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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

An Older Woman's Best Advice For Younger Women

I've spent a lot of time alone in my apartment here at the mission the last few weeks.  That leads to way too much thinking.  These are a few random thoughts about things I need to tell my daughters if I haven't already, or I need to tell them again...and again.

1.  Do your Kaegel exercises three times a day faithfully.  If you don't know how, read this article from The Mayo Clinic.    Read it even if you think you know how - some of you (including me) are doing it wrong!  Please trust me on this...if you will do these exercises you will be going strong when other women are bemoaning their aging bladder.  (pun intended)

2.  Tell everyone that you love, that you love them every single day, or at least a couple of times a week if they're far away.  Call them, text them, tweet them, facebook them, or tell them face-to-face, but tell them.  You never know when it will be the last time you tell them.

3.  For every child you have, use that  many Bibles.  Write in them, underline in them, mark dates and events in them.  When you are gone every one of them is going to want "your" Bible (I bet you remember who got Grandma's Bible if you didn't!).  Rotate them so that you use them're leaving a legacy.  If you don't use a Bible find other books that inspire you and have one for each child.

4.  Train up a husband in the way he should go.  :)  Early in your marriage ask him to please hold hands with you any time you're walking together - it needs to be a habit whether he thinks it's manly or not.  Later you will need the support.  :)  Ask him to open car doors for you and help you put on your coat.  These are little things that you will treasure in your heart when the first blush of marriage fades.  I know you can do those things yourself....but let him treasure you in this way.  It helps to keep romance alive when body parts fail you.  :)

5.  Become the wife who responds to the above.  And no I don't mean bedroom stuff.  I mean the little things....make his favorite dessert, tell him to have a wonderful time when he wants to take a boy's trip (golfing, fishing, etc.), and don't make him wear matching shirts.  There's a story behind that matching shirts statement...I'd tell you to ask my husband, but he won't remember it since we were only 18 when I thought that would be the ultimate statement of our undying love for each other.

6.  As much as you are able feed your children organic foods.  You might not be able to buy completely organic but buy what you can.  It's important to their life-long health.

7.  Store brand foods are often as good as or better than name brand.  Make a habit of trying a store brand to try for yourself.  If you don't like it, don't buy it again.  But if you do then over your lifetime you'll save enough to take a cruise.  Well maybe not quite that much, but a new pair of shoes for sure, and a girl can never have too many shoes.

8.  You've heard it before but it's really true - you need girlfriends.  Women need women to encourage each other and to listen to each other.  Do what you must to maintain those friendships - put it on your calendar along with the dentist, the dog groomer, etc.

9.  Have a  mammogram once a year.  Don't skip it, don't put it off, and don't even moan and groan about it.  And immediately after it's done go to your Gynecologist and do that yearly exam.  Your children need you to be healthy so do it for them if not for yourself.

10.  Society will tell you that a size two is the only beautiful size.  Society is sick and wrong.

I'm pretty sure some of you out there could add to this list.  If you'll put it in a comment we'll all learn from your wisdom.  And hey, don't some of you younger women have some advice for those of us who are a little more mature?  That would make an interesting post, don't you think?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Learning New Things

I don't learn new things easily these days.  I think my brain is completely full...can that happen?  I really do want to take better pictures so I've read lots of tutorials, but it just doesn't seem to "take."  Tracy at The Journey posted some great tips today on this post.  I went for a walk this afternoon and tried out a couple and this is what I came up with:

Well I didn't exactly have to take a walk to take that last picture.  :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How Did I Get Here?

I just turned on my computer and tried to go to  I've done that 5 million times.  But now it says I can't get there from an IFrame.  How in heaven's name did get on and IFrame?  I don't even know what an IFrame is.  :)  Anyone know the answer to this?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

An Ash Wednesday Prayer

May God, who has forgiven us, make us strong for these days ahead.
May Jesus lead us, and we be found faithful to follow.
May the Spirit purify our hearts for all to see and be blessed. Amen.

(apologies...I don't know the author)

Monday, February 20, 2012


A friend loves at all times....
Proverbs 17:17

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I Wonder....

If we should start building an ark.....

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Random Post With No Pictures

1.  It's Saturday.  It's raining buckets of water and little ponds are springing up all over the campus.  We had a tornado watch for a while but that has passed us by, thank goodness.  Despite the weather one of the local residents brought lunch to those of us who are "long term" volunteers.  They were having a family gathering and thought of us - they plated up grilled chicken, red beans and rice, rolls, and cake.  And then apologized because they didn't bring forks!  As you can imagine it was delicious and we had a wonderful time eating together and visiting without thoughts of work calling us back to our duties.

2.  In Bible study this week we've read about spiritual gifts.  It was a great reminder that each of us has gifts, different from everyone else.  Too many times we women say..."oh I can't do anything special" but the fact is that who we are is unique and special.  I remember one time teaching a women's Sunday School class - the class was for "older" women and I was at least 40 years younger than anyone in the class.  We talked about gifts and one woman said over and over that she had no gift.  Finally another spoke up and said "you make the best banana nut bread ever and you always share it!"  Banana nut bread might seem to be a simple thing but when taken to someone who is needing to be lifted up, it can be everything.

3.  A friend's son became suddenly ill on Tuesday and his father was told to say his goodbyes.  Twenty four hours later this young man was off the ventilator and chatting with his mother.  An answer to prayer?  Certainly.  But it was a reminder to me that I must cherish every single moment that I have with people I love. I know it but too often, in my busy-ness, I forget it.   I want to focus on the moments I have with them, whether in person, on the phone, in a text message, or in an e-mail.  I want to be sure they know that I love them - let there be no doubt.  It's up to me to make that happen.

