A Haven for Vee
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Gathering a Year~2014
Posted by Vee at 7:41 AM 34 comments
Labels: Gathering the Moments, Year in Review
Monday, December 29, 2014
~Rudolph Candy Cane Antlers from Sam~
~Beaded Candy Cane from Sam~
~Gorgeous Red Cardinal from Keanne~
My niece was home from New York City and the family was able to gather the day after Christmas for supper and no gifts. So much for that part because somehow this red cardinal was given and I love him! He is very elegant.
~Cinnamon Teddy Bear from Mom~
A few days before Christmas as I was busily scraping together some last-minute gifts, I was desperate for some festive-looking fabric. I couldn't hope for Christmas fabric, but something red or green or Christmasy. I opened a box in my sewing room tucked high on a shelf and found a Christmas gift that I had forgotten all about. It was filled to the brim with Christmas fabrics, leftovers from my mother's sewing room, and a number of sweet cinnamon teddy bears. I almost sat down on the floor and cried and then thought why not laugh with the joy of it instead? So I did. And every time I see them, I smile all over again.
We had a very pleasant Christmas with two of John's daughters planning to visit. One was unable to come after breaking her leg; the other was able to visit with us Christmas Eve.
We spent Christmas afternoon with my son and his family and had a very nice time watching the boys open gifts and play with them. We played a game John and I got for the family called "Say Anything." We were asked the question: What is the worst pet that one could bring home? What might you say? I said, "an alligator." My son said, "A beagle." And that with the family beagle snoring on the sofa right beside me! We got a good laugh out of that and then Jake (the youngest grandson) came and kneeled over his dear pet and whispered, "Don't you listen to Daddy. You are a very good dog."
I have a "Gathering the Year" post for the 31st. I know that they are not everyone's cup of tea, but I am growing olden and wish to keep an easy record. On New Year's Day, I am wishing you a Happy and Prosperous 2015 and taking another little break of a week or so. (I don't wish to offend with my ongoing Christmas celebrations.☺)
Posted by Vee at 3:33 PM 46 comments
Labels: Christmas decorating
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Posted by Vee at 11:43 AM
Labels: Merry Christmas
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Posted by Vee at 10:24 AM 57 comments
Thursday, December 18, 2014
If You Have Time to Visit...
Lovely vintage fabrics, vintage postcards, ornaments, a coaster, Before Amen by Max Lucado, and other items that must remain secret.
Posted by Vee at 8:02 AM 35 comments
Labels: Blog recommendation, Gifts
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Cookie Baking Day
Sis and I had a cookie baking date. Yesterday was it! She arrived before ten with a vehicle filled to the rafters with baking supplies and I had tables filled to the rafters inside with baking supplies. It was quite the day.
As is often the case with us, we didn't go for the tried and true. We both chose new-to-us recipes. Three to be exact. Fussy recipes that involved delicate dough and rolling out. One was the filled date cookie you see in its beginning stages below. It got a topper with a heart shape cut out. Then the edges were crimped. I have to tell you because I didn't take one photo of the finished product. They turned out quite cute and very tasty.
~Date Filled Cookies~
~Peanut Butter Cup Temptations~
These were not fussy. They were yummy. The recipe is right on the bag of peanut butter cups.
This recipe is all over Pinterest. It's delicious, but I won't bother to make them again.
~Dora's Sugar Cookies~
This is a cookie that I've been baking since I was in third grade and ran home to tell my mother that Cathy's mother had made the most delicious cookie I had ever eaten. My mother called Cathy's mother who was gracious enough to share. I'm sharing, too.
Dora's Christmas Cookies
2 cups brown sugar packed
1 cup melted butter
3½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients together. Chill for thirty minutes or so. Roll thinly between two sheets of wax paper—no thicker than pie crust. Cut into shapes. Bake at 350° for ten minutes.
Frost with favorite icing as desired.
Edited to Add: Dora's Cookies taste better the following day.
We worked from morning until night. Dishes were done again and again. Still the kitchen looked as if a bomb had gone off.
~One little bright corner~
Sis was going straight to the hospital to drop off the goodies. She's dieting these days, yet she wanted to do her part for the cookie swap today on her floor. She just isn't participating in the swapping part. ☺
Posted by Vee at 8:07 AM 36 comments
Labels: cookie recipe
Friday, December 12, 2014
December Photo Challenge
This morning we woke to tracings of snow on branches and pale blue sky with some weak sun. I took my chance to re-photograph my subjects, which were two antique ornaments from my collection. (I don't actually have them on display this year and they will be returning to their storage soon.)
