A Haven for Vee

Friday, May 31, 2013

Hot in the Country

Just in case today is as hot where you are as it is where I am...

I thought I'd share a cool meadow with you. In fact, it is my favorite meadow and I'd love to take you walking through it, if only we didn't have to be on the lookout for things found in meadows left by cows.

~Cool and Inviting~

Doesn't it look cool and inviting? So very cool. So very inviting. Wonder where the cows are. I only found one.

~Behind the rock and to the left~
Stay cool now and have a pleasant weekend...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Odd Little Jumbled Thoughts

Nothing much to say this morning even if John did tell me recently that he's never known me not to have an opinion. I had one for that comment now let me tell you. =/  Unfortunately, I am (opinionated) and so must work at keeping a lid on in hopes of not becoming a cranky old woman. It may be too late for that. ☺


The oddest thought came to me after playing ball on my back lawn. I really was playing ball; I really was on the back lawn; however, it was my former back lawn. (Some may remember that my former home is right next door to my kids' current home.) Anyway, the thought came that if I had been told in advance by one day that I would be playing ball on the back lawn on Memorial Day 2013, I would have found it very odd. (Apparently, there is a lot of sharing of yards among the three homes: my kids, their neighbor, and my daughter-in-law's parents' home.) Yet, if I had been told twenty years ago, I would have thought Of course. This is my home and I will live here forever. 

Oh the things I think. I am guilty of thinking that life is always going to be whatever it is now. Perhaps it is in light of tornadoes, bombings, and beheadings or whatever else is going on in the world these days. And now I'm just reminding myself of Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey, the old segments from SNL.
That dates me. I haven't watched SNL for nearly thirty years. Do they still do them? If you have no clue what I'm talking about, here's an example of one:
If you must lose your job, your home, and your mind in the same week, try to lose your mind first so the other two won't seem as bad. 


The rain has made the world so green, so lush, that it's strikingly beautiful even if it is my own corner that I am seeing.

I managed to get the new rosebush planted with John's help yesterday. My foot has not been happy about using the shovel, though I did get the azalea back in the ground a day earlier.

Have also managed to purchase a lawnmower that I am unable to start. Either that or I've really slipped since last summer. Anyway, I do hate to be this dependent on the man. Had to mow the lawn at high noon while the man was home for lunch. Not ideal.


Some time ago, John had a request from Diane to write a poem for Spring Fever. This is his attempt. Perhaps I should have provided dialog for you because he was not always coherent and I was beside myself with laughter. You'll see the camera shake. I can't help myself.

~It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!~

Edited to Add: Transcription for those who've requested one...

Spring Fever
Rushed out of bed one morning 
I knew the winter was waning
Somehow I felt quite different
My energy level was gaining

I looked at the chores that needed much doing
So I grabbed for my tool kit
I really was moving

I spun into this
And wound into that
Started on new things
And finished up stat

My wife thought I turned into a [general befuddlement ensues] whirlwind
When she watched me take down a tree like a beaver

[Aside] Okay, that's got a lot of work to be done on that.

I: [General merriment] Who is this for? Who are you doing this for?
He: I thought somebody wanted a "Spring Fever" poem.
I: That's true...

(Diane, this has given me so many laughs. I giggle myself silly every time I listen to it.)


We enjoyed a lovely Memorial Day with family, which my son and daughter-in-law hosted. (See paragraph two.) Perfect!

This ends today's odd little thoughts from my corner. Perhaps you have had an odd little thought lately you'd like to share? I'd be interested to know whether I'm normal. ☺

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

Many in my family have served. None have lost their lives. Some have been injured; some have suffered with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but none have paid the ultimate price. There may be some reading here today who have a very different story.

My closest link to a fallen soldier was through my grandmother whose dearest friend was a WWII widow. Her husband was shot down somewhere over the Mediterranean Sea in 1944; the wreckage was never found. She delivered a healthy baby boy not long after the loss. This is that little boy, his own photo taken with a photo of the father he never knew. How many similar photos grace homes across the country today?

