Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday. Monday.. Monday...

Howdy! Hope that everyone had a fantastic weekend! I'm beginning this post with my weekend project and ending it with a photo montage of my weekend.



This is my favorite apron because it's comfortable and roomy fitting my ample figure and it is lined. The lined part works well because I am a messy cook. I do wish that it had a pocket and am thinking of adding one. So, this was a gift from a student whose mom made it over twenty years ago. It's held up very well. It isn't my prettiest apron, my oohh-la-la is the prettiest, but it sure gets worn a lot.

I've never made an apron before, but it seemed like time.












And the finished apron joins the chorus line...



The table posies (yellow mums) are a gift from my son and daughter-in-law. They also gave me a gift certificate to the bookstore.

These yellow tulips are a gift from my niece...



And this beautiful picture is a gift from my daughter. She's a sneaky one taking me out for supper on Friday evening and listening very carefully as I oohed and ahhed over various things. She nailed it!



You'll have to keep checking back to see where I put it. I do plan to place it even though it may be coming down again very soon. You'll be surprised!

So my daughter has been raving about this sandwich called a UFO. We shared one Friday evening and a friend brought me another last night, which we shared. Not an imposition when you see how large it is! I'm going to look like a UFO myself, if I keep this up.



But these are my very best gifts...







It's always fun to have the house hopping. My little grandson marched in for the first time on his own steam and said, "Hmmmmmmmm, cake!" He's no slouch is that one. A cake in the oven, M&Ms in the candy dish, flowers, laughter, fun, a great weekend.

I spent Saturday afternoon with my mother and grandmother and we are planning a supper out some evening this week. So the honoring of mothers continues.

Hope your week is off to a great start.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Home for Our Souls

Chances are you've given little thought to housing your soul. We create elaborate houses for our bodies, but our souls are relegated to a hillside shanty where the night winds chill us and the rain soaks us. Is it any wonder the world is so full of cold hearts?

Doesn't have to be this way. We don't have to live outside. It's not God's plan for your heart to roam as a Bedouin. God wants you to move in out of the cold and live...with Him. Under His roof there is space available. At His table a plate is set. In His living room a wingback chair is reserved just for you. And He'd like you to take up residence in His house. Why would He want you to share His home?

Simple, He's your Father.
~ Max Lucado (The Great House of God)

(Imagine a Thomas Kinkade painting of a beautiful home upon the water's edge and you seated inside reading by the lamplight.)

Dear Your Name,

...He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. ~Philippians 1:6

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day

Enjoy the Happiest of Mother's Day Weekends...

Vickie has posted a wonderful essay on motherhood at Sand Flat Farm. You'll be blessed by it!

(Source)

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Merry Heart and All That

Today I am merely serving as a tour guide to a few of the funniest blog posts written in the past few weeks.

These bloggers have made me howl with laughter, sort of the way that C.C.'s beagle Toby howls whenever she takes him for a walk. You can read all about it here: The Worst Walk. Honestly, I'll mail you a dime if you can keep a straight face.

Sandi's beloved husband Mac taught her the basics of semaphore years ago...years and years ago...years and years and years ago...anyway, you just know that this means F-U-N! Read about it on her post entitled Languages and settle back for a good chuckle.

Anybody's post titled Camping in My Own Backyard sounds slightly suspect, especially if we're talking about Judy. I'm beginning to say of these things..."Only Judy." Ha!

Mary's The Joy of Being a Woman is short and plenty amusing...had me grinning all day and now every time I think of it.

I'm Killing My Family One Pan of Paella at a Time
"That title is not exactly accurate because I've never actually cooked paella, but you have to admit that 'I'm killing my family one pan of chipped beef at a time' just doesn't have the same ring to it. Agreed?"

Sometimes I worry about the Farmer myself. Nah, most of the time, I just laugh wickedly over the things that The Farmer's Wife is up to at his expense.

I've never linked to Ree in a post before, but her You Know What I Hate is so inspired and so much fun that I think we should all get on board. Who couldn't employ her method?



