Monday, July 13, 2009

A Haven's Food Mosaic

Dear heavens this was labor intensive. My techie skills, even with vast amounts of help from Big Huge Labs, etc., are quite poor. After hours of fooling around, I finally have something that I like — food and lots of it.

There's a gal...when I find her again, I'll pop in her name...who always shares what each item in her collage is. I like that. I'm going to copy her. It's the sincerest form of flattery after all.
(She may be Olivia.)

First row left to right

1. Brown rice salad with day lily garnish

2. Big bowl of Cortlands

3. Blueberry clafouti

4. Basic Tollhouse cookies

5. Brin's skillet cookies

Second row left to right

1. Rhubarb bread

2. Valentine Tea

3. Homemade Pizza

4. An Italian

5. Rustic bread

Third row left to right

1. 4th of July breakfast

2. Bananas

3. Skillet Cinnamon Rolls

4. Crumble Top Apple Pie

5. Pastel M&Ms

You can find many of these recipes right in my recipe box on the sidebar. It's a two-step process, but it may prove worthwhile. You'll find the recipes highlighted in fun colors linked to their blogs of origin.

I think that I'll be baking something for my dear blogging friend Happyone because she's not going to be able to do a lot of baking while touring about in my corner. Surely she'll miss her favorite evening snack and this way I can help her out. I'm so excited to be meeting her and her husband Ken this week and, yes, of course, I'll tell you all about it!

Just click on the title of this post to be whisked away to Mary's Mosaic Monday. Enjoy your week...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Simple Saturday

I'm gonna get us some water outta this here thing...

Yup, I'm gonna get it goes...

Phew! This is soooo labor intensive...

A note from Nonni: Yes! We've had sun...two entire days of sunshine. I'm beside myself with joy. I know it's tough on you Texans and on those from other points south right now with all the heat and humidity. It's just that up here in the tundra our summer is so short that we hate to give up over a month of it to rain every single day. Wish I could've sent you some cooling weather, though, I really do, and I know that you so wanted to send us some heat. I will pray for an end to the drought because I know that it's equally destructive. Our farmers will not be able to plant for another week because the fields are so wet. Please pray that they'll be able to get the rest of their crops in and that the hay will be able to be mown. Thanks!

Have a lovely weekend...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

*A Year Later and We're Still Here*

At six seconds after 4:05 p.m. yesterday afternoon the numbers in the time and date could be arranged so that it read 04:05:06 07/08/09. This sequence will not be repeated in this manner again this century. (source) Pretty special timing for my first wedding anniversary and Mary's thirtieth, don't you agree?

Yes, that was neat and all, but hardly what I was looking forward to. Our little camping trip was down the tubes because of the torrents of rain and the blast of cold Canadian air (yes, we blame all blasts of cold air on the poor Canadians). We stayed home and I fell into a deep, dark funk while John went off to work as per usual. Hrrrummmphhhfffttt...

So basically he and I spent a quiet, cool, rainy day. A rainy day is nothing unusual this summer. In fact, it is the norm. The flowers are waterlogged and beaten down. The slugs are having a heyday. The basement smells. The spirits sink even as the rivers rise.

It felt all so very

The sun did not shine
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold wet day.

I sat there with John
We sat there, we two.
And I said, "How I wish
We had something to do!"

from The Cat in the Hat with liberties

Besides playing footsies that is...

But to allow an anniversary to float by without taking special note of it? Not to honor nor cherish it? We do not fool ourselves, John and I, having come to this point in our lives and marrying each other well beyond our middle age. We understand a little what it means to number our days. Oh! Did I tell you that the second great-grand was born last week so now John has one of each...a little great-grandson and a little great-granddaughter? They are some kind of cute now let me tell you.

Okay, so we set off for Portland. This was John's choice; my head was empty. (I heard that!) Of course, I'm quite certain that John didn't know the following fact when we left...

"So far this month, every day has been warmer at Fairbanks, Alaska, than at Portland, Maine. Any time that happened in the past, it was colder in both places the following winter." (source)

Were you able to follow that story? We had a very tasty sirloin at Bugaboo Creek of talking moose fame. John had sweet potato fries and I had what I thought were going to be Ree's Crash potatoes, but, noooo, they were "smash" potatoes (just mashed) instead. The tastiest part of the meal was the baby back ribs. The best part was reminiscing about our first meal together at a steak house not so long ago.

