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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Need a Laugh Today?

Five tips for a woman....

1. It is important that a man helps you around the house and has a job.

2. It is important that a man makes you laugh.

3. It is important to find a man you can count on and doesn't lie to You.

4. It is important that a man loves you and spoils you.

5. It is important that these four men don't know each other. Photo by Flickr

Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm The Pied Piper....and a Winner!

Girls and guys I just discovered this little gadget you will now see over on your right - Follow My Blog. Please click there and add yourself 'cause I'm collecting people. Other folks collect stamps or thimbles or salt & pepper shakers. With me, it's people! Please sign up. Pretty please. And would someone tell me how to get that "manage" statement off there?

And now, what you've been waiting for: Gene Black from! Gene I'll be contacting you to get your address so I can send you these placemats. Enjoy. :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Look who was waiting for us on the deck when we got home from church today. Needless to say the hummingbirds are highly offended.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Finished by Friday - A Little Old, A Little New

A year or so ago I made a redwork Christmas stocking for each of my grandchildren - seven so far. This one is for the new grandson scheduled to enter this world on December 31. Well, it's almost a stocking. The redwork is done...that's almost, right? And the emphasis is on the redwork is DONE.

Ok here's a problem child, or two. I'm starting the Nice People, Nice Things quilt. These are my first two blocks. I planned to do blocks in pastel colors and started with this pink. It does not show up. Gotta rethink my plan. What color would you use if the embroidery blocks are going to be surrounded with pastel pink, yellow, blue and green?

I painted this shelf black this week. You've seen it before done in a cream that was naturally distressed because it had been through several moves. It blended with the wall behind it so I decided to paint it. Black. I'm not sure I like it. Don't tell my husband I said that.

I also painted some picture frames black and these I do like. My children had given me the two largest frames with some old black and whites in them several years ago. That's a pretty large wall so I decided to add more black and whites.

I finished the quilting and binding on Autumn this week and had my husband hang it above the door going out to the deck. I have to let people know it's fall because it doesn't look like it outside! Of course our leaves don't usually change until October so I must be patient.

In addition to the above I finished a couple of naps, but should have had more. I had lunch with an old friend and my husband and I went to a play in Little Rock. Oh and we painted the cabinet and door in my bathroom. Just white and nothing new so no pictures. I'm afraid if I mention paint again my husband is going to raise his eyebrows even higher and they're pretty close to the top of his head already. I won't tell him the living room is needing .....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

As I approach my 62nd birthday (one week from today) I am finding myself facing some things I never thought about before this time in my life. For one thing, I can't do everything I used to do. And sometimes I can, but just not as well as I used to.

For the last three years I've been a volunteer chaplain at a local hospital. One morning a week I went in, got my assignment for the day, and visited about 20 or 25 patients. I filled out a form on each one, talked to them about how they were feeling and what they might need, often prayed with them or held their hands and just listened. This week I had to give that up. At least for a while, and maybe forever. I have a couple of problems that made this job painful at best. Arthritis in my hands seems to be spreading exponentially (really, really fast!) and filling out forms became nearly impossible. Oddly enough I can type, but just can't write well. My handwriting, which I prided myself on, looks like my grandmother's. Oh well, I look like my grandmother so what did I expect. Now that's really ok because my grandmother was beautiful and sexy and gorgeous and stunning....well, not really but I thought so. And you think so too, I know you do. I'm sure you would tell me that if I asked but I'm much too modest for that.

I loved my hospital visits and I will miss them. But at the same time I feel like God is calling me to a new place in my life. I have no idea what it is but since He picked me up and put me in the hospital ministry I assume He'll place me wherever the next spot is. I trust Him on that. However, breaking up is hard to do...I'll miss the faces that light up when I say I'm from the chaplain's office, I'll miss the sweet stories many of my older patients shared with me and the bravado of the young, I'll miss the tender moments when a patient says "let me pray for you!" and the times I run into old friends or people from my home town. I'll miss the nurses who have joined me in prayer and the technicians who smile and usher me in because they think praying is more important than cleaning or making a bed.

