Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pesky Problems

In case you're curious, the last post with the surprised cat was about my troubles with Blogger and a post just prior. I wish that posts could be retrieved quickly when one has obviously made an error. You know, before too many people become aware that said error has been made. Gee, I don't even know how I made the mistake in the first place. All I know is that I hit the enter key twice and my post in progress was sailing down the slip and heading for the open sea...swwooossshhhh. In order to show an actual post instead of a now deleted post, up went the apology and the cat. It had the added benefit of attracting more visitors. Now I'm apologizing for that cheap ruse; I feel so sordid.

The deleted post would have been terribly depressing, like this one won't be. ;> It was all about stuff and why I am storing so much of it when it isn't mine. I'm weary of it...very. Little annoying things are robbing me of joy. There's not much that can be done about it in this moment when both my mother and my sister are selling their homes. That's right.

My sister and her husband are moving out of state in the next few weeks. Actually, he is leaving before the week is out. It appears that my mother will go with them, at least for now. This is not a little thing robbing me of joy. It's a big thing. You see, my grandmother is not improving with her new medication. If anything, she is getting worse despite initial improvements. She grows more quarrelsome, harder to care for, and her body is failing her. Also, I can't believe that I am being left alone in this corner with the other parent. Good heavens! Bottom line: I'm scared to death that they'll be gone and I'll have to make decisions on my own. Fear. The bane of my existence. Anyway, all this explains why I chose Sunday's scripture. It's all about the "Lo, I am with you always..."

So how does one keep on doing those things that must be done? My sister continues to live an activity-filled life in spite of all that swirls about her. That's not wrong. That's very healthful behavior. I'm going to follow her example and give it a try myself...someday. In the meantime, I'll just practice my lean. Hope that you're practicing yours, too.

Monday, June 7, 2010

OOps! Pardon Me

So sorry for the slip!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Around the Yard~Mosaic Monday

Late spring light filtering through the trees

Thank you for visiting and looking at my offering for Mosaic Monday. Comments are closed so that you might skip off freely to look at the next. If you'd like to follow along, clicking on the title of this post will take you back to Mary's Little Red House.

A Promise

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ~Matthew 28:20 KJV

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Newsy Little Nothing Post

Little pot of johnny-jump-ups

Maybe that title is promising too much with "newsy." I so enjoy newsy posts that others write that I thought I might try one myself.

It rained all night with intermittent thunder showers. I slept very well and whenever I did wake to a clap of thunder, I'd snuggle back down into my covers and against my beloved and say to myself you are so blessed and it is so cozy here.

We enjoyed a quiet Saturday morning. Nan has been sleeping much longer of late and, yes, we know what that bodes. John read his paper and I my library book, another of Elizabeth Goudge's only this time much lighter reading. The Little White Horse was written in 1946 and won the Carnegie Medal for children's literature. (I believe that C.S. Lewis must've taken note because The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe has some similar elements and was published in 1950. ETA: Yes, of course, I find upon some further research that this is true. Not only that, but that this book strongly influenced the writer mentioned next.) The Little White Horse is one of J.*. *owlings' favorite childhood reads. I enjoyed it very much, too. Especially so in light of the second line of this paragraph and the final paragraph of The Little White Horse. Dear reader, you know that I am always vague. Somehow I'm hoping that if you've not read it or not for a long time, that you'll pick it up once again out of sheer curiosity as I did. So if you enjoy reading about homes and hospitality, great adventures and odd happenings, you'd love this little fairy tale. Anyhow, this completes my marathon of Goudge books for a while.

Yes, I did complete Laura Bush's book and would recommend it as insightful, which makes for interesting reading. Some have described the book as insipid. I would not. I found it lyrically written with a pleasant flow. It maintained my interest from the first page to the last. Mrs. Bush did far more during her husband's presidency than I had imagined and I am impressed with how well she used her time and for what causes. The most notable, in my book, being her stand for women's rights in the Middle East and in particular Afghanistan. Her work actually continues to this day as a very recent Google search reveals.

