Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Odds and Ends

Since today I have been forbidden to do any more weed chopping I am going to stay inside. I might even try to sew if my hands will work. I have always wanted to do a before and after. I wanted to show you the before and after from the other day.

Here is the before:


I didn't get to start it Monday like I thought I decided to start at the front and work my way back so on Monday I did this:
Then I did this as I worked my way to the house.
So on Tuesday I made it down the side in the upper photos. I had no idea it was as weedy as it was and it did almost eat my lunch. I did a bit of work in the morning from 7:30 to 9:00 and then I had to do school. So afterwards at 1:00 I started again and finally got back in the house at 4:00 and I had to cook dinner. Today I am a bit rummy.

My next project is this one:

We are going to start getting the flowerbeds ready for flowers and see all of that railing around the porch? That is next on the list of  things to get done. All of the sanding and repainting. Somewhere in there I have to paint the eves on the house. I told my husband that after we are all finished it might be a good time to put it the house up for sale. He didn't like that much. I don't think I do either but it would be a good time to do it.

I have a rug I finished but I haven't got it bound yet. My hands are so tired at night I can't hold a needle. I thought I would show you it before February is over. It is a design by Polly Minick. I changed it a bit from her original design.
I have always wanted to do just a red and white rug. This one was very nice to work on but now it is time to stop with hearts. For awhile.

My son is always talking about this word: Synchronicity which means:
the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality —used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung  

So now because he is always talking about it things do happen  a lot. My son started Kon Tiki this week. One of the kids favorite books has been Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl. I know I have read it out loud to them at least three times and I enjoy it every time and I know they have all read it to themselves. So imagine to my delight when I saw that in April the movie is coming out of Kon Tiki. It looks pretty good I just hope they stayed with the book and didn't Hollywoodise it.
But that is a good example of Synchronicity. I think it will be a good day to not do school and go to the movies.

Anyway it is just odds and ends today. I got some more of that wonderful floor cleaner from my son I would like to scrub some more but we will see how I feel after school.

I hope you have a very nice Wednesday.

P.S. You know why I am working like this right? Since I can't loose weight by dieting I am trying to work it off so I can wear this sexy red dress to the wedding. :) So at least I will be in shape, and yes, I know round is a shape, but well you know. Pictures and everything. :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Morning

 We woke up late this morning. I do not like waking up late but waking up late on a Monday just seems like I am behind all week. I decided before I tackled every thing on my list, I would just go for a walk. Taking a walk always puts my life in perspective. No matter how agitated I might feel, once I get out into the cold crisp air, the smell of the spring on the air and listen to the birds singing in the tree it always improves my state of mind. This weekend we were busy. When we had the first wedding here, Meg's grandma planted all of these planter boxes with flowers. They added so much to the wedding. We went over to Ben and Meg's house to get them yesterday.

 Aren't they nice? We got them filled with potting soil, but we are still having frost so it is too early to put our seedlings we have growing into them right now.
While we were there, one of my grandsons asked me to pick him up. I did and as I was holding him he said,
" Grandma, are you short?" I said yes, I am why?" He said, " Because when you picked me up I didn't go up very high." I laughed about it all day.

 I know you can't see very well but my hubby's planted his ninth row of trees for Bonsai yesterday.
We were talking about it and I asked, " have you thought about how hard it is going to be to dig out
those trees when you want to re-pot them for Bonsai." I felt like I had just told a little kid there was no Santa Clause. He looked at me sort of stunned. I felt really bad about it. He has been so excited about how big the bases get when you plant them in the ground, we both were because he has some that are getting really nice shape to them. He grafted 5  trees this weekend too.

 He got my garden plowed for me. This is it. I know it looks big in the picture but it really is tiny.
He dug two holes so I can have big trees in the middle of each one. He hit hard pan so we have to
keep filling the holes with water until he can break through. Each plot is about 12x12 which isn't very
big but considering I wasn't going to have one at all it will be nice.

This is the biggest section, which I may just put my sunflowers and my pumpkins. I haven't sat and
 drew out a plan yet. All our berries are doing very well this year.

 I thought I would show you today's project. When it gets warmer this afternoon, I am going to clean this all up. I can't believe all of the weeds but if I get it cleaned today it won't be so hard.Later.

I just had to take a picture of this tree, it has the prettiest, twistiest branches. I think it is so pretty and I have no clue what it is called. It gets the nicest pink blooms on it and it blooms all summer.

The almond tree is starting to bloom. The almonds always bloom first. In our old house we lived by almond orchards. They were the most gorgeous things in the spring. I need to remember to go back and take a picture when they are blooming.

