Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Not Again!

I've committed yet another commenter error. What now this time you're probably thinking. Well, I've made a comment on a dear blogging bud's post and an anonymous commenter attacked her for my comment. Did you know that that can happen? It can. Readers sometimes judge us for what our visitors say in response to our posts.

This caused some name calling on the part of the anonymous commenter and an attack on my verbiage. Seems that the A.C. thinks that anyone who believes differently from her is a dolt, completely unenlightened. Apparently, she also believes that only her opinion should be expressed. Sigh. There is no way to intelligently discuss any topic with such people.

Now I did learn something about my own commenting behavior once again. I learned that I was guilty of attaching my opinion to another's post. That should be reserved for my own blog where commenters can attack me for my opinions instead of my readers' opinions.

My apologies to my blogging friend for my not saving the comments, which might be considered by some to be insensitive, for my own blog. (She, my blogging friend, handled this little tempest beautifully.)

However, I do not apologize to her anonymous commenter. In fact, I'd like to address Anonymous directly:
Dear Anonymous One,

The world is a big place and one day you will discover that someone equally as intelligent as you, equally as educated as you, equally as spiritual as you, equally as caring as you, equally as wonderful as you in every possible aspect will believe the exact opposite as you do. (I hope that you don't marry him.) And when you discover this, you will realize that every little thing is not true just because you think it.

Why did I bring this up? Why not and why else — so we could all learn something. I used to think, and not so very long ago, that I had to be longsuffering with these types of commenters. I used to have several of them lurking around in the shadows, but I have learned that I can dispatch them and I do not hesitate to do so today.

My advice to them is this: You are welcome to comment when you can enter into an intelligent conversation where you allow variety of opinion. Otherwise, don't let the door hit you where the...

And when I read *this* devotional from April 1, 2010 at Our Daily Bread, I positively cheered. About time and thank.you.very.much.

Today, I felt the liberty to post as I have and, in case you think I'm having a bad day, you're wrong! I'm having a great day!

You go and have a great one as well... (that means you, too, Anonymous!)

photo source

P.S. Just a reminder...this blog no longer accepts anonymous commenters due to an incredible deluge of spam. Have always despised that stuff...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Unusually Beautiful April 4

Easter Day was an incredibly beautiful day in my corner, almost unheard of for such an early April day. The temperature reached 70F and the sky was blue with just a puff of cloud every so often. For this reason, I was glad that we had decided not to go the full Easter dinner route this year.

After the church goers arrived home, we ate a light lunch and later in the afternoon had coffee and cake out on the deck. Prior to that, we played. The grands went searching for Easter baskets; we had a very long game of hide 'n seek; we colored; we jumped ropes; we sent gliders sailing all under that beautiful sky.

Just dropping in a few photos for me to remember by...

Where's that Easter basket?

Sam searching for just the right page to color

All hands on deck or Jake is contemplating an escape

There's a lot going on or Jake attempts an escape

John and Jake sporting sunburns or Jake is foiled again

Getting the Glider ready or Jake is still trying to escape

Do you suppose this gene runs in the family?

Hmmm, sometimes cropping can create such an intriguing photo...

It is my fond hope to do some snooping visiting today so I can discover more about your Easter Sunday!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Welcome Easter Morn


...the only way to take hold of God's promises for the future is to take hold of the resurrected Jesus in the present. ~J.R. Daniel Kirk


Enjoy a blessed Easter!

As always, comments are off on Sundays.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Counting the Cost of Caregiving

So you are considering caring for a parent or a grandparent in your home... The Bible tells us to *"count the cost" of any major decision. Therefore, I have a few things I'd like to share with you followed by a little story from my own experience.

Have you always gotten along well with this person? If so, having this loved one come to your home may work very well; if not, your chances of success are less than a snowball's in Haiti.

Are you able to empathize with this person's loss of autonomy? If you can place yourself in his or her shoes, it will help you understand why s/he clings to control or why s/he is experiencing depression, both of which are very common in the elderly.

