Friday, November 2, 2012

Four Things

That's right. I have four things to share today. I feel as if it's Show and Tell on a Monday Morning in the little brick schoolhouse down the way. I live a stone's throw from my first schoolhouse. Someday, I must post about that school.

Last night I finished up the afghan I was working on for the back of the sofa. It's just a giant granny square. One could use any granny square pattern that appeals; mine is very basic. That sofa was starting to look like a black hole... Now John tells me that we may not be ready for Christmas, but we'll surely be ready for Hanukkah.


Besides, it rather matches the morning sky. My wooden salad bowl on the right there works beautifully for containing whatever ball of yarn I'm working with allowing the ball to slip around a bit without rolling away so that the yarn comes along easily.


This is my sister's table runner. It was mailed late last week before Sandy blew in. Sis doesn't have it yet nor does she have any mail at all as mail deliveries have been suspended for now.


Have been making my own vanilla for about five years now. Vanilla beans are outrageously expensive when purchased in the grocery store. You can see that the bottle I'm working with there only had two pieces of bean and so is very anemic. It should contain one bean for every ⅓ cup of vodka. Recently, when visiting Brenda, she said that vanilla beans could be purchased inexpensively at Amazon. My eyes lit up. Now I'm in the vanilla making business again.


Here are my trick or treating grands. They made a cute zebra and a cute lion, though I had no idea of the significance. Apparently, they are Alex and Marty or Marty and Alex from the Madagascar movie. Here's one Nonni who must brush up on current childhood culture.

Are you up on current culture?

Love Vee


  1. Greetings from a damp wet Ireland!

    I love the throw for your sofa,
    you did a great job.

    Your sister's table runner is so pretty and the vanilla making sounds intereting.

    Wishing you a happy weekend.


  2. Mmmmm, sad that your sister's table runner is probably languishing somewhere, between you and she. -pout-

    Ahhhhh, cute kiddies!!!!

    I don't know a blink-edy-blink about children's stuff. But you know, I'm kinda' up on... Other stuff. -chuckle- As an example, betcha' not many of your Dear Readers knew that "Vampire Diaries" began again, last night! Or that for now anyway, "Elana" is a (Eeeek) blood drinking Vampire! Eeeeeek!

    Or do your Dear Readers know that "Robsten" went to a Halloween Party the other night? ,-)

    Or that promotion for the last "Twilight" film, has begun already?

    -chuckle- I hear your Dear Readers saying (if they even read this comment); "Who are these people, and what do we care?" ,-)


  3. John is very right! You are all ready for Hanukkah!!! Blue and White is the color scheme!


  4. Good morning Vee
    We are having a light snowfall as I sit with my morning coffee.
    This granny had to ask the grands who they were dressed up as too. One from a girly TV show and the other a NASCAR driver. Purchased costumes too!
    I buy bourbon vanilla, expensive but very good in recipes.

  5. Oh Vee, I love the way your bookshelves are built between your windows! It's charming!! Did husband John do that, or were they put in when the house was built? I'm a book lover and I must always have book shelves in my home. Thankfully, there were built-ins in this house when we bought it.

    Your granny square afghan is charming. My mom made one for me and one for my sister years ago. She did lots of small squares. Mine is displayed over the back of our club chair in the living room.

    Believe it or not, we live about a stone's throw from my husband's first school house. It's no longer a school, but offices; however, they kept the original building as it was (for the most part). It was also the same school that my mother-in-law attended all 12 years of public school.

    Your grands are so cute -- and I don't know a lot about kid culture. Have a wonderful weekend, Vee!


    Denise at Forest Manor

  6. Your sister will be so pleased when she opens the package. I pray that she will, by then, have time to relax, too.

    Modern culture for children ~ I'm lost! When our first grandchild was small, it was all about Tell a Tubbies (or however that was spelled!). Now...I'm lost. Is Dora the Explorer still popular or am I dating myself?

    Your grandsons are adorable in their costumes! Such a fun time for the little ones.

  7. Good Morning Vee! I love your afghan! The colors are so pretty. Your John is a funny boy. ;-)

    Hopefully your sister will receive her table runner soon. It'll definitely brighten her day.

    I keep reading about making my own vanilla, but never have. It sounds easy enough, so I may have to give it a try.

    And Nonni needs to watch Madagascar.... silly stuff for sure!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. I love your new granny square afghan. My daughter makes them for Christmas gifts. I must admit that I've never made my own vanilla. I'll have to see about trying that.

  9. Beautiful job on your afghan, Vee. I am chuckling about John's comment. My entire family room gets decorated in the blue/white combo for Christmas. I lean towards a "snowman wonderland" in there. Maybe all these years others think Hanukkah when they see it. Ha!
    The table runner is so pretty too. Very nice color combination you used. I hope it reaches your sister safe and sound.
    Hmmm... have never thought to make my own vanilla. Does it taste better than what we buy in the grocery?
    Very cute trick or treaters. Like you, I am not up on the current childhood culture.

