Welcome to 'Attic of the Heart'!

Welcome from north-central Connecticut! In this blog I will share whatever is in my heart, on my mind, or something interesting I've found to share. Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

To all of you, I wish you a most wonderful and blessed Christmas!

"...May the Lord bless you and keep you,
May the Lord make His face shine upon you,
and be gracious unto you,
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you
and give you peace."

Numbers 6:24

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Remembering the little things...

As I made my raspberry chocolate coffee this morning, I was remembering a time past, about 17 years ago, when a hurting lady needed friendship so very badly. It was an extremely difficult time in our lives. We had just lost our business, moved out of our community away from family and friends, and was trying to start over. The shame and humiliation was overwhelming.
We had no home or money, so we were living temporarily in a borrowed travel trailer in my husband's employer's back yard. We stayed for 3 months.
During that time, we received an invitation to a co-workers house for a BBQ. I didn't want to go, as I felt I just couldn't face anyone, but we did anyway.
We took our BBQ on the back of our truck. Half way there while driving down a bumpy gravel road, the BBQ flew off the back of the truck! I can't remember too much about it, except we stopped, put it back on, and proceeded to the BBQ. We still chuckle about it to this day.
There weren't many people there, as the coworker and his wife were in the process of gutting and remodeling their home and hadn't moved in full time yet. There were 2 potato barrels in the kitchen holding up a plank for a counter for the food, and we ate in the garage around portable table and chairs. The wife of the coworker seemed a bit grumpy to me, as I had never met her before, but later when we talked about it, I could understand: her hubby had done the inviting impulsively, and she felt they weren't ready for company yet, but the invitations had already gone out!
This slightly grumpy woman turned out to be a warm
hearted, caring and generous lady, and became my very best friend. Shortly after the BBQ, we found an apartment. She called and offered to help me unpack. I couldn't believe this relative stranger would want to help me do this, but I accepted.
That was the beginning of 17 years of friendship, and I am so very glad she offered her help and that I accepted, because I almost didn't. How different things might have been if I hadn't!
I am writing this in honor of her today, in thankfulness that the Lord put her in my path and blessed me with her friendship. That day of the BBQ, I would never had thought this possible, but God had other plans.
In the next few years, I have many very fond memories of sitting at her kitchen table, in her newly remodeled sweet country home, sitting by her beautifully restored Star Kineo wood cook stove, drinking Green Mountain coffee in every flavor they made. Chocolate raspberry was my favorite.
We talked about many things, and during these times, my heart began to heal and open up. I was so very afraid of rejection, feeling so ashamed of our past, but instead I found gentle acceptance and love. An open heart, a willing ear to listen, and a bond of friendship that has lasted for 17 years. Although we live several states away now, our friendship is closer than ever, and I have learned what friendship really is.
Our love of Christ binds us as Christian sisters, our hardships and trials as soldiers finding our way through this life of ups and downs, our love and acceptance of each other a type of Christ's love for us. Has it always been easy? No. But true friendship never is.
So when I say, it's the little things, it really is. It's the cup of chocolate raspberry coffee offered in friendship and love, those moments around the kitchen table, talking about what's on our hearts, sharing hurts and joys. And years later, as I drink my morning coffee, with tears running down my cheeks, I am thanking God for those moments. For they mean so much more than I could have ever imagined at the time.
What did I learn from this? Don't be afraid to offer your friendship and hospitality to a hurting soul, because the need is probably greater than you realize. God uses us as His vessel to offer hope and healing.
And when you are having a chat with your friend, drinking your coffee or tea, sharing a moment of your lives, tuck this moment away in your heart, and enjoy it to the fullest. Because some day you will pull out this memory, and realize how important the little things really are.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow is the big day! I can smell my pumpkin pie baking in the oven, a request from my dear hubby. It's such an easy pie to make, really, and the Libby version has been a staple of ours for years. I cheated on the pie crust though. I can make my own and it's better than the store-bought, but was in a hurry, I guess. I will make up a batch before Christmas and store it in the freezer, so I can do some more baking.
It will be just the two of us tomorrow. We aren't even having turkey this year, even though there is one in the freezer. Wish they sold smaller turkeys, just for 2 people. Unless you have plans for the leftovers. I find it doesn't freeze all that well, especially the white meat. I've started freezing it in broth or gravy so it doesn't dry out so much. It would also store well in soup. But that means I have to plan on making that soup right away and getting it into the freezer. Hmmm....
We are planning on a big breakfast, though. Blueberry pancakes made with my own frozen blueberries, a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Scrambled eggs. Jimmy Dean sausage. Or maybe fry up some of that nice thick ham slice we bought from Costco last weekend! Homemade bread for toast. Fresh ground coffee. Sounds like a good start, don't you think?
I picked up a little treat for me yesterday - a small container of Seagold crab and seafood dip. That's pretty good stuff. The lobster version is also good. Costco was doing samples last Sunday, and had a smoked salmon version. That was also pretty good, if you like smoked salmon. Always nice with club crackers.
I used to do big Thanksgiving dinners times past, when we lived near enough family to have them over. My parents would even drive down for the long weekend, until they switched it to Christmas. Too far to make two 18 hour round trip within a month of each other. So we choose Christmas. That's ok, the turkey will keep until then. :0)
I spend the past 3 days this week raking the last of the leaves in the yard into big piles. We live on a sloped yard, and fortunately it slopes to the back, so hauling the 15 x 20 tarp down back wasn't too hard loaded with leaves. Of course, just when my lawn was beautiful and leafless, a big wind comes up today and drives all the neighbors leaves into our lawn. Sigh....
Well, gotta run. A house to clean and more food to fix so we can really relax tomorrow and enjoy the day, even though it's going to be turkeyless. (is that even a word?!)
I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving day surrounded by tasty food and an attitude of gratitude. God bless!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Damp, cool and misty...

