A Haven for Vee

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Birds, Star, and a Calendar

Don't you love a new calendar? I do. In fact, I'm so easily excited by calendars that I get a thrill out of flipping from one month to the next. Probably wouldn't if I were using the True Value calendar, but then I am using a new Lang received for Christmas. (My new one is from the paintings of Laura Berry.) Calendars make such nice gifts...more about that in a few.

Sooo, I've been making things and all because my family loved the little bird that I spoke of *here.* You'll find all the information you need for snagging the template from Miss Sandy on that post.

And I've been making stars, which is a Blogland story that connects to a real life one. My mom purchased a pocket calendar for my sister at our local gift shop and discovered a bit late that it was for 2009. That'll never do so she sent me back to the shop where it was cheerfully replaced for a 2010 one. It's a darling calendar from the paintings of Diane Knott. How thrilled I was to find her blog named Diane Knott's Musings while blog-hopping one evening just two days later.

That evening, her post was Starry, Starry Night and I was enchanted. My little copycat star is made from scrapbook papers that I really have never liked well enough to use; nevertheless, how well they worked for this star. And how darling would it be made from favorite Christmas cards or favorite wrapping paper as I did for some of the birds in my collage? It's good to think about these things as you pack away your Christmas stuff, if you haven't already. (Some fine day, I hope to be able to use glitter as beautifully as Diane does.) This is the *star template* I used. Anyway, that's my little find to share with you today.

A warm and loving thank you to each of my readers whether you comment or prefer to remain quiet. I appreciate all of you. May you enjoy God's richest blessings in the year to come!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I've Been Known To...

drown my sorrows. But then you know that after the fudge confession of Monday.

Today, I have a peanut brittle confession.

A microwave peanut brittle confession.

(Oh look! A glimpse of my "recession hair" on the microwave door. Don't strain your eyes — it's murky on purpose.)

Oh dear!


It could've been so nice...you know, if it weren't all burned and stuff.


Funny little story about my grandson who believes that I live in a magical place all because of my neighbor's shed. You may remember that, like many little boys of three, he's enchanted by all things Thomas the Train.

Grandson: Dad, look! It's Toby!

Son: No, that's Nonni's neighbor's shed.

Grandson: No, Dad, it's Toby!

Son: Well now, that's kind of fun to think about, but it's not really Toby; it's just a shed.

Grandson: But, Dad, he's got wheeeeeeels.

And so the shed does (have wheels) and, after running into Toby today, I'm not so certain that he doesn't live in my neighbor's backyard.


And I do live in a magical place...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Where Have all My Favorite Blogs Gone?

Anyone having trouble with losing your favorite blog listings? I am and I am terribly upset about it! If you've been on my blogroll and wish to remain there, please notify me. My memory isn't what it used to be!

Edited to Add:

Oh blast it! Honestly, on days like this, one should return to bed and remain there until the world rights itself. I had such a lovely old-fashioned blog list going and now even IT is gone. I don't know what Blogger is up to, but I can't play if it won't let me. I'm going to go have some coffee and at least three pieces of fudge.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Week Between Christmas and the New Year

Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. ~Psalm 27:14

Elenka told me in Comments on my last post that she enjoys a relaxing week of waiting between Christmas and the New Year. I've never thought of it that way before, but it is true that the rush of Christmas ends abruptly and we are left with empty boxes, remnants of wrapping paper, and all that leftover food...

I think I'll take a cue from Elenka and enjoy a quiet week. There are many concerns here and I find myself craving time alone with my thoughts. So, if I disappear, don't be too alarmed, I'm only taking some quiet time and if, in the bargain, I make the one who deeply resents my computer time happy, all the better.

Until next time...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Put Them in Columns and Leave Them Right There...

The garment of life, be it tattered and torn,
the cloak of the soldier is weathered and worn.
But what child is this that was poverty-born? The peace of Christmas Day.

The hope that has slumbered for two thousand years,
the promise that silenced a thousand fears.
A faith that can hobble an ocean of tears. The peace of Christmas Day.

Add all the grief that people may bear, total the strife, the troubles and care.
Put them in columns and leave them right there. The peace of Christmas Day.

