Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Projects and Gifts

Do you tend to muddy the waters when extremely busy by not staying focused and adding extra projects that don't need doing at that point? I'd really like to know because if I'm not perfectly normal, I probably should face it now before wasting any more time.

Projects and Planning

So I thought that there's so much to be done that I should make a plan. I could write in my notebook, which I lose all the time or I could waste time visiting a lot of free daily planner sites and select the best one. I finally settled on *this one* and printed off enough pages so that I have two days per page. So far there seems to be enough room. I've filled in the appointments and I've started working backwards knowing what needs to be done on the final morning. Sometimes that's a great technique for planning. So if I know that a deli platter needs to be picked up that morning, I can assign someone to do it (already done) and I can work backwards to placing the order a few days prior.

Then, just to toss a wrench into everything, I decide that making my new dessert cookbook would be a good project. I've already made up my categories and tabs because, you know, I don't have enough to do.

Dessert Recipes Notebook

Dessert Recipes Categories

Yesterday, I was able to approve the design on my mother's headstone. The Canadian pink is beautiful. I am pleased. The monument guy said that, until recently, the headstone was under water in Vermont's floods. Hmmm...

Also yesterday, we shopped at Lowe's for stockade fencing. Yes, the chippy white fence is about to move to a new home and cedar fencing will move in, which will be allowed to gray naturally minus any paint. While looking around, I found a pretty pink knock-out rose, which I will plant sometime this week at the cemetery. (Hope that my friend has also been able to find one for my grandparents' grave. She was so willing to take on the task.)

Knock out rose

 Pink Knock Out Rose

And to brighten my day, my bookmarks, *smelling so sweetly of iris,* arrived from Brenda at It's a Beautiful Life. Thank you, Brenda! They are a little piece of heaven.

Bookmarks from Brenda

I'm already using one in my Flea Market Style magazine that I found at my local Wal*Mart yesterday. I couldn't believe it and had to open it to check for Margo's picture. When I found her, I knew that I had the real deal. Haven't had much of a chance to look at it yet. I'm saving that for my morning break.

So what am I up to today? My plan says that I am to be cleaning the kitchen, the pantry, washing down the cupboards, and scrubbing the floor. Guess I'd better get to it!

Love Vee

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mosaic Monday Dud~Not

And so the countdown begins to that busy weekend after next. (Yes, you can just bet that the monument guy is getting a visit this morning.) While I hope to visit you as usual, if you don't see me, you'll know what happened. Life!

You poor thing suffering last week with my ongoing saga about clothes and getting nothing for the time spent. So I am sharing what my daughter wore to the event (see Sunday morning's post for that story).

in quadruplicate

And now, just because you can't see the setting so well...

beside the rhododendron
The reception was held at a beautiful new hotel along the river where the rhododendrons were in full bloom. And, fortunately for me, they perfectly matched the waistband on L's dress and the color of her sandals. One of my dear commenters suggested I request her help with future clothes shopping. Unlikely that she'd be willing, but I know that I could certainly use her advice.

Have a happy Monday!

Love Vee

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Around the Yard~Mosaic Monday

I missed last week's Mosaic Monday. Just found it today! Good grief. And I love Mosaic Mondays.

Nothing terribly inspiring this week, just a walk around the yard. I know that you'll be able to guess which two photos are my favorites.

1. He's doing the dishes! (I can not tell you how exciting it was to find that hubby was doing the dishes. Always a lovely peek inside to discover that.)

2. Purple wave petunias

3. Pink Columbine with Peony buds behind

4. Container Garden with Zinnia, herbs, and Lantana

5. Lavender phlox

6. Rhubarb

7. Crimson azalea

8.  Molly asking, "What'cha doin'?"

9. Deep purple columbine and one lonely iris. (So glad that they bloomed. I was pretty sure that I had some somewhere.)

10. Pink baby azalea

11. Decorative potato vine in my mother's old bike basket

Connecting to Mary's Little Red House. Hope that you have time to swing through and see some of the beautiful mosaics. It's always a treat.

