A Haven for Vee

Monday, November 30, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Turkeys

It has been an interesting time figuring everything out all over again. One of the things that dismays me most is the quality of the photos or lack thereof. So I apologize in advance. I may have to use words to describe things, which will be another challenge. I am learning that I really like to be in control and I like things to be the way I want them. Oh my. That is just not often possible if we are completely honest with ourselves. Some day I shall learn the proverb: Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be broken. The sooner the better!

 There's something of a marriage between Thanksgiving and Christmas going on at the haven. The stag is staying for Christmas. He was a heavily discounted item at Hobby Lobby...a couple of dollars...I came home and covered everything except his antlers in birch bark. (No tree was harmed in the process. I save birch bark whenever I find it.)

I was delighted to find the red transferware tea cup yesterday at a new flea market that has opened  in town. I checked the price before really looking at it...$5. Then I looked at it closely in the dim light and saw that it was a commemorative tea cup made in England for the gift shop at Plymouth Rock. On  the saucer is a picture of the Mayflower and on the tea cup is a representation of John and Priscilla Alden. Be still my heart. (I should have left up my Pilgrim Story so you'd know why I was thrilled, but trust me, I was.) So the tea cup will stay through Christmas. It is red transferware and all. It does have a few minor problems so I'll not be drinking this wonderful tea from its bowl. 

The Maple Earl Grey Tea is a gift from my son and daughter-in-law. They purchased it in Canada and gifted me Thanksgiving day. It is delicious! It's staying for Christmas, too. 

 One of my chores today is the rounding up of all turkeys. They are not staying for Christmas. The gingerbread boy hangs out there all year round.

Yes, the tree is up, not decorated. It is *leaning toward Sawyer's and so John is going to tie a string around it and send it out the window and allow the window to hold the string. I hope that this is very clever and not foolhardy. The good thing about artificial trees is that they can go up early and stay up late. After all the effort, I must have it around for a good long while. I'm ready for quiet times by the tree. 

Have a happy week!

*Do you use this idiom? Is it understandable?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Stand-by...Technical Difficulties

Thought that I would check in while I can. I have heard from a few about how emails have been bouncing back. My main PC is on the fritz and my iPhone was too full as well as the iPad. Apparently, I am a hoarder and I have never known how to permanently delete emails on the iPhone and iPad. I do now.☺ Good thing that all my teachers were here for Thanksgiving. Oh and the DVD player kicked it, too. It's been an interesting week. Into every life some technical difficulties must fall.

These are my two photos for Thanksgiving 2015. Pretty pitiful...dishes at the ready and a highly stylized tea cup having arrived from the Homestead in the last transport. The relish tray beneath the cup has been passed on to Michelle as my son and she have inherited the vintage Fiesta ware and the tray complements it so well.

My daughter Laurel has allowed me to borrow her lap top, which is quite the learning curve. Still, I will be able to stay in touch from time to time. I will continue to visit using the iPad.

An hour later and I'm coming in for a landing...finally! 

A good weekend and Happy Christmas decorating!  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Time To...

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

This is the passage of scripture that has comforted me in recent days. We seem to be hovering on the brink of a larger war. (We have been at war for some time now and will likely continue as long as terrorists wish to take over the world.)  And so we pray. Prayer is not inconsequential as so many have suggested. Rather it is right near the top of the list of best things to do... right after faith and belief in an Almighty God. After all, one does not come to God without believing that He is.


Currently, in my personal life, I'm in the A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away stage. I'd be interested to know where you are with regard to these verses. 

Do you remember seeing *this Thanksgiving table* setting in Country Living a few years ago?
(I redirected link to the pin as the other link was not working very well.)
 I am quite sure that I used it as part of a November header once upon a year. After working with the family photos (boxes and boxes) and getting them organized by family surname and putting the same people together and labeling them as well as I could, including their relationship to one another and to my son and daughter who will take over the curating of them one day, I wanted to do more than stick them back in a box and tuck them under a bed.  So I had the photos; I had the space (not on the table however); I had a vintage suitcase. Here is my interpretation...

~a suitcase full of memories~

If there is a theme it surrounds the bride below as all the people in the box are parts of her life.

~Maternal grandparents~

~in color~

Please forgive my hand (above my mother's head). The reflections near the large window and with all that glass in the frames were a challenge.


The lost was found this week when I opened a box to find my great-grandmother's handpainted poppy jardinière. Sadly it is broken in half and the ruffled edge is no longer attached. One naughty...oh so terribly naughty...kitty is responsible for this. Since he has long gone to that happy catnip patch in the sky, I decided not to blow a gasket all over again. The turkey on the china cabinet is the proud recipient of the added plumage and I think he looks mighty handsome and proud.