Enough of books!

My mother is doing well and had supper with us last night. We ordered out and had haddock dinners with a side of fried shrimp. It was a welcome change for us all, especially for John and me as we are dieting. No! We are not dieting. We are making yet another "life change." Right. I'm convinced of it. Kinda.


Since I left off writing this, my grandmother has wakened, been bathed, has eaten, and is sitting in the living room reading. My mother has arrived for lunch and John returned from a morning's activities for lunch. It was a rainy day and you know what that means (window washing), but now a weak sun is shining so John, feeling personally blessed by that sign, has skipped off again. Mother left just prior. She is at work packing her home and preparing for its sale. I don't like to think of her doing this work on her own, but there's no one available to help her and she is adamant that it must be done now.

So the remainder of my afternoon activities are to push the laundry (there's always a lot of laundry with my nan) and to wash up the dishes, which is challenging since there's so much laundry and so little hot water as a result.

And I'm going to pluck the chives blossoms and make some vinegar that Nadine at Nadine's Nook told about right *here.* Oops! Guess I'll have to dry those blossoms a bit first.

Some fine day, I shall hope to be less newsy and more interesting.

Have a lovely afternoon...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Trellises Three

Sunlight on Chippy White Fence this Morning

Oh boy! Look what I found in the garage last night!

Gotta love a listening man that's all I have to say about this. I had to test them, though they are not finished as in painted.

I want to especially thank all those who mentioned trellises as an answer on my Mirror Mirror on the Garage Wall post so here's a big thank you to Packrat who was the first to suggest it, Lisa, Sharon, Terra, and Judy. With all your voices together, believe me, I heard "trellises" and started subtly mentioning them...of course ;> ...with the result I'm showing here.

I made the mistake of saying, "Wow! That was quick." I was assured that they were not done quickly at all. So let's see how long before they are painted and mounted and there is anything climbing on them, which is when I'll need to thank a lot more sweet gals!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

More Posy Pictures

A scary thing happened when I logged in today. There was a message (can you see it, too) saying that bandwith had been exceeded. After a little research at Blogger help, I think I've discovered that it is my template that is causing the difficulty. Hope that it will fix itself. For a moment there I had my blog crashing or having to create a new blog when I like this one just fine, and all sorts of other calamities. I employed my "just slow down" method of tackling a problem. I hate going off on a tizzy when there's no need. Now if there is a need, I am perfectly capable of it — tizzy time that is. (Edited to Add: Problem solved. After reading Aunt Amelia's comment, I just removed the template.)

Three regular old photos no new editor or anything special.

My mother gave me some flowers so we had to create a space. More like John created the space while I watched. Blessed me.

There are some irises not too happy with the transplant and a potentilla bush, which isn't showing up so well, and the two azalea plants my daughter gave me for Mother's Day and just when I had about decided to give azaleas the boot. Now I have four to give the boot except that I just can't.

Being outside is tricky here. We have the smoke from the Quebec forest fires and it's tick season; I have had two thus far. This morning, I feel as if there are a hundred marching all over me. Ackkk! Just slow down, Vee, no tizzy time for you today. Good heavens! Now I'm talking to myself on my blog. This can't be good.

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Gathering

It was a delight to have a meeting of the clan (most of it) over the weekend.  Note to self: It is always more fun to have these gatherings at someone else's place. In this case, someone else's place was my sister's. The pictures I am sharing today are of her flowers, her yard, her deck, her cars, her trees. Should I include my brother-in-law in this possession list?

Of course, you know that I loved seeing this bright yellow Adirondack chair first thing. The peonies weren't bad either.

These huge hostas line both sides of the drive. Note the steep stairs on either side. Fortunately for Nan, we were able to drive around to the back of the house as seen in the first picture so she stepped from the car directly to the deck.
My grand listens amused to his mother's discussions of why he should eat something besides his shoe. Goodness, I remember those days so well and both my kids lived to tell about it so I'm hoping that Sam gets hungry one day soon and eats a hamburger.

