Monday, December 10, 2012

Tidying Up Loose Ends

Is there anything new under the sun? No. Good. Now that that has been settled, I'll just carry on as per usual. As you have figured out by now, everything here is a big old backstitch and I have some topics to bring to some sort of conclusion.

First up—vanilla sugar. The two cups of sugar and a vanilla bean (plus one extra) have been hanging around since November 14. I tried it yesterday for the first time and again in my morning coffee, which is now parked to my right. I just sipped my coffee once more to be sure of what I'm about to tell you. It's true. My taste buds are so undiscerning that I can't tell the difference. That's right. Weeks of sugar hanging around with a couple of vanilla beans all for naught. So there you have it.

Next up—snow. We have some. It arrived overnight so we missed the gentle falling. We did not miss the rumble of the snowplow at five this morning.

(Edited to Add: As promised...a picture or two. It's actually turned to ice and the tree boughs are getting very heavy. I hate to see this.)

Third—Santa Hat Snack Mix. I'm conflicted on this one. It's kind of cute now that I am a few days from having made it. Though it just doesn't have the punch (this has proven to be a horrible pun...forgive me) of a regular snack mix. It's much too sweet for me. I did learn that I love those caramel Bugles they are made from.

 Dipped Bugles which began to look like noses to me. (See reference to pun above. Groooooaaannnn...)
This was the best part...broken noses Bugles that couldn't possibly be made into anything.
In the end, the entire process looked like a battlefield to me. So this is what I really think: this was not an easy project and the result is not so satisfactory that I ever want to try it again. The grands were completely and totally unimpressed.

Speaking of unimpressed grands. That's the fourth thing—Jake and the backed afghan.


I have saved the best for last—the fifth thing was an unexpected visit from family who arrived from California. I have not seen this young man, who was a baby when I first began dating his oldest brother, since 1995. Because I had taken Cheryl's Class on Hospitality, I was prepared to open my home despite its not being ideal. Nothing is ever ideal so why do we cling to that? Anyway, it was a sweet time and I am glad that we could get together.

Anyone notice a resemblance between my son wearing the cap and his uncle? I think so!

Thank you for reading my novella. Always fun to have you drop in!

Love Vee

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Miracle Atmosphere~Mosaic Monday

(Comments are closed so that you may peek and run.) 

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead...

Love Vee

From Joseph's Perspective

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. ~Luke 2:7

There were so many miraculous things about the birth of Jesus. Mary, we can all agree, must have been an amazing girl for God to select her to be the mother of His son. Then, long before sonograms, the angel announces the gender of the child and tells Joseph (in a dream) what the child's name shall be. Jesus means "The Lord Saves." 

I often think about Joseph's role in the Christmas story as I am doing most especially today. These two songs help me flesh out that remarkable man whom God selected to be the earthly father of His own son. Incredible. 

♫ music ♫


How can man be father to the Son of God?... How can I raise a King? How can I raise a King? 

I never listen to these words without feeling a new gratitude for what God did in a most amazing plan — such a strange way to save the world.

Love Vee

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Of Bows and Silk Poinsettias

(sweet images, too — I still miss her)

If I keep hanging out at PicMonkey, I'm never going to get anything done. If I keep hanging out in Blogdom? Same story! But what fun!!

John has a saying that goes this way: A little putty and a little paint will make this barn what she ain't.  Ditto for this arrangement! It's not really snowing and there are no pine cones nor giant snowflakes nor red winterberries (and I surely could have done a better job). What there is is a new bow thanks to Pam featuring them on *this post.* You can follow her directions leading to the original blogger to find how to make the perfect bow right there. My only contribution to this project is to say that the three pieces don't have to be all matchy-matchy. Course one should be forewarned by taking a cue from my arranging skills. =D

I really do like birds...a peek at my cheesy red silk poinsettia decorated bookcase shelf. See all that wall space above? I'm working on a plan...

