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.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Let There Be Light!

We got electricity about 7:00 tonight - just shy of a full four days!  I'm so thankful to the men and women who worked untold hours in the cold and sleet and rain to restore power for us.  

I need to take a little blog break for a few days to get things back in order at my house but when I return after the New Year I'll be posting all the "Neighbors" we're going to be visiting.  I was thrilled at everyone who wants to participate and get to know each other.  It will be like an old fashioned block party.  :)  See you in a few days!

Blog Buttons

I'm revamping my blog a bit for the new year.  Just cleaning out the old and bringing in the new - new blog hop buttons, new BOMs I'm going to participate in, etc.  If you're a follower of mine and would like for me to add your blog button to my sidebar just add a comment here and I'd love to do that - after all, you're one of my neighbors.  :)  If you don't understand that statement see this post.

And if you want to add my button - then please do.  It's on the right sidebar too!

Friday, December 28, 2012

No Electricity!

Arkansas gets one or two inches of snow every other year or snow.  Rarely does it stick.  Christmas afternoon it was 32 degrees and rained for about 3 hours.  Every drop of that froze on the trees and bushes!  Then it started snowing and here at my house we got about 8 inches.  Other parts of this area got up to 15 inches.  Our electricity went out at 10:00 Christmas night and has been out ever since.

We are toasty warm at my house because we have two fireplaces.  I have a gas stove in my kitchen and a gas hot water heater so we're able to cook and to shower, unlike many who have all electric homes.  We also have a generator that will run our refrigerator and freezer.  I've been able to charge my phone so I can read your comments and your e-mails on it and today we decided to boot up the computers for a few  minutes.  Only a few since I have to turn off the freezer when we do this!

There were about 200,000 without power Wednesday.  I'm not sure how many still are but the call I got from the energy company said we would get ours back NEXT TUESDAY.  Because we live "out in the county" and not in town we will get service last because there are so few people out here.

I'm not complaining, truly I'm not.  We are blessed to be warm and to have plenty of hot water and to be able to cook.  Once before in another house we had no power for 9 days and it was a total electric house.  That was brutal.  My daughter, who grew up in the age of technology, jokingly said "we reheated Christmas dinner on top of the stove last night - who knew you could reheat food without a microwave!"

I loved all the comments to my "Welcome To The Neighborhood" post (if you didn't read it, just click on the link and join us!) and as soon as the power is back I'll start posting blog names and addresses.  See you then!

(The view off my deck toward the lake.)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I Want To Get To Know You!

(Google Images)

Oh my goodness ya'll, I'm up to 592 followers!  It's going to be 600 before I know it and when that happens I'm going to have a giveaway.  I'll explore my sewing room and see what I can come up with that's wonderful.  :)  Meanwhile, many of you are following but either you don't comment or you don't comment very often.  It's like having friends in your neighborhood that you haven't really gotten acquainted with yet.  Don't worry, I'm not telling you that you have to comment - sometimes I don't comment on blogs I read either.  There's really not enough time for that!  But I would like to get to know you and I bet some of my other followers would too.  So let's do this.  Let's have a Welcome To The Neighborhood Party!  If you would like for me to visit, and for others who follow me to visit, then please comment on this post leaving me your first name (if you want to use it) or a nickname or whatever, along with your blog address.  Depending on how many we get I'll post those names and addresses for several days so you won't have to comb through my comments - maybe I'll post a half dozen a day or so.  Let's visit each other over these next few weeks as the holiday festivities wind down and life gets back to normal.  Whatever normal is.  :)  I want to get to know you!

And if you happen to be reading this but aren't a follower and want to join in, then please do so - just click on my follow button, add a comment on this post with your name and blog address, and I'll add you to the guest list!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Uploaded from Inspiration Laboratories

Friday, December 21, 2012

Betsy's Closet

I had hoped to get this one quilted before Christmas but it didn't happen so I can't wait any longer to show it off!
 The blocks are paper doll clothes!

Each of these blocks is hand embroidered - mostly done in the truck as we were traveling back and forth to Colorado in September.
 Oops...left a stray thread on this picture.  :(

I did this Stitch Along with some other bloggers - many of whom have completed theirs, quilting and all. This is next on my list though.  :)  Found that border fabric lurking in my stash and it was perfect I thought.  I even mitered it!  One of my granddaughters will get this one for her birthday but I bet her mother puts it up for her - otherwise it might get a bit of fingernail polish, glitter, chocolate, crayola marker, cookie crumbs, or mud on it.  Don't you just love little girls!  :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Recently I saw this darling pillow over at Sweet P Quilting (made by Paulette):

Is he not the cutest thing?  I thought I'd try my hand at making one so this is what I came up with:

I used flannel for the snowman and the borders, and pom pom trim to resemble snowballs.  I'm in love all over again!  I'm going to make a few more for gifts - they're really easy and fast too.  Don't you love the ideas you get from blogging friends?  I do!

Monday, December 17, 2012

December Book Reviews

Don't forget about the book reviews going on over at Sew We Quilt this month.  There are some great books that you're going to want to put on your must-read list, and there are lots of prizes!

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I've wanted to write something about last week but couldn't put it into words.  Every time my hand went to the computer keys my heart went into lockdown.  I cry at the craziest things and at nothing.  My brain won't focus.  Today I read the following, written by one of my daughters and thought she had said it the way I wanted to so I'm passing it on to you.  My husband and I were/are both teachers, as are all three of our children.  We are in the trenches following our hearts and using the gifts God gave us for working with children, doing what He calls us to do.  Tomorrow we will return to our schools.  Sadder, certainly.  Determined, more than ever.  Tomorrow we will hug another child, wipe the tears of those who weep, and watch all around us for danger.  But make no mistake, this will not keep us away.  Tomorrow we will return to school and we will  teach your children and love on them and show them that no matter what happens in their world there are people out there who will stand in the line of fire and protect them the very best that we can.  My heart weeps with those who lost loved ones in Connecticut and my prayers are that all over the world we put away our anger and come together in peace.

