A Haven for Vee

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Last Chance

Just in case you've not heard or haven't had the chance, this is the final day to sign up for a gently used Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbook. Just look to the right in my sidebar and click on the books to find the proper post. Comments here will not be counted; comments there will be. Currently, there are 44 with some not wishing to be counted so the odds are excellent.

I felt properly chastened yesterday while reading Memorial Day posts. There were many about the true meaning of Memorial Day. They were poignant and moving. It was an honor to read them. And it is sobering to know that loss continues on our behalf so we can enjoy time with our families and friends.

The meaning of Memorial Day in my corner has been shifting for over fifty years. It used to be a day for gathering for picnics in the cemetery and honoring the fallen. Now it has beome a day to honor the dead. All dead. Fallen dead or not. It has a much more generic tone. Whether this is a good thing, I do not know. It is what it is.

Yes, in our town, the band still played, the old soldiers still marched, the wreath honoring the sailors was tossed from the bridge, and the flags were placed in Soldiers' Row. We are honored with a soldier from almost every war since the beginning — The Revolutionary War, The War of 1812, The Civil War, The Spanish American War (Remember The Maine!), WWI and WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. We are blessed that while a few served in Desert Storm, no one from our community paid the ultimate price. The same is true of recent wars and current wars. May it continue.

Truth is that I personally know not one who has lost his/her life in service to this country. I know of many. My aunt lost her fiancé in WWII, my father lost a dozen or more friends in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The boy next door's father was shot down over the Mediterranean in WWII while the boy was still in utero. There's a photo of him as a toddler sitting beside a picture of his father in uniform. I always found that profoundly sad.


This being the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, I'd like to report that I have found Hezekiah. We have been looking for him for years and years. He is Nan's great-grandfather. We've followed after him in futile circles in southern Maine and down to Gloucester, Massachusetts. In November, Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife shared that Ancestry.com was allowing everyone to know where their military ancesters were buried. Surprise, surprise, Hezekiah was a decorated Civil War hero buried in the same cemetery as the rest of his family right there in Gloucester. His wife had received a pension after his death, though he had not died during the war.

Last weekend, the local paper said that anyone visiting this registry:  http://www.civilwar.nps.gov/cwss/ could find any soldier or sailor who served in the Civil War. So we found Hezekiah again. He served with the 32 Massachusetts Infantry in Company D. We now know that he was at Gettysburg and at the final review of the troops in Washington, D.C. And that is all we know, but it is ever so much more than we knew before.

What honors the fallen more? I dare not say. I can only imagine that if I were one of the fallen, I would like to know that people remembered that the old cliché is true: freedom isn't free. Then I think I'd like to see Old Glory flying high and proud above the land I loved so well. Finally, seeing people enjoy a rousing game of baseball and a hotdog or two would thrill my soul.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Happy memories are all that is left of our Memorial Day. A barbeque where I was the cook for the first time ever. Oh my! Doffing my cap to all the guys and gals who man the grill. (Not really my thing, though I guess it was all edible.)

My camera was inside and I never even thought of it until nearly everyone was gone.

 daughter backing out and giving me that funny look that she gets when she sees the camera in my hand

a clue that little people had been about..wet little people

further evidence of a water balloon fight

where John and I held court declaring the garage a "safe zone"

the end of a lovely day
Hope that your day was wonderful too!

Comments are closed...catch you tomorrow!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

John 15:13

Today, as in the past, there are problems that must be solved and challenges that must be met. We can tackle them with our full strength and creativity only because we are free to work them out in our own way. We owe this freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation and its interests in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free.

~ Ronald Reagan

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 
~ John 15:13

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Can't Stop Now

I've only just begun... Oops, omigosh, I forgot to get something for the fence basket (my mother's bicycle basket over there on the fence...empty as all get out). Last year it was filled with lobelia as I recall. Any ideas?

This year, clematis on John's trellis; last year, it was the lovely mandevilla (an annual). I've decided to leave the other two empty since so much is going on this summer with siding, etc.

The mess above still awaits. I was so tired that I simply walked away without doing another thing. Let's see, a blueberry bush, lavender, lantana, and some zinnias must yet be planted.

