A Haven for Vee

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Of New Second Hand Cars, Et Cetera

My beautiful blue Impala was getting older. Sometimes I fretted, but then I would give it to God because, like so many other things going on, all I know to do is give whatever-it-is to Him—always the very best thing to do.

Then last month, my father, sister, and brother-in-law gifted me with my dad's car. My father was sad when he had to give up his license, but it seemed to please him to be able to gift it. (I had not realized that he had the joy of giving it twice. ☺) It is another Impala, four years newer with much lower mileage. It's light gray, not my favorite color for Maine winters, but beggars can't be choosers. 

Yesterday, my sister-in-law and I drove in freezing rain up into the Western foothills to deliver the blue Impala to a friend of hers who is going to help me sell it. Phew. I don't do the car selling thing so well. John always did that for me in the past, even for many years longer than we were married. 

He was good with that kind of thing. He had the perfect location along the main route and a good pull-off place at the end of his drive. I considered doing likewise, but it didn't take me too long to think again. The thought of having people call at all hours and having to meet with them and allow them to drive the car, etc. Nope, it wasn't giving me a happy feeling.

Recently, my daughter purchased a new car...white...have I mentioned this? Perhaps. Anyway, she had had a difficult time saying so long to her well-loved truck. Imagine my surprise when I began to tear up at the thought of leaving my old car behind. Good grief! So I followed my advice to her and thanked God instead for all the years of faithful service it had provided. He is my Source! He deserves all the gratitude.

~Saying So Long~

And I thank Him for good friends, too!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Last Day for Leftovers

Here is our best photo of Thanksgiving. I forgot my camera so was counting on the other photographer. This is his best offering.

~Jack and Jake~
Jakob wore a tie for Thanksgiving and looked especially handsome. Alas, he had already ditched it by the time the photo was taken. Ever thoughtful, he asked how I was doing on this first Thanksgiving without John. I turned the tables on him and asked how he was doing. He shrugged. I said, "It's been a good day and we got through, right?" And so we did. I remember many Thanksgivings without John, but my grandsons were so young when I married John that they don't remember holidays without him. It makes it tough for them.

I was so excited to find that piece of pumpkin pie there...just enough to try *this.* Most of these leftovers are already long gone. I enjoyed my daughter-in-law's cooking all over again when I made a big Sunday dinner for myself, including red stuff. So all that is really left is enough turkey for my lunch today and that piece of pumpkin pie transformed for supper.

Got myself into so much trouble last week trying to multitask. I just can't function that way anymore. First I ruined pumpkin breads trying to also drag in the Christmas tree from the garage...not paying attention...didn't bake them long enough.

Then, while trying to string lights and make pecan pies, I quadrupled the butter. Not good. I am learning all over again the need to be present and focused.

Thank goodness, I was present and focused last year, which helped my harried self this.


I ordinarily decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. I thought, especially if I started a day or two early, that I might get it all accomplished. Nope. Not going to be any faster or done in a day or two after all. Seems as if I should keep things simpler this year. Though I seem to need Christmas light therapy, I don't need chaos and clutter. There's just too much going on here with all the sorting, etc., that is ongoing. 

Last year, there were no outside Christmas lights here at my little haven. It was a first, but we made the choice and went with it. Didn't like it at all. I think it's important to enter into the joy of the season and provide a little cheer for neighbors. Sam helped me change that. The lights were unimpressive strung simply along the top of the fence so I decided to gather branches and light them. 

That was fun. They are red, green, and white lights and, if I could, I'd take a good pic of them after dark. I can't. They shouldn't add too much to the electric bill.

Did I say that I was planning to keep things simple? Silly me!

~hot chocolate center~

Let me know how it is going at your place! Have a good week...


Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving week stretches before us so soon. I read recently that though Thanksgiving is official by decree, it really is a matter of the heart that should not/can not be limited to a Thursday in November. 

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. ~Edward Sandford Martin

What is it about the season (as much as I may wish that we'd be more sensible like our Canadian cousins) that evokes these powerful memories of family, hearth, and home? 

