Saturday, January 30, 2021

Just a Brag Post.

 Hello my blogger friends,

I had made for myself a goal. I thought I would try to finish some things and post them at the end of the month. Sort of like closing out a month so I  could start a new month with new ideas. With that goal in mind, I really worked hard. These were very fun goals to accomplish. The above picture is from last week when we visited Cal State Bakersfield. Emilie is working on their gardening area, she works with Edible School Yard and she grows food to donate to food banks. Its a lovely area and she has built the beds and grown some of the things you see here. She is doing raised beds, and has a area for Permaculture and its just so cool that she can do this for a job. 

I loved the sky and the clouds out there and its so quiet. It gives you the idea you are way out in the country. Since the lockdown, the Botanical Gardens have been closed. I took this picture through the fence. It looks like no one has been here in almost a year. I hope it opens soon. I loved this place. 

Now for the brag part. 

I finished my giant Cape Ann. I thought hooking took a long time, but steaming and binding was a big chore too. I do love everything about hooking though and I love this rug. 

The pattern is by Edith O'Neal. I bought the pattern from Wooley Fox

I finally finished my Ann Womack 1838 by Shakespeare Peddler.

I know I worked on it a few years, and it was the only thing I could sit down and work on in the midst of moving and when my life was so chaotic. Its kind of been my friend and I was sorry to finally finish it. It really calmed me. I do love working with my hands and I feel so much more at peace with projects everywhere. 
I got a Maggie Book for Christmas. Pure and Simple. I love every single pattern in that book. The first one I did was the bird. 

After almost two years of not doing any kind of handwork, in a way its like starting over from scratch.
This was a good project for getting my feet wet. I told myself I want to make everything in that book this year. 

I have decided I am going to get back into needle punch too. I am not the most graceful person in the world so needle punch is a challenge for me. I only made myself bleed just a couple of times so I do think I am improving. But having in a kitten in the house makes it a challenge. Max, who is a kleptomaniac as well as a kitten makes it a bit harder.  He wants the needle threader so bad and even came up to take the punch needle out of my hand. Its like having a toddler in the house. I have to hide and pick everything up because he will come in after I leave and find something that I will find later in a different room. I am so glad he can't open drawers. 

I bought this pattern from Three Sheep Studio. I love all of Rose's patterns. She has the best service too. I think this was more of a reacquainting project for me. I am going to start a new pattern from Rose really quick. Mr. Baggins. 

The great thing about moving and down sizing, was I got rid of so much clutter. The bad thing about moving and down sizing is I cannot find things I thought I packed. I do not have any batting or stuffing or even very much fabric. I have no idea in my mind where it is now but I know where it was in the old house. So I have to buy things again. It is a very pleasant thing to do, get out my sewing machine, and just have a hook in my hand or a needle or a needle punch. When I get tired of that I can always rearrange my mantel. Which I do about twice a week. This is such a blessing of a house to me. Never would I have dreamt I would love this place so much. So I am still enchanted by the unexpected. 

I hope you have a wonderful day. Tomorrow is February. I have a lovely project on my dining room table and a new rug on my frame and a new needle punch all ready to go. Lots of very nice things to think about. Trying to not read or look at news. Trying to keep my mind on nice things. Focusing on those things I can change and not looking at the things I can't. Above all not being afraid. We have blue skies and crisp cool air. 
When I look at the things I could be afraid of, I think of the miracle that God gave to us. 

William our son holding his baby, at home. When I get afraid, I can go back to the things that happened that were so good, and ignore the things that didn't. 

Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope your days are filled to the brim with good things. 

Lots of people go mad in January. Not as many as in May, of course. Nor June. But January is your third most common month for madness.”
― Karen Joy Fowler, Sarah Canary 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Finding Joy in All Things

We have a storm coming this morning, I went outside to watch as it approaches. This storm is coming from the east. You can smell the desert. There is something magical about the desert, just as there is about the ocean. Of course, a east wind will end up bringing dust with it, but as of now, its wonderful to smell the fresh clean air. I am not a big fan of palm trees, but I do love the sound they make in a storm. They are mesmerizing to watch as the wind tosses them to and fro. 

