A Haven for Vee

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

In Anticipation of Marble Season

Some years ago now, I made my grandsons some marble bags, if one could call them that. They were  simple pouches made from painter's cloth and with ties that require wrapping about the top because they have no drawstrings. Pathetic. I have been looking for something more suitable ever since. 

I found it! *This tutorial* is just wonderful and I can not recommend it highly enough. Even I understood it. Oh there is that one unfortunate bit where she doesn't mention that she sewed a channel for the drawstring, but she did show it so that's good.

Even though I made the bag a little larger than suggested, it's not quite big enough for a marble bag so this will serve as my prototype. I must get something besides ribbon as the drawstring, too — way too prissy for boys.

My poor husband has been suffering this winter because of all the hard work involved with shoveling snow. My arms may hurt, but his neck bothers him most. I saw *this nifty pillow* on Pinterest and created one that better suits him, which means that his is a bit narrower in the center and wider. He finds it helpful.


If I don't use these photos, the opportunity will be lost. The red really popped against the snow. John is unimpressed with this shot because he says one can't see the house. Well I can't help it if the snowbanks are this high!

This is a lovely home in our neighborhood...

and that is how it will look in spring. Why, yes, I did climb a tree to take the shot. ; >  Yes, it is the very same house, but John was going way too fast as we passed by for me to get the entire structure.

Be it ever so humble...this is our wee home nestled behind mammoth snowbanks and at the edge of the forest. We have since had nearly ten additional inches of snow. The good news is that the storms are slowing down and not coming as often.

Gotta love a man who'll carry in the purse!
A wonderful day to you...

Friday, February 20, 2015

On the Slopes

Usually, I am very content to be home, yet every now and then, even in winter, even after a snowfall, I find myself eager to get out of the house. I was last out two weeks ago, just to prove the point. This time I had two great reasons to get out and about. I wanted to see the grandsons hit the slopes!

~over wintry roads~

Yes, last year may have been the Year of the Luge; however, this year is the Year of the Slope. The grands are on winter break so maternal grandparents and parents pooled resources for them to take skiing lessons. 

There is a charming little ski area very close by, which makes it handy. It is called Lost Valley and would you believe that John and I got lost there? ☺ Anyway, our daughter-in-law found us because we surely couldn't find her or the boys. The boys were up along the ridge and out of sight, but would be coming down eventually. We waited at the bottom of the slope near the ski lift where I amused myself by taking photos of the lifts.

I was amazed by all the little tykes zipping around on skis and snowboards then...

Their mom spies them right away. I was having troubles.

~same photo as above without arrows~

 One is to the left of the instructor and the other is behind her.

Here's Jake (the younger) waiting for instructions. It was good to see how attentive he was!

~Jake to the left and Sam to the right~

Following the leader in for a brief break at the lodge.

Lost Valley had fallen on hard times and was not expected to open this year. We are so glad that they did. Perhaps, one day, they'll be able to afford some updates to the lodge and return it to its former glory. I remember visiting a number of times over 40 years ago.

While chatting with the boys at break time, Sam shared that they had been having a lot of fun and that he was very tired. The day before, he had made a wrong turn and wound up going down a steeper hill all alone. I asked him how he managed to keep calm and get to the bottom without falling, which he had managed to do. He said, "I didn't keep calm. I was trying hard not to scream all the way down." Oh my! It had to have been exciting.

Every mom might appreciate the option my daughter-in-law used with one tired Jake. Ha!
Our last look as the boys get on the lift and never look back. 
It was interesting to see how skiing is taught. I hope that they get to graduate to poles soon. It's tough getting around otherwise. 
See you next week!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mindless Fluffies aka Sewing Projects

Do you give your photo folders some pretty whacky names the way I do? I always name them something, though I must admit that even I was surprised to see that I had named this folder Mindless Fluffies. Indeed. I may be losing it or maybe there's just way too much going on in the world.

Okay, when I need to get away from it all, I usually head for my wee sewing room and there is zero point in that unless I can crow cackle a little over my projects.  (That little lid there is a gift from my sister-in-law. The bottom part of the casserole dish had cracked so she passed it on to me because she couldn't bear tossing it. Now it's mine and I can't bear to toss it either. Perhaps a plant on the deck come spring or some little seedlings in March. We shall see...)

Lately, I have been making a lot of what I am calling tea pot mats. The idea came from watching a Missouri Quilt Company video at You Tube. Jenny's project required a special gizmo that I had no intention of buying so I sort of made my gizmo up, which will become painfully obvious. I never was good at math and if I had only known how much I was going to need geometry, I might have paid better attention back in the day. (I say that in all my sharing posts about sewing/quilting.) If you'd like to try anything like this, it is helpful to know that with six pieces of fabric made into a circle (sort of), you will need 30° angles (if cutting fabrics on the fold that is). There! Haven't I been helpful?

This mat was made from old fabric that my mother had used to make curtains at the cottage. My sister brought it to me last summer. There's so much of it, yet it is badly faded and quite thin in places. I salvaged the best of it. I think it will look great back at the cottage because there is a beautiful tea pot there.

From now on, I am disguising the center with something. Again, for obvious reasons. 

Wowzer! Don't put your eye out. I have been loving using my new Tea Mug from Teavana. A Christmas gift from my daughter-in-law, and the rest of the family, though I am quite certain that she selected it.

Yes, well I forgot to plop something down...
And that's not all...

I am still enjoying using the fabric scraps in mug rugs. 

Still playing with tea towels...


