Tuesday, September 14, 2010

This Blogger Takes Tips

This is the tag that I made for my altered sewing machine drawer. (The one I've been showing over the past two weeks.) It proved to be too much and so, not wanting to waste my efforts, I tossed it on the knob of the medicine chest cabinet by the door where we keep all of our keys...more on this at the end.

As you can see, I am still having trouble with the dreaded Distress Ink. I coffee stained the tag itself, but it's not as deep a hue as I wanted. I used old tissue paper under the scripture verse (Matthew 6:26). Thank you, Cheryl! I visited Quill Cottage and found enough inspiration to create a little nest out of scraps. I wanted blue eggs, but without any, used pearls on blue sequins for a bit of color. (There's no way that I was going to paint pistachio nuts the way Miss Sandy does. :} ) I had some oak leaf and acorn stamps and I used the bird pattern from the gift that my Aunt Ess gave me. The fringe along the bottom is a bit of scrap that I would've ordinarily tossed. Still a rank amateur, but thought that I'd document my progress, if I progress. ;> (Hope that that last sentence doesn't make you stumble.)

When my readers comment, I listen! Thanks to Dawn for suggesting the twig and acorns...I ran right out to the yard and found acorn caps still on the twig. That worked. Thanks to Life in Red Shoes for suggesting a nest and some eggs. (I have lots of found nests around here and this one was already being displayed. Blessed me, John had brought me yet another nest this summer and all I had to do was find it. John's nest was much too big so it went where this one had been and all was resolved.) The eggs added some much-needed color as before the interior was so dark that everything went  away. (I can see that the color is distorted in this photo because the two blue eggs on the bottom are showing up as off-white or gray.)

I used my own sheet music (The Swan's Song) with *this image* from Graphics Fairy printed on it. Then, because of a gap at the top, I used a bird image from A Scrapbook of Inspiration found on the post I've sent you to. I added the word "Soar."  A bit of lace sewed, using my machine, right onto the paper and that was that. I wrapped a piece of poster board with the paper instead of adhering it to the back (bottom) of the drawer because I don't trust myself and I'm afraid that I won't like it forever. Thanks to everyone for all your suggestions, which you can find in comments on the post titled Waiting for Morning Light. I have them filed away for future reference. A good suggestion is worth so very much!

I really like the pediment of oak leaves and acorns on the top. You may remember that this is an old drawer pull. It also reminds me of spread wings. The little bird that John gave me is a natural for the top as he sits on his own acorn and also adds a little bit more color.

Oh, Linds! I took your tip, too.
Now for the medicine chest news... I've been telling Dawn at The Feathered Nest that she has already painted her entire new home while I fiddleflipped around with one little medicine chest. And that is not gross exaggeration either. I'm slower than cold molasses running uphill in January. A quick before and after...

I really like how John added that extra strip of molding beneath the hook row to protect the paint from the keys. This color is not reading true either, it's a pale blue and, while we're discussing color, my dining room ceiling isn't green either!

Tomorrow, I'm going to talk more about birds/nests because I've inherited (just for a season) an old family heirloom—a Sessions mantel clock and I'd like to share it with you. Then we're going to count the birds/nests. You already know about four. Any guesses how many I have displayed? (You do know how much I love guessing games, right? *hint* *hint* *hint*)

Edited to Add: 9/15/2010
Because this was a contest, (oh I know how vague I am even with the *hint* *hint* *hint*), comments are now closed. Thank you for each and every one!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Off to School~Mosaic Monday

Please indulge a grandmother on Grandparents' Day for sharing more photos of her grandson's first day of school. He was so happy. So excited. No mama; no papa this time. He climbed the stairs of that bus like an old pro.

Hmmmm, I do believe I know why. Check the backpack; check the name of that bus.

Right there by the 16...THOMAS! Who knew that Thomas the Train was also Thomas the Schoolbus?

Thanks for visiting... It's so much fun to connect with the Mosaic Monday bloggers again!

