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, December 31, 2009

Why Would Anyone Say I'm OCD?

Ok, I admit to being a little organized, but only in spots. Not every spot. Just a few spots. This is my linen closet. My shelves are labeled - call me Martha Stewart. I have a loveseat that makes a twin bed, a sofa that makes a double bed, queen beds in the bedrooms and a king sized bed in the camper - that means sheets of every size. If I don't label them I spend way too much time figuring out which sheets go where! And look what I discovered. This over-the-door shoe holder is perfect for pillow cases. :) I roll each pair and stick in a slot - there are a few singles on the bottom row for the twin bed (and the odd embroidered pillowcase I find at antique shops and can afford). I'm a sucker for hand embroidered pillowcases. So if you have any languishing in a drawer think of me! And there's so little storage space in this house (we downsized 6 years ago like people our age are supposed to do but which I don't understand at all because it took me years to collect all my stuff and then I'm supposed to get rid of half of it - what's up with that? I'm just sayin'.) So in the bottom of my linen closet I put a few other things, like my rice cooker which I only use for steaming shrimp which happens about twice a year. And light bulbs, and beach towels. Oh, and a couple of suitcases. One is for storing the electric blanket (the one with the cord sticking out) for when we have company who likes to be warm. My husband could live in the Antarctic and be comfortable...we sleep with the temp at 60°. Brrr. And the other little case holds the American flag my cousin Carol sent me and which only goes on the flagpole in the summer, specifically the Fourth of July because it's too special to leave out all the time.

Yes this is part of my fabric stash and yes I know that shelf is sagging. Fabric is fat in case you didn't know it. It must be big boned because it weighs way more than you would expect. Those white forms I wrap it on are foamboard? I buy when it's half price at Hobby Lobby and cut into fourths. There are a few extras there because I recently used some of my stash - yea, me! The folded fabrics are either solid color Kona cottons or quilt width backing fabrics. The Kona is folded because generally I buy 5 yards at a time and it's way too fat to put on a form. I also have a bin with fat quarters in it (which are really not fat at all) and a bin waiting to get onto forms. But right now there's not an extra inch of breathing space on the shelves so that fabric in the bin will have to wait it's turn.

And these old P.E. lockers each have one project in them. Some are projects in progress (WIPs) and some I haven't started yet but plan to any day now. Right. Any day now.

So honestly that's just two spots that are organized. Or three if you count the fabric closet and the project shelves as two spots but really they're in the same room so if I'm counting I'll say one spot. Did you notice I didn't show you the closets in my bedroom? There's a reason for that. And that's all I'll say about that. But I might organize them in a couple of weeks. Maybe. It could happen. But it's not likely.

I'm going to be having a giveaway sometime late next week so stay tuned. You never know what I might choose - a trip to Hawaii (just kidding about that one), an apron, fabric, patterns, my first born child (just kidding about that one too). I might even go shopping. Probably not. Anyway, you might want to leave a comment because you never know how I might choose the winner. That's a hint girls/guys.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Word Recognition

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I said I was making some changes to my blog? And now you have to type in letters of unrecognizable words so my blog will know you aren't a spammer? Well I thought you might find it interesting to see some of the "words" I've encountered while reading blogs since then - and my interpretation of them!

1. Borma - If you like a girl, give her a whirl, but first get a Borma Shave
2. Parer - To peel potatoes with
3. Lariti - multiple lariats
4. Outanti - why are you telling Aunty to get out?
5. Bingor - Bingo! (with a Maine accent)
6. Hedattom - President of the Atoms
7. Sanest - The top category at the Insane Asylum
8. Germene - aren't all germs mean?
9. Emerlin - Merlin the Wizard's technology
10. Coger - A yankee cougar
11. Arein - The real spelling for R.N.
12. Solidit - Since when were T's hollow?
13. Noliv - Dead.
14. Codsmeti - Makeup for fish
15. Pafurs - pay first, then receive
16. Ophes - almost a curse (oh rats, oh darn, etc.)
17. Stogrowi - fertilizer for Sto's
18. Mahsipa - Short for Mississippi
19. Alilator - my three year old granddaughter's version of alligator
20. Crologin - I refuse to let a crow log onto my computer!
21. Meast - Again, my three year old grandaugther's way to say "I ask"
22. Baste - at last! A real word!

A couple of blog friends also told me they got these words on my blog:
23. Obesse - this one popped up right after she had a very large piece of chocolate cake!
24. Suckam - I'm not even going there!

