Life in the A-Frame

Life in the A-Frame

Monday, December 29, 2008

Limoncello-Final step

After about 2 months, it was time to strain and bottle the limoncello that I made from my very own lemon crop. After it was strained and bottled, it was a pale, pretty liquid. Here it is in my kitchen window amid the angels and artificial snow. After admiring the pretty presentation a while, I put the bottles in my freezer because you are supposed to serve it ice cold. I took one bottle with me on my Christmas rounds and it was a hit, especially with my husband's side of the family.

Homemade Kahlua

I made many, many batches of homemade kahlua this year as gifts for the Troopers and their wives. I have a little left for me and Mike. My favorite way to drink it is in a cup of hot chocolate. I like to heat a cup of milk, add a heaping spoon full of Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder, then add kahlua as the sweetener. I also have a friend who mixes hers with half and half (is that a White Russian?).

Spiced Vanilla Kahlua (makes 3 cups)

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups water

3 Tab. instant coffee powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

sprinkle in powdered ginger and cloves

3/4 cup vodka

2 Tab. vanilla

Heat all ingredients except vodka and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Heat until coffee and sugar melts. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and vodka. Skim the foam from the top of the kahlua and bottle.

Of course, I propped one of the labeled bottles in my kitchen window, my favorite gazing place. This time of the year, it is decorated with various Christmas angels, snowmen, and village shops. You can see the faces of my two children on some angels they made in church...about 10 years ago.

Christmas baking

My daughter was hired to draw 2 pictures that were given as gifts to a friend of ours. (I was so excited!). The day before she finished, I baked these cookies and she took a break long enough to help decorate them. We used the egg yolk icing recipe that I saw on The Pioneer Woman's blog:
Then we used a quick, Wilton prepared white icing in a bottle. I think they turned out pretty. The little gingerbread guy at the bottom looked like a pirate to me but my daughter says he is in a baseball uniform.

Holiday wishes

Before I had time to realize it, over two weeks of time flew by and I hadn't posted anything! I did read all my favorite blogs everyday, and really enjoyed them, but it seems like that is all I had time to do. I will post some pictures soon of the homemade crafts I did, and the final phase of my limoncello. I have a lot of things to share from this holiday season.
I have a family update: Mike's dad is back in the hospital with several problems that won't stablize. While he was in intensive care, Mike went to stay with him everyday. Now he is in a private room and hopes to move back to the rehab center soon. We did get to see both sides of the family for Christmas and attend the wedding of one of our nieces. And, I think Mike is really ready to retire now. These last few weeks seems like a blurr, but I will sort it all out and see what I have pictures of.
Meanwhile, it is still the holiday season and soon it will be a new year. I wish everyone Happy Holidays and I hope you will visit me here...soon.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Our eventful week

The squirrels were taunting Amos again. A bird feeder is right over his head and they didn't even run from him this time. I guess they were hungry. He tried to get closer to them by getting in the flower pot. Still didn't scare the squirrels.

We started last week by celebrating my daughter's birthday. We gave her a pretty cross necklace. Happy 19th birthday!

Then the next day, we went to the Olive Garden for my 50th birthday. Here are Mike and I waiting outside the restaurant.

On Wednesday, it snowed. That is a rare occasion here in Texas. I caught the sun coming out about an hour later and it just hit the top of the trees before dark.

My nephew, who lives with my son, has a new puppy. He is half pit bull and half Rottweiler. They are going to call him King. Ace will have a playmate at his house now.

My daughter and I got the Christmas tree decorated finally. This is the aluminum tree that my Grandpa got when I was little. My Grandmother didn't really like it but I thought it was the prettiest thing in the world. Now I have it!
Our last few weeks have been hectic and stressful. Mike's dad is in the hospital but is much better now. Mike has been away from home a lot. The kids have finished the semester at college and have a little free time now. The weather was freezing a couple of days but now it is 73 degrees again. Today, we had a beautiful Children's pageant at church and I think it finally put me in the Christmas mood.

Friday, December 5, 2008

My, how things change

This is baby Ace, approximately 8 pounds on October 16.
This is baby Amos, approximately 2 pounds in August, 2006.

Today they both went to the vet for their shots and checkup. Look at how much bigger Ace is than Amos now. He was 26 pounds today! And Amos was almost 10 pounds. Of course, Ace is only 3 months old, so he will get a lot, lot bigger. We also discovered he has a slight heart murmur so we will be watching him for signs of fatigue, but so far, he has appeared very healthy.

It was really cold today, (for us in Texas, 54 degrees is freezing). When we got back home, both dogs found this sunny spot under the sunroom table and laid down together for a nap.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

tiny girl, but now she's a young woman

Well, my daughter's birthday is Saturday. She will be 19 now. On the day she was born, I woke up at 4:30. I had been dreaming that my best friend was my nurse and I was having contractions. Mike had worked nights, so I didn't wake him. I took a shower and called my mother, still unsure if I was having real contractions. She and my father came over to my house because they would need to baby sit my 1 year old son. My father convinced me to go ahead to the hospital, so I woke up Mike. Imagine his confusion when he saw that my parents were already there and I was ready to leave. We arrived at the hospital about 9:00 a.m., and she was born at 11:25 a.m.-nice, calm and easy. She has been calm and easy ever since. She loves music, plays the piano and an artist and a designer. She is in college and is getting an art degree but now also wants to go to hair design school. I think her 2 interests go together, don't you? She is beautiful, with dark skin and eyes and medium brown hair. She is quiet, very conservative, and has strong opinions. I have never known her to be swayed by peer pressure. I am proud of her. She has grown into a fine, level headed young lady and I love her!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pretty Paper Angels

These Angels will part of the table decorations Sunday when we have our church Christmas party. (That day will also be my 50th birthday). I am looking forward to the party in many ways. Decorating the tables is one of my joys when serving the Church. If you would like to instructions, visit Martha Stewart:

Gentle Southern breeze

The weather is warm and there is a wonderful Southern breeze. I have the house completely open. My bedroom is painted a dark, deep blue because my Husband needs to sleep late after working a night shift and it is a treat to have the window open-letting the fresh air blow through. A cold front is on the way, though, so tomorrow will be very different. Typical Texas weather.