Life in the A-Frame

Life in the A-Frame

Friday, December 25, 2009

Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella

While listening to Christmas music this morning, I heard a familiar instrumental. What I didn't realize though, was what the title or words to this song were. Here are the lyrics:

Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabella
Bring a torch, come swiftly and run.
Christ is born, tell the folk of the village,
Jesus is sleeping in His cradle,
Ah, ah, beautiful is the mother,
Ah, ah, beautiful is her Son.
Hasten now, good folk of the village,
Hasten now, the Christ Child to see.
You will find Him asleep in a manger,
Quietly come and whisper softly,
Hush, hush, peacefully now He slumbers,
Hush, hush, peacefully now He sleeps.

The carol was first published in 1553 in France, and was subsequently translated into English in the 18th century. The song was originally not a song to be sung at Christmas, but rather dance music for French nobility.The carol tells the story of two milkmaids, Jeanette and Isabella, who go to milk their cows in a stable in Bethlehem, only to find the baby Jesus sleeping in the manger. The two girls run to town to tell the village of the coming of Christ, and the townspeople come with their own torches to view the sight for themselves. However, they have to keep their voices down so little Jesus can enjoy his dreams. To this day in the Provence region, children dress up as shepherds and milkmaids, carrying torches and candles to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, while singing the carol.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mike cooks!

Mike cooked up a recipe given to us by his sister. She gave us homemade jalapeno jelly and several recipes to go with it. I'd like to tell her that we only have 1/4 of her jar left! He made pork with a jalapeno jelly and spice coating. It was wonderful...

We didn't have pork medallions but had some thick pork steaks in the fridge. We also added more jelly on the side after the pork was done.
Spicy Pepper Glazed Pork Medallions
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin cut into 1 inch slices
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp garlic pepper
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbl Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup jalapeno jelly
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup orange juice
Season pork with cumin and garlic pepper. Heat oil in nonstick skillet. Add pork and brown on both sides. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cook, turning often until pork is well glazed.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What you do after your college finals are over

If you are my daughter, after your last college final is done, you come home and bake! I had some "old school" gingerbread dough made. I'm talking 1 tablespoon of ginger and some blackstrap molasses. She figured out a pattern and made our first ever-from scratch-gingerbread house. We've made plenty of graham cracker ones but this one she actually built.

She used simple, pretty coconut and royal icing to decorate this. Look how dark this cookie is!
Then she used the leftover dough to make these little inhabitants, complete with a ginger Sheriff to look out for everyone else.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Nature's gift, once again

I cut a small yaupon tree and gathered some abandoned birds nests to make this arrangement in our sunroom. I like the neutral colors with a bit of red. The wooden reindeer were a gift a few years ago and so was the crock jug.

My daughter found some little red jingle bells and added them here and there. Perfect~

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Birthday Girls!

Happy Birthday to my daughter, Ky Lynn. Happy Birthday Ky! Do you like your vintage Converses?

My son Lee and his girlfriend, Peggi. Happy Birthday Peggi!

And then there's me. I had a very happy birthday. I'm proud of my new camera and, of course, these delicious chocolates!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Silver tree, golden memories

My family and I are very sentimental about the decorations we use for Christmas. This pretty silver tree belonged to my grandparents and it is the one I remember as a little girl. It is an aluminum tree, manufactured by ALCOA, the aluminum smeltering company.My father and grandfather each worked there over 30 years. My grandfather used the aluminum paint from ALCOA to paint his house, roof, tools and outdoor furniture. I remember that my grandmother didn't particularly care for that practice. I love this tree though, and when I was little, I thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world. Now I get to display it in my home.

It is an ingenious design. It consists of a metal stand that folds, two wooden poles studded with holes, and many aluminum tinsel "branches" that stick into the holes. It takes about 3 minutes to erect.

On this silver tree, we place all our sentimentally significant ornaments. Many were hand made by the kids when they were little, or were given to them by relatives and friends. This is their favorite ornament, some kind of creature-a cat?- that moves as you pull its string. It was given to them by Mike's parents.

This star was made by me and the kids one night when we pulled out the tree, and didn't have a topper. We cut out the star from cardboard and covered it with aluminum foil.

This tree holds many things special to us. I won't show you everything because that would probably be boring to anyone but me. Everything has a story, a place on the tree and in our hearts.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Natural beauty-the last of the color

For a brief time, the fall color was everywhere. Mike and I collected leaves while on our morning walk and used them to decorate for Thanksgiving. A visitor to our home thought the leaves were artificial until I explained.

A full fruit bowl surrounded by green, yellow and light brown leaves show bounty and beauty.
Mike's mother's table cloth and her candles are framed with bright leaves and brown cloth.

An overflowing display in the sunroom, of colorful leaves and dazzling sunshine, and sentimental reasons for leaving my son's boots there the entire weekend.

A closeup of the adornment, the sun stunningly displaying each leaf in its own individual glory.
Then, just as quickly as it came, the color was blown away by the north wind. The yellow and gold turned to brown and the loose leaves now cover our yard. The daytime temperature dropped into the 30's, a rarity for us in Central Texas. It is our signal that winter is coming and the Christmas season is here.
The color will return, this time it will be greens, reds, and gold. The focus will be inside the house, on our indoor activities, and the closeness of our family. Wishes will be made, even more thanks will be given. Let the preparations begin....