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Taking Time to Rest and Recharge

I am a busy person. Most times, if you ask me how things are, I will reply with “busy!” I have endless ideas, often feel like I have endless energy, and I hate sitting still. My idea of a relaxing day is to get in the kitchen and make something, or to go in the studio and sew something, or to go outside and work in the garden.

And when things get rough, or life gets hard, or there is a lot on my mind, I am a pro at finding more and more ways to keep my hands busy and my brain occupied.

But you can only do this for so long until it all spirals out of control.

Because our bodies need rest.  And busyness requires balance.  And ignoring the things that make our hearts ache does not fix them or make them go away.

And so it was that Hubby had to convince me last Thursday night that even though my to-do list seemed long and insurmountable that I did, indeed, need to get away.

We spent a beautiful, relaxing week-end with family.  I read a whole book from start to finish.  I crocheted myself a new pair of slippers.  I looked out the window as we drove and dreamed.  I played games and slept in.  We went for a startling cold walk on the beach, and found beauty in the rolling of the waves, in the sand on the seashore, in the shells on the beach.

 

 

 

I came back more calm, more rested, and my to-do listed didn’t seems as long or as insurmountable any more.

Do you ever find yourself become so busy it seems impossible to take a break?  What do you do to rest and recharge?

 

 

Times of Refreshing

There are times in our lives when we need to step back, be silent, find refreshment.  For me, these last two weeks have been one of those times.

Hubby and I hopped in the car and drove to the mountains.  A trip we had been planning for awhile, but it could not have come at a better time.

We travelled tree-lined paths.

Listened to the music of rushing mountain streams.

And enjoyed the view.

My heart is filled with gratitude for the beauty that slows my steps and allows me time to pause, think, breathe.

And although life has come at a busy rush since our return, I still carry the stillness of the mountains.

“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Jeremiah 6:16

Where do you go to find rest and refreshment?

Signs of Spring

Despite the cold chill in the air, there are signs of Spring popping up everywhere.

These pretty little flowers are always some of the first to bloom in my garden, nestled among my tulip and hyacinth leaves.  (I never actually see any tulips or hyacinths as the deer like to keep them well pruned!)  I have no idea what type of flower they are, but have found them growing all over my lawn!

The rhubarb is beginning to grow!  It won’t be long now until we are eating tasty rhubarb treats again!

And then….drum roll please….we have…..

Asparagus!!!!  I am so excited to see the asparagus return to the garden.  Last year we plunked it in with everything else and hoped for the best.  Over the winter I was doing some gardening reading and realized that there are a tonne of things you are supposed to do for Asparagus when you plant it.  None of which we did.  To try to make up for the lack, I did give them an extra dose of compost when the ground thawed and then have hoped for the best.  I am so excited to see these beautiful green spears poking up out of the ground.

There are a few signs of spring inside too….

My flower, herb, and tomato seeds have begun to sprout!  I am always so excited when the first leaves begin to appear.  Just another month and we’ll be setting them outside!

Is there anything growing in your garden or sprouting in your house this spring?

Looking Up

Sometimes life becomes so busy that I feel like the days slip by without me really noticing them.  In winter especially, when the days are short, it is not unusual for me to head to work in the dark and head home in the dark and only experience the outside world for the few minutes that I am outside with my students at the end of the day.  Even the days that I am now working from home sometimes pass by in a blur in the midst of time-sensitive projects and the drive to “get it all done.”

Yesterday morning, feeling under-the-weather, but with a huge to-do list before me, I got up early and headed outside to the mailbox.

And I looked up.

And to-do lists were forgotten, the cold went unnoticed, and I just stopped.  And breathed,  And enjoyed. 

How can you not stop when you look up and see this:

 

Clouds like a sunburst, textured like waves against a blue winter sky.

7:30 in the morning, kids walking to school, cars heading to work, and I’m standing in the middle of the road staring at the sky.

 

Then with renewed energy and a deep gratitude I headed back towards my busy day. 

It’s amazing the beauty that we find when we stop and look, isn’t it? 

What beauty surrounds you today?

 

A Special Order for Christmas

Someone must have put in an order for Christmas snow, because on December 23 we woke up to this:

 

 

We enjoyed this snow (and more!) right through Christmas until this morning, when I woke up to green grass and rain.

