Because of a family health issue and the need to travel out of state, we are taking an extended blog break. Comments are off as we know that your well wishes go with us and we appreciate all of them. In return, we wish everyone a wonderful holiday season filled with joy, love, family and friends, however and wherever you will celebrate.
Our collection includes about 50 holiday films and/or classic TV shows on DVD (we upgraded from VHS). We view them from Thanksgiving to New Year's and try to average one per night, but sometimes miss a night so double up other nights. With some classics, we watch the original and the remake. For example, 1947 The Bishop's Wife (Cary Grant, David Niven, Loretta Young) was re-made and re-titled in 1996 as The Preacher's Wife (Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, Courtney B. Vance). Another example is the 1947 and then 1994 versions of Miracle on 34th Street. Our preference is for the vintage B&W film.
Then, there are the weekend movie marathons when we watch several films in sequence, notably the series of Santa comedies with Tim Allen:Santa Clause (1994), Santa Clause 2: The Mrs Clause (2002), Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006). A second marathon is 1990 Home Alone and the 1992 sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Of course, there's numerous versions of the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol of which we have several: 1984 version with George C. Scott, 1998 comedy Scrooged with Bill Murray, 2009 animated film with Jim Carrey, and the 1992 Muppets animation. Then, there are the "unusual" holiday films, like the 1994 Mixed Nuts, with Steve Martin (named one of the worst films ever made). The 1950 The Great Rupert(re-titledA Christmas Wish) with Jimmy Durante featured a dancing squirrel. A 1940 film, Beyond Tomorrow (re-titled Beyond Christmas) is a sentimental tear-jerker. There's also the classic films, we watch everyyear: White Christmas, Holiday Inn, It's a Wonderful Life. Our favorites also include these more recent seasonal romantic-comedies: Love Actually (2003) and The Holiday (2006). How about YOU . . . If you enjoy holiday films, which ones and do you watch them every holiday season? Happy Holiday viewing !
danced in your yard? — they have in ours and in neighborhood yards too.
According to legend,
fairies or pixies often gather at night. Dancing in a circle, wearing down the grass and leaving a
trampled ring of brown or dead grass. A day later, mushrooms spring
up encircling the dance ring. It's been said that since toads sat on the mushrooms, they became referred to as “toadstools.”
Many believed fairies caused this phenomena and called the circles fairy rings, fairy circles, or pixie
A mushroom ring provides
the most obvious evidence of these rings. When "fairy" ring mushrooms first
appear, there are numerous fruiting bodies (mushrooms) that look like small
bulbs on top of long stalks. When mature, mushrooms are large and the bulb expands. The circles are the result of a pattern of mycelium growth. Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus and is the underground organism that produces the reproductive fruit bodies known as
circular growth pattern is a factor of soil type,condition, soil nutrients,
obstructions underground, and dirt composition. The ground needs to be even and
well composed, which is why the rings appear on lawns.
matter that fairy rings break down is often tree stumps, roots, logs, and pieces of organic material in soil below the lawn. As these depletes, the fairy ring(s) disappear.
rings may look together on lawns that were wooded. Yet, they don’t cross
each other; fungal activity stops when fungi from different rings contact each
other. (It seems mushrooms are not as social as they look.)
You can only notice these rings once mushrooms crop up on grassy lawn areas. However, the circular mycelium underground is always present and growing.
Yes, I believe that fairies dance in the rings on our lawn.
And, just wondering . . .
Do you believe it too? ('tis the season for believing)
IF you were wondering about the post title it's because this recipe from the Kraft Foods website underwent some minor major modifications. WHY? Because I didn't fully read the recipe and check that we had all the listed ingredients before actually starting dinner preparations. SO, there were some substitutions made, but the recipe listed below IS the original one from the website should you ever want to try it -- BUT substitutions are always good (especially when you've already started dinner and there's no time to get to the store). The asterisk (*) denotes substituted ingredients, which are noted below. Chicken
1 tub (8 oz.) Philadelphia cream cheese spread *
¾ C plus 2 tbsp. milk, divided *
½ tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in bite-size pieces
Mix cream cheese spread, 2 tbsp. milk and seasoning until blended.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and garlic; cook and stir 6 to 7 min. or until chicken is done. Stir in cream cheese mixture and all remaining ingredients except bacon. Spoon into 1-1/2-qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray. Cover and bake 10 minutes.
Uncover, top with bacon, bake uncovered for 15 minutes.
Modifications * Used 1/2 Philadelphia cream cheese "brick" placed in microwave 30 sec. to soften *Combined2% milk and half & half *Substituted 3-cheese Mexican blend *Used diced pepperoni (will have to buy more for homemade pizza) Except for the ingredient substitutions, all the preparation and cooking steps were followed. Here's the resulting meal. Serve with a tossed salad (if you have any salad fixings available, which we did not) OR insteadsubstitute a glass of wine, which I did.
Grandson Bobby celebrated his 8th birthday this week. It doesn't seems so long ago that we boarded a plane in Norfolk, VA and headed to CA to await his early morning arrival. We will miss this weekend's party in RI, but sent gifts early — and watched them opened by way of a video chat this week. (Technology is wonderful.)
We wish EVERYONE a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, whether you're spending the day dining with family, friends or both.
At this special time, we are thankful for so many blessings — family, friends and YOU, our blogger friends. Thanks for your comments which we always appreciate. If any of you will be traveling on the East Coast to visit family and friends, as we're doing, we hope that all our travels are safe. Wintry weather is predicted for many states, which could make this holiday even more memorable.
No, it's not a misspelling, but, a play on holiday "treats" because this is about decorated Christmas trees.
We've been in NH the past week and took a road trip to the Sticks and Stones Farm in Barnstead, NH, which was hosting its 4th annual Festival of Trees. This event takes place the weekend before Thanksgiving and is a fundraiser for several area organizations through an admission fee.
Farm owners invite local businesses, organizations and individuals to decorate trees that are displayed outdoors on the farm. Visitors vote for their favorites using pennies placed in containers near each tree. Previously, the festival has hosted 50 decorated trees, but far less this year. After judging and the festival's end, decorated trees are donated to families in need. We missed the Friday and Saturday choral groups since we visited on Sunday afternoon, the final day. Still, there was outdoor marshmallow roasting, cookies, cider and hot chocolate treats, and a wagon ride around the farm grounds.
It was a nice way to spend time before Thanksgiving and to contribute towards a worthwhile event.