A Haven for Vee

Friday, February 29, 2008

My Dorothy Moment

Do you ever experience a Dorothy moment? You remember Dorothy from The Wizard of OZ who could have gone home to Kansas at any time IF she had only realized the power of the ruby red slippers? Yeah, her.

Look who has flowers in her own home after all that complaining of yesterday! Me! Lots of them! Yes, there is one terribly confused Christmas cactus blooming by the patio door. It is not my plant; it belongs to my sister who has yet to reclaim it. The cactus has grown from a piece of my sister's first mother-in-law's mother's plant. (Got that? ;> ) It used to live in a south corner window above my sister's sink where it was very happy. When my sister moved here during another cold February, that plant bloomed like crazy. It must have been the shock of it all. I had no other place for it save a northeast window where it has survived, but not thrived sending out a few sparse blooms some years and skipping others altogether. I guess that all it has needed is a south window because I've not seen this many flowers on it in a very long time.

Happy Leap Day!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

In Need of a Flower Ministry

Last Summer at Pemaquid Point

Between My Country—and the Others—
There is a Sea—
But Flowers—negotiate between us—
As Ministry.

~Emily Dickinson

Are flowers blooming in your world? They're not in mine; I so need a flower ministry. Fortunately, all over Blogdom, flowers are in bloom. If you have blooming flowers, hope that you'll share — often!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Nothing and Everything

This was the scene out my bedroom window this morning. Aren't I smart for remembering to take the camera upstairs? ;>

And this was a little chickadee just as the storm started to crank up yesterday afternoon. My goodness! Chickadees are as much of a challenge as the moon!

I've been thinking of birds, birdhouses, and nests a lot apparently, if my picture file is any indication. Here's the cutest idea for a birdhouse ever. It is from Zipper Gifts. com.

Literary Birdhouse (in Kids' Section)

There are a few children's books about that are no good for reading anymore, but perhaps I could figure out how to create one of these. Hmmmm, something to ponder.


This explains E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. If you have a few minutes to spare, you can see what I mean.

Tale of Two Brains (YouTube)

Enjoy a laugh or two!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Storm Antidote

Antidote: 1. A remedy or other agent used to neutralize or counteract the effects of a poison.

And that's just how the news of storms feels to me now—like poison. Another snowstorm is brewing and will be here by evening, then another Friday, and another the following Monday. It's enough to make a gal ill.

Fortunately, I can pull a Mary and post what I want and not what I have...

I'm off to join half of the county as we forage for food and gasoline. Then an afternoon of Nana sitting and then I'll be visiting blogs this evening. Enjoy your day!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Blog Survey at Bella Pink

Tara is conducting a Blog survey over at Bella Pink (now Bella Cafe) for anyone who might be interested in participating in a questionnaire about what you like/don't like about blogs. I did. It's anonymous. The more who participate, the more accurate the findings. This should prove interesting! Apparently, the survey will be divided into two parts so keep checking back.

Then, in case you're interested in taking little quizzes today, here's another touted as Dr. Phil's Personality Test.

Disclaimer: This is not actually Dr. Phil's Personality Test, but it's fun all the same.

I'm recuperating from a late-night birthday party so I'll wander off now and get busy with my day...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Best is Yet to Be

A woman is as old as she looks before breakfast.

~ Ed Howe

There is always a lot to be thankful for, if you take the time to look. For example, I'm sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt. ~Author Unknown

Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all you who remain of the house of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since you were conceived,
and have carried since your birth.

Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you

~ Isaiah 46:3&4 NIV

Off to get some breakfast...

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Whatever my fascination with the moon has been lately, I have finally achieved a photo where the moon appears sorta round. Something about the way the clouds were flitting across the moon's face last night made me want to try capturing it again. Although not quite successful, I am doing better. This semi-success was achieved on the auto setting with the ISO on automatic as well while the camera rested on the window sash and my left hand steadied the camera and my right pointer finger pushed the button...just in case you're all wondering. :>

After I had bragged at several blogs that the snow was slipping off to sea south of my corner of the world, it snowed five inches. It snowed the most amazing Ivory soap flakes sort of snow, which normally would've been easy to deal with, but because the snowbanks are so high, there's no place left to plow nor to shovel. I had to scoop it all into a pile and then use the snowblower to blow it up and over the snowbank. Bother! But it could've been worse...heavy wet snow would've been terrible.

