Sunday, March 30, 2014

Raindrops on Roses

We had a lovely first storm. Another bigger one tomorrow. Our ground is like a sponge in that it soaked it all up. One thing I love is photographing rain water. It just makes me so happy to see it. Here are some  photos of rain on roses.

The light was perfect and the wind had died down for a little bit. The air was clean and every where every thing sparkled.

I am so glad I went out and captured these. It was early and I really didn't want to get wet, but it was worth it now that I look at them again.

I love the rain drops inside of the rose petals. Not to mention I just love the color of this rose.

I finished the lid for my box. I am so thrilled with how it turned out. I bought this pattern in 2012 from Brenda Gervais from Country Stitches. Even then I couldn't see well enough to make this. Now for the inside.

I had more fun gathering up goodies for this box. I have a few more little ideas for it but I haven't got to that yet.

I have always been intrigued with old boxes since I first saw To Kill a Mockingbird and the opening scene when there is the picture of the cigar box filled with things that had been in the tree that Jem found until Mr. Radley cemented in the knothole in the oak tree. That is where I first saw To Kill a Mockingbird.

.  I was a little girl and we were in our car at a drive in and in those days, they showed the children's feature first and my Dad would go to the snack bar and get us grape soda and pop corn. We would eat popcorn and drink our soda and  watch our movie and we were supposed to settle down and go to sleep with our pillows and blankets when the second movie came on. I never did. I still have some horrifying images in my mind from movies I wasn't supposed to see. I still have never watched The Graduate. I had some serious doubts about my parents, as they laughed and laughed. I do have fond memories of drive in movies with my parents. We would save soda bottles that we would find and turn them in and when we got enough money we got to go to the drive in. My parents must have pitched in money as we lived in the country and we didn't drink soda pop.

Oh well I hope you have a wonderful week. I can only say I am looking forward to April. I do love April. Such a glorious month.

 " The whole world is full of things, and somebody has to look for them."
---Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren, 1950

Friday, March 28, 2014

Dreaming in the Attic

One of the many things that has been given back to me, has been my joy of stitching.  It has been such a huge blessing to be able to sit in the afternoon and stitch with the afternoon sun streaming in through the windows. This week, I worked on a counted cross stitch that has a little story going on in my head as I sew.
I have this Norman Rockwell plated that I bought in the 80s. It is called Reminiscing in the Quiet.

As I stitch, I think of this lady sitting by her humpbacked trunk dreaming of days gone by. There in her hands are maybe old letters or old stitchery projects.

When I was stitching before my eye surgery. I was always racing and I could never settle down to enjoy the work of my hands. Now I know because, I knew that this might be my last project before I finally couldn't see anymore. As the ability to see was going I started spending more and more time with my seam ripper. Even, I admit to throwing away things in the bottom of the trash can so no one would see how bad it had become. I finally had to put away the needle and the thread and the patterns. I started sewing with my Mom doing hand work when I was four years old. All of those things that were dear to me, even reading books or looking at the sky or seeing colors. The hardest was not seeing the faces of those I loved. But now...

Here is what I have been working on and I have loved every single minute of it. It is going to be for a lid to an old sewing box like you might find in an attic. I have all of these things that I want to put in it like old thimbles and needle books and I have a old Sunday school memory verse pin that was my Moms. Things you might find if you lifted the lid of the old trunk that you came upon in an attic up under the eves in the quiet. Old samplers and bundles of letters tied up with string.  The smell of wood ruff  or lavender or maybe dried roses pressed in a book of poems. Maybe even a loved doll with shoe button eyes, now faded but dearly loved.

  I made a mistake when I started the house. The house is supposed to be mulberry. I couldn't read anymore the little charts.  I decided to keep it as a reminder to myself, of the gift I now have and to be able to see the charts again.

It is so nice to not have that bit of panic I was living with all of the time. It is so nice to be able to be at peace.

