Saturday, December 27, 2014

My lady heads

I've stumbled up on a new obsession.  Vintage ceramic lady heads.  I saw a few at estate sales this year and I passed them up, always on the hunt for Pyrex.  I could kick myself square in the butt for that.  If I could get my foot up that high. 

I found a beautiful yellow one, they call her the French Thinker and she's from the 1940's, at the antique mall that Larry and I discovered shortly before Christmas.  She was marked $25 the first time we were there and I wouldn't pay that.  We went back last week and she was marked down to FIVE DOLLARS.  Now I will pay that!  I just love her sweet face.


My friend, Lynn, has a thrift store back home and she posted a picture on the store's Facebook page of a gorgeous one she had there and I got my mama to go pick it up for me.  Of course, Mama wouldn't let me pay her for it and she gave it to me for Christmas instead.  That mama of mine...   Some of the heads are planters, like this one, and some are just ceramic heads.  Lynn and I both tried to find out something about her but she remains a mystery.

 So now I have the two.  New year, new collection!  :)

Banjo's Christmas Brontosaurus Bone

Larry and I found the biggest bone for Banjo for Christmas!  We gave it to him today and I think he was actually afraid of it at first!  

I don't blame him.  I told Larry that Banjo would never be able to pick it up, that he'll have to lay down to munch on it!

 Enjoy it, baby.  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Joyous Christmas!

Wow.  What a wonderful, exhausting two days!  We spent Christmas Eve and morning in Atlanta with Juan, Rhiana and the girls, came home, opened our gifts to each other and then were on the road again to Oglethorpe to have Christmas with our family down there.  I took 468 pictures and posted 80 of the best ones on Facebook.  Here are some of my favorites!

I joked that Santa wouldn't be able to find a place to put the toys!  He managed, though.  :)

Elizabeth got an entire set of Harry Potter books!

This picture of Emma melts my heart.  She was SO excited about everything!

It was indeed a Pyrex Christmas for me!  I got TEN new pieces!  

And I got some PINK!!  I got two Gooseberry Cinderellas from Larry and Mama and Daddy and Larry gave me the pink Daisy, too.

Juan, Rhiana and the girls gave me a set of six Spice of Life pieces, Mama and Daddy got the Forest Fancies mixing bowl and Larry found the Gourmet Delphite Blue casserole with the cradle.  I didn't have a warming cradle at all!  

I was pretty excited to add these to my collection!!  I have photographic proof.  :)

Larry and I both agreed not to go crazy this Christmas, that we had everything we wanted already, each other, our new house, blah blah blah.  He didn't stick to it (I got a set of vintage Beatles pins, an Eric Church CD and my favorite bath gel, too) and I didn't either.  Here's his surprised face when he opened his rotary saw and spiral saw.  I just love this picture!

Here's Larry and our great-niece, Lizzie, having a conversation about something and really, there is NO telling.

Baby Jack LaRue belongs to Brian's mama, Miss Dale, but he let me hold him while he slept.  Sweet wittle puppy man!

Lizzie and Katie, in the most beautiful picture I've ever seen of them.  Great job, Ami!!!

One of my dearest high school friends came to visit me today.  I had not seen Kim in nearly 30 years and recently we reconnected on Facebook. We had the happiest visit and it was like the years just melted away.  She and her husband, Steve, are buying a house in Florida (they live waaaaaay up in Delaware now) and I'm so excited at the prospect of having her closer!

 She brought me this adorable set of vintage bears!

This afternoon, Larry and I went to see Unbroken and never in my life have I been so mad that I wanted to walk out on a movie.  I can't stand to see torture, I don't believe in it, and this movie was almost more than I could stand.  I am so glad I toughed it out (fussing under my breath the whole time about somebody needing a "mushroom cloud upside the head" or something to that effect) because the end is so good, so moving and inspirational, so tear-jerking and so amazing, I wouldn't want to have missed it.

We stopped at Target to pick up a prescription and get some 50% off Christmas wrapping paper and bows and swung by Panda Express and picked up supper.

We're not going anywhere tomorrow!