Big Thanks to Mary at Little Red School House!

ETA: 10/28/2010
Thank you for not using any of these images without asking my permission. It is unethical to use children's photos gleaned from GOOGLE images or any other place on the www. Again, thank you.

A Matter of Love

How much would you have to hate somebody not to proselytize, to believe everlasting life was possible, and not tell them that? ~ Penn Jillette

Penn Jillette is a self-professed atheist and he gets it. I am i.m.p.r.e.s.s.e.d. Sometimes one finds support in the most unlikely places.

I'm sending you to read an article entitled *The American Christian: A Believer Among the Dismissers*  by Francis Porretto. It's where I found Jillette's quote and a lot of other interesting things.

God bless your day...

Comments are closed on Sundays. (This is not meant to be mean. This is meant so that you can scoot along quickly and spend more time with your family.)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Patriot Day 2010

It was surprising to me that I have only posted on one September 11. Surprising because I think of September 11 every time I see the flag flying from the garage and that is very often indeed. We replaced the flag this summer. The one put up in the week following September 11, 2001, had faded too much to be used any longer. John hung a new flag over the Ponderosa, too.

Our memory of that day has not faded however. We'll be up early to lower the flag to half-mast. As I understand it, the flag flies half-mast from sunrise to sunset on Patriot Day (September 11). There's a reason for this — that we may not forget: On Patriot Day, we remember all those who were taken from us in an instant and seek their lasting memorial in a safer and more hopeful world. We must not allow our resolve to be weakened by the passage of time. We will meet the test that history has given us and continue to fight to rid the world of terrorism and promote liberty around the globe. [By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89)]

Though I will think of all my countrymen both at home and abroad, and those who serve in the military to protect me and mine, I always think with special tenderness of New Yorkers on this day.

Blessings to you...

Comments are closed today.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Goodbye Neighbor

I was mistaken for Mrs. Kravitz yesterday. You know, typical nosy neighbor type. Yup. True. And guilty as charged.

In fact, I spent my morning with the camera around my neck peeking out of every window and tiptoeing behind John's truck to take photos.

Trouble is that I was caught. CAUGHT. They saw me, all of them, and they shared a moment of perplexed discomfort as they fretted about what I was doing.

What was I doing? Just saying goodbye to a neighbor that's all.

photo source for Mrs. Kravitz

Yay, the corner lot is now empty and I prefer the view opened up this way. The real reason I was running around like Mrs. Kravitz was because when the mobile home first arrived several years ago, it roared across my front lawn and nearly wiped out my steps. Much too close to the house for comfort.  I didn't want a repeat so I was checking to see in which direction it would leave. They backed it up over their neighbor's lawn and directly into the adjoining street thereafter. This is the first time that I have been grateful for the ongoing construction on the upper road as seen through the curtained window in the middle above. It meant they couldn't bring the tractor my way. Phew!


Nan News~

The facility called me yesterday to say that my grandmother was having a very rough day. They asked if I could please contact my mother and sister and come in to see her. So we did just that.

What a change from Wednesday when John and I visited with her. Wednesday she seemed so well. Thursday she was so lost. Thursday she was bobbing around on that sea and, as a memory popped up, she laughed or cried and talked with those "memory people." She called "Come in!" repeatedly and decided to make us all pancakes. She stirred and stirred and straightened and worked at her bedclothes. Then she began a big batch of candy.

I hope that you are following along with my poor explanations, but she is having one auditory hallucination after another and it'd been going on all day. For the first time, she did not recognize my mother. She recognized me as my mother, but not myself, except for one brief moment. Oddly enough, she recognized my sister who sees her far less often than my mother or I.

Before I left, I requested that she be given a specific medication to calm her because it was going to be another long night for her and her poor roommate otherwise. John and I will be there early this morning...probably about the time this posts. I promise that I'll catch up with you as soon as I can. Visits to your place and those wonderful cups of tea and conversation keep me going.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Waiting for Morning Light

And for what? All those things that I worked on last evening turned out to be a fright. I do want to show you so that you can offer suggestions or laugh along with me. It's okay. Some days are like this.