Noooo, this is not a shameless rip-off. I used a yellow butterfly. Gheesh!

Edited to Add: No, there is no horse behind the yellow butterfly. As far as I know nothing larger than a squirrel uses the facilities...oh all right, maybe a cat, perhaps a dog on the loose. There's an old junked truck behind the butterfly and it has caused me no small amount of consternation while I attempt strange camera angles to disguise the thing. Thank goodness the leaves are growing larger every day.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Home Land



One sunny May morning years ago at my first yard sale of the season, I found this little picture. It was priced right at twenty-five cents and that remains the best quarter I've ever spent. Here are the words:

The Home Land

Think ~

Of stepping on shore and finding it Heaven;
Of taking hold of a hand and finding it God's hand;
Of breathing new air and finding it Celestial air;
Of feeling invigorated and finding it immortality;
Of passing from storm and tempest to an unbroken calm;
Of waking up ~ and finding it HOME!

"In my Father's house are many mansions." John 14:2

Today's post is dedicated to Miss Sandy and her beautiful grandmother who now makes Heaven her home.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Seven Random or Weird Things About Me

Margo tagged me with the Seven Random or Weird Things Meme. I have to tell 7 random/weird things about myself and then tag 7 bloggers to do the same. If you're on my blogroll, please consider yourself tagged, but only if you would enjoy it. These things actually come in handy for days when the brain isn't firing on all cylinders or life is too busy, etc. If you do this, please let me know because I love learning more about you, too! So those are the amended rules. However, if you'd like the "real rules" you can find them here.

Seven Random Things About Me

1. I like to practice my handwriting. I make loops until the page is filled up with them. I know; I really DO need a life.

2. I like to sketch people's faces. They never look like the person that I'm sketching, but they do look like people and that's the important thing, right?

3. I have officially donned my red flip-flops through September. No more shoes for me for a few months.

4. Supper was an open-faced egg sandwich on toast with cheese. For dessert I ate a dish of fudge twirl ice cream with peanut butter sauce. (I sound like Happyone. ;>)

5. The last playlist I listened to was at Scooterblu's Whimsy. Very Lively! :D

6. Sometimes I play the piano for hours; sometimes I don't touch the piano for days.

7. In the morning, while I am still lying in bed, I like to pretend that I am in a treehouse.



Okay, what's the diagnosis, Doctors? LOL!

Have a great Wednesday, All!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Set the Table, Tea is On!

Share a creative afternoon tea table setting. Linens, serving pieces, teapots and teacup, tea accoutrements and accessories, centerpieces, tea trays or three-tiers, and more. Show one way you enjoy creating a memorable tea experience. This is your opportunity to show the world the fun you have when you create your own special tea experience. Then...invite over a friend or neighbor and share some tea together...



The forsythia is blooming and after days of rain, the sun was out and shining brightly so I decided to stage my afternoon tea on the deck. Yes, I said "stage." Now the thing is, I have already revealed myself to be a pretender after last week's confession that I am also a coffee drinker and I don't like loose tea leaves. So it didn't seem like too big a stretch to bake something and set up the deck a bit and pretend. After all, you know how I hate to miss a week!

In the middle of my preparations the carpenter called and asked about repairing the deck spindles. "Now? You want to come now? Well, okay, but how long is that going to take?" Gee, don't I sound all warm and welcoming?



Then I realized that I had a great helper on hand so out came the umbrella and the deck chairs. (Not to mention my first guest. ;>)



All we had was tea and cake...not much of a tea party, but a tea party all the same. Oh, I even dug out the sugar cubes and the sugar tongs.



Then my mother dropped by after earlier saying that she wouldn't be able to and so what had begun as a "staged event" ended in a real tea party with two guests! We wiled away a warm afternoon in May sipping tea and having extra servings of cake and both guests said that it was grand fun and that we should do it again some day. I think so, too!



Enjoy more of the Set the Table, Tea is On at La Tea Dah's Gracious Hospitality.

Monday, May 5, 2008

It's Arts and Crafts Day...Isn't It?

