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, July 31, 2008

A Lesson Learned

I had the most interesting day today. I'm not sure you'll think it so, but I did. I learned a lesson today that I don't want to forget. Be patient, I'll get to it.

It's been really hot here for a couple of weeks. Really hot. Did I say it's been hot here lately? As much as possible I've stayed in because even though I hate the cold this heat has been rough. Earlier in the week I visited by phone with an old friend - I haven't seen her in over a year but we talk once or twice a month. She always asks if I'm coming her way any time soon; it's about an hours drive for me and I do go occasionally to run errands there that I can't do here. I told her that I'd try to come up today and would stop to see her. Yesterday I tried hard to back out of it. It's hot for heaven's sake. I kept telling myself I didn't need to go, my errands could wait, gas is so expensive, it might be cooler next week. But when I got up this morning it was just on my heart that I wanted/needed to see her. So off I went.

Now I don't want to be all pious or self grandizing or anything. Before I went to visit with her I went to the quilt shop. :) I found a perfect color fabric for the backing to this quilt. And a couple of fat quarters. Or five. It could have been five.

And I also stopped by a store that was advertising they were buying gold. Do you think this might have been a pawn shop? It didn't look like one and I've never been in one but it could have been. They only had jewelry though. No guitars or bicycles or televisions or stuff like that. Do you know the price of gold now? Good grief! I had some broken necklaces, a couple of single earrings (I think earrings are like socks - something must eat just one!), an anklet and ring I bought in the Bahamas years ago and never wore (I just can't see an almost 62 year old woman in an anklet, can you?), you know, odds & ends. They paid me $275 for that stuff that was broken or that I hated or hadn't worn in 10 years! I am rollin' in dough! I digress.

Then I went to see my friend. We talked and talked and talked for an hour and a half without breathing I think. I always go to see this friend and she never comes to me because there is an Interstate Highway connecting us. She has a terrible fear of driving or even being in a car on an Interstate. You see, her precious 29 year old daughter died on a highway just like that one about 10 years ago. Today we/she talked and talked about her daughter; things she said, the kind of person she was, what her friends said about her, things she had said to her mother before she died. That kind of stuff. I think maybe there are a lot of people who won't mention her daughter by name in their conversations, who don't give this precious mother the chance to talk about her child. It's really easy to be apprehensive about mentioning someone who died; we don't want to bring up painful memories. But the thing is, those memories are always there whether or not we bring them up. When someone mentions my mother or my dad to me I might or might not want to talk about them, but I'm always grateful that they are mentioned because I haven't forgotten. No, I haven't forgotten. Apparently, today my friend was ready to talk. I've never lost a child and, please God, I pray I never will. But I know that I would never want my child to be forgotten. I would want to know that people remember and have loving thoughts about my child. The lesson I learned today is that sometimes God nudges us to do things and we don't realize it's Him nudging us. I didn't know that she needed a visit today but God knew. And He loved her so much that He prodded me to get up and go. I stalled but He persevered. Isn't He just amazing?
P.S. If you think about someone today and think, "I ought to call her." then do it. Just do it. If you think about someone today and think, "I wonder how she is; I haven't talked to her in a while." Call her. God might be nudging you too.

Apron Swap

I recently participated in an apron swap at Booming Aprons. The rules were simple: Make an apron for your partner, either Halloween or Fall themed and she would make one for you. My partner was Sarah at A Needle & Threads. Sarah is a young mom with two little ones and how in the world she has time to sew I do not know. I remember those times and it seems to me that taking a bath was a big deal, let alone sewing! Anyway, today I received my apron in the mail (pictures courtesy of Sarah's recent post.) Isn't this just the cutest thing?
My favorite fabrics are always Moda - I'm not sure why but they always seem to have colors and designs that appeal to me. And that's just what she chose! Along with the apron she also sent a tea towel that's just as cute as the apron. Thanks so much Sarah!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


The new stove has arrived! We are back in the world of real cooking. When we bought this house the appliances were all an almond color. I'm sure
that dates the house but when exactly was that color popular? This house flooded in about 1995 so I'm guessing that's how old the appliances were. Since we moved in 5 years ago we've had to replace the washer, dryer, refrigerator, and now the stove. The only appliance left is the dishwasher and it was only a year or so old when we arrived - how long do dishwashers last? I bought a new microwave immediately - a built-in to give me more room since the kitchen is really small - and chose a black and stainless one. Then the refrigerator died and the only one that would fit in that spot was black. So when I was choosing a stove black and stainless is what I went with. Isn't it gorgeous? And girls, it has 5 burners! It has the normal 4 but a 5th in the center! How handy is that? And a griddle, available for purchase separately of course, that will fit onto 2 burners and cook evenly all over. I'm thinking bacon and pancakes in one pan!

