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, February 25, 2010

Is This Justice Or What?

Yesterday was my granddaughter's birthday - the one who is now four years old. When I woke up I imagined her sweet little face when she got up, excitement starting from the moment she opened her eyes. I made myself wait until 7:15 when I knew she and her brother would be in the truck with Daddy going to school and then I called. Instead of saying hello she yelled, "Grandma!" Oh, I thought, she is so thrilled that I've called - she was probably waiting for me. After all she loves me and I'm probably her favorite person in the whole world. I bet she even likes me better than her....well a little exaggeration never hurts does it? I told her good morning and happy birthday and asked her if she was 27 years old today. "No! Grandma, I'm four years old today. I need to talk to Grandpa."
Excuse me? This is Grandma calling. Your favorite person, remember? I explained that Grandpa wasn't home right then. Dead Silence. I could hear the wheels turning...Grandpa's not home, it's early morning, where could he be? I often take care of the children if they're sick so they see me without Grandpa, but Grandpa without Grandma, not so much. "Where's Grandpa?"
Now this is a smart little four year old but I wasn't sure I could explain a weekly men's prayer breakfast so I just told her he had gone out to eat breakfast with friends. Again - Dead Silence. Wheels turning....breakfast out...we're not on vacation....what's up with that. So I offered a solution. Would you like for me to have Grandpa call you tonight? "Yes, tell Grandpa to call me tonight I need to talk to him." Fine. Just fine missy.
As you can well imagine Grandpa nearly busted his buttons when I told him, and he could hardly wait for night to come so he could call. She NEEDED to talk to him. Meanwhile, the birthday girl went to school where she talked to all her friends about her birthday, and had cupcakes for her birthday, and went to church after school where everyone said happy birthday, and then came home where by the time Grandpa called she had already talked to her other grandparents, aunts, uncles, and various cousins. I guess she got talked out because when he told her happy birthday she said thanks and handed the phone to her sister. And, once again, justice prevailed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Things I Hate

1. Cleaning bathrooms: I don't mind sweeping or mopping, I don't particularly like dusting but it's ok, and I'm not fond of vacuuming but nothing is worse than cleaning bathrooms! I read a comment on someone's post this morning that I thought was a wonderful idea...she wipes the bathroom down every day with a Windex wipe and only has to deep clean every couple of weeks. I even shared that tip with my husband, who has his own bathroom! He thought it was a great idea too, but he didn't plan to do it. For some reason my bathroom stays much cleaner than's a girl thing I guess. But then I remembered, not everyone has a bathroom. Lots of people in this world still have to go, in fair weather or foul, outside to the little house outside the big house, or in some cases to the bushes. So I'm thankful I have a bathroom to clean. Two of them, in fact.

2. Long lines at WalMart: Sometimes when I'm ready to check out at WalMart I just stand in amazement because the lines are so long. My basket is full and my ice cream is melting and I can see steam rising from some folks heads. The anger at the wait is almost palpable. It can be particularly frustrating when you see empoyees with walkie-talkies standing around watching. It makes you wonder what they're watching for - to see just how long the lines can get, to see if someone totally loses their cool and goes crazy, or to see if someone gives up and walks out with their cart full without paying? And then I remember that lots of people don't have grocery stores at all. Lots of people don't have food at all. I can walk in that store and buy whatever I want and feed my family both healthy stuff and decadent stuff.

3. Waiting for an hour at the doctor's office when you have an appointment you made months ago: I know doctor's have emergencies and I know sometimes one patient might require a longer time than they anticipated, but when time after time after time you go and have to wait that long something is wrong with their office management. I go to one doctor where I have never in all these years waited longer than 15 minutes. Why can't they all be like that? I know he spent a lot of money going to school but I'm just as important as he is. After all, he couldn't work if no one showed up! And then again, there are lots of places where doctors are nonexistent. People go for miles and miles and miles just to find one doctor. Sometimes they die before they can get there.

