A Haven for Vee

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Azalea Sky~Azalea Door~Mosaic Monday

~Mosaic using Photoscape~

~Mosiac using FotoFlexer~
Path to EZ Collage
1. Click on link above
2. Select language
3. Allow to load and select "start flexing"
4. Make choice. I use "Edit From My Computer"
5. EZ Collage is last option on the right
6. Menu opens and asks about the photo you've uploaded.
7. I select "do not save" because I'm going to have to start from scratch in Fotoflexer anyway
8. Select your layout from the left side
9. Upload photos
10. Choose decorative options. Play and have fun!

While visiting Shabby Blogs this week, I found another online photo editing program called FotoFlexer. Unlike Photoscape, it does not require downloading to your computer. It has a simple mosiac program that allows the addition of graphics such as the little butterfly you see above. Kid stuff! Love it.

How I wish that azaleas lasted for weeks instead of days... The blossoms are already spent and making a pink carpet in the garden.

Linking to Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday. A pleasant week to you...

Not by Might nor Power

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Greening

~Almost Azaleas — Taken outside from my Front Lawn~

~Left View~Middle View~Right View~
Print: Back Porch Gathering~John Rossini

Yesterday, I noticed the change in light and color. Everything beyond my windows was glowing and greening. Once again, the views can be enjoyed because of the new neighbor who cares for his yard. You see, I am nearly completely dependent upon my neighbors for the view. These narrow windows are great for the level of privacy — I want no curtains — and for the way they frame these small views.

 ~Left View — Trees~

 ~Middle View— A Big White Barn Through the Trees~

~Right View — Same blue roof as in first photo~

Hopefully, we're coming into a week of rain where the drought, both inside and out, will be addressed. There's much to do in the house that I've not felt like doing and the lawns and plants certainly need some rain. 

If I am a bit scarce over the next week, think nothing of it. (You're all a bit scarce, too. ☺)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Happy Day!

~My Daughter-in-law's Tulips~

The standing joke of yesterday was that I would rather take photos of tulips, clouds, trees, and anything rather than a little boy who was in perpetual motion. Tulips don't waggle their fingers in their ears. Oh we laughed about that every time.

~Wiggle Worm~   

The grand, fresh from the doctor just the day before, had been given the okay to do whatever he felt he was up to. Did he feel like running?

Oh yes!

Quiet pursuits were mixed in, too. He chalked a heart-shaped rock and presented it to me declaring it his finest work.

I will cherish it.

Let's just say that he was indefatigable and led us through a merry day of hopscotch, soccer, hide n'seek, monkey in the middle, chalk drawings, a picnic, and supper with his brother now in tow. I had long since set the camera aside! A happy day...the one he had long waited for...love how that boy talks!

I'll be limping about a bit today. I may have to hire him for a personal trainer!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thinking Like a Kid

It's been awhile since last I enjoyed a Nonni Day. By the time you're reading this, we'll have picked up Sam and be off having breakfast at our Eggsceptionally Good Breakfast Nook. I'm thinking Eggs Benedict for a change. John will have two double yolkers, two pieces of toast, hash browns, and sausage. The coffee will flow. (Sam will have a chocolate chip pancake and a glass of juice. Of this, I'm fairly certain.)

It was lovely meeting new bloggers yesterday and looking at wonderful photos and hearing from several that this challenge makes them want to take better pictures. Me, too! (Next month's party is May 16th.)

Yesterday, John's sister blessed him with a little photo of his former self. Gosh, he's so cute I want to kiss him!

When you see photos like this do you wonder whatever became of the little guy? What did he grow up to become? Wonder no more...

Then and Now

Not many little boys grow up to be reindeer! (You just know that I'll be sharing this with Sam!)

(Many thanks to Picnik for all the fun I've been having lately. It'll be missed.)

Do you have a childhood photo of your beloved?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Note Card Party~April

Welcome to this month's Note Card Party!

 a clinker?

This has been a challenge. My abilities have been improving over considerable amounts of time. Even though I have nearly five years of photos in storage on this blog, I have precious few of any merit. These photos have all appeared in former Aprils. I hope that there's no repeat of that last scene this year! (Yes, I added the note card feature from Photoscape.)

Rules Refresher:

1. Let's try not to make too many rules... ☺
2. Search for four photographs on your own blog that would make a nice set of note cards. They must have appeared on your blog by the time you link up. 
3. Write your post.
4. Link directly to your post below. 
5. Visit ten or so others (at least) and comment. Knowing that new visitors are viewing and commenting is part of the fun. (Permission granted to look and not comment at blogs practicing safe commenting. All those word verifications get very tiring when trying to visit a lot of blogs.)
6. Have fun!

