"We write to taste life twice - once in the moment and in introspection."

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Still Alive!

So much has been going on around here that it's been hard to find time to blog, so, since blogging is toward the tail end of the priority list, it hasn't happened.

Let me share a bit of the adventures over the next few days.

Since it is summer, one of the big priorities is gardening. Not just vegetable gardening, but flowers and herbs, too. The girls and I decided to put in a new garden and cover up a not-so-pretty area of our yard. Since a friend was kind enough to haul us a load of topsoil from a local excavator with his pick-up, we were able to get things going pretty quickly. (As in, we didn't have to rototill the very hard clay - we just covered everything up with the mound of topsoil.)

I'm sure you know what children must do with a pile of soil. So I gave them several hours of bliss before we older people began to have our fun in the dirt.

After much raking, shoveling and planting, we came up with this.
Eventually, we plan to change the old wellhouse in the background into a playhouse with a basement.

It will look a lot nicer after the plants fill out some, but I didn't want to overcrowd it (or overspend gardening money).

Unfortunately, the already-beginning-to-fall-apart white chair, has done fallen apart, so I'm on the lookout for a sturdy chair to replace it.  I love yard sale season for things like that.

I'll give you a pictorial peek at our other gardens, too, before I go. My darling husband built us more box beds so that we don't have so much weeding to do nor rototilling in the spring. Each girl gets her own box and pretty much chose what she wanted to grow. Two of the boxes are strawberry beds and two are for my aunt who doesn't have a good gardening spot at her apartment.

Since these photos were actually taken a few weeks ago, the gardens do look quite different now. I'll have to post some updated photos soon.

I'm very happy with how much we're being able to do this year, both with food growing and beauty growing.

Being so blessed, I

Friday, June 8, 2012

Quick WIPs Organizing Idea

For those of you who, like me, have lots of "Works In Progress" or are trying to cut up scrap fabrics into kits for future use, here's an organizing idea:
I bought the pizza boxes for $.25 each at Little Ceasar's and then got a pack of Martha Stewart's chalkboard labels at Staples.

The labels were too big, but cut in half they fit rather nicely.

I like that I can re-use them as I get things finished (and I will, I'm sure!).

In my recent spay-painting frenzy, I tried painting one, but it just didn't look smooth or classy, so I left them as it (though they are turned inside out so the Little Ceasar's logo isn't front and center). They wouldn't work for a big quilt, though they'd do for parts of one, or blocks for one, but they do very nicely for baby quilts table runners and wall hangings and other smaller projects.

Hope this helps get your creative organizational wheels spinning!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

1000 Gifts

I have finally joined the many people who are singing the praises of the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. 

I think the naked, poetic way that she writes is perfect for the content, though several times it caused me to have to reread a line, to make sure I'd caught what she was saying and hadn't missed a word or something like that.

Mostly the book opened my eyes to see how many gifts we have all about us from the tiny taken-for-granted things like the sun filtering through the leaves of the tree outside the dining room causing speckles of light to dapple the dining room table to giving thanks that we've been protected from injury in a car accident or the medical tests show we're cancer-free. So, yes, I have started my list of one thousand gifts.

Our heart-eyes come with lenses, and we can choose which ones we wear.  We can wear the ones which see all the pain and irritances always, or we can choose the ones which are more rose-colored. That's not to say that we don't see and deal with the pains and the things that irritate us, but that we don't live constantly dwelling on how miserable we are. Seeing the things for which we can be thankful and reveling in the many gifts God showers on us changes our perspective, changes the lens through which we view life and God.

I love how she repeats several times "Eucharisteo (thanksgiving) always precedes the miracle," and sometimes that miracle is the recreation of my heart, my perspective, my attitude. I wish I had read her book at the beginning of the year, when I was starting my read-through-the-Bible in a year plan because I'm now already almost half-way through the Bible and I'm thinking that I want to start underlining all the times we're told to give thanks or given examples of giving thanks. Next year.

There are a few things in the book that make me uncomfortable, like having communion as a group of ladies at a Bible study since I believe that communion is a function of the whole church body, but the lessons to be learned as she writes about that far overshadow the discomfort.

I plan to buy this book for each of my children and heartily urge that you read it. At the very least, listing the very many blessings our heavenly Father showers on us.