A Haven for Vee

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in First Lines

Some have done this meme in the final days of 2012. I read  *A Year in First Lines* yesterday and thought I'd try it myself. Mine is not nearly as well organized and I hope that no one can read anything into these fractured sentences totally out of sequence. =D
Just after Thanksgiving, I heard a report on Black Friday Shopping. Snowflakes...lovely things...do you believe that no two are alike? What is it about March that, even though the calendar says that the new season won't arrive until the 20th, we feel that spring arrives on the 1st? Barely, get it? A few days ago, I was searching Google for an appropriate image to use for this Palm Sunday, I found one showing Christ entering Jerusalem on the back of an ass's colt. Late last evening, I asked John of his plans for this day...the one sunny day in the middle of ten rainy ones. There are times when being a citizen of any country is a challenge. Higher prices — I so remember my grandparents whining (at least, it sounded like whining to my young ears). Since Ashokan Farewell was so popular, let's enjoy another by the same composer: ♫Lover's Waltz♫ Yes, Day Four of rain though there may be a slight brightening. I've been waiting for you a long, long time. Here it is December already!
Saturday evening, we fell asleep to Christmas lights and woke to snow and Christmas lights.

Some of us slept better than others.

He read a book, too. He really did!

Ahhhh, a sunset at day's end. A real sunset! The joy of bare branches and new snow that allow such a scene.

(John and I are currently out for breakfast with Jake. We can't let Sam have all the fun and Jake likes some special time, too. The plan is breakfast out and then play time until he (Jake not John) is ready to go home. I'll keep him as long as he's a happy camper. I'm really hoping that he'll surprise me and stick around awhile.)

Have a terrific New Year's Eve! Have any plans?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 in Review~Mosaic Monday

~January 2012~

~February 2012~

~March 2012~

~April 2012~

~May 2012~

~June 2012~

~July 2012~

~August 2012~

~September 2012~

~October 2012~

~November 2012~

~December 2012~

Thank you for indulging me ~ Thank you for visiting me through the year ~ A Very Happy New Year to you!
Linking to Mary's Mosaic Monday at Little Red House.

Christmas or New Days?

I have enjoyed this NOEL sign fresh from The Christmas Tree Shop for a mere $2.99. Perhaps it could stay out for a while. It looks so much like a New England winter.

Some say that Noel has nothing to do with the Nativity of Christ, that it rather comes from the Gaelic meaning "New Days." In that case, I could use it this winter without any qualms whatsoever. Yet, don't you know that every time I see it, I will think Thank you, Lord, for coming to this earth to be one of us. 

It's incredible to think that Jesus existed before he was born in human form. He didn't need to be born to come into existence as the rest of us did. Why was He willing to become the only baby ever born whose soul mission on earth was to die? Love. Pure love. We need a Savior. He is the Savior. That's the truth—straight up.

So "nativity" or "new days" it's all good with me. He's going to go with us into this new year and that's the best news ever.

...It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. ~Deuteronomy 11:12 NIV

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Is Christmas Staying or Going~Quill Cottage Birds

Thank you for all the sweet comments about this page's background. You can head to the background site I used by clicking on the icon that they so conveniently place in the corner up there to the left.

It's Christmas at my house all over the place. Outside. Inside. I am loving it. I'll enjoy it to the max until I must join the rest of the world in packing it away. Soon, I'll probably stop sharing inside photos because I'll feel ever so slightly awkward each day that we go past New Year's Day with everything still in place. I'll feel awkward with you, not with us.

However, I needed a little change on the blog. Why? Because, though I always find deeper colors cozy colors, I needed something a little brighter. It's purely psychological...we got a lot of that going on...and artificial. I know very well that 2013 is going to be fraught with all manner of challenges. In the U.S., we must pay the piper for the choices made in early November. And pay we shall. This is not an if, but a when. I promise to do my best to keep my spirits up; perhaps yours, too. And the best I can think to remind us of is this: God, and He alone, is our Source. (Not the president, the queen, the parliament, the congress, the prime minister, whoever [one might think] is in charge.) This is going to be important to remember this year. Probably next. Probably forever.

So to that end, I have been packing away Christmas on the blog. My sweet icons on the sidebar have gone. Some links will fade off, but not before sharing this Christmas idea. It's not original with me as I've not had an original thought since 1961.