I'm having a sad moment thinking on those things...but a joyful one when I remember that before He put me there I had no idea of the joy coming my way. Today I'm wondering just what He's up to now...and what task He has for me. I bet it will be even more fun than I've had at the hospital! I think it might involve some of you out there reading this post. I know that because of my training and education I'm a good listener....and some of you just need to be listened to. You need someone anonymous to hear your frustrations and your fears. Maybe I'm the one. Some of you are having difficulty understanding your teens...I used to counsel teens. Maybe I'm the one to give you wise counsel or Godly listening. Maybe you're just lonely or sad or afraid and you don't know why and you need someone to encourage you. Or maybe it doesn't involve the net at all. Maybe He's going to send me in a totally different direction. I think I'm looking at a whole new adventure!

Monday, September 22, 2008

My First Giveaway

I wasn't paying attention and passed my 100th post a while back so instead of doing a giveaway for that I'm just going to give you a present for my birthday! October 1st is the day but I'm doing this a little early because I have something else in mind for that day.

These four dark green placemats have a leaf appliqued on the right side and a tab to match on the left. There are four napkins to match which will fit under the tab, along with as your silverware. Perfect for this fall season!

To enter the drawing just comment on this post. If you link to this post be sure you tell me and I'll put your name in twice. I will draw names on Monday morning, September 29. Good luck!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Deer Camp

My husband went to the deer camp Saturday morning and stayed until Sunday. He rarely ever misses church but this weekend he even missed church because...he had important work to do. Now deer season doesn't start for 4 weeks but it will take several trips between now and that date to have everything ready. This is what I understand had to be done:

Photo by Flickr

1. Check the deer stand to be sure it hasn't rotted since last year. If the boards have rotted they could break while you're up there and you could fall to the ground and you could break your leg. Ask me how I know that. Yep, it happened to him. That year he was on the side of the mountain and had to walk a mile or two out. Thank goodness he had a friend with him to lean on. I was at home having a yard sale when his friend drove up in the truck with my husband in the passenger seat and said I'm taking him to the hospital - you wanta' go?

2. Put out the deer feeder. You have to train the deer to go where you want to aim. If you're going to sit up in one of those deer stands then the deer have to come to you. Doesn't seem fair to me but there you have it.

3. Hurricane Ike knocked out the electricity in lots of Arkansas last week, including the deer camp. Yes they have electricity, satellite television, and central heat and air. A concrete block house with one huge bedroom (wall to wall bunk beds of snoring men, shudder), a living room and a kitchen but with all the modern conveniences. Including a shower which is rarely used. I digress. The electricity went out for several days and the deer meat left in the freezer thawed. No one was there. Someone came out to check. Found a freezer full of rotted meat. Don't think about it - you'll have nightmares. And now they wonder why they can't get the smell out of the freezer.

4. Deer season is over by Christmas. The deer camp is left empty until the next fall, except for an occasional visit to "bushhog" the grass. Cleaning might be a good thing. Even for a group of men the 2" thick dust, spider webs, and mouse droppings are not what they want to come home to after a long day of hunting. I wonder if they just hose it out but I don't dare ask for fear they might think that's a good idea if they aren't already doing it.

5. He had to find a good spot for his GameCam. That is a camera that you mount out in the woods neer your feeder (see #2 above). It is on a timer and every few minutes it takes a picture, all night long. You get great pictures of startled & big eyed deer, raccoons who could care less if a light is flashing as long as there is food, coyotes who really are sneaky creatures, and occasionally critters you can't identify. The purpose of this is....I haven't figured that out yet. I guess they sit around and watch their pictures and brag about who has the most animals feeding at their spot.

6. Wood has to be cut for the fireplace. Never mind that you don't have but a little wood at home for the fireplace that is supposed to keep your wife warm. Besides, at the deer camp there's lots of wood there for the cutting. And men must cut wood. It's a manly thing.

Edited: I wrote this post on Saturday and set it to post on Sunday. According to my husband the mosquitos were so bad at the deer camp because of the recent rains from Gustav and Ike that he couldn't spend the night. He arrived home just at dinner time. You know how they do that? Tell you they won't be home for dinner, arrive at dinner time and ask what's for dinner? I need help here girls. What is your response when your husband does that. Because I'm pretty sure screaming isn't the right one.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Giveaway! And Martha Stewart!

Ya'll Janera at My Garden Hat is giving away a wonderful fall candle...or two. Please, please go visit and comment and for Heaven's sake tell her I sent you so I get an extra chance! Please?

