The Last Leaf

Wordless Wednesday  —  Because sometimes you don’t need words.

Linking with other wordless people:

Published in: on November 30, 2011 at 5:34 pm  Comments (1)  

Because Gratitude is my Hobby Hourse

Gratitude  —  The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

During  November many friends have listed things for which they were thankful. The items varied from the most simple of an everyday blessing to the mind boggling power of our heavenly Father, yet the thankful heart acknowledged them all. That is the secret of gratitude: In everything give thanks.

The book, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach started me on my journey of intentional gratitude. These quotes encouraged me to pursue gratitude and showed some of the benefits of being thankful.

“At the heart of Simple Abundance is an authentic awakening, one that resonates within your woul: you already possess all you need to be genuinely happy.”

“These are the six threads of abundant living which , when woven together produce a tapestry of contentment that wraps us in inner peace, well=being, happiness and a sense of security. First there is gratitude. When we do a mental and spiritual inventory of all that we have, we realize that we are very rich indeed. Gratitude gives way to simplicity–the desire to clear out, pare down, and realize the essentials of what we need to live truly well. Simplicity brings with it order, both internally and externally. A sense of order in our life brings us harmony. Harmony provides us with the inner peace we need to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us each day and beauty opens us to joy.”


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. IT can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a hoe,a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.  Melody Beattie

“. . .this first tool could change your life beyond belief: it’s what I call a daily gratitude journal. i have a beautiful blank book and each night before I go to bed, I write down five things that I can be grateful about the day.Some days my list will be filled with amazing things, most days just simple joys.

Other days–rough ones–i might think that I don’t have five things to be grateful for, so I’ll write down my basics, my health, my husband and daughter, their health my animals, my home, my friends, and the comfortable bed that I’m about to get into as well as the fact that the day’s over. That’s okay. Real life isn’t always going to be perfect or go our way, but the recurring acknowledgment of what is working in our lives can help us not only survive but surmount our difficulties. ”


“Once we take stock of our lives and let gratitude begin its transformative work, the next step on the path unfolds naturally. When we appreciate how much we have, we feel the urge to pare down,get back to basics, and learn what is essential for our happiness. We long to realize what is really important.

Many people believe simplicity implies doing without. On the contrary. True simplicity as a conscious life choice illuminates our lives from within. True simplicity is both buoyant and bountiful, able to liberate depressed spirits from the bondage and burden of extravagance and excess.”


“There is an immediate emotional and psychological payoff to getting our houses in order.

” No woman can think clearly when constantly surrounded by clutter, chaos, and confusion, no matter who is responsible for it. Begin to think of order not as a strait-jacket of “shoulds” (make the bed, wash the dishes, take out the garbage) but as a shape–the foundation–for the beautiful life you are creating. It may be as simple as putting something back that you take out, hanging up something you take off, or teaching those who live with you to do the same for the common good of all. ”


The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes, ah, that is hwere the art resides.  Artur Schnabel

“Harmony is the inner cadence of contentment we feel when the melody of life is in tune. When somehow we’re able to strike the right chord–to balance the expectations of our families and our responsibilities in the world on the one hand with our inner needs for spiritual growth and personal expression on the other. This is one of the most difficult challenges any woman faces because it requires that we make choices every day.”


While the Simple Abundance path is gentle, its lessons are powerful. First of all, we learn to be grateful no matter what our circumstances may. In offering gratitude for our real lives, we discover how to change them for the better. As we embrace simplicity, we learn that less is truly more. This freedom encourages us to bring order to our affairs and cultivate harmony in our inner world. Going at our own pace, learning to recognize our limitations, appreciating our progress, we weave the lessons into the fabric of our daily moments until they become apart of us.

It is in the details of life that beauty is reveled, sustained and nurtured.”


With as eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy , we see into the life of things.  William Wadsworth

The simple Abundant journey takes us to undiscovered territory. We learn each day how cultivating gratitude tills the soil of our soul and the how the seeds of simplicity and order send their roots down deep into the earth of our everyday existence. As we progress, harmony inspires us with quiet courage to create an authentic life for ourselves and those we love. With patience beauty blossoms and our hearts experience not only happiness, which often is fleeting, but a wellspring of joy that refreshes and renews.

Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path  of joy.”

Accepting Real Life

(This thought was huge in the way I began to consider my life.)

“Accepting and blessing our circumstances is a powerful tool for transformation. In fact, this potent combination is a spiritual elixir that can work miracles in our lives.

What is acceptance? Acceptance is surrendering to what is; our circumstances, our feelings, our problems, our financial status, our work, our health, our relationships with other people, the delay of our dreams. Before we can change anything in our life we have recognize that this is the way it’s meant to be right now. For me, acceptance has become what I call the long sigh of the soul. It’s the closed eyes in prayer, perhaps even the quiet tears. It’s “all right” as in “All right, You lead, I’ll follow.” and it’s “all right” as in “Everything is going to turn out all right.” This is simply part of the journey.

