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.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Day Trip

Yesterday we took a day trip. :) We took my aunt and cousin down in the country to the Amish Store. I love going there and if at all possible would probably buy a 25 pound sack of every single thing they have! I did limit myself, difficult as it was, but bought two big bags of steel cut oats, a bag of couscous, a large sack of red hots to make apple rings with, some Wisconsin cheese curds, and several "gadgets."

I think gadgets are one of my downfalls. I love them and have absolutely no room for them. I bought three sets of measuring spoons - now what's up with that? They were all was a regular set of metal spoons with all the regular sizes in it (I only have an ancient set of Tupperware ones and they are stained and ugly), one set had only a teaspoon and a tablespoon but they had magnets on them and stuck to each other, and the other set had one spoon for a smidgen, one for a dash and one for a pinch. Loved those! And I bought a small sifter for powdered sugar when you want to sprinkle it on a cake, which I do at least once every five years. And a butter crock. Yep, a butter crock. I like to keep my real butter on the counter so it's soft enough to spread. This crock is kind of strange because you put the butter in the lid and water in the bottom and then put the lid down in the water. It's supposed to keep butter good for 30 days if you change the water every three days. Uh yea, I'm really gonna remember to do that.

At home I have an apple corer which I use about once a year, and an orange peeler which I frequently forget I have. If I were really trying to simplify my life I'd just use a knife and be done with it. But gadgets seem to call my name. They lay on the shelf and whisper...and then they get louder and louder until I grab them and run to the checkout counter. Do they do that to you too?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stepping Out With Courage

Saturday I drove from my son and daughter-in-law's house in northwest Arkansas to my sister's house in Jefferson City, Missouri. At this time of year it was a beautiful drive, as you can well imagine. But this post isn't about the scenery.

When I have a long drive I listen to a book on CDs...or try to listen. Sometimes my brain just won't turn off whatever tangent I happen to be on to concentrate on the book and that's what happened to me on Saturday. I was on my way to spend a week visiting with my aunt and cousin who were spending the week with my sister. They both need a lot of help and care - my aunt is blind and needs breathing treatments twice a day, and my cousin is a severe diabetic and on dialysis three times a week. And my sister has to work Monday, Wednesday and Friday so they needed help those days for sure. But this post isn't about them needing help.

A couple of days ago I told you about a classmate of mine who is semi homeless and who came to our reunion anyway. I thought that was one of the most couragous things I'd seen. But these two top even that. They were flying from San Antonio to St. Louis, via Houston, just to visit with us. Their courage is what this post is about.

One of them is completely blind and the other has very limited vision because of her diabetes. Neither of them is able to walk from the check-in counter to the gate or from the gate to the baggage area so they have to rely on the airlines to get them, in wheelchairs, from where they are to where they are going. And they are wheeled to the baggage area where they wait for us to meet them, simply trusting that we will show up. They hand over suitcases they can't see or identify easily to people they don't know and believe that those same bags will arrive with them and will be found for them. Now make no mistake, the airlines folks are wonderful - every one a hero for the way they treat them. The gentleman who brought them from the gate to the baggage area was kind and generous and helpful (Continental Airlines, by the way). But can you imagine yourself in their situation? Sitting in a waiting area in a wheelchair, unable to see, believing that you will be met by loved ones?

And to top it all off the plane had a small problem landing - the flaps wouldn't go down and they had a rough landing to put it mildly. I don't know much about planes but I think those flaps are a large part of what slows that plane down! According to them, the passengers cheered when they landed safely. They weren't afraid though because, "what's there to be afraid of? Either we get where we're going or if the plane crashes we get to go home with Jesus and both of those would be wonderful!"

At the reunion I mentioned in my previous post I overheard a classmate (Jack Sides) talking about riding a motorcycle all over the country (sorry Jack but I hate motorcycles and just can't help it) and he said, "Some people confuse breathing with living." While I am still scared to death of motorcycles I love what he said. It applies so beautifully to my beloved aunt and cousin. They embrace life. My aunt loves for us to describe the scenery or our houses or whatever we're looking at because she "can see it in my mind." She doesn't moan and groan about being blind. She runs her own business by the way (she's 70 years old) - a cafeteria in a state building. My cousin doesn't complain about the dialysis or the insulin shots or the sores that won't heal. They just do what has to be done and they have a good time doing it. Naturally they have to have a little help but they go shopping or out to eat or to family reunions and they do it with a grace that I envy. They get on a bus or a plane and they are excited and happy, not dreading a long ride. Everything about their lives screams courage.

What is it that makes some people embrace life and step out with courage and others retreat from it and hide under the bed, figuratively speaking? I don't know but I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts....and better still I'd love to read some other posts about people you know who exhibit this kind of courage.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I've thought and thought this week of what I might say to you about my class reunion but the words don't come. Oh I could, laughter, hugs, tears, joy, you know all the ones that are appropriate for that kind of event. But my heart won't leave it at that.

