Saturday, October 6, 2007

Tomato Addiction

This tomato knife from Pampered Chef is my favorite new kitchen tool. It slices through tomatoes like butter.

I'm on a tomato kick right now. Here in the Northeast, fresh produce is a rarity for months at a time. For ten months out of the year, I eat tomatoes that could pass for cardboard. In fact, I refuse to eat them. That's why September and October are such fantastic tomato months and I can't get enough! My favorite way to eat a fresh, ripe, juicy tomato is to slice it, sprinkle sea salt over it, and drizzle with olive oil. Perfectly delicious!

Friday, October 5, 2007


In my recurring dream, my great-grandmother Vesta greets me at the door to her home. She says, "You may have anything you desire."

Then the wandering through the rooms of her home begins. (It's not always her home, but you know how dreams are.) Each room is filled with treasures, beautiful things and I touch them and pick them up and gently set them down again. Finally, after a long time of looking, I select just a few things...a picture frame here or some linens there.

And, oddly enough, I never leave her home. That's always where the dream ends...with the selection. (The photo is of Vesta and the cocoa pot that she insisted I remove from her china cupboard and take with me one day long ago. She was so insistent that I didn't dare not to take it. Today, I am grateful that she was certain that she wanted me to have it. The cocoa pot and the memory of that day have been something very special to remember her by.)

Nothing evokes that same sense for me like visiting blogs. Blogs are treasures and I have enjoyed them tremendously. One is greeted at the door and then one waltzes right in, takes a look around, and never leaves empty-handed. It's incredible! (My sincere apologies to those who are now muttering under their collective breaths about my introducing them to this fascinating, but time-consuming world. :))

And I have been most remiss. I'm blaming my lack of formatting skills and my ignorance about how my own blog is set up. But, really, I am without excuse. So without further ado, I am going to be including blogs that I truly visit nearly every single day. They keep calling me back and I am never disappointed in the visit. I hope that you will find them as fascinating as I do.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Vardo for Me

Vardo was an unfamiliar word for me. Perhaps "gypsy wagon/waggon" is better recognized. While at the fair Tuesday, we went to an old wagon museum and there in the middle of the display was the most magnificent creation! It had been restored to its former glory and was a vision of burgundy, vivid yellow gigantic wheels, and even gold leaf. Now if I could travel in something that exquisitely decorated, I might take to the highway. Of course, it would require a modern engine and Goodyear tires. ;>

If you Google the word, you'll find all sorts of interesting tidbits about the gypsy life and Vardos. I once took a quiz to determine my decorating style and I came up as Bohemian. Maybe that is why I am so attracted to these colors and these decorations. Sure looks cozy to me!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Fryeburg Fair

The sooner you sleep, the sooner you wake, tomorrow we'll go to the fair. We'll ride painted ponies with wind in our hair, we'll always remember the laughter we share, the sooner you sleep, the sooner you wake, tomorrow you go to the fair. ~Tanya Goodman Sykes

(Imagine a carnival ride...)

So it's not a picture of painted ponies, but since "The Pharoah's Fury" featured prominently in my day at the fair and since I didn't take my camera to the fair to take a photo of it myself, I'm using an image from the Web...

Speaking of web, did anyone know that Charlotte's Web by E.B. White is based on the Fryeburg Fair? It is. Scout's honor!

Some years we can't wait to get to the fair; other years it's not so important. I personally believe that we return to the fair once the memory of bad eating choices has worn off. Oh my! The things I indulged in yesterday. I shall just list them in order of their consumption: blooming onion, french fries, iced tea, mini-donuts, a giant donut, coffee, a deep fried oreo, a chunk of deep fried whoopie pie, a lobster roll, and a piece of Snickers fudge. All the aromas of the fair kept tugging at me and I had no more willpower than Templeton the Rat in the aforementioned book. Oh, I forgot the maple cotton candy.

We did all the usual things except for rides. The only reason that "The Pharoah's Fury" features prominently is because one in our party repeatedly became lost and that particular ride became our meeting place.

We attended a wreath making demonstration and purchased enough material, minus the balsam tips, for eight wreaths. Somebody was feeling ambitious! We attended the flower show and learned a useful tip for holiday decorating, which I will share at a later time.

We wandered through the animal barns, which were aromatic. As a friend of mine would say, "Nothing like the sweet smell of horse manure and pine needles." Personally, I don't think much of that particular odor, but he insists that it would make a wonderful aftershave. He's obviously a nut.

We watched harness racing, horse pulls, the powder puff oxen pulls where the women were in charge of the teams. My niece and her friend found that the most fun of all from the sounds of their parody of said events on our long ride home.

But I wasn't there for any of the above, I just wanted to see Patti Page who was the featured performer of the evening. She of "How Much is that Doggie in the Window" and "Tennessee Waltz" fame. My earliest memories of her are from her picture featured on sheet music that sat on my grandmother's piano. Last night Miss Page was in fine voice singing before an extremely large crowd...standing room only. (I was one of the chain link fence huggers.) I learned a few new things about her last evening and one is that she's in the maple syrup business as she and her husband own a farm in New Hampshire where they harvest maple syrup.

Here's a picture of my little stash of goods and souvenirs...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Great Ideas...We All Have Them

It's a busy day for me today so I am just tossing this post together. I wanted to share that we all have great ideas, but sometimes we don't take those great ideas quite far enough.

For example, several years ago, I decided to write on my walls. Yes, write on them. I wrote the scripture verse "Whatsoever things are true..." all around the top of my living room walls. In gold pen. People gave me funny looks. ;>

But just look at what I just discovered this morning! Here's a gal who took her idea to a new level as the cliché goes. Her web site is called Tapestry of Truth.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Google Book Search

Have you used Google Book Search? It's so much fun! Many of the books that I am interested in are available for perusal. One simply searches for the book and, if available, in just a few short seconds it can be viewed. I mean turn the pages, see the pictures. The only thing that is missing is the smell and feel of the pages.

Currently, Home Comforts: Or, Things Worth Knowing in Every Household : Being a Digest has been giving me chuckles. That's really not fair, though, there are some good practical tips in there somewhere. :)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

My Grandmother's Home

Yesterday, a golden autumn day, my sister took my parents and my grandmother on a round trip drive of nearly 400 miles to visit the relatives and to see the home my grandmother sold last year.

Nan lived there from the time she was first married in 1931 until she was 94 years old. That's a span of nearly 74 years. Homes can become living breathing things after much shorter spans so it was no surprise that Nan grieved the loss of her home. She grieved to the point of becoming ill. She grieves to the point of telling us that she'll buy the home back so that it can be cared for properly.

You see, whoever bought the home has left it empty. The lawn is not mowed, no lights shine out through the windows, no curtains hang.

Personally, I find it quite charming yet. (We won't talk about that ancient siding.) I don't even become offended by the overgrown lawn. The purple wildflowers blooming there are attractive enough.

My grandfather planted those maples in the sixties. My how they have grown! He just walked out into the woods one day, chose three sturdy maples, lopped off their tops, dug up the root balls, and planted them with lots of tender care. The first branches came out where the trees had been topped off and they went on to become what you see in the picture.

I hope that visiting her house will ease Nan's mind. It's still there. It will surely be loved again. We can no more cling to our homes than we can to any other possession. It will be okay.