A Haven for Vee

Friday, December 31, 2010

Waiting for the Ball...

Dear 2010,

It is with great joy that I say goodbye. Great. Very. You've been a truly rotten year on so many levels. I never would've thought it possible until I lived it. Does that make me a survivor?
Hoping (praying, too) that your successor will do better. 
No fond farewells from me,
Yup,  that's what I'd say if I could write 2010 a letter.

Thank you to each and every one who found your way to this corner in Blogdom. You have made the year bearable and kept me sane. ( Let's not question this. ;> )

Here's to a much happier, healthier and prosperier prosperous New Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

December 26

Yes, we had a lovely Christmas! Hope that you did, too. Now it's time to eat up the leftovers, including the owl-shaped cheeseball!

Enjoy a pleasant day...

(Since I myself have no time for leaving comments, I'm closing them here as well. It's only fair.)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Fun Day Planned

Last Saturday, my daughter, mother, grandson, and I went to see Tangled — my daughter's treat. It was great fun and my grandson's first time at the theater. He was alternately horrified and thrilled.  The first film I ever went to see was Disney's Pinocchio. As I recall, I was also alternately horrified and thrilled. There are 70th anniversary editions of Pinocchio on sale now, but I assure you that I have not yet seen my 60th year and won't for a few. Obviously, it was a re-release. ;>

Anyway, my youngest grandson has been waiting patiently for his day. Today is it. We are going to spend some quiet time reading stories, coloring, playing in a box (one of his very favorite things), baking some cookies, playing on the piano, and whatever else suits his fancy. We might even watch a short video, which is all his budding attention span allows.

My mother's favorite childhood Christmas book front and center and mine below...

She has yet to make it through The Little Match Girl without weeping and I have yet to read Herriot's The Christmas Day Kitten without doing the same. We are two sappy gals now let me tell you. Neither of those Christmas stories will be read today for obvious reasons. :D

Any favorite children's Christmas stories you'd like to mention and/or do you remember the first movie you went to see in the theater?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Narnia and Beyond

I used my limited knowlege of my Paint Program to create a "better" clock. My imagination can not be explained otherwise. :D

I confess that I've recently watched The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe again. Perhaps that is why, every time I look out my window and see this tree, the spot where a limb was removed looks like a giant clock. If I start hearing ticking, I'll let you know.

Over the weekend, I had a nice catch-up conversation with friends who are married to each other. He loves this movie; she has never seen it and doesn't care to. She isn't "into fantasy" she says. I told her that there is a far cry between fantasy and allegory. Far. Way far. I encouraged her to watch this movie in preparation for going to see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It'll be fun to learn if her curiosity was piqued at all when I see them again Christmas Eve. (It is my fond hope to see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader next week and I'd love to have them go with us.)

Okay, I am certain that I hear that clock ticking...gotta run. Is there a big old clock ticking in your world, too?

(My apologies for having this post get away from me last evening with its being posted, removed, and returned. Perhaps I'm too analytical because I'd really like to know what happened. The post dating thing just didn't hold. Anyway, it's all straightened around now.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A White Christmas After All

Just when we'd given up hope of a White Christmas, a Nor'easter took a sharp left.

Can you tell that I'm still crazy about my spring wreath?  Oh the decorating possibilities!

If you have a cactus hanging about and you don't know what kind it is and why it's blooming now or why it's sitting around twiddling its thumbs, La Tea Dah excellently spells it out at Gracious Hospitality on her post titled Bloom, O Christmas Cactus. I now know that I have an Easter cactus that sometimes blooms in November and again in spring. (It also sometimes blooms in July, but that's only when really confused.)

A happy day to you...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pretty Blue Lights

So you're looking for a pretty mosaic? Especially on the last Sunday before Christmas? Well, move right along for you'll not find it here. ;>

This was the night I had reserved for seeing the lights. It also happened to be the night of the church concert. Fine. We'd see lights after attending the concert.

John driving...Mother in front passenger seat...I am backseat driving. I know, you'd think it was a pattern.

Me: John, you're going to have to drive VERY slowly and stop just when I say stop or else I'm never going to get this picture.

John: I'll do anything you want.


He didn't stop. He slowed down some, but no stop.

Mother: Pull into this yard and turn around there.

Me: Don't pull a u-turn in the road.

John: I'll do anything you want.

He didn't exactly pull a u-turn, but it was close. A u-turn in a parking lot is not the same as a u-turn in the highway.

