Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Project Runway With a Twist and Beyond


Yesterday, I visited a dear friend in Blogdom who had herself *a grand adventure*! Judy writes so well that you'll get taken away, too. I shared her fun with John who laughed along with me and then I said, "Of course, if we're ever going to have an adventure like that, we'll need a runway." I kid you not, by afternoon we had one! ;>



We're having ourselves another snow day. Lovely largish flakes falling steadily.

Molly there is in the process of making herself a nest. She plumps pillows, gathers her blankie, tends to some grooming and she's gone for the day. Zzzzzzzzzzz Thank goodness! She's one needy, attention-seeking dog when awake. We only have to deal with that from six to nine every evening. ☺

Pardon the mess, I didn't pick up just for you. You're an old friend and you can find me as I am. I want to ask you a few a lot of questions. Where is your tv? What room of the house? Is it mounted on a wall? Standing on a table? Hidden in an armoire? If my situation were your own, what might you do with that tv? The reason I ask is that we have a few decisions to make before the cable boys arrive later this week. Edited to Add: Lovella wants to know what the available wall space is so I'm reporting back that the location you see there is exactly where the tv will remain. Why? Because of all those windows and the glare. That little corner works best. Thanks for all the suggestions...keep them coming! I can see a plan taking shape. In the meantime, John has shoveled a path to the crawl space where he is gaining access to drill holes for the cable guys. He will never allow them to come do their own thing again.

I know this, I want my antique trunk back (yes, it qualifies—my grandmother's grandparents' trunk). It has a lot of room that I use for storage and I want it back at the foot of my bed. It is inconvenient to be using a trunk for storage with a tv on top of it.

Looking forward to your suggestion...

A great day to you!

Love Vee

Monday, January 16, 2012

Molasses Cookies Take 2

My comments in orange with Pondsy's in teal.

With many thanks to Mary MacDonald and her daughter who blogs at *Pondside.* These are the cookies John and I remember so well.

Soft Molasses Cookies Mary MacDonald's Soft Molasses Cookies ☺ (I copied this from my mum's book in 1974 - I date all my recipes!)


1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup water

Cream butter and sugar, blend in molasses and egg and beat well.
In a separate bowl, combine next four ingredients.
Dissolve baking soda in water and add it alternately with the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and blend.
Drop by tablespoons full on to greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes or until done.

If I were you I'd watch the first cookie sheet carefully as these are big and soft and depending on the oven can easily burn on the bottom.


Thank you so much. The minute I saw the ¼ cup of water I thought "bingo." My mother would say that the trick was all in the water. If one wanted soft cookies, one used either hot or cold water, and if one wanted a tougher cookie one would use either hot or cold water. I remember thinking that, whichever way it went, the soft cookie used just the opposite from what one would think. In my mind, that's cold water, but I could be wrong. Have you ever heard anything like this before?

For soft cookies, use cold water. Weird, but true!

Please give the credit to my mother, Mary MacDonald, who baked these every Friday of my childhood. I hope they turn out well!

They turned out very well, just as we remember! They were even better the second day. We can't say about the third day because the cookie tin is e.m.p.t.y.

a soft molasses cookie...yummo!

Some have asked about molasses. We use Crosby's, which offers an unsulphered molasses considered the highest quality. It is not the black strap variety, which is pretty intense...very thick and black and refers to the third boiling of cane sugar. Black strap is often found in feed stores and healthfood stores. The joy of Crosby's is that it is processed in St. John, New Brunswick. When we visit the cottage in summer, we are able to replenish our molasses supplies much less expensively (can purchase an entire gallon of molasses in New Brunswick for the price I pay for a 16 ounce bottle here). It's one of those items that is on my list for anyone heading to the Maritimes. I think this must be true of any state that borders Canada. We have our favorite things on the other side after all! 



Thank you for revisiting molasses cookies with me! Have you ever rediscovered a favorite recipe?

Love Vee

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Taking Joy~Mosaic Monday

It has been a very good day. One that I might not have imagined possible when I awoke this morning.

Every time I walk past the beautiful bouquet that my sister and her husband sent me, I smile. Earlier in the morning, a friend had encouraged me to "take joy" so I followed her advice and spent a lot of time getting to know my camera settings and taking photos of the flowers within the bouquet.

On this coldest of January days, I had to share.


Shades of Pink

Linking to Mary's Mosaic Monday at Little Red House.

Love Vee

Remembering Mom


How the years fly by. It has been a year since we said our farewells to one of the dearest on earth.

I, of course, did not know my mother in 1936 or 1940; however, I love to see the photos of her sweet little girl self all dressed in her winter best smiling for the camera.  We noted when going through the old photos how many were taken with a rabbit or a neighbor's dog. She so loved animals even though she never had a childhood pet. She more than made up for it once she had her own home ensuring that my sister and I had many.

Grief is such a complicated thing. I don't need to tell you that. There are good days; there are very bad days. One never knows when the grief will swell and crash over oneself. Just yesterday, my daughter shared with me the story of selecting a sympathy card as she wept. (She's very tenderhearted that gal of mine.) Next to her at the card counter stood another weeping woman. They comforted one another, selected the same card, and moved on. That's probably the best that we can say of experiencing grief. It gives us insight so that we may comfort others.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
~II Corinthians 1:3–4  

One thing is certain. No one escapes grief.

My sister sent me a beautiful bouquet yesterday. I wish that I had also sent her one. My mind does not bend so thoughtfully.