Speaking of clinging to control, when the chips are down, are you able to speak firmly into this person's life? Can you say when a bath must be taken or when a walker must be used or any one of a number of musts? If you couldn't possibly, you will soon find yourself run over by an elderly loved one who is trying to remain in control to the detriment of his or her own health, not to mention yours.

Is your home safe? By that I mean, are there scatter rugs about? Are light switches easily accessible? Are the floors level? Are there cats that scratch? Dogs that jump? Is there room to pass in the hall? If there are any concerns about your home, carefully consider what having an invalid there will mean.

Also, are there at least two bathrooms in the home? If not, it's important to know that one's own health is put at risk when one must regularly wait for bathroom time as will often prove necessary with an elderly person in residence.

What about the dietary needs of the individual? Are you willing to prepare multiple meals to satisfy the needs or even whims of your guest?

What about the extra work load that a guest requires? The laundry, the cleaning, the personal care requirements? Can you take care of another's most personal care needs? Can you give another person a bath? Can you clean another's dentures? Can you do this for your own ______?

Can you communicate clearly with doctors, lawyers, the IRA, Medicare, Social Security, etc., and so on?

Are you willing to give up personal time? Are you willing to give up music or whatever.it.may.be. that your guest finds upsetting? In my own circumstance, I have given up seeing my grandchildren as often as I'd like as my loved one finds them "too loud and boisterous" and I must be careful with music.

If you've answered yes to these questions, you may well be a candidate to step in as a personal caregiver for someone you love. If you've answered no, this is a good way of sorting out what kind of commitment you are willing to take on.

Caring for an elderly relative can be extremely rewarding, even when the elderly relative/friend doesn't seem to appreciate much of what is done for him or her. If your source of strength comes from the Lord and you need no personal recognition, not even a thank you, you will be better off for it. If you are leaning on the Lord and allowing Him to lead, together you may be able to see your loved one safely home (from this world to the next) without any appreciable time being spent in a nursing care facility. It is my prayer...

*Luke 14:28–30


As I pushed my grandmother into the examining room, the nurse asked me a bit under her breath, "How are you?"

I grinned at her as best I could and said, "One of us needs a pill. Perhaps it's me."

It had been the worst possible of days. Nan has begun to wander and she has already fallen three times. She hears water running in the night and can't believe that I am so careless as to leave the water on so she must go check. She hears music and can't believe that I am so careless as to leave the computer on or the radio on or the tv on and must go check. It's never her problem; it's always mine.

Trying to explain that she is scaring me to death is like trying to explain the theory of relativity to her. She waves her hand and says, "pah!"

The doctor does a cognitive test that my grandmother passes with flying colors. It includes writing, drawing, remembering things in series, and spelling forwards and backwards. I had no idea that my little nana could spell "toward" backwards. Goodness, I'm not sure that I could. In the end, the doctor says that her mind is very good. "I know that," she states emphatically.

"Then you are wandering about knowing full well what you're doing?" the doctor asks gently.


Wonder why I'm sitting here with a five-page information sheet on Alzheimer's with her name on the top that begins...

"A common difficult behavior associated with AD is wandering..."

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Results of My Commenting Experiment

The good news is in! (Almost that is, as of this post, 9 hours remain.) Nary anyone who took my little poll feels that a commenter who continues to comment without any encouragement is a stalker. So there to whoever it was that said that they were! (I read it from the "help" site on Blogger, but haven't been able to find it again.) Thank you so much to each and every one who voted. It's much appreciated and helps to be more representative than the first ten votes that hung on for several days.

As per usual, the best thing about this experiment was reading all the comments. Ironic, eh? I so appreciated the insight behind them. Some commenters seemed confused as if they might be saying, "Why rock this lovely boat?" Others made suggestions that helped me think my way through as Dawn did when she offered this advice: Do what makes you feel lovely.