Off to do my Saturday chores...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Snow Moon, Feather Your Nest, and a Mwah

It happened again with the moon last night — reflecting its pale light so intensely in my room that I awoke. I tried again to photograph it and, as with most things that I attempt at 4:20 am, it didn't work out. ;>

I did read a lot about taking moon shots and what I read frightened me. Some of the articles are soooo technical. Ackkkk! Several articles say that one must have a tripod AND a remote click because even the pushing of the button will cause such a vibration that the photo will be distorted. Sigh. I don't need a moon shot fit for National Geographic; I just want to capture the moon as it shines through the birches on the knoll behind my house. Why does it have to be so complicated?

So, for any of you who might be interested, I did find *this article*, which is less complicated and suggests a way to overcome the lack of a tripod.


Yesterday afternoon, my grandmother decided to play the piano for a bit and I pulled out some of her sheet music collection. When I saw the one above, I'll bet you can guess which two bloggers I thought of. I've since checked online and I can't find any vintage sheet music that exactly matches this cover with Anna Chandler the featured young lovely on the lower right corner.

The name, written in an old-fashioned hand, is "Cornelia Adair." Isn't that a terrific name? I am imagining a heroine of some romantic novel... She was actually the young woman who at 25 found herself orphaned and sold her parents' home to my grandparents. Cornelia left her piano and a large selection of sheet music behind for which my grandmother has always been grateful.


Sandi of Holding Patterns has given me this Mwah...right back atcha, too, Sandi! I've visited around looking for the rules. Not sure exactly what they are, once again, but something about presenting it to ten, which as you know means that I plan to divide that by two and subtract three or whatever my formula has been.

So I am passing this award along to two gals whom I adore and who could use a Mwah:

Vickie @ Sand Flat Farm
and http://quillcottage.blogspot.com/.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Moon, Banana Bread, and Poetry ;>

Did the moon wake you last night?

The moon woke me. The bedroom was bathed in cool light, which means that I need some blinds. I even took a picture. Since the taking of the picture floated back to me through fog so thick that I would be doing well to remember my name this morning, I was surprised to find that the moon is actually in the shot. Bad shot. In fact, there are two points of light...one must be the flash reflecting from the glass, and the other a nondescript, tiny orb way up high. I should read up on taking photos of the moon. I didn't even attempt to take a photo of the eclipse; although, I did see it and marveled at its beauty.

Late yesterday afternoon I baked a Banana Yogurt Bread and, just like clockwork, I had a call from a friend who asked if the coffee pot was on. We enjoyed a pleasant time visiting, but the bread seemed to take forever to bake. I've adjusted the recipe accordingly.


* ¾ cup Canola oil

* 1½ cups sugar

* 2 eggs

* 1 TBS vanilla

* 1 cup plain yogurt

* 2 or 3 ripe bananas mashed

* ½ tsp salt

* 2 cups King Arthur flour (unbleached, unbromated)

* ½ tsp baking soda (NOT baking powder as you see in the pic)


Mix the first 5 ingredients until smooth adding the mashed bananas last and stirring in.

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and stir well before adding to the first mixture. Stir until just blended. Do NOT overmix.

Place in a large loaf pan filling two-thirds full and bake @ 350° for an hour or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out to cooling rack.

Printable Recipe

It's so cold today after much milder temperatures earlier in the week. A friend emailed me this little poem a few days ago. I attempted to track it down; apparently, it's a forward and any state/province can be plugged in. Let's see, shall we?

Michigan (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Montana, Manitoba,) Poem

It's winter here in Michigan (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Montana, Manitoba)
And the gentle breezes blow
Seventy miles an hour
At twenty-five below!

Oh, how I love dear Michigan (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Montana, Manitoba)
When the snow's up to your butt
You take a breath of winter
And your nose gets frozen shut.

Yes, the weather here is wonderful
So I guess I'll hang around
I could never leave my Michigan
(New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Montana, Manitoba)
'Cause I'm frozen to the ground!!

