Monday, August 31, 2009

MORE GIVEAWAYS!

Okay, so I'm finding all these fun blogs! Here's one ... Mama Spark's World! She's got a "400th Post" giveaway going on right now. Right now! It ends tomorrow (September 1st) at noon, est. Check it out! The prize package is some darling Christmas fat quarters!

Right above that post she's got one with a very darling wall hanging in it. Cats. I do love cats.

Enjoy!!!

:)

WHAT A WEEKEND!

First, let me repeat the four confessions of love:

1) God is perfect love.

1 John 4:18
2) Nothing can separate me from God's perfect love.
Romans 8:38-29

3) God pours His perfect love into my imperfect heart.
Romans 5:5
4) Accessed, I can love anyone through anything.
Philippians 4:13


What a good way to start off a glorious morning! I need to keep this in the forefront of my mind today, tomorrow, and the rest of the week! If God can be for me, who can be against me??? HA! Take that.

So . . . this weekend. I did finish the bulk of BBS quilt. Yay-rah! There's still the sashing that needs to go on, which will add about nine inches on all four sides. I'll get there! I promised a picture, so here it is. Phew!


I also said I was going to make that chocolate cake on Sunday. I had to laugh. I consider myself a fairly decent hand in the kitchen. I've been at it for a long, LONG time. I've baked cakes from scratch many times. I love making new desserts and trying new recipes. *Never* have I had such a tough time as I have with the two cakes I've tried from the Mitford cookbook. Egads! The first cake looked simple beautiful, but tasted just mediocre. This second cake absolutely FELL APART! I do not know what happened. I did everything the way the recipe said to do it; I used the best and freshest of ingredients; I waited until the cake had thoroughly cooled before trying to position and frost it. Nevertheless, it simply fell apart. It looked like a huge earthquake fault line had run through the stinking thing! No, really. It looks like California sliding off the rest of the continent. Just look at it!

But oh. my. goodness. It tasted HEAVENLY!! I am not kidding, it was goooooood! The cake was feather-light, and the frosting was . . . well . . . ganache. My favorite! It really doesn't get any better than that. Even Todd agreed that it was simply terrific. I had to take pictures to show; it was only fair. Besides it's great for a laugh!!


It really was rather timely, too. The lastest issue of Eating Well came out this week. The first page I turn to when I get a new issue is the back page, which always has a funny story-like editorial on it. This month's story is about a girl who is a great cake baker and attempts to bake a cake for her boyfriend, who cannot do glucose and sugar and all kinds of things. Anyway, she uses all these special ingredients, bakes the cake and begins to frost it. As she spreads frosting, the cakes begins to crumble underneath her efforts. She piles the frosting on to hopefully 'glue' the cake together
, but to no avail. I laughed when I first read it, but I'll admit, I really couldn't envision the scene. I must have read it with a tad of superiority, for God truly gave me empathy in my own mess. I was laughing as hard as my cake was cracking! Julia Child I'm not.

But let me repeat . . . it was GOOD!


This is a shot of last night's sunset, which was simply gorgeous:

In case you're wondering about my plethora of photos today, I got a new camera yesterday, and it's so much fun! It's a little Canon, with a big BITE! It's got lots of pre-set options, one of which is "SUNSET". I just happened to have found this option as the sun was setting in the backyard.

Opportunity taken!

I also took pictures of myself, Todd, us together (using the timer and a cool little flexi-pod that came with it), and Merlin!

Then I went back and took pictures of my first paper-pieced project. I actually took a class at Patches & Stitches and this was our classroom project. I took my completed pieced center and made it into a pillow. Cute, non? It was a great class -- the teacher was Barbara Black, who I really enjoy -- and I've paper-pieced several times since then.

This morning I checked on one of my favorite blogs, Mel's Own Place, and found out I had WON one of her giveaways from over the weekend! I am so excited!! Her button is further down on my blog on the left side. Check it out quilt lovers! She's lots of fun and a *fount* of information!
I think I may have ended my "cook your way through Mitford" phase. Yesterday rather did me in. Perhaps I'll focus on quilting and outfitting the RV for now. Goodness.

Carpe diem!

:)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

FABRICS . . . YUMMY!







Oh how I love Saturdays! I regret to say that I didn't finish as much on the quilting end as I would have liked, but I *did* have a day of accomplishment, nonetheless!!

I started out this morning by stewing and freezing all the tomatoes Todd had picked from our wonderful garden! I also added some peppers he picked yesterday as well. I was able to put up a couple of quart containers. I put about 3 quarts of tomatoes in brown paper bags, so they could ripen. 'Maters freeze better when they're mostly red!

I also baked and put up some acorn squash that Jeff had brought into work from his garden. I didn't know this, but they have seeds like pumpkins - and you can roast them just the same way! I've got the seeds soaking in salt water for roasting later.

