A Haven for Vee

Monday, November 28, 2022

Thanksgiving 2022 in Oakland

Oh my! Yes, Laurel more than surprised both her brother and me. Everything was so lovely, smelled so good, and tasted so fine. I was especially pleased that I did not have to prepare anything more than a pecan pie. Adam made his famous dinner rolls while Michelle baked a pumpkin pie and bought a chocolate cream pie from the library's annual sale. 

(We were down by one as Jake has declared himself a hunter who will no longer be attending our Thanksgivings. 😒)

This was Laurel's table theme with the sweet table runner that I first saw at Betsy's right *here.* When I saw that runner, I thought it would be perfect for Laurel's riverside cabin up in the semi-north woods. I had no idea that she would be moving to a new home closer to civilization. I also purchased one for Michelle and one for my sister. Both Laurel and Kim have enjoyed theirs. 

Michelle has hers packed away because she thought it was a pillow cover. It might be especially appreciated by Jake at their home these days. 🦌 Laurel bought her table and chairs new for our holiday. It was very nice seating...no one was crowded.

Speaking of table runners, Betsy has many beautiful tablescapes from which to gather ideas. Her blog, named after her grandmother, is simply beautiful and, if you don't already, you would certainly love it there. Also, she has the best recipes. I have several on speed dial. 

Okay, back to Thanksgiving. Alas, I took hardly any photos. You know how my family is not a fan of picture taking. My grandkitty has no problems with it. He has a ghost cat visit regularly who asks the same question, "Can Charlie come out to play?" 

Here's Laurel preparing me a cup of peppermint tea. Yes, into every lovely time a clinker must fall. 😏

Don't worry, though, because 
when Laurel was taking me home Friday afternoon, she found a lovely lake side restaurant called Lintonia. It had the added bonus of an eagle in a tree just beside the restaurant. 

We had the best cup of coffee and delicious tacos. Laurel just found out that they closed for good the day after we were there. So sad all the businesses that are closing. It was a fabulous little restaurant. My sister and I had already made plans to visit soon.

Thank you for reading my simple Thanksgiving record. I have been enjoying reading yours.


Thursday, November 17, 2022

An After First Snowfall Picture Story

It's all gone now! Praise the Lord! ☺️

Comments are closed. Happy Thanksgiving! 



Tuesday, November 1, 2022


A sigh of relief is always breathed November 1st. I am so glad that the entire end of October scene has finished for another year. I am happily moving on to the next big holiday (not Veterans Day). We'll chat about that toward the end of this post, yet let's tidy up on the big day just past—

She arrived on her grandmother's hip wide-eyed and a little breathless. "I scare-t of Bigfoot." I look at my sister questioning this comment and am told that the children saw Bigfoot at my house last week as they were leaving. What? Who knew?! For a moment I think that I have gone down the rabbit hole and landed in Brenda's world.

Big Foot Country

I say, "There is no such thing as Bigfoot." At which point, Anneke's brother, who is playing with the rotary phone, run on imagination alone, says, "Bigfoot? Is that you? Ackkkk! It's Bigfoot!" Anneke's eyes grow even wider and she clings a little tighter to Grammie. 

I may have dialed Bigfoot

So I have no idea how this story ultimately unfolded. My sister agrees with me and says that they will ask their mommy and daddy because parents tell the truth. I am hoping that mommy and daddy didn't decide instead to crank Anneke's chain. One of them can be a bit of a prankster. I just happen to know that for.a.fact. ッ

Peach and Mario

Aren't they cute? Peach and Mario...aka Anneke and Emmanuel.

Now I do have news about my own grandchildren. Sam received his driver's license last week. Doesn't he look happy? So proud of him! 

Jake got his first deer on Saturday. I'll be careful with that picture because I'd not like to offend those who might keel over. I am thrilled that there will be extra food in the freezer and that Jake is happy too.

A few weeks ago, when sickness hit, we had to postpone plans to see Laurel for her birthday. She graciously joined us a couple of weeks later at a local restaurant where my family made plans for Thanksgiving. I saw a bit of eye-rolling, heard some comments. It boils down to this: I have messed up Thanksgiving dinner one too many times. Instead, we shall celebrate at Laurel's. She's in for the roller coaster ride that is Thanksgiving preparations. Should be fun! 

To my American brethren and sistren, have your plans for Thanksgiving firmed up? 

I want a nice sweet ending so I am sharing what I am making this week. I had to check for ingredients and found that I have them all. Yippee! 