Have a wonderful Thursday and don't forget, LOST fans, tonight's our night!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Guilty Pleasures

Are we living balanced and beautiful lives? Melissa@The Inspired Room has raised this thought-provoking question right here on February 19th's post. It hearkens back to former discussions about what makes a beautiful home. Melissa believes that a beautiful life comes before a beautiful home and that that beautiful life is then reflected in the home. I'm not going to attempt to speak for Melissa because she speaks to this issue far more eloquently than I ever could, but just because the discussion is valuable and timely, I hope that you will read it for yourselves and join in the conversation.

Gosh, and I thought this post was going to be all about this guilty pleasure:

Kraft spaghetti suppers take me back to 1965 faster than a time machine. Like many other moms, mine was grocery shopping on Friday evenings trying to beat the Saturday morning rush. My dad was usually on the road; he was a professional bus driver and his job took him on lots of tours across the country. (I only mention this because there is no way that a spaghetti supper straight from the box would have been acceptable if he had been home.)

How exciting it was to haul in the grocery bags, unload them, and find that little box. It was our pizza, I guess.

Friday evenings also meant watching The Wild Wild West (1965–1969) with Robert Conrad. Remember him?

Ahhh, yes, the good old days when good prevailed over evil, Kraft spaghetti suppers were all a kid could ever want, and I was living a beautiful, balanced life.

Wild Wild West photo source (as it is impossible to track this poster to its origins, I am making the choice to allow it to stand)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Nonni Duty

Every now and then, I get "the call." It begins easily enough with a "Hello, Mom, how are you today?" And I can tell just in his tone that he needs me.

It might be that he'll be sending his résumé along and it needs some editing. (Gee, does he read this blog? If he did, he'd know that he should do his own editing.) Perhaps he's working on a paper for one of his classes and he thinks it could use a fresh eye. (Gee, does he read this blog?) Or he might be thinking of borrowing either the roof rake, the ice chipper, or perhaps even the car.

But the one that thrills me to pieces is "Could you watch Jake for a few hours?" Could I watch Jake? Are you kidding me? That adorable blue-eyed, chubby-cheeked, cherub of a boy? You betcha I can watch Jake!

So I arrive at my son's home. My daughter-in-law and my oldest grandson have gone to visit the Cape Cod relatives. My son, Jake, Bazil (the pug), Max (the black cat), and Phylis (the calico cat) are holding down the fort. My son and Bazil are most welcoming. Bazil is especially friendly and, even though I know that he is being charming because of the chunk of Pupperoni in my jacket pocket, I'm a sucker for big brown eyes and drool.

Jake and the cats are giving me a cool reception. Jake's eyes narrow to deep gray suspicion as he looks from me to his father. His dad picks him up from amidst the toys and bounces him slightly up and down while I smile at my grandbaby trying to keep the high beam down since grandbaby is skeptical. After Bazil and I have bonded and even Max the cat has decided that I'm okay, if her winding about my ankles is any indication, I try turning on the high beams...big smile, crinkle eyes, rosy cheeks...the perfect grandmother look turned full force on Jake, but he's having none of it.

Finally, the time has come for goodbyes and Jake is bellering before his dad gets out the door. My son looks back, his brow furrowing.

"Just go, we'll be okay," I say encouragingly.

Then I settle back to enjoy Jake who belts out every version of Baby Symphony possible for the next twenty minutes. Finally, even though his daddy has specifically told me that Jake won't be tired for another two hours, I decide that Jake is tired...oh yes, the boy is exhausted, and I haul out my best trick: Moon River. Moon River the quintessential baby lullaby and within a minute Jake is quiet and relaxing into the crook of my arm. He's so cozy and comfortable that it won't be more than another minute before he's dozing when...

In comes my son. I hiss through my teeth, "Get out. Don't say a word. He's just gotten himself calmed down." But noooooo, my son has come in to check on his boy. I have never wanted to clobber my boy so much.

At last, I am truly alone with the little cherub who along with his sweet chubbiness has a very large mouth and if he had been upset about his dad's leaving the first time, he was furious about his leaving the second.

For the next while, he eyes me warily after scrambling from my lap. I decide to clean the sink. Jake decides to do a mind meld with the door. Every now and then he watches me with a "What are you doing?" look on his face. After he realizes that I will not force him nor invade his space, he begins to thaw and by the time his father comes home a few moments later, we have achieved a fresh connection...cookies and juice, hugs and cuddles, tickles and games. All is well.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Vintage Bedside Organizer

Another Monday morning dawns... In the Northeast, the skies are gray and it's pouring buckets. The street is flooded because there's nowhere for the water to go with the snowbanks so high. This could get exciting. I know that others across the country have been dealing with all manner of weather woes including floods.

