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June 23, 2015

taking it easy...

Just popping in to wish you a Happy Summer.  I am battling the beginning of a cold so I am trying to take it easy for a few days and nip it in the bud.  I've rediscovered my sewing machine and have been happy as a lark pulling out fabrics and sitting down to sew in any little bit of free time I find.

Hope you all are doing splendidly and enjoying the sunshine!  Happy Tuesday...be back soon for a longer visit.

xo, Patty

June 16, 2015

capturing the day - #16

I love to walk around the back yard in the morning before the sun warms up, just to see what's blooming.  I decided to grab my camera today and snap a few pictures of whatever caught my eye.  Mid June is a time of transition in the garden as springs blossoms have faded and the summertime flowers are still a few weeks away from their blooming time, so it was a bit of a challenge to capture the obvious beauty in the garden.

I decided to try and find beauty in more unusual places.  To capture joy in the moments instead.

I am a sucker for a pretty place to sit in the shade of the afternoon with a glass of tea and a magazine and this is one of my favorite places to do just that.  It sits under a 20 year old crepe myrtle tree and I can see the entire yard from here.  It is within pushing distance of our hanging baby swing and a great place to watch big wheels and bicycles whiz on by as they round the corners of our garden pathway.

This view reminds me of the sweet time we had out back yesterday in the warmth of the afternoon sun catching ice cubes in the kiddie pool and enjoying a frozen Popsicle.

Even the patches of overgrown weeds and cast off mushrooms can be beautiful with the right attitude.

Sometimes the view from our camera lens is just the vantage point we need to see beyond what we think a beautiful life should be and to focus on the little moments that happen everyday that make our lives truly lovely.

xo, Patty

June 15, 2015

fresh produce - # 3

When I formed my list of things I wanted to do after I retired I noticed quite a few of them really took very little effort to accomplish.  I am not the climb Mt. Everest kind of girl but lean more toward creating a beautiful life right where you are.

Number three on the list is to buy my fruits and vegetables at the local produce market.  When I worked adding this extra trip every couple of days was not practical, but now that I am a stay at home wife stopping off and perusing the aisles for what's in season (right now it's fresh apricots, peaches, nectarines, tomatoes and crisp, sweet cucumbers) is not only worth the extra effort but very enjoyable and the produce is so much better tasting.

I am starting to take note of what's in stock when so that when I move onto number four on my list, learn to cook healthier meals, I will be ready.

Now it's your turn.  What little thing on your wanting to do/change list have you implemented this week?

xo, Patty

June 12, 2015

faith walk friday - I surrender all

I am finding that the biggest hurdle to living the good life is learning to refocus my mind.  Learning to give up worry and fear in my "what ifs".  It means really surrendering the future and those I love to the One who controls it in the first place.

Only in ridding my mind of the things I am trying so hard to control and change can I can start to refocus on the beautiful life that is already mine.

"Keep on praying.  No matter what happens always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."  1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

I have started two lists, one with my worries and fears and another with my hopes and dreams.  I will be spending the summer finding scripture promises that will bring me peace and joy in every one of the things I've written down.

My hope is to share a little of what I find here with you on Fridays.  I will warn you ahead of time that I may miss a Friday here or there as I am easily distracted here my blog.

I've also started another list.  This one is of things I wanted to do when I retired but still haven't gotten around to.  I'll be sharing that with you next week along with what I plan on doing about it.

Based on your comments and emails, I know I'm not alone on this journey.  Sometimes walking the path to change with others makes it easier to take the first step.  Let me know if your joining me.  I'd love to hear what's keeping you from living out your dreams, too.

Have a wonderful weekend.

xo Patty

June 10, 2015

reclaiming my home

Every time I get the urge to purge and rearrange things here at home I start by opening up my favorite home organization and simplifying books.  They always remind me of the way I want my home to flow and feel for everyday living.

I have several books that I've collected over the years, some talk about making your home more inviting and cozy or being a more welcoming and a gracious hostess, some talk about purging and organizing, some are more like a how to manual for homekeeping and some are all about living a simpler life, all things that I want my home to be.

This time I opened one of my very favorites Simple Country Wisdom. by Susan Waggoner.  The pictures are beautiful and the words remind you of what's important and encourage you with practical ways to get back to a simpler way of life.  I bought mine a few years ago and found it today on Amazon with a different cover but same content.  (No affiliate, just wanted to be sure it was still out there.)

