Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in Him, he will bear much fruit, apart from Me you can do nothing. ~ John 15:5
Saturday, July 5, 2008
At least I appear to be happy with the one taking the picture. That would be true and leads to the next question: Who is he?
Ever take a photo and find that you've captured something very special? I do quite often...a raindrop, a bee, Marilyn Monroe in the moon (and you think that I'm kidding!)
Do you see what I've caught?
Stay tuned, there'll be more to share on this in the days ahead, which will answer the question "Why have you been shopping so much?"
Hope that everybody is enjoying a wonderful weekend!
ETA: I wasn't kidding!
Friday, July 4, 2008
The 4th of July has dawned blue and glorious here. I enjoyed being out early this morning decorating and, of course, have taken some photos to share. Even the breakfast table looked so pleasant that I took a photo of that. A lone turkey vulture soared above my flag this morning and I tried to talk him into pretending to be an American eagle, but he was having none of it.
For more scenes of Americana, please visit Kari and Kijsa for their Fabulous Flag Flying Fourth!
To those who live in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, I wish you a joyful, blessed holiday!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Leaving you with a photo of a rose. How very Mary of Little Red House of me! :D
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
It's true, I wax nostalgic a lot. This may be because, even though I am a woman in my 50s, my grandmother is alive and doing well. She binds me strongly to the past I believe.
Which reminds me, yesterday was my afternoon with my grandmother. It's when I do her nails and her hair, play a game of cards, the little things. I noticed that there was a stack of letters sitting on her dresser tied neatly with a string. There was a bold message written across the top letter that said "TO BE DESTROYED." Curious and curiouser I became until I just couldn't help but ask.
Nan told me that they are all the love letters written to her by my grandfather and that they'll be destroyed because they are none of anyone's business. I think my heart nearly fell to the floor. On the one hand, I understand her thinking; on the other hand, I am thinking that all that family history now has a dreaded appointment with the shredder.
What do you think? Would you mind if future family members read your love letters?
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
What I have been attempting to do is solve my figure flaws. I've been shopping and nearly wore myself into a frazzle yesterday afternoon trying on one outfit after another. I finally settled on a black skirt with a flowered hem and a black jacket plus an orange shell. Doesn't that sound heavenly? Apparently, my head was not in gear because the one for whom it matters most was not impressed. Definitely not. More shopping to ensue tomorrow.
Hoping to get it right, I went shopping again last night after supper out. Still couldn't find any clothes to wear so I switched tacks — who can't find something wonderful for the house at T.J. Maxx? I found another apothecary jar! I'm so excited about it, too, because it's heavy, uniquely shaped, and a great price. Still can't find a good cloche, but a good apothecary jar is not to be despised.
Enjoy your Tuesday, Everyone!
Monday, June 30, 2008
Oops! And I thought last week was the final entry. I know that I have discussed family treasures over the past eleven months. One of my favorites is the cocoa pot that my great-grandmother gave me when I was a teenager. That story along with a picture of her and the pot is located right *here* on October 5, 2007.
However, I do have an old violin that I cherish as well...a gift from my grandfather who was a self-taught fiddler. I am able to play simple pieces by ear. Discovering that, my grandfather hoped that, if I just had a violin, I would be able to duplicate what I was doing on the piano and the harmonica with it. It never worked out that way. These days I display the violin even though its strings are long gone and the horse hairs of the bow are few. I display it and remember the music and the love of my grandfather. Here's a reenactment...use your imagination as I must now, though I have added some music to the top right for a bit of help with imagining fiddle music, if you'd like to click there.
Treasures of former days fill my home from photographs to old high-top boots. Tea cups, an odd assortment of dishes, old linens — all the things that most women have in their homes. I hope to visit all of you to see your treasures before week's end. Please join the tour by clicking on the description of this week's event above.
Also, I just want to take this opportunity to thank Miss Sandy so much for all of her hard work and all the enjoyment and education that this blog-a-thon has provided us.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
For this is God, Our God forever and ever;
He will be our guide even to death. ~Psalm 48:14
Saturday, June 28, 2008
ETA Again: They're not pretty, but they're tasty. That they're not pretty is my own fault, but some adjustments definitely are in order. My tips are added in red below, along with some pics.