The branch that bears the bright holly, the dove that rests in yonder tree.
The light that shines for all to see, the peace of Christmas Day.
The branch that bears the bright holly, the dove that rests in yonder tree.
The light that shines for all to see, the peace of Christmas Day.

~The Peace Carol by Bob Beers

You may hear John Denver and the Muppets singing this often overlooked carol on my playlist (all the way at the bottom and *right here*). I think you'll enjoy it for the Muppets are in fine voice. ;D

That Miss Sandy @ Quill Cottage went and did it. She created such a fun craft that I had to join her in her last-minute madness. Check out what Lorrie did with this project, too...soooo adorable!

May you all have time to sit and relax this evening. We are planning a quiet time at the Haven where we'll sip warm cider and read the Christmas story and consider the wonder that Jesus was willing to come to this little planet and to each of us.

Blessings to each of you this Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Good thing that I learned some years ago that Christmas is what we make it when we can. Personally, I like lots of Christmases...definitely more than one. (Though I do confess that I fall prey to wishing that Christmas were over...ugh...I hate that I sometimes wish that.) The planned get-together was accomplished and whatever happens for Christmas Day will be more of a spontaneous gathering with whoever is available.

And, if we can manage to stay out of the Emergency Room, we'll be doing famously. We spent the day there yesterday with my grandmother. The good news is that she is perfectly well; the bad news is that apparently she is in need of a little extra attention. *sigh*

I've been doing a lot of catching up and realize with horror, thanks to a thought-provoking post Manuela at The Pleasures of Homemaking did called Blog Etiquette, that I am guilty of not giving credit where credit is due... (No, no, Manuela did not single me out. I'm just the type who could never pass a lie detector test. I always feel guilty. It's a condition, an affliction, a syndrome, a problem.)

Anyway, thanks to everyone who has commented on the Christmas header. Now I need to say that Aunt Ruthie at Sugar Pie Farmhouse gave me the idea for the JOY chalkboard on her Be Merry and Bright post. I usually have a simple "Abide" printed on my wee chalkboard, but when I saw her amazing kitchen with a giant chalkboard made out an old headboard (I think) saying "JOY," I copied it almost to the "T." Guilty. I am.

The only thing that I didn't do was use that much-coveted chalk ink product Aunt Ruthie raves about. Instead, I used an old trick learned in the classroom long ago. I simply wet the chalkboard (I'm not fond of the messy chalkboard look), clean it well, wet it again and write immediately on it with regular chalk. It's the poor gal's chalk ink. When the chalk dries, it remains quite undisturbed until it is washed off again.

May all your preparations be going splendidly...I am on my way to find out for myself! Blessings...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Cookies

Most of us celebrate Christmas on December 25. Not my family. Not this year. Today, the 21st, is the day. Things are so very different this year.

I made these cookies yesterday using Suzanne's recipe. My problem was that I had no snowflake cookie cutter and I couldn't find one while out shopping Saturday. So I thought to myself how tough could it be to create my own snowflake patterns? Tough. What a fright show and I am only showing you the best ones. Ha! Yes, I even had help.

Okay, must be something that I have to bake, clean or wrap. Catch you later...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Row to the Ship" and Other Pieces of Advice

One of the things I dearly love about reading blogs is when a blogger shares some secret of keeping on keeping on.

Brenda at Coffee Tea Books and Me often does and, since she and I are in similar circumstances, I pay special attention. See *When I Stop Asking Why* and *When I Don't Desire Christmas.* If you read either of these, you're in for a blessing.

Recently, I was babysitting for my grandsons. My son left without telling the boys that he was leaving.

You.just.know.how.well.that.went. The youngest set up such a wail as he is wont to do that I had a headache in no time. Then he yelled something quite extraordinary, "Row to the ship!" Turns out that it's a line from Peter Pan that he likes and uses often. I don't know the context of the phrase in the movie, but for me it became crystal clear — in times of trouble, don't try to go it alone: Row to the ship or in the words of scripture, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Esther's Insights remains a little gem on my sidebar. Gwen created a blog to share her mother's secrets of keeping on keeping on and then moved on to bigger things leaving Esther's Insights intact. If you have an opportunity this week, read the poem Daily With You for it helps to put all things back into perspective once again.

