Category Archives: Things on my mind

Are You Bored? Or Shall I Ramble Today?

Are you bored?  Have you ever been bored?  I probably got bored when I was a child, but I really don’t remember ever being bored. I always had something to do and if I couldn’t find something to do, my mother found something for me!   Right now, in this part of my life, I can honestly say I am never bored. In fact, I said to David the other day, “I wish I could be bored for just one day!”  He agreed.  Maybe that’s an awful thing to wish for, so I take it back.

Our life right now is going to the doctor, working on the house, taking care of the pets, going to the doctor and shopping for groceries, something we both seem to never feel like doing.  I hate to shop. At least in stores. I love to shop online in my easy chair, preferably in my pajamas with a cup of something hot beside me.  But going to a store and having to deal with all the people and then get to the checkout and see all the self checkout lanes and maybe, if you are lucky, two or three actual cashiers working. I am on a vendetta against self-serve lanes.  Now if you love them and think they are the bees’ knees, then ignore what I am about to write.  I believe self-serve lanes makes people the unpaid employees of the store that has them. You do all the work but don’t get any salary or benefits and the store owners pocket a whole lot more money. Plus, self-serve lanes put people out of work except for that person who just stands there waiting to help the people who don’t know how to use the self-serve lane.  I simply refuse to use them. I will stand in line for fifteen minutes and complain so everyone can hear me about all the self-serve lanes and the few service lanes.  David tries to pretend he is not with the crazy lady.  Many stores don’t offer any service anymore. Wal-mart is one of them. Wal-mart is not my favorite store and I wish Pioneer Woman had not made a deal with them to sell her stuff because I love her stuff, but hate shopping in Wal-mart.

Back to boredom.  I have a lot on my plate right now.  More than I really want or want to deal with, but sometimes life hands you a big plate of, shall I say CRAP(excuse the French) and you have to deal with it whether you want to or not. I try to ignore the bad stuff as much as possible and focus on the good stuff, but sometimes the bad stuff takes over for a time.  Yet, there is so much good stuff.

The good stuff for me right now is the fact it is Spring,  we are finally getting our old house painted, a new screened in back porch built and a revamped bathroom done. As I write the painters are banging ladders against the outside and painting up a storm. I really love the new darker color of our house. Now it will disappear into the scenery.  After our neighbor cut down all the trees on his property, our house stuck out like a sore thumb and people all of a sudden noticed our house.  Before, you could hardly see it from the road.  But now, with the darker paint and the fact that the bushes are growing taller because the trees are no longer there, the house will fade into the background again, which is good.   This old house has seen many changes in the decades it has stood. It was built just a few years after Queen Victoria died which I find kind of neat and before the first world war.  It’s held families during WWll, the Korean War, and the Viet Nam War and this family that has had a member who served in the Gulf.     It’s seen babies come in the front door and go out the back door adults.   It’s seen parties and Christmases and birthdays and sad days.  It’s been my cocoon when I have needed one. I hope whoever are the next occupants will have as wonderful a life in this house as David and I have had for over forty years.  I’m hoping we still have several years left in it.  It’s a dear, old house and I always think it has its arms around us. It’s haunted, too, but that’s a whole other story I will have to tell one day.

But, back to boredom.  I am never bored. If I get bored, I read a book and if I don’t want to read, I sew and if I don’t want to sew, I knit. Anything to get out of cleaning house.   I keep the house, as they say, clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.   Dusting is the least favorite thing I like to do in housekeeping.   I dust when company is coming and not very often other than that.  My shop is one big dust bunny right now because I have a crate of baby chicks I am raising in there and they put out a lot of dander.  I didn’t realize how much dander just four little chickens can generate.  In a few weeks they will join the big girls and I will dust then.  They have almost all their feathers and are outgrowing the crate.  We put them outside for a while each day to acclimate them.   I will miss them when they move out of the house.  Just like I did my children!

But, back to boredom.  What does it feel like to be bored?  I really don’t know anymore.  Sometimes it seems that I just get up and it’s time to go to bed again and I wonder where the day went. Maybe I’m just a poor time manager or get distracted by too many things.  I get up in the morning planning to clean out a closet and the next thing I know, I’m planting flowers instead.  Or I plan to do the ironing and a quilt I am making calls my name and I must work on that.  Things do eventually get done, but usually not when I had planned them to be.

