Friday, December 30, 2011

Savoring and Contemplating

This holiday season has been one of adjustments for me and my family.  While it started out pretty great, with a visit to my mom and dad's house, it ended with the loss of a very, very dear friend.  

Our family physician, and close personal friend, passed away over the holidays.  

I would be remiss if I didn't explain his persona just a bit.  He was a small town physician who served the community with his whole heart.  He brought his dog to work with him each day and more than a couple of times both of my children have crawled under his desk to snuggle with said dog.  All with Doc's complete approval.  During times of sickness he has told me to bring my children, or even myself, directly to his home for care. 
When I first moved to Smalltownland  my son became sick on the weekend, naturally.  The Deerslayer was a toddler at the time and I was still a nervous, newish mom.  I called Doc and he told me to bring The Deerslayer down to his weekend farm cabin and he would give make sure he was okay.  When I arrived he was hammering on the porch he was constructing with his best friend, and fellow physician, in tow.   Doc gave the tiny Deerslayer the once over and pronounced he would need some antibiotics to get well.  He then proceeded to scrounge up a torn piece of paper and write a prescription on it.  I was more than slightly mortified at the time.  How was I supposed to take that to the pharmacist?!  I was a dignified city girl for heavens sakes!   Well, the pharmacist just chuckled and filled the prescription tout suite.  He told me I should have been glad that Doc hadn't written it on a piece of toilet paper.

That certainly wasn't the last time that he gave care to any member of my family during his, "off hours".  

And so.... I am savoring my last few days of winter break before school begins on Monday.  I am also contemplating how the new year will be without Doc in are so many other people in Smalltownland.

"Time is a dress maker specializing in alterations."  

Faith Baldwin  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Digital Scrapbook Software Giveaway

To kick off the upcoming new year, I thought a giveaway would be nice.  You know....we all have a little spare time during the winter months and what better way to use it than developing some fab scrapbook pages for your family.  This giveaway is for the My Memories Suite 3 Software.  A digital scrapbook software that eliminates the need for scissors, glue, and tons of paper on your desk. I am not a typical scrapbooker, so the thought of using digital software for this project really appeals to me. The folks at My Memories were kind enough to send me the software and a copy to giveaway.  Though I received a free product to review, the opinions expressed here are my own. 

Below I have just a few examples of some pages that I made.  Mind you these are just pages from entire albums that can be made, not to mention gift tags with photo inserts, (for real, I love those), calendars, and printables that can just be framed. 

If you feel like you need some inspiration, just check out all of the ideas that have been shared on this page.  

Don't think that if you win this software that you will necessarily have to buy additional scrapbook pages.  Not only does the My Memories Suite come with a huge array of choices, they also have a huge assortment of free pages here

If you would like a chance to win this please visit the My Memories website and let me know your favorite item by leaving me a comment about it.  

If you are thinking you just aren't one of those lucky, winning kind of people, then this IS your lucky day.  The nice people at My Memories will let you take $10 off of your order by using this simple code when you checkout.  STMMMS64275

I will announce the winner on New Year's Day. 

Do know you wanna win. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bourbon Balls

Officially Kentucky lists its state drink as milk.  

Seriously....who ever heard the like?  I have no doubt that the powers that be wanted to eschew the premise that our state is known for bourbon, horse racing, and tobacco.  But, some things just are what they are and we should enjoy them as such.  So, let's talk a little traditional Christmas candy, shall we?  

Bourbon Balls are a tradition around here and since my children's great aunt is getting to where she can't manage the makings of them anymore, I decided I would take on the task.  

Let's get started.  

First, you will need to remove the Christmas sweater from your bottle of bourbon.  If you happen to be an ambassador of Maker's Mark then you receive a sweet little Christmas gift each year.  This year it happened to be clothing for their famous bottle. 

Next, you will need to pour five tablespoons of bourbon over one cup of nuts.  I have used walnuts in this case.  Give them a little stir to distribute the liquid and then let them sit overnight. 

Happy nuts for sure.

Cream together 1/2 cup of softened butter with 16 ounces of powdered sugar.  Fold in the happy nuts and roll into balls.  I used a teaspoon full of mixture for each ball.  Refrigerate overnight, or if you are like me, about six hours.  I was ready to get the show on the road. 

Dip the chilled candy into melted chocolate.  I used candy chocolate coating and allowed them to firm while resting on a marble surface covered in parchment. 

It is important to taste test at least four for consistency of quality. 

Yet another great Kentucky tradition. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Back in Blogland

Several days ago we all made a mad dash down to the ocean to spend some holiday time with The Babs and Mr. B. 

Where I had a fabulous lunch with my brother and ate the best burger in town.  This sign does not lie.....

My whole family was able to come together, exchange gifts, partake of my mom's fine cooking, and enjoy some time with each other. 

I will be catching up with many of you shortly.   
Happy Holidays to all! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ho, Ho, Ho...

I think we are finally settling into Christmas a bit more here at the farmette.  Things have died down a bit and with the chiclets and I off for winter break, it's time to break out the wrapping paper. 

Christmas lights are going strong and ....
Santa is trying to climb into the vintage dollhouse. 

Christmas cards are arriving in the mailbox with increasing regularity.  Catching up with long distance friends is one of my favorite parts of this holiday. 

How are you getting ready for the Christmas holiday? 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Scroll down and turn off the music player before you begin this video.  A sweet look at the Christmas story through the eyes of children. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Knew a Man By Sight

I knew a man by sight, A blameless wight, 
Who, for a year or more, 
Had daily passed my door, 
Yet converse none had had with him. 

I met him in a lane,
Him and his cane, 
About three miles from home, 
where I had chanced to roam, 
And volumes stared at him, and he at me. 