Just as I was setting up my shot, we got to see the really pretty lights. Blue lights. Bright, bright blue lights. Blue lights that rotate hypnotically.

John: Hello, Officer.

Officer: Hello, Sir. I was really concerned about your erratic driving and just wanted to make sure that everything was okay.

Erratic Driving? Well what do you think?

This is what I think. I think we won't be doing drivebys for a very long while.

Oh, this is what I was trying to capture. I had to do weird things to the photo in order for you to see it; although, I did decorate it for Christmas.

May these days leading up to Christmas go much better for you!

Visit Mary at Little Red House for more mosaics.

He's Not a Baby Anymore

This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ.  ~Frank McKibben

I heard a sermon long ago that remains with me. (I wish they all would.) The pastor said, "He's not a baby anymore! He is the living Christ crucified, risen, and coming again!" There was something about the "he's not a baby anymore" that excited me that day. So while I do think of the baby in the manger at Christmastime, my thoughts don't stay there very long before moving on to "He is the living Christ, crucified, risen, and coming again!"

Comments are off for Sunday post. ♥

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Chatty Little Post

And no one has time to read it. My timing is certainly interesting. :D

Mother moved to her new home this week. I've been feeling lost. It has been so much fun having her here. I don't know how to describe it exactly. When I wanted to talk there was a woman to talk with, yet we could sit and read and be quiet for long stretches of time. I had a built-in "playmate" who was more than willing to go along with any of my schemes. She was happy to try a new recipe, work on a new craft, read a blog I pointed out to her or head off for a little shopping. Perhaps I was afforded the luxury of a return to childhood without all the fussy parenting. Some fussy parenting, but not all. While I know that she's not even a mile down the way, it's not the same. I told her to hurry back. And she will be back for a few days over Christmas. Think I can last?

It's been one of those weeks. One of those weeks where many events culminated in troubles. The old "when it rains, it pours" kinds of weeks. We all have them, but it is a special affront during Christmas when we fervently wish for things to go well, for people to be well, for there to be abundance, for there to be joy and peace across the land and around the world. When world peace becomes too much to hope for, we still hope for peace to reign in our hearts and families. All too often that is another "too much to hope for" because we can not control other people and the decisions that they will make. When my son stopped by to pick up some packages he'd had sent here, I shared some of this with him. He listened to me vent: he's so wonderfully sympathetic that I didn't know when to shut up. Thankfully, I pulled it together and he gave me a big hug and told me that things would get better. May it be so...

Mercifully, I have been aided by so many of you and your wonderful blogs. If you haven't noticed the section in my sidebar named "Inspiring Posts of the Month," you might look and see if there's something there to comfort and cheer you, too, should you need a bit of cheering. Currently, I have five posts listed. I highly recommend them all and each one points to the the Lord. After all, our help and hope come from Him.

There's a lot to be done in the time before Christmas around here. Procrastination and I know each other all too well, though I did get the bookcase top decorated for the second or third time. (Note to self: Must learn to move forward instead of sideways.) I really am loving those springs. (Springs are "harvested" from old mattresses or they were in this case. It so happened that my mother gave her mattress the boot so I got lucky blessed. John did all the hard work of harvesting so I had it very easy. I understand it was ghoulish, tricky work.)

A blessed Saturday to you...

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Digital Story of Christmas

John's sister sent us the link for The Digital Story of the Nativity. Though not always one hundred per cent scriptural, it is very cleverly done. Made me laugh with joy. If you have a minute, I think you'll enjoy it as well.

Hope to get back to better blogging soon. It's been crazy busy here as I am sure is true in your home as well. Here's to a Merry Christmas!

Edited to Add: I see that this is making the rounds in Blogdom...all good, of course. I should have been paying attention and then I would've seen that my friend *Diva* had beat me to it!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holding Onto Joy

John arrived home from church with a lot of these little candy canes. The weather had been vile Sunday morning and not many people were out braving it. Therefore, the pastor had a lot of candy canes to share with the few in attendance. His sermon had been the classic one about the real meaning of the candy cane. I like that story, but this year the real meaning of the candy cane is going to be all about the letter J. For me, the J=Jesus and the J=Joy. We may not always experience joy in the ways that we might expect, but joy is always present when we look for it. And that is why all the mini candy canes are hanging like Js all over the tree.

