Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Echoes of Designing for Your Life

Well golly gee, I told Kari and Kijsa that there was no way that I could play with the big gals by participating in their Designing for Your Life post. I mean, really, play with the grown-ups who know how to pull a room together with style and class? But today, I want to play. I soooooo want to play and I'm going to play and that's all there is to it! (See the levels of humiliation that I am willing to go through for visitors?)

Okay, some time ago now, I concluded that my style is "New England" through and through. Plus I live on the edge of a small forest as you have by now seen and heard and I mean "on the edge." Plus the new space has some peculiar angles that were necessary for the correct pitch of the roof and to accomodate the request for higher ceilings. We were tired of that closed in feeling that, while cozy enough, can make one feel claustrophobic.

My daughter told me that I needed trees for that high awkward spot so I requested trees.

They arrived with all their foliage, which sent me into a flurry of leaf plucking making my backyard look as if Hurricane Ike had been through. I learned a lot about maple leaves and beech leaves while plucking them last night, but I'll save that for another time.

And here the trees are in their new home. (ETA: This is really a work in progress. My hope is to hang photos of family members there. Then, perhaps, it won't look quite so much as if the chair is wearing antlers. :D)

Ruthann of Warm Pie, Happy Home had a great tip about using coffee grounds (new) in candles, which I have used and like, but I also had need of covering up the wire stem of these fake posies so I used her idea there, too.

Hmmm, how about up close?

(Yup, all you discerning readers, I changed the photo for a better look.)

Then, after the window washing of yesterday, I placed my tired Rosemary there on an inverted bowl for height and just placed a fall garland around it.

Sometimes the simplest things make me happy. This little screen door decoration for a few dollars from the Christmas Tree Shop makes me happy. I grin every time that I get to take it out and display it. People seem to enjoy it and I get a lot of comments on it including one from my father who rarely notices such things.

Visit Kari and Kijsa and perhaps, after seeing my humble efforts, you'll feel like playing, too. I hope so!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Window Washing and Traction

This morning, after a blueberry pancake breakfast, we (I) decided that the bay window needed to be washed. John says that "we" decided this having a week of spare time to devote to it. Wry grin.

Can I just say that Pella windows stink? They may look beautiful, but they are so poorly designed that the average housewife would n.e.v.e.r. be able to operate them to clean them herself. So, if you are considering new windows, may I suggest Harvey ones? I love my Harvey windows!

Back to the Pella bay — see all those microfiber cleaning cloths? See the toolbox? Why would one need a toolbox to clean windows? Exactly! One should not need a toolbox to clean a window, Pella People!

So the morning begun so beautifully with devotions and blueberry pancakes has become funked up with the blue air of my fussing and fuming. Gentle groom is discouraged, but not utterly downcast. That would be moi.

Yup, it's enough to give one a pain in the neck. If I need traction, though, I know where to find some. John's interfacet injections didn't work so the doctor suggested traction twice a day. So far that seems to have worked the best.

Oh, for those who worried when John's picture was removed from below the Schmoopy Playlist...John hated that picture. He always complained that it looked as if he were sleeping. Sigh. I loved seeing it. It's okay, though. I've found another that I like pretty well.


Hope that you are having a far better start to your week than I!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Is There Any Seed Left in the Barn?

Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit. "'From this day on I will bless you.'" ~Haggai 2:19

Last week, Kari and Kijsa shared the verse from Hosea 10:12 about plowing the fallow ground. I've thought and prayed about that all week. I believe that many of us need to look for those areas where God has gifted us, yet we've allowed those gifts to lie in unplowed fields. Let's not leave all our seed in the barn!

A blessed Sunday to you and yours...

Photo Source

(Comments are off.)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Reclaimed Splasher

Still decluttering and cleaning these days. Warm Pie, Happy Home is my inspiration. If you've not visited Ruthann lately, do so for some wonderful tips. Course, you might want to take along a drool cloth. ;>

Thought I'd toss in my most recent rescue of an old splasher full of holes and badly stained. Now the nice embroidery has been sewed along the edge of a new K-mart Martha Stewart collection tea towel. I'm going to be doing more and more of these rescues. There's no sense in having wonderful treasures that can not be used.

Enjoy your Saturday!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Waterside Cottages

For those of you who asked, the topic of "Followers" is discussed at Blogger right ---> here. I guess that I agree with Lovella's comment on yesterday's post. To me, it's redundant if one has a blogroll. I'll have to take a wait and see approach. If any of you are using this feature, please tell more about it that I may better decide. What do you like about it? What don't you like about it?

Recently, I learned that Barbara Jacksier, who has a beautiful blog and who is also a writer and editor, has been told that the publishing of her new book Waterside Cottages could be postponed because of the current economic climate. Barbara has asked for a vote at her blog and help in getting the word out. Please visit and offer your support. If you've never visited, you'll be charmed by her beautiful photographs.

