Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Bird Break

Find some quiet, private time.  Allow yourself to slow down and relax.  Find nature, meditate, or do nothing.  Take a mental break.  You'll gain the benefits of a quiet mind.
Tom Giaquinto

Sometimes you just need to breathe and be in the moment.
Bird watching does that for me.
And it's the only time I use my Canon which has a fantastic zoom.
Unfortunately, I never remember to look at or even post all the pictures I take.  I enjoy the moment and then go about my business and the pictures are forgotten.
I haven't posted since Friday (due to the fact that I'm packing and organizing for our trip to the States), so thought this would be an excellent opportunity to take a little break and share some of those photos with you.  That way you can do a little armchair birdwatching.
 Mynas (below) are sometimes considered pests but I love listening to their amazing birdsong.  They have quite the repertoire which gives them the amazing ability to mimic language and sounds.

 This past week our temperature soared to about 125 degrees.  My poor scented geranium bit the dust some time back, but this little dove on the left didn't mind as it made the perfect perch.  Common purslane is growing freely in the same pot and makes a nice snack for the birds.
It's close to midnight here so time for me to call it a night.
Hope you find some time for you own mental break today.
Best wishes,

Friday, July 3, 2015

Five on Friday: Crochet and a Bonus Recipe

Cheers to a brand new month.  Here's hoping July is much better than June which was filled with so much heartache.

This week has been filled with lots of crochet.
Since last Friday I've made several potholders.
A couple of succulents using this pattern from Pretty Providence and some more rock covers.

More dreamcatchers.
And today I finished up 6 gift bags for kids.
Last night, I tried a new veggie burger recipe.
You can find the recipe here on One Green Planet.
I've not had a whole lot of success with veggie burgers in the past, so cut the recipe in half just in case it didn't turn out.  I did, however, leave the chickpea flour at 1/4 cup and since I didn't have jalapeno, I added fresh cilantro instead.
They turned out absolutely perfectly.  I quickly mixed up a spicy tahini sauce and served the burgers on top of tomato slices with roasted potatoes on the side.  I will definitely be making these again.

Best wishes,

Thursday, July 2, 2015


I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing. 
Agatha Christie

Today the funerals for Wink at A Creative Being and my youngest son's former Middle School teacher are being held.  Wink suffered from severe depression and took her own life.  Sharon died from complications of malaria.  Both unexpected.  Both gone too soon.
Mandalas represent wholeness and are believed to be a cosmic diagram of life and our connection to the infinite.  In celestial circles they represent earth, sun and moon; and in conceptual circles they represent friends, family and community.

I crocheted the colorful mandala in memory of Wink using one of her patterns.
It will be sent to Kathryn at A Crochet Concupiscence in California who has organized a project (#mandalasformarinke) to raise awareness about depression.
My cousin's wife took her own life in the early 80's leaving behind two young boys so I am well aware of the devastating consequences of loss to depression.
Crafters in the Instagram and blogging community have joined together to support the cause.
We will see two full moons this month.  The second will be on July 31st.  Those who follow astrological themes believe that the two weeks after a full moon, during it's waning phase, is a time for release.
"Choose your thoughts carefully.  Keep what brings you peace, release what brings you suffering.  And know that happiness is just a thought away."
Nishan Panwar

Have a blessed day,

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air — explode softly — and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth — boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn’t go cheap, either — not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.
~Robert Fulghum~

There was a time last year when I had heard about The Secret Garden but had no idea where it was located.  Now that I'm involved in the planning of the yarnbombing project, I've lost count of how many times I've been out there. 
 The project is slowly coming together, bit by bit, piece by piece, step by step.

It's amazing what color can do to brighten up a space.
On yet another sad note, I read yesterday of the passing of Marinke Slump of A Creative Being.  If you are a crocheter and have ever searched for mandala patterns, no doubt you have come across Wink and her wonderful blog where she shares many free patterns and is well known for her vibrant, colorful manadalas.  Her first book Boho Crochet was published earlier this year and her second book is due out in the Fall.  She was a creative, beautiful soul who suffered from depression and sadly took her own life this past Friday.

Kathryn of Crochet Concupiscence has organized a crochet project in memory of Wink that you can read about here.

Blessings to all,

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Craft as Therapy

“It is only with true love and compassion that we can begin to mend what is broken in the world. It is these two blessed things that can begin to heal all broken hearts.”