*The weekend started when I walked into the hotel lobby several times as classmates were checking in. Except, of course, I couldn't comprehend that they were actually my age since they all looked way older than me. :)

*I loved the way that the mini-groups that hung together in high school let go of those confidence life-lines and embraced other people that they didn't know as well. They (yes, me too) had mellowed and had become confident in their own right. We have all accepted that life is what it is and that some had become more financially successful than others, some had attained their career goals and others hadn't, that some had serious health issues and others didn't, but that no matter what had happened along this journey these were people who were a part of our childhood and that we loved them. We looked at them with our hearts instead of our eyes. Don't you love that?

*We have a classmate who is virtually homeless. Her parents live in town and I believe that she spends some time with them but she also rides a bicycle around town with her belongings in bags on the back. One of our class members ran into her early on Saturday and asked her to please come by the hotel where most of us were staying - and she did! Ya'll, the minute she walked in everyone rushed to embrace her, to lay hands on her and love on her and welcome her. There was not one minute of hesitation. She cried when she saw several of her elementary school classmates and neighbors from her early years. She was invited to join us at the country club for dinner and she did. What courage that must have taken for her as you can imagine her clothing wasn't the best. I cannot tell you how proud I was to be a member of this class, this compassionate group of people who have grown into adults I love.

*Reunions, whether they are class reunions, family reunions, or just a group of old friends gathering together, have the ability to renew our faith as well as our ties to people we love. They take us back to our childhood, or our high school/college days, or just to times when we were a different person and allow us to revisit those memories and emotions and validate who we are today and how we got to be that person. I highly recommend them!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I drove to Ft.Smith yesterday to see my grandchildren there. Along the way I noticed this.

And this! I sure hope my allergy shots are working. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm Going Home

Not the Heavenly one but back to my old high school! This picture is from about 1915 and it looked a lot like that when I graduated in 1964. Forty five years ago. 45. I can't get my brain around 45. In 1964 we were finally allowed to wear pants to school, but only if it was a pant suit. No jeans, oh my heavens no. In 1964 McDonald's hamburgers were 15 cents and cokes were a dime and french fries were twelve cents. There was a gas war and gasoline was 18 cents a gallon. In 1964 I skipped school one day and drove (with a friend) to a town about 40 miles away to see my then boyfriend and now husband. When my mother found out she was horrified, not so much by the idea that I skipped school as the thought of me driving on the highway on BALD TIRES. But I got grounded for both. :) My skirts were below my knees until I left home when I promptly rolled them up so they hit just at the top of my knees. Shameless hussy. In 1964 I weighed 50 pounds less than I do now and I was an inch taller! In 1964 I had no stretch marks, no body parts that sagged, and my favorite outfit was a pair of wheat colored jeans (size 6), a blue button-down collar shirt, and Keds tennis shoes. I earned the money to buy that outfit for myself working at the dime store and I wore it every other day. Today I return to that place and, sort of, to that time for a high school reunion. Then I was shy, quiet, and felt very awkward. Today, not so much. Today I wonder why I was so shy, and why I was so quiet and why I felt so awkward. Teenage angst I suppose. Among other things. Then I knew who Jesus was. Today I know Jesus. It makes all the difference in the world.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm Pretty Sure

I'm pretty sure God forgives any sin with "homemade" in the title. Right?

Friday, October 9, 2009


We're babysitting with two of our grandchildren, just for a couple of nights. Unfortunately, S (the sister) is sick. I took her to the doctor where they took blood, swabbed her throat and nose, and said she tested negative for Strep and H1n1. When we were at the doctor's office she had only a low grade fever, but a nasty cough. Diagnosis: viral infection. Treatment: none really. It will run it's course. Except that afternoon her fever spiked to 103.2. A little tylenol, and a little ibuprofen 2 hours later and about 9:30 last night it broke. Since we were a bit concerned her mother left her meeting and came home. She wanted to take S home for the night to see how she did through the night and how she was this morning. B (the brother) didn't want to go home. He wanted to stay here. Ah I thought...he loves us! He e-mailed his mother that he wanted to stay here because a) he didn't want to pack his stuff again and b) grandma has strootls. Need an interpretation? He loves Toaster Strudels. :) I'm not above bribery.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Granny's Quilt

Do you read Valerie's blog about Granny? Valerie's Granny will have a birthday October 24 - she will be 96 years old! Granny makes one quilt a week. You heard me, one quilt a week. Recently I bought one of Granny's quilts and when I got home from vacation it was waiting for me. It is perfect. Perfectly perfect. Oh I don't mean perfect stitches, or perfect seams, or perfectly square. It is perfect for snuggling under on a rainy, dreary day. It's perfect for wrapping up a grandchild who's spending the night. It's perfect for making a house when draped over a chair and an end table. It's perfect for winding around and around a doll. It's perfect for covering up in the car when the air conditioner is on full blast. It's perfect for laying on the carpet and putting a baby down for his nap.
God has touched Granny's heart, and her hands, and her life. He as made her an artist. He has given her the gift of perfect quilts.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

An Early Morning Sight

Last week we left Amarillo, Texas early in the morning for the last leg of our trip home. The sun was just coming up on the horizon and I was dreading the thought of facing it for several hours. I made my little nest in the truck....socks on (he likes air, I like heat), blanket in place, embroidery waiting for enough light to see by, and I was all settled. I looked up and this is what I saw.

