Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Poem for a Gardener and a Web Site Too

To My American Gardener, With Love

Before the seed there comes the thought of bloom,
The seedbed is the restless mind itself.
Not sun, not soil alone can bring to border
This rush of beauty and this sense of order.
Flowers respond to something in the gardener's face—
Some secret in the heart, some special grace.
Yours were the rains that made the roses grow,
And that is why I love your garden so.

~E.B. White for his wife Katharine on her birthday

Gardens feature often in E.B. White's work along with dogs, weather, ducks, chickens, and, yes, spring pigs, too. If you've never read his essays or his poetry, treat yourself. I'm rereading my collection now. I know that I've spoken of E.B. White's admiration for his wife's gardening *before,* but thought this poem perfect for the first day of spring.

Stumbled upon Leslie Land's web site again this morning...such a good one! She wrote The 3000 Mile Garden along with Roger Phillips. This book was also made into a PBS special that you may remember seeing. I enjoyed the premise immensely, which was about a gardener in Maine — Leslie Land and a gardener in Great Britain — Phillips who correspond and share tips and techniques for growing their respective gardens. Wonder if they still do???

So, if you're interested in gardening tips (and a whole lot more) you can't go wrong to read those included in Leslie's corner. Her recipe section is marvelous, too!

Happy spring to you, Dear One...

Edited to Add: Leslie tried to leave a comment here answering some of my questions and yours. Because of my new settings and trying to weed out spammers, I've weeded out Leslie. Wah! You can find her comments, along with a wonderful crisp crust walnut pie recipe, *here.* She also provided Roger Phillips's web site: Roger's Roses. Thanks, Leslie!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Won a Tassel!

Manuela had a tassel giveaway at The Pleasures of Homemaking and I won! It arrived yesterday! I hung it right above the open box on the lamp above the table. (Yes, I do love a prepositional phrase.) Maybe I'll find a better spot as soon as my painkiller fog lets up. Thank you so much, Manuela! And thanks, too, to the talented tassel creator herself — Heather of Butterfly Genes.

Isn't it cute?! I just love it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pink Paper Peppermints

Tuesday's Project
First things first — Happy St. Patrick's Day to the Irish and to all those who want to be! My own Irish roots go back to Tipperary and my great-great-great-grandfather who emigrated from Ireland to Canada in the last half of the 19th century. Now that hardly makes me Irish enough to even wish anyone a Happy Saint Patty's Day, but I do all the same. Yup, I'm a three times junior Junior Mint.


Because I'm struggling with a pinched back, I haven't been blogging or visiting as I want to do. Never let it be said that our physical circumstances don't perfectly mimic what's going on in the rest of our lives. Test it out for yourself, but pinched nearly perfectly describes it for me.

It is because my pocket is also pinched that I was looking for a banner tutorial to use in a problem spot. No new curtains for me, no new drapes, not even homemade painter's cloth ones.

I found this tutorial at Pink Paper Peppermints and a lot more. This gal and I both struggle with perfectionism and we all know what perfectionism does... (Wonder if it pinches?) So do read her wonderful post written in 2008 and be encouraged. She also includes the link back to a former post so you can see the project from beginning to end. (I'm not sure why, but she stopped posting quite some time ago. Sugar! And I just found her!)

Anyway, I'm just going to drop in the photos and allow them to speak for themselves since my back...oh...ow...ie...

Once Upon a Window Dreary...

Figuring Out a Template for My Banner

Cutting the Pieces from Scraps

Another View

Hmmm, now if I just tighten up that string, I can hide those inner blinds... See? I just can't quit!

Project Mosaic
John got tossed in there for good measure. I was trying to capture his reaction, but he was too tired to have one for several minutes. Yes, he does like it or he says that he does.

I'm hoping to visit as many blogs today as I can because I'm nosy and must find out what you're up to, too!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spirit Wings

images used by permission

Spirit Wings

Some birds live in cages
They sing a quiet song
And like them I could sing for only You
But, Lord, Your love released me
To sing a different song
And soar above the captive life I knew

Spirit Wings, You lift me over all the earthbound things
And like a bird my heart is flying free
I'm soaring on the song Your spirit brings
O Lord of all You let me see
A vision of Your majesty
You lift me up, You carry me on Your spirit wings

When my life confines me, I just look to You
And soon my heart is soaring high above
Troubles look much smaller from Your point of view
Lifted up on spirit wings of love

~Words and Music by Claire Cloninger and Michael Foster

Today, I'm delighted to point you to a dear friend's blog — Quill Cottage and specifically to a post that Miss Sandy did last Wednesday titled *Using Personal Symbolism in Art.* Without a doubt, this very post is the reason I've been humming Spirit Wings for the past several days. Scoot along now because you're in for a blessing. Be sure to look for the music!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Easter Party

What fun to find everyone arriving from Lovella's What Matters Most today. Thanks for visiting! Hope that you enjoy what you see.

Lovella did today's post on pot holders unbeknownst to me and added her own unique twist. I'm sending my readers over to see what that means. My post on the topic is *here.*

And, also thanks to Lovella, we at A Haven... are having an Easter Party. I'm sending you to Mennonite Gals Can Cook for that recipe. It smells like heaven here today!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just How Important is a Laugh?

Tuesday dawned bright and beautiful, but with temperatures that had dropped nearly thirty degrees...brrrr. It does make my header look cold as one commenter said. Funny, though, that on warm days, it looks warm to me. Oh well, this is my life in my corner.

Since my mother was receiving another treatment and was therefore fifteen miles closer than usual, I went in to pick her up following her therapy and brought her home with me. Well, not before we had made a little sidetrip to Joann's at her suggestion. I shared what that sidetrip would likely mean...accusations and glares when we arrived home. Yes, we have a mutual Attila the Little Hun. Mother said that she really didn't care as she needed something and she was a big girl now.

While there, Mother pointed out a little plaque that read "It's Difficult to Love a Person With Whom You've Never Laughed." I nodded. Seems about right these days. I thought of purchasing it, but opted instead for some pretty Easter eggs.

After a lovely lunch provided by my mom, John and I were off again for the afternoon giving the ladies a chance to catch up once again and us a chance for a breather.

We drove up to the lake and watched the brave ice fishermen either actually fishing or getting their gear off the lake. The ice is beginning to go out and there are large spots of deep, deep blue water. It looked very cold indeed. We rode along the ridge high above the lake looking at all the beautiful homes and the scene below. No camera! Never a camera for these trips of mine. I'm scatterbrained as I can be.

On our return home, we popped into the flea market to saunter around for a bit. I'd already decided on a simple tea with raspberry clafouti for supper since we'd had such a nice, but late lunch.

We used to walk through hand in hand, but now that we're old married folks, we've given up that habit. I was looking at linens in one booth and John was looking at furniture in another. I could watch him through the shelves and I saw that if he took too many steps backward he'd have an encounter with a mounted moose head. And so he did. He turned and said, "Bullwinkle! What are you doing here?!" Cracked me up.

I can never match quip for quip with him, but just then I saw an old photograph of a baby who qualifies for the "So homely he's kyoot" award. I said, "Winston! What are you doing here?! Winston came home with me, though we left Bullwinkle behind.

Yup, the words on that plaque are true, which is why, when putting Attila to bed last night, I tickled her feet. She laughed; I laughed. We laughed!

Edited to Add: It dawns on me that I could share my little Winston with anyone who needs a baby with some character for an art project. Here he (she?) is in a scanned format. Feel free to snag!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fairy Dust

I spent all afternoon and evening in my craft room and have not one thing to show for it. Well, I have some Lilliputian coasters I could show you, but you'd laugh yourself silly. Why oh why didn't I just make up a template before I cut out all the pieces for six of them? One day I shall learn.

