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Monday, June 30, 2014

Joy June - Last Day!

Like Lemony Snickett, I suffered a series of unfortunate events recently. My joy is that I survived!

After having several trees removed from our property, well, the hot water heater leaked all over the basement. When we called and told them how old it was they were surprised it had lasted as long as it did. I don't think there is anything more stressful than listening to workmen pound, bang & clang in your basement, wondering what they are doing and hoping all is well. After a few hours we had hot water again and could shower & wash dishes. Joy.

I met a friend for lunch (joy), something we had been planning but which kept getting derailed by our schedules. I locked my keys in the car. YAURGH! Luckily, she called her mom, who lived nearby, who drove me to my house so I could pick up my extra set of keys . . . which I had misplaced and had to search for . . . but which I found. Joy.

I am knitting a pair of socks. I did not like how the pattern was emerging. I pulled out the needles & unraveled back to my "lifeline", a thread woven through the stitches at a strategic point so the knitting can be raveled if necessary and picked up without starting all over. Alas, I dropped a stitch, could NOT pick it up and decided to unravel the whole thing. Luckily I had not worked very far, and when I started over found a very weak spot in my yarn which pulled apart, and which might have caused a hole in the finished socks. I have knit almost back to where I was and avoided potential disaster in the process. Joy.

So in spite of some setbacks, I am able to find joy in things after all - perhaps the most joyous part of it!

Quotable quotes; in the category That's One Law I'd Like To Break!

"If anything can go wrong, it will."  Murphy's Law

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Joy June 24

Well, I did it again - got so busy I did not have time to post my joys. I'll reach back to the weekend and add what has happened since to bring me joy.

! While a little sad, it's also a joy that we finally had some trees removed. One was growing right up next to the house and could potentially harm the foundation, the chimney and the wall since it bumps the house on windy days. Three were apple trees I planted years ago. They were supposed to be dwarves but grew to over 10 feet tall, became crowded and never produced more than two apples that I recall. The rest were volunteer maples and an invasive Asian bittersweet that I planted without researching it first.

! I got many things planted this weekend, including a flat of flowers, some tomatoes, a cucumber, zucchini, and assorted herbs. While planting, a beautiful little cat came to visit me in the yard. I love cats and would have liked to adopt her but she was obviously someone's pet, so we reluctantly said goodbye.

! I did some decluttering in the house - a never ending goal - and got rid of some things that should have been gotten rid of years ago. Joy!

Quotable quotes; in the category You Can Have Joy If You Just Think About It!

"Oh joy! Rapture! I got a brain!" The Scarecrow from MGM's The Wizard Of Oz.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Joy June 18

My biggest joy is the weather. It is been and will be hot and humid all week - the kind of weather I hate the most - but today it finally rained & stormed which means the garden got a good watering & weeds will be easy to pull. And it cooled off a bit.

Also, I tried my hand at painting a stormy sky. Not quite what I'd aimed for but I'm pleased that I made the effort.
This is a view of a brick wall & ivy covered building across the street from my office. The sky got dark & angry so fast I couldn't keep up!

Quotable quotes; in the category Now That Sounds Like Fun!

"Remember to play after every storm."  Mattie Stepanek, American poet

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Joy June 17

I've been too busy to post so I'll have to make up for it.

What has given me joy recently? This past weekend I finished a few knitting projects - golf club covers for my brother-in-law,
 a wool tea cozy for my sister,
 a baby blanket for a niece who is expecting her first child,
and a scrapbook page incorporating valentines from The Man the past couple years (sorry, no picture of that one).

It's fun & feels good to "get things done". I also called a tree service, which I should have done years ago.  There is a volunteer elm tree growing inches from the house & threatening to knock down the chimney. Sadly, it has to go. The joy part is the quote came in well below what I was expecting and we're ready to go with that project.
Finally, a picture I painted & posted at my facebook page received many complimentary comments and an offer to buy! Since it was painted in a  journal & had writing on it, I did a second one and the friend has confirmed she wants to buy it.  Does this make me a professional artist? Or just a commissioned one?

I guess that's enough joy to make up for lost time!

Quotable quotes; in the category Anybody Wanna Share?

"To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with."  Mark Twain

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Joy June 11

Several weeks ago I made a sourdough starter. I posted about it on my other blog, "It's My Food Blog", but today I wanted to post about my sourdough related joy!

I had read that sourdough starter takes quite some time to become truly "sour" & flavorful. That may be. I usually feed my starter mid week and then try to use some on the weekend, either for a loaf of bread or a pizza crust.

