Monday, September 1, 2014

Blessed my socks off...

Pushing buttons on the car radio the other day trying to find a station with decent reception when this song came through loud and clear. Blessed my socks off, so I just had to share.

Count your blessings, everyone, and share the Good News with everyone you can...there are a lot of hurting people out there who need it. :)


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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

foraging & summer knitting -- tending my yarn garden!

I shared this new book a while back and am excited that we've discovered many edibles growing on our little homestead! Chokecherry, hazelnut, Himalayan blackberry, Oregon grape, and red huckleberry just to name a few. The kids have been picking and eating the red huckleberries ever since we settled here eight years ago, but the others we didn't know were edible. Well, the hazelnuts we knew, but the others were unknowns. The chokecherries are said to be super sour (and are named appropriately, then, I suppose), but they are supposed to be good when combined with other fruits, so we'll just have to see...

That gorgeous yarn is yarn support from KnitPicks for a scarf/wrap pattern I'm working on -- KPs Hawthorne fingering is so soft! It's hard to set down my knitting these days; my fingers just want to keep knitting stitches!  But the abundance of fresh produce from my garden keeps calling my name. So demanding. :) Today we'll be at the river all afternoon, so I'm looking forward to a break from my canner and many uninterrupted hours of knitting in the shade.

And now for my EXCITING knitting news!! My Pumpkin Patch Beanie pattern is finally available!!

So thankful to KnitPicks for yarn support! They're a terrific company (and local to me, too!).

What's on your needles? What have you been reading?
Thankful to be joining Ginny after several weeks away...   :)


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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hello! :)

Guten morgen :)

As you may have concluded by the silence of my blog, life has been full speed ahead here all month. It's supposed to be HOT today and tomorrow, then cooler and possibly rainy this weekend. What a contrast! August always seems to overwhelm me no matter how I try to plan ahead. Gathering curriculum and lesson planning for the coming school year is always an August priority, but then so is harvesting the garden and canning/freezing/drying all its goodness. ​It's funny how far away fall seems when looking out over the summer months from late spring, but here we are nearing the end of August with just four weeks left before the autumn equinox. Wood still needs to be gathered, split, and stacked; we've got two cords ready but still need at least one more to get us through before warmer days roll back around. And then there's the multitude of projects we set out to accomplish this summer...some completed, some not even started, but several are in that in-between place that demands completion.

That said, I have some knitting to share, but for that, you'll have to wait until tomorrow (so exciting!!). I also need to share about the blog swap packages I sent and received (thank you, Jaimie!!). For today, AnnaLynn and I have onions and corn to harvest, fall lettuce to plant, cucumbers to pick, and green beans to can while our guys are off doing that electrical wiring thing they do so well. :) And to top the day off, our dear, dear friends had their baby late last night, so we're off to pay a visit and meet their #9.

God is good, all the time. Even in the midst of crazy busy, life-filled hot August days. See you tomorrow, Lord willing!

Happy in Dole Valley? Yes, I am. :)


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Saturday, August 9, 2014

creative blog turn :)

I've enjoyed reading the different posts that have been a part of a creative blog hop circulating throughout blogland of late. There is so much creative talent out there, so I am both honored and somewhat hesitant to participate since I don't tend to see myself as someone who is necessarily oh-so-creative. My daughters? They're creative. Me? I'm just not the artsy one. But just exactly what is creativity? The following definition sums it up pretty well:
Creativity is the "ability to produce something new through imaginative skill, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device, or a new artistic object or form. The term generally refers to a richness of ideas and originality of thinking. Psychological studies of highly creative people have shown that many have a strong interest in apparent disorder, contradiction, and imbalance, which seem to be perceived as challenges..." [source]
Realizing that creativity comes differently to different people, I'm embracing my unique creative style! And having been tagged to participate in the creative blog hop by the ever-talented and creative Donna who knits and spins and inspires me with her lovely handwork... here goes!

1. What have been the doings/makings/scribbling's at your desk/making table this week?  My desk? Lot's of QBs invoicing, balancing my checkbook, and bill paying. Not so much fun, and not so creative, but necessary and I love it when the "stack" is all neatly checked off and filed away. Here in Washington we vote by mail; Tuesday was "election day" so we dutifully filled in our ballots that morning and dropped them off in person. I loved that the ladies tending the ballot box at City Hall were both knitting! :)  I miss the days of actually going to the polls and casting my vote...but I digress. Scribblings include writing a postcard as well as an overdue letter, packaging an Etsy order for shipping, and planning a baby shower for a dear friend (her 9th -- she's 44 and amazing).

