Hoarders…

My daughter says I have a problem.

I say she is wrong.

She says the first stage is denying there’s a problem.

I say she doesn’t have a clue.

You see…I love fabric. Especially vintage fabric. I don’t think there are many fabrics that I can’t imagine doing something with that will tickle my fancy.

Isn't this pretty?

Isn’t this pretty?

What I don’t seem to have in excess is free time. Actually, I don’t think I have had any since my first grandchild was born, and he is almost seven.

So my fabric has been holed up. Some of it hasn’t seen the light of day for a good many years.

Until recently…

Redwork panels done by my grandmother...

Redwork panels done by my grandmother…

My father was going through my grandmother’s hope chest and came across a number of quilt squares of redwork that she had done as a child. If you look really closely, you can see her tracing lines that were done by hand.

I wish I knew how old she was when she did these…it would just add to the beauty of their history.

I decided the time had come to use some of my precious hoard of fabric to do something with these…

You must understand that while I LOVE to sew, I am self-taught. That does bring to mind the question of exactly how much I can teach myself…Let’s just say that the things that I am confident doing are the things I like to do the most, and that variations on that theme take me a little further in my skills.

But I don’t do zippers. Nope. Not a bit. And I really would like to learn. One of these days.

I started pulling out my beautifully organized tubs of fabric…color-coded in clear containers, stacked like a rainbow on a huge storage shelf in my “craft” room. I basically just store my stuff in there and pull it out to the dining room when it is time to work…

My daughter hates it…

The first thing I made turned out to be my favorite.

My favorite month...

My favorite month…

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I was born in February…just barely…on Leap Day…Last year I became a teen;)! And, of course, Valentine’s Day is in February. And so is Curly Top’s birthday. So much fun going on, so I took some time making this pillow for me. Kind of like a birthday gift to myself.

Some of these fabrics were bought sight unseen on Ebay. They carry a pretty good assortment of vintage and retro fabrics, and since I hold onto my fabrics until the right idea pops into my head…well, if the colors aren’t perfect, eventually I will find a great match and make it into something.

I had a lot of fun using up some remnants that I got for about a quarter…

Looks just like my dogs...Joe Bear, Dia and Belle

Looks just like my dogs…Joe Bear, Dia and Belle

I love birds...

I love birds…

My gardening moved indoors...

My gardening moved indoors…

Some of these fabrics are so old I don’t even remember where or when I got them.

But I do know about the white chenille on the February pillow…When I hemmed my grandmother’s bedspread for her about twenty years ago, I saved the portion that had been cut off…

See?

Grandma's old bedspread and Grandma's old redwork...these mean a lot

Grandma’s old bedspread and Grandma’s old redwork…these mean a lot to me…

So…when my daughter starts calling me “hoarder” and threatening an intervention, I believe I will take her by the hand and drag her to my room so I can remind her about the good things that come to those that wait…

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A little bit of this and that…

I have been MIA for a few weeks now. Illness and other things just seem to come between me and my computer…

Like Froglegs and Mario…

Like Dancing Eyes and Luigi…

Like Curly Top and ABCMouse…

And a bunch of other interruptions….

BUT, although I have not been writing over the last few weeks, I HAVE been busy…

Taking my first ride in an ambulance…yeah, I am ok, but it was scary for awhile. Nothing like respiratory problems in the middle of cold and flu season in a house full of germ magnets and spewers! I am researching my own bubble suit as a preventive measure…

(You know, it is a good thing to be friendly to the EMTs and paramedics…they stick you with needles in the back of a moving ambulance and you really want them to do it right the first time…thankfully, my guy did a great job on the first try…)

After several doses of steroids and other medicine, I am now back on my feet, and not coughing like I swallowed a fur ball.

Once I started feeling better, I began working on some very special projects around the house that have been taking shape in my brain for…oh, a few years. (My daughter is glad to see some of the fabric leaving my storage and becoming something else)…it’s kind of like a wedding…something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…I will be sharing pictures over the next few blog posts.