This week, when I fed the starter, it smelled truly sour for the first time - wine-y & yeasty. Yesterday I prepared the dough for a pizza crust, to be made and eaten tonight for supper. The starter was even more sour, foamy & "just right".

So today is a double-joy. The joy of my starter, which has not died and continues to age & mature, and a homemade pizza for supper tonight (one of our favorite suppers).

What's bringing you joy today?

Quotable quotes; in the category Go Ahead!  What Have You Got To Lose?

"Pizza makes me think that anything is possible."  Henry Rollins


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Joy June 10

I did something very unusual for me today - something that, while it scared me, also brought me joy. I posted a picture of the watercolor I did this weekend to my facebook page.
Understand there are many artists in my extended family - sister, brother, mom, and my sister in law's sister & brother, and numerous friends - all extremely talented. Painting with watercolor is something I have always wanted to do and something I just don't seem to "get". Posting this was, for me, a very brave act.

I have been reading and watching tutorials online trying to decipher some of the mysteries of painting with watercolors.  Not sure I have it yet but I have been paying attention.  This is pretty much the first effort that came close to what I have been trying to do.  It's encouraging and makes me want to try again.

Quotable quotes; in the category I Guess I Still Have Quite A Ways To Go.

"The good watercolors take a lifetime - plus half an hour."  Toni Onley

Monday, June 9, 2014

Joy June 9

My main joy is I painted this weekend - made a few note cards & gift tags, made a painting journal and then painted in it - a scene of my garage & garden in the back yard. Unfortunately, the picture I took of it would not attach to an email so I'll have to try again if I want to share it.

High on the joy list - the poppies & roses are blooming in the yard and the weather has been great (in my opinion - some people think it's too cold). Cool & breezy and night time rain. Couldn't be better.

Watching Little Girl prance from window to window to view the outdoors has brought me lots of joy - both because I know how much she loves this and because she's so fun to watch!

Quotable quotes; in the category What Could Be Better? Or Simpler?

"Simple pleasures are best." Alan Bradley, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Joy June 5

Today's joy is a list to tide over until I can get back online.

!  Whomever planted the little marigolds & flowers under the tree outside my office has planted them under every tree in our block and the trees around the corner! How sweet! Joy whenever I pass them!

!  At home, my spider wort is blooming - deep purple in the  sunny backyard and paler lilac in the shady front yard.
!  The weather is cool & breezy - my absolute favorite - and with all the windows in the house open, Little Girl gets to view the great outdoors from every vantage point - she's fun to watch.

!  I have "painting time" scheduled for this weekend and vow to open the paintbox and just go, no matter what happens.

!  The robin that kept me awake from 2 to 4 a.m. this morning was finally silenced by the cardinal, who was quiet himself once his work was done.

Quotable quotes; in the category Who Knew Beautiful Could Be So Much Fun?

"Earth laughs in flowers."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Joy June 4

I have two joys to post - although both happened yesterday, I'm still happy about them today.

Yesterday I saw one of my neighbors outside my office.  I thought it was the tea lady next door but it must have been the flower lady farther down the street.

When I left work I found "someone" had planted a marigold and another little flowering plant at the base of the tree outside my office door.  From my desk I can see them if I move a little to the right. It cheers me to see them.

And when I got home yesterday Mr. & Mrs. Robin were in the neighbor's front yard making a chipping noise which could only mean they were calling to Junior, telling him it was time to fly and they would watch out for him.  Although baby was not visible I sure could hear him, clearly saying "I don't wanna!"

I love it when the parents teach the kids to fly. And I'm sure the kids feel joy, too, when they finally take off.

Quotable quotes; in the category It's Not Enough To Know It, You Have To Use It!

"Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings."  Salvador Dali

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June Days of Joy

Inspired by another blog I am accepting the challenge to post daily joys.  Of course, I won't make it every day as I have limited access to the internet - but I'll make a real effort to post a joy each day that I am able.

To make up for my late start, I'll post something that happened a couple days ago - the in-laws sent me a potted orchid.  I was leery about its health and fully expected the several buds on it to drop off, as had happened with past experiments.
Imagine my surprise when it bloomed this past weekend!  The two lovely blooms in the picture - and a third opened yesterday.

If I manage to keep this one alive (I had one, bought on a clearance rack, that bloomed again and again for several years, and another that is still alive but has not bloomed since the first time) it will be an extra joy!

Quotable quotes; in the category You'll Feel Better Tomorrow.

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."  Psalm 30:5