“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It Goes On.”
Robert Frost

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year Greeting...

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from cradle to the grave, is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress.
       Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Seeing Stars...

Seeing Stars
Only in the darkness do we see the stars; and when 
the night is darkest, stars shine most brightly.

It was the darkness of their times that made it possible 
for the wise men to follow the star to the manger of Bethlehem 
where they found Christ. Wise men of every age learn how to use darkness to find the Light, and the gloomiest times to find God.
from Seeing Stars, by Harold E. Kohn


Star fish

Star Hunting At Loveland Pass


Friday, December 23, 2011

It's Almost Christmas!

Can you feel the anticipation? 
These special moments and celebrations are what we humans are all about. We love the ceremony and the traditions that connect us to the past and pull us into the future. So here we are on the threshold of another Christmas and then another new year. I hope we can all savor and enjoy this precious time with family and friends as the year comes to a close. 

I'm sharing just a few more pictures of some of my favorite
Christmas images and some from Flickr friends.

Thank you dear readers for following me along this first year.

Vintage pink christmas ornaments


Through a Looking Glass

Vintage Pointy Hat Santa Christmas Card 1959

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Fabulous New Year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

While You Were Sleeping, Winter Arrived

The season is officially winter now. Winter crept in during the night and now our day light will start increasing again. Here in the northern climes it starts to get dark at 4:30 in the afternoon. It actually doesn't seem like winter yet, no real snow and still warm enough to walk to the mailbox without a coat. We had a few snow flakes today and my spirits lifted for a moment as I saw them drifting down. It didn't last and the brown ground is all around. I stole that rhyme from our local weather guy. Everyone is a little sad. We love snow here, people are flocking to the local ski slopes here where they make their own snow. Last year we had more snow than we knew what to do with. I mean literally, we were running out of room to put snow! Now we've got nothing! So what do we do? Dream a little and think about those past winter's when we had an abundance of the fluffy white stuff. Like the pictures below. Doesn't that look beautiful! Yes, I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Time

We are in the final week before Christmas. Let's look at some of 
these lovely images.

Christmas Fawn

Postcrossing US-2009127


Sweetly Singing O're the Plains...25 Days of Christmas~Day 3

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Family Photo

The Christmas Bears
Decked out for the Holidays!

Daddy Bear, Chubby Cubby, Mommy Bear

....and for more casual times....

Mommy Bear with Sunflowers

Daddy Bear with Fishing Pole and Fish

Some day if I ever get caught up, I will finish some of my other paper mache projects!

Linking with Tina's PicStory TWW

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Bells of Christmas...

The significance of bells at Christmas.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many bells at Christmas time? Bell ringing arose from ancient roots.  Ringing bells can be traced back to some pagan winter festivals.  Bells and other noisemakers were thought to scare away evil spirits in the dark, long, winter nights.  Bells were often used as a warning of some impending threat or to gather people together. 

Some lovely Silver Bells

Bells adorn many cards both vintage and modern.

People began to have so much fun ringing bells they were incorporated into many other events.  They began ringing them to announce the coming of an activity, event or special occasion. They ring for good times and bad.  Bells ring out announcements  for weddings, births and deaths.  The bells became a standard method of communication and are almost always found in churches.

Church bells began to be used during Christmas to announce the arrival of the season and to proclaim the birth of Christ. The cheerful tones of bells blended well  with the music and sounds of the holiday season.  We still enjoy bells today and they play an important and traditional role during the holidays. Here are a few bells from my collection and a few I found on Pinterest. Enjoy!

Don't you all love the sound of jingle bells at Christmas? I know I do!

For Louise, in Memory of Mr. White.

Bells were often used as a warning and here is one for you. If you have pets, please read the post here about antifreeze poisoning. It is most prevalent at this time of year. This is a sad post, but there are links to vital information for pet lovers.

This looks like such a cozy spot. I would love to walk right into this picture and 
settle in next to the fireplace!

I hope you enjoyed visiting today and learned a little about the meaning of bells in our lives. Remember in the movie "A Wonderful Life", the little girls says something like, "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets their wings." Well at Christmas time there must be many angels getting their wings! I think we can always use a few more angels. What do you think?

~ Joyful Greetings ~ Diane

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Swedish Cheesecake also known as...

Ostakaka or Osta Kaka. Which in Swedish means Osta (cheese) Kaka (cake or cookie). This recipe was given to me by my Aunt who many years ago, lived in a Swedish community (Lindsborg Kansas) where she obtained the recipe. This a favorite Christmas dessert with it's festive color and delicate flavor. Who knew when I grew up I would marry into a Swedish family!