~Now how'd I get two birds in there?~

Enjoy your Saturday. I'll be enjoying mine!

Love Vee

Friday, December 7, 2012

Star Carol

Every year at Christmas time, my mother would always make room in her budget for adding a new Christmas album. She would find them sitting in special displays at the old-time department stores: Woolworth's, Kresge's, Grants, Kings, The Mammoth Mart, The Fantastic Fair, and even at the local hardware store.

And in that way the voices of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Peggy Lee, and so many others became familiar to us. One year, Simon and Garfunkel came to us singing this sweet carol. Do you remember it? I'm so glad that it floated back to me on a wee memory. (Gosh, I love You Tube — so many things to be rediscovered.)

Just some Christmas images tossed in. I have done the "Christmas Lite" box again this year. It seems to be enough.

Last evening, I finally finished my tree. This is how it looks. Aren't I clever for switching to yet another new spot? I have had five or six different locations since the addition was built. Some years I have a rocking horse beneath the tree; this year I have a small table laden with children's Christmas books and a little chair.

I tried *last year's photography technique,* though I couldn't get it to work quite so well. 

My list is ticking right along. Breakfast out, supper out, hair done, house semi-decorated, music enjoyed, and on it goes...

Wishing you a sweet day and a lovely weekend.

Love Vee

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Of Creating Audio Books and More

Thank you for sharing your favorite songs of Christmas with me. Thanks to the wonders of the www, I have been able to listen to all of them.  Some I've heard and others I had not so that was a fun adventure. Right now, I'm listening to Michael W. Smith sing Emmanuel, which reminds me that my Christmas cards contain that message and that they are not done. Today I shall remedy that.

John was able to get all his Christmas cards and packages taken care of yesterday. His step seems lighter this morning.  One of the chores hanging over him was reading an audio book for a great-grandson. It's been sitting on the shelf for nearly a year and a half. I decided to press it yesterday knowing how treasured it would be this Christmas. It turned out so darling with John, who has one of Maine's finest and richest accents, reading "All Creatures Great and Small."


I have one of these audio books somewhere that has been waiting two years. Why do we put such things off? They're very easy to do.

And thank you so much for all your good thoughts and prayers for Molly who truly is doing better. Her bill at the vet's was a little high with all the meds we came home with. After a few days, I decided that I should make a hair appointment so I could look and feel better, too. I have such a penchant for looking like a poodle at Christmastime. ;D

I took my new book that Sue sent along for me. (Thank you, Dear Sue!  ) What a sweet gift it has proven to be. I showed my hairdresser and she exclaimed, "I have that tea pot. Would you like to see it?" Sure I would.

My hairdresser moved her business into one of the historical buildings in town and turned the remaining floors into her home. Wow! A house tour. A house tour of a very old and grand building with some of the finest architectural details I've ever seen. Her home has a grand stair way with a balcony landing where she keeps all of her tea things on a ledge along the wall, which is just a bit lower than eye level for me. It's so delightful. Wish that I had my camera with me! So we made plans for a tea. Who knows if anything will ever come of it, though it was certainly fun to do.

Any unusual delights happen to you this week? You know, you can always plan one yourself!

A happy Thursday to you...

Love Vee

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Dreams

There's always been a little game I've liked to play in December. It basically goes like this: everything is perfect. Great game, say what? No one dies; no one is ill; everyone prospers; the weather cooperates, and all is well in the merry land of Christmas Dreams. Ever get caught up in playing that game?

Perhaps that's why I am especially enjoying this Christmas song...another by Amy Grant...her version is my absolute favorite. Yes, I may be on an Amy Grant kick this Christmas.

Molly our little poodle is doing much better after her visit to the Vet last Saturday. We were told that she is failing, has lost two pounds (a lot for a miniature poodle), and that her major health issues can't improve. Some of you may remember that Molly was my parents' dog and, more specifically, my mother's. She was the last promise I made to my mother and so emotions are running a little high where Molly is concerned and I'd really like to hang on to her as long as I can without being cruel. There is no need of cruelty where animals are concerned.

