Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Being Present Through January's Final Week

It occurs to me that I should apologize for the quality of the photos here lately. It's either the camera, the photographer or the dreary days...

Dreary days require some warmth so I've been glad that I left some Christmas color around this January. I'm still celebrating winter though celebrating is much too strong a word; it's really more that I'm not anticipating spring yet. There's still this last week of January to live and I want to be like Teresa @ Plumwater Cottage who is working on being present.

The little snowman above is the direct result of visiting Dawn at The Feathered Nest and a blogger named Kerry whom she featured. *You must see Kerry's bottle,* if you've not already...such a good idea! I need to make a little quote for my snowman.

Last, I'm still playing with the centerpiece. This is where it is so far. Hope that it's done now, but I never know.

Oh good heavens! I now see that I am a total sham. Look at those roses! Nothing very January about those now is there?!

Have a great Tuesday, Dear Ones...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Up to Somethin'

Been thinking about this trouble spot since I visited Margo's Junkin' Journal a few days ago. The solution had been brewing and I knew that I had just the thing...just exactly "the thing," but where was it?

Not there...

Not there...

Not there...

Not there!

Bravely, I struck off after it...

twice! (This was a reenactment for blogging purposes don'tcha know.)

Much better! What's that? Yes, I was in my nightie. Doesn't every gal scamper about her backyard in January this way?

Yes! This will work...

if I don't get carried away with the cleaning

and leave just the right amount of dirt and mold. Gotta love those nice chippy cracks, too.

Determined to achieve my goal of creating a new centerpiece similar to Margo's, I decided not to even sneak a peek at the original.

Still no peeks, obviously... :-/

Had to peek

Calling it quits for today, though I'm going to try again soon. Stay tuned for further developments.

In the meantime, check out *Margo's Junkin' Journal Giveaway*

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Project Story Mosaic

Playing along with Mary at Little Red House...

Have been experimenting with repeating pictures in mosaics. Perhaps I'm getting ready to move on to my next kick — quilt making.

Comments are off so that you may enjoy visiting without pressure. My next post will tell the rest of this story: plenty of pictures minus the mosaic.

Enjoy your day and thank you for your visit!

God Leads

In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet,
God leads His dear children along;
Where the water’s cool flow bathes the weary one’s feet,
God leads His dear children along.

Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.

Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright,
God leads His dear children along;
Sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night,
God leads His dear children along.

Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose,
God leads His dear children along;
Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,
God leads His dear children along.

Away from the mire, and away from the clay,
God leads His dear children along;
Away up in glory, eternity’s day,
God leads His dear children along.

~George A. Young

I've always liked this song and most especially the chorus. It reminds me that there is no parity with God and what is one person's story will not be another's.

We lost two family friends unexpectedly this week. One was a woman my mother's age who had never missed a day of work, until that last day. She was always asking John how my mother was doing and telling him to let us know that she was praying. The other was a gentleman who had befriended both my mother and grandmother and who often sent them beautiful roses. He had been ill, but no one expected him to fall in the night, hit his head, and go home to Glory just like that. As John prayed that first morning,"Thank you, Lord, that I could call her my friend." And again just Friday morning, "Thank you, Lord..."

We'll see them both again one day and that is great comfort. Even Death will not have his way.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. ~Romans 8:37

And in the meantime, we'll trust God knowing that He has our lives and times in His hands. He will do the leading and the deciding. It's only up to us to follow.

Photo Source

Saturday, January 23, 2010

In a Jam

Have you ever been like Old Mother Hubbard who went to the cupboard? I'm beginning to look more and more like her, too. Not only am I ransacking the cupboards, I'm growing ever more rotund. It's true what they say about those macaroni diets.

Yesterday as I was scrounging about in the fridge, I realized that a lot of excellent real estate was being taken up by jam. There were seven jars of jam...homemade jam...good stuff...not a lot of protein, but still, you know, good. And maybe even great if your mama made the jam the way my mama made this jam.

I remembered an old bar recipe that she used to bake...my mama, not Old Mother Hubbard. As I recalled, the bars were easy, quick, and tasty and they would take care of at least one jar of that rhubarb jam.

