Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What's Doing?

Let's see what's blooming or about to green out around here. The days have cooled back to normal spring temperatures, whatever that means, so the forsythia, daffodils, etc., are feeling happier again. I am happier as well since a rush into heat with little foliage doesn't work for me.


The maple leaves are getting ready... Lovely red buds just now against the clear blue sky. We have a lot of conifers in our corner, but I do love the deciduous trees.



The forsythia is in full swing. We trimmed it all back last year and took some cuttings to John's place. Unfortunately, those cuttings didn't take so I must do some research to learn where we went wrong.



The rhubarb is up and, in lieu of chicken scat, I am spreading coffee grounds. I have no idea if it will be good enough. Probably not. I'll report back. All I know is that if I were a plant, I'd prefer coffee over chicken poo.



Oh, look at that! My yellow roses are up!

Now that's the euphemistic way of describing what happened to this poor saucer. It was broken while I cleared my kitchen of clutter last Saturday. I decided that I would use it in some way rather than toss it out hence its being tucked into the dirt.

Do come back tomorrow, if you're interested, to see what I did with my 1950s, very dated kitchen with only decluttering...no paint and nothing new. This is the best way to get a post up for Wednesday by making an appointment in advance. Tricky, eh? Do you ever do that?

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Power of Yellow

Best
My first posting at 38.9 KB

Isn't this gorgeous? Yellow always makes me smile. Donna from Cottage Days and Journeys sent it to me. She has enhanced the photograph and made it even more spectacular. Many photography projects with special effects can be found at her blog that I'm sure you would enjoy seeing.

This was her suggestion for me concerning saving photos: "For my wider width main column, I am posting dimensions up to 640 pixels by 640 pixels, saved at 100 pixels per inch. Please double-check your dimensions. If you save a picture at a small dimension originally, and then try to blow it up, you'll get a case of the blotchies that way too."

So let's see if I can get it right. Oh, I have bumped up the dimensions on Donna's photo so that it will better fit my template and I see no distortion at all. Still, there has to be a good camera and a great photographer...

There's not only power in yellow, but power in friendship and kindness. Thanks, Donna, for the lessons and the daylily!

And a wonderful Monday to you all...

Edited to Add: Here I go again. Okay, learning all the time thanks to Donna's suggestions. I never thought that when right-clicking and saving a photo that I might not be getting the highest quality. So I returned to Donna's email and actually downloaded the photo. Then promptly lost the photo. Had to do a search for it on my computer. Gee, I'd only saved it four times already. Anyway, to my untrained eye, I do not see much of a difference between photo 1 (the best one) and photo 2 (my original posting). I did "blow up the photo" for my template. Oh well. I'll never be the photographer or the poster that some of you are!

Best Bumped Even More Just for Auntie

Sunday, April 11, 2010

One of Those Weeks

Today, I may say too much. Today, I may say so much that you will cringe. Good thing comments are off or I might have to read a rant or two from my readers.

It's been one of those weeks. Every day presented new and bigger challenges. I found myself trying to keep calm while also trying to keep my grandmother, my mother, and my husband calm. Ever find yourself feeling as if you'll start screaming and, if you do, that you will never be able to stop? At one point yesterday, I was staring into space not seeing, not hearing. When John's voice entered my fogged state, he was asking, "Are you okay?" The answer was, "No, I am not okay."

Earlier in the day, I had found myself muttering repeatedly, "I am not a nurse. I am not a nurse. I am not a nurse." Yeah, well, as I said, one of those weeks.

The week began with an unexpected out-of-state visitor, the wrenching of my back again, and ended with clanging nerves and shaken emotions. Good thing that we had read in our devotions early in the week that "For this you have Jesus." Every so often that reminder would float to the surface, above the din of the mind, and there would be Jesus striding into our midst and calming our storm.

Victory Over Depression subtitled "How to Live Above Your Circumstances" by Bob George is coming down from my shelf this week. It is getting pretty dog-eared and marked. In chapter one, Mr. George tells us this: We cannot overcome the world, but we can live in dependency on the One who already has — Jesus Christ.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Today, I will need to lean on the Lord hard. There are things coming down the road today. These things will not veer off and hit the ditch. But whether I am always aware or whether I am going blithely on about my business does not negate the fact that we need Jesus at our house. Every day. Every hour. Every minute.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Still Thinking About My Kitchen

Yes, I really am. Have I done anything about it? No, no I haven't. But I will. Some day. Not today. Not tomorrow. But definitely sooner than the last time we discussed my kitchen, which was ages ago.

Oh, lest you think that nothing at all has been done, I'll share this one little photo of the very healthy poinsettia that I've been trying to kill since January 25.



John took an extra sheet or two of a fitted pine board look paneling I had hanging around and placed it on the ends of my cabinets. They had been very ratty looking and this was something of a help. Sherry at Edie Marie's Attic had suggested it. Oh yes! I take all blogger's suggestions very seriously. You can see how terrific Sherry's kitchen looks on her sidebar. (She'll have a new kitchen very soon as she recently sold her home and is in the process of moving. Hi, Sherry!)

I keep telling myself that when I find my dream kitchen I will know. When my Country Living magazine arrived for February or March, I thought that I recognized what I wanted and understood the direction I was going in...until. Until, Linda at Restyled Home posted a link to one amazing kitchen just this week. Talk about fickle. I'm all over the place.

Anyway, you can check it out on Linda's A Kindred (Kitchen) Spirit. But see, Linda knows that she wants her kitchen to be "pretty." Pretty? I like pretty. Why wasn't I headed more in that direction? Maybe it's because I've been thinking that pretty and fussy/frou-frou were synonymous. They don't have to be, though, right?