There are bigger issues in the world today, of course. Some are in hospital beds, some have suffered the loss of family to death or divorce, some are concerned about money, some are concerned about the state of the country and treachery in high places, some have lost jobs. As far as I can tell, when I take off my holly berry glasses, all is not perfect in December.

                                ♪ Time would heal all hearts♪

                                   ♪Right would always win♪

 ♪Love would never end♪

♪Now Heaven surely knows that packages and bows
   can never heal a hurting human soul♪
            ♪What is this illusion called the innocence of youth? Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth.♪

Do you have a Christmas song that is speaking especially to your spirit this season? There always seems to be one.


Love Vee

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's Not a Fake Anymore

Remember when my little grandson Jake called the new blue and white afghan I made for the back of the Volkswagen* a "fake blanket"? (* A euphemism for my disgustingly huge living room set.)

Well that has weighed heavy on my mind. Let us not discuss how small a mind must be to have such things weigh on it. Anyway, when Jake's mama was here last she mentioned something that she had seen on afghan that had been backed. Ohhhh...and let us not discuss how small a mind must be to react instantly to any mention of Pinterest.

Yes, the mere mention set the gears in motion and soon I was planning to take Joann's up on its fine offer of 50% off cotton fleece.

Yesterday, found me upstairs working feverishly to back that little lap afghan. We'll let the photos tell the story. My mords are getting wixed up.

I still haven't found a more satisfactory place to work than on the bed, which is the proper height for a work table without too much bending. The floor is out—knees aren't what they used to be. Of course, this did mean that sleepy Fioré got the boot.

This five dollar tool chunk of cardboard is perfect for laying out upon the bed and working from. I found mine at Wal*Mart.

I never dreamed how miserable it would be to keep yarn and fabric together. I tried basting; I tried duct tape; I tried tearing my hair out. Nothing worked until I thought of this—rolling my two fabrics tightly on a wrapping paper tube. I'm pretty certain that it's something I saw my mother's friend do long, long ago. 

I still have most of my hair so it worked pretty well. Once I had the two pieces rolled up together, I could baste and then go to the machine and do a zig zag stitch. This method would work well for lap quilts or a baby's quilt. I don't know that it would work so well for a bed-size quilt or afghan.

 Back in place and none the worse for wear.

A closer peek through the stitches.

As you can see above, the decorating is still in need of help. I'll be switching what I stuck in the mittens to greenery very soon and tweaking. Just because it's not looking so great here doesn't mean that it's not looking great elsewhere, though...

I was visiting At Home on the Bay where I fell in love with the simple charm of Christmas in the Kitchen. Enjoy!

Love Vee

Monday, December 3, 2012

Need A Hostess™ Fix Yet?

My daughter needed a lemon pie fix so I decided to use up the Comstock™ lemon pie filling and the Pillsbury™ pie crusts left over from Thanksgiving to make these sweet little half moon pies.

I found whatever extra information I needed right *here.* In the interest of total honesty, by daughter rated them a 3 on a 1–5 scale. John rated them a 4.5; I rated them a 4. So the problem seems to be the crust. They want my own crust back. Rats. I was just beginning to think that I had found a good use for pre-made crusts.

So, really, those of you who are in the U.S., have you missed Twinkies? Devil Dogs? Anything from Hostess™?

Christmas cards started arriving last week. This is a reminder that I have not yet started mine. One arrived from my cousin filled with photos his wife thought I might like to have. Yes. There's no gift quite so lovely as having photos tumble from a Christmas card providing images to go along with the stories. There are relatives lined up on the bench that sits on the cottage porch. They're in boats and waiting at train stations. My grandfather is the group clown and my mother grins at me from her fourteenth year. There's one photo where my step-grandfather, his first wife, my grandmother, and grandfather are all together. (My grandfather and my step-grandfather were best friends as were my grandmother and my step-grandfather's first wife. After my grandfather died followed a few years later by dear Addie... I never knew either of them as they were gone before I was born... my grandmother and step-grandfather married when I was three. It was a perfectly wonderful arrangement and most especially for me. My step-grandfather was my favorite grandparent of the lot. ☺ Wonder if my sister would say the same...) 