Well shoot! What do you suppose are the chances of my ever turning back into my former svelte self? Hahahaha, I crack myself up.

Oh! The recipe!

Jam Bars


* 1½ cups flour
* 1½ cups quick oatmeal
* smidge of salt
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 tsp baking powder
* ¾ cup butter
* 1 cup jam (I give you permission to cheat on this one way or the other)


* Mix together dry ingredients.
* Work butter in until the mixture is crumbly.
* Save a third of the crumb mixture for the topping and place the remainder in the bottom of a 13×9½×2 pan.
* Press in firmly.
* Spread jam evenly over the top.
* Sprinkle the top evenly with the remaining crumbs.
* Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.

Did your mama ever make this for you?

Mother Hubbard source

Friday, January 22, 2010

An Experiment With Pattern

That "quilt" mosaic on Wednesday sparked something. I've always been interested in pattern and design and have actually written about it before in a post titled Fractals.

Have you ever heard of a Sierpinski triangle? It is a formula that repeats over and over again in what some might initially consider randomness or chaos, but which ultimately turns out to be design. (Course you know what I think about design.) The triangles are fun *to make; children who reach a certain age love them; and they can be colored to create all sorts of delicious designs.

Well thought I, why not try it with photo mosaics in squares and see what happens. Now I don't know if this can be considered "Sierpinski" though it looks "Sierpinski-ish" enough to me.

(Any reason at all to feature the grands, both of whom have had a birthday since last they showed up here. Four and three — what delightful ages to be!)

A friend purchased a somewhat expensive computer program to help her design quilts. I think I might show her this and see what she thinks. She's going to say,"Muddy." That much I do know. ☺

*To make a Sierpinski triangle:

1. Draw a large triangle
2. Draw a triangle within the triangle where the points touch at the midpoints of each of the original's sides...that's three. ;>
3. Continue in this fashion for each newly created triangle.

Go ahead and try it; you know you want to!!

Happy Friday, Everyone...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

One of the Oldest Trees in New England...

went down Tuesday in Yarmouth, Maine. His name was Herbie, an American elm tree stricken with the deadly Dutch Elm disease over fifty years ago. For all that time, he has been tended by Frank Knight a most diligent, vigilant, tree warden who is now 101 years old.


Mr. Knight watched as the crew took Herbie down this past Tuesday morning. He said eloquently, "It's been a beautiful tree. I'm sorry to see it go. But nothing is forever. It's pretty near my turn. And it's just a fact of life that life is going to end. And that's for people, for trees, for everything. I thank the good Lord every day that we had him in his glory and beauty for so long."

You can read more *here.*

Why am I telling you about Herbie when the story has been so well documented elsewhere? Well, perhaps it is because anyone who has ever lived under the shadow of a mighty elm is interested in stories such as these.

Also, in recent weeks, I've been working on trees of another sort — family trees. I've traced John's family, both his mother's and father's families, back to the beginning of time. Yes, all the way back to Adam's grandfather.

As for mine, I have not been able to get any further back than the 1800s in Yarmouth, Maine. It makes me happy to think that some of my family knew Herbie in the early years. Herbie was 212 years old.

What (or who ☺) is the oldest tree in your corner?

Edited to Add on May 14, 2012: Mr. Knight passed away at the age of 103. I find myself wistfully hoping that there's a Herbie growing in Heaven. Source

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Winter Mosaic

Perhaps I should call it a Winter Quilt Mosaic since I used the photos more than once. I took fifty-seven photos. In the end, there were less than a dozen that I liked. Photography is not my calling, but I certainly do enjoy playing with it all the same.

We're looking forward to seeing some blue skies late this afternoon after three days of snow.

Edited to Add:

January 21, 2010

We've had to wait an extra day for the promise of blue skies...but they are blue...such a vivid blue that I had to share. And I love the pop of red in the STOP sign down the street.

Stay warm and cozy out there!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Treasures from Main Street

Main Street Memories is a blog where I spend a fair amount of time. Colleen writes with such wit and lightness that one can't help a grin or, more often, a guffaw. Recently, Colleen and her sisters lost a bright light in their lives...their only brother. This has left them feeling sad and a bit lost, though it has not diminished Colleen's spirit or zest for life. One just knows that things are hopping and happening wherever she is. You'll meet Mr. B and all the family and you'll be enriched for it.

