Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Think I Can

Did I get my meatloaf, baked potatoes, veggies, and salad? No, no, I did not. Nothing ever really goes as planned now, does it? Poor John. Between directions written in six different languages and in small print and with pieces missing...well, it's a blessing we got these.


I told my darling that 25 years from now I expect him to know what we baked first. He said that it would be easy to remember Christmas cookies. We'll see. ;>


So many of you have chosen a "word" for 2012. They are unique and meaningful to each one and I wanted a word, too. I was jealous for a word. It came a few days ago while wondering why everyone else could have a word and I could not. My word is Stretch. This means that I am to literally stretch my body — stand straight and reach for the sky kind of stretching and bend low to touch my toes kind of stretching.

My kind of stretching usually consists of playing with the camera as you see in the mosaic below.


Trying to get a better, more clear photo or an interesting shot is about the outer limit of my comfort zone. Ha!

This Stretch also includes the figurative meaning. Though I assured myself that I wasn't going looking for any stretching opportunities; nevertheless, if they came to me...

Not three days later as I was visiting Miss Sandy at Quill Cottage, I found a stretching opportunity that consists of clouds and toes in a different way. You can learn the particulars of the Dare to Dream Different Stretch Challenge by clicking *here;* I also have a link in my sidebar. They are sweet particulars now let me tell you! Hope that you'll give it a whirl.

bird and tag created by Miss Sandy at the Quill Cottage studio

Having only made one or two simple tags before, I'm skittish. My problem is that I stop too soon. There are not enough layers and levels in my work. My hope is to do better and not do just enough to get by. That's what Stretching is all about. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

Do you have a word this year? Have you shared it?

Love Vee

Monday, January 9, 2012

She's Here!

No, this is not a birth announcement! = )

You may remember, if you read here over the Christmas season, that my stove decided to give up the ghost just days before I was planning to bake up a storm.

Last night, I loaded it up with my baking chips and baking ingredients just to show how offended I was by its timing.

The stove was over thirty years old. It was purchased for me by my first husband who had grown tired of the comments people made when visiting. Seems that they felt the odor of propane was strong. Personally, I hardly noticed it. Both sets of parents were chipping and urged him to do something. Unbeknownst to me, one fine day he did. I arrived from grocery shopping to find it already in place.

I've not had many complaints about it other than the fact that it was a perpetual cleaning oven meaning that every time one baked, it was cleaning its little heart out and a little pile of debris always needed to be swept off once the oven cooled. I never could clean it the way other gals could clean their ovens because the sides of the oven were rough and caught at any fibers in the material used to wipe it out. Okay, so that was frustrating; otherwise, it has served my family for a very long time and I did feel a little pang when John hauled it out of here last night.


So the new stove is here and we didn't even have to wait forever for the delivery and it's a corker, too!


It's a bisque finish to match the almond one of the refrigerator. I suppose one should just move forward in color choice to what she really wants, but I always circle back trying to match up with what is already existing. I think it'll be fine — nice and neutral.

Fortification

So the chore of switching it from natural gas to propane gas will keep John busy for a while. He does adore a project. We're trying to figure out if we didn't have them do the switching at the appliance store because we're too cheap or if it was because they told us they don't do it anymore not having the proper licenses. I'm coming down on the side of squuueeeeaaaaak.


Good thing he's such a handyman!

How's your day going so far?

Love Vee

Sunday, January 8, 2012

More Light Less Heat



This morning I awoke with a distinct sense of shame. I was embarrassed about the last post of yesterday because, in my typical fashion, I had reacted rather strongly to something and had resorted to name-calling. Yes, I do consider calling someone a "nut" name-calling. I even considered removing the post so that I wouldn't further reveal myself to be capable of same, but decided that I would try to ease into a "more light, less heat" approach and use this as a teachable moment. Just one of my ongoing areas of need, folks. Trying to stay real.

The Bible says that we can be angry and not sin. (Ephesians 4:26) That's pretty incredible. I've been doing a little study on this as it's so timely *sputter, cough, cough* and I think I've found an answer. To be justifiably angry with sin (in this case plagiarism) is perfectly acceptable; however, to be angry with the plagiarizer is not. Ohhhhhhh...

On that note, I apologize to each and every one of my readers. Please forgive me.

In the future, I hope to practice more light, less heat.

A blessed Sunday to you...

Love Vee

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Plagiarism is a Crime

So your header with the back of your house looks just like mine and no less the same color! Enjoyed visiting~ Bristol


Following Bristol takes one to a bogus blog. 