The tendency is to blame global warming, but I think of these things as cyclical. I've seen a lot of funny weather in my lifetime. A few days ago my grandmother told me about her wedding night away back on November 10, 1931. Noooooo, not that kind of story....gheessshhhhh. She was married in Moncton, New Brunswick on such a balmy evening that she and my grandfather and the entire wedding party walked to the train station in just their wedding garbs, no need for coats or sweaters.


Yesterday, I was visiting blogs — what else is new — and I found the most exciting thing at Knitty, Vintage and Rosy. It's a bed pocket!

It's so darling that I began to think what I could do to create one. I remembered the three or four pairs of vintage pillowcases that my grandmother passed along to me; they're so long and narrow that they haven't worked for my pillows, but they're quite lovely so I've been using them sometimes for dresser scarves. It wasn't a perfect solution, but I've found the perfect solution.

Since I despise bedside tables, the photo above shows how I've been getting along...an old purse slung over the bedpost. It works quite well and I'll probably keep it, but this works even better.

It's pretty neat in that by folding up the open pillow edge about 7 inches and stitching all around (I also reinforced it by stitching up the center), I have four pockets instead of two. Here's a close-up of another...

One big mistake that I made was this: I realized that one design didn't work for turning up...it would have been upside down. So I carefully deconstructed, put it together again, and then discovered that I had put it back together the very same way that it had been...brilliant I ain't. Oh well, not too bad for a day of creating four bed pockets.

Have a terrific Monday and stay warm and dry.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. ~C.S. Lewis

These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. ~Jesus (John 16:33)

Photo Source

Saturday, February 16, 2008

All I Know About Blogging

All that I know about blogging I could put into a thimble, but I thought that I'd put it down just as a way to gauge my progress.

Hope that you won't mind if I list them for ease of writing and reading.

* I am inexplicably drawn to blogs that have these words in them: little, cottage, porch, vintage, and nest. If you name your blog anything with these words in them, you can count on me to show up at least once. Edited to add: Include tea, garden, and English in that list. LOL!

* Reading a blog from the beginning to the present is a wonderful way to know a lot about a person. Friday evenings, sometimes Saturday evenings, I do just that. Last night I was hanging out with http://sandimcbride.blogspot.com/. The week before it was http://quillcottage.blogspot.com/. Prior to that, it was http://windlost.blogspot.com/. Months ago it was Brin's. So if you see a gal from my corner of the globe sitting on your blog for hours, don't panic, it is only I! (Why does saying "it is only I" make me laugh?! It's correct, but so preposterous!)

Do you know what I've discovered so far? Intelligent, witty, warm, wonderful women that's what! They are all writers, but they could be professional writers. Their writing is better than most of the books I've read. No joke!

* I have been blessed to have read some blogs from their beginnings...Judy's and Melissa's come to mind.

* So many bloggers have Playlists, but I usually prefer to read quietly. However, there are exceptions...I have been known to grab Robin's playlist or Penny's or, on days when I'm feeling mellow or blue, Dawn's. When I'm feeling really adventurous, I compile all of them on top of one another and see what I get. It can be terribly exciting now let me tell you!

* As for blog design, I can only handle two columns. If a blog has three, I am out of there. The blogger could be Harper Lee and I'm still out of there.

* I used to think that I couldn't handle certain colors, but I've discovered that that isn't true. It's all about the content except for the point above.

* If the font is too small, I'm out of there. The blogger could be Harper Lee...oh, I've used that one already.

* While paragraphs are nice, it really is all about the content...usually.

* Male bloggers are few and far between, but I have been enthralled by this blog from the beginning. It's one that I've hesitated to share for fear of overwhelming the blogger and because of the sensitive nature of the topic. I try to use extreme restraint commenting here for that reason, but the writing is beautiful and the story is, too.

* There may be more things that come to mind and if they do, before day's end, I'll add them.

Have a terrific weekend, everybody! (I'm on Nonni duty today and must run...)

Friday, February 15, 2008

An Award and a Candle

You Make My Day...well that is one wonderful award. Thank you, Miss Sandy, for selecting this little blog for such an honor.

