Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Post

(Imagine mist wrapped mountains covered with snow.)

I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud and your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you. ~Isaiah 44:22

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Card

Someone thinks I need a break. Ahhhh... God love'im. So I'm taking one for today. Have a relaxing weekend, Dear Ones!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Home Sweet Home Holiday Blog Party

Today I'm participating in the Home Sweet Home Holiday Blog Party sponsored by Whispering Poppies (long gone).

A few posts ago, I did something quite similar, but I have even more to share so please bear with me. I am not a trendy gal. My Christmas colors remain silver and gold, red and green. Hope that you enjoy my mostly pictures post.

Yesterday, I received the sweetest package from Kathy at Shocking Pink Thread (private blog). I ordered a doll that she made and put on her Etsy shop. The doll's name is Pearl; I think because of the vintage pearl button on her sweet little dress. Here's the picture story!

All the items circled in red are the extra gifts that Kathy sent to us. John says he has dibs on the maple Santa. That's fine...I have dibs on the candy cane!

I'm not sure if my grandmother will be receiving Pearl or not. I like Pearl mighty fine myself. Thanks so much, Kathy! (Did you see my repurposing of your beautiful ribbon?)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Lights and The Maestro

We've been out for the last two nights. Last night was shopping; the night before was for enjoying Christmas lights. We gathered up my mother and grandmother and off we set. Two and a half hours later, filled with Tim Horton's English Toffee Cappuccinos and Canadian Maple donuts, we were home again.

In our corner, I'd say that only one in ten homes has any lights on display. One can not complain about this when one has no lights on her own home. The photo above is the best of the lot.

My little grand was busy yesterday so that means that I was busy as well. Much too busy to follow him about with a camera. However, once he and his constant companion Ted E. Bear turned their attention to piano playing, I was able to capture these shots. You can see why we think he's going to be a natural even if he's not yet two. ;>

A wicked good Thursday to you all!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Need Decorating Inspiration?

Need Christmas decorating inspiration? Fast? Take a few hours, more if you can spare it, and go blog hopping. Leap right off from here as I have some of the finest blogs listed ever!

I'm going to show you what a morning of copying did for me. If you click on the photos, you'll see just whom I am copying, but I'll also link to each of my inspirations at the bottom of this post. Perhaps this could be a little quiz. I LOVE quizzes. See if you can figure out where I found each idea. Okay, I digress.

This is one I copied from a Christmas Home Tour I took a few years ago. Finally remembered it! I love the aroma of the evergreen as the tree is a big old fake. These are on each window throughout the house.

I'm off on Nonni duty today. This time I have the little one and he's coming here to play with me and keep me company while I bake cookies.

Hope you have a fun day, too!

**Thanks to the following bloggers: Melissa, Suzanne, Mary, and Catherine!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Aprons Three and Free Gifts for Friends and Family

The two outside aprons are winging their way to John's daughters. One on the West Coast and the other in the Carolinas. Hope that they like them! (No, they don't read this blog so I'm safe to share.) The one in the center is for the home state daughter; she'll be needing the flannel. They are all made in part from their father's old shirts. Believe me, he's keeping a close eye on his shirts these days. ;>

Cleaning out my email folders last night, I found this piece that I've had saved for some time. It's from Inspire 21. Thought you might enjoy it, too.

Gifts For Friends For FREE!
~ Author Unknown

But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."

It can be a simple "Thanks for the help" note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note could be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

A simple and sincere, "You look great in red," "You did a super job" or "That was a wonderful meal" can make someone's day.

Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. Really, it's not that hard to say "Hello" or "Thank You."

Friends are a very rare jewels, indeed. They make us smile and encourage us to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us. Cherish your friends, and your family as they are what sustain us in our own times of need.

