Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I have been gone a long time!  So long in fact that I can't remember exactly what I have been doing with myself!  A little of this, that and the other, I guess.  I am totally wrapped up in Christmas if you call looking in magazines and at blogs for inspiration as part of holiday preparation!  Have you seen any of the Christmas Home Tours yet?  I have been following along with Jennifer Rizzo's blog, she features 3-4 blogs a day and I can't even begin to say how original and festive and pretty these homes look dressed up for Christmas.  Have a look when you have time.  So now you know what I've been doing!!

It wouldn't be a complete post from me if I didn't show you what is going on with the lakehouse plants here for the winter.  The rose tree is blooming like mad!  It didn't bloom this much in the summer!

We are having Christmas dinner here at our home this year.  I can't remember the last time we did that, it's always been at a relatives home and to be honest, I miss doing it here.  So...I am going to order a standing beef rib roast from my butcher and add some special side dishes with hope that they will become new traditions.  Thanksgiving Day was right out of a Woody Allen movie here.  All the men were up in arms when they found out we were putting sour cream in the potatoes (we always have), and onion in the dressing (we always have).  And after 26 years of marriage, The Husband announced to me, "I really don't like those little green balls."  Meaning Brussels sprouts.  I make them every year and he is just now telling me!

We are getting our Christmas tree next week and we will get it up and put the lights on.  Then I like to let the branches fall for a few days before adding the ornaments.  Emily set up the Christmas Village in the family room and we stacked all the boxes of ornaments and decorations at the bottom of the stairs to bring up when we are ready.  She will be in Aruba with her fiance all next week and I love having her help, she is so creative!  Abby has her school finals and Kevin has his last week of work since it's seasonal at the golf club.  They can all help.  I have started doing a bit of online shopping and will hit the stores downtown next week.  Chicago is so pretty at Christmas time!

Now, I have a zillion things to do today and you can bet I'll be stringing up those oranges!  I hope all of you are having a great week.  Keep posting those pretty Christmas decorations! :-)

I'm joining Claudia at Mockingbird Hill Cottage for her Favorite Things Party!


Anonymous said...

you always always make me smile, you are so cute, I can just see you running and looking behind, good for you!!!!!!
Sounds like a happy busy time in the home for you right now,

Sonny G said...

oh my gosh. running- you are now officially an ATHLETE.
i bet those orange slices smell wuuuuuuuuuuuuderful.. cant wait to see them hanging on your tree..

merry merry to ya

Susie said...

Blonde, I am proud that you are exercising and running while you can honey. I miss running. My ankles have arthritis in them and I am doing well to walk at times.I know I am blessed, it could be worse. I just saw a show on models, who are aging a said if I had known my body would change, I would have posed naked all the time.LOL Well let me tell you, I would be running...running naked, if I had known what I know now. Smiles,xo,Susie

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Jane,
I love checking in with you to see whatcha been up to! I have been reading the blogs and looking at all the pretty decor too. We are in Myrtle Beach this week and I'll be returning home while Mr. Sissie stays for a few months. I have to go home to face the construction crew again and hope this time our bathroom will be finished!!!

I love the idea of the orange slices, might have to try that.

Glad you are walking, exercising and running, sure wish I'd get the energy to do it.

Keep up the good work.


NanaDiana said...

It sounds like you have been a very busy lady! I love that you are running a bit.....good for you- I wish I could do that but don't think my ankle would take it.
I will be anxious to see your orange slice garland. I used to make those, too...maybe I will have to do it again- xo Diana

Theresa said...

Happy to hear from you dear Jane. Hope you continue your exercise. Good girl. Have a blessed week and happy Christmas season.

Olive said...

Jane, just going to a gym has me in awe of you and now you are running! Susie's comment is too cute. xo, Olive

Barbara F. said...

Sounds like you have been busy! I feel inspired to start "moving" again, don't know about running with my bad knees, but I need to do strength training for sure. I don't like the "little green balls" either, I have tried many recipes and they always just taste so bitter. I actually have a pack of them in the veggie drawer, am going to give them one more shot, with bacon!! xo

SmilingSally said...

Oh Jane, you made me laugh! Running and loving it... how I wish I could join you.