This is going to be so much fun!


Back Yard Tour

Last evening was so lovely and warm that we opened the patio doors and just listened to the *peepers.* Then I decided to take you on the 90-second tour of the back yard. It's impressive. Okay, not so much.

Please note the far lawn in the first video all cleaned with the garbage removed. The poor new owner found five deer carcasses under the tarps at the edge there. Good heavens! The things some people do.

The forsythia behind the barn and a walk beneath the Eastern spruce. This is the path where the grands like to play. 

The final circle back up the little knoll to the deck and a little pal waiting for me at the door.

Mr. Linky will be up tonight between 8 and 8:30 for this month's Note Card Party and will remain open throughout tomorrow.

Have a wonderful Tuesday...

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Merry Heart and All That

Suzanne shared a wonderful video this morning if anyone needs a chuckle. (From what I can see this morning, a few of us do.) I have been in an exceptionally good mood this morning. It started with my singing a scripture song that nearly sent me into hysterics atop of being thrilled with the vivid yellow forsythia bells blooking blooming in the back yard. Anyway, the mood was further heightened by *that fun video* at Suzanne's.

The hysterics?

When I'm feeling achy, as today I am because of yard work yesterday, I often sing this phrase:

"...when I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun, O, Lord, have mercy on me."

Yes, well that's how it is supposed to go, but for some crazy reason, I've been singing it this way instead:

"...when I fall on my face with my knees to the rising sun."


I think my brain needs a rewiring.


Anyone else been playing at picnik before they close forever in just three days? I have at BJ's suggestion.

Have been noting the difference between her beautiful headers and my not-so-beautiful headers. She does hers on picnik and I do mine in Photoshop and Photoscape.

Here's a comparison:

< Edited to add: Might have been interesting, but it's long gone now. >

Carry on and feel free to let me know if you have a preference!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Forsythia~Mosaic Monday

It's only the lowly forsythia and mostly the same photo as in my header. That's just how taken with it I am. Funny how this coming season of flowers delights me year after year. And I am thrilled to be joining the rest of the country with some flowers of my own. At last!

As for the hand painted forysthia plate in the corners, no markings.

Though I may get lost in my fairy tale for a bit, I do plan to join Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

When Trouble Comes

 You can go to him for protection. 

   He will cover you like a bird spreading its wings over its babies. 

   You can trust him to surround and protect you like a shield. 

~Psalm 91:4

Tornado season...I don't like it. So many of my friends live in Tornado Alley. Take care. You are in my thoughts and prayers today. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

John Writes a Poem

Nature rarer uses yellow
Than another hue;
Saves she all of that for sunsets,—

Spending scarlet like a woman,
Yellow she affords
Only scantly and selectly,
Like a lover's words.

~Emily Dickinson

(Gotta wonder if Emily ever saw a dandelion.) Well, that's all good and nice, Emily, but my beloved went into action when he heard me muttering about poets not working much with "forsythia." I could give them some grace, I suppose, for the challenge of such a word.


When it's springtime in Maine
And the weather is in a dither
Hang onto your hat
And go check the forsythia

If the leaves are green
And the flowers are blooming
Get out your lawnmower 
And give it a good tuning.


love it!

[Edited for the purpose of having the better picture at the top. Let's see if this works.]

~checking the forsythia~

~a little~

~a little more~


Yes, more than enough! 

Come on now, tell me, has your beloved ever written a poem for you? 

Friday, April 13, 2012

News and Other News

Saving my good news (so good) for last because I don't want you leaving me too soon.

Yesterday, I felt as if I were in a real life game of Hide'n Seek. I wandered listlessly down through my friends' blogs and no one was home. For hours. I called, "Come out, come out wherever you are!" Chirrup. Later in the day, I discovered that you all had better things to do.

Yeah? Well so do I. Just consider today a little more of the same old, same old that you were dished yesterday. Don't forget! I have good news coming (so good).

~Best Early View of the Morning~

I'm noticing that the jelly cupboard is getting chipped. Does that mean more character or time for a paint job? Just thinking aloud, Dear One, no need to answer.

Remember how I told you that the forsythia wasn't blooming? Well it's still not, but it will bloom before another day is past.

In another scintillating decorating mention — this could become a regular feature, aren't you thrilled? — I present to you the light switch.

~Before and After~

I'm going to miss my Christmas switch. That house looks exactly like one I see daily, minus the snow, the lantern, the gifts, the lovely purply light.

Wait! Sometimes we do have purply light.

~Purply Light ? ~

Okay, so it's really not so purply. What would you call it? Smoky blue? Mariner blue? Blue?

