Monday, July 28, 2008

Sewing Experiments, etc.

After over a week of sewing projects and a dining room that looked as if a bomb had been dropped, I finally packed it all up and put it away.

My hope is that once my sister has been able to pack her remaining things in the front bedroom, I'll be able to convert it into my craft space and a guestroom. Currently, I'm resisting the urge to help her.

The new apron is made following the information that you can find on Suzanne's blog. This one's been modified quite a bit: longer ties, reversible, no bias tape trim. I left off the bias trim as it seemed too bulky with the flannel shirt that I used. John has given me a stack of his old shirts and there are a number of flannel ones so I became curious how an apron made from flannel would turn out. Having never used it, I really can't tell. Perhaps it'd be a great winter apron. (And, Miss Mari-Nanci, I have taken your concern under advisement and am working on a half apron, too.)










Also made another needlebook, which was so much fun to make! There are tutorials all over Blogdom and the variety is incredible. This needlebook is a gift for someone very special.









Some woodland creature has mowed my flowers down...the lilies, the zinnias, the asters...good grief! It makes me feel absolutely murderous. I cut the remainder of the zinnias and placed them in my new vase from Judy. This way, I'll be able to enjoy them for a week or so and share them with you, too.



Have a wonderful Monday, Everyone!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hijacked

Dennis Fisher suggested in his Daily Bread Devotional of July 25 that sometimes our lives feel as if they've been hijacked. You may enjoy reading the analogy that he used and you may also remember the incident. (I do quite well.)

Sometimes life is unfair. It just is. God never promised us that every life would be lived on the same terms in the same ways. While there is much that we share, we often walk a solitary path except for His presence, EXCEPT for His Presence.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Come Saturday Morning

Melissa offers such good advice in her July 23 post that I've taken it twice this week already. And, I'll be taking that advice again for much of August. My parents have requested time at their cottage in New Brunswick so I will be moving to their home to care for my grandmother (yes, my beloved will go with me). It is something that I've done every summer for six years. This way, my parents get some much deserved R&R and my grandmother gets a change of pace as well. All this to say that my posts will become as sporadic as they did when I first began blogging a year ago. (I do hope to sneak in and visit you all from time to time, however.)

Some of you have asked about the storms of Thursday that blew through my corner. I believe that New Hampshire got the worst of it, but they certainly were strong storms knocking out power and knocking down trees (two more gone in my neighborhood). Other than not daring to be on the computer for much of the day, we fared well. Wish that I could say the same of the poor flowers and plants that took an awful beating. I know that weather is making news everywhere and my thoughts are with Texas once again, as well as New Hampshire.

It has rained every day for several weeks now. Not that we didn't see any sun, but precious little and never for the entire day. What a lousy summer this has been as far as weather. This is also true for many of you. I am happy to report that sunshine has returned the past two days!

We may not have oil this winter, but, by golly, we're going to have our local honey! We find that allergies are kept at bay by eating at least a tablespoon of honey every day. See that nasty weather? Weeks of that can keep one feeling a titch gloomy. Lots of reading, lots of decorating, lots of napping, lots of sewing, lots of packing, lots of puttering. Say, have you seen Alison's latest list of puttery treats and all things domestic? It's enough to keep one busy for days.

Soooo, decorating, we've done some. The clock went up in that awkward little corner in the addition and it looks okay. Not sure if it'll stay, but I'm "sitting with it for a spell." A rather large bookcase will be placed along that expanse of wall in a few days, which will mean changes. I'll post about them.











Other than that, rainy days are best suited for reading and napping, which my beloved and Fioré have been happily doing for days. Ah well, nothing like a cat and a husband to provide that wonderful sense of home...they're the best decorations ever.

Have a happy Saturday and a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

And the Winner of the Apron Is...

Someone very special that's who. I'm so pleased. Well, truth to tell, I would've been pleased with any of the 27 lovely gals who participated.

So here's my brave groom taking it on the chin for me yet again. What a guy! Does he not look adorable in that get-up? All he needs is a whisk and a bowl. Actually, I have been waiting for him to make me something...an omelette, a scone, even a piece of toast. He does make coffee every morning — great coffee!

Getting back to the apron, the groom is six feet tall so I hope that this will fit the little lady in question. I think so. It's a titch shorter than I had planned because the shirt, even though extra large and tall, just wasn't as long as I had hoped.



