santa, green velvet, & moods

I enjoyed my day at work. I work with such nice people and we have fun. Kerry-Ann found a Santa suit today and really looks the part. And yes, we’re laughing under our masks and beard.

I am reading a book from the 1930s about a female doctor who lived in this area. (I’ve been working on it for quite some time.) She talks about a Ukrainian lady who had a baby one morning at 5:45 AM. When the doctor got there around 7 o’clock, the baby was washed and the lady was energetically scrubbing the floor! After scrubbing she was going to get breakfast and then do the washing. The doctor told her in signs, as she spoke no English and her husband only a few words, to go to bed but she didn’t want to. And when I told her husband she should go to bed for seven days he translated to her and they both roared with laughter.

The doctor talks about the sometimes harsh and changeable weather a lot. Today was soooooo gloomy and it even rained. We are all wishing for snow and cold instead. But south of us has had terrible flooding, so we should be more than grateful.

Would you wear a green velvet dress?

I wouldn’t, but the fabric is so pretty. I don’t like anything the least bit shiny. Though we used to love our shiny solids, didn’t we? (Mennonite friends) The black dress I’m wearing at 17 is more shimmery than the picture looks.

I feel kind of out of sorts this evening for reasons that aren’t important or valid. I pray that I don’t take my feeling out on anyone. When I think of the way I used to throw my weight around with moodiness, I cringe. I hope it’s Jesus working on my heart and changing me that I don’t often act that way anymore. But maybe it’s all the meds I take. πŸ˜©πŸ˜…

just a Monday

Instagram story today.

Later in the morning I posted this on Facebook.

I napped and cleaned two fridges, watered plants and made stew and biscuits.

Darkness falls early. The girls make snowflakes.

I am grateful for so many things today.

A dishwasher. Beautiful piano music in our house. Clean fridges. Friends like you. Decent health. Feta cheese. Christmas letters ready to send. Hebrews 4:16 , β€œLet us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

It’s been a slow Sunday, just perfect after a busy and people filled week.

Liesl makes delicious chai.

Here’s a recipe. We cut back on the sugar. It’s from my sister Linda and always makes me miss her.

(I don’t know why it’s sideways. Sorry!)

Lately it usually sounds like things are good for me. And they are. Because God is good. But today I was battling anxiety again, that tightness in my chest over things I can’t control. I looked through an old book by Charles Swindoll and found this.

My thanksgiving cactus is blooming so nicely and it gives me joy.

A good evening to you. ❀️

We’re sitting around waiting on supper guests and I thought of this meme.

We’re listening to Christmas music and there’s chicken tortilla soup and chai and pumpkin bars for supper.

It was a nice Saturday. But the girls and I can’t find good warm boots that aren’t suede or don’t have fur on them. It’s so chinooky all winter and there’s often mud mixed with snow and fur isn’t nice. Liesl and I looked in vain today.

Here’s a Christmas song for you.

https://youtu.be/IqcrXcrXMcQ

The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown

O, the rising of the sun,
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ,

The holly bears a blossom,
As white as lily flow’r,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
To be our dear Saviour

O, the rising of the sun,
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ,

The holly bears a berry,
As red as any blood,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
To do poor sinners good

O, the rising of the sun,
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ,

The holly bears a prickle,
As sharp as any thorn,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
On Christmas Day in the morn,

O, the rising of the sun,
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ,

The holly bears a bark,
As bitter as the gall,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
For to redeem us all,

O, the rising of the sun,
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ,

The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown

O, the rising of the sun,
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ,

It’s still warm and slippery.

We decorated for Christmas after school today.

The children went star gazing tonight with their school class and Tillie said that she never saw such beautiful stars here before.

I keep writing and erasing and trying to listen to the conversation flowing around me. The kids have a friend here and I’m too tired to be trying to get anything decent written. So I’ll let you go, eat some chips with them, and head to bed.

priorities

Last night a blog reader sent me these questions:

“How do you organize your priorities? How do you decide what gets done and what gets left undone? Do you have any guiding principles for this?”

My first thought was Oh Boy. I’m not sure how long she’s been reading here, but maybe she hasn’t learned yet that organization is not one of my strong points.

But thanks for this question anyway. I had a slow day at work and lots of time to think about what my priorities are.

I occasionally make lists to help keep my head together. But mostly I just do the next thing in front of me. And too often I live under the tyranny of the urgent.

I grew up with a mom who was very organized and efficient. I always assumed that I would be like her. Somehow with having three babies really close together and a lot of battles with depression, I simply couldn’t be and do all that I hoped to. I realized that a lot of things really aren’t that important.

