A Haven for Vee

Monday, March 31, 2014

Another Month in the Can

Seems I am very good at saying the wrong thing and offending my friends. Please pay me no mind. My opinion on some things varies from one day to the next. Is blogging work? Yes and No. Two blogging buddies said it best so I quote them...
I love your blog, Vee. But it's not your blog I'm coming to visit with, it's YOU, my friend.
Blogging is real work...and the pay is in friendships and shared ideas and encouragement rather than in dollars and cents. 
Isn't that great? I could not say it any better.

March in this corner was an extension of February January. Very cold. Very snowy. We tried to make the best of it and found ourselves unable to hit the mark. So we are truly winter-weary, Vitamin D deprived (and you know what that does to a person), and our pockets are empty from having had to fill the oil tank one too many times.☺
All the same, when I think about March 2014, I will think of John maintaining that wonderful luge for the grands and how much fun they had. Now that was infectious.

These photos have not been shared before, though they will certainly look familiar.

Linking to Cheryl's Gathering the Moments. Learn more by clicking on the sidebar button. It's a great way to finish out a month. Thank you for hosting, Cheryl!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

This Morning

What an intriguing scene waited just beyond my kitchen windowsill... The morning sun was striking the power lines that follow the river.  (The green you see is my little ivy plant inside.)
 Yes, that is a lot of snow!

A lot of dirty snow, but look beyond that, the telephone poles, and the sign, to the light display. It was magical. 

Now, after a day a week of fiddling with the blog, it's time to do some housework. Funny how I can pretend that blogging is real work. ☺

Have a relaxing and blessed weekend...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spilling the Beans

I have openly been talking about you here...just flat out spilling whatever it is that you've been telling me either behind the scenes in email or even in comments. Let's finish out the week in that vein, shall we? I think I am learning a few important things.

Yesterday, in comments, Ellen said that she never knows what she'll find here. She said it very nicely, too, referring back to a line from Forrest Gump. No, she did not say, "Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir fried..." Thank goodness. Because if I were describing this blog that's as good a metaphor as it gets.

So what am I to take from Ellen's comment? Perhaps that I should, after nearly seven years of blogging, say right up front what a person can expect to find here. If I only knew. Sigh. I'm open to suggestions because I'm getting ready to change my profile picture and all that profile commentary that I used to think was cute, but doesn't actually say anything.

I live with my beloved and a small cat in a small town, in a small neighborhood, in a small house, at the edge of a bird sanctuary, also small.This blog is award and word verification free. ☺ (The yellow arrow? It returns you to the top quickly from any point on the page.)

Then, same friend who gave me what-for about the aged sheet music background, let me know that my sidebar looks a fright. Cluttered. People don't like to see that. It's like walking into a home and seeing game pieces on the furniture or little socks tossed willy-nilly into corners or books stacked precariously or old coffee mugs that need taking to the sink or goldfish crunched on the carpet (cracker goldfish that is). Pardon me, that was way too easy to describe. Ahem. So, perhaps I will get rid of all those inspirational posts and maybe lower things to the footer, though I am keeping my followers list in the sidebar. ( Aside: Thank you to all who have recently followed. If I can find you, I ordinarily follow back. Qoogle+ can = a pain. [Yes, I know that I misspelled that.])

So, if you wander in here and things have changed, yet again, please think nothing of it. I'm only taking your suggestions to heart. I'm starting with that sub-header(√).  I can't bear to see my name in lights that large. 

What's the latest best thing you've done on your blog?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Soap and Suds

~thank you, Diane!~

Just when I need a blogging topic, a knock comes at the door. Either that or I'm very good with the yakety-yak.

Diane is one of my favorite names. Do I sound like a certain talk-show host? Well, it's true — Diane is one of my favorite names because I have so many friends who share that name. This Diane blogs privately and oh, I can't wait until her husband retires so she may blog in the open. ☺ Then you'll get a proper introduction.

 One of her favorite Etsy stores is Mudlucious and Puddlewonderful. (I am really going to try to remember that name; once the melting in my yard begins, it'll be so delightfully euphemistic.) Anyway, I recently won a giveaway and was allowed to choose two soaps. Choosing soaps is so much fun! It's like selecting candy bars without the calories.

You may find that connection odd, but once my cousin and I ate a sliver of Ivory soap while we were having a bath. My mother was called to the phone and left two otherwise intelligent looking four-year-olds in the tub while she took the call. When she returned, she wondered where the soap had gone. °Hiccup.° Oh my. We were both some kind of sick. Just in case you've ever wondered, I have also eaten a plate of sand. Don't ask!

Now where was I? Oh. The name Diane. (That is where I was, right?) One of my other Dianes Diana commented yesterday that she can not always tell that she is visiting my blog. Hence yet another blog header and the large name below the header. It's a look and not one I'm sure that will last, but if anyone mistakes me for Pioneer Woman, it won't be my fault. Hahahahahaha...

