A Haven for Vee

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

I learned this as a child in first grade in a little red brick schoolhouse just down the way. That little red schoolhouse was a public school, but in 1960 teachers still taught scripture and this one was recited daily along with the pledge of allegiance. I learned it in the King James version so no other flows so beautifully from the tongue. I found it comforting as a six-year old and I find it comforting fifty years later.

Be comforted today, Dear Ones...

Friday, February 26, 2010


Yes, as I was saying, I've been going back through my posts and doing a bit of tidying up. One post has been lost to me. Oh, yes, it's still there buried somewhere in a pile of oodles of posts and with some title that means less than zip. Searches yield nothing, but I am not going to waste my perfectly wonderful permission to feature this artist. Her name is Tamar Mogendorff and you can find her work here and her blog here. (And now you also know the reason behind the title of this post.)

My former post includes a swan and we collect swans at the Haven. I'd love to collect one of Tamar's. She is a sculptor, an artist, a delight. I love her work!

Well, do see for yourself...

* used by permission
*hi vee,
thanks for your lovely post and e-mail.
and thanks for letting me know.. before the google alert.. :)
best wishes,

Before the Google alert? Wow! I am comforted to know that artists and photographers and anyone who'd like to so do can set up an alert. Still, how thoughtful of Tamar to give me permission. It's much appreciated. And, when I find that buried post, I'll be sure to put a link back to this one.
Have a wonderful Friday evening and a relaxing Saturday!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Em's Boys

It was great fun to be interviewed by Lisa at Grandma's Briefs. She had a way of asking questions that made me think. If you want to see some better photos of my grands and even one of me with my recession hair facing forward and wearing my hubby's shirt (Leah, check it out!) please visit Lisa right *here.* (Don't let all of Granny's underwear on the line scare you!)

Please tell Lisa that I sent you, if you'd be so kind. Thanks a million!

Go, thou, and have a great day...

Comments are off

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Have we been hair before?

As promised, this is the hairafter picture:

Striking difference, say what? Is this what I asked for? Not unless I asked to look like Little Lord Fauntleroy (hope that you can imagine that image), which I didn't.

As for turning around...hahahaha, silly gals!

Just a Note About My Use of Google Images

Having had it brought to my attention that sourcing "Google Images" is not sufficient, I am taking on the painstaking task of removing all images that have not been properly sourced. In some instances this means that entire posts are gone as they no longer make sense. Never has the "delete blog" button looked so tempting! Nevertheless, it is good to have one's feet placed to the flames even when it doesn't feel so good. I have learned my lesson. My blog will never be as lovely as it has been, but that's a minor problem given that some find my blogging behavior illegal, immoral, and unethical.

Comments are closed nor do I want email about this issue as my ego is still a bit bruised. Thank you.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Too Soon Again?

Last Easter, I started a little early and perhaps I've been thinking about Easter a little early this year as well. This year Easter will fall on April 4th, which is six weeks from yesterday. If one is thinking about projects and rounding up items, though, this really is the time to begin. These three things are tops on my list for 2010.

1. Easter eggs tie-dyed What a clever idea! I have a few of these things on hand without going to Goodwill.

2. Easter Garland at Creative Breathing. So adorable!

3. Martha Stewart-Easter Oh yes! I can see that I'm early when I beat Martha Stewart. She's beginning her Easter fling on March 1st.

Hmmm, wondering when I can start forcing the forsythia...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Not Good Enough?

In all my years as a Christian, I have never heard anyone say, "I've had it! I am sick to death of the love and grace of God. I'm sick of other Christians loving and accepting me. I'm giving up this Christian life." No I've never heard that. But I couldn't count the number of Christians I've known who have given up because of being under law, who have been broken by the crushing burden of trying to be good enough to earn God's acceptance, who have been mangled by the competition, the judging, and the demands to conform to some group's standards. "We'll accept you if you look like, walk like, talk like, and act like us." And the implication is always, "And God will, too." So what are we to do?

Jesus Christ came to free us from the burden of the law by calling us to a life united with His. We are beloved, accepted children of God, who have been called to His "banquet table" to experience Jesus Christ living in and through us every day. Abundant life is not "pie-in-the-sky" or nebulous theory. It is real, and it is ours for the taking if we will only believe. Let's not settle for anything less.
~Bob George

...for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:27–29

Besides the Bible itself, few books have challenged me and taught me as well as Classic Christianity by Bob George. I highly recommend it.

