A Haven for Vee

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Unless you are educated in metaphor, you are not safe to be let loose in the world. ~Robert Frost

Goodness, what a difference a day or two makes. Just look at it these future skating rinks!

(These photos were taken just this morning. Yesterday's photos had been taken on Tuesday morning. In light of these revolting developments, my winter tree and lights make me happy — very cheering.)

We went to bed with the pattering of rain on the roof and woke to a banshee wind swirling about the house and demanding to be let in.

So where was I? Oh, yes, metaphor. I love metaphor (simile, too) and do not use either as often as I would like. Language is filled with it. Sometimes we're aware and other times we pay no attention. Scripture is filled with it. When we do stop to notice, we can appreciate it and understand on a deeper level. Who can not appreciate Psalms 23 or the phrase from Ephesians 4:  "He has led Captivity captive"? If that doesn't provide more understanding, I don't know what could. Do you have a favorite metaphor?


Some made me laugh yesterday when you thought that Mr. Buechner's words were my own. What a lovely compliment! However, I wish to point out that I used the block quote feature (that's the blue quote button on the tool bar third from the end). That button can be used whenever one is quoting a passage of a few sentences or more. It sets the entire quote in from the usual paragraph. To further emphasize it, I put the quote in italics and used a different color. Of course, I also added the writer's name.

If you know anything more about our tool bar, fill me in please. For example, I have no idea what the next button does. (It removes formatting...scary!)

A wonderful day to you...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Snow of Home

You wake up on a winter morning and pull up the shade and what lay there the evening before is no longer there—the sodden gray yard, the dog droppings, the tire tracks in the frozen mud, the broken lawn chair you forgot to take in last fall. All this disappeared overnight, and what you look out on is not the snow of Narnia but the snow of home, which is no less shimmering and white as it falls. The earth is covered with it, and it is falling still in silence so deep that you can hear its silence. It is snow to be shoveled, to make driving worse than usual, snow to be joked about and cursed at, but unless the child in you is entirely dead, it is snow, too, that can make your heart beat faster when it catches you by surprise that way, before your defenses are up. It is snow that can awaken memories of things more wonderful than anything you ever knew or dreamed. ~Frederick Buechner   
 ~east, north, and west in my early morning neighborhood~

~looking south at our wee haven~

~footsteps in the snow, Molly waiting on the deck, clogs on the rocks~

< Video Removed ~ Falling Snow Doesn't Show ~ Please Take My Word ☺ >
~Trees Shedding Snow~


Thanks so much for sharing all your fun school days' stories with me yesterday. Such delightful reads and John and I had a great time laughing over them.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Gold Tack

Shhhh...don't tell anyone...Bobby's going to put a tack in Miss Flaubert's chair!

I was, as the class prude and very good girl, appropriately shocked; however, I said nothing, told no one. Perhaps that was because I liked Bobby a whole lot more than I liked Miss Flaubert. She was our French teacher and was she ever strict!
She often called us names (in French, of course) that I'm pretty sure weren't nice.

Reporting one comment to my mother had not proved to be as helpful as I had hoped because my mother agreed with Miss Flaubert. Mother would often say, "I do not know how you came to be in such a rough class." We were sadly known as "terrors." Can you imagine?!

On that winter day (I know that it was winter because Miss Flaubert was wearing a thick wool skirt, A-line I believe), we took our seats in French class right after lunch, all except for Bobby who managed to place that tack on the teacher's chair and hightail it back to his desk just before Miss Flaubert came in. She greeted us, "Bonjour mes petits crétins." Yes, I'm fairly certain that that was what she said. Then she headed for her desk in the left front corner of the room.

Every eye was wide. Every heart pounded. My face was flushed. I wasn't feeling so well.

She pulled out her chair and, while watching us — after all, she had never had such an attentive group — sat down slowly.

Oh it was agonizing. The entire class leaned forward waiting. Nothing. Not a sound in the room except for a small strangled cough from Bobby. She shifted in her seat. We gasped a bit, I think. Nothing. No hint of trouble whatsoever. Then she took her text and went to the chalkboard where she stood writing sentences in French and all the while a small gold tack glinted at us from her wool-skirted posterior.

I do believe that my class suffered a collective nervous breakdown that day. Bobby was the most afflicted. It may have been the very day that he decided to take up a career in psychology.*

As Miss Flaubert turned to ask Bobby if he'd like to go get some water, the tack fell to the floor without so much as a plink.

[I told this true story to my grandson Sunday. He had such an incredulous look on his face, was shocked at all the right places, and even covered his mouth in wide-eyed horror. It was very satisfying. I'm not sure that my son appreciated my telling the story, though I am sure that Sam would never do such a thing.]

