I started this quilt for my niece last summer before she headed off to North Dakota State University. It was as hard for her to leave as it was for all of us to let her go. But you know how it is when these special people in our lives start growing up. We need to take our hands off and give them wings. I thought about what to give her that would remind her of how much she would be missed and was loved. One of my favorite past-times is wrapping up in a snuggly blanket. So I thought what better gift than to make her a quilt that she can wrap around herself and feel the love that it was made with. My goal was to have it done by the time she came home for Christmas. Well, you can see that didn't happen. My next goal was for spring break which was last week. Sad to say, she left empty handed. So I have committed this week-end to quilting. She needs to be able to wrap up in it at least once before spring. I don't know. . . I'm trying. And I'm close. If I can keep myself from getting distracted the rest of the day from the other things I love doing, I should be close to finishing it soon.

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

Earlier this week I was driving home one afternoon from running errands in town and as I started across the bridge that leads to our home rain was lightly beating a steady rhythm on the roof of my car and the air outside my window felt balmy and was beckoning my spirit. So I put all my windows down, turned the heater on full blast and let the raindrops wash across my face. The ride was exhilarating! And my spirit felt free. In that moment I was removed from the chaos and congestion of the city behind me and I began transitioning into the countryside that lay before me. As a few straggling cars passed by, I'm sure they wondered what planet I thought I was on, but you know, somehow that didn't matter. Whether I'm being warmed by the summer sun or lost in a thunder storm, nature has a way of speaking to my spirit.

Even though I was born in Minnesota I've lived in Washington long enough to have become a northwest girl at heart. In the fall I wait impatiently for the first rains to begin so I can curl up in front of a warm, crackling fire, sip hot chocolate, with whip cream of course, and just be. My office window faces our front yard that I think of as my "SPA GARDEN". When I need to de-stress, that's where I focus. It is filled with ferns and ivy with sprinkles of flowers cascading out of pots tucked away under palm trees. I love coming in here on rainy days, opening my window wide open and breathing in the fresh air that accompanies the falling rain. Somehow with the rain comes permission to let go of my normal daily duties and just settle in, in front of my computer and get lost in my creative writing. Do I need an excuse? Do I need permission? Hmmmm? Maybe not. . . But somehow that all goes together. Rain falling, warm, cozy room, the sound of the water splashing in the fountain below my window. And somehow the neighborhood feels quieter. It's kind of like wanting to eat that second skinny cow ice cream bar before crawling into bed at night. If my husband will eat a second one with me, it somehow seems ok. By the way, if you haven't tried a skinny cow, I highly recommend them.

Several friends have been calling lately with the winter blues. I pass on my Sandy remedies and remind them. . . Breathe in. . .Breathe Out. . .Springs next!!