What a lovely reminder for all travelers passing by that He is there. Beside the highway, in the truck with us, even lurking in the rest areas...He is there.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Why is Everything So Loud?

I got a haircut today. Normally I wouldn't be telling you this but since you all know that my beautician retired I thought you'd like to know I went to a new one today. It wasn't quite as bad as a new gynocologist, but almost. Oh not her - she was really nice. And even nicer was that today she was in the shop by herself. No other customers, no other beauticians...just me and some soft music. Mondays she's by herself and you can bet I'll be going back on Monday.

I've never been a noise person and the older I get the less I like it. I hate the music they play at Sonic while I'm waiting in line even though it's music from my teen days. It's loud and I can barely hear the waitperson asking me what I want. And when they can't hear me I get frustrated because I just want to say, "turn the music down and you can hear me!" And there are some shops I won't even go in because the music is so loud...Abercrombie & Fitch is one. Not that I would go in there anyway except at Christmas when I would go to buy a sweatshirt for my grandson since he's addicted to their stuff.

Is it just me or stores making the music louder these days? And if it's not me, why are they doing that? Any theories?

What Was I Thinking?

1. Applique 6 blocks of the wool sampler. I only got five done but I just love this sampler! And yes there are six blocks here because I started writing this post several days and since then I've completed the sixth one. :) I'm ready to put the sashing on these and then I'll start the borders.

2. Complete 4 blocks of the redwork baby quilt. That didn't happen. I did get one done but didn't realize how much detail there is on that quilt. I'll show you a picture next month.
3. Embroider and make 2 redwork baby bibs. I'm more than half way good with these - I finished the redwork for both but only actually made one bib so far. My sewing machine started having a problem which I've since corrected so this week I'll make the other one.
4. Embroider one fall tea towel. Nope, didn't get this started.

5. Embroider one fall wall hanging. I drew it onto the fabric. That's good right?

6. Get two pumpkin applique blocks put together. What was I thinking? It takes me a couple of hours apiece to put these blocks together - maybe more! There weren't that many extra hours in my month!

7. Applique the border for the sampler quilt. Haven't started - does it count that I got the leaves and flowers ironed on and it's all ready to stitch?
At the beginning of the year when I decided to put monthly goals I thought it would really inspire me to work hard. Now I've decided I work hard all the time anyway! but that doesn't mean I get more done. Maybe I should work harder on inventing a way to add more hours to my day. Then I'd be a billionaire and I wouldn't have to do all the housework, errands, etc. that take time away from my sewing. :) Wouldn't it be nice to tell someone each morning: today go to the pharmacy, the cleaners, the library and WalMart. Then mop the kitchen, dust the ceiling fans, and clean out the living room closet. When you're done .... I think I'd like that!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Last Day

On the last day of our time in the Rockies we saw God. We saw him in the golden Aspens.

And on the misty mountains.

He stood with us on the overlooks peering into the valleys.

He smiled at the tenacity of a tree bravely growing out of solid rock.

And He made swirls in the rocks and the snow.

He spread both arms wide saying all this I made for you.

From the frozen lakes...

to the greens and yellows....

and the azure sky.

He showed us the gentle slopes

and the mass of color

set atop trunks of white and gray.

He gave us breathtaking views as we drove.

He laughed at the playful trout,

and chuckled at the ones who patiently lay in the current waiting for food to come to them.

They thought they were hiding, but He saw them.

He rested by the lakes,

and He walked in the grass.

He looked at His creation and said "It is good."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Baby Eli

I showed you baby Eli in my last post - isn't he just perfect? He is so beautiful, so sweet, so beloved! Baby Eli has a small problem - his thyroid gland isn't working. So on the sixth day of his life he started medication that he will take the rest of his life. There's not a liquid medication so his parents are crushing the pill and mixing it in a teaspoon of applesauce. Can you even imagine having to get a teaspoon of anything down a 6 day old baby? I can't!

I'm telling you this for two reasons. First of all, Eli is a first baby for his parents. It's a difficult enough transition to parenthood without complications entering the picture. The doctor said this is a lifelong medication. I'm sure they are feeling all the emotions that we expect...shock, apprehension, fear, everything Satan can put forth. So if you would say a prayer for them....and for Eli. I'm praying for God's grace and His peace to surround them. I'm asking for healing and hope and for the sure knowledge that God is in control here.

And the second reason? Well, it's this. We have tests that are automatically done on babies that detect this problem. We have lab technicians who know how to read those tests. We have doctors who know how to take care of medical issues and pharmacies who have the medicines and parents who are able to understand the responsibilities they are undertaking. We have a God who has given us every one of those things. Every one. Every single one! He gave us the intelligence that enables us to learn how to diagnose medical problems, treat them, and make the medications necessary. He is so loving that he has given us the means to take care of Eli. He is holding this baby in His hands, loving him and caring for him. Eli is tiny but our God is huge. How great is our God! Will you join me in praising Him?