My SPECIAL Secret Santa & the goodies she sent me...

Happy Thanksgiving-Tuesday, Everybody!

I want to start out my post by tellin' ya a little bit about my special goodies, if ya don't mind!
This post is a little lengthy, but WELL worth it!
First of all, Justina is so thoughtful
and her items she sent..."said just that" about her!
When I got my box and was so tickled...I came right in and opened it!
The very first thing I saw was a
'hand-did' :) hand written card,
so I started with that...............here's what Justina wrote:

Kath, I hope you enjoy all your goodies!
Everything was 'hand-did' by me.
There are a few things I put in for a reason...
I enclosed little notes to them
so you'd be surprised!
I enjoy reading your blog,
I love the "blog world"...
it has brought me many "new" great friends...
Happy Holidays,
with Y ~Justina

The very first little goodie I saw inside my box, was an ornie Justina made...
I turned it over, and on that back it read;
Awaiting Baby's Arrival~2008
This was my very first "gramma" gift and I was so touched that she made it for me, I actually teared up!! :)
Next, was three of the cutest little ornies I ever saw...these were personalized for each one of our "fur-babies"!!
(ok, to include my canine kids, who I love like they're real kids, just touched me....you guessed it...I cried!!)

She also sent me a darling little candle ornie.

So, my next goodies were some room fragrance...now this just happened to be a favorite scent of mine...being a

Cafe Caramel Cappuccino--YUM!
Wish you all could smell this bottled goodness!! :)
...and my little snow man ornie...he's just so flippin cute!

She also had tucked in my package, a nice big bag of 'hand-did'
Scented Crab Apple bowl fillers...LOVE it!!!

Wait....there's more....
she also sent me some 'hand-did' doodle cards!

These say "Friendsheep" on them and have little matching envelopes with them! These are adorable! I LOVE SHEEP!

Next.....[I know, that's whole lotta stuff in my package, huh?!]

Justina sent me a "make-do"...this is a Christmas Tree make-do!

She added a little note with this;
These tree make-do's are hot off the press!
( I mean counter-just finished 'em)

Thought that was so cute,
I gotta chuckle outta that when I read it! [Which I needed....cuz the next gift Justina sent...well, I bawled my eyes out!!]
Isn't the tree make-do darling? See the little bell at the top? L*O*V*E it, Justina!


I saved the BEST for last....I know I shouldn't have a "favorite"! All Justina's goodies are just so awesome...but I have to be honest...this last goodie is my absolute FAVORITE!!

Justina didn't send me just one of
her wonderful make-do's...NOPE....

...she packed up two and sent them to me :)
Tucked inside the tissue paper was this little note:
This make-do pin keep is
made from some of my grandmother's gloves-
I thought it fit you,
since you're almost a grandma! :)

I don't think you can see it in the pic, but she has a stitching needle in the 'pin-keep' with a little tag hanging from it that says "grandma"
I of course was crying again.....after reading her note, and when I unwrapped her THOUGHTFUL gift...I bawled!

It touched my heart!

To know that Justina shared something so meaningful to her, with me....was truly a "HEART GIFT"!
I hope you don't mind Justina, but I just wanted to include this little snippet of the email ya sent me....

....My Gram, passed away a little over 2 years ago. She was my life and my idol. I learned everything from her.. Except gardening and plants- I have a black thumb.. not green! But she taught me how to cook, sew.. save everything and reuse it.. in a different way. When she passed away we got to clean out her attic.. and OH the treasures we found.. including the gloves. I couldn't resist sending it to you......

I will cherish that forever! My words can't even begin to describe how I feel Justina...the special gifts you sent, the thoughtfulness you put into this and the way you made me feel.....well, girl...that's what this was all about!

Thank you for my box of "Heart gifts", Justina!

Ya DoNe GoOd, GiRl! :)

Please visit Justina over at Peper Creek Gatherings....

I hope you all have a Wonderful Tuesday-a non-stressful Thanksgiving week.....and I hope you all have been touched
with at least one "heartYgift" in your lifetime! :)

Holiday Hugs,

I got some good stuff to share :)

~Wanna WIN FREE Groceries~ for a YEAR??
I saw this in my Cooking Light magazine I received today. Thought I'd pass it along! Click on the "Daily Giveaway" link or pic button, above...to check it out and enter.
The winnings for the year of free groceries
is valued at $12, 500.
Which isn't even the best part....they will also match that amount and donate it to charity!!
That's a whopping $12,500.00 that will be donated to help your local area food bank! :) So please check it out-its worth it, and you could just win a cookbook!!