Thanking you again for all the prayers. My parents' marriage ended today after nearly 57 years (nearly 58). It has been very difficult for both of them, but especially so for my mother who has always considered my father her God-given mission in life. (Personally, I am glad that God has this mission back. It's going to take a miracle.)

So we are off to do some heavy duty cleaning...that should keep our hands busy and our minds occupied.

Blessings to you this day...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Spring Wreath~Mosaic Monday

These weeks are passing by so very quickly!

Following what has become the staple format:

1. Top of Fridge...I'm just now realizing that what I wanted to show is being covered by my fussy design...check #8. Frosty the Pumpkin found his new home up there, too.
2. A calendar pic by Laura Berry centered on fridge...it needed something... 
3. My spring wreath...visit *Margo* for details...she does the neatest things!
4. My poor mother trying to relax in the midst of chaos... I didn't even pick up the table for you!
5. Vintage bulbs in the midst of the spring wreath
6. A spring bulb...pardon the play on words...a single spring with a vintage ornament on top
7. Spring wreath decorated with silk poinsettias for a different look. (My wreath doesn't fit on my front door as I'd hoped...not enough room between the storm door and the main door.)
8. Leftover springs slapped together and tossed on top of the fridge.

Please visit Mary at Little Red House for more mosaics!

Have a wonderful week...

Sometimes the storm is going to nail me. There's no avoiding it. It's coming through. The good news is that I'm not going alone and no matter how much the wind howls, God will still hear me. (Isn't it great when even the weather cooperates by providing a powerful metaphor?)

The waves of death crashed over me,
devil waters rushed over me.
Hell's ropes cinched me tight;
death traps barred every exit.
A hostile world! I called to God,
to my God I cried out.
From his palace he heard me call;
my cry brought me right into his presence—
a private audience!

II Samuel 22:5–7 (The Message)

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and all the sweet advice. I am praying, playing music, and resting. I am confident that there are answers as I keep my heart open to them. And this, as always, is true: This, too, shall pass.

~comments are closed on Sunday

photo source:accuweather.com

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Start each day with an "out loud" prayer in which you enthusiastically choose life, openness, relationships, love, vibrancy, and fun. ~Waking the Slumbering Spirit by John and Paula Sandford

Given the choice, and we all have that choice, I might decide to go back to my cozy, warm bed. We've had days and days of cold and gray making "vibrancy" seem unattainable. I'm feeling under the weather and I don't mean sick or maybe I do. One incident after another has threatened to swamp me and mine. Nevertheless, Christmas is going to happen with or without me so I need to make a better choice. What is your remedy for the blahs?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The P*o*lar Express

Hot! Hot!
*Hot chocolate!*
(You tube hot chocolate scene from movie)

The grands had a delightful experience riding *The P*o*lar Express.* I get all sappy looking at the amazement on those little faces... The little guy couldn't get over his ticket...he's still talking about it. The train ride included hot chocolate, cookies, a ticket with each child's initial punched by the conductor, photos with the conductor, and a healthy dose of wonder.

Here's wishing us all a dose of wonder this season!

Disclaimer: Sadly, I was not on this journey. The photos were sent to me by my daughter-in-law whom one can see in the window reflection in the largest photo. My son is the only other adult besides the conductor. Thanks for looking and for all the sweet comments. Catch you another day...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Thoughtful Gift and a Johnism

Another gift in the mail! What have I done to deserve such things? It proves that God just loves to bless us with good and thoughtful friends. This beautiful Lenox angel comes from Pat (Mille Fiori Favoriti) who said this: "I thought this little angel votive would remind you of your Nan who is smiling down on all of you as your special angel." Thank you so much, Pat, this means a lot to my little family here at Haven and you know that I think that you're the real angel.

The gingerbread didn't get baked yesterday after all, but to compensate I placed grapefruit rinds and a stick of cinnamon on the stove to heat and scent the air hoping to provide a nice "welcome home" to John and my mother as well. The next bit is easier told with dialog.

V: Doesn't the house smell good?

J: I can't smell anything.

V: You can't? I put citrus and cinnamon on the stove.

J: I saw that.

V: But you can't smell it?

J: No, I just thought we were having a meager supper.

V: Hahahahahahahaha...

