day 15 ~ message

on 24.11.14

words. messages. 
keep your eye out. 
seek out what you need to hear today. 
stumble on it. 
remind yourself.  
write it down.  
this was our assignment.  
it will all work out.
this is what i need to hear. 
be reminded of. it will all work out.  

This is not for any profound reason other than we are having guests over for Thanksgiving.  The parents of my daughters boyfriend.  I am a behind the scenes girl.  I love to create atmospheres for people to enjoy.  I don't love to be the actual host.  That totally freaks me out, I wish it wasn't so.  Last year our Thanksgiving did not go as planned, but it was just us, so we scrapped it, ate what we had and watched a movie, and it was fabulous.  First while I had food on the counter, I opened a cupboard and a dish fell out, hit the edge of another dish that was full of food, and busted into a lot of pieces.  One piece fell on my foot, cutting it. While this was taking place, I had bread in the oven, which burnt in all the excitement. To top it all off the BBQ'd turkey that we have been making for 15+ years started on fire, and was unsalvageable.  As horrible as that sounds, we found lots of humor in it.  However, can you imagine if we had guests over, people we don't know all that well.  Oh snap. I don't even want to go there. 

it will all work out.

I wonder what word or message Tracie needed to hear?

Do not be afraid of tomorrow, for God is already there. ~Author Unknown

gratitude ~ day 4

on 17.11.14

We give thanks to God not because of how we feel – but because of Who He is. 
~ Ann Voscamp

Nothing seems to grind me down more than discord in this family of mine that God has blessed me with.  Regardless of our circumstances, i feel like we can get through anything, if we do it together.  Family is a big deal to me.  So when there is discord, it throws me off, i lose my way, i feel lost. It doesn't have to be anything major, it can be a moment, a discussion, an action.  I was feeling this way the other day.  I didn't prepare a post that day, because even though i wasn't feeling ungrateful, I wasn't feeling gratitude and i didn't want to be disingenuous.  While i was online, i was reading a post of  Ann's  from A Holy Experience.  and the statement above  hit me.  It was an aha moment, a beautiful reminder.  I love bits of wisdom, simple, but true, that can freshen your perspective.  That was all it took, changing my perspective, looking at the details differently. simply.  The photos i took represent that as well, the same leaf, just different details.  Which details speak to you?

day 14 ~ unexpected enchantment

  1. 1.
    a feeling of great pleasure; delight.

This was the basis of our assignment today, enchantment, stirring your inner child with an everyday object.  So I have this lego version of Chewbacca in my art room.  It belongs to my son, but somewhere along the line, I swiped him, and he has been hanging out with me ever since. Him and a plastic little deer......who knows why we are drawn to things we collect, or that draw our attention. why ask why.
This was the first thing I thought of when I read the prompt.  Do you blame me, who doesn't love Chewbacca?

Tracie is very whimsical, so I am excited to see what enchanted her. 

“Enchantment lies in everyday moments if you are observant.”

day 13 ~ good day sunshine

on 14.11.14

What happens when you haven't seen the sun in weeks?  We were encouraged to go find our own sun of course!   Ok, well it hasn't been weeks for me but it has been several days of grey, murky skies, and no sunshine to be found.  So I went looking for my own, and here is what I found.............

Wherever you go, 
no matter what the weather, 
always bring your own sunshine.
~Anthony J. D'Angelo

    Oh Tracie darling, what kind of sunshine did you create?

gratitude ~ day 3

on 12.11.14

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

     ~'s still fantastic.  it is my go to    
       snack, and i eat too much, but i love it.

    ~ kitchen chats with my family, daily. love.

    ~ one of the things i do love about winter, is the
       mood that it sets.  dark by 4:30, candles lit.
     ~ a new found desire to bake fresh bread, often. 
        smells so good, tastes even better.  focaccia is 

gratitude ~ day 2

on 11.11.14

                                            God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.
                                                Have you used one to say "thank you?"
                                                              ~ William A. Ward

today is Veteran's Day.
how do you say thank you for the giving up of ones life?
how do you say thank you to those who willing put themselves in dangers way?
how do you say thank you for leaving
the comfort of your home,
your family,
your friends,
your life,
for millions of people you have never met,
who don't even know your name?
today i have no photo.
but i do have sincere gratitude
for the freedom i have to vote,
for the safety that i take for granted daily,
for the freedom to choose my path,
my own beliefs, and to share ideas openly.
these and so many more.
while i sit and enjoy
a tv program with my family, 
under peaceful skies,
an American soldier is battling for his life,
bombs landing around him,
guns aiming for him,
evil lurking on the ground.
how do you say thank you?
i try to be mindful.
i remind myself of what was lost
so i could gain.
i try not to bury my head in the sand,
about things i wish were not so.
i try to listen to things that are
a soldiers suffering,
so that i don't forget,
and become
when i hear the
national anthem,
i am reminded 
to pray.
i pray over the soldier 
and his/her family,
though it is not enough,
i say
thank YOU. 