~memories in a Christmas Card~

Just to prove that sometimes I take a better picture than others...

Weather conditions in my corner...freezing rain. It's supposed to moderate and
 turn pleasant and mild.

A pleasant day to you...

Love Vee

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Family Game Day~Mosaic Monday

Hanging out, waiting for cookies, playing some old-fashioned board games and some new-fashioned i-pod games, just enjoying the day...

As you can see, someone is really going to have to get back on top of the ladder...

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

Love Vee


Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. ~Psalm 27:14 KJV

I am sure now I'll see God's goodness in the exuberant earth. Stay with God! Take heart. Don't quit. I'll say it again: Stay with God. ~Psalm 27: 13–14 The Message

Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one's thoughts. ~Elisabeth Elliot
One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God. ~Oswald Chambers
~Grand Watching and Waiting~

We are all waiting on the Lord, whether or not we realize it. Most of us do —realize it. There is a need and so the request has been submitted and we wait. There is a wish, a heart's desire, and we request permission and wait for the response. Some have been waiting for years. I have. Have you?

Waiting on the Lord is often like watching the timer while the cookies bake. When the time is right, God is ready. Only then will the promise come and not one second sooner.  

A blessed Sunday to you...

Love Vee

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Decidedly December

Here it is December already! What happened to that extra week? I've only just started on decorating. So much left to do! If you would stop doing so many interesting things, I'm sure that I could pay better attention. How're you doing on the decorating? Have you begun?

Here's what I have done so far...

~kitchen window with Friendly Village tea cups~

I've got my work cut out for me or, at best, plenty of tweaking to do. All that and I've vowed to keep it simple this year. Yes, right.

Have a lovely weekend...

Love Vee

Friday, November 30, 2012

Kitchen Light

I took so many photos trying to find the correct angle, that I finally decided to make this here mosaic so I could use them all. It may or may not have anything to do with a kitchen light.

And speaking of the kitchen light, I am not a DIYer; I did not find a sweet, chippy, old bucket or a rustic lobster crate or an apple basket or a vintage bird cage and create my own unique light as you might have done, my talented, think-outside-the-box friend. I am so in the box, I'm growing square.

If you've been reading here for any length of time, you have heard me say that I live in a wee home. I do. It's small and I don't even have a real kitchen. It's a corner of a larger space where a dining and living area have been eked out. The former living room, which sits at the front of the house, is my guest bedroom and office and portal to Blogdom.

You can see the layout in the following photo...

I am standing in the living room area. You can see the front wall of the house just down there through the wee hall. Living in a small home came as a huge shock when the kids and I first moved here after living in a much larger Cape Cod with four bedrooms, a laundry room, a dining room, a living room, a pantry, a kitchen, a sunroom, a shed, and a barn. Now that I am a little lot older, I can see the joy of not having all those spaces to clean and maintain, though it certainly took some time.

But then we were talking about lights...see the problem we had? Trying to keep some semblance of complementary because of the dining room light to the left in the above photo. Now I'm looking for a photo showing the former light...let's see...hmmm...*clunk* *rattle* *shake* *sift* *bump*  Oh, here's one...

Usually, I did everything possible to disguise that light fixture. This one, taken last Christmas, made it because I had to get the antlers in. Wonder what she'll show up wearing this year. Oops, off-topic again!

I didn't like the former light fixture because it seemed too small (not that the new one is so big); however, it was those $25 light bulbs that really did me in.

Today, I should use my baking center. Small kitchen, not much space=baking center on kitchen table.

Know what I'm doing with those melts? Take a peek right *here.*

Enjoy a wonderful Friday and a sweetly blessed December weekend...

Love Vee