Tuesday, August 5, 2008

You Make Me Smile



Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti has done it again...twice! She gave me the cutest "You Make Me Smile" award and she's tagged me. This is such a sweet award that I'd like to pass it along to every single person who is on my blogroll and everyone who is reading today, too. Pardon me for not informing you in advance...another delayed post. So, please, snag it and share it with everyone on your blogroll, too; everyone deserves this one. I've yet to visit a blog that didn't make me smile.

And the tag is this: Name Five Songs that You Are Embarrassed to Sing. Okay, I'm going to tweak this one a bit because, even though I am told that I sing embarrassing songs, I am NOT embarrassed to sing them. John, however, sings quite a few that embarrass me...especially when he sings them in public. Ackkkkk!

1. On the Cover of the Rolling Stone

"We're big rock singers...we've got golden fingers And we're loved everywhere we go We sing about beauty and we sing about truth At ten thousand dollars a show We take all kind of pills to give us all kind of thrills But the thrill we've never known Is the thrill that'll get you when you get your picture On the cover of the Rolling Stone." (Did I say ackkkkk?)

2. A Tombstone Every Mile

All you big and burly men who roll the trucks along Better listen, you'll be thankful when you hear my song You have really got it made, if you're haulin' goods Anyplace on earth but those Hainesville Woods It's a stretch of road up north in Maine That's never, ever, ever seen a smile If they buried all the truckers lost in them Woods There'd be a tombstone every mile Count 'em off, there'd be a tombstone every mile When you're loaded with potatoes and you're headed down You've gotta drive the Woods to get to Boston town When it's winter up in Maine, better check it over twice That Hainesville road is just a ribbon of ice It's a stretch of road up north in Maine That's never, ever, ever seen a smile If they buried all the truckers lost in them Woods There'd be a tombstone every mile Count 'em off, there'd be a tombstone every mile When you're talkin' to a trucker that's been haulin' goods Down that stretch of road in Maine they call the Hainesville Woods He'll tell you that dying and goin' down below Won't be half as bad as driving on that road of ice and snow It's a stretch of road up north in Maine That's never, ever, ever seen a smile If they buried all the truckers lost in them Woods There'd be a tombstone every mile Count 'em off, there'd be a tombstone every mile (Uh huh, acccckkkkk!)

3. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Actually, I'm pretty impressed with his memory on this one...14 stanzas and he knows at least three!

4. We Got Married in a Fever sung by Johhny Cash and June Carter Cash

5. Sylvia's Mother

Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's busy, too busy to come to the phone Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's tryin' to start a new life of her own Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's happy so why don't you leave her alone And the operator says forty cents more for the next three minutes Please Mrs. Avery, I just gotta talk to her, I'll only keep her a while Please Mrs. Avery, I just wanna tell her goodbye Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's packin' she's gonna be leavin' today Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's marryin' a fella down Galveston way Sylvia's mother says please don't say nothin' to make her start cryin' and stay And the operator says forty cents more for the next three minutes Please Mrs. Avery, I just gotta talk to her, I'll only keep her a while Please Mrs. Avery, I just wanna tell her goodbye Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's hurryin' she's catchin' the nine o'clock train Sylvia's mother says take your umbrella cause Sylvie, it's startin' to rain And Sylvia's mother says thank you for callin' and sir won't you call back again And the operator says forty cents more for the next three minutes Please Mrs. Avery, I just gotta talk to her, I'll only keep her a while Please Mrs. Avery, I just wanna tell her goodbye Tell her goodbye... Please... tell her goodbye...

There's a story about his singing this one in public. Once, while waiting in a checkout line, John noticed that the cashier's name tag read "Sylvia" so he began humming the song getting it firmly entrenched in his companion's head. By the time, they had reached the cashier, the friend was singing the words aloud never noticing the cashier's name until it was too late.

Needless to say, I'm going to be on the lookout for that little trick. And if I ever start singing The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald will someone please just hit me?

video
(Just a little added fun...John joins Johnny and June for a bit of It Ain't Me Babe)

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Shifting Shades

I'm not really here. Don't those words inspire confidence? I'm trying to put a post or two "in the can" so to speak and am hoping that you'll not give up on me completely.

