A Haven for Vee

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Gathering the Moments~April

Another month come and gone? Yes, and though I can't say that April has been any prize and am beginning to think that 2014 is going down as the spring that never was to be followed by a summer that never was (don't tell anyone I told 
you —— Foogle it), I still think it went by fast. 

I spent the month fretting about the cat, kiddos, and husband, not necessarily in that order.

~Grandpa Robin~

A real robin showed up; even he looked winter spring weary and as if he had had a cold for a month. (That nest material looks as if he were wearing a mustache.) 

Real daffodils are still scarce, but one arrived in the form of art.

~Thanks, Lorrie!~

My son celebrated a birthday and we helped. This photo was taken last summer, but he doesn't change. Does he look patient, good, and kind?  He is. 

Sam and I tried a photo with the iPad camera. I liked his image and not my own. I suppose you can tell that. 

Oh and another "daffodil" arrived just this week with a message I need.

~Thanks, Abby!~

He held the whole month, too, and here we are ready (or not) to head into May. I'd like to head off boldly this time believing good things are on their way.

I am linking to Cheryl's 
Gathering the Moments...
It's a wonderful tool for summarizing a month!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hi Again

~Cape Cod Soft Molasses Cookies~

Is it about time for a little kaffeeklatsch around here? I think so. (Yes, I am still taking those Duolingo German classes. Slow and steady is my motto as with most things.)

The cookies are delicious. I did make them with boys who do not enjoy a lot of spices in mind. I did use the fresh ginger, but not the dry; I did not use coffee; I did not add allspice nor black pepper and I even backed off on the cinnamon. Everything else remained the same. No matter what spice combinations you might try with these, they really are yummy. Both grands groaned seeing them in the can yesterday, though they wound up eating three each.


Last week, my sister sent me a surprise via email titled "A Blast from Our Past." I'll say! It was a photo of our parents that I had never seen before. I recognized the room, the wreath, even the table with the products like Maxwell House instant coffee, Bordens Dutch Chocolate, and the distinctive Good Seasons Italian dressing bottle. Also, that plate of white bread that attended meals in those days. Thankfully, we do not do that anymore. 

~the original photo~

My sister's comment was that Mom always used to hang things very high on walls. You'll be happy to know that she grew out of that. Ha! I have actually shown this very corner before, but you'd not recognize it as such. I'll pop in that photo.

~Mother's tea cup collection~

Gosh that took me about half an hour to find and it's a mess (the photo not the display), but still it shows my mother's evolution in decor. I see so many of these tea cups, which I use more than she did, but do not display en masse.

What struck me most about the photo was the very different demeanor I see in my young parents. They would have been about 24 and 29 at the time and they look happy and playful. I think this is the direct result of the photographer capturing the moment. (I am not quite sure who that photographer was, but she may well have been my mother's friend who lived in my current neighborhood then. I see her former home every single day. What a tight web we are weaving.)

I just found it interesting...

Have you ever seen a new-to-you photo of your parents that surprised you in some way?


I was so happy to hear from our dear  Miss Sandy at Quill Cottage. Perhaps she'll pop in and tell us her community's tornado story, but I did want you to know that she and her family are well and their properties are okay. She tells me that she has been finding debris from other properties around her home. 

There's just so much weather activity out there now. Prayer is so important.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


~wiffle ball~

Believe me, I had no idea that I would be over and out for an entire week. It was spring break here and my grands were with me from 7:30 am to 5 pm. We had a good time. By Friday, I was ready for a relief pitcher in the the form of a much younger auntie. The boys were delighted. They are pretty good sports given that they were hanging out with old people all week. 

There's been some sickness, too. You can see John there soaking up some precious rare Vitamin D. Even the cat has been ill. Other than general weariness, I am remaining vertical.

The other news is that I am taking more time off. Just not feeling the blogging vibe yet. (ETA: My own blogging vibe that is; I have been happily reading blogs.) A general malaise has settled...the weather, the times, a lack of joy in it all. So keep a light on in the window for me. I'll be home eventually. 

comments closed ☺

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good for Me

It's after nine and I find myself thinking about the events of that first Good Friday. It is good to ponder. How do I reconcile all that I am doing today with that sacred timeline? Oh! I remember. Jesus came to give me a reason to live, to do the little things that create a life worth living. 

