Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trim for The Kitchen Curtains

Oh, which one to use, or which ones, in the case I use several.   Natural cotton curtains planned with bright Scandinavian trim to brighten the window.    I have been collecting these trims for several years for just the right projects.  

Garden Time

The weekend was perfect for getting the east garden spot ready for planting.  We tilled it, knowing rain is in the forecast for this week, then after the rain we will rake it and see if we think its ready for planting or if it needs one more round with the cultivator.   The weathermen tell us the chances of winter weather are all but non existent now.  We are getting itchy to get the snow peas, potatoes and onions in.  Our usual planting time around here is the 14th but this year we are going to gamble with natures signs and plant a week early.    We have enjoyed collard greens and lettuce all year from the raised bed garden and the leaks are still green and growing, having wintered well.    The chickens have come out of their molt and are laying once again.  We let them live a natural life, no forced winter laying.  No lights to fool them into thinking its not winter !  
Life is going to get busy again, with planting time here.  Love this time of the year.  Still a need for the wood stove but sunshine and blue skies during the day with rain from time to time.  

Spring is Just Around The Corner

On a little ride around our area on Sunday afternoon gave us many indications that Spring is not far off for us.  The wheat is so green in the fields and the grass is lush.   Tiny buds are appearing on the trees too.  We drove past a few farms that belong to friends and snapped some photos of their critters enjoying the sunshine and the grazing.  We also drove past our old church which sparked some good memories for us.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Prayers Answered

Just an update about my dad...NO cancer !  Thank you all so much for your prayers for him. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Seeking Simplicity

Surrender is a word that I never really thought about, at least not in a complete sense of the word.  Sure when you think about war, there seems to be one side that needs to surrender, and I have on many occasions promised God to surrender to Him, but I have never thought about complete surrender and what that might look like in my life.  So, yesterday, I walked through the house, wondering what it would look like if I truly surrendered all to God.  It would mean I would give Him all my fears and insecurities too.  It would mean I would surrender ego also.  I realized as I went from room to room and took inventory on myself, that in all these years of seeking simplicity, I was really trying to find a way to surrender all, but had no real concept of what that meant.  Imagine, living with no fear or insecurities because you fully accepted the watch care and the plans of the Creator ?  No fear of being disliked, or of not quite measuring up to what societies expectations are of us ?  So, would the woman that hates to cook and finds her family eating out or eating fast food a lot, feel the need for a big new kitchen that she doesn't really use, but has because people use that to measure our success in life ?  Would you have to dye your hair, buy expensive anti aging cream if you honestly surrendered all to Him ?  The quest for eternal youthfulness has roots in fear of getting old, fear of not being attractive and of course our ego.  If we surrendered our fear, our ego, we could age gracefully and be content to look just as we are...no plastic surgery, no botox, no boxes of hair dye.  We would not settle for society telling us we are worth less as we age and that beauty only comes with youthfulness. 
Now, imagine living with that same sort of security a small child has in the home of really good parents.  Knowing that they have everything under control and you just have to listen to their wisdom, knowing they have "plans to prosper you and not to harm you" and that they will always direct your paths to the best places and give you hope and fill your heart with joy.   Imagine what you would feel the need to hold on to and what you could freely let go of.  The need to show off would fade from existence and the sense of security would replace all those fears that drive us to behave in ways in which make us carry regrets.  A life of surrender is in truth a life of simplicity.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” 
~William Penn~

photos of a room in our little home on this January day

Hot Chocolate and Cupcakes

The tea party plans turned into a hot chocolate party.  Mei-Ling decided her brother needed to look the part of a tea party guest and he obliged, after all cookies were involved.  Its so much fun spending time with the grandchildren.   Last night Steven and Priscilla came over with Elizabeth and Victoria, so my day was complete.  Love all my grand-blessings so much. 

Update on my Dad

Thank you all for the emails and the prayers for my dad.  He came through the surgery fine.  When they were putting in the rod, they discovered a small tear in his rotator cuff so they repaired that while they were there.  He was in surgery for just a bit over an hour.  He is due to go home today.  They sure don't keep people long in the hospital these days.  Last night he was in a lot of pain, but they were getting a handle on it.  Will be glad when I can talk to him myself and hear in his voice, just how he is doing.  Please continue to pray that his recovery go well.

The Start of The Day

Last week, out of the blue, Emery mentioned to me how much he appreciates all the times the table is set so pretty.  He always notices when I take that extra step to make things look nice.  He is a smart man and learned long ago to acknowledge such things, yet, at the same time, he is never one to say something he doesn't mean.  I like that about him.  He is honest and upright, always.   I am as you may have noticed, old fashioned in many ways.  Happy to be a stay at home wife.  There has not been a single day in our 33 years of marriage that I have regretted staying home in place of working outside the home.  I have plenty to do to keep me feeling fulfilled !  My mind runs with ideas and most of the time, I feel like I wish there were more hours in my day to get done the things on my list of "to do's".   
Starting the day off with a nicely set table, warm, home made food, no packages of something from the shelf or the freezer, but something cooked from scratch, is just one of the things I love to do.  When Emery comes in the house from doing chores and the house smells good from whats been cooking on the stove, his eyes light up and his grin is like that of a growing young man.   These are the simple moments in life that give me such joy.   And, when we bow our heads together at the breakfast table, Emery's deep and kind voice praying in thankfulness for all that we have, and lays before God the burdens we may have on that day, we feel bound in love even more.  A pretty table isn't hard to do, but the reward is great.  Little ones love it too.   
It need not be fancy, this mornings table was simple, but colorful, with a touch of nature to remind us of the Creators hand.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

