A Haven for Vee

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sally Lunn Bread

Before I forget, I want to give credit to Kim (Kim Klassen) for the If Only background and Karen (The Graphics Fairy) for the beautiful swans. We have such amazing resources in Blogdom! If you haven't signed up for Kim's weekly download, try it and you'll be playing in no time.

This is the last of the Memory Bouquet using the same If Only background. It makes for a soft, romantic look. I used the photomerge function on Photoshop.


As you may know, I am on the search for a particular bread recipe. I've now made bread three times in the effort and each time brings me closer to that elusive recipe. I have learned some things. One is that to have sweetness one must have more than a titch of sugar. The other is that eggs do add that extra body to bread dough that I am looking for. The last is that this can not go on. I like fresh bread way too much.

Cheryl @ Thinking About Home suggested that Sally Lunn bread might be close. It is certainly a delicious bread and so easy to make. No kneading!

Notice the bread handle? Why I stuck that extra bit of dough on there, I have no idea. It certainly wasn't to make it attractive. =)

Can you see the texture? That is definitely what I am looking for. See that butter? Cabot, thank.you.very.much. The best ever! (No, Cabot is not paying me to say this.) Do you have a favorite butter?

If you'd like to try Cheryl's recipe, you'll find it right *here.*  She's titled the post "Snowly and Sally Lunn." Perfect for a snowy day as we're enjoying today.

I also wanted to thank you for the encouraging things you said about my tag project yesterday. You are the best!

A wonderful Tuesday to you...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dare to Dream Different Art Challenge~Quill Cottage

This art challenge has taken me way beyond my comfort zone so I am sitting here chuckling at myself. I am not by nature a creative person. Not.at.all.

When Miss Sandy *first mentioned her challenge,* I had just posted about my word for the year, which is "stretch." Somehow I thought that it would be a good way to practice. And it proved so true. I have stretched — hours and hours of stretching.

The challenge, as I understood it, was to create a tag or a piece of "art" using any of the images that Miss Sandy provided and the word "dream."

Let's have at it, shall we? My picture story...



So I learned a few things. I am learning that it takes layers and layers of practice. 

And I learned that one can take a sad song tag and make it better. 

Thanks so much, dear Miss Sandy, for encouraging me to try something new. I  had fun! 

Please visit Quill Cottage and see what others did with the same images. 

Very Near

Ever wake in the wee hours of the morning feeling unsettled, ill at ease? It happens to all of us, I think. It happened to me just last night. When it does, I can usually calm it with prayer or perhaps the humming of a hymn like "He's As Close As the Mention of His Name" by Gordon Jenson. This song is what came to me as I lay there flipping through my mind's Rolodex at three in the morning.

In the very thought of Jesus
His presence can be found
He's as close as the mention of His name
There is never any distance between my Lord and me
He's as close as the mention of His name
He's as close as the mention of His name
He's as close as the mention of His name
Jesus, Jesus
In my hour of struggle
So many times I've found
He's as close as the mention of His name
Just to breathe the name of Jesus
Can turn everything around
He's as close as the mention of His name.

John tells of a time when every night such anxiety would come upon him that he would have to get up, have a glass of water, walk around, and perhaps read before getting back to bed and to sleep. He was so exhausted from this nightly routine that he finally said to the Lord, "I don't care what happens. I don't care if I die. I am not getting up again." And that was the end of it.

Anxiety can come upon us at any time, though Believers have the remedy and the promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He truly is as close as the very thought of Him. That is powerful. Further, He is present whether we are aware or not for He is always present and He is always willing to show us through as we yield to Him.

A blessed Sunday to you...

photo source: Dover Publishing

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January Boys



September 2010

The January grands have had their respective birthdays. The family gathered recently to honor them. I know that all grandparents say it, but does time fly or what?! It is actually getting pretty scary.

This morning, my daughter, John, and I gathered to pick up the home version of what you see above. It now sits in two big boxes waiting for spring and a patient papa to assemble. Hope that they will love it! Though when the six-year-old was informed about all the fun things...monkey bars and a climbing wall...he asked, "Who thinks I'm old enough for that?!"

* * * * * * * 

Just a reminder that *the giveaway* ends tonight at 7!

A happy weekend to you...

Friday, January 27, 2012


Seize the moment of excited curiosity on any subject to solve your doubts; for if you let it pass, the desire may never return, and you may remain in ignorance.
~William Wirt 

Right!  So that's exactly what I've been doing this morning. If anything makes me wonder, I find out the details.

