Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Welcome To My House Tour!

 This Christmas, our third in this house, it is actually starting to feel more like a home!  Every Christmas I seem to find one thing, be it baking, finding special gifts, something, that is my favorite part of that year's holidays.  This year, it seems to be decorating my house!  My favorite thing has been to be at home in the evenings, with all my Christmas lights on, and even better if there is Christmas music playing! 
So come on in.  If you were here, I would serve you some sugar free cocoa and healthy cookies when you came to the front door.  And you'd be greeeted by this snowman.
 And some birds of different species.

 Come on in to the entry way...

 This is the "formal" living room, still not entirely furnished, but fun to decorate as my "vintage Christmas" room!  Sporty Spice has set up his Disneyworld monorail set at the bottom of the tree there.
 My chairs I got last summer...now if only I could find a matching setee...sigh.

 Glittery ornaments from Big Lots!
 And ones I made from yard sale goodies!

 Possibly my favorite thing is my light up vintage village.

 Got that whole bowl of vintage beads at a yard sale for four dollars last week.
 And into the dining area...snowmen on the buffet...

 And on into the living room...come on in and sit down for a bit.
 I love this little white feather tree and sure wish I could get a better picture of it.

 The big tree is being circled by a remote control lego train this year.

 And welcome to my kitchen..
 And my bedroom...

 Bedroom tree.
 It's even Christmas on the nightstand.
 I have a fireplace in my bedroom.  How decadent is that?
 A nod to the tacky.
 And finally, what self respecting flock of chickens and a duck wouldn't want lights on their house as well?  The feral kitty house also has lights this year.
Hope  you enjoyed your stay and you are invited for New Year's as well...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

November....and Into December we Go!

I finished the Cal International Marathon last Sunday!  5 hours and 45 seconds, including the 7 minute (I timed it) Porta Potty line at mile 10.  Not a speed record by any means (I did it in just under 4 and a half 3 years ago), but I was really happy just to finish and to know I never walked.  I had gotten a cold earlier in the week that really settled in my lungs by Sunday, so I was on the fence whether I should even go or not, but I really didn't want to miss it.  So I took it slow and enjoyed the new scenery and people and their dogs (so many dogs!) along the way.  It was warmer than 2008 and the horrible winds we'd had last week had died down.  And they had pancakes, beer and tomato soup at the end!

To back up, we had a great Thanksgiving week, with Sporty Spice out of school and The Mister off work.  We went to Arnold and enjoyed a quiet couple of days, did some training (my last long run!) and watched the last 2 Harry Potter Movies.  The only oddity of the weekend was finding this:
under our deck.  No collar, no microchip, and UNfixed!  Her name is now Jane and she is a sweet little thing with a coat as soft as a rabbit.
We came home the Tuesday before Thanksgiving so Lance could get to his chemo treatment on Wednesday.  It's been a tough month and the doctor is changing his drugs, which has made him feel a lot better this week.  Every day with my sweet boy is a gift.

As a follow up, Bobette the last little rescue cat is doing wonderful and she is the "squatiest" little ball of cat with a funny little corkscrew pig tail!  This week I rode through the meadow where I trapped her and there was this mangy looking coyote just sitting out there staring me down.  I SWEAR he was saying, "YOU took my meaty little cat morsel, you b&#@h."

Thanksgiving morning we woke to rain, but undaunted, the Schaefer family set out for our local Turkey Trot!  There was some whining from the small man, but he was all smiles when he finished the 5K and wants to go back next year.

And yes, that is his special Turkey Trot Hat, which came in handy with the weather.

I made the entire Thanksgiving meal from my favorite Clean Eating Magazine, including this healthy Pear Pomegranate Pie:

It was very good.  I also made the Spice Rubbed Turkey, Apple Fig Stuffing, Souffle'd Sweet Potatoes, Cranberry Apple Sauce, and  Roasted Brussel Sprouts.  All healthy and delicious.  LOVE that magazine!

We spent the weekend after putting up our Christmas decorations!  This year we've finally made the big move to a fake tree! 
And I'm already thrilled about it!  Every year, we finally go pick one out, and then it sits in a bucket of water until the Mister can get time to put the lights on, and then we have to find busy mid-week time to decorate it, and it is a constant source of stress for me because it doesn't get done entirely until the week before Christmas and I never get to enjoy it.  NOT this year!  Oh no.  Ten luscious feet of pre-lit goodness was up on Friday morning and completely decorated by Saturday.  This left time to get all the rest of the decorations out and lights up and we've been enjoying them immensely every night!  We even have lights on our chicken coop. 

And in the Christmas spirit, I took 2 classes at one of my favorite shops in Berkeley, Castles in the Air.  SO fun.  In the first one, we made this:

I wish I knew the official name of these things, but it has all these movable parts, so that when you move that tab at the bottom, the guy turns into a one man band.  It took a surprisingly long time to put together.  But my kid thinks it's cool, so that's all that really matters.

I think I enjoyed the second one even more.  We made Victorian Christmas Dioramas:

Each person's was similar, but different, as we could choose the images and embellishments we wanted to use.  Mine features cats a little heavily.  But again, my kid thinks that's hilarious.

I have made a big move this "off" season.  (Drum roll)  I've up and hired myself a professional coach!  I met with him for the first time yesterday.  He's a level 2 coach from Australia and a very nice guy.  Stay tuned.  It's gonna be an interesting 2012!