Saturday, January 15, 2011


UPDATE:  If you read the rules of the original giveaway post HERE, then you know that I stated that the winner must respond to the notification email within 48 hours.  Unfortunately, the second place winner has not responded and it has been 3 days since I notified her (I even gave an extra day) so I had no choice but to move Ryan at Wordsmithonia up into second place and I drew another winner for third.  The new 3rd place winner is:

#97 boliyou at endomental blog  Congratulations!

I will email Ryan so he can make his 2 choices from the three remaining and then I will email boliyou with the remaining book she has won. 

I have winners!

There was a total of 100 entries (extra entries included) and I drew the winners at

The first place winner is

#18 Sheery at Sheery's Place
Sheery wins her choice of three books from the group of six

The second place winner is

#81 Alleluialu at Bookend Crossing
Alleluialu wins her choice of two books from the remaining three

The third place winner is

#19 Ryan at Wordsmithonia
Ryan will get the last book (they're all good so it's not a consolation prize...LOL!)

Here are the books again to refresh your memories:

When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke
The Quiet Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott
The Christmas Tree
The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Gift by Nora Roberts

I will email Sheery first and after she has picked her three choices, I will email Alleluialu, and last, but not least, Ryan.


Always in spirit...

Friday, January 7, 2011


Yesterday was Twelfth Night/Epiphany and so officially ended the Christmas season.  The Sharing the Joy event was a great success with all the generous people who helped to contribute guest posts for me this year.  I appreciated it so much and I hope you all enjoyed it.  Sharing the Joy will now be a yearly event and I hope to have even more guests next year.  Also, The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge ended yesterday.  How did you do?  I only managed to read two books...was far too busy with my move to get much reading done.  I will be posting my wrap-up in a couple of days.  If you have a wrap-up, feel free to leave it here in the comments or over at the review linky...just be sure to include wrap-up when you post your link.  I'm still going to try to get by and read some of your reviews and I will check out your wrap-ups.  Just bear with me! Finally, the Sharing the Joy Christmas Book Extravaganza giveaway ended last night at 11:59 pm CT.  I will be drawing the winners in the next couple of days and will post the winners here and notify them by email. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and I wish you much love and prosperity in this shiny new year.  Something I try to do all year long is to keep the Christmas spirit, not only by celebrating Rudolph Day every 25th of the month (come by every month for some Christmas cheer) and throughout the month for Christmas in July, but also in my attitudes and actions towards others.  So I leave you with this song, which I feel sums up the heart of Christmas perfectly....

Don't Save it all for Christmas Day

Don't get so busy that you miss
Giving just a little kiss
To the ones you love
And don't even wait a little while
To give them a little smile
A little is enough

How many people are crying
Some people are dying...
How many people are askin’ for love

Don't save it all for Christmas Day
Find a way
To give a little love everyday

Don't save it all for Christmas Day
Find a way
Cause holidays have come and gone
But love lives on
If you give on

How could you wait another minute
A hug is warmer when you're in it
Oh Baby that's a fact
And saying "I love you's" always better
Seasons, reasons, they don't matter
So don't hold back
How many people in this world
So needful in this world
How many people are praying for love

Don't save it all for Christmas Day
Find a way
To give a little love everyday
Don't save it all for Christmas Day
Find a way
Cause holidays have come and gone
But love lives on
If you give on
Give love…..

Let all the children know
Everywhere that they go
Their whole life long
Let them know love

(Don't save it all for Christmas Day)
Yeah, and give a little love everyday

Don't save it all for Christmas Day
Find a way
Cause holidays have come and gone

Don't save it all for Christmas Day
Find a way
To give a little love everyday

Don't save it all for Christmas Day
Find a way
Cause holidays have come and gone

Always in spirit...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Christmas is over, but winter is in full swing.  Why not make a pretty winter-themed wreath to hang on your door until spring?  Here's how:

Just one example of what your wreath could look like. 
Picture from
 Things You'll Need:

Grapevine wreath
Spray-on adhesive
Winter adornments
Hot glue

Difficulty: Easy

  1. Purchase a grapevine wreath in the size you desire. Grapevine wreaths are made from the dried branches of a grapevine and they readily available at most craft stores.
  2. Give your winter a wreath some winter pizazz. Spray the wreath with a can of spray-on adhesive (also available at most craft stores). Immediately after coating the wreath in the adhesive, sprinkle the wreath with a winter looking mix of glitter--use various colors of blue, white and silver. Follow the recommendations of the adhesive manufacturer to let the adhesive completely dry.
  3. Shake the wreath over the garbage can to let any loose glitter fall from the wreath. This initial shaking will eliminate the bulk of the excess, but expect that the wreath will periodically shed more of its glitter when bumped with a door or by a person who brushes against it.
  4. Adorn the wreath with your favorite winter accents. Depending on the type of adornments you use, you can attach them to your wreath with wire or a hot glue gun. To ensure the correct placement of your decorations, lay the wreath on a flat surface and position the decorating items in the places you think you will permanently install them. Stand back a bit and make sure you are happy with the overall look before following through with the wire or hot glue.
  5. Attach a piece of wire to the back of the wreath for hanging. Double or even triple the wire to be sure it can support the weight of your wreath. If the wreath seems excessively heavy you'll need to use heavy duty wire to hang.
  6. Hang your winter wreath on a door or in an entryway to help you enjoy a festive feeling throughout the winter.
--from eHow


There is only one more day to enter the Christmas Book Extravaganza giveaway.  Entries will be accepted until tomorrow night, 1/6/11, at 11:59 pm CT.  Go HERE to enter.  Good luck!

