A Haven for Vee

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Christmas 2021

Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it.

My son may have felt that that was my story as I explained to him just last week why I was sitting in the dark without turning on my Christmas tree lights. After a bit more conversation between us, he looked at me intently and asked, "Mom, are you all right?"

No, I really was not. Two years of this covid scare + a year of this joke of a president=one grumpy, annoyed woman. I needed Christmas in the worst way.

Early in December, this arrangement arrived from LL Bean courtesy of Laurel. It smelled so fresh and Christmasy. I used the ribbon Mary gave me to wind through it and called it good. 

Then, for the first time, I purchased an amaryllis bulb and was pleasantly surprised when it actually bloomed and is about to bloom again.

There were a few ice storms this month and a couple of snowstorms. Snow fell gently most of Christmas day.

Since I did not feel like decorating the tree, I used candy canes and Christmas cards to fill it out. 

The overstuffed chair holding Christmas gifts needing to be wrapped. The poinsettia was a gift from the Garden Center because I spent too much money there.

The poinsettia, the amaryllis ready to bloom again and a lovely lap quilt gift from a dear friend.

My grandsons Jake and Sam had chairs to sit in on Christmas Day. Now that they are adult sized, they appreciate those kinds of things. I hope Sam wasn't watching a spider. 

Michelle and Adam tend to gifts with only a box of fir tips behind them. I remember the year I had the crockpot behind them and it snapped and crackled all afternoon.

At day's end, I wanted to document how tall Sam has become so used Aunt Laurel as a comparison.

Laurel gave me this pretty Christmas card with a message that doesn't fit me at all, but makes me wish that it did. 

Now that Christmas has arrived, I am perfectly willing to let it continue right through January 6. I am slow to the party, but once it starts, I am all warmed up and ready to enjoy the season. I must remember this. 


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Sweet Domesticity and The Hodge Podge

1. How did you name your blog and do you now wish you had thought about it maybe another five minutes before hitting publish? Would you change your blog title if it were not a huge pain in the derriere? 

2. What bill do you least like to pay? 

3. What is your favorite word? Okay okay, calm down. How about one of your favorite words? 

4. Is the glass half full or half empty? Elaborate. 

5. Were you here for that very first Hodgepodge post? If so, were your answers then similar to what they are today? Tell us what was happening in your life in November of 2010? 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 


1. I know that I had the blog and the post and the decor, but I did not have the name. I needed something. Yes, I certainly do wish that I had stalled before hitting publish. Say, why do you ask? I tried changing the name to "Life on Autumn Avenue." It didn't fly.

2. Is there one that is fun to pay? I especially loathe paying the $pectrum bill because I do not watch tv. I use it only for WiFi. 

3. Jesus—there's just something about that name. 

4. In the natural, I tend to be a glass half empty or worse kind of gal; however, give me some time with good music, a good sermon or prayer, and things change. 

5. No, I don't believe I knew about the Hodge Podge from the beginning. The earliest I can find is 2014. 

In November 2010, my family said goodbye to my grandmother who had lived to be 101. After that, she was eager to head home, which she did on my mother's birthday. I missed her terribly as she had been a big part of my life for over fifty years,  yet she is safely home and I will join her one day. 


Why November days and domestic tasks seem perfect for each other I don't know. I have so enjoyed the light, the fading foliage, and the coziness of November. Some days, I go out to blow leaves or tidy the garden. Other days, I putter inside setting things in order. 

Recently, I received a lovely, perfectly Novembery gift from Mary at A Breath of Fresh Air. It was wrapped so nicely in tissue paper with a ribbon and a card tucked inside. Mary thoughtfully included some extra yarn and the yarn wrap to show me the brand and the name.

 Mary does beautiful knitting and enjoys having something to work on in the evening. If you have never visited Mary, you are in for a treat. Her photography is so good. You'll never see birds and squirrels the same way again. 

I had promised her that I would put on my makeup  when I shared my beautiful cowl. Unfortunately, I lied. If I ever get it together, I'll replace this. (I did run myself through the diffuser, Mary.) Thank you so much for the elegant cowl. 

Please join Joyce for today's Hodge Podge

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Leaf Peeping Up North

Laurel had a birthday last weekend. She's making her age look great. The day before, she suggested that I pack my bag and go home with her (after the family gathering) so that we could strike out the following day for what has become our annual foliage drive. Yay! 

