A Haven for Vee

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Little Chat

The trouble with having been away from blogging so much is that I either have nothing to say or too much to say. Today will just be one of those mindless chatty posts. Wish that I had something to offer you besides a cup of tea and leftover candy. Alas, no baking in my recent past. But wait! How about a cinnamon toast? Marshmallow toast? (my personal fav) Toast with jam? A poached egg perhaps?

Let's see, this year is my year for Thanksgiving. My nine-year-old grand keeps me informed. I don't know what is quite so confusing about this, but I believe that it involves Easter. That's right. When it is my year, it is my year for both Easter and Thanksgiving. What further complicates things is when Easter is more like Thanksgiving in the weather department. Last Easter we had a snowstorm. In my mind, we just had Thanksgiving, but noooo, that was Easter, even if it was wintry weather. Do not attempt to explore the depths of this old mind. Impossible!  So I have now determined that odd years are my years and even years are J's. Got it! At least for now. Good thing I have Sam to depend on.

In the United States, Thanksgiving is a holiday to be reckoned with. It takes me weeks, not counting all the time I have spent on my secret Pinterest board gathering recipes and ideas. Lots of cleaning and lots of planning. The grocery list alone is formidable and the table linens must be spotless. The silver must be polished and everyday dishes just won't do. I am biting it off in small chunks.

For example, it has taken me two days, with John's help, just to clean the living room windows. The dining room window is scheduled for tomorrow. I have yet to find the perfect window cleaning product. We used white vinegar today...don't let that Windex bottle fool you. We'll see how that works out. *I'm waiting on word from Kathy about the product she used.*  I think that I just got it with her comment below. 

This week, I read a fun story by a classic Maine author of yesteryear who wrote They Took to the Woods. It was about a walk in November with her husband and little boy. They were putting in a friend's canoe as the friend was not there to do it himself. After the task, which proved more trouble than they had thought, they were famished and so raided their friend's pantry finding beans, tea, and a tin of evaporated milk. They had a feast, did up the dishes, and then walked back home through the woods. Suddenly, the sky turned dark and ominous and the treetops began to sway. A snow squall overtook them. They held hands and ran for the cozy warmth of their own home. The author's little boy was asked to find a radio station and the first words they heard were, "Happy Thanksgiving." The author's husband said, "You've got a couple of lousy parents to forget that this is Thanksgiving Day!" 

Fast forward four years and the family was gathered twenty strong around a table laden with bounty that the author had spent a week preparing. At the end of the meal her son asked if his parents remembered the day they had walked in the woods, seen the snorting deer, the geese heading south, and ate beans and drank tea. Yes, they remembered. Then the boy pushed himself back from the table and "with all the nostalgia that an eight-year-old can possess said, 'that was the best Thanksgiving we ever had.'"

Bittersweet is abundant this year and my secret stash was loaded. I have placed it here and there outside and inside. Inside, I usually just allow it to dry, but this year I am trying a glycerin and water mix to keep the colors a bit more vibrant. I also have some very colorful azalea branches in the mix. And I'm trying a preservation formula with said glycerin for some leaves I want to keep from fading away altogether. 

They have two more days to soak so I'll give you an update on that later. I read about this long ago in Country Living, but the information is also on Pinterest.

We had just one taker on Saturday night. That child did not spend a fortune for an Iron man costume at Disney World for nothing! 

This means that Piglet has overdosed on candy. What? Well it couldn't have been John or I! 

The elder decided that he was finished with "the event." Earlier in the afternoon, he had been walking between his home and his maternal grandmother's home when a police officer in his cruiser stopped and offered him some candy. My grand declined. When questioned, he said that he was not supposed to be taking candy from strangers and that he definitely did not know that police officer. Smart boy! ;D

Guess before this chat gets any longer that I should close it down. See you later this week perhaps!


  1. Great post, as always, and the photography is good. I really like your blog header. I've made one like that in the past -- when I cannot narrow it down to just one picture! You inspire me!

  2. If you find the secret to the best window cleaner do let us know. I've used newspaper more than once, but that's hard to find these days. I like your new header

  3. What a joy to find a nice desultory chatty post from you, Vee.....I do miss your posts when you are gone, but I am hardly that good about posting on my own blog....I would love tea with cinnamon toast with you, Vee. We could talk about Louise Dickerson Rich. I read my mother's copy of We Took to the Woods when I was very young and though I later read most of her other books, that is my favorite. Her voice was very authentic.I tried to grow bittersweet a few times, always without success! I tried with a kind which said it didn't need another plant for pollination. I think it did! It's a lovely fall decoration. Let us know how your glycerine works. It is supposed to work well with lots of kinds of leaves which would otherwise crumple into dust.I love your brown transfer ware pitcher for this fall display. It's a perfect choice.

