Friday, June 17, 2022

May and June 2022

 What happened to May and now June???

So thankful that I took a few pictures here and there 
to help me remember.
It's been a bit of a blurrrr
Things have become rather real - and not in a good way for the most part.
Sigh...
But I'm OK and God is Good!

Life continues to march on in spite of me.
I will attempt to do a picture parade to help me recall these last number of weeks.


Walks in the park - Spring sprang and babies were hatched!!!











So nice to be back to "in person" church
again and to enjoy a fun Mother's Day Tea
during Junior Sunday School hour!













Rhubarb season came with a vengeance this Spring
Pies and tortes were enjoyed
Our church Mission's Committee sold approx. $700 worth of fresh donated rhubarb 

It was so nice to be able to take part in the Relief Sale again after a 2 year pause.
The quilts were incredible and the feature quilt sold for $20,000 and then someone also matched that amount as a donation!
There is so much need in our world today and MCC (Mennonite Central Committee)
sure does their part in providing relief where it's most needed.




Best garden helpers any Nammie could ask for!





The patio got a new umbrella this year. I love the cheerful colour compared to the old faded black one.
Amazing what you can find on Wayfair and Amazon!





Another purchase made - probably the biggest one I'll ever make on my own!
Hope I made the right choice and no, it wasn't on Amazon - smile!
I did have Becky and Patrick help walk me through the whole process - thankfully.
I'm officially the little old lady that drives her car to church and to the grocery store ...
and to the farm of course!


Then this happened ... my sweet sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Glennis and Mark,
 signed me up for a quilter's bus tour to Hamilton, Missouri
a place I've always wanted to visit.
There is a great story behind this little mid-western town and I've been following
their quilt tutorials for many years.

My dear sister, Evelyn, came along too to share a room with me.
She has a good interest in quilting as well and is a superb travel mate.
What fun we had ... 20 expert quilters and the four of us on tour!
We were out of our league but it was fun to travel again and spend time with these dear people.

Caught in a down pour under the covered bridge
at Essenhaus in Middlebury, IN
We had to ditch our shoes and run bare foot back to the Inn.


I hope that I can fondly look back and glean much inspiration from this experience.
Thanks so much Glennis for organizing this and to Evelyn for coming along!

The bigger than life star of Missouri Star, Jenny Doan. Wishing I could have met her in person.



One of the thrills for me was to visit Shipshewana, Indiana and to 
stand on the Theatre steps where my famous friends (The Mennonite Girls Can Cook ladies)
viewed a production that was written about them.




Well now it's back to reality and this little sweetie
spent the day with me on what would have been mine and Jim's 49th wedding anniversary!
A welcome distraction to the day.


Strawberry Season has arrived!



7 months ...





Till next time .... welcome to Summer 2022. Wishing you good health and flowers ...


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

April 2022

 April 2022

Perhaps one of my darkest months on record?
Greys and Browns seemed to be the colours of the day and to the heart.
Suddenly things have become all too real ...

Thankfully there were some sunny spots to hold on to...


Sunny yellow butter lambs created around the table with friends.
Thanks Heather and Mary Lou for such a fun day together.



Favourite Paska baked along with Lovella's online tutorial.
This brought a smile to my face and oh how the aroma filled my kitchen!
I made far too much and later that week decided to make some deliveries.
So glad I did that - there is still one loaf in my freezer.


Icing and sprinkles added later




Awwww - the Lenten Roses bloomed, just as they should and
giving me the promise of Easter and of Spring to come ...
Forever thankful to the former owners of this house for this "gift" they left behind!


Ready to go to the Leis Family Easter Gathering




Sourdough bake for Easter dinner - one of my pleasures and 
perhaps best distractions?


A cute cheesy carrot "cheese ball" made by my SIL Angela


He is Risen!

Easter Sunday Dinner was postponed due to Covid.
However, we were able to celebrate it along with a special birthday, the following Sunday.




The always delicious Bone-in-Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Asparagus Salad, Corn and Carrots
made it to the belated Easter table.

Bone-In Ham - my favourite recipe:

Marie (my sister) makes this and has it marked as one of her “family favourites”.  She uses a dry mix to rub on the roast (Marie trims the skin but leaves the fat layer on and uses this rub for a 5 lb. roast):

1 Tbsp. Flour, 2 tsp. salt, pepper, ½ tsp. dry mustard, ¼ Cup Brown Sugar, ½ tsp. thyme, Paprika and Garlic Powder.

At this stage you can score the fat into diamond shapes and stud with whole cloves.

