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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Island Scenes~Mosaic Monday

image will enlarge

A much cooler and less humid day today so it was very nice to get away and spend the afternoon at the coast. Most photos are shot from the car as we drove slowly with island traffic.  We did stop for a few minutes to smell the ocean breezes, though the chatter and clamor of noisy, arguing children drove us off. Kids! ☺

Linking to Mary at Little Red House. As always, even if I forget, thank you, Mary, for hosting Mosaic Monday. It's a highlight of my week!

Until next time...

Love Vee

The Fellowship of God

The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. He communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul. He is not sensitive nor selfish nor tempermental. What He is today we shall find Him tomorrow and the next day and the next year. He is not hard to please, though He may be hard to satisfy. He expects of us only what He Himself first supplied. He is quick to mark every simple effort to please Him, and just as quick to overlook imperfections when He knows we meant to do His will. He loves us for ourselves and values our love more than galaxies of new created worlds...

Some of us are religiously jumpy and self-conscious because we know that God sees our every thought and is acquainted with all our ways. We need not be . God is the sum of all patience and the essence of kindly good will. We please Him most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfections, and believing that He understands everything and loves us still. ~A.W. Tozer

God's readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation's available for everyone! We're being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. Titus 2:11–14 The Message


Love Vee


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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blogger Frustrations Reach Boiling Point



It's the heat I'm sure, but my frustrations with Blogger are at the boiling point. I've been wandering around in Blogger help for nearly an hour, which is NO help at all. A. complete. waste. of. time.

My habit is to postdate, writing at my leisure in the evening and setting the time for a little after seven  the following morning for the post to publish. Every day this week there have been troubles. I've lost two posts requiring me to start over from scratch, had to delete a post because the page appeared empty and had been saved as a draft (not postdated), and have been unable to do any edits at all getting some dreaded error message. (bX-kOwhgz)

Yes, I've given feedback. This will take time for the powers-that-be to track down. In the meantime, I would like to revert back to "Old Editor," but it has disappeared from my settings page. I've looked and looked on my dashboard hoping to find it somewhere...nope. I'm about wigged out so am just reporting in to say that I am over and out until things get righted around.

***

It is with great pleasure that I can say "EDITED TO ADD:"

I have found my way home. Why am I shedding a tear over this? Gheesh. Anyway, I have found my way home to my former dashboard where my reading list awaits and all seems right with the world. For any of you struggling in the wilderness, I did this not by finding anything on that rotten new dashboard, but by going to  http://draft.blogger.com/home. Presumably, you'll find your own blog there and not mine.



See that big red dot? There's a box to unclick right there, which is what I did. Oh how beautiful my former home looked to me!

Dear Blogger~

You know that I love you, which is why, when you fail, I feel so very disappointed. You have MUCH MORE WORK to do on this new dashboard thing before you expect to force us all into using it.

All the best,

Love Vee

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Little Loopy

What ails you?

That is what I'm hearing in my head as I work on granny squares and an afghan through the hottest days of summer. This is not a "normal" afghan; this is the mother of all granny squares. I began yesterday morning and this is how it turned out by evening.




Morning's photo shows about 12 rows done and evening's about 20. I have always wondered if one could make a giant granny square afghan. Of course! Lots of images can be found of them. I even found a lovely one *here* at Purl Bee. I'd love to make one using such lovely colors. My yarn was a regift from my niece who was helping me clean out the garage back along. I am using that yarn up and getting it out of storage. This is an acrylic high loft yarn, washer and dryer safe, and a bit tricky to work with, though my large crochet hook works well. It kept me beautifully warm yesterday, a 92F day. ☺

I really must switch over to embroidery for the remainder of summer. More about that project another day.

***


Last Friday, Sam wanted to wash his bike and then he washed John's car, too. That worked out so well that I wonder if he'd like to do that again this week...

***

A new daylily is blooming. I remember when my children were small and I'd get a particular thrill from hearing their voices first thing in the morning. It was exciting to go get them up for the day. That's the same feeling I'm having with my little garden. It's new every morning and I love seeing what's going on each day.


And how are you weathering the heat? (And for all those in the Pacific Northwest, how are you weathering the damp and chill?)


Love Vee

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Staying Cool

When one has tasted watermelon he knows what the angels eat. ~ Mark Twain



Love Vee

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Siding Report

Thought it might be time for a progress report on the siding. Come along, we'll take a little walk-about.

Let's start with the lovely...

Deck Posies

White Geraniums on the Edge of the Forest Primeval

A Bit of a Mess

John at Work

Let's keep on going, shall we? What's happening in the little garden?

The Mallow Bloomed

Back of House


Good heavens! How'd that get there?! You'll be happy to know that it doesn't look this way anymore.



