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Friday, January 29, 2010

Wellll, It's been a week since the trouble with my back started. I almost think I need to do something about it!!! I have been home-bound for most of it. I did make my Wed. Bible Study group. It is thought provoking & life challenging. I feel like I have been wasting too much of my time. It is too easy to do that.
One of the women in our group was speaking about my "down-time" in a different light....that God has allowed me time to set apart with Him. I needed to hear that. Because really, I hadn't been spending time with Him. Our lesson has been about how we live our daily life, how we "walk". "Redeeming the time, for the days are evil',, "see that you walk worthily,not as fools" God puts a very high standard for living in Ephesians 5.
I have had a few other times in my life when I have been bed-ridden for a time & during that time, God really spoke to my heart about some things in my life. My life changed, for the better, because of that time" he maketh me to lie down in green pastures" . This past week though, I spent too much time on the computer, read a book, watched movies-truthfully, none were particularly edifying. Were they "evil"? No, they just weren't helpful to the path I know God wants me to walk.
One of the verses I thought about this week was "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses & forsakes them will have mercy." The point I thought most of is that God doesn't want us just to admit what is wrong in our lives, He wants us to Stop Doing It!!!! Pretty obvious, huh? But not always easy to see & do when we've strayed. I could admit my time wasn't being spent wisely-but would I change how I was spending my time??
I talked with a girlfriend yesterday about some of these things I'm struggling with.... somehow, through verbalizing how I know God wants me to live, I was able to change the path of my day.What could have been a wasted day, wasn't, because I did what I know He wanted me to do. And there was joy in it!!!
Hoping you'll find His Joy by walking with Him today!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A delightful surprise!

I was delightfully surprised to get an e-mail that I had been picked as a winner for a give away from an online quilt shop!! The shop is ''Above All Fabric" from where I had recently ordered this lovely fabric in the above photos. The pictures don't do it justice. They never do. You just can't seem to capture the glowing color of what it is in person. Or, at least, I can't.

The fabric is called "Neutral Territory" by Terry Atkinson. I am planning on making kitchen valences for my newly remodeled kitchen. I love the vibrant & warm colors of this line. I'll have to wait & see what the rest of it will suggest to me to make with it!
Meanwhile, I have placed my order from my winnings...I can't wait! I love to get a pkg. in the mail!! Thank-you, "Above All Fabric"-you made my day!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cleaning &" back"

If you know me at all, you know I actually like to clean & organize. A good day for me is one in where I get lots of things done. Is my house always neat, clean & tidy?? Of course not!! We live in our home! So, it's much like your's, there is a never-ending succession of productive messes, with a never-ending succession of clean up's that follow. Eventually. Not always on the same day.
Friday, was one of those happy, productive days. You know, where there is an actual sun shining on the Southern Tier of NY. These days are rare & coveted for us NY-er's, especially in January!! I become Super-Homemaker, giddy with the effects of a possible Vitamin D booster. No running shoes necessary-I'm off with that first golden glint. ( Because I AM a NY-er-this may not last-so you had better hurry!)
Yes! Let us zip the ancient Electrolux over the floors! Get out my heady aroma can of Pledge! Fill the bucket with hot (low) sudsy water to swab the floors! Clean the bathroom, get those shower doors! Man, I am on a roll, maid Hazel's got nothin' on me,baby,remember-I am SUPER-HOMEMAKER!!!
Till the carpets. Oh woe is the carpet. The carpet needs shampooing. A really good cleaning. I've had it in the back of my mind to get to it for sometime... The sun is still shining. Yes! Today is the day! I am Hoover -happy or is it the effect of all the cleaning products used? Hmm, something I maybe should have considered? But me & the Hoove are a buzzing along. I clean it really,really good. And then, because I am a victim of soap residue phobia, I go over it really,really good with just rinse water, with a touch of white vinegar. I have read that the vinegar is a powerful antidote for the dreaded soap scum. I finish with the Hoove, rinsing & cleaning all parts to my satisfaction & then allow myself a break.
My back is tight,very tight, But my house is Super-Homemaker Clean!! Oh, yes! And I will get to enjoy those glory moments with my cup of tea, on my well-deserved break... & think about making choclate chip cookies afterwards, at least,that's the plan. My back now has other plans. Plans of immobilizing me in a vise grip of pure unadulterated pain. Pain that says" Move! Bend! Breathe! I dare you!" I'm breathing alright, but I think it's sounding more like the last gasp.
AND that misleading globe of golden energy is STILL SHINING!!!!! I am not shining anymore!
Sooo, I have been lying, painfully, on the couch. I have taken ibuprofen. I have taken a muscle relaxer. (Note to self- Notice the time you take them, that is to avoid the Alice-in- Wonderland sensation, when who cares if I can move or if the house is clean?!!) I have applied enough linament to be mistaken for a Kentucky Derby racing stable. I have made my necessary hobblings with a cane.
My sweet love has shopped for groceries. Made my meals. Served them to me. Took my books to the library & brought me 3 new ones to read. The right kind-where you can manage to hold them lying down!! He has given me equal shares of cookies---I always want him to have just one more than me! but this calls for special measures-!
I'm getting better. No cane! And the cookies are gone. It is now raining & I'm sitting... & you know what? I'm still glad I got all that housework done even if it caused my back trouble....cause it would be awful to feel this bad, to have it raining and the house dirty.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What I've been working on

