Thursday, June 23, 2016

Days Like This

Ever have one of those days? Yesterday was that day.

I woke up with a headache. Not a good start. I had a mountain of laundry ahead of me, and three levels of house that needed vacuuming. My son came home with bad news about his job interview. And I was out of dark chocolate. And it was raining.

One of those days.

After vacuuming up all the bits of mulch and dirt and fur that Jemma deposits everywhere, I went out to the porch for five minutes to sip my coffee. The thunderstorm had temporarily stopped, and I wanted to get some fresh air.

When I came inside, this is what I found. Muddy paw prints everywhere. I forgot that Miss Shovel Paws has figured out how to open the screen door. While I sipped coffee, Jemma dug a nice muddy trench under the downspout, had some fun, and then came back inside...full of mud.


I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I grabbed my camera and took a few photos until I decided.

It's a good thing we bought that swimming pool. It makes a very handy dog bath in a pinch.

The storm clouds didn't completely disappear. As a matter of fact, I still had one big one hovering over my head. Grumble grumble. Not a good day.

So last night, I decided to brighten my outlook. And for me, my outlook is the window over the kitchen sink.

I found these old pots in the garage, and decided to fill them with some of the herbs that I'd started in the garden. I put a coffee filter in the bottom of each pot (a great trick to help keep the soil from escaping out the drainage hole!), filled each one with potting soil, and then thinned out some of the herbs that I'd started by seed in the garden.

Parsley, basil, cilantro. Handy herbs to have in the kitchen.

The news of the day hasn't improved, but at least the view is better.

Words to live by.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What I'm Working On This Week

I've been working on a new stitching project from Shepherd's Fold called Reach. 

I picked up this kit at Designer's Desk in Geneva. It holds a stitching ruler, with a pattern that folds over and is worked on both sides of the linen. 32 count linen. That's some small work for these old eyes, my friends! Notice the cheaters in the previous photo. Very necessary!

I loved the beautiful colors used in this project. Overdyed floss is so pretty. I'm stitching this pattern according to strand of floss over two linen threads. Normally, I'd use two strands of floss for something more substantial. But the one strand gives this project a fine and delicate look, similar to a period piece. I suppose that one strand of floss probably helps the linen from getting pulled too tightly as well.

Just before I started this pattern, my Mom called and told me to read this book. Max Lucado's "Safe in the Shepherd's Arms" is a small devotional that highlights passages from many of his books into a cohesive study of the twenty-third Psalm. The photos in this book are just beautiful. I confess to having a weakness for sheep. That's one of the reasons I picked up the pattern to stitch!

It was so nice to read from the book and then stitch this project while I meditated on the words.

When you spend a lifetime in the Word, some passages become so familiar that you can recite them without much thought. That's true for many people when it comes to this psalm. But every now and then, you can read something that gives a new insight and allows the word to fall fresh on you in a way it may not have done before. Like this:

"David has found the pasture where discontent goes to die. It's as if he's saying, 'What I have in God is greater than what I don't have in life.' "

Wow. Those are powerful words.

This summer, our Pastor is doing a sermon series on the Psalms, and we are reading through them together as a congregation. And this coming Sunday's sermon guessed it. Psalm 23.

Everything's coming up sheep this week.

Perhaps God is telling me something. And maybe these words from Max Lucado are what He's trying to tell me:

"The psalmist rejoiced to say 'The Lord is my Shepherd,' and in so doing he proudly implied 'I am his sheep.' "

Blessings, cafe friends!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Strawberry Moon

It's being billed as a once in a lifetime event, or twice if you are lucky.

The Strawberry Moon is coinciding with the summer solstice tonight. This rare celestial event hasn't happened since the summer of love, 1967. That was a good year. (My birth year, as a matter of fact!)

The longest day of the year! Summer has officially begun!

On summer days, you are likely to find me in the garden. Weeding, watering, planting, pruning. My happy place.

Today, in honor of the first day of summer, I thought I'd show you the blooms in my garden.

Tonight will be a good night to catch some fireflies, sit on the patio with a strawberry drink and some music, and howl at the moon.

Enjoy the moment, cafe friends!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Thoughts On Father's Day From Daddy's Little Girl

Hi, everyone! It's me, Jemma! Mom said I could write today's post in honor of Father's Day. It seems only fitting, as I'm the newest member of the family. 

I will be turning six months old this week! And even though I've only lived with my family for four of those six months, I can tell that they're keepers.

Honestly, I knew that from  day one. On the day they came to take me home, the breeder was telling Dad that if, for any reason, he could no longer take care of me, then she would have first rights to me.

Dad's answer was "You'll have to take her from our cold, dead hands."

The breeder laughed and said she was happy to hear it! Whew! So was I!

Dad takes me on lots of adventures! I love car rides and trips to the park to walk along the river.

After long walks, Dad always lets me rest and he gives me big drinks of water from my portable water bowl. I think that's very nice of him, don't you?

One day, he brought home this big, blue water bowl. I thought it was very exciting! Imagine my surprise when I found out that I could swim and splash in it! 

My Dad is a really great guy, isn't he?

Sometimes, we play fetch and chase and frisbee in the yard. Dad calls me the Yeti because he says I'm a big white monster.

On Saturday mornings, Mom and Dad take me to puppy school. I get to play with my new friend, Frankie! We are learning important things like sit, stay, settle, come, leave it, and off. Our teacher, Jaimie, says that I am a fast learner and a good student!

Learning new things at school makes me so tired! I come home and take long naps. Mom and Dad rub my belly and call me "Good girl."

I sure do love my new family!

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Lizzie Kate Stitch Kit

I finished my Lizzie Kate stitch kit yesterday! This was a limited edition kit called Birdz and Bugz that I picked up in the bargain basement at Designer's Desk. It was a little tricky to stitch when I first began because the stitching panels are attached at both sides, leaving only the top and bottom open to work the needle and thread.

This is the first time I've ever used beading on a needle art project, and it was much simpler than I imagined. (That's probably why I've been avoiding all of the Mill Hill patterns for so many years!) I think it adds a sweet effect on this project.

When you open the kit, there is another stitched panel, along with places to store needles, thread, and scissors. It's a sweet little stitching kit to take on the go.

And when I'd finished, I was happy to discover that my kit also matches my "on the go" planners! Such happy colors!

Happy Friday, cafe friends!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

100th Anniversary

Did you know that this Tuesday was the 100th anniversary of Flag Day? On June 14, 1916 President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation, making the day a national observance. And on August 3, 1949, President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress making it official.

And none of it would have happened without the petition of a dentist from Batavia, Illinois, our new hometown. Dr. Bernard J. Cigrand was the son of immigrants and a teacher of American history. He considered June 14th to be the flag's birthday, as this was the day that the newly formed Congress had adopted the Stars and Stripes as a symbol of these United States of America. He thought it was such a momentous occasion that it should be celebrated every year. And so Dr. Cigrand petitioned the President, and two years later it was official.

We celebrated the 100th anniversary in Batavia this year, with flags proudly waving everywhere. Even Humpty Dumpty at our local library was holding his flag high!

I thought I'd show you a few photos of Batavia today. I took these on a recent night out with my husband. We ate along the river and strolled along the boardwalk downtown on this perfect evening.

It's a good place to be.

Happy birthday to our flag. Long may she wave!