Sunday, March 9, 2008

I Boast not of Works nor Tell of Good Deeds...

I Will Glory in the Cross 
I boast not of works nor tell of good deeds
For naught have I done to merit His grace 
All glory and praise shall rest upon Him 
So willing to die in my place 
 I will glory in the cross, in the cross 
Lest his suffering all be in vain 
I will weep no more for the cross that He bore 
I will glory in the cross 
My trophies and crowns, my robes stained with sin 
Were all that I had to lay at His feet 
Unworthy to feast from the table of life 
'Till God made provision for me 
I will glory in the cross, in the cross 
Lest his suffering all be in vain 
I will weep no more for the cross that He bore 
I will glory in the cross 
Bridge: In the cross, in the cross Be my glory 'ever 
I will weep no more for the cross that He bore 
I will glory, I will glory, I will glory in the cross
~Dottie Rambo



Ephesians 2:14-16a For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross...

Clicking on the words to the song will take you to a You Tube clip of Allison Durham Speer singing "I Will Glory in the Cross."

Jerusalem Crown of Thorns Source

Have an excellent Sunday! How's the time change treating you so far? (Five hours of sleep here...ackkkk!)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Snowbanks and Stuff

As promised, here's this week's snowbank. Please contain yourselves...this IS something!



If you'd like to compare: last week's snowbank.

Inside looking out picture window (located directly behind my computer)...



Outside looking back toward the picture window...



Now I'm off for my second cup of coffee and to visit all of you. Oh, meant to say that all of your questions shall be answered when I know myself. I don't mean to be vague on purpose; I simply don't know the answers yet. As for the gloves, keep your eyes peeled.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Don't Tell Melissa

...that I've posted twice in one day! :D

Everything was fine when I got home. Only the pile of things that I had gathered was gone with the exception of bedroom items that don't matter at all to me.

Miss Sandy, you're so sweet for offering me grapefruit spoons! I won't need them unless I actually do start a B&B (old joke) because I found some at TJMaxx this morning. Yay! I also purchased two iced tea spoons.

Golly, I had forgotten how much fun shopping can be...I even had a good time shopping in the Dollar Store, which is unheard of for me. If you watch Martha Stewart, you know where those workgloves are heading.

Here are my treasures...



It was so tempting to buy books today. I actually had The Glass Castle and The Time Traveler's Wife in my hot little hands for at least thirty seconds before putting them back keeping only this issue of Victoria.

Hope that you'll all tune in tomorrow for the second spring posting of the snow pile.

Interesting Day

It's going to be an interesting day here, folks. I am vacating the premises (not permanently...yet) for several hours while my sister and her beloved clear the house of the things they want.

This leaves me wondering what I'll come home to.

I tried to get my sister to be specific just so I could prepare myself and think around whatever gap will be left. Probably things will be just fine; although, I am going to miss those grapefruit spoons terribly. Just to clarify, the things that she'll be taking are her own and she has every right to take them.

As far as I can tell, this is the list:

desk
bed
silverware (Thankfully, I have my own set.)
rug shampooer
popcorn popper (Whirlypop...these things are great!)
odd and sundry decorative items
measuring spoons (the good ones)
measuring cups (the good ones)
wallpaper rolls


So what to do this morning instead of visit all of you. Oh! I know! I'll shop for some good measuring spoons and measuring cups.

Edited to add: This post needed brightening: Create a Flower Garden with a click of the Mouse

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bird Nest Kits



Do you see the nest in the bottom of the apothecary jar? This little nest is so beautifully made. Can you see the blue string and the hair that swirls around the bottom making a soft bed? (Clicking on the picture will help a little.)

After all this sewing, I have lots of bits and pieces of thread and cloth to share with the birds. I've been saving onion bags for a while now and dryer lint, too. I plan to make a few nest kits for the birds. It's not time here to set them out, but if robins are busy in your corner, perhaps you'd like to gather some building materials and help them with their task. Children love this activity as well.

Here's a helpful article about Favorite Nesting Materials of Wild Birds.

Yesterday, Miss Sandy @ Quill Cottage treated me to a review of spring called Let's Play a Game. It's a treasure...go enjoy!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bargains and Bits

Melissa might be proud of me today. I decided last night that I would purposely not crank up the computer until noonish. For a while there I thought that I'd go bonkers; you know how it is when there's an upset in routine.

