Thursday, November 21, 2013

Don't Give This Recipe to Anyone FUDGE- and Trips to Europe for those who work and save

I just LOVE this image of an angel that spreads glitter and good wishes  (photo taken in Germany) -the passage below is what I am reminded of....
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love -  and good works
Heb 10:24
I love this billboard I took a photo of in Switzerland in 2006. It says that Santa shops at this store...pretty funny.
    So next week is Thanksgiving and I will be on my way to Amsterdam and then Cologne Germany with friends and other people that will hopefully be new friends.
Two years ago when everything was peachy in my life I worked hard to pay for another trip to Germany, Austria and Switzerland to visit the Christmas Markets.
              I had it paid for long ago thanks to quilting classes and saving my money.
Then as you know we found out Mark (my husband was ill). I hoped to sell my ticket which proved difficult as it was last minute and alot of money for one person to come up with all at once. My husband insisted I go and have a lovely time. This is the way he is...thoughtful and generous. In my mind this money could have been better used for a new furnace and water heater but I am spending it on the trip. :0)                                   
                  Mark will be spending Thanksgiving with my kids and we will be having another turkey dinner here on Sunday before I leave. I love getting together with my kids and Grandkids! What a blessing to be able to be together to share in what we are thankful for...mostly each other.
       I am going to take LOTS of photos and enjoy the trip as much as anything I could purchase. Photos last forever  There are some things that are affordable (cheap) and fun. I thought I might share some photos here of what I saw the last time at the Markets in Germany.
     If you are interested here is the trip I will be taking and the itinerary.
     I think it will be very exciting next week as it gets closer. I need a warm undershirt, a warm hat and some warm gloves. I have everything else.
    I am using this trip for more inspiration for workshops, and perhaps a Christmas book or patterns I will be doing next year. I just completed another super Christmas tree quilt , and two wreaths and will be doing a pattern of them for workshops. I have one Christmas tree workshop booked because as soon as the girls saw it, they signed up! If you would be interested in a Christmas tree workshop later next year or the year after, please contact me. I am crazy for Christmas and all of the beautiful things that can symbolize this loving time of the year.
Here are photos from my last trip.
This is sideways but it is the bottom of the roof of a building...amazing. Wouldn't this make an awesome quilt?
This is someone's house
I love angels and this is a church that was simply filled with them...even ones we could not see
This is the Annuciation when the angel Gabriel told Mary she would be having a was so pretty in real life and look at all of the designs in the background
A bakery cool!
VERY folksy and fun!
Handmade holiday chocolates
All colors and all flavors...delisious and melt in your mouth...
It's hard to imagine these are people's homes...I would want all angels outside my house - how about you?
Christmas ornaments! Beauty everywhere you turn
Below is just one of hundreds of booths and they are all different and all filled to the brim with ornaments, hats, candies, wreaths, doo dads etc. I have deleted alot of those photos I am sorry to say so I will be getting more this trip around.
One of the things I loved best about Germany was the beautiful lights that hung and lighted up the streets. I focused alot of parents or grandparents and children and the excitement in their faces. I would love for my Grandchildren to see what I saw when I was little that is in Germany. They have many store front windows with scenes of Santa or family around the tree or elves making toys etc. I remember that when I was small. Now it is to expensive I guess to do what they did back then.
It just adds to the wonder and excitement of Christmas and the Holidays!
Here Santa haulds shoppers here and there and everywhere-darling trolley
Stollen and giner cookies and pepperneuse and candies and cookies and....
The prettiest ornaments ever!
My most favorite below...I did not buy any of these but love the photos
Can you see why it is hard to choose what to buy at the Markets???
Below is someone else's the fruit
The poot man's way of decorating their house (below)
To buy good stuff for Christmas in the US, I adore this quilt has everyone a GOOD shop needs to have including a friendly, happy staff...every one of them! That is the sign of a good shop owner~
 My Aunts "Don't Give This Recipe to ANYONE Fudge -shhhhh don't tell her, this stuff is divine and worth the trouble!
4 cups sugar
4 cups cream
1 cup Karo
1 cup  real butter
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups of walnuts or pecans
2 teaspoons vanilla
Combine sugar, karo butter, chocolate, and 2 cups of cream. Boil 15 minutes, Next slowly add 2 more cups of cream and boil to soft ball stage- 1hour hour or more...worth the time and effort, honest. I stir with a wooden spoon off and on throughout this process. Add Vanilla and then beat until thick. Add nuts and put into a greased pan. Enjoy. People love this fudge!
My Granddaughter's turkey-is there anything more fun than a child's drawing? I don't think so.
This might be a good time to order my Angel Block of the Month to sew for the coming year. it is really fun to embellish and to personalize too

Monday, November 18, 2013


Beauty everywhere that God has left His calling card
NEW NOTE: I just want to say "thank you" to the girls who wrote and commented on my blog. I am so thankful for you and for your sweet comments and knowing you have so much in common with ME. Thank you sincerely.
Mary Lou's Turkey or Chicken Divan

The beauty of this great dish my family loves is that it is great with leftover turkey. I serve this over brown rice but they love it over white rice too. Your choice.

