Sunday, July 17, 2011

This Week's Garden~Mosaic Monday

sprinkler was on

Hi! I pondered for two seconds and a half whether to feature my wee patch of a garden this week. My final thoughts were that I have all winter to feature in-house subjects. The little plates were formerly creating a border, then I had marauders of the mammal variety move in so up went the ancient, wee, picket fence. After that, I pulled up the plates and tucked them here and there within the garden where I admire their permanent posies even as I admire the daylilies that are here one day and gone the next.

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This is the latest daylily to bloom along with the Stella d'Oros and the ubiquitous ditch lilies. I believe that it's a Purple Elite, but perhaps someone knows for certain.

As always, I am linking to Mosaic Monday at Mary's Little Red House. I hope that if you've been playing with mosaics yet have never joined in the fun that you might consider it. Mary has all the information that you need to know right in her sidebar. (As for me, I use a free program called Photoscape with a little help from Photoshop, too.)

Love Vee

A Favorite Fishing Hole

And Jesus saith unto them, 'Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.' ~Matthew 4:19

When Christ calls us by his grace we ought not only to remember what we are, but we ought also to think of what he can make us. It is, "Follow me, and I will make you." We should repent of what we have been, but rejoice in what we may be. It is not "Follow me, because of what you are already." It is not "Follow me, because you may make something of yourselves;" but, "Follow me, because of what I will make you." ~Charles Spurgeon

Love Vee
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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ice Cream Social~Kitchen Bouquet

Today I'm participating in Suzy's Ice Cream Social. We certainly enjoy our ice cream around here.

Lately, we are most happy with coffee shakes; these make the third batch.

Veezie's Easy-Peasy Coffee Shakes

* 2 cups milk (Whatever you're drinking; we drink 1%.)
* 1 TBS vanilla (the good stuff)
* ¼ cup sugar
* 3 TBS instant coffee grounds (not what you see here) dissolved in a squid of hot water
* as many scoops of coffee ice cream as you can stand ☺

Blend in a blender, but don't go crazy. You want some small chunks of ice cream floating about. Frost glasses if desired. Our root beer float glasses were frosted for ten minutes so longer would be better.

Makes two shakes.

Why is that second glass half empty? I couldn't wait any longer. Delicious, if I do say so myself!


We had a lovely little ice cream social at the farm with the grands yesterday afternoon. Nothing makes them happier than soft serves with sprinkles except patting the lamb afterward.

Please join Suzy at Kitchen Bouquet for more excellent ice cream social ideas! Thank you, Suzy, for hosting the fun!

Love Vee

Friday, July 15, 2011

What's Your Story, Morning Glory?

all of today's images will enlarge

My story is that I'm practicing cropping. All these shots come from the same photograph seen in the center with the exception of the two close-ups on the bottom left and right.


So many of you told me what a great day you had yesterday. Here on the Eastern Seaboard, we are enjoying beautiful summer days with low humidity, if you can imagine such a thing. I've not seen anything like it for a long, long time, though if it goes on for the rest of the summer, I'll not complain.

The humidity was so low that, toward evening, I baked a Peach and Blueberry Clafouti. We barely noticed the oven was on because the air was so dry. The clafouti recipe can be found right *here* at King Arthur Flour.  If you've never tried one of these, you'll be amazed how easy it is to make and how light and fresh it tastes. It's an excellent way to use up fruit that can't possibly be eaten before it has gone by.

I dusted drowned it with confectioner's sugar. Oh yum...


Today, we are off for breakfast with my oldest grand. We hope to make this a Friday habit for the summer as he's missing his school schedule a lot. Then we'll have a day of whatever we can do without getting too worn out. (I don't mind if he gets worn out; I just enjoy breathing.) This afternoon, we'll pick up the baby grand and then we'll really be off to the races. Say a prayer. ☺


Tomorrow, I'm participating in this year's Ice Cream Social. Last year, I served *orange floats.* This year, I've not quite made up my mind. Nevertheless, I hope that you'll be by to see and perhaps you'll consider participating as well!