Visiting Melissa's Nesting Party turned out to be great fun and some frustration. I couldn't comment everywhere I visited because I kept getting a 503 Error. That means that the server is busy, I believe. When all was said and done, I had found a number of wonderful ideas and so set out to accomplish them.

This was a wreath idea found *here* that went awry. I just didn't care for the flowers on it after I had made them; they were much too heavy. I kept my wreath simple in the end...an autumnal looking ribbon simply tied to the top. This wreath is tied to an antique trunk on top of which my ugly tv sits.

Of course, I am not wasting an hour of flower making so they wound up in the flower arrangement in the bay window. I used *these tips* for flowers.

Moons ago I mentioned that I wanted to turn my branches into a family tree. *This blog* showed what it might look like. I don't care for mine and will have to do better, but here's a little shot of it now.

Finally, this is where I stand with my altered sewing machine box. Suggestions anyone? I need more layers of that I'm certain. I am working on a tag. I'd like to include a scripture verse, but truly I am in over my head and need help.
Thanks for looking! (Thanks for helping. ;>)

Have a wonderful Thursday...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fall Nesting Party

Melissa @ The Inspired Room is having a *Fall Nesting Party* today and I am joining her. But what to do...what to do... for a budget so tight it squeaks and so there'll be nothing new for Haven.

If you want to read a perfectly delicious piece posted by Alison @ Brocante Home about such things, please read Creature Comforts. You, like Alison, like me, may find another kindred spirit as regards taking care of a home on a shoestring.

Anyway, something needed doing so I dutifully climbed the stairs and looked for the autumn decorations box. I remember putting it ahead of the Christmas boxes last Christmas, which was very good thinking indeed. Last year, I buried it under the Christmas boxes...not such good thinking.

I tossed a small silk bouquet into my great-grandmother's lead crystal vase and plunked my little white Welcome pumpkin atop my Simple AbundanceIndulgence book, which just so happens to be autumn orange. The light is going to be so pretty coming through those windows once the maples turn yellow and gold. Today, things are still very green.

Not a great photo, but one of my favorite things is to add found leaves that have been pressed for a few days to my apothecary jar. They just float there as I add more and more and make the most fascinating shadows on the wall. The topper is an old sunflower stencil. My "fall" card is a gift from Kari and so beautiful that this is the third year I've used it. I traded out my fussy summer tea cups for some simpler Golden Wheat ones tied on with muslin strips instead of ribbons.

Then I turned my attention to the dining room bay window.

Oh dear. The trouble with cheap, as in cheap, fake flowers, is that sometimes it's just too garish by half. Well there's a remedy for that...
Here is the difference after a night soaking in coffee and a rainy morning making photos darker. Sometimes rainy mornings help.

Enjoy the Party! (It's so cool...there are thumbprints of each project or blog so it's easy to see what you'll be visiting...love it!)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Holiday Fun

My family gathered at a local state park for holiday fun on Sunday afternoon. We arrived at two and were the last to leave before the gate was locked at six. The cool autumn weather kept many other folks away and so we enjoyed the place nearly to ourselves.

The boys and their dad, along with their mom and auntie, played on the beach a long time building a river, a dam, and a castle. The grands are hard workers and enjoy having a job to do.

My daughter and Sam set up the table for a late lunch/early supper. Oh that hot coffee sure felt good going down. My mother kept her hands wrapped around the cup until the last bit of warmth was gone.

Jake and John exchange a howdy. (I can not tell you how this warms my heart. The boys' paternal grandfather passed away long before they were born. John steps in as "grandfather" just as my own step-grandfather did for my sister and me. They adore John! True confessions: Sometimes this can make me a titch jealous.)

No lifeguard on duty...

No problem!

Thwarted again!

