Tuesday, December 28, 2021

And Now Winter

 This is our few weeks of winter. I love it, seeing the snow, almost down to the valley. The rain, which is flooding my yard and flowerbeds. To sit in front of the fire, with a cozy blanket and reading books. 

As in times past, I have put all of December away. Christmas Tree, outside lights, everything that I put out in November. I think I just got into the habit. When we used to get a real Christmas tree, by the time the 25th rolled around it was a fire hazard. Then of course, we had six kids, if there was a baby that year, the baby would undecorate the tree, and leave a trail of ornaments that I would be picking up and putting back on the tree. Or, my particular favorite. My oldest daughter had an very large Iguana. She would let him go in the living room and he would always make for the top of the Christmas tree. Then like a distorted angel, sit on the tree top, blinking looking down at all of the faces laughing at his funny face. As she tried to get him out of the tree, his little hands would pull ornaments off and garland and I would decorate it all back. Or they played in the tree the games they had made up that normally they played outside, but the tree was such a warmer place to be.

 So, that was when I got into the habit. Putting things away. I purposely always got ornaments and my Nativity that wouldn't break, because I wanted them to love Christmas and be able to touch and handle everything. This was the first year, I decorated my tree with glass. It was a pretty tree, but so sad as I had no Iguanas to climb to the top. Aw good times. 

I decorated my mantel yesterday. I told Ron it looks like I am doing my January mantel for the Gold Rush of 1849. Ron got some of his grandpa's things from his mom and we were going through boxes and there was this great tiny anvil and that tiny hammer. He was a jewelry maker and these were some of his tools. In the background is his rock hammer too. He was also a rock hound and taught Ron all about polishing rocks. He was a very, very interesting man. 

So in the spirit of the winter, and the gold rush, my mantel for January. I should have lit the fire. That would have made a better picture. My kids know what a great fan I am of Bigfoot so my youngest son Peter got that for me. One day I will tell you about my experiences. 

I wish you the best of days, 


Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Odds and Ends

 Its mid December and what a nice December it has been. We got 1.27 inches of rain yesterday. Snow is on the mountains and its crisp and cold. The sky is crystal blue and it really feels like a long lost Christmas to me. Last night the clouds cleared and I could see Venus and it reminded me of the star I used to sing to so long ago. I was thinking about it as I stood there looking up. I think my neighbors would think I was nuts if I broke into Silent Night or Away in the manger. 

That first Christmas after my Mom died, I hated being in the house. Nothing I could do could make our house feel like home. I tried to do everything she had done at Christmas. I had put the Nativity on the mantel. We had decorated the tree with all of her favorite ornaments. We had made paper chains and had decorated with red and green crepe paper, just like she taught us. I even strung popcorn for the tree. But the silence was deafening. The house always seemed cold. I took to staying outside as much as I could. In the pasture between our house and my grandparents house (what became my future yard and my old house before this one.) I would climb up on a metal calf stanchion. I would sit there and sing to the star of what I imagined was the star over baby Jesus's calf trough. It was cold then too, but it was warmer than being in the empty house. My little brother and my sister were in my grandparents house until my Dad came home from work, and fixed us Rice a Roni for dinner. ( That was all he knew how to fix after my Mom died. We ate every flavor that winter, which was chicken and beef.) 

One night as I was singing my heart out in the dark, and feeling festive. We had learned We Wish You a Merry Christmas at school. Plus a little Rudolph the Reindeer. When the back door opened and Papa said, "Kim! You alright?" I said, " Yes, Papa I am okay." I very quietly climbed down and went into the house. That year was a very hard Christmas, my Dad was at his new girlfriends house, with her family. 
By February he was remarried and life became as Charles Dickens puts it in The Tale of Two Cities, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." But that is for a different story. Christmas is always bittersweet, don't you think? 

I have had so much fun this year. I finished this rug again. I have no idea where my rug went. I am afraid it got lost in the move. I decided I needed another one. I finished it yesterday. This is one of Cathy's patterns. I love her patterns.

 I have been working on my counted cross stitch too. 

Those patterns are from The Humble Stitcher and from Stacy Nash.

I almost forgot this one from The Old Tattered Flag. I finally got it hung.

