Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You

(Imagine an old and bent soldier wearing his military uniform and saluting the flag.)

It has been my privilege to stand beside him at more than one parade. He is old and bent now — very old, very bent. Still, when the flag goes by, he stands taller and salutes as sharply as an old soldier can. I have seen the tear fill his eye and course down his cheek. It's made me stand a little taller and prouder, too.

A group of twelve veterans attended a special Sunday morning service at the church that John attends. They were invited to the front of the sanctuary where they shared what war they had served in and where, and what branch of the military. "It was an honor to recognize and honor them. I also felt proud knowing that I have three granddaughters serving in our armed forces at present. They know that freedom is not cheap and that it requires constant vigilance to preserve."

God bless all our Veterans who have served and who serve today. May God richly bless their service to this country. May freedom and peace always be our goal.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I've Got a Sink Full

My sink is full of Tupperware in various shades of dingy yellow. I am not such a big fan of plastic, but I do like the cake carriers and those round things...they work great for carting cupcakes. Anyway, as you can see, the problem is the dinginess. I found a white vinegar solution suggested and have decided to give that a try. I'll let you know what I think. It's soaking.

Also found a gal who uses white vinegar as a facial wash. Yes, her face. So, naturally, I did what any woman would do with a gallon of white vinegar and a face that needed washing. She says that her face is youthful and soft. What do I say? Well, my face was much softer after I washed it with vinegar. Let me get back to you on that youthful bit.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

This is My Father's World

This is my Father's world,
and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings
the music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world:
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world,
the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker's praise.
This is my Father's world:
he shines in all that's fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father's world.
O let me ne'er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

~Maltbie Babcock

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
~1 Timothy 2:1–4

(Sorry about that malfunctioning You Tube...)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Getting Back to Normal

Looking forward to getting back to some semblance of normal... Yesterday was so not normal.

John's place is almost ready for him to just fly through it doing the last minute touch-ups. Nearly everything is packed and already here or wherever it is going. In the meantime, I feel so greedy...as if I've been to a flea market and bought way too much. A bean pot, pots and pans, casserole dishes, pie plates, linens, silverware, clocks, books, candles, etc., etc., etc.

John and I have a lot of fun even when working. Nice to know that one can work with her hubby and have a good time. He's easy to get along with, takes all my orders ;>, rarely complains, and can be talked into buying Italian sandwiches on the spur of the moment. He's full of quips that crack me up all day long and make the time fly. Sorry, schmoopy again.

My mother is having surgery this morning and I am her designated driver. Once I get home this afternoon, I'll be pouring some nice hot tea and getting caught up on your blogs for a change. It'll be soooo sweet and I am soooo looking forward to it. Catch you later...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

For What It's Worth

Look, I have no idea what's going on, but my site meter numbers have been over the top. Why anyone gives a rat's rear what I think is beyond me, but since you do, let me tell you right up straight.

Yesterday morning, I wandered around in circles in my own home listless and unbelieving over the election results. John had an appointment and when he came home, we talked for a while. Then we went to lie down as our nerves were shot.

At three, we decided that eating would be a good idea so we headed off for steaks at our local diner where we can get amazing meals for under $10. Who knew that we had found one of the last bastions of Conservative Opinion right there on Main Street in our own hometown.

One can watch the cook and owner working the grill and he began to share his opinion about our new President-elect. He described him as a Muslim and not a black man saying that there's a big difference. He thinks that the entire country is crazy for voting such a person into office. What he finds particularly galling is that "a Muslim" is in office just seven plus years after September 11, 2001. With a son in Iraq, he is understandably worried.

He said that he'd heard that the Canadians were manning their borders with rifles at the ready. We all laughed. Some of the banter was bawdy; some of it was light; some of it was incorrect, but all of it helped. It's good to know that we can still laugh. I'm seriously considering taking the little cartoon circling the internet about cream of crap soup to him tomorrow. (removed)

Some have suggested that I set aside my rancor and toss my cap into the ring and support the new president-elect. Highly unlikely! I will not set my principles aside for someone else's. Remember, I told you some time ago that I don't vote for a person because I agree with him or her; I vote for the person who most agrees with me. More of you should have done the same, but that's water under the bridge now. One thing I hope to give up soon, though, is my habit of disrespecting the president-elect by referring to him as President-elect first and last initial.

