Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You Guessed Correctly

Just got our power back on after three days. Oh my! I'll never make Pioneer of the Year.

So much to do; so little time. See you next week!


Love Vee

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pot Luck Post

Last night when suppertime rolled around, I had nothing suitable save eggs and turkey bacon. When I suggested it, John promptly declined. He countered with...plug your ears...pizza. Pizza?! Is he for real? I shot him such a withering look as to make the most hale and hearty of hubbies blanche. He seemed properly chastened. In the end, we ordered two chef salads with dressing on the side. That way, we had turkey, a hard boiled egg, and veggies. It was far better than a pizza might have been. I shudder to think of all my hard work going down the drain for a measly pizza. The thing is, John has only ten pounds more to lose, give or take a few, to be in his goal zone. I, on the other hand, well, let us not go there.





Here is the Mountain Laurel pillow I made for my daughter. It bears her name. *That's right, I named her "Mountain." ; ) I dispensed with the CT. I was at Joann's night before last and didn't find anything that I considered right for working up the quilt. I've got to start doing my research. I see that Vicki is working hers up on her kitchen counter. It looks great, too. (**I'll be popping in a better photo of that pillow just as soon as I get it tightened up a bit.)



That? Oh that's the photo I decided not to use.


** Another picture of the pillow in slightly better light. I keep wanting you to see that windowsill because of the vintage candlestick I found in one of those many boxes we unpacked. I love it!



The button? While tightening the pillow, I managed to pull the linen resulting in a tiny hole...hence the button.


This was John working on the vent yesterday afternoon. We have the power company coming soon to install new wiring from the pole to the house. I believe that John is planning to have a buried wire. Oh joy unspeakable!

The sky has been so blue and the weather so fine that it's hard to believe that we're under a Hurricane Watch for Sunday and Monday: Hurricane Irene. I find this somewhat amusing since Irene was my nan's name. Anyway, it'll all be over by the time you next hear from A Haven...



The morning glory continues to make me happy. I can't believe how it's taken off. No, no, this is not one of those nasty, invasive monster morning glories that takes over a yard and can't be killed. This is an annual that won't make it through the cold winter. I will be planting another next spring, though. It has been that much fun. Even my photographer neighbor has been over taking photos. She brought me an entire set of the prints. She says her camera has a flower feature on it. Hmmmm...


It is not often that I make a movie recommendation, but if you've not seen Temple Grandin, please order it up on Netflix or get it from your library. It is an incredible true story. I can't wait to see it again. I can not recommend it highly enough. And that's all I shall say about that.

Until next time...

Love Vee
* poetic license strikes again

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pine Cone Pillow +

Even though it has only been a few short days since my last post, I am feeling odd about posting as if the silence has been too long and it's all so awkward. That and I was "hyper" last time so perhaps I need to find a larger divider between topics since one thing is certain, I'll be hopping around.

Blogging twice a week means that I am combining everything I want to share in two posts instead of dividing it up and presenting topics in a daily, unified, semi-coherent package. I'll work on presentation and I hope that this will be the last discussion about being absent, at least, on my part. After all, I dispatched myself. ; }

And, before I forget it, thank you for all the supportive comments and emails about my weight-loss efforts. I know that I can do this having done it many times before. It's the keeping-it-off bit where I fail each and every time.


Another surprise in the mailbox this morning. Beautiful coasters from Suzanne (At Home With the Farmer's Wife). Don't they look like summer? I've used them already and they work great. She tells me not to use them on any priceless antiques because they are not waterproof. Good thing I don't have any such animal. Thank you, Suzanne, I love them!

Coasters


I have decided, after making my very first envelope pillow ever, that the Irish linen just isn't going to hold up for making a State Flower Quilt. As Vicki at Turkey Feathers suggested, it's too wimpy. So even though I'm working on Mountain Laurel for Connecticut, I'm going to turn it into a pillow just as I did for the Pine Cone. I am probably the last person on the planet to make a pillow in this way; in case I'm the next to the last person, I used the wonderful tutorial from Cottage Magpie *here.* For this pillow I had to stabilize the linen on another piece of fabric in order to sew the back pieces on.

Envelope Pillow


Work continues slowly and steadily on the house. We are shopping for a new kitchen window this evening. Hopefully, something like this: 


Instead of this:


Gosh I do like that apron sink, too. Guess I just can't justify the cost of it. The window, on the other hand, has been a thorn in my side since the day it went in. I'm so done with it. I want a window I can open in the rain...the one above winds out into the rain. Not so good.




Wave Petunias

Still enjoying the new fence even if I am startled sometimes to see it there. I keep expecting to see the old chippy white one.

A wonderful day to you...

Love Vee

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Candles and Cream, Et Cetera

My absence around here — hate it! Apparently, my addiction to Blogdom is every bit as bad as I suspected so being away is even tougher than I thought. I cheer myself by saying blizzard weather is coming. ☺

Have I exercised? Only if one counts partially cleaning two houses, mine and his. His is now ready for a new tenant; mine still needs a sewing room straightened and several trips to Goodwill. Today and tomorrow I'll be walking, though. Really. Would I lie? *Gwen, don't answer that. Speaking of Gwen, if you haven't seen her post about our meeting just one week ago today, *here's the link.* My suggestion is that if you have any illusions about me at all that you'll not visit.  Do.not.go. No, no, it's okay, please go and see why I need to push myself away from this computer screen and do something.