First up this morning is the vintage tablecloth remnant, which is getting smaller and smaller. I've made three or four pincushions from it and a jelly cupboard runner.



By adding some of the rescued bias tape that I was bemoaning a few days ago, this table runner for the bay window now exists.



And, no more "stich in the ditch" for me! I can't make it come out as neat and tidy as Suzanne's or Alicia's. Now it's a switch from the stitch in the ditch to Martha's bias tape basics.

Then I made a tea towel for a friend's birthday, which I liked a lot. I used the old "draw it from the fabric technique" so it's very complementary. Sorry about the photo quality.



Finally, I have so many remnants now that I searched for ways to use them being a frugal gal and all.



It's a needlebook! Because it was an experiment, I used what I had on hand...no wool felt, but the next one that I make will be a proper one. This is the cover.



The crazy quilting was so much fun! It was! I would not lie! If you've never done it before and decide to give it a whirl, I found Purplepaint's Muse tutorial very helpful.

Another Monday post in the can and now I can put my little Genie away for a few days!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Truth=Freedom

"Truth sets us free; error binds us." Bob George

It's just that simple. And, if I am not free, I am living in error.



You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

That completes my standard Sunday morning offering, but I have a titch more to add for those who won't be bored or offended by it.

When I was ten years old, a good long while ago, an altar call was given in the church that I attended and I found myself going forward. The pastor led me in a simple prayer of salvation and noted the date — February 10 — and the time — 12:23 — on the flyleaf of my Bible saying that I would always be able to remember the time and place whenever the thief whispered in my ear.

The thief has done a whole lot of whispering and I have done a whole lot of listening. It has only recently dawned on me that I have lived in error for much of my Christian walk. Why? The usual reasons, I suppose: the false teachings of the churches I attended that offered a bizarre mix of Law and Grace, the advice I received from trusted Christians who were also living in error, and even some of the hymns and worship songs that I sang further enforced error.

Some of this is beguiling. Some of this is subtle. Let's talk about the WWJD (what would Jesus do) teaching. It's been around for over a hundred years! Who knew?! But it was revisited again in earnest in the 90s with many young people wearing wristbands or necklaces with WWJD on them.

What in the world could be wrong with WWJD I hear you asking. Just this...it removes Jesus from being alive and present in our lives to one who is a historical figure: Historical Jesus versus Alive and Present Jesus is error. Would you sit around wondering what your husband/wife thinks about anything when he or she is present in the room with you? Of course not! You'd ask!

I was guilty of teaching this subtle one to my own children, but I won't be guilty of teaching it to my grandchildren. Instead, I'll say, "Ask Jesus what He would do and what He wants you to do in this situation." I don't want anyone to stand around, scratching his head wondering what Jesus would do. And that's my two cents for the day!



Thank you, my Friend...such a delightful surprise!

Have a wonderful Sunday, dear friends.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

It's On Its Way, Barbara!

At last! The sun, the moon, the stars have aligned in this one moment of time making it possible to accomplish my task. (Yes, I did take my drama pill this morning and thank-you-very-much for asking). Anyway, the package to Barbara is, at last, waiting by the door. Yes, I am mailing it t-o-d-a-y!

So this will be our little trans-Atlantic experiment: How long will it take this package to wend its way from the Wee House on the Eastern seaboard (US of A) to Barbara in England? I could have a contest. :D NO, no, I'm resisting the urge.

BTW, if any of you wondered about what was in Judy's package (she won the giveaway for my 200th post), she was so nice to post all about it right here. Do you suppose it holds any suggestions for what Barbara's package contains? Ha!

Hope that you have a wonderful Saturday and a wonderful weekend. Tune back tomorrow for my comments on WWJD. Later!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

We Welcome Thee

(May), we salute thee with our early song, and welcome thee, and wish thee long! ~John Milton

Picture Source (allowed to stand)

May is my third favorite month right after October and September. It is also a month where I honor my beloved's passing so it can be a mine field of emotions. My fond hope is that this year I will discover that, after many, many years, I am moving past the sadness.

