Sunday, March 1, 2015

Snow-Bound by John Greenleaf Whittier

I was reading today's post from Cynthia at I'm Retired -- Adventures of a Simpler Life.  There  was a beautiful picture of a Daffodil and a lovely quote from John Greenleaf Whittier.  That reminded me how much I liked Whittier.  You know I'm a big library patron.  I still love to read books but I couldn't wait, I had to look him up on the internet. What did I do before the internet.  I would have had to wait weeks to see what all he wrote. I guess the kids are not the only ones hooked on modern technology.

Here is a little something I particularly like and is very appropriate for the current weather.

From “Snow-Bound”

By John Greenleaf Whittier


UNWARMED by any sunset light      
The gray day darkened into night,      
A night made hoary with the swarm   
And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,        
As zigzag, wavering to and fro,         
Crossed and recrossed the wing√ęd snow:      
And ere the early bedtime came
The white drift piled the window-frame,       
And through the glass the clothes-line posts 
Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.         

So all night long the storm roared on: 
The morning broke without a sun;      
In tiny spherule traced with lines        
Of Nature’s geometric signs,    
In starry flake, and pellicle,                
All day the hoary meteor fell;   
And, when the second morning shone,         
We looked upon a world unknown,   
On nothing we could call our own.     
Around the glistening wonder bent              
The blue walls of the firmament,        
No cloud above, no earth below,—    
A universe of sky and snow!    
The old familiar sights of ours  
Took marvellous shapes; strange domes and towers                  


Saturday, February 28, 2015


You may not have had time to read the post I shared from The Simple Dollar entitled Balancing Spending and Time: How “Time Frugality” Can Save You Lots of Cash.   I know it's long but having read it and being in the process of digesting it and figuring out what it means to my life, I ran across another good article on the same or similar subject.  I read this parable a long time ago but had forgotten it.  If you've got time, also read this post from The Simple Dollar.  Some Thoughts on the Parable of the Fisherman and the Banker.

My question is: Are we working to live or living to work?

My second question: If we are already retired, are we living our life in the best way to have a simple and fulfilling lifestyle?

If you're snowed in it might be a perfect day to read these posts and ponder these questions.

Friday, February 27, 2015


I love this post I just read at The Simple Dollar entitled Balancing Spending and Time: How “Time Frugality” Can Save You Lots of Cash.

It is a long post in its demonstration of the connection between being short of time and spending money to make up for the loss of time.  Something similar to the parent showering his child because he doesn't spend the time with the child he should.

Only it addresses what it mean to us personally, when we do not have time for the people, hobbies, interests, skills that are really the basis of our core happiness.  If you are simply not fulfilled by your life, it might offer some alternatives or new ways to focus on improving the situation.

This article spoke loudly to me.  I think it will help me make some improvements in my life and I look forward to thinking it out.

Here is a line I particularly like:  
The end result is that I actually get to experience the things I enjoy the most and not just buy “artificial replacements.”


For those of you facing another long, cold weekend, here is something to delight your stomach.  Mindi from Sweet and Simple Living shares some tasty recipes and this one is just what the doctor ordered to warm your innards.  (Do you folks up north say innards?  Probably a southern thang (pun intended).)

Crock Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup
Recipe type: Main
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 28oz of tomato sauce
  • 28oz of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of uncooked rice
  • 2 cups of chopped peppers
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of beef base
  • 2 tsp of black pepper
  1. In a skillet, brown the ground beef and drain.
  2. Add the ground beef to the slow cooker, with all of other ingredients and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

A Little Humor to Start Off the Weekend


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Winter Dreams of Spring Gardens

The Creative Shrub Garden: Eye-Catching Combinations for Year-Round Interest Hardcover – July 29, 2014

I was at my local library today where the head librarian creates a rotating display of interesting books based on a theme - holiday, author, genre, how to subject, etc. I always look through this display and gardening was the topic this week.  I saw this book, The Creative Shrub Garden, and had to get it.   I mean what else have I been dreaming about these cold winter nights but spring and flowers.

So many books are printed as soft cover books on less expensive paper these days.  I'm sure it due in part to the cost of book production and also the number of e-books being sold.  I was delighted to get the hard cover copy of this book with 248 gorgeous pages of shrubs on slick, glossy paper.  I'm one of those people who likes shrubs.  I've always planted a good many around my yard, like using heavy furniture to anchor a room.

What I like about this book is the scenarios it gives you for Mood related designs (Cool and calming - Indulgent - Mellow and glowing - Reflective - Warm and relaxing -Uplifting) or Style related designs (Coastal - Cottage Garden - Country garden - Exotic - Mediterranean - Japanese - Tropical  - Urban contemporary).

I read a couple of the book reviews on Amazon and one complaint is that the writer has written for England and there is no zone number for American strategy.  It generally got a four-star rating but I'd give it a five just for the happiness it brought me.

The book is expensive about $21.43 and up for the hard bound.  It's not really a reference book but it is big and pretty and full of bright ideas for Spring.  If you have a serious collection of garden books already, you may not need this book for the information value as much as the delight of picking it up off the coffee table to peruse.  

As for me, I have it for 3 weeks from the library and then another 3 weeks if no one reserves it.  If you don't hear much from me in the future, you know what I'll be up to.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Granddaughter #1 spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights with me.  Here are a few of our fun moment:  

Making People out of toilet paper rolls

Poor Buddy had so many hugs, he asked to be left alone for a week.

The gloves were a present from one of my friends.  We were remembering wearing gloves to church.  Elayna associated them with the character from Frozen who had to wear gloves not too freeze what she touched.

We grabbed Chick-Fil-A for lunch and a little fun time on the play ground.

After bath.  Yes we have to brush your hair. 

Elayna took this picture of me.  For some reason her pets had to be in the picture.  At least they hid my double chin.  

A Selfie of us taken by Elayna. 

Monday afternoon I drove her to her Dad's office for the trip home.   Here is a picture he took during the ride home.  

Fast asleep.

That my friends was one long, fun, tiring, inspiring weekend 
with Nana and Elayna.  

Monday, February 23, 2015


I found a very interesting web site while reading Wisebread's post on 10 Things in Your Basement You Should Throw Out Today.   The web site shown above is Earth911.  You fill in whatever crazy item you've been hoarding in the basement and your area, and, poof, a location near you pops up.  

I know my garage is in for a serious clean out and there will be no more excuses for not dumping those old computers, tvs, cords to who knows what, etc., etc..

Thursday, February 19, 2015


It is with a heavy heart that I announce that I have lost my lips.  I'm not sure when it happened.  I know when I retired almost a year ago I was wearing lip stick or lip gloss.  I must have had some then.  

Here is me today. Up close and no makeup. Ok, not attractive I know but we are dealing with reality here.  There is very little fullness to the top lip, hardly any points to the cupid's bow, and wrinkles starting above the upper lip.  And just as bad, the corners are turning down so I look like I'm frowning if I don't deliberately smile. 

Then if I even try to smile, VANISHED.  GONE.  NO LIPS.  Ok, maybe a tiny line.  If I put on red lipstick it would look like someone had drawn two straight red lines under my nose.  

How sad is this.  Maybe the collagen from my lips has fallen into those jowls trying to form on my chin line.  

Oh well, I knew it was coming.  I just didn't know it had gotten here.  Happy 65th Birthday to me.  

No mirrors were broken while taking these pictures.