Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year Ends

I spent the final week of 2011 with my daughter and granddaughters. As I search for God's Presence this morning, some sign that He walks the ground of my life, I realize they are the sign. My mouth was filled with laughter and coughing at the same time. I cherish the days we had together and pray they don't get this bug.

Looking back over this year, I say again it was a year of testing. I didn't like all my reactions and the tendency to fall into discouragement more easily. I've asked myself recently if my heart has gotten hard or strayed away from the heart of the Lord without realizing it. I don't know. Are part of my responses to others born put of a need to control, to keep loved ones safe? I don't know.

These questions emerge from my vulnerability as I spent more time coughing last night than sleeping. Even so, that doesn't make them any less valid.

Thus I end 2011 with a little soul searching, a bit of discouragement, a sick body and a weak voice of thanksgiving for all my blessings.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 10 Books of 2011

Here are my top 10 favorite reads this year!

10. Strengthen Yourself in the Lord by Bill Johnson
9. The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
8. The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
7. Night Road by Kristin Hannah
6. Roses by Leila Meacham
5. Pacemakers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri
4. Violets of March by Sara Jio
3. Pearl in the Sand by Tesssa Afshar
2. The Red River series by Lauraine Snelling
And # 1 is... Okay I messed this up. Still not used to posting from my iPad. One Thousand Gifts is # 1

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Final Disencumbering

Time to take the tree down and all the decorations.

My word for 2011 has been Disencumber. I am going to ponder that over the next few days and listen for my 2012 word. (A good friend sent me this photo. Photo credits unknown.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


My girls are here but I am sick.

I am enjoying having them here no matter what.

Monday, December 26, 2011

No More Secrets

I can show you now what I was spending all my time on before Christmas- lap quilts for each of my children and their spouses. I had fun practicing different techniques even though sewing machines kept breaking and various other problems. The end result was worth it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Christmas cookies and snowy trees await the grandkids, their parents, dogs, presents and fun!

Merry Christmas from beautiful northern Maine.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Weebles Wobble

Hi there,

Weebles wobble after several paper cuts, purchasing the wrong batteries so back to Walmart ( only to discover that I hadn't turned it on), and figuring out which slide hooked to what because I threw the box away.

Oh, so much fun! As it comes off the slide, the Weeble hits the button which causes the music to play or a Whee to resound. Then you turn the crank so the Weeble goes up the stairs to the slide and as long as you turn it. It keeps sliding. I love it and had such a good time I had to remind myself that it was all together and ready to go under the tree!

The goal was sugar cookies today but I put a turkey in the oven to cook an forgot I would need the oven for the cookies. Change of plans. Off to tack a blanket and wrap a couple last minute gifts. Sugar cookies will wait until tomorrow.

And why are there no spaces when I blog from my iPad? Bummer. Hey, I figured it out! Yay!

Play a little today :)


Wednesday, December 21, 2011


It's quiet here tonight. The tv is off after watching the Xfactor and I am heading for bed. The weather outside is frightful ( a line from an old Christmas carol). It really is. The roads are a glare of ice tonight. Grateful for family safe in their homes and a good weather forecast for the weekend. Got my fudge made today and sugar cookie dough is in the refrigerator. Catching up on my magazines in the evening. Tomorrow - hair appointment, make cookies, a couple errands. Friday- make a couple soups, cook a turkey, etc Off to bed. Goodnight P.S. not sure why this is posting all in a clump but gonna go with it tonight

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


My husband generously bought me an iPad for Christmas. It is taking me a bit of time to settle down and enjoy such an expensive gift.

Christmas projects have prevented me from spending hours investigating all the photo apps and other goodies. My daughter had it in hand for a few minutes and created this beautiful photo of Lilyana.

This is a test to see if this posts to my blog.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Old World Potato Company

 Hubby and I had a wonderful time yesterday with our daughter and her family. Having finished Christmas shopping the day before, I was able to relax and enjoy  the little shops in Camden, a coastal Maine town. The weather was brisk with a light snow falling, perfect for the Christmas season. This little nook is where the six of us squeezed in for a delightful lunch at the Old World Potato Company.

 If this were 1903 instead of 2011, the street would look like this. We were sitting in the left-hand window of the cigar store. It is the exact building today except for the right side of the structure which burned down. That was converted to a courtyard.
My lunch was a delicious salad with homemade dressing and pumpkin black-bean soup. 
It was a delightful day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nap in Progress


The tree is in the room! That's progress :)

I couldn't muster the energy to decorate it yesterday.

