“I have given skill to all the skillful, so that they may make all that I have commanded you. “ Exodus 31:6

“O Thou who art the all pervading glory of the world, we bless Thee for the power of beauty to gladden our hearts.
We praise Thee that even the least of us may feel a thrill of the creative joy when we give form and substance to our thoughts and, beholding our handiwork, find it good and fair. “.
Walter Rauschenbusch


"Come, and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me.
I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue.
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the LORD woud not have listened and heard my voice in prayer.
Praise be to God, Who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!" Psalm 66:16-20

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Another painting day.......and I feel GOOD !

My Centrum Silver must be hard at work ! 

We took one of the pieces of lattice that we had removed, and experimented with being able to trim one down to size with a circular saw, figuring that's what we'll have to do if we buy new 4 foot by 8 foot sheets of lattice.  I had to use the saw !   Yikes, I was fearful !   And even once I got the hang of using it a little bit, that thing spit those lattice pieces out like a machine-gun, everytime a piece was ready to come off !   I know that it probably means that we needed a saw blade with closer-together teeth, but I ran into the house and got my rubber boots on !   Thusly, armed with boots, goggles and a leather glove for my left hand, I was pretty successful completing the cut.  

Then the fun part began.......I told hubby that I wished he had taken the REAL pictures I'd like to post.   I sat on the grass, in the SHADE, praise God, and painted that old lattice piece with a 2 inch roller.  I layed it on a big sheet of plastic first, and with two coats, that worked out well.............NOT FUN, but do-able.  Then hubby painted the 4 x 4 posts while I tackled the lattice that was still attached BEHIND the back steps.  It couldn't be easily removed, but was in good condition.   I reached THROUGH the steps with the roller, painted the lattice, and then proceeded to paint the risers of the steps themselves.  Before I was finished, I actually had to lie down on the grass in front of the steps to get the lowest part of the risers !
Don't let anyone tell you that it's fun to paint latticework.

When the posts and the lattice were dry, we refastened the long lattice piece to the left side of the deck.  It looks pretty good for a redo.  Now we just need to purchase two 4 x 8 sheets, trim, paint and apply to the deck..
The white is a bit bright compared to the trailer itself, but atleast it's crisp and clean-looking.

NOW........how many of you LAUGHED when you saw that I had PAINTED my deck floor boards ?  Be honest now, it won't hurt my feelings.  I ask because, after applying 2 coats of really good exterior paint/stain, my husband scooted around in his lawn chair putting the third coat of white on the railing, and you can just guess what happened .  Yep, peeling paint everywhere he scooted ! 

Bless his heart, he can't stand for long because of the arthritis in that replaced hip, and he was a HUGE help painting those inside rails.   So.........I WON'T whup 'im !    I have retouching to do because of this white painting I did today, so I'll just give the floor a third coat of the orange........and be more careful with it.  
I really wanted to go with weather-proofing, but ..........well, I didn't.

In between painting, I got mowing done around my Irises, and down the driveway by the mailbox.  I am SO PLEASED with my driveway plantings.  The Lilacs are blooming as small as they are........this is their first Spring in the ground.  

And the Daisies are reaching tall for the sun, the Irises are starting to bloom.   The Mums are coming back behind the mailbox, along with a Hibiscus, and Bachelor Button, and some sort of yellow flower.   I am just so very blessed that God entrusted us with our very own place to care for.   

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Latest project.......not quilty !

I wish that this past week's blog absence meant that I had been getting a lot of stuff done, but for the life of me, I can't think what it is !

Wanda's comment on the neutral color for the bottom portion of the deck structure really got me to thinking.......that and the fact that they are currently out of the white paint that I had planned to use.  I like the idea of the base fading into the background.  And we haven't yet purchased replacement lattice as we aren't sure how we're going to do it, and we need use of a borrowed pick-up truck to haul it.   That can be arranged, but still thinking.

On the other hand, customer appreciation day came and went yesterday at the local lumber yard and nursery.

I bought 56 of the scallops, and 4 round ones (for who knows what?)

 Since they had concrete borders and round pavers on sale for only fifty cents each, I decided to get enough to edge the long flowerbed that runs along my driveway.   I originally dug it up last Fall because I was tired of mowing in and out between the shrubs, but I'm tickled to have that much planting space to use as I desire.

