Category Archives: Faith and Religion

Remembering 2019

The end of the year is a time for remembering and looking forward.  While there were many blessings in the past year, I must admit it was not the best year I’ve ever had what with spending so much time in doctors’ offices and in the hospital. Having a pacemaker put in was not on the top of my list of fun things to do, but it was a last resort sort of thing so I did it.

But now that is all past and just  a memory as I look back on Christmas and the wonderful times we had with friends and family.

We had Thanksgiving with family and friends. This is our oldest son’s girlfriend’s son with his dog, Annie. Annie is so cute. I made her some scarves for Christmas.

My son and his girlfriend. They love Disney World and last year they had a season pass to it and were down there almost every week it seemed.

The tree was up with the help of two of our grandsons.

These two are growing up way too fast.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.  I knit 24 pairs of stocking this year and I’ve already started for next year.   I just let everyone pick out the ones they like.

I was gifted this beautiful Christmas cactus. I saw one on Facebook that was one hundred years old and had been in the same family all that time. It was huge.  I’m not sure this one will make it that long, but I hope I can manage to keep it going until next year.

This was our front entry this year. I bought the cubby at an antique store and it held a lot of my smaller Santas and other paraphernalia.

My daddy made all the little wooden houses and the church years ago. He use to make them and sell them and they were quite popular.  I made the trees from a pattern I found on Ann Wood’s blog.  She’s a very talented and creative artist who provides free patterns as well as selling them on her blog.

Packages under the tree and I just love the way the sunlight comes in this window in the Winter.  This is the room I most often am in, cutting out quilts or knitting or just watching tv.  It’s not the warmest room in this old house though.

While hurrying to make gifts, wrap gifts and prepare for the holidays, I  sewed this pillow from a dish towel I bought in Nashville.  I don’t know why I always have the urge to sew something entirely not to do with Christmas when I’m right in the middle of the hustle and bustle, but I always do.  I think it’s my way of calming myself because sometimes the days can get hectic. I really tried this year to slow down, take it easy and just enjoy the real reason for the season.  I tried reading the entire book of Luke in the Bible. There are 24 chapters and if you read a chapter a day before Christmas, you’d get the full story of Jesus and why He was born and how He died for everyone.   I didn’t get it all read, but I’ve read it countless times before so I know the story.

This is the time of gray, cloudy days, but we have had some beautiful sunsets.  I can’t get a picture of just how beautiful this one was, but it was gorgeous.  This is our lone tree we have that was left after our neighbor cut down all the trees on his property. This one set right on the property line and I asked him not to cut this one down.  This makes me think of that one scene from Gone With the Wind where Scarlette and her father are talking about the land and Tara is in silhouette.

I did most of our shopping online this year and I think I found some very good presents for my loved ones.

David likes to play Santa.  He wears this hat at his workplace and all the children think he’s the real one.  True story. We were in line at Wal-mart and there was a little boy about three years old sitting in a cart in front of us and he was eyeing David up and down and then he blurted out, ” You’re not the real Santa Claus!”  His mother was so embarrassed, but David looked at him for a few seconds and then said, “No, I am not. I’m one of his helpers.”  Well, that little boy just kept starring at him.   It was so cute.  David gets a kick out of things like this.

He also likes to play Santa at our family Christmas gift giving.

He surprised me Christmas Eve with this….

Flowers that I used for a centerpiece on our table.

I love watching the grandkids opening their presents. The big hit this year were woolen hats with beards attached.

Oh, my.

Our daughter’s son thought she ought to wear one of the beards, soooo….

She did!  Everyone had fun with them.

He looks like he belongs to the group ZZ Top.  And guess what movie we are watching on tv.

Our granddaughter got a beret. She looks so cute in it.

This is an alarm clock that has a sonic boom sound when it goes off. It can also shake your bed. I bet this will make my grandson popular in his dorm at college next year!  Ha!

I always seem to get a chicken themed gift every year.  I don’t know why?!

So, Christmas is over for another year. Sometimes I wish it would last longer and that the days before were not so hectic.   I’m going to try to buy gifts throughout the year so that I won’t be scrambling for gifts a week before Christmas.  I believe Christmas has become way too commercialized and I want to get away from that and focus more on what it means.  It’s like no other day.

So the new year is here and already almost a week old.    We did some antiquing yesterday at one of my favorite antique stores.

We found this little buggy. David thinks it was for some rich little girl’s dolls at one time. Part of it is missing, but I thought it would be something I could decorate for Christmas next year. And it fits right in with our old house.

The little Radio flyer wagon behind my snowmen was another find.  This is my small collection of snowmen I put out after Christmas.

I found this little snowman at the antique store.

A friend gave me this Jim Shore snowman years ago and I love him.

I also found some red fabric at a booth where  the lady sells all things to do with quilting and sewing. I have found a lot of fabric at her booth.  I just completed a quilt with flannel backing from flannels I found in her booth and I’ll probably be back for more.

January brings seed catalogs. Even deep in Winter one can dream about the garden.

I’m thinking I want to try to grow pumpkins again.  My last try was a bust.

So many kinds to choose from. If I had a lot of acres, I’d plants lots of pumpkins.

So I hope the new year will be good to you.  I hope your dreams will come true and God will pour all His blessings on you and your household. Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Night Before

Every year it comes.  No matter who were are, what we believe. Whether we celebrate or not.  Whether you know who Jesus is or you don’t. Christmas will come.  The world cannot stop it.  Some have tried by blocking people from saying, “Merry Christmas,” but that isn’t what the season is about anyway.  If no one ever said “Merry Christmas again, it would still come. It would come if there were only one person who believed.