Okay. Enough shenanigans. Have a fun day!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

There's A Blizzard Over There!

Tulips...gotta love'em. As you can see, I'm still practicing with the square size. I've not got Lynda's method down pat, but I can, at least, get the square on. 

In other news, I am working on a new header suitable for Easter. I say this by way of warning. (Apparently, I change my header so often that some get whiplash.) I'm sticking with a theme —— a tea-filled tea cup. I have been blessed with so many and I enjoy using them. Here's a hint of things to come; hopefully, by this afternoon.

This should also explain the new lace background. Maybe.

Let's see...what else? Oh I am busily decorating for Easter. It's not my turn to host Easter, but I do have two grandsons who are newly interested in the Easter story so I hope that we shall make an Easter garden together *like the one that a young friend made last year.*

A storm is passing by very close; it is snowing just a few miles down the road, but has not and may not reach here.

~Please forgive me, I am olden and love a good old-fashioned gospel quartet.~  
Life's storms affect us in many ways. They can buffet our finances, our health, our mental stability, our family relationships, even our nation. With a blizzard just on our doorstep...I can feel the chill, hear the howling wind, and can see the ominous gray...this song has been on my mind. 

If you'd like to read the lyrics, you can find them here. The verse for me that causes a hot tear to sting:

Many times satan whispers, "There is no need to try,
For there's no end of sorrow, there's no hope by and by"
But I know Thou art with me, and tomorrow I'll rise
Where the storms never darken the skies.

Well, I should probably get back to header making or decorating or something. I know that I'll still be humming this, though. It's a real ear worm.

A beautiful day to you!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Not Waterlogued

Now that is a real Monet mess. And if Debbie comes in here suggesting that Monet and mess mean the same thing... ☺ I did it by using the oil painting option in Photoscape. I don't think it has the same quality as the program we've been seeing in Blogdom.

I promised Penny that I'd let her know when the ivy rooted. I just noticed yesterday afternoon that it had done. That is a pretty quick result — four days to a week. Not bad! 

Can you believe that next Tuesday is April Fool's Day? I can't. I do know this: March has been pretty much a joke. We are now learning that the monster storm will be passing out to sea, though it will nail those in Washington County (Downeast). Then, or so we're told, there will be a warming trend that cannot be stopped. 

On his way home Sunday, two baguettes and a biscuit fell from a neighbor's tree and landed with a thud on the hood of John's truck. Short of our neighbor's tossing bread into his tree, we are not exactly sure how it got up there. (After thinking long and hard, John thinks it may have been a crow.) Though we, of course, have no intention of eating this bread, it has caused us to think about divine provision and, depending on the age of the baguettes, perhaps divine protection. ☺ 

That's it from here. What is the oddest thing that has happened to you lately?

P.S. Oops. Forgot to say that Shabby Blogs returned at some point yesterday. Thanks, Pat, for telling me! So I tested both the backgrounds at the PC and I think my friend was right. The notes are probably fine for autumn, but seemed a bit "heavy" after having enjoyed the lace for the day. On the other hand, the lace is not quite "it" either. I'll keep looking.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Of Graphics and Backgrounds and Such

The email read something like this: Thank goodness you got rid of that old, brown background with the musical notes. It was depressing!

Got rid of? Depressing? I had not gotten rid of anything and I had no idea that anyone found whatever I had not gotten rid of "depressing." I really loved it. Really loved it.

So I left my iPad and fired up the PC and, sure enough, the background was gone and the little icon to Shabby Blogs was broken. I don't know what happened to Shabby Blogs; I do know that the owner had put the site up for sale. I hope that it will be back. 

In the meantime, my friend thoughtfully included two links to background sites: *The Digital Bakery* (the background I am using comes from there)and *Vintage Made for You.*

Yesterday, she sent me this funny, which I have already shared with some of you. I know that you might wish to stick in your own state or province.

Obviously, Charlie is visiting a "green" state. Ha!

Just to prove that we are in need of a little humor here...

~taken 3-22-2014~

We never know when "the luge" will be too slippery to use. It's a day by day thing lately. Today it will be too slippery, but Saturday afternoon, after three inches of snow fell, it was great. The boys talked their dad into bringing them over so they could have more time on the hill. How they have enjoyed that thing! And, good news for them, looks as if a rather large storm is on its way. Sigh.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not say a thank you to my dear friend Karen Harvey Cox at A Scrapbook of Inspiration for this darling little graphic made for me. It is so adorable; I love it!

As you can see, I'm using it for my "home" button. By the way, do you have a "home" page or button or something that allows your readers to return to your home page without having to scroll all the way to the bottom? 

