Christmas Eve 2014

And so I have been super busy these past couple of weeks up until Christmas. It no longer seems as relevant as it did in my childhood. I normally immerse myself in seasonal music and spend a lot of time preparing and making all the gifts for my loved ones.

I make a few extra every year and have no problem selling them for a moderate price. This Christmas shop ritual has become a tradition and I do it like Santa, always running a bit late and deliver on Christmas eve.

sword n shieldRubber Band Gunbroomstick pony

Christmas traditions are great and I think that most families have adopted their share over the years. This Santa shop I’ve been doing now four years running and as you can see I’ve been super busy. These are just a few of the things I make for Christmas gifts and sales.

I try very hard to be feeling the season and generate that Christmas feeling each year but it seems to get tougher and tougher each year. With the shopping frenzy and the sheer lack of care smothered in commercialism, Christmas doesn’t seem to feel the same or represent what it once did.

Of course we all love Christmas dinner and pie, but what about the spirit of Christmas? Is he, or she, alive and well? I often wonder what it means to many people and often reflect on what it means to me.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ that bloomed into a bigger celebration for family and loved ones to revel in each other and be thankful. Christmas is the time of year everyone comes home and spends real family time. For generations this has been our tradition.

The Christmas I enjoyed in my childhood tho has been poisoned by corporatism and has become more of The Christmas Monster than the joyous time of year I appreciated as a kid. Leave it to corporation to poison Christmas (like they do everything else).

For many people, Christmas is just another day of work when they should be home with their families. I suppose it must be nice to be able to run out and catch someone working at the store and buy what you need. It might also be nice if you would be better prepared and not need the store. Let those people have their holiday too. Insane concept I know right?

And so, back to family.

Christmas 2004

It’s been a while since this Christmas picture was taken and since we have had the holidays together like we did back then. Our family drifted, as many do, with the loss of our grandmother. Things are certainly not the same but the ideals are still good.

Feel blessed for what you have and appreciate your loved ones while you have them. Christmas isn’t about presents and trinkets, it’s about love, family and wondrous homecomings. Don’t forget the message of old Mr Scrooge. Love your fellow man and be blessed.

May your holiday be filled with old fashioned Christmas cheer.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Batten Down The Hatches For Winter 2014 / 2015

Farmers Almanac Predicts The Winter Of Winters.
Farmers Almanac Predicts The Winter Of Winters.

Farmers Almanac has predicted this to be the winter of all winters and expect it to be colder with more snow than in recent years. There is also a chance it will last longer into the spring than any of us would prefer. The winter of 2014 already well upon us and 2015 is getting very close now. I hope you have taken the necessary steps to protect your family and other interests this year.

It seems there’s never an end of things to do when you have as many projects as we do. We’ve done a ton of winter prep including turning the garden plots under and piling the compost high to bake through the winter. When spring comes we’ll have a nice pile of rich soil to plant our spring starts in.

The rabbit hutch and chicken sheds have been equipped with heated lights and filled with nice piles of straw bedding for them to snuggle in. Our other outdoor projects and accessories have been neatly tucked away for the winter and the adults and dogs have retired into the house to enjoy a roaring fire and a cup of hot tea while old man winter does his thing.

A Hot Fire, A Hot Cup Of Tea And warm Socks Yaay!
A Hot Fire, A Hot Cup Of Tea And Warm Socks Yaay!

In house we’ve sealed all the windows with plastic and we spent weeks going over the place looking for every crack and cranny that might allow the slightest trickle of cold air to get inside. So far it has been cold and wet outside but the house has been snug and warm. We have prepared a stockpile of basic supplies in case things get really bad and have a water storage as well as emergency power station available should we need them.

Lights Will Make Emergency Situations Easier To Deal With. Be Sure To Have Plenty On Hand.
Lights Will Make Emergency Situations Easier To Deal With. Be Sure To Have Plenty On Hand.

Batteries for flashlights, lamp oil and candles, a camp stove with a few small bottles of propane and a manual water pump made of PVC are a few of the supplies we have in case of an emergency. We also have a stockpile of food and wood for the stoves and are sure to be warm and fed through the worst winter can bring.

This is the time of year I focus on my writing business and making crafts for gifts and for sale during the holiday season and on through the spring and summer months. There’s a ton of things to do and a lot yet to finish. With Christmas getting very close now my schedule will be as hectic as it could be, probably more than any other time of the year.

I’ve decided on a couple of new projects this year and will be busy making them happen. Wooden toys and other handmade wooden gifts, PVC bows and compound bows, some wood burning projects along with writing a ton of online content is my full time schedule from about November 1st until New Years.

Wooden Toys For My Nephews
Wooden Toys For My Nephews

You would think I could catch a short break at the beginning of the New year, but that’s actually when things start picking up. I have some new ideas for fresh irons in the fire and am not yet down the list of projects already made.

This spring I’ll be extra busy trying to further myself and my family with a broad variety of new projects like soap making, candle making and maybe even some wine making(I’m looking forward to that).

What Better Than Home Made Wine?
What Better Than Home Made Wine?

I hope everyone can stay snug and warm this winter and wish you all Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. May you and all your families be blessed this season and bring you a wonderful and Happy New Year.

Merry Christmas!!! May You Get Your Wish  😄
Merry Christmas!!! May You Get Your Wish 😄

Homemade Blueberry Cobbler

If you are an avid baker and like to make homemade tasty snacks in the oven, we have something in common. Although my normal baking time is probably different from most people seeing as how I like to bake midnight treats and normally do it in the wee hours of the night when everyone else is asleep. It ensures me and my Rufus always get the first taste.

Now if you use packaged mixes for cakes breads and other baked yummies from the grocery store let me drop a bombshell on you. You don’t need fancy mixes. Most of these mixes contain little more than flour and sugar and are packaged for convenience and as another excuse to get your money. They also often contain mystery ingredients that can as soon be left out of your baked goodies.

That’s right, flour and sugar along with a few other simple ingredients like baking powder, salt and n the case of things like brownies or chocolate cake, cocoa. Most of them are so simple that I sometimes find it hard to believe people give their hard earned money for these mixes when they often have the items in their kitchen already.

Over time I will share more recipes but for tonight’s baked goodie, I’ve  chosen a yummy blueberry cobbler, since I just happen to have some in the fridge. Now you can substitute any fresh fruit you like to put into this cobbler recipe but berries tend to work best. The basic ingredients are flour, sugar and butter, no surprise there.

Ok ay, here we go. Yummy Blueberry Cobbler, coming right up!

My Yummy Blueberry Cobbler
My Yummy Blueberry Cobbler
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

Preheat your oven to 350

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and milk and mix thoroughly.

Melt the stick of butter and pour into a 9×13 baking pan.

Spread your batter mix evenly over the butter in the pan.

Next mix sugar, water and berries together and spread evenly over the batter mixture.

Put your pan in the oven and bake the cobbler 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

The butter will make a nice butter crust for your cobbler and will be a yummy treat for anyone, any time.

Believe it or not, you can make yummy, from scratch desserts with stuff you probably already have in your kitchen. Save your money and make them yourself. It’s a healthier choice you can make for your family that they will love and it’s really easier than you think.