Saturday, March 3, 2012

Another Cozy Morning...



wherein I mess up the photography and resort to Gradient 6 (Photoscape). My thought was to show the odd juxtaposition of winter outside and spring inside. A gal must keep hoping so I resort to these tactics believing they may trick my inner child: a sunshiny ribbon tossed around a lampshade, a parade of seed packet high wire acts, and those silly cups that will not be ladylike no matter what I do. If I take the photo from the opposite side, they stick their noses in the air and look away.

I have precious little for you today. My plans are to shove the Volkswagens around in the living room to do a bit of rearranging. I'm premedicating and trying to figure out how to get John out of here. He doesn't need to see these things until after the fact. He'd help, too, but he only wishes to help once. Sometimes these efforts take three or four tries. Not five, Lord, please not five.

John just came in here and so I had to float about in paragraph one for a bit. Can you believe that he was chewing me out? And what was the crime so grievous that it required this interruption? Just this: I threw the new dishtowel down to the laundry. Good heavens. Apparently, it's a never-ending source of irritation for him because his complaint began with, "You did it again!" Well shoot me.

And thus begins my day. You have a wonderful Saturday and if you'd like to share your last argument with your darling, dear, and beloved hubby, feel free or, if you'd prefer, share something you're doing to spring-it-up at your place.

Love Vee

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Bit of This and a Dab of That

Sounds like a recipe...

I've been watching Jennifer at Our Southern Table for some time now. I hang out there daily and am constantly amazed by the quality of the work she has on her blog. I'd love to see more folks visiting because she is an excellent teacher with lots of experience. Her latest post introduces a new project she has in mind—getting back to the kitchen. She states her case so clearly that I couldn't help but nod in agreement. The other thing is, Jen and her family have just moved to a new home and she's already created a working kitchen...from boxes...in just a few days. I think she might have things to teach me.

She says, "A few things I would like to cover include a little about decor, what you do and don't need, stocking the refrigerator and pantry, casual entertaining, menus, and clever storage ideas."

Jen's link will be on my sidebar making it easy to pop over and see what's going on. I think this will be a fun series!

Our Southern Table

***

~Beyond My Portal~

The snow ended last night and will return tomorrow. John said, "Honey, the house looked so cute and cozy when I came driving down the street this morning. It's wearing its little blanket." And he says that he's not a poet! ;> 

***

So many of my blogging buddies are away on March breaks. I will miss you all, of course, but wish for you amazing times. There seems to be a general lull in Blogdom. Is it just me or have you noticed it, too?

So, on that note, what things are of interest to you these days? Is the glut of information so great that you are sometimes overwhelmed? Is Pinterest, Olio(board) or some other thing taking more of your online attention? 

For example, I found a deliciously beautiful blog last night. No, I'll not tell you (unless you beg). It was a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich, a regular magazine of a blog with page after page of images with nary a word about the blogger or her thought process or anything that would draw me there again. I used that blog for an hour's entertainment and walked away without saying a word. And I thought how sad. For you see, blogs are more to me than fluff and stuff. Though I like a Fluffernutter every now and then; I wish also to find the heart and mind of the one who laid those pages down. Without that, it's not enough.

What do you think?

Love Vee

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I Shall Plant a Garden


Every gardener knows under the cloak of winter lies a miracle...
a seed waiting to sprout,
a bulb opening to light,
a bud straining to unfurl.
And the anticipation nurtures our dreams.
~Barbara Winkler

What is it about March that, even though the calendar says that the new season won't arrive until the 20th, we feel that spring arrives on the 1st? Is that how you feel about it, too? Spring feels so close that I could reach out and touch it. This despite the fact that there's been overnight snow; it is still snowing; it will snow all day, and it's rather brrrisssk.

A mild winter it has been even if Old Man Winter is putting up a fight about slinking on out of here. But I am so done with him. So. Done. I'm itching to get on to the next thing, which is going to mean changes and good ones, I hope.

