Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities. ~Edyth O’Neill

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A sweet Christmas, part 2

I plan to take a flying leap at 2017, or at least a good running start. Here it comes, fast, ready or not!  I am working at filing things and bringing a little order to my desk area and also my painting spot.
There are still plenty of holiday foods here, a bit heavy on turkey sandwiches as it should be. And I am enjoying Christmas photographs, many taken by my brother.

Penny had one of her small delightful dinner parties last week.  there were several small trees instead of a large one this year.  The gray wall shelf was made by my sweetheart Jackie.
 The tree below rests on a table made by him.

Penny made the tinware at a workshop in Eastfield Village some years back.

After Church on Christmas eve I was with some of the family at Beth and Gary's home for a buffet and singing Christmas carols.

My brother and I went downtown later when the streets were very empty, to photograph some of the fairyland that is down town Fredericksburg at Christmas.

Christmas morning was time for the children's presents and a brunch of favorites.

Here is a precious little old Santa that was under my own tree from Linda. He has seen it all before but still enjoys the holidays.  I am sure he used to race about on a sled, now long ago lost, but he can sit under the tree and take quiet enjoyment of the season... about like me maybe.  e

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Favorite chocolate candy. amazingly easy, amazingly good!

Just four ingredients, 1 six oz can eagle brand milk,   3   4 oz boxes Baker's semi sweet chocolate squares. a dash of salt and 1  1/2 cups broken up pecons make a great chocolate lover's  favorite. This is so easy there is still time to stir up a batch for Christmas. No cooking at all. Use  4 boxes instead of three for a darker less sweet candy.

In a microwavable covered dish break the chocolate into squares, add the can of eagle brand and a dash of salt, not much.  Melt it together in the microwave, about 2  1/2 minutes for me, do not get it really hot at all.  Stir till smooth and add broken up pecans.  Very quickly drop out on a foil covered board or cookie sheets, this makes a lot of candy, I use a foil covered drafting board that is just for kitchen use, and a large spoon with a table knife to drop the candy out in little clusters,  See  picture.  Let  me hear back if you  make it!

Christmas Past...


Friday, December 16, 2016

Sharing a lovely Christmas with friends and family. part 1

Fredericksburg goes all out for the season.  We even have an ice skating rink in the park on the square for a few weeks each December. That is a rarity in this part of the country.   The buildings on our historic Main street are outlined in simple white lights but from that point nothing else is simple!  My brother promises to be here at Christmas and we will try to have pictures of some of the lighted center of town here on my blog, but for now it is decorating time in my house and a little tour through some others.  Have been to two great parties this week and also had a few friends stop by. 

Being with friends I have known for half a lifetime is a special joy at this time of the year.  This lighting makes us look faded but I promise we are vibrant ladies with amazingly full lives. 
As a coincidence, the three of us have all had a lot of enjoyment in the publishing world, one as a writer for Maine Antiques Digest years back covering shows in Texas, one as a contributing editor of Simple Life magazine since its inception and  I have a long time very pleasant association with Early American Life magazine which has published a number of my small "how to" articles in a more than twenty year span.  There is one in the current December issue.
I am the youngest one in this shot and I will be 86 in January 2017.  At my last check in with my doctor, he said with an earnest look, "How are you?"  I answered "I am busy and happy and I do not hurt, so who has more!?" This continues to  be so as I look toward the coming year with hope and gratitude.  

My Spiced peaches are  in the yellow bowl, recipe is  at the end of this post.

Only Barbara would think of placing a nativity set on a cake stand.

I must do a painting with this goose! I have half a dozen others started at present, need to finish some. 

Penny's ship model was borrowed for my painting over the mantle.

The Elephant in the Living Room.

I enjoy my three Santas from Becky Lowe.

Dolls love to be by the Christmas tree.

My Mother crocheted the suit on this cotton Santa 72 years ago for my Brother's first tree.

Jackie enjoyed the fine furniture in his room.

Nice Stoneware flasks and a Staffordshire bust of George.

Lafayette in a nice old painting.


Pickled peach recipe   (a recipe from the 1950's)

1 large can Del Monte peach halves
½ cup sugar
½ cup vinegar
1 stick whole cinnamon
½ teaspoon whole cloves

Two days Before Serving:
Drain peaches reserving 1 cup syrup. In sauce pan combine syrup, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon and cloves.  Simmer uncovered 5 min. 
Add peach halves, a few of which may be studded with one clove.  Bring to a boil, cool, cover,  and refrigerate at least two days.  I remove the spices on the third day if some are left so they do not get too strong.

 To serve, drain peaches and heap in serving dish.  I double and triple it for large groups.

Thank all of you for the warm expressions of friendship and good wishes. I read and re read all of them. I wish all of my readers a sweet holiday season, and to those of my Christian faith, a very Merry and also tender and sweet Christmas.  My family had four generations in church last Sunday morning, where Jackson sang in the children's choir.  As the senior one, I felt like the Queen Mum, happy and grateful and proud of my family around me.     e

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