Monday, December 29, 2014

Small Winter Joys and Looking Ahead into 2015

The view from our conservatory remains the same...

Beautiful, white, crisp and cold. We have had two nights of hard frost following our Boxing Day snowfall and so as you can see there is still allot of snow about. This has made the birds flock to our feeders and it has been wonderful watching their antics while working on a bit of cross stitch.

This morning we woke to allot of ice everywhere, there were a couple of things that we needed from the store so instead of driving Miss V-L and I decided to rather walk down to our nearest Co-Op store and get what we needed. I just did not relish the thought of driving on icy roads!

Walking through the park on the way to the store.

We walked through the park, a winter wonderland. The frost has left it's touch overnight with beautiful ice art covering the snow...

The lake has a sheet of ice covering it which does not seem to make the ducks terribly happy :)

Resting on bench that overlooks the lake we saw bunches of flowers left in remembrance of a loved one. The roses blood red and frozen petals somehow struck a poignant chord in my heart...

Another little thing we noticed along the way were the little tops of the spring daffodils peeking through the ice and snow - I love that! It's a promise of things yet to come in the natural rhythm of nature.

I must say that our walk certainly got the blood pumping and warmed us up. Back indoors and I have spent a little time planning out January's meals...

... before settling down with a cup of tea and two of my favourite British mags - Landscape and Landlove.

As the end of 2014 approaches I have to say that I have been full of pondering, journaling and 'thinking' on paper for the new year that lies ahead. Most people do at this time I suppose. I don't really make 'resolutions' as I never end up keeping them, but I do set goals and my thoughts on changes and what I want to do more of in the next year. It is a great way of gently mapping out how you want to live your life, what you want your days to 'look' like.

2014 has not been a bad year for us, but it has had it's stresses, and it has been far too full. I feel like it has rushed by and all I did was hang on for dear life. I don't feel like I really connected with each moment, or even as many moments as I would have liked. It's all felt a bit higgildy piggildy really. So here are some of my thoughts for going forward...

* Find a nice devotional that will see me though the year. It does not have to take me hours each day to do this, if I place this pressure on myself it inevitably always ends in failure. I would rather aim to spend 15 minutes daily with the the Lord in  short devotions than skip them altogether and feel an overwhelming sense of failure. After all, a Christian life is also about living each moment in a way that points to and glorifies Jesus. Not just spending hours in study and not living it out in your life.

* Do more together as a family (plan in fun things to do over the weekends, make max use of our National Trust membership?

* Go on more walks together

* Sit in the conservatory more and watch the birds, the sunsets, the natural world moving and living out in the garden.

* Plan our veggie garden better this year and keep up the momentum that it takes to keep it productive and healthy

* Spend less time on time wasters such as internet surfing :)

* Take time to enjoy the moments that life gives me, slow down, don't be too quick to say 'yes' to EVERYTHING!

* Cross stitch more. This is something that I taught myself to do when I was pregnant with my eldest. I absolutely love stitching but don't do nearly enough! I want to spend more time on this hobby.

* Be more purposeful in planning and celebrating the seasons, holidays, and feast days. I love doing this but 2014 just was crazy and I missed doing all the small things I love to do as part of my daily living

* Join the W.I!! I've wanted to do this for the longest time but just never have. I know that I might be the youngest there but age is no barrier between woman who share the same interests :)

* Re-connect with my home once again by making sure I find time for those 'home blessing' activities. (taking care and pride in cleaning, sprucing etc)

* Finding contentment in my life, in each moment, in my home, in my surrounds, in what I have already and not longing for something different.

So there you have it, a rather short summary of what's been going through my head these last few days. I have noted all this down in my 'goals' section of my Filofax so that I can read them daily as a reminder as to how I want to my days to look.

Speaking of Filofax's and planners, I will be back tomorrow to give you an updated tour through my 2015 planner :) - I do love planners and having a look at how other people use them in their lives.

Until tomorrow...


  1. Thanks for sharing! My goals are very similar to yours - I love to cross stitch, but haven't done it in years. Less time on the computer? Absolutely! And the most important one is to spend *some* time with the is so much better to have a 15 minute Quiet Time than none at all. I am one that would love to have an hour, journal, etc. but I rarely get that done, so then I feel like a failure! I have quite a few devotionals that I have purchased over the years - so any one will do! Happy New Year to your family!

    1. Happy New Year to you too Anne and thank you for your lovely comment. It made me realize that there are other women out there that feel the same self-imposed condemnation about QTimes. I too would love to spend more time than just 15 minutes, but it's just not a reality for me right now. Have a wonderful week. :)

  2. Hello, Shirley! I want to thank you for leaving such a nice comment on my blog just now! For without it, I wouldn't have found your lovely blog!! Your photos are so beautiful and I have to admit to tearing up when I saw the frozen roses. They reminded me of my dad who passed away two months ago for he was a huge rose gardener who spent many hours tending his garden when he was younger.

    I look forward to following your blog and seeing more of your pretty photos and stitching finishes! Happy 2015 to you--hope all your dreams and wishes come true :)

  3. I see a lot of my resolutions in yours Shirley. This year flew by far too quickly. Like you I was swallowed up with it all. Lovely post thank you for sharing your lovely photos x

  4. I'm very jealous you've had snow :) Lovely cross stitch, it's something I haven't done in years. I picked it up again briefly 4 years ago when I made a poppy cross stitch, was good fun.


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