"The willingness to be and to have just what God wants us to be and to have, nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else, would set our hearts at rest, and we would discover that the simpler the life the greater the peace." - Elisabeth Elliot in The Shaping of a Christian Family

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wise Words Wednesday - On Temptation

No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it not by lying down. A man who gives into the temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it; and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation really means - the only complete realist. - C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity

Monday, October 30, 2017

Cutting UFOs in Half Report

I have been happy to get to do some sewing lately - some new stuff as well as finishing some UFOs. Since I'm trying to cut my UFOs in half this year, I'm glad to have gotten three projects finished this month.

First I finished a fabric chess/checkers board. Nothing really exciting; not even enough to warrant photos. But it's done. I may gift it someday...I don't know.

Then I redid a simple summer quilt I'd done for my daughter a few years ago. It was made of blocks of Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies which she has dearly loved. She has a book of many of her fairies and has learned a lot of botany from it. Anyhow, I had made a simple quilt and just backed it with flannel with no batting and simply quilted it on my regular sewing machine for summer use. It was getting pretty ragged around the edges. So I cut a lot off it and turned it into a lap quilt for down in our chilly basement.

The third finished project hadn't actually been started, but was a pile of already cut strips of autumnal flavor with which I had long wanted to do something. 
A few bigger pieces became the base for a tablerunner. Yes, I have a thing for tablerunners.
Again skipping the batting, though I was tempted to put some in there, I began building a quilt-as-you-go strip tablerunner.
1.5 inch strips sewn together.

I attached a 2.5 inch block to the end of the 1.5 inch strips unit, then sewed it wrong-sides-together to one end of the base piece.

The next strip units were added in a quilt-as-you-go method by sewing it right-sides-together at the bottom of the previous unit, alternating on which side the 2.5 inch block is. 

I bound the edges with store-bought double-fold bias tape and rounded the corners to give it a softer look.

Large canning jar rings are so useful for so many things.

All ready for breakfast time tomorrow.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Simplified Bullet Journalling

Yup, I finally succumbed to the lure of the bullet journal. But mine isn't all artsy, which is kind of surprising since I like artsy. Maybe someday when I have time for such things it could become a little more artsy.

Mine is simple, practical, frugal, and fits in my purse. That's what I need, so that's what I made.

I made myself a note so I could remember what exactly I'd bought (yes, I know Amazon keeps records, but I wanted it easily accessible). I like that it has a clear plastic cover and can fold open to just one page.

Due to Swagbucks earnings, I only paid $4.99. Whoot, whoot!

Yes, I have the requisite Index page without which it is technically not a bullet journal. This enables you to write what you want wherever and yet be able to find it.

I have month pages with Post-It label to find "Current Month."

Month at a Glance

Month's Dailies
 Then come the week's calendar. I list the week's goals at the tops of the two-page spread and then divide those out into particular days. Circles are calls to be made; squares are tasks; triangles are appointments. When a thing is completed I color it in. Unfinished things get an arrow signifying they have been "migrated" to another time, or they get a forward slash (\) showing they'be been started or if I've decided that activity is not important enough to try to fit in or I'm too late to do it, it gets completed X by giving it a back slash (/). Books to read get a beautiful * and/or go on a Books to Read page. I also give this spread a Post-It label so I can easily find my week's tasks.

I just started keeping a carb count of my meals in the corner of each day. Didn't do so well this afternoon. 😒

It sure was a handy way to keep myself on-track and collected while planning my aunt's funeral as we drove to Pennsylvania to see kids and grandkids.

Because of feeling scattered and disorganized lately, I even made myself a page listing the things I should be doing when I sit at my desk (before I do Facebook or Pinterest or read or write blogs).

And, being a lover of a good quote, I have to have this page. I'm sure this is going to grow to more than one spread, but that's the beauty of the indexing system; it can easily do that.

So, that's my start. It will probably evolve as life changes and as I fine-tune it. That's the beauty of the bullet journal; you can easily personalize it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wise Words Wednesday - Our Journey

When we glance at our past and the choices we made, the places we lived, the people we encountered, the circuitous path begins to make sense. 