Hold the horses! Wait a minute! I do have something to show. As you all know perfectly well I am a big time copycat. I know what I like if I can just see it. And on Pink Saturday I saw this idea at Karen's blog A Scrapbook of Inspiration . One of her blogging buddies had given it to her. Go look! Hers is really pretty. Mine is copycat okay.

The John 14:2 picture is a gift from Karen.

This was a brilliant thing. It really does make using glitter more fun and easy. But then you go and read all about it at Karen's. Have a great Tuesday!!

Edited to Add: For those who've asked, this is the best I can find so far: How to Make Glitter Stick to Your Scrapbook Pages

Monday, March 8, 2010

Some Good Reading for You

This wee little Dutch girl is a salt shaker that my mother gave me years ago. She has a few little problems. Her bangs are too short — way too short; her lipstick is covering only one side of her lips (must've been in a hurry to get out the door again); her eyes have that vacant, faraway look. She's thick-waisted and on the pudgy side. And her hands? They're way too big. Her eyebrows? Oh dear! Nevertheless, I feel a certain affinity for her and, just to prove it, she brightens my kitchen windowsill every year about this time.

(Edited to Add: Okay, there may be trouble in paradise. As I was composing this, John came along and said, "That little salt shaker reminds me of you except her cheeks aren't as pink as yours." You don't want to know what I told him!)


While I was away all that time last summer and autumn, I missed a lot of news. For starters, I haven't caught up with all my blogging buddies and every now and then one will mention something and I'll realize that I haven't a clue what's going on... Gosh, I hate that. So if I ask you a question will you promise to fill me in? Thanks! In fact, if you think that I've missed something important, would you tell me today? Double thanks!

Then there was the news, only recently learned, that David McMahon is no longer blogging. He's returned to work full time on his novel writing. Now David did the most remarkable thing for Blogdom for a long time. He supported and encouraged writers by having a "Post of the Day" feature on his blog. This was an incredible thing because many pieces were submitted daily and he committed to reading them all. You'll note if you visit that David's subtitle is "totally committed to encouraging excellence in others."

I submitted selections from time to time. One such piece was Suzanne's post about her step-father called Life and Death in a Cornfield. I later discovered that I wasn't the only one to submit that post. If you've not read this piece, bookmark it. You'll not regret it.

More recently, there are two posts that I've been thinking about a lot. They're the kind of posts that help one rethink a thing or see something more clearly than ever before.

The first is titled Trading "Oh no!" for "Yes...and" by Shari at The Big Yellow Farmhouse. Well, after my first paragraph, you can see why this one resonated with me.

The second is an insider's look (this gal is a lawyer) at the alarming rise in teen pregnancy in a post called Warning: This is a Soapbox I'm Standing On. C at Stick Horse Cowgirls warns that she is on a bit of a rant. Well, she can rant away because what she says makes the most profound good sense. I encourage you to read it.

If David's Post of the Day were still around, I'd be nominating these two for sure. Anyone know of any other blogger providing such a feature?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ask, Seek, Knock

If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there. ~ Lewis Carroll

No other faith or religion save Christianity teaches that there is just one way to gain heaven. It makes people angry. It makes them cry "unfair." It disturbs folks. Well, my friend, that's just what Jesus came to do — disturb us enough to find the one road to the Father — Himself.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

And Jesus also said: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

It's awesome to know that you can know that you know that you know where you're going!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Springing it Up

Spent the morning roaming around looking for spring things and Easter things. Time to put away the Friendly Village dishes that I used all winter in favor of pastels. A week or so ago, I was wondering about forcing forsythia. It was just as easy as anything. I cut off the ends of some branches and put them in water. In just a few days they began to green up and then the blooms came shortly after. Since my forsythia lives behind the garage, I don't have much benefit of it without doing this.