And if you haven't checked out Martha Stewart's blog you should. You just might find it interesting - I sure did.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Finished by Friday & Fall Decorations

After reading multiple blogs of clever people shopping yard sales and Goodwill and being completely jealous of their treasures I finally stopped in this week at Goodwill in my home town. And there I found this wood candle holder for 75¢! I brought it home, sprayed it with black paint and put in a candle I found hiding in my pajama drawer. Yes, my pajama drawer. Sometimes if I have a candle that smells really good, but that I'm not using right now, I put it in my pajama drawer, or my tee shirt drawer. The aroma when I open the drawer is delicious!

See this beautiful quilt hiding below the mess on top of it? This is called Forever Spring, because that's the way it looks to me. I made it in April, got it back from the longarm quilter last month, and put the binding on it this week. It is huge - king sized even though my bed is queen sized - and it is doubled there where you see it. We had a couple of cool nights this week, and I've been sleeping with the windows open, so it felt wonderful. The mess you see on the bed is a huge stack of photos I decided to go through today. I'm not sure why today. It shouldn't have been today. I had other things to do but I've been stuck in the middle of this for several hours and I'm ready to stack it all in the corner and ignore it for a while!

Remember the Jacks O Lantern from last week? The back is on, the tongues are on, the final embroidery is done and it's on the hanger on the door post that separates my living room from my sun room. You can see it immediately when you enter from the kitchen into that room and it just lights up the room. I do love it!

I decided this week to make some placemats and napkins. I found the dark green placemats at WalMart and bought the fabric to match. The leaf is appliqued on and the tab on the left is big enough to put the napkin and the silverware. A fun thing to do and pretty fast - I used Steam A Seam II on the back of the leaf and then did a blanket (machine applique some call it) stitch around the outside.

I couldn't find the rick rack I wanted and even though I got a great tip on how to dye rick rack (who knew you could do that?) after I posted last week, I had already found this ribbon which exactly matched the thread in the embroidery. It looks right at home in that chair don't you think? That's all the sewing/crafty things I got done, though I am working on a couple of other things. I spent the rest of my time putting up some fall decorations.

I put some fall leaves, some bittersweet and a small fall stitchery on the television cabinet.

These pumpkins and orange candles brighten up the mantel in the sun room. I'll have to take those off the fireplace insert if we get cold enough to light a fire but for right now they'll be fine.
A few fall leaves for my angel to enjoy.

My grandmother's treadle sewing machine is in the living room. The cornucopia and fall vegetables work well there I think.
I took off the blue and white wedding ring quilt and replaced it with this brown and cream snail's trail.
The living room mantel got some candles and leaves and bittersweet and pumpkins.

This little corner is one of my favorite places in my house. The embroidered verse was made for my husband when he was born nearly 64 years ago. I collect crosses so they're all over my house. And the little basket quilt done in fall colors I made a few months ago. That "antique" clock by the way is about 4 feet tall and everyone who comes in thinks it's very old and worth lots of money but I found it at Fred's Dollar Store!
I made this pumpkin quilt two years ago. It's very large and it's hard to find a place to really display it. Even on this wall I had to pin up the bottom row because that's where my return air vent is. The applique I did completely by hand but I had it machine quilted.
I made these placemats and napkins last year with some cute scarecrow fabric I found at a nearby quilt shop.
This buffet and hutch belonged to my husband's grandmother so I treasure it because of her.

I have a couple of Pilgrim couples that were my mother's and they go on these shelves. The ghost is an applique on a tea towel I did last year.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Don't Like:

1. Shoes that have ridges on the bottom. You know the kind? The kind that bring in leaves and twigs and dirt clods from outdoors and deposit them on your newly mopped floor? That kind. The kind that no one in your family will claim belong to them?

Photos by Flickr

2. Vitamin counters with shelf after shelf of vitamins and herbs but no information at all on what each one will do. Like I should remember what each one does? If I need something for memory do they honestly think I'm gonna' remember the name of the one herb that might help with that? And if I need something for energy do they think I feel like standing there studying all the vitamins to figure out which one might have the most of something that I heard once on tv - I have no energy people, I can't stand there that long!