Here's the problem, though.   I made NO measurements or markers when digging around the shrubs, and I have a very wiggly-shaped bed !
Can you see the wiggliness ?
 I have to figure some way, even if I use a chalk-line, to straighten out these edges BEFORE I can install the concrete border pieces.

So, I've added another project to the growing list.  But first it has to stop raining so that I can dig........right now there's water standing in that flowerbed !

Missing a wood strip

I did replace one of the missing wooden pieces from around the bedroom window.  I still need to go in and touch-up paint all of the brown wooden slats, but this corrected the problem from driveway- viewing distance.

I almost forgot the fact that I got the shed cleaned up and reorganized so that you can now WALK IN once again, instead of just peering in and grabbing stuff.  I guess I have gotten a BIT of work done lately.

On the quilting front, not alot has been done, although I do recall a couple of really comfortable naps that I took under the Goldie quilt (family asked me if I'd like to have it back after she passed away, and I said "yes".)   But, work-wise, I did finish the machine-quilting on the 'pots' quilt, and it is awaiting binding.  I am still thrilled with the open-toed walking foot.

My son-in-love, Tim, left yesterday on his latest deployment.  My brave daughter and grandchildren are starting 9 months of coping without his physical presence, and I am very proud of all of them.  I hope the time passes quickly, and is filled with wonderful things to share with him, (electronically) during his absence and, in person, upon his return in January. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

One step closer ....well, 4 steps, actually !

Today has been a BEAUTIFUL day from the beginning, ON !

Hubby and I started clearing off all the clutter on the back deck, including the hose reel attachment screwed to the side of it, and then we brushed off a lot of accumulated yuck.  We pulled off most of the old latticework from down below-deck, and then hubby and I started cutting in the new porchfloor color.

It was frightening !   So orange !  This was supposed to look like an aged clay pot, I thought !    But it went on so shiny and bright !   I stuck in there and had faith, though, and after two complete coats and a quick drying in the bright sunlight, it now resembles a NEW clay pot...........which really isn't bad at all.   I'm pleased with the finished look.

 I left the big boards under the floorboards unpainted, intending to purchase another gallon of the white, and possibly white plastic latticework.  I'll have to do some pricing before I make my decisions, but I'm thinking that I'd like those boards white.  I didn't want a huge band of orange showing from the yard level.

Anyway, I have chicken thighs slowcooking, potatoes boiling for mashing, and French-style greenbeans simmering with new green onions.  Not bad for a gal who went and tilled some more of that garden spot AFTER finishing the painting......huh ?

Love ya'll !

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Railing painted

Hubby and I got the second coat of paint on all of the back porch railing today.........we drained the bucket of paint DRY.  It could use some touch-up in some places, so I may have to buy another quart......another DAY ! 
Gotta love the $3.00 lawn chair I found last weekend !

This one needs a roof over it, too !

I was blessed to find a gallon of paint/stain for the floorboards of this porch.  It was in the orphans at the lumber store and I think that it will work just fine.  It's sortof a terracotta color, and I'll probably  use it for the steps as well.  I hope that one gallon is enough for that !   Be glad when IT"S done !

My Hibiscus are making their  reappearance all over the place in little sprouts.....so excited  (no photo yet)! 

The artichoke plants that produce sunflowerlooking blooms have comeback five-fold, if not more so ! 
My Moss Roses have re-seeded themselves, and I think I've seen sign of the same thing about my Celosia (cockscomb).  This is my absolute favorite time of year........it's like God is just walking me through his greenhouse !   So amazing how it all works, year after year, from the beginning of time and the Garden of Eden !

Friday, April 19, 2013

More painting........

........yesterday, we started first thing in the morning, got the 4 posts painted with their 3rd coat, and then went around to start on the back deck.   I painted the new banister that borders the steps........actually, it was new when we had it built a year and a  half ago, and we should be ashamed for letting it go this long without either stain or paint !   But I got that painted with 2 coats, and then started on the railing around the porch.

I just kept thinking of Tom Sawyer as I painted all of those 'pickets', so to speak.   Not really fun.  But I'm glad that hubby drives me to do these things that need doing, or I'd spend all of my time at the sewing machine.  Hmmmmmm........sewing machine--it's cloudy and wet today, maybe I could re-acquaint myself with the old girl for a few hours !