My son called last evening to say that he was bringing the boys over this morning around ten. Yippee! I am up early to get busy with this day. Right after I toddler proof the downstairs and get dressed, I'll be slapping these Cinnamon Rolls together.
I often search The Cake Mix Doctor for recipes, but I don't know where I got this recipe. It's not my own; it's not from another blog; that's all I know. Later, I should have a pic or two to add, but how bad can it be presented in a skillet and created from a cake mix?!
Cinnamon Rolls in an Iron Skillet
* 1 box yellow cake mix plain...no pudding
* 5 cups all purpose flour (I prefer King Arthur unbleached, unbromated)
* 1 package dry yeast
* 2 1/2 cups warm (not hot) water
* 3 sticks of butter at room temperature (No, no, no! Two sticks will do!)
* 1 1/2 cups brown sugar firmly packed (What?! I followed directions below and never found where the additional cup of brown sugar should go. So that's 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar period.)
* 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans or nut of choice
* Dissolve yeast in warm water.
* Add dissolved yeast to cake mix/flour mixture.
* Mix with wooden spoon or just use hands.
* Allow to rise in warm place for an hour.
* Divide dough into two equal pieces before rolling out
* On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Butter the dough with 1 entire stick of butter or each half with a half stick of butter.
* Combine 1/2 cup of white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and cinnamon to taste. Sprinkle over the buttered dough.
* Roll lengthwise and cut into about 24 rolls.
* Butter bottom and sides of two 10-inch skillets using a stick of butter per pan. (No, no, no! A half stick per pan will be more than enough. I only used half a stick per pan and you can see below that it was MORE than enough.)
* Sprinkle buttered skillets with the remaining brown sugar and nuts.
* Put the rolls in skillets and allow to rise an additional hour.
* Bake at 350° for 15–20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and turn rolls out of skillets onto plates. Use any remaining caramel in the skillets to spread on the rolls.
As you can see, a half stick of butter per pan is more than plenty.
This should have been divided for ease of handling, but the recipe did not say that. Don't make my mistake because there is no way to create beautiful cinnamon rolls this way.
I made some of Lovella's Paska frosting to go with the cinnamon rolls. You can find that recipe right here on March 13.
Here are two of my eager guests. In the end, I had five eager guests. You bake it, they will come.
Have a happy Saturday and a great weekend!
Friday, June 27, 2008
You see, it seems that MSN and Verizon (recently purchased by Fairpoint in my area), aren't getting along as far as technical matters specifically email and MSN messenger. A friend has been telling me for days, weeks, to call MSN and get it worked out. Her philosophy is that I'm paying good money for the service and it ought to be top notch. Yup. I agree.
Many calls have been made this week. I've spoken with a very nice young lady named Vijay from India, I've spoken with Michael, and Whoever-It-Was yesterday. All were eager to help. All didn't help much at all. It was causing my patience to experience a blow out.
The final straw came yesterday when I realized that Michael from MSN had removed my Verizon account from my MSN page. What?! Simply outrageous! My accounts had been combined on the same page for six years.
Ooookaaay, I braved calling again (I really hate calling and sitting on the phone for an hour while someone goofs around not even listening to me and then decides on his own what needs to be done without telling me.) After finally getting through on the second try, I reach a pleasant enough (albeit an idiot) young man — Whoever-It-Was — who made precious little attempt to hear me out. On the fourth or fifth try to "fix" the problem, he asks me, "So what exactly is the problem?" I sigh in my most exaggerated way and say, "You appear to be quite slow. The MSN email account no longer has my Verizon account on the same page and I want it baaaaaaaccccccccckkkkkkkk." At which point, he began to laugh. This almost made me laugh and that would've been no good. No, I didn't want to appear all soft and wishy-washy that late in the game.