Well that is my Monday, after school, after laundry, after vacuuming, I get to chop weeds, just before I fix dinner. One thing this time of year, I don't have trouble sleeping.

I ran across this picture today. This was Emilie when she was small. I was walking in the pasture crying about it. I can't look at anymore old pictures for awhile. Just like don't watch movies like Toy Story 3 while your daughter is having a baby in the hospital with your other grand babies on your lap.. Don't watch The Odd Life of Timothy Green.
I cried the whole dang movie. I think until after the wedding I have to watch things like violent action movies. movies with guns and nothing like I normally watch.

I still have that stuffed rabbit out in the toy boxes in my shed. Life happens too fast. Her birthday is next week.
I wish I could still get her stuffed animals. :) Okay, stopping now,
Have a great week!!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Spring is Here

I have to admit now, it is official. Spring is here whether I want it or not. There were 7 robins in the back yard. The robins checking out the digs since last week, a cat who shall remain nameless, caught one of the bossy mockingbirds. I thought it was odd after the almost tragedy not a mockingbird was fighting the blue jays or vica versa. There is always some kind of drama going on in my back yard.

Sorry this is such a bad pic, but they were jumpy with me around clicking my camera so I had to just get this one shot and go back in the house. They are in the tree right outside my bedroom. I would like them to take up residence. You know what that means? We must finally have earthworms. That is a good thing. Goodness knows I have let enough of them go around here. You might not know how valuable earthworms are in your yard and flowerbeds, but if there isn't enough nutrients you won't have earthworms and things just don't grow.
Because this was a pasture before it was our yard, when we moved here not a single earthworm for years.
I would buy them and try to have a worm farm but then it gets hot and I am afraid they will die so I let them go. Never a single robin either. I have seen the odd one fly in but they never stay. So this morning I guess the buying earthworms and letting them go has finally started to work. My flowers are healthy too finally.

 I went outside after I had written the above because this guy is singing so loudly. He was okay with me trying to get a better picture of him. I admit to it making me a wee bit crazy today. I always think, no, I am over spring, it has no effect on me anymore. Not this morning, seeing robins, I admit has made my mind start going off into the garden and dreaming. Maybe just a tiny garden.

Here is the cherry tree.

 Here is another shot as I dragged my milk crate around in my pajamas. I think some of my best photos
are when I am in my pajamas, and standing on a milk crate.

I was going in the house when I thought maybe I could get one more shot of Mr. Robin singing for a new wife in the tree. Notice how the tree is starting to wake up.

If you click on the picture you can see it better. Someday I am going to learn photoshop and do it for you.
So I think today is a perfect day to grab my hula-hoe and tackle some weeds. My spring training begins.
Have a wonderful day,

Friday, February 22, 2013

Books and Why I Like Them

I keep trying to get over my love of books. I keep thinking I could have so much more room if I got rid of my bookcases. I went out to my shed where I have boxes and boxes of books that I need to go through. As I opened one box to see what was in it, I just felt myself sliding down and going to that place that books lead me too. I went out to see if I had any room to put more books and came back in with an arm load. I mean they are my friends that have taught me so much, they have helped me to ponder life, they have been my constant companion.

Reading books is to me like finding buried treasure. I was reading that book called Reflections "On the Magic of Writing" By Diana Wynne Jones. The reason I loved her so much because I could give all of her books to my children even reluctant readers and they would devour her books. I really don't know why she was over looked in the world of children's fiction, she is every bit or even better than J.K. Rowling.

In this book I am in a chapter called, " Some Hints on Writing"  She tells some stories about her early life that make me sad and amazed.  I thought I would share her words here today.

"I think I write the kind of books I do because, when I was five years old, the Second World War broke out and everything went mad. Perfectly sane neighbors began crawling about in the field by our house with bushes tied to their heads, training for the Home Guard.  The time was dangerous as well as mad. Airplanes, barrage balloons, and searchlights filled the sky. People you knew died suddenly when a bomb hit the end of the street. Ordinary life became unsafe the whole time. Anything could happen."

"London was very unsafe by then, and we were sent with a school to a big house in the Lake District.  The house was the home of the children in Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome ( they were real people), Arthur Ransome himself lived in a houseboat on the lake nearby. He got annoyed by the noise some of the smaller children made playing on the lake shore and stormed in to complain. Beatrix Potter lived not too far away and she was real, too. She smacked my sister and her friend for swinging on her front gate."

