Saturday, November 3, 2012

Before the Storm

Last week was window washing day. And, though I do help, you know, between taking photos, most of this falls on John. I try to make it as fun for him as I can!

Doesn't everyone wash windows just before a hurricane arrives? In our case, it also meant the transoms on the garage and the garage doors.

After an entire year, I'm still in love with my kitchen window. It was especially lovely when we used to have sun shining through the golden leaves just beyond the row of pines. Perhaps tomorrow the sun will return; in a year, the golden leaves will.

Raggedy pot of rosemary soaking in some weak sun.

One of the last pretty views of the neighborhood before the storm.

Have a wonderful weekend! Will you be washing windows?

Love Vee

Friday, November 2, 2012

Four Things

That's right. I have four things to share today. I feel as if it's Show and Tell on a Monday Morning in the little brick schoolhouse down the way. I live a stone's throw from my first schoolhouse. Someday, I must post about that school.

Last night I finished up the afghan I was working on for the back of the sofa. It's just a giant granny square. One could use any granny square pattern that appeals; mine is very basic. That sofa was starting to look like a black hole... Now John tells me that we may not be ready for Christmas, but we'll surely be ready for Hanukkah.


Besides, it rather matches the morning sky. My wooden salad bowl on the right there works beautifully for containing whatever ball of yarn I'm working with allowing the ball to slip around a bit without rolling away so that the yarn comes along easily.


This is my sister's table runner. It was mailed late last week before Sandy blew in. Sis doesn't have it yet nor does she have any mail at all as mail deliveries have been suspended for now.


Have been making my own vanilla for about five years now. Vanilla beans are outrageously expensive when purchased in the grocery store. You can see that the bottle I'm working with there only had two pieces of bean and so is very anemic. It should contain one bean for every ⅓ cup of vodka. Recently, when visiting Brenda, she said that vanilla beans could be purchased inexpensively at Amazon. My eyes lit up. Now I'm in the vanilla making business again.


Here are my trick or treating grands. They made a cute zebra and a cute lion, though I had no idea of the significance. Apparently, they are Alex and Marty or Marty and Alex from the Madagascar movie. Here's one Nonni who must brush up on current childhood culture.

Are you up on current culture?

Love Vee

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hello November...

I've been waiting for you a long, long time. And that's all I'll say about that. Besides, this outgoing October was, with precious few exceptions, a most miserable month. Most. And the agony of it will be with so many for quite some time to come.

My sister describes her hometown on Long Island as a "war zone:" no electricity, no deliveries of gas or food, no stoplights, long hours at the hospital where she works and the streets treacherous with traffic and no stoplights. She described taking all right turns to finally get to work because she dared not take a left. The wail of sirens is continual and the hum of generators constant.

Let us say a prayer for the weary who are putting in double shifts for days on end...the caretakers, the police and fire departments, the mayors, the utility workers. Sigh. I feel like going back to bed just fretting about it. And the fact of it is, other than opening my checkbook and praying, there is nothing I can do. I know that many are opening their homes and giving what they have to those without electricity or food or the opportunity to take a hot shower. God bless them. The knitting together of a community becomes so important in times like these. I am convinced that when this thing is "over" that each city, each town, each neighborhood will be the stronger for having lived it together.

John tells a story of the Ice Storm in the Northeast and Canada back in 1998. Many people were without power for up to a month...all of January...the coldest month of the year. It was brutal. John was trying to keep a number of his clients afloat by keeping their generators going and getting gas delivered and groceries and such things. Most of the people were elderly and he was very concerned for them. One day, he arrived at a home to find the Mr. in bed sick and the Mrs. on the floor of the living room rocking back and forth. John feared that she was right on the edge so he went quickly across the room and sat down on the floor with her and hugged her and told her that everything was going to be all right.

She didn't lose her mind. She is well and whole today and, understandably, has a special place in her heart for John.

That's what caring does, it allows us to walk beside and to encourage and to say, "It will be all right."

I found this quote at Susy's

 Start where you are.
    Use what you have.
        Do what you can.

Love Vee

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Silence Woke Me

All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?

Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.                          
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again

So there I was lying in my bed and all I could think of was this old rhyme by Robert Louis Stevenson. It actually sounded more like a freight train than a gallop. I was finally able to sleep and was wakened early this morning by the silence.

"Sparkle City" is still here as are we. My sister's car did not fare quite so well as a tree fell on it. She says that that is preferable to a tree falling into the house as some of her fellow nurses had happen to them.

We are continuing to pray for those who were directly in Sandy's path and who will be dealing with her today.

I am closing comments so that I may take a breather from the computer today as I was pretty much glued to it yesterday. I'll be visiting to see how you are, though!

Love Vee

Monday, October 29, 2012

Folk Art Print Winner

~a name waiting to be drawn~

Yes! We have a winner of a folk art print from Pigment of Your Imagination and she is the incomparable Niki at Rural Writings! Niki chose a wintry scene, a Christmas one. Once she does her post on it, I'll send you all over to see. Thank you so much, Catherine, for your sweet gift! Congratulations, Niki!

And we could leave this post at that except I am too much of a chatterbox so let us carry on for a bit.

Over the weekend, I was poking about in the garage attic where I found this old Allen's Toffee tin. It was filled with all the things you see on the right of the photo above, which are food coloring, flavorings, molds, and the recipe for my mother's famous Hard Candy. This was an annual Christmas event that she and my youngest niece, formerly my Boston niece, now my New York City niece, did together.

Thing is, that tin didn't formerly hold all those treasures; it used to hold cookies and baked goods. That was my childhood cookie jar! So out the stuff went on its ear into a lesser tin and a way too small one at that. Oh the washing I had to do to get the food coloring out and the old Allen's tin cleaned...the water ran blue for a very long time.

Then I began to get a pang...that tin represented something very special to my niece as well. I have remedied it, I hope, by purchasing the owl tin on the left. It's large enough to hold everything and it reminds me of the owls that my niece likes so well. It'll be a little gift for her the next time I see her. Gifts of sweet memories are the best of all. Of course, where she will keep it in that small NYC apartment...

~the lid~ 

A better representation can be found *here.*

We've been trying to figure out what the lid depicts. It doesn't look like Parliament or Buckingham Palace. Anyone know?

Hope that all are weathering the storm well. We have rain and slight wind gusts. Nothing major. Still praying for a fizzle.

Take care today...

Love Vee

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Coral Leaves~Mosaic Monday

Though I still have a few outdoor plants, they're looking a bit peaked. I've turned my attention to the leaves. What beautiful colors I've found. There's something about the corals on this bush, the light red of the oak leaves, and the coppers that make me smile. I had to document as I doubt that there'll be any leaves left in a day or two.

Thinking of all those in Hurricane Sandy's path including Mary at Little Red House. Stay safe!

Love Vee

Sorting Through the Things on the Agenda

If you have time today, I can not recommend *this message* from David Jeremiah highly enough. It'll be 45 minutes well spent and easily listened to while spending time visiting blogs or writing emails. It is meant for an Evangelical Christian audience, but if you're curious, I think it works for everybody. Okay, I'll stop cranking...

Thinking of and praying for all who have been or will be affected by Hurricane Sandy.

A blessed Sunday to you!

Love Vee

Scripture graphic source: Abby's Little Birdie Blessings