Thursday, December 31, 2009

Officially Happy New Year!

Here's to 2010 being the most abundant year ever for us all. Abundant in health, joy and all the things that matter.... This really must stay short, I'm running to work, then to the hospital for blood work and then home to help AH finish the yum yums to be served for New Years Eve game night with Baby girl and her Boy...I'm sure scrabble to be first on the list, I was told AH and Baby girl warmed up the game board yesterday and AH was thrilled to come out victorious! I really do wish for all of you the best year ever to come! XO Keke

Happy Anniversary.... ?

I haven't posted this last couple of mornings...everything has been madhatter...Monday/Tuesday I took sick days, (slept through most of both days, how is it possible for me to still feel so exhausted?) returned today, just feels like I'm spinning and reeling trying to catch up to my life...Today was typical day of nonsense and trying to catch up everything that soulless had messed up in the two days I was off...I should have taken today off as well...but she was out of control and I had to return to save my staff..any way, I keep saying today, but it's technically tomorrow since it's 12:15 a.m. Thursday morning...but like I said...trying to catch up...in any case, I didn't get home until 7:00 tonight...AH greeted me at the door in a cheerful manner...odd...house smelled like something yummy cooking...odd, but thankful, I was starving, I tried to eat a pear at 3:00 today, but with two staff members in front of me begging for me to put out the twentieth fire of the day, I threw half in the basket...baby girl had called me about 6:00 to see when I was coming home...odd...AH waited for me to set everything down before he comes to give me a hug and say "Happy Anniversary..." shame...I can't believe I forgot today was our Anniversary....or yesterday technically...twenty four years that have disappeared in a blink...I hung my head in shame and apologized profusely...AH is very sentimental about these things...him and baby girl started giggling and AH said to her, "I told you she forgot", sigh...and then moved right into the discussion of what is on the menu for New Years Eve game night...which I hadn't shopped for yet...of course...so off to the grocery store...returned home, ate a bite and now it's off to bed where hopefully I will sleep sweet and dream of soulless being sent off to where ever they send tyrants for punishment and for me a nice long restful vacation preferably somewhere tropical!
XO Keke

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Faith, Hope and Another Decade to Come...

“The defects of the mind are like the wounds of the body. Whatever care we take to heal them the scars ever remain, and there is always danger of their reopening.” Fran├žois de la Rochefoucauld



I can only say with a sigh of relief how happy I am to see 2009 pass and the hope of a new year begin...It quite possibly could be one of the worst years of my life...but as I say that with a sigh, I do have to count my blessings...and I do have so many to count. This is one of my favorite pics. AH and baby girl dancing on her 21st birthday...The smile on their faces says it all, the evening really was quite magical...

Every year I try to pick a word to live by....


This years word is "JOY"
The above pic is of baby boy and baby girls young man, whom were best buddies before baby girl ever came into the picture...


And speaking of "JOY" look at the sweet, sweet face above, is that not the sweetest face you ever saw...This would be one of Mitzi's princess...she's so lucky to have a house full of these beauties...Not only are they all beautiful, they are equally as talented....

And I wish you had the pleasure of knowing them in person, individually and as a group...there is so much love there... huge blessing...

When I think of them I often try to imagine what it would be like to have five sisters...

They all have such huge hearts...

Mitzi and her Man did an awesome job with these beauties and not only am I blessed but the world is blessed for them being in it....

Here's the group at one of her princess' weddings...

I've been thinking of only getting rid of 2009 and then it occurred to me that we are starting a new decade...which made me think of the last decade, instead of only the last year...

Then I realized how many momentous life happenings both Mitzi and I have experienced.

Our children are mostly grown...

We have watched them graduate college, get married, move out and start lives of their own...

I have moved what seems a half of world away... to a very strange land...

And on one of her visits we became "Cherry Queens" and Cherry Kingdom was found...

And there has been much laughter and sometimes tears...

But we're still here...

So with a sigh as I say good bye to 2009 and another decade, it is with great hope that the new decade brings more laughter than tears...and that "JOY" would be not just a word for this one year but for the next ten..

