A Haven for Vee

Friday, July 31, 2015

A Change of Scene

The final post for Kati's JulyPhoto Challenge! There were times when I wondered if I should have signed on, but I am glad that I did and, even though I have not taken any stellar photographs, I have been challenged by subject material. Thanks, Kati!

25. A contrail so far away that you can't see it. ☺

26. 9:00: Do you know how difficult it is to get a photo on the dot?

 27. Cloud—July has been rather stormy.

 28. & 29. Blue and Flip-Flops (Yes, I have been known to cheat.)

30. Shapes

Couldn't decide if a close-up worked best and I liked the first photo better. Besides, I wanted to share that I have come into the Land of Paper Straws.

 31. My own theme

Found Piglet hanging out at the piano after the boys had left so I just thought he should bookmark my song theme for the month, an old one by Dottie Rambo.

 Just a collage review! Hope that you and I are clear about the news that there will be no August posts. (There will also be no precious few comments, though you may catch me tiptoeing into your kitchen, sitting at your table, enjoying a tall glass of iced tea. Please don't sic the dog on me. )

Have a great month! Thank you for stopping by today. You can find the other participants by clicking *here.*

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Leftover Stew

...of the metaphorical variety that is...

*Edited to Add: Clarity...it is not my strong suit. Edited comments appear in this color and preceded by an asterisk.

I have pretty much decided to be away from Blogdom now that it has slowed to the usual summer crawl. When my footsteps start to echo in the halls, I know it's time. I will be finishing up my Photo Challenge on Friday and, after that, it's hasta la bye bye until... (*things pick up in Blogdom again...usually around September 1 or really whenever I feel like it. ☺)

What is time? Just another thing to get away...
~David Mallett

*Here lies the problem: I failed to say that my blogiversary was this week. So in thanking you for your comments over the past eight years, many have thought I was saying so long for good. I also make a lot of comments, read a lot of blogs. I feel so blessed to have wonderful comments, yet for every comment I receive I have commented many times over. Just sayin.' It would probably be embarrassing to have that figure available. 
< insert cheeky grin> 

Before that, though, I want to say thank you to all who have visited and left comments over the past eight years. I was just revisiting former posts and comments this week and what a treasure trove I have. I may have written 2, 148 posts, but you have written 53, 890 comments to date. Wowzer!  Blessed I am.

And I continue to be blessed with packages arriving. Saturday brought an amazing box of goodies from *Abby at Little Birdie Blessings.* Visiting her blog will bless you, too, because she offers beautiful scripture graphics for the taking and a link back. I must shop for a new one myself. ☺

Yes, the box was filled with books, cookbooks, many different fabrics, thread, a sleep mask, headbands, and more if only I could remember it all. Thank you, Abby! Unbelievable generosity!

Yesterday, I was delighted to receive this wonderful collection of essays from *Linda at Linda's Life Journal.* She thought of me when she found this book purchased long ago while on a trip to Vermont. (John and I recently celebrated our seventh anniversary. Many of you may remember that we ran off in a fever to Vermont and married.) They are wonderful essays and I do love good essays. I'm pretty sure it's why I love blogs so well. Thank you, Linda! (Have fun at the ranch!)

Over the weekend, I received that gift to the left and a number more like them on my windows. What is it about kids and windows? I remember my mother telling me that she could not wash little fingerprints from her windows after I and my children returned to Arizona. (No, I did not leave my handprints behind and I did try to wash her windows for her before she yelped at me.) I decided to take a photo instead. Ha!

Yes, we had the grands and the grandpuggy over the weekend. You can see the pug lying between them there.  What a life! The grandpuggy gave the grands quite a night from the sounds of things. Oh dear! Something about snoring and scratching???

We do not have adequate sleeping arrangements here so I created the old standby of pushing easy chairs up to the sofa, which we call "ships." I soon realized that they have grown a lot and so had to also include hassocks in between the easy chair and the sofa. Over this, I placed big, comfy comforters and hoped that it would cover a multitude of ups and downs. What do you do in a pinch for overnight guests? I have realized that something has got to change here. I have at 
least one twin bed that could be set up 
somewhere — perhaps the kitchen. 

When my son came to gather everything up, I was gifted with a four-pack of my very *favorite Canadian candy bars.* So glad that the bars are back so that I can smack the Mack!

See you Friday! Have a blessed week until then.

*My apologies to those I confused. A thank you to those who were not. Some of you just know that I'm an airhead. Total airhead. And some of you instinctively know that clarity is not my strong suit. Oh me.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Photo Challenge 15–24

Here are my Photo Challenge Offerings for the week. It will become obvious that I was out early this morning trying to get caught up starting with the first one. That sign (aka bumper sticker) may be one of the things holding John's truck together. I think that the last time the United States was truly united was in the days following September 11, 2001. 

15. sign

16. and 17. indoors and on the shelf (totally cheating I know)

 18. insect (ugh...they're baaa-accck)

19. black and white (the paint on his hands is blue)

 20. colorful (kinda)

 21. red bee balm 

 22. tree (one could infer from this photo that John was not quite as taken with the idea of building a fairy door as I was ☺)

23. ordinary moment (terribly)

24. close-up (I love doing these. For one thing, they always reveal little secrets. I had no idea that my mother's vintage bottle of ink said super Quink. Isn't that cute? Quick and ink combined. I like it!)

Thanks a million for looking at my humble offerings. Do you have a favorite? 

It's never too late to join *Kati's July Photo Challenge* if you are a cheat like me. ☺ Personally, I think it would be fun (at this late date) to select the five or ten that appeal most to you and do those. Would that be wrong? 