  4. So nice you posted! Just loved this post! I have a saying,(not original from me) to eat an elephant, I take one bite at a time! I am like you I have a wonderful helper, Dh and I cleaned the porch last week, and while I was working I came home to a nicely clean floor!
    You also have another wonderful helper, that Sam is on the ball! You can't go wrong with that combination!~smile~
    The story was just the icing on the cake,it truly is the small things in life that have the most meaning, and the ones we seem to remember the most!
    As far as window cleaners, I just keep trying to find that perfect one, as I am a stickler about a clean window! Looking forward to your next post!

  5. I love a good chatty post and this was a great one. If you find that perfect window cleaner let me know. I go back and forth but most of the time good old vinegar is hard to beat. We are traveling to New Mexico for Thanksgiving this year so no prep work for me. Good thing too as I don't know when I'd work that in, lol. And your right....there's a lot. For some reason I am getting a kick out of my daughter fussing over recipes and her dishes etc. I remember not that long ago as a teenager when she told me, "mom, WHY do you care? No one else does!" lol Things have changed a bit huh Mel? As always, looking forward to your next post! Have a good week!

  6. Marshmallow toast!? How have I never thought of that? If I am the Kathy you are waiting on, the rainex seems to have worked very well outside. We have had several rainstorms since I washed the windows, and since we live just off a very dusty dirt road that would usually mean I would be looking out wondering why I had bothered to wash them at all. The rainex has kept the dust off them very nicely. I'll give an update in spring, because long term effectiveness matters, but so far so good :) Very few trick or treaters here Saturday. 45 degrees and rain and the poor kids just didn't think it was worth it. I can't say that I blame them.

    1. You are indeed and I forgot to link. Acckkk...will do as soon as I get to the PC. So glad that the rainex isworking! As for marshmallow toast...yummy! Especially if buttered first and followed with marshmallow.

  7. I'll have to say, that marshmallow toast is not my idea of a treat. I go for more of the Piglet treats. In fact, we had exactly ZERO takers at our house, so we still have a basket of Skittles and mini Heath Bars (I always get something we'll use to put ourselves into a sugar coma if the kids don't show up). VERY impressive costume on that child! Bet he loved it. Your windows are beautiful, probably even before they were washed. I like that style. I wonder when I'm going to get motivated to clean mine. They're up too high for me to reach, so that is one issue. I enjoyed the story. It is true that the perfect holidays aren't always the ones most beloved in the memory of a child. Have a wonderful week, Vee.

  8. That's was a fun chatty post. Well worth the read. And the food looks yummy.
    Hope your day is blessed. ~:)

  9. That Iron Man costume is very cool. Chuckling here about your older grand declining candy from the police officer! Oh my, should I be washing my windows before thanksgiving. My inspiration and prep time is getting shorter and shorter as we head to Southern California for my BIL's funeral on November 10th. It will be interesting to be at a National Cemetery on the Marine corp birthday and the day before Veteren's day. We are going this weekend to help my sister get her home ready to put on the market. Lots of work to do...

  10. So fun to catch up on what has been happening with you and J. We had not one trick or treat visitor at our house. I have never had marshmallow toast but love cinnamon toast!

  11. Hi Vee, I love your "Friendly Village" plate in the first picture. :) I also love your living room windows (I know I've told you that about a million times) but anyway, I bet they would be a job to clean. Yes, Thanksgiving is a big production, but it is a wonderful holiday and there are no gifts to buy and wrap.

    My MIL did the glycerin thing with some leaves several years ago, and it worked pretty well I believe. I hope you'll let us know how yours turn out. Love the Iron Man costume, and you'd best keep a sharp eye on Piglet. ;)

    Have a good week, Vee!


    Denise at Forest Manor

  12. Always happy when you do post, I was thinking of Thanksgiving my self today.

  13. Hi Vee, I really am happy to hear from you today. You are missed. I've never heard of marshmellow toast--cinnamon toast is a favorite of the grands. Your grand that turned down the police officer's candy has been well taught! I too, love your header. ♥

  14. I enjoyed your chatty post today Vee. I'm glad our Thanksgiving is over with and after the 11th can turn my mind to 'other' seasonal events. :) At least you are getting things prepared well ahead of time. I love your bouquet of bittersweet etc. Your grandson is very smart! Enjoy the week.