XO Keke

Monday, December 28, 2009

Saturday night melt down....

Well it happened, of course it did...I saw it coming like a freight train...total melt down...I tried to warn AH. I don't know why he didn't listen to me, actually I think he heard me but didn't believe me, it was more like him sitting with his eyes closed thinking somehow it wouldn't. Saturday afternoon I was so exhausted, overwhelmed, trying to hold on, I kept telling myself deep breaths , it's only 12 more hours and they'll be gone...I could feel my heart pounding like it had jumped out of my chest...everyday MIL and her second husbands behavior just seemed to get worse as each day passed, just as it did with their last visit...baby girl had been over, she believed me, she could see it coming, she even recommended that I lay in my bed for a few hours and rest...so, I put on my jammies and crawled into bed...I'll back up to about 11:00 a.m. when we were warming left overs for lunch and MIL just couldn't help herself to let crude disgusting comments come out of her mouth...baby girl and I just looked at each other speechless...where's AH, he needs to take care of this, it's his mother! Fast forward, four loads of dirty dishes later, literally, I would rinse the dishes, because for some reason, although everyone is definitely old enough and smart enough to rinse the food and nastiness off their own plates they some how wouldn't, which is a huge pet peeve for me, like some one else finds pleasure in doing it for them later after it's had time to air dry...every time I went into my teeny little kitchen both sinks would be over flowing with dirty dishes...so I would rinse and load, only to repeat every couple of hours, baby girl would come in and help me, it was like she could see it coming in slow motion and somehow was trying to help me avoid what was about to happen...It was unavoidable! I am not sorry...enough is enough and if AH is going to allow such people into our home to behave in such a way then I am going to take care of it myself! I tried to respect the fact that it was his mother, however, stupid is as stupid does and after years of putting up with their behavior on these visits, I just snapped. MIL and her second husband are alcoholics. There, I said the dirty little word that no one says and wants to pretend it isn't so...but they are! They are BIG FAT ALCOHOLICS AND I'M NOT DEALING WITH IT ANYMORE!!!! And what starts out with one beer each leads to a case about 3 hours later and their behavior is disgusting and unacceptable!!! So much so that I don't want to see their faces ever again, period! So, I crawl into bed and doze off...it's about 9 p.m. and just nicely get to sleep when I'm woken by loud ruckus in my living room about a half hour later, the T.V. was blasting, MIL and her second husband have a comedy show on and they are drunk on their tails on my sofa...AH was just setting there...I look at him and say, "what is that volume on?" He yelled, "What?" I had to repeat myself, this time with a few expletives, I know that was bad form, but honestly I still almost don't care because sometimes you have to shock people who think it's ok to behave this way in order to get their attention. Honestly, let's break down the scenario, they are 72 yrs old, they needed to be up at 4 a.m. the next morning for the 2 hour drive to the airport to catch their flight home, why are they in my living room getting sloshed at 9:30 p.m? Actually, why would they do it every any way? NO RESPECT, that's why! So I yelled at them...and you know what, it didn't seem to phase them...all though it did freak AH out... The next morning AH was tip toeing around our bedroom, he was trying not to wake me, I heard him, in fact I felt him get out of bed as I really hadn't slept much the rest of the night...I just laid there and didn't say a word to him...he grabbed his clothes and left our room...he knew better than to think I would be driving to the airport with them...thankfully they left at 5:30 am and barely made it to the gate because of all of the heightened security measures and the time it takes to get through the packed airport. After they left I got up and started scrubbing the nest from top to bottom, as I always have to do when they leave because they make my nest stink! I know, I sound horrible, but honestly for the first time in my life I don't even feel bad for it! AH returned home about 11 am yesterday, with the sheepish look on his face in tow...and I started yelling at him all over again...I also have decided that they are no longer welcome in my home...too many years of this ridiculous dysfunction all because AH doesn't want the confrontation with his mother...that's fine, but if they want to visit AH they will need to get a hotel room and they will have to visit there...because I really, really mean it... AH always makes all kinds of excuses and reasoning for their disgusting behavior and although I would argue his points right back to him, year after year these visits will come...AH's biggest defense is that he thinks they don't know any better, and we all know that is DENIAL! And yes they do know better! There's a difference between not knowing better and knowing better and choosing to do it anyway...and I don't even care that it's considered an illness, I'm so sick of that excuse I can't stand it! As I said, "Stupid is as Stupid does and Stupid is NOT Welcome in my home anymore! And that my friends is it, far past madhatter time and I'm amped up already this morning...that was how my Christmas holidays ended and 2010 is coming with full promise of a better year and LARGE BOUNDARIES... I promise the next post will be on a happier note... XO Keke

Friday, December 25, 2009

Joy To The World!