My morning was spent quietly listening to the sleet hit the windows while I watched Martha Stewart and then The View. I was listening more than watching since I was also busily organizing my recipe notebook. Notes were added to each recipe and they were all placed into plastic liners. Fifty liners were not enough! So I'll have another morning of finishing that chore the next time I pick up another package.

Yesterday, I went shopping at two much-loved flea markets in my area. I wandered all through the first without finding a thing, but I had no sooner stepped through the door of the second when I found two items very reasonably priced. The first you'll recognize as I featured it not so long ago.



It's in ever so much better condition than my grandmother's piece. Obviously, Nan has played "Feather Your Nest" often. Perhaps this selection is not so rare as I first believed...the price was two dollars. (I'm chuckling here.)

Also found these...



One can't have enough custard cups, in my opinion, and these are vintage Fire King. (BTW, Zanne, Fire King is the answer to the question that you had about the green jadite bowls atop the refrigerator in that vintage kitchen back along.) And the price was right...ten dollars for four with forty per cent off. Can't beat that!

Here's how the dishtowel turned out...quite simple, but I'm pleased with it.



I promise that this is the last pincushion that I'll show you...maybe "promise" is too strong a word. This is for my niece whose favorite color is yellow just like mine. It's made from a yellow bandana...ninety-seven cents!



Lastly, on a personal family note, my baby grandson took his first step a few days ago and promptly sat down without trying again. Yesterday, to everyone's surprise, he took off walking for real. Here's proof!



Enjoy your Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Perceptions

GrandCentral: receive calls and post voicemail with your blog

Hmmm, wonder if Blogger is getting a lot of buzz about that one. I'm trying to imagine who in the world would want that service; obviously, someone who isn't trying to hide on the World Wide Web. ;>

Last night around 10, I discovered, via my tracker, that my niece had very cleverly used a few key words and was now sitting on my blog having reviewed umpteen pages. I called and left a message to please call me back, which she did.

"Whatcha doing?" asks I.

"Nothing, I'm on the internet," says she.

"Yes, you're on my blog!" (Subtle, eh?)

A little nervous chuckle, "I'm just looking at the pictures. It's pretty Martha Stewart...really kinda dull."

"That's right, nothing for you to see there so move along."

"You can see me?"

And that was when I was very grateful for my tracker. Not only could I "see" her, I knew the words she used to find me. I shared them. She was properly awed.

Oh, btw, just so this is on the front page now and not in comments, my niece took the photo that I am using in my header. Phew! One less thing on my mind to feel guilty over.

So now I have joined all of you who share freely with your families, read one another's blogs, and have a sense of connectedness with your own communities. Except that I'd hoped that it would never happen.

All this leads me to a discussion about perception. Yes, I am a deep thinker. LOL!

We sometimes feel as if things are one way when they are not. Feelings and truths are rarely one. For example, I took this photo when I saw that the reflection in the mirror was pleasing:



It is pleasing, but very little of it is based in reality. There are reflections that cause one to wonder exactly how many books, plants there are. The colors have been enhanced and the quality of the light isn't exactly as it was.

I remember a lecture where the professor shared that no one knows how he or she is perceived in this world because we never see ourselves as we are. Of all the people that we see in dimensional ways, the one we never see is our own person. "Even mirrors are very little help to us," he said.

That's when I stopped taking notes and really started to listen. Thankfully, someone asked why. So we got an interesting piece of information that day. All mirrors are distortions. When we see ourselves we are not seeing our entire mass. We are less.

Every woman in the class woke up then.

Less?!!

The professor continued to explain that we could try this for ourselves: look at our faces in a mirror and draw a line across the top point of our heads and the bottom line of our chins right there on the glass...step back and see how far apart those two lines are and decide whether your head could possibly be that small.

It was a very interesting discussion. It was a very interesting experiment.

What's my point? Not sure exactly other than to say that sometimes we think that we are hiding when we're not, that we believe we're writing fascinating things and we're not (if nieces are to be believed), and that things are not just exactly as they seem.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Where I Get Crafty

Did you all have a wonderful weekend? From what I could tell in my wanderings in Blogdom, I believe so!

Last Friday, I was gearing up for a snowy Saturday, which happened, folks, but enough of that. All sorts of ideas for spending the day were tumbling about in my head. Today, I am happy to report that a few of them spilled out to reality. (You can't imagine how often that does NOT happen.)

The first thing was working on more dishtowels. Birthdays are coming up and I am resorting to homemade gifts. I always use Martha Stewart's flour sack dish towels from K-Mart for these projects, but this time, after seeing how Alicia at Posie Gets Cozy (February 21) was creating her own bias tape for dishtowel edges, I decided to do the same thing. I purchased the binding tute and the material and had a lot of fun creating tape for myself. Alicia gives most excellent instructions!