Honestly, I laughed for over a minute. Times may be tough, but we've not come to eating two grapefruit rinds and a stick of cinnamon! :D

A happy day to you...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Christmas Meme

Christmas Card from my grandmother's collection reminiscent of *this painting* by Nita Leger Casey

 A meme found at *Chocolatechic's:*

1. Hot Chocolate or apple cider?
2. Turkey or Ham?
3. Do you get a fake or real-you-cut-it-yourself Christmas tree?
4. Decorations on the outside of your house?
5. Snowball fights or sleddin’?
6. Do you enjoy going downtown shopping?
7. Favorite Christmas song?
8. How do you feel about Christmas movies?
9. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music?
10. Stockings before or after presents?
11. Go to someone else’s house or they come to you?
12. Do you read the Christmas Story? If so when?
13. What do you do after presents and dinner?
14. What is your favorite holiday smell?
15. Ice skating or walking around the mall?
16. Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas day?
17. Favorite Christmas memory?
18. Favorite Part about winter?
19. Ever been kissed under mistletoe?

(It's an easy copy and paste.)

1. Hot Chocolate or apple cider?
     Hot Chocolate please!
2. Turkey or Ham?
     Ham with raisin sauce
3. Do you get a fake or real-you-cut-it-yourself Christmas tree?
     A fake tree so that I can put it up early and keep it up late...Epiphany on January 6. (As much as I love the smell of a fresh tree, I can not abide the mess that they make. I compensate with fresh boughs near my door as one enters and with some fresh boughs at the windows.)
4. Decorations on the outside of your house?
     Yes, John is still stringing lights on the deck...an arrangement on the side deck by the main door and a kissing ball on the garage. I have yet to do anything with the front door...*gasp*
5. Snowball fights or sleddin’?
6. Do you enjoy going downtown shopping?
     Not so much
7. Favorite Christmas song?
     Secular: I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas sung by Bing Crosby
Sacred: Joy to the World
8. How do you feel about Christmas movies?
     I enjoy many of them, including "It's a Wonderful Life," but my favorite is "A Christmas Story." (I have yet to find a sacred film about Christmas that I truly enjoy.)
9. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music?
     It is never too early to listen to Christmas music. ;>
10. Stockings before or after presents?
11. Go to someone else’s house or they come to you?
     We do both...
12. Do you read the Christmas Story? If so when?
     Yes, no set time...we've read it once this season and will do so again, I'm sure.
13. What do you do after presents and dinner?
     We enjoy playing the new board games or just having quiet conversation. Sometimes, if the weather isn't too bad, we go for a walk.
14. What is your favorite holiday smell?
     Cider brewing or evergreen boughs or cookies baking or gingerbread baking...I'm doing the gingerbread thing today. The aroma lasts for days.
15. Ice skating or walking around the mall?
     Given the limited choices, I'll watch the ice skating.
16. Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas day?
     Presents may be opened at any time during the Christmas season. We're flexible.
17. Favorite Christmas memory?
     It shall always be listening to my grandparents play the old carols...my grandmother at the piano and my grandfather on his violin...as I fall asleep in a cozy upstairs bedroom tucked under the eaves.
18. Favorite Part about winter?
     Though it is not my favorite season, I love the coziness of a home after being outside in the cold and I enjoy watching snow fall gently from the comforts of indoors.
19. Ever been kissed under mistletoe?
     Ohhhh, once or twice

Please let me know if you're going try this (you are definitely invited to do so) because I want to read yours, too!

Enjoy a pleasant and productive day...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Crafts and More~Mosaic Monday

This week found me making crafts. I see so many delights in Blogdom that I must give them a whirl.  1. An open Christmas songbook decorated with ribbon and berries given to me by my friend Kathy. I have used it every year since. 2. A snowflake first found last week at *Quill Cottage*. Miss Sandy will reveal where she found the information. It's really big! It's growing on me. (I had to add some glitter and I didn't have sheet music that I wished to spare...ink is out of printer... so used an old book from the flea market free pile instead.) 3. A Christmas card snowflake. Look back on my posts this week to find instructions if you are interested. 4. A dove and a believe sign 5. Frosty the Pumpkin or Sam the Pumpkin, whichever you prefer. (My grandson renamed him.) Glitter helped his cap look like newly glistening snow. 6. An apothecary filled with antique ornaments that are so fragile I no longer hang them on the tree. 7. A cozy nook in the dining room 8. My Home Interiors Nativity purchased in the early 80s. 9. My attempt to try a mosaic a different way thanks to *Lorrie's tutorial.*  (I used a background made available at Diane Knott's Musings somewhere! Sorry that I can't find it. ETA 8/8/13: Equally sorry that there is no Diane Knott Musings any longer. I sure do miss those who have bowed out of blogging.)

