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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Autumn Decorating and More

So many have been sharing their autumn decorating and I want to play, too. Mine never quite lives up to theirs; still, I employ the old one bird singing in a forest philosophy. You know the one:

Use whatever talents you possess. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except the very best.

~Henry Van Dyke

Right and amen. To that end, here we go.

Here's a new panel sewed for the kitchen window. The colors tie a lot together around here.

Just a reworking of the same old same old. It's what I do the house.

Fioré used to hop up here unless I loaded it with stuff. Now I realize that I could change things; I'm in a rut.

Okay, that's just about enough of that. This here place is not a decorating blog you'll be happy to know. ☺

Today, Judy at My Front Porch is sharing *a driving tour of New Brunswick, Canada.* (You'll find Judy's photography amazing, btw.) New Brunswick is our sister something! She mentions visiting Kings Landing and so I thought I'd pop in my grands' visit to KL at about the same time Judy was visiting.
Here they are walking that dusty road, visiting The Print Shop where they made bookmarks, and playing croquet on the lawn. So bucolic!

Here they are in August at the garden I love so well and not my own.↓

They had been goofing around as brothers do. I wanted to take photos and they just wanted to be silly. Okay. Fine. I carried on. In fact, the photo in my substitute header is one of their being goofy photos, which has become one of my favorites. Finally, Sam (Mickey Mouse shirt) said, "Okay, okay. We know how to take a good photo." And the one above is what I got. He was right and I love it!

Same garden (just three feet from the photo with the boys) taken last weekend with my iPhone. I admired the morning glories and the apples cascading down as I sat sipping my water and reading my book. 


Last, I'm tossing in my lobster stew photos made from the delicious lobster that Abby sent home with us.  Oh yummy!

John said, "Please, please, no garlic in my lobster stew." 

I said, "Garlic? Heavens no! Marjorie Standish says that you can't even have salt and pepper."

Marjorie Standish is considered by many the quintessential expert on Maine cooking. The ingredients in this stew are pure, quality butter, fresh, fresh lobster with the tomalley (the green stuff you see there), and light cream. That's it. Almost that's it. The brew stew must be allowed to sit (in the fridge of course) for 6 to 8 hours before re-warming and serving. John was in heaven for two days. 


Closing with another photo of John's project. I see that he's drinking his water!

Thank you for stopping by. Not sure when I'll be posting again, before too long I hope. This playing things by ear is always interesting...

Have a wonderful first day of autumn!

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Odds and Ends

Nothing makes a house cozier than cats. 
~Gladys Taber

If this is true, and I suspect that it is, ours ceased to be quite as cozy last Thursday morning when we said goodbye to Fioré.

Fioré  2002–2015
We miss her. If you are a cat person, you understand.

You may be wondering how I am. John and I went out for a bite to eat Saturday afternoon and I told him that I was just beginning to feel human again, after nearly two weeks! Recovery continues as long as I drink my water; I know instantly when I need some. I hate drinking water. It takes me an hour to drink one measly cup. Sad!

Yesterday came blowing in on a Canadian high. Bright and glorious with lower temperatures and low humidity. It was a perfect afternoon for soccer. Both the grands are on the same team again this year so we are happy soccer grandparents. 

The one on the left in the yellow shirt is ours. (Prior to taking a closer look, I thought the one on the right also belonged to us. Nope. That kid tricked me.)

There's our blondie right in the middle above. You can see how I'd get tricked, right? 

In other news, John is working on a new project.

I'll be sure to share more when it starts pulling together. This is really a continuation of a former project.

Vexed: to be sloshed about as in a bucket of water.

Yes, so I continue to feel this way...sloshed as if I were in a giant bucket of water. Seems appropriate somehow given my recent circumstances. The vexation comes from the times in which we live. Read the most lovely piece titled Ore written by Brin, whom I have recently found again. I found it to be balm to my spirit.

Now I took a sidestep from where I had planned to be today so hope to get back to those things one day this week, if I keep drinking my water! Off to get some now...
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Little Note


Almost feel as if I were still on summer break. I haven't been.
Instead, I have  been under the weather for over a week. Some days have been unpleasant; others just foggy with pain meds. I have a new appreciation for anyone who has ever endured kidney stones, gallstones or the like. Hope to be back next week. At least, that's my prayer.  

Closing comments today so that I don't have to bother moderating them. 

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Meeting Abby and Bill

It is unlikely that Abby needs an introduction here today as I often feature her wonderful graphics on my sidebar.  Oh look! There's one now! 

Abby blogs at Little Birdie Blessings. She and I have been blogging buddies for at least three years, perhaps longer. Sometimes I wonder about the connections in Blogdom and have finally concluded that The Lord Himself brings together whom He pleases. 

We, Abby and I, have spoken of meeting from time to time since we live in the same state, almost on the very same latitude line.  Early this summer, I made it my goal to meet before summer's end. I prayed and asked The Lord to make it possible.