Take a good look at the clean oven - it probably is the last time it will ever be that clean because this morning I cooked these:

Six Week Refrigerator Muffins

I've mentioned these before. They are delicious and good for you (bran and fruit and all that kind of stuff). You mix them up and keep the mix in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks, baking only the number you want. If you want the recipe e-mail me and I'll send it to you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gift From Afar

Last week Purple Pam posted a picture of an embroidery piece she had made. It's a witches house, part of a Halloween pattern. When I asked for the name and designer of the pattern she told me it was Hocuspocusville by Crabapple Hill. And today in the mail Pam sent me the pattern! What a sweet and thoughtful gift. I know you can't see the detail of the village blocks but they are wonderful. There's a candy store; a drive through "Bubble and Brew" shop; an apothecary with hexes, potions & spells; The Black Cauldron, a cafe; and many others. I cannot allow myself to start this until I finish Winter Wonderland....I cannot....I cannot.

But Pam not only sent me the pattern - she also sent me this wonderful scrappy bag made from chicken fabrics. And all her leftover fabrics from the bag so I can use them in something else! I am blown away.

I continue to be amazed by the goodness and the generousity of my blogging friends. When I am down you make me laugh. When I am sad you cry with me. And when I need prayer you lift me up. I thank my Father for each and every one of the friends I have made here - you have a special place in my heart.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Notebook Cover

Lori at Mountain Woman At Heart asked if I would do a tutorial for this notebook cover. However, the pattern is copyrighted so I can't do that. I e-mailed the designer, Gretchen Thompson, who said it could be purchased at if you're interested. When I bought it in Houston in 2006 it was $8.98 and I assume that's still the price, but I'm not sure. It was well worth the price because I've made more than a dozen, closer to 2 dozen! They make great presents - all my daughters, granddaughters and friends now have them. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008


If you read my previous post you know that my stove is non-functioning and my new one won't be in for several days. It's too doggone hot to go out to eat so what's a girl to do? My husband is a fabulous cook on the grill but it's 105 in the shade and he's so hot natured that he would be miserable out there if I asked him to grill. I made pimento cheese for sandwiches and we had a chef salad today but I'm running out of ideas! What do you cook in the microwave that's a family favorite? Or in the crockpot? Please help me out here and put some ideas in the comments!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Please Read This Warning

A couple of days ago I posted about a few things that had happened at our house over the last several months - a flood in the spring which floated our dock about 8 feet out into the lake, a seawall that had to be repaired last year, a pump that went out this week. All of those things were rather pricey but the intent of the post was mainly to poke fun at my husband (obviously I adore him and know he can take a joke!) and make light of everyday things that we fret over but that, in the big scheme of things, just aren't important.

Today I'm a little more serious than that. In April this year I had a little stroke. I've mentioned that before because it ultimately led to me blogging. Since that time I've been having headaches which are frequent but of short duration and actually pretty minor. I chalked it up to residual effects of the stroke. Several times in the last couple of weeks I've thought I detected the smell of gas when I was cooking, and a time or two my husband agreed and said we should call the gas company to check. I procrastinated. Today my friend Sandy and I were sitting on the deck drinking coffee - well she was drinking coffee but I wasn't because I hate the stuff - when I decided to pop some muffins in the oven. I turned the oven on and put in the muffins before it even got hot and went back out onto the deck to chat. About 10 minutes later we came in to check on them and immediately Sandy said "I smell gas." Because she insisted I called the "hot line" and they were at my house in 30 minutes. Pretty quickly the gentleman said, "there's no gas leak but this meter is telling me to check for carbon monoxide." And when he did the numbers immediately started skyrocketing up! (Disclaimer: this is not my stove! the picture is compliments of Flickr)

Apparently the seal on the oven was cracked and it was leaking carbon monoxide. Did you know that could happen with a gas stove? I didn't. And not only that but whatever was cooked in the oven could be contaminated. Needless to say, he declined my offer of a muffin. :) And here's the scary part - we have a carbon monoxide detector right through the kitchen door in the dining room. It's not on a battery, it's plugged into a wall outlet so why didn't it go off? It is even down low, close to the floor where it's supposed to be. But it did not go off. It's not old, probably a year, but it did not go off.

My husband hasn't been getting headaches, which is the first sign of carbon monoxide poisoning, but he doesn't bake. I've had my head down in that oven several times this week - cornbread, oven-baked chicken, toast, muffins. Scary stuff.

Needless to say we bought a new stove today. Another $1000. And here I am posting about it. Not to moan and groan at yet another expense. Not to poke fun at my conservative husband who hates expenses like that. I'm posting for two reasons. If you have a gas stove get it checked. Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector near it and not in the next room. And to say that I am so thankful that I was protected by my Father, who watches over me and loves me and who sent my dear friend Sandy to spend the night with me. She is a "worry wart" (her term, not mine), bossy (again, her term), and who insisted that I call right then. I would have put it off until next week.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Finished by Friday - Hold On To Your Hats

Hold on to your hats girls because this week I have worked!

I've been working on an apron exchange on Booming Aprons . It was a Fall/Halloween themed exchange and my partner is Sarah at A Needle & Threads. This first apron is the one I made for her. I knew I wanted to do this cute witch, which is from an Art From The Heart book, but when I read a little about Sarah I found out she has two kids, Jackson 4 and Addie 1, so the two little ghosts peaking out of the pockets are for them. You can't see it here but the buttons look like spider webs!

