Friday, December 19, 2014

Gingerbread Houses From Hell.

Back in 2009, Not Martha, posted these adorable little gingerbread houses she made, that would sit on the edge of your mug. I saw them and knew I had to make them. I'm an avid baker; I've made and sold many, many gingerbread houses, so I thought these would be easy. I was SO WRONG. They were difficult to make and turned out wonky. I blamed it on the fact it was during the time I was sick and dying. No, thats not an exaggeration, I really was. The energy it took to shower in the morning, would land me back in bed for the day...I showered, maybe twice a week. So, I blamed my cookie baking failure on my health.
Today I decided to attempt making these houses again. This recipe and idea are so popular, that Not Martha, has even designed, and sells cookie cutters to make the pieces of the house, though I stuck to using her original template and cutting the shapes with a knife. As I made the dough, I had visions of all the family, (15 of us,) sipping hot chocolate on Christmas Eve, with tiny houses perched on our cups. It would be so cute! Once again, I followed her directions, and tips, to the tee. Once again, it was a massive failure, and I had the same problems as I did five years ago. No matter what I did, the dough that was supposed to peel away from the cut pieces, stuck to the foil. It was...a mess. I don't swear, never have, but this dough brought me close to it.

While I was in the kitchen torturing myself, Oliver was working on a Pinterest project we found, which was much more fun and successful than my baking.

I asked him to look up at me and smile. He answered me, saying, "But Maemae, I can't, I'm painting!"

The big reveal.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

So, Yesterdays Post...

Didn't come out quite like I wanted, but then Oliver was sitting next to me the whole time asking every few seconds if I was done blogging so he could play Dr Who. It makes writing a complete thought rather difficult. I'd like to be able to blog like my friend Jane. She's a great writer; I have trouble putting to paper how I feel without sounding desperate and whiney, which is why so many of my posts are just photos.
Lately, I've really been missing having friends to do Christmasy things with; even if it's just getting a cup of coffee.
I have a few internet friends who I'd love to live close to...maybe when I get that travel trailer that I dream of. Until then, I'm so blessed to have this guy to hang out with.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What If.. A Post For Me.

Maybe it's because my birthday is coming up, or the year is coming to an end, but I always get melancholy and introspective, this time of year. Today I've been thinking about the life I thought I'd have versus the one I have. First, I didn't plan on getting married until I was 30. I was a voracious reader, and many of the books I read were about strong independent women, with business savvy, successfully making their way through a mans world. That's what I'd planned on... that and traveling the world with leather luggage, and beautifully tailored, natural fiber clothes. So what happened?
Well, I was never encouraged to be independent, or taught how to function in the real world. I had no idea how to go about getting what I wanted. I was enrolled in a college I had no interest in, and without my consent. The reality is that I met Brewier my first day at university and we were married five months later. I would have sucked at being a business person, I'm a wimp, and because I've been chemically sensitive all my life, traveling would have been a miserable, possibly death inducing, experience. And that's why Im posting this, instead of deleting it like I've done in the past. I need to remind myself that my dream life would have made me miserable.
Overall, my life, it's been pretty great. I have a wonderful relationship with both of my daughters, homeschooling allowed us to have so many adventures, and family time; and while I don't have the social life I'd like, the hand full of friends I do have, are the kind you have forever, (and understand that for me, just sitting together without talking is socializing.)
So yeah, thats what I've been thinking today while baking Christmas cookies, and playing with Oliver.
And I'm still in my pajamas, which I would never have gotten away with in my dream life.

Part of my life examination could be that I just sent my world traveling, business owning, living off the land, brother, Greg, a birthday card.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I Love a Busy Day.

A trip to the post office to drop off stacks of boxes for Megan, then on to Home Depot, for light bulbs. A short drive to Mountain Mojo for coffee, then a stop at the thrift store. A quick trip home, before heading to Farm Burger for lunch, and a walk around town. We peeked into Horse and Hero, then walked to the library to check out a few books; then off to Table Wine, for a free wine tasting. Once home we all sat in the living room as the sun set, leaving us in a room lit only by the soft glow of Christmas lights, and inspiring us to hop in the van for a drive to look at neighborhood lights. Yes, it was a very good day.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Tired. I don't even have any photos to post.

Monday, December 08, 2014

It's Starting to Look alot Like Christmas.

We've had a fun few days, full of pre Christmas activities. Brewier and I did a day trip to Greenville, SC, because I needed to walk around a mall and look at pretty things. Seriously, this is a legitimate need for my mental health. Sephora, Pottery Barn,(for a much desired catalog,) Macy's, and our main reason for going, Costco. For Brewier, this is not so much fun. I think he'd prefer a trip to the dentist; but he loves me and lets me drag him from store to store, without complaint.
We've been to the Grove Arcade to see the best Santa ever. Oliver was so shy and hesitant, but Santa pulled out a photo album of all his reindeer, and let Oliver hold and shake his sleigh bells.
Friday night, Biltmore Village was lined with luminaries, and had a madrigal choir singing Christmas songs,and
yesterday was the Big Crafty, held at the Asheville Art museum. What fun! There are so many talented artists in the Asheville area. and I was able to meet, Audrey Laine the lovely woman who made my favorite necklace. And because Asheville is awesome, There was free local beer, and pastries from Short Street Cakes.
I went into the courtyard to drink my beer, while Brewier and this woman, whose name I forget, climbed on the rhino sculpture, monkey bars.
And this is the reason I'm not posting pictures of my outfits. Well...this and the fact I've gained about 15 pounds.
This the entirety of my winter wardrobe. Three pairs of jeans, two long sleeve t-shirts, and two sweaters from Goodwill, one too big and one too small. I need to go shopping.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

But Where are the Gingerbread Houses?

I grew up with a mom who made gingerbread houses every Christmas. Elaborate, fragrant, two story, delicious tasting houses, like you would find in Germany. So when Brewier, Oliver and I went to the Grove Park Inn to see the National Gingerbread House Competition, I was expecting some pretty spectacular entries. What I saw were firetrucks, elves, dogs, and the like, that could pass as ceramic figurines. And while well executed, I saw not a trace of gingerbread, and nothing looked edible. My moms' houses would have blown these away.

This was the closest thing to a gingerbread house.

The Grove Park itself was decked out in it's Christmas finest, with decorated trees everywhere.

This afternoon we took a walk down the hill and found a birds nest, along with a bright yellow dandelion, which Oliver requested a photo off because, "It's so beautiful, Maemae!"

We said hello to the horses.

And threw rocks into the creek.

Brewier taught Oliver how to crack hickory nuts, and black walnuts, and get the meat out...which Oliver immediately ate.

And while they did that, I updated my craft blog for the first time in two years!