A few more images for you to enjoy this lovely Saturday...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Packrat's Package

The most beautiful spring-like day has arrived. We'll even suffer the breezes to enjoy such a day. The past few days have been spent in the sewing room where I've been able to enjoy the scene you see in my header. Must say that I was surprised to find so many buckets this morning when I took the picture. For now my sewing is done so I'm going to go for a walk.

Packrat, it's on its way!

Comments are off today so that you may scoot along and enjoy your day, too! Oops! Got caught with my comments on. Happyone just wants to give me a little encouragement to get out for a walk.

Edited to Add: Just in case anyone wanted to see what was in the package, visit *this post* at Swatting at Flies.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Keeping Hearth & Home in Old Massachusetts

My daughter-in-law's family originates from Cape Cod so perhaps that's why she picked up this primer for my birthday last week. That and she actually listens to what I enjoy.

Clicking on the title of this post will take you to Google Reader where you can take a peek or two, if you are interested. It really has been a fun read.

I want to tell you yet another story about the grands who are old enough now to enjoy the excitement of someone else's birthday. They were happy about sharing some time having cake and ice cream and visiting last Saturday. (Not my birthday, but close enough.)

When they arrived, they made a hasty advance on the picnic basket where the toys and books are kept. After opening my gifts, I offered to read a new book I'd found for them, but Sam wanted me to read them Keeping Hearth & Home in Old Massachusetts instead. Oh I'm sure that he thought he was in for a great adventure.

So I read from the front flyleaf in my best keep-their-attention voice.
Wise advice for husbands: Husband, counsel with your wife and be assured that light will flash upon your darkness. Woman is far more a seer and prophet than man if she is given a fair choice. If you are in any trouble or quandary tell your wife all about it at once. Ten to one her invention will solve your difficulty sooner than all your logic; what is wrong of your impulse or judgment, she will detect and set right with almost universally right instincts.
Sam sat very quietly throughout and when I finished he said, with the foggiest look imaginable on his cute little face, "Uh?"

We all cracked up laughing, even Sam. Finally, he asked through his giggles,"Nonni, what's so funny?"

I reenacted his "uh moment" and we all laughed again.

It wasn't two minutes later when I said something else and Sam responded with an "uh?" Again we laughed. Okay, his poor parents. Though laughing, I could see them begin to realize what they were in for. I can only imagine what the week has been like. I'm afraid that Sam has likely had his first lesson in "what is funny the first time, isn't so funny over and over again."


Went shopping for a month's supplies yesterday afternoon and wheeling that non-functioning cart around Wal*Mart (there's not a decent one in the entire store) nearly did me in. I'm seriously considering a chiroman.


It's someone else's birthday today. He's celebrating many anniversaries of his 26th birthday. I really did rob the cradle now, didn't I?!

He's asking for strawberry shortcake today so I will certainly oblige. He's an easy man to please.


Fioré in the Window=Automatic Win

By way of explanation concerning my little sidebar picture and caption...we used to play the "Animal Game" on car trips when the children were bored. Teams are divided by sides of the car and sides of the road. Right-seated passengers must look for animals on the right side of the highway while left-seated passengers obviously look for critters on the left side. Each time anyone sees an animal on his/her own side it's a point. Birds are the exception as they fly left and right and go all over. No birds! A cat in the window equals an automatic win. Anyone else ever play this game?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Matching My Marches

Let's see, it's March 3, 2010 and I'm just getting around to changing the calendar. As much as I love my Laura Berry calendar this year, I did not like what I saw this morning. In fact, I uttered an audible "oh yuck." Perhaps this March picture would be better suited for New Yorkers or even Georgians, but not for me! ;>

After all, this is what I'm seeing beyond my windows — maple syrup season in full swing. Note the two means of collection: old-fashioned buckets and the new-fangled tubing.

My little problem was solved by going back through my stash of calendars (I'm especially fond of "Country Welcome" ones apparently, though I do have Sandy Clough tea themed ones and Americana ones, etc.) I found my answer with Fred Swan's 2002 Country Welcome calendar.

