Sunday, December 13, 2015

Small Joys......

Louis Dean and I love all the small simple pleasures that make life absolutely wonderful!

Like that first cup of coffee and a hot buttered freshly baked orange cranberry muffin!

It's even more special when we spend our Saturday morning outside in our gazebo!
I am not one to complain and we DO enjoy our time out in the fresh air - but SERIOUSLY!!!
It is really WARM in Texas for it being December!!!
I am ready for a hard freeze and flannel nightgowns and a continuous fire in the den fireplace!
And COATS and sweaters!!! I did not wear even ONE of my fall sweaters this year!
Looks like I won't be wearing any of my Christmas ones either!

While I am ready for WINTER - Louis Dean is NOT!!!
Our gutters have been worrying him because they are so FULL of all the pecans, leaves and debris!

Rain is in the forecast so after our coffee, he headed UP the ladder to the roof!!
I stayed below watching and praying - and taking photos and video!!

He is going to be buying some gutter mesh to prevent the gutters from filling up like this!
Our beloved neighbor, Stephanie, told him about it and he is now a believer!!!

He stopped for lunch - around 3:00 this afternoon!!!
We had Merry Christmas nachos with red and green tortilla chips!!
I cooked up some hamburger meat with onions for HIM since he is such a hard worker while I kept to the vegetarian version!

The sewing room got a lot of attention today. I cleaned Lucy's kennel and vacuumed out all the leaves that sweep in since we keep the French doors open in this unseasonably warm weather.
This is such a BUSY looking photo! It really looks much more peaceful in person!

We have taken to putting Maddie's food up when Lucy is about as we think Lucy has been eating the cat food! It does not always agree with her - shall we say?

Finally! December 12th and the entire house is decorated AND clean!!!

That being done, I moved on to my baking!
It just wouldn't be Christmas without my Fruitcake Cookies!!
I made up the dough and BAKED them all this very day!
Often I will make the dough, keep it in the fridge and just bake them as needed. Not today!
The cookies are a done deal! Tins are ready for gifts and one is wrapped to be mailed Monday morning to a dear friend in Florida. Others will be served at my Christmas Tea on Tuesday.
These are good cookies to bake ahead of time as they keep well.
Especially if fortified by some good Texas whiskey! Normally I use rum but I was out of it so I plopped in a few spoons of the whiskey to keep them moist!

Then I moved on to the Sugarplums!!!
I have been making these since the late 1960's!
This recipe was on the bag of Confectioner's Sugar.
It is - as Sabrina and her family call it - Chocolate BUTTER!

It calls for two cups of butter, and 1/2 cup of cocoa + 2 cups each chopped pecans and oatmeal.

I forgot I needed the pecans so Louis Dean sorted through a bag we had in the freezer from LAST year's crop. He is such a good sport! The dough is now in the fridge and ready to roll into balls. I will keep them there in the refrigerator (the sugarplums MUST be kept cold as they really ARE Chocolate Butter! - until Christmas Eve. After dinner we will all gather around the table and roll the balls in colored sugars or sprinkles! Everyone can then take some home!

We have enjoyed being in the gazebo off and on all day that I decided to do my journal entry out here tonight. Or this morning as it is already nearly 1:00 AM!!

Maddie was ready to go to sleep long ago!!!

I close with these simple thoughts.
I love every one of them!


Linda said...

Tell Louis Dean it is not safe for Santa's elf to be on the roof.

Jutta said...

A perfect way to start my day is to read your blog - thank you Linda!

Susie said...

Linda, You sure can't keep a good man down , now can you? LOL ..Yes you are the working-est two people in Texas. I love how pretty and welcoming your home is. Nice to sit out side. I sat on the porch yesterday too. I did my post this morning(Sunday) I showed where it was 67 at the time. I am loving it. ...if it doesn't throw off spring. Stuff is blooming here. Be safe and now you can relax. Blessings to all, love you guys, Susie

Arlene G said...

Glad you were outside to catch LD if he fell!! My daddy would get up on the roof and scare us all to death but he never fell. As I am scared of heights, I was down on the ground biting my nails the whole time.
Those fruit cake cookies look yummy and hey who does not like chocolate butter???

Kathy said...

