Monday, November 30, 2015

For the Love of Red

It is no secret that my favorite color is red !   Today my sweet husband came home with red carnations for me, because I have a cold.  I set the coffee table with my red dishes and enjoyed some Irish soda bread and chamomile tea while enjoying the beauty of the flowers.  Red berries outside by the front porch. Red shawl and barn bonnet just waiting for the first snow.

The Beauty of Life

This morning as I sat in the chair by the window, knitting, with candle flame flickering and wood stove popping and snapping, I thought about this quote, by Tasha Tudor,

“Life isn't long enough to do all you could accomplish. And what a privilege even to be alive. In spite of all the pollutions and horrors, how beautiful this world is. Supposing you only saw the stars once every year. Think what you would think. The wonder of it!”                                How true those words are.  There are hard things in the world around us and yet, we wake each morning to see the clouds float above us in story book shapes, and hear birds sing to us in songs that gladden our hearts.  For me, I had a wonderful weekend with all my family beside me, hearing childhood laughter, the sound of happy running feet down our long hallways and squeals of delight.  There was laughter around our table and thoughts on all that we are thankful for.  There were pies to be eaten and mounds of mashed potatoes that looked like small volcano's on each plate, spilling gravy as lava.   There was no distinction as far as love goes, between in-law and not in-law.  The love is the same.   My heart nearly burst having so many hugs around my neck and hearing, "I love you Grammine" from each grandchild.  My children are such blessings and my husband, well, to be honest, there are not adequate words to express the love we share.    Today the house is quiet, but the joy is all still there for me.  The deep contentment, the profound satisfaction in knowing my life is so full.   Many years ago, we made investments in time, energy, and lots of prayer to raise a family that would bless us and the world around them.  It had nothing to do with money, or how many toys they had, or what brand name clothes they had or in our case, did not have.  It had to do with the things money cannot buy, love, patience, joy, imagination, gratitude, sympathy where needed and appreciation for the natural world.  It is a privilege to be alive and experience so much joy and peace.  It is a joy to be alive in a world so full of beauty that can be seen easily, is looked for.   Life is good.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Are We Thinking Less ?

Modern life seems to be all about "Doing".   Social media has played a part in this, since we post about all the things we do or about what someone else thought for us.  We take on peoples thoughts without much thinking ourselves many times.  "Oh that's good". Or, perhaps we see something and the thought comes into our head, "wow, that should tell them what I think" but does it really say what we think ?  We seem to be bombarded with other peoples thinking.  The commentaries after the news, the shows that are all commentary, and social media is loaded with tid bits of commentary about every subject matter there is.   Its wonderful to be informed and I love that aspect of how fast news travels and how small the world can seem in relation to world events, but its easy to loose our own thinking time and just instantly hit the "like" tab and take on someone elses thoughts on a subject, without giving the old gray matter much work at all.  One thing for certain, its not easy to think things through on a deep level when we have the television on, or a DVD etc.  Even good music, is a distraction from the fine art of "musing" about this or that.   Quiet if fertile ground for fine tuning ones philosophy in life or deepening your spiritual life.  We all need time and quiet, to put together the pieces of what you have heard, read and digested to come up with something that belongs just to you.  I love being busy.  I love "doing" and I am one of the most guilty for posting things on social media of what I just did, etc, but I am also aware of how this constant status updates of our lives, seems to take something away from us.  Moments of sitting by the window, just looking out upon the world, thinking.  Or those marvelous moments we pause from reading a book and just muse over what we just read, digesting it, slowly and seeing how it fits into our lives or if we feel the same way.   
Even in a simple lifestyle we can get caught up in all the status updates of how simple our lifestyle is.   Its a ll about balance in this life, but I think, that is nothing new.  The new part, the modern part is simply one more vehicle to take us down the most traveled road.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The room is scented by a mix of cinnamon and the homey smell of a fire burning in the stove.  There is a chill in the air each morning now and I love it.   Each morning I am up long before the sun to work on Christmas gifts for the family.  There is knitting and sewing going on each day.  There is doll making and candle dipping in between.  How I love this time of the year.  Holiday preparations are on my mind as I sit by the window sipping chamomile tea.  A little break from the busy-ness of the day.   There are baskets with projects in all the corners of the living room and some spilling out from the corners as they find their way closer to my chair and the light from the window.    This simple, somewhat old fashioned life we live, gives me a sense of contentment that is deep and full of joy.  Life is good.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Life is Good

Things have been busy around here lately, well, actually its almost always busy around here because I like to stay busy.  But, perhaps this time of the year, that busy-ness gets upped it a notch or two with thoughts of Christmas around the corner.  I like to make as many presents as possible and this year, I am making about 90% of the gifts we are giving.  Which means, if I don't want some sort of mad rush towards the week of Christmas, my hands are busy from the first of October.  One major project is done and wrapped and I am on to the next, but in between, I decided to make a couple of quilts for me.  A small machine pieced quilt for the cradle, which all the grandchildren still climb into, the bigger ones squeezing in with laughter, and then a quiet contentment that often leads to an unplanned nap with bent knees.   The second quilt, just a simple pinwheel design, with fall colors.  That one may not be hand quilted until after Christmas !  
We have had a few cool mornings, not cold yet, just cool.  Cool enough to motivate me to clean the wood stove and blacken it for another season of heavy use.   I love all the preparations for winter, its the New Englander in me.  Knitting hats and socks, and sweaters in the evening while Emery and I sit together chatting about the day and our plans for the future.  Its almost impossible for me to sit for very long without having my hands busy on a project.  
Cold season has arrived in these parts and what a blessing it has been to sip some of the Elderberry juice I made this year from our very own elderberry bushes !  Not only does this juice taste wonderful, thanks in part to a touch of honey, but its a powerful anti-viral, warding off all the nasty bugs going around.  Each morning, Emery and I toast each other to good health as we enjoy a wee bit of the sweet dark juice.    God is good in giving us things from the land to keep us healthy.   Again, "life is good".   

Much To Catch Up....

In mid January, we saw the passing of my father and after nearly two years of caring for him, it was so hard to see him leave u...