Saturday, March 15

A Quilt Giveaway and Green Thumb Sunday

Do you love beautiful quilts? Would you like to enter a giveaway to win one? Dana at Old Red Barn Co., is giving away a lovely quilt and a lot of other goodies as well. Be sure and stop by and enter the draw.
There's not much news here today. I did a bit of grocery shopping and got some good deals on meat. A eye of round beef roast was on sale and I got one for $10. That is a steal here. Meat is so expensive. I wanted to buy a roasting chicken to cook in the slow cooker but the cheapest one they had was $22.89 and I wouldn't pay that price for any chicken. I could have bought a turkey for $4. more. So instead of buying chicken I bought salmon for $10. and we had that for supper. There was lots left over because the fillet was over 12 inches long and over an inch thick. Salmon isn't my favorite fish but it was good for a change. It is usually very expensive but was on sale this week, as were many types of pork. Ham was especially cheap at 79 cents a pound. That is because so many like it for Easter dinner.

I bought this snake plant in December 2006. At that time there was just two leaves about six inches high. I have always liked these plants and I think it was because Grandma had one. Hers was five or six leaves that were almost three feet in height. This looks like the same variety, but I'm not sure, as in the year I've had it, it's grown both tall and wide. The last time I counted there were 22 leaves in all stages of growth. Some were just babies and the others ranged in size from small to the large original two.

Last June I put the plant outside and it grew like wildfire. When fall came, I dug this old vintage smoked glass bowl that I've had for 40 years out of storage, added Miracle Gro soil and then the plant. While transplanting it, two small leaves broke off and I put them in a small pot and gave them to Brandon. His is also growing quickly.

I added the two little elves that the boys gave me last Mother's Day to the plant and brought it inside. It has really grown over the winter. I will put it back outside for the summer. It sits on my patio table on the porch and looks very nice there.

I love all kinds of plants but don't always have luck with them. This is actually one plant that's done very well for me.

Have a pleasant Sunday and take time to do something special with your family today.

~Blessings, Mary~

Friday, March 14

A Day at the Farm and Friday Flea Market

Well, this is the last day of the boys' March Break. They go back to school on Monday. We have done a few things, but not like we usually do. I haven't been very energized this year and then there is Michelle who still is not allowed to drive, so any shopping she needs done is up to me and the kids.

We did manage to get to the farm today. We have not been in about six weeks. First the boys were sick with colds, then Michelle's surgery, then I got the flu and so on and so on... The boys were glad when it was a nice day and we could go. I took along the camera and this is what we saw.
Chickens and a rooster perching in the rafters over the chicken pen. I love the beautiful colors in that banty rooster.
These are the chickens that were baby chicks only last fall. They do grow fast and are full sized. They are moulting at present.
Matthew the lamb has really grown. He is fat but oh, so cute. He seemed to remember the boys, as he came right to them.

This is Rosie. She is Matthew's mother and as you can see, she is expecting any day now. I do believe she might have twins. She is over 13 years old. I'm wondering how long sheep continue to produce. If anyone has knowledge of how many years a sheep can have lambs, I would be interested in knowing. We were surprised when she had Matthew last year and now she is pregnant again.

This is the only goat that is left at the farm. They sold all of the rest because there was too much in-breeding. They are not getting more goats as first planned, but are planning on getting more sheep instead.

We left the barn and started toward the horse arena. This week was March Break Camp at the farm and some of the kids were riding in the arena. The horses were in the barnyard eating some hay.
The little horse in the center of the photo is Majestic Miracle. He was born last May. He has really grown in that year, but such a handsome boy. Beside him is the calf that was born last fall.

The little horse in the photo above is Yankee. No, he is not a pony, but a miniature. He is an adult horse and will never get any bigger than he is now. He is a friendly sort.

I'm not sure of the name of the horse above. I should know but just can't think. It must be a Senior Moment. Ha! I seem to be having more of them lately.
Above is Arrow. He was at the other end of the barn in front of the other window. He was almost dozing while waiting to be ridden.
Quiet Riot is a very calm horse that all the kids love. He was also waiting patiently for the ride to begin. While we were in the riding arena, the boys ran around and expended some of their extra energy. They had a lot of fun.
Before we left, the boys wanted to go and see the goat and sheep again. Above the goat is trying to eat Brandon's coat while he is petting him.
Matthew came to bid Jordan goodbye and quite enjoyed Jordan rubbing his nose. The animals are always anxious for the boys to pet them.

Before heading for the car, I got the boys to stand still long enough to get a photo. They both look tuckered out and they were. Jordan called tonight and said he was really tired and that Brandon was already in bed.

