Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Worth Repeating: Nick's Bears Jacket

Look at this jacket. Would you believe, it's 21 years old? (Now 26 years old.)  I remember when we bought this coat for Nick. We had just moved from Chicago to this small little town. It was a very hard move for all of us, especially for Nick who was a die hard Bears' fan. We moved into die hard Vikings' country.

One of the things we were concerned about was finding a sporting goods' store that might even carry Bears' items. We found one. Actually, it was the only sporting goods store in town. Today, that little store has grown into one huge store, but, at that time, it was tiny.

We walked around the store with Nick. All we seemed to see was Vikings, Vikings, and more Vikings. Nick was pretty down, then, as we turned to a very small rack with coats, we saw it! This Chicago Bears' jacket. Nick's frown turned to a smile, and we bought the coat. He was ten at the time. He was pretty small and scrawny at the time, and the coat was big, but it gave Nick a much needed boost and touch with home.

Eventually, Nick outgrew the coat, went away to college, moved back to Chicago, and I inherited the coat. I've used it since then, not as a daily coat, but as a dog walking coat. I walked Oliver in that coat, (our bassett hound). I walked Bailey, our first greyhound. I walked, no, Spike walked me in that coat for 13 years. Now, I walk Pixie in that coat. The coat is 21 years and full of memories. Who would have thunk? It's a part of our family history, and it's still here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Waiting for the Storm...

The snow did start, as predicted, a little after 3 PM yesterday.  
If you look at this picture, and  look beyond the trees, 
you should be able to see the city lights across the river.  
The light in the middle of the picture is a reflection from the light in the living room.  
The snow is actually falling more thickly than the photo shows.
The snow started to fall quickly.
It's winter.
It's Minnesota.
It's finally acting like Minnesota in December.
What's the point of this post?
There is no point.
This post simply proves that, even if it's boring,
there are people, like me, who will continue to read, in the hopes that there is something meaningful and/or informative.
As I write this, I am watching a "game" show on TV.
The "host" of the show is boring.
The celebrities are unknown.
The audience members participating in the "game" are really not interesting.
The prize was a micro-laser peal.
That's what happens when I wait for a storm.
Luckily for me, the storm is here, and it will be over sooner than later.
I can turn the channel.
Do you ever waste time watching programs like this?
If so, why?
How do you fill your boredom?
I don't think I'm filling mine well.
Oh, well, tomorrow is another day.

Monday, December 28, 2015

I want to say THANK YOU!

I'm posting this in all the plac12es that I can think of to post.
Yes, YOU!
YOU know who you are!
I opened my mailbox today to find a tube shaped package addressed to me.
Of course, as soon as I walked into the house
I was ripping off tape and prying the lid off.
This is what was in the package.
12, yes, count them, 12 rods of silver glass, COE 104.
There were shards.
There were murrini.
There was a package of mica flakes.
I have no idea who sent this package to me, but
made my day!!!!
I hope
see one of my posts,
I just want 
to know that 
kindness was very much appreciated!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Day after Christmas: Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) Midnight Mass was beautiful!

2) Being with family was great!

3) Food was  wonderful!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Worth repeating: Random Thoughts now that I'm Almost Ready for Christmas

Christmas is less than a week away.

Most of the Christmas decorations, trees, and wrapping papers are 50 -75% off.  Time to stock up.

 My shopping is finished for this year.

All the gifts that need to be mailed are mailed.

All that handmade gifts are either purchased or completed.

We are almost at the winter solstice.

I think it's ironic that when winter begins our days become longer.  It might be ironic, but I'm glad about that.

I don't bake anymore, but I do enjoy receiving home made baked goods.  Hint.  Hint.  In case anyone I know who bakes is reading this.  I doubt that they are, though.

Many of my neighbors are getting ready to go south for the winter.

I'm ten years older than I was a decade ago.

Time never slows down any more.  That makes me wonder why.

Christmas lights are lit all over town.  I will be disappointed when they are left unlit.

Candles are beautiful.

I'm happy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sparklies for the Holidays, the shortest day of the year, and more sparklies.

