Four more pounds gone for a total of 51 in the past 2 years or so. Gee, I can live like this!

Love vegetables.
Eat lots of eggs.
I was literally shocked upon going to Dr. Stoltz for an appointment last week and finding I weighted several pounds less than I had thought fully clothed!  So I continue on the 4 Hour Body!  Staying away from eating things that are white and drinking no calories!  Except of course once a week when I have anything I want. 

Love apple pie!
Usually I make a dessert that day and have potatoes or mac and cheese.  It has become second nature to me now.  Not a struggle at all.  I continue on happily!

Christmas Preperations, & Dec. Birthday Dinner!

Christmas village
Antique finished Nativity
It is hard to imagine so much has happened since Thanksgiving week.  The passing of our beloved brother-in law and the devastating illness that has befallen Grandma Powell has as it challenged us and strengthened us in our resolve and in our faith.  I have not posted simply because there has been no time. But today I am pausing to share out birthday dinner yesterday for our sons Mike and Joel.  And to share a few special decorations made by Grandma Powell that have graced our home for many years.

Joel blows out the candles for his 40th three layer chocolate cake.
Mike blows out candles for his 44th Angel Food Cake.
The boys requested BBQ for their joint birthday dinner yesterday and I made and sent home with each of them their favorite birthday cakes.

Our beautiful granddaughters dress up every occasion and we loves their bright smiles!

The Christmas cactus is in full bloom and that too lifts my spirits!  Will soon plant the Ameryllis bulbs and start some baking for the big day!


Christmas Gift, Tablecloth Finished

With Love in Every Thread
This has been a labor of love and I am happy with the end result I think....never really sure it could not have been a little better.  But that is just me!  It is really pretty though and I would love it on my table so that is as good as it can be I think?

After stitching I did the final pressing.
To make the finished edge I ran a line of straight stitching  3/8" all the way around from the trimmed cut raw edge.  Next I used a hot steam iron and folded the edge under to the wrong side just above the stitching so it does not show on the right side of the finished tablecloth.  Then fold again and press.  Using dressmaker pins I pinned every 12" or thereabouts except the corners which I pinned more closely to ease them.  The final step was to stitch 1/4" from the folded edge of the tablecloth and do the final pressing.  NOTE:  It is really important to watch the tension of the sewing machine as you do this as you will not have attractive stitching.

Nothing left but to wrap it up and deliver!  Then on to my next project!


Cutting the corners of THE CHRISTMAS TABLECLOTH.

Well after my pondering was through this morning I did it.  Snip, snip, snip!  I found on an edge it is a Hallmark Fabric.  Whatever that may mean!

First I folded right side in down the length of the fabric and pinned the edges straightening to the very best of my ability!  Then I folded in half cross ways lining up all four corners.  Nest I trimmed a bit as to even things up.

Now for my biggest platter!  The big one the girls fired for me as a special gift!  Perfect as the template for a big easy curve!

And then to mark oh so carefully!  Instead of the Tailor's chalk (they were out of dark) I had to buy a fabric marking pin that becomes invisible with heat.

Then the cutting is done and I am ready to sew tomorrow!

Mother's E-Z Cookies. All of the grandchildren ask my Mom for these at Christmas time! Just thought I would share this busy season!

These "snow capped" drop cookies are a family favorite.
My Mom has made these for years and years and are one of her "go-to" recipes that are requested by young and old alike!  They would work for lots of occasions besides Christmas but I need to get into the grove so I am starting with these now.  Poor Katie hasn't had a homemade cookie for ages when I pick her up at school.  Bad Grandma!

The colored candy sprinkles give a festive look and taste great too.
Ingredients for E-Z Cookies:

1 boxed cake mix "Funfruiti, Party Rainbow Chip"  (The white cake with the colored sprinkles in the mix.)
1 thawed box of Cool Whip, 8 ounce size
1 egg
powdered sugar for rolling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When taken from the oven they should be puffed and set but not browned.
Combine the first 3 ingredients until well mixed.  Drop by teaspoons full into a dish of powdered sugar and roll them around to coat well.  Place onto an un-greased baking sheet.  Leave 2" between the balls of dough.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Yield 28 cookies.   Cool, serve, and enjoy!