Over the years I have discovered that much of my struggle to be content despite out side circumstances has arisen when I stubbornly resisted what was actually happening in my life at the present moment. But I have learned that when I surrender to the reality of a particular situation–when i don’t continue to resist, but accept– a softening in my soul occurs. Suddenly I am able to open up to receive all the goodness and abundance available to be because acceptance brings with it so much relief and release.”  (It’s called GRACE.  me)

“Whatever situation exists in your life right now, accept it. Cast a glance around and acknowledge what is going on. This is my tiny kitchen with the dirty floor, this is how much I weigh, this is my checking account balance, this is where I am  right now. This is that is really happening in my life at the present moment. this is okay. This is real life.”

Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist.  Natalie Goldberg

“After accepting our present circumstances, no matter what they are, we must learn to bless them.

Through your gritted teeth if necessary.

. . . blessing whatever vexes us is the spiritual surrender that can change even troublesome situations for the better. Blessing the circumstances in our lives also teaches us to trust. ”

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:32-33  (my addition)

Embracing Joyful Simplicities

Year by year the complexities of this spinning world grow more bewildering and so each year we need all the more to seek peace and comfort in the joyful simplicities. —Woman’s Home Companion, December 1935 


” To keep our daily round from being all drudgery, we’ve got to savor the art of the small: discovering diminutive delights that bring us peace and pleasure.”


This is a daybook, meaning there is a reading for each day. I haven’t read through the whole book. I go to parts of it now and then; my book is very underlined and written in, thoughts and scriptures, question marks and exclamation points. As with everything, I take what I can use and let the rest be. There are other exercises in the book that I had fun with these caused me to think about who I am and what I like, what I wanted in life. I have enjoyed the journey thus far. If you get the book, I’d suggest reading the section at the end of each month; these lists give ideas of how to incorporate the book’s ideas into the month.

I think I’ll start reading it again this year, so expect snippets in ‘what’s on my mind.’

This book is still on the book store shelves. I haven’t looked for it in used book stores, but it is probably there too.

Published in: on November 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thanksgiving 2011, Redding CA

The Farmer’s family tradition is to meet together the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and stay there until Saturday morning. The location has rotated between the parent’s or siblings’ homes and of late at campgrounds. We have celebrated this reunion in Laton, CA,  Sunnyvale, CA, Medford, OR, Greeley, Co, Oxnard, CA, Redding, CA, Carmichael, CA, Portland, OR, Diamond Arrow Campground, Nevada City, CA and Del Oro Salvation Army Campground, Nevada Cit, CA.

We have stayed in family homes, friends homes, cabins, motels,  and RV’s.

This year we were at Redding, CA. Uncle W and Aunt S were the hosts. We used their church facilities for our gathering.

We usually have 30-50 for Thanksgiving dinner. When the dinner was held in homes, the hostess of the home was in charge of food and the organization and the preparation. As we have gone to the campgrounds, Aunt E and I have assumed that responsibility.

A couple weeks before Thanksgiving, Aunt E and I plan the menu. SHE does the shopping for food and paper products. We cook and pack and try to allow for the unexpected.  Everyone is to bring desserts. ( A basket is available to receive  contributions toward food costs.)

We all make a concerted effort to attend, mother, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, friends, friends of friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, out-laws and significant others.

Thanksgiving equals planning, laughter, work, fun, tears, laughter, quiet times, overwhelming times, much good food, enough desserts it takes three meals (at least) to try them all, co-operation,  family singing, laughter, story telling, expounding on important current or not so current events, knitting, laughter, quilting, embroidery, target shooting, cave exploring, boat riding, many hands sharing the load, shopping excursions, Disneyland, laughter,   catching up, watching kids grow, missing those who are gone, comparing electronics, laughter, snacks, jigsaw puzzles,  skip bo, uno, 5 crowns, may i, early to bed (for some) and early up for most, tie dying, and Grandma C’s lists of everyone who attended.

It this doesn’t sound like fun, you just don’t understand real fun.

I know what your question is  —  “How do I get an invitation?”

Published in: on November 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Adjusting to Change

It has been a very quiet week on the blog.

The Farmer has been doing a lot of reading about nutrition and has decided that it will be more healthy for him to eliminate grains and sugar from his diet. Now you have to know the Farmer to understand that deciding to eat or not to eat something is fairly easy for him. As he says ‘I eat to live, not live to eat.’ The plus for me: it is very easy to cook for him.The minus: denying myself favorite foods  is very hard for me, as I view and use food differently.

