"People from a planet without flowers
would think we must be mad with joy the whole time
to have such things about us."
~Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cranberry Sauce and the Big Day


On Wednesday I made cranberry sauce. I use a recipe on the back of the Ocean Spray bag of cranberries and tweaked it a little.
Here are the basics:
Pour 1C. water and 1C. sugar into a big pan. Bring to a boil.
Add a 12 oz. package of fresh Cranberries, return to a boil, and reduce heat.
Boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring once in a while.
Pour sauce into a bowl and cool completely at room temperature.
Refrigerate until serving time.
Makes 2 1/4 cups.

Tweaking the recipe:
I add the zest of one orange to the sugar and water.
I added 1/4 c. more sugar too. This balances the tart orange rind.
..., and when the cooking is done I take a metal potato masher and "smash" the berries. I like the consistency of the sauce better( and so does everyone else) when I use the masher.
I doubled the recipe.

Wednesday night I made some brownies with pecans and wrapped a present for the hostess who just had a birthday.

I thought that this photo was appropriate considering the subject matter. Sometime during the year I bought this small, folded down box(ephemera for a collage) and it just seemed to go with this post. They didn't say "dried" cranberries back in 1906. They were called "evaporated". I find that interesting. It sounds nicer. In a time when refrigeration and freezing were not wide spread, this must have been a wonderful convenience. (Please click on photo for a close-up.)

We drove for two hours down to the Prospector's brother's house in the Bay Area. It was a wonderful day with delicious food and a chance to see all the relatives. They had 17 people for dinner..., including 3 dogs. We took Carl with us.
He was such a good dog; very social and a rather good traveler. Although, we had to stop twice on the way home because the pupster needed to make a rest stop. One time in the middle of the central valley, on the side of the road, in the dark, next to a grape vineyard and then, AGAIN, at a gas station. It was like having a child with us. Then he settled into his crate for a quiet ride back up into the foothills and home.

In addition to the great dinner, my brother and sister-in-law sent us home with leftovers, cookies, nut bread, jam, pomegranates, a beautiful calendar and..., pillows. PILLOWS? Yes, pillows. Two brand new pillows with covers. Now, I don't know about all of you out there, but that is one practical gift that I would never think to buy someone..., and it's so cool. We needed new pillows. Every year I like to replace our pillows and I guess someone was reading my mind.
My brother and sister-in-law, in addition to having all of us there for dinner twice a year and doing all that cooking and baking, are foster parents. They have 3 adopted children and one biological child. They just adopted a boy this summer. He has many disabilities. He's such a lucky little boy. We have so much admiration for this family. This was the first year that they didn't have a couple of extra children living with them for the holidays. YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!!! Thanks for the wonderful Thanksgiving day.

I wish that we lived closer to our family but, right now, we love where we live and we can still get down there in a reasonable amount of time. Until we get too old to be here we will just keep this old farm and do the driving. It was worth it. I got to see the family and **my grandkids** all at the same time. Yeah, it was a good day. There is so much to be thankful for.
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Deer Dilemma

"HEY"
"MOM!..., the turkey are eating our dinner."

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Truly Vintage Purse


My mother-in-law gave me this purse many years ago. For a long time I had it put away in a drawer and then I realized that it might look nice on the wall in the guestroom. This month I took everything off the wall because I really am working on this workroom/craft space/computer/still a guestroom area that is slowly becoming....
I realized that I had never shown this purse on Vintage Thursdays and that it was time to show everyone what a lovely gift my Mother-in-law gave me so long ago. Thank you, Vi. Sometimes it takes getting older to appreciate the value of things.

This is an Alumesh purse with a Bakelite clasp and chain. This classic, vintage purse is quite indicative of the style that was made popular by the Whiting and Davis Company in the 40's. Alumesh was a process that produced enameled aluminum mesh and the Whiting and Davis purse company utilizing this fabrication because it had the look and feel of vintage beaded purses and was very durable.
The lining is made with a black Faille fabric that is beautiful and looks like its brand new. I don't think that this purse was used too often. It's in excellent shape and has no worn areas at all. The tag on the inside had all the names on it that I used to research the information I was able to give you in this post.
This purse is pristine and in extremely fine condition. I saw a similar one on Ebay for $285.00, but most of them run about $40.00 or $50.00. I can see why folks want to collect these vintage purses. They're beautiful and are made so much better than most purses today.