Continuing: " The same house had also belonged to the secretary of the writer and artist John Ruskin. The lofts were stacked with thick paper on which the man had drawn pictures of flowers, hundreds of them. Now, at this stage in the war everything was in short supply and there was no drawing paper. So one afternoon I climbed into the loft and fetched down a big pile of the drawings and started to rub them out so that I could use the paper to drew on myself. John Ruskin drawings fetch thousands of pounds these days. I must have rubbed out several hundred pound's worth before I was caught and punished."

I love stories about real life and how little tiny, seemingly insignificant little things that go on can make real life so colorful. I have read 4 of her books, she writes for children. As she says, " Adults never get my books, but kids always understand them." I think to get her books, you have to still hang on to that bit of child that still lives inside. I know when I read them and I was in the midst of raising children and life just seemed so very complicated, her books made me uncomfortable. Now, I enjoy them. My husband loves a set of the books in a series called "The Chrestomanci series" He read all of them and enjoyed all and was sad when he was finished. I think her most popular title because they made a movie out of it is called " Howl's Moving Castle."  In my mind I always compare Diana Wynn Jones to Madeline L' Engle. Both are wonderful writers and both I have enjoyed

I haven't written about books in awhile. I have this list that keeps growing in my mind of books I would like to write about. It is hard for me because I really do love children's fiction. Since I have taken my year off from buying books or going to the library and only reading from my own books, it has been a interesting experiment. Then again, it is like discovering old friends that have enriched my life.

Thank you for coming along today.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Can it be Thursday?

I couldn't believe today is Thursday. My husband has been home sick with the flu and I can say he hasn't been this sick in at least five years or more. I am not a good nurse, but I was so scared that while not good, I was better than normal. Today he dragged, his coughing self to work because there was a project that had to be done.

We had a lovely, maybe our last storm for the winter this week. The one that is now causing so much havoc as it travels it's way east.

I took some pictures yesterday of the snow on the mountains.

The snow is down to the foothills.

You can see the refinery in this picture but beyond that is Bear Mountain.

I love how pretty and clean everything is and how low the snow is and how the sun just lights the mountains all up so you can see the contour of everything. You can always feel it here in the valley because as my Mom used to say, " When there is snow on the mountains you have to wear a coat."  If I had went to the end of the street that is in this picture, I would be able to see all of the way to Mt. Whitney.

The cold is keeping the trees asleep for a little bit longer. I am so glad. Last year we had all of our fruit trees blooming by the first of February. I am so glad that we will have a normal spring this year.

I feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. I am so far behind. I hope you have had a nice week.

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

It is time again to chat with Patrice on her porch. I always enjoy spending a bit of time with Patrice. I hope you enjoy this week's questions.

Everyday Ruralty

1.    What's your favorite fruit?

That is really hard as I love all fruit. But what I eat every day is a banana, so I will go with that.

2.    Wendell would like to know if you've ever been horseback riding.

Yes, I spent a good part of my life on a horse. It was only about 4 years ago that I put down my horse and well, it was such a horrible experience I will never have another horse again.

3.    Do you carry a small purse, a big one, or just a wallet?

I am using a backpack right now. I started using it at Christmas and I just haven't changed back.

4.    If you could travel to one state for a day (all expense paid), where would you go? If you're not in the US, where would you like to travel within your country?

I think I would stay here in California right now. It really is beautiful right now as it turns green. The foothills just have this light shade of green and this time of year I love living here. I might like to go visit Death Valley or go to a place called Red Rock Canyon. I have always wanted to hike in the deserts in February/March.
Not to mention I like going to Disneyland this time of year. I love Disneyland. 

5.    What was your first car?

My first car was a truck. I love trucks and still do. I guess that is why my car is still technically a truck. :)

Thank you so much for stopping by today.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Oh, Monday, Monday!

That was a song by the Mama and the Papa's. I know weird right, how do I know this because my kids love the Mama and the Papa's. My son and I were in the car and he wanted to put on his I Pod and I just laughed at the old music he likes. Queen, Beatles, Jefferson Airplane??? Gerry Rafferety. I just shake my head.

Our ash trees are doing this. I am glad this next storm is cold so maybe they will go back to sleep but I doubt it. I never knew this was how they looked until I took pictures of them. I can't see that when I look at them with just my eyes. The camera catches things I don't. Like that those little seed looking things are purple.

I was thinking the other day, I wish I could have a perfume that smelled as good as Hyacinth.
I don't wear perfume, but if I ever could find something with that scent I would. I like Lilac about as much too. It doesn't get cold enough though to have really beautiful ones like I have seen back east.

Well, time to get this Monday underway. I knew my husband over did it this weekend. He is really sick now.
He is wanting grapefruit to eat because that sounds good so I need to go pick some. Thankfully it isn't that terrible flu that we had first. This is the one where it hurts to live and even being in bed is painful. He never gets sick so this is so different for him. When he does get sick he gets really sick.

