A Haven for Vee

Saturday, August 31, 2013

It Was a Long Wait

The morning glories were planted at the same time as usual, yet they were a month late in blooming. In fact, for a while there, I thought that the leaves were going to be my only reward. 

Just documenting... 

Now run along and enjoy your weekend without wondering what sort of comment to leave as I have closed my comments today. ☺

A happy Saturday to you...

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Lake

~looking toward Farm Point~
(taken last weekend)

Wish I were there! Another summer gone and I missed out again. Sigh.

Next week is the big day when we can link up to Kati's party.

Hope that this wee photo fills you in on why there'll be no feature of my new do. I look like a prepubescent with wrinkles and gray hair. ☺

Have a beautiful holiday weekend!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

From Bliss to This

 ~At The Lake~

~What do you Think of School?~

Just documenting here today. Wanted to record the boys' first day of school yesterday. Their mom also sent me some neat photos that she took of their vacation in New Brunswick, which ended Monday. I'm the one playing word games. I have no idea what that final photo represents. ☺

Apparently, the boys were thrilled to be back to school and both had very good first days. The only one not thrilled with it was little E here on the right who missed his big cousins fiercely.

(My hair? It is what it is...)

A happy day to you! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Hair

~with thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Cottage Days for all the photography help!~

My hair has been the topic of conversation many times on this blog. Now if I had flowing autumn auburn hair, one might understand it. I don't. What I have is graying hair, curly frizzy hair, and too long hair.

Mercifully, there's a hair appointment in my future. This morning in fact. I certainly hope that things go better than they did another time *here* and the following day *here.* And so help me, if John makes any whacky comments, he could get clobbered. Just sayin'... My nerves are not what they once were.

What does all this have to do with the flower collage? Nothing. I'm just not wasting it is all. I spent some time making it Sunday afternoon and then discovered that Mary's Mosaic Monday was not going to be taking place. Then I was going to post it Monday, but Judy posted about our meeting so I had to keep up. Then I was going to post it yesterday, but Fioré was cuter. So you're getting it today and that's all there is to that. ☺

Perhaps I should have gone wordless today...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Scientific Mind

~Fioré and Her Apple~

Did I say "apple"? As you all know, I have an *AAB on this blog until September 1, which does not arrive until Sunday. Lalalalalalalala...

Did I say "scientific mind"? Yup. A regular steel-trap of a mind. I can tell that I may have to prove this to you. Read on...

Today's post took shape as I listened to John discuss Fioré's personality. We had been watching her bat that apple all over the dining room this morning. She loves "her" apple and when she gets tossing it and chasing it about, she is a wild thing. High strung. Up tight. John said, "If Fioré fell out of a tree, it would kill her because she is so tense." 

That comment made me wonder how Fioré might ever fall out of a tree since she is an indoor cat. Then I wondered how she'd fare from an upstairs bedroom window.

You see, I have had some experience with that. I remember very distinctly the day I dropped Fluffy, our gray money cat, out my attic bedroom window. My bedroom was painted lavender with white organza curtains featuring lilac blooms across the hem. (That was for you bloggers who enjoy room descriptions.) Where was I? Oh, yes. I dropped Fluffy out the window without knowing that my mother was seated in the bathroom located on the first floor directly below my bedroom. She saw something fluffy and gray fly past in a vertical descent. Very presently, I heard, "Vee, where's Fluffy?!" 

I was already running for the stairs as Fluffy had made a four-point landing and had scampered around the front of the house. I made a bee-line for the front door and would you believe there was Fluffy waiting to be let in as if nothing had happened? That poor cat never held it against me as far as I know. Perhaps I did him a favor by kickstarting his heart for he lived a good long life. 

Needless to say, I had some explaining to do for my mother was now demanding answers. I showed her the book I had been reading just before "the event" where all these oddities of nature were contained. To her credit, she held her cool and very carefully explained that I was never to do that again.

Then there was the day that I wondered if that Vaseline™ commercial were true. I fetched my mother's sieve and proceeded to the bathroom to experiment. By the time my mother found me, I had Vaseline all over the place and most especially all over the sieve. I chortled with glee, "It works! It works!" This as I flushed it with water, which flowed out over the top of the sieve, but not through it. My mother may have said, "Any idiot would know that!" It gets a little fuzzy after that. 

And then there was the day that I thought I would do my mother a kind deed by scrubbing her entire kitchen with Comet™. (It's a product placement kind of day.) As I recall, that didn't go over so well either. Gee, Mom, I was only trying to help!

So tell me, I can't be the only one, do you have a scientific mind, too?