Her card said simply: Remembering Mom

Though we know where Mother is and we know that we will see her again, it does not change our reality: we miss her! Terribly. Achingly.

Love Vee

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday's Scoop

Oh how I love Blogdom. I mention soft molasses cookies and so many go into action. Would you believe that the recipe I remember was found and emailed to me yesterday by a blogging buddy on the West Coast who found it in her mother's cookbook from the East Coast? Yes! I'll get back to you on that come Monday. So I'm back in the molasses cookie baking business this morning and oh the aroma. Wish that I could share!

my homemade purse 

Another made up as I went along project. I'm not sure that I like the look of those gathered bits there, though it does allow for the roominess needed at the bottom of any purse of mine. My hands are very tired from all the crocheting so I must move on to something new for a while. When next you see this, it should be lined, have a flap, and some handles. August perhaps?

See those lights on the fence this morning? I thought it a fun idea to have them on through the winter during bad weather — a bit of cheer for us and passersby. I've changed my mind.


Seems that the light bill is higher by a lot than ever before in Haven history. And for this we rewired the house? We're not sure, but we can't help but wonder about that smart meter that we're all being required to switch over to. Yes, this is the bill after the smart meter installation. I think it's a smart meter for the power company myself. Anyway, the lights outside went off this morning and will remain off until July.



In the meantime, I am gathering my stash for the Challenge at Quill Cottage. I told you all the 19th when, in fact, it will be the 30th. See sidebar for details.

tag stash

A delightful weekend to you!

Love Vee

Friday, January 13, 2012

Projects for a Snowy Day


l–r top to bottom
1. mug cozy and "saucer"
2. mug bottom
3. saucer on end
4. cozy button

Today is another stormy snowy mix, which gives me permission to play.  The pattern above was made up as I went along so I am not crediting it. All one has to do is Google "mug cozy" and you'll find many patterns. 

The "saucer" was supposed to have been the bottom of my handbag. No worries, though, by tomorrow I should be able to show you how that handbag turned out in the end. It will be good for a chuckle if nothing else.


I also worked on ric-rac (site cited yesterday) using the teeny-weeny crochet hook, crochet thread, and massive amounts of patience. This is going to be used on the tag for the challenge at Quill Cottage coming right up on the 19th 30th (can't read today).



Yesterday, I did bake, after all. John had been promised old-fashioned soft molasses cookies. My mother had a wonderful recipe, which I cannot find. Usually, I can find anything on the Internet, but not this time. I found something, which I switched up so much that I can now officially call this recipe my own. 



Not Good Old-Fashioned Molasses Cookies (though still quite delicious)

Ingredients

* ¾ cup melted butter (salted or unsalted your choice)
* 1 packed cup brown sugar
* 1 large egg
* ½ cup regular molasses (not black strap)
* 2 ½ cups King Arthur's unbleached, unbromated flour
* ½ tsp salt if using unsalted butter; ¼ tsp salt if using salted butter
* 2 tsps baking soda
* 1 tsp ground cinnamon
* 1 tsp ground ginger

Method

* Melt butter, allow to cool some
* Add brown sugar
* Stir in egg and molasses
* Mix dry ingredients
* Fold dry ingredients into the soft mixture
* Stir well 
* Using a cookie scoop (2 TBS size), create balls and roll them in sugar.
* Place on parchment paper 
* Bake at 350° for 10–12 minutes


Very tasty, but NOT the soft, Grandma's bun looking sort of old-fashioned cookie I'm hoping to find.

Edited to Add: I was called in for Nonni duty today, which is a real treat. 
This movie is of my grandson just now eating a cookie from yesterday's batch. Listen to that crunch. Oh my! Consider yourselves warned. =)


  video

Pam at Playing With My Camera has offered a *Soft Molasses Cookie Recipe* that uses coffee as an ingredient. Interesting! 

Love Vee

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tip Nut ღ

Have a lot of muffins to bake? Want to save time? Featured on Tip Nut, I ask you, is *THIS* not brilliant?! Brilliant I tell you.

(John and I finally enjoyed our meatloaf, baked potatoes, and spinach with apple cider vinegar. Yummy. My new oven is already dirty. Sigh. I've decided not to bake anymore.)

homemade ric rac on the lampshade

Last night I crocheted some *ric rac*...so much fun. I'm pretty sure I could make enough to stretch around the house, but what exactly does one do with ric rac? Today I hope to be busy crocheting a handbag and enjoying the snowstorm. I'm blaming it all on Tip Nut.

What're you busy doing?

Love Vee

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Warning~Grumpy Morning

We woke up grumpy this morning.


Do not let his picture fool you.



I was reading this to him first thing.



It all started last night when I wore these to go shopping.


We went to L*wes and parked close to the door. As you can see from my detailed map, the plan didn't work quite as I had hoped. Not only that, we didn't find what we were looking for,



which was this. After four stops, we finally found it at B*d, B*th, and B*yond.


This is why the aforementioned book has not yet been given to my grandsons. Though I laugh uproariously at "Search Party...Remains Hopeful," I'm just not sure. Oh the book was purchased sight unseen via Amazon. I miss bookstores!


Have you ever noticed how when you wake up grumpy that the entire household conspires to aggravate it? Fioré just leaped from the floor onto my desk and across my mug of coffee over the computer wires and down to the window below. That cat! Awwww, that sweet face.

Love Vee

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