I also spent some time gazing at Zanne's excellent handiwork on my oo-la-la apron. So between both sites and having the apron in hand, success!



Because I was using premade dishtowels, I did have to remove one finished edge so that the excess bulk would be gone; stitching was impossible otherwise. Don't ask me how I found that out or at what hour. (I only removed one edge because I'm only taping one edge.)

In the middle of all that, I realized my urgent need for a pincushion. Soooo, using WHIPUP's wonderful directions, I was able to make one for myself very quickly out of a vintage tablecloth remnant.



Do you see that doll maker's needle? Sure came in handy for this project. Also, please note how the needle is threaded. Here's a little secret for you...shhhhh, don't tell a soul...one can sew without ever having a knot or a tail. See what I mean right here at Bella Dia's No Knot, No Tail.

Last night, in the middle of all these big doings, my niece pops in to invite me out to supper. Naturally, she was curious about the mess on the dining room table. So she discovered her birthday gift a bit early and requested a redwork rooster for her dishtowel. None of my embroidery sites offered quite what we wanted so I thought that I might find one in a coloring book...good suggestion, by the way, for embroidery ideas. I found what I was looking for right here online.



Those patio door grids come in handy and these directions from PatternBee.



Thanks for looking and let me know if you try any of these things. I love to see what you're all up to, too!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

New Life

Christians are continually trying to change their lives, but God calls us to experience an exchanged life. Christianity is not a self-improvement program. It isn't a reformation project. It is resurrection! It is new life!

~Bob George



And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power...to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17–19)

Photo Source

Saturday, March 1, 2008

An Award and the Page 123 Meme

BumbleVee has honored me with the "You Make My Day Award." Thank you! It's lovely to know that I made your day, Vee.

Often I wonder about these awards. I love to receive them and find it challenging to give them. Does that reflect a selfish spirit? Yes, it must. (Perhaps that's why I like the movie Lost April so well because its theme is selfishness versus generosity.) Anyway, I am certain that all those who received Oscars last Sunday evening did not stand at the podium wondering to whom they could pass it along. ;> So this one will rest here for a bit while I ponder where it should go. As always, it could go to every blogger on my list since you all make my day.

A Woman Who Is challenged me to the Page 123 Meme. It looks like fun!

Rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123.
3. Find the first 5 sentences.
4. Post the next 3 sentences.
5. Tag 5 people. (Or, as I am going to do, multiply by eight and add two, which means that anyone on my blogroll who would like to do this one day can consider herself officially challenged.)

The book is Classic Christianity by Bob George:

The subject is law and grace. I have found that very few Christians are familiar with this topic. Those that have heard of law and grace tend to put it into the category of a stale theological subject.


Now that's pretty dry stuff for a book that I will finish today and start reading over again tomorrow. And when I finish it the next time, I will pick it up again and do the same thing. This book is incredible! The subtitle is "Life's Too Short to Miss the Real Thing." I have been in extreme danger of missing the real thing for way too long. Look for the March quote of the month from this book that will be/is a lot more interesting.

Confectioner's sugar snow falling today...I heard the sleet pinging off the windows last night so I am glad that it has switched to this. Gosh, when did my blog become a weather report?!



This is the snow mountain at the end of my driveway. Maybe I should document the melting progress of same...check in next Saturday for another riveting photo of it.

A relaxing Saturday to one and all!

Friday, February 29, 2008

My Dorothy Moment


Do you ever experience a Dorothy moment? You remember Dorothy from The Wizard of OZ who could have gone home to Kansas at any time IF she had only realized the power of the ruby red slippers? Yeah, her.


Look who has flowers in her own home after all that complaining of yesterday! Me! Lots of them! Yes, there is one terribly confused Christmas cactus blooming by the patio door. It is not my plant; it belongs to my sister who has yet to reclaim it. The cactus has grown from a piece of my sister's first mother-in-law's mother's plant. (Got that? ;> ) It used to live in a south corner window above my sister's sink where it was very happy. When my sister moved here during another cold February, that plant bloomed like crazy. It must have been the shock of it all. I had no other place for it save a northeast window where it has survived, but not thrived sending out a few sparse blooms some years and skipping others altogether. I guess that all it has needed is a south window because I've not seen this many flowers on it in a very long time.


Happy Leap Day!


