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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Where Did it Go?

Wow.  How did a whole year manage to get by me?  I had only about 22 posts - this whole year!

It's not that I haven't had anything to blog's just that I'm so busy getting things DONE that I don't have time to write about them!

I'm off for a Christmas break and I thought I'd share all the goodies I got this year.  I was really blessed this year which gives me a lot of hope.  We're in a crappy economy.  Several people I know are dealing with being un- or under employed.  So it was really encouraging to see that no one around me let that stop them from sharing a nice holiday season.  Here's my haul:

First was a goodie basket from the Conductor's mom.  I got it when I visited her with him for Thanksgiving.  She always puts together fun baskets.    This one included some candies, hot chocolate a dip mix, a holiday plate, some pretty soap, a pin, socks, a bun warming cloth, napkins, Michigan made salad dressing and a cookbook magazine. 
The best part of all was the basket itself though. 

She gave me..drumroll please: ^V^V^V^V^V^V^V:

A real....honest to goodness....Longaberger basket!!

I didn't think I could ever own one of them but there it is.  She also sent me home with an oblong shaped one that has a lid for the plastic liner.  Happy dance, happy dance!  (Dana and his brother looked bored when we were discussing baskets.  Boys just don't understand these things).

It even has a removable liner.  So guess what this seamstress will be doing?  Yuh-huh.  Taking it out and making a pattern to make changeable liners.  Happy dance!

I also got a pretty good assortment from my coworkers:

It includes a mug of chocolate treats, a sugar scented candle, an angel note holder, an ornanmental J, and my boss...who has been described by the press as "a fastidious follower of the rules" gave us each a wine glass and a set of cocktail mixers.  No booze, but still, not like her at all.

My favorite from this group is the set of towels and coasters that Gene's wife, Marie made.  She cross-stitched them.  Aren't they cute?

I admire stitchers. I know how to do it but I don't like to.  My free time is rare and in the amount of time it took her to do this, I could have made a skirt and a top.  It's like you do so much work for such a small amount of "doneness".  Which is why I admire people that have the tenacity to do work like this.  Sr. Nancy taught me to cross stitch in high school and told us that the mark of a good stitcher is when the back looks just as good as the front.  Let's check Marie's work:

Yep.  Girl's got it goin' on!

Also at work, I got a political gift.  We've had some government issues here in Wisconsin.  Namely, our arsehole governor and some of our state representatives have turned teachers into a political football.  One local company, Penzy's Spices, didn't like that and wanted to say thank you teachers for their hard work.  They gave out these gift boxes to teachers at the start of school - - but sent a box to ALL of us public school employees for Christmas.  How awesome is that? 

The box includes a bumper sticker and pin. Since I'm not a teacher, I'll give these my brother who teaches.  It also had a bottle of their salt-free seasoning mix, a cookbook, and a little jar of cinnamon. 

I got a kick out of the cinnamon.  Here's MY jar of cinnamon.   

Look how cute the Penzy's jar is next to my jar.  :)

I also met up with my friend, The Gardener, for dinner and we exchanged gifts.  She gave me a talking pedometer which I'm looking forward to using at the gym.  I sure hope it says something other than, "Boy Jill, are you getting fat!"  She also gave me a jar of honey.  Coincidentally, I included a chocolate bar with honeycombs in her gift.  (We both daydream about beekeeping someday).

She also gave me a spoonrest.  As if through ESP, The Gardener, who hasn't been in my house since I first moved in, chose for me a spoonrest that perfectly matches the color of my walls.

She actually gets hummingbirds in her yard, the lucky duck!

Gifts from family included;

A Carraba's gift card from sister Betsy, a mini sewing machine and purse holder from sister Sarah...

This handmade apron from step-mom Kathy, compate with a criss-cross back, a towel loop and

a little bit 'o' bling on the pockets (the buttons shimmer like the snowflakes - which you can't really see in this crummy picture)

And a pajama set from sister Betsy.

And of course I got some presents from The Conductor:

A new CD burner to replace the one that konked out, a set of flashlights, some scented oil (in lavender, he was watching me experiment and make my sister some homemade eucaluptus scented oil that turned out awesome!), and a Shiva Rea yoga DVD because I mentioned I was looking for some good morning workout ideas. 

See what else is in the array?  Not one, but two kinds of candy.  The Conductor is forever teasing me about my sweet tooth yet he goes and buys me TWO kinds of candy - chocolate covered cherries and a fun dark chocolate with citrus and ginger. 

The cutest part of the array?    
Babushka nail files - a nod to our Polish roots.

The best part of the array, though, was the card:

Now everybody, together say:    Awwwww!

Happy Holidays - now I'm going back to the sewing room to finish my New Year's dress and I am SO SO SO pleased with it so far!

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