Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Good Neighbors Candle Company

Ohhhh...a package in the mail. Love those!

This sweet note makes me smile. I'd like to thank Becky, the owner of Good Neighbors Candle Company, for agreeing to try something new for me. I had read about candles that smelled like a fireplace and since we've been enjoying our dvd fireplace so much I thought that this scent would add a nice touch.

Oh so sweetly presented and so cute in a little red tin cup.

And, generous to a fault, Becky tossed in the Autumn Magic scent, too! Recently, Becky has been working on new waterproof labels. I must say that it just looks fabulous.

There's the little wood wick that Becky mentioned. So my verdict? I think it smells like a fireplace burning and it's subtle, not at all overpowering. When John arrived home after the candle had been burning for a while, he wasn't able to pinpoint the scent. When I told him, he said, "Of course! That's what I almost said, but it seemed silly." Later, when I had him sniff the Autumn Magic, he said, "smells like juniper." I don't know if there's any juniper in there, but thought it possible. Now, don't forget, Becky, if you'd ever like to work on John's favorite scent... (For those who need a reminder, that would be pine needles and horse scat.)

Please visit Good Neighbors *here* (it's a very pretty place). Becky is a dear blogging buddy and blogs at Hospitality Lane.


Thanks to all for the fun discussion of Downton Abbey held behind the scenes. I promise that, when I do start discussing it here on the blog,  I'll be sure to give an upfront spoiler alert. Anyway, I wish that we could all get together, try that British toast, have a pot of tea, and carry on a wonderful discussion about the show. To those who think you'd find it dull, try it, you may find that you really like it!

Love Vee

Monday, February 4, 2013

Vintage Wash

Sorry, Mister. I thought it was called Vintage Wash. It isn't. It's called *Vintage Textile Soak.*

What's this all about? It's about my guilty conscience and sending some poor guy who was going to buy this linen (if only he thought he could get the stain out)

to the internet looking for Vintage Wash. Does any of this make any sense? No? Fine. Well, welcome to my world where I am guilty of everything including driving people nuts by sending them on long goose chases. Just to make me feel better, I'm tossing in a helpful article on washing vintage linens *here.*

This is my first toast rack. It's all the Downton Abbey and British tv I watch. I felt that I simply could not carry on without having one and when I found one yesterday at the flea market, I snagged it. John isn't sure what the difference is exactly between "American" toast and British toast, though I will remedy that some day when we can have toast again (maybe in a year or two). I'm sure that British toast is far superior, though I really have no clue. So how is toast for a crowd served at your house?

Can we talk about Downton Abbey? Just a titch? We can't. Sigh. I did have to laugh when I read a forum's threads in England discussing the program at some point last fall. One of the topics of discussion concerned the prison scenes with Mr. Bates. One commenter said that she used those scenes to check on her kidney souffle. This amused me greatly (because it doesn't take much to amuse me greatly) and I have used the line whenever I leave off tv viewing. "I must go check the kidney souffle," I say. So you're quite certain that we shouldn't discuss last week? Oh my. I was glad that I could discuss it with my daughter-in-law. John doesn't watch and I have no one to discuss it with and it seems as if I
will explode if I can't chat with someone. Email me.

A lovely day to you...

Love Vee
Edited to Add: And thanks to Karen, I learn the connection to Kidney Souffle.

As you recall last week there were terrible kitchen tragedies which rattled both experienced and novice cooks alike.  I am still a bit shaken, quite frankly.  But this week we see the healing process begin.  Human nature is such that we while we need time to grieve for the burnt kidney souffle, we have to pick ourselves up and carry on.  We can blame whomever we wish, but in the end when we seek solace, comfort and instruction from those around us, we can re-build our lives.

What a fun site called Downton Abbey Cooks.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


~Who Knows What Lies Ahead~
Whatever your future holds, you can rest assured that "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6). You may not know what will happen to you tomorrow, but you can know that the same Christ who loves you perfectly today is already there. ~Bob George Classic Christianity

Blessings to you today and all week through...

