Behind My Red Door

Behind My Red Door

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And then it is Winter.

Welcome to winter! Even though it has felt like winter for awhile, we really ushered it in since the last time I was here. We just finished with a nasty real nor'easter blizzard. Snow up to 2 feet was predicted along with strong winds. Not the best thing to face the day after Christmas when shops are looking to end the year on a positive note and so many folks need to travel home for work tomorrow. I don’t mind snow once the storm ends but this kind of blizzard can be dangerous. We ended up with some 12+ inches that blew right off the trees and power lines so my area fared fairly well all things considering.

It is getting increasingly more difficult for my parents to get out to family events even with our help, so I am very thankful that this storm was late enough that it didn’t stop our family from being together this Christmas. The older I get, the more often I hear winter used to describe the time of life we all hope to reach someday. My parents are truly in the winter of their life and we are trying to eek out as many new memories as we can these days.

A good friend sent this to me recently and as soon as I saw the title, I knew what it was and I thought it was a great way to start my last Thankful Thoughts post for 2010. And while I am not yet at the napping stage, I know my winter is closer than even I would like to admit so it is a timely reminder to me as well.

And then it is Winter.
You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all... And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams... But, here it is..the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise... How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well...seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like...
But, here it is...my friends are retired and getting gray...they move slower and I see an older person now. Lots are in better shape than me... but, I see the great change... Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant... but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.
Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore...it's mandatory! Cause if I don't on my own free will..I just fall asleep where I sit!
And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last...this I know, that when it's over...its over....Yes , I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done, things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime....

So, if you're not in your winter yet take this as a reminder that it will be here faster than you think. Whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly. Don't put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. D what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!
You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life.
Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.
Make it a fantastic one!
LIVE IT WELL!!----ENJOY TODAY!!!!-----DO SOMETHING FUN!!!----
BE HAPPY!!!----BE THANKFUL!!!!!

I know that I am!!

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Did you all have a Merry Christmas? We sure did Behind My Red Door. Even though over the years I have streamlined the menu and I prepare several dishes ahead of time and I get help from family with some of the food and we even made a table that requires no tablecloth, it still is a lot of work doing two feasts two days in a row. But it only happens once a year and as long as I can do it with the help of my wonderful hubby, I will. It’s all about family!

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I am so thankful for all the Christmas greetings we received. It is fun to catch up with old friends at this time of year and see how much their children have grown and to meet new family members. A few old friends are first time grandparents this year and I love sharing that with them!

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I am so thankful I made these for Christmas morning.

Maple-Bacon Breakfast Rolls

maple bacon pinwheels

adapted from a recipe on Pillsbury.com

1 lb. turkey bacon cooked and chopped small

1 egg

2 cans Pillsbury® Crescent Rolls

6 tablespoons Butter, softened

10 tablespoons maple syrup

2/3 cup powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 375°F. Open one canister of rolls and lay flat. Separate into 4 rectangles. – (Pressing the center seam of two triangles together making it into a triangle). Repeat with other can so you have 8 rectangles.

In small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of the butter, 3 tablespoons of the syrup, bacon and the egg. Spread mixture evenly over dough, covering to edges. Spread evenly over each rectangle. Roll each ~ starting with a short end. Chill for 30 minutes. Slice each roll into 6 pinwheels. (makes 48) Place on cookie sheet allowing room for them to double in size while cooking.

Bake 13 minutes or until light golden brown. See photo above. Remove rolls from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix powdered sugar, remaining butter and remaining syrup with wire whisk until smooth. Drizzle icing over rolls.

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While I was making these on Thursday, and doing a million other things to be ready for family to come the next day, Mr. Red Door discovered a plumbing leak in the crawl space under our front landing – in the pipe coming from the water supply into our home. He had to shut down the water to our entire house for a few hours while he fixed the pipe. I am so thankful he got that done in a few hours so I could continue on with all the food preparation for Christmas Eve and Day.

Just as these came out of the oven, one of Mr. Red Door’s close friends stopped by unexpectedly and I am thankful that I had a nice hot snack to offer them – considering the mess we were in! I only put the glaze on the ones I served the guys, and I put the rest of the glaze and pinwheels in the refrigerator until Christmas morning. I heated some on a plate in the microwave and because the chilled the glaze was thick, I used a butter knife to spread some on each roll and the heat melted it, making it all yummy and gooey! This is a keeper!