  15. Bad, bad, bad Piglet, just shameful behavior, young piglet (rolling giggles)---- As always, I enjoy it when you chatter...always full of love and smiles, friend. Blessings

  16. Hello friend. Don't you ever stop your chatty posting. I wanted to comment on your marvelous post a few days ago but you had no comments on. I cannot find your e-mail anywhere but I would like to tell you some times. Would you consider going to facebook and messaging me your e-mail address. I am drying some flowers too but just spraying them. I need to look up the right way to do it. Love your pictures always Vee.

  17. Just realized I can send my email and you can respond and then I will be able to correspond that way. Thanks.

  18. It was good to get caught up on what's happening in your neck of the woods, Vee.
    Your story has inspired me to read my favourite Louise Dickinsin Rich book once again.
    What a lady she was! I wish I could be so brave.
    We, too, only had one visitor on Halloween. I guess I'll freeze the candy! Sam sure has his Iron Man stance down pat. I bet he surprised that officer. Good boy!

  19. Your chatty posts are always a delight, Vee. I'll take a slice of cinnamon toast with tea! As I see Pinterest being populated with Thanksgiving posts, I'm once again glad we celebrate in October. I'm on to Christmas these days, just thinking so far, in between marking papers and planning lessons. A little sewing happens once in awhile. Preparing ahead, as you're doing, is the way to go for a big event.
    The glycerin treatment is one I've used long ago; it would be nice to have some of the hawthorne berries preserved for fall. Enjoy your week!

  20. I've never had marshmallows on toast but it is one I must try. : )
    Nice getting caught up with you.

  21. The twins around the corner knocked on my door for a trick or treat, lucky I had chocolate.

  22. These are my favorite kind of posts, a little of this and that, everyday life, great journal entry you have shared here today. I had exactly 3 little tricksters show up the day after, we were not home the day of, a wee snow white, a pink my little pony and a creeper from minecraft. Love the tale of your grand refusing candy. Have a good week.

  23. I LOVE that you have the ODD years! lol It is MY turn this year, too. I, too, have the ODD years!

    Love the story about the little boy and the best Thanksgiving ever. How cute is that!

    Can't believe that you have so much bittersweet there this year. We have none around here. It is the weirdest thing. Even the lady that used to let me "borrow" it off her garage doesn't have any this year. It is my favorite fall decoration of all and yours looks so pretty in the mix.

    Hope you have a wonderful week. It was so nice to see you and the Ironman here! That PIGlet looks like he has OD'd on chocolate to me! xoDiana

  24. I found myself scrolling down to find out what Kathy used for her windows - I live in hope of finding the perfect solution!
    Marshmallow toast? I've never heard of it but it sure sounds scrumptious!

  25. As our neighborhood is growing older, we have less and less children on Halloween. I had zilch on Saturday night. Sure glad I bought good candy that I like. LOL


  26. I'll take a slice of my favorite--cinnamon toast! I still rely on Windex, but the secret is to window wash on an overcast day so there will be no streaks.
    Every year is my year to cook Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and Easter--lol! This year we will be doing something a little different for Thanksgiving which I am looking forward to. Halloween was quieter this year than last but I think it was due to it being on Saturday as many had parties instead of trick or treat. October was a very busy month for us so it seemed to fly by. I'm glad it has been unseasonably warm for so long but we will probably have a cold and snowy spring--lol

  27. Now you have me wanting to try marshmallow toast, Vee!! Sounds like a delicious treat!
    I loved the story of the little boy and the best Thanksgiving...how adorable is that?
    Good luck with all your Thanksgiving plans. I'm heading back to Ohio to cook dinner for my 86 year old mom.

  28. Marshmallow toast... that actually sounds really good! Sounds like you have a busy schedule or the next few weeks! Hope all of your preparations go well and smoothly! :) ...oh, and I love the Bittersweet, very pretty! ~Rhonda

  29. What a lovely chat! My favourite toast recipe: toast your bread as you normally do, butter lightly, sprinkle with brown sugar, sprinkle coconut on top and put under the broiler for a few seconds. Heaven on bread!

  30. Mmm marshmallow toast sounds devine! It was my turn for Thanksgiving this year and with 25 or so peeps coming I did as much preparing a few days ahead as I could and we opted to use "nice" plastic disposable plates this time - saved so much work in the end! My make ahead was Turkey-A-La-King which we just heated up in the crock pot and it saved me from making the usual mashed potatoes and gravy and all that fussy stuff! Every one brought salads and desserts so it worked out really well. I love bittersweet and wish I had some to bring in - I'm intrigued by your preserving methods.
    The outside window cleaning solution that works best for me is;
    6 Cups warm water
    2 Cups vinegar
    4 tsp. dish soap (Dawn works best). Wash with long handled sponge, squeegee and you're done!
    Inside windows and mirrors I use my Norwex micro fibre cloths - using just water!
    Don't work too hard, your Thanksgiving will be wonderful no matter what! Beans and tea sound good too!

