A Haven for Vee
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Posted by Vee at 7:04 AM
Monday, December 30, 2013
~Before and (Nearly) After the Tree~
~John opening a book—always a good way to keep one occupied~
~Her favorite color this year~
~The Grands with Mom and Dad~
fascinating chit-chat between John, Michelle, and Me while watching the sledders~
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
I thank God for Christmas. Would that it lasted all year. For on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, all the world is a better place, and men and women are more lovable. Love itself seeps into every heart, and miracles happen.
I wish my corner looked this way. Instead, we have the dreaded ice that has coated everything in its path for the past three days. How a thing can simultaneously be so beautiful and so treacherous...
Yesterday, both grandsons and I played Monopoly for an hour and then the younger divested himself of his monies and holdings. ☺ The elder played on for an additional hour. I have not played Monopoly in nearly thirty years! (And certainly not for that length of time.) Fun times.
It may be that I am over and out for several days. It's not easy playing games, preparing for Christmas, and visiting my Blogdom friends. May your Christmas be merry and blessed!
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
After the grands have gone home with their dad, I sometimes find the sweetest treasures. This one, for example. I am impressed by the spelling and the subtle inquiry into Santa's health and that of his reindeer. The go mango had me stumped for a minute, but I figured it out.
How have you been? How are your reindeer? Are they in good shape? Then go, man, go!
Ahhh, very good advice for us all at this point I'm thinking. Have a great weekend!
Friday, December 20, 2013
Oh dear! We've already lost a few who are putting up their ♪Merry Christmas♪ posts and saying so long until 2014. Why does it sound so far away when it is only the week after next?!
Well I plan to hang in there for the long haul if at all possible. In fact, I'm beginning to feel a little like this melted snowman cookie (made by my sister). Sadly, he seems to have had an unfortunate
Yesterday, I was reminded all over again that God laughs when we tell Him our plans or that life is what happens while we're making other plans.
I had no sooner struck out for my shopping day when the car began to shudder and shake. I had to turn back and praised God that I made it. So John, bless his heart, pushed me into his truck (almost literally) and hauled me off.
Vroommm...rumble...trumble...rattle...shake... down the road we went. If you've ever seen Mrs. Bucket (that's pronounced bouquet), you'll imagine what I felt like in John's work truck. Ackkk... It's a little less fun hauling home the gifts and groceries in the bed of a truck. Not to mention that I did not look one bit dignified climbing into or falling out of said truck.
While shopping, John received a call that the furnace was down at his rent. It was an easy fix, but the point is that it's always one thing or your mother...sister, brother, daughter, father...fill in the blank. It's why Jesus came to this world. We need Him! We sure do!
Posted by Vee at 10:07 AM
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Posted by Vee at 7:38 AM
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
~Norman Vincent Peale
~photo from 2011~
A package all the way from the UK brought the wee banner above and the Christmas ornament below. Someone has been crafting. I love them! Thank you, Linds ♥!
Monday, December 16, 2013
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Yesterday morning found two figures walking bent into a stiff wind carrying the paraphernalia required for setting up a small spray. We were some kind of cold! I asked John later how far we had walked and he began with a mathematical equation, the likes of which I had never heard, and finally concluded that it was about a half a mile all told. I don't know. What I do know is that I should pay attention to those nighttime warnings.
We have both been quite busy. John has been working at his shop in this bitter cold, but did this drilling for my project right here at home.
There are a number of these to do. I will put names on many and Christmas phrases. This is a Pinterest idea. The method I used was to stamp the disk first and then retrace and fill in with a brown Sharpie.
Nothing is wasted...not the bittersweet from Thanksgiving nor the twig ends from the birch saplings. Now I must gather the greens and fast — a blizzard is coming! *This idea* from Rosella was so darling that I copied her!
Friday, December 13, 2013
Time once again for Donna's Personal Photo Challenge! The topic this month is light and the title is
Let There Be Light.