After my eye surgery, I was so afraid of this bird. I had tried to make it before the surgery and I had finally given up and threw the whole thing away. So when I started it again, I was so scared. When I finished it I just sat and stared at it because I had accomplished something I never thought I would do again.

I hope to finish up Mrs. Rabbit this weekend. You know if I don't end up staying outside working in the garden and working in the flowerbeds. We have some glorious storms in the forecast so the first part of April might be what April is supposed to be, bringing May flowers.

 Can you see the kitty cat foot? I didn't notice that until I posted the picture. This bunny has a story but I have to think of it a bit more. I love hearing the stories that are going on in my mind as I sew and hook.
All I can say, is it a so good to be back. Every day is such a gift that I am so thankful for and hope I never forget what it was like to wander in darkness.
Have a fantastic Friday and I hope this weekend if filled with lots of spring weather.


" Lord, give me eyes
That I may see
Lest I, as people will,
Should pass someone's Calvary
and think it just a hill."

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Good Fences Number One

I am linking with The Run *A*Round Ranch Report today for her Good Fences. 
I don't think I ever noticed fences until she started posting pictures of them. I will have to pay better attention.
I am sharing my own fences today. Fences do make good neighbors. I will be looking for more fences to share.
Thank you for stopping by,
"It is only when one has grown old and dull that the soul is heavy and refuses to rise. The young soul is ever winged; a breath stirs it to an upward flight."

---Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Kate Douglas Wiggin, 1903

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Stormy Day

Do you know those funny jokes about California Storms, the ones where a lawn chair is turned over with the caption " We Will Rebuild!" That is what I feel like when I talk about storms. We might get some thunder and lighting and some hail but less than a 10th of an inch of rain. My sister said they got 2 1/2 inches of rain yesterday, we would just wash away here in the Central Valley. I thought I would share a link with you. It is a video of the Central Valley. Even though it is a commercial for a car, they did a really nice job of capturing the Central Coast and getting to see Hearst Castle is nice and seeing the Zebras and sea lions. It makes me want to go to the beach.

The chicks have really grown and this little brave girl flew up to the edge and then didn't know how to get down. They are flying around the cage and really getting brave. I will have to change this cage out for a bigger one. It is still too cold for them to get to go outside yet.

I never take before pictures. This is the row of trees that I chopped weeds around yesterday. The weeds were so tall you couldn't see the trees. I wanted to judge how the spring training was going on with me so I didn't even know If I could do it yet. I did get them chopped and raked and hauled a green trash can up to the place by Ron's shed. I filled a trash can all by myself. I guess this spring training works. If we can get the front flowerbeds finished this weekend, we will start getting the garden ready for planting. I would like it to all be in by Good Friday. We have 72 tomato plants. We might have over did it a bit.

I continue to mesmerized by the shades of green. I just can't get enough of the leaves and the green and the contrasts. I know I keep saying this like a broken record. I just keep saying, has it always been this pretty? I just can't help being so thankful. I have a story and not to make me look nice because I was disappointed in myself.  After my eye surgery, the doctor sent me a flower arrangement of bright yellow begonias. On my next appointment, I was mad at myself because I had not brought a thank you note. The office was very busy and full of people so by the time the doctor got to me, he was rather harried.
Just on the spur of the moment, I said, " Thank you so much for the beautiful flowers."  He turned and looked at me with this shocked look on his face. I thought I had said or done something wrong. I really was sorry I had mentioned it.
Then he said, " That is a surprise! Me still thinking I had said something wrong said, " Oh I am sorry, I didn't know it was a surprise. " Then he said, " No, that is a first, he said, you are the first person in all of the years I have been doing surgeries, you are the first person to ever say thank you."  Which shamed me because I thought, " Have we as a society got so ungrateful?" He then went on to explain why they send flowers, because with your new eye, the thing your eyes can see the clearest and best are flowers.

So I keep thinking,  I have one of two choices, every day. Whose life can I make better today or whose day am I totally going to mess up. It all starts with me. I tell you after being Miss Downer for months, it is sure easier to be happy and laugh.

