Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Not Bored Exactly...

January has brought me to this or as John says, "You're worried about what's going on in my head?" ☺

It's true. I am now knitting *crocheting nests. K.n.i.t.t.i.n.g. *Crocheting nests for crying out loud! It all began when I was practicing Deb's directions last night at A Blade of Grass. She said something fascinating about using two strands of yarn so, having lots of little leftover balls of yarn, I practiced and instead of a purse, came up with a nest. She'll be worried about me Deb will.

*Apparently, I don't know what I'm doing.

Keeping my nest company is my sweet little barn painting from Nita Leger Casey

And all these pictures are reminders to those who are in a panic about the loss of Picnik. (No, I have never met an alliteration I did not love.) I can't say enough kind things about Photoscape. Do your own Googling and download the program when you're certain you have the right site. It's free. If you don't already have it, you'll love it.

Hope January is treating you well...

Love Vee

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Faded Beauty~Mosaic Monday

A Kim Klassen background (If Only) and last week's photo of the rose with this week's photo of the same rose. Perhaps I could better name it Fragile Beauty as all those lovely layers on the drying rose look paper thin and fragile to me.

Connecting to Mary at Little Red House.

Closing comments so that you may just visit and enjoy. I'll be visiting and enjoying without comments this evening myself.

Love Vee

The World Beyond

This morning early, I pressed the blue button on the top of my computer tower on my way by and wandered down the hall toward the kitchen and coffee. I greeted John and almost listened to what he told me, poured my coffee and headed back down the hall for the computer...that glowing box of all things that connect me to The World Beyond.

I checked here at Haven and then scrolled to the bottom and that little meter icon where I could check stats. Soon I was there and then I was off to check email. A few minutes went by and I thought What were my stats? How many people went to visit Jill? Who's on now? All questions that would have been easily known if I had actually "been there" when I was there.

How much I am missing by not being here! And I am reminded all over again to stay focused and to really do the thing not merely go through the motions. The Bible clearly tells me this:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails... I Corinthians 13:1–8a

Now what did John tell me?

A blessed Sunday to you...

Love Vee

Saturday, January 21, 2012

How Fascinating!

This is going to be an all-over-the-place post. My brain is firing on all two cylinders. = )

I have discussed this before, though I'm hoping that it was so long ago that you've forgotten. Years ago now, I took an aptitude test designed for college students. I was an instructor at the time and since I wanted my students to take the test, I took it just for fun. I was quite shocked when the results came back:  I like to think! That's basically it. They suggested that I would like to belong to a "think tank." < insert chuckles >

So that's probably why I adored *Jill's post yesterday.* You will enjoy reading it; you will love watching the video she shared. The video is 15 minutes long and it will be the most fun and the most fascinating 15 minutes you've spent this week. I promise! Besides, you need some new interesting conversation to share with your friends and family. This is going to provide it. Yes, I promise! All that and it will give you a new appreciation for these:

Well, not exactly those, but close! If you regret it, please let me know. If you love it, please let Jill know. She features some amazing things on her blog!

 Like These


Deb at A Blade of Grass just let me know that she has translated the crocheted bag  I spoke of a few days ago into US terms right *here.* How cool is that?! Send your message out and the answer returns. Thank you very much, Deb, so appreciated! I shopped Thursday and didn't find anything I wanted so I am on the search for some quality yarn for this project. Anyone want to join me in making this pattern? Let me know!

It's Cable Guys day and still in time for Downton Abbey on Sunday night! John has done the most splendid job of installing conduit running the length of the house to the connection box. He says that this will be the easiest hook-up these guys have had in a long time. 

It's also a Nonni Day as the youngest grand will be here soon. Seems big brother is now a basketball player. Must be that two inches plus that he's grown lately. Anyway, little brother at a basketball practice would not be as happy as little brother at Nonni's. Yay!