Since I had the fabric, and when didn't I have the fabric? I decided I'd make myself a fall apron too. The expression on the jack-o-lantern's face is just like mine every time I have to cook! :)

I also participated in a Pay It Forward challenge. These are the two notebook covers I made and sent to Pam at Passionate Purple Quilter and Amy at All My Stuff. My daughter, Tammy, was my third participant and I haven't made hers yet (well I already made her one of these so now I have to think up something else), but she gets stuff all the time anyway so I can be a little slower on that!

And I made this purse! A few weeks ago I made one from 2 tea towels (the pattern was in the BH&G magazine) and really liked it. But I wanted one just a little bigger. I adapted the pattern some, which is so unlike me. I usually follow patterns to the T but I lengthened it, added pockets inside, used decorator fabric instead of tea towels and made straps instead of using wooden handles. It has 4 pockets outside and 4 pockets inside and it's perfect. Well not exactly perfect but good.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Just An Observation

We have a big yard for being on the lake - sort of a triangle, but not. It is 100' across the front but 300' across the back. That means 300' of seawall, which in this part of the country is a lot of lake access. It also can be a lot of work. Each winter the Corps of Engineers draws the lake down anywhere from 3-8 feet to kill the algae before it can get started and to allow homeowners to do repair to their seawall. Two years ago we had to have our seawall repaired and it didn't come cheap.

This spring we had a lot of rain in Arkansas. A lot of rain. The lake above our lake got too high and they had to let a lot of water out at one time so they opened all the flood gates up and the water came up over our seawall and into the yard. We were lucky, really, because our house is set way back from the lake and because by the time the water got to us the force was considerably less than it was up closer to the dam. We have friends up the lake whose dock and pontoon boat was torn loose by the water and taken 9 miles down the lake where it hung up on the buoys right before it would have gone over that dam. Others weren't so lucky. Their docks and boats went over the dam and ended up toothpicks on the far side. The only damage we had was that our dock floated out from the seawall about 8 feet and the walkway fell down into the mud at the bottom where it's buried to this day. We've called a dock repair company to come fix it but their list was long and we weren't crucial so we wait. That won't be cheap either. Meanwhile we can't get out to the dock but that's ok; my husband waded out and got the boat, brought it up to the seawall and we can use it from there.

In Arkansas, like a lot of places, when it rains it pours. And when it doesn't rain, it doesn't rain. We water our yard from the lake so we're better off than most. Except this past weekend our pump quit. It went to the hospital but it was dead on arrival. It couldn't be resuscitated - CPR didn't work and neither did begging. So we either buy a new pump or water from the hose, which costs megabucks for a yard this size.

This week it has rained all around us. And I do mean all around us. It rained at WalMart 8 miles away. It rained at the nearby market 3 miles away. We live on a square and it rained on the other side of our square. Yep. The other side of our square - 1 block away. My husband, who is the glass half full kind of guy, wasn't surprised because if it can cost him money, he thinks it will. I very kindly explained to him that the Rain Gods are unhappy with him. If he would close cabinet doors, pick up his bath mat and newspaper, and cook dinner once in a while his luck would change. Rain Gods like that stuff. Don't you agree?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Total Insanity

There's an insane person living in my neighborhood. Ok I don't usually talk about my neighbors but I'm seriously worried about this person. I live in Arkansas and if you've never lived in Arkansas you might not understand, but it's hot here. It's hot, oven-like burning hot. It's oven-like burning hot with a pan of steaming water in your face hot. It's been over 100 degrees for days and the humidity feels like when you walk into the shower room of a swimming pool - know what I mean? On my deck it's always a little cooler than in the front of my house (the deck gets a breeze off the lake) and it's been 101-105 the last two afternoons on my deck. This neighbor that I'm worried about runs about 4:00 every day (that's 3:00 sun time people). He runs in the hottest part of the day on the asphalt, which multiplies the heat exponentially. (I was a math major so I can use big words like that and know what they mean.) Now, I'm all for exercising. I don't, but I'm for it. I will totally support you if you want to do it. I will cheer you on, encourage you and pray for you. I'm still not gonna' do it. But I think he has graduated from healthy to obsessed.
Last night at quilt guild I mentioned this to a fellow stitcher. She has a friend who goes to the gym for 5 hours every day. Five (5) hours a day! Girls I am almost 62 (October 1 so get those cards ready to send) and my friend is 70+ so her friend is in the same bracket. Five hours a day. And if she isn't at the gym it's because she's playing golf. And if she isn't doing either of those she's on the practice green practicing golf.
Let's weigh in on this - how many of you exercise? Tell the truth, cause it's just me and I won't tell your family, your friends or your doctor. Do you exercise...ever? How much? What kind? And do you think I should call the white coated guys for my neighbor?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I'm Just Wondering

After several interrupted weeks - the kind where you have a day at home and several days traveling, or a day at home and several days of meetings/errands/appointments - I've had a really quiet week. Of course part of it I was sick after Montezuma came to visit me while I was in Mexico, but by Wednesday afternoon I was much better and ready to get back to my normal life. Have you ever noticed that after a time of interrupted weeks and you finally get to spend some time at home the "nesting" instinct kicks in? It always happens with me. I spent Thursday cleaning out drawers, reorganizing closets, doing laundry - things that make me feel like Holly Homemaker. (Disclaimer! This is not my closet or my drawer; I am not that organized.) But by Friday morning I was ready to hit the sewing room! Only when I got there, before I could sew I had to clean out a closet! And right now I'm just wondering if my husband is going to be gone one day this week so I can take every single thing (not furniture) out of my living room and rearrange! I mean what's on the top bookshelf might get moved to the coffee table, what's on the mantle might get moved to the end table....I'm not pregnant (that would be a true miracle from God since both hubby and I have been "fixed"), I'm not hormonal (been off those things for several weeks now), and I'm not insane (couldn't swear to this one). Any explanations?

