Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Our happily unexciting life

Since my last post I have spent most of my computer time on Ravelry, getting all my projects up to date, listing everything in my stash (with photos), learning which groups are good sources of information and community. Check out my stuff here.

I also discovered, after reading through some conversations about crocheting, that although I have been crocheting for most of my life, there are very few people who use the same technique as I do (I hold the yarn and the hook in my right hand and my left hand guides the fabric toward the hook). Same thing with knitting - I've been knitting longer than I've been crocheting, but I never gave the technique I use much thought until I read through a conversation on it in Ravelry, and again, I use a method of "flicking" which is different from most. I know I have always been a bit surprised to see other people knitting slowly, but couldn't figure out why. Now I know...

The time I have not been on Ravelry, I have been knitting and crocheting hand towels as well as making the first of two quilts, all for for Casa Vieja, the house that we are fixing up as a vacation rental.

We are filling it with handmade things - furniture made by the Pirate; sewn, crocheted and knit things by me, and various things also made locally. There's really very little that visitors can buy here that is made locally and typical of our region, and we want to change that. We have some very talented friends and would like to showcase their things in our vacation rental.

Our days are relatively unexciting in a very satisfying way. My friend Gretchen posted a lovely poem on her blog Gladsome Lights which does a great job of capturing it (click on the link to read it).

The weather is lovely - warm with a nice breeze every day. I can't understand why so many of the gringos who have houses here "escape the heat" by going back to the States every June and then they don't return until November. The only hot months here are the second half of August through the first half of October, and even then the heat isn't's cooler than much of Alta California at the same time of year, and definitely cooler than much or most of the U.S. However, with fewer gringos the locals and year-rounders get the town to themselves for half the year, which is another reason why our lives right now are "unexciting".

Here are a couple of teaser photos of our vacation rental house, which is right across the road from our house.

There's still lots to be done - furnishing it, planting grapes along the arbor (where the bench is in the 2nd photo), finishing the fence, etc. etc. But it will be ready for our family to do a test run over Thanksgiving, and then be available for rental through VRBO in 2015. Here's what it looked like before we bought it. We wanted to fix it up without changing the feeling. What do you think?

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Our oldest granddaughter Jordan graduated from high school yesterday. Since she had been homeschooled, her graduation was held at the church that my son's family is involved in. Jordan made a speech, the event was videotaped, a great feast was had by all, and she is now preparing for the next step in her life: going to YWAM's Discipleship Training School in Hawaii, and then (we think) college at University of the Nations, also connected with YWAM (Youth With a Mission - a worldwide parachurch evangelistic organization).

That's Jordan in a dress that I sewed by hand close to 40 years ago when I was reading the Little House books to her dad and uncle (they were about 6 and 4 years old at the time).

Jordan's cousin Brenna, the oldest daughter of our older son, will be graduating from (public) junior high school next week, and her younger brother Ethan will be graduating from 6th grade at the Christian elementary school where their mom teaches art and all 3 of her children have attended. How quickly it all goes! How soon they'll be adults!

This is lovely Brenna with her equally lovely mother Rhonda.

And here's the Big E, our star basketball/softball/soccer player.

And in the same vein, Padre Sergio, the priest who received us into the Catholic church, came to Todos Santos today to say good-bye to the people of this parish where he labored for many years. He is finally getting his long-held wish and transferring to the diocesis of Los Angeles (California, USA). Although he and his siblings grew up in Guadalajara, most of them now live in and around LA, and he has been trying for years to transfer up there. It's not easy to change from one diocese to another, and even more so when it means a change of country as well.

We never know how long we have to enjoy the people who are part of our lives today, or the details of our lives that make our hearts full. Circumstances change and people move on, and who knows when we'll be together again? It has been too many years since I've been at the great gathering of my family members that happens every July 4th on a lake in Wisconsin. It has been too many years since all of my husband's family have gotten together, although from the time we were married until the time our boys were in junior high we had a huge family Christmas party every year. Then the parents and aunts and uncles either died or moved away and our generation didn't pick up the ball. I guess "you don't know what you have 'til it's gone", as Joni Mitchell sang.

So "while it is called today", let us rejoice in the amazing gifts of God that surround us - the people, the plants, the birdsongs, the ocean and mountains, the dogs/cats/horses/goats/chickens, and all the small moments that fill our days. How precious every moment of life is!