Sis does have a little red house and she also has a little red shed right behind these bleeding hearts. I think that it would make a cute playhouse for her grands some day. (Are you listening, dear nieces?)

So many good things to eat, but this was my favorite — a rhubarb square. This recipe has been on my blog before right *here.*

(This new editor drives me foolish. I have been trying to create this post for the better part of an hour and my brain and patience are scrambled. If I had a computer program that worked this poorly, it would be history. I'd smash it to smithereens with a hammer. Then I'd jump on what remained. There! I feel better now. )

Oh, it worked that time. Where was I? Oh yes, Jake enjoyed looking at all the flowers and so did I. Here's a nice batch of flower pics without comment.

(Forgive me for not being able to scoot in between pictures with my text.) And we played. We played roll down the hill (yes, I played that one), and we played tag (yup, me too), and we played hide n' seek (you betcha! my favorite spot was behind a big old oak tree), and we played golf (sure did, hit every golf ball, two). John was especially impressive and I didn't get one picture of him. Darn! Apparently, my sis and her hubby practice on "their private fairway" quite often. She is getting ready to tee off on the left while her daughter and mine watch.

Thank you for taking the garden tour through my sister's yard. Many of the pictures featured in yesterday's mosaic were of my sister's town as well.

I'm sure that lots of bloggers have their stories to share today after the holiday and I want to read them all!  Enjoy a wonderful Tuesday.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Mosaic for Mosaic Monday

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. ~Galatians 5:1 NIV

Blessings to you this Sunday!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Home is Where the Heart Is Pt. 2

Still sitting with it trying to decide how rash I've been. It may not be all that it was chalked up to be!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Home is Where the Heart Is

First of all, thank you so much to all those who offered a suggestion on yesterday's post. Yes, we'd love to have it sided in a different color, but it's not going to happen this year. Discussions have already begun about trellises; unfortunately, there's no room for flowers. Not only that, but they'd have next to zero sun. Birdhouses! I'd love them but they'd have to be fake. This spot is very small and I don't want to share with that many birds. You've definitely sparked my imagination!

Remember the tip from Penny yesterday about carrying color through? Here's a little picture story that will tell about my current project.

home is where the heart is sign (a gift from my mother at my aunt's suggestion and I've always loved it)

We have a lot of black about and I do like it a lot. Should I carry it through to the sign?

Please forgive the laundry on the backs of chairs, but a better overall view.

Just in case I'm going to redo the same font...

Too late now!

Check back tomorrow and I promise I'll show you what it looks like. It may be vile.

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mirror Mirror on the Garage Wall

This morning, John and I were sitting on the deck looking around and trying to figure out what we'd do about flowers, whether to cut back the lilacs or transplant them, who would mow the lawn today (I vote for John!) and so forth. We were just enjoying a moment while Nan was visiting with her PCA (personal care assistant). I seated myself at the table and looked up at what you see below. Now it's always bugged me, but today it really bugged me. Ever get that way?

I remembered an old mirror purchased years ago. They were ubiquitous and cheap and were made to look like windows. Perhaps you remember them?

One of the things that I love about my husband is that he's always willing to go along with one of my crazy plans. And, even better, he improves upon it. This idea has been gelling for a while now after seeing Manuela of The Pleasures of Homemaking do it in her own indomitable style right *here.*

And it was Penny of The Comforts of Home who shared a tip about carrying color beyond right *here* so I knew that that green paint around the mirror had to go. I picked up the deck color instead as you can see. Now this is nowhere near as impressive as what Penny is suggesting, but it does make a big difference. Perhaps you'll just have to trust me on this.

Now we have a wall with a view!

Does anyone have an idea about what to do with a huge expanse of wall that borders a pathway between the deck and garage? The mirror is a good start, but I don't want any more mirrors. It's a bit of a dilemma. Thanks for any suggestions you might have!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Following Brenda's Prompts

I found these prompts at Brenda's It's A Beautiful Life and thought they'd be fun to try.

1. I never thought... I'd remarry after sixteen years of being single. It's been one of the best choices I've ever made. Never thought I'd blog either.

2. I don't really enjoy... terribly warm days. Terribly warm days are any over 80°F.

3. I like to eat... lots of things. Currently, I'm on a tortilla chip kick.

4. I cannot... enjoy discussing politics with those of the opposite persuasion.

5. I have... been looking for more help from several agencies on aging. It looks pretty bleak just now, but we will soon have a personal care assistant to help with Nan for two hours a week. Woo hoo!

6. I do not like... teenagers. I didn't like them when I was one. I didn't like raising them. I didn't enjoy teaching them. They really are in a challenging stage of life. That's why I'm in total awe of those who relate well to teenagers. God bless them!

7. I'm going to... go to Wal*Mart today. And I will enjoy every precious second of it and milk it for all it's worth.

8. A book I'm enjoying these days is... Laura Bush's memoir Spoken from the Heart.
(Why, yes, that is a diet soda with the tortilla chips.)

9. Some advice I'm going to take is ... {chill}. Just }}chill{{. Gonna allow a few things to go in one ear and directly out the other. Gonna shake things off like water from a duck. ;>

10. I haven't figured out... how to run the tv yet. The antenna is particularly fussy. Guess that after Evan came in second on Dancing With the S*tars, I won't be watching tv this summer so it won't matter. Now don't hate me, but Evan exudes such charm and grace whereas the winner is exuberant and joyful, but somewhat lacking in the classic good manners I love (but don't myself have). She sure can dance though, but I thought Evan was a better dancer as well.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Disappointed in LOST

Oh my! That holiday was exhausting. It really was. I was running around like a house on fire getting the deck set up and pulling together the plants and the cushions for the chairs. So it was a nice reprieve.

John will never be able to live it down, but he tells me that if he had known that it was not a holiday, he would not have stayed up to keep the antenna working in order to pull in the finalé of LOST. Nor would we have slept in by two extra hours, which was very pleasant indeed.

So... LOST is now about 30 hours in the can and I've had time to think about the six years of my life that I've devoted to it. I may be the only person in the world to be disappointed with LOST's ending. That's because I had such high expectations and for a long time considered it to be a Christian allegory. It was not. Though highly allegorical, its roots were not based in any one faith over another.

If I can set my expectations aside, I can enjoy it for what it was...a little bit of something for everybody. Very few of my questions were answered. For starters... Exactly when did each character die? If it weren't for the change in Jack's clothing, I'd think that it may have happened at the moment of impact away back on that first show. Then again, Christian (if we can believe him) said that some died before Jack and some died after. Where've they all been while they were waiting to meet again in that church? I need to see a photo of that last scene for sure! Who was there and who was not... Was Richard reunited with his wife? Was he in that room? Some things just don't get answered now do they?

Perhaps now I'll be appreciating LOST most for all the tricks that the writers employed to advance their story: time travel, flash forwards, flash sideways, extra unexplained characters, and on and on. Very well done on that level. How else do you tell a one-hour story that lasts for six years?!

I loved the comments from the viewers, which was a clever idea on someone's part to include. I like the one that said that he was looking for answers but didn't realize that when they came it would be the end. I particularly appreciated the one that said, "I never understood Trekkies until I became a Lostie." As for me, I was a Lostie and am no more. That is unless they announce a follow-up show!

(Just popping in *this link* for myself if no one else. This gal really did a lot of thinking and I very much enjoyed reading the article.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

ETA 9:30 a.m. Thank you, Diva and Lovella! No one is more surprised than I that today is not Memorial Day. Somehow I believed that tall, handsome guy who told me it was! Now I know why I must verify, verify, verify. Consider this one a Happy Memorial Day in advance! :D

Ha! Laughing at my inspired title. I am sitting here thinking how in the world did it get to be Memorial Day already? (I remind myself of my nan who can't believe it got to be any day already.)

