Monday, August 10, 2015

Losing...and winning...

Friends come and go... Life gets busy.  We have kids at different ages and in different activities.  Some move away and some drift away.  But this friend has been around a long, long time.  He was a year younger than me, but I remember him from Sunday school class.  And since I'm very small town, I've really known him forever. Last week, my friend Eric, was supposed to come home from a Pittsburgh hospital, where there was no more they could do for him.  Instead he went home to God and his new, expanded, heavenly family.

There were so many memories with this man.  For a while, we were related.  We went to the same church and we were involved in Youth Fellowship there with the teens.  He and his wife, much longer than us, for 19 years, I believe.  That's a lot of young lives to touch.  Eric was a piano player.  Not always the easiest to sing with, as he sometimes would get a wild hair and take off on his own, leaving us looking puzzled at our music.
He was special, but aren't we all?  To someone?  So we are sad at what we are losing, but if we follow our faith, and put it in God, are we really winning?  Hard to see that through the tears sometimes, but it is.
We have all worn green wrist bands stamped NO ONE FIGHTS ALONE!  So true... 
Happy Birthday in Heaven, dear friend.  Eat Aunt Luella's cake tops, sing with so many of your family and friends and smile, once again.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Kyle's Quilt

here is my scout quilt.  My nephew graduated this June from high school.  He achieved the honor of Eagle Scout and we used that theme to celebrate in his quilt.  Thrown here on the rack, you don't get the full view of all of these patches, but there are a mess of them.  His dad, a scout leader, helped a lot to be fully involved in all the various events around their council.  The large piece is in row three of the quilt.  It is a background of eagles, with his name appliqued on it.  It also has the arrow from his order of the arrow sash.  I'm not a scouty person.  I was a brownie for a few years and I was a leader for several with different aged girls over the years.  We just never had a very active scout group and my boys were not really involved past cub scouts.  But, I learned some things while trying to figure out how to put this thing together.  My offer to my needle-challenged sister was if there were some ideas for his quilt, to let me know.  She brought me the display board and said do whatever you want with I pondered, and started, then set it aside when I realized the other grad party was before this one...then I started and it all went pretty well.
Since this family is scouty, many of their friends and party guests are also scouty.  There was a lot of looking and conversation around this quilt.  And I was happy for that.  Not for me.  But for the boy who spent so much of his growing-up time doing scout things.  Here's hoping it holds up to the years of wear and tear that a grad quilt can be subject to.  And much congratulations on a job well done, and a new phase of life just begun.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Graduation 2015

This past couple of weeks, I've been working in my not-yet-completed work room on some grad gifts.  This is the quilt gifted last night to my niece, Christy.  The family tends to be Pittsburgh sports fans, so when the black and white prints needed a POP of color, the quilt store lady pulled out this bright yellow fun fabric and I said WHY NOT??  It turned out pretty good.  And the added benefit is that I believe that could spill most anything on it and not even have it show much.  Important asset for a college girl.

I am stalling now and need to get back to my boy scout quilt...need to be much further than I am by bedtime... and still a grad party and a baseball game to go to...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sally McMullin

Saturday, I drove over to our local Catholic church for a memorial service.  It was for my former cheerleading advisor and later neighbor, and always 'Coach Mac's wife, Sally'.  She had kids around my age in school and we all grew up together.  There are still places in America where that is done and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

Sally could be a tough cookie if she needed to be, because remember, 'to whom much is given, much is expected'.  And also, she was married to the Football Coach, and he was much the same.  We learned a lot more than cheerleading from Sally.  So as not to be confused, we were not competition cheerleaders, doing huge climbing mounts and acrobatics, but for the late 70's, we put it together pretty well.  She taught us to get along, she taught us rules are for being followed, no matter who you are or what your name is, she taught us that good brownies could fix a lot of things in life. She taught us that having friends to walk with every day, for 30 years is a wonderful thing.  She had a love of reading and was a big Library Friend.  She was feisty and she was Irish.
Sally had lovely gardens overflowing in perennials and she was glad to share the flowers and the plants with friends.  The flowers at the service were from her gardens.  They weren't showy, braggy gardens.  They were the kind that you walked past and often just had to stop and look at, or walk closer to and sniff deeply.  The kind that just draw you in like a swing on a porch, not a STAY OFF THE GRASS kind of place.

