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Monday, October 22, 2007

Full of Questions

It finally happened...I've become curious about how many dear people might be visiting my blog. It's something I don't want to confess. After all, I am writing for myself or so I had thought. No, I am writing for myself. Really. I think. Are you? (Question #1)

So I went here and selected the apples. I suffered a fair amount of unease because they are so large and colorful. I had hoped that, when offered a choice, I would take a more discreet one. Haha, no, I really did go with the apples.

Trouble is, even though I followed all the directions everywhere, I have no apples. None. Where could they be? That's question #2: Does anyone know?

This morning, I have been listening to the stories out of Malibu where wildfires are wreaking havoc. Lilly Lawrence's Castle Kashan has been destroyed. Her attitude is one of remarkable calm. "It's just a house," she says. She saved some jewelry, her phonebooks, and Elvis Presley's uniform. Question #3: Besides people and pets, what would you save in a similar situation?

I remember one summer when I was cleaning summer homes for a living. These seasonal homes were simply beautiful...far more so than any home I had ever been in. One day, I broke a vase. When I told the owner, she shrugged and said, "No problem, it's just a vase."

Since then I have tried to think of objects in just such terms by not attaching too much importance to them. But still...a castle?

Edited to add: I have since learned that there has been loss of life in the Malibu fires. Beside that, even a castle means nothing.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Enjoying a Golden October



October

AY, thou art welcome, heaven's delicious breath! When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief
And the year smiles as it draws near its death. Wind of the sunny south! oh, still delay
In the gay woods and in the golden air,
Like to a good old age released from care,
Journeying, in long serenity, away.
In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
Might wear out life like thee, 'mid bowers and brooks
And dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
And music of kind voices ever nigh;
And when my last sand twinkled in the glass,
Pass silently from men, as thou dost pass.


~ William Cullen Bryant

It's a day to bask in the golden glory of it all. Too soon, it'll be done so I'm drinking it all in and it is sweet, sweeter than ever before. It is incredible to me that God created such beauty for us to enjoy!



Just had to post one more. I'm about done with this autumn thing...maybe. ;>

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Shadow and Light



Just sharing a bit of what has been going on inside since the last time I posted a picture of the work in progress. In case you'd like a reminder that was September 21.

We have a few hours in the afternoon when the sunlight in the room is lovely. We had expected so much more light than we're ever going to have. But then, we're truly at the forest's edge so the trees provide us with good protection against the wind, rain, and the sun, too. Needless to say, those few hours have become quite special, even rare.

Today, I wanted to take a photo of the sunlight to share with everyone, but just at the moment when I was deciding camera angle and lighting, the sun was gone. Poof! What?!!

Ohhhh that!















In just a few minutes more, the sunlight had returned. I'm using this story about my room and the light to describe what is so true that it has become a cliché. If we can abide long enough, we'll discover that the sun will come out from behind that cloud again and everything will be okay. As always, I'm counting on it!

Friday, October 19, 2007

No Lattice Puhlease



Lattice: I hate the stuff. John, the carpenter, says that his mind is all stretched out from trying to figure out how to please my quirky wishes for the addition.

The weather had been so perfectly golden that the outdoor finishing-ups were tugging more strongly than the indoor ones. John needed to do some tidying and one of those items was what to put around the bottom of the stairs and to skirt the addition as well. There are all kinds of skirtings...vinyl and wood ones...and the dreaded, ubiquitous lattice.

"No, no, not that stuff," I had begged when that's just what John first suggested. I stated all my reasons for hating it: 1. it's ugly 2. it allows the leaves to blow in 3. it allows animals to get in 4. kitties use the space for a litter box 5. it's ugly...oh, I said that already.



So John came up with this design. Pressure treated Carolina Pine, offset for ventilation purposes, and backed with screening so bees, skunks, cats, etc., can't get in. I think it came out beautifully. It's wonderful to have someone listen carefully and to follow through.



Since funds are running low, it is questionable whether we'll be able to put the siding on before spring. Anyone have an idea for making typar look charming? :]

Thursday, October 18, 2007

An Open Door




Yesterday afternoon, after I had approved a project that the carpenter was working on...more about that tomorrow...I noticed how beautiful the light was through the open door. Since the camera was in hand for taking pictures of the project, I took a few more pics of the way the leaves were highlighted and what's left of the back deck. (It got eaten by the addition.)