Oh how I love a white Christmas!  Everything just looks prettier when it is covered by a layer of fresh white snow!

Did anyone else enjoy a Christmas that was white?

Make Your Own Evergreen Christmas Wreath

Last year I shared with you how my mother-in-law taught me how to make an evergreen wreath.  This year we gathered with the whole family (my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, too!) to make them again.  We started our outing at our land to gather the evergreen boughs, and after a long (and somewhat wet!) hike we finally found the perfect branches.  After lunch we had a wonderful time creating our wreaths, and then going through the bags of flowers and pinecones that my mother-in-law has kept for just this purpose in order to decorate them.

Creating an evergreen wreath is super easy and fun!  Here’s how:

1.  Gather a bucket of fresh evergreen boughs.  We found fir trees to work best for this because their needles lie flat and aren’t prickly.  I think other branches would work, but you might want to wear gloves to keep from getting poked by the needles.

 

2.  Find or make a wire wreath frame.  You could make one out of a wire coat hanger, and the bonus is you will already have a hook for hanging!  You will also need some florist wire.

3.  Cut your boughs into lengths about as long as your hand.

4.  Gather these “hands” into a group of three or four (depending on how full your boughs are).

5.  Secure your wire to the wreath frame.  Wire the greens onto the front of your wreath frame by wrapping the wire around the wreath and greenery several times.

6.  Gather another group of “hands” and wire them to the back of your wreath frame, a small distance away from the group you just wired to the front.

7.  Continue to wire groups of branches alternately to the front and back until your whole wreath is covered.

8.  Twist the end of the wire to secure, and cut it off.  If you need a hanger, twist the wire into a hanging loop before cutting.

9.  You now have a beautiful evergreen wreath!  If the shape is a little wild, trim the boughs until you are happy with it.

10.  Decorate as you wish!  When I purchased wreaths in years past I only ever decorated them with a long velvet bow that I reused year after year.  I can’t resist my mother-in-law’s collection of decorations though, and love the way the flowers and pinecones look on the greenery.  These are attached with a glue gun, and they pull easily off the wreath at the end of the season to reuse next year.

Happy wreath making!

If You Don’t Like the Weather…..

Yesterday, I was outside enjoying the sunshine while I harvested more lettuce, herbs, celery and beans from the garden.

I even took some time to do a photo shoot with a  new sweater friend on such a beautiful sunny day:

This morning I woke up to this:

By lunchtime it looked like this:

Winter is here.  Perhaps this was why I had dreams I was sewing hats and mittens and scarves last night??

No complaints though.  We’ve had a beautiful fall.  And there is something special about the first snowfall – even when it sweeps in like a lion!

Has winter arrived where you live?

Simple Beauty

Hubby and I have discovered a new place to walk.  It’s a bit unconventional for this girl, but it’s quiet (except for the odd woodpecker and rooster) and it has some beautiful scenery.

Sometimes it pays to walk off the beaten track.  This “trail” starts a 5 minute jaunt from our house and we’ve walked the bridge over it more times than I can count.  And then one day we decided to walk beside it.  It’s amazing the beauty you can find when you aren’t necessarily looking for it. 

Where is there beauty around you today?

What’s Growing in the Garden in February…

Absolutely nothing but snow! 

We haven’t seen snow like this in a while.  Usually it snows and melts snows and melts.   But this year it snows and snows and snows some more.

That’s the picnic table under there.  Anyone up for an alfresco dinner?

What’s that?  You’re up for a snow picnic?  Well…first we have to get out the door! 

It’s the perfect weather for building a snowman, snowshoeing and snowball fights.    We’ll be giggling and smiling in the cold air as our boots crunch in the snow, snowflakes tickle our faces and our cheeks turn rosy red.    And then we’ll put another log in the wood stove and cuddle under a blanket with a good book. 

Today I am relishing the joys of a winter wonderland.   How about you?

Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.
~Bill Morgan, Jr.

Winter Has Come Early

These are pictures I took on Saturday morning. 

 On Saturday afternoon I looked out and saw this:

Winter has come early this year, not with a whisper but with a shout! 

Anyone want to come and build a snowman?

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