So Whoever-It-Was called MSN again and relayed this information: MSN is having big troubles with POP3 servers and they are doing a major upgrade sometime in July and all should be well after that. Until then, I shall just have to visit Verizon email on their site and visit MSN email at the usual site and everything will be cool. As for MSN messenger, well, who cares if one is bounced off gazillion times while attempting a pleasant cyber chat. It's a free service, after all. Sigh. Deep Sigh. Deep Deep Sigh.
I'm going to revert to some truly old-fashioned means of communication here very soon...a tin can and some string...sometimes the old ways are the best ways.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Would you believe that there are home remedies that work quite well for toothache? I did a little Googling and I discovered two very promising things: oil of cloves and vanilla. I didn't have any oil of cloves, but vanilla...well, I have tons of that.
And it is working! No fuzzy head, no whacky side effects...nothing but vanilla breath.
I hope to visit everyone at some point today. By the way, if I've visited your blog and sat there stupefied for hours or if I slipped in and out without commenting, I hope that you'll forgive me. Just had to know what everyone was up to and thanks to my little friend Vanilla, I'll be good to go today. And no, I have not been drinking the vanilla...just dabbing it on that tooth.
No more reports after this...a simple thumb's up will suffice. Catch you later...
ETA: The deed is done; the tooth is gone; the vanilla really worked. Thank you for all your support, everyone!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Thank you so much for all the comments, concern, and prayers. I had a further setback yesterday afternoon when the dentist's office called to say that my appointment had to be rescheduled for Thursday instead of today. The tylenol with codeine isn't quite cutting it, needless to say, so I have spent as much time as I can sleeping. It's not good sleep, but it is a sort of sleep. Catch you all as soon as I'm back on my feet!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Over the weekend — naturally — I got a toothache from the pits of hell. It started in one spot and, by Monday morning, I couldn't tell where the pain originated as my entire left jaw, both up and down, was involved.
So I called my dentist right after posting yesterday morning and, praise be to God, there had been a cancellation and I was told to get right over there. Fine. Then several x-rays later, I am told that there is no cavity in the suspect tooth, but the nerve is dying and this will require either a root canal or an extraction. Not so fine. Really not so fine at all. A root canal will cost $2200 and the cap an additional $2500. So for the grand total of $4700, I can have my tooth back if the root canal doesn't fail, which they have always done in the past.
Okay, so I decide to have them make an appointment for an extraction and perhaps I'll go the implant route or perhaps I'll have a partial plate made. Partial plate?! Me?! Ackkkkk!!! The partial plate will be the least expensive and also the least satisfactory, I think.
So the question is this: what would you do? Have you had to deal with any of this stuff yet? What was your approach? (I am self-paying...no dental insurance.)
Oh, by the way, the extraction is not scheduled until tomorrow. TOMORROW. Does anyone have a ball-pene hammer?
Monday, June 23, 2008
First of all, I can not believe that this is the final week of "I Remember Laura." This has been so much fun and I have learned so much and I don't want it to end! I may have to get out my tissues and bon-bons after this posting and have myself a moment.
Like most folks, I have collections of books. You may be surprised to see what they are. I have all of my mother's Nancy Drew and Bobbsey Twins books, but I also have my grandmother's collection of Ruth Fielding. Ruth was the Nancy of my grandmother's day. It isn't a complete collection, but these were wonderful fun for me to read when I was a girl partly because the language was a bit more challenging and I enjoyed that aspect and all the adventures.
You can see that by the time Ruth was headed for college and living at Cameron Hall, the book covers had been updated.
Here are a few illustrations...
The series began in 1913...
The last book in my collection is dated 1928, which means that my grandmother was reading them until she was at least 19 years old. Interesting...
I also collect basal readers. When I was learning to read, I loved them. Of course, they have fallen way out of favor now, but there was nothing more charming to me than Tuffy, Boots, oh Dick and Jane, too. Perfect homes, perfect families, perfect pets, perfect clothes, perfect, perfect, perfect. :D
I've saved the best for last. This Laura Ingalls Wilder book was given to the school library by a former teacher who was especially fond of the series. I rescued it when it was about to be culled. (I'll have more to say about this in a few weeks. ;>)
Music? Miss Sandy included music in this week's assignment? I am certain that I've discussed this before somewhere...
