Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Joy To You!

Adorable image courtesy of Bumble Button

"The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads."

And Grandma just had a cup of tea, because she has hours to go before she sleeps.
Label on bottom says "Voagco  Ceramics Japan "
 I picked this up when I traveled south recently.

I bought some Land O'Lakes Lite butter by accident.  Then I thought I'd go ahead and use it, because it will be better for us.  It did not perform well.  My Russian Teacakes and Pecan Fingers dough doesn't act right, and bake light at all!  Now I'm not going to get the cookies I wanted to take tomorrow night to a seven-fishes dinner.   Silly me!  Isn't "Lite Butter", or  "low-fat butter" an oxymoron? 
  I'll have to get some more butter in the morning and make something else.

I attended a middle school concert the other night.  My granddaughter sang beautifully, and it filled my heart with joy!   The teacher is marvelous, she recently won a big award, which included a piano for the high school! She had the girls dressed in lovely ensembles,  black velvet tops and long, black satin skirts.  They wore pearl earrings and necklaces- very elegant!   It's so good to see young people enthusiastically  participate in choral programs, lifting their harmonious voices to bless us with glorious songs that honor the holidays! 
 Pure joy for grandmas!

The lovely singer,  Amber and her very proud Grandma Linda
Image from Back Porch Graphics

I've been getting emotional when I hear the Christmas music.
  I still cry when I hear "The Christmas Shoes", and "I'll Be Home For Christmas"!
But I love the music, it means so much to me to really feel Christmas,
 and all of it's true meaning.
 I hope you keep Christmas, and a song in your heart too!

Have a wonderful Christmas! 
May you keep Christmas in your heart
all year long!
Precious image from

Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus!
Love and Joy Come to You!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Almost here!

     Uh-oh!  Little hands are very busy this year.  Tommy is into everything!  I am really getting my exercise keeping up with him!   We're trying to teach him to say "HO! HO! HO!"   He said it once, but won't say it again.   Of course, he was scared of Santa! 

Thomas, the Christmas elf
    Remember to put plenty of safe toy decorations down low for the baby to enjoy, and fragile, valuable treasures up higher.
Distraction- my favorite tactic, for when I have to yell,"Don't touch",  Quick, show him something he can touch!
    I made plenty of little play areas for my favorite toddlers, and put my tree up high, out of reach, on a table.

It's fun to have a nativity set that they can actually touch,
and we can play with together and teach the kids about Jesus. has several.  just "Google" children's nativity sets, there are dozens!

Playmobile Nativity Set

  The older grandchildren are most eager to help me with the baking.  Oh, this is my favorite thing to do too!   It's good to have some dough premixed for gingerbread boys.  I also make up some sugar cookie dough. They love to roll it out and cut out and decorate!

Martha Stewart's gingerbread boys. We didn't get ours done yet.

We hope to make ours as pretty as these! 
These gorgeous cookies were first blogged by Mangoxo

 Grown children need us at this time of year too!  Young mommies can especially use a little help with their babies when they need to do their Christmas shopping, and do all the  holiday preparations. There's so much extra to do now!   Take some of the pressure off of them!  Remember how hard it was to do it all, with kids underfoot?  I like to give them a break, and I get to be with my sweeties!  One day we wrapped presents while the little guy was napping, then I stayed with him while Mommy went Christmas shopping.

Mommy stays fresh and happy, with a little help from Grandma!

   I love to stay with the kids while they go to work or out for the evening.  This is my chance to teach them Christmas songs, watch silly movies, and most importantly, tell them the story of Jesus'  birth, "the reason for the season".  They are never too young to hear stories and why not tell them important ones, and start a tradition of reading  A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Night Before Christmas, and other books with lessons about the true meaning of the holidays?
Lovely image  is from sweet Coralie at
   Grandparents have a really special role here, teaching traditions and and creating family rituals that will be passed down forever.  These customs keep us connected, and give the children really good values. They really are listening, and observing our practices. They're looking up to us!  It's more important today than ever to be strong and wise, and to read and  talk with them!

Grandma and Tommy
   Grown single children need a little extra TLC too at this stressful time of year!  It's exam time for college and law school students!  Why not take them a hot meal, or some fresh fruit?  Maybe offer a little help with their tree.  It's a good time to give them the special ornaments you've saved from their childhood all these years.
   My daughter always appreciates some home-baked goodies now, or my offers to bake with her, for the treats she wants to make for her friends and entertaining.-

Julie made a few cookies for her friends!