Those oranges sound pretty, and I'll bet they smell nice too.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Good for you Jane, the walking and running!
I can't wait to see the oranges strung together what a neat idea!
So funny about the brussel sprout thing too and Al.
Dan would probably wait that many years too, to tell me he didn't care for something. Oh men!
I am so happy you can have Christmas at your home, that will be very special indeed!
Hugs to an amazing friend!

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Good for you Jane with the running and walking! I really need to get back to walking it made me feel so alive and full of energy!
Can't wait to see those orange slices!

Brenda Pruitt said...

I'm spending a lot of time on Pinterest. What inspiration!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

That's right, Jane, make the rest of us look bad. : ) I had started walking after the horrible heat and then it got cold. There were some days I could have walked but I was so busy inside the house with Christmas stuff. It is supposed to warm up a little bit again in a few days so I'll probably get outside and walk then. I'd love to do a run, even a walk, run, walk. I miss my treadmill from our old house. {My daughter has it at her house now}. There is just no room for it here. I had a whole home gym at our old house!

Always Nesting said...

I always love your newsy posts! That banana cake looks soooo good. I can almost smell the oranges from your photo.

I'm proud of you for hitting the gym. There is so much release in moving our bodies, pushing our bodies and clearing our minds while we do it.

Hugs, Marla

Susan Shull said...

Go Jane! Keep it up! Lots and lots of people in our part of the world are runners and many of them started with the Couch to 5K program. I bet you will be writing about your first race before we know it!

Primitive Stars said...

You Go Girl!!!!! See the blonde run....good for you......I dryed up some orange slices but mine are going to hang on the tree.....Happy Happy To You.....Blessings Francine.

Debby said...

wow, it makes me happy to hear how you are feeling about working out and even running. You are inspiring to me.
Sounds like Christmas is getting started at your house. It's nice that your kids can help you.
Beautiful roses.
I do the same as you.....I love all the Christmas magazines and the homes featured on the blogs. It is so much fun.
Happy decorating. (((((HUGS))))

farmhouse-story said...

how great you are having fun running! love the orange slice idea--love the smell:) aruba...i'm jealous!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I just clicked around like a blind person on the page and got here. YEA! LOL

I'm proud of you. Soooooo proud of you. That's big news about the excercise and running. Keep it up, Janie! I am ashamed to say I am a sloth. I would probaby feel better if I even walked, much less ran!



Heaven's Walk said...

You go, girl!!!! Good for you for kicking up those heels and putting on those miles!! I know exactly what you mean about feeling alive, Jane. Even though I don't LOVE running and I have to literally pick up my tookus and carry it out the door to get me out there doing it ~ once I'm out there huffing and puffing along, I really do enjoy being out there. And when I get back home, I know I did something good for myself and my muscles feel tight and sore - which I love.

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow morning when I'm pounding the pavement, Janie! ♥

xoxo laurie


All that Christmas goodness and exercise, too. Impressive.


Beth said...

Way to go with the running. Good exercise for you!

The banana bundt cake sounds good.

An Oasis in the Desert said...

I've seen the orange slices swags before, but I never knew how to do it. Do you know why you sprinkle them with powdered sugar? Maybe the sugar gives it the shine.....ahhhh, what do you think?

Kathleen said...

I don't like the little green balls either, lol.
Hope you are well!

Melanie said...

Sounds like you've been having some fun with all that baking, running! Watch out, you just might spur me on to start a regular walking program again! It's so silly...I love my weekly yoga class; it makes me feel so good and and I actually enjoy it. I leave there every week thinking, "Why don't I exercise every day if it makes me feel so good?" And somehow I just never get around to it! Sheesh, am I ever undisciplined or what?!

I can't wait to see how your oranges turn out. I've never heard of doing that. I'll bet they'll look so pretty. Do they still have the orange scent when they dry out?

Lori said...

Busy busy ~ but isn't it always that was this time of the year. I am loving my week off from work and getting so much done around the house ~ I am hoping to have the last 2 week-ends free from extra prep so I can take in the sites and enjoy everything the season has to offer. Good for you for the gym and running ~ wowsa!! Have a fun and productive week.

Julie Marie said...

Hi Jane... hurray for you running!... it really is intoxicating isn't it?... I run then walk... not all run... unless I have Tessy with me, then we go warp 10!...too funny about the brussell sprouts! (I love them by the way!)... your orange slice garland sounds fun, please post it when you are finished... always love hearing about your trip to get your tree each year... are you going to the same place as always?... xoxo Julie Marie

Debbie said...

