There's no place like home.

There's no place like home.
Home is where my husband and I reside; wherever that may be.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Simple Woman's Day Book 24 February 2014

 
Outside my window...it is dark and rather likely to remain so for awhile.  Doug has a job, glory hallelujah! so I need to be getting up a little earlier in the morning than before. There is a rumor going around that today is going to shape up the way that yesterday did so that is a large plus. Bring on the sunshine and the warmth.
 
I am thinking...about food and not in a good way. It is not a good morning when I wake up with gooey chocolate treats on the brain.
 
I am thankful...for all of the blessings that God has rained down on this family of mine. 
 
From the kitchen...there will be leftovers repurposed into something utterly delectable! 
 
I am wearing...flannel jammies! It still gets a bit nippy at night around here so flannel is the fabric of the evening in this house.
 
I am reading...One Thousand Gifts by Anne Voskamp.  This is a very good read both inspiring and a feast for those who like words.
 
I am hoping...to get some double wedding ring blocks put together today.  I have half of the arcs made for the quilt.  It would be encouraging to see some of the blocks put together.
 
I am hearing...the humidifier doing its job of keeping the air in here moist,  the birds outside beginning to wake up and greet the day, and the dog snoring in her kennel.
 
Around the house...there is silence but it is a friendly kind of silence.  The air has the flavor of expectancy and anticipation about it.  The feeling of adventure has been imparted to the house and it only awaits each new day to see what role it will play in the unfolding story of our new adventure.
 
One of my favorite things...making a huge mess when I am sewing then cleaning it up and enjoying the feel of the newly restored space.
 
A few plans for the rest of  the week...working hard on Kathleen's quilt, spending a lot of time on Facetime with MK and my grandkids, and soaking in the blossoming spring weather that is right outside my door.
 
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
Doug spent a lot of time and effort clearing the brush from this hill behind our house.  Then he worked up the soil and planted wheat, oats, and grass.  It is greening up nicely.  It has now become one of my favorite things to walk to the kitchen and look out on the greenness of that hill and know that my husband's mark is on the soil here too.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Simple Woman's Day Book 17 February 2014

 
Outside my window...the sun is shining brightly with a promise of warming today.  The weather prognosticators say we are supposed to get up into the 60's which is music to my ears.
 
I am thinking...about sharing.  There are so many different ways of sharing.  Everyday Layn and I share our mornings on Facetime, my husband and I share our love with each and every look and touch, my children that are far away share themselves and their lives each in their own unique ways. 
 
I am thankful...for a family that shares and cares enough to share with each other.  In this age of distance between loved ones it would be so easy to live a life separate from each other.
 
From the kitchen...bread needs to be baked today along with a few other goodies!  I think a pan of GF brownies are a good idea to take with me tomorrow when I visit with my sister-in-law Sharon.
 
I am wearing...jeans and a turquoise tee shirt.  Its going to be a busy day so comfort is the uniform of the day.
 
I am going...to stay home and tend to all my responsibilities here at home.  Though my husband has given me leave to spend tomorrow away I still feel that I need to make things clean and comfortable for him.  All he'll have to do is heat us his lunch and take care of mom and the dog.
 
I am reading...still working on Dark Night of the Body.  Very good read by the way.
 
I am hoping...that all of the arcs for Kathleen's quilt get themselves done today so that I can begin appliqueing the blocks on Wednesday.
 
I am hearing...the dryer working on its first load of the day, the blue jays in the yard calling back and forth to each other, and an airplane taking off from the airport near here.
 
Around the house...all is as it should be.  We had a great weekend and now it is time to face another productive week.
 
One of my favorite things...exploring new places with my husband.  Yesterday we went for a drive and discovered a place called Pumpkintown! 
 
A few plans for the rest of the week...taking good care of Doug and my mom and enjoying my time with Sharon tomorrow.
 
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
Saturday I drove to North Carolina a brought home this little girl to add to our family.  Her name is Ariel.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook 10 February 2014

 
Outside my window...it is a chilly, gloomy day.  Doug says the weather people are calling for snow and ice later this week.  Though I cannot say that getting away from winter is the reason for our move south, after passing four relatively pain free and snow free months I am really dreading the rest of this week.
 
I am thinking...deeply and seriously about all of the ways that God blesses us and we don't even pay attention to those blessings.  Jason came to visit us over the weekend (he had a load that he picked up near here).  God surely knew that heartbreak that Jason's leaving would cause this mother so he blessed me with facetime calls from Ryan, Adam and Maryanne, MK and Layn, and Kim, Savannah and Kaycie.  He is truly good.
 
I am thankful...for a family that truly loves one another.
 
From the kitchen...I thought I would whip up some chicken quesadillas and maybe a pot of homemade tomato soup.
 
I am wearing...blue capris and my chicken shirt (I've been thinking about you MK!)
 
I am going...to do the whole week's laundry and cleaning today just in case Doug's prediction of a potential power outage comes true.  I also have a pile of hand sewing to occupy my time if that happens.
 
I am reading...The Dark Night of the Body by Dr. Alice von Hildebrand
 
I am hoping...that no such disaster befalls the southland.
 
I am hearing...the dishwasher doing its job, the washer and dryer doing theirs and my husband talking to my mom coaching her with one of her puzzles.
 
Around the house...all traces of a fun weekend and a great visit have been erased.  It is really too bad that the only visual reminders of a special visit are a sink full of dishes and a pile of dirty towels.  Thank you God for memories and warm feelings.
 