I'm offering a photo of a "waterside cottage" today myself...just in way of support for Barbara. (Wonder if she includes any Maine cottages...hmmmm.)


If you follow the link, you'll find many other delights as well. Oh to live the way that the out-of-staters do on our coast... :D

Yesterday had to be spent off the computer most of the day because of thunderstorms. And just when I was getting caught up with all of your blogs so nicely! I hope to do far better today.

Enjoy your Wednesday, Dear Ones.

Edited to Add: Those connectivity issues of a few days ago reared up again. My modem is officially kaput. I will catch up, yet again, as soon as I am back online. Until then, behave yourselves! ;>

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Card Making with Pressed Flowers

Followers? I have three? And here I thought that I had hundreds, nay, thousands. Hahahahaha. I know, I know, Get a grip, Vee. You know, I have prided myself on knowing what's going on, but I have obviously missed something important. (Howdy, Followers! I'll check this out more carefully some fine day.)

Awhile ago, you may remember my receiving pressed flowers...oodles and oodles... from BumbleVee. My grandmother was fearful of trying this one and so was I, but it really went very well. I spent a very pleasant evening sitting at the dining room table creating a few cards using this wonderful glue:

The beautiful card with the delicate lavender colored flowers is BumbleVee's creation. I try not to compare design with hers for obvious reasons. Her creation is so artful and delicate. But I had a lot of fun and now she tells me that she's doing flower pounding. My interests are wide and varied and, as you can see, I'm giving the pounding some serious thought.

For more information on pressing flowers, check this site.

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Thoughts on Sarah Palin

I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.

But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion — I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people.
~Sarah Palin

When John McCain nominated Sarah Palin as his running mate, I had only barely heard of her and that basically via talk radio programs. Still I felt a level of excitement that I had not yet experienced in this campaign. Don't get me wrong, I'd have voted for McCain because I am a Conservative, dyed-in-the-wool Conservative, make-no-apology Conservative, but, as you know, McCain is a Moderate and he just doesn't agree with me on a lot of issues. Sarah Palin does.


For the life of me, I don't understand what all the bickering is about within the ranks. Here is a pro-life woman who has demonstrated her belief in that stance with her own recent pregnancy and now with a teen-aged daughter's. What is all the hoopla about? I tell you this for certain, a lot of us were teen mothers; a lot of our own mothers/grandmothers were teen mothers; and a lot of our daughters have had teen pregnancies. It's neither the end of the world nor an unforgivable sin. Five children? So? Nancy Pelosi has five children and I've not heard anyone take potshots at her for that.

I admire the spunk of a woman who sends the media her own little news flash..."I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion."

As for "the church" and "the churched" I'd like to add that it's time for us to show the love of Christ, to stop sniping, and to stop the name-calling. No wonder people call us hypocrites. What's that they say about us? "The Church" is the only army that kills its wounded...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Times Are Tough

Tough times. Seems as if so many are going through them right now. If it's not the weather — hurricanes or bitter early cold...the country (whichever one yours happens to be)...fears about a cold winter and the price of oil and gasoline...the high cost of food...sickness...concerns for parents...concerns for children...concerns for the mentally ill...concerns for the elderly...concern...concern...concern...

Who shall rescue us from these worries?

The Lord and only He. For, when we invite Him in to our lives and hearts (even though it's a big mess there), He will lead us through even when we can't see the path.

Let's be very honest here, we don't have the answers to any of the issues of life. We want to be in control, but we don't have enough information to be in control. We want to think of ourselves as being strong and able to do everything. I don't know about you, but I can not and I'm pretty sure that neither can you. We were never made to be "in control." We were created to lean. There is no scripture that says "God helps those who help themselves."

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 NIV

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

Source (allowed to stand)

(Comments have been turned off...Have a great Sunday!)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Home Again

Though I've visited my home daily, I am truly home again having wakened in my own bed this morning in my treehouse bedroom.

I'll be taking a few days to pull things together around here. A month away and just blitzing in and out hasn't been enough to keep my home properly...laundry to the ceiling, dishes piled under the sink, a cat and flowers that need attention not to mention a groom, errr broom. And on top of all that, a call must be made to Fairpoint because the computer has "connectivity" issues.

Catch you all later...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hurricane Gustav Prayer

A little prayer...

Shelter those who are in harm's way in the palm of your mighty hand, Father, and protect their homes and communities from the storm.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wishing You a Delightful Holiday Weekend

The weather finally allowed us (Who am I kidding?! John did most of the work!) to finish the deck just in time for Labor Day. Wishing you and your family and friends a wonderful holiday weekend. I'll see you when the dust settles!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Portland Head Light

Since we needed to take my niece to Portland to meet her ride back to Boston, we decided to make a day of it. It ended not with ice cream, but with a trip to the Portland Head Light at sunset per my grandmother's request. She loves the sea...a true daughter of Moncton, NB and Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Here are some of my photos and I hope that I have done better naming them for my dear friend J.

