Monday, May 4, 2009

An Odd Assortment

I've an odd assortment for you this morning...

Shopping at the flea market is a couple of hours of "cheap entertainment" as John says. "Cheap" being the operative word. I found an old beat-up knife with a monogram (echoes of Little Red House) for a mere seventy-five cents and a beautiful doily for fifty cents. The knife is giving us a lot of fun as we've decided that it's worth a lot of money being an "authentic" Paul Revere. ;> The knife needs some burr removal, which John is undertaking today, but it cleaned up beautifully.

Then this delicate little cup decorated with maidenhair ferns and yellow flowers was such a bargain for fifty cents. It was badly stained on the interior, but after a night of soaking, it has also cleaned up well. I had thought I would use it as a scoop, but instead will display it under my make-shift cloche.

The cup is nothing special, but I always wonder about markings. Perhaps I'll be able to find out something about my knife *here* and something about what I now recognize as "Germany C.T." with a green Phoenix and a red fleur-de-lis pattern *here.* Ahhh, the thrill of the hunt even if nothing turns up and all for a fifty-cent cup. (Edited to Add: Thank you, Robin, for all your sleuthing! That proved very interesting. Readers can find what Robin discovered by reading comments.)

Now this sheet music was the thrill of my afternoon and the most expensive splurge. Five dollars, but I have looked for this 1949 song from the movie by the same name (My Foolish Heart) for years. I could have bought it online for the same amount of money, but I would've been using my own paper and ink and I would've missed out on this great picture of two of my favorites...Dana Andrews and Susan Hayward. Anyone remember seeing this movie? It was a real tear-jerker.

A happy Monday to you...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Short, Very Short, Bible Study

Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He will sustain thee. Psalm 55:22a (KJV)

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. I Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Casting the whole of your care, all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. I Peter 5:7 (Amplified Bible)

God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. I Peter 5:7 (The Message)

The word "cast" comes from the Greek work epirrhipto, which is a combination of two words: the first is epi, a preposition simply meaning "upon;" and the second is rhipto. Rhipto is the exciting part for me. It is a action verb...meaning sudden motion as in flinging with a quick toss. (Differentiated from a deliberate hurl.)

Sometimes it is good to haul out the Strong's Concordance and do a bit of digging. In this case, my little study led me to a new understanding. When overwhelmed and weary in spirit, I may still have the strength (in spiritual terms) to "fling with a quick toss" all my troubles on the Lord. I don't know if there would be enough oomph to "deliberately hurl" it on Him. Then, too, deliberate sounds as if one had thought about it for days, but "sudden motion" implies that the light just went on...Oh! I can toss all my cares on Him because He loves me. You can, too! He loves you very much.

Have a blessed Sunday...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May 2

Neighbors' tulips along stone foundation

How wonderful to have a cloudy, rainy morning give way to bright sunshine and clear blue skies by eight-thirty. When I awoke, I thought that it would be a rainy day. All day. Instead, I get this unexpected joy. It feels like a metaphor, a sign. All night long I kept wakening telling myself not to worry that it was all a dream, except that it wasn't.

Last evening, I was puttering in my sewing room. John had gone shopping for molding and other things from Lowe's and I remained home because I hadn't felt well during the day. My phone wasn't working and it had been unusually quiet...rather peaceful really. I saw a car come roaring in and thought to myself...Ha! that John! He went as far as the ice cream shop and then decided not to continue. Then an insistent rap on the door and I knew it wasn't John.

My poor mother. Nearly already in tears because she had tried all day to reach me and couldn't. And, she had needed me. She'd been waiting on the results of some tests and they had come back. Yesterday. The results weren't good. We sat there trying not to cry and then we just had a good talk and when John came home, he sat right down to pray with her taking both of her hands in his. He prayed for healing; he prayed for comfort; he prayed for courage.

Caregivers...I tell you. They are God's angels on earth, but they must learn how to take care of themselves. The doctors have told my mother that this cancer could well have been brought on by stress. It's stage three. We have eleven days to wait before the next step...specialists in a large city. I hope not to turn my blog into an ongoing health report, but I will keep a record from time to time and mostly for myself.

