June 29, 2011

A fire in the belly

Twilights Slumber
 A fire in the belly is a good way to start.

The glow of a fire will light your way. Now this Oil lamp had the Grim Reaper relaxing in wait What a conversation piece when placed on a table as part of a center piece. Will he tell tales or just keep an eye. What ever you do if he starts to stand. Pay attention.

Hazel's HodgePodge

Perhaps to balance the table you need a guardian angel. Does she guard and keep the reaper in repose? Or just remind you of blessings your granted throughout the day. Light the candle behind her and watch as she glows.

Comycgyrl Collectibles

On a cooler tone what have I found but Fire King Milk glass Pot. For that fiery touch, inset a red hot chili plant inside. Placed on your table it will keep you warmed, and great for adding that spice to you dishes!

You notice the theme I have begun. 

Smoking Head Whimsy

Thinking of fire what have I missed, of course the Wanna See Smoke Coming Out Of My Ears as my brain is steaming along. A collectible show piece for most, practical for those who still smoke.

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June 28, 2011

A Good Marriage is Forever

In June of 2010 my husband and I were invited to a very special event. Very good friends of ours requested, we be the only guests, when they renewed their vows for their 60th anniversary. They were repeating their marriage vows in front of a local priest on Sanibel Beach. Now, this was not something I wanted to miss. 60 years and they still treat each other as they are on a honeymoon! She carried a rosary her daughter made, and a single flower. As we stood on the board walk their sons and daughter showed up. I had tears in my eyes as I watched them repeat their vows.
They just celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary. In a day and age, when a couple making it to their 25th anniversary is very rare.

My observations.
  • They still hold hands whenever they can.
  • Offer to do things for each other.
  • The say thank you and mean it.
  • They discuss life, news, and current event with each other.
  • They are each other’s best friends.
  • To see them you would think they are still dating.


Kamasutra by Wendy Doniger, Sudhir Kakar $3.49
When was the last time you said, "I love you" for no reason?
Treated your spouse to a movie at home, cuddling on the sofa, like you were in the back of the movie theatre?
Forgetting the little things, I believe causes the downfall of your marriage.
The greatest gift you can give each other is treating each other as though you are still on your honeymoon.

The best advise I can give: "Your honeymoon ends when you want it to. It is not a trip it is a state of marriage." Renew your vows with one another, begin today as you are on a honeymoon and never let it end.

June 27, 2011

Kitchen Fire Video

In my email this morning I receive this video.

Many may not know, but our home in California survived a kitchen fire.


De Cristoforo's complete book of power tools, 
both stationary and portable by 
R. J. DeCristoforo $19.99
Prior to our marriage, our home was the local "bachelor pad." As an airline pilot, many of his friends would drop in. They would use the guestroom, instead of spending the night in a hotel. For years my husband never locked the house. People just came and stayed, even when he was not there.

One of the roommates, "who's name shall not be mentioned", while preparing breakfast, left the kitchen unattended. He had place the bacon on the stove, then left to go back to his bedroom. Now apparently he answered the phone, and forgot about the bacon. A grease fire was the result. Needless to say, the fire climbed the walls and seared the entire kitchen. The fire department being one block over, responded quickly and the house was saved.

Left with a shell of a kitchen the gents began rebuilding. Woodworking became a passion. Cabinet were pulled down and replaced or refaced. Redwood 2x4's were lathed into tin strips, mitered and placed on the fronts of the cabinet doors. A  cook top with a larger hood was place in the new peninsula. Drawers were built to hold pots and pans. And a fire extinguisher was placed next to the range! The walls around the range were now tiled.

Even today, I keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. I hope to never need to use the fire extinguisher. For safety, never hang pot holders or aprons around your cook top.

June 23, 2011

The Jefferson Key by Steve Berry

New York Times Best Seller!  First Edition, First Printing!
The Jefferson Key: A Novel by Steve Berry

  Four United States presidents have been assassinated—in 1865, 1881, 1901, and 1963—each murder seemingly unrelated and separated by time. But what if those presidents were all killed for the same reason: a clause in the United States Constitution—contained within Article 1, Section 8—that would shock Americans?   This question is what faces former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone in his latest adventure.  When a bold assassination attempt is made against President Danny Daniels in the heart of Manhattan, Malone risks his life to foil the killing—only to find himself at dangerous odds with the Commonwealth, a secret society of pirates first assembled during the American Revolution. In their most perilous exploit yet, Malone and Cassiopeia Vitt race across the nation and take to the high seas. Along the way they break a secret cipher originally possessed by Thomas Jefferson, unravel a mystery concocted by Andrew Jackson, and unearth a centuries-old document forged by the Founding Fathers themselves, one powerful enough—thanks to that clause in the Constitution—to make the Commonwealth unstoppable.

