Thursday, February 14, 2019

Put On Love

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 

Colossians 3:12-17 English Standard Version 

Thank you for stopping by and thank you for all the love through the years. I am closing comments so that you may scoot and spread the love. 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Mrs. Allen

I know where my darling is today and now I know where he was 

on October 1, 2008 at 12:13 pm thanks to his purchasing this book for a mere fifty-one cents.

But this is not all about John; this is about the woman who was called "The Nation's Homemaker." 

Her name was Ida Bailey Allen (1885–1973). She was a prolific cookbook author, writing over 50, and she wrote a column for Good Housekeeping where she also served as an editor. Her accomplishments were many and you may read more about them with a simple online search as I did. Other bloggers have done posts and Wikipedia also has good information.

I am going to allow this book and Mrs. Allen speak for herself with the following pictures.

She could not have been a perfectionist allowing her signature to be published that way. (I am not one either...don't you think my thumbnail looks odd? That's because I had a snagging event that resulted in my using a lot of fingernail polish to weld it all back together again.) 

Many interesting recipes appear in this book first published in 1924. Thought you might especially enjoy making Popcorn Pudding. πŸ˜‰ Lest I tease too much...have you ever eaten this concoction? Heard of it?

Pronounce it correctly or "they'll" know that you aren't from there!

This was a fun description of Mrs. Allen's first encounter with a microphone.


Does the Pioneer Woman or the Mennonite Girls Can Cook crowd know to include household tips in their cookbooks, hmmmm? After all, we really do need to know how to keep the staff looking presentable.

Honestly, if you want a few hours of fun reading, this book is highly recommended. You probably can find any one of a number of Ida's books at your local flea market. 

Edited to Add: There is an important update below on my post of January 23. Sam will be happy if you check it out.ッ

Wednesday, January 30, 2019


The title was going to be "CopyCat," but I like to think that it became more than that. 

Yesterday, my friend Deanna wrote a post titled "Country Home" where she gathered some favorite photos to illustrate her points. One of those photos absolutely spoke to me. I admired it a lot often returning to it time and again throughout the day. Finally, I thought Why can't I use that photo to create something similar here in my home. I had some of the same elements. Certainly not all, but some.

This was the inspiration photo:

I had a basket...

I had a wooden box...

I had a tea pot...

I had pattern...

I had book piles and a tea cup...

I had shiny objects...

Of course, there were many lovely elements in that room that I did not have. *I loved the pop of blue on the bookshelf below the windows...nope, could not find anything like that. My chair, in comparison to the one in Deanna's photo, is large and cumbersome, which is why I did not shift it for the smaller chair that might have worked better. Either way, no delightful pattern like the chair or its two pillows. Yes, I did look at that photo very closely.

In the end, this is what I posted on Instagram this morning.

Now, I don't think that I'll be able to get away with a small table of books in the middle of my room for long, but other than that, I think that this is my look until I run into another inspiration photo.

Edited to Add January 31, 2019 Just for Kristi...

When there's light on the subject, I need my sunglasses to sit there. ッ


Edited to Add February 8, 2019

Just the right touch of blue!

A big thank you to Mrs. T from Across My Kitchen Table as I now have my touch of blue. She says that she found this at her parents' home. I am honored to have it here. It really catches the light.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Second Post of 2019

*See below...

Right. You can see how this is going. γƒ„

Still, with my forgetfulness, I need to keep documenting. So I understand if you have had quite enough of this and must scurry off without commenting.

Since we last chatted,  those January boys each celebrated another birthday. I believe that they had quite a number of celebrations this year actually. 

sitting around the table
clockwise: Adam, Sam (13), Michelle, Jakob (12) and Laurel

What did Sam say?

I was not sitting at the table because I had a head cold. Yes I did warn everyone prior to the evening; I certainly hope that no one came down with it. Laurel is free and clear, but I have not spoken with my son's family since.

All I want to say about head colds is this: I haven't hadn't had one in years and I had forgotten how miserable they are. Anyway, I'm on the mend now.


 Sam had an interesting experience just before Christmas. His bed fell apart in the wee hours of the morning and he found himself on the floor. This necessitated a new bedroom set for him and he sent me a photo of his new bed, which I am sharing because look who we see again. There, resting on the pillow! 

Ted! Seeing him again, after all these years, just warmed this grandmother's heart. You may remember Ted, as well, from *this post* when I tried to urge Sam to allow me to give him a little ride through the washing machine. Ted not Sam!

[*So I need to correct some Fake News above. As much as I'd like to think that Sam still loves Ted and puts him on his pillow each day...well in Sam's own words: I am thirteen years old.

The real story goes this daughter-in-law sent me the photo of Sam's new bed via Sam's phone. She put Ted on the bed. Sam does not know where his mom found Ted. He speculates that Ted may have been in a corner or under the bed.