The holiday decorating continues in our house.
The tree is up, but I'll show that to you later because I can't find the  plug in for the lights.  
The tree is also crooked.
More to follow on that later, 
but to me,
the real fun of Christmas is the 
I went shopping.
I found these boots!
Don't you just love them???????
I do, and I bought these jeans, and

Christmas sparklies help to make my day.
Today is the shortest day of the year.
The jeans and boots will warm up my day.
Isn't this fun?
My kids just roll their eyes.
I love sparklies!
More later.
Now, I'm on my way to the hairdresser.
I hope she can help me with sparklies in my hair!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Pixie's Christmas List

Pixie and I had a talk last night.
I asked her what she wanted for 
She gave me her list.

1) Good food!  (She said she likes it best when I cook for her.  I guess I'll be doing more of that!)

2) Only the good treats.  (I guess she deserves that.  She's 11 now.)

3) Many more ear rubs.  (Santa can arrange that.)

4) New Blankets for her bed.  (I think she's right.  She does need new blankets.)

5) For kitties to play with her.  (Well, that's one that Santa will have to work on for now.)

6) For Fred not to be so bossy.  (I call Fred the Little Gladiator.  He was found on the streets with frost bite on his toes after a long, cold winter.  He doesn't like dogs, but we will work on that one.)

7)  More good treats.  (Okay.  I think we've established that she wants only the good treats.)

8) More walks. (Walking is hard in the winter time, but we will find a way to get in more walks.)

9) More good treats.  (Okay, I get that one.)

10) All the love you have.  (She's got my heart.  That's all the love I have.)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

It's too late for Christmas, but I'm waking up my Etsy store.

They are all in my Etsy store!
Feel free to shop anytime!
Feel free to PIN or share any of the beads in my shop!!!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Three Beautiful Things this Week!

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) I'm finally feeling better!

2) Christmas memories:  I love them!

3) I started Christmas Shopping today: online!


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Not Every Christmas is Perfect...10 Memories of an Imperfect Christmas

 A Christmas Ficus
Yes, that was one of the memories of one of our most imperfect Christmases.

It was the year that no one would go up to the attic and bring down the big, bulky artificial Christmas tree because no one like dit.

It was the year the kids refused to go out with us on a freezing cold day to cut a fresh tree.

It was the year that as we were driving back with the Christmas tree tied to the top of the van,
people were pointing at us and laughing.

It was the year that my husband tried to bring in the beautiful, 6 foot Christmas tree, and we couldn't get it through the door.

It was the year that as he cut the tree down, farther and farther, we all stood  looking in astonishment, as the tree became shorter and shorter.

It was the year that the beautiful, fresh Christmas tree finally made it in the door at the height of 2 feet 8 inches.  We measured it.

It was the year that even though the tree was so short, no tree holder that we owned, would hold up the tree.

It was the year that the beautiful tree ended up waiting for the garbage on the day it was purchased.  Garbage collection was the next day.

It was the year that we all looked at the ficus tree, strung the lights, hung the ornaments, and put the presents under the "Ficus" Christmas Tree.

It was the year people asked, "What the heck was with that tree?"

We just smile.
It was an imperfect Christmas with wonderful memories!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Worth Repeating: This All Started with the Front Door

I looked at my front door today, and you know what I saw?  I saw the Thanksgiving wreath still on the door!  I honestly couldn't believe that I had forgotten to change to my winter wreath.  I'm not one to decorate for each season, but that was a true oversight on my part.  So, I quickly changed the wreath, only to find, I couldn't close my door.  What?  The door closed a minute ago!!  It took me a while to figure out that I had hung the wreath hanger upside down.  That's why the door wouldn't close.  Problem solved.
I checked the weather forecast.  What do you mean, it's going to snow?  I'm not through with my shopping!!!  So, I had better get going, but, wait!
I need to go to the grocery store first!  What's wrong with my freezer door?  It doesn't close tightly enough.  Dang it!  It needs to be cleaned out before I go to the grocery store.  Well, if I don't go to the grocery store today, I'll have to go in the predicted snow.  No, that's not going to work.  I better go to the store today, but before I go, I have to clean out the freezer and the refrigerator.  Okay, but Pixie has not had any attention all day, and she looks like she needs some attention.  Okay, then clean out the refrigerator and the freezer and play with Pixie.  I'm not going to go until after supper.  Wait!  I can't go after supper because I have the laundry to do.  Okay, the kids will be coming home, when?