What I will do is continue to pray. Sometimes I will shed copious tears as I did when praying for my grandsons today knowing that what their lives might have been is changed. John has three granddaughters serving in the military right now; one is in the Persian Gulf. Needless to say, he's plenty concerned.

I pledge to pray for this country daily, for all of its peoples, and for all of its interests. I will pray for God's guidance and implementation for the things that are worthy that may come from this presidency, but that those things which are not in agreement with the principles and concepts of the Constitution and the intents of our Founding Fathers will come to nothing. It is with immense pride that I recognize from whence this nation has come.

At some points today, I felt as if I needed to say goodbye to this community. Blogging seemed hopelessly futile and a ridiculous waste of time in light of bigger issues. Perhaps I need to start yet another blog where I can share things of a more political nature. Anyway, after today, I am returning to blogging as usual here at A Haven — you know, dishes and drapes without all the drama.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Broken Hearted

Scripture teaches us that no man comes to a position of power without the hand of God allowing it to be so. It is my only comfort this morning.

May God have mercy on us, on the United States, and on the world. Though I don't wish to frighten anyone, I believe that it is the beginning of the end. "The End" is a good thing, a very good thing, if one knows the rest of the story. It's those chapters in between that are troubling.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

(Imagine a vintage poster of a beautiful young woman holding a "vote" sign.)

Don't allow anyone (including the news media nor the polls) to suppress your vote...


Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Eve

Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgement. John 7:24

Here in my corner of the globe, there's been some controversy about the sign that you see pictured in the article above. It's an eight by twelve foot sign easily visible from the highway depicting the candidates' qualifications. The owner of the sign has been told to remove it; he has refused. The photo on the left depicts a candidate wearing the traditional clothing of Somalia; the candidate on the right shows a much younger man wearing the uniform of the U.S. Navy. This quote from Ronald Reagan tops the photos: It is freedom itself that still hangs in the balance, and freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.

Until two weeks ago, I was not concerned about freedom hanging in the balance. This morning, I am absolutely concerned about freedom hanging in the balance. Something is very fishy about a man who refuses to release documents and whose friends read like a "Haters of America" club. Call me old-fashioned, but I simply believe that the President of the United States ought to be an American. We're not even one hundred per cent certain that one of the candidates is. One thing I do know, one is NOT a patriot.

This *link* to Truth or Fiction dot com tells more about this photograph in a more fair way than I ever could. To me, the photo shows a man who has no qualms about dissing the flag of the United States or its anthem. And he wants to be the president?! Incredible! What's more incredible is that enough people could vote (along with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and a bevy of other cartoon characters) to make that happen. Unbelievable! Incomprehensible!

One way or the other, the ballots will be cast as the peoples of our nation march to the polls tomorrow. Please join me in praying that God's will be done. Dare I invoke the will of God in this election? You bet that I do! The blood of the innocents compels me.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Giving Thanks Challenge

This post will be different from my usual Sunday offering — a more personal note.

Yesterday Leah @ South Breeze Farm reminded me about the Giving Thanks Challenge...the button will be in my sidebar all this month. Perhaps you will join us, if you haven't already; I do hope so!

Since I am starting a day late, I think that I can get away with doing two. Now it's a given that I am grateful to be a child of the Living God. I would be nowhere without Him and without His Son who gave Himself for me and Who is most especially fond of me. This year has been a steady moving forward with Him...so many of you have mentioned that you see a difference. I feel a difference. I've known the Lord since I was ten years old; I went to a Christian college; I married a Christian man; I taught in a Christian school; I raised two children in the faith. All of this, but I still did not understand the depth of His love for me. I was very busy trying to be "good enough" not realizing that everything had already been done by Christ on the cross. There is nothing that I can do to add a single thing to what He has already done. Now my goal is to walk with Him, talk with Him, listen for His voice, and to relax in His love. This makes all the difference. So first of all I am grateful for finally recognizing my life in Christ.

Second of all, I am beyond grateful for the man whom God has sent to share my life. He is so thoughtful and caring, kind and giving, funny and handsome and, for some crazy reason, he thinks I'm top shelf. As I was looking over the photos I had taken Friday night, I came to this one and it made me gasp. *Gasp* I tell you.
I saw the love beaming from my daughter's face toward my little grandson and I saw the expression on the little grand's face as he savored his candy and then I saw John's face directed toward me...such love there. Ahhh, yes, I am profoundly grateful for this gift of God.