Thanks, Colleen, for the sweet treasures. I love them! They usually live in my craft room where they serve as inspiration. You know that I went right out and bought washers the minute that I learned you were up to something with washers (can't you just imagine folks wondering if we need some dryers, too?) Now I see that I need more Scrabble tiles and some dominoes. And, I'm going to take just the right photo and use my "V" necklace for my profile picture one day soon...as soon as the sun comes out again.

Happy Tuesday, everyone, stay happy and toasty.

Edited to Add: January 31, 2010

I love this profile picture and will come back to it again someday, especially now that I have it tucked in this safe place.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Seven Facts

Ages ago...and I do mean ages, Margie at Margie's Crafts (aka Margie Loves Wool) tagged me with the Seven Facts Meme. I told her that I'd return to it one day and this is the day six months later.

So here goes...

1. I procrastinate. (Oh stop! ;> )

2. My hair hasn't been this long since I was in college and I loathe it. I seriously considered chopping it off myself, but am reconsidering now that I see what I did to my poor Nan's hair Sunday morning. Good thing her eyesight isn't what it once was. Suffice it to say that she complained of being cold all day.

3. Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber is my current read. I may not finish it.

4. Baked Tina's Upside Down Pineapple Cake this weekend sorta; didn't have the proper ingredients so substituted spice cake and pears.

5. Shoveling isn't my favorite thing so John does most of it. He's doing it now.

6. Found myself staring at my hands a few days ago. They looked older than I ever remember.

7. Love the Google art that commemorates a special day. It's the only way that I remembered that today is Martin Luther King Day.

Although I no longer tag anyone, please feel free to do this if you'd like and let me know so that I can read yours!

Come back tomorrow and I'll share a long overdue (September 8th overdue) thank you for a giveaway win from Colleen at Main Street Memories.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Waiting, Standing, Trusting

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. ~Ephesians 6:10–18

It's been another one of those weeks. A week when there has been much heartache in the world — a week when some of us simply haven't known what to do. What to do. What to do...

"If we are to be really reconstructed, it will be in a hard time...at a time when you think all things are dried up, when you think there is no hope for you and you have passed up everything. That is the time that God makes the person... When the trial is severe; ... so hard that you cannot sleep and you do not know what to do; 'count it all joy.' You are in a good place when you do not know what to do; look to God for the answer." ~Smith Wigglesworth

Thursday, January 14, 2010

May the Bird of Paradise ...

Now I have already teased Chocolatechic about this... Do you imagine that she laughed herself silly to think of those who would attempt what "the boy" showed us how to do two days ago? (Don't let that moniker fool you. This "boy" is a serious student at a Culinary Arts College somewhere in Ohio.) Sooo, did you see it? Did you try it?

I did. Oh yes, I hauled my apple, my lemon juice water, my sharp little knife, and my sorry self to sit before the monitor in an attempt to very carefully copy the steps. To the tee. To the best of my abilitee. But somehow this is what I got.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Celebrating Winter

The Garden Gate

This is the painting that led me to Nita Leger Casey's blog Gingerbread Art Studio. Images of New England are so pleasing to my eye. Must be because I adore the familiar for these are the scenes I see all around me this January.

Nita has been so kind to give me permission to show some of her paintings. She told me via email that she lives in a gingerbread house in New England, visits Maine often, and also has a blog about France where she was born. Those paintings are beautiful as well, but my focus today is on her artistic view of New England.

Both my daughter and I were charmed by this painting of Owls Head, Maine. She and I have only seen it in summer so the winter view is new to us. If you are a longtime reader of this blog, you may remember my discussion of Owls Head from this photo.

Let's get back to winter, shall we? I'm going to stop typing and allow Nita's paintings to speak for themselves.

Winter Shadows

Pepperell Street

Once in a Blue Moon

Nita shares the most celebratory winter story of "Once in a Blue Moon" right *here.*

If you happen to be at Logan Airport in Boston, you can see some of Nita's work in person. Just check her sidebar for more information.

Please visit Gingerbread Art Studio and be charmed as well. There's so much more to see!