It's a cool damp misty foggy New England kind of day today. I have been out with my camera taking pictures. Not sure how they will turn out, but I think I wore my knees out trying to get different angles. I love taking pictures, as the 5000 plus photos in 'My Pictures' file will attest. I'm sure there are more, but that was at last count some months ago. Time to weed out the bad ones and save the good ones on disk, don't you think? Uh, yeah....
I have so many flower pictures I have them catagorized by year and month - for the last 4 years, since I got my digital camera. I also have many pictures of Max, my big spoiled cat. (He's 13, but thinks he's still a kitten, you know)
He tolerates my picture taking, but I try not to use the flash too often. He does eventually get up and leave. Plus our trips, decorating ideas, landscaping ideas, family photo files, fishing trips, bugs and critters, pretty much anything that takes my eye or something I want to have memories of, like the recent 50th anniversary party for my parents.
The big problem is, since I went digital, I take several photos of one thing, so I get the right shot, but neglect to erase the bad ones! So, I might have a dozen of this one flower blossom. And that is just one flower! Multiply that times dozens, maybe hundreds! I think I need therapy...
I made apple chutney yesterday. I have some photos of it on my camera I will post in the next few days. I have a big 25# bag of beets to process yet into pickled beets. My honey adores them. He would eat them every day. Loves them on his salad. I didn't get any made last year, so he was feeling deprived. It will take me all day to do these, but I will probably get about 30 pints out of it, so they will last a long time, if I don't give too many away.
The last thing on my list is apple butter, my favorite. It is so good on warm homemade biscuits with butter. Yum! I fell in love with apple butter at the Brown County Fair in Indiana over 30 years ago. WOW, was it really that long ago??! Yup, before I was married, and we will celebrate our 29th this Christmas, so it has to have been that long ago.
I still remember in the town square of this small quaint town, a tiny booth set up with these tiny sample size biscuits with a bit of apple butter on top. I think I had apple cider with it. Sigh...such a great memory.
So if I get those two things accomplished, I will be happy with myself that I attained those goals this year. Next year, I would love to try dilled green beans, and perhaps another kind of chutney or two, like plum and squash. They are such a wonderful accompaniment with pork and chicken. It is also lovely with a soft cheese, like brie, and homemade crusty bread, or on a sandwich with sliced chicken or ham, and vermont cheddar cheese.
Are you hungry yet?
I'm getting there, LoL.
Well, I need to run into town and pick up 3 bags of brown sugar to do the beets before I can start on them. I'll keep you posted on how they turn out. Have a great autumn day!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tramp the Turkey Tamer

I so wish I could have gotten a picture of this. While on the back deck looking out towards the woods, I happened to see Tramp, the neighbors black and white cat, heading down the path into the back clearing. He had his tail up, which is unusual for a cat on the prowl, and I thought I saw something dark disappear ahead of him.
I ran to get my nocs, and lo and behold, here's Tramp, rolling on the grass not 6 feet from a group of turkeys. They were standing around watching him, while he entertained! They weren't afraid, rather seemed to be trying to figure out if he was a funny looking turkey or what.
He rolled around happily for a few minutes, like he was delighted with his find, then wandered off towards his home next door, seemingly unconcerned about leaving the turkeys behind.
It was so cute! Where is that pricey zoom lens camera when you need one?!

Weather, prayer and gratitude...

The rain has finally moved on. It was wonderful - we needed it so much after such a dry summer. You know, it's kind of sad hearing people complain some about the rain, when we've been SO desperate for it. The crops have suffered, the farmers have been anxious and stressed, we've probably stressed our local water supply by all the sprinkler systems that watered every week regardless of the drought. Where is the gratitude?
I have wondered if the Lord allows these weather deviations to remind us to be thankful, to have hearts of gratitude, to remind us to pray. It has certainly worked in my own life. It has also taught me to be more aware of waste in my every day life. Like water running down the rain while I brush my teeth. Amazing. We are so blessed here to have ample running water, but we waste so much of it.
While we were visiting our families up north,we were out for breakfast one day, and on the way back home, my folks drove us up into a small meadow behind an abandoned house. The view was awesome. There was also an artesian well, running continuously into an old trough. It runs night and day, soaking back into the ground. I could see trails through the long grass where the deer and perhaps bear had made regular trips to drink. It was neat, but I also thought about all that wasted water. I'm sure at some point the land will sell, and someone will take advantage of all that water.
During the drought this summer, while conserving water and thinking of creative ways to save it, I also pondered the future. I have had the increasing feeling that life as we know it may not always keep on the way it has. We haven't had a war on our own soil for many years, at least not in my lifetime. Many countries seem to never be free of it. Their lives are in a constant state of flux, of stress and despair. Their main concern is survival.
We have been blessed. But will we always? If we read Revelations, we know that it is inevitable that war will come. At least, that's my interpretation. I don't pretend to be an authority on this, so please forgive me if I am in error. But in my opinion, from what I've read, no matter how we would like to think that life will always be this way, I don't believe it will. Perhaps we even live on borrowed time.
Well, I could go on about this, but I'm beginning to think this needs to be another post, so I will leave off with this thought.
Do you think that the Lord uses these things, like droughts, floods, etc., to remind us that life can change in a flash, that we need to be vigilant? That perhaps we need to brush up on our prayer life. To take stock of our daily habits. Prioritize, consider our way of life, our daily needs and necessities, where we live and what impact a disaster, large or small, man-made or natural, would have on our daily lives, and what we should do to prepare for such an event, both naturally and spiritually?
I'm sure some of you have. For me, I am taking a hard look at my life, my purpose, my habits.
I can see a definite need for change. How about you?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Heart ponderings in the middle of the night...

I awoke in the middle of the night this past week, again agonizing over something that happened at a recent event, which I could do nothing about. It seemed to be tormenting me, and no matter how I turned it over in my mind, I couldn't change it.
In my frustration, I talked to the Lord about it. Upon doing so, it became real to me again that I wasn't alone anymore, and told Him how very grateful I was for that.
No matter where I go, He is always there. No matter what time of day or night, what state or country I'm in, whether I'm in a closet or a desert, He is there.
Because He lives within me.

I have a true relationship with His Son that 'neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'
(see Romans 8:38, 39)
What a wonderful thing! A blessing that can't compare. And I am so truly grateful.

It;'s been a long hot dry summer...and it's over!