Anyone have any "words" they want to share with us?

Monday, December 28, 2009

I Did A Little Sewing

I looked back at my December goals so I could see if I actually met any of them and ..... I forgot to make any! I changed it today to just read "get ready for Christmas" because I think that's all I did. :)

I've already shown you this Puppy Dog Tails quilt but I love it so you get to see it again because I made it in December.

Don't you just love this little Christmas mouse? I made this in December too. The redwork pattern came from Joypatch. It's a free pattern you'll find on her left sidebar. She does such cute things!

I might have shown you this before too. What is it about memory after you turn 60? And yes, I know that was a couple or three years ago, but still, I can't remember what I've said or not said lately, or who I said it to! (or didn't say it to?) Anyway this was such a cute panel that I just had to make a wallhanging out of it. I sashed it and appliqued a bird up at the top and sent it to a blog friend.

Don't you just love these three mini messenger bags? The initials are my three youngest granddaughters and the purses were Christmas presents for them. Can't you just see three little girls parading around Christmas Day with their purses on their hips? I put a few goodies inside and they were thrilled. The flowers go with the initials; a lily, strawberries, and apple blossoms.

I have some wonderful friends in a small quilt group. I embroidered these tea towels for them...and one for me.

We went to a Christmas open house that friends were hosting in a nearby town. They built a new home and we hadn't seen it before so we took a bottle of wine as a housewarming gift. I made this cute wine cozy to put it in.

There are five of us who ride to quilt guild together and we decided to do a block exchange as our Christmas presents to each other. I made one for each of them, and one for me. Hmmm, I think I just said that before!

This pillow I made for my grandson and it was a real hit. The night they were here to open presents he was running and tripped going into my sunroom. He tore his big toe nail almost off! It bled and bled and he cried and cried and if it had been me I'd have been way worse than crying! I know that hurt so bad. :( He sat in the recliner with his foot elevated and we put ice on it and he laid his head on his new pillow.

And here's my Skinny Snowman. He's very tall, and I've been kidding that he's not all that skinny but really he is. Look at that waistline - I should be so lucky!

I also made a journal cover for my oldest granddaughter but forgot to take a picture before I gave it to her! And I embroidered his name on towels and washcloths for my grandson who will be going away to college next year. And made a couple of lavender sachet bags. I think there might be more but my head is spinning from all the Christmas excitement just past!
And of course as I type this I know that blogger might not get the right captions by the right pictures but that's ok, you can figure it out.
My next goal is to get my January goals on the sidebar before the end of the month!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Children and Spaghetti

Is there anything cuter than a baby eating spaghetti?

Did you notice the sippy cup was missing from picture 3? That's because he pulled the top off and poured his apple juice onto the spaghetti on the floor.

And thought it was hilarious that Grandpa was frantically trying to wipe it up!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas e-mail

From my granddaughter on Christmas Eve: Hay!I'm rapping presents right now. What are you doing?

From my grandson on Christmas Eve: Mary Christmas!

Don't you just love grandchildren?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Quuiet

I spent the second day in a row in the sewing room - all day long! It has rained here since yesterday morning and I'm wondering if God remembers His promise. :) Water is everywhere, interstates are closed, the wind is howling and the lake, which was down 5 feet for the winter is now back up to summer levels and rushing like a freight train since they've opened up the flood gates at the dam. These were perfect days to spend cutting and sewing.

Of course, first I had to clean. I moved furniture and vacuumed. I dusted the baseboards and the mini blinds (I hate mini blinds!). I confess that my swiffer was so nasty after dusting the blinds I was embarrassed. I can't remember the last time I dusted them. :( I have 2 closets in there; one I cleaned out a couple of weeks ago and the other yesterday. I even measured my pieces of leftover batting and labeled them. Which came in really handy today when I was ready for a piece of batting 15" by 60". I made a Skinny Santa wallhanging (he's not really as skinny as he thinks). I went through a couple of drawers, but not all of them. I stacked up the things I wanted to work on next...cut off and hem a shirt, sew on a button, cut out a new Primitive Gatherings wool Christmas tree skirt, draw some redwork onto fabric, etc. And on the quilt rack I hung all the quilt tops and wallhanging tops that need quilting. Too many of those!