Rules: the recipient of the award will pass it on to 10 recipients of their choice; you may receive this award more than once; you must list your 10 recipients; say why you are choosing them; link to their blog; and finally leave them a little note to drop by your blog for a surprise! By now you know that I am a notorious rule breaker so I would like to pass this along to the following five bloggers:

Abbie at Abbie's Place who is busily creating a life in the winter wilderness known as New Hampshire. She's raising children, nurturing a marriage, crafting, thinking about a business, and working at relationships with "like-minded" women in spite of the isolation that winter brings.

Zanne of At Home With the Farmer's Wife
who writes wonderful entries about her life in the country. She cooks, she bakes, she sews, she reads, she time travels, and she even plows!

A Woman Who Is @ In a Garden who is a doting grandmother to A Baby Who Is also known as Puddin Toes. The photos she shares of Puddin Toes are priceless. Also, this blogger is sharing some exciting news about the beginnings of revival in her corner of the globe and I find that exciting. Very.

Jan @ The Life and Times of Li'l Ol' Me because this will give her another entry to write about. :> Jan is back from a blogging break (we all need them from time to time) and she probably doesn't know how much she was missed and how often I went looking for her! She has a wonderful sense of humor and is often dealing with the same life issues that I am only with more grace and wit.

Lovella @ What Matters Most for the beautiful blog that she writes and the beautiful photos that she shares. There's always something interesting and fun at What Matters Most. Another grandmother, too, and those baby photos are adorable. Plus, she has a walking group all wearing pedometers and sharing steps totals. (I hope to join when the world outside isn't a skating rink.)

Another honor was bestowed upon me by Vickie at Sand Flat Farm:

"There isn't enough darkness in the world to snuff out the light of one little candle" Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, founder of Buddhism, 563-483 BC

This little candle has traveled far, so let's see how much further it can travel...

The rules are not as clear to me; it appears that one sends the candle to someone who is inspirational. That's a challenge because everyone on my blogroll inspires me.

I am sending this little candle (I vaguely remember reading Siddhartha by Herman Hesse in high school...and wasn't this phrase the one used on the Lamp Unto My Feet program of so long ago (1948–1979)...sorry, I digress) to CC @ Six Months of Settled whose recent posts sharing about life in Africa have been fascinating. She'll be returning to Africa in a few short months (good thing the Internet is everywhere) and I look forward to many future posts. She's single-handedly dispelling some of my preconceived notions.

My new profile gif is from Mari-Nanci at Smiln'sigh. Thank you, M-N, such pretty shoes! Can you imagine wearing them? Some poor gal did back in 17something.

A happy day to all!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

What a bright and beautiful day it is after the storm! Judy, I was terribly busy this morning hanging hearts off my neighbor's oak tree, but anything for you!

Last September 13, I featured a singer from Austin, Texas named Robert Kelley who just so happens to be my dear friend Juanita's husband. He is the leader of a band called Blue Mist. Rob wrote his wife, my friend, a love song called *Valentine Lady* and I hope that you might have a listen. It's a great song! (Happy Valentine's Day, Juanita!)

Yesterday, I baked Gooey Bars. You can find the recipe right here at Quill Cottage where Miss Sandy typed up all the recipes for us. It's very easy to make and such a tasty treat. I may have to bake more since my heart cookie cutter is so large.

The Polaner fruit is for making homemade Pop Tarts. I really need to stay away from Chocolatechic. Her boy made them on February 11 and I've been thinking about them ever since.

I do wish all you couples out there a wonderful Valentine's Day. May you all create a special day every day for those you love. This fun tutorial on relationships called *Fairy Tales Can Come True* has been saved in my favorites for months waiting for this day. It's filled with fun tips and fun graphics; my favorite is this:

Learn to soothe frayed nerves
When your partner is having trouble coping
—either with the world or with you—
don't shout, don't pout, don't run away.
Just turn to your mate and lovingly say...

"Honey, what do you need from me...
right now?"

Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Loose Ends

In lieu of the sun, a grapefruit half, drizzled with maple syrup...

Today I'd like to tie up a few loose ends starting with this piece of news. My father arrived home this week from the nursing home where he has been recuperating for the past several weeks. There were days that I despaired that he would recover, but he is doing very well now and I wanted to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

What else? Oh, I meant to share *THIS* with you. It's a fun Valentine graphic from Teresa McFayden's blog My Minutia. I'm using it to send some email Valentine greetings.

