Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Bits and Pieces....

Last night I was really tired but I didn't want to miss the meteor shower that I had read about 573 times that I saw a post about it on Facebook.  Well, maybe not that many posts but a lot.  :)  I went outside about at the mission there are lots of lights but I found a couple of dark places where I could stand and peer upwards.  Beautiful night; hot, but beautiful.  Lots of stars.  No meteors.  So I got up at 5:15 this morning and went out again because I read that there would be a better chance just before dawn.  I even walked, in the dark, alone, down the path to a "pasture" that is between my apartment and the warehouse.  It was a little cooler and there was a nice breeze and there were lots of stars.  No meteors.  If I had seen some meteors it would have looked something like this.

Obviously, since I didn't see a meteor I did the next best thing and found a picture on the internet.  :)

It's hot here.  It's even hotter at home.  I try to walk in the early mornings but even then when I step outside it feels like a blanket lays over me and it's hard to catch my breath.  I'm working on a cross stitch piece from Little House called Hands To Work - a really sweet pattern - but I'm thinking maybe I should find a Halloween or Thanksgiving pattern to start in an attempt to fool myself into believing cooler temperatures are just around the corner.  What can I say...I'm gullible.  I could probably fool myself.  :)

This is what I'm working on but I've just finished the house and the fence and the grass.  I've decided to leave the sheep off and probably the bird too.  This is obviously summer....right?

But what if I did this one?  Would I be thinking cooler thoughts?

Are you thinking this is a rambling post?  It is.  I can't seem to focus these hot summer days.  But if you'd like to have a good take your mind off the heat....check out this guy.  He has a bunch of short videos on YouTube and he makes me laugh!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sometimes A Women Needs....

As many of you know my husband and I make frequent trips to a mission where we volunteer, usually for two months at a time, about 450 miles from home.  A lot of people don't understand how we can do that....leave home for so long.  But it's a calling that we feel in our hearts and a privilege to serve.  Last year I had a back injury and my husband went without me for six weeks.  This summer he had some business that kept him at home and I went without him.  It's not easy but with God's help we do fine....I really believe God invented cell phones for just such times as this.  :)  I drove down right after the 4th of July and two weeks later my husband came to spend the weekend with me. We talk on the phone 2 or 3 or 4 times a day. Now, two weeks after his trip, I came home for a long weekend.  A wise older woman told my sister one time that "sometimes a woman just needs to sit in her house and look at her stuff."  Oh how true that is!

When I first got home I walked through my house, fluffed a few pillows and adjusted a chair and put away dishes that were in the drainer....simple little things but actions that meant I laid my hands on "my stuff."  God created women for many things but one of the primary ones was to make a home for her family.  We clean and we do laundry and we cook....and we stitch.  Some of us knit or crochet, others quilt or do needle punch, and still more embroider or applique.  Among all the needful things we do we want to add a bit of beauty to our world and as we sit among our creations it's okay to be prideful of our work.  After all, God created us for this very work.  Since many if not most of us also have careers outside the home this small act of creating something of beauty is a balm to our souls.

I had lots of things to do while I was at home - a doctor's appointment, a visit to Lowe's to schedule a contractor for new siding, visiting both of our daughters, church, dinner with friends, a haircut, the library.  But I also made a brief stop in the sewing room and finished a couple of small things.

"Land That I Love" is a Lizzie Kate pattern that I made into a pillow---it's a bit plain but all those stars were catching my eye and I couldn't add anything to it.  I tried - a button, a cord, another border.  I think I'll just leave it simple; it's the perfect size to tuck into an antique child's rocker I have.  The photo ended up a bit dark but time was short so I did good to get a picture at all!

Faith is the first of the Sheep's Virtues from Little House that I've stitched.  I have several others, but not all, so I'm still on the hunt for the rest.  :)  That border - oh my.  For some reason I kept missing a stitch and took out two sides of it not once but twice!  I left off a center color in the border and changed the dot of the i from a heart to an x and I like it I think.  The buttons that I added work well I think and I see now that I need to fray the ends of the cord a bit more but all in all it's just what I wanted.  A bit on the primitive side....which is exactly how my house is.  Just a bit on the primitive side.  With a lot of farmhouse thrown in.  :)

I'm heading back to the mission tomorrow for just a few more weeks.  And I just added about a half dozen patterns to my bag, which was already pretty full, so how in the world will I choose?  Those long evenings just might mean I get more finishes before I get home!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer Time

I don't know about where you are but here at the mission it's hot.  Really, really hot.  Some mornings when I try to walk about 5:30 a.m. the humidity is so high I feel like I can't get a breath.  It's a good excuse to skip the exercise, as if I need one.  :)

I've finished up one more patriotic cross stitch piece.  I didn't even bring my sewing machine with me this time so my evenings are spent on handwork.  This one is by Lizzie Kate and is called Land That I Love.

My apologies for not at least having it ironed but an iron is something I'm living without for this six weeks away from home.  Can you see me smiling?  No iron!  :)

I've become enamored with some of the Little House patterns.  Well, more like addicted.  If anyone cares to feed my addiction with some patterns you're giving away or selling - it's definitely a weakness you could seriously take advantage of.  This is the one I'm working on right now.

Down here in Louisiana the sugar cane is growing so fast I can almost see it get taller overnight.  Ever seen sugar cane?

It reminds me a bit of corn.  It's about as tall as me and will be a lot taller when it's harvested in the fall.  It's so pretty and bright green after a rain....

And the early mornings on the bayou are so amazing.

