Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year! GTTC and Gifts (part 3 of 2)

Happy New Year!!

It's cold in the 'burbs of Maryland with dustings of snow. I have my eyeballs on the little clump of dried leaves near the top of this bare fothergilla, for under it - an egg sac with a billion spider babies-to-be rests. Remember the story of my Charlotte spider? I hope I will not live to regret leaving this egg sac alone. I do want them to live, but I just REALLY hope they all blow away in the spring. Anyway, when the leaves blew onto and covered the egg sac a few weeks ago, I thought about removing them, but on second thought, it's possible that the leaves are actually protecting the egg sac, right? Then again, they're also creating more surface area for winds to blow down. I don't know. I'm just leaving the whole operation alone and keeping my eyeballs on it.
I wanted to share a few more gifts sent and received this season. I thought I was going to stop after "gifts part one" and "gifts part two", but there is more to share. Below are some of our Secret Santa gifts. My husband, brother-in-law, sister, and I draw names and exchange homemade gifts with materials not to exceed $15 or so. For a few different reasons (timing and logistics), I don't have everything to show you.
Here's my gift to my sister. This is her adorable baby Emmy. Emmy and I went to a paint your own pottery store and made this vase (and a video) for my sister. After you paint it, they glaze it for you and you pick it up in a few days. It was great because not only did my sister get a very pretty vase, but I got to have some quality alone time with Emmy!

Here's my sister's gift to my husband. She has gotten him some sort of Star Wars or Star Trek gift every year for probably close to 20 years now. This time, she made him a Star Trek pillow (insignia knitted on the bottom, space-themed fleece on the top) and an R2-D2 beer cozy. I thought this was hilarious!!!

Here's my gift to my husband from 2009 that I just gave him. We didn't see my b-i-l and sister last Christmas so we extended the deadline. I made some nerdy dice (for Dungeons and Dragons and games like that) out of polymer clay. This stuff is difficult to work with! I messed up on the 20-sided, but was fairly happy with the finished product!

Here, you see my older daughter unwrapping her new electric guitar. The funny part is that the gift giver is more hands-on than the recipient! Isn't this truly the case though - it really is more exciting to give than to receive most of the time...

...unless...what you're receiving is the ONE thing you've wanted more than anything else in the world - a FUSHIGI (until you take it out of the box and realize it's totally lame and doesn't actually float by itself).
In the garden last week, I was still able to remove snow and harvest some beautiful and very hardy parsley! This was my first time making polenta like Mamma used to make (well, not my mama, but maybe like someone Italian's mama) - great stuff worth the pot-stirring. The beans, garlic, onions, and parsley were braised with tomatoes for about 20 minutes or so. I will admit it was QUITE delicious.

What's going on in your (mega) bit of the world (wide web)? Are you challenged by the Garden to Table Challenge?


  1. All very cute gifts. The polenta looks yummy. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  2. Wendy, thank you for sharing your life stories, gardening and cooking ideas with us. It's been an enjoyable one year following your blog. Wishing you and your family Happy New Year 2011! We are already 7.5hrs into 1.1.11.

  3. Hi Wendy, Fun post. Happy New Year to you. Stay warm. Hugs, Grace

  4. Cute stuff Wendy! Have a Happy 2011!! Stay warm!

  5. Happy New Year Wendy! Sweet post! Your beans look terrific ;-)

  6. Hey, I made polenta for the first time recently, too! 'Cept ours was fried and topped with a thick meat sauce. I might have to try your way, it sure looks tasty!
    Love the gift pics, you look like you have some very happy little girls there. We've done the pottery painting as gifts before, too - I think it's so neat to do that! And the dice - heh! I'd never have thought to *make dice, but what a neat idea. I'm really impressed. (And it makes me miss playing D&D... just a little bit. LOL)
    Happy New Year to you and yours, Wendy!

  7. Very nice and creative gifts. I admire that you all did that.

  8. Those are great gifts! I especially like the making the vase idea! My husband loves Star Wars and Star Trek too. Is it a guy requirement? I wonder sometimes!! The Star Wars R2-D2 Beer Cozy is way Too cute.

  9. Handmade gifts are so precious! Only one in the whole wide world ;-D Happy New Year Wendy and family.

  10. Wendy: Those were very creative gift ideas! Both your sister and you are very artistic. Emmy is so adorable!!!

  11. And if i have not said to you, Happy New Year and wish you a great gardening year ahead!

  12. Those are creative gifts! I guess you and your family had good time exchanging gift with each other!
    The polenta looks delicious!

  13. Hi Wendy, such creative gifts, and good luck with the spiderling dilemma. cheers, cm

  14. Happy New year Wendy!

    I think those dice look pretty knarly.
    Your daughter's face is classic....does she know you posted that? My kids are very wary of me with a camera now that they find out I post pics of them on my blog. :)
    I never made polenta. Now I want to give it a whirl. Looks so scrumptious!

  15. Those are all fun gifts. It is too bad the fushigi turned out to be lame. The dice are fun!! Look at your snow. I actually do kind of miss seeing the white blanket. Your recipes always look so good. If it was from my garden to table ... we would starve. Happy New Year!

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  17. The Fushigi picture is absolutely priceless. The unbridled joy of innocence and youth almost brought a tear to my eye.


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