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Beautiful Day December 29, 2008

Posted by liajo in good things.
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What a perfect day.  The sun is shinning brightly in a clear blue sky.  It’s about 50 degrees outside and kids are running through the snow still on the ground in shorts.

A day like today, is why people live in Colorado.  It makes all the below zero mornings we had earlier this month worth it.

It’s like a sneak preview of the spring to come and it gives you hope that the earth won’t be cold and dark forever.

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They have started to arrive December 28, 2008

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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vegetablegardens_1The first of the seed catalogs arrived in the mail yesterday.  Now it’s a merry Christmas. 

I laid on the couch last night under a blanket and looked at all the beautiful plants.  So many to decide from and I only have two catalogs so far.  I know that over the next few weeks I’ll get at least one a week.

I have big plans for the gardens this year, no I mean really big.  I’m taking out most of the front lawn and putting in vegetable and herb gardens.  So I’ll need lots of seeds.  I need to expand the berry bushes and potatoes will be planted for the first time.

Yep, I’m more excited than Christmas morning.  The seed catalogs have started to arrive.

Craft Project Gone Bad December 18, 2008

Posted by liajo in crafts.
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Ever run across a project and think it would be so cool to try it?  The project sounds really simple and is just the thing you’re looking for.  Easy instructions and supplies you already have around the house.  Piece of cake right? 

Wrong.  For a week now I’ve been trying to make magnet bulletin boards for my daughter and co-workers.  The problem seems to be the cookie sheets I’m using.  They are the non stick kind.  Great for baking but lousy for this project.  Because nothing is sticking.

You’re supposed to cover the cookie sheet with material, paper or wall paper to jazz it up it and make it personal.  But no glue that I have tried stuck.

Finally about an hour ago I think I figured it out.  I dug out some old stencils and paint and so far it’s sticking.  If this doesn’t work I’ll call the project a failure and go a present.

Blanket of White December 15, 2008

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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16_08_25-snow-scene_webI am not a fan of winter.  I don’t enjoy any of the out door sports or look forward to the below zero temps.  I need more day light than there is during winter.  I hate not being able to be outside in the gardens.

I do realize that the land needs a good rest and winter is when it gets to rest.  It’s like the gardens are sleeping under a blanket of white just waiting for the spring time.

That’s what I do too.  Curled up under a blanket inside I’m dreaming of the warm spring and hot summer.  I plan new gardens and think about what new seeds to grow.  I dream of a warm sun on my shoulders and the smell of dirt.

But for now that’s all it is, a dream.  The reality is there is six inches of snow covering everything and it’s a whole two degree’s above zero.  The land is resting and will be for another three months or so.

Town’s Sad Christmas Lights December 14, 2008

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christmas-lights3Our town has about the saddest Christmas lights I’ve ever seen.  They are on one of our town’s two main streets which is actually a state highway.  So everybody that drives through town also knows how sad they are.

The lights have got to be more than 25 years old and have seen better days.  They are candles and Christmas tree’s that attach to the street light poles.  The ones that work to look kind of pretty and remind me of the kind of Christmas lights all the towns had when I was a kid. 

The problem is more than half of them either don’t work at all or have several lights out.  They look okay during the day, but they look sad at night.

I know our town doesn’t have much money but the time as come to either fix the lights or not put them up any more, at the ones that don’t work.

Home Made Christmas December 10, 2008

Posted by liajo in crafts.
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christmas-crafts1I had a lot of crafts on my Christmas to do list this year and I can’t believe but I almost done.  I like doing crafts and it’s makes me not feel so bad about watching TV at night.

So what have I done?  I made a rag wreath.  It came out pretty nice.  I made a button and bead Christmas tree.  I love buttons and have always wanted a button tree.  I added the beads, well, just because. 

Today me and my daughter made tin can lanterns.  You should have seen us with the drill.  We probably should have used the nail and hammer that the instructions called for.  The drill was my husbands idea.  Go figure, a guy wanting to use a power drill.  I’ll get the candles in them in about an hours and see how they look then.  One reason I wanted to make them was because they reminded me of the old fashioned luminaries that I grew up with in New Mexico.

Tonight I’ll finish my gift card envelopes.  This year I’m doing something pretty simple.  I took wrapping paper and cookie cutters to make snow flakes, Christmas trees, stars and bells.  I’m using fabric paint to help them stick to the envelope.  The paint also gives it a 3-D look.