It would come because it’s not about the tree, the tinsel, the presents, the huge meals. It would come if there were no Santa, because he really isn’t the reason that makes Christmas so special.  It would come even if you wish it wouldn’t.

Christmas. What is it about this one holiday that makes people so happy or sad?  Some people are sadder this season than at any other time I have read.  Some people love Christmas and everything about it and there are even Facebook pages celebrating the day where people talk all year about it and can’t wait for it to come again. It’s just one day, but it feels different for some reason.  It’s a day like no other. No holiday is more cherished than Christmas. No holiday has evoked so many memories, good or bad for millions of people.

Just what is it about Christmas that causes some people to pine for it and some people to dread it?

I know when I was growing up Christmas was a feeling that started for me right after Thanksgiving after we had spent that holiday at my aunt’s house with all my brothers and my sister and cousins. We would watch the Macy’s parade on tv and when Santa Claus would appear we knew Christmas season had begun.   Then it became a time when my mother would begin her candy making and cookie baking.  My mother sewed red flannel stockings for her Sunday School class and filled them with all the good things she had made topped off by a gingerbread man with raisin eyes and buttons and with icing piped all around the edges.  I remember helping her put on the raisin eyes and buttons and how all the gingerbread men looked all lined up on the kitchen counter.  The children loved getting their stockings.

There was shopping in the city. Going to a store called Veaches where their whole basement floor was filled with toys of all kinds.  Trains and dolls and games and bicycles.  One year I looked at a blue Schwin bicycle and wished with all my might that Santa would bring me one just like it.  My baby brother and I would walk around with our eyes aglow seeing all the wonderful things that we could only imagine having.

At church we began  to sing all the Christmas carols.  “O Come All Ye Faithful,”  Silent Night,”
“Joy to the World,”  “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”  I loved those carols and still do to this day as they tell about the birth of the Savior on Christmas Day.

There was excitement at school as we practiced for the Christmas program.  Our music teacher would take a classroom of children, most with little talent, and turn us into little performers for our parents’ delight.   Christmas trees were in every room.  Every class had a party.  My mother was room mother one year and she brought little  Spritz Christmas trees made with her cookie press and squares of ice cream.  We had drawn names for gifts and one year I got a Raggedy Ann book and one year a necklace.  It was all so much fun.    The excitement was palpable as we children could hardly contain ourselves waiting for the “Day.”  I don’t know how the teacher got any teaching done that last day of school before the holidays and when the final bell rang we children ran out to the buses or to walk home with smiles on our faces shouting, “Merry Christmas!” to one another.

The days before Christmas were busy with wrapping presents, baking cookies, making popcorn balls and playing board games like Monopoly.  Some of our Monopoly games would go on for days.  We’d attend the Christmas program at church where the children would sing and the choir would sing and there was a wonderful, warm feeling as I sat there with my parents and heard the old, old story once again how a virgin became pregnant with God’s only Son who was born in the tiny town of Bethlehem. How there was no room at the inn for the new family so they had to bunk down in a stable with all the animals. How the shepherds heard the angels, singing God’s praises, on the hills where they were guarding the sheep. How the three Wise Men came with their precious gift of gold, frankincense and myrrh, gifts fit for a king because Jesus was a king.   I would listen in awe and wonder why God would send His Son down just for us.  I didn’t understand the full story for a while.  All I knew was that it was special and Christmas was special because of this story.

So as we sit here on Christmas Eve waiting for yet another Christmas, my only hope and prayer is that more and more people will learn and understand just why Christmas is such a special time.  It was a time when God came down.  That God who loves us all so much He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16.

I don’t know how you are spending Christmas. I don’t know how you feel about Christmas. All I know is Jesus is for everyone. Every single person reading this. Every single person in the world, no matter what religion or race.  This Christmas, if you haven’t already, make room in your heart for Him.  Make your heart the inn this Christmas.  God bless you all and Merry Christmas.

 

November, Already! But I Digress

Remember putting your brand new calendar up for 2019?  A lot of people don’t even have calendars anymore, depending on their Smart phones for all their information.  I still love having calendars because of the pretty pictures or dog pictures or chicken pictures and I can see in a second what day it is and I can write meetings and appointments and birthdays on them to help me remember things.

But I digress.  Doesn’t it seem like this year has gone amazingly fast? It seems like just a year ago President Trump was inaugurated and here he will be starting his last year of his first term.  What a lot has happened in our country since he became our president.   I am looking forward to election year.  I’ve always loved to vote and have not missed any major elections since I could. I have already got a sign in mind that I will paint and put up later next year.  When Trump was running the first time I painted a sign that read,  “Trains Toot, Toot for Trump!”  because trains toot right in front of our house so I thought I’d take advantage of it.  I could tell which engineers were really for Trump by how loud and long they tooted their horn. It was funny.  I know some reading this don’t like President Trump much, but you got to have fun.  Now tell me, really, is there any Democrat contender right now that you could have fun with?  They all are so unhappy and angry and I don’t hear one of them saying what they would do to help this country. They just tell us how much money they are going to take away and give to others. I won’t even start on the gun confiscation.

