A Haven for Vee

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Review

Changed my mind about blogging again in 2015 as is a woman's prerogative. I'll explain why in a bit... 

Only one post in January with no great photos so I'll begin in February. Besides, I'm going to cheat in August.







 ~Two for August above and below~

The August photos were taken in the final week of August and shared in September.


By next September, this view will be lost to us as a garage and home will be built on that empty lot. I will miss the little shed and being able to see across the other road.




So the old year is within hours of slipping away. John and I are spending a perfectly quiet evening at home. We went out for lunch today and that ended our celebration. He is watching Justice and I am working on this last post of 2015. We are living exciting lives.

 I changed my mind about posting a review perhaps after visiting your blog where you did it so well. Mia at Mia's Country Living has been faithfully documenting every year for nine! Today, she said goodbye for now as she has decided not to blog in 2016. She hints that she may see us again and I certainly hope that that is true for I will miss visiting her beautiful blog. Don't you get any ideas now and I'll try not to either. 

A Happy New Year's Eve to you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas in Review

When I read the following quote, I thought how very true it has proved for me. For you, too? I tend to think of Christmas as the high day of the year and the years are archived in my mind by Christmas memories.  This year was the one where the weather was so mild that we could play baseball wearing light jackets on a lawn with no snow. 

Of course, we had our more Christmasy moments... 

a special visit from my New York niece and my sister. This is Kea the gal who helped create those store windows mentioned back along.

 Long-legged grandson discusses a baseball board game with his mom. 

The not so usual moments when one grand became a present and my son did some... sword swallowing?

This book title was definitely news to John and me!

Monday, my grands made a date with us and, when they learned that their Auntie was coming by, they talked us into another baseball game. Their logic was spot on. "It will be the last time we can play baseball until spring comes!" (Tuesday we "welcomed" six inches of snow and ice so they were right!) 

What a fine team of three!

An exciting game it was, too!

 I would have done a Year in Review if I had posted more in 2015.  Must remember this for future reference.

 See you in the New Year!

P.S. I have not forgotten Who really holds everything together. Colossians 1: 16–20

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Photos 2015

Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree. 
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes–
Some have gotten broken–and carrying them up to the attic.

~W.H. Auden

This post was predated. It is actually January 7, 2016 and, as you might imagine, I am fresh from a day of dismantling Christmas.

The quote links to a post way back in 2008 and W.H. Auden's Christmas Oratorio.

These photos are ones that will be lost if I don't post. (My daughter doesn't want me to load up her laptop with photos.) Ordinarily, they'd be saved on the computer that is limping along so badly that I don't dare use it.

Comments are closed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

No Matter the Weather

Christmas in Vermont looks as if it were painted by Grandma Moses, which it often was. It smells like a bakery in a pine forest, tastes like a rerun of Thanksgiving plus plum pudding, sounds like stamping feet and Christmas carols, and feels like the North Pole. There is all the snow you could ask for on evergreen boughs and ski slopes, and quite a bit more than you asked for on your windshield and driveway. The white church in each village is lit by a floodlight tucked in the bushes so that it shines out over the village green like a benediction. On the church door there is a large wreath of greens from the nearby woods, and one candle glows from each window.
~Marguerite Hurrey Wolf

Not sure how Vermont is doing this Christmas, but my corner of New England feels decidedly like October and looks green and brown and plain. The temp is expected to reach 60°F by Christmas Eve. I am not complaining even if I do confess to feeling wistful about this turn of events. Besides, Christmas doesn’t come from stores, the North Pole, the www or any Christmasy longings for picturesque white Christmas scenes. 

A true Christmas is all about our relationship with The Christ of Christmas. With each passing day of my life, I know that I need Him more than the day before. What a  privilege to honor Him in this season and every season all year through.     

Here’s wishing you the very Merriest of Christmases no matter the weather!

Now only if you have time, please tell me what makes Christmas feel like Christmas for you and what your weather will be like this Christmas. Is this "normal" weather 
for your corner?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Card Exchange

One week until Christmas! I am going to ignore the fact that just realizing this causes a muscle in my side to twitch. It may not be nerves; it may be excitement!

John went out in the rain earlier today and gathered quite a few boughs for me to use for some fresh arrangements. He is such a sweetheart.

I really tried to shop in the brick and mortars this year. Last Friday, I followed Susan B's "Be An Elf" advice, which I interpreted as dressing up, wearing a poinsettia pin, wearing make-up, perfume, and a smile. I had just had my hair cut (medium length) and so I looked very cute. Very. Well I did so, too. ☺ After six hours of shopping, I gave up and returned home defeated.

All was not completely lost as I did get that particular thrill that one sometimes feels in an aisle of gaudy merchandise while listening to Bing Crosby croon White Christmas. Nostalgia is a terribly heady thing.

Saturday, I ordered online and by Wednesday all my items had arrived. So, if you had been wondering, everything is good, which is why I get to play with the boughs today and with tweaking my decorating.