I have so many reservations about the month of August. I will miss my usual routine though my grandmother and I have a routine that we re-create on a yearly basis. This year will have the added dimension of my having a new husband in tow. It could be more than interesting.

A few days ago, Dawn shared that perhaps I'd be interested in a new magazine that she had just found called Mary Janes Farm .



How surprised I was when I actually found it at Borders...bottom rack, way in behind, but I found it! Yippee! This magazine is so full of wonderful things that I can't encourage you enough to go out and take a look for yourselves. It's a bit pricey, but well worth the cost for all the neat things including patterns and ideas. If you love embroidery, sewing, vintage clothing, etc., you'll enjoy this one. Thanks, Dawn!

I so want to do this project from the magazine...



now that's inspired!

You can see just how uninspired I was this week when I needed two new lampshades. Here's the first purchased from a lighting store and looking pretty nice, at least, I think so.We've been working on that one little corner of the addition for a bit. It began with John's beautiful bookcase to house some of his vast collection. And it's ongoing. The clock is one that used to live at church; John broke it while changing the battery. He replaced the clock for the church and had this one kicking around in his barn...the side is dented and the glass is broken. Up there, no one's much the wiser.

This is the shade that had been on the former lamp...
and this is what I had previously considered "inspired."










Sometimes, I have to laugh. So be looking for the truly inspired shade one day this month. It's my August project.

(Please forgive the quality of pics lately...we've had nothing much but the gloomiest of weather for most of the summer...days and days of rain. Have never seen a summer like it. This post was interrupted by thunder showers for hours. Ackkkk!)

Have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Meet Me There



As we strode along the path through the cemetery just enjoying the close of day and being together, John leaned down a bit and whispered, *"Every grave will open one day." That's a thought worth getting excited about! Then we passed a grave well over a hundred years old where the inscription read: Meet Me There. I can't think of a much better message to those of us following after.



*For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus comes, God will bring back with Jesus all the Christians who have died. I can tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not rise to meet him ahead of those who are in their graves. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the call of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever. First Thessalonians 4:14-17

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tin Can in Sunny Window Above the Sink

Site Meter and Internet Explorer Incompatible?

What an exercise in frustration blogging has been since last night. I still am not able to access my blog from my home computer. My son and daughter-in-law have Mozilla Firefox so I am able to get here from their computer.

From what little I have gathered, there is a compatibility problem between Site Meter and IE. I hope that they can clear it up. I'm a big fan of SM and a not so big fan of Firefox.

I'll be checking around to see what my blogging buds are doing regarding this little situation. Until it gets straightened around one way or the other, it appears that I am over and out.

Take care, All!

Edited to Add @ 2:34 EST...seems that all is well...must come up with a better blog entry than all of this. :D

Friday, August 1, 2008

Finally!

It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I am just now getting back to the award that Lisa gave me well over a week ago. Needless to say, I have had time to ponder this well and now have my recipients ready for the Brillante Weblog Award.




1. Judy @ My Front Porch

Judy has a beautiful blog. She writes about her life in British Columbia and her travels, which have taken her far from BC...most recently to Manitoba. She is a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and she invites her readers to join her for coffee and some rollkuchen or apple pie squares any day.

2. Christi @ Charm & Grace Cottage

Christi is an artist and a thinker who hails from Alabama. Her art is shared, her life is shared, her beautiful world is shared. You'll love visiting her lovely cottage and taking tours of the local gardens or to see what project she's been working on.

3. La Tea Dah (aka LaDonna)@ Gracious Hospitality has a mountain retreat where even rustic living does not prevent her from sharing afternoon tea with her family and friends. What wonderful photos she takes and if you can waltz past one of her recipes without taking a second look, you're making a big mistake.

