Monday, May 19, 2008

Owls Head

Come take a little day trip with us to Owls Head and allow the beauty of the day to drift over you as it did me. Enjoy! (Click on any if you wish to enlarge.)

We're seeing more of these sorts of benches in our corner. I find them meaningful and perhaps a better answer than a tombstone.

Now I know that I've been seeing things lately, but does that rock formation to the right beside my daughter look like anything to you? I'll let you know what I think tomorrow.

Thanks for looking at my pics; have a great start to a great week...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Amazing Grace Shall Always Be My Song of Praise

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the homecoming of His saints. ~Psalm 116:15

Many of you may have read that Dottie Rambo was tragically killed in a bus accident a week ago. You can read more about that here at

Dottie Rambo has written many, many wonderful hymns of the church. Perhaps you have sung them; I have. My favorite is "He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need," which is set to the music "Danny Boy." As I was looking for more information about the song, I found this wonderful background story. I know that when you have time, you'd be blessed to read it at Christianity Today. (This page no longer exists at CT; however, the story can be found here.)

David Phelps sings one of my favorite versions of the song here. It is a powerful testimony to a grace this big, a love so strong, a God who can forgive this much.

A beautiful Sunday to you all. (I'm heading for the ocean with my daughter today. Yes, I'll take my camera.)

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Day with Nan

There is not one thing unusual about a trip to the town dump. This is where we, the townspeople, in an effort to save on taxes, handle all our own refuse and recycle everything from tires...

to kitty litter... Yes, it's enough to give anyone pause.

Then it was off to see some flowers...

Then to lunch where I remembered to wash my hands before enjoying my lunch of fish and chips.

More flowers and barns...

This was my favorite flower...verbena...such delicate shades of coral. I think it would look good with the little wee green house.

Range deer, for those who asked, are raised for meat and usually sold in the Adirondacks at hunting lodges. Believe it or not. ;>

Nan likes to watch them eat pellets... That's right, Nan, get out your own danged quarters because I am not spending mine for this.

By the way, has anyone else been receiving secret messages in the word verification codes?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Heeding a Suggestion

Today my sister is taking my mother off for a fun day. It's 9:35 and they're probably already on the road. This leaves my grandmother home with my father, her son-in-law. Say no more, eh?

So when I was visiting yesterday I suggested to Nan that we have a little day ourselves. Her eyes lit up. "Oh???? What shall we do?" Right off the top of my head, without any thought whatsoever, I came up with an itinerary: a trip to the town dump, lunch out, a look at the public garden, and a visit to the range deer. I'll take my camera.

In the meantime, I have followed Mari-Nanci's suggestions concerning cropping, which she left in comments yesterday. See what you think. You can go back and forth between yesterday's and today's posts to see the striking changes. Striking! Oh yes!

She's on to something, which you can check out right *here.* Thanks, M-N!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Flowers, Bananas, and Where Did I Put that Print?

Gracious! My titles are so mundane these days. Please forgive me, perhaps the title fairy will visit me in time for tomorrow.

The azalea is in full bloom and buzz, covered as it is with large blossoms and honey bees. I have been trying to take some artsy-fartsy shots; I need lessons. Perhaps my neighbors would like the picture of their home above.

Then I tried to capture the bay window as I peeked at it through the branches. Even less successful.

Next a photo of the phlox with the rhubarb doing well behind. Chicken poo, who knew? Lovella, that's who! (ETA: I'm sorry about mentioning brownies in this context, but Lovella has a brownie recipe up...yay!)

I'm just gonna toss in everything save the sink. Have you ever heard that a banana grows in three long segments...something about the way it develops from a banana blossom? Don't ask me, I am no botanist. But here are some photos to show you what I mean. Now you can amaze your children or, heck, this even amazed the adults in my crowd.

Finally, I am certain that you've all been in knots wondering where I might put the print that I showed you Monday. It was a gift from my daughter. She likes where it is. I was sitting with it for a while and now I'm almost convinced that I really like where it is, too. (If you don't, it's okay, just don't tell me. I'm that fragile about my decorating choices.)

Here's the before (don't get too scared now)...

And the after...

And from the side...

The light is changing so rapidly with the tree canopy growing larger every day. We're going from open skies to a verdant cocoon all in such a short time. It is messing with my photography. Right! That's as good an excuse as any!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tea Room Ventures and Venues

May 11 – May 17

Share all about one of your favorite tea rooms. Use photos and descriptions to tell about the decor and ambiance, menus, service, and what makes this tea room special to you. Does this tea room have a gift shop? What kind of special treasures does it contain?

