Monday, January 20, 2020

Cold MLK Day

It was a cold, cold day and a good one to stay inside.  I admire those who were out celebrating the life of Martin Luther King. "The time is always right to do what is right."

I celebrated at home sewing, decorating, and enjoying the day.

First up, I finished the sewing and quilting on the new Plus quilt.  Just need to do the binding.

I've really enjoyed making these quilts.  It's always fun to make one using nothing but scraps and stash.  Not too long ago I began adding some curtains and shades to some of our windows.  I am really liking the look.
 I've also been changing up the master bedroom a little and wanted to soften the look by adding the sheers in that room too.  Here is the before curtains.
 And here is after I got one set hung today.  I really love the difference they made.  :)  It is subtle but so nice.
 Jesse, the one-eyed kitty, also enjoyed staying in the warm house today.  He wanted to go outside but each time we opened the door, he got a sense of the cold and turned around. Nope, not today.
 My son and family are currently in Oxford.  He was invited to be a guest lecturer. Yes, this momma is proud of her son.  They were able to do some sightseeing while there, and visited The Eagle and the Child, the restaurant where famous authors such as J. R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis would meet to discuss their writings.
Working tomorrow and dreading getting out in the frigid air.  Brrrr.....

Saturday, January 11, 2020

2020 is Here

Hard to believe we are in the year 2020.  I read the other day that we are as close to 2050 as we are to 1990.  Crazy!  So, I have a lot of things planned, but first wanted to document some photos.  I've got the "twins" dressed for a new season...

 I've got a finish for the new year and this little pattern is addictive.  I've already started another.  And all from scraps, which is the best kind of quilt!

Like the quilts on the twin beds, these will be a boy and girl version that I will eventually use for gifts or donations, if I can part with them.  :)

I think I've finally got my wild yeast sourdough bread down pat!  This was a boule version. It is now to the point where I only feed it once a week.  I split a 1/2 cup out on Friday evenings, feed it, then feed the mother and put her back in the fridge for another week.  The part split out will make bread for that week....or rolls, or muffins, or cinnamon rolls, etc.
I also have a woodworking finish to start the year.  The hubby got me a jig saw for Christmas so I made him a fishing rod storage rack.  Hopefully we will get it mounted on the wall today.

He has a two week fishing trip coming up and I've been wanted to build a console table to go under our TV.  I found this plan and have decided to make it.  Eek!  it is really out of my building comfort zone as I've never done drawers and doors.  It is a faux printmaker's cabinet.
 It has three drawers at the top and three doors, that look like small drawers, on the bottom part.  Jen Woodhouse build the piece in 2012 (if you don't follow her, and you love wood working, you should!).  She asked Ana White (of DIY fame, another one to follow) to write the plans.  They are free on her website,
 This piece from Restoration Hardware, below, is the inspiration for the piece.  It will set you back over $1600.  I think I can build it for about $300 in supplies.
I found this pic on Ana Whites website of one someone made.  They adjusted the height some, but isn't it beautiful?? I love the texture of the wood pieces....and her pulls!  I can't find these pulls that are not crazy expensive so I decided to go with the small black cup pulls like in the inspiration picture above.
Stay tuned....I hope to have this baby build in about 3-4 weeks.  I won't start until the hubby is out of the garage....

I'm still running to prepare for a half marathon.  I am signed up for one in Cambridge, England with my daughter in law, but right now not for sure I will go, since I made a visit just in December.
I'm experimenting with the decor in our master bedroom.  It needs some work.  I also plan to paint an old dresser while the hubs is away.  I picked up these two lamps yesterday.  I'd love sconces but the bed is so big and sits away from the wall enough that it wouldn't be comfortable to turn them on and off.  I thought about putting these on the night stands but they fit fine on the headboard.  Not sure if I'll keep them.  I have plans to put up curtain rods and sheers so I'll see how that looks before returning them.  I actually like them a lot, but the hubby doesn't like change so he is.....not a fan yet.
 So this morning I am sitting drinking some hot tea and enjoying the views around me. I don't know what it is but it really does bring a smile on my face to decorate our home.
I'm one of those people who get my energy and peace from being at home. Hope you are enjoying your space as well, or if you are one of those who gets it from being around other people and out and about, enjoy your day as well!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

