Friday, February 27, 2015

February 1950

Front cover, February 1950
 Just for fun, I thought I would show you all the front cover from The New Hampshire Troubadour, February 1950.  Those are some pretty impressive icicles!

My mother had a small stash of old New Hampshire Troubadour issues from the late 1940s and early 1950s and passed them on to me.  I enjoy displaying them, reading them, and have scanned many of the vintage photos.

This photo, according to the information provided, was taken by the well-known photographer Winston Pote.  It shows "Boott Spur ridge of Mt. Washington from the Pinkham Notch Camp of the Appalachian Mountain Club."

This has been an interesting year for icicles, as well.  I have seen some very different ones at my dad's, and we had some very unusual ones on our bedroom dormer, which melted from the inside!

These are from our dormer and are some of the more unusual icicles I have seen!
And, we have gigantic floor-to-ceiling (so to speak) icicles near the entrance of our local Walmart, where the area is appropriately surrounded with yellow caution tape.

Hope you've enjoyed this little look at winter 1950!  (And a glimpse of 2015 as well.)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Encouragement from my quiet time

Graphic from Baptist Bible Hour
 This year I've been following the Bible reading plan which is found in the back of the Feature magazine, a daily devotional guide.  This plan, which was devised by Robert Murray McCheyne in the 1800s, takes one through the entire Bible once in a year and twice through the New Testament and Psalms.  So far I am enjoying it very much.  Yesterday, though, I found some special encouragement in the way the readings lined up with one another and also with my prayer time for that day, so thought I would share a bit with you.

First, I'll share some of the Scripture I was reading.  I have added some italics and bold text for emphasis.

Exodus 8
"And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God."  (verse 10) -- here Moses is speaking to Pharaoh.

"Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said."  (verse 19) -- even Pharaoh's magicians recognized God's power, but he wouldn't listen.

"And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth."  (verse 22) -- here Moses is giving Pharaoh a message from God.

Job 26
"He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing."  (verse 7)  -- Job follows this with more amazing statements describing God's power in verses 8-14.  I won't take time to write them all out, but you might like to look them up for yourself.
"He divideth the sea with His power, and by His understanding He smiteth through the proud.
"By His spirit He hath garnished the heavens; His hand hath formed the crooked serpent.
"Lo, these are parts of His ways: but how little a portion is heard of Him?  but the thunder of His power who can understand?"  (verses 12-14)

Luke 11
"And He was casting out a devil, and it was dumb.  And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered."  (verse 14)  -- this verse, describing Jesus casting out a demon, clearly shows His power.

And, can you believe this one?  Jesus said:
"But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you."  (verse 20).  Exactly the same phrase used in Exodus 8:19!

I don't think my reading them both within a few minutes of one another is a coincidence.  God wants me to be reminded of His powerful hand in my life!

 And then, after reading my Bible portions for the day, I moved on to my prayer time.  Each day I praise God for one of His attributes or for a spiritual blessing He has given us.  Guess what yesterday's was?  Here are the verses and my prayer,  from my prayer journal page:


"For with God nothing shall be impossible."  (Luke 1:37)

"O LORD God of our fathers, art not Thou God in heaven?  and rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen?  and in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand Thee?"  (2 Chronicles 20:6)

"Ah Lord GOD!  behold, Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee."  (Jeremiah 32:17)

"Thou art the God that doest wonders: Thou hast declared Thy strength among the people."  (Psalm 77:14)

"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth."  (Matthew 28:18)

"Hallelujah! For the Lord God omipotent reigneth!"  (Revelation 19:6b)

Lord, I thank You that You are all-powerful.  Truly, there is nothing too hard for You.  I can trust You to take care of any situation I or other believers may face.  You are a great God!

Hope these little thoughts from my quiet time have encouraged you as they have me.  What encouragement are you finding from your own quiet time?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The importance of careful speech

This gorgeous, meaningful graphic is by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings.
(A page from my prayer journal)

Every day I pray about one character flaw or sin issue in my life.  I have a page in my prayer journal for each of the 20+ issues I'm aware of to date.  Speaking before thinking is one of my toughest ones.  I've made progress in this area -- a lot of progress -- but I'm far from nailing it.  This morning as I prayed my way through this page, I decided it might be helpful to others, too.  So here is the page, just as I have it written in my prayer journal.


