Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sally Lunn Bread

Before I forget, I want to give credit to Kim (Kim Klassen) for the If Only background and Karen (The Graphics Fairy) for the beautiful swans. We have such amazing resources in Blogdom! If you haven't signed up for Kim's weekly download, try it and you'll be playing in no time.

This is the last of the Memory Bouquet using the same If Only background. It makes for a soft, romantic look. I used the photomerge function on Photoshop.


As you may know, I am on the search for a particular bread recipe. I've now made bread three times in the effort and each time brings me closer to that elusive recipe. I have learned some things. One is that to have sweetness one must have more than a titch of sugar. The other is that eggs do add that extra body to bread dough that I am looking for. The last is that this can not go on. I like fresh bread way too much.

Cheryl @ Thinking About Home suggested that Sally Lunn bread might be close. It is certainly a delicious bread and so easy to make. No kneading!

Notice the bread handle? Why I stuck that extra bit of dough on there, I have no idea. It certainly wasn't to make it attractive. =)

Can you see the texture? That is definitely what I am looking for. See that butter? Cabot, thank.you.very.much. The best ever! (No, Cabot is not paying me to say this.) Do you have a favorite butter?

If you'd like to try Cheryl's recipe, you'll find it right *here.*  She's titled the post "Snowly and Sally Lunn." Perfect for a snowy day as we're enjoying today.

I also wanted to thank you for the encouraging things you said about my tag project yesterday. You are the best!

A wonderful Tuesday to you...

Love Vee

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dare to Dream Different Art Challenge~Quill Cottage

This art challenge has taken me way beyond my comfort zone so I am sitting here chuckling at myself. I am not by nature a creative person. Not.at.all.

When Miss Sandy *first mentioned her challenge,* I had just posted about my word for the year, which is "stretch." Somehow I thought that it would be a good way to practice. And it proved so true. I have stretched — hours and hours of stretching.

The challenge, as I understood it, was to create a tag or a piece of "art" using any of the images that Miss Sandy provided and the word "dream."

Let's have at it, shall we? My picture story...



So I learned a few things. I am learning that it takes layers and layers of practice. 

And I learned that one can take a sad song tag and make it better. 

Thanks so much, dear Miss Sandy, for encouraging me to try something new. I  had fun! 

Please visit Quill Cottage and see what others did with the same images. 

Love Vee

Very Near

Ever wake in the wee hours of the morning feeling unsettled, ill at ease? It happens to all of us, I think. It happened to me just last night. When it does, I can usually calm it with prayer or perhaps the humming of a hymn like "He's As Close As the Mention of His Name" by Gordon Jenson. This song is what came to me as I lay there flipping through my mind's Rolodex at three in the morning.

In the very thought of Jesus
His presence can be found
He's as close as the mention of His name
There is never any distance between my Lord and me
He's as close as the mention of His name
He's as close as the mention of His name
He's as close as the mention of His name
Jesus, Jesus
In my hour of struggle
So many times I've found
He's as close as the mention of His name
Just to breathe the name of Jesus
Can turn everything around
He's as close as the mention of His name.

John tells of a time when every night such anxiety would come upon him that he would have to get up, have a glass of water, walk around, and perhaps read before getting back to bed and to sleep. He was so exhausted from this nightly routine that he finally said to the Lord, "I don't care what happens. I don't care if I die. I am not getting up again." And that was the end of it.

Anxiety can come upon us at any time, though Believers have the remedy and the promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He truly is as close as the very thought of Him. That is powerful. Further, He is present whether we are aware or not for He is always present and He is always willing to show us through as we yield to Him.

A blessed Sunday to you...

photo source: Dover Publishing

Love Vee

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January Boys



September 2010

The January grands have had their respective birthdays. The family gathered recently to honor them. I know that all grandparents say it, but does time fly or what?! It is actually getting pretty scary.

This morning, my daughter, John, and I gathered to pick up the home version of what you see above. It now sits in two big boxes waiting for spring and a patient papa to assemble. Hope that they will love it! Though when the six-year-old was informed about all the fun things...monkey bars and a climbing wall...he asked, "Who thinks I'm old enough for that?!"

* * * * * * * 

Just a reminder that *the giveaway* ends tonight at 7!

A happy weekend to you...

Love Vee

Friday, January 27, 2012


Seize the moment of excited curiosity on any subject to solve your doubts; for if you let it pass, the desire may never return, and you may remain in ignorance.
~William Wirt 

Right!  So that's exactly what I've been doing this morning. If anything makes me wonder, I find out the details.

You may remember that the old trunk that originally belonged to my great-great grandparents no longer holds the tv. It now holds a hobby horse right in front of the front door. That can't be good, but it will do for now. I promise that it is only temporary.

As I was sitting here this morning visiting the precious few of you who have posted...ahem, I noticed some hen scratch on the sides of the trunk. My ancestors' surname is written there, though it is misspelled. Then I remembered finding a tag on the opposite side, which I had planned to photograph, but never returned to. Not today!

Misspelled Surname

What does that say?

American Express Co.

April 1905

Another Great Find

Aha! My mother's old lard bucket...empty and tucked beside my desk. I've been looking for something to hold Molly's dog food. It comes in 50 pound bags and this will be just the ticket. Yay! A new home for it coming right up beneath the farm table in the kitchen.

Thus ends the ho-hum photos of the day you will be happy to know. =)


We're in the middle of an ice storm. I have horrible memories of the nightmare one in 1998 and do not wish for a repeat. Still there is a beauty in treacherous weather. 

