Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fa La La La La In Lala Land

Ya gott love felt balls..snowballs 

And Felt Birdies
with more snowballs.

Everyone keeping busy?

Anyone not busy?


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ben's Stuffing and Life and Trees

The Famous Ben Stuffing

Very labor intensive, but most of the chopping can be done the 
day before, but Ben said he likes the idea of the work 
"on the day".
We enjoyed mimosas while HE worked.
The pooches were at his feet all morning
hoping for an errant nibble.
In the center pic you can even see Justice standing
by while he texted.

1 3/4 pounds sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
5 to 6 TB butter
2 1/2 fennel bulbs, chopped
1 1/4 pounds onions, chopped
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 1/4 pounds firm but ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large red bell peppers, chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
1 loaf sourdough bread cubed
3/4 cup dry white wine

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread bread on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Bake until just golden, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer to very large bowl. Set aside.

Cook Italian sausage in large pot over medium-high heat until browned, breaking up pieces with back of fork, about 12 minutes. 

Using slotted spoon, transfer to small bowl. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in same large pot over medium-high heat. 

Add chopped fennel, onions and fennel seeds. Sauté until fennel and onions are tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. 

Reduce heat to medium. Add pears, bell peppers and herbs. Sauté until pears and peppers are just tender, about 10 minutes. 

Add wine and boil until most liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. 

Add sausage and fennel mixture to bread cubes. Season stuffing to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 13x9x2-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish. Add enough broth to stuffing to moisten (about 3/4 cup to 1 1/2 cups.) Transfer stuffing to prepared dish and dot stuffing with 2 tablespoons butter before baking. Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down; bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is crisp and golden, about 20 minutes longer. Top with fennel fronds, if desired, and serve.

( I took the fennel tops and stuffed them inside my bird)

My brother Scott and his wife Crystal have
 a wonderful mini tree farm.
It is located on the lot next to their home in 
New Castle PA.
Each year Scott tends and trims these trees to perfection.
Look at these beautifully shaped trees.
Only Blue Spruce for them,
and only $20.00!
Those are not lala land prices!

Offspring of the folks 
who bought 20 years ago are now coming to
buy these beautiful Blue Spruce trees,
family traditions established and nurtured.

Nurtured in the nursery
for future generations..

Absolutely worth the drive if you are
 anywhere within the Pittsburgh area.
Please remember to tell them I sent ya...
and give em a big hug for me.
If you wish to call and check ahead, email me.

Also please check out Maynard Greenhouse
here and here if you haven't already.
If you are passing through, or live within
a nice long drive,
Maynard Greenhouse is a Must 
stop for Carole's Christmas shop and 
their Christmas trees have arrived also.

Give George and Carole my love and pet Petey
and the kitties.

Filled with love and gratitude today.
My son is still here visiting, he is asleep upstairs.
The joy I feel when the kids are under my roof,
asleep and happy and safe at home.
I am blessed with a great family 
and friends here and in blog land.

Do you ever have those days 
where you just want to hug yourself with joy?
Life is good.
Difficult at times, but good.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gifting In The Studio

Working on Gifts

In the studio - Glitter and glue gun a flyin'

Wonder if I can talk Dearest Son into
a few projects?
He has an idea for a sewn headboard I'm working on.

I've already set up a painting area in the garage for 
Darling Daughter.
She asked what I wanted for Christmas.
What I always want from her....
Maybe I can pick up a few tricks....

Monday, November 19, 2012


Last year I had a lit tree in the den.
With the lights from it and a few candles,
the room felt warm and cozy.

This year I made the number tree,
and it has no lights.

So I was sitting here early evening,
perusing the net,
and realized there was no "Christmas" lighting in here,
other than the candles on the book ladder.
The den just did not have that warmth I need
this time of year.

As I am known to do, when I want something different,
I "shop" the house. I walked outside to the garden,
and literally yanked these two stars out of a tree and
perched them near the ladder.
I have lights, I have ambiance, I have cozy.

I have two more days till Ben is home.
Went to the store for the ingredients for this
MAGIC stuffing of his...$$$$$ YIKES.

Fennel, pears, Italian sausage, red peppers etc..
It had better be dang good!


Everyone please remember all those 
not as fortunate this Thanksgiving.
Even small donations have great impact.
If it's easy to give $10.00 then give $20.00
If 20.00 is easy, give 40.00....

I set a goal 10 years ago, to give to charities 10% of my
 gross income each year for ten years. 
I had hoped to increase the amount as the years went by.
That didn't happen, the economy flipped for all of us.  
This year I will barely make it but I will make it.
I'm selling off a few trinkets here and there to meet the goal.
( as I was typing this a pal called to buy
 some dishes I was selling. WoOt!)

Ten years 
Time to set a new goal.
I live on a very-very small budget but I always find a way.
If your budget is adequate, find a way, set a goal
make a difference.
Be a mensch.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reds This Year

There is some red this year at oldgreymare.
I adore these House of Hatten ornaments -
the Twelve Days of Christmas and more.

I used a few last year in the den, but this year I did the large tree,
and added more figures throughout the room.

The vintage green wagon in front will be loaded with gifts.

There are whites everywhere else.

With burlaps and browns,
creams and whites,
touches of snow and glitter.

Pinecones, more snow, angels, birds...
reflections, candlelight...
tis the season...
happy happy joy joy
Dearest son Ben will be home for Thanksgiving.
Making his famous stuffing he says.
Mama happy.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Getting There

I'm getting there.
Only do a wee bit each day, 
enjoying the process.
makes it so simple.
No need to pull it all out;
at most two small boxes per tree. 
This year, lots of greenery,
lots of snow.

Enjoy your weekend my friends.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In A New Light

This door has lived in many areas of my home propped here and there and I have always loved it. Recently it was the backdrop on my porch, but while working in the yard yesterday I noticed some rain had started to reach it and remove some paint.
So I hauled it into the family room and figured I would find a 
home inside once more. I walked around the downstairs, measuring tape in hand and soon discovered why it had landed on the porch after all. No room.

I dragged it into the dining area and propped it against the dining table. Just before going upstairs late last night I thought...
and not wishing to be terrified by a resounding crash in the night,
I took a preventative measure and propped the closest chair in front of it. A family chair long in residence with my folks,
with the same patina as the pie safe, it goes unnoticed,
in the shadow of the matching cabinet. 

I came down the stairs this morning and  POP
A new way of seeing the door, the chair, the contrasts.
How they flatter one another, make each one
bolder, stronger, lovelier.

The subtle grey-green color comes forth in the door.

The peeling paint, a backdrop to the bare stain of the chair.

Seeing in a new light.
Always right there but not yet paired.

There is a problem.
Now that I know these two must remain together,
how many pieces of furniture will have to be relocated,
robbing Peter to pay Paul?
 Propped in the living room, not conducive
to changes are necessary. sigh

Just when I thought I was nearly complete with
holiday design and the yard, and the chores.
A good book waiting....
But when you see something in a new light,
it's like the blush of any new relationship,
you have to see it through.