That catches me up. For the remainder of the month, I'll be adding to my list in my sidebar where I hope not to be this schmoopy all month long.

God bless your Sunday!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November Comes

November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.

~Clyde Watson

November brings my favorite holiday and all the cozy warmth of browns and golds, coppers and bronze. We'll not discuss what else November brings.

Winter berries must be harvested soon to use in Thanksgiving and Christmas decor. If one waits much longer, the bears, deer, and birds will have eaten them all up. We got ours from John's property from this very bush, which does not look so full and lovely anymore. Along one of our highways lives a lady who has a giant winterberry bush with a sign that says: Do NOT cut my berries! They do look beautiful against the snow. (No, we have no snow yet. I'm just using my imagination; to imagine snow is not too difficult, unfortunately. Oh dear! And I said that we wouldn't discuss this.)

Have a wonderful weekend, Dear Ones. I'll catch you Monday I hope!

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Last Halloween Hurrah

The pirate outfit is a hand-me-down, but our little pirate this year will not be enjoying a Thomas the Train costume next. I get the distinct sense that my little grandson will be wearing it until it falls apart. He adores Thomas the Train. You've never seen a more angelic pirate who only wanted to nibble candy at his mama's knee or hug his teddy bear.

I've Missed You

I certainly have. Gee, when Lovella's right, she's right. She said that I wouldn't be able to stay away for too long.

Thing is, I don't have a lot to share. Every day we wake, get dressed, eat a quick breakfast and off we go. John works on his carpentering...new door, new wall, new sheetrock, new floor. I work on packing up the remains of his life there bringing it either to my house or to the transfer station. He's also donated a lot of things. This packing up of a life isn't easy. I know he's had some trouble letting some things go.

In the evening, we come home and I try to absorb all that was gleaned...books, clothing, linens, dishes, food. It gets interesting. Course I do love a good yard sale. ;>

Tonight we went to town and shopped at Home Depot for lighting fixtures. I had decided to completely defer to him. I wound up selecting the light for the living room and he selected the lights for the bedrooms. Perfect. Out for a hamburger and home we came where he busily washed dishes while I was at the computer.

Someone asked where John would live — why with me, of course. I think that the wedding may have gone by too quickly for my visitor to have noticed.

Here's a photo of John's long driveway. Good thing that he has a plow because that thing would be a real pain to shovel. Wasn't that a nasty trick Old Mother Nature played on so many this early in the season? And did I hear that it snowed in London today? Whatever happened to global warming?!

Have a relaxing weekend, Dear Ones.

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Ghost story for Halloween...

One night a weary traveler arrived at an old hotel to rent a room. His fourth floor room was right at the top of the stairs. At midnight he heard the creak of the stairs far below and a quavering voice said, "It floats. It floooooaaaats." Frightened the traveler covered up his head with his bed coverings, but still the steps climbed higher and higher and "the voice" proclaimed its eerie message. Finally, when the traveler could take it no more, he screamed, "What floats?"

And in the most cheerful way imaginable the voice responded, "Ivory Soap floats!"

Sorry, it's the best that I could do. Why this is the only ghost story I remember is anyone's guess.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Creature of Habit

That would be me...one could almost set one's clock by me. For example, though my children were born two and a half years apart, one was born at 4:27 pm and the other at 4:29 pm.

And take last Saturday...I was baking the annual apple pie. No, I took no notice of the day I made last year's apple pie. Would you like to guess how far apart the two events were? Same day. One year apart. Weird. I am.

Baking apple pies from scratch...homemade crust and all...is such a labor intensive affair that it can't be allowed to go unnoticed. Isn't it pretty? Much prettier than last year's photo, too, I think.

I also baked that apple cake that Chocolatechic was talking about last Saturday. Mine was just as pretty as hers except a little darker. Okay, a lot darker and that's why I didn't share a photo because, oh all right, I burned it. How you ask? I was blogging. That's right...blogging. A girl can't do it all all the time. Gheesshhh. Anyway, this is just to testify that, even though it was slightly burned, it was still moist with those cinnamony pockets of apple goodness...special. If you bake one, yours will be very pretty and tasty.