Show the children.

I really wasn't sure what would help me return to my past "efforts" at blogging, I even thought it likely I would never find the time so I would eventually give up. Today though, I feel a terrible desire to put my feelings down somewhere, anywhere about the massacre at Sandy Hook.

Friday began as a normal day for myself and my high school students. As the reports began to come through of the tragedy in Connecticut we shared information, shock and sorrow at the incomprehensible events that had taken place in another school - where life should have been as normal as ours. Some of my pupils immediately began to wonder aloud at "motive" while others verbalized their opinions that only mental illness would produce this type of behavior.. all though, were very, very heartbroken.

High school students - particularly those in an urban setting, often get a "bad rap" for being unrefined, indifferent and even violent. These are not the children I see. I see teenagers who weep at the news of slain elementary students. I see young adults who quickly want to find a "fix" for mental illness that would bring about such tragedy. I see human beings who will write letters, raise money and volunteer to help others in need - whether they know them personally or not.

I am so terribly, terribly sad today as I'm sure I will be for many days ahead - but want desperately to share with people that all the debate about gun control and school safety can and will have a time and place.. regardless of your stand on the issues. For now, remember there is an entire generation of amazing young people waiting to take over the running of our country... world even; and they need our leadership and modeling. Show them compassion for the mentally ill, show them how to make policy to help those in need, show them we can come together to mourn and support regardless of political party/opinion, religion or race.   And pray for us all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Right On Time

Thanksgiving Cactus?
Christmas Cactus?
Somewhere Inbetween Cactus!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saturday Thoughts While Quilting

In a couple of evenings after work this week I put together a jelly roll quilt top.  It's the third one I've made this way and I love the mindless stitching and the quick results.  You know the pattern, which is really no pattern at all - you sew the strips together end to end and then you take the two ends and start sewing again, and and then you do it again until you get to the final size.

Another evening I sandwiched it and today I quilted it.  I love this quilt for a myriad of reasons  - It's a great size for covering yourself while you read a book or watch a movie, it's very quick to put together, and you could go the easy route and buy a jelly roll or you could use your scraps and just cut 2 1/2" strips of your own choosing.  What's not to love about that, right?

I quilted this one with different size loops.  I've been doing my own machine quilting for a year or so now; maybe it's been two years...I really don't know...but mostly I do stippling because for some reason that seems easy to me.  I'm trying to branch out so today it was loops.  I have this problem with loops though.  I love them.  I love the graceful motion of swooping around and making a circle.  It reminds me of an ice skater making a figure eight.  Except there's one problem.  I drive too fast.  Yes, in my car too, but especially as I "swoop."  When you do that your stitches get longer and loonger and looonger.  And then you slow down and they get smaller and, well you probably get the picture.  I was sitting there lamenting the various sizes of my stitches when I remembered something my beautician told me recently.

I get my hair cut every four weeks and while I'm there she waxes my eyebrows.  One day I complained because one eyebrow was longer than the other.  She fixed it but then said, "you know, Marlene, your eyebrows are sisters but they're not twins."  Hello.  God made us all different.  Apparently He even made our eyebrows different.  Despite the unevenness of our eyebrows we are all beautiful.  What in the world makes me think all my stitches should be identical?  If they were all the same they might was well have been done solely by a machine without my guiding hand.  And it's my hands on that quilt that make it so special to the ones I gift them to.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Book Reviews

Today is the first day of the December book reviews on Sew We Quilt.

All of these reviews were written by women, about books written for women by women.  Try saying that fast three times!  It's a great way to check out some new books you might be interested in reading.  And there are lots of prizes!  Lots of great giveaways... from Reliable, Aurifil, Pellon, Bag Lady, Andover Fabrics and Purdy's Chocolates.  You won't want to miss even one day!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I Switched

My closet was getting a bit out of hand....meaning it was overflowing.  Both closets.  The problem with gaining and losing weight is that you must have two sizes of clothes at all times.  It's not that I have all that many clothes, just that I have two wardrobes.  One for 10 pounds lost, one for 10 pounds gained.  I have friends who have weighed the same since high school...what's up with that?  I haven't weighed the same that I did in high school since high school.  The first pregnancy killed that.  Back to my story.  I've been using those plastic hangers like department stores use on their racks.  After all every time I buy something they ask me - do you want the hanger - and I can get them home nice and unwrinkled so I say yes.  I have no idea why that's important since I launder them when I get them home anyway.  (The one time I didn't wash a blouse I was so allergic to the dye in it that I was sick as a dog the whole time I had it on!)  Those hangers multiplied.  And they're quite thick.  Maybe they've gained 10 pounds too.

My sister told me about these "skinny" hangers that take up less space in your closet.

I ordered mine from Amazon but I see them everywhere now.  They're skinny for sure and nothing slides off them so that's a good thing.  You can't yank your shirt off the hanger if you're in a hurry because they'll break pretty easily so that's the down side.  But they actually do take up less space and now my clothes aren't getting wrinkled from being stuffed in there.  (I didn't hang jeans/pants on them because I like the wire hangers the cleaners give you for that.  Can you see a pattern here...liking things people give me?)

Now if someone out there can just tell me how to make my fabric be skinnier for storage I'll be ever so grateful.  Because no matter what I do, how I fold it, or hang it, or yell at still takes up lots of space!  And don't tell me to get rid of some of it.  That would be cruel.  Even if it's fat, I love it.