  31. Toast and tea is comfort food for me, don't need anything fancy. At least we had a dozen kids but it was raining and every time I opened the door I greeted the kiddies with a cheery "Happy Halloween". I know, getting battier with age. LOL
    I use Mr. Clean (lavender scent) in water to clean my windows, no streaks and smells good.

  32. Hmmm...I have never had marshamallow toast (although I'm sure it's delicious)...but cinnamon toast is one of my faves, in fact I ate some just this morning. I will be cooking for a small crowd this year...I'm sure your feast will be amazing and everything will look fabulous! I am also experiencing bittersweet-envy...and you have your own private stash??? I'm so jealous!

  33. Hi Vee - always so nice to get your "musings." it is what makes you a beloved blogger to me - just being yourself and shooting from the hip.

    That's neat about the story and the little boy and the walk in the woods - man they just require so little, ya know? Maybe we all indulge and overdo just way way way too much. My daughters and I had a "holidays coming" meeting over lunch at our favorite girlie place last week and said just that. We're all trying to downsize, do with less, make things simpler and less expensive and just organize and purge. Well, it takes time for sure. Hugs. ♥

  34. We never have any trick or treaters here any more, which suits me fine. Ah, window washing...now there's another job I need to do. I did take down my drapes and washed them and did that one window. My kitchen windows are really needing a cleaning. I love Thanksgiving and wish we were going to Branson, but there is too much going on so we thought we'd better stay at home. It was good to see your post and hear what's happening at the Haven. Loved the story of the little boy and his best Thanksgiving ever. Take care!

  35. Love this chatty post, Vee! Do you make the marshmallow toast with Marshmallow Fluff? I have made fluffernutters with toast in the past but don't think I have even just eaten fluff spread on toast.

    That story from Louise Dickinson Rich was wonderful. I know I've read it before but had forgotten about it. I have so enjoyed her books over the years.

    No idea yet what we will be doing for Thanksgiving, but we are planning a Thanksgiving dinner at church on the Sunday before instead of our usual potluck, so I am making a pie and some squash and also dressing for that. Haven't decided on the kind of pie yet.

    Last year I found bittersweet along the roadside near my dad's. It is back in abundance this year and I hope to post some pics of it tomorrow. Must cut a bit of it for decorating too. Will be interested to hear how the soaking technique works out. I love the pitcher and bittersweet -- just perfect together in your photo.

    Piglet! My faraway daughter has a Piglet that size. He has been on many adventures with her. Piglet OD'd on candy was so funny!

  36. Such a fun visit here this morning Vee. I love it when you have a chat with us. I remember back in the day when I was young, our Thanksgiving was always out in the woods with a wiener roast. Somehow I still think those were the best when there was only the beauty of the falling leaves and the smoky fire and some good old hot dogs.

    My goodness.. I can't imagine how clean those windows must be. I zoom through mine and call it done and hope for the best. I always just use some cloths I bought online and use only water. They are not expensive but I use them for everything from my eye glasses to mirrors. They go in the wash and keep going. On the outside, Terry just uses a squeegy and water and vinegar with a drop of dishwashing liquid.

  37. Loving your chatty post Vee! The pictures are awesome and I would love a piece of toast right now! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  38. You my dear are a hoot and such a honest and yet simple post filled with real life! I enjoy you and your way of looking at things! I think I will now have some toast and coffee!
    Hugs, Roxy

  39. That toast looks inviting! I'll be right over!

  40. Loved this chatty post Vee. The Thanksgiving story reminds me of my Christmas story in my latest post -- children don't remember all the fancy effort, they just want our time. Love bittersweet -- it looks beautiful in your jug. Best wishes for Thanksgiving prep -- this is the first year in ages and ages I'm not hosting. But still doing a lot of cooking. At least I don't have to clean -- yay!

  41. I'm going to return tomorrow to this post and thoroughly read through it. I spotted, though, the window cleaning and thought I would share my new discovery. I started using Rain-X for glass cleaning. It works much better than anything else I've tried. It also seems to keep the windows clean a bit longer. That is, unless we get one of those moist, dust blowing days. Nothing would keep them clean. I'll be back!


If comments disappear, please don't fret. A simple "hi" will do. The platform surely needs some maintenance.