Well I will get off my soap box. I just can't believe how lovely the world is every day. Do you know doves fight? I saw the biggest dove fight yesterday. These doves pounded each other with their wings. You know how it sounds in movies when people punch each other? That was how loud it was, and those doves were mad. Such drama in the spring.

Have a lovely Wednesday,

"Who bends a knee where violets grow
A hundred secret things shall know.
---"A Charm For Spring Flowers,"
 Rachel Field, 1957

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dreaming of April

I love March. I also love April. We got married in April so it always seems a special kind of month because of that. We will be married 34 years this year. It never seems that long when I think of how much life is packed into those 34 years. More on that later.

We finally sat out in the back yesterday with a pencil and paper and drew out garden plans. We both decided we are completely-without-a-doubt-certifiably-nuts! I have always had the  goal of having a garden from one end to the other of the field  and have lots and lots of things planted. We might make it halfway this year. What are we going to do about water? No clue, because we are still in dreaming stage and I do have the seeds though.

I had to go in for a eye exam last week. I could read every chart. I have better than 20/20 vision now. Isn't that amazing! The doctor doing the exam, was doing his job and had not read through my chart. Here I am acting like it is Christmas because I can read and see and even down to the very smallest letters. Finally, he  thumbed back through my chart then he understood why, not that I was some crazy woman.
 I had noticed with my current glasses I keep looking over the tops of the lens because I see better now without them. I do feel like the bionic woman about half the time.

Last night we were sitting outside on the patio. Nik and Ems came over and came out to say hi and it was dark as we had watched the sun set and then sat though the twilight and we were watching that velvety blackness that comes after the twilight. The lights were on in the house and as I turned my head Em could see my new lens. She said it looks like I have a diamond in my eye. She said, it reflects like a cat eye. Isn't that cool? Well, once I got over the creepy part. I think it is now. I just wish I could see in the dark like a cat.

I am so thankful today. Life is filled with such good things. I hope you have a wonderful day. We got two flower beds cleaned. I even planted my back flowerbed with a whole box of zinnia seeds. I hope they all grow. I would love to have all of those happy flowers growing back there.

Now though, thoughts of gardening must wait, I have chicks to feed and change their cage. Hens to feed and mountains of laundry and floors to mop and vacuum and then maybe a tiny bit of sewing if I can manage.
Rachel had her babies on Friday night. They are in NICU. Olivia was a little over 2 pounds and Riley was 1 pound 14 ounces. Mommy and babies are doing well. Such tiny little girls. Each one such a miracle. They have to grow now. They are 30 weeks. They posted pictures yesterday of Mommy and Daddy holding them.

Have a lovely day.


I walk forward
  one step at a time,
       fully trusting
            the light God sheds
                         is absolutely sufficient.

---Stormie O'Martian---Just Enough Light For The Step I Am On.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Post For Kim

I have this wonderful friend, who lives in a place, closely related to the North Pole. It is snowing where she lives, and it is snowing now. In March, after spring has started. We had to go out to the foothills yesterday, and never in my life have I seen these hills be so brown. It is March, and a drive out into the foothills is normally beautiful green with wildflowers.

The only trees that you see are in peoples yards. That is how it looks here this spring. This is normally how it looks in August.

There was even a brave soul water skiing. That little boat out there. So Kim, if you need a visit, come to California. No snow, I promise.

Have a lovely day,

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Odds and Ends

You know, I am beginning to think maybe they did give me a brain transplant when they updated my eye.
After bumbling around for what seemed years, my brain finally works. It really is nice to be able to think.
Yesterday, I got out my sewing machine and I really meant to work on my quilts. Yes, quilts, I can ever seem to do anything one at a time, I need to do lots of things all at once. I decided as I had opened the windows and doors, it was time to get the porches cleaned and ready to enjoy. Then as I looked at my pillows I thought my pillows needed a bit of sprucing up.

