Monday, May 18, 2009

Mary's Mosaic Monday

Welcome to the first edition of Mosaic Monday.
Confession: I have cheated. I looked at the participants' offerings last evening and what am I doing here? =D They're beautiful!

But I have been practicing. I grow better by leaps and bounds drips and splats.

For my first entry, I decided to do a mosaic focused around this blog. I had fun doing it and perhaps that's more important than being my usual perfectionistic self.

If you should find your way back for tomorrow, I'll give you the lowdown on Mrs. Lincoln's cake. Have a great day...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Do You Ever Allow God to Just Love You?

At long last we have finished The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey. We use such texts as part of our morning devotions. There were days when I was quite sure that I'd toss it into a corner and start something new. I didn't always like it; I didn't always like Yancey; but it always made me think.

Perhaps we read it because there were some rich nuggets in amongst the things we found unsettling. (We found it unsettling to read that Yancey doesn't believe that anyone should be a patriot or concern himself with politics. He says that God doesn't care about countries, He cares about people, that the only nation He cares about is Israel. I disagree. I think God cares not only about people...all people...He cares about nations, too...all nations.)

Anyway, back to the nuggets. There were enough to keep us going. I want to talk about two of them today. One of the final ones concerns that Saturday between Good Friday and Easter morning. Yancey says it is an unnamed day and that we are living in that Saturday right now, metaphorically, of course, until the Lord's return. Well, not quite, because we know that we know that we know that Sunday arrived and Jesus arose and we have been sent the Holy Spirit. But there are still qualities about that day that we are experiencing until His return. I'll allow you to ponder them. I've been pondering them at some length.

The second nugget I'd like to share is a story that Yancey tells about being in an airport for five hours because of a flight delay. Fortunately, he was not alone because a companion was on her way to the same conference. They had plenty of time to discuss all the disappointments of life. He described feeling melancholy and anxious about things. When the waiting was almost over and the discussions had ended, his companion asked him this question: Philip, do you ever allow God to just love you?

Now that question will sit with me for a long, long time.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:8

God bless your Sunday...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just Practicing

My mosaic making that is and I see that I need a lot of practice. Why oh why won't my lines go straight and uniformly? My subject is "Breakfast on the Deck." Breakfast out there was good fun as it was sunny and pretty warm with lots of birdsong. (Don't let that much loved flannel shirt fool you!)

I'm practicing because Mary at Little Red House is going to begin a "Mosaic Madness" if she has enough takers. Would you like to join the party, too? Just stop by and let her know.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Procrastinators Party-The Big Reveal

If you are arriving via Melissa's The Inspired Room, welcome! If you're a regular reader whom I have been teasing with a big reveal since *this post,* I'm so glad that you put up with me and thank you for checking back.

Here are a couple of the before photos so you needn't travel back to the former post unless you'd like. As a brief refresher, this is a jelly cupboard. After some reflection, I realize that I've hesitated to paint it for years because my daughter painted the little picture on the side. I was treating it as a treasure not to be destroyed under any circumstances. Now I see that I can have a picture and the memories and be perfectly okay with it.

Without any further ado or drama or anything even remotely like that, I present to you... Gee, I do hope that you will tell me what color you thought that I might paint it. Only if you really want to, of course. But I would be very curious to know. Course as many of you know, since I talk about it often, my favorite color is yellow...a creamy sort of buttery yellow, but any yellow really is nice. Yes, yellow is my color. Okay, on with it...

Oh, Melissa hinted yesterday that we all might have little secrets to share. I confess that I do and here's mine:

I've been so excited about this party and can't wait to visit all of you to see what you've been up to as well. You may join the party right *here* and I hope that you will. It's going to be fun!

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Where is Everybody?

It's been so quiet in Blogland. I hope that it means that everyone is enjoying fair spring weather, that planting has begun in earnest or even that lawns must be mowed. I'll mow mine today for the first time this year myself.

Don't forget to swing by tomorrow for the big reveal.

Wasn't I clever not to give a thing away? Have a wicked good Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ready for the *Tin Man

(*photo deleted)

Another sweet little haul from the local flea market this week...a book, a spatula, and an oil can. Funny how these things delight us so.

The oil can is a vintage Singer made in the U.S.A. I love a "made in the U.S.A." label.

Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot tells the story...oh I'll just pop in another picture...