(Dear, Judy, Christi, and LaDonna, I hope that you don't find this before I've had the chance to pop in and tell you myself. I'm post-dating this one for an ungodly hour of the morning. ;> )


These are the rules:

1. Please put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. You must nominate 7 fellow bloggers for this award. (As you can see, once again, I've broken the rules.)
4. Add links to the recipients.
5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award.

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Thunderstorms have been rolling around us all day long since just after we awoke this morning. When one can't be on the computer, one bakes blueberry muffins. These are Alice's recipe, which are named, appropriately enough, Maine Blueberry Muffins. We found the wild berries freshly picked and selling for $3.50 a pint. They were beautifully picked, nary a stick nor a leaf among them.





I did add a crunchy topping:

* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/3 cup flour
* 1/2 tsp cinnamon
* 1/4 cup butter

Crumb together and place on top of batter before baking.

I've also been working on a few more projects off and on all day. I hope to share them with you Monday if I can get a few posts done ahead. Sunday begins our time with my grandmother. Perhaps Nan will be willing to come and spend some afternoons here, too, so that I can work on my own projects from time to time. I don't think I'll be too happy being an entire month from my own home, if I can't get back to putter about.(Fortunately, we all live in the same town.) Besides, the poor cat will go nuts!

Have a wonderful Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Before I Forget


Marye @ Kettle and Cup is celebrating the fact that she has signed a contract to do a cookbook with a giveaway. How exciting is that?! I met Marye via La Tea Dah's Gracious Hospital-i-tea Blogathon. The button for which lives on my side bar and will take you to a site named "The Tea Ladies." Marye is one of them.

You can read more about Marye's news right *here.* Perhaps you'll join us in getting the word out. We don't have much longer...August 1 is the deadline.

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We didn't go "touring" after all. The man was tired; I was tired. We stayed home and cleaned, gardened, did a few errands, shuffled furniture about, dragged an end table to my son's, and in the evening went for ice cream followed by a walk in the cemetery. We've been doing a lot of walking in the cemetery because it's so quiet and peaceful without all the traffic. We're usually the only ones there...well, of the vertical variety.

Then comes my favorite time of day when we each read a chapter of a book aloud. Our current one is One Man's Meat by E.B. White. It is a collection of essays written between 1938 and 1943. The common theme is concern about WWII. Each essay mentions the European conflict in some way, and it is easy to tell that the entire issue is churning away at White's insides despite his attempt to push down his anxiety with busy work on his salt-water farm in Maine — keeping chickens warm, getting rid of volumes of eggs, keeping machines in working order, biding time. He writes:

Countries are ransacked, valleys drenched with blood. Though it seems untimely I still publish my belief in the egg, the contents of the egg, the warm coal, and the necessity for pursuing whatever fire delights you.

Currently, E.B. White delights me and I think I've just found him another fan.

Now, before I forget, I must get my awards list ready; it's long overdue! Guess I'll work on that later today.

Have a great Wednesday, All. :D

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

An Eclectic Mess

Yesterday morning found us at the doctor's office before 7 am. Even though John insists that he's only 26, his doctor tells him that his neck is definitely 64. In May, John took a tumble down a flight of stairs while carpentering (no, not here) and gave his already sore neck quite the jolt. Next week, he'll get some pain management therapy followed by more the week after. Hopefully, that will make life a whole lot more pleasant. Many of you are dealing with chronic pain so you understand. (I'm thinking of Brenda today, too, with that tooth of hers and Linds with that knee of hers, and Sandi with that RA and so many of you.)

After the nice visit with the doc, we treated ourselves out to breakfast at Denny's where they are trying something new (at least in our corner). It's this gigantic breakfast served on a sizzlin' hot pan that spits and hisses for a full minute after getting to the table. Very impressive not to mention intimidating! I couldn't eat all of mine so John took over for me.

Then it was off to Wal*Mart to find more fabric. I am turning into a fabric freak! This. has. got. to. stop. I know you women who are fabric freaks and I don't want to be you. :D



Spent the afternoon catching up in Blogdom...so many cares and concerns about... If any of you haven't seen Barbara's response to Sunday's post, allow me to share something she said. This is a quote that hangs in her home: Sometimes God calms the storm and sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms His child.

