A Few Things

Just dropping in with a few lines. Looking forward to live music tonight, a surprise from my sweetie! Off work. All the birdbaths are all scrubbed clean and filled. The hummingbirds have fresh food. The tomatoes from the garden are fine. I continue to work on closing down the shop and transitioning to a private studio. I think a Friday nap may be in order. Or wait…I have time to go shopping! The Steelbender is prepping for a lesson anyway.

Oh, and I am still working on family history.  Pictured is one of my McNeill ancestors: Thomas McNeill born in 1849, my great-great-grandfather.  His wife was Martha Jane. ❤

Roma tomatoes from the container garden.
Love from Mars.
I love the little Bambies that come around.
Sweet planter in the Etsy shop.

Enjoy this day!

Sarah Bernhardt Pink Peony: Blooms on a Mosaic Wall

I am not sure I will find a prettier picture tonight.  So here is my offering to you for this day: a gorgeous peony bloom from The Little Wild Garden.

For anyone who has just tuned in (thank you to my new visitors!), The Little Wild Garden was the name I gave to my beloved garden of 23 years, mostly because I let some wild natives (pretty weeds?) grow with the more cultivated plants of this world.  I no longer have that garden, but I am building a new garden in a wooded setting with my dear friend Jason.  Sometimes places and things must be traded for peace of heart and mind.

Perhaps some day I will have another mosaic covered border around a garden bed.  Do you think?

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”  ~Emerson

Enjoy this day!


Therapy: Journal Pages

When I am sad.  When I hurt.  When I have trouble just being still and letting go of things,  I make a journal page.  I have a small stack of papers, all the same size, all from the same type of paper.  I pull out the glue or Mod Podge and scissors, and I make a page with a theme of thought or color.  It helps me.  Every time.

Yes, I did, thankfully.

Tonight, particularly tonight, I just ache. Emotionally, I hurt. If I could only just pour my story out. But I will “go high” as they say, and not pour it out. I long for a wand to help those I love. I long for some magic dust to right the wrongs in this world. To help the underdog. To heal those who have been treated unfairly. I just hurt.  For everyone.  For everything.  For myself.  For others.

I guess art is a very safe thing to do, and I am sure it is healing. I am sure. Music is art, and it does the same thing for me.  My guitar, cradled in my arms, it helps.  What do you do when you feel restless? It is very easy, frail human beings that we are, to “act out” when we are restless. That might mean getting up and going somewhere. It might mean making a decision. (Probably not a good idea, that last one.) It might mean turning to a vice of some kind. Maybe it means raging or sleeping or crying.  It is very hard, in this frail state we exist in, to simply be still. I am really working on that. I think it is a lifelong process.

Enjoy this day!


A Study of Contrasts

This morning I was at my craft desk. I pulled an old magazine from one of the shelves.

I recognized it immediately as one that used to be my mom’s. She and I have both taken many gardening and homemaking magazines through the years, so sometimes we have traded a few or donated to each other. This one was hers. I flipped through the pages and found this:

Only it was not finished. I saw my mom’s handwriting. She had done about half the puzzle, or maybe a bit more. I got the sweetest feeling knowing that my mom had worked on this, probably standing at her kitchen counter. Mama, I finished this crossword for us.

Looking at these pages made me long for springtime! And yet it is in the single digits outside with snow on the ground. Perhaps it will do me good to get online and search for small greenhouses.

I would even dream of a clothesline if I thought I’d ever again have time for one! But I know my mama loves things like laundry on the line, even now.

Be still my heart!

Meanwhile, in real life…

Actually, I have enjoyed being extremely lazy during this snow. I have napped. I have snacked. Tonight I hope to practice my guitar. A lot! I have helped with a friend’s dogs, which has been more of a treat than a chore. I am thankful for every single day. For healing and for all that we have!

Enjoy this day!

Cultivating Happiness

It is true, dear readers, that happiness must be cultivated.  It’s not a thing to be taken lightly nor something that we should assume just “comes naturally” for some people.  Happiness is our version of the memories that we have.  Happiness is finding joy in not only what we love to do but what we must do.  I speak as an authority, but really I’m a product still in the works when it comes to, as they say, “taking joy.”  Still, I like to think I’ve climbed at least a few rungs on the ladder.

Let’s take a peek at The Little Wild Garden on this winter morning.

I used to think I’d settle down with land.  Or at least a few acres?  Or an acre, even?  No.  I have a postage stamp yard.  During the first few years of my marriage I looked beyond my own fence (I really don’t even have a fence) and pined away for something bigger and better and prettier.  Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to dream.  But we are where we are and we’ve got what we’ve got, and as I like to say, there’s one great equalizer:  We all only have today.  I am thankful that at some point I grabbed contentment by the tail, at least in the area of my own yard, and turned my yard into the most that I can make out of it.

I now say, dear little yard, you have become The Little Wild Garden.  You have creatures and herbs and birds singing.  You are all I could want and more.  Many of us may be waiting for the day when we have more (insert word of choice here), but for now maybe we can find a way to love what we have.

So there you’ve had it.  My speech for the day.  Could it be that it’s Monday and I have to work six hours this afternoon, and I am holding on with all my might to contentment’s tail?  I am looking for joy in duty, realizing that there’s a certain nobility that comes from doing what one must do.   Besides, I can dream up more brooch pins and dolls while I type away.

Late in the evenings, when the house gets quiet as a mouse, I work on my pins.  I put classical music on and get lost in cutting and twisting wire, poring over beads and looking through images.

My goal is to have 10 new things in the shop by Wednesday morning.  I have also finally learned how to get giclees printed from my mixed media collages and paintings, so hopefully I will be able to offer them in the shop soon too.  Fun, fun.

Well, it’s time to take the shopping basket and head to the local grocery.  I am thinking a large pan of roasted-in-the-oven vegetables for supper.  Potatoes, carrots, squash, onions, rutabaga–did I spell that right?, and maybe some brussel sprouts.  With olive oil, salt and spices, should go well with venison and brown rice.  (Thanks, mom, for the ideas on eating more vegetables.)

Enjoy this day!