

UntitledI also snagged this PANK leather and silver bracelet from a vendor who didn’t give me her card, didn’t have her logo on her gift box…  Pity.  It’s a pretty thang, and I bought another gift – you know… for someone else? – from her too.  She had a lot of pretty sterling jewelry, in both traditional and more contemporary styles.

It was a great mix of vendors.  Lots of jewelry, some food and cooking items, some custom art, some shoes, children’s clothes, personalized items and more were represented.  And again… I can’t share everything because I did buy some gifts!  Yeah, I’m proud of myself.  We won’t talk about the cards I need to figure out and get in the mail in the next few weeks.  (I’m sure someone has some great charitable cards that would make it all okay that I’m not doing photo cards this year, right?  Feel free to share ideas!)

UntitledLast but hardly least was another gift for me from Erin McDermott Jewelry.  Yes, it’s part of a pair, but if you knew how much trouble I’m having taking photos and blogging, you’d cut me some slack.  My shoddy photo doesn’t do Erin’s craftsmanship justice.  I have other earrings from her, and I always have a hard time choosing what to purchase.  There are several other things on her website I’d like, so I think I will put them on my Christmas list.

And yes, if you think you see a black piece of Italian glass in the middle there, you sure do.  I wore them today, and I’m trying to figure out what I can wear them with again.

But tomorrow, I want to wear the PANK bracelet…

Holiday Finds

Okay, now that the Three Kings have had their day in the sun, I can get around to doing a holiday wrap-up report.   I’ve already shared a couple of awesome gifts, but there were others worth mentioning.

Photo from Soda Stream

Photo from Soda Stream

I got a sewing machine, but more on that when I get around to blogging about my first sewing experience in this century.  The Knight got a Soda Stream (the red one), and so far, so good.  We’ve tried the diet root beer, the regular orange and the diet orange, and we’re both pleased.  I’m especially pleased, because I’m not a fan of heavy carbonation, and you can control how much you “bubble up” your bottle. 

Do you Soda Stream?  If so, how many pumps and what flavors?

10895564A surprise hit was the microwave popcorn popper.  I feel certain I had an earlier model and it went to the landfill in a short order, but this generation is a good one.   I’ve always liked hot air popcorn best, but with Sissy’s accute corn allergy, the potential for flying allergens in her favorite room in the house isn’t an option anymore.  The Knight picked this up one night while we were shopping together, and I assumed it was for one of his family’s gift exchange gifts. 

We’ve found 1/4 cup of Orville’s popcorn at 3 minutes, drizzled with real butter and sea salt is a perfect single-serving.  There is a paper “cup” that needs to be replaced as needed, but you can get several uses from each one even if you’re using oil and/or butter.  (We add the butter after the fact, in a separate bowl.)  We’re now fighting over who has to eat up the “old” microwave popcorn in the pantry.  I’m holding firm; it was MY gift, so it’s MINE, so the Knight needs to quit using MY popper until he eats up all the pre-packaged stuff.  (Except the lime…  clearly, that’s MINE.)

Did you get any gifts we need to know about? 


Still Christmassing…

Why no, Christmassing isn’t a word, but I’m using it anyway.  For the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …

LS_ToastyMitts_RK1… a Skirt Sports Toasty Mitts Sweater.  I presume I have the red, but it’s more of a super-hot PANK.  It’s definitely not “dusty” enough to be the berry color.  What you can’t see in the photos is that the front zipper and the rear pocket zipper are both reflective.  And those mitt-things?  So awesome.  Just what I need, so that I have SKIN on the leash and really feel I have a good grip on Sissy.  They’re very easy to slip on and off too.

The only con is that Lululemon has spoiled me, and I expect fabrics to wick away moisture AND feel like buttah on my skin.  The Knight insisted the top was a stand-alone TOP, but I doubted him and wore a tee underneath.  Um…  I’ll be wearing a long-sleeved tee underneath in the future.  The black part of the sleeves were rough and frankly, my arms were quite chilly.  Still, I’ll be watching for it to go on sale, hopefully in the berry color!

We also had another Christmas dinner last night with my BFF and her family.   Just wait ’til you see the cupcake “decor” she gave us!!  Too cute and spot-on…

Are you still Christmassing?  Any exciting weekend plans?

Hounds, the common denominator


Baby Sissy celebrating her spin on Boxing Day, 12-07

Happy Boxing Day!   I miss December 26th at my stepmom’s homeplace.  I miss the spoonbread, the Virginia country ham biscuits (really… all ham biscuits should be two-bite-sized and feature thinly sliced, very tender country ham), her SPECIAL egg nog, cheese biscuits (think cheese “cookie” with a half pecan pressed on top), and tremendously good cheer.  Knowing Boxing Day would happen made it easier to be a good sport and work Christmas Day when I was a paid firefighter.

