There's no place like home.

There's no place like home.
Home is where my husband and I reside; wherever that may be.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hints, tidbits, and here it is Monday, 26 January 2015

Outside my is chilly, once again. After a high of 56 yesterday and bright sunshine 37 is always a kind of shock.  The weather guys were calling for rain in the night but it seems to have passed north of us, close enough to make my bones ache but not enough to drop the wet stuff.  

I an thinking about the excellent surprise that I had Friday afternoon.  Jason was in Greenville dropping a load but it didn't look like I we were going to be able to get together before he had to leave to pick up the next load.  Sitting here feeling sorry for myself and trying to get a little work done I heard the sound of a big truck coming down the road.  Now the neighbors below us frequently get deliveries of something from big semis so at first I was just wondering if the driver was going to have more or less talent than the last one who managed to drive on everyone's lawns while turning in the cul de sac.  

Imagine my surprise when this beauty ended up backing into my driveway!!!!! 
Thank you God, Baby Jesus, Blessed Mother and all the saints!  A visit from one of my children is always a treat but this one turned into an extra special bonus.  His fleet manager called and said she had a load in NC to be picked up Monday morning!!!!! We had Jason over Friday and Saturday nights.  Pizza and beer and lots of talk and laughing here we come.

Consequently I am thankful for...Jason taking a load (that pays less) but brings him close to his parents so we get to spend time with him.  God is truly good.  

I am reading...The Art of Praying by Romano Guardini

From the kitchen...there is nary a thing to be had in the ice box!  A big lug of a son ate me out of house and home.  I am also down to my last two beers!!!!  And thank you God for that lack since it means that we were together and I spent time with him rather than wasting it in other less worthy pursuits!!!  Fear not I have a plan though.  Tonight we will enjoy crock pot chicken condon bleu.

Yesterday Jason and I went to Anderson to a HUGE flea market.  This little gem was my big acquisition of the day.

Mary-Kate you know you want one! I haven't carried a knife since we moved since there aren't too many bales of hay to open here.  The last time I had to cut vines in the garden or open a package that had straps on it I had to scramble to find a suitable tool.  Here is the answer to that problem and it came with a holster too!!!!

Today will be spent finishing an order for altar linens so they can be shipped either this afternoon or tomorrow morning.  There are also two aprons to finish and ship.  Between loads of laundry, sweeping floors, and changing beds and diapers I should be able to stay out of trouble.  Tomorrow we take the quilting machine to the sewing machine place to have some routine maintenance done on it and have the timing adjusted.  That should take care of my whole week right there.

God is truly good to all of us if we only take the time to look for the blessings.  I am thrilled by the visit from Jason but it isn't only the large things that constitute His love for me.  The daily pictures and texts from my daughter's-in-law, daughter, and husband, the sun when it shines and the birds outside my window are only a very few of the gifts that He gives me daily.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A few of my favorite things

After he came home from work yesterday my wonderful, thoughtful, and sacrificing husband piled my mother into the car and took me shopping to the fabric store in Anderson 30 min away to stock up on some sewing things that I was sorely low on.

Coupons and discount card in hand we set out to see what kind of bargains there were.  

Though not on my list I can always use thread especially when it is on sale and in such a rainbow of colors.  It makes me happy just to have this box of possibility sitting on the table in the bright sunshine conjuring up visions of new embroideries and projects to tantalize my fancy.

Buttons are, to me the quintessential embellishment.  Not only that but, when the kids were little, they made the perfect distraction for little people when I was working and they wanted to "help."  I used to order buttons by the pound from a mail order house in PA. What a treat for the kids when I pulled out the button box, a blunt ended needle, and a length of string.  Many is the time that I wore beautifully crafted jewelry that came from those creative sessions.  
When we got home there was the mail to open and it contained as many surprises and memories as the purchases from the fabric store.  A thank you from Adam brought back visions of first grade paper, notes written on white board for the kids to copy and the inevitable cries of, "Why do we have to write thank you notes?"  I can also still hear the pleased phone calls that I received from older relatives after they received one of those notes. Well worth the angst.
Goofy birthday cards with gift cards inside from Ryan are always a surprise and a pleasure. Not for the gift but for the fact that this son of mine is so forgetful and yet so thoughtful and loving.  Thank you Kathleen for being his memory and his other half (not a small job).

