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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thoughts on Organization

I did it! I got all the blocks to Winter Wonderland traced and ready to sew! Of course, now that means I have to actually sit down and do the stitching. Don't expect this one to be done in a hurry since there are 9 embroidered blocks plus several pieced ones but this is a start.

I was reading ufoquilter's blogspot today and loved her idea of putting monthly goals on her blog. (I'd put the link to her blog on here if I could figure out how to do that!) You should check it out....she has UFOs listed beside the month she intends to finish them. Maybe if I did that I'd get better at actually working on them. Wonder how many months/years that would be exactly......

A couple of weeks ago I actually spent some time getting more organized in my sewing room. My husband put some more shelves up for me (up above the closet doors) and since they're up high I have to use a stool to reach them but I store stuff on them that are "once in a while" things. He also put my television up high on one of those shelves that make you think you're in a hospital room. It's amazing how much more storage space that gave me. I even went through several drawers and cabinets and got rid of some stuff. The next item on the organizing agenda is to go through my stash and give away at least a fourth of it. I figure I'm 61 and I can't possible live long enough to use it all so I'll share with friends. And, of course, once some of it is gone I'll have some extra shelf space to put new purchases.....I'm not crazy enough to think I won't buy more fabric. It's an addiction I know and I'm just thankful it's fabric I'm addicted to and not something that's bad for my health. And I put UFOs in plastic bins and labeled them on the end so I can just look up on the shelf and find what I'm looking for at a glance. Once I did that I actually found the top of my sewing table again! Be careful if you decide to do this though. Now that I'm organized the guilt monster jumps on me every time I walk by there and I'm not in there working. And my guilt monster is bigger than your average guilt monster!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Errand Day

This was my errand day. Do you have those? With gas prices like they are I try to map out my "to do" list and do everything I can in one fell swoop. Luckily in the middle of the have-to stuff I got to stop to get my nails done and have a pedicure and that makes the day a good one! After 2 hours I left WalMart $250 poorer and with most of the groceries I need to get ready for the family reunion this weekend. Don't you hate those kind of Walmart shopping sprees? The shopping part isn't so bad, it's the putting up stuff that takes forever. I gave myself a reward for my hard work - Hershey's Kisses!

Did I tell you about the family reunion? The first weekend in May is always Decoration Day at the family cemetary. Even though we no longer have to do the clean-up we do still meet that day and have dinner on the grounds. I love the old traditions and hate the stuff that our kids are missing out on. The reunion will start about 11:00 with a business meeting, then lunch and visiting. There's a little one room church still there and an outhouse available if you're really desperate. And, trust me, if I use the outhouse it's because I'm more than desperate! I'm calling it a family reunion but it's really a cemetary reunion - the families of anyone buried there. The family reunion will happen after that when we all come back to my house for hamburgers and hot dogs. More about that later.

Last night I traced two of the blocks from the Winter Wonderland pattern and got the rest of the blocks cut. I plan to trace a couple more tonight so I'm off to do that.....

Monday, April 28, 2008

Springtime on the Lake

I know I told you I hate rummage sales, and i do, but I thought you might want to see one of the pillows that I got for $.25! It was perfect for my old rocking chair that belonged to my grandmother. Don't you just love old things that belonged to your grandparents? I can remember my Grandma sitting on her front porch in this rocker shelling peas and making macaroni necklaces for my sister and me to keep us entertained on a hot summer day.

I got outside this morning and did some weeding in my "herb garden." I'm allergic to everything out there but it was just a joy to be outside. It's so annoying when your nose drips and you sneeze every other breath but at least my sniffing and sneezing kept the squirrels and birds entertained. I planted basil, thyme, oregano, cilantro, lemon balm and a couple of other things I can't remember several weeks ago. They're still alive despite the unusually cool nights we've had this spring so I had to rescue them from the nut grass trying to take over their space.

Those pesky squirrels might have avoided me this morning but a couple of weeks ago they pulled a screen thingy off (I guess it's got a better name than thingy but I have no idea what it is) and got into the attic again. My husband left for a short trip that next day but before he left he put rat poison up there. The next morning they had thrown the poison down on the deck, along with a piece of insulation! I haven't heard them up there since so I guess they must have sampled the poison before they tossed it away.

More later....

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Laundry Multiplication

It's Sunday. Normally we don't do laundry at my house on Sunday. I believe that the Sabbath is the day the Lord set aside for worship, renewal, rest (bearing in mind that when I had children at home I didn't look at it in the same way at all). However, I haven't done laundry in 3 days. There are only 2 people living in my house so not doing laundry for 3 days doesn't seem so bad, don't you agree? Except, there's this principle that they didn't teach in algebra but which I've learned as life gets in the way of my doing what I want to do. Here's the principle: No Laundry (day 1) = a washer load or 2. No Laundry (day 1 + day 2) = a manageable amount of laundry. No Laundry (day 1 + day 2 + day 3) = enough laundry to outfit a small village. Exactly how does that work? One day = 1 outfit, 1 towel/washcloth times 2 people. Three days = 3 outfits, (+/-)2 towels and washcloths (I'm one of those who believes in watching out for our earth and so I reuse towels for at least 2 days, maybe 3). I know what I wear and it's not enough to outfit a small village so where are the rest of those clothes coming from? There's a laundry monster who lives at my house and his name is Husband. Enough said.