Steve MaraboliLife, the Truth, and Being Free

I published my Five on Friday post before we heard the horrible news of the suicide bomber at a mosque here in Kuwait.  My husband and I were actually on our way home from one of the malls when his aunt called from Jerusalem wanting to make sure he was okay,  It was the first we heard of the blast that killed 26.  As a young lady said on her Instagram account, "Terrorism knows no religion."  Ramadan is supposed to be a holy month but has now been tainted for so many who lost loved ones.

This type of act is meant to incite fear and dissension within a community or country.
The only way to fight back is to unite and show solidarity.

A  meeting of our crochet group for The Secret Garden project had already been planned for Saturday afternoon, and while some did drop out, we still had a nice group of 7 meet up.  More squares were donated and there was much discussion of how we will proceed and what our future plans will be.
It's nice to come together with like-minded people for a common cause.  On Instagram, there is a hashtag called #craftastherapy which is certainly accurate.  Our 2 hour meeting flew by in no time.
Image result for crochet quotes
I hope you find time today for whatever brings you comfort.
Best wishes,

Friday, June 26, 2015

Five on Friday

"It's the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary."

Paulo Coelho

Thankful for my little balcony garden where doves find respite.  I enjoy watching through the window as they eat from the plants and drink from the bowl of water I've placed in one of the pots.
It's also Jingles favorite spot for relaxing and exploring.
I'm always delighted to find volunteer plants growing, even if some people consider them weeds.  The one on the right is called common purslane and grows wild here.  It is used in salads or as a side green and provides 6 times more Vitamin E than spinach and 7 times more beta carotene than carrots.  It is also high in Vitamin C and other vitamins as well as an essential omega-3 fatty acid called alphalinolenic acid.  Not bad for a little wild weed.  
Anything that's green is allowed to grow in my garden and is especially appreciated when it has pretty little flowers.
I've gathered together some of my cotton yarn with plans to crochet some colorful potholders today.
And I'm reading The Alchemist right along with my husband.   I started it years ago but never finished it even though I enjoyed it immensely.  Ironically, someone recommended it to my husband yesterday and insisted it was a must read so he came home with a different release of it.  He's already 15 pages in and loves it.

So that's my five.
Enjoying, relaxing, delighting, crocheting, reading.
Sharing with Amy for Five on Friday.
Have a fabulous day!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bittersweet June

Can't we friends, compare the passing
      And the life of this cocoon
      To man's lowly, dark existence
      'Neath the stars, the sun, the moon
Ere he sheds his shell of matter,
Tries his Spirit wings in flight,

      Leaves the house that he has lived in,
      And goes forth, where all is bright?
(Gertrude Tooley Buckingham -- "The Cocoon", 1940s)

Do you believe that everything happens for a reason?

Yesterday I posted about the dance of life.

Today, my youngest son learned that one of his former middle school teachers died this morning from complications of malaria.  And just moments ago, my husband came home to tell me the father of one of our friends passed away.
June is the month in which my mother-in-law passed away 10 years ago.
It's also the month in which my husband and I met on a blind date 23 years ago.

A bittersweet month of love and loss.

Peace and blessings to all,

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Dance

Everything in the universe has a rhythm; everything dances.
(Maya Angelou)

Last week while out running an errand, I was drawn to a group of pigeons.  Their habits are quite fascinating to watch.  To the one side, it looked like a female had died and a male was circling her in confusion; as if he was willing her to get up.  (Of course, that's just my interpretation of what I saw.)  Pigeons and doves do form very strong mating bonds so I imagine the loss of a mate would be significant.
 To the other side, a mating dance was taking place.

 It's so funny to watch the male twirl around, fan his feathers and puff out his chest hoping to attract the female who usually seems to be completely oblivious to his attentions.
But he doesn't give up.  He just keeps following her around, doing his dance.

While visiting with a friend on Sunday who just lost her father to liver cancer, I was reminded of the ebb and flow of life.  
She expressed how wonderfully rich and sweet and full life can be, but then .,..a moment comes along that stops you in your tracks, rips your heart out, and you wonder when you will be happy again.

Happiness, that grand mistress of the ceremonies in the dance of life, impels us through all its mazes and meanderings, but leads none of us by the same route.
(Charles Caleb Colton)

Joy and sorrow; love and loss.
The only way to survive is to honor the feelings and embrace the changes.
It's all a part of the dance.

Have a blessed day,
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