Praise !

"NOW THANKS BE UNTO GOD, WHICH ALWAYS CAUSETH US TO TRIUMPH IN CHRIST !"

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear....Psalm 27 1-3
Psalm 31: 7, 8
I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy; for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; thou hast set my feet in a large room.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Life moves on

I have now been working at Walmart for over 3 months.  This past week I completed the Pathways video training program and received my first raise.  I have to give praise to God for the resilience to do this job, and, hopefully, to do it to the satisfaction of my supervisors and managers.  I like the work, and it has been a God-send in keeping me too busy to focus on James' passing and the life changes that it brought about.

It does feel good to receive that paycheck and know that I am able to keep the bills paid on by own, by the grace of God.

I don't spend much time in my sewing room.  I guess I have time in my mornings, but have been so spoiled in being able to work on a project until it was completed quickly, that I just haven't adapted to sneaking in an hour here and there.

After completing the sixteen-patch top, I purchased a polyester batt to use in it.  I just wanted to get a light, fluffy quilt for Summer, but I'm afraid that time is getting away from me and it will become a Fall/Winter quilt if I finally get around to it soon.  I need to get it basted while I can still do that outside on the carport, but I haven't been successful in coming up with a backing that pleases me.  My girlfriend that provided most of the fabrics has already deemed the quilt UGLY, but I think it will be quite 'interesting' and pleasing to me when it is finished.  My tastes have always run contrary to popular likes.
Honestly, though, it does remind me of the kind of quilt that you find well-used, sticking out of a doghouse, or under a vehicle that is undergoing repair of some kind.   HA !

I still battle to keep the lawn mowed, only using my Friday's off, generally, to get it done.  My garden produced plenty of nice-sized tomatoes.  In fact, it produced more than I got around to using or giving away, and sadly, I have had to throw a few away that got over-ripe waiting for me to eat them.
I have only had one Moonflower bloom this year, and I surprisingly found it in bloom when I rounded the yard with the jeep this morning, heading for Church.

My cucmbers, only two hills, grew well enough for me to make up about six or so little jars of refrigerator pickles.  After that, I think that I damaged them while mowing inside the garden fence, because the ones growing since them have not been as good, some even turning yellow while still small.  But, boy oh boy, do those sweet  pickles go well with supper !

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

First Tomato of 2017


It's small, but atleast the tomato worms didn't get it !   I found 3 of them over the last 2 days, the worms, I mean, and I smashed them under my shoe !   I hope there will be no more.  I also picked a 3-inch cucumber.  I used to love them small and crisp like that, but my false teeth put an end to that.

And this pink hardy hibiscus blooms out at the edge of my backyard.......it is SO BEAUTIFUL, it doesn't even look real in this photo.

I bought another 2 Coneflower plants last night at work........ a lighter orange one, and a pink one.   They had finally marked them down $3 apiece AFTER I'd purchased 2 at full price of $6.72, so I paid $3.72.  Then, today when I went in, they had marked them to $3 even.  I don't plan to buy more unless they go to a buck or something.


Sunday, July 2, 2017

A bit of gardening.......

I don't want to make this a long post, but I'm doing so little planting this year, that I wanted to be sure and note the fact that I have finally purchased some Coneflowers !

I have wanted to try these in my yard for years, as so many of the perennials that I have access to are of the 'bloom-today, gone in a week' variety, it seems.  I get the idea that these coneflowers start blooming in the early summer and continue through into the Fall.........THAT, I need !

I never cared much for the original color of pinkish-purple that I've always seen, but when I caught a glimple of red ones last year, I knew my time had come.  But I procrastinated and missed them then.

 Working at Walmart now, I am daily visiting the garden center on the lookout for clearance-priced flowers.  It makes me SICK that they will rather throw a whole LOT of them into the dumpster rather than lower them any further in price than just a nominal discount.  This is a change from the days when I've bought plants for as little as two, and eight cents.......SERIOUSLY.  I mean, they looked half-dead --- or MORE-- and I was actually rescuing them.  Rescued many a plant, yes ma'am, I did !
Anyway, I couldn't take the wait, and finally just broke down on payday and purchased 2 plants at full-price, $6.72 per plant.  I picked out a red-orange bunch, and a pot that mainly contained a buttery-golden yellow, but also had a true red flower growing off to the side in the pot (BONUS !)  I had to rip the red one's roots loose from the yellow bunch, so it is struggling a bit from the trauma, I noticed today, but hopefully it will make a beautiful comeback and flourish along with the others.