Monday, December 22, 2014

My Secret Santa

Larry went out to get the mail today and there were two boxes on the porch, one from our dear friends, Mike and Brandy (thank y'all so much!!) and one with a Phoenix, Arizona return address.  We don't know anyone in Phoenix.  I opened the box and inside was a carefully wrapped Pyrex Cherry bowl with its happy gingham and bright red cherries.  I absolutely love it but have no idea who sent it to me!  I posted this picture on Facebook and nobody's claimed it so I'll mention it here, too.  If you sent it and you're reading this, thank you.  I am proud to add it to my collection!

Willow made us this beautiful Christmas card, a sunny day for me, Larry, Tabbie Hoffman and Banjo, complete with happy snakes coming out of the tree.  It made me smile and I hung it front and center in our doorway.

We're saving the presents for Christmas!
And yes, Silly Goose Larry is exactly right.  :)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas-y weekend!

A little group of us got together yesterday at my cousin, Debee's house and had our Christmas family party.  We have a long way to go to get back to Hall Christmases of yesterday, when the entire family got together on Christmas Eve at Maw's and we opened gifts and ate and laughed and then hurried home to jump in bed so Santa Claus could come.  We all lived in the same county and it was much easier then.  Now we're all scattered to the winds and it's hard to get back.  But we're working on it.

Bless Debee's heart, she'd just had surgery two days before but she still wanted us there.  We had a wonderful time!  Yummy food, lots of laughs and tons of love.  Maw was smiling down on us for sure.


Debee puts up three beautiful trees every year!  Here are just a few of her many ornaments on her Georgia Bulldog tree.

Instead of exchanging gifts every year, we do an ornament swap and it's so much fun.  Everybody brings one, everybody gets one.  We started with the youngest to the oldest this year.  Everybody gets up, goes up to the tree and chooses a gift.  I got a most appropriate orange tabby kitty ornament and Larry got a Santa cowboy.  We loved 'em!  Ami took this picture of us as Larry was coming back to his chair.


When we left, we went antiquing with Ami and Brian at the antique shops in nearby Bolingbroke.  I was in Vintage Santa Heaven at this store!  I actually hollered when I saw this little section.  Ami got to it first and tried to tell me to move on, there was nothing to see there.  Ha! 

 I ended up getting this sweet little Santa...

And this little angel with the broken hand.  None of us are perfect, right?
(Update:  I have found out that she used to hold two gold bells and they are what has broken off.  She's a Lefton 1950's spaghetti trim Christmas angel and was in a set of three.  Google is a wunnerful thang!) 

We got up really early this morning, had cups of hot chocolate in the hot tub and this afternoon, I took a long nap with Banjo and Tabbie Hoffman at my side while Larry cleaned up the house and did the laundry.  I made a couple of Christmas presents, made another pan of peanut butter fudge and some white chocolate cinnamon-sugar pretzels to fill tins for our neighbors and for the lady who brings our mail.  We watched an amazing Christmas movie called Lost Christmas, a beautiful story of pain and loss and love and second chances.  If you haven't seen it, you should.  It might become a Christmas tradition!

We separated our gifts into piles of which ones are going where and had hummus and crackers and cheese (and peanut butter fudge!) for supper.

Last weekend before the big day!  I was oh so happy to be snuggly warm in my little house with my love and our furbabies and not out there in the crazy shopping my feet off!  Four days left!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Eight days!

Christmas will be here in eight days!!  Next week.  Eeeeek!  We are ready, though.  Been ready, actually.  We're just taking these last days and enjoying them to the fullest!

Last night, we rode over to Yonker, a little town near Eastman, to see the Christmas light display that the Tripp family puts together every year.  Joe and Marie Tripp have been doing this every Christmas for the past 30 years and in recent years, have gained a little attention in the media.  They were even approached by the ABC television show, The Great Christmas Light Fight, but declined because as Mr. Tripp told me and Larry, they "wanted too much".  They want every little surface covered with lights and Mr. Tripp said they "weren't gonna fool with it."  I liked that man.  He gave me and Larry our own personal tour, showing us this snowman and that Santa, telling us where he got 'em and how he fixed 'em, that he got a bunch of stuff from a local bank that was getting rid of their Christmas decorations and how he waited and waited and got lights at Lowe's last year after Christmas 75% off.  I told him he didn't want everything that comes along with being on a TV show anyhow, just look what happened to Honey Boo Boo!  He cracked up!  Said Mrs. Tripp wouldn't have nothing to do with you if you liked Honey Boo Boo.  Uh oh.  :)

Here are some of my favorite pictures!  It was all SO beautiful and we had such a lovely night to walk among the lights; it wasn't too hot and it wasn't too cold, it was just right.