In other news, I have been writing lists lest I forget anything for Thanksgiving. I must make the next to the last grocery run today.  I am falling behind having been sidetracked by the family treasures. I have asked my sister to hold off as I can not keep up. After all, there's cleaning yet to be done, then the baking. I did make my own broth and stock Monday. It's in the freezer keeping the turkey company. I hope to also make the mashed potatoes and stuffing ahead. Anyone have any experience with that? One would think that I would know more about Thanksgiving meal preparations at my age. It is only in the last several years that I have taken on the task and only every other year at that. I think I need another crockpot. 


And I must refrain from visiting blogs and Pinterest or I shall never come in for a landing. I just read *Susan Branch's grandmother's recipe for stuffing/dressing* last night and am now trying to imagine where I can set three loaves of bread to dry for three days and if I can handle very hot water on my hands. 


Hope to find my way back to Blogdom before Thanksgiving; just in case I do not, I'll go ahead and wish all my fellow countrymen a blessed holiday!

Thank you very much for visiting me today in the midst of the busyness and the sadness, too. Let us lift one another to The Father and remember to be grateful for this good life, our friends, our families, and each other. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Selfie Overload

Baby Me

Bigger Baby Me

Grade School K – grade 9

(My favorites? Kindergarten, grade 2, and grade 9)

Yes, I wrote on this board. I think it used to have one of those fancy frames like below. My cousin told me about asking a family member to please write on her pictures so that, in the future, people wouldn't have to guess about person, time, and place.

At his next visit, the relative was  happy to report that she had followed his advice. So he picked up a photo from the top of the pile and found written on the back "Taken last summer." ☺ I have labeled my entire life in a nutshell on the back of this. Do you label your photos?

High School

Oh yuck! Least favorite photos...

High School senior pic

↑Do I look a little green to you?


Highly pixelated as I lifted this from the yearbook. I am not going to go looking for it buried in some box or other under a bed. The others came to me quite handily in a box Monday evening.

My Kids

The Gallery Wall

The work continues!

Then I thought wouldn't it be torture fun to compare with a photo from today. You'll be shocked. I took three selfies this fine morning.

In a word or three, I feel old, tired, and pruney. One is allowed, I suppose, having reached my age.

Still, a smile is probably my best "beauty aid" at this point in my life. That and a haircut. I'm begging my hairdresser (John) to fit me in to his busy schedule tomorrow.

Thank you for reading/looking today. My apologies for a slow day around here...

Have a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Carrot Fudge

Oh my. Another load arrived from the homestead just last evening when I thought that all I had to do was finish up the dishes. So I have been knee deep in photos, pictures, newspaper clippings, old letters, Shirley Temple dolls (two of them), and receipts all over again. 


I now know that my father was the last of the big time spenders paying $150 for my mother's engagement ring and nearly three thousand dollars for the only new car he ever owned. Both purchases were made way back in 1953. They have now been filed in a folder labeled: Reviewed November 10, 2015 "Save for Fun." Yup, hope that somebody has a blast with it. Ha!


Every now and then one finds a little treasure as  with this newspaper clipping from The Boston Sunday Post on March 23, 1919. At first, I thought I was visiting a Downton Abbey moment.
I love that blue outfit!

On the flip side, I found this...the real reason for the clipping.

Aha! The Candy Kitchen! I come from a long line of candy lovers now let me tell you. I am supposing that my great-grandmother or even her mother cut this out. Most likely, her mother (Alice) did as she lived in Gloucester, Massachusetts and would have access to the Boston paper. Perhaps Alice tucked it in one of her letters to her daughter who had married a Canadian and was living in Moncton, New Brunswick. I'm just making it up, but it could be! There certainly are enough letters between the households.

If you look closely, you can find the recipe for Carrot Fudge. Since this must surely be in the public domain by now, I'll just type the recipe for your gastronomic pleasure.

Put one cup each of corn syrup, grated carrots, milk, and lightest brown sugar into a deep saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and the flavoring you like best. Cook carefully with an asbestos mat next to the flame until a little of the candy hardens in cold water. Pour into buttered plates and cut into squares. This fudge may have cocoa or chocolate added 
and may be beaten until cold with an 
egg beater, when it cannot be told from 
ordinary fudge. < insert big grin > 

recipe submitted by Mrs. Margaret Mathewson, Handy Street, Providence, R.I.

Yes, well, thank you, Margaret!

And I already have the asbestos mat. Should I get rid of it? 


Spoiler Alert... just wanted to post this happy photo. Can't wait for Downton Abbey to arrive in the U.S.

