~ a quiet spot ~Sometimes God uses painful lessons as a reminder for me to slow down. Although I seem to forget, He never does, I've got 60 in the headlights and this is one reason I can't do as much as I could do when we moved to the farm back in '95.
Well, do ya think?! Yeah, it constantly
I'm taking an e-class called Blogging Your Way and it's been good for me, very good. At first, I thought it was light years away from how I live even though there are some similarities. Holly, at Decor8, is a Southern gal married to a nice German fellow and now living in Germany so we have the Southern and female thing in common. Her blog focuses on home decoration, has lush photographs and seems to have a lot of pink and frilly. I am so not pink and frilly -smile- nor do I focus on decorating our home although I'm beginning to use a lot of the antiquities, textiles, rugs, etc. we've picked up in our travels to display in our home; blog entry on those to come later.
Holly has given us lots of homework, which works for me, as I like to engage my mind as much as I enjoy working with my hands. I've been taking photos that are
~ roadside harvest ~One of our assignments was to make a floral display. I do this with great regularity but, usually, find my flowers alongside the road. Dave, Abigail and I went on a forty minute Ranger ride so I could collect whatever I found. There's a bit of tickseed, flox, Queen Anne's lace, rag weed, poke berry, milk weed and other flowers whose names I don't know.
~ ragweed, Queen Anne's lace and candle ~I'm sure most, if not all, of class participants bought flowers but I'm not traveling thirty plus miles, round trip, and across two mountains, one way, to buy flowers. Dave has taught me well and before starting the vehicle, I estimate how much the trip will cost me both in time, labor and vehicle cost. A ten dollar, US, bunch of flowers would, easily, cost three times that had I crossed the mountains. Very rarely do I make a trip with one errand in mind. Very rarely.
~ milk weed pod with insects ~This photograph is interesting to me and one of my close-ups. I can see I need to work harder on my close-up photography -wry grin-. Around here, and probably most places, milk weed is considered a weed but I consider it food...food for monarch butterflies. The first autumn we lived here, I remember seeing, literally, thousands of monarch butterflies swarm the yard as they feasted on milk weed. Over the years, milk weed has been, systematically killed and I see fewer and fewer monarchs so I'm determined to plant a milk weed garden in the spring. I'm collecting seed pods, letting them dry and saving the seeds for spring. Go thou and do likewise, okay?
An old blue enamel coffee pitcher serves as the vessel and it was full to overflowing!
~ favorite close-up ~This photograph is my favorite close-up. The milk weed pods, framed by the rag weed, with the hat, pillows and hammock in the background...nice! Can't you imagine taking a warm afternoon snooze here?
I am enjoying this class - learning, exploring, interacting and all associated with the class. It's stretched me because I've allowed myself to be stretched. At first, all I could see were the differences but when I slowed down and focused, I began to see how Holly's class can be applied to me at Thistle Cove Farm. Now, I doubt I'll do a lot of these styled type photo sessions! It took enormous time, effort and energy and my back was aching with the effort at day's end, but, I see how her class is helping me grow and expand my horizons.
Yesterday was another delightful day. A couple of weeks ago, Crystal came to the farm to interview me for a magazine article on knitting. We hit it off like old friends and the chin wagging commenced big time. Yesterday, we resumed chin wagging at lunch, in Bluefield, and I also did some shopping at Joann's Fabric, The Dollar Tree and Tuesday Morning. At Joann's Fabric, I found a yard and half of 100% wool shirting material which I've run through a few hot water cycles in the washer. It's now in the dryer and will soon be ready to be ironed and cut into felted slippers that I'll embellish. The Dollar Tree had some beautiful hand made paper and cards from Thailand and I found some quilting supplies for my quilting buddies over at Tuesday Morning. We're two days from being three months away from Christmas and I'm feeling the pinch to get things ready. Dave and I are hosting his company Christmas party, again, and we're both looking forward to having the house lit up with candles, carols playing in several rooms and lots of good times with good friends. Everyone who works for or is associated with the company will be invited so we're expecting forty or fifty people to come. WOW! Thank goodness this old farmhouse is able to handle even larger crowds, especially in the warmer months when we can spill out into the yard.
"Turn the quiet up", my post title, is from a song I heard yesterday. I'm not even sure what the rest of the song was about but "turn the quiet up" sums up Thistle Cove Farm. We have quiet in abundance yet not the quiet one would think. At all hours we're hearing bird song, cattle lowing, sheep bleating, horses neighing, trees rustling, cicadas, frogs, dogs and cats. There's very little man made noise unless it's a tractor in the field or someone cutting corn; someone doing something so the rest of humanity eats.
When I stopped to check out the comfort of the hammock, I thought about turning the quiet up; rest for the soul, peace for the mind, a balm in Gilead. Does it get any better? Not on this side of the veil!
Blessings ~ road side harvest ~ milk weed ~ monarch butterflies ~ Holly ~ Blogging Your Way ~ quiet ~
Grace and Peace,