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, April 29, 2011

A New Family In The Neighborhood

In the aftermath of the recent tornadoes and thunder storms there is much clean up to do in our yard.  While we didn't get any major damage of any kind we do have limbs down that must be burned.  The wind in Arkansas this spring has been unlike anything I've ever seen - it almost blows me down at times and it's constant, rarely stopping.  Early one morning my husband found a quiet, wind-free few minutes to try to burn the limbs,but this Mama Wood Duck, minus any babies, kept wandering in circles around a tall Sycamore tree near the fire.  She acted as if she were hurt trying to distract my husband.  He ignored her because he knew she wouldn't let him get close.  This afternoon we saw the reason why!

We have a wood duck box out beside the lake.  That mama duck hatched her babies yesterday.  This mama we didn't even know we had!  She was nesting inside the sycamore tree about 20 feet up.  We didn't realize there was a hole there and frankly, now that we do, we find that scary because that means at least part of that tree is rotten.

While we were sitting on the deck watching these little black things kept dropping out of the tree.  We thought they were gum balls because we have millions of those!  Then we realized it wasn't gumballs; instead those little black things were baby ducks!

Mama wandered around and around the tree gathering them all up until finally she decided that was all she was going to get and off to the lake she went, babies waddling behind.  I can't imagine how they lived through that jump from up so high!

There are so many and they bunch together so we can't get an accurate count but we've guessed at 15 or more.  While we were standing watching the daddy duck went directly away from his family and cried pitifully trying to draw us away from them.

Mama didn't take them right out on the big lake but down a canal that runs beside our neighbor's property where it is a bit sheltered from the wind and the waves churned up by the boats going by.  I wonder if I put a "Baby Crossing" sign out on my deck the boats would slow down.  Naw, they don't slow down for human children so I guess wood ducks are out of the question.

Mother's Day is coming.  I think this Mama Duck might deserve a present!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Haven't Written About This In A While

I've written about a couple of websites where you can actually earn a few dollars to help feed your fabric addiction (come on, admit it, you know it's an addiction!) but I haven't said anything about them in a long time so I thought I'd update you guys on how I'm doing with this.

First of all, there's Swagbucks.  Over on my right sidebar you'll see this button that will take you to this site.  Ya'll I've only been using Swagbucks for a few months but already I've earned almost $100 in Amazon gift cards!!!  I don't know about you but I love Amazon for great deals on quilt books as well as items for gifts or for my home.  And Swagbucks is so easy - all you do is do your normal web searches on that site instead of Google or Yahoo.  I have it as a shortcut on my computer now so I click there anytime I need to do a search and it randomly bestows Swag Bucks for those searches.  And if you tell your children and your friends to sign up under you and do their searches there you will earn Swag Bucks for their searches as well.  Obviously, I have a few people signed up under me or I wouldn't have earned that much.  But if your children and grandchildren are computer-aholics like mine they can earn you a few points themselves!  It's worth your time to check it out...just click on the Swagbucks button on my right sidebar and you can sign up under me!  And thank you in advance if you decide to do it.  :)

Then there's MooLaLa!  There's a button for it on my right side bar too.  This is a recent addition to my earnings, like only a month or two, but I've earned over $6 with this one.  I know that's not much but I figure it's half a yard or two fat quarters.  :)  This is a Deal-of-the-Day thing but with a difference.  For instance, one day recently they had a $50 gift card to Cold Water Creek for $25!  I don't know about you but I love their clothes...and that's like getting something for half price.  I do love half price.  One time every day you get an e-mail from MooLaLa telling you what the deal that day is.  If you like it, buy it.  If you don't, delete it.  If you buy it you not only get a good deal, but you get 2% of whatever you paid returned to you!  And if you get friends and relatives to sign up under you (similar to Swagbucks above) and they decide to buy something, you get 2% of whatever they buy!  They've had a wide variety of deals...everything from organic foods to jewelry to baby clothes.  And last week they had a donation to a local children's organization that I bought - I paid $5 and someone matched it so the group got a $10 donation for my $5!  On top of that I got 2% back.  Not only do you get money back on the people who sign up under you, but also on the people who sign up under them!

I don't get excited about money making ventures because my parents taught me a long time ago you don't something for nothing.  But these two things excite me because they make sense.  Read about them for yourself and if you decide to join, thank you for signing up under me!  And you're welcome for the savings I just showed you how to get.  :)  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Storm Update

Power is restored!  It pays to live near a school - they are high priority when the power people get to start putting things back in order.  :)  Many, many people are still without power in Arkansas and other states.  Many have lost their homes and some even their lives.  I heard a little girl on the news this morning tell the reporter that "the tornado ate our house!"  Monday night my grandson took the chainsaw and helped a friend get three trees off his house.  The grandmother was stranded upstairs and it took 2 hours to get to her.
It is so hard to understand the force of storms like the tornadoes here and the earthquake in Japan unless you are in the middle of it.  And trust me, the middle is not where you want to be.  I'm so grateful that with tornadoes we do have some warning, unlike earthquakes.