But, I digress again because politics was not at all what I was going to write about. I know it turns a lot of people off. Me, I could talk politics all day and not get angry at anyone who disagrees with me. It’s a free country.  At least for now.  I’m trying to write about the passage of time  It does seem to be going faster and faster and when I hear young people say how time is flying I believe something is up.  I just think it was January 2019 just a very short while ago and now here it is, November and Thanksgiving time and soon Christmas, then Valentine’s Day, etc. I wonder if it’s because the stores rush us through the seasons that it seems they go faster?   After all Christmas things have been in the stores since last month.  I imagine there are people who have their Christmas shopping already done.   Sometimes I want to just stop time for a little bit so I can enjoy the time I’m in.  I look at my grandchildren and just yesterday they were tiny and now they are grown or half grown and I feel a little sad for those baby days when I could hold them on my lap although my 18 year old and 14 year old  grandsons still crawl up on my lap and put their heads on my shoulder and I love every second of it and hope they will do that when they are grown men and I’m sitting in a nursing home.    They can squash me, I don’t care.   I don’t see any of my grandchildren enough, but they all are in school and sports and have jobs so their time is precious to them.   But time is catching up to all of them. And I don’t have all that much time left on this earth.  I’ve lived way over half my life now so each day Is a blessing.

Time is a funny thing. What is time? We try to measure it in hours and minutes and seconds, but it depends on what is happening in your life whether that time goes quickly or slowly.  How slow is time when you are in the hospital wanting to go home?  That same time flies when you are with people you love and you are doing something fun or exciting.   Why is that?

Do you feel time is fleeting?  Do you find yourself cherishing every minute?  We all have eternal souls and one day those souls will be spending time somewhere.  I believe in the afterlife, Heaven and that Jesus will one day welcome me there.  I have no fear of death at all. It’s just falling asleep and waking up into eternity.  It’s where you spend your eternity that you should think about.  As someone told me after her husband died. He’s just in the next room. Just a thin barrier between them that will one day be broken.

So enjoy the time you have no matter how long or short.    We all only have so much time on this beautiful earth so make the most of it. Live, love and pray to God.  Thank Him for He created time.  And He created eternity just for you. Bye.

This has been a picture free post. Pictures coming later.

Finally Complete

About a month ago we started our final major renovation of our old house. I say final with some regret although we have done pretty much all we can do to this old house.  There is a full size attic that could be made into a wonderful room, but that would entail building new stairs and a whole lot of extra mess that I am not prepared to deal with.  So the construction part of this old house is pretty much done. We have a new kitchen, new wood floors, an addition added years ago that included a combination bathroom and laundry. And this year we remodeled that room as it was 36 years ago we added it.  I sometimes wonder why I enjoy remodeling so much because when we are in the middle of it I want to pull my hair out because I don’t do messes too well. Yet, when it’s finished, I’m always happy.

I have shown our new screened in porch. Since we’ve had it built, it’s rained almost every day.   We have had the rainiest June that I can remember. The farmers have not been able to get a lot of their crops in and I feel for them.   We had yet another gully washer the other day.

It is nice to sit on the porch and hear the rain coming down on the metal roof.  I plan to sleep out here sometime this Summer.

The new bathroom/laundry room has turned out even better than I could imagine.

It began with the tearing out of the old shower which was a tub/shower enclosure.  Our contractor, who put the original bathroom in, was looking forward to doing his good work on this room again.

I really love this floor and it fits right in with the décor of this old house.

Because I am a quilter, I loved this tile when I saw it at Lowes and chose it for the floor of the shower.

The shower is a good deal larger than the original which we like.

It’s a small room, but seem roomier since we moved the sink.

I have wanted a pedestal sink ever since we bought this house over forty-two years ago and I never got one, so this was a must this time and I love this sink.

We purchased a new washer and dryer which  I had to do some studying on how to use them. First time I tried the washer I “accidentally” hit the delay start button and had to wait an hour and a half before the first load would wash. But I’ve learned now and that won’t happen again.

We gave away our old washer and dryer and I advertised them on Facebook for free and who should contact me but the baby sister of my best friend in grade school.  She lives an hour and a half away from us and said she could pick them up. She was getting them for her ninety-two year old mother.  I hadn’t seen her since she was a little girl when I use to go to her house to play with her older sister. Sometimes I’d ride my horse over to their house and spend an afternoon playing in their barn.   So she and her brother, who I also played with, came over to get the washer and dryer.  It was so nice seeing them.

 

It was so nice to see them both and of course, none of us have changed one bit!

She is still a cutie.  When she was little, she was just a pest to us older kids!

I was so glad someone I knew got the washer and dryer.

Last, but not least, this is the lighting in our new bathroom. I really like Edison lightbulbs and this gives the room a bright, warm light. And yes, the walls are pink which I didn’t think was the color when I picked it, but it’s a soft pink so David can live with it.   I thought it was going to be a more pinkish beige, but my record at picking out paint colors has not always been so good.

Just a note about the tests I had the other day. I had a complete heart catherization and the doctor said my heart had no blockages and he found nothing wrong. It still leaves us with the mystery of why I get so breathless, so next week I’m having a chest x-ray and a scan to check my lungs.  I’m beginning to feel like a pin cushion and lab rat.   Just a little story when David and I were waiting for me to go into the operating room I told him my guardian angel was sitting in the chair beside me. They put one of those automatic blood pressure cuffs on my arm which I hate because they always hurt my arm. So, this time I asked my guardian angel to slip his thumb between my arm and cuff every time it started to tighten and do you know, it helped and it didn’t hurt this time!  God gives His angels charge over us and it never hurts to ask them for help.  If you prayed for me, I thank you.  I do believe in answered prayers.

David is taking the whole month of July off and we will be here, there and everywhere and have planned some things with grandboys so my blogging will probably take a back seat.  Have a Happy July 4th and God bless America.  Bye.

 

Feeling Good?

How are you feeling today?  Do you have some aches and pains that are bothering you?  Do you have something on your mind that causes you problems?  Do you have a physical impairment getting you down?   Whatever you have or are suffering, you are very probably not alone.  Health is a funny thing. When you have it, you don’t treasure it as you should and when you don’t have it, you despair of ever having it again.   And if you regain your health, you are happy for a time and then start taking it for granted again.