Oh and all of you who watched Downton Abbey last night, wasn't that just the total pits of a ending? 

Have a nice Monday though,

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook February Edition

I am taking part in The Simple Woman's Daybook today. Thank you for stopping by today.

Outside my window...The wind is blowing and the wind chimes are muttering to itself. The meadowlarks are singing in the field across the way and the song sparrows and announcing spring is here for all of the world to hear.

I am thinking...that I am glad for rain. I am looking forward to the clouds and the wind and the rain because it means I can stay inside and sew.

I am thankful...that today is Sunday, that God gives us rest. I am thankful for His provision in my life, even when I don't understand, I know that He does and He holds my hand.

In the kitchen...Cooking for 4 this week feels like nothing. I still don't know how to cook for 4 I am still cooking for an army.

I am wearing... Sweats, and a purple shirt and white tennis shoes.

I am creating...I have a rug I need to finish today. My next rug is all drawn out, but I will have to dye wool for that one. I have missed my dye pot.

I am be busy next week will all kinds of life.

I am wondering...if I can be nice today. PMS is raging and R. is sick. Not a good combination. I think I should just go walk 20 miles today.

I am reading... God is an Englishman by R.L. Delderfield and Folly by Laurie R. King.

I am hoping...My kids that are at snow camp are having fun and keeping safe.

I am looking forward to... June

I am learning... I can push myself further than I think I can.

Around the house...We cleaned about 800 square feet of tile this week. I have about the same amount left to do not counting 3 bathrooms and my laundry room.

I am pondering...When can I start the flowerbeds and how long before it is warm enough.

A favorite quote for today...Time is a created thing and a gift. We can't make any more of it; we can only receive it and be faithful stewards in the use of it." (Discipline, The Glad Surrender.)

One of my favorite things...Watching the sun set in the evenings.

A few plans for the rest of the week: P. last behind the wheel with an instructor. Em's dress will be ready to pick up. Lots of other things.

A peek into my day...It will be a nice day as long as I keep a civil tongue in my head.

This picture is from last year. This year it has been all plowed.

Thank you for reading along today. Have a great day.


Friday, February 15, 2013

I Just Love Friday

Okay, I will admit to feeling a bit of spring fever. I am trying not to let it go very far. Just a tiny bit. I was doing okay with keeping the fever at bay until yesterday when my hubby asked me to go outside to look at his trees. The sun was setting and there was a tiny bit of warm left. You can smell the blossoms from the pear trees and it is my favorite time of day. My husband grows things for fun, so I prefer what he grows. He has been trying to get his hyacinths to bloom for me. He has a few that will be blooming I think by Monday but this one was for me for Valentines Day.

My kitchen smells heavenly with just this one. I can't wait for the others to bloom so they will perfume the whole downstairs. I would rather have the flowers he grows than just about anything else in the world.

That little tool box will be what I am giving away for my March giveaway. Well one like it. I just thought I would tell you now.

My camera is having some problems. As much as I hate to admit it I might have to break down and buy a new one. I was fooling with it the other morning instead of walking with Sasha. I took this picture when I was trying different settings on my camera. I thought it captured her total boredom with me.

 She was not happy about being in the house. She was ready to walk and I was sitting. She is behind me now as I type this and she keeps doing this heavy sigh thing to let me know this is not fun.

My two oldest that still live at home are getting ready to leave for a 4 day snow camp. I should have planned this better and made the younger two go and then Mom and Dad could have had a romantic weekend. First time in 32 years we could have a the whole house to ourselves. Well, maybe next year. When there isn't a wedding on the horizon. We have 11 weekends left. We have now entered the beginning of panic stage. There will be no rest for the wicked from here on until May 19th. My Valentines present from my husband this year is he is going to help me do the rest of the tile in the whole house this weekend. He is going to scrub and I am going to mop up. I am pretty OCD but he makes me looks like a slob. I am so excited do you know how clean my house is going to be by Monday?

It will be a very fun weekend for me. I hope you have nice plans for your weekend.

Thanks for stopping by today. I really appreciate you.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day!!! I just love Valentines Day. It has changed a lot from when I would get those Valentines in the envelope on the front of my desk at school. But more on that later. I had my husband draw a name out of a basket before breakfast and the lucky winner is...Alica from Happily Married to...The Cows. So Alica if you send me your snail mail I will be mailing the heart thing I made. Thank you so much for entering I will have a give away for March. I hope you will have as much fun as I have.