Thank you to Mary at Little Red House for allowing me the opportunity to participate. We are all so busy, but the Christmas season is such a fun time to share!

Mary's Little Boy Child

Yesterday found me shopping at the flea market. Mother was busy looking through stacks of puzzles and I was busily looking at silver spoons looking for monograms on their handles. Christmas music was playing and I became aware that it was "Mary's Little Boy Child" and so hummed along a bit instead of mindlessly going about my search.
When I got to this line: "And man shall live forevermore because of Christmas Day," I began to ponder a bit. Now the truth is that it is more than a special day that gives us eternal life. And the gift is much more even than eternal life because, truth is, every person who has ever been born is going to live eternally. It's just a matter of where one wishes to spend eternity. (Where to spend eternity is a choice that each person will make. Choosing "the gift" does not cost any of us a thing — not all the gold we have or all the time or all the talents. It cost Jesus everything. It cost God everything. It's an incredible gift for whoever reaches out to take it.)

Back to my point (I really did have one!) At this season of the year, the message is repeated in lyrics sung in standard Christmas carols. It's there. It's repetitious. It's *the answer* to any question ever wondered.  

This answer is the greatest gift ever given or ever received. Please know that He can be yours today. Your life will never be the same again and Christmas will mean so much more.

Blessings this day...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Frosty the Pumpkin

Gotta love Blogland where when you have a question, you often get an answer. Case in point...my question yesterday about what to do with a leftover lumina pumpkin. Dawn provided the answer in comments. I followed through. Voilà! Frosty the Pumpkin was born.

I hope that this amuses the grandchildren. The oldest could never figure out why I kept a plain old pumpkin hanging around without a face. Now I've remedied that.

Oh, remember when I was asking about what to do with begging dogs? Vickie came up with the working answer to that one ...we locked Molly in the car. It worked like a charm. She took a lovely nap in her snuggly bed and we had some peace and quiet all through Thanksgiving dinner.

So go ahead...ask! You'll probably get some answers.

A happy weekend to you!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Seeing Stars

We finally got down to it around three in the afternoon. By nine last evening, we were still involved. I'm not sure how John found a spot at the table this morning to have his coffee and read the paper, but that is where I found him. (Why, yes! That is a leftover Thanksgiving pumpkin. Whatever am I going to do with it?)

I first spoke of this sweet and easy project last year on *this post.* If interested, you'll find everything there that you need to know.  I spoke then of the possibility of using old Christmas cards and that's just what we did. We tried a few other star patterns, but we are challenged by much beyond simple cutting and pasting. I'm working on overcoming one I found too complicated yesterday afternoon by this morning's light. I'll let you know.

I am avoiding all blogs that announce the countdown to Christmas. Yes, that should go a long way toward maintaining calm and equilibrium. :D

Enjoy your Friday...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Daughter's Hat

Okay, this is the scoop: If you're a member of any blogger's family, you must be willing from time to time to become blog fodder. Now I know that there are a few exceptions to this because some of you respect your family members so much that you would never subject them to the rigors of repeated photos and efforts to get just the right angle and whatever.it.is.that.control.freak.bloggers.such.as.I.with.camera.in.hand.wish.to.do.with.my.subject.

For some time, my daughter and I have been waiting to show what I did with the Anthropologie gift certificate won awhile ago at Penny's The Comforts of Home. (Have you seen Penny's new header?) I gave it to my daughter who ordered two caps...one fit; one didn't. It takes time to make the switch, but the new cap came in this week. I begged her to come and show me—photo op. I twisted her arm just a titch. She was pretty okay with it despite a long day at the office, but by the last row there...not so much. And by the last photo ... if looks could kill!

My daughter, she's an "L," loves both her hats and says that this one is very nice and warm and is going to complement all of her winter coats. Perfect! (And when I catch her wearing the other one...)

Have a great Thursday! (Today is craft day at my house starting in about an hour. I'll be catching up with all of you later.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tote Bag Gift

My mother is such a Keeper of Christmas that I have often used her November birthday to gift her with items that she can use at Christmas time. When the good folks at Simply-Bags contacted me a week or so before my mother's birthday asking me to write a review in exchange for this bag, I jumped at the opportunity.

It's a beautiful, quilted *red velvet tote* that can be used either as a large purse or a tote. Let me show you why...

As a tote...

