Friday, August 31, 2012

My Thoughts on the Tampa Convention

I remember watching the 1968 Democrat Convention. Say! That was exciting. Fighting in the streets and burly policemen with billy clubs. I'm not sure what was really going on except for good old-fashioned politics and Chicago thuggery. I do know that it had been a horrific year with both Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy being assassinated within a short time of each other. It was a time of unrest and protests in the streets. Even worse times than these and, quite frankly, these are some of the worst times I've lived through. Still I feel a little better and brighter this morning.

Conventions have all been less exciting since, but this convention is one of the tamest I've seen, despite what I'm reading in the news and online about the president being beaten up.

So no one can say that I didn't tell you who I am, I am a Conservative and an Evangelical Christian, but not in that order. I bring this up in light of Rick Santorum's speech on Wednesday evening when he said: "The only Evangelical Christian running this year is Barack Obama." Yes, well, hmmmm. It may be that I am a size four Super Model, too. The point that Mr. Santorum was making is that Mitt Romney's faith should not have anything to do with his running for office. I would agree with that. The only time I'd disagree is if a radical muslim were running for office or a nazi or a skinhead or a ku klux klan member or a terrorist or...

My first impression of the Convention then is the tameness of it. Tame.

The second impression is the fact that the Republican women who have spoken are amazing. They're bright, articulate, and passionate. I had never heard Nikki Haley speak nor Mia Love.

~Mia Love~

Mia said this: President Obama’s version of America is a divided one, often pitting us against each other based on our income level, gender, and social status. His policies have failed us. We're not better off than we were four years ago and no rhetoric, bumper sticker or Hollywood campaign ad can change that.

I nearly stood up and cheered in my own living room. This resonates strongly with me. With so many people unemployed, losing their homes, and struggling with the high cost of living, I know that I am not alone.

Condoleeza Rice was very clear with these words: The world knows that when a nation loses control of its finances, it eventually loses control of its destiny.

When talking with a friend a few days ago, we decided that if everyone had children and grandchildren they would not be so willing to pass along 17 trillion dollars in debt to them. We would all have the courage to fix it now in our own generation. We would do the right thing.

I enjoyed hearing Paul Ryan's speech last night before last. I don't know all that much about him, though I like what I am seeing and hearing so far. I liked the respect and love he has for his mother; I liked his talking about caring for his grandmother with Alzheimer's. I especially liked these parts of his speech:

It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now. And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you. 

My favorite speaker of all was Artur Davis on Tuesday evening who gave a wonderful speech, well crafted and beautifully delivered. You can find his speech in its entirety at You Tube if you'd like to hear it for the first time or listen again. Mr. Davis voted for the president in 2008. This is what he said in part:

Now, America is a land of second chances, and I gather you have room for the estimated 6 million of us who know we got it wrong in 2008 and who want to fix it.

Maybe we should have known that night in Denver that things that begin with plywood Greek columns and artificial smoke typically don't end well.
Maybe the Hollywood stars and the glamour blinded us a little: you thought it was the glare, some of us thought it was a halo.

He ended with these words:

Ladies and gentlemen, there are Americans who are listening to this speech tonight who haven't always been with you, and I want you to let me talk -- just to them - for a moment.

I know how loaded up our politics is with anger and animosity, but I have to believe we can still make a case over the raised voices.

There are Americans who voted for the president, but who are searching right now, because they know that their votes didn't build the country they wanted.
To those Democrats and independents whose minds are open to argument: listen closely to the Democratic Party that will gather in Charlotte and ask yourself if you ever hear your voice in the clamor.

Ask yourself if these Democrats still speak for you.

When they say we have a duty to grow government even when we can't afford it, does it sound like compassion to you -- or recklessness?

When you hear the party that glorified Occupy Wall Street blast success; when you hear them minimize the genius of the men and women who make jobs out of nothing, is that what you teach your children about work?

When they tell you America is this unequal place where the powerful trample on the powerless, does that sound like the country your children or your spouse risked their lives for in Iraq or Afghanistan?

Do you even recognize the America they are talking about? And what can we say about a house that doesn't honor the pictures on its walls?

