Thursday, December 17, 2009


Pound cakes. Two, big, beautiful, pound cakes. By candlelight, no less! The cake on the right is going to the speech therapist--Christmas trees. The one on the left, the "Cathedral"pan, is going to Mom (no, not my mom. She's in Atlanta. "THE Mom", as on "Shoved to Them". Go check her out if you haven't...she's a hoot, when she's not making you cry...

This hulking monster of a fireplace (I think the thing is probably five feet deep from the front to the back wall, and the firebox will fit 2 1/2 ft logs in back, and 3 fters up front), is the first thing you see when you walk in the back door. Please pardon the odd light effect. It really is quite lovely...that black line, is the vent for the blower. Let me tell ya..that sucker will heat up the HOUSE (all except the master bedroom at the other end of the house). And considering the size of this house, well, that's quite a feat!
Now, we're in the kitchen. Imagine a big box, with cabinet on all four walls. That's my kitchen. There are two 'holes' for doorways--one into the dining room, which is partly the view you have here, and another into the front hallway...and three "windows". One actually *is* a window (you shall see it in a minute. The other is this large bar/passthrough "thing" we have. Additional serving space for parties, is what I call it. For once, it is clean. And pictureworthy. It is the prime dumping ground, of all the flotsam and jetsam of life. Enjoy it now. It is this clean about once a quarter (or more often, if we are having company). This is where El Husbando sets his "stuff". The silver dish, is the actual sterling piece I picked up at the thrift store in NC (I would have packed that store up with our household goods if I could have). For less than $3, I believe. The bowl is a new piece my mother sent for a Christmas gift (hi mom! See!? I'm using it!). The hurricane "thing", well, the marbles change as the seasons/holidays do. Very versatile piece, that it has red and green glass marbles in it.
This is the mini-tree I mentioned. And the nativity scene. That's a vintage handkerchief. It's just the right size for serving as a doily here. I cannot remember which one I used last year, so this one will do, in a pinch. This was the best picture of this tree I got. Something about the lights just does NOT photograph too well. By the way, this is on the opposite end of that bar/counter/window "thing" we have. The other side is what "ought" to be the formal living room, but it's really our schoolroom. I'm glad you cannot see it right now--it needs help...
The kitchen window--this one's real, and even has glass in it! LOL. Two small apothecary jars (thrifted, tyvm!), mini ornaments, and Epsom salts as fake "snow". Holy family votive (electric window candle behind it. I'm thinking of draping some icicle lights across the top of the window/curtain rod, but I'm just not sure yet. Maybe next year.

The back door is to the left. That's our card wreath. Without all of ours on it, it is a wire form, with antique cards on metal, and that big glass glitter. I got it at a Junior League Holly Day Fair in North Carolina. Wish I could have gone this year...the "Joy" statuette has a small blue LED bulb at the top. This was a gift from my mom....the year before last? I think? I know I was there to get it....but it is hard to remember...see mom, I'm using something *else* you gave me! Oh--to the right of this picture, you can just see the cord for the lights on the above window shelf and garland. The pictures of that window just didn't turn out, so you won't get to see it in it's entirety. Sorry. I think you'll just have to cope! Oh--those two golden glass Christmas trees were an after Christmas Target buy about 4-5 years ago. Wish I had bought a few more.
This is the view of the family room, from the dining room window area. You can see the Papa Bear chair (the big reddish brown one), the Mama Bear chair (to the left of the picture--its actually a lovely paisley design fabric), and the couch. And my "oops, I forgot about the tablecloth on the end table" table between the chairs. LOL I think you all will forgive me for not having the perfect house. You can see my $40 thrift store handpainted antique European dresser to the left there. You'll see more pictures of it in a bit. The rocking chair to the right of the picture, is the one I got at my parish's rummage sale waaaay back when, in NC. And my thrift store wool winter jacket I have had for probably 10 years now, slung over the back. That's also another angle view of the fireplace. It is huge, I'm telling you. Those weird blueish splotches on each side of the crucifix, are the attempts I made at sampleing colors for the room. I'm going with the yellow in the dining room (which you will see momentarily). As it is one big room, and I'm eventually going to hang some valances--have the fabric, not the rods!--I've decided it is better to go with the same color, rather than trying something new. I *love* this color. It was a Valspar color from the mid-late 90s, called "Ivory Castle". It's NOT white. It's NOT ivory. It's yellow.
Here's the dining room. The color doesn't show up very well in this picture. But here you see my "real" china cabinet to the left, my entertainment center masquerading as a china cabinet to the right (I moved that puppy by myself, thank you, and let me tell you, it is HEAVY! Oh--those are the large apothecary jars that used to sit on the dresser in the family room (that red one, near the Christmas tree? yeah. That one---it used to sit where the entertainment center with pretensions of grandeur now rests). And yes, that is a vintage Christmas tablecloth. I *think* I snagged that one at a yard sale, but it was so long ago, I cannot remember. Thrift store, yard sale, something like that. I try to keep my eyes open...well, when I'm awake, that
Ah, yes, here's the red dresser. And the Christmas tree. With the tree skirt my mom made me underneath (see, mom...okay, okay, you get the picture now, right? I *do* use the things you give me, on occasion!). The huge wooden thing on the dresser, is a large Christmas pyramid that El Husbando and I bought in Germany, the first year we were married. We lived up the road from a nutcracker factory. I've never been big on nutcrackers, but I *am* HUUUUUGEEEEE on Christmas in general. So this baby--the biggest one that they sold, and it was 65 Deutsche Marks, at the time, so it wasn't cheap (figure $100 to replace, if you could)--is now out and on display. We lit it the other night, and it was flyyyiiinnnngggg around. That really bright thing next to it, is a lamp. But not just any lamp. It is one of those large, heavy marble table lamps that cost a fortune, when you can find one? Well, while this one needs a new shade, it is pretty, it was local (no shipping!), and it works (which is more than I can say for the other one I got at the same time/same store, but that's actually going to be an easy fix, when/if I get around to it). Yes. I got it guessed it...a thrift store, here in OK. I think I spent $35 on the pair. The mirror is one from my grandparents' farm in KY. Man, I miss them....