Recently, I read an excellent article about making blog comments. This writer gave some to-the-point tips. I found that I was guilty of these things when making comments:

1. I don't always stay on topic
2. I can come across as a know-it-all (Poor Judy! I blamed her blog when Blogger went down Monday then had the added nerve to suggest that she fill Lovella in. How embarrassing!)
3. I've not always recognized the line between when to comment and when it would be better to email
4. I've been too long-winded
5. And there's more so keep reading...

Of course, I know how to check site meter to decide what the traffic patterns are...that's not the point. The point was, if I stopped commenting all over Blogdom Come would I have any company or comments? Originally, I thought less, and that has proven true, but not to the extent that I thought. Is it even important to comment or have commenters in the first place? For me that's a no-brainer. Yes!

(For Donna, as far as I know there is precious little connection between the numbers that site meter provides for us and the number of comments. One blogger friend shares that she gets about a third the number of comments as visitors. My numbers are even worse. I get about a tenth of the number of comments as visitors. Whether it says something about "approachability" or whether it's a calculated thing — that person has "enough comments" I don't know. All I can say is that I have experienced both as I visit another's blog. This I do know, I have not begun to explore the depth and complexity of this issue.)

When one has a little blog, one often does a lot of visiting to put oneself "out there" to begin to make those connections with other bloggers. It's been great fun; I've learned so much; I've met so many nice people; and I am now officially on overload.

So what's next for me? Probably I'm going back to blogging as a type of journal to chronicle my life responding mainly to those who respond to me. This makes me sad for this reason: I do not want to hurt my blogging buddies. And still I know that not hearing from me every post is not going to be any big deal. It just isn't. We'll all roll... In the meantime, I shall be hoping that this is a temporary thing and that, by the time I get back to commenting daily, Blogger will have made some changes.

I'll sum it all up this way. Things need to change for me. I am not suggesting that things need to change for you. We've all seen the badges that say "Blogging Without Obligation." I've made one for myself that says "Blogging and Commenting Without Obligation." I will let this be my blogging philosophy and I will allow it to be yours, too, whether or not you say so. I promise. No more circling around like one of my backyard turkey vultures waiting for a blogger to show up. (I'm sorry about that, Suzanne.) We have very different lives and putting pressure on anyone just isn't cool. As you can see below, I've been guilty.

And things need to change because, sadly, Blogland has changed. It used to be that one didn't need word verifications for comments. Now we've all seen what spammers do. This makes me fervently wish for a spam blocker for Blogger such as Askimet, which only works for WordPress.

Some have shared that they don't understand my intense dislike for word verification. When commenting as much as I was, it wouldn't take you long to develop some intense dislike for it, too. The process definitely slows down exponentially the more blogs one visits. There has to be a better way. Perhaps Blogger is listening. Other than that, may I humbly suggest that each blogger find the best way for her commenters to respond to her posts. Use your own system and see if it's a one-step, two-step or *gasp* three-step process. You might also wish to test your blog's load time using Stopwatch.

In the end, the best advice I can leave you is Dawn's...Do what makes you feel lovely. Until we meet over the fence, go and create a delicious day!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An Evening Out

An evening out sounds grand. And it was! An evening, all 47 minutes of it, with the grands. What with our being sick and their being sick, we hadn't seen each other in too long. So with treats stashed in my purse, I was off. (Thanks to Carol for a great idea!)

The "carrot" treats confused the littlest grand all to pieces. Jake just couldn't make a connection between carrots and cheese puffs. The older thought they were funny.

And in the end, I came home with a treat. It's not in the fridge, but on it and signed by the artist, too.

So that's my first coloring book page from a grand. I also received an "I love you, too" that warmed my heart; although, I may have tried to push it too far because after another request for a kiss, Sam looked at his mother and said, "You kiss her." Cheeky little bugger!


Look for my final thoughts for a while on comments and commenting tomorrow. And a collective cheer arose in Blogdom... Edited to add: I see that Blogger is naughty again today making commenting too much of a time waster. Hope to get back to visiting when things improve.

My hubby bought me a biography of E.B. White so I'm planning to curl up and read as much of this rainy, cold day away as possible. Enjoy your day, too!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tiny Homes

O, to have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!