John F. Kennedy asked us what we could do for America. This Democratic Party asks what can government give you. Don't worry about paying the bill, it's on your kids and grandkids.

Bill Clinton took on his base and made welfare a thing you had to work for; this current crowd guts the welfare work requirement in the dead of night.

Bill Clinton, Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson reached out across the aisle and said meet me in the middle; but their party rammed through a healthcare bill that took over one-sixth of our economy, without accepting a single Republican idea, without winning a single vote in either house from a party whose constituents make up about 50 percent of the country.

You know, the Democrats used to have a night when they presented a film of their presidential legends: if they do it in Charlotte, the theme song should be this year's hit, "Somebody That I Used to Know."

My fellow Americans, when great athletes falter, their coaches sometimes whisper to them "remember who you are." It's a call to their greatness at a moment when their bodies and spirit are too sapped to remember their strength.

This sweet, blessed, God-inspired place called America is a champion that has absorbed some blows.

But while we bend, we don't break.

This is no dark hour; this is the dawn before we remember who we are.


As for last night's speeches... As stated, I am feeling brighter and better this morning. Mr. Romney was not my first choice. I didn't feel as if I knew much about him. After his wife's speech, I knew that she loved him and that's always good and I knew that they had worked hard to get where they are today and, yes, success is a good thing.

I have been dismayed beyond words by the current president's attack on business and successful men and women. This leveling of the playing field baloney that has been going on has been an all out assault on the American way of life. We all deserve an opportunity, but what we do with our opportunity is entirely up to the individual. The good thing is that there are second chances. I hope so as many of us must start building from the ground up again after this past four years.

The "speech" by Clint Eastwood was comical and left some wondering. We laughed and appreciated it for what it was: A Little Chat with An Empty Chair An Empty Suit. When his voice cracked for the 23 million unemployed Americans, I understood his being there very well.

Marco Arubio would have been my choice for vice-president so it goes without saying that I so appreciated his speech, his comedic timing, and his love of this country.

The third impression is this...LOVE of this country, its values and ideals, and LOVE for its people. I see that in the Romney/Ryan team.

It’s the genius of the American free enterprise system – to harness the extraordinary creativity and talent and industry of the American people with a system that is dedicated to creating tomorrow’s prosperity rather than trying to redistribute today’s.

That is why every president since the Great Depression who came before the American people asking for a second term could look back at the last four years and say with satisfaction: “you are better off today than you were four years ago.”

Except Jimmy Carter. And except this president.

This president can ask us to be patient.

This president can tell us it was someone else’s fault.

This president can tell us that the next four years he’ll get it right.

But this president cannot tell us that YOU are better off today than when he took office.

To the majority of Americans who now believe that the future will not be better than the past, I can guarantee you this: if Barack Obama is re-elected, you will be right.

and finally...

Everywhere I go in America, there are monuments that list those who have given their lives for America. There is no mention of their race, their party affiliation, or what they did for a living. They lived and died under a single flag, fighting for a single purpose. They pledged allegiance to the UNITED States of America.

That America, that united America, can unleash an economy that will put Americans back to work, that will once again lead the world with innovation and productivity, and that will restore every father and mother’s confidence that their children’s future is brighter even than the past.

That America, that united America, will preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it.

That America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights that were endowed by our Creator, and codified in our Constitution.

That united America will care for the poor and the sick, will honor and respect the elderly, and will give a helping hand to those in need.

That America is the best within each of us. That America we want for our children.

If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight.

~Mitt Romney

I have been back and forth on whether comments would be open today. I've concluded that having no comments takes everyone off the hook. If you'd like to comment on anything here, feel free to email. You know where I am!

Love Vee

Thursday, August 30, 2012


This is a piece I love to play myself; however, my restraint is not as fine as it should be. My playing is more intense rather than playing it as written — lightly, gently. My inability to play it properly even with this very good example annoys me, but I'll keep practicing. 

~the last mallow blossom and the long shadows of four in the afternoon~

Down here in the hollow/holler, it can seem much later in the day than it really is. It takes an act of the will not to make supper at four and be done with it.