Lastly, are you aware that you can find FREE DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE from Google's free directory service assistance for business listings? There are zero ads to listen to and they'll even connect the call for free. Call 1-800-GOOG-411 and they will give you the number and address and also text a map to your cell phone, if your phone has that capability. Kinda cool!

I'm off to do some Valentine baking on this snowy, icy, homebound day. Then, of course, I'll be around to see what you are/were doing this wonderful Wednesday.

Edited to Add: See why I am homebound? Where's the street?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Vickie's Paintings and Miss Sandy's Artsy Friends

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection. ~Michelangelo

I want to post about 42, 43 or 44 artists today. Artists impress me. I used to be married to one. I consider my daughter one. My niece, too. How a thing of *beauty is created from fabric, oil, watercolor or acrylic is an endless fascination to me. I like nothing better than sitting slightly behind and to the right of an artist at work. Not many have allowed me this luxury, though; apparently, they prefer working in peace even if I do promise to be as quiet as a mouse. (*Of course, art is subjective and many artists do not wish to create beauty, but in my world, if it isn't beautiful, it isn't art.)

Vickie at Sand Flat Farm has a talent that I have been admiring. That's her painting above entitled "Waiting on the Padre." Vickie and her husband enjoy traveling in Mexico and many of her paintings reflect the love of that country. The colors are vibrant and warm and the textures are wonderful. I've taken the generic art appreciation class where I learned that one should look for the touches of red and the diagonal lines because those are the arrows that some artists use to direct vision. And here we have the little white burrow beside the pot of red flowers. A very patient little fellow he is.

I've spoken before of my love of doorways and gates. Perhaps that's why of all the paintings that you can enjoy seeing at Sand Flat Farm, I've chosen the next one called "Puerta Azul".

Spanish speaking I am not, but that must translate to blue door. Vickie describes this as "loose palette knife painting" straying from her usual "tight realism." I adore it whatever it is. It makes me want to know what is beyond the blue door. Does it beckon you, too?

I hope that you'll visit Vickie at Sand Flat Farm and see the other wonderful paintings that she has shared. You shouldn't miss "Baile de las Velas" or Candle Dance. Thank you, Vickie, for allowing me to share your work here at my blog!

Miss Sandy at Quill Cottage featured Karla and Beth Sweet Treats and Roses Recipe Swap recently. Each one of the 42 who participated created a work of art that includes a recipe. Now that's my kind of art! You may have seen this effort discussed at a number of blogs, but you will certainly find an excellent representation at Quill Cottage. And, the good news is that Miss Sandy says that it is okay to snag any recipe of interest because they've been shared on each gal's blog. I snagged Gooey Bars by Terri and Salted Nut Rolls by Beth...not the art, just the recipe. Wonder what you'll snag.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Simple Truth

You're born. You suffer. You die. Fortunately, there's a loophole. ~Billy Graham

Photo source is no longer available...allowed to stand

...I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me. ~Jesus (John 14:6)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Mary Shelley and Me

Are any of you like me? You see an old photograph and you wonder: what would that gal look like with her hair down?

All images today are from Dead Fred, a free genealogical site.

So here's the first photo of a lovely wedding party around the turn of the 20th century...

After gazing at the photo, I zero in on the bride. I think what a lovely face, wonder what she'd look like with her hair down. Are you still with me here? So I spend some time finding her some hair and playing games with PAINT so that she now looks like this...

And a side by side...

I am so struck by this next photo of an incredibly nervous young bride and groom. He is so nervous that he's biting his lower lip; she just looks plain scared to pieces and has gathered her skirt slightly with her left hand. I worry about them. Oh well, whatever has happened for them has happened.

Are you still with me? I can't help myself, and by now, you know what I'm wondering. Here's the bride with her hair down in another side by side comparison...

Hmmm, ahhh, wellll, sometimes the hair to the bride doesn't work so well; sometimes the bride must go to the hair...

I've satisfied my curiosity for today. Usually, I limit myself to the virtual painting of rooms or virtual architecture. This feels rather Mary Shelley-ish; I'm creating Frankensteins.

Maybe I'll wander off now and give my grandfather politician hair.

