December 31, 2008
December 28, 2008
The message and significance of The Festival of Lights is one which we can all celebrate. Victory over oppression..... The right to worship as we please ...... Miracles and new beginnings in the midst of loss.
Blessings to all my dear friends who will be lighting that final candle this evening, and blessings to all who hold the message of Hanukkah in their hearts.
December 25, 2008
December 22, 2008
I came across this cute bear transfer in my stash of patterns. There are seven bears in all. There's one chore for each day of the week. This pattern is Mend Day. When I am finished, you will see stitching on the little patches. I'm not quite sure what this little project is for, but not to worry.... all bears find good homes at TerBear's house. ;-)
December 19, 2008
December 15, 2008
December 14, 2008
November 27, 2008
~Ray Stannard Baker
November 23, 2008
I cut out this little guy and added some eyeshadow for the cheeks, beads, sequins, buttons, and rick-rack. I then hand stitched everything together with "invisible thread." I lost count of the exact number of attempts it took for these middle-aged eyes to thread a needle with "invisible" thread. Let's just say....... it was quite a few. Despite the needle threading difficulties, I find hand sewing very relaxing.
The photo doesn't do this fellow much justice, but I think you get the general idea. Holding the project up with one hand and taking the photo with the other was almost as tricky as walking and chewing gum. I made a little pocket at the top so I can run a small dowel through and attach a ribbon for hanging. I am happy with my prototype, although I may change the mouth on any future versions. Since he was my first, I am leaving him just the way he is!
November 9, 2008
While sitting and waiting patiently this morning, I was reminded of an Ellen Degeneres skit from her Here and Now special. Anybody who knows me will attest to my silly sense of humor, so this is right up my alley. Prior to the quote below, Ellen was talking about the fact that our society has become far too rushed and impatient.
"Yes, we're lazy. Yet we also can't seem to sit still. So we've started making things like Go-Gurt. That's yogurt for people on the go. Let me ask you, was there a big mobility problem with yogurt before? How time-consuming was it, really? [pretending to be on the phone:] "Hello?...Oh, hi, Tom...oh, I've been dying to see that movie...Umm, no...I just opened up some yogurt...Yeah, I'm in for the night...No, not even later-it's the kind with fruit on the bottom. Well, have fun. Thanks anyway." :-)
I guess I could break down and buy a new computer, but there is no guarantee that the new one will be trouble free. Instead, I've decided to use these moments as lessons in patience. Hey.... the next time I'm waiting on my computer, I'll grab a good ol' fashioned container of yogurt. No Go-Gurt needed for this girl.
October 31, 2008
October 25, 2008
October 18, 2008
This post isn't about the horrors of bulimia and anorexia, but rather my freedom and victory from them. It is also a celebration of my new journey into the "normal eater's" world. Does Ed still hang around? Yes, especially during times of sadness and stress. The difference between this "break-up" and the HUNDREDS in the past; I no longer take Ed back. Our "divorce" was final on April 18, 2008, and unlike the dissolution of my 22 year marriage, this divorce is one I can truly celebrate!
For those who feel desperately lost, do not give up hope for a full recovery. I can honestly say that there is light at the end of the tunnel. A light that I NEVER dreamed I would find!
October 12, 2008
Yesterday morning was the first time I noticed that my plants had produced cotton. Judging by my reaction, you would have thought I'd just struck gold! I have tried to grow cotton for the past 2 years. I got my seeds in the ground earlier this year so the plant had time to produce before the cold temperatures hit. Hooray, I was finally successful. I am so proud of my miniature harvest! Thank goodness I wasn't planning on making any clothing from this crop. After I remove the seeds, (cotton gin not needed ) I might have just enough to make a pair of denim jeans......... for a mouse. ;-) Believe me, I have a new appreciation for the cotton industry. I can't imagine how many plants are necessary to make one cotton blouse or pair of pants!
I actually grew the plants in hopes of sharing the process with the students. I think they will be fascinated to learn that some of their clothing material began as a plant. I am eager to see their reactions.