~Padraic Colum

I'm dreaming of a little house about this size.

*** Just a reminder about the poll going on to the right and a thank you to all who have already voted!

Edited to Add: Ohhhhhh, so Blogger is the one responsible. No surprise! If my dear readers will follow the source, all will be revealed. ;>

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday

For a wonderful Palm Sunday reading, I'm referring you to My Letters to Emily and specifically to this post titled Ain't No Rock!

Today, I'm not sharing about the praise of Palm Sunday, but rather about the scars of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

Do you remember Farrell and Farrell? They were (and are) a married couple who were popular in the 1980s, away back when I was a young wife and mother. Recently, Linds wrote the post that rattled my memory and what did I remember? The faint melody of a song playing on the stereo as my children played on the kitchen floor. It made me a little sad as if I could see myself beyond myself back in that house, younger, and having no trouble identifying with that song. I felt my heartache from that time and I felt my heartache in my current circumstances. (Yes, I've always been a titch of an Eeyore.) Linds' post is called A Grilled Grandma and a Patchwork Heart...
If you read Linds' post and the lyrics of the remembered song, perhaps you'll see why such a long-ago memory was stirred and how timely it has proven to be.

Our minor sufferings are nothing compared to what the Lord endured for us, but they mean something to Him all the same. It's why He came in the first place. We are hurt and needing a healer. He is our healer. He is our everything.


I hurt when I think of the things that He suffered
The way in which He died
Wounds taken in my place — inflicted upon Him
Sweet Son of the Most High

Death were you so sure when you silenced the Master
Yet where is your sting? The garden tomb is so empty

He stole your trophy away when He opened His eyes

See those scars — precious scars
How they prove what the Saviour went thru

Do you love those old scars
For the strength they bring to you
Reminders that suffering is part of His plan for you

Got some of my own scars — some hurt to remember
Those emblems of old pain
Though everyone has them I sometimes want to hide them
When they go to aching

But pain is a tool in the hands of the surgeon
And to share in His love I must share in His suffering

And if scars were all that I had — I'd do it all just the same

See those scars — precious scars
Proof of battles He brought you thru

Learn to love those old scars
For the strength they bring to you
Reminders that wounds are a part of His plan for you
Reminders that healing is a part of His plan for you

Music and Lyrics by
Bob Farrell

This You Tube does not feature the song "Scars." Rather, "I Couldn't Live Without You" is lighter, but with another profound message that's still working for me today. Gotta get a cd!

Blessings to you this Palm Sunday morning!

As always, comments are off for Sunday.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Window Washing

Window Washing. I hate it. Most windows here are in need of washing and so I am not meeting my friend Katie's expectations. She once said, "You can't fool anyone into believing that your house is clean if your windows aren't." I don't always like Katie.

Now that weekdays are cold and rainy, but weekends are warm and fair, we find ourselves doing these spring tasks. Last weekend, John washed the car and some windows. Streaks galore. Oh my! Couldn't imagine what was wrong since I had given him a solution that included white vinegar and he was using my favorite cleaning cloths...microfiber.

Well, Leslie Land may have the answer to everything! (Though I must stop referring to Leslie all the time because I may actually be a stalker.)

We followed her excellent advice and impressed ourselves with the results. You can find that advice *here*; you will not be disappointed. And you can find my kvetching about windows there.

The point is that when washing a gazillion windows and when washing transoms — we have too many of those...what were we thinking...obviously planning on finding the fountain of youth somewhere out in those woods — it is a good thing to do it well and without streaks the.first.time. Leslie's tip helped us accomplish that.

Now does anyone have a remedy for blue haze between the panes of glass?

***My little Comment Experiment continues. If you've not voted in my unscientific poll, please feel free. There's no way for me to tie you to your vote so it's completely anonymous.