Thursday, February 28, 2008

In Need of a Flower Ministry



Last Summer at Pemaquid Point


Between My Country—and the Others—
There is a Sea—
But Flowers—negotiate between us—
As Ministry.

~Emily Dickinson


Are flowers blooming in your world? They're not in mine; I so need a flower ministry. Fortunately, all over Blogdom, flowers are in bloom. If you have blooming flowers, hope that you'll share — often!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Nothing and Everything



This was the scene out my bedroom window this morning. Aren't I smart for remembering to take the camera upstairs? ;>

And this was a little chickadee just as the storm started to crank up yesterday afternoon. My goodness! Chickadees are as much of a challenge as the moon!



I've been thinking of birds, birdhouses, and nests a lot apparently, if my picture file is any indication. Here's the cutest idea for a birdhouse ever. It is from Zipper Gifts. com.



Literary Birdhouse (in Kids' Section)


There are a few children's books about that are no good for reading anymore, but perhaps I could figure out how to create one of these. Hmmmm, something to ponder.

***

This explains E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. If you have a few minutes to spare, you can see what I mean.

Tale of Two Brains (YouTube)

Enjoy a laugh or two!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Storm Antidote

Antidote: 1. A remedy or other agent used to neutralize or counteract the effects of a poison.


And that's just how the news of storms feels to me now—like poison. Another snowstorm is brewing and will be here by evening, then another Friday, and another the following Monday. It's enough to make a gal ill.


Fortunately, I can pull a Mary and post what I want and not what I have...




I'm off to join half of the county as we forage for food and gasoline. Then an afternoon of Nana sitting and then I'll be visiting blogs this evening. Enjoy your day!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Blog Survey at Bella Pink

Tara is conducting a Blog survey over at Bella Pink (now Bella Cafe) for anyone who might be interested in participating in a questionnaire about what you like/don't like about blogs. I did. It's anonymous. The more who participate, the more accurate the findings. This should prove interesting! Apparently, the survey will be divided into two parts so keep checking back.

Then, in case you're interested in taking little quizzes today, here's another touted as Dr. Phil's Personality Test.

Disclaimer: This is not actually Dr. Phil's Personality Test, but it's fun all the same.

I'm recuperating from a late-night birthday party so I'll wander off now and get busy with my day...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Best is Yet to Be

A woman is as old as she looks before breakfast.

~ Ed Howe




There is always a lot to be thankful for, if you take the time to look. For example, I'm sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt. ~Author Unknown

Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all you who remain of the house of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since you were conceived,
and have carried since your birth.

Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you
.

~ Isaiah 46:3&4 NIV

Off to get some breakfast...



Saturday, February 23, 2008

Semi-Success

Whatever my fascination with the moon has been lately, I have finally achieved a photo where the moon appears sorta round. Something about the way the clouds were flitting across the moon's face last night made me want to try capturing it again. Although not quite successful, I am doing better. This semi-success was achieved on the auto setting with the ISO on automatic as well while the camera rested on the window sash and my left hand steadied the camera and my right pointer finger pushed the button...just in case you're all wondering. :>

After I had bragged at several blogs that the snow was slipping off to sea south of my corner of the world, it snowed five inches. It snowed the most amazing Ivory soap flakes sort of snow, which normally would've been easy to deal with, but because the snowbanks are so high, there's no place left to plow nor to shovel. I had to scoop it all into a pile and then use the snowblower to blow it up and over the snowbank. Bother! But it could've been worse...heavy wet snow would've been terrible.

Off to do my Saturday chores...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Snow Moon, Feather Your Nest, and a Mwah

It happened again with the moon last night — reflecting its pale light so intensely in my room that I awoke. I tried again to photograph it and, as with most things that I attempt at 4:20 am, it didn't work out. ;>

I did read a lot about taking moon shots and what I read frightened me. Some of the articles are soooo technical. Ackkkk! Several articles say that one must have a tripod AND a remote click because even the pushing of the button will cause such a vibration that the photo will be distorted. Sigh. I don't need a moon shot fit for National Geographic; I just want to capture the moon as it shines through the birches on the knoll behind my house. Why does it have to be so complicated?

So, for any of you who might be interested, I did find *this article*, which is less complicated and suggests a way to overcome the lack of a tripod.

***



Yesterday afternoon, my grandmother decided to play the piano for a bit and I pulled out some of her sheet music collection. When I saw the one above, I'll bet you can guess which two bloggers I thought of. I've since checked online and I can't find any vintage sheet music that exactly matches this cover with Anna Chandler the featured young lovely on the lower right corner.