How did I simplify? I grabbed a blanket and took a nap. Not exactly in the plan but it was worth it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hooked on Blessing

In August, a friend gave me "A Measure of Mercy"by Lauraine Snelling. I read it and the next two books that followed. Then another friend told me that this series started with the Red River series containing 6 books, after that Return to Red River with 3, the Daughters of Blessing with 4 books. Our church library had some and the second hand store a few more.

Over the last four months, I have settled in with the Bjorklund family, their trials and courage and hardships of the late 1800s and early 1900s in North Dakota. I tried twice to read other books but found myself yearning to return to Blessing( the name of the town).
No matter how busy I was, I set aside at least a half hour most days to read. Peace would settle over me like one of Ingeborg's quilts.

I loved these women, seeing how far we've come in this country and some of the things we've left behind. I am glad I found this author when I did. There was something about being able to read the books back-to-back and not having to wait.

I finished the final one yesterday. Now I am heading into a light Christmas book as I continue to work on my tasks that need to be completed these next two weeks.
But I plan to read her Dakota series of four in the near future.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Brave Girls

Brave Girls Club

It is a dreary, snowy day here in the County. For some reason, every time the furnace came in the night, something vibrated and awoke me like an alarm clock. This morning, however, I dragged my weary self out to the gym and felt better for it. But after lunch the weariness set back in.

Pulling myself out of my chair and out to the sewing machine, I stitched one row of squares together.
 Now I am at my laptop where the daily truth from Brave Girls encouraged me. It's worth signing up for.

Back to the machine it is for me, but in my simplified world I am taking breaks more often. One row is simply not enough to qualify for a break though, so back to work.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I have been spending a lot of time on 2011 Memory Lane due to working on photo books for my grandchildren. Yesterday I completed #5 to which I give a big SIGH of relief.

This morning my life was already simplified because my gym trainer cancelled leaving me with extra time to sit before the Lord. I asked for a picture of what God is saying over me. He is a visual God :)
I saw myself sitting in a field of flowers as a child with Jesus but I kept turning into an adult wanting to get up and get busy.

I won't go into the details of all He showed me but the word attached to the picture was PLAY.
Play? Of all months, I don't have time for that.

The pics I have been working with came to mind. Ken & Lily laughing, playing, safe and free. What an incredible blessing!

Today is a sewing day but I took time to blog, which sometimes turns into work but is meant to be my playtime :)

What are some of the things you do to play and laugh and enjoy life?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Simple Joys

This was the scene on the weekend as I drove out to meet my mom for her birthday. She hates it when I'm late but I pulled over to the side of the road to snap this picture. It was too beautiful to waste.
Blue skies, snowy fields, nice temps for this time of year.

It was the first day in quite a while that I grabbed my camera as I headed out the door. I used to carry it with me everywhere, then I got dependent on my iphone and Pinterest. Don't get me wrong. I love them both but there is something about holding that camera up and taking the shot. I'm less likely to grab my phone for the shot. Just sayin... Keeping it simple for me anyway.

 Mom was 5 minutes late. That just never happens. :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Leaving Regret Behind

I totally missed it yesterday.
Sidetracked, frustrated, and exhausted by the end of the day fighting with Shutterfly. Determination to beat the freezing webpages, ticking time to holiday, need to finish.

What was I thinking?

I know what I wasn't thinking. Simplify. Remember?

Was it only two days ago I blogged about this? Having become so engrossed in my battle with the online photo program, I forgot to even blog. I messed up my computer by trying to clean it up and drug myself to bed at nearly midnight.

Remorse and regret are dreadful weights to carry around. I've spent two hours of my day with them and now I'm saying goodbye!

Eucharisteo- return to thanksgiving.

Thank you, Lord that I learned a valuable lesson. I really can keep this simple if I will but listen to that small tug in my heart. It was there yesterday- just shut it down and come spend a little time with Me. Too easily shoved to the background.

This is a new day.

Begin again. His mercies are new every morning. :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

31 Days to Simplify

I want to give credit where it is due. I was reading Nancy's blog this afternoon and  this December idea popped into my head.
Each day I want to come up with one way to simplify my life. It doesn't have to be a great big thing. Small changes can create spaces and make a difference.

Even before I read her post, I had decided to put the sewing machine away for the day and spend some quality time with the Lord & my journal, reflecting over this past year and looking ahead to 2012.
It has been a good day.

Looking back over 2011, I can say like Jacob in the hard place, I didn't know God was there!
But He was.

Why don't you join me and post your blog link in comments for all to read?