Amy at Love Made My Home hosted a Christmas card exchange and I participated this year. It was a simple and easy thing to do in a busy season and introduced me to a new to me blogger—Joan who writes at A View to the Fells. Isn't that a great blog title? Joan lives in the UK and her header shows her beautiful view. These are the lovely cards she sent me...two! One specific to her hometown and the other a beautiful handmade card.

At some point Wednesday, I decided to unpack all the Christmas boxes again! Unheard of! I found the little church I was looking for and set it up on a windowsill in the living room. We are enjoying it so much. It's also one of the grand's favorite things.

Hope to be back before Christmas, but just in case, I'll wish you a blessed one and a Merry and Bright one. May you enjoy all that the season offers and celebrate The One Who came to be our Savior. 

Thank you for stopping by today...just one week to Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good

This book is the tenth in the Mitford Series written by Jan Karon and published in 2014. The series are stories about Father Timothy Kavanagh. Early in the series, he marries Cynthia. They make a wonderful team. (Book 6 is a story about their wedding that takes place between books 2 and 3. Karon takes liberties like that. ☺)

I remember reading a review that a blogger wrote and I had to have this book having read all the previous ones. When it arrived, I set it aside because my eyes were giving me troubles — a two-year bout with polymyalgia rheumatica. In September, I pulled the book from the shelf and placed it by my pillow and began to read at bedtime. 

I found that reading at bedtime is very good for me, very relaxing. Often, I would wake a few hours later with the book beside me or on the floor and the light still on. I have probably enjoyed the best sleep I have had in years in the last few months; however, the author may not find this news necessarily flattering.

In addition to the relaxing qualities of reading at bedtime, I loved reading this book because it was taking place in the same season. It begins sometime in autumn and ends at Christmas. Perfect!

If you've read Karon's books, you know what a warm cast of characters she has created. Her style is conversational and cozy. I think I recognize each character from those "characters" in my own community. I suppose it's a classic case of "there's one in every crowd." Jan Karon has herself said that there are Mitfords all over.

Then for the quote collectors...there are so many pithy and thought-provoking ones. These are some of my favorite Father Tim quotes:
I can't say I have any confidence in confidence. I have confidence that God is with us in all things, both tender and tough.

Your goodness to me has been overwhelming. How tender you are, though I am often as tough as gristle. How patiently you have loved me since you made up your mind to love me always.  

When I speak of God’s will, it helps to know that he wants the best for us. If you can’t believe he’s there, pray anyway. If you feel he’s cheap and withholding, thank him anyway. There will come a time when you’ll thank him even for the hard places.

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know thee as thou art revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of thy love, amen 
As I understand it, Karon has retired Father Tim. The next book, Come Rain or Come Shine, moves on to Father Tim's adopted son Dooley. The perspective shifts from Father Tim to Dooley.  I won't be making the move. This is a good time to say goodbye (for now) to Father Tim and Cynthia. I don't want to shift my loyalties to anyone else. Dooley is not a large enough character for me to even feel inspired to make the transition. I hope that Karon never does Father Tim in. We need all the Father Tims we can find in this world. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

He Worried About It

He Worried About It

The sun's heat will give out in ten million years more—
And he worried about it.
It will sure give out then, if it doesn't before—
And he worried about it.
It will surely give out, so the scientists said
In all scientifical books he had read,
And the whole boundless universe then will be dead—
And he worried about it.

And some day the earth will fall into the sun—
And he worried about it—
Just as sure and as straight as if shot from a gun—
And he worried about it.
When strong gravitation unbuckles her straps,
"Just picture," he said, "what a fearful collapse!
It will come in a few million ages, perhaps"—
And he worried about it.
And the earth will become much too small for the race—
And he worried about it—
When we'll pay thirty dollars an inch for pure space—
And he worried about it.
The earth will be crowded so much, without doubt,
That there won't be room for one's tongue to stick out,
Nor room for one's thought to wander about—
And he worried about it.

And the Gulf Stream will curve, and New England grow torrider—
And he worried about it—
Than was ever the climate of southernmost Florida—
And he worried about it.
Our ice crop will be knocked into small smithereens,
And crocodiles block up our mowing-machines,
And we'll lose our fine crops of potatoes and beans—
And he worried about it.

And in less than ten thousand years, there's no doubt—
And he worried about it—
Our supply of lumber and coal will give out—
And he worried about it.
Just then the ice-age will return cold and raw,
Frozen men will stand stiff with arms outstretched in awe,
As if vainly beseeching a general thaw—
And he worried about it.

His wife took in washing—half a dollar a day—
He didn't worry about it—
His daughter sewed shirts the rude grocer to pay—
He didn't worry about it.
While his wife beat her tireless rub-a-dub-dub
On the washboard drum of her old wooden tub,
He sat by the stove and he just let her rub—
He didn't worry about it.

by Sam Walter Foss 
This poem pretty much sums up my opinion of the recent accord in Paris. Let's just say that the agreement has made me laugh and poke fun. Seems that they are bamboozled or else believe that everyone else can be.

