cookies, Recipes: Only the Best!

Magic Cookie Bars

This is one of my family's favorite holiday treats. It's one of the easiest bars to make. I usually save it for the end of my cookie baking day when I'm tired and all "baked out." I can put this one together and pop it in the oven in a couple of minutes or so… Continue reading Magic Cookie Bars

Happy Holidays

Christmas Decorating With Vintage Finds

The holiday season for my husband and I began on Thanksgiving day when we hosted a big family dinner. Following a Black Friday spent with friends, the remainder of my Thanksgiving weekend was spent in a decorating frenzy. It always takes a full day to put up the tree, sorting out and fussing over whatever… Continue reading Christmas Decorating With Vintage Finds

House and Home

Giving a New Holiday Look to an Old Holiday Tree

My daughter Amy and I made our annual visit to a nearby Christmas shop the other day. We walked through the display of themed trees to get ideas for decorating our own. Those who have been using the same artificial Christmas tree for many years will understand the draw I feel to buy a new… Continue reading Giving a New Holiday Look to an Old Holiday Tree

Happy Holidays, House and Home

Recycle, Reuse, Re-Gift.

Last Christmas, my family decided to have a "white elephant" gift exchange. It wasn't about saving money, although we did save money. My siblings and I have simply grown less particular over the years.  We have reached a point in our lives where we no longer need or desire a bunch of new "stuff." We… Continue reading Recycle, Reuse, Re-Gift.

Arts, Crafts and Creations, Happy Holidays, Travel and Day Trips

Daytripping to Geneva, OH for Christmas and Crafts 2017

The 2017 craft fair dates are on Saturday, November 11 and 18.  Each year as the wind turns bitter cold and the once green, and then golden, and now brown and falling leaves pile up beneath the big oaks and maples in my back yard, my sister and I kick off the Christmas shopping season with a… Continue reading Daytripping to Geneva, OH for Christmas and Crafts 2017

Happy Holidays, Organize It!

Holiday Clean Up: Organize Your World…

...while I'm organizing mine. When the new year arrives there’s no rest for the weary until all signs of Christmas or other holiday celebrations are neatly stored away and order in the house has been restored or, at least, brought back to normal. Prepare the storage space. Empty out the storage area where holiday items… Continue reading Holiday Clean Up: Organize Your World…

Happy Holidays, Miscellaneous Stuff

December 26th: My Favorite Holiday

No, I'm not celebrating Boxing Day or Kwanza. I've been planning for and celebrating Christmas since Black Friday. My daughter cooked a delicious Christmas dinner and we had a family gift exchange. Christmas is a big deal in our family. Like most families. But December 26 still remains my favorite holiday. Or really, it's the… Continue reading December 26th: My Favorite Holiday

Happy Holidays

Gift Giving on a Poor Man’s Budget

Like it or not, Christmas is here and, if you've not already dealt with the issue, you're going to have to figure out what to do about gift-giving. The act of giving is an important part of our annual traditions and nearly everyone has to deal with it to some extent. For those with little or no… Continue reading Gift Giving on a Poor Man’s Budget

Happy Holidays

In Search of Classic Christmas TV

One of the best things about growing up in the 60s and 70s was watching the holiday episodes of our favorite weekly TV shows. In the 1990s many of these episodes were replayed each year on "Nick at Night's" annual "Merrython" which aired each December. I recorded a lot of those old shows onto VHS tapes… Continue reading In Search of Classic Christmas TV

cookies, Recipes: Only the Best!

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

The best oatmeal cookie recipe isn't hard to find. It is printed on the lid of the Quaker oatmeal box. And it makes sense doesn't it? Who would spend more time testing oatmeal cookie recipes to find the very best one than an oatmeal company? This is the same recipe that my mother used to… Continue reading Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Happy Holidays

The Poor Man’s Christmas Party!

"It's the most wonderful time of the year," or so the old song goes. But for many people, Christmas may seem like more of a burden than a celebration. For those who are unemployed or working but barely making ends meet, Christmas may be one more thing that they think they can't afford. But it doesn't have to… Continue reading The Poor Man’s Christmas Party!