Courtesy of Write Meg

Courtesy of Write Meg

Am I the only one who has food associations for holidays?  Even though I don’t like goose, I’m still a little sad there’s been no Christmas goose for years and years.   When we were much younger (read: teens?) my lone male cousin on my maternal side and his father provided said goose for our family fete, straight from their own river access, right there on the farm.  Now, I’m quite accustomed to my sister’s beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner.  I’m also all about local food customs, and some say spoonbread, along with the Virginia country ham, originated right here…  The same formerly-goose-getter cousin introduced us all to his adult hometown’s stuffed ham.  (Don’t judge.  I hate kale and still thought this was quite tasty.)

photo.JPGNext up is a pretty basset stamp a friend used on the envelope of her Christmas card.  I think I need to find one!  I just love a freckled basset… 

I’m sure Sissy would love to have a stamp.  Of course, then Gretchen would want one too…  hmmm…  I think I’d get plenty of use out of them though, don’t you?


Next up is this fun floral arrangement.   I got my first “mum dog” when I had back surgery, so when another local basset-mom was in the hospital, I knew just what she needed.  Our florist asked only for an extra day to figure out the ears and other basset modifications, and the result was definitely worth it!   Wouldn’t that cheer you up?

Well, this post is long enough, so tune in tomorrow for the final chapter in our tale of how the love of hounds makes the world go ’round.  We hope you had a great Christmas.  Here in the Woods, this is the second day of Christmas, and my true love is giving me – well, my beloved car – a transmission flush and some other necessary maintenance.   Does anyone else celebrate Christmas through Epiphany?

Fur-girls immortalized?

Happy Thorsday, little friday, Thankful Thursday, eve of last day of work before a long weekend for many of us…

DSC03227Gretchen is lobbying for royalties and the lawsuit that would be necessary to make them happen.  Hem.  She’s supposed to be my not-trouble-maker!! 

What say you?  Does the ornament basically blogless Susan sent favor Sissy and her tutu too much?  (Follow the link above to the girl’s blog to see Sissy in her pink tutu if you need to refresh your memory!)

Personally, I say no.   When the JLC was looking into doing a cookbook, we learned that if you change as few as three things in a recipe, copyright issues go out the window.  So…


  1. Ornament hound is a tri-color…  maybe.  Sis is registered as a lemon and white, but is arguably only two colors – reddish-lemon and white. 
  2. Ornament hound is wearing pearls.  Gg is my necklace-wearer.  (Yeah, that’s a stretch too…  Sis will wear most anything I put on her.)
  3. Ornament hound has no freckles, and Sissy has freckles everywhere, especially on her feet and legs.

e44d4104-9367-4c77-a468-f9cc552bbc96Now, Susan’s Gg-like present is also quite the look-alike.   Dock the tail and it’s pretty darned close too!


Puppy Gg around 4 months.

Which gift do you think is most like the fur-girl it represents? 

Do you collect items of your dogs breed or likeness?

I want to do theme trees one year.  I think we almost have enough to do both a fire department themed tree and a dog-themed tree.  I’m pretty sure the bassets are the dominant ornaments; I just don’t find as many Jack Russell ornaments for some reason.   Odd, given that JRTs (or any AKC variation on the breed) are very popular in these parts.

Thankful?  I’m thankful for thoughtful friends who REALLY get me and my dogs.  I’m thankful for friends and relations whom all seem to be focusing more on the reason for the season than on shopping and gifts.  And I’m thankful for the special times with friends and family that happens around Christmastime each year.

What are you thankful for today?

Awkward Normalcy

Two fire captains keeping Santa's chair warm

Two fire captains keeping Santa’s chair warm

Like the rest of the country, we’ve been moved by the Sandy Hook tragedy.   But the Knight still had duty crew all weekend, and yesterday was photos with Santa at the firehouse.   (Sorry…  I don’t post photos of kiddos without permission, so enjoy these BIG kids instead.)

My heart breaks for everyone who has been touched by the deaths of those innocents.  I don’t mean to appear insensitive, but those of us not actively grieving do need to carry on…

I am hopeful that some good will come from this.   Several of you know that I’ve long bemoaned the secret shame associated with mental health/illness, and as one of my former co-workers posted on Facebook, it is up to ALL of  to assure children – all children, everywhere – are safe wherever they might be.  It takes a village, and these days, we’re a global community.

So hug your own children close for me.   Send your children’s teachers and school administrators a thank you note, cookies… something to let them know how much you appreciate their dedication.  And I sincerely am moved that a few of you have already expressed your concerns for the first responders (emergency service workers if you prefer).  I promise, cards and cookies are welcomed at any fire/rescue/police station, anywhere.

Be extra kind to each other.  ‘Tis the season, after all.