One thing I've noticed about not making so many comments, beyond the freedom from the computer, is that when I visit my blogroll buddies, I feel so at ease. There is "no pressure" to comment, unless compelled. Yes, I've been "compelled" a few times. Also, I am taking my time to read very carefully and to look around a bit more. You guys have created the most amazing places!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My New Books

What fun to bring in new books that are fun to look at and fun to read. I've been treated to both. One is a book that my sister thought I'd like from her stash of books heading to a book sale. Yay! Glad that she rescued it for me. The other is the most amazing stroke of serendipity. I gathered it from the free "cast-off" pile at the local flea market some time ago, but had no idea what I had. Well, wait until I show you.

The title is Yankee New England Cookbook by none other than Leslie Land. You can go back to last Saturday's post to find my discussion about another book I own that she had written. Did I realize this? No! Did I know it last Saturday? No! I rediscovered the book in my stash on Monday and could scarcely believe it. It's a fun book to read because Leslie is a wordsmith with a great wit. She makes me laugh out loud. Yes, a good mood lifter this one. Do I recommend the recipes? Haven't made one yet and, truth to tell, the recipes don't sound like "typical New England." I believe that she points that out herself. Why anyone would give this one away and then toss it on the "free heap" is beyond me, but I am the blessed one.

Better Homes and Gardens America's Best Cross-Stitch, though copyrighted in 1988 making it officially ancient, has such lovely pictures, colors, and projects that I'm sharing some below.

Love both the color of the pressed back chair and the wicker chair

A closer look at the yellow (my favorite color)

This is some tea cozy and you know why I'm intrigued. No! Not because I hope to make one. Goodness, no!

Another creation that strikes me as way too precious by half, but I love the "peace" and "plenty" signs. What a wonderful blessing for any cottage.

If you are not following along with my little "Comment Experiment," enjoy this wonderful day!


If you are following along, here we go. The first thing I'd like to say is that my former statistics professor would give me a lecture on the problem with my so-called experiment. He would tell me that there are way too many variables. Undaunted, however, I will carry on just for snickers.

The first thing is that I will attempt to post the same number of times that I did last week, which means that I won't be posting for the next two days until Saturday. I will also post at the very same time when I do post. This experiment will run through March 31. (ETA: Right! I was trying to post at 2:51 PM and it went in as 2:51 AM. What was I saying about too many variables?)

What have I discovered so far? A noticeable drop in comments, but no drop in visitors. In fact, visiting has increased. This could get interesting, folks, or not. ;>

Edited to Add: Once again, Leslie has tried to comment and instead has written a response to this post at her web site *here.* It's very interesting!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Am So L.O.S.T.

L.O.S.T. Yes, I watch it and have since the first season. I am one of those nutty fans of one bizarre tv show. Sigh. I've given up trying to explain it, though I tried valiantly for the first few seasons. Namely, I was trying to explain it to my sister and now I'm trying to explain it to John who reads through the program just to keep me company. Reads? Yes! And how can one hope to understand a television program while reading through it?

All along I have described this program as a Christian allegory. This was a story along the lines of Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan in my thinking. The character Jacob was a type of Christ (a literary term) and the Man in Black was not Johnny Cash. Everyone else was along for the ride.

So last night the story behind Richard (the man who never ages) was revealed. At one point, the island is explained to him by Jacob. Jacob says that the island is like a cork on a wine bottle. The liquid within the bottle is hell and all its evils. The island is keeping hell contained. Hmmm... At the end of the show, the Man in Black smashes that very bottle, which I take to be a metaphor that all hell is going to break loose. We shall see. In the meantime, the show has veered off my pre-conceived path for it. Again, we shall see.

Now why can't I be enjoying the nice PBS series that Barbara shared with her readers yesterday? I know that I'd like it. I know that I'd probably not have disturbing dreams about it. The series? Lark Rise to Candleford based on three books by Flora Thompson: Lark Rise, Over to Candleford, and Candleford Green all published before 1945.

I watched the most delicious nine minutes of a Christmas special on You Tube, which I include here just so you can have a taste, too.


