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.

Monday, August 31, 2009

August Goals...Met and Unmet

I worked really hard this month! I didn't realize how much sewing I had done until I started looking at the pictures I'd taken.

I wanted to get at least four of the blocks done for my wool wall quilt. I had started putting them together in July and had stitched one. There are 12 in all.






I finished five of them so I'm halfway there with the blocks! I love the sunflower one. And the color of the red flowers on this one is such a deep, vibrant red that it just makes me smile.


And then there are these daisys - such happy flowers, don't you think?



This hummingbird block has more colors than most of the rest of them so it will stand out on the quilt I think.

And who couldn't love a cat block?








Some time ago I showed this embroidery piece. I left it on my design wall for the longest time because I couldn't decide what to do with it. Finally I settled on a plain throw pillow for my couch.













This little wallhanging is the August block for a BOM I'm working on. It has piecing, paper piecing, and applique.









You've seen this wool bluebird before too but it's a finish now and will hang on this little wire hanger that I found hiding in my sewing room.






Another wool project! This Pumpkin Pillow Cover is on a king sized pillow and will eventually reside on a cream bedspread in one of our bedrooms through the fall season.





Another embroidery you've seen but this is the finished pillow. I used to make pillows with ruffles but I guess my taste is changing because now I seem to favor things that are much more plain...part of the "simplify" motto I'm trying to adopt.
I had another finish too but I want to show it on a later post. And I almost, almost finished Winter Wonderland! Alas, I was just too tired to put that last row on. But soon.....soon you'll see that top all done too! I even got out a quilt top that I pieced about 3 years ago that has been waiting on an appliqued border and fused all the flowers and leaves on. I hope to get that finished in September - that might be a miracle in the making!
I'm making progress on those UFOs ya'll! A few this month, a few next month, who knows...I could maybe get them all done by the end of the year. Or not.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Good Read

As you can tell by my sidebar I read a lot. Some of it is good; some of it is just pleasant. It doesn't seem to matter...I just love to read. Of course, "read" is a relative term. When I say read I often mean "listen to." I always have a book on CDs going in my car and one in my sewing room. Since I keep a hard copy by my bed that means I have three I'm reading at the same time!

I'm going to order a Kindle this week. That means I will also be ordering books to download to the Kindle. Jerry and I will be going on another mission trip next year - this one a lot longer than we've ever done. I won't have access to the public library that I have here so I'm preparing ahead of time! I'm looking for recommendations for books to buy - can you help?

I love murder mysteries, even the serial killer kinds. (I know you wouldn't have thought that about me!). I love Christian fiction and books about pioneer times. I love anything about the Appalachian Mountain people - well, really any mountain people I guess. I love a good romance and novels about what might happen if people have to survive on little to nothing like our forefathers did. Some of my favorite authors: Jean Auel (Clan of the Cave Bear series), Nora Roberts, James Patterson, Janette Oke, Robert Parker, Jan Karon, John Sandford, Kathy Reichs, Iris Johannson, Adriana Trigiani. Oh my, there are so many I love!

So...what are some of your favorites that I might want to buy for my new Kindle? Help! Even if you don't normally comment on my blog please comment this time...I need you!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

It's Saturday!

I've worked hard all week. I canned and cleaned and shopped and swept and mopped. You can't really tell I did all that by looking at my house because I have a Pigpen living here - you know that character in Peanuts? Well he lives here. He forgets to shut cabinet doors and he forgets to pick up his newspapers and he forgets to take off his yard shoes before he comes in the house. That bedroom carpet he cleaned a week ago? Has footprints on it. Has to be cleaned again.

Anyway, it's Saturday and I'm not going to work all day like I've done all week. I'm going to the sewing room and stay till time to warm up the leftovers for supper. I love Saturdays!

What are you going to do on this Saturday? Do something you love. Something that makes you smile. Something that makes you say, "Praise you Lord and thanks for Saturday!"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Summer Time and the Livin' Is Easy?