So, if you are bored, come to my house and I will find lots for you to do.  Bye. Oh, and thanks for putting up with my rambling thoughts today!  I was going to have pictures, but haven’t downloaded them yet. Got distracted.

 

 

Magical or Miracle?

I hear people say something is magical when they see it. I’ve said it myself a few times in my life.  And yes, some things are magical.  Why else is Disneyland called the “magic” kingdom.  Magic is the art of producing illusions. Things that aren’t really there, but appear to be. Disney does that very well.  They produce an illusion that everything is perfect and beautiful and fun when in reality it’s all an illusion. You can go to Disney and have a good or even a great time, but it’s all been an illusion that disappears the moment you leave the Disney park.  I’m not knocking Disney here. I have loved going to their theme parks and have enjoyed myself immensely, but there is a dark side to Disney none of us sees because it is kept well hidden from our eyes.   It truly knows how to produce magic. It has mastered the art of illusion.

I believe in miracles.  I believe they have happened and still happen. I expect them to happen.  I want them to happen. Miracles are extraordinary occurrences that surpass all known human power or natural forces and are ascribed to a divine or supernatural cause especially to God.  I know God performs miracles. I have seen some in my day.  Right now I am praying for a particular miracle to happen and I have no doubt in my mind that it will happen because I have a God who performs them. I may not live to see this particular miracle.  Now I don’t know why God performs miracles in some people’s lives and leaves them out of other’s.  I don’t know but it might be the faith that one has or lack thereof or maybe God knowing the future, knows some miracles won’t really change things in the long run.  Maybe you have had a miracle happen in your life. Maybe you are praying for one now. One miracle I witnessed was when my daddy became a born again Christian. My daddy was a two pack a day smoker and could swear like a sailor(no disrespect to sailors here) and never went to church unless he had to.   That’s not to say he was a bad daddy, because he wasn’t. He was a very good daddy in many respects and I loved being around him, but he was not a Christian.   Then my mother got very sick and almost died. I don’t know what God told him in that church the day he attended, but that day he went forward when the call to the altar was made, got down on his knees and gave his life to Christ and from that day forward he never smoked another cigarette, never swore and never missed a Sunday in church.  He spent the rest of his life working for the church.  The day he died I knew he was speaking personally with Jesus and shaking his hand or hugging him and I know that one day I will see my daddy again and he’s with my mother and if that isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is.

God performs big and little miracles.  I know this story will sound crazy and I was imaging things, but to prove God performs little miracles and also has a sense of humor, here’s my story. I was walking one of my dogs in a field years ago and took off her leash and stuck it in my coat pocket. When it was time to go home, I felt for the leash and it was gone.  I searched all  over that field with my dog by my side and could not find it. Then I just said, “God, if you know where that leash is, would you please show me?”  Then I looked right behind me and curled carefully at my feet was the leash!  It looked like someone had placed it there as neatly as could be.  I have always thought God had done that to show me that even in the little things we should not be afraid to ask for help. And He will.  We all think God only works in the big things, but really, He’s in everything if you just look and just ask.

I guess I’m writing this today because I had the strangest dream and am up at 3:00 in the morning and felt like God was telling me something in that dream.  I can’t tell you the dream because it is too personal, but I think I got the message.

Also, I went outside my front door today and witnessed the best miracle of the season. I usually go in and out our back door when I’m at home, but we were going somewhere and we went out the front door and this is what I saw.

A mass of pink everywhere I looked.  Just a few days ago all was barren and dark and drab. Definitely not an illusion.  Not magic.

New life awakened from what was once dead looking.  A miracle. At least to my eyes and to my heart it was.  Who can explain it?  I’m sure there are scientific words to explain why the buds form and burst forth at a certain time, but who tells that bud to form and who tells it when to open?   I believe there are miracles all around us if we just open our eyes and look with our hearts.  This beauty won’t last long, but there will be other things to replace these.  My irises and poppies are getting ready to bloom.  I’m going to keep looking for miracles.  How about you?

Here’s to miracles and the One who performs them.  Bye.

 

Winter Hangs on With Gusto and Seventy Came Too Quickly

Just when we thought Spring might be just around the corner, Winter hit us with another blast of cold air and lots of that white stuff that likes to stick to the ground and on the roads and makes us have to work whenever we want to go anywhere.  It’s really pretty and does make things look a whole lot better outside. The outdoors had begun to have that ugly, muddy, dirty, just before Spring look it gets every year when nothing looks especially pretty unless you like dirt, mud and grey.