Love Vee

Many Waters

Because Christ describes our relationship with Him as a marriage...

These are two of the dearest people I know. Yesterday, they celebrated their 50th anniversary, which is a joy when the couple still loves one another more than on their wedding day.

When a marriage has not grown into something richer, fuller, deeper, these kinds of events are not celebrating a whole lot. I have attended both types. Yesterday, we celebrated in the truest of ways. Just as, one day, we shall celebrate at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Have a delightful day...

Love Vee
As always, Sunday comments are closed.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Rest of the Story

The rest of the story? Another wasted afternoon shopping so I'll be falling back on Plan B — wearing something that has been hanging in my closet all along. Even the comfy shoes I purchased yesterday are unsuitable for the event. Advice to self: start early and shop online. Thank you for commiserating with me and for sharing your tips. I'm so over it, that is until I start getting ready in a few hours.

Let's go back to flowers or progress on the house, shall we? Flowers are doing well. House is stalled. Something is stuck. Troubles. I can't quite figure it out, but I think the urging to get this thing accomplished please, pretty please, get a move on, is wearing the man out. We have just two weeks before half the family shows up and I.want.it.done.

And I'm feeling pressured in other ways as well. My mother's headstone has been ordered since late January. It was supposed to be set up for Memorial Day. Didn't happen. I stopped by the monument shop for the fourth time to learn that Canadian Pink had not arrived. I say, "I have family coming from around the country and Canada in two weeks. I expect that stone to be ready." I say it looking straight into his eyes and with steely determination. He says, "I know, ma'am. What can I do? There's not much of a market for Canadian pink these days." I say, "First time you've mentioned that that would be a problem. Is it possible to call Vermont and ask what's going on? To say that you are being pressured by the customer?" He grins and calls and wonder of wonders, the stone has arrived (from Canada) and has been there for several days. He makes the arrangements for picking it up yesterday and, by all that is holy, he had better have done that. I did have a light moment listening to his side of the conversation.

Yes, I have the customer right here. Yes, she's a little concerned. Can I pick that up at noon? Yes, I think I remember where you are, on the right, up the hill, past the Cabot Cheese Factory.

And I think to myself, everything in Vermont is up a hill past the Cabot Cheese Factory.

So there you have it, the story of my life in quick bits. I'm a lumpy, frumpy, dumpy, annoyed, old woman who wants what she wants now.  Go ahead, play Dr. Phil and ask the question: How's that working for ya? 

For you, I wish a much happier, peaceful weekend...

Love Vee

Friday, June 3, 2011

Shopping for Clothes...ugh

Do you enjoy shopping for clothes? Do you enjoy browsing through the racks? Do you enjoy the sound that the hangers make as they scrape along the rails? I decidedly do not. This is my problem in a nutshell: I am an apple tending toward a pear. (Warning: If you Google this, your computer may become infected by a nasty virus, which will take over an hour to quarantine.) Further, I am a long-waisted petite, which translates to not being able to purchase petite tops, which translates to regular tops hitting the widest part of my hip in the narrowest part of the shirt. This translates to a meltdown frustration in the dressing room. I could add self-loathing, but I know that's just a sin.

So these are the items I arrived home with...

Two of them go back today and thus my quest for an outfit continues. Two are from TJMaxx, one is from Christopher Banks, one is from KMart. I'm keeping KMart and one TJMaxx. You can try to figure it out and I'll put the answer in comments. Which two would you keep if they were in your size and were a perfect, flattering fit?

Wish me well...

And you have a wonderful Friday!

