A Haven for Vee

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Tea

It's not very often that one can enjoy a Leap Day Tea. I've chosen my birth month's colors for the linens and tea cup and baked some Snickerdoodles. They are common cookies that one can find a recipe for anywhere; I found mine in my old Betty Crocker cookbook.

 ~Snickerdoodles and Chamomile Tea~

I can never bake them without remembering the year my college chum Deborah visited me from Oklahoma. She spent almost a week with us. She charmed my children and introduced them to E.B. White via Stuart Little; she charmed my husband by making homemade noodles for homemade chicken noodle soup; she charmed me by taking me away from it all to the mountains for the most wonderful day where we chatted like magpies from early morning to late that night. I remember watching the snow fall on Mt. Washington from our vantage point and eating lobster rolls in a little red restaurant in the valley. All that and she baked Snickerdoodles. She did simple things in extraordinary ways.

~Mother's Pansy Doily~

The pansy doily is fairly common, too. My mother made this one and I love it now more than I ever have before. Just to think of all the hours she spent making this one lovely item.

~ColClough China~Made in England~

The china tea cup is from my grandmother's collection. The tea cups live in the dresser I use as a buffet now. I remember to take one out every few days for a cup of tea — chamomile — just to make it a little extra special. Otherwise, I drink my tea from a mug.

Is it all about the simple things after all?

Enjoy your extra-ordinary day!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Gotta love steam cleaning—no harsh chemicals and perfectly sanitary. I started out with a Scunci several years ago. Nearly drove me wild because it was so small and cleaning came in spurts—literally, of course. I don't believe that the water vessel held more than a half cup. It was okay for the sinks and drains and doing the refrigerator gaskets...sort of. As of last Thursday, I have this...

~0r*ck St*am-It~

So this was my birthday gift from John. He can not be blamed for the unromantic quality of the gift. He was having trouble coming up with something and I was more than happy to help him. =D I knew that I wanted my hands out of dirty water and mop wringing.

Even though I watched the You Tube video where the cute gal (Nony the Slob—no, that's really her name) went over the fine points explaining that this machine does not suck up dirt, I still was rather surprised to find that it does not suck up dirt. There has to be that kind of a machine on the market. (Sometimes I even imagine a little machine like grocery stores have where the floors are perfectly clean and shiny in two or three swipes running back and forth all on its own in my kitchen.) Perhaps Manuela's comment back on *this post* will help. The Biss*ll does get good recommendations, though it's for floors only...I think.  I wanted something that was going to get multiple uses: floors, cabinets, shower walls, windows, mirrors, upholstery, and even ironing/steaming.

~Lots of Nozzles, Attachments, and Booties~

The price was right. I thought it was $179 and it turned out to be $97, which was great. I have cleaned floors, the refrigerator doors, cabinet doors, upholstery, closet doors, and shower walls (each chore has its own nozzle or attachment and bootie to fit over said attachment) and am pleased with everything except with the lack of dirt-sucking ability and the bit at the first of it where it's difficult to push the thing along for lack of enough moisture. If you enjoy the smell of a cleaner, you can purchase one that won't kill the machine; otherwise, I found that the smell of clean was perfectly fine. That and the nice scent of a candle burning.

One thing is certain...no hands in grimy water. Amen.

Thank you for the sweet birthday wishes. You made me smile.

A great Tuesday to you...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Birthday Gifts and Thoughts

Do you play tricks with your birthday? Probably not. Probably you receive each birthday as the gift that it is and that's all there is to it. I do something strange. Since I was thirty-seven, I have added a year to my age. Yes, I know that most people subtract a few. Not I. That year, I rolled into my thirty-seventh birthday thinking that I was thirty-six. It did such a number on me that I've never been caught like that again.

So when my grandson arrived last week saying that he wasn't sure how old I was, but perhaps I was "%^," I really had to stop to think for he had added a year before I was ready to add a year. It's shocking either way!

Yesterday I shared one of my gifts (the Downton Abbey magnets) and today I thought I'd share some more. Family is always the best gift, of course. They arrived in the early evening with supper in tow. That was lovely. And this was lovely, too.

