Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 28

I lost connectivity yesterday.  Not connectivity to life, thankfully, but to the Internet.  Grumble, grumble.  Couldn't do a post, couldn't send email.  It made me grumpy.  Sometimes, I hate technology.  I unplugged cords and plugged them back in, hit buttons and generally spent my day messing around with my computer, attempting to re-establish connectivity.  The grumps continued.

Then, my husband asked a simple question.  "Did you turn the computer completely off and re-start it?  I'm sure you tried that," he said. crossed my mind.

So, late last night, together, we tried the simplest solution.  And, of course, it worked.  But this little computer issue made me realize that so often when problems occur, I go to the most complicated way of solving them, immediately.  I push buttons and click the mouse, rant and rave and get grumpy.  My husband, on the other hand, goes straight to the easy answer and tries that first.  Sometimes, the easy answer is not THE answer and sometimes, his first attempts don't work.  But so often the easy answer is the right answer and so often, by going to the easy-peasy place first, we avoid hours of endless work, worry and aggravation. 

I'm trying to remember this.  I'm trying to remember that most of all, God is the easy answer.  By going to Him first, we can avoid heedless worry and aggravation, even grumpiness.  But for me, often the "easy" thing to do is to take problems on myself and start pushing buttons.  Sometimes this works and sometimes this only exacerbates the problem.  Then, when I've gotten myself into a really big mess, I remember and I turn things over to Him. 

How much simpler would life be if I just remembered to turn things over to the Lord right away, before I hit any random buttons and before the grumps have the chance to set in?

Today, I am grateful for the easy answer.

Until next time,

Monday, January 7, 2013

Catching Up ~ on Gratitude

Oh goodness, I've been delinquent in my posts.  I've gone 2 days with no Gratitude posting and still have today's post to think about.  I almost wish I could blame the Power Company again, but really, it would not be worth it to be without power for even an hour!  I am still trying to get over 2+ days with no power!  I'll admit, I'm a pansy.

Anyway, lack of posting does not constitute lack of gratitude.  I promise. 

Day 25 - Help
On Saturday I was over the top grateful for the help I had from my children (which now includes 1 new Foreign Exchange student...more on him later) and my dear husband. 

Saturday was our "take down the Christmas decorations and put up the snowmen decorations" day.  This is probably my family's least favorite day of the year.  It's such work! 

We take down 5 Christmas trees, but leave 1 tree up, through January.  This tree becomes our Snowman Tree.  
So then, all the ornaments that are either snowman or snow related have to get transferred to this tree and anything not related, gets packed away. 
This year, we also left up the Christmas Village,

which is not really so much a Christmas Village

as a winter village

and I thought it would be fun to enjoy it for another month. 

Plus, I love the lights.....that's just how I roll.  :)

Other little cute, wintry things also get left up, like birdhouses...
And little mice with scarves.

Oh, and I can't forget my snowman tree skirt (please ignore ALL of the dog and cat hair!)

Day 26 - Downtime

On Sunday, I was just grateful for a little downtime.  There wasn't much, mind you, but it was nice to relax after church, make a made to order lunch for everyone and even take a tiny nap.  I did a little needlepoint
Needlepoint pillow for Maddie's room

and ran one child to soccer practice.  My better half had the job of running another child to an audition, coaching a basketball game and grilling steak.  I feel just a tiny bit guilty that I had more downtime than he did, but still, I'm grateful.

Day 27 - A finished project

Today, I'm grateful that I am finished with two, custom-ordered dolls.  The first was to be done with blue eyes and in a Western Style....
while the other was to in some way reference quilting, so in addition to her quilted, wool jacket....

She also has her very own quilt.

The dolls are for two sisters....
And while I don't suppose they'll live together, I think they actually look pretty cute together.

So, next in line (besides more gratitude for an extremely blessed life) is finishing up the doggie needlepoint and a baby quilt for a dear friend's new "grand".  Lots to do!

Until next time,

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day 24 - Sunshine!

Today, I am grateful for the SUNSHINE!  I know it hasn't exactly been weeks since the sun has shone, but with the severe cold temps and snow still on the ground, it's seems like we haven't seen the sun in a while.
As much as I love a cold, snowy day (as long as I don't have to drive), the sunshine just does a body does great things for the soul, spirit and mind as well!
It might actually even get up into the 30's today!  Wow!  Heatwave!
Either way, the sun is shining, the house is warmed, not be electric heat, but by rays of sun beating in those Southern windows.  Life is good!
Until next time,

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 23

As usual today, I am having a hard time narrowing down my feelings of gratitude to just one thing.  I find this to be the case, almost daily.  I start off the morning thinking about what I have to be grateful for and by the time I sit down to do the post, my list has grown and I am having to choose one thing.  As my husband likes to say, it's a good problem to have. 

Granted, it's only Day 23 of 365, but I am curious to see if at some point, I'll be struggling to find something about which to write of my gratitude.  Hmmmm.....

Anyway, today as I was going through my mental list of people, things, pets or other which bring me particular joy, I noticed I was holding my ipad and perusing email.  Aha!  My ipad is my Day 23 grateful item.