Tuesdays mean just one thing here at A Haven... and that is participating in LaTeaDah's Hospital-i-tea. (I'm already fretting about what Tuesday will mean when this wonderful event ends. I've enjoyed it so much and hope that you all have, too.)

This week's assignment has proven a bit more challenging because I don't have lots of pretty photos, etc. What I do have is lots of warm memories so if you have time to read... Otherwise, skip on down to the photos.

Sometime in the 1980s, my grandmother told my mother about one of my mom's old school chums who was making her way back home to Maine after having lived and raised her children in California. This friend and her husband had run a series of successful B&Bs and were planning to start another back in Maine.

I can't tell this part of the story without getting out my tissues...excuse me for a sec...

Some time later, my mother wanted to visit her friend who was now well established in a beautiful Victorian B&B with a gift shop built into the shed that linked the home to the barn. (A typical old-fashioned New England set up.) My mother had not seen her friend since they were ten years old and had not attempted any contact with her up to that point.

So here the two of us were, Mom and I, wandering around in the gift shop with no one in attendance when we heard footsteps coming through the house and then a beautiful blond woman came in smile first. She welcomed us and I could tell that my mother was sizing her up and trying to decide if this could even be her childhood friend. The two of them carried on a pleasant conversation about the dolls and things in the shop. After a few moments, the blond lady stopped and looked at my mom with a long gaze.

"Marilyn?" she said.

"Yes, hello, Betty." replied my mother.

Then they were in each other's arms hugging each other for dear life while I watched this all unfold.

"How did you know?" my mother asked.

"Your eyes. Your beautiful eyes."

*Sniff* Told you that it makes me weep.

Anyway, thus began a rekindling of an old friendship that continues to this day.

After running the Victorian B&B for a few years, Betty and her husband actually moved to the very same town that my mom grew up in. They established "The Carousel" and that was the best thing that had happened in that little community for years. There was a big, wonderful gift shop housed in the barn with a glorious view of Mt. Katahdin.

The F*riends, isn't that a great surname for B&B owners, were warm and always welcoming. One entered their home via the back door directly into the kitchen where one or the other was preparing the luncheon or tea. All preparations would be left as everyone received a hug. This was true for every single person who entered whether one was a personal friend or not.

There was a beautiful fireplace on one end of the kitchen with two wingback chairs drawn close. A vaulted ceiling on that end had windows above the mantel that were tall and showed a meadow rising high behind the house.

The Tea Room, as it was actually called, was a large center dining room with three tables...only three. Each was very different in style...Victorian, French Country, and something else that escapes me at the moment.

The first thing that I always noticed were the stacks of tea cups sitting on a sideboard. From these, a guest selected a favorite and then tea was served.

My grandmother's 90th birthday was celebrated there among family and friends. This is a very grainy, poor picture. I can see the watercolor of "The Carousel" there above the buffet.

Not long after this event in 2000, Betty sold the B&B retiring to New Brunswick, Canada. Edited to Add: Betty now makes her home somewhere in Texas.

So this is not so much a story about a favorite tea room as it is a story about friendship, love, and hospitality. It's the stuff of life that makes it all worth while.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday. Monday.. Monday...

Howdy! Hope that everyone had a fantastic weekend! I'm beginning this post with my weekend project and ending it with a photo montage of my weekend.

This is my favorite apron because it's comfortable and roomy fitting my ample figure and it is lined. The lined part works well because I am a messy cook. I do wish that it had a pocket and am thinking of adding one. So, this was a gift from a student whose mom made it over twenty years ago. It's held up very well. It isn't my prettiest apron, my oohh-la-la is the prettiest, but it sure gets worn a lot.

I've never made an apron before, but it seemed like time.

And the finished apron joins the chorus line...

The table posies (yellow mums) are a gift from my son and daughter-in-law. They also gave me a gift certificate to the bookstore.

These yellow tulips are a gift from my niece...

And this beautiful picture is a gift from my daughter. She's a sneaky one taking me out for supper on Friday evening and listening very carefully as I oohed and ahhed over various things. She nailed it!

You'll have to keep checking back to see where I put it. I do plan to place it even though it may be coming down again very soon. You'll be surprised!

So my daughter has been raving about this sandwich called a UFO. We shared one Friday evening and a friend brought me another last night, which we shared. Not an imposition when you see how large it is! I'm going to look like a UFO myself, if I keep this up.

But these are my very best gifts...

It's always fun to have the house hopping. My little grandson marched in for the first time on his own steam and said, "Hmmmmmmmm, cake!" He's no slouch is that one. A cake in the oven, M&Ms in the candy dish, flowers, laughter, fun, a great weekend.

I spent Saturday afternoon with my mother and grandmother and we are planning a supper out some evening this week. So the honoring of mothers continues.

Hope your week is off to a great start.