Now, what's your story, Morning Glory?

Love Vee

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jeweled Balm

lantana on my windowsill

Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world.  ~ Ada Louise Huxtable 

astilbe in my garden

Love Vee

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hardanger, Et Cetera

Yesterday, I cleaned the kitchen and the dining room. Yes, thank you, with all this heat, I do deserve a standing ovation. I found my Irish linen and a piece of lace purchased at a thrift shop. Don't ask. The very same thrift shop where John and my uncle unloaded our car of its burden. I think my grandmother and mother would be pleased as this shop sells for a very worthy cause. Don't you love how things just keep going in a big old circle around here?

Anyway, look at this! I didn't pay $5.99 for 10 yards of Irish linen. I paid just $5.00!

Thanks, Lovella, for checking my "this will shrink" picture day before yesterday. Want to try this one? ☺

My aunt knows a bargain when she sees one! I also picked up this little piece below.

When we had all piled back in the car with the men in the front and we gals in the back, my aunt asked me what that piece was called. I told her that it was filet *embroidery crochet. She said that it was not. What is this? A test? I thought. "Pulled threads," she said. Then, a moment later, "It's hardanger."  Ohhhh, I got it, she was trying to think of the word and hoping that I could fill in the blank.

*Hardanger* is not a term that I was familiar with. But now that I've cleaned my kitchen and found it again (don't ask), I can show you a comparison between hardanger (har-dang-er) and filet *embroidery  crochet. (I realize that there are gazillion of you who already know this. Humor me.)

image will enlarge

The top piece is the hardanger and the bottom filet *embroidery crochet. Do you see the pulled threads in the hardanger?

So I learned two things if I can remember them. Hardanger is pulled* (counted?) threads and if I shut up, I might learn something.


It's been so hot here the past two days...

How hot is it?

With all due apologies to all of you who've been sweltering for forever.

I was visiting Carol at Serendipity where she was discussing taking pictures of food. She was wondering if she'd gone too far with her photography. I don't think so, but then I don't live at her house. Anyway, I decided then and there to take a photo of some food and since I had cleaned the kitchen and the dining room and found my hardanger—don't ask

Grab a peach and have a delightful day...

Love Vee
* Pardon my confusion.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Two Books

Oh no! This is terrible! And it was. Really.

Let me back up. Last week I was shopping at Amazon, when I realized that I needed a little something extra to get my free shipping. You know, spend an extra ten dollars to save four. I decided that I would purchase that nice little book I gave to Suzanne as part of her winning the Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbook contest. It was dΓ©jΓ  vu all over again as that's what had happened when I was ordering Suzanne's books. I had needed a little something to get me over that limit then, too.

So I ordered the little something extra and it arrived in timely fashion and I sat right down to read it and I was not four paragraphs in before I realized oh-oh. Oh-oh.² Lots of language. Lots of quirky characters. Lots of

And so I have laughed and cringed my way through it. I think the most mortifying thing about it is that there's a character who blogs.

People don't take my skills seriously, but there's an art to it. There really is. When I was on a roll, I used to update my blogs eight, sometimes twelve hours a day. That's eight or twelve hours of writing. Stephen King is probably one of the only other guys who writes that much... p.8

In some not too noticeable ways, I'm a reasonably confident guy. Sure, I'm not into socializing and dating and whatnot, but I do write a couple of blogs. I form opinions and I write about them... p52

When you spend all day, every day, on the Internet you develop an image of yourself in relation to the world. You know what I mean? It's like your looks or lack of them are manageable. Because you focus on other people and no one can see you and if you make the odd crack about yourself, well, that's just you being human and relatable. p.238

Every now and then I have felt that the author knew a little too much about blogger types, me included. I mean I always feel as if I'm doing something when blogging just as this character does. Suzanne even emailed asking me just what it was about this book that made me think to give it to her. Oh, I'd responded blithely, I read about it *here.*

Now I ask you, wouldn't you want to read a book with this blurby little bit on the back cover?

Prudence Burns, a well-intentioned New Yorker full of back-to-the-land ideals, just inherited Woefield Farm—thirty acres of scrubland, dilapidated buildings, and one half-sheared sheep...

