Wind howled around the house last night. Periodically an extra hard gust would clatter the plum tree branches against the bedroom roof. Rain beat a changing tempo into the morning before the winds tattered the lighter clouds, letting some blue skies and sun break through.

Knowing the storm was coming Ed and I spent an hour yesterday afternoon raking leaves. Other than quick morning walks and a trip to the post office, work has kept me indoor much more than I’d like so it felt wonderful to work outside. The poor garden still needs to have the last of the pole beans and wiring removed. There’s one more supper’s worth of broccoli before pulling. The beets will continue to stay in the ground, available to be eaten as needed.

The foliage still hangs onto beautiful, fading colors.

This past week has not been easy as I’ve felt worn down by constant expectations and work. Lots of thinking and praying happens throughout the day. Praying for wisdom to make sound decisions. Especially decisions that will affect others.

I’ve been so tired by evening that just dredging up the energy to spin or knit takes too much effort.

As the days meld together I pray, think and discuss options with Ed.
Practicing gratitude has been so necessary, grounding and monumental. Without gratitude the grey shades of life would falsely mute everything. Gratitude renews right perspective.

Grateful for:
Ed’s steadfastness.
Walks with my neighbor.
Though storms may batter and temporarily drown out a sense of direction God is with me through every physical, emotional or mental storm guiding and steadying me with His presence.

Practicing Gratitude

This is a year to be even more conscientious about practicing gratitude every single day. Counting our blessings, naming each one by one helps to reset thinking and attitude.

Somedays it feels downright hard to come up with a list.

Then the discipline becomes even more important lest despair and darkness take a deeper hold.

Keeping track of all the good that surrounds us – the little delights, the moments of laughter of peace – is even more important this year when limitations are real, constant adjustments have to be maneuvered, and divisions threaten the very fabric of our society.

Those who know me well know that I don’t have a PollyAnna nature.

It takes continual recalibration to see the positive instead of the negative.

Daily I have to ask the Holy Spirit help me to see things correctly, with eternal perspective. To see through eyes of love, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness. I can’t do these things on my own power.

My selfish nature would love to shut out the world for a few months and use that time pursing fiber arts, especially spinning and weaving, the two fiber activities that I find most conducive to quiet contemplation and prayer.

Because of COVID-19 the days are busier than ever. Without fiber festivals all the spindles that we’d sell during an exhausting, exhilarating two – three days now need to be photographed, the pictures edited, and each one published in our web store, then individually packed and mailed.

I am grateful for the work!

I love the connections with spinners around the world.

I’m grateful for the technology that allows us to work from home.

I am deeply grateful that even when things seem so wrong on various levels, my Creator is with me, comforting and guiding.

There’s a wonderful line in the old hymn, “This is my Father’s World”:

“That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet!”

Grateful for God’s love and goodness, mercy and justice.

Bobbin Lace Bookmark

The rhythmic hand movements and slight clatter of glass beads caught our attention as Ed and I were mall-walking one Sunday afternoon. We drifted closer, intrigued by the handwork which several ladies were demonstrating.

Married less than two years, Ed knew I enjoyed cross-stitch, crochet and needlepoint. He immediately suggested this was something I’d be interested in learning.

For the next three months another woman and I took lessons from one of the women we’d meet in the mall.

The first thing she had us make was a lace making pillow using layers of a wool blanket with a wooden base and a tough cloth for the surface. She sold us the wooden bobbins and told us to put on glass beads which would keep them from rolling on the rounded pillow. It didn’t take Ed long to make me a number of pairs to use.

Those bobbins were the very first in what would become the first of thousands of fiber arts tools that Ed has now made.

About twenty years ago I made my daughter a bookmark to keep in her Bible when she went to Indonesia to live with friends and attend her senior year of high school. That was the last time I made bobbin lace.

Until a couple months ago. Feeling a need for the gentle clacking of the beads and the rhythmic twisting and crossing of the bobbins I dug out the flat work pillow, found the pattern, and wound threads onto the bobbins — sighing at the lack of beads on some of them. I have no idea where the proper bobbin lace pins disappeared to, nor have I found an online source for the 2″ thin brass pins with tiny heads. Instead, fine sewing pins are working okay.

Remembering how to read the pattern made up of pin-pricks on card stock with faint ink lines in places where the pattern changed took some trial and error.

A great deal of unlacing took place during the remembering stage but eventually my hands felt the sequences of when to twist or cross and the flow of the pattern.

Considering that it’d been twenty years, I’m quite pleased, despite the very rough starting edge, the slightly wonky side edges, and areas where my tension varied.

Grateful for:
Being able to create useful items with threads.
The love of fiber arts which was instilled in me at a very young age.
Ed’s skills in making so many tools for me!

Autumn Beauty

I’ve so very grateful for the beauty of autumn:

Multihued trees blazing in slanting sunlight.

A lovely drive to Salem this afternoon with the myriads of copper, bronze, gold, bright rusts, and scarlet trees.

Air sparkling in the sunshine after the cleaning, soaking rains this morning.

For the Birds

Grateful for the birds which bring color, songs & chatter, and joy to our yard.

Grateful for the hummingbirds year round.

First morning light. How many birds do you see?

Coveys of doves come for their fill every day.
This one may appear to be shy

But she’s really quite bold.
Last week Ed was able to walk his bicycle within a few feet before she took to wing.

And, I’m grateful for the Finches that visit all year long.