A Haven for Vee

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Victoria is a name I would like to have. My mother chose it for me, but my father nixed it. Why? No daughter of his was going to be named for any old Queen of England. I can laugh about it now, sometimes. ãƒ„

My mother was Canadian as I have mentioned many times. Queen Victoria had only been gone for 33 years when my mother showed up. My Canadian family talked about royalty often and many famous portraits of royals hung in their homes. This portrait of Queen Alexandra or one very like it hung in the kitchen at the farm. (She was Queen Victoria's daughter-in-law.)

I thought that she was the most beautiful person I had ever seen. (ETA: By way of further explanation: The kitchen was wainscoted; the ceiling was high; this large portrait hung on the wall above the wainscoting. The kitchen table was in that corner so I can see that, as a child, I'd be looking way up on the wall to see this impressive picture [a print I am sure]. Yes, she made an impression on me. The last time I saw that scene was over thirty years ago and it still lives vividly in my imagination.)

If you have been watching Victoria, you know that the queen started off as Alexandrina. No wonder she took the name Victoria.

Jenna Coleman and Rufus Sewell
Queen Victoria and Lord Melbourne

This series was not going to hook me. I had my hackles up. I didn't want to like it, but I do. I love the history, the costumes, the scenery...just wish that they wouldn't mess with the facts. They have elaborated on the Victoria~Lord Melbourne connection so much that it is said that the Brits didn't want Prince Albert to show up. ☺ In fact, even I have been thinking Prince Albert who

The other thing that annoyed me was that Jenna Coleman is way too attractive to portray frumpy little Queen Victoria, but I could be proven wrong. What do you think?

How about a comparison between Rufus and the Real Lord Melbourne?

Wowzer! Lord Melbourne was a handsome man! My complaint is that he was ten years older than the actor playing him when he first met the Queen. From all accounts I have read, Queen Victoria and Lord Melbourne loved one another as a daughter and father would. Blast. It does make for such a good story. Thank you, Rufus, for doing your hair like the real Lord M's. (This is more than I can say for Tom's as Prince Albert.)

So Jenna and Rufus have an excellent on screen chemistry, but then Tom Hughes who plays Prince Albert and Jenna must also have an excellent chemistry since they have a real-life romance offscreen. It remains to be seen as Prince Albert has only just shown up in earnest this past weekend.

Let us compare the real Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (first cousins) below

with the actors...

It sure was a lot of fun looking through the vintage photographs and the stills of Victoria. There are wonderful images at PBS Masterpiece.

~Eve Myles as Mrs. Jenkins~

I have just one question: What is Mrs. Jenkins doing in this painting? Is she with Lord Melbourne? Are those their daughters? (Just a little revisionist history humor, folks.)


Hahahahah...Guess that it is true that everyone has a twin.

~Eve Myles as herself~

So tell me if you've been watching and what you've been thinking and if you are hooked.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Leaving Things on the Table

And I don't mean the clutter that happens to be all over mine right now. (Not sharing that scene, you'll be happy to know.)

What I mean are all those things that I have photos for, but have not shared. Some of these things go back months. I've been feeling guilty.

~Enjoying a burger and a shake at Five Guys in Brunswick, Maine~
I usually share when the grandsons have their respective birthdays six days apart in January. This year, I am late. They are officially 11 and 10 now. The night before the birthday party, the 10-year-old was my guest. My daughter generously agreed to take us to Five Guys about an hour away. It was a great burger. Probably the best I've ever had, but an hour is a long way to go for a burger and there may be other more worrisome concerns.

The following morning, Jake was trying to get dressed and I could hear him murmuring about not fitting into his pants. I don't know if he packed his own overnight bag or what, but he was right—the pants didn't fit and those from the day before also didn't fit. What?!  

We were in the middle of a little scene similar to Randy's being stuffed into his snowsuit from A Christmas Story when Jake quipped, "All I did was go to Five Guys and have one stinking hamburger and now my pants don't fit!" (It's the story of my life, Jake, story of my life.)

↑Some snow tubing in the future... And some cozy, winter nights between new fleece sheets from LL Bean.↓

~Eleven and Ten~

~beautiful banner from Kim~
This banner was a thoughtful gift from Kim who formerly blogged at Camp and Cottage Living. She is taking an extended break from blogging, though I keep hoping that she'll return. Anyway, this banner arrived last summer and I draped it across the mirror. It says, "Lo, I am with you always." It is wonderful to see it each morning. Even though John's photo is there, it does not mean that I think that he is with me always; I know better. I do not feel that way at all and feel very much alone in that sense. The Lord is with me always; John is safely home.

