The simple pleasures of home shine brighter
when the spirit of God intertwines our hearts
with His gentle Joy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rustic Christmas on the Prairie. . .

This year, "Mr. Ed" and I wanted a simpler, more relaxed look for our Christmas decor. Instead of the Traditional red and green that usually fills the upper level, we choose a more Rustic Christmas on the Prairie.

By bringing the Lodge Tree up from the lower level living family room with all it's bronze, gold, and brown ornaments, the change was relatively easy! The only purchase was the wide natural wire ribbon used for garland!

Come closer and we'll watch the transformation step~ by~ step!

The backdrop is the first thing I tackle On Crooked Creek. Getting those wreaths hung in the window can be quite challenging when you're 5 foot 2!!! It usually takes many trips up and down the ladder to assure they are all at the same level!

Identical is the look I'm after! "Mr. Ed" is great help...he even photographed for me after my discussion concerning the electrical cords.

Using the same wide ribbon for the wreaths as the well as the garland gives that rustic look and unifies the natural appearance. The texture of this ribbon is smooth, not at all like burlap, and has a golden sheen with the reflection of the light!

The use of wired ribbon allows me to shape the bow and give it a full, puffy effect! I adore bows!

Now you can see how important it was to level all the wreaths and poof the bows. This makes a striking backdrop for the star of the living room. . . our Lodge Christmas Tree!

The Lodge Christmas Tree is something I won during a Christmas Tree Open House at our local Floral Store in South East Kansas. The tree trunk itself appears to have come from a rough cut log and the branches are huge!

The pine cones and twig balls come already attached to the branches! The addition of 300 lights makes a radiant glow throughout the room!

The only other textural element added is the faux twigs strategically placed into the branches for a more authentic appearance!

Next comes the ornaments and icicles!!!

Instead of using a store bought tree skirt, I opted using a creamy ivory, quilted, scalloped throw from Victorian Heart! The softness is amazing at the base of the tree. The softer hue reflects the light from above and compliments the new carpeting On Crooked Creek!

The Christmas Tree On Crooked Creek isn't complete without our precious porcelain Angel in her place of honor at the top! Her creamy ivory dress with golden accents brings a unity to the entire decor of the tree.

From this. . .

. . . to this!


The calm serenity of a Rustic Christmas on the Prairie is just what I was dreaming of. . . On Crooked Creek!

Until next time. . .

On Crooked Creek is joining our sweet hostess
Susan @ Between Naps On The Porch for Metaphorsis Monday!
Be sure to visit and see all the lovely make~overs, especially at this blessed Christmas Season. Inspiration abounds!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Present. . .

Our Family Christmas Tradition is to alternate hosting the occasion with our son and daughter~in~law.

We hosted Christmas On Crooked Creek last year. So~o~o...with that being said, "Mr. Ed" and I are doing things a bit differently here for our Season's holiday decor.

It is Christmas in

the Heart

that puts


in the air.

I adore this saying! On Crooked Creek, in keeping with a Traditional flair, has added many rustic elements into our Christmas decorating. The Traditional hues of reds and golds has changed somewhat, as well!

"The Resident Decorator" On Crooked Creek has graciously allowed the use of his p r i z e d deer sheds! I adore how this one encompasses the porcelain plague easeled for display.

This creamy ivory vase is a favorite On Crooked Creek! Through the years it has been simply used as a Traditional  arts 'de object. For this Season, and in keeping with our more rustic Christmas theme, I've filled it with pheasant feathers.

Rustic, simple, Traditional Christmas decor. . .On Crooked Creek.

On Crooked Creek is joining our gracious hostess, Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday. Marty has the most elegant vignettes in Blog Land. Be sure to visit and be inspired to create a lovely Table Top design for your own home!

Until next time. . .

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Left ~over Turkey!!!

Goodness! seems every year we look for those 12 lb. turkeys @ the grocer
...and every year it seems they just get larger and larger!!! This year our turkey was a whopping 14 lbs.! So~o~o...what to do with all that left~over turkey??? Make Turkey Soup!

