31 December 2012


It's time to say goodbye to 2012.  There was bad that I will not miss, but there was good that was so wonderful it almost made up for the bad.  Thinking back over the year and about how I wanted to share it here, I decided that instead of looking back, I want to talk about what I want to welcome in 2013.  Since I can't show pictures from the future, I'm using images of the past to help show what I want to have more of in 2013.

So, in the coming year - 2013, I want to invite in...

 more numbers like this and better health...

more dirt from the garden on my hands and under my nails ...

more of my own, homegrown vegetables...

more time knitting, with cute things to show for it...

more time spent here - weeding, planting, growing...

more beautiful sunsets...

more time creating, letting myself grow into my art...

more trips, meeting new people, seeing new places and doing new things...

more flowers...

 more snuggles with this cute face and his brother and sister (my nephews and niece)

and especially more whimsy and fun!

And of course, more time sharing here, in this space.

Instead of choosing one word for the coming year, I want to invite in an excess of words, I want to use as many as I can to live my life.  Despite the pain, I will have a good, full life.

Wishing you all the best for a magical, prosperous 2013.
love & blessings

21 December 2012

Blessed Solstice

Wishing you all a most magical solstice day.  May the coming year bring you peace, joy and love.

love & blessings

ps...I received a perfect solstice gift today...SNOW.  Really it was just a few flakes, but I am very grateful for each one.  I am also grateful for each of you dear readers.  ♥

17 December 2012

a grey day

I stepped outside to the porch this afternoon and took the above photo.  My lights are on a timer, set to come on at dusk and turn off at dawn.  It was about 4:30 when I saw the lights come on through the window.  It seemed appropriate for today.  For the last several days, actually.  Grey skies...rain...

My heart breaks for the families and friends of those affected by the tragedy in Connecticut.  One of my Facebook friends made the comment that "you cannot rationalize an irrational act".  These have been the only words that have made sense to me.

There has been much activity in my little cottage over the last couple of weeks.  I got it into my head that I couldn't stand the chaos anymore.  So, I went to work.  Every room except one, the laundry, has been cleaned top to bottom and organized as much as possible.  I still have some work to do, tubs in the attic that need to be sorted out.  I'm at my comfort point now, though.  I can look around my home and be comfortable.  I can go into my studio and find my tools easily, sit down at the work table and create.  It has made me very happy.  I even hosted a little dinner party this past weekend.  Just myself, my mum and a friend.  But it was so lovely to have people over and not be embarrassed about the mess.

There has been knitting progress.  I made my first hat.  It didn't turn out exactly as it should, but it turned out cute enough for me.  I was very pleased with it.  I'm planning to make some to give as gifts, probably for next year, as this year has rushed away from me.  This is the year of homemade treats.  I'll be making more goodies this week.  I'm already planning homemade gifts for next year - mostly knitted things, I think.

I finished a scarf for a sweet little boy I know and am working on one for his adorable little sister (below).  She loves color and I thought this yarn would be cute for her.  Now I must get busy working on it so I have it done in time.  She also has a birthday this week and I must get out and shop for something small for her.  I have a few more items to get for this years presents and then I'm done.  I've tried to stay out of the big box stores and shop local as often as possible.

I've missed being here.  I've missed reading the blogs of so many of you.  It is funny to me how many posts I write in my head while I'm cleaning or sorting or baking.  But when I come to the computer and start to write...my mind goes blank. 

I've just realized while sitting here that I never finished sharing about my October adventure.  I will do that soon.  (I promise I'll try.)

I hope that you are all doing well.  Thanks for reading and hanging in there with me.  This time of year is always difficult for me and well...you know.


09 November 2012

back around again...

I feel like I'm riding a roller coaster again.  It's been more years than I care to think about that I've been on a real roller coaster.  But my emotions have always been of the up and down variety.  This week, they seem to be sliding down.  I guess the euphoria of my adventure has worn off and it is back to the same old stuff.  Same feelings, same places, same routines.

I've taken down my Halloween decor and left up the autumn.  It's just too early for winter holidays, yet.  I did put together a cute little lighted tree that I purchased after the holidays last year.  There were two in the pack and one will go outside my front door eventually.  For now, the one by my ancestor altar will do.  That and working on this scarf is all I've had the energy to do. 