So let's talk. Are you in the kitchen of your dreams right now? Would you like to make some changes? What would they be? Go ahead, tell me all about it. I'm all ears! Oh, and do you like pretty?

Edited to Add: Editing to Add is such a nasty thing to do to my readers. I apologize. I had wanted to show the kitchen that I found in the CL magazine, but could I find it online? No. Could I find the actual magazine? That would also be a "no." But with morning's light, I found it quite easily and so am popping in a few photos to discuss.



So this is the February 2010 issue of Country Living. When I saw this photo, my heart rate increased a bit. Now that I look at it, I'm not sure why. I'm really trying to analyze what I like and what I don't. For example, I dislike the floor. I dislike all that open shelving at the top of the cabinets. I dislike the texture of the glass. It would probably be easier to say what I like.



I like the color of the cabinets and I like the streamlined counters. So here's my lightbulb moment: I could paint the cabinets almost the same color as my deck. Apparently, I really like that color. I could clean off the clutter. Okay, I'll start with clearing clutter and get back to you. Some day. Not today. Not tomorrow.



Enjoy your Saturday, but don't forget that, prior to this last bit, I asked a question or two. ;>

Friday, April 9, 2010

Why Can't I Find My Favorite Products Anywhere?





The mosaics above are an experiment. I wanted to see the difference between a regular uploaded mosaic against the larger type. What I see is quite a bit of distortion with the larger so I'm not certain that it's worth doing.

***

Getting back to my post's topic... I don't know how many of my fellow bloggers shop in big box stores. In the past, I belonged to Sam's Club and BJ's; now I belong only to BJ's. Often I can find what I'm looking for at a better price there than I can find it for at my local grocery store or my Wal*Mart of choice.

There's one product that has disappeared completely from the shelves of any stores, including BJ's. It's Little Friskies Dental Diet for cats. I've fed my cats this dry food once daily for years. Suddenly, it's gone. First it disappeared from Wal*Mart shelves necessitating my revisiting Shaw's and Hannaford Brothers. Then, it disappeared from Shaw's. Imagine my shock when it is no longer carried at Hannaford Brothers either. I wonder why.

I've found messsage boards online devoted to the subject. One woman says that she'd hoard the stuff if she could just find some. I feel the very same way. Guess that the next thing to do is write a letter to Purina to see if I can find some answers. It's still offered online, but I refuse to pay those prices plus shipping, too.

So here's my question for today: have you been having any trouble finding a certain product? Do you wonder what's going on?

(Next time perhaps we can discuss why Wal*Mart has decided to make all of the packaging for its house brand so black and white, unattractive, and reminding me of some Socialist/Communist country. I'd rather spend extra money to return to a regular grocery store where I can find brand names with bright colors. That is, I would if I could afford it.)

Edited to Add:

More experimenting. Donna suggests that I need to save at 100 pixels per inch. I've always saved blog photos at the highest resolution. I checked the first photo and it was at 96 pixels. I've since enlarged a titch and saved at 100. Let's see what happens, if anything.





Oh I can't tell. Maybe Donna will come back and let me know. :D

Edited to Add AGAIN:





I'm getting a lot of mileage from my three pathetic daffodils...
Thought perhaps that the mosaic itself created some fuzzies so am popping in a single shot.

Final Edit to Add on this Post I promise:

Popping in a very nice email from Purina giving me a list of stores that should be carrying the product. Also, I have those stores' telephone numbers so that will be next...calling store managers.

Thank you for contacting Nestlé Purina PetCare Company.

We are sorry that you've been unable to locate Purina(r) Friskies(r) Cat Food Dental Diet Poultry & Fish Flavor For Adult Cats in your area. Let us assure you that our sales force does their best to convince retailers to stock as many of our products in various flavors and sizes as possible. Please understand it is up to the independent retailer or chain store management to make the final decision as to which products will be featured in their store.

Please know Purina(r) Friskies(r) Cat Food Dental Diet Poultry & Fish Flavor for Adult Cats is still being manufactured, however it is in limited distribution. Our records indicate that that this product should be available at PetsMart stores, online at www.petfooddirect.com, or at the following stores in your area:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

An Eclectic Mess

I'm describing my blog again using the thingy that Blogger provides for the top of our blogs these days. I tried those tabs, but didn't like them once I'd done them. Sidebars are good enough for me. I'd love to have someone finesse this place. I'm feeling about my blog the way I'm feeling about my home — I don't have proper time for it.

These are the things on my mind today and there's not a lick of coherence to any of it: forsythia, lasagna sauce, and embroidery.

It's a jungle out there!


Forsythia branch against the fence

The secret of the sauce

After an hour of bubbling away...hmmm


This is an illustration that I want to embroider

Okay, that about does it...catch you later...create a great day!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bookends



Phew! We've safely navigated past the latest brouhaha. Thanks to everyone who left a comment on yesterday's post. As per usual, the comments are the best thing about that post. So let's move on to lighter things for a bit. ;>

By using my current header, I've given you a sneak preview of my post for today.

Remember way back *here* when I said that I'd let you know if my cat Fioré ever got along with my grandmother's cat Sarah? Course you don't, but way back then, things weren't going so well.

There's still a daily bug tussle after all this time, but yesterday found them both in the bay window like bookends. I felt it was memorable enough for a post. Now if they ever take a nap together, I'll be sure to document it as well.

So, just for the record, it's taken them eight months and seventeen days to be in the same place at the same time without having a fight. Yay for Fioré and Sarah!



And a fun day to you!

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, 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


source

...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

source



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.

"Yes."

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!



source

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.

Scars

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.
~Barbara

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. ;> )

DB