My friend is not the only one who can stick her oar in. 

A great week to you!

P.S. For all you birthday girls out there... This was in my sister's email one day recently
~in my imagination~

Sunday, March 23, 2014


The first sign of spring —— green moss on a tree!

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in a low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.
~Robert Schuller

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. ~Psalm 27: 14

Blessings this Sunday and all week through... 

reminder: comments are always closed on Sunday morning posts

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thank You

Abby (Little Birdie Blessings) has done it again. Yesterday, a beautiful package arrived so delightfully presented that I nearly didn't want to open it.

Look at that beautiful crocheted rickrack trim in yellow! Oh and that sweet bird sticker!

This sweet card was created by Abby's friend Darlene.

Inside were this book and vintage bookmark.

The book fell open to this page and it was soooo good that I thought I'd share. 

Last week, Abby sent the Isaiah verse bookmark and a birthday card. Thought I'd tuck them in, too. I'm sensing a theme here! (See the blue satin edging? I just found that inside the envelope this morning. Bonus!)

A closer look at the bookmarks...

Abby, thank you for all the times you have blessed me. If I were ever to doubt the love of God, I could just remember them and know that He has given me such a friend as you.

And, dear friend, thank you for reading here today: so many blogs; so little time. 

A beautiful spring weekend to you!

post signature

P.S. All photos were taken using the iPad camera for its handy little "square" option. I am still practicing Lynda's methods and hope to improve. See yesterday's post if this makes no sense. ☺

Friday, March 21, 2014

Copying Lynda

Now the photo above is something I might typically do. There's a whole lot going on. The camera probably is confused; I'm confused; you might be confused as well. By way of explanation, I am growing ivy in an assortment of vases and old bottles. I'm cheap frugal. That and I need to see some green.

I usually try not to crop my photos preferring to fill the frame. I resize them, but keep the proportions without cropping. If I do crop (rare), I try to get them back to the same ratios as they would have been from the camera, though resized.

Here I am trying to blatantly copy my friend Lynda who does crop. Lynda is a wonderful photographer whose work I have long admired and  have purchased. If you knew how cheap frugal I am, you'd appreciate what that means —— I really love her work.

And again with the copying or trying to... Thing is, you can try it for yourself because Lynda has provided wonderful explanations on the post titled Random Bits and How I Edit My Photos. Once there you will also find a link to a former post explaining her photography. Lynda blogs at Simple Things. Go see!

Here's another thing I might typically do: take a picture of the grand, fresh in from sledding, and leave him out of it. Ai yi yi!

A happy day to you...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Surprise

I do love a joke. Woke up to a great one!

 Eight inches of new snow on the first day of spring. Hahahhahahaha...

 It's official: we're buried in it.
Are we discouraged? No! We have our trusty sleds and will make the best of it.

Thanks to Teachers' Workshop days, I have the added benefit of some grandboys who will keep me hopping for the next two days. After sledding, we're pondering baking some gingerbread boys, if only we can talk Jake into not thinking of them as Christmas cookies.

Any snow in your corner? How about a haboob dust storm?

P.S. Thanks to all who participated in the Note Card Party. You brought spring and good cheer. When I was checking again last night, I saw how well you got around and visited one another and it truly warmed my heart.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Humble Offerings~Note Card Party

These days, life has slowed to that which must be done and I'm afraid that my note cards reflect it this month. Each is a former offering from 2011. My intent had been to look for photos taken around this date; however, I shouldn't have been surprised to learn that March is typically a slow month where I take few photos. 

Perhaps it is the teacher in me that leans toward seasonal offerings —— a rut if ever I've known one. That and to carry through on a theme is challenging for me.

~doily wreath and tulips~

~spring wreath~

~first spring visit to the garden~

~new maple syrup~

The photo above is my personal favorite because there's always something comforting about a pancake and syrup. John and I are hoping that one day soon there'll be the proper weather for the sap to flow. Our supply of maple syrup needs replenishing. Is the sap flowing in your corner?

Hope that you've had an easier time gathering photos. Though I tout this party as easy-peasy, sometimes it ain't. ☺

Sunday, March 16, 2014


For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is 
not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 
But if we hope for what we do 
not see, we wait for it with patience. 
~Romans 8:24–25

~2011 daffodils~

No spring in sight here. There's snow so high that my neighbor's dog comes visiting at the dining room window walking on top of snow four feet high. He peeks right in and winks at me. The good news is that, once spring begins, she'll not be kept back. Rather like that scene in the Narnia movie when the melting begins in earnest and everyone comforts others with "Aslan is on the move."

In case you're in need of a little spring, I am linking to this under five-minute video of tulip fields near Keukenhof Gardens in Holland. If you're not eager to fly these days, have a peek. It's a quick vacation and very relaxing. 

