A Haven for Vee

Monday, March 31, 2008

Busy Monday

library card source

Today's post will be so busy, I hardly know where to begin, which is why I'm using a cheat sheet.

First things first perhaps. As you may have heard, I won one of Miss Sandy's prizes over at the Quill for the marvelous Easter Parade...so much fun! It was fun before I won, too. Here are some pics and a reveal of the new spot for my S P R I N G decoration. (Only Miss Sandy herself knows what I'm talking about with this one.)

Thank you so much, Sandy!


Next on the list are some lovely items purchased from some of my favorite bloggers via Etsy or, in Robin's case, from her online store at The Punkin Peddler.

This is a tabletopper purchased from Robin. It's a gift for my mother's table...shhhhh!

This terrific heavy duty apron with loops to hold tools (!) is a gift for my Boston niece who, as an artist working with all sorts of mediums, may have occasion to wear it. (It would certainly work in the kitchen or garden, too.) I bought it from Brin's Etsy store called Freeman House.

Then in a splurge just for me, I purchased these charming tags from Lynda's Etsy store called Among the Hedgerows.


Another little picture story to announce the winner of Friday's Giveaway!

Congratulations, Judy! Email me with your information and I will send you your mystery gift by week's end.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Through the process of metamorphosis, caterpillars are transformed into butterflies. Likewise, when you are born again, you become a new creation. You become holy and acceptable in His sight. You stand in Christ's life and in His righteousness. ~Bob George

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" ~ II Corinthians 5:17

Picture Source

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Snowbank and Silhouettes

Despite six inches of new snow in the past two days, I think things are looking up. How can I tell? The neighbors' discarded Christmas tree is showing up very nicely; it used to be buried. Wonder if I'll have to haul that off for them again this year???

This was my project for the morning.

The silhouettes that I did years ago of my nieces for a Mother's Day gift to their mom were faded and ratty looking. My hope was that they could be rescued with PAINT and/or Photoshop. I'm not too adept with either program, but I think they'll look better once they are trimmed and returned to the wee frames. That should be loads of fun for a Saturday afternoon. ;>

Hope yours is great, too!

Edited to Add: That wasn't too difficult, after all.



Friday, March 28, 2008

OOps, I Forgot to Say...

On March 26, when I was posting about important things like M&Ms, I forgot to mention that that post was my 200th. Last week I was carefully watching the tally; this week I didn't even think about it until this morning.

That's okay...better late than never. I work fast so this is the deal: Please leave a comment on this post. All those who do will be entered into a drawing and will be eligible for a little gift from me. It's not a big gift; not an exciting gift, just a remembrance and a way to say thank you for reading this blog.

Monday morning, I'll reveal the winner and we'll go from there.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Great-Aunt Susie

If you left me a comment yesterday, I hope that you'll check there again. You gals are so much fun!

My Boston niece bought me Anne Lamott's book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life as a birthday gift. Naturally, because I enjoy muddling my head with a lot of varying thoughts and opinions, I hauled out Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft and am reading them both. Actually, these two writers think a lot alike.

Even if you never hope to write more than a letter, these books are great fun...also irreverent...also trash mouthy...also brilliant. There'll be moments when you throw back your head and guffaw, moments when you'll feel inspired, and moments when you'll know for a fact that it's all beyond you. Apparently, it's all beyond both of them, too.

Lamott's description of writer's block: ...you sit staring at your blank page like a cadaver, feeling your mind congeal, feeling your talent run down your leg and into your sock.

Isn't that rich with simile and metaphor? That's writing!

Soooo, I've been commissioned to write a historical novel. Does it matter that I've been commissioned to write it by my own family? "The story must be told," my grandmother tells me emphatically. This makes me feel sorry that I'm such a deadbeat because Nan's 98 and it's unlikely that I'm going to pull this "masterpiece" together for her in time.

What is Nan so eager for me to tell? It's the story of her great-aunt Susie, an amazingly beautiful woman in her time who fell in love with John Jacob Astor (think Titanic) and he with her, if I am to believe the story. Sadly, or perhaps not, the romance didn't go quite as planned. Susie didn't meet Mr. Astor's mother's standards. Still, their romance left Aunt Susie independently wealthy at just twenty years of age.

I've spent years thinking about this...looking at Susie's letters, her journals, her photographs. I had always been told that there was a fortune somewhere (does every family have this sort of fairytale?) if one could only find it. What I found instead was that Susie died a pauper with her grand home falling down about her ears and that life's difficulties left her a self-absorbed, bitter woman. Guess life can do that if your one true love is lost and your only child...a daughter...falls off a swing, hits her head on a tree root, and dies in your arms when she is just seventeen.

I need to go watch a comedy!

photo source

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ten Weird, Random Facts or Habits

Minnesota Kathi @ Lavender, Lace and Thyme tagged me on March 22 with the Ten Weird, Random Facts or Habits meme. She says that she wants to know more about me. I find this amusing and flattering all at the same time. Oh well, here's for you, Kathi. (Kathi needs a little pick-me-up since her brother fell while shoveling heavy, wet snow and broke his arm!)