This is my formula for cheap pillows.
1. Have your husband buy the biggest drop cloth, so you will have material for now and eternity, that Lowes or Home Depot makes.
2. Buy small bottles of paint.
3. Get masking tape and a stencil brush.

Then have fun.

I put on my music and made a smoothie.  I kept thinking I might like to make some with green paint. I always make my own pillow forms. I take a some quilt batting. Sew it together like a pillow in the shape I want, then stuff it. So for a little bit of money I can always make pillows that fit my moods.

I was going to make a bigger cushion for the seat of this chair but Em's showed up with flowers. So I spent the remainder of the day watching her arrange flowers.

She showed up with these.

To make these.

Lots of flowers for the wedding she is going to be into on Saturday.  I just sit and watch like a hawk. I would love to know how to do this and I watch her little secrets that she has learned. My kitchen smelled heavenly with all of those flowers. I am so glad she knows how to do this. When you are planning a wedding, flowers are so expensive. This saved us so much money last year. She now does it for wedding presents for the brides. I think that is a very handy gift don't you?

I love these and I think I need to plant one of these in my yard.

I hope you have a grand Thursday, Sasha is ready for a walk.

"It is your mission, a tested and tried one to walk out on the stage of this world and reveal to all the earth and heaven that the music is not in the conditions, nor in the things, not in external but the music of life is in your own soul."
---Author Unknown---


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lovely Spring Day

I have always had some amazing springs, babies being born, life being full of surprises at every turn, but I have to say that this spring is by far the most magical. As I walked this morning all around me was the scent of orange blossoms. The trees were full of birds, just dripping out of the trees. They were taking baths in the water I was giving to the berries. The dew sparkles like diamonds and all of the colors of the rainbows are reflected back at me.

The Lilacs are beginning to open. I just love being outside this time of year. One of the things I am so thankful for is loosing my sight. I read this and it says what I am trying to say. " Gratitude springs from acceptance of the gifts and the conditions and the circumstances God gives."  As I journeyed through a world that was growing darker and smaller, I was aware always of the sounds that I noticed. Now to be able to see and hear makes me so thankful for the gift I have been given.  Now, the vibrancy, and beauty and the contrasts of colors are so intense. For that I am so thankful.

  There are tiny blueberries on the blueberry bushes. I really didn't think they would set because they bloomed so early but I was so happy to see the tiny little berries.

One of the things that makes me so happy is to see this graft. Do you see the little bandage on the limb?
That is where Ron grafted this crab apple onto another apple tree. Every time I look at it I just smile.

Isn't that cool to see the green leaves with the purple ones of the graft? It just amazes me.

Every thing is so bright and pretty now. I finished a first counted cross stitch. It is small and I loved every minute of stitching it. To stitch again seems so magical.

This is a pattern from Pineberry Lane. There are two in the set, called Deephaven Marking Samplers. It is taken  from Susan Orne Jewett's novel called Deephaven  written in 1877 The story really captured my heart, and I knew I had to make the little samplers.

The trees are filled with the light green lace that I love so much in the early spring. I was watching the leaves shimmer in the golden light and I loved watching how the smallest breeze made the new edges of the leaves reflect light.

Every where I turn are gifts and beauty I never noticed. My favorite thing right now is going out and seeing my new chicks and cleaning the cage and picking the baby chicks one by one to put in a box as I pick them up I feel their little bodies relax into my hand. Then as I put them back to watch them run around and flap their tiny wings in the clean cage and eat and drink and then settle down under the warm light for a nap.
How I wish, that when God does something in my life, like taking me from one place to put me in another, I would be happy and would relax in His hands instead of fighting and kicking.

I hope your Wednesday is lovely. I have more plans than I have daylight, it is such a nice place I find myself, and not one I expected at all. I do love being surprised by life.


The Queen and her Ladies-in-waiting-
   Sat at the window and sewed.
She cried, "Look! who's that Handsome man?"
    They answered, " Mr. Toad."

---The Song of Mr. Toad---Kenneth Grahame