Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Almost January

Can you believe this year is almost over? I am still in a state of denial I think. I don't think I have had a single month in 2015 that there hasn't been some life changing moment. I was reflecting over my life and I think  2015 ended up being more of a by-the-seat-of-my-pants-year. Instead of being planner and a goal setter.
I end up being surprised that I got anything accomplished at all. I am so happy that I got so many rugs hooked. I far exceeded what I ever thought was possible for me.  I hooked 39 rugs and mats. Ron said my average was 3 1/4 a month. September was my best month with five.

Google Image
Just think what I could do if I lived where it snowed. That was hooking with the air conditioning running most of the time.
Ron has been home this week, and he always reads me great passages in whatever book he is currently reading. He read me this the other day, and I keep having him read it to me over and over. I thought I would share it with you as we stand on the brink of a new year.

"Creating a positive environment to support your success means clearing out all the clutter in your life. Not just the physical clutter that makes it hard for you to work productively and efficiently (although that's important too!) but also the psychic clutter of whatever around you isn't working, whatever's broken, whatever makes you cringe. Each and every incomplete thing in your life that exerts a draining force on you, sucking the energy of accomplishment and success out of you as surely as a vampire stealing your blood.

Every incomplete promise, commitment, and agreement saps your strength because it blocks your momentum that inhibits your ability to move forward. Incomplete tasks keep calling you back to the past to take care of them. So think about what you can complete today." ---The Compound Effect-Darren Hardy.

I have been thinking about the goals I had for myself that I didn't finish.  They do call me and I do feel I can't start something new until I finish the old ones. So I am giving myself a month after the party in the front yard, to get some of those things off my plate. That will be it for New Year's resolutions. Sometimes you know what kind of goal I would like to make for a New Year? Something like watching 20 movies and staying in my pajamas one day a week. Doesn't that sound like a great goal? Yeah, no matter how hard I tried for that one, I am always jumping up and running outside. Sasha doesn't like pajamas and watching T.V.

Just stuff I was thinking about this week. I hope you have a lovely Wednesday.


“I can't give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.”
― Herbert Bayard Swope

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Gifts from Afar

We have had a few storms. Enough to make the first couple of inches soil damp. Ron is doing his after Christmas disking. Except this year he will be turning this into a parking lot again. We have engagement party here on January 16th. The weathermen say El Nino hasn't kicked in yet. In a normal rain year we get about 6 inches of rain a year. The last time we had a El Nino we had 16 something, 13 inches in January alone. So this is like really, really throwing the dice. We had a very nice Christmas. Yes, everything is put away today. Nothing remains except the tons of food. We have 22 days to pull this engagement party off.

That aside, I have this friend I met though blogging. A beautiful blog named Dog Trot Farm. 
I think that is why blogging is so addictive.  You meet the nicest people. They share your life and you share theirs. When I first found blogging and found Julie and all of the wonderful happenings on Dog Trot, I was entranced. She not only was the most incredible photographer. She hooked rugs, and she had chickens.

I read her stories and I had chickens and I thought, could I be like Julie? She really was my inspiration. Never in my wildest dreams did I think she and I would become friends, living--- me in California and she in Maine. But we are.

She sent me a box filled with love this Christmas. She sent me this snowman chair pad and I have it out on my bench, and it looks like she made it just for there.

She sent some Maine Taffy.
This lovely hen and her egg

Julie knows how I love Christmas Socks or just socks period.
So if you have never met Julie or visited with her at Dog Trot, stop in and you will be so glad you did. Thank you so much Julie.

I have told you that Makenzie is a professional photographer. For Christmas she took pictures secretly of everyone. She was even going to fly to Arizona to take Kessie's and her hubby's pictures. Things just got so crazy and Kessie had just had Sophie. But she was going to try anyway. She took Ron and my photo and I will even show you because I think it is the first photo of myself I have ever liked. Well except the previous one of me and Santa.

She even had them framed. So there we are, I hope when Kessie comes for a visit in the spring we can have some more photos done. I love how our family is ever expanding. I am so thankful for the gifts God continues to send our way.

Anyway, that is how it has been, life continues to be rewarding, busy and I really still don't know what end is up. It is all good though. I am of course, very, very thankful. God is good, all of the time.


There is much more snow now.
"Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, it is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress."
---Charles Dickens

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas From Me to You!

I just wanted to stop in and wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. I wish you blessing upon blessing.

 Everyone will be here and eating and laughing and all sorts of hi-jinks will ensue. The only thing that would make it perfect would be if Kessie's and her family made it from Arizona.
I wouldn't wish that drive on anyone though, not during the holidays.
 Merry Christmas!!!

