A Haven for Vee

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Day After

Thanksgiving eve with the dishes washed and ready for the table and the tree up. We put it up on Tuesday taking our chance to get a skip ahead of things. This could start a new tradition around here; although, I am reminded of the cartoon of the Pilgrims chasing Santa Claus with drumsticks in their hands. 

That apple pie was the best idea I've had in months. The town library had its annual pie sale and I made sure that I had a book to be returned on the very day. John was obliging and came home with a pie. ☺ Little did I know that he had come home with our daughter-in-law's mother's pie. Win-win! I didn't have to make it and it is delicious!

And that's all I have to show you concerning Thanksgiving. Not one photo beyond that one did I take. The grands are not happy to have their photos taken any longer so I didn't push it. We had a lovely dinner. I made a Slow Roasted Turkey following Deanna's directions *here* and it was delicious and moist, my daughter brought all manner of goodies and a crudite platter; my son made the rolls (heavenly) and a delicious pumpkin pie. I made Trisha Yearwood's Pecan Pie, and a chocolate cream. That's four pies for seven people! Just the way we like it. 

We watched a Christmas movie in the afternoon, snacked a bit, and parted ways sometime after eight. A lovely day all in all. One thing is certain, I must work on getting a larger table. The boys are growing!

The pile of dishes rinsed and ready for washing was simply too overwhelming last night so I left them for this morning when I thought I might have more energy. 

 Then I thought I'd do a lot of decorating, but in the end I am too tired yet. It's come down to having John bring home this sweet vertical birch log centerpiece he made for me and hanging a wreath that a local family makes and sells door to door. I am happy that I was able to buy another one this year. It makes the third year.

So minor moves toward Christmas decorating. I have smashed a few pumpkins for the squirrels and birds and have a few more to go. The bittersweet must be pitched. Darn. I do love it. Wonder what it would look like with evergreens. How bad could it be?

And how is your decorating going? Did you go Black Friday shopping?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Our Homage

We have come to this Rock, to record here our homage for our Pilgrim Fathers; our sympathy in their sufferings; our gratitude for their labours; our admiration of their virtues; our veneration for their piety; and our attachment to those principles of civil and religious liberty, which they encountered the dangers of the ocean, the storms of heaven, the violence of savages, disease, exile, and famine, to enjoy and establish. – And we would leave here, also, for the generations which are rising up rapidly to fill our places, some proof, that we have endeavored to transmit the great inheritance unimpaired; that in our estimate of public principles, and private virtue; in our veneration of religion and piety; in our devotion to civil and religious liberty; in our regard to whatever advances human knowledge, or improves human happiness, we are not altogether unworthy of our origin... ~Daniel Webster

The Pilgrims: a simple people, inspired by an ardent faith in God, a dauntless courage in danger, a boundless resourcefulness in the face of difficulties, an impregnable fortitude in adversity: thus they have in some measure become the spiritual ancestors of all Americans.  ~Samuel Eliot Morison, mid 20th Century 

The Pilgrims Came
 by Annette Wynne
The Pilgrims came across the sea,
And never thought of you and me;
And yet it's very strange the way
We think of them Thanksgiving day.

We tell their story, old and true
Of how they sailed across the blue,
And found a new land to be free
And built their homes quite near the sea.

Every child knows well the tale
Of how they bravely turned the sail
And journeyed many a day and night,
To worship God as they thought right.

Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Deep Freeze

Coming to you live from the deep freeze. But then, who isn't in the deep freeze this week?! Anyone? Report in, won't you? The wind is either a howling freight train or a plane flying very low. This has been going on for two days and shows no sign of letting up. The gusts shake the house and rattle the windows. The sound itself is as fierce as the cold. My neighbor has lost another substantial branch of his tree and it landed like this.
We have kept cozy sitting by the fake fire. The power of suggestion! When John had turned up the furnace as far as he was willing and still felt chilled, he turned up the sound on the tv for the psychological boost of hearing crackling flames.  It seems to work!
Today we can not loaf about by the fire for there are things to do and places to go. Just like Pioneer Woman who goes shopping in Tulsa (keep your eyes peeled, Okies) on the Monday before Thanksgiving, we, too, are shopping the Monday before Thanksgiving. And, though I have shopped in Tulsa before at Thanksgiving time, that has not been my reality for nearly 40 years. 
Say, do you think I've been hanging out with the ancestors too long? Those Puritan stories are growing more interesting by the day...
I know that those of us in the USA are very busy this week; those everywhere else are gearing up for Christmas; those in the southern hemisphere are probably planting tomatoes or something. 
Stay Warm!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

He Is

When we offer Him what He is so worthy of—praise and thanks giving—good things happen. 