This delightful book arrived yesterday from Manuela @ A Cultivated Nest. (It might be time to purchase a lottery ticket, I've won so many lovely books and giveaways lately.) Manuela is an accomplished gardener herself and often features posts on gardening. She had a post on *raised beds yesterday that included a lot of valuable information and resources. Check it out!

~Recycling Center~

~Recycling Basket~

Why is Starter Vegetable Gardens by Barbara Pleasant (another lovely surname) sitting there in my recycling basket? Because, until reading this book, I had no idea that my recycling basket is actually a harvest basket for vegetables.

~Harvest Basket~

Yes, well, and I have learned other interesting things like how easy it is going to be to have a wee vegetable garden this summer. I will, of course, show you come summer, though if you want to start planning your own, you could check out this book. It is chock full of fascinating tips. One of my favorites is not to plant vegetables that you don't enjoy. Great point. I might have, you know. I need to be very specific and purposeful because I'm planting an even smaller garden than the author suggests. What's more there'll be no digging involved. No digging! Yes, one of the author's tips involves a no-digging garden plan. Oh joy unspeakable! 

***

Last week, I received this sweet gift from Karen @ Life is Good~Smile. She had a giveaway that I lost, though she gave everyone a gift. 


Karen knows that I love yellow. This bowl is filled to overflowing with these cheery cloths. I have offerings from bloggers: Karen, Lovella, Suzanne, and from  family members: my mother, my nan, my aunt, and my daughter-in-law. Usually, I can remember which is which, too. Having a good supply is much easier on the budget than paper napkins and paper towels. I just grab a clean one from the top and I'm off. (I won't be using this one for a while, though. It's too pretty.)

***

So, will you be planting a vegetable garden this year? Will you have to dig? ;>

Love Vee

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Tea

It's not very often that one can enjoy a Leap Day Tea. I've chosen my birth month's colors for the linens and tea cup and baked some Snickerdoodles. They are common cookies that one can find a recipe for anywhere; I found mine in my old Betty Crocker cookbook.

 ~Snickerdoodles and Chamomile Tea~

I can never bake them without remembering the year my college chum Deborah visited me from Oklahoma. She spent almost a week with us. She charmed my children and introduced them to E.B. White via Stuart Little; she charmed my husband by making homemade noodles for homemade chicken noodle soup; she charmed me by taking me away from it all to the mountains for the most wonderful day where we chatted like magpies from early morning to late that night. I remember watching the snow fall on Mt. Washington from our vantage point and eating lobster rolls in a little red restaurant in the valley. All that and she baked Snickerdoodles. She did simple things in extraordinary ways.

~Mother's Pansy Doily~

The pansy doily is fairly common, too. My mother made this one and I love it now more than I ever have before. Just to think of all the hours she spent making this one lovely item.

~ColClough China~Made in England~

The china tea cup is from my grandmother's collection. The tea cups live in the dresser I use as a buffet now. I remember to take one out every few days for a cup of tea — chamomile — just to make it a little extra special. Otherwise, I drink my tea from a mug.

Is it all about the simple things after all?

Enjoy your extra-ordinary day!

Love Vee

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Steam

Gotta love steam cleaning—no harsh chemicals and perfectly sanitary. I started out with a Scunci several years ago. Nearly drove me wild because it was so small and cleaning came in spurts—literally, of course. I don't believe that the water vessel held more than a half cup. It was okay for the sinks and drains and doing the refrigerator gaskets...sort of. As of last Thursday, I have this...

~0r*ck St*am-It~

So this was my birthday gift from John. He can not be blamed for the unromantic quality of the gift. He was having trouble coming up with something and I was more than happy to help him. =D I knew that I wanted my hands out of dirty water and mop wringing.

Even though I watched the You Tube video where the cute gal (Nony the Slob—no, that's really her name) went over the fine points explaining that this machine does not suck up dirt, I still was rather surprised to find that it does not suck up dirt. There has to be that kind of a machine on the market. (Sometimes I even imagine a little machine like grocery stores have where the floors are perfectly clean and shiny in two or three swipes running back and forth all on its own in my kitchen.) Perhaps Manuela's comment back on *this post* will help. The Biss*ll does get good recommendations, though it's for floors only...I think.  I wanted something that was going to get multiple uses: floors, cabinets, shower walls, windows, mirrors, upholstery, and even ironing/steaming.

