A Haven for Vee

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


A little chat about this and that and nothing much in particular. It was chilly this morning so I broke down and turned on the furnace. This is the second time that it has been on this season and, just as soon as the house comes up to 68F, it'll be going off again. I shudder to think about oil prices this coming year...talk about putting a crimp in a budget that already squeaks.

Yesterday, the unthinkable happened...

Molly and Fioré decided to combine heating reserves and slept in the same chair for two hours. Believe me, it had nothing to do with friendship.


After seeing my daughter-in-law's tomato patch last weekend, I realized all over again the error of my ways. You may remember my sharing my little garden a few days ago. It was full of green tomatoes and lots of foliage. Here's Em's...

a lot of red and very little green. So I went aboard my tomatoes yesterday and pruned them heavily. Perhaps I'll get another week of growing time. Still, fearing frost last night, I brought in quite a few. (No frost...36F this morning.) My harvest is lining the windowsill. Helpful post with regard to this issue


John has been busy at work on the west side of the house. He'll be all done with that this morning and will move on to the front. 

It sure changes the light out there...much brighter. I'm going to miss the three trellises; however, nothing really grew there since the sun doesn't reach it for long. I know that I can find a new home for them.


Do you like those cheesy biscuits at Red Lobster? I have the Bisquick knock-off recipe, which we really enjoy. I scrounged around in the pantry a bit looking for some Bisquick and came up empty. Hooray for the internet, though, because there were several versions of a "from scratch" recipe. Must have chosen the wrong one because we truly hated them. The success of that biscuit comes from its lightness and the ones I made last night were heavy. Looked pretty, but pretty is as pretty does.


Must end on a sweet note with photos so gear up, you know what's coming...

Have a wonderful Tuesday!


  1. Good Chilly Morning! Molly and Fiore are too cute sleeping together. John is moving right along; your home is looking very nice. I love seeing your kitchen windowsill lined with goodies. Hope you enjoy your day, Vee.

  2. My tomato plant is finished for the year. I think because it was in a pot and not in the ground. We had an abundance of delicious tomatoes from it, but it died back sooner than any I planted in the ground in the past.

    Have a great day Vee!

  3. So nice just hearing about all the "goings on" at your house. Our tomato plants have long expired. Only got a few tomatoes this year. They all split too. Have a delightful day!

  4. Good morning! Goodness I honestly can't imagine needing the heat. Wish I could send you some of mine. Suppose to be near 90 again today. We did cool off to 68 last night so I guess that was good...Probably won't turn my heat on until close to Dec. I guess if we are lucky. I remember once (many, many, years ago thankfully) it was 92 degrees on Christmas day. I often wonder how I would do where you live? I think I might like to give it a try! Have a wonderful day Vee!

  5. -blush- I keep forgetting to post, that we have been putting the Wall Unit (heat or A/C) in the Den on, in the morning. While we sit here with coffee/decaf and he reads paper and I blog.

    We also tested the furnace, and it will work. Always like to do that, a wee bit before. So we won't be caught short, on a horribly cold morning. (Sorry you have oil heat. Ours has always been natural gas.)

    Hooray for John and his siding work!


  6. Get rid of the ding-dang leaves! On tomatoes plants! Mmmmm, sounds wise. But we never thought of it, either. -chuckle-

    But your Harvest looks cute, lining the widow sill. Goes perfectly with decorations, already there! Shushhhh, you shouldn't have told us. We'd have thought it was ALL part of your GRAND PLAN for Autumn Decorations. ,-)

    Pretty, but not tasty biscuits hu? -gigggles- Oh well, CHEESY biscuits can't be good-for-you anyway. So I'm glad they turned-rocky on you!

    -ducking, running and hiding-



  7. What a sweet picture of Molly and Fioré, sharing not friendship but heat. Whatever works. At least they can put aside their differences temporarily. Do they normally tolerate one another, or do they spat?

    Your garage is looking great! I know it's exciting to have the end in sight!

    I have made the Red Lobster copycats with Bisquick...but I rarely have Bisquick in my cupboard, so I usually make them with my standard biscuit recipe, adding the cheese with the dry ingredients, adding a little extra milk to make them "drop" biscuits instead of the "rolled" kind. Gavin (my oldest grand) declares them his favorite food! :D

    Oooooo...36F is chilly for sure...I'd have turned on the heat too! So far here, the coolest it's been in the house is 67 and I have been able to leave the heat off. I dislike the summer heat-and-humidity so much, that I can actually enjoy being chilly for a while. Everyone else is putting on sweaters and socks, and I am saying, "It's delightfully chilly!" which they totally don't get. But I am happy. Besides, I use up ALL my allotted complaints in the summer, so I have none left to complain about the cold temps.

    Stay cozy!

