Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Nostalgia, Simplicity and Memories

 Happy Tuesday all!  It is a COLD and blustery morning here.  Our coldest since March!!!!!  It was 18* this morning, with a high of only 30* today.  ICK!!!!!  Tomorrow, we get back to warmer and more seasonal temps - thank goodness.  I saw on the weather that the next 2 weeks will be above normal here!  Can you see me jumping up and down??!!  LOL

I have been thinking about holidays past a lot lately.  I tend to do that this time of the year.
I saw this little item and thought what a great idea.
What a cute idea!!!!!!!  Get out that button box and make up some cute gift tags!  Tags and cards could be used with this method all year long!  Simple, old fashioned looking, and using what you have around the house.  Neat way to get creative.
I make gift tags from all the card fronts that I keep from year to year.  They are pretty and FREE!  You can cut into designs or use as is!

Who remembers these????  Oh my gosh, I remember seeing them in the stores as a kid, and I always wanted one!  I mean they were just filled with cheap junk and very little candy - but I wanted one!  Mom would always tell me to just wait - because Santa would bring me something much better!!!!!! 
He always did - never failed!
There would be an orange in the toe - then there were nuts in shells, wrapped candies, trinkets like hair accessories, bubble bath, little hand games, crayons, etc.  Such fun to see all the goodies!

LOVE this!  I remember having a candy dish full of these every year.  The filled raspberries were my favorites!    Good old-fashioned candy, some filled some not.  I can still find canisters of these at Big Lots and sometimes at drug stores or places like Ollies.  I don't have mom's neat, covered candy dish - but I keep mine in a wide mouth quart jar. A canister lasts me a long while, so the jar keeps them well (and it is pretty to look at!).  I sure need to get some for this year.  It just doesn't seem like Christmas without the pretty hard candies!

Just a memory or two!  I am so thankful for memories.  I can sit and smile (or laugh) thinking about things.  I will put on some Christmas music today and I plan on getting some crafts done, I need to start putting baskets together (to see what else I need), and then on to jelly making and cookie making later this week!  Oh, I got the cards out and ready to address as well!!!!
This Santa's helper will be busy for the next few weeks.  That is a good thing - because it keeps me busy and keeps my mind occupied!!  We all know this can also be a sad time of the year for many reasons for many people.

What are you up to today?  Are you working on any Christmas items or plans?  Shopping?  Crafting?
We all need some new ideas - come on, give us a shout!!!!!
Can't wait to hear from you all.

PS - FRANCES - hope all is OK.  Hope you can check in and update!  HUGS!


  1. The button crafts are cute! Big Lots does have the old-fashioned hard candies. The raspberry ones were my favorite. The Farmer's stepdad used to get a huge box of chocolates for the Farmer's mom but guess who ate a large part (most of it) of it? The Farmer and his stepbrother! We eat very little candy these days.

    Yes, Frances, let us know if you and your hubs are okay. Still praying for your.

    Watched the bit of snow fall this morning. The Farmer went out to feed the chickens and clean up their nests and he said it was very cold. It's to be excepted but I'm looking for the warmer days.

    1. I figured BL would have the candies - they usually do. Mmmm raspberries my favs too!!!
      Yeah, seeing flurries - not impressed!!!!!! LOL! The older I get, the more I dislike winter!

  2. We will be out getting haircuts late this morning, so I hope to get most of the household tasks completed. Then it is on to getting the last few gifts made, things put away and tree downstairs decorated,

    God bless.

    1. Get your Christmas hair!!!! LOL
      Lots of little ends to get tied up before the holidays. Stay safe out there.

  3. I love the cute gift tags! I've been wanting to make one of those jeweled Christmas tree pictures for ever, maybe on the agenda for next year.
    *We got our first Christmas card yesterday! I need to get my cards out and get busy.

    1. I think those jeweled trees (pictures) are so pretty. Takes a lot of costume jewelry! Make sure you get lots of supplies at those estate sales!!!!!!
      WOW - a card already! I usually get my first one on the first or second of Dec. Busy times ahead!!!!

    2. Grandma Griff had one of those Christmas Trees made with her old costume jewelry. I think BIL has it now? But pictures of it inspired my Sis to make all sorts of art from old jewelry that she then sells at holiday craft fairs. She even bedeckled some dress forms with jewelry! It takes time and folks now donate old jewelry to her, but she loves it. --Elise

  4. Preparations for a house concert tonight on the agenda for today. I've been holding off on any Christmas decoration until Dec 1. The first thing I'll decorate is the front porch. There's a bake sale on Sat at the lodge where my mom lives so that's the first baking to be done. I think I'll make a no-fail fudge & the white chocolate chip/cranberry cookies. The first Christmas card arrived in the mail yesterday. I always send the overseas cards first at the beginning of Dec. Cheryl, like you, I use old cards to make the gift tags.