It made me think about my perpetual search for an open door. A way through whatever it is that I am trying to work out. Namely, it is this: what shall I do with the remainder of my life? Now, for some of us, it's a given. You shall do whatever it is that you are now doing. For me, it's not as simple. I am single. I am starting a new, but temporary, job in a week and a half. I am in transition.

But this I do believe, there is a way through and it will be better there than it is here. And, no, I am NOT talking about pie in the sky by and by. I am talking about the future right here stretched before me in the next few months. So stay tuned, this could prove interesting.



ETA: Look at this great pancake! Judy over at My Front Porch posted an apple pancake recipe yesterday and my carpenter and I enjoyed some for breakfast this morning. I feel better already! :)
Delish!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

HodgePodge Wednesday

So we sat there in the new addition eating pumpkin whoopie pies and sipping coffee well into the evening and way after his day should have been over—the carpenter's that is. His eyes kept following the lines of the room and I could tell that he was analyzing every cut, every nail, every grain in the wood. He began to share what he might've done differently and then he added that he had hoped that I would be happy in this space. And we didn't have the heart to talk about the fact that it won't be my "space" for much longer. Even so, I have determined to enjoy it for as long as I can. That's all that any of us can do, right?

Today I am thinking about two milestones in the family from the youngest to the eldest. Yesterday, my grandmother celebrated her 98th birthday with her family gathered around her. She was weary, but very excited. Perhaps the excitement tired her as much as anything. But most of all she was happy and content. It was good for her to visit the relatives from Downeast after an entire year and they were thrilled to see her, too. Happy birthday, Nan! (I don't know why I even say it here since she would be horrified...h-o-r-r-i-f-i-e-d...to know that I blog, the Internet being such a scary place and all.)

Also, just yesterday, my little grandson spoke his first word. Not really because he's been saying "hi" for some time. But his first long word. What was this wonderful word? Was it "mama" or "daddy" or even "Jake"? No, it was "quack." Quack, quack, quack, quack. This all has something to do with "The Wiggles." Apparently, Sam is only willing to say this new and magical word when actually watching "The Wiggles." All other parental attempts to have him say it fail.

So, let me end this entry on a sweet note. We were talking about whoopie pies, right?






Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Ingredients:

* 3 cups flour
* 2 cups brown sugar
* 1 cup canola oil
* 1 can pumpkin
* 2 extra large eggs
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 tsp vanilla

Method:

1. Combine dry ingredients: flour and spices
2. Using a mixer, combine wet ingredients incorporating brown sugar last
3. Fold wet and dry ingredients together
4. Using a cookie scoop, drop dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet
5. Bake in 350° oven for 10–12 minutes

Filling

Ingredients:

* 1 cup butter
* 2 cups powdered sugar
* 2 cups marshmallow fluff
* 1 tsp vanilla

Method:

1. Cream butter and sugar
2. Mix in fluff and vanilla
3. Beat until light and fluffy
4. Spread on one cookie and top with another

Sam says to enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

You Make Me Smile


It's true, you know! Bloggers do make me smile. A lot.

That's why I am honored to be among the forty (*cough* ;>) beautiful bloggers who just received the "You Make Me Smile" award from Melissa over there at The Inspired Room. (See link in My Favorites) Melissa is a sweetheart and couldn't limit her selection to merely ten. (I bet her house is filled with strays. :)) Now that she's presented me with this award, which I do love, she's given me the very same challenge.

Seems upon receiving the award, one must pass it on. Hmmmmm, Pass it on...now that is a privilege!

So I am passing the You Make Me Smile Award to the following five women who have made visiting their blogs such a pleasure for me and, not only that, they respond to my visits! They also keep me happy by blogging often and none are currently on vacation.

* Barbara at Ramblings from an English Garden

* Brenda at Coffee, Tea, Books, and Me

* Judy at My Front Porch

* Kari at Just Livin' Large

* Margo aka Robolady

Must run, I have awards to deliver! ETA: Ackkkk! Barbara is going to kill me having just received this award from Melissa. Oh dear! :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Brin's Messy, Thrilling Life

If I had started reading this blog from the beginning, which I didn't, it began back on July 24, 2005. It began simply enough, but with a large enough glimpse to know that this would be an amazing, exceptional blog. Instead, I started with the current date and read backward for a few days.