Merry Christmas!

From Our Home to Yours We Wish You the Warmest Most Blessed Christmas Day, Filled With the Love of Loved Ones Both Near and Far!

And God Bless Us Everyone!
Keke and AH



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas Eve! And unto us a child is born...

As promised pictures of the wedding...although these are not my pictures, as I still have not managed to get mine onto disk, baby girl told me the bride had posted some on her facebook page so I down loaded to share a few with you. This is the bride and groom walking down the sand after their vows...
God did bless us with clear blue skies.
This is a picture of baby boy and I standing at the top of the landing getting ready to walk down to the beach...as I just wrote that I realized that I guess I need to stop calling him baby boy...he's a married man now...and my expectation of what that means would probably do me as much good to accept as him...and now it's Christmas eve, thankfully I am the only one up in my house right now because I feel so overwhelmed that I could just break down in a crying fit right now...in-laws are still here and everyday that passes their behavior gets worse such as the last visit and I'm going to sound horrible but "fight or flight" is in play and I could honestly just start running and never look back as I'm too exhausted for the fight which would be me throwing them on their can in the street! I told you I'm horrible!
The stairs were a challenge to navigate in my red heels (red heals? black and white, baby girl about dropped over when she asked what I was wearing, she said, "mom is that appropriate?" I said, "if it's not I guess I'll just break the rules) and just about the third or fourth step down my right heel got caught behind the step, all I could do is laugh, if the groom hadn't caught me I would have tumbled to the bottom. Lucky for me the groom is very large and just the stead of his arm stopped me from going forward, I don't think anyone even noticed.
After the steps, then there was the sand, if it wasn't so chilly on the Pacific in December, and if my legs were in better shape, I swear I wouldn't have wore hose and kicked off the heals...no matter how hard I tried to walk on my toes the heals still sunk into the sand...actually, now that I think of it, I wore a short silk skirt, I should have worn a long one and went bare foot, but then again, Mitzi and I were in sweat shop mode so it's not like either of us had time to consider any part of pampering, let alone our wardrobe...we've decided however that this was our first event together as "Cherry Queens", so we we're under a slight learning curve and the next one we will be soooo, sooo much more enlightened on every account. (Honestly... given the challenges, God blessed us anyway and everything we touched just seemed to miraculously pull together beautifully, thank you God!)
What is that weird look on my face?
This is American Husband and baby girl getting ready to walk down to the beach, as AH was best man and baby girl was maid of honor...
If you notice, they were both crying already...actually, AH had started crying the night before at the rehearsal dinner during Mitzi's prayer. So funny to me that everyone was surprised by Mitzi's prayer, even Mitzi was surprised I had asked, which I meant to ask her sooner, she said, "You want me to say the blessing?" I assumed it would be a "give-in", not so thoughtful of me to not have given her a heads up at least the day before, but honestly with all of the chaos...still, it was a beautiful prayer because Mitzi is a "prayer warrior" which is I guess why I assumed of course she would ask blessing...(I had actually thought of doing it myself, as I knew AH would not get through it without crying, and I wasn't sure that I could either, so Mitzi was next in line..) still... everyone said thank you after and I heard whispers among the approx. 30 guest (that's a another story) that attended about what a beautiful prayer it was... and it was, which is why AH got emotional and never stopped crying until Saturday morning...totally caught me off guard, I knew he would cry during the ceremony, AH is just sentimental that way, he tears up at Hallmark commercials, but I never expected the flood of emotions that came out of him for almost 24 hours, or baby girl for that matter...None the less, thank you my dear beautiful Mitzi, just one more blessing I can count during this event.....
And now for the cake....the reception venue was actually really beautiful, to have a wall of windows to gaze out onto the Pacific really was dream like when I would stop and remember to appreciate it...