Me and Santa. About 1961

He was a very nice Santa!

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cold and Weather.

I had to laugh this week about the weather report. After years and years, the west is colder than the east. Every single day, I am happy with the weather. I love coats, and boots and scarves. I love wearing gloves and hats. It has been years. I love walking out and breaking ice on my chicken waterer. Yesterday, the sun was shining, and I thought the chickens needed some time out of the pen. I made me laugh to see them flop out in the sun, and raise their wings to the sun and lay out in the yard like a whole flock of sunbathing sun worshipers.

While we were gone, no one being out back. Flocks of crows, thought they could invade our trees. I walked out there and they flew off scolding me, because I think they had decided this looked like a good place to live. I have never seen so many before. The trees were just dripping in crows. We have two that live here full time. They are the ones who play catch with rocks, you know dropping a rock and then flying down to catch it before it hits the ground. They are quite the comical two.

Yesterday, while the chickens were out, enjoying the sun. I heard a sound from a chicken. I ran out thinking it was a hawk. Nope, just the crows. One of them was flying around trying to look like a hawk. My chickens had all ran back in the coop, and I could tell you that crow was enjoying himself too much. I could hear him laughing as he swooped back and forth about the yard. I walked down and locked the chickens back in because they weren't coming back out anyway. He flew around laughing his scratchy laugh. Then he and his buddy, flew off out in the pasture. " I think I could hear them saying, " Did you see that!!! Those silly white chickens running for their lives!!!" Drama all around.

Yesterday I got to play a bit in the kitchen. Out shopping I saw these lovely milk bottle candles. I even picked up one to see how much it was, and knowing I had the same bottles at home, and the wicks and the soy wax. I put it back and decided to make my own. So I did.

I love how they turned out.  I know why they are so expensive because it takes a lot of wax but they look so pretty. I need to burn one to see how they burn. I was pretty happy how they turned out.

With this lovely cold weather, our citrus is just lovely. I went out and picked lemons yesterday. They smelled so good my mouth watered. They are perfect thin skinned and full of juice.

For a year, I have wanted to try making lemon syrup. So yesterday I finally got to do it. I got the recipe here.

I can't wait to use it in my tea. My kitchen just smelled lovely with lemons. It was nice to slow down and play a bit in my kitchen. I hope you are enjoying your week. I think I am almost finished with that running about stuff. I hope you have a lovely rest of the week. Ron's last work day is tomorrow for two whole weeks. I think I am more excited about that than Christmas. He has been so busy and we have both been running for what seems like the whole year, it will be nice to have a couple of weeks to hopefully unwind. Ha ha, me and my plans. You know that saying, " You know how to make God laugh? tell Him your plans."

Have a wonderful day,

My favorite picture in the whole world. This picture makes me want to marry him all over again. He is the best!!

" Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts."
---Charles Dickens

Monday, December 14, 2015

On Fast Forward!!

Here is sit on Monday morning, trying to figure out which direction to go.  I decided to sit and write a blog.
I would love to tell you that I have sat and had lots of quiet time, reflecting the joy of the season. It is just not the case. I am feeling a whole lot more like the Scrooge and Grinch. Not at all like I want to be. I just seem to be doing everything by the seat of my pants.

 We are having just lovely, cold weather. Rain and snow in the mountains. I am just loving this winter weather finally. The trees are about two weeks ahead of schedule. The weatherman said we are supposed to get wind today, so I think our trees will finally get a long rest. Not a lot of hooking going on. I did dye wool last week, but here it sits just like I left it.

I read this today. It makes me think that I need to focus my mind on being grateful and stopping and listening. Instead of running to and fro.

"First, behold how very ordinary and common things are to us that transpire on earth, and yet how high they are regarded in heaven. On earth it occurs in this wise: Here is a poor young woman, Mary of Nazareth, not highly esteemed, but of the humblest citizens of the village. No one is conscious of the great wonder she bears, she is silent, keeps her own counsel, and regards herself as the lowliest in the town. She starts out with her husband Joseph; very likely they had no servant, and he had to do the work of master and servant, and she that of mistress and maid. They were therefore obliged to leave their home unoccupied, or commend it to the care of others."

---Martin Luther

When I was a little girl. We moved out here in November. It was cold and I would pretend, that this old barn where we kept the cows with calves, was where they laid baby Jesus in the manager. I took one of my dolls and filled the manger with straw. My grandparents, let me leave it that way until after Christmas. I went out every day to check on the baby in the manger. For some reason. the cows left the straw alone that was under the doll. I would go out and sit on top of a metal cow stand and now I know it was Venus, but for me I thought it was the star that led the wise men to the baby. I would sing every Christmas carol I knew. Which was maybe three, Silent Night, Away in a Manger and We Three Kings. We three kings was something like " We three kings of Orient Are..." Then lots of humming. Lots of joyful noise.