~My son and grandsons doing the dishes together~

Could it get any sweeter?

I had done something crazy to my camera settings so all my photos of the evening are so strangely colored that I turned them all to gray scale. No amount of playing in Photoshop would straighten them out. 

See what I mean? Sometimes one just has to return to the default settings and start over.

~nice interaction between Baby Grand and his mother in this one and I have no idea to whom the Older Grand is speaking...~ 

~John's thinking that the frame idea is going to mean that someone will get hurt...possible!~

By the next morning, I had the camera back to some semblance of normal. I think this proves that one needs to anticipate events and be prepared. What a novel concept!

On to the other gifts...

My sister sent me some delicious coffee from a coffee plantation she visited in Puerto Rico. It is some good too, smooth and flavorful.

 My son and daughter-in-law brought the cake and this lovely quilt square.

My daughter brought supper and this set of dishes for storage. I don't think that she's been happy with what's been available here lately. I'm making room for this in the cupboard today.

 The sweetest birthday card ever...

 And another from my sister, in Spanish...

Sewing notions and tea towels from my son and his family and a jean-a-ma-jij from my daughter. I've talked about this *before* you may remember.

 Jets were flown and crashed...

 Jets were flown and landed safely...

Two movies. One from my daughter, which I have also discussed *before* and the other from my niece. I know little about it, but perhaps I should check to see if it won an Oscar last night.

Did you watch? The Oscars that is?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Downton Abbey Magnet Mosaic~Mosaic Monday

Oh I know it's Academy Award Night. < insert stifled yawn >

I offer you instead an extension of Downton Abbey. And, since my storyline could be considered a spoiler, please do NOT read if you have not had the chance to view Downton Abbey yet.

My daughter-in-law shares my enthusiasm for the show and, knowing how much I enjoy it, she gave me these magnets for my birthday. All I'm going to say is that I've enjoyed them, but they are not going to live on my refrigerator. On the other hand, Matthew and Mary are going to live on the metal tray above the refrigerator. Pretty good digs for magnet people. ☺

Yes, just like Mary, I cut that evil Pamuk out of the picture. Did you see that Thomas and O'Brien are one character?

Please join Mary @ Little Red House for more mosaics.

Are you a Downton Abbey fan as well?

Colossians 2: 6–7

Blessings this Sunday...

Saturday, February 25, 2012


It sifts from leaden sieves,
It powders all the wood,
It fills with alabaster wool
The wrinkles of the road.
~Emily Dickinson

I was planning to discuss steam today. The snow seems more the subject and the beautiful light. These photos were taken between 6:30 and 7:00 this morning. I kept exclaiming over this or that and John would say, "No, no, let me shovel more so that you can see this!" There's not as much of it as first appears...three or four inches and the temps are warming. Perhaps a snowman is in order!

Have a delightful Saturday. Did it snow last night in your world, too?

It is melting so fast that it looks as if we were having another snowstorm. The only sound you hear is the coffee pot perking away...

And just so you'll know that I'm not slacking over here... This little fellow should make the grands happy. Doesn't it look as if he landed on his head in last night's storm? He is made upside down from something I saw on Pinterest. He's only eight inches high or so. He has a chopstick down through his middle to hold him together. I had a remnant of a crocheted item that I used for his hat. Place the hat down first and put some snow in there to anchor the head. Then build a larger snow ball for his tummy, and a larger one yet for his bottom. I gave him twig arms, mini chocolate chips for eyes, and a sliver of a carrot stick for a nose. I think he's darling and, if I had more time, he could be even better. Don't forget to have fun today!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Seven Things Meme

Laura tagged me even though she knows full well that I don't accept tags or awards. This post is going to prove that, when I am struggling to find blog fodder, I, too, find memes valuable. Thank you, Laura.

Laura's Meme is to write Seven Things About Myself. How convenient! I know myself so well. Still, it's too much for me to do without help so I'm also resorting to some prompts that I've read in Blogdom.

