Monday, August 31, 2009

Painting Swan Song

I believe I am done with outdoor house painting.
I'm finishing up painting the trim around my main level windows and around the porch.
These events call for ladders and therein lies the rub.
I have crooked flower beds that butt up to the house.
Very hard for ladders to be level. Or safe.
I am pretty crooked myself lately, having those 'spells' that come with women of a certain age.
So combined, I am an accident waiting to happen every time I haul my huge ladder (not the one pictured!) around the various needy, unlevel locations around my house.
As I wiped my brush for the last time today, I proclaimed to myself, Finished.
No more climbing tall ladders. Especially outside on uneven ground.
An era over.
I've painted a lot of houses, and trim and gutters, so it will seem weird to not automatically assume that I will do it when the need arises, but thus may it ever be.....

And about this ladder. It no longer has it's little shelf that helps keep the ladder open. Very wobbly and very painted on. Can't remember where it came from only that it should have been recycled a LONG time ago.
Can't seem to part with it though.
I remember all the rooms that it helped paint by the memory of all the paint samples covering it.
Kinda like a family history in paint.

It will go back into the garage till the next INDOOR painting project, which knowing me, should probably begin in about a month........

Paint in my veins.......

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sabbath Auction

Had a wonderful time of worship Sunday morning.
Had a nice diet-type lunch.
Then, we went on to different type of 'religious' experience....
A SUNDAY auction! Unheard of around here. This means, Hubby gets to come with. With his wallet....and truck and back.......
What an amazing, amazing auction.....
Four hours of standing and being out bid and out bidding some pretty rabid Lawrence County crafters.....
Some things went goodly priced.
Other things went surprisingly high. One jewelry box full of costume jewelry sold for 245.00. Nearby attendees verbalized what I was thinking; What did I miss in that box? One small box of hankies went for 65.00. And on it went.
Pleasant weather. Fun auctioneer. Grand company with the hubby.
A good day... This sweet little guy was in a whole pail of similiar creatures. All magnets of some kind.
This sweet set sold for a good price of 22.50....

I truly loved this.....I could hear my girls and girly-in-law having a royal hoot about this....Then watching who was going to bid on it! A few other things were noteworthy as well: A milking pail with the words, CALF-A-Teria....Laughed hard to myself.....then a large book of crafts called: Safety Pins in 3-D.........

According to the auctioneer, Mrs. Hill, the owner of this abundant collection, was in her 90's when she passed from this world and by the looks of it, she was probably a bit peeved not being able to take it all with her........It certainly appears that she was planning on crafting into eternity....

Do you think local stores in the 60's had any crochet thread left? And yarn....Was there indeed a shortaged caused by Mrs. Hill??

This wide, vast assortment went on the whole length of her property.
The poor auctioneer was overwhelmed by all the teeny little thingys that were boxed up and he had no idea what they were......Standing back a bit, I got terribly giggled watching this sewing gaggle of women, bobbing and bending over allllllllll these boxes, searching for gold......We all looked liked a bunch of chickens and hens pecking at our finds.....
A fun, fun truck full day...
Rest in peace, Pauline Hill....Your things are in good hands.....

Saturday, August 29, 2009

P.S. 'New' Things...

Yellow Yummy-ness!
My favorite color has been yellow since I can remember...
I am drawn to it like a magnet (except in cars; cars should really not be yellow. ed. note)
When I saw these dee-light-full tins of 40's usefulness at a garage sale, I practically ran to pay for them, lest anyone knock me over and take them from me...!
I know they are destined for my etsy shop, but I sure am enjoying looking at them for now.....

Organizer/Admin Daughter Gets Her Birdie Sling!!

She never asked for it but when I innocently purchased this fabric when in Cincy with her, I believe most of the people in JoAnn fabrics heard her gasp!! So I did what any sensitive mother would do to her child's subtle hints: I made her a bag with the fabric! Let's face it; she deserves it.....She is my most ardent fan! :D

Musically Reclined....

(One should always be in the right position to take in good music. After we purchased our new car, we went out and bought matching (to each other and to the car!) folding chairs for such an occasion as tonight....)

Music does something to the human spirit.

It influences good or bad.

When it's good, it's very, very good.

Seeking it out is a pleasing activity.

Hard to do in a small town.

But, when a traveling Community band visits, AND they will be performing at your favorite state park, our lovely Spring Mill, AND it's delightfully cool AND it's free, well I rest my case...

