Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Story of This Particular Old House

Do you enjoy reading about old houses? Have you ever restored an old house? I do and I have. My old house story was my first home. Someday, I'll tell that one.

Not today, though, for today is about this here particular old house. I'm going to let "them" tell the story right *here.* There's some history at the beginning and, if you hang on, you can tour the inside of the house. Don't you often want to do that when you see an old home? I know I do!


A happy weekend to you...

Love Vee

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sneak Peek

It's all winding to a close after a year and a half or more. Oh there are one or two leavings to weave into the whole, though they can be done whenever. (My wish would be for sooner; John's on a completely different time frame.) We hope to have the driveway done at some point as it's in rough shape from having been dug up to run electrical wiring underground to the house. Yes, yes, little things.


It's lovely to see a project pull together. Yesterday was so warm and pleasant that I asked John if he minded if I sat out there watching. I come from a long line of folks who do not like to be watched. John is much more obliging.

Do you mind being watched while you work? 

Love Vee

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hospitality Thoughts (Perhaps a Tip or Two)

TaH

It has been a fun month so far reading Cheryl's excellent series on hospitality at her blog Thinking About Home. She has some great tips and practical suggestions and she makes a gal like me think.



I am not by nature an accomplished hostess nor do I even particularly enjoy the role. (Did I say that out loud?!) Only since Cheryl began writing her latest series have I even begun to think why that is. It didn't take long to figure it out: my expectations are always set way too high. As Cheryl states so clearly, "hospitality is not to impress, but to bless." I have been too busy trying to impress and it does not work. At all. Nada. Nope.

So it is true that when that hospitality gene fell from the tree, it didn't land on me. However, it did land on both my mother and my sister. They were often in cahoots together on matters of hospitality beginning with my sister's church youth group when she was a teen. (I was already off over the trail to college as I am nearly four years older than she.) They planned amazing weekly events with casserole suppers and delicious rolls and biscuits and delightful desserts. Everyone wanted to attend. It was a time of great growth for the youth group. Teens were coming from all over the place. Great things happened and continue to happen to this day as a result of those meetings all those years ago. That alone taught me that Hospitality is important.

Since I am unable to point to my own winning ways with hospitality, I'll share what I've observed watching my mother and sister in action followed by placing myself in the role of "one who can always serve even as a bad example."

First of all, my mother planned. She wrote lists. She pondered and considered the event well in advance. Then she began baking and cleaning in advance. Finally, she made sure that she was bathed, dressed, and ready for her guests in her own person. Have you ever arrived for an invitation only to find that the hostess is not there herself? I have. I may even have been that hostess. It's not a good feeling either way. Cheryl described this so well recently when she shared how her hosts all came out of the house to greet her family as they arrived. (I'd send John. ☺) So definitely leaving enough time for yourself before guests arrive is a very good thing.



I clearly remember one Christmas arriving at my parents' home to find it glowing with warmth and the smells that are so evocative of the season. Then my mother came around the corner of her kitchen wearing a red pant suit. She looked fantastic wearing red and smiling so beautifully just like the perfect hostess. I may not be able to pull off wearing a red outfit (without looking like Mrs. Claus), yet surely I can wear a smile.

Then there was the time my sister and I and her two daughters and my daughter and son had just arrived back at her home after church. We were going to do something that afternoon, probably of a crafting nature. My sister worked a full-time job as a maternity nurse plus a half-time job as a home-health nurse. Her home often reflected the fact that she was a very busy and exhausted woman. That day, there was clean laundry being sorted and folded on the living room furniture and piled all over the coffee table. A few laundry baskets were perched hither and yon.

We'd not been there for more than a few minutes when there was a knock on the door. Church friends had stopped by; they were a young couple with two little ones under four. My sister was delighted; I was appalled.

Sis set immediately to preparing lunch and what a scrumptious impromptu lunch it was, too. (I busied myself with setting folded clothes in baskets so the guests would have a place to sit down.) I still remember that Sis came into the living room carrying a tray of cheese and crackers, tea, fruit juice, cookies, a dish of salted almonds and set it right down on the coffee table along with folded facecloths and undies. If I hadn't been so mortified, I'd have broken down either crying or laughing hysterically. Probably the latter.

I ran into that couple last Christmas while out shopping and they mentioned that day as a favorite memory of theirs. Really? Hmmm... I should have asked why exactly, though I think I know. It was the fact that my sister was genuinely thrilled to have them in her home.

