Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More on the Doors

It's raining again this morning and the house is cozy and dark with the furnace running. I'm so glad that most of the painting is accomplished because rain is predicted for four out of the next five days. Would so love to send some to Texas, anywhere really.

Here are the three incarnations of my front door. Yes, I am responsible for that screeching yellow. It was a bad idea. Schoolbus yellow. Fire truck yellow. Yield sign yellow. Awful yellow. The center photo is the priming, which is preferable, and the last photo shows the new Coastal Plain.

Trouble is that, from the front, one can not see much through the storm door. I can't tell if the newly painted door is gray, white or green.

This is how the door looked earlier in the summer when the morning glory was just a teenager and not the monster it is now.

See how beautifully the centers of those morning glories matched the front door? ☺☺☺

Yesterday afternoon I shoved the volkswagons (what I call my living room furniture) around and created a new flow space. It'll take some getting used to. I'd show you, but with a camera not working quite right and the rain...too many obstacles. What I can show you is the plan that I worked up using *this program.* What I love about that virtual room planner is that it doesn't require a download nor does it require signing up. The program was truly helpful. If you have a lot of furniture or volkswagons as I do, you do not want to be doing a lot of unnecessary shifting and shoving.

Thank you for all the sweet comments on the color. You're the best!

A pleasant Tuesday to you...

Love Vee

Monday, September 19, 2011

I've Really Been Painting the Door

A weekend later and I'm still not finished painting doors. That's the story of my painting escapades. Painting is so not my thing, but I am trying to help out since John is very busy doing more important things.

You may remember way back *here* when your help was requested on my "I've Been Painting the Door" post. John and I settled on Sherwin Williams' Laurel Woods. Perhaps it is because my daughter's name is Woods. (Wonder how many times this bad comic can get away with that joke < insert cheesy grin > )

Anyway, we went through the choices, read your comments again, and that's what we decided on unbeknownst to each other. He didn't tell me; I didn't tell him; it just came out that we both agreed on LW. I also liked Studio Blue Green, but John didn't.

When we arrived at the Sherwin Williams store thinking we knew exactly what we wanted, we discovered that Laurel Woods is very, very dark, almost black. I mentioned to the salesman that we had used the Color Visualizer and he said that the values are not always true. Hmmmm...I suppose that they are just true enough to get customers in there. Though I was not thrilled to be starting over, I did find the salesman and his suggestions helpful. So here we have it, the big reveal:

This is called Coastal Plain. I have another coat to do on the front door...same color...and then some touch-ups back and forth, forth and back. I also have to do the door frames in exterior white. I may finish up before November.

A happy Monday to you!

Love Vee

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Nesting Party 2011

Welcome to this year's Fall Nesting Party hosted by the incomparable Melissa of The Inspired Room. I'm very happy that you are here!

Some points of disclosure: First of all, I'm not ready for fall. It's not just turned chilly here. The leaves, usually already turning, are still vivid green. Second of all, it's raining. Raining and dark. Dark and dreary. My goal was to add some warmth and cozy without resorting to the usual autumn palette or the furnace.

China Cabinet

All decorating in my home begins here. It's the first place for eyes to rest when anyone comes through the door. I'm working with browns, tarnished silver, inherited china, flea market finds, and my favorite poem: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, which I popped into the apothecary jar.  I think it would look especially cool with a page torn from a poetry book, but I'm not willing to tear up my Norton Anthology for that cause.

Poetry in an Apothecary Jar

There are few matching pieces, the bookend tea cups and the candlesticks notwithstanding. I'm a quilt kind of gal.

*Mosaic will enlarge

While I was busy taking photos, my hubby was outside working in the rain. At one point he came in looking like a drenched rat and requested hot tea.

You know what? Nothing speaks autumn-cozy like a cup of tea on a rainy day! 

I'm looking forward to seeing all the wonderful things that you're doing once my busy morning of running errands is over.

A blessed and cozy autumn to you...

Love Vee

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Late in the night I was still putting the final touches on this tea cozy. I'm so happy that it is finished and that I can now send it with joy to Miss Sandy. I was up early this morning to grab enough light to take a reasonable photo. This project has been promised for over a year. Over a year. *thud*

Heading for Arkansas

ETA: 9/21/2011 You'll find Miss Sandy's sweet thank you here at Quill Cottage.