Have a blessed week! (I'm still visiting my blogroll folks and having a blast.)

Friday, December 18, 2009


So much to tell and so much water under the bridge, over the dam, wherever-the-heck- it-went, but I did want to stop in to say thank you so very much for your sweet emails and your lovely comments. I do hope to come back and play, but it must wait for better timing.

The good news is that my children gave me a lovely early Christmas gift — a computer! In a true O'Henry style twist, the Internet connection was gone. It's back for now so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Hope that you are all enjoying the merriest of times. I can not wait to visit you all! Soon. Very.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. ~I John 5:14 and 15

Synonyms for confidence from Merriam Webster online Assurance, self-possesion, aplomb all mean a state of mind or a manner marked by easy coolness and freedom from uncertainty, diffidence or embarrassment.

Confidence is translated from the Greek word parrehsia (par-rhay-seé-ah), which means all out-spokenness i.e. frankness, bluntness, bold—by implication assurance. Confidence × freely × openly × plainly.

That's some kind of confidence now isn't it?! God is so good to us. I hope that you avail yourselves of His presence in your life. It's as easy as asking Him in.

(No, I'm not really here. Just using post options and postdating. Blessings to you...)

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Letting go of Blogdom reminds me of the movie Awakenings starring Robin Williams who plays the part of a neurologist giving his catatonic patients some medication that brings them back to life. Sadly, the results do not last. That's just how it is with me right now. I've been here having great fun visiting and writing as much as I could, but now it's time to slip back. Hope to catch you all again one day soon! Until then, keep your grin on.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Birthday Plans for a 100 Year Old

front side of invitation

Someone at our house will be 100 years old in a week's time, which is all very exciting. Nan has already received a congratulatory cupcake from a local eatery. I couldn't take my eyes from her beaming face and her beautiful smile as the waitresses gathered around to sing "Happy Birthday."
back side of invitation

Party Plans are sketchy and vague just now with all that's gone on in recent weeks. They've shifted like the sands and may of necessity shift again. My mother worked on ideas and preparations as she was able even from her hospital bed. My sister and I told each other that it was good for her to have other things to think about.

So the invitations are here and two locations are a go depending upon the circumstances of another week. We must soon be filling them in and sending them off. Great-grands have worked on a Power Point presentation featuring photos of Nan's enjoying her amazing life with appropriate musical selections. (This one actually gives me a bit of concern.)

Anyone have a suggestion for us? With our brains practically scrambled, we're feeling the need for fresh thoughts.

Edited to Add:

The rest of the story...

So many have been curious that I thought I would oblige and that way keep a better record for myself.

Nan's 100th birthday party was held at my mother's church on November 1. It was an open house from 1 to 3 with about sixty people in attendance, not bad for a gal who says all her friends are gone. Friends from her hometown traveled for over six hours that day to be with her, which made Nan very pleased. Actually, she kept saying how awful that they had traveled all that way just to see her. I sometimes have to gently chide her and try to help her see the brighter, glass half-full-side of things.

We had lots of yummy buffet food, but the lobster salad rolls were a special treat for a lady who loves seafood. We were blessed to have a professional photographer take family photos, which was a laugh since the baby of the family kept alternately rolling about all the while saying the required "cheese" or he would laugh and say, "I already said, 'cheese'"! This would make the rest of us laugh. Anyway, thought you could use a reason why I'm not posting any of those photos here.

I am posting a mosaic that makes me misty-eyed. One October morning, Nan was surprised with a visit from the "little boy" next door. The one who had grown up wishing to marry his babysitter (my mother) and who has lived all of his adult life in Colorado. He had come home for a visit and looked both my mother and grandmother up. Don't tell me that there are not master plans for this was just after my grandmother's birthday and my mother was still very, very ill. He was able to encourage my mother on a number of levels because his own wife had been through some surprisingly similar things as my mom. You can tell that this gentleman is much loved in our family.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Rant on a Certain Bank

Sometimes things in our lives all roil up at once or so it seems. There are so many pans on the fire here at Haven that I despair that we'll all go up in flames.