3. Water faucets in public bathrooms that no matter how slightly you turn them on, splash water all over the sink. And you can't wash your hands without getting water from the sink on your clothes. And then they have blow dryers for your hands but no paper towels so either you leave a mess, or the person before you left a mess. And even if they do have paper towels and you try to clean up the water, have you noticed that there's always someone there staring at you like, "why in the world are you wiping up the sink in a public bathroom?" that kind of look? What, you don't clean up your mess?

4. People who say, "you look familiar...have we met before?" How do I know if we met before if you don't know if we met before? If you can't remember what makes you think I remember? And if we did meet before but you don't remember me, did you just insult me? And if we did meet before and you don't remember me, what makes you think I will admit that I remember you? Did any of that make sense?

Got any "don't likes" you want to share?

Uh oh, this is not the tone of my usual posts. Does this mean my hormones are acting up again?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Soda Cracker Candy

Girls ... and Guys if there are any of you out there reading this, you must try this recipe! It tastes like Heath bars, no kidding. And if you don't like Heath bars, well then you must be unAmerican and we need to talk. I'm just sayin'!

Soda Cracker Candy

1 cup margerine or butter
1 cup sugar
12 oz. Chocolate Chips
12 oz. Pecans chopped
enough saltines to cover the bottom of a jelly roll pan

Preheat oven to 400. (does anybody know how to put a little degree symbol on this because I sure can't find the darn thing!) Combine butter and sugar, boil for 3 minutes and pour over crackers. I spread it out a little after pouring. Bake in oven for 6 minutes and remove. Turn oven off! Spread the butter mixture a little more, quickly because it will harden. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top and put the pan back in the oven but leave the door open. Remember the oven is off! Watch and when the chips look glassy take it out and spread the chocolate. Sprinkle nuts on top and refrigerate in the pan for several hours till good and cold. Loosen edges with a table knife and break apart with your hands. Keep pieces in the fridge in a closed container.

This is the easiest and fastest recipe ever and so delicious! You'll thank me, really you will.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Just Look!

I won a giveaway over at The Corvidarium. Wendy made this wonderful little purse with an appliqued bird on the front. My mother loved birds better than anyone I know so this will remind me of her every time I use it. Even when she was very sick and could hardly walk or see we would help her outdoors so she could "see" the birds. And even though she couldn't see the bird feeders in the backyard she told us ever day that "those bird feeders need to be filled up!" She joined my father in Heaven four years ago but even now I can't tell you how often a little bird will light on my bedroom window screen when that never happened before and I know she's reminding me to fill up those feeders! Thank you Wendy for this purse and you my friends for letting me remember Mama.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I've gotten tagged again ya'll. This time Katherine at Quilter Going Bananas wants to know 6 random things about me. Random things? Does that mean weird - is this a secret quest to find out my really weird personality quirks? Sneaky, sneaky....

1. One of my shoulders is higher than the other. No I didn't have scoliosis, I'm just weird. It's not a big deal except one bra strap always falls off and the other always feels too tight which makes me feel lopsided sometimes. Come to think of it, it matches my thinking process!

2. I can remember your phone number but not your name. Hello 754-2378 - now let's see you're Mary right? Susan? Tricia?

3. I can remember my phone number when we first got a phone when I was about 8 years old - JE4-2202. That's about 54 years ago for those of you who are wondering!

4. My favorite meal is pinto beans, pan fried potatoes with onions and cornbread. I know, all carbs. There were 4 kids in my family and we were "economically deprived" to be politically correct. I remember having that meal pretty often and so it's comfort food to me.

5. I want to have a couple of different perfumes on my bathroom counter at all times. I rarely use it but I want it there. I think it must be a symbol of feminity to me. Or something. Maybe I just want it.

6. About 15 years I bought a Teddy Bear for myself. I never had one as a kid and so when I was 45 or so I bought myself one. His name is Jed and I slept with him for a couple of years. Then I was over it. Now he sits on a chair in my bedroom watching over me while I sleep. I highly recommend it.