*AAB=arbitrary autumn ban

P.S. No cats nor apples were harmed in the telling of this tale.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dear Blogging Buddy

You can find Judy hanging out on her front porch (My Front Porch) or you might find her hanging out at Lovella's (What Matters Most), but I never dreamed that I'd find her hanging out here! This proves that if one blogs long enough, good things will come your way. ☺

From the time that they hopped into their camper way out there in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia and pressed the pedal to the metal, they were roaring East at an incredible clip. I got dizzy just thinking about where Judy and her husband Elmer would turn up next. You'll be able to read all about it at Judy's and see some of the sights that they have seen. And, just as soon as they have their harvest in the can, they'll be back traveling again. They love to travel so My Front Porch is a blog to keep your eye on for sure.

You may also know that Judy is one of the Mennonite Girls [Who] Can Cook. What a wonderful team of women whom God has brought together in a special way. I wish to thank each and every one of them for signing my copy of Celebrations. More about that in a moment.

So it was with great anticipation and some nerves that I prepared for their coming to our humble corner of the country and our humble town and our humble breakfast haunt and our humble home. John even went overboard and showed off his humble garage, which is a proper fright. I have a feeling that we'll laugh about that one forever!

Judy is such a gracious sport! Have you ever seen a gal look happier over a crinkled apron? Who knew that stuffing it into a jar would have such results?
< insert *thud* > That picture of Elmer is the only one I took of him. I am really slipping.
 Proof that she was here!
 And they're off! Trust me, they are out there somewhere!
Judy brought me this gorgeous print of Mt. Cheam, which is "her" mountain, the one she sees from her home every day. It was painted by a local artist and a good friend.  What Judy may not know (because I don't remember ever telling her) is that I was first attracted to her blog (back in 2007) by the beautiful scenes of British Columbia. My aunt attended nursing school in Vancouver; she was also an artist and her paintings of BC hung on the walls of my grandparents' home. In the past few years, I packed up the last of her paintings and returned them to their rightful owners...her granddaughters. So this print is like a God whisper to me and I am looking for a proper frame!

Don't grandmothers think of everything? Even gifts for another's grands? As it so happens, my own grandchildren are returning from a vacation in New Brunswick today so I'll be able to give them their candy. Those chocolate covered blueberries were amazing. Right. Past tense. I loved my Winks bag, which was a mistake, but a happy one for me since Judy often talks about her shopping trips to Winks.

And now, as it so also happens, I seem to have a spare copy of the newest Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations. I was trying to plan ahead and be able to have Judy sign it; however, it arrived a day late. Oh dear. It's a beauty and a wonderful read. If you'd like to toss your name into the cap, I'll send one along anywhere. Yes, I will! Just let me know that you're interested. There are no hoops to jump through; it is only for those who wander in over the next week and find the offer waiting.

Thanks for reading my part in the story. Have a beautiful week...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

How Great is Our God

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. ~Jesus (John 16:33)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Once in a Blue Moon

There are a few things that I would like to chat about today. Perhaps you have an opinion or suggestion for me that I can put to work! My blogging friends always have such good advice.

First, though, here are three shots of the moon taken over the past few days. That Blue Moon is already down to 93% as of last night so looks something like an egg wobbling on a counter.

Since getting the smaller Nikon and putting the Canon aside, moon shots have been a challenge. The first photo (on the left) was set on auto; the middle photo followed Lovella's instructions provided *here* and gave me a little better result; the final one followed Mr. Cottage Days advice via Donna, which was this: M setting, f16, ISO 100, 1/100. I also used a tripod and the timer for the final two shots.

For the harvest moon — did I say Harvest Moon?! I have an AAB [arbitrary autumn block] on this blog for another seven days — I'm going back to the Canon and try these settings. That gives me until September 18 or 19 or somewhere in there to practice. You know what this means, Dears; you're going to have to watch me practice.


Second topic of the morning...Pinning Protocol on Pinterest. Gee. That would have made a great title all on its own. I do love alliteration. Anyway, this is what I see as a potential problem with Pinning on Pinterest — told ya!

Let me set this up: I see a  pin worthy item. I pin the item and make sure that the pin works and is properly described. Then I notice that the blogger has already pinned her own pin worthy item. (I have done this myself so that's not the question.) The question is this: When I see that the blogger has already pinned the item, should I delete the pin I have placed and then re-pin from the blogger's pin or should I just leave it be? Tell me what you think, if you haven't already. I have been having an ongoing discussion behind the scenes with a few friends.

Are there rules on Pinterest? Beyond *these*?


Next question: do you have an AAB on your blog, too? ☺ (I would just like to add that we woke to 48°F this morning.)

A happy weekend to you...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Photo Friday

Another windowsill scene...actually more of a reality window sill scene.

Yes, it's the very one that appears in my header minus the tomatoes, spare caps, and dishes stacked to the rafters in the drainer. John calls those stackings my marvels of engineering.

A happy weekend to you...