This is just a really fun pincushion/sachet . I chose bright colors from a Charisma charm pk., instead of going with the more country colors. The machine blanket stitch was a bit involved but I like how it turned out. Obviously, I'll have to finish this.
Here's my tea cozy all done-love it!!

Rolls for my sweeties lunch! So good warm!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Winter Ways

Friday evening we had dinner over at a friends' house with another couple. Today, we went to church & had a few friends over to share a bowl of spaghetti with us. Again & again, I realize how much I am given by having company over. Yes, I want to share a nice meal, but it is the fellowship around the table that so warms my heart.
I am in the kitchen fixing coffee. I am not participating in the two conversations I hear bits & pieces of, the laughter that periodically burst from those around the table. I feel my heart warm in the glow of easy camaraderie, this is one of the "places" I feel best.
We "break bread'' together, but the nourishment goes far beyond meeting hunger pains. Our Pastor has been speaking on the "church". People, of course. People who go, people who do, what & where Jesus would if he were here. We strengthen the weary, we console the saddened, we feed the hungry, we encourage the down hearted. Truly, Jesus has no hands but our hands to use. No feet, but our feet to go. No mouth to speak from but our's, no arms but our's to wrap around the lonely.
So often I pray,"Lord, use me. Let me minister something of your love, your grace through me" I am a woman of "little things".The small things that fill my life, these are what I offer to Him, offer to other's. My heart invites-"come share with me in what I have".... and in that place, bodies & souls both, are fed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Remember this lovely fabric? Those sweet little birds & bright, happy colors just "spoke" to me. I've had them for a little while. Not sure what I wanted to do with them. I finally made the cut. Above is the beginning af a tea cozy. This, at this moment, will be for me & my pleasure in having a cup of tea. I added a little bit of embroidery & appliqued a cheery bird on the linen side. I'll show you a picture when I'm finished.
These are from the same fabric line,mostly.
A happy, pleasant time.

Which do you like best?!!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Can you believe I didn't get a picture of our little grand daughter???? Here, is a picture of her folks, though, as they are heading out the door for home. Ariana had fallen asleep in the car already & we didn't want to disturb her.
Things I took note of- Nathan & I seem to be "preventative" parenting types. We are very much aware of what could happen,like a fall, & take steps to prevent it. Summer & Dan are a little more hey, if something does happen, we'll deal with it then. And lil' Miss A?? When she first comes, she looks in certain spots to see if things are the way they were when she was last here. Is my ball in the cupboard? Where is my play phone? Is the basket with the musical turtle here? She also test her boundaries-can I have the remote this visit? Is the laptop still off-limits? Can I pull out the shelves from the cupboards, can I touch the oven door? After the initial no-no's are restated, she is generally quite a contented little girl.
It got me to thinking, boundaries are good for us. Things that can potentially harm us & good things that we can potentially damage, are both kept at arm's length away. They are like a fence around a yard. Within the fence, all the good things there are to be enjoyed.
God's no-no's are meant for our good! He says "no" from a Father's heart, to keep us from getting hurt & to keep us from damaging something good. Within the safety of God's perimeter's is the place where all things are to be richly enjoyed! All good parents have boundaries for their children & God's boundaries are the best for all our lives!
"The boundaries have fallen to me in pleasant places..."

