24 November 2016

Blessed Thanksgiving!

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to thy name, O Most High;
to declare thy steadfast love in the morning,
and thy faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
For thou, O Lord, has made me glad by thy work;
at the works of they hands I sing for joy.
Psalm 92:1-4

So lovely to look back upon this year and to see the many blessings that have been given to me and to find so many things to be thankful for!

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Whether it is the beauty of the world around us,

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Or watching the garden grow and bloom,

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Or witnessing the season's changing glory,

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Sunset on Cape Cod
This world is a constant reminder to us that the hand of God is ever present.

Nauset Beach
I've been blessed this year to witness the beauty of two coasts.  The Atlantic...

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and the Pacific;

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To experience the vastness of the plains

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from the Badlands of South Dakota

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to the peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

2016.05.11JessieGraduation05 This year saw the graduation from college of my daughter! An enormous accomplishment for her!

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I've been blessed with time to paint...

Week 1 of Daily Stitching.
and time to stitch!

And there has been the move to a job closer to home, freeing up many hours in the day and decreasing my stress levels enormously! So many things to be thankful for!

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But most precious of all has been the time spent with those I love.  Catching up with precious relatives that we don't get to see often,

Friends!          Gerry & Lisa
And lovely time spent with dear friends! (and many more who aren't pictured here!)

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One of my most favorite things has been gatherings at home with my kids.  Few things make me happier than to have them all gathered around the table together and listening to their friendly banter, laughter and conversation!  What a joy to have a family that enjoys spending time together!

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And this year, the special blessing and amazing gift of two precious granddaughters!  So incredible!

Happy the people to whom such blessings fall!
Happy the people whose God is the Lord!
Psalm 144:15

Wishing you and yours a Blessed Thanksgiving!  

21 November 2016

Daily Stitching

Daily Stitching - Nov.17.2016
I've been working a lot lately.  What days I've had off have been filled with a long list of chores and items to complete.  I've been missing my time with the needle, so I picked up a scrap of linen and some silk bits and stitched these autumn leaves and snowflakes ~ a tribute to the season's first snow, in the short amount of time I had before work one evening.  

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The next evening, I stitched the aspen trees outside my window.  

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Then it was the quickly falling maple leaves on the tree outside the kitchen window.  All these stitched in an hour or so, before heading out the door to work.  

Daily Stitching - Nov.20.2016
Sunday was my day off, a bit more time, so I stitched one of the Black Eyed Juncos that showed up with the snow this week.  Winter must really be here since they have arrived!  

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Though I work again tonight, I had to be up early for a work meeting, and try as I might, going back to sleep just wasn't going to happen.  Perfect opportunity to spend a bit more time stitching.  One of the squirrels searching for fallen seed under the bird feeders. 

It's becoming a sort of nature/seasonal journal in thread on linen with a bit of silk.  They are small, only about 3x4", edges left raw.  What will I do with them?  No idea just yet, but for now, I plan of keeping them all together and see where they take me! 

I've been posting them on Instagram, Facebook and Flickr.  It's good to be playing with needle and thread.  How long will these daily stitchings last?  I have have no idea.  As long as I have energy and time for them.  And ideas.  For a while, I sketched and/or painted daily.  Then I did a photo-a-day project that lasted a few months.  Now it's Daily Stitching.  



17 November 2016

November Roses

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What a treat to be able to pick roses into mid-November!  Not just a blossom or two, but a lovely large bouquet of them!  

Last year, the roses made it into the first week of November, but this year, without a hard freeze yet, they have continued to blossom through today.  With our first hard freeze and snow expected tonight, I opted to bring these beauties inside to enjoy for a few more days.  

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So glorious!  

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Had I not turned the water off back in mid October, I'm sure there would be even more blossoms! 

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The last of the leaves are changing and falling.  Spectacular colors!  Son Zach helped me bag up the huge mound of leaves that I had raked up.  There will be more, but the bulk of the job is done.  

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As I looked through other parts of the garden, I was amazed to see Hollyhocks still blooming!  I've never had them last beyond September before!  

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The Blanket Flowers still bloom

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as well as a last few petunias.  

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The berries on the Spindle bush still hang in a glorious riot of color!  Such abundance of them this year!  

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Thomas enjoying the autumn sunshine through the window.  

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I've spent my days off this week finishing up our family cookbook and taking a few last photos for it. So good to have this huge project complete at last!  

