Monday, December 17, 2012

Blankets of Comfort

We woke to a blanket of snow this morning. It began yesterday in the early afternoon and is still falling. Gently falling. Falling snow is very soothing and strangely comforting. (I'll let you know how John feels about that once he's been busy plowing for a while.)

May I just say that I have read some of the most incredible posts over the past several days. People's hearts are in tune and identifying with the community of Newtown. I hope that you have read Debbie's, Karen's, Susan's. There are so many! Each one focuses on a slightly different topic and together they have created such a blanket of the gently falling snow.

And now I'd like to ask my regular readers a question: what shall we do with this month's Note Card Party? I have read that there is a Day of Silence or two or more scheduled this week. I am not participating in them because when Blogdom goes dim, a beautiful light is snuffed out. This seems counterintuitive to me.  When times are dark and difficult, we need light. So do let me know what you think. Thanks so much!

Comfort and blessings to you...

Love Vee

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Snowy Sunday Afternoon~Mosaic Monday

We spent a cozy, quiet, snowy Sunday afternoon enjoying the lights and the aroma of the baking *Norwegian Custies.* It was a time to decompress from the news reports. (I can't recommend doing that enough.)

Love Vee

Psalm 46

Psalm 46 — a great comfort

When we have doubts or are facing difficulties, when others suggest courses of actions that are conflicting, when caution dictates one course but faith another, we should be still. We should quiet each intruding person, calm ourselves in the sacred stillness of God's presence, study His word for guidance, and with true devotion focus our attention on Him... ~Streams in the Desert
John was chatting with his daughter recently who so happened to be caring for her grandson that day. She shared that the little fellow had recently spoken his first words and that they had been, "Hold Still." We rather like that and can't think of much better advice, especially when one is uncertain.

Our hearts are with Newtown today. My prayer is that they, too, will "Hold Still" that they might circle the wagons and keep the intruders at bay. They have everything they need within their community to move forward when the time is right. And the Lord most certainly is with them and will guide.

Many blessings to you this Sunday...
Love Vee

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Hate is strong and mocks the song of Peace on Earth Goodwill to Men.

So much sadness in this world. Yesterday I was suggesting that you look for Christmas joys. It would have been a very difficult day to have found any.

Sweet and innocent five-year-olds lost so brutally. I take comfort in knowing where they are today. It is not small comfort; it is the best comfort. Whatever horrors they saw yesterday have all been wiped away by the hand of God and they are joyful and more alive than they have ever been before.

We, as a nation, even the world, will not forget these children nor the adults who tried to save them. Our prayers are with the families and the community and those precious first responders who will never be the same again. And I will not forget that this is exactly why the Lord came in the first place. We need a Savior. We need Him now more than ever.

It had been my hope to put up the post I had planned before all this happened. It is important to put one foot in front of the other and carry on. We do this for the people around us; we do it for ourselves; we do it because we have hope for better, brighter days. Not today, though. Not today.

Be comforted...

Love Vee

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thirty Geese A'Flyin'

Wild geese fly south, creaking like anguished hinges...
~Margaret Atwood

John burst through the door at a full gallop two days ago, "Get your camera! Quick!"

How surprised we were to hear them creaking like anguished hinges before we could see them and then to have them break to the south side of the row of pines in the narrow window of opportunity between the last tree and the garage. Thirty geese a'flyin' — what  a lovely gift of Christmas! Hope that they are skedaddling for bad weather is coming and they are leaving very late.

~49? Geese A'Creakin'~

Closing comments today that you may read and scoot just like the geese.

Be expecting some Christmas joys today...

Love Vee

Thursday, December 13, 2012

ChalkBoard Art and Catherine Holman Art-Framed

Oh let me see what I have in my bag of goodies. I take pictures all through the week and then, sometimes when I need inspiration, I merely have to look at my picture files and up pops a topic. Is that sometimes how it works for you, too?

~from Aunt Ruthie's Blog~

I love chalkboard art. One sees it everywhere. I have two small chalkboards to work with, though one needs not be limited to only traditional chalkboards. I also prefer a clean, scrupulously clean, chalkboard. Just my thing...all those years of teaching and chalk dust don'tcha know. One of the masters of chalkboard art is Ruthie at Sugar Pie Farmhouse. Just visiting *this post* will provide plenty of ideas. She even uses a twin bed headboard as a chalkboard — look for it!

Now I have tried to copy Ruthie and do the boards freestyle. It doesn't work, which was why I was so excited when first *Manuela* and then *Brenda* discussed Chalkboard Art providing the links to some amazing printables. (Plus you can see what each of them did.)

This is what I did...

I think we were all drawn to the same design, though there are a good number and they're all great. They are all so great that I did another last evening for John's side of the bed. Nothing like giving his great-grandparents a little break for a few weeks. ☺


Last week, my daughter was having six of her paintings framed so I went along with her to help in the frame selection taking along my Catherine Holman print. (Speaking of chalkboards, check out Cathie's Chalkboard Art in her kitchen.)

