Monday, August 3, 2009

Another Mosaic Monday

A few stories in mosaics...







To catch a few more stories, visit Mary!

Edited to Add: Ackkkk! My computer has crashed. I'll be back someday. Until then...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Our Heritage



Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from Him. Psalm 127:3 NIV

I'd just like to add this — daughters, too. ;>

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

We've been treated (see? it's all in the word you choose to use) to some pretty spectacular lightning storms over the past week. Last night's and the night before's produced some dangerous conditions with power outages, fallen trees, live wires down, and that kind of thing. I've never thought to take a picture of lightning so I had to resort to Google images to find the amazing shot above. Our lightning was impressive, but not that impressive. (Photo removed for lack of sourcing.)

As the evening wore on, the rain intensified and the humidity levels were sucking the life (hmmm, how could I say that more cheerfully?) out of us all, John sat looking dispirited and then brightened, "Do we have any root beer left?" I shook my head no; he looked downcast and disbelieving.

"What?! Do I have to explain where every single one of those twelve cans went?" I asked.

Yes, things are like that around here. The last traces of ice cream disappear from the box, the last of the M&Ms goes missing, the final crumb of cake, and so on. I am usually blamed, but then I usually am to blame. It's my duty as a good homemaker to tidy up, don't you agree?

Anyway, I had a suggestion for John — how about some orange crush floats like Judy's? I had thought of them all day. It's wonderful to be married to a man who takes to a suggestion so well because our evening nearly ended in a perfect creamsicle haze.

Nearly. We are using a monitor system with Nan so that we can hear her should she need anything in the night. Just as we were nicely dozing off, the snap and crackle of the monitor began. "Kitty, Kitty, Kitty." We groaned and rolled over. Just as we were about to sail for Dreamland again..."KITTY, KITTY, KITTY." And on and on and on it went interspersed with "Sarah, where are you?" At that point, we just dissolved into giggles. This morning, Nan laughed so at the retelling of the story. It was good to hear her laughter again.

So many have asked about my mother that I wanted to give a brief update. Today she has begun her chemo treatments. (The cellulitis in her leg really postponed her chemotherapy.) She has been through chemo-like treatments before for her rheumatoid arthritis and went toxic on it. We are praying a lot and believing for the best, but we know that the next twenty-four hours will be telling. Thankfully, my grandmother has forgotten that today is the day. I'm thinking that it's God's mercy on her as, even at nearly 100, she is an extremely overprotective mother.

Stay cool out there and thank you for your wonderful visits. They are immensely cheering and I appreciate everyone's comments and emails more than words could express.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Aha! I Knew It All Along

M&Ms are good for you! Source



Hmmm, wonder if only three blue ones will be enough...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Second Anniversary

Today marks my second blogging anniversary; July 27, 2007 was the day. (Not much blogging right now, of course.)

My days are spent tending and doing. I enjoy nearly two hours a day to scamper about and visit my blogging friends and, if I am truly blessed, I have a little time to check out a new blog or follow all those wonderful links bloggers provide. If you've not visited the Garden Party or Where Bloggers Create, see the links in my sidebar. They were both wonderful events and I will be revisiting them from time to time.

Soooo, what to do this second anniversary? I think that I shall leave it at this and raise my glass of diet root beer and say to myself: Hang tough, little blogger, better days are coming.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Can'ts and Won'ts



Another rainy day in the Northeast. It provides me with an object lesson and a way to check my attitude. Lately, I have found myself saying things like this: I can't take it anymore!

Can't (can not) often means won't (will not). Sometimes it is good to come to the place of will not. I will not accept this abuse any longer is a good choice. It's acceptable to say I can not lift that 200 pound weight if it is true. But many, many times my "can'ts" really mean my "won'ts" and it is not pleasing to the Lord or to me. (Probably isn't too pleasing to those who live with me either.) For example, I can't take time for prayer — I will not. I can't make time for me — I will not. I can't stand this rain another minute — I will not. What's the alternative? Go crazy? I think not. ;D

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Psalm 107:8 NKJV

Not "could" give thanks, but "would" give thanks. It is a choice, after all. So here I sit watching the rain pour and praying that the Holy Spirit will help me thank the Lord for His goodness. It's my choice.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Old Photos



So many have asked how I am doing what I am doing with special photo effects, etc. No doubt you remember my earlier feeble attempts at special effects. Now it is true that I am slow...very. But once I do learn something, I have great fun with it. No tutorials today, but I am going to share my three secrets with you so stay tuned for links.

This photo is one that I have shared before right *here* and like so many vintage photographs, it is damaged. Personally, I find great charm in that, but this young woman is my great-grandmother long since gone and so, nudged a bit yesterday by a visiting aunt, I wanted to see her entire countenance. A lovely one it is, too.

I'm sure that there are easier ways and I am no expert nor am I an artist, but by working back and forth between Paint and Photoshop and Big Huge Labs, I was able to recreate the missing eye and do some general tidying. Well, all that and a few hours tossed in. When Gram began floating up from the mists and I could see her beautiful unblemished eyes and face, I got quite choked up so guess that it was worth it. Seems important to me now living with an aged grandmother to remember that we were all young once upon a time.

