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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Scrambling

That's what's going on around here these days — a whole lot of scrambling.

My grandmother's time as a "skilled" resident of the nursing home has come to an end. She is growing progressively weaker, which is what it is, but she needs permanent care in a facility. Her current home has no room for long-term residents so she is being released this week. I was taken by surprise by this release date as I had been told that if she grew worse she would be able to stay. Though she's grown much worse, last week I was told to find a home or to bring her home. If I don't find a home for her, they can legally remove her to one of their choosing. Sadly, this would probably be the only home in the area with room. It's a pit earning only two stars on their July 2010 inspection.

So we have been out visiting homes. What a sad and story state of affairs in nursing homes. Some are squalid hell holes like the one we visited yesterday where they lacked for everything except nursing staff. Trouble was they were all at the nursing station having a kaffeeklatsch the entire time we were there. I watched them like a hawk to see if they answered any of the bells that were ringing. No. They did not.

Since we are now in the sad position of placing Nan 50 miles away from home, we are zeroing in on homes with five-star ratings — the very highest. We must have peace of mind in knowing that she will be well cared for since we are not going to be able to visit nearly as often as we have been. It will not be financially possible nor physically possible.

So I'm requesting prayer. I truly feel as if I could have a meltdown and I'm concerned for my mother, too. Thanks so much!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Colors of Early Autumn~Mosaic Monday

Image will enlarge

How wonderful are the colors of autumn. All these photos were taken in my own yard with the exception of the orange pumpkin of another sort. (Edited to Add: OOPS! The top center photo is a corner of the library below.) When I saw that orange Chevy, I had to take its photo!

The photo below was taken at a small library in a neighboring community — that's my hubby coming out the door. The trees around it show the level of color that we are seeing now so we have awhile longer before we see peak color. How long before you'll be seeing peak color?



Mary, thank you for all that you do to make *Mosaic Monday* happen. It's become the highlight of my week! You can visit Mary at Little Red House where you'll be treated to her wonderful photography any time.

A Smoldering Wick



A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice...

Isaiah 42:3

Such good news for anyone who, like me, may be feeling bruised and/or smoldering. God loves us and what we may be sensing as a scolding, in the middle of trying circumstances, may only be the way He chooses to fan up our flame once again.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Getting Ready


We're getting ready for our houseguest who plans to be teaching me a thing or two about pickling.

Since things are pretty much up in the air now with both real life and blogging life (oh the hoops I had to jump through this morning just to post...arghhhh), it is uncertain when I'll be back. Just consider me in a pickle. ;>

Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Apple Ridge Day


Though we had more important things to do, my mother, sister, and I stopped in at Apple Ridge where we found all kinds of mums, pumpkins, squash, apples, and cider. Did we buy any of those? No. Donuts. We just wanted some donuts hot from the deep fat fryer. Hmmmmmm...

But, in honor of the blue hubbard squash and the butternut squash or even the pumpkin, I'm offering a Winter Squash Soup recipe from Mountain Harvest Organic. It looks pretty healthful with the ricotta cheese instead of heavy cream. See, I really am good.

How's the first full day of autumn going so far?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pumpkins Fake and Otherwise, Et Cetera



Some people win beautiful prizes here in Blogdom. Why I myself have just won Vicki Haninger's new book mentioned in Mosaic Monday's post and a $50 dollar gift card from Penny at The Comforts of Home. Poor Pat! She recently won a prize here at Haven and all she's getting is this little needle book.  Yes, well, that's the way things roll here lately. :D I usually don't share what I'm sending off, but Pat, as you probably know, does a blog all about the delights of NYC and the places she visits. She's currently doing a series on *her trip to wine country in California.* She takes the best photos and you can't go wrong to visit and enjoy them! And the point is that she doesn't do the kind of blog that I do where I share the very simple things like needle books. Anyway, I thought you might enjoy seeing what became of the little blue bird, a pattern from Vicki's book, also featured in Mosaic Monday's post.


On to pumpkins. I love them, orange or otherwise. This white pumpkin was purchased over the weekend for nearly five dollars (.39 a pound).

It's so pretty, but real pumpkins never do well for very long in the house.

Fake ten-cent pumpkins just go on forever, but this was one of those hideous orange numbers. So I decided to spray paint it with one of my leftover cans of paint...khaki, I believe, and then being too lazy by a lot to paint polka dots or *do this,* I just stuck some pins in it.

 

Of course, there's no comparison to the real thing, but it will be far away from the real thing right here... Can you see it in all that jumble?


This picture is not about the pumpkin...oh I kinda like the sunflowers popping out of the center...hmmm...this pic is about the different piece of furniture behind the sofa. Since I have so many bureaus, I should be putting them to better use than storing them in the garage so now I have six drawers for linen storage. The farm table that had been here is out in the garage because my brain wasn't fully in gear and I didn't realize that I really wanted the farm table in the kitchen. Nan's table is going directly up to my sewing room. All this when John and I have recovered from the weekend's furniture hauling detail.