One note: I don't know why Nancy's name isn't highlighted on my blog. Hope it is on yours. You can still click on it and visit her blog.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Own Secret Garden

Did you ever pass up a photo opportunity and regret it later?

I knew as I was driving away that I had missed a perfect picture for my blog, but I was hungry and it was pouring rain. Nevertheless, I am still looking back over my shoulder.

I popped in for a short visit to a new friend today and fell in love with her surroundings. As I entered the driveway, I knew I was in for a treat. There was a faux wooden wall with purple shutters and their last name on a small sign. The yard contained birdhouses and benches and leftover flowerbeds.
The instant I entered her kitchen I was oohing and ahhing, not because it was fancy and large and expensive. Just the opposite.
Simplicity and artistry brought her small older home to life. Every corner was filled with creative love and flair.
What a delight! I felt like I had entered the secret garden.

On this final day of November ( actually one hour left), I am grateful for surprises, confirmations, new beginnings and simple delights.

Monday, November 28, 2011


The leftovers are gone but thanksgiving remains.
Here's my list leftover from last week.
Time with my girls.
Pumpkin Pie success.
42 years wedding anniversary
Snow on just the right day- safe travels for my family.
Movie time with McKenna.
My son's family time here.
Good food.
Mississippi Mudcake
Energy to shop after little sleep.
God's touch on a sick girl.
An extra day with McKenna
Sweet sleep
Health for the most part
Beautiful days.
A few minutes in a good book.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Grateful for freedom, family, and a full life.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I just plain love Pinterest.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Remember the smell of damp leaves? Listen to the crunch of dry ones underfoot.

Rake them into a pile and leap! Ahhh, leaves everywhere. Pile them up again. Pure joy.

A few of my favorite photos were taken on an October afternoon at my son's house. He used a leaf blower which blew the leaves into a pile. His son was raking until I took over for a bit. I really thought we were working on the lawn. Then the fun began. The children jumped, leaped, tossed, and buried each other while I watched with joy.

If I could go back to that day I would spread my arms and fly into the leaves instead of merely observing through the lens.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I am sitting in the dentist office and they are running late.

I ran into Mardens again today for more material. I had part of the quilt top pieced yesterday and hated it! Out came the seam ripper and I changed direction. Thus need more material.

The quilt on their wall made me wish for sharper skills and a better knowledge of quilting but one step at a time. Sigh.

Okay... Gratitude.
I am thankful for what I do know, for a working sewing machine, and the money to buy material.
Oh and Debbie, who works at Mardens and gives me tons of her time and know-how.

Monday, November 14, 2011

2 Hours of Fabric Fun

I spent 2 hours today in the fabric section of the M store.

Did you guess MOOD? I wish. Sigh.

Alas, the store is Mardens (of Maine). I am not a fan of the store itself in all it's dust and disarray, but it's the best thing going here in my neck of the woods when you are looking for fabric.

I had so much fun once I decided on colors and direction. The clerk is the daughter of a friend of mine and she is more than willing to help this amateur quilter.

I missed lunch but it was worth it. I will not look at this as a waste of time, but a step in the right direction :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sweet Sabbath Moments

How did I manage to be all ready for church a half hour early?

Sinking into my chair by the window, I reached for the novel I have been reading. After a few minutes as I lifted my eyes from the words, I saw the beauty of the page in the sunshine.

Grateful today for extra moments filled with sunshine.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

One Year's Worth

I spent yesterday going through hundreds of photos to decide what I want to do with them this year for Christmas.

And I haven't even gotten to Lily's yet. Imagine five grandchildren and photos like this!

Next year, I have a plan :)

On my gratitude list today:     Grandchildren and Cameras!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Source: via Janet on Pinterest

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Amber Blessing

The past couple of days have been long and challenging with blessings scattered throughout.

Right in the middle of the challenges, I got to spend a few hours with my daughter. What a delight! It was like coming out of a crowded, shadowy forest into a field of flowers. I loved every moment, every smile from my granddaughters, and time to enjoy each other.

Throughout my lifetime, my daughter has been one of my greatest blessings and I am grateful.
Love you, Amber.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November Sunrise

Sunrise over the hospital.

What a beautiful sight!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Matters of the Heart

Monday finds me in Bangor, 3 hours from home. I brought my friend Jo down for heart surgery.

Today I am grateful for beautiful weather, a good lunch, a minute to see my girls and hope for my friend.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Tiny Splash of Creativity


Two months have passed with nary a word written in my Journaling Box. I keep a regular journal but this is my creative project that my daughter and I will share at the year's end.
My goal today was to make the three main cards for September, October, and November and create dated cards for November's journaling.