4.  I love Google.  It allows me to have a blog, completely free to me, so that I can read and write and share with people all over the world.  I am grateful for all that they do.  Well, not all.  The new word verification doesn't work for me.  My eyes aren't bad for someone my age - my distance vision is still quite good but of course I have to have readers.  I wear one pair for the computer and another for reading.  No matter which pair I put on nothing helps with the new word verification.  So if you use that feature on your blog please let me apologize right now that you won't get many comments from me.  It's not because I don't want to, it's simply because I can't.

5.  I have every intention of staying inside all weekend and enjoying the rain being outside.  But if tomorrow proves to have better weather I'll be attending another Mardi Gras Parade after church.  Let the bead throwing...and catching...begin!  I hope your weekend is one filled with people you love and lots of laughter.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bloom Where You're Planted

I know this isn't a great picture but can you see that the trunk of the tree comes out of the ground on the left and instead of growing up it grew along the ground all the way over to the far right.  It's really fascinating to see the way it curves - it has branches growing up all along the trunk.  It has responded to storms and winds and circumstances by adapting itself so that it could survive.  When I saw it I couldn't help but think of that old adage, "bloom where you're planted."

And that made me think of quilters.  Okay that came out of left field didn't it?  :)  But don't we do that when we make quilts sometimes.  We start out with an idea and as we begin to put pieces together and see colors next to each other we like them or we don't and we go off in a different direction than we originally planned.  I can't tell you how many times I've chosen a pattern and all the fabrics I thought would work but then I start cutting and laying them out and all of a sudden I think of another piece of fabric that would look good in a certain spot so I substitute.  And then I think oh I'd love some flying geese in this spot instead of four patches, or I'll do a piano key border instead of an appliqued one.  When I was teaching we called it "monitor and adjust".  But whether it's blooming where we are planted or monitoring and adjusting to time and circumstances we end up, like the unusual tree above, with a beautiful, unique piece that satisfies something in our souls.

So why is it that when we do this blooming we second guess ourselves, wondering if others will like what we've made?  Why is it that we can look at what others have made and see the uniqueness and the beauty and we can't see it in our own work?  Or, sadly, all too often, in ourselves?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Simple Quilt

I had big plans to sew every night while I was here at the mission but that hasn't happened.  Most days I've just been too tired to do much of anything but scan a few blogs, read a page or two in my current book, and talk to my husband of course.  But last weekend I sat down and put together this simple nine patch quilt top. These are the nine patches Mother and I hand pieced the last few months she was with us so they're very special to me.  I added the sashing and cornerstones.

I've also worked some on a wool piece I've shown you before.  I'm pretty close to finishing the embroidery on this; I've already finished the blanket stitching on the individual pieces.  This table topper is from Primitive Gatherings.

These trees need branches and leaves and there are a couple of fences still to be done.  Then I'll add a bit of grass and flowers and I'll be ready to put the back on it.

I love working with wool...the needle just glides through it like it isn't even there.  The blanket stitch is super simple and the repetitiveness is soothing.  But mostly it's the colors that suck me in - the richness of hand dyed wool is amazing; even wool that comes from recycled clothing has wonderful texture and subtle color changes that make every piece of it different.  Can you tell I'm hooked on wool?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My First Mardi Gras Parade

Today a friend and I drove over to a town near here to take in my first Mardi Gras Parade.  Jeanerette is quite small but is a very friendly place - I attended church there this morning and had a wonderful welcome.  And the parade today was, despite the cold north wind that took my breath, lots of fun.  I came home with this loot that was thrown by all the people on the floats.
Throwing beads and candy it seems is a tradition for Mardi Gras.

I love small town parades - it seems almost as if more people are in it than are there to see it.  :)  There are beautiful floats:
And marching bands:

And dancing groups:
And beautiful cars:
And a high school ROTC group carrying our flag:
I think there must be a bit of child still alive in me - I can hardly wait until Tuesday when there will be another parade, this one here in the town where the mission is.  It brought back fond memories of the parades when I was a little all seemed so grand to me then. I watched the children on the sidewalk today.  Their eyes were big as saucers and they laughed out loud as they raced to pick up the candy and toys.  I love their innocence and their unbridled joy.  Do you love a parade?

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I had every intention of posting much sooner after I arrived here at Sager Brown in south Louisiana.  After all I would have plenty of time - I don't have to cook since I eat in the cafeteria and I just have a small apartment so there's not much to clean which means I have lots of time, right?  Wrong!  The job I'm doing here is a new one to me and there's lots to learn.  My boss said I looked like a deer caught in the headlights.  :)  I don't think it was quite that bad but I surely was tired at the end of the day - so tired that at the end of the first day by 8:00 I was ready for bed!

I must admit I'm terribly confused, or discombobulated as my grandmother would have said.  It's this crazy weather!  I know some of you are having winter, like Denver who had like a million inches of snow this week, but down here it's full blown spring.  Everything's blooming!  Like these beautiful flowers I saw on my walk yesterday:

It was so warm last week that I had to run the air conditioner several days.  I wasn't prepared for that - I brought sweatshirts and sweaters, not tee shirts!  Thank goodness a cold front went through yesterday and the high today is supposed to be 60.  Oops, it was 61 when I got up so I guess the weather guy missed it.  :)

But never fear I didn't let the week pass without doing some sewing.  I keep my embroidery on the couch beside me so I get a few stitches in when I sit down to watch television in the evenings.
And yesterday I got my Featherweight out and started added the sashing to Mother's Nine Patches.
That's not much space to sew on but it certainly works and makes me appreciate my sewing room all the more.

And for those of you who like chocolate covered cherries - you really must try the new Cherry M&Ms.  That just happens to be a bowl of them hiding back there on the back of the table.  Yumm!