And just because this is the first day of autumn the day autumn will arrive, I am sharing the first blush in the backyard. Have a wonderful fall, ya'll!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

♪Fly Me to the Moon♪

Now there's an old song that I really don't want to become anyone's earworm. :D

Sooo did you see Jupiter and the Moon last night? Jupiter was to the left side of the moon and lower in the sky. I watched them move along in tandem for a while and when the moon was on one side of the garage roof peak and Jupiter on the other, I decided to grab the camera.  Now somewhere you'll see a wonderful photo of this pairing, but it won't be here.

Photo will enlarge

Still, I was so impressed with myself that I had to share. Now a few other pics taken over the weekend...


No Jupiter a few days ago...

when we were the last ice cream customers of the day...


and I kept handing off my cone to John so I could take pictures of impatiens and petunias and


sunflowers and the sunset. (As you may remember we don't see sunsets down in our hollow.)


The sunset grew lovelier and lovelier until it became

this...gosh, I hate wires. (Someday, I hope that all wires will be underground as I'm told they are in Manitoba, Canada.)

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Embroidery~Mosaic Monday

Image will enlarge

I love embroidery, do you? Recently, I won this book: Embroidery Craft: Stitching through the Seasons by Vicki Haninger. Vicki has a wonderful blog called Turkey Feathers. I've been enjoying my visits there for over three years now. Not only does Vicki sell embroidery patterns, she is very generous with free images for embroidery as you can see by her current offering of state flowers for a state flower quilt. *Here* is her page for New York's state flower—the rose. Have fun looking around!

Embroidery Craft... is a delightful book filled with darling images. Below is a numbered mosaic if you're interested in knowing the particulars of this mosaic. 

1. The book! (Glossy and a bit hard to photograph.) 2. The iron on patterns using patterns from the book. 3. My sweet note from Vicki hoping that I'll find hours of fun. 4. Yes, I've already started on the fun with this little blue bird. 5. A tea towel made from a pattern I purchased from Pattern Bee (Vicki's Online Embroidery Shop) a few years ago. 6. A tea towel close-up.
Thank you so very much, Vicki! I will be enjoying this book for years to come!

And, as always, big thanks to Mary at Little Red House for hosting Mosaic Monday!

Peter Marshall

Ever get the sense that God is telling you something and quite directly? After a day of cleaning the garage and hauling things up and down, in and out, John and I wanted to relax and watch a movie in the evening. We wound up at the library looking for movies having exhausted our own supply. We selected three: Black Beauty, Aviator, and A Man Called Peter based on the book of the same title by Catherine Marshall (author of many books including Christy).

When it came time to decide, John said that he really wanted to see A Man Called Peter. It's a "vintage" film made in 1955. A Man Called Peter is the story of a Scottish immigrant who became a preacher and served as chaplain to the United States Senate for two terms in the 1940s. It didn't take long for us to realize that a lot of what we were watching was applicable for today. When Dr. Marshall exhorted the Senate, we got the sense that we, too, were being exhorted.

Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.
~Peter Marshall

May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right. ~Peter Marshall

A different world cannot be built by indifferent people. ~Peter Marshall

Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for - because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything. ~ Peter Marshall

We finished watching the movie sniffling because, well, I won't spoil it for those of you who may never have seen this old film, but might like to. As is my habit, I began a little Google search with John at my shoulder checking on Peter John Marshall (Peter and Catherine's son) to see if we might learn of speaking engagements, etc. What we found was the most unexpected announcement. Peter John Marshall passed away on September 8, 2010. Source

It was almost surreal for us. Having just watched the story of his father and then learning of his own death. We were blessed to have met Peter J. Marshall and we're proud to own his books and to have studied them and taught from them. We were impressed all over again with how God uses generations of a family.

Leaving you with a quote from the son, echoes of his dad all around...
Is there hope for America? Yes! Turning things around doesn't require every citizen's response. God promised Abraham long ago that He would spare Sodom on behalf of ten righteous people, a tiny remnant. But our national healing will not automatically happen just because we pray for it. If we American Christians truly respond to God's call, we may yet see the nation-wide revival that will restore America. But the hour is late, and we must respond quickly.  ~Peter John Marshall
Source

(Emphasis my own.)

Comments are off

Saturday, September 18, 2010

And Sometimes this Blogger Answers Questions

Two questions come to mind from comments this week. There are probably more. I'm not so good with the answering of questions actually... Oh, sure, sometimes I answer questions in comments, but not on a consistent basis.


*Sue* asked what this flower, featured in my most recent mosaic, is. I didn't know, but yesterday afternoon John and I went sleuthing. It's a Sweet Autumn Clematis. It has a wonderful fragrance evocative of vanilla. (John thought lilac, but he needs a new nose.) It blooms in late summer and early autumn, can be invasive, and does well on pergolas and fences. It creates a wonderful snowy (showy, too) appearance like this...