Omigosh! There he is again. Gee, I just can't help myself! ;>

And without further ado, here is our winner:



Congratulations, Pat! Now you and your hubby can cook all those wonderful Italian dishes and your apron will never look any worse. Say, do you suppose your hubby would be willing to pose in this apron? (Email with your information, Pat, and I'll get this out to you pronto.)

Happy Thursday, Everyone, and thanks again to all who participated. It's been a lot of fun at my house!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One-Year Blog Anniversary

It all began so simply. But if you could have watched me as I sat at the computer struggling with that first post, you'd have laughed. I was beyond nervous and had so many questions and no one to ask except HELP in Blogger. Finally, I figured out enough to post something, which I will re-post here in a few. I want to apologize to all Bloggers everywhere in advance and you'll see why!

Beginnings

July 27, 2007

Taking a deep breath here...If anyone had ever told me that I would one day blog, I would have called him/her a nut. I used to think that blogging was absurd and that anyone who kept a blog was a narcissist. I still do.

It all seemed so easy when I began the process until I had to create a name. It took forever to decide on "Vee's Haven." Sounds good, yes? No! Not good. Definitely not good. "Veeshaven" in the url?! No, no, that will never do. So while the name is stuffy, even uppity, A Haven for Vee it is, for now.

Posted by Vee ~ A Haven for Vee at 3:41 PM


Just so you'll know, my opinion of bloggers has been elevated with every new blog I read. You are most definitely not a bunch of narcissists! You're generous beyond words sharing your lives and chronicling the times. You provide a sense of community that is lacking for so many and you allow us to peek into your world and to delight in your stories. Thank you!

And thanks, too, to everyone who has ever read A Haven...still find that name "uppity." You are appreciated so much and I've been thinking of you as real, honest-to-goodness friends for a long time now. You've enriched my life. Would I write without you? I used to say "yes" — not so sure now.

So I'm having a giveaway. I worked late into the night getting this one ready. It's the apron mentioned yesterday.(I just know that I'm going to wish that I had waited for Suzanne's Bias Tape Post.) This is definitely one of a kind and is not without flaws, but I refer you to my recent post on perfectionism. ;>

Please leave a comment on this post, if you're interested. Please don't advertise on your blog as I'd like this to be for my own readers. As you know, I work fast, so I will be posting a winner on Thursday morning. (Gotta give the man something to do...wonder if he'd be willing to wear the apron as he pulls a name from the pocket.) Commenting here is open until 8 pm EST on Wednesday the 23rd.

Have a wonderful Tuesday, Everybody!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Aprons and Awards

I was hoping to have an apron to share today, but Suzanne's been off to the fair and has had no time to do the third tutorial, which is Bias Tape 101. Because I just so happen to own an apron that Suzanne made I know that her bias tape is something special. Stay tuned for the outcome of my apron; in the meantime, here are my fabric selections.





Received another one of those wonderful "Just Plain Fun to Read" awards from Carol @ Charli and Me. I am passing it along to Happyone @ Captain's Log because her blog is just plain fun to read and it's always full of optimism and positivity.

And Cindy "A Woman Who Is" from In a Garden blessed me with the Sharing the Love award.



The rules: SHARE THE LOVE!!! Share this award with all those blogs out there that you love. All the people who make you smile. All those that make you laugh. All those that make your day. All those that leave uplifting comments on your blog. **All I ask, is that you include a link to this post with the award and ask your recipient to do the same** Visit (Memoirs of a Mommy)for the awesome story behind this award. (I'm trying something new with awarding this one so this should be fun. You'll see what I mean later in the day when I add more information.) Edited to Add: The following five gals are receiving the "Share the Love" award by virtue of being the only five commenters today and for being such all around good blogging buds: Sandi @ Holding Patterns, Happyone @ Captain's Log, Jan @ The Life and Times of Li'l Ol Me, Miss Sandy @ Quill Cottage, and Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti. Thanks so much for your sweet comments. You can't imagine how much they meant to me today!






Lisa at Knitty, Vintage and Rosy presented me with the Brillante Weblog award. These are the rules for this one:

1. Please put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. You must nominate 7 fellow bloggers for this award.
4. Add links to the recipients.
5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award.

Seven? Wow! I'll have to ponder this carefully. For now, I'm doing well to get the information rounded up in one place. ;D

Guess that covers it for now. Over and out!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rest and Refreshing

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God... Hebrews 4:9



As we drove through the Green Mountain National Forest on July 9, I snapped photos sometimes as fast as I could. Later, when I uploaded them, I discovered that I had taken a photo of a waterfall I had only barely even seen.

