Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Seventh Day of Christmas

The Seventh Day of Christmas

December 31, 2008

New Years Eve Day

Today A True Story From Pinewood Estate at Lake Wales, Florida

Joann: Jack, do you realize that with our ticket to the Bok Tower Scantuary we can also tour the Pinewood Estate of Mr. Buck?

Jack: Yes, I think we should go and see the house decorated for the holidays. You will get a kick out of it since you were a school librarian and read a lot of these once upon a time stories to the students at your elementary school.

A Volunteer at Pinewood: You won't be able to use this powder room. That's why we have it blocked with ribbon. As you can see the holiday fairies have come out of the plumbing to prepare you for a whimsical journey thru Christmas stories. There is a decorated tree in the sink and Mr. and Mrs. Claus are hiding under the sink in the shadows.

Joann and Jack: Oh, No! Joann to Jack: There is probably another bathroom upstairs that is available. Let's check it out.

Jack: Alright, Joann.

Volunteer on Landing of Second Story of Pinewood: As you can see this we have decorated this thirties bathroom in a Carnival style with purple ornaments on the tree in the shower and purple wrapping on the presents.

Joann: Oh my stars! Oh my stars!

Jack: Oh no! Who would put a fully decorated Christmas tree in the bathroom shower?

Joann: Well, let me think a moment. Hmmmmmmmmm............ Volunteer at Second Bathroom of Second Floor Landing of Pinewood: Well, as you can see this bathroom is ready for December 31'st, New Years Eve.

Joann: Well, what for heaven's sake is floating in the tub? Is that bathtub gin?

Volunteer: No silly. That's champagne for toasting in the New Year: 2009.

Joann: Well, this is a fine estate so I suspect that champagne is high quality Moet Chandon from Epernay, France, the birthplace of champagne bubbles.

Jack: I wonder if the Champagne Bubble Man, Lawrence Welk, ever put champagne in his tub for New Years Eve.

Joann: Oh, now there's a thought I could maybe use for our New Years Evening in Virginia: We could soak in a bubble bath while drinking champagne and listening to Lawrence Welk on the phono play Auld Lang Syne!

Jack: Oh my God! I'm not starting the New Year in a tub of bubbles drinking Moet Chandon and listening to Lawrence Welk! I would rather dance the polka!

Joann: Oh, ok! Let's polka. A one, and a two, and a three, your steps!

Joann and Jack: Happy New Year Everybody!

Drink Sensibly.

Drive Safely.

Watch the Ball Drop.

And most important, dance the polka to the accordian of Myron Floren! And if you can't find Myron Floren music on YouTube dance the polka to Come On To My House, My House Come On that you can find on Joann and Jack's playlist.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December 30 The Sixth Day of Christmas

Look At This.

Look At This.
The Sixth Day of Christmas
Once upon a Time...a Storybook Christmas
at Pinewood Estate in Lake Wales, Florida

Ok, did you figure out the title of the this storybook tale? Have you heard of the baker's daughter who married a prince and is awaiting the birth of her firstborn child. She needs to spin all the straw into gold. There is a crazy little man who lives deep in the medieval forest who says he will do it for her. But he exacts a terrible price for his services. He wants her firstborn child! The baker's daughter can only save herself and her baby if she can rightfully name the crazy little man. What's his name? Is it Jack? Is it Tom, Dick or Harry? Is is George, Leo or Edward? Final guess for you and the baker's daughter. It's Rumpelstiltskin!

Thought for the day: What would you say if your child wanted to name your grandchild Rumpelstiltskin?

Second thought for the day: What would you say if your child wanted to name your grandchild Adolph Hitler? The media has recently reported on this strange and bizarre development somewhere in the world.

Third thought for the day: The middle name that more American male prisoners have than any other is Wayne. Were the parents thinking rugged man like John Wayne when they were naming their son?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Fifth Day of Christmas Present

Very Important News Flash!
I Got A Special Present On The Fifth Day of Christmas!
I Have A New Blog Friend!
Max Lives in Beijing, China.
He Has Given Me His Blog Site.
Unfortunately It Is All In Chinese So I Can't Read The Script.
However, I Do Understand The Language of Music.
Max, I Like Chopin!
And I Do Like Cute Baby Girls!
And Max Has A Cute Baby Girl!
Oh, What Chubby Cheeks That Baby Has!
I Wonder What Her Name Is?
So You Can Share My Christmas Gift By
Clicking Here:

December 29 The Fifth Day of Christmas

December 29 The Fifth Day of Christmas
Once Upon a Time....a Storybook Christmas
From Pinewood Estate in Wales, Florida

Well, this was an easy display to create. I could have done it. Just pile up the shoes and presto, you have created the story of the Elves and the Shoemaker. Do you remember that story? And do you remember reading those little cardboard covered Little Golden Books? That should take you back to days of yore.