I decided to plant them within the fence that encloses my garden, figuring that they will be safe from nibbling deer until they are well-established.  The hope is that they will multiply GREATLY over the next few years and that I will be able to spread them around the yard in several locations.

Over the last couple of weeks, I purchased 3 bags of 3-each Stargazer Lily bulbs while they were reduced to $1.00 per bag.......I mean HOW COULD I NOT?  I planted them in 3 different locations.

Also, this year, the Hibiscus plant that has been trying to grow at the corner of my garden finally bloomed, and, wonder of all wonders, it is deep pink !

  Hallelujah, God is good.  I have one original deep pink Hibiscus plant that Rose gave to me the year that I moved here, and no matter how many seeds I have planted from it, they always tend to grow either white, or light pink new plants.  Even the plants that have come up at the base of the original are light pink.  So I am over-the-moon ecstatic about this new plant.


I also have had great success with Tiger Lilies growing around here now.  They are making a beautiful showing this year.
My phlox are flourishing and multiplying, and have produced a light pink one at their edges....beautiful.
 As far as vegetables go, my tomato plants have one ripening now, plus, there are inch-long cucumbers on the two cucumber plants as well.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Time to surface again !

I can hardly believe it's been over a month since I posted here !

I got the job (at Walmart, if you remember), and it seems to be about all I do anymore !   My days off are separated, since I get Fridays and Sundays, so I don't have time to get into anything bigtime, before it's time to walk away again.

But I've learned to slip in a couple of hours in the mornings if I want to piece something, and with all those boxes of fabrics stacked around my sewing room (the ones that Jodie Ann sent), I just had to find something to play with.

I have enjoyed seeing the different versions of 16-patch block quilts around the quiternet, so I decided to try one for myself.  Jodie's boxes included a bunch of 2 1/2 inch strips in an olive'y green that most people would find ugly.  But I've always had an affinity for 'ugly' fabrics, loving to prove that they can make beautiful, interesting quilts (atleast to my eye, anyway).

I had leftover solid 2 1/2 inch strips from Connecting Threads' strip sets, so I set out to find interesting prints to go with the different colors.  In the above photo, the blocks are sewn, but not assembled into a top yet.

This morning, before work, I got about halfway through assembling rows.  I just want a quilt that is big enough to sleep under when I crawl into hubby's recliner for a snooze.  I may even try a polyester batting, because the cotton/poly roll of batting that I have been using is producing quilts that are much too heavy.  I want something light for this time of the year.

Back to the work-front......I'm loving my job !   It is HARD WORK, and I am giving it my all and doing well at it, but it does consume a lot of my time.  Still, I'm able to meet my bills and manage my monthly budget now, on my own, for the first time in my life, and, for that, I am truly thankful to the LORD for giving me the desire of my heart, and the strength to carry it through.

In family news, James' (hubby's) sister passed away last Tuesday.  She was the last of the seven siblings, which leaves me as the only surviving spouse of any of the siblings.  She lacked one week turning 79, (in fact, today would have been her birthday), but she has been in seriously poor health in a rehab/nursing home for 2 years or more.  The family couldn't even tell her that my husband passed away, so she must have had an extra surprise waiting for her when she got to heaven.

So, that catches me up, except for today's news.  My daughter's 12th wedding anniversary is July 2nd, and she sent me a photo of her early anniversary gift.  Now,..........I love my son-in-law, but I'm ready to hit him over the head with a shovel.   They love to ride together on his motorcycle, and that's okay, I guess, but now he went and bought her HER OWN BIG BIKE !   That gives me pause.  I'll just have to leave their safety in God's hands, and give up trying to worry over things that haven't even happened.


She does look happy, doesn't she?
I love their love.

Friday, May 19, 2017

BIG family day !

My son-in-love, Tim, is career army, and for 13 years now, between 3 deployments, many moves, and being a husband and father of three, he has been squeezing in classes toward getting his college education.

My daughter, while being wife and mommy, and holding down full time teaching positions, has devoted as much time as she could to being his tower of strength throughout this process.

Today, she proudly watched the reward of Tim's very great effort, and her own.  Tim received his Associates degree !

And his mom got to fly in from Oklahoma to be there for the big day and to spend a week with the family.

WHICH was also important because of the fact that my youngest grandson celebrated his 8th birthday today !  That's the baby of the family and he's not a baby anymore !  I don't have birthday celebration photos yet, but maybe I can update with them later.

