Hello Again, and Welcome To My Blog!
New Year’s cards? I’m sure it’s happened before.
Since it’s almost Christmas, and I’m a few days behind schedule, guess what I did yesterday: addressed New Year’s cards, instead of traditional Christmas greetings.
In recent years, we’ve shortened our Christmas-card list, considering the rising cost of postage and the fact that many friends and relatives have e-mail. But we still like to send personalized, usually handmade cards to folks we don’t see often. This year, however, I procrastinated. Being sick further delayed things! So the few names remaining on the list – all of whom live out of town – will be getting cards with the notation, “Hope you had a wonderful Christmas…”
I’ll get to those cards later! But, before the news gets any older, here’s more info about some of my recent posts, which alluded to lunches, receptions, and so forth that we’ve attended lately. I’ll try to update things without making this too long. Sorry, some of this is old news, and I hope it doesn’t bore you too much!
On Friday, October 22, my friend Kathy and I had a long, chatty lunch at Freddy’s Diner on Post Street, Boonville (I did most of the chatting). Thankfully, management doesn’t care how long you occupy a booth, just talking and sipping coffee. The fifties-themed diner is a great gathering place. In fact, owner Karen Kapfer even joins senior citizens who meet there regularly to play cards!
The following afternoon, Saturday, October 23, Keith and I stopped by Boonville’s Black River Canal Museum (www.blackrivercanalmuseum.com) for cake and coffee. Museum trustees sponsored a reception to thank volunteer guides who had served at the local landmark over the summer.
Yours truly takes a break at the museum while on duty in May 2010.
Canal Museum volunteers enjoy refreshments during a "thank-you" reception.
It was very thoughtful of them, and we enjoyed meeting other guides we didn’t know. Although I didn’t help as often as I would have liked because of health issues, Keith and I did enjoy several afternoons there, meeting and greeting visitors and showing them the beautiful, recently completed complex. Hope to do it again next summer! They are always in need of guides, so if anyone reading this is interested, let me know, and I’ll point you in the right direction.
Canal Museum vice-president Lorna DeSantis, left, and director Daphne Larrabee, 3rd from left, chat with volunteer guides during the reception.
Keith checks out the inventory in the museum's gift shop.
It was great to join some of the gang at the Boonville Herald (www.boonvilleherald.com) for lunch in the office on Tuesday, October 26. I do miss working with them. They’re a great bunch, and always lots of fun. A few days later, I got up early Saturday morning, October 30 to attend what was pegged, “Ladies Day Out.”
New Creations Ministry Parish Nurse Kathy Warren, left, with her niece Crystal, preparing lunch during "Ladies Day Out."
Nothing too exciting there. Our church (www.boonvilleunitedmethodist.com) parish nurses – bless their hearts – planned a stress-relieving, informational day, including a healthy lunch. Too bad only a few women showed up, most of them at my urging!
Our Boonville Historical Club met Monday evening, November 1. Guest speaker John Slade lamented the effects of acid rain on the Adirondacks (see my blog www.boonvillehistoricalclub.wordpress.com) for more details.
I baked a loaf of my favorite Holiday Pumpkin Nut bread for the United Methodist Women’s (UMW) Election Day dinner on Tuesday, November 2, but we skipped the dinner. Instead, we drove to the Utica Stamp Club meeting in New Hartford, the first meeting we were able to attend in quite a while. A fun evening with fellow philatelists!
Carol, left, and Louise check out the ingredients on a box of healthy snack crackers during the "Ladies Day Out".
I donated another loaf of the delicious (in my opinion) pumpkin-nut bread for the bake sale at our church’s annual Holiday Craft Show and Luncheon on Saturday, the 6th, where I helped at the UMW’s table for a few hours, selling items for our fund-raising efforts. Lots of fun working with UMW members and meeting customers. Keith joined me for a delicious lunch, prepared and served by our UMW ladies.
Carol checks out the many items available at the silent auction during our church's annual Craft Fair and Luncheon
Gabbie, Sophia, and Liz wait for the turkey during Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
Cathy serves dessert.
Cathy in the kitchen with her older daughter Christine.
The Boonville Black River Canal Museum complex along the banks of the canal.
Monday evening, December 6, our Historical Club met at a member’s home for a lovely Christmas gathering that included signing cards for our 10th Mountain Division adopted platoon soldiers, currently serving in Afghanistan, and singing familiar carols.
The following day was another busy one.
On Tuesday, December 7, which by the way was Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, I saw my primary care provider, Terry Smith, at Northeast Nurse Practitioners. It was a routine follow-up (necessary when you have a chronic illness). But I also had wax buildup in my ears. Terry tried to flush it out. It worked, I guess, but my right ear is still driving me crazy. Feels like fluid sloshing around in there. Hopefully, it will disappear soon, or I’ll need another visit.
Since we were already in the area, we killed some time shopping until 6:30, when the Stamp Club’s annual holiday gathering took place at Casa Too Mucha, a Mexican restaurant. By that time it had started to snow quite heavily, and only a few people showed up. But we still had a grand time, and I brought home half my dinner for lunch the next day.
Speaking of lunches, there was another lunch on the calendar for Friday, December 10, although it was more like a feast. Friends Ed and Kathy invited us to their Constableville home for the noonday meal. On the way, I stopped at the Boonville Herald office to deliver part of a chocolate cake I had baked. It was a 13” x 9” pan, and way too much for Keith and I. The crew at the Herald loves baked goods, so I’m sure they enjoyed it! It was one of the most delectable, quick-and-easy chocolate cakes I’ve made in a long time. I’ll post the recipe here soon. But back to lunch…
I took our hostess a loaf of – not pumpkin bread this time, but something called Hearty Quick Brown Bread. Very healthy, made with whole-wheat flour and buttermilk. We all enjoyed the bread, as well as Kathy’s delicious meatloaf, mac and cheese, cole slaw, applesauce, and various other homemade goodies.
Soon, I was baking (well, actually cooking) again. For our annual UMW cookie exchange Tuesday evening, December 14. Not many people showed up on the chilly wintry evening. Those of us who did venture out sampled assorted holiday baked goods and brought some home.
Some of the UMW ladies who participated in the 2nd annual cookie exchange at the Boonville United Methodist Church.
My contribution was a favorite handed down from my mom. It requires no baking: a Cheerio, peanut butter, peanut, and chocolate-chip combination that our family loves. Here’s the simple recipe:
Crunchy Chocolate Bars
1 – 12 oz package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces
¾ cup – crunchy-style peanut butter
3 cups – Honey Nut Cheerios
1 cup – dry roasted peanuts (honey)
Combine chocolate morsels and peanut butter in a large, heavy saucepan or non-stick one. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently till just melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in cereal and peanuts till covered with chocolate.
Spread in a waxed paper lined 8” x 8” x 2” baking pan. Chill. Cut into bars.
OR drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper (this is what I do – so simple!) Chill before putting into closed container.
Best if refrigerated (unlike M&Ms, these WILL melt in your hands. You can add a tiny bit of paraffin to help prevent this, if you’d like, but I usually don’t.)
Makes about 36 delicious pieces.
Well, I guess I’d better get to those cards, or my friends won’t be getting them until the Fourth of July!
Thanks for visiting. Please stop by again soon. Who knows, by then I may decide to create a recipe blog – as if I don’t have enough to keep me busy now!
Comments are always welcome, although they won’t show us immediately.
Note: As usual, this was written about 2 days before it was posted!
MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!