My azaleas about to bloom

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Day Late and A Dollar Short

Vee is my name and procrastination is my game. I am such a procrastinator that I didn't even get a post together to participate in Melissa's Procrastinator Party. On time that is. What you are seeing above is an antique jelly cupboard retrieved from my grandmother's shed. It had its original buttermilk paint when I first hauled it home. The first mistake I made was to paint over original buttermilk paint despite its unattractiveness. I did my best at sponging (all the rage then) and wound it all up by asking my daughter, a teenager at the time, to paint the ends. I was going for that ubiquitous "country" look. She, her mother's daughter for sure, never finished. I have long endured by keeping an antique high chair in front of it. I do hate painting.
I found some BIN and painted the end yesterday afternoon. Looks better already. Yes, I plan to paint the entire cabinet. Stay tuned for what happens next and what color I go with. I'm thinking something a little Daisy Cottage. Kim is unafraid of color and I'd like to join her, even if I am scared out of my wits to do so. Then I'll have to work on properly decorating the top...maybe.

A happy weekend to you!
clipart source

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Piano Top-The End

So what do you think? If one sits before her blank screen with glazed eyes wondering what to write should she even make an attempt? Right. That's what I thought. Later...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Indiana Custard

Indiana Custard - (1933-1935) Indiana Custard was made for only two years. It was made by the Indiana Glass Company. Indiana Custard must have been extremely popular during this period because you see quite a few pieces of this pattern today. Indiana Custard came only in Custard or Ivory indictive of its name. The only extremely hard to find pieces are the sherbets, salad plates, and luncheons. They were probably sold as an addition to a boxed set and not as part of one. This pretty set goes with almost any decor and would be fun to collect. ~Source

That's an understatement for this gal. I recently turned an aisle at the local flea market and stumbled right into a table laden with these amazing dishes. The color is so rich and yes, I'll say it — delicious. Each dinner plate is selling for $38 so it is unlikely that this set will ever grace my home. But oh to have dishes that are so elegant and able to fit in anywhere. Do any of you have this collection? Have you ever seen it?

source (These photos and their source have been carefully considered and are being allowed to stand.)

For those of you who arrived here today hoping for a recipe, I hate to disappoint. This one for Custard Bread Pudding is great and it hails from Indiana!

I did buy a teacup and saucer for only $2.52. It was badly stained from having actually served as a teacup, but cleaned up well. It's featured in the center. (You can click on the photo to see it better.)

Enjoy your Tuesday...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Nonni Night

It was a "Nonni" evening helping Auntie watch the grands who were proving to be a handful until...

We Love Thomas

Look At Those Wheels Go

Are You Talking To Me, Nonni?

Let's Get On With The Show

The note to parents accompanying these photos: Yes, while you two are away, your children are allowed to do terrible things as you can plainly see. (We only allowed this because we couldn't find the volume button!)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Blessed Are...

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 New International Version

You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. Matthew 5:3 The Message

Hmmmm, sometimes I just want quick answers to the problems of life. Sometimes I find that I am far more interested in that quick answer than in my relationship with the Lord. Gee, wonder why God allows these problems in the first place...

A blessed new week to you!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Memories Light the Corners of What's Left of My Mind

My son celebrated his birthday recently and we were all there to enjoy the opening of gifts and the partaking of cake and ice cream.

He opened my card and read about the little boy I remember running through the house, leaping from the stairs, and playing with his matchbox cars. It was a sappy card. I offered a semi-apology that I wanted him to know that I still remembered and that he, too, will hold his own memories of raising his two boys close. He choked a bit; I choked a bit. John took my hand. We carried on. And, mercifully, a good time was had by all.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Maple Nut Scones

So the title says it all. My favorite recipe using maple syrup is a delicious scone recipe. Yesterday afternoon, my mother sat munching hers and mused whether honey would work instead.

"Why?" I'd asked.

"Because some people might not have maple syrup."

"Oh. Good answer."

Okay, so you can try honey, if you'd prefer, but then you'd have to call them Honey Nut.

And before we really get into Judy psychic? Honestly, how did she know this? When I read yesterday's comments, I nearly fell off my chair reading her question. There went all the suspense that I'd been so carefully building! ;>

Maple Nut Scones


* 2 TBS brown sugar-packed firm
* 2 TBS chopped walnuts
* ½ cup butter-firm (my favorite advanced planning required)
* 2 TBS brown sugar-packed firm (no, this is not being redundant)
* 2 tsp baking powder
* ¼ tsp salt
* ½ cup walnuts-chopped and toasted
* 1/3 cup maple syrup (Does anyone know the alt code for one-third? I can't even find it on my character map.)
* 1 egg
* 2 TBS milk
* 2 cups flour


* Preheat the oven to 400°
* Mix 2 TBS brown sugar and 2 TBS finely chopped walnuts and set aside
* Whisk baking powder and salt into the flour adding 2 TBS of brown sugar
* Cut in the butter to the flour mixture with pastry blender to crumbs
* Stir in ½ cup toasted walnuts (or not toasted...your preference)
* Stir in maple syrup, egg, and just enough milk so that the dough leaves the sides of the bowl
* Turn dough onto lightly floured board and gently knead until all is incorporated, but do NOT overwork
* Pat the dough into about an 8" circle and brush with milk and sprinkle with the saved brown sugar and walnuts
* Score the circle with a pastry cutter or a knife, but do not cut all the way through
* Using spatula carefully lift and place on either a cookie sheet or in a skillet
* Bake @ 400° for 20–25 minutes

This is the perfect crumb texture.