The photo has been purposely blurred as this is not my story to tell nor my personal photo to share. I'm leaving this photo out for a few days just to remember by — to remember the price that has been paid over and over again. I wonder how many little boys and girls are growing up without a parent because that parent is one of our fallen heroes. The price is paid over and over again in multiple ways across time. Let us not forget to pray for those serving even today and their precious families.

God bless your day and may we never forget...

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Maine Connection

How long have I been reading Cheryl's Thinking About Home? Not sure. It feels like not too long, yet time slips away. I don't remember when Cheryl began visiting me either. What I do know is that we clicked; we are like-minded in many ways. 

When I heard that Cheryl had a "Maine connection," I began wondering about the possibility of a meeting sometime in our future. I learned last fall that a trip was being planned from their home in Maryland and that Cheryl hoped that a meeting was possible. Talk about Anticipation! In fact, by meeting Cheryl and her daughter Kati, I met two bloggers at the same time because Kati blogs at Kati's Little Corner of the World.

Sure enough, our meeting happened nearly a week ago on the one gorgeous day of spring thus far. You think I jest? No. I was so blinded by the light that all my photos came out terrible so I'm stealing Cheryl's  Kati's and calling it my own. 

~"My" Photography Skills are Improving~

Isn't that gorgeous? For more beautiful photographs, click over, look around, say hello. I am inordinately proud of Maine's beauty and the photos that Cheryl, Kati, and others in the family took are faBulOuS. If you are planning a trip to Maine, it'll inspire you! (You can find Cheryl's account of our meeting there, too.)


We met at a stopping place just off I-95. Travelers need to stay close to the highway in places that are not too busy for bloggers who only wish to gab and gab and gab some more. (Some may enjoy eating.) We have to pack a lot into the time that we have, which is always limited when folks are traveling.

The waitress showed us to "The Hollow" and somehow we six jostled ourselves into a booth. A booth?! Good heavens! Should have said that it was not going to be acceptable, but perhaps God wanted us to be cozy. Ha!

We got down to chatting right away and John and I had a fantastic time. At one point, Cheryl's husband Ron said, "I'm just so enjoying this!" And we could tell that he really was. Perhaps Ron had been a titch concerned when their son had questioned the wisdom of meeting people from the WWW. It is true that I often tell John to grab the hatchet just before we leave for one of these meetings. Be warned, future meet bloggers! ☺

Anyway, longsuffering husbands of bloggers often take the hit in these sorts of meetings. I didn't get that sense at all with these two. They really enjoyed their chat. 

~Longsuffering Husbands~

Now, in no particular order...

Ron leading the way up the hill to the picnic area where we exchanged gifts. See the light? Doesn't the color quality remind you of a child's reader circa 1951?
~Cheryl and Ron~

~Their beautiful daughters: Bekah and Kati~

A million photos or more later, and we knew that we had to wind things up. 

Speaking of longsuffering, look at those sweet faces! 

These were my delightful gifts... the cutest felted strawberries, yummy strawberry jam, and a book of poetry by Amy Carmichael. Cheryl has been reading this blog very closely!

Thank you, Cheryl, for even wanting to meet John and me. (Let's do it again!)  Thank you for sharing your precious family with us. We enjoyed Ron, Kati, Bekah and you so much.  And thank you for sharing your heart and home at Thinking About Home with all of us. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gather Some Ferns

~Calming Green~

I was walking through Blogdom this morning and every footstep echoed after me. We are all thinking of Oklahoma and so many other things besides blogging. Some are finishing up homeschooling; some are gardening; some are dealing with the constant frustration that this particularly challenging spring has brought. Some are in the process of moving; some are dealing with loss, anxiety, the stuff of 
life. So many of us are away.

When I mentioned to one dear blogger that I was thinking of graves this morning, she got in touch with me right away. I was perplexed and couldn't imagine why she was worried, but then she had been sharing about BBQs and I wasn't. Talk about being on different pages. So funny! 