Somehow I got it into my head that H to W was going to be 2011's The Enchanted Barn, an old story by Grace Livingston Hill about reclaiming a barn for a home. Hill's writing is lyrical and genteel and, well, quaint. This is one of my favorite passages from TEB:

She decided to decorate first. The great hamper of flowers was forthwith brought into the barn, and the chauffeur set to work twining ropes and sprays of smilax and asparagus fern over doorways and pictures and trailing it like a vine about the stone chimney. Then came the flowers: pots of tall, starry lilies, great, heavyheaded, exquisite-breathed roses, pink, white, yellow, and crimson...
Forthwith is such a lovely, old-fashioned word. There were lots of words that began with that letter in H*ome to Woefield.


So you may be thinking that I don't recommend this book to you. I don't. Not in good conscience. Not if you shy from language that makes you want to wash your own mouth out with soap.

You may be thinking that I slammed the covers shut and didn't read another word. Oh no. I have a unique philosophy about reading and literature and dramas, etc. I've shared it all *before.* I take the C.S. Lewis approach. I very much enjoyed the book.

It was the shame of having gifted it to someone else that I didn't enjoy. So, on that note, my sincere apologies to Suzanne.

Love Vee
Edited to Add: For Suzanne's take on this, read comment #26. Ohhh, too funny!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gifts in the Mail

So we're back to chatty little posts because I haven't been anywhere or done anything. In several days. Never fear, however, for I am the queen of chatty if I can write instead of speak.

It's another lovely day here in the Northeast except that it's humid. The Canadians have decided to take back their high weather system and will not share their arctic air with us again until later in the week.

This means that when the mail arrived bringing me cooler temps... What? You don't believe me? As you know, I never make a comment without proving it.

Oh delightful little white barn with green doors sitting in the snow—how cool you make me feel. Nita Leger Casey mailed this painting to me as a thank you for featuring her on my blog. Nita, are you kidding me? I love featuring your work. And I love this little barn. (It reminds John of one his sister used to own.) Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

In case some didn't know, I "met" Nita when I was googling for images to use here on this blog. It was right after a dear blogging buddy had taken me to task for not always being as scrupulous as I should be about such images. I found a picture of a lovely home in snow with a garden gate. I truly wanted to use it so much that I wrote and asked for permission. Nita graciously replied in the affirmative. I've visited her site ever since and encourage all those who love New England scenes to do the same. You will find Nita at her Gingerbread Art Studio unless she's here in Maine. (I suppose she may go other places; France comes to mind. ☺)

And, lest you think that the painting was the only blessing in the mailbox today...

My *Good Neighbor* soy candles arrived with extras. (Besides, you might need some warming after all that snow.) Becky, the notecards and tea candles are wonderful. Thank you!) Folks, I know that I'm a blueberry lover, but this aroma "blueberry muffin" is out of this world wonderful. The box arrived in the house smelling good before it was ever opened. Hmmmm... I think I can get away with not baking today.


Thank you to all who said such sweet things on my camera skills yesterday. This is my secret also known as "necessity is the mother of invention."

homemade tripod

I hope you know that my real secret is take lots and lots of photos.

this image will shrink

Yes, that was my bee balm dud mosaic. Good thing I persevered, eh?

A happy day to you...

Love Vee

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Playing with Macro~Mosaic Monday

This post is inspired by Jill at Jill's World of Research, Reaction and Millinery and, more specifically, by the post  Love Those Freebies. I've been watching Jill's photography change and evolve and become more and more amazing. I want my photography to be better, too, so I tried very hard to follow the suggestions that Jill gave having just attended a photography class on macro shots. My camera has no special lenses so I worked with what I have.

Mosaic will enlarge

It was great fun trying to do better. Over three hundred shots later and lots of mistakes, I've narrowed it down to what you see above.

My favorite shot (not my favorite flower...I don't even know what it you?) is the one below.