I don't know about ya'll but whoever thought summer was the best time, the most relaxing time of the year better stand way far from me else you might get stomped on! Just kidding of course. But goodness I'd like a little of that relaxing thing.

My neighbor brought me 5 gallons of pears this week. I have the best neighbors ever! Since my hands don't hold up so well anymore it has taken me until today to get them all cored, peeled, sliced, cooked and canned. I ended up with 12 pints and 1 half pint of pear preserves - my husband's favorite. The day they brought me the pears I had bought a 5 lb bag of apples I found on sale. So I also cored, peeled, sliced and cooked those and made 5 pints of Red Hot (Cinnamon) Apple Rings.

Later in the week they brought jalapeno peppers and bell peppers. So I made a jar of pepper sauce. I don't like pepper sauce but my husband does. I don't know how to make pepper sauce either. So I cut up a few of them, left the rest whole and put them in a quart jar. Then I boiled some vinegar, poured it over the peppers and sealed the jar. Maybe it sealed. I didn't can it - just had everything hot. We'll see. I don't like pepper sauce anyway so I won't count it a great loss if it doesn't work. Oh don't worry about my husband...he'll get over it. He might cry a little, but he'll get over it. I think I'll cut up the bell peppers and freeze them. I'll send them to the deer camp with my husband because I don't eat those either. That'll help him get over the pepper sauce.

They also brought me some okra (we had some of that for supper tonight) and some small green tomatoes. She suggested I make some green tomato relish - another thing I've never done. I don't know if there are enough to do that but I bet they'll be good fried!

Yesterday I made brownies too and just for good measure I iced them with chocolate icing. Sinful. But I did send some to a neighbor so that takes away half of the sin. Maybe three quarters. I used to be a math teacher so I know.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's Sunday

It's Sunday.

I live in America.

I get to worship God today wherever I want.

However I want.

With anybody I want.

Hallelujia!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Accolades for a Product


If you don't do applique you won't be interested in this post. Just warning you!
I bought this last month and I am in love! I've been using Steam a Seam which I like for machine applique. But I do lots of hand applique and Steam a Seam is sticky. This stuff is awesome! I can't tell it's there because it's so soft. It's great for machine applique but incredible for hand applique. Just thought you'd want to know. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Joseph

So, I was reading in Matthew this morning and it jumped off the page at me, "an angel came to Joseph in a dream." Huh...? An angel, in a dream? I bet he wasn't expecting that! But ya'll, he listened and he believed that angel even though he wasn't watching for him/her.



I wonder if I would have believed? I wonder if I believe today when angels come to me unexpectedly. Do I even notice? And do I realize that he/she's an angel?



Is that an angel who slowed down in that loooooong stream of traffic and let me in? Was it an angel in church yesterday who told me I looked beautiful and made this aging woman feel good about the whole process of getting older? Is it an angel who, in the WalMart line, lets you go ahead because you have only one or two items? Could that be an angel who bends down and tells you that your child/grandchild is absolutely gorgeous?



Someone in the grocery store stuck a couple of coupons under the ketchup.....



Someone I know keeps a small cooler on the front seat beside her when she's running errands. She has cold water in it and when she sees someone on the street needing a helping hand she passes the water out the car window. Another person I know keeps $5 McDonald's cards in her car and passes those out.



Somewhere in Seattle someone bought coffee for the five people behind him in line. And the people behind him in line did the same for the five people behind them. And so it went.



At the airport a soldier got to the cash register to pay for his Burger King meal but someone had already paid....just to say a quiet thank you.



Yesterday out on the lake hear our house a boat stopped...out of gas. Before I could even tell my husband to go rescue them a boat stopped, handed them a gas can, waited while they poured to get the can back, and went on their way.


Where will I see an angel today...and will I even notice?