Families are more likely to travel to be together at Thanksgiving, moreso than even Christmas. Perhaps it is the memory of traveling...watching the farmhouses and all those autumnal scenes slip past mile after mile. The anticipation of being with cousins, aunts and uncles, siblings, parents, and grandparents was enough to make a child giddy for days. 

It certainly is also the memory of preparing and planning and getting the house ready for welcoming guests. And what about the smell of turkey baking for hours, fresh Parker House rolls, and all those other savory delights reserved for such holiday meals? Oh and there must definitely be red stuff on the table.

(I once made the mistake of serving John a chicken dinner without his favorite dish. He surveyed the table finally asking gently [and somewhat sadly], "What? No red stuff?" That was his term for cranberry jelly right out of the can.) 

This year, things are different. I will be joining my son and family at his home for Thanksgiving, though Wednesday, I will be doing some baking here in my little haven where it will be warm and cozy. Sometimes, I am tempted to feel bereft, but having found so many of John's messages written down in journals and Bibles, I am also rejoicing.

This week will be one of praise and thanksgiving to God for safely bringing us along. There is always so very much for which to be grateful.

Many blessings to you and those with whom you will gather this week. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Meanwhile Courage Reprise

This is a reposting from two years ago. I have described it as one of my very favorite Sunday posts because I find myself returning to it time and again. It has been very helpful to me.

Sometimes an answer comes before the question is formed. I knew that my knickers were in a knot, but had not one clue why for days. It seemed as if my mind was too filled with concerns—my own,  the country (they didn't end with the election after all), the church, and, because I walk in Blogdom, many other concerns. Perhaps you can add the workplace to your list. So my prayer list has become exponentially longer through the years. Suddenly, it was if I could not handle it any longer. What pride! It was never mine to "handle" in the first place.

This quote has been powerfully meaningful to me. I can use it to process what is going on in my mind and heart. For example, I am tired and ready to quit... Meanwhile, courage! Your moments of nervousness are not your real self, only medical phenomena.  I don't feel well... Meanwhile, courage! Your moments of nervousness are not your real self, only medical phenomena. I am worried about this person... Meanwhile, courage! Your moments of nervousness are not your real self, only medical phenomena. You see? It works for any. possible. thing.

And who is this "real self"? The real self only applies to those who have given themselves to Christ. (The very best news ever is that all are invited to give themselves to Him.) When we have, He lives in us and through us. There is nothing that we can do without Him. 

...For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us...

Ephesians 2:14

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:16–19

A blessed Sunday and a blessed week to you!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Friday

How long do you think that I can get away with these pedestrian amazing  titles?

I do love Emojis. Have you found yours yet? Thanks to Pam at Playing With My Camera for pointing them out. They are at the top of your compose page between insert a video and insert a jump break. Not only Emoji, but all sorts of symbols. I won't have to make any more dividers. Yay!


So it's been a good week. Mostly a good week. My poor tenants...the furnace went down. Not good, but it will be fixed before the ☃  comes. (You'll be happy to know that the furnace is already fixed. 😌) What? Too much with the Emoji?


The mailman brought some wonderful packages on Wednesday. This was my favorite from my friend Rosella at Rhubarb and Roses

 Amazing gifts. Whatever gave Rosella the idea that I like
love candy? Coffee Crisps, KitKat Chunkies, and what 
is that? A Mint Smoothie in the beautiful gold package?

Does it look as delicious as it tasted? I hope so. Man! That Mint Smoothie from RhΓ©o Thompson was seriously creamy and heavenly.

 I went to the cemetery Wednesday to plant the tulip bulbs taking advantage of the mild weather. This entire autumn has been a huge blessing  and this week is no exception with temps at or near 60F each day. Anyway, Canada will celebrate her 150th birthday next year and there will be tulips blooming from sea to sea and all over the place in celebration, including my Canadian mama's grave. Thank you so much, my dear Rosella. I am mailing out a thank-you card today. Let's see how long it takes to arrive. 


Fading and getting a little skimpy, but still here!


Yes, I have been shopping on QVC. Christmas is coming and it came for me on the same day that my Rosella package arrived. 

Pretty Packaging...