Love Vee

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Keeping it Brief

Thought that the birds or squirrels or something might like some fresh fruit. I was wrong. There it sits. Will put out the *bird cake* soon and hope that there are some takers. Just have to find something to put the cake on so that it won't look like the stove did with the melted candle.

Have a wonderful weekend. I may catch up with you early in the week. With Site Meter down for nearly a month, I've lost my will to live. Ha!

Take care now...

Love Vee

Friday, February 1, 2013

Here's to February!

February already? Someone recently mentioned that it seemed as if I had really enjoyed January this year and, though I'd not go quite that far, I did try to make the best of it.

It was all good.

So I spent the last day of January doing more of the same. I wanted to copy BJ who was copying someone else. Some fine day I'll dare to participate and link up to the CopyCat Challenge. Need.more.practice.

~Goodbye, Candy Canes~

With February just one day away, I knew that I had to say goodbye to candy canes.  (The other day when the grands were visiting, one would have liked a candy cane and I had to let him know that the candy canes around here are older than he is.)

Anyway, I took this photo and put it all away. No, that is not being truthful. I actually didn't put any of it "away." The candy canes are on the cupboard, the trifle bowl is sitting on the counter (no home yet) and the candle got plopped on the stove. On the stove?! Great choice, eh?  I made General Tso's Chicken for supper and promptly melted said candle all over the top of the stove. 'Twas a fine mess I assure you.

Let's move right along shall we?

~the props~

I may have overdosed on sweetness. We'll see...

The same photo with four different frames. I depend on framing to show my photos to their best advantage. No photos stand on their own around here; they're leaning heavily on Photoscape. Do you have a preference? I'm liking the vintage frame myself.

Yup, seriously, it's like a tent dress from the 60s covering a multitude of sins.

And all together now...


Another documenting for documenting's sake...the temperature on the last day of January. (I hope that the last day of February will be as warm.)


And now we're back in the deep freeze! How about you?

Love Vee
P.S. Thanks so much for sharing what you know about the toolbar. The award probably goes to Donna! If you want to know a whole lot more about the compose page and the toolbar that tops it, visit my comments yesterday and look for Donna's responses.

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Unless you are educated in metaphor, you are not safe to be let loose in the world. ~Robert Frost

Goodness, what a difference a day or two makes. Just look at it these future skating rinks!

(These photos were taken just this morning. Yesterday's photos had been taken on Tuesday morning. In light of these revolting developments, my winter tree and lights make me happy — very cheering.)

We went to bed with the pattering of rain on the roof and woke to a banshee wind swirling about the house and demanding to be let in.

So where was I? Oh, yes, metaphor. I love metaphor (simile, too) and do not use either as often as I would like. Language is filled with it. Sometimes we're aware and other times we pay no attention. Scripture is filled with it. When we do stop to notice, we can appreciate it and understand on a deeper level. Who can not appreciate Psalms 23 or the phrase from Ephesians 4:  "He has led Captivity captive"? If that doesn't provide more understanding, I don't know what could. Do you have a favorite metaphor?


Some made me laugh yesterday when you thought that Mr. Buechner's words were my own. What a lovely compliment! However, I wish to point out that I used the block quote feature (that's the blue quote button on the tool bar third from the end). That button can be used whenever one is quoting a passage of a few sentences or more. It sets the entire quote in from the usual paragraph. To further emphasize it, I put the quote in italics and used a different color. Of course, I also added the writer's name.

If you know anything more about our tool bar, fill me in please. For example, I have no idea what the next button does. (It removes formatting...scary!)

A wonderful day to you...

Love Vee

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Snow of Home

You wake up on a winter morning and pull up the shade and what lay there the evening before is no longer there—the sodden gray yard, the dog droppings, the tire tracks in the frozen mud, the broken lawn chair you forgot to take in last fall. All this disappeared overnight, and what you look out on is not the snow of Narnia but the snow of home, which is no less shimmering and white as it falls. The earth is covered with it, and it is falling still in silence so deep that you can hear its silence. It is snow to be shoveled, to make driving worse than usual, snow to be joked about and cursed at, but unless the child in you is entirely dead, it is snow, too, that can make your heart beat faster when it catches you by surprise that way, before your defenses are up. It is snow that can awaken memories of things more wonderful than anything you ever knew or dreamed. ~Frederick Buechner   
 ~east, north, and west in my early morning neighborhood~

~looking south at our wee haven~

~footsteps in the snow, Molly waiting on the deck, clogs on the rocks~

< Video Removed ~ Falling Snow Doesn't Show ~ Please Take My Word ☺ >
~Trees Shedding Snow~


Thanks so much for sharing all your fun school days' stories with me yesterday. Such delightful reads and John and I had a great time laughing over them.

