Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday Thoughts...the Christ Candle

Sitting here this Sunday morning in the quiet of a new day. I have been reflecting on this Christmas and Advent season that was so different than I had imagined. I didn't even finish the 4 weeks of Advent posts and just wasn't able to keep up my blogging.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I am filled with gratitude this morning when I realize God's hand in my life. He has asked me to do things that were difficult, yet He gave me the strength to go forward and helped me solve problems. He has repaired relationships during this season and grown my love for others. He has encouraged me to GIVE of myself and to COMFORT those around me.
He has given me a PEACE in my heart this morning.

I am thankful for GOD'S GIFT OF LIGHT... I am thankful for my Lord and my Savior.

I cherish this day in the dark of winter as I light the white candle of my wreath....the Christ candle.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunday Thoughts-Third Week of Advent

Today we light the 3rd candle of the Advent wreath....the JOY candle. We are filled with JOY knowing the birth of our Lord will soon be here. Joy to the world.

Life continues to be challenging this Christmas season with my dad. He is stable now with his extra help, but we will continue until the end of the month. My sisters and I were able to meet on Friday and had a chance to talk over the situation. I is nice that I do not have to make all the decisions on my own.

Thank you all for your kind support and prayers.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sunday Thoughts....Second Sunday of Advent

Good morning my friends. Today we mark the second Sunday of Advent by lighting the PEACE candle. There are other names for this week's candle, but i decided to focus on PEACE.

It has been a difficult week with my dad, but we are all thankful for his improvement and  the very kind man from Senior Helpers, Norm, who came to help our family set up some extra care for my dad. I am so thankful for my husband. Talk about a Godly man with a wonderful attitude. I know he is doing this for my dad, but also for me. I am glad that the extra help is arriving tomorrow, as my Jimmy is getting tired. We have seen a great deal of progress with dad. We are hopeful that with extra care, wrapping his foot, more physical therapy and a visit from occupational therapy, we might be able to keep him in his apartment longer. We continue to pray for him and will see where things go.

PEACE seems to be missing in our world today. We live in a difficult time, but we are reminded that Christ is the PRINCE OF PEACE. How we need Him and His teachings.

The other thing that really hit me this week was INNER PEACE....where do you find your inner PEACE, you inner strength to  handle living in this world? I know I would be lost without my Lord, without the prayers of friends. I know my friend's thoughts and prayers have held me up and gotten me through the week.

I am asking my Lord to grand me peace of mind  and acceptance as things progress and unfold.

Blessings to you this week as you we all prepare for Christmas. Many thanks for those who are praying for dad and our family. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Dad's Progress and My Little Otto

Oh my, it has been such a long week. I am really tired tonight, but need to unwind a bit, so thought I would post some pictures of my little Otto. Gma had a few extra days of babysitting so Papa could take care of Papa John. Otto was such a blessing to me, a break from the concern for my dad. Little Otto is a funny little guy! He is almost 2 1/2 years old now and just discovering the world more and more everyday. He was having some cereal when I arrived and had his new Snoopy PJ's on. He doesn't want to take them off!  You can see his cars on the table...never likes them to be too far away.

 He LOVES to vacuum and was telling me "right there" when he discovered something that needed to be swept up. He never misses a thing.

He is into his hat but won't call it a Santa's a winter hat. His crib has been taken down, so he takes his nap in mommy and daddy's big bed. He wanted a couple stories before night night which is so fun for me. I just love kids to read and enjoy books. Old primary school teacher here!

He saw a red Santa hat outside on a decoration for Christmas after his nap. He thought it was his and got ALL upset! I had to go get his hat and show him that his hat was still here. Funny funny.

Today was a long day. My sweet hubby is getting worn out being on a morning, noon and night schedule caring for my dad. We met with the Senior Helpers owner this afternoon with one of my sisters. It went well. Starting Monday, he will have a 1 hour visit 3 x's a day, 7 days a week for at least two week. It is expensive, but it has to be done or he will not be allowed to stay in the independent living apartment which he is in right now. We are not sure how long we will have to do this. Norm, the owner, was so nice and so professional. He was so comforting and just a kind person who my dad and my family at ease.
I went back tonight with Jim to pick up dad's apartment and to see how Jim and him are getting him into bed. He has MS and his legs have lost most of their strength now, so after the falls, he cannot get his leg into bed without help. That will be the problem and he may have to go back over to the assisted living building. The problem is that there is no room right now. What is meant to be, will be.
Jim and I were talking how we are being asked to help one little guy to come into the world as we help the older guy get ready to leave this world. Ah, the circle of life.
Thank you all who are praying for our family. It is much appreciated.
Well, Mr Sandman is throwing sand in my eyes, so time for bed. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My Dad

When I went over to dad's and we got his apartment ready for Christmas, I had no idea what was ahead. All went well, although, he had taken a fall late Thanksgiving night.