Sally was a cancer survivor and a wonderful support and encouragement to Elaine during her battle.  It was the return of cancer that took her this May, while in Pittsburgh in the midst of bone marrow transplant procedures. 

I lived kittycorner behind Sally for several years.  Those where some of my early running years and then my busy new mom years.  Sally was always friendly and helpful, a good mentor for young women.  One thing in particular that I remembered was when Sally was talking about her hubby of 50+ years.  Howard tended to be a bit superstitious.  Lucky pants, lucky socks, lucky penny in your shoe.  One thing that Howard was on the look out for, was a penny lying heads up.  That was lucky and never to be ignored.  She told me that she would put pennies down, heads up for Howard to find.  So as I got out of my car at the church, I grabbed a few pennies from the cup holder.  I carried them in rolled up in my hankie, these three pennies.  I hugged Howard and the girls and cried, as is one of my spiritual gifts (gift of tears), then found my place beside another woman.  In the course of the service and up and down and dabbing tears, I managed to drop some of my pennies several times.  I was supposed to leave home around 12 to meet friends for an arranged date.  It was almost over as 12:10 and we rose to do a song, and I sneaked out the back.  I stopped at the doorway, and laid all three pennies- yes, I'd managed to end up with the three pennies again- on the carpet on the way out the door...face up.  I figured, this was going to be one of the toughest days Howard had ever had, and a little help from Sally's pennies couldn't hurt.  Don't know if he saw them.  Don't know if someone else picked them up.  A few people saw me do it, but don't know if they knew why.  Don't even know if Howard ever knew Sally was doing it.  But I knew... and I smiled all the way home.

 (No, I didn't stop to take a photo.  I put some down and took a picture today-just for effect )

 When I got in the car and headed home, the radio was playing a Jeremy Camp song:

....But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we'll hold on to you always
 and oh yeah....I knew it was going to be OK...

Sally and the girls.....we haven't aged a bit!!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The continuing Saga of the workroom/ aka the STUDIO

I know it's been a long while since I promised to post the after pictures of the room.  Perhaps you haven't seen them because it really isn't done yet.  But projects needed worked on, so this morning I took a few updated pictures.  So you can see that I'm not just making this up.
 This is my shelf wall.  I'd like to show you 16 feet of countertop/workspace, but most of it is covered in projects and supplies.  That is NOT what the initial plan was, but hey, life happened.  I have grouped things in a way that just might make sense.  And things that were put way away, are more visible.  Hoping this leads to using things I have and finding things I have and working with things I have to add to with stuff I buy and keep it from looking so bad and cluttered and crazy as before.
 This is life from the other end.  The dresser is waiting for two things.  The daughter moving to Cleveland will be also moving most of the stuff in her bedroom.  So, this dresser from my childhood is going into that room to greet the guests that stay there.  I won't show you her room because it's too scary.  After all, don't most people who wish to paint and stain and poly a 6 drawer dresser, empty the drawers onto their floor and then just dig around in the pile??  Naw....I didn't think's that kind of we'll just stay out of there.

But part of this shot is to show the large amount of floor space that I didn't have before.  Space to throw quilt blocks out and arrange and leave them for a bit and not be in anyone's way but mine.  So you can throw a pile of Tshirts there to figure out how to cut them for the best Tshirt quilt ever.  To even give the daughter's Tshirt quilt a run for the prize.  Hers just needs a bit more work, but it's close.  Better remind her to put the last row together and get it done.  It won't be 87 degrees forever, you know...
 Using the crated fabric idea to keep neat stacks of fabric grouped together.  Also tried to put most of the UFO's together.  My friend, Kevin, and I were talking about UFO's today at a quilt show.  He's really a good car guy, but when your wife is a quilter, you learn things.  He said he's too much of a perfectionist to be a quilter and then he showed me some things that would bother him.  Yeah, it would make him crazy.

 And this??  This is my next deadline.  It's a graduation quilt for my nephew, who is also an Eagle Scout.  It's years of event patches.  They need appliqued to the tan fabric, part of which is an official Boy Scout Shirt.  Gotta make some progress on this tomorrow night.  Don't you like the pocket blocks??