...As you can see, it's been very dry here. My poor flower bed is dilapidated looking. It did so well at the beginning of summer, with gorgeous red lilies. But now everything is falling over. :0(

It's been a long hot dry summer. And it seems I've been dry on words too. Apologies to all who have been checking periodically. Hopefully now that rain has finally come, the creative juices will be flowing again. :0)
About the dry summer - we've had a drought here in CT this year. Rainfall last month was supposed to average 4 inches - we got less than 1/2 ". The months before were nearly equally dry. Combined with 28+ days of over 90F (most were over 95F), it REALLY dried things out. I did lose a plant or two, but thank the Lord, I still have most of them. The blossoms were scant this year though, and I had to water as often as I could.
That was another problem. Our well went dry temporarily in July while watering, so this scared me into conserving water. I used the dehumidifier water, vegetable washing water, leftover tea kettle water - whatever I could. If I had known it was going to be such a dry summer, I might not have bought so many deck plants! They are doing great now, which is kind of sad because we aren't that far away from frost. Oh well. I do plan to try to overwinter as many as I can.

The ugly duckling geranium which had 3 short dry sticks from last winter has turned into a beautiful swan this year, astounding me by filling the entire large pot with lush green leaves and multiple red blooms. Wow! And the pink daisy like flowers on a mum lik(oh shoot, do you think I can remember the name of this plant??! I will have to dig it up, parden the pun. :0) did the exact same thing. It really is a miracle, isn't it, that so much can come from such a tiny thing like a seed or a few short dead looking sticks.
Maybe that's why I am a farm girl at heart. I love to watch things grow.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Peach Red Pepper Relish

I finally started canning this past weekend. I started with one of my favorites that I haven't made for probably 3 years now. Mrs. Smith's Famous Peach Red Pepper Relish found in Fare For Friends cookbook. The recipe was actually given to me by a former landlady who we became close friends with. It is delicious served with chicken or pork, and also on crackers with cream cheese. Delightful!

Below is a link to a wonderful story that I found while surfing this morning at Canning Across America website. It's a reminder that we are never too old to touch another life in some way, even if it's just through canning. Please take time to read this all the way through, and may it touch your heart and inspire you as much as it did me.

Riding the Preservation Train

Monday, August 2, 2010

How to Make Pretty Pincushions - CraftStylish

How to Make Pretty Pincushions - CraftStylish

What sweet little pincushions! Tiny little pincushions made with the caps of 1 or 2 litre soda bottles. Some of the embroidery stitches used on these pincushions are explained as well. I can't wait to try one of these - they look addictive. :0)
See this and more at www.Craftstylish.com.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Well, we finally got a bit of rain. And a bit is about it. .69 inches to be exact, according to weather.com. We were so happy to see it that my DH and I sat out in the garage and watched it rain. Funny how it can just relax a person. The cool breeze created by the falling rain and the sound of it falling just soothes my soul. It’s like we’ve been holding our breath for weeks, just waiting for this rain. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to replenish wells and depleted rivers and lakes. Just enough to tide things over for another couple of days, at least for my flowers.

Another week in the 90’s and a chance of thunder showers is about all that is in the forecast for CT. Watched a small storm cell develop about 30 minutes west of here last evening. We even got an advisory of potential hail. The funny thing is, it danced around over that area, headed for here, and then it doubled back on itself and petered out. Never got a drop. I was so hoping… Pretty sad, isn’t it, when it gets to this point. I am worried about our well going dry again at any time, so I’m still being real careful.

Had a nice time yesterday – went up to the Brookfields in Massachusetts. Nice area, mostly hilly and wooded, a few historic homes and a farm here and there. We stopped and ate at Howards Drive Inn in West Brookfield. You can see a photo of the place and read about it here. http://www.visitingnewengland.com/howards-drive-in-restaurant.html Great seafood, btw, if you are ever out that way. They give big portions and have homemade fries like you’d find at the fair. I had the ‘Scam’, which was scallops and clams (strips, can’t abide the bellies!), fries and cole slaw. More seafood than I could eat, and believe me, I did try! The cole slaw was just average – seems it’s never as could as I can make at home. (really, the recipe is so simple, you wonder how it can taste so bad some places…), but then again, I may have a slight prejudice for mine.

