A Haven for Vee

Friday, April 29, 2022

April in Maine

 Still brown. And that's nearly all that I have to say about that. Warming is slow coming. The grass is looking rough. One good thing: the forsythia is beginning to bloom. 

You will have to look closely!

The last of my mountain of 
snow, created by the plow clearing my driveway, melted a week ago. It left a lot of winterkill in its wake. 

I have slowly done my own yard work this year. I spend about an hour each morning sweeping, blowing, raking with good results. It eventually gets accomplished. Even the town crew has been along removing and cleaning all those piles of sand on the street's edge.

The winds of March blew all through March and straight through April. I have heard a lot about these winds from all across the country. I am not a fan of wind. It was blistering cold yesterday and it is even colder today. Snow showers are expected for tomorrow, the final day of April.

Porch Rocker Tipped

We should have celebrated a birthday last weekend, but schedules didn't work out so we'll be celebrating this weekend. I'm looking forward to that. A gal has to get out of the house once in a while. It will be the first time this April birthday will have been honored in May.

Easter Sunday, Laurel and I met at a local steakhouse for a delicious dinner. Afterward, when she walked me to my car, she exclaimed, "Mom, your car registration is way overdue. And so is your inspection." So I had those chores to tidy up in the week that followed. I really am slipping. Say, does your state require you to register your car yearly and have an inspection? The cost for the inspection was $12.50; the cost for the registration was $140.00. I consider the registration an extra tax that is unnecessary and punitive.

What else do I have to share? 


I will try to catch a photo or two at the birthday party. I should not make these promises. Everyone in my family hates photos. ッ 

Thank you for reading. (I see that I have titles worked out for the next few months.)

Here's to brighter days ahead!



Wednesday, March 30, 2022

March in Maine

 The color of March in my valley is brown...

~ Gladys Taber

Yes, mine, too, Gladys. Brown and ugly. Very.   

Back Yard

Rhubarb is Up

Front Yard

It would be tempting to whine a little. Okay, I may be pouting some.

Still I have a crockpot with a pot roast simmering on the counter. Thank you, Kitty. My son and his boys are going to enjoy a delicious meal tonight. πŸ™

And I have guests coming for lunch. Yippee! It's so cold today that the fake fire will be crackling. 

Warmer days are coming. ツ




Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Possible Post and More

 Let's see if I can make sense of today's entry. I am always looking for blog worthy topics. I was looking for the recipe for the bread below because I prefer it to soda bread. It is, after all, time for such things. 

Tea-Soaked Raisin Tea Brack

Why, yes! I do love butter!

For whatever reason, writing is not as easy for me as it once was. So imagine my surprise when I found the post below hiding in a notebook just ahead of the recipe for the bread named above. How perfectly serendipitous.  I wrote the post in June of 2018. I'm using it today.  And what a title!


Possible Post

You and I are not what we eat; we are what we think.

                                                           ~Walter Anderson

Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?


                              ~Winnie the Pooh 

As so often happens, I find a new think to think every time I read my favorite blogs. This time it was about thought itself: what do I find myself thinking about? I had never truly considered it, but now that I have, I am surprised, even shocked. 

Perhaps the few things I share may also shock you. Perhaps you'll try paying attention to your own thought life. I was once told that if we could be privy to other's thoughts, we would be frightened to death. I believe it. 

For starters, I do not think in complete sentences. No. I think in little snatches of thoughts, sometimes in pictures.

I am something like the White Rabbit who runs along looking at his watch saying, "I'm late. I'm late for a very important date." 

"I've got to get going. Get going. Do something. Move. Move. Get going." Apparently, I am cracking a little whip on myself much of the time. 

Sometimes I practice double think especially while reading, watching tv or listening to the radio. This may or may not be productive. Double think is a simple repeating of what is heard or read. "Many wonderful choices" is a fragment of a commercial, for example, that has been running through my head for about twenty minutes.

There's also a fair amount of negative self-talk. Guard that stuff! I'll be paying closer attention. 

"Ouch. Ouch. Ouchie" figures prominently in my thought life. Lots of pain as I grow older...pain upon rising, bending, climbing stairs, you get the picture and may be able to relate.

"Oh John. Oh Mom. Oh, Oh, Oh."  Well this bit goes without saying.

My prayer life is greatly reduced... sometimes only "Dear Lord." Then my wee little mind wanders off to some far less important thing.

                         And what blogger caused me to ponder all this? 