Late yesterday afternoon, I went over to John's house to see how things were going as he is preparing his home to rent. So much to do and the poor man needs my help. I saw it all so clearly. He's overwhelmed with it all. So I am going to be helping him a lot more...he may live to regret this...and that means that I won't be around Blogdom as often. I'll miss being able to check in on you whenever I feel like it. I know that this is not going to be just a week's nor even a month's job, but I hope to be figure out my new schedule soon. I think I might go nuts without you all.

Leaving you with a picture of my autumn leaves in the most lovely shades of silvery sage and salmon...

Enjoy a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Designing for Life

Kari and Kijsa sure know how to surprise a gal! It was flabbergasting to be included in the list of wonderful bloggers who received the above award from them. My blog has never been so busy and I'm certain that I didn't have things as tidy and neat as they should have been to welcome guests from all over. I didn't have anything delicious to offer anyone...nary a nibble in sight. Nevertheless, I do want to thank each and every person who wandered in from Kari and Kijsa's; it's been a blessing! And most of all, I'd like to thank both Kari and Kijsa for the honor.

This is how the sisters described this award:

And that is our goal and purpose behind this blog...to inspire others to join us on the exciting, thrilling journey ahead. We want to succeed in sparking creativity in the lives of others for that is how we measure our success. In short...we try to each and every minute of every wonderful day be "Designing for Life."

And so...in the spirit of design uniqueness and creativity...we wanted to honor some truly special and wonderful blogs that we felt represented this philosophy to the fullest extent...feel free to share your award with two other blogs who you feel are truly "Designing for Life."

Two...two...only two...

Today I am going to award Ruthann at Warm Pie, Happy Home. Her blog is a wealth of joy in all things needed for creating a warm and happy home. In her case, it does include pie. It also includes a merry heart and a giving spirit.

Next, I'm awarding Suzanne at The Farmer's Wife who does e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. She cooks, she cleans, she sews, she lays tile, she pours concrete, and she writes. (See?!) Best of all, she shares it all with us.

Can't wait to see whom you'll pass this along to, Gals.

Have a great Monday, everyone!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Celestial Pumpkins from Martha Stewart

Aren't these things from Martha Stewart wonderful? I am not fond of the usual Halloween decorations, but I love autumnal decorations for fall and for Thanksgiving. I think these would just fit the bill and when I try it with my one lonely pumpkin, I'll be sure to share.

You've been seeing these everywhere and I think they're so cute, too. Just didn't have the strength to core out the polka dots. Aha! Blessed me! I know just who'll be willing to help.

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Yesterday morning the phone rang and who do you suppose it was? Barbara! Now getting two phone calls from the UK is just off the charts fun. Barbara has one of those beautiful English voices like Linds'. And she's every bit as calm and collected as you can imagine. As we were saying our goodbyes she asked, "Will you have a good day?" I assured her that I would and now those of you who've been asked will know the rest of the story. ;>

Will you have a lovely Saturday? You'd better!

first photo image: allowed to stand as it provides free advertising and I sourced it good enough. If you don't like it, tell Martha!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Journal Making

Oh yuck! This creating in the dining room is way past old. I really must clear out the remainder of that room where I could happily create without making these sorts of messes in the middle of our living space. Raise your hand if you have a real workspace. Clap if you want your own workspace. I see those hands; I hear those claps! ;D

It's official. I am the proud owner of three of Dawn's tutorials. Two I purchased and one she gave me because she loves me. Believe me, I love her, too. I've made a journal for telephone messages for my parents; I made a journal for John; my grandmother made a little pocketbook notebook, all a few months ago. But until yesterday morning, I had not known the joy of making much that looked like anything. Why? Simply put, I can't follow directions for beans. But that's not Dawn's fault. No, it is not. She has put together a completely cogent tutorial that is very easy to follow if one only will. So what do you think of my final product? It's not perfect, but I am improving. If you've ever thought about making a purchase from Dawn's Lessons from The Nest, you will not be disappointed.

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Then, as I was setting the table for dinner, (we eat our large meal about one in the afternoon), John came in saying that he had a gift for me.

