Tuesday, August 21, 2012

House Work of Another Sort

It's been such a muggy summer and hot, though we've not achieved a 100F day yet (and don't wish one) that John decided to follow other pursuits until it got cooler. This week begins with tidying up some loose ends on the house and then moving on to the garage.

This is all very good as I want the garage interior back. After over a year, it is time.

Any tasks that you've put off for cooler weather?

I'm off on Nonni duty until later this afternoon, but never fear I'll be catching up with you. Much too nosy curious not to...

Love Vee

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cluttered Country Store Style, Et Cetera

While many are able to define the decorating style of their kitchens — Tuscan, Country, Primitive, French Provincial — I've never quite been able to come up with a definitive name for mine. Well I have, but would be reluctant to share it for decency's sake. I spend a lot of time disguising that kitchen in photos for Blogdom having promised for years that I would share painting details and still it is not done. Not happening any time soon either.

So when I saw this photo of Sam in the apron he requested a year ago — one "just his size" and only recently finished, I gasped.

Through the magic of the camera's eye, I can definitively state that my kitchen is Cluttered Country Store. Ai yi yi... nothing like displaying the recycling bins prominently beneath the old farm table loaded with the stuff we need and can't seem to find a home for. Sigh. It is what it is for now.

Well then, let us just focus on the happy boy who has an apron his size and a denim jean pocket, an idea gleaned from visiting Linda and her camper redo. If you haven't seen Linda with her new grandbabies (right—quads!), you must check— so cute.


Remember when I mentioned that Site Meter was ticking down to zero? It happened. Slowly and methodically, it began ticking back up until, as of yesterday, it looks as if it might be back to normal.

I can smile again.


Here's a photo that makes me grin. First, it's that iced coffee recipe from Pioneer Woman. Oh boy howdy — it's yummy good! Second, the roses are rising right out of my glass. Bad, bad positioning. ☺


Lastly, we went bike riding in the cemetery over the weekend. I packed a little lunch knowing the boys would be thirsty and hungry after all the exercise. Their mom even had a blanket. Love this photo, though I'm feeling a little insecure about the snack. Look at those faces! =D

Must dash, as if you haven't figured that out already.

A lovely Monday to you.

Love Vee

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Early Morning Photos~Mosaic Monday

It was lovely being out early this morning taking photos in the yard. Nothing like cherry tomatoes ripening on the vine, dew dripping from the etched clematis columbine leaves, and sunlight on the morning glories (though I am not as pleased with the color of the morning glories this year as I was with the blue of last year for this reason: these could just as easily be wave petunias as they are not particularly distinctive). The blooms in the front garden are nearly done — white phlox, a few yellow lilies, and a couple of knock-out roses are all the perennials that remain. Perhaps I'll plug in a few mums in autumn. Time moves on...

Join Mary at Little Red House to see more mosaics. They're always so neat.  

Love Vee

New Every Morning

It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His tender compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him. ~Lamentations 3:22–24 (Amplified)

Love Vee

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tiramisu Trifle~Ice Cream Social 2012

I always look forward to this event. This is the third (fourth?) year that I've participated. The weather has not cooperated this year and neither has the grocery store. Because it is raining, picture taking is a challenge and the store had no lady fingers! Horrors! How is a gal supposed to pull off an elegant dessert without them? I seriously considered whipping up a batch, but came to my senses. I settled for pound cake instead.

Tiramisu Sundaes

Lady Fingers Recipe (This recipe does not require piping. It makes the lady finger batter into cupcakes.)

My Very Simple Recipe

* coffee ice cream
* purchased pound cake soaked in a bit of coffee and flavoring (coffee brandy would be lovely; I had something else. ☺)
* whipped cream
* mini chocolate chips for garnish

Simply layer all ingredients in some lovely stemware ending with whipped cream on top and the chocolate.

It made a delicious "breakfast" now let me tell you! That's the look of the first hmmmmmm...

Thank you, Suzy, for another fun year of socializing over ice cream.

Join the fun at Kitchen Bouquet!

Love Vee

Friday, August 17, 2012

Old Names~Old PBS Shows

My choice for names? Jerusha. I know it's not on the list. I can break the rules, too! Did you ever see Julie Andrews play the part of Jerusha in the movie Hawaii? That's where I first heard the name. I thought the first part of that movie was so romantic.

~Julie Andrews in Hawaii~

Okay, just to be fair, I rather think I'll go with Lovicy Marantha. At first, I thought Marantha was Maranatha and I liked that a lot, too. Course this is from the gal who named her own daughter Mountain so you can see that I have no right to be choosing names.

Of the choices from the old list, Emeline is winning by a mile. Oh, and thank you to those who shared that you knew someone by one of these names. That was very interesting.


Speaking of old...

Wednesday evening, I spent an hour and a half at Vicki's Turkey Feathers.

She featured three videos from a 1980s PBS show called The Victorian Kitchen. Somehow I had missed that one. I'm telling you that it was a fascinating hour and a half. If you're interested in Downtown Abbey, you may well be interested in this. If you're interested in cooking and gardening, you may well be interested. I lovicy-ed  it! (Last night, I watched another three of the shows found on You Tube.)