We did shop at Borders and The Christmas Tree Shop and the day ended, as all good days do, with an ice cream cone at Giffords. You'll have to take my word for it as I forgot to get a picture.

Now after all this talk of rain, I want to show you the most amazing moon shot taken just two nights ago on the one good day of summer so far...

I still need to work on the composition, but isn't that a beautiful round moon?

Happy Thursday...hope it's sunny wherever you are!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Recently, my blog was described as "nuanced." Nuanced? Really? Is that a good thing? I do know's an eclectic nightmare, a regular mess, a hodge-podge for certain. I do believe I hear Forrest Gump now...


So I've got a few things to share and you really don't know what's gonna turn up. Feel free to hang on to the end or drop off whenever you get bored, 'kay? I promise not to be offended.

First up...have you seen the beautiful, exquisite, omigosh-I-have-never-seen- anything-quite-like-it photography at Down Abbie's Road? You must do yourself a favor and scamper on over there. It'll lift your spirits and make you smile. I promise. (And I don't even like peas.)

Nil Desperandum is one of my favorite expressions. It means never despair! I know that I've spoken of it before, but then it's because I think of it often. I'm thinking of it more often lately. Anyway, one of Brenda's favorite expressions is "Carpe Diem." Sieze the day. And she's written most eloquently about it *here*. You'll be blessed. Oh, yes, you will.

It's been raining here. And raining. And more rain. Drip, drip, pour, pour, flood- the-basement raining. This means that I must follow quiet pursuits and what's better than a cozy corner of the sofa to snuggle up and read an afternoon away? You see some of my reading stack above. Yes, I am reading all of them. Noooo, hahahahah, I have not yet learned how to read them all simultaneously. Silly people!

Do you see my darling Sandi's book The Crazy Cat Lady? It's so much fun to see it in print and to reread all of those favorite posts from Holding Patterns that I love. I have laughed all over again at cats streaking from the forest, Mac's embarrasment over teaching her semi-semaphore, and, oh my heck, what a riot about Evil Sister's antics. Say, and did I tell you that when I turned this book over and looked at the back cover I squealed? Squeeeeaaaaled just like this...eeeeeeeeeeeeeahhhhhhhhhoooooooo...wanna know why? Well, I'm not telling. Go ahead, call me mean.

A few days ago, Sandi posted this picture on her blog. It's from one of her book signings. I hate to gush so, but that's a book signing. This picture has a little something extra added — don't be creeped out — that shadow represents a pat on the back. Sandi, I'm so proud of you!

See that turquoise colored book back aways? That's one of my new favorites. We found it tossed on the heap of free books at the flea market two weeks ago. Talk about a God breeze. Thank you, Lord! It's titled You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought. I'm going to share just one thing that I have found to be a blessing. (There are many, but this post is getting long.)

I have a few truly disturbing memories. Ones that keep popping up when I least expect them. Sometimes they show up in dream form, but basically they are waking recollections of less-than-pleasant events. What do you do with them when they pop up from time to time? This book shares a technique that I have found very useful: watch the event happen on the screen of the mind just as you remember it. When the tape stops, take out a big black permanent marker and place a big black X over the memory. Then replay it as you'd like to have had it happen remembering that you're the star of the show and it's all about you and it can happen as you want.

I had nothing to lose so I tried it. And it really seemed to work for those painful childhood memories by removing the sting. But wouldn't you know that once you've learned something new, you'll have an opportunity to practice.

Within three days, I had received a nasty note from a family member. It made me want to cry. Instead, I reread it and then played it again on my memory screen. I put the big black X over the whole note and rewrote it in a loving way. Voila! It worked again. No stressing. No fretting. No reliving. I simply remembered doing it the "new" way.

Fine. Within just a few short days, I had yet another "event." My mother was being released from the hospital back to the Rehab Center. Her admitting nurse was checking her back in and going over things when she turned to me and said, "What's the matter with your face? You look so angry right now. Do you have a problem with me or with this facility? I mean it! Your face is saying a lot right now."