October 4, 2008
Many patterns can be made by changing the placement of the individual log squares. This particular pattern is called Barn Raising which is a practice still common in Amish communities. Other patterns include Fields and Furrows and Sunshine and Shadow. These names are indicative of a time when families relied heavily on farming for their survival.
I’ve always felt drawn to the past. I believe that’s why this pattern just seems to “feel right” to me. Who knows, perhaps God allows our souls to move throughout lifetimes. If that is the case, I was definitely a pioneer woman the last time around! :-)
September 28, 2008
September 27, 2008
Are you wondering what on earth this above paragraph has to do with the gecko? I began this post intending to share a cute story, but decided to give you a little background information. Okay, I got a little carried away. Now for the gecko story. Last fall I had just read to a class of kindergartners. It was near Thanksgiving and I asked them to raise their hand if they wanted to share something they were thankful for. Twenty little hands shot up. They shared things such as ~ family, toys, pets, and food. As I neared the end of the group a little boy said, "Geico." I thought I heard him incorrectly so I asked him to repeat himself. Once again, and very seriously, he said, "Geico." It took all I had to keep a straight face while thanking him for sharing. I later whispered to the teacher, "I was pretty thankful for Geico myself when I was rear-ended a few years back." I have no idea what prompted his comment, but I smile to this day just thinking back on it. Out of the mouth of babes, as the saying goes. ;-)
I will share some of these "gems" from time to time. Hopefully you will enjoy them as much as I do.
September 22, 2008
September 14, 2008
He and I enjoy going on little trips. Yesterday we went to the local children's theater and saw a great play! Part of our time together is spent in the car as we travel from place to place. A couple years ago, my car suddenly became a spaceship. Each time we would prepare to leave Issac would say, "Blast off Grammy." He wasn't satisfied with me saying okay and then doing nothing. How can a spaceship blast off without making any adjustments to the instrument panel? So, our tradition began. My defroster button soon became our turbo boosters. I occasionally had to make other adjustments per the pilot’s instructions as we neared various planets.
About a year ago, the old space ship was scrapped for an intergalactic transport vehicle. It may look like an ordinary Camry, but believe me, it has super powers. Yesterday we were fighting off aliens. "6088" of them to be exact. They are pretty clever those aliens. No matter which buttons I pushed, we just couldn't rid ourselves of them. Have you ever tried driving down Interstate 80 while being pursued by 6088 creatures? It's pretty tricky. Fortunately my trusty captain was able to call out orders from his carseat in the back of the vehicle. One of his first orders was, "Step on it Grammy!" I must admit that the comment caused me to burst into laughter. I had to collect myself quickly, since fighting off aliens is certainly no laughing matter. Just as we neared our destination, I was able to hand the captain the item that I believe saved us from our demise…... the invisible shield tool. (Aka tire pressure gauge) With that, we were safe and sound.
I treasure my times with Issac. Experience tells me that my little captain will one day be grown and my car will be just that..... a car. My soul aches at the thought. I use that ache as my reminder to stay focused on the "now" and savor every special moment.
September 7, 2008
Being one who likes to make good use of my time, I do the weekly laundry between calls. I also do a bit of cleaning and water the garden. I decided this week that each Sunday I could also use this time to try new recipes. I found one for oatmeal butterscotch cookies that sounded interesting and I actually had all the ingredients on hand!
Well, I must say that my multi-tasking skills aren't quite what they were when my children were young. Timers have become my Sunday morning partners. I set a timer to check WCA phone messages each hour, a timer for the laundry, a timer to move the hose in the garden, and a timer for the cookies (which kept ringing every 8 to 10 minutes). Whenever a buzzer sounded I wasn't sure which way to turn. In addition, I was getting pretty hungry smelling those cookies baking, so lunch preparation got thrown into the mix. (figuratively speaking) Remember the Lucy and Ethel "Chocolate Factory" episode, where the conveyer belt kept spitting out the candy faster and faster? I could relate, although the pace wasn't quite as fast.