The name, written in an old-fashioned hand, is "Cornelia Adair." Isn't that a terrific name? I am imagining a heroine of some romantic novel... She was actually the young woman who at 25 found herself orphaned and sold her parents' home to my grandparents. Cornelia left her piano and a large selection of sheet music behind for which my grandmother has always been grateful.

***

Sandi of Holding Patterns has given me this Mwah...right back atcha, too, Sandi! I've visited around looking for the rules. Not sure exactly what they are, once again, but something about presenting it to ten, which as you know means that I plan to divide that by two and subtract three or whatever my formula has been.

So I am passing this award along to two gals whom I adore and who could use a Mwah:

Vickie @ Sand Flat Farm
and http://quillcottage.blogspot.com/.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Moon, Banana Bread, and Poetry ;>

Did the moon wake you last night?

The moon woke me. The bedroom was bathed in cool light, which means that I need some blinds. I even took a picture. Since the taking of the picture floated back to me through fog so thick that I would be doing well to remember my name this morning, I was surprised to find that the moon is actually in the shot. Bad shot. In fact, there are two points of light...one must be the flash reflecting from the glass, and the other a nondescript, tiny orb way up high. I should read up on taking photos of the moon. I didn't even attempt to take a photo of the eclipse; although, I did see it and marveled at its beauty.

***
Late yesterday afternoon I baked a Banana Yogurt Bread and, just like clockwork, I had a call from a friend who asked if the coffee pot was on. We enjoyed a pleasant time visiting, but the bread seemed to take forever to bake. I've adjusted the recipe accordingly.




Ingredients:

* ¾ cup Canola oil

* 1½ cups sugar

* 2 eggs

* 1 TBS vanilla

* 1 cup plain yogurt

* 2 or 3 ripe bananas mashed

* ½ tsp salt

* 2 cups King Arthur flour (unbleached, unbromated)

* ½ tsp baking soda (NOT baking powder as you see in the pic)

Method:

Mix the first 5 ingredients until smooth adding the mashed bananas last and stirring in.

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and stir well before adding to the first mixture. Stir until just blended. Do NOT overmix.

Place in a large loaf pan filling two-thirds full and bake @ 350° for an hour or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out to cooling rack.

Printable Recipe









It's so cold today after much milder temperatures earlier in the week. A friend emailed me this little poem a few days ago. I attempted to track it down; apparently, it's a forward and any state/province can be plugged in. Let's see, shall we?

Michigan (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Montana, Manitoba,) Poem

It's winter here in Michigan (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Montana, Manitoba)
And the gentle breezes blow
Seventy miles an hour
At twenty-five below!


Oh, how I love dear Michigan (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Montana, Manitoba)
When the snow's up to your butt
You take a breath of winter
And your nose gets frozen shut.


Yes, the weather here is wonderful
So I guess I'll hang around
I could never leave my Michigan
(New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Montana, Manitoba)
'Cause I'm frozen to the ground!!

Have a wonderful Thursday and don't forget, LOST fans, tonight's our night!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Guilty Pleasures

Are we living balanced and beautiful lives? Melissa@The Inspired Room has raised this thought-provoking question right here on February 19th's post. It hearkens back to former discussions about what makes a beautiful home. Melissa believes that a beautiful life comes before a beautiful home and that that beautiful life is then reflected in the home. I'm not going to attempt to speak for Melissa because she speaks to this issue far more eloquently than I ever could, but just because the discussion is valuable and timely, I hope that you will read it for yourselves and join in the conversation.

Gosh, and I thought this post was going to be all about this guilty pleasure:



Kraft spaghetti suppers take me back to 1965 faster than a time machine. Like many other moms, mine was grocery shopping on Friday evenings trying to beat the Saturday morning rush. My dad was usually on the road; he was a professional bus driver and his job took him on lots of tours across the country. (I only mention this because there is no way that a spaghetti supper straight from the box would have been acceptable if he had been home.)

How exciting it was to haul in the grocery bags, unload them, and find that little box. It was our pizza, I guess.

Friday evenings also meant watching The Wild Wild West (1965–1969) with Robert Conrad. Remember him?



Ahhh, yes, the good old days when good prevailed over evil, Kraft spaghetti suppers were all a kid could ever want, and I was living a beautiful, balanced life.

Wild Wild West photo source (as it is impossible to track this poster to its origins, I am making the choice to allow it to stand)

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

Peace

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)

DB