Linda B! She wonders why she is not giving God the praise that He so richly deserves. I've been wondering the same thing. Obviously, I am much too busy with my fascinating thought life. 😏

You can find her post *here.*

Happy summer! 

Psalm 139


Recipe for Tea-Soaked Raisin Tea Brack

Tea-Soaked Raisin Tea Brack

1 cup raisins

1 cup strongly brewed tea

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup brown sugar, packed

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 egg 

Rolled oats for sprinkling

Brew one cup of tea. Pour over raisins in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight or 8 hours. 

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour in the egg, raisins, and tea. Stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Then, pour into a prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle rolled oats on the top of the loaf. 

Place loaf in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees. Bake until the top is browned, about 1½ hours. (Mine was done in 1 hour and twenty minutes.) When done, cool slightly and remove from loaf pan. Allow to complete cooling on a wire rack. 

(This recipe was amended from the one listed in my Recipe Box in the sidebar.)

Have a blessed week and a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!



Monday, February 28, 2022

A Brief Hello

It's now or never—last day of February and, if I hope to keep up with this break neck speed of one post a month, I need to put a word or two down. I think I'll close comments, though, because I don't want anyone to try coming up with something when I am offering so little. 

February was quite cold and snowy. "It's Maine, it's winter," says my sister if I dare mention that it is cold or snowy. We did have a wonderful hint of spring a week or more ago with temps warming to 60° for a few days. Lots of snow melted. Now it is frigid and there's been more snow so the incessant dripping will happen all over again. Probably three times. 

Usually on Wednesdays I have visitors. They climb my snow mountains and linger for lunch. My sister has become a covid grandmother like thousands of others. God bless them. Here are a few pics IF the platform will upload them. We'll see. 

Thanks for stopping in. I will try to do better in March. Maybe. 



Wednesday, January 19, 2022

National Popcorn Day Et Cetera

 1. It's National Popcorn Day-my favorite! Are you a fan? Sweet or salty? A good or great movie you've seen recently (at home or in a theater, either one)? 

2. What's something you didn't realize was going to take so much of your time as an adult? 

3. Your favorite yellow something? 

4. Why do you write? 

5. Share a favorite memory associated with snow.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

1. Yes, I like popcorn a lot. My favorite is buttery so guess that best translates to salty. 

The movie I watched recently on Netflix that I have since thought about more than a little bit is The Professor and the Madman with Mel Gibson and Sean Penn.  

2. Home care or really the care of all those things for which I am responsible from the house to the car to the lawnmower. Sometimes, I can toss myself in there as well. Maintenance takes effort. 

3. Yellow is my favorite color. Some yellows are nicer than others, I think. My preference is a buttery yellow over a lemon yellow. Yellow roses are delightful, lemony or buttery doesn't matter.  

4.  Lately I write because I am ashamed not to. I have become one of those bloggers that I used to poke requesting a new entry on their blogs. Did I ever poke you? Please forgive me. 

5. Snow is king here in Maine for many months of the year. Now that I am olden, I definitely have many snow memories; however, why reinvent the wheel? Tobogganing Over Snowy Roads remains my favorite.

6. It is unwise to wish time away, still I am very pleased that we already are this far through January. Winter months are harsh and dreary and I am always looking forward to spring. 

Thanks to Joyce for coming up with this week's questions. You can find Joyce and the other participants here at  From This Side of the Pond



Saturday, January 1, 2022



The amaryllis bloomed again in time for the new year. I am totally smitten by this gorgeous plant. Next year, if there is a next year, I'll pick up a waxed one so that I don't have to fret so over watering or not watering. Above is the new flower blooming. Below the final photo on the bottom right shows the first flower and, if you look closely, you can see the second stalk growing up beside the first stalk...just a wee thing. 

So, if I believed in signs (I don't), I'd take this as a good one for the new year.ッ

A blessed 2022 to you!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Christmas 2021

Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it.

My son may have felt that that was my story as I explained to him just last week why I was sitting in the dark without turning on my Christmas tree lights. After a bit more conversation between us, he looked at me intently and asked, "Mom, are you all right?"

No, I really was not. Two years of this covid scare + a year of this joke of a president=one grumpy, annoyed woman. I needed Christmas in the worst way.

Early in December, this arrangement arrived from LL Bean courtesy of Laurel. It smelled so fresh and Christmasy. I used the ribbon Mary gave me to wind through it and called it good. 

Then, for the first time, I purchased an amaryllis bulb and was pleasantly surprised when it actually bloomed and is about to bloom again.