Out in the distance there are barges and shrimp boats, waiting for the morning or for the season.

Back at home my grandmother's rain lily has bloomed.

This was a couple of weeks ago when there was quite a bit of rain.  Right now it's dry there...and the blooms have gone.  But the best thing about this rain lily is that when it rains it springs to life again.  Just watering it won't make it bloom.  It takes rain, almost as if God's watering it and it won't bloom until He does.

I brought a couple of small wool applique projects with me but it makes me sweat just to think about working on wool right now.  So, after work today, I'll be back with my Little House piece.  Wonder how they'd feel about me stitching at my desk....   :)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Rain and Noise

I didn't get everything done for the Fourth that I wanted to - it rained and rained and then rained some more.

The umbrella stand under the new table and chairs didn't get painted to match before the rains hit....we got over 4" I think and that umbrella there on that table, well you can't see the top, but the wind blew so hard it picked it up and blew it away!  It landed on the roof of the garage and since my husband and son weren't home my sweet daughter-in-law climbed the ladder and got it down for me.

My husband always cooks shrimp gumbo, which he did.  I always bake, which I didn't.  I had an implant done Monday (oral surgery, not the other kind) and it has hurt the whole week.  My face swelled so bad I got a black eye!

It still aches but it's much better than it was so I guess all is well.  I go Monday for a check up.

As you can see by these pictures there were some sunny days this week and boy was it hot!  There are fireworks going on out on the lake as I write this and I just have to ask....what's the point of the ones that make noise but aren't pretty?  I don't get it.  Loud but no sparkles - that's like cake without icing.  Why bother?

I finally got a new car to replace the one the 18 wheeler smashed.  Did I show you this already?  If I did that's ok, I'll just show it again because I love it.  :)

I'm headed back to the mission this week.  This time my husband isn't going because the heat down there is just too much for him.  I'll be gone six weeks and I'm sure he'll come to visit me one weekend and I'll come home one weekend.  I'm taking lots of stitching with me so I'll keep you posted with how much I actually got done.  I almost finished another patriotic piece this week but not quite - soon.  Could someone please answer this question for me - those of you who cross stitch, what are the benefits of a scroll frame versus other kinds?  I find myself switching from the pvc pipe ones to a clover one to a spring one and right now I'm using an antique spring one that has what looks like cork on the inner lining that holds the fabric.  I like it quite a lot - it's an oval shape and seems to fit my hands.  Do you switch around like that?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Have You Heard?

For the last couple of weeks I've been "taste testing" some wonderful new muffins that Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt is making.  Actually, she's launched a new company and is selling the mix so that you can make them fresh at home.  They not only look delicious....

they ARE delicious!  I've lost a couple of pounds eating them and while that's good news, the best news of all is that I'm finding myself to have more energy and to have fewer times when I have a craving for something sweet.  I have no idea how that works...well I sort of do because I read all about it on "the muffin blog".     Check it out and see what you think.  I bet you'll be as impressed as I am.  If you are interested there's a link on my sidebar to the blog, and there's a link on the blog to order them.  Or, if you live in my area (Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri) e-mail me and I can get them for you.  I just happen to have bought a few myself.  :)

On another note - I won't be able to eat my muffins tomorrow because I'm having a little oral surgery.  Several months ago I had a tooth pulled and now it's time for the implant.  I'll be glad to get it over, or nearly over, since I've been living with this gap  in my teeth which makes it difficult if not impossible to chew on that side.

And if you've read this far - a little stitching news!  I finished this Lizzie Kate pattern today -

I don't know how I'm going to finish this but while I'm deciding .... this was a pay it forward/pass it on pattern that I won so it's time for me to pass it on to someone else.  If you would like to win this, and are willing to pass it on when you finish it, then let me know in the comments.  In a couple of days, when I get past the implant procedure, I'll draw a name and send it off to the lucky winner!

EDITED:  Vickie from A Stitchers Story has won the pattern.  I've e-mailed her and will be sending it off as soon as I hear from her.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Holiday Stitching

At my house the 4th of July is the time we come together as a family to celebrate our great country and to celebrate each other.  One of my precious grandchildren was born on the 4th of July so it seems fitting.  We go for boat rides, cook shrimp gumbo (a family tradition), roast marshmallows for S'Mores and watch the annual fireworks.  My house becomes a repository for damp beach towels, a cool haven when we've endured the heat as long as we possibly can, and the perfect place for long story telling sessions about past family adventures.

I'm adding a couple of cross stitch pieces to my collection this week - and wishing I'd gotten around to a couple more.  :)

This sweet little 4th of July pillow -

is tucked here in the middle of my purple shamrock for a bit of luck (this shamrock was a gift from my sweet mother-in-law many, many years ago....

but will ultimately rest in this antique tool kit where I'm collecting a variety of holiday and primitive pillows that I display all year.

My second 4th of July piece...

is a simple flat piece that I added a hanging cord to...

and a sweet little patriotic sheep pin seems to look out over the whole thing....

It's hanging on my back door to greet family and friends as they enter next week.

I'll be putting the rest of my decorations out early next week, after we get the deck scrubbed, blown off, and otherwise set to rights.  We've had a lot of windy days lately and I'm still getting dead leaves and twigs left over from the hail storm all over the deck.   I did manage to finally find and purchase a new table and chairs to replace the ones the hail destroyed.  I've made one new throw pillow - some of my older ones are sure getting faded from the sun - and am working on some place mats for that table.  I hope to show those in a couple of days.  Are you decorating for the 4th?