There are dishes that need to be scrubbed, floors to sweep, laundry to wash and the last of the tomatoes to put up.  Homework that needs to be completed for an online art course I signed up for.  But all I can seem to do is curl up on the sofa, knit a few stitches and cry at old episodes of The Walton's. 

I wish I could hold onto the feelings I had while I was away.  The feelings I had while meeting new people and experiencing new things.  I know part of this is that I've reached that point where I can't fight off the headaches, can't pretend they aren't there.   Part of it is amazement.  There has been more death in the last 7 weeks than I have ever seen at once.  10 people.  Ten people that I either knew well or knew a member of their family.  It is overwhelming to me right now.  Maybe getting my mojo back has made me a little more susceptible to emotion.  I don't know.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to take a ride to Lynchburg to watch my cousin in a play.  Now there is a funeral to consider.  I don't know which I'll be doing, but I'll be doing something other than sitting on this couch.

I hope you are doing well and I promise to finish the tale of my adventure soon.

love & blessings

06 November 2012

I've missed so much...

I missed Vanessa's Halloween Party.  I missed Halloween.  I missed All Saints Day, All Soul's Day and Dia de los Muertos.  I feel like I've missed so much!  Oh, but what I found...

 (the Natural Bridge - in Virginia - an amazing force of nature millions and millions of years old)

 (ghosts of the past-if you look closely at the above photo, you might be surprised by what you see)
  (a little Tolkien carved in stone  - I literally stumbled on to this, walked past it twice before i saw it)

 I took a giant leap outside of my comfort zone.  I met new, wonderful, fantabulous people and one lovely lady whose blog I've read for years and have wanted to meet in person.  I ate delicious, healthy, organic food.  I learned to create things I have never created before.  It. Was. Perfect! 

I have so much to share with you about my trip.  And I will, soon, I promise.  I'm getting settled back in after getting home 3 days later than planned.  I'm trying not to lose my creative mojo or my good mood.  I have so, so many more pictures to share.  I'm thinking of making a power point of the trip.  (Do people even do that anymore?)  :-)

I found so very much on this trip.  From the moment I signed up back in February, I began to find things.  But the most important thing I found - was myself.  My happy, creative, inspired, lovely self. 

How have you been?

love & blessings

21 October 2012


 First, I'd like to say thank you to everyone that left a comment or messaged me about my last post.  Things were better the next day and I have been very conscious of what mistakes I made and not making them again.  Without going into detail about the situation, what it all boils down to is habits.  Bad habits, in this case.

Thinking about the situation and trying to find a fix for it led me to much contemplation about how our habits develop and how we can change them.  When I have a bad habit that I need to deal with, I find the best way is to replace the bad habit with a good habit.  To consciously focus on replacing the negative with a positive.  It isn't easy, that is for certain.  But it is something that can be accomplished. 

There is a blog that I follow that I just love.  It is called "habit" and can be found here.  Give it a look, you may find you like it too.

I'd been meaning to post early in the week, to let everyone know I was fine, that things were better.  And they were.  Well, then they weren't.  This past Monday morning I received word that a good friend had died suddenly during the early morning hours.  It was amazingly shocking.  She was a lovely friend to my mum and I had spent a lot of time with her and we'd become friends as well.  She had such an amazing eye for decorating, color, etc.  She was an artist of the home.  A few weeks ago, she gave me a painting that she didn't want anymore.  When I look at this painting I will always she her beautiful smile.  That afternoon we walked to her home (she lived in the same neighborhood with my mum) and as I was walking past the side of her home, I glanced down and saw a bright red feather lying there.  I swear she saw us coming and left that feather there just for me.  She was just like that feather - so I collected it and it is now on my ancestor altar along with the program from her service.  I will soon print out a photo of her and place it there as well.  It is hard watching my mum and her friends hurting so over their close friends passing.  It will take a long time for this to get easier. 

Anywho, it will probably be quiet here for the next week or so.  I was to participate in the Halloween Party that Vanessa is hosting but had to back out.  I'm going on an adventure Thursday and am so looking forward to it.  I promise to return with lots of photos and stories to share.  Maybe even some new art! 

Have a wonderfully magical week and I'll see you soon!


ps...Sorry for no photos in today's post.

pps...Go here and read the article.  It is amazing!  It will change your life, if you let it.  I love the concept and started it today.  Believe it or not, practicing this helped me get through a very difficult day, a little bit easier.  It will take some time to be better at it, but it is wondrous!  Thanks to the fantastic Lesley Riley who shared it on her Facebook page yesterday!

