Rock, Driftwood, Beach

Most folks play “rock, paper, scissors”  well we play  Rocks, Driftwood, Beach in our world. My three sisters and I have an undeniable attraction to rocks, chunks of driftwood, pieces of bark, moss, trees etc.  We are particularly fond of beaches near and around Haines, Alaska, however, pretty much any beach will do.

Walking along a beach, possibly barefoot with our pants legs rolled up a bit, splashing in the waves, looking for shells and rocks or just watching the waves roll in is a treat for us. As children growing up on a homestead in SE Alaska we used to sometimes find Japanese glass floats – those were special treasures.

Driftwood evokes memories of our childhood and also sparks creative ideas for things to craft! Chunks of smoothed-by-the-water driftwood can be theraputic just to stroke and admire. I have to admit to having shipped home (with our household goods) several pieces of driftwood from Kodiak island some years ago. They were just so cool and my husband said well put them in the boxes and ship them – so I did!  Big chunks of driftwood make us drool (ok salivate may be the nicer term) as they might look very cool in our yards but normally must just stay where they are. Pieces of curled up birch bark are special finds along with chunks of wood with moss growing on them.

We will hunt for, and find, rocks just about anywhere. We are not sure what draws us to  a particular rock but they just call to us so we must take them home.  Eldest sister, Denise, has a rock tumble and has an eye for ones that will tumble nicely.  Some rocks just beg to be taken home and placed lovingly in a flower bed or on a table, shelf, or mantel.  My husband and I  brought home a fair sized rock from Canada during our drive through coming home from Kodiak, AK to Mtn Home, ID in 2011.  Lynn, my husband, said we had to have an A rock to commemorate our passage through the country. This rock has a spot in our front flower garden.  All of us have seen great huge interesting rocks we would love to have in our yards as a focal point but, sigh, they are usually way too big to move let alone get into a pickup bed.

We don’t settle disputes/arguments with rock-driftwood-beach but they are all important in our lives.  We are all blessed that our husbands let us be us and bring home crazy things with all these pieces of inspiration!

So I guess the only thing left to say is   Stay Calm and Rock, Driftwood, Beach On!!

If we had groundhogs….

A) Is it nice to wake someone up when they are sleeping?  No wonder the ground hog is often grouchy.  Come on, you could get the same info from the weatherman and have it as accurate.

B) Here in SW Oregon it really would have depended on the exact timing of the awakening. It’s sunshine! No, it’s cloudy with a chill breeze! Wait, wait, well there it is…

C) Hoping we do not have six more weeks of serious winter, although by calendar we actually have over six weeks.

Now, to cheer yourself up, look at a seed or nursery catalog, because even if you’ve not intention at all of planting anything, the beautiful foliage, fresh veggies and gorgeous flowers are bound to make you feel … well … springy!

I’m dreaming of some warmer weather…..

I am a dreamer.  I believe I got this trait from my Dad, Herbert Stelting, as he was a dreamer as well. I think my three sisters would agree on this.  Dad always dreamed of new things in new places, new adventures, new friends, new opportunities and yes he was crafty as well making lovely turned wood items and other wood craft things. He was not necessarily a ‘polished’ woodworker but he made functional pieces and some of them turned out just flat beautiful!! We each ended up with a few of his pieces after his and our Mom’s passing.  These pieces evoke fond memories for me and take me back to days watching Dad in his workshop and the stories he would tell whilst working.  Oh yes Dad was a great story teller too. For someone who never finished school, he was so well read and had an awesome vocabulary. Dad was also a writer/poet and had more than a touch of wonderlust  in his soul. Here is an excerpt from one of the many poems he penned:

Itchy Feet by H.W. Stelting

I’ve scratched my itchy feet

On windswept desert sands,

On rugged mountain ranges

And on the shores of foreign lands.

I’ve soaked ’em in icy waters

Of lake and stream and bay

But still the itch remains

To plague me night and day.

To read the rest of this poem and many, many more see our website and click on the books link. Dad’s book is called Tales of Skookum Jim.  You will also find there books and/or cds available about our (us four sisters and our folks) life on a homestead in Alaska.