Well, yes, I am thinking about graves. In fact, I'd not been at my sister's more than a few minutes when that became the topic of discussion and we planned a trip for tomorrow to visit a few family graves. It will be an all-day event taking us up-country. Has Memorial Day taken on a larger meaning than only recognizing fallen war heroes there? It has here. It's become a day of recognizing all those who've gone before us. Hence graves are tended and flowers are purchased and most of us visit family graves before or on Memorial Day.

~Grounded Forsythia~

~Neighbors' Red Wheelbarrow~

~Rusty Basket and Dirty Deck~

~White Lilac~


~A New Arrangement~

~Gather a Fern~

One of the most popular posts on my blog was *this Puttery Treat* that I did to join Brocante Home's Puttery Treat Challenge. (Alison also has a wonderful Pinterest board of Puttery Treats you may be interested in). By my definition, puttery treats must be easy-peasy, done quick as a wink, which is why I'm offering you a suggestion for a kind of puttery thing that you can do to instantly spring up the house and bring some green inside: Gather some ferns! Besides, green is so calming.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cobbled Table Runner

This is an idea snagged directly from Pinterest wherein a table runner is created from disparate bits of table linens and old doilies that have seen better days. The rough and ragged bits are lopped off or hidden and the good parts are rescued. *Source* Of all the pins I have, this is only the third thing I've actually done.

Here's my version:

I know such things are not for everyone; however, they totally float my boat because I can use those things that are full of meaning for me. There are doilies that my mother made, the crocheted lace on one side was also made by her. There are bits of my great-grandmother's tea napkins and my grandmother's embroidery. If you have these sorts of things, perhaps you'd enjoy creating a uniquely cobbled piece, too. 


In other news, my sister has moved back to Maine from Long Island, New York. I am thrilled to know that she is home. New York was not working out so well as far as taxes, cost of living, hurricanes, and traffic. Though my sister truly loved her job and her coworkers (she's a nurse), it was decided that it was time to get out of Dodge. She and her husband rented their home while they were in New York so they had a home to return to just an hour northeast from here. As all you movers understand, they're floating in a sea of boxes and so I'm heading over to help out tomorrow. I chose the one sunny day of the week to devote to the cause. This is mostly a case of "the thought that counts" because we'll be yakking so much that I don't know how we'll accomplish a thing. Perhaps I'll have something to share on the flip side. 

Have a good week!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Changing Times

First, let me say thank you to all who participated in this month's Note Card Party. You always have something delightful to share. Thee art amazing women! And you are such encouragers to one another. Makes me happy. Yes it do.

I thought about this post last night as I lay in bed listening to the rain. There were so many things I was going to tell you. This morning, hardly one of them crosses my mind. It appears that I am going to have to carry a notebook with me at all times and grab the thought before it darts away. I believe that some of you have told me that you do this.

Now I could explain how terrible this schedule is for me; this self-imposed Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday one. When I want to write, it may be a Saturday or a Monday, I say to myself You have ever so many things of more importance to do and you must be disciplined. You have a schedule! A pox on the schedule I'm afraid. I'm just going to begin showing up when I do. It may not be according to schedule and it may actually be less than it has been.

We are on something of a roller coaster ride in the country today. We wake to each new morning with news so frightening so despicable that it takes our breath away. Medical records being stolen, water sources being staked out, cover-ups of the worst kind, big agencies doing corrupt things that may lead to the very top, I daresay that it will. And so, like the crazy spring it has been, we hang onto our hats and clutch our hearts, and pray for the very best for our country and our countrymen. The times they are a changin'. And that, my dears, is what is mostly on my mind these days.

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Note Card Party~May

Welcome to May's Note Card Party!

This month, I decided to challenge myself by going way back to 2007 and 2008, back when my photography skills were even worse than they are now. I took each photo to both Photoshop and Photoscape. I hope I haven't made a bad thing worse. Let me show you the difference with the first one.

Owls Head, Maine

See a difference? By using effects in Photoscape, I was able to bring back definition to the trees. The original photo directly above makes the trees look all black. The first note card shows some trunks and boughs and even that little spot where one can see through the trees to the water beyond. 