While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.~Psalm 146:2

A blessed Thanksgiving week to you...

Saturday, November 23, 2013


You will be happy to know that I am keeping this post simple. If you want complicated, read Thursday's post. ☺

It's snow and ice on the pumpkins, but doesn't it look like sea salt?

Outdoors it's a beautiful Novembery day with a deep blue sky, stormy dark clouds moving fast, lots of shadows, windy, and brrrrrisk. The leaves are skittering everywhere making that dry leaf scratchy sound. I can even hear them from inside where I am puttering as I slowly get the house ready for next week. I've already set the piano to rights.

~Over the River and Through the Woods~

A blessed weekend to you...

Friday, November 22, 2013

Enough Already

I know! I'm completely smitten by these George Boughton paintings. I don't know the name of this one so can not share; however, you may learn more about them at the John and Priscilla Alden historic site here. There's a fascinating discussion about the elevating of John and Priscilla to the level of stars. ☺ I'm sure that they would have been surprised.

 Just found this list of surnames of descendants of John and Priscilla this morning while visiting the site so thought I'd share. I must say that I see many of your names *on that list.* (None of mine, though.)

I have been puttering about this morning...moved the gigantic Easter cactus that isn't blooming out of the window so I could clear my table of the birch candle holders. They are still drying.

Yes, the rosemary is looking bedraggled. Yes, that is a dusting of snow. It reminds me of the sweetest vintage card Abby sent me several days ago.

A Christmas post card so lovely, so idealized. See how those oak leaves hang on forever and see those little boys? I often watch little boys playing beyond my window. I seldom see a sunset like that one though.

Fifty years ago, the country was in a tailspin. I can't allow the day to slip by without recognizing the anniversary. I have nothing to say other than that I remember. Do you?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Land of Light

Another Note Card Party in the can. Thank you so much for making it fun and for being a good visitor who leaves comments and for sharing your talent and beautiful photographs with us! The next Note Card Party will be December 18.

My love for Pilgrims was fostered early in a first grade classroom by Mrs. Pulsifer. She is the very one who taught me Psalm 23 and The Lord's Prayer. She also loved Thanksgiving and so things really began to pick up once November rolled around.

Perhaps she had ancestors who arrived on The Mayflower; perhaps she was a Daughter of the American Revolution as well. Whatever, she could surely tell some stories.

It takes things awhile to come full circle around here. I could let today's particular closure go without discussing it, if I weren't writing this here blog for the benefit of my family. (Hahahahahaha...I do crack myself up. Actually, quite to the contrary, I had a family ban on reading my blog for years. When they did read it, they tiptoed in and tiptoed out. Sometimes I caught them; most of the time I didn't.) 

It was way back on a post written in November 2007 that I pondered what painting hung on the back wall of my first grade classroom. I had not remembered correctly at that time — close, but not quite right; however, when I saw it recently, I recognized it immediately!

~Too Near the War-Path by George H. Boughton~

Yup. Something like that portrait will stay with you! It certainly has for me. It hung on the back wall of the classroom above the piano. I think of it as being a large, framed print. I would never have been able to guess that my ancestors had such experiences as this young couple portrayed in this painting of being too close to the War Path

While wandering the genealogy paths that I have recently found, I learned some interesting, even shocking, things. This list starts slowly and gains speed ☺:

1. First of all, my grandmother's maternal grandfather's parents were second cousins so this becomes a double line.

2. My three times great-grandfather (Hezekiah) was a Civil War veteran.

3. My five times great-grandfather (Joshua) was a Revolutionary War veteran.

4. My first ancestor in that line came to this country in 1635 — that's not much later than the Pilgrims. He was my eight times great-grandfather (George).

5. George had many children. One daughter, a mid-wife, was caring for a multiple great-grandmother of Jill's(Jill's World of Research, Reaction and Millinery)when the unthinkable happened.(I find it fascinating that here Jill and I have been hanging out together in Blogdom for some years now and our ancestors were hanging out together way back in 1697. Good thing I remembered Jill's story!) 