Did I start the new diet?  Yes. Monday. John, too.  We're starving. Please send M&Ms. STOP.

***

Seems as if I have unfinished business...let me check my file...oh, yes, *Becky* sent John and me two wonderful candles. Wait, I think they're just for John because the card says, "In my humble opinon John puts up with so much blog craziness that he deserves his own candles." He puts up with blog craziness? Are you kidding me? Look at'im! He loves every minute of it.


***

Aunt Ess and Uncle B were over the other day bringing along Aunt Em and her dear high school friend with whom Aunt Em had reconnected about twenty years ago way before Facebook. Pretty cool. Anyway, they came bearing gifts.
 

Two per cent milk and cream in glass bottles with a special cap there. I'm so happy. (I have a wee bit of cream in my one cup of coffee a day.) I was a little concerned about the 2% until I learned that it's only twenty extra calories a cup. (We usually use our milk allowance on yogurt.) My Aunt Ess purchases these bottles so that she never has to use plastic for lemonade or ice tea or any beverage that she stores in the fridge. I love that idea and see that nice grip on the side of the bottle? It's going to be so easy!

*** 

In other news, because I don't have enough unfinished projects going, I'm starting a new afghan. I think it'll be the Pretty Flower pattern from Free Granny Square Patterns from Tip Nut. It's pretty and  it's for beginners. I might stand a chance.

***

My Patch of Blue

 Have always meant to show you who holds the patio door. It's not the cat; it's the bear!

***


And now for the best part, and it's not the lantana: I can bring this ridiculous post to an end and skip off merrily to  read blogs. Wait, I've got to walk first, but I'll be back and I'll be visiting you!






*Gwen and I had a little discussion about poetic license. Do you use that technique? Someday, I'll explain a few times when I have.

 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Finding the Sea


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
~Joyce Kilmer

Right. You may remember what I really think.

After meeting with Gwen and Mike, we had errands to run in Portland at Borders and at The Christmas Tree Shop. Completing those, I asked John if he minded finding the ocean. This is not as easy as it sounds even in our corner. We knew that we could go to nearby parks, though I had already taken pictures of them many times over. Off we set.

I tell you what. There are so many trees in Maine blocking the best views. Trees. I love them. They are lovely. But they are a dime a flippin' dozen and I want to see things in addition to trees.

With many false starts and stops, we managed to find Ferry Beach. Would you believe that we had to walk through the forest to get to the beach even there? Oh my!


Over the river and through the woods and under the road we go...


until we glimpse the sea...




video

Ordinarily, I would be linking to Mary at Little Red House and participating in Mosaic Monday. Though I am linking, I am not participating as I have a new blogging policy in effect until I get myself under control. This means that I will neither be posting nor visiting in Blogdom as often as I would like. Things are a bit lot out of control with computer time and I must behave myself.

Thank you for reading. You are so appreciated. This is not goodbye. It's a one, two, skip a few, three, four skip some more...

Until next time...

Love Vee

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Salt of the Earth Folks


Friends are friends forever, if the Lord is the Lord of them
~Michael W. Smith


Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?

~ C.S. Lewis


Some weeks ago, my blogging friend Gwen of Gwendolyn's Guests contacted me saying that she and her husband would be traveling across country from Washington state to the Northeast and the Maritime Provinces. Was there any chance of a meeting? Oh boy howdy! Yes! Of course!


Mike and Gwen

So we, John and I, met Gwen and her husband Mike earlier this week, though it was plenty warm without a good fire. I first found Gwen via her sister Trish who also writes blogs and who was one of the original members of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook team.

Back then, Gwen was writing Esther's Insights, a blog based on the notes and papers she found among her mother's things after her mother died. Her mother, a pastor's wife, had had many opportunities for teaching and ministry. It's difficult to describe how I felt when I first found Esther's Insights. It was a library of amazing lessons and often stretched my thinking in new ways. Perhaps, in light of my own mother's extended illness, I was thinking about the wisdom and value of mothers. Whatever the reason, it had a strong tug on my heart.

Now Gwen has mostly moved on from Esther's Insights though it remains a wonderful resource on the WWW. She is wondering about her place in Blogdom and what she should be writing. My advice, for what it's worth, to any blogger or any writer is to write from one's own heart and interests. I do not say this flippantly or with a lack of regard for another faith or experience. For me, this is part of the Great Commission referred to sometimes as "going into every person's world." If you are interested in what you are writing, someone of like-mind will be as well. In my own experience, I have waffled back and forth between treating my blog as a journal for myself and my family and a means of reaching out to friends I haven't yet met. Sometimes, I'm every bit as confused as any gal who's ever wondered where her blog is headed so take this advice from whence it comes.

