Friday, June 17, 2011

Scottish Shortbread and Stuff

I've decided to bake after all. :D That's because I'm nearly caught up with my chores. Nearly.

I'll whip up a batch of sugar cookies and toss in dried blueberries, craisins, and white chocolate chips. They're yummy and colorful, too.  Quite often, I make them for the 4th of July; Canadians could make them for July 1 if they leave out the blueberries. Even though Mother was Canadian, she liked blueberries so I know she won't mind. It's not being a holiday, I don't think anyone will notice.

And I'm baking the last recipe that my mother ever worked with and loved — Scottish Shortbread, which she declared "very good!"



Scottish Shortbread

Ingredients:

* 1 pound salted butter (softened)
* 5 cups flour
* 1 cup white sugar
* ¼ cup brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon good vanilla or 1teaspoon almond flavoring as preferred

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F

* Cream butter and sugars in mixer.
* Add flavoring of choice.
* Add flour and mix with wooden spoon.
* Use hands to mix thoroughly.
* Press into an ungreased jelly roll pan.
* Prick with a fork all over making sure that the fork hits the bottom and the pricks are close together.

Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300F and continue to bake 40 minutes. Wait 2 minutes and then cut into finger size rectangular bars. Cool completely in the pan.

*Printable Recipe for Scottish Shortbread*

Here's a little video of John declaring that he is right most of the time. Just like a man! He backs this up with a percentage that makes me laugh.

video

Have a great Friday...

Love Vee

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Message in a Spider Web

Spiders. Such troublesome little creatures. They are running around behind me building their webs as quickly as I leave a room ruining all my good work. Not only that, they do it with their fingers in their ears, their tongues waggling out, and their little eyes rolling around in their heads.

This spider was a little different. He left me a message in his web. I feel so honored rather like Wilbur the spring pig in Charlotte's Web.

See?

Better?

Thank you for all the votes yesterday. We will return to this subject, believe you me. I am closing with a pretty picture of my lantana and that poinsettia, which my mother gave me the Christmas before last. It just doesn't want to quit.


Hugs to all those disappointed Canucks fans. John sided with you just last night saying that he had no regional loyalties. "What's Boston ever done for us?" Ha!

The comments are closed today so that you may zip in and out. I'll be doing the same and may not have time for comments. Besides, my keyboard is already a painted nightmare.

Have a great day...

Love Vee
Edited to add: I just read an email from a gal whose first question was: Are you losing it? What are we supposed to see?  Oh I needed a bit of levity and then it dawned on me that I am indeed losing it. Okay, here's what I see.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I've Been Painting the Door

(Another post got away...I really must pay attention to postdating. I've got a few in the wings so it's a nightmare when I don't. Nope, not leaving yet.)

I am painting a new door. It's the bathroom door that John replaced yesteday. The old door was tired and original to the home circa 1955; it was an inferior door from the start. Now we have a solid wood door with some heft to it.

And the minute that you eager ones began to bolt making suggestions for the main door, I got right to work. Here are some of our choices using the Sherwin Williams Color Visualizer.

 Black Emerald

Burgundy

Chamois (I'm hoping that this looks like mustard.)

Backdrop

Laurel Woods

Light French Gray

Studio Blue Green

Rockwood Red

Has the choice that you first made held? I'm leaning toward three of these (no, not telling). John is leaning toward two others (no, not telling), but he chose the house color so it's my turn. Go ahead, please make a selection. Thanks so much!

Love Vee

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

You're the Best!

Have been trying to strike a deal with the Lord about Saturday. I reminded Him that I've been praying about that date ever since the day was finalized. Finalized as in people have taken vacation days, the pastor has written it in his book and is leaving on vacation...you know, it is set in cement. What am I trying to say? I'm trying to say that the weather frogs are now saying that the weekend will be rainy and cool. Dropping back to Plan C at this point while praying for the best. My deal with the Lord? Please send some of this rain to Texas. It's a gentle rain and everything greens up so well.

white geranium

Thank you, you wonderful gals! I have had so many fantastic suggestions that I could plan a party every weekend. I'm going to take you up on a lot of these ideas. In fact, since I learned yesterday that the bakery has closed in these rough economic times, I'm definitely going to pick up something for dessert at the grocery.

Now, do you have any wonderful last minute easy decorating ideas? :D I am such a shameless little beggar.


Here's John waving hello. He had just come out to let me know that I may not keep the Christmas cactus on the little porch. He says it's too big and is going to be wrecked if I do. I'll have to come up with something else for this little corner. Anyway, he's finished this section, put on a new bathroom door inside the house, and he's heading for the back section if the clouds don't open. We've decided to lean the fence and not try to put that up before Saturday.

Now, I've got to scurry around keeping what's already been cleaned looking good and then attack this front room that I call my office. I'm going to grab someone's happy playlist and boogie away.

Again, ~~thank you~~!

Love Vee
P.S. It's just a matter of time before I'm begging asking for help with a door color for that white door. Gear up! ☺

Monday, June 13, 2011

Halp!

Just when you're on a roll, weather systems move in and change the outlook. It rained all weekend and it's going to rain today, tomorrow, and Wednesday. At least, the weekend is looking good. Anywho, that means that our goals will not be met. We must make new goals and so we'll just drop back and punt and I shall try not to pout too much.