Then, glancing at the last of the day lilies, I remembered a recipe that La Tea Dah had posted awhile ago. As per usual, I didn't have all the ingredients I needed so had to improvise, but, oh my, was it ever good! It's called Rice, Basil, & Sun-dried Tomato Salad with Daylilies. Perhaps you can read my version here:



And, though not as pretty as La Tea Dah's, it's still a lot prettier than most things I've served.



After supper, I decided to bake cookies in the toaster oven. I think of it as a handy way to limit one's intake...right! ;> I used Pillsbury sugar cookie dough, tossed in some dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, some chopped walnuts, and then John chopped a Hershey bar up and in it went, too. Yummy! Sure took care of the sweet tooth for a bit, though the thought of root beer floats loomed all evening. Perhaps tonight!

Create yourselves a beautiful Tuesday! (We're off touring today, BBL.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sewing Experiments, etc.

After over a week of sewing projects and a dining room that looked as if a bomb had been dropped, I finally packed it all up and put it away.

My hope is that once my sister has been able to pack her remaining things in the front bedroom, I'll be able to convert it into my craft space and a guestroom. Currently, I'm resisting the urge to help her.

The new apron is made following the information that you can find on Suzanne's blog. This one's been modified quite a bit: longer ties, reversible, no bias tape trim. I left off the bias trim as it seemed too bulky with the flannel shirt that I used. John has given me a stack of his old shirts and there are a number of flannel ones so I became curious how an apron made from flannel would turn out. Having never used it, I really can't tell. Perhaps it'd be a great winter apron. (And, Miss Mari-Nanci, I have taken your concern under advisement and am working on a half apron, too.)










Also made another needlebook, which was so much fun to make! There are tutorials all over Blogdom and the variety is incredible. This needlebook is a gift for someone very special.









Some woodland creature has mowed my flowers down...the lilies, the zinnias, the asters...good grief! It makes me feel absolutely murderous. I cut the remainder of the zinnias and placed them in my new vase from Judy. This way, I'll be able to enjoy them for a week or so and share them with you, too.



Have a wonderful Monday, Everyone!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hijacked

Dennis Fisher suggested in his Daily Bread Devotional of July 25 that sometimes our lives feel as if they've been hijacked. You may enjoy reading the analogy that he used and you may also remember the incident. (I do quite well.)

Sometimes life is unfair. It just is. God never promised us that every life would be lived on the same terms in the same ways. While there is much that we share, we often walk a solitary path except for His presence, EXCEPT for His Presence.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Come Saturday Morning

Melissa offers such good advice in her July 23 post that I've taken it twice this week already. And, I'll be taking that advice again for much of August. My parents have requested time at their cottage in New Brunswick so I will be moving to their home to care for my grandmother (yes, my beloved will go with me). It is something that I've done every summer for six years. This way, my parents get some much deserved R&R and my grandmother gets a change of pace as well. All this to say that my posts will become as sporadic as they did when I first began blogging a year ago. (I do hope to sneak in and visit you all from time to time, however.)

Some of you have asked about the storms of Thursday that blew through my corner. I believe that New Hampshire got the worst of it, but they certainly were strong storms knocking out power and knocking down trees (two more gone in my neighborhood). Other than not daring to be on the computer for much of the day, we fared well. Wish that I could say the same of the poor flowers and plants that took an awful beating. I know that weather is making news everywhere and my thoughts are with Texas once again, as well as New Hampshire.

It has rained every day for several weeks now. Not that we didn't see any sun, but precious little and never for the entire day. What a lousy summer this has been as far as weather. This is also true for many of you. I am happy to report that sunshine has returned the past two days!

We may not have oil this winter, but, by golly, we're going to have our local honey! We find that allergies are kept at bay by eating at least a tablespoon of honey every day. See that nasty weather? Weeks of that can keep one feeling a titch gloomy. Lots of reading, lots of decorating, lots of napping, lots of sewing, lots of packing, lots of puttering. Say, have you seen Alison's latest list of puttery treats and all things domestic? It's enough to keep one busy for days.