UPDATE-------I did get to my sewing machine for a while......actually, it was my SECOND sewing machine, because I wanted to try my triple zigzag stitch for machine-quilting now that I can see where I'm going with my open-toed walking foot.

I like it !  Here's a sneak peek.......

Anyway, back to yesterday.........my Irises were blooming when I took my first look outside yesterday morning.  6 blooms, and all of them are this beautiful purple that reminds me of my mama (how she loved them !)

I took a trip out to the cemetery to check mama and daddy's headstone late yesterday evening.   I planted some things in back of it when I moved back home 4 years ago, BEFORE I called to check and see what was allowed.  Turned out, planting wasn't allowed, but it was too late then ~!~  Anyway, there's a beautiful thick patch of Iris and there are 7 buds right now.   On daddy's side, the Daisies are showing buds too.   I always like to think that daddy would laugh at the fact that he's literally 'pushing up daisies" !  (You'd have to know my daddy.)

What does this look like?
I've been wanting to post pictures of this plant that sprung up in my rose bed.  It may be something that I planted from seed.........I'm bad about forgetting WHAT I put WHERE.   It looks like it is about to bloom, so maybe it will be a beautiful surprise, but I fear that it may just be weeds.  Anybody recognize this green growth?
Any clue what this is?

I trim back my striped Monkey Grass every Spring, once I see new growth started at the base of the plants, and I am amazed at how much it grows every day when the sun comes out full force !  I never had this plant before moving to this lot, and I am so glad that it was planted here before I bought this place.    I moved a lot of it out here to the near-woods flower area because of the work being done on the porch last Fall, but I also have it along the front of the trailer with the Irises.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Feeling tired is better than feeling useless

In the wintertime, I can go for days where it seems that I just don't really serve a purpose on God's green earth.   Life slows down, I stay home, I stay in, and just don't do a whole lot ! 

These days, though, I keep finding myself totally worn out at the end of the day, and, yet, it is so nice to look back over these days and see actual accomplishments.   It seems ridiculous that these normal, average activities SHOULD wear me out, but there has to be more to aging than these wrinkly legs and droopy jowls..........HA !

ANYWAY,       ..........         today hubby and I got a couple of coats of paint onto the 4 porch posts that were left unpainted when the porch roof was built.   It is pressure-treated lumber and had to 'cure'.  We painted them white, and still want to put a third coat on them another day.

 After that, we managed to get the front yard mowed. 

 The pretty white and purple carpet of tiny flowers has been replaced by a beautiful, lush carpet of spring green.

  I don't know why God blesses us so, but I'm awfully thankful that he does.   The Irises are ready to bloom any day, and they look like they're all going to be deep blue-purple.   I re-worked the Iris beds last Fall..........last Spring most of the few blooms that I had were that burgundy color. which I really don't like !   But this year I'm thrilled !

And my Daisies have started blooming again.  These are the wild Daisies that I rescued from the side of a highway.  I also have taller, bigger-blooming Daisies that will be blooming a bit later in the year.  

My backing fabric arrived yesterday, and when I layed it in the floor with the scrappytripalong top, you would have thought that I designed the one based on the other.   They're wonderful together !   I do dread basting a 72 x 96 inch quilt all by myself, but as Scarlett said........." I'll think about that tomorrow".

Anything made you really happy today?  

Monday, April 15, 2013

I am BEAT ! ! !

I mean, I am so wore out, I can hardly sit here and type !   I did one partial row in my garden today, this time an un-tilled section, and it was so wearying, if that's a word.   My arms want to scream, "I can't keep this up another minute", and I rest for a few seconds and then go again.  Then there is a huge pile of dirt all worked down to the end of the row, that needs to be raked BACK up throughout the entire length of the row !  And it is SO HEAVY! 

Hubby was hoping that I would complete the last of the tilling tomorrow, but heard that it is going to rain for the next 3 days.   I say, "Thank you, dear heavenly Father !"

In the meantime, I should receive my order from Fabric.com tomorrow.   I ordered 5 1/2 yards of this print

thinking that I would back my Scrappy TripAlong quilt top with it (which, by the way, I have pieced an additional 6 blocks for, and just need to add them to the length).  But I really, really, REALLY like this print, atleast what I can tell about it from the online photos, and I may not want to use it for this top.   We'll see. 

