Category Archives: Family

30 Days of Thanksgiving…

…I just read about this in a wonderful blog called 4:53 a.m. It seems a very good idea to me to spend time rehearsing blessings rather than dwelling on all that is wrong (or perceived wrong) in the world around me or in my world. Since I am starting this on the 2nd of November I have a day to catch up on as I start.

Yesterday, the first, I was home sick with the flu. I either curled up in bed or sat in my chair covered with a soft (and hand knitted by moi) afghan. I was and am thankful for a warm house, leisure to rest when I need rest and better living through chemistry (Thera-flu TM-no commercial intended, but it works for me).
Today, I am thankful for my DH who always…always…cares for me in a gentle, tender way that oftentimes is far more than I deserve. He is a gift from God and, after 26+ years I can still say I am so very blessed by my life’s partner.

What are you thankful for today? How would the world change if we focused on thankfulness? How would our perspective change? How would MY perspective change.

Blessings,
Julie

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Hello from…

…beautiful Thunder Bay, ONT, Canada.  We spent our day touristing around this lovely city.  The morning started with breakfast in our  hotel room.  I will spare you photos of me in the morning chowing on a doughnut followed by a healthy high fiber bar. 🙂  Then we all headed for Kekabeka Provincial Park -famous primarily for it’s beautiful falls.  Feast your eyes:

Falls from visitor's center overlook

Falls from visitor's center overlook

Another shot of the falls, this time of a very cool stairstep formation between the two drops.

Kekabeka Falls-stairs

Kekabeka Falls-stairs

Next up is a group photo of all seven of us at the falls:

Family shot at the falls

Family shot at the falls

After the falls we went to a very popular…and apparently somewhat famous…Finnish restaurant in the city call Hoitos.  We feasted on such specialties as Finnish pancakes…light, thin, big and totally yummy, a flat rye bread with rice baked into the center whose name escapes me right now, but it was served with egg salad, tomatoes and pickles and was delicious, perogi served with fried onions and sour cream, homemade lentil soup and also some kind of Finnish beef stew.  The meal was fabulous, so if you’re ever in the neighborhood…Run, don’t walk to Hoitos.

The afternoon found us at Hillcrest Gardens. The views….and the flowers were absolutely spectacular.  The first photo I will share is my niece who very kindly submitted to about 5400 photo ops today :-), then the rest are flowers and I will end today’s photos with a tribute to the nation we are visiting.  We thank them for their beautiful homeland and kind hospitality.

Our dear niece presiding over a magnificent view

Our dear niece presiding over a magnificent view

I don't know what these are but I love them!

I don't know what these are but I love them!

Aren't the yellows glorious?

Aren't the yellows glorious?

I love all the different colors!

I love all the different colors!

In a shady spot...

In a shady spot...

Thank you for a beautiful day, Canada! You are the best of neighbors!

Thank you for a beautiful day, Canada! You are the best of neighbors!

It was indeed a very full and very fun day. Now I am off to bed and tomorrow we are off for Wawa, Ont, Canada. Between here and there we will be covering 240 miles of forest, rock and shoreline.  Looking forward…

Blessings,

Julie

Vacation…

…north-style, day one.  We have started on this year’s great adventure…a motor trip around Lake Superior.  We began this morning from our home in the southern part of Minnesota accompanied by two of DH’s sisters and our niece.  We drove north to Duluth and picked up dad and mom C.  Well, actually, we didn’t pick them up, they are driving one of the cars, we are driving the other.

From Duluth we headed up the North Shore of Lake Superior…an absolutely glorious drive on an absolutely glorious day!  We saw Split Rock Lighthouse:

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

We had lunch at the best pizza place around:  Sven and Ole’s in Grand Marias, MN.  This is a fine establishment known for pizzas made from unusual ingredients such as Lutefisk (kid you not) and wild rice.  We enjoyed a chicken and sausage, thin crust pizza and a little more unusual variety with wild rice, mushrooms, Canadian bacon, green pepper and onion.  They were both fabulous.

From there it was off to Canada.  After clearing customs we came to rest at our first destination:  Thunderbay, ONT.  We are staying at a lovely hotel with this kind of backyard:

Thunder Bay landscape

Thunder Bay landscape

and…

Wild Flowers galore

Wild Flowers galore

and…

Gorgeous flowers

Gorgeous flowers

and finally…DH and I…

On the banks of the backyard pond

On the banks of the backyard pond

Stay turned for more as we explore beautiful Thunder Bay tomorrow.