You know how a blog is...just like the "way leading onto way" that Robert Frost describes in his poem The Road Not Taken. How I stumbled upon My Messy, Thrilling Life is unclear to me now, but stumble I did and grateful I am.

Brin, this young woman (currently on vacation as I am writing this entry), writes a Monday devotional that rivals Streams in the Desert. For those of you who recognize that name, that is high praise. High. Very.

This blogger will have you laughing and crying all within four paragraphs or less. If she isn't thinking about turning this material into a book...even a movie...I can't imagine whyever not. For a while, I had considered including some of my favorite entries, but I think a reader would be better served to wander in as I did and have at it. Be sure that your tissue box is handy, but be prepared to laugh aloud as well. Heck, treat it like the treasure it is and start at the beginning and work your way forward. I've only reached March of this year, after an entire evening of reading, and I am so excited about reading until I am all caught up that I am all grins even as I type up this post. So, unlike the wanderer in Frost's poem, I know that I will be back.

My Messy, Thrilling Life

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday on Autumn Avenue




God's World


O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!


Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart, -- Lord, I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me, -- let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.


~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

It's just such a day in my world. The skies are gray and the wind is sending the leaves to the ground. Too soon! This afternoon, I'll join the tourists and take another ride looking for the perfect view knowing that the leaves are nearly done with their yellows, crimsons, corals and for staying power against the wind and time.

Gathered some leaves as I was out wandering around this morning and placed them on the table along with the leggy mums that had toppled over. The mums couldn't be allowed to lie on the ground like that since they are lovely. If I could, I'd rescue each leaf, too.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Perfect Pumpkin



A few weeks ago when I picked up the October issue of Living, I found the best idea on page 78. Instead of using a gourd as suggested, I found the perfect pumpkin.



So this little project became the highlight of my rainy afternoon. My mother had the challenging portion of the project since she was the one looking for the wood burning stylus.

All I had to do was find the font I liked and enlarge my number and Mr. Pumpkin and I were off to the races so to speak. ;>

Here's how it turned out. My hope is to get it to its proper setting before the birthday party ensues this afternoon. It's still too cold and wet to traipse through leaves and there's some raking to be done.

Edited to Add at 12:04 EST:



The day has cleared beautifully and I can tell that it's a perfect day for a party. Oh and I cheated with that photograph for those with eagle eyes...there are no yellow mums actually growing on the left side. There just ought to be. ;)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tammy



"There's another Storm Coming" the tv ad says. We've been listening to the warnings about the first Nor'easter of the season for a few days now. And it is quite the storm with lots of thunder showers, wind, and rain. So I am pressed for time and trying to judge carefully about my computer use between the thunder and lightning storms.

Thought I'd share this pic of my Tammy doll today. She sits on a bookshelf looking as cute and coy as ever even if she did get a haircut and have to borrow Shirley Temple's dress somewhere along the way.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New England Autumn



It has rained all week. All week except for one magnificent day. That day I had shopping to do and my camera in tow. What I discovered was New England in my own hometown. Since a number have remarked how beautiful my corner of the world is in autumn, I am sharing my best photos despite my new concern about the limits of my camera.







Leaving you with this little vignette on my back door steps. I love that white pumpkin; I believe that the farmer's wife called it a "Lumina." A few years ago, I had great success with making a pumpkin pie from a white pumpkin. It was mild and delicious. The farmer's wife also shared that the pumpkin could be saved in a dry place for up to five years.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happy Birthday, Child of Mine



Child Of Mine

Although you see the world different than me
Sometimes I can touch upon the wonders that you see
All the new colors and pictures you've designed
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

Child of mine, child of mine
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

You don't need direction, you know which way to go
And I don't want to hold you back, I just want to watch you grow
You're the one who taught me you don't have to look behind
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

Child of mine, child of mine
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

Nobody's gonna kill your dreams
Or tell you how to live your life
There'll always be people to make it hard for a while
But you'll change their heads when they see you smile

The times you were born in may not have been the best
But you can make the times to come better than the rest
I know you will be honest if you can't always be kind
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

Child of mine, child of mine,
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

Child of mine, child of mine
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine


~by Carole King

It's an unusual place that I am in. I don't imagine that too many women have enjoyed my position. Here I sit smack dab in the middle of five generations. My grandmother is nearing the century mark and the baby grandson is nine months old. Guess I've tipped my hand about my age. ;> I've seen a whole lot of mothering go on and the one thing I've learned for certain is that mothers are always mothers. My grandmother takes her role as my mother's mother very seriously. (I know that there are times when my mom would like her to relax just a bit.)