Tote Cinched
(Please forgive the quality of the photos...raining here today.)

My mom is an "M" and she's also my "mom" so that "M" really works. (One gets to choose her own monogram when ordering.) There is an inner zippered pocket on the side and also an attached zippered change purse. (I'd be tempted to use that for my keys, which are always getting lost in the bottom of my bag.) The tote is lightweight so when it is filled it is not much heavier than the contents. This works perfectly for my mother who has RA and has been using heavy canvas bags as totes in the past. She's finding this one much easier on her hands.

This is truly a beautiful tote and I thank the folks at Simply-Bags. You can find them on my sidebar under Personalized Tote Bags for future reference or just follow the highlighted links above. Take a look, I'm sure that you'll like what you see.

Happy first of December!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Tree and An Early Gift

It's so much fun reading comments. I'd never bother to write another post if I could just guarantee reading comments. Many times I cry when reading them. Yes, I'm weird that way. On the other hand, when I read Lea's comment on my Monday Mosaic post, "are you saying your tree is only three feet tall?" I burst out laughing. Why have I gone this mini-tree route when I am only a sweet young'un not even having reached my sixtieth year? It's all about the lack of space. If I put up a full-sized tree, I lose seating space in our living area and I can't afford to lose any seating space when this is the home where my family gathers. This way I can comfortably seat eight; I can uncomfortably seat fifteen. ;>

An early gift came from my dear friend Miss Sandy@ Quill Cottage. I nearly keeled over seeing the book she sent and the materials that I can use to make some of the projects. Such a thoughtful thing to do! Keep your eyes on Quill Cottage as Miss Sandy loves to share Christmas crafts with her readers. She's already been busy! Thank you so very much, Sandy. You bless my soul.

November 30 and I have reached the end of my commitment to the Giving Thanks Challenge. It became a gift to me (thank you, *Leah*! ) very early on. Some days were such a struggle that I found it difficult to think of anything positive. It's a very good thing when one must examine gratitude. God's gifts abound especially in those tough days. All we have to do is look for them. Today I am grateful for a living hope: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable...reserved in heaven for you. I Peter 1:3–4 

Stay tuned tomorrow when I share another gift from a completely different source based on my review thereof... It's pretty. It's red. It looks like Christmas.

Edited to Add: My daughter just walked up to this tree that I have had since 1995 and asked if it were real. No, it is as fake as fake can be. It is a 6.5 foot tree, but thankfully it comes in sections so I didn't even need John to cut the trunk. I just used the top section.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mosaic Monday~Hodge-Podge Christmas Decorating

This week marked the first snow of the season, which has helped to set the mood. I've been puttering with Christmas decorations. Something here; something there; nothing pulled together. I included the little graphic (from my own collection) because it so perfectly represents the size of my tree this year. Why, you might be tempted to think that I am growing old!

Join Mary at Little Red House for more mosaics. They're always a lot of fun. This week and next and next..., I'll be looking for ideas!

Prepare the Way

Checking the Lights

A voice of one calling:

In the wilderness prepare
the way for the LORD;
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
~Isaiah 40: 3–5

It is wonderful to make our Christmas preparations a "preparing of the way." I am not John the Baptist, but I want to do the work he did. Every little thing from the checking of the lights to the topping of the tree can lift up Jesus. Blessings to you this Sunday!

Friday, November 26, 2010

First Snow

With widening eyes, I watched as one after the other of my blogging friends, living in far more temperate climes than my own, displayed their winter wonderland photos. I knew that it was just a matter of time...

To say that I am less than impressed would suggest that I don't enjoy snowfall. Okay, on this my little sister Molly and I are in complete agreement.

What is this?

If you guys think I'm going to my usual "spot," forget it!

May I come in now?

He isn't so blessed...

One took photos

And congratulated herself on getting the outdoor Christmas decorating done early...

Hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving; we certainly did. My mother just called from the living room,"Say, you know the family that rented the Congregational Church hall for Thanksgiving? They have over 70 members and served 15 pies. We had 12 members and made eight pies. What's wrong with this picture? " She made me laugh! At least we have plenty of leftovers so that today we can do it all over again!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Aunt Jan's Cranberry Salad

The baking has begun in earnest this morning; although, we were able to get a jumpstart on a few items like this family favorite. I have enjoyed this salad every Thanksgiving and Christmas my entire adult life. One year, I even remember making a hasty call home from Arizona to get the recipe. It wouldn't have seemed like Thanksgiving without it. Is there a dish like that for your family? Tell me!