ETA: quotes used by permission

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blogging Annoyances

This photo, taken a few days ago, has nothing whatsoever to do with this post. Okay, maybe a little whatsoever. After all, pileated woodpeckers can be very annoying and repetitive just like the spammers I've been finding here lately, ten or so just this morning.

You'll not believe what I've been doing for the past twenty minutes. I've been knee-deep in manure photos because that's what I really want to talk about this morning—c.r.a.p.

"So," I can hear you say, "tell us what you really think, Vee." Sure!

I think that spammers are lower than the scum off a lizard's hind tooth. I think that Blogger should have figured out a way to dispatch them long ago. I think that it is unfortunate that bloggers must add word verifications, etc., because it prevents many good comments from coming in and bogs down blogs in annoying ways.

This blog will not accept "anonymous" commenters any longer. This is a problem for me because I have a few friends who sometimes wish to comment, but do not have Google accounts and so forth and I will miss hearing from them in this forum. As for word verifications, I'll rail against them forever and pray that I don't have to wind up using them myself.

So that's my rant for the day. Have any of you come up with alternative solutions?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

China Cupboard Before and After

I can ignore problems staring me right in the face. Pam Tillis may think that she is "The Queen of Denial," but actually I am. This is true of every situation across the board. Yup, Vee is my name and Denial is my game. Not so very good on sooooo many levels. Okay, moving right along because I am also the Queen of Vague. Specificity always makes me a titch nervous. ;>

First up...my china cupboard. You've seen the top decorated just so...
What you haven't known is its secret inner life. (I should save this for a Sunday analogy. :D )

What a disaster! I dared not put the following picture in first or you'd not have stopped by. Every time I opened it, something fell out. That might have been an indication for a normal person that it was time to do something. Not for me. I've lived this way for months.

Yesterday, I finally concluded that enough was enough. I removed every single thing placing what was going back into the cupboard on the right side of my dining table and what wasn't going back on the left side. I washed the cupboard with Murphy's oil soap...love that stuff...and placed my dishes back inside. Some fine day, perhaps I'll paint the interior something nice and light so my dishes show up better.

The only problem was that now I had a pile of stuff
that wasn't going back.

What to do with it? How about this?
I've seen this often in Blogland, but my mother was the first woman I know to do it with a big old punch bowl filled with ephemera and goodies gathered from kitchen drawers and hiding spots.

So there it is...

Oh, one last thing...
This is a little decorating idea that I love. I found it at Brocante Home on a post called The Quiet War. Her six-year-old son Finn came up with it. He has an excellent eye for charm just like his mother.

(Yes, you eagle-eyed, folks. This was before I put all my stuff in the apothecary jar.)

Have a splendid day!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Little Bikers

I'm sitting on top of the world,
Just rolling along
Just rolling along

I'm quitting the blues of the world
Just singing a song
Just singing a song

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Red Food

On Valentine's Day, I described how I would honor the day with red food. That was it. No flowers, a little candy, a few cards, and a kiss here and there. Nothing more special than that.

Since I had already lined up Monday's post, I didn't respond to Aunt Amelia's suggestion to provide a menu, until now. Soooo, as one who aims to please and as one who needed a Tuesday post...

How's that for product placement? Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Zinger tea is fast becoming a favorite around here. Since I am sipping on that very cup of tea writing this post, I can assure you that it is delicious.

And the sweet Valentine? Made by none-other than the very talented Miss Sandy of Quill Cottage!

The cookies? Oh, they're my "go-to" cookie anymore. You may have your chocolate chip, I'm taking Boggles. Boggles is a cookie recipe taken from a Hannah Swensen mystery written by Joanne Fluke called Fudge Cupcake Murder. Nan was reading it last fall and recognized an excellent recipe when she saw it. Well, as I say, it's incredibly delicious with just the right texture for me — crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside. (The recipe will be at the end of this post.)

Nan has lots of ideas about good recipes. Not long ago, she told John and me that we eat "funny." She wondered about all the chicken. She didn't have chicken only once or twice a year before she landed here. Ha! She carried on about some recipe for tomato scallop from her childhood that she loved and fervently wished to have again.

Serendipity struck when I mentioned this to my mother and she gave me my grandmother's own recipe. I've been saving it for Valentine's Day. It was also amazingly good and Nan was very pleased. There's none left so that's a good indication of how wonderful it was.