Perhaps many are familiar with this quote: He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. ~Jim Elliot

The thing about this is that John has been talking about this story a lot in recent weeks so to find this book on top of a stack of others for a pittance was almost providential. Further, it has a little provenance as there is a bookplate inside that says that a copy of this book was placed in a certain church library in memory of a loved one. That church happens to be in my dad's hometown. Whom has John been discussing this story with? My dad. Father's Day coming up next month... Hmmm... We'll see. Gotta love God breezes.

Look at this fantastic spatula. I have nothing like it and have always wanted one to frost cakes with because I frost cakes all.the.time. once or twice a year.

I was planning to bake Mary Todd Lincoln's Almond White Cake posted by Suzanne on May 8, but found that I had no almonds. Figures. Anyway, I had to make it up to the man somehow. Have you ever seen a man's face fall when he's expecting cake and realizes that it isn't going to happen? Sad...very. I remedied it this way...Crumb Cake for breakfast.

Crumb Cake Receipt (An Old Family Recipe)

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
¾ cup shortening (I use butter)

Make the above ingredients into crumbs. Save 1 cup for topping.

1 cup sour milk (add 1 TBS white vinegar to fresh milk)
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cloves (I used a half teaspoon of ground cloves in this house either)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg

Add to the crumb mixture, beat well, cover with crumbs.
Pour into an 8x8 pan.
Bake at 350° for approximately 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Create yourselves a wonderful Tuesday...

Monday, May 11, 2009

It All Went By in a Blur

And you thought that I was kidding!

No, Mother's Day really took off with bang once my son and the grands arrived. They were very busy grands. One is terribly interested in photography...

The other terribly interested in flower arranging...

Yes! That's my beautiful bouquet, which I discussed on Saturday and which you can see in better times in my footer.

Sorry that I didn't take photos of the gift I made for my mother. As it happened, I did no sewing because the ink in my printer ran out. Specifically, the yellow ran dry. (Go ahead! Try and figure that connection. I dare ya! =D ) I was able to finish a journal and another small project. Then I wrapped them in vintage linen...a table runner and a doily...and called it done. Only I (and now all of you) know that I didn't do all that had been intended.

I received petunias from my son and daughter-in-law, pansies
from my beloved, and a fuschia from my daughter. I also have a very nice gift certificate to Olive Garden. (Don't read that last bit, Pat.)

So much to share this week and I'm really excited about Thursday. Have a happy Monday, everyone!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Forgetful and How

Though I'd really rather be sipping lemonade and spending the morning in the garden with you all, I've forgotten something really important...Mother's Day. Seems I've become so involved in other projects that I forgot the priority one. Eeekkk... So I'll be in the sewing room today. Wish me well...

Oh, one last thing because so many of you have lilacs blooming. Have you seen *this fun way* of creating a centerpiece using lilacs? You can see my interpretation with some azaleas in my footer. (Sorry! I know I promised I'd not mention azaleas again, but I lied.)

A happy weekend to all!

Photo Source

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Ho-Hum Azalea Collage

I wanted to make a collage, too, just like Mary, LaDonna, Lynda, Lovella, and how could I forget Karen? Sigh. I'm going back to posting pictures the regular way.

We're just finishing up a week of rain and how the colors are popping! I'm so proud of my azalea as it's the most colorful thing in the entire neighborhood and I get lots of compliments on it. I dump all our coffee grounds under the bush beginning toward the end of March and on until the blooms are spent. It always seems to work. And thus ends all further discussion of the splendid azalea. (Oh, do click on any photo to see the detail of one of these flowers...they're positively ethereal.)

Soooo, do you know of any blogs where mosaics are lovely and I should visit?

A wonderful, beautiful, weekend to you all...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Life Goes On

One thing one learns very quickly is that time does not stop no matter what. Life goes on, meals must still be made and chores accomplished. No one gets to sit and think for long. Plans are made or hatched as the case may be and we are still in the planning/hatching phase.

Work on the jelly cupboard is ongoing. The color has been selected. Some of you may not be surprised since I've visited and spilled already. I could give you a hint or I could bowl you over. I'll ponder that. In the meantime, here's the progress thus far.

The big reveal at The Inspired Room doesn't happen until May 14. Can I possibly-ossibly wait that long?