12 October 2012


have you ever made a mistake?  a mistake that felt so devastating at the time that all you could do was hide in a dark corner and cry?  the pain so intense that it is smothering?  an outlet must be found,  something/anything that will distract you or cover the pain you feel?  even if the distraction is another mistake, a problem in and of itself...

yesterday was one of those days.  it started out bad but seemed to be getting better.  then - BAM! 
a hard public punch to the gut, a slap in the face.  i kept myself together until i arrived home.  the moment i crossed the threshold, i broke down.  blinds were drawn, doors closed.  too much...too much pain, too much embarrassment.   too many thoughts - "stupid!  why do you keep letting this happen?" " how much of a moron can you be?"

i really thought that was it...the final straw, so to speak. 

i hid the rest of the night - kept to myself - no phone, no internet

this morning, i sucked it up and looked for a way to fix it.  by the end of the day, it was taken care of

i hate how it was resolved, but there wasn't another option

i guess i'll come out of my corner now

try to figure out how to make certain i never make this mistake again.

i can do that,  be more careful, more aware.
i have to...


ps...due to the big mistake i won't be participating in the Halloween Party hosted by A Fanciful Twist.  i hope you'll take a gander at Vanessa's party.  i know it will be fab!  i will visit those who do host their own party.  i'm just going to think of it as having more time to plan for next year.  :-/

pps...i can't stop listening to this song (sorry bout the adverts)...and this one.  i know... i'm weird.  i don't mind.

06 October 2012

a bit of this and that...

Hellooo!  I hope this finds you all doing well.  It is really just a little update post, not much going on.  Or rather a lot that isn't getting anywhere right now.  Do you like my top photo?  I went to edit it to add the  copyright info and found that picmonkey has their Halloween tools available.  Very cute stuff... so I just started playing.  Anywhoo...those are some beautiful mums I picked up and a few new pumpkins that I found all at my local Farmer's Market.  I love that place.

I've been itching to get my hands in yarn again and I'd recently found two patterns I really wanted to work on.  One is a scarf for a sweet boy I know.  His favorite colors are red and blue so I figure I'll give it a go.  (Of course I went to start on it earlier and found I don't have the right size needles, so I'll hit the local yarn shop later today and pick some up.)  I also got yarn for what looks like a super easy hat.  I'm hoping it is as once I make it if it goes well that may become what I give as Yule/X-mas gifts this year.  The rainbow hued one on top is just cause it was so pretty and such neat looking yarn.  Who knows what that will be used for...

And our last picture shows the progress I made this week on installing a new flower bed in my yard.  I started out cleaning up the one beside the drive (which is all ivy and was taking over the driveway).  Then I started working my way to the back along the fence to add the new bed.  I got about half done before my body just gave out.  I think I worked for about 6 hours and was on a double dose of pain meds at the time.  I tried to go out the next day to finish up, but I had no strength in my hands and could barely stand to bend over, much less try to dig out the grass and weeds.  When this bed is finished I'll move my lone rose bush from in front of the house (where it doesn't get enough sun) to the middle of the new bed.  Eventually it will be filled with peonies, roses and all sorts of flowers.  I hope to get it finished up next week.

I'm in full planning mode for all the events coming up this month.  I will be attending the Red Thread Retreat at the end of the month so have been collecting supplies that I need for that.  I also signed up for another art course.  This one, also with Lesley Riley, looks like just what I need to get me going and I'm very excited about it.  And, of course, there is the fantastically magical Halloween Party hosted by the lovely and talented Miss Vanessa of A Fanciful Twist

Do you think that is enough fun for one month?  Oh wait... I forgot about the actual Halloween!  I don't have plans for that night, except to give out candy to any neighborhood trick or treaters that stop by.  Hopefully I'll have quite a few so that I don't get stuck with lots of leftover candy. 

Well, I'm off to start that hat - since I can't sleep, I might as well be productive, right?

love & blessings

01 October 2012

Let's go to a party...

Can you feel that?  That tingle in the air, the crisp breeze that whispers of wizardry.  It's time for a party. 

Time to take a trip to A Fanciful Twist and see what magic Vanessa will conjure up for us.  I can't wait for the party and hope that you can join us.

love & blessings

30 September 2012

all caught up...