It was a lot of fun going to the farm and seeing all of the animals again. Brandon is wanting to go back to the farm on Tuesday, which is his day to go just to find out if Rosie has delivered. If it isn't raining, snowing or freezing, we will be there.

Something new has been started here in blogland and I've decided to participate. It's called Friday Flea Market. I decided not to offer things for sale on this blog, as it is not a selling venue. I have started a new blog for my Flea Market sales and it's called Mary's Vintage Flea Market. Only vintage items will be offered for sale and all will be at discounted prices. Be sure to check it out for some great bargains.

Well, that is about all the news for today. Jackie at In the Land of the Living Skies needs prayer. She has come down with a bad cold and please continue to pray for Deena, Nancy Carolyn's daughter and Cynthia. Cynthia's daughter has still not been found. Her photo is on my sidebar and if you visit Walking On, you will find out more information. Cynthia of course is frantic and really needs to be lifted up to the Lord. Please stop over to these lady's blogs and leave a kind word or two. ~Blessings, Mary~

Thursday, March 13

Show & Tell Friday, Proud Grandma and Circle Journal

It's time for Show and Tell Friday. If you would like to participate, drop over to Kelli's at There's No Place Like Home. Seems like it was just here and can you believe it's the middle of March already. Time is flying by.

This week I'd like to show you my latest addition to my postcard collection. It is a beautiful card that is signed by the artist, Philip Boileau. It is as clean as the day it was made and has been taken really good care of. It is titled "Sweetheart" and I got it for a very good price. I love this card. Sorry that my scanner isn't working, so all I could do was take a photo of the postcard on the desk.

Let me tell you a little about Philip Boileau, pronounced Bwa-low. He was born in Quebec on June 7, 1863. Yes, he was Canadian, something that I found out recently. No wonder I love his art.
Boileau's father was a diplomat and when young Philip lived in Canada, America and France. He attended school in England and studied art in Italy when he was in his early twenties. Over the next decade he lived in various location throughout Europe. He moved to America in 1897 and it was here that his artistic talents were recognized.

Over the next few years Boileau painted the portraits of beautiful socialites. He opened a studio in New York City in 1902 and it was there that his work began to get the recognition it deserved. Before long, Boileau's portraits were highly sought after.

In New York, Boileau met Emily Gilbert, a young socialite about half his age. The couple were married in 1907. Boileau continued to produce images of beautiful women, as well as children for the next decade. He died in 1917 at the height of his success.

Postcards featuring Boileau's art were overlooked for many years. Today they are highly collectible. The Postcard Price Guide, Third Edition by J.L. Mashburn lists hundreds of postcards that were produced using the art of this talented man. They range in value from approximately $3.00 to over $200. A silk card titled "Fancy Free" produced by Wolf & Co. is very rare and is listed for $500 if in excellent condition.

One of Boileau's original 20" x 30" pastel on canvas titled "With Care for None," was sold by Illustration House Auction for $16,000. It was thought that it would bring around $8,000, but it far surpassed the expectations of the auctioneers.

In other news, I am a very proud Grandma. Today I took the boys out to do some shopping for their mother. She gave Brandon her bank card and told him to go and pick up a few things from the grocery store and the bakery. When we got to the bakery, he knew he wanted cinnamon buns. He had $15.00 to spend for baked goods, some of which will be frozen for next week's lunches. He got the buns, a wild blueberry pie, a dozen cookies and date squares. He bought all the things that he knew others in the family enjoyed. His favorite is cinnamon buns.

When he had gathered all his goodies, he saw an elderly man at the checkout. The man was on crutches and was fumbling for his wallet. He was having a difficult time. The clerk told the man he owed 60 cents for two hamburger buns. Right away Brandon piped up and said, "I'll pay for them." At first the man was going to protest. Then he thought better of it and accepted Brandon's act of kindness with a smile and a "Thank You, young man." Brandon was very proud and told his mother about it as soon as he got home. "Mom," he said, "I went 33 cents over my budget but I helped an elderly man who was on crutches by buying his hamburger buns. Mom was quite proud and so was Grandma. This is quite a feat for Brandon, who has Asperger's Syndrome. It's said that those who suffer from this disorder do not recognize others feelings nor feel empathy. Some may not, but we are glad that Brandon has overcome this part of his disorder and is able to recognize the difficulties of others.

Mama Bear at Bears in Exile is starting a Circle Journal and is looking for people who would like to participate. This would entail journaling in the journal for two weeks, adding recipes, newspaper clippings, stickers, photos or anything else that you would like to the journal and then mailing it to the next person on the list. They would do the same. After the journal has completed the circle of participants, it will be mailed around again so everyone can read what the others wrote. This is going to be a lot of fun. Please drop by Mama Bears and join in.