Love Vee

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Gold Tack

Shhhh...don't tell anyone...Bobby's going to put a tack in Miss Flaubert's chair!

I was, as the class prude and very good girl, appropriately shocked; however, I said nothing, told no one. Perhaps that was because I liked Bobby a whole lot more than I liked Miss Flaubert. She was our French teacher and was she ever strict!
She often called us names (in French, of course) that I'm pretty sure weren't nice.

Reporting one comment to my mother had not proved to be as helpful as I had hoped because my mother agreed with Miss Flaubert. Mother would often say, "I do not know how you came to be in such a rough class." We were sadly known as "terrors." Can you imagine?!

On that winter day (I know that it was winter because Miss Flaubert was wearing a thick wool skirt, A-line I believe), we took our seats in French class right after lunch, all except for Bobby who managed to place that tack on the teacher's chair and hightail it back to his desk just before Miss Flaubert came in. She greeted us, "Bonjour mes petits crétins." Yes, I'm fairly certain that that was what she said. Then she headed for her desk in the left front corner of the room.

Every eye was wide. Every heart pounded. My face was flushed. I wasn't feeling so well.

She pulled out her chair and, while watching us — after all, she had never had such an attentive group — sat down slowly.

Oh it was agonizing. The entire class leaned forward waiting. Nothing. Not a sound in the room except for a small strangled cough from Bobby. She shifted in her seat. We gasped a bit, I think. Nothing. No hint of trouble whatsoever. Then she took her text and went to the chalkboard where she stood writing sentences in French and all the while a small gold tack glinted at us from her wool-skirted posterior.

I do believe that my class suffered a collective nervous breakdown that day. Bobby was the most afflicted. It may have been the very day that he decided to take up a career in psychology.*

As Miss Flaubert turned to ask Bobby if he'd like to go get some water, the tack fell to the floor without so much as a plink.

[I told this true story to my grandson Sunday. He had such an incredulous look on his face, was shocked at all the right places, and even covered his mouth in wide-eyed horror. It was very satisfying. I'm not sure that my son appreciated my telling the story, though I am sure that Sam would never do such a thing.]

Now, if any of you decide to share a story about school days, I'm all ears. =D

Love Vee
* (Yes, would you believe that he is a well respected psychologist today?!)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Of Breadsticks, Pirates, Books, and Puzzles

Documenting a long overdue birthday party of sorts. My daughter-in-law has been ill with the flu much of the month, along with her mother and sister. One of the grands got it; the other is still vertical. My son has managed to stay vertical as well. Illness made getting together to celebrate a six- and seven-year old a challenge. At least we made it while it was still January.

Carol first mentioned a recipe for breadsticks *here* and I was intrigued because my grandsons love them. I remembered being out for lunch recently with one who scarfed them down and didn't eat much of his pizza when it arrived. I decided then and there that I could happily give up the pizza as well and have breadsticks and salad or soup and be perfectly content.

The recipe I used was found *here* and it does come very close to its claim of being a P*zza H*t knock-off. Not quite, but close. Each one of those pieces was sliced into strips on the diagonal. What I loved about it was the speed of it. Mix up the bread dough, allow to rise for just 15 minutes and bake it off for 25 minutes. An hour from start to finish was perfect! I used a jar of marinara for the dipping sauce and it was great.

This boy especially enjoys dressing up and had asked for a Super Hero cape. My sister gifted him with a pirate's hat and he promptly took the name "Smee."

This pirate is now known as Captain Hook. Not sure that he ever found treasure though he studied his map carefully.

Puzzle time with lots of good instruction going on from dad about north, south, east, and west, etc. They seem to have enjoyed it. Sam Captain Hook definitely knew where Canada was and Maine.