In other news: A fellow blogger and I have been sharing a discussion about comments and commenting. Her take is that comments can become like "having a daily pen-pal." She does not think that that is a good thing. I shared that I had read somewhere that daily comments were like being a stalker. I also shared that I didn't find that to be true. Nevertheless, I am going to try this experiment. I will most likely visit all of my blogging friends' blogs often, but I will be commenting less often. I am thinking that this will become a tit for tat experience. If I don't comment, you won't comment. On with the experiment, if I can keep my mouth shut!

Edited to add: Oh-oh! I can already see that I may need to clarify. Clarity not being my strong suit, I'll give it a shot anyway. What I am trying to say is that I comment, "I" being the operative word here, nearly a hundred times a day. I doubt that that is wise. In this cold, harsh light it seems pretty stupid, in fact. Hence the experiment. (I love comments, but to give out a hundred comments to receive a quarter of that is not worth the investment of my time. Am I being more clear or do I need to do better?)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Quote Collecting

Some of us are collectors. Genuine, bona fide collectors. Others of us dabble in collecting...something appeals to us for a season or a lifetime and we can't help but gather all we find, if we can afford it.

I gather quotes. (I can afford it.) Many of you gather them as well. I keep them in books and have a number of them filled with gathered written-in-my-own hand quotes. They sure come in handy for this blog.

Some of your quotes have been collected. Before anyone gets antsy, I always ask for permission to gather a quote. Always. Bloggers say the most profound things. Things that I've not heard before or thought of in that way before or there's.just.something.that.rings.true.in.a.special.way. I think of a quote as a word picture or a way of expressing a thought in a single zap of light straight to the mind or heart.

Want to know some quotes I've gathered from bloggers? Oh good! Because I came prepared to share.

Sometimes what appears to be our failure is actually God's planning.

Don't you just love that one? I do. I'm glad that I read it often because there's been a whole lot of "failing" going on around here.

There is a reverence in children for delicate things. ~Abbie

Now does that not perfectly express that look of wonder and those chubby fingers so carefully holding a caterpillar for the first time?

It requires daily effort to remain interested, interesting, and connected to others. Without that connection, life is a lonely and closed place. ~Suzanne

After reading Abbie's insightful post on bananas and apples, I'm going to keep working on this thought. No, I am not mixed up. I may be mixing apples and oranges, but not bananas and apples. Come to think of it, I may feel a bit dizzy. Anyway, Suzanne has wonderful posts full of insights and so does Abbie!

Never underestimate the importance of a domestic missionary with an apron around her waist, love in her heart, and wisdom in her words. ~Brenda

I think I sat up straighter after reading Brenda's words and the post it came from. You'll note that each name takes you to the proper blog. Because Brenda's was the most recently gathered, I know which post it is from and have linked there.

Create yourself a blessed Tuesday...

P.S. I collect John's quotes, too. Here's the latest as I was working on this post.

Me: Don't be kissing me goodnight when I'm taking a picture.

He: Don't be taking a picture when I'm kissing you goodnight.

Me: Hmmmm, point well taken!

(Yes, I'm well aware of the incorrect use of pronoun case. It should be me/him or I/he, but I like rhymes, too. I collect them. ;> )

Monday, March 22, 2010

Not Planning a Post...Until!

That's right. I am feeling so "under it" after the events of the weekend that I was just going to lie low today.

John came home for lunch bringing in a heavy package with a bright orange sticker. Immediately, my "under it" mood began to lift.

Becky from Hospitality Lane has sent me candles...lots of them to enjoy! She sent Citrus Infusion, Country Apple, Apple Cinnamon, Cranberry Balsam, Candy Cane, and Cucumber Cantaloupe, which is burning right now as I type this up. Hmmmmm... You can find her candle shop on her sidebar and I'm putting that information on my sidebar as well. She also sent a card with the sweetest message that means the world to me. Thank you so much, Becky! You've pulled my sorry little self out of a slump for sure. John thanks you, too!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Place of Deliverance

... God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11 The Message

Oh, the name of Jesus! We make too little use of that name... Will you let Him have your will? Will you let Him have you?

There is always a place of deliverance when you let God search out what is spoiling and marring your life.
~Smith Wigglesworth

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!