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.


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.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Both Wilburs are finished !

Last week, I finished the Big and Little Wilbur quilt-tops.  I mailed them on Friday, and Jodie received them Monday.  It was a couple of days before I heard from her, due to health problems she's having, and I was actually worried that she didn't like my work this time !    Blessedly, she assured me a couple of days later that she was thrilled with both works.

Big Wilbur was a kit, and I hand-appliqued it to look just like their version, except that JoAnn had me add a 6-inch border of a large red floral fabric from the same line.  I didn't take a finished picture of that one.

Little Wilbur was made from a set of half-yard pieces of the complete Purebred line of fabrics.   She left it up to me to come up with a design, setting, size......EVERYTHING.  She gave me the names of several quilt designs that she liked from the Craftsy site.  I chose to adapt the design from a pattern called "Peachy Keen", resizing some of the proportions.  I renamed my design  "Don't Fence Me In", as I proceeded to piece 'corrals' around each of my horses.

 Of course, Little Wilbur was the star of the quilt, so he was top center.  Instead of a corral, he was surrounded by a wreath of roses, as though he had just won the Kentucky Derby (a fanciful notion for which I have absolutely no basis).

 Four 'corrals' encircled printed ponies that were too finely detailed for me to feel comfortable appliqueing on the printed edges.  So I did what I called 'shadowing', leaving about a 1/4 inch width of the cream background showing around each pony when I appliqued him onto his new background of a woodgrain print from the collection.

The rest of the 'corrals' contained ponies or a red-roofed stable that had been fussy-cut from the landscape fabric from the same line.

When the center was finished, I still needed a border to bring the quilt up to a good usable size.  JoAnn had requested that I use the same red floral fabric, and make the border the same size as on the Big Wilbur quilt.  So, rather than be redundant, I designed a 'rail fence' border to enclose the horses in their corrals.  I only had enough of a light fabric remaining to make a single rail, but I think it is still effective.

I was really pleased at the finished quilt-top.  The size was big enough to make a bed-covering for a twin-sized bed, thought it isn't a true twin-size.  She is planning to surprise her granddaughter with this quilt, so I'm hoping to come up with a little bit of a surprise to add to it myself.  We'll see if I find  the time.

Spring is trying it's best to sneak in early this year, with my Buttercups blooming hesitantly, and my Lilac bush leafing out.   I fear that Winter is going to send her scampering back into hiding, biting off all the tree buds, but I surely love the little bursts of fresh color in the meantime !

Hubby goes in for his second 3-day session of this new chemo treatment this coming week.  He is suffering with knee-pain in his left leg (which has always been his GOOD one) this weekend, and his feet keep swelling horribly.  Thank you for your continued prayers for him and myself.   Without God's presence, we couldn't go on.

I am so very thankful for JoAnn providing my 'escape' with these projects that she sends me.  And you should just SEE the box of fabric that she sent my way this week just to clear out her OWN shelves !  God bless JoAnn Gilley !






Sunday, February 5, 2017

Bonus baby quilt

My friend, JodieAnn, is cleaning out and redoing her sewing room, so, I got a couple of fun boxes full of scraps and pieces in the mail !  Included was a small pile of triangles that were matched with a solid yellow fabric.  After trying several layouts, I concluded that the prints would look better if they were paired with white.

So I decided to use a piece that I had just ordered from Connecting Threads (Starbursts and Flowers, from the Whisper Palette).  It made for a beautiful background fabric.  I played with the design last Sunday, and yesterday I got to put it all together.

Now my frustration is that I don't have a big enough piece of batting to use for this (I need a 45 inch square) without cutting into my roll of Pellon 80/20 that I got from Walmart.  It is 96 inches wide and I hate to cut into it for smaller quilts.  I may just break down and purchase a 45 x 60 sized batt if I can find one locally.  But for now, I can concentrate on piecing a back that will fit.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Catching my breath.

I see that it has been over 3 weeks since I last posted.  And yet, I continue to receive words of encouragement and offers of prayers on behalf of my husband and myself.  Thank you so very much .

My time is not my own anymore, if, indeed it ever was, and I stay busy accomplishing all that NEEDS to be done. When I do have a few free moments, I find myself crashing into a chair for a bit of reading time or computer time when I could be quilting/piecing.  Still, there HAS been some progress on the projects that I have taken on for my friend, JoAnn.

The Erin Michaels design Wilbur, is all finished except for one last patch to be buttonhole-stitched on when I see what scraps I have remaining.  Before that is accomplished, I need to finish the second quilt, which we have dubbed "Little Wilbur".  On it, I have most of the 12 blocks pieced, with the last 4 of that 12 awaiting the 4 appliqued center sections.

 That applique is now done, and I hope to get to assemble those blocks and then the entire top, VERY SOON.
Here's a sneak peek at the Little Wilbur quilt.


Hubby's C.T. scan of Dec. 28th showed that the Bendamustine/Rituxin formula of chemotherapy was not eradicating the cancer.  It showed that his cancer, Mantle Cell Lymphoma, was no worse, but also, no better.  So, on Monday of last week, the 23rd of January, he started a new regimen of Rituxin
/Fluderabine/Cytoxin.  He receives infusions for 3 days, and then waits until the 28th day after beginning of treatment, and has it all over again.  This time, we have not been given a number of treatments that they expect for him to need.  I guess it's "watch and wait".

This past week was very hard on him, as he has been much weakened since the bout of pneumonia that I wrote about in my last post.   He was prescribed 3 antibiotics to start along with this new regimen of chemo, but they caused such constant diarrhea, that we had to request that the doctor take him off of them all.  He did, but that leaves him wide open to infection.

He had a PICC line inserted on Tuesday, the 24th, because they had reached a point where it was terribly difficult to draw blood or start an i.v.  Home health now comes regularly to monitor his health, but they cannot change the PICC line dressing or flush the line, which has to be done once weekly.  This is because they are not the ones giving him the infusion........RULES, RULES.  So, as weak as he is, this means that he will have to leave the house once a week for the dressing change .... twice a month locally, and twice a month at the oncologist when receiving an infusion, or having blood drawn.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Blessings

Hubby was feeling rough and weak for the first part of this week, and finally, Thursday afternoon found him admitted to the hospital with pneumonia.  Because of his weakened condition and his cancer treatments lowering his immune system, they decided to keep him for the weekend, administering i.v. antibiotics in a controlled environment.

Of course, that meant that we got the first snowfall of the season, rendering me hesitant to drive home and care for kitty, Lotti-dah, after spending last night there with him.

Blessedly, my neighbors stepped up, and provided for me to be picked up and driven  home today, with an offer to be taken back again, tomorrow, LORD WILLING. Rose and Doug Tenison are true ebodiments of the word, NEIGHBOR, just the way Jesus meant for us all to be.