Sadly, my computer won't let me download the rest of the photos that I want to share.  

Anyway, it was a blessed day all around.  I wish I could have spent it with them.
Instead, I drove to the local medical center first thing this morning to try and get some relief from this SNOTTY nose and cough I've had for a week.  I've self-medicated all week, but when the cough was very painful in the middle of the night, I knew that I wanted x-rays.  Good news is that a bit of bronchitis is all that showed from the lung shots,......NO PNEUMONIA , praise God !   So, I got a antibiotic/steroid cocktail shot in the hip.,,,,,,,,,which nearly rendered me one-legged for about 15 minutes.......and a couple of prescriptions.  I felt good enough this afternoon, after a 2 hour nap, that I strapped on a mask (to guard against all the dust and pollen) and managed to get the backyard mowed FINALLY.   

So, it's back to work tomorrow, if the world doesn't come to an end tonight, and hopefully I won't be soaking through 3 hankies and a WHOLE LOT of tissue.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Be careful what you ask for !

YOU JUST MIGHT GET IT !

I got the job at Walmart ! 

  And it's WEARING ME OUT !

Seriously, though, I'm VERY happy to have the job
I applied for,
 but it is taking some serious getting
used to ! 
  Everybody I'm working with is much 
younger than me,
 and I am having to hustle to pull
my own weight .

Tonight, I am aching and weary, 
but celebrating the fact that
tomorrow is my DAY OFF!

I don't see myself having a lot of time
or energy for quilting anytime soon.
Just trying to keep up with the mowing
will be enough for now.

BUT THERE'S ALWAYS WINTERTIME !

GOD BLESS YOU ALL !
HE'S AWFULLY GOOD TO ME!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

ALMOST one step closer !

The lady from Walmart called today and asked if I could come in for ORIENTATION this coming Friday morning at 8 a.m.-----------YES MA'AM !, LORD willing, I WILL BE THERE !




So, for me, that means that it's time to look around and see what needs doing NOW,  before my 'free' time becomes greatly limited.  Today, that meant sweeping out the shed and restoring it to a semblance of order, and then mowing the scrabbly areas of the backyard and most of the front yard.

But before mowing the front, I got my 6 tomato plants put into the area of my garden that I re-tilled this week.


THEN when I mowed the front yard, I used the grasscatcher, and spread the clippings around each tomato plant in hopes of keeping the weeds down.  I've never tried this method at the BEGINNING of the planting season, so I hope I have success.  Last year, I only used clippings during the drought season to keep in the moisture when I watered the garden areas.




Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Vintage Amy Butler/Happy Quilt

At the end of last year, I came across this blog post, featuring the following quilts,


 and I was mesmerized by the sheer joy and laughter it brought about in me.  I shared the photos with my daughter, telling her that I just had to make one like it someday.  How could you not be happy with such a quilt within your view?

Well, my friend, JodieAnn, started sending boxes of fabrics to me that she was clearing out of her sewing room, and, then, as many of you know, my husband passed away from his Mantle Cell Lymphoma.  In the following hard days after his passing, the pretty fabrics reminded me to revisit the idea of a quilt to make me smile, or even, heaven help me, laugh again, somehow.

So, bits at a time, I started free--piecing this little quilt.  Over the last month and a half, I have gotten it pieced, and yesterday I got a chance to machine-quilt it.   I used my walking foot to outline the lettering, and then did a medium-sized meandering all over the rest of the little quilt  I haven't yet bound the edges.  It only measures around 28 x 32 inches, and will be a good size to hang from the quilt rack that is on my living room wall.


It's not quite as joyous as the all over 'HAHAHAHAHAHA',  but, then again, neither am I.  But there is hope.  Just as I hope there are many more quilts in my future, I believe that, someday again, there will be much more laughter.

"NOW THANKS BE UNTO GOD, WHICH ALWAYS CAUSETH US TO TRIUMPH IN CHRIST......."  II Corinthians 2:14

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Finished baby quilt for Victoria Grace

The baby quilt was finished just in time for this morning's gifting.  I was on information desk duty at Church, so I got to give it to Cheryl.  This will be her first grandbaby, and it's a girl, to be named "Victoria Grace".   I've already 'heard' someone in the family referring to the baby as 'Tori', and I just love that name !
 Anyway, the quilt finished up around 40 inches square.  These triangles were in one of the boxes of scraps that Jodie Ann sent me this Winter to keep my mind distracted from hubby's illness.  She's an angel of a friend.  And the purple fabric on the back was from a big 2 yard piece that was in another box from her.
The white background fabric is from Connecting Threads.  I used the Pellon 80/20 cotton/poly batting that I bought on a 30 yard roll from Walmart.