Here's another thing I'm curious about. Why is it that the longer a man watches television, the louder it gets? Does that happen at your house? It seems that when it's first turned on the television is at a reasonable decible. After the first hour or so I notice it from 2 rooms away. Another hour and I could hear it out on the lake in the boat with the motor running. Is it their hearing? I mean, does it decline over time - not just years, but hours? Is there some subliminal message on commercials (which are louder than the shows anyway) that says, "Turn me up! Turn me up!" Or is it a concerted effort to get our attention? We're off in some other part of the house doing something that isn't designed for their comfort so they're trying to get our attention? If you know I really, really wish you'd share with the rest of us 'cause my ears hurt. And those of you with small children added to the mix, bless your heart!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Finished by Friday and Freaked Out

Are you getting tired of Winter Wonderland yet? I hope not because this is only the 5th block I've finished and I think there are 5 more! There are only 2 more small ones and the rest are large - one of them is the width of the quilt! Don't expect another one to be finished next week because I'm going to do some machine sewing instead of hand work.

I actually finished two other things this week but I can't show them to you yet. They are both gifts for bloggers who read my posts and I don't want to spoil the surprise. Next week I'll have pictures of them since I plan for everything to go in the mail by Tuesday.

When I e-mailed one of the giftees yesterday to tell her I'd be mailing her gift this is what I said, "I'll be mailing you your gift on Tuesday. That's the day I go to the post office." When I realized what I'd said I screamed. Really loud. Scared my husband, who came running to see if I'd seen a snake or gotten electrocuted or lost my mind. I'm sure I was babbling when I said, "I've become my grandmother!" I go to the post office on Tuesday. Do you realize what that means? Routine. My life is in a routine. It's like those vintage tea towels I love that are embroidered:
Monday Washing, Tuesday Ironing, Wednesday Baking, Thursday Cleaning, Friday Mending, Saturday Gardening, Sunday Church. I go to the post office on Tuesday.

I'm going to have to make up new tea towels:
Monday Blogging
Tuesday Post Office
Wednesday Blogging
Thursday Sewing
Friday Blogging
Saturday Cooking/Cleaning/Mending/Washing/Ironing/
Sunday Church

I'm telling you it freaked me out. I don't mind some routines - you know the kind like get up in the morning, brush your teeth, wash your face, shower, put on makeup, get dressed. That kind of routine is comforting. But the kind where I always do something on a certain day makes me feel kind of June Cleaverish. Which is not totally bad, except then Wally and the Beaver would be my kids. Wouldn't that freak you out too?

Do you have a routine?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Got Mail

One of the things I love about blogging is that every once in a while you get the nicest things delivered to you by the postman. Or woman. Postperson. The person who brings the mail. Have to be politically correct. I hate that saying, and exactly what does it mean? What's political about whether the person delivering your mail is a man or woman? And why couldn't they just make up a word that means both? After all when you say President it could be a man or a woman and you don't have to worry if you've said the right thing. When you say attorney it could be a man or a woman. When you say doctor...same thing. We need a new name for the mail deliverer - got any suggestions?

Back to my story. I got two packages this week. First, I got this:

My friend, Takako at Quilt In Me, went home to visit her parents and bought gifts for some of her blogging friends. I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do with the fabric, although it will definitely go into a quilt. I'm thinking about a miniature log cabin table runner and these colors would work beautifully with some fabric I already have. Thank you so much Takako for your kindness. She sent a really sweet card that had a picture of a puppy and kitten on it and I would have shown you a picture of it, too, but my camera wouldn't cooperate.

I also got this beautiful vintage French postcard from my friend Becky at Wonders Never Cease. I made a wild guess trying to identify a picture of something on her post and turned out to be correct. This sweet card has writing on the back which is very faint but I think I was able to make out the year as 1950.