We Are Having Rain

After a year of disastrous drought, this is a blessing.  Rain, rain and more rain.  Even though we discovered a leak in the roof over the dinning room, it just doesn't seem like much of a problem.  Looks like there will be hay this spring !  This fall, the Duck pond nearly dried up.  Great to see it this full again.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Prayers Please

My Dad, who is 90 years old and a very active man, is having surgery tomorrow to have a rod put in his arm.  They will also be doing a biopsy to see if there is any cancer in the bone they are replacing.  I covert your prayers for him.  I pray all will be well and he can get back to playing golf in just a couple of months.  Thank you in advance for your prayers for him.
This is a picture of him as a young police officer, directing traffic in Medford, MA

Love is the hardest lesson....

"Love is the hardest lesson in Christianity; but, for that reason, it should be most our care to learn it."William Penn

Some Quilts Planned

My Charm packs arrived from Missouri Star Quilt Co and now I cannot wait to get started.  Just planning two simple tops.  One for the children when they are here and one for me.  I ordered two packs of the 1862 Battle Hymn by Moda.  Just love the colors and it will work well for the living room.  Now, to get started !

Monday, January 23, 2012

Doilies !

 Diana: "Myra Gillis had 37 doilies when she got married, and I'm determined to have AT LEAST as many as she had." 
Anne Shirley: " I suppose it would be impossible to keep house with only 36 doilies. But I assure you, Mr. Wright, Diana will be the sweetest little homemaker in the world... so long as you can afford to let her keep up with the Gillises." 

Somehow, through time I have made, and inherited a lot of doilies and I love them all.  Such little works of art. Some are quite old and made with what is little more than sewing thread.  Care and love have carried them from generation to generation.  

New Project and Signs of Spring

Found some fabric this weekend for a autumn themed quilt.  Not sure what pattern I will use, but I loved the colors.  
Today I noticed the paper whites are in bloom.  Early, even for us.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

An Update on Mei-Ling

Its been a strange month for my family surgery wise.  My father was due to have a rod put in his arm on the 18th, however, surgery was delayed as "the part" did not come in on time.   Mei was due to have surgery this week, however, one of the Doctors that was supposed to perform a very specialized test requiring a out-patient surgery, forgot to mention the need for anesthesia to the O.R.  Her big surgery can not be done until this procedure is done.  That had to be rescheduled for the first week in February and her big surgery will be when-ever they can schedule it after that.  Delays are for a reason and we trust that God is on control. But, it sure is hard to be all mentally prepared for something and then not have it happen.  
We ask for prayer that all work for the best.  

The Joy Of Living

A little voice on the other end of the phone..."Grammie, can we have a tea party this week ? Outside? "  Of course I relied in the affirmative.  "Can we have cupcakes and gingerbread men cookies ?"  Again, I reply "yes". My grand-daughters 4 year old enthusiasm is such a delight.  So, here I sit today, checking the weather so we can plan appropriately .  Tea parties are the best when teddy bears and baby dolls and little girls are sitting around the table !
As I sit here at the computer this morning my thoughts drift back to what I read this morning in 1 Cor 13:8 8 Love never fails.   How true it is.  It is not yet 10 am and three people in my life have said "I love you".   I have said it three times at least this morning.   I feel the love of God in every breath I take.  I see His love in the beauty of creation and feel it in the foundation of our home.   This love that surrounds me, gives me joy beyond description.   It doesn't matter to me that my house is not a mini mansion, or that my car is not brand new.  It doesn't matter to me that my kitchen is "out-dated" by todays standard, or that my clothes do not carry a designer label.  It matters to me that I live a simple life, free from drama, free from fear and dread.  That I have hope and peace, sprinkled liberally with joy and carry with me deep inside a sense of serenity  that cannot be shaken, even in the midst of hardships.   "Love never fails"  "Prayer never fails" and "Faith can move mountains" and as it says in Psalm 30:5  ... joy cometh in the morning.

photo of my mother on the phone

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Pleasure of A Warm Fire

The Amish made hooded cradle that has a place of honor beside the wood stove is large, and the perfect spot for even a 4 year old to climb in and take a nap after a busy day playing outside at Grammies house.  I love that she is secure enough in who she is to not be afraid its too babyish to nap in a cradle.  It's the perfect place to cuddle up and sleep soundly on a winters day.  I think we were all a bit jealous of her !  

A New Year

It is a silent sort of morning, sitting next to the wood stove in my rocker, watching the birds outside my windo...