Monday, March 20, 2017

Maybe I Miss Downton Abbey, Et Cetera

As I write this, I am watching I Miss Downton Abbey. I'm only at PBS because I miss Victoria. In fact, I had no idea how much I missed Downton Abbey until reminded. Hope that Julian Fellowes is going to strike while the iron is lukewarm with a sequel or movie. 

Okay, this is not what I am here to tell you about today. I really wanted to chat a bit about my sister-in-law's and my wee adventure on St. Pat's Day. 

We had talked for several weeks about going out for lunch to a country store where they feature lots of booze, brick oven pizza, and a hip and happening everything visible pierced and tattooed staff. (What are people thinking? Are they really going to want those deformed ear lobes when they're 64? Do they really not like their skin?) We only knew about the brick oven pizza prior to our visit. I think Mary also wanted to see the house across the street (her great-nephew and John's recently bought the home). 

Mary had a general idea of where we were going. So did I except I am no good with road names and route numbers. We turned right when we should have turned left...twice! We resorted to asking Siri; she is not as helpful as she ought to be and yanked us around. Mary and I have lived in this area most of our lives, yet we managed to find a new road. If we hadn't been getting hungry, it might have been even more fun. It was certainly a pretty day for a drive.

Finally, we stopped at a country store and asked for directions. Well I asked because Mary made me. The clerk told me that she made brick oven pizzas, but that the place we were looking for was just on the top of the hill. Off we went and never found the top of the right hill for miles!  Maybe the clerk was piqued that I did not buy anything in her store.  

my leftovers~the tomatoes and onions were chopped finely and caramelized for subsequent meals

It was very crowded so apparently it's a popular place. One orders at the counter and then has a seat. The food is delivered to the table when ready. I ordered pizza and Mary ordered a Reuben sandwich. There were cookies for dessert, but I suggested that we could do some baking at home. So in a first, Mary and I baked together making my mother's recipe featured a post or so ago. Those cookies are truly special and we enjoyed them with tea. Mary wastes nothing if she can help it and just as the pan was going into the oven she shot a piece of dough onto the pan. When it came out, it had turned into a sheep! I kid you not. 

Mary Had a Little Lamb

So that's the story of our day and the most excitement I've had lately.


steps are down there somewhere

The boys came over Sunday afternoon to slide. Sam wonders if there'll be snow by the time April vacation rolls around. His father says "no" and I say "yes." We'll see. To put this into perspective, look out my kitchen window or at the sledding hill and my backyard. You can see why I'm skeptical.

I'll tell you what I really miss at this time of year...the sap buckets on my neighbor's trees. That maple syrup business had a tragic turn of events and are no longer in business. Have you seen any sap buckets lately? 


~in former years~

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Forgot to weave my new bouquet of carnations into this tale... I am certainly craving color these days.


  1. Good Morning! Hard to believe you still have so much snow. I sure love your cheerful bouquet of flowers. If not for my cats, I would treat myself to a bouquet each week. (they eat them) lol
    How nice to enjoy an outing with your sil. Your pizza looks good. We found a brick oven pizza place around Valentine's Day that we sure enjoyed. As for getting lost, we do that occasionally too. It's been 35 years since I lived in this town, so I often get turned around and take us on a long journey! Making cookies and enjoying tea together sounds lovely. Wishing you a nice start to the week. xoxo

  2. Tell, Sam, least that's what I think, lol...still snow here too...sigh...never ending, I'll tell you.

    Thank you for all the smiles you brought, Vee...truly. smiles

  3. Wow, you still got a lot of snow. I have a friend in Maine that hoped it passed her by...or at least they'd only get a few inches. I had a hard time living in Massachusetts with all the snow; it's just not my cup of tea, although I'm not quite adjusted to these humid summers either. If only we could take the best of all the places we've lived and find the perfect one.

    1. Stella passed no one in Maine by...😉 We did dodge the weekend bullet.

  4. I honestly can not even imagine that much snow. I would be craving color as well. I totally understand about all those ear lobes and tattoos. My mother who is 82 is always going on about they are going to look when they are old:) I would think they might find something a little less permanent to do.

  5. Oh you love the love Winter don't you? Beautiful photos Vee. Just loved them. I will never understand tatoos and piercings....beyond me.....I'll bet the pizza was marvelous! Have great week love!

  6. Sounds like the lunch outing was a memorable adventure. Pizza sure looks good. What a lot of melting ahead of you with that depth of snow. Happy Monday, Vee.