Finally, I shared a bit about this item recently when I was decluttering some closets. I found this little girl's vintage dress and jacket in a paper sack stuffed on a shelf. I washed it and ironed it and now wish to know who sent it to me. That's really all I remember...someone sent it to me. Abby? Kim? Kim? Michele? Help!

It's darling and I'd love to know whom to thank. Gosh, I am such a bad, bad blogger. 

Lastly, one might wonder why I'd move on to other pursuits or add other pursuits when I'm already not doing so well with blogging, yet I have added Instagram to my list of things to do poorly. If you'd like to see what I was up to over the weekend, you can check it out there on the Instagram button on my sidebar. I really need some lessons. I have inadvertently deleted my own posts, liked my own comments, and left comments on the table. Oh, that's where we started; good time to stop. (I removed all my comments about Victoria...a post for another day. Focus, Vee, focus.)
ETA: Decided, toward the end of the day, to give the Instagram button the boot because there is nothing there that would interest my blogging friends, though there may be something here that would interest my Instagram friends.  I will continue to link to the blog from there. Hope that this is not a problem for anyone...shouldn't be. 

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Wonderful Prayer in All Seasons

~Mt Washington, New Hampshire taken from my corner in Maine~

Hope to see you tomorrow! Have a blessed Sunday...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hodge Podge Salt and Light


1. "The cure for anything is salt water-tears, sweat, or the sea." (Isak Dinesan) Would you agree? Of the three, which has 'cured' you most recently? 

No, I do not agree; however, Isak Dinesan has a way with a phrase and it sure sounds good. If I thought in these terms, the most recent would have been tears.

2. What's something you can't eat without salt? Do you normally salt your food a lot, a little, or not at all? 

On the advice of Rachel Ray, I have begun generously salting the water for boiling pasta. Yup. She's right. It makes a world of difference. Other than that, I try not to use salt. Many foods are plenty salty enough. (A guilty pleasure is salting an orange or an apple.)

3. Sands of time, bury your head in the sand, built on sand, or draw a line in the sand...which sandy phrase could best be applied to something in your life right now? 

Bury my head in the sand... 

because I am biding. Once spring arrives, action must be taken. Until then, I'm content to make like an ostrich.

4. A favorite book, movie, or song with an island setting or theme? 

Anne of Green Gables set in Prince Edward Island. It's a big island, but it is not only an island; it is also the smallest Canadian province. It is a book,  a movie, and I adore Hagood Hardy's theme music. Do you?

5. Yesterday-did you run your day or did it run you? How so? 

I ran my day. I planned it, followed through, and accomplished what needed doing. Simple things. Nothing difficult. Now let us not discuss the day before.

6. You're on an island holiday. Will I most likely find you parked in a beach chair, shopping in town, on the back of a jet ski, or snorkeling off the back of a catamaran? 

That beach chair is looking comfy.

7. What do you think we humans most take for granted?

Our very lives. One morning, I won't be down for breakfast. I am taking "Teach us to number our days" very seriously. (Psalm 90:12)

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Well I have a lot of random thoughts. Alas, they may not be fit for public dissemination. I was going to tell you what I thought of the women's march on Washington, D.C., though I just bet that you can tell me what I thought. ☺ You know me quite well by now! Perhaps I was even thinking what you have been thinking. 

Dearer to my heart...they were/are splendid. My hopes are high. Praying for President and Mrs. Trump, this country, and its people.

Thanks for reading...

Friday, January 20, 2017

Inauguration Day 2017

 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

Another morning, but not just any morning...

A good morning begins with a cup of coffee. This is a good morning.

This post will load at 3:10, but I will not be up to see it. 


Fireworks over Washington, D.C. last night. They were beautiful. There may be fireworks of another sort today, but my prayer is for peace in our country and for no snowflakes  to fall; raindrops maybe.

To loosely borrow from something a performer said last night at the festivities... I wish to thank Barack Obama for his service and to thank Donald Trump for being willing to serve. 

Long may freedom reign!

Comments are closed so that you may enjoy the day's festivities. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

January Hodge Podge

1. ASAP typically stands for 'as soon as possible'. What else could it stand for in your life right now?

A Season About of Pondering

2. Are you the last person to speak up in a group or the first to have an idea? Why do you suppose that is? Is it a good thing or no?

I have been first; I have been last; I have been silent throughout. Why is that? I am analytical and, on a good day, waiting for The Spirit's leading. Waiting for The Spirit to lead is always the best thing. Often my ideas have not been necessarily edifying nor good.