It was a bit tough going. I can recall days of being captivated by creativity, barely coming up for air. Not so these days. There is no river flowing, merely a tiny splash.

Nevertheless, I am grateful for the splash. It has been a dry season of living too much from my head.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Peace Please

Today I am grateful for peace.

Does that seem generic, routine, boring?

Try being without it. You'll realize how vital Peace is.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Guess What?

Guess what I am doing today?

Grateful for the basic sewing skills I learned in Home Ec as a girl.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Source: via Julie on Pinterest

My goal for November is to post every day with thanksgiving.

It is a beautiful morning here in northern Maine.
As we head into winter, I want to have springtime thoughts :)

When I turned to Pinterest this morning, this picture was the first thing that caught my eye. I love lilacs. Isn't it amazing that God would create something that lasts such a short time, yet brings much beauty, fragrance and joy into our lives?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November...The Path Here

Journal Entries:

October 6
"So don't be afraid... little Israel, for I myself will help you."
                                         Isaiah 41

October 11
"Lord, Show me your glory. Hear my faint cry."

October 16
"It is the Holy Spirit's breath on the pages of Scripture that brings us into the place of life and purpose."
Bill Johnson

October 20
"You are always with Me and everything I have is yours."
                                                             Luke 14

October 29
Return to Eucharisteo.

October 31
"I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles."
                                                        Zechariah 9

Monday, October 24, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Think Pink & Pray

Friday afternoon on our way to Portland. After 3 hours of our drive, a stop at the sewing shop and dropping by to see our girls, hubby is getting truck parts and I am browsing through a magazine.

Looking up, a pink truck was sitting right in front of me. Inspired, I grabbed my iPhone to blog.

This is Breast Cancer awareness month. I have had a number if biopsies in the past and am grateful for good results. But I have a friend, young mother about to begin chemotherapy for breast cancer.

Two more hours to reach our destination and lots of time to say a prayer for her and other women battling today.

Think Pink and Pray.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Old Frustration

This is my mother-in-law's machine, over 30 years old. I have my grandmother's machine too.

Nostalgia and heritage convinced me that I could use these to sew, so I took my grandmother's to be tuned up. But alas, I got it home only to discover that the bobbin winder doesn't work.

Today I sat down to sew with the other machine. After 3 hours of thread-breaking frustration, I called it quits. None of the ordinary fixes would help.

 Maybe it's time to put away the old and move into the new.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Things That Made Me Smile Today

Things that made me smile today:
          two Amish Ladies in a buggy
colorful material
a phone call from a friend
podcast laughter
Hart of Dixie

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Out of My Mind

Aches and pains don't usually keep me from church, but this morning I felt the need to snuggle in with a cup of tea and my Bible alone.

I am reading a book by Bill Johnson called "Strengthen Yourself in the Lord." Something he said prompted me to dig out a couple of notebooks where I've kept promises and Words from God over the last several years.

God has been reminding me that faith does not operate out of my mind, but from my spirit.

I am in need of getting out of my head!

A couple of weeks ago I was playing with my camera at my new vanity mirror. There is something about this specific photo today.

I am dusting off my promises and asking the Holy Spirit to breathe upon them once again.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hope in the Air

Every time I have gone to blog, the blank page on the screen stared at me. I admit that I have let discouragement get the best of me many times this year.
A couple of days ago I said to my husband, " How did I get here?"

I spend double the time in the office, always seem to be behind in everything, haven't touched my card journal box in a month, struggle with eating things I'm allergic to...

We have had 6 months of mostly rain but today this appeared. Maybe I wouldn't have thought it so important (although rainbows are special to me), but two nights ago I was awakened to a song and the Presence of God. I spent two hours singing and praying for my family and I knew I was heard.

Oh my word! I realized when I looked at the photo closer that it is a double rainbow. I had to add it to this post.

There's hope in the air today.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Few Thoughts on Harvest

This is a photo of a field needing to be harvested.

I live in Aroostook County at the top of Maine where our economy's mainstay is potato farming. The constant rain since last May has seriously affected the crop.

I felt sad today when I snapped this photo. The field stands ready to harvest but it is too wet.

I keep praying that the russet crop will withstand the next several days and bring hope.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Violets of March

How I love finding a new author!

A rainy Sunday afternoon, I pulled this book from my pile of novels waiting to be read. That was yesterday afternoon and I could not put it down until I finished it today.

Haunting, beautiful, mesmerizing.

I loved this debut novel by Sarah Jio.