Early yesterday the weather folks kept saying we would have more tornadoes last night so Jerry and I began to plan.  We have a place in our house we think is safer than other places but it is small so we had to weigh our priorities...what could we put there that would be important to us later?

Certainly important papers like our marriage license, social security cards, passports and plane tickets for a trip we'll be taking soon.  But I'd sure hate to lose my computer, Kindle,

IPad, camera, or special pieces of jewelry.  I don't have pricey jewelry but I do have some costume pieces from my mother and grandmother and I'd hate to lose them.

I kept thinking about my quilts and my stitching projects and my I would hate to lose it all!  And yet, I know those are just things and things can be replaced.  I'm thankful for the safety of my family and my friends and my home because I know that all that could change in the blink of an eye.

I'm curious...if you had one hour to plan what would you "save" from a disaster?  Certainly people, but what prized possessions would go with you?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Storm warning in ARKANSAS, near us...

Hello, via Madame Samm..

I asked her to write this for me as we are without power,...we have a generator for our freezer, so
we can keep things frozen for now...The weather here has been terrible, trees down, building ripped
by tornadoes and hail storms. I have a gas stove, so I can cook, so we are doing ok under the conditions..
We likely won't have power till Friday...

Please pray we do not have any more damage.

I will miss you all till I return..
Love Marlene.

here is a link to a video not far from us...

more videos

Saturday, April 23, 2011

One Thousand Blessings - Day 24

812.  A Risen Savior
813.  Children in their Easter clothes
814.  Sunrise
815.  The rumble of thunder far, far away
816.  Dyed Easter eggs
817.  Rabbits
818.  Peonies
819.  Gardens
820.  Cream cheese brownies
821.  Baby birds in a nest
822.  Friends near and far
823.  Bibles
824.  Business cards
825.  Pictures of family members no longer here
826.  Riding lawn mowers
827.  Warm jackets
828.  Comfortable walking shoes
829.  Lawn chairs
830.  Shade on a hot day
831.  Lawn and Garden stores
832.  DVRs
833.  My favorite chair
834.  Friendly clerks
835.  Push pins
836.  Clocks
837.  Filtered water
838.  Crock Pots
839.  Bananas
840.  Open windows
841.  Computer programs that work right the first time
842.  Ribbon and lace
843.  Wireless printers
844.  Ice in the refrigerator door
845.  A freshly mopped floor
846.  The scent of coffee beans just ground
847.  Homemade bread
848.  Quilt books
849.  Sun Rooms
850.  Freshly washed sheets

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sittin' In The Bathroom Waiting For a Tree To Fall On My Head

Tell the truth....that title grabbed you, right?

Last night I was sitting in the sun room in my stitchin' chair working on an embroidery project when a storm hit.  There are patio doors right in front of my chair about 8 feet away from me so I turned on the outside light so I could watch.  On television they talked about golf ball sized hail in an area southwest of me and I wanted to see if we got any...we planted 16 new Encore Azaleas this week so I was worried about them!  As I was sitting and stitching and watching the weather man track the storm (because they did that instead of NCIS, go figure!) I heard the wind come up and watched as my deck furniture slowly and even gracefully slid from one side of the deck to the other.  It was as if a giant invisible hand was slowly pushing each piece across from one side to the other...rearranging the furniture!  Two small rosemary plants that were waiting to be potted rolled around and the hail started.  Not golf ball sized but hail just the same.

The lightening was a wonder to behold and the thunder boomed.  But what....why didn't the thunder stop?  Who ever heard of continuous thunder with no end?  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  Thunder, roar, sounds like a train?  Now sometimes I'm just dense because  I'm a very thoughtful person so I stood there in deep thought and then decided "oh I'll open the door to see what I can hear."  :)  Yep, constant roar that sounded some distance away but not a great distance away.  A funnel cloud going over my house! Time to head to the bathroom.  I quickly gathered up my stitching (no telling how long I'd be in there and I didn't want to be bored), my cell phone, and the television remote control.  Don't ask.  

Wouldn't you know this was one of the rare nights my husband wasn't at home!  I'm pretty sure the Gideons didn't need him nearly as much as I did.  I've learned that it's not that I'm scared of getting hit on the head by a tree, it's just that I want him to get hit on the head by that tree too.  He's so appreciative of  my desire to share.