I try to never take good health for granted any longer.  For the past two years I have been battling something and no doctor seems to know exactly what. I’ve had just about every test conceivable for my heart and the doctors tell me my heart is healthy, although I do have some extra beats in one chamber.   I feel tired and breathless a lot of the time and I can drop asleep at the well, drop of a hat!   I can’t remember a day for a long time where I got up with a lot of energy and pep.   I do get a lot of things done most days, but it can be a real drag on occasion.   Maybe it’s these dark, rainy days we have had lately. Ever since the builders started work on our screened in porch, it’s rained almost every day. It’s raining right now. Is there a man named Noah building an ark somewhere? I am soaked from going out and feeding and watering all the chickens.  The chickens don’t seem to mind the rain at all.  The yard is green and the flowers are all in bloom, so they like it, too, but I sure could use a little sunshine right now.

As for the screened in porch, it’s much bigger than I thought it would be.  We could hold a dance on it and have plenty of room. We have talked about David building a swing bed for it so we could sleep outdoors when we want.   I am so looking forward to decorating the porch with a rug, screens and lights.  Everyone tells us we are going to love our porch because the bugs won’t be able to get in and bother us and we can sit there even when it’s raining.   I’m sure we will enjoy it if it ever gets finished with all the rain we are having.  The roofer came and went yesterday and still no roof on it.   I should be out in my shop doing some quilting, but I’m no in the mood.   After sewing all those mug rugs for the women’s dinner at church, I felt a little burned out.  I’m wanting to get into the garden and transplant some flowers and I still have flower seeds to plant and a new bed to make for in front of the porch.

Finally got some pictures of the new porch to show you.

This was just the beginning.  Like I wrote, it’s rained every day since they started so the process has been slow.

Then the floor and the walls were built. See, the floor is wet from the rain!

Then the rafters. This is where it really begins to look like a porch.

The overseer says things are going as planned.  Poor Belle and Molly. They have been penned up for days because the workers have to leave the gate open to get in and out with things so the dogs are penned up while they are here. They will love it when the work is all done. They still have a bathroom to remodel. Thirty-six years ago this same contractor built our bathroom downstairs. Until that time, this old house had one bathroom for five people upstairs. Built in the 1950’s!   I know because when they tore out the old toilet that was the date on it.  We really needed a second bathroom then.  Now he is remodeling the one he built years ago.

Molly and Belle enjoying freedom for a time.

Roof is still not finished, but they may do it tomorrow, I’m told.

The porch is a whole lot bigger than I imagined it would be.

Other things have been happening.  The ladies at my church had a brunch last Saturday.  The theme was “Wonderfully Made by God.”  They used some of my quilts on the tables.

My chicken quilt. One of my favorites of all the ones I’ve made.

Tables were set with the church’s best china.  It was a pitch-in. I made cinnamon rolls.

The little mug rugs I made were placed under the coffee cups and everyone took one home.  I really had fun making these and have a few left. I made forty-two of them altogether. The speaker talked about how we are like unfinished quilts, but God has a plan for us and is making us into what he wants us to be if we let Him.  We may look unfinished to the world, but God has a plan and He’s working it all the time.

One of our grandsons had his Spring instrumental concert this past week.  All the fifth and sixth graders in all the elementary schools in their town gathered at one of the high schools to play a concert.

The gymnasium was full and parents and grandparents packed the seats.

I am so proud of this boy and am so glad he is taking an instrument.   Next year both he and his younger brother will be playing.

It takes concentration to play an instrument.   Makes me want to take up the violin again.

We thoroughly enjoyed being there and went out to eat afterward with them.

Here’s a picture of the little screen door I bought at the antique show a couple of weeks ago.

The real doors look exactly like this and I have a larger metal star just like the one on this door. It will hang on a wall in our new porch.

Hope you are feeling fine and having some sunshine where you are. I don’t remember what the sun looks like!  Ha.  Have a great weekend. David and I are having a Friday night date night. Something we haven’t done in a while. Dinner and a movie. Going to see Poms about older women who form a cheer leading squad. Should be funny.

Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

I know I sound like a recording, but isn’t the time flying?  It’s almost Valentine’s Day already and we were just celebrating the New Year.  When I hear young people say the time is passing quickly, then I don’t know what to say because if it’s passing quickly for them there is something happening to the space time continuum of planet earth.  I often wonder if God is speeding time up for Jesus’ coming as He looks upon us and sees the evil that is in people’s minds and actions. I can hardly bear to read the news or listen to it anymore.

I also believe at times that I live in an alternate universe from many people.  I don’t understand a lot of people a lot of the time.  Maybe they feel that way about me.  I don’t know. Of course, my husband tells me I am weird all the time.  The last time I visited my doctor, he called me weird because of how my body reacted to the medicine he says helps everyone else.  So, maybe I am weird! But I’m a happy weird.

Well, that is about as deep as I’m going to get today. Just something to think upon and wonder about.  I try to live each day with joy and hope and I know how it all ends, so I’m not afraid.

I’ve had so many projects going on and many more I want to do before the warm weather gets here and I will want to be outside in the fresh air playing with my dogs. They have been rather neglected in these cold and rainy days.   They have been spending a lot of time in my shop with me, listening to my radio talk shows, ha, and watching me cut out Bullseye quilts.  I am addicted to Bullseye quilts. I think I am because I love going through all my fabric and finding material that will go together to make a block, knowing I will cut that block into four pieces along with many other blocks and then sew all those parts together to make a pretty amazing looking quilt.  And I am discovering fabric I had forgotten about, so that’s a plus, too. It’s almost like Christmas when I find a forgotten fabric.  I made a pillow with a four of the blocks.

