Hi Everyone,

I hope you and yours are doing well. Those of you still dealing with lockdowns, hang in there. Try to find things you enjoy to relieve the boredom and stress. For those of you who are sick or have family/friends who are sick there are thoughts and prayers for you all as well as those who have lost loved ones during this mess. For my fellow Americans on this Inauguration Day, I am praying for an end to the division in our country and that the transition to a new administration will be peaceful. We really should have advanced more as human beings than to once again resort to violence to solve our problems.

Life here at Crooked Barn Farm (We are seriously considering that as a name for our place. I will show you why one day.) has ungone another transition. Dear Son and Girlfriend have set out on their own again. Hopefully some tenative plans they have will gel soon and I will give an update. It’s much quieter here. Not that they were loud, but the general comings and goings of two other people add to the energy of a place. I’m going to miss them, but it was time. Dear Niece will definitely miss them because DH and I are boring old folks to her.

Yesterday the weather was warm enough for DH and me to work a little in the garden and do other outside projects. I try to soak in any Vitamin D I can get this time of year. Next week is looking like cold and rain again.

I am continuing to paint more wood boards. The flowers in the main photo is my most recent. Possibly this week I will get some listed in my Etsy store. More exciting is that I have walls going up in my studio. DH has been hard at work in there. Since we are having to buy the drywall a little at a time, the plan is to finish the far end and work across. Theoretically when that end is painted (my job) and the window framed out, I can actually start setting up my work space and possibly do some work up there. The lighting is going to be a little tricky and I really need that working to be able to function up there. Progress though!

Hopefully by Spring the worse of it will be done and I can dig out my oil paint and canvas again. There was some organization of my supplies in that mess, but now that DH has had to move boxes around, I have no idea where stuff is. It will be an adventure.

That’s all the news for now. Hopefully things will stay peaceful and quiet here and out there in the world. Stay safe.

Faith, Hope, Love, Grace



The Untangler

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are well and all is right in your world today.  I made the Executive Decision (I’m self-employed so I get to do that) on Thursday to take next week off to, well, get Christmas stuff done and take a little break. The week before and after Christmas are always my slowest of the year anyway. I did have to wrap up a couple of projects first thus the delay in this week’s post and the fact that the pictures I wanted to upload just won’t.

Today’s subject is something I have been pondering for about two and a half months now.  It started purcolating in my little brain while D. and I were at the beach in October.  He was wanting to go fishing, but had a big, tangled mess of fishing line. After a few minutes of watching his frustration in trying to untangle the mess, I took it, sent him off to make lunch and in about 15 minutes presented him with the separate pieces of line. It reminded me of my early years in retail where the jewelry department would bring me boxes of tangled up necklaces to sort out on slow nights back in my area of the home shop. I seemed to be the only one with the patience to work at the mess until each piece was free. Little did I know that this tiny talent would be tested time and time again.

If you have the blessing of several decades under your belt, I’m sure you have recognized patterns and recurring themes in your life. If you are early in your journey on this earth maybe not, but if you pay attention, you will too. One of mine is The Untangler evidently. Physically and metaphorically. 

In my recent middle-of-the-night knitting sessions I realized that as I made hundreds of little loops to create a garment, my brain was tediously un-looping one problem after another in this tangled up mess that is my late sister-in-law’s estate. I also realized that over the years I have been given the task OR had forced upon me the task of straightening out  messes of increasing complication and they were usually created by OTHER PEOPLE. I have made my share of messes all by myself but either they were not so bad or I’m more proficient at fixing my own messes. 
As I knitted I tried to think of the names I would give to the subtle talents of other people I know. These would be people I know very well because these are not obvious talents nor are they the professions of these folks though elements may be involved. The Healer would be one of the first. Not doctors or nurses, but those glorious people who, through the almost lost art of listening and attention, help you heal from life’s wounds. The Connector would be another. They know EVERYONE and make mental connections that bring different people together to accomplish goals, big and little. There is The Mediator that has probably been helping their people work out differences since the first playground incident. The Warrior comes in to decide and end a dispute The Mediator has given up on. I haven’t seen an abundance of The Warriors, which is good, not because they are bad people, but because to end a battle there is often a high personal and emotional price for The Warrior to pay just like in any war. 

This brings up another observation. These ingrained “gifts” are not chosen and are often a source of high stress. For me to untangle a big mess takes enormous energy, time and frustration. Time away from what I want and need to be doing and looking at the list above I think that would be true in each category. To live as a society and it could be argued, to even survive as humans we need each and every one of these abilities as well as any I have not mentioned.  I guess we should look at them as a part of our contribution for life on planet Earth. 

Have a wonderful week and bless you for THE GIFTS you bring to ease the difficulties of humankind. 

Photo credit…if one shows up its mine but there seems to be an uploading issue today. I gave up waiting on it to load.

How do we stop this?


This morning I was just getting ready to start a light hearted post about how I have been trying to find my way around in my new community when D. got home from work and asked what had happened in Dallas.  I had not watched the news yet and turned it on to hear about the shootings and more of our law enforcement officers killed or wounded.

What I don’t mention or put on Facebook is the fact that D. puts on a law enforcement uniform everyday that he goes to work.  He has been doing that since the 1980’s.  People have wondered why he has been a mystery person in my life for the past four years.  Today explains why.

D. serves as a Detention Officer.  He does not work on the streets, but goes to work every day keeping watch over our criminals.  No one thanks him for what he does.  The public doesn’t see what these men and women have to put up with so they don’t think to say “thank you for keeping us safe” and certainly their “guests” don’t thank them even though often their job includes keeping the inmates safe from other inmates or even hurting themselves.

The Detention Officers also face verbal and physical threats often every day. Twice D. has been physically attacked and injured at his workplace.  How many of us have to deal with that day in and day out?  YOU have work stress??

Don’t think that our law enforcement officers and their families are not extremely aware of the current situation in our country.  Every day that D. leaves for work he knows that wearing that uniform makes him a sitting duck in his car or parking lot or stopping to pick up some groceries.  Don’t think that I am not thinking about it as well.

I have friends who are married to or in relationships with law enforcement officers.  We are all very proud of what they do in whatever area they serve. It is a shame that we often have to consider what we send out into the public to keep them safe.  The huge majority of our officers care deeply about what they do and the people they encounter.

One of the things that I admire most about D. is that he treats everyone with equal respect.  I have seen him greet a homeless person and ask him how he is doing just as he would one of my business clients.  We once went to a restaurant where a young man who had been a regular at the jail, came out from the kitchen and shook D’s hand and proceeded to tell him how he had gotten off drugs and was turning his life around.  Something in the way my husband treated that young man left a positive mark.

Every position has its rotten apples and yes, they need to be weeded out. BUT there is a legal process that deals with these people and innocent lives should not be taken by vigilantes.  Our officers know that anything can happen at any moment, but the current atmosphere of hatred and division in our country should not be added to the shoulders of good people trying to do a good job in protecting our lives and property.

Please thank a law enforcement officer this week, pray for their safety and the healing of our country.


Photo/art credit could not be found completely.  This is as close as I could get.  I will happily add the credit if someone finds it.