News Flash: Today is my son-in-law's birthday. Happy Birthday, Terry! I know you don't think a birthday so close to Christmas is such a great idea. But consider this. The year you were born you gave your father and mother a great end of year tax deduction. Dwell on that Mr. Accountant.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Decor In My Kitchen

There is a saying that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Well, for Christmas it is the heart of my Christmas home decor. Here's my corner kitchen sink with green plants and live poinsettia plants. In 1968 when I toured the Philippines and Taiwan I saw poinsettia plants the size of apple trees. Totally awesome.
My handmade Nuremberg, Germany Christmas angel has decorated my homes since 1971 when I got her. She wears a gold silk dress but long ago she lost her gold foil wings. She is going around on my East German creche that is a moving tableau of the Christmas story. Look below.
When you light the red candles the heat of the flames moves the nativity carousel. I place a Christmas wreath with more German ornaments around it.
This is the side view of two French bakers racks where I have collected hundreds of cookbooks that I hope to pass down to my two daughters. Many of these cookbooks I found on trips or at local garage sales and flea markets. I love looking at cookbooks and reading recipes and drooling at all the good food from all around the world. The little red stocking was Baby Jack's stocking for his first Christmas. He needed a bigger stocking this year.
Here a view of the front of the bakers rack filled with various cookbooks. Notice my old ugly Santa that I bought for $30 way back in 1971 at a Christkindles Market. That Christmas I brought home from Germany one of these Santas for each of my siblings and my father. Mine is old and ugly with a tattered beard and broken walking stick but I just can't part with him. He's like a Volkswagon beetle. He's so ugly he is cute!
I count down the days till Christmas and then I count up the days of Christmas so this fellow gets a real Christmas workout.
This Santa sitting on the ledge of the window does the same thing. I love little boxes that people give you with Christmas treats. I like to recycle them as Christmas decorations the following year.
Lastly this is our Christmas china that we use every year. And here is the breakfast casserole I made for Jack. It has cubed bread, eggs, milk, Italian seasonings, sausage, basel leaves, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
I make it the night before and bake it in the morning for 40 minutes.

December 28 The Fourth Day of Christmas

The Fourth Day of Christmas
December 28
Here We Are In Bedroom 3 At Pinewood Estate
Cinderella's Bedroom
Here is the beautiful white gown that Cinderella is going to wear for her magical evening at the Prince's grand ball. Look below.
Cinderella's mice friends are putting the finishing touches on her gown. They are sewing as fast as their little feet can hold a needle and sew.
Tomorrow's storybook display from Pinewood will also feature someone who sews.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Celebrate For 12 Days Plus One!

The Third Day of Christmas December 27
More photos of Pinewood Estates's Storybook Christmas
Do you know anyone who got a big beautiful rocking horse for Christmas?
I do.
Go down later on my blog roll to to find These Days in French Life.
This will take you to a blog in the south of France where a beautiful little French bebe named Amaya got a rocking horse from Papa Noel and you can see her riding it in the posted video.
Now look below.
Here is Lucy's bedroom on the second floor of Pinewood Estate at Lake Wales, Florida. This decorated scene is called "Twas the Night Before Christmas.....the children were nestled all snug in the beds."
Two girls with long flowing blond locks are dreaming of sugar plums dancing in their heads as a winter wonderland is seen through the the frosted windows in Florida.
Click on picture for a closeup view.
Merry Christmas once again.
Remember there are 12 days of Christmas plus one and we all should make a little holiday activity for each day.
Everyone should celebrate for 12 days plus one straight. Just do it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Is For The Kids

Christmas is for the kids in the family.
And the youngest member of our clan had a special table loaded down with presents just for him.

Presents for Jennifer, Terry, Jeanine and Bryan were scattered thru the house from the living room Christmas tree to the stockings hanging on the fireplace in the family room to behind sofas and chairs elsewhere.
Where did we stash that present?
The littlest fellow ended up with the most presents naturally.
Here he is at his very own play table playing with his Thomas the Tank Laptop Computer.
Now I can move this mouse just like Mommy does on her laptop computer.
Yes, I was a good boy and Santa and everybody in the family gave me a present.
I'm a very lucky kid.
Thank you, Santa.
Thank you, everyone.
Jennifer Mary had fun opening Jack Aidan's presents for him.
Here they are discovering the wonders of a Sassy bath toy.
Mommy, take me to the tub. I want to play.
Daddy Terry had fun watching his son discover all those toys.
Yes, there was a little soccer ball for this soccer Dad to play with with Jack Aidan.
Oh, my! My favorite Daddy upside down hug.
I like it. I like it.
Jeanine Marie was so thankful to have her beau at home this year instead of fighting the enemy in Iraq like on last Christmas Day.
Here Jeanine is watching as Bryan discovers a favorite book in his box.
Don't disturb Bryan.
He has his nose in his book while Jeanine opens another present.