Sweet Sheets

I love good sheets. The higher the thread count, the softer the sleep. I own fleece and flannel sheets for the chilling winter and nothing is better than soft cotton sheets on a warm summer night.

I think I might have f0und my favorite set of sheets to date....

Last week, at an estate sale, I found a treasure trove of vintage sheets. All softly worn, with a history that remains silent but gives me hints:

I can picture the owner of these sheets. She is a frugal homemaker of the early/mid sixties. She mends tablecloths and embellishes towels. She creates her own potholders out of scraps from the sewing that she does for her children. One day she is shopping at Woolworths to take advantage of the sheet sale there. Percale Sheets, 100% cotton! Finest Quality for the Price! 5.99 a full set! She uses her budgeted household money to purchase this linen need. She loves the fact that they are white since bleaching and air drying will only add to their crispness. She continues to buy her white percale sheets at these sales for years.

In years to come, she has picked up a part time job at Goldblatts. The children are all in school and she wants to help the college funds by working in the linen department. She loves watching the changes in sheets. For years she has known sheets to be pristine white or at best pastels. She knows that she can count on her grandmother to tat the edges of the pillowcases for flourish, but she usually puts away these treasures 'for special use'.

One day, her department head shows her the latest shipment. They both ooh and ahh over the newest style of sheets....White sheets adorned with purple and blue roses! And there is another color choice as well....yellow and orange roses! She knew that moment that a set of each of these new and colorful sheets would have to go on layaway for purchase when she could save enough to take them home.

For years, she used the sheets regularly. She loved being able to place them on the bed when their family was visiting from Tuscola. She knew that they would be impressed with their sister having the latest fashion in sheets. Faithfully laundering and folding and mending throughout the years, she made good on her investment, which may have seem frivolous at the time.....

Speed forward to 2009...

She has been gone for years now, her belongings packed in boxes in her son's garage waiting for the time to be able to go through it all and ferreted out what is sale worthy and what can be tossed.

The wonderful, wonderful stories behind vintage linens. More than just the softness they provide, the legacy and lessons, help me sleep better.

Thank you for faithfully preserving and keeping them for me.....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Spoofin' or Ways to Make a Doctor Appointment Fun

Okay. So you have to go to a doctor appointment to meet a new doctor that you'll be going to in Indy....
All is not lost!
When you live in a small town, you make the most of every Big City opportunity...
Here are a few things Hubby and I did after my early, early appointment.....

Fabric Shopping!! Found a wonderful fabric/upholstery shop in Danville Indiana called Rader's Fabrics....TONS of fabrics and a grand end of bolt bin....Many yards of purse-bound fabrics

All that fabric shopping and doctor visiting can wear a person out! You need sustenance, by golly! Why not go to the Mayberry Cafe where there is everything Sheriff Andy Taylor and his buds? Why, you can even buy Mayberry0poly and watch non stop Mayberry episodes! Too funny! We indulged in the Aunt Bee Meatloaf special and who could pass up the hot blackberry cobbler with real ice cream (NOT frozen yogurt!) Diet another day!

Did we not laugh like crazy when we saw Mayberry's finest parked along side the cafe??

On we went to other more mundane destinations only to finish up a day of spoofin to the 2G's and their parental units to a lovely supper of Shrimp Caribbean with a side corn salad that was pretty amazing....We were fed very well, thank you, from Aunt Bea to our favorite little family.....
Spoofin Days.....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bags and a Bonus!

The promised sauce recipe!
The Too Many Tomatoes Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

3 lbs of tomatoes, chopped
1 onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small can tomato paste
2 paste cans of water
3 leaves of fresh basil, chopped finely
1 tbls oregano
3 leaves of fresh parsley
1 tbls italian seasoning
3 tbls sugar
3 tbls kosher salt
1 tsp course ground pepper
1 oz can tomato sauce
1 tbl olive oil
1 tsp butter

Heat the oil and butter and add chopped onions and garlic till onions are clear. Add the chopped tomatoes slowly (puree if you have a food mill but I like the chunkiness of the fresh tomatoes) and add spices. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer about an hour. Yum.

For last night's dinner, I added low calorie meatballs:

1/2 lb. Italian sausage
1 lb. ground chicken
1 egg
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
2 leaves of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Mix all with your hands and form into balls about an inch and a half in diameter. Place on a pie plate in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour....

And the newest bags completed!

