Happy Monday!

Renovations…

Well so much for me bouncing back into my regular blogging routine. I didn’t foresee the extension of the work of the carpenters and painters we hired to repaint and repair some wood rot on the exterior of our home. The work began on July 1st and we are still in the mix. The painters would be closer to finished however the carpenters discovered some wood rot that is on a corner beam of our home which could be really serious. So today they will wrap up their original work and begin to look into it to see what kind of damage we are dealing with and what additional costs needed to complete the work. I am pleased with the work to date I am just trying to prepare for the new scope and the additional time it will take to complete the work. I also didn’t foresee the heatwave that just wiped me out this past week and especially this weekend. I literally just wanted to lay on the couch and drink loads of water all day. Not my best moments. Needless to say, I wasn’t quite in the mood to sit down and write a post.

Carpenter at work.

Today the humidity has lessened and the temperature has dropped enough for me to work outside on my deck. So I am sitting out here with my husband who is also working from home. I have some Coltrane on my headphones and in my periphery I can see the contractors move about. I know despite the unexpected additional work, the house will look beautiful. We had been putting this off for long enough so I am pleased to check that box.

Paint scraping and electrician securing safety.

How has your summer been so far? I always feel rushed as we near the end of July. It has been a fast ride here especially since we had a cold and wet spring. I cherish the additional outdoor time because in the winter, I don’t spend much time outside.

I’ll send some garden pictures soon to show you where it is at this time. The heat has made it a struggle for me to weed. I don’t like doing it much anymore and the heat only discourages my feeble efforts. But despite it, I see my vegetable garden progressing and so thrilled to see my garlic soon. I keep checking in on my garden guru friend on when I can harvest them and she keeps telling me to be patient. So I wait.

We have had two Robin families put their nest in a shrub next to our house. It’s really an honor however it is near my water source and so when I go to reach below the tree to turn on the water to water my plants, the mother and father bird swoop low over my head and then land on my garage and squawk at me until I leave. I try to explain I won’t hurt the babies but they won’t hear it. It’s wonderful to watch the cycle of life so close up despite my run ins with mom and dad.

Well I am off to get some work before my boys decide it’s time to get out of bed. I will be back later this week with some crafty happenings. Have a blessed day!

Belinda

I’m Back!!!!

Hello friends! I hope you haven’t forgot me in my long absence. I apologize. I got caught up with the end of the school year and then bam, right into my family summer vacation. But now I am back and preparing to head out of town for the holiday weekend. I now know I prefer space between vacations and weekend escapes. I usually need a week to recover from vacations and a few days to recover from weekend escapes. My mind has a hard time turning back to routine. Oh and one last vent (that’s what I’m doing right?), we are having our home painted and repaired and the contractor arrived the day after we arrived back from our vacation. They arrive each day at 7:30am and leave around 4. AAAAAgggg!!!! That limbo state kinda stinks but I know it will be worth it in the end.

On the positive side, the rain took care of my lawn and garden while I was away so everything looks fantastic. I think I only lost one plant.  The photos above are from my garden yesterday. I will share some vacation photos in my next post. But I wanted to pop in and make sure you didn’t forget me. I hope you are having a lovely summer!

Belinda

Monday Meditations

“When we ignore acknowledging and seeing injustice, when we turn our face, then we legitimize it and allow for the corruption of our values.”

Let me give some background before I talk about this quote. For many years, I had a Sunday morning ritual. I would wake up hours before my family, make a cup or pot of tea and a light snack. I would put them on a tray and head out to my living room and watch an episode of Super Soul Sunday on OWN. I always brought my Kindle, a special journal for my notes and a pen. While sipping my hot tea, I would listen to the discussions about faith and spirituality. I would pause it to write notes and at the end I would reflect on the lessons I learned and tried to find ways to open to new concepts. I wanted to find ways to apply them in my life. I called it my spiritual time. I guess in a way it was my equivalent to going to church.

