Strength for Today


It has been a trying year.  Too many prominent members of the congregation have died with difficult circumstances surrounding their deaths.  It is emotional fuel for continued conflict and hurt within the leadership.  Too much personal anxiety around mental health issues in immediate family members, inheritance details, feelings of isolation, and decreasing hours of daylight has given birth to a silent litany of “I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care” as a way to cope.

I’ve been quilting, constantly, but not finishing a single project.  I’ve started three major pieces in the last month, all with deadlines.  I get almost finished, pull it down off the design board and start something else.  I contemplate whether my inability to finish mirrors my inability to let grief go.  Daily I begin by praying I will have enough emotional resources to get through today.

14729352_10202070259313637_5136655464477300416_n A couple of weeks ago the widow of one of the recently deceased members celebrated her 65th birthday.  Attempted to celebrate.  It has been very difficult for her.  The first anniversaries after a loved one dies typically is, the first Thanksgiving, the first birthday, the wedding anniversary, the baptism of a grandchild.  Christmas is going to be bleak.  I managed to finish this quilt and gift it to her.  I named it “Strength for Today, Hope for tomorrow.”  A line from the powerful hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness.  I pray it brings her comfort and some measure of peace.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Lamentations 3:22-24   The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

And Two Shall Become One


Yesterday was the first wedding I officiated in my new congregation.  It was a long and lovely day.  The bride looked beautiful, the groom handsome, and both, very nervous.  Both are quite shy, hating to be the centre of attention.  Their vows were barely a whisper.  They got through it and the second highlight was the piper leading them out of the church.
I had been working with them towards this point for over a year.  It gave me time to sew them a quilt as a wedding gift.
I designed it with two different blocks, Bridal Path and Honeymoon, using the colours they chose for the wedding.  Repeating hearts was a theme through their engagement, only made sense to quilt it with hearts.  The Quilty Guilt did a lovely job.DSC_0867DSC_0869DSC_08641 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Hostas la Vista


DSC_0692 DSC_0693 DSC_0710The hostas are spectacular this year.  The holes in the leaves of the first two photos are the result of a recent heavy hailstorm.  I adore the purple flowers.

Exodus 9:25
The hail struck down everything that was in the open field throughout all the land of Egypt, both human and animal; the hail also struck down all the plants of the field, and shattered every tree in the field.

It’s Growing Well


DSC_0710December we took possession of our new house in our new community.  Winter seemed to take a long time to break as I waited in anticipation of what would spring up in the flower beds.  I knew there would be purple cone flowers, other than that, it was all a mystery.  Spring arrived and I gave all the beds some housekeeping.  There appeared to be some hostas, irises, day lilies.  Daily I watched to see what was to be.

The beds were quite the mess.  I wasn’t holding out too much hope, they appeared to have been neglected for a few years.  I told myself not to be too surprised if the plants took a year to re-establish themselves.  The bearded and flag irises did poorly.  Less than a half dozen blossoms on four bunches.  The one nearest the house was mush.  I had to removed a number of rotted tubers.  I expect to transplant it later in the season.

There was an abundance of hostas, they were late in the southern most bed which is quite shaded.  I’m going to have to thin them out.  All of them bloomed, beautifully.

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The cone flowers began blooming this week.  They are fabulous!  One of my favourites, mainly because of the colour, of course!  There should be more than enough for some bouquets soon.
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I didn’t plant too many annuals this year.  We got a couple of hanging  baskets for the veranda.  There were pair of tall pillar planters on either side of the bench that I filled with cala lilies, pansies and petunias in shades of purple.  The pansies are struggling a little, DSC_0706but those in the front flower bed are doing well.
The day lilies posed the greatest concern for me.  They, like the hostas, dominate the beds.  My fear was the colour they would eventually display.  The fear was realized when they bloomed orange last week.  I know orange is a good contrast for purple, but it is not part of my preferred palate.  They have redeemed themselves, the blossoms are glorious.  DSC_0704
I will be thinning them out, quite a lot.  There are a number of people volunteering to take the discards.  I have a fabulous white one as a replacement and some more bearded irises.  Plus I want room for spring bulbs, tulips, alliums, grape hyacinths, and narcissus.
The flowers have done very well, inspite of at least three heavy hail storms that punched holes in the hostas and beat down the pansies and impatients.  Still, the weather has been warm and there has been lots of rain. Perfect for a riotous display of colour. So grateful for the glory of flowers.  Praise God for the beauty of the earth.
Deuteronomy 32:2   May my teaching drop like the rain, my speech condense like the dew; like gentle rain on grass, like showers on new growth.

Garden Firsts


We have lived in this house for four cycles through spring now.  I love this house, and the beautiful flower garden has been an added blessing.  There has been a little apple tree in the back yard since we moved it, this is the first spring it has bloomed, and bloomed beautifully.

DSC_0113Three falls ago I planted alium bulbs.  I suspect the area is too dry for them, the leaves have turned brown before the buds have developed.  This is the first spring there has been an almost bloom.

DSC_0106One of my earliest memories of cultivated flowers at the farm is of the beautiful common irises my great-grandmother planted.  A member of the congregation graciously gave me some rhyzomes last spring.  I love their deep purple colour.DSC_0105

Finally, and this is not actually a first, but a surprise.  The first spring we were here the tulips that greeted the warmth were yellow and orange (not my favourite colour palette).  I dug them all up and gave them away to who ever wanted them.  Gradually I replaced them with purple and white.  This spring, three years later, this is what I get, volunteers, or maybe I should say escape artists.  Surprise!

DSC_0114Isaiah 61:11   For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

 

WIP – Dilema Redux


As suspected, the red had to come out of Aunt Nancy’s Favourite.  So one has now become two.  I am replacing the removed blocks with blue, green and purple.

DSC_0088 Of course I am maintaining integrity by using more of Barbara Brackman’s fabrics from her Morris Apprentice, A Morris Tapestry and Morris and Company.  As I write, four more blocks to go and I will be re-assembling the top.

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Purple, Purple and really Purple


Last fall I planted over fifty tulip bulbs.  I was rather disappointed with how they displayed the spring before.  It must have been a good winter for them because even the bulbs from the previous year bloomed this.  My favourite are the Queen of the Night.

DSC_0075 DSC_0081 DSC_0086I spent most of the morning in the garden, planting potatoes, peas, onions and garlic.  We are not going over board this year.  I might add some carrots tomorrow.  That will be determined by the amount of rain we receive overnight.  We are currently under a severe rain warning.  Last time one was issued, all the low areas were flooded.  It was a laugh to see the flag on the ninth hole of the local Golf and Country club waving bravely from the middle of a lake.

I hope you are all enjoying your Victoria Day.