Love Vee

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Day After

What a shock to see such devastation in Massachusetts. I would've said that it is unheard of, though I would be incorrect. New England experiences tornados from time to time. Nothing like other areas of the country, though. In my corner, we had watches and warnings through much of the day yesterday getting rough weather in the morning and again last night. It's enough to last me for the entire season. We are praying for Springfield and all those who experienced loss of property and family members. We are still praying for Missouri and Alabama and Arkansas and... Guess that it'd be safe to say that the entire country stands in need of prayer. In our home, we don't take weather systems as simply Mother Nature's way of being capricious; we take it much more seriously than that.


The hairdresser made my appointment for 3:30. I said that that would be fine and that I might be blowing in.

Sure enough, the wind picked up as I took off for downtown. As I left my parked car, a young woman approached me blowing cigarette smoke all around and asked if this was my town. I was a little puzzled and answered affirmatively.

How long have you lived here?

Most of my life.

Do you like it?

Yes, very much.

What's it like?

Perhaps it was the smoke, but I responded crisply, "It's a small town where everyone knows everyone else's business and it's the last bastion of conservatism in our county."

Honey, did you hear that?

I turned to see a young man sitting in a waiting car. His response: Yes, I like that!

Oh you just never know what people are looking for. This couple was from Las Vegas, Nevada and, apparently, they're looking for a big change.

Just like me. Looking for a big change and I got a small one. The color rinse didn't cover the gray...not a problem...it did add depth and richness to my darkening brown. Maybe next time, I'll be ready to take the next step and add some brightening and lightening around my face. Still looks like a cow patty sitting on my head, just a deeper richer one not all bleached out in the sun. So no photo...see profile pic.

Today, I'm going shopping for some clothes. I need something to wear that's a little more with it. I haven't shown new clothes since I married and that didn't go so well as I recall...the sharing of new clothes, not the marriage. (Goodness, I must continually work on being clear.)

A good day to you...

Love Vee

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gently Used Cookbook Winner, Etc.

Here's the picture story. By now, you know how much I love this format. ☺

names waiting to be folded and dropped into the bowl

the hand

the winner

And the winner of one gently used Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbook is Sheila at Starshine Through My Windows! {Congratulations, Sheila! I'll have it off to you in the morning's mail.} I have to move quickly because Sheila lives on a farm in northern Alberta and is looking forward to heading out on a trip to Italy just as soon as the planting season is accomplished. Do visit her lovely blog and congratulate her on her win.  Edited to Add: Oops, Sheila. I can't find a listed email for you. Please email me (my addy is in my profile) with your information.


In other news, work on the house has commenced and the carpenter is a very busy man. He's adding more insulation on the main part of the house as he goes. Pretty soon, he's making a 180° turn and siding the addition with all that typar first.


I've decided to color my hair. If the house can get a new color and styling, surely I'm due. It's some sort of color rinse that my hairdresser gently suggested when I was there last week. She said my natural color is much too harsh for this old face. Hmmm... I might not have believed her, but yesterday my email arrived from 31 Days to a Better You from Bella Mella. You'll never guess the topic...*hair color with examples*! Big party this weekend and I've got a lot of tips to follow. I really enjoyed this series. Okay, gotta run, got a few little things to tend to...eyebrows, lighter lipstick, maybe even a mustache...ai yi yi.

Have a blessed day!

Love Vee

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Last Chance

Just in case you've not heard or haven't had the chance, this is the final day to sign up for a gently used Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbook. Just look to the right in my sidebar and click on the books to find the proper post. Comments here will not be counted; comments there will be. Currently, there are 44 with some not wishing to be counted so the odds are excellent.

I felt properly chastened yesterday while reading Memorial Day posts. There were many about the true meaning of Memorial Day. They were poignant and moving. It was an honor to read them. And it is sobering to know that loss continues on our behalf so we can enjoy time with our families and friends.

The meaning of Memorial Day in my corner has been shifting for over fifty years. It used to be a day for gathering for picnics in the cemetery and honoring the fallen. Now it has beome a day to honor the dead. All dead. Fallen dead or not. It has a much more generic tone. Whether this is a good thing, I do not know. It is what it is.