And I have been reading…catching up on the flight out of Egypt by the children of Israel in Exodus…I have a number of thoughts percolating in my brain that have not quite taken shape yet, but a few verses in particular have really caught my attention:

Exodus 36:1-2

“Bezalel, Oholiab, and all the skilled people are to work based on everything the Lord has commanded. The Lord has given them wisdom and understanding to know how to do all the work of constructing the sanctuary.”

So Moses summoned Bezalel, Oholiab, and every skilled person in whose heart the Lord had placed wisdom, everyone whose heart moved him, to come to the work and do it.

These were craftsmen, highly skilled in their trade. But more importantly, they were filled with God’s wisdom and understanding. The construction of the tabernacle required more than just skill. It required the correct heart-itude…

It is a wonderful thing to be skilled to do something special. But that really isn’t enough, is it? God wants more from us than just our abilities. He wants those whose hearts have been moved and who have come to do the work HE has laid out…

I am continuing to think about these verses and will spend a little more time fleshing out my thoughts and before sharing them with you. I know there is a big lesson for me and I don’t want to take a short cut…

Adjusting your focus

nathan and meI am married to a wonderful man. He has stuck by my side for almost 33 years, and that is a long time by any standards. Especially since he knows all about me and STILL sticks by my side.

BUT…he is a good source of blog material…and since he has such a great sense of humor, this is going to be ALL ABOUT HIM…

Superman is about 6′ 4″ tall…he seems to have an aversion to that height and tries to knock off a half inch but, I happen to know how tall he really is…;)

He is also only about 185 pounds…pretty thin. See what I mean?

He got a bit concerned about his weight a few months ago because he had inched up on the scale. I think, if we are being honest, his WEIGHT really wasn’t the issue. (He is going to LOVE all the word plays in this blog!!!)

The issue was that he has had angioplasty and a stint, so maintaining a HEALTHY HEART is really far more important than his added pounds, which I think only made him look a little healthier. I just don’t think I should be able to count his ribs through his shirts, do you?

So, my sweet man started working out on the treadmill. Faithfully. And he arranged to listen to the Bible online while he worked out…exercising his faith, his heart and his multi-tasking skills all at the same time. (Multi-tasking is not one of his strengths, unfortunately.)

He was so proud of his progress when he reached that 185 pound mark. And he clearly was feeling a lot more energetic, so that was a good reason to continue his commitment to the contraption in the basement.

But as is so often the case, things happen. And one night, Superman got on the treadmill…wearing the same shirt in the photo above…He started walking, and realized he was getting too warm…So he decided to take off the shirt.

Fine. No problem. As long as you STOP THE TREADMILL AND GET OFF THE THING FIRST! He didn’t want to break his stride…right. Mr. I Can’t Multitask

The next minute we here a loud noise and a bang. I should mention that when a TALL person is on a treadmill, it makes them CLOSER TO THE CEILING. And my husband has unbelievably LONG ARMS. I thought he had reached up through the ceiling and created a shortcut to the basement.

Nope. His shirt had gotten stuck on his head, and he got a little mixed up and kicked a hole in the wall as he stumbled around on the still running treadmill. Aren’t there safety rules about this sort of thing???

Lest I leave you wondering, he was fine. No injuries. That, in itself, is a miracle. You see, he also has a foot full of hardware from a serious fall involving a ladder, a tree and a chainsaw…just imagine the worst and you will be pretty close.

But he was fine. And it got him thinking (maybe he should have done that before attempting his failed attempt). And he realized that there was a really great application that could be applied to the spiritual race we are running.

Runners who get ready for a race have to prepare for it. They train their bodies, increasing their stamina. They wear appropriate clothing that will not interfere with their run. Can you imagine running a race wearing a ball gown and high heels? Or showing up to a marathon wearing a tux? That would be crazy.

How fast do you think you would run if you were carrying all your garbage along with you? At my house, that would be a full can of recycling and a full can of regular trash. I can’t pull both of them up the driveway together, so the idea of RUNNING with that strapped onto my back is just impossible.

But that is exactly what we do in our spiritual walk if we do not prepare for the race. We must shed those things that tangle us and distract us. We must deal with the traps that defeat us. Any sin that is taking hold in our lives must be confessed for what it is.

And our focus needs to be on the right thing.

If a runner looks down while racing instead of ahead, he will fall and he will fail. If a runner looks ahead to the goal, that is where he should finish!

Although none of my football teams won over the weekend, I must say that each team had the same goal–getting that football in the end zone as often as possible. They wanted to WIN. They fought to WIN.

The prize for our race is being with the Lord Jesus in glory, hearing the words, “Well done” and receiving the reward for faithfulness in the race. And because of how gracious our God is, it is never too late to refocus and make the necessary corrections so that we can finish our race well!

Do you need to adjust your focus? Are you tangled up in the tentacles of sin? It isn’t too late. Refocus…run!

Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

This looks AWESOME!

a rented kitchen

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My boyfriend hates cauliflower, so when I told him I was making a pizza crust out of cauliflower, I thought he would shoot the idea down faster than I could get the words out of my mouth! Changing the essential ingredients that make up pizza- bread and cheese- is probably equivalent to saying decaf is the same as real coffee, or Mondays and Saturdays are equivalent. Those are crazy words, silly ideas.

In all honesty however, I am not a big pizza fan. The commercial, comes in a cardboard box, with a layer of grease and zero nutritional value pizza kind of freaks me out. I love, however, making pizza at home, because it allows for me to have entire creative control- control to use whatever vegetables, flour, cheese, and herbs I want.

When I stumbled upon a few recipes for a pizza made with a cauliflower crust several months…

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Will it still count if I tell you that I am going to cheat???

I wrote the other day about nominees and awards…and the blessings just continue to fall as I receive additional nominations for such sweet blogger awards! I am overwhelmed.

You see, my mother nagged me to write. For years. But she really didn’t want me to write a BLOG. No. She wanted (and still wants) me to write a book. (If you’ve paid attention to the name of my blog…yep).

She thinks I am giving all my good stuff away for free. I think I am gradually wading into unknown waters to decide if I want to go all the way under, or just stay ankle deep in the written waters.

Initially, I began blogging with the intention of posting SOMETHING every. single. day. And I did…for awhile. And then I realized that sometimes I needed a little time for some thoughts to percolate a little longer instead of just writing straight from the hip, so to speak.

There were even several days that would pass and I would not have written a single thing. Life had interrupted that continuous chain of thoughts. Life is like that sometimes. You have to live it or there isn’t much to write down about life.

I have gotten to know myself a little better. I see things about myself that I really don’t like…but it is shared, hoping that it may be of some help or encouragement to someone out there in this invisible blogosphere. And I do not refer to the former Illinois governor in the use of that term ;)!

I have gotten to enjoy so many blogs since I joined this written society of creative writers, photographers and cooks. Moms and grandmas and pastors. People from all around the world who take the time to share something of themselves with total strangers. I love that about blogging. Being intimately open and transparent with people I cannot even see. Ah, the irony…

So in the last several days, several different blogger nominations have appeared on my wall, and I am just so honored and humbled. I like to think that these nominations are coming from people just like me…and I just am so thankful that there actually are people out there that READ my blog!!! It amazes me! And just like I heard over and over and over last night with the People’s Choice Awards…it really is all about the fans…or in this case, the readers. I appreciate your time. To those who comment…thank you so much. My invisible friends. And to Lori Schulz, who actually HAS written a book and saw fit to nominate my blog for these awards…a most heartfelt “thank you” for your thoughtfulness. May the Lord bless you in your writing for His honor and glory! (http://lorischulz.wordpress.com)

So, here goes…I am going to tackle a few of these awards in one sitting–so many of them have similar requirements, and nap time is almost over…

versatile bloggerThese are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:

  • Display the Award Certificate on your website
  • Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented your award
  • Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers
  • Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post

Post 7 interesting things about yourself…yeah, right…

    • I love purple and yellow.
    • I am learning to quilt.
    • I love taking photographs and finding a spiritual lesson to share.
    • I lived in Ecuador for 4 years…and wish I could go back.
    • I dream of retiring in an RV and living off the grid.
    • I love learning new things…just not the hard way!
    • I laugh loudly.