Happy Holidays, Travel and Day Trips

Weekend in Columbus: Let the Holidays Begin!

I like to Christmas shop early in the season. I wait for the Christmas decorations to go up but like to be finished with my shopping list before the post Thanksgiving frenzy begins. It’s not that I don’t shop in December. But I find shopping in December to be a lot more fun if I… Continue reading Weekend in Columbus: Let the Holidays Begin!

Arts, Crafts and Creations, Happy Holidays

Bringing Back Tradition: the Christmas Card

Who doesn't get a little bit excited when they open the mailbox to find a handful of stiff, hand addressed envelopes in white, red, or holiday green? With mail from January to November being almost exclusively made up of machine generated bills and junk advertisements, finding a hand addressed envelope is rare. When December mail… Continue reading Bringing Back Tradition: the Christmas Card

Arts, Crafts and Creations, Happy Holidays, WhackyShack on Etsy

Buy Handmade: Christmas Cards and Year-Round Greetings

When I was a kid, everyone I knew had their own way of displaying the dozens of holiday cards that came pouring in during the weeks of December. People might stand them up on the fireplace mantle or along kitchen window sills. My girlfriend's mother taped them to the closet door in their entry hall. My own… Continue reading Buy Handmade: Christmas Cards and Year-Round Greetings

desserts, Recipes: Only the Best!

Recipe #12: Fudgie Scotch Ring

Recipe #12 is not a cookie at all. It's a simple and easy retro candy recipe that my mother first made back in the 70's. At the time, the recipe could be found in every "woman's" magazine. It soon became an annual favorite in our family. The special flavor created with a few simple ingredients is hard to… Continue reading Recipe #12: Fudgie Scotch Ring

cookies, Recipes: Only the Best!

Lemon Squares

This flavorful, tart square needs to be handled carefully but once you get it cut and arranged on a tray it's fancy enough for your most elegant party. Crust: 1/2 cup butter 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup confectioners' sugarFilling: 2 large eggs 1 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour… Continue reading Lemon Squares

cookies, Recipes: Only the Best!

Cookie Jar Gingersnaps

  Packed full of holiday spices, there's no mistaking the flavor of this spicy gingerbread treat. These cookies can be rolled and cut into gingerbread men or made into traditional soft and chewy rounds. 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 T. ground ginger 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 2 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. salt 3/4… Continue reading Cookie Jar Gingersnaps

cookies, Recipes: Only the Best!

Mrs. Germack’s Pecan Delights

At the age of 19, I lived in an apartment building next door to an 80 year-old German woman. During my first holiday season there, she taught me how to bake her favorite Christmas cookie. The recipe for Pecan Delights looks simple. The cookie itself is a small and simple looking pale colored disc with a pecan centered on… Continue reading Mrs. Germack’s Pecan Delights

Happy Holidays, Home Decor, House and Home

“Make Do” Decorating: Dress your Mantel for the Holidays

When updating my home decor from season to season, anyone who knows me can attest that I am a big believer in "making do" with things that I already have or seeking out things I want and need at area thrift stores. My methods may not improve the state of the economy very much and may cause retailers to… Continue reading “Make Do” Decorating: Dress your Mantel for the Holidays

Happy Holidays

Make Do Decorating: “Snowy Woodland” Christmas Tree

Christmas has exploded at our house. Many years of accumulation has resulted in box upon box of mismatched Christmas decor. They are things that I love and can't bear to part with even if I don't have the room to display them. That isn't really true though, because I almost always display them all, somewhere… Continue reading Make Do Decorating: “Snowy Woodland” Christmas Tree

cookies, Recipes: Only the Best!

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

I found this sugar cookie recipe many years ago in a book filled with early American recipes. It has the best flavor of any I've tried and I'm often asked for the recipe. In the cookbook where I found it, a story was told about a young woman in colonial times baked and sold these best selling… Continue reading Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies