Friday, December 30, 2011

RED

I was going to write a long, somewhat interesting post about Christmas and the new year and all that, but then I got OBSESSED with putting cork floors in my kitchen.
Like, now.  
Like, today.
Except that Jackdaddy is in M-I-crooked letter crooked letter - I - crooked letter crooked letter - I-P-P-I, and I can't do it alone.
(Here's hoping Jackdaddy is not reading this while in Mississippi or he won't come home, I fear.)

It's all Rita's fault.  And her husband's, Cane.

Read about my new obsession HERE.

I've had cork floors before.
I am now going to have them again.  In my kitchen where there is the somewhat cool, but really hard and holey, pine sub-floor.

So, what does that REALLY RED picture of my Christmas table have to do with this? 
Nothing.
I just needed to put a picture in and it seemed sort of Christmas wrap-upish.
(Why is everything SO RED?  It's like having food stuck in your teeth and no one telling you.  
Note to self:  Next year, more green.)

I am also here to say that I am going to finish painting my %&$*# kitchen cabinets in the next week or else.
There is no way in hell to live in a 60-year-old house with 2 huge dogs, one small boy and all his friends, two adults, and a cat, and have open cabinets.  The dirt and dust is astounding.  And it settles quite happily in all my cabinets which means on everything in my cabinets.  Blegh. Gross.

So there ya go.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

25!!!

Hoping your day is wonderful in every way!


Love,
The Wabi-Sabi Holts

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Solstic Recap

We're having Christmas Eve dinner here with Jackdaddy's lovely familia.  Christmas dinner is at Chez Mo and oh how I'm looking forward to eating some of her food.  It's good to have friends who are professionals.  Really, really good.

I am no pro, but I do love having people over for fancy dinners. 
La, la, love.

 Le Menu:



Dig that fancy black and white thing.  (Truth is my kitchen is soooo dirty right now what with cookies and Solstice party crap and Christmas dinner prep that when I went to look at these pictures there was so much gross stuff everywhere that I just had to cover it up with black and white.)

I'm a tad worried about the scalloped potatoes in individual ramekins.  It's the only thing I've not made before, but, honestly now, how bad can a small bowl of hot potatoes, cream,  and cheese be? 

My rosemary-orange turkey.  Oh lord honey...you've got the rosemary shoved up under the skin (poor turkey) and all chopped up in the pan with  your turkey juice and your butter and your garlic and then you squeeze a bunch of orange on it (or better yet, some zest) and in it and just baste away with that for hours.  (You could also just dump a 1/2 can of some high-quality frozen oj in there as well, but you will not feel nearly as sanctimonious.   You could also  use the frozen juice and then lie.  Be sure to bury the cans at the bottom of the trash!)

Girl, girl, girl.  Slight orange taste with all that other business will have you on your knees.

May I regale you with some delicious boy pictures from our Solstice Party? 




 There were light sabers ...






 and a primal fire pit ...



and a super fancy telescope borrowed from Jackdaddy's friend, Tom.  
Thanks, Tom!   
(Had Tom known there were 4 outrageously rambunctious, smored-up boys spiraling his telescope with fireworks he may not have loaned it to us.  Good thing that didn't happen.  Nope, no way, not here.)



Look at fabulous Jupiter and its moons!!!  Oh man, you could see the bands around it just perfectly.  And the three moons.  
That is just so amazing to me ...  seeing planets so clearly like that.  Just magical and sobering. 

A fine time was had by all, as they say. 

All-righty.  
Hope you got it all done!  If you didn't, just don't worry about it.  I sure didn't and everything is just fine.

I'll talk "at" you later (as we say over here in Tejas).  I might be comatose for the next coupla days or so, but you never know.

Kiss Kiss, y'all!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Solstice!!

The winter equinox was officially, depending on who you ask, at 11:30 pm last night.
Too late for me olde blood so, today it is for us!!
The celebration ring is all ready and waiting for someone to wake up.







We'll take a walk later in the day to fill out our nature table.  A scavenger hunt it will be, mateys!  I'll make a little list with things like ...

an acorn
a big leaf
something red
something green
something that reminds you of Christmas

And so on and so forth.  Makes things super fun and a little bit more exciting for a wild boy - muy importante!

Later tonight we've got an ALL BOY SOLSTICE party going on.  Weeeee!
Check out these precious invitations ...




Bonfire. Smores. Hot dogs. "Sparkelers."
Cute, cute, cute kid writing.
Add a marshmallow ...



And we're good to go!

I will, at some point, force him to sit on the couch and read our Solstice book.  Not his favorite book, but we're having a tradition, dammit! HA.  
You know us evil Mommies and our traditions.





I hope you have a lovely wintery Solsticey day!  Be sure to light a candle and send up (out?) a little prayer of thanks that electricity was discovered!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Joyful madness.

Oooo, it's been such a wonderful mad rush these last few days.  
Cooking, and baking, and wrapping, and company parties, and family in town, and light-seeing, and, and, and ...
We're really enjoying these magical days leading up to Christmas.  
There is nothing sweeter than having a small child in the house at Christmas time ... so delightful.  Even a small child who no longer believes in you-know-who (but says he still wants to try.  How sweet is that?)  
Have I told you the story of FinnigantheCurious and the "Santa Talk?"  I'll go back and see if I told you last year.  It is too hilarious, but I really don't have time for my usual blathering.  It's almost midnight and I can barely keep my eyes open, so just a few pictures and hopefully more tomorrow.



 This begat ...



This.  
A rare meat dish.  Rosemary infused chicken and dumplings.  
Cozy and delicious!  
The boy ran screaming from it in horror, but Jackdaddy and I quite enjoyed it.




Booty.  
I never made it to the store to get postal wrap to go with those adorable new tags I bought.  Just dug out last year's wrap and my gift bag stash.  
Oh well, maybe next year I'll "Martha" up the packages.




The world's most awesome advent calendar, if I do say so myself.   
I made it out of matchboxes.  
It's beyond cool, but a total bitch to make.  I really don't recommend attempting one unless you have a little self-punishment thing going on.  
Look at that tiny howling wolf I added to the top this year ... could you die with the cuteness?!




Advent booty.  
Not shown in photo:  Whoopie Cushion, Can of Snakes, Shock Gum, and a battery-operated crawling roach.  (VERY lifelike.  Freaks us all out.)  
Such are the things one puts in an advent calendar for a 7-year-old boy child. 
If the toy doesn't fit in the calendar, I put a little note in there with some directions.  I hide them all over the house and he has to go find them.  He LOVES the days with a note.

I hope you're enjoying the season and not getting all stressed up and out.  I always feel so badly for people who say the holidays are stressful and chaotic.  I don't know why they're not for me, but if they are for you, I wish you a big pot of tea and some cozy socks!  I give you permission to not do it all.  Or any of it, for that damn matter!

Party on, Wayne.

PS  Today is Hanukkah!  Many blessings to all my wonderful Jewish friends.  
Personally, my favorite thing about Hanukkah is watching Adam Sandler sing his famous "Hanukkah Song."  
If you've never ... you MUST:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zigPOkCytoU

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Cat's Meow.

Wanna see something sweet?


Look at Jackdaddy there with FinnigantheCurious in their matching cat masks.
That's what a good Daddy does ... puts on the mask without question and goes on about his business.  Jackdaddy is also an expert cat cave builder ...




Look at that tuckered out little feline on the Brady Bunch couch.  He's got his flashlight at the helm.  
What you can't see is my Kindle (which he has confiscated for his own) and a giant Nerf gun for ... well, who knows?  The gun thing is totally the realm of boys as far as I can tell.  I know plenty of girls who brandish swords, but I haven't met one yet who is really into the gun thing.