That was so fun to see the leaves just blowing off of your roof. But tell LD to be careful up there. I am loving the warm weather. It could stay like this all winter. I think I am going to have to try your sugar plum cookies. I have to get my baking done SOON!

Estelle's said...

Oh my....should LD be on the roof??? easy does it! Looks very lovely, festive, warm and inviting Linda...beautiful picture of little Maddie! cookies look divine!!! Hugs!

Nita said...

That's a well spent Saturday. I can smell your fruitcake cookies !!! Yum !

Robin said...

My husband still leaps up on the roof too... my heart is in my throat! I tell him to only do it when I am home so that I can call 911! What are we to do? They have been like this all their lives. I loved the look of your nacho plates, I will try that! Red and green! Like yours, our dog sneaks cat food, with the same unfortunate results. Cat food now sits on top of the clothes dryer!

Changes in the wind said...

I love how you write the dates of when you made your recipes. I have never seen that before but it makes it so personal.

Wanda said...

Linda, did I ever tell you ~ You are my HERO!!! Hugs and love from our house to yours.
btw ~ making cookbooks for my girls and granddaughters of our favorite recipes. You are the inspiration for that too.

MadSnapper said...

maddie made me smile. and your breakfast made me hungry. the weather is wacked out. my friend in Savannah said it ws so hot yesterday the gnats were out and they could not play in the yard with the grandbabies. it is unseasonably warm here to. i dont want the cold you want, but i do want the humidity to go away and have our NORMAL weather back

jamarson1 said...

Your kittie is the cutest!

Nonnie said...

What a great blog today. So cheerful and I can almost smell all the yumminess going on at your house. LD al,out looks as if he's sitting in Santa's house, it's so colorful.

I'm kinda bummed too that we are still having to wear summer clothes! Our season here just isn't long enough.

Stacey said...

Amen to small joys. Your salad looks wonderful, Louis Dean is always smiling, and I can't wait to try your cookies. :)

BeachGypsy said...

I loved this whole post!! And all the pretty pictures! My those cookies sound great!

bj said...

I love the simple thoughts, too....and I adore you and LD....keep having fun with ea other forever and is sooo short.

a portland granny said...

What a wonderful post!! I'm sitting here in the rain in Oregon and thinking your weather sounds kinda nice, but I do understand how you feel.
Linda, you have to be one of the sweetest perkiest ladies I know. I love your accepting spirit to all around you, your zest for life, and your love for your dear husband.
You are a wonderful homemaker in all that you do. Blessings, dear sister--wish I knew you face to face- but we will have to wait on that! (unless I can talk you into coming to Oregon!)

Vee said...

Accckkkk...another man on the roof! Everything is looking wonderful...all ready for your tea or nearly. Sparkle on!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

You got a lot done! I ran errands, and took my daughter to work. Then I was alone at home and got a lot of baking done. Cappuccino muffins and Cowboy cookies. More to come this week.

We have 16 days until my daughter's wedding. There's a lot going on, but a lot of joy too!


Bev said...

I can't figure out how you get everything done!!... I would LOVE to try the sugar plums!!!

Debbie said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this as always! I don't do a lot of baking anymore as I can't seem to discipline myself well enough to stay out of it and I just don't belong in there eating it anymore! lol. But I will admit those sugar plums have caught my interest....hmmm, wonder if I should try those? Enjoy the rest of your week!

Aloha Acres said...

I've been so busy that I'm behind on my blogs and yours is always the 1st I look for. Love your cozy home. I think I tell you that all the time. :)

PATI CLARK said...

I never heard of fruitcake cookies ...sounds yummy !!!! I never liked store bought fruitcake ....I follow a Canadian health guru Tosca Reno Eat Clean and she has a fabulous recipe for fruitcake go here : and the facebook video go here :

PATI CLARK said...

Or you can just go to my blog too I just posted her recipe...There is nothing quite like Holiday baking makes me feel warm & cozy this time if year !!!! Happy Holiday Baking to you !!!!

Penny said...

Linda your post gives me a warm and cosy feeling. I like the recipe for sugar plums, and I love that you make the same things every year. I have favourite recipes too, and it is such a comfort to turn to them every year X

Carla said...

My mouth is watering with all that bakin goin on. Can't keep them off the roof. LOL. I hate it when David gets up there. He's come close to sliding right on down and off.