Amy, my shining star,  is a law student. Here she is taking a break between exams

I think the best gift I can possibly give is myself.  My kids seem to need me still, to share family stories,  even though they've heard them before.  I think it's important to maintain traditions our families hold dear, attending school programs, and local ceremonies. At home, baking together is the perfect opportunity to talk and laugh and sing.  The delightful smells of cookies and nut breads baking makes the home so sweet and cozy, a part of Christmas families always cherish! 
  It is really thoughtful, and feels so good, to make cookies to share with lonely or elderly neighbors,  grandparents, bachelors, and coworkers. 

I have a little prayer that I said on my daughter's wedding day and I think it's appropriate
for hectic days at Christmastime.
Because, amidst all the fun and gaiety, most families have some tension or friction  between somebody or other!  Some people I know are hurting, have lost loved ones, have serious health problems, drug and alcohol addictions.  Others are unemployed, homeless, and suffering from emotional problems.  There are some really struggling, and even some who have no happiness at Christmas because of their pain and suffering.  While I go about my business of making merry,
 I can't ignore this.   I need God's help to deal with all this,  to be wise, strong, sensitive,
 and to be a peacemaker.

Dear Lord,
Help me be the essence of grace
 for my children today. 
Let me remember to give you praise
 for the unforgettable joyous moments,
 and give me patience for the
dreadful, tedious moments when others
disappoint me and 
everything isn't exactly perfect.
May I always give you the glory!
In Jesus' name, Amen  

Have a lovely Christmas with your loved ones,
 and don't forget those who don't have anyone who cares!


A Very Merry Christmas to you!
Love, Linda

Monday, November 28, 2011

"It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas!"

Just a little quiet dinner last night,savoring turkey leftovers and reminiscing.
Saturday night I got out my Christmas decorations
and put them around. It's really tricky, in a new and smaller house
to know where to put things as you unwrap them, and I will not be able
 to use everything.   But, I love seeing  all my old things again. 
  I'm nesting!  I'm making Christmas in our home!
 Brings back memories,  makes me smile,  adds charm to my home. 

Last year,  I loved these on the kitchen windowsill.
 They looked so cute with my neighbor Violet's charming
 real house, just beyond in the snowy background. 

These little children are my favorites! 
They are ceramics by Lefton, from the 50's.

I thought I'd make waffles for breakfast Sunday.
I added 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin and 1 tsp. spice
 to the  complete  pancake mix.

Pumpkin waffles,  Mmm!

                                   Now, I'll start playing my Christmas music.

                                     Let the music of Christmas
                              fill your home and your heart!
                                                         Love, Linda

                                              Aren't these angels lovely?
                                         They're from Back Porch Graphics.

"Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King"

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Burgundy---"Sometimes wine red or simply wine) is a shade of purplish- red associated with the Burgundy wine of the same name, which in turn is named after the Burgundy region of France.
The color burgundy is similar to other shades of dark red such as maroon. When referring to the color, burgundy is usually not capitalized.
The first recorded use of "burgundy" as a color name in English was in 1881."
                                                   ------Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I love a party!  Boy, do I have some burgundy!

Tommy stands on his tippy-toes at the burgundy front door,
 watching for his Mommy to come home.
I always told my children that if you learn to love reading,
 you can learn how to do anything, and you can go anywhere.
         A room without books is like a body without a soul. 
                                          ---Marcus Tullius Cicero
We marvel at the fall splendor we see on our daily walks. 
In every walk  with nature, one receives more than he seeks.
---John Muir
My sweetheart surprised me last week
with this lovely 1930's sofa for my new home!
I pulled together all the burgundy and pink decor
 I already had for my vintage  parlor!
Oh, Here's a little visitor, he can stay for Christmas and all winter long.
Isn't this burgundy upholstery pretty up close?
I think the burgundy will be a great color for holiday decorating!

More deep-red dishes

Here's a little tea and cookies,  using my
 burgundy china and glass in my old-fashioned new parlor.

Oh, Let's not forget the cranberries!
I sell vintage dishes, and this one is still in it's original box!

                May you be richly blessed as we celebrate
                Thanksgiving and start the holiday season!
                                                 Love, Linda

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Reflections

If the only prayer you said in your whole life 
                     was "Thank you"  that would suffice.       
               ---Meister Eckhart

How can we  ever thank Him?    For our very lives. Our sight, our senses-the tastes and sounds. Our minds and bodies.  Our families, our precious children and grandchildren and the love we share. The everyday sharing and caring that fulfills our lives. 

our granddaughters at  Ava's christening

The abundance of food we eat, our homes. All our earthly treasures,  joys and comforts, the beauty of nature in the world around us everywhere.
Friends and neighbors that add sweetness, good times and memories.   We are so blessed.
"For the earth in beauty dressed...", the words of a child's Thanksgiving song
 came to me, Can A Little Child Like Me  passing by Harper's Ferry on a recent trip
   Many  different thanksgiving days and festivals occurred through the years.  But our modern Thanksgiving  holiday was started in 1863, when  Abraham Lincoln said "It has seemed to me fit and proper that God's gifts should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American  people ".   and so he  proclaimed a national day of  Thanksgiving,  on the fourth Thursday of November.
There is much more information about Thanksgiving origin, history, and traditions at

"And our happy holidays, ....... Father we thank thee"
Family gatherings- celebrating birthdays- grandchildren

 Let us say thank you to our God, and to each other.
Thank you to our men and women serving in our military, so we can keep on enjoying our blessings of freedom this great land.