So, on that note, allow me to thank all of you for reading today. Create yourself a fantastic day!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Saturday Trains and Sunday Pains

This grand loves trains and most especially Thomas and crew — James, Neville, Emily, Fergus. You know, the names that flow trippingly from the tongue. The grand was going on and on about "cranky" Saturday and I thought he was mimicking something that his mother or father had called him. No, "Cranky" is a crane. It's going to take a while for this Nonni to catch up, but I'm trying. Oh, boy, I'm trying.

The grands have a train track that runs directly behind their home and a railroad crossing just one house down. Whenever the trains go by and the whistle is heard, Sam shudders and says "Bert." Bert is a dreaded diesel engine. :D

My mother, the grand's great-grandmother, had decided that he should see the vintage train show at the local garden. It was being held in the shed and barn...I now know where the expression "it's as cold as a barn" comes from...brrrrr. It was wonderful to see Sam respond to all the trains, but most especially to the set of Thomas. Thomas kept leaping the track and had to take a rest, which delighted Sam for some reason. The only time that he got upset was when we had to leave for he didn't want to say goodbye to the trains. Now I'm hoping that his father will get out his childhood Lionel set and place it under the tree this year because Sam will absolutely love that.

After lunch, Sam's great-grandmother had another surprise for him — creating a gingerbread train. Ohhhh boy! It provided us with an opportunity to practice that it's not about the product; it's all about the process. Here's the little picture story.

Oh yes, there was a whole lot of munching going on.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yesterday afternoon after church, John took me out to dinner. I hurriedly gathered my new sweater since I knew that it was bitter cold and the restaurant would be cooler than usual. (Every place is keeping the heat way low.)

As we finished our meal, John leaned over to pick at my sweater with a puzzled "What's this?"

I'll tell you what it was...the sweater size, one that I'd prefer not to advertize, boldly proclaimed in what might as well have been neon lights from my shoulder to my waist. Nothing like a little humble pie along with one's sirloin tips!

Have a delicious Monday, Dear Ones!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas is a Time to Love

(Imagine a brightly lit Victorian Christmas tree with a family dancing around it hand in hand.)

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~Roy L. Smith

One of my children's favorite Christmas songs from their childhood was this:

Christmas is a time
Christmas is a time
Christmas is a time to love
Christmas is a time
Christmas is a time
Christmas is a time to love

We often start to worry and people get upset
When things don’t go all right on Christmas day
What we should remember in all the push and shove
Is Christmas is a time to love.

Maybe things don’t sound right or look the way they should
And maybe they’re not perfectly in tune
It really doesn’t matter, let’s keep our eyes above
Because Christmas is a time to love.

~Ernie Rettino and Debby Kerner-Rettino

My kids later added this chorus:

Jesus is the way
Jesus is the way
Jesus is the way to love
Jesus is the way
Jesus is the way
Jesus is the way to love

It's beautifully simple and the melody is sweet. I often find myself with tears in my eyes listening to it. I'm reminded again that Christmas is a time for love and that Jesus is the way to show it. I don't know about you, but I have some "un" lovelies in my world. Showing them love is very important all the year through, but, at this season, it's crucial.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Take Some Time...

There I am in the upstairs sewing room. Can't see me? Let's take a closer look...

Hmmm, still not there.

Oh, here I am looking out where I was just standing.

I tell you, it's getting so intense that I am not sure whether I am coming or going! Is it the same for you?

May we all find some extra time today to focus on how wonderful it was that the Lord was willing to come to us.

Perhaps some Scripture time with a good cup of tea and something yummy to munch on. You can find the recipe for these delicious Gingerbread Cupcakes at Sweet Tidings on Christy's December 1 post. You'll love'em. Oh, 90 grams = 1 stick of butter. Double oh, double the recipe!

Saturday Blessings...

Friday, December 5, 2008

There's A Certain Slant of Light

There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,
'Tis the seal, despair,-
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, 't is like the distance
On the look of death.

~ Emily Dickinson

That Emily! I was with her right up to the end of verse one, except for that "oppresses" bit. From then on, it was all downhill. One must be careful of these melancholy poets.

