Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Places in the Heart...

During our visit at Easter, Amanda (my daughter) and I enjoyed an outing to Black Dog Salvage, an antique and salvage shop in Roanoke.  This wonderful old afghan caught my eye.... much in the same way this one did at Canton earlier this year.  I was drawn to the beautiful corals and blues and greens and yellows.. and browns.  I could appreciate the hours someone had spent crocheting it... and how amazing her eye for color was.  But, I didn't buy it; the limit on baggage is just no fun!  

Come Mother's Day, a box arrived from Amanda and the Little Men.  I was touched... and delighted when I saw this gorgeous array of colors inside... and, even more, by the cards and the words from my Loves.  Amanda is so good at finding the words and gifts that delight and feed our souls.  SHE is gifted that way.  Thoughtful.  Attentive.  Considerate. 

You would think I wouldn't still miss her so much... The two years they were going to be in Virginia first stretched to three years... and then four... and are now closing in on five.  You would think I would be used to it.  I'm not. 

I am very, very blessed to be close to others in our family.  But, here's the thing:  each child holds a place in your heart.  One can never replace or overshadow the other.  I've also experienced years I was separated from my son... the grief of that separation continually weighed on my heart.  Doesn't mean you don't enjoy your life and your relationships with others; it just means their place in your heart achesAches just for them.   Is filled only by them.

Truth is... separation can be more than just road-miles.  Separation can be in the same room.  I have a soft heart for those separated... physically or emotionally... far or near... because I know each.

Many mothers and grandmothers struggle with the ache of being separated from their children and grandchildren..   I love that there are others... the ones who are close... and who share the lives of their children and grandchildren... all the firsts...  the birthdays...the sick days... the good days... the days in the park... trips to get yogurt... the pleasure of the mundane, everyday routines.  To be a part of... not a visitor in... the lives of those you love.... is a true gift.  For those who have that opportunity, please enjoy every moment of it... enough for those who would love to be-a-part of their loved one's lives also.  I envy, but do not begrudge. 

One of the greatest joys is to see your children spread their wings... and fly... then soar... And, that joy keeps you moving in the right direction.  You raise them to take flight... and you thank God that they do.   Still...  you miss them when they fly far, far away.

In the same way our children hold a place in our hearts,  each of us holds a place in God's heart... that no one else can fill... or take... or overshadow.  It is ours.  And, His heart delights in our presence and longs for us when we pull away.  I love knowing that I have a place in His heart... that my children and grandchildren have a place in His heart...

I hope you delight in knowing that you have a place in His heart, too.

"Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, 'Don't be afraid; just believe.'"  Mark 5:36

"May the stars carry your sadness away,
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
May hope forever wipe away your tears,
And, above all, may silence make you strong."
~ Chief Dan George

Continuing to hold the places in my heart...

blessings ~ tanna

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Enabling, Rabbit Chases and Unloved Projects

The knitting world is filled with enablers:  Folks who support your addiction and lead you off chasing rabbits when you should be staying the course.

I have a project in my basket (that for love of me, I cannot imagine WHY I wanted to do it; it will be referred to henceforth as The Unloved) that I need to finish.  I am a finisher.  I hate UFOs.  I cannot justify the waste of a yarn purchase and pattern.  I am forcing myself to continue with The Unloved.  

Then, I walk into our LYS and see one of our other knitters, Lisa, has done this oh, so soft and FEEL GOOD shawl...

Next thing you know, I'm off chasing rabbits and have abandoned The Unloved for greener pastures, so to say.   This is a SUPER FAST knit, a quick-fix for a Knitting Jones.  I am very sad to report that this Noro Kogarashi yarn is discontinued... because it was the true REASON for my diversion.  Just can't tell you how good it feels!

I added fringe in order to use almost every last inch of the two skeins I had.  And, I LOVE the outcome.

For those of you interested, I made a photo of the passed-around-version-of-the-pattern from our LYS.  Seems the pattern is no longer available.  It was free; so, I hope they would not mind my sharing.  I managed 9 repeats of the pattern before finishing with the last 8 rows (you know I love big).  Mine also does not have the first and last two stitches of each even row knit (my bad). 