My list of bloggers:

super sweet bloggerSweet Blogging Award.  How SWEET! I wish I could eat one of those!

In order to earn my treat, I need to answer some questions:

  1. Cookies or Cake?  A toughie for sure since I am on a gluten free diet…but honestly, I love PIE.
  2. Chocolate or Vanilla?  Chocolate–the darker the better.
  3. Favorite sweet treat?  GF Almond Joy Pie.
  4. When do you crave sweet things the most?  On cold, snowy or rainy afternoons with a cup of coffee.
  5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?  Well…my honey calls me Doll. 🙂

The last requirement for receiving the Super Sweet Blogging Award is to name a baker’s dozen (13) of my favorite bloggers.  So now I get to share the sweetness!

shine on awardThe Shine On Award requires you to nominate other blogs To Enjoy Posting this Award on Their Own Blogs (list of 15 is below) and suggest other blogs that tickle my fancy.

Here is my list of 15 blogs to nominate for the Shine On Award:

 

lovely blogger awardThese are the rules for The One Lovely Blog Award:

  • Display the Award Certificate on your website
  • Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented your award
  • Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers
  • Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post
  • Post 7 interesting things (I already posted mine above)

Please check out these blogs–they are all creative and worth your time to give them a look. And thanks so much for sharing my little slice of blog heaven pie!

Little Miss Mind-Your-Manners…

Yes...YOU!

Yes…YOU!

Have any of you been struggling with the flu? Or maybe an extended case of the creeping crud? Or maybe bronchitis?

If you watch the news, you will know right away that you are not alone.

There. Do you feel better? I didn’t think so.

The reason I bring up this topic is because the “seasonal” illnesses have been such an awesome learning opportunity for the little people in my house.

Over Christmas, my youngest grandchild and my son-in-law were so gracious that they shared their nasty virus with me. Sharing. I think I once wrote about it being highly over-rated?

Anyway, it knocked me on my backside. And then…the holidays were over, and the little cherubs came back…one by one.

Someone showed up with a boogie nose. And then sneezes. Someone else showed up with a yucky cough. And like good little doobies, they all shared.

{Could someone please explain to me WHY three year old toddlers think LICKING THE TOYS is a great way to play? Gross.} But I did discover that you can put wooden blocks through the dishwasher without them getting ruined. Several times. (I used a mesh laundry bag. See? I shared.)

So…as someone who suffers from asthma and chronic bronchitis, I really don’t get colds. I just get really sick. And for some reason, my asthma has gotten worse the last few years, and I don’t know why. Could it be because I live in the 6th worst city for allergies and asthma?

The asthma attacks are scary, for me and for my family. Last night, I had a bad attack. But it also came with a silver lining. Sort of.

An aside here: Do you ever wonder if you are getting through to little people when you are training them in manners? Well…I have confirmation that they really do listen.

As I was coughing and gasping for air, little Curly Top stood right next to me and whispered, “Nana, cover your mouth. Nana, you’re coughing. Cover your mouth.”

Yes. I was coughing. But I was holding onto the counter because I felt like I was about to black out. No. I wasn’t using the manners and rules I have been teaching. I was struggling to breathe. And I couldn’t get my inhaler inhaled because I couldn’t stop coughing. It was scary. I was afraid. My daughter was afraid. She almost called 9-1-1.

And little Miss Manners? She was very persistent. The entire time I coughed, she reminded me of the rules. Very softly, but also very insistently.

Once I got calmed down, I was able to chuckle about it. Now, the proof of this pudding is that when SHE coughs, she actually does tuck her little face into her elbow. Ever so sweetly.

If only they would all read the article I sent out about not sharing germs in the first place…