I love this pillow way too much. I had had it on the couch for a couple of weeks  David just noticed it!   My very observant husband.

How can one miss this bright and colorful pillow!   I’m going to make some more. Maybe give some away.  I have a Christmas Bullseye quilt almost all cut out.  Like I said, I’m addicted.

And wonderful things have been coming in the mail. I read Mary Etherington’s blog over on Country Threads Chicken Scratch. Mary and her friend, Connie use to have a quilt shop in northwestern Iowa called Country Threads. They wrote many patterns, some of which I sold in our store, Craig’s Vac and Sew, years ago. They closed the store several years ago, but still write patterns and they have a book out right now that I ordered.

I was so excited when this package arrived.

With the cutest little return label.

And a wonderful book inside.

Here’s Mary and Connie.

They are very good friends and were superstars in the quilting world years ago.  I met Mary, the one in glasses, years ago when we traveled through Garner, Iowa going out west. I wanted to visit their quilt shop. It was wonderful, but the best part was I got to meet Mary as the quilt shop was located on her farm.  You know you see someone who is famous in their field and you wonder if they are as nice as they appear in their pictures. Well, Mary is the nicest person you could ever wish to meet. She welcomed me and showed me around the farm. I’m sure she doesn’t remember me, but she had a hurt arm or shoulder and I grabbed her and hugged her before I realized it and she was so nice about it even though I probably caused her great pain.

I felt like I did when I saw the Beatles.  Mary was that famous in my eyes.  Their patterns sold very well in our store and I have made so many quilts from them. If you want the book, go over to her blog and I think you can still order it.  And they sign the ones you buy from them.

I’m just saying. Superstars!  I plan to make several quilts from this book.

I got more flower seeds.  I honestly don’t know where I am going to plant them all as my garden is pretty full already, but I will stick them in somewhere.

Zinnias are one of my top five favorite flowers to raise. Just toss the seeds in the ground and in a few weeks you have a wonderful display of blooms.

And I got some more fabric.

Just some basics to use in my Bullseye quilts.

And last, but certainly not least I got more yarn.

It came in a bag that had this on the front.

And each skein of yarn had a yarn marker attached.

An extra little bonus.  I will be ordering from this business again.

Her yarns are amazing.  And fun to knit up.

Years ago our city had a major flood. They called it the hundred year flood because in theory it only happens every one hundred years.  But this week, people were getting worried as the rains kept falling for hours and hours.  We drove past a park in town and this is what we saw.

I’ve climbed that tower from which you can see the downtown.

The amphitheater where shows and bands perform. Not going to right now.

The playground.  Many years ago before this park came into existence, there were people who lived down by the river in shanties.  I have seen pictures from years ago of those shanties flooded. Finally, the city moved all the people and put in this park that gets flooded every so often because the river runs right by it.

Friends of mine, who lost everything in the last flood, were getting concerned and I didn’t blame them. It was looking scary for a while, but finally the rains stopped and the sun came out and the water is receding.   Today it is snowing and sleeting.

My church helps support a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Every year we are given baby bottles to fill with money to give to the center.  I am always happy to contribute because they are saving babies’ lives there and with what we see in the news today, we must continue to fight for and protect the unborn.

I am glad my church participates in this. I pray for all the babies.

My chickee-poos are still laying during this crazy weather.  We get just enough eggs for us right now.  I must show you the one a hen laid.  She certainly gave her all.

Almost as big as a duck egg and I should know. I use to raise ducks.

 

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?  If I don’t plan anything, we won’t do anything. I do have a delicious looking Valentine Jelly Donut cake recipe I am thinking of making for David.

I bought these candy hearts. You know, the ones that have cute words on them for Valentine’s Day, but you can hardly read the words they’re so dim.  And it’s a brand name, too.   What is wrong with them!   You really have to look to see what each heart reads.   Oh, well. That’s the way of things today.  I may be getting old, but things really are more poorly made than they were years ago except for maybe cars because one rarely sees a broken down car on the side of the road any longer.  When I was a girl you’d see them all the time and cars use to rust out faster than they do today. Our car is ten years old and still going strong and we’d like it to last another ten years.   That car has been all over the United States, to Alaska and down the Alaska Highway through Canada. North, South, East and West.  I’d like to keep her a while longer.

I sincerely hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.  Whether alone or with a loved one, you still are loved by the One who loves us all.  He never disappoints. He will never forsake you.  He is the best Valentine a person could have. Jesus. Love you all and God bless. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January is For the Birds

Here we are, almost in the middle of January already and it’s been a productive month for me quilt wise. Since Christmas I have pieced six small quilts and finished three of them, working on finishing a fourth and started a quilt that is being taught on a blog.

I am loving this little quilt from Kathleen Tracy’s book.   It’s almost folk art in its simplicity.

It’s not very big, but it packs a wallop color wise and will look cute as a table topper or a wall hanging.  It’s hung here by this….

This chicken toy I found at an antique store years ago.  Before I even had a thought about raising chickens. I guess I have always had chickens on my mind.

I did make a mistake on this quilt and it’s been fixed, but you can see it here if you know the pattern.   It was fun making this quilt and used very little material.

This is a pile of Bulls-eye blocks for the Bulls-eye quilt being taught over on the blog, Country Threads Chicken Scratch.  I am making a lap-sized quilt, but you can make it smaller or larger if you would want.  This is another quilt that is suppose to use up one’s stash, but it hasn’t made a dent in mine.

There are still a few steps to making the blocks so they won’t look anything like this when I am done.