Even though much of the country is currently enjoying much warmer than "normal" temperatures, it is not a first. I remember a Christmas Day that my father mowed the lawn in his shirt sleeves. Perhaps it was 1976, 1977, even 1978. I should check. I am getting old enough to see these cyclical weather patterns. One thing remains 
constant—weather has always been crazy! It should also be said that He Worried About It was published in 1895. Apparently, people have been worried about such things for a long time. And just as the poet hints in his final stanza, there are so many far more important things to be worried about IF I were the worrying kind. Ahem...


I'll get back to Christmas things next time. I came home with nothing after six hours of shopping last time. This can not go on! Hope that your plans are pulling together beautifully...


Friday, December 11, 2015

This or That

I am writing late Thursday evening. That's because my posts have not been updating. This is my experiment of the week and, so far, I have no complaints. Usually, if I get this scheduling right, my post is waiting for me in the morning.

Must be time for a chatty little post. This morning found me fixing our inexpensive Mr. Coffee pot. I killed it and when John came home, he resuscitated it
And you thought I was kidding!

John can be found all over doing things. Why just the other day, I opened the back door to find him practicing his Santa moves.

 He needs a chimney I think. 

Let's see, what else? 

Still playing at PicMonkey...as you can see, I need lots of practice.  (Those are my little girl nieces all grown up now; the one on the left is Kea.) It may look as if I cleaned out the paper punch, but that's really supposed to be bokeh. Ha!

Okay, I am out of time for being silly and I am so good at it, too. I'm off to bed and tomorrow I must dash early. I am quite far behind on Christmas shopping. Hope that everyone has shopped online and won't be in the stores tomorrow. Now how silly is that?!

A happy weekend to you...

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Comparing 2

Comparing again...

Almost wordless for a Wednesday...



See you later. I have some Christmas tours to take...Would you like to go? Just hop with me into those sidebar buttons and we'll see what we can see.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

Missed Opportunity

Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed. ~ C.S. Lewis

And that is what I think about the events of the last week. Odd that those events are as close to December 7  seventy-four years ago as they are. Plan or Coincidence? I don't know. Moving right along... 


On Saturday morning, I was in a hurry because the Christmas cards needed addressing and the post office would be closing. I ran a comb through my hair, splashed my face, brushed my teeth, and applied vaseline to my lips. I threw on my gardening jacket, grabbed the stack of cards, and took off for the town square.

After mailing the cards, I remembered that the milk supply was getting low so I made a quick run to the grocery store where I ran smack into a classmate from years ago. I said, "Hi, Kathy." It took Kathy an uncomfortable while to figure out who I was. I let her squirm. Poor Kathy.

We chatted a bit and then she asked me to join her for lunch along with an entire gaggle of gals from our graduating class who were already gathering at the Pizza Parlor right next door. I must have looked horrified as she began to cajole. "They'd love to see you!" Poor Kathy.

Of course, you have figured out what I said, which was something like this, "Please tell them that I said 'hi,' but my husband won't know where I am and I left my phone at home, and I..." Poor Kathy.

Lots of excuses=a missed opportunity. I am praying that God might allow me a second chance. I really would have liked seeing that gaggle of gals once again.

Are you one who allows opportunities to slip away or do you grab them with gusto? 


My photo offering today is of an award given to my great-great grandparents on the occasion of their 45th anniversary on the 4th of July in 1922. I spent a fair amount of time cleaning it, but 1922 was a long, long time ago. This piece lived in my grandmother's basement for years, then in my mother's. I've decided to use it as a way to cover a multitude of sins (wires and outlets).

It just dawned on me that the trunk even belonged to those same great-great grandparents. Yes, my home is starting to look like a museum.☺See that little bit of fluff on the edge of the chair where the  upholstery is fraying? In the past, I'd fix that, but haven't figured it out at Picmonkey. Any suggestions? There! I fixed it with a pair of scissors, but this photo is staying as it is.

For a peek at more silver all cleaned and looking fine, visit Deanna's here

A happy week to you...

Friday, December 4, 2015


Last year's tree...
~tree in a trunk~

This month's suitcase display...

This year's tree (above and below)...

~tree on a trunk~

Perhaps the elves will be happier with this year's tree than last year's. They sure have had a lot to say about my wee trees. 

Hope that you might have an opportunity to check in at Abby's for the Advent Calendar she is doing this month at Little Birdie Blessings. Each day is new gift/promise from the Word of God. The button is in my sidebar. 

Have a blessed weekend!

P.S. My only option for photo editing is Picmonkey these days. I sure do miss Photoscape. (For those who have wondered.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pardon Me While I Brag

Anyone visiting New York City this Christmas Season? Wish that I were for two reasons: 1. my niece lives there 2. I could see her Saks Fifth Avenue window.

A week ago, Saks Fifth Avenue unveiled their 2015 Christmas Season Display windows. My niece Kea created the middle window, which is a representation of The Great Wall of China. 

The Great Wall of China is on the left. I should also add that all the clouds in every window were created by Kea (sounds like key). 

If you'd like to read more, this is an informative article even if you only look at the photo. 
Thanks for allowing me to crow a bit this morning. =D