May 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Posted in art, faith, family, flowers, gifts, knitting, Life, love, women | 54 Comments
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I look outside my studio window as I write, viewing a great bounty of lush green growth.  

Trees, green grasses, flowers, an abundance of life that is breathtaking in its simplicity and rustic charm.  Several Amish families in open, black buggies pulled by elegant dark chestnut colored horses have passed by on the road, their children wearing straw hats in the bright morning sun.

I am blessed.

I look over at the watercolor painting I am working on with two swans I photographed on our river last year on a perfectly gorgeous June day.  It is amazing to me, that I have access to a river, to swans, to green fields, the canopy of trees, toads, our grand willow … too much to catalog even if I had a lifetime to do so.  The visual stimulation to me the artist is sometimes overwhelming in scope.  And yet, somehow I push through the abundance of subject matter and find something simple to create.

Yes, I am blessed.

Our hostas are amazing, yet again.  I don’t think I will ever cease to be amazed at the overflowing abundant green beauty of the hosta plant and the ease with which it is grown, managing itself with perfect timing and expanding affluence year after year.  My husband and I planted the hostas all around the house four or five years ago and by now they come back each spring huge and just so lovely I can hardly stand to contemplate it.  I am eternally grateful for the the hosta.

Our antique tree peony had a bit of a misfire this year.  March was unusually warm, then winter temperatures came again and many plants became confused as to what they were supposed to do.  The tree peony sprouted three buds very early on, but then the very cold weather in April gave her reason to take some more time off.  By the time things warmed up all she had to show for the year was the three buds.  They opened a few days ago, some two weeks early … very noticeable for a plant the opens her blossoms exactly like clockwork year after year on Memorial Day weekend.

I am not complaining about the three blossoms — they are as extraordinary as any tree peony blossoms ever are.  Last year we had, I believe, something like two dozen blossoms so I am merely noting a rather drastic difference.

For quite some time my freedom to create, whether it be knitting, needle felting, writing, or painting, was restricted by happenings in family and in life.  Life changes much as a river ebbs and flows and I am finding much time these days to do all of the creative things I love so much to do.  I am an artist, and when I cannot carve out the time and peace to create it takes a toll on me spiritually.  

However, I am also an eternal and almost annoying optimist so even when I get down about now being able to create I know things will change I will be able to create again, so I remained hopeful even if a bit sad.  And now, here I am with plenty of time and peace for my creativity.  My studio is like a chapel or temple, my place of religious retreat where I find comfort, meditation, spiritual room to fly, peace to contemplate and pray.

So many blessings brush my cheek as their misty truths cross through my mind: 50 acres; four seasons, Canada geese enjoying remnants of last year’s corn in the field, this year’s Sincere Pumpkin patch, the most wonderful and dear husband, two children to love dearly, a precious granddaughter, three crazy happy dogs, wind, rain, snow, sunshine, water, autumn, rivers and streams, a home, a cottage, more friends than I can count, you my reader, biscuits, laughter, the promise of fresh fruits and vegetables affordable and within easy reach at farm markets all over the place in our area, swans, ducks, song birds, wild flowers, paint, fiber, memories … you get the idea.

I am blessed.

My title today is bittersweet, because with all that I have to be thankful for (and I have only mentioned the tip of the iceberg in terms of the many blessings in our lives) is all so very bittersweet because my father, my dear sweet friend, has prostate cancer.  He was diagnosed with it many years ago and has done a great job with help from my mother in keeping it at bay.

Together they have done a great job with that.

But today, my father needs your prayers.  And my mother too.


They are truly two of the dearest, most loving people you can imagine and they have done much in their lives in service and kindness to others. They have earned the universe opening up today and enveloping them in a great big, comforting and loving embrace.

Your prayers will help.

Love you Dad and Mom.