The new comment feature? I'm torn. What to do? What to do? Tell me what to do. Somebody. Anybody? Torn no more! When I had a number of emails this morning, in addition to the emails yesterday, that all told me that they couldn't comment without seeing a big blank white page pop up, I knew that I was going back to what wasn't broke. I can still respond to your comments here, IF that's any big deal or I can answer questions via email. I liked the new comment feature, but it is not worth losing touch with people. Work out those bugs, Blogger! One more thing: Should you wish to return to the old interface, you'll find a gear on the top of the dashboard page. A menu will drop down and returning to the old interface will be listed as an option.

Leaving you with a pretty picture of a drying rose. At least I think it's pretty.

Now go visit Jill!

A happy day to you...

Love Vee

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Went Alone

Yup. I was sitting right here at the keyboard, after rescheduling the cable guys because John wasn't quite ready for them today, when I read Ellen's comment on yesterday's post that she leaves when projects are ongoing and returns once they are done. Aha! Exactly what I should do I thought.

So I said, "Fare-thee-well, dear husband. I am leaving for the rest of the day. Do not expect me back before six tonight."

He said, "Fine." I'm sure that he was in his own particular hell pulling himself around and through the crawl space repeatedly for two days and so wouldn't miss me.

I was driving down the road wondering where in the world I was going to go when I realized that I could kill some time at the theater watching W*r H*rse. I'm disguising that title there in that inane clever way because, after I review this movie, I don't want Spi*lberg to find me.

No, I am not going to tell you the details. I'm just going to say that those negative reviews you may have read may have some basis in reality. It is a heavily machinated, war-is-hell movie. My one tear was shed at the very end. I was happy when it was over and wished that it hadn't lasted so long (2 hours and a half, more or less). I only cared about a few of the characters and I didn't always care about the horse, though he's a magnificent horse all right. He's no Seabiscuit so John would have hated it.

Except for the stunning scenery, you could happily wait for the video. In fact, you could skip the video. Just sayin'... Perhaps I'd prefer reading the book upon which the movie is based. It is actually a children's novel written by Mi*hael M*rpurgo in 1982. And so that might explain the simpleness childlike quality of the storyline as I understand the director followed the book closely.

I did learn in previews that Titanic is going to be re-released on April 6. Now that I might like to see on the big screen again. Who am I kidding? I'd love to see Gone With the Wind on the big screen again and The Sound of Music and Forrest Gump and The Notebook and... Any oldies that you'd like to see on the big screen again?

Debbie at Bungalow tells me that not too many have found her giveaway and since it's for Shaklee products and since I love Shaklee products, I thought I'd point you in that direction. You can find it right *here.* While you're there you might want to check on the progress that Debra is making painting a chair. The upholstery of the chair. Who knew that you can do that?!

Despite the complaining about not being able to comment at many blogs, I am taking the plunge and trying the new interface. I hope that I can go back if necessary. Let's see how this goes. My instant review of the new comment system is in. It's a mixed review. I like being able to comment directly and easily to my friends. I do not like that my comments are tallied as part of the total so I will be using the ability rarely. Some folks get their knickers in a knot over comments. They even say, "My! You have so many comments." So I've never thought it a good thing for a mediocre nothing blog such as mine to have too many comments, especially if I am "padding" them myself. ;>

A happy Friday to you and a happy weekend!

Love Vee

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Say WHAT?!

I was reading at Barbara's Two Birdies and a B when I learned that Google is getting rid of Google Connect on March 1, 2012. It is being replaced with Google+ or some such thing. You can read more about it *here.* Apparently, we'll all be affected by it as we are going to lose all those nice friends and followers we have been gathering. That is unless we can take them along to Google+. I have looked at Google+ and I don't much care for it for a lot of reasons. Why does Google have to know so much about us? It makes me twitchy. So, my dear, I, for one, am adding a lot of blogs to my Friends and Favorites blog just because I hate losing people and it's ding-dong unlikely that I'm going to join on with Google+! Just thought you'd like to know. Disclaimer: Be sure to do your own research and read Heather's comment below. It's #3!

Yes, I am very aware that commenting has become more and more of a challenge. This is especially true of those who use the new interface. I do not. See my apology at the top of my sidebar to the right.