I  thought I would share something today. Something I have been thinking about. When my Mom got sick I was eleven. She wanted us to have as much normal as possible, so she didn't take any pain medication and worked at being normal. I walked in one morning when she was trying to make her bed and she had to sit down and I could see her heartbeat in her neck. I told her I would make her bed from now on and to not worry about it. She got sicker and sicker and I just kept praying that God would heal her and she would get well. She didn't. On September 11, 1969 she went home to the Lord. 

No matter how hard I try and how many times I have written about it, there is just no words I felt for the devastation I felt. The complete and utter loss. People trying to be kind said the cruelest things. One of them was God doesn't make mistakes. That got on my mind and what began as just a thoughtless remark would engulf my life. You see, God had taken the one and perfect thing in my life and left me with my Dad. My Dad was poles opposite from my Mom. Like getting Joe and Kamala for President and Vice President. The worst thing you can imagine. The absolute worst thing in the world. 

  Stay with me here, this isn't a political discussion. Loosing my Mom was the worst thing to ever happen to me at that point. But the next most horrible thing was the day my Dad remarried. February 14th 1970. Five months. Going from a Mother who loved me to a Step-Mother who reminded me of my faults and my failures. I went from being a sweet girl to an evil one. 

What I want to be the take away from this is, without that loss, the pain, the stripping away my self love and pride. I would not be who I am today. The brokenness, the black fibers that make up the outlines of  the picture that is me, I wouldn't be able to see the colors that daily flood my life. The joy that comes is illumined so much more clearly because of the dark. 

 I didn't give up then. I won't give up now. I do think we are in for surprises and things that may shock and scare us. I think though that finding joy each day, in the unexpected is still the best. 
" Lord, be our Sun and Shield, Shine on us, protect us as we seek to live and witness to your truth. Forgive us for our fears of petty loss. Remind us that it is in losing ourselves that we find You." From A Lamp for My Feet, p. 56


That is why, through the experiences in my life I can say with confidence. 

The best is yet to be. 


Sunday, January 3, 2021

Enchanted by the Unexpected

 Enchanted by the Unexpected. Don't you love those words? They just make me happy. I decided that even though I wasn't going to do a word for 2021 because I just didn't want to be presuming on the future. My word last year for 2020 was brave. Which was what I ended up being, or doing everything scared. So yesterday I was going through my bedside table and I found a old magazine and I was looking through it to see if it needed to be trashed and it had those words in it. "Enchanted by the Unexpected." I just sat back and thought and thought and looked around me and realized, I am constantly being surprised by the unexpected. What if though, I took pictures of the things that enchanted me that were totally unexpected. 

The above picture was when we went into the garden shop of Home Depot. I caught my breath to see all of these Johnny Jump Ups. Pansies and Primroses. 

I was so thrilled to see such pretty flowers so early in the winter. It made me happy to know, if I had some place to put them, I could have these pretty flowers right now. 

Of course, completely unexpected was this guy. Miracle Max. He continues to keep us enchanted. We laugh and of course he causes all kinds of havoc. Sasha will no longer leave her food dish, because he might eat some of her food. Its a real power struggle. He is a little thief too. He prefers Ron's office, he steals pens, and computer cables and attacks Ron's keyboards. When he shows up in my office I know he has been banished from Ron's. We were not going to get anymore animals. Now we have a kitten. 

Being Enchanted in the Unexpected, has really helped me to see and open my eyes to things I might not have noticed. I have wanted this sign forever. I know I see the sign for weddings and such, but after 40 years of being married to Ron, I know that I can say this with my whole heart. I always think love isn't a strong enough word after spending 40 years with all life has thrown at us I know my soul and the fabric of my life is knit with his. I continue to be completely enchanted by the  unexpected place we find ourselves now. Our newest daughter in love, makes signs. She asked me what kind of sign I would like, and she brought this over yesterday. Its really much cooler in person because those words are cut out of wood. I am completely captivated by the wonderful women that are married to our sons. As well as the men that have married our daughters. 

 Of course, enchanted by the unexpected was this fireplace. I am constantly fooling with it. I never realized how much I wanted a fireplace and a mantel. I am so happy to have it to just sit in front of to watch the flames, to rearrange and to decorate. Max sleeps here on the hearth after the fire is out and he thinks my rugs are for him only. I will walk in and the joy I have when I see a sleeping kitten on the hearth gives me such a feeling of being Enchanted by the Unexpected. 