Here are the rules: Once tagged, you are to write a post listing ten weird, random facts or habits about yourself. Then you find 5 people to tag. Not only do you list them at the end of the post, you have to tell why you chose them. Next, you must leave a "You've been tagged" comment on their blog. They'll come back to read the details. Once these good people have posted their list, they must remember to let you know. One good thing - they can't tag you back!

1. M&Ms are impossible for me to resist. If I see them, I must have them. These pastel shades for Easter are especially nice.

2. I play with my M&Ms sorting them by color or by arranging them into stick figures.

3. Oddly enough, I think that brown M&Ms taste better than any of the other candy shell colors.

4. For a brief moment, I thought that the above photo proved that I had won a major prize. Don't ask!

5. I really don't think that M&Ms are the best-tasting candy...Lindt chocolate is.

There! That took care of the first five... ;>

6. I never eat cooked vegetables; the one two exception exceptions is are corn and potatoes.
(Thanks, Kari, for keeping me honest!)

7. I love to clean because cleaning equals instant results.

8. If I couldn't fail, I'd open a tearoom.

9. I read three or four books simultaneously...not at the same moment of time, but in the same period of time.

10. Memes are especially difficult for me because I think of myself as being as dull as dirt.

As a notorious rule-breaker, I'm not tagging anyone today. BUT, if you decide to do this meme, please let me know! While I find it a challenge to do them, I adore reading them.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Time for Litera-Tea

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.~Bernard-Paul Heroux

This week's installment for the Tea Blogathon is all about literature and tea. The particulars can be discovered at Gracious Hospitality.

Today's selections come from two books that are being closely linked in literary circles because of similar themes. Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale is a masterful first novel and I can not recommend it highly enough. You will love it most especially if you ever loved reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

Descriptions of the healing or restorative powers of tea always appeal to me...hence my selections.

When she found him, she raised him from the ground. He leaned heavily upon her as she led him with tender care to the kitchen and sat him in a chair. She made tea, sweet and hot, and he stared, unseeing, into space. Without a word, holding the cup to his lips, she tilted sips of the scalding liquid into his mouth. At last his eyes sought hers, and when she saw the loss in them, she felt her own tears spring up. ~from The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

I had now swallowed my tea. I was mightily refreshed by the beverage; as much so as a giant with wine: it gave new tone to my unstrung nerves, and enabled me to... ~from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Morning After

What a lovely, busy day yesterday was!

When I should have been preparing Easter dinner, I was taking pictures of my neighbor Libby to share with you. Here she is standing on the back snowbank.

The snow bankings are so high that Libby has free reign over the neighborhood for no fence constrains her.

Then another sight caught my eye, not an altogether welcome one at that...

Yes, while some of you have eagles, I have my turkey vultures. I know that my profile says "buzzards" but that's incorrect. They're vultures all right. Still, they know how to soar and swoop and they even have some people tricked into thinking that they are eagles. Old people. People with bad eyesight. People in denial. ;D

I spent most of the afternoon after dinner with the camera around my neck at the ready. Grandsons grow too fast! After 25,499 shots, this is mostly what I came up with. Grandsons in helicopter mode.

But, at last, something that comes closer to working...

and just in time!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Resurrection Sunday

He is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed!!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

An Easter Project, A Moon, and a Snowpile

Yes, I am posting a photo of that crazy snowpile. Sitemeter shows me that people arrive just to see that thing! If that's why you're here, just scroll down as it's the last picture.

This photo is just for Mari-Nanci whom I told last night that I couldn't see the moon because of cloud cover. No sooner had I shut down the computer than in flooded that familiar light. Grabbed the camera, opened the door, and found the moon sitting right there waiting for me. I didn't even have to go outside in the wind and cold.

Yesterday, as I was tidying and primping in preparation for Easter, I realized that there was not one decoration that spoke of Easter's true meaning. Visiting Manuela, I was reminded of this idea.

It was such an easy thing to do...all completed in about 30 minutes, including the time it took to scrounge for the supplies. You can see Manuela's right here on March 18.

...and Kari & Kijsa have done a number of these including this one right here.

The Snowbank...enough said about this! LOL!

If you can hang around for one more thought. Sometimes in the middle of a life mess, I wonder how it'll ultimately work out. Some things have speedy results and others just linger on and on. You know how that goes...

But, whether issues are resolved quickly or last f-o-r-e-v-e-r, none of humanity will ever know (praise God!) the despair that those who stood at the foot of the cross (or hid in denial) knew. Oh, yes, they had been told that good things were going to happen, but they didn't "get it." I don't blame them for this...I don't get much either. Can there be any greater despair than to watch the Son of God die? To watch hope die? We, on the other hand, know that Sunday morning dawns with all the hope of the ages resting in that one moment of time. We have so much reason to rejoice.

Busy day today for so many of us. Still, I hope to get caught up with everyone tonight!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Way Back

Untethered by time, he sees us all. From the backwoods of Virginia to the business district of London...Vagabonds and ragamuffins all, he saw us before we were born.