gratitude week ~ day 1

on 10.11.14

Gratitude is not an area I find difficult to do, but there is always room for improvement. There are many moments through out the day that I feel thankful, and there are those times when I remind myself to BE thankful.  I believe there is always something to be thankful for no matter what your circumstance.  The Apostle Paul said,
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

In all circumstances.  

There is always something to be thankful for.  
Do you ever stop to think about the small things? For instance, we need food to survive, got it, but God didn't want us to eat just for survival, He wanted us to enjoy it. So He have us taste buds, to taste with. He also wanted us to smell it, so He gave us an olfactory nerve. Food gathers people, it connects us, and we get to savor it. Amazing! 
How about art, or being creative. God was the first artist, and He made the most amazing landscapes, and filled it with some of the weirdest animals, and clothed it in all the colors that He designed.  I might paint something, and mix different colors to get what I want, but He is the author of color, and what amazing colors He did create!

This week I am participating in Gratitude Week 2014 with Michelle gd and many others.  I really loved the idea of capturing that which I am grateful for with my lens even better than writing it down. 

 ~  I love worship. lifting my hands. singing the
     words. each one. noting its meaning. imagining
     my Abba Father.    

    A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath. It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. 

                                           ~ Psalms 91:1-3

 ~    We have had the most beautiful autumn I can 
        remember, but eventually it had to end.  We 
        got a snow storm and the cold that comes with
        it.  It is the circle of life, and its days are 
        numbered.  moisture. and it does encourage
        nesting, warmth, baking, doing.  Did I mention
        how completely grateful I am to be warm.  It is
        one of my favorite things, to be warm.  It 
        makes me giddy with gratefulness to be warm.
        warm.  It also makes me mindful of those who 
        are in need of warmth.

 ~    this guy.  We are not home together very often
       as we work different shifts, and different 
       weekends.  So when we are home together, it is
       nice, even if we are in different parts of the 
       house, doing different things.  it is nice to co-

 ~    Books.  I love books.  I love learning.  I am 
       grateful that there are people, different from    
       myself, the same as myself, open and willing to
       share their ideas, their stories, their inspiration, 
       their imagination.  I mean seriously when I go 
       into a book store it is like endless possibilities.
       I feel so inspired, so possible, so giddy just
       entering. I need to read more. I love the written
       word. I love books. 

day 12 ~ take some time out

Why is taking time out to do something you love so difficult?  For me, it is something that has taken a back seat for years.  There have been moments, occasions, but definitely not enough to add up to a habit.  Having raised two children, homeschooling them from beginning to end, and working part time might be part of the reason......ya think?  There are several things that I love to do for me, like art, reading, learning foreign languages, photography, creating, doing, going, nature, I could go on.  Now that I am entering a new season in my life, I have time to focus on these things more. kind of.  I still find it difficult to find the time. I have decided to try and do a little something each day, so my plan is to read a little, create a little, and learn a little.  Still working on it.  
One of the things I decided to do in early summer is sign up for a mixed media art class.  I had all summer to do it, and I failed.......story of my life.  I decided several weeks ago to get back on the wagon and get it done.  So today for my time out, I worked on this project.  
Years ago, in 6th grade, a mixed media artist came to our class and shared her methods, and brought materials for us to create our own.  I enjoyed art, but I didn't like her art, and I didn't like the art I created either.  I just didn't like mixed media.  Consistent I am, I still am not a fan, though I have seen some things that make me think.....hmmmmm.....maybe. 
So when I came across these classes, I decided why not.....At the very least I will learn new techniques, how to manipulate new materials, and maybe I will be able to find my own voice in this new adventure, and then maybe I won't, but I will have had the experience.  I will have learned.  And even if I don't like my creation, I will definitely enjoy the process, just because I get too.
So this project is called funky flowers, and I didn't go in the direction that was suggested completely, because I just wasn't fond of it.  I found materials that I felt reflected me, and have been working it and reworking it. I am almost done, but I have to wait for it to dry so I can antique it. 
I would like to add that while I was enjoying my creative process, the weather outside was worsening. At one point, it sounded like sand was being hurled against the windows, as it was raining frozen pellets, before the snow fell. 
I am not sure if I enjoyed the art more, or being silly. I already got to see Tracie's post, and I would love to do that!  She is a blessed women! Don't forget to see for yourself!

 Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.
 ~T. Tharp

day 11 ~ stripping down

on 7.11.14

Texture, beautiful texture.  We were encouraged to find something that begged to be photographed because of its texture, then strip it of its color.  I immediately thought of this lavender I planted that was not the usual type I have planted before.  It didn't bloom for me this season, but every time I walked by it, I notice its tiny lobbed leaves, and I immediately had to touch it. Call me weird. The other thing that always gets my attention is the little splinters of twine that seem to boing (is that a word) out from the twine itself.  I did a little series last winter with my iPod, trying to capture the simplicity that is twine splinters.  So while I was capturing the lavender, the twine that was still wrapped around my bamboo poles spoke to me as well. 
I wonder what Tracie West found for texture in her neck of the woods?  

 A subtle amount of texture attracts the eye. 

Day 10 ~ Preparations

on 4.11.14

Cooking, baking, joy, these three words don't necessarily belong in the same sentence.  Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of cooking, and baking, but the absolute joy of it missed my genes.  It has always been a quandary for me, as I want to feed my family the best possible thing.  It also doesn't help that I am a nature girl, so things like propylene glycol, or hydrogenated vegetable oil that aren't actually food, really get in my crawl. We were meant to eat food not chemicals.  So that leaves me with only one option, scratch cooking and baking.

When I was about 20 years old, I discovered Martha Stewart.  I loved her show, her DIY self, and she made baking more of an art form for me, and that's all I needed.  I always say everything I learned, I learned from Martha Stewart.  She was my surrogate mum.  However don't let that mislead you, my cooking and baking skills are not equal to hers, but I do make a great presentation!

Most of us have to be in the kitchen whether we are cooking, or just eating.  We were told to focus on something in the kitchen that brings us joy.  To record something that warms our heart, and reminds us of the bounty we are blessed with.   I choose to make bread. scratch bread. no knead bread. delicious bread. I recently went on an all girls trip to the coast of Oregon to meet with some kindred spirits.  We laughed, we talked, we took pictures, went on adventures, and broke bread together.  On of the ladies Ani (pronounced Oni) made us some no knead bread, and it was awesome!  She told us how, so when I got home, I googled it to see if I could find a similar recipe.  Guess what? I did!  This is my second time making it.  There is something so romantic, so cozy, so old school about making homemade bread! Like I stated earlier, I love the idea of it, and the end result, more than the task itself.  So these are my images I captured during that process.  Sometimes when you are doing something that isn't necessarily your favorite, you have to make your own fun.  That's where my joy comes from.  That and knowing my kids have memories that involve the pleasant smells as well as favorite dishes that come from my kitchen.

I am making a video of all the outtakes, but I didn't get it done in time. I really have to quit preparing my posts so late at night, too many grammatical errors when I wake up the next morning. Uhhhhgggg.  I heard a rumor that Tracie West was busy making cookies yesterday, and all the while she was battling being sick. What a trooper!

Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts!
~ J. B.

  And then there was visitors.  What else do you do when there is a camera set up in the kitchen?

Ok, I don't remember taking this one, nor do I remember laughing like that. hmmmmm.

Day 9 ~ what remains

on 1.11.14

What the season moves forward, there is still those things, living or non living, that are holding on.  Its time has not come.  Where I live, the weather has been very mild for what is the first time in my memory.  We are actually having an autumn, and it has been amazing!  I still have some things in my garden that are flowering, tomatoes that have not been picked, and tropical plants that have not been brought inside.   The grass is still very green, though the trees are now naked. I am thankful for what still remains.  

Autumn is the hush before winter. ~French Proverb

This prompt could have really went two directions.  I went with the more literal interpretation, dealing with autumn, and seasonal things that remain.  We were also asked to consider our hearts and minds, and those things in life that we may not be ready to give up, things that still remain.  I am curious to see what route my co-conspirator Tracie West took.