We also stopped at Brookfield Orchards. You can read about it at this link - http://www.brookfieldorchardsonline.com/. It’s an interesting place – an apple barn/indoor flea market. They have a place to sit down and enjoy their apple dumplings with ice cream. I bought 3 to go. They were pretty good. The pie crust was a bit chewy, but the flavor was good. Just warm it a bit and top with vanilla ice cream. Nice way to end the day. I bought a bag of Lodi apples, first of the season, but haven’t tried them yet. I remember them as being tart, like a nice green apple. Would make a great pie or crisp if I don’t eat them out of hand first. :0)

What we did notice, was how quiet it was. No distant sounds of traffic, airports, anything! It was wonderful. We miss that so much. The other thing we noticed was how little traffic there was, especially on the back roads. I just wanted to park in a hay field for a couple of hours and sigh with relief. It’s my kind of place.

The Saint John River in Beechwood, NB Canada

Having spend so many years living in the country in New Brunswick Canada, Maine, and rural northwestern Indiana, we are used to the quiet way of life. And I miss it dreadfully. I could just cry some days. The summers seem to be the hardest here. I long for the cooler nights, days in the 80’s instead of 90’s, and really, a lot of summer days are in the upper 70’s. The air is so fresh, sweet smelling and clear once you get above Portland, it's just wonderful and invigorating. I so look forward to that whenever we travel north to go home for a visit. And I love how the traffic really thins out going up I-95 once you are above Freeport.

We also found a small lake this weekend that had about 5 boats on it total. It was great! It was so quiet. Our local small lake here has so many boats, people, cottages, etc, that the water is murky, oily and smelly. Last time we were there a couple of weeks ago, it smelled so much like boat fumes that we had to leave. Pretty sad.

Well, that’s it for now. It was good to get out of town yesterday and see something different in our region. Sometimes it’s hard to make oneself leave the house and fight traffic, but, it was a good thing, as Martha would say.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Heat Wave....

It's been one hot summer so far. And we are just getting started. This thought alone is enough to depress me. I don't mind warmth, even a few days around 90. But over a week of upper 90's and low 100's with not much relief in sight is just too much. All next week in the 90's too. And this is just the beginning of July!
Coupled with the fact that I can't remember when we last had measurable rain, it's also very dry. My well went dry temporarily while watering my flowers last weekend. That was enough to scare me into conserving water any way I can.
Now I won't even do two loads of laundry in a row. I've been saving water by turning off the shower while soaping up, and turning the water off while brushing my teeth. I also have a Tupperware bowl in the kitchen sink to catch all the 'gray' water that I used during the day, like when washing fruits and veggies, or rinsing things off. As long as it doesn't contain meat/dairy/oil products or soap, it's ok to use for watering your plants. I then pour the bowl of water into my watering can, and use this to water the potted flowers on my deck. This has been working out great. I have had just enough to keep them watered.
I also use the water from my dehumidifier for watering the plants too. I hope this is ok. At this point, I think it's better than losing them completely.
Someone also told me to place a bucket under the air conditioner unit to catch water from that, but I don't think mine gives off all that much. They do run alot though, as in this heat, it's hard to cool the house down. It never gets below 78 - 80F in here, even at night. We only have the two, the other being in our bedroom. Oh thank God for that one!! At least we can sleep cool.
I suppose in a way we aren't as acclimated as some people might be. My hubby is a native of New Brunswick, Canada, and I spent most of my adult life in further north. I love cool weather. It could stay below 80 all summer and I'd likely be perfectly happy. Ok, maybe low 80's with a swimming pool would be nice. :0) What I really don't like is the humidity. I hate sweating! LoL
But when the temps get into the 90's, I go into hibernation mode. I just don't even want to go anywhere. Not really a good thing.
Anyway, I am trying to get productive during this heatwave, which includes organizing my basement. It tends to be a catch all for whatever I don't want upstairs. I do have a scrapbook/ craft/sewing area down there, but I've been rather lazy at doing anything. I also have a TV area, which has been great in the evening, as it's a bit cooler down there. Although the dehumidifier gives off an amazing amount of heat, so it's not as cool as it could be. And being a walkout, it is exposed to more heat from the outdoors too.
As another way to conserve water, I've been keeping a pitcher of water in the fridge, so we don't have to run the faucet until cold water comes through. This can save quite a bit. And not to mention we are in love with our ice maker.
Well, I hope you all are keeping cool out there. This heat can be tough. I caught a woodpecker trying to drink water out of my hummingbird feeder. He couldn't quite manage the holes, but he did drink water out of the moat on top. Poor thing!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


