but if someone approaches the door, she'll run back into the living room and hide under the couch. And so, it was with some surprise that we searched and searched and searched the house a few days ago, both inside and out, unable to find her. Smitty found her, and she was outside. When he goes out, I leave the door open just in case she wants to join him. For the first time ever, she did. Phew! We were a little worried about her and so we were glad to find her safe and sound.
Fast forward to yesterday, I was sitting in a chair in full view of the door when I turned my back on it for just a second. Again, Miss Maggie disappeared outside. She's quite talented at making herself invisible. I can't recall if I've mentioned it before on this blog, but we've taken to calling her our little "gray ghost".
Not to worry, Smitty to the rescue:
Maggie? Nope...haven't seen her. But I'll help you look.
She's not back here...
She's not over here...
Finally, I spied her in the area we've taken to calling the "George hole". It's a fairly large tent of junipers where George used to go toward the end of his life when he wanted some alone time...especially when we were trying to get him in at night. Maggie clearly thinks it's a great little hidey hole too.
She's looking pretty confident of her safety in there, and it's a good place for a cat to hide.
While we were searching for Maggie, I noticed the Bleeding Heart is starting to form some blossoms.
When I wrote my blog post yesterday, I said the sun was trying to shine, and I was going to get out for a walk. Well...not so fast there, Cowgirl, because about the time I readied myself to venture out, it started raining again. So I stripped off my outdoor gear and then hopped on the treadmill...and then, the sun came out again.
Yeah...that's the view from my treadmill. You can see it raining off in the distance there. Spring is the season of rapidly changing weather where I live. It rained off and on all day, but I did get outside and take a couple of laps around the house yesterday evening, despite the rain. I was treated to this pretty rainbow.
Spring is also the season of many rainbows around here.
So, I didn't do any sewing yesterday because I was uncharacteristically ambitious about my housework. Besides, the day before I was all set to start on my little iron caddy
when I opened up the pattern instructions there was a picture of the sewing layout that sent shivers up my spine. At a glance, I couldn't make heads or tails of it. Oy. Well, that sort of stopped me dead in my tracks. I'm not usually able to delay gratification long enough to read an entire pattern before starting, but this time, it seemed like a good idea. The pattern was created by these ladies:
You can see their website right here. And now, if you can stand it, please permit me to digress for a moment.
As I've said many times on this blog, while I was in graduate school (during the 15th century), I learned that my ancestry was Amish. And this was quite a delightful surprise because I had for years been fascinated with the Amish. There is something about the simplicity of their lives that is captivating. While I would never want to give up the modern conveniences of my own life, I am envious of their commitment to living "plain".
Some years ago, I read a book entitled "Plain and Simple".
Sue Bender took it upon herself in a sort of spiritual quest to live with an Amish family for some months and then wrote a memoir about her experience. While I didn't so much appreciate the "memoir" portion, I did appreciate the information she provided of her first-hand account of the Amish lifestyle. There was a portion of the book that has always stuck with me and it is this:
"The women moved through the day unhurried. There was no rushing to finish so they could get on to the 'important things.' For them, it was all important.
* * * * *
"As the days passed, I felt I was living in a still-life painting. In the background was a soft, sweeping farm landscape, and in the foreground were many people, all busy doing their chores with silent grace.
"Everything was a ritual.
"Doing the dishes, mowing the lawn, baking bread, quilting, canning, hanging out the laundry, picking fresh produce, weeding . . . nothing had to be explained.
"No distinction was made between the sacred and the everyday. Five minutes in the early morning and five minutes in the evening were devoted to prayer. The rest of the day was spent living their beliefs. Their life was all one piece. It was all sacred--and all ordinary."It spoke to me of a lifestyle where even the most tedious of chores is valued. To the Amish, all work is worthwhile and sacred, because, for them, all work is God's work, and therefore, all work is valuable. While I'm not a person who practices a traditional faith, the passage still spoke to me and I remember it when a soup I'm making has more chopping than I once would have considered worthwhile...or when I'm doing hand stitching. It reminds me to slow down and live in the moment, especially when I'm performing the most menial of tasks.
So fast forward to yesterday while I was reading the pattern, I came across this Bible verse printed on the pattern:
And there it is, the Amish lifestyle in one verse.
It seems a fitting transition to tell you how much I am enjoying working on this little embroidery piece. I'm not sure what keeps me moving forward, but it's very hard to put down in the morning. Or...maybe I'm just trying to put off doing the laundry. It really doesn't matter.
This morning I worked most of the portions in the hoop, and then moved the hoop. Tomorrow I'll be stitching all the way to the top of the quilt shop.
Finally, I went through all those pictures yesterday looking for ones I might use when I take a class from Ann Shaw at the end of April. Then I remembered these two food pictures. This one hangs in my kitchen. I took a bunch of pictures of vegetables and fruits while we were having our kitchen remodeled several years ago. I can recall saying to the drywall guy..."Now, don't laugh at me while I take pictures of my vegetables."
Also, this peach pie from many years ago.
I'll add those to the mix, and thanks to those of you who have chimed in to tell me your favorites. It's helpful, and I am listening.
Okay, I don't suppose I can put off that laundry any longer, and so off I go to enjoy that simple pleasure.