Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Nonni Duty

Every now and then, I get "the call." It begins easily enough with a "Hello, Mom, how are you today?" And I can tell just in his tone that he needs me.

It might be that he'll be sending his résumé along and it needs some editing. (Gee, does he read this blog? If he did, he'd know that he should do his own editing.) Perhaps he's working on a paper for one of his classes and he thinks it could use a fresh eye. (Gee, does he read this blog?) Or he might be thinking of borrowing either the roof rake, the ice chipper, or perhaps even the car.

But the one that thrills me to pieces is "Could you watch Jake for a few hours?" Could I watch Jake? Are you kidding me? That adorable blue-eyed, chubby-cheeked, cherub of a boy? You betcha I can watch Jake!

So I arrive at my son's home. My daughter-in-law and my oldest grandson have gone to visit the Cape Cod relatives. My son, Jake, Bazil (the pug), Max (the black cat), and Phylis (the calico cat) are holding down the fort. My son and Bazil are most welcoming. Bazil is especially friendly and, even though I know that he is being charming because of the chunk of Pupperoni in my jacket pocket, I'm a sucker for big brown eyes and drool.

Jake and the cats are giving me a cool reception. Jake's eyes narrow to deep gray suspicion as he looks from me to his father. His dad picks him up from amidst the toys and bounces him slightly up and down while I smile at my grandbaby trying to keep the high beam down since grandbaby is skeptical. After Bazil and I have bonded and even Max the cat has decided that I'm okay, if her winding about my ankles is any indication, I try turning on the high beams...big smile, crinkle eyes, rosy cheeks...the perfect grandmother look turned full force on Jake, but he's having none of it.

Finally, the time has come for goodbyes and Jake is bellering before his dad gets out the door. My son looks back, his brow furrowing.

"Just go, we'll be okay," I say encouragingly.

Then I settle back to enjoy Jake who belts out every version of Baby Symphony possible for the next twenty minutes. Finally, even though his daddy has specifically told me that Jake won't be tired for another two hours, I decide that Jake is tired...oh yes, the boy is exhausted, and I haul out my best trick: Moon River. Moon River the quintessential baby lullaby and within a minute Jake is quiet and relaxing into the crook of my arm. He's so cozy and comfortable that it won't be more than another minute before he's dozing when...

In comes my son. I hiss through my teeth, "Get out. Don't say a word. He's just gotten himself calmed down." But noooooo, my son has come in to check on his boy. I have never wanted to clobber my boy so much.

At last, I am truly alone with the little cherub who along with his sweet chubbiness has a very large mouth and if he had been upset about his dad's leaving the first time, he was furious about his leaving the second.

For the next while, he eyes me warily after scrambling from my lap. I decide to clean the sink. Jake decides to do a mind meld with the door. Every now and then he watches me with a "What are you doing?" look on his face. After he realizes that I will not force him nor invade his space, he begins to thaw and by the time his father comes home a few moments later, we have achieved a fresh connection...cookies and juice, hugs and cuddles, tickles and games. All is well.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Vintage Bedside Organizer

Another Monday morning dawns... In the Northeast, the skies are gray and it's pouring buckets. The street is flooded because there's nowhere for the water to go with the snowbanks so high. This could get exciting. I know that others across the country have been dealing with all manner of weather woes including floods.

The tendency is to blame global warming, but I think of these things as cyclical. I've seen a lot of funny weather in my lifetime. A few days ago my grandmother told me about her wedding night away back on November 10, 1931. Noooooo, not that kind of story....gheessshhhhh. She was married in Moncton, New Brunswick on such a balmy evening that she and my grandfather and the entire wedding party walked to the train station in just their wedding garbs, no need for coats or sweaters.


Yesterday, I was visiting blogs — what else is new — and I found the most exciting thing at Knitty, Vintage and Rosy. It's a bed pocket!