    1. Enjoy the concert - that sounds nice! I will wait till after tomorrow to decorate outside - it is too now.
      The bake sale sounds fun. I miss the one they used to do at the church up the road. They haven't had it for many years now.
      Using the old card sure saves a bit and I like recycling! Of course, I keep pretty boxes, bags and tissue paper every year too!!!!!

  5. Oh Cheryl, oh yes, those hard candies. My mom had a brass candy dish lined with glass and a brass top on it on the coffee table. I use the coffee table now for my little 4 and a half main tree. I remember the candies were all stuck together like a rock! lol I never was much on hard candies so wasn't too terribly disappointed but sometimes I just so wanted to pry one of those candies off and eat it! The ribbon ones were so fascinating to me!

    I would love to see how you do your gift tags from greeting cards, do you punch a hole in them and put a ribbon? Where do you write on them? I'm a bum on those...I buy a pack of stick ons. But wouldn't mind making some if they were simple enough.

    Those button cards are so cute and wouldn't those make cute earrings? I could see the snowman ones, though a little different as earrings....Soooooo cute.

    Oh yes, I too thought those stockings were so neat but my mom and dad's were sure enough much better! : ) Oh the wonderful chocolate bells and stuff...One day my mom and I were at a department store and they had those candy shops in the department stores. My mom bought me one of those long boxes with chocolate santa's in it. I just loved it..it was dark driving home to our little town and when we got home my dad was so mad at his gas station there for the boats. He was so frightened because he kept calling and calling and no answer. I remember getting tickled because my mom was saying..."Oh I'm so sorry Tonie!" In a way I thought it was sweet my mom being so humble and apologetic and also my dad showing such care to the point of panic. (A heart emoji here).

    As you can see I too am thinking of Christmas. Would love to hear more of your stories, Cheryl! ~Amelia

    1. Amelia, I make jewelry with all sorts of stuff. Buttons included, sometimes. They ARE cute. If we lived closer to one another we could have so much fun making pretties! --Elise

    2. Yes they do stick together. Another reason for the jar - I can shake it! Ribbon candy - another blast from the past. I have always liked that too.
      I just cut a design - maybe a tree or snowman out - you can write on front or back - depending to the decoration on the card front. I tape them on the package. Nothing fancy.
      Earrings would be cute with the buttons!
      No cell phones then - no answering machines - I remember getting worried when getting no answers too!
      I am sure there will be more memories over the next month!

    3. Wouldn't that be fun, Elise? Sure enough! ~Amelia

    4. So true, Cheryl with no cell phones! My mil got really worried about my oldest sil. She was going to college and forgot to call when she got there.

      Anyway, I was probably around 6 years old and I thought it was so sweet the way my dad was so aggravated (understandably!). It really tickled me to no end especiallly my mom apologizing. ..."Well, I'm sorry Tonie!" lol I was standing there in the dark house (we just walked in) with one little light in the kitchen as my mom talked on the kitchen wall phone. I was standing there with my box of santa chocolates and all was well with the world. : )

  6. Wonderful memories! Yes, I remember those mesh stockings and the hard candies. My "Santa filled" stockings were just like yours. We were so happy with so much less than kids today.

    Icy cold here with snow coming (possibly) tomorrow. Thank goodness we stocked up on pallets of wood pellets as the stove has been running nonstop. I'll be jammin' and baking, too, to help heat the house up. Speaking of which, I need eggs.

    TIP: When baking cookies mix a double batch of dough, scooping and freezing 1/2 on waxed paper lined cookies sheets, then storing airtight in freezer once scoops are frozen solid. You're then ready for last-minute fresh baked cookies; preheat oven to 350 when ready and bake the frozen dough on cookie sheets for 15 minutes.

    QUESTION(s): Has anyone made chocolate sauce? If so, would you mind sharing the recipe? Also, what's your favorite (easy) recipe for fudge?

    PT was just an evaluation yesterday. I'll go twice per week now until I can walk safely/easily w/o the boot. Meaning I'll add the PT staff to my local Christmas treats list! --Elise

    1. P.S. To Frances, still praying every day for you and your husband.

    2. Glad you have supplies to stay warm. I always like to have some frozen cookies in the freezer - makes it easy to bake some for just self, unexpected company, etc.
      I will look for choc sauce recipe.
      Glad for a good eval.