One of my favorite things...laughter!  I can still hear the laughter of my husband and son ringing through the house.
 
A few plans for the rest of the week...make progress.  Progress on projects, on myself, and on my mother's care.  I feel like Winnie the Pooh some days.  "There's no hurry, I'll get there someday."
 
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
Last week Doug built the first of my cold frames.  The seeds have been purchased now I just have to wait for this week's bad weather to pass so I can plant.  MK if you think it is hard to wait for planting weather when there is still snow on the ground try it when the weather teases you with nice days and then a string of bad ones.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook 3 February 2014

 
Outside my window...there is a soft rain falling.  This rain seems like a blessing on the grass seed that Doug planted on Saturday.  We will see if the effort that he has put into sprucing up this place take hold.
 
I am thinking...about building.  It has been emotionally difficult to begin doing anything around here to affect a permanent change because the hand of my father can be seen everywhere.  It has only been since I have come to the conclusion that what we do has got to be considered building onto the foundation of what he began that I am able to begin planning for the next steps. 
 
I am thankful for...the constant hand of God in every day of our lives.  Sometimes I can feel him gently leading us and sometimes I feel him slapping me in the back of my head but I still know that his leading is in love.
 
From the kitchen....something is going to happen I just haven't been inspired yet.  There is laundry and grocery shopping to do first before any meals can be thought of.  First and foremost a bread dough has to be set since Doug informs me that he is about out.
 
I am wearing...cozy jammies.  It isn't cold out but the dampness compels me to snuggle up today.
 
I am going...to get a lot done today. (I'll let you know how that pans out later) I always have big plans on Monday morning until reality sets in. 
 
I am reading...Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskill while I am waiting for the new book I ordered to come.
 
I am hoping...that packages come in the mail soon.  I am waiting on a ruler that I need and some printed interfacing that I finally found and ordered on Saturday.  I got big plans and even bigger projects in the works.
 
I am hearing...the sounds of the red birds outside in the yard calling to each other.  I haven't identified all of the visitors to the feeders yet, some of them being new to my eye, but the red birds and the jays are old familiar friends.
 
Around the house...things are coming together nicely.  Doug has established his little corner of this world and I love to watch him there like the master on his throne.
 
One of my favorite things...listening to the water go over the wheel at the mill that we visited yesterday.
 
A few plans for the rest of the week...more of the same and a little of the extraordinary.  Thursday I am going to spend the day with my sister-in-law Sharon.  We will spend the day chatting, sewing and just plain being away from the cares that follow us the rest of the week.
 
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
We visited this mill yesterday and I can already tell that it is going to become a favorite for both Doug and I. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

There's ownership and then there is ownership.

When we left home to come down here it was a big step. It wasn't quite as large a step for me as it was for my husband.  The house that we left behind, all of the land that surrounded it, had been his home since he was five years old (he is now 61).  Every fiber of my husband's being was integrated into the land, the climate, and the surrounding countryside that he had know for all of his life.  This is my witness to the magnitude of the gift that he gave to me by giving it all up to come and help care for my mother.
 
Now here in the south everything is foreign to him. From the orientation of the land that we reside on to the accents of those who populate the area it is all like moving to another country but this week my man has begun to take ownership of our home.  No, I don't mean that the deed is being turned over to him in his name.  There are other ways of claiming ownership, ways that are more basic and fundamental.  Kinship with the land is one sure means of making a mark. 
 
This week Doug has cleared the brush behind the house making the hill accessible to us as a more useable part of the property.

He has trimmed trees and the shrubbery that have long stood neglected due to my father's illness and death.  All the leaves have been raked into a huge pile to be composted and turned into rich soil to grow vegetables for our table and he has plans to fence in the rest of the property so that we can have a dog in the near future for some much needed company.


 
Even the porch has gotten a thorough sweeping and there is a coat of sealer in its future. Doug's mark will be all around the property, hand in hand with my father's.  I think daddy would be pleased for the help that he is getting around here.

Reflections on snow days

     It snowed here in the south last week.  In anticipation of that event the schools and businesses were closed and people were sent home.  The governor even declared a state of emergency, advising motorists to stay off the roads unless travel was absolutely necessary.  Much joking went on, at least in my little corner of the world, about the extreme un-hardiness of southerners but it has set me thinking about the whole concept of snow days.
     The appeal of snow days seems to be the fact that they force people to slow down, take time off, and do something other than their normal daily activities.  Kids get to stay home from school, play games all day, maybe go sledding, spend the morning staying in bed, and otherwise not being in school.  Adults, when they are freed from the grind of the office get to over sleep without guilt, hangout online, and generally spend a day playing instead of earning their daily bread.  Snow days are special because they don't happen every day that is true (though if you ask southerners the consensus is that northerners have three a week in the wintertime.)  It is also true that they wouldn't stay special if one declared a day off every week but my question is, why wait for snow?  Why not schedule a snow day without the snow?
     When my kids were growing up they were homeschooled and the thought of not having a snow day in the winter was out of the realm of possibility for those who didn't homeschool their kids.  Little did they know.  We had snow days even when the public school kids were at their desks studying hard.  We had snow days in the summer if we so desired.  The secret ingredient was not the snow it was the switch from the norm and the everyday to the out of the ordinary and unusual.
     Even now, as I contemplate the school kids across the road trying to sled down a small hill barely covered in a light dusting of snow, my brother and his wife and children curled up by their fire sipping hot drinks and enjoying a rare interlude of family togetherness, I am inclined to take a day off from the ordinary and everyday.  Perhaps an old black and white movie would be just the thing.