Now that I have confessed that Memorial Day has taken me quite unaware, I'll wish you a blessed day with family and friends. Hopefully, our day here will include a quickly planned bbq, a drive through the cemetery, and an ice cream cone at the local custard shop and a goodly amount of remembering.

I've reproduced last year's library photo only with better results...maybe...and a picture of the town square.

Happy Memorial Day!

* * *

posted using new editor

posted using old editor

posted using new editor

(Pardon my experiment and on a holiday, too. That settles it for me. All pictures will be posted using new editor from now on; although, I am especially fond of last year's library picture.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Depression and The Scent of Water

After the rain, the flowers were so beautiful and that fresh scent of green things and earth filled the air.

As one who has watched depression/mental illness affect my family, I find myself fearing the affliction. It snakes its way through both sides of the generations of my father's family. This form of illness can be hereditary and no generation has completely escaped. Of those family members who are ill, some live more or less successfully and others struggle. Some fail. Miserably. Heart-achingly. This is true of each generation we (the family) know of.

Yes, I have feared it. It is a thief and a robber. Sometimes I've looked back and panicked for there has been a lot of pathos; sometimes I've looked ahead and crumbled. I've worried about the generation behind me and the generations ahead of me and I have worried about those beside me. Silly me. There is always something to worry over, but we're expressly told not to give in to fear and worry.

That's why reading Elizabeth Goudge books and especially The Scent of Water has meant so much to me. Elizabeth Goudge herself was no stranger to depression. She shares marvelous insight and comfort with her readers. Her overall message is one of hope. But not hope for hope's sake alone, rather a placing of one's very life in the hands of God where "there is always a way of escape so long as it was to the heart of it, whatever it was, that one went to find Him." p170

The characters of The Scent of Water are many. They exist in the past, the present, and the future. Goudge has many writer's tricks up her sleeve, but I never felt that her story was machinated, well crafted, but not cranked, if you know what I mean.

Finishing the story, I was surprised that Goudge had not used this very familiar verse: God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7

Instead her theme verse was one from Job:

For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. Job 14:7–9

This verse is all the better for it gives hope to those who have already suffered with depression or mental illness. It says that there is hope for renewal. Depression is usually not a choice one makes. What it is is a chemical imbalance in the brain no more a person's fault than if he broke his leg by being hit by a truck. Rarely is it a desire to wallow in misery, wrapping oneself up in sorrow and shutting oneself off from others on purpose no matter what the pastors say.

If you or anyone you know deals with such things, Victory Over Depression by Bob George has been especially helpful and instructive. And I'd also like to say that medical science has come a long way and there is no need to give mental illness more power than it has. The giving of that power has happened in my own family and it has caused some to run and hide rather than to run and "find Him." Proper medication is a very good thing. Being willing to yield to the good judgment of loved ones when one's own is impaired is vital. Pride is most definitely an issue where mental illness is concerned. People do not want to admit that they may be in crisis. As Goudge writes: "I can't talk to people because this illness isn't like other illnesses; all that's worst in it you have to keep buried so as not to distress people, for you must not spread fear." p110

(Some fine day, perhaps I'll write about the nightmare that is mental health care in this country and why it is next to impossible to get anyone help and what perhaps can be done to change it.)

I never thought I'd be writing about this topic here; it's a good thing that I'm putting it on a Sunday post where no one needs comment. ;>

Let us remember to run to the Lord and not from Him...

Friday, May 21, 2010


God shares the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars. ~Martin Luther

Love is like the clouds that are always reshaping themselves... a paraphrase of an Elizabeth Goudge quote from The Scent of Water.

Yes, I am in the thick of it and about to come out on the other side. Ahhhh, sweet respite. Hope that you are all having a wonderful day and looking forward to a refreshing weekend!