Thursday, February 17, 2011

I have come to the conclusion that holidays are just too fun (and, really, too much) to try and fit into one day. We go for the week long celebration approach, around here. This brings a lovely sense of sanity. Have any of you heard the motto, "slow down, sip and savor life"? (Now, what's that from? I can't remember.... hm!)

Anyway, Valentine's Day! It's still quietly happening in little bits and pieces, around here.

On Monday, I had a few people over for tea. It wasn't anything tremendously fancy - just a chance to use the china and spend a sparkling hour or two visiting.
I made a red velvet chocolate bundt cake. The pan (and, hence, the kitchen and I) was dusted with cocoa powder; so, the outside of the cake was chocolatey but, when I cut into it, the middle was Valentine's heart red. I, also, finally purchased a tin of Fortnum and Mason's Queen Anne Tea! (I haven't had it for over ten years because, for a while, F&Ms wouldn't export to the States and, when they finally started to again, the price was very hefty. It's in short demand but my sister let me have a tin at a discount. Thank you, Suzy!!! =])

It was absolutely, deliciously wonderful!

I just wanted to share...

Happily, also, this week, more of my favorite perfume is winging it's way, here.

(I'd almost run out!)

Here's one last thing to share. You do know how I've been into quotes lately.... Well, I saw this one on K.a.m.a.n.a.'s blog and it just seems to fit the occasion.

Life is short!

Break the rules

[ know, the silly ones!...],

forgive quickly,

kiss slowly,

love truly,

laugh uncontrollably,

and never regret anything that once made you smile.

~ Ethan Mascarenhas

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fast Changes!

I thought of another very good saying:

A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until you get her in hot water.
(er, make mine Fortnum and Mason's Queen Anne Tea - loose leaf, please! =])

I want to share a wisp of something that is really a big billowing cloud in my life.

No details!

(There are too many of them, in fact.)

I just want to state the obvious.

(well, surely, you've figured it out or suspected it, by now.)

In the past couple of years - especially, the last several months - the most bizarre and pressurized situations have been attaching themselves to my life. They're coming from so many different directions (including within). Absolutely no one knows my full story. No one could.

I definitely live in a sunny spot but, it's more of a state of mind, sometimes, when there are so many clouds.

I'm not afraid of tough times.

We all go through them.

It's just.....


Something has happened, though, and it's forced the situation in such a lovely way and this small bird feels SO set free.

That is why I'm sharing this and I don't even know if all of you will understand....

it comes from who I am and my world view.

(....but friends can handle that, no?)

Actually, perhaps, it will encourage some of you!

I mentioned Ginny Owens in my last post. She's a blind christian songwriter/singer. What she's missing in physical sight seems to be concentrated inwardly and, today, listening to a CD that I haven't listened to in ages, I heard this song that just put it perfectly.

Here are her gorgeous thoughts:

I used to see the world in black and white ~ now I find myself lost in a fog of gray.
I thought the good guys always won the fight ~ but I've learned life simply doesn't work that way.
I once believed if I loved others they would love me, too, ~ but I've seen that isn't always so.
I thought that inner peace would come from trusting who I am, ~ but it's really about trusting who I know.


when the winds of change try to blow me over,
and the shadows of confusion hide the truth.
I will hope in the One who is forever ~ I will run to You.
I will run to You!

Ever since the moment life began ~ humankind has tried to solve its mysteries.
So many things we cannot comprehend ~ so we draw conclusions that we can believe.
Well, I know that your hands have placed the earth upon the seas and pitched a tent in the heavens for the sun.
The Author of the universe is the Father who loves me; so, only one conclusion can be drawn...

When the winds of change try to blow me over and the shadows of confusion hide the truth,
I will hope in the One who is forever. I will run to you!
When I face the questions that seem to have no answers and I know my friends are but a precious few,
I will hope in the Love that never changes. I will run to you!

Though the perils of life seem so great And hope seems so frail ~ you never fail, no, Shadows may not disappear but You've always made it clear ~ Truth will prevail.