So there you are six random (weird) things about me. Now who am I gonna' tag with this? Who's going to be the luck one? Let's try....
1. Pat at Bird Nest On The Ground
2. Bonnie at Quiltville
3. Lura at Grammy's News
4. Alex at My Quill and Pen
5. Pam at Passionate Purple Quilter
6. Rose Mary at Life in a Cordwood Cabin

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who “tagged” you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

No ya'll I'm supposed to let you know I'm tagging you by commenting on your blog. I read that rule #5. But I'm preposting this because Ike is making his way to my door today bringing us high winds and lots of rain. Typically we lose power when this happens. So, since your a regular reader here I figure you'll read all about me tagging you and act accordingly. Definition of accordingly: do anything you want to, or not! You know I'll be back to see you and comment on your blog when I can. :)


I was reading a recent post (well maybe not so recent since I'm behind on my blog reading) that Joy wrote at His Ponderings that made me stop and think. Joy wrote about being interrupted in her quiet time, her Bible time, by her 3 year old son asking how to get Jesus in his heart. Wow! A sweet story, to be sure, but what struck me about it was how many times my life is interrupted and how differently I sometimes respond to those interruptions.

Last week when I was driving to my sister's my trip was interrupted by a contaminated brake system. As a result I spent an hour waiting on a tow truck and nearly four hours in the tow truck. During that hour I had a nice visit with a sweet woman working at the Dairy Queen where I was stranded. And had a really long conversation with the tow truck driver who had two elderly aunts living in a town where I used to live and where we had a mutual acquaintence in a local preacher. The Dairy Queen lady was helpful and friendly and full of information that I needed. The tow truck driver was protective of me, explaining exactly what Triple A could and would do for me, and then making sure that I had the opportunity for something to drink and a bathroom break. Having the car break down on me was frustrating at best and definitely an interruption of my plans, but what a double blessing I got in these two kind people because I had that interruption. Without the breakdown I would have missed the kindness of two strangers.

Now there are some interruptions I'd just as soon do without. The telephone call from a computer telling me what a wonderful candidate X is when I'm in the middle of a bath is the first one that comes to mind. Or the overloaded grocery bag that breaks just as I get to the car on the WalMart parking lot. Or how about the downpour that starts as you are halfway between your car and the church door...without an umbrella?

I wonder how many interruptions I have that are really blessings in disguise but I don't recognize them. Or maybe I'm too focused on myself and my time and my schedule to embrace them. Do I recognize the interruptions that are gifts or do I skip over them, impatient to go on my way? Driving home from Missouri I saw mile after mile of wildflowers blooming on the side of the highway. I should have stopped and taken some pictures. But I was in a hurry and didn't want to "waste" the 10 minutes that might have taken - it would have been an interruption. So I didn't capture the beauty that God sent my way. I remember all too well the times when my children were small that they interrupted me during phone calls, or while I was in the middle of cooking dinner, or working on a project of some kind. I was often short with them or I put them off till "later". Looking back I'm very sure I missed some wonderful times with them because I didn't want to be interrupted. I'd give a lot for do overs.

I've decided I'm going to slow down...let myself be interrupted more often, listen more carefully to the messages God is sending me and not worry about stopping in the middle of what I'm doing. If you want to call me and I'm half through cooking dinner I'm going to turn the fire off and sit down and visit - heavens, if you'd called me the other day I might not have burned those beans! If one of my children wants to tell me something, and yes they are all adults now but I don't care, I'm going to stop and talk. If I see a flower I'm going to pause and breathe in and if a dog shows up on my doorstep I'm going to pet him and see if he has any words of wisdom for me. (That could be because I want a dog and my husband is still saying no.)

Let's embrace the interruptions of life - they could be the best part!

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Almost Finished By Friday

This is a wool project that I started last weekend. This is only the top....but, hey the hand work is done! It will have tabs at the top to hang it and "tongues" at the bottom when finished and no I can't explain tongues but I'll show you when I get them on there. I doubt that's what the pattern calls them but you know I can't remember stuff like that. A friend gave me this pattern a couple of years ago, then last year I bought the wool, and this year I started it. That's a nice schedule don't you think? At least it's not as old as a few other patterns and/or kits I have laying around!

My friend Karen at Log Cabin Quilter made the best wallhanging and even gave one away. I didn't win. She took pity on me and sent me a pattern so I could make one too! I didn't exactly follow the pattern (I can you hear you - yes I do too sometimes follow a pattern!) but I didn't have enough cream fabrics to piece the background like the pattern said so I just used a piece of khaki Kona cotton. It totally doesn't look khaki in this picture and I know that but I promise it really is khaki - I tried to fix the color in the color adjuster thingie but it kept turning blue so I gave up. Anyway the top is finished and ready to make the sandwich.