Sam was feeling somewhat dismayed over this post and so I assured him that I would correct it. Who knew that I would be one of those reporters who gets the story wrong. The moral of this tale is Read My Blog At Your Own Risk.] 

Guess that's it for today. I have not been in a grocery store for two weeks and must get there today if there's any hope of eating anything beyond an egg and garlic toast. My appetite has returned. I think I need a piece of pie after reading all those Wednesday Medley posts. 

P.S. I had some major formatting issues with this post so went behind the scenes and was shocked to discover that I had over a hundred comments sitting in moderation. Many of them were from very dear blogging friends and go back years. Apparently, I have not been keeping up. Looks as if I have some visiting to do in my future. Humble apologies as comments are my only currency at this here old blog and I love them! 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

First Post of 2019

I tell you what: that is some inspired title right there! Sometimes, all that I need to snap out of a blogging slump is to come up with a great title. This one...oh well!

The other thing that helps me snap out of a blogging slump is a great photo. I do have a photo that I love. I took very few photos on Christmas Day. I was trying to capture the just isn't working these days. They do not want their photos taken. Goodness knows if I will ever be able to share them again!

I don't think that my son wanted his photo taken either, but he's nicer about saying no, please put the camera down, no thank you...really, just no.

This year is the first year in a long time that I have had candles at the windows. They are still burning as I type because winter is so long in Maine that I think it will help my spirits and perhaps others' spirits as well. I know that some people keep their candles up all year long, but mine may only stay up until the first day of spring.

On foul weather days, I keep some candles on so that there is some warmth and cheer.

Today was a foul weather day...lots of rain after snow and now there is lots of ice. I understand that a bunch of us are in for foul weather in the next few days.

So that's the extent of it from my corner. I certainly hope that there is more to share next time because you are doing great chatting about interesting things. 

Monday, December 24, 2018

Kind of Beserk!

For an explanation of that title see the featured post in my sidebar. It never fails. I always find myself slightly harried as I get ready for hosting Christmas. I would like a Silent Night sort of Christmas Eve, but some character flaw has me in its grip. ツ I sure hope that you are better prepared in your corner than I am in mine.

I so enjoy preparing a Bunte Teller (photo below). It's an easy way to offer treats all in one location. Bunte Teller is German for colorful plate. This one has had many more things added since I began building yesterday.

Currently, I am listening to the radio, though I really like the mix of sacred and secular carols on this You Tube video. You can find it *here.*  The graphics are wonderful.


My gift to you is to close comments so you can read, look, and scoot!  Thank you for your visit. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

'Tis the Season for Pictures and Gratitude

Found myself with some time on my hands and, since I have many thanks to give, surprise! (I'll try not to chat too much.)

My friend Shane at Roses Lace and Brocante blog sent me a sweet Christmas package with these treasures all the way from New Zealand. 

tea towel, delicious chocolate, sweet angel

Christmas Sweater Tea Towel♥ 

Thank you, Shane! What a blessing you are!

The next package to arrive came from Karen at Life is Good.

Welsh Cookies...hmmm, if my math were better, I'd know how many calories three might be ツ

These plates are the real McCoys Hummels. Karen explained that she had quite a few from her mother's collection and was sharing two. I was gobsmacked. I have always loved Hummel. I'm naming mine Laurel and Adam. ☺ (Not quite their years, but very close.)

Karen, thank you so much. I will treasure them. And the cookies were uniquely delicious. I've never had anything like them. 

Would you believe there is more?

This totally unexpected package came from Sara at Across My Kitchen Table. I could smell the wonderful sachet and soaps  before I ever opened the package. By the way, Sara is posting daily in her kitchen blog where you can find lots of wonderful recipes and tips. The link is listed in her sidebar.

Thank you, Sara. I will think of you whenever I smell these wonderful soaps and, as you know, the sachet is hanging in my tree.

Lastly, Deanna from Creekside Cottage sent me this scarf...I think it has a more specific name. I love the colors and I really appreciated it last Monday when it was windy and bitter cold. She made this with her own hands. 

I look weird because I ran myself through the diffuser a few ten times

Thank you, Deanna! It's going to keep me nice and warm.

My Auntie and her daughter-in-law could have used a scarf like mine when they were visiting my Uncle Red's grave at Arlington this week. She visits every year for Wreaths Across America and I always look forward to seeing the photo. It is a gift! My aunt is my father's eldest sister. 

Thank you, Aunt Marjorie!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas today just in case...though I actually hope to return one more time before Christmas. I just love Christmas. It's getting a little more challenging to Sparkle...the spirit is definitely willing; the body is tuckered. How're things going at your place?

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Comfort and Joy

Hi there! How's the Sparkling going? ッ

Some days are better than others, right? I am so glad that The Lord remains unchanging no matter what is going on with me.

