Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

These years are just flying by....I can't believe how fast 2012 went by.  John and I are spending a quiet evening watching the Star Wars movies (3-6) and have some champagne to share at midnight, if we can stay awake that long!
Wishing you and your's a very happy New Year, 2013!  Wonder what the new year will bring?!

Packaging the saved pumpkin/squash seeds

Today I spent some time putting all of the seeds that I've saved from the various pumpkins and squash from this past fall.  These should last several years...according to a table I found online they should last about 4 years.  I have multiples of all of them, so again...if you'd like any seeds, just let me know.
KT is featured in the photo I put inside the packets for the Cinderalla pumpkins.  This was a picture from the Medina Pumpkin Patch with her sitting in a pile of Cinderalla pumpkins!
FYI, here's the little table that I found online that tells how long most garden seeds should last:
  • Beans - 3 years 
  • Beets - 4 years 
  • Broccoli - 3 years 
  • Cabbage - 4 years 
  • Carrots - 3 years 
  • Cauliflower - 4 years 
  • Corn - 2 years 
  • Cucumbers - 5 years 
  • Lettuce - 6 years 
  • Peas - 3 years 
  • Peppers - 2 years 
  • Pumpkin - 4 years 
  • Radish - 5 years 
  • Spinach - 3 years 
  • Squash - 4 years 
  • Tomatoes - 4 years

White Carrots

The carrots are thriving in this cold weather.  I picked a few of the white ones that we grew in the fall garden just to see how they're doing....amazing!

Beautiful Morning Glories

I've been saving the seeds to the gorgeous morning glories that we grew down in front of the potting shed this past year.  They were the most beautiful blue, and really thrived, despite the intense heat.

The little pods each held from 2 to 4 seeds - I was kind of amazed at the randomness of that.  Isn't nature supposed to have some order to it?  Chaos theory, anyone?

I've got them all packaged up and ready for the spring garden.  I think I've got about 6 packages of them, so if anyone wants a package, just let me know!
Picture of the morning glories from this past spring on our fence 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Movie Review --- The Hobbit

I really, really loved it!  This movie started by returning us to familiar scenes of the Shire, with the older version of Bilbo Baggins beginning to write about his "big adventure" to share with Frodo.  It was a touch of genius to bring us back to the same scenes from the first movie, although in a bit different frame.

The Hobbit had what I'd call a much lighter feel, with some real touches of humor (provided by 13 of the cutest dwarfs I've ever seen!) There are some very small touches that will charm you - like the moths that live in one of the dwarf's beard.  They flutter in and are pushed out by his snoring at night.  Just such cute little touches - watch for them.
Not that there aren't plenty of bad guys and terrible creatures - all done so well.  Sarumon is back (Christopher Lee) and we get introduced to another of the wizards, the Brown Wizard (who's a bit "off").
Beautiful cinematography, views, mountains, waterfalls...the movie is gorgeous to watch, and we saw it in 2D.  I can't imagine how pretty it probably was in 3D or in the new high frame rate version.  Now I wish we had gone for that one on the IMAX screen.  I'll bet that's something to see.
Can't wait for the next movie in the trilogy!

A cute gift from Ms. Ella!

Ella and her family brought me a new stepping stone for my garden on Christmas Day.  That's Ella's little hand print in the middle.  Such a perfect gift for me!
Home-made stepping stone with glass beads.  I hope I get one of these every year! 

The first day of the rest of his life!

John on the morning of his first day of retirement!

Mom on Wednesday, December 26th

She was having a pretty good day, really.  I asked her to open her blue eyes for me.  

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day, 2012

We had a wonderful day, starting with Christmas Breakfast at Jeff and Colleen's.  KT showed us everything that Santa brought her - a "big" kids bike and helmet (that looked like a pony head!), a Brave blanket, and her own personal camera!  She also had some clothing, a new Belle doll and a new Avon Barbie, and a soft, cuddly robe!  Then we had a delicious breakfast.

We went home after breakfast and they joined us later so that KT could open her gifts from Mimi and Grumpy here at the house.  She loved her boots (cowgirl boots!) and then we walked outside to show her the big surprise!  She loved it and her reaction was very satisfying!  This is HER house - she even loved the flowers on the porch and the glass beads and sparkles in the gravel.
Showing the house to her daddy
The Koenigs
In the afternoon we had Christmas lunch with the entire Hoyt clan and our niece Adrienne.  We got to visit with JR & Ashley by computer (I love technology) for a few minutes, since they didn't get to come home for the holiday.

John fried our first turkey, we invested in a turkey fryer this year (the electric variety) and I have to say I'm sold! It was the best turkey I can remember...we will definitely do that again.  And it only took one hour to do a 13 pound turkey.

I wish we had a bit better weather - it was sunny but the wind was a bit too much to enjoy the pavilion.  We eventually gave up and adjourned inside. It was so good to see Ella and her little sister, Addie, who has grown so much already!

Ella opened her birthday gift and Christmas gifts from us, with an assist by KT (who has totally learned how to rip into presents.) Here are a few more pictures from our wonderful day!
KT got some great cookware for her kitchen from Uncle Bobby and Aunt Andrea 
KT's helping Ella open her birthday gift
Aunt Katie and niece, Addie
Ella and KT in the little house. 
"You've got mail!"  The house came with it's own little mailbox. The princess chair was a gift from the Florida Aunties! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Santa's coming!

My final cookies for Christmas....

Don't these look delicious?!  They are.  And so very easy.
They are easy...
Would you like the recipe?
Here it is!
Now, isn't that easy as advertised?!

All that's left is the big reveal!

We finished the little walkway in front of the playhouse today, and put two small planters on her little front porch stoop.
Tomorrow is the big reveal!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Secret project .... MAJOR progress!

Oh, we made major progress today on the secret project for KT!  It's almost done! Monday we work on landscaping around the project!
One wall done (with shutters!)
Gotta luv that Gorilla glue!
Parts #19
There was minimal cussing involved....this was a great little kit, actually.
Table and chairs provided by Auntie Sue and Auntie Cindy!
Roof on, door works, and a mailbox, even!
Front step to mini-porch....will finish tomorrow and add walkway and flower planters....
more tomorrow!

Schwencke Family Party, December 2012

Thanks to Mike & Kathy for hosting the party this year!  We had a blast!
Delicious desserts and drinks!
So good to see everyone again!
Sherry, teeny, tiny glasses!
Lots of food, as usual!
The kiddos played a mean game of Break the Ice!

PS: I promised I'd reference a certain mention of a midget in Game of know who you were.  ha ha ha!!!

Ladies Breakfast, Christmas 2012

I'm not sure about it edible?
For many years, the women of the Schwencke family got together on a Saturday morning near Christmas for a "girls only" breakfast.  Some years we met at a resturaunt, and other year's we met at our various homes, with breakfast being hosted by one or the other of us.  I loved this traditions, and I think it was good for our daughters.  It was something we could count on to get together and catch up on our lives.  But, with the changes in our family, with Mom's decline, and with some of our members moving on and away, it's been hard for us to accomplish.
So Saturday, Colleen, KT and I got together to continue the tradition!  We went to the Magnolia Pancake Haus and had a great time.
Beautiful girls!
Okay, it's pretty good.