A Haven for Vee

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Look for Me Another Day

All of you who said that a washed car means rain made me laugh. No, no, a washed car around here means road trip! (We have just arrived home again after three days and two nights away...perfection.)

A Sweet Bouquet

I've gathered so much to share with you, which will keep me busy for some time to come. Just now, there's laundry to do and blogs to visit. Hmmmm, which is more compelling...

A lovely day to you!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Beautiful Day

He washed the car, which means just one thing! Yippee!

While I was out there documenting the car washing, I noticed that my neighbor has put up her 4th of July bunting. It looks so charming on her sweet cottage. (Her home, my home, and our mutual neighbor's home were all built from the same plans. Hers has evolved quite a little bit and is the more darling of the three.)

Oh, it's a bit hard to see the bunting behind her azalea bushes. Here's a closer peek.

Love those rockers and, yes, she and her husband do sit out there from time to time. Doesn't it make you want to sit there and sip some sweet iced tea and rock a morning away? You could spy on me. ☺ I also notice that we're sharing the same flowers (Calibrachoa~MiniFamous™ Double Lemon) in our hanging pots this year. Must've been popular at the local nursery or our daughters, who are good friends, shopped together for Mother's Day.

The only new news in my own yard, other than car washing, are the new Gerbera daisy plants keeping the everlasting company. I love these the more I see them...so vivid, cheerful, and hardy. Do you like Gerberas? Do you like everlasting? I sure do!

Have a great day...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Boleros~Mosaic Monday

After so many days of rain, I was delighted to get out into the garden where I found the Bolero Lilies blooming. While they are blooming, it's all about them. Vivid, large, and healthy, they do very well in all the damp and chill and seem impervious to slugs. Wish that I could say that about the rest of the garden as I have been busy rounding up all manner of icky creatures and dispatching them to the great beyond.

The background used is a vintage wallpaper and I failed to mark the source. If you know...

Connecting to Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Have a blessed week!

Many Books

John's Stack of Books

All for $2.00.

And this one, which he is reading so it wasn't in the stack.


Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
Eccelsiastes 12: 12b

Saturday, June 25, 2011

This is Not Dieting Weather

I must remind myself never to begin a diet when the weather is as vile as it has been in my corner since the second day of summer. We have not seen 60F since; we hover in the 50s and below. When neighbors walk by, they can hear my teeth chattering. I mean it. I am not a happy camper. I probably need a pill or something...perhaps a lot of pretty colored ones like *these.* Since Nan saved everything, I might even be able to find some in one of those boxes possibly some with the lettering printed in black and not white as one sees today. Now that is something I do not remember. Must ask John.

Speaking of John, he was just reading his paper at nine minutes to the hour when he discovered that the library sale was on today and that it'd be all over at the top of the hour. He took off so fast, I never saw him leave. Perhaps I'll have something to share when he returns. I doubt that they're going to hold it open just for him to browse. But who knows? It's quarter past the hour now.

Other than unpacking boxes, repacking boxes, absorbing, and trying to behave on this diet, there's not much going on just now. I always wondered when bloggers announced a serious writing block. Mine has arrived.

Going back to my rainy day read: In the Company of Others by Jan Karon. I've read less than stellar reviews, though it's reading fine for me. I like quiet, descriptive reads with a bit of meat and a bit of mead and a bit of sweet. It's raining in Ireland, too.

Since John has not yet returned, I'll wish you a happy weekend. Hope that the sun is shining where you are, unless you're desperate for the rain.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

No Yard Sale Please

Please forgive me. I don't really know whether I'm coming or going; I may say things that make no sense. I had to delete an entire nonsensical post and this one could be right behind it. I am truly out of the loop; have no idea what is going on in the world beyond my own driveway; just thought I should pop in so that no one would worry.

Nothing much is new other than the tornado that blew through and dropped a flea market in my dining room.


Dining Table

Somewhere or other, I said that I couldn't get rid of stuff. Wrong! I can! Whatever doesn't get absorbed by family is being donated. No one has the energy for a yard sale.