Some of my earliest and fondest memories were of falling asleep listening to my grandparents play all the old music. My grandmother is a skilled, trained, pianist having studied for 12 years and my grandfather was a self-taught fiddler. She learned how to chord so that she could accompany his many tunes from "Turkey in the Straw" to "Down in the Valley." It was always magical to drift off that way. I am certain that Laura and her sisters found it so when Pa played his fiddle so long ago.
Thanks for reading today...please join the tour at Quill Cottage!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Yes, I am still practicing moon shots scampering about in the dark getting my face slapped by branches and being eaten alive by mosquitoes and black flies. I tell you I will stop at nothing to gain some success. Mari-Nanci told us that June's full moon is called a "strawberry moon" and La Tea Dah shared what makes it all so very special in her Moon Illusion post. Patient man was still at the wheel and silly woman — that would be moi — was yelling "Stop, I see the moon!" Ridiculous! It did get me a Heath Bar Crunch ice cream cone, though. ;>
This week has been absolutely awful for anyone trying to get some painting done. Just when it seems that the skies will be blue and clear, showers pop up. I think it has rained every single day since last Saturday when the deck was finally painted one coat.
Several weeks ago the deck was stripped using a high powered steam cleaner.
The stripped deck receives some much-needed repair.
And this is how we've been enjoying the deck since.
If anyone's interested, the deck color is Behr's Deck Plus Solid Color Stain in Chatham Fog. I adore this color that's all I know.
Yay for Friday! Have a wonderful one...
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Where I'm From
by George Ella Lyons
Here's my humble response...
Where I'm From
I'm from paper
I'm from books
I'm from flowers
I'm from music
a piano filled with melodies
From Vic and Marilyn
and two sisters one blond one brown
I'm from the ocean
and the swirling tide
From the lake where the loons cry
From smitten looks
From the One who
Knows me best and loves me most
From the north born in the south
From hazelnut coffee with cream
From the forest
and the trees
From the kitchen and the laundry room
From the garden
Upon my walls photographs of my loves...
From the books I've read, the tunes I hum, the moon I gaze upon
From the dust...
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Sooooo, have you anything planned for supper yet?
Because if you haven't, I'd like to offer a suggestion. I found these Crash Hot Potatoes at Ree's. Honestly, they are soooooo yummy, soooooo easy. I've made them four times and I'm thinking of making them again tonight. Have I mentioned lately that I'd like to lose weight? Perhaps, I shouldn't make them tonight, but you can!
Create a wonderful Wednesday!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Here are the five questions I must answer:
1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
2. Five things on my "To-Do" list
3. Five Snacks I enjoy
4. Five things I would do if I were a millionaire/billionaire?
5. Five places I have lived
1. Ten years ago, I was packing up my classroom of thirteen years for the final time. I am certain that I was worrying about what would be next, but "next" came and has continued to come every year since. Sometimes I don't understand how it has all worked out, but I do know that the Lord has always been faithful to me.
2. Clean the garage, clean the basement, clean out the spare closet, paint the second coat of paint on the deck, cull books...why am I so "cleaning" oriented? I wish that I were thinking along the lines of visit Rome, read The Odyssey, learn to bake the perfect apple pie, lose weight, and write a book.
3. Peanut M&Ms, Sunchips-original flavor, Lindt balls, buttered popcorn, any kind of cookie, cake, pie...okay, no wonder I'm not losing weight!
4. Well, of course, I choose to be a billionaire so I will build a library for my hometown, pay off school loans for son and nieces, start some kind of business that would employ a number of people, travel, and finish restoring my home...this one.
5. Virginia, New England, Oklahoma, Arizona, back to New England
Five bloggers should be tagged to answer the same five questions...
I am going to select five relatively "new to me" bloggers who visit me from time to time.