A found bird's nest just lying on his porch! Does he look tired to you? Yes, he's been getting his house ready to rent and he's also been climbing trees to gather a hornet's nest also for me. A bird's nest and a hornet's nest are delightful gifts, but they do not compare to this man of mine who really knows me very well to realize that I would be thrilled with these offerings from nature.

Friday already? Again?!!! Unbelievable. Have a good one.

Edited to Add:

Say, I was just visiting Margo where she reminded folks to get the photos in for the calendar she's putting together. The deadline is tomorrow. See the Robolady button in my sidebar for the link... just one click and you're there.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

BFF Award

It was back in August that I allowed awards to slip away with nary a notice. I was crazy busy as I recall and now only vaguely remember. Perhaps it was dear Carol @ Charli and Me...anyway, I want to apologize for the oversight.

The BFF award has been given to me by two of my dear blogging buds...Kathy @ Shocking Pink Thread and Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti.

Kathy didn't have any rules. In fact, she encouraged me to make up my own! I like that. Pat, on the other hand, had rules and here is the list:

1. You may only choose 5 people/blogs to give the award to...

2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog...

3. One has to be a new follower of your blog or live in another part of the world...

I am going to give this award to eight dedicated followers of my blog, if I can find some. Just kidding! I am going to go back to my archives right now and see who showed first and is still hanging in there with me. Okay, here we go...

1. Melissa @ The Inspired Room was my very first commenter. What a joy it has been to get to know her better in the past 15 months. Even though she has so much happening in her world with a wildly successful blog, she often swings by with an encouraging word. BFF, Melissa!

2. Barbara @ Ramblings from an English Garden was the second blogger to comment. I just adore Barbara and was so thrilled when she began to visit and she still does. BFF, Barbara!

3. Kari @ Just Livin' Large was the third and, by golly, if she doesn't keep on coming back for more of the drivel, too. Kari and I are nearly two peas in a party pod. ;> BFF, Kari!

4. Then would you believe Kari's Aunt Sandi @ Holding Patterns arrived? I'm so glad that she did. She commented on my grandmother's house. Love Sandi and her wonderfully funny blog. If you haven't stopped by to wish her a happy fortieth wedding anniversary, do it and be blessed by a knock-your-socks-off post about her beloved Mac. BFF, Sandi!

5. Terri @ Wind Lost was next. This gal is incredibly busy and she still stops by. Terri also was the winner of my first giveaway...a Country Living magazine subscription. I have worried ever since because Country Living is not the best match for Terri who is now posting on her recent trip to Paris. Go have a look! BFF, Terri!

6. La Tea Dah @ Gracious Hospitality then came along. She is the epitome of a gracious hostess and I was delighted when she commented. We got to know one another much better after she hosted this event:
BFF, La Tea Dah!

7. Judy @ My Front Porch showed up on the same post as La Tea Dah. What a happy day for me. I think that we comment on each other's posts no matter what. I love seeing her beautiful world and hearing about her wonderful family. There's been some heartache this year and some real joys. No matter what...I'll be there for her and I believe that she'll be here for me. BFF, Judy!

8. A Woman Who Is @ In a Garden was next. We met via Barbara as I recall. That's one of the joys of blogging. We meet someone in another blog altogether and realize that we are kindred spirits or kindred grandmothers. BFF, Cindy!

9. And though Miss Sandy @ Quill Cottage missed out by inches, I can't leave this precious gal off my list. (Remember, Kathy said that I could make up my own rules.) She's been so very supportive of this blog and I love hers. BFF, Miss Sandy!

I have so many that I would love to include because, whether you visit me or I visit you or it's a reciprocal thing, I love my blogging buddies. My world is bigger and brighter with all of you in it.

Now for two newer followers of my blog...this is tougher...but it's also fun!

1. Christi @ Charm and Grace Cottage BFF, Christi!

2. Kathi @ Lavender, Lace and Thyme BFF, Kathi!

Humble thanks for reading on a regular basis. I appreciate you so much. Looking forward to many more good times with each and every one of you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And then there was Nan's

Here's a photo of one of my grandmother's shelves chosen because photos of her younger self with her mother are there in the center. She was 17 years old in those photos. I love the warm wrap about her sleeveless shift. So cute! The photo to the left is of her mother also at 17 somewhere around 1890.

