"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder
It's 10:30 p.m. and I'm going to bed now. I am allowing myself 10 minutes to write this post, download a picture and jump between the covers (I'll go between tonight, because it's cool and I've been outside for the past 2 hours!). Today began at 10:30 a.m. and I popped back to the house for 45 minutes this afternoon before disappearing again into the evening. So, although the day was full of goodness I want to share (in my brief self-allotted time) how my day ended.
It ended with a beautiful, clear, night sky full of stars, a creek, about 20 dear saints and 1 precious, obedient lover of Christ. There was testimony, a splash, praise and rejoicing, and singing. There were prayers, tears, hugs and more singing. Oh yes, and flashlights. Because this sweet soul decided to be obedient at 9:00 p.m.!
poem written for my brother, sister in law, and nephew
Let me just describe to you what it means to be spinning at my ripe old age. I was telling my daughters the other day about how I used to be intrigued by a pottery shop that was about a mile down the road from where I lived during my middle and high school years. It was at the end of the main drag through town (it's still there, I'm not). The only people who saw it (unless they were going there on purpose) were those who were leaving Bend. The point I'm making is that it was a low profile little nothing of a building. In my 15 year old imagination, what went on in that place was akin to magic.
I was completely intrigued with weaving looms and spinning wheels. I loved books about these marvelous old world skills. Books with block printed covers, monotone block typeface that screamed late '60s, early '70s. Ridiculous for a modern girl of the '80s...
I loved to touch linen, wool, 100% cotton... in natural form, in yarn form, or made into clothing and home items.
Here is where I show myself confused. I wanted to move back to southern California. I wanted to be considered big city. I desired the shopping malls and yuppy districts. These are the things I strove for the whole while my soul was fed by the alien world of natural fibers and pottery. I didn't understand about knowing yourself. I didn't get that people were different and that that was a good thing.
I never learned to knit, weave, spin, never touched a pottery wheel... I didn't even purchase these beautiful products. I just stared and stroked them when I was near them, then took off and bought the contemporary flowered acrylic blouse! How much time I wasted...
But let's not cry over spilt milk. The years that the locusts have eaten are being redeemed! Next on the list.. I'm looking into pottery classes in the fall. Both of the girls are loving the idea. We may not be able to make them until spring if we have to go out of town, but go we shall. So, I'll just learn alongside my next generation. Or should I say, they'll learn alongside me.
I feel like my 'self' has found home. It fits. It's right. The one thing I did do when I was younger, the reading about these arts, has been a tremendous help. It's like I did all of the studying and now it's just time for the labs. When I learned to knit, my hands may have fumbled but I had an understanding of the fiber and the cloth. I have enough background information and images, complete with sensory stimulation stored in this data bank of mine to write my own book. Even if my fumbly fingers have never actually thrown pottery or...
So, just stand back and watch me soar! Charlotte Mason Karen Andreola calls mom's pursuing of interests ~ Mother Culture. I call it... soul food. And I am eating like there is no tomorrow!
This week I have actually made progress on my Baby Love. A row now, a row later... they begin to add up! It's been fun seeing this pattern take shape. When I finally finished the first row of blocks and saw hearts... It really was baby love! The pattern is now available at Meg's Little Bit of Knittery Etsy shop.
I'm using Fishermen's wool by Lion Brand Yarn. I'd like to say that I chose this after an exhaustive search considering look and feel. But truth is, I was eager to cast on and this was the only wool I had enough of in my stash. Although this was a rather humble beginning... I'm loving it! I love the deep brown color and it is knitting up soft with a wonderful drape. I think I'm going to knit one red heart! Fun.
With school just around the corner I'm doing what every other home school mama is doing. Putting together curriculum for this fall. One of our favorite subjects is nature study. We each have a nature notebook where sketches, important identification information, poems and tidbits are recorded. Every year we purpose to be more diligent in our entries but we really are better fair weather naturalists. But this year...
I received this beautiful rendition of Edith Holden's 'for real' nature journal as a gift from a friend. It's an absolute beauty and definitely inspires one to perfection. We may not achieve Edith's standard but we enjoy the push none the less.
It's no secret that I've been a bit off this season. Not to mention that so has the weather... Thus, this years tomato's are having to fight it out with the foliage. I literally filled one of my 2 raised beds with them this year and missed my opportunity to prune the suckers (that's not slang folks, I'm talking about the shoots that grow from the main stem)!
I'm trying to figure out why I bother with them every year seeing as, left to themselves I've never had a healthier harvest. Well, they haven't been harvested yet. As you can see they are still green, but they are going gangbusters! I can just sense the energy they are exuding trying to be red. When I walk by I can hear a gentle murmur... "I think I can, I think I can..."
The plants are covered with beautiful fruit, and buds. If we could just hope for an extended summer I think we could eat tomatoes well into the next harvest. So, I'm hoping to catch a gentle murmur on the summer's breeze, "I think I can, I think I can."
I am so eager for these green devils to be ripe. I've been thinking about recipes like the ones below all summer...
O.K., Patti's recipe has nothing to do with tomatoes. Just wanted to see of you were paying attention and have a bit of fun! Patti actually gives me wonderful recipes and ideas. But I have informed her that this is one I am NOT trying...
Each morning, the first thing I do after letting the dog out and feeding the cat is make coffee. Every morning for the past 20 years we have lived in this house I have had pretty much the same routine, plus or minus an animal friend; Roll out of bed. Stumble around an excited dog who exits through the back kitchen door. Trip around a hungry, foot rubbing cat that I feed in the kitchen hall. MAKE COFFEE.
Shortly after I get the pot brewing the husband comes down ready for work. I make him toast and an egg (you know you have to feed those men EVERY morning, they work hard...don't forget) and send him out the door.
So this is where my morning routine takes an unexpected turn. It's a bit of a mystery so stay with me. I even have it solved by the end...
As I said, every morning, same routine. Roll. Stumble. Dog. Trip. Cat. COFFEE. Husband (toast and egg). Door. Done.
About 3 weeks ago I reached step 7 of the morning ritual (that would be husband's toast and egg for those of you who don't want to do the math). I went to push the toast down but it kept popping back up. Press~boing, press~boing. Well, that only happens when the toaster is unplugged. I checked and lo and behold yes, the toaster was unplugged. I easily remedied the situation, proceeded to make the toast and egg and sent happy hubby out the door giving the unusual occurrence nary another thought.
The reason this became blogworthy is that it happened again. And again. And again for several weeks. About day 5 or 6 I began to give it a bit more thought as it was becoming quite disconcerting. As I said, same routine for years. At my age these disruptions can be frustrating.
After some analyzing I decided that my daughter was responsible. Sometimes when she is doing the evening dishes, she'll bring her c.d. player into the kitchen to play audio books or music while she's working. She would have to use the toaster outlet to plug in. Whew, mystery solved.
That kept me satisfied for several more days until out of the blue it hit me. Erin only does the evening dishes a few times a week. This plug thing has been happening every morning! Back to the drawing board.
Long story short, I kind of got used to this new routine, which means I'm giving it less and less thought. Roll. Stumble. Dog. Trip. Cat. COFFEE. Husband (plug in toaster, toast and egg). Door. Done. You can see for yourself that it is just a minor adjustment...
I really am getting to the end now.
So, about 5 days ago, I am at step 6 (coffee) when I am lambasted with the scary truth of what has been happening. I filled the coffee pot with water, plugged in the coffee grinder, oops, I missed a step. First I had to unplug the toaster to plug in the grinder...
...I just gave you a pause so it could sink in for you like it did me. I, unplugged the toaster. I, did it. Every morning for years. How is it that suddenly it seemed wrong I was having to plug it back in? How is it that I could spend literally weeks trying to solve a mystery that was no mystery at all?
And that dear friends is the state of mind that you have been visiting. I don't mean to scare my young friends, but I'm hoping that I can get some support from my pre and post menopausal sisters out there. Be kind. I'm a bit off and I don't know how I might handle what else you might share. It's a scary world I am entering.
This evening I'm looking at fair pictures and taking a stroll down memory lane. We have participated in our county fair for the last 16 years. I remember that Hillary was 5 when she won her first ribbons and now she is 22!
We've come home with ribbons for first place, second place, third place, judges choice, peoples choice...
and we've had tears of disappointment.
We've made enough money on premiums each year to pay for our family admission and sometimes for carnival armbands. Yes, the county fair is good!
This year we didn't enter as much as usual. We knew that we would be gone during the pre-week, and I would be responsible for getting the entries in alone. A huge job! So, we kept it light. Erin came home with 5 firsts, 3 seconds, and 1 third. Audrey scored a blue ribbon. She only entered 3 things this year. I even had fun, but we won't go there.
I took the camera the first night and had trouble getting a decent picture, but wanted to immortalize at least a bit of our 2011 county fair!
*I posted this late last night and I was tired. When I checked it this morning I realized that the pictures of the girls entries I had posted were all close ups with their name and address glaring in each one. I wasn't comfortable with that so here you have just a couple of sad pictures from afar. I'm not going to delete the post. So please humor me today.
I told you that I would share some of my purchases from this weekend. Today I'm showing 2 of my yard sale finds. I love going to antique stores. But, I don't love shopping at antique stores. They are just where I do some of my research. After I remind myself how expensive the things I love are, I have a better idea of what I'm looking for at yard sales, estate sales and thrift stores.
These .50 cent vintage bark cloth pillow covers, I like! They will keep me cozy when I'm lazing in my tree swing. They will be stuffed with 2 feather pillows that I will make from a brand new one purchased for $2.00. Had I bought something similar at the antique store it would have been the equivalent in cash to at least 2 days food for my family. I just wouldn't do it.
This is the .50 cent apron that jumped into my hands at the first sale as we were leaving town. Cute huh?
It's a good thing I grabbed it because this afternoon Audrey needed to protect her clothes when she decided to make and decorate a cake for prayer meeting. I'll share more finds from the weekend later!