Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"a little quiet time"

       "...the spirit needs renewing and what a renewal a little quiet time can be! One needs to look at the sky, at the countryside...A good many problems solve themselves if one is quietly looking at the stars come out. Fatigue blows away on the stir of evening air.
       ...those who are able to have a quiet time for a small piece of day always find an armor against trouble."

                         - Gladys Taber,  Stillmeadow Sampler

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

so grateful

We were very fortunate yesterday. All day I kept thinking that it didn't seem very hurricane-like to me.

I've been through Gloria and Irene - they were more intense. It was rainy at times and breezy, with big gusts now and then, which increased in vigor as the day went on.

The lights never even flickered until the evening, and then the wind really picked up. I told myself that we have to lose power once in a while at least, but we didn't. We got socked in last year's storms - not this year. And during the day, while I was waiting for the worst to happen, I baked cookies (so good - recipe to follow); managed a crisp with a bag of cranberries, a couple of apples and about a cup of blueberries I found in the freezer;

filled a few thermoses;

and did some handwork on a baby quilt. There are plenty of folks without electricity, but nothing like last year. We are fortunate, indeed.

Monday, October 29, 2012

everything I could think of

  • did all the laundry there was
  • ironed all my clothes
  • defrosted leftovers for our supper
  • took the seven pound chicken out which I was saving for Thanksgiving.
  • made a roasted chicken feast for a few friends, just to try and use it up
  • made up some cookie dough after realizing with dismay how much butter I have
  • we put everything fly-awayable in the shed
  • finishing up with the laundry
  • making more cookies and maybe a fruit crisp
  • going to try and cook up everything in the house that I can

We have plenty of batteries and canned food.   I have a baby quilt to work on. Right now the wind gusts are picking up.  I wonder how it's going to go.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

how to install actions for Elements 10 if you have Windows 7

(I believe this also works for Elements 7, 8 and 9.)

1. Download your action - it should go into a Downloads folder on your computer.

2. Your new action and its files are contained in a folder which needs to be opened - open it up; try right-clicking and choosing Extract, or just double-clicking.

3. Use Control-A, which will select all the files, and then Control-C, which will copy them.

4. Getting out of the Download folder, double click on Computer (there are many ways to find it - it's in the start menu, for one), and then double click on Program Data. If you can not find this Program Data folder, click on your start button and in the search field type in
c:\ProgramData. (no spaces)  This should bring it up. You need to get in there.

5. Next, click on Adobe, then Photoshop Elements, then 10.0 (or whichever version you have), then Photo Creations, lastly Photo Effects. This Photo Effects folder contains all the actions which Elements comes with, and you are going to add your new actions to this group.

6. So, now do Control-V to paste your files in that Photo Effects folder. Are they there? Good! You're halfway done!

7. Look at the path you're in, in the space above (don't know what it's called!). It should look like this:
c:\Program Data\Adobe\PhotoShop Elements\10.0\Photo Creations\Photo Effects.

8. What you need to do now is go up there and click on the part which says 10.0.

9. Now, click on Locale, and then en_us.

10. Inside the folder named en_us, you will see a file named MediaDatabase.db3 - delete this file. Go ahead! Elements needs this file to start up; when it tries to open and doesn't see the file it will have to rebuild it and when it does, your newly acquired action will be drawn into Elements along with all the others.

11. Now, open Elements and let it alone for about fifteen minutes. This is about how long it'll take for the rebuilding process.

12. Look for your new action in the "Full" section of the panel. See where it's located. It should be in the Effects panel on the upper right (for Elements 10). If it isn't there, look at the four little icons which are underneath the word "Effects" - the far right one which looks like a blue rectangle with "fx" at the bottom - make sure that icon is chosen. They will be in there!

13. Enjoy using your new actions!

All the above information is out there online, but I was not able to find it - 1. All in one place, 2. Concisely explained and 3. Easily searchable.

(Dolly trying desperately to break into my brother's pickup)

It's a lot of steps and quite ridiculous actually, but after loading actions a few times you'll be doing it in your sleep!

Or, you can get Elements 11, which I've heard has finally eliminated the need for all these shenanigans.

I used The Coffee Shop's Sweet Bakery Glazes II - Vanilla Glaze - for the above photo. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sandy's coming

"Meet the storms, remembering that tomorrow the sun may shine again."
                  -  Gladys Taber,   Stillmeadow Sampler

Friday, October 26, 2012

leaf doily

Debra called to say she left a sample of leaves on our porch from her enormous tulip tree. After making an arrangement with the smaller ones, I placed the largest under this milk bottle styled vase.

Monday, October 22, 2012

the One who rules

"The One who rules over men in justice is like the morning light at sunrise on a cloudless morning, making the greensward sparkle after rain."