Anyway, I have been noticing that certain slant of light and especially in the mornings around here. There are light patches that never existed before. I've tried to capture them with my trusty camera, but I doubt that it'll look like much. Just believe me that when I first walk into that part of the house, sometimes I stand there simply amazed.

So many of you appreciated #3 in yesterday's list. I am happy to report that my beloved describes it as the best part of his day. Remember when I mentioned that I would be using Miss Sandy's gift as a way to save some of John's quips? Well here's one that you may appreciate.

Me: We don't have a book to read.

He: We've got a bookcase full.

Me: Did you select one already?

He: (Nods)

Me: What?

He: Advanced Engineering

Me: :D

Have a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Book Tag

Both Pat and Paula tagged me quite some time ago with a book tag.

The rules of this tag are these:

1. Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share seven random and/or weird book facts about yourself.
3. Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. My degree (English) required a lot, nay, a ton of reading. I have never read as much as I read during those years, lots of classics, of course, but I still love to read. I seldom read the classics anymore, though.

2. I began reading Nancy Drew, Ruth Fielding, and Judy Bolton books at age eight. I particularly loved the Judy Bolton series because she got married. It was a romantic wedding under a double rainbow and all the bridesmaids wore a color of the rainbow. Sigh.

3. John and I read aloud to each other both morning and night. We are reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis in the evening. Mornings are Devotional reading and Scriptures.

4. My favorite authors are James Herriot and E.B. White. If you've ever read either of them, you'll know why!

5. There's a trail of unfinished books in the house. I can pick up a book in any room and start in where I left off without a hitch. Must be that I am too lazy to gather a book or to carry it about with me.

6. If I don't read them, I decorate with'em.

7. After years of teaching, I have lots and lots of children's books. My grands are going to thank me one day, I hope! They're already happy with their current stash.

Since it's such a busy time of year, I'm going to suggest that if you're intrigued by this book tag that you take up the challenge. Please let me know if you do because I'll want to read yours, too.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Perfect Day

Don't you love a perfect day?! We aren't always aware of them for some reason, but yesterday was just such a day. It began, as it usually does, with coffee and quiet time. As John was reading morning devotions, I interrupted him to point out the Eastern spruce, which is just beyond our patio doors. It was sitting there twinkling in the morning sun. I've never noticed it before. For over an hour, we sat there and watched the tiny drops of water sparkle like twinklelights on a Christmas tree. As per usual, this is the best that I could do with the camera. Look close! Do you see them? There's one especially good one to the left.

After breakfast and after I'd visited a number of you, we decided to take my sister's Christmas decorations to her at her workplace. After leaving them off, a trip to Goodwill seemed in order. So many of you have such good luck there...well, at least Mary always does! Anyway, that's what you're seeing next — all my Goodwill treasures — a complete roll of wrapping paper, a candy dish, two boxes of ornaments, a book, and a little sign that says "and to all a goodnight." And all for less than ten dollars! I received three dollars in change.

I remember this well because I forked it over again late in the afternoon when we stopped at Tim Horton's for coffee and a blueberry fritter — make that two as we didn't share.

John took me out for lunch and I had something Mexican that was very good and didn't taste at all like turkey...yay! He had a salad. Honestly, I hate it when he's good on his diet. It just makes me look bad.

Then we shopped for all of his family and finished. Finished! Well, except for two aprons that I've got to get busy sewing.

Bought more fabric, bought more perfume, and avoided buying any magazines. I have all the inspiration I need right here in Blogland!

Edited to Add: About an hour after I had this post "in the can" using Post Options, I realized that something exciting was going on. I was receiving lots and lots of visitors! Most were arriving from The Inspired Room. Why, I wondered. Seems that Melissa has honored A Haven for Vee as her blog of the week. I am so blessed and so humbled because beautiful blogs abound here in Blogland. Talk about a perfect day, yesterday was it!

Soooo...welcome to all who may be visiting this blog for the first time. I do hope that you will comment so that I may visit you, too.