This was the top of the cake with the adirondack chairs, we again can thank "Mitzi" for building these amazing little chairs, I've told you before she's an amazing artist...she really is...she built the chairs and baby boy and baby girls BF painted them out on the deck of the "Cherry Cottage" we had rented. (Can't wait to show you those pics, and tell you that amazing story, just another blessing.)

The cake was ok...not my best work...but given all of the challenges that Mitzi and I endured during the week, it's actually amazing that it's even straight...Mitzi thought it looked like a "sand castle" and when I took a second look at the finished product I thought she was right...the bride had asked for champagne colored frosting so it lended to the look of a sand castle, and then...the best thing of all that we discovered was "edible glitter"...so fun and amazing and of course appropriate because we are "glitter love'n girls!" Remember the whole dilemma of the original cake pic I was given having brown sugar for sand...well, Mitz and I took matters into our own hands and edible glitter was so amazingly beautiful and fun! I highly recommend you try to find it and use it in your next cake or cookie decorating adventure!
This pic was taken before the wedding with guest just starting to arrive...as you can see, it was a breath takenly beautiful day, but don't let the blue skies fool you it was chilly enough to have worn mittens and most of the guest had their winter coats on....still a blessing though considering it was December in Oz.
This pic was taken during the ceremony.
Ooooh now the fun pics, here is the most adorable 3 yr old flower girl on the planet, "baby Arabella", I promise to know her is to love her and she is soooo smart and yummy you just want to bite her! And you can tell by the look on my son's face that she has him smitten and wrapped right around her baby finger!!!!
They had practiced with her and told her when she was walking she just needed to walk to Ryan...and you know the babies always steal the show...


And she did...at first she was hesitant and it took a couple of nudges from mom and dad...but as soon as she saw Ryan she was good...and then she remembered she had forgotten to drop the petals on the way down, so she stood there emptying her basket in front of Ryan which is what she is doing in the picture above...
Oh, God bless my baby boy and the bride he has chosen that you would cause a change in her heart (and mine) and in her cause the miracle of being a godly woman and he a godly man, and that they may live a long life of happiness seeking your guidance and seeking the truth....

And God Bless each and everyone of you, I hope your Christmas is born with light, health and happiness...I am blessed by each and every one of you that stop by for a little chat...and the biggest miracle today, ok, maybe not the biggest miracle, but definitely a giggly happy note that Mitzi has finally figured out how to leave me a comment! Love you Mitzi...I will never be able to thank you enough for all of your love! Merry Christmas, give everyone a hug for me... XO Keke

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Tuesday

Happy Christmas Tuesday...I still feel quite like I've been run over by a train...I thought I would start to get my steam back by now, I guess I underestimated how much last week wore me out...The above is a picture of the cup I did for the Alice in Wonderland tea cup swap sent off to my swap partner. Now, just one to go, I've been praying that Jules would get her "Home for the Holidays II" pkg I sent to her. It was sent to Australia, I've never shipped international before so now I feel even worse that I didn't get it in the mail sooner....We named our pkg beyond the swap theme and I chose "Anticipation", I didn't mean for that word to indicate that Jules would be waiting forever to receive it!
Wedding miracle #2 : By the time we packed up the Cherry Cottage on the pacific, made a short stop by Railroad Square so I could share some of my favorite places with Mitzi it was getting quite late in the day on Saturday. I was more than a little nervous because I'm not good at navigating my way around the city in the daylight, let alone in the dark...I'm not sure what time we actually pulled into San Francisco, but blessings among blessings we found our way to the hotel without interruption or driving in circles. We stayed at the Marriott on Pier 39 and Mitzi thought the valet parking among all of the other attention given to us was great fun (thanks to her beloved King whom is a platinum member with the Marriott). We ate baklava, drank s'more flavored hot chocolate took a little stroll to do a little shopping and Mitzi taught me how to wet felt in the hotel room...It all was quite lovely and like a dream the next morning when I woke up Mitzi was gone... a 4:00 a.m shuttle to catch a 6:00 a.m. flight back to her own "Cherry Kingdom" and all of her princess' waiting for her at the airport. Not quite sure how I'll ever thank Mitzi enough for all of her love, support and sweat she poured out by my side throughout the wedding week...it truly was amazing...
Madhatter time...must run, two days left of work and I think how can a week disappear in a blink and two little days seem to take a lifetime?
XO Keke