Two weeks ago, I emailed Abby to ask if I could come visit and go out for lunch with her. Nothing doing. John and I would be welcome to come visit right at her home. She knew a local lobsterman who would provide lobster for "lunch" and she would put together some sides. I said that John would love that and I would bring a peanut butter sandwich. (How rude of me!) 

Abby and her husband Bill live in Midcoast Maine. Bill is a pastor and also the lobsterman she knows well. A week of fog and humidity later, John and I struck off for Knox County on a bright sunny day with only a few clouds in the sky. It is a two hour drive.

Abby and Bill live in the parsonage right next door to the church Bill pastors. (No, Knox Mansion is not their home, but getting close!) They are both very active in the church and the community. 

They are hospitality experts. Both John and I felt at home right away. Their home is quintessential New England with many terrific features such as original moldings, hardwood floors, tin ceilings, and a curved staircase. Abby has added her charming touches throughout. (That's a garland of all the grandchildren on the dining room mantel. Note the unique molding above the door leading to the farthest room.)

~cozy parsonage~

Though I have lived in Maine nearly all my life, I had never eaten a lobster. Nevah! Lobster rolls—yes, a lobster still in its shell—no. My sister was incredulous that I ate lobster. I was, too, but Abby carefully taught me what to do. All that and she cleaned more lobster to send home with us! There'll be more on that in another post. Did I like it? Yessum, I surely did. It was so tender, sweet, and delicious. Bill knows how to find a good lobster and he knows how to cook it, too.

~the welcoming table~
At one point, I looked up to see everyone, including John, eating their lobsters daintily with their forks. I was mortified as I had been chowing down with my fingers! (The only way I ever saw anyone eat it.) Abby assured me that there is no right or wrong way to eat lobster. In addition, Abby served a delicious potato salad, fresh corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes, fresh cukes, and later, we'd have home-baked apple pie, blueberry pie, and coffee for dessert.  We had Poland Spring water (our fav brand) and iced tea for beverages. 

While we were eating our lobster, we saw four stretch limos drive on down the road. Abby and Bill surmised that something big was going on...perhaps with a Supreme Court Justice or something. (I'm totally name-dropping here. ☺) 

~Abby's daughter and grandsons~

Personally, I was more interested when this van pulled into the ice cream shop across the street. Abby's daughter and grandsons were in it and John and I got to meet them!

~chatting about world affairs?~

After dinner (largest meal of the day), we were taken on "the driving tour," which was terrific with many ocean views, seaside towns, and lots of lovely homes. Many of you have already enjoyed a glimpse of their corner in the movie Forrest Gump. That's all I'm going to say about that. Many people of note live in their corner. The aforementioned Supreme Court justice, a famous artist, and a famous businesswoman, too. 

We shall leave them to their privacy. It can be a challenge for "the regulars" to live in a town that doubles in summer from the usual 1600 and welcomes thousands of tourists. Crazy! It was very interesting to listen to the stories as Bill is something of a local historian, too.

 ~beach walkers~

 ~perhaps a familiar scene?~

~a memorial~

~not a Revere bell~

While Bill and John chatted above the shore, Abby and I walked along the rocky beach. Abby pulled a "treasure bag" from her purse for me to collect rocks in.

 ~still chatting~

 It was a glorious day!

 Did I say "glorious"?

 ↑Oh my. This qualifies as the worst photo I took of the day. 

 ↑One of my favorite photos!

 ↑And another

Do I look as if I had swallowed the canary or what?! Pretty much describes my attitude about the entire time. How blessed am I?!

We also received a tour of the church. Abby's history in the community goes way back to to the original pastor of the church in the mid 1800s who was a multiple great-grandfather. You may recall my Pilgrim Story. Abby has one, too. Her multiple great-grandfather was William Bradford. My multiple step-great-grandfather was William Bradford. This means that we are  half cousins many times removed.  We'll take it!

Bill was raised by his grandparents right in town. Lots of history there! We both enjoyed the conversation with Bill as we were given the church tour. Those parishioners have a loving, kind, and good pastor who is faithful to preach The Word. I have listened to a few of Bill's sermons myself over the past three years.
We prayed together twice...once before our delicious meal and once before we left. John always holds hands when praying with anyone. He just automatically reached out for the hand on either side of him as is his habit. Bill kind of chuckled at that and so it made us chuckle, too. Later, when Abby asked Bill to pray for traveling mercies, John held his own hand and it was Abby who reached out her hands. I loved that! She is a natural at making people feel at ease.
The day ended all too quickly and soon we had to leave arriving home just after dusk. I asked John this morning if he would like to describe the day in one or two sentences and he said, "Can we do it again next week?" Silly boy!

Thank you, Abby and Bill, for a most wonderful day. It was a pleasure to meet you both! 

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P.S. And I have gifts from Abby to share and recipes and projects so I hope that you'll come back one day next week for the rest of this story. (Though I certainly believe that you deserve an award if you made it to the end of this one. So many blogs; so little time.)