Kati's Photo Friday happens the first Friday of each month. I am doing it every Friday until I catch up to the first Friday of September in just two weeks. After that, I'll give poor Kati a break! ☺

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Edwardian Farm

In the chapter Wayfarers All from The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, Rat and some swallows are having a discussion about what makes them wish to fly south in winter and what makes them wish to return to England again.

'And do you think,' said the first swallow, 'that the other call is not for us, too, in its due season? The call of lush meadowgrass, wet orchards, warm insect haunted ponds, of browsing cattle, of haymaking, and all the farm buildings clustering round the House of the Perfect Eaves?'

John and I have been answering the call every evening for 11 so far to watch Edwardian Farm, a BBC program that features three historians running a farm in Morwellham Quay as it might have been done in Edwardian times. You may also be familiar with Tales from the Green Valley, Victorian Farm, Wartime Farm, and others. Full episodes are available in various places. I use my iPad to link up to the tv set and we're off.

John enjoys the programs because they show the former ways of doing things, which fascinates him. I have cherries to cook off today and I'll be trying a method shown in episode 11 for its good sense approach to the addition of sugar.

The scenery is rich and lush and I feel as if I've stepped into a painting with each episode.


Thank you for another wonderful month of the Note Card Party. I'm thinking of making a few changes that might make it even easier for participants. Perhaps you have something to share on that note. I'll report back another day on that. 

Happy Thursday to you...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Glass Bottles and Jars~August Note Card Party

Edited to Add: *BJ of Sweet Nothings* also has a post, which, through no fault of her own, she was unable to add. Wish I could sweet talk Mr. Linky, but since I can't...

If I could save time in a bottle

The first thing that I'd like to do...

~Jim Croce

The next best thing to saving time in a bottle is to take a photo. Photos usually bring back sweet memories.

 ~johnny jump-ups in a vintage perfume bottle~

 ~daisies and johnny jump-ups in a honey jar~

~spider lilies in vintage medicine bottles~

~drift roses in vintage canning jars~

With the exception of the first, which takes one back to June 30, 2011, all my photos are recent additions. I really enjoy re-tweaking my photos in one of the many photo edit programs. Eventually they'll become mud, I suppose. I added two frames in PhotoScape: Cali 7 and Note 3.

Looking forward to all the creativity I know that I'll find today! I am very fond of my happy little group of Note Card Peeps. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

This is The Life

So there we all were hanging out in the living area and, for once, I was not worrying about the mismatched furniture, the unfinished floors or the odd decorating style I call Grandmother's Attic.

Lambchop was reading Down Story Roads.

John was reading the Kindle.

 I don't know who is cuter.☺

It was a perfect summer day...

I kept thinking "This is the Life!"

It doesn't matter that I don't have the 4th of July decor put away nor even the Easter decor.

Oh no! Not you, too, Lambchop! (Reading an autumn poem when it is still summer!)

Mostly, this post comes to you courtesy of Diane at Lavender Dreams who provided so many of the delightful props: the children's reader, the This is the Life card, and the beautiful toile tote bag. Thanks a million, Diane!


Now, would you believe that it is almost time for the Note Card Party? Mr. Linky will be available by two tomorrow afternoon. The links will remain open until Thursday at 10 a.m. more or less.

Clicking on the sidebar links will take you to the rules, which are few and easy to follow. Hope, if you're going to be around, that you'll join me! It's great fun and a wonderful way to meet more bloggers. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Put On Love

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in the image of its Creator. Here is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience... And over all these virtues put on love. which binds them all together in perfect unity. ~Colossians 3: 9–12 and 14

Saturday, August 17, 2013


We chatted in the spring about popovers of all things. We had chatted about so many things since 2010 after I rediscovered her web site. "Leslie Land" sits in my side bar as one of my favorite places. Perhaps some of you have visited, too. If not, you must one day. It's a wonderful resource. You'll love getting to know Leslie with her wry sense of humor and her wonderful turn of a phrase. She will make you laugh aloud. (Hope that you find her discussion of whether gardeners must be neat housekeepers.)

There she discusses what her web site is. Her webmasters tell her that it is a blog, but she thinks that it is "a magazine with endless possibilities."

Yesterday, a blogging buddy let me know that Leslie was gone. She passed away Saturday last of complications from breast cancer. I didn't know that she was ill; I didn't know that she had died. One should somehow recognize that the world is a dimmer place...

The Poughkeepsie JournalChampion of country cooking, ambitious gardener, and, in her own words, 'the latest in a long line of garden advisers that stretches back, approximately, to Adam, who we can be sure was frequently asked about the niceties of apple culture.'  

These are my Leslie Land treasures: two cookbooks filled with wonderful recipes and Leslie's amusing discussions. Oh, yes, and I own a copy of The 3000 Mile Garden written with Roger Phillips. She recommended The Wild Braid as an antidote for dealing with my grandmother's Alzheimer's. I was depressed. She knew it would help. It did.