My other good stuff arrived in the mail today as well!!!
It was a GOOD mail day here! LOL!

-I got my Secret Santa Swap package today-
Jenn arranged this for us [Thanks Jenn]...it was my first swap and I was so excited about it!!
I just love to make things and give things...so I knew I'd love it!
I think we all love making and giving! :)

Well...........Today was the BIG day...........

I discovered who my Secret Santa was this afternoon!!!

...and what a GREAT bunch of goodies I received!!
I was so touched by how thoughtful Justina is...
I can't wait to get some pictures posted so you all can see the wonderful things she sent to me...

But you're gonna have to wait.................
not too much longer, it's gonna be in my post for sure! :)

I did want to be sure and share this grocery/charity giveway with you all....
I think it started Nov. 19th, so I wanted to get on it and get it posted for ya! :)
...and I want to post about Justina's secret Santa gifts in a separate post...
...she deserves TOP billing! and NO Advertisements! ;)

I can't wait to share my goodies with everyone!

Hope Everybody's Monday has been a good one!

holiday hugs,

Do ya think they know?? And Please accept this AWARD!

So do ya think they know...That Thanksgiving is just around the corner??!!
I took these pictures this morning. Yes...the snow is lovely...but, the deer and turkey (and heaven only knows how many others) just can't find food now. Last night 4 deer were out at the bird feeders, scarfing down sunflower seeds...they knocked down some of my feeders! I didn't get my camera in time to snap a picture, as the dogs were goin ballistic in here, and I had to try to get them calmed down!! They can catch the deers scent from inside the house! That's usually how we know "something" is lurkin' around outside!

This morning, there was a small flock of turkey out back...and they ventured over to the feeders, scratching around to find some seed to eat.

You can't believe how many visitors we get...not only do our feathered friends show up at the feeders, but so do the grey squirrels, the raccoons and even a bear!!

These pics of the bear were taken earlier. Early summer!

He's hibernating now... :)

I apologize for the quality of the pictures....I took them from INSIDE--through the window...LOL...NO WAY was I goin out there to snap a picture! ;)

Back the the snow...we got between 2 1/2 to 3 feet of snow!

Bella & Issak...out playing!

Ya can't tell from this picture, but from inside, lookin out my office window, which is directly above the porch roof.....the snow on the porch roof is up to the middle of the window!!

LOL...I thought it seemed pretty dark in here! In this picture, the snow is NOT shoveled into piles....
this is actually how deep it is! Beneath those mounds of snow, well that's where my whisky barrel and old hand pump are...my punkins are still under there some where.............that's a lotta snow! :)

I also want to give this AWARD to EVERYONE of YOU who visits me, and those who are so kind as to add me to your blogroll! When I started my bloggin' adventure, I had no idea how many wonderful, KINDHEARTED, & generous "friends" I would meet! I appreciate you ALL so much...so many of you have helped me get started....and I would like to "thank you" all for that! I appreciate every one of ya! I want you to PLEASE accept this award-ALL OF YOU-and feel free to pass it along! Because to me...Nice really does matter....your kindness is overwhelming....and all you sweet gals...matter to me :)

Hope Every One is having a WONDERFUL WEEKEND!
We sure are...the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and we are finally done (for the time being) with our shoveling and snow blowing!!

Holiday Hugs,

LOL...I married a real DILLY...and MY FIRST Give-Away....but don't get too excited....

Ok, so here's my second post for today! Ya can't really blame me, I have nothing else to do...I have already cleaned, cleaned and CLEANED...shoveled and SHOVELED..........so I thought I'd type up a quick post....

I had to LOL @ Steve. He's such a thoughtful, loving hubby! He called on his way home to let me know the weather is too bad to work in...he said he'd be home shortly, and asked if there was anything we needed while he was out! Thoughtful, Thoughtful!!

I told him, no....nothing off hand...might want to grab some milk, because they are calling for it to get much worse out, tonight into tomorrow.

Anywho............this is what he came home with. This ladies, is what my dilly of a hubby determined to be "hunker-down", "snowed in"....necessary provisions to sustain us through this wintry ICK!

In our little survival stash we have the following items:

Little Debbie Nutty Bars, Little Debbie Swiss Rolls, Chips & Dip, Chex Mix, Double Stuff Oreo's and White Fudge Oreo's....some burger???...there is also a box of brownie mix and even some frosting which isn't in this picture, it's in the other bag, which I am almost afraid it look in...and oh yes... the Milk!!