I could keep a small army busy. John is running errands related to gardening; my daughter is doing the grocery shopping for Monday's bbq, and I am blogging. What's wrong with this picture? ☺

A very happy and blessed Memorial Weekend to you...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Playing with Backgrounds

Day before yesterday, Aunt Amelia raised the question that some of us have no idea what we're talking about; we have no idea what our blog is about; we don't even know why we're here. We just like to talk.

In my own defense, I would like to say that most people find me very quiet, even tongue-tied. And I'd also like to say that A Haven for Vee used to have the description "an eclectic mix of fluff and stuff," which completely covers me in the "I have no idea what I'm talking about" department.

An eclectic mix of fluff and stuff has a certain ring, right?  What happened to it? I gave up the description when I started making my own headers because I didn't want to be bothered with the extra steps required to add the phrase. Some of you may have noticed that I don't want to be bothered to put my url on my commenting form either. Anything that requires an extra step in Blogdom annoys me. Right. I'm a rebel.


The warblers have returned to the bird sanctuary (that's what the townspeople call the thirty acres behind my home). Their song spirals around and around. I find it lovely, sometimes even haunting.

Background Sources:

Birds~Whimsical World of Fairies
Believe background~Kim Klassen Cafe
Swirling Music~my own stuff using Photoscape


Almost completely off-topic here, but last night a bird ventured up out of the ravine from the bird sanctuary. She was so confident and self-assured strutting right along until she heard a dog bark. (Molly may need a muzzle.) See that swift turn on her heel in photo three? I was trying to take one picture after another. Well, you can see what happened. Missed her entirely in the fourth shot and the very next one caught her running lickety-split for the ravine. I hope that we'll get some more chances to see her and the little brood she's raising. I may be dreaming, though I think I hear them out there.

I need some lickety-split moves today myself as some planting must be done and the deck needs  cleaning, the house, too. Hope to catch up with Blogdom in five and ten minute doses throughout the day. I can't go cold turkey and, oh all right, I do love to talk.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Day Away

We, John and I, had determined that the first good day before
Memorial Day we would travel north and be certain that things had been taken care of properly. Like so many others this week, we were visiting a cemetery, buying flowers, tending graves, and making sure that all was well.

It was such a beautiful day that I'm just going to share a few pictures and run off and enjoy this beautiful day, too.

Enjoy your day...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sunshine Comes in Many Forms

A little Mennonite Girls Can Cook picture story...
pretty green ribbon

beautiful signatures

cookbook corner

hmmm...two copies

pretty green ribbon repurposed once

a recipe book holder comes in handy

the next recipe I'm planning to bake or pretty green ribbon repurposed twice

(Please forgive the quality of light in these pictures. Day 12 of rain, but looking brighter for tomorrow.)

On Day 11 of rain, the postman stuffed a package in the new mailbox. It was from Judy a continent away across the continent (Laura's keeping me straight) in British Columbia...an autographed Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbook. Tears smarted now let me tell you. In case you don't know, my connection with the book is pretty sweet. Apparently, one day in passing, I told Lovella that "Mennonite Girls sure can cook." The rest is history! ☺☺☺ How's that for taking any credit at all for what the Lord has done and all the work these girls have done and their husbands, too? Shameless, I am.

I want to thank each and every one of the Mennonite Girls who have some of the finest penmanship I've ever seen. What kind of pen were they using do you suppose?

And now it appears that I have one gently used cookbook to offer to one of my readers. These are the rules:  

1. Feel free to mention this giveaway on your blog
2. You MUST have a blog to participate
3. If you win, my hope is that you'll share the good news with your readers
4. One comment on this post is all it takes

Comments will close whenever I go to bed on May 31 and the winner will be announced June 1.

That's it. Nothing to it...

P.S. Just to be clear, I am keeping the signed copy. Ain't no way I'm letting go of that one. ;> 

Edited to Add @ 11:26 pm

Have heard from a number of you that you are unable to comment on this post. Just wanted to say that Blogger is aware of the problem and is working on it. It's a featured problem in "Known Issues" and is happening with a number of blogs. Don't worry, we'll let them get it straightened around so everyone who wants to comment can.