And here's her birthday self seated in her bedroom chair beneath the shelves holding a bottle of birthday posies.

Here she is holding another kind of bottle entirely. See that little grin? She actually only takes a sip or two if in some sort of distress. It gives her just enough of a lift to keep her ticking right along. Should that have been one of her secrets to a long life? ;D

Nan and her great-great-grand. What a heritage we enjoy!

Thanks for visiting today and have a marvelous Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Birthday Apron

Oh that was fun! Hope that you all had the chance to look at some front porches and especially if you haven't yet decorated and could use an idea or two.

I've been surprised to learn from my friends in the UK and Canada that autumn decorations are not done. Perhaps you'd all like to start some new trends...or not. ;>

We are safely through two out of the three October birthdays with an early November one coming right up as well. Birthday Alley...does your family have a similar situation? What month do they land in? Not December I hope!

Last year I decided upon a five senses birthday for my daughter. This year, I decided on a baking/cooking themed birthday. That way, I was able to make her an apron. I found this idea somewhere out there in Blogdom...can I find it again? Not right now, but I'm still looking. (I did find one similar at Angry Chicken.) It's an apron made from a tea towel with the bottom folded up in such a way as to create pockets. Easy and fun to make and my daughter was thrilled not to get a Mary Jane apron, which she finds hopelessly old-fashioned. What does she know?!

So anyway, there was the apron, the cookbook, the baking pan, the cake mixes and the brownie mixes, the tea towels, the vintage spoons, AND the picnic basket almost exactly like the one from Suzanne, The Farmer's Wife. Oh not quite in as good shape, but such a wonderful find at the flea market last week. I knew that it was going to perfectly hold all the other gifts.

This picnic basket has a bit of yellow trim, which is great since my daughter's favorite color is yellow, too.

So Saturday night's birthday party went well and a good time was had by all...

Hmmm, yes, who knew that The Cat in the Hat still holds such appeal. It's been a long time since I last read this 40 plus page story and an especially long time since I read it to my son.

At the end of a lovely evening, it was a bit disheartening to learn that my two-year-old grandson is no longer giving goodbye hugs and kisses. Parting has become quite a formal affair...

"Goodbye, Nonni."

"Yes, well, goodbye, Darling. Lovely to see you again!"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Porches on Parade

Welcome to those who may be visiting via Mr. Linky at The Inspired Room! A hearty welcome to my regular readers as well. I'm so glad that you stopped by. Let's pour ourselves some mugs of warm cider and go for a stroll.

We don't go "all out" in my corner, but I have gathered some photos through the last few weeks all the same. (You may click on any photos for a closer look.)

Oops! I missed the porch entirely on that last one!

Thank you so much for stopping by looking at my pictures. Enjoy the tour by clicking right HERE.


And He's Faithful
To take me through my darkest hour
I've felt His love, I've seen His power
And He's faithful
Even when I'm not
When I haven't got
The strength of will to carry on
He says, "Lean on me and I'll be strong."
And He's faithful
Through the stormy days
Of trouble and trials
I'm not afraid
To face the thunder and the fire
The endless love of God
It stays the same
Faith is such a simple thing
And simple things don't change

~ Randy Stonehill

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Yellow Carpet

Earlier in the week yellow cake, today yellow carpet — everywhere!

Somebody's got some work to do...

There's no excuse not to...

Even Emmy Lou...er Claudia...is helping.

Have a wonderful Saturday, Dear Ones!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Surprise and an Interview

Imagine my standing at the kitchen sink washing up breakfast dishes quite late in the morning when the phone rings. I wipe my hands quickly on the nearest dish towel and cross the room to answer. (John is tethered to his neck harness.) The lovely voice at the other end says, "Hello, Vee?" I rack my brain trying to think of someone who knows me by that name. (Long story.) I listen and realize that I am speaking with Linds. Linds! Our own dear Linds. What great fun to chat with her and, let me tell you, she has the most lovely, refined feminine voice. Oh it was great fun to have a conversation with her. I hope that I didn't sound the total ninny as I am so fond of accents (of course, I don't have one) that I can slip into mimicking a person. Did you catch me, Linds? I only slipped once. I hope. Thank you so much for the day brightener, my friend!