Today I pieced Skinny Santa (again, he's a little overweight if you ask me) and machine quilted him. Did you hear me? Machine quilted him. Free motion quilted. I tried to do stippling but it looks something like a drunk quilter tryied to do stippling. But to my credit I did persevere. There are loops and crossovers and points where there should be curves but he's quilted. Now he's on the design wall auditioning buttons and a scarf. He has another problem. I can never square up a quilt so it's really square. They all look aslant to me. I have good rulers. I have good rotary cutters. I don't have good, straight seams I guess. I don't think he's too far off but he might require a little more slicing on the edges. I'll look at him with fresh eyes tomorrow.

Meanwhile it's Christmas Eve. Jesus is coming people! (that's from a song we sang at church a couple of weeks ago) My children came last weekend to open presents but one daughter and her family are planning to come "hang out" for part of the day tomorrow. Even though this stage of my life is vastly different from previous stages when there were kids and wrapping paper and high anticipation of Santa, I like this part of life. Quiet waiting on Christmas. Quiet waiting on Jesus to come. Listen...I can almost hear a baby cry? Do you hear?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thoughts On Having Dinner Out

My husband has breakfast every Wednesday morning with a group of men from our church. They decided last week that they wanted to have a Christmas get-together and include wives. So tonight 20 of us had reservations at a new Italian restaurant here in town. It was a little nicer than the places my husband and I usually have dinner...meaning it didn't have a drive-through window. And they had candles on the tables. And they were lit. And they had cloth tablecloths and cloth napkins. I was sure glad I got all dressed up. I'm kidding ya'll - I'm not one to dress up but I did have on my best black jeans and a Christmas sweater. For me that IS dressed up!

We were a timely group and the last couple arrived at 6:10; not bad for that big a group. But you know us old-timers...we're the early crowd because we have to be in bed by 9:00. However, things started to go downhill pretty quickly. It was nearly 6:30 before they offered drinks. Since we're a church group they didn't get many takers but a couple of folks (most of them doctors who are practicing what they preach) had a glass of red wine. They were pampering their hearts I'm sure. :) They did take orders pretty quickly after the drinks though so I thought we were in good shape. I have to interject here that if you're having pasta a salad should be included and not priced separately. Otherwise, if you don't order a salad, you're just going to have a plate of pasta and nothing else. Does that seem right to you? I'm just sayin'. At my house if I have pasta I serve salad. They don't. Unless you order it separate and pay extra. Enough about that. The salads were good but the house salads were piled high and the Caesar salads were skimpy...what was that about? If you're thinking of the cost it would be the other way around, wouldn't it? Maybe they were just running low on the makin's for Caesar salads. Whatever.

We waited on our entrees and visited. And visited. And waited. And visited. And waited. Somewhere around 8:00 they brought out our entrees. Except for the two whose orders weren't correct and who didn't get their meals till the rest of us were finishing up. Somewhere after 8:30 we left there - full because the food was good and we, no maybe I mean I, ate lots of bread with pesto. One couple whose order was messed up (they brought her spaghetti bolognese when she ordered lasagna bolognese and heaven knows those two aren't the same thing, right?) and who didn't get her lasagna till I was done with my meal, also were charged incorrectly. The waiter assured them it was ok because the entree he put on there was the same price. Except the lady said it wasn't - they were overcharged by about $2.50. She said this to her husband after the waiter left but by then her husband was so disgusted he said he'd just pay the $2.50 if he could just go home! Another gentleman was charged for two glasses of wine but he only had one.

Ok, it's new. They had a full house. On a Tuesday night, who knew? They had plenty of waiters. But I'm thinking their kitchen is small. And there were 20 of us with 20 different orders (or maybe only a half dozen different entrees, really) to try to get out at the same time and that has to be hard. I sure wouldn't want to do it, which is why I'm not in the restaurant business. So being the forgiving person that I am I just think I'm glad I got a night out and don't sweat the small stuff.

And that would be the end of it except for this one tiny problem I can't get past. An Italian restaurant - how would you expect it to be decorated? A little Italian maybe? They had lovely pictures on the walls.....of lions, tigers, zebras and an ostrich. Lovely pictures, really. I didn't know those were Italian animals, did you?