I will be cleaning and baking and watching my grands. 

~book gift from Great-Aunt K~
We will probably read this story by Max Lucado again, if the weeks' past are any indication. The story has captured the boys' attention.  

They have wondered aloud how such a day could be called "Good." In the end, we have learned that it is "good for me." Very good for me. The best it could possibly be for me. For you, too, if you have realized your need to receive the greatest gift ever given. 

A blessed Easter weekend to you. Don't forget, Sunday's coming! 

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Taking It Easy

Thanks again for another fun party. My, my, Hallmark may be calling you soon. I saw so many wonderful images!  


As you can see below (using an app for this posting), we're lying low around here. Perhaps it is the wild swing in the weather for half the family is ill with some bug or other. The grands have had colds and now John has one, too. It's a rare day that he isn't up and at'em, but this is that day. 

Closing comments so you may scoot off to your garden or other pursuits. I hope to visit you between call bells. ;>

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Trying Something New~April Note Card Party

Yes, I am so excited about trying something new that I nearly forgot to add the formerly used photo. 

Maybe I'll try it again and get good at it. Currently, it's something of a red hot mess. I think that you can best tell what I did in the "Thinking of You" card where you can see the horizon line. I didn't like that look and so my experiments took me to blotting that line, which is how I wound up with shadows and blotches and a generally muddled look. Ahhhh...the joy of trying something new.

Looking forward to seeing your note cards this evening!

P.S. If you visit the directions page *here,* you will find new buttons added at the bottom. Perhaps there is finally something for everyone.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Brooks, Schools, Pinwheels

Though I tried repeatedly to get the code for button making to work, I failed. After three hours, something has got to be more important. Picking fluff from a cotton ball would be more important. So, if you'd like a new Note Card Party button, feel free to snag this the old-fashioned way. You may link to the home page here or you may link to the *directions page.* Thank you so much for linking; it is much appreciated. 

Tomorrow Mr. Linky will be up between 2 and 2:30. After this post is published, I'm going to start having some fun with this month's Note Card Party. I have my props all gathered. It will be different anyway.


This is the final picture showing snow-melt progress in just two short weeks. I can't believe that two weeks ago, it looked this way:

And now?

And, though that is bad, it is a huge improvement. The burlap has been removed from the rosebushes and, when the forsythia blooms, I shall be pruning them. The azalea bush needs trimming even before it blooms because of broken branches. It'll be looking good in a month. I hope. You will be happy to know that I am sparing you the weekly installments henceforth. ☺

Here's a photo taken this morning  showing the little brook that winds behind the house. It passes through a culvert under the road and into the river. That's why it looks as if I'm standing in the brook.


The little red schoolhouse on the hill. Soon, it will be invisible from this vantage point.

Snow plow damage. It turned this sign into a pinwheel.

Well, that's it for today. See you tomorrow!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday 2014

What a wonderful psalm. Hope that you have a quiet moment to read it. You can find it *here.*
A pleasant Palm Sunday to you and a blessed Holy Week.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Random Thoughts for a Saturday

I woke this morning feeling a little blue yellow. It's the state of the country I think. Enough about that. On to other more cheering random things.


Now that is cheering! Plenty of snow left, of course, but how long can it last with those temps?

There's plenty that needs setting to rights around here. Winter has been more unkind than usual. I'm taking it slow. 

There! One thing back where it belongs.

Sometimes I just need to know when to cut my losses. This unhappy primrose just needs to go. Sigh.

I am working on a project that will include some spring flowers.

The Christmas leftovers will be tossed over the banking as soon as I don't sink to my knees in snow and mud. In the meantime, the birds have been enjoying the old berries. If I plant tomatoes this year, perhaps the birch log can serve as a support.

Probably better pick up that dead chicken by the door. 