You may have felt off course, but off from what?...

You can never leave yourself, your story. Whatever direction you choose, it still remains part of your ongoing story. 

Cindy Bellinger in Journaling for Women

Monday, October 16, 2017

And Life Goes On

The severe neglect of this blog is due to the severe busyness of life lately. I have felt so scattered and not at all as though I were at the wheel of this ship called life.

One of the many responsibilities I've had for over three years was the care of my elderly aunt. She had a mental and physical breakdown in 2014 and I spent several weeks in the hospital with her then as well as time finding a rehab nursing home for her. When she was stabilized she came to live in our small house with us for two months during which time we all decided for her good as well as our family's that she would be better off in an assisted living home to which a good friend of hers had recently moved. She was a godly lady, just not accustomed to trying to fit into a very active family since she had always been single.

So she lived for three years in a very nice assisted living home. When we had to move out of that area, I worked hard to find a suitable, and affordable, place for her near us. We were in the process of getting her moved to a long-term care place near us at which my oldest daughter now works when we got the news that she'd collapsed and had to be taken to the ER. After I spent about a week at the hospital with her and she'd gotten back to the assisted living home, now attached to an oxygen tank, we had the appointment with the oncologist that let us know that she had Stage 4 lung cancer and probably had only months to live. This was a lady who had never smoked.

My efforts to get her moved here increased and we were on the verge of getting a spot for her, just a little over a month from diagnosis, when she began struggling to breathe. Thankfully several of my daughters and I were able to spend about 7 hours with her one day, helping as much as we could, singing hymns, praying, reading Psalms, remembering good times together, and looking at old pictures. The next night she went to be with the Lord she loves. It wasn't a struggle; she simply stopped breathing. I am thankful for that though I had thought we'd have more time with her.

So caring for her needs and then planning her funeral (thankfully she had a prepaid plan) and taking care of her possessions have been a big part of my work lately. It's been good for me, though sometimes overwhelming. At her funeral, it was especially good to hear comments from her church members about what a blessing she was and how capable she was and how she ministered to others because the past three years of difficulties had kind of taken those memories from me. She was a very admirable lady and I will miss her.

So now maybe I can get back at blogging, especially about those many UFOs that I still need to finish. Since I haven't gotten to finish anything old (I have made myself a fun lunchbag for homeschool co-op day and I've made a baby quilt for my third grandson), I'll treat you to pictures of a quilt I made several years ago for my aunt. It was a fun project of using up "orphan" blocks, some which were made by me, some by my daughters, and some picked up at quilt guild meeting.

Some of the fabrics are from the 1980s and have faded, but still have character. The quilt now belongs to one of my daughters who had a special connection with this aunt.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Another Look at the Angoras

Because they're so cute, and I've gotten to enjoy some time with them recently, I have to post some pics of the angora babies.

They're not so little anymore.

Because of a family emergency, they hadn't been brushed in awhile, so there was some matting that had to be cut and brushed out, but these three young bucks are looking pretty good now. Ready for new homes, if you're interested.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Easy Elegant Chicken Dinner

I can't believe I'm sharing another recipe cuz I'm definitely not a food blogger, but this one is so wonderful and so easy and nutritious and not too expensive to make, so here goes...

Here's what you need:

  • Skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
  • Marinated artichoke hearts
  • Sundried tomato pesto (found in the tomato sauces section at the grocery store)
  • Olives, if you want (my husband can't stand them so they were a side dish at our house)

Slap the chicken breasts into a lightly oiled 9x13 pan. Since the ones I'd bought were rather large (think Dolly Parton here), I sliced mine thinner so they'd cook quicker and so the good stuff would get onto more surface.

Top with the artichoke hearts, oil and all, and spread on the tomato pesto. Bake at 350 degrees for close to an hour, depending on how well-done you like your meat.

It's really not a thing of beauty, except to your taste buds. My 13yo who doesn't usually gravitate toward meat or artichokes had three helpings during which time she discovered she does like artichoke hearts.

Bon appetit!