Sometimes life is this way. There is a place of refreshing and rest, but we pass it by hardly seeing. Today, I hope that we all find the time to reflect, to pray, to listen for God's voice. It'll be refreshing!

ETA: I added Alan Jackson's version of "In the Garden" to my playlist, if you'd like to listen.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Christmas in July

While on our day trip to Belfast Thursday, we not only visited Perry's Nut House, we also visited Genie Francis's The Cherished Home. That link is on my sidebar. (I even think that Genie was there that day. Not absolutely certain, but a very lovely gal was standing at the counter saying to call her if there was anything that the clerk needed. I was surprised by how beautiful and thin she was!)

Her shop is so charming, but I could tell that my beloved was feeling a bit awkward in there. He was very patient, though, as he always is.

But! I found these and if anyone has a very, very good memory, you'll know that I've been wanting them since December when my dear friend Mrs.G gifted my grands and their parents with the wonderful Santa egg caps. (Don't worry about reading the entire posts, just look for the photos.)



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So now we begin the melding of households. I've done this before with my sister, but never before with a husband. (Well, unless you can call someone bringing his clothes along.) My husband has a big barn and a small home. He has lots of things. He's busy going through it all. What a lot of work!

Yesterday, he told me that he was bringing me a little girl whom I'd love as she was very quiet and well behaved. He was right.



He thinks of her as a Claudia; I call her Emmy.

Oh it's grand to have a man about the house...the things that he'll help me with today...hauling dump, doing dishes, folding laundry. He's already helped make the bed. Love it!!

Have a happy Saturday!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Five Things I Love MEME

Marye tagged me for this one at her new blog Simply Home Remedies.

I'm supposed to list five things that I love and tag five others — I am not tagging anyone; I'm tagging everyone! Marye purposely left out all of her family and friends...left out the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost...left out air, shelter, and sustenance. She was specific and used photos to complement her thoughts. It was so good that I'm going to copy her.

Perhaps we could think of these as five things I really, really like. Love is such a strong word.

1. I really, really like Day Trips. Hope that we get to take a lot more of them. Yesterday found us wending our way up US 1 along the coast to a favorite restaurant.



2. I really, really like quaint villages on blue harbors.



3. Beautiful flowers on display in unique ways are things that I really, really like.










4. What's not to really, really like about fudge?












5. I really, really like to play with Photoshop. This should satisfy all those of you who have requested a wedding photo. Since we celebrated with a very simple ceremony on a crazy hot and humid day, it was no big to-do, but here ya go...



Thanks so much for reading and, should you decide to do this one, please let me know! I want to read yours, too.

A Happy TGIF to you all!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rhubarb Bread

The rhubarb patch is wilting down as it does this time of year. In my corner, rhubarb is best from May through June, but just in case there's still rhubarb in your corner, I'm sharing my rhubarb bread recipe. This delicious recipe would also work with blueberries and since they are nearly ready here, I'll be baking this bread again soon. I can't wait!




Rhubarb Bread

Ingredients:

* 1½ cups brown sugar
* 2/3 cups cooking oil
* 2 eggs beaten
* 1 cup buttermilk (or sour regular milk with a TBS of vinegar)
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 3 tsp vanilla
* 1 tsp salt
* 2 ½ cups flour
* 1 ½ cups thinly sliced rhubarb
* ½ cup chopped nuts
* 1 TBS melted butter
* 1/3 cup sugar

Method:

Combine brown sugar, oil, and eggs
Combine buttermilk, soda, and vanilla in a separate bowl
Add mixtures together with flour and salt
Fold in rhubarb and nuts
Pour into two greased loaf pans
Drizzle melted butter over the top
Sprinkle with the 1/3 cup white sugar
Bake at 325° for 45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean (be sure that the middle is firm)


If you try this, I promise that you'll love it!

We are off for a day trip to the ocean. Gotta love being between the mountains and the sea as I know so many of us lucky ones are.

My love asked me this morning where I was when we were young enough to have made different choices. Silly boy! THIS is OUR time.

Have a fantastic Thursday! (I'll be catching up with everyone later!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pondering the Quest for Imperfection

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. ~Harriet Braiker

Linda invited me to join her in a discussion that she's having this week at Restyled Home about imperfection, specifically The Quest for Imperfection.