Jill has told the remarkable, even controversial, story of her ancestor (and mine) on her blog. If you ever need a good great fascinating read, I point you to it *here to get started* (though she wove an incredible tale beginning somewhere early in March of 2007...she is a research librarian after all) and *here in some final musings*. Jill tells the story with compassion and love. I am not equal to that task and so I am very glad that Jill has already done it. Edited to Add: Jill actually has a very handy label in her sidebar that pulls all her posts on this subject together chronologically. It's called Dustin Family Saga

I find myself astonished that, as a New Englander, I have roots that go back nearly to the beginning of American history. (You may remember my describing my investigation into my family history as if my family must have crawled out from under a rock because I could find so little. If you are searching, keep searching from time to time. New information is being added to the web all the time.) If you have lived in an area all your life and your family is tucked all around you, you may discover roots that go way back, too.
Now I know that the Bible specifically teaches (1 Timothy 1:4) that genealogy is not something to spend much time pondering and I believe that. Genealogy is not an important thing, though I could make a case that not only does math prove God, genealogy does, too, because genealogy is so very mathematical. Eventually, we're all going back to you know who in The Garden of Eden. I kid you not. Do the math!

I well remember my uncle telling me, after his taking many genealogy classes about twenty-five years ago, that 16 generations back everyone on earth is related. When I told him the Garden of Eden bit, he blinked hard several times. He found that a titch more difficult to comprehend.

I have more to say about this adventure into the family archives, though I'll save it for another time, probably writing on a Saturday when no one is around to read.☺

Today, I want to close with a testimony my five times Great-Grandfather Joshua's mother Ruth (six times great-grandmother) gave. She lived in perilous times before the country had even been established. Abenaki Indians had been responsible for the horrific deaths of her parents in a raid on Haverhill, Massachusetts in the early 1700s. (I wish to add that that was then and this is now. Different times, different sensibilities.) Even so, Ruth could say this:

I desire to be thankful that I was born in a Land of Light where I have heard the Gospel preached and the Bible read...I have had encouragement from many places, John 6:37, Isaiah 1:18, John 7:37, Revelation 3:20 and 22:17. I desire the prayers of all God's people for me that I may walk and be found among Christ's people when He takes up His jewels. 

We, too, are living in a challenging time in history, yet we still live in this Land of Light where we may hear the Gospel preached and the Bible read. Let's push back against every effort to change our freedoms of religion or any other freedoms.

Thanks for reading such a lengthy post with so many links. Blessings!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November Note Card Party

My note cards today are too seasonal by a lot, though this is where my mind is these days. Here it is after noon and I am just now composing this post. My original direction didn't work out so I started over this morning. Now I'm in the thick of Thanksgiving USA style. Please forgive me!
~old photo~

~recent photo~

~old photo~

~new photo~

The last note card I'd like to say more about — I love Pilgrims and have not been able to find any similar to the turkey or pumpkin seen here. I think I need to send John into the wood carving business. ☺ Anyway, I discovered this representation of John and Priscilla Alden done by George H. Boughton who was a New Englander who was born in England in 1833, grew up in Albany, New York, and at some point returned to England for the rest of his life. He painted many images of Pilgrims and Puritans. I love them! You'll be seeing more here in a day or two. They are quite highly romanticized, I'm sure, as Boughton lived from 1833 – 1905. I like how George thinks for no one knows what John and Priscilla really looked like. I'm sure that they were beautiful people. ☺

I'm very excited about the party today and will be visiting once I'm not the first to comment. I always appear so eager. I am!

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Reminder and a New Rule

Last year at this time, I threw my hands up into the air and said forget it. That's because the note card party fell on the Wednesday just before Thanksgiving. This year, we've been blessed with a late Thanksgiving, depending upon how you gauge such things. 
Anywho. I'm going forward. Mr. Linky will be available between two and two-thirty tomorrow afternoon, the party will run all through the following day and until about 10 Thursday morning. 

*Please read the rules* 
The new one: Four pictures plus a box top cover if you choose featuring all for a total of five. One more and I will visit without commenting. I know. Tough punishment. ☺

~Note Card Box Top~

If you have any questions, please ask in comments and I'll respond there for everyone's benefit.

Can't wait to see what you've been working on for this one! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Slow Mow

Running a bit late today because I slept in until nearly eight o'clock.

Warning: This post is going to be a red hot mess as I am tossing in everything I've saved to show you. All the best with that. Just drop in on whatever might interest you.

Let's go way back to the last evening in October when I had two of the cutest race car drivers ever knock on my door. They liked their outfits. Sorry for the photo quality. My photography skills fail me after dark.


John has been working on Christmas gifts. Christmas gifts to be given early as in many have already been delivered. 

With the leavings, I'm going to make some rustic ornaments like these. Good thing that I'm calling them "rustic" as I'm not a pro with the woodburner.

Switched out my log candles to battery operated ones so that I could use it on the windowsill. If my photography skills didn't fail me after dark, I'd show you how sweet it looks. 

Found this turkey rack gizmo at The Christmas Tree Shop and so I'm hoping that it will work as designed. Just pull those pins and the turkey is supposed to settle nicely onto the platter without any anxiety inducing moments. Yes, I'm keeping it right there on the kitchen table as decor. (I am afraid to put it somewhere else lest I forget it.)