Goodness, posting back to back has worn me out. See you Friday, Lord willing. Have a great week and God bless Veterans!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Grandma's Attic

Are you a Shabby Chic gal or a Farmhouse Style one? How about Arts and Crafts? Coastal? Contemporary? Prim? There are so many styles. I'd be interested to know how you label yours. You may have guessed that I label mine Grandma's Attic.

~from certificates to photographs to the bathroom sink~

Clockwise beginning in upper right corner with my mother's Steiff Teddybear, great-grandfather's journals, travel case, paintings and my son as a toddler, old photo albums, my son again and embroidery floss, my dollhouse furniture, sewing notions, Great-great-grandmother Alice,  Great-great grandmother Serepta's certificate, Great-grandfather Fred's journal entries, beautiful old canning jars

I've been thinking a lot about this now that I am receiving an influx of items from "the attic." I really pondered what to do with it all. I have even said that I would go through it and *gasp* burn a lot of it — the letters, photos, family things that one hopes not to have wind up in a flea market. 

Then I decided that I would embrace it. Yes, embrace it. Embrace whatever the rest of 
the family didn't want. 
I, the self-appointed family historian and keeper of the stuff.

It didn't seem very "embracing" to stuff it all in boxes and stick it under a bed either. And how does one embrace it when there's no extra money for paint or to build another closet? So this is what I have done. I recommend it to no one else. I can hear the giggles already. *chortle* snicker *tee-hee*

See if you can tell where some of the collage things landed.

Oops. This is what I did last week...layered a wedding gift water color from 1931 over the handpainted tray. It was done by Moncton, New Brunswick artist C.K. Cowan. He was apparently smitten with the English countryside.

Getting back to the program...

I decided to work on the stairwell wall...

This is my view from my PC. I am looking at it right now. The good news is that I am the only one who sees this view...and you, of course. (Does that bill holder seem excessively full? Do those antique hinges look odd?)

The poinsettias are in a beautiful white jardiniere...I will take another photo in the daylight and pop it in as it is so pretty with the flowers. And, yes, I am mighty pleased to get a head start on Christmas decorating.

(I didn't wait for daylight...forgive strange lighting.)

This stairwell is where I store artwork until its proper season. It works well for that. Now I've decided to load it up with lots of things from old hinges to handles and even postcards and small photos. If there was a nail hole, I filled it with whatever I could find. In this case, mostly leaves.

As you can see, I have plenty more room to add more. I may have been hanging around my friend Linda too long or perhaps not long enough. *She recently wallpapered and when she was finished there was no wallpaper in sight.* I loved that!

So I'm working on it. One box of old photos at a time... 

Thanks for stopping by today. Don't forget to tell me what your style is called or what you call your style. ☺

Friday, November 6, 2015

There Was a Time

...when I posted every single day of the week for months on end. Aren't we all glad that those days are gone? ☺

I promised feedback on leaf preservation using glycerin (found on the shelf in the pharmacy section at my local Wal*Mart).

Some of you still have very colorful leaves in your corner so get out there and try this. I'll have to wait for another year to get the bold colors I would have preferred. 

After their bath in glycerin and water (I used a nearly 50-50 formula), the leaves are dried on paper towels.  I soaked them between two pie plates that insured that they remained in the solution for several days. (You can see that photo in my last post.) Next I patted them off and let them sit there cooling their jets for a few hours. 

This was the goal — a door decoration. John does not care for wreaths on the door as they are too in his face. This is my compromise. (Yes, you may have seen this idea on Pinterest.) See the lovely sheen? And they are still pliant and preserved. The little red one there was an experiment because it was already dry when I gathered it. It remains curled, but does add a bit more color. I have always followed the decorating philosophy that every item in decor requires a touch of red.

Okay, I have so much more to share...another load from the homestead in just last evening. I read my great-grandfather's journals until late. I'll save it for another day...

Leaving you with a photo taken on Wednesday evening when John, Laurel, and I found ourselves hanging around the grocery store parking lot. How amazing this autumn and this November have been so far! I can't believe this kind of color still exists in November.

~November 4!~

How's your foliage doing these days?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

C.M. Relyea


He was an illustrator who lived from 
1863 – 1932.

He painted these illustrations.

And many others. If you are interested you will find more *here.*

Well everything at the haven comes with a little story. This is mine.

Many years ago, my mother acquired a picture from the flea market. She liked the frame and planned to use it for some family photo or the other. When I saw it, I asked her to please consider leaving it as it was.  She agreed and came to enjoy it very much.

A few weeks ago, when my sister was first cleaning out our parents' home, she asked me what I might want. Now I have many things from my parents over the years. In fact, my house is full of things from their home. I did not "need" one other thing. *My one request was for a picture from my mother's bedroom wall. 

It is not the lovely, even provocative, girl with the Great Dane nor the hunters heading into the woods. I'll just show you...

