verb, to make less complex or complicated; make plainer or easier: to simplify a problem.

Look around you are you being overrun by stuff???  If so it is time to simplify.  If you haven't used it, worn it, needed it, in one to two years chances are you won't in the future either.    A house with less paraphernalia is easier to clean and keep clean so when you look at your belongings they should have purpose or cause a warm sweet feeling, such as precious presents from children or grandchildren.  But to just see how much you can accumulate or squeeze into your dwelling is silly and consuming. 

"Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify."
Henry David Thoreau

Christmas Baking
Yummy Recipes!!!

Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Candy & Fudge, Breads, and more...
Another way to have a homemade Christmas.  Make and bake some gifts for the neighbors, friends and family.

Homemade Christmas
Carl Larsson

Do you remember when Christmas was homemade - or at least a good portion of it was...
Well if you too would like to step back and 'get back to basics' I would like to share a few ideas and sites that offer beautiful patterns and information for a homemade Christmas.

Paper Dolls

The list goes on and on ...

Merry Christmas!

Thanksgiving: A Homegrown Holiday

Thanksgiving: A Homegrown Holiday
We celebrate Thanksgiving today much as the Pilgrims celebrated the first one in 1621.  The Pilgrims' first year in America had been unremittingly harsh. Lacking adequate food and shelter, 47 men, women and children died before the year's end. In contrast, the second year was one of vast accomplishment: seven homes were built and 20 acres of corn were harvested. To celebrate, colonists and Indians joined together for games, races, displays of marksmanship, and a parade led by Miles Standish.  But the highlight of the event was the abundance and variety of fruits, vegetables, breads, seafood, and fresh-killed game that made up the week-long feast.

After that original celebration each of the colonies took to declaring days of thanksgiving whenever an occasion seemed suitable. With the exception of 1789, when George Washington declared a nationwide day of thanks. Thanksgiving remained an essentially local holiday until the Civil War. Then, on October 6, 1863, President Lincoln gave the celebration permanent status when he declared the last Thursday in November to be an annual day of national thanksgiving. The date remained unchanged until 1939, when Franklin Roosevelt altered it to the third Thursday in November. Two years later Congress changed it to the fourth Thursday in November. While some communities mark the day with parades, Thanksgiving dinner remains the main event. Turkey has replaced the wild fowl of the Pilgrims, but the rest of the meal revolves around traditional harvest foods--fruits, nuts, squash, turnips, sweet potatoes, and pies of mincemeat, apple and pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pie
3 cups pumpkin, canned or steamed and pureed
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cloves
1 T. cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups milk
two 9 inch unbaked pie shells

Pour mixture in to pie shells. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 375 and bake 40 minutes more or until a knife inserted comes out clean.  Cool. Serve topped with whipped cream.

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