LOL......."what's up with the burger ?" Must be he thought I didn't get anything out for dinner?


I posted this on my comments today, but didn't think that was fair, since some of ya already posted a comment, and wouldn't know about my give away!


I was thinking...while out shoveling this mess...since so many of ya want SNOW...I decided:

**This could be my FIRST BLOG GIVE-AWAY**!!!


Please note the "shoveled" drive!!

YOU CAN HAVE ALL THE "WHITE FLUFFY" ya want--all's ya have to do is come to my house and take it!! Heck...I'll even help ya load it up!! I have enough shovels to go around too...so EVERYONE can participate and WIN! :)Anyone willing to "sign-up" for this WONDERFUL WINTRY Give-Away??? ;)

Deadline for signing up will be sometime in late March..........UGH!

To Everyone who left such nice comments for my parents

~Thanks so Much!


TOO MUCH stinkin' SNOW, and 48 years...

my car was cleaned off this moring, about 2 hours ago-don't know if ya can tell how hard it's snowing in the backgorund?
Happy Thursday-Everybody!
I can't believe it's Thursday, already!

Ya would think my week would be draggin' along...since I have been stuck inside since SUNDAY! :)
I am so SICK of this weather...SNOW-SNOW-SNOW....

I was goin to try and venture out today, but Steve just called and said not to. The roads are a mess, he just passed an accident...and can only go 30 mph-sometimes, not even that!
I DO NOT drive in wintry weather! So, this is why I have cabin fever, and haven't left my house.
Usually this cabin fever doesn't occur until mid Jan.
I have a feeling this is gonna be a looooooong winter!
Oh - JOY...
this just keeps gettin' better & better :(
....just now, while I was typing my post...
this arrived in my mail...from The Weather Channel (alerts)!!

**FRIDAY: Snow Squalls High: 24°F Low: 18°F
Chance of Precipitation 100%
Accumulation of 10 to 15 inches
Wind NW 12 mph Humidity 64% **
Ya gotta be kiddin me...........10 to 15 MORE inches....
I am lonely, bored and sick of the SNOW!!

So......trying not to dwell on that......

I wanted to share a Happy occasion!
My Parents 48th Wedding Anniversary!!

~God's Plan~

forty eight years ago, God began His awesome plan
to unite a beautiful woman with a quiet, gentle man

He sent an angel to watch over them, so they would never be alone
to keep them safe and happy, to help them make a home
God chose this pair so carefully, His plan, not yet complete
The angel never questioned this...she just helped the two to meet
His plan was only starting, the angel knew this well...
their future would hold obstacles, but she would help their love excel
God's plan was not specific, the angel didn't know
the joys or heartaches they would find, or the love they would bestow
she held their hands in sorrow, she glowed in their delight
she exalted when they were blessed with children...
for now, two more would need her guiding light....
forty eight years have since passed
with the Grace of God, these two will last....
they were blessed and guided and given true love
to share with their family...God's Plan, along.


~Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad~

Thanks for visiting me today, please think of me while ya all are crafting, and decorating, as I will be out freezin' my butt off...shoveling snow!

....Hope You all have a Happy Thursday!

Oh, and Rondell, if you happen to visit me today...could you please email me... I have tried to leave this on your blog but it isn't showing up?? Thanks :)

holiday hugs to all ;)

My Wall Box

~Hello, Everybody~

I have been working on some of my arrangements for the holidays....
I haven't even begun to decorate for Christmas, I usually wait until Thanksgiving night to start.
With all this snow on the ground, it sorta makes me want to get things out and get started early this year, well...the snow... and the fact that all of you keep posting about getting your Christmas decor out and set up! :) Jeepers, I feel like a slacker!


I got my wall box finished yesterday...I got it all sanded and stained! It was good and dry this afternoon, so I put some of my candy canes in it, along with some greens and cones and nuts...(which I found out in the yard this fall!) I think it turned out pretty good. If ya like a lot bold, festive, holiday colors, ya won't like it....but I wanted it look old and prim! So I opted for a little less color!
I added the little rusty "WELCOME" heart, because I have it sitting on my cupboard at the back entry door.
....OK, that was today's project. Now I have to go finish up my cleaning chores & laundry!
Hope y'all are having a wonderful & productive Tuesday!
--Lately, as I've been out doing my blogland visits, it seems as though so many are sick... for all of you who are feeling under the weather, Jenn especially, she's really feeling badly, I hope you all get back to 100% very soon!! (and I hope I don't get it next)! :)

Droopy Boughs, Altered Books & Candy Canes

It's Monday.........where did the weekend go??
...and where did "FALL" go??
We awoke to a wintry scene this morning!