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I spent a leisurely afternoon and evening with my grandmother yesterday and decided to ask her some of those questions that a few of you have been interested in. Here's something of how the conversation went.

Me: To what do you attribute your long life, Nan?

Nan: Guess that the good Lord didn't want me yet. The relative who lived the longest only lived to be eighty so it can't be good genes or maybe Grammy was going to live to be older before she got typhoid fever and died.

Me: Do you have any beauty secrets?

Nan: Well I was always told that I have a nice smile. I think a good smile is a woman's best secret. I wouldn't get a facelift or anything.

Me: Why not?

Nan: Because I have always felt that I should be happy with myself no matter my age.

Me: What keeps you going?

Nan: I'm very interested in my family and I'm very curious about a lot of things. I always have been. So I keep reading and playing the piano and having good conversations. I like to go places.

Me: What's the biggest change that you've seen in your lifetime?

Nan: I really don't know. (She pauses to think and screws up her face.) I guess that I would have to say the computer.

Me: How have you gotten through tough times?

Nan: Well, when your grandfather died just 24 days after a cancer diagnosis, I spent a lot of time asking God why me. I mean there were some real bad men who didn't have anyone or anything and they wouldn't have been missed, but your grandfather was such a good man and I loved him so much. He did almost everything for me and I was totally lost without him. Finally, I just said to myself that I had to go on. I had to go on living. Life is for the living. With the help of the good Lord, I was able to move on.

Me: Any advice for mothers or grandmothers or great-grandmothers or great-great-grandmothers?

Nan: Just love. (She pats my hand and repeats, "Just love.")

Me: *Sniff* Thanks, Nan.

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By the way, just in case anyone didn't already know that Miss Sandy is a genius. Check out her comment on yesterday's first post about how to disguise a tv. I am beside myself at the possibilities. Thank you so much, Miss Sandy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yellow Cake and More

(Imagine a big old slab of yellow cake with chocolate frosting on a white plate with a red border.)

About the time that John and I were getting married quietly in Vermont, just a hundred miles north of us, the final shipment of yellow cake arrived in Montreal, Canada. Yes, yellow cake the "stuff" that President Bush warned us all about after the Twin Towers were destroyed. You know, the "stuff" that creates weapons of mass destruction. You know, the "stuff" that didn't exist. (Google it. You'll find all the information that you need.)

Today I marvel again at President Bush's leadership of this country and how often he has taken the ridicule of the world knowing full well that he could not say a word for fear that a volatile situation would erupt. Let us not kid ourselves, we have been living through some extremely dangerous times. Usually, we have not been aware.

Last night's debate, I watched it. Probably you did, too. I took lots of notes. One thing that I discovered for myself once again was how smooooooth Barack Obama is. McCain is an honorable man...a man of integrity, but he is not smoooooth. At one point, I turned to John and asked him if I was nuts or if the question on the table was not abortion with Obama then calmly discussing electric cars. And all with such smoooothness that I barely noticed, but then I was taking notes...literally. John, on the other hand, kept saying that the camera was moving away from Obama because he was flustered. Did anyone see that?

I have another couple of links for you. The first is an article that Mari-Nanci has posted HERE called Pinch Yourself. It's short; it's scary. The second is from You Tube right HERE called Barack Obama and Friends. You'll find enough in this six (separate) parts of Sean Hannity's documentary to curl your hair.

This is the conclusion that I have reached with all the information available: In order to vote for Barack Obama, one must have eyes closed, fingers shoved solidly into ears, and be shouting "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" to the rafters.

(I've made a conscious decision to allow comments thanks to all those who sent me emails. I'm going to hear from you one way or the other so we might as well all know the discussion on the table.)

Easels, TVs, and Trunks

Today, I'll probably be writing two posts. One as promised with my nonchalant "Don't worry things will be back to normal on Thursday" comment and the other in response to a debate that, as of this writing, has not yet happened. Also, my commenters gave me a few things to consider.

Okay, on with post number one: I need some advice...I've been storing this easel for a certain someone and I really like how it looks in the space...what say you? (Yes, I am guilty of listening to Bill O'Reilly. ;>) The thing is...with the temps getting colder and the heat turned back to conserve...all that glass looks cold.

And one last thing before I leave that space...I am looking for a good way to disguise big, ugly tv sets. Anyone have any ideas? Cheap ideas? Know of a blog that's dealt with this? Anyone?