And *Aunt Amelia* asked me how I dust all that stuff in the living room. I usually dust every single day. Are you shocked? It takes me about five minutes for the entire first floor and I don't think that too much dust can be found here. (Unless you're looking in the sewing machine.) I use a marvelous tool that I lve and am never giving up. I bought it *here.* I've never regretted it and I've had it for six or more years. The end. (Well, not quite the end, this is not a paid advertisement.)

Gee, I'm on a roll with two responses under my belt...have any questions you want answered? :D

Have a terrific weekend, my friend!

Edited to Add: John thought you needed to see my duster. It has a sixteen-inch handle that helps me get to those high places. The feathers extend fifteen inches and are so soft and flexible that I never worry about breaking anything, even the most delicate objects. Hmmm, wonder if I could sell cars for a living.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pat's Story, Et Cetera

Did Pat's story send a collective chill up our spines? It sure sent a chill up mine and sent me scurrying to export my blog where I have it saved on my computer, minus the pictures, of course, and all the extras. Phew! I hate to think that this kind of thing can happen to any of us! I do wish Pat of Back Porch Musings all the best at her new home. Blogdom would not be the same without her!

I spent my Thursday in quiet pursuits. I have three projects going for three different blogging buddies and so I need to be cracking. At some point, I decided that yesterday would be a great day to clean the sewing machine and oil it. What a fright! I'm quite certain that this has not been done in a very, very long time. My biggest problem is that I am not mechanically inclined whatsoever so to think that I took the machine all apart and managed to get it all back together amazes me. Not that I put it back together correctly the first time. Nor the second. Dare I say that it was still not together the third and that, in addition, it was spitting oil on my new project? Ai yi yi.




























Seems as if my mother is going to be visiting for a few days between her former home and her new home. I'll need to clean a bit and spruce things up a bit for her. She sure deserves to have things nice. This is only the third time that she has spent any overnights with me since I was first married in the 70s. She spent a week with me in Arizona in 1977 and she spent a night with us after that dreaded GPS adventure, and now she'll spend a few in between days. I think it will be fun. That's the joy of having family who live away — you get to spend more time with them when they do visit.

Off to get some of that sprucing done... What are you going to be doing today?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Garden in Late Summer/Early Autumn

A little change of pace as I've been so wordy lately. Some pretty pictures for you of our local garden, Mc*Laughlin Garden.




That last photo of leaves with copper edges is my favorite tree. It's called a tri-colored beech and through the summer it has pink edges until the pinks turn to copper in autumn.


Isn't it lovely?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sessions Clock or For the Birds

Good thing that the clock comes with directions. Well, some directions. It doesn't say a thing about oiling it so we've been watching You Tube videos about how to oil antique clocks.

John took a good look at the clock and noticed a few things right away. First, someone has been fiddleflipping with it causing a number of problems. Namely, the face no longer sits fair on its pins causing quite a bit of drag as the mechanisms chafe against the housings.  What the entire family thought was some weather gizmo attached to the front is actually the oil applicator. We won't be using the oil in the applicator because it's dirty. There's an old bottle of clock oil from 1937 inside the clock and I'm pretty sure that we'll not be using that either. For now, the clock sits on the shelf above the tv. I think that this really helps to disguise the television much better than the oil lamps, which I showed you earlier in the month.
 A little closer view and, since we're counting birds and nests today, you can see that we've added another in this gold crane painted on the inside of the glass door. Do you see the oil applicator on the left? The measure stick beside it is for determining the swing of the pendulum and there is a thermometer on the right side, broken after all these years.

Okay, let's be off to count the birds. Though I wanted to place them in a mosaic, PhotoScape crops the photo and some of my birds hit the cutting room floor. I can't have that!


See how beautifully the Sessions clock disguises the big tv? Right? Right?!

(Blast! What's that stool doing there?)

1. gold crane on Sessions clock door
2. clear glass swan on window ledge...kinda hard to see
3. & 4. swan salt and pepper shakers declaring everlasting love
6. log cabin birdhouse formerly on coat hook, but John has put the coat hook back to its original purpose
7. giant green swan basket filled with all manner of stuff: remotes, cloth ball, devotionals, pens, pencils, sudoku books...

Did you notice that I even decorated John's radio? I can't move it. He loves it there for the perfect reception and right by his spot on the sofa. Sometimes a gal's just gotta do it his way.

Now for the east side of the room...


8. a swan
9.–20. bird images from The Feathered Nest and using Dawn's idea (I've talked about this several times over the past year.)
21. little black bird in upper window, a gift from Robin (Gosh, even my friends are birds.)
22. an owl from my daughter
23. little yellow bird
24. nest

There's more...


25. Can't forget my white bird from Kari
26. Or the bird on the tag discussed yesterday


And even though these birds are in the open living area, they don't count because they're not on the south side of the sofa. Do not question my logic! :D

Leaving you with Karen's image and a neat scripture...



Pat at Mille Fiori Favoriti is the gal who wins the surprise gift for participating in my little game. Though she came in a little low with a guess of a dozen, she wins by virtue of being the only gal to play. Congrats, Pat, and I have your addy already. Look for it by next week.

Happy Wednesday!

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.