Printable Recipe for Aunt Jan's Cranberry Salad

Happy preparations and safe travels...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

And I know that you all are, too. It's a happy kind of busy, though, and I hope it's the same in your home. Mother is the list-maker and so has kept busy making them; I am kept busy following them.

This morning, Molly got a bath because, while we can stand many things, we cannot stand a stinky dog. I understand that Bailey, the Black Labrador Retriever and Chesapeake Bay Retriever mix, who'll also be in attendance for Thanksgiving, is getting her bath today as well.

Here they both are begging for food. My sister is fending them off with her sneakered foot while she grips her drink and snack. I'm a bit concerned about Thanksgiving and what we'll do with these little beggars. Obviously, they're not going to be trained not to beg before then; we can't put them outside; there's no room that closes off where I trust them both together. Oh dear! I know, if this is the biggest conundrum I have, life is good. So, tell me, if you have dogs, what do you do with them when the family gathers for a meal?

Edited to Add: Hmmm, I may have just come up with a good gift idea for the dog lovers in my family...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mosaic Monday~Thanksgiving Tablescapes

Green Grape and Green Plate Source
Mini Pumpkin on White Plate Source
Remaining tablescapes Source
Girl Peeling Apples Source

Thanksgiving is this Thursday in the United States. I am scrambling as half of the family had made other plans. Now that's all changed and we will all be celebrating at Haven. I don't imagine that my table will actually look as elegant as any of these, but I can dream.

A Happy Thanksgiving to all those who'll be celebrating!

Please join Mary at Little Red House for more mosaics!

The Promise and Another Excellent Word

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~Philippians 4:6

The Promise
by The Martins

I never said that I would give you silver or gold
Or that you would never feel the fire or shiver in the cold
But I did say you'd never walk thru this world alone
And I did say don't make this world your home

I never said that fear wouldn't find you in the night
Or that loneliness was something you'd never have to fight
But I did say I'd be right there by your side
And I did say I'll always help you fight

'Cause you know I made a promise that I intend to keep
My grace will be sufficient in your time of need
My love will be the anchor that you can hold on to
This is the promise, this is the promise I've made to you

I never said that friends would never turn their backs on you
Or that the world around you wouldn't see you as a fool
But I did say like me you'll surely be despised
And I did say My ways confound the wise

I didn't say you'd never taste the bitter kiss of death
Or have to walk thru chilly Jordan to enter into rest
But I did say I'd be waiting right on the other side
And I did say I'll dry every tear you've cried

'Cause you know I made a promise that I've prepared a place
And someday sooner than you think you'll see me face to face
And you'll sing with the angels and a countless multitude
This is the promise, this is the promise I've made to you

So just keep on walking don't turn to the left or right
And in the midst of darkness let this be your light
That hell can't separate us and you're gonna make it thru
This is the promise, this is the promise I've made to you
Oh, this is the promise, this is the promise I've made to you

Today I am sharing the lyrics to "The Promise," which has meant so much to us in the past week or so and :

Let me say this very carefully. A fact that every one of us has to face is that when we feel that life is meaningless, when we are bored with life, when we feel dead in our spirits, with our emotional hurts and pains, with our mental confusion ... all of those phrases add up to one thing, that at least at that moment we are IGNORANT OF THE LOVE GOD HAS FOR US. For when I know the love God has for me, then my mental confusion disperses like fog on a summer’s morning. The hurts and pains of my life are healed by His presence. Boredom is a word that can never be used of a person who walks in the love of God. This is the answer. It is the final key to all of our spiritual, mental, emotional health and, indeed, our physical health, too. The Love of God.
This is the first paragraph of an article found *here.* How I stumbled upon it Monday evening when I needed it most, I attribute to the Spirit's leading. I wasn't even looking for anything about worry or the Lord or anything like that, I was researching autism of all things. Bookmark it and save it for a time when you can read it or print it off as I am planning to do as soon as I get some printer ink.

As always, comments are closed on Sunday morning posts. Have a blessed day...

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Little Christmas Carol Talk

Sometimes, Christmas comes when we need it. We've needed Christmas around here a few days this week and, yes, I confess, that I have already begun playing Christmas music. It's early. I know it's early. But it is some of my favorite music and my mother's favorite music and so we are finding it comforting and peaceful and sweet and dear and meaningful beyond words. 