(PS- because I make pepperoni pinwheels in this fashion and freeze those, I am sure these can make ahead and frozen too.)

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I am so thankful for all the kind comments and emails after my last post. Thank to everyone that inquired about me. I started to really feel better on Wednesday ~ JUST in time! And I am feeling much better about the disappointments as well. Chats with good friends, hugs and reassurance from my DH, and some time and distance was all I needed.

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I am so thankful that our DD Jen has met THE one. Jonathan is a fine young man, and we are so pleased that he could be with us for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year. We hope he becomes a permanent part of the family in time

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I am thankful that our son and DIL both got over a nasty tummy virus in time to enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and that Lili escaped it.

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Here are just few pics of our sweetie pie from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

with dollie

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Here she is playing with the retro kitchen Bampee and I got her for her house…162843_1777306556453_1353051558_1964216_6649970_n

Sorry Lili, you don’t fit in there! SAM_0019

And she is learning to clean too…165070_1777295116167_1353051558_1964145_3004329_n

She truly does light up our lives!

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And that my friends is my last Thankful Thoughts post for 2010. But because I have had such a great response to these, I will be starting 2011 with a Thankful Thoughts post reflecting on the past year and I will then add thankful thoughts to each post I make in 2011.

HappY new year NICE (2)

I leave you now with my New Year’s blessing for each of you!

All throughout the coming year,
May your life be filled with little celebrations
Of happiness.

May the road you walk be a smooth one
And your troubles be few — if any.
May the days that lie ahead
Be health and many.

May you have friends in abundance
And the sun shine bright around you
May the world be a wonderful place to live

And may God's love always surround you.

Until next time- hugs, Grammee Linda

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thankful thoughts week nine

I got a little help for this part of my post from my friend A. A. and Charles Schultz. 078

It was particular timely because the last few days I struggled with staying positive and so writing this post is a good way of reminding myself of all I have to be thankful for. This week some things have happened that have left me disappointed and with a heavy heart at times. Most of the time, though not all, it was simply a case of emotions over intellect. To top that off, I am not feeling well and had to cancel a special day with two dear friends. With all the work involved in planning two Christmas celebrations, I was really looking forward to relaxing with my friends, revisiting a part of Cape Cod that is near and dear to me, seeing my friend’s home all decked out for Christmas, and while I am being honest ~ enjoying a meal someone else cooked. Now come on, even if you are like me and you like to cook and entertain family and friends, isn’t it a treat to let someone else do that for you? Isn’t it nice to let someone else set the table? Doesn’t it taste even better when someone else cooks ~ especially when it is one of your all time favs ~ lasagna? See why I am so bummed!!? But as I was sitting feeling sorry for myself, I was reminded of a blogging friend who has just had major life saving surgery. Now what I have is a minor illness and it will pass, and there will be many more good times with those friends in the future ~ God willing!

So honestly, I truly am counting my blessings and I am thankful for the friends that have been there for me this week and have lifted me up when I was down. They know who they are Red heart Red heart!!

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Now on to those thankful thoughts and my friend A. A. …

You all know Charles Schultz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip, but most of you don’t know A. A came into my life when I was teaching at the preschool that was part of my life for a very long time. She was hired as an aide to help me and my co-teacher. From the get go I knew A had that very special innate ability to see the needs of others and her compassion for others that is so rare in this world. And she had boatloads of common sense and energy to boot. Just a powerful combination in the teaching field and invaluable when working with little ones. I had the pleasure of working with A for several years and when I became the Director I got to watch her grow and learn more about the Early Childhood field as she took the initiative to go to college to become an Early Childhood teacher. All this while tending to her dying husband and a son with Asperger’s syndrome. Her beloved husband lost his battle from cancer and she was left to raise her son alone. She did it all with such grace – she truly taught me the meaning of courage! To say I admire A is an understatement so when she sent me this, it touched me so and I knew it needed to be in my next post.

The Charlie Schulz Philosophy

You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder on them.
Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.



How did you do? Not too well huh? Me either!
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers.
They are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies..
Awards tarnish..
Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.


Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special
.
Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier? I sure hope so!
The lesson:
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials,
the most money...or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most.
I am thankful that A sent me this timely reminder to be thankful for the important people in my life.

