Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Hello, my friends! 

We are in the midst of celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas! Well, kinda. Our daughter has been sick the last few days and we have been pretty low key. 

She is feeling a bit better, so I thought I would take a moment to wish you all a bright Christmas season! 

We don't begin our decorating until right before Christmas, because we use fresh greenery that hopefully lasts until Epiphany!
Here is a small vignette in the front hall. Fresh bay garlands and wreaths. We made the glittered pinecone tassels. I will post a tutorial. It was simple and really fulfilling. They look so decadent! It smells like heaven! I promise to show more soon!




  1. Hello,
    espero que sua filha esteja bem. Quero desejar um feliz 2018 com muitas alegrias e felicidades.

  2. Oh no, feel better! Everyone seems to be sick. Love those pine cones!! Beautiful! We decorate early for our Christmas party (first weekend december) but everything still seems to be ok. I never take down until Epiphany either.....meanwhile all our neighbors trees are outside on the curb new years day LOL.

  3. Hi, Andie,

    So sorry to hear about Gracie. Terrible for a child to be unwell –– especially at Christmastime. I've been ill, myself, for the past two and a half weeks. Christmas and New Year's Eve were completely wiped out. A long series of vertigo attacks with almost no let up. Very debilitating! Fortunately, I had good help bring me food and check on me every day. Not much fun, but it sure has been RESTFUL. ;-)

    Better, but not out of the woods yet. See a specialist on the 17th –– the earliest appoitment I could get.

    I try to be a good sport about these things. Complaining never helps anyway, does it?

    Well, HAPPY NEW YEAR and God's blessings to all of you.

    1. I tried to post on your blog, but one must be a member to do so.
      I am so very sorry to hear of your suffering. I also have vertigo and it is life altering. I have done a great deal of research and made some discoveries. I have seen a specialist who was able to rule out serious problems, but vertigo doesn't care. Maybe we can help each other?


    2. Hi, Andie! The blog is OPEN again. I was unable to leave my room for two full weeks and have just gotten back to something-close-to normal activity today, so I thought it best to close the comments till I could get back to contributing to the place again.

      I've had vertigo attacks at odd intervals for over ten years, but NOTHING like this last siege, which went on for for over two weeks.

      We are not alone. The brother of a very dear friend in Nevada has been sidetracked by this. He's in his late sixties, and it's causing no end of trouble, as you can imagine. I've heard of others s well –– mostly friends of friends.

      I'm going to see a specialist on the seventeenth. I'll be glad to share what he tells me with you.

      Meanwhile, KEEP WARM! ;-)

  4. ______ Thoughts On New Year’s Day ______

    Our hope would be to take the roadblocks down
    No more to have to hide behind the walls
    Negativity built with a frown,
    Even though she smiles in gleaming halls

    Welcoming all with fawning falsity,
    Yet yearning all the while for something solid.
    Excitement dies in stuffy halls at tea,
    As hypocrisy makes discourse witless, stolid.

    Rarely may we speak without a filter.
    ‘Tis safer not, lest someone take offense.
    So, fearing to be thought bizarre –– off kilter ––
    Daft –– depraved –– or simply too intense ––

    A fear of ostracism serves P-C,
    Yielding a moribund society.

    ~ FreeThinke

  5. _____ Sometimes a March Hare _____

    Traipsing through the meadows fields and glens
    Harvey-like, this happiest of hares
    Enjoys the fame he owns, It’s linked with hens.
    Easter’s oval gems, his brightest wares,
    Astonish children with their vivid hues.
    Specimens by jeweler Fabergé,
    Those tiny triumphs of elitist views,
    Enchant adults, but no real warmth convey.
    Richer is the creature with long ears,
    Belov’d by little children far and wide.
    Unseen, some say unreal, his presence cheers
    Nonetheless. His charm can’t be denied.
    Nourishing the need for joy and wonder
    Yields confidence unshaken e’en by thunder.

    ~ FreeThinke

  6. Today is PALM SUNDAY, and no one –– including me –– has seen fit to blog on it, although the story posted at my blog –– Stephen Vincent Benet's By the Waters of Babylon –– could with a little imagination easily be construed as an appropriate commentary on Passion Week.