This week I’m celebrating my seventieth birthday which kind of astounds me when I think about it. I remember sitting in Home Economics class with some of my girlfriends many years ago, discussing how old we’d be in the year 2000 and most of us would be 50 or 51 and we thought that was so old. Now I’m nineteen years pass 2000 and looking at a whole new decade that I never thought I’d see for at least a few more years, but here I am.  How did I get here so quickly?  If you are reading this and you are in your thirties, forties or younger, just know, one day you will be seventy one day if you are so blessed, and you, too, will wonder where the years have gone. We take youth so for granted, but it really is fleeting so enjoy it while you can.  You will not be young forever. That is not to say you can’t remain young at heart. I still find things pretty miraculous at times. I love nature and baby animals and babies and listening to stories and playing outside in the fresh air. My body doesn’t cooperate like it use to. In fact, my body tells me, “No,” many more times than I like.   I can’t run up steps two at a time anymore.  Sometimes I feel downright shaky on my own two legs. I tire easier.  But that’s okay since when I’m tired I can still sew, quilt, knit and read, all things I love to do.  I’ve knit two pairs of socks in the last weeks which kind of tells you I’ve been a little tired lately.

I still want to get one more puppy and a kitten. I still want to get more baby chicks and raise them to adulthood and gather eggs every day.  I still have a lot of places I’d like to see and people I’d like to visit.  I’d like to walk five miles a day again. There is still a lot of life in this old girl!   So I will celebrate my birthday by eating cake and ice cream and thank the dear Lord I made it this far.  Whatever happens in the future is in His hands, so I’m happy with that.

My very best friend in grade school was a girl whose name is Mary Jean. She and I were born in the same hospital, on the same day and our mothers shared a room while there.  We found each other in first grade and we have been friends ever since.  We grew apart in high school, mainly because our classes were not the same and I was boy crazy and dating and found David, the love of my life in high school, but we re-ignited our friendship after high school through letters we wrote to each other. She married and moved clear across the country and raised three children, one of them named Kate, and we stayed in contact.  One year David and I drove out west and I wanted to go see her so I called her and she was so excited to hear I was coming.   We drove and drove over the mountains to her town and found her house. It was like we had never been apart.  I met her children and her very nice husband. I was so glad she found a good man. Sadly, he has since passed away.  She fed us lunch and homemade pie and we sat and talked in her back yard and she took David and me to see a neighborhood garden that was so beautiful and the fact the people allowed the public to tromp through their garden was very special.  Our visit was way too short. She gave me some flower seeds to plant when I got home.  When we left I felt so sad because I knew it was probably the last time we’d see each other.  We continue to send cards to one another and when I was sick this past November, she was so concerned for me and wrote me a letter saying so which was very touching.  I wrote back reassuring her that I was well.   This is true friendship when the love for a friend never dies no matter how far apart you are.  I have so many stories I could tell about her and my escapades when we were girls.  I’m hoping she will have a happy birthday and know that I am thinking of her.

Our daughter and her family brought me some beautiful flowers for my birthday.

Several different kinds.

A sunflower which makes me think of Summer days when I complain about it being too hot, so I better enjoy this cool weather now.

Little roses. So pretty and dainty.

Are these carnations?  Not sure.

I really wish someone could tell me what these are. My son-in-law didn’t know either and he knows flowers. They are gorgeous.

They also gave me this card.

Why do people think I like chickens? Hmmmmmm?   I just ordered a T-shirt with a chicken in a headscarf  on the front of it, so maybe I do like them a little bit.  I lost another one of my older chickens this week. I went out today and couldn’t find her and David found her under the snow. He thinks she probably died before we had the snow because there was no snow under her.  It’s getting closer to the time I will have to get more chickens. They have them at Rural King and I have been looking at them.

And one of my grandsons wrote me this birthday greeting.

There was a piñata.

A slide for me to go down!

A birthday cake, of course.

Thank you, Tristan. I really enjoyed this card and will save it forever.