  7. What an adventure! We have a new-ish brick oven pizza place in our town (maybe 5 minutes from home!) and Mr. T and I tried it out for the first time for lunch a couple of weeks ago. The pizza we shared was an apple/maple/bacon variety (with caramelized onions too!) and was it ever tasty. We are considering going back every couple of weeks and working our way through the list of pizzas!

    Your photos are lovely, as always. And isn't it so much fun that you and Mary came back to your Haven and baked cookies!? What a (literally) sweet thing to do together!

    Your carnations are so pretty. I completely understand craving color.

    I have seen sap buckets this year; I forget where, but think it was up near the nursing home where my dad is. I know too that my son-in-law has tapped a few trees with the grands, so it will be interesting to see how their sugaring adventure goes.

  8. Loved hearing about your adventure. Siri really isn't as helpful as she should be, Earl and I followed her directions to a business in a faraway state we were visiting and ended up in a residential district on a dead end street NOWHERE near the destination we were searching for. I am guessing you will be all out of snow by April, I simply don't allow even the thought of it to intrude after March 1. If your neighbors sap business hadn't already gone under this year would have probably done it anyway. Due to the early warm temps we had I have heard it has been a terrible year for collecting sap. :( So sad, I imagine the price of Maple syrup will skyrocket. Better get it cheap while you can!

  9. Good day Vee. Happy spring to you! Here's hoping we have an early spring after all the bad winter we've had. You and Mary sure had a fun excursion! The maple syrup season started off good here but slowed during that last cold snap. I hope it doesn't spoil the season. I saw some sap buckets at Kings Landing on the road in to the site but only one on a tree inside which was dry, not a drip from the spigot at all. I'm hoping to go to another sugar bush for lunch and maybe a walk in the woods soon. Your bouquet of carnations is a day brightener and I love the sweet vase they're in. The latest storm has struck NS today so it's sunny and above freezing here, although the wind is really raw. Sending hugs. Pam

  10. Good morning, Vee! Perhaps it's wise to tuck a few snacks into your bag for trips to unknown destinations. A little sustenance on the way never comes amiss. It sounds like you and Mary enjoy many of the same things. Baking together is a fun activity.
    I didn't know the maple syrup industry was in trouble; is it because of the warm winter you had (until recently)?
    Cheerful flowers add energy to the house landscape, don't they? My daffodils are done, but I have a couple of pots of pink gerberas, small ones, that I hope will take me through a few weeks.
    Have a good day, Vee. Thank you for your prayers.

  11. I don't think maple syrup is a business in Colorado -- at least I never hear of it. But we enjoyed touring a maple farm during our "Leef Peeping" bus tour of New England a few years ago.

    Your photography is always so good. You know how to appeal to our senses so well.

  12. The pizza looks good, so it must have been worth it, hunting down that place. How fun that you and your sister baked cookies together. Look at all of that snow!!

  13. I was thinking how oh so true it is with the holes in the earslobes and the sagging skin with tattoos, Vee! Someone told me that repairing those enlarged earlobes is big nowadays.
    It sounds like you and Mary had a fun, adventuresome day, and then baking afterwards...yum! Your flowers look so cheery on the table. Hope your snow melts soon!

  14. Yum, I would love a slice of that pizza about now. Glad you and your sister had a nice adventurous day!

    About tattoos...I always wonder what they will look like on wrinkles when they get old. And those piercings in the nose, lips and wherever...yuck. Glad my kids didn't go for any of that.

    We could have used a little of that snow and I'm sure you wish you could have sent us some of it, too. It's still very dry here. Hopefully we'll get a good rain soon and not just a shower here and there like we've had so far. Hope you see some signs of spring before long!

  15. Oh Vee, I miss Downton Abby too. I wish PBS would run the whole thing again right from the start. Even though I know the ending(s) I'd enjoy it just as much, maybe more. Your jaunt with Mary and the pizza lunch sounds like fun.
    I do not understand the lure of piercings and tattoos either. SO very grateful my kids weren't interested in that foolishness.
    The sun today feels warm and things are dripping and running- lots of water running down the sides of streets- hope its the same for you. Spring is on its way, for sure. The boys won't be sliding much longer...

  16. Hi Vee!

    I loved Downton Abby! I am so not loving anything of regular TV, so PBS is my go to station when I watch TV. I do have an Amazon account and can watch Downton anytime I wish, but it's just not the same for some reason.