My own daughter has been a delight since the day that she was born. I remember holding her for the first time and saying, "Just you and me, baby girl." That wasn't quite true even if her dad was stationed in Germany and I had been unable to join him because of the political pressures of the time...Nixon resigning, heightened alerts along the borders. But it felt that way then.

She grew and she grew...so darned fast. Where does the time go? I remember hearing older wiser women remind me that it would all go by in a whirlwind and they were right. She has grown to be a woman I am proud to call my daughter.

Earlier this week, this daughter of mine called to say,"I'm not sure about buying a new living room set. I can't seem to make up my mind." I wound up telling her to trust her instincts...that she was perfectly capable of making an excellent decision and that our tastes are not the same anyway. "Do you want the sofa that you want or the one that I want?" That cinched it! Hahaha

Besides, I can't even make up my mind about a birthday gift. I went with the pillows and I even followed LaTeaDah's (Gracious Hospitality) suggestion about pillowcases. Then, in a flash, I decided to go with a five senses theme...a gift for each one of them. (Thank you, Melissa of The Inspired Room.) I figured if it works for essay writing and room decorating, it might just work for gift giving, too.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Grape Salad, etc.



This is such a cool, refreshing, almost dessert-like addition to the table. Even my little 20-month-old grandson loved it. Adjusting it for my diet was very easy by switching to yogurt cream cheese for the regular, to plain yogurt for the sour cream, and to Splenda for the sugar.

Grape Salad

Ingredients:

* 4 lbs grapes both red and green seedless

* 1 8-oz package cream cheese

* 1 cup sour cream

* 1/3 cup sugar

* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Method:

Blend the last 4 ingredients until smooth and creamy. Fold grapes in gently. A half hour before serving, sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and a few chopped walnuts or pecans.


Hope that you'll try it!

Challenging gift decisions happen to all of us. Right now I am at wit's end trying to figure out what to give my daughter for her birthday tomorrow. Wonder if she'd enjoy a bowl of grape salad; she's not big on cake and ice cream.

I'm really debating whether to give her some good bed pillows or to pick up a piece of jewelry that will probably get tossed in a drawer. Pillows are practical and something that she may not have and might need after being on her own for a dozen years. It's not very exciting, though. Any ideas?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Columbus Day



My mother has been experimenting with her camera. This is a shot that she took last night after dark with her flash. I commended her for doing a great job of experimenting. I love those shots that look dramatic...remember, I'm a Bohemian at heart. ;>

So today is Columbus Day in the States and Thanksgiving in Canada. Hope that means a lot of relaxed, happy folks enjoying a holiday.

I wasn't planning to yabber on about Columbus, but he gets such a bum rap these days that I decided to include this link to an excellent article. "Excellent" in my opinion because it strikes some balance. It's called Christopher Columbus: A Sinner With a Heart for Frontier Missions by Rick Wood.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed ... to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.



"Look for me another day.
I feel that I could change,
I feel that I could change.
There's a sudden joy that's like
a fish, a moving light;
I thought I saw it
rowing on the lakes of Canada

Oh laughing man, what have you won?
Don't tell me what cannot be done.
My little mouth, my winter lungs,
don't tell me what cannot be done.

Walking in the circle of a flashlight
someone starts to sing, to join in.
Talk of loneliness in quiet voices.
I am shy but you can reach me.
Rowing on the lakes of Canada,
rowing on the lakes of Canada.

Oh laughing man, what have you won?
Don't tell me what cannot be done.
My little mouth, my winter lungs,
don't tell me what can't be done.

Look for me another time
Give me another day
I feel that I could change..."

~ Innocence Mission

With strong ties to Canada flowing in my veins (my mother is Canadian), I want to wish all my Canadian friends and family a wonderful Thanksgiving. In years past, we would spend our October Thanksgiving at the family cottage in NB. I sure miss those happy times...hence the photo and the song from Innocence Mission.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Tomato Addiction



This tomato knife from Pampered Chef is my favorite new kitchen tool. It slices through tomatoes like butter.

