Category Archives: Photo Journal

Winter Quiet

  shelf

January is a quiet month around here. Days of bitter cold and wind mark the days with slicks of snow now and then. Packing away the Christmas trimmings for another year always brings a bit of nostalgia and perhaps more so this year. My sister and I rarely visited each other over the holiday in recent years but so many memories attach to ornaments, especially the ones she had made or specially chose for us.  My sweet niece frequently has spent part of Christmas Day with us and this year she decided to take over our kitchen and make dinner for us and for her parents who were visiting. I know she meant it to be a blessing, and it was… and it wasn’t… I didn’t really know what to do with myself. Dinner was delicious and in a turn about, she left us with all the leftovers instead of taking them home. Changes can be hard.

   20180116_101902      Christmas Cactus     Christmas Cactus

The window garden has been slow this year. While I’ve been anxious to see color and enjoy the blooms, they seem part of the quietness, calling me to quiet myself.

African Violet     African Violet

Amaryllis            Amaryllis

I’ve considered that I left the Amaryllis bulbs outside too long last fall and they decided to prolong their beauty sleep. Finally, they are awake although we may not have bloom until Easter this year!

20171231_091300      20180121_152030      quilt

Do you make resolutions for the New Year? I don’t. But I think clearing clutter, downsizing, and reorganizing run like an undercurrent of my life these days. I’ve done some major work in the area of fabric and thread in the past, but still there is “the suitcase”. It hides our of sight in the back of a coat closet, blocking the way to the Christmas storage. Therefore, at least twice a year, it rolls out and I look through.  Finally, I decided to take out the remains of a duvet cover I made more than 25 years ago.

It was filthy and damaged in our house fire, but I loved it, so I salvaged what I could and washed it many times to remove the dirt and stench of smoke, fading and softening it in the process. A trip to the quilt shop before Christmas and I had the makings of a twin size quilt. This was a satisfying January project. I still have a few blocks and I’m considering them. They will not go back in the suitcase.

                      20180131_124849      recipe project

Another quiet winter project in the making – sorting out the recipes I only used at holiday time and giving them their own binder. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of this before. It will certainly declutter my every day files. And if I am honest in the process, I will discard many unnecessary ideas into the recycling box. This is a hard process, although one I have worked on from time to time. I started collecting cookbooks “with a story” before I was married. I lost quite a few with the fire but — there seem to be quite a few on the shelves; many, lovely gifts.

moon

Blue moon, red moon, eclipse

Holly

And the month ends with Holly Berry Day for the Robins! The trees were alive with a flock.

Whispers of Rest

Book club again for February.

I’m grateful for so many things; especially for you who take the time to visit here with me.

Come again, friend.

Another Epiphany

sunrise

a moment of sudden and great revelation

a sudden realization about the nature or meaning of something

Nativity

Nativity

Nativity

IMG_9331

Hardly fancy, but oh the memories – from the battered watering can from my parents’ home, the straw Nativity from my, then, little girl that started this assembly, to the music box angel from my Mother-in-law, gifts from friends, creatures collected… the curious, the worshipers, the stargazers… all are welcome…

  snowflake star

… while choirs of angels still sing…

angel banner

May the peoples of the earth seek and find the Peace they crave in an Epiphany.

And may God bless us everyone!

Healing things

I find it is the small things, the often overlooked or sometimes neglected things that can bring calm and restoration to my life. During these past months, I’ve had to force myself to find the things that comfort my soul. I’m sharing them to remind myself of the Whispers of Rest that God provides, if I will only notice. Perhaps they might be a reminder for you as we move closer to the winter holiday season and beyond into what we have as the long, cold of winter.

Notice. Make something with your hands. Enjoy the space that surrounds you – and all those you are blessed to have in it. The seasons change always brings some new beauty to bless us.

2017-11-23    2017-10-11

2017-08-30     Collages6

20170928_123459    20171118_153926    20171118_145254

ferns    calla bulbs and amaryllis bulbs    Sadie cat

still life  Advent begins. A quiet soul time. The link is a story with some resource links from the past. An online friend, Diana Trautwein, is starting her Advent Journey: Reflections for Weary Travelers and Bonnie Gray is Celebrating Advent, listening for God’s Whispers of Christmas.  Maybe you need a bit of rest yourself?

sunset

  • Double click on any photo to see the enlargement.

 

Growth

Lots of things have been growing in the heat of summer.

Whispers of Rest  When the weather is pleasant, I like to sit outside and read. Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray has been my 40 day companion for rest and personal growth. I enjoyed it so much, I’m starting over in August!

St Michael's  It has been many years since we took a trip to St Michael’s and the maritime museum. It was a hot day, but we did enjoy the indoor and outdoor museum features and a lovely river cruise.

Most days are home days this summer and while we will be settling into green, the flower gardens have been lovely – take a look!

Garden collage 1

Garden Collage 2

I’ve been working on some quilt projects this summer. Piecing a small project, sewing blocks together that I cut back before the broken foot, and sorting through the dwindling stash of old.

quilt plans  The last piece is part of a comforter cover I made long ago. It was seriously damaged when we had the fire, but I saved what I could. I just loved the colors. I’m trimming it down and backing it with the bird fabric for a kind of “cozy”.

jar of flowers

I haven’t forgotten Calla’s story. Coming soon…

 

Resting in the glory of June

June collage

For better or worse, I’m enjoying the flowers and ignoring a lot of weeds! Actually, until the last few days, the ground has been so dry that it will not give up the weeds but holds tight to the roots. Now that a bit has fallen, I’ve begun the slow process of routing them.

But soon I’ll have a story to tell – All about Calla!

 

Days of watchings

My brother has been in town. He came for an event but the plans for the week exploded wonderfully into visits with his children and grandchildren, sisters and niece.  It was fun to see everyone. His grands are growing into lovely people. So much growth in the few months since we last saw them. And like a whirlwind, he is gone again.

In the midst of all the chatting and coming and going, I always do best to quiet myself although that can be very hard to accomplish – or even remember! But this week, I did. I got outside a bit to check on what the earth is giving. Of course, I have to show you. It’s best to crouch down and have a close look, sniff, or listen.  hellebore    Hyacinth  new growth I’m rather excited about the new growth near the rock. I planted packets of bulbs last fall and I’m anxious to see what they will produce. Hyacinth blooms multiplied and the Hellebores are always charming as the first harbingers of spring here. There are ponds on nearby properties and the other night, when it was warm, I heard the sweet spring peeper chorus.

It has been so very dry this winter, hardly any snow or rain, but last night, the storms came and the rain fell through the day. I had an appointment in town and drove my favorite long way home through the reservoir. There were very few cars while I was there so it was a bit like my private park. A few geese searched the ground for nibbles while I sat and enjoyed the trees.

And on a canvas of glass, I watched the rain make art.

                             evergreen     evergreen2

                             trees 2     trees4

Do click on the photos to see the “modern art”.

For a fun video of the rain, visit my Instagram page: elaineweger.

 

Where the Wind Blows

The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.    John 3:8 HCSB

sunrise   sunrise   sunrise   sunrise

Months of wind. Cleaning the trees, knocking things over, waking me in the dark hours of night and morning and offering me opportunities to see rare beauty. The Spirit of God is like that.

The photos above are from this morning. A few recorded beauties follow.

Amaryllis

Amaryllis

Amaryllis

These. of course, are from our anticipated visits from Amaryllis. [click on any photo to enlarge]

 One welcome visitor, one not… One must look closely where the blossom starts to see the Brown marmorated stink bug. While nowhere near as invasive a nuisance as a few years ago, some still find their way through cracks, open doors and down the chimneys to overwinter. Any warm day finds them zinging about the house looking for a landing place – or a meal. I know it was probably cozy on the blossom, but, he was removed and perished. These are an invasive, non-native bug with no known predators. They do not bite, but suck. They have been particularly destructive to fruit crops here in the Mid-Atlantic region and, according to the linked article, have continued to spread throughout the country.

That’s the way, too, of life sucking troubles: they can hide away, just waiting for the right day to get out and about reproducing their destructive kind and sucking out the joy of life. It takes vigilance to catch and dispatch them.