And here are the shelves for my rolling cutting table.  Waiting for my top to be glued together and brought back home from shop.  School is soon over, so the top must come home.  I'll finish it here.  So keep watching here and hopefully, there will be more progress to show.
Thinking my bed is sounding pretty good right now....

Sunday, June 7, 2015

2015 Prom

This is my last child in school.  This is my last first prom.  This is the stuff you can't dwell on.  It's all about growing up and deciding that you are old enough to just buy a nice suit and wear it for your prom, and all the other important stuff that will happen in the next year or so.  It's about how sometimes it stinks to me kid #4 and sometimes it actually has it's advantages.  This is a little about not always going along with the crowd.  This is about ending your junior year with some dinners and meetings and tests and programs.  It's about trying to juggle 2 or 3 summer jobs, along with the family vacation for a week and FFA camp.  This is about arriving at this house 14 years ago from Russia.  And the things that have happened since then.  This is Life in my house.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

La la lala la laaaa, la lala la laaaaaaa

working, sewing, knitting, reading, traveling, camping, sorting, pitching, piling, gardening, that a word?  It should be, because it is a time-consuming activity.  But, it's all good.

Don't tell Scott that I'm in his office with the heater on because I'm cold.  I've spent the morning downstairs trying to adjust a pieced border on a quilt that I enlarged, but the border isn't a straight-up add.  So I've had to figure and measure and guess and golly and it's finally together.  Then I cut the backing and sewed the two pieces directly together, then wished that I had put a piece in between to break it up a bit.  I needed it to get the width, but not the height.  I had pieced the width with the second seam sewed, but it made me like the pieced piece even more.  Still considering cutting the middle seam back out and piecing some pieces down through there.  I used to never want pieced backs.  I'd buy extra wide backing fabric, so that I wouldn't have an 'unsightly seam' through the middle of my quilt, but once I started piecing the back, I kind of like that hidden surprise that you can have on the backside.  My last one had two piggy fabrics pieced on the back and I liked it almost as much as the front.  It was a gift.  Are you ever surprised when a recipient gives you a bit of color/favorites as guidance and you stack the pile up and think, well, it's not my quilt.  I guess I can get through it.  And then when you are done, you are actually hating to see it go??  This was not necessarily one of those, but I was still a bit surprise at how good it looks, when all those pieces go together.  It's rather an AH HAH  moment.  Hey!  This thing is turning out pretty good!  I wouldn't mind crawling under it myself!!  Even today - in June - maybe I need to run around out in the sun for a few minutes. 
So here I sit in my office, running the copier and attempting to get some of the work done that is waiting for me.  In my favorite yoga pants.  You know - the ones that are reallllly long enough.  If you are tall, you know what I mean.  But I can't lie about what I've been doing, because these babies are like a lint brush.  I'm covered in little quilt strings.  No matter how many I've picked off, ten more jump on my legs.  Oh, well.  I'm in here now.  Copying.  Looking at the bank of file cabinets that I started working on last week.  We needed to add drawers.  A good problem, I guess when you get busier than your file drawers will hold.  But now it's a matter of figuring out how to stretch the crowded drawers into drawers that will have space and make sense.  You know.  Things like putting all the D's in the same drawer, even though it's not as roomy as if you'd put some with another letter.  But does it make space sense to have all the BE's in the same drawer, or split the BE's??  I know.  Seems pretty dumb, but when I'm trying to jam 3 more files into a drawer next year that is full, I'll wish, or be glad, that I had given each drawer some thought - and some space. 
Better get back to grinding. 
I promise I'll post pictures of my new space.  When it's a bit more presentable.  And maybe I find my camera charging cord.  DANG!  It's in there somewhere.  I think.  What do you do about all the charging cord stuff?  Tablets, phones, kids stuff, kids that take parts of your charger cord to parts unknown, never to be found when you're looking???