4. People who are always late: late for church, late for work, late for meetings, late for social engagements. I think that's disrespectful to others and shows a definite lack of planning on their part. Oh everyone is late sometimes, but not every time. Even when I had three small children we weren't late very often at all. Now if I'd had more than three....well, I'm just sayin' I'd probably cut that mama some slack! But why is it that some people just can't make it on time? Then again, God did make us all different, and He did give us all the right to make choices, and He did say we weren't to judge each other. Sigh.

I hate when I decide I hate something He always shows me why I shouldn't hate it and why I should be grateful instead. :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another One Bit The Dust!

Another UFO - done! This cute Little Bear wallhanging is one I made several months ago but couldn't decide how to quilt. I finally did a 1" crosshatching in the center and free motion stippling in the borders. I've already told you about my free motion stippling - more very pointed mountain peaks than jigsaw puzzle-like pieces but I actually could see myself making progress on this. I think if I was using a contrasting thread that I could actually see instead of navy thread on navy background I might have done a little better. The lighting in my sewing room is just not keeping pace with my aging eyes. I do have an Ott light in there but it's one that stands on the floor and can't be adjusted very well so my next purchase is probably going to be another smaller Ott light. I have one that I keep on my ironing table and that I use as my light when I'm tracing redwork patterns, and another that I keep beside my chair when I'm doing handwork. If the plugs were any easier to get to I'd just move one of those when I need it but electric outlets are few and far between in this house and are all behind furniture or boxes of fabric. I'll be watching for a coupon from Hobby Lobby! Does anyone out there know of a light that's cheaper but just as good as an Ott light?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Wonderful Trade

Back before Christmas Dawn (Sew Ritzy Titzy) showed a beautiful crocheted bag on her blog - one she had made in a wonderful eggplant color. I was amazed by her work. I used to crochet years ago but nothing more than scarves or an occasional baby blanket, certainly nothing like this. I never could figure out doilies or baby booties or sweaters. I could crochet pot holders. Really good pot holders. :) That shows you my level of expertise! When I told her how much I loved the purse she told me she would make me one some time - such incredible generosity abounds in blog land. So in return for her offer I made her a Christmas wall hanging and sent it off. Trust me, there was no comparison in the skill needed to make that simple wallhanging and the skill needed for this beautiful bag I received from her. I asked for black and it is perfect for me - I wanted a bag that would hold my wallet, my checkbook, my lipstick and my Sunday School book. :) Since I wear a lot of black, summer and winter, in a vain effort to hide the pounds I've gained, I knew I could use black all year round. Can you believe she did this? It even has a lining with pockets for kleenex and my cell phone! The handle is the perfect length for carrying but also goes over my shoulder. And she has the cutest tag for her work - very professional! Dawn, I love the purse and I love your generous heart.

Monday, February 15, 2010

When You....

In Matthew 6 Jesus says, "When you give...." and goes on to describe how you should give. This is good because I give and I need to know how He wants it done.

He goes on to say "When you pray...." and teaches us how to pray. This is good because I pray and I want to know how to deepen my relationship with Him.

And then He says, "When you fast...." do it this way. Fasting...huh? Not IF I fast, but WHEN I fast. Me, not so much fasting.

Here's my question for you all: Do you fast? If so, how? If not, why not? If yes, why? I know, I know, that's more than one question. I want to grow my faith, that's a given. Where does fasting play a part in your spiritual life? Where are you on this question, bearing in mind that we are all different and none of us is wrong?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Little Stitching