  10. Good morning! I love the afghan...such pretty colors! I love the table runner too, hope your sister gets to enjoy it soon. Your trick or treaters are darling, and this Grandma needs to brush up too. Enjoy your week-end!

  11. Praying for your sister!

    Your afghan is great and the idea of using the wooden bowl is great!

    Cute grands!


  12. What delightful things to share today, the beautiful (and finished) afghan, the lovely placemat and vanilla, homemade. And last but not at all least, your beautiful grandsons.... I was going to say three things you made yourself, but of course it's four. You certainly contributed to your grandsons!

    I've sometimes made vanilla in dark rum instead of vodka. It's a lovely different flavor.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  13. I love your Show and Tell post, Vee!

    I have always wanted to make my own vanilla like that, one of these days I shall!

    We get our beans at Pensey's because we actually have a retail store here and it is a fun destination shopping experience. It is $ but so droolworthy.

    I may even post about it one day.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  14. Your Mr. John is a funny guy! LOL...

    We've been making our own vanilla extract for almost 30 years now. Saw the recipe in a Southern Living magazine. I did a blog post about it several years ago, but I don't think we knew each other then. We always have a batch "cooking" and we give it away frequently for gifts. We get our beans at the Boston Vanilla Bean Company. They exceptional prices and quality. You might want to check them out -

    Those grands sure do look cute. Hugs to them! Yes, I am up on the Madagascar movies. King Julian and Marty are quite hilarious in my book.

  15. P.S. And the table runner is beautiful! Love the colors! An identical one would love positively stunning on my dining room table - hint, hint. LOL...

  16. Love your show and tell post today. You've inspired me once again....I must get back to crochetting - your throw is beautiful. I'm not up on all the kiddies things at all anymore and hopefully some day will be a Nonnie!!! Your little "goblins" are adorable. Praying for your sister and hope she receives that thoughtful gift!

  17. BTW - I'm looking forward to heading your direction in a few weeks. My husband has a conference in Boston and I'm coming along. A mini-getaway!!

  18. That was fun, Vee! Your grandchildren as sweet little critters - I'm not at all up on kid-culture, but after next week I should be very au courant, as I'm going to visit (drum roll!) my two!
    I like your idea for coraling the ball of yarn.

  19. Oops! Table runner, not place mat! I knew that...

    I'd love a blog post about your first school.

  20. Show and Tell is always fun! One of the moms in our homeschool co-op is a former preschool teacher and last year she suggested that we add show-and-tell to our co-op day. I believe that the kids enjoy it more than anything else that we do!

    Your sister is going to be delighted to receive her table runner. Just think of the memories that will be attached to it! Hopefully, "the Lord was merciful to us in a dark time" kind of memories...

    I kind of have an advantage with kid culture...I am a grandmother who has an 11-year-old daughter! (Although I never would have guessed the Madagascar animals. I probably fell asleep when we watched the movie. So much for my advantage...)

  21. Oh no...I am not up on the current culture on many fronts for sure. Your grands look good and ready for Halloween fun. Your afghan is great and I love John's comment, too. Pretty runner for your sis! Don't forget to fall back this weekend!!

  22. Vee
    Current culture? I'm afraid not.
    But your Grands sure look cute.
    I feel so..badly for your sis. Like so many, we are praying for all of those affected by Sandy.
    Your way ahead of me in getting those projects finished!
    Enjoy your weekend.

  23. Hi Vee, Your grands are just adorable. I barely have a clue with what is popular with kids these days. I am an alumna of "Romper Room" myself, and Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans. I am really dating myself. I laughed at John's comment, too funny. xo

  24. I have not seen the Madagascar movie, however the kidlets are precious!

    Sorry to hear your sister is still impacted by Sandy.

  25. I love the granny square throw. It turned out well. :) I've been working on prayer/friendship shawls since the summer and have given 3 away so far. I'm trying hard to finish up a 4th to send away next week. They are so much fun to make (I just do an easy triangle pattern with fringes)and I love giving them.

    The grands look adorable. I just love seeing the little ones at Halloween. We didn't have too many of the 4 and under crowd this year because of the nasty weather. (those are the ones I like to see best).
    I made my own vanilla too! I haven't used it yet though.. I'm looking forward to trying it soon.


  26. Unfortunately we have to see almost every major animated movie that comes out (American and Japanese) since my daughter wants to make those types of movies. That's a very cute zebra and lion!

    Love your afghan is lovely and it does go so nicely with the sky in the background. On my want to do list for this winter is to crochet some granny squares to make into a pillow for my living room.

  27. Your afghan is beautiful. It looks so nice on the sofa.

  28. I came, I saw, I heard, I enjoyed as I do each time I visit. Hope your sister gets her beautiful gift in time to use it. I agree with Denise, I love you windows/shelves.