(Instead of pics of ant carnage, I decide a couple of nice ladybugs would be better. :0))

Help! I'm being invaded!
I came down this morning for coffee and opened a cupboard door, and oh my word!
Several ants scattered into the dark recesses of the cabinet. As I opened more doors, it became apparent to me that I had been invaded overnight.
Yes, I'd seen what I now believe were a few scouts the past few days, but chalked it up to the annual parade of a 1/2 dozen ants that we usually get. Nothing like this.
Before I was even able to have my coffee, I went on an ant rampage. After nailing as many as I could with Kleenex, my shoe, and and hot water, the floor and counter was littered with ant carcasses. Not a pretty site. They were in my spice cupboard, in with my raisins, examining my amaretto that I use for cooking. They were even wandering around my dish cupboard, but only a couple of less than enthusiastic ones.
I hate to kill anything, but ants or spiders...well, it's them or me. I am thankful that they were ants and NOT spiders. I would have run screaming from the house and not come back without an exterminator!!
I dug out my Ziploc storage bags, and bagged anything that I thought they might like, and put it in the fridge for now. Then I wiped out the inside of the cupboards with Clorox wipes. That oughta do it, don't you think? Oh, and I need to mop my floors. Any residue on counters and floors will attract ants, even the garbage cans. I'm a clean person, but I guess I need to step it up a bit.
In a panic, I ran for the garage, hoping that the ant bait I had last year was still there. I found some ant bait with borax and proceeded to set some out. I shoved Max, my cat, into the garage (where he is howling to come back in) , then sprayed with Raid around the perimeter of the kitchen (house and garden variety), and outside around the french doors.
Then I read the directions on the ant bait which says not to contaminate the baits with Raid.
Too late. Oh well.
So I am finally sitting down for a minute with my coffee before I tackle my foodstuff again and resume my hunt for more ants. I need to go outside and powder the perimeter with more ant killer, but since it's already 80F, going on 96 today, and humid, I think I'll wait until it cools off this evening.
Then, watch out!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fuzzy Festival!

“Come one, come all, to our annual Fuzzy Fest! For about one week only, during the week of April, you will be entranced by the number of fuzzies floating delicately on the breeze, drifting, drifting, into small clumps, lining the edges of one’s driveway, deck, flower beds.

These fuzzies are a mystery, no one knows from whence they came.

So come and dance among these mysterious floating fuzzies, celebrating Spring…”

Ok, LOL. Yes, we are having our annual fuzzies this week. I don’t know what tree or bush they are from, but they do arrive every year, floating in the air, gathering in clumps along my driveway. Kind of like having a giant dandelion field near by, except these fuzzies are smaller and denser.

I like them better than pollen. At least it isn’t sticky and coat your windshield. And really, I don’t mind if you dance among the fuzzies. If it really makes you happy. Hey, I might even join you. :0)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

90F in the first week of April?

It was 90F yesterday. Yup. You read it right. Quite unusual for CT this time of year. Seems we broke a record set back in 1963 or so. It's going to be cooler today, thank goodness, only 78. I don't believe we got below 60 last night, maybe even warmer. We will be in the low to mid 60's next week, much more normal for this time of year.
Some people will have loved this. Not me. It's just too weird having mid summer weather without all the flowers, leaves on the trees, etc. Just plain weird. I mean, I don't mind 70's. Nice enough not to have to wear a jacket, but not hot enough for swimming. The greening factor has certainly sped up. Leaves are popping out on the trees, forsythia is nearly done blooming, along with the azaleas. My clematis, columbine, and tulips put on several inches yesterday. I can't wait to see them blooming.

I went shopping yesterday, since it was such a beautiful day out. So I spent it in an antique shop and gift shop. I spent more in the antique shop, of course. I love antiques, especially 50's stuff, Fireking, juice pitchers, enamelware, kitchen scales, kitcheny stuff, etc.

So what did I get? I bought this nice juice pitcher with great color, red and green flowers.

A very large enamelware pan/tub, not sure what it was used for, but I was thinking towels rolled up or magazines perhaps.

I also got a 1950's red and white sewing basket. I have a green and cream one that was my mothers, and I thought this would display nicely next to it.