Saturday, May 2, 2015


this is what has happened...I was starting to pack up my room, and I suddenly realized that I needed some photos... so I took this one which takes in the bookshelves, the piles of yarn in front of it, the place that I cut fabric....the the boxes that I am putting stuff into.
 This is the view standing the other way....standing at the door, looking into the room.  Don't let my mom see this.  She's real neat and that kind of stuff freaks her out.  This is my crafty room, but I'm thinking of calling it my STUDIO...see?  Doesn't STUDIO sound so much more important and creative, then just calling it Mom's Room?? AKA the dumping spot for anything that doesn't have a place...
 It's things like this lovely dresser that needed attention.  It was piled with projects started and leftovers and printouts and patterns, and in front, a couple of tubs of legos that I won't part with and pulled out of a couple of cardboard boxes and tubbed up for future generations of visitors to my house.  Legos are classic, after all.  Just not in the walking area of my room- I mean STUDIO.

 This was the scrapbooking corner.  The place that the scrapbooking stuff has been shuffled and dug through and piled and unstacked and restacked and no one can really find anything...
 SO....I took out a whole bunch of stuff.  Cuz you need to get to the walls, after all, if you're going to paint them.  Not really SURE you need the paint, but hey, if you're going to rip into a room, you may as well paint it.
 So, throw down some old sheets and stuff.  Gotta keep the paint off of the carpet.  Off that table....  That paint guy at Lowe's told me I should put primer on that orange wall first, so I did...
 The tools of my trade.  I really like to do the edges with that short handled brush.  and the microfiber rollers were pretty neat.  I liked them....

 Of course, the other rooms downstairs look just plain scary.  Everything that left the crafty room had to go somewhere, right??  so some went here....
 And some was in this end....yes, notice the white cupboards that used to hold up my cutting board...and that roll of batting...many bags of's called a stash.  I have one..more than some, not as much as others...but in case I ever get snowed in, I'm covered.
 Oh, yeah, and the scrapping stuff sort of went here, but then I realized I needed to get in and out of this door, so then we needed to put some here...
 oh, dear.  You see the mess I've created??  and this is a couple of days into the project.  And people LIVE here.  Well, not down here..not right one could live down here, because there is no place for people here.  But soon, very soon...
 How do you feel about Periwinkle walls??  I like them ....after all Periwinkle is the flower of friendship
 And we got that white pegboard trying out, but it's too white, so it's out to the garage for some paint.  The other walls were painted sheepskin...sort of a yellow color...a bit mellower than the yellow before, but even with primer and two coats, I wasn't crazy about the coverage.  A bit streaky.  But with my patience, we just went with it...
 Wasn't sure how to join the two colors, so I tried to blend it, but it turned out yucky, so instead, I did a slanty line.  Much better....
 Maybe I'll have some more picture tomorrow.  I have been at this project for two weeks.  Life happens and distracts me, but I keep plugging away.  The deadline is next Friday.  I may have to stay up a couple of nights.  I vowed not to put stuff back in there that I didn't want.  There are a ton of books that need decided on.  I have some boxes for give away.  The church yard sale is going to see some of this stuff.  I'm liking how it's all turning out, but I'm getting pokey and need to kick it back into gear....