A *Hannah Swensen* recipe


* 2 cups melted butter
* 2 cups brown sugar
* 2 cups white sugar
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 tsp salt
* 4 eggs (beaten)
* 2 tsp vanilla
* ½ tsp cinnamon
* ¼ tsp nutmeg
* 4 cups flour
* 3 cups Craisins or dried cranberries
* 3 cups rolled oats


* Preheat oven to 350°
* Melt butter
* Add sugars and allow to cool a bit
* Add salt, vanilla, and spices
* Add eggs
* dd flour and mix with electric mixer
* After the above ingredients are well incorporated
* Stir in cranberries and oats and mix all together
(Dough will be stiff)
* Drop onto parchment lined cookie sheet with a cookie scoop and bake for 12–15 minutes.
* Allow to cool on pan for two minutes
* Remove to cookie racks for further cooking.

This makes a nice large batch of cookies and good luck keeping them on hand!
Printable Recipe

Snappy Tomatoes

A Nana Recipe


* 2 cups canned tomatoes
* ½ cup cracker crumbs
* 2 TBS chopped onion
* 1 tsp salt
* 4 TBS melted butter
* ½ cup finely grated cheese of choice...I used cheddar
* dash of paprika
* dash of pepper
* 1 well-beaten egg


* Reserve some of the cracker crumbs for the topping
* Mix all together
* Place in a 6×9 inch pan
* Top with reserved cracker crumbs
* Bake in 350° oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Printable Recipe

Now, as I took a lot of pictures for this post and didn't use them, I'm tossing in a mosaic. I can't waste them!

Enjoy a great Tuesday!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Show and Tell

Do you remember Show and Tell day from kindergarten or first grade? I do. Very well, in fact. I even remember the one item that I most loved showing — my dolly. She was all dressed in a coral crocheted number that my mother made for her. It included the dress and a little sweater with pearl buttons and a hat, too. Plus booties. Oh she was a vision was that little doll baby of mine.

Anyway, perhaps it's because I know the quality of my mother's workmanship that I have a difficult time making things for her. I know that I can't do as well as she does. Case in point...tea cozy #2. The design is a bit off center and it stands a bit wonky, but I did double turn it so that the inside seams are not raw edges. That's an improvement over mine. As John likes to say, "By the time I get these projects perfected, I'll be on to the next thing."

Still, I was terribly impressed with myself for creating this pot holder for my sister. It's partly made from a vintage tablecloth that used to be on our childhood home's table. It's a lot of fun to make, too. *Here's* the link for figuring it out for yourselves or you can watch it below. This gal does a great job of explaining! I think she used 8-inch squares, but I used 10-inch squares for a nice big one.

Did you think that I was going to make you look at tea cozies every few days for nothing? Noooo, it's time for a giveaway! (The drawing will be March 1, 2010 at 7 pm EST.) I'm offering a tea cozy like one of these wonky ones pictured. Nothing special and only for those who find this post and read this far shhhhhhhh. All you have to do is tell me what your kitchen/dining room colors are and what your favorite tea is. (Yes, and don't you know it, this is really a test to see if people actually read my posts. I've had the sneaking suspicion...)

So that's my Monday story, I'm eager to hear yours!

Edited to Add: March 1, 2010 @ 7: 08 pm Comments have closed, which feels ridiculous to say since no one has commented in days and days. Guess tea cozies don't make the best giveaways. ;>

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Create yourselves the day that you'd most like to have! (I'm making red food. That's it. Red food.) And, to set a romantic tone, especially if you're of a certain age because my playlist is definitely vintage, feel free to listen to it multiple times.

God bless!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

I Believe in Love

I don't believe in superstars,
Organic food and foreign cars.
I don't believe the price of gold;
The certainty of growing old.
That right is right and left is wrong,
That north and south can't get along.
That east is east and west is west.
And being first is always best.

But I believe in love.
I believe in babies.
I believe in Mom and Dad.
And I believe in you.

Well, I don't believe that heaven waits,
For only those who congregate.
I like to think of God as love:
He's down below, He's up above.
He's watching people everywhere.
He knows who does and doesn't care.
And I'm an ordinary man,
Sometimes I wonder who I am.

But I believe in love.
I believe in music.
I believe in magic.
And I believe in you.

Well, I know with all my certainty,
What's going on with you and me,
Is a good thing.
It's true, I believe in you.

I don't believe virginity,
Is as common as it used to be.
In working days and sleeping nights,
That black is black and white is white.
That Superman and Robin Hood,
Are still alive in Hollywood.
That gasoline's in short supply,
The rising cost of getting by.

But I believe in love.
I believe in old folks.
I believe in children.
I believe in you.

But I believe in love.
I believe in babies.
I believe in Mom and Dad.
And I believe in you.