Several years ago now, I was absolutely addicted to an afternoon television program called Starting Over. Some of you may remember the premise...a house full of women in crisis came together and two life coaches helped them to "think differently." Or as a friend says, "Don't be bitter, be better."

The women had to do a number of "life exercises" that provided them a picture of how to move forward. One of the women was a perfectionist and her assignment was to find the beauty in imperfection. I believe that Iyanla Vanzant was her coach.

That exercise changed me. It really did. I was hopelessly stuck in perfectionism. Nothing limits us so much as working hard to become something we can never be.

I thought of that exercise as I was out taking pictures this morning. We see "imperfection" in nature all the time. Imperfection gets woven into the fabric of the scene and creates the dimension, contrast, texture, and interest. It's the same with our own person and with our homes.

This branch died suddenly this summer. (Can death be beautiful? Hmmm, thoughts for another day.)







A part of my neighbor's tree fell during a storm while we were in Vermont revealing just how badly damaged it has been. Beautiful and dangerous!



In my own home, I have plenty of examples...



That's not a wide-planked pine floor...that's subflooring.



And that's the gap between the molding and the cabinets that my contractor left. Good thing I married him! (Now he's telling me that this is not a good thing because the carpenter's wife always gets her work done last, which is why there are no new stairs at the carpenter's house. Well I never!)

As for actually desiring imperfection in my home...oh yes! Anyone who loves old furniture, old dishes, and an assortment of vintage things loves the imperfect. I love old mirrors with splotches and wood with cracks and age showing.



Now if we could only learn to love our own imperfections the same way, but here's a little product that I just purchased and love. I found it at Kohl's. Kinda pricey, but oh boy howdy does it ever work! (For at least an hour or two. ;>)



Create a fantastic Wednesday! (Echoes of Starting Over.)


Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.

~Leonard Cohen

ETA: Sometimes we get our lessons in a big way! This morning, Blogger isn't showing any of my pictures or even my header. Ackkkk! Okay, I'll work on this later. The carpenter wants his breakfast.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gifts

Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness. ~ Richard Bach



Thank you, my dear friend! They are beautiful and smell divine and they're still going strong!

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Packages in the mail are so much fun! On June 29, Kari celebrated her My One Year Blog-iversary Giveaway and I won! So exciting let me tell you!

And what was in the box? Wonderful things that's what...



And here some of them are in their new homes...









This morning's newlywed news?

"Say, Hon, who do we have on our hit list?" John asks.

That's enough to give one pause, eh? (He meant playlist, but I actually could think of a few for the first.) :D

Have a heavenly day!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Just Plain Fun to Read Award

This post marks my 300th. Three hundred doesn't seem like that many to me now, but there was a time when I was quite certain that I was all done with blogging. Some of you reading today are feeling that way now. I want to encourage you to just keep on keeping on. Write when time and the muse allow and write about anything. Anything can be blog worthy and you never know what topic sparks someone's interest.

July 22 will mark one year of blogging for me, which, for reasons stated above, I never thought I'd see. I'm planning a fun giveaway to combine both events...my 300th post and my first year anniversary. Stay tuned!

Gee, it's so hard to concentrate when one has just been whirled about the room in a little waltz. This is a different way to begin the morning. :D

Okay, back to business...



NanaTrish @ http://nanaslivingthedream.blogspot.com/ and Pat @ http://millefiorifavoriti.blogspot.com/ both gave me this wonderful award. It's cute and what a great sentiment! So many blogs are just plain fun to read.

Now I get to award six blogs and I am choosing six that make me laugh. Not that they don't also make me think or make me cry, but mostly they make me laugh. And I'm not worrying one fig if these bloggers have already received this award either because whether one chooses to accept it is entirely up to her. Entirely!

* Suzanne of At Home with the Farmer's Wife

* Chocolate Chic @ Chocolatechic

* Sandi @ Holding Patterns

* Kari @ Just Livin' Large

* Linds @ Rocking Chair Reflections

* Lovella @ What Matters Most

I'm not sure that this one comes with any rules so make up your own! (I've checked, truly, but can't find any.)

Enjoy this fantastic Monday!