You may remember that the old trunk that originally belonged to my great-great grandparents no longer holds the tv. It now holds a hobby horse right in front of the front door. That can't be good, but it will do for now. I promise that it is only temporary.

As I was sitting here this morning visiting the precious few of you who have posted...ahem, I noticed some hen scratch on the sides of the trunk. My ancestors' surname is written there, though it is misspelled. Then I remembered finding a tag on the opposite side, which I had planned to photograph, but never returned to. Not today!

Misspelled Surname

What does that say?

American Express Co.

April 1905

Another Great Find

Aha! My mother's old lard bucket...empty and tucked beside my desk. I've been looking for something to hold Molly's dog food. It comes in 50 pound bags and this will be just the ticket. Yay! A new home for it coming right up beneath the farm table in the kitchen.

Thus ends the ho-hum photos of the day you will be happy to know. =)


We're in the middle of an ice storm. I have horrible memories of the nightmare one in 1998 and do not wish for a repeat. Still there is a beauty in treacherous weather. 

Ice Storm Mosaic

spruce cones

Two questions for you...one perhaps mundane and the other a bit more interesting: 1. How's the weather in your corner?  2. What thing could you explore in your home/world today that you have been meaning to do?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cultivating Wonder~Sharon Lovejoy

A few weeks ago, I won not one, but three books written by Sharon Lovejoy! She had this marvelous giveaway at her blog. Blessed me!

Now Sharon has been cultivating plants and flowers since childhood so it did not surprise me that she also cultivates wonder.

the sweetest bookmark

The books arrived yesterday...

Sunflower Houses, Hollyhock Days, Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars

Sharon had asked, "Shall I inscribe them?"

I assured her that that would be wonderful and so she has...a unique message in each one!

Thank you, Sharon!

And so I enjoyed the most blissful of afternoons on the sofa surrounded by everything from the dog to the laundry reading Hollyhock Days from cover to cover. Such a delightful book!

As it happens, I have been gifted with Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars twice. I am keeping them both. One I shall allow the grands to read with their mom and dad. But wouldn't it be lovely to have a giveaway right here of Sharon's latest, Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars? Yes! I thought so, too. If you have children or grandchildren, a grandbaby or four on the way, you will so enjoy this wonderful book of ideas and activities. No hoops to jump through, no following, no need to share (unless you'd like), just leave a comment. One will suffice. This giveaway will be over by Saturday at 7 pm. Yes, I do work fast. 

A wonderful Thursday to you!

Thank you for participating. Comments are now closed. Winner to be announced later this evening.

The winner: Diane at Lavender Dreams

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recipe Rip-Offs

It must be a closely guarded secret...the recipe for brown bread at King's Landing, New Brunswick, Canada. It's one of those breads that, though we are twenty miles away (when at the cottage that is) and down a dirt road six plus miles long and fraught with pioneer adventures each inch along the way of it, we find ourselves drawn over and over again to stop by and pick up another loaf or two or five. Man! It is some kind of delicious.

Mother and I had been scouting for the recipe and trying various brown breads for years. Over the weekend, when I whittled my Inbox from 999 emails to less than 100, I found an email with a recipe enclosed. It was from my niece and it said, "this is the one."

My excitement knew no bounds. I flagged it and set it aside and lost it and re-found it and finally printed it off and made it yesterday.

Did you know that there really are no copyright laws for recipes? I know because I used to proofread cookbooks. If I am using a favorite recipe for publication on my blog, I change some minor thing and pray that it isn't terribly significant. That's why I wonder about recipes we find on the web...they may not be as well tested as those we find in a book. This recipe that I'm not sharing was found by my niece on the web.

King's Landing bread is sweet and flavorful. Sweet. Quite sweet. This bread had a third of a cup of molasses and 6 cups of flour and a cup of oatmeal, but it was not sweet.

King's Landing bread is not Anadama bread, though it might be considered similar. If you click on the highlighted bit there, you can read the fun history of Anadama bread, which is a New England story.

Smelled good, though.

Looks pretty. Tastes blah. Flat. Not going to make this recipe again. If anyone knows of a delicious brown bread recipe that is sweet and flavorful, please fill me in.

What's your favorite bread and when is the last time you baked some?

P.S. If you'd like to take a little tour of King's Landing, Pam gives a great one right *here.*

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Not Bored Exactly...

