A Haven for Vee

Thursday, June 28, 2018


warning: no pretty pictures!

He was standing knee-deep in boxes, linens, Christmas ornaments, and books. Always the books. “Mom, do you feel that you’ve allowed your home to become, hmmm, errrr, over-full?” 

Now I recognize the opening line of an intervention when I hear one no matter how tactful the messenger. I began to respond by explaining that hardly any of it was my stuff....that I haven’t been feeling that well...that I feel overwhelmed...that I’d like to open a window and pitch it all on the lawn. 

(I attempted to wash the fence last week...yikes!)

He walked into my sewing room and I rushed to say, “Not so bad, right? Probably better than your workspace in your barn to which he replied, ‘touché.’”

The standard joke in my family is that I am holding onto some great-grandmother or other’s bun. Yes, it’s not seven feet from where I now sit writing this post. It is carefully wrapped in tissue paper...I’d like to send it up the elevator... Are you following along here? I may be in trouble. 

 As another case in point, I showed my son a drawing that his great-great grandfather had done of a young starlett sometime back in the 1940s. You should have seen his face. He may have even taken a step back. I am saving it, but I don’t know why... I penciled in a message on the back some months ago. 

So today I am recommitting myself to decluttering. I was able to declutter John’s barn and property by tackling the next thing. (Let’s not discuss how much of it is here in bags waiting to be sorted.) The first thing that I worked on at John’s was the stairs...a double flight. I cleared them so I could safely walk up and down without fear of tripping.  I think that will be where I begin here — the stairs.

I know that I must pace myself or burn out completely. Why I already have my dishes done and the Mancala beads washed so something has been accomplished.

Can dishes be "done" if they are still in the drainer? Am I holding onto too many sponges?

Have you ever found yourself in a nightmare like this? Can this wee haven be saved?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Just Because

Do you have some "just because" friends? I call them that since they often give gifts "just because." No reason, not necessarily a birthday, graduation, wedding, baby shower...no other reason than to bless. 

Apparently, I have a fair number. It makes walking to the mailbox worth the while. 

One day, I found these delights in a package from Mrs. T of Across My Kitchen Table. Sara, oops I just revealed her first name, actually writes several blogs, including a Christmas one. 

Come Before Winter is a devotional. I love devotionals and have many. I think they appeal to my short attention span and my love of essays. (BTW, if you've never tried Twining's Buttermint tea...it is fabulous. So smooth and delicious.)

Abby from Little Birdie Blessings often pops a something something in the mail...graphics and booklets, but for my winter birthday she did something I have loved. I keep this treasure on the table beside my easy chair so I can look at it often.

Abby used a photo album and added these wonderful layers of images and ephemera and Scripture and created a personalized book just for me. If you are a creative type, you can find many of these same images on Abby's blog. She offers them for free.

I have a lot to learn from my Just Because friends. 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Boiling Water Among Other Things

There was this book that kept coming up on my friend Brenda's lists. I've been hanging out at Brenda's for years now and, finally, this book began to register. Months ago, I added it to my wishlist and just this past week, I hit purchase.  It arrived in three days so I began reading it yesterday morning. You may not believe this, but it has already changed my life. The book? An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler.

Chapter one is How to Boil Water. Golly. Who knew that I had arrived at old age and did not yet know how to properly boil water?! I popped right up from my easy chair tossing the book aside and headed for the kitchen and my pasta pot. 

I visited Betsy to find that pasta salad recipe that John and I very much enjoyed. Found it and proceeded to put it together with the ingredients I had on hand.

Eating that salad made me feel as if summer had indeed arrived...

One thing led to another and I decided that I must get my outside room together. I don't believe that I even bothered last year. There is still work to be done, but I have begun.


1. I read and loved An Everlasting Meal a few years ago. It was one of the most influential books about food and cooking I have ever read.  I can't tell you how many times since first reading it, I looked at veggies I almost put in the compost bowl and realized they could be used in soup instead.  I gave my paperback copy to my daughter a couple years ago but when a used hardback copy became available very cheap... it was purchased immediately.