Right now, Charlie Brown is on.  I caught a glimpse of him as I raced downstairs with the laundry.  The tree is lit.  I don't even remember lighting the tree tonight.  It's starting to get dark outside.  I haven't even turned the lights on in the house.  This isn't right.

I stop and sit on the couch looking outside.  There's only a little bit of snow on the ground this year.  The neighbors across the street have a beautiful setting of lights on their front porch.   The neighbor next door just drove in from work.  Pixie just came in for an ear rub.  She deserves a wonderful ear rub, so I rub her ears. I leave the lights out and pour myself a small glass of wine.  I'd like to call some of my family, but not right now.  I'll call them later.  Right now, I'm caught in a moment.  I want this moment.

In the background I hear Charlie Brown talking about the real meaning of Christmas.  Looks like I've missed it again this year.  Enough is enough.  It's not too late.  I'm lucky.  I'll be able to hug and kiss my children when we get together for Christmas.  We'll be able to weave our way through our silly traditions and laugh.  We'll be able to play games together.  We'll be able to talk about our year and delight in the fact that we are together again.

Yes, this is what I want.  Okay, tomorrow I'll clean out the refrigerator and freezer.  If I don't get to the store, it will wait until the kids get home.  There's time.  Now, I want to enjoy this moment to the fullest.  I want meditate on what Christmas is really all about.  I want to embrace this moment and this day.  I'm ready.  I'm ready.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Around The House....

Another Christmas decoration has been put up,
I think I'm going to have to move it.
The decoration appears to be 
growing out of 
St. Michael's head.
I really like it, though.

Joy has found a place to dance!
I like Joy!

Since I've been sick,
Pixie has been spending more time with me on the bed,
cuddling and comforting me.  
However, that does not mean I have any room on the bed, 
it just means that Pixie is comfortable, and I am not!

I love her anyway!

Praise is also abundant in our home.
I like the way Praise came out!
She's a lovely lady!

Fred found a window where he can watch the world.
He's very happy in this window.
Can you believe it?
I took this photo today.
Yes, the window is open.
Yes, this is Minnesota.
Yes, this is December.
'Nuff said.

That's what's going on around my house.
What's going on around your house?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Pixie Gets a Massage

Becca is certified in animal massage.
I'm so lucky to take Pixie to a vet clinic where there is the option of alternative treatments for chronic conditions.
Pixie has a lumbar stenosis.
That's why she was dragging her leg and foot on Thanksgiving Day.
She was also in severe pain.
Thanks to good medication, Pixie has been able to become mobile again with very little pain.

The Minnesota Valley Pet Clinic
also offers 
laser treatments and massage for their clients.
After three laser treatments which helped Pixie,
we decided to add massage.
Enter Becca.

Becca was recently certified in animal massage.
At first, Pixie was reluctant to go to Becca, so I stayed in the room and encourage Pixie.
Pixie was kissing Becca and physically relaxing around her.
Soon, Pixie was almost purring.
It was a good session for Pixie.
It helped her.
She jumped into the car.  We drove home, and she slept soundly the rest of the afternoon.
Yes, I am impressed.
We have to have a little time between massages, and that's fine.
I see her having two massages between now and the end of the year.
One massage will be given before Jenny and kitties come back for Christmas.
One massage will happen when Jenny and kitties leave after Christmas.
Yes, she is spoiled.  I'm just happy I'm able to afford this treatment for her.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Pixie Cuteness Day!

She really was posing!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

I just had to see if It Worked! 5 Easy Steps to finding out!

I think we all know that what is Pinned does not always work.
I had to find out if this one worked, so I set the toaster oven for
350 degrees.
As soon as it was heated,
here's the way it went.

