Sunday, March 17, 2019

Spring Cleaning

Most all of the snow from the blizzard last week is melted. Today is gloriously sunny with blue skies, and the snow-covered mountains in the distance appear to be glistening. I couldn't resist taking a walk around the yard, wearing a sweatshirt with jeans, to peek at the garden. Not much is up, but I did find these miniature daffodils peeking through the mulch in the front yard. That spot gets a lot of sun, so it is usually the first to show signs of spring.

I'm having a quiet day at home, doing chores like cleaning and laundry. Dan is out in his workshop, which got its final inspection a week ago. It still needs to be painted on the outside and a bit of finishing on the inside, and then his temporary setup in the garage can be moved out there. I'm eager to get out to the garage and get things cleaned up once that's done. In the meantime, there are a few more areas of the house that could use some attention. Spring has a way of making me want to clean everything and get things in order. Hence, the change in my blog header. I just can't leave well enough alone, and I don't know what I want to do with it. So, I've pared it down to nothing and kind of like the simple look, for now anyway.

I'm about halfway through with Maeve Binchy's The Copper Beech. Some reading time is in order this afternoon, too.

Happy Saturday,

Dear Pam and Pamela and readers,

Yes, you're in the right place. I got bored with the look of my blog, so I'm changing it up again. I don't know what I want to do, so I'm going to keep it simple until I come up with a new design. Don't panic. I'm not going anywhere;)


Friday, March 15, 2019

A snowy Friday's Fave Five

Another week has flown by and it's time for Friday's Fave Five. I love this little exercise in looking for miracles large and small that happened during my week. Because miracles aren't just the big things that happen once in a lifetime, they can be little things, too.

Here are some special moments from the week:

Yellow roses in March. My friend Renee brought this little rose bush over when she came to visit me this week. What you can't see is the snow-covered yard out the window. Roses in the snow -- seems like a miracle, doesn't it?

A Bomb Cyclone! It's a technical weather term, look it up;) We were hit with a huge storm on Wednesday that was all over the news. A snowstorm with hurricane force winds. Thousands of people in the Denver area lost power, and I was reminded how humbling and awe-inspiring the forces of nature can be. 

Electricity. We were among the lucky ones who did not lose power. I made chili and baked some bread, and we hunkered down in a warm, cozy house to wait out the storm.

Long talks over coffee. Later in the week, I met my niece for coffee and a two hour chat. I'm blessed to have her living nearby for a few years while she attends medical school. She is bright and articulate and our conversations go all over the place from family history to life choices to spirituality.

Thirteen-year-old nephews. I was blessed with time spent with my nephew this week. We talked over the phone several times as he was working on an essay for school about the book To Kill A Mockingbird. This is a 13-year-old who would much rather be playing lacrosse or hanging with his friends. English is not his favorite subject, and figuring out a thesis and playing with sentence structure is the last thing he wants to do. It reminded me of when I worked with one of my own boys (who couldn't wait to bolt out the door to play baseball), but when you get them to sit still for a few moments they have the most amazing insights. I'm thankful to have the opportunity to experience it all over again with my nephew.

The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.
(Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird)

What a week! If you'd like to join the Friday's Fave Five crowd, here's the link.

Monday, March 11, 2019

A Day Book

For Today . . . Monday, March 11, 2019

Looking out my window . . . a student from the high school up the street is walking home. He is looking down at the ground, earbuds in, and I wonder what he's thinking about? What preoccupied my thoughts back in the day?

I am thinking . . . about how much I learn watching this plant go through various seasons of blooming, dormancy, then coming into bloom again. What is required for it to continue to grow, and what is required of us in order to keep growing? In addition to nutrients and environment, I tend to forget that I, too, need periods of rest and 'dormancy.' This time of healing from knee surgery has provided that.

I am thankful . . . for friends who brought dinner for Dan and I on Saturday. At our encouragement, they stayed for a little while and we shared appetizers and drinks and anticipated warm weather and golf outings and barbecues. 

One of my favorite things . . . this photograph that was taken on a summer vacation years ago. My mother and my aunt have both passed, and my boys are grown now. It doesn't seem possible that my cousin and I, young moms at the time, are now the older generation. Why don't I feel wiser?

I am creating . . . another afghan, this one for my granddaughter.

I am wearing . . . jeans, a long sleeve shirt with a sweatshirt and my favorite slippers.

I am reading  . . . Maeve Binchy's The Copper Beech for book club this month.

I am hoping . . . that when I am getting around more easily I can find more time to spend with my camera outdoors.

I am learning . . . some new writing techniques and that small amounts of time add up (in writing and in most other goals).

In my kitchen . . . empty coffee cups from this morning when my brother and my dad stopped by and joined Dan and I for coffee.

In my garden . . .I'm dreaming of new growth, flowers and veggies, sunshine and warm weather.

