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May 31, 2015

moving forward

Just popping in to wish you all a Happy Sunday and to let you know that I am doing much better. Sometimes just making a decision and moving forward in that direction is all it takes to start to mend.

I am retreating to my mom's for a couple of days.  I am so lucky to have her loving arms to run to and don't think I will waste anytime in telling her so.  Once I get back I feel a good deep cleaning and purge here at home coming on.  It is a couple of months overdue and very much needed.

I purposely haven't scheduled a thing for the entire summer except time spent with family and friends and I am looking forward to the slower pace.  Thanks again for you love and support.  I love this blogging community and the friends I have found here.

xo, Patty

May 29, 2015

looking up

Thank you all for your kind words on my last post.  It was a tough couple of weeks but they have been necessary in order to move on in truth.  It is so easy to put a band aid on a situation requiring surgery but as we all know a band aid will only hold back the flow for so long.

When ever I am feeling overwhelmed my heart always seeks out God's presence in my current situation and more often than not I turn to Proverbs for the wisdom I am seeking.  (Since there are 31 proverbs there is one for every day of the month, so it always works out.  God is kind of amazing like that.)  I will usually just take the day of the month and head straight for that corresponding chapter and I am never disappointed with what I find there and with the specific message God has for me.

"We can make our own plans but the Lord determines our steps."  Proverbs 16:9

My take away given my current situation is this, I can steamroll my plans through but if it is not God's ultimate will, it ain't going to happen.  Slow down and seek God's heart in the matter.

So now it's time to step back, reassess and move forward with the right focus.  I am ready to seek and find all the joy He has in store for me.  What about you?

Happy Friday, my friends.

xo, Patty

May 27, 2015

bumps, bruises and retreating

I'm a retreater.  When life gets overwhelming, when the road gets hard, when I face those inevitable bumps in the road and I find my heart a little bruised from the wear and tear of an imperfect world, I retreat.

It doesn't matter where the hurt and disappointments come from...more often than not I am in the front of the line when they are handed out, giving my fair share with my very own set of expectations for the people in my world.

It is far easier for me to close the door and protect my heart while waiting for time to heal and I find a rug to brush things under, than it is to face life head on.  I wish I had more courage.  I wish I didn't fear what letting go might bring.  But I do...so, I retreat.

Sorry for this melancholy post but my life is real and sometimes it can get messy.  I am sitting here looking at the keys on my computer wondering if this is one I hit publish on or if I simple close the screen and call it therapy?

But then it occurs to me that your lives are complicated, too.  No matter how many pretty pictures we post, life is not and cannot be perfect because we are not.  It also occurs to me that this is why we seek out the beauty, the flowers, the happy porches and smiling kids because even hard, imperfect lives are good and rich and meaningful and full of little joys.

A friend just said to me, will all this matter in five years?  Will these giants you are facing seem as large down the road?  The honest answer is, I don't know.  Some of them may, I know many of them will not.  What I do know is that my faith tells me that I have a Savior that has my yesterdays, today's and tomorrows in the palm of his hand and He hasn't let go of me yet.  And with that knowledge I find a little more courage and a lot more hope than I could ever muster on my own.

And so I start each day seeking out the pockets of beauty everywhere and not a day goes by that I don't find it all around.  (I'm fine mom, just feeling a little bruised...no need to worry.)

xo, Patty

May 20, 2015

Come sit a spell - the front porch reveal

The porch is finally finished and ready for company.  Before I give you the grand tour and show more pictures than you probably care to see, you need to know that our front porch is nothing grand but merely a four by eight foot slab of concrete that runs along the front of our house.

Even though it's still a bit chilly, my grandson and I bundled up under a quilt and have already taken it for a test drive and it runs just fine.

We've discovered we can hear the church bells in the late afternoon and can even count the chimes if we are quiet enough and sit really still.  We've talked about the best and worst of the school year and hashed out our plans for the summer.  We've planned porch parties and games of hide and seek.   We've counted cars going by and waved hello to strangers.

But mostly we've just been together, no electronics to distract us, just the sound of the birds in the trees, the laughter of the neighborhood kids and the whir of the sprinklers in the distance to keep us company.

If I had my dream porch it would be a great big wrap around one with white posts and rails.  There would be room enough for a swing and even a daybed for napping as well as plenty of rocking chairs and a small table for playing checkers or strumming the guitar.  But short of winning the lottery, my little space out front will do just fine.

You see a porches size and even decor is not what's important. What matters is the sense of community and the feeling of belonging to a neighborhood that being out front provides.

xo, Patty

the details...
string of edison light - Target
door mat - JoAnns
pillows - JoAnns
colorful pots - terra cotta painted with leftover spray paint
Welcome chalk board - Home Goods
Yellow porch sign - made by me
Rockers - Lowes years ago
Bloom sign - Joanns
Ferns - Home Depot

May 18, 2015

a little randomness on Monday

Is it just me or are the weeks flying by?  I don't know how it is where you are but for us, we are minus two weeks and counting until the end of the school year and the unofficial start of summer.  I know, where did the time go?

I have finally taken some time to spruce up the garden and for as long as it took me to get started, now I don't want to stop.  Unfortunately (or fortunately for the inside of our house) my back is telling me to slow down and take a couple of days off from planting.

I love spending time in the front garden because of the opportunity it gives me to say hello to my neighbors and passers by.  We are in an older neighborhood (circa 1954) and at least half of the residents here are either original owners or close to it.  I had the best conversation with my neighbor Dolly who lost her husband a few years back.  What a spunky lady.  I see her walking her dog everyday and always think of my mom 60 miles away and her little dog Pepper.

I have made a promise to myself to spend more time out front this summer.  Maybe even invite friends and neighbors to spend some time on the porch with me in the evening, watch the kids play and share a glass of wine or a margarita or two.

Speaking of the porch, it is just about finished.  I am so happy with how sweet and inviting it turned out and as soon as the sun comes back to shine I will take a few pictures to share with you.

My husband put in a beautiful hydrangea bush for me over the weekend.  This is our third attempt at having one flourish in our yard.  I love them and hope we've finally found the perfect spot.

I am a little sad that my grandsons baseball season is winding down, even with all the running to practice and given up Saturday afternoons, I'll miss my time at the ball park.  I love watching the little six and seven year olds learn the game and encourage each other.  I know it won't be long until the innocence of baseball just for fun will be lost to a more competitive atmosphere.  I love that baseball too but I just wish it would wait a little longer to come.

I made this carrot cake from the Pioneer Woman's Food from my Frontier cookbook for my mom for Mother's Day.  This is the second time I've made it and it is so good.  It takes a little effort but it is worth every bite.  I also made this delicious banana bread.  I got the recipe many years ago from Kim at Daisy Cottage and it is now my go to banana bread.  We add a few nuts to it but other than that we love it just as is.

The house is quiet today so it's time to give it a good cleaning and maybe a little fluffing and then I plan on curling up on the sofa with a new magazine and a cup of hot tea.  It looks like we have another cool, drizzly day in store for us here and in Southern California we make the most of them.

Whew!  That was a long one.  If you're still reading, happy Monday and I hope you have a wonderful week!

xo, Patty

May 13, 2015

some girls buy shoes...

After a busy few months I am in major nesting and purging mode and I knew at the top of my list was to freshen up the front porch in time for summer evening sitting time.

I made a couple of dollars at the handmade boutique I joined over the weekend and it was burning a hole in my pocket so yesterday after bible study I grabbed my sister in law and we headed out to the new Joann's down the road for a little inspiration.

I came home with new pillows (went in for fabric to recover the old and came out with already made for the same price...thank you coupon ready sister), a pretty piece of wall art and a fresh new mat for the front door.  A quick stop at the local nursery provided me with the makings of some new flower filled pots and additional garden color.

I am heading outdoors right now to put it all together and can't wait to show it to you soon.  How about you?  Are you ready for a little porch or patio sitting time?

xo, Patty

May 8, 2015

my week on instagram - May week one

It seems a lot of my life these days is recorded on instagram.  Love it or hate it is a quick way to record those moments that happen each day at break neck speed.  The photos I post in my regular blog posts are very intentional and have been edited but the pictures I share on instagram are quick and dirty.  They are the fun things in life that happen all the time.  I know they are not so different from yours and I thought it might be fun to share them with you here each Friday just as a reminder that there is much to love and celebrate each and every day.

My week on instagram...

In addition to the insta collage this week I wanted to include a picture of my booth at the handmade craft show.  Because it was such a busy day, it's the only one I got, so thank goodness once again for camera phones!

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great weekend!

xo, Patty

May 7, 2015

around here lately

I know it's been a while again.  Life has been a bit of a whirl wind around here lately but I see light at the end of the tunnel and a bit of a slow down is just around the corner.

The garden is in full swing out back and the flowers are prettier than ever.  I wish I could take credit for it but it's actually just the perennials doing what they do naturally.  We are waiting for some rain in the next couple of days which will be such a welcome and needed change.  I still have plans to edit and plant a bit out front before the real heat of summer sets in but I just haven't had the time.

I participated in my first handmade craft show last weekend and had so much fun. It's always a little scary putting your stuff out there but overall the experience was positive and very encouraging.  I have one more show this weekend and then I have a bit of a break until July.  I am hoping to use the time to stock up my poor neglected etsy shop with a few new things.

The grandkids (the two with me and the two in San Diego) and hubby are just fine.  I'm not going to lie, we have our moments but for the most part we have settled into a new normal.  My daughter is going back to school for her RN license so we may be a full house for longer than we originally thought but when you consider the benefits of a good paying career, it will all be worth it.

I hope to be back tomorrow with a quick instagram post.  I took a couple of pictures of my booth last week that I'll share with you then.

So what's been happening with you?

xo, Patty