**edited to note: If you have a restaurant, for heaven's sake take the tails off the shrimp when serving Shrimp Fettucini!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Puppy Dog Tails

My youngest grandson will be celebrating his first Christmas this year and his first birthday on New Year's Eve. He is a typical little boy made of "frogs and snails and puppy dog tails." He crawls faster than a locomotive and has taken a couple of steps though he's still a little reluctant about that. Why in the world would he need to walk, after all, when he has two parents, two sisters, and lots of grandparents, aunts and uncles who are more than willing to give him a ride on their hip! I found this wonderful flannel fabric some time ago, just perfect for him. There's a red with puppies all over it, a black with white paw prints, and another red with white dog bones. Appropriate to him I used a Trip Around The World pattern (because he crawls around and around and around!). I added puppy dog tails (tabs) all around the outer edge for him to play with. Some of the tails I put in a little crooked because not all puppy dog tails are straight. :) (That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!) I didn't put a batting in it because I decided it was heavy enough with a flannel backing and I wanted it to be light enough for him to carry around. It's just the cutest quilt, if I do say so myself!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Apologies To My Friends

I am adding word verification back to my posts ya'll. I'm getting a lot of anonymous comments about wonderful money making ventures (if you're interested I'll point them your way!). I don't really like word verification though most of my blog friends use it. I want everyone to be nice and sales people to leave me alone but alas, that is not to be. Maybe I was just a little too "oh poor you, people are making nasty comments on your blog, they never do that to me" for my own good! :) Ever notice how when you get a little uppity you get zapped? :) So watch for the little weird words and letters to type in, at least for a while. Maybe the sales people will get tired and go away. Fat chance!

I've also started telling all the sales people and political callers who ask me how I'm doing that I'm terrible, awful, grumpy, and tired of phone calls. I say it in a nice voice - does that count? Bah humbug.

Actually I really do have the Christmas spirit, really I do. I just finished the cutest quilt for my youngest grandchild, but it deserves a post all it's own so I'll do that tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter on the Lake

This morning I stood on my deck enjoying the sunshine - a welcome change to all the rainy days we've had lately. It was bright and sunny and just literally lifted my spirits. Later in the afternoon when I walked out there it was this scene that met me. Not a lot different really. I could still see blue sky, but it was pale, almost more white than blue in places. A winter sky I thought. The trees are bare and the leaves are on the ground. This lake is owned by an energy company and they always let it down in the winter to kill off any algae and to allow homeowners to do any needed repairs to the "seawall." It's awfully quiet and sort of forlorn looking - like it's forgotten or something. And the yard looks almost neglected, though it's not. Granted the little bird feeder stand has tilted in the wind, and the chairs and tables need to be washed after the rains....nothing a little time and attention won't cure. I had spent the morning at the hospital visiting patients in my volunteer chaplain job and I saw several people there that were just like this winter lake scene...a little neglected but nothing a little time and attention wouldn't fix. Some of the people at the hospital were more like the morning scene on the lake - bright and sunny and spirit lifting! A 92 year old gentleman waiting for shoulder surgery was filled with joy and laughter even as he confessed that his golden years were beginning to show a little tarnish. A 91 year old sweet, sweet lady was also waiting for surgery and showed me her poor hands - she'd spilled hot grease on them. She thought she was so lucky because her son happened to be there with her when it happened. I wonder exactly what it is that makes one person have a negative outward appearance (and I'm not talking about beauty here), and others have cheerful spirits and positive outlooks. Some of them I want to gather up and bring home with me and others I want to .... gather up and bring home with me. Except some of them I want because they would so enrich my life, and others because I want to help make their lives better. I know which kind of person I would like to be too! Is it life experiences that form us into positive or negative people? Is it our faith? Is it our families? Is it all of those - very likely. I just know that I want to capture the joy I saw in those two people today and that I saw on the lake this morning and keep it in my heart. Have you seen any people like that lately? People that make your heart smile? I hope you have.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Surgery Report

All is well - praise the Lord! My daughter's surgery was over in an hour and a half (the last one lasted six and a half hours) and by 11:00 this morning she was in a room. Last time she was asleep for 2 days; today she hasn't closed her eyes (or her mouth) yet! She hasn't even been drowsy! She has walked with a walker to the bathroom twice, ate a cheeseburger with no nausea, and swears she can already tell she has relief from the pain in her hips. Her incision is a little uncomfortable and is seeping just a little but otherwise it looks good. It's in the middle of her lower back, below her waist and not nearly as large as I thought it would be. I won't be surprised if she gets out of the hospital tomorrow - last time she was there about 4 days. I'll be bringing her home with me so her husband can work since they own their own business but I know we'll have a good time hanging out for a few days. God has answered our prayers is a wonderful way - thank you for petitioning Him with me.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Does Anyone Need?

