Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Flat Princess Among Other Things

The Flat Princess came to me from Penny at The Comforts of Home. She arrived in my corner of New England on the 21st of October atop a couple of magazines. I could tell that she'd had a topsy-turvy trip and soon had her settled down with tea and a good read just as I so enjoy. A month's stay was not quite what I had in mind and, fact is, I have felt quite guilty about the way The Flat Princess has been treated while with me. I had hoped to have a lot of sweet photos of the iconic views of local scenes such as the P*ortland H*ead L*ight and L.*L. B*ean and perhaps even the W*hite M*ountains of NH. It was not to be, except via bad photoshopping. The little princess basically hung out with me drinking a lot of tea, a lot of tea. She did enjoy a concert one day, but basically she was just invisible. Would you be interested in having her visit your corner? I'll send her anywhere. She's a quiet and very well behaved princess. The first person who mentions in comments that you'd like her to visit has the honor.

sitting on a tea cup

Last week the power company came to make the switch. And just yesterday, John finished the last stragglers. Yes, he did get the upper and lower levels reinsulated and sided on the right side of the photo. What crazy architecture this little haven has! I am not responsible for the raised roof side, but I do appreciate it when I'm in those rooms. Just the front and the garage to do now.

I love the look without all those wires all over the place. Hope that you can figure out the befores and the afters as I forgot to note them.


Now my progress, which is laughable.

Focusing on what was accomplished:

1. dog groomed
2. window painted
3. winter basket made
4. small pantry doors covered
5. silver polished including candlesticks and casserole holder

Five out of eighteen can't be all bad. = )

Now it's cleaning and doing some cooking tomorrow. Finally. And shopping. And decorating.

Don't forget, if you want The Flat Princess, and are the first to say so, she's all yours!

Love Vee

Monday, November 21, 2011

No More Time for Goofing Off

Seriously. I think I'll have to shut the computer down today so that I can stay focused. I'm feeling a little vague and fuzzy.

What's on the docket:

1. Must clean the entire house and rake the yard and update the wreaths and do a bit of decorating.
2. Must finish painting moldings on the kitchen window over the sink and finish decorating same.

3. Must do some more grocery shopping.
4. Must tweak Thanksgiving menu.
5. Must take Molly to groomer's.
6. Must stop eating Thanksgiving groceries, see #3.
7. Must prepare stations in the dining area and set up tables.
8. Must wash linens and iron them.
9. Must cook up the pot roast for supper tonight.
10. Must practice making my squash *this way.*
11. Must research *slow roasting.*
12. Must gather fun things for the grands to do.
13. Must make some simple curtains for the front room.
14. Must wash windows.
15. Must visit apple orchard for more cider and apples.
16. Must wash the good dishes and gather platters and special serving dishes. 
17. Must take time to relax and enjoy the process.
18. Must remember what I'm forgetting.

Hope that you're all feeling as if everything is well under control. I'm feeling a little vague and fuzzy. Have I mentioned that already? 

Yesterday afternoon, John and I were out and about. I was looking for painter's cloth at Lowe's (see #13). In their parking lot was a row of the most beautiful trees with the foliage all still bright and mostly intact. It was amazing. We parked under them and enjoyed the view. Later, we saw this red house and I thought it looked especially like Thanksgiving. I like the white trim and the blue door, too.

Hope to catch you soon...

Love Vee

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Who Are You? What Are You Living For?

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Thessalonians 5: 9 NIV

Sometimes we Christians spend so much time on the topic of hell that we forget that God never designed hell for people. Let us emphasize the choice that each person has and remind our friends and family that when we invite Christ into our lives, He not only saves us from hell, He also saves us from our former lives of corruptness. Hell's punishment no longer awaits us even when we fail and fail we most certainly shall. Are we going to crucify Christ all over again to gain forgiveness for the sin committed this morning? NO! Of course not, He died once and for all and His blood takes away all sin for all time, IF we receive His gift—His sacrificed life.

It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. Ephesians 1:11 The Message

When I hear myself slip into the "woe is me a miserable lousy rotten piece of nothing," mode, I know that I am  doing precious little to live up to my full potential in Christ. Further, it is so vile and unattractive that precious few would want to become a Christian like me. It is the devil's ploy.

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Galatians 5:1 The Message

Now that's something to give thanks for!

Blessings to you this Sunday...

comments are closed

Love Vee

Saturday, November 19, 2011

To Polish or Not to Polish

Should I polish the silver silverplate? Because I'd rather do just about anything else. Do you enjoy polishing silver? I've learned that there are quite a few who do.

A happy weekend to you...

Love Vee

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Bad, Very Bad, Haircut ( Scene II )

Do you mind a reprise? One way to find out, I suppose. Stay tuned, I am going to show you a front and back view of the offending haircut. I'll toss in a photo of the second cut and a before and after comparison. You know how much I love those.