  8. Boy, John is going to town on that siding. It sure is looking nice.

    My mother in law always told us to give our tomato vines a good shake every now and then to "catch their attention" and they would grow better. Worked pretty good, too. :)

    I just made biscuits, too, and I added sour cream and it made the biscuits so light. You might try that next time. I have a post in draft about them...
    I think it will post this evening. IF the scheduled thingy is working on this dang new interface. I just hate it. I can NOT find where to SEARCH my past posts. On the older version, it had a space for searching at the top of the page of drafts and published posts. Where the heck is it on the new???

  9. I figured you were turning on the heat already. Though it has been cool the past few days, I've resisted.

    Have you not grown tomatoes before? Thinning out the suckers is a regular chore, so that the plants don't put all their energy into developing the greenery. Actually, your daughter-in-law's plants look terrible and diseased, LOL. One way to speed up the ripening, though it stunts the plant (not an issue this time of year, since the season is almost over), is to take a spade and slice into the roots. It shocks the plant into ripening up the tomatoes. Slice down six inches or so, about a foot away from each plant, all around it. Also pinch off any new blooms.

  10. It's to the left now under "Posts."

  11. To speed up the ripening of the green tomatoes you've already picked, put them in a brown paper bag along with a slice of apple or banana (apple is less messy, LOL).

  12. No, this is the first year I've grown tomatoes in a garden or raised bed. I've grown them in a pot without much success. My daughter-in-law's tomatoes looked so good to me that I wanted to steal them. She stopped watering them and is pretty much done with them I guess, having harvested so many.

  13. Yesterday morning it was 32 degrees, this morning it is in the upper 50s and rain.

    I love tomatoes but they didn't do well in this area because of the heat and drought.

  14. I didn't even try tomatoes this year because the raccoons always get to them first.
    I love the glow of the lamps and the morning sun through your kitchen window.

  15. It's chilly in the mornings here too and rain was expected, but so far, just grey skies. My grandparents always had us pick the green tomatoes before a frost was coming, then, we'd wrap them in a sheet of newspaper and place them in the root cellar. Believe it or not, we had wonderful red tomatoes for Thanksgiving! I do know if anyone has the cherry or grape variety, you can pull the whole plant up, hanging it upside down (by the root end) in a garage or basement and any green tomatoes will continue to turn red for picking:-) I love that when necessity calls for it "everyone" can pull together like Molly and Fiore:-D XOXO

  16. I sure hope you get some mileage out of pruning your tomato plants before the frost gets them. It would be a shame. Have you ever made green tomato relish? I never have but it's one way to use them up. They look pretty on you window sill and will no doubt ripen soon. Also a brown paper bag will help ripen them. (put the tomatoes in the bag :)) You will love the brightness reflecting from the garage. It's looking very nice. Enjoy this glorious day!

  17. Progress on the garage is looking good. it will be quite a change with the "lightness." It is hard to turn the furnace on for the first time. Currently we still have the a/c on but it doesn't run much. Windows are open and we enjoy the fresh cooler air--not something we can say happens often down here. We try to wait til the end of October for the heat ... but sometimes that's hard. I would love a really cold winter this year to kill the bugs that weren't killed last year. I remember when we lived in Ill. that we would harvest the green tomatoes, wrap them in newsprint and place in basement. They would ripen and be edible but not quite as delicious as they would have been ripening on the vine. My this comment is getting long! Time to stop.

  18. Those tomatoes on your windowsill look so pretty. And they will ripen nicely in time. I've had green tomatoes ripening for over a month in previous years. Other commentators are correct - you have to prune the suckers of your tomato plants. Mine went crazy this year and the bed looks like a tangled mess. But the tomatoes are great.

    It's getting a bit chillier here, too. I sometimes turn on my little electric heater when I'm at the computer, but no heat on in the house yet.

    Pretty porch pics! Never get tired of them.

  19. The photo of the pets is adorable. Notecard worthy ;-). John is very talented. Bless his hardworking nature. It has definitely cooled a bit but no furnace just yet, supposed to be a warmup later in the week. And the best thing about Red Lobster are those biscuits! It's the Old Bay seasoning, I think. xo

  20. Vee - I've made the "Cheddar Bay Biscuits" from a recipe I got a few years ago and had posted this on my Feb. 23/12 blog post. I don't know if they are the same but was of the understanding that they are like the Red Lobster ones. Give them a try and let me know if they are what you were striving for? Here is the link (hope this works - I'm so bad at this stuff!):

  21. I've got to let my mother know that there is still hope for Buffy and her cats. Molly and Buffy look like twins ~ almost identical.

    John has really made progress. The cooler weather makes it so nice to be outdoors.

    We've awakened to some mornings in the high 20's. I've been outdoors trimming back perennials and pulling/digging some plants that are either annuals or I have other plans for that space come spring.

  22. Since we've only had a couple of weeks without the air running full blast, so I hate the thought of having to turn on the furnace. I know it won't be too long.