Boxes to Donate

And more to donate

It's time to allow others to enjoy these treasures.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 18, 2011

Edited to Add: Please feel free to snag this sheet music graphic for use in any art project.

We've come to the end of a lovely weekend. Perfect weekend? No, but sweet all the same.

It rained off and on all Saturday morning. Each time it rained, the steamy terrarium effect would heighten until I was ready to jump in the cooler with the cold drinks. By two in the afternoon at the graveside, the sun was beating down upon our heads until a large cloud covered it for us and cooler breezes began to blow. It was a moment of sweet relief.

So, yes, the weather gave me fits. When we realized that we couldn't depend on it, John and I cleaned up the garage and arranged seating and serving tables there. Now that definitely was not perfect, though it was where everyone congregated preferring the garage over the house.

My grands requested games. We always play games so this day should not be any different; my mother would have approved.

The day ended with a cold front coming through and torrential downpours. My cousin and his wife heading home east to New Brunswick ran into hail and powerful thunder and lightning storms and my uncle and aunt heading home to the west did as well. Both men were concerned for the paint jobs on their respective vehicles. They should have stayed longer with us and played in the pool as the grands did. :D

Finally, some odds and ends of the day.

Yes, that's John in the top row about to get zapped by my aunt who is after a mosquito (yes, a likely story). She missed and clobbered John right in the head. He said that he never felt a thing. :D

It is my fond hope to visit and catch up a bit in Blogdom; however, my sister is here and going through boxes with her seems to be the prudent thing to do.

Have a great Monday...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Children are a heritage from the LORD,
offspring a reward from him.  ~Psalm 127:3
Yesterday, as I looked across at each family member's sweet face, I thought of this heritage I enjoy for I am truly blessed to belong to such a family as my own with all its foibles. We are someone's heritage and our children and grandchildren are ours. God is awesome! He knew that family would be just what we need to belong. I'm so glad that I belong to His.

Blessings this Father's Day!

comments are always closed on Sundays...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Scottish Shortbread and Stuff

I've decided to bake after all. :D That's because I'm nearly caught up with my chores. Nearly.

I'll whip up a batch of sugar cookies and toss in dried blueberries, craisins, and white chocolate chips. They're yummy and colorful, too.  Quite often, I make them for the 4th of July; Canadians could make them for July 1 if they leave out the blueberries. Even though Mother was Canadian, she liked blueberries so I know she won't mind. It's not being a holiday, I don't think anyone will notice.

And I'm baking the last recipe that my mother ever worked with and loved — Scottish Shortbread, which she declared "very good!"

Scottish Shortbread


* 1 pound salted butter (softened)
* 5 cups flour
* 1 cup white sugar
* ¼ cup brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon good vanilla or 1teaspoon almond flavoring as preferred


Preheat oven to 350F

* Cream butter and sugars in mixer.
* Add flavoring of choice.
* Add flour and mix with wooden spoon.
* Use hands to mix thoroughly.
* Press into an ungreased jelly roll pan.
* Prick with a fork all over making sure that the fork hits the bottom and the pricks are close together.

Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300F and continue to bake 40 minutes. Wait 2 minutes and then cut into finger size rectangular bars. Cool completely in the pan.

*Printable Recipe for Scottish Shortbread*

Here's a little video of John declaring that he is right most of the time. Just like a man! He backs this up with a percentage that makes me laugh.

Have a great Friday...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Message in a Spider Web

Spiders. Such troublesome little creatures. They are running around behind me building their webs as quickly as I leave a room ruining all my good work. Not only that, they do it with their fingers in their ears, their tongues waggling out, and their little eyes rolling around in their heads.

This spider was a little different. He left me a message in his web. I feel so honored rather like Wilbur the spring pig in Charlotte's Web.



Thank you for all the votes yesterday. We will return to this subject, believe you me. I am closing with a pretty picture of my lantana and that poinsettia, which my mother gave me the Christmas before last. It just doesn't want to quit.

Hugs to all those disappointed Canucks fans. John sided with you just last night saying that he had no regional loyalties. "What's Boston ever done for us?" Ha!