Put it in the roast pan, fat side up, add a sliced onion, pineapple rings (optional), apple juice or ginger-ale.   When using the juice she roasts it with a cover on for a really tender result.  Sometimes she roasts it without the juice and without a cover, starting the roast at 400F for about 15 minutes and then reducing heat to 325F for 4 hours.  You need approx. ½ - ¾ lbs. per person for a bone in ham or ¼ - ½ lbs. per person for a boneless roast.  Internal temp. should be 160F when ready for serving.


We were thankful to be able to all be together and to extend the table!

On the very same day ... our sweet and sensitive boy turned 4.
FOUR - I still can't believe it!
This is the same little boy who whispered in my ear this past Sunday,
as I held him during the final hymn at church,
"I wish Popa could come back" ....








The sun did not shine on April 27th, the day Jim celebrated his first birthday in heaven.
Thank you to so many who reached out to me during this gloomy, cold, and dreary long day ...
I miss him so much! I know in my heart and soul that he is safely home with our risen Lord!


 
Some of "his shirts therapy" is still a work in progress.
Only 80 more flying geese units to make for the border ... eek!





Till next time .... stop and smell Spring! Just Breathe ...


Thursday, April 14, 2022

Easter Blessings

This touched my heart today ...


youtube - An Easter Hallelujah


if this link doesn't work for you, find it on youtube - "An Easter Hallelujah"

(Skip past the advertising)


Thanks to all who shared this with me on facebook and by email...



Love beyond understanding!





Till next time - Love and Easter Blessings to you dear readers. Love one another as He commanded!



Friday, February 25, 2022

His Shirts

 

It has been over 3 months now
and doesn't seem to be getting any easier
And, the World just keeps getting heavier ...


My little survival project these days is to 
cut and piece some of his many shirts.
They still smell like him and the collars are still stained.
How many times did I wash those shirts and iron for hours?

Hopefully a nice memory quilt or two will come of this ...
The colour and design scheme will be simple - light and dark fabrics
fashioned into half square triangles
in much the same theme - tans, blues, black, and white.
He never wore a red, purple or any other brightly coloured shirt,
 so it will have a subdued pallet - much to my liking anyway.


It may take me years to complete but at least there is a plan
And I don't have to part with them to the thrift store
 where no one will know what memories they hold!
Or how those shirt sleeves were filled with loving arms ...





Thanks to a dear friend Ardith for giving me the pattern!





I keep looking up with hope and determination amid the mire.
Daily prayers for strength and resilience.

How are you coping during this cold and never ending Winter?
Or are you somewhere warm and sunny?

Longing for Spring



Family Day Soak! Love this bunch.

Noa's beloved kitten "Purrl" was tragically killed. So proud of her for being so grown-up about it!
Farm Life ...




Till next time ... pray for peace. Love each other!



Monday, January 3, 2022

But ...

But we weren't done with our lives yet ...


We hadn't really settled in to this new house yet
There were new neighbours yet to meet
and walks in the park and visits to the local coffee shops to do
But,
I'll continue to walk as much as I can. It heals and calms!



And some years to help the kids with the farming
Watching the grandchildren grow up on the farm
But,
how do we do this all without his expertise?


And maybe one more trip - to England, that was cancelled in Spring of 2020
But,
His voided passport was delivered to my door on Christmas Eve!


We had even thought that a year of Voluntary Service might be in the works?
But,
Could it still be a possibility for me?


There were dreams of travelling across our beautiful country
in our little house on wheels.
More camping trips with dear friends.
But,
The camper will now be loved by the new owners as much as we did!


Gently slowing down to enjoy our retirement years
Staying up late to read or watch a movie and then sleeping in.
But,
the movies just aren't the same when you watch them alone.


Using our new place in the city as a gathering place.
Extending the table to friends and family.
Oh, the possibilities ...
But,
who knows what the future holds?

But - here I am, having just completed my 70th trip around the sun as of today,
feeling blessed and humbled by all the good wishes from so many loved ones,
a crisp winter birthday walk around the river with sisters-in-law,
mountains of text, facebook, calls, and iMessages,
still able to enjoy the good things in life,
holding on to good health during this pandemic, 
and intentionally feeling all the feels of this momentous day.


It's time to shift gears - find my rhythm - read my Bible
and, be thankful for all the blessings that have been bestowed on me.


But - - - never to forget a life that was well lived and shared with me!





A 70th Birthday to Remember!!
So many gifts and cards - and, a cake with blue icing!



Till next time ... no more buts about it!


















 

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Life Goes On

In spite of it all - Life goes on...
The new and uncharted chapter has begun

Christmas awaits
One month has passed
Still doing one day at a time - but without him!

Some decorating and a bit of baking has occurred



Mom's China Cabinet has some new decor and meaning in it's new home



A gifted "Vigil" will forever tug at my heart.
Thank you to my dear sister-in-law - Marilyn,
the kindest, most thoughtful person you could ever meet!