This dessert is easy to make and most of the ingredients are probably already in your kitchen. All but one - you may not have lingonberries. They are a staple here in Minnesota and I always have a couple of jars of lingonberry preserves on hand. They are also delicious on pancakes and waffles. You must not make this dessert unless you find the lingonberry preserves, otherwise you will be disappointed and we don't want that. The cheesecake is a very simple recipe and it really needs it's crowning glory of lingonberries and whipped cream.

24 ounces cottage cheese, 2% fat
4 whole eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups half and half
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash nutmeg or cardamom

1.    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly oil or butter a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

2.    In a large mixing bowl by hand, beat the eggs. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.  Pour into
       a prepared baking dish.

3.    Bake at 325 degrees for approximately an hour. Test by inserting a knife in the middle,
       the blade should come out clean. This is similar to a custard. Cool.

4.    Spoon into serving dish and top with Lingonberry Preserves and whipped cream.

                Really not much to look at
                   in it's unadorned state.

Lingonberry Preserves are a must for this dessert. These are from IKEA. I f you don't happen to live near one try your local grocers. There are several brands of lingonberry preserves available, look for them in the gourmet food section of you grocery store.

Lingonberries are in the same family as cranberries. They are smaller in size and somewhat sweeter with a mild peppery bite.

Top your dessert with some whipped cream and you will be as happy as a bird in the morning!

Linked with Tina's PicStory in the kitchen

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Christmas Animals...

Animals are a large part of the Christmas story. Here are a few images of some of my favorites. I also found a wonderful message with more information about animals and our spiritual relationship with them. Please click on the link below if you would like to read the entire message from Pastor Pease.

The following is an excerpt from CHRISTMAS ANIMALS based on Luke 2:1-20
By Pastor Glenn Pease

The famous nativity scenes through the ages include the ox, donkey, sheep, camels, 
and often the dove. One of our most famous Christmas hymns, Away In A Manger, says, 
"The cattle are lowing the poor baby wakes but little Lord Jesus no crying He makes."

The emphasis on animals in the birth scene is not part of our contemporary life-style because the majority of people no longer live with animals. Back in the 12th century when everybody had a daily contact with their farm animals, they sang songs that stressed the role of the friendly beast in Christmas. They sang,

Jesus our brother kind and good
Was humbly born in a stable rude
And the friendly beasts around Him stood.

This song, sung over 800 years ago by Christians, reveals just how carefully they had thought
through the role of animals in the Christmas story. They had each animal tell of what they

Thus every beast by some good spell
In the stable dark was glad to tell
Of the gift He gave Immanuel.
I said the donkey shaggy and brown
Carried his mother uphill and down
I carried her safely to Bethlehem town.
I said the cow all white and red
Gave her my manger for His bed.
I gave Him my hay to pillow His head.
I said the sheep with curly horn
Gave Him my wool for His blanket warm.
He wore my coat on Christmas morn.
I said the dove, from the rafters high,
I cooed Him to sleep that He should not cry.
We cooed Him to sleep, my mate and I.
I said the camel yellow and black
Over the desert upon my back.
I brought Him a gift in the wise man's pack.

"Beneath The Snow Encumbered Branches" 1903 Joseph Farquharson
The painting above is my most favorite winter art work. I have this print hanging in my dining room. Read more about the original painting  here.

Thank you for stopping to visit. ~ Diane

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A New Twist on Old Vintage...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. We have a little snow, the temperatures 
are dropping. The shopping has started. The house is getting decorated and everything
is getting a new shiny bright look.

But what if you are this poor little guy?

He looks kind of sad without his tail. Unless you are a Manx cat (those tail-less cats), you are probably pretty proud of your tail. So I felt bad for this little guy, everything else this time of year is getting decorated and then I thought about how I could fix him up for the season and help him fit in for the holiday.

Let me give you a little information on this guy. Here is a very cute red cactus cat planter that was made circa the 1940's, possibly Morton Pottery or Hull. The cat planter was made to hold a cactus plant that forms the tail of the cat when the cactus plant is grown.The cat measures 2 1/4" tall and is 4 1/2" long.The cat is in very good condition and still retains a bit of paint on his eyes and mouth.

I gave him a tail!

Not just any tail, a Christmas tree tail. 
A tail with bright shiny decorations! A tail he can be proud of!

 I took a bit of floral foam and cut it to fit the opening. Then decorated a sisal bottle brush tree with beads. I glued the tree into the foam and let it dry. Then inserted the tree into the cactus (tail) opening and there you have it. A cute little vintage cat with a bright shiny new tail. The tree is removable so when the holidays are over something else can be put in it's place. 

He looks very pleased with himself now, don't you think?

Linked with: 2805 Potpourri Friday