My backs are all starting to look the same as I piece stripes down the center to make fabric wide enough.  Still, I prefer that look to just using one fabric.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Still waiting....

Yes, I'm still waiting to get positive word that I've been hired, but I'm not unproductive in the meantime.
 Yesterday, I pushed all the furniture back against the walls and set up  my small quilting frame in the living room to baste a baby quilt.  This one was made from triangles that I found among the many scraps that Jodie Ann sent to me a couple of months ago.
I'd really like to get it quilted today, so I need to not be a lump on a log and get myself moving right away.  I need to set up an additional table in my sewing room to make it easier to manage the quilt, although it's not big.

Also yesterday, I managed to get the front yard mowed.  It's quite a job to keep up with all of the mowing on this acre and a third, by myself.  I generally do the front about twice before I have done the back.  The back is a bit hilly and scraggly, so it can be let go longer.  But I need to do it soon.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Antsy

That's me.  I'm antsy, I'm restless, I'm walking the floor, trying to find something to keep me busy and pass the time until..................

my JOB OFFER at Walmart, at 1:30 p.m.

If/when I get this position, I will surely know that my old life has come to a crossroads, and a new path  is unfolding in front of me.  I haven't been truly, gainfully employed since my daughter was born 39 years ago.

Don't wish me luck........I don't believe in it.  I only ask for God's guidance and direction.........along with strength and endurance for the task set before me !   HOURS of steady work, someone else's time schedule, ........ can I do this?????????????

YES I CAN !




Friday, April 14, 2017

Tilling Time

My brother, John, came over this afternoon and tilled my garden for me with his big tiller.  I just had him do about 3/4 of it, since the other quarter doesn't grow things well.

I hoped to do a row of tomatoes, and a row of cucumbers.  Now, I'm considering also putting in about 4 hills of yellow, crook-neck squash plants also.

Kelley took the kids on a trip today and got some really good photos.  They are just finishing up their Spring Break.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hubby's Memorial

Today was a difficult day that ended well.  My church graciously held a memorial there for my husband, James, as it has been 4 weeks today since he passed away.

We waited for the school where my daughter teaches, and the ones where her kids attend,  to go on Spring Break, so that they could travel here across the states.  Kelley came with the two boys.

Lots of family and friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ came out to send James off with love, laughter, and tears.  We rejoice in his new Heavenly address as we miss his humble spirit and loving ways.

His ashes have now been scattered here, around our little acre-and-a-third homeplace, just as he requested so many times.  He's at peace and happy, as am I, though I'm terribly lonely without him.

It was a beautiful service, and I was just so humbled by all the love that was poured out to us today.

Blessings are pouring out also in SO MANY ways, as I went on my first job interview on Friday........the first in 39 years, that is !  If I get it, I'm looking at hard work, long hours, and new experiences, but I trust that God will not bring me to it unless He means to bring me through it !

So, hopefully, I will have news to share very soon.  Lots of changes taking place around here !

SPECIAL NOTE:  Three of my best friends from Oklahoma drove out together all the way to middle Tennessee to be here for me.   Jodie Ann, my bestest friend, was here in  spirit while recovering from a very serious illness.  I love them all like sisters !

Monday, March 20, 2017

First day of Spring 2017 !

The LORD has such a Word for me this morning ! 40 years I have been married, and a very different 40 years than I ever would have expected to live through. I was blessed with a caring man and a beautiful child, always having a home and everything I needed .
"For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing." Deuteronomy 2:7
And now I start a new phase of my journey. As He said to Moses and the Israelites before they crossed the Jordan River..."You have dwelt long enough at this mountain."
I may stumble and fall a few times, but His Word says, "For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief", so I pray, LORD keep me from wickedness and walk by my side, as you ever have !

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Better days are coming

Today was the first beautiful sunny day we've had all week, and I got to get out and clear some of the leaf debris from some of my flower beds.  New growth of Tiger Lily had grown tall and lanky trying their best to top the piles of leaves.  I hope that they will survive now that I have stripped them of their 'cover'.  I sprinkled Blood Meal in those beds to deter the deer, and as a bonus, it is supposed to feed the plants.  WIN-WIN !