For a little over a year now he has been trying different eating styles; no red meat, chicken or pork just fish, back to eating meat but small portions, lots of raw veggies, now no sugar or grain, lots of veggies, heavy on the raw variety, low on the glycemic scale.

I am having to rethink 40+ years of meal planning. I am still trying to figure our what  this new eating plan looks like.

I’ve decided to join the Farmer. Huge Change.

I don’t even realize all that is involved.  I can see value in making these changes from a health aspect for me. I don’t want to fanatical about not eating this or that, but I do want to be consistent. I want to be able to make conscience choices with out having to feel guilty because of the choice.  I don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable around me.

At first, just thinking about the change brought immense fear of failure. the voice I knew so well chanted, I can’t do this, I just can’t do this. I still don’t understand how I was able to get up last Monday and begin. but, I did. I successful all day and all day Tuesday. As I prayed on Wednesday, the words came, “Thank you, Father, that I can do this” and I began to weep.   I thought of the scripture:

Psalms 32:9  Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

which to me means. Don’t be like a horse or mule that the master must have bridle to lead them around, to cause them to do what is safe and good and profitable for the master.  BUT submit to wisdom and decide ahead of time to obey.

Have I eaten 100% sugar and grain free this week? NO! It’s been about 90-95%.

Do I feel over overwhelmingly better?  NO!  This system has a lot of adjusting to do.

Have I changed my way of thinking about food? or the way I use it as an emotional crutch? NOT YET! Is there hope for change? I think so, possibly, but I don’t know what that feels or looks like – it’s a very dark place.

Writing helps . . . but chocolate tastes better!

All pictures were found by googling “eating pictures”, except candy picture googled  “Hershey Kisses”.

Published in: on November 22, 2011 at 12:55 am  Comments (1)  

Wordless Wednesday on Thursday

It’s Thursday and clouds are bringing the rain tomorrow.

Linking up here:

Published in: on November 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm  Comments (4)  

{this moment} — Golden Autumn Light

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

linking up with:

Published in: on November 11, 2011 at 12:27 pm  Comments (1)  

On My Mind — Doggy Sweater

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. To take part, post a photo on your own blog, write a short caption explaining it, and link it back to here from your blog by saying you’re part of “On my mind”.


This is Tilly.

She is a miniature doxie mix.

She is my mother’s companion.

She gets cold when they go on their daily walk.

I finally finished knitting her sweater.

Mom added elastic around the neck and back ruffle to keep out the breezes.

You can go here: http://down—to—  to see what is on other people’s minds.



Published in: on November 11, 2011 at 11:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Wordless Wednesday — Liberty

Wordless Wednesday is the time to post a picture that doesn’t need words.

Veterans, Thanks for the Liberty!

I took this picture from a cruise ship leaving New York harbor in 2009.

link up here:

Published in: on November 10, 2011 at 12:33 am  Comments (1)  

One Thousand Gifts and a Scripture


Adding to my thankful list; today I reach 100.

88. Eight weeks of radiation treatments finished, healing to continue

89.  Trees with red and green leaves

90. Roses  and rose hips

91. A bed with cool sheets (even in the winter) and a just right weight comforter

92. A floral gift that keeps on blooming continuously for 2 months

93. A way out

94. Leaves to crunch and shuffle through

95. A new microwave to replace a dead one

96. Sleeping cats on my lap

97,. Renewing a friendship

98. Slats of light through the mini blinds

99.   A fire pit for many uses

100.  Sisters of all kinds that are best friends

And a scripture:

Matthew 14:14  And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

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Published in: on November 8, 2011 at 6:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Friday Morning at a Quilt Show

One of the pleasures of being a quilter is going to a quilt show.

Being immersed in color and design and fabric makes a quilter’s heart go pitty-pat!


same design, different colors and border treatment

I have a method to viewing a quilt show. I start at one side of the quilt displays and go  down one side of the row  and then back up the same row trying to view only one side at a time.  That way I get to see everything and stay out of the way of most quilters trying to see everything.

Then after the quilts are ooooo’d and ahhhhhh’d over, I visit the venders starting at one end and working all the way around the vender area.

I come away with full eyes, sore feet, and ideas, intentions and thankfulness for the first person that realized two pieces of fabric stitched together was warmer than one all by itself–maybe that first quilter had read the Bible.

 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? Ecclesiastes  4:9-11

Margaret, Parker, Corbin and I attended the Pioneer Quilt Show Friday morning. We saw some beautiful quilts and came home with more ideas. Even though, we both brought cameras,  Margaret was the photographer. I’m sharing some of my favorites.

One of the high points of visiting this show was reconnecting with a friend from the past. A phone call is on my list of things to do this week.