This is my 1,000th post.  What fun it had been.  Thank you all for visiting!


Christmas Sewing, Making an Oval Christmas Tablecloth, a Special Gift!

My guess is the fabric may be from the early to mid 1900's.
When I went through the vast array of fabrics I have accumulated I found a large vintage piece of cloth that appears to be just designed for a Christmas tablecloth.  Today I measured and laundered it and presently it is adorning my dining room table to give me time to ponder the project.  My table with all of the leaves still in from Thanksgiving is larger than that of the intended recipient but not so much as to alter my process. Pondering is a very necessary component of the things I do in the sewing realm!

If I shorten to drop too much I will loose design.
This is intended to be made for my best friend as a Christmas gift and I don't want to make any unnecessary mistakes of have unforeseen delays. Thus tomorrow I will trek out for some new tailors chalk as mine seems to be hiding from me. Or, maybe I have just used it all?

Diane, my oldest dearest friend,  is an elegant mix of tradition and playfulness and this is reflected in her home.  She has long loved antiques but has broadened into an eclectic mix laced with brightness and fun.

The all over print makes a happy cheery Christmas pattern.
Yesterday she gave me the dimensions of her oval dinning room table, 42" x 82" with the 23" leaf installed.  Today I researched how to make an oval tablecloth and it appears you decide the drop (overhang) around the table and add that to the dimensions.  Next you use a large round object like a big dinner plate as a template and trim off the square corners using that object as a guide. Then you hem.

I am still pondering the drop.
More will follow as I collect my thoughts and get after this project!

2 more pounds are GONE! Talk about cheering me up!

Gosh it has been a hard few months.  And, You can see from my posting that we do quite often eat REAL food.  So I can tell you with great certainty I am thrilled to see I have lost 2 more pounds during very trying sad times.  But I attribute this to the "good" habits I have formed that save me in times when I veer off the track a bit.

One is to drink no calories.  I find this quite easy now although it was not in the beginning as I was raised on and love "sweet tea".  I do not use any artificial sweetener at all ever because I do not believe in artificial, or chemical stuff.  Seems like there is too often a back story to them somewhere down the road.

I really have greatly reduced my habit of consumption of white stuff.  But I do not totally deny myself.

I have made progress in consuming more fresh and raw fruits and vegetables as well as cooked.

We eat more varieties of protein weekly.  More fish especially.

I do eat everything I want on my "free" day but find it is less a big deal as time goes by.  Fewer cravings and so forth.

It is OK with me to do this, what may appear to others as too slow but really steady program.

Now total 47 ponds gone gone gone.


Ham and Potato Casserole is a great use for leftover ham, Gratin De Pommes De Terre St Jambon as adapted from Julia Child

Tender slices of cooked potatoes, ham, and a bit of cheese is a creamy sauce.
This is a recipe with NO flour"gluten" free which is not the case with many recipes for scalloped or Au gratin potatoes.  We are working on cutting back a bit on the "grain" in our diets and it seems logical to me when a recipe such as this one..... is so delicious.... to go for it instead!

Julia Child gives a recipe using sausages in her THE FRENCH CHEF COOKBOOK.  I have adapted this recipe using ham for our family.  We loved it and it is much lighter and more flavorful than using flour as a thickener. 

This casserole served four as a main dish fro supper.
Ingredients for Ham and Potato Casserole:

3 1/2 C. sliced previously boiled potatoes (about 1 pound)
1 C. diced onions, previously cooked in 1 T. butter
2 - 3 C. cooked ham cut into bite size pieces
lightly buttered baking dish with 2+" sides
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. light cream
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded cheese of your choice
1 + 1 T. butter separated

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Arrange the layers of potatoes, onions, and ham in baking dish ending with potatoes.  Blend together the beaten eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a bowl pouring over the layers.  Sprinkle with the cheese and dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter.  Bake in the upper 1/3 of the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until the top has nicely browned and is bubbling.  Yield 4 servings.

This was served as a main dish for supper with sliced fresh tomatoes and fruit salad.