    3. Cheryl, I'm baking with frozen cookie dough today, cutting the frozen scoops in half for bite sized cookies. --Elise

    4. Our youngest daughter does a delicious chocolate sauce with coconut oil, cocoa powder and sweetener of your choice. It makes a delicious hardened candy too when chilled. I've even used a can of chocolate icing heated in the microwave lol on a bundt cake...It worked great! Yep, I'm Tonie's daughter. Haha...When he owned our family restaurant he took his welding torch and browned the merangue on a baked alaska for a rehearsal dinner (not melting the ice cream on the inside)! They wanted Baked Alaska and that's what they got. lol When I was in art in highschool, my fashion illustrations were done with pastels, a number 2 pencil and a bic black pen, it worked great, and they would always end up in the showcase at school. No muss, no fuss and it worked! : D ~Amelia

    5. Sometimes the simplest ways are the best! Now they sell little torches for the kitchen!

    6. Elise - this is the recipe I use for chocolate sauce. Very similar to Hershey's chocolate syrup. Costs a fraction and we think it tastes better too!

      1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
      1 cup granulated sugar
      1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
      1/2 cup cold water
      1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

      In a cold saucepan, whisk together the cocoa and the sugar until all lumps are removed. Add the salt and the water and bring to a boil over medium-medium high heat.
      Reduce to a gentle simmer; stirring constantly. Simmer for about 30 seconds and then remove from heat. Let cool and then add in the vanilla.
      Pour into a glass jar and allow to cool.

    7. Thank you Amy. That does sound easy! --Elise

    3/4 C cocoa powder
    1 1/4 C water
    1 1/2 C sugar
    1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
    Dash of salt.
    Place all except vanilla in a larger sauce pan (it expands as cooking), whisk until dissolved - then boil 1-2 minutes.
    Add vanilla after that.
    It appears thin, but thickens as it cools. Jar and refrigerate

  8. Oh my, I wanted one of those stockings, too! I had forgotten about them! I love that hard candy and have not seen it in stores in years but maybe I need to look harder. Fun memories!

    1. Yes, check around, because many stores are selling it again. Usually in cardboard round containers. Not expensive either.

  9. It's odd, I've never seen those stockings except for cat and dog toys and treats. But the hard candies were an absolute favorite of mine. The local farm community center had a Christmas concert every year: children sang, recited poetry, or danced, and the ladies put on a funny skit with silly costumes. Then we'd sing Christmas carols before Santa arrived with a bag of presents marked boy or girl and the ladies would hand out treat bags. There was always a Christmas orange (Mandarin) and some hard candies. My favorites were the lemon and peppermint flavored ones.
    Christmas cards and letters still need to be written, but now that my shopping is complete (just a couple of gift cards to pick up), and I'm well on the way to finishing the small ornaments for Eli's teachers, I'm feeling like everything will get done. Oh, the little tree needs to be decorated, so I'll do that this weekend.
    It is a joy to look back and remember the Christmas' past. These days, Christmas with my grandson is even better.

    1. I still see them for cat/dog treats - not kiddos anymore.
      Your memories sound wonderful - such fun times. Gosh, I remember going to the 'Santa House' to see Santa and always getting treats. Carolers that used to come around the neighborhood. Such fun.
      You sound like you have t all handled lady. Good for you!
      Little ones sure do make a holiday special!

  10. Chocolate Caramel Sauce
    30 caramels or about 1 cup. These are usually available during the holiday season. Hard to find the rest of the year.
    1 cup (6oz) semisweet chocolate chips
    5 oz evaporated milk
    1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
    Gently heat and mix the ingredients. Serve over ice cream.
    Very good.
    Central Az
    PS: love the gift tags. Definitely doing that one!

  11. With a temp of 25F and wind chill of 4F right now, I'm staying in today. Cheryl, you've mentioned having lots of robins around this fall. We have at least half a dozen who have decided to stick around for now. No snow other than flurries so far.

    Thanksgiving was bittersweet for me, knowing that it will be the last one Husband and share here on earth. He moved into the new assisted living facility on the 22nd. I've been visiting him every other day. Yesterday he was in good spirits and fairly lucid. He is now using a wheelchair to reduce the risk of falling with a walker. He is now enrolled in hospice care, as the doctor believes he has approximately six months to live. The hospice team is wonderful! His main diagnosis is Failure to Thrive, and he also has Alzheimers among other diagnoses. I emotionally hit bottom last week with the struggle to find appropriate care for him. I am trying to find caregiver counselling from a provider that my insurance will cover. In the mean time, I am trying very hard to take care of myself: eating, sleeping, exercise, social interaction. Have gained 1 lb., am sleeping 6-7 hrs/night, and am making Project Linus blankets again. I'm planning to visit the PL workshop tomorrow. Working on accessing his long-term care insurance and gaining control as Power of Attorney over his IRAs, etc. I would encourage anyone who is facing a similar situation to start as soon as possible to get your legal and financial affairs in order.

