Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Broken Promises

Broken promises...I have a lifetime full of them and a sewing room, too.

Just yesterday a dear blogging friend told me to watch the mail. Now how many times have I told her to do the same? I'm pretty certain that something is arriving this week; she, on the other hand, has learned that she can't count on me.

I have reasons. The best reason is that my grandmother's little sewing machine doesn't function so well anymore. It skips stitches with abandon. Reminds me of someone I know. Then I thought, no problem, my mother has her trusty Singer in storage.

When I brought it home sometime in May, I cleaned it and tried to find a manual for it, which I was able to do on line the internet being such a great resource, and then realized that it was another skip stitcher, too. Sigh.

Thus began my search for a quality machine and I settled on a little Janome. It came within a week and I like it fine. No skipped stitches. Now where were my projects? Were they in that pile there? In that drawer? That box? That laundry basket? The entire sewing room now had become filled with my mother's abandoned sewing projects in addition to my own. I had many distractions in my wee space for weeks. The potential for getting lost in there is still great.

Finally, just Sunday, when I had decided that television coverage of the 9-11 events in NYC would be totally unsatisfactory (all those talking heads yapping over the top of anything meaningful that was going on and each with his own agenda...ugh), I slipped upstairs to my sewing room where I could be alone with my own thoughts. I began folding fabric and praying. I folded and folded and folded, prayed and prayed and prayed, and came, at last, to a white laundry basket where I found my lost projects.

Tea Cozies Three

There are three, two good ones and a dud. Odd that they are heading for gals named Sandy. Well, one name Sandy and the other named Sandi. I have no idea if I'll finish them this week. I hope so. I'm tired of skipped stitches.

I have a new kitchen window and as soon as I can take a good picture... my camera has been acting up terribly... I'll post one. There I go again — another promise!

Enjoy your day...

Love Vee

Saturday, September 10, 2011

There She Stands

*There She Stands*

When the night
Seems to say
All hope is lost
Gone away
But I know
I'm not alone
By the light
She stands

There she waves
Faithful friend
Shimmering stars
Westward wind
Show the way
Carry me
To the place
She stands

Just when you think it might be over
Just when you think the fight is gone
Someone will risk his life to raise her
There she stands

There she flies
Clear blue skies
Reminds us with red
Of those that died
Washed in white
By the brave
In their strength
She stands

When evil calls itself a martyr
When all your hopes come crashing down
Someone will pull her from the rubble
There she stands

We've seen her flying torn and tattered
We've seen her stand the test of time
And through it all the fools have fallen
There she stands

By the dawn's
Early light
And through the fight
She stands

~Michael W. Smith

This song is the result of a request that President Bush made of Michael W. Smith at a meeting between them six weeks after 9-11-2001. Wish that I had heard it many years ago. I don't believe that many people are familiar with the song and that's a shame. You can listen to it for yourself by clicking on the title. (Yes, there are some of the iconic images and video of that day.) The stanza that says Just when you think it might be over, Just when you think the fight is gone perfectly reflects the way I felt on that day.

Below I am reposting a piece I wrote in 2007 describing where I was that Tuesday. We all will forever remember where we were. More importantly, let us remember where we are this day and know that God was and is and forever will be in control. Ours is not the first generation to face devastation. It will not be the last.


This morning, first thing, I lowered the flag to the half-mast position. September 11 will never come and go unremembered for as long as I live. This is true for most Americans, I am certain. There are those who still remember Pearl Harbor with the same devotion.

Six years ago, I was a preschool teacher on an excursion to the library with my students and other staff. The hour 8:45 came and went without any particular notice as the class listened to the librarian read a story. This was followed by a craft time.

At 9:00, we were collected by our dear bus driver Gil who looked at each of us adults with pure terror in her eyes. I will never forget how pale and upset she looked. Gil had the radio on and the news was terrible. A plane had crashed into the north tower and all hell had broken loose.

One of the teacher's husbands was a construction worker in NYC at the time, and she began to weep softly. Just as news of the first jumpers came across the airwaves, I asked Gil to please turn off the radio. The little ones had become frightened, too, and were now asking questions. "Why are you crying, Mrs. M? What's wrong? Why are you all sad?"

By the time we had arrived back at school, the entire parking lot was filled with parents' cars and in less than 5 minutes, all the children had been scooped up and taken home. I was grateful for those concerned parents. I was grateful that the children would be home in the bosom of their families because, in my own fear, I had no idea how the day would end or if any of us would live to see the end of that day. It seems almost laughable today, but then it was my reality.