First of all, I want to thank all those who commented and those who sent emails (without commenting on the actual post) regarding the What's the Point post. We should certainly be respectful of differing opinions and get along. I have heard of several teachers within the last few weeks who took it upon themselves to tell their classrooms of young children "the truth" as they saw it. Not good. Not at all good. 


As I wandered over to my laptop, I thought that this might be my last post before Christmas. I'll just whisper that because I might get the inclination to post again. I never really know, but just in case, I'm wishing you the joy of a true Christmas. I hope that you celebrate, make merry, feast, and delight in the love of family and friends. Spread the joy all over the place, too, while you're at it!

I have a few links to share today and a few pics of my decorating and baking and what not...

Here's that tree I mentioned last time all decked out with every ornament I can find in the house. Most years, I don't bother to open every Christmas box; this year, I did. 

While I'm chatting about Christmas trees, my friend Mona from The Hidden Art of Homemaking blog and Instagram has the most enchanting tree. She used all her Shiny Brite collection and created a delight. You can find her post right πŸŽ„hereπŸŽ„. Think of all the hours that it took her! I love it!

More decorating in a bit... 


I have actually been baking some in recent days. I made apple hand pies for John's sister Judy earlier in the week. I am not supposed to be eating hand pies, but they looked and smelled so good that I ate the imperfect looking one because it had no sugar and no calories. ッ

"That is a blatant lie" you say. Yes, well, I am quite capable of that. Why just today at the Transfer Station while recycling my old egg boxes, a gentleman who works there said that lots of folks who raise chickens appreciate the cartons. Yes, I said blithely, "My niece raises chickens."

"Oh, how many chickens does she have?" 

"Twenty-two," I responded. 

< insert *thud* >

I am sure that this will come as quite a shock to my niece who may not even have two. Why did I say that?! I didn't have time to think about it. Perhaps I am in need of drama. Anyway, I may have to tell that man that I am a liar, but I thought perhaps if I told you...

Okay, where was I?

Oh, yes, John's sister Mary came for lunch on Wednesday and we had a chicken casserole. I made her an acorn squash boat with butter and maple syrup. (You can't make me eat squash.) For dessert we had a molten lava chocolate cake with peppermint stick ice cream. Delicious. After all that, we went Christmas shopping. 

Yesterday, Sis arrived and we had a cookie baking day. We made many of those recipes that our mom would have made back in the day. We were hoping that they'd taste just the same; they didn't. Nevertheless, we had a fun day. If you're on Instagram, you may have seen that story.

One thing I learned all over again was that we need to read a recipe all the way through before we assume that we know what we are doing. Ahem.

So today I made sure to get reacquainted with my cookie press. I remember the first time I used this gizmo, John had to gently take it from my hands and get acquainted with it himself. Then he explained it to me. I found it that complicated. One of those discs up there is almost destroyed because of that episode. Apparently, I had put it in upside down.

I did better today even though you can tell by looking closely that things were not perfect. There are sprinkles everywhere and I do mean everywhere.

This is the recipe I used today.

Cookie Press Shortbread

1 cup butter (room temperature)
½ cup conf sugar
¼  tsp vanilla (I used an entire tsp)
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and use favorite discs to create your cookies. Bake at 275°F for 20 to 30 minutes or until edges are lightly brown.


Have you finished your shopping? I almost have and I must say that I found my blogging friends' online shops most helpful. I can't show everything, but in a moment of weakness, I had a Merry Christmas to me moment.

This sweet camera bag was created by the incomparable 
πŸŽ„Stephanie at The Enchanting RoseπŸŽ„ and purchased through her shop, which you can find listed in her top bar at the blog. I did not order the sweet little bag filled with teas, but Stephanie was very generous. I do love that Buttermint tea from Twinings.


So here we are back at decorating again. Mary, John's sister and not the Mary depicted, had mentioned that she needed some grass for her Nativity scene. When a package arrived with all of this straw-like packing material, I put it to good use and saved some for her, too. (It's that big ball of straw right behind the shepherd boy.)

I am using a lot of battery operated light strings with the "seed" lights. I haven't quite figured them out because the Nativity lights come on when I least expect them. I was up in the night and there they were burning in all their Shekinah glory. ☺It was rather pleasant, almost as if I had caught the animals speaking at midnight on Christmas Eve. 

I always said that I would never have curtains in this dining room window. 
 The Pella windows have inner blinds, alas, the center blind failed and Pella no longer services them. While I decide what to do about that, I ordered these lace panels. I decided that πŸŽ„Brenda's beautiful lace curtainsπŸŽ„ had influenced me.

It has been wonderful to see so many sacred classic Christmas Carol phrases being used in decor. Joanna Gaines has famously used "A Thrill of Hope." All of this caused me to ponder what I would share with folks if I were in a position to share. This is it: Comfort and Joy.* May they be yours today and every day!

*(Copied from a lovely graphic at Pinterest)