Monday, December 26, 2022

Another Christmas means another year has gone by.

Throughout each year there are milestones; birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries and special days of various sorts, but when we get into the Christmas festivities, I start thinking about the year as pretty much being a "wrap". Soon, I'll start having to write '23 on the items that go into the freezer, and on the notes I jot down in the cards and packages I snail-mail out.  

I remember when I was a kid that it always seemed like a momentous thing - changing years 😮- and having to get used to writing the new year on schoolwork. Even in my twenties, it was a bit of a struggle using the correct year when handwriting checks to pay bills, and when writing letters to send to friends far and wide. Now, each year seems to fly by so fast it's like "what's the big deal?" I'm thankful that my life is such that starting a new year holds no trepidation for me. I know that for many, a new year means new worries; will I get laid-off, will the bills get paid and on and on. Life comes with no guarantees; just wishes, hopes and prayers. And on that note, I wish, hope and pray that you and yours have a safe, healthy, fulfilling New Year. I hope it's 'a cut above' what's come before.

Speaking of a cut above, that's the name of a show I streamed the other day while working on my sewing project. It's a competition for chainsaw carvers and boy is it cool to watch them go at it. It was addictive. I snapped a pic of 4 of the best carver's work during one episode. These people do amazing work in 7 or 8 hours. Check it out for fun. I'm streaming it via Xfinity on the Discovery network.

Courtesy of Xfinity/Discovery - I hope they don't mind.

My sewing project, a Puff Quilt, is a fun challenge. I've never quilted before and although I've worked on really large projects like the sailboat dodger this quilt has a lot of small pieces. Here's the dodger: (If you wanted to see other sewing projects, click this LINK).

The windshield section was over 16' long.

Shown stretched-out after attaching the side
triangle pieces to the center top section. Whew.

Anyway, the quilt project idea came from a post on someone's instagram page. I thought about how much beautiful fabric I had hanging around after tiring of making my trivets. Remember my trivets? I used to sew them while onboard Dreamtime. Here's a refresher pic, and if you want to see some of the completed trivets follow this LINK.

My Trivet "how-to" instructional pic.

So I did a "proof of concept" project for my sister, a cute & colorful little lounging pillow. I loved the way it came out and decided to dive into a small lap/nap quilt for myself. 250 or so square "pockets" later, I started trying to figure out my layout to determine whether I needed more of one color or another.

The colors will feature dark purples/reds and blues/greens
with a swath of lighter yellows/pinks coming in from the side.

While not pursuing this project, (it's going to take a while, lol), I made time to gen-up a big batch of french toast for the freezer. Also some lemon cookies with candied ginger and slivered almonds.

Just butter it up straight from the freezer and
nuke it for 30-60 seconds on high, yum & easy.

The candied ginger and almonds take this cookie to 
new heights. They're made from a cake mix! YAY!

Oh, I also made the pumpkin loafs we liked so much, one plain, and 2 smaller ones with raisins and pecans. My wonderful neighbors shared it with us.

Made from a Libby's Mix - so fantastically spiced.

We cheated with Christmas dinner and reheated leftovers from our big blowout Thanksgiving dinner. 'Sacre bleu'. I had vacuum sealed sliced turkey, baked dressing balls, and turkey gravy cubes (made in my handy-dandy 2" silicone ice cube trays). All I had to do was make rice, steam the asparagus and get the cranberry sauce ready. 

It all tasted fantastic and we enjoyed every bite, we even have enough for another round in a day or two. Note: most often, if I'm planning on vacuum sealing and freezing something tender like dressing, I'll put it on a piece of parchment paper and a plate and run it into the freezer to freeze. Then I take it out and vacuum seal it. Nothing gets squished or deformed that way.

We warmed up the Florida Room enough to eat out there.
Our temps on Christmas started out at 26° and didn't
get much warmer, but the skies were very blue and it was sunny.

Well, that's about it for this post, thanks for stopping by to read it. Hope your holidays were wonderful. See you next time.


  1. What a feast for the eye that quilt will be when you have all those fantastic fabrics sewn up! The holidays are all about good food enjoyed with your spouse, isn't it. Your cookies, loafs and dinner looked delicious. Wish I had more freezer room in our RV ;-)

    1. Even though the weather in FL rarely requires a quilt, (this week is the exception, haha), I can always drape it over the foot of the bed. I'm hoping it lives up to my expectations. Yes, we had a very nice Christmas together, and a few treats never hurt.

  2. I'll have to check out that show, it sounds like something we'd like.
    Looks like you had a great Christmas, all those goodies look delicious!

    1. I think you would like it. As the season progresses we learn a bit about each contestant. The US, Wales, Ireland and Germany are all represented. Christmas was great, and as always Ed has to make sure we aren't giving away all the treats, lol. I usually freeze half to stash away for another day.