Yes, well, that pretty much sums up my philosophy with a few extras tucked in and a few left off. This is one of John's favorites and he's still likely to grab me by the hand and whirl me around in a little sway dance, to which this song easily lends itself. Perhaps you and your beloved will give it a whirl this weekend yourselves.

And that's why you hear it playing on my playlist this weekend (and only this weekend as I usually keep the playlist turned off). Scroll down to the bottom of the page and press the off button if you don't want to listen. ♫ music

Have a great Saturday and enjoy those Olympic games!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tea Cozy

Thank you all for your wonderful comments, which have buoyed me considerably. I know that behind those comments are a lot of prayers. I can sense them and am so grateful for them.

And, I am taking your advice to heart. It may not be possible to get out of the house for a getaway very often, but I can get away in the house. It had been weeks and weeks since playing in my craft room. Though I'm not a very good crafter, I do enjoy my puttering time. Nan had her silver bell to ring for me and that gave me a few hours upstairs. She read. I sewed. It worked. She only rang once. ;D

So now I am in the tea cozy business (do not take this too literally...no Etsy shop in my future). My hope is to make all the ladies in the family a nice tea cozy because I have been enjoying my tea times tremendously. Chamomile is wonderfully calming and I need all the calming I can get.

Using Insul-Bright, yesterday's project was a repurposing of a torn pillow sham. Since it was going to be the prototype and the pillow sham was a gift from my daughter and I was keeping it, there was little fretting and lots of fun. I mean, look at it! What could I possibly have done to harm it? Ha!

Here's the finished cozy sitting on the jelly cupboard with a rooster button covering a patched hole...

Next up...

The thing that is really floating my boat is that there's enough old pillow sham to make a kind of matching cozy for my daughter. She doesn't drink tea, but who knows? One day, she may want to give the cozy a try.

Hope that if life should become stressful, you'll try a project and a cup of chamomile tea. A blessed day to you...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cheesy Corn Chowder and Dessert Too

What a beautiful day has dawned here in the Northeast. My corner missed all that snowy mess even though the storm clouds were gathered. It reminded me all day of a quote I like: For every ten problems you see coming down the road, nine roll harmlessly into the ditch before they arrive. ~ Calvin Coolidge

Yesterday morning was busy with taking my mother for treatments, but yesterday afternoon she surprised us by wanting to come here for the remainder of the day. After lunch, she sent John and me off with a good wish for enjoying the afternoon while she stayed with her mother.

John and I so enjoyed getting away. We ran some quick errands, took a drive through the back country and found the most wonderful new business sprung up...a maple syrup business...so I shall be sharing more about that once that season has arrived. We drove through Kentucky Fried Chicken and ordered some of their apple pies. Love those things! We ate them in front of the public garden closed for the season, but we enjoyed the winter view all the same. Then we went to the flea market.

Back home, I put on the potatoes for a delicious if.I.do.say.so.myself. cheesy corn chowder...recipe to follow. Then it was off for a walk with John. A walk! Oh joy unspeakable and I remembered to take my camera and so I experimented with some of Ree's techniques. You do all know that she gives great tips *here in the photography section*. Anywho, for seeing some truly beautiful photography submitted by her readers, take a look. It's enough to make one very humble.

Here are my pitiful offerings. (NOOOO! I did not submit these. ;> )

High Aperture (Background in focus, subject blurry)

Low Aperture (background blurry; subject in focus)

Then back home for the putting together of the chowder and the making of corn bread or Johnny cake. We enjoyed a tummy-warming meal together and then I quickly made my dear friend Mrs. G's Gourmet Pears for dessert. Since I have modified it, I don't think that Mrs. G would mind my sharing my version. (BTW, Mrs. G., should you be reading...hope that you and yours are well.)

Finally, it was back to the city with my mother so that she could catch her ride home. My sister was working until six, but her twelve-hour shift turned into a fourteen-hour one. (Nurses have brutal shifts!) It gave mom and me lots of time to chat.

So here are those recipes...

Cheesy Corn Chowder

(This makes a huge batch so don't hesitate to divide it for a family of four.)


* 4 lbs potatoes
* 1 onion chopped fine
* 2 cans evaporated milk
* 2 cans whole kernal corn
* 2 cans creamed corn
* 3 cans Campbell Cheddar Cheese Soup (1 can for a halved recipe will work fine)
* salt and pepper to taste


Cook potatoes and onion with enough water to cover potatoes. Cook until tender. Drain off the water and add remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat until piping hot.

