Pumpkin Cottage

Pumpkin Cottage
sit and visit a spell

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Seeking Nuggets of Inspiration

My word for 2015 was seed.  This word continues to
pop up, inspire and lead me into learning journeys.
It starts something like this: read,
today it was from this book,
Desire to Inspire Using Creative Passion
to Transform the World.

Unlike the light reading I enjoy for pleasure, there are
books I read for nugget safari.  Safari is best achieved
with electronic books where passages may be highlighted,
comments written, and searches for text or highlighted
passages are easily performed.  Sometimes it can take me
years of contemplation to recognize a nugget but once it is found
I can easily locate the passage and my related thoughts. 
The nugget of information is only recognizable with openness
to the lessons, people or circumstances presented.

Here's my short list of books I use in this way:
The Bible
You're Made for a God-Sized Dream
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage
30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans
Life is a Verb
A Short Guide to a Happy Life

A single word or passages may spark a journey.
Today it was this sentence:

One small garden
spread seeds to a photographer from Guam,
a poet from Israel, a writer from Lithuania and
artists from all over the U.S.

From this passage I started an internet search for  
Amy Krouse Rosenthal's movement The Beckoning of Lovely
then I found Amy's Tedx on the subject.  From there...
Sam Bern's Tedx on My Philosophy for a Happy Life.

Amy shared this in her Tedx:

What you seek, you will find.
What you summon, will find you.

This is true in my life.
It happens all the time but is best illustrated by my
thrift store safaris.
Most of the time, I hunt without expectation.
It's enough to simply be open to finding a
treasure.  On occasion, I do seek specific things
with excellent results.
Months ago I was seeking curtain rings as
the base for creating ornament wreaths.
Found a one gallon zipper bag full for $5.
Still using these lovelies to make

Sought a specifically shaped bird house.
Found the very next day for $3.
Work is progress:

After Christmas, sought a blow up red
cardinal for 2016 Christmas garden display. 
Found on sale the following day.

Mr. Lee says bring $1 Million Dollars or
bags of cash to us. That's a story for another day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Thoughts on Recuperating

Greetings dear readers and apologies for

my absence. 

My time for recuperating is quickly ending.
My recollection of arriving here today consists
of the count down of days to surgery. 

Surgery could not have come any sooner.
As the fear of the procedure was surrmounted by
the desire to have the horrific constant pain cease.
And cease it did...instantly.  Pain gone, nausea and
insomnia commenced. The retched nausea is the worst.

Its all finally behind me.  I can now concentrate,
read for more than a few minutes, pin happily
on Pinterest and write the occasional post.

The past weekend was inspiring. 
Last Saturday, I visited the beauty parlor, first time
in nearly 90 days, where whatever you pay is cheaper
than therapy, and later walked (exercise with a
purpose) the Road to California quilt show.

It looks like pillows in rows but it is a quilt.

Modern Quilts

It's a optical illusion.  Such talented quilters.

This one reminded Mr. Lee of Phoebe Buffay's
Gladys and Glynnis paintings (Friends, Season 10,
Episode 6).   

Gladys and Glynnis by Phoebe Buffay | Friends | Pinterest

Three of my favorites:

Check out her read frames and the daisy wheels.

This calendar was a top quilt at the 2015  QuiltCon.

And dinner after the show:

El Pescador Mexican Grill

Tasty fixings.  

Monday, January 11, 2016

An Authentic Journey

Today I want you to become aware that you already possess
all the inner wisdom, strength and creativity needed to make
your dreams come true. 

                                                  Sarah Ban Breathnach
                                                  Simple Abundance  1995

Vintage Tin Collection: Pine cones
For more than twenty years, I have traveled the Simple
Abundance journey.  I never tire of the journey
because each year I discover nuggets of truth. Maybe as
I get older, I am more accepting of the reality before me. 
Before Sarah Ban Breathnach
and I traveled together with Simple Abundance,
we shared another journey with a book she penned:  
Mrs. Sharp's Traditions:
Reviving Victorian Family Celebrations of Comfort and Joy.

Vintage Tin Collection: Needlepoint

In the early 90s, I was a stay-at-home mom raising
two little boys.  My husband, at the time, traveled extensively
for work.  The isolation I felt was related to his travel was really
related to an emotional ocean between us.  I walked on eggs shells
because I felt my emotional need was too great. My desire for intimacy
in the marriage relationship and a creative outlet was suffocating.

Vintage Tin Collection: Flower Needlepoint

My family and close friends were far away. Southern California
culture was foreign. People from all over the world work and live
in Southern California but their stay is temporary.  I accept the
superficial nature, even admire the autonomy, I rarely run
into anyone I know, but it taken 30 years. 
Their roots, like mine,  for the most part, aren't here. 

There were other stay-at-home mothers in my neighborhood
but they were older and more sophisticated. They weren't interested in
the domestic arts or gardening.  For the most part, they had housekeepers,
nannies, and gardeners. This was a desolate time for me.

Vintage Tin Collection: Red Reindeer

I was a homemaker in my mid-20s, I didn't "do lunch"
or play golf. What I wanted to do was play with my boys,
plant a garden, make mud pie messes, decorate and bake cookies
with my children, visit used book and furniture stores. Mostly
I wanted to create but I didn't know it.  My badges of honor
were an accidental green food coloring stain on the kitchen
wood floor and a pantry where I sponge painted, stenciled
teapots, and added the words...Happiness is in the journey. 
They were private attempts of quietly comforting my authentic self. 

From 1990 - mid 1995, I tried to satisfy the desires
of my soul by attending creative classes at every
venue I could find.  There was sewing, embriodery,
rug hooking, jewelry making, cooking, canning,
tole painting, and quilting. But just as I was making
like minded friends, my days of watching Oprah
and putting the roast in the oven at 3:00 pm were numbered.
In May of 1995, as the result of the economic downturn,
I returned to work out of necessity.  This was the same
year my boss gave me Susan Branch's Christmas from
the Heart of the Home.

But it wasn't until 2007, while on maternity leave with
my fourth and last child, that I discovered world of
blogs of creative community filled with like minded
women.  Although much younger than me,
these women had desires similar to those I
had so many years before and they
were thriving in creative lives. 

Yes, everything you need is already in you.
It was there all along. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016 A Word

Live a balanced life-learn
some and think some and draw and
paint and sing and dance and play
and work everyday some.

                     Robert Fulghum

In between, the painting of flowers from nails,
I have been quietly considering words for
my One Little Word 2016 project
hosted by Ali Edwards.

For 2015, my word was seed. The seeds,
explored in my thoughts were planted
throughout last year. It's a process, I will
not abandon. 

Part of my recuperation process has been
to clear out clutter and purge. I cleared
out dozens of magazines and sorted through
books, ripping out my favorite pages
and collecting pages in categorized binders.

The Feb-March 2010 issue of MaryJanesFarm
had a snippet about praise. "As you open your
eyes to the work of talented women around you,
allow yourself to experience awe without envy."
Acknowledge and praise the work of creatives.

My 2016 word will be praise but I will
expand my understanding to all creatives
and to my biblical devotional learning, too.

I want to create and to praise the efforts
of others. 

To start: Painting of a Garden

Jar of nails.

Color choices.

Holly and I painted stems.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy Birthday, Joe

I've been watching the Golden Girls all morning.
It reminds me of the days when Joe and I were still
living with our parents.  Joe is like an onion,
he has many layers, and remembers better than I do.

He recalls the good and bad in vivid detail while my memories
are fuzzy.  He remembers what places looked
like, where we bought things, and how people made him feel. 
There is a great distance between where we live but
no distance in our hearts. We try to comunicate daily.

I remember some things, like we used
to shop at the Safeway in Pacifica, I always remind
Mr. Lee when we have the
occasion to drive by during our road trips.
The shopping center across the street
from the former Safeway, had a Grant City, and a Ross. 
In those days, Grant City was the only variety store and
Ross was a fancy store, not the messy
discount store of today.

Even then in the early 70s, Joe and I loved magazines,
we would beg our mother to buy the kid's magazines.
We'd promise to never ever ask for anything ever again.
As I recall, Mother also bought the family
sewing machine at Grant City.

In the early 80s, there were winter evenings laced
with Rum Raisin Hagan Daz ice cream,
popcorn popped in a covered pot with oil and salt,
and citrusy 7-up to drink. Before the worries of climate
change, fog sheltered the coastside,
there were great thunder and lightening storms
and sunshine was rare.

As kids, we weren't thrilled with the 
practice of birthday gifts of pajamas, foundation garments
(underwear) or socks but would give our
eye teeth to have someone buy those things
for us now. Of our five kids, four were born between
December  6th and the end of January with
Christmas sandwiched in between. We understood 
our parents worked hard and there was no money
to waste or as Ricky Richardo would say: extravagances.

We felt safe in the warm as toast duplex
on Mill Street. We weren't allowed to eat
in the living room but would pull two
dinette chairs to the doorway of the kitchen
to watch TV.

Innocent memories.  Learning to speak
English with I Love Lucy, dancing, behind the
the brown plaid sofa from Levitz, with the
Lawrence Welk show, and
watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Good times. 

On MTM, Betty White played the slut and Georgia Engel
played the ditzy blonde. 

It wasn't like today, with a TVin nearly every room,
we shared one TV, a Zenith, with
the entire family and no remote control.  

That's me, posing with the TV in the family room of
424 Purisima.  Notice the "footballer".  He must have
been lost when we moved to Mill Street.

Below, our niece, Christine, celebrates her birthday at
the kitchen dinette table. Those are the chairs Joe and I
would jam into the kitchen doorway when we wanted
to eat and watch TV. 

Growing up, we always had some kind of white curtains
in the kitchen.  I really like the ones shown here: sheer
with dingle balls. Mother make sure the windows
sparkled like diamonds and no one had brighter whites.
Our fondness for variety stores and thrifting
was sparked during this period. Mother didn't
buy second hand initially, she had enough
of it growing up, but later, in her golden years
she shared the hunt with us. 

Happy Birthday, Joe, here's to making many
many more. To chocolate, books, magazines,
old and new TV series, thrift stores, and cups
of soul strengthening tea.

Thank you for remembering for the two of