One of my projects for this coming year is to resize some of those loved recipes into smaller amounts more appropriate for one person.  I so rarely cook for 6 or more, and thats what most of our recipes were for.  For me, that is enough food for two weeks since one portion usually equals two for me!        In the past I've tried freezing the extras, but I learned that once it goes into the freezer, it tends to stay there until it is past its prime and ends up getting discarded. These Sesame Noodles were my first go at resizing a recipe.   It made two "me" sized portions, which is about how long I like to eat leftovers!  Perfect!

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I've had a wee bit of time to get into the stitching studio this week as well.  Working on finishing up some projects, so nothing new to share at this point.  But I've loved the view out into the garden from where I sit.  The only souvenir that I brought home from my trip to California was this little Goldfish Chime from the gift shop at the Japanese Garden.  So sweet and a perfect complement to the roses blooming outside in the garden.  

As I finish writing this post, I look out the window and the first tiny snowflakes begin to fall.  The seasons change.  I'm so grateful to have a bouquet of lovely roses to ease the change.  And as I ponder the changing season, this verse comes to mind: 

The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand for ever. 
Isaiah 40:7

09 November 2016

Searching for Peace

On this morning following an historic election, my heart is sore and troubled.  Many are rejoicing, while many of us are aghast.  Our country faces a difficult road ahead in the coming weeks, months and years.  The division amongst our citizens seems unfathomable, unbridgeable.  

Then, God reminds me that, though what I see seems overwhelming and impossible, he sees a bigger picture, one that at this moment in time, I cannot understand.  But He is at work, He is all powerful, all knowing.  In Him -  Lord God of all, maker of heaven and earth - will I trust.  

Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Put not your trust in princes,
   in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
   on that very day his plans perish.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
   whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made heaven and earth,
   the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
   who executes justice of the oppressed,
   who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
   the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the sojourners;
   he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
   but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever,
   your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!


The Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

03 November 2016

Autumn in the Garden


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On Halloween, I had time for a look around the yard and gardens.  It has been an exceptionally mild autumn, without a true hard freeze yet, though we have had very light frost on just a couple of mornings.  Things have been slowly progressing through the season and the leaves have been beautiful.  The aspen trees lost their leaves over a week ago, but the burning bush and the crabapple trees still sport lovely changing leaves!  

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Love the warm colors of the landscape.  I struggle with taking care of my yard due to the size of it at times, but it is lovely and I'm so grateful to have this peaceful oasis in the midst of the city!

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Crabapple fruits hang like jewels upon the branches.

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The Autumn Sedum heads have faded to a lovely russet and a mum still blooms even at this late date!

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Leaves on the Rugosa Rose have turned an astonishing variety of colors!

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The Spindle bush, or Bishops Cap shrub is laden with fuchsia and orange fruits.  Nondescript the rest of the year, it is spectacular in this season of change! 

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Around the flower beds, a few petunias are still blooming as they creep out from underneath the fallen leaves.

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The Coral Bells are sporting scarlet leaves, one by one.

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In the grass, a dandelion spreads it's glory ~ much to my neighbor's chagrin, I am sure.  But I do love the variety of birds and bees that frequent my yard as a result of my not laying a thick coating of pesticides and herbicides down.  

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There are still ladybugs to be found in the flower garden.

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And Whirling Butterflies (Guara) still blooms.

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While other flowers such as these dahlias have faded away to a rustic end.

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Blanket flower still blooms

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As do the cosmos

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and much to my delight, the hollyhocks!

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But what amazes me most is how many roses are still blooming, though they gradually are fading away.

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The petals tinged with autumns touch.

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A perfect Halloween rose against an impossibly blue October day... which lingers on into November now.

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And rounding the corner of the house, I realized that a much neglected rose is bearing perfect scarlet blossoms.

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But who knew, that I, who generally dislikes the color orange, would find these spectacular apricot orange roses to be my favorite!

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That orange carries over to a small stitching project I am working on.  While I don't usually stitch from a kit, I found this one a year or more ago, and am having fun doing some seasonal stitching, though I didn't get it done in time for Halloween.  It's getting the "Lisa" touch however and won't be quite what the designer intended.  

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Another kit that I hope to finish before Christmas is this wool kit from Quilter's Station in Missouri.  It too will get my own touch and won't have quite such a primitive appearance when finished!

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