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Christmas Week

Well, I've been MIA for so long I don't even know where to start with it all...Last week was definitely a week of blessings and miracles, and while I bathe in the amazement of it all, I still have to say, "I'm sooo glad it's over!" There was so much to do and I don't feel like I've slept for a week, but with dear Mitzi by my side and all the others who contributed in small but oh so big ways my wedding checklist did get completed, although some in just a nick of time and Mitzi and I literally had maybe 10-15 minutes to skinny into our hose and finery to rush out the door for the ceremony. I will provide more details and pics later, for it's off to work for me this morning, and I'm asking myself why I didn't request one more day off...well I know why I didn't but, still... Every day brought it's own miracle and I intended to post all the way through...the best laid plans...but maybe I can call out my daily miracles starting with today and working backwards. so for today my miracle is MIL and FIL are actually behaving and even quite pleasant! I might live through the holidays after all! So toodles, it's off to work for me, I'll fill you in on the rest later!
XO Keke

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This perhaps may go down in history as one of my favorite Christmas pictures. American husband holding his new remote control car...It makes me giggle because it looks like he's just woke up and sitting in his undies and tee shirt like a little boy would...but then again, American husband does revert to a child like state for the holidays...and that would be every holiday, not just Christmas. I'm looking at this pic though and I'm trying to remember when this was taken because the nest doesn't look adorned excessively like it is during the Christmas season...oh, and about the undies part...he really did have a pair of shorts on, you just can't see it. One of the strangest things for me to try to get used to in Oz is the fact that you can wear shorts and flip flops pretty much year round if you choose to. Although, lately it seems mother nature has let it snow in "South Town". It has been unusually cold here this year. Hmmm, just in case your wondering I am deflecting...yes, it is 9:50 p.m. in Oz, I have a zillion things I need to be doing, and I wouldn't mind if sleeping were one of them...Wedding in 5 days, Christmas in 10, Mitzi comes in 2 days, In-laws in 3. American husband had total mental melt down last night over his parents coming for the second time in 3 months and staying through Christmas...Oddly enough I feel cool as a cucumber...however Mitzi informed me today that maybe it's because my brain hasn't registered that it should be freaking out but my body knows...that's an intriguing thought...maybe she's right, I was sick all day yesterday and up all night last night...maybe it's best that my mind doesn't register...AH melting down is enough... really, doesn't he look like a little kid in this picture?

I actually had came to this realization at Thanksgiving time, not the little kid part, but that I never really have to miss having child like joy in the house for the holidays...AH has enough for a house full of children. I think this pic was taken two years ago, it must have been...last years remote car was different...in case your wondering...even though our children have grown into young adults, AH still thinks that we must have at least one toy under the tree...so last year, Christmas gifts were all bought and we were spending the evening wrapping, and he says, "you didn't buy toys", I said, "well the kids are grown-ups now, I didn't think I would need to..." I thought AH was going to drop straight over..."we have to have at least one toy, it's Christmas, it's not Christmas without at least one toy..." So two days before Christmas I was out shopping for the expected toys...the funny part of this story was when AH told the kids on Christmas day that they almost didn't get a toy...the look of questioning shock on their face was too funny..."Mom, how could Santa not bring us a toy?" And so it is, I guess forever more, as long as Santa comes to this house, there will be a toy for everyone under the tree no matter how old they are.

http://bonjourmadamestephanie.blogspot.com

I found another beautiful site tonight which reminds me I need to update and change out the music on my playlist...It's another one of those beautiful sites that you can get lost in for hours, beautiful pics, post and music...Stephanie definitely has an eye for the fabulous.