The comments are closed today so that you may zip in and out. I'll be doing the same and may not have time for comments. Besides, my keyboard is already a painted nightmare.

Have a great day...

Edited to add: I just read an email from a gal whose first question was: Are you losing it? What are we supposed to see?  Oh I needed a bit of levity and then it dawned on me that I am indeed losing it. Okay, here's what I see.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I've Been Painting the Door

(Another post got away...I really must pay attention to postdating. I've got a few in the wings so it's a nightmare when I don't. Nope, not leaving yet.)

I am painting a new door. It's the bathroom door that John replaced yesterday. The old door was tired and original to the home circa 1955; it was an inferior door from the start. Now we have a solid wood door with some heft to it.

And the minute that you eager ones began to bolt making suggestions for the main door, I got right to work. Here are some of our choices using the Sherwin Williams Color Visualizer.

 Black Emerald


Chamois (I'm hoping that this looks like mustard.)


Laurel Woods

Light French Gray

Studio Blue Green

Rockwood Red

Has the choice that you first made held? I'm leaning toward three of these (no, not telling). John is leaning toward two others (no, not telling), but he chose the house color so it's my turn. Go ahead, please make a selection. Thanks so much!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

You're the Best!

Have been trying to strike a deal with the Lord about Saturday. I reminded Him that I've been praying about that date ever since the day was finalized. Finalized as in people have taken vacation days, the pastor has written it in his book and is leaving on vacation...you know, it is set in cement. What am I trying to say? I'm trying to say that the weather frogs are now saying that the weekend will be rainy and cool. Dropping back to Plan C at this point while praying for the best. My deal with the Lord? Please send some of this rain to Texas. It's a gentle rain and everything greens up so well.

white geranium

Thank you, you wonderful gals! I have had so many fantastic suggestions that I could plan a party every weekend. I'm going to take you up on a lot of these ideas. In fact, since I learned yesterday that the bakery has closed in these rough economic times, I'm definitely going to pick up something for dessert at the grocery.

Now, do you have any wonderful last minute easy decorating ideas? :D I am such a shameless little beggar.

Here's John waving hello. He had just come out to let me know that I may not keep the Christmas cactus on the little porch. He says it's too big and is going to be wrecked if I do. I'll have to come up with something else for this little corner. Anyway, he's finished this section, put on a new bathroom door inside the house, and he's heading for the back section if the clouds don't open. We've decided to lean the fence and not try to put that up before Saturday.

Now, I've got to scurry around keeping what's already been cleaned looking good and then attack this front room that I call my office. I'm going to grab someone's happy playlist and boogie away.

Again, ~~thank you~~!

P.S. It's just a matter of time before I'm begging asking for help with a door color for that white door. Gear up! ☺

Monday, June 13, 2011


Just when you're on a roll, weather systems move in and change the outlook. It rained all weekend and it's going to rain today, tomorrow, and Wednesday. At least, the weekend is looking good. Anywho, that means that our goals will not be met. We must make new goals and so we'll just drop back and punt and I shall try not to pout too much.

I do believe that I need your help. There will be between a dozen and twenty people so it's a small crowd. There will be no grilling. I am ordering a deli tray today and a bakery tray with goodies. I am not going to try to bake. I've seen some intriguing things online. For example, I really like the idea of  a fruit kabob with various melons and mint leaves. The site said to serve it with cheddar cheese and I can't imagine that at all. I'd prefer a dessert cheese. Do you have a recommendation or do you think cheddar would be the best after all?

This idea looks wonderful to me...found on Pinterest...thank you, Theresa. < insert wry, wry grin > Okay, can't find it either...can't find it so I'll describe it. Rasberries filled with Hershey's kisses (both white chocolate and milk chocolate). That Pinterest moves quickly, eh? I know nothing about it, but I'm going to learn next week. Not this. Oh definitely not this.

Oh aren't those pretty?! But that's exactly the kind of thing that I am NOT looking for. Nothing too fussy. Something easy.

Should I consider some sort of salad? Remember it must be easy, easy, easy and pretty, too.