It's so darling that I began to think what I could do to create one. I remembered the three or four pairs of vintage pillowcases that my grandmother passed along to me; they're so long and narrow that they haven't worked for my pillows, but they're quite lovely so I've been using them sometimes for dresser scarves. It wasn't a perfect solution, but I've found the perfect solution.

Since I despise bedside tables, the photo above shows how I've been getting along...an old purse slung over the bedpost. It works quite well and I'll probably keep it, but this works even better.

It's pretty neat in that by folding up the open pillow edge about 7 inches and stitching all around (I also reinforced it by stitching up the center), I have four pockets instead of two. Here's a close-up of another...

One big mistake that I made was this: I realized that one design didn't work for turning up...it would have been upside down. So I carefully deconstructed, put it together again, and then discovered that I had put it back together the very same way that it had been...brilliant I ain't. Oh well, not too bad for a day of creating four bed pockets.

Have a terrific Monday and stay warm and dry.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. ~C.S. Lewis

These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. ~Jesus (John 16:33)

Photo Source

Saturday, February 16, 2008

All I Know About Blogging

All that I know about blogging I could put into a thimble, but I thought that I'd put it down just as a way to gauge my progress.

Hope that you won't mind if I list them for ease of writing and reading.

* I am inexplicably drawn to blogs that have these words in them: little, cottage, porch, vintage, and nest. If you name your blog anything with these words in them, you can count on me to show up at least once. Edited to add: Include tea, garden, and English in that list. LOL!

* Reading a blog from the beginning to the present is a wonderful way to know a lot about a person. Friday evenings, sometimes Saturday evenings, I do just that. Last night I was hanging out with http://sandimcbride.blogspot.com/. The week before it was http://quillcottage.blogspot.com/. Prior to that, it was http://windlost.blogspot.com/. Months ago it was Brin's. So if you see a gal from my corner of the globe sitting on your blog for hours, don't panic, it is only I! (Why does saying "it is only I" make me laugh?! It's correct, but so preposterous!)

Do you know what I've discovered so far? Intelligent, witty, warm, wonderful women that's what! They are all writers, but they could be professional writers. Their writing is better than most of the books I've read. No joke!

* I have been blessed to have read some blogs from their beginnings...Judy's and Melissa's come to mind.

* So many bloggers have Playlists, but I usually prefer to read quietly. However, there are exceptions...I have been known to grab Robin's playlist or Penny's or, on days when I'm feeling mellow or blue, Dawn's. When I'm feeling really adventurous, I compile all of them on top of one another and see what I get. It can be terribly exciting now let me tell you!

* As for blog design, I can only handle two columns. If a blog has three, I am out of there. The blogger could be Harper Lee and I'm still out of there.

* I used to think that I couldn't handle certain colors, but I've discovered that that isn't true. It's all about the content except for the point above.

* If the font is too small, I'm out of there. The blogger could be Harper Lee...oh, I've used that one already.

* While paragraphs are nice, it really is all about the content...usually.

* Male bloggers are few and far between, but I have been enthralled by this blog from the beginning. It's one that I've hesitated to share for fear of overwhelming the blogger and because of the sensitive nature of the topic. I try to use extreme restraint commenting here for that reason, but the writing is beautiful and the story is, too.

* There may be more things that come to mind and if they do, before day's end, I'll add them.

Have a terrific weekend, everybody! (I'm on Nonni duty today and must run...)

Friday, February 15, 2008

An Award and a Candle

You Make My Day...well that is one wonderful award. Thank you, Miss Sandy, for selecting this little blog for such an honor.

Rules: the recipient of the award will pass it on to 10 recipients of their choice; you may receive this award more than once; you must list your 10 recipients; say why you are choosing them; link to their blog; and finally leave them a little note to drop by your blog for a surprise! By now you know that I am a notorious rule breaker so I would like to pass this along to the following five bloggers:

Abbie at Abbie's Place who is busily creating a life in the winter wilderness known as New Hampshire. She's raising children, nurturing a marriage, crafting, thinking about a business, and working at relationships with "like-minded" women in spite of the isolation that winter brings.