I have not had new makeup in years. It was time. The last time I purchased an entire collection was in college...Mary Kay...some πŸ’‹πŸ’‡πŸ‘ΈπŸ’πŸ’¦πŸ’¨πŸ’Ÿ years ago. I still love Mary Kay, but this collection was a whole lot less expensive and it goes on a whole lot faster.


Aside from the squirrel-nibbled eyebrows, I think the make-up looks pretty good. 


Now here's a question for you...which of these "selfies" into a mirror do you prefer? A or B? I have a reason for asking...

I've gained some weight (lost some, too) in the years I've been blogging. The photo below, also taken into the mirror, was one of the first shared, circa 2007 or 2008.

I was trying to decide if I liked the perm.


My darlings were here this week. Yes, there were cookies in the can. I think I have this figured out now. There were no comments about how much they don't like my house now that John is not here. It's not easy, but we're finding our way, slowly and some days are better than others. So many have recently told me how much they've been praying for us. Thank you. Your prayers have been a great blessing. I can feel them. I truly can. 

Catch you in a few; hopefully before Thanksgiving.

P.S. And it was the week of the Super Moon so I'm tossing in my best photo of it. πŸŒ• I sure have enjoyed seeing some wonderful Super Moon photos in Blogdom this week.

Edited to Add Sunday evening: 

And I see that a majority of you agree with me! Thanks so much for playing along. I realize now that such things are highly subjective and my heart was blessed when some metioned that they liked seeing my wedding ring in photo A. That's as good a reason as any to like a photo. I may have to switch to Photo A myself based on that criteria. As you can tell by the clock, the time between photos was mere seconds so there's no accounting for lighting, etc., as I made only one change (that I was aware of) and that was to shift the direction of my gaze.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday Monday

So where were we? In the garage I think. I have been in the garage almost daily for about a week. If the weather holds, I'll keep going. If not, I am at a good place to quit until spring.


Let me show you. This is the garage that John built so it is near and dear to my heart. 

~west wall~ 


Photos are so helpful to me because I can see that, while some progress has been made, I can circle round again and organize better. Prior to this, I didn't notice all the gardening products here and there. They can definitely be gathered to the same place.

↑There's been a whole lot of tucking going on around here. 

↑These boxes and old laundry baskets and plastic bags are full of personal papers. I have gone through so many of them, but have many more to plow through. I dare not just chuck them into the fire, though tempted, because there are treasures. Dear treasures. I found a little love note written to me on the back of a grocery list. Precious.

 Some have asked if I have found any money. Yes, I have — an unused gift card to Amazon. ☺ But the best thing that I have found is this engagement photo of John's parents. 

Aren't they adorable? I love his mama's sweet smile and his father's steady gaze. His mom looks right at us and his dad looks at the photographer as if to say, "Let's get this show on the road."

Back to reality. Not. I have already cleared or tidied everything to the window. Yay! (Just forgot to take a photo before it was too dark.)


Progress is a wonderful feeling...
Please share with me some household project that you are feeling positive about. Perhaps you even want to show me! I need all the inspiration I can get.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

What a Week!

Yes, and a great one! ☺ If you want to read more about why I think so, you can check the "Let's Get Political" button at the bottom of the page. For all of those saying Let's Not, it probably wouldn't be a great idea. Yes, definitely good for you folks to have a warning to stay away.

Political junkie that I am, and always have been, I have been trying to get caught up on my rest. There have been many late nights over the past weeks and months watching rallies and then being up until the wee hours Wednesday morning meant that I was sleep deprived. Last night was my first "normal" night in a long, long time.

Then, too, there was that garage. Oh that garage. Maybe, I will tuck a photo in later when the light is better because some minor progress has been accomplished and I would like to document it. (ETA: Come back Monday, too many photos to just pop one in. Besides, I found a photo of John's parents and it is darling.) Basically, I decided what I wanted to tackle each day. It was done in small bites. I might say, "I want to clear the west wall."  I'd quit when that bit was done. The job would overwhelm me otherwise. Things can still get done with baby steps. Today I tidied the stairs and vacuumed them. Gone are the days when I can go through everything that needs doing and get it all done in one fell swoop. 

