Saturday, March 29, 2008

Snowbank and Silhouettes

Despite six inches of new snow in the past two days, I think things are looking up. How can I tell? The neighbors' discarded Christmas tree is showing up very nicely; it used to be buried. Wonder if I'll have to haul that off for them again this year???

This was my project for the morning.

The silhouettes that I did years ago of my nieces for a Mother's Day gift to their mom were faded and ratty looking. My hope was that they could be rescued with PAINT and/or Photoshop. I'm not too adept with either program, but I think they'll look better once they are trimmed and returned to the wee frames. That should be loads of fun for a Saturday afternoon. ;>

Hope yours is great, too!

Edited to Add: That wasn't too difficult, after all.



Friday, March 28, 2008

OOps, I Forgot to Say...

On March 26, when I was posting about important things like M&Ms, I forgot to mention that that post was my 200th. Last week I was carefully watching the tally; this week I didn't even think about it until this morning.

That's okay...better late than never. I work fast so this is the deal: Please leave a comment on this post. All those who do will be entered into a drawing and will be eligible for a little gift from me. It's not a big gift; not an exciting gift, just a remembrance and a way to say thank you for reading this blog.

Monday morning, I'll reveal the winner and we'll go from there.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Great-Aunt Susie

If you left me a comment yesterday, I hope that you'll check there again. You gals are so much fun!

My Boston niece bought me Anne Lamott's book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life as a birthday gift. Naturally, because I enjoy muddling my head with a lot of varying thoughts and opinions, I hauled out Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft and am reading them both. Actually, these two writers think a lot alike.

Even if you never hope to write more than a letter, these books are great fun...also irreverent...also trash mouthy...also brilliant. There'll be moments when you throw back your head and guffaw, moments when you'll feel inspired, and moments when you'll know for a fact that it's all beyond you. Apparently, it's all beyond both of them, too.

Lamott's description of writer's block: sit staring at your blank page like a cadaver, feeling your mind congeal, feeling your talent run down your leg and into your sock.

Isn't that rich with simile and metaphor? That's writing!

Soooo, I've been commissioned to write a historical novel. Does it matter that I've been commissioned to write it by my own family? "The story must be told," my grandmother tells me emphatically. This makes me feel sorry that I'm such a deadbeat because Nan's 98 and it's unlikely that I'm going to pull this "masterpiece" together for her in time.

What is Nan so eager for me to tell? It's the story of her great-aunt Susie, an amazingly beautiful woman in her time who fell in love with John Jacob Astor (think Titanic) and he with her, if I am to believe the story. Sadly, or perhaps not, the romance didn't go quite as planned. Susie didn't meet Mr. Astor's mother's standards. Still, their romance left Aunt Susie independently wealthy at just twenty years of age.

I've spent years thinking about this...looking at Susie's letters, her journals, her photographs. I had always been told that there was a fortune somewhere (does every family have this sort of fairytale?) if one could only find it. What I found instead was that Susie died a pauper with her grand home falling down about her ears and that life's difficulties left her a self-absorbed, bitter woman. Guess life can do that if your one true love is lost and your only child...a daughter...falls off a swing, hits her head on a tree root, and dies in your arms when she is just seventeen.

I need to go watch a comedy!

photo source

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ten Weird, Random Facts or Habits

Minnesota Kathi @ Lavender, Lace and Thyme tagged me on March 22 with the Ten Weird, Random Facts or Habits meme. She says that she wants to know more about me. I find this amusing and flattering all at the same time. Oh well, here's for you, Kathi. (Kathi needs a little pick-me-up since her brother fell while shoveling heavy, wet snow and broke his arm!)

Here are the rules: Once tagged, you are to write a post listing ten weird, random facts or habits about yourself. Then you find 5 people to tag. Not only do you list them at the end of the post, you have to tell why you chose them. Next, you must leave a "You've been tagged" comment on their blog. They'll come back to read the details. Once these good people have posted their list, they must remember to let you know. One good thing - they can't tag you back!

1. M&Ms are impossible for me to resist. If I see them, I must have them. These pastel shades for Easter are especially nice.

2. I play with my M&Ms sorting them by color or by arranging them into stick figures.

3. Oddly enough, I think that brown M&Ms taste better than any of the other candy shell colors.

4. For a brief moment, I thought that the above photo proved that I had won a major prize. Don't ask!

5. I really don't think that M&Ms are the best-tasting candy...Lindt chocolate is.

There! That took care of the first five... ;>

6. I never eat cooked vegetables; the one two exception exceptions is are corn and potatoes.
(Thanks, Kari, for keeping me honest!)

7. I love to clean because cleaning equals instant results.

8. If I couldn't fail, I'd open a tearoom.

9. I read three or four books simultaneously...not at the same moment of time, but in the same period of time.

10. Memes are especially difficult for me because I think of myself as being as dull as dirt.

As a notorious rule-breaker, I'm not tagging anyone today. BUT, if you decide to do this meme, please let me know! While I find it a challenge to do them, I adore reading them.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Time for Litera-Tea

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.~Bernard-Paul Heroux

This week's installment for the Tea Blogathon is all about literature and tea. The particulars can be discovered at Gracious Hospitality.

Today's selections come from two books that are being closely linked in literary circles because of similar themes. Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale is a masterful first novel and I can not recommend it highly enough. You will love it most especially if you ever loved reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

Descriptions of the healing or restorative powers of tea always appeal to me...hence my selections.

When she found him, she raised him from the ground. He leaned heavily upon her as she led him with tender care to the kitchen and sat him in a chair. She made tea, sweet and hot, and he stared, unseeing, into space. Without a word, holding the cup to his lips, she tilted sips of the scalding liquid into his mouth. At last his eyes sought hers, and when she saw the loss in them, she felt her own tears spring up. ~from The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

I had now swallowed my tea. I was mightily refreshed by the beverage; as much so as a giant with wine: it gave new tone to my unstrung nerves, and enabled me to... ~from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Morning After

What a lovely, busy day yesterday was!

When I should have been preparing Easter dinner, I was taking pictures of my neighbor Libby to share with you. Here she is standing on the back snowbank.

The snow bankings are so high that Libby has free reign over the neighborhood for no fence constrains her.

Then another sight caught my eye, not an altogether welcome one at that...

Yes, while some of you have eagles, I have my turkey vultures. I know that my profile says "buzzards" but that's incorrect. They're vultures all right. Still, they know how to soar and swoop and they even have some people tricked into thinking that they are eagles. Old people. People with bad eyesight. People in denial. ;D

I spent most of the afternoon after dinner with the camera around my neck at the ready. Grandsons grow too fast! After 25,499 shots, this is mostly what I came up with. Grandsons in helicopter mode.

But, at last, something that comes closer to working...

and just in time!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Resurrection Sunday

He is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed!!