Zanne of At Home With the Farmer's Wife
who writes wonderful entries about her life in the country. She cooks, she bakes, she sews, she reads, she time travels, and she even plows!

A Woman Who Is @ In a Garden who is a doting grandmother to A Baby Who Is also known as Puddin Toes. The photos she shares of Puddin Toes are priceless. Also, this blogger is sharing some exciting news about the beginnings of revival in her corner of the globe and I find that exciting. Very.

Jan @ The Life and Times of Li'l Ol' Me because this will give her another entry to write about. :> Jan is back from a blogging break (we all need them from time to time) and she probably doesn't know how much she was missed and how often I went looking for her! She has a wonderful sense of humor and is often dealing with the same life issues that I am only with more grace and wit.

Lovella @ What Matters Most for the beautiful blog that she writes and the beautiful photos that she shares. There's always something interesting and fun at What Matters Most. Another grandmother, too, and those baby photos are adorable. Plus, she has a walking group all wearing pedometers and sharing steps totals. (I hope to join when the world outside isn't a skating rink.)

Another honor was bestowed upon me by Vickie at Sand Flat Farm:

"There isn't enough darkness in the world to snuff out the light of one little candle" Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, founder of Buddhism, 563-483 BC

This little candle has traveled far, so let's see how much further it can travel...

The rules are not as clear to me; it appears that one sends the candle to someone who is inspirational. That's a challenge because everyone on my blogroll inspires me.

I am sending this little candle (I vaguely remember reading Siddhartha by Herman Hesse in high school...and wasn't this phrase the one used on the Lamp Unto My Feet program of so long ago (1948–1979)...sorry, I digress) to CC @ Six Months of Settled whose recent posts sharing about life in Africa have been fascinating. She'll be returning to Africa in a few short months (good thing the Internet is everywhere) and I look forward to many future posts. She's single-handedly dispelling some of my preconceived notions.

My new profile gif is from Mari-Nanci at Smiln'sigh. Thank you, M-N, such pretty shoes! Can you imagine wearing them? Some poor gal did back in 17something.

A happy day to all!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

What a bright and beautiful day it is after the storm! Judy, I was terribly busy this morning hanging hearts off my neighbor's oak tree, but anything for you!

Last September 13, I featured a singer from Austin, Texas named Robert Kelley who just so happens to be my dear friend Juanita's husband. He is the leader of a band called Blue Mist. Rob wrote his wife, my friend, a love song called *Valentine Lady* and I hope that you might have a listen. It's a great song! (Happy Valentine's Day, Juanita!)

Yesterday, I baked Gooey Bars. You can find the recipe right here at Quill Cottage where Miss Sandy typed up all the recipes for us. It's very easy to make and such a tasty treat. I may have to bake more since my heart cookie cutter is so large.

The Polaner fruit is for making homemade Pop Tarts. I really need to stay away from Chocolatechic. Her boy made them on February 11 and I've been thinking about them ever since.

I do wish all you couples out there a wonderful Valentine's Day. May you all create a special day every day for those you love. This fun tutorial on relationships called *Fairy Tales Can Come True* has been saved in my favorites for months waiting for this day. It's filled with fun tips and fun graphics; my favorite is this:

Learn to soothe frayed nerves
When your partner is having trouble coping
—either with the world or with you—
don't shout, don't pout, don't run away.
Just turn to your mate and lovingly say...

"Honey, what do you need from me...
right now?"

Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Loose Ends

In lieu of the sun, a grapefruit half, drizzled with maple syrup...

Today I'd like to tie up a few loose ends starting with this piece of news. My father arrived home this week from the nursing home where he has been recuperating for the past several weeks. There were days that I despaired that he would recover, but he is doing very well now and I wanted to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

What else? Oh, I meant to share *THIS* with you. It's a fun Valentine graphic from Teresa McFayden's blog My Minutia. I'm using it to send some email Valentine greetings.