This title is in my to read stack. I only have the one copy. The Venetian Betrayal is ahead in my reading list.

The Jefferson Key (Cotton Malone, #7)The Jefferson Key by Steve Berry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A dust jacket with the White House on it is a strong draw, pulling me in to read it promptly.

Not having read any of Steve Berry's books before, I was quite pleased to jump in with out having read the previous books, with the action, intrigue and mental games.

Caution! Pick a time without interruptions when you read, as this book is very difficult to put down. The complex story hints at past assignations, Piracy, Codes and Constitution. Which is fact and which is fiction. With a twisting of characters, Cotton Malone, CIA, FBI, NIB and more.

Is there more truth here than fiction? I do recommend it!

View all my reviews

I have sold out of 1st, 1st please go to Amazon for your copy.

The Jefferson Key is also available on Amazon!

June 22, 2011

Tempting Gift Items

Barbs Bargains
A group of eCrater Store Network bloggers started doing a Scavenger Hunt. I joined the hunt and it is quite fun. fell free to follow me as I locate items for the weekly theme. This week the theme is "Butter"now, I already did butter so I am going off track and doing a post of tempting gift items!

On my first stop I discovered this English Rose 10 Piece Mini Tea Set . It is just so pretty. Picture yourself having a tea party complete with butter cookies! Yummy, now this tea set is not the average "tea set" sold for young children. It is an elegant tea set, wear your Sunday best with a hat if you have one. Of course the freshwater pearls below would go nice also.

Carolina Blue Lady
Picture this Fire-King Lustre Shell Demitasse Cup and Saucer filled with chocolate covered espresso beans. Wrapped in cellophane paper, tied with a beautiful ribbon. What a wonderful gift! Sold as a pair you could give two gifts, or as a treat give them to yourself.  Imagine you and your friend enjoying a cup of espresso, nibbling on the dark chocolate as you enjoy a peaceful conversation. For a special treat fill with a double chocolate espresso pudding for dessert!
Comyc Gyrl

Created in Japan this slender  Geisha Girl chocolate pot is perfect for your European style chocolate in the morning. Imagine hot melted dark chocolate with ground cardamom or cayenne pepper as a quick pick me up. Perfect in place of your usual morning coffee or for dessert add a coffee liqueur and top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate bits. Decadent.

Mikes Sporting Goods
Now we all need a gift for the men. They can be difficult to shop for. Impossible to please. I have a family full of fishermen, golfers and boaters. I found a jewel of a gift. Take a look at this Large mouth bass fishing cap from Mike's sporting goods. Perfect for the fisherman. Not just a generic fish on a hat, but you can pick from several fish, catch a crappie, bass, halibut, flounder, mahi mahi, catfish, muskie or striper. Not to mention the hunting hats!


     8-8.5mm White
Natural Freshwater Pearl
Studs $12.95

Summer is here, but preparation for weddings, proms, sorority pledges, cocktail parties and other occasions when you need a classic accent. Freshwater pearl stud earrings! From of course Whatnot Gems these are perfect and I just marked down the prices until August 31st. Hurry and order yours while supplies last!

Now can you find other gift ideas among these Ecrater stores?
Barbs Bargains
Barbs Bargains Animal Planet
Barbs Bargains Reading Corner
Bargain Express
BB Addicted to Crafting 
Carolina Blue Lady
Comyc Gyrl
Eccentric Thrifter
Embroidery Fashions Boutique
Hazels Hodgepodge
Mikes Sporting Goods
Mr Bandman Music
Twilights Slumber
Wall That Talk
Whatnot Books
Whatnot Gems

June 18, 2011

Note to self: Always put the paint in the trunk!

The people in the blue car had a 25-litre (5 gallon) bucket of paint on the back seat. 

 The ambulance driver wouldn't let the a paramedic out of the ambulance because they couldn't stop laughing -- he said it wasn't professional.
 I wonder if this is how cave painting started!

Movements in world art Cave Painting by Roxane Cuvay $19.99

June 17, 2011

Banana Bread

Since I have the oven hot, I also threw together a loaf of banana bread!



  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large bananas)
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (I used homemade)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 1/4 by 5 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
Used the potato masher to mix the bananas, butter, sugar, egg and vanilla together.

Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl, add to banana mixture, mix until just blended.
Pour into the loaf pan. Bake until lightly browned and knife inserted into cent comes out clean, about 45 minutes - 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely.

16 servings.

Yummy with homemade butter on top!