Purchase three good quality frozen chopped broccoli,  (10 oz each)

Take one package of fresh mushrooms (little bin) and slice them up. Pour in some olive oil in a pan and saute them. Yum.
  • 3 or 4 cups Turkey left overs OR 6 chicken breast halves, boneless, skinless (I splurge and buy range free
  • water
  • 1 &1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  •  2   cans   cream of chicken soup, reduced fat
  • 1 & 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  •  4   teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 can chopped and sliced water chestnuts
  • 1& 1/2 teaspoon melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds 
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cook broccoli in microwave. 

Place chicken breasts in a large pan on stove; cover with water and add 1/4 t. salt.   Bring to a boil;  turn heat to medium low and cook 25 minutes until it is not pink in the middle.

Grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole . 
  Drain and  Place broccoli into casserole; Next put in the mushrooms you cooked. Cut chicken into small bite size broccoli and mushrooms with chicken pieces. Combine soup, mayonnaise,curry powder. worstershire, melted butter and lemon juice. Pour over chicken Mix. Sprinkle with cheese and  sliced almonds. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for  45  to 60 minutes.
Serves 8 to 10
Serve with Hot rice, whipped sweet potatoes, fruit salad and hot bread____________________________________________
Now back to thoughts of being Thankful

I am thankful for someone to love
I am thankful for the beauty of Fall Harvest
I am thankful for bright colors
I am thankful for drawings that make me laugh
I am thankful for childhood memories
I am thankful for Christmas decorations -when it is time for Christmas decorations
I am thankful to know that sometimes LESS is MORE
I am thankful for ears that can hear beautiful sounds
I am thankful for quilts that have sentiments and beauty
I am thankful to be able to smile at people and to have someone smile at me. Makes me feel wonderful.
I am thankful for friends who take my story quilt workshops and tell about themselves and who they love.
I am thankful for good hot coffee
I am thankful for things that make me giggle!

I am thankful that my glass is half full!
I am glad that I live in a free country with people who are willing to fight to keep that freedom, thank you to our military
I am thankful that my children, Grandchildren and dear friends are pretty inside first and outside second-Beautiful!
I am thankful that I can put my family into my quilts and they will be left with my memories to last for many years.
I am thankful that I can share FUN cows in this book I did with Mel McFarland and I am thankful for her too.
I am thankful for angels and that I can make pillows with them pictured and positive quotes for people who need a lift!
I am thankful for a clean studio thanks to dear friends who helped me out of the mess I was in! The sewing machins is now set up and buzzing. Thankful for electricity!
I am thankful for my yearly retreat which may be twice this year if I can get the space rented! And I am thankful for Miss Tina who flies up from LA to cook for us!
I am really thankful for the two men in my life. My husband Mark and my son Jason. Both are the nicest men in the world.
And just so I can end this because it could go on forever, I am thankful for peligrino and cute socks!

I made chicken divan, salad and whipped sweet potatoes for my daughters and daughter in law for lunch. Nice to spend time together.
I want to say that I think it is a total shame that they are keeping stores open on Thanksgiving day. That seems so selfish for those shop owners and after all one day will not make a huge difference on cash for them.
Isn't it OK to have ONE day set aside to give Thanks for all that we have here in the US and to be grateful for it? What do we teach our children when we put shopping ahead of family time and being thankful for simple things as well as complicated things.
 A house (shelter), food on our table in in our cupboard, warm shoes or boots, mittens, water that runs when we turn it on, heat that comes on when we are chilly, beds, blankets, electricity, a car or a bike for transportation, friends that we love and love us back, medicine in our cabinets, a telephone, and so many many other things. This is a game I play with my Grandchildren and I would challenge anyone you know to name thirty things that are thankful for that they had not really thought about.
I am thankful for those people who DO NOT SHOP that day, and for people who keep their business's closed. Retail has ruined Christmas and Easter and what it is about, I don't want Thanksgiving ruined too. Holidays are not about THINGS.
They are about much more and what really counts in life. Think about it.
And I am thankful for YOU. Thank you for visiting me here.