The wonderfully HUGE Birdie Sling from Amy Butler! The fabric from Craft Town in Salem Indiana, a wonderful store with ever so friendly, helpful staff......

My turn, my turn!! A bag for myself!

Used fabric from First Class Clutter and an embellishment, courtesy of the attic in my home in Moline, many years ago....The purse is comfy and easy to get into and is lined with an amazing silk from Jan at FCC as well.....

Ah, sweet indulgence....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Italian Job

Growing up, two of my really good friends were second generation Italian American. I got very used to the wonderful sauces and lovely Italian influenced gardens of their homes. I got used to being affectionately called a 'mick' whenever I went to their house. If I had to endure the gentle teasing to be able to taste their cuisine, then so be it.

Naturally, I have an affinity for Italian food. Anytime, anywhere.

So it seemed natural that when the 2G's Mama arrived today with over ten pounds of tomatoes from their garden, that I would plan on having homemade spaghetti sauce for supper! The 2G's mama is very half Italian with a half of Irish but when I look at her, I see the dominant Italian coming out. I see it in Grant as well....

Several years ago, the 2G's mama asked me if I had a pizzelles press. Of course I did! If it is unusual in the kitchen, I have it....I have four spring form pans, a crepe maker, an odd assortment of layer cake pans and many molds. That's another part of Mama's Collection...All things old, odd and cool. It turns out the pizzelle maker was purchased from a garage sale from a now mutual friend of ours, Michele. How odd is that? I knew that Grant would love digging into the process and it was a great deal of flurry that he drug his chair into the kitchen to help Nana make cookies. He helps his mama a lot in the kitchen, so he knew his tablespoons from his teaspoons and was enamored with my red handled flour sifter. He looked dubiously at the finished product but obediently took a bite of the luscious concoction.

I have no idea how many pizzelles we actually made since Grant and I kept up with the maker pretty good. I would take the rough edges off so he could have a pristine cookie; amazing how rugged those cookies became! Oh what fun it all was!

Whatever your ethnic inclination, you must find a pizzelle iron and indulge yourself...
Here's the recipe we used....

(from allrecipes online by Marianne Jungels)

Pizzelles III

3 eggs

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tbls vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

2 tsps baking powder

in a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Sift together the flour and baking powder, and blend into the batter until smooth.

Heat the pizzelle iron, and brush with oil. Drop about one tablespoon of batter onto each circle on the iron. You may need to experiment with the amount of batter and baking time depending on the iron. Bake for 20-45 seconds or until steam is no longer coming out of the iron. Carefully remove cookies from the iron. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

For chocolate pizzelles, add 1/4 cup cocoa sifted together with flour and aking powder, 1/4 cup more sugar and 1/4 tsp more baking powder. You might need more oil on the iron for the chocolate variety.

Tomorrow, the recipe for Fresh Tomato Spaghetti Sauce!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Soule Mama

For many years, I worked in a ministry that dealt with young women in crisis. The crisis would mostly revolve around an unplanned pregnancy and all that goes with that. The goal was to help the young woman to see the value that she is. To empower her to go forward in her situation, to walk beside her and encourage her during the difficult times and rejoice with her in the triumphs. All this is done supernaturally; the author is God.

For many years, I have seen young girls emotionally beat up with no hope for their futures or their children. It truly was an act of God whenever these young women broke through and came to a peace about their situation and understand the incredible strength that was available through God. The transforming power of God is never to be underestimated and His timing is perfect.....

That said, I guess it would be honest to say that I have seen few mommies that really cherish their calling. The goal is to help them to see their children as gifts of God, but it did not come naturally to many of them. I have several young friends that are wonderful, excellent mamas but for the most part, the mamas that I used to see every week, usually saw their children as a means to an end, someone to love them and for the majority, a huge burden.

Imagine my surprise when I entered the blogging world, to find the likes of Amanda Blake Soule and her amazing blog, Soule Mama. I have so enjoyed getting to 'know' her through her daily blogs and books. Amanda and her blogging friends are true renassaince women, with an eye to home; creating and sustaining it.

Visit her blog and step into her world.
See how she creates beauty out of the ordinary and nurtures it in her children as well.
A breath of fresh air and a hope for the future of our children with mamas like her......

Thank you, Amanda!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's in the Air

The entrance to the Secret Garden...
Not so secret with the morning glory screaming out, 'Come and see me!!'