After that, I cleaned up the kitchen, and Kim came over! I wanted to take her to Hooked on Quilting, so she could look at baby fabric with me! I think we decided that we need to wait until we know the baby's sex; especially since she definitely wants to theme the bedroom! Gosh there were lots of beautiful fabrics -- fun and darling and precious and soft. Yay for babies!! Then we headed over to look at the holiday fabrics. Whoa! Kim found some really cute Moda fabric for stockings for James, her and the baby. I found lots of beautiful things, but brought home a sampling of just a few. I also got a Moda panel for a table runner that was *so* cute! It goes with a kit I already have for a wall-hanging. So darling!

I noticed that three of the four fabrics I got today have the glittery gold in them. Really, I don't do it on purpose. I'm *drawn* to it! I do believe I'm becoming a fabric collector. I guess there are worse things! Gotta stock up while I can!

The fourth fabric I got was the chicken coop wire. Isn't that great? Oh, so much fun!

Kim and I had cake, ice cream, chips & dip while we were at the quilt shop. Both the shop owner, Cindy, and Mrs. Martha were there today, so we got chatted up and down both sides! I really do like giving my business to local small business owners. They are personable and remember my name, and that goes a long way with me. And they said sweet things about my Kim. Kim is definitely one of my "joy to love" people.

Finally we were able to head back home. I think Kim went on to do some grocery shopping, and I stayed PUT! :) I finished watching Matilda, then headed for the quilt room. Time passes so quickly when I'm working (on something I truly enjoy)!!! Next thing I know, it's after six! But, much to my delight, I have finished piecing the top of BBS quilt, with the exception of the outer sash! Whoohoo!!! I still have to cut and sew that, and then I can send it off for quilting! What a JOY! I'll post pictures of that later, after batteries are charged. Six sets of batteries, and not a stinking charged set in the bunch!

This was Day 6 of Week 1 of the love Bible study. She asked that I name some folks that I needed God's help in loving. I listed the one name that I knew from the get-go belonged there, but then another name popped into my mind. This was a person I'd thought about all week and how difficult they had been and how hard it was to get near them. BAM! You think I was supposed to make the connection earlier? I am so thankful I serve a patient God. One who waits for me 'get it'. Father, help me to remember Your patience with me the next time I am dealing with someone who's having a hard time 'getting it'. Allow me to think back on this day and how lovingly You waited for me to see it as You wanted me too!

Can you believe that Monday marks the end of August? September and fall are almost here! And tomorrow I'm tackling the chocolate cake!

Sweet dreams!

:)

Friday, August 28, 2009

GUATEMALA CUTIE



This little beauty is my adopted prayer concern from Guatemala. Isn't she simply precious?! I don't know her name yet, but I should soon. Oh my; what a privilege and honor it is to lift this cherished baby up to the Father!

I got her photo/name through Mission Firefly, a local, non-profit organization that is headed by a group of local men and women who have a passion for being about God's business and have chosen to "get out of the pew" and into the world! There's a link to their website on my page. Check it out!

Speaking of links, there are lots of links to explain on my page! I'm a huge fan of things "tea" like tea parties, and afternoon tea, and tea rooms. One of my favorite tea rooms is Emma's, a darling little shop nestled on the edge of Five Points. Rebekah is the owner, and the shop is named for her daughter, Emma. Their menu is absolutely *wonderful* -- I believe Rebekah's sister is the head cook. I have not had a soup or quiche there that wasn't remarkable. And, the veggie sandwich is quite yummy! My favorite part is the pages of teas to choose from! Heaven! There's also a little gift shop that has all kinds of fun tea things. If you really want to feel like a girlie-girl, this is definitely the place to have lunch! :) I just got a September e-letter from them; in it was a coupon for a large pot of tea -- on Emma's -- if you bring a girlfriend for lunch! I'll be there!

Tomorrow will be a day of serious quilting. And, evidently, some serious quilt shopping. One of my quilt links is to "Hooked On Quilting" which is in Fayetteville. It really is a fun shop because the owner, Cindy, carries LOTS of novelty fabrics! She has a whole room of baby/children prints! It's *so* much fun to browse for fabric there! Cindy offers quarterly (only now it's bi-monthly) birthday parties where she gives her birthday girls and their guest a HUGE 25% discount on their purchases!!! My sweet friend Tina's birthday was in July, so the birthday fete is tomorrow for July/August. Tina can't go, because her mom's birthday happens to be tomorrow. But she called Cindy and asked if she could send her guest without her. Cindy said, "Sure!" Yay!!! With Christmas and a grandbaby on the way, I have LOTS of reasons to shop!!

I also want to get tomatoes put up tomorrow. I'm going to stew them with peppers from the garden and garlic. I think I'll just freeze them. Sunday, I'm going to bake Lew Boyd's chocolate cake. I started Light From Heaven last night; once I finish it, I'll only have the Father Tim book and the little books to go before I put Mitford up until this time next year (and in anticipation of the release of the next book)! It's probably time--I need to focus on quilting!

I sent Tate Farms (another of my links) an e-mail yesterday; I will be able to work Saturdays for the Farm during Cotton Pickin' Pumpkins time! YAY!! It's such a fun place to be in the fall! Just think -- in a couple of years, I'll be bringing my GRANDBABY to visit the farm! What an exciting thought that is!

Tonight Todd and I are having friends over for dessert and to play Rook. It's been so long since I played, I hope I remember how! Should be a lovely evening -- a nice way to cap off the work week.

Funny story: one of my Spanish-speaking co-workers asked me if I knew what "dormir" was. I took a guess and said sleep -- because sleep in French is dormir. He said yes and said he slept 'muy bien' and asked how I slept last night. I don't know 'so-so' in Spanish, but I knew that in French my response would be, "comme-ci, comme-ca". He looked at me puzzled for a minute (because he wasn't sure if I'd tried to say something in Spanish or if I'd said something in English he didn't know) until I told him that it meant 'so-so' in French. He walked away repeating it in French, pleased to have learned a new French word. I have to laugh -- we'll have the craziest speaking group of tri-linguals here that ever was!

Tenga un buen fin de semana!

:)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

QUOTE THE RAVEN . . .




My title doesn't have to match the body of the post, does it?!?

So, here are pictures of BBS quilt, as I piece the top together, finally! I will make a concerted effort to finish this on Saturday, so I can have it quilted. I'm learning a lot about putting pieces together so that dimensions are kept intact. It doesn't look so hot from the flip side, but from the top, it's looking good! Don't pay attention to my messy quilting room. Whoops!


A couple of things caught my attention in Proverbs this morning. (One thing was actually from yesterday's Proverb.) Let's see . . .

* Like one who takes a dog by the ears, is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him. Proverbs 26:17

I've never taken a dog by the ears, but I'd be willing to bet that no dog would enjoy it too much. This speaks to the type of person that does pull a dog's ears, huh? Not a nice thought. How often, though, do we jump into the middle of situations we have no part of? Bottom line: refuse to get in the middle of a fight that's not mine.

* Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. Proverbs 27:5

This one struck me because of the Bible study I'm doing right now on love. I have to develop the connection, though. It's speaking to me; I just can't coherently explain it yet.

* A sated man loathes honey, but to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet. Proverbs 27:7

A (wo)man who is starving for a word from the Lord will be happy to hear anything He has to say, even if it's rebuke. Thank You Lord for speaking to me! :)

* A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naive proceed and pay the penalty. Proverbs 27:12

Wow. This goes along with the thought that we need to pray daily for God's protection from evil. And to "flee evil".

As a post note to yesterday: I brewed a pot of French Vanilla tea yesterday afternoon. I used water from the Brita pitcher. I do that when it's just me. Todd doesn't really care, so he gets the water from the tap. No biggie -- it's just that when it's me, I like it from the filtered pitcher! Anyway, I was pouring my second-to-last cup and realized that there was not enough tea left in the pot to pour a final cup (unless, in fact, I *was* pouring my final cup, which I didn't want to be doing). So I figured I'd just add enough water to make up that last cup. No biggie. And since it was just adding a little water for the last cup, I just got it from the tap. Again, no biggie.

Wrong.

I was *astounded* by the difference in the taste. I could very much taste the tap water. Ugh! Up to this point, I thought I was just whimsically using filtered water, but that there probably wasn't a whole lot of difference. I was *so* wrong! Nevermore. Nevermore.

The Raven.

:)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BLEH, I SAID!

Bleh.

I spent most of this day feeling that way. I don't think it was something I ate; on the other hand, I don't think it was the H1N1 flu, which everyone near me worried about. Except Merlin -- he licked my face while I was napping, so I know he wasn't too concerned. Ah, the comforts of a cat!

I'm feeling a little better . . . just . . . foggy. Which might actually be an indicator it's sinuses. Oh the joy!! :) No, really -- at least I'm breathing, right? Count it *all* joy! Harrumph.

I did stop and pick up some black thread, so I can continue working on the BBS quilt. I've been searching fabric shops (online and in person) looking for the perfect flannel to back it with. Is that bad juju, backing a regular cotton quilt top with a cotton flannel? It just seems to me that it would make for a nice, warm quilt, that a boy (young man) might be more willing to wrap up in on a cold day. If anyone is reading and has a notion about this, please let me know!

I read something in Proverbs 26 today that really caught my eye. The first eleven verses refer to qualities/characterizations of a fool; a dog returning to its vomit, one who binds a stone in a sling (think about it for a second), an archer who wounds everyone (this could mean two things), and so on . . . and then, in verse 12, it states that there is more hope for the fool than one who is wise in his own eyes. I finally caught that today. To carry on for so many disparaging passages about a fool, only to say he has more hope than one who sees himself as wise? Wow. That I could read and re-read that Proverb and have it just speak to me today is further proof that it is the living Word.

I'm nearing the end of Jeremiah. Woe to stubborn. I want to plead with them to wake up and smell the coffee!! Why do they refuse to see? Why did they persist in their own way? Oh. Never mind. I have only to look to my own stubbornness to realize the answer. Father, please don't harden my heart to Your commands. Thank You for the saving grace of Your Son!

I'm on to Shepherd's Abiding for my current read. I looked at Jan Karon's website yesterday -- the newest in the Father Tim series doesn't come out until October 2010! Good gravy. I guess it'll give me another year and I can re-read the series again just before it comes out; it takes me about six weeks to finish all 10 books. That's my plan.

Speaking of which, I'm using my infirmity to call tonight a book night. I made a pot of French Vanilla tea. Tea, a good book, and a cat. Sounds like the perfect storm. Hasta la vista.

Baby.

:)

Addendum:

Shepherd's Abiding is probably my all-time favorite of the Mitford series. I adore Christmas and its season; perhaps that explains it.

I found a picture of the Patchwork Puppy -- I forgot that the mommy of the puppy's owner sent it to me!! I'm ready to make a new one for Fowler -- good thing I've got a photo pattern -- placing all those multi-colored squares was tedious enough the first go-round! I do *really*really*really* enjoy quilting. But I do NOT enjoy trying to put pictures in this blog!

BARK!

:)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

WEDDING QUILT!


Ahhhh . . . the infamous wedding quilt! Jocelyn didn't want a guest book -- she wanted her guests to sign quilt squares. In theory, it's a great idea! Here's just a teaser from it.



















The hydrangea print will always form a complete square. Signatures went in the neutral fabric. I would *never* have gotten these squares finished for the wedding if my dear friend Tina hadn't joined the cause! Plus my sisters trimmed each block.




















Joc did such a beautiful job picking out fabrics and keeping with her wedding colors! I'd like to use those fabrics in a quilt for me. Really yummy!

The last picture is the CAD drawing I did when I was making the pattern and putting the blocks together in different forms. I think I put it together about 5 different ways, and let Jocelyn pick which one she liked best. Option 3. Who'd have guessed? In another year or so I'll have all the signed blocks pieced together and have it quilted!



Finit (or not)!

:)

The cake . . .




Gosh, it really was pretty, but I was *so* disappointed in the taste!! I had so geared myself up for this OUT OF THIS WORLD cake -- and it fell short. I wouldn't even put it in the top 10 I've done. It was good, don't get me wrong, but it sure wasn't worth the time, effort, or money that went into it. Lesson learned. I have to say, though, I wonder if it's something I did? The frosting was very good and a great compliment to the dense cake and sweet marmalade filling. But the cake itself was a little on the dry side. And that really surprised me, because you pour this orange juice syrup over it, before it's cooled, to soak in. I was very careful to follow the ingredients and directions to the tee. I dunno.

Poor Todd -- I had really built this bad boy up. He didn't hardly eat anything during the day, so he could afford to go back for seconds, he was prepared for it to be so good! He ate it; but again, it wasn't his favorite. We'll see if the guys at the station eat it.

I will try the chocolate cake next. Let's see what Lew Boyd brings to the table. Hahaha!

We finished up The Return of the King in the RV last night. Todd had figured out how to change the picture so that it covered the entire screen. That was nice! I took a hand towel and some soap over. I really am ready to be there. I want to start moving in. The thing is, we're only taking the bare minimums; the stuff we use on a regular basis. We can't take that stuff over until we're ready to be there all the time! It's quite funny. And truthfully, we can't live in it until we get it leveled out. I think that's very important for the well-being of the RV. Todd is going to split the cable so we can hook it up over there. Fun!

I really want to be able to cook and function in our new space. I need to remember, though, that God works ALL things in HIS perfect time. What is it He's teaching me during this time of waiting? I get ahead of Him *all* the time. So okay, now that I've acknowledged it, I need to be content where I am, and use this time in a way that pleases Him, instead of wasting it wanting something who's time hasn't come!

Easier said than done, but I shall persevere, nonetheless!!

This is a busy week. Tonight I'll go to Stuckey's, tomorrow night Todd's on shift, Thursday night we're going to the Mission Firefly informational meeting, and Friday is open. Saturday, Todd is on shift, so I believe I will be quilting, quilting, quilting!!! Yay-rah! I will work on the 4 BOM squares that I've got, and probably on Ben's quilt. I need to remember to pick up some black thread so I *can* work on Ben's quilt! :) Also, Saturday is the July/August birthday party at Hooked on Quilting . . . I was supposed to go with Tina (she's a July birthday), but I don't think she's going. Boohoo. I'd really like to get some baby quilt fabric, and the backing fabric for Ben's quilt! Plus, Christmas is right around the corner! Ah well; my birthday is coming up too -- I'll take advantage of the discount then!

I'm doing this four-week follow-up study by Beth Moore called Loving Well. I'm enjoying it immensely. God IS love. Love is His very being; His character. God is love, just as I am woman. No emotion I have or circumstance I face changes the fact that I am woman. Same thing goes for God -- nothing changes the fact that HE IS LOVE! What an amazing realization to make and understand!

I celebrate; God is love and He loves me!

Hurrah!

:)

Monday, August 24, 2009

What a glorious weekend!

Friday and Saturday, I went to the Jane Bray's home for a LBC women's event. What fun! Friday night was a late night; followed by an early morning back out there! We finished up by 11:30 and I headed home to get ready for our Girl's Night/Baby Shower for Lori. My darling husband had vacuumed, swept and tidied the kitchen, and just generally made the house look nice. *And* he brought flowers for me to arrange and set out! He's ***so*** wonderful!!

We had a fun time Saturday night. I was really pleased that both Joc & Kim were able to be there! We played a baby shower mad libs. Oh my. I think I shredded that sheet when we were finished. I know Joc sure hopes I did!

Folks were out of there by 8:30, and Kim, Joc, Todd & I sat around a talked for a bit. I love my family very much! Joc had met Elaine & Jimbo for lunch in Nashville, and they had sent her back with boxes of school supplies, and a quilt top that my Grandma Wadleigh had started, for me! It's precious -- I'll enjoy finishing it!

Sunday morning, Todd & I headed to Lighthouse. Brother Randy preached a very thought-provoking sermon titled, "Blessed". He used Genesis 1:26-28, Colossians 1:16-23, and Ephesians 1:1-10 to illustrate how blessed we are simply because each one of us was specifically created by God, the Creator. I am divinely designed; with that comes terrific responsibility!

Then Todd & I came home and had dinner and a raspberry cobbler. YUM!!! Then Todd went off on shift, and I finished Twilight and then made the Orange Marmalade Cake (see previous posts).

The weather, too was simply gorgeous! If that was a fall preview, bring it ON!!

Selah!

:)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Oh. My. Goodness.

And I've not even tasted of it yet! But it sure is beautiful to behold, if I do say so myself. Of course, I didn't come up with the recipe, I just followed it very, very carefully!! The true test comes after dinner tomorrow, when Todd and I slice into it for dessert! Shoot, if it didn't need to refrigerate for at least two hours before serving (and Esther notes that it's better when refrigerated overnight), I'd load it up in the car and take it to Station 6, and we'd get into the darn thing right now! :) Ha! At least that way I wouldn't have to worry about eating more than one piece!!!

I was very impressed with the whipped cream/sour cream frosting. It was superb. Very light, and not overly sweet. It will probably be the perfect compliment to the marmalade and the very dense cake. Man, with five eggs, four egg yolks, a cup of butter, a cup of oil, and a cup of buttermilk -- talk about rich! It needed a light frosting!

There are some things I would do differently next time, if there were to be a next time (which there probably won't be, since I'm not taking the Kitchen Aid mixer on the RV).

For instance, I would definitely only purchase name brands. I didn't purchase name brands for the heavy whipping cream or the marmalade. I don't know that it'll make any difference, but something niggled at the back of my brain that if you want to bake the finest product, use the finest ingredients. File that.

I don't think I did a good enough job tapping the air bubbles out of the cake batter pans, before I put them into the oven. It didn't seem to pose a problem, I just think I could have done better.

I would use a little more marmalade next time. Twelve ounces didn't seem to be quite enough to nicely cover both of the inner layers and to lay a nice showing on the top.

Other than those things, I believe it was GREAT! I can certainly now understand Esther's reluctance to make the darn thing, though. Good gravy, what a time consumer!! I remember in one of the books, Esther (Bollick) fumes that no one eats cake any more, much less bakes them from scratch. I don't wonder why!!!

Still . . . it did look awfully grand and impressive, sitting there on the counter. I will try to remember to take a picture of it before we slice it tomorrow night!

I think I'll try Lew Boyd's chocolate cake next.

Bon nuit!

:)
Yes! I've finally done it! Well, part of it, anyway. The cake part is baked and cooling. Yay! I've only got to let it cool completely, then layer it with the filling, and frost it. The cake itself is perfectly scrumptious! I have to admit I had my doubts about the splendor of an orange marmalade cake, but the cake part is very, very good.

I'd forgotten how good a 'from-scratch' cake is! So different from a cake baked from a box!

Time for a little more reading . . . then to finish layering & frosting!

Let us eat cake!

:)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

a potpourri . . .

I got to thinking . . . for someone who claims to be a quilter, I sure haven't done a whole lot. I've got pictures of -- maybe 3-4 quilts splattered throughout this thing? So I went back and took a look. I'm more accomplished than I thought! Here's a random sampling of some of the things I've finished since I started . . .


This is my first ever quilt. It was the Block of the Month quilt from Patches and Stitches in 2006. The passion begins!




This is Kelly's Horse. I did this for a darling young lady. It was my first attempt at applique. I like applique a lot. Thank you Mrs. Martha for your help.



This was the 2007 BOM from Patches and Stitches. I still haven't completely finished it, but I do love it! This quilt will adorn our bed in the RV!!




This is the first baby quilt I ever made -- gave it to my niece for Christmas in 2007. It will definitely *not* be the last baby quilt I make! Not with grandbabies in my near future!





This darling little patchwork puppy was fast and done for a friend of mine. I forgot to take a picture of the final product!




This was my table runner for Thanksgiving 2008. The pattern was a lot more challenging than I had realized it would be! The first photo is of the center, prior to quilting it. Too bad you can't see more of the finished runner through the table decor! :)




I paper-pieced this cupcake for my favorite cupcake maker/baker. I didn't actually quilt this -- I framed it instead! Still . . .


There are a couple of other projects that I've started and not finished . . . I tell my husband that my plan it to collect projects now, while I can afford it, so that when we retire and money is tighter, I've still got fabric and kits to play with! :) A good plan, if I do say so myself!

Ciao!

:)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Busyness.

Last night was the monthly meeting of Heritage Quilters of Huntsville. It was the last meeting of the 2008-2009 year, and was celebrated with a pot luck dinner. It was fun. I sat at a table with Charmaine and her stitch group. Charmaine was the one who kept me from leaving the very first (overwhelming) meeting of the guild I ever attended.

Anyway, her stitch group is a very friendly group, and very involved in the guild. It was a good place for me to be. One of the women is co-chair for the membership committee this new year, and I will be helping her out for the coming year. I figure that's a good committee to be on if I want to get to know people!

I also got the nerve up to "show & tell" my Grand Hands quilt. I'm glad I did. I know it will be up at the show, but you've only got 25 words to tell the quilt's story in the quilt show program. That doesn't do *near* justice to explaining the why's of that quilt! Anyway, showing it off was fun. :)

I also sat next to a woman from their group who does long-arm quilting, professionally. Hurrah! She was really very nice and gave me her business card. An answer to prayer!

On a quick side note, while I passed the time between work and meeting, I stopped in Books-A-Million, on Airport Road. I got a 16-month planner for 2010, an audio book of Jan Karon's children's books (which was on sale for the bargain price of $5.97), and ... the Twilight DVD. I couldn't help it! I've really missed it since Joc took her copy with her in June!

I still haven't gotten around to the Orange Marmalade cake yet. Sunday afternoon, perhaps. I'll be able to put all the ingredients that need to be "room temperature" out before church. Then when Todd heads into work, I'll get busy. Then I'll watch Twilight. Hahaha!

I finished up this week's chapters in Jeremiah in yesterday's quiet time, so this morning I read Proverbs 21, and headed back into Psalms. I prayed through Psalms 51 and 103, and just spent time on my face in prayer. It was good quiet time; I really heard God's voice on some things this morning.

Tonight and tomorrow morning will be filled with the ladies Bible study -- we're doing Beth Moore's Loving Well. I still haven't decided whether or not I'll spend the night. Decisions!

Tomorrow evening is a *GIRL'S NIGHT*!!!! We're combining a girl's night with a baby shower for Lori. Fun times, fun times. I'll also probably do an RV tour -- early, so that Todd can go over there and hide while we party! It's nice to have two domiciles, for the time being!

Back to the grind . . .

Adeus!

:)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Real quick post . . . this morning I was able to finish up the other BOM due in September -- the subtle block. So I took pictures of all six that I've got ready of those too! But I'm not real pleased with the picture layout from yesterday, so I cropped all of today's pictures and collaged them together, so I could pull it up as one, instead of six . . .

Yay! I also took a quick couple of shots of the Grand Hands quilt while I've got it in my possession. My mom brought it to me when they came up for Joc's wedding, so I could enter it into the quilt show next month.

A true labor of love, this was! Now I have to do a 'matching' pillow for grandchild number thirteen!

Later gators!

:)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Finally . . . I thought to take some pictures this morning of the "Brights" BOM I'm working on . . .

There are two blocks that I've picked up, but that I haven't even really looked at yet, much less completed. Those are the two that were due July and August -- too much happened (like a wedding) and I didn't get them completed yet! But I vow to have them finished before the next turn in date, which is September 12th!

This quilt will be the 'sister' quilt to the BOM from the first half of last year. The patterns are different and some of the fabrics are different, too, but it will be close enough that they will look very cute together. This will grace the bunks in the quilting half of the bunkroom in our RV!

I need to finish up the pineapple quilt (as I've come to fondly refer to it) for the master bedroom in the RV. Since it was a quilt-as-you-go quilt, I've just got to figure out the center, put the parts together, and bind it. Perhaps by the year's end.

Tonight Todd and I are going to tackle the 5 gallons of apples that we have. We'll peel, core, slice and freeze the bulk of them. I sent Jocelyn home last week with a gallon bag of them. We should be able to enjoy cobblers and pies with apples from our own tree throughout the winter!

I'm hoping I'll get home in time tonight to work on that marmalade cake. Oh yes, I'm determined. We're having spaghetti and meatballs for dinner (with bread and salad, of course), which is already prepared -- just needs to be heated, so dinner will be a breeze. Yeah, I see a marmalade cake in tonight's future. We'll get a little bite and I'll send it on into work with Todd! Perfect!

Okay. So enough for now . . . but quilting surely is on my mind!

Vaarwel!

:)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I got to spend a little more time in the quilting room yesterday evening and this morning. Not enough to finish the second BOM, but enough so that the nine squares are pieced and ready to piece together. I really did think that when Jocelyn got married and we were living child-free, that I would have more free time. I've yet to see it! This week has something scheduled in every evening; add a full 40+ hour work week, housekeeping, and meal-making -- whew! Just try to get a little down time in there! :) C'est la vie.

Anyway, I am almost finished with the second of my BOM's for August. They aren't due until September 11-12, but since I procrastinated terribly with the last two months, I figured I'd jump ahead on this month's. It's full of flying geese, which I think is my least favorite pattern. I can never make my blocks work correctly when they have flying geese in them. Even when I'm exacting and precise and *sooooo* careful, it doesn't quite work. I guess the answer is to keep doing it until I master them! Or find a full-proof way to work them!

Anyway, I'm really ready to finish up the Boy Scout Quilt next. I've got the sashing cut and ready to piece the top together. I haven't decided what to do for the back, yet. I think I'd like to back it with a flannel -- perhaps something camouflaged-looking. That would suit my nephew, I think. I'd really like to have this to him by Christmas!

I cannot decide what I want to do for my sisters this year. Perhaps a quilted wall-hanging? Hmmmm. That will take some thinking. When I have time. Hah!

Tonight, Todd and I are headed to Jackson Way Baptist Church for the Sunday School appreciation banquet. Should be fun. Daniel Edmonds is the speaker again this year. I really enjoy Daniel's wit. I wonder if anyone else I know will be there?!

I started to make Esther's Orange Marmalade Cake out the the Mitford Cookbook last night, but only got as far as purchasing the necessary ingredients. Do you know how hard it was to find cake flour? The only kind Publix carries is the Swan brand. And is it with the rest of the flour? No! It's on the very bottom shelf under the cake mixes! I guess I semi-understand the logic, but then again, no. It's flour. They don't sell the bread flour in the bread aisle! And is the rice flour found with the rest of the rice products? No! Cake flour should be housed with the rest of the flours! Just my personal opinion.

Ah well, enough for now . . .

Plus tard!

:)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Yeay! I did finish a BOM square this weekend. Finally! Once I get started, it's no fun to stop. I wanted to be in there (my quilting room) so badly this morning! After I finished my quiet time, I went ahead and started getting the fabric ready for the second block. Next thing I know, it's ten minutes to eight! :)

I'm really wrestling with some issues of sacrificial giving. I know it applies to me, I'm just not sure in what context. I gave a very non-committal answer one time about giving to homeless people/street beggars. I think my thinking was wrong. Who am I to be judge? Only God sees the heart. All I can do is identify a need and tend to it. Thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

I feel a little disconnected at the moment. I want to belong.

We had James, Kim, Jocelyn and Jason over for dinner Saturday. What a fun evening! I love my children and their spouses! I'm so glad the guys are excited about creating a website for the ministry. And us girls can talk girlie stuff . . . like babies, and decorating and cooking! Heaven. What was even sweeter was that we hung for a long time in the RV -- and it was cool. Life will be okay.

TTFN!

:)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Made a little trip to break up the work day . . . care to guess where I headed?

PATCHES & STITCHES! :)

I *had* to pick up my overdue BOM's. And so while I was already there, I made it worth my while and did a little shopping. I got an instructional DVD on Baltimore Album quilt appliqueing. I think it will be helpful. It certainly will make me more likely to give the BAQ a shot! I also got a pattern for a Christmas tree skirt with a matching table runner and mini-tree skirt. Cute stuff!!

And then, there's this inclination I have towards baby quilt patterns now . . .

I can't wait to be a grandma!!!!! It's still so strange to see it in print. To dwell on it for any period of time. To think that the child I birthed and raised is now only seven months away from birthing his own child.

It could be very easy to get all caught up in the "what if's". But not if the Lord God is in control -- which He very definitely is! I'm so glad I can let go and let God.

More on that later. If I remember!

Last night I cut the black strips for Ben's Boy Scout quilt. I may work on that for a while tonight. Or the current BOM! I decidedly need to work on a quilt project of one kind or another!

Tomorrow we head to an RV accessories store, and then on to the Watermelon Festival in Russellville, Alabama! Hooray!

Manana!

:)
So. A very humbling experience last evening. But empowering, as well. I was sitting in the lane at the credit union, waiting to transact my business. It was later than I usually get there on a Thursday, and consequently, there was a bit more traffic. All three lanes were two-to-three cars deep. There was a lot of waiting going on!


Anyway, I was sitting there listening to a sermon CD by John Hunt. It was hitting home with me and I was listening intently. I was focused. I was not going to give in to impatience, but instead had resigned myself to the wait. I finally pulled up to the teller window and sent my transaction in, but knew I'd still have a bit of a wait. As I sat there, listening to the sermon, I noticed that credit union employees were leaving and walking to their cars. One woman in particular stood out to me. She came out alone and was smoking a cigarette. For some reason, my first thought was, "Ugh. She's smoking. Not attractive." Then our eyes met, and God overwhelmed me with the sense that I could continue to look intense, disinterested -- and look away, or I could engage her with a genuine smile. But it was my choice. I chose to smile, and her face was transformed by a returning smile. And in that exchange, I knew that I had initiated (prompted by the Holy Spirit, of course), something that made a positive difference in a stranger's day. And the ability to do that was rather overwhelming.

Josh Hunt had a tremendous quote posted on his facebook yesterday:

You can measure the character of a man largely by what it takes to put him in a bad mood.

And it was really cool to me until I started really reflecting on what that meant and looked back at what last put me in a bad mood. Talk about convicting!

Back to Isaiah. I finished up the book in NASB and started over in The Message. Wow! For all that the wording may not be technically accurate, the message makes far more sense! I actually think when I finish it the second time, I'll go back and re-read it in the NASB just to see if it makes more sense. Then I'll start looking at commentary.

But for now . . .

Auf Wiedersehen!

:)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

So, for some odd reason, I find that I cannot sign into my blog from the firefox browser. Ugh. I hate it when technology tries to get the better of me! :)

I can blog. I have thoughts! But would I really want to spend a year cooking every recipe in a cookbook? Maybe. But which cookbook would I pick? Therein lies the dilemma!

Perhaps, instead, I just stay focused on my daily quiet time in God's Word, and working on quilts. One thing at a time, right?

I had planned to be so faithful to journal my way through my quilt-making projects. You'd think it would be easy, as much as I really do enjoy writing. But for some reason, I just can't keep at it consistently. I guess, with only so many hours of the day, I choose other things. I also suppose that if I *really* want to be faithful, I'll set aside a pre-determined amount of time every day and JUST DO IT!

Well, then. I'm currently behind on every quilt project I have on the burner. My Patches & Stitches BOM are now two months behind (and I'll have to pay $5 to pick up this month's installment)! Joc's wedding quilt squares are just sitting there looking like they want me to get busy. Although, to be fair to myself, I am waiting on the next installment of the Round Robin to send out additional squares for relatives to sign. Ben's Boy Scout quilt is waiting on me to cut and sew borders. And there are at least two baby quilts I need to be working on! Hahahaha (psychotic laughter) . . . no wonder I'm not journaling my quilt making processes!!! OH! One positive; I did fill out the entry form for The Grand Hand's quilt to be in Huntsville's quilt show!

The thing is, I don't wanna just talk about quilts. Not when there's all of life out there too!! There's our ministry, and our church activities, and our new RV, and our empty nest, and our soon-to-be grandbaby . . . I mean, WOW! Why limit it to just quilting (or cooking, or whatever)????

My current quiet time is in the book of Isaiah. I just got to the section that really starts focusing in on Christ. I'm reading through it in the NASB version, but I think I'll go back and re-read it in The Message (for the sake of readability). I'm amazed at the levels of prophecy in Isaiah, as well as the message of freedom it contains (and the One who frees). But I still sometimes feel like I'm reading the words, but not understanding the meaning. Hence the reread in a different version. Who knows of a really good commentary or study of Isaiah?

Back to food. We're having chicken packets tonight. I let Todd pick. Why not? I've already done the prep work; it really doesn't matter what he picks! Isn't that FUN?! That's why I love monthly cooks!

Perhaps the Mitford Cookbook. Maybe I'll cook my way through that one. On the RV.

Or perhaps I'll just write wide open.

Arrivederci!

:)