Bristol was reported very quickly.


Yes, folks, this is what blogging has come to. We've got some Brazilian nutcase spamming blogs today. Whoever "Bristol" is, she may actually be the same blogger who stole material from Pear Tree Lane (since the comment came on the heels of my visit to PTL)All's well that ends well. The blog spoken of has been taken down. 


Report these bloggers to Blogger.  Plagiarism is a crime.


I'm closing comments because I don't want this nut not so nice person on your blog. 

Love Vee

Dull Corners




Good thing that we went with Christmas Lite this year. I shudder to think how long it would take with Christmas Full-Tilt. I've been at this packing up of Christmas since early morning and am not done yet. Lights? Pine Cones? Mercury glass tree? Those? Told you that I can't put all of Christmas away. =)

And what are you up to this fine Saturday? 

Love Vee

Friday, January 6, 2012

Epiphany

This is it for this Christmas Season. I will happily be celebrating Advent and the First Day of Christmas before year's end. I love that the years begin and end with Christmas. What a wonderful Savior to love us so that He willingly left Heaven behind for us. How we need Him! How can we not keep Christmas all year through?

Since I'm still on Christmas, albeit for the final day (yesterday was actually the 12th Day of Christmas), I want to share a couple of ideas with you. First, Cheryl at A Nest On Feather Lane had a sweet interpretation of the window idea. Actually, she's changed it all up. That's the joy of Blogdom, one idea sparks another. Cheryl says that it's too much to put up a tree, yet she still enjoys seeing her ornaments so this was the result.

I also wanted to tell you of an idea my daughter found on Pinterest about saving Christmas memories from one year to the next in a canning jar. On Christmas Day, she passed us a slip of paper and we all started writing. (That's not quite the truth, but close enough.) Then my daughter gathered them all up, popped them into the jar, climbed up on the back of the easy chair, and set it up high on the ledge in the living room.

Where it just sat way up there calling my name. I grew more and more nosy curious until I also climbed up on the back of the easy chair and retrieved it.


Every single one shared wonderful memories. Some of us are more eloquent than others. I noted my gifts, the laughter of the boys, and the difficulty of this first Christmas without my mother. John wrote that he was happy to have finished the siding as a gift to me and that the day was "most enjoyable." Even the grands signed their names. My daughter wrote about how special her picture book was...her favorite gift of Christmas. My daughter-in-law wrote a humorous story about making Santa's sandwiches with the boys and what Santa left on his plate—the crusts.  My son wrote:

The assignment is to write down the fondest memory of 2011. Mom tells John it should be easy to come up with a fond memory of today. Laurel says it's for the whole year, but if you want to write one about today (Christmas), that's fine. As though I wouldn't have a hard enough time with this already, and to make matters worse they gave me a pen. I already want to erase what I've written so far. I'll do both. Today is easy; Sam's playing Clocks by Coldplay on Laurel's I Phone (hit the lighted button) and he can't stop. He says this song is like a rock song. That album was the soundtrack of my first year with Michelle. Glad to know we can agree on what's beautiful, at least sometimes. 2011 is another matter. There are some fond memories; Jake's face when Santa put him on his lap. I'll write what I least want to forget though: Grandma. Taking Sam out sledding (Jake was in school), planning to go to the boys' birthday party, even lying peaceful in my bed. Saying yes, Adam, I know you're here. As though there was no need to sound so worried.
The man is an accountant. I'm very proud of all of his accomplishments and his hard work of returning to school and earning his degrees. I had no idea that he could write. At all. Not even a little bit. I hope that he'll continue. He might get a journal for his birthday. Just sayin'...

Disclaimer: Now as for Clocks ...love the music and find the lyrics de-pressing. I found Sam's exuberant playing of Handel's Messiah wonderful.

A blessed Epiphany to you...

Love Vee

Thursday, January 5, 2012

JOY

Yesterday, John and I finally climbed into the same car and went to the same place to do the same thing. Is it ever that way in your family? Seems as if he was always over the road doing errands and such and I was always at home doing not so much.