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Light and John pushing Nan in her "chariot."

Blush of orange hues on rose hips at Portland Head Light

Head Light outbuildings

Annie C. Maguire Shipwreck Sign

The Henry Wadsworth Longfellow sign about his time spent here (click for a better view)

A Tanker Reflects the Setting Sun

Incoming Tide at Portland Head Light

Crossing Casco Bay Bridge at Sunset

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sunset Picnic

So there the four of us were enjoying a sunset picnic. My niece, home from Boston, had surprised us with a visit and came along, too. Our first picnic as marrieds was so romantic! Okay, not quite, but still wonderful and pleasant and everyone had a hearty appetite and we saw a lovely sunset.

And we used our "new" vintage picnic basket! Earlier in the summer, Suzanne from At Home With the Farmer's Wife mentioned in passing that she was selling one. We had been looking high and low in flea markets hither and yon for a picnic basket ever since our New Hampshire picnic in the White Mountains. Somehow a vintage basket via a friend seemed just right. (She tells me that it is something her sister-in-law [oops, sister] found in one of her travels.) Here the table is all decked out...

When it arrived, we were delighted because, not only was the picnic basket charming and fantastic, it was filled with wonderful things from Suzanne: a red checkered tablecloth, two embroidered napkins with our names on them, and two crocheted dishcloths. Bloggers are some of the nicest people I know. Suzanne, thank you so much! We were both overwhelmed by your thoughtful gifts. My niece also loved this basket and went over all its features very carefully plus she looked so cute carrying it that I took this picture.

(As a point of interest for you, Suzanne, my niece made her skirt out of a deconstructed man's shirt. It's pretty cute.)

Okay, where were we? Oh, yes, a sunset picnic is a lot of fun!

(I know that they look frozen, but the temps were really quite warm.)

Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dessert for Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper!

You know what they say about eating dessert first, life being uncertain and all? Yesterday, we had just such a day: cinnamon waffles for breakfast, pumpkin pancakes for lunch, and blueberry clafouti for supper.

I'm sparing you all the embarrassment of not knowing how to pronounce that last one...click on it and hear the pronunciation. Let's just say that John's eyes widened when I told him what we were eating for supper. ;D

Alice at Tea in My Cup is responsible for my having the bright idea about Pumpkin Pancakes. I'm sorry that there are no pictures, but they didn't come out pretty — just tasty!

Oh, oh, oh, about the clafouti; if you've never tried it, you MUST today! Your family will thank you. D.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. You can find the recipe at Suzanne's on her August 26 post.

We're planning a much anticipated picnic for this evening's sunset. More about that tomorrow.

Hope that you have some fun plans for today, too! Please tell me what they are!

Backyard Romp

It's not always peaceful and serene out there...sometimes I get to watch a good old-fashioned romp from my spot on the swing.

Have a great day, Everyone!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dire Prediction

On the front page of my local newspaper this morning, Peter Geiger's grinning face beams at me beneath the less than smile-worthy prediction from the Farmers' Almanac: "Numb's the Word for the Winter Forecast." Bah! You can read about it here at the Farmers' Almanac, if you'd like. (Please, Lord, Let the Farmer's Almanac Be Wrong!)

Instead, I am going to focus on a lazy, warm time spent on the backyard swing... (Don't let my nan's blankets fool you; they are to keep the mosquitoes at bay.)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Skywatch, Blogwatch, and a New Recipe

By now, you all know that most of my posts are a jumble. I'm not the most coherent writer nor the most comprehensive. My thoughts are as scattered as birdseed beneath the back feeder. So if you can find anything in this post that makes sense today I'll be surprised!

First of all, I truly enjoy Skywatch Fridays and I love seeing the blogs that participate, which you can find right here: Skywatch Friday. I'm not adding my post today since, as stated above, I'm going to be all over the map. But here's my Skywatch picture taken much earlier in the summer before rain stole eight weeks of it.

Last night, while visiting a friend's blog, it disappeared before my eyes. Poof! I can't tell you what an unnerving feeling that was. If my friend should read this... I just want you to know that I will miss your thoughtful, sensitive posts. You always taught me something and you always were a beautiful testimony of a loving God. Although I do not understand the "why" of this, I trust you to the Lord's faithful care. Be in touch if possible! Losing your spot in Blogdom makes me feel fobbed again, and I can only imagine how you are feeling. Do take good care...

My new recipe is directly from Pat's Italian kitchen in New York City! (That'd be Mille Fiori Favoriti.) She made the most delicious looking Tomato Tart that I had to try it for lunch yesterday. The three of us really enjoyed it a lot and, with a salad, it was the perfect lunch. If you have a lot of tomatoes in your life right now, this is a wonderful way to use them. Run to Pat's and pick up the recipe and enjoy listening to "Postino" on her playlist.

No time for posting at all this weekend so I'll catch you next week. Have a marvelous weekend, Dear Ones!