Monday, November 15, 2010

Thank You for Everything

Just popping in to say thank you for all the wonderful emails and cards. I have been truly blessed by the community of Blogdom; your words touched my heart.

This past weekend was a blur of activity with Nan's graveside service on Saturday involving six hours of travel and her Memorial Service yesterday at the church she attended in our community.

I've not had nearly enough time to collect my thoughts and so will be taking even more time off from blogging. And, as always, when time away happens, I've missed you. I'm looking forward to getting back.

Enjoy a wonderful November day...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Giving Thanks List 2010

30. A Living Hope

29. Modern medicine

28. The opportunity to "prepare the way"

27. A slower pace

26. A wonderful Thankgsiving

25. All travelers are home safe and sound

24. Cherished family recipes

23. My husband's prayers

22. Cozy mornings reading blogs

21. Happy planning

20. Time with a grandson

19. A good hot cup of coffee

18. Christmas music

16. and 17. Mild weather

12. to 15. Sweet Memories

11. Those who have served and who serve

10. Poetry

9. Music that soothes a restless spirit...

8. For the comfort of family and friends...

7. For Nan being safely home...

6. The normal, everyday things of life...

5. This red plaid flannel nightgown...

4. Quality Conversation...

3. For the difference a new morning can make...

2. Giving thanks for the great privilege of voting...

1. Thankful to be looking forward...

This is a way for me to share what has been on my sidebar. I'm going to need the reminder!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Corinthians 15:55

Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?


Nan has been a thread throughout this blog, a very important part of my life. She passed peacefully around 11 last evening. Thank you so much for your prayers.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Snack

Won't you join my mother and me for a bit of cheese, milk and honey bread, and some apricot jelly? Here it is nearly noon and I have no post up, but thanks to a church fair visit and my mother's open purse, I have something to share.

Thank you for your prayers. They mean so much. Such a rough evening last that my mother decided to spend the night there with my grandmother. I don't know how my mother had the energy for the fair; guess it's one of those things that she missed last year and didn't want to miss again.

My purchases were for the boys. Aren't these trains the cutest things?

They're made from a roll of lifesavers with a pack of gum beneath. To the gum has been added the peppermint candies for wheels. A Hershey nugget and a pom-pom are on top to complete the train. I just asked my mother for the names of the train parts and she said, "Ask Sam." Okay, that's fair. I don't know the names either. Oh I give up...I found the directions *here* if you are interested.

Today, I am grateful for the normalcy of life...the doing of dishes, the folding of clothes, the attending of a church fair, the enjoying a snack...right in the middle of trying times. It says that "life goes on" and that "life is for the living."

Enjoy a great weekend...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Red Flannel Nightgown

Day five of my giving thanks challenge and I know what you're thinking: red flannel nightgown...oh come on!

It may be a bit of a reach, but I am truly thankful for things that envelop me — warm hugs, cool fog, cozy fleece blankets, and this red flannel nightgown.

Flannel nighties are a part of New England life. I don't know any gal who lives here who doesn't have at least one. It's cold up here. Mighty. Wicked. Whatever adjective you'd like to give it. And we're trying to be frugal with the heat...oil prices being what they are. So a lovely, soft, warm, flannel nighty is just the thing.

Now be honest, do you have a flannel nighty?


Yesterday afternoon, the nursing home called. It is the third time that they were concerned enough to call. My grandmother has stopped using her call button; she sees people in the room that no one else sees and she reaches for them; and she had stopped eating. When we three arrived, my mother, John, and I, she was deep in sleep. Thought that I would do well with this transition because it has been such a long goodbye, but found myself tearing up and when my mother whispered to her, "Don't worry about me. I'll be okay" ...well, let's just say I don't have nerves of steel.

We went out for a quick fast-food bite to eat and when we returned, Nan was perched up in her bed, bright-eyed, and hungry. She ate for the first time in a while and communicated with us even telling John that she loved him and telling my mother how much she loved her. It's all very strange. I know the day is approaching and I will be thankful for that day. It is no tragedy to live to be 101 and to be living in this limbo land between this world and the next is not easy on any of us.

On that note, I'd like to direct you to Mille Fiori Favoriti where Pat shares a video of *the most remarkable 106-year-old woman.*  There is much more to the story and it is a great blessing to see.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Talk is Cheap

I have not asked my mother what she thinks of our time together, but I have enjoyed having her here immensely. Not only do I enjoy my own conversations with her, I also enjoy overhearing John's conversations with her. Our time together is drawing to a close and I shall miss her right here in house to sip coffee with and to chat on and on and on and on. (John may think differently; I've not asked.)