Have a restful Saturday, dear ones!

Friday, February 8, 2008

My Final Two Cents on the Subject of Making a Valentine

This photo was taken early yesterday afternoon right after already having done the transfer when I thought what a marvelous thing it would be to use the sewing machine to attach lace to the edge of the card. Not!

Patience, patience, patience I told myself as I worked hard at not gathering the scraps into a ball and tossing them into the trash as was my earnest desire in the moment. I left to do other chores, spent some time with my calico, called a friend, served coffee to a drop-in guest right in the middle of it. They don't say that "patience is a virtue" without reason. After I'd taken the time and no longer thinking about the disaster, I thought of Zanne; I thought of Zanne and her deconstruct project, which you can read about by clicking on January 31. And I thought that if she had deconstructed a man's shirt and created an apron, I could deconstruct that ruined Valentine.

This is how it turned out in the end. (Stay tuned because I am going to give you the expanded version of The Packing Tape Technique for transferring images.)

This was a learning process and I'd do it much differently next time. The images would be larger, and I'd remember that subtle doesn't always work.

As promised...

The Packing Tape Technique for Transferring Images

You will need:

A photocopied image; clear packing tape; a burnishing tool such as a bone folder or popsicle stick; a shallow dish; tap water; and a dish towel.

1) Make a black and white or color copy of the image, reversing it if necessary to the image when turn out correctly when reversed.

**This MUST be a copy of an actual image not printed from a picture file.

2) Lay a strip of packing tape sticky side down on top of the photocopied image. Use the burnishing tool to go over the image and make sure it has fully adhered to the tape.

**Be extremely thorough with this. Take time and do it carefully and well.

3) Immerse the tape-covered image into a shallow bowl of tap water for up to 15 minutes. Remove the image and pat it dry with the dish towel. Use your fingers to rub off the paper. If you experience difficulty getting the paper to rub off, submerge the tape into the tap water for a few more minutes and repeat the process.

** This took me much longer than 15 minutes. It was more like an hour. Be patient and the reward will float to you on the water. Remove all evidence of paper very carefully by rubbing gently with your fingers.

4) Once the paper has been removed, you will have a transparent image left on the tape. Allow this to dry. Once dried, it can be used in numerous projects, such as scrapbooking, decoupage, jewelry items and altered art projects.

** Important: Once the transferred image is dry, trim it removing all excess tape. The tape itself will not be removed from the project you'll be working on. Since it stays behind, be certain that the image has been trimmed appropriately. On the other hand, this may mean leaving enough tape to cover the entire area that you're working on. (My transferred image has an obvious line of demarcation that is unattractive.)

**My Notes


If any of you try this, I want to hear about it!!

I'd like to thank Rhette (link removed because Rhette has a private blog) for creating the sweet "Vee gif" that I am using in my profile right now. Rhette is new to blogging so drop by one day when you have the chance and say "howdy."

Edited to Add: For additional information, please check out comments today.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Suggestions Anyone?

Maybe it was the Thieves, but for whatever reason, I woke up able to breathe this morning. I'll take it!

Oh that Valentine I spoke of on Tuesday is giving me palpitations. It doesn't take much...;>

Here's what it looks like so far...

BumbleVee, I did what you told me...created myself a little tray that can be whisked off the table in no time.

This is a photo of my grandmother taken in 1914 when she was five. It's so darling that I'd love to incorporate it into the Valentine somehow...

Here's another of Nan taken last summer... Yes, she does look a lot like me!

What I really want to do is to superimpose the child upon the current photo using a transfer technique such as the first one suggested here: *click* There's a wonderful blogger out there somewhere, whom I can't find, who is doing all sorts of wonderful scrapping with this idea. Do you ever lose a blogger? I've lost so many! Of course I keep finding so many that maybe it all balances out in the end.

I had played with the idea of using these photos...my maternal grandparents...but I can't figure out how to do it without being too "over the top."

Whatever I decide to do, I'll be certain to share.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Lysol, Thieves, and a Cottage Porch

Warning: Do not enter this blog without Lysol! It's true, I've officially had whatever-it-is for 39 days. It's a frustrating cold/flu because just when it seems that it's on the mend, back it comes again. Must be something that I'm supposed to be learning. Anyway, I know that I am not the only one dealing with whatever-it-is so I'm curious enough to ask if you or someone you know has been likewise sidetracked this winter. Let me know! I'm hoping to submit an entry on helpful tips and comfort recipes.