Just pat the dough into an 8-inch circle...don't roll it.

The raw dough does not quite fill the skillet and that's as it should be.

See how the dough has expanded to fill the skillet? A skillet works beautifully for this recipe. Hope that you have one! (Edited to Add: But if you don't, click *here.*)

Hmmmm, time for a snack. Wish that you'd been here. Nothing says New England like a maple nut scone. If you bake this, would you please let me know? Thank you

Have a wonderful Friday!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

She Asked for It!

There's a new editor at Country Living. Her name is Sarah Gray Miller and she seems like a nice gal. She's making a few changes, but was nice enough to ask for feedback. That's what I'm giving her today...a little feedback.

The cover is still beautiful and every time I get an issue, I still want to brew tea and sit down immediately to read. This has been going on for well over twenty years.

It's the back cover now cleverly called "back page" that I want to whine about. I mean nothing against Idaho, but this is not what I want to see as I am leaving Country Living.

This is what I am used to seeing and what I wish would be returned to CL readers...a beautiful picture, a poem or a quote. Yes, please return to Simple Country Pleasures. It's such a nice way to say goodbye.

Really, I ask you, which would you prefer to see at the end of your Country Living?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Fun Twist

Kathy at Shocking Pink Thread had a birthday and she gave me a present! Now isn't that a fun twist?

Dinner was on the table yesterday when John brought in the mail. I had worried about the lack of dessert and figured that I might just have to open a can of peaches, but those yummy little Reese's peanut butter eggs worked delightfully. Thanks, Kathy! The bookmark is beautiful and the little tag has also been made into a wonderful bookmark. What a great birthday party it was with wonderful birthday favors!

Has anyone read The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey? After just finishing one of Beth Moore's books written in a conversational style, we are finding Yancey's quite intense and thought-provoking, even mildly disturbing. That's good. We need to be disturbed from time to time.

In other news...

Yes, it's the end of sap season in the Maple Grove. I forgot to tell you that I was able to enjoy something that I've always wanted to do because of the sap collecting going on right next door. I was able to have a cup of cold sap to drink straight from the bucket. It was really very tasty and thirst-quenching. Some time, if I'm blogging next maple syrup season, I'll share more about this strange wish of mine. Sorry that we didn't document it! Just imagine my neighbor visiting one day and my sharing this long-held wish and even my considering borrowing stealing a cup in the dead of night. He laughed and said, "The time is now!" Yes, he's getting a gallon of maple syrup, but the sad thing is that he is allergic to it. I've never heard of that before.

John would like to thank you all for your sweet comments on his great-grandfatherhood. He's feeling a little old these days so he most appreciated those that included some surprise and shock that such a thing was possible. =D

I'm off to help take my grandmother to the doctor and for some tests today even in the rain, but I hope to be around later to visit. Enjoy your day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

*Bunny Tales

Pssst! Psssssttt! Right over's me the bunny. Listen, the bird and I have a few things to show you.

There've been a few changes over the weekend.

For one thing She-Who-Always-Putters put that forsythia way over there so I wouldn't be able to eat it. Drat! Oh well, that's one thing — the forsythia is blooming.

Yup, here we are again. She-Who-Always-Putters found an old window frame. Big deal! But, noooo, She thinks it's the greatest thing since soap. Apparently, so does He — He-Who-Always-Putters. See that joint on the end there below? He goes ga-ga for that kind of stuff. So between her going on and on about patina and his going on and on about old construction...weird!

What did She do with the old frame? It's out on its keister...

But that's not the best news of the weekend. The best news is that He is a brand new great-grandfather. Yup, great: G.R.E.A.T. Grrrreat! His granddaughter and her husband have welcomed a precious baby boy to their family.

Say, come back tomorrow and see how much mileage She can get out of the same old story retold. Oh, She says to have a great day!