Turkey Soup:

1 to 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped, cooked turkey
1/3 cup uncooked minute rice
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups water
1 cup chicken stock
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Saute the celery and onion in the tablespoon of butter.
Add water, chicken stock and chopped vegetables.
Bring to a boil over medium ~ high heat.
Cook until vegetables are tender 5 ~ 7 minutes.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the rice and left ~ over turkey. Simmer about 5 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf.
Serves 4.

This is a hearty soup and only needs a slice of crusty bread or crackers!
Perfect with any left ~ over pecan or pumpkin pie!!!

On Crooked Creek is joining our gracious hostess, Yvonne @ StoneGable for On The Menu Monday! Be sure to visit and look for other delicious ideas to use those left ~overs in this week's menus!

Until next time. . .

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Time Table to Thanksgiving. . .

Hard to realize that it's time, once again, for our Festive Thanksgiving Feast On Crooked Creek!!!

Thanksgiving On Crooked Creek November 2009!

We are so fortunate to alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas with our son and daughter~in~law. So~o~o... this year "Mr. Ed" and I have created a Time Table to Thanksgiving. . .

What's On The Menu? 14

Oven Roasted Cornbread Stuffed Turkey
Mashed Potatoes &  Gravy
Green Beans
Waldorf Salad
Iced Tea

Pecan Pie with Whipped Cream
Chocolate Cake with Butter Cream Frosting

Sunday ~ November 20. . .
#Take Turkey out of freezer and place on a cookie sheet in refrigerator to begin slow defrosting!
#Make MoMa's Never ~ Fail Pie Crust.

Never ~ Fail Pie Crust:

3 cups self ~ rising flour **
1 1/4 cups Crisco shortening
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup cold water

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening until dough resembles lumpy texture.
Mix wet ingredients. Slowly pour into the dough and mix with a wooden spoon.
Do NOT over mix or dough will be tough!

Wrap tightly in Saran Wrap and refrigerate unit ready to roll out for pies!
Yields 3 pie shells.

** For all~purpose flour, add 1 teaspoon baking soda to 2 1/2 cups flour.

Monday ~ November 21. . .
# Grocery Shopping for fresh produce and last minute  dairy items!

Tuesday ~ November 22. . .
#Set ~up lower living table for desserts!
# Bake "Mr. Ed's" Easy Cornbread for the Cornbread Dressing!

"Mr. Ed" has been published in his
High School Alumni Cook Book in 2003!

"Mr. Ed's" Easy Corn Bread 50!

"Mr. Ed's" Easy Corn Bread:

1 1/4 cup all ~purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 8 or 9 inch pan.

Combine dry ingredients.
Stir in the milk, eggs and oil mixing until just the dry ingredients are moistened.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
Serves 8.

!!Reserve 1/2 (or 4 servings) for the cornbread dressing!!
Crumble and leave in an uncovered bowl on the counter until ready to prepare Cornbread Dressing!

Wednesday ~ November 23. . .
#Iron table linens and set the dining room table.
#Bake Pecan Pie.
#Bake Chocolate Cake ~ 
            Frost cake with Butter Cream Frosting when cool.
#Take Turkey out of wrapper and wash thoroughly.
            Return to refrigerator until time to stuff on Thursday morning!

Thanksgiving On Crooked Creek 2011!
(Table setting Sneak Peek )
Thursday ~ November 24. . .
#Prepare Cornbread Dressing. (Recipe follows.)
#Stuff Turkey with Cornbread Dressing
              and into oven to roast...early!!!
#Make Waldorf Salad.
#Wash and peel Potatoes. Set in cool water until time to cook.
#Prepare Green Beans.
#Prepare "extra" Cornbread Dressing for baking.
#Warm Croissants &  Gravy.
#Brew Tea &  Coffee.

Semi ~ Homemade Cornbread Dressing:

1 onion, chopped
2 ~ 3 stalks celery, chopped
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cans Swanson's Chicken Broth
1 bag Herb Seasoned Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix
1 pkg. Stove ~ Top Stuffing / Chicken flavor
4 servings "Mr. Ed's" Easy Cornbread
2 teaspoons Poultry Seasoning
1 tablespoon Parsley,chopped 
2 cans Creamed~Style Corn
1 can Water Chestnuts, drained and sliced or chopped
1 stick butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten

Chop onion and celery and saute in 2 tablespoons melted butter until transparent.
Add the Swanson's Chicken Broth, the dry packet of Stove ~ Top Stuffing with amount of water listed on the package and the stick of butter. Heat until combined. Remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
Stir in eggs, creamed ~ style corn, and the water chestnuts.
Pour liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Stuff into the cavity of the prepared Turkey and into the oven immediately!