January has brought me to this or as John says, "You're worried about what's going on in my head?" ☺

It's true. I am now knitting *crocheting nests. K.n.i.t.t.i.n.g. *Crocheting nests for crying out loud! It all began when I was practicing Deb's directions last night at A Blade of Grass. She said something fascinating about using two strands of yarn so, having lots of little leftover balls of yarn, I practiced and instead of a purse, came up with a nest. She'll be worried about me Deb will.

*Apparently, I don't know what I'm doing.

Keeping my nest company is my sweet little barn painting from Nita Leger Casey

And all these pictures are reminders to those who are in a panic about the loss of Picnik. (No, I have never met an alliteration I did not love.) I can't say enough kind things about Photoscape. Do your own Googling and download the program when you're certain you have the right site. It's free. If you don't already have it, you'll love it.

Hope January is treating you well...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Faded Beauty~Mosaic Monday

A Kim Klassen background (If Only) and last week's photo of the rose with this week's photo of the same rose. Perhaps I could better name it Fragile Beauty as all those lovely layers on the drying rose look paper thin and fragile to me.

Connecting to Mary at Little Red House.

Closing comments so that you may just visit and enjoy. I'll be visiting and enjoying without comments this evening myself.

The World Beyond

This morning early, I pressed the blue button on the top of my computer tower on my way by and wandered down the hall toward the kitchen and coffee. I greeted John and almost listened to what he told me, poured my coffee and headed back down the hall for the computer...that glowing box of all things that connect me to The World Beyond.

I checked here at Haven and then scrolled to the bottom and that little meter icon where I could check stats. Soon I was there and then I was off to check email. A few minutes went by and I thought What were my stats? How many people went to visit Jill? Who's on now? All questions that would have been easily known if I had actually "been there" when I was there.

How much I am missing by not being here! And I am reminded all over again to stay focused and to really do the thing not merely go through the motions. The Bible clearly tells me this:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails... I Corinthians 13:1–8a

Now what did John tell me?

A blessed Sunday to you...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

How Fascinating!

This is going to be an all-over-the-place post. My brain is firing on all two cylinders. = )

I have discussed this before, though I'm hoping that it was so long ago that you've forgotten. Years ago now, I took an aptitude test designed for college students. I was an instructor at the time and since I wanted my students to take the test, I took it just for fun. I was quite shocked when the results came back:  I like to think! That's basically it. They suggested that I would like to belong to a "think tank." < insert chuckles >

So that's probably why I adored *Jill's post yesterday.* You will enjoy reading it; you will love watching the video she shared. The video is 15 minutes long and it will be the most fun and the most fascinating 15 minutes you've spent this week. I promise! Besides, you need some new interesting conversation to share with your friends and family. This is going to provide it. Yes, I promise! All that and it will give you a new appreciation for these:

Well, not exactly those, but close! If you regret it, please let me know. If you love it, please let Jill know. She features some amazing things on her blog!

 Like These


Deb at A Blade of Grass just let me know that she has translated the crocheted bag  I spoke of a few days ago into US terms right *here.* How cool is that?! Send your message out and the answer returns. Thank you very much, Deb, so appreciated! I shopped Thursday and didn't find anything I wanted so I am on the search for some quality yarn for this project. Anyone want to join me in making this pattern? Let me know!

It's Cable Guys day and still in time for Downton Abbey on Sunday night! John has done the most splendid job of installing conduit running the length of the house to the connection box. He says that this will be the easiest hook-up these guys have had in a long time. 

It's also a Nonni Day as the youngest grand will be here soon. Seems big brother is now a basketball player. Must be that two inches plus that he's grown lately. Anyway, little brother at a basketball practice would not be as happy as little brother at Nonni's. Yay!

The new comment feature? I'm torn. What to do? What to do? Tell me what to do. Somebody. Anybody? Torn no more! When I had a number of emails this morning, in addition to the emails yesterday, that all told me that they couldn't comment without seeing a big blank white page pop up, I knew that I was going back to what wasn't broke. I can still respond to your comments here, IF that's any big deal or I can answer questions via email. I liked the new comment feature, but it is not worth losing touch with people. Work out those bugs, Blogger! One more thing: Should you wish to return to the old interface, you'll find a gear on the top of the dashboard page. A menu will drop down and returning to the old interface will be listed as an option.

Leaving you with a pretty picture of a drying rose. At least I think it's pretty.

Now go visit Jill!

A happy day to you...