True confessions: I did terRiBle things to my print when I attempted to crop it on my own. Sigh. Catherine had signed the piece and I definitely wanted that to stay. The framer was very nice and helped tremendously in my selection and then she sold me on museum glass. Oh my! Very expensive and so worth it. I haven't had anything professionally framed for thirty plus years so I felt somewhat vindicated in my decision to just go for it.

Here it is double matted and framed with careful attention to detail. See how they preserved Cathie's signature? Phew!

~Peace be to this house~

This is not its final home. I am sitting with it for now and thinking about it often. In that way, I am hoping that it will "tell" me where it most wants to live. Yes, you will definitely see it again once it comes in for a more permanent landing.

Any splurges at your house lately?

Love Vee

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Copy-Cat Capers

It has always fascinated me when visiting blogs participating in a look-alike/copy-cat challenge as my friend BJ often does — *here* is a fine example. BJ blogs at Sweet Nothings. Surely, you have visited her before. If not, you are in for a treat!

Now BJ likes loves a good party. Not liking to party alone, she often asks her readers to join her in the fun. I've been thinking about it for a year. Yes, I'm a titch slow... 
My Inspiration: Victoria Classics Holiday Bliss 2012
page 34

Okay, maybe not so great and certainly a lot more formal than my humble haven ordinarily sees on the one hand and a whole lot cheesier on the other. Still it was fun to try!


Oh my! This is much, much harder than it looks!  Maybe some fine day I'll have improved enough to join BJ and all her friends at Debbie Doo's, but not today. Definitely not today.

Have a happy Wednesday now!

Love Vee
P.S. Can you help me? One of you referenced Adopt a Soldier a few weeks back. A blog friend of yours (on your blog roll) was asking for help with her soldier's list. She thought that she was getting one soldier when what she got was a troop leader with 50 soldiers. This particular group hails from Georgia. On the list were things like fleece twin sheets and certain snack items. I wrote down the address and then in a fit of shredding recently must have lost it. If you can help me, I'd appreciate the pertinent information at Dunnpark @ hotmail dot com. Thanks so much! (Thank you, Cheryl!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Just Some Pics and...

I'll try not to talk too much because I know, believe me I know, how busy you are.

~Early This Morning~Nearly Cheerless~

~Except...A Light in the Window~

~Nature's Pizzelle~

~Cluttered and Cozy~

There's nothing quite like that blue hour as daylight fades. It happens at 4 in the afternoon these days.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Love Vee

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tidying Up Loose Ends

Is there anything new under the sun? No. Good. Now that that has been settled, I'll just carry on as per usual. As you have figured out by now, everything here is a big old backstitch and I have some topics to bring to some sort of conclusion.

First up—vanilla sugar. The two cups of sugar and a vanilla bean (plus one extra) have been hanging around since November 14. I tried it yesterday for the first time and again in my morning coffee, which is now parked to my right. I just sipped my coffee once more to be sure of what I'm about to tell you. It's true. My taste buds are so undiscerning that I can't tell the difference. That's right. Weeks of sugar hanging around with a couple of vanilla beans all for naught. So there you have it.

Next up—snow. We have some. It arrived overnight so we missed the gentle falling. We did not miss the rumble of the snowplow at five this morning.

(Edited to Add: As promised...a picture or two. It's actually turned to ice and the tree boughs are getting very heavy. I hate to see this.)

Third—Santa Hat Snack Mix. I'm conflicted on this one. It's kind of cute now that I am a few days from having made it. Though it just doesn't have the punch (this has proven to be a horrible pun...forgive me) of a regular snack mix. It's much too sweet for me. I did learn that I love those caramel Bugles they are made from.

 Dipped Bugles which began to look like noses to me. (See reference to pun above. Groooooaaannnn...)
This was the best part...broken noses Bugles that couldn't possibly be made into anything.
In the end, the entire process looked like a battlefield to me. So this is what I really think: this was not an easy project and the result is not so satisfactory that I ever want to try it again. The grands were completely and totally unimpressed.

Speaking of unimpressed grands. That's the fourth thing—Jake and the backed afghan.


I have saved the best for last—the fifth thing was an unexpected visit from family who arrived from California. I have not seen this young man, who was a baby when I first began dating his oldest brother, since 1995. Because I had taken Cheryl's Class on Hospitality, I was prepared to open my home despite its not being ideal. Nothing is ever ideal so why do we cling to that? Anyway, it was a sweet time and I am glad that we could get together.

Anyone notice a resemblance between my son wearing the cap and his uncle? I think so!

Thank you for reading my novella. Always fun to have you drop in!

Love Vee

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Miracle Atmosphere~Mosaic Monday

(Comments are closed so that you may peek and run.) 