Owls Head, Maine

Owls Head, Maine

Pemaquid, Maine

Now I feel that I've chosen all the fuzzy photos that I can handle for a while and so I'll be loading up photos as fast as I can for next month. ☺

Anyone who wishes to know more about the party and the rules (there aren't many), please click on the icon in my sidebar. It will take you to the particulars.

Looking forward to visiting you!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

Coral Roses in the Rain~A Mother's Day Gift

Grandmother and Mother on Mother's Day 2010
Mother's Day will never come and go without my thinking of my own mother and Nan, too. Mother's Day will never be the same without them; we miss them so. 

On this Mother's Day, I am thinking about a prayer found at Elisabeth Eliot's Devotional nearly a year ago. (And I know that you would also enjoy the post for this day that you will find there if you visit.) The prayer is as follows.

A prayer written by Amy Carmichael has been my prayer as long as I have been a mother, and I pray it now for my grandchildren: (Elisabeth Eliot)

Father, hear us, we are praying,
Hear the words our hearts are saying,
We are praying for our children.
Keep them from the powers of evil
From the secret, hidden peril,
From the whirlpool that would suck them,
From the treacherous quicksand pluck them,
Holy Father, save our children.
From the worldling's hollow gladness,
From the sting of faithless sadness,
Through life's troubled waters steer them,
Through life's bitter battle cheer them,
Father, Father, be Thou near them.
Read the language of our longing,
Read the wordless pleadings thronging,
Holy Father, for our children.
And wherever they may bide,
Lead them Home at eventide.
Daughter, Son, and I~Mother's Day 1980

More Recently

My Son's Sons~Growing Up So Fast!

Blessings to you...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Flowers from John

Edited to Add: If you are visiting from Donna's Photo Challenge, just read the pink words as I've decided to use this post so I don't break my own rules. Welcome! ☺

Kalanchoe: Just playing with perspectives and angles. Have long forgotten what the camera settings were on.

This photo of the azalea blooms in my front yard was taken on macro setting, overcast day, +0 lighting balance, ISO 400, F2. Later, in Photoscape, I added effects on the water drops at the top left of the photo using the deepen brush. I thought that brighten would work best, but I was surprised to find that I preferred the deepen brush option. And that, my friends, is all I know.  Enjoy the party in progress *here!*


Trying different camera angles. John brought home the yellow Kalanchoe yesterday. It's an annual, a succulent that doesn't need a lot of attention.

It rained gently through the night and this morning there is still a fine mist in the air. The azalea is ever so much more happy as a result. However, I note with sadness that the small azalea at the front of the garden looking like a pile of dead leaves is hanging on by a thread. I will try to find a better home for it...perhaps pot it for the summer and baby it along. My daughter gave it to me and so I'm very attached to it. It may be for the best as it has been crowding the roses or vice versa.

Since next week is Note Card Party week with Mr. Linky going up in the afternoon on Tuesday, Wednesday being left open for the actual full day of the party, and Thursday another post, I'm going to post this Sunday. I've had something planned since I found it a year ago.  Ha! Anyway, there'll be no comments then.

Oh, if anyone had trouble with the "optical illusion," I'll send you the answer behind the scenes. It's way too scary to post here. ☺

A lovely day to you...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bullet List

Bullet lists work. They keep things organized. They are good when a gal has little time for smooth transitions.

*My Azalea Bush~My View
(This is my neighbors' home)

*No rain for two weeks finds azaleas and everything pretty parched

*I am trying to keep the rhubarb watered. Note my stellar job of pruning...
Note: Not my fence!

*Loving my new candle from Good Neighbors. Smells as if I might have actually baked something.

*Abby isn't sure about my new profile pic. Did you see that it is an optical illusion? Is it my right eye or my left eye? Try it both ways and you'll see what I mean. It totally creeped John out and he has told me not to do that again! Sigh. So now I'm working on a new profile picture.

Thank you for your thoughtful comments and kind suggestions. I'm working my plan: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. On that note, I'll see you tomorrow! (Oh, one week to the Note Card Party ☺)