  29. Vee,
    The table runner is beautiful. Hope your sister gets it soon.
    The afghan is great, as is the blue morning sky. Someday I'll get out my crochet hook again. I mean, it's only been 30 years....
    The grands look adorable! No, I am no longer up on movies, characters.
    I only use real vanilla too. I get it at a warehouse club, and it is a great price. Otherwise, I'd make it, too!

  30. You did a great job on the blue and white afghan and the table runner.
    The runner will surely brighten up your sisters day. : )
    No I'm not up on current culture!!

  31. I'm not up on current culture at all, although I probably will keep up a little with the Little Misses. It's all about Dora the Explorer now for Miss A.
    Teaching in a high school lets me keep up a little for that age group, too.
    I do try to keep up a little because, after we returned from Ecuador, in conversations when all 5 of us looked utterly blank, our now-daughter-in-law would explain...They missed the 80s and 90s. It's quite disconcerting sometimes to not have ANY idea of pop culture during that time period.
    Love the table runner, especially that swirly paisley fabric. Mmmmm. Your sister has something to look forward to!

  32. I love REAL vanilla. I buy Mexican Vanille here. I used to go across the border and buy it in Mexico but since the passport law went into effect, I can't do that anymore. Nor do I want to. Too many weird things happen across the border. Mexican grocery stores carry it or sometimes you can find it for sale from somebody who gets it from across the border for their garage sale of something. Anyway, it's good!

  33. Aren't your little grands CUTE? Yes, I love Halloween candy and I did rob my littlest grandson's pumpkin basket! He didn't really need all that chocolate, did he? His grandaddy stole a little Butterfinger (not my favorite)!
    Glad to know about the vanilla beans from Amazon! I've heard you can use vodka or rum. I'm wondering how the flavor would differ! Rum is so deep and rich and I DO love me some rum cake!

    Oh yes, I'm trying to teach myself to crochet and I've seen the pricey wooden yarn bowls on Etsy $50-$80. range and wondering how I could make one myself. Maybe I could pick up a wooden salad bowl at Target!

  34. Gorgeous afghan, Vee! I love the beautiful blue color.

    This post made my eyes light up too regarding the vanilla beans at Amazon!!!

  35. Home made vanilla! What a great idea. So you put the beans in many beans? How much vodka? And for how long. This sounds like something I would love to do!

  36. p.s. sorry I got stuck on the vanilla. I love your new afghan.

  37. Well, you're making vanilla with vodka. I had no idea that is how it's made. Hmmmm. Interesting stuff. I buy mine at Cos*co where it's the cheapest and I only buy the pure vanilla as it tastes best. Did you ever order a vanilla coke at your favourite soda counter as a girl? Yummy. Your afghan is really pretty and I like the colour of blue in it. The runner you made for you sister is nice too and I hope she gets it soon. What ever happened to Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck? There are so many characters out there now from the movies that I'd never keep up!

  38. Hi Vee

    i'd love to see the schoolhouse!

    Small child culture - nope not for a few years now.

    but like Auntie I know all about Vampire Diaries and Twilight;)

    They two little zoo animals were definitely sweet!


  39. BTW - I didn't realize that I coped your headline from yesterday - really!

    Great minds must just think alike:)

  40. Ah...beautiful job of your afghan. I still have to spell that a few times before the red line doesn't appear. =)
    Your little treat visitors are super cute.
    I love the scent of wil have enough to dab behind your ear.

  41. Now those are two cute critters! Hope they got lots of goodies and be "wired" for several days! Maybe they'll ever share! I always picked the Reeses and Nerds out of my kids' pumpkins - they never knew!

    I'm always gonna make my own vanilla, but people keep giving me Mexican vanilla and it's so good, so....

  42. Well all four points clicked with me! The crochet work is lovely, the window washer handsome, the vanilla brewing tip useful and the grands are adorable!

    I just saw Pottery Barn's Christmas catalog and the hand knitted pillows made me want to dig out my knitting needles again. So cozy and no worries about following much pattern wise. Crochet up some matching pillows and make it a Latke and dreidel kind of year!

  43. I'm coming back to this post once I'm home...and getting into the vanilla making business. Who would have + vanilla beans = vanilla extract. I can do's easier than going to Mexico! Great job on the afghan & table runner. (Does your sister read your blog?)

  44. I love your afghan Vee--my mom made them the same way in one big square and I have many of them now. I also love the table runner you made for your sister. Our mail was absent for a few days but now we have regular deliveries again. Gas is still very scarce, much mass transit is down, so people have had a hard time getting to workin.
    Your grandson's looked adorable! Mine went as Fire Chef (the older boy) and his Dalmation named "Spot" (the younger boy)

  45. Vee, Such sweet photos of your grands. I have 4 great nieces and I need to brush up on what's popular, too!
    I love your afghan and the tablerunner for your sis is lovely, too. I usually make vanilla sugar for the holidays to share with friends and yes, vanilla beans can be super expensive.


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