A lovely weekend to you.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Macro Sampler

This month's Personal Photo Challenge is all about close-ups. I have a love/hate relationship with them. Often, I feel as if I am inspecting a thing, especially a flower, much too closely. Really, I would have done very well in the Victorian Era. Ha! 
~a carved box, rick-rack with crocheted edging~

~ivy on the kitchen windowsill~

~a rose star...photo taken in last summer's garden~

These were edited in Photoscape. This is what I am doing these days to edit most photos. (It may change again. I go through phases.) Once I have the photo resized, I take it to Photoscape and use the auto level, auto contrast, and sharpen buttons. I choose low for the first two and 6 for sharpen. Then, I use the blur tool to lose anything in the background that competes. In the case of the ivy, it was John's old truck in the drive. In the case of the rose star, it was the other plants. My camera is a Nikon Coolpix P7100 on Auto setting, which means that the ISO 100 is probably overidden. The more I learn, the less I know.

Linking to Donna's Personal Photo Challenge. Please have a look. There'll be some amazing photos! Thank you, Dear Donna, for hosting. You're the best!    

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Robins' Return

♪Robin's Return♪
Some of the comments on the piece of music above are remarkably like my own might be. My grandmother played this piece often and beautifully. 

~April 9, 2014~

And I may or may not have wept to see the robins on the lawn yesterday. *Sniff* Goodness, it has been a long, wearying winter.

Seeing them was as if I realized how long after trying to be so upbeat. I felt, watching the robins, the way I did coming in from spending time outside with the boys in February and beyond. I'd not be aware how very cold I was until coming in and starting to get warm. It was then, as I was sipping my tea, that I would begin to shiver. 

Same story seeing the robins and realizing that spring might really be here close. I began to realize just how miserable, just how rotten, just how precarious our situation has been. And it was also then that I saw how faithful God has been through it all. 

A big thanks to all who are sharing your spring with those of us who are still in the tundra. Believe me, it is a joy to see and I am only turning the mildest shade of green.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hodge Podge Wednesday

Just because I've always wanted to join in and today's the day! 

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. When did you last 'shower attention on someone or have attention 'showered' on you? Did you love it or did all that attention make you squirm?

We must be a family of squirmers because showering attention on each other is simply not done. I do not shower attention on anyone nor does anyone shower attention on me. Maybe I should try it and watch'em squirm!

2. Share a favorite 'spring break' memory.  Not talking about just the college 'spring break' thing, but any favorite spring break memory you'd like to share. Keep it family friendly please!

Given my first answer, this is not going to surprise anyone. We don't "do" spring breaks. Nor did I ever do spring breaks in college. ☺ 

~junior year in college~

3. It's National Pecan Month...are you a fan? If so, what's your favorite dish that calls for pecans?

Phew. Finally. An affirmative. Yes, I love pecans and a pecan pie made with brown sugar can't be beat.

4. 'Put all your eggs in one basket', 'egg on your face', rotten egg', 'walk on eggshells' or 'a good egg'...which eggs-pression could most recently be applied to your own life?

Walk on eggshells is the closest, but it is actually true of my entire life. Maybe it's me?!

5. In my experience__________________________________________.

In my experience, life is what you make it.

6. What's a favorite song with the word rain in its title or lyrics?

Singing in the Rain comes to mind.

7. What does the word hope mean to you?

Oddly enough, "hope" is not much of a concept for me. It doesn't have enough oomph. It's too much like marshmallow fluff or bird feathers. I would rather believe, rest, trust or have faith.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Well wasn't that delightful? LOL! I think it is safe to say that I'll link without participating. I have so wanted to try this based on others' participation who actually do a great job with it. Thank you, Debbie,  for first sparking my interest!

*Hodge Podge Wednesday*
P.S. Profound apologies for the formatting here. It is not cooperating and I've decided not to care (too much).

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


A certain, very special daffodil is brightening the place having arrived just yesterday. It is a watercolor creation of Lorrie's and has this quote by G.K. Chesterton:

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

Here it is propped on my china cupboard along with the ivy, Easter eggs, and bunny peeking through. Makes me smile every time I see it. I used "watercolor pencil" from Photoscape; it's the only way I paint watercolors. A thank you doesn't seem like enough for such a sweet gift. Thank you very much, Lorrie. What a day brightener it was yesterday in sun and it is again today with the pouring rain.

It's lovely weather for ducks!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Results are In!