I have several friends who are now in their eighties and still going strong.  Our contractor told us he believed his father was going to live to be one hundred.  I’m not so sure I want to live that long, but we can’t chose our time to die, so whenever God calls me home will be my time.   I’m hoping David and I have many healthy, happy birthdays ahead.   Anyway, we are celebrating all week. I don’t plan to do much cooking or baking and a whole lot of eating out and maybe some shopping.  We are going to pick up the new sink for our bathroom which is getting remodeled this Spring.   I’ve always wanted a pedestal sink and since David picked out the sink and cabinet for our upstairs bathroom, I am choosing the sink. Off to Home Depot we will go!  I love remodeling. I think I would have done well on one of those fixer upper shows on HGTV.  I love seeing a room and changing it into something completely different.  Heaven knows, I’ve done it several times in my lifetime. I have done most all the painting in our house. The paint section in the lumber yard store is my favorite place.  I’ve made some bloopers in my time like the Pepto Bismol pink bedroom I painted once. We lived with it for several years, but David never let me forget it.  We’ve papered, stripped paper, painted and painted again all the rooms in this old house of ours. Right now I’m pretty content with all the rooms, but give me time.

We live on a fairly busy road, especially during the week and I have seen many things go by in all the years we have lived there. Because there is a train track right across the road, we see a lot of trains which my grandsons love. Me, not so much although I’ve gotten use to them. We have always lived where we could hear the trains go by.  We lived on a hill in Richmond and down below us was the train track. It’s now a walking trail which I would have loved when we were living there.  The neighbor girls and I went raspberry picking along that track years ago and got the best raspberries.  Raspberries use to grow wild in a place near our house where we live now and David would go and pick a quart or two for a pie.  The gravel pit expanded and they covered up the raspberry plants, so no more raspberries. Boo.  By the way, I got off the subject of the train track. David looked out the window the other day and said, “What is that?”

I was thinking space ship.  It was extra long and the truck driver was having a hard time turning and getting over the railroad track.

Traffic began to back up.

Then he finally got over the track, but he got stuck and I began to worry about a train coming because they go through often.

But in a few minutes a guy from the gravel pit came riding up on this front end loader and lifted that thing right up and over the track.  It’s called a trommel. Our word for today.  A trommel is a rotary cylindrical or conical screen for sorting ore, coal, gravel, etc. I would have never known that, but David watches all these shows on tv where people are digging for gold.  This one will be used at the gravel pit.

That’s all for today. I’m going out to eat for the first time this birthday week. David took the week off so we are eating out every day.  Yay! And we are eating dessert first.

Here’s to best friends, birthdays, trommels and painting fanaticism.  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.

 

Changing the Calendar

I always get a new calendar or two or three for Christmas. This year I just got one, so I ordered another one for the bathroom downstairs because you always need to look at a calendar while you are seated on the throne!

Before I hang a calendar, I write all the important dates to remember throughout the year, birth dates, anniversaries, etc., and it’s always fun to look at all the things I did throughout the year because I write all doctor, dentist, and hair stylists appointments and mark off vacation days and other special days like events at our grandchildren’s schools.  It was a busy year last year.  January already has a date saved to attend our grandson’s first recital.

He is learning to play the cello and will be performing with his group.  Our children all took some form of strings and our daughter took piano for years.  I think it’s important for children to learn some kind of instrument because even after they are grown they can play it if they so choose.

If this year goes as rapidly as last year, I may as well turn the page to December 2019 right now because that is how fast it seemed  the year flew by.  I guess it’s better than it dragging out forever and wishing time would speed up.  It’s all relevant.  Depends on what you are doing or what you are waiting for. Remember when you were a kid and were waiting for Christmas and it seemed like it took forever for it to get here?   Now it comes way too fast for me and I’m never ready and then it’s over and I wish the time had gone a little more slowly.

Have to show you some pictures from Christmas of my very favorite present.

It’s the rooster from the movie Moana.  He clucks and crows and I love him.

He has made friends with my skeleton Halloween dog.  The rooster crows and the dog talks back.  Yes, the dog talks.  I’ve had him for years and I get him out every Halloween.   I will bequeath him to one of my grandchildren one day. Ha.

The dog says things like, “Bring me a bone, I’m hungry,” and “I’m thirsty.  Water runs right through me.”  He’s been the cause of many laughs through the years and now he has a companion.

Another thing I gifted myself this year because I thought it was so cute was this little camper.

It goes very well with the truck I have had for a few years.

Makes me think of a dream of mine to get in a  truck with a camper behind and travel the United States and Canada.

May never happen, but I can dream.

Now David and I are sitting on the couch counting down the hours until the new year. I even dressed for the occasion. I am wearing pearls and perfume and my pajamas.  All ready for the big night!