I must say that even though it was a bit crazy, for the most part, it all worked out well. A few young birds and a pair of baby squirrels were taken to the Wildlife Care Facility, the laundry was washed and put away, the cookies came out very nicely, plus I had a yummy lunch. Even more amazing was the fact that I didn't put the laundry in the oven or the cookies in the dryer. Of course not you say? Well......... I found my phone in the refrigerator recently. Old age, or too much multi-tasking? I vote for multi-tasking! I'm way too young to be old. Besides, I believe I read once that phones need a good chill every now and then. Must make the batteries last longer. ;-)
August 31, 2008
August 30, 2008
Now that I'm finished knitting my cute dishcloth, you'd think I would immediately begin using it. I enjoy wearing the scarves I have knitted and I've always worn the clothing I've sewn, but this is different. None of those items have been used to wipe up spills. After hours, (yes ~ hours to make this little cloth) I can't stand the thought of grape juice stains all over it. I guess I could limit its use to water spills, but that would be silly. So...... just as candles are made to be burned, cotton cloths are made to be used. Its off to the sink.
August 24, 2008
August 17, 2008
On July 3rd I wrote about my baby watermelon. Well, the baby has grown! This is what it looked like as of yesterday, August 16th. It's pretty amazing what a little water and lots of sunshine will do. There are others on the vines as well. They should all be ripe just in time for that fall picnic. :-)
August 10, 2008
August 8, 2008
August 7, 2008
Until that moment, I really hadn't realized that I was truly okay with mid-life. Perhaps that's because my "crisis" came at 41 with my adjustment to an empty nest and the end of a 22 year marriage. My "crisis" enveloped me with such a deep sadness; at times I felt as if I literally couldn't breathe, let alone function from day to day. Thanks to my faith and the support and kindness of family and friends, little by little the healing took place. I'd like to say that it happened quickly, but complete healing has taken a few years. The only negative elements that remain are guilt and regret. Guilt that my plans of a forever marriage failed. Guilt that I let my children down. Regret that perhaps there was something he or I could have done differently. But as I've learned during this mid-life journey; guilt and regret won't change the past. If allowed, they will cast a dark shadow on the future. So, as the final step in the healing process, I'm working on self-forgiveness. I'm focusing on the "now" and the blessings that surround me. I'm giving thanks for the friendship that I have with the man I shared half my life with. And most of all, I'm basking in the joy that comes from seeing the amazing adults my children have grown up to be!
No one promised us that life would be easy. Compared to many my "crisis" was minor. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who are hurting. May you find both physical and emotional healing. May you see rays of sunshine on the cloudiest of days. May you too be blessed with the love and compassion of family and friends.
August 2, 2008
July 29, 2008
There was a gentle breeze this morning as I was watering. I stopped and listened to the finches at the feeder and took a deep breath of fresh air. Suddenly this phrase came to mind, "It is well with my soul." From somewhere deep within my memory came the chorus of an old hymn and it felt so appropriate. Yes, when I am working in my garden, "It is well with my soul!"
* This hymn was written by Horatio Spafford after much heartbreak. It is an amazing story!
July 28, 2008
July 23, 2008
July 22, 2008
July 19, 2008
July 17, 2008
July 16, 2008
July 15, 2008
Etsy is a unique marketplace and online community for all things handmade. To see a short informative video, visit the link above. There are many great interviews, beginning with the founder. I really enjoyed hearing his inspiration for the site and his vision for the future. Whether you are buying, selling, or just gathering inspiration, you will find it at Etsy!
July 13, 2008
This daylily is unlike any of the others in my yard. It has a triple layer of petals. I headed outside ready to take a few pictures when I spotted this little Praying Mantis. (to see it a little better, click on the picture) As I moved around the flower to get a good shot, it moved to the opposite side. Our cat and mouse game was rather comical. We did this "little dance" a few times before I finally took the picture. I was pretty surprised by its visual skills and became curious...... so I did a bit of research. According to National Geographic, "The Praying Mantis' excellent eyesight allows them to see movement up to 60 feet." No wonder I wasn't able to take a close-up!