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Did you all have a happy New Year? Ours was so fun with 6 good friends getting together to catch some luck eating the traditional southern fare!   We started out around the old firepit that my Dad made from a plow disc. It was nippy but we warmed up with cups of his recipe for Hot O”Mighty. Mmm Mmmm Mmmm. And then headed inside for cornbread, sherry fruit, sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, rice and collards! Hoping that you got your fill too and that this year will bring you good health and all that you need!

January is a  big month for birthdays in our family. And one comes close on the heels of Christmas and New Year’s. As I write this, we haven’t yet taken down the tree, or the pretty wreaths on the doors, or the creche, or the old wooden green tree with red candles, or the Santas scattered around the house. It seems like we just put them up and it’s so hard to make myself put them away for another 11 months.  I know we won’t be taking down the bird tree outside for another month. They’ve been slow to find the suet treats tucked in the branches this year. After the low of 17 degrees last night – maybe they’ll be out there today.

Arch has put away the train and that’s a big job to do by yourself. Thankfully we had the grandchildren to help lay down the track last month. They can squeeze into the small spaces behind the sofa and under the tables. Our 7 year old grandson had some wonderfully different ideas this year and made some beautiful curves in the track  for the train to steam around. The kids also found something pretty big behind the sofa this year… shhhh! And they kept the secret too! We’d hidden a large hand carved painted whale back there for safe keeping till daughter Sara’s birthday rolled around on the 29th. It’s now hanging in their kitchen – can’t wait to see that.

Yesterday was our youngest grandson’s 2nd birthday. It was the coldest day of the year so far. 28 degrees when I left the house mid morning. I was carrying that large heavy whale and realized that all the car doors had frozen fast. Thankful that doesn’t happen very often here in North Carolina! You should hear the noise when all the grands get together – well, maybe not if your nerves are the least fragile! They all love to dance and the music was on full blast! The birthday boy has been dancing since before he could walk. We all predict that he’ll be some sort of rock star because he can put down some moves.  That top left picture shows him doing the ‘sprinkler’ which his Aunt Sara taught him.

It’s so wonderful to see that this young generation is enjoying the same birthday cake that my mother fixed for all of my birthdays. This recipe was given to her by a good friend who was also my kindergarten teacher. Her son, Donny Dooley Whitcomb was my best friend growing up and we spent hours climbing trees and digging in the dirt making roads for our cars. We also loved to dance. Especially to one of his records – “The Big Rock Candy Mountain.”  The record was red and I bet some of you remember that song too! Anyway, that cake was always baked for birthdays in our family. The icing was sometimes chocolate but more often was lemon and although that might sound a bit strange to some – we adored it!

One of my plans for the New Year is to get back to doing some things with my hands. Yes, I know that creating on the computer is using my hands, but I want to add to that. I want to hold a watercolor brush in my hand again. I want to spend more time in the dirt. And I want to be sure to document this year by taking a photo every single day.  Holding that completed book of pictures taken in 2012 is such fun and really caused a touch of regret that it didn’t happen in 2013.

Here’s hoping that you’re heavy into making lots of pages to share in our Day2Day with p2P Crop by now! It’s been so fun to see your pages – and we’ve had a ball completing lots of pages too!

Happy memory making,


Blueprint: Apple Pickin Time by Carolyn

Paper: Cakes and Candles

Embellishments: Cheerful  Birthday

Fonts: Black Boys on Mopeds, A Year Without Rain


Blog January Featured Image

    Blog Jan 2


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8 Responses to Blog: Birthdays welcome in the New Year!

  1. KatieK. says:

    I’m intrigued about the story of the birthday cake… Is it a special chocolate or butter cake with different frosting depending on the birthday person’s preferences? We have a Hershey plate and mug we serve the birthday cake on- that’s our tradition. The cake on the plate has varied through the years. Lately my boys have wanted to either make their own or have the Famous Chocolate Icebox Roll. Big Rock Candy Mountain – I do remember that song! Thanks Anne.

  2. Jan says:

    Always love your blogs, Anne, except they make me miss you more! And of course I’m hungry now…. xx

  3. Sandy says:

    Great blog Anne. But I have to ask…. What is Hot O’Mighty?

    • Anne says:

      Hot O”Mighty was a concoction that my Dad put together with lots of tomatoes, cabbage, sausage, and hot sauce. The recipe varied each time he made it! It was most always served in cold weather. The women would be in the kitchen talking and cooking and the men would be out on the patio gathered around the fanny warmer, (solving world problems), sipping this dish out of cups in between sipping saltydogs and old fashioneds! After one big gulp of the hot mix – one of his friends proclaimed it “Hot O’Mighty!

  4. mindys7 says:

    Anne, you are such a great story teller! I feel like we are sitting at my kitchen table chatting over a cuppa tea! I have tucked your bird tree away in my mind for next year as we have many feathered friends who we feed all year long. Thanks for a beautiful start to my morning!

    • Anne says:

      You will love having a bird tree! We always pick up a “Charlie Brown” tree when we pick out the one for the living room. Usually one that doesn’t have much probability of being picked. I have little suet cages to hang on strong branches. Take grapefruit halves (after you’ve enjoyed Florida ruby reds) and scoop out all the pulp. Then poke 4 holes and tie up with red yarn. Fill with bird seed. I also poke a hole in the bottom so the seed won’t get too soggy. If you have time, pinecones stuffed with peanut butter and rolled in birdseed is a big hit too. I use the red yarn to tie those up too. Put it some place close to a window so you can take lots of pictures of the birds and squirrels having a winter feast!

  5. Carolyn says:

    Hard to imagine that Billy is two now. It just seems like yesterday he arrived! So glad to hear you’ll be painting this year, Anne. All that talent rolled up in one set of hands… it’s a gift. I’m so thankful to call you my friend AND my buddy. 🙂

    • Anne says:

      Thank you so much Carolyn – this year has flown by. Another birthday tomorrow of oldest granddaughter. A girl’s morning out complete with fingernail polishing, pizza in a bus and then a little visit to the candy shop. They grow up so fast as you well know! Hugs back to you!

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