I'm on a tomato kick right now. Here in the Northeast, fresh produce is a rarity for months at a time. For ten months out of the year, I eat tomatoes that could pass for cardboard. In fact, I refuse to eat them. That's why September and October are such fantastic tomato months and I can't get enough! My favorite way to eat a fresh, ripe, juicy tomato is to slice it, sprinkle sea salt over it, and drizzle with olive oil. Perfectly delicious!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Treasures

In my recurring dream, my great-grandmother Vesta greets me at the door to her home. She says, "You may have anything you desire."

Then the wandering through the rooms of her home begins. (It's not always her home, but you know how dreams are.) Each room is filled with treasures, beautiful things and I touch them and pick them up and gently set them down again. Finally, after a long time of looking, I select just a few things...a picture frame here or some linens there.

And, oddly enough, I never leave her home. That's always where the dream ends...with the selection. (The photo is of Vesta and the cocoa pot that she insisted I remove from her china cupboard and take with me one day long ago. She was so insistent that I didn't dare not to take it. Today, I am grateful that she was certain that she wanted me to have it. The cocoa pot and the memory of that day have been something very special to remember her by.)

Nothing evokes that same sense for me like visiting blogs. Blogs are treasures and I have enjoyed them tremendously. One is greeted at the door and then one waltzes right in, takes a look around, and never leaves empty-handed. It's incredible! (My sincere apologies to those who are now muttering under their collective breaths about my introducing them to this fascinating, but time-consuming world. :))

And I have been most remiss. I'm blaming my lack of formatting skills and my ignorance about how my own blog is set up. But, really, I am without excuse. So without further ado, I am going to be including blogs that I truly visit nearly every single day. They keep calling me back and I am never disappointed in the visit. I hope that you will find them as fascinating as I do.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Vardo for Me



Vardo was an unfamiliar word for me. Perhaps "gypsy wagon/waggon" is better recognized. While at the fair Tuesday, we went to an old wagon museum and there in the middle of the display was the most magnificent creation! It had been restored to its former glory and was a vision of burgundy, vivid yellow gigantic wheels, and even gold leaf. Now if I could travel in something that exquisitely decorated, I might take to the highway. Of course, it would require a modern engine and Goodyear tires. ;>



If you Google the word, you'll find all sorts of interesting tidbits about the gypsy life and Vardos. I once took a quiz to determine my decorating style and I came up as Bohemian. Maybe that is why I am so attracted to these colors and these decorations. Sure looks cozy to me!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Fryeburg Fair

The sooner you sleep, the sooner you wake, tomorrow we'll go to the fair. We'll ride painted ponies with wind in our hair, we'll always remember the laughter we share, the sooner you sleep, the sooner you wake, tomorrow you go to the fair. ~Tanya Goodman Sykes

(Imagine a carnival ride...)

So it's not a picture of painted ponies, but since "The Pharoah's Fury" featured prominently in my day at the fair and since I didn't take my camera to the fair to take a photo of it myself, I'm using an image from the Web...

Speaking of web, did anyone know that Charlotte's Web by E.B. White is based on the Fryeburg Fair? It is. Scout's honor!

Some years we can't wait to get to the fair; other years it's not so important. I personally believe that we return to the fair once the memory of bad eating choices has worn off. Oh my! The things I indulged in yesterday. I shall just list them in order of their consumption: blooming onion, french fries, iced tea, mini-donuts, a giant donut, coffee, a deep fried oreo, a chunk of deep fried whoopie pie, a lobster roll, and a piece of Snickers fudge. All the aromas of the fair kept tugging at me and I had no more willpower than Templeton the Rat in the aforementioned book. Oh, I forgot the maple cotton candy.

We did all the usual things except for rides. The only reason that "The Pharoah's Fury" features prominently is because one in our party repeatedly became lost and that particular ride became our meeting place.

We attended a wreath making demonstration and purchased enough material, minus the balsam tips, for eight wreaths. Somebody was feeling ambitious! We attended the flower show and learned a useful tip for holiday decorating, which I will share at a later time.

We wandered through the animal barns, which were aromatic. As a friend of mine would say, "Nothing like the sweet smell of horse manure and pine needles." Personally, I don't think much of that particular odor, but he insists that it would make a wonderful aftershave. He's obviously a nut.