Now, if any of you decide to share a story about school days, I'm all ears. =D

* (Yes, would you believe that he is a well respected psychologist today?!)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Of Breadsticks, Pirates, Books, and Puzzles

Documenting a long overdue birthday party of sorts. My daughter-in-law has been ill with the flu much of the month, along with her mother and sister. One of the grands got it; the other is still vertical. My son has managed to stay vertical as well. Illness made getting together to celebrate a six- and seven-year old a challenge. At least we made it while it was still January.

Carol first mentioned a recipe for breadsticks *here* and I was intrigued because my grandsons love them. I remembered being out for lunch recently with one who scarfed them down and didn't eat much of his pizza when it arrived. I decided then and there that I could happily give up the pizza as well and have breadsticks and salad or soup and be perfectly content.

**The recipe I used was found *here* and it does come very close to its claim of being a P*zza H*t knock-off. Not quite, but close. Each one of those pieces was sliced into strips on the diagonal. What I loved about it was the speed of it. Mix up the bread dough, allow to rise for just 15 minutes and bake it off for 25 minutes. An hour from start to finish was perfect! I used a jar of marinara for the dipping sauce and it was great.

{**Edited to Add: January 28, 2020
The recipe I linked to no longer exists and so I have rounded up *this one* that mentions Pizza Hut breadsticks. I don't recall that my recipe had dry milk powder. Oh well, there are many recipes out there.}

This boy especially enjoys dressing up and had asked for a Super Hero cape. My sister gifted him with a pirate's hat and he promptly took the name "Smee."

This pirate is now known as Captain Hook. Not sure that he ever found treasure though he studied his map carefully.

Puzzle time with lots of good instruction going on from dad about north, south, east, and west, etc. They seem to have enjoyed it. Sam Captain Hook definitely knew where Canada was and Maine.

And then, too soon, the afternoon was over and Sam Captain Hook grabbed his father by the throat and they were off! Jake Smee's already nearly out the door.

Happy Birthday, Boys! We you!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Frost~Mosaic Monday

Frost grows on the window glass forming whorl patterns of lovely translucent geometry...now it can build castles and cities and whole ice continents... ~ Vera Nazarian
Some frost captures on my window pane over the past week made into a frost quilt collage. It is warming up nicely now so they have almost disappeared.

Join Mary at Little Red House for more mosaics. It's always fun to see what bloggers have been doing.

Giant Snowflakes

God's richest blessings to you today...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Toe That Line

In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line. ~Henry David Thoreau

Oh if I had words to adequately describe this week when everything ground down to the present moment and there was no past and there was no future; there was only this. That's so how it has felt and blast if someone hadn't said it better. That Henry! The only forgiveness I give him is that he was a New Englander, too. Perhaps that affliction and long New England winters are what gave him the time to ponder such things.

Thus concludes my musings on winter and the way it can suspend time. Maybe. At least, we are back out of the deep freeze for now. How about you?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Watching Smoke Curl

*Let’s learn to love the icy winter moon, or moonless dark and winter constellations, Jupiter’s glow, a slow, incoming plane, neighbourly windows, someone’s flickering screen, a lamp-lit page, drawn curtains.*

At the risk of ticking off a few more readers...on such bitterly cold days as these have been when the wind is howling and the furnace is going full-tilt, life closes down to the essentials. I have enjoyed watching smoke curl.

I tried to emulate Jill and didn't succeed. Just can't get the camera any closer or the image crisper with the limitations of my camera. (By the way, Jill offered some great tips for capturing those snowflakes and frost patterns right here.)

~frosty windowpane~

Think that I'll bake a cake today per Cait's *recipe.*  It's one that won't be too tempting for me.

Where is that gal's scarf? (I'm just noticing.) Everyone is pretty bundled up these days. Had to snap this photo of my daughter and her new winter hat.

Stay warm now...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pondering Chores and Projects

Cold winter days can be such cozy affairs. Every day when John comes home, I tell him the same thing: I didn't do anything today.

Obviously, that must change so this post will be short. The dog should be bathed except that it's much too cold for that so I'll put it off for the weekend. Still, there are rooms to dust and vacuum. Some tweaking of this or that.

The sewing room was cleaned last week so it beckons. When it is a mess, I hate working in it. There is a quilt-as-you-go table runner nearly finished and hanging from the end of the ironing board. There are bags of projects that I'm going to sort through eventually, deciding which I really want to do and which I don't care so much about and can let go.

The Christmas decorations were finally sorted last week and put away, all except for the Christmas angel spelling out December still sitting on the bathroom windowsill. She was overlooked, though now I swear that "December" flashes like a neon sign.