Months ago, I explained that I was "stuck." I'm just beginning to feel as if whatever is holding me down is being released.

Thank you all so much for your support and prayers yesterday even in the middle of my histrionics. You are all so appreciated and everything went very well indeed.

A beautiful May to you all!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Grumble, Grumble, Complain, Complain

That's right! If you don't want to start your day on a sour note, scurry along to another blog. You've had fair warning!

So, this morning, at 6:30, the street cleaners came through to collect all those piles of dirt in the street. Six freakin' thirty! (This might be a good thing if I had gone to bed at a reasonable hour, but I went to bed at 1:30 am.)

K-Mart has not been keeping its shelves stocked with my favorite flour sacks for making embroidered towels. This means that I purchased inferior ones from the other "mart" and now I have made four (yes four!) lousy tea towels that I can't possibly-ossibly send to anyone. Grrrr...

And, I am such a goose that I forgot how to bind the tape even though I've done it about a dozen times now so I have ruined bias tape all over fourteen counties.




(Source)

Then I started a new habit of reading before blogging, but this morning I'm blogging before reading and now my whole day is going to be fried not to mention scrambled.

My mother has an appointment for a painful medical procedure this afternoon and I must drive her. I am grateful that my mother is still with me and that I am available to drive her anywhere, but I am so not good with painful medical procedures, especially my mother's.

Okay, that's about all that I can handle myself so I'll quit. Time to chill with my morning devotions. Now why didn't I do that first?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The White, Green, Black, and Herb of Tea



Tell about your favorite tea. How do you prepare it and serve it? Milk and sugar? Plain? What are some of your best memories of serving or sipping on this tea? Share a picture if you can. Tell the health benefits of the tea(s) you prefer. Where do you purchase your tea? Is there someplace you enjoying purchasing tea from? Who from and where?



Is it time to confess that my favorite hot beverage is coffee? Two cups of hazelnut coffee with cream and Splenda every morning or else I'm going to have a headache-y day.

Since coffee is my favorite hot beverage, an Earl Grey or breakfast tea is usually my tea of choice for its robust, full flavor. Besides, a breakfast tea has the same effect as the coffee with all that caffeine.

My dear blogging pal Sandi first told me about Yorkshire tea right here. It has become my very favorite tea of all. It is smooth and perfect and I drink it between the hours of three and five every afternoon, usually with cream and sweetener. Although Sandi was perfectly willing to send me some, I was able to find it at T.J. Maxx and, so far, keeping all fingers crossed, I've been able to find it every time I need more.

Yorkshire tea is made by Taylors of Harrowgate in England. You can read more about it at the web site I've included. There's a great little article there about the health benefits of tea as well.

My next favorite beverage is NestlΓ© green tea in a bottle. This I sip nearly all day long. When I gave up soda a few years ago, I made the switch to green tea. Love it!

The remainder is the odd assortment of teas: Oolong (Bigelow), Vanilla Chai (Bigelow), Green Tea (Tetley) Honey and Lemon Green Tea (Tetley) and a few loose tea bags of odds and ends in the cupboard. You'll note that I am not a fan of loose tea leaves. I am certainly not a tea connoisseur.

When I serve tea in my little Corelle tea pot there (the beautiful tea pots have left the building), I boil water to warm the pot, boil fresh water for the actual tea, replace the warm water with the hot water and add three or four tea bags. Nothing to it.

Now that La Tea Dah has that danged Mr. Linky working, you can join the rest of the tour right here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tidy Little Package



If you sew all weekend and don't finish your projects, you, too, could wake to this kind of a mess on your dining room table! How I long for a sewing/craft room; maybe some fine day.

When my sister took her Christmas cactus last Thursday (wasn't it lovely that I got to enjoy all those blooms one more time?), she discovered that the center of the crocheted table topper had rotted completely away. It was nasty! She might have tossed it, but I rescued it and told her that I'd see what I could do.

This is what I could do...



It's a linen inset instead of a crocheted piece. I hope that she'll like it.