*Every pun intended. Check out "the real" Bunny Tales. Err...the real Bunny Tales.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Trust in the Lord With All Your Heart

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. Proverbs 3:5

"I once asked the Lord why so many people are confused and He said to me, 'Tell them to stop trying to figure everything out, and they will stop being confused.' I have found it to be absolutely true. Reasoning and confusion go together." ~Joyce Meyer

"I once believed that after I prayed, it was my responsibility to do everything in my power to bring about the answer. Yet God showed me a better way and showed me that self-effort always hinders His work." from Streams in the Desert (emphasis on always mine)

"The difference between those who are being led by the Holy Spirit and those who are being deceived is joy, gladness, and a calm expression instead of sadness, sorrow, and depression." ~Smith Wigglesworth

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Abraham Lincoln Quote

(Imagine your own home pictured here.)
Property is the fruit of labor. Property is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built. ~Abraham Lincoln

Quoted from Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pencil Caddy

Here's a vignette — the telephone table where the rolodex, tape, phone, and pencil caddy are kept. Until three days ago, the caddy was the holiday one made from an old L.L. Bean Christmas catalog cover. This one is made from a couple of pages of my Laidlaw Basic Reader titled Making Storybook Friends. The "spring" side features this little poem:

Sing a song of springtime
Skies are blue today,
A swing hangs from the treetops,
And spring's the time to play.

The "autumn" side is this picture of a little boy raking leaves in his knickers, suitcoat, and tie. It is a bit of a joke on John who always lets me know how much he hated basal readers. (He never thought those little boys were doing things that ordinary little boys were doing.) I, on the other hand, loved basal readers and still do. You just know what John thinks of this little guy, especially since I slapped that lace at the top. Ha!

Enjoy your Friday...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Stand of Pine

My Cathedral

Like two cathedral towers these stately pines
Uplift their fretted summits tipped with cones;
The arch beneath them is not built with stones,
Not Art but Nature traced these lovely lines,
And carved this graceful arabesque of vines;
No organ but the wind here sighs and moans,
No sepulchre conceals a martyr's bones,
No marble bishop on his tomb reclines.
Enter! the pavement carpeted with leaves
Gives back a softened echo to thy tread!
Listen! the choir is singing; all the birds,
In leafy galleries beneath the eaves,
Are singing! listen ere the sound be fled,
And learn there may be worship without words.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Creating Tidy Links

Edited to Add...Disclaimer: Don't bother reading this if you have any other host besides Blogger or if you are not working with a PC. Just like to save people the trouble as this is picture and word dense.

This post is dedicated to Leann at The Old Parsonage who has asked me twice for help creating neat links. I've ignored her once and once is enough. =D Blogger covers this, but knowing how much I hated Blogger HELP back when I began, I have decided to give this lesson a go. Since Haven is hosted by Blogger, this is is how it works here. I'm not sure of other hosts. (Also, the new Writer program, which I discussed *here* makes the process easier.)

First of all, have two internet pages opened. This creates ease of movement between the two. Just open them and minimize them to the tray until ready to go. For example, you can see that I am 1. listening to *Leann's playlist* 2. working on my blog page 3. keeping a second "A Haven for Vee" open so that I can easily go find my links.

[Yikes, I'm already in trouble because John says that I should treat this post as if I were teaching him and he knows nothing. Okay, here goes...this could get apologies. Minimize means to click on the minus button at the top right of your screen in the blue bar. There are three buttons: a minus (minimize), a double screen icon, which either maximizes or diminishes your screen, and the big red X that closes the screen.]

Since left and right clicking are going to be used, let me put this photo in while I'm at it.

All comments on each photo are from this point on going to be below the photo.

I usually use the word *here* set off with asterisks and italics so that it shows up as my intended word for the hyperlink. 1. Type the word/s you'd like to use 2. Get behind the word with your mouse 3. Click using your left click or what I call the regular click 4. Drag while still holding the left click down until the word is shaded at which point you can stop holding the click.

Now it's time to either minimize the blog entry page or open your second internet page over the top of your blog entry page. Find the page and copy the entire address showing in the addy line as pointed out with the red arrow above. You do this just the way you left clicked and dragged for the word you selected to be hyperlinked.

ONE MORE THING: after you have left clicked and dragged to get the address, you must then right click using the top right button on your mouse. A box will open and you will (left/regular) click on the word "COPY."

Now, believe it or not, you have everything you need to create a tidy link. You have a shaded word within your text and you have gathered your new addy. Now, once again back on the post you are writing, you click (regular old left click) on the icon you see in the picture above.

A box pops up with this beginning bit that must be removed. Just hit your delete button on your keyboard or backspace or whatever but lose it.

Now you have an empty box and you are going to place your new addy right there by right clicking on the mouse and selecting PASTE from the drop down menu.

The addy drops into the box and you regular click on the OK button as shown.

If I have left anything out, I hope that someone will rescue us because I'm pretty done with this lesson. I do think I should make John try this as that will be my test. If you have a question, feel free to ask. Thanks!