I got some smaller things, like a sweet black velvet evening purse, with pink silk ribbon flowers and bead work on it. It needs to be cleaned up some, I see a few pet hairs and spots on it. I plan to display that on an antique dresser with the white church gloves stashed away.

Hmmm, let's see. A few little odds and ends, like the orange pitcher, turquoise mug and orange glass pitcher.

A small Boyd's Bear - she was asking to go home with me. :0)

I'll feature photos of these items in future posts. Perhaps that will encourage me to post more, you think? :0)

Sunday, April 4, 2010


A blessed Easter Morning, celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy 100th Post!

(Max snoozing in one of his favorite places.)

Is this really my 100th post? Wow. I should have planned something to celebrate it. What could I have possibly rambled on about for 99 posts? I'm sure it must have been important stuff, right? Like, how tall my flowers are now. And now. How about now? Ok, maybe not quite that bad.
It's been a long slightly depressive winter for me. I didn't get out much. Well, that's probably my fault. So the day before yesterday, my hubby jigged work for the afternoon and we went for a drive to look at a house about an hour from here. (Jigged is probably too strong of a word - he did get permission) The interstate portion wasn't so bad.
But the next 30 minutes through rolling woods on narrow roads wasn't quite as fun. Did I mention I get carsick? Oh yeah...
We finally came to the farmhouse. They never look as good as the pictures, it
seems. We were a bit disappointed. The lot seemed smaller. Not much for pasture. In fact, maybe a big garden and a couple of apple trees would be about it.
Oh well. And then last night, a notification came in my email that there was a sale pending on the property. I guess it wasn't meant to be anyway.
We also decided it's just too far from work for him, especially through the winding woods. Kind of pretty over there though.
I have such hard time with property here, because, number one: it's so darn expensive!!
And, you get so little for your money. Especially if you want any amount of land. I was down to just one acre
. That was all I was asking for. One acre. Like I could be happy on one acre. I was willing to try. Oh well. Sigh...
So we are back to the drawing board.

(This picture is of vole and/or mice tunnels in the snow beneath my bird feeders last month. We don't have any snow left now. Yay!)

It's hard to choose between the security of a good job, and living the life you really want. Since that life can't seem to be found here. My hubby keeps saying that if it wasn't for the job, he wouldn't live here. Not that CT isn't a beautiful state, it surely is. And I love the climate here. It's a wonderful growing season,

especially when one was used to to 3B and 4A gardening zones. 5B/6A just has so much more to offer. Did I mention
how much I love flowers? I just love to grow things. Must be that midwest farmgirl thing.

I visited a couple of new blogs today.
I found one, Tales from the Coop Keeper, that I really enjoyed. She seems like a kindred spirit, living next to my old hometown, Hebron. I loved her video of the chickens. She talks to her animals like I do mine.

I started raking part of the front lawn (read: hill) yesterday, and realized that the overabundance of acorns from last fall have nicely embedded themselves in the soil. We had raked some up last fall, but ran over a lot with the lawn mower when mowing. Since we've never really had an acorn issue before, I didn't realize what that would do. Now we have more acorns in the topsoil than grass in some parts. Not cool.
SO....what do you think I was out there doing yesterday? Raking, and digging some of them out by hand. I know. The neighbors must really be wondering about me. That just isn't something one does here.
At least, I haven't seen anyone else doing that. Of course, they all have lawn service which pretty much that takes care of stuff like this.