Ok, I need to leave off here, I really must try to do something, I found this funny Santa picture which reminded me of why again it's good that my mind is not registering, less the look on my face is like this little two year old because I didn't get all of the items checked off my to do list and a few zzz's in between! LOL ! Classic! Sleep sweet my friends...blessings...
XO Keke

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fancy Flours

I found a wonderful new site, and how sad I am that I did not find this site about three months ago... http://www.fancyflours.com/ It's called 'Fancy Flours' and they are packed with inspiration that can make your imagination run wild!!! Everything on this site is amazing and mostly about vintage... For those of you asking, the wedding is next Friday, December 18th...I'm going to go to our local cake decor store and hope that I can find a mold like this one...I would order it from this site but I don't think it would get here in time, well, unless I spend a million dollars on shipping, that's not an option...

As you know, I'm making the cake... wouldn't it be awesome to make candy jewels as embellishment? This is what the site had to say about this mold...

'Make your own teardrop jewels with is versatile mold. Perfect for making your own edible jewels, this mold makes 114 pieces in assorted teardrop sizes. Shapes measure approximately .25" up to 1.2". This hard plastic mold is designed to withstand heat up to 375 degrees. Mold is reusable. To make you own cake jewels, use our Isomalt Crystals, SKU: 6750-CK-IS-1,with the following recipe:

Recipe for Isomalt Cake Jewels or Hard Candy YIELD: Fills approximately 4 tray molds of .75" sized cavities. 1 cup Isomalt 1/3 cup distilled water (we recommend distilled water because hard water will cause the coloration to change with some food colors) Gel food coloring as desired Candy Thermometer Prepare your molds by spraying them with Pam or lightly oiling them. Combine Isomalt and water in a 1 quart heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat while stirring with a wooden spoon until crystals are dissolved. Dip a pastry brush in water and wash down the sides to prevent crystallizing. Insert a candy thermometer to monitor temperature. You may have to wash down the sides with water one or two more times. When the mixture reaches 250 degrees, add your food coloring. You may have to experiment to get the exact color you want. As a guideline, we use 3 drops of Super Red food coloring to get a deep ruby coloring and a scant half drop of pink for our pale pink jewels. Allow the temperature to reach 315 degrees and remove the pan from the heat. Please note, the syrup is VERY HOT so you should take precautions to prevent burns. For easier pouring into your candy molds, we recommend pouring the hot syrup mixture into a one or two cup Pyrex measuring cup. Pour hot syrup into molds and allow to harden 10 minutes. Unmold onto waxed paper. If the weather is humid, wrap in candy bags to prevent the candy from becoming cloudy.'

And even though I'm somewhere between Wedding and Christmas, they have so many other cool things, I will definitely be shopping on this site... like this pkg of little ballerinas, I think it said 12 for $3.00 so reasonable!
And they're different than the one's our local cake decor shop carries... head on over there, I promise you'll lose your mind and want one of everything like I did!

They even have vintage cake toppers that are oh so cooool...although I did get sticker shock when I seen the price on these...but the reality of it is, if they are truly from the 30's, 40's, 50's then you can kind of understand...especially since I've looked at fresh from the factory toppers 'made in japan' for $100 plus...so I think the fact that cake toppers are so expensive in general could justify the price of the vintage ones...actually looking at it from that perspective, they were really reasonable too...

And who wouldn't love to see this little group atop their wedding cake...well ok, I could think of one, but I'm trying to stay away from passive aggressive sarcasm so I'll move on... 'COME ON, JUMP UP AND DOWN WITH ME, I DON'T WANT TO GO TO WORK TODAY, I WANT TO STAY HOME AND DREAM AND PLAY!'


While I'm at it, I found this pic of a vintage wedding dress, I would have liked to have been married in this dress...ahhh, wistful, dreamy, the women of the 30's, 40's and 50's really had femininity down, didn't they?
Ok, have to run...today's the last day of work and then I'm off for the next week returning to work on the 21st...that's something off my plate so I can be happy for that...oh, and Mitzi arrives in 4 days, not counting today...hurray...so that's another happy thought for today!
Toodles and blessings, XO Keke
P.S I published post and realized this pic was lost at the bottom of the page...
Who's ever heard of 'Barley Candy'...