The reason I am including the photo below again is because of the hidden backlight. It has made me enjoy and appreciate this vignette ever so much more than if I could see all the twinkly lights, which I feel would distract. (There are other times when I feel that lights add to a vignette so don't call me!)
I did set up the tripod for the shot above. The two below were taken without the use of a tripod.
~a study in contrasts~
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Here I am, a mere three days into caring for my grands after school, and I already have a story.
I live on a street that apparently is something of a nightmare for a schoolbus since the street is narrow and winter only makes it worse; there's also an S curve. Bottom line is that the grandchildren can not be delivered directly to my home.
And, because I am unwilling to hang out on a corner a block down the street (pitbulls running amok, freezing temps, icy roads), it means that I must fetch them a little after three in the afternoon.
I tried the picking-them-up-in-
the-school-lobby thing on Monday and Tuesday. Have you been in a school lobby lately? (Imagine what it might be like! Talk about chaos and confusion. I don't know how anyone functions there.) I decided to request that the boys be dropped off at their own home not five minutes from school and I would pick them up there thus avoiding the entire school lobby scene.
Yesterday was my first day to get to their driveway; their home is even closer than the school; it would be so easy to receive them directly from the schoolbus. Fine. It should have been fine. I was more than fifteen minutes early after all.
Unfortunately, just as I reached the railroad crossing, the lights began to flash and a train blasted its horn and thus began my nightmare. The train stopped on the tracks doing goodness knows what. I was beside myself and praying most desperately for The Lord to allow the bus to be late, for the bus driver to recognize the crazy woman in the Impala with its blinking headlights or whatever it would have to be. I prayed more in that ten minutes of time than I have in weeks as the train fiddle-flipped back and forth, back and forth without ever clearing the crossing.
I was nearing a meltdown when I called John. He could access their home from the other side. His cell phone rang and rang and rang. No answer!
Praying, praying, looking beneath the train for signs of a bus on the other side. Plenty of pickle prayers going heavenward. Finally, finally, the train backed up to where it had been when it blew its horn in the first place. I gunned the car and got across those tracks with the RR lights still flashing red — don't mess with me, Mr. Engineer. You're not going to fiddle-flip around when I've got grandkids being dropped off over there. The baby grand is autistic. I'm going! You can not stop me!
I turned into the drive seconds later with nary a sign of a school bus on the horizon. I breathed a prayer of thanksgiving. I was safe. Safe! (Even if my heart was still pounding out of my chest.) I hopped out to pick up the spare booster seat and heard children's voices in the barn. With mounting horror, I realized that those voices belonged to my grands. My grands! They were in the barn!
They called out in their sweet sing-song voices, "We get out of school an hour earlier on Wednesdays."
What?! I truly thought I was going to faint. Keel over. They'd have to revive me with cold snow in my face. It was going to be awful.
Just when I was sinking down, I saw my daughter's face in the barn loft door. Thanks be to God! They had not been alone all that time!
The rest of the story:
Auntie was home having decided to take the day off. As she was fetching a bag of pellets in the barn, she heard the bus, looked out, and realized that it was just waiting so she ran down the drive and got the boys off the bus. If she had been upstairs in her apartment, there would not have been enough time to meet them at the bus. They were all happily playing basketball in the loft when I arrived.
Here I was praying that I'd be there in time for that bus and I was already over an hour late. (My son forgot to inform me of this entire Wednesday early dismissal thing. Yes, in fairness, he had mentioned it several weeks ago when we were first discussing the boys hanging out with me after school, but I am olden and need a reminder. The last thing I heard from him Tuesday night was to be there at 3:30.)
All that worry and suffering and God had everything under control all the time. He knew that the boys get out of school early on Wednesdays. He knew that I was going to forget. He knew that my son was going to forget to remind me. Auntie stayed home, which is highly unusual. She may think that she stayed home to study for a test. I think she stayed home because God wanted to keep the boys from feeling frightened.