This is my chuckle of the week...favorite hand-knit mittens now under glass because my husband has yet to realize that they are part of the decor. I had them artfully arranged at the base of the pedestal, but would find them all over the place every day, multiple times a day. No more of that! Yes, the decor remains decidedly winter.

Thank you, Dear Heart, for hanging around visiting with me today. I know that there are many things to do, many things to think about, many others to visit. For all those reasons, I am pleased that you made time to visit here and to comment how much you love my little tea pot mats. < insert big cheeky grin >

A blessed day to you...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Presidents' Day

Days like today feel as if all of life has slowed down to one topic—the weather! How dull. Why? Because you are probably experiencing the same thing as I—the bitter cold, the howling winds, the blowing drifts. You have only to look out your own windows for that story. Just in case I have anyone from a tropical isle reading, I'll pop in a few of my wintry photos. 
 ~neighbor's barn beyond my living room windows~

 ~the end of our drive and my neighbor's home to the northeast~

~the streets have narrowed just like blog post topics~

Ha! That photo makes me grin because the streets are not quite that narrow.
If I wanted to get dressed for the occasion and had no concern for my camera in these below zero temps, I'd go out and take a photo of my own house. I don't want to get dressed and I do have concern for the camera.


Okay, enough of that. It is Presidents' Day after all. And I want to discuss Parson Weems. Parson who? Weems that's who. Trouble is that I can not tell the tale nearly so well as Anthony already has so I'm sending you *over there* to read the story. Just one question before you go: Did little George Washington chop down that cherry tree? Go ahead, tell me, what do you really think?

A cozy day to you!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Grab a Kiss

This morning, I was getting my Valentine gifts and cards together. I don't know about you, but gifts and cards live in lots of places around here. The chocolates are on top of the dish cupboard and the cards are now strewn all over the bed.

Then I thought that you, my friend, needed a Valentine from me so I opened the top tea cup drawer. Oh my! It had been taken over by ever so many things that were not tea cups.

I remembered that I had recently ironed a heart-shaped doily so went to fetch that from the linen drawer. That linen drawer has also been taken over by many things that are not linens.

Like Hershey Valentine's kisses — perfect!

Well, I probably should get back to work...

Have a sweet Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Tobogganing Over Snowy Roads

She was born in 1954, the only brand new car my parents ever owned. Despite being mint green and boxy, she was a lemon.

After a few years, she was retired to the back lawn behind the double row of pine trees, which hid her from the casual observer's view. Still, the family knew that she was there out of sight like some crazed auntie hidden in the attic. She had behaved rather badly after all. She had been "set aside" because my father had a new job that came with a pink station wagon, I think it was a Plymouth. It was also a lemon, but that's not the point of this story. 

 Fast forward a few years and Dad had another job at the paper mill right in town. Since the pink Plymouth was out of the picture, the mint green Mercury was back in. No need for a truly dependable car as my dad could hitch a ride, if necessary. Sometimes it was. (My father was a weekend mechanic back in the days when engines were much simpler affairs.) I remember how embarrassing it was. Though I was all of eight years old, I didn't think "our" car looked very much like the 60s models my friends' families had. Further, the pine needles and pine cones that blew out of her underpinnings here and there wherever we went did not help with my assessment of our situation. How truly embarrassing! 

 In the winter of 1962, a few days after Christmas, a blizzard hit. My father announced over breakfast that he was putting on the tire chains so that we could go tobogganing over the unplowed roads. This was a first for me! "Call the Neighbors," Dad bellowed as he left the house, "see if they want to come, too." Oh boy howdy! A party! 

 We all piled into the Mercury and packed in tight. There were seven of us: my mother, father, and sister and three of our neighbors—the mother and two sons. Their dad, perhaps wisely, stayed home. The adults were in the front; we kids were on our knees in the back watching out the rear window as the toboggan trailed behind us. 

 My dad took the first left, which would eventually take us over hill and dale in a big circle back to our house. We came upon the snow plow right off. My father started flashing his lights and honking his horn. The plow stopped. My dad hopped out and had a brief conversation with the driver and then hopped back in the car and we inched past the plow into unplowed territory. Dad explained that we would get a little ahead of the plow and then we could take turns being pulled on the toboggan. And thus ensued high fun and drama. 

After the snowplow, we never saw another car, which I am sure is the safest thing and part of God's protection over us. One of the mothers was always on the ride so that she could scream, "Get off!" whenever the toboggan was going so fast down a hill that it might catch up with the car. 

It was a Winter Wonderland to the tenth power with the added excitement of danger. Too soon, we were back home having some very calming hot chocolate and cinnamon toast. It had all been perfectly exhilarating. We never did it again.

 Still, when I think about the 1954 Mint Green Mercury, I see her from my toboggan perspective looking up at her shiny chrome bumper as she chugged up a snowy hill, her tire chains rattling and with the sound of laughter in my ears. I think my face looked a lot like this:

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Snap Out of It!

Those are the words that I have been telling myself for a while now. Every day that I allow to go by without blogging makes it a little more challenging to return and I do hope to...return that is.
There's not a whole lot going on around here beyond the storms that have been coming since the first arrived on January 27 leaving us with...wait for it...27 inches (68 cm) of snow. The irony. Once upon a time, we had a plow and a  
snowblower — two snowblowers actually. One belonged to my sister; the other John sold for a song. Now we have four arms, four legs, and two backs. None of them are working too well. In fact, my excuse for not being here a little earlier is that I couldn't lift my elbows from all the shoveling and scooping. ☺
While we may not be in great shape, the luge is doing splendidly.
Nothing more to report from this corner. Are you buried in snow, too?