And better yet...who can I angel to today? What unexpected thing can I do for someone today....it could be something small or something big. After all, the sky's the limit, now isn't it?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Career Choices

Will he be an Olympic Swimmer?
Or perhaps a Gourmet Chef?

He could easily be a NASCAR driver!


And he'd make a great zoo keeper.



He might choose to be a gymnast in the circus.




Or perhaps a television producer!





Or he could just possible be the most beautiful baby God ever made. :)






Saturday, August 15, 2009

Oh no...It Can't Be!

I sweep my dining room and kitchen every other day. I know, I know...I should do it every day. That is the direct path into my house and we track dirt in something awful. My husband bought a special kind of shoe. He paid a lot of money for them. "The Best Shoes For Tracking In Dirt In The World" should be the advertisement. So I expect to see dirt and trash and lint every time I sweep. But what's that I see down there? Look closely....do you see it? Remember those Fruit Loops that Laney's tongue didn't like? One of them somehow made it to my floor. Last Thursday. Like 9 days ago. How in the world has it hidden itself for 9 days? How embarrassing.

I thought I was good at sweeping. If I'm not good at sweeping are all my beliefs about myself misconceptions? Do I just THINK I'm good at organizing? Do I just THINK I'm a good teacher? Hmmm, this could be a good thing I guess. Maybe I just THINK I've gained 4 pounds.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Busy Day Ahead

I want to can soup today. Have you ever done that? And if you have how in the world do you do it? :) I've cooked my meat but if I'm reading the recipe right you don't really cook the soup, you just get it hot and put it in the hot jars. Is that how you do it? And right about now you're probably asking yourself why in the world does she want to do that - has she lost her mind? It's like this...we have deer meat left in the freezer from last fall's hunt. It's almost fall again. I need to get that meat out of the freezer to make way for this year's hunt but there's too much of it to eat. So I'm thinking I'll can soup, chili, and spaghetti sauce. But I've never done it before and don't remember what mother did.

Or maybe I should just can the meat with some beef broth on it...what would you do?

Which brings me to another matter. There are a lot of things I've never done before and that I really should try...or not.

I've never cut my own hair. My beautician is retiring - I think I told you that and that my daughters and I are all running in circles in a dead panic over what to do. Unlike my daughters I no longer color my hair (sorry girls if your friends didn't know that you color it 'cause now the world knows). I'm thinking maybe I could just cut my own. What do you think?

I've also never taken every stitch of clothes out of my closet, gotten rid of them, and started over. Some days I'd like to do that. Wouldn't that be fun? I'd have all new clothes to wear to the hospital to visit my husband after he had a heart attack over me buying a new wardrobe.

And I've never just flat out told my neighbor off for letting her dogs run wild in the neighborhood threatening anyone who walks past her house and even biting one or two. I have this overwhelming drive to be nice. You know the way God tells us to be? But couldn't He just cut me some slack on this one thing this one time? I need permission to be ugly one time - do you know of a verse in the Bible that will give me permission for that? Because I definitely think I need permission before I do it.

I've never stood up in the middle of a sermon before and yelled, "Amen!" I've wanted to on occasion. But I'm afraid someone in the congregation might have a heart attack. We have a lot of old people in my church. But not me, I'm not old. Going on 63 is not old. My goodness I won't be old til at least 93. Maybe one Sunday when it's particularly inspiring I might do that.

I've never bungee jumped either. And I definitely won't do that. But I did get the funniest audio about bungee jumping I ever heard yesterday and I'd love for you to hear it except I don't know how to attach the file. I laughed so hard I cried. I promise you would laugh out loud! So if you'd like to hear it let me know and I'll forward it to you - I do know how to do that! Or tell me how to insert it in here and I'll add it here. I got it as an attachment in an e-mail.

