Saturday, December 24, 2016

But His Tail is Hidden

How to tell a Hairy Woodpecker from a Downy Woodpecker
Size and tail color are two of the biggest clues 
when deciphering these two backyard regulars.
This is a Downy

Wishing everyone the merriest of Christmases
and looking forward to all the Critters in 2017.

Friday, December 23, 2016

In the Midst of it All . . .

remember to pace yourself

we all have our limits

Christmas Reflections
It’s sharing your gifts, not purchasing gifts;
It’s not wrapping presents, its being present
and wrapping your arms around the ones you love;
It’s not getting Christmas cards out on time,
It’s sending any card, anytime, at the right time;

Message of the Christmas Tree: Life Is "Ever Green"St. John Paul II

The message of the Christmas tree, is that life is "ever green" if one gives: not so much material things, but of oneself: in friendship and sincere affection, and fraternal help and forgiveness, in shared time and reciprocal listening.

Joy is the True Gift of Christmas
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

     "Joy is the true gift of Christmas, not the expensive gifts that call for time and money. We can communicate this joy simply: with a smile, a kind gesture, a little help, forgiveness. And the joy we give will certainly come back to us.…Let us pray that this presence of the liberating joy of God shines forth in our lives."

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, christmas tree and indoor  
(two out of seven of the 'Merry' in my Christmas) 
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.

Wishing everyone 
moments of Reflection
the Beauty of 'Evergreen'
Merry Christmas


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Sunrise, Sunset

Thankful for the shortest day of the year signalling the onset of more daylight to come.

A unique sunrise from earlier this week

A stunning sunset last night on the shortest day of the year.

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Light Favorite

With all the delicious pies, cookies and desserts of the season, this one always seems like a lighter alternative which I haven't made in several years.

There are several recipes out there. My version is from Betty Crocker with some variations from time to time.

 The recipe calls for 9x13 pan but I went with layers this year to serve on two occasions. Here are photos of the process. The recipe is at the bottom.

I prefer a fork with larger tines to provide 
a larger reservoir for the jello.

 The jello is prepared with less water than normal.

This is the first time I used whipped cream. 
Now that I know it doesn't hold up as well as Dream Whip
 that won't happen again.

 Garnished with cherries for Christmas red.

Hmm, maybe we'll start with dessert


box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ white cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box
box (4-serving size) Jell-O™ raspberry-flavored gelatin
cup boiling water
cup cold water
container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed (3 cups)
Fresh raspberries, if desired


Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan).

  • Make and bake cake as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan. Cool completely in pan, about 1 hour.
  • Pierce cooled cake all over with fork. In small bowl, stir gelatin and boiling water until smooth; stir in cold water. Pour over cake. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake. Refrigerate 2 hours. Frost with whipped topping; garnish with raspberries. Store covered in refrigerator.

Ruby Tuesday
Pictorial Tuesday
Countdown to Christmas

Crusty Cut-outs

Hmm, mmm