"The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together." - William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Hearts Day!

Valentine's Day has been my third favorite holiday forever! Halloween and Christmas being my disparate top faves.

Tonight I'm preparing a romantic dinner for my sweet husband: Steak fondue, Lobster tails, and his favorite cheesecake... with lots of Champagne and candles and Pink Martini on Pandora!

Hope you have a lovely day too!

Glad I didn't do something rash like give up CHOCOLATE for Lent! Who does THAT?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Quiet Season

Blogs have evolved since I first began mine back in 2006. In the facebook culture we've all been groomed to 'keep up' with each other in quick bites, not full portions.

Our attention spans have been shortened. We scan the page, checking to see if anything captures our ever-shrinking span of interest.

But part of the joy of Lent for me-- Lent being those 40-days leading up to Easter-- is the quest for simplicity, for quietude. Living with intention and mindfulness.

So I'm leaving facebook for a while, and I think I will miss it terribly and be terribly thankful it's gone all at the same time.

One of the reasons I love it is because both my grown children live thousands of miles away from me and I like to keep up with their day to day-ness. I also love sharing photos of what I'm up to with them, and my other friends. I adore seeing what everyone is up to as well. But oh! the rabbit holes that take me in! A 'quick check' of facebook or pinterest and I resurface an hour later wondering where the time went!

I'm not a facebook fiend-- I only have about 65 'friends', and I can honestly say that I care about all those people! But I do like to share things with you all-- facebook is the introvert's answer to being a socialite!

Bear with me for these next six weeks while I enjoy some time away from the venues that rob me of time I could be spending in contemplative living. I want to make time to read, to do hand-crafts, to rest, to pray. I want to turn things off for a while and sit in the lovely silence.

I'm blogging again so I can share my life more intentionally with you.

I wish you all a lovely journey to Easter! Check back again soon for a visit!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rustics xmas card

Retro Christmas Christmas 5x7 folded card
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May Flowers

I spent the morning over at the vegetable garden on my friend's property. We're growing a lot of fun things and everything is going great guns! Peas, broccoli, cabbage, kale, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, fennel, chard... whew! What a crop! It was getting a bit overgrown, so a day and a half of weeding, transplanting, and taming were due. Brought home a nice little bag of spinach for a salad, and a bouquet of mismatched flowers that made me think of my Gramma.

Both my great-grandpa Albert, and my Grampa Ralph grew beautiful flowers in the postage-stamp backyard-turned-garden over the nearly 50 years they lived there on Colby. This bouquet reminds me of the ones that always adorned their table. It also reminds me of the bouquets we would take to the cemetery on occasional Sunday visits. We'd put them in the urns that were stored right in the flat headstones; you'd unscrew the round ring, pull out a bronze 'vase', go over to the nearest water spigot, fill it up and stick it right-side up again in the same hole. Pretty nifty invention. When I was small we took flowers to my mom's grandmother's grave. Her name was Sena Larsen, but she died long before I was born and I know her only by photos. When her husband, my great-grampa Albert passed, we took flowers for him too. There was always a stop at the grave of my mom's cousin Jim, who died at the age of 19 in Viet Nam, only two months into his tour there. I usually wandered over to the children's section of the cemetery to look sadly at the tiny little headstones carved with lambs or toys and inscriptions such as, "Our Little Angel" or "Taken Too Soon".

It used to be the normal thing to do, going out to the cemetery to pay respects and bring a bouquet of flowers from your own yard. It was nice, actually. I guess that's why this particular bunch of flowers harken back to that simple time when what you had was what you made do with. No one would have thought to pay good money for flowers from the florist! How impersonal! No, we knew that the gentle soul laid to rest there was going to take joy, somehow, from that simple offering. And as we buried our faces in the bouquet before placing it on the grave, we remembered our loved one, and took the fragrance with us when we left. I still think of my Gramma when I smell sweetpeas. And Grampa Albert when I smell lilacs. Perhaps part of those associations have to do with being purposeful in our graveside offerings.

On a lighter note (!) We're getting moved in to our new place and loving it so much! Here's a look at the living room in the morning light. I don't spend a lot of time there; we have a family room with a fireplace, so when we do sit down, it's been in there, but I love this house. The light in every room is so lovely!

Bob is building me an arbor over the steps to my raised garden beds out back. He uses recycled materials from the dump or yard sales and puts together the cutest things! Now that we have a big yard of our own, he's making me all kinds of treasures. A garden shed is next on his list...

So that's the latest from my neck of the woods! I had a wonderful visit over Mother's Day with Jordan, Dianna, Micaiah, and Elliyah! The Coast Guard has them in Virginia now-- still too far away, but I'm so thankful for our visits!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Now where did I put my muse?