I did it!  I finally (thanks to a few sleepless night - with no thanks to Facebook games) am caught up on my blog reading!  So now that I'm all caught up with you, let's talk about me!  ha ha!  (sorry - lack of sleep induced babbling may follow.)

Today it at last feels like autumn.  Right after Mabon we had another heat wave come through and take the temps up into the mid to high 80s.  Today it is 62 and has been raining off and on (mostly on) since last night.  I love it!  I've been piddling around the house today, doing this and that and a little laundry. 


I wrote the above text late yesterday afternoon.  I planned to come back and finish off the post but ended up going to bed instead.  Reading it, I'm amazed at the difference in moods in a little over 12 hours.  I was pretty giddy yesterday (despite the dreary, wet day) and today, with the sun out and the birds singing, all I want is to crawl back in bed and hide under the covers.

What makes our moods shift so?  What makes us go from happy to sad, or vice versa, in the blink of an eye?  Things to ponder...

I had so much I wanted to share yesterday - but it is all gone from my head now.  Perhaps it will come to me later.  Right now, there is a roast in the ice box that has had my name on it for several days but kept getting interrupted and not getting to cook it up.  I'm trying a new to me recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  I'll let you know how it goes. 


23 September 2012

Hi...remember me?

So yes, I've been away.  I can't believe how long it's been since I've even been in blog-land.  Last I remember I was planning a post at the beginning of September about the month of August and what it means to me.  And here it is...almost the END of September.

There have been many things that have kept me away.  Various issues with medicines, a health issue for my mum and some just general things that aren't any excuse for neglecting my friends in blog-land.  Not that I think you all can't live without me.  ;-)      But it is hard to explain what some of you mean to me - reading about your lives and your creativity.  You help me to keep going, did you know that?  Well, it's true.

So, I'm just dropping in quickly with a few words and a few pictures to say hello, I'm still here and I'll be here.  So, hello autumn, welcome back.  And for those friends I have who live on the other side of the globe, enjoy your spring.  :-)

I've lots of catching up to do.  Take care of yourselves.


PS...don't take a single moment for granted.  that is something I'm trying to learn and remember. 

PPS...love yourself for who you are, even if you don't always like what you see in the mirror (or in the lens of a camera).

16 August 2012

more random ramblings...

 When I mowed the back yard on Monday, this is what I found.  Isn't it beautiful?  I planted this dahlia two springs ago.  It is the only one I have and I always forget how late it blooms, so I forget I have it.  I found at least three buds on it.  I keep going out every day to see how it is doing.

 This was dinner tonight.  I made biscuits and had them with butter and peach jam.  I went the easy way and made them with Bisquick but they were pretty good.  The jam is my first attempt at peach freezer jam.  I was very worried, but it was so delicious!  I need loaf bread so I can have a peanut butter and peach jam sandwich.  :-)

Getting back into the blogging habit is harder than I thought it would be.  I think of things that I want to post about, but never at times that I can get to the computer.  Then I want to have nice photos and have become addicted to editing them first and putting on these cute borders.  It takes time, but it's fun.  I'll get there.  I am doing better with keeping up with my blog roll, so that is something.

August is now half over and September (and Autumn) are on their way.  I've been able to turn off the A/C and tolerate the temperature during the day.  At night the temps are dropping to the low 60's, so it is perfect open window sleeping for me.  I'm hoping for another trip to the mountain house soon. 

I'm starting to get into the mood for Autumn.  I'll start changing out my decor for fall in September.  Meanwhile, it is time to plan the fall garden.  The beans are just about done producing, so I'll need to pull them out soon and plant something else.  Well, I'm off.  I hope you are all having a lovely week.


11 August 2012

saturday ramblings

Hello there!  It's good to come back after all the tea party madness.  Thank you very much to everyone who stopped by.  That was my first time participating in one of Miss Vanessa's soiree's and I must say I had soooo much fun!   If you'll notice in the above picture, I managed to make my way to a big box book shop earlier this week and picked up a few things.  The magazine has a feature on Miss Vanessa and I was thrilled to find a copy.  One of the things that I realized while prepping for the Mad Tea Party was that I have never actually read Lewis Carroll's books. (I've seen both the Disney animated movie and Tim Burton's version.) So, I picked up a copy.  I will be even more prepared for next year's party.