We even have a small bag of cashews each and some peanut butter crackers to share. We really know how to celebrate!  One year we actually dressed up and went to a hotel in Indianapolis where there was a big New Year’s party with bands, dancing and gambling tables and food and at midnight they dropped hundreds of balloons from the ceiling which was fun. Then in the morning they had a breakfast buffet for all the party goers with everything you could think of to eat including  sushi, which I tried for the first time and didn’t like all that well.

But we are going low key this year which is fine with me.  It’s raining out and our house is warm and cozy.   So if you are celebrating at home, whether alone or with several, put on your pearls and perfume and enjoy the evening.

I wish you all a very blessed and joyful, peaceful New Year’s.  I wish you health and happiness and all that life can offer you that is good.  Happy New Year!  Bye.

 

 

 

All is Calm, All is Bright

Listen, the children have gone.  All is calm.  The packages have all been unwrapped and the pretty paper is now just trash in the trash can.  The food has been eaten and the leftovers await us for the rest of the week until some of it turns green. The floors need swept, but loved ones did the dishes for me. Thank you. Thank you.

The time after Christmas is always a strange time for me. I told David that it felt like I have been holding my breath since about October and now I can finally let it out.   I think about Christmas all year long, looking for gifts I hope will mean something to the giftee.   But for this next week I hope to just rest and relax and reflect on the past year, thankful we all got through it with our lives and can say things were pretty good for most of us.  I belong to this group on Facebook that is all about quilting and, believe me, I have got some awesome ideas for quilts I want to make in the coming year.  I am taking part in a couple of quilt block quiltalongs, something I have never done before and am looking forward to with a lot of excitement.

In the coming year I hope to get another puppy and maybe a kitten.  We have some more renovations to our old house planned which includes the screened in porch our contractor didn’t have time for this Fall.   We have no trips planned, but that does not mean we won’t fit one in somewhere during the year.   It’s fun to make plans although I have learned the hard way that most plans never happen as you planned.

The calm after Christmas is a welcome time for me since I have been going at top speed for weeks now.  Add the multiple trips we have made to Indianapolis and my time in the hospital, it’s been a very stressful and tiring time.  But now, I breathe a sigh of relief and look toward 2019 with faith that things will be well for my family and myself.   I’m thankful for my faith in God and what He has done for me this year.  My prayers are that every person reading this blog is blessed by God in the coming year with health, happiness and peace.   Wouldn’t the world be wonderful if everyone was blessed in that way?

The days will continue to get brighter now that Winter solstice has passed.  I look forward to longer, brighter days and before we all know it, Winter will be past and we will be enjoying another Spring. Here in Indiana we are having balmy weather now.  In the fifties maybe this week!

I hope this Christmas was a blessing to you.  Bye.

 

Enjoying the Days

I can’t tell you how wonderful the last several days have been. First of all, it’s just so absolutely marvelous to feel healthy again.  I’m not sure I had felt healthy for a long time, but I thought it was my new normal. Age and all, you know.  But I kept wondering how I went from walking five miles a day to barely being able to walk across the yard without getting winded.  Who would have thought it was the medicine I had been taking for years?  I’m telling you, be very careful the chemicals you put in your body even when the doctor prescribes them, because sometimes they do more harm than good.  David even says it’s nice to hear me whistling and singing around the house again.  Had I stopped?  I hadn’t noticed.   I was just trying to get through each day and get things accomplished that I was able.

So, this week, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I sewed on quilt blocks in my shop all day and never felt tired once.  There is a mystery quilt I am working on that I will tell you about later when I get some pictures. I have never taken part in a mystery block quilt before, but this one sounded like fun and I kept seeing pictures of the blocks ladies were making all over the world and I thought I should get in on all the fun and it has been fun.   Can’t wait to see how the quilt will turn out. I’ve been so enthusiastic about it, I am making four different quilts with the patterns we are given.

I know I’ve been talking about health issues a lot lately, but once again a family member was hit with a health problem. One of our grandsons was having stomach cramps and was passing blood and was taken to the hospital this week.  Quite a scare, but he is getting better. The doctor believes it is E coli and says it will have to run its course. Seems E coli and Salmonella are appearing a lot in our food and I have a theory on why that I won’t get into here, but people who are working with our food are not being very clean about it.   I love Romaine lettuce and I did eat it before we took our vacation in November.  I do wonder if part of my being sick was because I had eaten it.  We will never know.