Late yesterday afternoon, I took a lot of photos to share the new kitchen window and what's going on with John's work on the house. Now you'll want to throttle me, but I'm waiting on most of it because it'll look so much better in just a few days. Here's a mere hint:

new insulation

Much of the delay is because John is reinsulating the house. It is labor intensive and time consuming. Soon, though, I can show this side completely done and that will include my new kitchen window from outside.

Let's move on to other sights around the yard, shall we?

Looking Up

First of all, here it is the middle of September already and the leaves are still green. Usually, they have begun to change. How about in your corner? This alarms me a bit and Deanna knows why. ☺

Back Yard

The sweet potato vine is a plant new to me and suggested by Deanna (Creekside Cottage). I've been quite pleased with them and am looking forward to their autumn colors.

Late Afternoon Wave Petunias

The petunias are looking their best of the entire summer; this picture just isn't the best. I repotted them when they began to look bedraggled in July. That has made a world of difference. They had been terribly root bound. I've just about decided, once and for all, that any potted plant in my possession is going to get repotted immediately upon arrival at The Haven.

Touched by Fire

This is my favorite photo of the day. A few minutes after I'd come inside to get back to work on all things tea, I glanced outside and saw that the sinking sun was now highlighting and shining through the blossoms. So pretty.

Did you see that Melissa at The Inspired Room is having her annual Fall Nesting Party tomorrow? (Check my sidebar for the link.) This year, the time sneaked up on her so it's a bit of a late notice.  Still, I'm going to try to participate and here is a preview.

To the left you see a pitcher. It belonged to my grandmother and it appears to be the size for mixing cocktails or martinis or something. Seasons and scenes are represented and I'm showing you autumn's scene with a hunting dog, an Eastern Spruce, and a hunter prepared to shoot. The photo should enlarge to see the details.
The photo on the right shows my Eastern Spruce. The only tree on my property other than bushes. I am easily charmed by such coincidences.
Join me tomorrow for The Fall Nesting Party and won't you consider participating, too?

Love Vee

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Package and A Promise Kept

My package arrived in yesterday's mail and how timely! Guess what? I was able to pop Sandi's tea cozy right in the same envelope and will send it off to her today. Ahhhh, the relief that comes with keeping a promise. ☺

Heading for South Carolina

Sandi sent me a cd of her playlist: Sandi's Playlist. Gosh, I love her playlist. I'm listening to it right now. It's not a list of sacred songs or easy listening as is my usual. It's good vintage music with lots of country tossed in for good measure. It happens to be John's favorite playlist in all of Blogdom and he's heard a lot of good ones. Listening to this one makes me feel as if I'm riding down a long highway late at night with the radio blaring, destination two hundred miles away.

She also sent me a dvd of the series Edward and Mrs. Simpson, and a cookbook, too. The kind of cookbook that a real cook has used. I'm going to follow the berry stains and whip up something tasty one day. Thanks so much for everything, Sandi!

Thank you for all the suggestions regarding moon shots. Since the camera isn't functioning on all settings, it's become more and more exciting. A hit or miss proposition at the best of times, it becomes a real challenge now. I did read a good tip and would've used it if I had had a flashlight to see my settings. When taking a moon shot from a tripod, set the timer to reduce shake. Of course, you could invest in  sophisticated equipment, but I'm using a five dollar flea market tripod so what do you suppose are my chances of buying any snazzy camera gadgets?

Washed out Moon~Blah, Blah, Blah

I did try the mountain icon or infinity setting and it seemed to do well with getting the moon sitting on the tree tops. But oh that coppery moon last night. I wanted the color more than anything. Silver is nice, but nothing beats that orange harvest moon. Below was my best. Not great, but it isn't washed-out and it is round. It isn't as crisp as I'd like, but let us look at the positives...color and craters! And doesn't it look like an orange? I can see the navel there toward the bottom.

Waning Gibbous Moon 9/13/2001

Forever in blue jeans, Babe. And money talks, but it don't sing and dance and it don't walk...


Love Vee

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