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I am thankful that 18 months ago today, our lives were magically changed by the birth of of our grand daughter. I am thankful I get to hear and see her say “ I love you” to Bampee and I in her sweet little voice and that I get to feel those little hands patting my back as she hugs me.

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I am so very thankful that my friend Donna’s son is home safe and sound from Afghanistan finally! Thank you Ben for serving our country so bravely and honorably!! Wishing you and your family the most blessed Christmas!

If you want to leave a welcome home message to a true American hero, just stop by Donna’s blog ~HERE~.

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I am thankful for the pink sunsets we have enjoyed most days this past week and that the Nor'easter that was originally forecast for us is heading out to sea instead of dumping us with a lot of snow. I like a white Christmas as much as the next person, but a storm the week before Christmas can hurt small businesses and make travel dangerous for those traveling to see loved ones they might not see all year. And it just makes it miserable for the rest of us at a very hectic time of year.

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I am thankful Mr. Red Door and I have had a chance to spend time together shopping for and preparing for our two big family Christmas celebrations we host as is our tradition every year. For as long as I can remember, he had saved vacation time for the last weeks of the year and together we visit the butcher and order the prime rib roast for Christmas Day. We make a trip to the Swedish bakery for Christmas Breads, coffee cakes and other goodies, and then we head around the corner to the Gift Chalet to get our Swedish cheeses, sausage and Pepparkakor cookies for Swedish Christmas Eve. This year we also picked out a Swedish ornament to add to Liliana’s collection. At home, we make dozens and dozens of Swedish meatballs and wrap gifts together. Too many times the women shoulder the burden for holiday celebrations and I am thankful that my DH has always helped me. It certainly makes the season a lot more joyful and festive for me.

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I am thankful to Letter Carrier that put my box in plastic when he left it by the door.

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I am thankful for dear sweet friends that touched me with their kindness this week. Some with gifts and and one with a note that was a welcome as any gift I’d find under the tree. When someone reaches out with kind words and deeds, it can truly go a long way and have a lasting effect. Thank you friends!

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I am thankful for the long distance phone call with an old friend this week.

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As this is my last post before Christmas, I would like to leave you with this message..

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Somewhere in the flurry of the season,
may we find time to think about that blessed
holy night that changed the world.

It is time to give thanks with all our hearts
that God so loved the world.

Joy to the World
Let the heavens rejoice,
and let the earth be glad...
Psalms 96:11

Thinking of you warmly and hoping you’ll be blessed by all the gentle wonders
of this holy season

Until next time~ Merry Christmas!

Grammee Linda

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thankful thoughts for week eight on a very special day

December 12th is a very special day in my life for two very good reasons.

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In 1921 my dad was born on this day. If you are doing your math correctly you know that means that today we celebrated his 89th birthday! He grew up very poor and went into the Army as a young man. While serving our country and stationed in Alaska, he contracted Spinal Meningitis and almost died in the hospital up there. Fortunately they were able to obtain some penicillin and after a time, he eventually recovered. He always worked hard to make a good life for our family. First as a meter reader for the gas company and then as a letter carrier for the post office. He worked outside in the hottest weather and coldest too. At the age of 50, he had his first double hip replacements and eventually had over 13 hip surgeries, some minor, some not so much until one side was so scarred that the surgeons took his joint out, sewed him up and he has lived with that disability for many years now. He has other health issues and at 89 his body is slowing down and making it harder for him to live the life he’d like to, but his mind is as sharp as ever. I am so thankful for the sacrifices he made to give us a good life and to give me the college education that he never had. I am especially thankful we still have him with us and he has lived long enough to see my first grandchild. Happy Birthday Dad!!

Jen,David

In 1952, Mr. Red Door was born on this day as well. He has worked very hard to always provide for his family as well. Even with a college degree he started working in coal fueled boilers the size of large buildings learning the trade. Because of his cool head and work ethic he worked his way up the ladder to an office position in a short time. When we were first married he went back to college at night to do his graduate work and at the time was the youngest ever graduate of the prestigious WPI School of Industrial Management. That too further helped him advance his career all so he could provide well for us. Although we are not rich by any means, he has always been a conservative spender and I am so thankful he taught me the value of saving – it has served us very well in this economy! More importantly he has always supported me in whatever I do and he is a wonderful father and awesome Bampee and a wonderful son and son in law as well. He never hesitates to help my parents with anything they need. I am so thankful he is my husband! Happy Birthday David, you are the best man I know!

I am thankful that all the rain we are getting is not snow so that my family could come here this afternoon to celebrate these two wonderful men! I am thankful we are not expected to get any significant snow from the storms that are moving east.

I am thankful no one was hurt when the Metrodome collapsed under the weight of snow.

I am thankful we have had good weather so far making it easier to get the Christmas errands done and making it safer to get Lili on the days we watch her.

I am thankful Lili’s double ear infections are going away and she is back to her energetic cheerful self!

And what would a post be without a little prim eye candy. I am thankful I was able to spend an afternoon with my my friend Laurie in CT on Friday. She took me to two great spots and I found these treasures.022

I found basket and pewter teapot at one and the bowl at the other. I am not sure is they will stay in the same places after Christmas, but they are at home for now!

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Thank YOU for stopping by and for all the new followers and peeps and friends of my Behind My Red Door. Your comments make me smile and I so appreciate them all.

With the bad storms in the Midwest and heading east, I hope each of you stay safe and warm!!

Until next time – prim hugs, Grammee Linda

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thankful Thoughts Week Seven

Welcome to week seven of my thankful thoughts. Happy December and Happy Hanukkah!!

I thought this week I would start with a list of things that I am thankful for that just need no explanation!

The Hallmark channel Christmas specials

Christmas carols

Leftover pie

menthol cough drops

my white sound machine

my Oreck vacuum cleaner

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Warm dry days when we can get the lights, wreaths, greens and garland outside …

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I am thankful for my dear friend Sherrie in S.C. She once again very generously blessed me with some of the tallow berries off her very own tree. I have put small bunches around with my fresh greenery and I just love the look!! Thanks so much Sherrie!

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I have mentioned before that I am so thankful that Lili loves loves loves books! Keeping that in mind, we got her a special ornament /book set from Hallmark. After hanging the manger ornament on the tree, we snuggled nearby to read the book. When Lili presses on the faces of the different animals in the book, the ornament lights up and you hear the animal tell about the special gift it brought to baby Jesus. The smile on her face was priceless when she heard that. It is called ‘A Gift for the Baby’. .

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When she pressed the star in the book and it lit up on the manger and played a song….

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… she just squealed in delight!IMG_0101

I am thankful that Lili seems to be a natural nurturer. Here she is just up from her nap the other day and she is feeding Mickey Mouse!

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Aww and every good mommy kisses her babies too!

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I am thankful for the kindness and generosity of my prim friend Janet. Some of you may know her from her blog Winter Willows ~ Under the Willow.Janet sent me the sweetest pin tuck that she stitched herself. Thanks so much Janet- it made my day!

It looks great here by the Father Christmas I bought from my very talented friend Audrey.

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Audrey is had an Open House in the cute shop that her hubby built for her on their property. She has it decorated so nicely outside! It is so prim!

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And inside was filled to the brim with her very own handmade prim dolls, Santas, mice, cats, snowmen and more! Audrey’s mom was there helping as well.

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And what do I see here??

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I better get a little closer….005

AHA! it is the Holiday issue of A Primitive Place magazine which has sold over 10,000 copies!

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I spent some time this week arranging for 5 gorgeous homes to be in the Spring 2012 issue. YES 2012! We are have booked shoots for Spring 2011 for that issue and I am working on lining up homes for the summer 2012 issue!

In addition to the Father Christmas above, I also got this smaller standing Father Christmas

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and he fits perfectly in the master bathroom. 038

I also brought home this wool kitty that is sitting in my office now. I love wool creations!

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You can visit Audrey at her blog Audrey’s Prim World!

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I am thankful to have my eyesight so I can enjoy all the gorgeous Christmas d├ęcor I have seen on the Internet lately. My decorating is done but I have gotten some wonderful ideas for next year! I have taken my pics, but now I need to get them organized into an online album to share with you. As soon as I do that, I’ll post a link to it on my sidebar. When you see this picture up there on the right, you’ll know it is ready for viewing so check back later!

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I’d like to leave you with this quote… I think you’ll know where it came from!

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

Until next time – prim hugs, Gramee Linda