Please continue to pray for Cynthia at Walking On. Her daughter, Lady Bug is still missing. Let us encircle her with God's love to keep her safe.

Prayers are still needed for Talk to Grams daughter, Nancy, who has an urgent medical condition.

Deena at Can I Be Pretty in Pink? is improving a little, thanks to all those who are praying for her. Deena is fighting her way through breast cancer and caught a virus from her husband. Her fever is down but she is still weak.

Please stop by and give these wonderful ladies a word of encouragement. A kind word is always appreciated and sometimes that's all it takes to lift someone up. ~Blessings, Mary~

Wednesday, March 12

Prayers, Thankful Thursday and my Giveaway Win

Prayers are needed for the following people:

Nancy, who is Carolyn's daughter. Carolyn can be found at Talk to Grams. Nancy is very ill and the entire family needs your prayers.

Deena at Can I Be Pretty in Pink? Deena is fighting breast cancer and her husband came down with the flu. I got a very short note from Deena tonight and it seems she is down with the virus. She said she will be okay, but I'm very concerned. I had this last week and am still trying to gain back my energy and the cough lingers.

Cythia at Walking On needs urgent prayer for her and her family. Her 14 year-old daughter has been missing since March 10th. Please drop by Cynthia's blog and leave her an uplifting note. She has a photo of her daughter on her blog and would like us to distribute it.

Margarita "Magui" Martinez 4-19-1994 Missing: 3-10-2008. Cynthia's daughter is losing her vision and if she is outside, she will be wearing her sunglasses. Cynthia has more information posted on her blog.
Please visit these people and leave them a note of encouragement. We all need to be lifted up by our friends when we are struggling through dark valleys.

Today is Thankful Thursday and I have a lot to be thankful for.

1. For my hubby being safe while driving at night through the storms that hit this area last weekend. The roads were treacherous.

2. For Michelle's infection being taken care of by health care professionals. The incision is beginning to heal, though she is still having some pain. I am thankful she didn't have to return to hospital and is getting around nicely now.

3. For the fact that Griffyn, my great-nephew was given a clean bill of health by the doctor. Griffyn is only 81/2 months old and he caught this virus that was going around. I'm thankful that his immune system was strong enough to fight it off in a couple of days.

4. That I am feeling much better. My energy hasn't returned fully yet, but I am feeling so much better than I was last week.

5. For special blogging friends that mean so much to me.

There are so many more things for me to be thankful for and I am. This is my list for this week. I am truly blessed.

I am very excited. Lisa at An Apron a Day was having a giveaway for a vintage chicken scratch embroidered apron. Now I am a lover of vintage aprons because they remind me of Grandma. She had drawers full of aprons and a clean one always hung on a peg near the pantry door. If company came unexpectedly, she would quickly take off her dirty apron and grab the one off the peg and put it on while heading to the door. She had gingham aprons, embroidered aprons, cotton print floral aprons and even organdy aprons that she only wore for very special occasions.

Anyway, back on track here... I entered Lisa's giveaway and she notified me today that I had won the vintage apron. I am tickled to death. Thank you, Lisa.

If you enjoy seeing vintage aprons, be sure to stop by Lisa's. Tuesday she featured a souvenir apron. Remember those? I used to have one of Niagara Falls. I don't know where it ever got to, but wish I had it today.

Well, that is about all the news from here. It was a busy day for me today and I got just about everything done that I was supposed to. There is one small errand left that I have to do tomorrow. I even got a chance to do a random act of kindness while I was out and about. Not only did it brighten up the lady's day, but made me feel good too. Be sure and do a random act of kindness whenever the chance arises. Even a smile goes a long way to brighten up someone's day. ~Blessings, Mary~

Tuesday, March 11

Prayers and a Circle Journal myspace graphic comments
Myspace Christian Comments & Graphics

Prayers are needed by some of my dear blogging friends. First of all, Carolyn at Talk to Grams needs prayers for Nancy. She had a dentist appointment today and the news wasn't good. Please keep Nancy in your prayers and Carolyn as well. Please drop by and give Carolyn a word of cheer.

Sharon at Sit With Me Awhile is in need of prayer for her and her family. A beloved family member just went home to be with his Lord and he will be sorely missed. Now she and her family are going to have to move. Please visit Sharon for a word of condolence.