Brief summary of events... The day before yesterday I had my hair cut. If you don't agree with my assessment that it was awful, nay disgusting, I'll eat an entire bag of M&Ms! Yesterday, I had "the fix" done at three in the afternoon. I can tell from some of your comments — Barb, yours was priceless and had me in tears laughing—that you understand. Oh to be understood. It's one of the great joys of blogging.

Like so many of you, I shut down when my hair isn't cut properly or doesn't look good. I could not go do my errands or go shopping for Thanksgiving. I was simply too upset. Wait until you see how upset. Perhaps you should fix yourself a cup of coffee first...

Now I feel that I must warn you so that you can remove small children and pets from the room. The following picture is mildly somewhat deeply disturbing.

Man! I knew that I was upset, but that's wild! Those eyes. Those horrible eyes. Are they open or closed? They're both! < insert a shiver > Almost takes one's mind off the hair, doesn't it?!

Front ~ Before

Phew! That's better. Gotta protect the innocents.

Back ~ Before

Here's the current haircut.

Looking a Bit Better I think

So now the before and after.

Before and After

John just marched in and asked me why I had a photo of M*uammar G*addfi here. 


Have a fun day!

Edited to Add: What is up with all this space? Formatting issues gone horribly wrong. If you keep scrolling down, you'll eventually arrive at comments.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Bad, Very Bad, Haircut

In light of the morning's news and all that nasty weather in the Southeast United States, a bad haircut doesn't amount to much. I must keep things in perspective.

Women seem to fall into two camps with regard to a bad haircut. The first is a nonchalant whatever approach with a good old philosophical it'll grow tossed in. The second is What in the world? This is NOT what I requested.

My reaction is the second. I have been growing my hair out from very short a year ago to what I had hoped to keep at a medium length. That's because my husband does not like my hair short and I don't like my hair long so I was looking for a happy compromise.

I walked in with plenty of hair and another photo. This one gleaned after an internet search.

Yes, I took in just what you see above and the hairdresser and I discussed all these notes and she had the picture right there on her counter. I knew that it was going horribly awry even as she hacked away. We discussed it again. It made little difference. I walked out with very short hair and irregular choppy bits sticking up all over the place.

It's so bad that everyone who has seen me has commented, including my neighbor who recommended his own hairdresser. Ha! John thinks that a roving herd of squirrels attacked me. Whatever, I must call as soon as the shop opens and make a new appointment. The thing is, my hair will be even shorter when it is fixed. Believe me, there is precious little length left at all. This is so disappointing after one has been growing her hair out for this long.

Still, in the great scheme of things, it's a minor issue and it will grow again.

Now, do you have a hair cut story you'd like to share? Believe me, I'm all ears. No, really, all ears.

Love Vee

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Little Whatevers and Some Christmas Thoughts

Nothing too exciting going on around here today...

Oh wait! Yes, it's time for my hair to be trimmed this morning. I found yet another picture to take with me this time so I'll probably have the most confused hairdresser ever. I'm pretty sure that she already thinks I'm a nut. No comments please. Whether I show you my new do depends upon how well you behave until I get back or whether I'm in tears. Because, believe me, I can be reduced to tears by bad hair days. I can. I am that shallow.

The following is an excellent good sense article printed in its entirety about Christmas shopping. It's time for most of us to begin thinking about these things. I first read it while visiting Diane who writes a wonderful (and sadly private) blog. I believe she said that this comes from one of the ubiquitous forwards we all receive.

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

Everyone, yes EVERYONE, gets his/her hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamins on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about?

I don't believe that that's what Christmas is all about, but I still like the article. Thank you, Diane!

(Feel free to copy and share with your friends and family.)

For even more excellent and practical suggestions, visit Coffee Tea Books and Me Being a Blessing During the Holidays.

Have a blessed day...

Love Vee

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanksgiving Party

The Pilgrims came to America not to accumulate riches but to worship God, and the greatest wealth they left unborn generations was their heroic example of sacrifice that their souls might be free.
~Harry Moyle Tippett

When I think of Thanksgiving, the holiday falling on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States (and the second Monday in October in Canada), I think of the richness of its history. I love the stories of the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, the Indians, and Squanto. Thanksgiving is a celebratory holiday meaningful in its simplicity: Gratitude, Giving Thanks to God, Appreciation. It's my favorite holiday.


This is where all holiday preparations begin at my haven—in the dishpan! I'd like to be one who uses the best china all year through; unfortunately, mine stays in the china cupboard and is brought out for special occasions only. It needs a good hot bath.

Next up is preparing the table, which in my world means a table pad. This provides the foundation for the tablecloth and the table settings. If you ever find one in a flea market, nab it. Do they still sell them in stores? I have not yet found one. My mother never owned one; both grandmothers did. Perhaps it's an old-fashioned thing. I have always made a makeshift one using triple tablecloths or sheets or even a blanket. This year, I finally made my own from quilting batting, an old tablecloth and an old sheet. It works like a charm.