Yes, in our town, the band still played, the old soldiers still marched, the wreath honoring the sailors was tossed from the bridge, and the flags were placed in Soldiers' Row. We are honored with a soldier from almost every war since the beginning — The Revolutionary War, The War of 1812, The Civil War, The Spanish American War (Remember The Maine!), WWI and WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. We are blessed that while a few served in Desert Storm, no one from our community paid the ultimate price. The same is true of recent wars and current wars. May it continue.

Truth is that I personally know not one who has lost his/her life in service to this country. I know of many. My aunt lost her fiancé in WWII, my father lost a dozen or more friends in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The boy next door's father was shot down over the Mediterranean in WWII while the boy was still in utero. There's a photo of him as a toddler sitting beside a picture of his father in uniform. I always found that profoundly sad.


This being the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, I'd like to report that I have found Hezekiah. We have been looking for him for years and years. He is Nan's great-grandfather. We've followed after him in futile circles in southern Maine and down to Gloucester, Massachusetts. In November, Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife shared that Ancestry.com was allowing everyone to know where their military ancesters were buried. Surprise, surprise, Hezekiah was a decorated Civil War hero buried in the same cemetery as the rest of his family right there in Gloucester. His wife had received a pension after his death, though he had not died during the war.

Last weekend, the local paper said that anyone visiting this registry:  http://www.civilwar.nps.gov/cwss/ could find any soldier or sailor who served in the Civil War. So we found Hezekiah again. He served with the 32 Massachusetts Infantry in Company D. We now know that he was at Gettysburg and at the final review of the troops in Washington, D.C. And that is all we know, but it is ever so much more than we knew before.

What honors the fallen more? I dare not say. I can only imagine that if I were one of the fallen, I would like to know that people remembered that the old cliché is true: freedom isn't free. Then I think I'd like to see Old Glory flying high and proud above the land I loved so well. Finally, seeing people enjoy a rousing game of baseball and a hotdog or two would thrill my soul.

Love Vee

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Happy memories are all that is left of our Memorial Day. A barbeque where I was the cook for the first time ever. Oh my! Doffing my cap to all the guys and gals who man the grill. (Not really my thing, though I guess it was all edible.)

My camera was inside and I never even thought of it until nearly everyone was gone.

 daughter backing out and giving me that funny look that she gets when she sees the camera in my hand

a clue that little people had been about..wet little people

further evidence of a water balloon fight

where John and I held court declaring the garage a "safe zone"

the end of a lovely day
Hope that your day was wonderful too!

Love Vee
Comments are closed...catch you tomorrow!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

*John 15:13

Today, as in the past, there are problems that must be solved and challenges that must be met. We can tackle them with our full strength and creativity only because we are free to work them out in our own way. We owe this freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation and its interests in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free. ~ Ronald Reagan

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. ~ John 15:13

Love Vee
*My mistake...the verse is John 15:13. I got it correct one out of three times. Sorry for any confusion.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Can't Stop Now

I've only just begun... Oops, omigosh, I forgot to get something for the fence basket (my mother's bicycle basket over there on the fence...empty as all get out). Last year it was filled with lobelia as I recall. Any ideas?

This year, clematis on John's trellis; last year, it was the lovely mandevilla (an annual). I've decided to leave the other two empty since so much is going on this summer with siding, etc.

The mess above still awaits. I was so tired that I simply walked away without doing another thing. Let's see, a blueberry bush, lavender, lantana, and some zinnias must yet be planted.

I could keep a small army busy. John is running errands related to gardening; my daughter is doing the grocery shopping for Monday's bbq, and I am blogging. What's wrong with this picture? ☺

A very happy and blessed Memorial Weekend to you...

Love Vee

Friday, May 27, 2011

Playing with Backgrounds

Day before yesterday, Aunt Amelia raised the question that some of us have no idea what we're talking about; we have no idea what our blog is about; we don't even know why we're here. We just like to talk.