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I can't believe it's already Wednesday!!  I have a lot of work to do getting stuff finished so I can put it back together before next week.
I ripped my whole crafty space apart... I mean really trashed it.  I had such great ideas and they are slowly coming together.  Slowly being the key word.  The project is a total redo.  I am overrun with hand-me-down and leftover furniture pieces.  They have been in there for years, but to tell the truth, they are not really effective for what I need.  So much stuff is put away behind drawers and stuffed into project bags and tubs.  I've been on PINTEREST a lot and pinned a lot of great craft room ideas and now I'm trying to use as many as I can see makes sense for the space that I have a the stuff that I do.
BUT>>>  To get to the place of WONDERFUL !!  You first have to pretty much make a complete and total mess.  And I did....and it wasn't even that much fun.  I kept thinking "I've got to sort through all of this and put it back neatly."  And I even let a few people see the mess I'd made.  And I EVEN let my mom see it.  Clean is her hobby, so I think she probably went home and had hives...
But I'm having fun...slowly it is coming together.  My biggest problem right now is that I have 3 pieces that have sentimental value to me...and they won't all fit in the new, improved space.  So, I'm pondering as I go.
The walls needed painting, as long as it was going to be apart and probably not again for a while... oh, Lordy, not for a LOOONG while!  So I picked two colors and started painting.  One color is Periwinkle, which is the flower of friendship, if you are into Alex and Ani bracelets.  It's a very nice color.  I wasn't sure when I went looking for periwinkle, but I did OK.  The other is called Natural Sheepskin.  It's a creamy toward yellow color. Very nice and a bit brighter, which is a good thing for a basement work room.  I make the space up for myself, but also for others to join me.  I'm a bit sad when I think that my daughter is heading out to dental school and on her own this summer and I'm not going to find her digging around in there or crafting with her friends on the weekends. 
Today, I wowed her just a little when she said "Is there any chance you know where a glue gun is?"  I went into the mess, opened two drawers, and came up with glue gun and glue sticks.  Yeah, I know.  It was awesome!!  But now, back to the task.  I want to start settling some of the things and sorting.  I've painted some pegboard to match the walls and the plan is to hang the cutting tools on the wall by the table, which will be ON WHEELS!!  Does that rock, or what??  SO  I've been single-handedly (oh, I used one of my legs to hold it up) mounting a level board on the wall on the studs and then attaching the pieces of pegboard to it.  In several places.  Some of the pieces were smaller (24"x24") so it made it a bit trickier to find studs in the right places.  This called for a board a bit longer than the pegboard, instead of shorter, like on the 6 ft wall pieces.  It's getting late and I have still lots to do before bed.
Thanks for listening....

Thursday, April 16, 2015

starting over,

Do you have those times that you are just crazy busy and you just live on autopilot for a while?  Perhaps you have studied for exams,  completed projects, and worked at jobs that don't allow you to have time for much of anything else.  Well, that's what I've just ended and now I'm ready to start over, catch up, or get going. For years the end of tax season means I go back to more hours at my other part time job. But this year is different. I'm staying home and reclaiming my space and myself.
Today we slept in a little, then I started my kitchen tidy. We walked the dog and there was a bit of laundry and a little more tidy and an errand or three. It was a good day. There are many things on the to-do list and I'm anxious to get started. Ready to get back to posting and back to life. Maybe I'll even have people read my post and write comments.
Welcome back, life.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

2 months

Can't believe it's been 2 months since I wrote a post....yet again, I can believe it.  It is almost over.  This crazy, busy time of year that I both love and hate.  And I am ready.
I write this every first quarter of the year.  We are Tax people.  That is what feeds our family and funds our life for all the other months of the year.  So we make hay while the sun shines...and the moon and while the snow drops our temperatures to negatives.  We work a regular day, then we get more comfortable.  You know-sweats, slippers, sometimes a curling-up blanket.  Then we work another shift.  We work with people in front of us, and we work with what they drop off and we re-work it when they call to tell us they forgot the new baby or the new address or found some other important papers that must be included.  We laugh and listen and sometimes shed a tear, as our people share their stories and catch us up on their lives.  They ask how our kids are doing and pet our dog and sometimes bring him a treat.  Because we are all a family.  And it's a good thing.  But even families get tired and as the deadline approaches, I realize the importance of my own time... quiet time... projects for me time... sleeping in... so I'm putting the machine on and you'll have to leave a message starting April 15th around 6.  If you didn't do it by then, it'll wait.  But I'll be around.  After the resting...

Monday, February 9, 2015

Do it NOW !!

Today I had a call for an appointment.  It was from a lady that I am friendly with.  We don't hang out together a lot, but we are often in the same places at the same time. She has been having some stresses lately with the health of her husband, and parents on both sides.  Major stress.  The conversation was done.  The appointment made.  Ready to hang up and I got a God-bump. "Hey, can we pray before I hang up?" And I did.  Simple and short, but from the heart.  How many times have I tossed out, "We'll keep you in our prayers", only to think about it several days later and wonder if it ever really got prayed about by me.  Hey.  I'm admitting it.  I have a problem that way.  Sometimes it's out of sight, out of mind.  But Granny Helen Bensink talked about praying with someone on the phone right then.  And while visiting my sister, we popped next door to see her neighbor, who was recovering ever so slowly and before we left my sister asked if she could pray with her, and the neighbor grabbed each of our hands and held tight.