Yes, well, welcome to my office! It is right beside the sofa where I can conduct my many business affairs throughout the day and where I have tucked the illustration. It is a numbered print  named  Home...Be it Ever So Humble. There's a whole lot going on and a whole lot of sappy wonderfulness: a grandfather welcoming his toddling granddaughter, a father cheering his little girl on, as she is barely walking, a mother standing by, a sweet vintage car, the home with window boxes and soft glow emanating from the windows. Toss in a waterfall and a bridge and a full moon and you've got yourself a picture. And let's not forget the family pet with puppies!

You will also note a photo of Cheryl's family (of Thinking About Home) resting against the grands' photo. I am keeping it out to remind me to pray. You can learn the particulars by visiting *Creekside Cottage.*

* My sister did not listen to me. One thing became so much stuff in this wee haven. My life's work could be the curating of it all. =/

Have a delightful November day!

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Little Chat

The trouble with having been away from blogging so much is that I either have nothing to say or too much to say. Today will just be one of those mindless chatty posts. Wish that I had something to offer you besides a cup of tea and leftover candy. Alas, no baking in my recent past. But wait! How about a cinnamon toast? Marshmallow toast? (my personal fav) Toast with jam? A poached egg perhaps?

Let's see, this year is my year for Thanksgiving. My nine-year-old grand keeps me informed. I don't know what is quite so confusing about this, but I believe that it involves Easter. That's right. When it is my year, it is my year for both Easter and Thanksgiving. What further complicates things is when Easter is more like Thanksgiving in the weather department. Last Easter we had a snowstorm. In my mind, we just had Thanksgiving, but noooo, that was Easter, even if it was wintry weather. Do not attempt to explore the depths of this old mind. Impossible!  So I have now determined that odd years are my years and even years are J's. Got it! At least for now. Good thing I have Sam to depend on.

In the United States, Thanksgiving is a holiday to be reckoned with. It takes me weeks, not counting all the time I have spent on my secret Pinterest board gathering recipes and ideas. Lots of cleaning and lots of planning. The grocery list alone is formidable and the table linens must be spotless. The silver must be polished and everyday dishes just won't do. I am biting it off in small chunks.

For example, it has taken me two days, with John's help, just to clean the living room windows. The dining room window is scheduled for tomorrow. I have yet to find the perfect window cleaning product. We used white vinegar today...don't let that Windex bottle fool you. We'll see how that works out. *I'm waiting on word from Kathy about the product she used.*  I think that I just got it with her comment below. 

This week, I read a fun story by a classic Maine author of yesteryear who wrote They Took to the Woods. It was about a walk in November with her husband and little boy. They were putting in a friend's canoe as the friend was not there to do it himself. After the task, which proved more trouble than they had thought, they were famished and so raided their friend's pantry finding beans, tea, and a tin of evaporated milk. They had a feast, did up the dishes, and then walked back home through the woods. Suddenly, the sky turned dark and ominous and the treetops began to sway. A snow squall overtook them. They held hands and ran for the cozy warmth of their own home. The author's little boy was asked to find a radio station and the first words they heard were, "Happy Thanksgiving." The author's husband said, "You've got a couple of lousy parents to forget that this is Thanksgiving Day!" 

Fast forward four years and the family was gathered twenty strong around a table laden with bounty that the author had spent a week preparing. At the end of the meal her son asked if his parents remembered the day they had walked in the woods, seen the snorting deer, the geese heading south, and ate beans and drank tea. Yes, they remembered. Then the boy pushed himself back from the table and "with all the nostalgia that an eight-year-old can possess said, 'that was the best Thanksgiving we ever had.'"

Bittersweet is abundant this year and my secret stash was loaded. I have placed it here and there outside and inside. Inside, I usually just allow it to dry, but this year I am trying a glycerin and water mix to keep the colors a bit more vibrant. I also have some very colorful azalea branches in the mix. And I'm trying a preservation formula with said glycerin for some leaves I want to keep from fading away altogether. 

They have two more days to soak so I'll give you an update on that later. I read about this long ago in Country Living, but the information is also on Pinterest.

We had just one taker on Saturday night. That child did not spend a fortune for an Iron man costume at Disney World for nothing! 

This means that Piglet has overdosed on candy. What? Well it couldn't have been John or I! 

The elder decided that he was finished with "the event." Earlier in the afternoon, he had been walking between his home and his maternal grandmother's home when a police officer in his cruiser stopped and offered him some candy. My grand declined. When questioned, he said that he was not supposed to be taking candy from strangers and that he definitely did not know that police officer. Smart boy! ;D

Guess before this chat gets any longer that I should close it down. See you later this week perhaps!