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

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Twinkly Lights in Duluth

Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas! Ours was nice and quiet this year. I wanted to share some more Christmas magic with you today.  Last weekend we were able to visit Duluth and check out their amazing Christmas Holiday light display.  Even though I've lived in Minnesota for over 15 years, I'm still learning about this beautiful state and was thrilled to find out about this wonderful Christmas display.  This is a must see!

Bentleyville "Tour of Lights" is America's largest free walk through lighting display, located in Duluth, Minnesota, that runs from November 21 to December 27. Bentleyville is set up in Bayfront Festival Park. Bentleyville has volunteers work year round to set up this beautiful attraction.

Here are a few of the photos I'd like to share.

The dogs were one of my favorites, the lights flash and it appears their legs are moving... check out the video below and you'll see them!



The lights reflecting off the snow made this picture turn out so pretty!








I even found a great video with narration of how the light display all started.  It's a great video,  ( I'm not related or in any way associated with the guy making the video, just thought it was good).

Hope you enjoyed this little walk through the festive lights!
There was just enough snow on the ground to really bring out that Christmas feel that we are so accustomed to here in the north-land!

See you in the New Year!
~~ Diane ~~

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Holly Boy Revisited


"Making others happy makes us happy." 
~ The Holly Boy

A couple of years ago I wrote about a book from the 1950's I'd found called "The Holly Boy".  I just received an email with more information about the book and updated the original post.

Please visit the post here and read more about the charming "Holly Boy"!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
~~ Diane ~~

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Gingerbread Dreams

After all these years, I still love visiting Pinterest to see what kind of outlandishly beautiful things people are posting.  I was pulled in again this past week by some images of incredible Gingerbread House designs.

I think this was all brought on because I have been watching some of the Baking Challenges on TV over the past few weeks.  Anyway, as I started looking at a few of these, I was captured by the pure fantasy and artistry of it all.  I think I would love to just step into one of these magical worlds for a little while.  Hope you enjoy them too!

 pretty little gingerbread cabin, complete with darling red brick chimney and matching red door:

Click on the photos to find the pins or visit my Christmas Pinterest board here.

Snowy Gingerbread House.:

NEW - A Delicious & Sturdy Gluten Free Gingerbread House Recipe - http://glutenfreerecipebox.com/gluten-free-gingerbread-house-recipe/ #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes:

Amazing Traditional Christmas Gingerbread Houses

Tiny Gingerbread House. You could make it with graham crackers

This may be the most adorable gingerbread house I've ever seen!


Yay, whimsy! And the snow drift by the door is so clever.:

Tikkido - Snowy Gingerbread Cottage:

 A Very Fairy Gingerbread House | Will Cook For Friends

How to Make Royal Icing for Gingerbread Houses {Video}

Swedish Gingerbread House Tutorial {click link for FULL tutorial}  includes templates & recipe! http://thecakebar.tumblr.com/post/69436372954/swedish-gingerbread-house-tutorial-click-link-for #martha #stewart:

If any of you want to give it a try, I've included this pin that includes a tutorial.

For gingerbread house.:

...... And what's a Gingerbread House without some fun little friends!

Very cute idea to do with the kids! (Nice change from decorating a gingerbread house or nice addition to one!) 828885_bear-closeup.jpg (400×450):  

