Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Blue Hour In Winter

As I drew the curtains closed this evening, I saw that it was The Blue Hour.

Venus was shining so beautifully, so I decided to snap a few photos.

Our winter has been mild overall, with a few patches of cold weather.  I think spring is actually going to be early this year, but I do hope we don't get a late hard freeze after this mild weather, so we do not lose the blossoms an fruit trees, which is what happened last year to the local cherry trees.

We do love our local orchards full of wonderful cherries, peaches, and apples.

Unexpected Journey

Hi friends!

I hope you have a lovely Valentine's Day.  I'm spending the day with my husband.  I left cards and treats for my kids to find when they wake up!

Our dinner and a movie was a big success last night.  

Tim and I are headed to Florida, to stay a few days with his mom.  This was a planned trip for him but not for me.  It will be a whirlwind trip, but a necessary one.

When we return, Isla is coming for a visit along with her mama and daddy.  So exciting!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mentoring Monday: Quotes By Sally Clarkson

"I have blown it many times with my children, but even these mistakes have helped me to mature and depend on God more than I would have without my parenting responsibilities. As I walk honestly before God, with my children watching, they will learn how to have a real relationship with him as well. As they see me apologize to them and pray in front of them to ask for God’s forgiveness in my own life, my children will learn that God is a God of grace who forgives me and guides me.” p. 87, The Mission of Motherhood

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Dinner and A Movie

On Monday we are having dinner and a movie at church for couples.

We have a small church and will be having only 6 couples attending.  I'm going to set up 3 round tables and have two couples at each table.  

My thinking (at the great suggestion of my husband) is that each table can be set up so that everyone can see the movie easily.

I am planning white tablecloths, low candles, flowers, pretty dishes and napkins.  We'll be eating chicken, spinach salad, fruit and desserts.  We'll probably have sparkling juice, too.

The movie is the 1938 Academy Award winning, "You Can't Take It With You" starring Jimmy Stewart, Jean Arthur, and Lionel Barrymore.  It was directed by Frank Capra.  Its such a good movie!

I'll be sure to take photos.

That's what I'm working on this weekend.  What are you up to?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Giving New Life To An Old Clock

This clock has been a part of our lives for over 20 years.

It used to keep time, and chime prettily.  It wasn't our first choice for a clock.  Our first choice was one I loved and when we moved to Pennsylvania 23 years ago, it got damaged.  It was still under warranty, but as the way it goes sometimes, they no longer sold 'our' clock anymore.  This one above was the only option to replace it.  So we took it but I never loved it.  After it stopped working, we never changed out the works, because I didn't care.

 It occurred to me recently that I could paint it and even if we didn't replace the works, it would look better - nice even, and fit in our decor.  I used Annie Sloan chalk paint in Old Ochre.

We are happy with it, though it needs a bit of tightening up with the wood.  We are thinking of getting the works replaced now, too.

What do you think?  Thumbs up or thumbs down?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Mentoring: Self Care

As women we have many responsibilities - home, marriage, children, work, school, caring for parents.  The weight of all we have to do - even when it is all good things and there are no crises - can overwhelm us.

It's important to take care of yourself, but usually women do for everyone else and put themselves last.  There are stages in our lives where the care of others is a priority, but we must learn to carve out time for ourselves, in order to sustain the ability to care for others.

What might that look like?

When my children we all small, I stayed up late.  It was a toss up - sleep or time for myself.  I chose time for myself.  I would watch a movie or read, take a long bath.  I always would light candles  or at least make sure there was soft lighting.  I needed peace and beauty.

I usually didn't do work - though I might fold laundry if I was watching a movie. Mostly this time was for me to recharge.  To have time to think my own thoughts, without interruption.

This is especially important for someone who is raising a special needs child, or caring for an elderly parent.  We may not be able to get out of the house, but we can make space in our lives and our home for a place of refreshment.

Maybe its a chair by a window with a little table, where you can drink a cup of tea or coffee and read, or listen to a podcast or watch the birds at the bird feeders outside.

We need to think about what fills us up, and encourages us.  Perhaps for you it is the chance to be creative, without lots of little hands getting into your 'stuff.'  Maybe its the chance to get out for lunch with a friend.

I have a dear friend with many children, who can't get away from home often, so she created a little space in her bedroom, with two comfy chairs and a table between them. She has pretty pictures and things that speak beauty to her and she invites a friend to come one evening a week for tea and conversation.  When I went we talked about music, decorating, our kids (who are married to each other).  We drank tea, shared our hearts and had a wonderful time. She has found a way to have a fun time with her friends, and to fill her soul.

Maybe its a chance for the kids to sleepover at your parents house for one night and letting you sleep in, and just do whatever you want for the day.

Perhaps a friend of the family, would come for a visit with your elderly parent, and while they have a good time together, you can slip out for a breather.  Sometimes we think we need big chunks of time away, and that may be needed in certain situations, but I think that small bits of time add up, too, and may be easier to come by.

I know I don't know all the details of your lives.  I don't even know what my needs may be in a year from now, as our lives and circumstances change.  But I've learned to take time, even just an hour or two, to refresh and encourage my spirit.  

We women are needed, but lets make sure we are caring for ourselves - being in the word, eating well, reading, listening to music - so that we can continue to love and care for those whom the Lord has placed into our lives.

What are some ways that you practice self care?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Home Keeping: Replacing Towels

Recently, I've noticed the lack of decent towels in the house.  It has snuck up on me.  We've had most of our towels for many years, and since they were still in okay shape we used them.

Most of us now have a particular towel we use for showers and the other towels are 'extras', used by those without a particular towel or guests.  Most of these 'extras' will be moving into the rag box.

We seem to have a ton of hand towels, many stained.  I've often wondered how towels, that are to dry hands that have been WASHED, can get stained.  Badly.  Can anyone explain that to me?

For a while I had been talking about getting all white towels.  They look so great when you stay in a nice hotel or resort, don't they?  But the reality, at least for us here at the cottage, is that they would only be nice for a few weeks.

When I mentioned that to Tim last week, he said, "Why don't you just buy a different color?"  It was like an epiphany!  Seriously.  I was married to the idea of all white towels, until he said that.  Now I feel the freedom to get something different! Lol!

So now the big question is what color?  I thought of all navy.  I love that color and it wouldn't show a stain very easily.  Tim says I should just buy any colors that I like.  I do LOVE color, but I wasn't sure that I wanted the towels to look like the circus was in town.  

When we had all six kids living here, we did have different color towels for each kid.  That was helpful on many levels, especially for training little ones to make sure they hang up their towels to dry! It was easy to see who had forgotten to hang up their towel!

I think I'm going to enjoy the process of buying new towels, hand towels, and wash cloths.  We are in serious need of wash cloths.

What do you do at your house?  All one color?  Different colors?  Do you have different towel colors for different bathrooms?