We are having our first Christmas family get together this Saturday so I will be baking and cooking up a storm starting tomorrow. Baking rolls, making potato salad, baking a chocolate cake so we can celebrate all the birthdays in December(we have four.)  I want to try cornbread dressing sometime and am looking for a good recipe for it.  Also I always have to have scalloped oysters at least once during the holiday season.  I love scalloped oysters and I even love eating it cold.  I see so many delicious looking recipes on Facebook and I want to try them all.  Do you have a favorite food that you have to have during the holiday season?

I get nostalgic thinking about past Christmases when our children were young. Christmas is always so much fun when children are around. Our grandchildren are growing up faster than our children did, it seems, but they all still love coming to Grandpa’s and Grandma’s for Christmas and we love having them.   Having family gathered around is such a blessing.  I remember going to my grandparents’ house Christmas Day and it was always fun, seeing the cousins, eating Grandpa’s homemade popcorn balls and getting fifty cents from Grandpa(yes, fifty cents, I’m that old I thought it was a lot of money.)  If there was snow, it was even better and if somebody got a new sled it was wonderful.  We still have a sled our children used when they were young.     I would love to slide down a snowy hill again and feel the wind in my face.  Maybe I might try that this winter.

I’m sitting here on a rainy night, the Christmas tree lit, the fire in the fireplace, candles burning feeling warm, safe, and happy and thinking about the days ahead with joy.   I’ll be writing one last post before Christmas I am sure, but in case I don’t, Merry Christmas and may the day be a blessing whether it’s with a crowd or only one remembering the One we celebrate, whose birth over 2,000 years ago changed the world , and  showed we can all be united in love if we so choose.  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.

No Disney For Me

If you read my last post you know that I am down in Florida in a hospital waiting to be released. It’s been a not fun three days of tests and being jabbed with needles and having my blood pressure taken.  There is no sleeping at night because the nurses come in constantly checking on me. I am dreaming of a bath in a tub and a soft bed with real pillows.

Here I am in a hospital bed waiting for a doctor to tell me whether or not I can leave.  If not for my computer, kindle and a puzzle book I would have been lost.  I’ve kept up with friends and family so I don’t feel so alone.  But being in the hospital is like being in the army. They are constantly asking for your name and birth date and you are always waiting.  We were suppose to be spending these days at Walt Disney World.  No Disney for me and David.  Boo.

I know there is a reason for everything and I am here in this bed for a reason.  But I sure would like to know what that reason is. Is it teaching me patience?   Sometimes I don’t have much patience especially when I have to wait.   Poor David is waiting with me which I am thankful for, but it’s hard on him, too.

Back home there was an ice storm and my dogs, who live outside, have been spending time in their insulated dog house.  Our pet sitter is taking good care of them, but I still worry because if I were home, they would be in the shop with the furnace going.   I don’t think I will ever take a trip this late in the Fall again even though the ice storm was  unusual for this time of year.   The electricity went off I heard and I am wondering if it went off at our house and for how long.

UPDATE:  I was finally released from the hospital hours after they told me I would be released.  This has been the worst stay in a hospital I have ever had.   I would be told they would bring me Advil for my headache. It never showed up. They wanted a “specimen” from me and they never picked it up or provided the medication I was needing at the time. When I was about to check out the RN finally asked me if I wanted her to order the medication. Knowing it would take hours for it to show up I told her “no.”  When I was finally checked out, David went to get  the car and I was told I would be taken out in a wheelchair.  I waited and waited and finally I went into the hall and an RN said, “You are anxious to leave.” It wasn’t until then she called down for someone to bring a wheelchair up for me.  I could have walked down and been going back to our rental faster.  Then the doctor gave me a new prescription and when David went to fill it,  the pharmacy said the doctor had not signed it so they could not fill it. As  I write, poor David is trying to hunt up this doctor to get his signature.  I am very unhappy.  I told David if I needed to go to the hospital again, drive out of Florida before taking me to one.  If you are reading this and live in Florida and have had better experiences in the hospital, I am glad for you, but this particular hospital will get a very bad review from me.  I’m usually pretty tolerant and understanding, but this was too much. Done with my rant now!

So tomorrow I hope we can spend some time with family and maybe find a yarn shop and relax before we start our trip back.  I am so looking forward to being home.  I certainly will remember this vacation!

Have you had horror stories about a hospital?    In my city the hospital is great and I have always been happy with the treatment.    I don’t know what happened with this hospital in Florida.

My next post I won’t sound as crabby. Bye. Oh, and I did get my nice bath and will have a comfy bed with real pillows tonight.