I've never driven on the left side of the road. That's because I've never been to Europe. And since it's not likely I'll ever get to go I'm considering just trying it here. I could just go driving merrily along forcing people to move over to their left and maybe we'd all end up driving that way. Or not. Of course if I did that someone would probably take my license away and then where would I be? I'd be forced to ride my 3 wheel bike everywhere. Probably not a good idea.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm So Excited!

What a great week!

Monday my husband washed all the windows. Inside and out. :)

Tuesday he cleaned the carpet in the sunroom. :)

Today he cleaned the carpet in the living room. :)

It doesn't take much to make me happy!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cousins

My mother had 5 brothers and my dad had 3 brothers and 2 sisters.  To say I had a few cousins is an understatement!  Occasionally some of them lived close to us but more often not.  However, it seems to me that we did a lot of visiting and playing – maybe it just seems that it was often because a child has no concept of time.  I remember putting quilts on the ground and each one was a pretend house where we lived with our dolls.  I remember playing cowboys and indians and not caring which side we were on because both were fun.  There’s a warm feeling of comfort with cousins.  Even when you’re adults.

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I have 8 grandchildren.  They are almost in two bunches – one group’s ages are 21, 18 and 17.  The other bunch are 11, 10, 8, 3, and 7 months.  This week the younger bunch spent some time at my house with each other.

 

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And don’t tell anyone but the two oldest cousins came to help out.  Shhhhh……

 

Extended families keep us grounded.  They are a safe harbor.  They allow you to just be who you are.  I wish my grandchildren lived next door.  Well, maybe not next door but in my neighborhood.  At least in my neighborhood.  All of them, in my neighborhood.  What a joy that would be!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sadness

My beautician is going to retire.  Could things be any worse?

sad face

 

I guess they could.  My gynecologist could quit too!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tongues


Yesterday Laney's tongue didn't like these.

We couldn't see anything wrong with her tongue.
Today her tongue loved them! Go figure.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

July Goals


There are several July goals that I didn't meet. I didn't lose any weight because I didn't walk. I have lots of excuses for that but not one of them is worth a minute's breath. I also didn't start the baby quilt I want to make because I got so involved in these projects. I've shown you this Halloween quilt pattern before. Last month I had done four of the eight embroidered blocks and this month I did the other four. The pattern shows some of them appliqued which I chose not to do because I wanted something simple to work on.
I like all the blocks that I did this month and I'm not sure which one is my favorite though I do favor this owl.
And this little house is pretty cute too!
Early in July I went to the Hot Springs Quilt Show and bought a wonderfu book from Primitive Gatherings as well as the kit for the wool table mat. I'm in love with wool! Some of these are hand dyed and others look like one of my Daddy's old suits but they were all wonderful.
A couple of years ago when I went to Houston I bought a wool wallhanging kit from Primitive Gatherings. This month I finally got around to working on it and I have to tell you I am well and truly hooked on their wools. There are twelve blocks in this quilt and I have nine of them cut, fused, and ready for stitching. Each block takes a couple of hours to get to this point.
Are the colors not just wonderful? These are all hand dyed wools and the feel of them is so incredible - soft and rich.
This is the pattern so you can see that I have three more blocks to get prepared and those beautiful borders.







This is a close up of the one block I've finished stitching. I'm using Valdani #12 Pearl Cotton variegated threads. I'm addicted to them too. I think the variegation gives both light and shadow to the pieces, adding a depth they wouldn't have otherwise. It's a very simple blanket stitch with just a little embroidery stem stitch or a french knot occasionally. There are some smaller stems in some of the other blocks that will need to be couched.
I actually did a couple of other things - a Fourth of July pillow and a patriotic embroidered tea towel - but Blogger ate those pictures so you can't see them. Blogger actually ate all the pictures and I had to start from scratch which caused me to say a few ugly things, not that it does any good. I hope to finish a few of those wool blocks in August but the baby quilt needs to be done soon since he's due in late September so they may have to take a back seat. And of course, there's Winter Wonderland that still isn't together (along with a million other works in progress). I don't know how I ever had time to work!