    It's not hard for me to get turned around...seriously, I usually can't tell east from west unless the sun is rising or setting! Your pizza looked delightful, so did the cookies. I am going to make those cookies today, I hope mine look as delish!

    They say that today is the first day of Spring... :0/ I don't have snow in my yard, but it's cold and windy, and there is plenty of snow in the mountains, now we are worrying about floods. You guys sure did get clobbered! I hope you don't have snow on the 4th of July, it's been a crazy winter!

    I love carnations, they are my favorite . . . well, they used to be until they bred the beautiful smell right out of them. Yours are very pretty in that springy vase.

    Stay warm!


  17. You're right, Siri can be downright unhelpful when you need her! Glad you finally found the spot and love Mary's little lamb :)

  18. Sounds like a fun day and I love brick oven pizza (then I like all kinds of pizza).
    Love that last vase with the flowers. So pretty!!
    I'm with you, I don't think the snow will be gone either. Looks like you still have a lot.

  19. I am laughing at your adventures and chat with Siri! (crazy broad)...her..not you...well, maybe you, too!
    I have not had pizza in such a long time. John's diet is so changed that we don't eat together anymore so pizza is not fun unless it is shared.
    LOL at your cookies..and Mary had a little lamb. I suppose she ate the poor thing.
    Hope you have a great week. Lots going on here---as seems to be the case most of the time. xo Diana

  20. Vee, I hope for the boys there will still be sledding in April--but for you I hope not. Although I guess when all that snow melts you will have mud season for sure.
    Your adventure with your friend sounds like fun--even though you went all around the place. I'll never understand the piercings and tattoos that seem to brand young folks these days! It's plain ugly. Okay, now I sound like my grandmother. ♥

    1. The boys are very eager to say goodbye to the snow as well. They were not pleased that I don't think it will be gone by April vacation. I hope that I am wrong.

  21. We don't have snow at the moment but I am sure needing to see flowers growing again...sigh...I see sap buckets still on our trees and we are still boiling, we looked and we've been boiling for 5 weeks and I for one am getting tired ;)

  22. Oh man, that pizza sure looked good! Sounds like a fun day out and about. I had to laugh at your comment about the deformed earlobes at 64...HA! I agree with you about Siri...she got me and Jim lost by telling us to go in the opposite direction twice in a row! I watched "I Miss Downton Abbey" too and was hopeful that there may be a sequel of some kind. Will you be watching the Bronte Sisters coming up this weekend? Looks good!!

  23. Oh no --don't tell me no more maple tree tapping gong on there! I feel the same about the ranches I see disappearing locally to housing development. The Denver area s growing by leaps and bounds and many people are selling off their land to developers for big profits. Pretty soon it will be suburbia and tons of traffic.
    We need snow or rain badly. It is so dry here that fire is a constant danger. Last year we had a couple late spring snowfalls so I'm hoping for the same. It has been warm but I never plant till after Mother's day regardless.

    I could eat pizza every day as I love it, but at this age it has to be an occasional treat. Your descriptions of the pizza shop workers made me smile--what will those ears look like at 60? lol!

  24. That photo of the maple syrup buckets is quintessential New England! How sad that you don't have that scene outside your door these days.

    It was fun to read of your adventure! Mary sounds like fine company and a good friend.

    And how did I miss I Miss Downton Abbey?! Do you know what we were doing instead? Watching Downton Abbey Season 2 on DVD! *facepalm*

  25. One winter we had a huge snow storm and thought we'd have snow until May. A few weeks later we had a mild spell and it all thawed! That snow can be gone in no time!

    Our friends who moved to upstate NY about 5 years ago had a small syrup business. Thankfully we are the recipients of some amazing syrup! They are moving back here this spring, so no more syrup. We'll miss the syrup but are happy to have our friends back home!

    Your adventure with your SIL sounds like fun! A new road! I love new roads!

  26. After so much white everywhere outside it is only reasonable to crave color! Your vase is lovely as well as the carnations. Warm color and things that say, "Spring is coming," are what we need. Downton Abbey puts color in ones life, too.

