Behind My Red Door

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Very Best Gift and My Big Rice Mix Secret

Good morning and merry day after! I hope you all had a magical Christmas. It was busy and hectic and wonderful Behind My Red Door. Despite some howling winds and downpours, Christmas Eve was delightful. My in-laws couldn't make it from SC this year, so the rest of us did our best to uphold the traditions - right down to shaking our camera's before we took our pictures. My MIL has a very temperamental camera and she can usually be seen shaking away before she snaps the picture. And we made sure we saved some of the wrapping paper as is their tradition too. And of course there has to be one or two gifts without tags so we could all guess who they belonged to.
Christmas morning brought bright sunshine - thank goodness! Poor Jen was up ALL night with water pouring into her kitchen. The insurance adjuster had been out and approved a new roof, new insulation, new ceilings in most rooms and even new cabinets and counters in the kitchen. That's how much damage was done. The landlord is wanting to take shortcuts but we are hoping he does the right thing and goes with what the adjuster approved.
After catching a few hours sleep, Jen came over late morning to exchange with DH and I and the rest of the activities began around 2. The Christmas Day crowd is much bigger so it was a festive day. By 7:30, DH and I were beginning the clean up and loading the dishwasher and reflecting back on another blessed Christmas celebrated with those we love.

I follow the blogs of several very talented quilters and I am always admiring the beautiful work they do. I was blessed to receive this gorgeous quilt as a gift. It is more country than colonial prim but it is the PERFECT colors for our big family room on the lower level of our home where I decorate much more country than upstairs. It has the navy, rusts, creams and reds I use down there so it will be lovely on the rocking chair. I love the fabric choices!! It is exquisite!

I also received the antique kitchen scale in my new header and this cute lantern below. I love the seed glass. I need to add my own votive or candles but haven't had time yet.

But the very best gift I received was the song my DH included in the gorgeous card he gave me. We both love Neil Diamond and he took one of his songs and changed some of the lyrics to suit us. It's simply beautiful and at this stage of our lives, we want for nothing so this is gift is more precious to me than any monetary or materialistic gift.

My love,

On Christmas and every day,
I wanted you to know:

The story of my life is very plain to read,
it starts the day you came and ends the day you leave.

The story of my life begins and ends with you.
Our names are still the same and our story's still the truth.

I was alone you found my waiting and made me your own.
I was afraid that somehow I never could be the man that you deserved.

You're the story of my life and every word is true.
Each chapter sings your name and each page begins with you.
It's the story of our times and never letting go and if I die today
I wanted you to know:

You have stayed with me, shared with me, cared with me
and have always been there for me. As I lie down to sleep each night
I know deep inside that our love for each other will continue to add
Chapter and verse to the story of my life.

Linda, the story of my life is very plain to read.
It starts the day you came into my life. Love, Dave

It was indeed the very best gift of all! Thanks honey!!

Today begins the packing away of all things Christmas. They have been out for over a month now, so it's time to say goodbye and get them all put away for another year. As much as I love how the house looks for Christmas, the real pines are ready to be tossed and I am ready for a less cluttered look. I'll leave a few snowmen out for the month of January but that's about it.
Remember these???

Several bloggers and friends have asked to please remember to share the secret to my budget rice mix. Well....the secret is there is that these are Mason Jar Safes - not really edible rice. Sorry if you were hoping for something to make your food budget stretch!! I made them for the adult kids and a few other folks. The kids got cash in there - the others got coupons for various things but you can hide anything small in there - cash, a key, jewelry. You could make these on a much grander scale and hide things like the kids cell phones, your hubby's remotes - just use your imagination!

When you twist off the cover you will see this: That is a toilet paper roll glued to the bottom of the jar. I used a rice mix all around it. To keep the rice from spilling out any time the "safe" is accessed, I used a generous layer of Fabri-tac permanent adhesive. I love Fabri-tac. It is better than a hot glue gun!! I buy it at my favorite craft stores. You can use a variety of fillers, I wanted mine to fool the recipients and because Behind My Red Door we live on a budget, the name seemed like a good play on words. When we were newly married and struggling, we got a budget book with envelopes and put the allotted money for each area of spending in the envelopes and when it was gone, it was gone. As our budget and salaries grew and we got more sophisticated with our money management, we stopped using the envelope because we started paying with charge cards that offer rebates. But I digress... I can't take credit for this cool idea for these safes because I got this idea from Char over at the Pickled Pepper Patch. (click on her blog name to get to her tutorial on making these). Char has the best ideas, tips and tricks so if you haven't been over there, it is worth a visit! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had a really sweet email come my way right after my last post. Twigs, (aka Tiffany) the editor from Mercantile Gatherings sent me a copy of the article she had written to go along with the photo spread of our home which be will in the next issue. She wanted to make sure she had the facts correct. I have to tell you, it was so well written, it made me cry. Twigs really captured how I feel about our home, the treasures inside and as well as my family and our life. I can't wait for February when the magazine is due to ship. If you aren't familiar with this wonderful publication, click on the name to take to you the website.

So what is on your post Christmas Day agenda? Do you still have celebrations to attend? Family and friends to see? Whatever is on your calendar, I hope you continue to carry the Christmas spirit with you.

Until next time - hugs, Linda