Laurel lives north of me in Somerset County. We also drove around a good bit in Franklin County. At one point, we were just 21 miles from Quebec. Heretofore, all our foliage drives have been in Androscoggin and/or Oxford Counties.

So without further unnecessary chatter...

It was a beautiful day in Laurel's town.

The River: The Carrabassett 
The Mountain: Sugarloaf (not all mountains are Sugarloaf, which made Laurel laugh every time I saw a mountain and called it Sugarloaf).

↓Sugarloaf  Mountain Hotel

There must have been a lot of day hikers on the Appalachian Trail because the parking lot was nearly full.

A fun sculpture in the woods...

Back home...a carpet of leaves

Thanks to my daughter for another fun foliage tour and thank you for hanging in there through so many photos.


Thursday, September 30, 2021

Simple September

Good heavens! It is past time to get a post out for September. The days go by so quickly. (Thing is, I am at a loss for things to say here as always lately.) 

What do you consider your favorite posts, you personally, at your blog? Do you like putting together a Day in the Life? Décor? Recipes? Deep thoughts? Stories of days gone by? Faith for living? Travel? Book Reviews? Gardening? Something else? All of the above? None of the above? I'm truly stumped. To make matters worse, I no longer have a working camera. I have an iPhone: that's it. I find it incredibly limiting. Therefore, I take very few pictures and hardly any pictures of my peeps. Come to find out, my peeps have never enjoyed having their pictures taken. Do you still enjoy blogging? See what I did there with that question?

One thing is certain, I am sure that you don't enjoy reading someone whine over having nothing to say.


Two things happened in September that I enjoyed immensely. One was driving myself to my daughter's on Labor Day. You know how fearful I have been about driving too far or too long. She got nervous waiting for my arrival and came looking for me. No need. Even though I thought I was lost, I was not. 

We enjoyed a fast hour of sunshine, then the rain struck with a vengeance. We couldn't even hear ourselves speak for the rain pelting on the tin roof. That's fine. The food was good. 

Laurel had built herself a nice set of stairs rather than the stepladder you see below. I didn't take a photo of the stairs. Two people swam that day in spite of the chill and the rain. Emmanuel paddled about for some time and Sam jumped in and right back out. 

Edited to Add 10/13/2021: Popping in the photo of the stairs

Later, as we were readying ourselves to leave, Adam asked if I minded if Sam drove my car. My reply was, "As long as I'm not in it." It's been a long time since I was the parent teaching the teen to drive. ツ Sam did a fine job driving back to our hometown I am told and the car is just fine.  

 Then one early September day, my sister and I went to Owls Head on the coast. It is pathetic that I live so close to the coast, yet rarely visit, especially in summer. 

We took a nice walk up hill and dale to see the lighthouse. My favorite part of that day was walking on the sandy, secluded beach we found after a very nice man gave us directions. We were practically the only people there. Perfection. 

      Plans are being considered for a foliage drive. 
The season is late this year, yet it will arrive right on time.

I am trying an experiment today by responding to each comment here over the next while. I know that most people don't return for such things. Still, I spend way more time commenting at your place than you spend here because I write so seldom these days. Maybe it will all even out. I am not saying that I won't be visiting your place. Oh, yes, I will. I am totally addicted to reading blog posts and have been for years. I'm just not as addicted, as I once was, to writing them.

Have a blessed end of September and a wonderful October!



Monday, August 23, 2021

Tropical Storm Henri

 This morning, I busied myself with battening down the hatches as we (figurative we) await Henri's slow arrival. He's wobbling in from Long Island, NY, but still, I don't want to sacrifice my flowers to any old tropical storm. My roses are cut and sitting on my windowsill.

The hanging plant is visiting the car in the garage and anything that could become airborne has been safely stashed on the bottom shelf of the gardening bench. 

For a tropical storm, Henri is sure making a nuisance of himself. It rained all day Sunday and will rain all day Monday and most of Tuesday. I am also concerned about whatever is coming this way from Canada. Maybe I shouldn't fret. It appears that it will blow north of me. I'm the blue dot down there.

But no worries for some anonymous darling has sent me sustenance. Do you require comfort food in stormy weather? I'd really like to know.

To whoever sent this...Thank you! I'm going to be all set.


P.S. Changes at Laurel's below... 

Guess the river wasn't quite enough. (It really isn't. She does a lot of heavy lifting in a day and needs to soothe those tired muscles.)

Thanks for your visit!