June 16, 2011

Golden Glow Jello Salad

Growing up summer meant the return of the golden glow salad. Now I know Jello salad everyone had one they would make and any potluck you went to had one. But this one I always loved. and  I still make it from time to time.

Now what exactly is a Jello salad? According to Wikipedia:
Jell-O salad, also called Gelatin salad, jelly salad, and congealed salad is the common name for salad made with flavored gelatin, fruit and sometimes grated carrots or, more rarely, other vegetables. Other ingredients may include cottage cheese, cream cheese, marshmallows, nuts or pretzels.

Now Golden Glow Salad is relatively simple.

Peel and grate carrots to cover the bottom of a dish. about 2.5-3qt in size. (we always used a Pyrex Glass Casserole about 13 X 9 X 2)


  • 2 (6 ounce) package orange flavored gelatin mix
  • 2 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained with juice reserved
  • 8 large carrots, shredded


  1. Peel and Shred Carrots.
  2. Drain Pineapple reserving juice.
  3. In a large bowl, prepare the orange gelatin according to package directions using reserved pineapple juice in place of some of the cold water.(adjust hot water so as not to waste juice if you have more than you need of the cold water.)
  4.  Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours. 
This feed a family of 7 with two growing boys. usually we had a bit left over, but it is just as good the next day.


Joys of Jello Gelatin Dessert $9.99
This booklet has other Jello Recipes. A little shelf worn, but a nice collectible. This collectible booklet introduces Celery, Italian Salad, Mixed Vegetable and Seasoned Tomato Jello! Dated by opening statement Jello 1897 +65 years! Now not all of these Jellos are made today.

Do you remember these flavors? Apparently celery jello was just ahead of it's time. Read Chowhound, I wonder if it is available again?

June 15, 2011

Quiche Loraraine


This recipe is adapted from several cookbooks one of which is  Modern French culinary art by Henri Paul Pellaprat 


  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 6 ounces thick cut bacon, cut into narrow strips
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Touch of freshly grated nutmeg 
  • 1 cup grated Havarti Cheese


On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to an 11-inch circle. Fit into 9-inch pie pan.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake until the crust is set, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
In a medium skillet, cook the bacon until crisp and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Discard the fat or reserve for another use.
Placed sliced onions in skillet saute until clarified. Add water 1 teaspoon at a time to keep from burning.
Arrange the bacon, cheese and onions evenly over the bottom of the baked pastry.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the remaining ingredients and to combine. Pour into the prepared crust and bake until the is golden, puffed, and set yet still slightly wiggly in the center, 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.

Alternately place unbaked pastry on top bake until puffed!

June 14, 2011

Whole Foods Parking Lot

I could not resist sharing this with everyone!

June 13, 2011

Sewing with Paper

One of the best uses of paper is in a pattern.

In Sewing, paper is used to make patterns. This tissue paper is now printed with lines notches and dart dots and other various codes to help the seamstress or tailor to easily assemble a garment.  

Vogue is a well named brand of pattern. I found this one at CarolinaBlueLady. One of the highlights of making you own clothing. You will unlikely see anyone in the same garment. Take this coat pattern. Notice you have three lengths to choose from, but you can also use various fabrics and colors. Picture it in Flannel, Wool Gabradine or Mohair. Choose Black white camel red green or any other color you can find.

 Vintage is a wonderful way to dress. This next pattern comes from Comyc Gyrl. A Marian Martin two piece suit perfect even in today's office environment. Worn with a classic pearl necklace you cannot go wrong. Update the look by using a silk shantung.

Holiday decorating can be done by sewing also, take this Reindeer family, You choose the fabrics for the family clothing. you could even use scrap from your lovely suit to create the clothing for the reindeer. Better yet make several outfits for the children to play with. Check out Eccentric Thrifter


Vogue 1930's Pattern Evening Frock/Dress $94.99

Now for the icing on the cake take this 1930's Evening Frock in white it could be a bridal gown, in black a stunning evening dress. How many times have you gone out only to see two people with the same dress on? I have seen in more times than I could believe. Everyone seems to shop at the same stores and since most dresses are carried in more than one size and sometimes multiple of the size it is a very high risk of seeing your dress on someone else. Even if someone else used the pattern with fabric choices of taffeta, silk crepe, satin, semi-sheer crepe, cotton print, handkerchief linen, organdie, rayon, celanese or bemberg.

Breakout you sewing machine and take a step back in time with vintage patterns and quality fabric.

Homemade Butter 2

Thinking of homemade butter.  I decided to see if I could find a few butter items on the Scavenger Hunters sites.

Amber Vintage Moon and Stars Butter Dish

I could see this Amber butter dish sitting on my grandmothers oak kitchen table, filled with the homemade butter. I found it at Barb's Bargain Express.