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Went Alone

Yup. I was sitting right here at the keyboard, after rescheduling the cable guys because John wasn't quite ready for them today, when I read Ellen's comment on yesterday's post that she leaves when projects are ongoing and returns once they are done. Aha! Exactly what I should do I thought.

So I said, "Fare-thee-well, dear husband. I am leaving for the rest of the day. Do not expect me back before six tonight."

He said, "Fine." I'm sure that he was in his own particular hell pulling himself around and through the crawl space repeatedly for two days and so wouldn't miss me.

I was driving down the road wondering where in the world I was going to go when I realized that I could kill some time at the theater watching W*r H*rse. I'm disguising that title there in that inane clever way because, after I review this movie, I don't want Spi*lberg to find me.

No, I am not going to tell you the details. I'm just going to say that those negative reviews you may have read may have some basis in reality. It is a heavily machinated, war-is-hell movie. My one tear was shed at the very end. I was happy when it was over and wished that it hadn't lasted so long (2 hours and a half, more or less). I only cared about a few of the characters and I didn't always care about the horse, though he's a magnificent horse all right. He's no Seabiscuit so John would have hated it.

Except for the stunning scenery, you could happily wait for the video. In fact, you could skip the video. Just sayin'... Perhaps I'd prefer reading the book upon which the movie is based. It is actually a children's novel written by Mi*hael M*rpurgo in 1982. And so that might explain the simpleness childlike quality of the storyline as I understand the director followed the book closely.

I did learn in previews that Titanic is going to be re-released on April 6. Now that I might like to see on the big screen again. Who am I kidding? I'd love to see Gone With the Wind on the big screen again and The Sound of Music and Forrest Gump and The Notebook and... Any oldies that you'd like to see on the big screen again?

Debbie at Bungalow tells me that not too many have found her giveaway and since it's for Shaklee products and since I love Shaklee products, I thought I'd point you in that direction. You can find it right *here.* While you're there you might want to check on the progress that Debra is making painting a chair. The upholstery of the chair. Who knew that you can do that?!

Despite the complaining about not being able to comment at many blogs, I am taking the plunge and trying the new interface. I hope that I can go back if necessary. Let's see how this goes. My instant review of the new comment system is in. It's a mixed review. I like being able to comment directly and easily to my friends. I do not like that my comments are tallied as part of the total so I will be using the ability rarely. Some folks get their knickers in a knot over comments. They even say, "My! You have so many comments." So I've never thought it a good thing for a mediocre nothing blog such as mine to have too many comments, especially if I am "padding" them myself. ;>

A happy Friday to you and a happy weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Say WHAT?!

I was reading at Barbara's Two Birdies and a B when I learned that Google is getting rid of Google Connect on March 1, 2012. It is being replaced with Google+ or some such thing. You can read more about it *here.* Apparently, we'll all be affected by it as we are going to lose all those nice friends and followers we have been gathering. That is unless we can take them along to Google+. I have looked at Google+ and I don't much care for it for a lot of reasons. Why does Google have to know so much about us? It makes me twitchy. So, my dear, I, for one, am adding a lot of blogs to my Friends and Favorites blog just because I hate losing people and it's ding-dong unlikely that I'm going to join on with Google+! Just thought you'd like to know. Disclaimer: Be sure to do your own research and read Heather's comment below. It's #3!

Yes, I am very aware that commenting has become more and more of a challenge. This is especially true of those who use the new interface. I do not. See my apology at the top of my sidebar to the right.

So between Google and Blogger, there's a whole lot of shaking going on. It makes me wonder what the ultimate goal is. As I tend toward paranoia, I can't help but wonder if they wish to winnow those who enjoy blogging. It may be time to make some plans.

This was the story of our day yesterday. Note the time at the end of the video. It went on for another three hours and John is still not finished. So, no movie yesterday and no movie today, perhaps tomorrow.

I paid careful attention to your suggestions. I listened when you said that you didn't like wires showing as they do when hanging a flat screen on the wall. We had intended to hang it on the wall.  (And, if we hung it on the wall, where would we put the dvd?) I listened when you said that the tv had to sit higher than it did on the trunk. So those two things were addressed.

This is rather a mess in reflections and light washing in from the windows. Still, it shows where John's chair is in relation to the tv...that had been one of the questions...and where my chair is (which you can not see) behind the hassock there. The tv is as high on the wall as we were going to hang it. When I don't have to worry about tools all over the floor and carpets pulled back, I'll show one final photo.

That's it from our cold corner. How are things with you?