    As always, we thank everyone for the prayers and support.

    I apologize to anyone who is offended by my posts. I have hesitated to post not wanting to put a damper on the holiday spirit.

    1. Thank you for the update, Frances. No need to apologize. I figured as much when you mentioned hospice being added. Please check with hospice as they usually have a counselor available for free. Glad you're gaining a little, sleeping better and working on Project Linus again. Every little thing helps during sad times. (((Hug))) --Elise

    2. Thank you Cheryl and Elise.

    3. Frances, I am so praying for you and your husband. You may want to check some of the churches around you? I know the old fashioned Methodist in downtown here offers a support group for those caring for relatives with Alzheimers and other things. I would check it out myself because my mom suffers from some kind of memory loss (What's the difference right?) but it's way too far for me and would stress me out to try to go.

      I would never think your posts could ever offend anyone, Frances.

      The robins sound beautiful, maybe they are God's messengers of comfort to you?

      God be with you in a mighty way, Frances. I've been praying and will continue, this must be very difficult for you. In Christ's care, ~Amelia

    4. Frances, I hope you are able to find emotional support for *you* during this tough time. Holidays are tricky enough in the good years, but in the difficult years they can be very painful... as you say, bitter-sweet.

      Absolutely yes, about POA and such legal things. These need to be set up preferably before it's an emergency. I've spent quite some time (and money) trying to do just this with my son. Also, I've made a notebook for him with all my information - accounts, doctors, insurances, etc. I keep it here at home with my tax papers in a fireproof box. Of course the moment I thought it was done there were changes! ;)

      Stay warm, y'all!

    5. Mary great advice. I had a folder with everything I needed to know 'in case' and it sure was a blessing. Not a month before passing G had a POA drawn up. Everything was in both names - so transfer was easy.
      It does pay to be prepared!

    6. Absolutely no reason to apologize. We all wonder how you're both doing when you don't post for a while. I pray that you'll find help for all the things that need doing. xo Cindy/WV

    7. Thank you Amelia, MaryB and Cindy/WV.

    8. MaryB, we had our wills, living will & healthcare POAs, and durable general POAs drawn up 7 years ago. The problem now is that every financial/investment institution has different requirements and additional forms that must be completed in order to exercise the POA. Some require a doctor's certification of incapacity. Most require only my notarized signature, but some require a bank signature guarantee medallion.
      The notebook is a great idea. I have been handling our personal business matters for a while and am familiar with the information. Should anything ever happen to me, I have no idea how things would be handled as I would have no one to manage my affairs.

  12. Frances I am so sorry that this happened
    To you and your husband.
    I can't imagine how hard it is on you.
    There are so many lovely people who read this blog. I can't imagine any one being upset by you sharing what's going on in your life.
    I wish I could lift you burden.
    I cannot but I can pray for you both .

  13. Those button git tags are adorable! I have a button box here, so I could do that too. My grandmother always had a jar of candy like that on her coffee table for Christmas. Good memories. :)

    1. I think the tags are adorable. Memories are forever there!!!!

  14. Those button tags are super cute!

    My paternal grandmother had a lidded crystal bowl of those ribbon and striped pillow candies. Although they looked tempting, I steered well clear of them. The flavors were horrible!

    I expected fruity tastes from all those bright colors, but they were anise, spearmint, clove, cinnamon, harsh peppermint. My brother and I called them "Old People Candies"!! :^P :^P

    1. That made me chuckle! I don't remember those flavors. I guess that would be a huge shock to a child looking for sweet!
      I do believe most ladies had that lidded crystal candy dish back in the day.

  15. I remember those stockings. Always wanted one but never did get one. The goodies We got from Santa were much better. Boy, those stocking brought back memories. We had an aluminum tree that had a reflector on the floor . Guess you didn't put light s on the tree and the reflector rotated and made colors on the tree. We also had spray snow in a can. You put stencils up against the windows and sprayed the snow. I also remember those candies and ribbon candy.

    1. Funny how we all wanted one of those stockings! Yep, Santa's were better!
      I always wanted a silver tree and color wheel. We had one at home one year because dad wanted it - one year!!!!! LOL
      Oh I remember the spray snow. That had to be a job to remove, but it sure was pretty.

  16. Frances, hugs and prayers. Thank you for taking the time to update us.

  17. Hi Cheryl, checking in to see what you've been up to :) Boy, those stocking brought back some memories! And that candy! Seems like so long ago :) Those tags are really cute. I saw some little button Christmas trees recently and thought about making some. Well, hope your week is warm and cozy! Take care :)

    1. Howdy - glad to have you check in! Fun memories for sure. I have seen some little trees made with buttons too - they are just adorable. There are so many uses for those button boxes!
      Supposed to start warming up today!!!