I've been Radio Silent (blog silent) for the past few days.  Lots of visiting with friends, another wedding, Father's Day, a golf tournament (one of my golf friends THANKED ME for finishing DAL, dead-ass-last, so she wouldn't have to... with friends like these... I'm just sayin'...), beginning another watercolor, the usual duties, and living life... it all takes time!  ;) 

I can honestly say, I have no idea how people ever get bored.  I never have enough time to do ALL that I want to do.  I hope you are better at managing your time.  One of  my friends and I did recently confess that we could get more done if we just didn't have to keep remembering what we were trying to do... OR looking for things we have "put somewhere".  ;)

blessings to all ~ tanna

Thursday, June 13, 2013

2013 Master Gardener's Tour

Two weekends ago, I went on the Master Gardener's Tour with my friends, Mike and Patrice.  These heads were some of my favorite things of the day.  To tell the truth, the yard they were in was amazing, opulent, and... a bit overwhelming for me.  It was huge and perfect.  I think I  like smaller... not quite so perfect.  But, it was VERY impressive and well done.

There were four of them lining steps to a second level of yard.

This was the dining area adjacent to the beautiful outdoor kitchen/den.

And, up the head-lined-stairs was another beautiful lounging spot.  Just incredible.

I love the herbs in the pots...

And, the welcome wagon at the back door.  I have tons more photos from this place, but we are moving on...

I loved the color... and the bird... and the less opulent beauty.

Out of all the gardens, this was my favorite and the side yard was the star for me!  LOVED it!

Sweet little gnome reading to the bunnies in the mushroom forest.  {sigh} and big smile. 

Yes, I was fixated on this spot...

And, it had an owl... actually, several owls.  You know I love those!

It's dining area was oh, so perfect.  Note the chandelier and the crown on top of the pergola.
And lovely duck topiaries stood on each side welcoming you to dine.  Beautiful garden and design.  Loved it.  That's it for the Garden Tour.  Hope you each have a wonderful weekend!!

"Each moment in time we have it all, even when we think we don't."  ~ Melody Beattie

blessings ~ tanna

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Koi and Creativity...

It's been awhile since I've shared any photos of the Koi Boys, in The Pond (see how much they've grown).  They are so big and bright and beautiful... I spent some time this past weekend studying them after having the urge to attempt another Koi watercolor. 

I wasn't satisfied with the one I did in class last year... and it's taken awhile for me to work up the courage to attempt the water... and the fish UNDER water again.  I love how the shadows and reflections of the water show the graceful movement of the fish... oh, to be able to convey that on paper...

I have never thought of myself as a "creative" person... more of a math and science kind of gal here...  But, I have always loved color and texture and scent... and in the past few years, I have loved working with the beautiful variety of yarns... and the interactive magic of watercolor.  I still wouldn't necessarily refer to myself as creative, but I recognize a process of brooding and fertile dormancy before I push out something... a garment or a painting... and I wonder... is that what they call the creative process? 

Whatever it is, I seem to labor on it in my mind long before I see any physical manifestation... Maybe it is the math and science part of myself needing an equation.  LOL!  I am brooding over these fish right now!!  =)

One of my friends, Annette, who does beautiful watercolors (so sorry, she doesn't blog) sent me a link to find these instructional videos by Soon Y. Warren.  Can you say "perfect timing"?  I am so excited to have these to help me figure out the water!  Thank you, Annette!

And, speaking of creativity and art, I was most fortunate to win Catherine Holman's contest for naming her latest painting, Chimney Smoke and Cheery Snow Folk.  Please stop over and say hi to Catherine at Catherine Holman Folk Art.  I know this will become a Christmastime favorite!!  Thank you, Catherine!!

"Ever tried.  Ever failed.  No matter.  Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better." 
~ Samuel Beckett

I hope your creative process is brooding along... or churning out... or starting over...  just as it is meant to be...

blessings ~ tanna

Monday, June 10, 2013

Little Folk Love...

There is no greater joy than seeing happiness on the face of your loved ones... (check out those two little teeth!)

And, it is the simplest of things that can bring that happiness...