We watched harness racing, horse pulls, the powder puff oxen pulls where the women were in charge of the teams. My niece and her friend found that the most fun of all from the sounds of their parody of said events on our long ride home.

But I wasn't there for any of the above, I just wanted to see Patti Page who was the featured performer of the evening. She of "How Much is that Doggie in the Window" and "Tennessee Waltz" fame. My earliest memories of her are from her picture featured on sheet music that sat on my grandmother's piano. Last night Miss Page was in fine voice singing before an extremely large crowd...standing room only. (I was one of the chain link fence huggers.) I learned a few new things about her last evening and one is that she's in the maple syrup business as she and her husband own a farm in New Hampshire where they harvest maple syrup.

Here's a picture of my little stash of goods and souvenirs...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Great Ideas...We All Have Them

It's a busy day for me today so I am just tossing this post together. I wanted to share that we all have great ideas, but sometimes we don't take those great ideas quite far enough.

For example, several years ago, I decided to write on my walls. Yes, write on them. I wrote the scripture verse "Whatsoever things are true..." all around the top of my living room walls. In gold pen. People gave me funny looks. ;>

But just look at what I just discovered this morning! Here's a gal who took her idea to a new level as the cliché goes. Her web site is called Tapestry of Truth.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Google Book Search

Have you used Google Book Search? It's so much fun! Many of the books that I am interested in are available for perusal. One simply searches for the book and, if available, in just a few short seconds it can be viewed. I mean turn the pages, see the pictures. The only thing that is missing is the smell and feel of the pages.

Currently, Home Comforts: Or, Things Worth Knowing in Every Household : Being a Digest has been giving me chuckles. That's really not fair, though, there are some good practical tips in there somewhere. :)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

My Grandmother's Home



Yesterday, a golden autumn day, my sister took my parents and my grandmother on a round trip drive of nearly 400 miles to visit the relatives and to see the home my grandmother sold last year.

Nan lived there from the time she was first married in 1931 until she was 94 years old. That's a span of nearly 74 years. Homes can become living breathing things after much shorter spans so it was no surprise that Nan grieved the loss of her home. She grieved to the point of becoming ill. She grieves to the point of telling us that she'll buy the home back so that it can be cared for properly.

You see, whoever bought the home has left it empty. The lawn is not mowed, no lights shine out through the windows, no curtains hang.

Personally, I find it quite charming yet. (We won't talk about that ancient siding.) I don't even become offended by the overgrown lawn. The purple wildflowers blooming there are attractive enough.

My grandfather planted those maples in the sixties. My how they have grown! He just walked out into the woods one day, chose three sturdy maples, lopped off their tops, dug up the root balls, and planted them with lots of tender care. The first branches came out where the trees had been topped off and they went on to become what you see in the picture.

I hope that visiting her house will ease Nan's mind. It's still there. It will surely be loved again. We can no more cling to our homes than we can to any other possession. It will be okay.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mums



Sometimes I can be so dense. Last fall, I learned that all of the mums that are purchased for autumn decorating can be planted. They are perennials. Who knew?! Not I that's who.

So with no further thought whatsoever, the gorgeous buttercream mum was planted. It was full and lush and bloomed way into November.

I was thrilled to see it sprout up this spring and thrilled again to see small buds form. It was watered and fertilized, but did I think to check out the web for any other directions? That would be a nooooooo...

If I had, I would have discovered that once the plant reached ten inches in height, I should have been pinching back those buds. Then I would have had a beautiful full mum, lower to the ground and nearly as lush as it was last fall. (Source)

Hope that I get another chance with this former beauty. Long and leggy just doesn't become a mum.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Blue Sea and Goldenrod



Gosh I just love blue and yellow combinations...ever since visiting dear old friends of my grandparents' who lived on a farm overlooking Magaguadavic Lake in New Brunswick. The lady of the house had just painted her kitchen in a yellow and blue combination and I fell in love with that little farm kitchen. As I recall, the walls were soft buttery yellow, the table and chairs a sky blue and her cabinets were painted white. Whatever! It all came together in a pleasing way.

