Sunday, January 20, 2008

The very best of...

Hmmmm. What will we have today? Some books, some wine, and a tree.

Yesterday I found a series of books that I've been searching for a very long time at a most unlikely place, Sam's Club. I used to own these books back when I lived in Houston over twenty-five years ago. They were the one casualty of the hurricane that came in the last year we lived there and I've never seen them anywhere until I went grocery shopping.

You have to understand. When we go to Sam's the first place I stop is the book section. After I browse there looking at the odd assortment of books, keeping an eye out for anything interesting, then we do the shopping. Today as we circled around the endcap, a boxed set of thin books caught my eye. I stopped and slipped one of the books from the box and to my shocked amazement, I realized exactly what I had in my hand. Interestingly enough, my husband required no explanation. He simply said, "Make sure that there's a full set in the box and then put them in the cart."

So what was I so excited about? The Complete Flower Fairies Library by Cicely Mary Barker. Twelve slim hardback books, stuffed with glorious illustrations of the Flower Fairies plus the individual poems. Original copyright 1923.

Funny. I fell in love with the Flower Fairies years ago, long before the advent of the Internet with it's instant access in information so I had no idea how famous Ms. Barker and her Flower Fairies were. I just knew that I loved the little books, as did my daughters. We used to sit on their bed at night and read some of the poems before bedtime. I truly mourned their loss from water damage and mold. Finding them today was a wonderful surprise. For more information about the Flower Fairies see

As many of you know, the househunk and I went to upstate New York for Christmas week. While we were there we stopped at a store long enough to purchase a couple bottles of wine. I can just hear Amarinda... "What, they don't have wine in Maryland?"

Well, this particular wine is difficult to find outside of New York. In Washingtonville, New York, a small village where I used to live, there is a winery--America's oldest winery--The Brotherhood Winery. They produce a wine called Holiday Spice Wine. And it happens to be the only wine I drink. My friend Jane had a small taste and she told me it's a dessert wine. I like it cold. And I like it heated up similar to a wassail at Christmas. And when I drink it, it's definitely a dessert wine.

Since my tolerance for alcohol is extremely low, about two ounces does it for me. As I told my blog cohorts, I'm a cheap date. At two ounces a shot, every other week or so, you can see that one bottle will last me quite a while. But I certainly enjoy it every once in a while. For more info about the historic Brotherhood Winery see

About a week before we went up to New York, my daughter called, a little panicked and a little frustrated. Their Christmas tree had finally given up the ghost and was sprawled on the living room floor. She wanted to know how to fix the broken stand. After some discussion it was obvious that the stand--permanently attached to the tree--was beyond repair.

The househunk and I had a tree that we rarely put up as it was so big. Well over seven feet and about five feet wide at the base, it simply took up too much room. So without too much discussion we concluded that we would take our tree to New York. My daughter protested that she didn't want to have to take the tree down so soon after Christmas so that we could bring it back home. "No, no, no," I said. "You don't understand. The tree is all yours."

The tree looked lovely in her living room. And I had no qualms whatsoever about leaving it there. We had that tree over twenty years. It served us well. It looked like it was new. The househunk commented that we would look for a smaller tree and I told him that I really wanted one just like that--only about two feet shorter.

While we were in New York, I went one day to meet my friend for lunch. And on the way to meet her, I passed the Christmas tree factory where our original tree was made. There was sign out near the road announcing 50% off on the Christmas trees until Jan 4th. So a few days later, on our way home we stopped at the factory and went Christmas tree shopping. I found exactly what I wanted--a five foot tree just like our old one.

The company called Hudson Valley Tree Company back when we bought our original tree is now Christmas in America. You might think it odd for us to travel two states away to buy a Christmas tree but there are few things in America that last twenty years. There are fewer things that can be passed down to the next generation secure in the knowledge that they might even be able to pass it down to their kids. When I decorate my new tree next year, I'll do so content that I will no doubt pass this tree along in a few years, also. For more information about Christmas in America see

There you go... three new things to check out.


Stop off and check out Kelly's Sunday Quote at and then pop over to Amarinda's Place to find out how her mowing went--hot and sweaty I expect--at And then, Blessings on your day!


  1. "What, they don't have wine in Maryland?"
    That's exactly what I thought when I read that. And two frigging ounces??? Seriously??? I had to read that several times to make sure I read the amount right. I am sorry I am not going to RT as I would enjoy seeing you drunk and sloppy and less than zenful.

    And yes, no doubt you won your bet

  2. Favorite books, wine and tree. Life is good.

  3. I refuse to be predictable. Since you won the bet, most likely, on what Amarinda found to comment upon, you will not win this one!! NO!

    Fuzzy slippers really keep my feet warm. I love fuzzy slippers because they are fuzzy. However, I rarely wear slippers, fuzzy or otherwise, as I prefer my feet nekkid to the wind.

    Take that and bet on it, woman. heh heh heh.

  4. I believe that my private bet was which one of my blog subjects you would comment on... and I don't believe I mentioned fluzzy slippers, but it was good try!

  5. If you go to National I'll buy you a drink. First because you are my good friend, and second (wink) because I'm dying to see you giggling after a couple of drinks. BTW I'm the same way exactly. Don't know how I learned to drink so much vodka in Minsk. But I was on business trips and working hard. What we have to do to be professional.:)

  6. I'm not much of a drinker either. An ex-friend (we won't go into why she's and ex-friend) once accused me of drinking "soda-pop" not wine. Actually I'd rather have a nice apple or desert pear margarita. Scary part is I can out drink my SO. Two drinks in that direction and a terrifying amount of table dancing may occur.

  7. I LOVE the CMB Flower Fairies. I've got that collection too - only mine didn't come with a box.

    Also, I've tagged you for a meme. Come visit me here for the info.

  8. Bron keeps tagging my friends. :(

    I double tapped Molly but I guess I can't do it twice.

    Great post by the way, I love lists and new things to check out. It always makes my day to learn something new.