(I am told that if no one had been home, the boys would not have been allowed off the bus. They would have continued on the bus route and been taken back to school where their mother (my daughter-in-law) would have been notified at work. They would have been fine. I, however, would have required an ambulance. ☺)
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
~Skating Party Circa 1912~
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Doesn't everything look better when decorated for Christmas? I always think so. And even though my tree is wearing only lights, icicles, garland, and pinecones, I think it is done. That's the joy of decorating slowly. I might better learn when a thing is finished.
Early last Saturday morning, John and I were making the trek to Portland, an hour's drive south. Our mission was a string of lights to match the others on our tree for, as you recall, the mid-section went out. Target had them and they also had the tea lights that John was using for the birch log candle holders.
We noticed immediately that the greater Portland area had received snow when we had not. The sun shone at that 9 am angle on the perfectly decorated little evergreens lining I-95. So very pretty. It would have taken us hours to decorate that way. All of our decorations are very poor imitations of what The Lord does every day. I was reminded of this again this morning when the eastern sky glowed vivid pinks and golds for all of thirty seconds before fading to gray.
The Nativity nestled between oil lamps and sharing a shelf with the radio. Odd juxtaposition. I probably shouldn't be finished. One day, I may have an updated Nativity set that more accurately represents the story. Blond Mary? How embarrassing! ☺☺☺
The final incarnation of the China Cupboard top. This is my home's mantel. The first place one's eyes rest upon entering. I think I'm done.
Yup, that's half the battle—knowing when the decorating is a done deal.
It has been so much fun visiting in Blogdom and seeing the beautiful decorations. And how about you? Are you finished?
Monday, December 9, 2013
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
Three and a half hours later, we still had not figured those lights out. At that point, I mentioned strawberry muffins and John said, "Sure!" I used a Mennonite Gal's recipe (Kathy's) for *Blueberry Crumble Muffins* minus the blueberries and crumble. Instead, I put a generous dollop of strawberry jam in the center. Very tasty.
So there she still sits unadorned and looking pitiful. We had planned to fetch lights this morning; however, the weather just isn't cooperating. My niece was here last night using her powers of setting things to rights and it proved even too difficult for her. No, she is not a fairy godmother; She is just great with all things electrical...usually.
The rest of the aprons showed up! I am learning to be grateful for small successes these days.
Even the apothecary is filling slowly.
All is coming together, but really, Christmas is soooo very close that I am feeling the nerves.
Okay, are we down here far enough? Oh those people? Lesley Ann Warren and her prince from the 1965 version of Cinderella. Yes, I am old enough to remember that program well. I don't know what night of the week it aired, but I do remember being allowed to watch and enjoying it very much. I always thought that Lesley was so very pretty and I still do.
So dare we discuss The Sound of Music? I'll go first. I had company for the first bit so wasn't watching closely; I dozed there for fifteen minutes or so; I tried not to compare any of the players to the movie actors or the story itself to the movie, but wound up doing so anyway. In the end, one was a movie and the other a stage production and quite a remarkable one at that so comparing wasn't fair. I'd have to say that it lacked a certain pizzazz for me, but I still found the final scenes gripping. The stresses of that time always make an impression on me.
If you'd like, you can scroll through photos of the live performance *here.*
What did you think?
Posted by Vee at 9:21 AM
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Being a copy cat is one of my favorite things. I owe this idea to Melissa at The Inspired Room. Now her decor is inspiring! This little branch gets a work out around here, though. Until yesterday, I'd never tied it to anything. I'll probably fiddle with this some more in a few days.
The bowl is one that was given to John's parents on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary around 1958. I'm happy to include it in our decorations this year.
I used my vintage German Christmas bulbs. When can we call something vintage anyway? (These are over 40 years old. Maybe they are just old.) The little bells in the first photo are also German.
“I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”
Posted by Vee at 7:16 AM