I was visiting Raising Jane yesterday where she linked to a great site that features letters. I found the best letter ever! It was from C.S. Lewis to a young fan in Florida. He gave her the secrets of writing! Can you believe it? He has a list of suggestions that I have been trying very, very, very hard to follow. Okay, not so much, but I'll do better. You can find that letter *here.*

Now, if that's all the good news I had to share, you might not think it enough. It is, though, trust me on that. My big, so good, good news for those who haven't yet found her again... Brin is back! *My-Messy-Thrilling-Life Brin!* 

Yes, and there's other good news, too... a new 14th generation American grandbaby. Congrats to Jill and Bernie and the new parents, too, of course!

There are some little grandbabies—four of them, not yet born, who belong to Linda who are standing in need of ongoing prayer. We are praying. If you pray, please read their story *here.* 

All these links should provide lots of reading for a lazy Saturday afternoon. What? It's NOT Saturday yet? 

Forget it.

A good Friday to you...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nothing Much to Say and I'll Say It Anyway

I've been humming Oh the barnyard is busy in a regular tizzy... all morning long. This means just one thing: I've been visiting S*san Br*nch a lot! It's lovely over there. A wonderful recounting of her life on the island and plans for a trip to the British Isles. Sometimes I find myself sighing when visiting S.B.

And our "barnyard" is pretty busy, too. Fioré (the cat) has gone plumb crazy. We find her in the strangest places. She's not allowed on counters or tables, yet we find her there all the time. The carnations were moved because she chows down on them as if they were catnip. We've taken to calling her Seabiscuit for her love of eating flowers and, what's worse, she has absolutely no remorse.

The only tree blossoming around here is in that print above that John brought me from the flea market several years ago now.

In other scintillating decorating news, I removed all the things from the bay window. That seed packet garland was the proverbial straw... I packed away the fabric banner and repositioned the seed packet garland on the light above the table. Fascinating stuff, say what?

The only forsythia blooming are the forced branches I keep lopping off and bringing in. There may be nothing left on the bushes when it does come into forsythia season.


Last night, I worked on my next set of note cards for the note card party coming up next week — the 18th to be exact with sign-up beginning the evening before, if you choose. Some mention how difficult it is to limit the photos to four. I find it difficult to find four that complement each other enough to be considered a set. I really enjoyed working on the project. (It's fun to wander back through the pages of one's own blog.) If you participated last time, I hope that you will be able to again and, if you didn't, I hope that you'll try it. The more the merrier!

Thanks so much for sharing your favorite poems and poets with me. I either nodded my head in recognition or went scurrying for the poetry books. Fun!

Hope that you have things blooming in your corner...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Poetry in April

Thanks to Pat at Mille Fiori Favoriti, I know that April is National Poetry month. Did she tell you, too? I think that every month is poetry month at MFF because Pat is so good with sharing poetry and photographs that each post is like poetry. True. I try not to flatter preferring praise instead. Pat's blog is praise-worthy. Did you see yesterday's post?

According to Poets dot org, there are thirty things one can do to honor poetry this month. You can find those suggestions *here*, if you are interested. Some are intriguing.


It was some time ago now that Leslie Land recommended a book of poetry and memoirs to me: The Wild Braid by Stanley Kunitz with Genine Lentine. The subtitle is "A Poet Reflects on A Century in the Garden." Leslie was encouraging me to think of those centenarians who've arrived at their 100th year with their minds intact, unravaged by bitterness or disease. Mr. Kunitz was such a man and his book is a delightful read; anyone who enjoys a garden or gardening would appreciate his reflections.

Now I wrote the editors of the book a long time ago requesting permission to share this snatch of his poetry. I received no response. Editors are busy. Now I'll just fall back on the old adage: It's easier to do what you want and beg forgiveness later than to request permission.

The city squats on my back.
I am heart-sore, stiff-necked,
exasperated. That's why
I slammed the door,
that's why I tell you now,
In every house of marriage
there's room for an interpreter.

~from Route Six by Stanley Kunitz

Do you want to share your favorite poem with me? Mine is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, though I certainly enjoy Edna St. Vincent Millay, Jane Kenyon, Emily Dickinson, even Longfellow. How about you?

A delightful day to you...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chickadee Whisperer

It's been very cold in my corner. Bitter. It's been like March weather we should have had in, let's say, March. We have snow flurries and even if temps climb a little, the wind goes right through our clothes and chills the bones.

This is a little chickadee I found sitting in the forsythia bushes. I didn't have my camera when I first saw him and was very surprised to find him waiting when I returned. He was so close...about three feet away. I couldn't figure out if he felt trapped in the thicket or if I might be a Chickadee Whisperer.