Federal Glass Bread Butter Plate

Comyc Girl's store has this lovely Federal glass bread and butter plate. Perfect for warm homemade blueberry muffin and melting butter.

My grandmothers home had hand painted details along the ceiling, on her table cloths and curtains. She made extra money selling hand painted table cloths and draperies to the local stores. For a modern version of her home accents, Walls That Talk has Vinyl Wall Lettering. I happen to like this one.

California Bread and Butter Plate Wedgwood Sold below
Nothing shows off homemade butter than a bread and butter plate by Wedgwood Just mold the fresh butter into shapes and place on each plate, along with that slice of homemade bread.

Speaking of mold I found this elegant candy mold, At Comyc Gyrl I am sure you could use it for butter.

Wilton Cookie Candy Tin Mold Barcelona




Wooden mold are traditional. "If you want to try it yourself, the trick in a successful casting is to first soak and chill the mold. Then, after packing the butter in, refrigerate until firm, and then pop out onto a plate. If you want to make your own butter to match the handsome form, all you need is fresh whipping cream. Whisk or beat past the whipped cream stage until the butterfat forms firm yellow lumps and separates from the remaining buttermilk. (Save the buttermilk: let it sit out at room temperature overnight to culture, and either drink it or use it in cooking.) Paddle and press the butter in several washes of cold water until there are no traces of buttermilk left. Salt if desired. Pack into soaked and chilled wooden molds, refrigerate to harden and then un-mold. "




June 12, 2011

Homemade Butter

Oh the memories this post triggered.

Summers and weekends spent on my grandparents farm.
Waking up, the first thing was a trip to the out house, washing hands in the basin, and a farm breakfast, Eggs, ham, fresh bread, jellies, jams and more.
Milking the cows, pouring the milk through a filter, as you filled the milk can,.
Gathering the eggs, feeding the chickens, all without getting chased or pecked.
Pick produce and preserve by freezing or canning. Bake breads, pies and cakes.
Boiling water for laundry, in the old wash house, a wringer wash machine.

I still remember the first time I was allowed to turn the handle on the butter churn!

Minton Meadow-Scalloped Bread & Butter Plate

I would watch the smooth heavy cream,
as it flowed around the paddles
in the large glass jar,
slowly become thicker,
as the butter began to form.
My young arms could not complete
My grandmother stepped in,
When it become too hard to turn,
Slowly I watch as butter appeared.
Thick and creamy.
Removing the paddles,
My Grandmother carefully scrapped
The completed butter into the butter dish.
The last of the scraping
She placed onto a slice of bread
and I tasted the first butter I had ever made.

I think I will make some homemade butter this week.

June 10, 2011

June's Goal Accomplished!

5 Mickee Madden books 

Yesterday, I finished listing a large chunk of my paperbacks. I had set a goal of 1,800 titles before the end of June! Done!

The Ruby Dice 
by Catherine Asaro $3.99

Now, I just have to Clean the house, not only did I neglect the house, I barely fed my husband. We have subsided on leftovers, and quick meals.

The Trail Blazers by 
Lee Davis Willoughby 1st, 1st $0.99

I spent a average of 12 hours a day posting books!

Dime Store Magic 
by Kelley Armstrong $2.99
Not using an automated listing service, I list all my items individually. You may find spelling errors, my daughter laughs at my lack of spelling ability! Please feel free to point them out, when you find one.

Chance #8: Missouri Massacre 
by Clay Tanner 1st, 1st  $0.99

One thing I did, I very seldom do is use stock photos and a general description for condition. Very few if any of the books are listed above $2 the majority are at $0.75

How did I describe them?

Follow the River 
by James Alexander Thom $0.99

Haunted by 
Kelley Armstrong 1st, 1st $4.99
" Good- Acceptable. Possibly read more than once, store stamp inside, automatic reduction to good. A great reading copy, not in collectible condition. Stock photo. Ships in plain envelope. Store stamp in front of book. "

Stone of Tears by 
Terry Goodkind $0.99
Note these books came from a used paperback exchange, Some of them do have stamps some of them have a little heavy wear, but the majority look similar the books shown on this page.

The Fire Brands 
by George Smith $0.99

Buffalo Nickel 
by C. W. Smith $0.99
The question I have tried to ask myself, do I remove all the green price tags before I photograph the books? For the price I think not. The first few boxes I did photograph and remove price tags. Perhaps once I finish all my listing I will remove all the price tags and redo photos.

95 boxes of books to post,
95 boxes of books!

https://plus.google.com/<114610751804622117115>”by Trudy Connor