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  1. My prayers will include you and your parents, I pray for strength and wisdom and most of all healing……..thinking of you and sending a hug….
    Margaret B

  2. Heartfelt prayers for your dear parents and for you. Thank you for blessing us all with a glimpse into your life on a farm. I so enjoy reading your blogs and seeing the beauty around you but for today it will be prayers…

  3. Amen.

  4. Your beautiful sharing touches me deeply. I so relate with knowing how blessed our lives are, and facing challenges. Sending you and your family prayers for peace, grace, and healing. Be well. XOXOXO

  5. My prayers will certainly include your parents. Having lost my dad to lung cancer and my mom has alzheimers – I can understand. Taking time to enjoy the beauty around you should always be part of your day – sometimes just the little things balance out a piece of the bad stuff.

  6. My prayers are with you and your family. God will give healing–in this world or the next. God promises to be with you as you go through this. Rely on Him.

  7. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers!

  8. blessings to you and your family…your post/pics were lovely…^)^lind

  9. Prayers to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for your parents, you and your family. May he bring comfort, peace, wisdom and strength to all. Guidance and wisdom to the doctors and health care staff. You are truly blessed. God bless.

  10. Sending lots of prayers for you and your dear sweet Dad. Yours words really hit home with me. So much is going on in my crazy life that I forget to be thankful.

  11. Firefly the photos are tremendous. Oh to be blessed with such artistry. I will put your mom and dad’s names on our prayer list at church. One can never have too many prayers. Love you and will keep your family in my prayers as well.

  12. My pryers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus be with your Dad,Mom, and yourself.
    He has a loving heart, and when we talk heart to heart, He listens, because we know hHe loves us all He wants, is we ask Him.
    God Bless you your work and family

  13. You, and your family are in my prayers.

  14. definitely including you and yours in my prayers

  15. My heart goes out to you. Your blogs are so beautiful and peaceful. May God grant you and your family strength and positive energy to cope with this sadness. You are all in my prayers.

  16. Sending many prayers for you and your Mom and Dad. Hugs as well to you.

  17. My prayers are with you!

  18. Your writing and beautiful pictures are so beautiful. You indeed are blessed. I’ll keep you and your parents in my thoughts and prayers and ask praying friends to do the same. Blessings to you.

  19. My prayers are with you and your parents.

  20. My prayers have been sent for you and your parents. Such a hard time..I have been there. Thanks for making me stop and think about all of my blessings that I have. I also live in the country and just love sitting out looking at nature and all the God given things around me. God Bless.

  21. Praying for mom and dad!

  22. I remember your parents every time I click onto your blog, since I promised a few years ago to pray for their health when both were not well. These are the times that love is poured out in suffering, but with the promise of everlasting joy. I shall pray for them and for you and will forward your request.

  23. Heatfelt and sincere prayers going up to the big guy for you and your family. It is my hope that the best possible outcome is what you will see. Take care.

  24. I will keep your father, mother and all who love them in my prayers. I share this journey with you through my sweet brother and his fight with this disease. May God’s peace and mercy and love fill your days, hours and minutes.

  25. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers, i know he will be their to streghten your father and hear all our prayers, God Bless

  26. I am not religious but my thoughts are with you ….

  27. Life is good/God is good…..all the time! Sending you and your family prayers of healing and strength as well as safe travels.

  28. My prayers are with your family and your parents. May God’s peace which passes all understanding be with you all.

  29. Your parents must be exceptional to have produced such a charming, talented person as you are. (Well, even though we have never met, except through this medium, I am quite sure of the accuracy of my statement.) I weep now and will pray for your dear ones.

  30. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. Having lost my husband a few months ago, my faith and prayers is what keeps me focused. I will put you on our prayer list. Thank you for sharing this personal message and for your great blog.
    God Bless.

  31. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your parents. You share with us and now we can share with you.

  32. I am so very sorry to hear about your father but I know that miracles happen everyday. Just as you listed many of your blessings your father’s illness is a bitter piece of news. He is loved and cherished and I think that is the greatest earthly blessing that we search for throughout our lives. It is the people we love and learn from that we bless and are blessed in return. My prayers and best wishes for you and your family.

  33. I will definitely send positive energy your way…it is a difficult thing to go through. Your parents have made you such a lovely person with many gifts and talents.

  34. Your family is in my prayers

  35. Having a father who loves and cares is something my brother and I never had, even when he was dying of colon cancer four miles from where I lived – and we were not told.