I also added some ground sausage to this pot for an extra taste sensation. Yummy!

Gourmet Pears


* 2 cans drained pears (14 ounce cans)
* ½ cup plain yogurt + 1 TBS sour cream
* 3 egg yolks
* 3 TBS brandy, rum or sherry. Yes, vanilla extract will work, too.
* 4 or 5 TBS brown sugar


In a small saucepan, combine yogurt, sour cream, sugar, and egg yolks. Cook stirring constantly until the sauce is thickened...you'll know...about three minutes. Stir in brandy or whatever you're using. Place drained pears in an ovenproof dish, pour sauce over the pears, and sprinkle with brown sugar. Broil for three or four minutes. (A toaster oven works well for this.) May be served hot or chilled. (We ate ours warm...so delicious!)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Setting a New Tone

As women, we set the tone for our homes. This I firmly believe.

And it's some tone that I am setting of late. I do not wonder why my beloved is stressed or why I am stressed or even why my grandmother is stressed. It's my fault. All my fault.

Why does it seem as if every little thing she does is aimed at creating maximum annoyance...from the bathroom visits that last over an hour to the scraping of her breakfast bowl dozens of times? This morning, I asked her to please stop. "It's getting on my last nerve. It's unnecessary because it's not helping. You're not getting any more oatmeal that way. I'll make you another bowl if you want more." She was offended; I was irritated: Great combination.

So today I will call a support group. A social worker who visited last fall thought I'd be a candidate one day. I loved that social worker. She was the one who said, when Nan shared that she worries that her cat will smother itself, "You can't possibly believe that your cat would be that stupid!" Actually, she slipped and said something even more to the point, but that's my little secret.

And in other news, my mother is having a port placed today for nutrition and hydration purposes. She is in jeopardy just now in that regard and so we are praying that this will tide her over until she is able to have surgery next week. Lots of things going on all the time around here.

Anyway, back to Nan... One day, if we are blessed, we shall live to be old. Actually, my opinion of living to be old has changed drastically since caring for my grandmother. I'd rather not live to be old thank.you.very.much. (Well shoot! It's already too late for that.) And even saying that is putting my will first and that is the problem in the first place. It is not about what I want. It is about what the Lord has planned. Surely, I can rest in that.

For now, I need to realize that it is important to treat the aged with the respect that they deserve and with tenderness...great tenderness. I am standing in the need of providing both. Today.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Head for Margo's

Since I've got nothing, I'm sending you to Margo's for a laugh. It's probably only funny to those who weren't nailed with that big snowstorm last Friday and Saturday. This guy missed his calling...he might be better suited for a pulpit somewhere. :D Oh, and be grateful if he's not giving the warning to your corner.

(I'm still much too busy fluffing in here. How many changes does this make so far? At least 27. Aren't you glad that you didn't see all of them? No voting allowed. ;>)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What Does the Lord Require?

From time to time, I find myself pondering what it is that God wants of me, where He wants me to go, how I should have reacted in any given situation (yes, it's always after the fact), what words I should say, what I should do. Pondering isn't exactly the correct word, although I do think on these things. Usually, this could be better (and more honestly) described as fretting, stewing, churning.

It's part of the human condition. And just when I believe that nothing else could possibly happen to stir my world up any more, something always does. The enemy of our souls is like that.

This time it involves the youngest member of my family...questions and deep concerns. And so I've been pondering, fretting, stewing...praying. One day, prayer will top the list and remain there, I hope! Prayer does change things even when it is the calming of the churning. Of course, we yearn for more.

In the end, what will matter? What will stand alone as the single most important thing? Thankfully, I don't have to come up with that answer. It's already been provided in the Word of God. The Word has always proven true in my life and it can be proven true in all our lives and throughout our lifetimes as we yield our very selves to Him.

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

(P.S. No sooner had this post been finished [I am writing on Friday, February 5], than I found myself at Suzanne's. She's always good for a cup of coffee and food for thought. This is what I found: The Firestorm. It blessed me and I'm pretty sure that it will bless you, too.)

Peace, Dear Ones.

photo source

Friday, February 5, 2010

Slipping Zoom Settings

Zoom level: 100%

Got myself quite an education yesterday when my zoom settings slipped. I saw what some of you have been privately complaining to me about. Hmmm... Well, I still like my background and will keep it *through Valentine's Day, but I admit that it's busy when you see that much of it. Personally, I can't handle the zoom level at anything less than 160%. What do you keep your zoom setting on?