This seems like a good morning for popovers or staking up a tomato plant or thinking about next spring's garden or exploring some favorite books...

Friday, August 16, 2013


Enjoy a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


~Lake Pennesseewassee~

The clouds are the story these days. Clouds and deep blue water and perhaps the the deep water flowing through my basement, which may or may not be blue...ahem.

I find myself wondering what's up in Blogdom...must check it out!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mallow and More

I love the wispy quality of mallow. Apparently, the beetles think it's marshmallow, the way they chow down on it.

Wanted also to share the size of the spider lily for Diane to see... John had to help me out. I don't have enough hands!

Hmmm, apparently, the beetles like it, too!

Short posts this week! Lots going on! I'll report sometime in the future! Have a great day...

Note: If anyone is curious and would like to return to my *photo challenge post,* Donna very kindly fixed the final photo. It was so horrible that she had to turn it into a black and white, but I think you will appreciate the details she was able to add back to the photo and the commentary that she provided. I found it absolutely fascinating! (As the wife of professional photographer, Donna has learned a great deal about photography. I have so enjoyed learning from her.)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sam Gets His Summer Back

~Sam Kayaking~taken by my daughter with her iPhone~

This grand is one tenacious boy. He has had a broken bone of one kind or another since March of 2012. As of last Wednesday, he is a free man — no more casts, no more pins and rod, no more fixes gone horribly wrong. His family is so happy and Sam is thrilled to have his August back. As you can see, he's already on an adventure. 

All I can say is Praise God and thank you to all who have prayed for him.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

He Hideth My Soul

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, 
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see...

~Franny J. Crosby

Many blessings this week as you look to Him!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Personal Photo Challenge~Water

Nothing has sparked my interest in the Photo Challenge like this month's topic. I took to it, well, like a duck. I began eagerly taking my photos right after the last photo challenge ended.

Would you believe that I am going with those first photos taken a month ago? If you're a regular here, you've already seen many that I considered because a lot of water was included. In the end, I've learned that I have much to learn about photographing water.

I use a Nikon Coolpix P7100, a glorified point and shoot really. I'll spare you the particulars because they don't translate to usual photographer-ese anyway.

~the original~

Here's the mundane little photo (sooc) as it came to me from my camera. It is of the river that flows through my corner; it is the wonderful little river that ran a paper mill and a century of life in a mill town. 

This spot also represents the turning point; my sister and I would go as far as the bridge I was standing on to take this photo and then kayak back down the river. We so loved that little paddle past mossy banks, great ferns growing, and trees hanging low over the water. I always wanted to take a camera for those photo opportunities, but feared a spill and getting the camera wet. (I'm steady once in the kayak, but not so graceful getting in or out.)

~my offering~

Here it is after cropping it and running it through PicMonkey a few times. (It was a cloudy day, but I still don't like the sky showing up white.)

And here it is after running it through Pic Monkey to find the color swatches. Lorrie first told me how to do it just this week. How often I have wanted to build a quilt or a room around a photo. Now I can!

Did you catch that "look here" thing that I did because the photos really aren't that compelling? You did? Foiled again!

Would you have liked this one better?

Other than the clouds reflected in the water, the details are lost...back to the dress rehearsal.

Linking to the incomparable Donna at A Personal Photo Challenge.

Edited to Add: Donna, bless her heart, took my original photo and tried to get some of the details back. I'm so impressed! Here it is with commentary from Donna following.

I was using Jim's computer to prepare a photo for this Wordless Wednesday's post, and thought I would give your photo a whirl.  It was exactly 2 stops underexposed.  Unfortunately, when I opened up the shadows and increased the exposure level, a lot of the colors got stripped out.  I didn't have enough digital information in the file to get it back.  So, when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.  I turned it into a black and white image!  

There's some funky digital noise in a few places.  You wouldn't notice most of it unless you zoom way, way in.  The most noticeable is some mottling in the sky.  
The uneven sky tones is a classic result of a jpeg file that has been abused in post-processing, LOL.  I tried to remove it as best as I could.  You might not even notice it, but I know where to look.

I also straightened it and made it a wide format, cropping out the bridge structure and some of the sky in the process.  I hated to crop in a standard 3 by 4 format because you have some interesting vegetation on both sides that needed to be kept for the composition.  I wish I could have kept more of the rocks, but I didn't have enough to work with on cloning out the remaining bridge structure on the other side.  In any event, it is a perfect size for a computer background!

Ah, the beauty of post-processing!  I rest my case on why I am a big fan.  As you can see, this is a very lovely photo that you took, Miz Vee! 

Hahahahaha...I left in that bit about "a very lovely photo," but I want you to see what Donna received in her inbox along with the message below. 

Wow, Donna. It's even worse than I remembered. ☺  

You see, Donna's made a believer out of me! (This is a small version. Donna got the largest version.)