I look at the chippy paint around here and stress a little that I've not opened a paint can. Have you seen *Penny's beautiful blue?* It makes me want to repaint the bathroom that was just done...well, not just. It only seems that way. I've even written down the color in case.

Guess that's it. Your turn. What projects are you working on or what projects do you think you should be working on?

Photo source: Dover Publishing

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is it Mid-Winter Yet?

Brrrrrrisk here. How about there? The weatherman did warn us that this week and next are known for having the most brutal temperatures. I was hoping that we had reached mid-winter, but no. That's because February 3 or 4 marks mid-Winter.

~watch out, little lady, looks as if your friend may want to lop off those pigtails~

While shopping in a bookstore for the grands' birthdays (No, they're not twin-twins; they're Irish twins) last Friday, I found the sweetest book of Valentines. I decided to treat myself and have some fun punching them out.

I'm hoping that Lavender Dreamer will take note and be pleased that I took her advice. You know her advice, don't you? Never forget to play!

I made a very simple garland and hung it over the top of the other one and called my Valentine's Day Decorating done.

Stay warm and cozy now...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Importance of Punctuation and Other Stuff

Well, I was quite convinced yesterday that I had nothing to share so didn't post. Funny how that goes...

I do have a bouquet of flowers from my sister to share. She and her husband were in town for the weekend and we had a fun time visiting, going out to eat, going to church, the usual. These flowers were a gift to mark the two-year anniversary of our mother's passing. I must try to remember to do this for my sister as she seems very taken with the idea. 

It was a very cold day when the flowers arrived and I was upstairs puttering in my sewing room. Translation: It took me forever to get to the door. This may have resulted in the posies getting "touched" on the edges.


If you find grammar and punctuation stale, dull stuff, you would so enjoy this book. I laugh out loud reading it. The premise is that the very same words can mean several different things depending upon where the punctuation is placed. One can find proof all around. I did!


Okay, this may be the real reason why I am ambivalent about blogging. No stats again. Site Meter seems to be having ongoing difficulties. I know that I should be an adult about this, but Site Meter is the best when it's working. When it isn't, it is just depressing. 


For those who wondered why the vibration setting was off when using a tripod. This is the tip for my camera. Do you have a vibration setting on yours? Do your directions tell you the same thing?

So, how are you feeling this January day after the Inauguration about blogging?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Isaiah 40

Can you tell that I am much enamored of my eagle and, in fact, have looked at this picture over and over and have thought of the final verse of Isaiah 40 that is so familiar to us: But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

"My" eagle simply raised his wings and took one step forward. There was no lift-off until he first stepped off. His tail feathers are completely off to one side providing balance, his head is cocked to one side prompting my niece to ask yesterday, "Why do eagles have that smug look on their faces?" Ha! Perhaps they look self-assured. There is a glint in his eye as if he knows that he is up for the challenge.

Time: Two Minutes Eight Seconds

All this prompted me to go looking for a little clip I remembered from Chariots of Fire. I didn't find the one I was looking for; I found one better. If this life is a race, (and the Apostle Paul does liken our lives on earth to a race) then we are like the runners in this clip—battered, bloody, sometimes beaten. However...!

A blessed Sunday to you!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bald Eagle

Short post: big subject.

We had an errand to run in the big city yesterday. That would be Portland (ME). We would be shopping at the mall. (A very sad place it is these days. Hard times have taken a toll.) I thought that I would take my camera and get some photos of ships or sailboats, but just as we were leaving our own hometown and at the river's edge, I noticed this.

Please forgive my excitement as the photo quality suffered. I never checked settings and, sure enough, the "shake" feature was off from having used the tripod the day before. Darn. If you want to see great eagle photos go *here* and *here.*

A happy day to you. (I'll catch up soon...company this weekend.)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Iago and a Quiz

Iago?  Can't wait to see the pictures from Alabama and Mississippi today. What crazy weather! So let me know how you fared/are faring. I think that there'll be a whole lot of CoZy going on today as there probably was yesterday. Wonderful breakfasts and hearty lunches. Oh boy. Is anyone having snow ice cream? (I promise that I am going to quit with picking on the Weather Service for naming winter storms right after I finish this post.)

Here's a little quiz for you...

1. Why is a stapler sitting out on the deck rail?

a. Because it causes people (John especially) to wonder
b. Because Vee is trying to be like Jill
c. Because it is black
d. All of the above

(Now if you enjoy snowflake pictures, I hope that you will visit #25 on the last Note Card Party. Incredible!)

2. What's with the carrots? (Please do not pin; they are all over Pinterest; mine are a mess.)

a. Because it causes people to wonder (John didn't even notice)
b. Because Vee wants to do it like this gal did *here*
c. Because they are orange
d. All of the above

OOps! This post wasn't even finished when it hit the front pages. I thought it was sitting in draft. Hmmm...let's see, how was I planning to end this thing...