3. What do you remember best about being 12?

When I was 12, I looked as if I was 16 and I enjoyed looking older than I was. I was always described as "mature." I really wasn't, but perhaps I fooled parents and teachers. Of course, these days, I'd prefer to look younger than I am.

4. January 18th is National Winnie the Pooh Day. Which character do you relate to the most, and why? If you're stumped go here for inspiration.

Since Piglet lives here with me...what? You think that I jest?

5. What's an app you use that helps simplify or make life easier for you in some way?

[Currently, I am enjoying my Netflix app most. (Many thanks to my beautiful nieces for this ongoing gift.)

Thanks to a suggestion from Deanna at Creekside Cottage, I have been happily watching Sherlock Holmes episodes. As she thought, my favorite has been "The Sign of Three" episode 2 series 3. It explains the relationship between Sherlock and Watson so very well. It has the added bonus of being mostly hilarious. Now Sherlock is just a character, which is why it is odd that I wish that he were a Believer. He is a full-blown atheist, which is terribly stupid for a savant.]

Ackkkk! I totally misread this question. The app that makes life simpler or easy would be the Calculator app followed by the Weather app.

6. San Francisco (CA), San Diego (CA), San Juan (PR) San Antonio (TX) Sanibel (FL)...you have an all expenses paid long weekend to one of these destinations. Which one do you choose and why?

Where and Why...

(Those of you who know me best understand that I would actually pass this win along or pass altogether.)

7. Share with us a song that makes you feel nostalgic? For what?

Please forgive me for not having any thoughts on this one.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Looking forward to Friday! ツ

P.S. It's wonderful to have Joyce from This Side of the Pond back with another edition of Hodge Podge Wednesday.

(Hope to link at some point during the day, but am right out straight and unable to visit until later in the day.)

↑This is the meaning of "out straight" lest

someone thinks, as she has

before, that it means "sick in bed" or worse. ☺

ETA: out straight=very busy and moving so fast that one is "out straight."

Image from Pinterest

A happy day to you!

Formatting issues horribly awry and impossible to fix...sorry!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

At My Sister Kim's

It was a very foggy day early Thursday morning when I wended my way an hour northeast to my sister's home. Both she and her husband had already left for work. My sister is a maternity nurse and my brother-in-law was being sent to Presque Isle to help install something or other. (I was surprised when he was the first to show up at the end of the day because Presque Isle really is on the outer fringes of  known civilization.)

 My father had been told to remain abed until I arrived. No problem. It was one of those mornings when any normal person would pull the covers over his head and get an extra hour or two, which is just what he did. While he was contentedly sleeping, I went exploring.

There have been a lot of changes since just last week and I know that there have been a lot of changes since I began sharing what was going on at my sister's home here, here or here, for starters.

The old patio doors separating the new addition from the main house have been removed and all new doors and windows have been installed. Plus the insulation is in, the sheetrock is on, and the mudding has happened. The wiring was all done prior to that, of course. My brother-in-law Steve says that Kim is in charge of the paint. Wonder what color she will choose.

(↑Please forgive that huge drop shadow...↑) 
Love the beautiful new patio doors now looking toward the south side of their home, which is the back lawn and what's this...

Looking out the new patio doors toward the boiler shed featured here in autumn.

Just outside the new patio doors is the new ramp system to better get my dad in and out of the house in his wheelchair. I so appreciate all that my sister and Steve do to take care of my father. I am perfectly at peace with what they are doing on his behalf. Steve could have built a ramp, but time was of the essence. Those of you who have a sibling providing quality care for parents or a parent know what I am saying here. God bless the caregivers mightily!

Turning back to look into the kitchen that will one day be the dining room. Steve tells me that this wall will be an accent wall with Penobscot River Logs Reclaimed Wood being put up soon. Not sure that he has purchased from that source, though it gives an idea of what can be done.

Here is that beautiful set of windows at the end of the room where there appears to be a convention going on just outside.

~*Winter Birdies~Highly Recommended*~

~Are you looking at me?~

I sure admire you bird photographers. Now that doesn't sound right. I mean photographers who shoot birds. No, that's not right either. It's late, I hope that you know what I mean. 

 The new front door. The old front door used to be where the pantry is now. Yes, this home is getting a major renovation.

Here is my sister's cat. Her name is Lily. She's especially friendly around three in the afternoon when she expects me to give her some food. It's nearly impossible to visit you when she's being so very present. 

If there are big changes next week, I'll be sure to keep you updated. There's nothing this exciting going on at my haven.