                        -    (cf  2 Samuel 23: 3-4)  from Magnificat, Oct. 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October love

"She loved October - loved it well in its first crimson pomp, when frosted leaves hung like a flame and the asters along the road were like pale purple songs; and even better in its later quiet of brown autumnal fields and the shadowy interfoldings of the hills over the bay; with its evenings full of the nice smell of burning leaves in Lazarre's bonfires and all its apples to be picked and stored in the apple-barn, until such time as it grew too cold and they must be put away in barrels in the cellar."

                             - L.M. Montgomery,   Magic for Marigold

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dolly listens to the presidential debate

I think she has Republican leanings

she yawned when the President took his turn.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ripple afghan

I was taught to crochet in my teens by a nurse I worked with in the nursing home. I soon came upon a pattern for a ripple afghan and proceeded to make a few.

The first had a cream background and the stripes were in brick, salmon, camel, soft green and a mossy color. All wool, back when three and a half ounces of wool cost three dollars. I had also been learning to knit, and found myself with small amounts of several colors leftover, so decided to make another one to use up those bits. I used black for the background.

In the first afghan was a consistent pattern and color, but what is it about a black afghan with colors? Think of the classic granny square - usually black. This is my favorite. 

It was all single crochet - it used to take me twenty minutes to do one row.  Back then I had less to do.

All done in the back loop, which makes the ridged effect.   The cat hair is a recent addition.

Monday, October 15, 2012


For years I bought granola to mix with my cereal (my favorite is definitely Chappaqua Original - so extremely crunchy), but when it got up to five dollars for a twelve ounce bag, I thought it was time to make my own. I looked at several recipes to get an idea of how it's made, and was amazed at the amounts of oil and honey which go into it. So I made some a couple of times and it was good, but all those calories were bothering me.

Then Margaret came along and saved the day for me. I was complaining to her in an email and she mentioned muesli. Well, of course I'd heard of it - and thought of it as something strange and unappealing-sounding. But basically, muesli is just granola without the honey, the oil or the crunchiness. It's not quite as nice, but you can make it in a flash and it suits me just fine.  I put a big handful on top of my chex with some almond milk and that's my breakfast most days, along with a bit of fruit and some tea.

This batch has blueberry-infused cranberries, pistachios, sunflower and sesame seeds, and candied ginger in it. After the initial expense of buying all the fruits, seeds and nuts, if you look for things on sale, it isn't that costly.

 Now I'm quite used to muesli and have no intention of going back. Bless you, Margaret.

Friday, October 12, 2012

parsley caterpillar

From Debra's the other day - we saw him on the parsley and she later looked him up. A parsley caterpillar. Of course!  What else could he be?

Joining Fiona on her Green Day.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"a good meal"

'I have seen many things come into fashion and go out of fashion but a good meal abides.'

                                             -  L.M. Montgomery,  Magic for Marigold

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

it's all in the details

 My friend Debra doesn't have much money, but I am always edified when I visit her home.

My camera and I were there yesterday - she wanted me to see her prolific morning glory vine, which suddenly came to life September first and has been increasing daily. Of course, yesterday had to be the day it decided to take a little rest.

But she tells me that today there were twenty seven blooms!

She dug up all the tired old foundation shrubs and put in all sorts of things - a coleus among them; it's so funny to see a coleus in somebody's front flower bed.  She has a sweet potato vine which has turned left to curve all the way across the breezeway entrance

where she also has flowers growing out of her son's old boot.

She works full time now, and has a hard time getting the house cleaned. But I think her time is better spent.

The little touches inside and out, make this the most homey place I can think of. 

Here are a couple of stands of dried up black-eyed susans. She tied them round and they provide architectural interest, not to mention the halloween-y look next to the golden mums.

Debra has learned, like St. Paul, to find contentment in her situation.

And it's all charming.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


at least, I think so -

"...she never forgot the tricks of the winding road, the gay companies of goldenrod in the field corners, the way the fir-trees hung over the bend, the long waves going over Mr. Donkin's field of wheat, and the white young clouds sailing adventurously over the harbour. The road ran up the red hill, and the rain in the night had washed all the dust from the rounded clumps of spice fern along the edges.

Then they crossed a brook, not on the plank bridge but on a dear little bridge of stones, where they could see the pearl-crested eddies around the dripping grasses; and then came a dear bit of wood where balsam boughs made music and all the little violet-shadows were stippled with sunlight, and they walked on a fairy path near the fence, over sheets of lovely moss, almost up to the green corner where the white schoolhouse stood." 

                                       -  L.M. Montgomery,   Magic for Marigold

Thursday, October 4, 2012

orange mum

a sweet face

In honor of St. Francis (of Assisi), who revered all of creation as coming from the hand of God, which he knew it did. Does.

Monday, October 1, 2012


A week ago at the beach, walking around with my camera, I also found myself taking pictures of appealing cottage entrances

this one had two plastic flamingoes outside, and a third in the enclosed porch!

 I love a porch - this place was right near the water

It's very interesting to notice the colors people paint their front doors,

isn't it?