Guess that I'll do it this way: Enjoy your Friday and your weekend!

Edited to Add: I remembered! (How I was planning to end this.)

Thursday, January 17, 2013


So there I was right in the middle of my post when John came in with a rant and now I've had to switch it all around because it was a funny rant.

"Why don't they just start naming beautiful days, eh? Why don't they say Beautiful Day Gloria was the most beautiful day we've seen in 67 days!" 

This in response to snowstorms now being named. Apparently, the latest snow storm to blow through is named Helen. Do you find this as ridiculous as we do? Are all storms and weather patterns to be named now: Ice Storm Pete, Thunderstorm Joe, Windstorm Bill?

So that's this morning looking out on a semi-gray day. I wanted to share what happened before the storm and during the storm so I'll just carry on with that and thank you very much, John!

The evening before Helen arrived—the crescent waxing moon—thanks to a poet I know these things: 

O lady moon your horns point toward the east;Shine, be increased: O lady moon your horns point toward the west;Wane, be at rest.~ Christina Rossetti

During the storm, fire and light, which provided a great deal of winter cheer.

Yes, we are still enjoying the dvd fire. Still makes us feel warmer. I play it every afternoon as I putter about or read or play with the iPad. Yes, I am still enjoying my lights atop the china cupboard.

In other news, I have been able to join Pinterest, finally getting on board (pun intended) with the rest of you, Pinning Wonders. Yes, someday, when I have enough boards to feel great about, I'll add a Pinterest button and invite you all to join me. 

For now, I'd like to share a little bookmark project. You can see what I repinned to one of my boards *here.* This is my interpretation...a little project during a snowstorm Helen.(See? Now that just doesn't sound right!)

You may remember this calendar cover from a *recent post.* It is the reason I purchased the calendar. The one reason.

~Before and After...so much nicer than an index card~

And no old books were harmed in the process.

Thank you to all who joined in the Note Card Party. It was another fun day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January Note Card Party

While looking through winter photos, I found one of Mt. Washington, the tallest in the White Mountain Range of New Hampshire and the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi. Then I thought that surely I had enough to make a set of note cards. On a clear day, there are places in my town where Mt. Washington can plainly be seen so it is always there, not as strong a presence as many of you who live near mountains, but strong enough to be a part of the fabric of our lives here.

In Winter (4)

You may be interested to know more about the weather conditions on top of Mt. Washington by visiting *the observatory.* The weather there is notorious, something about the way the weather patterns converge from the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, and the North Atlantic. Oh, yes, it can get wild!

In fact, until three years ago, Mt. Washington held the record for the highest winds ever recorded on earth at 231mph. I would not have been surprised to learn that they regained that record last week when fierce winds blew through.

Summer (1)

Early Autumn (3)

October (2)
As a point of interest, I am including a map to show where each of these photos was taken. They were all taken within a fifteen mile radius of each other.

Mt. Washington is shown in the orange triangle in New Hampshire. The red dot on that map shows general location of my photos and the four distinct dots on the map to the right show where each photo was taken. The numbers correspond to those shown in the captions. (Some photos were taken by zooming in, which accounts for the look of a closer proximity.)

Thanks for visiting. This party is welcome to anyone who has read the rules and follows them. You can find them by clicking on the button in my sidebar. I promise that they're short and sweet.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Foggy Morning

May we try something again? That is, if you'd be so kind as to try this experiment with me. 

On Saturday's post, I showed the sailboat and asked the question about what knick-knacks might be representative of "your corner." That is entirely too vague. What I SHOULD have asked is this: If a tourist were visiting your state or specific area, what might said tourist pick up to take home that would best represent it? In my area, tourists would buy a whoopie pie or lobster to eat. To take home, they might purchase a balsam scented sachet, a knick-knack of a lobster, sailboat or other sea-related 
item, something with blueberries on it or something to represent a pine tree.

I believe my brain has been entirely too foggy, much like the weather here of late. We were promised much warmer temperatures; we didn't know that it would come with all this fog. Of course, John always says that "any weather is good weather." 

Just a reminder that the Note Card Party will be ready for sign-up tomorrow this evening (1-15-2013) and earlier than usual, though I am foggy about how much earlier.

Hope that the sun is shining in your corner! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

White Snow and Blue Sky~Mosaic Monday

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again." ~Lewis Carrol

Oh I do love a red brick building against a blue sky and white snow. *If these look familiar, you're right* because these are photos from two years ago that I've refashioned into a new mosaic.

Joining Mary at Little Red House for another Mosaic Monday.