While searching through my stashes and boxes, I found this book I bought eleven years ago. I know that because I  always write the date on the inside cover of a book when I get it.  I had high hopes of making a quilt from the book, but none has happened so far.  There is a lot of history about Louisa May Alcott in the book.

So then I had to hunt down this book….

Little Women, which was in my family’s library when I was a child and I am ashamed to say I have never read it. I have seen practically all the movie versions of it from when Katherine Hepburn played Jo, to June Allyson playing her and then Winona Ryder.  Then PBS is having Little Women on and have sexed it up a little bit more than I like. Why do modern movie producers feel the need to do that in so many movies?   We really don’t need to see the sisters in their skivvies, do we?  Even though Miss Alcott was a women’s rights advocate, I think she would be shocked to see her girls parading around in their underwear.  Anyway, I really must read this book sometime.    I remember it when I was growing up and looking at the pictures in it.

I guess because I had seen the movie I didn’t think I needed to read the book, but if it’s always true for me, the book is much better than the movie.  The only book I have ever read that I thought the movie was as good was Gone With the Wind, even though a whole lot of things were left out of the movie such as Scarlette  had more children than Bonnie Blue.

We finally had snow this weekend. We’ve been having almost Spring like temperatures for a while, but this is our normal usually in January.  David went from cleaning the pool…

to building a fire.

And because of all the snow, the birds must be fed.  They go through a lot of feed. We just bought two more forty pound bags of bird seed and hope it lasts the rest of the month, but I’m not betting on it.

I counted twelve cardinals at the feeder yesterday and today I barely got the feed in the feeder when two cardinals  flew above my head.

Birds wait in the trees like airplanes on a tarmac and drop down when it’s their turn.

I love seeing the cardinals against the new fallen snow. So pretty.  I was worried about the birds this year.  A businessman bought the property right next door to us and cut down all the trees. Almost every last one. The only one left was the one right by my shop and I asked him not to cut it down as it was mostly on our property.  I still worry about it.  He did leave a few bushes for the birds to alight in and I am planning to plant some more trees this Spring.  I was worried that all the birds would go away, but so far, we have more than ever, it seems.  They have all moved over to our property where they know there are people who love trees and bushes and birds and squirrels.

This is my one lone tree. A maple. I hope it will grow big and strong and lovely. You can see the barren field next door where the travesty took place.

There use to be trees all long the property line. They had to come down because of “liability” concerns.  I was very sad about it all, but I will be planting more trees on my property.

Sadly, in our travels, I am seeing more and more of this destruction of trees and meadows across our country due to “progress,” where whole forests are cut down and burned and housing developments and businesses sprout up like weeds and a blight on the countryside.  I know people have to have somewhere to live and work, but the wanton destruction of forests and farmland is very disturbing. It cannot be replaced and in newer developments, they are even told what kind of trees they can plant, so there is no diversity and that’s what I thought government and businesses were all about. You can drive from one city to the next and see the same kinds of houses and business and everything looks generic.   I call some of these developments, Taupevilles, because all the houses are the same color.   I’d love to see just one red house in  them just to stop the boredom.  As you can read, I am very passionate about this. We cannot lose all our forests and farmland to development.

Just a picture of my work area in the house while I watch tv or listen to the radio.

All the yarns laid out to inspire me.  Oh, and laundry that is less inspiring!

A devotional book to feed me spiritually.

And new lipsticks from Color My World. I love these lipsticks. They seem to last forever and they come in the cutest tubes.

Now that I have stepped gingerly off my soapbox, I will leave you with a good cup of coffee.  Starbucks has nothing on my coffee.

Bye.

 

Prayers Answered

Do you pray?  And I mean to a God in Heaven who is sitting on His throne and knows absolutely everything that is going on with your life and knows the outcome even when you don’t.   Do you pray in earnest or half heartedly, never quite believing you are being heard?   Are any of your prayers answered?   Are they answered in the way you thought they would be or should have been answered?

Our God is hard to understand sometimes.   I know He loves everyone and wants no one to perish.  He feels our pain and knows our futures.   He has a plan for our lives, but it’s up to us to figure out what it is.    Most times we work against that plan whether we know it or not.

This last month I’ve had a reason to pray in earnest for several things.  There are some things and some people I pray for daily.   Some of those prayers have been answered and some I am still waiting upon.   I was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago and I was praying continuously.  Late at night in the hospital bed, I would ask God to keep me company and I would sing hymns silently to myself because I felt so lonely and scared. I didn’t know what was happening to my body and really wondered if my life on earth was coming to an end. I was all for it if it was,  because I knew to die was just the beginning of my eternity, but I was still scared.  I knew there were many people who were praying for me and believe me, I felt those prayers.

I really did not know my prayers had been answered in a very remarkable way until I got home.   You see, my blood pressure had been soaring and my heart rate had been falling and the doctors didn’t know what to do about it for a couple of days.  They took me off all my medications and started all over.  Nothing good happened until one day they tried this one medicine and my blood pressure fell dramatically and my heartrate went up.  I was also taken off one medicine that had been making me sick to my stomach for several weeks.  Suddenly, I felt so much better.  Now since I have been home and have seen my cardiologist and gotten a good report, I have felt better than I have felt for months. I didn’t even realize I had been feeling badly before other than being short of breath at times.  Now I have so much energy and feel so much better.  Was I unhappy I spent my vacation in the hospital?  Yes.  Did God answer my prayers for good health?  He surely did.  He just did it in a way I wasn’t planning.  I knew I was in the hospital for a reason and that one day I would know that reason.  It’s possible if I had not gone to that clinic that day and been hospitalized, I may still be feeling very unwell. I might even be dead.    God works in mysterious ways.  Why He made me miss Walt Disney World, He will have to explain to me one day.  By then I won’t care.  I’m just saying God answered my prayers in a way I would never expected and in a way I would not have picked out myself, but He knew what I needed.  Perhaps I needed to be placed in that very hospital to slow myself down and let others figure out what was wrong with me.   I pray for all those ladies and that one young man who took care of me while I was in there.  I will think about another young young man who had trouble taking my blood and then joked he had used the wrong vials and would have to do it all over. When I looked upset about it he said, “just kidding!”   The young woman from Puerto Rico who was so sweet and gentle and patient with all my questions.  The Haitian lady who told me about all the horrible things happening in her native land and how her church sends clothes and shoes to people there who have none.   The lady who always had a smile on her face.   Even the doctor who didn’t act very doctor like to me.  They all touched me in some way and I would never have met them if I hadn’t been placed in that hospital.