Gwen and her husband served for many years in missions and now serve in a place of leadership in missions. That's why I knew that an apron would be a perfect gift for a gal who hosts so often. Ha! The last laugh was on me. (Gwen denies this and says that an apron is just what she's needed. This is how sweet she is.)

And I received gifts as did John. Wonderful treats and treasures: candy from Washington, a book—In the Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham, a video, a gadget for keeping my purse off the floor when eating out, fishing flies, and the gift of genuine interest.

 Our Gifts

It was a special time chatting away. Two hours passed like nothing. Gwen and Mike are warm, kind, and open people and we felt no awkwardness at all. John describes Mike as a "genuinely nice guy." True. They are salt of the earth folks. Gosh, I wish that Washington were just around the corner...

Taking photos was an afterthought. None of us were particularly thrilled with our photos most especially me. I do believe that the Lord is giving me a word about exercise, getting off the computer, and being more involved elsewhere. So this is to say that you're going to be seeing less of me. It is time.

Have a great day! I hope that you'll visit Gwen and tell her that I sent you along. Thanks!

Love Vee

Thursday, August 11, 2011

One of These is Not Like the Other


One is fresh from the laundry, pressed, and ready to be gift-wrapped. I'm so excited! Okay, catch you later.

Have a wonderful day...

Edited to Add (8/12/11): Yes, it's the one in the center delivered yesterday to a dear blogger from the West Coast touring on the East Coast. I asked her if she liked to cook because I know that she is very involved in hospitality. Her response, "Not so much." (Would have been my answer, too.) We had a lovely visit and I have more to share. It's being Friday and a nonni day, however, I am fresh out of time. Will share tomorrow Lord willing and the creek don't rise.

Love Vee

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fences and Friends


In the end, it's not about the fence after all. I had said that I couldn't have guests over because the chippy white fence was too disgraceful. So John has been building a fence and it has come out so nicely. Do you see how he made a plate rail for me? Guess that he isn't too fond of my nailing into fences or something.


So where was I? Oh, yes, it's not all about fences, the food, the clothes, the hairdo or new sandals. It's all about the friends who arrive and dine at our table. I hope that I remember this lesson for the next time.

I took no pictures of our friends while they dined and laughed and told fun stories. Sometimes a camera just gets in the way. The umbrella taking off and sailing just inches over their faces is an image in my memory alone.  = |

One cute story was about our friend's traveling with a Gospel Quartet through Nova Scotia where he and the others were served ham and potato salad every evening. The only difference was the color of the potato salad. One night it was yellow, the next blue, the next green, the next pink. Apparently, food coloring was added to the potato salads to make them look pretty. Ever heard of that?

It's raining again today. I can't allow it to slow me down, though, because we're still in busy, busy, busy mode here. Hopefully, by Saturday, I can relax.


Don't know what's causing all that steam...we'll call it mists on a rainy day.

Take care now...

Love Vee

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I've Been Getting Around

Yes, I certainly have. I know that I've been absent here...terribly busy days...but just so you'll know, I do get around. See What Matters Most, Hospitality Lane, and Creekside Cottage for proof. Each blogger has a little different take. Personally, I think Becky and Deanna are loony and Lovella's right behind. (Poor Anneliese)  = D  All good fun and the most wonderful thing of all is that Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbooks sold out at the Berean. It's a good thing and a God thing!


Love you gals! Thanks a million...


Love Vee

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Textures~Mosaic Monday

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain
beat upon your head with
silver liquid drops. Let the
rain sing you a lullaby.
~Langston Hughes



A rainy day here in my corner. I had hoped to share my new fence, but there's nothing spectacular about a new fence in the rain, though it did mean getting kissed by silver liquid. There is something interesting, if not spectacular, about textures in the rain. So I give you a simple mosaic on a simple rainy day.

Top photo: rain splatter in the ferns
Left to right: ferns (I wanted it to be a moth; It's only a bit of a brown leaf.), deck spindles, iron plant holder handle, new growth on Eastern Spruce

A cooler week, if that's what you need; a wetter week, if that's what you need; a wonderful week either way...

Love Vee
Connecting to Mary's Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. Please visit and check out whatever interests you most. You won't be disappointed!

Perfect Heart


Morning sun light of creation
Grassy fields, a velvet floor
Silver clouds a shimmering curtain
He's designed a perfect world 
I'm amazed at His talents
I stand in awe of one so great
Now my soul begins to sing out
To the source from which it came

Bless the Lord who reigns with beauty 
Bless the Lord who reigns with wisdom and with power
Bless the Lord who reigns my life with so much love
He can make *a perfect heart

~Reba Rambo

Since I can no longer embed a video, I'll just add the link *here.*

Gloria Gaither's comments at the beginning of this selection are the reason for this video's being chosen.  Lynda Randle's voice is a blessing, too. (Please forgive the mess while this post was under construction.)

A blessed Sunday and a wonderful week to you.

(for further consideration * A Perfect Heart is... by David Wilkerson)

Love Vee
Comments, as always, are closed on Sunday morning.