When the morning glories are in abundance in my garden, I know the season of growth is winding down. For some reason, I plant my morning glory seeds later than most, so the cool mornings of September usually correspond with the Heavenly Blue's explosion.

Yesterday, I worked on cutting back the echinacea and weeding out the beds, for what will probably be the last time this season. The motor on my fountain already pooped out on me and now the mosquitoes are shooing me in early as well. I guess it's time to put it to rest. I will still water my potted plants as long as they behave themselves and produce till the first frost.

To every thing, there is a season.....

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Payoff

Low calorie dessert; frozen yogurt! (yeah, keep telling yourself, Deb....)
My Handy Hubby.....His design made with garage sale finds! (and why should he shave on Saturday?)

How I love how beautiful the little baby Shetler pies are!

Two lines full!

Farmer's Market score!

Today was one of those days that as a young mom of four children, I would dream of.

I knew with all my heart that these days would come. The image would come into my mind, but the pressing issues of the day (hour) would be seen to, and the day would end and I would be pleased to be where I was. But I knew there was a next step, a phase that would be altered by inevitable growing up and going away by the beloved children.

Take heart, young mama...

Embrace these days and know that the next phase awaiting is blissful as well...

Recipe for a Lovely Day:

1. Sleep in a bit. (normally waking up at 3 something, makes even 7, great!)

2. Get ready for the FM in the AM with the 2G's and their mama.

3. Buy an abundance of fresh vegetables and a wee little Amish blackberry pie

4. Come home to hang on the clothesline, all the linens purchased yesterday. Ahh, freshly laundered sheets! Love it....

5. Wave to the Spears out for a walk with a new stroller, guaranteed to handle our city's wonky sidewalks; Father and son follow on bikes. Good neighbors, great friends....

6. Grill burgers for lunch.

7. Take a long walk with Dixie and hubby.

8. Sit on the porch and embroider a sampler that I bought in 1974 and just recently found (I know, I know...!) post walk. Discuss our retirement plan....

9. Commence puttering: Pat making a thread rack for my work area; me, out in the garden trimming my crazy wild echinacea.

10. Thinking about supper; purchased a filet yesterday for 5.00! a 16.00 per pound filet, on the meat mark down rack at the grocery....Amish sweet corn; Pat's Amazing Tomato Salad with the tomato gift from the 2G's mama (her patrolman hubby, 2G's daddy, delivered the sack of delectable maters in the police car....Small town life....)

11.__________________________________That was the silence during the meal. Not for lack of conversation; for pure concentration of an amazing meal of grilled filet, sweet corn and tomato salad.....With a dessert of frozen yogurt and the mini blackberry pie

12. Hubby has cleaned up the kitchen while I write this.

Gotta love the Third Act of Life....

Friday, August 21, 2009


Estate Sales: Wonder of wonders...Pieces of someones life..The mundane and the glorious..
Here are some of the bounty of someone's life that I feel blessed to be the recipient of:
A hanky with the words, 'your day will come'in French...

A beautifully vibrant towel of Irish Linen in pristine condition.....

A half dozen pillowcases, crochet edged and embroidered......

Dozens of linens, lovingly detailed....One tablecloth had a patch with mend tape on it and I wondered out loud if they still make mend tape....Farther in the box was an opened package of mending tape.....I also loved the Mendets 'pot leak repair'....Do you repair your 'leaky' pots

A wonderful 40ish metal wastebasket......(yes, the sticker does say $1)

Three silver serving pieces. Nearly a dozen percale sheet sets, tablecloths, pot holders, mostly handmade, towels of all sorts, usually embellished and four sweet little jars, perfect for my harvested herbs.....

I am calmed down now but I must admit it did overwhelm me...My heart raced and my pulse quickened and I got a bit shaky.....The 2G's mama could tell an odd spell had come over me when she met up with me.....
Ah. The Grande Estate Sale.....Nothing like it......

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tea Time!

Maddox came to visit today.

He will soon be five years old and has been 'allowed' to come to His Debbies for a few years now. Sister Lily has had a bit of a monopoly on visits until she got out numbered by her two brothers. Since Lily is in first grade now, Maddox has complete visitation rights, solo.

So what do you do with a nearly five year old visitor? They have their own ideas that usually revolve around lunch at McDonalds. I don't think it's their favorite, but once a pattern is established, it's hard to veer off. One time, Lily and I stayed home and I made her tacos. She ate three of them and totally amazed Her Jordan and myself. Impressive little appetite.