We have discussed many, many things because we have had the time. Time itself becomes the opportunity to delve more deeply into a story life. Mother is working through so many things. Perhaps I have become a good sounding board. No, I talk too much myself to be a really good sounding board, but I do ask a lot of good questions. Perhaps Mother is secretly thinking, "Right. Thanks for that, Dr. Vee Freud." She has shared some new things with me, even disturbing things. On the one hand, I am deeply honored by her trust and, on the other hand, it's been tough to hear.

Isn't life that way? When we get down to the nitty-gritty aren't we going to hear some difficult things in order to really know another on a deeper level? It certainly has helped me to understand my mom better and that's a very good thing.

This explains my giving thanks for today... I am truly thankful for thoughtful, deep conversation. How about you?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pilgrim Girl Found

Not that I ever knew that she'd been lost... Mother was digging through paper piles when she came up with this one. I couldn't deny it for my name is scratched on the back in a typical six-year-old font.

Had to smile at my much younger self and my great average coloring abilities. Love the attempt to create color on the face. Now I was a brunette with brown eyes (still am, if one doesn't count the gray streaks ;> ), but I chose to color this little girl as a blue-eyed blond just like my little sister. Interesting. And why oh why didn't I match things up (brown cap with a blue dress)? Still being a rebel after all these years.

Yesterday, Mother and I went to visit Nan in tandem. First, we stopped at our favorite store...

where we practiced the fine art of frugality and...

What? Buying snowmen ears for Molly isn't frugal? Pshawww!

Where was I? Oh yes, and I twirled about the baking goods island set in the center lane for the holidays like a kid at a candy store. I want sugar and flour and raisins and chocolate chips and butterscotch chips and corn syrup and dates and spices and... Do you feel that way when you first see that special section?

(Wasn't going to do it, wasn't going to do it, wasn't going to do it, but oh well here goes. We went to bed last night with mounting dread because our illustrious {tongue firmly in cheek} news team was predicting that none of our candidates had won. This after less than twelve per cent of the vote had been counted. By morning's light, we find that our candidate is running neck and neck with six thousand more votes than the closest runner. Funny thing how dark a night can feel and how differently things can look in the morning. That's my giving thanks item for today.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Small Chew

Voting is brisk in my community today. The polls opened at nine this morning; John wanted to be there by 9:30. I didn't want to go alone so tagged along with him.  You never know whom you'll see so I was busily getting ready so that I could pass muster. The last thing I did was to grab a half stick of gum to chew... discreetly, of course. Good thing, because I ran into many people I know and hugged and chatted with them. Really, voting places should serve coffee and donuts and set out tables and chairs. ;>

When we got home, I told John to stand by the deck so as to take a picture of the ubiquitous "I Voted" sticker. Instead I sneezed. Violently. Without a chance to cover or even stop, drop, and roll. (Say, have you seen the proper way to sneeze? It's well worth the watching at Colleen's Main Street Memories. Anything to not spread cold and flu germs this season!)

So this is a picture of John looking for the wad of gum.

What are the chances of finding it in all those pebbles? We both looked and looked. Nothing. I knew that it was going to wind up on someone's shoe.

I gave up and took this nice picture of the "I Voted Today" sign over the top of a clipper ship emblem on
John's jacket.

Then he insisted on taking my jacket from's 34F this morning...and slinging it over his wrist.

Two votes!

And a wad of gum stuck to my jacket. I am not much impressed by wads of gum so I have altered this photo.  

And that's our voting story for the day. It was well worth having to park in the back acre behind the town hall in the mud to have the opportunity. (I do love a prepositional phrase.)

Happy Voting out there!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vote Smart and Giving Thanks Challenge

Oh I am so excited about voting tomorrow. More excited than I have been in a decade. I found a great little tool online that helped me figure out some of my choices. It's called *Vote Smart.* It allows you to answer questions on a variety of topics and find the candidate who thinks most like you. That is how I vote. I am not molding my opinion to match the candidates' opinions; I am looking for the one who best agrees with me.

I found this post via Mosaic Monday. It's called *Why Women Should Vote.* It is a powerful reminder of the not so long ago days when women in this country didn't have the right to vote. Did you know that ____? No, I will resist the urge to fill in the blank. Please read it for yourself and you'll be very glad that you did. Rett at The Gazebo House did a wonderful bit of gathering for this one.

In other news, Leah at South Breeze Farm is once again hosting her *Giving Thanks Challenge.* You can check it out here or on my sidebar. I will be posting a daily gratitude for every day of November right in my sidebar. (Then I'll be saving it and placing it somewhere on my blog to remember by.) I have tried to participate every year, though I missed last year because of the broken computer. (I'm beginning to sound like a broken record mentioning a broken computer twice in succession.) So it's obvious that I am grateful for a new computer and I'm grateful that my beloved pays the bill for access.