Lastly, are you aware that you can find FREE DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE from Google's free directory service assistance for business listings? There are zero ads to listen to and they'll even connect the call for free. Call 1-800-GOOG-411 and they will give you the number and address and also text a map to your cell phone, if your phone has that capability. Kinda cool!

I'm off to do some Valentine baking on this snowy, icy, homebound day. Then, of course, I'll be around to see what you are/were doing this wonderful Wednesday.

Edited to Add: See why I am homebound? Where's the street?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Vickie's Paintings and Miss Sandy's Artsy Friends

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection. ~Michelangelo

I want to post about 42, 43 or 44 artists today. Artists impress me. I used to be married to one. I consider my daughter one. My niece, too. How a thing of *beauty is created from fabric, oil, watercolor or acrylic is an endless fascination to me. I like nothing better than sitting slightly behind and to the right of an artist at work. Not many have allowed me this luxury, though; apparently, they prefer working in peace even if I do promise to be as quiet as a mouse. (*Of course, art is subjective and many artists do not wish to create beauty, but in my world, if it isn't beautiful, it isn't art.)

Vickie at Sand Flat Farm has a talent that I have been admiring. That's her painting above entitled "Waiting on the Padre." Vickie and her husband enjoy traveling in Mexico and many of her paintings reflect the love of that country. The colors are vibrant and warm and the textures are wonderful. I've taken the generic art appreciation class where I learned that one should look for the touches of red and the diagonal lines because those are the arrows that some artists use to direct vision. And here we have the little white burrow beside the pot of red flowers. A very patient little fellow he is.

I've spoken before of my love of doorways and gates. Perhaps that's why of all the paintings that you can enjoy seeing at Sand Flat Farm, I've chosen the next one called "Puerta Azul".

Spanish speaking I am not, but that must translate to blue door. Vickie describes this as "loose palette knife painting" straying from her usual "tight realism." I adore it whatever it is. It makes me want to know what is beyond the blue door. Does it beckon you, too?

I hope that you'll visit Vickie at Sand Flat Farm and see the other wonderful paintings that she has shared. You shouldn't miss "Baile de las Velas" or Candle Dance. Thank you, Vickie, for allowing me to share your work here at my blog!

Miss Sandy at Quill Cottage featured Karla and Beth Sweet Treats and Roses Recipe Swap recently. Each one of the 42 who participated created a work of art that includes a recipe. Now that's my kind of art! You may have seen this effort discussed at a number of blogs, but you will certainly find an excellent representation at Quill Cottage. And, the good news is that Miss Sandy says that it is okay to snag any recipe of interest because they've been shared on each gal's blog. I snagged Gooey Bars by Terri and Salted Nut Rolls by Beth...not the art, just the recipe. Wonder what you'll snag.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Simple Truth

You're born. You suffer. You die. Fortunately, there's a loophole. ~Billy Graham

Photo source is no longer available...allowed to stand

...I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me. ~Jesus (John 14:6)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Mary Shelley and Me

Are any of you like me? You see an old photograph and you wonder: what would that gal look like with her hair down?

All images today are from Dead Fred, a free genealogical site.

So here's the first photo of a lovely wedding party around the turn of the 20th century...

After gazing at the photo, I zero in on the bride. I think what a lovely face, wonder what she'd look like with her hair down. Are you still with me here? So I spend some time finding her some hair and playing games with PAINT so that she now looks like this...

And a side by side...

I am so struck by this next photo of an incredibly nervous young bride and groom. He is so nervous that he's biting his lower lip; she just looks plain scared to pieces and has gathered her skirt slightly with her left hand. I worry about them. Oh well, whatever has happened for them has happened.