The Olde Weeping Cedar's boughs are even more droopy, weighted down with freshly fallen snow-it is beautiful!
It's also the first [significant] snow fall of the season...the dreaded "Lake Effect" snow machine kicked into gear! We have about 8" of snow on the ground...

I always enjoy the first snow of the season...

BUT...it doesn't take long for me to get tired of it....really quick!! :)

Yesterday was a good day to stay in and put on some Christmas music and just hang out. I made a big vat of beef stew and a loaf of bread...for dinner, and while that was simmering, and baking and smellin' oh so yummy...

I worked on some more little projects.

I made this altered book, I think these make nice gifts! In fact, what I plan to do is get some cheap day planners and address books...ya know those ugly, flimsy black ones, that serve their purpose, but are so unsightly to look at, let alone to have laying out....I think I'll get some of those and cover them... they will make cute little prim gifts, don't ya think? :)

Onto my next project...

Candy Cane Ornies! I think we have all tried the candy canes wrapped with strips of muslin...in fact, I have seen so many do this project, that I have to apologize for not recalling who originally posted it...I didn't want to dip mine in wax, as I have to store my Christmas stuff in the attic...wax dipped ornies + attic + summer = A big MELTY MESS!! :)
So I came up with a pretty prim way to embellish mine...keepin' them prim yet storable. I like how they turned out!

I used picks I got this fall at a craft store (on sale)...I just took the picks apart, and then 'curled' the ends to they looked more prim...more like grape vine...I added some rusty stars and some bells...and some good ole homespun...and Wah-Lah...

Prim Candy Cane Ornies!

I have 10 made so far. I have another 15 to make, I plan to put them on my garland...and use some in arrangements too.

....One other bit of news I'd like to share....we have names for our first grandbaby!!! Brad and Amanda have decided on Ava Kathryn if she's a girl....and Gavin James...if he's a boy! I LOVE BOTH names! We have our 2nd ultrasound coming up next month....at this point they will be able to tell what the babe's gonna be! Brad wants to know what they are having, Amanda doesn't....so.......we'll see what happens!

That's it for today's post, thanks for taking the time to visit!

I Hope you all have a Marvelous Monday! ;)

Holiday Hugs,

Com'on over...have a look-see at what I got!!

Happy Thursday~All!

What a wonderful Wednesday I had....
I received a special 'just because' gift in the
mail, from my friend, Juanita!!

She made this jar! Don't ya just love it?!
...but wait....
Tucked inside I found these......

She filled my jar, chock-full--with some of her homemade
bowl fillers! :) I love 'em!
I'll have to find just the right spot for my jar,
I think it's gonna go in my hutch!
Of course, I already have the bowl fillers sittin' out! :)
What a nice "just because" gift!!
Thanks sooooo much Juanita,
I love my special gift, and my special friend-
who's just so thoughtful and
took the time to send it me.
*hugs* to you girl!

I Hope You ALL Have a VERY HAPPY & Productive THURSDAY! ;)
Now.....it's back to some unfinished crafting projects for me.....I think I'm gaining some ground now!!

Extreme GRUNGE!!

Today is busy, busy, busy! I have so much to do....and because I need to 'git on the ball' and get some things finished....this post is gonna be short-n-sweet!

This is what I worked on yesterday.

I had some plain, very cheap 6" vanilla pillars, that I purchased on sale....ya know, when I say cheap here, I mean price wise...sometimes I say "cheap" and mean, I paid regular price and they didn't have any fragrance!
Well these were "cheap" both price wise and scent wise!!! :)
Anyway....they needed a "new look" and some scent...
So I decided to grunge them up a bit! I made 6!
Well , actually 5 pillars and one little votive! But I can't show them ;) 'cuz someone out there might just be getting one..............
I think I may run out and get some more cheap candles, so I can do up some more and give them a gifts! Candles are great gifts!
This little "make-over" will positively be done to all my plain candles!

~Here's the directions for making these!~

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Grateful, Thankful, Indebted....