Tomorrow is the Ice Cream Social...I hope that the sun shines today so I can get some good photos.

Edited to Add: EVERYONE is invited to the Ice Cream Social! I'm talking about the event right here in Blogdom. The information is to the right in my sidebar. You can participate as well as visit. 

Have a great day now...

Love Vee

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What's in a Name?

First, a thank you to all who participated in August's Note Card Party. It was a delight to see your photos and it never ceases to amaze me how talented you all are. I loved the variety — from ghost towns to scripture verses, back porches to lunch, flowers to vegetables, sunsets to swans!

If you haven't had the chance, check out the offerings and, if you haven't joined in before, please consider it for September 19. That will be just a couple of days before autumn officially arrives and I'm pretty sure that I know what that means: pumpkins ☺ beautifully colored leaves ☺ and a lot of mums. Mark your calendars now!


Before this post ends, I have a few questions for you. The first: If you had the privilege of naming a little girl, what name would you give her?

According to Family Education dot com, the top seventeen names in 2012 for little girls are as follows:

1. Sophia
2. Isabella
3. Emma
4. Olivia
5. Ava
6. Emily
7. Abigail
8. Madison
9. Mia
10. Chloe
11. Elizabeth
12. Ella
13. Addison
14. Natalie
15. Lily
16. Grace
17. Samantha

The second question: If you had to choose from the 2012 list, which would you choose?

I have another list gleaned from tombstones — you don't find that morbid I hope — I love a cemetery and reading the names I find there.

This list was chosen because I had never heard these names before:

1. Lurena
2. Emeline
3. Almeda
4. Lilias
5. Evelina
6. Zabelle
7. Lillis
8. Olevia
9. Salley (I cheated. I know a few Sallies; however, they don't spell their name this way.)
10. Columbia
11. Marantha
12. Elva
13. Bina
14. Elzada
15. Lovicy
16. Lovina
17. Sylvina

Third question: (You've figured it out, of course.) If you had to select from my old-time list, which name would you choose? 
I'm revealing my choice tomorrow.

Now if I were naming a puppy, I'd choose Bina...what a cute name!

A happy Thursday to you!

Love Vee

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Shabby-Shabby~August Note Card Party

Welcome! April, May, June, July, and now August. =D

Photoscape was used for special effects: antique photo and the note card frame.

Can't wait to see what you come up with this month!

Love Vee

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Good Suggestion

~Climbing Brown Eyed Susans~

We've had three days of rain and thundershowers making everything very green again. The temps are in the 70s and 80s with high humidity. It's a bit oppressive and not good sleeping weather, though I am not going to complain after the summer that so many of you have had. We have been blessed. Besides, I was up early to catch up with some of you!

Soooo, a good Monday morning to you. Just a quick post to share what I did with the mosaic I showed on Friday's post. My blogging buddy "D" who writes Podso shared in comments that day that the mosaic would look great made up into a poster. Hmmm...had never considered such a thing before.

I mentioned it to my daughter and she said that she uses the Photo Center at Walgreen's online.  It was a surprise to learn all the possibilities and the fact that I didn't need a credit card — I could pay at pickup.

This is what we picked up just two short hours after submitting and with no extra charge.

~mosaic done into a poster (on photograph paper) and framed~

I wanted to save the integrity of the mosaic hence the green border; otherwise, the edges were lopped off. Anyway, it's the least expensive 10x14 option, though there are many others. We found an inexpensive frame and now I'm trying to decide if it is staying or going. =D

Just thought that all you great photographers out there might check out the options available for gift giving using your own wonderful photos.

My next post will be up for August's Note Card Party tomorrow evening between 8 and 8:30. You may add your link early or all day Wednesday and even through 10 am on Thursday the 16th. Hope to see you here! Clicking on the icon in my sidebar will take you to the post on all pertinent information.

Love Vee

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Photoscape Fun~Mosaic Monday

 ~Starter Corner~

The props and subjects...

 ~Roses and Carnations Mosaic~

~Zinnia Mosaic with Butterflies and a Bubble~

Lots of fun playing with the photos and with the extras at Photoscape. Join Mary at Little Red House for more offerings. Thanks, Mary, for keeping Mosaic Monday going. It's a highlight of my week!

Love Vee

What a Day!

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 

Many blessings to you this Sunday and all through the week...

Love Vee

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Yellow Pot of Zinnias

Cheery for a rainy Saturday...

Simple for the end of a busy week...

Love Vee

Friday, August 10, 2012

Enchanted Place

There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where 
colors are brighter, the air softer, and the afternoon more 
fragrant than ever again. 
~Elizabeth Lawrence

Why, yes, we did return to "The Garden" with the grands in tow. They seemed to enjoy their walk selecting the very path toward the sprinkler that John could not resist. Yes, we did load up a twisty willow tripod thingy as mentioned earlier in the week.

As I said to my neighbor when he jogged by, "I keep bringing
home the darnedest things."

Have a marvelous weekend!

Love Vee

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What's in the Numbers?

Today I promised to share what I've learned about the stats for this place. I did not promise to share the actual stats. They're nothing to write home about, folks. They have ticked up slowly and steadily over the past five years, which is nice and really all that I expected. 

I'm not building an empire here. I just want a "home away from home" where I can share some thoughts (though I've learned which ones not to share), share some recipes (though there are many who do that so well), share some crafts (ditto), share some photos (ditto), practice writing skills (oh do I need practice), and enjoy getting to know people from many different corners.

Remember, these points are what I have learned here. I have no idea if they would be what you learn there. So we're off —

1. Titles must not only be informative, but catchy. We hear it all the time and it can be proven. When I don't have a good title, my stats drop. I can tell that it's going to happen and sometimes still can't do any better for myself than some of the lame titles I've used. I think about titles a lot. There are some of you out there who remember that $ex in the Garden post. Ahem... Well, let's just say, I had a lot of visitors that day and learned a good lesson.

~A custard dish filled with juicy, cold watermelon and eaten using a pickle fork because pickle forks are sharp~

2. A pretty picture is far better than a "keeping it real" one, especially if it's first up. I try to plan accordingly. Not pretty? Not as many people. Period. Just think what would have happened if I reversed the order of the photos today.

3. There is no correlation between number of visitors and comments. I have had very high numbers with low comments and, alternately, high comments with low visitor numbers. We can let it go at last. I'll say it again—just because there are a lot of comments does NOT mean that there were any more visitors than usual and vice versa.

4. Some days of the week are best for visitors. My best days? Tuesdays and Thursdays. I don't know about your best days. Saturdays used to be horribly bad and are now in third place.

5. Variety really is the spice of life. This is true for me across the board and for all areas including word count. When I use a lot of words and no pictures (or few pictures), I'll have more visitors than if I use a lot of words AND a lot of pictures. I try not to do two posts in a row that are about the same length or that have about the same number of photos or that are about the same topic. (If you read here, you know that I've failed on this a few times even lately. I'm still learning.) My goal is to alternate between word dense and photo dense. Of course, I always aim for pithy.

6. Many people who land here do not read my posts. Time is precious. There's a lot of great material out there. I'm considering selling Cliff Notes for A Haven for Vee in my Etsy store because there will be a test. Well, if I had an Etsy store or a test. =D

7. You can know

a. where your readers are from (what state-what country)
b. how they reached you
c. how long they stayed with you (don't be tricked by those one hour visits if the reader stayed on one page...that one was just plain stuck...probably off doing dishes... definitely not reading the blog)
d. where they went when they left
e. how interested they were in your photos
f. if they followed your links.
g. if the same readers are returning even if they never comment
h. which posts are the most popular
i. which ones have been pinned
j. which blog sends you the most traffic — Thanks, Judy!

8. If you have an upsetting visitor, you can learn that person's IP number (his or her address on the internet). In fact, I highly recommend it. Take a photo, keep a record.

9. I have learned not to fret over the inevitable ups and downs. If I have an opportunity to go and do, I will. In doing so, I will have chosen the better part. I do not become grief-stricken if the numbers tank. It's really only when they reach zero that I become distraught.


In all fairness, Site Meter, a free online service and my favorite stats program, has been having troubles changing servers. Many bloggers are unaffected; I happen to be one of the affected ones. Perhaps afflicted is a better term term. < insert a twitch >

10. Time of posting matters. Apparently, I have trained my readers to expect a post between 7 and 8 am. If I'm tardy, the numbers will be down enough for me to know the reason. It probably has to do with work schedules or something.

11. Finally, the most important thing I learned about stats came in the form of a comment from Abby just two days ago: "I'm here ~ not just a stat but your friend."

If you read all the way through this post, you deserve a medal. Thanks so much. Questions? 

Love Vee

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I am not trying to be flip with this title. It's just that the garden is so close to McDonald's and when we are out and about and want to have an easy picnic, we buy lunch from McDonald's and eat outside the gate looking into the garden. This particular garden is one of Maine's little gems and I have featured it many times: here, here, and here. So here we go again. I hope that you will enjoy it.

We enter here...

 to find the garden awash in light and deep shadows

 with coneflowers growing in abundance and what's that?

 a butterfly...don't let that face spook ya!

 nor this hornet...

daylilies are everywhere with many different varieties and how I wish I knew all their names

pink phlox
three red berries...

this was such a magical scene...the sprinklers were on and the water droplets were on everything... John walked into the middle of it...did the camera capture what I was seeing? nope

 vintage picket fence

lily pads on the recently installed water feature below...

I so love these twiggy garden tripods that I think I'll be going back today to snag one
looking down through the barn where women were potting plants while their dogs enjoyed the shade

 a wonderful stone planter filled with parsley

I enjoy the garden as much for the quintessential New England farmhouse as the plants...this is the shed door...note granite steps...we have lots of granite in New England

 an empty clothesline! I could have filled it very recently

 the back door to the kitchen...again, note the granite steps

leaving you with my three tomatoes ripening nicely in the butter dish

I'm working on a post about what I learn from watching my statistics. You may be surprised. Hope that you'll join me tomorrow!

Love Vee