Did you see the little turkey tea towel on the oven door back there? I have made several and now am moving on to other motifs for Christmas and winter. If you like to sew or know those who do, I found the directions *here.* While I did make one turkey with burlap, I will not make another. I switched out to autumn fabrics instead. 


~Friendly Village Label prior to 2003~

~Friendly Village Label since 2003~

A number of my blogging buddies have been chatting about their Friendly Village finds at excellent prices. I myself bought a Friendly Village tea pot last Christmas for a fair price. All these discussions raised some questions. I discovered that Friendly Village was first made in 1953. Now that was before I was born, but my set is not as "vintage" as I thought. (It belonged to my paternal grandmother.) Plates cost $10 on the Canadian side of the border and so I do remember my mother picking up a plate every time we were in Canada to either give as a gift to my grandmother or sometimes my grandmother had saved some money and set it aside. I've often wondered how, of all the granddaughters, I came to be blessed (beyond the fact that I seem to be the only one who truly loves them). Perhaps it is because my mother selected so much of the set.

Anyway, since 2003, the dishes have been made under the Johnson Brothers brand in China and carry the distinctive mark: Johnson Bros England 1883. I suppose that the dishwasher, freezer, microwave safe wording should clue one in to their recent creation as well. ☺

Some of both vintage and new sit in my cupboards. I'd not hesitate to augment my set with new ones if needed, but I'm still always on the lookout for some great vintage finds at flea markets.


Despite being in the middle of November, there is still some faded color yet. (Do you see the bittersweet?) And that's all that was in my folder for now. Phew. 

If you're still with me, thank you! Do create a wonderful day...

(I'm going to slow mow my lawn today no matter what!)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lovely November Mornings

The mornings have been so lovely around here.

Skies like these get my attention even when I'm asleep. ☺ By the time I had wakened enough to think camera and had returned for the photo, it was fading away 

and within minutes was dull November gray once more.

There's a metaphor there somewhere. In fact, while visiting Cait, I found the perfect quote for what's been going on with me: 
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. ~Herman Melville

That Herman! He has perfectly described my condition and has put such an amusing twist upon it. The sea is a mere thirty miles away, yet I put myself into the corner instead. Why is it that I so often do the exact opposite thing from what would best help my drizzly November of the soul? Don't answer that! Well, you might let me know whether you've ever done something similar. ☺

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day

Did you wonder this morning as I did how Veterans Day should be spelled? Was it Veteran's Day, Veterans' Day or Veterans Day. I wonder about it every year. This year I settled it once and for all: http://www1.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetday_faq.asp


Some towns honor the day with parades, flowers and flags placed on graves, patriotic songs, and memories. Any way that it is honored is good as long as it is honored. This is my town's way — the sand pile, which looks impressive, has been "engraved" with God Bless Our Troops, a flag, and a yellow ribbon.

My father served in the Korean War. Some years ago, we learned that a three times great-grandfather of mine on the distaff side had served in the Civil War; just last week, we've learned that the Civil War soldier's grandfather had served in the Revolutionary War and had probably fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill with General Putnam. Fascinating information. 

I have to smile that these men are on the "Canadian" side. My mother and grandmother were Canadians and these were their ancestors, but what I've not mentioned is that my grandmother's mother was an American born in Gloucester, Massachusetts. (Her paternal grandfather is the Civil War soldier and her paternal great-grandfather the Revolutionary War soldier.) She became a Canadian when she married my Canadian great-grandfather (whose ancestors also hail from the U.S., but were Royalists during the Revolutionary War). 

I am proud of their service and, most of all, grateful for their service. Soldiers hold the country together through the most difficult of times with the help of Almighty God. God bless them all.

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Murky Mists of Time~Photo Challenge

Laughing here at the juxtaposition of my last post on stability with this post, which appears to be anything but. The fact is that I have been lost in the genealogical mists of time since last I visited with you and so that is how my mind is bending these days. 
I am rather embarrassed by my efforts this month. I have spent a lot of time playing and trying to conquer the special lessons that Donna linked to. I have failed. If you don't think so, see this:

Moving along. These are the images I wished to work with.

and a background from Kim Klassen that will not upload but looks like a square of that top first photo — a whitish, foggy background. Though I wished to work in Photoshop, I couldn't seem to understand it properly so resorted to PicMonkey.

I'm not even going to attempt to explain what it means to me. It'll have to stand on its own: a murky, muddy mess of a thing — an attempt to share a big thought that fizzled.