Edited to Add: Thanks to Valerie and Judith, I know that this plant is called Bee Balm aka wild bergamot or horsemint. It attracts hummingbirds and bees. (It also attracts potato bugs, which I've been picking from it every morning.)
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Linking to Mary at Little Red House. Speaking of amazing'll always enjoy a visit to Little Red House.

Love Vee

A Quiet Place

by Ralph Charmichael

There is a quiet place
Far from the rapid pace
Where God can soothe my troubled mind

Sheltered by tree and flower
There in my quiet hour
With Him my cares are left behind

Whether a garden small
Or on a mountain tall
New strength and courage there I find

Then from this quiet place
I go prepared to face
A new day with love for all mankind

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7a

Love Vee

comments are closed on Sundays

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cathedral Ledge

One last thing concerning yesterday's post. Here's the reason for the chuckles: *reason revealed.* I certainly hope my Aunt Ess doesn't see this. She paid $20.00 for hers in that darling sandwich shop I mentioned back along. The sign hung outside...yes, o.u.t.s.i.d.e. the restroom door. I resisted all urges to purchase one and hang it right in the middle of my beautiful Alice blue bathroom with the vintage mirrors. Why even Aunt Ess has decided that it just doesn't match her decor. (I should say not and I only regret ever pointing it out to her in the first place.) Wonder what she's going to do with that thing. Anyway, Dee was laughing because as she and her hubby drove by there was my aunt standing there holding up this ridiculously bawdy sign. (If I have no comments today, I'll have only myself to blame.)

On to more lofty things...

This is Cathedral Ledge in North Conway, New Hampshire. My aunt and uncle live just over a moutain on the other side. They brought John and me up over said mountain and down the other side calling it a "shortcut." 

While in North Conway, we visited this wonderful shop. It's truly interesting and if you ever get a chance to stop and look around, I  know that you'd enjoy it. 

The iron butterflies below now adorning my chippy white fence (whose days are numbered) were purchased there. Believe me, there are many intriguing works of art in the store and on the grounds and paths around the store. It's just a unique, neat place.

Just popping in more Cathedral Ledge photos with a final wave from John.

Thus ends the tour, though I shall be returning off and on throughout the remainder of summer. I have yet to share our thrift shop adventure where my aunt found me ten yards of Irish linen for $5.99 or the fishing hole or the crop dusting or...

Have a lovely weekend!

Love Vee

Friday, July 8, 2011

Spur of the Moment Tour

Where were we?

Oh, yes. Uncle B, John, and I were waiting in the car while Aunt Ess bounded into the house to ask for permission to haul her niece (moi) and her niece's husband (John, but you knew that) in for a spur-of-the-moment tour. Tip: don't ever own a lovely old home with lots of history if you don't want these sorts of things to happen to you.

mosaic will once and when it opens, click again

Because that morning was so foggy, many of my pictures didn't turn out well. The lighting just wasn't right, but I enjoyed my tour very much and I enjoyed meeting my Uncle's cousin and his cousin's wife Dee as well. They are gracious and welcoming folks.

Dee has the reputation for being the local historian so it would've been easy to settle in and listen to stories for a good long spell right there in her large kitchen where there was room for a rocking chair and all manner of vintage and antique objects lined the walls. I love a kitchen where there is room for a rocker!

Aunt Ess most particularly wanted me to see this beautiful crocheted Lord's Prayer you see hung on the wall behind the dining room table in the center of my mosaic. It was created for Dee by her great-grandmother who worked on it for a decade. Her grandmother was quite elderly when it was begun and the story goes that if Dee would memorize the scripture, the piece would be hers. Dee said that she had the piece professionally framed with proper mats and spacers. The price quoted was $200.00; although, the framer ultimately had to charge her a little more for all the work he had done. There are many tiny stitches all around to hold the blocking and keep the work in place.

That's Dee and Aunt Ess in the top center of the mosaic. They're the two gals who married cousins way back in the 60s.

Kitchen Fun is a little book of recipes given to Dee as a child, which she now keeps on display.

