Friday, February 11, 2011

Christmas in Maggie Valley

Okay, so it's February and I'm just now doing a post about Christmas......what a slacker :)

We celebrated Christmas in a rental house in the mountains this year. For me, it was perfect except for missing family members (frown). Our celebration was simple but just right for us. Christmas morning we opened presents, oohed and ahhed over the snow, and ate a yummy breakfast complete with the traditional Cracker Barrel knockoff breakfast casserole. Little R had tons of fun feeding her baby doll, playing dress up, and enjoying having her CoCo around. We had planned on a late lunch/early dinner for our main Christmas meal but it didn't exactly work out that way. We lost power for a few hours two different times so the food wasn't ready on time but we didn't care. Little R and the rest of us spent LOTS of time outside playing in the snow. It was our first White Christmas so it made the day even more special.


The TREE....$10 tree bought 4 days before Christmas. Small, lopsided, uneven, think Charlie Brown Christmas tree with a borrowed stand that dwarfed it and don't forget the awesome tree skirt aka burgundy bath towel.
The ORNAMENTS-a few ornaments my Mom made (sequins and pins on styrofoam), old plastic silver ornaments that were destined for the garbage, glittered pinecones made by Little R and I, foam ornaments made by all of us, and of course strung popcorn :)
The PRESENTS-homemade scarf for baby, hubby and the sisters, foam stickies for little R (she spent forever in the tub playing with them, homemade soap for the ladies, scrapbook style picture plaques for everyone, homemade microwave popcorn with bags decorated by R for everyone, a shirt for the hubby, and some store bought toys for R.
The ACTIVITIES- painting with watercolors, snuggling while watching movies, playing in the snow, making snow angels, gathering pinecones for decorating and starting fires, making glittered pinecones, making smores outside by the campfire, trip to waterfall, playing by the river, collecting rocks, coloring, sipping hot chocolate outside covered with blankets, just sitting and watching the fire, playing with new toys, reconnecting :)
The PEOPLE-me, hubby, Little R and CoCo (sister). We had hoped others would join us but it didn't work out that way.
The SETTING- Wonderful 3 bed, 2 bath rental home on the side of a mountain, 2 covered decks, deck off of master bedroom, view of the mountains, 2 fireplaces in Maggie Valley, NC
The FOOD- cookies for Santa, cheesecake, smores, fresh ground coffee, Pomegranite glazed Ham, hashbrown casserole, red beans and rice, cornbread dressing
The MEMORIES-first white Christmas, little one making snow angels, reindeer food for Rudolph and crew, Little R in her super cute snow suit, first Christmas without my Mom, SMORES!!

We did get snowed in. That was quite an experience. We didn't leave the house for 5 days except for hubbie's trip to the grocery store. Thanks to friends of a friend we survived. My friend Kym who lives in Maggie just happened to leave for Reno the night before we got there BUT she hooked us up with people she knew with a massive 4 wheel drive truck. They were awesome and took the hubby to the grocery store and even took our trash away. We were able to leave only after our driveway and the gravel part of the road was salted (x 2) and plowed by the mailman's son for a reduced rate AND Vitti was driven down to the main road by a "local". Yep, the mailman's son-hubby happened to talk to the mailman about the roads and how the home owner and the rental company were not helping us get out and he gave his son a call and next thing you know, we have someone to help at about 1/2 the cost of all the others. BTW-a light SUV without 4 wheel drive and with regular not so very new tires is not appropriate for driving on snow and ice.
We had a fabulous time and it was just what I needed. Now, to make the mountains my forever home.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

DIY Fabric Softener

I finally nixed fabric softener all together. I now use diluted vinegar and essential oil. That's it, nothing else. I use ~3 parts vinegar and 1 part water with several drops of essential oil, using ~ 1/2 a cup per load. Much to my relief, there is no vinegar smell after the clothes come out of the dryer and the clothes are soft. BUT, I miss the fabric softener smell. Not sure if I am using the wrong type of oil or not using enough but my clothes don't have a scent when they are dry-none. I haven't noticed any static but I've read yu can use baking soda or borax in the wash to reduce it. Now, to go DIY with my detergent.