With patience, one can have great fun with digital art projects like this photo of my younger self with my today self...



Oh dear lawd, maybe not!

As promised, my three secrets:

Secret 1

Secret 2

Secret 3 (Oops! My apologies! I sent you to the wrong post before, but this one will work better.)

A happy day to you! (If you decide to give this a try, please let me know. I'd love to see what you do.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sarah, Plain and Long



I inherited Sarah and the Christmas cactus along with my grandmother over the past two weeks. Sarah was actually the first to arrive. She's a Maine Coon mix...the lovely big paws and that ghastly long hair. (Yes, I have been having nightmares about cat hair swirling through the house.) She had been hanging out mostly alone at my parents' house and had become a right regular mess. Grooming is essential, of course, for a long-haired pet.

When I realized that I was about to be "it," I put out an urgent call to Sandi our own Crazy Cat Lady requesting help. She suggested that before I introduce two adult female cats that they present a calling card from one to the other. Yes, how shall I say this delicately...offerings back and forth between litter boxes. Oh dear heavens! Well, let's just say that one cat took it quite well (Sarah actually) and the other, my own dear little Fioré did not. She tossed her "gift" right back out of the box with an "Eeek! I'm not taking any of that!"

Before you think that I had totally lost my mind, I want you to know that I did put my foot down about the condition of Sarah's mange...er, mane, her danged coat. It was matted beyond all belief and she wouldn't tolerate my touching her. So off she went to the vet's returning looking like a little lion. Kinda cute I thought and now I've been wondering why she wouldn't look cute that way forever.

I'd tell you how it all turned out in the end between Fioré and Sarah, but we're still shuffling cats. They have met once in the crack beneath the bedroom door where Sarah was locked. I don't know what Sarah whispered to the whacked calico, but it must've been impressive since Fioré landed back on the first floor without touching the steps.

Oh, by the way, did the pink lettering in the mosaic soften Sarah's image any? ;D

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Confused? Who Me?

Okay, I admit that in a mere two days I have a new appreciation for my mother. She took care of three...her mother, my father, and herself (plus two cats and a poodle). I only have to take care of my grandmother and myself. John, bless his beautiful heart, takes real good care of all of us. So I am the fortunate one.

Still, I confess to feeling confused from time to time. Living with the confused can do that to a person. ;> No one, however, is as confused as this crazy Christmas cactus of my mother's. It is living with me now, too, and is hanging out on the corner of the deck where Claudi/Emmy used to be. Have you ever seen a Christmas cactus bud in July?!



Oh, and just in case you thought the only newcomers were my grandmother and the cactus, wait until you hear about Sarah.

Have a pleasant weekend, Dear Ones!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Meeting HappyOne

She arrived with a comment on my blog on November 20, 2007 saying that she was going to try the mashed potato recipe and added this: I don't save my good china for special days anymore. Sometimes just an ordinary day is special. And that kind of thinking is what makes HappyOne such a delight. She takes joy in the simple things.

Back then she was writing a blog called Captain's Log. Today she writes Life is Good. Her husband Ken said that he was surprised, at first, by the popularity of a blog that is about the "ordinary" and went on to say that perhaps blogging is a way for us to know that we are all in this together. He's right, of course, and so we had some nice philosophical discussions about blogging, which I wished could've gone on longer. We even talked about many of you!

Despite Ken's assessment, I daresay that few of us walk six or seven miles every day or take pictures of fox, deer, geese or whatever wildlife happens to show up along the way; HappyOne does. And I love that I knew just what to take for her snack because she is dependable. Give the gal a dish of chocolate chip ice cream and a chocolate chip cookie and she's...you guessed it...happy! And she must know me pretty well also because she made me these yellow dishcloths. Thanks, HappyOne!



There they are!

We met at the Freedom House Cafe in Naples.

Yes, we ate, but forgot to take pictures. With all due apologies to the foodies out there, we decided to share our empty glasses.



Once we pinned Happyone down, we were able to play the Hokey Pokey.


How convenient that a dairy bar was right next door to the restaurant. Happyone couldn't have planned it better herself!
To quote the sign hanging above the mantel...We may have met as strangers, but such no longer be.

Happy Trails, Happyone and Ken. It was a blessing to meet you both. Enjoy a great time in Vacationland!
photos used by permission

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Homecoming Day


It's homecoming day for my grandmother. Wish that I had remembered to bake a cake. And I also wish that those red hot rockers sitting on that porch were mine. Maybe I'll have some extra time to post now that I'm not running every day to visit. Maybe. That's a definite maybe; we'll see how it goes. My motto remains: One day at a time.

I know that some have expressed curiosity and interest in our visit with Happyone and her beloved. Just waiting for final approval on photo selection. (That was my idea...final approval on photo selection that is. 8 } )

Create a Happy Day!

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...

DB