Are you still with me? I can't help myself, and by now, you know what I'm wondering. Here's the bride with her hair down in another side by side comparison...

Hmmm, ahhh, wellll, sometimes the hair to the bride doesn't work so well; sometimes the bride must go to the hair...

I've satisfied my curiosity for today. Usually, I limit myself to the virtual painting of rooms or virtual architecture. This feels rather Mary Shelley-ish; I'm creating Frankensteins.

Maybe I'll wander off now and give my grandfather politician hair.

Have a restful Saturday, dear ones!

Friday, February 8, 2008

My Final Two Cents on the Subject of Making a Valentine

This photo was taken early yesterday afternoon right after already having done the transfer when I thought what a marvelous thing it would be to use the sewing machine to attach lace to the edge of the card. Not!

Patience, patience, patience I told myself as I worked hard at not gathering the scraps into a ball and tossing them into the trash as was my earnest desire in the moment. I left to do other chores, spent some time with my calico, called a friend, served coffee to a drop-in guest right in the middle of it. They don't say that "patience is a virtue" without reason. After I'd taken the time and no longer thinking about the disaster, I thought of Zanne; I thought of Zanne and her deconstruct project, which you can read about by clicking on January 31. And I thought that if she had deconstructed a man's shirt and created an apron, I could deconstruct that ruined Valentine.

This is how it turned out in the end. (Stay tuned because I am going to give you the expanded version of The Packing Tape Technique for transferring images.)

This was a learning process and I'd do it much differently next time. The images would be larger, and I'd remember that subtle doesn't always work.

As promised...

The Packing Tape Technique for Transferring Images

You will need:

A photocopied image; clear packing tape; a burnishing tool such as a bone folder or popsicle stick; a shallow dish; tap water; and a dish towel.

1) Make a black and white or color copy of the image, reversing it if necessary to the image when turn out correctly when reversed.

**This MUST be a copy of an actual image not printed from a picture file.

2) Lay a strip of packing tape sticky side down on top of the photocopied image. Use the burnishing tool to go over the image and make sure it has fully adhered to the tape.

**Be extremely thorough with this. Take time and do it carefully and well.

3) Immerse the tape-covered image into a shallow bowl of tap water for up to 15 minutes. Remove the image and pat it dry with the dish towel. Use your fingers to rub off the paper. If you experience difficulty getting the paper to rub off, submerge the tape into the tap water for a few more minutes and repeat the process.

** This took me much longer than 15 minutes. It was more like an hour. Be patient and the reward will float to you on the water. Remove all evidence of paper very carefully by rubbing gently with your fingers.

4) Once the paper has been removed, you will have a transparent image left on the tape. Allow this to dry. Once dried, it can be used in numerous projects, such as scrapbooking, decoupage, jewelry items and altered art projects.

** Important: Once the transferred image is dry, trim it removing all excess tape. The tape itself will not be removed from the project you'll be working on. Since it stays behind, be certain that the image has been trimmed appropriately. On the other hand, this may mean leaving enough tape to cover the entire area that you're working on. (My transferred image has an obvious line of demarcation that is unattractive.)

**My Notes


If any of you try this, I want to hear about it!!

I'd like to thank Rhette (link removed because Rhette has a private blog) for creating the sweet "Vee gif" that I am using in my profile right now. Rhette is new to blogging so drop by one day when you have the chance and say "howdy."

Edited to Add: For additional information, please check out comments today.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Suggestions Anyone?

Maybe it was the Thieves, but for whatever reason, I woke up able to breathe this morning. I'll take it!

Oh that Valentine I spoke of on Tuesday is giving me palpitations. It doesn't take much...;>

Here's what it looks like so far...

BumbleVee, I did what you told me...created myself a little tray that can be whisked off the table in no time.

This is a photo of my grandmother taken in 1914 when she was five. It's so darling that I'd love to incorporate it into the Valentine somehow...

Here's another of Nan taken last summer... Yes, she does look a lot like me!