Becky also sent a card; in her case it was naturally a French one. This is a picture of Thatched Cottages at Cordeville, Auvers-sur-Oise by Vincent van Gogh. Beautiful, isn't it? Thank you Becky. I have it on my desk so that it brightens my day as I sit blogging.
For those of you who have been so kindly following my posts, Montezuma has left the building! About noon today I started feeling more like myself and even spent the afternoon in the sewing room - the first time since last week. But, sadness, I still haven't been able to drink an Iced Chaie Latte. Just couldn't. And I have no idea why because I hadn't had one when I got sick. I'm sure I'll be better tomorrow and be able to drink one right down. Right? Tell me I'm right....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

High Road vs. Low Road

I've been reading blogs a lot the last couple of days since I returned from Mexico. Since Montezuma declared war on my body I've been pretty much confined to my bedroom and bathroom so I've spent (wasted really) a lot of time on the computer. I've discovered several things:

1. The Old Red Barn Company is having a giveaway. That's not so unusual, lots of bloggers do that. Some do it I think because they are just generous people and love to make others smile. Those are the high roaders. Mostly people do it to drum up business on their blog. They take the low road. Or a combination of the two. I think I'll do it, too, one day soon. In my case I'll be taking the low road - drumming up business. Just to see if I can. And to see if it works. But The Old Red Barn Company seems to me to be one of the high roaders. She's giving away a quilt. Now take it from a quilter, giving away a quilt is a big deal. Really big deal. Like a million dollar prize deal. When you make a quilt it kind of becomes like your baby. Oh, I know she's got a business she's promoting, too. But go back and read some of her posts. Read about the turtles she fed, and about falling in love with her new camera (and she's got some really cute kid pictures there, too), and the one called "What Now" about beeswax...fascinating. Anyway, she seems like the kind of person you'd love to live next door to. And no, I've never met her and I don't get extra points for this post, but I like her heart. I like that she is giving away a quilt even though the quilt is one she'd love to keep. Now don't anybody get mad at me about the high road/low road thing....I know you're all high roaders or I wouldn't be reading your blogs!

2. I learned that there are a lot of people out there blogging and a lot of people commenting on blogs. Some blogs are more popular than others but not necessarily better than others. Some commenters, and some bloggers too, have a rather limited vocabulary based on how many times they use four letter words in casual conversation. I don't think I'm a prude, and I'm not objecting to what they say - I'm a firm advocate of freedom of speech - I just don't see the point. Is that because I'm older than many of them?

3. I've learned that no matter what your interest is you can find someone blogging about it. Interested in trout fishing - try . How about flowers? Maybe you'd like to see what it's like in prison...try I AM NOT KIDDING! Now I can't be sure he's really in prison, but he's got a good gig going (good grief that's a lot of g's) if he isn't cause he's had over 15,000 hits on his profile. If you have a computer there's no reason to be bored.

4. I've learned that there are some of the nicest, funniest, wittiest, most sincere and down-to-earth people writing blogs. And if you comment they comment back and sometimes they e-mail and they will pray with and for you if you ask or they will offer you a book they have that they think you might like or tell you that you have the cutest grandchildren ever. And they are real. I know they are real because of the grandkid thing. There are so many that I love that I just want to share a few with you. From time to time I'm going to share others, and I've already told you about some (if I repeat myself here it's because I'm getting to that age where I do that sometimes so you just smile and say oh, she's just at that age, bless her heart). And if that bless her heart thing doesn't ring any bells you should go back and read a previous post, and no I don't remember when I wrote it but you can look in my archives, don't be lazy.

Suzanne of At Home With The Farmer's Wife is one of my favorite reads. Recently she had a tutorial on how to make an apron from a man's shirt. Pretty resourceful I say and a lot of fun to make I'm sure. No, I haven't made one yet since the wedding and Montezuma got in the way but I plan to. I'll have to go out to the garage and dig through a buch of winter boxes but I'm sure my husband has a shirt he doesn't need, even if he doesn't know it now.

Christine at Front Porch Indiana has some funny stories about her chickens, yes I said chickens, and she takes great pictures to illustrate. Today she bought a pig, but not one she plans to get acquainted with. This one she plans to eat, if she doesn't meet him first.

Another blog I read every day is Tipper at Blind Pig And The Acorn. She always has great stuff but the Appalachian Quilts post today has some pictures you quilt lovers really should see. She has great music, not the kind you hear every day, and a column of grannyisms that I loved leaving a comment on because she's trying to preserve some of the old things our grannys used to say.

And I defy you to read Melissa at Stretch Marks and not fall totally madly in love with her. She has a heart as big as all outdoors and cuts open her chest and shows it to us all. She makes me laugh till I'm sick and cry real big crocodile tears. She's pregnant and you can bet that I'm praying for her and for this baby.

Ok that's enough. I'm just whetting your appetite. There are more, many more that deserve a mention and over time I'll get to them. I'll be your personal screener, you know like the king used to have a food taster? I'll do the tasting and then make my recommendations. Because I'm nice like that. I'm really a high roader in disguise.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Is This Heaven?

I've never been one to read Star magazines. I'm not really interested in who's doing what or wearing what or where they've been. I don't understand babies born on Monday but named Sunday, or was it vice versa? I'm a simple person with simple needs. This past weekend I went to a wedding in Mexico. I thought it was going to be in Cancun because that's where I booked my flight to but I was mistaken. I was taken to a resort about 40 miles away, a walled and gated and guarded resort named The Rosewood Mayakoba. It opened in December, cost (we were told) 3.2 billion to build, and already counts among it's guests Tom Cruise and Arnold - the honorable governor of California who's last name is way beyond my spelling capabilities. They stayed in the Presidential Suite (I did not) which costs $4500 a night.