That was a fun rug to make. It was one of those that I made in about two days, I just couldn't leave it alone. Now trying to finish it was another story. I finally tried in my mind to think of it as a pillow. But it was still hard to do. But its hung now and it was a really fun little project. I don't normally buy kits, but I did with this one and I was so glad I did. 

Lauren on her blog the other day, showed this pattern from DoodleDog Primitives, so I bought it and I am working on it now. 
Its so much fun to have a project like this before I jump back into my big rugs. I am working on Magdalena's Goat. I bought my pattern from Saundra. (Saundra's picture, not mine)

I hope you have a lovely creative day. I feel so overwhelmed everyday, but God's continued goodness. 
I keep my eyes peeled for all of the goodness I see, and try and shut my eyes to those things I know I cannot change, and just turn to prayer about those other things. I figure, that this is really and truly God's deal and not any of my business. No sense getting myself in a snit. At this stage of life all it does is shorten my life and I miss all of the treasures I should be paying attention to and laughter is the best medicine. 

Merry Christmas

" The immense step from the Babe at Bethlehem to the living, reigning triumphant Lord Jesus, returning to earth for His own people - that is the glorious truth proclaimed throughout Scripture. As the bells ring out the joys of Christmas, may we also be alert for the final trumpet that will announce His return, when we shall always be with Him."
- Alan Redpath

Monday, December 6, 2021

Happy December!

 I know its been months since I last blogged. I can never remember why I don't blog and then I sit at the computer and I remember. My pictures are so messed up on my computer it takes me hours to upload and then by the time I have done that, I can't remember what I sat down here to write. I really do have lots of posts that just sit there and never go anyplace. I decided that since I am waking up at 4:30 and writing posts its time I did it for real even if it takes me hours.

 I know that in January at the beginning of 2021 I started of the year by saying. 

I was going to be" enchanted by the unexpected." Truthfully, I did try to live that way, but then the unexpected took over and it left me just trying to keep my footing. 

I think it became more like this. " Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are living." 

I have tried to focus on the joy in the moment and let those things I thought were so important just go and focus on the bits are just so good. 

1. Laughter

2. Family

3. Health

Sometimes it means saying no to things that I thought were good and embracing the hard things that come my way. Because in those moments, joy overwhelms me and I can just feel like dancing.

I did make some rugs. I will show them to you just so you can see I do hook. 

They were fun, to finish and to have them out on the floor.  Thanksgiving was nice. As per usual, I made too much food. 
Now to December. 
Here are a few things I have been making. 

I also made those mercury looking ornaments. I really liked making those. I have wanted to forever. I wish I had made more. They turned out just like I wanted. Which is rare for me. To like what I make and not want to change it. I am learning the hard way, make it and just leave it alone. We planted pansies and snapdragons last weekend. I wasn't very happy about getting on my hands and knees in the wet mud, but when I pulled in the driveway yesterday, I loved seeing all of the happy flowers in my flowerbed. 

One of my favorite things this year is still my mantel. I wish I could show you how much I fool with it. Its like my favorite job in the whole world. I think it was worth moving just to have this fireplace. 

I just wanted to drop in and tell you, yes, I am still around. Now onto the one thing I haven't finished is decorating the Christmas tree. Our two youngest sons, bought a house. They will be moving next week and they are going to take my piano and my dining room table. I am so excited. That dining room table is too big for my dining room and they bought a really big house so they have room. Empty or almost empty rooms really make me happy and let my mind dream. I will start haunting antique stores looking at old farm tables if I can find one. Or maybe I can talk Ron into making me one. Wink, Wink. 

Have a wonderful happy new week in December. 


"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” — Anne Bradstreet

I read an old book by Anne Bradstreet this fall. I really liked her, even if history has not been kind to her. She was a courageous woman who was judged harshly by her peers. 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

The Once in A While Blogger

 Its October and I totally missed September. We took a long trip. We went to Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas. Then we traveled in to Tennessee and I saw the Mississippi for the first time in my life. We made it to North Carolina and visited with our son and his wife and family. Then we went to Kentucky, Illinois. We saw the arch in Saint Louis and spent the night in Missouri before we began the trek back to California.  We took a travel trailer and camped. I haven't done that in 20 years and I wasn't even sure if I would still like it, but I did and I thought that it is still my favorite way to travel. September is a really nice month to travel in, the trees were just beginning to change. On the way back there were places the trees had changed color in just a week. 