I am having a lovely time away from Blogdom. It has been liberating to say the least. My hope is to wend my way back in time for my own November Note Card Party and to pop in on you from time to time, even if I don't comment. Not commenting has been the most liberating of all! 

For that reason, I am closing my own comments today. One can't expect comments when not providing any!

I am providing a link to *Donna's Photo Challenge,* but not participating this time. 

Over and out for now...

Monday, November 4, 2013


Stability says there must be no evasion; instead attend to the real, to the real necessity however uncomfortable that might be. Stability brings us from a feeling of alienation, perhaps from the escape into fantasy and daydreaming, into the state of reality. It will not allow us to evade the inner truth of whatever it is that we have to do, however dreary and boring and apparently unfruitful that may seem. It involves listening...to the particular demands of whatever this task and this moment in time is asking; no more and no less. ~Esther de Waal

I'm practicing stability this week. ☺ I'll be back in plenty of time for Donna's Photo Challenge. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Fitful Gust

I love the fitful gust that shakes
The casement all the day
And from the mossy elm tree takes
The faded leaf away,
Twirling it by the window pane
With thousand others down the lane...
~John Clare
From left to right: 
A nest with bits of ribbon and a blue string woven in
My neighbors' tree and front porch
The woods behind our garage
November~practicing layers
 A blessed November to you...
Linking to Mary's Little Red House

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November Thoughts

Is it me or was Blogdom especially quiet over the month of October? I know that there are always "things going on" in current affairs that weigh hearts down and I also know that many bloggers have a lot going on in their personal affairs that equally weigh them down. A number are in a grieving season; there are more than a handful of my blogging friends with health concerns (real life ones, too); and financial burdens are ever present for too many...

Sometimes I wonder if it is time to close up shop for a few weeks just to give readers a breather and to remind myself that there are probably more important ways to use my time. I have an addictive personality so must be wary and cautious; otherwise, I find myself reading blogs for hours on end. 

Pinterest started off that way for me and has eased up a bit. It may take off again as we head into the holiday season. 

Pardon my ramblings. You see, all this blog reading has me pondering. I am trying to decide what is most important. I could be so like Martha in the Luke 10: 38–42 story and miss out on the best while settling for the preparations. 

Fact is, I really must decide what Thanksgiving looks like this year; I must decide what Christmas will be this year. And, if it is not too much to ask, I'd like it to be meaningful for each and every one in the family. Is it too much to hope that it be focused on the best?

You can read the post that started my pondering at Brenda's Coffee Tea Books and Me where she brushes off what she calls her "new and improved" *Preparing for the Holidays.*  I guarantee that you'll be pondering, too!

Cheryl at Thinking About Home has just completed a 31-Day Series about Celebrations. I learned that celebrations are not just to party hearty. They are specifically designed for a great purpose. They are a way of saying that we have come this far thanks to God's help. And, by implication, that we will get all the way home by His good help. He is faithful! This does not work for those who do not put their trust in Him, but for those who do, they can count on Him. 

Cheryl's posts are *here.* She has them all nicely listed making it easy to pop in on the one that interests you. I highly recommend them all, but there's just something about Day 6.

So what does your Thanksgiving look like this year? What do you want it to be given the limitations of your current circumstances or the fact that the kids can't come home or whatever the case may be? (This year, it's my turn! Yippee!! ☺)

Christmas? It's not so far away.  This year, our Christmas must be a much simpler one where gifts are concerned. That doesn't mean that they should not be thoughtful, meaningful ones all the same. 

Today, I'm bringing out some November things...a cranberry wreath and a turkey. I've already decorated the top of the paper shredder. 

Well, it makes John happy!

A wonderful November and a meaningful holiday season to you...

Friday, November 1, 2013

How to Find Bittersweet~Photo Friday

I think I'm cheating with a mosaic; I think I'm cheating by chatting, too. ☺ 

One finds bittersweet by looking for a drift of rust in the trees and on fences. Being near water or in a swampy area doesn't hurt. See how the bittersweet will strangle the tree on the bottom right above? It may already have. Sometimes the host tree looks alive because of the foliage of the bittersweet. Now that I'm getting used to looking for bittersweet, I'm seeing it everywhere. Before I would have just passed it by thinking that it was tired foliage.

Linking to *Kati's Photo Friday.*

Kati's Little Corner of the World
Is it as Novembery there as it is here?

P.S. You can read more about this plant *here* and *here.* Seems that I have the invasive Asian or Oriental bittersweet because the berry grows along the vine and there are some thorns. Well, I won't be planting that at my place. Things are further complicated by the plants co-mingling and having characteristics of both parent plants. Hmmm...