The truth about hospitality is that sometimes the unexpected happens. We can't totally prepare because we had not one clue that someone was going to drop in. (Personally, I do love those who call first.) Anyway, one of my best tips for that kind of hospitality is from Brenda at Coffee Tea Books and Me who has taught me to have a "hospitality pantry." In it are kept some cookies and some specialty items such as flavored teas and even some cappuccinos and hot chocolate. It has kept me from feeling totally unprepared even if you might find me with folded laundry on the dining table.



I am learning that genuine hospitality is a matter of the heart. Thanks, Cheryl, for all your hard work in putting together this series and this party. Please find more hospitality tips *here.*


Love Vee


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October Note Card Party

(Had a little excitement with an earthquake here at around 7:15 pm. The strongest I can remember feeling, but only a 4.5 4.0. Anyone else feel it? I know it could be felt in Boston. Anyway, since I want to make sure this posts, I'm going ahead with it now.)
The earth's distances invite the eye. And as the eye reaches, so must the mind stretch to meet these new horizons. I challenge anyone to stand with autumn on a hilltop and fail to see a new expanse, not only around him, but in him, too. ~Hal Borland
Welcome! It's our October Note Card Party. I'm expecting — anything!


Here it's a blue sky and water theme. Except we haven't had very many blue skies this month. In fact, I'd call this October a stinking dud of an October as Octobers go. Though we can't always have what we want, can we? We have to use some imagination and make a bitter thing palatable somehow. There's always a clinker...

The next photo was sharpened to within an inch of its life!

Just click on the button in my sidebar for the details. I want to thank all those who participate for being so generous with visiting and commenting at the participants' blogs. I receive so many wonderful comments about what a friendly party this is and how wonderful my readers are. You are pretty terrific just so you'll know.  
And it has not been lost on me how many of my readers are now your readers, too. How wonderful!

Love Vee

My Deck Decorating

Not again! Yes, again...☺

It's Tuesday and that means "Mantels and Porches" for Melissa's Fall Nesting Party. I have neither. What I do have is a small deck where we enter our home.



It's been so rainy and muddy that I'm afraid the charm is off by half. I'm linking to the party, but not participating as...well...reason already given. ;> There'll be lots of great ideas, though, so peek in and see how others have decorated their mantels and/or porches.

One of my very favorite mantels this season has been Kari's at Thistlewood Farm *here* and *here.* (Just in case she's not linking to this party. And I had forgotten that Kari was having a linky party herself that day and has a lot of great participants with great ideas as well.)

One of my favorite porches is Kim's at Happy at Home *here.* Those pumpkins are so charmingly displayed.



                                                                 













You don't suppose that I'd use any of these for my own Note Card Party do you? Mr. Linky will be up between 8 and 8:30 tonight. Giving you all a break (and myself, too) and closing comments... 

Love Vee

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Morning


So, in the end, I did take time away skipping Mosaic Monday last night and spending a pleasant couple of evenings away from the computer. (Though I'll add a mosaic here today, I won't link because my mosaic is more of a "just documenting" nature.) I visited everyone and gave myself the gift of not commenting; this is much more difficult than it may seem as I comment a lot too much.

The frost came just as we were warned. Hard frost. Killing frost. I brought in pumpkins and plants and wrapped the rosebush. The rest I let go. Not without shedding a tear, but I let them go. The morning glory and the climbing brown-eyed susan are all cleared away with only a memory and a photograph left.


My daughter gave me something new for the garden. A little red, white, and blue something new so I am pleased. 



On Saturday morning, we gathered for the Birthday Breakfast. Though my daughter's birthday had come and gone, she had requested the Saturday morning breakfast because she's in the middle of painting her house trim and hoping to finish this year; she started last. It's a big house and she's done it alone. 

Saturday was windy and cold and so it was very pleasant to gather by 8:30 for a nice warm breakfast. This (birthday breakfasts) is something new for our family, though I can certainly recommend it. 

I served Judy's egg cup recipe from MGCC for the adults and chocolate chip waffles for the grands. We also had English muffins, raisin toast, and raspberry Danish. Orange juice and apple juice and coffee and Earl Grey tea were all served as well. I'd show you a picture of our table except that I didn't think to take a photo until only crumbs were left.

Then it was gift opening time...

 ~cheese~

~game time~


It was funny to watch this little guy ponder what fun things he could do to shake things up a bit.


There was a brief time of bowling...


Later in the evening, the birthday girl came back to show me the boot cuffs. She rolled them, which I thought looked cute, too.

There. Does that tie up all loose ends thus far? Not quite...there is the ongoing work on the garage. John has been challenged in a few ways. More on that another day.

Enjoy this fresh new beginning of a week and don't forget to get your note cards ready!

Love Vee

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lamentations 3:22–23



The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ~Lamentations 3:22–23


DB