Jonquils   When we first bought this property, we found a country trash pile in a back corner. We spent years hauling it away, bit by bit. It was covered in leaves and brush and every layer we removed gave opportunity for the wind and rain to remove more of the covering, revealing old metal parts of who-knows-what, foil baking pans from TV dinners and lots of glass – mostly broken. I did find two lovely pieces of blue glass, one a Noxzema jar (my Mom’s favorite) and the other, this 4 inch tall Bromo-Seltzer  bottle (always in Dad’s cupboard). The Jonquils were picked before the snow came. I love them in this blue, don’t you? These minis grow near the kitchen door where the sun warms the protected area and spring comes early.

Dawn   snow   deer   deer

The last snow of the season? Beautiful day with lots of bird visitors and and this brazen thief. Totally unimpressed with me. Her kind have totally stripped the hydrangeas of buds and the warm days that inspired growth of the daylilies provided unintended salad for them too.

What do you do on cold snowy or rainy days? I find them good soul nourishing days. Sometimes I make soups and bake bread and treats and get in a bit of stitching. craft  booksAnd, there are always stacks of reading materials at hand. The top three are in my own library, the rest borrowed from the county. Patsy Clairmont’s book of short stories – Stardust On My Pillow –  is a sweet favorite to re-read from time to time.

This time, I wanted to re-read “Chattanooga Choo Choo” Miss Pearl teaches Jamie about way-markers as she tells him to remember the signs his daddy left him when he died… “the signs your daddy left you will guide you into manhood”, for “A way-marker is like a signpost telling you which way to go.”  Way-markers. “Never let a good dead go unattended.” was one that inspired Jamie to take action. We might know it under different expressions: Saying thank you, writing a thank you note, taking a hostess gift, sending a teacher’s gift… So many things can be way-markers. Things remembered by the winds of the Spirit that remind us of the best way, not only to deal with the affairs of life, but to find the perfect way to our eternal home.

                         Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,  for in You I do trust;                                           Cause me to know the way in which I should walk. for I lift up my soul to You.

from Psalm 143

20170321_132941  This last photo was taken yesterday when the whispering breeze through the tree tops could barely be heard over the honking geese, screaming gulls , occasional car traffic. Each day is different in life. I must learn to listen.

Happy Spring!

hellebores

Winter – is it over yet?

No, but the page for January has been torn from the calendar. It was a slow month, a healing month with lots of resting under cozy quilts – with days when I felt like a hibernating bear. winter quilt  The good news is that the big boot has now been retired to the closet. Another month of caution and care has been prescribed, but healing is well under way in my bones and I am grateful.

The month began with robins celebrating the New Year here. The large holly tree we watch is at the front of the house and the bird bath at the back. There was constant activity and socializing for several days until the trees were stripped of every berry. Something we note every year – they eat the berries they pick fresh from the tree and ignore any that have fallen.

robins

I tend to wake early most days and love to open the shade and watch as night fades away. Some days there is drama, others just a gradual lightening of gray, but always there is beauty as the new day of promise dawns.dawning

My small world has been enlivened with candle light candle light and more bird watching.   Days I hear the Carolina Wren even before sunrise, his cheery wake-up call is very welcome. We have many woodpeckers: the Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied and Flicker will all come to the suet feeder outside our kitchen door.

This is a Northern Flicker.Flicker Several days I watched one or two poking about in the lawn/field for the longest time. They did seem to be successful in their hunting.

My month of self care has been full of reading, stitching, tea and coffee drinking, letter writing and musings. I found my word for the year – Trust – and started a notebook for verses, quotes and thoughts. notebookI also received a wonderful gift for this time when I discovered a month long online writing course from the very gracious and encouraging Andi Cumbo-Floyd. Each day was informative and thought provoking. The material she provided will be teaching me for quite some time – helping me to discover myself as a writer.

I’m watching my indoor garden plants come into bloom. I so appreciate the life and color they add to my life.

 Christmas cactus

I hope your January offered fulfillment and joy. May you be blessed in the coming month.