I might be cheating just a tiny bit by including this. Well, maybe a lot. But I knew you would want to see my progress on this one. Oops, forgot you've never seen it at all have you? I did this embroidery last fall. But I couldn't decide what to do with it. This year I thought I'd try to make a pillow using it - I'm not a very good pillow maker but I'm running out of wall space and table space and what else can I do with it? So this week I put these borders on it. I went to buy a rust colored rick rack to go on the background just next to the border. Hancock's. Hobby Lobby. WalMart. The only three places that sell rick rack here. No rust. I finally found a patterned ribbon that I think might work's not there. Imagine it. Hmmm, not working for you? Me either. Got any suggestions?

Maybe next Friday I'll have these finished completely for you. Ike looks like he might be visiting Arkansas and if he does I'll be staying in and sewing. I can do handwork even if the electricity goes off but I can't do any machine sewing because we don't have a generator. My husband doesn't think too much of the idea of buying a generator just so I can sew. I think that whole car breaking down thingy, and the stove leaking carbon monoxide thingy, and the computer crashing, and the pump quitting (all resulting in $$$ spent) have traumatized him. You think?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Blue Ribbon

Tonight my husband and I went to the county fair. (Photos from Flickr) I can't remember the last time I went to a county fair but I'm sure it's been at least 30 years! Some things are the same - they still have cotton candy and caramel apples, funnel cakes, and kettle corn. But they've added a few things since I was there last - fried oreos, chicken on a stick, turkey legs, fried candy bars. Fried candy bars?

I saw all kinds of people. There were families with small children who weren't sure at all if they wanted to get on that ride standing right beside teenagers with tattoos and body piercings. There were grandmothers like me and young, pregnant women. (those pregnant women were probably the ones buying the fried candy bars!) There were young men in cowboy boots and young girls in very little.

I went to see the exhibits - not the animal ones although I could smell them so I know they were there. I went to see the quilts and the hand stitching and the jars of jelly and pickles and green beans. It was nice to see that the 4H kids were still being taught to cook and sew. The quilts were beautiful and every single one had a ribbon on it, mostly blue ribbons! Hmmm, let's see, everybody gets first place for their work. I've never seen that before. And when I got to the canned goods...same thing! Every one had a blue ribbon! And the bread, and the cake, and the pie, and the ribbons! You know what? I bet that's just what Heaven is going to be like! We all will have a blue ribbon pinned on us when we arrive - 1st Place in God's Kingdom!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Most Wonderful Gift And A Special Friend

One of the greatest blessings of this new blog culture is the ability to meet and become friends with others all over the world. When I first began to post and to read the blogs written by others I found Bonnie at Calamity Jane's Cottage. In a relatively short time (since April), she and I have become friends. I don't say that lightly. It feels to me like Bonnie is a neighbor - you know the kind I mean? The kind you drop in on for coffee and she's tickled you're there. The kind you can call and say, "oh I'm so aggravated at my husband, or my kids, or the mail person," and she will know that it's just for the moment and nothing major. In her case, it's not really a drop in but it seems that way. Last week when I got home from the visit to my sister that resulted in a huge car repair bill Bonnie sent me a present. Not just any present, not just a small present. Bonnie sent me a HUGE present. After scurrying around to find the scissors, cutting off the tape, and opening the box, here is what I found. Bonnie made me this beautiful purse. And ya'll she personalized it! If you've read my blog like Bonnie has you will know that a) my initials are MB, 2) I am a Christian first and foremost, but I am not 3) an angel, and my confessions prove it! However, you will note on the hands of the angel her 4) fingernails. One of my confessions was to wearing fake fingernails for the last 20 years. However, I took them off about 6 weeks and am still suffering from the post-acrylic yucky looking nails. :(

I am a 5) stitcher, both embroidery and quilting, and 6) I live on a lake. Bonnie included all of those on my purse - she does beautiful machine embroidery!

When I opened my purse up I found a makeup bag to match, also with my initials on it and it was filled with chocolate. Chocolate is a good thing!