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead...

Love Vee

From Joseph's Perspective

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. ~Luke 2:7

There were so many miraculous things about the birth of Jesus. Mary, we can all agree, must have been an amazing girl for God to select her to be the mother of His son. Then, long before sonograms, the angel announces the gender of the child and tells Joseph (in a dream) what the child's name shall be. Jesus means "The Lord Saves." 

I often think about Joseph's role in the Christmas story as I am doing most especially today. These two songs help me flesh out that remarkable man whom God selected to be the earthly father of His own son. Incredible. 

♫ music ♫


How can man be father to the Son of God?... How can I raise a King? How can I raise a King? 

I never listen to these words without feeling a new gratitude for what God did in a most amazing plan — such a strange way to save the world.

Love Vee

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Of Bows and Silk Poinsettias

(sweet images, too — I still miss her)

If I keep hanging out at PicMonkey, I'm never going to get anything done. If I keep hanging out in Blogdom? Same story! But what fun!!

John has a saying that goes this way: A little putty and a little paint will make this barn what she ain't.  Ditto for this arrangement! It's not really snowing and there are no pine cones nor giant snowflakes nor red winterberries (and I surely could have done a better job). What there is is a new bow thanks to Pam featuring them on *this post.* You can follow her directions leading to the original blogger to find how to make the perfect bow right there. My only contribution to this project is to say that the three pieces don't have to be all matchy-matchy. Course one should be forewarned by taking a cue from my arranging skills. =D

I really do like birds...a peek at my cheesy red silk poinsettia decorated bookcase shelf. See all that wall space above? I'm working on a plan...

~Now how'd I get two birds in there?~

Enjoy your Saturday. I'll be enjoying mine!

Love Vee

Friday, December 7, 2012

Star Carol

Every year at Christmas time, my mother would always make room in her budget for adding a new Christmas album. She would find them sitting in special displays at the old-time department stores: Woolworth's, Kresge's, Grants, Kings, The Mammoth Mart, The Fantastic Fair, and even at the local hardware store.

And in that way the voices of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Peggy Lee, and so many others became familiar to us. One year, Simon and Garfunkel came to us singing this sweet carol. Do you remember it? I'm so glad that it floated back to me on a wee memory. (Gosh, I love You Tube — so many things to be rediscovered.)

Just some Christmas images tossed in. I have done the "Christmas Lite" box again this year. It seems to be enough.

Last evening, I finally finished my tree. This is how it looks. Aren't I clever for switching to yet another new spot? I have had five or six different locations since the addition was built. Some years I have a rocking horse beneath the tree; this year I have a small table laden with children's Christmas books and a little chair.

I tried *last year's photography technique,* though I couldn't get it to work quite so well. 

My list is ticking right along. Breakfast out, supper out, hair done, house semi-decorated, music enjoyed, and on it goes...

Wishing you a sweet day and a lovely weekend.

Love Vee

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Of Creating Audio Books and More

Thank you for sharing your favorite songs of Christmas with me. Thanks to the wonders of the www, I have been able to listen to all of them.  Some I've heard and others I had not so that was a fun adventure. Right now, I'm listening to Michael W. Smith sing Emmanuel, which reminds me that my Christmas cards contain that message and that they are not done. Today I shall remedy that.

John was able to get all his Christmas cards and packages taken care of yesterday. His step seems lighter this morning.  One of the chores hanging over him was reading an audio book for a great-grandson. It's been sitting on the shelf for nearly a year and a half. I decided to press it yesterday knowing how treasured it would be this Christmas. It turned out so darling with John, who has one of Maine's finest and richest accents, reading "All Creatures Great and Small."


I have one of these audio books somewhere that has been waiting two years. Why do we put such things off? They're very easy to do.

And thank you so much for all your good thoughts and prayers for Molly who truly is doing better. Her bill at the vet's was a little high with all the meds we came home with. After a few days, I decided that I should make a hair appointment so I could look and feel better, too. I have such a penchant for looking like a poodle at Christmastime. ;D

I took my new book that Sue sent along for me. (Thank you, Dear Sue!  ) What a sweet gift it has proven to be. I showed my hairdresser and she exclaimed, "I have that tea pot. Would you like to see it?" Sure I would.

My hairdresser moved her business into one of the historical buildings in town and turned the remaining floors into her home. Wow! A house tour. A house tour of a very old and grand building with some of the finest architectural details I've ever seen. Her home has a grand stair way with a balcony landing where she keeps all of her tea things on a ledge along the wall, which is just a bit lower than eye level for me. It's so delightful. Wish that I had my camera with me! So we made plans for a tea. Who knows if anything will ever come of it, though it was certainly fun to do.

Any unusual delights happen to you this week? You know, you can always plan one yourself!

A happy Thursday to you...

Love Vee