A beautiful and most thoughtful surprise from a daughter who knows me so well and loves me anyway.  Two spoons to add to my collection.  Mary Poppins on one carrying with her so many memories of dear friends with carpet bags and delightful imaginations and cozy evenings curled up watching movies together, and intricate carvings on the other reminding me of the beauty of my daughter, inside an dout.

Never is a list of favorite things complete without the new books that have come to live in my world. Thanks to my sister, ReNee' challenging me once again to stretch outside of my sewing comfort zone, I embark on the journey of liturgical sewing.  

These are just a few of my favorite things.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Hints, tidbits, and here I am Monday, 19 January 2015

Outside my window...the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and one might think that it is an early spring day.  Then I stepped out there to take the garbage out and discovered the truth of the day.  The temperature hovers around the freezing mark belying the taunt that the sunshine makes.  I will make no complaint, however, about the chill in the air as long as it continues to be accompanied by the bright ball in the sky.

I am thinking...about conveniences.  Today folks enjoy such conveniences that were inconceivable thirty years ago. When my babies were young where were such pleasures as pay at the pump, drive through pharmacies, and online ordering. An Amazon subscription for delivery of such necessities as toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, laundry soap, baby wipes, and disposable diapers would have made me feel the need to never leave my home.  And yet I cannot help but believe that the existence of such helps will be helping to negate the need for the proverbial sharing of a cup of sugar over the back fence.  Why ask for help from a neighbor, develop a relationship so that stay at home moms can share babysitting and baking, and the closeness and sharing that comes from contact with people.  Getting to know the UPS driver isn't a valid replacement for neighbors and close friends and the realization of our dependency on each other.

I am thankful...for the outpouring of love and support for my birthday and for everyday.  The little messages of prayer, sympathy, inquiry, and support are bright spots and surprises that lift up my days in their little ways.

I am reading...The Serger's Technique Bible by Julia Hincks.  Saturday Doug too me to a bookstore and left me there for a few hours, what a beautiful way to spend a sunny Saturday (when you cannot go on a hike).  My self-restraint must be applauded and admired....pause for adulation...I only purchased three books while I was there. I think heaven will be living within walking distance of a bookstore, coffee shop, and the church. still spilling out around here. I have a stack of new jobs to do, curtains that I took down Friday to pick apart so I can use them for yard-goods, a pile of ironing that is no longer something to be ignored, and a mountain of laundry that should have been done over the weekend.  My brain is cooking up some new ideas and places for it to go.  Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day and, worse, I don't have enough arms to do all I want to do.

Friday, thanks to the awesome convenience of Amazon Prime and my new favorite UPS man the blinds and curtains I ordered came.  This wonderful man, after working an 10 hour day, set right to work taking down the old and putting up the new.

My taste may run to the utilitarian, boring, and non-Martha Stewart-ish but it works for me.  After years of living in a farm house with more important things to do than decorating, cleaning, and ironing window treatment I tend toward the plain and simple.  Now all the blinds work (hooray!!!!) and I can raise and lower them by myself and the curtains don't make me feel like a visitor instead of an inhabitant of this house.

Yesterday we took a drive around the country to get mom out and get some fresh air.  We passed this derelict and I had to stop and take its picture.  Both Doug and I were reminded of our son, Adam's favorite story from childhood, Mike Mulligan's Steamshovel.  It was named Maryanne and I find it ironic that years later that is the name of his beloved wife.