(Thanks, Teresa, for the suggestion to appliquΓ© the embroidered pieces I was quizzing you all about here. The thought remained as you can see!)

Don't you love it when things all ultimately come together in a neat and tidy package?

Now I wish that I could say that I was spending my time on this charming, quaint porch (that would be quite a feat since it's not mine... ;>), but it's back to the sewing machine for me.

Source
(allowed to stand)

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Faith Test

After committing my need to God, if I can come away with no sadness, pain or anxiety in my heart, I have prayed the prayer of faith. If I pray and then still carry my burden, I know that my faith was not in practice. ~slight paraphrase from Streams in the Desert


Source
(allowed to stand)

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. ~Romans 10:17

Saturday, April 26, 2008

TTTW

Warning: The following may contain material that you may consider inappropriate.

The book hereafter described as TTTW is the one you see lying against the pillow in yesterday's photo. (Yes, I am purposely being vague. You may have to click on the picture to see it more clearly.) The author is A.N. (Yes, I've already explained that I am being vague...on purpose...I want no Google searches to land here.)

TTTW...I adored it and I LOATHED it. You, no doubt, have all heard of the "willing suspension of disbelief." The willing suspension of disbelief is more pyschological than anything and simply means that in order to enjoy much of literature or to appreciate movies like Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, one must set aside the normal, rational objections one would ordinarily have. Watching Psycho in a darkened theater is likely to set the emotions on edge as one "gets into" the story even knowing that it isn't real, that nothing seen before you has actually happened. (The most recent thriller that I've seen is Secret Window...substitute one that works best for you.)

So, yes, to enjoy TTTW, one must employ a willing suspension of disbelief, which was not my problem.

Have you also heard of the willing suspension of BELIEF? It is a phrase that C.S. Lewis coined to explain what Christians/Believers must often do in order to appreciate the arts. He explained that as a professor of English Literature (his specialty was medieval literature), it would be impossible for him to enjoy some literature if he were analyzing it through the eyes of belief or faith. Lewis specifically mentioned Rabelais who was a Franciscan monk living during the French Renaissance. Rabelais's stories of Gargantua are filled with the most bawdy jokes imaginable. (I can't stand them, but Lewis could enjoy the humor.)

So what does that have to do with TTTW? I'll tell you! This story began and ended as a love story of the highest order, which is exactly what I want when reading a love story. Somewhere along the way, after I was completely hooked, the "language" began in earnest. It appalls me that the description of intimacy descended to the level of four-letter words for body parts. I don't want words rhyming with bunt, slit, shock, truck, etc., to be a part of the story between two people whom I have grown to care about. PUHLEESE, is NOTHING sacred anymore? Ever? I don't want to read graphic descriptions of sex. I don't want to be taken to anyone's bedroom...ever...well, maybe not ever, but you know what I mean, right?

Did it add to the story in ANY way? NO. So why does the author do it? Either because she thinks that that is the way that people think about sex or because she thought it would sell books. Would her novel stand without the language. Absolutely. So, instead of selling books, perhaps she's actually causing people to say, as I did, "Sorry, that book I recommended to you turned out to be a whole lot of trash." This is a shame because, otherwise, this first novel by A.N. is well crafted and beautiful in many ways. Nevertheless, I won't be reading her second.

So, in the end, I was unable to willingly suspend my belief. Sigh.

(And, yes, I realize that I may just have sold a number of books for A.N. Double sigh.)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday and All's Well



Though I've not left many comments, I have been trying to keep up with everyone. I know who's reading, who's buying gadgets, who's sharing photos of babies and of journeys, and who's keeping it short and sweet.

I've been reading; now I'm thinking about buying a gadget; I've been journeying and taking photos, but now I'm keeping it short and sweet.

Check back tomorrow for a bona fide rant about one book I've been reading.

A wonderful Friday to you all...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The-Sweet-and-Savory-of-Yummy

Share your favorite teatime recipe for sweets or savories. Tea sandwiches, scones, and dainty desserts all count in this category. Give credit to the originator of the recipe if possible. Post a picture if you can. This is sure to make everyone hungry for a delicious tea time treat! Ideas for recipes to post this week are: scones, crumpets, shortbread, cookies, baby cakes, tarts, tea sandwiches, soups, salads, fruit treats, jams, jellies, curds, and creams.


