Character Flaws
5.  Speaking before thinking

"Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles."  (Proverbs 21:23)

"In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin; but he that refraineth his lips is wise."  (Proverbs 10:19)

"The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things."  (Proverbs 15:28)

"He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
"Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise; and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."  (Proverbs 17:27-28)

"A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.
"Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words?  There is more hope of a fool than of him."  (Proverbs 29:11, 20)

"I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress."  (Psalm 17:32)

From these and from many other verses concerning the tongue, I know God wants me to be careful with my speech.  Speaking before thinking  does not lend itself to careful speech.  May the Lord help me to stop and think and weigh my words (and maybe even pray) before speaking!


So that is my prayer page on careful speech.  I may have shared this before; I can't remember.  But it sure bears repeating in my life!

The wonderful, thought-provoking graphic below is also by Abby:
Graphic from Little Birdie Blessings

Monday, February 23, 2015

Our favorite focaccia bread

Photo by Taste of Home
 My grandddaughters especially love this Focaccia Bread which I make often.  I've used this Taste of Home recipe for years, but I guess I may never have shared the link here.  I made a batch of this on Friday night to accompany a spaghetti casserole, and was reminded how good it is.  It's a nice, easy bread machine recipe, but to my mind it produces the best focaccia bread I have ever tasted.

Yesterday, I took what was left, about a third of the batch, along to the church potluck lunch.  It got raves even though it was a couple of days old.

If you don't like rosemary, don't worry.  You could use basil, oregano, or, as I often do, Italian seasoning.  Also, if you are like me and seldom keep dry milk on hand, there's no need to fret about that either.  You can leave it out with no problem.  I nearly always substitute olive oil for the softened butter in the dough, as well.

Hope you will give this delicious bread a try.  It's wonderful alongside any pasta dish and it goes great as an accompaniment to soup (which we are eating a lot of this winter!).  Hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

Friday, February 20, 2015

State of the UFOs

This is the progress on the scrap afghan.  You can't see all 25 hexagons in this photo.
 Well, for all of my crafting friends, here is a quick update on how my UFOs [un-finished objects] and WIPs [works in progress] are coming along.  I have one project that I can't show because it's going to be a gift.

First off, the scrap afghan, seen above.  I have 2 rows completed and sewn together -- 25 hexagons in all, in three different motifs.  I finished 2 more motifs this week and am hoping to get a couple more done.  I'm trying to do just 4 to 6 motifs a week.
Please excuse the wrinkles; I was in a huge hurry when I took this photo.
 This is my "Snow Angels" cross-stitch UFO of many years' standing.  My Nevada daughter gifted me with this because it reminded her so much of her and her sister in the winter as children.  It IS beautiful, and the thought behind it even more so.    And it has been a huge challenge to me as well, but I think I'm finally getting a handle on it, thanks to brilliant winter sunshine and bifocals!  This is done on 18-count Aida and has a great many blended colors in the design.  You can see, in the photo of the kit at left below, how very lovely the design is.
You can see how far I have come since the  photo above was taken.  And also how far I have to go....
The cross-stitched rose hand towel

Above you see the cross-stitched rose hand towel.  I've made a little bit of progress on this, but have been concentrating more on "Snow Angels".  Recall, this was a kit from someone else's stash.  It is the second in a set of two, and I also used the design for pillowcases.