1. What has changed the most since you were a teenager? So much has changed: fashions, foods, recreation, technology, movies, television programs, even politics. The church has changed. Mores have evolved and not for the better in my opinion. Other than medical advancements and technological advancements, I'm challenged to think of any of the changes as an improvement.

2. What always makes you laugh? Any time someone else is laughing, I'm pretty much willing to join in. I really love to hear children laughing and babies laughing definitely makes me laugh. Have you seen any videos of laughing babies? You try watching one and see!

3. List those favorite things or collections you treasured growing up. Loved collecting rocks, specifically skipping rocks. It is not possible to have too many of those. I also collected mica and tiny bits of garnet.

~Alice and Not Toto~
~ Edited to Add: Not Dorothy Either  ;} ~

I just found Alice last week while going through some packed boxes. The kind one is supposed to give away if one hasn't missed anything after a year. Would you believe that I started to miss Alice? She was a birthday present in my ninth year. She came with an Alice in Wonderland wristwatch. Somewhere along the way she found Not Toto there and lost her hand.  

4. Name five things under your kitchen sink. The garbage can, Barkeeper's Friend, bleach, plant food, and a broken plant mister.

5. Favorite type of cheese?  Sharp Cheddar

6. What is your earliest memory, and why does it stand out in your mind? The earliest memory is of riding in the car and crossing a large bridge. I had a bottle of chocolate milk to drink and a doughnut to eat. I was perfectly content.

7. If you could rid the earth of one thing what would it be? Evil. Yes, that pretty much covers it.

How about you? What one thing would you rid the world of?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Winners, Winners, Chicken Dinners — NOT!

~Ready to Go~

Every morning this week, my personal mailman has taken little packages to the post office for me. Just like the real mail man, he braves all sorts of weather: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these courier from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. This morning it was ice! 

~My Very Own Mail Man~

In order to make things a bit easier for myself and my winners as well, I have added a winners' list, with codes and everything, on my sidebar all the way to the bottom. That way, you can check the status of your win. Quite a few have not yet discovered that they are winners so I have no addresses. Those who send their addresses get the prize first...usually. Whatever! All those who won will eventually get the prize. I think the Post Office is already sick of John, but tough! That's what they're there for and we're keeping them in business. 

Have a terrific day!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Little Chit-Chat

♫ It snowed last night, oh it snowed last night. The sky opened up and had a pillow fight... ♫

That was the refrain for the 15-minute journey to school this morning. (Yes, we did have a bit of snow last night.) While most students are enjoying a winter break, my youngest grandson, aka the baby grand, had only Presidents' Day off. His is an intensive school where he is learning so much and doing very well.

As we arrived, a shy little girl was sitting quietly waiting for the classroom doors to open. Jake was having none of that. He said, "Good morning, Sharla (name changed), how are you?" She smiled at him and he responded more loudly, "GOOD MORNING, SHARLA, HOW ARE YOU?" She shrank back to the wall. I suggested that he pipe down as he was making Sharla nervous. He walked over and leaned into her face and smiled very big. Sharla smiled  a wee smile back. I suggested allowing Sharla some space and took him quietly to his seat. When I looked back, Sharla was beaming at us. Space — it's a good thing. This school teaches these sorts of things in addition to regular classroom topics.


Since I was driving by anyway, I decided to stop and pick up a few things. My pantry may not always be full, but the pets must have food. And it's nice to have fruit in the house.

I also wanted to shop for my own gift. I really want a steam cleaning system for the floors. I am tired of mopping and having my hands in water wringing a mop. I mean this is the 21st Century! Do any of you have a good recommendation? I have been checking online and many steamers get a bad rap. Biss*ll comes out pretty good. I'd really like to have one that does more than one thing — not only floors, but also showers, drapes, and upholstery. So if you have a suggestion for me, please share. I'm all ears.

Now I must be off to bathe the dog. Such exciting times at the Haven.

A good Wednesday to you...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Magnet Winners

It's late Sunday afternoon as I write this after a full day of making magnets. My refrigerator has a bad case of magnet measles.

The winner of a set of three magnets is Nadine @ Nadine's Nook. Congrats, Nadine!

