I Can’t Believe it is November!

Does anyone know where this year has gone? I think I somehow misplaced it! Every year, I think I am going to enjoy the months of September and October more than ever before. And, every year, those months slip by so quickly!

November is a busy month for us. Not only the wonderful anticipation of Thanksgiving, but several birthdays….Michelle’s, then Mark’s, then Carly’s, then my mom’s! How is that for busy?

It seems that with the advent of November, the cresendo building up to the Christmas holidays is so exciting!

I know that for many people, this time of the year is lonely, and even unbearable. For those who suffer pain at this time, I pray that God will grant peace and love like they have never known before. I pray for a great outpouring of love and compassion for those who surround these folks, and that they would be inclined to share the love and joy of the season.

I enjoy the short days…I sometimes feel like I am the only person on planet earth to say that, as so many people tell me they get depressed by the longer periods of darkness. This is the time of year that I pull out the old Christmas classic movies and enjoy them all over again! I love White Christmas and It’s A Wonderful Life and all the others from long ago. Last year, I bought Little Women, and although it isn’t technically a Christmas story, I watch that as well! I light candles and just enjoy the warm and calming feeling that surrounds their glow….

I enjoy going to the stores and seeing them getting geared up for the holiday season. The shelves appear to be swollen as though pregnant, and about to burst! And, all the displays! Oh, I could never grow weary of looking at all the trees….even the artificial ones seem to glow so happily.

OK, I will stop for now, and get back to the business of the day!

Every good breeder of animals knows that although they give their litters the greatest care and love, eventually, the little ones must leave and go off into the world…into the hands of those who would choose them! And, even though I have never been so fortunate to have helped whelp a litter, I DID make many, many bars of Scottie Dog soaps!

Today was spent getting their “paperwork” in order! We used the new laser printer to print dozens and dozens of labels, giving pertinent information for the soaps! I sat on the floor, working to make sure each little Scottie bar was tucked safely inside its box, ready to make its journey to places unknown!

As I surveyed all the boxes, I couldn’t help but find my mind wandering off…..wondering where each box with a Scottie soap would wind up!

Each bar of soap is tucked into a little kraft box, nestled in a bed of french vanilla paper shreds. After confirming each little Scottie was snugly packed inside, I pulled some of the shreds up over the top of the soap protecting the top of the bar in the event that they get jostled about in shipment!

Finally, the labels were mounted, and a little golden seal was applied to insure the box would remain closed.

My little soaps are all wrapped up and ready to leave….I just need to get them into their shipping boxes and send them off!

These soaps were so much fun to make, and the wrapping was a lot of fun! It was a lot more interesting than cutting and applying cigar bands! (which is what I always do for my regular soap bars)

Ah, there is one more thing I wanted to add here….The other day, I found some very sad-looking Empire Apples that had been left in a bowl on the table. I suddenly (uhoh!) got this brainstorm…..I mixed about 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup of oatmeal together. I then took a sharp knife and bored a hole into the middle of each apple, cutting out all the seeds. I also cut a little off the top of each apple to make a nice little “cup” to put the dry mixture in. I “stuffed” each apple with the mix, pushing it all the way down to the bottom of the apple. I placed these on a sheet of foil on a baking sheet. Then, I poured a nice helping of real maple syrup over the top of each apple, allowing it to go down through the dry mix. Finally, I grabbed the foil up and made a big “pocket”, so the apples wouldn’t dry out. I baked them at 350 for about 45 minutes. At that point, I pulled the foil back so the “stuffing” could get browned a bit. After removing from the oven, allow to cool, then top with fresh whipped heavy cream. This was terrific and it gave the apples such a good flavor, as opposed to just “plain” baked apples! Oh, and one more way to add even more flavor? Next time, I am adding some chopped pecans!