Found a box of Christmas lights carefully packed (not by me) and put away in a corner of the garage. Had to test them, of course, and they are all still working. I knew that I had more lights somewhere.

These have been tucked away because I really am early. When I was a kid, I always wanted a Santa mug. Last year, I looked high and low for some and could not find any so when I saw these, I grabbed them. They have become the first gifts for Christmas this year. I don't think those grands read here. ☺

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans Day 2016

A re-post with a brief postscript...
Did you wonder this morning as I did how Veterans Day should be spelled? Was it Veteran's Day, Veterans' Day or Veterans Day? I wonder about it every year. This year I settled it once and for all: Veterans Day!


Some towns honor the day with parades, flowers, and flags placed on graves, patriotic songs, and memories. Any way that it is honored is good as long as it is honored. This is my town's way — the sand pile, which looks impressive, has been "engraved" with God Bless Our Troops, a flag, and a yellow ribbon.

My father served in the Korean War. Some years ago, we learned that a three times great-grandfather of mine on the distaff side had served in the Civil War; just last week, we've learned that the Civil War soldier's grandfather had served in the Revolutionary War and had probably fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill with General Putnam. Fascinating information. 

I have to smile that these men are on the "Canadian" side. My mother and grandmother were Canadians and these were their ancestors, but what I've not mentioned is that my grandmother's mother was an American, born in Gloucester, Massachusetts. (Her paternal grandfather is the Civil War soldier and her paternal great-grandfather the Revolutionary War soldier.) She became a Canadian when she married my Canadian great-grandfather (whose ancestors also hail from the U.S., but were Royalists during the Revolutionary War). 

I am proud of their service and, most of all, grateful for their service. Soldiers hold the country together through the most difficult of times with the help of Almighty God. God bless them all.

P.S. As I have continued to work with my family's genealogy, I have found more soldiers. There are more Revolutionary War soldiers and Civil War soldiers. There are two sets of fathers and sons who served together. This flabbergasts me. I am so grateful for all they did way back in the beginning. Those who stood up and fought against tyranny are the ones I most admire.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Bittersweet 2016

Anyone here to see before and afters of garage cleaning? Golly, I hope not, but just in case, I'll toss in a little, itty-bitty photo at the end. 

It was a quiet weekend. The only thing that caused me distress was news surrounding the corruption that prevails in my country these days and has, apparently, for a long time. It's enough to make a person physically ill. Some politicians (of all varieties) obviously think The United States is some banana republic. Unbelievable.  Do they not know that they work for us and not the other way around?

On to brighter things...

 ↓Yesterday was my mother's birthday so I took one of the mum plants for her grave. While there I found plenty of bittersweet.

It is odd to think of my mother as an 82-year-old. Of course, in Glory, she is younger than I am. Wonder if birthdays are celebrated in Heaven. Probably, they have better things to do. It is comforting to know that she is safely home with The Lord.  

The rest of the mums and a dahlia plant, too, are huddling together for warmth. I would like to tell the clerk that they have outlasted his prediction by four days at least.


Okay, that before picture, which I assure you is not the real before picture because I didn't take one. This shows that I got troubles ohoooh. Maybe by week's end...or not.

Can't see much? Oh good! ☺

Take it easy now and keep praying, keep believing, and keep looking up! 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Cozy Day Cooking

It was a perfectly cozy, rainy day. I had planned to go out;  I felt that I should. (It was Day 3 of being alone without going anywhere or talking with anyone.) Sometimes I must force myself to get in the car and go somewhere anywhere because, quite frankly, I am such a homebody that I could stay here until I run out of coffee.


Anyway, since I was staying home, in the morning I began making some apple butter. Talk about instant home aroma that lasts and lasts...heavenly!





↑See how dark the apple butter is (in the jar)? That's just what you need. Oh yum!

I needed the apple butter to create *this delicious sandwich*
Thanks to Susan at Savoring Time in the Kitchen.

Wait, something's missing...

 That's better!

Yes, it was a lovely, cozy day.


(No, I am not early. This Christmas bubble light stays out all year long.)

Perhaps Monday, I'll share the progress I have made on organizing and cleaning the garage. Or not. ☺

Have a fabulous weekend...