    The insolent rejection of Jesus Christ followed by His suffering, death and Resurrection always takes on new meaning as we continue to spurn His Example by disrespecting, badgering, beating, tormenting, torturing and murdering each other in wholesale lots.

    Abandoning our faith just because the Secular World no longer regards it as either fashionable or appropriate for public contemplation is the WORST thing we could do to orselves.

    The joyous triumph of Easter has no meaning without the Passion. Passion Week should remind us all of how badly we treat one another through misunderstanding, too much eagenerss to find fault, and the unholy joy we take in finding reasons to despise, mock, reject and condemn one another just as the Pharisees did our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    A week of penitience, prayer and sober reflection on our sins and shortcomings is certainly approriate NOW more than EVER.

  7. ____________ Victim Victorious ____________

    They took and tried, and tortured, then they killed
    Him who sought to heal humanity
    Established Evil, drunk with power, swilled
    Lava-like liqueur. Then, Vanity
    Overcame Compassion with great ease.
    Regarding all with cynical disdain
    Destructive Self-Protection –– a disease
    Inflicting without mercy boundless pain ––
    Securing only Insecurity ––
    Appeared to stop the Upstart for all time.
    Lies. however. spawn no sense of surety.
    Immortal Truth stood witness to their crime.
    Victim humbled cruelly –– butchered –– He
    Emerged to free our lives –– internally.

    FreeThinke, The Sandpiper


  8. ___________ Wonderings ___________

    Baskets filled with flimsy paper grass
    Underlying gaudy pastel treats ––
    Necromancer’s jellied, jewel-like sweets ––
    Nestled next to marvels chickens pass
    Youngsters view with wonder all agog.
    ’Tis the figure of a small brown rodent though ––
    Sweetened chocolate hare –– that steals the show.
    His melting presence, like the rich eggnog
    Older folks think makes their spirits rise,
    Loosens all constraints upon the the tots
    Insuring Bunny’s sudden swift demise.
    Does delighting as we do in such behavior ––
    A self-indulgence seen un wholesale lots ––
    Yield a greater closeness to the Savior ––
    Strengthen future prospects for the tots?

    ~ FreeThinke, The Sandpiper

    H-A-P-P-Y ___ E-A-S-T-E-R-!

  9. Dear, Andie,

    I hope yu are cmpletely recovered from your episode with the flu? I always feel anxious about you when we dont hear from you for lengthy periods of time.

    Here we are well past Easter now, and beginning to think of ending the school year, beginning summer and celebrating the Fourth of July. I just had my 77th birthday last Wednesday on the 11th, and realized with a start that I am now beginning the approach to my EIGHTIETH year, God willing.

    All of this is just to keep in touch, and remind usa both –– and anybody who may peep in –– that time grows more precious with each. passing year.

    May you have a HAPPY SPRING! I hope you won't work too hard, and can just relax a bit for a while to savor some of the fruits of your great labor.

    Love to you and your family,



    _ War Crimes, as Defined by Leftists _

    ______________ or ________________

    ____WHAT'S SO BAD ABOUT____ 
    ____CHEMICAL WEAPONS?_____

    Apparently, it’s AOK 
    To mow ‘em down with bullets,
    But don’t dare try to kill ‘em off 
    By poisoning their pullets.

    It’s all right too when bombs 
    Rain from aloft or on the level,
    But when you kill with poison gas, 
    You’re in league with the Devil.

    Lock ‘em in a building,
    Then burn it to the ground.
    By judges at The Hague
    You’ll not be guilty found.

    Go drag them from their cells
    Into a courtyard to be shot.
    The World Court will not chide you,
    Nor tell you “Thou shalt not.”

    Take mothers, babies, toddlers ––
    Grandmas –– anyone who thrives,
    Then hack them with machetes 
    And bayonets to end their lives.

    Rape and loot and strangle,
    Garrote or stab at will ––
    Of you The World Community, 
    I promise, won’t think ill.

    Set ‘em loose in wood or field,
    Then hunt ‘em down like game;
    Let half-dead bodies lie unhealed.
    You won’t lose your good name.

    Rob and cripple, maim at will ––
    Dislocate their joints.
    Multiculturalists will know
    You must have your good points.