Today, another Tuesday, I think of all those who live in New York City who must rise again to the day despite their fears. May God bless them and all of us.
First posted September 11, 2007

Love Vee
P.S. If you have time (26 min.),  I highly recommend this video: Ten Years Later: A Nation Remembers 9/11

Friday, September 9, 2011

Three Gifts

Have you heard the news about the United States Postal Service? They think they'll be completely broke by the end of October. This October unless... The plan is to shut down Saturday delivery forever, to lay off a lot of people, to remove a lot of corner mailboxes, and to close a lot of post offices. I hope that there's another plan because we can't afford to lose one more job and I can't imagine a country being okay without a postal service. I mean really...and Blogdom depends on it, too.

Just recently, a book and a dvd from Gwen and her husband arrived via the USPS. It's called When Things Seem Impossible by Jean Dye Johnson. Another abduction story...those missionaries get kidnapped a lot it seems...and an exciting story, which I finished reading yesterday and will hand off to John. (Because Gwen is not supposed to be on the computer, I have yet to thank her. Thank you, Gwen and Mike! This is just in case she's sneaking a peek against doctor's orders.)

We both read the first gift In the Presence of Mine Enemies and, though the outcome was disheartening, we were blessed. I'm still thinking about it, especially so in light of the tenth anniversary of 9-11 on Sunday. Terrorists make me grit my teeth; these missionaries were genuinely concerned for their souls. I recently heard Gracia Burnham (author of In the Presence...) tell a story about the process she went through to ultimately arrive at forgiveness. (A You Tube video) She said that one day she was feeling so angry that she said to her husband, "One day that guy is going to rot in hell and I hope that I'm there to see it!" (That's the kind of thing that I might feel and say.) Her husband was shocked and replied, "Gracia, one day he will rot in hell if he doesn't ask the Lord to come into his life, but you do not want to be there. Imagine seeing the wrath of God poured out upon a person. You don't ever want to see that."

Then I received a win in the mail from Peggy at DayLily. I remember visiting and selecting this cheery painting if I should be so blessed to win. What a lovely surprise to discover that I had. This one makes me smile. The colors are so vivid and clear. Peggy is so talented! I'm always amazed at the talent in Blogdom. Thank you, Peggy!

Poppies by Peggy

The most recent gift came from John after a visit to his favorite flea market. It doesn't happen to be my favorite flea market so he visits alone so he can truly enjoy it. A tripod! A very sturdy, almost-easy-to-use tripod for the grand sum of $5! With it, I took this photo of the moon last night. I need practice because this moon looks like a glowing egg stuck in the treetop. I'll keep trying as we head for the full moon.

A Glowing Egg

Thank you for your visit today. I'm still playing with a schedule or not a schedule or whatever I am going to do around here.  Have a great weekend!

Love Vee

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Slipping Into September

September: it was the most beautiful of words... evoking orange-flowers, swallows, and regret.  ~Alexander Theroux

The weather certainly feels like September. Much cooler days and blessedly cooler nights and when the breeze blows there is just the hint of change to come. Thing is, as much as I love the next season, I'm not ready to let summer go.

Reading around Blogdom yesterday, I got that same sense from many of you north of Kansas. There's the desire to hold onto what precious little summer we enjoyed and slip slowly into autumn.

One thing I am truly looking forward to is the changing light. It happens when the leaves turn golden and the house fills with liquid sunshine. From the look of my doorstep where the leaves are assembling daily, that's a work already in progress.

My sensibilities change, too, in autumn. I'm looking for warmer colors and putting away the pastels and pinks of spring and summer, but sloooooowly.

Doily Wreath Wearing Autumn Garb

Snack Mat and a Cup of Tea

When I work on new sewing projects like the snack mats I'm finding fun, I look for autumn colors and I've fished out an autumn tea cup or two.

Blogging seems more important in autumn. There used to be a commercial for sunrooms where a late middle-aged couple described their vacation travels as less than satisfactory in many ways. The gentleman would then report that he said to his wife, "That's just about enough of this." They built a sunroom and vacation year 'round right there in their own home. Well that's sort of how I'm feeling about my self-imposed exile: That's just about enough of this. I'm feeling better, exercising more, reading more, getting things accomplished in small doses. I think that I am ready to be a little more present here. If I find myself slipping down that slippery slope to a bad back, weight gain, and inactivity, I'll impose another absence.

So much for the big news here! ☺

A delightful day to you...

Love Vee

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!


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...


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