Santa's only there on the weekends so his chair was empty last night.  It was right comfy!  We had a great time.  I loved all the vintage blow mold figures they have.  Mr. Tripp said people have collected them for them over the years and that he wouldn't even know where to begin selling everything IF they ever decide to stop doing this.  Um, I know where you can start, Mr. Tripp.  Meeeeeee!!!

I want this one right heah.

Today we went to the antique mall here in town and I got a few more things for my vintage Christmas tea cart.  I told Larry I might need another cart!

I got a sweet little The Night Before Christmas book that was published in 1950, a springy Santa that pops up out of the chimney, a cute little snowman ornament and two Santa match holders.  The one with the little pom-pom on top is being sold on eBay right now for $50!  Straight crazy.  I paid $2 for him.

I chose this unique Santa mug to add to my collection because I don't have one anything like it and because I liked his coloring, white with just a touch of blush on his face and that one pretty blue eye.  He's different and special.  And he's got the winky eye that I love, too.

We got this old Santa cardboard cutout, too.  LOVE

I squealed out loud when I saw this little book!  I didn't even know there were Buffy books!  I loved my Mrs. Beasley literally to pieces when I was a kid.  She's still with me, too, and we're both old ladies now.  Mama used to fix my hair like Buffy and everything.  I love this little book!!  Merry Christmas to me!

I found these adorable little bulls to put on my Pyrex shelf.  They were with the salt and pepper shakers but they don't have holes for the salt and pepper to come out! They are as cute as they can be!

And these little squirrels are salt and pepper shakers.  I just loved how different and unique this little set was. 

A week from tomorrow!!  I'm so excited I could bust!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Cookies!

Today I tried something I've never tried before.  I attempted to make Larry's Grandma Grace's springerle cookies.  Or "springlies" as she called them and he loved them.

A springerle is a type of German biscuit with embossed designs that you put on with a rolling pin made especially for them.

The rolling pin looks like this and I want one so bad.  They are beautiful!!  I don't want a new one either.  I want one that a little German lady used to make her family Christmas cookies with.  Nothing else will do.

But since I don't have one, I improvised and made Grandma Grace's springlies and we cut the dough out with our Christmas cookie cutters.  

Here's what you need!

4 eggs
4 cups confectioners sugar (1 pound)
4 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons ground anise (all I could find around here was anise seed so I poured the entire jar into my coffee bean grinder and ground them all up)


Mix together the cake flour and baking powder and set aside. 
In another bowl, whip eggs and sugar until the mixture is thick and light.
Stir in ground anise.
Add flour, mix well.
Roll into a ball and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
Lightly dust your rolling space (ours was a sheet of wax paper) with flour, roll out the dough and cut your cookies.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. (This wasn't part of the recipe but the first batch stuck to the cookie sheet so I sprayed cooking spray on the cookie sheet for the rest of them.  Worked beautifully!)

They do look a little biscuit-y.  Best part?  Larry said they were just as he remembered! 

We cut a few bunny rabbits and ducks, too, 'cause we're counterculture like that.  :)  Oh!!  VERY important note here.  The recipe instructed to bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  And my high-tech oven took that very seriously.  The first batch was a little browner than I liked.  The other batches baked for 15 minutes and they were perfect.  I guess you just have to know your oven.  Me and mine are getting there. 

So there you have it.  German Christmas cookies!  I hope I made Grandma Grace proud.

I also made two dozen snickerdoodles using this easy recipe.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar.
Beat in egg and vanilla.
Combine flour and cream of tartar.
Add gradually to creamed mixture.
Combine cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar.
Roll into one-inch balls and roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 

While I baked cookies, Larry worked on some Christmas presents he's making.

 And when all our work was done, we relaxed in the hot tub!  She's a beaut!!

We tried to enjoy ourselves.  You know, tough job and all that.  (I was terrified Larry was gonna drop his iPhone OMGGGG)