In a more distant place
I glimpsed his face,
And bowed instinctively; 
Starting he bowed to me, 
Bowed simultaneously, and passed along. 

Next, in a foreign land
I grasped his hand,
and had a social chat, 
About this thing and that, 
As I had known him well a thousand years.

Late in a wilderness
I shared his mess, 
For he had hardships seen, 
And I a wanderer been: 
He was my bosom friend, and I was his.

And as, methinks, shall all,
Both great and small,
That ever lived on earth, 
Early or late their birth, 
Stranger and foe, one day each other know.  

Henry David Thoreau 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Insanity of the Season

Christmas is such a busy time of the year.  A wonderful time, but yet one chock full of so many things to do. 

We have been managing pretty well here in Smalltownland.  Lots of family functions, Christmas plays, banquets, etc...  It has all been coming together. 

And then the smallest chiclet goes and breaks her wrist in the second basketball game of the season. 

As you can see, it is not slowing her down at all.  Phone on the ear and laptop in action. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Men Will Be.....Boys

I came home the other day to find this scene in front of the farmhouse.

Secret Agent Man and The Deerslayer tossing up empty shotgun shells and shooting them. 

Even the big boy....

had to get in on the act. 

When asked if he hit all of his targets, Secret Agent Man replied that no he didn't, but only because The Deerslayer didn't know how to throw them up in the air the right way.  

'Nuff said....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Last week, on Thoughtless Thursday, McVal commented on the photo wanting to know just what kind of backwater I lived in to get these kinds of photos.  Well, I'll tell ya....

I live on 25 acres that is an hour away from the nearest interstate exit.  I live at the dead end of a very small country road.  Most days the only visitor we have is the mail lady.  

The changing night sky provides a lot of artistic entertainment for me. 

Barns are plentiful and I pass many of them on my 20-minute drive to work.  Poor Secret Agent Man has it worse as he drives 50 minutes each way to work.  Yes, we live in the boondocks. 

Mailbox art is not only commonplace, but encouraged I think.  I have always like this smiley faced box.  I pass this on the way to the nearest name brand grocery store......25 minutes away.  Some roads are so small that two cars can barely pass each other.

History runs amok in Smalltownland.  True log cabins still stand with all of the tall tales, some true, that go with them. 

Tiny country roads abound as do old farms, old farmhouses, strange buildings, pastures full of cows and sometimes goats.  Traffic jams are caused by farm implements, tobacco wagons, or elderly people out for a Sunday drive.  People respect God, church, traditions and family.  

We still have a drive-in movie theater and a small town hardware store where gentlemen farmers like to hang out and watch the wildcats play on the television set.  I know this to be true because Secret Agent Man had to knock on the door several times today to get them to open up so he could make a purchase.  You know.....Kentucky basketball makes store owners close up shop when they are playing. Wildcat basketball is practically a religion around here.  

It's all backwater....but, it's all good. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Black as Coal

A couple of years ago when I turned forty I decided that I needed something to mark the occasion.  I had been driving the typical, "grocery-getter", SUV,  hauling my kids everywhere.  So, I picked out a little, sparkly red, Cadillac CTS to zoom me around Smalltownland.  

And it turned it to be just the kind of fun I needed.  She is quick, good on gas, and with a sunroof, extra fun on a summer's day.  I call her, "Ruby", and she is fabulous.  But, this year I was thinking I might need an upgrade for Christmas.  Something a little darker perhaps. 

Shiny black....

Fresh and new...

Santa Baby.....are you listening? 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Frosty Indeed

Jack Frost paid a prime visit to the farmette last night.  We woke up to bitterly cold temperatures and beautiful scenery. 

Scandinavian legend has it that Jokul Frosti was the original Jack Frost.  Meaning icicle frost, according to the Norse Vikings, Jack seems to work his magic all around the world.

Aboriginal tribes in Australia believe that the seven sisters, or Pleiades, throw icicles to earth that are plucked from their bodies.  Even German folklore tells of Mother Frost who shakes feathers from her bed that turn into snow.  

I think Prince Morocco, from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, may have had the most painful experience with frost sent to him by a lost love. 

"All that glitters is not gold, 
Often you have heard that told...
Fare you well, your suit is cold, 
Cold indeed; and labor lost, 
Then, farewell heat; and welcome frost."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mummers' Plays

Recently I was researching/reading information about Christmas in Appalachia.  So many traditions in our area of the country can be traced back to Ireland, Scotland, and England.  Although I am used to coming across these connections, I found an article about a type of amusement called a, "Mummers' Play", specifically concerning Christmas.  

In Appalachia a group of people would travel from house to house, no small feat in the mountainous regions, to perform these plays.  The characters would include St. George, A Knight, Father Christmas, a dragon, and a princess.  These character listed are from English tradition, but can differ in other European cultures.  

Usually these plays involved a fight with the doctor bringing the slain victim back to life.  The underlying point of the play seems to be resurrection

Photo courtesy of

The theme of Mummers' plays today are known to be from the mid to late 18th century. 

Photo courtesy of
The season for Mummers' Plays throughout Britain was traditionally Christmas.  Here in Appalachia, the tradition of mumming died out after WWI.  

If you would like to read a script of a Mummers' Play performed in 1930, in Kentucky, you can do so here.

Anyone else ever heard of these?  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Making of a Christmas Card

During the Thanksgiving break, I took the opportunity to attempt a photo for our Christmas card.  I thought it was the least Sir Charles could do to pose for us.  I mean, what with all of his comforter destruction as of late.  

I think he is modeling his, "rasta-man", look here. 

To say it was a struggle to keep his attention is a supreme understatement. 

Secret Agent Man was behind me with doggie no avail. 

It's possible he was getting a bit tired of our antics at this point. 

But, we did manage to get a few good photos out of the bunch.  

Seriously, I think he loved wearing the scarf.