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Did you make resolutions for the New Year? I know many do, I see the magazine covers promoting weight loss, organization, etc. The beginning of a new year is a popular time to re-commit, to strive towards goals, to examine our lives & make new one's.
I am resolved....
I don't necessarily make any "new" resolutions but I am resolved to carry out some lifelong commitments that just happen to coincide with the beginning of a new year. Each year, I am committed to grow as a Christian & to nurture spiritual growth by nourishing my spirit through things I read & study. I can't " give a cup of cold water in His name" if my own well is dry.
I am resolved to encourage others in their walk with the Lord.
For me, that is usually sharing what I'm gleaning through His Word, what I believe he's doing in my life & to share from my own experience.
The picture above is of some of the things I am doing right now. The "Finding Fulfillment" by Dorothy Davis is an excellent Bible study guide that I do with a group of women at my church.I gain so much from the insights & perspective of other women who have the same goals as me in life. I highly recommend being in a study group for personal growth. I've also used study guides alone, at home, with my daughters, when they still lived here or just a couple women. Elizabeth George study guides have been a personal favorite for me in the past also.
"Strength for your Journey" , a daily devotional Bible. I got this from my Grandmother. All this is, is a Bible that's been divided into portions for reading for each day of the year. This one has Old Testament, Psalms, Proverbs, & New Testament segments for each day. It also contains a small devotion & a verse for the day, at the end.
Maybe you've always wanted to read the Bible for yourself but felt it was a daunting task. Or you started at the beginning & got bogged down & quit. A One Year Bible will make it do-able for you. I am a fast reader but I would guess most anyone could do it in 15-20 minutes per day. My other personal recommendation is - read it in a translation you understand, a Christian bookstore can help you with that.
I want to share some encouragement in reaching that goal if you've never done it before. Sometimes, people start reading, then, for whatever reason they a miss a day or two...& fail to catch up. They miss a few more days & get so behind they give up.
I'm going to give you a couple ways to handle that. One, just let it go, start reading on whatever date it is when you pick it back up again. Gasp!! Surprised you, didn't I? You're trying to acquire knowledge of God's Word, this isn't about being perfect. When you're trying to implement change, allow for stumbling. You're like a toddler trying to walk. You'll fall down sometimes, but I'm here to encourage you in the big picture. Get back up & start reading. Trust me. It's okay. At the end of the year, even if you started & stopped a few times, you'll have more in you than if you quit the first months.
Here's another alternative for you-Read Ahead !
If you tend towards a type A personality, this might work better for you. Read ahead as you're able. If you finish reading it before the year's over-great! If you miss a few days, no worries, you're still ahead!!!
I hope you're resolved to carry out your commitments or make a new resolution. I'm behind you 100% & here to help you succeed- God Bless! -Jill