Zoom level: 160%

Have a great weekend and enjoy the Super Bowl, if you're planning to watch. Are you?

*Edited to Add: Oh my! I had no idea the can of worms this would open. I hasten to add that I decided to change it rather than risk losing readers. Not over some silly background. This still isn't what I want, but I'll have to check into it further. Tried doing my own background and nearly lost my blog. Yikes! Closing comments for now and DON'T email me either. ☺

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Kathy's Gift

What a nice surprise! Noooo, it really was more than that when I received an unexpected package earlier this week. It was more like a reminder...just a little something to say I'm thinking of you and wanting to encourage you. In fact, those were the kinds of words that Kathy used in her email later. It worked.

It's a vintage book of essays by Helen V. Taylor about growing up in Maine. Kathy suggests that my family may want to read the book aloud...true, but I've been doing some advance snooping and I've found a paragraph that could be written about my life here at Haven.

As an old lady she was like a little sparrow. She chattered and chattered and much of what she said was about herself. She was curious about everything and when a team went by the house she quickly went to the window and stood to one side and told us details about the passerby...her gentle voice flowed on and on, around us and beside us, and she didn't often expect a response.

Yes, this could have been written about my grandmother, perhaps about many grandmothers. Nan has, given her front room location, the job of town crier. She is quick to let us know when the mailman has delivered the mail or the plow is making another sweep. She doesn't think that I can hear these things without her announcement. Too cute! Her favorite announcement is that John is home. Mine, too.

Mostly, it reminds me of a Laura Ingalls Wilder book being from the same genre. And the illustrations are so sweet. The chapter called "Maine Winter" describes nearly every winter I've ever known...

Winters in Maine were long and severe. Snow usually fell in early November and the ground was not bare until late March.

But my favorite is a little recipe from the same chapter. Next time it snows I'll try this and report back...

When soft clean snow had just fallen on the kitchen windowsill, Mother would let me open the window quickly and fill a bowl with snow. Then I sprinkled it with sugar and the juice of an orange. It made snow ice cream which had to be eaten fast before it melted.

You will find Kathy at Shocking Pink Thread and you'll be glad that you did!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In Search of Built-In Beds

How do ideas come to you for posts? They often come to me from other bloggers. (Ibloggers!) For example, I have always appreciated Swedish architecture and Swedish homes. I've told you about my love of Carl Larsson and all this before I married a Swede. So when I read Judy's post and found her little grandson cozily tucked down in Judy's closet, euphemistically described as "the other guest room," I thought about built-in Swedish beds and how much I've always wanted them and how perfect it would be for my grandsons. And I wondered if my Swede could be talked into creating some and on and on.

Let's begin with a photo of Carl Larsson's bed captured from my little book on Sundborn...

Although it appears to be a built-in as in up against a wall, it's really centered in the room. You can see another view of it here at Adventures in Daily Living. Though it's not up against a wall, it has those features that charm such as the curtains, which can be drawn and the curved lines.

Then, as it happened, I read Melissa's post about Winter Bliss(dom) and found the most perfect built-in situation, which sent me searching further.

Funny thing about this "searching further" as it often brings one right back home. And that's what I found in my search for built-in beds — a Maine architectural photographer and his amazing work — Brian Vanden Brink. You are in for a treat if you visit his web site. So much to see there...much more than beds! If the name sounds familiar, it's because his work has been featured in many books and magazines.

And I found what I think would be the perfect built-in for little boys, though mine would have to include a window. Those confined spaces get quite stuffy.

Or perhaps this...

maybe something like this, which is so charming again because of the curtains...


No, I think the first, which I learned was created in Norway for an American ambassador now living on the coast of Maine. How interesting! The wave flourishes are a nod to the sea, of course. You can read more about the design *here.*

If you require beds using very little space thereby saving room for work or play or if you just think being cocooned in such a cozy spot would be bliss, perhaps you'll be thinking about built-ins, too.

A happy day to you!

Monday, February 1, 2010



Such a great resource for vintage kids' Valentine cards. They take me back...way back and are, in my opinion, far more charming than the Valentines of today.

(Oh, and for those who may not know and wish to...Alt and 3 equal a heart symbol.)
(Edited to add: Mac users? & hearts ; is the formula minus the spaces. Oh, and would a Mac user please let me know if that works? One more thing, Mac users have an options key instead of an alt key???)

As you can tell, it's been all about playing in here with color and what-not. My sincere apologies for not having a real post, but it's been great fun to goof around.

Enjoy this first February day of 2010...
(And it's true, you know: You do suit me to a tea!)