Just look at this candy stand... 'Cherry Kingdom' definately needs one of these and according to the site it will virtually last forever! Read below the site notes...
Candy Cake Stand Medium Red
( SKU Number: 5100-BC-MCPR-1 )
Completely edible, this medium cake stand makes a very unique presentation piece. The dish is 4.5" in diameter and the base is 2.5" tall. The cake stand is handmade from barley candy and arrives in two pieces, a dish and a pedestal. The pieces are easily assembled and instructions are included. About Barley Candy... the ingredients of in Barley Candy include Cane Sugar, Corn Syrup, Water, Barley Water, Natural Flavors & FDA Certified food colors. Titanium dioxide is in white or opaque colors only. All candy is handmade and is nut free, wheat free, fat free and sodium free. Barley candy is harder than most candies so we recommend that you do not bite the candy as the effect is similar to chewing ice. Barley Candy is basically crystallized sugar, a natural preservative. When stored in it's sealed bag, it will last almost indefinitely. For best results, store below 75 and in less than 40% humidity. For long term storage in humid climates you may want to keep your candies in a glass or metal covered container. Plastic will not protect as well from humidity. Barley Candy is a very old sweet. Twisted sticks of Barley Sugar were originally made in the 17th century by boiling down refined cane sugar (a new product at that time) with barley water, cream of tartar, and water. During the 18th century metal molds were used to create the wonderful variety of shapes known as Barley Sugar Clear Toys. These became a popular Victorian Christmas treat. Many people who have grown up in the Northeast will recall these candies which were often made locally by someone's grandmother or the wife of a doctor or pharmacist. This candy has a simple, yet distinctive light sweet flavor, which is a fond remembrance from childhood. The addition of barley water (a starch) alters the surface tension during cooking, producing a more long lasting candy

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Magical Places...

This place, this virtual land where strangers you would never have probably met otherwise become your friends, your light house on a dark night, still amazes me....and although there are many wonderful places to visit, every now an then you run across the 'magical'.... a place to disappear and forget the stresses of the day, a place that moves you emotionally, spiritually... 'The Feathered Nest' is one of those places...

If you take the time to read her post you'll see her heart, her generosity, her beauty... make sure your volume is on so you can her her beautiful music, grab a cup of tea and close your eyes to disappear to another land.
There is a reason she has 400 followers, every one needs to escape to beauty and love, here you could spend hours and not even realize time has passed. And you know what I love about Dawn the most? Her generosity...I visit so many sites that have "Don't steal my pictures..." Don't do this or don't do that... Dawn says, "Go ahead, you know I don't care..." I love her generosity in this...I've visited a few sites lately, so closed and aggressive that I just thought 'wow', if the intention of blogging is sharing then that would be quite contradictory....and not wanting to get into the whole banter of that issue, I'm just saying I love Dawn's heart and generosity... just trust me and visit her site, you'll see what I mean... and last I'll leave you with a poem she has posted at the bottom of her page...


How beautiful is this.... so true and I think eloquently represents Dawn and her little land of 'The Feathered Nest'.

Humbled

I wish baby boy would have picked this plaid tux for his wedding....hmmm, I know quirky style, but some what appealing don't you think? Alas he didn't....

Slow, calm, steadfast, consistent movement...this is what I tell myself with so much going on...have you ever been in such a hurry that you actually get less done and make yourself later because every thing you do when your rushing goes wrong? Calculated rush is is the roller coaster I'm on now...Moving swiftly with an organized mind..."Keep Calm" and "Carry On"...moving from one task to another with calculated rush...hem pants on baby boys tux, check, call formal wear shop for ties and pocket squares, check, go to mall to order vest, check, hem pants on baby girls boyfriends suit, check...


Bake Christmas cookies for staff meeting this morning, check, report completed for boss, check, 2 employees yearly reviews, check...this is what goes through my mind as my laundry list is too long and there is no turning back...


