Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Little Green Leaf

Today is a most solemn anniversary. I am not sure how to treat it in this eleventh year. I understand that the ceremonies today will be led, for the first time, by family members and friends without outside voices, namely politicians' voices. That seems right.

I did some little research and found that many widows and widowers of 9-11 have moved forward and remarried. This is good and I am happy for them. It does not mean that the spouses lost are not remembered. It does mean that the survivors are not stuck or wallowing in a grief that would swamp them if it were allowed.

As a nation, we have moved forward and maintained a continuity of purpose and have not suffered an attack of that magnitude again. We lost some freedoms and gained some peace of mind. We certainly lost an illusion of safety that day that I doubt anyone who lived through it will ever feel again.


In the spirit of moving forward, I think I'll chat about a mindless little nothing much on this September 11. About how the wind caught a little green leaf outside my kitchen window and held it dancing there long enough for me to catch it over and over and over.

Of course there's a trick. It remained there turning and swaying for ten minutes or more. How? Maybe you can guess. ☺

A blessed Tuesday to you as you remember and move forward.

Love Vee

Monday, September 10, 2012

Trying a New Angle

I was so excited reading Jen's A Garden of Threads while visiting my Mosaic Monday Friends last night. Besides seeing some really wonderful mosaics there, you can learn about the four majors as discussed in a photography class titled "The Art of Seeing" that Jen has recently taken. I was excited to be learning something interesting and I was excited because I had just tried this new angle myself. This very photo was featured in my mosaic yesterday, though it didn't show up very well. One might not have been able to tell that I was nearly lying on the ground with the camera shooting up through the zinnias. (I do this for the amusement of the neighbors.) I liked how it came out. Now I'm going to try some other majors.

So what's been your best shot lately?

Love Vee

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lazy Sunday Afternoon~Mosaic Monday

One of us slept; the other read. One of us woke up, baked some cookies, ate some cookies and then padded about with camera in hand taking pictures of the other's ear and odd and sundry things in the yard like pine cones and tassels, oak leaves and acorns, zinnias growing tall, and wild nasturtiums. Is it time for bed yet?

Please have a look at the other Mosaic Monday offerings. They'll be much more interesting than this I promise you. Just go to Little Red House. Mary'll be waiting!

Love Vee

You Can't Earn It

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. 
~Ephesians 2:8–9

There are those who have a life they never live. They have come to Christ and thanked Him only for what He did, but do not live in the power of who He is. Between the Jesus who "was" and the Jesus who "will be" they live in a spiritual vacuum, trying with no little zeal to live for Christ a life that only He can live in and through them, perpetually begging for what in Him they already have!
~Major W. Ian Thomas (foreword to Bob George's Classic Christianity)

These thoughts have been on my mind a lot this week. I began to see the concept in terms of growing flowers. I can water, fertilize, pull weeds, tend my little garden, but I can not create a flower.

It's the same way with living a Christian life, we can tend our gardens, but we do not create salvation by doing so. Only God can do that. When we come to Him through His son Jesus Christ, we have all the power of who He is today, in this moment. We'll not know everything there is to know nor be perfect, though we will have everything we need to walk with Him. Let us not keep begging God for what we already have.

On the other hand, let us not assume that our meager efforts of being a good person or doing whatever.it.is. will be the ticket to heaven.  Jesus is our ticket and once we come to Him, let us allow Him to live His life in and through us.

Love Vee

Saturday, September 8, 2012

sLoPpy hApPY quiLt

It's still in my sewing room. The small quilt made for my daughter by my mother's dear friend. My mother's dear friend shall be known as Bea. Dear Bea. She was and is a powerhouse. In her 80s now, she gets more done in a day, month, year, decade than many half her age. How does she do it?

My mother used to ponder that question because, as one Bea was running circles around, it made her reflect on her own abilities. Usually, she determined that she just wasn't as capable as Bea. Then one day the light went on. Mother figured it out and shared it with me. "Bea is slap happy. She does everything quickly and without a lot of prep work, without a lot of thought, and without a lot of finesse." (My poor mom had no idea how closely she had described me as well.)

Mother, on the other hand, was careful in everything she did. If she made a quilt, it was nearly perfection. All points met and it was square. Mother made three quilts in her lifetime. Bea, on the other hand, has made hundreds of sloppy, happy quilts.

If my mom refinished a piece of furniture, it was impeccably done. When Bea refinished furniture, we could always find a bit of paint remaining from a former job. This especially blew my mother's mind. She would smile and beam and say, "Well done!" On the inside though, she was very concerned about the bit of paint.