On the other hand, I am lately being tricked into believing that it is much earlier in the day. The sun is up later and so I am waking later and rising later. The days of being up and at'em at six a.m. are probably a thing of the past for a few months.


We are right on time, however, for the political season here in the United States. The Republican convention is now and the Democrat convention is next week. I have listened to the speeches for the past two days and will listen again tonight. I've taken notes. Yes, I'm one of those types.

Tomorrow, for the first time in a long time, I will be writing about my perceptions and sharing some of the quotes I've gathered using them on the front page of this blog. I hope to use restraint and to be able to communicate in a way that is comfortable to read. If I don't, I expect that my stats will show me. A promise is a promise, though. I told you way back that, if I ever discussed politics again on the front page, my readers would get a fair warning. When you see tomorrow's post pop up, you can decide for yourself if you'll be here. It's really all about allowing myself a voice. I have been so very, very restrained.

And on that note, a pleasant Thursday to you...

Love Vee
Edited to Add/Thursday afternoon: Something very screwy is going on with my blog. I touched nothing, changed nothing and suddenly I had no colors nor any background. I have been trying for the better part of two hours to get anything to hold or stick. I'm quitting for now even though I can not STAND the look of this place. When it's not fun, it's time for a break.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Molasses and Other Gifts from New Brunswick

Oh dear, I have no patience for selecting music that complements a post. None. I am floating along like a downy feather on the breeze here. All I can say is that this particular selection can cause me to shed a tear. Sometimes there is no rhyme nor reason why seemingly unrelated elements have connections for me. Would it help to know that it brings back memories of my grandfather playing his violin into the night long after my sister and I had been sent to bed? Or that I've been thinking of my grandfather because my son and daughter-in-law made a flying trip to New Brunswick, Canada last weekend? Nah. I didn't think so. ☺

~The View from the Cottage taken by the travelers~

They went to the lake to check on things and button up against winter. My son asked if there was anything he could pick up for me while in New Brunswick. Oh good man! I remembered Crosby's molasses and he remembered Coffee Crisps. 

I shall have molasses for years to come...all the better to make that sweet brown bread I told you about last spring winter. Alas, the Coffee Crisps are no more.


Sam was joining me at the picnic table with his dish of ice cream saying as he arrived, "...and a yellow leaf fell down..." It makes me grin that he notices life's little gifts. Later he would show me that he can tie his shoes. Yes, his father very successfully taught him to tie his shoes following an eight-step plan. What? An eight-step plan?! Whatever happened to the little bunny with two little ears? 

Anyway, here's my contribution to autumn whimsy...

~azalea leaves wearing jewel tones~

Now don't look at that dust... 

A lovely Wednesday to you!

Love Vee

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Concerning Music

~Another sort of Red, White, and Blue~

I'm trying something new today. I have missed music here. These days, most bloggers don't have music. All those dear playlists I loved are a thing of the past. One must use Mix Pod or perhaps Grooveshark. (My Grooveshark Christmas playlist is still out there somewhere.) Many of the selections on Mix Pod are listed from You Tube anyway so I've rather enjoyed Susan Branch's way of doing things.

The problem is that my links open one on top of the other ordinarily. If you follow a link I provide, you can not read my blog and listen at the same time. It would be one or the other. That is, until my dear and patient blogging buddy Donna told me what to do: When you create a link, just make sure to click on the "open in new window" option in the menu. Now, we'll see if it works. (It doesn't work in the sidebar, but it may work here.)

The joy of this method is that you don't have to listen if you don't wish to listen.

My day will be spent pretty close to the television set. I want to watch a lot of what is happening in Tampa. We are praying for those in Isaac's path and asking that he just fizzles out. I'm sure that we all are! Take care out there...

Love Vee

Monday, August 27, 2012

A New Graduate in the Family

On Friday last, Jake graduated with his friends. One will enter kindergarten with him in a few short days. I loved all the bright colors — these children look like flowers in a garden.

The children had practiced climbing a little bridge where they stopped to allow photos to be taken and to take their moment to shine. Jake's shining!

Have you ever seen a grad be so delighted with his diploma?