Okay, on with the real entry...

Isn't this a charming space? This photo comes from an article titled The English Gardener Moves Indoors: An English Cottage in Colorado. It's located on a newsletter called Front Range Living by Niki Hayden. She writes a lot of terrific articles on home and gardening, which you should be able to access by clicking on the link provided above.

A friend called me this morning and hearing my voice decided that I was desperately in need of something called "Thieves" an essential oil made of clove, lemon, cinnamon, rosemary, and eucalyptus. It has just arrived on my door handle (I wouldn't let my friend in) with a story about the Bubonic Plague and gypsies and how gypsies weren't affected by the plague because they used this combination of oils on their feet. The mere mention of "Bubonic Plague" made me laugh. I know this whatever-it-is is baaadddddd, but that bad? Anyway, I'm willing to give anything a try. I'd go to the doctor, but both my mother and grandmother have been on a course of antibiotic and it hasn't done a thing to help.

Stay healthy, everyone!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

For Tuesday

I Believe

I believe that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I believe that no matter how good a friend is, she's going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive her for that.

I believe that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I believe that you can do something in an instant that will give you a heartache for life.

I believe that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I believe that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I believe that you can keep going, long after you can't.

I believe that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I believe that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I believe that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I believe that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I believe that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I believe that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I believe that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I believe that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

I believe that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I believe that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I believe that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I believe that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I believe that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I believe that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I believe that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I believe that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you you will find the strength to help.

I believe that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I believe that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

And I believe in true friendship, for I believe in you!

Source: Blessings for Life.com

Monday, February 4, 2008

Thinking About Valentine's Day

* It's time to think about Valentine's Day. Yes. It is.

Nothing was more magical or lovely than Valentine's Day when I was growing up...my favorite childhood holiday right after Christmas and Easter. I adored the schoolroom projects and the way our heart mobiles floated from the ceiling. Making a Valentine's box was so much joy that my little heart nearly burst with the thrill of it all.

But somewhere along the way I lost my enthusiasm for Valentine's Day. Yup, it became another chore. Maybe I lost the love for glue on my fingers, glitter in my hair, and red construction paper messes. Actually, that is exactly the case now that I'm thinking about it. Lots of things became a chore for me when I no longer enjoyed the mess that they inevitably involved. Wow! A revelation in paragraph three. No wonder I hate to cook. (I can cook. I just don't like it much.)

So you may be surprised to know that I am in the middle of big messes attempting to create the most fantastic Valentine ever for my grandmother. My grandmother is appalled by my lack of delight for such a fantastic holiday. She loves Valentine's Day, has always shopped carefully for the perfect cards, and the perfect treats. One could always count on Nan on February 14!

This new-found urge to create is attributed to all those bloggers who scrap and create art from bits of lace, old buttons, a scrap of paper or two, and imagination. I've had to kick start my imagination, but I'm trying...I'm really trying.

So while the sheet music is soaking in coffee, I'll head off to find some lace, buttons, paper, inspiration, and joy.

* P.S. This vintage Valentine floated down from the rafters last October in the middle of construction.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come. ~Robert H. Schuller

Imagine a green valley with storm clouds threatening.

photo source leaving the original photo source as you may enjoy seeing the hiking photos

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." ~ Isaiah 30:21

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Jammie Days

Yesterday's storm brought more ice than snow. Today the sun is shining brightly and everywhere one looks the world is shimmering like crystals on a chandelier. Looking up is the best way to enjoy the day because the ground below is treacherous. To paraphrase something E.B. White once said it's a beautiful day above.



Yesterday was spent in quiet pursuits: computer time, reading time, a nap. It was a jammie day. If it's true that one's clothes tell more than one's words, I'd hate to think what yesterday's outfit said about me.

I'll tell you what I said about it: Who dressed me last night? I'd like to say, in my own defense, that I was terribly weary, but still somewhat concerned about coordinating colors even if I wasn't too concerned about mixing stripes and plaids.

Even though I'm not enjoying a jammie day today, it'll be all quiet at the wee house where I plan to spend some time finishing this book...

A pleasant and relaxing Saturday to all!