I spent this last week trying to remember what it was like to live in a house. I was amazed at hot showers, dishwashers, such big rooms. My kitchen seemed like an oasis with all of these wonderful tools to use to prepare meals. As we traveled East, we were in such a hurry to get to Ben and Megan's we would drive through three states a day. We would pull into campgrounds at dark, and leave as the sun was coming up over the mountains, if there were mountains in that state. We drove from California to North Carolina in five days. We filled the car with gas 35 times. The cheapest gasoline we found was 2.87 in North Carolina. The most expensive was 5:11 at some dive gas station at dark in Arizona. As we drove east the cheaper the gas became. The last time we filled up in California it was 4:11. 

Getting to visit with Ben and Megan was so very nice. The boys have all grown so big and it was the first time visiting the baby. We talked late into the night and had such fun visiting their place and the town they live near to and the places they like to visit. It was two years since we had been with them. Much too long. 

Some of the things that were a shock for me was how many trees there are from Arkansas to North Carolina. So Many Trees! I look around California and if you see a tree, its because someone planted it and wants it to grow there. That was a new thought to me. Last week, I was still having nightmares about trees. The people were so nice and friendly. I never met a single rude or mean person. Everything you see on the news is just one great big lie. America is great because of its people. What is going on in the news and our fake president is just that, fake. 

When we were deciding to go, I admit to being afraid. What if we couldn't get back? As we traveled east, and I saw people from each place, I realized how duped I had been as well. Since I got back, I haven't listened to the bad news that is daily every where you look. I have been focused on what I love, because life is just too short to be messing about with junk. 

Its nice to be home, to be back doing normal. Whatever that is now. I have missed visiting your blogs. 

Hopefully, I will have some other things to be blogging about. I hope all is well with you.


Yes, we visited the Ark.

This gave me pause as I stood there in this enormous place. It was a very interesting place to visit. It was worth the drive. 

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Doldrums of August

 I always love this picture with the glowing middle. August is such a bittersweet month. All of my plants and trees are so tired of this years seemingly endless heat. I really do think we should celebrate the life of Willis Carrier. This is what I found.

 "Genius can strike anywhere. For Willis Carrier, it was a foggy Pittsburgh train platform in 1902. Carrier stared through the mist and realized that he could dry air by passing it through water to create fog. Doing so would make it possible to manufacture air with specific amounts of moisture in it. Within a year, he completed his invention to control humidity – the fundamental building block for modern air conditioning."

When I was a kid my grandparents lived in an old farmhouse. It had a cooler that was in one of the windows. One of the jobs us kids had was in the summer, one of my grandparents would say, " Kim go out and spray the pads on the cooler." We would go out there with the waterhose and spray the pads down and the air would be blissfully cooler and we being hot would just lay in front of it until we cooled off and went back outside to play. Even today, I am happier outside than I am in the house. 

I finally quit procrastinating. I dyed wool. I am so happy how it turned out. I am working on my whale rug and I kept thinking of the ocean and ocean colors. So these came out so pretty. 

 This is from Saundra's website. I am working on this. I love this rug so much. I worked on it a bit yesterday. I dug into my worm stash and I have some interesting colors to use. Trying my hand at just putting my hand in and pulling out wool. Very hard, but I wanted to see if it works for me. 

Here are my colors for ocean. 

The top photo is my favorite color. But now I have lots to choose from. Its really prettier in person. I really experimented yesterday. That was fun. When we went to the beach last weekend, I really stared at the water so I could try and recreate it in wool. I think that is why I am so excited, it turned out like I see in my mind. 

I also finished this rug. Its by Old Tattered flag. I need to bind it but that just has to wait until its a tad cooler. 
It turned out okay I think. I was trying different colors, (for me) so it was a tad harder for me to hook. 
Rugs that I am comfortable with the colors and even my own designs are so much easier for me to hook. I was looking through my pictures and I ran across this rug I had made. Still I think the best one I have ever finished.