Deena at Can I Be Pretty in Pink also needs prayer. Deena is fighting a battle with breast cancer and though she is doing well, she needs words of prayer and words of encouragement.

I'm sure there are many others who need prayers as well. If anyone would like to be put on my prayer list, please leave a comment or go to my blog profile and email me.

Have you ever heard of a Circle Journal? My dear friend Mama Bear over at Bears in Exile is wanting to start one and it sounds like it would be a lot of fun.

A Circle Journal is when a group of Internet friends commit to journal for two weeks, adding stickers, photos and a little about their daily lives. When they have completed their journaling, they send it on to the next person on the list. When everyone has had a turn, the journal makes its rounds again so everyone can get to read what their friends wrote in the journal. I do hope that some of you will follow the link to Bears in Exile and sign up. It would be wonderful to get to know each other a little better.

Please take part in a random act of kindness today. A kind word or a smile can make a big difference in the life of a senior or someone who is hurting. Not only will it make a difference in their life, but it will make a difference in yours as well. There's nothing better than the thrill of knowing you have made someone's day a little brighter. ~Blessings, Mary~

Monday, March 10

A Meme and Presenting of an Award

I've been tagged by Hootin' Anni over at Hootin' Anni's on the 8 facts/habits of mine! Well, I must admit there are a few habits I have that none of my blogging friends know about. However, there are rules that are supposed to be followed:


In the 8 facts about yourself, you share 8 things that your readers don’t know about you. Then at the end you tag at least 8 other bloggers to keep the fun going.

1. My greatest joy in life is giving to others.

2. I have a soft heart and have trouble saying no, even when people take advantage of me.

3. I take so much and then I have a sharp tongue.

4. My favorite t-shirt has a picture of Tinkerbell on it. It says "Mood subject to change without notice." When I've had enough, this can be very true.

5. I have been likened to the disciple, Peter. Remember when he cut the soldier's ear off in the garden? Did Peter have red hair?

6. I am always punctional. I hate being late and dislike those who are late. If anything, I am early for appointments. If anything happens that makes me late, I get very stressed.

7. I have a bad habit of not taking time for myself.

8. I am a leader, not a follower. I do things "My Way," just like in Frank Sinatra's song.

Now to tag eight people for this meme:

Renie at Renie Burghardt's World

BJ at Sweet Nothings

Joan at The Erstwhile Librarian

Carolyn at Talk to Grams

Katherine at Yellow Rose Arbor

Hope at Second Time Around

Denise at Shortybear's Place

Karen at Karen's Korner

I do hope that all of your ladies will participate and let me know when you have your meme posted so I can read your answers. If you cannot take part, I will understand. Also, anyone else that would like to participate is most welcome.

I want to present the above award to all of my blogging friends who prayed for Michelle while she was recuperating from surgery and those who prayed for me when I had that nasty flu. I would also like to give it to anyone who visits here regularly or who emails me on a regular basis. Please take a copy and know that you mean a lot to me. I have so many friends here in blogville and I want you to know that I appreciate your friendship. ~Blessings, Mary~

Sunday, March 9

The Big Snow

Yesterday I posted some photos of the snow that we had. That was at 10:30 Saturday morning. Little did I know that it would continue to snow the rest of the day and well into the night. We ended up with a lot of snow.
Above is the view from our side door onto the street. Look at the poor bird feeder. Not only is it covered in snow, but the wind has it lopsided. I hope hubby can straighten it so I can clean it and refill it. Our cardinals and blue jays will be looking for a snack with all this snow on the ground. My neighbor feeds the smaller birds like chickadees, so I tend to buy sunflower and other large seeds for the larger birds.
Above is a picture of the side yard. Notice the nice drifts and the snow plow ridge. That was heavy shoveling and I was grateful that the neighbor came over to shovel it. Neither hubby or I are supposed to shovel for health reasons. We do, but this was a bit much.

Notice the neighbor's van. He was running out there every hour or so to brush it off during the entire storm. It made me giggle as it seemed he was fighting a losing battle. He was out about 7am Sunday morning giving it another cleaning. Everyone else's car on the entire block had a lot of snow.

Above is the path leading down the stairs to the street. Hubby had shoveled it several times on Saturday, but here it is under about 3 inches of snow again. Notice the side and your can tell that it is about 18 inches deep.

I went over to Michelle's this afternoon and the snow plow ridge at the end of her driveway made ours look small. It was almost as high as their van and higher than my car. Of course I forgot the camera so didn't get a photo. I will try to remember to take it tomorrow.

Michelle is doing great. She is feeling much better. Today she took the last of her antibiotics and she has to see her GYN on Tuesday. Hopefully the lab tests will be back by then and she will get that report.