And then, too soon, the afternoon was over and Sam Captain Hook grabbed his father by the throat and they were off! Jake Smee's already nearly out the door.

Happy Birthday, Boys! We you!

Love Vee

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Frost~Mosaic Monday

Frost grows on the window glass forming whorl patterns of lovely translucent geometry...now it can build castles and cities and whole ice continents... ~ Vera Nazarian
Some frost captures on my window pane over the past week made into a frost quilt collage. It is warming up nicely now so they have almost disappeared.

Join Mary at Little Red House for more mosaics. It's always fun to see what bloggers have been doing.

Love Vee

Giant Snowflakes

God's richest blessings to you today...

Love Vee

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Toe That Line

In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line. ~Henry David Thoreau

Oh if I had words to adequately describe this week when everything ground down to the present moment and there was no past and there was no future; there was only this. That's so how it has felt and blast if someone hadn't said it better. That Henry! The only forgiveness I give him is that he was a New Englander, too. Perhaps that affliction and long New England winters are what gave him the time to ponder such things.

Thus concludes my musings on winter and the way it can suspend time. Maybe. At least, we are back out of the deep freeze for now. How about you?

Love Vee

Friday, January 25, 2013

Watching Smoke Curl

*Let’s learn to love the icy winter moon, or moonless dark and winter constellations, Jupiter’s glow, a slow, incoming plane, neighbourly windows, someone’s flickering screen, a lamp-lit page, drawn curtains.*

At the risk of ticking off a few more readers...on such bitterly cold days as these have been when the wind is howling and the furnace is going full-tilt, life closes down to the essentials. I have enjoyed watching smoke curl.

I tried to emulate Jill and didn't succeed. Just can't get the camera any closer or the image crisper with the limitations of my camera. (By the way, Jill offered some great tips for capturing those snowflakes and frost patterns right here.)

~frosty windowpane~

Think that I'll bake a cake today per Cait's *recipe.*  It's one that won't be too tempting for me.

Where is that gal's scarf? (I'm just noticing.) Everyone is pretty bundled up these days. Had to snap this photo of my daughter and her new winter hat.

Stay warm now...

Love Vee

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pondering Chores and Projects

Cold winter days can be such cozy affairs. Every day when John comes home, I tell him the same thing: I didn't do anything today.

Obviously, that must change so this post will be short. The dog should be bathed except that it's much too cold for that so I'll put it off for the weekend. Still, there are rooms to dust and vacuum. Some tweaking of this or that.

The sewing room was cleaned last week so it beckons. When it is a mess, I hate working in it. There is a quilt-as-you-go table runner nearly finished and hanging from the end of the ironing board. There are bags of projects that I'm going to sort through eventually, deciding which I really want to do and which I don't care so much about and can let go.

The Christmas decorations were finally sorted last week and put away, all except for the Christmas angel spelling out December still sitting on the bathroom windowsill. She was overlooked, though now I swear that "December" flashes like a neon sign.

I look at the chippy paint around here and stress a little that I've not opened a paint can. Have you seen *Penny's beautiful blue?* It makes me want to repaint the bathroom that was just done...well, not just. It only seems that way. I've even written down the color in case.

Guess that's it. Your turn. What projects are you working on or what projects do you think you should be working on?

Love Vee
Photo source: Dover Publishing

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is it Mid-Winter Yet?

Brrrrrrisk here. How about there? The weatherman did warn us that this week and next are known for having the most brutal temperatures. I was hoping that we had reached mid-winter, but no. That's because February 3 or 4 marks mid-Winter.

~watch out, little lady, looks as if your friend may want to lop off those pigtails~

While shopping in a bookstore for the grands' birthdays (No, they're not twin-twins; they're Irish twins) last Friday, I found the sweetest book of Valentines. I decided to treat myself and have some fun punching them out.

I'm hoping that Lavender Dreamer will take note and be pleased that I took her advice. You know her advice, don't you? Never forget to play!

I made a very simple garland and hung it over the top of the other one and called my Valentine's Day Decorating done.

Stay warm and cozy now...

Love Vee