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 The week before it was Prior to that, it was 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)