I post this because I can

Sitting down at the computer to write this and share images
is like sending a letter to a good friend.  Maybe
you can imagine opening the envelope and just enjoy 
the view of my little slice of heaven out here in Missouri.
Here are a few things I have noticed…
Goldfinch on sunflower
 Those sunflowers featured in my last post are withered and gone now.
Before they faded away there was a host of birds feasting on those seeds.
BW, the black and white kitty
 This wild little kitty comes by each day for food and a little attention.
Yes, I keep feeding him.
Sun tea on the window sill
Sometimes of a morning I set a jar of tea to brew in the sunny window.
There’s nothing like the flavor of gently brewed tea.
It’s even better when I can sit on the porch to enjoy it.
Butterfly and marigolds
This little beauty appeared one day. 
The garden is mostly dried up now as we’ve had a dry spell for a few weeks.
That’s okay.  This was my year to learn just how much I do not know about gardening.
Next year will be better.
Birdhouse gourds drying in the sun
What I do know now is that gourds love lots of water.
And all that rain was good for the gourds.
They are all drying now and will someday become bird houses.
Sunrise on our street
The days are shorter.
The angle of the sun is different.
Today as the sun came over the tree tops I had to step outside
and just watch the light play on the drops of dew on the grass.
I post this because I can, because I think we need these simple things,
these little snippets of beauty to remind us of the good in this world.
You can read or hear of all the horror and heartbreak, all the wars and battles,
all the politics and hateful words on any number of devices that you may have in 
your possession.  And soon you will have your fill of all that and wonder how we 
can go on living like this.
Or.
You can step away from those screens and simply look around in your own back yard,
or watch the sun rise or set, or listen to the laughter of children playing. 
Choose your own adventure, or mantra, or meditation.
Find your way to be renewed and uplifted,
and share it with the world.

Walking the Garden

gardening

Preparing the soil. Tilling it over and over until it’s the right consistency. Fertilizing. Putting up the fence to keep the deer out. Deciding where to plant each seed.  And then…waiting for the magic to happen.

Each day, several times each day, rain or shine, I step outside and ‘walk the garden’…which is my own term for keeping a watchful eye on all the plants and seedlings.  Ever since I placed the seeds and plants in the dirt I have been so excited and positively obsessed with watching it all grow. 

Everything has sprouted now.  From the beginning to the end of one day I can see the growth.  The rain has been more than plentiful, especially today, making the ground both in and around the garden squishy.  

There is always something for me to learn in each day, each experience.  This garden is no exception.

There is much tending and nurturing of the self that needs to take place, and we aren’t always very good about that.  We may be really good caretakers of others, but our own needs quite often just get put aside.  Or maybe we go too far the other way and only serve our own needs and neglect those around us.  Finding the right balance is the challenge.

Ah, but when we do have that balance, when we know just how to meet our own needs as well as those of others something beautiful comes to life.  When we shed those old layers, that outer crust that no longer fits, and go through the painful process of being re-created, yes, then we see the world through different eyes.

Like the seeds that have come up through that dirt and clay, we finally get to sense that warmth and light, that fresh air, and we stretch…and grow.  

Growing.  Becoming who we really are. Shedding the outer layers that may have protected or shielded us at one time.  Allowing the heart to come into the sun and simply be.

In the Kitchen on Christmas Eve

I’ve spent some time in the kitchen today, taking my time to bake a pie.  In the process I began to think of how many fabulous memories I have from the cooking and the wonderful meals shared with family and friends…precious times.  
I’m sharing a bit of the sights in my kitchen on this Christmas Eve.  
snowman

From a shelf in my kitchen window, this little snowman smiles and watches.
half of the fudge is gone
I find that the best memories, the most fun and enjoyment for me, comes from creating goodies and cooking favorite holiday dishes.  So do many others, and this half empty container of homemade fudge is perfect evidence of that.
old recipe cards
There are time honored recipes, some in vintage cookbooks on my shelf,
others handwritten on cards.  I just love it when I find one that has been used a lot and shows smears and crumbs from being handled before.
springerle rolling pins
My collection of springerle rolling pins sit in that kitchen window, too. Later today I hope to start a batch of those cookies and try a new flavor.
pumpkin pie
Already, the aroma of pumpkin pie is drifting through the house.  Can you remember the smells of a favorite food being cooked as you waited for the big feast? 
fresh fruit
Sometimes I just like to look at the colors of the fruit, to see the many shades and tones, the imperfections of the peeling, and imagine the juicy taste.  
Making food. Making memories. Making a time and place for good fellowship.
My wish for you is that this holiday will bring that same opportunity to you.
Merry Christmas!
 ~ Deb ~

Lights and a Star

At last…
Something familiar from holidays before.
Putting this little metal star in place
on a new fangled kind of tree,
and then seeing it in the glow and warmth 
of the little lights…
ahhhhh…
Sort of starting to feel like home
here in this new place.
Sending you thoughts of peace,
and the hope that you, too, can find
pleasant surprises in all the corners.
Surprises that will lift your spirits
and remind you of that light
that lives
in all our hearts.