I've been sharing the most wonderful Christmas ornament/crafting resource in my sidebar. It was a labor of love from Miss Sandy at Quill Cottage. Yesterday, I just wanted to make something...something that I couldn't eat =D. I decided to create a little bird using *these directions* and an old Christmas card. It turned out pretty cute. The little dictionary bird was the first one made a few years ago...love him so much that he stays out year around. Together they show that there are many papers one can use for an almost completely different look. This is a great, easy project for children and seniors and everybody in between. It can be as elaborate or as simple as you like. Just thought I'd mention it before you pack up those Christmas cards and I remove all traces of Christmas in my sidebar.

I've got a little guest coming for an overnight stay tonight. Ahhh...more Christmas sweetness. ☺

A happy weekend to you!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Oh Sweetness!

That pretty much sums up my comments on any blog these days. I feel as if I am surrounded by sweetness. I love sweetness. Oh, yes, I do.

Oh to be clothed in this fashion. I've not quite arrived, though one day I shall. I'll be in Glory then. Until that day, it's a goal. If I owned a dress shop, this would be framed and hung in the dressing rooms. It would give ladies something to think about.

This little embossed birdie and the first graphic with the verse from Colossians are gifts from Abby who blogs at Little Birdie Blessings. Abby is a dear and generous gal and shares many of her graphics freely with the Blogging Community. If you visit, would you let her know that you did? She is in Boston today with her Beloved who is having some medical tests done. They could use the blessing of knowing that folks are praying today.


Now, just for fun, I thought I would share and you could compare the two points of view that came in the form of comments yesterday. They were in response to my tongue-in-cheek comment about not being able to comment anymore.

Cheryl said:
Karen Andreola said it this way, 
I think it is fine to peruse a public post like people used to relax with the newspaper - without necessarily sending a letter to the editor. The 20th century term "lurk" which I am most familiar with, makes the new 21st century blog definition seem a bit harsh and ill-fitting to me.  
Never-the-less it is always nice to be introduced to those of you who, once in a while, resonate with something you've read here.
Michele said:
And heck yes I would miss your comments. They totally make my day.

Oh I just love my commenters! =D

Have a wonderful Friday and a delightful weekend.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pleasant Morning

 ~Stormy Morning~
 ~Reading Blogs~
~Old-Fashioned Reading~

~Between Sips of Coffee~

We have new toys: Mine is an iPad and John's is a Kindle Fire. He is getting very good at his and does seem to enjoy it, though I have caught him at his "old-fashioned" way this morning. I'm not so good at mine. Can't figure out how to actually leave a comment when I visit your blog. Do you mind? Do let me know. Ha!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

And This is How It Went

Basically just documenting here...

~We're all yabbering...snow is falling...delightful~

I call friendly skirmishes a "bug tussle." What do you call them?

The only thing I've left out is the food and there was a ton and all yummy, too. We're doing it all over again momentarily as my New York City niece is home. Fun times! Let's keep Christmas rolling right along. Is "rolling" a bad word? ☺

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

~John Goes Sledding~

"That," I started to say, "was a slow, easy ride." ☺

Such a sweet, lovely day spent with my daughter, my son and daughter-in-law, and the grandsons. All day! Oh it was fun and went by so quickly. My grandson Sam had been wishing for a "magnificent" day and it seemed that it was indeed just that. We even had some snowfall. And the best news? Sam is off his walker. (Much better than being off his rocker.)


Favorite Christmas card verse this year (and a few other years, too).

If you look for Me at Christmas, you won’t need a special star, I’m no longer just in Bethlehem, I’m right there where you are. You may not be aware of Me amid the celebration, You’ll have to look beyond the stores and all the decorations. But if you take a moment from your list of things to do, And listen to your heart, you’ll find I’m waiting there for you. You’re the one I want to be with, you’re the reason that I came, And you’ll find Me in the stillness as I’m whispering your name.~Jesus 

Monday, December 24, 2012

O Holy Night

Never sing louder than lovely

An exquisite voice — listen for the note so pure that it will bring a stinging tear (or I don't know how to call them). This is Anita and she blogs at Far Above Rubies. You may visit You Tube and listen directly *here.* It seems to work better.

(Thank you, Barbara, for sharing your friends.) 