You will prevail!

I've felt like such a caged bird but that's just rubbish.

I am quite free!

I'm not scared of getting lost in the foggy days. Not afraid of the dark, either.

Actually, I feel a bit like I'm flying...and, definitely singing! =]

(and, okay, if you want to know - I'm dancing, too.)


if you'd like to, also, know....

that is exactly where this image came from!

As Ginny Owens, also, says:

Beauty lies in the True Story!

The song "Run to You!" is from Ginny Owens CD, Something More

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hodge Podge!

Hello, Friends!

It seems like it has been a day and an age since I've last posted. Several of you have asked how I've been and, well, it's been a very strange past five months! (Since school started, actually.)

Trouble is, I've been involved with some large projects - some, fun - some, I would really like to hide my head in the sand because of. I've hacked my way through most of them and am feeling lighter, now, with the beginning of the new year. (Thanks to those of you who have asked!)

One of my major projects that was taking a lot of time and energy, this past October/November was my garden (tiny start of a thing that it is.) Like some of you know, Tom finally finished the stone wall and I was able to move my old languishing perennials from the parsonage (they'd been there untended for two years!) Digging the garden was absolutely painful. There are a lot of rocks in Vermont but this was something quite special. The dirt was gorgeous in the end, though.

It's been a completely different experience digging and planting a garden right when everything is going dormant. I planted over 800 bulbs, too. Then, I bit my nails as we had well below freezing weather and no snow for two months. "Normally" (although, the weather is never "normal" in VT), we get snow, at least, by December and it adds a lovely blanket of protection from the deep frost. I have no idea what will come up - what will live and, really, what it will even look like. What a grand surprise I'm going to have this spring, eh? (er, hope springs eternal...)

The winter bones of my baby garden.


This does bring up snow. Madelief asked me if we were getting ready for spring in the garden, yet. The answer is that we got over a foot of snow, today. I'm sure that we will get more, too! sigh.

This is the view of the lane leading up to our home, from the bottom of our driveway, after the first snow, on January 8th. It still looks like this but MUCH deeper!

Well, not only have there been a few stressful projects that have been keeping me busy, the past few months, but, also, I've been in this curious conundrum that, when I sit down to write a blog post, pictures and words don't seem to come together for me. Happily, the ideas are starting to flow again.

Still feeling the freshness of the new year and needing to pick myself up and to keep going after all that's happened, words of wisdom for myself have been banging around in my head. I thought that I'd share a few of my thoughts with you. Hope you don't mind!

~ Lighten up!

~ Those who can't laugh at themselves, leave the job to others.

(J. John - a British evangelist)

Remember! Wherever you go,.... there you are!

Time flies! (Whether you're having fun or not!)

(The adorable Mary Engelbreit)

Remember to take things with a grain of salt!

I just heard my boys in the other room talking about "that's how the cookie crumbles"! (Although, they could have been talking literally about it all - Grandma had just sent cookies down.)

This is from the notes on a CD but it just made me laugh!

How many times have you fallen in love with a lyric that you thought went, "Show me a day with Hilda Ogden and I'll despair." Only to find out that it went, "Show me a way to solve your problems and I'll be there."

Here's another song lyric:

I don't wanna be a flame, I wanna be a raging fire!

(Hmmm, that's a good one - yeah!)

(From Ginny Owens! and, if you're one of my friends who likes christian pop/rock and don't know her music, yet, you should!)

Some of you will have heard this gag before:

To do is to be! ~Socrates
To be is to do! ~ Plato
Do-be-do-be-do! ~ Frank Sinatra

Don't forget Scooby-dooby-doo!


"Well, gang! It looks like we have a mystery on our hands!
Let's split up and look for clues!"


I've been listening to the Police a little bit, though, and I think that Sting has it right:

De do-do-do, de da-da-da!
That's all I want to say to you!
De do-do-do, de da-da-da!
Their innocence will pull me through!

well, perhaps I'll have something a bit more erudite for you next time!

Katy Noelle