I'm feeling a lot better and almost back to normal, though I was very tired today. Yesterday I felt really good. I got my writing done and submitted. It was late this month which is very unusual for me but I find when I'm tired I just can't get things to go together like they should.

Thanks again for all the warm wishes and prayers for Michelle and myself. It is very much appreciated.

I am behind in posting my awards. The following three are from Storyteller. I love them all but my favorite is Friendship is the Light in the Darkness.

Someone else also gave me The Spreader of Love Award while I was sick. I'm very embarrassed to say I can't remember who it was. My apologies and please let me know so I can post on my awards page. The Spread the Love Award was given to me by Carolyn at Talk to Grams. So now that leave the I Love You This Much and Friends Stitched in Time awards to be identified.

The awards below were also given to me during the time of Michelle's surgery and my bout with the flu. Please let me know if you are the person who presented it to me. I apologize for my oversight, but would like to post the giver on my awards page.

The award below was presented to me by Karen at Karen's Korner. Karen reminded me that she had given it out and when I went and checked her blog, I remember saving it from there in late February. If anyone else gave it to me, please let me know. Thanks Karen. I love it.
Now that I see how many there were that I lost track of, I am really embarrassed. Please let me know if you presented me with any of these awards. If I've overlooked one that you gave to me, I am truly sorry. Just let me know in the comment section and I will rectify the situation.

Please smile at a stranger today. A smile can brighten someone's life who is going through a difficult time. ~Blessings, Mary~

Green Thumb Sunday and a Bit of This and That

It's Green Thumb Sunday, hosted by Tricia at As the Garden Grows. If you'd like to participate, just click on the link to find out how.

It's been a while since I participated in Green Thumb Sunday. I'm not sure why. I guess it was just something I overlooked. I didn't mean it to happen, as I enjoy showing what is growing in my home and garden. So this week I'm back.

In October, Brandon gave me a lovely spider plant for my birthday. I was just a little thing and he gave it to me in his mother's cat planter, which she told him was fine. It had a couple of sprouts on it and that was it. Look at it now.

It's soon going to have to be transplanted. I'm not always good with plants but it seems anything that Brandon plants grows. He must use his green thumb. I am very proud of this plant. When spring arrives, I'm going to transplant it and use Miracle G*o potting mix. That way it might stand a chance. Or maybe I'll just invite Brandon over to transplant it for me. When I do, I will give Michelle back her cat planter.

In other news we are snowed in. Not really, but no one is going out unless they have to. It started snowing here about 2:30 pm on Friday and has not stopped yet. It is to continue until about 3 am and then we are to get a break until the middle of the week when we are to get more snow. When I took Meeko out tonight, we have about a foot of freshly fallen snow.

Even though all this snow makes it inconvenient for people to get around, I'm really glad that we've had a snowy winter. Snow is good for the earth and helps fertilize the soil. The moisture from the snow is retained somewhat in the soil and helps to prevent erosion. This is all good for our planet.

Meeko is also happy that we had this big storm. He loves the winter and wanted to be out in it today. We did let him play in it, but brought him in from time to time so he wouldn't suffer frost bite on the tips of his ears or on his toes. Yes, he is a northern breed but caution is still recommended.

This was Meeko out at 10:30 am on Saturday morning. We have a lot more snow than that now

This is a view of the back portion of my car. This was also taken at 10:30 am on Saturday morning.

I am looking forward to spring. Though I'm grateful that the earth has received the snow it needs to keep things in balance, it's been a very snowy winter and I'm ready to see some flowers growing in my garden and get my hands back into the soil.
I've been working on a little project. It's something that I've never tried before - altered art. I took a piece of canvas, sponge painted it with Wedgewood blue paint. I let that dry and then used a picture from a vintage greeting card, burned the edges and glued it onto the canvas. It says, From my home to yours! I then glued two old stamps to the upper left and bottom right corners and two vintage buttons to the top right and bottom left corners. I don't think it turned out too bad for a first attempt. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, as my kitchen is done in greens and whites. For the time being I will put it away and then one of these days I will find just the right home for it. It was a fun project to do while I was staying inside keeping warm and cozy. It's always nice to be artistic and creative.

Hope everyone is safe and staying warm. Please don't travel on the roads if you are in an area where the roads are treacherous from the storms. This storm has hit parts of the US and Canada. Travel is not recommended unless absolutely necessary.

Spend time with a child today. Give him or her a hug, read a book or play a board game. If you have no children living in your home, phone a child and brighten up his day. Kids need to know they are important. ~Blessings, Mary~