And she included some other gifts - a seam ripper, a package of Mary Engelbright needles, fat quarters of fall fabrics (and I've already used some of them in a wall hanging!) and a Romantic Home magazine.

I've carried my new purse everywhere since it arrived on Saturday and gotten compliments from a ton of women. And, of course, I'd love to take credit for it but I don't. No, not even once! I'm sending them all Bonnie's way - and you too. If you're interested. She has a fabulous on-line shop ( with lots of wonderful things, including aprons, purses, children's outfits, china, oh all kinds of things you will definitely want. If you want a purse personalized for someone she can do it! This purse would make a fabulous diaper bag and would be so cute with the baby and mama's name on it. It's big enough that I think you could even use it for a sewing or knitting tote. What a great gift!

Monday, September 8, 2008


In yesterday's sermon the preacher was talking about Jesus calling Peter and Andrew while they were fishing - calling them to come and follow Him. And they immediately stopped what they were doing and followed. God called them to be His disciples, to a life of greatness. And He calls you and me to greatness. After all, according to the preacher, He didn't say "Come and follow me and live a life of...mediocrity!" I love that. :) I want to live a life of greatness! Now, let's see. How do I go about that? The preacher didn't exactly tell us that...and I'm sure that was on purpose. If he told us that we would be limited and not see what it is God is calling us for. Because we're all different and He calls us all to something different.

Now let's just think about this. A life of greatness. Ok, I'm thinking. Thinking. Exactly what am I great at? What exactly is it that I'm supposed to be so good at? When I think of greatness I think of Da Vinci, Mozart, Mona Lisa - oh no, she was in the painting...she wasn't the artist. But you get what I mean.

I'm a quilter. I make nice quilts. Not great quilts. All my seams aren't 1/4". All my points aren't exact. In fact, don't tell anyone, but some of them float. And some of them get cut off. Nice, not great.

I love to embroider and I do good work. But not great work. I've seen great embroidery and that's not me. Some of my stitches are small, but I'm not consistent. My French knots, well let's just say that sometimes they knot way before they're supposed to, or way after.

Cooking, now there's a subject I could get into. Not! You've already seen my burned beans so you know the truth of that.

Here's what I've decided - my definition of great. Greatness isn't about a product, unless it's children. That's a whole other story. Greatness is about who you are. I think greatness is about loving someone in one of your groups when no one else even likes them, and it's about compassion for the person who does the same bad thing over and over and over again because they just can't seem to stop. I think greatness is about being sincere with people, not two faced and it's a willingness to help when someone's yard needs to be mowed or their child babysat or their prescription picked up. Or their jokes laughed at. Greatness is listening to the same old story time and again from the old gentleman next door, even when you desperately need to go sweep your kitchen floor. Greatness has a generous heart, giving because you want the receiver to know you care and not because you expect something in return. Greatness means visiting someone who's sick and not worrying about what germs you might pick up. Greatness is standing up for what is right and true and ethical even when others around you won't.

I wish I could say I do all those things, but I don't. I have all the typical human flaws and some of them in abundence. I don't think I'm ever gonna' make it to great but I do think I can make this life a wonderful journey with that as my goal.

What's your definition of greatness? I'd really like to know. I think there are a lot of things I need to add to my list.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Simple Things

Sometimes when things don't go as you expect or want them to, it pays to step back and take stock of the good things in your life, especially the simple things that bring so much joy. Behind My Red Door, one of my favorite blogs, posted about the simple things recently and it made me wonder just what simple things I'm grateful for. I'll share a few.

I'm grateful for old comfortable clothes. You know the kind, the ones that the elastic is stretched all the way out on so they aren't tight anywhere? The ones that are big and sloppy and lived in are my favorites. The ones you put on when you know you aren't going anywhere and no one is going to drop by - the rainy day clothes - those are my choices when I just want to be me.

I'm grateful for a room of my own. When I was a child I shared with my sister. While she is now by very best friend and the other half of my personality, it has not always been so. I remember putting our wardrobes (we didn't have closets) and chests side by side down the middle of the room - drawing a line in the sand if you will. Her room was on one side and mine on the other. She saw the back side of my wardrobe and chest and I saw the back side of hers. We thought we were quite smart. Mother didn't agree.