Christmas was different then. Not so much about gifts and all of the stuff I get caught up with. It was more about having a nice meal with all of my aunts and uncles and cousins and lots of laughter. It was about watching my beautiful Mother laugh. Even now when I dream of her, it is her laughter I hear. So today, if I could leave you with one wish, I wish you all a day of laughter. The kind that lights your eyes, and gives you joy.
~Blessings with my whole heart, to you~
Have a lovely day,

" When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem. Let's see this thing that has happened which the Lord had told us about." So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in a feeding box. "  (Luke 2:15-16)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

She said Yes!!!

Finally, I can tell you my secret. I have been so afraid to blog, in case my story was leaked. So when I have something like a gag order I can't ever think of what to write. So my poor blog had to sit here with no updates. Yesterday, our son William finally asked Miss Makenzie  to be his wife. She of course, said YES!!!

He had cooked up this scheme, she thought they were going to just be models again for a photo shoot. She was supposed to be looking at something else and when she turned around, there he was with her ring. 
She was surprised!!!

I could never figure out why anyone would be sad when their kids get married. My Dad and my Grandpa wept like I was going to die or something. I felt so guilty. Not us. I get another daughter!!! Makenzie is just a wonderful girl, she makes William so happy. Meg and Makenzie are already good friends.  My gifts over flow into my lap. I never dreamed all of the blessings that I have received in these last 15 days. First, driving to Arizona, getting to watch the kids there. Kessie being more than great after this birth. Sophie being just perfect. Now a new daughter to love in my life!!!

They are just the cutest couple. They just make me laugh. I couldn't figure out why I feel like I can't seem to get caught up, when I was writing this post, and I counted the days, that is a lot of changes I think, well for me anyway in 15 days. Life is moving so fast.

So now you know.
Thank you so much for stopping by today.

"To conceal anything from those to whom I am attached, is not in my nature. I can never close my lips where I have opened my heart."
Charles Dickens

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Twaddle on Tuesday

How are you today? Are you getting your shopping done, and your cookies baked? I have got the lights up Really Ron and Peter, got the lights up on the house and the Christmas tree decorated. But so far, not much shopping and no cookie baking as of yet. I hope to conquer the shopping list on Friday. Have you had a nice week? Since it has been a week since I posted.

 There seems to be such bad news all of the time, and I refuse to talk about it here on my blog. I thought today, I would share a Christmas memory. I think this one was triggered the other day, when I was looking through old books and I saw The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald.

 The princess is named Irene. It made me think of my Grandpa's sister who was named Irene, and I wondered if perhaps, her Mom had named her after that princess in that book. My Grandpa's family, were concert musicians in the late 1800s. For reasons he never told me they left the city and moved to Oklahoma. All of the children were gifted musically. I grew up watching his family play violins, guitars, and lots of singing. Except of course not Irene. She wasn't around and for the life of me, I have no idea why. She was my Grandpa's oldest sister.

When I was very young. Maybe, three or four. I should explain about my Grandpa. He was my Grandmother's second husband. My Grandmother divorced, her husband after World War Two  my Mom's dad. My Mom was raised by a single Mom in the late 40s and 50s. My Grandmother was a very modern woman for her day. In 1956 she married, my Papa. He never had children of his own so when I came along, I was his. He took me everywhere. He called me on Friday afternoons after he got off work, and he came and got me for the weekends. He carried me everywhere on his shoulders. We were the very best of friends.

On a Saturday, he asked me if I wanted to go to Irene's with him. I wonder what my Mom and Grandma were doing that made him ask. He bundled me up in gloves, coat and hat. He had a 1956 Yellow Ford pickup. It must not have had a heater, because I remember getting to Irene's house and being very cold. Her house, as I think about it today, was odd. It was very long. I wonder if it had been an converted train car like my other Grandma's house was.  I remember going in the front door, and at the very end of the house was the kitchen. The house smelled so wonderful and was so warm. She stood up with a cookie sheet in her hands and held the pan while Papa lifted me up and there were nice crispy Gingerbread Men with raisin eyes and little cloves for buttons.  I was enchanted.