I've made decorated cookies (it's been awhile), but I've never actually made a gingerbread house from scratch.  How about any of you? Every tried your hand at one of these?

~~~~~~~~~~~ Diane ~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Christmas Time is Here!

How is it even possible that Christmas is almost here again? Seems like just a few months ago I took down the tree!  But it's coming 'round again, so ready or not, here it is!

I think the hardest part is getting my mindset working,  but we now have a bit of snow, which helps it seem more like Christmas to me. I put the wreath on the door, but so far that's as far as I've gotten for decorations!  Better get cracking!!

But first, I need to set the mood with some music and maybe some holiday baking! Then I'll be ready to decorate.

 Cranberry Scones Ready for the Oven

 Cream Scones

2 cups flour, plus extra for the counter
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, cold
1 cup heavy cream

1.    Heat the oven to 375 degrees.  In large bowl mix the dry ingredients together.  Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with a few slightly larger lumps.  Mix in any extras at this time, (see variations) Stir in the cream until dough forms, about 30 seconds.

2.    Turn the dough and any floury bits out onto a floured board and knead a couple of times to form a ball.  Place the dough on a baking sheet and press the dough down into a slightly flattened dome shape about 8 inches around.  Sprinkle the top with sugar and cinnamon if desired. Cut through the disc into 6 to 8 wedges. Do not move the dough.

3.    Bake for 20-22 minutes until slightly golden around edges.

4.    Variations:  Stir in approximately 1/2 - 3/4 cup of currants, raisins or other dried fruits.  Lemon zest or crystallized ginger are also nice additions.  If using fresh fruit such as cranberries, raspberries or blueberries be careful when mixing to not crush the fruit.

 Here are the finished scones, topped with a drizzle of vanilla icing....

So, I've got to run right now but I'll be back and checking on all of you to see what you've been doing lately!

Have a wonderful week! I'll see you soon!
~~ Diane ~~

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Thankful Heart

Here we are again over half-way through November! As we age time seems to speed up and the days fly by like the leaves in the wind!  We are in a rainy spell here up north and it seems to match the mood I've been in as I reflect on some of the sad events in the past few days.  I won't go into details, you all know what I'm talking about, but let's just say the world needs a very large group hug.

As I was thinking about what I wanted to write today, I decided on finding a few things that I am thankful for and focusing on them this Thanksgiving season.  One thing I am thankful for is my family, not just my closest living relatives, but some of my ancestors from many decades ago that have somehow helped to shape my being today.

One of which is an ancestry that includes a small bit of Native American heritage.  I've never delved much into that side of the family, but there was talk about this relationship to a Native American tribe, but it was covered up for many years and unless someone has DNA testing, it will probably never be solved.  You see, back then the only living relative that knew for sure, was asked about it and did not deny the relationship, but would not give any explanations about how it came about to the relative that was doing a genealogy study.  It's possible even he did not know the full story. So the questions go unanswered.

I see the physical resemblance on my mothers side of the family though, and when I heard about this, it all made sense.  Her beautiful dark hair and somewhat darker complexion was evident, even to me as a young girl. When I started wearing makeup, I noticed that her base makeup was so much darker than mine and I thought that to be a bit curious.  The rest of my genealogy has loads of English, Scottish and a wee bit of Danish thrown in too, so I ended up with a light complexion and dish-water blond hair!  Oh how I wanted lovely wavy dark hair like my mother when I was young! She had dark eye lashes and brows and I always thought how lucky she was to have these pretty features. My mother never knew about her possible Native American connection, she passed away before my cousin started doing the genealogy study.

So, I'm thankful that I know about this bit of past history in my family and even though at this time, I don't know which Native tribe I am linked with, it has given me a different perspective of who I am. The more I've learned about the Native American tribes in this country, the more I admire and respect them for their incredible wisdom.

Here is one example...

"Warriors are not what you think of as warriors. The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another life. The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who can not provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity."                                                                                                     ~Sitting Bull

On a lighter note here are a few more things I'm Thankful for!

This just in.... Coffee Extends Your Life!!

"In our study, we found people who drank three to five cups of coffee per day had about a 15 percent lower [risk of premature] mortality compared to people who didn't drink coffee," says one of the study authors, nutrition researcher Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health. Decaf drinkers also saw benefits.  (source)

I love my coffee!

Animals, Wildlife and the Beauty of our Natural World....

I love watching the funny chipmunks!

Bees and Flowers... a perfect combination. 
It's like they were made for each other! 
Oh right, they were!

Dot... one of my goofy cats, she teaches us to relax.  While we were cleaning out our garden storage shed, she was using the ropes as a headrest whilst she took a nap!

Look Up!.....   Sugar Maple Leaves and gorgeous blue sky!

                 Look Down!....   

Duck foot prints in the soil! You never know what you may find!

Look through the leaves and see the glimmer of the shining sun!

Do you get up early and watch the sunrise? Maybe sunsets are your thing!
The photo below was taken at sunrise from my 
living room window just this week!

Most of you know I love music.....
it's playing right now... 
I'm very thankful for all of these things.

I'm especially thankful for all of you that stop in and visit! 
 I will be visiting you all very soon! 
~ Diane ~ 

What you are thankful for?