I'm grateful for the home I live in. Oh I get so frustrated sometimes with this and that....there's a lump under the carpet right outside my bathroom door (do you think it might be a dead mouse that somehow snuck under there and got stepped on when they put the carpet down? I think about weird things like that), my stuff overfloweth my closets because there are way too few of them (or do I have too much stuff?), my washer and dryer are in the kitchen and I hate that (but at least I have them!), there isn't nearly enough light in my sewing room (and the ones that I have put off so much heat that it rivals my hot flashes). I'm sure you could make your own list but, truly, I love my home. It's warm and welcoming and has a terrific view. There are so many who have no home and I know this one is blessed.

I'm grateful for grandchildren who want to call Grandma to tell her that they lost a tooth, or that they made a 4 on an AP exam, or that they have a basketball game Friday, or that they are running away to my house for a little while. I'm grateful for grandchildren who can fix my computer when it does something (deliberate I'm sure) to stop me in my tracks, who have the most gorgeous hair that curls and curls and curls, who have passed their driving exam, who have red streaks put in their blonde hair, who love to skate across my parquet floor on their shoes with wheels despite the many times their mother tells them not to, who love to dress up and put on a show for me, who sleeps all over the bed and back again, and who is yet to be born.

But I think most of all I'm grateful that I live in a country where I can have all the Bibles I want. Maybe this is not such a simple thing but it should be.

What are you grateful for?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I Burned The Beans

I cannot multitask. I cannot multitask. When am I going to learn that I cannot multitask?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Finished by Friday - Not My Usual

Since I didn't get much sewing done this week I thought you might like to see what I've done while I was visiting my sister. She wanted a little "redo" on one of her downstairs bedrooms and the bath. Her downstairs is a finished basement which includes mother-in-law quarters plus two bedrooms with a bath between. As is usual in basements with few windows, it's dark in those rooms and our main goal was to lighten things up. We found some Shabby Chic curtain panels on sale at Target and because roses are her absolute favorite flowers we grabbed two of those. I made one a shower curtain and cut the other off to make a curtain for the window. That window is a deep set one so I put the curtain at the back and put pictures in front. I used a lot of stuff I found while wandering through other rooms but some things we bought at the junk/antique shop. The picture and the lamp in the top picture were two of those finds. I had some fabric left from the curtain so I have it wrapped around a cushion on the chair. She will cover a cushion with it later. Right, Sherry?

The vase with roses in it was in her sunroom and so was the vintage picture of our grandfather.

This towel hanger that I put behind the door was stuck in a cabinet with the tag still on it. It was another sale item, this time from Hobby Lobby.

I think this little butterfly may be something her youngest daughter left at home after she moved out - I found it in a drawer with a few of her things and thought it would be perfect up above the cabinets.

This picture is almost a repeat but I wanted you to see the little shoes that I hung on the cabinet. We found them at the antique shop - they have tiny ribbon roses on them.
This stencil is from Hobby Lobby and was so easy! It's a peel and stick - I've never seen those before but it was perfect here.
This picture of roses was another find at the antique store. The lamp is reflecting in it so it's difficult to see but it's perfect for this space.

At K Mart we found this bath mat as well as a rug that is in front of the sink and a toothbrush holder and lotion dispenser. One of them says Sing As If No One Is Listening and one says Dance As If No One Is Watching. The mat and the rug both have a variety of inspirational words on them. And the colors worked well in here. That's about all I had time to do in here so I moved to "my" bedroom.
The first thing I did was slant this bed in the corner and move a couple of other pieces. The rose picture was another antique shop find and the quilt is one our Mother made, but this is the back side of it.
The balloon shades on these windows came from Target and are part of the Shabby Chic line like the bathroom curtains. The lamp my sister had and the frame came from Hobby Lobby. As did the greenery which I just stuck in a glass vase that was in the room.

This lamp was in the room already but I took a crocheted collar mother had made and slipped it down over the shade. I love it! The saucer was an antique shop find and is very unusual - it has a handle on the top. Not sure what that was for originally.
Besides getting the cushion covered my sister still needs to put some pictures in the new frames, find something else to put on the dresser, maybe add a rug in the bedroom and also some rose sachet. But I'm calling my part done!