Daughter and niece attempt kite flying. It turned out to be too windy.

There was running...


 eating (the boys are not into Italian sandwiches)

and playground slide races. (I tried this, but being the ample-bottomed Nonni that I am, I lost.)

The final gathering of the clan. You eagle-eyed folks will notice two missing. I'm always missing—that's why I hold the camera! (This is the only photo that will enlarge...lots of fun to see the
family interactions here, especially with the boys.)

The End of a Lovely Day...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mandevilla in September~Happy Labor Day

One lonely bloom up high...

Happy Labor Day!

(My family and I have already enjoyed our fun at the beach. I'll share tomorrow...)

Comments are off...go have some fun!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Source

This window box was too gorgeous to keep hidden in last Monday's mosaic. It's still summer and I am not rushing autumn even though the weather has taken a lovely cooler turn. I feel inspired to get up early and take care of my flowers again and so they'll probably do well into October. (This is not my window box. It's one on the F*ryeburg F*airgrounds. By the way, the fair is October 2–10 this year. Perhaps we'll surprise ourselves and find a way to go.)

Earl was a beautiful disappointment. I'm never sorry to just get glanced by these hurricanes. The only damage done was a swamped hanging pot of petunias. They became waterlogged and dropped heavily to the ground.

We're feeling some of that economic pressure that so many others are feeling. That feeling that the check didn't go as far as we'd hoped and there's a doctor's appointment, a car needing to be fixed, oil to be purchased. I find myself saying, "God is my Source" often.

"God is our Source" you know. Some of us have hoped in husbands, children, fathers, mothers, friends, but when all is said and done, God is our Source and His supply is inexhaustible.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
~Psalm 20:7

Have a wonderful Sunday and holiday!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Odds and Ends Day

First Day of School:

Not really. Just a practice run. Not kindergarten, but preschool. Sam was so excited and so concerned that the bus was taking so long that he was ready to walk. He's excited and happy. I confess that I'm feeling a little less happy. I can't believe that the grandbaby has grown this fast! Why the growth of children takes me perpetually by surprise I'll never figure out.

Nan's News:

Yesterday's post was written the night before. Wednesday night I woke knowing that I would have to go to "the home" again. I just had that nudge, that urge, that knowing. Sure enough. Things were not as they should have been. This time it resulted in my meeting with the administrator who was very apologetic and who said that she would personally ride herd. Wonderful. So will I.

It was suggested at the first meeting that an information sheet be posted in my grandmother's room. Guess what? To do so would be against state law. Neither the staff nor a family member can post any kind of notices in her room or on her tray. Yes, there are supposedly reports between shifts, but there are breakdowns in communication that are unacceptable. They'd better put a big old red flag on that report or else.

There were, to be fair, a number of things that were going well...thank you, Lord!

And thank you for all your support and your stories and your prayers. So very appreciated.

My Latest Kick:

Fresh veggies fried up in a wrap. Actually, there's a little more to it than that. I either use cream cheese with seasonings mixed in that sort of hold it all together or I use some shredded cheese. John and I are thanking the Fish Street people for this one!
Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Boat So Small

I feel sometimes as if I have set her adrift in a vast sea all alone. (Hyperbole is another one of my talents, of course, but I truly do feel this way.)

I felt it again on Monday when I tracked her down in the dining room where she was attending a concert. Though I looked all around, I could not find one person in that room who looked like my nana. Her roommate finally pointed her out to me. There she was slumped over in her wheelchair holding one hand to her head as if she were in pain and the other was dangling out over the arm rest. She looked so small. Much too small to be floating on that big sea.

The meeting went very well yesterday. I finally feel as if I've been heard by everyone. There was some immediate action taken on a number of levels. One of my biggest concerns is that, in their enthusiasm for taking good care of her, they've actually created lots of problems. Most of these issues are about food. I don't give a royal flip what the State of Maine says that they have to put on her tray, if she is upset by it, don't do it. It's only causing her to shut down even further. This one-size-fits-all approach isn't working for us. And I don't care if she's losing weight, which sounds awful, but I do not want products used that cause such distress and stress. Enough already! So the doctor heard that and duly gave his orders. Phew!