The daguerreotype is of a great-great (-great?) grandfather. Perhaps he is the one or else his son who built the exquisite desk seen in the lower left corner. I had to call John in to see the workmanship on it and I'm only sorry that the photographs didn't come out clearer. (I don't think I can blame the blur on the bad lighting; perhaps it was the coffee at Rosie's.)

The dining room table was built by Dee's husband. He used the store counter top that his father and grandfather and who knows how far back had had in the family business. What a great heritage and a wonderful treasure. The table is a beautiful one and this photo does not do it justice.

There's John patting their sweet dog who was such a love she just begged for pats and attention. John appreciates a dog like that.

And that's their sweet, sweet mustang, which we saw them driving with the convertible top down the next morning. I love the look of arms waving out from a convertible and the sound of Dee's laugh was sweet over the breeze. It seemed to me that people are happier and more relaxed in the country.

Hope that you've enjoyed the tour as well.

Now should you return tomorrow, and I certainly invite you to, we'll talk about mountain-top experiences and perhaps I'll share the reason for all the laughter. Hope to find you right here bright and early.

Love Vee

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why? I'd Really Like to Know

There are enough things that are broken that Blogger could fix without fixing the dashboards, which, as far as I know, were not broken. I like my old dashboard soooooooo much better. Do we never have any choices here? It's as if waking one morning to discover a new kitchen has been inferior one.

Pardon my rant.

Love Vee

Of Shops and Things

Who doesn't love a quaint shop or a sweet little breakfast nook? All the better if adorned with hanging flower pots that match the OPEN sign like the ones hanging here at Rosie's where we ate a leisurely breakfast the first morning. Hot coffee, plenty of cream, perfectly cooked eggs, crispy bacon, crispy hash browns with soft centers, and buttered toast with strawberry jam...hmmmm. Thick fog that morning finally gave over to the most perfect of sunny days. A real corker!

I've tucked posies into my mosaic from other places and out of order with actual daily events. You'll notice a recurring motif. Fortunately, there are only four of us who know the linear progression of activity. Make that three. John doesn't remember yesterday.

This white birch arbor (below) was so fantastic that I had to take a picture. Oh, John! Do you know where to find some white birch?

Taking a drive with my aunt and uncle is fun and funny. This area is my uncle's ancestral home and he has nestled into the bosom of his family with so many in the community around him being relatives. "That's my cousin's house over there," and a short time later and a bit further down the road, "That's my cousin's house." It reminded me of a line from Jan Karon's In the Company of Others: use to look for our ancestors in the cemeteries and church registers—we meet them in the DNA of the folks across the table, in the street, in the pew.

We drove around so much and in so many circles that I really have no clue where we were. We did eventually arrive at the proverbial fork in the road.


Toward evening, we drove to Cornish where we were treated to a delicious seafood dinner. Most opted for scallops; I had haddock au gratin. Very tasty!

That evening, this doe crossed the road in front of us and, reaching the railroad track, stopped long enough to have her picture taken.The cute fellow in the center is an alpaca we saw on that drive. All the others were taken at my aunt and uncle's home: a hummer on my aunt's clothesline long enough for me to take a picture, the ducks live on a pond behind their house, and there's sleepy Molly (the poodle) in her napping spot.

I've already shown you some lovely homes from that first evening's drive; though I have saved two, which just so happen to be my aunt's favorites. My aunt is affected by all things old and rundown and, like so many of you, worries about abandoned homes and barns and what will become of them. Such is the story of this home nestled at the bottom of a hill.

Even though the moving of such a homestead would be a great expense, Aunt Ess is considering putting it in the trunk piece by piece and carrying it home. Think she could?

Some of you have selected your favorite homes from the ones I've already posted. This is my aunt's favorite below.

It is a typical New England cape with an attached barn usually accessed via an attached shed. It is very similar to the home my first husband and I purchased when we were not yet 25 years old. If one stands in the front room and all the doors are open, one can look straight down to the back wall of the barn.

Now, if you'd like to join me tomorrow, I'm going to tell you about arriving uninvited at one of my uncle's cousin's homes. It's an interesting story. Hope to see you then!

Love Vee