    Gouge their eyes out, slit each tongue.
    Sodomize, impale their young.
    Club ‘em down, then crush with tractors.
    Brussels won’t call you bad actors.

    BUT, urinate upon the corpse
    Who tortured your best buddy,
    And you’ll be tossed in the stockade
    With nose broken and bloody.

    And should you dare to wipe yourself
    With leaves from the the Koran,
    ‘Tis YOU The World Community
    Will call BARBARIAN!

    ~ FreeThinke


    ______ Barbara Bush (1925-2018) ______

    Beloved source of character and strength.
    An asset to her family and our nation
    Refreshing for her lack of agitation.
    Barbara lived a good life of great length.
    A life patrician, gracious, down-to-earth
    Regal, yet a quintessential mother
    A fount of strong opinion like no other,
    But muted, disciplined, and tinged with mirth.
    Unusually poised in public life
    She had a kind of beauty very rare
    Happy to have prematurely aged
    Resplendent in her crown of snow white hair
    In no way mean, her mind always engaged
    Proud, yet humble, and always the ideal wife.


  12. Dear, Andie,

    It's been several months since we've heard from you. You said you'd been ill with a bad case of flu, but we've never heard any follow up. Just a word from you letting us know you are all right would be a godsend.

    Tomorrow is the first of May, and I'm feeling a little silly being the only one who's been posting here since Christmas. I hope you and the others don't think that presumptuous? I don't want to be intrusive, but I do want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    I'm sure many of us hope to hear from you very soon –– just a few words would help if you can manage it.

    Meanwhile, may spring prove to be a blessed Season of Renewal for you and yours.

    Ever your friend,


  13. _________ Maytime Flowers _________

    Merry, mild and sweet the month of May
    Attests that faith and hope are justified
    Yearnings for a time that's bright with play
    trap us in a sense of trust belied
    In April, which we long to leave behind.
    May fulfills the hopes of early spring
    Embracing life anew, the weather kind
    Frees us. Soon, we feel that everything
    Leaps and shouts and dances just for joy.
    Our gardens bloom again with scented flowers.
    We sail our boats, and shout things like "Ahoy!"
    Enraptured, crazed we kiss in leafy bowers.
    Refreshed, yet daft, we love again to live.
    Springtime is the best that God can give.

    ~ FreeThinke - The Sandpiper, Spring, 1996

  14. _____ COMBATTING TDD _____

    The secret to combatting TDD
    Lies in taking one thing you adore
    Into splendid isolation where no sounds

    Or sights assault the senses with distractions

    Concentrate on learning to ignore

    Stray thoughts and wayward influences crude
    Self-discipline becomes its own reward
    Examine only one thing at a time

    Pop Culture we must come to recognize

    As the enemy of Reason and good work.

    Learn to cherish silence so you can

    Listen to your heart and see within.

    Monasticism may seem too austere,

    But retreating from the world pays dividends

    It deepens your perceptions as it hones
    Improvement in your character and views,

    Adding substance to your inmost thoughts,
    And aids in helping you learn to eschew
    The tawdriness that saps your strength, and then
    Impoverishes every part of you.

    ~ FreeThinke

  15. Andie!

    I am SERIOUSLY worried about you.

    It's not a questiins of "manners," but I know you've been ill, and so far we've heard no report from you as to whether the illness is resolved or not.

    All is well with me, thank God, but I'd feel lot better, if I knew for sure you were all right.

  16. Meanwhile, here's Amy Lowell to firther feed your soul. I've loved this poem since high school days. I think it suits you very well, Andie.

    ________ A LADY ________

    You are beautiful and faded
    Like an old opera tune
    Played upon a harpsichord;
    Or like the sun-flooded silks
    Of an eighteenth-century boudoir.
    In your eyes
    Smoulder the fallen roses of out-lived minutes,
    And the perfume of your soul
    Is vague and suffusing,
    With the pungence of sealed spice-jars.
    Your half-tones delight me,
    And I grow mad with gazing
    At your blent colours.
    My vigour is a new-minted penny,
    Which I cast at your feet.
    Gather it up from the dust,
    That its sparkle may amuse you.

    ~ Amy Lowell (1874-1925)

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