My goal is to put serious thought into this challenge and to be intentional. I will not be listing the obvious: my God, my faith, my family, my love of country, my love of friends, my home, my cat, my clothes, my car, my possessions, etc. This could get interesting! I know that Leah would love to have you join us and so I'm inviting one and all to participate. Let's get our "giving thanks" groove going!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Our Evening~Mosaic Monday

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We had ourselves some entertainment this evening when the Train Conductor and Buzz Lightyear arrived. Darling Daughter/Auntie had set up a little Bobbing for Donuts game. While Buzz Lightyear played a merry tune on the piano, Mr. Train Conductor figured out exactly how to eat a donut.

Please visit *Mary at Little Red House* for more mosaics. I'll be looking for some flowers myself. ;>

This Halloween Thing

This Halloween thing... I have skated about it for the three years that I've been blogging. Last year, I really skated since my computer was kaput and I blogged by using the library's computers.

Library in Autumn

The first year, I opined that it was too bad to have October end this way. I have always hated to have October end this way. Another year, I shared photos of the grands in costume. I had a Thomas the Train and a pirate that year. This year, I'll have a conductor and I don't know what.

My own children did not participate in Halloween activities, though we tried to provide fun alternatives. My grands do. If I had my druthers...but that's one of the things I have learned as a grandmother, I don't.

So I am conflicted. I don't enjoy Halloween or any of its pursuits. I adore my grandchildren. They will be visiting the nursing home where their great-great grandmother resides and I am certain that they'll bring a smile or two. The residents enjoy seeing the little ones in their costumes and participating in giving candy.

Still the basis of this "holiday" resides in the dark side. Okay, I'm changing that for my own thinking this's All Saints' Eve and that is how I shall view it. I'll be thinking about lovely things today...

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. ~Philippians 4:8 The Message

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Little War

We're having one at my house ... every night at 6:30 when the evening news comes on. I don't want to watch; John does. So far, John is winning. Yup, let's see, we've been married nearly 28 months. That means the score is 365×2+120 give or take a few: 850 to zip? Does that seem fair to you?

To make it worse, he insists on watching a b c. Get that news anchor in mind. I'm not going to mention any names, but could she please select a more flattering fake eyelash or two? I've never seen anyone's eyelids droop more even after an all-night bender. (Okay, no, I have not really seen anyone after an all-night bender, but I have seen movies... )
Maybe things will improve after the election. I'd really rather listen to WLS Chicago from 6:00 to 7:00, 8:00 or 9:00. Any fine day.


We've still got some lovely color in spots. Yesterday, I took my mother to get her license renewed and there we saw these beautifully colored bushes and trees. I just love the color combinations.

Mother took me out for lunch to Tim Horton's. We got so excited to see Canadian Maple donuts offered again. Noooo, that's not all we had, but I did eat half of my donut first. Hey! Life is short. Mother had the chili; I had the BLT on wheat and a cup of coffee with the remaining half of my donut for dessert. She even brought two donuts home to John. He had a pumpkin spice and a Canadian Maple. He said that if he had eaten the Canadian Maple first, he would've been very disappointed with the pumpkin spice, which he thought was very good until...

Do you have a Tim Horton's in your corner? If not, what's your favorite stop for coffee and donuts?

Have a fun weekend and be safe out there...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Vee's Friends and Favorite Blogs

I have two blogs. Surprised? One is A Haven...; the other is Vee's Friends and Favorite Blogs where I showcase blogs that I enjoy. Just in case you've never stepped past that gate, I thought I'd mention it. You can find it in my sidebar, but I'm just now realizing that few people look at sidebars anymore. I seldom do these days myself, but I remember when I used to do so all the time. That's where I found the really good stuff.

The question of the day is this: do you read blog sidebars?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thank you

A big thank you to all nine who have commented since Monday. :D

I do appreciate each and every comment that I've received. This blogging issue has annoyed me so much that it was time to just let it go and be done with it so I deleted all posts since Monday. Phew. Like water off a duck... Quack.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Along the Ridge~Mosaic Monday

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Hopefully, I can be forgiven for sharing nothing but autumnal scenes in the past few weeks. Though we are a week past peak foliage, it's still a beautiful world out there. These photos were taken on a hill named M*egquier overlooking a lake to the east and the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the west. (There's one lonely photo of Mt. Washington to the right just above the church.)

How's the view in your corner? Don't worry, I'll be visiting to find out!