 Check out what a good friend presented me with this week.  Yes, that it is...my very own Lily Munster doll!  Isn't it just fab!!  I love it!!  We have this little joke between us.  I'm Lily and she's Morticia (Addams - from the Addams Family).  I can't wait to add her to my collection.

 Dinner tonight.

 A fresh bell pepper from the garden, stuffed with chicken & rice w/mushrooms that I had leftover.  I like being able to mix something new from leftovers.  This was delicious!

Pumpkin blossoms on the vine.  I so, so hope these will turn into little pumpkins.

Last, but certainly not least, my san marzano tomatoes.  I cannot wait to taste them.  If they turn out to be half as good as I'm expecting, then I will order seeds early as opposed to trying starters.  I went through four starter plants and this is the only one that survived.

If you've been with me for a while, you may remember that August is not my favorite month of the year.  August means many things to me.  Heat, start of school (the busiest month in my previous employ).  On top of being unbearably hot (to me anyway), bad things seem to always happen in August.  I am so happy that the month is already almost half over.  I am very hopeful to make it through this month without anything bad happening.  There are a few good things about August and as I'm trying very hard to be grateful and recognize the good - instead of dwelling on the bad - August means that fall is on the way and of course, football.  :-)

I need to get started on my fall garden planting.  I need to decide what to plant, maybe some kale (for making soup) and collards (because I love, love, love collard greens).  Oh, and garlic...lots of garlic.  Do you have a garden?  What do you plant in the fall?  I would love some suggestions. 

I just wanted to pop in for a brief ramble.  I've laundry in the dryer and dishes that won't wash themselves.  I hope that you are having a marvelous weekend.  I really am going to try to be around more on here and also stopping by your way.  I'll give a wave when I can.


ps...does anyone who uses blogger know how to get those thin black frames off the pictures?  i've hunted through the settings and just can't find anything.  if you know, please drop me a line.  thanks!

28 July 2012

A Mad Tea Party

Oh!  Hello, there!  Welcome!  Welcome to my first Mad Tea Party!  I am soooo happy that you could join me.  I do hope that you will have a fantabulous time!

Shall we go in and find the party?  Well, look at that!  I think that is a rabbit on that table.  Let's go and see, hmm?


It is so bright in there!  I wonder what that is...

There must be something going on in that room.  Let's head on in.  Hmm, the door seems to be locked.  I guess we need a key.

What magical looking keys!  Let's try one of these and see if it will work...

I think it is turning!  Yes!  Yes, it is! 

It worked!  The door is opening!  Look at that!

I can feel the magic flowing out of that room. Can you feel it?
We've found the party!  Let's go in!

We aren't the first to arrive, it looks like there are some guests already.  One very important guest!
The Queen of Hearts is here.  Apparently her croquet mallet ran off and as she was chasing it down she stumbled upon the party.  She's never one to pass up treats, you know.  She looks lovely, if a bit...err...shorter than the last time I saw her. 
She must have found a special treat!  Ha Ha Ha!  Oh, I'm feeling funny!  Wait...is the room shrinking?  Oh no!  I must have partaken of some of the bigger potion by mistake!  Oh dear!

 Well, it is a nice view... 

 I say, that hat looks familiar!  The Mad Hatter must have already been here and he brought a furry friend!  I wonder why he left his hat behind.

Oh look at those lovely chocolates.  Chocolate is one of my favorites, don't you know.  Can I pass you one... or two?
We mustn't forget to put on our party hats.  And let's get a cup of tea?

 So many wonderful treats to try.  Oh, I'm feeling funny again! 
 Hmm... look at that, is that punch?  I think I might have some of that.  It is rather hot outside.

 Look at the grin on this cat!  He must be the Cheshire Cat's cousin.  I'd say hello, but he appears to be sleeping.  Oh dear... I think I'm shrinking!  Don't drink the punch!

 Does this rabbit look hungry to you?  I promise, Mr. Rabbit, I would not make a good meal!  I'll just take this little cake with me and run, before Mr. Rabbit gets a good look. Lovely seeing you!

I hope you have had a fun time here at my little version of The Mad Tea Party.  I'm so pleased you could visit.  I hope that you will come visit me again soon.  Please don't forget to visit the Hostess with the Most-est, Miss Vanessa over at A Fanciful Twist.
 Take a treat for later!  Just be careful of the punch!  :-)

love & blessings