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My sister, Yvonne, has had some dramatic improvements in her health by simply changing her diet to one that eliminates most foods containing gluten. She claims she's not trying to be the poster child for gluten-free, but her results & enthusiasm are catching.
I know my diet stands in need of improvement, as does my health-so why not try it,I thought.
I planned Sunday night what I would eat. I left myself a note that said "Gluten-Free" to wake up to in the morning. It's amazing what I can forget in those first moments of early morning fog! I had my strategy.Apple, cornmeal mush & cooked fresh kielbasa for breakfast. Rice, sauteed cabbage with a little hamburg for lunch. Baked chicken & potatoes with more sauteed cabbage for supper. It went really well!! Which gave me the impetus for Tuesday & now, Wednesday.
Yesterday, for our veggie I stir fried fresh broccoli & a carrot with some pine nuts drizzled with fresh lemon. Mmh, I could eat that alone for a supper- & probably should!!
One of my birthday gifts from Dan was a 1 lb. pkg. of dark chocolate turtle's from "The Parson's Daughter" These are not just your everyday kind of turtle. First, there is an abundant amount of rich, dark wonderful chocolate, then, a fresh, buttery sweet pecan, next, is the delicious caramel that is neither too hard or gooey,but as Goldilocks would have it-just right & the final layer of said chocolate. I want you to know I showed admirable Super hero self restraint. He gave them to me at about 5:30 AM, when who even remembers the word "restraint". By 8:30 AM the darling pink box with it's gold seal remained untouched!! Well, then came lunch & supper & snack. And yesterday there was a turtle with breakfast...and lunch... and dinner...& really, I'm thinking "Go for 2 pounds next year, babe"!!!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Remember this darling in her polka dots this past summer?
I was inpired by Cathy's Scraps blog to not only use some of my scraps, but to sew with Valentine's in mind. I was very impressed by her forethought & knew I could benefit from following her lead. She also had a challenge about making a banner. I had wanted to make one for Christmas, but that did not happen either.

But these are the projects borne from that inspiration. Four-patch coasters! These adorable little hedgehogs seemed suited to a Valentines coaster. I embroidered them in a simple backstitch.

This fabric is from a Valentine's wall hanging I finished last year. I had just bitty scraps left.
See the polka dots?! They were scraps left from lil Miss A's outfit I had made. Polka dots make me happy. I don't know why, they just do!
I had larger pieces of those scraps, so they became the foundation of my very first Valentine's Day banner!!
I really had itty bitty pieces to work with for the decorations. It was challenging to get something on each one, but I really enjoyed it! The ribbon I attached them to was selveged from Christmas presents!

All in all, I'm pleased as punch!! How 'bout sharing what you've got going on? I might glean some more inspiration, thanks, Cathy!!


Before Christmas, on our way from Summer's, I was blessed to go to a JoAnn's store. They had this great seasonal flannel on sale for $1.99!!!!!. That's right, $1.99 a yard. I knew immediately what I wanted to make from it, Christmas pillows. I thought I would get it done before Christmas but it just didn't happen. Here's a close-up of the fabrics.
After the hubbub let up, I had the pleasure of getting to sew the 2 20 inch pillow covers I desired. Being inspired by a blog of Cathy's Scraps I also made 2 smaller covers.
I'm pretty sure they will be gifts. But packed away with this past Christmas finery, one never knows, when discovering it next year. Sometimes, they end up at my own home!!!

Cozy January

January is really one of the best winter months. November & December are all about their respective holidays. February is somewhat involved with Valentines Day. March ,we are all tending to long for Spring even tho it is still wintry into April. But, ahhh, January, it is the quintessential month of Winter. It hasn't snowed long enough to be all gray with salt & cinders.Neither are we all cold-snow-winter weary.In January, winter is still Jack Frost fresh & we are filled with leftover yuletide joy to carry us through the month.

January is soft, warm, throws we curl up on the couch with. It is reading books with a fragrant cup of tea at our elbow. It is a leisurely month, if we let it be so, the cold slowing all things down, even time. There is time that stretches in January to finish projects,to start new one's. It is sledding parties & skating on frozen ponds & rich hot chocolate with whipped cream. It is friends & family passing winter evenings together in snug gatherings. It is deer on the lawn in the moonlight & rabbit tracks in the snow.
January is reflective. January is hopeful & expectant. We think on our lives, seeking changes for the better. We pause & let ourselves be filled with a winter wonder in the cold crystal landscape. January awaits......deliciously wafting it's way into our lives.
My quilt blocks are finished,made from a layer cake & charm pack of Moda's line "Sweet" by Urban Chiks. It was a present from last year. I have to think on how I will put it together. I might need to get more fabric & make more blocks. I am pleased with it,the colors a happy jumble of cheer to me!

Monday, January 4, 2010


Hey, Mom & Dad-I posted this for you. This should take you down Memory Lane....or make you hungry...... or both. Jean's Beans...the fish fries of my childhood! Brought to you via Watertown.. the "Bean" lives on!!
It is cold here. Very cold. It's been like this for some time. Days & days. I think my thoughts are frozen also!!!!