God taught me patience while I was in the hospital also.   Now that I look back on it, I’m pretty happy with myself how patient I was because there were times I wanted to throw a tantrum like a baby!    God must have been working on me.

So I am here to tell you, God does answer prayer.  I even find myself thanking Him for putting me in that particular hospital.  Only He knew that is where I would find health once more.  Never give up praying.  Whether it’s for yourself or someone else.  Whether it’s for your circumstances  or something you want.  If you really pray in God’s will, He will answer your prayer.  Maybe not like you think He should, but He will answer it in the way that is best for you.  Sometimes unanswered prayers are the answer.  Not now, He is telling you.

So my prayer for all reading this is that you take your troubles and worries and also your praise to God. He’s listening.  He loves you.  He wants what’s best for you.  God bless you.  Bye.

Sleds and Santa

I am sitting here and it’s Christmas Eve remembering the wonderful Christmases I had when I was growing up. Christmas always centered around the Christ child. There was church and nativities and carols sung and candles glowing.  Packages under the tree.  Trips to the department store to see Santa.  How I wish I could relive those years again. They were the best of times.  I heard that some people don’t even think of Christmas as a Christian holiday anymore.  I don’t know what they think it is or what the word Christmas means to them, but for me, it always is about Jesus.    Years ago I wrote a story about Christmas and I will share it with you now.   It’s as true as I can remember it.  Most of it really happened and some may or may not, but that is for you to decide.

Sleds and Santa Claus

A heavy blanket of snow covered Daddy’s Indiana farm.  Katie looked out the kitchen door and saw drifts of snow on the sidewalk and back porch.  Daddy came in the back door stamping his feet and  carrying an armload of wood to put in the big black iron stove that sat in the kitchen.  As Katie ate her breakfast of hot sweet tea and cinnamon toast, she felt warm and cozy.  Daddy sat at the head of the table and Mommy sat next to him.  They were discussing what needed to be done that day on the farm

Katie’s brother’s came down from the cold bedrooms upstairs.   The window in Katie’s room had had frost on the inside of it that morning and she had not wanted to leave her warm nest in her bed.

“Hey! Let’s go sledding this afternoon,” cried Andy. That sounded like a great idea to all the children, but first all the chores had to be done before play.  On a farm the livestock comes first and all the animals must be fed and watered before anything else.  The eggs must be gathered before they froze in their nests.  That was Katie’s job.  Soon they were all bundled up   to go outdoors to do their chores.

The cold wind whipped Katie’s face as she walked to the chicken house.  Inside it was warm and the chickens began to cluck.  Sometimes Katie would have to reach underneath a setting hen to take her eggs. The hen would not like this, but it had to be done.  Eggs were never left to be hatched in the henhouse.  Mommy used many of them in her baking each week ad the ones she didn’t use were carefully washed and crated and taken to the grocery store to be sold to the grocer for him to sell.   Mommy’s chicken eggs were especially good. They were fresh and the yolks were almost orange.  That was because the chickens were allowed to scratch and peck outdoors and to eat a lot of different things like juicy bugs and worms besides the ground corn Daddy fed them.  The grocer was always glad to get them.

After a good hot midday meal, Katie and her brothers dressed in several layers of clothes and snow boots and went out to Daddy’s workshop where the sleds were kept. They walked down the road to a hill owned by a neighbor, Mr. Bond.  They climbed over the fence and trudged through the deep snow to the top of the hill.  The first few times sledding down was not very good because the paths had to be made through the snow.  After a few rides down the hill, it became slicker and slicker until you were absolutely flying!  At the bottom of the hill was a little grove of tree that you had to steer your sled through.  It was dangerous, but fun at the same time. Sometimes the neighbor boys, the Clevengers, would join in the fun. The boys would throw snowballs at one another as they slid down the hill.

All too soon for Katie it was time to go back home.  She was chilled to the bone but hadn’t noticed while she was sledding.  Back in the warm house Mommy made hot chocolate and Daddy made popcorn balls.  After all the exercise, it all tasted so good!

Sometime in the winter,  Daddy and Mommy would begin whispering to one another and hiding things from the children.  It was Christmas time, one of the best times of the year for a child.  Soon after Thanksgiving, the tree would be put up and decorated and Mommy would put up the red plastic wreaths with the red candles in the windows.   A plastic Santa riding a white reindeer and that lit up was one of Katie’s favorite Christmas decorations.  The nativity that Daddy had built was put in a place of honor where Katie would look at it every day.  It had a blue lightbulb that gave the holy family a heavenly glow.

Soon it was Christmas Eve and the children were all excited about Santa’s coming visit.  The boys wanted Davy Crockett coonskin  hats and Katie wanted a doll.  Her older sister, Joanne, wanted new clothes.   Katie wanted to stay up and see if Santa really was the one who brought the toys each Christmas.  She begged Mommy to allow her to stay up if her sister stayed up with her  “You may stay up, but you will be asleep before Santa gets here,”  Mommy told her.