So between Google and Blogger, there's a whole lot of shaking going on. It makes me wonder what the ultimate goal is. As I tend toward paranoia, I can't help but wonder if they wish to winnow those who enjoy blogging. It may be time to make some plans.


This was the story of our day yesterday. Note the time at the end of the video. It went on for another three hours and John is still not finished. So, no movie yesterday and no movie today, perhaps tomorrow.

I paid careful attention to your suggestions. I listened when you said that you didn't like wires showing as they do when hanging a flat screen on the wall. We had intended to hang it on the wall.  (And, if we hung it on the wall, where would we put the dvd?) I listened when you said that the tv had to sit higher than it did on the trunk. So those two things were addressed.

This is rather a mess in reflections and light washing in from the windows. Still, it shows where John's chair is in relation to the tv...that had been one of the questions...and where my chair is (which you can not see) behind the hassock there. The tv is as high on the wall as we were going to hang it. When I don't have to worry about tools all over the floor and carpets pulled back, I'll show one final photo.

That's it from our cold corner. How are things with you?

Love Vee

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hump Day, Hump Jumper, Etc.

Thank you so much for all of your suggestions. I am going to take you up on a few, but will wait to tell you all about it until the cable guys have arrived and the deed is done. By Friday, it should all be accomplished.

Hump jumper: Ever heard of it? Me neither until my daughter, a brand new sewer, suggested that I could use one. She's right! I want *this* very much. My daughter described finding a sweet little old lady in her 50s on You Tube who taught her all about it. See who she thinks is "a little old lady." Now I find this video fascinating. My favorite info about the hump jumper starts at 3:46.

Edited to Add: April 2, 2012
The gal, Sandy is her name, who invented the hump-jumper recently left a comment for me and I wanted to link to her site where she shares her unique and wonderful sewing notions inventions: The Sewing Notions that Solve Such Frustrating Problems. I do not actually own a "hump-jumper." I have a "jean-a-majig." Two different tools that do the same thing. 


Here's that finished purse of many colors. I'm actually using it and I can show you why...

That's my former purse behind...large and heavy and it's literally giving me a pain in the neck. The confetti job there is much smaller and lighter. Though I did not use *this pattern,* it is the one that got me started on crocheting a purse of my own.  Believe me, if I had the talent to figure out that pattern, it's done in UK terms, I would have it instead.

And a fantastic leap to last night's supper just because I want to show the picture, which makes me hungry for some reason.

If you've never tried *Pioneer Woman's Pot Roast recipe,* may I suggest that you do and soon?! Why do I do this to myself? Her photos are incredible!

Should I get my way around here today, I'll be off to see War Horse. Have you seen it? Speaking of which, what was the last movie you went to see? We went to see The King's Speech way last January. (I am not counting Winnie the Pooh of last summer. Ha!)

There! We've certainly jumped a lot of humps today. A great Wednesday to you!

Love Vee

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Project Runway With a Twist and Beyond

Yesterday, I visited a dear friend in Blogdom who had herself *a grand adventure*! Judy writes so well that you'll get taken away, too. I shared her fun with John who laughed along with me and then I said, "Of course, if we're ever going to have an adventure like that, we'll need a runway." I kid you not, by afternoon we had one! ;>

We're having ourselves another snow day. Lovely largish flakes falling steadily.

Molly there is in the process of making herself a nest. She plumps pillows, gathers her blankie, tends to some grooming and she's gone for the day. Zzzzzzzzzzz Thank goodness! She's one needy, attention-seeking dog when awake. We only have to deal with that from six to nine every evening. ☺

Pardon the mess, I didn't pick up just for you. You're an old friend and you can find me as I am. I want to ask you a few a lot of questions. Where is your tv? What room of the house? Is it mounted on a wall? Standing on a table? Hidden in an armoire? If my situation were your own, what might you do with that tv? The reason I ask is that we have a few decisions to make before the cable boys arrive later this week. Edited to Add: Lovella wants to know what the available wall space is so I'm reporting back that the location you see there is exactly where the tv will remain. Why? Because of all those windows and the glare. That little corner works best. Thanks for all the suggestions...keep them coming! I can see a plan taking shape. In the meantime, John has shoveled a path to the crawl space where he is gaining access to drill holes for the cable guys. He will never allow them to come do their own thing again.