"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit," he exclaimed, his breath vaporizing on the frosty air, "The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are!"
He was looking things in the face and knowing them for what they are. "And they are...," he huffed, fishing for a word, 'beserk!'
Father Tim in Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon 
Oh it was a splendid idea to place a rereading of this book on my What I Want Christmas to Be list. I've laughed and wept a bit and enjoyed it so much.

So, yes, Father Tim's sentiments are my own this Christmas Eve morning. I've written a new list and it includes ever so many things for the day. I'm sure that yours does as well. Still, I hope that midnight finds John and me at the Christmas Eve service singing joyfully. (That will mean a required nap somewhere along the way.)

A blessed, meaningful, and altogether holy Christmas Eve to you...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Pace Quickens~Mosaic Monday

Those who read yesterday's post will recognize the extreme irony of shopping this afternoon (in Freeport) with my daughter instead of for my daughter. Yup. Those are our shadows. (All the pictures in the mosaic above were taken by my daughter on her iphone.) It was a fun day!

Gifts continue to arrive and the mosaic above shows the delights from Cheryl who blogs at The Farmer's Daughter. Cheryl loves to visit Branson, Missouri. She knows that I just love reading about her trips so she gifted me with a cookbook from Branson, some beer cheddar dip, a cute little stocking, a sweet card, and Missouri itself.

Just some photos taken around the house...wanted to show off some of these great Christmas cards I've been receiving and show Cheryl the stocking hung on the tree.

Linking to Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday. (If you've never joined in the fun, please consider doing so in the New Year. It's a great way to meet some wonderful people and Mary has all the instructions you need on her sidebar.)

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Comments are closed so that you may boot it right along... It's the best Christmas gift I can give. ☺

Why Do I Celebrate Christmas?

After all, Christmas has many of its roots in pagan holidays. Christmas was not celebrated by Christians until 300 AD or later. That Holy Night most likely did not happen in December.

"So the birth may have occurred earlier, before they left the fields?"
"Very likely. However, the tradition of a late-December Nativity is eighteen centuries old, and I'm not messing with that."
"Still, if they were traveling in December, nighttime temperatures would have been freezing." His wife pondered this, shaking her head. "Just think! All that misery over taxes!"
"Some things," he said, "never change." 
A conversation between Tim Kavanagh and his wife Cynthia in Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon

"So have you ever been accused of being a pagan because you celebrate Christmas?"

That was the opening line of our pastor's sermon last week. It sure made us sit up and take note. No, we had not, but he has since a family member has become part of a church that celebrates nothing "extra" scriptural.

Extra scriptural? Didn't the Shepherds and Wise Men go to worship the child?

This entire discussion has given John and me plenty to ponder in the week since. Ultimately, I celebrate Christmas because I will not be silent when all the world focuses, even for one brief golden moment, on the Christ of Christmas. What a sneaky strategy on the part of the evil one to get Christians to stop celebrating Christmas. What a lowdown trick!

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. ~Titus 1:15 

Merry Christmas to You!

P.S. Linking to Brenda's Sunday Afternoon Tea because we're bookends today. Her side is lending more support to the books and mine is slipping a bit. ☺

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Weather Outside was Frightful

The Bunte Teller morphed into a Bunte Platte...I
added to it all the day long. Currently, it's also wearing the left-over cherries from my pitiful attempt to copy Judy. (My Front Porch) as seen at Ellen's (The Happy Wonderer) The candy cane heart is a knock-off from Jen (Our Southern Table).
~Lights Along the Fence in Torrential Downpours~

~Our New Lake~

~Inside Was So Delightful~
In keeping with fake blankets, fake flowers, and anything else fake around here, we have added a fake fire to the repertoire. This really did add quite a bit of ambiance to the evening. John was seated between the tree and the fire and I was seated on the sofa. As the fire crackled and danced, John got so hot that he began to repeatedly mop his brow. We were laughing at him and then I got so warm that I began to steam as well. It was purely psychological and we are obviously highly suggestible. Who cares, though, if that little dvd is the answer to the energy crisis?!

I awoke this morning with a start...I have not one thing for my daughter and must get to town.  < *thud* >  Hope that you're doing better!

Have a happy day...

Friday, December 21, 2012


Feeling a bit frazzled and a lot harried? Hold that thought...

~Bunte Teller~

Although I'm not one hundred per cent certain of all that a Bunte Teller represents in German tradition, it reminds me of a Horn of Plenty in that bounty is on display. It certainly creates a lovely focal point. You can learn more by visiting my featured blogger Niki on yesterday's post.