My ipad was a gift, given to me by a long time customer from my grown-up job in the Natural Gas Industry.  He gave it to me last Christmas and let's just say, I was astounded.  Now, you  have to understand, I am not a super techy person.  Sure, I have a brand new, fancy-shmacy laptop, but that's only because my 2 year old desktop recently crashed.  Grumble, grumble.  My phone is 2 or 3 (maybe 4?) years old.  It's big and clunky.  But it works, well it mostly works.  The back cover falls off 10 times a day and it has a battery life of about 30 seconds, but every time I think about actually going to the phone store to replace it, I get the willies.  So phone and computer, that's about as far as I go with technical stuff.  I can barely get a DVD working without help from my children and my ipod stays in my bathroom on speakers, so that I can have music while I shower.  When it needs updating, um, that's why I had kids, right?

Anyway, at first, I was kind of wondering what I was going to do with an ipad.  That lasted all of about 2 minutes.  My youngest, immediately set it up, got my email connected and showed me how to get to my favorite blogs.  My son then "synced" all my music.  And thus, my mad love affair with this cold, high tech object began and my ipad has not been out of my sight for more than just a few minutes since last Christmas.

I use it to check email, both work and personal.

I use it to find patterns, and rather than wasting ink and paper, I save them on my ipad and follow them directly from the screen.

I use it to check on the kiddos grades, yes, even the almost grown-up kiddo who is in college.
We've decided we want to see a movie?  Let me check my hand-dandy ipad for movie times.
Not sure what to have for dinner?  I'll just look up a quick recipe.  If it turns out yummy, I'll save the recipe to my ipad for next time.
And most fun of all, I follow lots and lots of fun, cool and fabulous blogs, pulling them up on the good 'ole ipad.
There's so much more I use my ipad for.  I keep all of my Kindle books on it and read nightly using my ipad.  I keep our family's calendar on it and track where we need to be, when we need to be there.  I use "Notes" to write shopping lists and keep track of Christmas lists and spending, as well as juggling times and scores for our little soccer player.  And, everyone once in a while, I'll even play a game of solitaire or some other funky game the kids show me.  Much, much of this is done while I am listening to the music that is coming from my ipad.  I love the fact that I can keep such a wide variety of music in one little spot.  I've got several soundtracks, like The Hobbit (which is fabulous, let me just say) and Phantom of the Opera, country/western music, Christian music, Broadway music, a little bit of Rock-n-Roll, a little Opera, quite a bit of Classical and even a little pop music for good measure.  Let's just say, I keep quite the variety of music playing on my ipad!

Yes, I love my ipad.  I am grateful for it - beyond grateful.  I would have never purchased one for myself and yet I cannot remember what life was like without it!  Silly, isn't it?  Still, I'm grateful.

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Day 22

I finished "Cabin in the Woods".  I actually pulled the very last loop at 9:00 pm on Christmas Day.  I am so happy it is finished, but it was a wonderfully fun project to do!  I spent some time in between Christmas and New Year's binding the rug and it will be shipped off to it's new owners today.  As I was rolling it up and prepping it for shipping, I realized how very grateful I am to be able to work with my  hands.  I suppose if I couldn't work with my hands, I could still read, which I also love.  However, there is just something about being able to make something with my very own hands that brings about a sense of joy and satisfaction the likes of which I cannot describe. 

"Cabins" is only the second rug I have ever given as a gift.  Rug hooking is not exactly difficult, but it is very time consuming and with today's wool and linen prices, it is quite an expensive craft.  I have to wonder if folks who receive a rug as a gift think, "Seriously, she made me a rug?"  I don't know, it is kind of an odd gift.  But it is truly, truly a gift from the heart, that takes lots and lots of time, energy, and creative thought.  Each and every hooked piece lends itself to a certain mood or feeling that seems to prevail while hooking.  "Cabins" reminded me of growing up in Colorado, time spent in the Colorado Rockies and of course, the lovely couple to which I am gifting the rug.
I am already on to the next project.  A horse and dog rug with berries on a vine.  This is a rug for me.  The dog reminded me of Shelby, our 12 year old Golden Retriever.  The rug itself held no other special meaning other than I just loved it.

Last day of Christmas break for the kiddos.  I am sad.  I love Christmas time and I'm disappointed that the holidays flew by so very quickly.  But onward and upward, lots to do and more to be grateful for!

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Day 21 - New Beginnings....

Today,  my cup runs over with gratitude for a list of things too numerous to mention.  To name just a few items on my list: my amazing family, so many dear friends, our pets, our home, our health, food on the table, gainful employment, our Faith, our church, our children's school.  For all these  things and so many, many more I thank God.  In addition, I am thanking Him in advance for joy and peace in the year to come, for any and all prosperity that we might witness and for the grace, mercy and faith to handle that which may not be easy.

Most of all, I am so very grateful that it is a NEW YEAR, and we have another chance to live and love, to laugh and cry, to learn and grow, to be a part of all that is good and right in our world.  We have more opportunities to help those who may need it, whether in body, mind or spirit and we have even greater opportunities to be helped, aided, comforted and one another, but most of all by our loving and gracious Father.

To 2013!

Until next time,