Good for you Jane!!!! you must be so proud to be running.
You sure sound busy with baking, and decorating.
How funny about the little green ball thingies that your hubby doesn't
I have lots of shopping to do yet, and the holiday seems to be fast approaching.

Sarah said...

Jane, congratulations on moving forward with running. I was a runner for many years. I miss it! Now I try to get in daily 3 mile walks. I did a little running this weekend just to see how it would feel. Sometimes I think I just might start again. ;-) Good luck!

Pondside said...

Way to go, Jane! You are doing what many of us think about doing. Just think of the energy you'll have for your big Christmas gathering!

Jacqueline said...

Your roses are still stunning! I just chopped off the last two as i was trimming and also trimmed the extension cord right in two!

The oranges look really fun.

You go girl! I should run, I really should. My mother started at 50. I have missed that mark, maybe 60! I would always brag about her starting then. It isn't too late for me then is it!

Lynne said...

Jane! Good for you! I have fallen off my healthy routine recently since Mom became ill! Your post just gave me a kick in the "bum"!

I love the oranges. I have never seen the drying process using powdered sugar. How pretty! There is quite a "natural" theme trending in the Christmas decorating this year.

Happy December!

Maria Elena said...

Jame, I just loved reading your post! Too funny about the Brussels Sprouts! LOL The story of my life! :) Mine said the other day we should start eating salad. What??? I eat salad at least four times a week and in all the years I have known him, he refused to even try it. LOL I was floored! All I could say was "who are you and what have you done with my husband?" LOL Anyway, love the idea of the orange slices. Can't wait to see how you use them!

Vicki said...

Hi, Jane! I'm making my way back too. Good to see you baking and sharing pics of the lake house. I always wondered how you dried oranges for garland. Thanks for sharing!

Something Nice and Pretty said...

I'll be waiting to see the orange slice garland! Oh, to shop in Chicago that would be so nice
I so have to get back into moving more, especially strength training, so glad to read that you are doing that!
We always have Christmas day here, sometimes I wish I could go to a relatives home for it:)

Unknown said...

You are running? Girl, you go!! I'm so clumsy, if I ran I'd break my neck!!

Can't wait to see your tree!

Hope your weekend is great!

Susan EvelynAndRose said...

You go girl! So happy that you are enjoying running and walking, too. And your new recipes sound great - the banana pound cake and stringing the oranges. Have a fun, festive season Jane!

Mary said...

Good grief Jane you've got me beat by miles......I am just not into running, walking is good but running, no way! You have me giggling, I can just see you looking behind, way to go girlfriend.

Sounds like a busy time ahead - you, A, and the family are going to be in our thoughts big time!!!!

Bob and I send a lot of positive thoughts your way dear..............many blessings for the holidays and Christmas, and the coming year. Hey, we may try to get to Chicago next year - it's been too long for me - and we do love it there. Enjoy the shopping and window gazing - bet it's looking beautiful right now.

Much love, Mary X

RURAL said...

First I want to congratulate you on even going to the gym, and now running, way to go Jane, I am so proud of you, that's inspiring.

Love the idea of those icebox cookies, I am going to have to look for some recipes out there.

Enjoy the tree.


Kathleen Grace said...

Checking the Christmas decor on blogs is a must! I've been following Jennifer too. So many gorgeous homes.
Good for you for running. I HAVE to join the gym after Christmas when things calm down. I have a sedentary job and I feel awful from all that sitting. You inspire me. Way to go girl!

xinex said...

How nice that you are getting your walking and running. Good job Janie! I wish I could be as motivated. Your roses are so pretty and how funny that Al tells you just now that he does not like Brussel sprouts, lol. Ican't wait to see your orange string project finished. It must smell so good....Christine

Divine Theatre said...

Oh! I LOVE to run! The further you run, the less your troubles follow!
I NEEDED that orange recipe. How did you know? I am making garland this weekend!

Keep up the good work, Beauty!



Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

You have been a busy bee! Way to go on the exercise! You go girl! Have a great weekend!

bj said...