Soooo, decorating, we've done some. The clock went up in that awkward little corner in the addition and it looks okay. Not sure if it'll stay, but I'm "sitting with it for a spell." A rather large bookcase will be placed along that expanse of wall in a few days, which will mean changes. I'll post about them.











Other than that, rainy days are best suited for reading and napping, which my beloved and FiorΓ© have been happily doing for days. Ah well, nothing like a cat and a husband to provide that wonderful sense of home...they're the best decorations ever.

Have a happy Saturday and a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

And the Winner of the Apron Is...

Someone very special that's who. I'm so pleased. Well, truth to tell, I would've been pleased with any of the 27 lovely gals who participated.

So here's my brave groom taking it on the chin for me yet again. What a guy! Does he not look adorable in that get-up? All he needs is a whisk and a bowl. Actually, I have been waiting for him to make me something...an omelette, a scone, even a piece of toast. He does make coffee every morning — great coffee!

Getting back to the apron, the groom is six feet tall so I hope that this will fit the little lady in question. I think so. It's a titch shorter than I had planned because the shirt, even though extra large and tall, just wasn't as long as I had hoped.



Omigosh! There he is again. Gee, I just can't help myself! ;>

And without further ado, here is our winner:



Congratulations, Pat! Now you and your hubby can cook all those wonderful Italian dishes and your apron will never look any worse. Say, do you suppose your hubby would be willing to pose in this apron? (Email with your information, Pat, and I'll get this out to you pronto.)

Happy Thursday, Everyone, and thanks again to all who participated. It's been a lot of fun at my house!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One-Year Blog Anniversary

It all began so simply. But if you could have watched me as I sat at the computer struggling with that first post, you'd have laughed. I was beyond nervous and had so many questions and no one to ask except HELP in Blogger. Finally, I figured out enough to post something, which I will re-post here in a few. I want to apologize to all Bloggers everywhere in advance and you'll see why!

Beginnings

July 27, 2007

Taking a deep breath here...If anyone had ever told me that I would one day blog, I would have called him/her a nut. I used to think that blogging was absurd and that anyone who kept a blog was a narcissist. I still do.

It all seemed so easy when I began the process until I had to create a name. It took forever to decide on "Vee's Haven." Sounds good, yes? No! Not good. Definitely not good. "Veeshaven" in the url?! No, no, that will never do. So while the name is stuffy, even uppity, A Haven for Vee it is, for now.

Posted by Vee ~ A Haven for Vee at 3:41 PM


Just so you'll know, my opinion of bloggers has been elevated with every new blog I read. You are most definitely not a bunch of narcissists! You're generous beyond words sharing your lives and chronicling the times. You provide a sense of community that is lacking for so many and you allow us to peek into your world and to delight in your stories. Thank you!

And thanks, too, to everyone who has ever read A Haven...still find that name "uppity." You are appreciated so much and I've been thinking of you as real, honest-to-goodness friends for a long time now. You've enriched my life. Would I write without you? I used to say "yes" — not so sure now.

So I'm having a giveaway. I worked late into the night getting this one ready. It's the apron mentioned yesterday.(I just know that I'm going to wish that I had waited for Suzanne's Bias Tape Post.) This is definitely one of a kind and is not without flaws, but I refer you to my recent post on perfectionism. ;>

Please leave a comment on this post, if you're interested. Please don't advertise on your blog as I'd like this to be for my own readers. As you know, I work fast, so I will be posting a winner on Thursday morning. (Gotta give the man something to do...wonder if he'd be willing to wear the apron as he pulls a name from the pocket.) Commenting here is open until 8 pm EST on Wednesday the 23rd.

Have a wonderful Tuesday, Everybody!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Aprons and Awards

I was hoping to have an apron to share today, but Suzanne's been off to the fair and has had no time to do the third tutorial, which is Bias Tape 101. Because I just so happen to own an apron that Suzanne made I know that her bias tape is something special. Stay tuned for the outcome of my apron; in the meantime, here are my fabric selections.