Take, for instance, the latest. My mother wrote a check to John and me and his bank will NOT honor it. What?! All he wants to do is deposit the danged check. Such a lack of regard for their customers, but then this bank is listed as the number one predatory lending institution in the country. So, now I must round someone up to watch my grandmother while I race back into the city to get this thing taken care of. Frustrating. Oh and this bank? Yup. They hold Haven's mortgage.

The good news is that my capacity to put up with baloney has reached an all-time low and I have been doing my research and plan to complain. Have you had any trouble with a bank lately for any kind of unethical behavior? You can find help right *here.*

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October in the Rain

The leaves of brown came tumbling down remember?
In *October, in the rain...

*Okay, it's supposed to be September. Please forgive the edit.

My home is in such a state of untidiness, but I must say that having a cozy home to return to after each hospital visit made me appreciate all over again the need for beauty and restful vignettes in my home. While I've not had the time to do the decorating that I usually do, I did race out to the yard a few days ago to gather some of the nicest leaves, place them individually in a paper towel, and press them with heavy books. Today they "float" in the apothecary jar and are so restful to the eye. And instead of using a platter as I usually do, I've been using this book entitled "How to Find Flower Fairies" opened to an autumnal page. That special little fairy featured on the right is John's newest great-grand. Isn't she adorable?

Just before my mother went to the hospital, she gave me these mums. I placed them in her bicycle basket on my chippy, white fence. They've brought me a lot of comfort. (Plates on the Fence courtesy of Manuela's wonderful idea.)

For more information on my mother, please see the side button entitled "Behind the Scenes." Prepare to be amazed!

I'm on my way to a blog near you just as soon as Nan has her breakfast. I can scarcely wait.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Let's Chat

Source: All Posters dot com

Well I thought I might come in and chat for a while. Must have said too much and the blogging gods thought fit to send my post to the trash as it is gone. *Poof*

Oh well, I have no energy to even be terribly angry...a bit disappointed, but that's all the energy I am willing to expend on this. Too much water over the dam anyway since last I posted and too much to say and so I will let it go.

Hope to have the chance to visit with many of you tomorrow and the next days as I am borrowing a lap top for a little while.

God bless...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Quick, Very Quick "Hi"

Salvia aka Flaming Tongues

The computer arrived last night just at suppertime. Busy time. I did visit many of you last evening and wished that I had time to make a comment.

Today, I have the laptop all day, but with three appointments and a visit from my mother and grocery shopping to do... Well, you can see how we'll just have to wait another week to catch up.

Have I told you how much you are missed? Oh, right, every time. Well, take care of yourselves and I'll be back again one day. (No, as far as I know, I am not related to Frosty the Snowman.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Day

John enjoyed a banner day yesterday when both his sister and I decided to bake him a pumpkin pie. Do great minds think alike or what? It must have been the autumnal quality of our first day of September. Such crisp, delightful weather we are enjoying!

Now this dual pie business nearly turned into a duel because John shared all that I am going to share with you with his sister. Oh my! I do not have that man trained.

Naturally, with two pumpkin pies here, we three did a taste test. I called Nan and John the county fair judges and asked them to judge. (I can see your heads shaking out there.) Anyway, the proceedings began and I asked for their comments. Both judges said, "These pies are excellent."

"Yes," I pressed, "but why specifically?"

Two of the most reluctant judges I've ever seen, I had to repeatedly assure them that I had no need to take top honors. I don't bake a lot of pumpkin pies and I don't have a special recipe. The recipe for mine came right off the can of pumpkin filling. My sister-in-law baked an Impossible Pumpkin Pie with no crust. She says it's easy...just blend all the ingredients in a blender and pour into a greased pie plate. Mine was not so easy.

After much hemming and hawing, John said, "Yours is best."


"Because I love you."

"More like you have to live with me."

Just for the record, I liked his sister's pie the best. It was more full-bodied and delicious. I did like my crust, which you can find the recipe for on my sidebar. I never have trouble making a yummy, flaky crust using the recipe posted; it's all about the ice cubes!

Later I heard him talking with his sister and explaining all this. My face flushed beet red and I zipped directly to him and the phone and wrested it from his grip.