1. A Thrifty Mrs
2. Shanda @ Front Porches-Sweet Tea&Old Aprons
3. Barb @ The French Elements
4. Jenny @ Things From My House
5. rose_michelle @ A Cup of Tea With Friends
Ladies, please feel free to accept this challenge or not depending upon your own plans. I will not be offended or upset if you choose not to participate, but I really would love to know more about you!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Years ago now, I was attending the funeral of one of my paternal grandmother's dearest friends when I overheard a wonderful conversation between my aunt and one of my aunt's childhood friends. They were reminiscing about time spent in my grandmother's big square kitchen around the large table eating hermits and drinking milk. My aunt's friend said, "I know that this will seem shallow, but I loved spending time at your house because your mother was so much younger than my own. I thought that she was so pretty and so nice. You know, she fed many more children than her own five."
The thought of my grandmother as a wife and mother "young and pretty" feeding the neighborhood kids her delicious hermits and serving up glasses of milk has remained a powerful image for me. My own memories of her were of a woman bent and bowed by time, rheumatoid arthritis, and the cares of the world. I have much appreciated being able to replace those harsher memories with warmer ones.
This is my grandmother's Hermit Cookie recipe. It's hearty — good for growing boys and girls for she always said it was rich in iron.
* 1/2 cup shortening
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1/4 cup molasses
* 1 egg
* 2 teaspoons milk
* 1-3/4 cups flour
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon clove
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 cup chopped raisins
Cream together shortening and sugar. Add beaten egg, molasses, and milk and mix well. Mix and sift flour, spices and baking powder. Add to first mixture and mix well. Add chopped raisins and mix thoroughly. Drop from teaspoon 2 inches apart on greased pan. Bake in moderate oven (325ºF) 15 to 20 minutes.
My grandmother always baked hers by spreading them on a cookie sheet and then cutting them into generously sized bars.
Happy Monday, everyone!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Some people say, and I believe that it is true, that a person experiences the Heavenly Father in the same way that he or she experiences an earthly one. My own father and I have had one of those rocky road relationships. I have nearly given up hoping that we'll be able to mend it this side of Glory; although, I earnestly believe that we will have a healthy, whole relationship then.
My experience with my Heavenly Father has been evolving with the reading of good literature and Classic Christianity and a constant going back and forth to scripture. For now, though, my best visual is the relationship that my son has with his two sons. It has taught me more about what it means to love and to be in relationship with God.
Well, see if you can tell what I mean. I was having a playdate with my grandsons yesterday at their home when my son came home for lunch...
Both boys had been busy, very busy, playing, so totally involved in their own pursuits that their mother and I had been having trouble getting their attention. The sound of their dad's car and their dad's voice calling to them was all that was needed to break into their sphere. The anticipation was palpable.
And then the look on their dad's face as he rounded the bend...priceless!
The joy of being in relationship with our Heavenly Father is that He is never absent! We can call on Him at any point through the day or night for He never sleeps. We can snuggle down with Him and tell Him what's on our mind, where our fears lie, what we need. He knows us, loves us, and calls us by name.
Have a wonderful Father's Day weekend!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thank you for your kind comments about the photography. I have so much to learn and yesterday proved that for me. I lost all of my photographs at one point. I think it was because I thought that I was deleting only one. Hopefully, I won't make that mistake again.
Early this morning, I took an outdoor photograph of our dessert...Rhubarb Platz from Mennonite Girls Can Cook...and so can you. I'm very grateful for the "so can you."
Interesting shape we left it in, eh? Looks like the map of a new state or province. Oh, by the way, this is delicious!
Speaking of delicious, my friend gave me two...yes, two bags of Lindt balls...two 19-ounce bags of Lindt balls. They used to fill the jar, but you can see that there's a dent being made.
Gee, does the room seem to be tipping? Must be because that's where I'm standing. ;>
Have a great Friday!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Still at June forever,
With no further growth on land
Nor further flow of river,
If all nights were shortest nights
And longest days were all the seven,
This might be a merrier world
To my mind to live in
~ Christina Rossetti
Garage Hanging Basket
Cream Peony with buttercream center and a tinge of pink in front garden
Lots of green and not much color...yet!
Lupines against a fence
Just a few photos of flowers around my home and neighborhood...I love lupines and they are in full bloom now everywhere in the countryside and, for the brave gardener (they can be invasive), in some gardens. Have you ever been charmed by reading Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney? If not, it's a must read.
Have a beautiful almost summer day!