Yesterday, Jim and I were going up to Seattle to visit my daughter and SIL and his mom Susan, who was down from Alaska. We got a message that my dad had fallen again, so we stopped by on our way out of town. Oh, so thankful we did, as he was having problems and the management was in his room. He lives in the independent care building and after 3 falls, they were needing the family to come up with a plan. Oh wow...we had no idea. As both of my sisters are teaching, Jim and I had to start some action. We canceled the trip. It seems my dad was taking too much pain medicine for his sore shoulder.

My sisters met us at 7 PM and we had a good meeting and have started a plan. Right now, he has to have 3 care visits...morning, noon and night. I am in the process of setting that up with a care company but in the meantime, my sweet hubby is taking the duty for the next 3 days. Of course, I have babysitting days, so it's a balancing act.

I felt so bad for my dad yesterday. It's going to take some work, but I think we can do this. He is 86 and has been on borrowed time since his stroke and heart attack 6 years ago. All in God's timing...right?

So, I am glad that I decorated early and got his Christmas things up. Our tree isn't up yet and who knows, maybe it won't go up this year. Lots of unknowns right now.

Ava did this little display by his door in the hall. She was a great helper and we all had fun.

Smile PAPA John! You have good kids who will take care of you. Lots of love all around. We are thankful you are ok and SO thankful that you didn't break anything with your falls.

Not real sure how much blogging I will be doing. Papa comes first. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015


 Today we celebrate the first week of Advent....a time to prepare your heart for Christmas. I have always loved the tradition of the Advent wreath since I was a little girl. Every year I buy my new purple and pink candles and prepare for the Advent season. This year I am going to add the white candle-the Christ candle. We didn't do that when I was young, but I think it's a lovely addition.

One of the reasons I really like this tradition, is that it gives me a quiet time, every day, to go in my tea room, have a cup of tea, light the candle or candles, do my bible reading, pray for my loved ones and friends and just be quiet!

 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel is one of my favorite songs that I associate with this season. I have memories of sitting in a cold church singing this song. I think it has a haunting sound.
Lighting the candles on the wreath helps me to focus on the coming of our Savior.

The first candle is the HOPE or the PROPHECY candle. How wonderful and humbling that God kept His promise to send a redeemer.

I've posted this little helpful information to follow if you'd like to start this tradition.
Pinterest also has many examples of non traditional Advent ideas that are quite lovely.

Wishing you a lovely season of Advent filled with HOPE, PEACE, JOY, LOVE and CHRIST. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I love Thanksgiving, I love the smells, the sounds, the colors, the food, the weather and being with family. My life is full and very busy...sometimes too busy.... but I am blessed. I wish you a very special day and I hope that you feel blessed too.

I wanted to share this little spice cabinet before I take down my fall decorations. Actually, fall is gone and Christmas is up, except for the tree.

I made this little grouping on top of my spice cabinet with some of my miniatures. If you are a Tasha Tudor fan, you will see lot several illustrations with a spice cabinet and similar items. The more you read and study her work, the more you will see many item from her own home or collections.

The miniature cabinet was made by Seth Tudor, Tasha's son. He built her home, by hand and he is quite a woodworker. When we were back in Vermont last summer, I really wanted to get a piece made by Seth for my collection. Jimmy and I were looking at the spice cabinets and he told us he only made 3 as they were pretty hard. Jim asked him if he would be willing to sign it if we bought one. He graciously agreed. It will be treasured .

This is a photo of the Rockery where all the Tasha Tudor goodies are kept. When you finish the home and garden tour, you are invited to browse the gift shoppe!

It was soooo crowded after the tour! I'm not sure how Jimmy got this serene photo of the part of the shoppe?

This is my sweet friend Melinda...quitetly enjoying the shoppe. She was so happy to have time to just look and read. Melinda works at the Tasha Tudor Museum and she is a sweetheart.

 Time to leave! The rain stopped and everyone was just enjoying some time to chat outside.

Yes, I did some shopping. One of my favorite things is my little wooden spice cabinet.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday Thoughts

Happy Sunday! It will soon be Thanksgiving. I think it's good to think about our blessings and what or who we are thankful for before Turkey Day.
I came across this delightful poem by Emerson. I really love it. It is gentle and sweet for this Sunday afternoon. The birds are having a heard time at my house with the strong east wind.

