Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bye Bye 2015

 "I believe in an open mind, but not so open that our brains fall out."  ~ Arthur Hays Sulzberger
 Pretty soon we'll roll into 2016.  Is that exciting?  I am thinking about and creating a spiritual and personal Rule of Life.  I'm considering my work and how it matches my biggest desire, to walk closer with Jesus and to love Him more.  I have some new books that are shedding light on how a Rule of Life works and I'm having fun exploring what it looks like.  I think I'm going to make a mind map because my brain likes to see how things play out on paper.
Daily disciplines that support my biggest desire are a big part of the planning.  I'll keep you posted as I go along.  It isn't like a set of goals that might be associated with what the world identifies as "success".  That's a bunch of hooey and I don't care at all about THAT.  It's an inner life thing, not exterior based.  Make sense?
 We go to bed early on New Year's Eve.  I have never really cared for NYE.  There have been years when I bought a bunch of snacks in order to celebrate and had a lot left over because we aren't hungry after dinner.  We are going to eat ordinary plain foods in the weeks to come.  I think cheese played an unnecessary leading role in our holiday merry making!  Ha!
Our Brad was born in January so I do like the first month.  We became parents in January and being a mother is such a lovely career.  I don't like freezing though and it's been very cold.  It's icy on the sidewalks and it makes me mad that some people do not bother to shovel their areas.  Grrrrrrr.  
Are you going to buy tulips or other flowers in January?  I always say I will but then I listen to the frugal voice and I just buy plants to eat.
God be with you as you transition into 2016.  

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Bug-eyed Hello

 I'm peeking in to say hello to you!  I wanted to show you my one skein scarf (doesn't it go well with the posy from Heather at Blackberry Rambles?) Sorry, the picture is a little scary/cross-eyed!  Ha!
Did you have a happy Christmas?  We had lots of family togetherness and yummy food!  James and Miss Plum Cake love to dance to Grampy's guitar playing.
 We lit the luminaries on Christmas eve.  Waterlogue made this a fun photo!
 I have a new pair of mittens. 
 I was very tired yesterday and it is cold outside here in Colorado.  I sat on the sofa and knit and watched season 7 of Doc Martin.  When I finished the second disc, I watched previous seasons on Netflix.  I just didn't want to leave Port Wenn.  
 I finished Jeff's beanie and the golden neck scarf.  Yay for actual completions for me!
 Today is my lovely mama's birthday!  She's happy because her team the University of Washington Huskies won their bowl game.  She's going to my brother's house to eat salmon.  LUCKY!  She made herself a birthday cake (bananas and whipping cream - her fav!)
We're going to eat soup this week.  Pea soup (we must make use of the delicious bone from the scrumptious ham) and vegetable beef soup.  I was going to have a tea party for the local grands but I may put that off until January.  We'll need a boost then, I think.
I've been reading the bloggers' posts on my iPad but I'll pop over and comment today.
Now, I shall go back to being a couch potato.
Sending lots of love and prayers your way!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Important People

 Children look SO cute in red, don't you think?  Samantha Rose loved making gingerbread houses at school.  Mommy came, too!
Last night they went to the zoo light display and look who they saw!
We've been having fun here at our house, too.  Last night the girls and I watched The Chipmunks and listened to Stuart Little.  I forgot that Stuart Little is more of a boy book. This morning we ate donuts and drank hot chocolate.  We read An Orange for Frankie and we also talked about how people in nursing homes might be lonely (not all of them, but some) during the holidays.  

The girls thought Sandra's (Thistle Cove Farm) idea of taking cozy lap blankets to people at nursing homes that may not get a lot of company was an excellent suggestion.
The nursing home was full of possible candidates for blanket gifts so we left them with the nurse and asked her if she would give them to the residents she thought most in need of a little boost.  She was very nice.

 They made the cutest cards.  I thought you might like to see them.

Each nursing home resident was at one time a daughter or son, maybe a beloved husband or wife, a mother or father, a trusted friend, or a grandma or all of the above. In the joy book the authors said that joy comes from intergenerational community and it makes me wonder why nursing homes can't be in shopping malls where people can look out big glass windows and still feel a part of things.  
I'm going to think about the nursing home next to my grocery store and try to figure out a way to make it more visible in my everyday life.
More Merry Christmas-ing to come!  LOVE!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Mr. Badger, Advent, and HELLO!