I've been dragging him out of the cat cave to play with the new toy that Grandmary brought ...





The coolest little record player on the planet!
He just giggled his heart out after that first song.  
It's such a novelty for him; he can't believe that this is all there used to be.  He's is not enamored of the fact that you cannot jump repeatedly and throw yourself on the floor randomly while near the record player due to the skip threat.  That's a big negative in his book. (Although, I must say, it has not skipped yet!)


And would ya look at this score ...



Jack's sister, Aunt Mimi, had this stack of records (and case!) back from when she was a kid.
Can you believe the coolness of that?  Bobby Sherman, Beatles on the old Apple label, Sinantra, Grand Funk,  The Guess Who, etc., etc..
Oh, and there are also some crazy old storytelling records that you can barely understand.  A very southern woman reciting Jack and the Beanstalk,  Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs - that kind of stuff.  Finnigan was horrified! HAHAHAH.  He was running around with his hands over his ears acting like he was dyyyyying.
Grandmary and I took him to Half-Price Books later and got some "proper" music ... AC/DC. (HA)  Oh, and a Tom Lehrer album for us.   Do you know of Tom Lehrer?  Oh man, I have such distinct childhood memories of laying around on the floor listening to him and Bill Cosby and Flip Wilson.  I love audio comedy.  
I'll probably have to duct tape Finn to the floor to get him to listen to such old-fashioned goodness, but who knows?   He's got a fine sense of silly, that's for sure.  Maybe he'll "get it."




I got my birthday present early too!  Wanna see?







I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this little MCM piece of awesomeness.  It's a cupcake/dessert stand officially, but I've been looking for one forever to use  as a NATURE table.
I just don't have much room in my house for big trays or table top displays, so this is just puuuurfect.
Oh my gosh, I love it soooooooooooooo much.  
Thank you Grandmary!!!


I'll leave you with a little family portrait (sans the picture taker).






Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

More Christmas crap tomorrow ... Yee hawwww!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm melllllting.

The internet is agog over these adorable melting snowman cookies.  Have you heard?  
Oh, they are cuteashell, that's for sure, so we thought we'd give them a try over here at The Wabi-Sabi House...



 Roll a bit.  Eat a bit.  Roll a bit.  Eat a bit. Eat a bit.  Eat a bit.



 Jackdaddy whipping up some frosting.




 HAHAHAH! Aren't they HUHlarious?  Just the funniest damn cookies ever!




This is our Siamese twin cookie.  Finn ate it because it had two marshmallows on top.

The creative genius behind them is a woman named Meghan over at The Decorated Cookie.  (There really should be  a way that she could get compensated because these things have gone completely viral!)
I didn't make her dough because I had heard raves about another cookie dough recipe and I really wanted to try it.  
Normally I am not a big fan of Christmas cookies.  They look good, but usually taste...oh, bland.  
So when a girlfriend swore to me that THESE cookies over at The Kitchn were ta die for, I was mucho feliz to try them.
Oh yea, baby...these are good, good, good sugar cookies.  Really good.  Really, really good. 
(I did not put the almond extract in because I don't like almond flavor in my cookies.  I tripled the lemon zest because I looooooves me some lemon.)   
They. were. delicious.  Thin, but not too crispy...super lemony...not doughy at all.  Our next batch just had sugar on top and oh mah gawd, y'all.  Oink Oink.

Here's the recipe, but do go on over to The Kitchn if you want to read her tips or get the large batch recipe to make a ginourmous amount of them.


Best Cut-Out Sugar Cookies (Small Batch)
about 3 dozen cookies, depending on size
1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for an hour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 ounces cream cheese (1/4 of a standard cream cheese package)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and add the sugar. Cream until light and fluffy. Add the egg, and beat until golden. Add the cream cheese and again beat until well incorporated. Add the flavorings and lemon zest.

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl then add, bit by bit, to the butter/sugar mixture until fully incorporated.

Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.

Heat the oven to 350° F. Divide the dough into smaller balls and roll out 1/4 to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out cookies.

Bake cookies for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness. The small, thinner ones started browning after about 8 minutes, and I didn't want these brown at all. The larger ones had a slight golden bottom after 11 minutes, which was perfect for my purposes.

Let cool before icing or decorating, and store in a tightly covered container.

Grandmary has been here for a few days and somebody opened his presents early.  (Yours truly might have opened one too. Ahem.) (My family is famous for this.  You know, the old - "Eat dessert first because you just never know" theory.)  
We've been having a grand old time playing with our new goodies.  
More on that tomorrow.

Now go and eat your cookies, dammit!

(PS  Do you see an LL Bean ad at the bottom of this post?   Does it show some furry slipper things?  You go buy some right now.  Those are the best things ever made in the history of the Universe.  I mean that.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Today's obsession

Yep, just when you think your Christmas crap is looking really good and swanky, someone sends you a Pinterest link to this ...




 
Rebekah over at A Little Bit of Sunshine recently took "a little time" to make a village of these.  
"A little time" away from her THREE kids under the age of 5.  
I'm am definitely missing something. 
I have one almost-8 year old and there are days that I forget to brush my teeth.  This woman is making snow villages that the entire Internet is agog over.  
She also has a much better camera than I do.
Damn.
Damn her.  I love her.
I think these are my favorite decorations ever.  I'm scrapping the plans I had yesterday to create a little woodland village of trees and critters.  Now I'm going to hit Savers up all year for candy jars and fill my house with these next year.  
One perfectly placed round of Nerf bullets and these things will be toast, but I care not!  I'm going to have them.  Snow village or bust!
LOOK at the preciouness of them.  Dear lord. 
I'm making one now, but it's the masses of them that really makes this so impressive.  
I've got 7 million Mason jars, but it's those cute candy jar tops on these that are killing me.  Killing me.  
So "I Dream of Jeanine."  (Wouldn't Jeannie look sooo cute in one of these jars with her slutty harem outfit topped off with fur muffs and mittens?)

Here are the ones I threw together ... 




Not as cute as hers, but you just wait until next year.   
And who knew Epsom salts look just like snow!!!  When I'm finished with these I'll just dump it all in the tub and reeeeelax. La, la, la.

And as long as I am singing the praises of others, check these out ...




HHAHAHAH aren't they darling? 

People are so clever and good.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Peek

Meowwww.  
Good grief, it's cold here this morning.  Frozen bird baths and stock tanks.  None of us knows what to do with all this icy coldness!  I'm all for just climbing back into bed with some hot chocolate.  Unfortunately, there's a whole houseful of critters who disagree with me.  
And so it goes.

OK, quickie peek into some gifts...

Is that Cat's Pajamas the cutest thing evah?  

It comes as a download and then I printed it onto transfer paper and ironed it on a pillow case for FinnigantheCurious.  He'll get it Christmas Eve with his annual Christmas pajamas (that he never wears ever again other than Christmas morning).  Boys.

A little something for mama too ...



Also from Etsy, some Alexander Henry fabric to make holiday napkins out of.  I wish I had yards and yards of this.  I swear I'd have a full-length skirt made out of it!  I want  curtains! Placemats! 

I got it here:  MY LITTLE RIBBON SHOP

Grandmary is the best gift-buyer ever, ever, and here's what she got Finnigan for Christmas ...




Is that not just soooooo cool?  He's going to LOVE it.  
I went to Half Price Books and rounded up some albums (how fun was that?!).  He loves AC/DC (yea, thanks Jackdaddy), Boston (eek!), The White Stripes, The Arcade Fire and a bunch of other stuff.  I threw in some things I think he should love like Elton John, "Honky Chateau," REM, "Murmur," and, oh, crap, I dunno...I got a bunch of stuff. 