In my own defense, I would like to say that most people find me very quiet, even tongue-tied. And I'd also like to say that A Haven for Vee used to have the description "an eclectic mix of fluff and stuff," which completely covers me in the "I have no idea what I'm talking about" department.

An eclectic mix of fluff and stuff has a certain ring, right?  What happened to it? I gave up the description when I started making my own headers because I didn't want to be bothered with the extra steps required to add the phrase. Some of you may have noticed that I don't want to be bothered to put my url on my commenting form either. Anything that requires an extra step in Blogdom annoys me. Right. I'm a rebel.


The warblers have returned to the bird sanctuary (that's what the townspeople call the thirty acres behind my home). Their song spirals around and around. I find it lovely, sometimes even haunting.

Background Sources:

Birds~Whimsical World of Fairies
Believe background~Kim Klassen Cafe
Swirling Music~my own stuff using Photoscape


Almost completely off-topic here, but last night a bird ventured up out of the ravine from the bird sanctuary. She was so confident and self-assured strutting right along until she heard a dog bark. (Molly may need a muzzle.) See that swift turn on her heel in photo three? I was trying to take one picture after another. Well, you can see what happened. Missed her entirely in the fourth shot and the very next one caught her running lickety-split for the ravine. I hope that we'll get some more chances to see her and the little brood she's raising. I may be dreaming, though I think I hear them out there.

I need some lickety-split moves today myself as some planting must be done and the deck needs  cleaning, the house, too. Hope to catch up with Blogdom in five and ten minute doses throughout the day. I can't go cold turkey and, oh all right, I do love to talk.

Love Vee

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Day Away

We, John and I, had determined that the first good day before Memorial Day we would travel north and be certain that things had been taken care of properly. Like so many others this week, we were visiting a cemetery, buying flowers, tending graves, and making sure that all was well.

It was such a beautiful day that I'm just going to share a few pictures and run off and enjoy this beautiful day, too.

Enjoy your day...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sunshine Comes in Many Forms

A little Mennonite Girls Can Cook picture story...
pretty green ribbon

beautiful signatures

cookbook corner

hmmm...two copies

pretty green ribbon repurposed once

a recipe book holder comes in handy

the next recipe I'm planning to bake or pretty green ribbon repurposed twice

(Please forgive the quality of light in these pictures. Day 12 of rain, but looking brighter for tomorrow.)

On Day 11 of rain, the postman stuffed a package in the new mailbox. It was from Judy a continent away across the continent (Laura's keeping me straight) in British Columbia...an autographed Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbook. Tears smarted now let me tell you. In case you don't know, my connection with the book is pretty sweet. Apparently, one day in passing, I told Lovella that "Mennonite Girls sure can cook." The rest is history! ☺☺☺ How's that for taking any credit at all for what the Lord has done and all the work these girls have done and their husbands, too? Shameless, I am.

I want to thank each and every one of the Mennonite Girls who have some of the finest penmanship I've ever seen. What kind of pen were they using do you suppose?

And now it appears that I have one gently used cookbook to offer to one of my readers. These are the rules:  

1. Feel free to mention this giveaway on your blog
2. You MUST have a blog to participate
3. If you win, my hope is that you'll share the good news with your readers
4. One comment on this post is all it takes

Comments will close whenever I go to bed on May 31 and the winner will be announced June 1.

That's it. Nothing to it...

P.S. Just to be clear, I am keeping the signed copy. Ain't no way I'm letting go of that one. ;> 

Edited to Add @ 11:26 pm

Have heard from a number of you that you are unable to comment on this post. Just wanted to say that Blogger is aware of the problem and is working on it. It's a featured problem in "Known Issues" and is happening with a number of blogs. Don't worry, we'll let them get it straightened around so everyone who wants to comment can.

Edited to Add 5/31/2011 @ 9:23 p.m.

Early to bed, early to rise, and all that jazz. Comments are now closed. Thank you so much for participating. Results tomorrow!