  27. Enjoyed reading of yours and Mary,s excursion , love quaint places like this, usually if they are busy that's a good sign! I am with you concerning piercings and tattoos, though some of my grandkids like them! I too am looking for color these days, and have tried to add a little to the inside! I do have some pretty pansy blooms that I plan to bring in today, and will have sneak them as DH is so particular about his flowers! ~smile~
    Hope your is filled with many blessings,

  28. Oh, Vee, you always make me laugh! I, for one, don't particularly like Siri, so rarely if ever talk to her. And I do miss Victoria. I have to say I was getting a little tired of Downton, but I hear he's got a new show in the works, so am looking forward to that. Hee, hee, Mary had a little lamb . . . Have a wonderful day, and here's hoping the snow will soon be a distant memory! xo Deborah

  29. Interesting that you should mention sap buckets. I was at a meeting the other day when one of the ladies mentioned her son harvesting sap from the box elder trees. When she told us about the process, I was amazed at all the work that goes in to making such a small amount of syrup. ~ Someone has probably already mentioned this in previous comments. K told me this past year that if you look up the place you're going (even by name and city) on your smart phone, when it comes up, there are several selections below and one is "get directions". I used that function just two weeks ago when we went unprepared to find a meadery. My search was for mead store in Fargo. It took us right there.

  30. I can't believe there is snow there is in the 90s here... love that vase and carnations...

  31. I can't believe how much snow you still have Vee, we are down to just the odd patch in shaded areas. An adventurous lunch out but nice to come home and bake with your sister - so who ate the little lamb? I do this with leftover scone dough - make a knot-like thing that the dog knows is for him.
    A vase of flowers at this time of year sure is a pick-me-up, I buy them throughout winter too.
    Too bad about the neighbour's maple syrup, something I'm in dire need of since I used up last years baking something. The local honey people starting making some so now I'm buying both products from them.
    Happy Spring!

  32. That sounds like an adventure that would really make you hungry. Glad you finally found the spot. Those cookies look so good. Like many others I like those trees with buckets photo. Here in Stevens County Washington State there is water everywhere and roads had to be closed here and there because of fast moving water and water over roadways and some road erosion. What a mess. Instead of the wide open fields we usually see there is water everywhere. Homes can now be considered water front property...yikes. Glad our kids new home is high and dry. Have a good week Vee and I do hope that snow is gone in April...

  33. Oh my mercy at the snow you still have ! Wow . Well I've had a good little chuckle with your adventure . But oh the memories you two gals has made . Hugs and blessings , Cindy

  34. The only sap buckets I've seen lately are the ones in your photo. I would love to see that in person.
    Sounds like you and Mary had quite an adventure. What fun and I had to laugh at Mary's little lamb.
    It does look questionable as to whether your snow will be gone any time soon.
    Your carnations look just right in that charming vase.

  35. I am not on my own blog much anymore and I find myself messing posts here and there and it does bother me so I need to do something about it. But anyway....I did finally watch ALL of Victoria, and I LOVED it. Waiting for the next season. There is going to be a season 2, right?? My goodness! That pizza looked SOOO good. Now I am hungry for it1 lol Your adventure with your friend sounds fun. I am glad you enjoyed it! Honestly I cannot believe ALL the snow you deal with. Hope the rest of your week is good!

  36. That pizza and those cookies look delicious! Love the "lamb" one too ;-) When I lived in Ohio we saw the buckets everywhere! Here not at all in my area. :-( But it sure does taste fresh, I miss Ohio's maple syrup. That's about all I miss from Ohio. LOL :-) Hope you enjoy your day and see the grass and flowers peek out soon!


  37. It sounds like you and Mary had quite the adventure! I have no idea what that generation is thinking, although I can't even say "that generation", because there quite a few out of mine that are doing it too. I'm fine with a tattoo here and there, but the rest of t... no thank you. To each their own I suppose. That pizza looked terrific and so did those cookies. Funny about the lamb :)

    I'm sorry to hear about your friend Myrna. Prayers for you and all that loved her.


  38. Oh my have a lot of snow! You and Mary sound like you had a fun time! I love the shot looking out the window. Those type of shots just seem to invite you in and look so homey. Thanks for sharing.

  39. The pizza looks delicious! YUM! Though wee, your adventure was wonderful....we all need those little perks on days such as these...when winter lingers despite what it says on the calendar. I agree, there is just something so charming about sap buckets...I see fewer and fewer of them every year! As for the snow, it looks like you got more than we did but we got plenty, that's for sure! And, it is melting pretty quickly. Hope you find a wee adventure for today!

  40. But that SNOW!! I don't blame you for the carnations with all that stuff outside your door. The pizza looked good but give me the cookies!! I am realizing that I am a cookie gal... not so much a sweets eater, but definitely a cookie gal!


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