Veteran's day holds an extra special meaning for me...My son, Brad served in Iraq. I am PROUD of him and I am proud of all who have served our country. Steve's Gramps served too, in WWII. Two uncles served in Vietnam.
We are grateful, thankful and indebted to them and to all the Veterans for their service and sacrifices. For the sacrifices made by their families…and families of those serving right now... as I sit here typing this, there are many families wondering IF/WHEN their loved ones will come home…wondering how they will get through this day…………..PRAYING they will get through this day! I know that feeling…and I have not stopped praying for them…or with them!

While Brad was serving overseas I found a wonderful forum, it was made up of other mom’s going through what I was going through, spouses, family members and friends of troops…..all gathered together to help each other through......oh...and then there were the Veterans! Oh boy, do I love those old vets!! They helped me more than I can ever tell you…..I RESPECT everyone of them. A few of them, well...I will never ever forget them…they went above and beyond, even after their service, as far as I’m concerned. They certainly did not have to sit there day after day and read posts from worried moms and spouses…they didn’t have to take the time to explain how “things work” or decipher military lingo....or sit for hours, post after post, and comfort us …. but that's what they did!
I *salute* them!

I got to know some of them pretty well…some were very stern and so hard core, a bit contankerous, they actually frightened me at times with their remarks….but I’ll tell ya what…when it mattered most…when I felt totally lost…………..those old grumps were there for me…with the kindest, warmest words I’ve ever read! And the stories they told…………..oh my goodness…it was like reliving history!!

Anyway….I have a great admiration for our Vets! For the sacrifices they made, for the Ultimate Sacrifice so many have made….and for those who are struggling with a 'war within'….We have to remember what our troops go through, and what “stays” with them for the rest of their lives………………….they fight for us….and some…fight for the themselves, the rest of their lives.
Some of the Vets were open about what they deal with...it's quite sad...to hear that from a strong, brave man..........

Brad was in Iraq after the war first started…
He saw a lot of things that no one should ever have to see…he lost a close friend while over there…that changed Brad….
...the war changed Brad……………………..
My son, is not the same young man I said good-bye to that dreadful day before his deployment….that young man is gone forever.
For those who made it home, [from any war], its a Blessing…for those who made it home, totally unscathed, it’s a Miracle.
I would give anything, in this case....to have a lot more Miracles than Blessings!
I have Steve’s grandfather’s dog-tags and Brad’s dog-tags hanging in my office……………I look at them every day...and
I will never forget!

Hum of Pain

A mother raised her son to be brave and to be strong
Never seemed to tell him though, how much our world is filled with wrongs

The suffering he may shoulder, the pain he might bear
She never told him that could happen, as a mother, she prayed he’d be spared
His soul revealed to her, as he caught her in his gaze
There was nothing left inside of him, no sunny ray of light, just a barren, saddened haze
He fights off thoughts of solitude, holds onto a dreadful shame
Reliving what his eyes have seen, aware…he will never be the same
She knows he keeps his eyes wide open, won’t allow himself to sleep
He still hears those booms echoing loud, still feels that roar, like thunder, rumbling beneath his feet
Night after night he fights off those pictures performing a mad dance in his mind
Praying in the darkness for wings to come, guiding him toward a peaceful light, he can no longer seem to find.
This war, just like others, as taken a grisly toll…so many still fighting a battle that seems to never end….
As a Soldier, he has served his country, upheld his oath to protect and defend…..
….and now…he fights those demons, a cruel, unforgiving consequence of war
Ripping and tearing and taunting, locked away, rapt deep within his core
It’s those memories he is hiding from…afraid to lay them down, to dare free their control
That image imprisoned in his minds eye is the very beast that devours his soul
A mother told her son…he must be brave, he must be strong….
Never seemed to tell him though, there are many verses to life’s song
This chorus composed of war, remains….replaying in his brain
It’s a song without an ending, no lyrics, only images and a constant hum of pain
Now…a mother tells herself…she must stay strong, she must be brave
For a son who’s spirit is shattered, for a son, she knows she alone can’t save
For the suffering that he shoulders, for the pain that he now bears
She never dreamed this would happen, she’d always prayed he’d be spared
She keeps her eyes wide opened, praying in the dark of night
Waiting for those wings to come, bringing with them, hope and a gleaming ray of light
For every Vet [still] fighting, a battle deep within….
For his sacrifices past, and his sacrifices still….for his courage absolute
I pray a peaceful melody plays, with no images, just lyrics
And that song without an ending fades….and the hum of pain grows mute
…a mother tells her son…You are strong and you are brave…
Though I’ll never know the song of war…I can feel it’s hum of pain……..


Thanks for taking the time to visit and to read my post today...especially, today!