The little basket lamp is also getting a makeover. I am so tired of this little lamp, but it's the only little lamp I have right now. Apparently, from the looks of that lean, it's tired of me, too.

And, in the spirit of "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may" my forsythia bouquet grows larger daily. I can't let all those bells lie on the ground beaten down by the rain.

Oh here's the tip...the color hint can be found somewhere on this great blog. (Thanks for the tip, Stick Horse Cowgirls!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Photoshop is my friend. This is not going to be a tutorial. It's mostly just a picture story. This post was decided upon last night after my darling looked at my new header and said, "Why don't you take some open blooms from the top and stick them in the middle?" Well, I didn't because that would be cheating and I don't cheat without telling you. I'm not that kind of gal.

This is what my azalea looks like on its best day. This best day just happened to be last year. I would've loved to use it for my header, but then people think that my neighbor's house is mine. That's cheating.

This is what the photo looked like before some judicious cropping.

I highly recommend judicious cropping.

Now this is a photo of my behind-the-garage forsythias. (John and I spent some time Sunday afternoon planting a whole lot of forsythia sprigs along his property line at the Ponderosa.) Anyway, this is the first shot. Note that ugly tree trunk protruding above the ugly fence to the left of the flag. Oh this fence is not my ugly fence. I've got enough ugly without claiming that thing.

Now let's lose the tree trunk and gain some green grass, too.

Looks like a hair transplant gone horribly wrong, but if I had time...

Have a fun Tuesday, Dear Ones!

P.S. This is a message for my dear friend Linda at Blue Gate Blog. I'm having such troubles getting to visit you. I keep getting this message. Just so you know that I do keep trying...

Monday, May 4, 2009

An Odd Assortment

I've an odd assortment for you this morning...

Shopping at the flea market is a couple of hours of "cheap entertainment" as John says. "Cheap" being the operative word. I found an old beat-up knife with a monogram (echoes of Little Red House) for a mere seventy-five cents and a beautiful doily for fifty cents. The knife is giving us a lot of fun as we've decided that it's worth a lot of money being an "authentic" Paul Revere. ;> The knife needs some burr removal, which John is undertaking today, but it cleaned up beautifully.

Then this delicate little cup decorated with maidenhair ferns and yellow flowers was such a bargain for fifty cents. It was badly stained on the interior, but after a night of soaking, it has also cleaned up well. I had thought I would use it as a scoop, but instead will display it under my make-shift cloche.

The cup is nothing special, but I always wonder about markings. Perhaps I'll be able to find out something about my knife *here* and something about what I now recognize as "Germany C.T." with a green Phoenix and a red fleur-de-lis pattern *here.* Ahhh, the thrill of the hunt even if nothing turns up and all for a fifty-cent cup. (Edited to Add: Thank you, Robin, for all your sleuthing! That proved very interesting. Readers can find what Robin discovered by reading comments.)

Now this sheet music was the thrill of my afternoon and the most expensive splurge. Five dollars, but I have looked for this 1949 song from the movie by the same name (My Foolish Heart) for years. I could have bought it online for the same amount of money, but I would've been using my own paper and ink and I would've missed out on this great picture of two of my favorites...Dana Andrews and Susan Hayward. Anyone remember seeing this movie? It was a real tear-jerker.

A happy Monday to you...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Short, Very Short, Bible Study

Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He will sustain thee. Psalm 55:22a (KJV)

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. I Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Casting the whole of your care, all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. I Peter 5:7 (Amplified Bible)

God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. I Peter 5:7 (The Message)

The word "cast" comes from the Greek work epirrhipto, which is a combination of two words: the first is epi, a preposition simply meaning "upon;" and the second is rhipto. Rhipto is the exciting part for me. It is a action verb...meaning sudden motion as in flinging with a quick toss. (Differentiated from a deliberate hurl.)

Sometimes it is good to haul out the Strong's Concordance and do a bit of digging. In this case, my little study led me to a new understanding. When overwhelmed and weary in spirit, I may still have the strength (in spiritual terms) to "fling with a quick toss" all my troubles on the Lord. I don't know if there would be enough oomph to "deliberately hurl" it on Him. Then, too, deliberate sounds as if one had thought about it for days, but "sudden motion" implies that the light just went on...Oh! I can toss all my cares on Him because He loves me. You can, too! He loves you very much.