 woman bowing her head in prayer

Why is it that I hesitate to pray out loud?  or for someone right then?  Aren't I lying when I say I'll pray for someone and then it slips my ever-forgetful mind?  Why don't I do it more often?  So today, I just did.  I'm not telling you this to brag about myself, or to look holy.  I'm telling you this, to encourage you.  It's time we said a prayer for a friend.  Or maybe someone we don't even know that well.  What's holding you back?  I'm telling you it's OK.  And even if they are unsure, you'll both feel better.  Don't think you have to use big words, or if you stumble, that it won't 'take'.  God listens ALL THE anyone who calls His name.
And I know I don't have a lot of people who read this, but there are some quiet ones out there.  If you find that you need a prayer yourself, please post something here in my comments.  You can do it without a google account, if you don't have one.  And everyone who reads this is then challenged to join me in praying throught any requests posted.
May you find God today, waiting for your prayers, and smiling through them all.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January 29th - Snow Angel Day

At 6 am I met my friends in front of the school.  It was January 29 and we were there for Elaine.  Snow Angel-ing was on her bucket list.  So last year on the 1st anniversary of her becoming a real angel, we had a group- really two groups, because one was the night before and another was like this year, in the early morning.
Then we angel-ed up and down the front sidewalk...  For the walkers....Elaine was a walker as a student, and then again as a teacher....Last year was very cold and it had snowed and the janitor was blowing, so we had to be a bit more careful....or not...
I did one in front of the tree.  I know, because just as I was going to swoop my wings someone said,"Watch out for the tree!"
I'm pretty sure the blurr is Willowe.  She must be fast, like a hummingbird.  We did some in back, where the school buses unload the children...
And then we walked out on the fitness trail...or what would be the fitness trail underneath the 2 feet of snow, to the bench out there in memory of our dear friend, Elaine.  And we did some angels and sat on her bench and I took a picture, but it was still dark, just a hint of the sunrise coming up...

Missing you, Elaine...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Clipboard Beauty....

This is the latest craft project coming from my messy room....

 Are these cute, or what??  I've seen pictures of them and thought, oh, maybe.  When I have some time.  Well, let me tell you, they don't really take a lot of time, but they take a lot of time.... It takes lots of layers of Modge Podge and you need to dry between layers.  So you don't sit for hours working on them, but you need a place to just let them sit for a a couple of days.
 Here's Andrea's.  She found this lovely paper and then I found a sheet of velum quotes.  The paper works a bit better than the velum...hmmm....not sure the spelling of that.  They do bubble up a bit when you are on your first layer.  If you've ever done some wallpapering, you'll see some similarities.  But most of the bubbles will dry back down to flat.  And if they don't, then you just slather on bunches of layers of Modge Podge.  It's one of those things that covers up a multitude of sins.  The velum bubbles more and didn't flatten out.  That one might take a little more experimenting to figure out.  So I just hit it hard with more layers....  It's all good.
 See...isn't my board lovely?  I used 12x12 paper cut - one piece for the front and one for the back.  Yeah, my words are still looking wrinkly, but they feel smoother now, with the layers of goo applied. I have smaller flowered print on the back.  Most of the ones we saw at first, only had the clip side decorated.  But I said THAT'S where the paper goes.  You hardly can see all the beauty there.  Let's decorate the BACK where it can show all the time.  Except when you lay it down....but you might just want to carry it around and flash that beautious back to everyone.
I can show you this one, that is for Chad, because, although I wouldn't really tell him about it until I handed to it him, it seems that Andrea is not so good at he already knows.  I don't know if she sent him a picture, but this is the clip side.  The back is smaller mickey mouse print.  Very cute handsome.
You can do a lot more embellishing of them and layering and strips of this and that, but for now, we just picked some great paper and started small.
I do want to tell you that I was reading a tutorial and gathering my 'tools' and was told to unscrew the clip.  That sounded great.  And it would have made things a bit easier all around, but none of our new 5 clipboards, nor the older two that we had here, had screws to unscrew.  They were all more of a rivet/grommet type of thing that appears to be pretty impossible to remove and put back together for the amateur.  So we left them together and all looks like it going to be OK.
A few more layers and we'll be writing on these babies.  Aren't you jealous that you don't have one?...yet!!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday night light

Here we are.  Sitting in by the fire.  It is ROARING and I'm good with that.  It's icy outside and my half hour trip home today, took an hour and we went past at least 10 cars who had recently gone off the road.  The first one was at least 4 vehicles, with one of them laying on its side.  It became our warped game as we approached to guess which side of the highway the car came from, because they pretty much all took incredible rides before they stopped in a puff of snow.