After lunch, we head back home to do whatever it is that has been on their minds since their last visit. Maddox plunged into my toy cabinet and brought forth all the antiquated toys from my children's playtime years and beyond. I have a 40 year old Fisher Price train that is still a big hit. Maddox pointed out that each of the cars had pictures of the animals that belong in each car. Forty years and this is the first I've heard of it. Learn something new every day....

When I pulled out a vintage Superman Mobile, I saw that eureka look in Maddox's eyes. When I opened my locked china cabinet and produced a very much played with Superman to drive it, I knew he was set for the day.

That is, until he remembered Tea Party Time.

Lest you think it a bit unusual to indulge in the likes of girly tea party, perhaps I should explain how they go with the Mathew's children.


Lots of it and lots of silly giggling with fake British accents.

We talk about the temperature of the tea (always cold), the type it is, (always orange pekoe) and if Jordan is with us, we can carry on for a long time in our psuedo english accents with our pinkies up, till we're all quite goofy. Certainly this would be explained by the sugar rush that we are all dealing with.
Today, I pointed out to Maddox, that perhaps he actually likes a little tea in his sugar and that maybe we should refer to it as a Sugar Party. That maybe we've had too much sugar when you have to chew after taking a sip.

We drank all the tea in our little teapot and ate nearly all the sugar in our wee little sugar bowl and then we were finished.

Another Tea Party for the Memory Keeper and another dee-lightful time for me with the Mathew's children.

Next year, Maddox goes to kindergarten.

Another one gone to the regimen of the school system. Another Mathew's child out of the Debbie Loop till summer.

Thankfully for me, there is another little Mathew's at home waiting for his turn at His Debbies.

Hang on, Little Thirdsie! Your time's a comin'..........

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Two Peas in Different Pods

My daughters are nine years apart.
Oldest daughter was a bit mothery to Youngest.
She carried her around when she was a baby like she was her own personal doll.
She dressed her up and did her hair.
Youngest adored and looked up to Oldest and Oldest knew that Youngest would always be her baby....

Then they grew up.

So many similarities; so many differences. Interests are the same; different approaches. Values the same; different interpretations. Similiar tastes; different expressions.
In short, they are a blast.
They are so funny.
I love hearing their takes on situations.
Both intense and purposeful and passionate.
And smart.
Man, are they smart.
I have been overwhelmed at the skill that they have directed my new business. Again, effective and productive; different approaches.

I always knew that the three of us would do well together in a business, given our combined talents and gifts and I suppose the time is now to see it start to unfold.

And maybe in more than one way.

Today, I received a text from Youngest, bearing a photo of her newest acquisition: a sewing machine!
No sooner did I close the text, than Oldest called. Our conversation went on for awhile before Oldest says, 'You know what I need, mom; a sewing machine!'
I let her go on for awhile, telling me all the reasons that she needs one; little girls clothes, toys and accessories.
Then I asked her, 'did you just receive a text from Youngest?'
She stated that no, she had not.
Then I tell her of her recent purchase.

There was the usual round of 'No way!! She did not! Really?? Too funny!!!'

My girls.
Bookends on my children line up. The sweet and the savory. The icing on the cake. The balance of it all.
Love them to pieces.......

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Clunker Cash

My husband is a skeptical cynic. I know that's redundant, but that's how bad he is. Not one to trust 'a deal'. 'No free lunch', he'll say if I tell him about one. He is annoyed with marketers that push Valentine's Day and Mother's Day on him. Skeptic Supreme.

Imagine my surprise when he calls me in Vivieland, to tell me that he is going to take advantage of the government's Cash for Clunkers program. I had to believe that he turned under every rock and probably read the 135 page rule book that accompanied the process. Who was I to impede the progress? If it passed HIS test, then what a deal it must be.

In my absence, he picked out our first brand new car. I believe I was still in shock, never thinking in a million years that he would go out on a financial limb to purchase a new car.

Now the Clunker.

Our (notso) faithful work horse, a 1991 Ford Ranger has served us well these past 10 years. It has moved our two youngest to college,and our Eldest Daughter to the Big City of Indianapolis. When our son used it, who knows where it took him. (There are stories of summer rides in the country with all his friends in the back, scaring the Amish and being scared by them as well....Better to not know everything......) Auctions, estate and garage sales, we hit them all with our ol' white truck. Recently, a deer hit my son on one of his country rides and even then, my husband was able to bandage it enough to carry on a bit longer....