A pleasant weekend to you!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Do Talk About the Events of the Day

The following post is a partial re-post from *April 29, 2011* starting now...

Late yesterday morning, I found a couple of somethings... Another royal couple was hanging out in my sewing room. What? You don't believe me? Just follow along and I'll show you.

Right up to the top of the stairs we go.

And into the sewing room...don't trip on the vacuum cleaner or that wrinkle in the carpet!

See that bag on my chair? Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Entry for January 30, 1939

Nan's diary saying that my grandfather "Jack came in around 1 a.m." Yadda, yadda, yadda and then she went to see the movie You Can't Take it With You. "Swell too" she adds. Now I want to see that movie. I'm a sucker for a good review. (7-22-2015 Edited to Add : tongue firmly in cheek over that "good review.")

And who is this?

The Queen Mother!

And her beloved King George VI!

What a radiant smile she had!

THEY WALKED among their people — and to the day of departure, everywhere joy was manifest.


I think my grandmother's 1939 diary was in with the magazines because of the year. Sadly, Nan did not write about the royal trip to Canada, even though, as a loyal Canadian, she kept the magazines. This should be a lesson to us all when journaling. Do talk about the events of the day! Share some specifics!

Back to the future we come. I have been thinking about all the letters, journals, diaries under the bed right here in this room. It's all Linda's fault because she is sharing letters from a master letter writer named Aunt Polly at Linda's Life Journal. I'll let you be the judge. You can find today's post *here.* Personally? I am completely smitten. 

I had taken these photos of the garden this morning and, though it has nothing to do with anything I've decided to do here, I'm tossing them in. The spider lilies were a gift from my friend Diane and I love to see them maturing and blooming three at a time, which was previously unheard of. I have many more buds, too!

This is the little "doorway" that I have been meaning to make a door for. I think I may enlist John's help with that. ☺ He'll love it!

A good day to you...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Gifts and Scones

Saturday brought another gift! This time from *Michele at Finch Rest.* I remembered that she had mentioned sending a book. The book, Blackberry Wine, arrived with a cute tea mug, a darling and delicious package of Brookside dark chocolate-covered blueberries, all sorts of tea samples, and a sweet bookmark with a tea pot charm. I was charmed, Michele. Thank you so much for thinking of me. 

If you have never visited Michele, you will love Finch Rest. She takes beautiful photos and gives wonderful tea parties. 

In honor of my gifts, I made Orange Blueberry Scones. John was in need of baked goods therapy on Saturday and he thought blueberry something would be nice. I wanted to use up some orange juice as I didn't have a lot of milk left so the result was my recipe inspired by *this recipe* from King Arthur Flour, but changed quite a bit. 

Orange Blueberry Scones

3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
1 stick butter (½ cup)
1 large egg
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup orange juice
½ to 1 cup blueberries

3 to 4 tablespoons coarse white sugar (sparkling sugar)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. 

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. 

Cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender until butter is mostly incorporated.

Whisk together the egg, vanilla, and orange juice. Add this to the dry ingredients, stirring gently till everything is well moistened and just combined. Dough will be sticky.

Divide dough into two equal pieces. On a parchment-covered cookie sheet, pat first half of dough into an 8-inch circle, add cup of frozen, fresh or canned blueberries to the top. Add the remaining dough by dropping it on top of the blueberrries. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake the scones in a preheated 400°F oven for 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, and sprinkle more sugar, if desired. After cooling 5 minutes, turn the scones out onto a rack, sugar side up. While they’re still warm, cut each round into wedge-shaped scones. (I had eight.)

(I used to hop through the hoops of providing a document for a printable recipe. This is a simple copy and paste, folks. I am giving up printable recipes for good. I hope that Vickie at Sand Flat Farm will find this scone recipe to her liking!)

Sunday evening brought more gifts. *Delicious bread from *King's Landing* and two Coffee Crisps. Oh yum! My son and his family were vacationing at the cottage in New Brunswick, Canada and they remembered us. So sweet of them! 

We had horrid thunderstorms last evening that rocked the entire house. We were told to expect hail the size of tennis balls. Yikes! That's why this picture of the bread and candy is so dark and the sky is such an angry color.

*Some of you may remember that I worked very hard to create a similar bread. You can find that recipe *here.*

Guess that's it for today! 

*P.S. In light of the daily news, a blogger could easily give up blogging about the inconsequential things of this life like candy bars, books, and scones. If you have not yet had the opportunity to read Brenda's Sunday Post titled For Such a Time as This at Coffee Tea Books and Me,  I assure you that there is much perspective and wisdom to be gained there.*

Friday, July 17, 2015

From Drinks to Boots

No time for cute nor clever today...and a collective sigh of relief was heard in the land. I am joining Kati's July Photo Challenge; I am only three days behind this being the 17th and all and I am ending with Day 14. Some week, I'll have to catch up.
 8. Drink

9. Calm (why, yes, that is a flannel shirt in July...ahem. Weather changes on a dime this summer.)

10. Busy

11. Vegetable...our first zucchini...we're very proud!

12. soft light

13. shadow

14. On the Floor

This was a challenge for me...can't imagine why as there are plenty of things on the floor...John would like me to remind you that the term is "boots on the ground." What a nut!

Some fine day, I'll catch up! You can find the other participants at Kati's right *here.* Kati's photos can be found *here.* (She should link up!)

By word of explanation, today I am linking to Kati's Photo Challenge and also participating by visiting other participants. This in contrast to the Hodge Podge where I linked to Joyce's excellent meme, but did not link my post at her site nor did I visit all the participants. It can be confusing!