    It makes it even sadder that your kind, loving, caring father is battling prostate cancer.

    My suggestion is to ask him to make voice messages — that you might in the future have for listening and hearing his voice.

    Prostate cancer has been having excellent long-term results.

    Miracles happen all the time – and the miracle of having a father like you have is above all else.

    Prayers and positive thoughts go out to all you, including your father.

    Gentle as you go,

  36. We have a dear friend who is currently going through treatments for prostate cancer. We will share our healing thoughts and prayers to include your family as well. Thank you for your lovely blog, and for asking for what you need.

  37. Be Still and Know…It is the very best prayer I can offer. I am always touched by these simple yet profound words whenever words escape me. Thank you for sharing the beauty in your life. You inspire and remind us all to remember to be still.

  38. You are blessed as your father is still with you.
    My husband is recovering from the same cancer your wonderful father has. Our prayer go with you and with your father. I have only wonderful memories of mine.
    I pray all will go well and my God bless.

  39. Hope springs eternal, and our prayers will along with hope allow your parents an abiding peace to cover their lives with victory through Christ. I believe in miracles trust in our Lord and it will happen because our God is an awesome God and all things will come through him.
    Blessings to you and your parents, draw on each other for strength you will never be along.

  40. I said a prayer for your father. May Our Father be with him, you, and your mother. Jenn

  41. Bittersweet , truly life is just that . You are blessed with these two wonderful people creating you and in every aspect of your life you are creating as well .
    It is incredibly sad and I can see that a lot of us have experienced the same with one or both of our parents ~ love them as you do , keep on loving them as you are and you will be in my prayers .

    Do not forget to have some fun with them , it is good I did with my parents nothing too much , things like sitting outside and talking or silently breathing in all that surrounds you and listen to their stories and feel the love they have for you all , that is always stored in our very essence .

  42. I understand as PC was a part of our lives a few years back. May you all feel the loving arms of Jesus surround you during this trial. He is on the throne!

  43. For You, your Father and your Mother: “The light of God surrounds you; the love of God enfolds you; the power of God watches over you; wherever you are God is.” Be open and receptive to God’s healing power. Let God’s light and life energize every cell of your being. Be grateful!

  44. Praying that the Lord will give you and your family perfect peace as you go through this storm. Isaiah 26:3
    Mary L.

  45. It is indeed my sincere privilege to pray for you and your family. Our Lord hears our prayers.

  46. Prayers for your father and all your family.
    Carol xx

  47. Know that every season there is a time for life and love and pain and tribulation. Iam sorry that your parents are hurting. Know the Good Lord has them in his hands. May you find peace in that knowing.

  48. Tears roll down my cheeks as I read your beautiful posting…you are such a beautiful person and the way you eloquently bring us into your garden is amazing! I will be praying for you, your parents and your families. I know how hard this is and pray His comfort and peace cover you all…

  49. I so enjoyed your blog today. You always bring everyone right to your place and we can imagine everything you talk about. My heart and prayers go out to you and your folks. I lost mine in Nov and Dec 18 days apart and miss them so much. God has such a beautiful way of touching our final years and days of life on earth I know he will take good care of your parents. Sadness and joy go together at this time in their lives and somehow one does not overshadow the other. God loves you all so much.

  50. hi i luv to read your blog,and hear all your news about the farm.sounds great.i will pray for u and your is so hard.God bless.marie

  51. Thank you for such beauty. Your photo’s and your words. You have so very much talent and it touches us all. I’m sure your father feels blessed to have such a wonderful daughter. Bless your family!

  52. I enjoy your blog. So sorry to hear about your dad. I lost both my mom and dad years ago so I will be praying, God willing, that you will not have to lose your’s just yet. I will also pray for strength for both your Mom and your Dad during this time.

  53. Always pure class since I first ordered from you. Your talent is amazing. A Hospice RN for years, brought me an understanding of the hope and determination of the Human Spirit to live; sounds like your family is one of these. Prayers of course! Secret? they often do:)).

  54. Prayers and positive thoughts continue …

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