Received another one of those wonderful "Just Plain Fun to Read" awards from Carol @ Charli and Me. I am passing it along to Happyone @ Captain's Log because her blog is just plain fun to read and it's always full of optimism and positivity.

And Cindy "A Woman Who Is" from In a Garden blessed me with the Sharing the Love award.



The rules: SHARE THE LOVE!!! Share this award with all those blogs out there that you love. All the people who make you smile. All those that make you laugh. All those that make your day. All those that leave uplifting comments on your blog. **All I ask, is that you include a link to this post with the award and ask your recipient to do the same** Visit (Memoirs of a Mommy)for the awesome story behind this award. (I'm trying something new with awarding this one so this should be fun. You'll see what I mean later in the day when I add more information.) Edited to Add: The following five gals are receiving the "Share the Love" award by virtue of being the only five commenters today and for being such all around good blogging buds: Sandi @ Holding Patterns, Happyone @ Captain's Log, Jan @ The Life and Times of Li'l Ol Me, Miss Sandy @ Quill Cottage, and Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti. Thanks so much for your sweet comments. You can't imagine how much they meant to me today!






Lisa at Knitty, Vintage and Rosy presented me with the Brillante Weblog award. These are the rules for this one:

1. Please put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. You must nominate 7 fellow bloggers for this award.
4. Add links to the recipients.
5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award.

Seven? Wow! I'll have to ponder this carefully. For now, I'm doing well to get the information rounded up in one place. ;D

Guess that covers it for now. Over and out!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rest and Refreshing

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God... Hebrews 4:9



As we drove through the Green Mountain National Forest on July 9, I snapped photos sometimes as fast as I could. Later, when I uploaded them, I discovered that I had taken a photo of a waterfall I had only barely even seen.

Sometimes life is this way. There is a place of refreshing and rest, but we pass it by hardly seeing. Today, I hope that we all find the time to reflect, to pray, to listen for God's voice. It'll be refreshing!

ETA: I added Alan Jackson's version of "In the Garden" to my playlist, if you'd like to listen.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Christmas in July

While on our day trip to Belfast Thursday, we not only visited Perry's Nut House, we also visited Genie Francis's The Cherished Home. That link is on my sidebar. (I even think that Genie was there that day. Not absolutely certain, but a very lovely gal was standing at the counter saying to call her if there was anything that the clerk needed. I was surprised by how beautiful and thin she was!)

Her shop is so charming, but I could tell that my beloved was feeling a bit awkward in there. He was very patient, though, as he always is.

But! I found these and if anyone has a very, very good memory, you'll know that I've been wanting them since December when my dear friend Mrs.G gifted my grands and their parents with the wonderful Santa egg caps. (Don't worry about reading the entire posts, just look for the photos.)



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So now we begin the melding of households. I've done this before with my sister, but never before with a husband. (Well, unless you can call someone bringing his clothes along.) My husband has a big barn and a small home. He has lots of things. He's busy going through it all. What a lot of work!

Yesterday, he told me that he was bringing me a little girl whom I'd love as she was very quiet and well behaved. He was right.



He thinks of her as a Claudia; I call her Emmy.

Oh it's grand to have a man about the house...the things that he'll help me with today...hauling dump, doing dishes, folding laundry. He's already helped make the bed. Love it!!

Have a happy Saturday!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Five Things I Love MEME

Marye tagged me for this one at her new blog Simply Home Remedies.

I'm supposed to list five things that I love and tag five others — I am not tagging anyone; I'm tagging everyone! Marye purposely left out all of her family and friends...left out the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost...left out air, shelter, and sustenance. She was specific and used photos to complement her thoughts. It was so good that I'm going to copy her.

Perhaps we could think of these as five things I really, really like. Love is such a strong word.

1. I really, really like Day Trips. Hope that we get to take a lot more of them. Yesterday found us wending our way up US 1 along the coast to a favorite restaurant.



