Saturday, November 28, 2020

Advent: Simple and Small

 Thanksgiving was simple and small this year. We love our huge Thanksgiving feast at church with dozens of guests ... but. But it was so nice to have a little break from that, at home. Just us. Simple and small.

Tolkien said, "It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." 

A friend on facebook wrote recently, "There really does seem to be a push to always do more."

The pandemic has done many horrible things, but it's also pushed some of us toward simplicity against our will. Pushed us home, pushed us to family, pushed us to spend less and do less, pushed us outdoors.

Advent is a time of waiting and anticipation. Can it also be a time of rest and peace? For Mary, it should've been both -- anticipation and resting -- but it wasn't. I doubt if she had much peace or rest, leaving Nazareth on foot, walking the 90+ miles. Why didn't she stay home in Nazareth with her mother, to have the baby? Why did she have to go with Joseph? What a terrible time to travel!

I long for a peaceful, quiet, waiting Advent this year, of all years. Simple and small. A year when I at last put away the bad habit of "pushing myself to always do more." Over-doing is a bad habit, and it helps no one.

Exodus 16: 17,18 says that when manna first fell from heaven for the Israelites, "some gathered much and some gathered little." Like humans today, some were over-achievers, and some were rather lazy. They'd been told to gather just enough: a daily portion for each person.

But when their portions were weighed, neither their over-achieving nor their laziness mattered; "every man gathered as much as he should eat." God arranged it so that each person had just enough.

I've been pondering that all week since Adam's sermon on Sunday. Are we killing ourselves with over-work, to no benefit? Spinning our wheels and calling ourselves productive? There's such pressure to produce and perform! 

I'll end with some photos and then a link to my youtube channel, in case some of you want to check out the latest. I hope you can taken a moment to rest and reflect on the peace of Advent.

Thanksgiving dinner
Pumpkin pie

Our sanctuary, prepared for Advent:

And a couple of youtube videos~

I go on two adventures near my home:

I travel further afield to the mountains, and make chai:

Blessings and peace to all you, dear friends!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

It's a Long State

 North Carolina is 503 miles long, according to Google. I wonder if that includes the farthest tip of the Outer Banks? I felt like I drove it all yesterday, from home all the way to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (along wiggly mountain roads, beside tumbling rocky streams, and through slanted winter sunlight), and back to Swannanoa for the night.

If I'd come last week, I'd have seen the the brilliant turning leaves. But I like the gray steely trees too.

College daughter was ready to come home, so I dashed over to get her. Adam was busy with much medical stuff. I cannot express how difficult and stressful (i.e., traumatizing) the past two semesters have been for our college kids. SO hard. She needs some TLC.

I posted on Facebook that I was making this trip and didn't really have an overnight plan any better than sleeping in the car. Covid makes it difficult to consider sleeping in a college dorm; I thought about checking with the local KOA for a cabin. But then an old college friend who has an Air B&B offered for us to stay here. Amazing!! If you're ever in the Asheville, NC area, look up Bramble Cottage. What a restful, beautiful little spot with all the amenities -- just lovely! That muffin and coffee up there were quite welcome this morning.

We'll visit with my friend this morning a bit and then hit the road for home. I have a busy week ahead! Orders for cards are coming in and I must paint. I must weave a scarf too, that's been ordered. Bee Balm to make. Soap batch too. Goodness! 'Tis the time of year. 

Adam continues the hard work of tapering off his prednisone. He also had an at-home sleep study done. He's slowly mending. 

Love to all!

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Hi, Y'all!

 Yes, I'm still here! Sorry to be absent so long. Our daughter and grandson were here for two glorious, fun weeks, and I put off quite a few things without a pang.😀 As usual, I'll share some photos and a few comments, and end with some videos of late.

To begin, it's ALL about Isaac!

He is such a doll! 
And he's a very content, playful child.

Just this past week, yet another fabulous event occurred! Our second grandson John was born! Philip and Kara are his loving parents. More photos of him soon -- these early ones are "hospital" ones.

He looks quite serious and wise in this photo, and so very handsome! They are all doing fine, and we hope to drive to meet him soon -- the pandemic, however, makes all things more difficult than usual.

I've been making lot of lotions and soaps and bars, and painting a bit, and spinning again too. This is the busy time of year for such things, along with so many exciting joys happening in our family. I'm loving the coolish weather too, and am at last "into" my moderate exercise routine of walking 30 minutes about 5 times each week. My doctor will approve. I'm ticking off all those medical check-ups that we're supposed to do regularly, so I'm feeling downright healthy these days.

God bless you all during these trying days and give you peace of soul. I remind myself that I'm a daughter of the King of all kings, and that my home is being prepared for me in his kingdom. All things on this planet, important as they are, are temporal and fleeting. I'm careful what I give my heart to.

Videos of late!
We walk through the utterly neglect garden:

I show you how to make my concoction known as Healing Herb Ointment:
Care for watercolor painting? Join me:
Pizza on the grill, plus crocheting a delightful child's purse that changes into a tiny bassinet:
If you're wondering how to Subscribe to my channel (and thus help my status with Youtube tremendously!!), just look for the big red "Subscribe" button below any of those videos. Click on it. It will not give you any trouble on Youtube, but it will help me .😁  Thank you, dear friends!