A mile from me there are trees down and lots of folks are without power but as far as I know no one is hurt.  Thank you Jesus for calming my fears even in a storm.  :)

Monday, April 18, 2011


Do you need a laugh today?  I've got one for you!  Go read this post at Colorado Belle's.  It's short and you're gonna' love it.

Friday, April 15, 2011


As many of you may have heard we had some terrible storms in Arkansas last night.  Here in my own county, not far from one of my daughters, two people died when a tree fell on their mobile home.  Those who died, a young man (24) and his 18 month old child, were sleeping while the storm raged, as were most of us in this area.  This morning the world has been washed clean and the sun is shining and it's a beautiful day.  Sometimes storms rage around us and even in us...not literal ones but storms just the same.  My life has been blessed in so many ways but some days the mother in me worries desperately about her doesn't seem to matter how old they are, a mother still worries if she's 102 and her child is 82 (not that I'm 102!)  Some days I look at my home and I sputter and spit because this needs to be done and that needs to be done, windows replaced, floors refinished, flower beds cleaned out.  The television comes on and the news is awful-gas prices above what we've ever paid, the cost of a loaf of bread soon to be out of sight, fighting in the middle east, starving people in Africa.  Storms rage all around us.  But I'm going to let last night's storm remind me that as bad as the storm is, morning does come.  The sun will come out and the world will be washed clean and birds will sing.  We will arise and face a new day and smiles will return.  God is still in His Heaven.

Inside my house today a storm is going to rage and it's going to happen in my sewing room.  I haven't been in there in over a week now..since I got home from a quilt retreat.  Nothing is put away; in fact, more has been piled up as I picked up my clutter from other places in the house.  I'm going to open the windows, let the sun shine in on me and the breeze blow through the house, and God and I will clean up from the storm in that room!  What's this day going to bring you?  Are you in the midwest where they're going to get snow storms today?  Or in southern California where the weather will be perfect?  Or somewhere else in the world where weather is going to play a part in your day?

Thursday, April 14, 2011


This is a personal question...we currently use AT&T as our telephone service provider and their rates are just getting to be too much for us so we're thinking of switching.  Has anyone used Vonage?  I'd love to know if you like them, if you can keep your current number, etc.  Thanks for any info!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

When spring hits at my house two things happen.  First I go on a quilt retreat with my guild.  Four days.  Yes...four days of sewing from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.  We could sew all night if any of us could last that long but I long since learned that doesn't work for me so about 8 my roomies and I go back to the dorm, shower, put on our pajamas, read a minute and turn out the lights.  We have so much fun it's just like high school days when you had a sleepover.  I got two quilt tops, one purse and one tote made.  One of the tops is going to have wool flowers appliqued on it so it will be a while before you see it but the other I'll show you soon.

The second thing that happens is that everything in the yard starts growing and all the beds need cleaning and potted things need repotting.  I hate that kind of stuff because usually my allergies kill me when I do it but I'm well into allergy shots so after working outside since last Thursday at noon I'm happy to report I'm not sneezing or anything.  :)  Because of the terrible hot, dry summer we had here last year we'll be a long time in the yard but we've made a start!  One of the things we did was to cut the Rosemary way, way back.  It was trying to take over one of my beds by the deck.  I brought in some of it and put it in a vase because I love the way it smells.  Can you keep it a while in the house...I wonder.  I've never tried.
I have it sitting on my grandmother's treadle sewing machine, not that you can tell from this picture!

And just before I left for the retreat I made a quick little bib that I saw on a friend's blog.  Don't you just love this?  :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

One Thousand Blessings - Day 23

777.  Weekends with children and grandchildren
778.  Quilt retreats
779.  Bright colored new fabric
780.  Children carrying stuffed animals as big as they are
781.  Christian movies for children
782.  S'Mores
783.  Hamburgers cooked on the grill
784.  Family
785.  Warm spring days
786.  Dandelions - the first flower my children ever gave me
787.  Backpacks
788.  Gardens when the green just starts showing
789.  Nights warm enough to leave the windows open
790.  Birds who build nests in my carport (7 eggs!)
791.  Towels right out of the dryer
792.  Crispy bacon
793.  Monkey bread
794.  Orange pineapple juice
795.  PDF files
796.  Little fingerprints on the patio door
797.  A child sleeping in my lap
798.  Teenage girls the first time they wear makeup
799.  Burp pads
800.  Old pictures
801. A country cemetery
802.  Sandals
803.  Scrabble
804.  Dogwood trees
805.  Angels
806.  Children's books
807.  Shamrocks
808.  Sunday mornings
809.  Peace received through prayer
810.  Spring rain
811.  Covered porches