You are one busy lady...getting so much done.
And, the exercise is WONDERFUL.
I need to get back to walking in the park. The minute a cool breeze hit me, I stopped walking at 7 in the morning.:) I am such a titty baby.

Good luck to your sweetie on his upcoming surgery.

Karen said...

oooh, I should try those orange slices!!....

Designing Domesticity said...

OH, I can't wait to see your homemade garland. What a great idea and pop of color to your normal greenery. Thanks for sharing and happy holidays, liz

Ricki Treleaven said...

Good to hear from you, Jane. Thanks for posting the links to the open houses. I'd like to read all about the pretty homes!

I want to see your oranges once they're up. I've never tried that before!

Congrats on your running....yay!!! I know you are feeling like a million bucks.

Have you planned your menu yet for Christmas dinner? I'm hosting a Christmas brunch on Dec. 21st, and I don't have a clue what I'll be serving....


The Farmers Daughter said...

That's a wonderful tip about the oranges! I'm gonna use it!
Blessings from the Farmhouse,

Balisha said...

I came back again...I did a craft with dried oranges a couple of years ago. They are still usable and this year I put them in the bottom of a clear glass candle holder along with some red berries.

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Jane it sounds like your very busy..Love the facet that your running now..I didn't know how out of shape I was until I went to Disneyland in Aug and my poor legs were killing me ha ha!!
I did the oranges slices years ago and they made the house smell wonderful..How fun to be able to decorate for Christmas something I gave up 3 years ago..I always do Prime rib at Christmas and twice baked potatoes (made with sour cream) ha ha!! Love ya girl..Hugs and smiles Gloria

Claudia said...

Yay for you! Running!

I can't wait to see how the oranges turn out. I should try that as I love old fashioned garlands!

Thanks so much for joining in this week!


Tracy said...

Jane, you are my hero! Keep up that running, and before you know you'll be running the full 2 miles! Us middle aged ladies still have game.

Love the pics from your home and from your anniversary trip too. Have fun shopping and getting ready for Christmas!

craftyles said...

Congrats on the running walking thing. I need to start doing that. The oranges look so pretty!

Marigene said...

How special to have your roses bloom in December!

I can almost smell those oranges drying, citrus smells so wonderful.

I wish I could force myself to go walking every just sounds like so much work.

Have a great week, Jane!

Deborah said...

So great to hear what you're up to Jane! I love your post! Good for you about the running and walking..what an inspiration you are.
Love those orange slices and Ive always wanted to do that and string them...Maybe this year? ;)
I'm lining up some new recipes for baking too, mixed with some old favourites. Isn't this fun, and we're just steaming away through December!
Love your Christmas blooms!
Hugs to you sweet friend!

All my heart,
Deborah xoox

Lynn said...

I am impressed with the running! I don't think I can run anymore. Well, maybe if a bear were chasing me.

Does the orange garland smell good? If it does, I am going to make one.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

In California, late Fall and is when the roses really begin to bloom beautifully. Then they get cut back nearly to the ground..but right now is such a beautiful time for them. Your little rose bud is perfection!

I can tell you are into the full swing of getting ready for Christmas and it makes me smile!!
Enjoy every single moment.
YOU have inspired me to dig out the rest of my Christmas things...because I know one day I won't be able to do it anymore.
Thank you!

Your exercise routine is so fantastic for you. I should get into one but I start and then stop. Keep are doing great, Jane!! At your time of life you are doing exactly what I wish I had done!

Merry Christmas, Sweetheart!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I'm looking forward to retiring so I can have time to go to the gym! I love strength training and I love to walk, but I will never run. Too hard on the joints. My friend had a knee replacement last year at age 55 because she ran so much in her 30's! I do remember running as a child through the neighborhood and how fun it was and free I felt. Carefree--that would be a good feeling again!

Tricia said...

Good for you, Jane! I need to take a page out of your book and amp up my exercise. Maybe after the holidays when I'm done eating xo

April said...

Love the oranges is smells heavenly, too! So excited for you and the whole running thing! You will be hooked...I promise! I started running back in 2000 after my momj died from breast was a lifesaver!

Stacey said...

I'm so proud of you for running! I saved the link to Couch to 5K and running/walking intervals is exactly what they said to do. Keep it up. Your wonderful attitude makes me feel the desire too.

Your oranges are beautiful. Love them all strung up.