Making wreaths was another task both women did for extra cash at Christmastime. When someone bought a wreath from my mother, it was an excellent value. Buying a wreath from Bea however, might mean that it wouldn't make it to the car. Still, Bea made a lot more money than my mother simply because she made more wreaths.

~red, white, blue, and wonky~

Back to the baby quilt in my sewing room — it has served its time and could have justifiably been sent it to the landfill. (For some reason, my daughter turned it down.)  However, Molly and Fioré like it and use it to cuddle with. The backing was torn and ragged so I purchased some matching material to make a new back. The quilt is made of red, white, and blue fabrics very popular around the bicentennial of the nation. Many of the pieces do not line up and there are puckers between the gingham lightweight fabric and the more substantial other fabrics. It is so far out of square that it is ridiculous. Oh it really is a happy, sloppy quilt.

~pondering a backing~

Here's wishing you a happy, perhaps sloppy, day!

Love Vee

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Getting Something Done

So I tied my apron around my expanding waistline and got busy tidying my wee home and doing a little decorating yesterday afternoon. Since I had been feeling listless and unproductive, I asked myself what the problem might be. Turns out the problem was that I needed a change. I was tired of looking at summer flowers and lots of things lined up on the windowsill. I wanted to see some autumn color, and I didn't have spare funds to do a whole lot that was new. I will not be purchasing the $10 brown ceramic pumpkin at TJ Maxx that I saw on Sunday. Still I had old silk leaves. I could do something. (Oh the embroidery is from Tip Nut.)

(ad warning)

 ~the windowsill cleared a bit~

~the lamp with leaves added on the inside~

~same old doily wreath with leaves~

~a stepped back view~

 ~the platter corner~

 ~a fresh bouquet of zinnias~

That garage siding is going to get a facelift coming soon. Maybe work will begin today. John is waiting for material to arrive, but he has enough to get started. I remain hopeful.

Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful Thursday!

Love Vee

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

If We Walk in the Light

Gloomy, gloomy here today as the remnants of Isaac pass by. Torrential downpours in the night and a wall of tropic air made for nasty sleeping weather. At three, I finally woke up enough to turn on the AC hoping to fall back to sleep in comfort. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. It is a good thing that I am not opposed to naps.

I had no plans for posting today when I realized that I had slipped into that dangerous no blogger's land of not particularly caring if I ever posted again, that tipping point where it could go either way. We talk about this from time to time, you and I. There is surely coming a day when I will have absolutely said all that there is to say. So I took my little break from blogging and commenting. I couldn't take a break from reading, though. You're much too interesting.

It doesn't feel nor look much like autumn yet so I have not given myself over to pumpkins nor mums nor cornstalks. My dining table continues to feature lots of tomatoes, which we love to see, but which do not have much flavor. For flavor, I am frequenting farmhouse stands to buy Early Girls or anything that looks as if it would be worthy of eating over the kitchen sink.


One recent project involved tracing a portion of scripture onto that too white lampshade. I printed off my choice, tore the paper in a random way, and taped it to the underside of the shade. I rather liked it that way and can see that if I had stayed with that method, I could switch expressions to fit any occasion: Give Thanks, Merry Christmas or Happy Birthday.

Instead, I went ahead and traced it with a permanent Sharpie to the outside. I don't think it's finished.
I need to retrace and thicken the lines a titch. Perhaps I'll add more phrases. What would you do?

Love Vee

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Knock-Out Roses

Since Ashokan Farewell was so popular, let's enjoy another by the same composer: ♫Lover's Waltz♫

~September Rose~

The flowers have been going into a slumber. I hope that they wake up. We had flowers long into October last year and I'd like them to do it all over again. My friend Diane told me that, if I do not cut back the last rose blooms, they will have more energy to come out on in the spring. Since I always cut back my rose blossoms, I must remember not to do this from now until next spring. This advice is only good for the end of the season by the way. It is still good to prune roses during the season.


I must thank all those who emailed me after reading yesterday's post. (I had many more emails than the comments I would have on a typical day and most were a lot longer.) No one was unkind; hopefully, the dialogue can remain open. If you wrote and haven't received a comment, I'm working my way through the stack.


The trouble with my blog look is ongoing and I do apologize to all who've seen it go back and forth. Perhaps the powers that be would like me to be quiet and stop writing for it so happens that every time I go to the DESIGN button to look behind the scenes or write a new post, my blog reverts back to some former nightmare. This means that I have to go through each element to return it to what I want. I've finally had the good sense to write my color numbers down. Anyone know how to resolve this or have you ever had it happen to you?

I will probably say so long until sometime next week. Do have a blessed holiday weekend!

Love Vee

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