Monday, July 28, 2014

Making the best of it...



We've been sick. Sick with one of those awful summer colds that somehow don't feel quite as bad when acquired during the winter months. I think you know what I mean. Ian and I seem to have gotten it the worst. Lily is on the mend, and, so far, Brad seems to just have a touch of it. Ian is really down with this one, something that is quite unusual for him as he's usually the one whose immune system immediately kicks into high gear while the rest of us suffer for days. So I have an appointment for him at the pediatrician's this morning. It's been five days with a bad sore throat and cough, and while I typically would give it a few more days, we have some big plans for this weekend, and so we're praying for good health and hoping we're all well enough by Saturday.

Yesterday was our church's annual summer picnic. Last year I missed it because I was home with a very ill Lily. This year I missed it because I was home sick with Ian. Ha. Two years in a row missed. Hopefully next year will turn out better as I do really enjoy the summer picnic. Ian was also rather disappointed to have to miss too.

We are still very much enjoying eating from the bounty of our gardens this summer. It is such a blessing to be able to step off our back deck and gather a whole basketful of veggies and herbs for dinner. I love it. We still do not have green beans yet as we had to replant those, and our corn still has a while to go. We're hoping our corn survives the severe storm we had yesterday afternoon. The stalks were completely leveled afterwards, but we're hoping it will lift back up over the next couple of days.

We're just beginning to get ripe cherry tomatoes, much to Lily's delight. She's the designated cherry-tomato-picker in our home. And by choice. But she's always very good to share with everyone else. Unfortunately, our berries seem to be having a sleepy year. That's a big disappointment because we really do try to fill our freezers with berries to be used through the year, but that doesn't seem to be something that will be possible this year.

Not feeling well has forced me to be more intentional in getting rest. I've learned over the past few years, that rest is very important to my health. Gone are the days of pushing and pushing through sicknesses as that only led to prolonged, more serious sicknesses. So these last few days of rest have allowed for some wonderful crochet time, a more than usual amount on these typically very full days of summer. I finished a crocheted bag that I will share with you tomorrow (hopefully) and started a slouchy hat using this pattern from The Velvet Acorn. I love Heidi May's patterns, and have bought and used several of them.

More rain and storms are in the forecast for today which is okay with me. After Ian's doctor's appointment, I'm planning on taking it easy the rest of the day while ingesting copious amounts of steamy hot tea. And, of course, there will have to be some crocheting thrown in there for good measure. And a nap. Yes, most definitely a nap.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Sunday Stitching


A day to rest is even more appreciated after a long, busy week full of errand-running, chauffeuring, and general busyness. Admittedly, I enjoy a slower pace to life. Brad and I attempt to be very judicious in choosing family and children activities so that they do not interrupt a sense of purposeful routine in our lives and the lives of our children. I don't know how some parents spend their evenings (and days) carting their children around from one activity to the next almost every day of the year. Oh, that kind of non-stop schedule, would have me hiding in the closet crying.

So last week's schedule (with the kids taking classes at a local college) was a bit busier than what we're used to around here. By week's end, both the kids and I were worn out and ready for a few days at home.

Yesterday, on our official "day of rest", Lily and I found ourselves on the back deck after church, stitching and crocheting. That was my plan for the entire afternoon. I knew it from the time I had woken that morning. I needed rest. Yarn and hook (or needle) makes me feel rested and at peace. So I spent several hours working on a couple of projects, finishing one and making a commendable amount of progress on the other. Lily worked on a handmade gift she was making for her cousin for his birthday.

I felt refreshed. I felt rested. I felt very happy that I had allowed myself that block of time to do something creative. Rest is good. As a mama, you just have to be intentional about it.



Friday, July 18, 2014

A day to slow down...




The photos are definitely sub-par this week, having been taken with my iPod rather than my regular Nikon. It was that kind of week, though. I may have picked up the Nikon once this week. The rest of the time, it was easier to slip the iPod in my back pocket and go.

Ian and Lily took summer classes at a local-ish college this week. This meant that I had to live the life of a regular school mom - lunches packed, clothes set out, bags ready to go the night before; up early, hurriedly make and eat breakfast, etc. I was reminded again how much I appreciate the perks of homeschooling. I remember telling Brad that I was soooo happy that I didn't have to do this everyday like a lot of moms I know. Kudos to you mamas who have to be organized and ready to send your kiddos out the door at a way-too-early hour each morning. 

I spent a lot of time (much more than usual) driving and in the car this week since the college is about a 45-minute drive from our home. The pros of that were that we were able to listen to quite a bit of the audiobook that we are currently enjoying. We typically don't get large chunks of time to get enthralled in audio books since most of our travel is local. So that was a positive thing.

Another wonderful thing was that while the kids were in their classes, I had the whole morning to sit and knit and enjoy chatting with my friend Claire, whose children were also attending classes. It felt like a bit of a guilty pleasure. Just sitting. And drinking coffee. And talking. And knitting. 

Needless to say, I am a morning person so by the time I got home in the afternoon, I felt pretty much useless. That's how I am. I do my best work first thing in the morning. Lunchtime comes, and my energy levels (and ambition) start to dwindle down. So, I didn't get as much done this week as I would have liked, but the kids had an awesome time and Claire and I had some much-needed mommy time. 

Today, though, oh it feels wonderful to have no plans other than laundry and other house/garden things. I like these kind of days ~ days when I don't have to be anywhere, days when I can concentrate on and enjoy home.


Friday, July 11, 2014

bits and pieces

Fields full of daisies (amongst many other wildflowers) before the fields were cut...



Sleepy morning time... Cuddling up under handmade afghans while slowly waking up...


Snapshots of a little girl's room...


Tending to the many herbs and veggies that are beginning to grace our family table each meal...


Homemade black currant jelly from a new friend...


Projects in progress. There are always several of these going on...


Side porch swinging on summer nights...


Enjoying the clean and uncluttered spaces in our home...


Some of what I've been reading (when I can)...



Spending time out in the pasture with the alpacas. One of the things they are loving these hot, humid days are spray-downs with the hose. It's quite amusing and endearing...


Enjoying our fresh eggs in many forms and fashions on an almost daily basis...


Enjoying browsing my cookbooks for new, light recipes and trying to decide on a few more cookbooks that have caught my eye recently (like this one and this one...


Midi has taken up permanent residency on the back deck during the day. Note to self: leave nothing of worth on the deck (two pairs of flip-flops lost in one week's time.)