We desperately needed to come to a decision on a new stove. He was leaving the decision to me; I wanted his help. It all turned out well in the end, though it was rough sledding there for a bit. I'm happy to report that we have a new stove to be delivered next Monday (it had to be ordered) and I am now dreaming of Aunt Margie's Double Cheese Meatloaf. (recipe to follow)

Also on our list of errands was to get the Christmas photos printed. Do you print your photos? I didn't for a long time and have lived to regret that choice. Now I get all photos that I really love printed. The wonderful thing is that, once I have them in my hand, I see things that I had not before even though the computer screen is much larger than the photo in hand. This is what I saw with yesterday's batch and though you've seen them before, I'm sharing again with my new perspective. Each mosaic features a letter with the original photo on the top and the close-ups below.







Happy Grands! 

Oh here's the recipe for the meatloaf, beatloaf, I LOVE meatloaf. (Yes, I have been watching way too many Christmas movies.)

Aunt Margie's Double Cheese Meatloaf

Ingredients:
* 1½ pounds ground beef
* 1 egg
* ½ cup chopped onions
* ¾ cup cracker crumbs
* 2- 8 oz cans tomato sauce with cheese if you can find it; otherwise, just sprinkle some cheese into it
* ½ tsp salt
* ½ tsp oregano
* ¼ tsp pepper
* 2 cups of shredded cheese of choice...I use a variety of cheddar, mozzarella, and American cheese

Method:

Mix beef, egg, onion, cracker crumbs, ⅓ cup sauce and spices.
Flatten out on waxed paper
Form a 10 inch by 12 inch rectangle
Spread cheese evenly over the rectangle
Roll up like a jelly roll using the wax paper to do so
Bake in a shallow dish at 350° for 1 hour
Pour remainder of tomato sauce over the loaf
Bake an additional 15 minutes.

This is my favorite meatloaf first served to me on my sixteenth birthday while visiting my Aunt Margie in Maryland! I've never forgotten.

*Double Cheese Meatloaf Printable Link*


Love Vee

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Frosty Window Pane and a New Needle Book


Frosty window pane, no candles gleaming inside...

Brrrr, it's cold out there! This is the first real taste of winter we've had. No snow that'll stick yet, just bitter brain burning, toe numbing, below zero temps in the past two days. Since it's January, I'll not complain.

The view above is from my sewing room window. (In the header picture, that would be the upstairs window with the lamp glow.) I was in the sewing room again for the first time in weeks. I have two little needle books to make. Unfortunately, this didn't turn out as well as I had hoped so I will have to keep this one. =D


1. My old needlebook made from scraps and sort of crazy quilted together. ( I say "sort of" because I do not sew. I only pretend to on this blog. )

2. Quality felt (real wool) used for the pages.

3. Wondering about recycling a placemat...

4. Experimenting with ratty old lace and linen...

5. The new book, less than satisfactory (don't look too close), but I love the little ruffle.

Do you want to see some extraordinary needlebooks created by a pro? Visit Dawn at The Feathered Nest on this post titled The Little Elf is Getting Faster or scroll around a bit, there are others there.


Oh, okay, take a closer look. See those wonky corners? All a part of its charm, I'm sure. Perhaps if I took the coffee grounds to it...hmmmm...

Stay warm and cozy!

Love Vee

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Set of Dishes

Just after Thanksgiving, I heard a report on Black Friday Shopping. It seems that people were shopping and spending money and it was mostly on themselves. How fascinating! My problem exactly. I can always find things for me when Christmas shopping. Usually, I deny myself. This year I did not. I bought the new set of dishes! *Gasp*

It was the polka dots. And the vivid colors. And the sweetness. I could not pass by.


For $3.50 they were mine. I'm thanking Uncle and Auntie for the inspiration. (I hope that he loved his train set.)

I am dismantling ever so slowly. It's easier to cope with that way...this putting away of Christmas. As always, I remind myself that before year's end, it'll all be up again. And besides, I'll never pack all of Christmas away.

A happy Tuesday to you...

Love Vee
P.S. Well great. Back off from blogging for a few short hours and one can't even remember to postdate. Sigh. In that case, have a happy Monday evening and a great Tuesday! =)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year~2012!




Love Vee

Saturday, December 31, 2011

No Time on My Hands-The Story of Grace McCance Snyder

In Blogdom, I have been reading so many wonderful Year in Review posts in the past couple of days. It has all felt familiar because, for the past several weeks, I have been reading a life in review.

The biography autobiography is No Time on My Hands. It is traveling around the country because Suzanne of At Home With the Farmer's Wife created a book swap and lined up an itinerary from the bloggers who expressed an interest in reading it.