It was with mixed feelings that we turned it over. We kept our eyes on the thermostat. It tends to overheat. We turned around a lot. It has no rear view mirrors. The outer one that survived, was taken out by the deer. When we reached the last stoplight before the new car dealership, a considerate citizen next to us at the light, informed us that we had no left brake light. We wanted to tell him that it also had no left turn signals either, but the light changed, we thanked him and then laughed hysterically as we drove off to our sweet little Clunkers last parking date.

We learned all about our new car's bells and whistles. We learned about the air bags, the Sirius radio, the lined trunk. We turned over our Clunker's license plates and signed final papers. We inspected the new car with a grin on our face that said, 'Inspect what? Did you not see what we drove in her with?? ANYthing would be better!!'

And so it was the Skeptic Supreme and his wife joined the ranks of the other 360,000 Cash for Clunkers program, rid ourselves of our gas guzzling work horse for the likes of an American made Korean car. We followed our president's suggestion to get a little greener and really did well in the deal too.

A great way to go out, Faithful Work Horse; you scored us $4,650 toward our warranty packed retirement car and gave us years of memories as well.....

Onward to make new memories.....

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Jibblies

My walk last night seemed very quiet.

The streets had a hushed sound and it was easy to feel that I was the only one in the town.

Then I remembered. First day of school.

As an ardent walker about town, I've come to appreciate the subtleties of change. Early morning Saturday is a quiet, quiet time as well. During a snowstorm, it's quite eerie. And the first day of summer vacation for the school is predictably noisy.

So without a child in the school system, I've come to notice that uncharacteristic silence that only comes when children are home early, preparing for the day/school year to come, in whatever fashion that looks like. I did observe one young boy out on his bicycle, but oddly, he was just going around and around in circles. Maybe he was stalling for time when he had to finally admit that his daily romp with his bike was ending. Or maybe he was so mindlessly bored that circling was all he could come up with. Whatever the reason, he was alone in his contemplation.

I remember the dread of a new year. I disliked having to train a new teacher all over again. I resented having to rearrange my very relaxed schedule to one of waking up before the light of day. The regimen of the school district never did coincide with my busy-ness and love of motion.

Sadly, I lived vicariously through my children with respect to the First Day Dreads. Outwardly, I was the penultimate cheerleader, complete with first day photos, special breakfasts, clothes and shoes. But it was all a sham. I hated it and I hated seeing them go. I would cry after they left for no other reason than I knew I would miss them so.

All these years later, just thinking of all the children headed back to their pre dawn bus stops and scheduled learning, I get the jibblies.

Some of us never grow up......

Sunday, August 16, 2009

And the Weekend...

Ryne's wondering why oh why would I just want a photo of the new patio??
McAlisters -be it Indy or Cincy......

Of course, the Vintage/New apron made on the last visit....~

Always grateful for the lazy weekends.
Usually, they are packed and busy.
Not so, this past weekend.
A rather planned/spontaneous trip to Indy to visit Eldest Son and Lovely Wife.
We absolutely love our time there. There is usually lots of talking, planning, sharing and sometimes projects worked on. With the help of our granddog, Ryne, we have a relaxing, fun time with them.
This weekend, we outdid ourselves on relaxing....
Cooking out on the grand new patio that they recently completed, enjoying the last day of summer vacation for the third grade teacher that is Lovely Wife, and watching a movie when the skeeters sent us packing, completed the Lazy Agenda....
Wrapping up the weekend with worship at their church, fabric shopping, Eldest Son entertaining us at Old Tyme Pottery and lunch at McAlisters, ended the well anticipated Lazy Weekend.....

As we backed out of their driveway, waving to them as they stand together on the back porch of their cozy, window boxed home, we sigh a sigh of contentment..

Thank you God.....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pet Peeve Alert

I am all about new technology. Obviously. I made it here on a blog, didn't I? Love me my computer and my cell phone, but there are some irksome things that accompany these very useful tools.

