'Stay, stay at home and rest. Homekeeping hearts are happiest.' ~ Author Unknown.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

~What are their Concerns?~

What do you suppose these women are visiting about? Weather, their gardens, children? Or maybe they are sisters and are passing the time together? I love silhouettes, and a good friend gave this card to me last year for my birthday. What a treasure I have in it! It sits near my bed, and reminds me to be productive in my day, to be industrious, and to never let time go to waste. Even as these women 'visit', they can still be busy with their hands. My father-in-law always reminds me that 'Busy hands are happy hands, Shanda', and mine always try to do good, create, and emulate kindness.

I have spent the last couple of days at home without running here and there, without doing any errands, and just enjoying my home. I have stripped an old 1970's Lane cedar chest and refinished it (photo in the next couple of posts), completed our taxes, and in the evenings have been watching the really long movie 'John Adams'. This staying at home thing could be really addicting! I am an incredible homebody, but still get out to see my neighbors, go for my country walks, and manage to get an early scout out on the weeds poking through my flower beds. Being at home makes life all the better!

It is Spring Break here, and life is good. This post is kind of a ramble of different various things, but indeed, life is good. Even though sometimes there may be a huge rain cloud bursting right over your head, there is ALWAYS something worse that could happen and we need to be thankful for those cards that we are dealt.

Be 'doing' today, and let life live in you. Find joy in your journey - today!!!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

~I'm Missing Vermont and New England as a Whole!~

Red Covered Bridge, West Arlington, VT

Several years ago, my DH and I went to Vermont in the spring, and every year at this time I start missing it. We had never been to that part of the United States and decided it was high time. So we boarded the plane here in good ol' Boise and took off. During this trip we had 2 'rules' - no freeways (or tollways, which is a very foreign concept to us here in the West) and no eating at fast food or 'chain' restaurants. We wanted to experience the back roads and taste of local cuisine. Oh my, what a trip we had!! No reservations, just purchased two airplane tickets for Albany, NY and reserved a rental car. And hit the road we did! Logged 980 miles on a PT Cruiser in 6 days, took in parts of Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and back to Albany, on back roads and only 37 miles of freeways/tollways, and saw the most beautiful countryside! This was our favorite place of all - West Arlington, Vermont! Oh, man! So every Spring, I revisit those roads and the fun time we had driving down little country lanes, turning corners to see the most quaint villages and covered bridges. I was in love again - with architecture, townships, and beautiful old churches and cemeteries, covered bridges........ all the things that we don't have out here in Idaho. And every spring I see it all again in my mind and feel the ache to revisit. Not only am I suffering from Spring Fever right now, but I am in 'New England Withdrawals'. Not a good disease to have......

I have an update from my 'Finish it Friday' Night with my girlfriends. This is my friend Sarah who machine quilted a baby quilt.....
And this is my friend Tracey who pieced a baby quilt..........
And girlfriend Kim who was scrapbooking Valentine's Day photos......
And then there was my quadrant of the dining room table filled with 5-6 unfinished smaller projects.........
which turned into.......
I framed two cross-stitch and a punchneedle projects that night, finished a pillowcase, stuffed a couple of pillows/pin keeps, and the stack green and gold nine-patch blocks really are pinkeeps that I sewed together, just ran out of time to stuff with walnut shells and oak shavings. So see, you really can get a lot done at Finish It Fridays. We girls hum those machines along, crop those photos, and make the night profitable. We really have a great time. We missed you working with us, so won't you come next month? Our next meeting is April 3rd from 6 - midnight. We have a potluck, so bring your favorite dish to pass, or just come with project in hand. I'm the house down on the corner, so come on over!

Friday, March 6, 2009

~ Come for a Visit! ~

I know it has been a while since I have visited with you, so I would like you to come for a visit today. The fire is warm, and even though Spring is around the corner, 'tis still cold enough for a fire. And I have a pot of soup on for us, along with a fresh loaf of bread, so please plan on staying for lunch. Bring your stitching or a project you would like to work on for the afternoon, and we will catch up.

I actually finished my punchneedle and aged it last weekend. It is a design from 'With Thy Needle and Thread', and it is called 'Have Ye Any Wool.' I love it for the rich colors and texture that it possesses. Also, my colonial brown sugar cones came out fine, first time I have ever made those.

This evening I will also be working on projects. I host a craft/sewing/project night once a month at my home called 'Finish It Friday' and it is just that - you finish or work on a project. There are about 3 ladies besides myself who come and we 'visit' from 6 'til midnight. We all bring food dishes to share, and we accomplish so much!!!! I started it last October, as a way for some ladies to get out of their homes and work on Christmas gifts without other eyes being around, and it became so popular, they all wanted to continue this tradition into the next year. I like hosting it, and it reminds me of an olde-fashioned sewing circle, although we have everything from sewing aprons/bags/pajamas, quilting, painting, scrapbooking, needlepunch, and cross-stitching going on. You can come and join us for that time also, if you'd like.

I was recently visiting with a neighbor and she was of course commenting on this economy. It was again important for me to remember and know that as times get harder, we all tend to turn inward and truly reflect on what is important. Practicing economy in our homes and lives is not a bad thing, in fact, it can be quite the opposite. It can be refreshing, humbling, and reflective. I have a sign hanging in my dining area that says:

This was a quote from Jane Austen in one of her books. I found this sign in Illinois two years ago, and immediately fell in love with it. I am never bored at home.

Also, it is my dear kindred spirit girlfriend's birthday today, Happy Birthday, Anne Girl!!!!!! She lives clear in California, and I miss having visits with her. I consider it a HUGE treat to be able to sit with her and stitch for even a few small moments. I taught her to cross-stitch many years ago, and I enjoy her so much! Even though we don't get together very often, memories are enough at times to carry me through.

Enjoy your weekend and be content. I will be putting the finishing touches on our spare bedroom after painting last weekend and will also be doing a bit of cleaning. Spring is right around the corner. Will I see you later on then?

Blessings on your day!