Place "extra" dressing into a greased baking pan and set aside until closer to mealtime.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 ~ 30 minutes.

As we gather for a Festive Thanksgiving Feast,  
                           let us always remember to Give Thanks ~

A Thanksgiving Prayer

We cannot thank you, God, enough
For all the gifts you give,
For life and breath, for joy and song
That fill each day we live.

With gratitude this special day
Our praise goes up to you
For loved ones whom we cherish,
For all they are and do.

Lord, thank you for companionship
With those who share this meal;
The ones not gathered here with us,
Let them Thy blessing feel.

And now, oh heavenly Spirit,
Descend on us, we pray;
Teach us to share the gifts we have
Today and every day.


Doris Land Mueller

Our wish for you this Thanksgiving Day is that you receive some of the same blessings that you give to "Mr. Ed" and I here On Crooked Creek.

Until next time...

On Crooked Creek will be joining our gracious hostess, Yvonne @ StoneGable for On The Menu Monday! What a blessing Yvonne continues to be in my life here in the Land of Blog!
 Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A JOYful Evening!

Dear Ones,

In this Season of Thanksgiving, I must stop to give thanks to my JOY Sisters! We have several women's circles at our Church. Nearly two years ago, my dearest friend, Glenda ask me to join JOY Circle. What a blessing these ladies have become in my life!!!

This November the JOY Circle met On Crooked Creek for our monthly meeting and social get ~ together!
"Mr. Ed" was a tremendous help with all the preparations...especially the out ~ of ~ doors! As you climb the stairs on our long, narrow porch...this is the first glimpse of the exterior decor!

Near the doorway, set these adorable lanterns with battery candles! ...and yes, they were lit for our ladies arrival On Crooked Creek!

Potted pumpkins filled the vintage candelabra and a painless vintage window showcased the softer side of Autumn wreath!

"Mr. Ed's" Froggy ushered them indoors. Doesn't he look debonair in his burlap bow tie with trailing curls? 

All who enter On Crooked Creek pass through the entry hall. This year we kept the interior decor with the softer side of Autumn to co~ordinate with the front porch!

The lower level living area has been decorated for our family Thanksgiving Feast On Crooked Creek.  It's open space allows for a larger group when entertaining; therefore making it a more suitable place to hold our meeting!

As you descend the stairs to the lower level, the first sight you see is our dedicated Americana  Area. In honor of "Mr.Ed's" twenty~one years of active duty in the U.S. Army!

His retirement is captured in the massive framed collage. A few of his most prestigious awards, a  favorite poem and overseas maintenance crew all flank the wall area!

The hearth showcases our whimsical side On Crooked Creek with the child~sized turkey pair centered in front of the firebox!

Ample seating was made available by removing the decorative cushions to the floor!

One of my favorite decor pieces On Crooked Creek's lower level is this vintage red desk.  My garage $ale find Windsor chair has "Roger" lightly scratched on the seat.

The dining table set without table settings allows for our guests to sit casually with their refreshments after our meeting.

By placing the bench on this side of the table it gives the room a more open feel. The extra chairs are placed on either side of the vintage chicken wire cabinet.

For many of our JOY Circle ladies...this was a first time visit On Crooked Creek! It is my hope...and "Mr. Ed's" that they will return many times in the years ahead!  After refreshments, joys and concerns, and fellowship. . . "Mr. Ed" gave a home tour on the upper level!

What JOYful faces as the ladies left. . .
                                       On Crooked Creek. . .it was a JOYful Evening!

Until next time. . .

On Crooked Creek is joining our hostess, Susan @ Between Naps On The Porch for Metamorphosis Monday! Be sure to visit and be inspired by all the creative minds in the Land of Blog for a transformation in your own home!