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.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Do You Pinterest?

The new button on my sidebar is for Pinterest - which some of you may already do but which is fairly new to me.  But I think it's the best thing since sliced bread!  :)

Pinterest is a website that you register for (free) and which allows you to collect things you see on the internet, blogs, etc. that you want to remember but never do.  Or is that just me?  On your page on Pinterest you have bulletin boards where you can "pin" these things you see and want to recipes, quilts, tutorials, crafts, ways to organize, furniture, anything!  When you  put the "pin it" button on your tool bar you just click it and it will "pin" that website to whatever board you designate.  You can follow people who have similar tastes as you or you can just jump around and look at other's boards by searching for whatever category you want.  I recently searched embroidery and found some great ideas!

I'm probably not explaining it very well but take a look at it and if I can answer any questions just e-mail me.  I don't know much but I'm learning.  I don't get anything if you sign up, I just love it and think you will too.

If you want take a look at my boards to see what I mean:  Click on the thumbnail pictures to see them a little larger.  But beware, it's addicting!

Bats In The Belfry

A quick and easy Halloween table runner/wall hanging.  I made this in a couple of hours yesterday - how great for a simple but cute gift!  No pattern really....I used a dinner plate to make the circle for the moon and found a bat outline online.  The background fabric is Moda but I forget the name - it's a night sky with stars and quarter moons.  Do you decorate for Halloween?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Clever...Very Clever

We stopped at a roadside park in Oklahoma today where I saw the following signs.  I couldn't resist getting a picture!
I laughed and laughed...someone is very clever!  Can't read them?  Let's see if this helps...
Don't you love it!  I wonder if this means Oklahoma dogs can read?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

We try to come to The Rocky Mountain National Park at Estes Park, Colorado every year - we love it that much.  It's been two years this time since we visited here and I see a few changes.  The pine beetles have killed a huge number of pines but I know that's nature's way.  Some day there will be a forest fire that will eliminate the dead ones and new ones will sprout up.  It will take years - it won't happen in my lifetime - but someday the forest will look just as it has the last few million years.  Meanwhile it's still stunning beyond belief.
We've seen amazing sunny days where it started out at 26 degrees in the morning but by noon it was 80!
The sunsets still take my breath away.

These two pictures were taken late one evening after a beautiful sunny day when the clouds descended unexpectedly and dumped snow on the mountains.

We had driven over the mountain and were on our way back when the snow started...I was glad we were almost to the bottom because it's a very long way around if you can't get through because of snow!

One of those sunny days I looked up to see jet trails forming a cross in the sky, almost as if God were signing His handiwork.

Another change we saw this year was that there were fewer elk down in the meadows.  I've been told that because of overpopulation there was a large elk hunt recently, which took the numbers down some.  But I tend to think we saw fewer because it was warmer than usual and they aren't quite all the way into the rutting season yet.  But there still plenty of them roaming around - bulls with their harems!

We were treated to a wonderful visit with this guy this year - the first time we've seen a bear here.  He ate berries about a hundred yards from the road for over an hour, totally oblivious to his many admirers standing with cameras and binoculars just down the hill.
This beautiful bird joined us for a picnic lunch in the park one day.  He was quite demanding, chattering away when we didn't feed him as quickly as he wanted.  We only gave up a crumb or two of bread but it was clear he was used to having his meals catered by the many visitors.

A little hard to see but this is Mama Moose and Baby!

This has been a great trip with my sister...we don't get nearly enough time together!  Her Mike was our picture taker so I didn't get a picture of him.  Sorry Mike!
Note the dress - my husband, Jerry, in a short sleeved shirt and me in an undershirt, a long sleeved tee shirt and a fleece jacket.  Typical!

And this is me saying Bye Ya'll...I may be in Colorado but I'm still southern!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stars For A Soldier

John'aLee of The Scrappy Appleyard has posted a request for 8.5" star quilt blocks.  Her DD's fiance, Chris, was killed in Afghanistan shortly before he was due to return home.  Chris was buried just days before what would have been his and Tory's wedding day.  John'aLee would like to make quilts for her daughter Tory, Chris' mom, his two brothers, and his best friend who was in Afghanistan and with Chris when he was shot and killed.  
Quilters have the biggest hearts - If you are at all interested in participating please read John'aLee's post at The Scrappy Appleyard.  Our military folks do so much for us...this is just a small thing we can do to help repay one family.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tuesday in Kansas

We left Arkansas on Monday headed for Estes Park, Colorado by way of Winfield, Kansas.  We always stay at a small campground in Arkansas City, Kansas, far away from the crowd of the festival.  There’s been a horrible drought here and there’s little to no water in the ponds; even the rivers are showing lots of sandy bottoms with small streams still flowing down the middle.  Oddly enough the sunflowers/black eyed susans are still blooming beautifully, as are a few other wild flowers.

Because we were here early we went to the movie on Tuesday night.  Saw “The Help” by the way and thought it was a great movie.  The theater was quite large I suppose – 8 theaters.  There were a total of 7 people, including us, in “The Help” and no one in any other theater.  No one.  Nada.  It was eerie  it was so empty.  Tuesday night in Kansas is silent and dark and there are few people out. 

We stopped and bought festival tickets at their down town office.  

There’s still a real down town in Winfield, and in Arkansas City too.  Small, but hanging in there!  Driving around you can still see traces of what it was like in the fifties.  Picture the shaded streets and sidewalks of your childhood and you’re seeing Winfield.  There’s a nice, small college here which means they have all the fast food you want on the main highway; but off the highway it remains almost in a time warp.  I love that.  We visited the college coffee shop and McDonalds to read e-mail but didn’t want to waste much time on that.
It got cold and windy and rainy.  Even under the roof of the grandstand the rain blew in.  I wore long underwear and jeans, a short sleeved tee, a long sleeved tee, a sweatshirt, a coat with fleece lining, ear  muffs and a hat, gloves and covered with two blankets.  Oh and opened the umbrella in front of me to try to keep the rain off!  And I was still cold.  The music was good, the food wonderful, the friends worth all of that!  This picture is of my sister and me...she's on the row above me.  Only my eyes showing!

When we drove by the campground next to the fairgrounds this is what we saw - and we were so glad we didn't try to camp there!

Back in the camper I have this great “coffee table”.  

We found the basket at WalMart a few years ago and Jerry put casters on the bottom for me.  You’d be surprised at all that it holds!  

The pink sack contains the patterns I bought this week in Newkirk, Oklahoma at a little quilt shop I found there. 

Underneath is my iron, a top I’m working on, my Featherweight and all the things I need to sew with.  

My dining table is perfect for that! 

I’m making another jelly roll strip quilt, this one from Moda’s Favorites of Kansas Troubles line.  I should have it finished in another day but I brought another jelly roll with me, just in case.  And of course, lots of hand work.  

Right now DH and I are riding out a terrible storm in McDonalds.  There's a tornado watch until 4:00 a.m., it's hailing and the lightening is awful!  Wonder how long they will let us camp out here using their internet.  :)  

Anybody miss me?  I’ve been gone nearly a week already!  J

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Somebody Please Tell Me You've Done This Before!

Boiled all the water out...every last drop.  Eggs burst, some with shells browned.  Hmmmm, now what?

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I finished another table runner - and if I do say so myself my machine quilting is getting better.  I'm  no expert but I can at least see improvement!

We've had a regular visitor the last few mornings.  Can you see him?  And yes I know my swing is turned backwards and the chairs aren't straight....they just got a new coat of stain and, well, they need "arranging".  But it seems the swing needs a couple of bolts so I'm waiting for that before I put things back together.  It's time to add some mums out there too!
He's way down on the corner of the dock keeping watch over the lake.  Can you see the mist rising off the water?  When the mornings are cool it does that...or late in the evenings when it's hot and up at the dam they open a gate so that the really cold water off the bottom of the big lake comes down our way.  It's another of those physics things, which I don't understand, but that's okay, I can still enjoy the beauty of it.
I know, not easy to see.  I'm not sure what he is - some kind of crane maybe.  I've named him Harold.  Not that he knows or cares but I just thought if he was going to hang around I needed something to call him.  :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Unexpected Blessings

This week my husband and I are with our church team in Baldwin, Louisiana at the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) mission (Sager Brown) where we worked during June and July.  Last night we went out for dinner to a nearby town to eat at the local diner.  Jerry and I always try to eat here at least once while we're here because we love their fried shrimp.

There were six of us from the mission, most in UMCOR tee shirts so we were easily identified when we entered.  We all ordered and were waiting for our food when the waitress came back to tell us that our meal had been paid for by a woman who was a regular patron of the diner.  Ms. Sheila always pays for an UMCOR group if they come in while she's there - she does it often.  We have no idea who Ms. Sheila was since she did not identify herself and had already paid and gone when the waitress came to tell us.  What a wonderful blessing and surprise for us!  We left a thank you note with the waitress to give Ms. Sheila the next time she comes in, but also with a determination to "pay it forward."  It's fun thinking about ways we can do that and I've thought of several already - but I'd love to hear some suggestions from ya'll.  What would you do to pay this forward?  And I'm wondering if we all could determine today to do some little thing to brighten a stranger's day....just think how many blessings that would be!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Just Exactly What Do Retired People Do All Day?

Does anybody ever ask you that question?  I get it, in one form or another, quite often.  Sometimes it's subtle - "oh I could never retire, I'd be so bored!"  Sometimes it's kind of nasty - "I can't retire; I have too much still to offer/do."  Sometimes it's true curiosity..."what exactly do you do with your time?"  It occurred to me this week that maybe I could just explain what I do.

I start my day with Bible study and a Diet Dr. Pepper.  I know, Aspartame, but I don't drink coffee.  That's my excuse.  :)
Then I eat breakfast and if there's time I scan this:
That happens about once a week.  I make my bed, read my e-mail, sweep the kitchen, and start the laundry.
I'm not sure how it happens but we generate more laundry now that we're retired than we ever did when we were working.  I think it's because when I was working part of my clothes went to the cleaners and also it might possibly be that when I was working I wore one set of clothes a day.  I came home and went straight into my pajamas as soon as I could!  Now I might get dressed, clean house, get hot and sweaty, shower, change clothes, go run errands, change clothes to something more comfortable, etc.  You get the picture.  And husband is the same....I can't always keep up!

Next are the errands that have to be run:
This is the pretty lady who gives me an allergy shot, and this is me getting said shot.
Both arms...yuck!

If I'm lucky I get to go have a manicure and/or pedicure here:
from this sweet lady:
Back in the car to stop at the pharmacy - I'm a coupon queen so I'm always looking for bargains whether I need them or not.  :)
By this time I'm getting tired and need a pick-me-up at my favorite spot.  I promise I don't do this every day, or even every week.  I do, however, keep a gift card well supplied just in case I am overcome with the craving.
My car needs an oil change.  This cute young thing carefully drives my car away.  Somewhere in the distance a minute later I hear tires screeching.  It's not my car, it's not  my car, it's not my car.  I repeat that over and over.

I take my I Pad with me, and my chai tea latte, and read blogs while I wait.  Then it's time to pick up a few groceries.
Finally, I head home.  But on the way I remember I need some tabs for a Bible I bought last week so I whip in here.
Okay, errands done for the day!  I should go to WalMart but it's past noon and I'm tired so I put that off for another day.

Pulling into my driveway this is what I see.  I take a minute to stand and admire this beautiful tree in my yard.  I do believe this is the most beautiful it's ever been!

When I get home I put away the groceries, change clothes and start the next chore:
I make my own laundry detergent.
And my own fabric softener.  I saved the Downy container and just mix it up in that.  The detergent I make in a big bowl, then store in plastic containers with lids.
Finally, I grab a few minutes to do this:

I'm working on something special but I can't show you now - it's on to the next job:  supper.  I hate to cook but my husband loves to eat so it's a necessary evil.  I cook, we eat, I clean up.

It's 7:00, I'm tired, and it's time for NCIS.  It's always time for NCIS.  So I sit down to watch and stitch for a couple of hours.
Somewhere mixed in all that I talk to my sister and my friend Connie and my friend Jo and my friend Sandy (I have lots of friends!), and my aunt Joyce.  I make a to-do list for tomorrow, I read a few minutes, I shut the cabinet door my husband left open, close the drawer my husband left open, pick up the newspaper out of the floor beside my husband's chair and throw it away, reboot the wireless router twice when it goes off and on multiple times, chat with my husband about the above cabinet & drawer & newspaper, :)  start the packing for an upcoming camping trip, sweep the kitchen again after husband comes in from mowing the yard, make a reminder on my calendar to return the library books and pay the Visa bill, know by now that I could add to this list many more little things I've forgotten.

Now the most important question of all:  how did I get all that done when I worked?  How do you get it done if you're working?  Is this some sort of natural phenomenon that has an explanation involving physics and gravity?  Because I honestly don't know the answer!  If you know please tell me.  But if it involves physics and gravity don't bother.  I'm too tired to understand that stuff.  If it involves math, go ahead and tell me.  I can still add and subtract.