So, Instead of heading out to hear one of my favorite preachers at CONDUIT, we unpacked the few purchases, and went inside and lit this candle and built a fire and put some sweats and slippers on and threw another log on the fire and covered up with a blanket...and here we stayed...nice and warm and cozy.... It's a good smelling candle, too.  50% off at Bed, Bath and Beyond on my trip.  Candles for winter...good stuff.

When I was gone, I finished this headband, but it was loose and the one I was copying had a fleece liner and it looked like it was so much warmer that way.  So I sewed a brown fleece headband for a liner that fit a bit tighter and took it and whip stitched it inside my new knitted headband and it is AWESOME!!  And it's cold enough to wear. every. single. day.  And it's alpaca and it's very soft and lovely and it will smash my hair, but it will look GOOD!
And I finally finished a book.  It was The Great Christmas Knit Off by Alexandra Brown.  And it was fun and I was slow, but I'm totally inspired to keep dreamin....
Tomorrow is church and youth bible study and then our other Sunday nite bible study...then we are into another busy work week.  Hope yours was good last week.  Praying for a good one next week, too.  My dad's chemo last week has been rescheduled to this week.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Time Away

This week I did something different for me.  It's totally out of character.  I took off.  By myself.  And drove and drove and drove.  And this is where I ended up.

Fancy Gap, VA.  I pulled in the driveway just in time for the end of the sunset, which rocked because I sure didn't want to do that in the dark.  Way too curvy and I didn't know my way.  And phone service there can be spotty.
I'm not too bad at directions, but usually it works better in the daylight and with someone else to be lost with.  This was an under 8 hour trip that was over 9 and it was slushy and sloppy.  I stopped for a gallon of windshield spit along with my gas fillup.

But I had a date....with my sister....from Tuesday to Sunday...
 On Wednesday, in Raleigh, we did this...

Artistic Abandon...very fun.  I'm not artsy, just crafty, but she walked us through step by step. She was so kind, Emily Page.  Please go there and schedule a good time.
Then Thursday morning we went to White Dahlia and I let them put HOT STONES on my body.  And it was AWESOME!!
And Thursday, in Raleigh, we did this!  It was so much fun and it was a great production!  I'd see it again.

WICKED!!  What FUN!!
Then Friday we drove back to Virginia and today we just hung out.  Tomorrow it's church and then the drive home....and back to reality....lots of stuff waiting for me.....and gotta hit the floor running, but it was a great time with the older sister.  And she says I can come back again!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Every Day a New Adventure...

Yesterday morning we got up and walked the dog before church.  It IS January in Western NY, so it SHOULD be winter and cold and snowy.  But it was 54 and we just had sweatshirts and there was just a bit of mist, so I put on my baseball cap to shield my glasses.  And within 5 minutes of arriving home, there was a great downpour and I just figured God knew I was going to the shower and I didn't need a pre-rinse that day.

 But THIS morning.  It is 23 or so, and snowing.  Oh, is it snowing.  Lots of snowing and blowing and cold and icky and ice under the snow.  You just never know what's going to be out there in the morning.  hmmmm....

But last night, before it snowed, we loaded a bus with a few adults and a bunch of youth, and headed over to Bemus Point United Methodist Church.  They had invited us to their winter event.  It is a concert of their youth bands.  They have a progressing, perhaps is the word, group of youth bands.  Last year the younger ones are jr high age, the next a little older and the oldest has mostly college kids, I think.  The older group being the ones who performed the longest.  This year the youngest went first, then the oldest, and the featured group was the middle age. 

One of them, being a senior girl who spoke from the heart and just inspired and challenged me to quit doubting and worrying and give it to Jesus. appears this picture just might be sideways.  wonder how I fix that??  anyway...She is stressing over which college to attend and filling out tons of scholarship applications and trying to catch up on homework that needs doing and she's so afraid of making the wrong choices and disappointing people.  But she said she sat crying in the cold woods, with her devo, trying to journal while tears mixed with cold rain on her face and decided that God loved her so much that he wouldn't let her make the wrong choice.  She had to TRUST.   And I thought how often I don't just TRUST God, cuz you know, I think I'd better help him because he gives me strength and I should just suck it up and use that strength and am I not using it against myself sometimes??
  And then there was the music...such good me to want to learn to play the guitar, even just for myself...  Perhaps the bucket list for 2015.  Don't you think every well-packed camper should contain a guitar??  yep.  Just a nice acoustic model...
That same girl, I believe told us that they were playing for God and using the gifts he gave them.  And if we didn't have those gifts, don't feel bad, cuz God has provided everyone with gifts to use.  Probably wrong to wish mine was that girls voice.  But I really should be working to make her devotion a model for myself.  How often do we start out great gun headed in the wrong direction and so many things of life come flying at us and we don't even realize how many steps we've taken off the path we intended to be on.  Every day is a new beginning...

That's a summer picture.  Today's picture?  Not so much sun....or green...or visibility...keep smiling!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Not much going on here...

Unless you count...

Thanksgiving together... We are the Thanksgiving Meal house.  We started this several years, when hopping between a couple of big feasts left us heavier than we should be and so we decided to just do the cooking. Join us if you want...if not, it's all good.

Christmas prep... oh, it is upon us.  I have to admit, other then my tree, a wreath my friend made me and my outside fall one that I revamped for Christmas, decorating around here was a little sparse.  Always next year.  Oh, yeah.  I did put ornaments of bear heads on my tree in the hallway.  It looks cute.  And it makes me smile when I walk past it.  That counts for something.

My daughter and her boyfriend will be tying the knot the summer of 2016.  Something to keep us busy and crafting!  Always good to have purpose.  Welcome to our family, Chad.

Christmas Crafting....
Let's see....I made 2 flannel couch cozy blankets, two faux fur wraps/shawls, one faux fur cowl, some exercise headbands, and still have some flannel pj bottoms to finish sewing. This was the quilting that I did on one of those couch blankets...for my vet...that one that watches Big Bang Theory...pretty darn cute, right?? .. I started to make a list of projects that are started and need finished and it got too long to fit on my I stopped.

Nope.  Not much of that happened for our own household...but....  Our other church, Conduit, had a special Christmas Collective and they wanted cookies.  Someone stirred up a bunch and baked 600, then we picked up the rest of the dough and brought it home and baked 650 more.  The Christmas event was a huge success.  And they had 200 cookies leftover to donate to another cause.  God is Good - All the Time!!

Bert is into basketball season.  We are bleacher sitters again for a while.  It's ok.  We have friends there and look forward to visiting while we watch games and eat popcorn. 

Job rearranging....
It is time to think of tax season.  It is a crazy, busy time for us.  I look forward to it and seeing those people that I only see at that time.  But it was really almost more than I could juggle last year.  So I've made the decision to drop my vet clinic job for now.  I'm going to miss that place.  Four years of working and learning all about cats and dogs.  Puppies for their first shots and man's best friends for their last ones.  Dogs hit by cars and cats with cuts....and all the itching....  But my other job.  My tax season/accounting job.  It has continued to grow every year.  Instead of a busy time and the rest off time, there is always stuff that needs doing.  Computer entering.  Filing.  Sorting. Arranging.  Preparing.  Wondering why this is here and that is there and alphabetizing.... So, although this is a wonderful blessing to have a busy business, it is just good to know my limits.  And I was there last year, so I'm starting to work it out now for this year.

And soon, very soon, I am taking a few days, just me to go visit my sister.  I two places she lives that I have never seen yet.  I'm anxious to do this.  I've spent months waiting for there to be a good time to go with my mom and daughter on this trip, but waiting has ended and I'm up for a roadtrip...soon.