And in no particular order, each of the following have also won a magnet:

1. Kate @ Postcards From a Real Life
2. Kathleen @ Cuisine Kathleen
3. Susan @Savoring Time in the Kitchen
4. Vickie @ Sand Flat Farm
5. Diane at Daylily Dreamin' (a private blog)

(And not necessarily the ones pictured. =D )

Congrats, Ladies!

If you'll send me your snail mail addy, I'll get these out to you this week.

But wait! There's more! I'd like to send each person who commented, who wished to participate, a magnet. It may take awhile months, but I'll work my way down through the list beginning with those whose addresses I have so send them along.

Congrats, everyone! Cheers all around...


Wasn't Downton Abbey good? I mean except for... Sigh. Another year? I don't know what we'll ever do.

Love Vee

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Blue Dream of Sky

I thank you, God, for this most amazing day...for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. ~ e.e. cummings

Enjoy a lovely weekend!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Delights from Quill Cottage

Remember when I was having fun while participating in Miss Sandy's Challenge at Quill Cottage? I won the challenge...not based on the product, no, no, based on a draw. In fact, all the participants won something that day. Miss Sandy is generous to a fault. You should hang out there!

I apologize in advance for the light quality. It was evening by the time I received my package...it was brought to me while I was napping in fact. And this morning has brought gray, rainy skies. You know when I pull out Photoscape's Gradient 6 that I'm trying to make a not-so-good photo better.

The Prize

Beautiful Collage

 Exquisite Details

 Harness Your Dreams

 Write a Book

 More Gifts

Dreamy Ephemera

Darling Tag

Never has a gift more perfectly expressed such lofty thoughts and goals. Our dreams, those things which we think of most often, are God-given. Did you know that? We do not dream without His having placed it in our hearts. So we must pay close attention to our dreams. 

Thank you, Miss Sandy, for your incredible generosity of talent and spirit. I you!

So, have you guessed that my dream is to write a book? I'm not even concerned about publishing it, I just want to finish it. More on that another day. What dream are you holding dear?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Of Bread and Bread Making Machines

I've come to my blog today looking for information about when I might have purchased my bread machine. Have you heard? It croaked. Made that last loaf of brown bread and then kaput. I found out on Valentine's Day when I was trying to make some more brown bread. Perhaps God has spoken: There'll be no more brown bread for you, Vee. You obviously can't handle it.

I remember that I purchased the bread machine at B*d, B*ath, and B*yond, that I said, "no, thank you" to the extended warranty, that it was about a year ago, and that it is/was an 0st*r. I have made fewer than ten loaves of bread and so we have had some very expensive loaves indeed. And so many of them were duds, too. Wah!

Wouldn't you know that last night while perusing Pinterest...yes, I'm as addicted as anyone else...I found a recipe that I want very much to try. It's one of those mix it up and don't have to knead it ones. Trouble is, I don't have a giant mixer. On the outside chance that you're interested in looking at these wonderful loaves—
English Muffin Bread

Do you believe, like I do, that products have a planned obsolescence?

Edited to Add: Thank you for your suggestions to contact 0st*er. I am going to do it! I'll let you know how it goes.

Edited to Add Again: Thank you so much! They are going to replace it in 6 to 8 days! Yippee!! I do love my commenters.


I am still in the magnet business. Have now cut up my brand new Country Living magazine. There really is no higher purpose for it. My favorite magnets are Abraham Lincoln, a little home in the glen, and some script.

Oops, upside down script...

Right side up

Next time I shop for floral glass, I may look for clearer pieces, though the flaws do lend to the charm. I really enjoyed anything "state" related or historical. It was also fun to find enough similar patterns to create a set as I did with these.

Have you figured out where all this is going? ;> Yes, I'd love to create a set of three for you based on what I find at your blog (yes, you must have a blog). Just comment. No following needed. I'll send them anywhere. Shhhh, don't tell anybody. This is an offer just for those who wander in. A winner will be selected Saturday evening. 

A wonderful Thursday to you...


Thank you! Comments are now closed. Winner to be announced Monday.