I know this, I want my antique trunk back (yes, it qualifies—my grandmother's grandparents' trunk). It has a lot of room that I use for storage and I want it back at the foot of my bed. It is inconvenient to be using a trunk for storage with a tv on top of it.

Looking forward to your suggestion...

A great day to you!

Love Vee

Monday, January 16, 2012

Molasses Cookies Take 2

My comments in orange with Pondsy's in teal.

With many thanks to Mary MacDonald and her daughter who blogs at *Pondside.* These are the cookies John and I remember so well.

Soft Molasses Cookies Mary MacDonald's Soft Molasses Cookies ☺ (I copied this from my mum's book in 1974 - I date all my recipes!)

1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup water

Cream butter and sugar, blend in molasses and egg and beat well.
In a separate bowl, combine next four ingredients.
Dissolve baking soda in water and add it alternately with the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and blend.
Drop by tablespoons full on to greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes or until done.

If I were you I'd watch the first cookie sheet carefully as these are big and soft and depending on the oven can easily burn on the bottom.

Thank you so much. The minute I saw the ¼ cup of water I thought "bingo." My mother would say that the trick was all in the water. If one wanted soft cookies, one used either hot or cold water, and if one wanted a tougher cookie one would use either hot or cold water. I remember thinking that, whichever way it went, the soft cookie used just the opposite from what one would think. In my mind, that's cold water, but I could be wrong. Have you ever heard anything like this before?

For soft cookies, use cold water. Weird, but true!

Please give the credit to my mother, Mary MacDonald, who baked these every Friday of my childhood. I hope they turn out well!

They turned out very well, just as we remember! They were even better the second day. We can't say about the third day because the cookie tin is e.m.p.t.y.

a soft molasses cookie...yummo!

Some have asked about molasses. We use Crosby's, which offers an unsulphered molasses considered the highest quality. It is not the black strap variety, which is pretty intense...very thick and black and refers to the third boiling of cane sugar. Black strap is often found in feed stores and healthfood stores. The joy of Crosby's is that it is processed in St. John, New Brunswick. When we visit the cottage in summer, we are able to replenish our molasses supplies much less expensively (can purchase an entire gallon of molasses in New Brunswick for the price I pay for a 16 ounce bottle here). It's one of those items that is on my list for anyone heading to the Maritimes. I think this must be true of any state that borders Canada. We have our favorite things on the other side after all! 

Thank you for revisiting molasses cookies with me! Have you ever rediscovered a favorite recipe?

Love Vee

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Taking Joy~Mosaic Monday

It has been a very good day. One that I might not have imagined possible when I awoke this morning.

Every time I walk past the beautiful bouquet that my sister and her husband sent me, I smile. Earlier in the morning, a friend had encouraged me to "take joy" so I followed her advice and spent a lot of time getting to know my camera settings and taking photos of the flowers within the bouquet.

On this coldest of January days, I had to share.

Shades of Pink

Linking to Mary's Mosaic Monday at Little Red House.

Love Vee

Remembering Mom

How the years fly by. It has been a year since we said our farewells to one of the dearest on earth.

I, of course, did not know my mother in 1936 or 1940; however, I love to see the photos of her sweet little girl self all dressed in her winter best smiling for the camera.  We noted when going through the old photos how many were taken with a rabbit or a neighbor's dog. She so loved animals even though she never had a childhood pet. She more than made up for it once she had her own home ensuring that my sister and I had many.

Grief is such a complicated thing. I don't need to tell you that. There are good days; there are very bad days. One never knows when the grief will swell and crash over oneself. Just yesterday, my daughter shared with me the story of selecting a sympathy card as she wept. (She's very tenderhearted that gal of mine.) Next to her at the card counter stood another weeping woman. They comforted one another, selected the same card, and moved on. That's probably the best that we can say of experiencing grief. It gives us insight so that we may comfort others.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
~II Corinthians 1:3–4  

One thing is certain. No one escapes grief.