(If any of you are in the medical community, can you tell me what it means when "they" tell me that it is very challenging to get all information across all three shifts all the time? Why aren't staff reading reports or why aren't reports being given?)

As a family, we are no longer interested in quantity of days. We are interested in quality of days. Nan smiled when I told her and said, "Amen."

Amen indeed.

Picture reposted from Little Green Boat

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Off to the Flea Market

I'd follow that man anywhere (see yesterday's post). In this case, I was following him through the flea market on the F*ryeburg F*airgrounds. With eight family members about, it made for an interesting time. We got to oooh and ahhh over each other's purchases and spend some time out in the fresh, humid, 90-something-degree air.

I found two items that I wanted. A man was selling a box of about ten or twelve old sewing machine drawers. He said that I could have the entire box for $20, but I decided to go with the one for $2.

There they sit, the sewing machine drawer and an old wooden drawer pull. I think I'll put them together like this or something.

It's a busy day trying to get things straightened out at "the home." I'll be glad for the day when every nurse and CNA is on the same page.

Stay cool now!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The GPS Adventure from Hell

First thing's first. If you have a GPS Adventure from Hell story, I really want to hear it because I had never and I mean never heard of such a thing before I lived it.

So where were we? Oh yes. Happily on Fish Street after a day of good times and great food. Can you believe that I didn't take one picture of food? Truly rotten of me, too, because the food was not only delicious, it was beautiful and beautifully served and the mere memory of it was sustaining during our long ordeal.

Ahh, yes, we said our goodbyes and Mother asked the best way out of Fish Street and received the knowledgeable answer from Uncle Bee and Mother programmed the GPS and off we went with that smooth talker, the one with a slightly British accent and a slightly superior tone, directing us.

Turn Left, says she.

Fine. Just as we thought.

Turn Right on Liberty Road, says she.

Right? Turn right? I thought we were staying on this road until the main highway. Mother dutifully turned right and for a while it seemed that we were on a quiet residential street until the road turned to dirt. We didn't think that much about it and especially nothing of it when it came back out on tar again, but then...

Hmmm, this looks a bit ominous. Now may be a good time to explain our roles. Mother was driving; John was the advisor and guide; and I was the backseat driver and the reminder of all the yummy food we'd eaten that day. (I even had raspberry squares to munch if things got too tense. They did. I had to share them with my fellow travelers as things were much too tense for them, too.) Once again the road has turned to dirt, but that is not all that unusual in this corner. It looked like a pretty decent dirt road as dirt roads go.

One point seven miles, says she of British accent and slightly superior tone.

We considered our options and forged ahead. No place to turn around anyway.

Mud puddle ahead...

Just follow me...

Satellite Connection has been lost.

Come ahead just a little...

The sun was brutal... John! I can hardly see you!


The bugs, mosquitoes, mud, and glare!

Mother, you've got to slow down!  We'll have to turn back to fetch John at this speed!

And so it went. One point seven miles down the road and twenty point seven miles back.  About midpoint in this hour adventure we put in an urgent call to Fish Street. "Ever heard of Liberty Road?" Mother asks.

"Oh gak! You'll never be able to get through to the main highway. That road stops."

"Really?" says mother all coolness and calm. "Well, we're going to continue because there's no room to turn around. The tree branches are scraping the car all the way."

"I'm just telling you that there's no way through."

And this is when I begin thinking about metaphors and praying. We did ultimately find a field out there in all that great forest with just enough room to turn around and we headed back into the glare of that setting sun and thanked God it was still setting and that it hadn't sunk below the mountains yet.

So our long adventure was over after nearly an hour in the woods. Unbelievable. You'll be happy to know that our new plan is never to continue on a dirt road no matter what the GPS says.


Right. Thanks.