There were a few ice storms this month and a couple of snowstorms. Snow fell gently most of Christmas day.

Since I did not feel like decorating the tree, I used candy canes and Christmas cards to fill it out. 

The overstuffed chair holding Christmas gifts needing to be wrapped. The poinsettia was a gift from the Garden Center because I spent too much money there.

The poinsettia, the amaryllis ready to bloom again and a lovely lap quilt gift from a dear friend.

My grandsons Jake and Sam had chairs to sit in on Christmas Day. Now that they are adult sized, they appreciate those kinds of things. I hope Sam wasn't watching a spider. 

Michelle and Adam tend to gifts with only a box of fir tips behind them. I remember the year I had the crockpot behind them and it snapped and crackled all afternoon.

At day's end, I wanted to document how tall Sam has become so used Aunt Laurel as a comparison.

Laurel gave me this pretty Christmas card with a message that doesn't fit me at all, but makes me wish that it did. 

Now that Christmas has arrived, I am perfectly willing to let it continue right through January 6. I am slow to the party, but once it starts, I am all warmed up and ready to enjoy the season. I must remember this. 


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Sweet Domesticity and The Hodge Podge

1. How did you name your blog and do you now wish you had thought about it maybe another five minutes before hitting publish? Would you change your blog title if it were not a huge pain in the derriere? 

2. What bill do you least like to pay? 

3. What is your favorite word? Okay okay, calm down. How about one of your favorite words? 

4. Is the glass half full or half empty? Elaborate. 

5. Were you here for that very first Hodgepodge post? If so, were your answers then similar to what they are today? Tell us what was happening in your life in November of 2010? 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 


1. I know that I had the blog and the post and the decor, but I did not have the name. I needed something. Yes, I certainly do wish that I had stalled before hitting publish. Say, why do you ask? I tried changing the name to "Life on Autumn Avenue." It didn't fly.

2. Is there one that is fun to pay? I especially loathe paying the $pectrum bill because I do not watch tv. I use it only for WiFi. 

3. Jesus—there's just something about that name. 

4. In the natural, I tend to be a glass half empty or worse kind of gal; however, give me some time with good music, a good sermon or prayer, and things change. 

5. No, I don't believe I knew about the Hodge Podge from the beginning. The earliest I can find is 2014. 

In November 2010, my family said goodbye to my grandmother who had lived to be 101. After that, she was eager to head home, which she did on my mother's birthday. I missed her terribly as she had been a big part of my life for over fifty years,  yet she is safely home and I will join her one day. 


Why November days and domestic tasks seem perfect for each other I don't know. I have so enjoyed the light, the fading foliage, and the coziness of November. Some days, I go out to blow leaves or tidy the garden. Other days, I putter inside setting things in order. 

Recently, I received a lovely, perfectly Novembery gift from Mary at A Breath of Fresh Air. It was wrapped so nicely in tissue paper with a ribbon and a card tucked inside. Mary thoughtfully included some extra yarn and the yarn wrap to show me the brand and the name.

 Mary does beautiful knitting and enjoys having something to work on in the evening. If you have never visited Mary, you are in for a treat. Her photography is so good. You'll never see birds and squirrels the same way again. 

I had promised her that I would put on my makeup  when I shared my beautiful cowl. Unfortunately, I lied. If I ever get it together, I'll replace this. (I did run myself through the diffuser, Mary.) Thank you so much for the elegant cowl. 

Please join Joyce for today's Hodge Podge

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Leaf Peeping Up North

Laurel had a birthday last weekend. She's making her age look great. The day before, she suggested that I pack my bag and go home with her (after the family gathering) so that we could strike out the following day for what has become our annual foliage drive. Yay! 

Laurel lives north of me in Somerset County. We also drove around a good bit in Franklin County. At one point, we were just 21 miles from Quebec. Heretofore, all our foliage drives have been in Androscoggin and/or Oxford Counties.

So without further unnecessary chatter...

It was a beautiful day in Laurel's town.

The River: The Carrabassett 
The Mountain: Sugarloaf (not all mountains are Sugarloaf, which made Laurel laugh every time I saw a mountain and called it Sugarloaf).

↓Sugarloaf  Mountain Hotel

There must have been a lot of day hikers on the Appalachian Trail because the parking lot was nearly full.

A fun sculpture in the woods...

Back home...a carpet of leaves

Thanks to my daughter for another fun foliage tour and thank you for hanging in there through so many photos.