My sister sent me a beautiful bouquet yesterday. I wish that I had also sent her one. My mind does not bend so thoughtfully.

Her card said simply: Remembering Mom

Though we know where Mother is and we know that we will see her again, it does not change our reality: we miss her! Terribly. Achingly.

Love Vee

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday's Scoop

Oh how I love Blogdom. I mention soft molasses cookies and so many go into action. Would you believe that the recipe I remember was found and emailed to me yesterday by a blogging buddy on the West Coast who found it in her mother's cookbook from the East Coast? Yes! I'll get back to you on that come Monday. So I'm back in the molasses cookie baking business this morning and oh the aroma. Wish that I could share!

my homemade purse 

Another made up as I went along project. I'm not sure that I like the look of those gathered bits there, though it does allow for the roominess needed at the bottom of any purse of mine. My hands are very tired from all the crocheting so I must move on to something new for a while. When next you see this, it should be lined, have a flap, and some handles. August perhaps?

See those lights on the fence this morning? I thought it a fun idea to have them on through the winter during bad weather — a bit of cheer for us and passersby. I've changed my mind.

Seems that the light bill is higher by a lot than ever before in Haven history. And for this we rewired the house? We're not sure, but we can't help but wonder about that smart meter that we're all being required to switch over to. Yes, this is the bill after the smart meter installation. I think it's a smart meter for the power company myself. Anyway, the lights outside went off this morning and will remain off until July.

In the meantime, I am gathering my stash for the Challenge at Quill Cottage. I told you all the 19th when, in fact, it will be the 30th. See sidebar for details.

tag stash

A delightful weekend to you!

Love Vee

Friday, January 13, 2012

Projects for a Snowy Day

l–r top to bottom
1. mug cozy and "saucer"
2. mug bottom
3. saucer on end
4. cozy button

Today is another stormy snowy mix, which gives me permission to play.  The pattern above was made up as I went along so I am not crediting it. All one has to do is Google "mug cozy" and you'll find many patterns. 

The "saucer" was supposed to have been the bottom of my handbag. No worries, though, by tomorrow I should be able to show you how that handbag turned out in the end. It will be good for a chuckle if nothing else.

I also worked on ric-rac (site cited yesterday) using the teeny-weeny crochet hook, crochet thread, and massive amounts of patience. This is going to be used on the tag for the challenge at Quill Cottage coming right up on the 19th 30th (can't read today).

Yesterday, I did bake, after all. John had been promised old-fashioned soft molasses cookies. My mother had a wonderful recipe, which I cannot find. Usually, I can find anything on the Internet, but not this time. I found something, which I switched up so much that I can now officially call this recipe my own. 

Not Good Old-Fashioned Molasses Cookies (though still quite delicious)


* ¾ cup melted butter (salted or unsalted your choice)
* 1 packed cup brown sugar
* 1 large egg
* ½ cup regular molasses (not black strap)
* 2 ½ cups King Arthur's unbleached, unbromated flour
* ½ tsp salt if using unsalted butter; ¼ tsp salt if using salted butter
* 2 tsps baking soda
* 1 tsp ground cinnamon
* 1 tsp ground ginger


* Melt butter, allow to cool some
* Add brown sugar
* Stir in egg and molasses
* Mix dry ingredients
* Fold dry ingredients into the soft mixture
* Stir well 
* Using a cookie scoop (2 TBS size), create balls and roll them in sugar.
* Place on parchment paper 
* Bake at 350° for 10–12 minutes

Very tasty, but NOT the soft, Grandma's bun looking sort of old-fashioned cookie I'm hoping to find.

Edited to Add: I was called in for Nonni duty today, which is a real treat. 
This movie is of my grandson just now eating a cookie from yesterday's batch. Listen to that crunch. Oh my! Consider yourselves warned. =)


Pam at Playing With My Camera has offered a *Soft Molasses Cookie Recipe* that uses coffee as an ingredient. Interesting! 

Love Vee