Edited to Add 5/31/2011 @ 9:23 p.m.

Early to bed, early to rise, and all that jazz. Comments are now closed. Thank you so much for participating. Results tomorrow!

Monday, May 23, 2011

This Week's Mosaic Dud

This is an experiment that I was trying out yesterday. I think it needs more work so I'll keep trying. I have been fretting over life's storms and real storms...tornados and earthquakes, snow and rain, which accounts for the selected words. Sometimes all we have are simple words and prayers.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Azaleas and Peonies~Mosaic Monday

I am grateful that I took pictures of the azalea in full bloom on that last good day before the rain set in nine days ago. At least we had a day to enjoy it! From beginning to end is two weeks' time...not quite enough.

The next thing up in garden news will be the peonies. I was gifted with my indoor bouquet, which is simply stunning. I'm looking forward to my outdoor peony blossoms. Another week or ten days perhaps. Who knows this year with spring being so capricious.

Thank you for taking a peek at this week's offerings. I am joining Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday. Oh, and she's sharing something interesting this week so do check that out!

My Hope is Built...

People can help us but they can't heal us. People can lift us but they can't carry us. On occcasion people can pull us out of a pit, but they cannot keep us out. Nor can they set our feet upon a rock...Only God can hang with us through the length and depth of our need. ~Beth Moore

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:18–19

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less

by Edward Mote

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.


On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

picture source

Blessings to you today and all through the week...

As always on Sundays, comments are closed.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

World Ending?

I've felt as if the world was ending before. A handful of times.
Divorce and death made me feel as if the world was ending and, of course, it was true — the world as I knew it was ending. Sometimes watching the news will give me that sense. Just this week, listening to our president tell Israel that she must return to 1967 borders made me a titch touchy, a pat prickly, uneasy (Genesis 12: 2–3). Today, the world may end. Not too likely, but it may. I'm certainly not counting on it today, but I am counting on it someday. The best article I've read on the topic is by Jim Daly at Focus on the Family. (For some very odd reason, I am unable to link to that article.) Could Saturday be the day? Jim's Response: A stopped clock is right twice a day.

What amazes me is that people who make such grand pronouncements have not read the Word of God, which clearly states to "knock it off" in this regard. And does the media ever talk to a person of the cloth with some understanding of scripture? That would be a no. Such a circus...

So, if we stay, great, if we go, great. In the meantime, I'm making spaghetti and meatballs for supper about six.

Oh, the peonies are a gift from a special gal whose sister went home to Glory last week after ninety wonderful years on this earth. They are beautiful and help to chase gray skies away and they smell a bit like heaven, too.

Have a fantastic day... 

Edited to Add: When John was downtown buying some bread and milk, he ran into the owner of the local pizzeria who said that one could hear a pin drop in the restaurant at 6 p.m. Why do I find that comforting somehow?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Some Changes Coming

It's been *a long time coming.*  (Clicking on that link will take you nearly back to the beginning of time in this blog's years.) Reading it again found me smiling to think that John is still along on this journey. And so many of you are, too. How kind you were, how encouraging. I you!

Know how you look forward to a day and wonder if it'll arrive or what it'll be like? Well it was just an ordinary day, an ordinary rainy day, though there was just a little something special in it after all.

the truck arrives

delivery ensues

into the hatch

We've just learned that it's going to be a rainy summer. Not such good news for all the work that will be going on. Have you figured it out yet?

New siding! At last! Oh joy unspeakable! There're the colors...a silver moss, a sand, and the existing roof, which I hasten to add is already a new roof and not going to be replaced. (It's four years old.) The photo of it was included so that you could see colors...the roof has flecks of green in it. I am thinking about door colors. It'll be the only real pop of color. Perhaps I'll go neutral to match the rest of the house. What think you?

I'll be so happy not to worry about showing you the ugly. I won't have to take pictures disguising typar anymore. ☺

Mother's Day Clematis with Typar Background

Sure I'll keep you updated. Of course! Gotta have something to blog about.