While the oven was preheating,
I sprayed the bottom of a small 
springform pan 
with Pam,
unwrapped the hard,
peppermint candy,
(Just wait until you see what happened next!)

 Unlike the Pinterest Pin,
my candy did not fit exactly in the pan.
I didn't know if the final product would end up with holes in it or 

Then, when the oven was preheated,

Put the pan in the oven.
the melting happened.
I thought that was so 
was concerned about burning it,
since it melted so quickly, 
so I took 
the pan out of the oven
let it cool

When it was cool, I turned the pan over and,
this is what happened.

It was almost a success!!!

I might try baking it a minute or two longer the next time to insure that the joins are secure in the melt.

That sounds so technical, doesn't it?

I think that was my mistake.
We'll see.
This PIN might actually work for 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) Christmas Carols.  I love Christmas carols!

2) 46 degrees in December?  In Minnesota?  Unbelievable!

3) Jenny and Pixie are feeling better!
That's the best news of all!


Thursday, December 10, 2015

I don't Know if You've seen the Video on Facebook...

It's the video on making a wreath out of 
Christmas balls.
Look it up.
It's easy to do.
I added another decoration to the Hoffman House 
Christmas decorations.

The problem is that you need 
a lot of
to make the wreath.
I went to the dollar store.
That helped.

Here's the pile of balls.
They really are pretty.

You can see the video on 
You Tube,
but I don't have the link.

Just do a search..
You can probably even figure it out.
You just need a wire hangar, Xmas balls, and some ribbon.

Here's my finished wreath!
I like it!

I'll tell you a secret, too.
I had enough balls to make another decoration,
but it's not a wreath!
I'll show that as soon as I can find a place to hang it.

Trust me,
this wreath is easy to make.
It's pretty when it's finished.
Go for it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Worth Repeating: Finding Inspiration in Nature, but in a Poultry Barn?

When I went to the Blue Earth County Fair, and I never thought I'd say this, but I found inspiration in the poultry barn. Look at this gorgeous specimen of a bird. Can you see that pattern in a bead? What a beautiful creature!

Can you imagine duplicating this pattern in a bead? I can tell you this, I'm going to try.

If you've found inspiration in Nature, leave a comment and let me know.
Share this post so that others can share their experiences, too!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

More Scribbles...

I have to admit,
I've been a slacker.
I wanted to transcribe these
into polymer clay,
I think the  bug, the bird, and the greyhound
would be fun.
The "Crackle" Piece
would make a great background1
So many choices, and so little time!
I have also found that making these bits of digital art are, for me, just as relaxing as coloring.
I don't know how you feel about it,
but I relax when I draw.
How do you feel?
You can do regular drawing or digital drawing. 
It's up to you!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Things I love in December

1) Glitter.  Since it's so dark in December, glitter adds a touch of sparkle to the air.  Even the snow, when the moon is full, glitters.

2) Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!
They are good days for us as a family.
We eat.  We open our gifts.  We go to Church.

3) The arrival of the Winter Solstice on December 22.  From here on out the days will be longer, and, we know, spring is on the way!

4) Special foods for the holidays.  I make posole, tamales, and monster cookies.  They bring a smile to my face.

5) Curling up, under a warm throw, reading a book or coloring or drawing.

6) Not leaving the house on a snowy day, unless I have to leave, and just...See #5.

7) Thinking about goals for the New Year.  I know I don't want to loose weight again!

8) Making Christmas phone calls, even if it's on New Year's Eve.  How blessed we are to talk with our loved ones

9) Taking pictures!  I take a lot of pictures!  I wait for photo deals on books, then pack them into a book so that we can all remember.

10) Memories.  Hopefully, most of our memories are good, but not all of them are, so I sort through them,  and I dispose of the ones I don't want, and smile at the good memories.  No matter what happens in the New Year, these memories keep me smiling.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Slowly, but Surely, We'll be Ready for Christmas, by December 24th!

Decorating is not my forte, but I do decorate for Christmas,
this is the beginning of our decorations for Christmas.
All the decorations will be up by 
December 24, 
I promise,
I hope.
They will be.
I'll give you a preview now, and when everything is up,
I'll give you a tour.