I do believe that I need your help. There will be between a dozen and twenty people so it's a small crowd. There will be no grilling. I am ordering a deli tray today and a bakery tray with goodies. I am not going to try to bake. I've seen some intriguing things online. For example, I really like the idea of  a fruit kabob with various melons and mint leaves. The site said to serve it with cheddar cheese and I can't imagine that at all. I'd prefer a dessert cheese. Do you have a recommendation or do you think cheddar would be the best after all?


This idea looks wonderful to me...found on Pinterest...thank you, Theresa. < insert wry, wry grin > Okay, can't find it either...can't find it so I'll describe it. Rasberries filled with Hershey's kisses (both white chocolate and milk chocolate). That Pinterest moves quickly, eh? I know nothing about it, but I'm going to learn next week. Not this. Oh definitely not this.


Oh aren't those pretty?! But that's exactly the kind of thing that I am NOT looking for. Nothing too fussy. Something easy.

Should I consider some sort of salad? Remember it must be easy, easy, easy and pretty, too.

Okay, my loves...anything that you might suggest will be welcome to my ears.

Oh, I'm planning to create a little picture gallery on my chippy, white fence of my mother's wonderful photos through the years. I have her baby picture and so many others. I want this to be honoring to her first and foremost, though I do not want it to feel like a funeral. She wouldn't want that at all. She'd want a party. 

Okay, I'm officially open for suggestions and encouragements...

Thanks so much!

Love Vee

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Too Busy


Rainy, cold day, stuck indoors, played with Photoscape, decided that the entire mosaic was just too busy


Ahhh, much simpler, much better. Hope my peonies hold up for the next two days of rain...

How's the weather in your corner?

Linking to the wonderful Mary at Little Red House. Mary, thank you for encouraging me to play and then being willing to feature the messes. ☺

Love Vee

Breathe

Slow down, breathe, things are not always what they seem.

Both John and I tend to be "red alert" types. If the sky is falling; it's really falling. If it's raining, it's raining buckets. It's our composition and earthly nature. You may imagine that with two of these types in the same house, things can get pretty exciting from time to time. ☺

We were just discussing this the other day while reading our morning devotions. With two extended families, there are many opportunities to get riled up in our spirits. On my side, I have a well-loved auntie who's going through troubled waters with her health and the doctors don't seem to have it pinned down...diabetes-no; infection-no; stroke-no; heart trouble-no. And my cousin's nineteen-year-old daughter has been very ill and in ICU for some birth anomaly that no one ever knew about until she was very sick and in a lot of pain... Praise be to God that situation is on the mend. On John's side, he has an elderly aunt whose health is concerning, grands and great-grands who stand in need and on and on it goes. I'm sure that it's the same in your world. Perhaps it's your beloved's health or even your own.

Slow down, breathe, things are not always what they seem. Stolen Thoughts perfectly shares this concept. I have a "Stolen Thoughts" kind of story myself.

One of the first summers I was here at A Haven, when it was a mere shadow of its current self, my son and daughter were still teens living at home. Things went wrong all the time and it was up to me to tend to them. I had never owned a home all on my own before and there were many times when I was overwhelmed with my home-ownership responsibilities.

One of those times was after a particularly wet spring when the sump pump was partially filled with water, but not enough to trip the switch allowing it to empty. Back then, I didn't dare to touch the switch. My son came up from the basement one day declaring that there was an awful smell and that a mouse was belly up in the sump pump. Acckkkkk!

In typical "red alert" fashion, I quaked and groaned at the thought. I did go to the cellar and peered from the stairs toward the sump pump where I saw that little gray body floating. The smell was not pleasant and so I declared that I would deal with it another day.

A week went by with the smell reaching the rafters and the body grew bigger and bigger until I was certain that it was actually a rat floating there. My son was unwilling to deal with it. Yes, I'm ashamed to say that I did try to get him to do it. My daughter was unwilling. She's usually the brave one. That left me.

I finally took matters in hand and purchased an old strainer at the flea market. I girded my loins so to speak and descended into the bowels of hell. I marched up to the sump pump and leaned down holding my nose with my left hand and reaching for the revolting mass with my right. I nabbed it and dumped everything into a waiting trash bag.

Wait a minute, wait a minute, what was that thing? I peered more closely. I could hardly believe it. The rotting rodent carcass was actually a toy porpoise pencil topper. A toy porpoise pencil topper? A toy porpoise pencil topper had caused me all that anguish?

I kept it for many years on the porch where it reminded me constantly. My porch was turned into the addition and so the porpoise has been lost. I do know this, he's not in the sump pump this time.

Long enough, God— you've ignored me long enough.
I've looked at the back of your head
long enough. Long enough
I've carried this ton of trouble,
lived with a stomach full of pain.
Long enough my arrogant enemies
have looked down their noses at me.

Take a good look at me, God, my God;
I want to look life in the eye,
So no enemy can get the best of me
or laugh when I fall on my face.

I've thrown myself headlong into your arms—
I'm celebrating your rescue.
I'm singing at the top of my lungs,
I'm so full of answered prayers.


Psalm 13:1–6 The Message

The first verses reflect how we "red alert types" feel when faced with trials and tribulations. It has no basis in truth for God's back is never toward us. We need to know this in our spirits and believe it in our hearts. The final verses are ones of joy when we finally recognize that God is for us and always has been.

Don't forget to breathe now...

Comments are closed on Sundays. Enjoy yours!

Love Vee

DB