Well, I was taken aback as I wasn't aware that I was wearing an angry expression or giving off any vibes. I was, in fact, delighted to be moving my mother back to Rehab. I began to sputter that perhaps I was tired, but that I certainly wasn't angry. My mother piped up and said, "No, she's very happy to have me here."

Later I told John all about it and he suggested that I try my new trick. So I played that memory in my mind and when the tape ended I got out my permanent marker and slapped a big black mustache on that nurse's upper lip. Then I blacked out three of her teeth leaving nice gaping holes.

Okay, so I may need to practice a little more...

Create a wonderful week, my friends. Miss you all!

P.S. Have you read *THIS*? I know that I've already been political this week, but this seems like way too much Big Brother in Government for me and since it involves blogging and bloggers...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Outraged...Oh yes I am!

Political Commentary Ahead...consider yourself warned.

"If the American People are not outraged by this, they never will be."
~Congressman John Shadegg

What is that? Congress passed a Global Warming Bill (often referred to as the "Cap and Trade" Bill, which amounts to a tax on utilities) that Congressmen and women could not possibly have read. Why? Because an unethical Speaker of the House filed an additional three hundred pages to a 1200 page bill (loosely specifics...we' at three in the morning yesterday. Three in the morning!!!!! The vote happened at approximately seven last night. Our rights as property owners, vehicle owners, virtually any rights we now hold will be in the hands of an out-of-control government.

Oh yes, Nancy Pelosi is one wily, sneaky, unethical politician. She deserves every bit of the scathing criticism that she will certainly receive for this one. May the people of California see fit to remove her from office at the earliest opportunity.

The American people, through a constant flooding of the phone lines, voted 20 to 1 against this bill and still this rogue Congress approved it. Despicable. I am ashamed of all those Democrats who allowed their arms to be twisted by unconstitutional treachery. And I am appalled by the eight Republicans who voted for this bill. If this group of eight Republicans had voted against this bill... Who are they?

1. Mary Bono Mack-California
2. Mike Castle-Deleware
3. Mark Kirk-Illinois
4. Leonard Lance-New Jersey
5. Frank LoBiondo-New Jersey
6. John McHugh-New York
7. David Reichert-Washington
8. Chris Smith-New Jersey

Hope that they're voted out at the earliest opportunity as well.

“This is the biggest job killing bill that’s ever been on the floor of the House of Representatives. Right here, this bill,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner. “And I don’t think that’s what the American people want.” Source

Outraged? Yes, I am mad as I can be and I am not going to take this anymore without comment. May you comment? Sure. Email me. ;>

Monday, June 22, 2009

Window Project Mosaic

I'm not all about creating pretty mosaics, just so you'll know. ;> But all is not lost as you can find some gorgeous ones at Mary's Mosaic Monday.

John worked all Saturday on our little window project and all he got for it was this homemade pizza for lunch. I used the recipe posted at Little Birdie Secrets.

A big thank you to Dawn at The Feathered Nest for all the beautiful images used to make this project and for the idea in the first place.

Enjoy a wonderful week!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

One Thing I've Discovered

One thing I've discovered is that the longer one stays away from blogging the easier it becomes. That can't be a good thing! So in a purposeful effort to stay connected, even a little bit, I'm going to post weekly. Maybe.

So many of you have reminded me to take care of myself and John and to do something fun from time to time. I am not certain why I find this so difficult, especially when it's the very advice that I might give to someone in similar circumstances. Perhaps it is this: It feels as if it is a betrayal to those who are unable to do "something fun." But thinking that is a lie since both my mother and grandmother have continued to enjoy their lives even while in Rehab. So I attempt to nip that wrong thinking and focus on "something fun" for John and myself like an evening off to the lake to watch folks hit golf balls down the driving range and to partake of the best onion rings in the state.

Doesn't he look intent?! :D

After that, we are not ready to head home so soon. A stop at Giffords is definitely in order and John splurges, yet again, on one of their banana splits while I enjoy my favorite Caramel Caribou cone.

Still not ready to return home, we strike off for one of our favorite spots. Since the sunset is not cooperating quite as well as we'd hoped, I settle for taking a photo of Sebago Lake, stacks of wood being readied for next winter, and a Tufted Titmouse.

Wonder what the plural of titmouse is? Titmice? Titmouses?

Enjoy this beautiful day, Dear Ones!