Uncle Roo gets to give the "good" present though.  The one that will et the most use probably ...



Crazy-ass Steam Punk gun from Ebay.  

This is the seller:


And .... Mama's current favorite ...




A beautiful Viking ship mobile from The Wooden Wagon.

Dreamy, huh?

I've got plenty of craftiness going on too, of course, but this is most of the bought stuff plus a few odds and ends here and there.  I got a freaky, fantastic cat cookie jar at Savers.   He'd currently smothered in the back of my car with some other hidden gifts.  I'll rescue him today and show you tomorrow.

What's going under your tree?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Thrift Love

OOOO lawdy, I had to really control ye olde checkbook at Savers the other day.   
Sometimes that Christmas crap just seizes my brain up and makes me buy things that I should not.  
Well, it's not that I shouldn't, per say, it's just that it ... well, you know, it's crap
But it's really adorable Christmas crap!
I left behind a weird elf angel boy, an owl, a crazy Spalding duffel bag (not Christmas, but cool), a super kitschy rabbit couple, and some wacked-out, super hipster, low boots for Jackdaddy that would never see the light of day on him not matter how I pleaded.

Having resisted all that, I decided that this year I "needed" to have lots of mismatched holiday dinnerware.  I love Miss Match on the table anyway, she's just so sassy and wabi-sabi.
I snatched this sweet, old-fashioned set right on UP ...



 
Holly, sweet Holly.  
If I had a baby girl at Christmas time I would name her Winter.  
Or Holly.  
I have a friend who is a Christmas baby and her name is Colleen Noel...isn't that prettypretty?  (She is too!)
Anyway,  Christmas stuff is funny.  There are holly prints that are just godawful and then there are the dainty, precious holly prints.  I got the dainty, precious ones.
So simple, so classic.  I love, love, love them.  Complete with a little gold trim to match my Nana Eileen's china that I have.
Can't you see these with a crisp white tablecloth, the good sterling, and some Holly branches tucked here and there? 
Omg, remind me to show the incredible silver that Jackdaddy's mama gave us when we married.  
Girl, girl, girl.  
Dutch. From the WWII era. Insanely gorgeous.  
I would use it every day if I could. Wear purple and use the good silver.
You know that poem by Jenny Johnson, right?  Warning
OH, well then, we must have a detour.  

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And stain sandals, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And govvle up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railing
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grown more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keeps us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple. 

AMEN, sister! 
Don't you just love that poem? 
(I'm already there for the most part, but there's room for improvement, for sure.)

And now, a treasure!
A treasure for Finnigan!



 



















Isn't that just the dearest thing? 
I'm telling ya, there are few things in the world I love more than sailing ships and maps and compasses and spy glasses.  Something in me just moves when I see this kind of thing.  
A few seconds of peering into this and I am gone, gone, gone to Narnia.

OH, and if anyone asks you what I want on my tombstone (it could happen) you tell them this:

Heigh-ho, I'm off to Narnia at last!

I don't really want to be buried at all, but I might enjoy a tombstone somewhere.  I dunno.  Maybe the cremator could just tattoo it on my ass? 

And, last, but not least, some of these trendy little trees that everyone is all aflutter over ...




I just crammed a bunch of them on my little reddish lamp table thingee and they look soooo sweet.
Now, the ones over there on the left are the trendy ones. 
But, here's a little holiday secret for you.  The ones on the right?  Dollar Tree.  TWO for a dollar.  
Buy them, and some spray snow, and there ya have it!  
Trendy, cute red base be damned!  I like the Dollar Trees ones just as much.  
(Don't bother going to the one on Burnet cuz I bought them all.  Damn me.)
Next year I'm going to buy a gazillion of them and build a little winter wonderland on top of the piano.  Some fuzzy forest creatures from Etsy ... maybe some little knitted mushrooms.  
I'm all farklempt at the thought!!!

