Friday, April 30, 2021

Busy, busy!

 Hi, friends. It seems that spring is sprung (as they say), and now we are creeping into those warmer days ... not summer yet, but we can see it from here! Mowing, gardening, air conditioning, light cotton skirts and cool showers. Let me see if I can catch you up on some of our highlights lately.

I took Adam to Beaufort, NC, for his birthday. We stayed overnight at a nice Bed and Breakfast hotel with a view of the water. After a year of illness and staying at home so much, it was strange and wonderful to eat at restaurants (outside on their porch/decks, by the water). The weather was windy and cool, but we had a most delightful, restful time.

Adam's riding mower is broken right now, and we have awaited three (!!!) mower parts to repair it. So the buttercups and clover are abundant and high, and the yard and pasture smell amazing. I am nervous of snakes (haven't seen any though), so  wear my tall farm boots and WADE through the blooms. It's really rather magical.

Julia is finishing up her last year of college, just a bit more to go. That's an important milestone that I don't want to pass unmentioned. We've been educating children since about 1995. Is that 26 years or so? We're very proud of her; she's a very dedicated student. She's getting a Bachelors Degree in Psychology.

Adam is doing major work on our back deck! He's putting in a new flight of stairs, giving us easy access to the cars, but also plans to build a cooking area (grill, cooktop) out there too. I'm quite excited.

As usual, I'm spending much of my time painting, tending chickens, making wares for the market, and fiddling with yarn. I'm spinning again (sigh - that makes me happy!) It does feel that things are slowly returning to something that feels old and familiar. What a relief! I ate lunch (on the restaurant porch) with 3 friends yesterday, without masks. We are all fully vaccinated. Hooray! Tomorrow our church will gather at one family's creek-side home and have a big picnic on their lawn. We've done this twice during Covid, but it was so much fun, we're doing it again. In July, we hope to have a potluck dinner indoors at the church -- just about everyone in our church has been fully vaccinated for a while now. 

Some of you may wonder how Adam is doing and would like a health update. His steroid intake now is very low, and soon he will wean off it entirely. He has been able to lose a bit of weight, and his doctor is rather pleased with him. His attitude is good. He remains on extremely high dosage of immunosuppressant medication every day. This puts him at great risk for getting viruses especially (of all kinds), so he must be more careful than most people, probably for the rest of his life. He will continue to wear a mask. It's preferable to being in the hospital from catching a flu bug! He now has esophagitis and and gastritis rather badly. That is inflammation of the esophagus and of the stomach. Many foods now make him feel quite sick, and he must avoid them -- dairy, sugar/sweets, heavy meats like beef, and on and on. Cooking has become problematic, although he is perfecting his sourdough recipe.

But we are thankful for so much and are doing fine. The upcoming months should bring visits with family again, and we are thrilled about that. I'll end with a few photos of some cards I've painted, and maybe a few youtube videos for those who would like to watch.

Thank you for dropping by! Take care!

Making insect-repellent lotion bars:

Our vacation to Beaufort:

Spinning again .. and lots of other things:

Monday, April 12, 2021

Full Spring

  Hello, dear friends! We are busy here at our place, as I know you are at yours. I'm loving this, my perfect weather of the year: No hurricanes yet. No mosquitoes yet. No terrible heat yet. It's a joy to go outside in the morning with a jacket on and drift into some flower bed and begin picking weeds. There are always weeds.

We haven't traveled anywhere quite yet, but my son and his wife and baby traveled to West Virginia to visit my mother. Isn't that the sweetest photo? She held him for hours. He is such a sweet baby, very content. That was over Easter weekend. I hope to go visit her in May after I'm fully vaccinated against Covid. It's hard to wait.

My other grandbabies are in Mississippi, of course. These are Easter photos of them. I miss them so much! Ellie Kate is growing and thriving now, and we are thankful. Isaac is happy and cute as ever.

My Lady Banks Rose, of which I'm inordinately proud, is glorious right now! I've had so many plant failures that it's a comfort to have one thrive like this.

I'm gazing at her right now, out my studio window.
Adam is starting many spring/summer projects. He wants an outdoor cooking area, and he eyed my clothesline area as the desired location. So the clothesline came down!

That grassy area between the deck and the carport poles will be a small eating area. He'll build an outdoor brick cooktop/grill just about where he's standing. He'll also cut new stairs into the decking, there in the middle of that white lattice. It's not an ideal area -- the carport limits its size -- but it will be nice, I think. He'll make pavers for the area too. He makes concrete leaves, using our elephant ear leaves as molds, and they would make good pavers there.
I've fallen into a nice rhythm these days. I eat my toast and coffee in my favorite chair in my room and slowly wake into the day. Then I drift into my studio sometime between 8:00 and 9:00, and I start painting. Now that we're back at the farmers market, my cards sell each week and I must replace them to keep my inventory up. So I paint needed cards, perhaps do a bit of work with my soap/balms/shampoo bars, or I ship packages to customers. It really is time-consuming in that it takes my morning, which is excellent. I feel useful, and I'm not bored.

There are a few recent cards.
I must say, it's wonderful to see Adam active again. All last year he generally felt awful and was unable to work outside. He barely kept the grass mowed with his riding mower, and that was all he could do. There's much outdoor work to catch up on, but he has more energy. He needs to rebuild his stamina and strength. What a discouraging year it was! But the Lord has brought healing and help; we are thankful. It seems as the years go by, and we learn a little more to trust Him and be content, He provides more and fills in all the needy gaps in our lives. 
I would say that we are content here, content now. Life is far from perfect (as perfect goes), but perfection is not necessary for contentment and goodwill; Love is. I need daily reminding in myself, that patience, forgiveness, helping others, and hope are the ingredients of a happy spiritual diet. And prayer. I'm always deficient in prayer!
I hope all is well with you dear friends in blogworld! If you want more details of our daily life, my youtube channel is the best place to look. Meanwhile, wisteria:

Youtube videos of late:

Eating on the deck with Adam:

Knitting a mitred square blanket:

A day at the beach alone:

Creativity as mental health: