Thursday, September 21, 2017

September Busy-ness; Daring to Hope

So far September has been a very busy month.  I got smart and decided to schedule a lot of my yearly doctor's appointments, which sounds simple enough, right?

Simple enough, until they start calling me back for followups and repeat tests, etc.   Everything is ok so far, but I'm tired of running back and forth. One doctor wants to do a little surgery for me, but I'm hesitant to say yes, but afraid to say no.   Decisions, decisions!

I had a hummingbird fly into my house, not once, but twice in the past few weeks.  I lock my storm door open in the mornings and late afternoons, so the doggies can run in and out of the house.  My hummingbird feeder is near the back door, and lo and behold, one of the birds has entered my livingroom doorway twice.  Thankfully, it didn't go far, and buzzed its way back outside without incident.  It was pretty cool to see and made me happy.

I've been trying to decide what to do with these 30+ year old embroidery pieces I did from a magazine back in the 80's.  I used my brother's art paints, (he took art in high school) to color the blocks and then added embroidery.  I remember how much fun these were to make way back then.  I can't decide if I want to frame them and hang them in my guest room or if I should make pillows out of them and just throw them on the bed.  They aren't special to anyone except me, but I have always liked them.  :-)

I've been trying to put my livingroom back together after finally painting the walls! The former owners had painted the room a flat mossy color that was so dreary to me.  I'm so happy to have more light and a little semi gloss in the room.  I've had this pie safe forever, also bought back in the 80-90's.  It currently holds our blankets for tv watching and the covers I use to protect the furniture from the dogs.  I have since added an artificial tree to the planter stand, everything besides the pie safe are thrift store treasures.  I love the angel architectural piece.

I received this book free for participating in the launch team for Katie's new book.  Katie's first book, Kisses From Katie, was a life changing book for me.  Katie graduated from high school and instead of going to college, she talked her parents into letting her take a year off to go to Uganda, and then start college later.  Guess what?  She never came back! (yes, to visit) Katie has made such a difference to the people there and has adopted several of the children as her own.

Like many others in the group, I feel that this new book must have been written just for me.  This book speaks of God meeting us in the dark places in our lives and how it's all about HIM, and His goodness.  Katie grieved the loss of a  dear friend in this book, and it resonated with me so well, as I could feel myself grieving the loss of my own mother throughout her writing.   Just like Katie's friend, my mom is now looking into the face of Jesus, and has no more pain or worries.  This book offered much comfort to me.

This book will be released for purchase in October.  If you are looking for a good read, one that will truly change your life, I highly recommend Katie's book.   This book helps put life in perspective and  I pray that God gives me a heart like Katie.

I hope everyone is having a great month and enjoying the slightly cooler temps. (it's been hot in NC)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Ta Daaa !

Ta daaa!  I say that phrase sort of  with 'tongue in cheek', but I am pretty proud that I finished this quilt that I started at least 25 years ago!

Back before I  owned internet and back when I was learning to sew, I started this little 'school' quilt for my sweet little girl, who is now 30 years old.  I dreamed that she would become a school teacher one day, because that was what I wanted to be as an adult.

Funny thing is: my little girl grew up to be a hair dresser.  My son is the teacher.  Did I tell you he was voted Teacher of the Year at his school in High Point last school year?  (side thought:  little daughter had a jumper dress made out of the chalkboard fabric too! )

This is the quilt I decided to finish without spending much time on.  Not to mention being very very frugal about it.  I picked up this lightweight quilted bedspread at Goodwill and it has fabric on both sides.  After a good wash in the washer,  I cut it down to use as backing and batting. ($4)

Here it is all pinned together and ready for the sewing machine.  This quilt is not very large and I was amazed at how easily it quilted with my walking foot!  No stress whatsoever!

The binding was made from a piece of gingham fabric I found in the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby.   By the way, does gingham have a right side and wrong side?  Anyone know??  I machine stitched front and back sides of binding.... not very pretty, but like I said, I didn't want to spend a lot of time on this quilt. No hand sewing!

So that's the story of the frugal, non stressed quilt.  The whole time I was haphazardly sewing it together, I kept thinking of the ladies who made quilts that were strictly utilitarian, telling myself it didn't really matter what it looked like.  I haven't put it through the washer yet, so whether my 1990's sewing will hold up to washing and drying yet, I just don't know.   I did machine stitch around my appliqued apples, because I didn't trust my hand applique to hold up.

One more thing... guess who got a little Vit D today?  Can you see the rain coming across the ocean?  We were able to sit out for about an hour before the rain arrived, which was plenty for me.  It was a good day!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fun Things

I like to share thrift store finds, especially when I find something that I really love.

 I have a heart for needlework and when I saw this perpetual calendar for $4.99, I knew I had to have it!  Someone put so much time into making this piece and I plan to use it in my dining room.  ( I need to secure some of the velcro, but otherwise this piece is perfect!)  Click to enlarge, to see more detail.

 I have started a small collection of little ceramic dogs.  The ones on top are some that my parents gave to my grandmother many years ago as a Christmas gift.  When she passed away, we were able to bring them home.  My mom actually gave them to my daughter, but she has never taken them home.  I guess maybe after her toddler grows up, she may come to claim them.  The lower two I have picked up at thrift stores.  My most recent find is the black antique iron.  I found it for $2.99 at a local Goodwill.  You just never know what you'll find in there!

Here's a close up of one of the needlepoint pieces.  The embroidery is beautiful.

My friend, Debbie, from Homemaking Dreams blog, made and surprised me with the beautiful key fob recently.  She is a whiz with her embroidery machine and even more amazing at machine quilting.  She makes such pretty things.  (sorry I don't know how to highlight and link on this chromebook I'm using, but you can find her blog in my side bar)

One more thing that surprised me last week:

My daddy and I split up my mom's huge aloe vera plant recently.  We used potting soil and sand from his house.  These little mushrooms popped up overnight and I had to do a double take when I saw them.  I took the picture, then removed them.  I couldn't decide if this made me a green thumb, or a "not so" green thumb.  
Fun things that make me smile..... if we only pay attention and look for these things!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Goodbye Summer and Vitamin D

Chandler Tate
It's August already and what a fast summer this  has been.

 As an empty nester and a retiree, my favorite time to visit the beach is after school starts back,  I like empty beaches so beach season will just be beginning for me.  I have to start working on my tan.   Not really, but I do think it's important to store up Vit D for the winter.  More and more people are becoming Vit D deficient, and I really think it's because they aren't spending enough time in the sunlight.  Doctors don't seem to mention that to their patients... they just prescribe a pill.  And yes, Vit D can be stored in our bodies for extended periods.  I think it's important to help  prevent depression that frequently comes with winter days to come.

Brinley Kate

Will's kids came for their last visit before school starts back.  They were able to get plenty of Vit D while they were here.


That's about all I've got.  I'm looking forward to the fall weather and finally getting some things done.  

One last thing:  this is why we didn't have tomatoes this year.

Can you see the tomato thief?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Busy July

It's been a busy month and boy has it flown by!  I had a birthday on Sunday... those things are really flying by at record speed, too.  :)))

My daughter and her daughter came for a week long visit.  Having a two year old in the house definitely keeps us on our toes, but she is such a joy.  This is one happy child and makes this Grandma smile a lot. They went home early this morning and my house feels unusually quiet today.

Here's the little cutie pie in the swimming pool.  She has a great sense of humor and loves to joke and be silly, just like her mommy.

This handsome little guy had a birthday last week too.  Chandler is now 5 years old and will start kindergarten next month.  He's a sweetheart and he facetimes with Grandma on his ipod often.   I love getting his phone calls and he shows me what he is playing with , what he is wearing, makes cute faces,  etc.  I just love this little guy!

Before our company arrived, I pulled out a very old quilt top that I made when my kids were little ones.  I secured the appliqued apples with my machine and plan to make a quick quilt that the grandkids can use while watching tv here.  Everyone loves to have their own blanket when they visit.

My goal is to finish up some very old projects without devoting too much time to any of them.  I need to organize my sewing room and then I hope to start up some new projects soon.

But I received a sweet phone call from those grandsons this morning, wanting to know if they can come back to Grandma's house before they go back to school.  Of course, my answer was yes, so the sewing may have to wait a few more weeks.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A New Day

After yesterday's post and all the sweet comments, I figured I would do another just to say that I really am ok.

I have so much to be thankful for and I know this.   I've been very emotional;  I even tear up and sometimes cry when I see pictures of animals who need homes on facebook.  (I really wish people wouldn' t put the sad animal posts on fb.  Truthfully, a lot of of my sadness probably comes from fb.... that's another deep thought)

I'm at 'that' age when women's emotions sometimes go crazy.  And I know this.  I keep reminding myself that 'this too shall pass.'  God is very good!

Peas and pastry (or dumplings)

I made peas and pastry yesterday.  I had never even heard of this until I was visiting a home health patient one day and this is what she was cooking.  I use a box of chicken broth, a bag of frozen peas, and add store bought pastry strips.  Add salt and pepper and it really is yum.  It's a comfort food for me and it brings back a fond memory of my sweet little patient.  We had this with bratwurst sausage for supper last night... easy and good.

$1.39 panel
Those who know me, know that I love Goodwill.  I found this long window scarf recently for $1.39.  It works  perfectly in my guest bedroom and we were able to get it hung before the kids visited last week.  The curtain rod costs more than the curtain.... love that!

close up
Here's a close up to better see the color.  I love checks and I love blue.... perfect for me! Thanks to whoever donated it.

As far as  I know, I don't need to leave home today.  I plan to clean the floors then spend the rest of my day in the sewing room.  It's supposed to rain later, so it sounds like a perfect day.

Everybody have a great weekend!

Friday, July 14, 2017

An emotional week

What a week this has been!

It started out as a fun visit from these guys and their parents.  Their dad was a little stressed by the time they left, and we ended up having a few  hurtful words that hurt both our feelings.  Sometimes I think I must be a horrible person.  

Then this happened.  We were notified that one of our family members was killed in the plane crash.  I had just met these people a couple months ago.  (hubby's cousins)  Such a sad day.

On the same day, we found out that another cousin would be having surgery for colon cancer this week.  My mom died of colon cancer this month, two years ago.  My emotions have been all over the place.

A friend of the family , who is very ill, physically and mentally, was found in a ditch this week, naked, without his artificial leg, and confused.  He is still in the hospital.

Another friend who is going through chemo treatments for bladder cancer, posted a selfie on Facebook this week.  It made me so sad.  She looks so sick.

I have made an appointment for my dad, to have his long time faithful companion, Missy, put to sleep on Monday.  She is old, she has gone blind and deaf, is barely eating enough to keep her alive,  and she sleeps outside in the hot garage.  I'm sure she is miserable.  This will happen on Monday.  I've never been a part of having an animal put to sleep.

We reconnected with old friends last week, which ended up bringing up a bad memory for all.  Funny how we remember the 'bad' more than all the 'good'.

I'm not looking for sympathy. I'm just documenting the week, trying to sort out some feelings.

God  has always been and is still in control.  This I know.

Friday, June 30, 2017

My week in pictures

Monday was this:

I received more corn and froze two dozen ears.  This little brush was given to my by my daughter; one she had received as a wedding gift and had no idea what to do with it.  I looked it up and I think the original plan was to use the straw as cake testers to make sure a cake was finished baking.   I have always used it to scrub the silks off my corn... works perfectly.

a trip to Sam's. Peanut butter is on sale this month.

Silver Queen corn from Mr. Donald C.

Tuesday was a day spent on the couch with a stomach bug.  Nothing got marked off my list that day.

On Wednesday I went to Michael's and found a summer wreath for my door.  I spent a little time cleaning the doors and entry way, added a couple flags to my wreath, and Happy 4th of July!  I used to make my wreaths and still hope to get back to that one day.  However, with Michael's 60% off sale, I have learned that I cannot buy all the flowers, ribbon, etc to make a wreath for those prices.  Granted I would have had leftover material to make another, but I tend to rarely use up my scrap ribbons.

I also stopped and bought a fresh geranium and a few perennials

On Thursday I spent most of my day cleaning house.  It was so nice to sit back yesterday afternoon and work on this without feeling guilty because the house was dirty.

Remember in a recent post, I said something about making pretties to use?  Well here I go, embroidering a pretty dish towel for myself.  I stopped by Hobby Lobby on Monday and used my 40% coupon to buy two dish towels.  I had not seen this particular towel design there before.  It feels loosely woven, but oh so soft, so I used a stabilizer on the back.  I'm curious to see how this will wash up and dry in the dryer.

I have plenty of housework that still needs doing, but I tend to ignore my sewing room and my unfinished guest room, that also doubles as hubby's closet for work clothes.  I usually run in there and straighten the room when I know that guests are coming.  This is definitely a near future project, as I am getting serious about wanting a 'put together' room.

my sweet Mama
I have a small collection of Willow Tree angels that always seem to get lost in the shuffle of decorating.  I think I have finally found their home.  The pretty box contains letters from my Sweet Mama and that's her high school picture in the frame.  I scattered the angels around and now I'm ready to collect more!  I sure do miss my Mama.

Happy 4th of July to everyone and stay safe!

Monday, June 26, 2017

A month of grandbabies

Grandma's surprise

A few weeks ago, I planted myself on the couch to take my daily afternoon nap.  Hubby was at work so I knew I had plenty of time for an uninterrupted nap.  I had only been down for a few minutes when I heard the front door open (I thought I had locked it).  I yelled "are you home already?"  I heard the sweet voice of my TN daughter saying "We are! and we are here for two weeks!"  What a great surprise!  I had no idea and they arrived just before Mother's Day.... my April and my Annabelle.  I had not seen them since Christmas, so it was just the most perfect Mother's Day surprise.

It was so cute because Annabelle (now 2 years old) sensed all the excitement in the room, and she danced around and shouted excitement with us!

Then after this little guy graduated from preschool, he called me on the phone one day to let me know he was out of school for summer vacation.  (he is my facetime buddy) He wanted to know if he could spend a week with Grandma.  Of course!! His mom drove for 1.5 hours and I drove for 1.5 hours and we met in Raleigh, so I could bring this precious sweetie home with me for the week.  Papa took us out on the boat, which was really fun.

Before the week was over with Chandler, this big guy called me to tell me he would be out of school later that week.  He wanted to know if he could come home with me when we brought Chandler back to Raleigh the next week.  Of course!!  So I had another fun week with another sweet soul.  

Taken at Chan's  preschool graduation
The little girl in the pink dress (Brinley Kate) hasn't had her turn yet, as her family is heading to the beach this week.  But soon will be her turn to come stay with Grandma and Papa for a few days.

Grandma was actually thankful for the break, because as much fun as it was, Grandma was exhausted!!  God knew what he was doing when he made raising children a young woman's job.  ha ha
Fishing at granddaddy's pond

Supper the first night he was here!

Annabelle left her little pool here, they all enjoyed it!

Mother's Day
Its been a great summer so far!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Testing 1 2 3

Hello out there!  I'm trying a different way of blogging today.  I hope it works, because I miss posting.  I still read blogs most everyday and I love seeing what everyone is up to this summer.
Just a funny Annabelle picture

Since my last post on trying to make lists and get more done, I have to say life has been going better.  I'm not where I want to be, but I have managed to get a few more things checked off my list.  Since I gave up ebaying, I no longer feel the urgency to check the thrift stores several times a week.

I'm trying to keep my 'leaving the house" days to a minimum.  My goal is to only leave two times a week on a normal week.   I feel much more relaxed and can get so much more done on days that I can stay home all day.

I made zucchini muffins this morning using this recipe:  (I hope you can enlarge it if interested)

It's one I found on Pinterest and this is my second time making them.   A nice old timey recipe that is very good.

I made six jumbo muffins and two miniature bundt cakes.  I only have two of the bundt cake pans, but hope to get a few more soon.  These make nice little gifts, especially for single people or couples.

Notice this dish towel.  It's one I embroidered for my grandmother several years ago.  After she died, it was returned to me.... unused.... even though I had told her to please use it.

Once it was returned to me, I thought how silly for us to make pretty things, but never use them.  I have put the towel to good use and think of her when I pull this one from the drawer.  That's another thing I want to do for myself; embroider more pretty dish towels.  I will enjoy them and I know my grandchildren will like them when they visit.

Avery, Chandler, Annabelle, Brinley Kate

Speaking of grandchildren, here they are in a picture we took at Chandler's preschool graduation in May. (He's the cute guy in the necktie)  Annabelle (in green dress) was here visiting with her mom from TN, so it was a rare occasion to get a photo of all my grand's in one photo.

It's been a great summer so far!  I hope yours is going well too.