Lest you think my suite was not acceptable (compared to that Presidential thing) let me reassure you it was fine. This was my private deck and my private "splash pool." It was a small pool about 4 x 8 and 4' deep. Just my size! There are no "rooms" because each suite is either a small house or a duplex. Although the exterier blends perfectly with the landscape and the native culture the interior is the polar opposite. It is modern with straight lines and sharp angles. Beautiful, but modern. My suite had it's own little dining room, a living area, a king sized bed with sheets that might have been somewhere around 1000 thread count because they felt like the cheek of a newborn baby. The artwork was original, signed and dated. I had an espresso machine as well as a top of the line coffee pot. The refrigerator held every juice, soft drink and beer anyone could possibly want, including Starbucks Frappucino. I personally enjoyed the diet coke. Like I said, simple.

The bathroom had a huge round sunken tub AND a wonderful shower with one of those rain shower heads that look scrumptious and really are. They are both glassed in and look out onto a private veranda that is walled in and contains an outdoor shower just like the indoor one. Yes, I absolutely did shower outside! Of course, I looked up several times to see if the Google satellite happened to be overhead - I don't trust those things. I know they should only be mapping but who knows what they are looking at? I'm a little paranoid but you would have been too. If I were young and skinny I might not care. Well I probably would care. Some. And, get ready for this, I had my own private butler. Yep. Butler. 24 hour a day butler service. Being the country girl that I am I asked the first butler what exactly it was that butlers do. Her answer, "anything you want me to do." The butler brought me ice whenever I pushed that little "butler" button on the phone. He/she ran a bubble bath. Truth. He/she came and made a pot of coffee in the morning. He/she took a package from my room to my sister's room 2 doors down so I wouldn't have to go outside to do it. And all with a smile. No matter how many times a day I showered/bathed when I returned to my suite a couple of hours later my wet towels were gone and fresh ones were in their place. They folded any clothes I left lying on the bed or the couch or the floor. A girl could get used to this.

See that wall where the outdoor shower is? Around the end of it is a stairway to the veranda on the roof. It also is walled and private. It has a small pergola and a padded double lounge chair, just in case you might want to sunbathe in the nude. Or something else. Don't even think about it. You would cook your body in 10 mintes flat up there! This is the view from the veranda.

This resort is built on a lagoon/waterway that has an underground river and is a mix of salt and plain water. If you want to go to the beach you can take a boat down the lagoon or a cart will be sent to pick you up. I rode the boat a couple of times and saw lots of birds - cormerands, which have emerald green eyes, (not sure about that spelling either) and even a stork. I saw a crocodile and iguanas, and a Mexican raccoon. He looked more like one of our possums that a raccoon.

Everybody had his/her own job. There was one gentleman who walked the beach all day with a spray bottle of water misting people to cool them off. There was a lady at the cocktail party who walked around offering Off lotion for the mosquitos.

When you got to the beach this is what you found. A breathtaking view, literally. The pool was nice too but wow, that view.

This is how the wedding was set up. They had chairs on the beach with musicians playing soft music. They had cubes with throw pillows for you to sit on for the cocktail hour. Oh and a bar. Lots of wonderful fruit non-alcoholic drinks although you could also choose wine. Before you went down to the beach everyone took off their shoes and left them on a rack. When we went back to get them they had paint brushes to brush off the sand from your feet and wet washcloths to get whatever was left before you put your shoes back on. It was very windy at sunset but the scenery was stunning. There were so many little touches that made it special, from the Bible the bride put on the seat her father would have occupied (he died several years ago), to the parents of the couple joining the pastor at one point praying for their future. They chose to have a very small family with immediate family and very, very close friends and that added to the specialness of it. They truly made a covenant before God to honor Him in this union. It was a little glimpse of heaven.

A Beach Heart

I'm back from Mexico and truly glad to be back in the real world, sort of. I'll post about that later. But I wanted to quickly say thank you to everyone who helped me pray for my brother. I got home about 1:00 am with a really bad case of Montezuma's Revenge and I'm still in bed at nearly 2:00 pm! Nasty stuff. But I did get to talk to Terry this morning and though he sounded a little drugged which, no doubt, he is, he was able to talk to me and make sense. :) I wanted to post a picture of a heart since he had a triple bypass but most of the pictures I found were just too graphic!!!!! Then I stumbled across this one. Isn't it wonderful? It was so meaningful to me that it's a beach picture and I know that the whole time I was on the beach this weekend God was watching over Terry for me. He is so good.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Breaking the Rules

My friend Janie with Southern Lagniappe awarded me the Arte Y Pico award!The Arte Y Pico is awarded to blogs that you consider deserving due to their creativity, design, interesting material and for their contributions to the blogging community. If you receive the Arte Y Pico you in turn are to bestow it on five blogs you deem worthy of this award.So first of all, I'd like to thank Janie for giving me this award! Janie has a wonderful blog that is so reflective of it's name. It is a lovely should stop by.

Now, here are the rules:
You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.
Each awardee has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award:
Display these rules.