I made this costume for my grandson for Christmas a couple of years ago - at his request. It was so cute! Anyway, it's a size 7-14 and I won't be needing it again. Anyone need a pattern? I'll be happy to send it your way! At the time it was $15.95 and I sure hate to throw it away. Free to the first taker!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Prayer Request

My daughter is having back surgery on Wednesday morning. Three years ago they put in titanium rods and screws for a broken place. I know place is not a good explanation but part of her spine was broken and I don't know the correct term. :) Anyway, the break has healed but the metal pieces have caused her a lot of pain ever since they put them in and they have to come out. She has been on major pain meds for three years now and uses a cane to walk. She's had to use a wheelchair this last year if she had to go any distance or stand any length of time. As you can well imagine we are praying for her surgery to go well, her recovery to be complete and her pain to be gone. If you would join me in this prayer I would be so grateful.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


There's a wonderfully wise woman in my Bible Study class - I'll call her Mrs. M. She's older, probably in her mid 80s and in her professional life was a counselor. She doesn't talk a lot but when she does we listen carefully because what she says is usually something we want to hold in our hearts and think about for a long time. This week we were studying in the Songs of Solomon and she told us that when she was counseling couples she always made this recommendation to them for a lasting marriage: Every man should treat his wife as if she were the most important thing in the world to him because women want to know they are loved and valued and Every woman should treat her husband with great respect because men want to be respected.

What are your thoughts?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Is Coming!

I never know if this cactus is a Thanksgiving one or a Christmas one - and it doesn't either. Sometimes it blooms for Thanksgiving, sometimes for Christmas. I don't care when it blooms - I just care that it blooms. And isn't that exactly how God feels about us?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Really Good Post

If ya'll haven't seen this post yet you should go read it - a wonderful lesson from a child. It's from a blog called The Journey.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

November Goals

I didn't get all my November goals finished - I never do - but here are a few things I did this month.
I carpool to my quilt guild meeting with four other ladies. We're doing a Christmas block exchange for our Christmas present to each other. I know this doesn't look like much now will eventually! This is a machine appliqued Santa from the "I Believe" book by Art To Heart. I have him all fused on five blocks (I did one for myself) and am ready for the machine blanket stitching. He's going to be so cute. :)

These redwork letters are from a pattern called "Alphabet in Bloom" that I borrowed from a friend. Eventually I'm going to do the whole alphabet but these four are the initials of my four granddaughters. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to use these but in a Christmas present of some kind - maybe a sachet bag?

These are old-fashioned white tea towels that I found at Maggie Mae's Quilt Shop in Estes Park, Colorado. I loved the quality of the towel and they are huge...maybe even too big! I embroidered a different fruit on all eight of them and these will be Christmas gifts for friends.

This was a Christmas panel I bought from our local quilt shop. I added borders, machine appliqued an extra bird on the top, and machine quilted it. It's already been mailed to a blog friend.

And as promised, this is Winter Wonderland completed and hanging. This is the last time you will see it hanging because I learned a huge lesson from this quilt. I'm not a good piecer, let me make that clear up front. I can never seem to get that really good consistent quarter inch. Therefore, I cut off points or leave them floating all too often. I'm good at other things so I live with the piecing problems. When I want a quilt done on the longarm with a pantogram I take it to a local quilter. She's reasonably priced, does a good job with pantograms and I want to support the local quilt shop. She's done a lot of quilts for me. When I got this quilt back from her she had trimmed it to where she cut off some of the blocks...just a little. Normally she trims to just beyond the where the quilt ends. That, combined with my poor piecing, meant the outside edges weren't good. In fact, I couldn't square up the quilt which had somehow become "warped" in the quilting. When I put the sleeve on and tried to hang it, oh my goodness, it was lopsided. At first I was really upset - I put a lot of work in this quilt. And then I thought ok I'll take the binding off, put on a wide red border that I quilted prior to putting it on - sort of a quilt-as-you-go concept, and then square it. And I may still do that someday. But for now I'll lay it on my bed where it's imperfections won't show. What's the lesson I learned? I'm not perfect. No one is. This quilt isn't perfect....but it's beautiful just like it is. And so is the friend who quilted it. Life isn't about perfect, it's about love. I love my friend and I love my quilt. I want to always remember to look beyond imperfections and just see the love.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A New Tradition

My grandchildren asked for S'Mores for Thanksgiving. Not turkey. Not dressing. Not sweet potatoes. And, of course, if grandchildren ask....grandmothers provide. It was lots of fun and just may have become a new tradition for our family!