This is a small wallhanging/table topper that I made about 10 years ago but didn't quilt. I used it as a practice piece to learn some new software upgrades I got on my Janome sewing machine a couple of weeks ago. My Janome is also an embroidery machine and it now has a stippling pattern on it that I want to use on some of my quilts. The problem is that it was designed using metric measurements and my blocks are made using inches. Therefore there is not an exact fit...annoying for sure. Thread choice is going to be critical when using this pattern. You can't see here but some of the stippling went slightly into the sashing but because I used navy thread it doesn't jump out at you.
And this Valentine wallhanging I made today. I did machine applique on the hearts and birds and used white thread on the whole thing hoping it would stand out a little more. I did some echo quilting around the two hearts and the bird but now I'm wondering .. how much echo quilting should I have done. Filled the whole background? What do you think?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Winter and Spring

I just love working with wool! I bought this beautiful caramel colored wool from Primitive Gatherings a couple of weeks and could hardly wait to do something with it. And I had just a scrap of this red from something I bought at Goodwill and cut up, washed and dried to "felt" it. This table mat isn't fancy but it's a nice addition to my Valentine decorations. But I think it looks as if it needs something any ideas for something to add? My violets must think it's spring. Man are they mistaken - we got another inch of snow last night. Snow is rare in Arkansas and this is twice in one week so we don't know what to think! These two first ones sit in my kitchen window. This very pale lavender one tries to hide it's blooms with leaves that reach toward the sun.

But this deep pueple one isn't a bit shy at all. :)
I have three smaller ones sitting in my bedroom window. Yes, that's batting you see stuffed under the window. I was afraid they would have a draft there so it's protecting them from the cold air that might seep in. The pot on the left has bloomed over and over and over for the last three years. The small violet to it's right I started from a leaf. It hasn't bloomed yet - it's just a baby.

This little pink violet doesn't bloom as often as the others and I think she's sick. Her blooms are beautiful but her leaves, even though they are staying green, are dropping off around the bottom. Anybody know what might be going on with her...I need a diagnose and a cure!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sweatshirt Sermon #2

I have this great sweatshirt that simply says “Palm Beach” across the front.  Very simple, very classy.  I bought it in, guess where, Palm Beach.  :)  Let me tell you about my Palm Beach trip.

Several years ago one of my nieces was living and working in New York City.  (Hi Natalie!)  She had done an internship there while in college and was blessed to work for and live with a couple who became dear friends.  They love her and she loves them and they are part of her family by heart.  This couple has several grown children and several grandchildren, have been very successful in business, and are just the nicest, most generous people you would want to meet.  They have several homes; one out from the city where my niece lived during her internship, one in upstate New York, an apartment across from Central park and a home in Palm Beach.  Since “the season” in Palm Beach is in the winter they typically are not there in the summer so they offered the house to my niece for a week one July.  She invited her mother and her sister to go with her, and also included me and my two daughters.  Can you just imagine two sisters (my sister and I) and both of us with our two daughters getting to go to Palm Beach for week all together?  It was a fabulous trip and so much fun for all of us.

The house when we arrived was so much more than I expected.  It had seven bedrooms, I’m not sure how many baths, a beautiful Palm tree lined pool, was on the intercoastal waterway, beautifully furnished, and came with a maid even when no one was there.  The owners kept clothes and makeup and all that kind of stuff in the house so that when they wanted to visit that home they could just get on a plane and go.  No luggage to worry about.  And they were so generous that they offered it to us for the week. 

A couple of weeks ago I posted about a comment Kim at MommatoMany said about the view from the bathroom window (at this post) where she wondered what it would be like if your view from your bathroom window was all the world you ever saw.  When I wore this sweatshirt last week I thought about that post.  What if what you saw of the world wasn’t narrow at all, but instead was skewed in the other direction.  Now please don’t misunderstand me – this is not a criticism of that couple, not in any way.  In fact, just the opposite.  What if you really had all that you ever dreamed of having?  How would that have made you a different person?  Or would it?  I tried to think about what I dreamed of having and I don’t suppose I’m much different from any of you…the perfect house, cars that never break down, clothes that make me look skinny, a cook and a maid and a butler, and world peace.  Don’t forget the world peace.

Joking aside, what if…money was no object and you could live anywhere in the world.  Where would that be?  What if you could work at any job you dreamed of, what would that job be?  And how would you share that happiness with others?

To be honest I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather live than right here.  With maybe new hardwood floors.  I can’t think of any job I’d want other than the one I have…being a wife and mother and grandmother and follower of Christ.  And sharing happiness-I hope I do that every day just doing what I do.  There’s nothing profound about my life but thanks to Jesus it’s a life filled with joy and with love and with family and friends.  I don’t guess for me there is anything more I could have dreamed of.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What Do You Do....

when you don't feel good? I don't mean sick, really sick because then you don't do anything. But after the sick stuff and you just don't have your oomph back, then what do you do? I've read and read and read. I'm tired of reading. I sew an hour or two but then I'm tired so I go back to reading. I've even played solitaire on the computer till I'm sick of that. Just curious...what do you do?
I made this table runner a week or so ago from a kit I picked up at my local quilt shop. It looks kind of long for that table but that's because the leaf isn't in the table. With the leaf in it ought to be the perfect size. Of course, the problem is I rarely ever put the leaf in. Why did I make it that long? That was a question folks! I haven't a clue!
Today I spent an hour or two making a new valance for my kitchen. I needed something to brighten things up a bit. I guess I should have straightened my herb pots up and centered them for the picture but I have to keep moving them around because they make moisture underneath them and I don't want my sill to get mildewed. They're growing nicely (parsley, basil, chives) but aren't those violets incredible? I've got two smaller ones in my bedroom that are blooming too. I might not like these overcast days but apparently they do.

I also made a new "Practical Bag" (the name of the pattern) this week. Flowers to make me think spring! I lined it with a yellow print because I hate dark linings - you can never see anything in there if it's dark. And I added some pockets inside which the pattern didn't have. But you can make it in a couple of hours. It's bigger than I envisioned from the picture but I'm kind of glad about that. If I don't use it as a purse, and I probably will at least for a while, it will make a great bag for carrying my Bible study stuff.
I've been working on a wall hanging I made years ago - trying to figure out the new stippling software I got for my sewing machine. I'm not ready to show it yet but I was pleased to see that the piecing is really awful on it. Pleased? Yes - I can see my growth as a quilter. I may not be a good piecer now but 10 years ago I was really bad! Stippling covers a multitude of sins though - and that's a good thing.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Is That.....

What is that thing/syndrome/dread disease where you need sunshine or you turn into Mrs. Grumpy? I think I have it. Maybe not grumpy....but certainly not cheerful. Mrs. Let Me Go Back To Bed Despite The Fact That It's 7:30 A.M.? Sunshine...I need sunshine. Anybody else?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday Thoughts

I'm still in the process of deciding if I'm going to live over the stomach virus or not. That is some nasty stuff let me tell you. Once I was past the most obvious parts of it my legs got weak and wobbly and it's taking some time to get my strength back. And my "want to." My "want to" seems to be gone right now. I don't "want to" do anything. Except when things aren't done, like the floor swept or the cabinet wiped off I have a meltdown. Crying even. Good's just a floor. Or a cabinet. Or both.

Anyway, thought I'd show you this table mat I embroidered months ago and machine quilted last week. That's just how I work....embroider and then wait weeks, months, years to finish. Wonder why that is. Cute don't you think? All three of those stars are black, I promise. That one, for some reason, looks pale in the picture. I probably gave it the stomach virus.

And yesterday I was craving toast but had no bread and no intention of going out to buy bread so I just made myself some. Just about zapped me but I did it. Wasn't it just smelled like heaven and tasted better. Ever notice how when you're sick there's something you crave. It might be crazy but it's your own particular comfort food. Sometimes it's oatmeal for me, sometimes a scrambled egg, sometimes homemade bread. Sometimes it's an egg salad sandwich because my mom used to make those for me and I miss her like crazy. Do you have a comfort food?