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Friday Five: Holidays 2010

From RevGalBlogPals:

Yes, I know it’s January and yes, I know some of us are still on a cool sprint after only a brief respite (if that) from Advent and Christmas BUT… before we move too far along into The Next, I wanted to give us a chance to reflect on What Was

And so partly to give us all a record and partly to give us all a chance to reflect on the 2010 Holiday Season now that we are out of it, I ask you this:

1) What food item was one of your favorites this year – a definite keeper?
2) Was there a meal or party or a gathering that stands out in your mind from this most recent holiday season?
3) Were you involved in a jaw-dropper gift? Were you the giver or recipient or an on-looker?
4) Was there at least one moment where you experienced true worship?
5) What is at least one thing you want to make sure you do next year?
BONUS: What is something you absolutely must remember to do differently… or not at all!

OR: If you just want to sum it all up in a few words, that will work too.

My Answers:

1. I made gingerbread this season, but made it in a loaf instead of like cookies. It was amazing!

2. While my family celebrated Thanksgiving at my parents house, I stayed home and pumped water out of my basement. It was quite a memorable holiday!

3. My nephew received a really great racecar set and an enormous Lego space-shuttle set. His eyes were as big as saucers when he opened them!

4. Some wonderful and wise women got together to honor the Winter Solstice (the coming of light into the darkness and the promise of Spring) and shared the things we want to release from the old year and the things we want to claim in the New Year. It was a holy and worshipful and uplifting evening.

5. Starting in about October, I want to finish up any remodeling projects, so I make sure I don’t have any big construction/remodeling disasters underway during the holidays!

Meg

1 Thing You Probably Didn’t Know

One of the best things you can do for the environment this gift-giving season is to give gifts that don’t require batteries. Admittedly, this is usually easier if your list has a bunch of adults on it, rather than a list full of children. And, of course, it’s practically impossible to give batteries up entirely. (We still need our smoke alarms, after all!)

However, it’s worth the extra time and effort to find those battery-free gifts. All those batteries (and there are loads of them) end up in a landfill eventually. Even the rechargable ones don’t last forever. And all those discarded batteries are quite the environmental hazzard.

Nearly half of all battery sales occur during this time of year … so let’s see if we can’t trim the number of batteries that wind up in landfills this year.

 

And thus ends our 12 Days of Christmas. Geez! Now I’m not sure what to do next. Hmm. Maybe I’ll take a day off!

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See you then.

Meg

2 Happy Dogs

I suppose the title of this blog could be read to mean two different things: either I’m going to give you two ways to pamper your pooch this Christmas  OR  I have two dogs and they are both quite content. I like to think that both are accurate. (See photo at left for my happy – and quirky – dogs!)

If you’ve got quirky and lovable dogs at home, then check out these ideas for your pets:

1. Doggie Bed made from t-shirt scraps

Yes, this craft is actually for a chair, in the style of those great old bean-bag chairs. (Can you actually call those things “chairs”?) But it occurs to me that this project would be a great way to use old t-shirts, while saving money by avoiding those fancy dog beds with hefty price tags.

2. Homemade Doggie Treats

Yes, it really sounds like spoiling your pup, doesn’t it? But when you think of all the ingredients in those commercial treats AND the cost of those darn things … it almost seems like a no-brainer! Click the link above for an enormous list of doggie treat recipes.

Tomorrow: 1 Thing You Probably Didn’t Know.

See you then.

Meg

4 Treats for Cooks

Click the links for more info, instructions and photos.

4: Recipe Book. Collect some of your favorite recipes and give a gift they’ll love.

3: Homemade vanilla extract: 6 vanilla beans (cut open lengthwise) and 16 oz of vodka go into a glass jar or bottle with an airtight lid for 8 weeks and voila! You’ve got vanilla extract. If you start it now, it won’t be done for Christmas, but you could break the batch into smaller amounts and go ahead and give them away … with a note telling the recipient when it will be ready to use.

2: Infused olive oils or vinegars. I don’t recommend making these yourself unless you’re prepared to learn an awful lot about all-natural preservatives, since the herb and olive oil mix is prone to some serious bacterial invaders while it sits quietly and infuses. I recommend buying these from folks who know what they’re doing. Some suggestions: olive oil infused with basil or lemon or garlic or red pepper or black truffle; or vinegar infused with fig or dark cherry or chili.

1: Rosemary and Garlic Herb Rub. Great for pork, poultry or even fish!

(Photo credits go to the sites I’ve linked to, friends.)

Tomorrow: 3 Gifts for Babies

See you then.

Meg

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