Let me give you an example:

I'm at the park with Lily and her brother Maddox. I'm wildly trying to keep track of the two of them in the midst of about two other dozen children visiting the park that day. My tracking skills are lacking a bit since my days of small children, but I try my best. I follow Maddox to the swings, to find a young mommy swinging two children alternately while holding her cell phone in one hand. I listen enough to know that this is not an emergency. That it is not an important business call or a family conference. She is just chatting it up with a bud. Her two children are mindlessly staring off into space while the rhythmic movement and the ongoing chatter has placed them in a semi hypnotic state. What Fun! A day at the park with mom! Well, partly with mom. Most of her attention is on her conversation with another person. Not them.

I've been in the drive up line at banks, seen mommy's driving children of to school, waiting in check out lines, all with the same scenario: Mom talking wildly on the cell while back seat children stare off into space, or worse, involved in their own plugged in apparatus. Sometimes three, four people in a small space in a car, all in their own world; no interaction, dialogue, conversation.

What a waste.

Drive time is a safe time to talk to your children about everything. Kids feel the concentrated focus. Mom/Dad is in a safe perimeter of listening and being. Their eyes are on the road so there is no stony stare if they want to share something difficult. They know that they have your attention for the limited time that they are on the road. Good, good talk time. And yet so many young mommy's are missing opportunities that are golden for conversations that will be memorable and useful in years to come.

Some of my best conversations with my Eldest Son started in the car as we delivered papers when he was in high school. We would begin our very early day with a stream of conversation that would run the extent of the route, with interruptions of updates about the people on the route. Some crucial moral issues, political and spiritual topics were covered in that hour and a half cruise through the neighborhoods at the crazy hour of 4:30am. And we still remember it. I believe that those times are some of my fondest memories with Eldest Son; times when he was going through adolescence and struggling with impending adulthood. And I would have missed it all if I would have placed someone else, someone I did not give birth to, as a priority to him.

Please, young mamas. consider your audience before you make that 'important' call. Think of the message you are sending to your little ones. Don't let them know that pretty much everyone is more important than they are. Be aware that they are listening to EVERYTHING you are saying and are stockpiling the lessons they are learning in your conversations for use at at later date. After all, that is sometimes, the only thing that they hear from you in the long ride to school before you wave them off before driving away.

Converse with the most important people ever. The people that you gave birth to. It's an investment you will not regret.....

Friday, August 14, 2009

God Knows

Just starting to branch out to designing/sewing for those that I do not know. Asking the right questions is more important than ever; no assumptions can be made.

Finished a purse this afternoon. Started on it yesterday with eager anticipation. I realized after I cut it out that it was smaller than I wanted.

Need to mention that before I sew for someone, it's important that I pray, asking that the Lord will direct my hands and bless the work for His glory, for this gift I have, is from Him. This time I prayed, Lord, I do not know this young woman, but you do; show me what to do for her.

Then the problem started. I tried to 'expand' the bag by adding a contrasting fabric, but it just didn't work well. Even added tucks, thinking it would look more 'customized; didn't work. In the end, I accepted it's shorter status, took it all apart and started over.


Not what I wanted. Finished with the bag and was pleased with the outcome; albeit smaller than expected.

Photographed and got tags ready for the owner to pick it up.

She arrives and I open the door to a tiny little woman with a big smile.

I knew right away that a bigger bag would have been perhaps a bit too overwhelming for her small frame.

I did not know that but our Heavenly Father did. He just wanted me to pay attention to His direction and do what was right for her....

I just needed to listen.....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Catch up

Baby Girl has a friend in Lafayette that owns a wonderful shop called, First Class Clutter. It's an amazing display of everything wonderful from the past. It's a small shop with each nook and cranny filled to the brim. My kind of clutter. Last winter I found a fab piece of fabric in one of the corners of her shop. Beautiful stuff. I waited for just the right opportunity and pattern to make it up, and, of course, Amy Butler provided...The Madison Bag looked wonderful with the fabric. I packaged the purse and shipped it off to Baby Girl's friend. I visited her yesterday and she had many thanks for the bag AND another donation to the cause; MORE fabric for more bags! Lurking in another vintage container, was GRAND buttons! Be still my heart....My thoughts could not turn off last night what with making plans for the new fabric to be made into bags, totes and purses for the First Class Clutter store! One particular fabric calls to me and maybe want to stay with me.... A dangerous habit to get into! After looking at it, you're thinking so too, aren't you??!
Lily came over today as well. More on that later, but suffice to say, WE completed a nifty little shoulder bag for her first day of first grade on Monday! It's incomplete stage is pictured above....
Another order for a hobo bag came in last week and it's makings is the other photo..
Off to work on that one now.....

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