Ahh yes! That's a much better match. Wish that all of today's troubles would be so easily solved. Yours, too!

Have a lovely Wednesday...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tea Cozy Winner

The names are gathered in...

Honey, I need you! (He's not nearly as excited about playing the role of "the hand" as he used to be.)

But he's still a pretty good sport...

Just announcing the winner of the tea cozy. It may be that I buried that giveaway too deep as few there were who found it. So it's as it should be and as I like it. One who reads here regularly and comments often has won — Packrat @ Swatting at Flies!

Packrat, please email me your information and tell me a little more about yellow, white, and blue. The Tetley black tea I understand completely.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Wish that I could make you all a tea cozy!

Monday, March 1, 2010

My "Flea Market Style" Story

By now, I'm quite certain that many of us have one — a Flea Market Style story that is. I've been waiting patiently through February for my golden opportunity to slip out of the house with money in pocket and head for the marketplace. Last Friday evening was the perfect time. Mother had come out to visit for the afternoon and stayed for supper; I took her back to "the city" to meet her ride home; I didn't turn right out of the parking lot to go home; I turned left instead and made a beeline (in a driving rain no less) for the bookstore.

The magazine was found on the shelves right off quick. And, though I almost made it outta there without spending another cent, wouldn't you know that I had to trail by the Christmas discount shelf so now I have a lovely Christmas box, too. Oh well! The hazards of shopping.

Although I was sorely tempted to sit under the parking lot street light and have at least one peek, I was well aware that I would be expected home at any moment. Sure enough. I was. Not only that, I was "overdue." (John had had a lot of calming to do to get a certain someone to call off the all-points bulletin.)

My neighbors' outside lights shine through the trees

So I didn't have much of an opportunity to look at Flea Market Style that evening, but Saturday morning I was out of bed at six a.m. It was still dark. No matter. What's more cozy than a snowy morning, a fresh cup of coffee, Blue Boy (my chair), my beat-up hassock, and a brand new, brand-new magazine?

Such a lovely cover and not pristinely staged — I noticed the unfluffed pillows immediately. (Of course, every aspect was thought out, just saying that it looks real.)

I discovered right off that my tastes lean more to Matthew's sense of decorating style. Why I even have a platter similar to his. It's just that he has so much more of a collection.

Matthew's collection of blue and white dishes in a magazine rack

My "collection"

Does one piece a collection make?

OOps! I see that my tiered table may be in a bit of trouble if I try this idea and it was a good one. I won't be doing enough entertaining or serving enough cupcakes to make it worth my while to chop it up, however. Who knows? Maybe next year.

Time for a second cup of coffee

One thing that I noticed about reading this magazine is that it took time. TIME. It was not a quick read. I was not done in half an hour. I am not done even now after reading for an hour and a half. The attractive and subtle advertising really helped, too. It was so tastefully done. I find it jarring to see an ad tossed into a magazine willy-nilly with no thought for context.

And lastly, it was great fun to read more about the women that I have come to know in Blogland and to see their pictures. I hope to find many more bloggers featured in the next issue, too. Oh yes! There is room for this magazine in the publishing world! Hearty congrats to all concerned and may we all get to see a fall issue and a winter issue and a spring issue and a...

Check back tomorrow for giveaway news!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

I learned this as a child in first grade in a little red brick schoolhouse just down the way. That little red schoolhouse was a public school, but in 1960 teachers still taught scripture and this one was recited daily along with the pledge of allegiance. I learned it in the King James version so no other flows so beautifully from the tongue. I found it comforting as a six-year old and I find it comforting fifty years later.

Be comforted today, Dear Ones...

