2012: Renew

Last year around this time, I noticed various bloggers participating in what I thought was a great idea:  choosing a single word and striving to work the ideas from that word into your daily life.  Brilliant.  The problem was, last year at this time I was just looking to survive.  Privately, I guess I did adopt my own word for 2011, and it was endure.  Since I’m here a year later I guess I did achieve just that, however I’m not so sure how well.


For the past couple months, I’ve been pondering this idea yet again and have decided that I will indeed participate again this year, but in a more public manner.  Lots of thought went into deciding just what it is that I wanted to work on-there’s just so many options!  After coming up with a word, I pondered it for even longer (why is it I just can’t make simple things simple I ask you?!).  Yes…I believe that I’m onto something and am ‘officially’ proclaiming it (oh the pressure).



to begin or take up again; resume.


to restore or replenish: to renew a stock of goods.


to make, say, or do again.


to revive; reestablish.

to become new or as if new again 


I also found it interesting that synonyms associated with renew include:  re-create, rejuvenate, regenerate, reinstate, mend.   Yes, yes and YES!


The past 2.5 years have been…..crazy.  The results of that craziness have been wonderful, but it sure can wear a person out both physically and mentally.  Yes, I need to renew myself, probably more mentally than anything.  For the past few months I’ve been working on doing just that, but I think I’m just scratching the surface.  Let’s see what 12 more months of renewing can do, shall we? 


christmas in my heart


How we got from Thanksgiving to twelve days before Christmas I couldn’t tell you.   Come about the beginning of this month, I realized that I had better get moving on my Christmas shopping (remember the days when I’d have it all done before Thanksgiving?  Ahhh…) or there would be no gifts for under that tree.  Thankfully, my husband has stepped up to the plate and has wrapped just about everything.



When I pulled out all of our Christmas decorations this year (which had been in storage since October, 2010), I realized that I was in need of some more ‘personal’ touches.  Sure, I had made the family Christmas quilts a few years back, but as far as other things we were definitely lacking.





Then I thought, wouldn’t it be neat to make it a tradition that I make something for Christmas EVERY year (too much turkey?  Maybe.).  I knew that there wasn’t enough time for a quilt, but I didn’t have many other ideas beyond that.  Internet searches were pretty useless, so I turned to my folder of inspiration;  just little snippets I find here and there and save for that ‘someday’.



I had done very little with wool and my knowledge on embroidery had consisted of about 2 stitches, but I wasn’t going to let that deter me!  I diligently plowed into unknown territory and figured that I had to start somewhere.  Besides, I love Dickens and this quote had always struck me as good advice to abide by.




I finished it up last night and then proudly framed it and hung it in our foyer.   It’s not perfect, but I learned a lot doing this little gem, and I definitely see myself doing a few more of this for different areas of Thee Homestead.  Now while I’m working around the home, I’ll detour through the foyer just to see my handwork.  Love it!   Makes me want to have some wassail.


Today I’m thankful for:

1.  Cedar and balsam candles

2.  Hot showers

3.  Red mixers

signed, sealed and ready to be delivered


It was questionable as to whether this quilt was going to be finished in time for the deadline.   It lingered, untouched, for at least 3 months in my basket, while I worked through my little ‘crisis’ this summer.



Sometime during mid-September, I forced myself to pull it out and start working on it again.  At that time, all I knew was that the quilts for Gwen’s next book were due to the photographers in November.   I’m so glad that I made myself finish it because I know that I would’ve been so mad at myself for passing up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.



Tomorrow, I send it off to Kentucky to be photographed.  But the best part?  I got my quilting mojo back!


Today I’m thankful for:


1.  Bluejays

2.  A day at home

3.  Packages in the mail

feathering the nest

Even though we’ve lived in our new home for over 5 months, it’s only been within the past 6 weeks that I’ve taken on the task of decorating it.  When we moved out of our other home, I sold a good portion of the pictures and such that I had simply because I was tired of them.  I figured that after 20 or more years of service, it was time for them to move on.  It has taken me awhile to figure out how to go about decorating Thee Mission, simply because it is so different than our old home.  Slowly, as the weeks pass, I’ve been adding some touches here and there, and I’m liking it!


I found this little gem at a arts and crafts fair about 2 months ago.  It was love at first sight.  After striking up a conversation with the artist, I learned that he tears down old buildings (barns, cabins, etc) and uses the wood to make his creations.  He also uses the old slate he acquires for the roof.



I’m totally smitten with this little house and can easily imagine what it would have been like to live in…if I was a troll that is.





I’ve always wanted to decorate the top of my corner cupboard, but in our previous home, the ceilings weren’t high enough for me to squeeze something up there.  Now, our ceilings range from 9′ all the way up to 18′.  No problem with space this time around!  These boxes I found on Etsy definitely make things more interesting along with some dried flowers and a little crock.


The most recent addition is a new dining room table.  We have a breakfast area as well as a dining room in this home, so our old dining room table went into the breakfast area.  For the dining room, I wanted a larger table that could seat many for our holiday dinners that I love to hold.  After I came up with a plan and some measurements, I headed out to see my favorite Amish carpenter (and previous neighbor), Roman.  After patiently waiting for over two months, we were able to pick it up last week and I totally love it.  The man continues to amaze me!  I now can easily seat 10 versus the 6 that my old table allowed.




Finally, the dining room at Thee Mission is starting to take shape.  A few more purchases and some quilts, and I think I may be able to call a room “done”.  Bring on the turkey!

morning walks

Now that my youngest daughter is back in school and my oldest daughter is working during the day, I’ve found myself with some extra time on my hands and wondering what to do with it.  Quite the change from the past several years.  Crazy!  So, one beautiful morning I decided that Sadie and I were going to head out to enjoy the woods while summer was still hanging on. We have the great fortune of living about 2 minutes away from this.


up the trail by Thee Mission Homestead

I’ve come to realize that Sadie isn’t a spring chick anymore.  She’s not the only one!  This December she’ll be 9.  These girls of mine are just growing up too fast!   Anyways, spring chick or not, she thoroughly enjoyed herself, and we’ve decided to make it a habit.  Can you blame us with the view?


following the creek by Thee Mission Homestead



corgi on alert by Thee Mission Homestead


Of course, there is the occasional stopping to smell the flowers along the way.  Maybe even chase a squirrel or two.


checking things out by Thee Mission Homestead


Once we make it to the bridge, we usually stop to see the ducks and geese (need to remember to take some bread next time!), and then turn around and head back.


to the bridge by Thee Mission Homestead

And now that I’ve got myself a smaller camera (versus my DSLR) to take along with me, we can capture all sorts of shots while we’re out and about.


 waddle by Thee Mission Homestead


Of course, Sadie would probably prefer that I refrain from taking these sort of pictures and focus instead on the trees and such. 


Today I’m thankful for:


1.  Birds singing

2.  Good cookbooks

3.  Corn stalks