When my niece was working on the video I mentioned yesterday, she worked with *Grooveshark* to build a playlist. It took me no time to sign up for a free account and to begin building my own playlists. I found this site easier than most I've worked with. Of course, I did have the benefit of watching K work on it for some time before I gave it a whirl. So thought I'd mention it for now is the time to make your list if you want to beat the clock a bit. It'll be ready for you just when you need it.

Somewhere In My Memory

Candles in the window,
shadows painting the ceiling,
gazing at the fire glow,
feeling that gingerbread feeling.
Precious moments,
special people,
happy faces,
I can see.

Somewhere in my mem'ry,
Christmas joys all around me,
living in my mem'ry,
all of the music,
all of the magic,
all of the fam'ly home here with me.

Edited to Add: OOps! Wanted to add mine...

And the good thing is that it won't play unless you want it to.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Week Before Thanksgiving

Just one week to Thanksgiving! Where, no really, where does the time go?

Last evening, I went strolling through Blogdom. I didn't comment often, but it certainly was good to catch up a little. I also visited Country Living where I looked at Thanksgiving Table settings. The one I am using in my header was called "Family History" or some such thing. The old photographs reminded me of our past week as my niece created another video using many vintage photos of Nan.

We don't quite know how Thanksgiving is shaping up for our family. Some wished to visit away, but with only three available days to accomplish all that travel, it didn't seem prudent. We'll see...

I'm leaving you with two vintage photos. One is a wee picture of little baby Nan in her mother's locket where we can tell that she is dressed warmly for those Moncton winters. She wears a knitted cap close to her head and a fur cap as well. One eye is closed in a cute little baby wink.

The other was taken at "The Rocks" near Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick. This is how we prefer to think of her now. Stepping forward and smiling back. This was how my niece closed the video:
Nan 1909–2010
Forever in Heaven

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thank You for Everything

Just popping in to say thank you for all the wonderful emails and cards. I have been truly blessed by the community of Blogdom; your words touched my heart.

This past weekend was a blur of activity with Nan's graveside service on Saturday involving six hours of travel and her Memorial Service yesterday at the church she attended in our community.

I've not had nearly enough time to collect my thoughts and so will be taking even more time off from blogging. And, as always, when time away happens, I've missed you. I'm looking forward to getting back.

Enjoy a wonderful November day...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Giving Thanks List 2010

30. A Living Hope

29. Modern medicine

28. The opportunity to "prepare the way"

27. A slower pace

26. A wonderful Thankgsiving

25. All travelers are home safe and sound

24. Cherished family recipes

23. My husband's prayers

22. Cozy mornings reading blogs

21. Happy planning

20. Time with a grandson

19. A good hot cup of coffee

18. Christmas music

16. and 17. Mild weather

12. to 15. Sweet Memories

11. Those who have served and who serve

10. Poetry

9. Music that soothes a restless spirit...

8. For the comfort of family and friends...

7. For Nan being safely home...

6. The normal, everyday things of life...

5. This red plaid flannel nightgown...

4. Quality Conversation...

3. For the difference a new morning can make...

2. Giving thanks for the great privilege of voting...

1. Thankful to be looking forward...

This is a way for me to share what has been on my sidebar. I'm going to need the reminder!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Corinthians 15:55

Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?


Nan has been a thread throughout this blog, a very important part of my life. She passed peacefully around 11 last evening. Thank you so much for your prayers.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Snack

Won't you join my mother and me for a bit of cheese, milk and honey bread, and some apricot jelly? Here it is nearly noon and I have no post up, but thanks to a church fair visit and my mother's open purse, I have something to share.

Thank you for your prayers. They mean so much. Such a rough evening last that my mother decided to spend the night there with my grandmother. I don't know how my mother had the energy for the fair; guess it's one of those things that she missed last year and didn't want to miss again.

My purchases were for the boys. Aren't these trains the cutest things?

They're made from a roll of lifesavers with a pack of gum beneath. To the gum has been added the peppermint candies for wheels. A Hershey nugget and a pom-pom are on top to complete the train. I just asked my mother for the names of the train parts and she said, "Ask Sam." Okay, that's fair. I don't know the names either. Oh I give up...I found the directions *here* if you are interested.

Today, I am grateful for the normalcy of life...the doing of dishes, the folding of clothes, the attending of a church fair, the enjoying a snack...right in the middle of trying times. It says that "life goes on" and that "life is for the living."

Enjoy a great weekend...