Post Script . . . I'm fascinated by the recipes on the this blog. We are neither paleo or gluten-free, but the food looks so delicious and I've earmarked a couple recipes to try.

A favorite quote . . . 
The world belongs to the enthusiastic. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

A moment from my day . . . two of the grandkids were over last night. Bentley wouldn't take his hat off the entire time he was here! I love watching them with PopPop, working their puzzles.

Thank you, Peggy, for hosting The Simple Woman's Daybook. If you would like to join in, the link is here.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Friday's Fave Seven

I'm a day late posting for Friday's Fave Five. I mentioned last week that I was having trouble with my knee and had an MRI done. On Monday, I saw the doctor and he said it was a meniscus tear. I went in for surgery on Thursday and he fixed it right up. I'm gimping around on crutches for the weekend, but it is feeling so much better.

So, my number 1 favorite this week is Dr. H and his team.

Number 2 -- a good night's sleep. What a blessing it is to sleep well, after weeks of waking up throughout the night every time I move my leg. In the past, surgeries meant interrupted sleep until things heal. I can't remember sleeping so well, and no, I'm not on drugs still! just some ibuprofen.

Number 3 -- I finished the baby blanket last week (you can see it here, along with a sweet little gown I found at my brother and sister-in-law's store) and I knew I would need another project to keep me busy while I'm resting my knee (and continue binge watching The West Wing). I found an afghan pattern on Pinterest that I just couldn't quit thinking about, so I took the plunge and ordered the yarn and instructions. Which happened to come from the U.K., which somehow made it all the more exciting. It came in just a couple days, and honestly the shipping was cheaper than what I'll spend to send it to Siefer in Wisconsin when it's all finished. It is so fun to work, the colors are gorgeous and change up frequently.

Number 4 -- Our local paper runs a column each week that is written by various clergy in the community. I always enjoy the different perspectives and this week one of the pastors wrote about Lent in such a way that it truly moved me to reconsider how I approach this special season. It's given me a lot to think about.

Number 5 -- This morning, Dan and I had coffee on the back deck. It was blue skies and gorgeous outside, only 46 degrees, but the sun warmed us and we talked over gardening plans for this year. It felt so good to be outside, and yes there is snow predicted for later this week, but I will take these little glimpses of spring anytime.

Number 6 -- Speaking of Spring, a sweet blogging friend mailed me this little card and it is on my desk, a reminder of God's promise of spring, no matter how deep the winters are.

Number 7 -- You're probably tired of hearing it, but I never tire of being thankful for my awesome husband. He takes good care of me. :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

February Project #2

The second project I took on in February was to publish some of my blog posts in another book. This is the second volume -- I did the first volume a few years ago. I used this website for both. I'm sure there are lots of good websites out there for this kind of thing, and I can't even remember how I found this one. It was easy to use, which is saying a lot for someone like myself who is not at all tech savvy.

The first book (on the left) covers my first five years of blogging, the years that all of my kids were at home. I used the same technique to assemble both, reading through all of my posts (hundreds!) and easily eliminating about three fourths of them in the first go-round.  Then, I went through them a few more times eliminating them down to about 25 posts for each book. I wanted the books to reflect memories that I never want to forget, and that my kids might enjoy reading about someday. I also included pictures.

Volume Two covers the past five years, when kids were boomeranging in and out of the house, but mostly Dan and I have been empty-nesters. I have to say, I'm much happier with the first volume, mostly due to how fresh the storytelling is, because I had so much enthusiasm for blogging. Comparing the two makes me want to get back to that kind of writing, dedicating posts to each of my grandkids and to more of the day-to-day things that Dan and I enjoy doing.

I thought the photo quality was pretty good, although I wish I had chosen the larger size photos for Volume Two, because it really makes a difference. The books weren't inexpensive (which is partly why I chose to limit the number of posts), but if you sign up for the website, they are quick to send you coupons and discounts. I opted for softcover, but the hardcovers look really nice.

Reading through the books and all the memories makes me happy that I stuck with blogging during some of the times when I was tempted to give it up. It's renewed my enthusiasm to keep going a while longer, too. 


Monday, March 4, 2019

February projects

One of my goals this year is to complete one project each month from my "things I'd like to make" list. I first wrote about it in this post.

This month, the project I chose didn't take as long as I thought, so I picked another one.  I'll write about that tomorrow.

The first is a blanket for our new granddaughter due in June. The yarn is Baby Bee Hushabye in Pink-a-Boo. I purchased the gown and matching hat to go with it. I'm still learning a lot about knitting, but I don't think she'll notice. If I waited to be a perfect knitter, she would be in college, or she might never get one. She will be grandbaby #5!

It feels so good to have another project completed. Setting my expectations to one a month lets me hone in on just that thing and enjoy it, knowing that the other projects are in a safe place where I'll eventually get to them.

Tomorrow, I'll share February's second project.

Happy Monday,