My! What lovely photos I'm showing. Well, let's just continue in this vein shall we? 

This was what was going on right outside the dining room bay window while I set the table. I'd love to know what he was thinking as he watched me play while he worked. Up and down that ladder again and again. (We're both thankful for the amazing weather and I am especially thankful for his knowledge and hard work.)

And it was fun to play. I think the table is too matchy-matchy, though I have time to think of ways to change it up a bit. Perhaps dig out the chargers or use different water glasses. I still love my paternal grandmother's Friendly Village set after all these years.

In our world, the food is the centerpiece, though I do hope that there'll be fresh flowers in the house.

 This simple decoration...a Jack B. Little pumpkin on a candlestick is thanks to seeing something similar at Penny's Comforts of Home.
Time ran away on me again and so I have two simple Thanksgiving/Holiday recipes to share. Simple being the operative word.

1. To dress up a pumpkin pie, make some cinnamon sugar and lightly sprinkle it on top of the pie in the last five or so minutes of baking. It will make the pie look even more festive and it tastes great.

2. These yummy little treats, kind of healthful, too, if one doesn't go overboard on the cream cheese, can be made with the above ingredients: dates, walnuts, cream cheese.

They're a holiday tradition around here. Neither John nor I minded eating a few for the cause.

Two blogs have been doing a wonderful job with Thanksgiving specifics. Specificity is not a talent I am gifted with so I really admire what these gals do.

The first is Jen at My Southern Table whose post titled Holiday Entertaining Timeline is invaluable. 

The second is Cheryl at Thinking About Home whose post titled Thanksgiving: Making It Fun for the Kids discusses a subject near and dear to my heart. (Thanksgiving hasn't always been my favorite holiday.  = )

Happy Thanksgiving planning to you...

Love Vee

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Party Tomorrow!

Really, really, wasn't going to post today. (You do believe me, don't you?) Have spent a relaxing morning sipping my coffee and enjoying the mosaics without commenting (for the most part). Every now and then it is pleasant to treat my dear blogging friends' blogs as if they are magazines only. So despicable of me!

Anyway, as I was saying, I wasn't going to post today and then looked at my sidebar and gasped. Tomorrow is Debbie's Thanksgiving Party! See it? That little button there with Debbie's cute picture? I had planned to chat about it long before this. Time is slipping away so quickly these days. So tomorrow I'll be participating. Perhaps I'll share a tablescape...I've only ever done it once before...and some Thanksgiving recipes and some terrific links to blogs that are doing so well with Thanksgiving planning. I hope to make it all very attractive, too. Just like the big gals do! < insert chuckle >

Today, I'm sharing a flea market find and a new wreath. I have been looking for a youth chair to pull up to the table for one of the grands. Maybe I'll stick my daughter in it! We need more room at the table so I'm hoping that this works.

Does your kitchen have a corner? My grandparents' kitchen did and every morning my grandfather would tuck himself into the corner and listen to the news on his radio and have his first cup of coffee while Nan made breakfast. This is mine and this is the new youth chair.

It's red, it's solid as in strong, and I could afford it!

Correct! Seventeen dollars and fifty cents brought this home to the Haven. = )

The youth chair's price was about the same I paid for the wreath up there on my
finally-finished-with-the-painting door. I asked John what he thought and he said, "It's falling apart." Men! They do not get it. I think it'll work for all seasons with very minor adjustments.

Hope to see you tomorrow...

Love Vee

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November's Colors

Oh I had hoped to keep my promise to myself. It hasn't worked. I didn't get to everyone who participated way back in October so I'm punishing myself by not linking this post while still linking to this week's Mosaic Monday at Mary's Little Red House. There are just amazing things to see!

Comments are closed so that you may look and run.

Background is from Kim Klassen.

Love Vee

Taste and See

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. ~ Psalm 34:8

Leftover Hot Apple Cider with Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Hot apple cider is a very enjoyable beverage for me. I have been surprised, though, by how many of my guests have not wished to try it. Not even one little sip. Last Christmas, my brother-in-law said that he wouldn't try it for a five-dollar bill. Yesterday, at our leaf jumping party, my sister-in-law said that the mere thought of hot cider gave her "the willies." No amount of coaxing seemed to help, no amount of saying how much I enjoyed it, how warm and soothing it was going down the hatch nor how pleasant to hold the warm cup in the chilly outside air. Nothing.

Grand; John Sipping Hot Apple Cider with His Sisters

Sometimes it's like that when Christians share the Lord with others. No amount of coaxing helps. One has to find out for oneself. You may be glad to know that my sister-in-law later reported that she had tried the hot cider and liked it. The cold had driven her to it. So I encourage you, if you haven't tried hot cider, go ahead, you may enjoy it. And, far more importantly, if you've never tasted the Lord and found Him good, go ahead! You will be pleasantly surprised.

More Leaf Party Silliness

A delightful Sunday to you...

(As always, Sunday's comments are closed.)

Love Vee