Saturday, August 31, 2019

Returned from Places Far and Beautiful

I traveled to West Virginia this past week for a quick visit with my mother. It was nice to see family. In past years visits like this would've been filled with children - lots of nieces, nephews, and our own kids. Not any more! Just us old folks, but it was wonderful to see my mother, and so soothing to see the exquisite beauty that is West Virginia.

We visited Tamarack, a center (with restaurant) displaying the best of West Virginia's crafters. 
My sister-in-law's display of her gorgeous candles -- at Tamarack!

Mother, Anne, and I ate at Food and Friends in Lewisburg, and then Anne's mother dropped in and joined us, which was just delightful.

Mother and I also enjoyed early evening sitting on her front porch. West Virginia is perfect in late August - cool, peaceful, green.

Sorry I didn't take more photos of humans, but I don't want to be obnoxious.

Max and Anne sent me home with beautiful produce from their garden. I had a scrumptious tomato sandwich today.
Here's an egg from their hens - I've never seen such a big one!
Adam and I were back at the farmer's market in Oriental this morning.

All the talk in this little coastal town was of Hurricane Dorian, barreling for Florida's coast but looking more and more likely to prefer our coast instead. If it comes our way, I may be traveling again later this week -- for evacuation!

I did some knitting while in WVa, another pair of fingerless gloves.

These are just as decorative as they are practical. I finished them with a little red ribbon woven through above the wrist.

I'll end with a few photos of new watercolor cards. I need to restock my inventory!

If you'd like to purchase any, check out my album at this link to see which ones are in my sale basket right now. I'm happy to mail them to you.

I'll keep you posted about the hurricane and what we decide to do. Prayers are appreciated :)

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Playing Catch-Up

I might just start with the oldest stuff first, before I forget it again! Here's a fun tea towel a friend gave me:

Another funny from a local store:

The same store had this metal sign, selling for about $35! We have some old metal roofing lying around in the pasture. I could easily paint some of these up and take them to the market. If they don't sell? Hang them on the porch :)

I kept knitting fingerless gloves. This first pair has a mistake in the cabling on the right hand glove. Can you find it?

This next pair has no cabling. It's the "Whelk Pattern."

At a gift shop, a friend found these napkins and said, "You should paint that."

So I did.

Then I did another similar one.

A dear friend gave me yet another oil infuser. I LOVE the bottle. Isn't it pretty?

A few more cards painted recently:

And a photo of the most adorable person I know!!
LOOK at those wonderful cheeks! I want to kiss them.

Lastly, I will talk about my innards. Adam and I are perpetually attempting  some plan that will help us lose weight again as we did once before. It may be a futile desire, but we will try! Now we're attempting the "boredom" method of eating: Eat the same thing over and over until you're bored of it. Then keep eating it indefinitely because you will certainly eat smaller and smaller servings of it until at last you lose weight. (Don't laugh! People do this method!) Here is a typical dinner of late:
brown rice, beans, spinach, broccoli,
 a little onion and cheese

Adam may hope that I'll tire of this "rice bowl," but I won't. I don't bore with the same-old music, clothes, TV shows, or food. This food is so healthy, high fiber, low sugar, high minerals. What I like best is that after I eat it -- say, an hour later -- I feel so good. My innards feel good, my gut. After sugar, I feel horrible, and after too many carbs I feel worse. But after fiber? Ahhh -- life is lovely.

In addition, eating like this is inexpensive. Sometimes he'll put some grilled chicken breast in there instead of beans. Or we'll do more beans but no rice. I adore spinach! I sprinkle a little white wine vinegar on it, and it's better to me than ice cream. I think my body craves iron.

I don't know that we'll lose weight; that's hard at our age. But we can hardly help being more healthy in the end. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Drought Survivor

Our yard is full of hurricane survivors, flood survivors, and this summer ... drought survivors. Sturdy plants!
However, one special plant did not survive the drought this summer. When I returned from Mississippi one plant was dry and apparently dead. My mother gave me this plant over a decade ago. I even used it in a blog banner!
It's a creeping fig. I love its leaves and how it clings to walls. I cut half of the plant out last year and planted it near the front porch, hoping it would climb the house. It's on its way!

But back to the potted plant, dead from drought. I've nearly killed it several times, but this time I seemed to have succeeded.

 I can identify, can you? What are we deprived of, that kills us off? Love from a family member who's turned a back on us? Love from friends who seem to forget us? Financial security? A feeling of self-worth? Mental health? Or worst -- feeling a lack of the love of God? Are you dry and parched, all your roots dying from a lack of ... something?

I checked that plant a few days ago. Under the dead brown trailing branches I found this:
 At first it was just one tiny leaf, then a few more, then more again. This is a kitty-cat plant with nine lives!
When I saw the first green leaf, I plopped the pot into the tub of rain water. (Yes, we've had rain at last.) Those roots must be drinking up the moisture, saying, "Oh, thank you!"

Friend, we aren't as dead as we think. We may be brown and shriveled and dead-looking on the outside, but we have roots simply waiting for rain water. What's your rain? Mine is creativity. And time alone with my Bible. And a cheerful friend. And making plans, happy plans into the future with a kind spouse. Sometimes we have to leave the drought behind us on the calendar and move ahead to rainier days. There is nothing else to do if we care to survive. We must water our roots from below even when the skies above are dry.

Monday, August 12, 2019


Yes, 'tis the season (in the South) to stay indoors because the weather outside is atrocious! Hot and sticky. It's not too early, however, to knit for the autumn farmer's market. I made a pair of fingerless gloves.

 Those were fun and not too hard. I made up the pattern as I went (and tried hard to remember it for the second one!), but I needed my trusty knitting book for the cabling and seed stitch.
 Yesterday Adam and I attended the 50th (yes, fifty!!) annual Watermelon Cutting Party in Oriental at Fay Bond's home.
 A delightful event full of community goodwill and fun, the party is a chance to see old friends and slurp away at some of the best watermelon in the state. Have you ever tried a golden watermelon? It was scrumptious! It had a little extra 'zing' to it.
I sold quite a few cards over the weekend, so I must get painting. Here are a few new ones.

 I think this is my best pot of geraniums yet.
 A friend has an oil diffuser similar to this one in her home. It's a subdued aromatic effect, not as aggressive as incense sticks that you burn. I found one at Target. I think I like it! I could not find the scent she uses, though, so mine is not quite as lovely.
 Following swift on the heels of our wedding anniversary is the anniversary of our first date! On that date Adam made me a chicken sandwich, so he's been celebrating by bettering that sandwich year after year ever since.
 Friday night we went to New Bern to hear the North Carolina Baroque Opera. It was a superb concert.
 My favorite was the Andante by Friedrich der Grosse. There was a piece for four violas. My favorite instruments were the woodwinds. Baroque flutes are wooden and have such a mellow, rich sound.
 Did I mention our okra plants are bearing? Yes, they are. I'm freezing okra for winter. I think we'll eat a lot of it.
 When I was in Mississippi I wrote for a couple of hours each morning. Anna was tired and slept in, and it was a good use of my time. This put me in a routine that I've continued. Right now I'm plowing through the first writing of this novel ... just about to kill me ... but I am enjoying the feeling of accomplishment. Writing is such hard work. It taxes and exhausts the brain. If you know a writer who's published books, tell them you are impressed with their hard work and determination!

I've been painting a few little animals also.

The sheep looks goofy to me, but a lady at the farmer's market thought he was adorable. You never know! That's all for now, folks. All is fairly well with us. Can't complain.