In 2017, Oprah made a beautiful book called “The Wisdom of Sundays”with lessons she picked up from her many discussions from her guests on Super Soul Sunday. It was a much prettier version of what I had been doing over the years. So I bought it and love looking through it for inspiration and guidance. I still have my journal which I call my spiritual journal and look at it often because the lessons remain relevant.

I opened it up today to look at one of my first entries in my journal. I wrote the notes on December 20, 2015. Oprah’s guest was Zainab Salbi, a women’s right activist and humanitarian.  She is also written a couple of books and founded the Women for Women International. The quote I have above is from Oprah’s talk with Mrs. Salbi.

I will quote it here again:

“When we ignore acknowledging and seeing injustice, when we turn our face, then we legitimize it and allow for the corruption of our values.”

This quote is on the first page in my journal. And I couldn’t turn the page. It speaks to me when I think about the current turmoil our country is in the midst.

I take in the news differently for the past three years in hopes of some self-preservation. It can be overwhelming to take in the content of the news and the bombardment of social media. So I actively take in information in smaller doses and on different mediums.

This quote speaks to me because sometimes my acts of self-preservation are at the expense of my values. When I should be leaning in to help bring forth change, I lean back and grumble. Progress in our society will take place when we lean in to the chaos. Only when we acknowledge the truths can we begin the process towards healing.

What I like about quotes like this, is the universality of it. It can be applied to so many aspects in life. That is why I revisit my journal. It helps to ignite the fire in me. It helps me take off my blinders and participate in not only my growth but the growth of others.

I hope you liked this post. It is not meant to push religion or spirituality into your life but my hope is that it will help you to find reflection that leads to personal growth.

Namaste!

Annual Girls Trip Recap

Well hello my friends. I hope you are well today. It’s quite gloomy outside but inside I am feeling happy. I just arrived home Sunday night from my annual girlfriend weekend and boy is it good for the soul. I left Thursday morning and rode up with my friend who doesn’t mind the long drive. It’s always fun because we get caught up on each other’s lives and before we know it we are almost there. But our first stop is to this lovely cafe that serves the yummiest sandwiches and then when our bellies are full we ride the final 10 minutes to the Inn. I never tire watching all of the mountain views as we get closer to our destination.

This year was our 10th anniversary having this trip and when we arrived they had a fabulous spread that included a chocolate fountain with yummy fruit to dip in it.

I took the time to enjoy a massage right at the inn. I always put off getting them throughout the year but I think this year I am going to change that and try to incorporate it. Maybe one every other month because the knots and tension in my shoulders are no joke!

I worked on loads of card-making projects breaking out many new stamps and inks and then I even spent some time coloring in one of my new coloring books.

I tested out new techniques and played with new stamps. It was productive and fun to relax and play with my supplies uninterrupted.

The food and service at the Inn were amazing as usual. Once again I was spoiled by the staff when it came to breakfast options!

The ladies are so talented in so many areas. Two of my friends are amazing quilters and there was a lot of oooo and aaah going on all weekend as we pawed all of there pretty creations.

My friend Pam and I had been discussing her beautiful quilts and I asked her if she had time, if she could make me one. Well she brought the finished product to give to me on our trip and let me tell you, I am over the moon! I told her the colors I like and that I like hummingbirds. She made the most amazing quilt for me. She had it wrapped in a matching pillowcase. I couldn’t stop talking about it while I was there. Ok, maybe a little bragging! But it’s so beautiful. I even took it out and sat by the fireplace with my current read and broke it in. I am so grateful and feel blessed to have such a generous friend to lend her talent to make me something so special.  I know I am going to get a lot of use out of this quilt.

I broke in my quilt with a fireside reading session. I look forward to many hours with this beauty!

My friend Pam was a productive one this weekend. This is a wall hanging she made while we were there. It’s even more beautiful in person.

I stayed up later than I normally do to hang out but then each night I had a date with my book and fireplace. Unfortunately, most nights I didn’t read very far before I would fall asleep.

Kathryn made t-shirts to help us celebrate reaching 10 years of our creative escape!

Overall another successful trip and l look forward to the fun next year.

Belinda

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