Tea Cakes and Sugar Plum Fairies

I am trying to perfect tea cakes.  I have my great grandmother’s “recipe”. Really a set of instructions that she tried to put measurements to when relaying it to my aunt.  I have the dough down pretty well.  I need to survey some of my older relatives to get more information.  How thin is “really thin” and were they soft or crisp when cooled? 

I made a variation of the dough this past weekend.  I substituted eggnog for the milk, increased the vanilla a bit and added a good spoonful of nutmeg.  They have a subtle flavor Rock and I like.  I think our son will like them.  He is a fan of eggnog.

At the antique mall, the older duchess found a Sugar Plum Fairy Barbie doll.  It wasn’t complete, but when I explained to her why, she seemed to understand.  We got it and after we got home, I pulled up a video of the Bolshoi Ballet performing the Sugar Plum dance.  She danced her doll around while listening and partly watching.  Maybe in a couple years both of the duchesses will be ready to sit through a production of The Nutcracker Ballet.  I have wonderful memories of my mother, the children and me dressing up and attending the ballet in Beaumont at the Julie Rogers Theater.  My niece danced in it as a child, too.

I am keeping Christmas music playing and when on the road in the evenings, I am looking out for Christmas lights.  The tree is up and the handful of decorations I use are put out.  Each year there is some variation of what I do.  Every year I use deer antlers in the dining table centerpiece because Rock likes them. And I want to do things he likes.  I change the details around them.  Sometimes I get carried away and we are pushing the centerpiece out of our dinner plates.  Oh, well…………

I haven’t been Christmas shopping, yet.  I have a couple of things I picked up along the way. I suppose sometime this week I should get busy.  I seem to wait later every year.  I told my bunch I don’t want anything wrapped up under the tree.  I have some projects around the house I would like for them to do instead. 

Ten days and counting down to Christmas Eve.  I really had better get myself busy.  A lot to do for our family gathering.  I am already busy enjoying this special time of the year. A gathering with friends for dinner, special moments during Sunday morning services, music, lights, decorations, Duchesses.  The younger one will be here this weekend.  We’ll see what she finds to explore for the season.  Yep, I’m already busy!

Good Busy-ness

I didn’t post last week.  I was too tired and too late getting home from Liberty. I had gone to our daughter’s Monday and spent the night.  We finished up moving her housekeeping to her new house. 

I never could have imagined how quiet a room could be right in the middle of town.  The front bedroom was painfully quiet.  I had trouble going to sleep.  I did finally get to sleep only to be awakened by the train whistle about 3 AM or so.  Several trains passed through.  I was sure they must be going through the next room! They aren’t as loud in other parts of the house.  Something about the location and windows and lack of other noise along with it being unfamiliar to me made them sound terribly loud. 

Duchess was asleep in the bed with me.  She never moved. She has been hearing trains for years. Not as close or as loud, but still more familiar.  My niece lives within hearing of a train and I would hear it all night when I stayed with her.  Something about that sound awakens me.

We spent Thanksgiving with another couple whose grown children were at other places.  Our son and his bride and Duchess were partying with Mickey and Minnie and Elsa in Florida.  Our daughter and I decided to wait till they could be here to all have dinner together.  Our son will be away after all.  But we still want to get the Duchesses together for some turkey and yeast bread and green bean casserole. 

Our daughter, two friends and Duchess and I went to the Renaissance Festival Friday.  I always hope it will be less crowded.  Shouldn’t all those people be shopping? It seemed to be even more crowded than the Saturday we went in October.  I think the last time I went on Black Friday it was super crowded, too.

Weekend before last, our daughter and Duchess came and spent the night so daughter could go hunt with her Daddy.  Some friends came and brought some heifers back to us. We had gumbo and a good visit. 

This past Sunday evening, my friend brought her dress over so we could hem it.  It is a gorgeous navy lace encrusted with sequins and beads.  She is wearing it for her son’s wedding.  We will be attending the event and I can’t wait to see her all decked out in it.

I hope Rock and I get a good photograph of us, too.  We don’t have many pictures of each other and even fewer of us together.  We will be dressed up some and it would be a good opportunity. 

Busy.  In the best possible way.  Spending time with our children and friends.  We will see some family this weekend, too.  Big brother turning the big 6-0.  Older Duchess having a party for the big 5.  And Christmas coming up fast.  Busy and trying to be careful to savor the moments. 

An old photo. Seven years ago. I was someplace special with Rock.