What I really want to do is to superimpose the child upon the current photo using a transfer technique such as the first one suggested here: *click* There's a wonderful blogger out there somewhere, whom I can't find, who is doing all sorts of wonderful scrapping with this idea. Do you ever lose a blogger? I've lost so many! Of course I keep finding so many that maybe it all balances out in the end.

I had played with the idea of using these photos...my maternal grandparents...but I can't figure out how to do it without being too "over the top."

Whatever I decide to do, I'll be certain to share.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Lysol, Thieves, and a Cottage Porch

Warning: Do not enter this blog without Lysol! It's true, I've officially had whatever-it-is for 39 days. It's a frustrating cold/flu because just when it seems that it's on the mend, back it comes again. Must be something that I'm supposed to be learning. Anyway, I know that I am not the only one dealing with whatever-it-is so I'm curious enough to ask if you or someone you know has been likewise sidetracked this winter. Let me know! I'm hoping to submit an entry on helpful tips and comfort recipes.

Okay, on with the real entry...

Isn't this a charming space? This photo comes from an article titled The English Gardener Moves Indoors: An English Cottage in Colorado. It's located on a newsletter called Front Range Living by Niki Hayden. She writes a lot of terrific articles on home and gardening, which you should be able to access by clicking on the link provided above.

A friend called me this morning and hearing my voice decided that I was desperately in need of something called "Thieves" an essential oil made of clove, lemon, cinnamon, rosemary, and eucalyptus. It has just arrived on my door handle (I wouldn't let my friend in) with a story about the Bubonic Plague and gypsies and how gypsies weren't affected by the plague because they used this combination of oils on their feet. The mere mention of "Bubonic Plague" made me laugh. I know this whatever-it-is is baaadddddd, but that bad? Anyway, I'm willing to give anything a try. I'd go to the doctor, but both my mother and grandmother have been on a course of antibiotic and it hasn't done a thing to help.

Stay healthy, everyone!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

For Tuesday

I Believe

I believe that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I believe that no matter how good a friend is, she's going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive her for that.

I believe that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I believe that you can do something in an instant that will give you a heartache for life.

I believe that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I believe that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I believe that you can keep going, long after you can't.

I believe that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I believe that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I believe that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I believe that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I believe that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I believe that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I believe that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I believe that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

I believe that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I believe that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I believe that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I believe that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I believe that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I believe that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I believe that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I believe that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you you will find the strength to help.

I believe that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I believe that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

And I believe in true friendship, for I believe in you!

Source: Blessings for Life.com

Monday, February 4, 2008

Thinking About Valentine's Day

* It's time to think about Valentine's Day. Yes. It is.

Nothing was more magical or lovely than Valentine's Day when I was growing up...my favorite childhood holiday right after Christmas and Easter. I adored the schoolroom projects and the way our heart mobiles floated from the ceiling. Making a Valentine's box was so much joy that my little heart nearly burst with the thrill of it all.

But somewhere along the way I lost my enthusiasm for Valentine's Day. Yup, it became another chore. Maybe I lost the love for glue on my fingers, glitter in my hair, and red construction paper messes. Actually, that is exactly the case now that I'm thinking about it. Lots of things became a chore for me when I no longer enjoyed the mess that they inevitably involved. Wow! A revelation in paragraph three. No wonder I hate to cook. (I can cook. I just don't like it much.)

So you may be surprised to know that I am in the middle of big messes attempting to create the most fantastic Valentine ever for my grandmother. My grandmother is appalled by my lack of delight for such a fantastic holiday. She loves Valentine's Day, has always shopped carefully for the perfect cards, and the perfect treats. One could always count on Nan on February 14!

This new-found urge to create is attributed to all those bloggers who scrap and create art from bits of lace, old buttons, a scrap of paper or two, and imagination. I've had to kick start my imagination, but I'm trying...I'm really trying.