His sister and I had a rather one-sided discussion...I had a lot of explaining to do. I certainly hope that this does not mean that she'll never bake for us again. After all, John is already praying for the day when we both decide to bake him an apple pie.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Edwinda, Et Al

The social worker pats Nan's hand as my grandmother describes how loathesome she finds her oxygen tubing.

"It goes wherever I don't want it to go and trips me or gets stuck. It's the devil incarnate."

The social worker's eyes widen and she grins a little.

"Yes, but it also provides you with the oxygen you need. Is there a different way to think about it?"

Thus we have Edwinda the Oxygen Hose that truly is a friend sustaining life even if she is quite mischievous. I've just stumbled over her for the umpteenth time this morning.

Edwinda is a take-off on a name I have found intriguing for most of my life. Any Edwinas out there? When I was a child about three, my mother and I lived with my grandmother for the time that my father was stationed overseas. She also had a lodger named Edwina. Edwina was the home economics teacher at the high school right across the street. Everyone called her "Ed."

This was the source of much confusion for me as in my three-year-old mind I believed that Edwina's name was Ed Whiner. The tears I shed over that. What mother in her right mind would name her poor little girl "Ed"? It took me years to get it figured out. Even when my mother would find me in tears and try to explain, the situation just became more concrete.

"Vee, her name is Edwina."

Right, I know that. Her name is Ed Whiner. *Sob*

This confusion with names continued throughout childhood. My grandfather had a dear friend named Emerson Budd. He called him "Budd." Therefore, I called him "Mr. Emerson." I never understood the mirth surrounding that. Both men would chuckle and sometimes Mr. Emerson, errr Mr. Budd, would slap his knee. Obviously, they enjoyed the joke as they never bothered to correct me.

In college, I had several close friends. We were terribly protective of each other and always made certain to know where one was going and with whom. One of the gals began dating a young man I didn't know. I asked for his last name and received this response: "No, Vee."

"Why won't you tell me his name?"

"No, Vee."

"What's the matter with you? Why won't you tell me his name?"

"NO, VEE."

"Well for crying out loud. All I want to know is his name."

Okay, don't you think "Novee" is a weird last name? What are the odds? Obviously, my friends had great fun with that one, too.

So, have any of you ever had similar trouble with names?


In other news, I am able to borrow my daughter's laptop once a week. That's her picure above setting it up for me. Since I didn't get her permission to post a picture, I hope that the pop art will be okay. I have found the laptop quite the challenge. Today I have warned everyone that I have a computer and will be unavailable for anything beyond the rudimentary chores. In other words, "Don't bug me." Hope that I can skate to visit many of you today! I've missed you like crazy.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Quick Update

Sometimes you never know what will happen, eh? That computer still sits on my desk growing dustier by the day. There is not much chance of getting it fixed any time soon and I hate that. Am trying to "sit with it" since this is how it must be. In the meantime, I am posting from the library and trying not to be concerned about the folks peeking over my shoulder. For that reason, I am closing comments until I get back. (I see that a lot of junk shows up when one is not around to maintain.) Hope that all is well with each of you and please know how much I miss you all. Take care and keep looking up!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Another Mosaic Monday

A few stories in mosaics...

To catch a few more stories, visit Mary!

Edited to Add: Ackkkk! My computer has crashed. I'll be back someday. Until then...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Our Heritage

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from Him. Psalm 127:3 NIV

I'd just like to add this — daughters, too. ;>

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

We've been treated (see? it's all in the word you choose to use) to some pretty spectacular lightning storms over the past week. Last night's and the night before's produced some dangerous conditions with power outages, fallen trees, live wires down, and that kind of thing. I've never thought to take a picture of lightning so I had to resort to Google images to find the amazing shot above. Our lightning was impressive, but not that impressive. (Photo removed for lack of sourcing.)

As the evening wore on, the rain intensified and the humidity levels were sucking the life (hmmm, how could I say that more cheerfully?) out of us all, John sat looking dispirited and then brightened, "Do we have any root beer left?" I shook my head no; he looked downcast and disbelieving.

"What?! Do I have to explain where every single one of those twelve cans went?" I asked.