I tried to explain to someone what love was, try it sometime it is really hard. Our society has made love about what you feel rather than what you do. Love is an action word and it requires so much to really make it work. When I was brand new married, I was looking through my Mom's cookbooks. She had a really old one and I picked it up and was looking through it. In it the lady told a story.
It seems that when she first got married and she would cook breakfast and then her husband would go out to tend to the farm and expect dinner on the table when he came in at noon. She found that being married was such hard work and such a grind and she hated living on a farm. As she thought about it she became very discontent with her life. She said the more she thought about it the more miserable she became.

It was almost dinner time and she just threw something together for her husband to eat. He didn't complain and she didn't say much but she knew she didn't love him anymore. That bothered her very much because it wasn't that long when he has swept her off of her feet, with his smile and his touch and his humor. In fact, in the story, she said, " She felt close to hatred for him now."

I was pretty startled reading this as a new bride and couldn't think of ever feeling that way about my wonderful, sweet husband, who always made me laugh. I continued to read.

Then she said that working on a farm is hard work, they had no near neighbors so they had to work together to take care of themselves. She said that afternoon she thought, since I don't love him anymore why don't I just act like I do. So she said, one thing her husband loved was cookies. She hadn't baked in a long time. She went out to collect the eggs and as she walked back she thought, I will just do one thing nice for him each day. So she made cookies. Her husband was so happy when he came in that night and they sat down to a better supper than she had provided for dinner. While she wasn't very talkative she wasn't as angry.

She said, that she did that and each day she did one nice thing and then she woke up one morning and she was madly in love again. Then she said, that love isn't about feeling but of the will. She went on to say that they had celebrated 50+ years of marriage and how happy she was now with her life.

I read that and it has stuck with me all of these years. There are many more times I think I am angry and mad and grumpy and all I have to do is one nice thing and my whole attitude changes. So when I think of love, life is more than just flowers and a box of chocolates. To me this says it best.

" To aim at loving instead of being loved requires sacrifice. Love reaches out, willing to be turned down or inconvenienced, expecting no personal reward, wanting only to give." (Elisabeth Elliot)

" Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." ( 1 Corinthians 13: 4-5)

I tell Emilie and Nik how it will be and now they both look at me and at each other in total disbelief that they would ever think wrong of the other person. I smile and tell them why we never had a hand gun in the house. We thought we might get so mad as we used to that one of us would kill the other one. Yep it is true. Life is so much better now. :)

Have a lovely Valentines Day,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Today on Wednesday

The pear trees across the road are blooming. Silly trees. Don't they know it is too early? The trees all around me are budding and we are still having frost. I guess it will be an early spring.

I wish I had Emilie email me the picture she took at work yesterday. The flower shop she works for has a refrigerated sea train that sits behind the shop. The refrigerators are filled with flowers for Valentines Day inside the shop. She took a picture and inside that sea train as far as you can see there are hundreds and hundreds of vases filled with roses. I have never seen so many flowers in my life. She worked nine hours yesterday doing nothing but de-thorning roses. I knew it was a busy little shop I just had no idea.

This is the acacia tree that is blooming. I thought you might like a better look at it. The temps will be in the 70s this weekend so I expect more blooms.
My son brought this amazing cleaner he found. I have used so many things on my tile and the grout. I don't know how many square feet of tile floors but I have so much tile. Yesterday I thought I would start cleaning tile, on my hands and knees. I worked for six hours. I washed walls, windows, and doors. I cleaned baseboards and dusted furniture and vacuumed. Today, all I want to do is just stay in bed. I didn't know I could be sore in places I am sore in. My floors look fantastic though, I am only about 1/4 of the way done. I feel good about spring cleaning though. Okay all of that to get to my story.

I am a slow thinker. At the holidays I was asked this question: " Not for this to sound mean or anything but
being a stay at home mom, is that all you have done with your life?"  When I was asked, I just laughed, but my mind went blank. So now three months later I came up with an answer.
" This is what I would say now if I had the chance. " Yes, that is all I have done, but I have been the one who stayed at home so your kids had a safe place to go, to have food to eat and even sometimes spend the night so they weren't home alone. I am the one who sat and listened as they poured out their hearts and tried to work out problems in life. I am the one who watched your children grow up because all I did was stay at home."

I have thought about it a bunch because when I am on my hands and knees scrubbing floors, I wonder, is this important? I have had that thought a bunch since that question. Yesterday, I realized even if I could do it over again, would I make different choices? I wouldn't because I am so thankful for all of the things I might have missed.

I hope you have a great Wednesday. I am not hoping for a lot today, just trying to walk will be exciting. :)

Have a wonderful day,
 Here is the link for my giveaway if you still want to get in, I will draw names tonight.