Yes, well, I am planning a Note Card Party for Wednesday. Mr. Linky will be up Tuesday afternoon at the usual time. Please see sidebar for links to information. Bring spring with you, if you'd like!

Monday, March 10, 2014


Moving right along from yesterday's post, which brought an email from a psychic/mystic. Ai yi yi. Obviously, I am not making myself clear around here.☺ 

Oh well. As I say of Blogdom — never a dull moment! Or the other thing I say of Blogdom—the only dull moments are when no one is posting. Here's my attempt to remedy that.

So where have I been? I was ill. That took a few days (and I'm still not back up to speed). Then both John and I celebrated birthdays: the BIG ones that enter us into a new decade. John has now arrived at what he describes as "all that God has promised." For the first time, I have found myself thinking that I may not see the next big one. Now this is always true of everyone, but I had never considered it before. It could be a good thing. Maybe. Not going to spend a lot of time dwelling on it. Just a little. Hopefully. Nothing to keep me up at night or anything. YaWn...

While no pies were made, there has been some baking going on. 

That's the last piece of my cake ↑. My birthday was celebrated at my son's home where he baked a delicious lasagna and homemade rolls, my daughter-in-law made a fresh salad, and where my daughter brought this yummy cake.

In a few short days, John celebrated his birthday. I made him a strawberry cake using *this recipe* from the MGCC site.↓ 

It was a pretty cake, but I didn't follow directions; it goes without saying that following the directions is a good idea. In the end, John got what he really wanted for his birthday cake. ↓

That's right. Just a plain old strawberry shortcake — there is a plain old biscuit under there somewhere as he doesn't even like "special" biscuits or pound cake or angel food cake or anything else that one might use to dress it up.

~Fioré finds some shade~

Let's see, what else. Oh yes, Daylight Savings Time. I have tried to be good everywhere I have visited and not mention (in response to those who are displeased with DST) that I love it. I do. Love, love, love it. We both do here. If I could, it would always be DST, except we can't have children going to school in the dark. Anyway, I'm opening the floor. Do you love it or hate it? Feel free to share. I will not hold it against thee either way.

Anything else you'd like to know? Otherwise, I'm fresh out of scoop.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Grief and Loss

There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve —even in pain— the authentic relationship. Furthermore, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The most sensical points I've ever read regarding grief and loss. (Thanks to Ellen at Happy Wonderer where I first read this last summer or fall.)

~falls in spring~

  Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it...

Song of Solomon 8:7a
Comments are always closed on Sunday posts. Have a great day!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Missing the Boat

Sometimes I completely miss the boat. It's not that I'm not there on time, it's that I misunderstood the directions. Or, in the case of this analogy, I didn't read the boarding time properly.
The boat in this instance is Donna's Photo Challenge for March, which is Words and Letters. Without further excuses, I share my offerings.

~One of my grandmother's many scrapbooks~

~Memory Lane~

Sometime — perhaps —
You'll think of me
And some kind things I've done
And maybe —
They'll place the bad ones back
One by one —

It was a poignant journey down Memory Lane made more so by the remembrance that I had had "no time" to sit and chat with my grandmother about her scrapbooks. I'd change that today, if only I could. I'm just so darned good at missing the boat.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Under the Weather

Just a little under the weather both literally and figuratively. Hopefully, any future posts are now reined in and tied to a stanchion somewhere. My apologies for allowing that one to get away.

Comments closed today. Carry on!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Anatomy of a Header

Sometimes I hear bloggers discuss how they look at a post and all the photos are the same or there are only slight variations. Yup. That's happening here today. Whine away! (Or grab some lemon ginger  tea...that stuff is so good!)

I have had a few questions over the past month about what programs I use for photo editing and how I create a header. After several years of blogging, I have no great suggestions. I suppose that I am doing better than I did at the beginning, but not so much better as to be considered an expert. I still take lots of pictures and just try to go with the one that looks good to me. 

What do you do when creating your headers? Do you create your headers or work with one from a design blog? I like a good old-fashioned header so have only gone with a "canned" version a few times. I might change my mind someday and get a customized look. Ha! Fat chance. It is what it is around here.

I use Photoscape, a free photo editing program that one must download and which has a "less than satisfactory" version for Macs. 

I also use a free from the web version of Photoshop for many of the things that I can't do with Photoscape to include rotating the canvas by small degrees and saving the photo at the quality I prefer.

 PicMonkey is a great online photo editing program; however, many of the items are premium, which is why I have added the button over there to the side. I was asked to link my friends to PicMonkey so that they could receive a free day of premium services. In exchange, I'd receive some free time, too. It's how I did the header for March. If you've never tried it, have some fun!

Can you see the photo I took my header from?

p.s. for those missing the old header, which I found sweet by the way — both the missing of the header and the header itself: