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, April 26, 2012

My Sister, The Beekeeper

Apparently bees "swarm" in the spring and have to be taken to a new home.

To do that you have to suit up.

And be totally crazy.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kicking and Screaming...

I love gadgets.  Love.  Them.  I want every new edition of every gadget I have whether I need it or not.  I don't necessarily get it; I just want it.

My husband...not so much.  He hates anything new.  He'd love to find a cell phone he likes and  keep it until he dies.  But of course you and I both know phones don't last that long so he changes phones when forced, but then I have to drag him kicking and screaming.

I've had an IPhone for about a year now.  I love it.  Love.  It.  He has a small Pantech.  He hates it.  Hates.  It.  No matter what he does it keeps going to Facebook and Twitter just whenever it wants to.  He's never been on Facebook or Twitter in his life.  He still thinks Facebook is a photo album and Twitter is what birds do.  We've taken it back to the store at least twice, maybe three times.  They couldn't fix it.  We even called Pantech and did what they told us, which fixed it.  It didn't go to Facebook or Twitter any more.  Except it did call 911.  Five times in a row while he had it locked and off and was sitting in a classroom supervising an intern teacher.  The nice 911 folks left him a voicemail and told him they knew he was okay because they could hear him talking so they assumed it was a "pocket call."  You and I might name it a "purse call."  You know, like when your phone dials someone and you didn't do it so you assume your purse laid on it and pushed a button or something?  That hasn't happened to you?  We changed the settings back to their origin because we decided Facebook and Twitter were better than 911.  The problem with that is that when it visits those sites it's using data and it would stay on for hours and we were being charged!

So finally today, after the children and I had listened to his continuous griping until we I couldn't take it any more, we went in to get him a new phone.  The kids talked him into taking my IPhone and I would get the new IPhone 4S.  Sweet.

We've spent a couple of hours now, well I've spent a couple of hours now, saving data, switching data from my old phone to my new phone, downloading ITunes to his computer, downloading data to his "new" IPhone, etc.  But it is totally worth it.  Totally.  Did you know you can just push a button, ask out loud "where is the nearest Pizza Hut" or "what's the square root of 5,997, 235" and it will tell you?  Not that I need either of those pieces of information, but you never know when I might.  I can also tell it to text my husband to bring home milk and it will type it out for me and send it!  I'm in heaven.  I wonder if it can figure the yardage I need for the backing of a quilt.  I wonder if it can tell me the ingredients I need for coconut cream pie when I'm at the grocery store and can't remember.  I wonder if it has a magic potion for losing weight.  I wonder if there's a real person out there somewhere who's going to hate to see my name pop up with another stupid question.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Winner

Thanks so very much to all of you who came by and commented Friday - this Table Topper Blog Hop has been so much fun to participate in and you all were wonderful to leave a comment.  The winner of my small giveaway is Michelle from Life With Lou.  I've e-mailed Michelle and will be sending her prize out tomorrow!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Table Topper Blog Hop (and a small giveaway!)

Welcome to The Table Topper Blog Hop!  I don't know about you but I love making small projects...there's just something about starting and finishing in a day or two that rejuvenates me.  I bought my hanger a couple of years ago and love the quality of it.  If you're interested you can click on the logo to find a wide assortment.  Also Michelle at Raspberry Rabbits carries some cute ones.  

 I love having my hanger in my kitchen window.  This is a huge window over my sink and the view of the lake is such a blessing to me.

This is one of the first hanging table toppers I made and is a hand embroidered red work piece that I call The Wonder of Snowflakes.  It's also one of my first free motion quilting attempts.

 This was an "orphan block" that I decided not to use in a primitive country quilt top so I repurposed it for my hanger and call it Country Hearts.  I hand quilted this one.

This is probably my favorite hanging table topper - I don't remember where I got the pattern but it's a combination of embroidery and machine applique that I call Tea in the Garden.

 And no kitchen would be complete without A Rooster!  This preprinted block was part of a panel that I fussy cut and bordered.

 July Stars was another of those orphan blocks that we all have in drawers and can't decided what to do with.  I hand quilted this one too.

 This piece is wool applique and is done with a hand blanket stitch.  It's a very simple piece with a very simple name...Bluebird.
This is one of my latest pieces - O Christmas Tree.  The tree is scrappy strips and the decorations are buttons.  This is another of the first pieces I practiced free motion quilting on.

Another great use for these hangers is perfect for one of my favorite things - tea towels!  I love to applique and embroider tea towels for the seasons and they can simply be hung on this rack to add a bit of whimsey to any corner.

I have a small giveaway for those of you who are interested:  I love Sassy by Sandy Gervais for Moda and have more than one charm pack (confession time!) so I'm offering one to you along with a couple of patterns, Quilt Jam by Marcie at Patchalot Patterns (love her stuff!) and Quilted Postcards by Scrap-bags.  Oh and a lanyard for your scissors that says "To Quilt is Human, To Finish Divine."  Don't you love that!  Just leave a comment and I'll draw a name on Monday.

I hope you'll go visit the other blogs who are participating today and I hope to see you here again soon!

Friday April 20th 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Little Ramdomness

I made strawberry preserves today.

Gorgeous, aren't they!  And they smelled so good cooking - sweet and tangy at the same time.  I followed the Ball Preserving Book recipe exactly but I'm not sure the preserves are going to "jell" enough.  They haven't yet so I'm a little worried.  I haven't made jelly in a couple of years and it seems to me that the last time I made blackberry jelly it didn't jell very good either.  I bought a whole flat of these berries - they were some of the best I've had in a long time.  I didn't keep them all but took some to friends.  These jars are from 2 quarts and I also put 2 quarts in the freezer.

About six weeks ago I read that if you cut the bottom of Romaine lettuce when you were making your salad, then planted it, you would grow more lettuce.  So I tried it.

It grew, and grew, and grew.  Today I "harvested"!  Alas, it was bitter and not tasty at all.  What causes that?  I bought some plants that are growing nicely in my little garden so I sure hope they're better than these.

Several years ago my mother's best friend gave me some of her peonies.  She would be about 90 now if she were still living.  These peonies were her mother's and maybe her grandmother's before her so I have no idea just how long they've been passed around.  Aren't they beautiful?

I love flowers that have been shared by our mothers and grandmothers and neighbors and friends.  The connection between women that this sharing highlights is awe inspiring to me.

Monday, April 16, 2012

J Is For...

J is for Just.  I'm a Libra.  If you're a Libra you know what that means - the scales must always balance and everyone must be treated the same.  All things must be equal and justice should be automatic.  I can't watch movies about injustice - can't, won't.  It hurts my heart.  I waited months and months to read The Help because I didn't think I could do it - my stomach hurts and my chest hurts when people aren't treated with respect.  That makes me soft hearted I suppose but that's okay.

Because I hate injustice so much I sometimes hide my head in the sand...I avoid watching the news or reading the newspaper because 1) they only seem to report the bad stuff and 2) the media slants things in such an awful way sometimes that it's impossible for justice to prevail.  When I went to college the first time (that's another story!) I went with every intention of becoming a reporter.  I'm so glad God sent me in a different direction because I would have been awful at it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

I Is For...

I is for Independent.  To a fault.  I don't know for sure but I bet I was one of those babies who said, "me do it!"

I wasn't always this way and I'm not sure how I got to this point.  But I really want to be able to do most things for myself.  And I like being alone.  Now I don't want to be alone all the time but I do want my quiet time.  No, that's not right.  I NEED my quiet, alone time.  Actually I do know how I got to be this way.  I turned into my mother.  Has that happened to anyone else?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

H Is For...

H is for homemaker.  That's all I ever wanted to be really - a wife and a mom.  I wonder if that came from those television shows we watched in the sixties?  I guess I wanted to be June Cleaver.  :)

I didn't get to stay at home when my children were small but I wished so many times that I could.  Now that I don't work outside the home I can assure you that it is everything I always dreamed it would be.  Isn't that a wonderful thing - to have a dream fulfilled.  Not everyone experiences that and I'm so grateful that I have.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ponds, Herbs, Fabric and Bathrooms

I'm traveling this week and mid-trip stopped at a beautiful state park at Mammoth Springs, Arkansas, to walk around the pond.  Isn't this a gorgeous place?

This small lake is formed by a natural spring and flows down to a dam and makes a beautiful waterfall.

Another reason I like stopping here is because of the herb garden.

I love herbs and this garden has several that I don't grow, like comfrey, and many that I don't recognize at all.

Because it's a visitor center it has wonderful clean bathrooms...but I don't use them any more.  I don't go in at all because they always ask where I'm from, where I'm going, and how many are in my party.  I explained once that women traveling alone shouldn't have to announce that in the middle of a crowded room of strangers but I guess they need to know for some reason.  One of my blog readers told me once to say "my Father and I" which would be totally honest and true.  Isn't that a great solution?  However, I've found an alternative situation that works great for me:

This is a wonderful discount fabric store in Thayer, Missouri, about 3 miles from Mammoth Springs.  The people are so sweet, Henry Glass fabric is $3.99 a yard, and they have a bathroom.  :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

G Is For....

G is for grateful.  I don't know quite how to explain this one except to say that my life could have gone in lots of different directions, most of them not so good.  There were difficulties in my childhood and traumatic events in my teens that could have sent me spinning off into space.
Even though I didn't know it at the time God was in control.  He steered me toward good friends and good role models who started me down a different path.  He orchestrated the way I met my husband and He pointed out better choices.  He let me serve others in my work and He encouraged me to be more than I ever thought I could be.

Grateful doesn't sound like much, but it really is huge.

Monday, April 9, 2012

F Is For....

F is for flexible.  Not my body.  It's not very flexible at all!

But personality - you bet!  I'm good at "going with the flow".  Remember the Slinky?  It went from side to side, shifting and changing when it needed to so that it could either balance or go all the way back to it's original shape.

When I was teaching the catch phrase of the day was "monitor and adjust."  And it meant just that - if something you were doing wasn't working, you switched gears and did something else.  You tried different things until you hit on the one that worked with the kids you were teaching.  I learned a lot from that....I learned to do the same thing in life.  I learned that if you keep on doing what you always did you will keep on getting what you always got.  Read that somewhere - and it's true.  If you're flexible you can take advantage of opportunities that pop up, you cease to be rigid and you learn to bend without breaking.

Being flexible is said much better than I could ever say it in Ecclesiastes 3 - To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven.  Embrace your season.  That's being flexible.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He Is Risen!

Matthew 28:1-10

New International Version (NIV)
 1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
 8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them,“Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Friday, April 6, 2012

Today Is Friday But Sunday Is Coming!

 These pictures are some I took on a trip to Israel last year.

The garden where He prayed and the Disciples slept.

 I wonder if the poppies were blooming that sad Friday.

The hills of Jerusalem - not quite as populated in that day but still a metropolis for the time.

 I looked out over that beloved land and wept.

My husband prayed at The Wailing Wall.

Today is Friday, but Sunday is coming!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E Is For...

E is for Empathetic.  Believe me, if you cry I'll cry with you.  I feel your pain.  I guess that's why, in my former life, I was for a long time a  high school counselor.  I love teens.  Does that make me crazy?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D Is For...

D is for Diplomatic.  My life motto is "Nice Matters" so whenever I can I'm going to be positive, say the thing that flatters or uplifts you and I'll bend over backwards to look for the good and point it out.  I heard a motivational speaker one time who said something nice can be said about everyone if you look hard enough and I believe that.  Sometimes you have to look really hard.  :)

Is that even the definition of diplomat?  Sometimes I'm ditzy too.  :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C Is For...

C is for Christian.  My parents didn't go to church when I was little but a neighbor took me when I was five.  When I went to Sunday School for the first time the teacher told me that Jesus loved me and I believed her.  I still do.

Monday, April 2, 2012

B Is For...

B is for Buxom.  Ha!  Bet you never thought you'd see that written here!  I'm not showing any pictures though.  :)  Inherited that gene from my Grandma Light...darn it.  She was tall and "buxom" with an emphasis on the latter.  When I was a little girl, and remember I'm 65 now, I remember when she came to visit and watching her iron her bras.  Yes, iron them.  They were 100% cotton and quite thick, quite large and quite wrinkled after being hung on the line to dry so she had to iron them.  I remember they had hooks like this:

How uncomfortable they must have been!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Is For....

I was visiting Gail (At The Farm) today because I love reading everything she writes - she's an amazingly gifted writer who posts about everything real and honest in her life on the farm - and she had a new theme going.  She was inspired by a challenge issued by Alex Cavanaugh at Journaling Woman called the 2012 A to Z Challenge.  Gail didn't sign up and neither am I but I think I'll make a stab at describing myself on my posts this month....from A to Z.  I'm not sure about some of those letters.  I'm not sure I know enough words that begin with X or Z but I'll give it a shot.  So here's the first one:

A is for Agreeable.  Yep, that's me.  I hate controversy.  With a Passion.  So I pretty much agree with everyone unless I just can't and then I generally keep my mouth shut.  My Dad was the polar opposite and it used to make him so mad when I wouldn't discuss religion or politics with him.  He could have argued with a stump!  He was serious about those two subjects...and fishing.  I wish he were still here and I'd surely sit down and talk politics with him, despite my need to be agreeable!