I think my guiding principle is this: Serve God and serve others.

Now my mom did this and she did it well. She had time to sit and have tea with the neighbours or invite someone in at the last minute for lunch.

I just don’t seem be able to keep up like she did. We don’t live in chaos, but it’s just not like it was at my childhood home.

I’m at a weird stage of life where I can choose my priorities like never before. So you’d think that I’d have time to deep clean and sit and sew.

But I don’t get a lot of joy out of those things. I usually wait until it’s necessary to do them. It comes back to the God and people thing.

This is nothing earth shaking, but I think it’s good to ask yourself questions like these:

Am I giving God my time?

Are the people (family, students, friends, customers, employers) in my life well cared for by me?

Maybe things get messy through the week. But do I prioritize and clean them up on a regular basis?

The teacher is giving God her time when she loves the difficult child and makes her classroom welcoming for her students. The seamstress is giving God her time when she’s making beautiful things for others. The woman with the spotless house is giving God her time if she is making her clean home a place for others to rest and be at peace.

You can write or decorate or pursue health or go to your daily job and do it with a spirit of service.

I don’t feel like I answered the questions very well. And I don’t want to come across as pious or better than. How would you answer the questions above?

I don’t have other pictures that are postable today, so here’s an Instagram post.

We celebrated thanksgiving back in October, but I wish you many American lovelies a wonderful, thankful weekend.

A good Wednesday

This morning (after coffee and sweeping the floor and making chicken soup for Dan’s lunch) involved a beautiful striped sunrise and two beautiful moose in a field.

Then there was coffee and cherry coconut tarts with my cousin Linda, who lives an hour from here. I had never been to her house (terrible!), but we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit online in the last year, so it was lovely to go to her cozy place and meet her cute children and talk a mile a minute about many things. She is excited about kingdom Christianity and her enthusiasm is catching. I left feeling very encouraged.

Now I’m working at my Christmas mail stack again. Do you write Mr and Mrs for your married friends when you address envelopes? Or their first names? I discovered I do both and there’s no rhyme or reason.

Also, the year is winding to a close and I feel like a lot of these posts were kind of hum drum. That’s just life, I know. But do you have any burning questions you’d like to ask me or things you would like me to address here?

Email, message me, or leave a comment.

(dugoutwillow@gmail.com)

3 pictures

It was a quiet day at work. One of the food sorting ladies gave me some coconut yogurt, and I unashamedly downed half the carton. This brand is so good.

The sun shone in at 4:30 and bathed the living room in a warm glow after a very grey day.

And last night I made a few cards.

Thanks for your votes. Someday I’ll do a giveaway for a little pack of them.

Liesl is making supper and I think I’ll use the time I’d spend cooking to address envelopes for Christmas pictures. I’d tell you how many I have to send, but I’m afraid you’d think I was lying or bragging. It’s a ridiculous amount. But I don’t know who to cut out.

Happy Tuesday evening! How will you spend yours?

Slippery and slushy

It was a slippery, sloshy, slushy day. We are having baked halibut for supper.

I am thinking I should do some painting tonight. I screenshot simple doodles from the internet and use them as a guide. These are some of my screenshots.

They’re numbered. Do you have a favourite or three? I’m planning to sketch some of them and add touches of colour.

evening falls

The soft, pretty snow all left the trees and fence posts with temperatures above 0 C today. It’s kind of weird, but once you are into winter, you’d just as soon that it stays winter. The children are anxious to skate again and it gets so slippery on the back roads when it gets warm. I’ve fallen twice this year already when out walking. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting old or what. But it’s really troubling.

This picture is from yesterday.

I had a good talk with my mom last night. She’s doing well, just worrying a lot that she has or she’ll get Alzheimer’s and be a burden to someone someday.

Darkness is falling so very early these days. Like you don’t all know that… But of course it’s earlier the farther north you go. Like you don’t all know THAT. πŸ€ͺπŸ˜„ I just got up and turned on lamps. It’s 4:52.

We just invited friends for coffee, so I’m glad it won’t be a long, quiet evening. I LOVE those too. But we’ve had lots of them lately.

It’s been good chatting again. Tell me something to spice up my late afternoon cloudy day doldrums. What was the best part of today for you?

Mine might have been listening to my favourite pastor speak.

Or maybe it was wearing my white dress and fringy olive green sweater and matching with Liesl.

Tell me yours.