I have had a blue kitchen myself. It was decided for me by some terribly cheesy wallboard that might have been more appropriate for a bathroom. Later, when I was able to make some changes, I wound up with white walls, a blueberry vine stenciled border, a buttery yellow floor (also stenciled) and honey gold cabinets and a honey gold open stairway in the kitchen. Gosh I loved that house.

Fast forward to today. I have wallpaper with a beige background and mostly green and red colors. I would say that the green predominates. It'll be with me for a while yet, but I do have a new wall in the kitchen now that it is open to the dining area and the new addition. I must decide on a color as I am not keeping the natural wood. I have been leaning toward the yellow in the photo from Pella on 9/05/2007.

Choices, choices, so many choices.

(Formatting issues today...;> Big deal! LOL!)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fluttering



Yes, I'm a Flybaby, too. It's a dead giveaway when posting a picture of one's sink!

Flylady Marla Cilley has been a big part of my life for several years. Things haven't always gone smoothly, but I must give credit where credit is due. She has taught me so much about myself and my perfectionism. Just check out Flylady.com for tips and techniques that will help you create a beautiful home.

Actually, I don't often refer to myself as a "Flybaby" preferring to call myself a "flutterer" or even a "flubber."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Homebody

It pains me to confess it, but I am a homebody. Love to be home. No place I'd rather be. It pains me to say it because if I could change something about myself, that's what I'd change.

My three-pronged attack yesterday on procrastination worked pretty well. I did apply for the job. I did sort through a stack of mail that had been building for a few weeks. I did find an overdue bill. I paid it and the current one, too. Online. The internet is great.

The third item came in the form of a phonecall from one of my nieces. She's a confirmed homebody, too, so when she had to travel some distance for a doctor's appointment, she called me. She needed a comfort companion. Despite my wanting to remain home, I agreed to go. I've needed comfort companions, too. And I'm glad that I did. I had fun.

I wandered through an antique market while I waited. I had a conversation with a very nice man from New Jersey who is impressed with Maine's antique prices and had managed to purchase a vintage toy...a truck...for what he considered a song. He said he'd been looking for it for a long time. That made me happy enough for him that I didn't have to purchase the vintage tablecloth that I was holding. It wasn't that special. I was only buying it to calm my nerves. ;>

My niece has a quick, quirky sense of humor. On the way home as we passed a poor hitchhiker who looked all done in from a long day's work, she said, "Yeah, right, like I'd pick you up, pal." I offered that he obviously had a job since he was carrying a small cooler. She said, "With a head in it!"

The day ended, as it always does if I have any say, with a frozen yogurt at the farmstand that looks down on our little town. The nearly full moon was gossamer...so pale that it can not be seen in the photo I took. Such a shame.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Procrastination



One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.
~Dale Carnegie

Since it's been established that eclectism is my bag, it should come as no surprise that I also mix metaphors with abandon. My neighbor's maple tree is at peak color and I have certainly been enjoying its magical-ness. ;> (Check September 1's post for a comparison.)

Today, I am planning to do three things that I have put off for too long. I know one of those things is applying for a job that would be perfect for me, but is a second-shift position, which makes it more of a challenge than I would like. Nevertheless, I'm going to apply. There's no harm in that. The other two I haven't even figured out yet, but I will and I'll tell more about them next time.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Decorating Inspiration


Before


Proving that it is possible for me to be inspired, especially with tons of help from Melissa at the Inspired Room (see link under "favorite blogs") and Linda of Restyled Home (note especially Linda's 9/20 post), I am trying my hand at autumn decorating using both gals' good tips.


After

I do think I need a different mum...a bushy, fuller one.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tribute to the First Day of Autumn

Fear







Women

Women have no wilderness in them,
They are provident instead,
Content in the tight hot cell of their hearts
To eat dusty bread.

They do not see cattle cropping red winter grass,
They do not hear
Snow water going down under culverts
Shallow and clear.

They wait, when they should turn to journeys,
They stiffen, when they should bend.
They use against themselves that benevolence
To which no man is friend.

They cannot think of so many crops to a field
Or of clean wood cleft by an axe.
Their love is an eager meaninglessness
Too tense, or too lax.

They hear in every whisper that speaks to them
A shout and a cry.
As like as not, when they take life over their door-sills
They should let it go by.

~Louise Bogan


This poem means a lot to timid old me. Fear sometimes grabs me by the throat, shakes me all around, and leaves me hearing shouts and cries in whispers.