And he loves what he sees. Flooded by emotion. Overcome by pride, the Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, "You are my child. I love you dearly. I'm aware that someday you'll turn from me and walk away. But I want you to know, I've already provided you a way back."
~Max Lucado

All I've ever really wanted to know, I learned to sing in Sunday School..."Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so."

Ever feel as if you're missing the mark? I do.

Ever feel as if you're falling apart? Yup, me, too.

Ever feel as if you can't endure even one more day? So do I.

Ever think that this (whatever "this" is) will never end? I hear you.

Ever wonder if God still loves you in spite of foolish attempts to hide? Do you see me now, God? we say as we peek out from behind whatever fortress we've erected.

Today, of all days, we know the answer. He loves us. He adores us. He thinks we're absolutely fantastic. He longs for us. How do we know? Because, while we were still hiding from Him, He allowed His one and only son to endure the cross for us. Why? So that we didn't have to pay the price that we could never have paid in the first place. Nothing we have or could ever do is enough to "earn" our way back to Him.

Today we remember what it cost Him to love us. Everything!

You must be somebody very special!!

Blessings to you today and every day!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter Parade

The day is here! Join the fun at Miss Sandy's Quill Cottage!

And what am I parading today? An Easter bonnet? A new dress? Anything exciting at all? Nah...not my style. I'm parading onion skin wrapped eggs. This might have been exciting if New England eggs were white, but they're already brown. Sigh. Whatever! I can't be expected to remember the little things in the wee hours of the morning with the stench aroma of hard boiled eggs wafting about the house.

This is how you, too, can create such an egg:

1. Save onion skins for a very long time. (Longer than two days.)

2. Wrap white eggs for a dramatic effect or brown eggs for the subtle look I enjoy so well with said onion skins.

3. Wrap them again in a piece of paper towel and wind closed with string.

4. Hard boil them according to your method — mine is to bring eggs to a boil in cold water, boil for 5 minutes, then allow to cool in the pan for another 5 minutes with heat turned off, rinse as usual.

5. Remove thread, paper towel, and onion skins and prepare to be amazed at the designs.

6. Since I am using the eggs as place settings at the Easter table, I will add names.

7. The final step is to shine them up using a little vegetable oil.

Here's the story in pictures:

Hoping to add a photo of my Easter finery circa 19%$, but am not waking my dear mother to beg at this hour. Check back!

ETA: As promised, but delayed...sorry! I love this photo especially of my sister who, at three years of age, was as adorable as could be and knew how to strike a pose. :D She still does!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Little Pleasures

It's the little things...good conversation, a cup of tea, a mug of coffee, a new recipe, reading a fun blog, finding a package in the door...

...and in the package an unexpected extra

that smells heavenly and packaging so pretty with that melon card paper and the moss-colored ribbon.

And what was in the package?

The sweet little mauve pillow front and center. Thanks, Robin! Check out her shop right here for a little yard sale/flea market fun from home.

And where was I going when I found the package in the door?

And it was worth every calorie...every. last. one.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Speaking of calories...

these little treats were a lot of fun to make, more fun to eat, and looked darling. I have one word for you, though, remember to purchase jelly beans for the eggs not malted milk eggs. :D

Found this fun idea right here on Judy's Front Porch. Even though I hoped to have pics of two cuties enjoying them the way Judy did, my cuties were napping when I arrived with the goods.

A blessed Wednesday to everyone!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


This is going to be a graphics dense post. Just enjoy the pictures and skip the reading if you're low on time.

These are my teacups given to me by my grandmother. She gave them to me because she knows that my favorite color is yellow and my favorite rose is a yellow one. One is considerably older than the other and is a Royal Albert, which includes the third dessert plate, I believe. The other is a Melba. Both are bone china made in England.

Nan gave my sister green teacups. She gave each of her four great-grandchildren a teacup, including my son whose teacup is a depiction of a fisherman in midstream. She also gave her great-granddaughter-in-law a pink rose teacup. All of these gifts were based on the receiver's favorite flower and color.

This is my mother's teacup collection, which now incorporates many of my grandmother's teacups. Nan was once an avid collector, but she isn't much interested in teacups these days. The time for gathering the stories has gone, I'm afraid.

Here are a few closeups of my favorites from her collection...

This is one of my very favorites because of its little feet and the colors in the plate are gorgeous.

But I have already shown you my favorite teacup for sipping my tea right here. It's not too fussy and it's easy to hold. It's also the most recent gift as I just received it last week from a friend.

Guess I'll save my other tea stories for another day. Thankfully, this event is ongoing.

Thank you for looking at my treasures and at my mother's, too. Have a great day!

Edited to Add: Having visited others who are doing the teacup-a-story, I learned that I could look up my china teacups. The "newest" teacup with just the saucer is a Melba by "Melba China Co Ltd Stafford St., Longton. Staffordshire Potteries from 1948 to 1951." So it's older than I am and I feel ancient. ;> The trio Royal Albert Tea Rose was produced from 1942 to 1987. Though it looks older than the first, I could be wrong...I'm thinking that it's from the 40s.