2. I really, really like quaint villages on blue harbors.



3. Beautiful flowers on display in unique ways are things that I really, really like.










4. What's not to really, really like about fudge?












5. I really, really like to play with Photoshop. This should satisfy all those of you who have requested a wedding photo. Since we celebrated with a very simple ceremony on a crazy hot and humid day, it was no big to-do, but here ya go...



Thanks so much for reading and, should you decide to do this one, please let me know! I want to read yours, too.

A Happy TGIF to you all!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rhubarb Bread

The rhubarb patch is wilting down as it does this time of year. In my corner, rhubarb is best from May through June, but just in case there's still rhubarb in your corner, I'm sharing my rhubarb bread recipe. This delicious recipe would also work with blueberries and since they are nearly ready here, I'll be baking this bread again soon. I can't wait!




Rhubarb Bread

Ingredients:

* 1½ cups brown sugar
* 2/3 cups cooking oil
* 2 eggs beaten
* 1 cup buttermilk (or sour regular milk with a TBS of vinegar)
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 3 tsp vanilla
* 1 tsp salt
* 2 ½ cups flour
* 1 ½ cups thinly sliced rhubarb
* ½ cup chopped nuts
* 1 TBS melted butter
* 1/3 cup sugar

Method:

Combine brown sugar, oil, and eggs
Combine buttermilk, soda, and vanilla in a separate bowl
Add mixtures together with flour and salt
Fold in rhubarb and nuts
Pour into two greased loaf pans
Drizzle melted butter over the top
Sprinkle with the 1/3 cup white sugar
Bake at 325° for 45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean (be sure that the middle is firm)


If you try this, I promise that you'll love it!

We are off for a day trip to the ocean. Gotta love being between the mountains and the sea as I know so many of us lucky ones are.

My love asked me this morning where I was when we were young enough to have made different choices. Silly boy! THIS is OUR time.

Have a fantastic Thursday! (I'll be catching up with everyone later!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pondering the Quest for Imperfection

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. ~Harriet Braiker

Linda invited me to join her in a discussion that she's having this week at Restyled Home about imperfection, specifically The Quest for Imperfection.

Several years ago now, I was absolutely addicted to an afternoon television program called Starting Over. Some of you may remember the premise...a house full of women in crisis came together and two life coaches helped them to "think differently." Or as a friend says, "Don't be bitter, be better."

The women had to do a number of "life exercises" that provided them a picture of how to move forward. One of the women was a perfectionist and her assignment was to find the beauty in imperfection. I believe that Iyanla Vanzant was her coach.

That exercise changed me. It really did. I was hopelessly stuck in perfectionism. Nothing limits us so much as working hard to become something we can never be.

I thought of that exercise as I was out taking pictures this morning. We see "imperfection" in nature all the time. Imperfection gets woven into the fabric of the scene and creates the dimension, contrast, texture, and interest. It's the same with our own person and with our homes.

This branch died suddenly this summer. (Can death be beautiful? Hmmm, thoughts for another day.)







A part of my neighbor's tree fell during a storm while we were in Vermont revealing just how badly damaged it has been. Beautiful and dangerous!



In my own home, I have plenty of examples...



That's not a wide-planked pine floor...that's subflooring.



And that's the gap between the molding and the cabinets that my contractor left. Good thing I married him! (Now he's telling me that this is not a good thing because the carpenter's wife always gets her work done last, which is why there are no new stairs at the carpenter's house. Well I never!)

As for actually desiring imperfection in my home...oh yes! Anyone who loves old furniture, old dishes, and an assortment of vintage things loves the imperfect. I love old mirrors with splotches and wood with cracks and age showing.



Now if we could only learn to love our own imperfections the same way, but here's a little product that I just purchased and love. I found it at Kohl's. Kinda pricey, but oh boy howdy does it ever work! (For at least an hour or two. ;>)



Create a fantastic Wednesday! (Echoes of Starting Over.)


Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.

~Leonard Cohen

ETA: Sometimes we get our lessons in a big way! This morning, Blogger isn't showing any of my pictures or even my header. Ackkkk! Okay, I'll work on this later. The carpenter wants his breakfast.