Back View Today

Phew! Thought I was having a nightmare there for a second...

When the fencing gets out of the way, I'll try to show you a similar shot.

Thanks for taking the walk-about with me! Now do stay cool or warm as the case may be.


Love Vee

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Coffee Drink, Granny Squares, Reading List for Bloggers

This looks terribly unattractive for being the tasty beverage it is. Not a coffee shake, not an iced coffee, but a frozen coffee slushie with coffee ice cream on top.

While participating in last Saturday's Ice Cream Social, I found the recipe right *here* at Not Quite Perfect. It's easy; it's delicious.

***

 

Granny Squares. I've been working on some. Don't ask me why. This is not a likely time. I've tried to show you my inspiration, but couldn't find it. Figures. I can't find anything lately. I couldn't remember how to do a Granny Square for anything, which is why I've been keeping company with *this You Tube guy* who does the greatest job of teaching a basic square. He's far better than the rest, believe me. (Even if you watch the first few seconds, you will discover the proper way to start. I've never known this. My mama never taught me.) He repeats just often enough, his voice is soothing, he's a peach. I'm going to miss him.

***

Ever since the new dashboard rolled out, things are not the same, including traffic. My Reading List is lost and just this morning I've learned why.

How do I use the Blogger Reading List?

(Note: We are slowly adding this feature for all users, some of the functionality may not be available to all users immediately.) With the Blogger Reading List, you can read all of the latest posts from your favorite blogs right on your Blogger Dashboard! Your Blogger Reading List, conveniently located under your list of blogs on your dashboard, enables you to subscribe to any blog with a feed. It will update instantly each time a new post is published on any blog in your Reading List. Additionally, you can check out our latest Blogger Buzz posts from the "Blogger Buzz" tab, and the latest Blogs of Note from the "Blogs of Note" tab. ~Source

I am trying to remedy this sorry state of affairs by adding a number of blogs to my already fat, fat blogroll. In addition, I am grabbing buttons left and right. It's not at all convenient, though I do have a hope of finding my favorites easily.

So, tell me, is your Blogger Reading List working? Is your Follower list stable or are you unexplainably losing Followers? Do you use Google Reader?

Summertime and the living is easy... Okay. I get that. Here's to enjoying the remainder with few, if any, concerns about blogging.

Stay cool out there...


Love Vee
P.S. I've just been visiting my friends' blogs and have discovered that I am unable to leave comments at over 50% of them. Further, I've just discovered that I couldn't leave a comment on my own blog. So if you've been frustrated trying, don't worry. I understand.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This Week's Garden~Mosaic Monday

sprinkler was on

Hi! I pondered for two seconds and a half whether to feature my wee patch of a garden this week. My final thoughts were that I have all winter to feature in-house subjects. The little plates were formerly creating a border, then I had marauders of the mammal variety move in so up went the ancient, wee, picket fence. After that, I pulled up the plates and tucked them here and there within the garden where I admire their permanent posies even as I admire the daylilies that are here one day and gone the next.

images will enlarge

This is the latest daylily to bloom along with the Stella d'Oros and the ubiquitous ditch lilies. I believe that it's a Purple Elite, but perhaps someone knows for certain.

As always, I am linking to Mosaic Monday at Mary's Little Red House. I hope that if you've been playing with mosaics yet have never joined in the fun that you might consider it. Mary has all the information that you need to know right in her sidebar. (As for me, I use a free program called Photoscape with a little help from Photoshop, too.)


Love Vee

A Favorite Fishing Hole




And Jesus saith unto them, 'Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.' ~Matthew 4:19

When Christ calls us by his grace we ought not only to remember what we are, but we ought also to think of what he can make us. It is, "Follow me, and I will make you." We should repent of what we have been, but rejoice in what we may be. It is not "Follow me, because of what you are already." It is not "Follow me, because you may make something of yourselves;" but, "Follow me, because of what I will make you." ~Charles Spurgeon


Love Vee
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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ice Cream Social~Kitchen Bouquet


Today I'm participating in Suzy's Ice Cream Social. We certainly enjoy our ice cream around here.

Lately, we are most happy with coffee shakes; these make the third batch.

Veezie's Easy-Peasy Coffee Shakes

* 2 cups milk (Whatever you're drinking; we drink 1%.)
* 1 TBS vanilla (the good stuff)
* ¼ cup sugar
* 3 TBS instant coffee grounds (not what you see here) dissolved in a squid of hot water
* as many scoops of coffee ice cream as you can stand ☺

Blend in a blender, but don't go crazy. You want some small chunks of ice cream floating about. Frost glasses if desired. Our root beer float glasses were frosted for ten minutes so longer would be better.