Have a great day...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Cowbird Story

Cowbird. I'm a cowbird. I'm also a right regular thorn in Vee's side. Yeah, well, we all got our troubles.

For the love of my little woman, I spend my days strutting up and down this here runway.

Sometimes the little woman struts the runway with me, though she's more likely to be off shopping or something. *She's certainly not wasting any time sitting on eggs.

I am ever on hyper alert for "the other man."

There he is now!

What in the world does she see in him?

What does he have that I don't have?

*Cowbirds are considered pesky birds and will usually run off other, more pleasant birds from a yard. The female lays her eggs in a host nest and allows that bird to raise her young. Talk about ugly duckling revisited. source 

I'm about done with the fun of watching this guy beat up on himself and my mirror. I've got a little gun that runs on pellets and blasts of air...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cozy Down

The rainy cold weather has kidnapped me and taken me back to the beginning of March. It's all about cozying down around here. Books are read, recipe books are read, baking is considered ;>, general tidying is done, and there's a whole lot of puttering going on. Not only that, we flea marketed for the first time in several weeks.

My finds:

a book and shovel

A book and shovel. (I am making no editorial comments with this picture.) I found the book; John found the shovel. He reminded me that back in his day, toy shovels were made out of steel not plastic and stood the test of time. With two little grandsons, boyhood is receiving a nod around here.

A cookbook was also purchased—The Modern Country Cook by Leslie Land. It joins more current cookbooks in a place of honor. (Anything displayed with The White House Cookbook is held in high regard.) The first paragraph of the Introduction reads this way:

The kitchen is cozy and bright, washed in the pure light of coastal New England October, warmed by the big black iron stove. As usual, the place is more or less decorated with food. There's a bowl of apples on the table —tart Northern Spies from the farmstand down the road. Ripening tomatoes laid out side by side make an abstract sculpture on the countertop; and on the windowsill there's a bouquet of feathery dill branches, dark parsley, late asters and chrysanthemums in pink, purple, and white.
In the pantry...

If you want to know what's in the pantry, you'd enjoy this book. I always appreciate a good essay and Leslie writes exceptional ones. Her chapter entitled "The Dairy Defended" is fascinating and explains a lot. Did you know that there is no way to use modern dairy products in a home kitchen and have the result be the same as if you purchased dairy straight from the farm? (I imagine that Judy knows something about this. She and Elmer run a dairy farm in British Columbia and she and a few friends have written a cookbook themselves, a nice blue one.) I have permission from Leslie to share a recipe from another cookbook she wrote. Now that I actually have maple syrup in my pantry, I should do that tomorrow. Leslie can always be found in my sidebar. She is an extraordinary gal with lots of recipes, tips, gardening ideas, and more.

Have yourself a cozy day...

Monday, May 16, 2011


Here's this week's dud. He's bacckkkkk. Or Son of _____ is back. He mowed my flowers in the front garden down. See?

What the little dude doesn't yet know is that this year I have a gun. Sure it runs on pellets and blasts of air, but if I ever catch him, he's so going to get it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bonkers for Bokeh~Mosaic Monday

image will enlarge

For flowers and sunshine, I'll have to look at pictures this week as it'll be rainy and cold throughout. These will do nicely and I'm sure that I'll find many delights when visiting your blog on Mary's Mosaic Monday tour.

Pictured are azaleas, bleeding hearts, tall phlox (with a grandson), fuschia, and some unknown flower in the top left corner.

image will enlarge

Playing with mosaics is so much fun., I had to add another. Now if I just play with the photography a little...

Enjoy the tour!

Sweeter than Honey~Psalm 19

The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. ~Psalm 19: 9–10

Comments are closed.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What To Do When Blogging Isn't an Option

When blogging isn't an option, my recommendation is to be your hubby's sidekick while he works on some projects around the house. You can steady posts, pass tools, take pictures, bring water, take pictures, fetch things, take pictures, take pictures, and take some more pictures. It'll be sure to impress him.

Photo will enlarge

Now we have a new mailbox and the crack in the foundation has been fixed. That's a very good thing. While I didn't impress him too much, he certainly impresses me!

Have a great weekend!