I haven't been able to sew yet, as that's where I spent time while caring for the hubby, and he would always call me to the living room when he needed something, with a loud, "mama-a-a-a-a".  I just am not ready to spend alot of time back there yet and NOT hear him....you know what I mean?

So, I'm taking it one day at a time.  I've put in a couple of job applications, with nothing more to show as a work record than my last jobs from 1977-78 !   Gotta break into the job world slowly and carefully.....IF anyone will have me !

But, TOMORROW, Lord willing, I get to go back to church for the first time in a LONG time; my church family has been so supportive throughout all of this......God is SO GOOD !

Have a blessed weekend, and let's get together again next week.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Living in God's Grace



This post is for my personal log.  Visitors looking for quilting content today might just want to come back at a later date.



My husband, James, is finally at peace and out of pain.

Better days--June 2016
God blessed us with another whole week of days together since my last post.  He was able to respond to my daughter, son-in-law and the grandkids, and make a few more memories.  When they had to go back home, it was clear that his time was near.  I had to say goodbye yesterday evening.
Kelley's last photo with her papa
Today,  my brother, John, took me to Columbia, where I made his final arrangements.  He will be cremated, and his ashes will (LORD willing) be scattered right here on our property that he loved so much.
Our last photo together.....just look at the smile
I hope to be able to find some kind of work, locally, to support myself.  God has provided me with the strength I have needed for every step along this journey, and I have faith that He will see me through.
Married 40 years as of December 31, 2016
I love you,
and I'll see you later, baby boy.
October 1950--March 13, 2017

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Crisis averted

I came back to the hospital from a quick trip home, on Thursday, and hubby was in full crisis mode.  I was shocked......everything had been stable when I left for a couple of hours.

They had administered what they said was one last chemo shot, and he had a horrible reaction AGAIN.  Suddenly, I was surrounded by people telling me "this is it".  I called my daughter to come from Virginia, but she couldn't get an early flight, and it's a 10 hour drive.  They told me she wouldn't make it in time, so they were precious in setting up 'face-time', and she got to talk to him and see him.

They moved him to in-hospital-hospice, and he hung in there quietly all evening, on a bi-pap mask, so that we couldn't understand him when he wanted to speak to a few visiting family members.  When they left, he and I dozed off for about 3 hours, and then my daughter and her family arrived, around 4 a.m.

Our daughter, Kelley, and her papa
Long story, short, he's STILL hanging in there, and we've had 2 1/2 days of good visiting and just relishing each other's company and his still being here !

The LORD knows his timing, not the doctors, and we are so thankful.  He's had good hours, and more mellow hours, but was able to smile and participate in picture-taking with the grandkids yesterday !  Oh, how we praise God for these days !
Our son-in-love, Tim, and James
Our grandchildren, Seth, Zoe, their pawpaw, and Tim, jr.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Hubby hospital update

God, in His great mercy, gave James a good night's rest last night, and today his speaking is more understandable, and his cough seems to be gone !  Praise the LORD !

He is diagnosed with suspected pneumonia, Rhino virus, and Intero(?) virus---basically, very bad cold.  His platelet count has dropped again to 11,000.  He is scheduled to receive another platelet transfusion today, and received blood last night.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hospital again

Hubby went to the Columbia E.R. today for a cough that wouldn't quit, and was admitted with suspected pneumonia.  While doing a bronchiotomy (not sure that's the correct term), to get a specimen from his lung, he had an allergic reaction or something, and wound up looking like this....
What looks pink is actually purple


Because his platelet count is so very low, blood started seeping where they ran the 'cable'; and his face and ears, and other areas, turned purple.  He is swollen badly, and can't really speak where we can understand him.   Blessedly, he is mostly sleeping since the procedure ended.

LORD HELP !  Praise God for his mercy and compassion........without Him, we have no hope.

Sorrowful family news

On Friday, James' sister, Jean, suffered another stroke and is currently in the hospital.  She is showing signs of Dementia.

His other sister, Mae, suffered a heart attack suddenly yesterday, and died.  Her son, Billy called home to check on her, and getting no answer, rushed home to find her slumped over on the couch,  unresponsive.

James has been coughing horribly for two days, but running no fever, and not coughing up anything.  He is scheduled for another chemo shot tomorrow morning, but I don't know if they will give it.