The second and last photo are so different in tone and color because I took one in natural light and one under a lamp. Then I also got carried away trying to adjust the colors with Picasa3. Oh my! Sometimes I should just leave the photos alone. Anyway, remember to save those old purses. Don't give them to the thrift shops and consignment stores until you know what they are worth and until you're old enough to appreciate them.
I won't be giving this to anyone, soon, except maybe my daughter-in law. She will surely appreciate it more than I did. Vintage is so much more popular than it use to be. But, for a while, I will hang in up somewhere and admire it. I do think it's quite beautiful....

Please go over to Roomies With a Past for more vintage thingies. Sign up and join the other folks who love and talk about their old things.
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Monday, November 23, 2009

Tuesday's Show & Tail: Tentative Friendship

What's an old dog supposed to do when a little monster puppy comes into her life. A Corgi puppy is more than just a puppy. A Corgi puppy is a force of nature that has to be dealt with. Maggie, our Shepherd mix, is almost 14 years old and that, folks, is 98yrs old in equivalent human years. She sleeps a lot, has arthritis, can't see or hear very well anymore and has the usual aches and pains that any 98 year old would have.
Carl, the pupster, has none of these problems and doesn't understand or empathize with the "old lady". Its been a rough 6 months.
But, all of a sudden, there has been a change. It is as if Carl has finally reach a level of maturity and understanding about Maggie's age and condition. I don't know exactly when this happened but it could have been the one time that Maggie struck back after Carl, relentlessly, kept biting her tail and her ears and then grabbed her sore back leg. We didn't see everything that happened but Maggie finally "had it" and she swung out and nipped Carl's ear..., hard. Carl was surprised and he ran under our bed. He goes there when he has taken something like a shoe or piece of clothing that he knows he is not supposed to have...., and when he thinks he is in "big trouble". I guess he thought that Maggie was giving him "big trouble" because he just stayed under the bed and wouldn't come to us when we tried to get him to come out.
The next morning he was a much more subdued puppy and when they were up on the sofa I got this photo (above) of Carl's paw on Maggies. I think they finally made their peace with each other.

Carl still has his moments and they can be brutal but mostly, now, they seem to be friends.

The old lady and the one year old. (Carl had a birthday on Nov 11.) Look at them. We love them both...., and now, I think, they will be good friends until Maggie is no longer with us. She will just have to put Carl in his place once in a while and tell him who used to be boss around here back in the day. It's the old generation gap...., even in the dog world.

Please check out West Virginia Treasures for other stories. We hope everyone will join us every Tuesday. Post a picture or two of your pets and tell a little about them! Tuesdays' Show & Tail is about having fun, and giving us a chance to meet other pet owners in the blogging community.

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Moment of Crazy Pre-Holiday Insight


When I walk outside and see the Ginko tree with yellow-gold leaves sparkling with rain water....

And the

Toyon berries dripping with diamond like droplets ....



..., and then the Chinese Talon turns all these shades of red and the yellow finches sit like ornaments in between the leaves against the blue sky of morning. I hear myself thinking..., nature decorates the season. What could I add to make this more beautiful? What store bought decoration could I hang that would enhance the beauty of this season? Nothing.
I see all the Christmas decor filling the stores and ,I must admit, I'm tempted to buy more. I have boxes filled with decorations, accumulated over the years, waiting to be opened and yet I see something that I think I have to buy, bring home and add to the over abundance of "things" that I already have. What is this obsession? This need to add one more thing. To embellish beyond the point of reason.
I know I need to stay away from the stores. Even in a small town there is an inordinate amount of seasonal selling. I just stopped off at our local thrift shop and left three more bags of items that I told myself I didn't need anymore. Why then, did I immediately drive to Wal-mart and , even though I went for dog food and chicken scratch, I pushed my cart down the CHRISTMAS isle and picked up four little "frame" ornaments. Of course! I needed them! They are just perfect for the new photos of my grandchildren and our newly adopted nephew. Of course! They are cute , red and.., well., there were only 4 left..., so I bought them all.
I did resist the set of outdoor lights that look like blue icicles( I know I have some white icicle lights somewhere)and I don't NEED blue icicle lights...., but wouldn't they be pretty across the front porch.? Blue, sparkle, dazzle..., lifting the porch ,at night, to a whole new level of luminous elegance. But..., what would the dogs think, on their nightly run outside? Would these blue lights scare the cat up onto the roof again? What would Brownie have to say about BLUE LIGHTS? Probably don't need to buy them.... I'll go find the old ones..., the clear icicles that make the porch look just lovely...., they are in the garage somewhere. I just have to find them...., somewhere......, in there.

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