So while the sheet music is soaking in coffee, I'll head off to find some lace, buttons, paper, inspiration, and joy.

* P.S. This vintage Valentine floated down from the rafters last October in the middle of construction.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come. ~Robert H. Schuller

Imagine a green valley with storm clouds threatening.

photo source leaving the original photo source as you may enjoy seeing the hiking photos

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." ~ Isaiah 30:21

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Jammie Days

Yesterday's storm brought more ice than snow. Today the sun is shining brightly and everywhere one looks the world is shimmering like crystals on a chandelier. Looking up is the best way to enjoy the day because the ground below is treacherous. To paraphrase something E.B. White once said it's a beautiful day above.



Yesterday was spent in quiet pursuits: computer time, reading time, a nap. It was a jammie day. If it's true that one's clothes tell more than one's words, I'd hate to think what yesterday's outfit said about me.

I'll tell you what I said about it: Who dressed me last night? I'd like to say, in my own defense, that I was terribly weary, but still somewhat concerned about coordinating colors even if I wasn't too concerned about mixing stripes and plaids.

Even though I'm not enjoying a jammie day today, it'll be all quiet at the wee house where I plan to spend some time finishing this book...

A pleasant and relaxing Saturday to all!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Little Changes

Anyone remember Lynette Jennings? She used to have a show on the Discovery Channel in the 90s; here's her picture.

If you don't remember her, perhaps you'll remember that shirt! She wore it on nearly every show whenever she was about to get into a big mess. It might've been painting, carpentry, gardening or whatever, she had a hand in it all.

I was remembering Lynette...gosh, I miss her...while I was working on switching those rustic items out of my bathroom. (See January 25) Lynette taught me how to spray paint using a box. Before that, I'd just let the paint fly all over kingdom come.

Okay, backing up a bit. Everywhere I read these days, bloggers are explaining how to repurpose items. I needed to get those rustic decorative items off the bathroom wall because they just didn't work with the vintage mirrors, but I didn' want to leave the wall empty. I like stuff; I'm a lousy minimalist. I wished that I had some little frames that I could use. Wait! I did have some little frames that I could use...right out in the boxes waiting to go to Goodwill. (Sometimes FlyLady can goad me too much in the releasing junk department.)

So I rescued them, removed the faded Currier and Ives prints,

painted them (see above),

and replaced them with cut up calendar pictures.

I like them a lot. Here they are where the rustic items used to be...

Edited to Add: OOps, forgot one...

Not perfect, but better.

Next project is vintage tablecloth curtains...some day!

Lynette Jennings Picture Source link broken, but photo being allowed to stand for obvious reasons

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Is Bilbo Baggins Home?

The oil delivery was yesterday. What was I saying about holding my breath? Now I need to get out my long johns! ;>

So the cost of the oil delivery encouraged me to do a little research on energy efficient homes. I never thought I'd find anything like the one you see above, though. It is a real home somewhere in Wales where real people, not Hobbits, live. It has a certain charm, don't you think? Do you think that you could live there? I'm beginning to think that I could.

Here are a few reasons for living in such a dwelling: one saves up to eighty per cent of the energy costs because the home is cooler in summer and warmer in winter; they are low maintainance for a number of reasons including that the water lines will never freeze; they're safe...tornadoes blow right over; and for more interesting reasons follow this link.

Here's an article called Bag End (Hobbit Houses) that you might also find of interest. To find more about the picture source, read this article titled A Low Impact Woodland Home.

Just something to think about...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Organizing a Life

Kits are wonderful ways to organize. I've been using the concept for a few years now and I can honestly say that it makes a big difference in how organized and well the home is maintained. I have had kits for everything and anything you can imagine, except for one, which I'll tell you about in just a minute. Even baking/cooking items are kept in baskets. It's wonderful to lift a basket from the cupboard knowing that everything I could possibly need for baking will be in there. I hate digging around for the can of baking powder.