    I've made the Cheddar biscuits from a copycat recipe and they weren't any where near as good as Red Lobsters. I figured they must have a secret ingredient that they won't share!

    The siding project is looking great! John is doing a great job.

  23. So glad that you got a shot of Molly and Fiore curled up together since it is such a rare event. They sure do look cute.
    John is making wonderful progress and it looks really nice.
    I do love those cheesy biscuits and have a recipe for them, although it's been years since I've made it. What a shame that yours didn't taste as good as they look :(.
    My tomatoes were definitely more green than red this year. Interesting tips in your comments today. I'll have to remember them for next year.

  24. We are waiting for our siding to come in. Hope we get it soon. Want to finish it before it gets too cold.
    40 degrees here this morning - coldest so far.
    I love those biscuits but Ken doesn't. I want to eat all of them but only let myself eat one!!

  25. I know when tomatoes are ripe they last longer stored upside down, but am not sure what to do with the green ones.....Best of luck, Vee!

    And how sweet your dog and cat look together. I've always regretted my extreme allergy to cats (my eyes swell shut in a few hours) because they seem such interesting and beautiful creatures.

  26. I meant to tell you that on my deck I had one celebrity tomato and one cherry tomato plant. Got lots of cherry tomatoes, but only one of the larger ones. I think they are not really meant for a deck. And in the end, just as it was ripening, my youngest grandson picked it and bit it and threw it on the ground!

  27. Cute to see two little fuzzy butts sharing the warmth.
    Now I understand your question about the scallop on the garage. I didn't realize you were putting new siding there also. I still say scallop the peak. Lots of hard work but it will look wonderful.

  28. It's still lovely and warm up here, with blue skies and sunshine. We'll enjoy it while it lasts! Too bad about the biscuits....I guess the Bisquick is the secret.

  29. Vee,
    I love posts like this!
    I turned on the furnace for the first time today, too.
    The siding is coming along great. Yay, John!
    The pets sleeping together...priceless.
    Sorry that you two truly hated the biscuits...they do look good, which probably made it all the more hateful.
    Your porch flowers/vignette is still lovely.
    Want to know how the tomatoes fare. My tomato plants looked like your daughter's, but it happened "naturally"?

  30. The nice thing about blogs is, you read the post and enjoy it, then you read the commenters who arrived before you did, and learn even more stuff! Speaking strictly from my southern heritage...forget the ripening! Slice those green tomatoes, salt and pepper and dredge in flour with a bit of cornmeal added, and fry those babies! Yeah...I know, all that grease, we're all dieting, blah blah blah. Fried green tomatoes are just the bomb and worth EVERY single calorie!

  31. Vee, that John is something else. He just keeps plugging along with his many projects, yet he seems to know when to enjoy a relaxing nap. Reminds me of my dear hubby.

  32. Vee
    I do like your final fall vignette.
    I'm still not ready for autumn, since I was cheated my summer!
    I once made green tomato mincemeat.
    It was really delish-try it!

  33. I almost didn't pick the green Tiny Tims but I'm so glad I did. They are ripening up nicely in the dark pantry and make a tasty and nutritious snack each day. Your basket of mums looks wonderful by the pumpkins.

  34. I'm smiling at the pets...sharing the chair without really meaning too. Cute pic! Frost? No thought of that in these parts. We're cheering John along...from over here!

  35. Well here I am finally but it's Wednesday already. I have some catching up to do. Have a wonderful Wednesday. I wanted to turn on one of our heat sources this morning...brrr. Yay for more siding getting done.

  36. I love seeing your harvest! I confess I must leave too much green on my tomato plants as well...I must look into pruning.

    It's chilly in the mornings here but not your kind of chilly yet!

    John has done such a great job on the garage and house. Do you have a wood stove that you can use to offset fuel costs? Tim spends a fair amount of time on wood throughout the year, but we use it all winter and it helps with heating costs!

    I need to go this week and get our pumpkins. Yours look great!


  37. I envy your fall weather!!! Still hot here in Texas and our electric bill today proved it!!
    My mother loves those Red Lobster biscuits! I MUST learn to make them!
    Lovely post as usual!!!

  38. I don't really like biscuits - I prefer rolls. But I make Paul Deen's Uncle Bubba's Biscuits and them guys rave about them.

    They're a cinch to make.


  39. Our tomatoes all burned up in August with so many days of 100+ degree temps and no rain. We did water, but they were finished! Those green tomatoes look perfect for fried green tomatoes which we love!!! Just slice, dip in seasoned cornmeal (like fish fry breading) and fry in oil. They are so good! I love those cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster too! They also serve them at the Dixie Stampede in Branson, Mo. Delicious!

  40. Ooo a chilly morning, we finally had a cool morning yesterday but a chilly morning sounds so good right about now:-) but we here in CA will have to wait on that a bit longer. Thanks for sharing some things around your home! Your hubby is doing a great job, too!