Thank you so much for participating. That was fun and my sister does have her answer. Now she must simply deal with the guilt that comes from removing tags. Good grief! Thanks for helping with that, Judy

...what's the matter with your sister? Does she want to go to prison or something?? Everyone knows you can't remove furniture labels 'under penalty of law' - and funny, but I don't know how old I was before I realized that meant before you purchased it. But you can't be too careful these days. Big Brother IS watching! 

If a clear answer was given, it was counted: no maybes, no boths, and no sometimes.

1. In a pinch for supper (and unable to have take-out) would it be cereal or scrambled eggs? cereal 9 / scrambled eggs 47

2. Would you prefer to swim or hike? swim 22 / hike 34

3. Do you prefer coffee or tea? coffee 30 / tea 22
4. Do you ever remove labels from clothing, towels, mattresses, pillows? 
yes 56 / no 1 (Hi Susan!)
5. Would you like to live somewhere else? yes 26 / no 26
6. Have you ever vacationed out of the country you live in? yes 40 41/ no 16 15 (Carol forgot that Canada is another country.)
7. If you had to watch a movie this afternoon would it be Saving Private Ryan or Saving Mr. Banks? SPR 6 / SMB 44
8. Egg salad sandwiches or chicken salad sandwiches? egg salad 19 / chicken salad 30
9. Cats or dogs? cats 16 / dogs 26
10. Do you enjoy a thunderstorm? yes 40 / no 13

dogs win!

In another point of interest (I use the phrase loosely), today has been a week since I showed the snow pile. For comparison's sake...


Have a great week!

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Keep Looking Up!

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.

Colossians 3: 1–2 
The Message

On my walk today, it was all I could do to look up and look around because the ground is so uneven and broken by a long, hard winter. I felt that I needed to watch my feet lest I fall. If I hadn't looked up, though, I would have missed all that there was to see. Now imagine if, in my Christian walk, I never looked to Christ. I'd miss everything.
Keep looking up!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pressing Questions for Ya...Very

...if you have a moment that is. My sister has a pressing question for you. She keeps asking if I have asked my "people" yet. Ha! I know that you are just as eager as anything to respond so I have decided to ask ten questions and hers is in there. I wouldn't want to embarrass her by your knowing what her deep question might be. 

Most are either/or questions, yes or no questions; no substitutions allowed.

1. In a pinch for supper (and unable to have take-out) would it be cereal or scrambled eggs?
2. Would you prefer to swim or hike?
3. Do you prefer coffee or tea?
4. Do you ever remove labels from clothing, towels, mattresses, pillows? 
5. Would you like to live somewhere else?
6. Have you ever vacationed out of the country you live in?
7. If you had to watch a movie this afternoon would it be Saving Private Ryan or Saving Mr. Banks?
8. Egg salad sandwiches or chicken salad sandwiches?
9. Cats or dogs?
10. Do you enjoy a thunderstorm?
Please copy and paste 1–10 in the comment box or, if truly pressed for time, just answer #4. ☺

A happy weekend to you...

Comments are closed. *The Results are In!*

Friday, April 4, 2014

Soap 'n' Such

Judy sent me a sweet little package in the mail: Sandalwood Vanilla soap, a chocolate bar, and an encouraging note.
~sweet gifts~
Judy blogs at Cranberry Morning and she has an Etsy shop called Soap 'n' Such. If you love homemade soaps that smell delightful, lather beautifully, and do not contain harsh chemicals and additives, this is a fun place to shop. Thank you so much, Judy! The sandalwood fragrance smells even better than I remembered!


If you were to just go by photos today, you might think that you had landed on a November morning because my camera battery croaked while on my morning walk and all I have to show for it is last year's frosted maple leaf. 

 ~taken this morning~

Of course, I saw ducks on the wing and heard them quacking, a female cardinal singing her song, squirrels chipping, traffic moving, the river roaring, and the rumble of the school bus as it rolled on by. I am very out of shape from a winter of slugdom. I am trying to take an early morning walk before seven every day. I prefer little traffic and no other walkers. Such a recluse I am! It's only been a week, but I am going a little further every day.

Have a great day!