The only problem I have with the book is that once it's open I get caught up in it and before I know it my day is gone and so is the time I marked out to get started.  Does that ever happen to you?  Oh well, as Scarlett O'Hara would say, tomorrow is another day!

I'll be back soon to show you my progress in reclaiming my life here in the cottage and to share with you what I'm doing to rediscover what living a beautiful life everyday is to me.

Have a great Wednesday.

xo, Patty

June 8, 2015

fanning the flame

Lately I been feeling like life is passing me by without me really living it.  Sometimes I can get stuck in planning and waiting mode and forget that living happens every. single. day.

I keep telling myself that we are in a time of transition and when I get this done or that happens then I will start really living my life.  Well, you know what?  Life is always in transition and before you know it you have strung together days and weeks and months and even years of time that you can never get back.

And if you're not careful you can lose sight of what it is you want to do and get out of this one life we have here on planet earth.  Those dreams that you have been getting things ready for can be put on hold for so long that the flame can become just a flicker and the rut we are stuck in can start to seem too deep to climb out of.

So today, right now in the midst of change and mini chaos and unmade beds and unfinished projects, I am going to start living the good life that I have been planning to live since I retired three years ago (eek! has it really been three years already?) and turn that little spark of dreams back into a full size bonfire.

Happy Monday!

xo, Patty

June 5, 2015

expecting perfection

Do you seek perfection?  In your home, your family, your friends, your life?  If that question were posed to me I would emphatically say, no.  I am not a perfectionist...I am a get er done kind of girl.

But life has been showing me lately that I do...seek perfection.  And when people fail to live up to my expectations I am disappointed and sad and hurt and even angry.

My devotion from this morning said this, "Remember that you live in a fallen world: an abnormal world tainted by sin.  Much frustration and failure result from your seeking perfection in this life. There is nothing perfect in this world except Me...Most people seek fulfillment in other people and earthly pleasures or achievements.  Thus they create idols, before which they bow down.  I will have no other gods before Me!  Make me the deepest desire of your heart.  Let Me fulfill your yearning for perfection."  Sarah Young - Jesus Calling

"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart's desires."  Psalm 37:4

Once again I am reminded where my focus should be.  What I need to let go of and what I need to cling to and it's not anyone or anything in this world.  It is in the only One who ever was and ever will be perfect.  Life is a lot easier that way.

xo, Patty

June 3, 2015

how does your garden grow?

Before I tackle the mountain of Legos that has accumulated in the corner of our living room, I wanted to show you the bit of progress I've made the last couple of weeks in the vegetable/cutting garden.

I am way late in getting my seeds in this year because time just got a way from me and before I knew it May was upon us and then scooted right on by.  Lucky for me nature took over during my absence and reseeded a few tomato plants and plenty of wildflowers.

Feeling ever so grateful and not wanting to mess with moving anything mother nature so graciously gifted me, I decided to just go with it and organize the rest of my seeding and planting around it.

I cleared out the raised bed area and decided to stack the two low beds into one deeper raised planter and I really like it.  I literally threw in dozens of small packets of wildflowers, a couple of rows of radishes, some basil, cilantro and parsley, watered it all in and am now crossing my fingers that some of it grows.

I added a few marigold seeds around the base of the tomato plants and tucked cilantro into any shady open area I found.

Sweet Vanessa from A Fanciful Twist sent me a few of her magic fairy tale pumpkin seeds that I pushed into the ground in few different spots of the garden.

At this point I will be overjoyed with whatever decides to join the party this year.  We are fortunate here in Southern California to get another shot at gardening in the later part of fall for plenty of winter and early spring harvesting.

So how is your garden growing this year?

xo, Patty

June 1, 2015

and we're off...

Last week I was looking for a way to use up my excess blueberries and remembered an episode of the Pioneer Woman where she made a delicious looking blueberry crumb cake and so I thought I'd give it a try.

I am so glad I did. Not only was it super easy to throw together, it was really good.  The only problem I had was that the crumbled top didn't brown up for me, so I just put it under the broiler for five minutes at the end and it turned out perfectly.

I am on my way out the door for a little shopping with my mom today.  Our list includes the Estee Lauder counter at Macy's (they have a gift with purchase that my mom is eyeing), Armstrongs Nursery to look at the pretty flowers (note to self, look does not mean purchase), Home Goods, Kohls, Costco and then after a quick lunch we are planning on seeing Aloha at the movies.

Whew, I'm tired already.  I'm telling you this lady keeps me moving and has twice the energy I do.
Have a wonderful Monday!  And we're off...

xo, Patty