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Archive for the ‘encouragement’ Category

As I think back on the past week, I am grateful for…
:: the generous neighbor who brought over surplus produce – 3 crates of homegrown tomatoes, a bag of broccoli, a bag of beans, and a huge muskmelon.
:: being able to homeschool my daughters and enjoy the time with them as they grow up.
:: having a picnic with Sophia and Olivia (plus Eenie, the cat) under the willow tree.
:: the time to declutter and get rid of things that no longer are needed; and the empty space (more room) it leaves behind.
:: being able to watch the horses gallop through the pasture and “race” one another as Olivia and I cheered them on.

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Handmade Pillowcase
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann

Made a pillowcase set to enter in the county fair. Followed a pattern on ConnKerr cancer which was very easy.

After the county fair, the pillowcases will be donated to ConnKerr Cancer.

The heart/flower/handprint fabric was from a bedsheet. It was worn out in some areas, but perfectly fine in other areas. Used the good section of fabric to make the pillowcase body.

The purple fabric is fabric I’ve had on hand, but hadn’t used yet. I thought it looked nice with the colorful print of the hearts/handprints/flowers.

For more information and/or to make a pillowcase for a child who has cancer and is at a hospital receiving treatment, please visit: www.conkerrcancer.org/

(This was also a wish of a person on Swap-Bot’s Wishlist group – to donate a pillow for the 1 Million Pillowcases Challenge – more information is here: www.allpeoplequilt.com/millionpillowcases/faqs/ )

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Finished Quilt

Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann

I made this quilt for my dad who has Alzheimer’s Disease. It is a sensory and memory quilt.

The fabrics have different textures, and the pictures are ones that he picked out that are meaningful to him. The back is a very soft fleece.

Gave it to my father today (December 27th). Was a couple days late because of the big snowstorm. Anyway…he opened the box and looked at the quilt, and immediately started recalling memories and sharing stories about some of the pictures.

He cried when he looked at other pictures. “I’ve had a good life,” he said.

There are more details about the quilt at my Flickr site here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/picturesbyann/4207842423/

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Two Lilies
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann

Sometimes it’s just the little things that can make one’s day. After the girls and I went to the Minnesota Orchestra, I took them to the Como Conservatory in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The lilies were at the Como Conservatory in the sunken garden display. The whole room smelled beautiful, and was such a mood lifter.

The girls literally would stop and smell the flowers. “This one smells pretty, Mom!”

Taking some time to smell the flowers…to relax…to enjoy the moment. These are all things I need to do – especially as a parent and caregiver.

The visit to the Como Conservatory was a good reminder of that.

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One of the gifts my father gave me early on was the encouragement to try new things…and to ask for help when I needed it.

He raised bees when he was a child and teenager; and then went back to beekeeping as an adult.

Once I moved to the farm, he gave me his beekeeping equipment, hoping to pass along the hobby.

I tried it under the guidance of a beekeeper for a year. After getting repeatedly stung in my knee and watching it swell to an unnatural size…I realized that, perhaps, beekeeping is best left to people who REALLY know what they’re doing.

After a hiatus from having bees, they have returned to the farm now and are being managed by a professional beekeeper. He knows what he’s doing. He does this in exchange for having about 4 or 5 hives on the back part of the property. We get the honey when the season is done (from our hive).

So, the girls and I walked out the other day and looked at the hive (from a distance). The bees were busy flying in and out of the hive. They’re busy and work…and it is fun to have bees again at the farm.

In the fall, hopefully the girls will have the opportunity to see the harvesting and processing stages…then they’ll see the full circle (or cycle) of beekeeping.

I’m grateful that my dad gave me his equipment…and the encouragement to try new activities and develop new skills. Even though I’m not able to the beekeeping by myself…I have tried many things – new things – in the past year. I can thank my dad for being a great role model and inspiration as I challenge myself in new ways during the next year.

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