Now, back to me, I enjoy travel but don’t have the itchy feet syndrome so much as Dad did…. I truly enjoy being home most of the time. I do dream of things to come and/or things I would like to have happen. I love to read and do so voraciously, lots of different types of books enthrall me and transport me to places I have never been and probably never will go.  Ah it is so fun to get lost in a great story and wile away the hours…but wait………… there is housework, a grand daughter to care for, dinner to fix, laundry, yard and garden work  and the ever present ideas for crafting. So when do I have time to read and dream, well I manage to sneak in a little time each day for these things as I believe they are important for my well being. And being a multi-tasker I can listen to a book while I sew and craft and I can dream along during those times as well. I am blessed to have my husband who understands my need to craft ( and who also loves to read) and lets me ‘do my thing’ and actually often comes up with new ideas for me to try – as if I did not have enough myself! It is so awesome to have my husband/best friend to bounce ideas off of and he will tell me if he thinks it’s a bust as well as to tell me when he thinks it’s a great idea.

It is snowing again today and we have a roast with spuds, carrots, onions, and garlic cooking in the crockpot for tonight’s dinner. Perfect meal for a cold winter day. Maybe I will be ambitious and make some rolls to go with it.

So my friends, have a safe, warm day and take time for yourselves each day – I do believe that we need to take care of ourselves well in order to be able to take care of others. God Bless!

I am SO ready for spring, however Mother Nature thinks otherwise!

Looking out our back door this morning just after the sun poked through all the fog! So pretty but so dang cold.  I am dreaming of warmer days and working in our yard and garden. We have had (and ‘they’) say we are to get more of the same. It is a toasty 14 degrees right now. So what to do? Well don’t have any power over the weather so we just make do. Cold winter days are great for planning an expanded garden and plotting all sorts of new craft endeavors (a new quilt idea has cropped up) as well. Also great for nice hot filling soups/stews and/or casseroles.


Heavy frost on the neighbors trees on a COLD bright morning here in Idaho.

My husband and I are currently raising one of our young granddaughters, Miss Ellie will be 2 in March and keeps us very busy. It’s a good thing I retired from my day-job back in August – I need the time, not to mention energy to keep up with her. Ok so I try to keep up with her. She is a very busy little girl, very loving, smart, cute – ah did I say I am a wee bit prejudiced in her favor? LOL We love all our grands so very much – all 7 of them!

Some, just some of the piles of snow!

Some, just some of the piles of snow!

This was Miss Ellie’s very first experience with snow – she loved it.

We do have plans for a much expanded garden this year. Since I am home most of the time I intend to grow lots of yummy things. Saw a great idea for a different type of raised bed on a Public TV show recently and want to try it. Gotta find a huge pile of bricks somewhere….. hmmm would be great to find someone tearing down old house or chimney that did not want to keep the bricks. Planning on veggies from A to Z, so to speak, we love fresh veggies and I love to can, freeze, preserve, dehydrate lots of things. May need to build an additional pantry for all the stuff I plan to do. Of course there is the thing of plans not always coming together but I will certainly make a big stab at doing all the things I want to do.

I am doing my embroidery and other textile projects. Visit me at for information on Custom Embroidery. I love all things textile – fabric, embroidery, knitting, crochet, weaving, sewing.. the list goes on and on. I keep a notebook near all the time so I can jot down ideas as they come to me.

I hope you are all keeping warm and safe during these winter months. Spring will come and with it all the renewal that comes with new green on plants, trees, and grass. My mood lifts considerably with sunny days and getting outside again. Oh yes, when nice weather arrives we will also go camping as much as we can too! Note to self: be sure to get the drip system set up for garden when its time so I won’t have to worry about watering when am off camping or off on the annual trip with my three sisters.

Here’s to lots of good books to read, warm snuggly blankets, hugs and loves from family and friends, a good cup of hot tea (coffee) and may the Good Lord Bless you all!