I ran out on my lunch hour yesterday to buy fabric for the white cape I was asked to make for the bride, nothing like waiting to the last minute to request such a thing...my answer obviously was, "yes I will do this for you, but don't you think you should have asked me three months ago?" The reply was as always these days, "sorry mummer". I mean it's only 7 days until the wedding...such as the fact that up until a week ago tuxes weren't taken care, the phone call from baby boy was pretty much the same as the request for the cape, and then two days ago another call that said we need vest, ties and pocket squares which I will take care of on my lunch hour today....Mitzi's voice is in my head, she thinks I should say no to all of these things as I am not doing that well and they have waited until the last minute for everything or rather didn't pull it off and now need me to save them.... I can not say no, and neither would Mitzi...but she says these things because she loves me...don't worry Mitzi, I'm well enough and this too shall pass....American husband gave me pretty much the same speech last night as I took a call at 8:00 p.m for work, problems in the warehouse, and interrupted the movie night he had planned for us...robbing peter to pay paul and burning the candle at both ends, but as I said, "angels on my bumpers and this too shall pass..." In any case, while I was out I found this baby doll. It's a baby for "Annie"

Every year my work place puts a tree up in the lobby with red plastic hearts and details of people in need...This year, due to my own financial crisis of medical bills and wedding...I had told myself I couldn't afford to take hearts...but then I walked up to the tree...and had to walk away...it's not good to have my eyes sprinkle at work...(what's wrong with me these days??? I'm not a crier typically, but it just seems like everything is getting to me...) I could not stop myself, there was a heart that said, " Annie, 64 yrs old, no family, lives in nursing home, wants a baby doll..." How could I leave that heart behind? I couldn't, so I grabbed it knowing God would make way... yesterday when I was out buying fabric I found this soft baby, so sweet and pink...as I'm looking at her an older woman walked up and started a conversation with me about the doll...I didn't even finish my sentence and she said, "oh yes, do buy this one, my mother, nursing home, little ladies lined up in their wheelchairs, rocking babies..." The woman disappeared before I could turn back around...so strange, goosebumps down my arms...fighting back sprinkles again...UGH! There was no price...then a sales associate walked up, "how much is this baby", she checked, "$5.00", God had made a way...and this is the "baby doll for Annie", so perfect for hugging...I'm hoping to find a small pink lap blanket, or maybe I could make one for her to match her baby, stencil her name on it...I know these things can disappear in these places... still my heart is humbled and again I am shown the true reason, not just for this season, but for life itself...


My friend Patti posted this picture of what Chicago looked like yesterday, whoo...praying cones of safety for her and all the residents driving in this white out! I saw on the news last night that Mitzi had 8 inches of the white stuff coming at her...it's strange, I've almost forgot that this stuff happens this time of year if I didn't watch the news...We don't really get it here in Oz, but it's been cold enough, our night time temps have been down to 20 degrees! What!?! That's crazy, so much for "Sunny Oz"... Lucky for me she has a camera and computer that works the way it's supposed to...here's the pic's she posted of our cabinet card swap... This is the one she did for me, detail is over the top and this picture does not do it justice! Drum roll please....

The BackAnd then... The Front...
Filled with snow flakes to give me a little reminder of home... Patti is an amazingly generous artist, and her eye for detail is exceptional... http://creativecottagedreamer.blogspot.com
I wish you could all see this in real life... I will post the rest of pics of all the goodies as soon as I can get my memory card on disk! Ugh...why does everything seem to have to be a struggle? And then...the ones I made for her...just so you know, I've never worked with cabinet cards before and it is my new "favorite" thing...they take paint amazingly well and are just so much fun, they creative options are endless...Here's one that I made for her...

"Cherish", sweet Christmas love under the "Mistletoe". And then, as it seems with all my projects, I get obsessed and can't stop, so here is the other one I sent her...

I called this one "Kringle's, the early years..." Again, pics do not do justice, but they did turn out pretty cute and soooo much fun to do...you should really give them a try and let your imagination run wild!

That's it, time for me to run..."keeping calm and carrying on..." Have a blessed day dear blog land citizens... XO Keke