I know I'm supposed to pick 5. I know I'm supposed to pick only 5. But I just can't. If you read me regularly you know two things:

First thing - I recently tagged 6 bloggers that I really wanted to know more about. I read about a hundred or maybe 2, 375 a week so there are plenty to choose from but, and here's the

Second thing - I'm in Cancun. Mexico. Eating guacamole, sipping frozen drinks, staring at the ocean. Oh and going to a wedding. I don't have my computer with me. How am I posting this you ask? Through Blogger post dating thingy.
So I'm breaking the rules. I will sit in the corner when I get home. If I can take my computer with me.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Finished by Friday, etc.

Not much sewing this week because of the holiday but I did finish another block from Winter Wonderland - this one is called The Snow Family.

When you get this post I'll be in Cancun for my niece's wedding. Just picture this...posh resort, blue ocean, white sand, guacamole dip, frozen drinks, waiters at my beck and call, wedding at sunset on the beach, surrounded by family. God gives us great blessings and I can't wait to enjoy this one!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

World Traveler and a Serious Post

This is sort of a serious post so there are no pictures but I hope you read it anyway. Friday morning I fly to Cancun to my niece's wedding. That's the world traveler part and not the serious part. She's getting married on Saturday, at sunset, on the beach so I'll be bringing pictures back with me. She and her fiancee are beautiful and sweet and smart and just plain good people. For one month when she was 8 months old this niece was mine. Because of a car accident the rest of her family was off in Texas and she lived with me. Needless to say she still is mine. I just can't miss her wedding.

I'm planning to eat guacamole and sit on the veranda and eat guacamole and luxuriate in my posh hotel room and eat guacamole. Maybe I'll have a little something to drink with it, but only a little. I'm going alone since my husband didn't think a weekend on the beach was the best thing for him - he's had melanoma cancer and the sun is not a good thing. But I'll be joining the sister I'm addicted to - Sherry - (see my post from Monday if you haven't read it) and other family members so I'm excited. My sister flew down today and my flight is at 6:15 a.m. Friday.

Now, here's the serious part. My brother, Terry, is having a triple bypass Friday morning while I am on the plane winging my way to Cancun. We are a family that loves and supports each other so Sherry and I both feel like dirt for not being in the waiting room for his surgery. Our other brother, Fred, will be there and, of course, so will Terry's wife and some of their children. That's not the same as me being there. That's not the same as Sherry being there. It's just not. There was really no decision to be made - my sister could not miss her daughter's wedding and neither could I. Irregardless, our flights were booked months ago and all plans finalized when Terry began to have problems that landed him in the hospital. He's had stents before several times but this is different. And we won't be there.

So if you would I ask for prayers (this is the serious part) for Terry, that he goes through this surgery with ease and has a speedy recovery and for a release from anxiety and fear; for all those who will be performing this surgery or caring for him during his hospitalization, that they will have oving hearts and loving spirits and that they make wise decisions for his health care; and for Terry's family that they will have strength and peace during this time.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


My favorite memories of our Fourth of July celebration here on the lake:

1. Children sitting in the rising mist of the lake at dusk watching fireworks.

2. 7 year old granddaughter being chased by her cousins in a game of Tag and yelling, "Help! Call Security!"

3. Redheaded 10 year old boy wearing a red and white striped shirt with blue plaid shorts because they were the closest things at hand and what do you mean stripes don't go with plaids?

4. 10 year old girl carrying her teddy bear and her camo blanket to bed with her.

5. 2 1/2 year old boy offering to show his fishing minnows and worms to 2 year old girl - his grandmother gently explains that girls don't really like to look at minnows and worms - he has a blank expression on his face and says, "Why?"

6. 7 year old granddaughter announcing loudly, "I'm hungry and I don't want anything starting with a G or gumbo!"

7. 10 year old boy (while on his maybe 12th Ice Pop) saying to his mother, "Mr. Jerry told me he really needed my help getting these out of his freezer."

8. 2 1/2 year old boy on being told not to pick up the June Bug he's holding in his hand, "But I like holding bugs."

9. 2 year old girl watching fireworks from a looooong way away and saying over and over (but not looking away), "I scared, I scared."

Monday, July 7, 2008

Six Random Things

I was tagged by Angie at Can You Hear Me At The Back to write 6 random things about myself. Wow! Six things. About myself. I’m a mom and a grandmother and a wife and like most women I don’t think about myself. Much. Or at least not in a way that I can put out there on the Internet. But I’ll give it a shot…..

Thing 1. I didn’t go to college till I was 35. Yep, 35. Of course, I don’t count the time I was fresh out of high school and started college only to quit 3 weeks later to get married. I told my Daddy I was in love and wanted to go to the U where my boyfriend was. But no, Daddy insisted that I go to a different college. Just because I had a scholarship there…now I ask you, is that any reason to make me be apart from the love of my life? So the thing is I was only 17 when I started college that first time. Three weeks later I was 18 and an adult and could make decisions for myself so I quit school and got married. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Turns out though that the marriage was good – 44 years this fall. :) So at 35 when I realized that an education is pretty much a necessity in life (I’m a late bloomer, what can I say?) I was hittin’ the books with the 18 year old party animals. One thing I can say about going to college late in life and paying for it yourself instead of Daddy writing the checks is that you make way better grades than the 18 year old party animals.