For more mosaics, visit Mary at Little Red House.

Walk In It

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

Have a blessed Sunday and a blessed week!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

If I Could Save Time in a Bottle

If I could make days last forever,

If words could make wishes come true

I'd save every day like a treasure and then,

Again, I would spend them with you

~Jim Croce

This is an idea found somewhere in a stack of old magazines that my sister gave me when she departed the state a few weeks ago. It could be from Country Living or from Downeast Magazine. I'm sorry that I can not find the article to give proper credit. Nevertheless, it was such a simple idea and one that I could easily employ and since my sister was heading  out...again...I found it meaningful to place the little photo I have of the two of us taken one Easter Sunday morning fifty a few years ago. All one has to do is print off a copy of a vintage favorite photograph and place in an old bottle by rolling the photo into a cigarette cylindrical shape and popping it down the bottle neck. It's all very poignant somehow... ;>

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thank You for the Thank You

Have you ever received a thank you that was so sweet that you felt like offering a thank you for the thank you? I did this week and I'm going to share it with you. My Aunt Ess is a talented gal who loves to make her own cards; she sent me a thank you that included the following recipe. I've asked for permission to share it and, though she's responded, she didn't give me permission. In this case, I'll go ahead and request forgiveness later. (I hope that it's not one of the secret family recipes.)

Think that I'll plan an autumn tea as soon as these are out of the oven... Perhaps it'll be more blog fodder... Perhaps I can trick my mother into it... Perhaps...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Pretty Little Clutch of Trees

Comments are closed because I'm not really here... Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What I Put the Poor Man Through

Everything around here, just as Suzanne once told me it would be, is blog fodder. And, when we don't have any blog fodder, we make some up. I had been taking photos of the ravine when I realized that a large chunk of birch bark had fallen and I wanted it. So I suggested to John that he might love to go fetch it for me and that we'd turn it into blog fodder.

Now I'm telling you the truth. Nothing is staged around here. No, really, nothing.


1 Hon, please put your pant leg down over your boot.
2 Could you roll up both sleeves?
3 Oh be careful!
4 Those leaves are slippery!
5 Oh watch out!
6 Don't get your boots wet!
7 Listen a minute...Don't walk across on that slippery log!
8 Are you serious? Would you prefer me to walk through the stream?

Let's take a closer look at #8 shall we?

9 The log is slippery!
10 You reached for the birch bark too fast!
11 Put it back!
12 Put it back? Okayyyyy...
13 Got it!

The prize on the left and the real prize on the right and I don't mean the corn cob!

So which kind of gal are you? The one who asks someone to do it for her or the one who does it for herself? Would your hubby do this for you?

(I know! I'm here, but this was already in the can. Now I'm really going to play one, two, skip a few, three, four, skip some more...)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's Working; I'm Broken

Good heavens! The things that I am willing to put up with. I've had T*ime W*arner for over two years now and things have never been top notch. Come to find out, the service was not properly installed from the beginning. An inferior something or other was used and it caused the service to freeze repeatedly. At first, I thought it was my old computer, but no. This inferior part may have actually hastened its demise. Then the new computer had troubles, then the modem was replaced, but nothing completely solved the problem. Sometimes you get a good techie and sometimes you don't. Yesterday, we finally did. He said, "You pay good money for this service. Don't ever hesitate to ask for help when you need it." Apparently, I am a dolt. And, apparently, I  have had trouble with this all my life. Why do I always assume, no matter what it is, that it is my fault? Yes, I'm going to lie right down on the sofa and have you offer up suggestions. I can't afford real therapy. :D

Anyway, the long and short of it is that I haven't missed blogging so much so I'm going to keep right on doing what I was doing while the computer was out. I'll catch you when I start to miss the blogging experience again. Could be later this afternoon...could be next week...

Create yourself a delightful day!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Autumn Dreams~Mosaic Monday

The leaves in my corner are past peak and, after the Nor'easter last Friday, many have been lost prematurely. I'm still taking a lot of pictures before it all fades to brown because, no matter what's been said in the past week, this is my favorite season.

A brief explanation:

1. Playing with layers and gradients in Photoshop
2. A ladybug in her orange phase just before turning red
3. A Ground Bouquet...I'm taking lots of photos of these as I'm always amazed by how artfully the leaves land (No, I do not rearrange them.)
4. A large piece of birch bark, which will feature prominently in tomorrow's "failed" mosaic (maybe...depends on crazy modem)
5. A birthday bubble balancing on top of the fence post

Please visit Mary at Little Red House for more mosaics!

(Concerning computer woes — another visit from the techies tomorrow. The service is sporadic at best, but I will be visiting as it allows.)