I had a good time. I think the boys were a little bored, but that was kinda expected, and they handled the boredom well.

Published in: on November 5, 2011 at 11:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Five Minute Friday — Remember

On Fridays around these parts we stop, drop, and write.

For fun, for love of the sound of words, for play, for delight, for joy and celebration at the art of communication.

For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

Today’s prompt  —  Remember


My first memories, I’m five years old

the first memories that are really mine, not told me or something explained from a picture.

These memories have my feelings, my pictures in my head.

these memories are real.

I don’t dwell on memories.

When I went through a period of sickness;

I learned to forget yesterday

just live today

and leave tomorrow with God.

that was my way of coping.

But when I do remember

I’ve learned that :

what I remember is my memory

and that for another person experiencing the same situation the memory may be completely different.


To read more ‘Five Minute Friday’ posts go here:

Published in: on November 5, 2011 at 12:03 am  Leave a Comment  

On My Mind — Fresh Eggs

On my mind …

 This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. To take part, post a photo on your own blog, write a short caption explaining it, and link it back to here from your blog by saying you’re part of “On my mind“.

We have one rooster, 3 bantams, and 22 hens.

These hard working hens give us on average 15 eggs a day.

We enjoy watching the chickens.
Eating fresh eggs is just an added benefit.

Published in: on November 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm  Comments (2)  

Wordless Wednesday – Sunrise

Getting Wordless and having fun!

While I was in bed, the Farmer saw this.

You can be Wordless

link up here:

Published in: on November 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm  Comments (5)  

More from the Law of Kindness

Notes from Bible Study Tuesday evening:

you would think Helene and I had a conversation about the way we speak to one another. I’m taking the scriptures and definitions she used,  some thoughts from Clarke’s Commentary and my two-cents to further describe Proverbs 31:26

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Proverbs 15:1  A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Helene  —  soft  —   quiet soothing in sound

Clarke  — . . .one angry word will always beget another, for the disposition of one spirit always begets its own likeness in another: thus kindness produces kindness, and rage produces rage.

Proverbs 15:2  The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

Clarke  —  Useth knowledge aright – This is very difficult to know: – when to speak, and when to be silent; what to speak, and what to leave unspoken; the manner that is best and most suitable to the occasion, the subject, the circumstances, and the persons.

Proverbs 15:3  The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
Proverbs 15:4  A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

My wanderings during the lesson  —  Psalms 1:3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

picture credit

Colossians 4:6  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Helene  —  grace  —  capacity to tolerate accommodate and forgive
Clarke  —  Let all your conversation be such as may tend to exemplify and recommend Christianity; let it not only be holy, but wise, gracious, and intelligent. A harsh method of proposing or defending the doctrines of Christianity only serves to repel men from those doctrines, and from the way of salvation.

1Peter 5:5  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Helene  —  grace is found by exercising humility

My wanderings during the lesson  —  It sure takes humility to give a soft answer when the first reaction is usually defense.

Ephesians 4:29  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

My wanderings during the lesson  —  Ephesians 4:29  Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it. Amplified Bible

“Minister grace unto the hearers”!, but grace is unmerited favor, does that mean I’m to speak gently and kindly to others even when they don’t deserve it?

Proverbs 31:26, She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Amplified   —  She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness (giving counsel and instruction.

At all times  – softly, gracefully, skillfully, especially when I think they don’t deserve it.

I’m definitely a work in progress –.

Published in: on November 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm  Comments (1)  

The Law of Kindness

The law of kindness is that a rule, a commandment, a guideline not to be broken?

Should all my words stand before this law?

Do my words comply with this law?

Do my words measure up?

Are my words adorned with kindness?

And not just the words but how does the tone of my voice sound: cutting, sarcastic, belittling.. . ?

Kind   —  Of a friendly, generous, or warm-hearted nature.   Showing sympathy or understanding; charitable:

Kindness  acting out being kind

“In her tongue is the law of kindness – This is the most distinguishing excellence of this woman. There are very few of those who are called managing women who are not lords over their husbands, tyrants over their servants, and insolent among their neighbors. But this woman, with all her eminence and excellence, was of a meek and quiet spirit. Blessed woman!”  ~Clarke’s Commentary

Whose adorning . . .let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1Peter 3:3-4

“A meek and quiet spirit – That is, a mind that will not give provocation to others, nor receive irritation by the provocation of others. Meekness will prevent the first; quietness will guard against the last”.  ~Clarke’s Commentary

The Proverb’s 31 Woman has been lifted up as our example. At times I feel I’ll never reach those heights, but kindness, I think that is doable if I pause before I speak and ask for Christ’s words, Christ’s love , Christ’s compassion to be the motivation of my words.

This is my prayer today.
Okay, keep the shield up……… an attack/test is coming.

photo –