My granddaughter is writing a thank-you letter to a soldier.

"We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing"
 The hymnal displayed is opened to songs of Thanksgiving.

  Grace isn't a little prayer you chat before receiving a meal.
    It's a way to live.  ---Jackie Windspear

      It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.  
                                                 ---Psalm 92:1

Ah!  On Thanksgiving Day...
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more.
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before.
What moistens the lips, and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkin pie?
                                                   ---John Greenleaf Whittier'sFamousPumpkinPie

Lord God, heavenly Father,
Bless us and these Thy gifts
which we recieve from Thy
bountiful goodness, through
Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen

"And though I ebb in worth, I'll flow in thanks."   --- John Taylor

Love, Linda

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tea, Cake and Antiques

Oh my, what scrumptious goodies we served at the Women's Club Fall Antiques Sale last week.
 I just had to try a slice of pumpkin cake with my tea!.  Nancy, who served me, was the proud baker of the very cake I chose!  She  explained, "That is The Old Witch  And The Polka-Dot Ribbon Cake".
"Say what?   What is that?", I asked,  and she told me it was a recipe found in the back of a children's storybook.

Old Witch's Magic Nut Cake
"When the kitchen is finally empty, Old Witch makes her magic nut cake
 to enter in the carnivals"s baking contest." the book says.

  This cake recipe is on the back cover and it is moist and delicious!
These vintage linens and dishes were typical items for sale in my booth.

" Wow!  It's delicious, now  tell me about this book", I said, and the next day she brought her signed copy and showed me the marvelous drawings. Nancy met the authors, went to many booksignings, has a  treasured collection of their out-of-print  books, and loves to read them to her third grade pupils, especially this title.

 This one  written in 1970 by Wende and illustrated by Harry,
 and is one of 21 children's books written by the Devlins.

The authors were husband and wife, Harry and Wende Devlin, from North Jersey. What impressed Nancy was the artwork in these  out-of-print children's  storybooks. There were lots of houses, and their own seven children beautifully portrayed in these delightful stories, published by Parents Magazine Press.  He was an award-winning cartoonist, architectural artist, and talented illustrator. and  she a portrait artist.  They combined their talents in 1963 to write the Old Witch series. You must visit their website to see more of their extensive work!

 Now I know from personal experience as a mural-painter working with my partner that it's not always easy to create art together, when you have different styles!  I am very intrigued by this amazingly talented couple!   Parents of seven children!!!

Later a customer claimed that she makes the best cake ever,  a Paula Deen recipe, called , Gooey Cake".  There's a double-chocolate version and a pumpkin one.  Recipes are on her website,, and
Paula Deen's Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake, from

But it seems that June's cake is the  Vineland Women's Club"s  all-time-most-requested-everyone's-favorite, the Italian Love Cake!   Layers of chocolate cake, mousse, and Mascarpone, I think.
June's Italian Love Cake

I told her she should serve it to some rich, handsome, eligible bachelors.  See if it works!

June was dressed-up for a Women's Suffragette's Parade in Woodbury, N.J.

  June once tasted this cake at the club  years ago.   She just loved it , but when she later asked about it, no one remembered it or who made it.  Then one day she saw an article in the Atlantic City Press about an out-of-business Egg Harbor Township restaurant who's specialty was this mysterious cake!  There was the recipe!  She was so excited!  Now she often bakes this cake, as her own signature dessert.!
My booth had lots of tea things, teacarts, linens, dishes, glassware, and other vintage treasures!
Joan's forget-me-nots  teacup,    made in England

Adderly teacup and saucer

My pretty hankies

Vintage Bakelite Radio

Cute little Chintzware Sugar and Creamer

Milkglass Hobnail Sugar and Creamer


I didn't make much money this weekend but I certainly enjoyed being with my friends and sharing tea, stimulating conversation, and eating cake! 

Happiness is not something you get, but something you do.                                          ---Marceline Cox

While there's tea there's hope.    ---Sir Arthur Pinero

"It's always teatime..."   the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

image from

I am so thankful for all I have, and for my blogging friends. 
 I wish you a truly wonderful time of sharing Thanksgiving with your loved ones!
Blessings, Linda