Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Morning In The Life of a Retired Woman

Get up at 6:00 a.m., make a cup of tea, and go to your "prayer chair" for an hour of Bible reading and prayer.

At 7:00 put the bread you left rising the night before into the oven and turn off the chicken stock you left in the crock pot all night.  Strip your bed and put the sheets in the washer.  Mix up WW Blueberry Banana Muffins and when you take out the bread put those in the oven.  Stop and eat breakfast.

Put eggs on to boil.  Peel apples and make an apple crisp (also WW).  When the muffins are done put in the apple crisp to bake.  Chop celery, peel the eggs and make chicken salad from leftover chicken.  Move the sheets to the dryer and put a load of towels in the washer.

Take the apple crisp out of the oven and chop more celery for the Chicken Cacciatore you plan to make later today for canning.  Get the sheets out of the dryer, put the towels in the dryer and put on a load of dark clothes; then make the bed.  Notice your husband outside power washing the outdoor rugs.  Wash the dishes used thus far this morning and put the bread away now that it's cooled.  When the chicken stock is cool enough, strain it and put in the refrigerator so that when it cools you can skim the fat before canning it.  It's 10:00.  Get dressed.

If you stop by my house at 10:00 and I'm still in my pajamas don't ask if I'm having a leisurely morning unless you're standing at least 10 feet away.  Maybe 15.  Don't ask my husband about his leisurely retirement either.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Who Says Retirement is Boring?

Certainly not me!  I have no idea how I worked as long as I did because there's far too much to do at home!  If I've not visited your blog I apologize - I try to get in a few reads every few days but I've not been very successful.  I'm saving them though so when I have an hour to sit I can go back and catch up on everyone.  :)

I've finished a few of my cross stitch pieces and can't wait to show you.  First up is this piece that is part of a collection....I showed you the large pinkeep by Scattered Seed Samplers a couple of posts ago.  This drum is done in the same colors and complements it beautifully.  I couldn't stuff mine quite as tight as she did but I love it just the same.  And take a look at the back of it - so beautiful!

This is the second piece from the Virtues collection that I stitched....can't wait to do the rest of these.

I don't remember what this pattern is called but I do remember that I only stitched the center part of it.  I wanted something that shouted spring and I wanted to do a quick stitch so this worked perfectly for that.  And yes the azaleas above and the Carolina Jasmine in this are in my yard.  Love them!

And this was a quick one I did for St. Patrick's Day.

Switching now to wool - isn't this the sweetest little church?  I put it on the lid of a basket.

I've also done some canning - needed to restock my pantry.  Ten pounds of potatoes -

Seven quarts of pinto beans -

And 7 quarts of chicken soup -

My BFF gave me some old glass jugs she found when she was cleaning out her dad's auto shop.  He had stored oil and other yucky stuff in them.  They are beautiful leaded glass and I have  no idea what I'll do with them but just couldn't see them go to the trash bin.  Here's a before/after picture of what they look like.

Got any thoughts about how to use them?

And lastly, I got to babysit with one of my granddogs for a few days.  Her name is Ellie, and when we made our frequent trips outside she made a friend, named Bingo.  This is Bingo coming to invite Ellie out to play.  I told him no, she's not old enough to see men friends.  :)

Hope you're having a beautiful week!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

And Then Another Thing Happened....

Do you ever feel like the hands on the clock are spinning out of control?  You know, like on those cartoons when the hands go around and around and around?  I do.  I can't seem to keep up with the days!

We've been away for a while on another mission trip.  Those of you who have read my blog for years know this is a frequent occurrence.  We were only gone a month this time (sometimes it's as long as four months) and it rained like crazy while we were in south Louisiana.
And when we got home it started raining here and rained for 5 or 6 days!  And poor Louisiana, well it just got worse there.  They've had lots of flooding and people lost their homes and had to be evacuated.  We drove to a town a couple of hours away from us on Wednesday to see my brother, who is in the hospital there, and it looked like this above, only deeper water.  Scary times.

We see spring everywhere here, from the neighbor's tulip tree
to the Carolina Jasmine which is threatening to pull it's trellis to the ground!
I love this vine but it runs everywhere and we've already had to pull it out of some nearby azaleas.

I even have this one little hyacinth I planted 10 years ago that comes up every year
and this wonderful stuff that I don't know the name of but which is the most persistent plant I've ever had!

We've kind of gotten spring fever and wanted to buy some potting soil - have you noticed the prices this year?

Inside my violets are all blooming -
And I've been doing some stitching!  I've actually finished the cross stitching on several things but only these two are really finished and ready for display.
 You can't tell in this picture but the bunny noses are done with a cashmere thread - just adorable!  And I love the way the variegated rick rack looked with this fabric.
Is there anything more spring time that bright colors?

Meanwhile, I have a long list of things to-do - it never seems to end.  Visit folks in the hospital, walk 2 miles a day, wash my kitchen cabinets and oil them, go to a couple of yoga classes, get a pedicure, send some get-well cards, clean up my sewing room, go through my winter clothes and get them ready for moving to another closet or to the storage building, plant my spring herbs, join the Silver Sneakers class at the Y, dehydrate the last of my frozen soup vegetables....the list goes on.  How about your spring to-do list never ending like mine?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Mini Post

A mini post - what in the world is that?  I think it means I'm going to write a little, but not a lot.  Of course quite often I think that and when I get started I'm still talking/writing an hour later.