OK, and just one more little thing ...
I bought the most beautiful things on Etsy.  Customized gift tags.  Fancy, huh?
I am not really a fancy wrapper kind of person, but beautifully wrapped packages  just slay me, and so I try a little bit harder every year to make mine better.  I love brown postal paper with gift tags and beautiful ribbon.  I saw these and swooooned




I'll keep and use them every year.  Won't that be a lovely memory for him?  These gorgeous tags that convey so much.  I keep going to the site and looking at them over and over again.  LOVE them.


You know what else?  They monogram them for free.  Free!  Isn't that so nice?
Why don't you go look around and see if something tickles your fancy.  
Support an indie artist!

More sneak peeks tomorrow.  Since FinnigantheCurious has his nose buried in the Warriors book series right now, there's very little chance he'll see the blog and I wanna show you some of the stuff I got him. 
Nothing more fun than Christmas shopping for children.  
Maybe, drinking excessively with your best girlfriends at a holiday party, but, other than that ...  haw, haw, haw.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Home, y'all.

Greetings!  We're home!  A little travel weary, but none the worse for the wear... or however you say that.  
I have some proof of our trip for you lest you think I was here on the couch this whole time eating bon-bons and watching All My Children ...



Here we are doing our Holt picture taking thing.  Every time we go somewhere good, we all hop out of the car and take a self-portrait.  
FinnigantheCurious is still young enough to think this is fun.  
Won't be long until he'll use this time to sneak a smoke or call his girlfriend to tell her how miserable he is having to vacation with us.  
But for now...we're golden.

We stopped earlier in Marathon to stretch our legs ...




and hair.  
Isn't that hilarious?
Too bad it was closed...I really want to know what a Big Hair shop is.  
I do, however, know what big hair is.  You should see me in the tent in the mornings.  
Big. Hair.





Silly hotel room picture. 
FinnigantheCurious was on the bed mesmerized by the television.  We don't have "real" TV so as soon as he (and I, admittedly) hit a hotel room it's a battle for control of the remote.  
He won.  
All I like to do is watch the Oprah channel.  All he likes to do is watch the cartoon channels.  
Jackdaddy hates TV.  (I pretend I do too when he's around, but as soon as he goes to putz around outside somewhere I hop on the bed with Finnigan and we veg out.  Hoohaw!)

Here's what we did on Thanksgiving day...






Sat around barefoot on a porch in Terlingua...drinking wine and listening to lots of guitar playing.  
My favorite was this kid (a 20-something) who played guitar so sweetly and whistled right along.  Whistled!  The whole song!
I'm telling ya, I just felt like I was the coolest girl in the world sitting in the desert on Thanksgiving day listening to a whistling minstrel.  Lovely. 
That's my homie there in the white shirt - Danielle.  We went up there to visit her and her man, Don (the park geologist...fancy fancy), and her two adorable, precious, delicious, scrumptious little girls - Addison and Emory.  
We just had the best damn time.  The best damn time.

Did a lot of hiking...





A lot of self-portraiting.  Obviously.
Slept in the tent when it was NINETEEN degrees.  I don't care how much crap you put on or how good it is, NINETEEN degrees is *$&#* COLD. 
I hate to be cold.  
So we bought a pop-up from Danielle.   




Seems a little extreme, but did I mention that it was NINETEEN
No, really, we were thinking about buying before we ever went up there, but that one night in the tent sealed the deal.  
It's old, but it was cheap, and it works just fine ... like me!

One last shot of my beautiful boys for you, and then I'm off to unpack 4,587 pieces of Christmas crap.   
I even bought some new crap at Savers yesterday ... all of which I will be most happy to show you tomorrow!
La, la, la.





Aren't they sweet and good, those boys of mine?

All-righty ... better get your blinders on.  From this point until the new year, it's allll about the holidays, baby:  food, tchotchkes, cute kid stuff, presents, crafting, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

MerryMerry!!