And finally, here is a completed project!  Mice had chewed into our barley hot packs back before Christmas, and so I needed to make some more (now that the mouse problem has been dealt with).  This is the second one.  The first one I did in a masculine gray plaid I had on hand; for this one, I couldn't decide, but then I found this orange/gray chevron design I'd bought on a whim with no real idea what I'd use it for; I just liked it.  Makes a utilitarian hot pack a little more fun.
I bought this fabric (along with much more) with a gift card I'd won from Fabric. com.  So much fun!
Hope you have been encouraged to make some progress on your own UFOs and WIPs!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New shop on the block

As our new shop appeared under the Christmas tree.  The pretty tree at the left was a fun gift from a friend.
As I've mentioned a few times, I usually leave my winter decorations up for awhile ... usually until mid-March or so ... because I really need the light and sparkle of white lights, glittery snowflakes and icicles, snowmen, and so on.  One thing I usually do is to move my lighted houses (not really a "village"; just an assortment of houses) onto a cedar chest draped with "snow" in the living room picture window.  (For the Christmas season, I have the houses circling the base of the tree.)
Some of the houses under the tree this year
So this year, as I know I mentioned on my Christmas blog, there is a new shop on the block!  When we were out in Nevada last spring, our daughter and hubby greeted us with a new lighted house for our collection -- a dog bone bakery!  My hubby is often the recipient of dog-themed items, so they were very pleased with their find.  We brought it back on the plane as a personal item in its very own tote bag, to keep it safe.  So it did get here to New England safely, and is now in its home as the new shop in the village.
As you can see, it is in a nice neighborhood -- right next to the library.

And just kitty-corner from the church!
This shows all of the houses that we have out; we do own a few more, including a lighthouse.

You can't see it too well, but at the left in the back, behind the church and next to the bakery, is a quilt shop.

The shop on the right in the front is a crockery shop.  This one is really fun, with its lighted display window.  In back of it, nearly hidden, is a sawmill.
Hope you have enjoyed this look at our fun new acquisition!  It continues to add light and sparkle to our winter!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

From a vintage calendar
I hope that each of you will have a truly special Valentine's Day and that you will get to spend some time with those you love.  This is also a wonderful day to reflect on God's great love for you!

For a fun post today, I am simply going to share some of the vintage Valentines from my collection.  I didn't take time this year to put up a Valentine's ribbon board display, so this can be a small virtual ribbon board!
A sweet treat

Adorable puppy

Freckled farm boy

From my childhood

Basket of roses

This one has a glittery flocked heart

Notice the details on her cowboy boots!
Hope you have enjoyed the vintage Valentines!  Have a love-ly day!

Monday, February 09, 2015

The getaway that got away

This waterfall is on our route.  We always have to stop for at least a minute.  The water was really rushing on this day.
Back in October, my hubby and I were blessed to take a short getaway to the far north of New Hampshire ... the area designated The Great North Woods.  The lakes, forests, and solitude of this beautiful area beckon us, and at least once a year we try and book a few days at our favorite cabin on Back Lake.

On this trip, we had some serious camera issues and were not able to get many pictures.  In fact, it took me a few weeks to even figure out how to get the pictures we did take off the camera.  So I don't have many to share.  Still, even after the fact, I wanted to share a little bit about our getaway.  Times like this are special and rare, so I want to document them when I can.

The foliage was pretty much gone by the time we got there at the very end of October.  Still, we had one day which was nice enough for my hubby to do some kayaking.

One morning we went out for breakfast.  Tall Timber Lodge is within walking distance of the cabin where we like to stay, but they don't always serve breakfast.  This time, thankfully, they were serving breakfast and so we were able to take advantage of that.  Friends had given us a little gift which we used for this treat.  Although we could never afford dinner at Tall Timber, breakfast there is most affordable, and such a classic lodge atmosphere.
Fireplace in the dining room at Tall Timber
And one of the days was nice enough to take a short hike.  A friend had given us a sheaf of maps for trails in the area, so we picked a very easy one.  It had been rainy so the footing wasn't the best, but we had a fun time anyway.  Pictures taken on this hike were mostly colorful little details that we saw.
An unusual lichen

Tiny stream with greenery

Chartreuse moss, plus see the little red-topped ones?
After our hike we had a picnic on the shore of Lake Francis.  Thankfully, the picnic tables were still out this late in the season.  We tried getting a couple of pictures there, but the wind was blowing and the sky was darkening and they just didn't come out well.

This picture is one of the straws that broke the camel's back for our camera. 

We were on the porch and as I happened to look back into the living room, I noticed how pretty the fireplace looked through the open door.  I mentioned that the view might make a nice picture.  Never one to be content with simplicity in picture-taking, my hubby decided to try a variety of settings to see how he might best capture the scene.  In the process of changing settings, he did something that really messed up the camera.  He never did figure out what he did or how to fix it for sure.  The blurry picture above is the best of the lot!

So there is a little peek into our late-October getaway.  Better late than never, I guess!

Friday, February 06, 2015

Those black & white dishes

A wintry hutch from a previous year -- you can see on the bottom shelf the tureen, a tea cup, and a gravy boat.
 Tori commented on the black and white ironstone soup tureen shown in my last post about my winter hutch.  I was sure I had taken pictures of some of the other items in my set, but apparently I never posted those pictures on my blog.  I've gone back through years of Picasa web albums without finding them.

I then went back to my old computer and yes, there are half a dozen pictures of these dishes in iPhoto, but for whatever reason I cannot get them out of iPhoto and so I cannot post them.  For now.  I'm not giving up, but I'm giving up for today.   So I will just show you a few photos of past decorating that included these dishes.
At Easter time one year
Gravy boat used in fall decorating
On a summertime hutch
My mother always called these "the grandfather dishes."  My understanding was that her paternal grandfather had given each of his daughters-in-law a set of these dishes.  But my understanding could well be faulty.  When my grandmother died, my mom and aunts drew straws to see who would get which heirlooms.  My mom and one aunt ended up dividing the set of "grandfather dishes".  [Incidentally, neither lady ever took her dishes out of the box she brought them home in, to my knowledge!]  My mom gave her half to me many years ago, and when my aunt passed away last year, my uncle wanted me to have the other half.

Tori, if you are interested in learning more about the pattern, here is one site with some information:  Ashworth Brothers Aesthetic Black.  The dishes are Ashworth Brothers, circa 1880.  I believe they came in other colors like red, green, and blue, but I could be misinformed.  Hope you've enjoyed learning a bit more about these interesting dishes.  If I ever get my pictures out of iPhoto, I will be sure and post them.  Or ... I could just take some new photos!

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Winter hutch

Two of the shelves
 I finally came up with a look I like for my winter decorating on the dining room hutch.  Some things are just standard; I don't change them much from year to year.  And then there are other times when I do.  It's always interesting and sometimes a challenge to decide what to use. 
The yellow house was made by my friend Les.  The pink house and the tree are from Gooseberry Patch.
Cross-stitch by me, a number of years ago.  Houses from Gooseberry Patch.  Little stuffed tree made by me years ago; vintage reindeer from my childhood.
I'll describe the middle shelf here: Little papier-mache snowman baskets were an after-Christmas buy some years ago at our local hardware; stuffed tree and snowman box ornament made by me; glittery house (it's actually a box), an after-Christmas buy at Marshalls one year; little  Yankee Candle teapot, a gift; red coaster under teapot made by my friend J.
Soup tureen, a family heirloom; little red toile runner sewed from a scrap by me; dollar store snowmen, glittery leaves & berries from Wal*mart.
You can't see the pretty forest scene in this basket, a gift from my hubby.  Looks like it was carved from ice.  The felt and tinsel snowflakes came from Tender Heart Treasures some years ago.
This is simple and will be changing to the Valentine decor on some shelves soon.  Hope you have enjoyed seeing my simple winter hutch.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Winter ribbon board

Finally, I got around to taking down the Christmas ribbon board and putting up a winter one.  I will just share a few photos, giving a closer look at some areas of the board.
The pretty snowflake was a gift enclosed in a Christmas card from a friend.  The wintry tree card to the left is vintage.

Love the northern lights to the right (a mailing from the Vermont Country Store) and the sugarhouse at lower left.

The postcard in the center is a vintage Vermont scene.
Hope you have enjoyed this quick look at my winter ribbon board!