The weather in Arkansas has been completely insane for a couple of weeks.  We had rain and we had snow and we had 70 degree days that fooled the forsythia and japonica into thinking they should open up a few buds.  But the crazy days have produced the most amazing sunsets!

Sometimes I just stare in total amazement.

I'm stitching....only in the evenings when things get quiet.  But at least I'm stitching.  I finished this piece by Scattered Seed Samplers last week.  I think she intended it to be a pinkeep but it's much larger than I picture that way.  However, I have fallen totally in love with it.

In the book of Matthew there are multiple places where Jesus tells us not to worry about anything, not even about what we will eat.  He reminds us how valuable we are to our Father - that He cares for the sparrows and we are worth far more than them.  As I was stitching I was reminded of this lesson and found comfort in that thought.  So this became my Sparrow Pinkeep - a gentle reminder that worry is pointless.  And since I'm the queen of worry I'm going to love having this nearby.

I hope you're having a worry-free weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Seasonal Affective Disorder

I don't think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder but I sure can understand when people get extremely depressed during these gray days of winter.  I find it hard to get motivated and have trouble focusing on projects.  I'm making myself continue to work on UFOs, though, and have spent some time in the sewing room this week.

This pattern is called Christmas Gathering and is by Plum Street Samplers.  But it reminds me of Noah and the dove he sent out from the Ark which eventually came back with an olive leaf.  The small green wreath isn't an olive leaf but but it does bring that story to mind for me so I've renamed it "Noah's Dove."  I made it into a small bag which can be hung from a doorknob or on a front door with some sprigs of pine in it.  It could even hold some sewing bits and pieces.

I have several Prairie Schooler Santa patterns but this is the first one I've stitched and will definitely make some changes if I make another.  The colors recommended are muted and certainly pretty but my taste is a more rich, hand dyed color scheme.  Obviously I chose this one to be my first because of the treadle sewing machine - I love it!  I made it into a small hanging and added the gold cord to hang it with and to finish a couple of edges.  I plan to hang it from a knob on my treadle machine next Christmas.

Andrew, our youngest grandson who just turned 7 last month, had his first duck hunting experience last week.  I asked if they killed anything and my son's answer was, "time."  As you can see from all the clothes he has on it was a bit chilly - I doubt Andrew will be anxious to go again soon.  :)

My early morning routine includes sitting in my recliner with a large cup of hot tea, my Bible and this view.  While the morning gave a beautiful promise of sunshine it didn't keep the promise - it was another gray day after the initial pink sunrise.

How are you managing to get through these winter days?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Where Does The Time Go?

I've lost time.  It happens to me frequently.  Today is Tuesday but I look up and suddenly it's Saturday.  How does that happen?

When I worked I longed to be retired because I pictured it as such a restful time...full of days where I lounged around reading a good book, eating chocolate.  I don't know about you but it doesn't happen at my house!  I've been busy the last week or so but I'm not sure exactly what I've done.  I finished another pillow - are you getting sick of these yet?

I think this might be my favorite - the antlers and sash are a deep brown narrow wale corduroy.  I confess I saw a similar pillow at a local department store one day and refused to pay the steep price tag for it.  I came home, searched Google Images and found similar antlers, and made my own pattern.  It works beautifully in our "boys bedroom."

Several weeks ago I finished a cross stitch piece from Just CrossStitch magazine - a cup with an herb in it.  There was a series of four and I planned to do all four and hang them in my kitchen.  Until I remembered I have no spare walls in my kitchen.  So I made this one into a cover for my box of essential oils.  I love the way it turned out!

Both of these were UFOs and in my ongoing effort to get some of that empire state building size stack a little smaller I also prepped this kit,

and got this one out to prep next.

I think my favorite thing I've stitched this week wasn't a UFO at all.  I bought this kit last week at The Shepherd's Needle in Little Rock and couldn't wait to make it.  It is a Shepherd's Bush design and is the perfect size for holding a couple of pens, a kleenex or two and even some note cards with my Bible and journal beside my chair.

It would also be a good size for scissors, needles and thimble so I think I'll consider making some for gifts - I love making zipper bags and they stitch up quickly.

I made a big pot of soup this week too - one of the best I've made in a long time.  I love homemade vegetable soup that starts with a beef roast as the base.  I cooked mine in the electric pressure cooker for an hour and a half with a jar of home canned tomatoes and a can of beef broth.  It was falling apart when I added the onions, celery and carrots and let it simmer for a while.

When those vegetable were done I added some potatoes, corn, okra and black eyed peas left from New Year's.  Yes, it was a huge pot but I shared some with one of our daughters and her family so we've only a tiny bowl left now.

I also made some cinnamon raising bread that was so wonderful - I use a sourdough starter and it's fast, easy, and delicious.  Isn't this loaf pretty?

The bowl it's in was my grandmother's.  I carried it in my lap on the plane home from California after she died.  Here's the finished product....

It was scrumptious!  I only make bread about every 10 days because I have no will power when hot bread comes out of the oven.  I'm on Weight Watchers and while I can have this it's more points than I want to indulge in very often.  We keep one loaf and I give the other two away.

Anybody else lost time lately?