That night Katie and Joanne each picked a chair to sleep in. With pillows and blankets, they settled in and  prepared to stay up and see old St. Nick bring their presents.  Everyone else went to bed and the house settled down into a deep, dark quiet.  Not a thing was stirring.  Katie was so excited.   She waited and waited until her eyelids became heavier and heavier.  All at once there was a soft glow in the room.  Katie rubbed her eyes because she could not believe what she was seeing. Right in front of her, so close she could have touched him was a short, round little man in a beautiful red woolen suit with the whitest fur trim. He was bent over putting something under the tree.  It was Santa!   Katie was afraid that she might get in trouble for being there, but suddenly, the little man turned and looked right at her with his kind eyes and said, “Go back to sleep, honey.”   The next thing Katie knew she was waking up in her own bed. It was Christmas morning!

The children all had to wait until Mommy and Daddy said it was okay to come down the stairs.  When they did there was a mad dash to get to the Christmas tree and see what Santa had brought them.  Katie doesn’t remember what she got that year, but she does remember it was the year she saw the real Santa Claus.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.  Bye.

It’s Beginning to Look…….

I have been slowly getting the Christmas decorations up.    I was going to go for a more streamlined look, but, as usual, when I started getting out all our decorations the house was soon overflowing with Christmas cheer.

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To put our tree on top of the old red table I bought at the last antique tour we attended,  involved sawing a fake tree limb to make it shorter so the tree would not touch the ceiling. Next year the tree is going back on the floor!  In fact, I’m thinking real tree next year. Something we have not done in decades.   But the tree is decorated and waiting for the presents that will go underneath.

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I love pulling out all the old decorations we have gathered through the years.  We got this Santa on a hot air balloon at Hershey Pennsylvania many years ago. I remember this vacation in particular because half way to Hershey our younger son rose up from the back seat and with a worried look on his face said, ”  I think I left the freezer door open.”   Well, there was discussion about going back and David said no and believe it or not, I didn’t think about it again until we were almost home and I began to wonder if we would have thawed food in the freezer. We had this huge standing freezer where I froze meat we got from my parents when they butchered a cow, frozen corn I would freeze in the Summer months and other frozen foods.  Having young children I was always having to tell them to close the freezer door, so I was worried about what we would find.  The freezer door was closed.  Why our son said that makes me think I had traumatized my children about leaving the freezer door open.  I was so glad when we got rid of that freezer.   The same thing about the iron.  I was always afraid of leaving the iron on when we went anywhere because I did a lot of ironing at that time.   That and the freezer were usually always checked before we went away.  Our younger son said that was one of his best vacations going to Hershey and I’m glad he enjoyed it.

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This Santa on a stork always goes on the tree.  When we were expecting our first child, David’s grandmother gave me this for Christmas and I have always loved it.   It’ almost fifty years old now and I cannot believe I have a child almost that old.

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This snowman is even older. When I was a little girl my grandfather had a few of these snowmen candles on his tree and I was blessed enough to get a couple of them. I always think of my grandpa when I put this on my tree.  He made the best popcorn balls.  We kids always looked forward to those at Christmas.  That and fifty cents was our present from him and that was enough for us.

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A tiny pillow I made.

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And a table runner.  I have made so many Christmas decorations from fabric in the past years that I cannot put them all out.

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Fabric gingerbread men I sewed when we had our fabric store.

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This was actually a tee shirt I found at Target years ago. I sewed up the bottom and the armholes and stuffed it and it makes a very comfortable pillow.

This time of year I love to bake and make sweets to eat. David and I are both sugarholics.

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I made a big batch of donut holes with sugar and cinnamon.  Yum.

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Those with a cup of coffee are wonderful in the morning. I am so glad I am not a diabetic or on a gluten free diet.  I think I would miss donuts more than anything. The author, Jan Karon, wrote in her cookbook about sitting with some famous people and asking them that if they were going to have their last meal of their life, what would they eat?  There were answers of steak or lobster or cake.  If I thought I was going to die and was allowed one last meal I would want two Krispy Crème Boston crème donuts with a really good cup of coffee with plenty of sweetener and cream.  I use to think ice cream was my favorite food, but in the last few years I have found I could take it or leave it unless it’s really, really good butter pecan ice cream.  I only eat it about three or four times a year because I really do not crave it, but I crave donuts. Anyway, these little donut holes are so good and so easy to make.  I only make them three or four times a year and usually at this time of year.

Speaking of sweet things, we went to see these last weekend.

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Golden Retriever puppies!

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How darling can an animal get?  I love puppies.  But it is dangerous for me to be around them because I always want one.

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Our grandsons are enjoying the cuteness, too.

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They are just like puppies. Growing up too fast.   I don’t know how my daughter can not keep one of the puppies, but they already have three Goldens, so these are all for sale.

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Our beautiful daughter. She is dog crazy like I am.  In fact, when she was a girl, she would scour the ads in the newspaper looking for free puppies and would beg to get one.  We got three dogs that way through the years. then she grew up and guess who was left with the dogs?  But I loved them too, so it was all good.  Now I scour the ads looking for Chocolate Labs.

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I’m in love, but I will resist.  I am holding out for another Chocolate Labrador Retriever. Maybe in another year.  This coming year is going to be busy as it’s our fiftieth wedding anniversary year and we have plans.

As we plan for Christmas day remember this…..

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Keep Christ in Christmas because that is really why we celebrate. The birth of our King and Savior.   With Christ out of Christmas, it’s just another day.

Here’s to Christmas and darling puppies.  May they both bring smiles to your face.  Bye.