Window Dressing


I used some old table linens to make this window treatment in one of my bathrooms. It looks cute and I get to see the linens on a daily basis instead of them being in a box somewhere. Now, honestly, I don’t recall even where these linens came from but they are pretty and go with the color scheme in my bathroom so it does not matter. Someone, sometime ago went to the effort of embroidering (by hand of course) the lovely designs and I appreciate that. I just got a tension type curtain rod and laid the linens over it so it was not difficult at all. The middle linen was a long table runner type and had some stains on one end so I just used the other end and then the little matching doilies for the sides.

The upstairs bathroom has a similar window treatment except that on this one I used a crocheted doily/chair cover – technical name is antimacassar (spelling may not be correct) I believe. For that one I again used a tension type curtain rod and then I threaded narrow ribbon through the top of the doily to attach it to the rod.

This is a fun way to display some lovely, handmade, antique and possibly family heirlooms. My husband thought they looked great as well and that is always a plus.

Letting go and holding on………………..all at the same time.

Sometimes letting go means just clearing out your closet and letting go of some clothes you will NEVER wear again, whether it is due to size or just not like the garment anymore! I just did this a couple weeks ago, hauled it all out, dumped it all out on the bed and went through it piece by piece. The local thrift store got three bags full and I am hopeful that someone will be able to make good use of my castoffs. I have, myself, purchased items at the thrift store and know you can find some good things there.

Recently, letting go meant retiring from my ‘day job’ after a lot of years of working. As my husband and I have been raising our little granddaughter I made the decision to retire and be home with her. Retiring also allows me more time to pursue my creative projects.

Letting go also means letting go of things that bother you, especially if they are things that really, in the great scheme of things, do not matter anyhow. Little annoyances are not worth hanging onto. You know the dresser drawers left open or the dishes not put back exactly where you might have put them, or your clothes folded in a different way. What matters is that your spouse, or significant other, thought to even fold the clothes or put the dishes away.

Hold on……… the special things in life: hugs, kisses, loving family, good friends, laughter, tears, even the frustrations that you ended up laughing at!! Life is way too short to spend it worrying about things you can do nothing about so enjoy the good stuff.

And remember: “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain”, author unknown.

The Box on the Beach; Pt 2

100_6411First, let’s start with the beach.  This photo taken just last month, when our brother/cousin/friend Jeff David kindly transported us down to Glacier Point.  Transport your thoughts back over 50 years when we used to LIVE down here and a boat was our only way to get to town.

For some reason, every time our Dad could not find something, he’d say ‘It must have been in that box we forgot on the beach’. Huh? Seriously? Even as little kids we would have noticed a box sitting all by itself on the beach!

On our recent trip to Alaska [yes, all four of us sisters went again!] we stood there and chuckled about ‘the box on the beach’.  With all the items that were in that box over the years, it would have had to be shipping crate size by the time we actually moved away from the homestead.  But, wait for it, what if one opened a collectibles store and called it ‘The Box on the Beach’ ? You would have to be near a beach, and have a sign explaining. Be crazy.  Then again, we often are, and we had a lot of giggles thinking about the possibilities!

The day of this picture, we had to leave after our picnic lunch because a stiff wind came up.  Definitely that brought with it many memories from our childhood.  This time we had to ferry out to the boat via a small zodiac and that was a challenge as the waves grew.  Especially for the eldest sis [me] who is decidedly less agile AND had seriously wrenched a leg a couple days earlier.  If someone had made a video, I’m sure we could have gotten a prize for it [or at least scared ourselves and families!]  100_6423

Here we are shortly before our quick departure!  Rose, Denise, Linda, Jeff, Nancy, Ruth.

100_6425Pat, Caroline & young son Huxley joined us for our picnic, and Patrick was VERY helpful getting us all back out to the boat.  You can see the waves starting to build in the background.

A Little Color

Spring brings so many natural treats and I meant to share a couple 100_6293~ this one in particular reminds us of spring on the homestead because Mom always had a row of chives at the end of the cabin.  Some fresh chopped went into a lot of recipes, but in particular a salmon one.  First day, baked salmon.  Second day, cold salmon flaked into mayo with chopped chives!

Fingers crossed, we’ll be home in two weeks with a LOT of beautiful photos to share!