Ice Storm Mosaic

spruce cones

Two questions for you...one perhaps mundane and the other a bit more interesting: 1. How's the weather in your corner?  2. What thing could you explore in your home/world today that you have been meaning to do?

Love Vee

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cultivating Wonder~Sharon Lovejoy

A few weeks ago, I won not one, but three books written by Sharon Lovejoy! She had this marvelous giveaway at her blog. Blessed me!

Now Sharon has been cultivating plants and flowers since childhood so it did not surprise me that she also cultivates wonder.

the sweetest bookmark

The books arrived yesterday...

Sunflower Houses, Hollyhock Days, Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars

Sharon had asked, "Shall I inscribe them?"

I assured her that that would be wonderful and so she has...a unique message in each one!

Thank you, Sharon!

And so I enjoyed the most blissful of afternoons on the sofa surrounded by everything from the dog to the laundry reading Hollyhock Days from cover to cover. Such a delightful book!

As it happens, I have been gifted with Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars twice. I am keeping them both. One I shall allow the grands to read with their mom and dad. But wouldn't it be lovely to have a giveaway right here of Sharon's latest, Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars? Yes! I thought so, too. If you have children or grandchildren, a grandbaby or four on the way, you will so enjoy this wonderful book of ideas and activities. No hoops to jump through, no following, no need to share (unless you'd like), just leave a comment. One will suffice. This giveaway will be over by Saturday at 7 pm. Yes, I do work fast. 

A wonderful Thursday to you!

Love Vee
Thank you for participating. Comments are now closed. Winner to be announced later this evening.

The winner: Diane at Lavender Dreams

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recipe Rip-Offs

It must be a closely guarded secret...the recipe for brown bread at King's Landing, New Brunswick, Canada. It's one of those breads that, though we are twenty miles away (when at the cottage that is) and down a dirt road six plus miles long and fraught with pioneer adventures each inch along the way of it, we find ourselves drawn over and over again to stop by and pick up another loaf or two or five. Man! It is some kind of delicious.

Mother and I had been scouting for the recipe and trying various brown breads for years. Over the weekend, when I whittled my Inbox from 999 emails to less than 100, I found an email with a recipe enclosed. It was from my niece and it said, "this is the one."

My excitement knew no bounds. I flagged it and set it aside and lost it and re-found it and finally printed it off and made it yesterday.

Did you know that there really are no copyright laws for recipes? I know because I used to proofread cookbooks. If I am using a favorite recipe for publication on my blog, I change some minor thing and pray that it isn't terribly significant. That's why I wonder about recipes we find on the web...they may not be as well tested as those we find in a book. This recipe that I'm not sharing was found by my niece on the web.

King's Landing bread is sweet and flavorful. Sweet. Quite sweet. This bread had a third of a cup of molasses and 6 cups of flour and a cup of oatmeal, but it was not sweet.

King's Landing bread is not Anadama bread, though it might be considered similar. If you click on the highlighted bit there, you can read the fun history of Anadama bread, which is a New England story.

Smelled good, though.

Looks pretty. Tastes blah. Flat. Not going to make this recipe again. If anyone knows of a delicious brown bread recipe that is sweet and flavorful, please fill me in.

What's your favorite bread and when is the last time you baked some?

Love Vee
P.S. If you'd like to take a little tour of King's Landing, Pam gives a great one right *here.*

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Not Bored Exactly...

January has brought me to this or as John says, "You're worried about what's going on in my head?" ☺

It's true. I am now knitting *crocheting nests. K.n.i.t.t.i.n.g. *Crocheting nests for crying out loud! It all began when I was practicing Deb's directions last night at A Blade of Grass. She said something fascinating about using two strands of yarn so, having lots of little leftover balls of yarn, I practiced and instead of a purse, came up with a nest. She'll be worried about me Deb will.

*Apparently, I don't know what I'm doing.

Keeping my nest company is my sweet little barn painting from Nita Leger Casey

And all these pictures are reminders to those who are in a panic about the loss of Picnik. (No, I have never met an alliteration I did not love.) I can't say enough kind things about Photoscape. Do your own Googling and download the program when you're certain you have the right site. It's free. If you don't already have it, you'll love it.

Hope January is treating you well...

Love Vee

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Faded Beauty~Mosaic Monday

A Kim Klassen background (If Only) and last week's photo of the rose with this week's photo of the same rose. Perhaps I could better name it Fragile Beauty as all those lovely layers on the drying rose look paper thin and fragile to me.

Connecting to Mary at Little Red House.

Closing comments so that you may just visit and enjoy. I'll be visiting and enjoying without comments this evening myself.

Love Vee

The World Beyond

This morning early, I pressed the blue button on the top of my computer tower on my way by and wandered down the hall toward the kitchen and coffee. I greeted John and almost listened to what he told me, poured my coffee and headed back down the hall for the computer...that glowing box of all things that connect me to The World Beyond.

I checked here at Haven and then scrolled to the bottom and that little meter icon where I could check stats. Soon I was there and then I was off to check email. A few minutes went by and I thought What were my stats? How many people went to visit Jill? Who's on now? All questions that would have been easily known if I had actually "been there" when I was there.

How much I am missing by not being here! And I am reminded all over again to stay focused and to really do the thing not merely go through the motions. The Bible clearly tells me this:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails... I Corinthians 13:1–8a

Now what did John tell me?

A blessed Sunday to you...

Love Vee