Makes two shakes.

Why is that second glass half empty? I couldn't wait any longer. Delicious, if I do say so myself!

***


We had a lovely little ice cream social at the farm with the grands yesterday afternoon. Nothing makes them happier than soft serves with sprinkles except patting the lamb afterward.


Please join Suzy at Kitchen Bouquet for more excellent ice cream social ideas! Thank you, Suzy, for hosting the fun!


Love Vee

Friday, July 15, 2011

What's Your Story, Morning Glory?

all of today's images will enlarge

My story is that I'm practicing cropping. All these shots come from the same photograph seen in the center with the exception of the two close-ups on the bottom left and right.

***

So many of you told me what a great day you had yesterday. Here on the Eastern Seaboard, we are enjoying beautiful summer days with low humidity, if you can imagine such a thing. I've not seen anything like it for a long, long time, though if it goes on for the rest of the summer, I'll not complain.


The humidity was so low that, toward evening, I baked a Peach and Blueberry Clafouti. We barely noticed the oven was on because the air was so dry. The clafouti recipe can be found right *here* at King Arthur Flour.  If you've never tried one of these, you'll be amazed how easy it is to make and how light and fresh it tastes. It's an excellent way to use up fruit that can't possibly be eaten before it has gone by.


I dusted drowned it with confectioner's sugar. Oh yum...

***

Today, we are off for breakfast with my oldest grand. We hope to make this a Friday habit for the summer as he's missing his school schedule a lot. Then we'll have a day of whatever we can do without getting too worn out. (I don't mind if he gets worn out; I just enjoy breathing.) This afternoon, we'll pick up the baby grand and then we'll really be off to the races. Say a prayer. ☺

***


Tomorrow, I'm participating in this year's Ice Cream Social. Last year, I served *orange floats.* This year, I've not quite made up my mind. Nevertheless, I hope that you'll be by to see and perhaps you'll consider participating as well!

Now, what's your story, Morning Glory?

Love Vee

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jeweled Balm

lantana on my windowsill

Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world.  ~ Ada Louise Huxtable 

astilbe in my garden



Love Vee

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hardanger, Et Cetera

Yesterday, I cleaned the kitchen and the dining room. Yes, thank you, with all this heat, I do deserve a standing ovation. I found my Irish linen and a piece of lace purchased at a thrift shop. Don't ask. The very same thrift shop where John and my uncle unloaded our car of its burden. I think my grandmother and mother would be pleased as this shop sells for a very worthy cause. Don't you love how things just keep going in a big old circle around here?

Anyway, look at this! I didn't pay $5.99 for 10 yards of Irish linen. I paid just $5.00!

Thanks, Lovella, for checking my "this will shrink" picture day before yesterday. Want to try this one? ☺

My aunt knows a bargain when she sees one! I also picked up this little piece below.


When we had all piled back in the car with the men in the front and we gals in the back, my aunt asked me what that piece was called. I told her that it was filet *embroidery crochet. She said that it was not. What is this? A test? I thought. "Pulled threads," she said. Then, a moment later, "It's hardanger."  Ohhhh, I got it, she was trying to think of the word and hoping that I could fill in the blank.

*Hardanger* is not a term that I was familiar with. But now that I've cleaned my kitchen and found it again (don't ask), I can show you a comparison between hardanger (har-dang-er) and filet *embroidery  crochet. (I realize that there are gazillion of you who already know this. Humor me.)














image will enlarge

The top piece is the hardanger and the bottom filet *embroidery crochet. Do you see the pulled threads in the hardanger?

So I learned two things if I can remember them. Hardanger is pulled* (counted?) threads and if I shut up, I might learn something.

~*~

It's been so hot here the past two days...

How hot is it?


With all due apologies to all of you who've been sweltering for forever.

~*~
I was visiting Carol at Serendipity where she was discussing taking pictures of food. She was wondering if she'd gone too far with her photography. I don't think so, but then I don't live at her house. Anyway, I decided then and there to take a photo of some food and since I had cleaned the kitchen and the dining room and found my hardanger—don't ask


Grab a peach and have a delightful day...

Love Vee
* Pardon my confusion.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Two Books

Oh no! This is terrible! And it was. Really.

Let me back up. Last week I was shopping at Amazon, when I realized that I needed a little something extra to get my free shipping. You know, spend an extra ten dollars to save four. I decided that I would purchase that nice little book I gave to Suzanne as part of her winning the Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbook contest. It was déjà vu all over again as that's what had happened when I was ordering Suzanne's books. I had needed a little something to get me over that limit then, too.

So I ordered the little something extra and it arrived in timely fashion and I sat right down to read it and I was not four paragraphs in before I realized oh-oh. Oh-oh.² Lots of language. Lots of quirky characters. Lots of oh.dear.me.what.have.I.done.