This summer when we were in Concord MA, we stopped at Emerson's home for a tour. It was a warm day, a beautiful day. We enjoyed the tour and getting to know about Emerson and his family.

Enjoy your day and spend some time thinking about Thanksgiving and your many many blessings. We are so blessed in this nation and need to have a thankful heart. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Radical Linda....Day I

Today I did something I have NEVER done! I took down all of my fall and Thanksgiving decorations in preparation for Christmas! It's not even Thanksgiving. I had retail stores for years and year and years and I always had to get that next holiday "up" so far in advance. When we sold our store and I was out of retail, it was a pleasure to celebrate the holidays as they happened. So, what is going on here, you ask?

With Thanksgiving late again this year and a very busy Thanksgiving weekend with responsibilities to other family members. I just didn't know how to get it all done. I will be having Ava overnight, I will need to decorate my dad's apartment and put up his tree, and we will be making a trip to Seattle to visit with my SIL's mom. Susan is coming down from Alaska for a few days and we would like to see her. My birthday is Dec 8th and I usually celebrate it on St Nicholas Day, so I like to have our home all done for Christmas.

This year we are going to a Thanksgiving brunch/dinner at a restaurant with our family, so no one will be here for Thanksgiving. Some of us will go over to my sister's after dinner for dessert and a visit.

I did get all the fall packed up and tomorrow I will start decorating for Christmas. I do have to admit, it took my stress away, but it does feel strange. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tea Time Thursday #96 ~A Birthday for a Friend

Last Friday, I finally was able to take my friend Lynda to tea for her 70th birthday. We have been very good friends for years. I wanted to celebrate her special birthday by going to tea. I took her to Myrtle's Tea House in Washington, only about an half hour from my house. It is my favorite tea shoppe. Elizabeth, the owner, does such a nice job. I love her floral arrangement.

You can see our tea plate and dessert plate in the photo above. Lots of little detail and everything was just delicious. We enjoyed pots of Autumn Cranberry tea.

Linda and Lynda....good friends. Don't you just love to go to tea and have hours to chat and catch up on your families and all! I love that about tea time.

Elizabeth has a lovely gift area in her shoppe. Lots of tempting and seasonal tea time items.

We had such a lovely time  together. it's always special to have tea with a dear friend, especially on her birthday. Happy Tea Time Thursday.

Monday, November 16, 2015


I did have to chuckle when I found this butter quote! Leave it to Julia Child! When I was growing up, we never had real butter in our house. It was the era of margarine back then. Every summer, we would go to Yakima, WA to visit our grandparents. My grandpa Smith fixed breakfast for my grandmother every morning and he ALWAYS made her toast with butter. He would make me some before he went off to work. Oh, I can still remember the taste of that REAL butter. I wanted more. When I got married, Jim brought butter to the more margarine!

Jim found this lovely early butter stamp at an Estate sale. This is an earlier example and I believe it to be hand carved. I just love it. Most of these were made of maple wood.

On Sunday afternoon, Jim went back to an estate sale and came home with an entire collection of butter molds. He got a wonderful assortment of wooden butter molds.

I had to look up some information on these molds. Butter molds and stamps were used to mold butter after it was churned and salted. Butter was put into round shapes and stamped for storing and for selling. People liked their butter to be imprinted. The early molds were hand carved and later they were made on a lathe. The molds were made in 1/2 lb, 1lb, 2 lb and the little butter pat size. The handles on the larger molds do screw off for cleaning. The wooden molds had to be soaked before they were used. Eventually, glass and metal molds became popular as they were easier to clean.

The small butter pat molds are probably my favorite. Don't you love this owl carving? I find these charming.

I know we have to be careful with butter in our world, but I will always love the taste and think of my grandpa Smith.

I'm linking up with Sandi today...No Place Like Home

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday Thoughts

A day for reflection and prayer in a hurting world. I have never traveled too far from home, but I feel for the people of France. Peace on Earth will have a great deal of meaning this Christmas season. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tea Time Thursday #95

Good evening...the day is all but gone and I am finally able to write this little post for Tea Time Thursday. It is wet and chilly here in the Pacific Northwest. We seem to be in for yet another rainy weekend ahead. I'm taking a break from the fall teacups and colors today. I was enjoying a bit of free time the other day and I kept coming across delightful illustrations with tea themes. I am fascinated with the work of illustrators.  I had fun finding these and just want you to shared enjoy.