I know what I should be doing... I should be upstairs unpacking my craft room. Other rooms in the house are falling into place; the living and dining rooms are in good shape, just waiting for picture hooks so I can hang various things on the walls. The kitchen is operating at full speed, turning out hot breakfasts each morning, and even cookies now and then! Note: Home-baked cookies are a sure indication that you've officially 'moved in' to your home. They're also a good source of comfort when the 'unmoved in' rooms loom large.

But that craft room! Oh my. It's ready to be unpacked-- the walls are the loveliest shade of rose! I've found bookcases and shelves from local yard sales, and even an arm chair from the 1930's in chocolate mohair! This room is going to be my haven and my muse. It doesn't have to double as a guest room; we have one of those! Everything I love can go into it and be showcased. Walls of yarn, photos, paintings, fabric, quilts, and dolls... it's going to be marvelous!

But right now it's just a room full of boxes-- so many boxes! Why is it so hard to take that first step?

Alright. I'll go take a 'before' photo... and then I'll get to work.

Wish me luck!

Monday, April 12, 2010

It only takes two generations...

I read somewhere once that all of us are fogotten after two generations. I guess that is case, if you think about it. My kids knew my grandparents for about seven years before they passed. They still have some faint memories of time spent with them, but they didn't know them. Their own children will someday see pictures and hear stories, but it will be 'ancient history' to them.

So, in essence, I'm the fire tender for my grandparent's memories. I hold them dearly in my heart, for that is where they now live. I don't want to go by that house at 1822 Colby; no one I know is there. The real 1822 Colby is in my memory and it is still bustling with the sounds and smells of family...

There are 14 loaves of the heaviest white bread you can imagine raising on the kitchen counter, while a pot of soup bubbles on the stove. The coffee pot is on--a bottomless plate of cookies next to it-- and the record player is working it's way through a stack of LP's that just make you want to tap your feet.

You can hear the sound of a saw blade screaming through a two by four from the shop out back. The backyard garden fills the tiny space and offers up beautiful gifts, including the vase of sweet peas on the table that fragrance the whole house.

The dice cup has just cooled down from the morning's match, and a score pad reveals a tight game. Everyone who stops by contributes to the hefty coin jar Grampa keeps on the shelf, and I think he makes his wine strong on purpose to hone his advantage.

Gramma's in the laundry room, her hair up in curlers and bound with a green scarf. She is humming to the music, a smile forever on her lips. In the bedroom her typewriter holds a letter she is writing to someone far from home. She'll put in some newspaper clippings of the local stories, and maybe a recipe to share.

People will stop in throughout the day and have a bowl of soup or a glass of homemade wine. They'll be met with smiles and a warm hospitality that will make the day better somehow. They might be a few dollars poorer, but the time spent at the game table will be priceless. Before they leave Grampa will put a loaf of fresh bread in a bag, and add a bottle of Blackberry wine for good measure. Gramma will send some of those cookies along with them, and they'll both stand on the porch waving until the car disappears from sight.

"Stop by now!" That's what they always said as you were leaving.

And I do. As often as I can now.  

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A little place to call our own...

I know it must feel as if I've been kicking this same dead subject for a long time now, but if you've known me for a while you know how dear having a place to call home is to me.

Perhaps it is because I've moved over 25 times in my life, first as an Army Brat, then as an Army Wife & Mom, and now as a Middle-Aged Woman starting again. My own wonderful mother always made each place a home, and as an adult, when our own career took us hither and yon, I took great care in making 'silk purses' out of the 'sow's ear' military housing we were given.

My home has always been an outpouring of not only my creative self, but of my desire to nurture and delight those who live under its roof. Anything outside its doors might be uncertain, unfriendly, or even unsavory, but inside there is always comfort and sweetness and the security of a safe haven. And laughter. Always laughter!

My choices over the past four years have led me through a wilderness of sorts. I refer to the tribulations of that time as "Things I lost in the fire". For while I left everything behind to save my sanity, the cost was dear. Now I am rebuilding, and I am finding more joy than I ever believed I deserved. 

The past few years have found me in many unlikely places: Estranged for a period of time from my family, homeless, then in an abusive relationship, then graciously back at my parent's home, and now--finally-- in a veritable paradise of love and joy. My wonderful man welcomed me into his heart and his home, and now we are moving to a new place where I can put my own things out again and we can create a wonderful nest together.

When I found the rental listing, drove over to peek in the windows, and realized how perfect it was, I actually burst into tears. "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!" was all I could say. I had been asking God for that Perfect Plan He has for me to hurry up and happen! Even I didn't realize how great my need was to have a real home again. I have been so grateful for everyone who has given me a place to stay during these past years, but in this place I will be able to plant things in the ground! And paint walls! And settle in! And have a place for the gran'babies to come and stay!

I've been given a Real Life again. I know, I know, I had it all along, red ruby slippers, no place like home, yadda yadda... but this is Big. Real Big. Like, tears of joy and relief every single day Big.

Think I'll drive over there today, in fact, and start planning those rooms...