Always in spirit....

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Curl up with a cup of this delightful hot drink and enjoy this lovely winter poem.

Apple Raspberry Spiced Cider
by Stella Zedman (featured at kaboose)

2 quarts (2 L) sweet apple cider
1 can (12-oz/355-mL) frozen raspberry cocktail concentrate, thawed
1 or 2 whole cinnamon sticks, broken in half
2 cups (500 mL) frozen raspberries

Cooking Instructions:
In a saucepan, stir together apple cider, raspberry cocktail concentrate and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in raspberries and serve directly from the saucepan or transfer to a Crock-Pot to keep warm.

Servings: 8 to 10

I probably would not be making this for a party, but would store it in the fridge and heat it up in the microwave in individual cups.  This would probably keep in the fridge for one to two weeks, if not more.

King Winter
Author Anonymous

The sky is dull and grey,
Piercing and chill the blast,
Each step resounds on the frosty ground,
Winter is come at last.

* * * * *

Mamma sits by the fire
Her little ones round her knees.
"How cosy we are, Mamma," they cry,
"Tell us something, if you please."

"Tell us about King Winter,
And about Jack Frost, his man;
We'll not be noisy or naughty at all,
But as good as ever we can."

* * * * *

"Well then;" says mamma, "you, Jenny,
May knit and listen, my dear;
And Johnny may split up wood, to make
The fire burn bright and clear."

King Winter dwells in the North;
Far away in the Frozen Zone,
In a palace of snow he holds his court,
And sits on an icy throne.

* * * * *

He has cushions of course: his Queen
Made them out of her wedding gown.
Stuffing them well with snowflakes fine,
And soft as eiderdown.

The King has a trusty servant,
Jack Frost is his name; his nose
Is raspberry red, his beard is white,
And stiff as a crutch it grows.

* * * * *

Old Jack is a sturdy good fellow,
And serves their Majesties well;
He's here and he's there, and he's everywhere,
And does more than I can tell.

Each year, as the day comes round,
The king and his royal train
Set off on a tour through the wide wide world,
And sweep over mountain and plain.

* * * * *

His Majesty fails not to visit
Every clime that's not too hot,
To look in upon both high and low,
From the palace down to the cot.

Jack Frost has a busy time then,
But he's helped and advised by the Queen,
That all may be right when the King goes forth,
And everything fit to be seen.

* * * * *

That the King may have pleasant travel,
And no stone hurt his royal toe,
Her Majesty spreads all over the earth,
A carpet of downy snow.

Fine mirrors the King delights in:
None are finer than Jack can make:
And in matchless sheets of crystal clear
He lays them on river and lake.

* * * * *

The trees, all naked and drear,
He robes in the purest white,
And with icicles shining with rainbow hues,
He makes their branches bright.

And for want of buds and blossoms
To strew in his Majesty's way,
With magic flowers of his own device
He makes the windows gay.

* * * * *

These wonders wrought in a single night
May well excite surprise;
Amazed is the sun when he gets up at dawn,
And he stares with all his eyes.

Then out come all the boys and girls,
Jack's handiwork to view,
And their noses and cheeks turn red with cold,
Some of them even turn blue.

* * * * *

They pelt each other with snow,
Roll it up in a mighty ball,
And shout and laugh and scamper about,
And heels over head they fall.

They make a huge man of snow,
As grand as a Russian Czar,
A wooden sword in his hand, in his mouth,
A carrot to serve for cigar.

* * * * *

His eyes, his hair, and his beard,
They paint as black as my shoe
With burnt stick, but they spoil his nose,
For they stick it rather askew.

Then what do you think? For a cockshot
They take him; they pelt him and hit;
They knock of the snowman's ears and nose,
But he does not mind it a bit.

* * * * *

Hurrah! for the good thick ice.
Oh! isn't it jolly? They slide,
They skate, and in sleighs so fine they go,
And swift as the wind they glide.

King Winter laughs at the sport,
Cries "Bravo!" and claps his hands,
And calling in haste for his man, Jack Frost,
He gives him these commands:

* * * * *

"Go see the papas and mammas,
And bring me word what they say:
Have the children been good and well behaved,
Since last I came this way?"

The King trims Christmas trees,
To give to good girls and boys,
With tapers and trinkets of silver and gold,
And all sorts of dainties and toys.

* * * * *

The Queen cuts twigs of birch,
Of birch so supple and keen,
And daintily ties them up into rods
The finest that ever were seen.

Soon with this word to the King
Jack Frost comes back at a trot:
"Good have most of the children been,
But some of them have not."

* * * * *

The King gives him the pretty trees,
The Queen the rods so smart,
And away goes Jack again with his load,
Till every house has its part.

Cakes, mince-pies nuts and apples,
Good children get from the King.
You can guess what the naughty get,
The rods are the only thing.

* * * * *

"Oh dear mamma," cries Jenny,
"Johnny's been good, and so have I!
Pray tell Jack Frost we don't want the rod,
Oh! do ask him to put it by."

Mamma smiles on her darlings,
They run to her, kiss her, and say:
"How long do you think will it be, Mamma,
Ere King Winter goes away?"

* * * * *

"He will lay upon Baby's cradle
The snowdrops that early come forth;
And then, my dears, he will bid us good bye
And go back to his home in the North."

Always in spirit...