~Lots of Nozzles, Attachments, and Booties~

The price was right. I thought it was $179 and it turned out to be $97, which was great. I have cleaned floors, the refrigerator doors, cabinet doors, upholstery, closet doors, and shower walls (each chore has its own nozzle or attachment and bootie to fit over said attachment) and am pleased with everything except with the lack of dirt-sucking ability and the bit at the first of it where it's difficult to push the thing along for lack of enough moisture. If you enjoy the smell of a cleaner, you can purchase one that won't kill the machine; otherwise, I found that the smell of clean was perfectly fine. That and the nice scent of a candle burning.

One thing is certain...no hands in grimy water. Amen.

Thank you for the sweet birthday wishes. You made me smile.

A great Tuesday to you...

Love Vee

Monday, February 27, 2012

Birthday Gifts and Thoughts

Do you play tricks with your birthday? Probably not. Probably you receive each birthday as the gift that it is and that's all there is to it. I do something strange. Since I was thirty-seven, I have added a year to my age. Yes, I know that most people subtract a few. Not I. That year, I rolled into my thirty-seventh birthday thinking that I was thirty-six. It did such a number on me that I've never been caught like that again.

So when my grandson arrived last week saying that he wasn't sure how old I was, but perhaps I was "%^," I really had to stop to think for he had added a year before I was ready to add a year. It's shocking either way!

Yesterday I shared one of my gifts (the Downton Abbey magnets) and today I thought I'd share some more. Family is always the best gift, of course. They arrived in the early evening with supper in tow. That was lovely. And this was lovely, too.

~My son and grandsons doing the dishes together~

Could it get any sweeter?


I had done something crazy to my camera settings so all my photos of the evening are so strangely colored that I turned them all to gray scale. No amount of playing in Photoshop would straighten them out. 



See what I mean? Sometimes one just has to return to the default settings and start over.

~nice interaction between Baby Grand and his mother in this one and I have no idea to whom the Older Grand is speaking...~ 

~John's thinking that the frame idea is going to mean that someone will get hurt...possible!~

By the next morning, I had the camera back to some semblance of normal. I think this proves that one needs to anticipate events and be prepared. What a novel concept!

On to the other gifts...


My sister sent me some delicious coffee from a coffee plantation she visited in Puerto Rico. It is some good too, smooth and flavorful.


 My son and daughter-in-law brought the cake and this lovely quilt square.



My daughter brought supper and this set of dishes for storage. I don't think that she's been happy with what's been available here lately. I'm making room for this in the cupboard today.


 The sweetest birthday card ever...


 And another from my sister, in Spanish...


Sewing notions and tea towels from my son and his family and a jean-a-ma-jij from my daughter. I've talked about this *before* you may remember.


 Jets were flown and crashed...


 Jets were flown and landed safely...


Two movies. One from my daughter, which I have also discussed *before* and the other from my niece. I know little about it, but perhaps I should check to see if it won an Oscar last night.

Did you watch? The Oscars that is?

Love Vee

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Downton Abbey Magnet Mosaic~Mosaic Monday

Oh I know it's Academy Award Night. < insert stifled yawn >

I offer you instead an extension of Downton Abbey. And, since my storyline could be considered a spoiler, please do NOT read if you have not had the chance to view Downton Abbey yet.


My daughter-in-law shares my enthusiasm for the show and, knowing how much I enjoy it, she gave me these magnets for my birthday. All I'm going to say is that I've enjoyed them, but they are not going to live on my refrigerator. On the other hand, Matthew and Mary are going to live on the metal tray above the refrigerator. Pretty good digs for magnet people. ☺



Yes, just like Mary, I cut that evil Pamuk out of the picture. Did you see that Thomas and O'Brien are one character?

Please join Mary @ Little Red House for more mosaics.

Are you a Downton Abbey fan as well?

Love Vee

Colossians 2: 6–7



Blessings this Sunday...

Love Vee

DB