I should try it again. It was so much fun from my daughter drawing out the pattern for me to dyeing the wool to hooking it. Its still my favorite. 

Its time I started my day. My photos on Google give me fits and it takes such a long time to try and write a blog. I wish I was more computer savvy to completely redo my pictures. I hope you have a lovely day on this summer morning. 


When humor goes, there goes civilization.---Erma Bombeck.


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Mid Summer


Here we are at the last week of July. You have no idea how hard I tried to get the waves to look like it was washing away July. The waves would only get to here and then would go back out. It wasn't until I put my camera away and then of course, July was washed away. I have lost count now how many days now we have been over a hundred degrees. At least a month. We did get rain yesterday, which is very rare in July.
We decided to drive over to the beach. It was 60 degrees and foggy. It was bliss. 

 We had lunch, walked on the beach and just enjoyed our reprieve. It was a nice drive. We haven't been here since 2018. It was hard to believe that it has been this long. So many things have changed in my life since then. I bet it has for you too. 

For the first time in a year and a half, Ron went back to work in person. What was supposed to be two weeks turned into that. It felt like the first day of school. This is a first for me too. First time to be in this house by myself. I have never had a real empty nest until today. I will get used to it but it is different. But isn't life full of things all of the time that are new and different? I remember how I used to think that at some point in my life, things would be normal. Now I have learned, there is never any normal at all. Just putting one foot in front of the other and trying to accomplish something in spite of the changing circumstances that are all around me. I compare it to trying to do jumping jacks on a merry go round. 

In order to sew or hook, I have to be home. Imagine that? I haven't been home long enough to pick up a hook or even a needle. I keep hoping that I will get to that place where I am bored. It has never happened yet. 

I really want to dye some wool. I sat the other day and went through my dye packets, so I am pretty sure I can dye lots of wool and I have wool. So its time to get off my duff and get to doing that again. 

I hope your day is tip-top. Full of lots of nice things. 

Today my life is that big box of chocolates which one should I eat first? 



“Promise me you’ll always remember that you are braver than you believe,

stronger than you seem,

and smarter than you think.” (Winnie the Pooh)

Monday, July 12, 2021

Summer in July

 Its just another day in July, a summer day. We have a fire now, so it smells of burning and there is that red look to the sunrise. It is so disheartening when the fires start. When they start the evacuations and all of that. I find my thoughts on the poor displaced people.

When we brought this cactus back it was such a tiny little thing. It just keeps growing and growing. We need to put it in a bigger pot, but there are all of those spikes. We even have the pot and the cactus mix. Just the wrapping it up in carpet or tarp and doing the re-potting. 

I finally picked vegetables from my little garden. Its been really interesting to see if we could. I picked stuff because of the heat we have been having. I am very happy with the fresh goodies so far. We have green beans and some squash coming on. 

Now for my next projects. 

Here are some Maggie patterns I am going to start very soon. I just love working on these patterns. They always make me so happy. 

I plan on working on this today. I really want to get it finished. I don't know about binding though. It might have to wait. Binding when its 111 is just no fun. I just have had such a hard time sitting still lately. I guess its cooler fiddling with stuff in the house rather than hooking. 

I have these two patterns that I got from Saundra at Woodland Juction. My hardest problem is deciding which one to start first. 


The first one" Mighty Whale", I have wanted to hook forever. I have always loved that pattern. Then the second," Magdalena's Goat" just makes me so excited, because it is going to be such a challenge for me as a rug hooker. 
Both look like such fun to me. 
That is on my list of things I want to get done. Plus trying to be a better blogger and get my blogging mojo back. 
I hope your week is a good one. Its too hot here to do much outside. So its a very good excuse to stay inside and do inside projects. 
Have a wonderful week,

 “I had not known before that love is obedience. You want to love, and you can’t, and you hate yourself because you can’t, and all the time love is not some marvelous thing that you feel but some hard thing that you do. And this in a way is easier because with God’s help you can command your will when you can’t command your feelings. With us, feelings seem to be important, but He doesn’t appear to agree with us.”
― Elizabeth Goudge, The Scent of Water