Monday, May 25, 2020

Late Spring

Happy Memorial Day, Dear Friends.

As we honor those we have lost fighting
for our freedoms, we must also honor
our great veterans who have lost their lives
during this invisible war that we are all facing right now.

Normally we would travel to the National cemetery
this weekend to honor the soldiers and to
visit my parents who are buried there.

My Father and Mother had a tradition of placing
flowers or a wreath on the grave of
a forgotten soldier, and we have carried on that
tradition, but this year the cemetery is closed.

So we are staying home.
Although, we would stay home even if it were open.
We have no desire to tempt fate.

Life has certainly taken quite a U-turn, hasn't it? 

 The Mr. likes to literally 
treat me to those fun little turns occasionally; 
usually when we are already lost on a mountain road
 or a busy city street! :) 

*   *

But I'm talking metaphorically....
Who would have guessed that the new decade would start out this way?

So here we are. 

I felt a little bit of the magic return to my soul
when I saw this rainbow the other evening. 

We've had cold and gloomy weather for days. 

It did nothing to lift the general mood.

Flannel-lined, zippered pouch and laundry bag in homespun

Gray/green ticking, beach and sandal bags

Spending time in my sewing room always seems to 
lift my spirits, though. Just having that time alone to think, to be creative
and sew up some love, makes me feel better.

Here, I've made some travel gifts for dear loved ones.
Something to tuck away in hopes of better days. 


I also helped my little grandson make some 'egg-carton'
flowers that I had left over from crafting my Wreath.

He did all of the painting and picked out the buttons
for the centers, which I wired onto wooden bbq skewers
wrapped in floral tape to give to his Mom
 (my daughter) for Mother's Day.


The Mr. replaced the chandelier over my table with 
this schoolhouse light that I found on Wayfair.
I never knew there were so many different shapes and sizes!

This one is similar to the antique one I found a while ago,
which he installed over my sink.

I think it looks much more appropriate in my cottage kitchen
than the chandelier, and it has a nice, soft glow,
although The Mr. has nicknamed it 'The UFO'.
He keeps me laughing....

He also created a new seat for my vintage crib bench.

He replaced old plywood that fared miserably over the winter,
with thick planks, spaced for rain to pass through.

We are trying to stay busy with things we have on hand.

The beautiful planter was a gift from my daughter.

'Grammie's Garden'
Sweet artwork and flowers from the little ones.

And a new picnic basket stocked with supplies,
including two charming, picnic cookbooks,
 with hand-painted illustrations.

Can you see my grandson holding the card?
That was his idea for the photo.


The weather has been so cool and wet, that
any picnic has to be put on hold for the time being.

Whenever there is a tiny bit of sunshine, we
run out and have mini-picnics on the deck, though.

Usually consisting of a cup of coffee/cocoa and a home-made treat.

(Sweet Mother's Day treats.)

I made these super easy cinnamon rolls
from a package of pizza crust mix the other day.
I was looking for something quick.

I patted the 5 minute dough into a rectangle on a floured board,
spread it with softened butter, then sprinkled it
generously with about 1 cup brown sugar/ 1 tsp. cinnamon mix,
rolled it from the long side and cut it into 2 inch slices.

I popped them into a buttered muffin tin, swirl side up,
and baked them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes
or until golden.

Immediately, when taken from the oven,
I tipped the (loosened) rolls onto a parchment covered tray,
 so that the melted butter/sugar
mixture on bottom, drizzled over the top.

Can you say, 'Yum'?

So good!

So many have lost their Mothers and Fathers
(and other dear ones) recently and
these holidays can be painful.

It's been a few years since mine have been gone
and the sharp pain of their loss has faded.
I've come to terms with the imperfections and lessons
of our lives together and now I mostly recall just the laughter and the love.

It fades the pain and difficulties of life
and creates a new perspective.

I hope that this time in all of our lives creates a new perspective
of what is truly important in this world.

My grandson found my scrabble letters
and when I explained that I used them to make signs for holidays,
he came up with this...

He was totally serious.
He's three.

And very active. I'm not as young as I used to be.
Let's just say that I go to bed early these days.
Sometimes right after dinner :)

I know that I haven't been around lately to visit
all of you, dear friends.
I have missed you and hope that you please accept my sincere
apologies. I am a little overwhelmed right now
and trying to find some balance.

The Mr. is finishing up the last few weeks of his
career working from home, retiring at the end of June.

With a 3 yr. old running around 3 days a week
and the Mr. working full time here,
it is a little crazy sometimes.
But I am adjusting, like so many others.

Not to mention putting up with these crazy guys .....
you can't 'knock' or bump into anything
without the two of them erupting into hysterical barking
because they think someone is knocking at the door.

I've had this on my fridge for years. At the time, I had
two dogs, 'Little Bear' and our current dog, 'Whitey Bear'. 

Plus, my brain has been like Jello.
I can't even read a book.
I've tried to concentrate, but I can't seem to at all.
So, I've been doing mindless tasks of housecleaning,
organizing, gardening and sewing in my 'off' time.
I've made so many masks.....
My thoughts are allowed to wander that way.
To try and put everything that is on my mind into
 some sort of order, in a world full of chaos.

How are you all dealing?

Everything is upside down for everyone in the world right now.

Bleeding heart.

The wild version.

A symbol of our universal thoughts.

A whole flock of Townsend's Warblers payed a sweet visit
to the maple tree beside the deck last week.

They were very tiny.

Don't you love their 'bandit' masks?

When I was trying to zoom in on the tiny birds, I accidently
caught this frog. Or is it? Nature is full of camouflage.

The old apple trees were blooming over the forget-me-nots.

Looks like a bountiful year.
We leave the apples to the wild things.
We really have no choice :)

Whitey Bear likes to chew on long blades of grass.

Camellia in the morning.

The old lilac arching over the side garden
has filled the air with its intoxicating scent.

I remember planting it as a tiny seedling all those
years ago, back when my children were small
and we were just starting our life as a family.

I managed to find a flat of coral impatiens at
my bi-weekly trip to the grocery store and pot them up
for my window boxes.
Once they fill in, I'll show you how they look.

Most people here in Washington State are adhering
to health guidelines and I feel safe at my local
grocery store (Fred Meyer).

I am lucky that it has just about everything I need, too.
It's just like Walmart, except smaller and with
better quality.

Some of my pansies that overwintered from a fall planting.

Two of my next projects; transplanting all these little trees
 from Christmas into larger pots, and painting the deck.
 We have to wait for extended warm, dry weather.

That usually doesn't happen until July.
Northwest living isn't for everyone.
The sun is rare during our wet winters and spring,
but we have lovely summers and mild autumns
filled with beautiful sunshine.

I am especially looking forward to summer this year
after the shockwave of world events.
We plan to stay home and get a few projects done.
We are fortunate that we are able to do that
now that retirement is where we are at.

Every day I pray for those who can't,
the heroes who put their lives on the line,
and those that have lost their loved ones,
their livelihood, and their security.
My heart goes out to those that are alone
 and now isolated even further.

We are now living in a brave new world.

"It isn't for the moment you are struck that you need courage,
but for the long uphill climb back to sanity and faith and security."
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh-

"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace."
-Amelia Earhart-

Thinking of you, Dear Friends.
Stay safe, be brave.

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