My last project will be magnet boards for my co-workers.  I’m using a cookie sheet that I had my husband drill a hole in for hanging.  Then I’ll cover them with a material (which I have tubs of) to match the personality.  I did cheat and buy magnets to go with them.

Yeah, I can’t believe I’m almost done.

Real or Fake – The Tree Debate December 8, 2008

Posted by liajo in good things.
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christmas20tree20blogI love trees, shurbs and plants of all kinds.  I have fresh cut flowers in the house all summer long.  But when it comes to our Christmas tree I go with the fake one. 

Most people that pick the fake tree say they did so because of cost or the mess.    Both good reasons I guess, but not mine.

I just can’t stand cutting down a prefectly good tree to stick in the house for a couple of weeks and then throw it away.  I did try a root ball one once.  They problem with that was it was so long before we could plant it in the spring it still died.

So I’ll stick with my fake tree inside and admire all the real ones outside.

Dealing with change December 7, 2008

Posted by liajo in Uncategorized.
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I don’t deal well with change.  I know this.  It is something I try to work on.  So image my surprise when I went to write a post this morning. 

I had no idea what to do.  I had logged on, but was I at the wrong place?  It all looked so different.  I couldn’t figure out where I was supposed to start writing.

Now all you blog people probably really love all this new stuff.  But I’m a 45 year old tech challenged person.  I freely admit that.  I’m more comfortable with a book or in the garden than I am with even a remote control. 

Yes there was a moment a panic.  I thought my blogging days where over at worst or at best I’d have to wait for my husband to wake up and help me.  But I worked through the panic.  I thought to myself, you can do this.  Just try and figure it out.  What’s the worse that could happen?  Well I could keep pushing buttons and freeze up my lap top or maybe wipe out something really important.

I don’t think that happened.  I dealt with the change and the panic.  I’m so proud of myself.  I’m going to try posting now and see what happens.

Off to the vet December 4, 2008

Posted by liajo in Bubba & Allie.
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Yesterday was annual vet day for Bubba and Allie.  This is always an adventure, but yesterday was more so because of cold weather.  Bubba and Allie almost never ride in a car and we usually walk to the vet’s office, it’s only about 3 blocks from our house.

Yesterday we decided to take the van.  Once on harness leashes are on we are ready to go.  Both dogs go for the sidewalk, not the van.  Once we get them in the right direction now we have to get them in the van.  They didn’t understand and it took a little doing.

My daughter sat in the back with them for the trip, it’s a good thing it was only 3 blocks. 

They got out of the van much easier than they got in and we got inside without incident.  The weigh in also went okay.  Bubba weighs almost 44 pounds and Allie is 34 pounds. 

The exam room was okay.  Bubba did pee twice on the cabinets and walls.  You have to love boy dogs.  Other than that it was about normal.  Allie was a nervous wreck and shook the whole time.  Bubba was pretty much disinterested in the whole thing.  Both dogs are healthy and normal. 

We did opt for the 3 year vaccine this time.  The vet said it might make Allie a little sore since she is a smaller dog and it did.  Today we are just taking things easy and giving her some asprin.  We’ll still make the annual visit minus the shots.

I’m really glad we only have to do this once a year.

Dried Tomatoes December 3, 2008

Posted by liajo in comfort food.
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sun-dried-tomatoesI had a bumper crop of tomatoes this year.  More than anyone could eat fresh, so I dried a lot of them to use this winter.  Last Sunday was the first time I used any.  We just finished eating fresh tomatoes mid November.

Along with drying them I also froze them in single serve baggies, just an added step to ensure the don’t go bad before we can use them.  While the rest of the casserole was coming together I added warm water right in baggie and let the tomatoes sit for a few minutes.  When the time came to add them I added the water and all.

Now this is the cool part, my 23 year daughter doesn’t like tomatoes.  She never has.  She has always picked them out of everything.  But not this time.  As she was eating she said if these are tomatoes they aren’t to bad.  I told her they were tomatoes that been dried.  Again she said, not bad and kept eating.

I don’t know if the drying process changed the flavor just enough or maybe the texture.  I really don’t care.  I’m just really happy she’ll eat a tomato.