And so I have laughed and cringed my way through it. I think the most mortifying thing about it is that there's a character who blogs.

People don't take my skills seriously, but there's an art to it. There really is. When I was on a roll, I used to update my blogs eight, sometimes twelve hours a day. That's eight or twelve hours of writing. Stephen King is probably one of the only other guys who writes that much... p.8

In some not too noticeable ways, I'm a reasonably confident guy. Sure, I'm not into socializing and dating and whatnot, but I do write a couple of blogs. I form opinions and I write about them... p52

When you spend all day, every day, on the Internet you develop an image of yourself in relation to the world. You know what I mean? It's like your looks or lack of them are manageable. Because you focus on other people and no one can see you and if you make the odd crack about yourself, well, that's just you being human and relatable. p.238

Every now and then I have felt that the author knew a little too much about blogger types, me included. I mean I always feel as if I'm doing something when blogging just as this character does. Suzanne even emailed asking me just what it was about this book that made me think to give it to her. Oh, I'd responded blithely, I read about it *here.*

Now I ask you, wouldn't you want to read a book with this blurby little bit on the back cover?

Prudence Burns, a well-intentioned New Yorker full of back-to-the-land ideals, just inherited Woefield Farm—thirty acres of scrubland, dilapidated buildings, and one half-sheared sheep...


Somehow I got it into my head that H to W was going to be 2011's The Enchanted Barn, an old story by Grace Livingston Hill about reclaiming a barn for a home. Hill's writing is lyrical and genteel and, well, quaint. This is one of my favorite passages from TEB:



She decided to decorate first. The great hamper of flowers was forthwith brought into the barn, and the chauffeur set to work twining ropes and sprays of smilax and asparagus fern over doorways and pictures and trailing it like a vine about the stone chimney. Then came the flowers: pots of tall, starry lilies, great, heavyheaded, exquisite-breathed roses, pink, white, yellow, and crimson...
Forthwith is such a lovely, old-fashioned word. There were lots of words that began with that letter in H*ome to Woefield.

~*~


So you may be thinking that I don't recommend this book to you. I don't. Not in good conscience. Not if you shy from language that makes you want to wash your own mouth out with soap.

You may be thinking that I slammed the covers shut and didn't read another word. Oh no. I have a unique philosophy about reading and literature and dramas, etc. I've shared it all *before.* I take the C.S. Lewis approach. I very much enjoyed the book.

It was the shame of having gifted it to someone else that I didn't enjoy. So, on that note, my sincere apologies to Suzanne.


Love Vee
Edited to Add: For Suzanne's take on this, read comment #26. Ohhh, too funny!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gifts in the Mail

So we're back to chatty little posts because I haven't been anywhere or done anything. In several days. Never fear, however, for I am the queen of chatty if I can write instead of speak.

It's another lovely day here in the Northeast except that it's humid. The Canadians have decided to take back their high weather system and will not share their arctic air with us again until later in the week.

This means that when the mail arrived bringing me cooler temps... What? You don't believe me? As you know, I never make a comment without proving it.


Oh delightful little white barn with green doors sitting in the snow—how cool you make me feel. Nita Leger Casey mailed this painting to me as a thank you for featuring her on my blog. Nita, are you kidding me? I love featuring your work. And I love this little barn. (It reminds John of one his sister used to own.) Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

In case some didn't know, I "met" Nita when I was googling for images to use here on this blog. It was right after a dear blogging buddy had taken me to task for not always being as scrupulous as I should be about such images. I found a picture of a lovely home in snow with a garden gate. I truly wanted to use it so much that I wrote and asked for permission. Nita graciously replied in the affirmative. I've visited her site ever since and encourage all those who love New England scenes to do the same. You will find Nita at her Gingerbread Art Studio unless she's here in Maine. (I suppose she may go other places; France comes to mind. ☺)

And, lest you think that the painting was the only blessing in the mailbox today...


My *Good Neighbor* soy candles arrived with extras. (Besides, you might need some warming after all that snow.) Becky, the notecards and tea candles are wonderful. Thank you!) Folks, I know that I'm a blueberry lover, but this aroma "blueberry muffin" is out of this world wonderful. The box arrived in the house smelling good before it was ever opened. Hmmmm... I think I can get away with not baking today.

~*

Thank you to all who said such sweet things on my camera skills yesterday. This is my secret also known as "necessity is the mother of invention."

homemade tripod

I hope you know that my real secret is take lots and lots of photos.

this image will shrink

Yes, that was my bee balm dud mosaic. Good thing I persevered, eh?

A happy day to you...

Love Vee