~Are you looking at me?~

~Such a Handsome Fellow~

~Darling Face~

Stay Warm Now

We enjoyed a good Easter with family. Because of the weather and limitations of a grandson's broken leg, it was more tame than some. My daughter planned a real life "I Spy" Game where the entire living room looked like a page in a Where's Waldo book. Wish that I had taken pictures! Hope that your day was wonderful, too.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Little Discussion

More Paska baking today and yard clean-up. Plus my darling made me a handy-dandy trash picker-upper and now when I go walking, I can also do a bit of cleaning up. I have grumbled so about the litter along the sides of the road that I feel compelled to change it. Easy enough with this little tool. Lady Bird Johnson had one of the best and most meaningful projects ever when she was the First Lady: Keep America Beautiful. It worked for a long, long time and how I wish that we could get back to that ideal.

Oh, nearly forgot this resource I found yesterday for meaningful things to do with children at Easter time. Thanks, Deanna, for mentioning the Empty Tomb Garden because it made me so curious I had to Google. I found one at Happy Home Fairy right *here.* (This blogger's family just welcomed a new bunny to the nest. I was so surprised to see that this morning.) Anyway, check out her sidebar as there are lots of neat and meaningful projects for children.

So this is where I leave you until sometime next week. (I think.) Have a truly blessed Easter.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Seed Packet Garland, Et Cetera

I switched to the New Interface just before I started this post last night. I remember being none too happy with it the first time around so I'm hoping that the bugs have all been worked out. When I saw that there'd be no choice and everyone would be switched to the new interface in April, I decided to jump instead of be pushed.


  ~lining up my dollar store seed packets~

 ~pulling Hug Snug through punched holes with a bodkin~

I like the look of my new seed packet banner in tandem with everything else that's going on in the bay window, but my photography skills need work and this is the best I can do to show you how it looks. At one point, I thought I had the whole window/room photography thing figured out. Nope. If it ever comes together, I'll pop another photo in.


Played with place settings yesterday and have decided to use the pink depression glass. Not sure what I'll use for the actual plate and I'm going to have to move on to Plan B with the tablecloth as well.  Decisions, decisions. Have you got your Easter plans all figured out?

Once I get back from my walk, I'm going to do a little blog reading and then start baking Paska. I want to give some away to some dear ones who need life to sweeten up a bit. This recipe can do that!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Love Vee

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Early Morning Walk

Up early, I stripped the bed and made it up again with a fleece sheet bottom and a crisp white cotton sheet top. My morning cup of coffee was waiting for me by the time I arrived in the kitchen. John had already been downtown for the paper and was seated at the table reading intently, sipping his coffee every so often.

I popped a piece of 12-grain bread into the toaster, measured out my tablespoon of peanut butter, and then leaned back into the cabinet waiting. I decided to feed the pets; they always appreciate my remembering, and while I nibbled on my peanut butter toast, I wandered about the house looking for my shoes.

For in those few short moments I had decided to go for a morning walk. Perhaps reading about Happyone's morning walks had influenced me. I have enjoyed her descriptions of spring mornings and wondered if I might find anything of interest. That, and I had nothing planned here at the blog. =D

I was not disappointed. The birds were in full song. Try as I might to capture one's photo, I could not. I took a number of photos of tree tops and managed to miss every single soprano and a tenor or two. The chickadees were singing their spring song, "Phoebe, Phoebe, Phoebe."

The river beckoned, I could hear the water gushing over the rocks. When I arrived there, I didn't see a lot of "over the rocks" action at all. This is a bit concerning as  there are fears of a drought. I did see the sun on the water and took a careful shot lest I put your eye out.

Do you see the garbage? Ugh. Why do I feel compelled to point it out?

~A reflection of the old mill and a gnarled root system exposed.~

No flowers, lots of birdsong, brisk morning air (30F), and bright sunshine—exhausting. ☺ I turned for home and found Haven waiting.

Have a great Tuesday. Have you been for an early morning walk lately?

Monday, April 2, 2012


Some gals get excited about the real thing. Me? I got so excited about these little chickies you wouldn't believe. They're a gift from my daughter who purchased them nearly a decade ago, tossed them into a drawer, and they just got out yesterday. I think they're happy, too. This is definitely a case of the bottom of the vase being more interesting than the top.

Look at those darling expressions! They really should be careful, though. Every time I walk past, I think that they look good enough to eat.

What's your favorite Easter decoration?

Love Vee

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Maple Syrup Season Ends~Mosaic Monday

This afternoon, Fioré and I watched as the maple syrup buckets and taps were removed from the trees. Okay, Fioré mostly goofed off.

Don't the trees look naked now?

What a disappointing season for the maple syrup harvesters. Hope that next year is a better one for them.

Joining Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.