This will probably be the only outside decoration this year, and I plan to move it to the other side of the garage.
It was easy to make.
I used Santa lights, ornaments, and silk flowers from the Dollar Store.
The Santa lights need more light, so I'm moving them to the other side of the driveway where there will be more sun,
then the solar lights will shine brightly at night!

Inside, so Far...

 Okay, I'm a big, fat liar.
This pink wreath hangs on the outside of the door, so, technically, it's an outdoor  decoration, but it's on the door, so it's an inside decoration?
this was easy to make.
I used pink ribbon, dollar store ornaments, and silk flowers. 
This is one of my favorite decorations.
Well, It's pretty, and it's pink!

These are wooden Christmas trees covered with berries and lights.
They were a gift from friends who made these, 
Aren't they lovely?
They are wonderful memories, too.

Well, that's it for now.
I'll show you more later. 
Thanks for visiting.

Feel free to PIN this post, too.

More later

Saturday, December 5, 2015


They sat at the table in the outdoor cafe.  She was plain.  There was nothing physically outstanding about her except for the fact that he stared into her eyes as if in a rapture.  

His eyes were a flower petal blue.  His hair was encased in a pony tail at the back of his head The wild curls of his head were tied in an unbroken line of string cascading down his back.  

He held her hand gently, as though she were made of fine glass.  His eyes whispered her name, and she sat there in silent, unbroken  conversation with him.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) The local weatherman announced that we have had a warmer than normal winter, so far.  We're going to hit the 40's this weekend!  Very unusual for Minnesota!

2) The 4 inches of snow that we received from our first snow storm is melting very quickly!

3) No more precipitation expected until next week!!!!


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Worth Repeating: Pixie and her Therapy Dog Work

Pixie is doing a good job as a therapy dog.  We visit two different nursing homes, and her jobs are different at each place.  She gets a little confused.  At one nursing home, she visits the patients in their rooms.  At the other nursing room, we only visit with one patient and any other person who would like to come over and see her.  This does tend to be a little confusing to her, since she is ready to take off and go to the rooms at both places.

As you know, Pixie and I are working with hospice patients.  I still don't know why we were contacted.  One day, I simply received a note from the director of volunteers at hospice asking if Pixie and I would like to volunteer with hospice.  I did do some thinking about, and I finally filled out all the paperwork and waited for us to pass the background check.  We did, and now the rest is history.

Pixie brings a lot of joy to the people we meet in our work.  The majority of the people I see are very near death.  They are very old, and most are unresponsive.  However, the people who seem to love Pixie are the staff and patients who are still active and moving.  I see the smiles on their faces when they pet her or hug her and tell her how beautiful she is!  She loves this!  Pixie never tires of hearing that she is beautiful.  She never gets tired of getting those ear rubs either.  It makes me feel good that she can bring some of these very tired workers some joy during their day. 

The other thing that Pixie really loves is that after a long afternoon of visiting, we stop at the Dairy Queen and she gets a doggie dish of ice cream.  Nummy.  When we get home, Pixie crawls on the couch and she is asleep for the rest of the evening.  Working draws a lot of energy from her.

We made a visit today, and Pixie is still tired.  She didn't get a DQ today, but she will tomorrow!!!  She made a lot of people happy today!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I call Them Scribbles, and they are fun and relaxing to make. Easy Peasy tutorial.

This was my first
She looks a little bit goth to me.
She took me where she wanted to be.
I've made a lot more since then, and I'm going to show you how I do this process.

I use a program on my 
so this has become digital art.

I find the process relaxes me as much as coloring does.

You don't have to use a mobile device.
You can use paper, pencil, crayons, whatever you like.
Here are the steps.
Each face, animal, bird will be unique

1) Make a scribble.
2) Begin to add details.
3) Add a little bit of color.
4) Define the color with accent colors.

5) Begin to add the hair.
6) Add contrasting colors to the hair and face.
7) Fill in with more contrasting colors.
8) You have made a Scribble Face!

Easy Peasy!
More later!
Let's see what you do with this.