The book is based on the life of Grace McCance Snyder who grew up in Nebraska during the 1880s and 1890s. Her dream as a girl was to grow up to marry a cowboy, to create exquisite quilts, and to fly above the clouds. It's a Little House on the Prairie sort of book for adults. Death and Weather feature prominently and more vividly than many of the characters.

Whether Grace married a cowboy or flew above the clouds, I'll not say, but I will give it away that she did create exquisite quilts. Her famous flower basket quilt is at the bottom of *this list* where you can click on her quilt to see it more closely and you can read the amazing details of its creation.

This book is much more, however, than a story about quilting. In fact, quilting does not feature prominently until the final chapter. No Time on My Hands is the story of a pioneer life homesteading in Nebraska. Grace lived a remarkable life in a remarkable time.

Often as I was reading, I thought that the book could be made into a compelling movie. Imagine my surprise reading in the Epilogue to learn that it had been made into a play called Quilters. I loved the description of the play (except for one clinker) and would love to see it performed. Life is like a quilt with thousands of pieces making up the whole.


On this last day of 2011, I want to thank you for visiting me here in my little spot in Blogdom. I am living an unremarkable life (though I may be living in a remarkable time). That you honor me by visiting and commenting never ceases to amaze me. With about gazillion four hundred million blogs from which to choose,  I am humbled that you're reading here today. I also look forward to another year of blogging together. Blogdom is remarkable...

Here's wishing you a Happy New Year filled with God's richest blessings!

Love Vee

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tea and Mug Cozy and an Offer Easily Refused

Slow start this morning because I stayed up reading until I fell asleep in my book. I read the first 250 pages or so in snatches over the past two weeks and nearly that much more in just one afternoon and evening. I so prefer to sit down and read a book straight through from cover to cover. I understand that it is a luxury that few of us can afford; however, I highly recommend it. Yes, I am going to discuss the book briefly here, but I do need to finish the final chapter and the Epilogue first.

Let's chat about tea, specifically the rooibos tea that Gwen gifted me with just before Christmas. John remembered that he had two tea balls in his desk at the Ponderosa so I was able to brew my cup today. Two words: smooth and delicious. I'm not sure if it's the tea or the flavor of the tea—Red Caramel Night.


I followed directions to the letter. Did you know that your tea is only as good as the water you use? So says the package. Knowing that my tap water has chlorine, I switched out to some bottled water, which I happen to know is delicious.

*This* is where I found the mug cozy directions. I used them some of the time and the rest of the time, I made up my own pattern. I have made three for three special gals. I'm just testing this one out to see if it works. Seems to!


And this is the offer so easily refused.


Sell back my copy for a mere $5.44? They're nuts. I was quite surprised to find this offer at Amazon this morning. Is there a shortage of Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbooks? Perhaps Lovella, Judy or Ellen could answer that one!

Love Vee

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gifts Glimpses~Day Four/Five


A driving rain blew through leaving the screens filled with raindrops and taking all our snow — again!


Thought I'd share some Christmas gifts. I'm even going to share my nighty. Still wearing it, too, at this late hour. May wear it all day. I'm feeling rebellious like that.


The tree is still up and will be until January 7. The cat will probably have a nervous breakdown when it goes and I'll probably have to purchase her one of those fancy schmancy cat condos.

Let's take a closer look to the left where we'll find John's work station and his new radio on the top shelf there. He's a radio man for sure.

This radio replaces his former one with an unwieldy antenna at his former work station, which was obviously also used to corral wrapping paper.










I so very happily removed it to the upstairs where I can listen while working in my sewing room.


A gift from the grands...a sweet little tea cup pin cushion. Sam is going to help me load it with pins next time he comes. He'll be feeling better then.

My daughter gave the family a gift that proves that everything old is new again.


It'll be one of those roving gifts. Whenever anyone's in the mood for Atari, it'll land in that home. Haven't figured out how to use it yet, but I'm sure one of the geeks will show up eventually.


This is a gift from my son and daughter-in-law. Have you seen these? It's from T*emp-t*ations. It's an extremely versatile serving dish that can be used for chip and dips, crudites and dips, and as a cake server. I'm using it to serve up this leftover cake.

And lastly my new powder blue white polka-dotted flannel nighty. I do adore a flannel nighty. This is a gift from John.


I've so admired all the gals who were not invisible this Christmas season and who shared photos of themselves. Thought I'd join them! (Hahahahahhahahahahhahahaha...)

Oh, you'd like to see the nighty? Here you go...



Have a wonderful day, my friend. I'm repairing to the sofa and my book with a cup of tea and a piece of cake.

Love Vee