 Thank you for all the kind and connecting comments on my table post.  I love reading about your remembering and your sweet philosophies.  The sheep above is a photo Badger's current hostess shared with me.  I had it made big and it came out with a lavender shade.  I still haven't hung it in the sheep room (our family room!)  BUT . . . Mr. Badger is enjoying his time at Blackberry Rambles!  He even had his portrait painted by Heather's mom!  Click over and share the journey!
 It's Advent and Appetizers again tomorrow, but this time we are eating pizza and chicken wings because the three princesses will be spending the night and the day with us tomorrow.  It's their parents' anniversary so Mommy and Daddy will have a nice dinner out, a movie, and a quiet (except for the herd of pets) evening at home.  I won't have as much time to prepare appetizers, you see.
 Tonight we'll watch a Christmas movie (Miracle on 34th Street?) and fall asleep listening to Julie Harris read Stuart Little.  Wahoo! I thought I'd read this and another Christmas book to the girls.

 This morning I had my usual phone conversation with our Brad.  We talked for an hour and a half about tea, books, writing, writers, Christmas, cars, and other good things.  We're good talkers.  Ha!

 My mama organized a bus trip to Seattle today.  They went to the theater to see "The Sound of Music".  She lined everything all up and when they return my brothers will have pizza ready at her house.  She's so wonderful, don't you agree?
This granny took a nap today and now I need a snack.  Tacos for dinner.  All is very red and Christmasy.  All is well.  I am thankful to pause for a moment and say hello to YOU.  YOU are very good.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Five Tables: Five on Friday

 For some reason this morning, I was thinking  "what if we had to move into a smaller place" and "what if we had to get rid of furniture"? My eyes fell on our first married table.  We bought it with wedding gift money.  The chairs are long gone, but we still have the table in the corner of the living room. The advent wreath is sitting on it now.  No. We would not be able to part with it.  

 This is Jeff and Christie's wedding table.  Her mother made it so beautiful.  The dinner we shared was so scrumptious and festive. 
 This is Kelli's homeschool table now, but a few years ago it hosted a birthday party.

 A little table (in the background) and our warped picnic table have been graced with popsicle eating princesses.  
 This table sits in my aunt and uncle's old cabin.  They are in heaven now, but there is still a table in that one room log house that hosted SO many big family gatherings.
 Here's my mama at OUR table a year or so ago.  Bliss!
 Here is last year's holiday table.  The Bronco glass (a freebie) and the Coke can don't take away from all that welcoming red.
Yes, I have a thing for my tables.  One:  the wedding money table.  Two:  our dining room table we bought at Ethan Allen with money my parents gave us to do just that.  I LOVE it with it's sturdy Formica top and it's softly turned legs.  So many family meals have taken place around it.  If you still have children at home I will give you one piece of bossy advice: EAT dinner at your table.  Many families don't.  When I was teaching I often asked my students about their dinner routines and far too many admitted that they ate their dinner in their bedrooms, in front of their televisions.  SAD! Confession:  Bill and I eat our dinner in front of the television (and it's fun and I like it) but I am going to suggest we start eating side-by-side at the table instead.  It's time to correct.
Table 3:  A few anniversaries ago I asked for a sturdy maple table and four chairs that I found in a consignment shop.  We don't need it and we don't have room for it, but I LOVE it and it's leaves are down and it is tucked in another living room corner.
Table 4:  In my messy "office" I use a nice farm house table my mom bought for us upon one of her visits.  It's my "desk" now.  I LOVE it very much and I couldn't part with it.
Table 5:  This one lives at my niece's house in Tacoma, Washington.  My birth family grew up around it.  Five kids, two parents, sometimes a granny.  It sat in our sunny kitchen.  My brother's family used it, too.  Now Emily uses it for her family.  So it lives on.  
This time of year tables serve us.  Ironing the tablecloth, arranging the centerpiece, the dishes, the food . . . it is SO IMPORTANT to the memory banks of life.  
If we moved into a little town home or an apartment our home would be full of tables.

I'm joining the lovely Amy for Five on Friday today.  God be with you.  He hears the prayers at your table.  