Did we have a great Christmas Day?
As Sarah Palin would say, "You betcha, we did!"

December 26 The Second Day of Christmas

The Second Day of Christmas December 26

Oh, the Second Day of Christmas and I feel like the lady in this photo. The Christmas rush is over and now I can sit and have some tea and read a book and just relax big time. How about all of you? Are you ready to relax too or do you have to return to work like my son-in-law? Now look below and think once upon a time.......

Yes, that's Jack's 11 foot tall beanstalk in the loggia of the Pinewood Estate home. Wow, what a beanstalk from a little seed! Now look below again.

Another day I will show you Mr. Buck's office where Snow White's evil stepmother is in her tower lab getting ready to deliver a poison apple to Snow White.

Now who exactly was Mr. Buck, the owner of this 30's style Mediterranean home in Lake Wales right next door to the Bok Tower Sanctuary? Charles Austin Buck was the vice-president of Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania who had Pinewood built as a winter retreat. It is one of Florida's most outstanding examples of Mediterranean Revival architecture with touches of Moorish and Romanesque architecture. It was a delight to visit and this Christmas display I'm showing you will be running thru January 4'th.

Over the years this home was sold and resold and renamed and renamed. In 1970 the property was bought by a foundation and renamed Pinewood for the longleaf pines standing on the Great Lawn that was created years ago by the famous landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.

What I find interesting is that this winter vacation home was only used about six weeks out of the year. So much home and so little time to escape to enjoy it because Mr. Buck was a busy working executive. I imagine that today we have quite a few workaholics who have fine vacation homes but who do not have real time to enjoy them because of the rat race. I believe too that Mrs. Buck never lived to enjoy this fine home but that her children and grandchildren did.

News Flash: Earth Kitt who sings the second song on my play list, Santa Baby, died on Christmas Day. She was 81. I always loved her beautiful face and sultry voice. Rest in peace.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

December 25 The First Day of Christmas

The First Day of Christmas December 25
The Twelve Days of Christmas will be featured on my blog for the next 12 days plus one to celebrate Once Upon A Time...a Storybook Christmas that Jack and I were able to see at the 20 room, 1930s Mediterranean-style Pinewood Estate at Lake Wales, Florida. Here is Jack being greeted by the tall nutcrackers at the entrance.

Here are the Italian tiled steps leading to the foyer entrance to the home where we found a traditional nativity scene below. However, it had a very Jewish feel to it. See below.
Above the nativity scene was a tent held by four poles like the ones used at a traditional Jewish wedding. I liked that very much. After all Jesus was a Jew.
Another view of the entrance hallway at Pinewood.
Our First Day of Christmas here in Haymarket, Virginia.
We never reach zero in our home. After we count down the days to Christmas we count back up to the 12'th Day of Christmas Plus One to reach January 6'th and the Feast of the Three Kings.
On this first day of Christmas we will await the arrival of our kids and Baby Jack Aidan. We will have our big dinner around 3:30 P.M. and then we will open presents and then have lots of desserts with coffee.
Hope you are enjoying the first day of Christmas where ever you are in the world. Peace to all and to all a good day.

Nativity Scene Captured in Ice

Nativity Scene Captured in Ice At Gaylord Palms In Orlando, Florida

It's After Midnight--Did He Come To Your House?

News Flash: It's After Midnight!
Did He Come To Your House?
I Hope So.
And I Wish You A Merry Christmas
A Happy, Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Best of Florida Christmas at Gaylord Palms

In Orlando, Florida at the Gaylord Palms Resort you can attend an amazing holiday celebration featuring 4.5 acres of Christmas fun and two million pounds of carved ice from November 17 to January 4. You go thru these doors and down a hall where you must don a ski parka because you will then go thru the igloo below to a room that is only at 9 degrees. Brrrrrrrr!
You will appreciate that parka as you marvel at these sculptures carved of ice in many colors. Take a look at this display called Santa's Arctic Blast.