Folks, that's the end of the tour (for now!). I actually also managed to get about 35 envelopes addressed and stamped today, and letters folded and inside them. I printed up, and delivered all but one of the invitations to our New Year's Eve Party (having Christmas fall on a Friday, makes it harder to plan around. More people taking the long weekend to visit family). Got the Christmas picture of the children taken (with much wailing and gnashing of teeth--and that was just ME!). And made a grocery store trip. If you have a store selling "Best Choice" items, check them out--ours is selling the Best Choice 8oz cheese for 3/$4, their 4# sacks of sugar are $1.59, they have canned veggies (the usual three suspects) for 2/$.88, some of their hams are down to less than a dollar a lb, and the 10# sacks of Best Choice potatoes, are $1.50. Eggs are $1.25/dozen for larges. Some seriously good deals. So, if you have such a retailer, check them out, and see if they are running a "December to Remember" sale. I'll probably go back again in a week or so.
The last two batches of molasses cookies are ready to go into the oven (I doubled the recipe. And each one makes a goodly number of cookies--so consider yourself forewarned!). They are tasty, delicious, and not difficult, once you get over the whole rolling them up in waxed paper (I had to use freezer paper, as I had forgotten I was out of waxed paper). I'm almost done baking the molasses cookies, but the sugars are going to *have* to wait til tomorrow. There's no way I am cutting, glazing, and baking those tonight. It's already 830 here, and the girls are headed to bed...and this is a big "project" for no sense doing it myself.
God willing, you've had a productive day today, too. If not, well, get up and get moving tomorrow (if you can). Even if you just dust something, you'll undoubtedly feel a bit better about life. And who knows, once you get going, maybe you'll get energized to do something else..and then something else..and before you know it, the day is gone, the house is clean, and all is well in your little corner of the world.
At least til the husbands and children come home. And then...well. We all know what happens then, don't we? ;-)
Have a good night, friends. May dreams of molasses cookies waft through your heads. Wish me luck with my busy day tomorrow, and please pray for safety on the roads (lots of construction the way I am headed).


  1. I love all the Christmas decorations you have around Rachel. I really don't have the energy this Christmas to do a lot and Steve isn't big on decorating so all we have is a few lights out the back and the Christmas tree in the lounge room.

    The pound cakes look delicious. Are you going to share the recipe?

  2. Girl.. you are smokin'!! I can't believe all you have done... I hope you're right proud of yourself, honey☺ Thanks so much for sharing these photos of your lovely home♥

  3. The pound cake is awesome!!!! Thanks!

  4. Therese, the pound cake recipe is at the bottom of yesterday's post. Along with the ones for the molasses cookies (which are really moist and should be eaten warm. YUMMMMO). Still have not made the sugar cookies. Today sucked the life juice right out of me (Mom, we made it to town to pick El Husbando up right on time--almost to the minute, lol).

    Didn't get Christmassy stuff done today, but mercy, I am beat. LOL