It is a HUGE print, which I always love for quilt backs, with some of the flowers measuring 6 inches across !

Anyway, I'm fading fast, so I'll stop for now.   Wishing you all a restful night's sleep !

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fort Sill Soldiers Prepare to Deploy for UAE - KSWO, Lawton, OK

 My grandson caught the eye of a reporter yesterday while celebrating his hero........

Fort Sill Soldiers Prepare to Deploy for UAE - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Let's pray once again for all of these soldiers who spend their days protecting our freedom.  And an added prayer must go up for the ones left behind to carry on alone until these return.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tilling has begun !

This morning I started the day by adjusting the carburetor on my little Mantis Tiller -------YOU GO, GIRL !-------I had never done THAT before, but it was necessary, and I got 'er done, so to speak !  Praise God for my hubby's cheerleading on the sidelines !   Anyway, once I got the little machine running well, I went over all of the garden spot that I had broken up last Fall.   It's not a big space, although it's more than we ever dug up out in Oklahoma.  I may do more, but will wait to see exactly what it is I want to plant and how much space I think that I'll need.  I'm not a canner, and I don't have a lot of freezer space, so I need to be realistic about what we can use and share.  

Then this afternoon I finished weeding that flower garden that runs down the side of the driveway, the one where the Dwarf Crape Myrtles are planted.   I noticed that those shrubs have tiny budding leaves on them, and my Rose of Sharon trees are starting to leaf out too........even the 3 in 1 that I ordered from Michigan Bulb.   Of course, it's only about 9 inches tall, if that, so it'll be awhile before I see 3 different colored blooms on it.   But you know what?  The little Lilac bushes that I put out last Fall have buds on them, and they're only about 14 inches tall !

Our temperature here today may have actually reached 80 degrees !  It's very warm inside tonight, but there's a breeze coming in the windows.  I just love sleeping with the windows open at night.  We're predicted to get semi-serious storms here tomorrow, so I went to the grocery store tonight instead of to church.   There was a good crowd at church when I guiltily drove by on my way home......John is doing a good job of teaching that class.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A day of gardening

Every Winter for the last few years (since I passed 45 or so), I end up being pretty inactive, and I always wonder if, once Spring comes, I'll still be able to do the yardwork and the gardening that I enjoy.  It may sound silly, but it's a reality for me.......I get so stiff and out of shape inside this little home that doesn't require a lot of  work to keep going for the two of us ! 

But, praise God, I always seem to find that the rebirth around me seems to spur me on, and gradually, day by day, I find that I can jump right back into the old routine.   I am more tired in the evenings than I was in my younger days, but, hey, that's the price of getting older, right? 

Today, I thought I'd try to weed a couple of flowerbeds, but wound up working at it for probably 4 or 5 hours without tiring.   I was amazed, and just kept thanking the Lord for my renewed energy.  I quit around suppertime, and went into the house, stood about 5 minutes, and TIRED washed over me like a warm shower !   You know what,,.........that's okay.   Hubby-sweetkins was patient enough to settle for a summer sausage, cheese and cracker meal since I had gotten totally wrapped up in my yardwork and forgot to thaw his dinner.  Maybe I'll even sleep good for a change.  

Oh what a blessing a good night's sleep is.........if you sleep well, never take it for granted !   It is a blessing straight from God !

Changing subjects, sortof, I have more flower photos.

These are a perennial called CandyTuft.

 I had never raised them before, but bought two plants last spring.  They stayed green all Winter, and began blooming again in late January or February if I recall right.  The second photo shows where they are in relation to the Violets and Violas I shared yesterday, my front sidewalk.

 The sky under which I worked today ~!~
Ever just take a picture of the sky above your head?   I don't think that I ever had, but I did today !  Rejoice in all things........what a beautiful day ~!~

And this is a photo of my yard from ground-level.  Someone asked yesterday what kind of grass I have because my yard is currently just a flowing carpet (occasionally interspersed with a weed or two) of little tiny white and purple flowers.   I don't know what it is, but it happens every Spring around here, and I wait until it's gone to do a full mowing because I just think that it is lovely !

I apologize to anyone who started following this blog because of quilting info that I might share.   Once the weather breaks, I find myself drawn outside.......after all, this little home is only 700 square feet, and I'm a big girl;  I desire space !   But the lure of the sewing machine is equally strong, and will soon win again !  

Monday, April 8, 2013

A little bit of mowing........

.....wasn't ready to mow, didn't feel I NEEDED to mow........but hubby was anxious to do SOMETHING outside with the weather finally behaving like Spring, so having to run to the lawnmower store for a new air filter and sparkplug wrench for my tiller, we happened to spy a used mower for sale.   Now, we bought a NEW mower from them last year, and I would let hubby use it while I used an old garage-sale-bought mower for the rougher areas of the property.  But, alas, the old mower died sometime last summer, and we really do need two mowers to use simultaneously, even though hubby can only mow for a few minutes at a time (hey, every little bit helps !)  Anyway, we bought the used mower today for $40.00, and I gave it a few trips across the higher areas of the yard.  It'll definitely help speed things along.
Violas (perennial)
I want to post a few more flower photos.   The little purple flowers that I've had in my banner are Violas.  I bought them last year as perennials, and they have come back in several different spots in front of the sidewalk.  They're just such happy-faced little flowers. 
Violets (perennial)

These are a little different............wiild Violets, I think is what they are.  I found them in a field near my last home, and brought them with us when we moved over here.   I have them in solid deep purple, and in the light/white with darker markings.   They are trying to spread like wildfire........I work to control where I want them to be, but they are so pretty with all that purple peeping out of the lush green leaves.
Daffodil (perennial)

And these Daffodils were a surprise with their orangy/gold centers.   I am blessed that Rose shared many bulbs with me the first year that I moved in, and someone had already planted the daffodil around the oak tree in front.

2 Rhododendrons bushes  (perennial)

And here's a better shot of the Rhododendrons when they finally got a chance to dry out in yesterday's sunshine.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Oh what a beautiful day !

FINALLY, Spring is springing !   I feared that all of the blooms were going to come and go without us getting to be outside to enjoy any of them !
I photographed them on one of our many rainy days we've had this Spring.

My Rhododendrons are GORGEOUS !   They started blooming a couple of weeks ago, and a hard freeze bit them back, but they are just glorious right now !   There are two of them in the huge pot........I wish that I had bought three to fill it out better, but maybe they'll just really grow and fill it anyway !

This was a few days ago.....I should have gotten a shot of them today.  They looked even better !

Today was a busy one.   I started the day by taking Piper and Lottie-dah to the vet for their annual rabies vaccination.  I got Lottie de-wormed, and started both of them on Comfortis, to hopefully avoid the flea problem I'm afraid this mild past winter will have produced.  Then, I had to turn around and go back to the vet's with Marmalade for her rabies vaccination also.

Once I got home, hubby was eager for me to finally apply the WIPE NEW that he had purchased over 6 months ago for the jeeps black exterior trim.  I followed that with raking twigs from the sideyard, rested awhile with a good book, and then tackled vacuuming out the interior of the jeep. 

I kept getting tired, it's been such a NON-active Winter, but I stayed with it, glad of the work and the warm, sunny day in which to do it.  Praise God !

Kelley, my daughter, has been on near-round-the-clock mommy duty, with 3 kids battling the stomach virus.  I talked to her tonight and everyone is feeling better, and she finally got some rest !   Praise God again........and again !   My sister-in-law, Jean, has been having a horrible week, in such pain that she couldn't even make it down for the funeral this past Monday, but on speaking to her yesterday, she sounded SO MUCH better, and said that she is up again.    God is so good !

Friday, April 5, 2013

Walking foot

I received my new Brother open-toed walking foot a few days ago, and have finally gotten a chance to try it out a bit today.   I'll share the results in a day or two if finished, but I'm very pleased with the visibility that this foot affords.  I have felt some grinding or something, though, and am wondering if it is possible to oil this foot somewhere.  I haven't tried yet, as the feeling comes and goes, and I've wanted to continue quilting, and not have to stop for the oil to be 'sewn' out of the foot.

Tonight is a soup dinner at the church, so I will close for now, and get back here another time.   Today has been a beautiful sunny day, with a cold wind in the morning, and beautiful 60+ degrees in the afternoon.  

We had a handyman come and replace some torn out shingles on the roof today.   I hope that the repair lasts for a long time.  I have gotten to dreading windstorms, as we always lose pieces of shingles !