BBrrrrrrrrrrr! It's cold!
Each year Gaylord Palms brings over from Harbin, China of all places 30 workers who carve and assemble this ice display at the Gaylord.
Where in the world is Harbin, China?
And here is Santa Claus sitting in his gingerbread chair.
The polar bears have red scarves.
And the kids can freeze their tushes on a ice slide!
Play video above to see the kids slide down the ice slide.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Joann's Christmas Cookie Exchange Party

Sunday Afternoon I had such a wonderful time hosting a Cookie Exchange Party at my house. Look at all the cookies on my dining room table. Literally hundreds and hundreds of yummy homemade cookies. I gave each lady participating an aluminum roaster pan for packing her cookies and a recipe card and instructions to bring six dozen cookies of one particular kind. This is what my friends made:
Bev: Cocoa Rum Balls
Pat: Crispy Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
Robbyn: Snickerdoodles
Janet: Pecan Goodie cups
Brenda: Festive Cherry Nut-Topped Cookies
Delaine: Brown Sugar Granola Cookies
Lucille: Pecan Butterballs
Maura: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Laurie: Peanut Butter Cookies
Haelie: Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread
Leia: Gobber Bars
Joann: Almond Drop Cookies
Every time the doorbell rang we went to see what new kind of cookie had arrived for us to enjoy. Then we did a sampling with some German glue vein. After that folks headed to the appetizer table for shrimp, couscous, cranberry relish, pickles veggies, deviled eggs, artichoke dip, cheese ball and crackers, and beer cheese. Then filling rather full we sat and drank wine and enjoyed each other's company. Finally around 6:00 P.M. I passed out Christmas bags and we began our mad cookies run around the table picking up half a dozen of each kind of cookie to take home to our spouses and kids. For some reason we had a few leftover cookies so we had a second run that we called the free for all mad dash for the cookie you liked the best.

In this photo stuffing their bags are from left to right: Pat, Brenda, Lucille, Maura and Delaine.
Another round of cookie grabbing with from left to right: Lucille, Maura, Delaine, Haelie, Janet and Pat.
And here we have Delaine, Haelie, Janet, Bev and Cindy. Don't worry, even though I'm not in the photos I grabbed my cookies for my family.
When the Christmas rush is over I will word process all the ladies' recipes and give each one a little Christmas Cookie Book at our January book club meeting which will be at Hailie's house for the discussion of A Page Out of Life, by Kathleen Reid.

My World Tuesday: Daughter Throws A Party

My World Tuesday
Christmas Celebration In Alexandria, Virginia

Our younger daughter Jeanine and her roomie threw an across generations party Saturday from 2:00 P.M. to ????? and it was such fun to attend the function in their apartment in Alexandria, Virginia. It was also fun to learn how much my daughter plans and thinks like me when it comes to setting up for a party. Take a look at the tree the two roomies decorated. It was beautiful with a red and white theme with snowflakes and icicles and red balls.
And all the packages by the tree were color coordinated in red, white and silver. Jeanine emptied the hutch shelves in the dining room and filled martini glasses with red balls and hung red balls on streamers. They looked festive against the white hutch that roomie Maria's family gave to the girls for their apartment.
Maria's folks provided a big beautiful bouquet of fresh carnations and greenery for the party table. Jack and I brought a big platter of shrimp and dip from Costco. The girls baked hot appetizers and made meatballs and a veggie platter as well as beautiful Christmas sugar cookies. Someone came with a grand three layer southwest dip. Yum, yum the food was great. And the party guests ranged from parents to young adults to their boyfriends and girlfriends and co-workers. And our little grandson Jack Aidan came with Jenn and played ball with Jeanine's boyfriend Brian on the coffee table and also danced the afternoon away to music on the TV music stations.
And here is Jeanine and Maria posing for a preparty photo by their well decorated Christmas tree. Great job girls. You are the hostesses with the mostesses va-va voom!
Return here tomorrow to hear all about Mom's Christmas Cookie Exchange Party. Now run along and visit other My World blog sites by clicking here:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Camera Critters #37

Camera Critters in Orlando, Florida
Look At These Mallards!
Guess Where They Live and Swim.
These lucky ducks live in the exclusive Peabody Hotel in Orlando.
Some of their cousins live in the original Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. Everyday the Duckmeister in red marches the duck gang down to the marble lobby where they swim and entertain the hotel guests. Notice the duck sign: the duck is slipping and the sign says slippery when wet.

And yes, when nature calls they behave like all ducks should and do a little poop number. That's when the hotel notices and takes quick action.
And here she is. The Poopmeister!

She comes quickly with water bucket, mop and towels and does a prompt and efficient clean up.

Here yea, here yea, here is the Duckmeister in red with herding stick who will lead the ducks in a row on a rolled out red carpet to the hotel elevator where they will enter and ride up to the top floor for the night in the duck penthouse suite. This happens everyday at happy hour at the Peabody Hotels in Orlando and Memphis. Jack and I have watched this strange animal event in both places.
Notice all the folks waiting for the duck march. There was a bus of senior citizens touring the local grand hotels to see the Christmas displays and of course to catch the ducks in all their glory. We counted five mallards and one lucky drake in this duck entourage. You can watch the duck march below by clicking on the black start triangle.
Now go to other Camera Critters blogs by clicking here: