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, May 31, 2010


From this:

And from this:

To this:
From this:

And from this:
To this:

This is why little girls are so much fun! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Few Things I'm Thinking About

Last Saturday I went to a Redwork workshop that my dear friend, Jo, taught. She did a wonderful job and I'm almost, but not quite, ready to show you the finished product. I've always used an old plastic sewing machine surround (that doesn't fit the machine I have now) with a light under it to trace my applique and embroidery things. But Jo had one of these and it was so much easier! Lucky for me Hobby Lobby had their 40% off coupon in this week's paper so I just bought myself one. I've already used it several times and it's so much better than what I was doing.
I've been working hard to get this wool Folk Art quilt top finished before we leave. I have 3 borders on and the 4th one is ready to put on. Then I'll do the "filling in" where the borders go together with the rest of the flowers and vines and this top will be finished! It calls for hand quilting don't you think? Especially since all the applique is by hand. So it will have to wait until we return from our trip. But I do believe it's my favorite quilt I ever made! I know I said that about the redwork Christmas quilt, and the appliqued Pumpkin quilt, and the greenwork Herb quilt, but right now this is my favorite. :)

This little quilt pattern came brom a book called Prairie Children and Their Quilts. It's a great book that I picked up at the LQS. Have you noticed that several quilt books lately tell stories with their patterns? I have a couple that do and I've really enjoyed them. This one has some interesting history lessons. There's a little verse written on the light triangles that I doubt you can see in this picture. I intended to embroider them but when I saw how the words looked written with a brown Pigma Pen I decided to leave them - it looks antique. I used some of the Butterfly Gardens fabric from Moda - I love those dark, muted colors.

You all were so wonderful to advise me on things to take with me on this mission trip. I have a long list with several things I didn't think of. I'm starting the packing and I'm holding myself to whatever shoes will fit on this rack. I love shoes. I could take a lot more and would be happy to do so...but nope, only this rack.

I'm thinking about food...we won't need a lot because we will eat in the cafeteria during the week but we need a few staples. After I took this picture my husband suggested I add brownie mix and cookie mix. They are not on my diet! But maybe I'll lose another 5 pounds this week and I can have one or two - a girl can dream can't she? And since I have extra shampoo and lotion, etc. I'm taking those also. No sense in buying there what I can stick in the storage compartment of the camper.

I'm typing up instructions for the housesitters, I've cancelled the papers, and put the phone on "vacation." I'm almost ready. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Seeking Advice

Wow - not many people actually ask for advice do they? But here I am asking my however many best friends what would you do....

As you probably know my husband and I are leaving in a few days for a 4 month missionary trip to south Louisiana. We will have a 2 room furnished apartment to live in. Oh my, do you think we can survive 2 rooms? for 4 months? Anyway, it has linens and dishes, a couple of twin beds, two recliners and a television with DVD player, a stove and refrigerator. A washer and dryer are down the hall.

My question....what are the critical things you think you would want to have with you if you were leaving home for 4 months? Oh I know my sewing machine, and several projects. That's the first to be loaded. But what else? Clothes...I figure several pairs of capris, a couple pairs of slacks and a couple skirts with shirts that will interchange. And then there's the shampoo and deoderant and soap and toothbrush. Plus whatever medications. Beyond that I'm stumped. I'm sure there's a lot I'm going to want or need after I get there but for the life of me I can't think what those things are! Help me out here - what are your "don't leave home without" things?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Please Do Not...

enter this giveaway at Sweet P Quilting!
I really need/want these beautiful pieces of wool and if you enter you might win. But if I tell you about it I get an extra chance. So I'm telling you about it but don't enter, ok? Is that rude? I don't care. Yes, I do care. Really I do. But don't enter anyway. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Letter To Politicians Everywhere

Dear Sir/Ma'am,

I know that you are in the middle of a battle - after all, political campaigns have all the characteristics of war. Skirmishes take place everywhere you go and sometimes you catch the enemy unaware, drawing blood when you can. Sometimes the enemy surprises you, coming from a direction you never expected, and he/she strikes quickly. You must be exhausted from the constant need to be on guard.

In light of how tired you are I must assume that you aren't thinking as clearly as you would like. For that reason (otherwise I would never presume to give you advice) I am going to tell you something I think you need to know. Whoever on your staff told you that computerized campaign messages called to everyone owning a telephone...well that person is not your friend. I repeat, NOT your friend. Run from him/her. Run fast before you lose any more votes than you already have. He could even be a spy from the enemy camp. And if that same person told you that calling every 30 minutes during the week prior to the election would flood the voters with your accolades, then you should probably just shoot him. The nasty truth is that those of us on the receiving end of the phone calls, well we're writing down the names of the politicians and voting AGAINST every one who has dialed our number.

Respectfully yours,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Someone asked me this week why I planted herbs...if I cooked with them. And the answer is - I don't know. Yes, I cook with them but only a little. I love basil and oregano and cilantro for pesto but I never seem to have enough to make any. I like rosemary with chicken and parsley in almost everything. I guess it's really two things that draw me to herbs. First it's the scents - some are sweet and some are pungent and some are sharp and some are spicy. I love it when the breeze blows across them and I catch a promise of their smell up on the deck. But mostly I think it's God. I see Him there - His wisdom puts me in awe. He made the seeds, he causes them to grow and He makes them pleasant to our taste and to our noses. He made them for us to enjoy - gifts because He loves us. I see a garden and I am reminded of that Love

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Little Project

I bought a new calendar last week. Did you know that in the middle of the year the choices for calendars are extremely limited?, that's your choice. And styles, maybe three. Anyway I decided to dress up my purchase a little. I just love making things personal...and cute. Cute is totally necessary, don't you think?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Look How They've Grown!

I think the babies are about ready to leave the nest!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Sunday Story

A little over a month ago my friend Kim's father died. He was far too young to have gone home so soon and all who knew him are mourning their loss. But especially missing him have to be his grandchildren - grandchildren who were always excited to see him, who were beloved by him and who don't yet understand why death has a brief hold on us.

Last week Cameron, who is 6, got very excited about something he saw and told his mother, "I can't wait to get home and call Grandma and Papa to tell them about this!" You could see the remembering in his eyes when it dawned on him that Papa was no longer here to get that call. But with the wisdom that God gives to children he quickly asked, "Mama, what's God's phone number?" Kim lauged and explained that, unfortunately, she didn't know God's phone number. Well, that's a problem easily solved (according to Cameron)...."Mama when we get home let's just get the Bible out and look up God's phone number!"

When Cameron finds that phone number I hope he shares it with us all. I have a few folks I'd like to call.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Update on the Gumbo

As told by my husband this is the recipe for the gumbo:

Boil a chicken, cool it off and take it off the bone.
Slice some sausage (polish, etc.) and fry it a little.
Make a roux.
To the roux add onions, celery and garlic. Stir it up and cook a little to wilt it.
To the roux add lots of chicken broth, the chicken and the sausage. Let that cook a couple of hours. At the end add shrimp, crawfish tails (these come in a package in the fish section in WalMart) and sliced okra. Cook just til these are done. Serve over rice. Oh and somewhere in there season with salt and pepper. For those of you who like things hot you can add a can of rotel, cajun seasoning, etc.

Sorry ya'll but that's the amounts, no real time. You'll just have to experiment. But it's well worth the experiment.

Someone asked about the shellfish - if you're allergic just leave them out. When we first married Jerry's mother made okra gumbo, which was this same "recipe" but without the shrimp and crawfish tails.

Let me know if you try it!

Friday, May 7, 2010

We're Adding To Our Numbers

We had 35 people here Saturday night at my family reunion. Thirty Six if you count this little guy. Well, they tell us it's a guy - he's due October 9. What do you think? It's a little early to tell I'm thinking...want to guess if they're right?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Now That's A Lot of Gumbo!

For the reunion last weekend my husband cooked a pot of Gumbo. He's the best gumbo cooker that ever was...and that's the truth. And this was the best pot of gumbo he's ever made! He learned to cook it from his mother and I have absolutely no idea what he does but his whole family and my whole family and all our friends who've had it love it. It took 2 days but they ate the whole thing!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Neighbors

We have new neighbors at our house. On our house? In our house? Whatever! We have babies...I'm counting at least 4 beaks there. I have no idea what they are, sparrows maybe? Congratulations are in order!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Getting ready for having masses of people at my house for several days meant having lots and lots...and lots and lots of food. But even though they made a good try, not everything was eaten. Over the last couple of days I've been trying to consolidate what I could and eat what I couldn't. That's not good for my diet but being the conservative person that I am I'm determined to count the points AND eat the food. And I'm also trying to counteract all that I ate over the weekend by walking not once but twice a day. Yesterday we walked 45 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the late afternoon. We've been on the morning walk today and plan to go again this afternoon.

I keep thinking there should be some creative way to use up some of this stuff but tell me...what do you do with potato salad? I don't think you can freeze it and besides, I'm trying to empty my freezer, not fill it up. I have a whole loaf of whole wheat bread, not to mention parts of other loaves. I made a wonderful - really wonderful - bread pudding for the reunion but I don't think whole wheat bread would be good in that. And again I'm trying not to freeze anything. Since we'll be gone for several months pretty soon I want my freezer to be as empty as possible. And then there's cereal..several different kinds of cereal, some opened, some not. What in the world am I going to do with more-cereal-than-we-can-eat?

Thinking about leftovers has fostered some other sort-of related thoughts. Getting ready for the reunion meant not only buying and cooking food. It meant getting my house "ready." My husband and I have different thoughts about what ready means and different timelines for doing the necessary things. I like for everything to be done, finished, settled at least a couple of days before. He, on the other hand, likes to be sweeping the porch as company drives up the driveway. He doesn't see the sense in washing the glass light cover in the entry where no one but me ever goes. I'm not sure I see the sense in that either but I wanted it done. :) Vacuuming and dusting are obvious things that are needful but there are less obvious things that we women seem to place lots of importance on when someone is going to staying in our homes for several days. Like the glass light cover. Or the .....? Where do you want to be sure you've cleaned? After all, I might not have thought of that place and I might need to clean it too!

Monday, May 3, 2010


We had a wonderful family weekend! There were 35 here for supper Saturday night with children and babies everywhere. Everything in my house feels slightly sticky from their little fingers and I love the thought of that. There were tornadoes and thunderstorms that tried to dampen our fun but we didn't let them. We just lined beds up everywhere we could put one and slept just fine knowing we were together. We laughed and we cried and we ate and we talked but one little incident summed up the event quite well I think. Ella, who is 4 years old, is the granddaughter of my sister. She calls my sister Nanny. Ella and Laney, my granddaughter, were born on the same day and though they don't really look alike their personalities are quite similar - they are full of energy, determined to do what they want to do when they want to do it, and can melt your heart with a look. One afternoon after playing in the backyard for hours Ella came running in the house straight to the rocking chair where I was sitting. She said, "I picked these flowers for you!" She had a fistful of azalea blooms (yes, blooms only, no stems) squeezed tight in that tiny hand and she carefully poured them into my cupped hands. I thanked her elaborately for thinking of me and she looked up at me with her big, round eyes and said, "Are you Grandma?" Bless her heart, she knew I was somebody she ought to know but she wasn't quite sure who!

And just exactly who was I? I find myself in a position I never though I'd have...matriarch of the family. You know you read that term sometimes in books and it brings to mind a picture of the mother/grandmother who brings all her family together and binds them into a cohesive unit. I don't know how much binding I do but I do hold the title of oldest so I'm the matriarch by default. It's not a bad place to be, but I do wish Mama were still here and still had the title. I'm pretty sure I'm not really this old. I'm pretty sure I'm dreaming it and will soon wake up to find I'm really still a teenager. Or is that a nightmare...being a teenager again. :)