(On a side note, I'm going to attempt answering a few questions in yesterday's comments, if anyone is interested.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Deeply Grateful

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. ~Albert Schweitzer

Your friends will know you better in the first minute they meet you than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years. ~Richard Bach




Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. ~Proverbs 16:24
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Pleasant words are a banana split and a hot fudge/caramel sundae and healing to the bones if not to the hips. ~Vee's paraphrase of Proverbs 16:24
Both John and I wish to thank everyone for the sweet comments and the support that has been shown over the past several days. He tells me that he understands my love for Blogdom and so many of you now.
I am not sure what it is about the community of friendship that has been created here and why it doesn't exist in my real life. Perhaps someone with a background in psychology could explain it to me. All I know is that without you, I'd be diminished.
Have a wonderful, blessed Sunday for it is the beginning of another delicious week!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Magazine for Me


This was a fun little diversion for a quiet Saturday. Visit Mary at Little Red House for the particulars and join in the fun!

Friday, July 11, 2008

This is the Man


Some weeks ago, my dear friend, also known as "the Carpenter" and "the Hand" was visiting. A headache and a sore neck were plaguing him so he was lying on my sofa one leg over the side with his foot firmly on the floor and his arm akimbo as his hand rested on his forehead palm up.

While he dozed, I puttered about in the kitchen putting away dishes and tidying up. I think I was humming some tune as I listened to my playlist, which had about six songs at the time. (The list is on the sidebar if you wish to hear it. ETA: Nope, Imeem is not cooperating today. Yup, I added a few to "the other one"... you'll have to press play if you'd like to listen.)

In one of my circles about the room, I found myself behind the sofa gazing down at this tired, hurting man. As I stood there, my heart opened and filled with such love for him. An incredible thought came to me — why not this man?

This thought was quickly followed by another — this is the man who. This is the man who...has listened to all my woes, laughed and cried with me, has brought me thoughtful gifts — food, candy, books, and a special bell. This is the man who shoveled my roof, kept the driveway clear of snow, built a large portion of this home. This is the man who prays with me and for me, the man who sings to me and shares the stories of his life. This is the man...

How I shared all this with him, I really don't recall. Things became a bit hazy when I began floating a bit like in a dream where one discovers she can fly. Somewhere along the way, after a declaration of love whispered breathily into my ear, I asked, "how much?" (Gosh, I can be such a teenager by times!)

Here are a few of those responses...

A lot

Very, very much

With all my heart

With everything that's in me

More than peanut butter

More than marshmallow fluff

More than s'mores

More than p'nut butter and jelly sandwiches




More than a smooth road in spring with no pot holes or frost heaves

More than the scent of apple blossoms

More than a hayride through the apple orchard in autumn

I love you more than our playlist

I love you more than I have words to say...

Ahhhh, much better!

Some of you saw all these things before I did. I marvel at that now. Yes, Judy, he is the man at the tea party; he is the man who pulls the winners' names from bowls and jars; he is the man whose mind is all stretched out from trying to figure out how to please my quirky wishes for the addition; and the man who sat with me one sad evening last fall looking at all his work circling the drain and which post I can't find just now. (October 17 and the first paragraph is wonderful if I do say so myself. ;>)

We have actually known each other for over 25 years and even attended the same church at one time. We were casual acquaintances who, over many years, became friends; we'll be friends forever.

Some who have read this blog from the beginning and know the story between my sister and me will wonder how that relationship is going. Well...let's just say that since I married after a six-week engagement, my sis is off the hook for marrying after a six-month one. She told me once that time is foreshortened at our ages. I didn't believe her then, but I do now.

Thank you for reading our story. I promise that I shall not write about our schmoopiness any more!



Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vermont in July



It was wonderful to get away for a little vacation to Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire over the beginning of the week; it has been equally wonderful to return home.

Wow! You gals have been amazing with all of your comments...hope to answer a few more of your questions today even as I share some photos of beautiful, quintessential Vermont.

Vermont equals every mountain you've ever seen, every church steeple in a valley, every red barn, every cornfield, every inn, every sloping hayfield. It's a wonderful place!















Stowe was our first stop. It's impossible to adequately describe such a charming town. You may be more familiar with it because it is the Trapp Family's home...


the Trapp Family of The Sound of Music fame. This is a photo of a small portion of the main lodge. One can certainly see why they chose Stowe as it reminded them of their home in Austria.

There are so many photos to share that I'll stop with this little picture of our souvenirs.



A jar of jam, a green pitcher with VERMONT stamped on it, some books from the wonderful bookstore in Manchester, a cheeseboard and what's that on the right?



Some souvenir, eh? Tomorrow, if you return, you'll find more of the back story. Then we'll leave the poor man alone and allow him to return to his quiet ways. He never asked for any of this blog business.

Have a wonderful Thursday, Everyone!