Friday, February 26, 2010


Yes, as I was saying, I've been going back through my posts and doing a bit of tidying up. One post has been lost to me. Oh, yes, it's still there buried somewhere in a pile of oodles of posts and with some title that means less than zip. Searches yield nothing, but I am not going to waste my perfectly wonderful permission to feature this artist. Her name is Tamar Mogendorff and you can find her work here and her blog here. (And now you also know the reason behind the title of this post.)

My former post includes a swan and we collect swans at the Haven. I'd love to collect one of Tamar's. She is a sculptor, an artist, a delight. I love her work!

Well, do see for yourself...

* used by permission
*hi vee,
thanks for your lovely post and e-mail.
and thanks for letting me know.. before the google alert.. :)
best wishes,

Before the Google alert? Wow! I am comforted to know that artists and photographers and anyone who'd like to so do can set up an alert. Still, how thoughtful of Tamar to give me permission. It's much appreciated. And, when I find that buried post, I'll be sure to put a link back to this one.
Have a wonderful Friday evening and a relaxing Saturday!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Em's Boys

It was great fun to be interviewed by Lisa at Grandma's Briefs. She had a way of asking questions that made me think. If you want to see some better photos of my grands and even one of me with my recession hair facing forward and wearing my hubby's shirt (Leah, check it out!) please visit Lisa right *here.* (Don't let all of Granny's underwear on the line scare you!)

Please tell Lisa that I sent you, if you'd be so kind. Thanks a million!

Go, thou, and have a great day...

Comments are off

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Have we been hair before?

As promised, this is the hairafter picture:

Striking difference, say what? Is this what I asked for? Not unless I asked to look like Little Lord Fauntleroy (hope that you can imagine that image), which I didn't.

As for turning around...hahahaha, silly gals!

Just a Note About My Use of Google Images

Having had it brought to my attention that sourcing "Google Images" is not sufficient, I am taking on the painstaking task of removing all images that have not been properly sourced. In some instances this means that entire posts are gone as they no longer make sense. Never has the "delete blog" button looked so tempting! Nevertheless, it is good to have one's feet placed to the flames even when it doesn't feel so good. I have learned my lesson. My blog will never be as lovely as it has been, but that's a minor problem given that some find my blogging behavior illegal, immoral, and unethical.

Comments are closed nor do I want email about this issue as my ego is still a bit bruised. Thank you.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Too Soon Again?

Last Easter, I started a little early and perhaps I've been thinking about Easter a little early this year as well. This year Easter will fall on April 4th, which is six weeks from yesterday. If one is thinking about projects and rounding up items, though, this really is the time to begin. These three things are tops on my list for 2010.

1. Easter eggs tie-dyed What a clever idea! I have a few of these things on hand without going to Goodwill.

2. Easter Garland at Creative Breathing. So adorable!

3. Martha Stewart-Easter Oh yes! I can see that I'm early when I beat Martha Stewart. She's beginning her Easter fling on March 1st.

Hmmm, wondering when I can start forcing the forsythia...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Not Good Enough?

In all my years as a Christian, I have never heard anyone say, "I've had it! I am sick to death of the love and grace of God. I'm sick of other Christians loving and accepting me. I'm giving up this Christian life." No I've never heard that. But I couldn't count the number of Christians I've known who have given up because of being under law, who have been broken by the crushing burden of trying to be good enough to earn God's acceptance, who have been mangled by the competition, the judging, and the demands to conform to some group's standards. "We'll accept you if you look like, walk like, talk like, and act like us." And the implication is always, "And God will, too." So what are we to do?

Jesus Christ came to free us from the burden of the law by calling us to a life united with His. We are beloved, accepted children of God, who have been called to His "banquet table" to experience Jesus Christ living in and through us every day. Abundant life is not "pie-in-the-sky" or nebulous theory. It is real, and it is ours for the taking if we will only believe. Let's not settle for anything less.
~Bob George

...for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:27–29

Besides the Bible itself, few books have challenged me and taught me as well as Classic Christianity by Bob George. I highly recommend it.

ETA: quotes used by permission