I've started a new redwork - a wonderful scene showing a young woman with her big brimmed hat working in the flowers. But I'm already thinking ahead to the Winter Wonderland pattern I have waiting for me. It's a Crabapple Hill pattern that I've seen done in red and I've seen done in black. Both were stunning. Has anyone seen this and do you have a favorite color for it? I'm really torn about this decision.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Quilting Precision....Or Not

Wow! I figured out how to add a picture to my blog! And of course the one I added was my very first blue ribbon won at my local Guild Quilt Show last September. This redwork quilt was so much fun to do and turned out great. These blocks all have a quilting theme and were small enough to be pretty fast to work. I know there are a lot of folks who like entering quilt shows but not me.....I do it because my friends in guild expect it but I feel so intimidated. I quilt for my pleasure and my points can float or get cut off, my seams can miss the mark by a quarter inch (or, truth be told, even more) and I don't really care. I love the feel of the fabric, the process itself, the colors in relationship with each other. In other words, I'm not precise but, when in the mood, I can be prolific. And since I like to give quilts away I choose prolific over precise every time.

Camille at Thimble Blossoms is giving away a quilt! Since I can't figure out yet how to put her blog address on here you'll just have to search for it. But it's darn sure worth it cause it's a great quilt. You can try this but I don't guarantee it (trust me, when it comes to computer stuff I can't guarantee anything) - do a Google search for Camille Roskelley. I think you'll find her there.

Hallmark Channel is showing the Jeanette Oake movie series (Love Comes Softly, ...) today. I don't watch much television but I do love these movies. They make me laugh and cry and remind me of the blessings of family. I've got three great kids (they're all adults but it would sound pretty silly to say I've got three great adults). They are all responsible, contributing members of society who teach high school kids and love what they do. They are good parents and good people. I thank God every day for each one of them. When they get together they love to tell stories about things they did when they were kids that I didn't know about at the time. They think it's funny but from a mother's point of view they can be pretty darn scary. Of course, I remember doing the same thing to my Mom!

Friday, April 25, 2008

I Hate Rummage Sales

I worked the church rummage sale all day today - and I do mean all day. Since I retired I'm a firm believer in getting up when I wake up naturally, which is not 5:30 a.m. But I set the alarm, dutifully arose at the appointed time, took a shower and off I went. I arrived a little before 7:00 to see a long line of people waiting outside the doors. Now let me clarify a little. This is not your ordinary church rummage sale. "Stuff" is collected and stored all year and overflows our large gymnasium. You want a three wheeled bicycle...we have it. You want an antique bedroom suite...we have it. You want a twin sized sheet with holes in it....we have that, too. You can learn a lot at a rummage sale. First of all most people think their "stuff" is worth a lot more money than I think it is. Second, people will steal even from a church if they think no one is looking. And third, the food at a church rummage sale is homemade and you can count on it being delicious. When you have only three of Mrs. Jones' coconut cream pies for sale even good church goin' people will scratch your eyes out if you get in their way.

The volunteers were served a wonderful bean soup and cornbread for lunch and I told my husband I sure hoped he ate plenty because his dinner was going to be a slice of the sweet potato/pumpkin pie I bought at the sale. Before I retired, when I was working a real job, I used to work all day and then come home and cook. It's too bad you have to get to be this age to figure out that you don't really have to do that. Now if you have children at home you can ignore this piece of advice because they have to be fed and I know that. But if it's just a husband you're worrying about....don't. Even when you don't cook they manage to eat. It might be peanut butter and crackers or a bowl of cereal, but they eat. And if they skipped a meal that wouldn't be such a bad thing.

I made it out of the rummage sale only spending $30. Since I was there all day I was able to figure out who had priced stuff low and who had priced it too high so I got some real bargains. I came home with six throw pillows for 25 cents each - I didn't like the colors but they were great to take apart so I could use the pillow forms for some of my redwork. Then there were 3 pairs of clip on earrings that can be used to decorate some notebook covers I make for gifts. And someone had donated a wonderful beaded black jewelry box - at $2 I couldn't pass that up! One of our pastors has a large garden every year and cans wonderful pesto, salsa, spaghetti sauce, etc. I picked up one of the pestos and a birdhouse gourd that he grew (along with his sweet potato/pumpkin pie). Oh, I almost forgot the quilted paperback book cover - my favorite find. Now if I want to take a racy paperback with me to the doctor's office I can put this on and no one will know what I'm reading!

As I was wandering around the sale I came across a hideous, scratch that, stunning metal sculpture that was marked "not for sale." When I asked why, I was told there was one just like it on EBay for $5,000 so they were planning to auction this one. No one knows who donated it or if they knew what they were giving away but to tell you the truth if I were them I'd have given it away, too. I've never found a "bargain" like that at a rummage sale but then I hate rummage sales....maybe I don't hate them but they sure are a lot of work.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

There's a First Time for Everything

Good grief, what was I thinking when I decided to start a blog? Have you ever had all these ideas in your head and then right when you need them they disappear? I'm sure I've got lots to say and I'm also sure I'll think of lots of them in the middle of the night tonight.

I've been doing some hand quilting this week. I don't do a lot of that because of arthritis in my hands but I do so enjoy it when I'm feeling loose enough. It occurs to me that the old saying that youth is wasted on the young is so true. I could have done a lot of hand quilting some years ago but that was before I knew I liked it!

I've fallen in love with redwork and just finished a cute one I got from Lynette Anderson Designs that says "Nice Matters." If you haven't checked out her blog you really should. Redwork is one of those things you can do while you watch tv, bake a cake and have a conversation with your husband, all at one time.

Last night we took our son and his family out for dinner. He and his wife have two girls, ages six and two. I'd forgotten that children feel compelled to check out the restrooms multiple times wherever they are. What is it about public bathrooms that demand a visit? There are no toys there, no other children to play with, no food....and yet, in an hour's time each child just had to go twice. Plus each one wanted to accompany the other on their visit so that was four trips! In their jargon, go figure.