An overflowing keepsake box of love
I weep as I read the beautiful words of sympathy and encouragement.
Thank you each and every one for taking the time to 
write and send these love notes.
There are no words that describe my deep gratitude.
I will treasure these forever!




And then came the shock of the "home" farm barn fire
Within minutes it had burned to the ground
No one was hurt and the dairy herd had been sold 3 weeks prior
The house and sheds were saved.
Thankful and sad ...
This was where the farmer grew up - just down the road from our farm
and where Jim's brother Paul and Charlene live.




An unexpected find was this print.
Was I directed to this store by the Divine?
It is exactly what we had looked for and hoped to find one day.
Our honeymoon, the red canoe, Northern Ontario, one oar ...




I am busy ... which is good for now.
There is much to do and new routines to establish.
I know that we will all get through this painful period of grief
but how, I am not at all sure.

My joy comes in the small packages called grandchildren.
They and their parents, whom I could not do this without, sustain me.

May the blessings of Christmas reach you all, dear readers.
Stay well.

Be still and know the Reason for the Season.

"For unto us a child is born"
Isaiah 9:6



Till next time ... life will continue to go on.



Sunday, November 21, 2021

Broken Hearts

Morning has broken,
and so have our hearts ...





The hardest post I've ever done - right here.







 

Early Sunday morning,
One painful and surreal week ago!
19 years to the day that my mother passed away,
Held by Becky and Patrick,
Standing on holy ground beside his bed,
5:15 a.m.
Funeral arrangements being made by 1:15 p.m.
Struggling to stay present and focused.
Barely breathing ...

A full day making arrangements, pulling pictures, selecting songs, breathing...
Reflections on a blessed and well lived life,
Leaning hard on a very capable daughter and son-in-law.

A blur of visitations - private family night,
Many tears and deep sorrow,
Numbness,
Beautiful flowers everywhere.

Full day of public viewing and visitation,
Masked faces,
An act of kindness by a cousin providing a venue for our evening meal
arranged by cousins and friends.

Private pre-service burial,
Nephews as pallbearers,
Surrounded by a loving and caring family,
Deep and meaningful embraces graveside,
Unbearable grief.
 
Celebration of Life Service ... so beautiful, so meaningful!
Church Family, Relatives and Friends surround,
Readings by nieces,
Tribute by a loving brother,
A poem written by a dear friend,
Compassionate message by Pastor Julie,
Music led by an amazing Sister-In-Law and friends,
Grandchildren, Family, and Congregation sitting six feet apart, 
Covid restrictions and Social Distancing making things strained and strange,
Ushered outside for some socializing.
Still Breathing ...

A calendar suddenly empty!
Is this even real?






Till next time ... whatever will we do without Popa???  Love you for ever and ever. Till we meet again!

Merciful Lord, give us the strength
       we need to get through this emptiness and pain.
Tears and sorrow overwhelming us all.
Breathing ...
One day at a time ...



Morning photo taken of the farm by a thoughtful neighbour, Michelle Martin


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Morning Light

 



During these past months, I have never felt so disoriented or sad.
Even tho so many dear ones are praying for us and giving us so much support,
it still just feels so very heavy.
And yet the morning light breaks through each day.




We do feel those prayers but the lumps in our throat just keep getting harder.
The tears flow unexpectedly and sometimes not at all.
And yet the morning light breaks through each day.




The frequent trips to emerg are becoming too familiar.
I find myself numb and hardly even
able to speak or to seek God's face for guidance or for strength.
And yet the morning light breaks through each day.




How does one prepare for what's to come.
A large, still unfamiliar new house to rattle around in,
so many loose ends and unfinished plans.
And yet the morning light breaks through each day.




Worry, pain and fear daily and nightly robbing calm and sleep.
And yet the morning light breaks through each day.




I know in my heart of hearts that God has a plan for all of this.

Please Lord, help me to understand and to trust!
To seek the new morning light.
Help me to open your Word daily to read your words of love and hope.






Dear readers - thank you for bearing with me through this lament!
These are my raw and numb feelings.
I know we've been blessed beyond imagination
and I treasure each morning.
Thank you for your precious gift of prayer.
Trusting that the future will be OK.



I will be absent from blogging for some time or perhaps for a very long while.
I know not what lies ahead ...
I want to be fully present during this time!

Farwell for now - love one another, be kind and stay well.



"I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1-2


"In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.."
Psalm 5:3



Until next time ... when things feel lighter and the morning light is brighter!











May and June 2022

  What happened to May and now June??? So thankful that I took a few pictures here and there  to help me remember. It's been a bit of a ...