Have a blessed Sunday...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May 2

Neighbors' tulips along stone foundation

How wonderful to have a cloudy, rainy morning give way to bright sunshine and clear blue skies by eight-thirty. When I awoke, I thought that it would be a rainy day. All day. Instead, I get this unexpected joy. It feels like a metaphor, a sign. All night long I kept wakening telling myself not to worry that it was all a dream, except that it wasn't.

Last evening, I was puttering in my sewing room. John had gone shopping for molding and other things from Lowe's and I remained home because I hadn't felt well during the day. My phone wasn't working and it had been unusually quiet...rather peaceful really. I saw a car come roaring in and thought to myself...Ha! that John! He went as far as the ice cream shop and then decided not to continue. Then an insistent rap on the door and I knew it wasn't John.

My poor mother. Nearly already in tears because she had tried all day to reach me and couldn't. And, she had needed me. She'd been waiting on the results of some tests and they had come back. Yesterday. The results weren't good. We sat there trying not to cry and then we just had a good talk and when John came home, he sat right down to pray with her taking both of her hands in his. He prayed for healing; he prayed for comfort; he prayed for courage.

Caregivers...I tell you. They are God's angels on earth, but they must learn how to take care of themselves. The doctors have told my mother that this cancer could well have been brought on by stress. It's stage three. We have eleven days to wait before the next step...specialists in a large city. I hope not to turn my blog into an ongoing health report, but I will keep a record from time to time and mostly for myself.

My azaleas about to bloom

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Day Late and A Dollar Short

Vee is my name and procrastination is my game. I am such a procrastinator that I didn't even get a post together to participate in Melissa's Procrastinator Party. On time that is. What you are seeing above is an antique jelly cupboard retrieved from my grandmother's shed. It had its original buttermilk paint when I first hauled it home. The first mistake I made was to paint over original buttermilk paint despite its unattractiveness. I did my best at sponging (all the rage then) and wound it all up by asking my daughter, a teenager at the time, to paint the ends. I was going for that ubiquitous "country" look. She, her mother's daughter for sure, never finished. I have long endured by keeping an antique high chair in front of it. I do hate painting.
I found some BIN and painted the end yesterday afternoon. Looks better already. Yes, I plan to paint the entire cabinet. Stay tuned for what happens next and what color I go with. I'm thinking something a little Daisy Cottage. Kim is unafraid of color and I'd like to join her, even if I am scared out of my wits to do so. Then I'll have to work on properly decorating the top...maybe.

A happy weekend to you!
clipart source

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Piano Top-The End

So what do you think? If one sits before her blank screen with glazed eyes wondering what to write should she even make an attempt? Right. That's what I thought. Later...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Indiana Custard

Indiana Custard - (1933-1935) Indiana Custard was made for only two years. It was made by the Indiana Glass Company. Indiana Custard must have been extremely popular during this period because you see quite a few pieces of this pattern today. Indiana Custard came only in Custard or Ivory indictive of its name. The only extremely hard to find pieces are the sherbets, salad plates, and luncheons. They were probably sold as an addition to a boxed set and not as part of one. This pretty set goes with almost any decor and would be fun to collect. ~Source

That's an understatement for this gal. I recently turned an aisle at the local flea market and stumbled right into a table laden with these amazing dishes. The color is so rich and yes, I'll say it — delicious. Each dinner plate is selling for $38 so it is unlikely that this set will ever grace my home. But oh to have dishes that are so elegant and able to fit in anywhere. Do any of you have this collection? Have you ever seen it?

source (These photos and their source have been carefully considered and are being allowed to stand.)

For those of you who arrived here today hoping for a recipe, I hate to disappoint. This one for Custard Bread Pudding is great and it hails from Indiana!

I did buy a teacup and saucer for only $2.52. It was badly stained from having actually served as a teacup, but cleaned up well. It's featured in the center. (You can click on the photo to see it better.)

Enjoy your Tuesday...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Nonni Night

It was a "Nonni" evening helping Auntie watch the grands who were proving to be a handful until...

We Love Thomas

Look At Those Wheels Go

Are You Talking To Me, Nonni?

Let's Get On With The Show

The note to parents accompanying these photos: Yes, while you two are away, your children are allowed to do terrible things as you can plainly see. (We only allowed this because we couldn't find the volume button!)