Okay, my loves...anything that you might suggest will be welcome to my ears.

Oh, I'm planning to create a little picture gallery on my chippy, white fence of my mother's wonderful photos through the years. I have her baby picture and so many others. I want this to be honoring to her first and foremost, though I do not want it to feel like a funeral. She wouldn't want that at all. She'd want a party.

Okay, I'm officially open for suggestions and encouragements...

Thanks so much!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Too Busy

Rainy, cold day, stuck indoors, played with Photoscape, decided that the entire mosaic was just too busy

Ahhh, much simpler, much better. Hope my peonies hold up for the next two days of rain...

How's the weather in your corner?

Linking to the wonderful Mary at Little Red House. Mary, thank you for encouraging me to play and then being willing to feature the messes. ☺


Slow down, breathe, things are not always what they seem.

Both John and I tend to be "red alert" types. If the sky is falling; it's really falling. If it's raining, it's raining buckets. It's our composition and earthly nature. You may imagine that with two of these types in the same house, things can get pretty exciting from time to time. ☺

We were just discussing this the other day while reading our morning devotions. With two extended families, there are many opportunities to get riled up in our spirits. On my side, I have a well-loved auntie who's going through troubled waters with her health and the doctors don't seem to have it pinned down...diabetes-no; infection-no; stroke-no; heart trouble-no. And my cousin's nineteen-year-old daughter has been very ill and in ICU for some birth anomaly that no one ever knew about until she was very sick and in a lot of pain... Praise be to God that situation is on the mend. On John's side, he has an elderly aunt whose health is concerning, grands and great-grands who stand in need and on and on it goes. I'm sure that it's the same in your world. Perhaps it's your beloved's health or even your own.

Slow down, breathe, things are not always what they seem. Stolen Thoughts perfectly shares this concept. I have a "Stolen Thoughts" kind of story myself.

One of the first summers I was here at A Haven, when it was a mere shadow of its current self, my son and daughter were still teens living at home. Things went wrong all the time and it was up to me to tend to them. I had never owned a home all on my own before and there were many times when I was overwhelmed with my home-ownership responsibilities.

One of those times was after a particularly wet spring when the sump pump was partially filled with water, but not enough to trip the switch allowing it to empty. Back then, I didn't dare to touch the switch. My son came up from the basement one day declaring that there was an awful smell and that a mouse was belly up in the sump pump. Acckkkkk!

In typical "red alert" fashion, I quaked and groaned at the thought. I did go to the cellar and peered from the stairs toward the sump pump where I saw that little gray body floating. The smell was not pleasant and so I declared that I would deal with it another day.

A week went by with the smell reaching the rafters and the body grew bigger and bigger until I was certain that it was actually a rat floating there. My son was unwilling to deal with it. Yes, I'm ashamed to say that I did try to get him to do it. My daughter was unwilling. She's usually the brave one. That left me.

I finally took matters in hand and purchased an old strainer at the flea market. I girded my loins so to speak and descended into the bowels of hell. I marched up to the sump pump and leaned down holding my nose with my left hand and reaching for the revolting mass with my right. I nabbed it and dumped everything into a waiting trash bag.

Wait a minute, wait a minute, what was that thing? I peered more closely. I could hardly believe it. The rotting rodent carcass was actually a toy porpoise pencil topper. A toy porpoise pencil topper? A toy porpoise pencil topper had caused me all that anguish?

I kept it for many years on the porch where it reminded me constantly. My porch was turned into the addition and so the porpoise has been lost. I do know this, he's not in the sump pump this time.

Psalm 13:1–6

The first verses reflect how we "red alert types" feel when faced with trials and tribulations. It has no basis in truth for God's back is never toward us. We need to know this in our spirits and believe it in our hearts. The final verses are ones of joy when we finally recognize that God is for us and always has been.

Don't forget to breathe now...

Comments are closed on Sundays. Enjoy yours!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Recently, I read this comment, "My goodness you post a lot. I can hardly keep up!" Never worry about keeping up. It's always SSDD (same story-different day) around here. Honestly, I don't myself know what I find to chat about, but chat I do and if you show up that's great; if not, no troubles.