Thing 2. God called my name when I was 5 years old and sent a limousine to pick me up. Of course it was a 1951 sedan and the driver was the neighbor down the street but that’s beside the point. Said neighbor and his wife invited our whole family to go to church with them and their two kids. My parents, who weren’t church goers then, quickly agreed to let me and my sister and both brothers go with the neighbors. I’m sure my parents were tickled to death to get rid of 4 kids for a few hours once a week and I’m probably darn lucky they didn’t add kid #5 during that time! The neighbors loaded up all 4 of us, along with their 2, in the back seat of that sedan (that was before seat belt laws) and took us to Sunday School and church for a year. When they were transferred out of town my sister transferred to the Baptist church that was closer to home and my two brothers quit going, but I continued to walk to the Methodist church where I’d started. It was only about 6 or 7 blocks and I was, after all, 6 years old and plenty old enough to go alone. Those were different times. Fifty Six years later and I’m still going to the Methodist church. I don’t walk any more though.

Thing 3. I’m addicted to my sister. Yep, addicted. I live in one state, she lives in another. I’m shy, really. I know you don’t believe me, but really I am. She’s not. If you meet her today before you leave 10 minutes later she will know your full name, the names of all your children and their birthdates and will have invited you over to watch tv. Any time. Just drop by. You’d be addicted to her, too! We talk every day. Sometimes twice. Or more. If I go on vacation I want her to go too. If I need advice I ask her. If I need to whine, I whine to her. If I read a book I love I want her to read it too. Now. So we can talk about it. If I need prayer I call her. Yep, addicted.

Thing 4. I’m 61. Almost 62, but not yet. And I have no wrinkles. You heard me. Please don’t hate me. I might have one tiny one by my eyes – really, one. My hair is white but it’s been white for many years. I dyed it forever and quit a
year or so ago. It kind of throws people for me to have white hair and no wrinkles. It’s my mother’s fault. She was 79 when she died and she had only two wrinkles. It has to be some genetic thing and if I could bottle it I’d so be a millionaire. Of course, it could be that I’m so overweight that the fat just keeps the wrinkled filled out. No, must be genetic.

Thing 5. I hate sports. I hate competition of any kind. I don’t understand why you can’t just play for fun. My husband was a football coach. My son is a football coach. They speak a different language from me. Their television watch list is a who’s who of competitions – football, basketball, baseball, golf, car races, Ice Truckers, hot dog eating contests. I really and truly heard them talking about the national hot dog eating contest. I just don’t get it. If I’m standing in line at WalMart I will let you get in front of me with no protest. If you want to cut into my lane in rush hour traffic, go ahead. If we’re sitting at a red light and you gun your motor I’ll wave as you take off. I might even blow you a kiss. If we both enter a blog give-away and you win I’ll be thrilled for you. Unless it’s a Starbucks gift card. Then I’ll pout.

Thing 6. I have another addiction besides my sister. Starbucks Iced Venti Chai Tea Latte, non-fat please. I can say that in my sleep. When I was working I didn’t think about it much because I was working and had a little “play money.” Now I’m retired and that retirement check doesn’t stretch quite as far as a real paycheck did. So I asked around and found out that I could order the concentrate from CoffeeAm - $5.95 a 32 oz. box, 12 to a case, plus shipping. For months now I’ve been ordering a case, or two, and having it delivered right to my door. As you know gas prices have skyrocketed which means that shipping has gone up as well. Since I’m a woman I was having a real case of the guilts. Women are Guilt Queens you know. Anyway, this week I found a Starbucks store that carries MY chai concentrate for $4.95 a box. It was at Barnes and Noble, where I have a card (well, to tell the truth my sister has a card but I can use hers), and I got 10% off that. And no shipping! I am saving so much money I figure I can up my chai intake by at least 20%.
Whew! That’s 6! According to Angie, I’m also supposed to:
# Link to the person who tagged you# Post the rules on the blog# Write six random things about yourself….oh yea, did that one# Tag six people at the end of your post# Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog# Let the tagger know when your entry is up

Now it’s decision making time. Who do I tag? Six people – I can think of dozens of people I’d like to know more about. But only six…..that’s tough. Let’s try these 6 – and please know that if I tag you I will not have my feelings hurt if you decide not to do this or if you’ve already been tagged, or if you don’t believe in tags, or if you don’t have time because you need to clean your bathroom or weed the garden or oil your kids skateboard wheels. Or whatever.
Ivory Spring who has beautiful treasures and does the most beautiful smocking, among other things, you've ever seen.
Pat at Bird Nest on the Ground does extraordinary embroidery, makes wonderful pincushions and ATC cards, and the list goes on.
Rebecca at Wonders Never Cease has a great roll call of Wonders of the World.
And how about Granny Su who's a great story teller - you should read about the dragonfly.
Southern Lady has a great recipe for washing clothes and if you scroll back a day or two some really special photos of cemetary monuments she spotted - yes, that's what I said.
And you really, really must check out Tipper at Blind Pig and the Acorn, especially her Grannisms. Wonderful!
If you haven't visited these blogs before, or even if you have, go visit them now. Do it! Now! You'll be glad you did.