She took my coat off and my hat and my gloves and brought me into the kitchen. My Grandpa disappeared.
I just remembered Irene sat and talked to me and told me the story of the gingerbread man. When they had cooled, she gave me this tiny little glass with a tiny gold Christmas tree on it filled with milk. She gave me a gingerbread man to eat still warm from the oven. I really didn't want to eat it but to be polite I took a nibble. I just wanted to look at it. After a while it was time to go and I was bundled up again. She gave me some more of the cookies to take home. I had to tell everyone the story that Irene told me about the gingerbread man.

I don't think I ever saw her again. There was always some skeleton in the closet I guess. I know she talked to my Dad a lot because his grocery store was across the street so she would call our house if something was amiss.
I just thought I would share this little story with you. It is nice to think about how sometimes when you are not aware, some little tiny act of kindness might become someones memory forever. Have a lovely day.

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.
Charles Dickens

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Now December!

Happy December! Have you hit the ground running this week? I know that I have been trying to get the house decorated and all pretty and warm for December. I love this cool weather. The oranges and lemons and grapefruit love it. Today, my plan is to make pillows. Yesterday, Emilie called and asked " Did I want to go to the fabric store?" We had such a wonderful time and as we were walking around, I found the ticking.

I had wanted to buy ticking as I saw the cutest Christmas pillows made from ticking. So here is my ticking.

I think any day spent with a sewing machine or a hook or a needle and thread is a good day. Having Christmas music and candles is a plus.

Emilie wanted to make a quilt, so we came back home and washed her fabric. While it was washing she made my centerpiece on my dining room table. It is so handy having a flower designer in the family. I went out and gathered pinecones and she made the greenery look so good. Here is what she made.

I do love these boxes that Ron made for me. They are so versatile. I wanted to show you the jar Peter won at work while we were gone.

They were having a contest to guess how many M&Ms were in the jar. He said it was filled a lot more.
and he guessed and got the closest. I keep telling him to take them back to work, but so far he has not. They do look nice and Christmasy sitting on the counter. I haven't even had one!

The rest of the day, Emilie used my rotary cutter to cut out all of the pieces on her quilt, while I ironed. It was just a nice day the way I love to spend my time. I think in December, I can forget what is important. I get so caught up in my lists, that I need to spend more time, doing what is important. Like stopping in the afternoon, watching the sun go down and having coffee. I think because I still have Mom's and new babies on my mind. I keep thinking of that other Mom who had her newborn son, who's crib was a manger. I want to spend my days thinking of those things rather than my lists.

Have a lovely day,

“We are women, and my plea is Let me be a woman, holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me, receiving with both hands and with all my heart whatever that is.” (Elisabeth Elliot)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

And Now Back Home

After a week in Arizona, we are finally home!! Our new grand baby, Sophie came on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Mom and baby are doing fine. She doesn't look like she weighs eight pounds but she does. Here is when she came home and the kids got to see their new baby sister.

Sophie and Mom came home on Thanksgiving just in time to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Which as meals go, not my best. For one thing never try to bake pies, when your daughter has just had a baby. I spilled the pumpkin all over the kitchen, the cabinets, the floor and me. I managed to nail the oven too. I got every thing cleaned up and had the bright idea to try for a banana cream pie. That one boiled over and nailed the stove top, the burners and the inside of the stove top. I had to clean that up. Then came the cranberry sauce, which I got all of the places I missed with the pies. I got the walls the top of the oven and the counter tops. Then of course, I spilled the banana cream pie in the refrigerator, so all of her appliances were given a bath by me. I really was ready to throw in the towel. We won't talk about the turkey.

We went to the park. I loved watching Grandpa with the baby, She wanted to do every thing, "by self." I just didn't take as many pictures as I thought I would. There was always something going on. We had a hotel room so the kids could spend the night with us. We had lots of adventures. I really like Arizona. The air is glorious. I did have to laugh. It was about 70 degrees. Ron and I went around in shirt sleeves. The people who live there were all bundled up like it was really cold. In the desert it is all rocks and sagebrush and cactus. Coming home, to our house, the trees are all filled with fall colors. It is cold like it should be and cloudy and I am so glad I live here. As Ron said, we needed a visit by the adjustment bureau. I think we got one. Going through L.A. on Black Friday, is white knuckle driving. I can't even imagine what it will be like this weekend.

So being home is wonderful. My own bed is fantastic. Sophie is our ninth grand baby. Our daughter is so good. I feel just thankful and well, pretty wiped out.

I hope all of your Thanksgivings were wonderful too.


In the sheltered simplicity of the first days after a baby is born, one sees again the magical closed circle, the miraculous sense of two people existing only for each other, the tranquil sky reflected on the face of the mother nursing her child. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea, Chapter IV: Double-Sunrise