Molly the Poodle Poopy (I know, terrible name and we shouldn't offend her, but John just stepped in it again and hence the name sticks just like...okay, I'm not going there). Where was I going with this? Oh, yes, Molly had a grooming appointment today and look what I found outside the groomer's!

Silkies! They are so friendly and docile. Groomer thinks that she has a couple of roosters and would love to give them away. I asked John about it and he thought it highly unlikely that we could take them, but I was thinking of Farmer Sam and all that "gold," which is just about the most euphemistic way to talk about it that I've ever heard.

So this is how things are progressing:

1. Deck is washed and this year I did it all by myself with just a little help from John (oxymoron alert).

The fencing is just hanging around waiting...

2. Windows are washed inside and out

When I discovered that the deck wash was good for vinyl windows, the washing of windows became a breeze.

3. The kitchen is cleaned.

Love the product placement! But really, placing a recipe book atop the jelly cupboard is so nice because it is at the right height for reading with no bending and it is out of splatters' way.

4. Let me go check on John's progress...

Oh I just love it...and did you notice that tiny bit of decorative trim at the eave line? Look in the upper right corner. Good job, Hon, now lunch will be ready when the last four shingles on this side are up. ;>

Have a lovely weekend...

Friday, June 10, 2011

So Confused It Hurts

Once upon a time, and it was a long, long time ago, my father and I were housebound together. It didn't last long, perhaps a few weeks. We whiled away the time by watching soap operas. Our discussions consisted of my father asking, "How can she be married to him? She's married to the blond guy!" I would patiently explain the convoluted genealogies of the soap opera world. What I didn't know in the beginning, but finally pieced together, was that my father was combining four or five hours of soap opera programming into one giant lump of a story.

And now it's happening to me! Just substitute Blogdom for soap operas.

Why just yesterday it happened twice.

It began innocently enough when I commented that I hoped Linda's bathroom would get straightened round soon. Linda emailed assuring me that her bathroom was just fine. Oh.

Then Penny painted her table for the umpteenth 20 time and I commented that I loved the yellow incarnation and had missed it. She emailed pointing me to sometime in 2008 when she had painted the table yellow. I soon noticed with horror that I had been there and commented. Dang comments records. Shouldn't they be wiped out after a year?

So, if you are the blogger who has contacted gazillion contractors to come look at the bathroom and no one has shown up yet, would you let me know? Thanks. I'll feel so much better knowing that I didn't make the whole thing up.


Some early morning pictures of some progress on the house and peonies.

You might be fooled, looking at the bud, into thinking that it will bloom pale pink. It will, though only on the outer petals.

The centers will be the most gorgeous buttery cream with just a few petals, paler again in the immediate center tinged with hot pink.

Hmmmm, I think I need a croissant.


Terribly hot and humid yesterday it was (much cooler today) and still the carpenter worked through the day. He now has a sunburn and he won't mess with sunscreens. I don't know what to do with him!

There was a lot of behind the scenes work such as improving the insulation. He'd take off every other board and insulate and put it all back together. Hopefully, the addition will be accomplished with time to spare.

Have a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Graduation Day

If you are a doting grandmother and every little expression that flits across your grand's face makes you grin and you can't help thinking that he or she is top shelf, then you may be guilty of taking 100 or more photos of said grand on any given day. Oh me!

Looking slightly confused...a bit bewildered...what's it all about?

The heat truly was oppressive.

A good rule for life: When things are a little dull or a little too warm, get down on the floor and have some great conversation with a friend.

Well done!

His other grammie was so thoughtful and brought flowers for him to present to both of his teachers. He was delighted and looked a bit like Ralphie giving his teacher the fruit basket in A Christmas Story.

And I learned something new about my grandson. Many of his classmates have fascinating aspirations for adulthood. There are two who wish to become the tooth fairy, one who wishes to be a toymaker (what fun!) and good, practical Sam who wants to be a farmer. A farmer who can dance!

Have a great day!