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hearty Wool Hat and a Good Old Cookbook

 While I watched "The Holiday" and the republican debate, I worked on this earthy brown hat.  It's the divisible by 4 + 1 pattern of knit 3/purl 1 and when not worked in the round, it's a nice stretchy rib.  
On the reading front, I've been revisiting the important books of my life and this is one of them.  Doris Longacre had big vision concerning the way the world eats.  She believed in eating less/using less so the world might have more.  Even when I was a young mother, working with a skinny pocketbook, I respected her "something WAY bigger than us" convictions. Her recipes and ideas pleased me.  She was a true home economist.  Home Economics WAS my favorite subject in high school.  I loved it even more than English.  
My favorite recipes (evidenced by all the spatters on the pages) were honey wheat bread and simple granola.  In our simple split level home in Spokane, Washington, I made trays of granola and dense whole wheat bread.  I am so glad this book is still available.
I'm joining Ginny for Yarn Along.  It's fun to click over to all of the knitters' links and see what they are producing and pondering this December. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Snow and a Mug of Something

 It's a snowy day!  Thank you, God, for a good working furnace, strong backs for snow removal, and tea.  I have heartburn from drinking apple cider vinegar. Ha!  Time for some soothing tea instead.  
Have you ever made Wacky Cake?  It doesn't have any eggs and it's chocolate flavored (with QUIK) and VERY tasty.  It has sort of a salty tinge.  I remember our school cook made it and I loved it then, too.  Anywho, it's what's for breakfast.
Camera knobs and dials make for spunky photos, don't they?

 This is a good day for napping.  Take a lesson from Plum Cake.  She snored through the appetizers on Sunday evening.  We whispered around her but I don't think anything would have woken her up.  Sleeping like a baby.  
Maybe I'll have hot chocolate instead of tea.  Come on over!

Sunday, December 13, 2015


 Joy!  Joy! Joy!  
Here's the book about JOY that I've been enJOYing.
 The thinkers discuss three different types of people:  protectors, predators, possums.  Protectors live in relationship and welcome weakness. They share their own weakness.  They follow Jesus in that they love others as themselves.  Predators may be nice enough people but they are out for #1 and use people to get to that end.  Possums just play dead and tolerate predators that way.  
Joy comes from relationships.  It makes sense. When I am preparing to meet with a friend, I pray that God will wash over our time together.  Sometimes I forget.  Being completely present with others, casting our image-management aside, lends itself to joyful encounters.  The writers also shed light on how important it is to have intergenerational community.  
 Who are your people?  Who do you protect?  
 Thank you so much for popping by to check on me.  I'm pretty sure you are a protector.
(Please pop over to Heather's and see how Mr. Badger is being included in a lot of holiday hygge!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Outside and Inside

 This is the time of year when the morning sky is pink and turquoise.  It makes for an extremely inviting beginning to the full December days.  

 Because we've been having Advent and Appetizers, we've really kept our house full this holiday season.  The grands like to explore the tree.  They love to look at the table (and so do the hungry adults!) to see what kind of tasty treats there are to gobble up.  Some people get a little glum when Decembers are so full of holiday events and I've felt overwhelmed by a lot of hustle and bustle before.  This year is very different.  There has been time to make hearty eats and a few tasty treats.  I made some honey whole wheat bread and even though the  top of the loaf looked a bit floppy, the crusts and soft inside taste sweet and good.  
I ordered everything I needed as far as a few gifts go ONLINE.  That's so easy!  
 We rarely invite guests for dinner anymore because there are always kids and grands to enjoy and they go home early so we can go to bed.  We're host wimps, I say.  I like it when loved ones sit in the kitchen chairs while dinner is cooking.

Sam drew a picture of the living room and included herself and Plum.  She did a nice job on the wing chairs!
 I love Birdie's "Christmas Table" very much.  I think the fire is just right and the strings of lights on the tree are perfect.  She was happy with her curtains and the mug of hot chocolate.

I wish you happy scenes with cozy old chairs and mugs of hot chocolate.  I wish you homestyle gatherings with elbow-to-elbow huddles around delicious treats.  I also wish you quiet moments by the tree where you can feel great love and peace.
(Speaking of COZY, Mr. Badger is at Heather's house and enjoying SO MUCH HYGGE!  Click over!)