You guessed it. Atop that antique trunk sits one ugly tv.

Catch you all later...I have sooo much catching up to do with all of you!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm Blaming Somebody

Warning: Political Commentary Below

Ahhh, so there you are. I'm always a titch nervous about spouting off. I prefer to discuss dishes and drapes, but every now and then...

The final presidential debate is scheduled for tonight and the state of politics in the US today has me concerned. Very. (I know that I'm not alone.) Sometimes I am so concerned for my country that I feel frustrated and angry...like blaming someone. Whom to blame...whom to blame... Guess I'll start with the mainstream media.

Yes, I am definitely blaming a mainstream media for unethical, substandard, biased reporting. Thankfully, they've begun, just begun, to report on ACORN and the voter fraud that is rampant across the country. They've consistently failed to report on those Democrats who have lied their way through the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacle, among others. When Democrats in Congress are confronted, they always and without fail point to the nearest Republican. That's usually President Bush. They cry that McCain is going to be more politics as usual...just another four years of a Bush presidency. (I'm tempted to expound on the ways that that wouldn't be a bad thing.)

McCain's opponent does a lot of finger pointing when asked questions. He conveniently does not answer and then sets off pointing fingers when it is his party who is actually guilty. Worse...sometimes it is he himself who is guilty. It is a trick as old as time, but we don't have to fall for it. Do we? One thing that I plan to do while watching tonight's third and final debate is to keep a checklist. Did McCain answer the question? Did Obama? Did one or the other deflect the question to point a finger? Did that candidate misrepresent the facts? Does one merely echo the ideas already stated by the other...ahem, Senator Obama, that would be you. I'll be counting the times. By the way, did you know that the ratings for the second debate were as high as the 1992 debate between Clinton, Perot, and Bush Sr.? At least, we're watching.

Oh, lest you do not believe that some Democrats are to blame for this recent economic crisis, I challenge you to watch THIS posted at suburbanpsychosis.blogspot.com. It's actual footage; it'll take you about 8 minutes; decide for yourself after watching.

And Here's a Wee Bit of Levity first posted at Truth Seeker. I don't usually point folks to Saturday Night Live skits, but in this case I'm making an exception.

My pal Kari over there at Just Livin' Large has written some wonderful political commentary as well. I challenge you to check out what she has to say right HERE.

Closing with Just the Facts from Sweet Cottage Dreams. It reads concisely and well and won't take you but a minute or two.

The stakes are so high. They always are. We must be informed. We must follow up on the tough questions. We must not allow the contentiousness of politics lull us into denial. Working from emotion or feeling alone will get us all into deep trouble. We must do our homework!

I, for one, don't want change for change's sake alone. Not ever.

Photo Source

Comments have been turned off so that readers may simply read without having to respond. ( Edited to Add: Oops! Oh well, they've been turned off now; although, I have decided to leave the comments that were already made. I believe that each one has an interesting point of view.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lady in Red

Hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. I think that a lot of you enjoyed turkey with all the fixings, which makes me happy because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Warm, cozy gatherings around the table are some of the best times of the year.

My parents will be home later today and so ends another week with Nan. Nan who still loves to get out and about even though it can be quite a challenge at nearly 99. (Her birthday is the day after tomorrow.) She really did enjoy the leaf peeping and she also enjoyed getting out to L.L. Bean on Sunday afternoon to purchase some new shoes. We had a late supper that night at a restaurant right here in our own home town. Seafood all the way around with Nan and I opting for haddock and John deciding on scallops. Thanks, Nan, it was delicious! As we finally got through the door at day's end, my grandmother said, "I feel as if I've fought the Boar Wars."

As lovely as the "Lady in Red" is, my favorite picture of Nan this week shows her in her warm fleecy robe seated at the piano. Oh her hair's a bit of a mess, but my she's lovely. Wish you could hear how well she played that night, too.

Sometimes, John would join her for a song...and they'd laugh at their mistakes and say that they should or could practice this song or that one. They chided me for laughing and accused me of making fun. It wasn't making fun at all; it was relishing the moment.

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Join me tomorrow, if you dare, when I share what's on my mind concerning politics. But never fear, it'll be back to business as usual on Thursday.