Yes, things are like that around here. The last traces of ice cream disappear from the box, the last of the M&Ms goes missing, the final crumb of cake, and so on. I am usually blamed, but then I usually am to blame. It's my duty as a good homemaker to tidy up, don't you agree?

Anyway, I had a suggestion for John — how about some orange crush floats like Judy's? I had thought of them all day. It's wonderful to be married to a man who takes to a suggestion so well because our evening nearly ended in a perfect creamsicle haze.

Nearly. We are using a monitor system with Nan so that we can hear her should she need anything in the night. Just as we were nicely dozing off, the snap and crackle of the monitor began. "Kitty, Kitty, Kitty." We groaned and rolled over. Just as we were about to sail for Dreamland again..."KITTY, KITTY, KITTY." And on and on and on it went interspersed with "Sarah, where are you?" At that point, we just dissolved into giggles. This morning, Nan laughed so at the retelling of the story. It was good to hear her laughter again.

So many have asked about my mother that I wanted to give a brief update. Today she has begun her chemo treatments. (The cellulitis in her leg really postponed her chemotherapy.) She has been through chemo-like treatments before for her rheumatoid arthritis and went toxic on it. We are praying a lot and believing for the best, but we know that the next twenty-four hours will be telling. Thankfully, my grandmother has forgotten that today is the day. I'm thinking that it's God's mercy on her as, even at nearly 100, she is an extremely overprotective mother.

Stay cool out there and thank you for your wonderful visits. They are immensely cheering and I appreciate everyone's comments and emails more than words could express.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Aha! I Knew It All Along

M&Ms are good for you! Source

Hmmm, wonder if only three blue ones will be enough...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Second Anniversary

Today marks my second blogging anniversary; July 27, 2007 was the day. (Not much blogging right now, of course.)

My days are spent tending and doing. I enjoy nearly two hours a day to scamper about and visit my blogging friends and, if I am truly blessed, I have a little time to check out a new blog or follow all those wonderful links bloggers provide. If you've not visited the Garden Party or Where Bloggers Create, see the links in my sidebar. They were both wonderful events and I will be revisiting them from time to time.

Soooo, what to do this second anniversary? I think that I shall leave it at this and raise my glass of diet root beer and say to myself: Hang tough, little blogger, better days are coming.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Can'ts and Won'ts

Another rainy day in the Northeast. It provides me with an object lesson and a way to check my attitude. Lately, I have found myself saying things like this: I can't take it anymore!

Can't (can not) often means won't (will not). Sometimes it is good to come to the place of will not. I will not accept this abuse any longer is a good choice. It's acceptable to say I can not lift that 200 pound weight if it is true. But many, many times my "can'ts" really mean my "won'ts" and it is not pleasing to the Lord or to me. (Probably isn't too pleasing to those who live with me either.) For example, I can't take time for prayer — I will not. I can't make time for me — I will not. I can't stand this rain another minute — I will not. What's the alternative? Go crazy? I think not. ;D

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Psalm 107:8 NKJV

Not "could" give thanks, but "would" give thanks. It is a choice, after all. So here I sit watching the rain pour and praying that the Holy Spirit will help me thank the Lord for His goodness. It's my choice.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Old Photos

So many have asked how I am doing what I am doing with special photo effects, etc. No doubt you remember my earlier feeble attempts at special effects. Now it is true that I am slow...very. But once I do learn something, I have great fun with it. No tutorials today, but I am going to share my three secrets with you so stay tuned for links.

This photo is one that I have shared before right *here* and like so many vintage photographs, it is damaged. Personally, I find great charm in that, but this young woman is my great-grandmother long since gone and so, nudged a bit yesterday by a visiting aunt, I wanted to see her entire countenance. A lovely one it is, too.

I'm sure that there are easier ways and I am no expert nor am I an artist, but by working back and forth between Paint and Photoshop and Big Huge Labs, I was able to recreate the missing eye and do some general tidying. Well, all that and a few hours tossed in. When Gram began floating up from the mists and I could see her beautiful unblemished eyes and face, I got quite choked up so guess that it was worth it. Seems important to me now living with an aged grandmother to remember that we were all young once upon a time.

With patience, one can have great fun with digital art projects like this photo of my younger self with my today self...

Oh dear lawd, maybe not!