This is a picture of what's behind the apron closet door. You'll be simply fascinated, I know.

Everything stays more or less organized. If it doesn't fit in this closet, it is stored on some basement shelves and I just refill the baskets from there. If you're not already doing something like this, try it, you'll impress yourself!

You'd think that with a system like mine, I would already have come up with the following idea, but, noooo, this idea comes directly from Brenda at Coffee Tea Books and Me where she describes creating a basket in order to keep her Bible, devotional readings, a pen and notebook, etc., at hand. Lightbulbs went off reading her words. I could do that; I should do that.

So that's the picture of my new basket with the items I've gathered. There is one that makes me grin—Living Sucessfully With Screwed-Up People by Elizabeth B. Brown. Why? I live alone. Living alone doesn't change the fact that I'm going to finish reading that book...lots of good concepts in there. A new Uniball Vision Elite pen and an empty journal with a picture of a black cat leaping over an alley from a rooftop to a fire escape were added. The leaping cat was so apropos given my current situation of holding-my-breath living.

Just another reason why I love bloggers. They spark me to try things I'd never thought of; they stretch my thinking; they inspire me. Now I'll just be off to see what God can do. ;>

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Little Apron Picture Story...

What a day brightener a new apron can be! For clearer pictures of my beautiful oo-la-la apron, see here on January 18. Thank you, Zanne! It is even more lovely than I imagined. And, as you can see, it fits! Now what will I do? I really think it looks so at home with the others; although, they must all be jealous. ;>

Some time ago now, sweet Robin presented me with this award: (If you're like me and not quite certain what bodacious means, click here.) Yes, I thought bodacious meant Rubenesque and, as you can see, I qualify! (BTW, Bodacious does not equal Rubenesque.) Thanks, Robin, and even more so now that I know you're not calling me names!! ;>

Now I'm passing this award on to three beautiful bloggers who truly are audacious:

Kari@Just Livin' Large

CC@Six Months of Settled

Zanne of At Home With the Farmer's Wife

Monday, January 28, 2008


Tidying up loose ends here by returning to the humble house tour. I believe that I was going to show you the office and the bedroom. This won't take long so don't run off now.

Here's my office. It's disgusting. I can't keep it organized no matter what I do. Apparently, even my family is concerned since I receive lots of little gadgets and helps for office tidying whenever my birthday or Christmas rolls around.

What's up with that chair? Yes, I can see that you're all wondering. Well, I do have a beautiful chair for the desk, but it is the least ergonomically correct chair ever, much worse than the wicker one that you see there. So here's the beautiful chair serving its new purpose...holding LLBean bags and such.

The next photo is of the office of my dreams. I think you'll be surprised on two points: The first is that it isn't tidy either and the second is that it is not yellow. It must be all those books I love or maybe I really do enjoy chaos. No, it's the white woodwork again! I'm sure of it!

In my hometown, a large Edwardian home with a turret and a carriage house sits on a corner lot. When I was growing up, I always wanted a tour. Lucky for me, friends of mine bought the house and I did eventually get "the tour." I was disappointed to find that the turret room served as a storage room. I always wanted to see it used as a master suite. So, if I ever have the opportunity to own a house with a turret, hahaha, I want my bedroom to look like this...

Not so long ago, I posted a photo of my own bedroom here on December 30...look for a sleepy cat.

And so that ends the humble house tour. When I actually attempt the wonderful suggestions and tips that so many offered, I'll be sure to show you how it turned out.

Happy Monday!

Edited to Add: This was in the early days of blogging and I am appalled that I made no attempt to document sources. Nevertheless, I am making the decision to allow it to stand. I now know that Google Images sends out a "ping" representing every time an image is taken. All the owner has to do is follow the source. It's probably time consuming, but I've not heard from the owners of either of these fine photographs. If I ever do, I'll link properly or remove as the case may be. My apologies for my early ignorance.