I just thought I would write another post just because now I feel like I can move on into a new year. 
I took new pictures for a new year. I wish you a day of being Enchanted by the Unexpected. 
Thank you for visiting, 

   “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.”
    –  Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Friday, January 1, 2021

January First, 2021

Happy New Year! My favorite starting to a New Year:

"Today, dear friends, we stand upon the verge of the unknown. There lies before us the new year and we are going forth to possess it. Who can tell what we shall find? What new experiences, what changes shall come, what new needs shall arise? This is the land of hills and valleys. It is not all smooth nor all downhill. If life were all one dead level of dull sameness it would oppress us; we want the hills and the valleys. The hills collect the rain from a hundred fruitful valleys."  Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.

I guess I have been reading Streams in the Desert so long, that when I turn the page on January first, that is what always comes to my mind. She also says, "He leads us on by paths we did not know:

I bet you can say that about 2020. I know that we all went down paths we never expected. 

When I turned the calendar at the start of 2020 last year, it was with fear and trepidation. I am sure you have read all of my past blogs about that, but I wanted to share what I think I have learned so far. The What ifs that crowd my thoughts are worse by far that those things that happen. Like:

What if our house doesn't sell? Or What if we can't find a house to buy? Those things I admit to was on my mind much more than, "What an incredible adventure I am on, I want to see what God has in store for us." 

I think I spent much more time being surprised by what God allowed. How He used unimaginable circumstances to happen and as we clung to His hand and under His wings so afraid, that the next step was the Grand Canyon and not just a teeny step forward. Like:

June 2020. The house is being inspected by an inspector who looked and acted like Charles Manson. The new owners to be are standing in the front yard with their real estate agent. My phone rings, its Kessie who realizes she is in labor. A week early. She is in Tucson, I am in California. There is not anyway, shape or form, I can get there. Our oldest grandson is texting me telling me what is really going on. People crying and all kinds of stuff. There is not a thing I can do but just give it to God. Which is what I should do all of the time. 

The baby comes and everyone is fine, we of course have reservations for the next week. Here is what it looked like every night in the rental house. ( God moved the fire to the back side of the mountain, until we left.)

 It pretty much describes 2020 don't you think? You know what was the amazing thing? The rental company refunded every single penny. We had to leave early because of the smoke, and Kessie just wasn't resting with Grandma and Grandpa and all of her kids so close to the fire. 

Then of course, we were going to move in July. On July 2nd I talked to Ben and we had such a nice chat. Two hours later he called. They had a terrible car wreck. They were fine. How in the world did I make it through that and move the following week I have no clue, you just do what you have to do and let God direct your path as you are on complete auto pilot.

The valuable lesson I learned then, was again, God is in control of every single thing, and what illusion of control I ever thought I had is completely misguided. I have no control over anything. As I have learned in 2020 not even control over my own tongue. 2020 has shown me clearly what comes out of the cup when its bumped. I am not nice. 

That is my 2020 self portrait. I hope in 2021 I can get some makeup to cover up the lines. ;) 

Okay back to that fateful day, when Makenzie almost died and the baby was born at 24 weeks. I have no idea in the world how we managed to make it through that, but some how we did, and the baby is home and Makenzie and William are getting to work on being brand new parents. The baby is so happy to be home you can just tell. 

What I learned on the 2020 cliff I was on, that there is a safe place under God's wings even when you can't see it or feel it but its there none the less. I found what most helped me during those days, was looking each day for one tiny blessing, one tiny taste of joy. It really is there, its just having the eyes to see. I think what I learned this year is take the red pill! Its better to be fully awake and living in reality.

Even if the real part of life is scary, uncertain, full of the unknowns. You know how to really freak people out? Hug friends at the grocery store, with you mask off. I do it all of the time. I figure, I have been through so much stuff in 2020, I am not going to die, because I would already be six feet under, so why not live dangerously. ( I shouldn't have to say this, but my opinion, my blog. )

So there it goes. I only have one goal for 2021. I am going to take new pictures. It makes me sad to go back to my old pictures. I really want a new beginning and going back to what was in the past in my pictures really does make it hard to blog. I could write I am sure 100 pages of all of the things God did. 

I only covered the three oldest. The three youngest had equally challenging times. I will stop here though. I am sure there will be huge surprises and challenges in this coming year. 

Welcome 2021