Now I found this recipe somewhere in the last week or so. I have not named that source because my mind is a sieve. If it was yours or you know whose, let me know so I can include it.

It was *here* with a nice photo of what it should look like, too. My mind really is a sieve.


Pumpkin Crunch Cake


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (the original recipe called for 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup butter, melted

*Heat oven to 350° F. 

*Grease bottom of 9 x 13″ pan.  

*Mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. 

*Pour mixture into greased pan. 

*Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture and top with pecans.

*Drizzle melted butter over pecans.

*Bake 50-55 minutes.

Source: https://www.thepickyapple.com/blog/2008/11/22/pumpkin-crunch-cake/

Thank you for reading. You're good sports.


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Falling Leaves Hodge Podge

1. Thursday (Oct 13) is National Train Your Brain Day. What do you do to keep your brain in tip top shape? Is it helping?

Sometimes I amuse myself by thinking that doing Sudokus is helping. I can prove that it isn't because just last week, after simmering chicken bones all afternoon to make chicken broth, I poured it into a sieve that had nothing beneath it to capture the broth—Right down the drain!  

2. You can sit with anyone in the world and 'pick their brain'...whom do you choose? Tell us why? 

This is a tough question! 

Let's see, who meets my criteria?

I insist that said person is attentive, gives me enough time, has great patience, does not make me feel foolish, and is kind, though he or she can and should offer helpful insights. 

Okay, there's no one in the world like that! Sounds as if I am looking for a counselor; scripture teaches me that Jesus is a wonderful or is it "the" wonderful counselor? I'm sticking with Him. 

But! If I must choose a human being, I guess I'd choose Jordan Peterson who intrigues me a lot, yet with whom I do not always agree, especially on matters of faith. 

3. What's something happening in the world (or your corner of it) right now that you have trouble 'wrapping your brain around'? 



4. On a scale of 1-10 where do you fall in the pumpkin fanclub? (1=blech, 10=make it all pumpkin all the time) Tell us something delicious you've tasted recently that had some pumpkin in it somewhere. 


I have yet to enjoy any pumpkin this autumn, but I have a can of pumpkin and am planning to do something with it. 

5. Share a favorite song, book, or movie with an autumn title, setting, or vibe. 

(Nat King Cole sings "Autumn Leaves)

(Love this channel...an entire hour plus of pure nostalgia.) 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I've got a pile of random thoughts, just like the leaves in my yard.

Eagerly looking forward to spending time with my kids and grands this weekend. ☺️

Many thanks to Joyce at Across the Pond for this week's questions. 



Saturday, October 8, 2022

Autumn Decor

Days grow shorter now, the nights chillier...The trees kindle with color, a few at a time, small flashes of scarlet appear in the swamp, and the sugar maples begin to glow, as the great wave of autumn glory rises to full tide. ~ Gladys Taber

October—my favorite month for God's amazing decor; my least favorite for man's. I wonder if my neighbors ever think of how distressing it is for me to see the glowing skeleton hanging from their maple tree. Unlikely.  I changed my kitchen curtain situation so I only have to see its dangling feet, which is plenty disturbing enough. ツ

October has a boatload of chores to get accomplished. I have never cut back hostas in autumn before, but now that I have watched Laura at Garden Answer for a couple of years, I will be, right after the color fades and before they turn to mush. I also harvested enough chives to get me through the winter.

I already pruned the rose bushes way back. The deer were ravenous even though I had covered the roses in bird netting. The deer also ate all the phlox and the bee balm. Perhaps I just need to rip out my garden. Most people here have their vegetable gardens fenced. It doesn't seem practical for a flower garden on the front lawn. 

Since I was listless Thursday, I decided to do some indoor decorating. I have bought nothing new so determined to use only what I already had. I also decided to decorate for Thanksgiving. Yes, I know it is early, unless you are living in Canada. I hope that my Canadian cousins and my blogging friends have a fabulous holiday this weekend. 

So with minimal commentary, here are my photo offerings. 

Thanks for your visit. Happy October! 



Wednesday, September 21, 2022



1. Volume 478. Sounds like a lot. Where were you in 1978? If you weren't born where were you in 2008? 

Four hundred seventy-eight is a lot, Joyce! Thank you for hosting and coming up with all these questions over the years.

In April 1978, I was married and living in Arizona with my husband who was stationed at Fort Huachuca. I had two children, a two and a half year old little girl and a newborn son. By November of 1978, we drove back across the country home to Maine just in time to be horrified  by the big news of the day—The Jonesboro Massacre. I still shudder thinking about that

2. Raise your hand if you remember records playing at a speed of 78 rpm? What's a topic that when it comes up you 'sound like a broken record'? 