Not us. Nope. We are do it yourselfers. Much rather buy our own second hand lawn tractor and mow this hill ourselves. Besides, it was more cost effective this way, and we do a much better job than they do. They go too fast, miss parts, and do burn outs in the lawn whenever they turn. And they would probably just run over the acorns too.
Plus, I needed the exercise. I felt it last night, too, with aching arms from raking. An Advil did the trick, and I slept better than I had for a long time.
I think there are more acorns out there that need me. By for now!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sorry I've been neglecting my blog so much. What is it with winter anyway? Seems I just don't have the wherewithal to think of anything interesting to post about. I sure hope that changes soon! While I am having my coffee this morning, I am catching up on the bloggers that I follow - I feel like I've missed so much!
It is snowing today. We haven't had that much snow this winter. Funny thing, when they predict winter storms, they seems to go around us (literally!) or just not come at all. I guess that's ok, less shoveling to do for me. ON the other hand, I could really use the exercise, lol!
What have I been up to? Well, mostly house hunting. I spend hours a day on this computer searching for a suitable home so we can take advantage of that tax credit for first time home buyers. It will certainly be a blessing to us next spring when we file our taxes, I can tell you that.
But, since market values are down, so is the available housing. When the prices were inflated, there were tons of homes on the market, with people hoping to take advantage of big gains on their homes. Now, people don't seem to be selling unless they absolutely have to. Great.
Combine that with the time of year, and things are just not too lively out there. If anything really good comes on the market it gets snapped up in a day! So one must be diligent and patient, I guess. Kind of like fishing, huh? :0))

The other thing I am doing is working on a quilt top. I got it cut out, and the blocks made. Now I just need to square them up and sew them together. I hate the squaring up part, because then it's obvious that some of them aren't quite the size they should be. And since I can't add fabric, I need to size them slightly down. Oh well. The main thing is that they are all the same size, right? And even more important, is getting it done. Yes!
I am doing Cottage Square Quilt by Fons and Porter. It's an easy quilt design, all squares. This photo is just the 8" squares. I have the 3" sashing blocks sewn together and added to these blocks already, but I will have to upload those photos for my next post. I am hoping that by posting about this quilt, it will motivate me to actually finish it! Anyone out there great at starting projects but not finishing?! Yup, that's me. Now I'm waiting to get to the store to buy new blades for my rotary cutter. Great. Now that I'm on a roll, I'm out of blades. Oh well, once it quits snowing and I can get up my driveway, I can get out to the store. Perhaps tomorrow.
In the meantime, I can curl up with a cross stitch project I always have on the go, or read on of my library books. I am just finished "Miss Julia Delivers The Goods" by Ann B. Ross. There are several in the series, and I need to go back to the first book, as they are written sequentially. I also just read Miss Dimity and The Duke" by Nancy Atherton. I really enjoyed both authors and will be reading more by them.
(I just realized that there is no way to underline the titles of these books. Why isn't there an underline?? Do I have to do this in Html mode? Can someone give me a clue as how to do that and if it's possible? Thank you!:0))
OK, gotta run. Laundry is calling. Hope you all have a great Tuesday!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's been too long since I last wrote on here. We had company over Christmas and I must have talked myself out!
Also, I have been spending most days on this computer looking for at housing. We are gearing up to buy a house (yippee!), hopefully by April, when our lease agreement here expires. It's been difficult, because we've been vacillating between buying a house here in CT or buying one in ME. Since my hubby is 57, we are thinking much more strongly about retirement now, and where we'd like to be. The hard part is, he still has to keep his job here in CT So that means boarding here during the week and commuting home on the weekends. And in the northeast during the winter, that can be tricky.
If housing just wasn't so expensive here. If we just didn't have a dream of a house with some land. Then we could probably find something here to suit us. BUT, being the farm girl that I am, I still want one last kick at the can. After renting for the last 15 years, we are SO READY for a home of our own again. It seems we've waited forever. I am afraid if we don't get something now that is somewhere near what we are dreaming and hoping for, it will never happen.
On the other hand, it will be very hard to be away from my hubby for 5 days a week. I've done it before when he worked out of state, and it was hard. But, there is a light at the tunnel, however far down the tunnel it may be, called retirement. And with the tax credit available, low interest rates and housing prices at an all time low, it seems like now is the time to buy. But where???
And why Maine, you ask? Well, it' 4 hours closer to both sides of our families. We are now 9 hours away from all family. It's been hard. Our parents are aging, the grandkids are growing up, and we are missing alot of holidays and family events. This is a complex decision, with many factors.
The biggest factor is money. Our dollar goes quite a bit further up there in housing, but, we have to add on the cost of board and travel.
So what would you do? Buy a modest home here for the next 5 - 10 years, living away from family and putting off your dreams? Or would you buy your retirement home now, and commute, living for the weekends? Where do you draw the line of being practical and what your heart wants?
How can you have both?
Hmmm... well, that is where I am at for now. Wish me luck on finding a home. Wherever that may be.