Garden Patch Sandwiches


Ingredients:

* 8 oz cream cheese

* 1/4 cup mayonnaise

* 1/2 cup finely grated raw carrots (use coffee filters to drain excess moisture from the carrots before adding)

* 1/4 cup finely chopped celery

* 1 TBS finely chopped green pepper

* 1 TBS finely chopped red pepper

* 1/2 TBS grated onion

Method:

Cream together the cream cheese and the mayonnaise until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Spread on a fine sandwich bread such as Pepperidge Farm. Remove crusts, cut into triangles, fingers or unique shapes using a cookie cutter. Enjoy!


*Garden Patch Sandwiches Printable Recipe*


Cocoa Dreams

This is a recipe that's been around in my family since my mother was a teenager. It makes the most delicious bar with a shortbread style bottom and a gooey chocolate top. It's always been one of my very favorites!

Bottom Ingredients:

* 1/2 cup brown sugar

* 1 cup flour

* 1/2 cup butter

Method:

Press the above three ingredients in the bottom of a 9-inch pan. Set aside.

Topping Ingredients:

* 1 cup brown sugar

* 2 1/2 TBS flour

* 1/2 tsp baking powder

* 3 TBS cocoa

* 2 beaten eggs

* 1/2 cup walnuts

Method: Mix the above ingredients all together and pour over the bottom.

Bake @ 350ΒΊ for 30 or 35 minutes. Allow to cool, frost with your favorite buttercream frosting, sprinkle chopped walnuts on top, and enjoy!



Hope that you find many recipes and ideas at La Tea Dah's The Sweet-and-Savory-of-Yummy!

Barbara Wins the Demise of the Snowpile Contest



And Barbara wins! That little spot in the picture is no larger than my palm; right now the wee bit of ice is no larger than my thumb. I'm jumping the gun; however, with the temp already in the 60s, I know I'm safe. Congratulations, Barbara! Can we chat about betting on horses? (Barbara wins so many of these contests that I am amazed!)

Off to do my official happy dance...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Minutiae



This is not pretty craft day; it's practical craft day. I had need of a tote that would hang easily on a hook in my closet. I have many canvas totes, but they're too stiff. Unless placed on the floor, they have little use for my purpose, which was a place to stash extra sewing materials. Besides, I'm all out of floor space in the closet.

I remembered that Judy had made one right *here* and she also gives the link to Martha Stewart's tutorial. All I have to add to this is that I sewed more of the folds to create two outside pockets and I used a fleece pillowcase. The fleece was probably a big mistake and I do not recommend it since it was difficult working with all the added bulk. Nevertheless, in the spirit of using what I have, that's what I decided upon. (Never use a fleece pillow to actually lie on, gals! They create too much friction on the hair and pull it out. Same story with flannel.)

Let's see, what else? Oh, I know, I've decided to give a daily report on the witch of a melting snowbank. Today is Linds' day...not sure...but it could happen.

Someone asked about an electric broom. This is one attached to a machine; ours from the local hardware is attached to a broomstick, which is attached to a human arm. I'm hoping my niece's. ;> (My apologies for not properly sourcing this photo.)

Guess that's it for a lazy Monday...hope that all is well in your world...I'm off to visit my figs here shortly.

Edited to Add: Is anyone else having major problems with Blogger today? Unable to leave comments without incredible delays, etc.? Perhaps it's just my computer, which is a scary, scary thought. (Lots of error messages, too??)

Edited to Add Again: With confidence I can say that Barbara is more than likely going to win. I stayed up until this late hour...4 minutes past midnight to document that snowpile. Wouldn't you know that it was melting like crazy and is now down to this. I didn't dare to go to bed as I thought it might melt between dark and now. It didn't, but oh so close, Linds!



I'll make it official tomorrow morning with plenty of fanfare. :D