The past two years politically speaking. 

3. What's the last thing you recorded in some way? 

This. It's the very last thing that I have recorded. Thank goodness for blogs. Otherwise, I might not know what's going on. 

4. Thursday is the first day of fall (in the northern hemisphere). How do you feel about the changing seasons? Something you're looking forward to this fall? 

It is my favorite time of year and I am hoping my daughter will take me for our annual foliage drive. I'd be fine with changing seasons if winter never came. 

5. In what way (or ways) are you like the apple that didn't 'fall far from the tree'? 

Too many to count. I run a little hot like my father. I look a lot like my mother and see her every morning in my mirror. 

6. Insert your own random thought here

Today my sister and her grands will join me. Last week, we went to visit my daughter in her new home. We went out to eat at Applebee's. The children behaved so well and ate their dinners all up. My sister said of this photo, "I look like mom from behind." Yes, well that makes two of us. 

Join Joyce by clicking through on the opening graphic. Thanks for reading! 



Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Goodbye, August

Oh I do hate to say goodbye to August. Still,  my sister and I and her grands will squeeze out every drop. We are planning a picnic today between rain showers. It probably means eating at Mickey D's and hoping for a bit of clear sky to sail some boats. 

Earlier in the month, we made it to my daughter's home for the last time. She sold her cabin on the Carrabassett and has already moved into her new home. I hated to say goodbye to that place, too, but Laurel is happy and content. 

(Sorry so small. Nothing cooperates with me anymore.)

Have a blessed final day of August. Here's to a splendid September! 


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Wednesday Hodge Podge

 Let's Get Started...

1. Do you have a sister? Tell us something about her. If you don't have a sister, tell us about a friend who has been like a sister. Or tell us about a sister-in-law if you have one who is extra special. 

2. Resister, assister, insister, persister...choose one of the words listed and explain how it relates to you and your life lately. 

3. Share a favorite song, book, movie, or television program that features sisters.

4. August 3rd is national watermelon day...are you a fan? Do you like watermelon flavored candy? Besides eating the melon as is, do you have a good recipe made with watermelon? 

5. 'Tis August...what are three things you're looking forward to this month? 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

1. Yes, I have a sister who shows up from time to time here on the blog. If you peek in the "Who" folder in my sidebar, you'll see her photos. And her grands who are four years old and two years old are also there. (It's lovely to have little folks in the family again.) We have weekly visits when life allows. On Wednesdays as it so happens. Alas, illness struck this week. 

My sister has been a great blessing to me in my health journey often taking me to doctor appointments, hair appointments, and grocery shopping. She has also done laundry, dishes, and cleaning.  Sometimes it helps to have a nurse in the family. ツ

2. Resister—one must be willing to resist in this bizarre day and age. Whenever possible, I throw sand into the mechanism, if needed. No, I am not explaining.

3. Little Women, of course. I am thinking that this will be the number one response. 

Go out more, keep cheerful as well as busy, for you are the sunshine-maker of the family, and if you get dismal there is no fair weather.

Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

4. Yes, I love watermelon. No, I do not enjoy watermelon flavored anything. No, I have no recipes that employ watermelon in the ingredients list.

5. Picnics, Picnics, Picnics

6. Many random thoughts wander about in my old head. Coming in for a landing would be too much of a challenge today. Trust me! 

Thank you for reading. Please join Joyce *here.* 

Friday, July 29, 2022

Tea (Iced these days of course) and Toast

When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thickly, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in it in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. ~Kenneth Grahame from Wind in the Willows 

These days, all recipes need to be quick and easy and since I like nothing better than toasted bread, this one from *Celebrating Appalachia* was perfect. The minute Tipper mentioned "grilled jelly sandwiches" I was all ears. I had never eaten one before; I had never even heard of it before.  

This is how mine turned out. 


Perfectly Scrumptious!



Seven years ago, my grandsons, John, and I visited Quaker Ridge. I was wondering about that yesterday when my sister and her grands and I enjoyed a picnic there once again. Sis's grandson is on antibiotics and so they had to be careful of sun exposure. No beach! The hilltop proved to be the most perfect of summer days. It was a full ten degrees cooler than in the valley with pleasant breezes and beautiful cloud formations. The children enjoyed themselves tremendously and so did I.


Thank you for popping by. Let me know how your summer is going!