Through the eyes of a child... all is new again...

Velvet, our little assassin cat who is getting on in age, enjoyed the attention of a babe, too... well... maybe not so much... but she was a super good sport letting Little Lady get in her loves...

Stolen from Amanda

The other side of the joy in seeing the happiness on their faces is the sorrow of missing out on special times... Our Little Roo had his big 2nd birthday  and here... far, far away...

Stolen from Amanda

And, our precious Little Man had his end of year programs... This one from the Cubbies class of Awana... far, far away...  Noni misses you so much.

Children... and Grandchildren... bring your greatest joys and your greatest sorrows... In some ways, life would definitely be easier without them; but, I would have never reached the zeniths... nor the nadirs... Thank you, God, for the blessings You have given.

"The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises." 
~ Leo Buscaglia

blessings ~ tanna

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hill Country Wedding...

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of attending Emily's (daughter to one of my dear friends, Laura) wedding.  She was a gorgeous bride!

Emily's dreams were realized in a beautiful Texas Hill Country setting... every detail was so exquisitely perfect.  I only have a few highlights to share, but you'll get the feel...  white on white... elegant and fitting...  holding true to Emily's dream of a cowboy wedding...  with style!

I peeked in to get a photo before the reception... Would you have ever imagined that the inside of a Barn could look so amazing?

And, the message of the ceremony was the best I have ever heard... the minister didn't gloss over how, after the honeymoon, things can be a real challenge.  His encouragement to put God first and to have a tender and compassionate heart toward one another was right on the mark.  Next to raising children, having a successful and fulfilling marriage is the hardest job you will ever have.  There is no happily-ever-after without some effort... okay, a lot of effort... on both sides... and, a lot of help from God.

Meet some of my knitting friends:  myself, Kim (wearing a Boo Knits shawl), Laura (lovely mother-of-the-bride) and Sherry.  I've spent some wonderful hours knitting and solving life's problems with these ladies.

My beloved is standing next to a giant agave in the pasture.  It was just HUGE and so beautiful!!

Just one of the many plantings on and around the Barn.

Everyday. single. day. I am happy and blessed to be married to my Beloved.  Witnessing a precious young couple begin their journey together sweetens my own sense of appreciation...  of where we've been... and where we are going...
And strengthens my resolve to make the most of this gift... the gift of my Beloved.  I am thankful.  The journey and the lessons continue.  
A special thanks to Emily and Robert and their parents for allowing us the honor of bearing witness to this holy union.  May their journey be filled with joy and blessed by His Love
2 Corinthians 12:9  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 
blessings ~ tanna
PS thank you all for your most kind words after my last post... you embarrass me with your generosity, but I deeply appreciate your kindness.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Summer Love.

Summer brings warm, sultry breezes... Linen and cotton... Sunshine and shade...

Evenings of heavy, wet night air... Filled with heady, intoxicating scents...

I love summer...  years of spending time outdoors running or gardening or golfing (following years of working on the farm growing up) allowed my body to adapt to handling the heat...

The flip side of that is that the air conditioned indoors freeze me to the bone.

Enter:  The Big Easy... this shawl is created from Susan Ashcroft's No-Fuss Shade-Loving Shawl pattern that I added a border from the Kaw Valley Wrap I did a couple of years ago.

The yarn:  Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn in the natural shades.  Love.  Love.  Love... I fell in love with this yarn as soon as I saw it at Rose Path.  I wanted a simple pattern to show off its beauty; but, then as I neared the end, I felt like it deserved something a little special to finish it.  Hence, the Kaw Valley border knitted onto live stitches for the bind-off/finish.

I love the ginormous-ness and the wonderful light weight of the sock weight yarn.  I can tell this is going to be my favorite shawl of summer.  Big smiles here. 
I went to the Master Gardener Garden Tour with my friends, Mike and Patrice, today.  I'll share some photos of that soon and I still want to share a few photos from the beautiful Hill Country wedding we attended a couple of weeks ago.  So much to share: So little time!  ;)
I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful weekend as well.
blessings to all ~ tanna

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Numbers 6:24-26

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.