His parents and big brother are proud, his grandparents are proud, his aunties, too!

Onward and upward...

Love Vee

Edited to Add: The final two photos are courtesy of Jake's mom who took the far better photos that day!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Around the House~Mosaic Monday

Twenty-five pictures taken around the house today...

Weeded down to 20...






and a different two

What is your eye drawn to? Many photos or fewer photos? Do you have an exact number that you prefer or do you best tolerate between five and ten? I'm really hoping that you can help me with this. Thank you!

Joining Mary at Little Red House

Love Vee

Hard Work

Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage... ~Joshua 10:25

Be strong!
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;
We have hard work to do, and loads to lift.
Shun not the struggle; face it.
It's God's gift.

Be strong!
Say not the days are evil — Who's to blame?
Or fold your hands, as in defeat — O shame!
Stand up, speak out, and bravely,
In God's name.

Be strong!
It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong,
How hard the battle goes, the day how long,
Faint not, fight on!
Tomorrow comes the song.
~Maltie D. Babcock

Love Vee

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Jam Jar

~Spearmint, Zinnias, and Rosemary~

A sweet weekend to you...

Love Vee

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pan Wonder

Thanks for my title today, BJ.

First things first...

~Climbing Brown Eyed Susan~

Now I am not the most observant person in the world. It has taken me until this week to notice how my climbing brown-eyed susans blossom out from a little pod just as you see above. Fascinating really. I haven't been sitting out much in all this humidity and so it's been lost on me.

A lot of you, on the other hand, are very observant. I heard yelps throughout yesterday's comments from gals wondering what was going on with the pan smack dab in the middle of my mosaic. And I even heard from Cheryl who wondered if that was the first mosaic I had used because she did not remember seeing a pan the first time she visited (before she went to the beach) and was now seeing it on the second visit (after the beach). She was probably wondering if the sun, sand, and surf had scrambled something. No, Cheryl, the only one scrambled here is I.

It is a long and involved story and I do not plan to spare you the details. Besides, one of you is responsible for the state of that pan!

1. No, it was not the first mosaic I used.

2. The pan was out in the yard because I didn't want it stinking up the kitchen any longer. It had been out there for two days, perhaps three.

3. While I was visiting a blog and deep in a very good post, I burned the rhubarb I was stewing.

4. Both kids tried to tell me.

~Mama, Something's Burning~

I'll say! The entire house filled up with smoke. John, up on the roof, thought I was roasting marshmallows. Hahahhahahahahaha...

5. This is what it looked like.

~Who else would show you her charred pan?~

I'm still working on cleaning it up.

6. I took the pan's photo yesterday morning because I was just experimenting with light. It was on the path right between the garage and the deck and safe from prying eyes. Very convenient.

7. I created a new mosaic when I realized that I had placed two identical pictures side by side on the first one. That simply couldn't stand. Though you may find this hard to believe, I do have my photo/mosaic standards.

8. The pan found its way into the second mosaic when I ran out of pictures and needed something to fill in. I really thought it would just blend in and go away. Yes, really.

So to all of you who noticed the pot, give yourself a pat on the back. Very well done!

Love Vee

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Italians for Lunch

It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?"
~Winnie the Pooh/A.A. Milne 

Even better is a suggestion that includes Italians for lunch. Yesterday, we had these...

Italians are a native-to-Maine sandwich. Some of you are nodding your heads and thinking "hoagie" or "poor boy," and, yes, they are similar; however, these sandwiches are distinctive because of the rolls that are used to make them and the lack of mayonnaise and/or mustard. Come to Maine. Have an Italian! You'll see.

Originally, Italians were made so that the shipbuilders in Portland could have a quick, easy, nutritious lunch. In case you're interested in sandwich history, you can read more about it here.

Otherwise, all you need to know is that one should substitute one's own homegrown ripe tomatoes, toss the cardboard ones, and pour oneself a glass of chocolate milk. It is considered the perfect accompaniment.

Oh, John so must replace those cardboard tomatoes...


Just popping this mosaic in at the last possible moment to document early morning light (6:30), tree color, and troubles with the new camera. I do hate to have the neighbors worrying about me; they already can't imagine what I'm doing taking so many photos of the place.

~Leaves and Light~

Have a yummy day!

Love Vee

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happiness Shared

 ~Happiness Shared is Happiness Remembered~

The simplest things keep children happy like collecting the best acorns and creating a family with them. A papa acorn, mama acorn, two brothers acorns, and after a bit, even a wee little cousin acorn. Sam was inspecting for worms and imperfections. There were so many acorns on the lawn that he didn't want to settle for any old one.

Late afternoon on a grand day always finds us with the youngest grand as well. (We pick him up at school.) We go out for a dish of ice cream and a roll down the hill. We listen to stories such as the one you'll hear in the video.


Perhaps there's a bit of anxiety on the part of the about-to-be new kindergartner. He's done so well and come so far in the time he has been at school (year around for the past two years). We're all very proud of him and I am praying that he will learn just how to keep his hands in his own space and "off his friends."

Did you see the tree beginning to turn? Last year, the season was late. I'm thinking this year, it'll be early. Any such signs in your corner?


Thank you for sharing all those projects you've got on hold. I have many of the same ones waiting for perfect days when I'll not want to do them any more than I want to do them now. Today, I think I'll clean a closet or two.

Enjoy a lovely day!

Love Vee

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

House Work of Another Sort

It's been such a muggy summer and hot, though we've not achieved a 100F day yet (and don't wish one) that John decided to follow other pursuits until it got cooler. This week begins with tidying up some loose ends on the house and then moving on to the garage.

This is all very good as I want the garage interior back. After over a year, it is time.

Any tasks that you've put off for cooler weather?

I'm off on Nonni duty until later this afternoon, but never fear I'll be catching up with you. Much too nosy curious not to...

Love Vee

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cluttered Country Store Style, Et Cetera

While many are able to define the decorating style of their kitchens — Tuscan, Country, Primitive, French Provincial — I've never quite been able to come up with a definitive name for mine. Well I have, but would be reluctant to share it for decency's sake. I spend a lot of time disguising that kitchen in photos for Blogdom having promised for years that I would share painting details and still it is not done. Not happening any time soon either.

So when I saw this photo of Sam in the apron he requested a year ago — one "just his size" and only recently finished, I gasped.

Through the magic of the camera's eye, I can definitively state that my kitchen is Cluttered Country Store. Ai yi yi... nothing like displaying the recycling bins prominently beneath the old farm table loaded with the stuff we need and can't seem to find a home for. Sigh. It is what it is for now.

Well then, let us just focus on the happy boy who has an apron his size and a denim jean pocket, an idea gleaned from visiting Linda and her camper redo. If you haven't seen Linda with her new grandbabies (right—quads!), you must check— so cute.


Remember when I mentioned that Site Meter was ticking down to zero? It happened. Slowly and methodically, it began ticking back up until, as of yesterday, it looks as if it might be back to normal.

I can smile again.


Here's a photo that makes me grin. First, it's that iced coffee recipe from Pioneer Woman. Oh boy howdy — it's yummy good! Second, the roses are rising right out of my glass. Bad, bad positioning. ☺


Lastly, we went bike riding in the cemetery over the weekend. I packed a little lunch knowing the boys would be thirsty and hungry after all the exercise. Their mom even had a blanket. Love this photo, though I'm feeling a little insecure about the snack. Look at those faces! =D

Must dash, as if you haven't figured that out already.

A lovely Monday to you.

Love Vee

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Early Morning Photos~Mosaic Monday

It was lovely being out early this morning taking photos in the yard. Nothing like cherry tomatoes ripening on the vine, dew dripping from the etched clematis columbine leaves, and sunlight on the morning glories (though I am not as pleased with the color of the morning glories this year as I was with the blue of last year for this reason: these could just as easily be wave petunias as they are not particularly distinctive). The blooms in the front garden are nearly done — white phlox, a few yellow lilies, and a couple of knock-out roses are all the perennials that remain. Perhaps I'll plug in a few mums in autumn. Time moves on...

Join Mary at Little Red House to see more mosaics. They're always so neat.  

Love Vee