Another day, another gift. This sweet Christmas tea cup and arrangement is from the lovely Michele at Finch Rest where I recently won a Giveaway. (Michele really knows how to pack fragile items. I'm taking lessons, too. Let's see, take a box in a box in a box with the middle box's sides turned toward the center to create almost a roof so that the item cannot drop through. Smart gal!)

~Brightening a Corner~


Now let's watch John walk about a little, shall we?

Want to know what he's doing? 

Tracking bears that's what!

I found big tracks on our deck! That's my footprint on lower left beside a round bear print. (You can see immediately when John discovers where his wife has been. ☺) John believes that there was a Mama Bear and a Baby Bear. It probably explains why Molly got so excited day before yesterday and wouldn't stop barking. And it also explains why she went sniffing along a trail, turned on her heel, and marched back into the house without "doing" anything. No more out by herself and no more setting the garbage on the stoop waiting for John to take it to the garage (though it's never been disturbed); we're not taking any chances. 


Did you hold that thought? That one about possibly being frazzled and harried? I confess that I have been feeling a bit under it myself. It's been an incredibly difficult week. How have you been doing? Our thoughts are often in Connecticut and our prayers are with them. It can feel overwhelming sometimes. 

When I am feeling this way, I know that it is time to purposely and purposefully disentangle. So sit down with a cup of tea; put your feet up; pray, intercede; read a book; better yet, read the Word; watch the lights on the tree; rest. Trust the Lord to carry the burden. Do it. Please?

Newtown will be observing a moment of silence at 9:30 this morning on this one-week anniversary with a tolling of the bells.

Blessings and comfort...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Grand Central Station

Perhaps you were under the impression that Grand Central Station looks like this:

It does. Nope. I  have never been. Pat has though. She took *that photo* and I have used it by permission. Did you know that Pat has been named one of the top Pinners to follow on Pinterest? True. She blogs at Mille Fiori Favoriti and has lived in NYC all her life. She will soon call the state of Colorado home and we'll have lost one of the most amazing ambassadors for NYC in Blogdom. We'll gain an amazing ambassador for Colorado. I hope that she'll revisit New York from time to time just so we can see the amazing photos she takes of her "hometown." If you haven't checked out her entry for the Note Card Party, do. As she says, "We Need a Little Christmas."

My side porch has also been a little Grand Central Station for much of this week. Perhaps yours was as well. One UPS truck after another pulled up through rain, freezing rain, snow, and slush. I am so impressed with all manner of postal services of late. It has really been amazing. Two days was the average length of time between order and arrival. Now that is incredible.

Not all this stuff is mine. No, no. I'm just babysitting it until whichever gift giver comes to wrap it and take it off. In the midst of all this, a package arrived just for me all the way from the plains of Canada. Niki, who blogs at Rural Writings, had wrapped me up some sweet things and I'm showing them off! Visit her Christmas post, if you need a little Christmas. Today I bought the things I need to make the Bunte Teller she shows and discusses. I'm so looking forward to that.

So here's a mostly picture story of my gift box...

Oh beauty products were declared...heaven knows I need them!

 Beautifully wrapped in this sweet paper...

 Little Santa cap...
Actually two little Santa caps...they're hanging on my tree just now...

 All the goodies...

 Sweet wishes...

Spring fabrics by Ro Gregg. These are five-inch squares and I am going to have fun thinking what to create with them...perhaps a spring table runner.

Great label on the goat's milk soap that smells amazing: Where goats grow and flowers don't.

 Skin and hand lotion...these hands need some lotion.

 Darling little candle and apricot colored glass holder.

Look at the graphics on this box of Dare Maple Cream Cookies! This is now prominently displayed on my pantry cupboard. If we eat them, I'll be saving the box!

Ohhhh, yum. Coffee Crisps. I'm going to cut them into pieces and share them with my family...perhaps as part of the Bunte Teller.

All I have to say is that someone has been way too generous and has really been paying attention around here.

Niki, thank you for the sweet gifts, sweet Canadian gifts. You really made my day!


Thanks to all who participated in the Note Card Party yesterday. It's always a lot of fun to see the wonderful photos presented. There is no excuse for any of you not to make up your work into your own personalized cards for next Christmas.

The party will remain open throughout today for anyone who'd like to get in on it. It was a lot of fun to have some new participants join us, too. 

Back to Grand Central...