From the kitchen...there is spaghetti sauce on the stove and frozen raviolis waiting to go into the pot. For myself there is turkey breast, spinach salad, and steamed broccoli.

A few plans for the rest of the week...get through today and then move on to tomorrow.  There is so much to do everyday but I am reminded by another blogger, Julie Baldwin, that it isn't about how much I get done.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Here it is Thursday already and I haven't checked in

Wow! This week has gone by quite quickly. Friday my mom went to the Emergency Room and that started the roller coaster going faster than it usually does.
I should have known that something was going to happen since I had a pile of work to finish and ship and a slew of orders along with deadlines looming in my future.  This bench is my package staging area and that is only about half of what needs to be shipped out of here.  

 So, Monday was spent prepping for the rest of the work that had to be done.  My life is often one pile after another. In between bouts of pinning, cutting and sewing there is always Mount Washmore to scale, mom to feed, change, and keep entertained, and meals to get.  Fortunately I have the most wonderful, understanding, and helpful husband that ever was born.  Sunday I made a huge meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and salad for dinner and he, wonderful man that he is, has lived on leftovers in various configurations since.
Still more piles and partially completed items liter my work table and the floor.  Tuesday, unfortunately, I had to take mom out and take care of several administrative duties leftover from Friday's hospital visit and while I was out I decided to pick up a few items that I needed to finish projects with.  Except for mending a little girl's blankie that day was a total wash when it came to sewing, cleaning, laundry, anything. We both got home in time to crash until Doug got home from work.

Yesterday was a breath of wonderful fresh creative air.  I picked up two apron orders and completed all but one of the pending orders on my list.  Shipping will commence on Saturday after the glue dries on the dragon wings and I can pack them up.
Am I complaining? Never. I like the creativity, challenge, and the mess.  The other things that interfere with my drive, mom, laundry, cooking, and keeping this place livable, are there to keep me from being a single-minded recluse.  So, today I fold the three baskets of laundry sitting behind the couch, vacuum the floors, plan a week's worth of meals, and unearth my work area from the piles that have invaded.  The weekend looms ahead where I don't do any paying work and can focus on pure creativity.  I picked up some remnants of velvet and satin the other day, maybe I will come up with a luscious confection for an 18" doll.  The only complaint that I might register is the lack of hours in the day and materials to work with.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Hints, tidbits, and bit of a look inside. 5 January 2015

Outside my window...there is a full moon shining down silvering everything in its path.  After all the rain over the weekend and the freezing temperatures overnight there is a sparkle and shine to the trees and grass that is reminiscent of late fall back home.

I am thinking...about new beginnings. Whether they come in larger intervals as in New Year's resolutions or starting fresh on any given Monday I cannot help but be reminded of the quote from Anne of Green Gables, "Every day is new with no mistakes in it...yet."  Since God concerns himself, I believe, more with our intent and efforts in that direction, hooray for new beginnings.

I am thankful...for a world that is set up so I can have asparagus any time of the year.  I am thankful for a God who blessed us with asparagus and so many different ways to eat it.

I am reading...The Diary of a Country Priest.  

Creatively speaking...I am attempting to channel my reactions to the weather, lack of snow, being away from loved ones, etc. into my work.  There is a rather sizable box of projects cut out that I am working my way through as well as UFOs that are being quilted and prepared for shipping to their rightful owners.  

I am also waiting for a package from little Miss Attitude here.  Her favorite blankie is being shipped to the blankie hospital for emergency surgery.  Don't worry Kaycie grandma will get it done and shipped out as quickly as she possibly can.

On the cute front...Savannah (aka Queen Elsa, Sophia the first and whoever else her imagination dictates) just keeps getting smarter and cuter by the day. While her sister may be able to wilt a whole room with one look Savannah can charm the same group with a smile. I love these two imps.

From the kitchen...there is potato soup already simmering on the stove. Doug has a very long day today so I figured something easy to warm up and really filling was in order.

A few plans for the rest of the know, same old same old.