As promised, my three secrets:

Secret 1

Secret 2

Secret 3 (Oops! My apologies! I sent you to the wrong post before, but this one will work better.)

A happy day to you! (If you decide to give this a try, please let me know. I'd love to see what you do.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sarah, Plain and Long

I inherited Sarah and the Christmas cactus along with my grandmother over the past two weeks. Sarah was actually the first to arrive. She's a Maine Coon mix...the lovely big paws and that ghastly long hair. (Yes, I have been having nightmares about cat hair swirling through the house.) She had been hanging out mostly alone at my parents' house and had become a right regular mess. Grooming is essential, of course, for a long-haired pet.

When I realized that I was about to be "it," I put out an urgent call to Sandi our own Crazy Cat Lady requesting help. She suggested that before I introduce two adult female cats that they present a calling card from one to the other. Yes, how shall I say this delicately...offerings back and forth between litter boxes. Oh dear heavens! Well, let's just say that one cat took it quite well (Sarah actually) and the other, my own dear little Fioré did not. She tossed her "gift" right back out of the box with an "Eeek! I'm not taking any of that!"

Before you think that I had totally lost my mind, I want you to know that I did put my foot down about the condition of Sarah's mange...er, mane, her danged coat. It was matted beyond all belief and she wouldn't tolerate my touching her. So off she went to the vet's returning looking like a little lion. Kinda cute I thought and now I've been wondering why she wouldn't look cute that way forever.

I'd tell you how it all turned out in the end between Fioré and Sarah, but we're still shuffling cats. They have met once in the crack beneath the bedroom door where Sarah was locked. I don't know what Sarah whispered to the whacked calico, but it must've been impressive since Fioré landed back on the first floor without touching the steps.

Oh, by the way, did the pink lettering in the mosaic soften Sarah's image any? ;D

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Confused? Who Me?

Okay, I admit that in a mere two days I have a new appreciation for my mother. She took care of three...her mother, my father, and herself (plus two cats and a poodle). I only have to take care of my grandmother and myself. John, bless his beautiful heart, takes real good care of all of us. So I am the fortunate one.

Still, I confess to feeling confused from time to time. Living with the confused can do that to a person. ;> No one, however, is as confused as this crazy Christmas cactus of my mother's. It is living with me now, too, and is hanging out on the corner of the deck where Claudi/Emmy used to be. Have you ever seen a Christmas cactus bud in July?!

Oh, and just in case you thought the only newcomers were my grandmother and the cactus, wait until you hear about Sarah.

Have a pleasant weekend, Dear Ones!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Meeting HappyOne

She arrived with a comment on my blog on November 20, 2007 saying that she was going to try the mashed potato recipe and added this: I don't save my good china for special days anymore. Sometimes just an ordinary day is special. And that kind of thinking is what makes HappyOne such a delight. She takes joy in the simple things.

Back then she was writing a blog called Captain's Log. Today she writes Life is Good. Her husband Ken said that he was surprised, at first, by the popularity of a blog that is about the "ordinary" and went on to say that perhaps blogging is a way for us to know that we are all in this together. He's right, of course, and so we had some nice philosophical discussions about blogging, which I wished could've gone on longer. We even talked about many of you!

Despite Ken's assessment, I daresay that few of us walk six or seven miles every day or take pictures of fox, deer, geese or whatever wildlife happens to show up along the way; HappyOne does. And I love that I knew just what to take for her snack because she is dependable. Give the gal a dish of chocolate chip ice cream and a chocolate chip cookie and she's...you guessed it...happy! And she must know me pretty well also because she made me these yellow dishcloths. Thanks, HappyOne!

There they are!

We met at the Freedom House Cafe in Naples.

Yes, we ate, but forgot to take pictures. With all due apologies to the foodies out there, we decided to share our empty glasses.

Once we pinned Happyone down, we were able to play the Hokey Pokey.

How convenient that a dairy bar was right next door to the restaurant. Happyone couldn't have planned it better herself!
To quote the sign hanging above the mantel...We may have met as strangers, but such no longer be.

Happy Trails, Happyone and Ken. It was a blessing to meet you both. Enjoy a great time in Vacationland!

photos used by permission ツ