Artistic doings and makings this week include the feverish knitting of several pumpkin beanies to do a final check of my pattern notes before sending the final version off to KPs (so thankful for test knitters!). I've discovered that I love making up my own knitting designs and have recently begun selling them. It amazes and delights me to see pictures taken of the creations made by others who've used one of my patterns! :)  I've got several patterns that should be available within the next week, Lord willing -- stay tuned! One of my favorite things about knitting is that it can be done just about anywhere. My favorite spot at the moment is in this little corner of our front room in the bay window:

Sitting-at-the-river knitting (another favorite crafting location!) has been washcloths using this pattern, and I've started a special project I can't share until next week after the baby shower.

My primary *making table* has been the island in my kitchen -- a Mexican feast on Friday night, sausage gravy biscuits and scrambled eggs for Saturday morning brunch, and freshly dug potatoes sauteed in coconut oil with green salad and grilled steaks for Saturday's dinner -- we had family here all last weekend, and food was an integral part of our fellowship as it should be. Lots of dishes to do, but that's ok. The Pyrex is new to my kitchen -- a garage sale find that I think is going to bring a homey feel to my kitchen. :)

2. Where are you currently finding your inspiration? Inspiration comes primarily from the people I love and upcoming events such as a baby shower, birthdays, Charlotte (!), Christmas, etc. Ginny's weekly Yarn Along is a great source of inspiration as is Ravelry and Pinterest, although I don't spend very much time on Pinterest any more as it's too easy to get lost there. The ladies who share over at Ginny's are an amazing bunch who I appreciate and admire -- so much talent! Blog reading is another source; there are so, so many creative ladies out there sharing their gifts and inspiring the rest of us.

Of course, I am always inspired every single time I look out my window. I am blessed to live in the most beautiful setting surrounded by towering Douglas Firs, the rolling foothills of the Cascades, and bubbling, winding mountain rivers and streams. The colors, textures, and quiet truly refresh my soul and clear my mind of the urgent allowing creative ideas to flow. :)

3. How important is being creative to you and how do you blend this with your work/life/family balance? I have to admit that being organized is my bent; being creative, as I wrote earlier, hasn't always been so important to me, or at least so I thought. That we are made in the image of our Creator God, the fact is that we cannot help but create! We create because He created. It's taken me a long time to see myself as "creative" since I compared myself to others, including my own daughters, from whom creativity oozes effortlessly. But I've embraced the notion that creativity looks different on each person, including me, so, indeed, being creative is a necessary part of my life. And thankfully, I've learned and accepted that creativity isn't limited to artsy pursuits. :)

Balance is easy as my children are older; I'm not yet an empty-nester, although the day is coming... I knit while the kids or Dan reads aloud, and I knit while listening to books on tape or during lectures (when I suppose I should be taking notes). The primary stumbling block I face is that we live on acreage that demands time -- time that I love giving which you know if you've been on this journey with us very long. :) The other is that we own and operate a home/family-based electrical contracting business that requires more of my time than I'd like, but I'm not complaining since I love that we're building something together as a family. 

Thanks so much, Donna! Now it's my turn to tag two creative ladies, so Jessica and Maria - you're up! I sure do hope you'll join in. :)

**Update -- I was sad to see that Maria is closing her blog...will miss her!


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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

in the waiting room...

"10 things to do in a waiting room" is this week's 10 on Tuesday assignment. While some might view waiting rooms as wastelands of boredom, I like to take advantage of "wait time" for productivity...
  1. menu plan/review my shopping list.
  2. read a chapter in my current book.
  3. read a magazine (like Prevention, Mother Earth News, Table Talk, Every Thought Captive, Cook's, or Mollie Makes)
  4. sudoku.
  5. crochet or knit a washcloth  (sometimes the wait is so long an entire washcloth can be completed!)
  6. people watch...and pray! Sometimes you can see the pain in their eyes and they never even know they're being covered in prayer.
  7. clean out my purse/wallet.
  8. review my calendar/agenda and make to-do lists.
  9. delete text messages...out of shear boredom, because sometimes I run out of productive things to do.
  10. but the most fun thing I've ever done in a waiting room is knit with Charlotte :)
The kids had dental appointments just a couple weeks ago, so this is fresh in my memory. I know that many moms appreciate it, but it bugs me that they show cartoons in the waiting room to keep kids occupied. They even show videos on a screen attached to the foot end of the dentist chair -- without audio! The ability to occupy one's mind/one's self without staring at a screen seems to be a dying art. Not that screen time is all bad; I am staring at one as I type...but still. :)  Thoughts?  How do you pass the time while waiting for appointments?

Joining Carole.


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