What'sa matter, Santa? Have I been naughty again?
All photos were taken on automatic with a Coolpix P7100. I cropped, used frames (transparent and gradient 6 on Photoscape), auto corrected (low), auto contrasted (low), and sharpened on level 5. I added the default back lighting and put that warm glow I love on with the lowest setting of "bloom." This is not a good idea for everyone because it does take the clarity back down again. Then I zipped over to PicMonkey and wrote this thank you for a lady who has done so much to teach me what little I know about photography. Though I don't shoot in RAW, I shoot in auto, which she once told me that her Beloved did a lot.
Thank you is not enough, but it's a start.
As most of you know, Donna will not be with us for this challenge because she is caring for her Beloved. It is a credit to her that we have been allowed to carry on without her today. Donna has said that this is her last photo challenge. I understand that and hope to honor her commitment with this little post.
Thank you for looking. I am closing comments today.
Posted by Vee at 11:22 AM
Labels: Photo Challenge, photo editing
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Early Gifts of Christmas
It arrived along with this sweet Johnson Brothers "Merry Christmas" mug. Apparently, dear Kim of Happy at Home was reading before Thanksgiving and saw the Friendly Village plates and thought of me when she saw this mug. As you can tell, it is a perfect complement for the Friendly Village tea cups in back. Kim, I just love it and, as soon as John figures out that I have switched mugs, I'll be having my morning coffee from it every day! Kim had a fun little tango with a vacuum cleaner yesterday and managed to take a photo all at the same time. Check it out!
The print was one that my daughter gave me several years ago that I had not figured out quite what to do with. I love it here and it does remind me of my own two kiddos years ago and of my grandsons playing outside in the snow.
It looks even better with Kim's card.
We are not displaying outside lights this year...anything to economize...yet, I wish that we were because they are so cheering. I must write my neighbor a note thanking her for the light display at her home.
This is a terrible shot of the moon the night before it was full, but the sky is the story. It just looked so pretty to me...sort of like one giant star—a light display of another sort.
Still decorating or redecorating. Thought that John's nightside table needed a little Christmas cheer. That little great he is holding in the photo there is already five years old!
Posted by Vee at 11:04 AM 52 comments
Labels: Blog recommendation, Christmas decorating, gift
Sunday, December 7, 2014
That's Why He Came
I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy!
That December was the year that my friend Bea describes as life-changing. A life-changing event was playing itself out in her young employee's life... let's call her Veronica. Veronica's mother was in the final stages of brain cancer and the pall over the office was heavy. Bea lamented to another of her office staff that Christmas should be a time of pure joy and that nothing should ever go wrong at Christmastime. Bea was soon to learn that most important lesson when the young woman turned to her and said, "Oh. I thought this was why He came."
This week has been one of such moments. My daughter's dear friend has been forever changed by a tragic and unnecessary loss. John has lost one of his dearest friends to cancer. Both funerals were this week, just two days apart. We passed by the widow's home on Wednesday and saw Christmas lights on and the tree glowing in the window and I thought to myself what remarkable courage and faith.
Posted by Vee at 8:16 AM
Labels: Christmas Thoughts, Sunday
Saturday, December 6, 2014
A Shopping Day
That's fog and freezing rain beyond the windows...Christmas lights are so cheering on such days.
Earlier in the week, my daughter and I went Christmas shopping in Freeport and Augusta. It was another freezing rain and fog day, but she was up for driving saying that no one would be crazy enough to be out. She was very nearly right. In fact, we had the dining room all to ourselves at Olive Garden.
The difference between not explaining what you're up to and assuring your
victim darling that you are a blogger after all.
The waitress did not leave us tongs so we had to improvise. I had no idea how fast Darling Daughter's hands were moving, but she hadn't eaten all day.
This is the L.L. Bean tree — a spruce. I think it looks quite lovely even in fog and rain. Yes, there are orbs in the trees.
This was the row of lights and wreaths outside the Home Store part of L.L. Bean. Love those galvanized buckets!
~Hunting and Fishing and The Big Boot~
One of Freeport's side streets...I just liked the hip-roofed brick building with the wreaths at all windows.
A wonderful carving of three black bears in a tree trunk on The Green.
It was a fun day and I did get some Christmas shopping done. My daughter was very patient with her old mum who was barely toddering by day's end. She said that she didn't get as much done as she had hoped. Of course not! That's what you get when you take an old lady shopping, but may the good deed be returned in multiple ways. ☺
Posted by Vee at 11:09 AM 29 comments
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