Blessings,

Julie

A quick…

…update. Vacation was wonderful. Pictures are forthcoming. My birthday…well, was my birthday. I was still doing laundry from aforementioned vacation. But then the dratted chest pain started up again in earnest. (Poor Earnest…why do we pick on him?)

So…the long and short of it is…I had another visit to the North Memorial Cardiac spa. So to those of you who have asked me about stash for sale…please be patient with me for another week or so and I promise I will have emails out. To those of you who are wondering if I still stitch…well, I plan to, how’s that? This weekend. 🙂
So…see you all next week when I shall endeavor to make up for lost time.

Blessings,
Julie

Nope…

I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet. It was just a very, very busy week. I am still hoping, on this last day of June, to finish one more goal I set. I want to finish all the kloster blocks on A Quilter’s Garden by Emie Bishop, so I can move on to the eyelets and cross-stitching. I am…SO CLOSE. I will take a photo as soon as my camera comes home from Cleveland. DH seems to think architecting is more important than pictures of ecru on ercu stitching. 🙂 Since he brings home a good portion of our bacon by practicing his profession, who am I to argue???

In other news…lol… we will be moving at the end of the month and while I am looking forward to more space and a dedicated studio, I am not looking forward to moving. I’ve spent quite a number of hours in the last few days starting to sort (yes, again), organize and pack my needlework/art supplies. I do have a couple of photos of the chaos which ensued from my good efforts:

Chaos One

These are my kit boxes..labeled by designer.

And this was taken while I was sorting threads:

Chaos II

See if you can find the phone, label machine and, hardest of all, the bed. The bed which my mother plans on occupying tomorrow night. Yikes!

And, last but not least:

Chaos III

Somewhere underneath all the thread and baskets is a comfy rocker. Also to be used by mom tomorrow night. Double yikes!!! Mom, if you’re reading this, I promise it looks better now…really!

So…that’s my life right at this moment. Always a bit of a challenge, but still good. I’ll be updating as I can over the next month and still hope to get lots of stitching done.

Hope everyone is enjoying pretty weather on this summer’s day.

Blessings,

Julie

A personal post…

…of gratitude mixed with a bit of sadness. Please understand you will glimpse a few of my deeply held beliefs in the words that follow. If something in that idea bothers you, please simply stop reading and take no offense. This is a blog of my life and passions…my beliefs are one of those passions. For everyone who stops by, thank you for sharing my world.

Happy Father’s Day to the men in my life who are wonderful fathers. My father-in-law, Ray, my brother Tim, my brothers-in-law Ed and Bob, my cousin Bob, our great friends Derek and David and to all the fathers out there who consider their walk with their children a high and holy calling. (In this I also include my husband Dan, because, although he never got the chance to be a biological father, he has the heart of a dad.)

Today is a bittersweet day for me. I had a wonderful dad…or should say I have, because I feel as though he’s looking over my shoulder as I write this. You see he went home to be with his Lord last August at the age of 81. He left quickly, a massive heart attack on the shores of his beloved Crystal Lake. I know it is what he would have chosen, indeed did choose, for his homegoing. I know he has taken to his next great adventure with enthusiasm and his characteristic verve. I can only imagine the wonders he is seeing, the most joyous of which is to be in the presence of the Lord he loved and honored for most of his long life. I believe, with all my heart, I will have a grand reunion with him one day and I’m pretty certain he’s going to make it his task for eternity to assure that everyone in the Heavenly city is properly introduced. (I do worry a bit that he might start talking politics…or telling fish stories:-)

But although I know he is enjoying the greatest wonders of his life, I miss him terribly. I wasn’t even close to being ready to walk this path without him and if it were my wishes that governed such things he would be here with Tim and Mom and I today. Instead, I honor his memory. I want to say a very public thank you to a man who…as I wrote above…considered, considers fatherhood a high and holy calling.

Thank you, Daddy: For the love (sometimes tough), for the teaching, for the listening, for the laughter and most especially, for the gift of your time. I love you. I miss you.

(This shows his personality very well :-))

And to all the fathers in my life…thank you for touching lives as you have. You are indeed lights on high hills.

Blessings,

Julie

–My son (and daughter :-)), observe the commandment of your father, and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart, tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep they will watch over you; and when awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching is light… — Proverbs 6: 20-23