Yesterday, I was visiting Dear Diary - Cait O'Connor where Cait has written the most wonderful poetry named A Walk in the Snow. It made me yearn for the outdoors and, though I couldn't go for a walk, I did lean over the deck railing and inhale the wonderful, crisp air. I'm all for celebrating winter since it will long be with me and this poem will help you celebrate winter, too. Just see if it doesn't!

Thank you for visiting me today and remember to Celebrate Winter!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Our Weekend

We, John and I, seldom have time away from the house together so it was wonderful to go flea market shopping Saturday afternoon while my daughter stayed with her great-grandmother.

Antsy, I have been; too much at-home-all-the-time. Even Nan has complained of being cooped up. I feel her pain, but she truly can not handle the frigid temperatures, the ice and snow nor do we want to risk her becoming ill with all the flu and colds about. Taking her anywhere is a major effort for all of us, but we shall get her out again even if it looks as if she'll have to bide for a few weeks.

Saturday was a crystal clear blue corker of a day with the temperatures hovering in the teens and a brisk wind blowing. We caught glimpses of our beloved Mt. Washington's eastern face on the horizon across the fields and I thought of our beloved Vermont on its western side.

Coming down from the ridge we found ourselves on the plains where the flea market "open every day except for Christmas" sits beside a pine grove. We wandered about for nearly an hour before leaving empty-handed. Perhaps it was the very first time that I looked at stuff and it was just that — stuff. Nothing that I wanted, needed or even liked. I may be ill.

A quick trip to Wal*Mart proved a boon because we found boxes of candy canes for seventeen cents! Needless to say, we'll be fueling our addiction for some little time.

Yesterday, we had a sweet little visitor come to see us. Her grandmother, John's daughter, brought her and we laughed and delighted in her cute expressions and the way she was interacting with her great-grandpa.

The pastor is visiting today. Isn't it wonderful to have a pastor who makes home visits? It's a blessing to have people come to us since we are so rarely able to go to them. Another one of the many reasons why I love Blogland so very much: human contact...after a fashion.

Enjoy a blessed day!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Letters to Emily

The premise is reminiscent of Charlie Shedd's book Letters to Karen, except that the letters are to a young mother about raising children. There are also many encouragements concerning marriage and family. What am I talking about? A new-to-me blog that I stumbled upon (via a comment left yesterday) and a most delightful find it was.

No pictures save those created with words alone, but the entries are concise and poignant with wonderful touches of humor. Look for My Letters to Emily on my blogroll from now on and do visit to see what I'm raving about. You'll find that each entry is a treasure; I'm certain that young mothers and even grandmothers would enjoy reading them.

One that had little to do with child-rearing turns out to be *my favorite.* You'll see why right away.

This is a bit of an unusual twist for a Sunday entry here at Haven, but so delighted was I to see this unique, encouraging blog that I could not help myself.

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. ~Matthew 5:15

Photo Source

Friday, January 8, 2010


We hear the weather reports concerning cold and snow from all over. In my corner, we're not experiencing anything beyond the normal, but for all of you who find yourselves in such harsh weather, I offer this. ;D

We have a few candy canes leftover...precious few. Over the holidays, I learned a new way to use them from somewhere. Perhaps this recipe from The Old Painted Cottage will be helpful, but do be warned as it's highly addictive. Here, I'm just using hot cocoa mix and a whipped cream topping with a bit of crushed candy cane mixed in. It's perfect because it's not too sweet, yet there is that subtle peppermint flavor.

How to crush those candy canes without a big mess? I tried a number of methods and wound up using two plastic lids with a nice edge to capture the bits and pieces. Nothing worse than hurtling bits of candy cane all over the place.

Here's what you need...candy canes, lids, and a hammer
On the altar so to speak
Use a dishtowel, if you'd like to protect the lids...I didn't bother and they seem none the worse for wear.

The result
Just three left

And, should you tire of hot drinks, we enjoyed the most delicious peppermint milkshakes last night using this formula:

* 1 cup milk
* as much French vanilla ice cream as you wish (I'm so flexible.)
* 1 tsp vanilla
* 1 crushed candy cane

Wonder what it would be like with chocolate milk and chocolate ice cream...

Stay warm out there!