2020 Goals

I don't make resolutions, well, I call them goals.  I suppose it's basically the same thing.  Anyway, these are my goals for 2020:

  • Learn to drink coffee without sugar
  • Lose 5 pounds
  • Read 12 books
  • Make 10 quilts
  • Have 4 people over for dinner 5 times during the year
  • Read the bible through
  • Design and get published two quilts
  • Build 3 things
    • book/picture ledge
    • piece for bedroom
    • planter box(es)
  • Do things for others
    • take a meal
    • visit the sick
    • pay a bill
  • Run 500 miles
I am a list maker and goal setter.  I find I am much more productive and can accomplish what I want if I will write it down.  I don't think I did goals last year. My bad.  

Of course, these may change as I learn new things during the year, and who knows, I might pick up a new hobby.  :)

So here's to 2020 and may your year be blessed!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Holidays 2019

 Fun and games, "Heads Up," with the hubby, my brother, two nephews, and sister-in-law.

 Chocolate pie in memory of my dad, who loved anything chocolate at Christmas time.
Cross stitched mailboxes.  My mom made these, and each year would give all of us one with money inside.
The littles enjoyed a Christmas day service at their church, St. Andrew the great, in Cambridge.
And their annual family Christmas photo...

Mr. Hayes, acting silly with his hat liner I got him....
 Homemade sourdough cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.....
Life is good, even if it is hard sometimes. I have three friends on my mind tonight.  All three are facing surgery -- very serious back surgeries for two, and metastasized cancer for the third. If you are so inclined, I'd appreciate prayers for them.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Just for me

This post is intended just for me.  To record my thoughts and memories of the holidays and holidays past, documenting my thoughts so hopefully one day my granddaughter or grandson will read and understand more of who I was.

As I approach 61 years of age, sometimes I feel old. I look old. I worry that I will act old.  I desire to be helpful to others, to be wise in my interactions, compassionate, forgiving, and full of life and love. The reality is most times I am not those things, and sometimes it is a struggle to be those things, to determine or will to be those things when emotions get in the way.

The holidays have never been my favorite time of the year.  I grew up in a somewhat dysfunctional home, but don't most of us?  My mother loved us the best she could, but being married at 17, I don't think she ever knew how to clean house (or maybe just didn't want to do it) so it was always a wreck, unorganized, and chaotic. My dad once told me that early on he learned he could have a happy marriage or a clean house, but not both.  He was a wise man.  The state of our home bothered me as I got older.  I visited friends' homes and saw that they didn't live that way. I was embarrassed to have friends over. I did not learn how to clean or cook until an older married friend taught me as a 20 year old young bride myself. To her I will forever be grateful.

Some may say I'm rather obsessed about my home now, but you could look in my closets and know otherwise.  However I've learned that cleanliness and order bring peace. My home is my sanctity. It relieves the stresses of the world. I realize it isn't easy to keep that order and cleanliness for many, who are distracted, stressed about other things, irritated with their children or spouse, but I long to help them see how it can alleviate their disorganized and chaotic home lives. Help them not to lose things. Help them make housekeeping easier and even a joy to do for their family.

Is that what it is like when you get older?  You've learned important things in your 60 years, but no one wants to listen? I once read about an older woman who was convinced she was invisible.  No one paid any mind to her, listened to her, asked about her day, or her interests.  I worry about that for myself, but am determined not to be one of those people who does that to others.  It doesn't come easily for me as an introvert. I didn't do so well with my own mother as she aged. We never really communicated well. I harbored resentment for a lot of things.  I was the youngest of four, an "accident" and I felt like I basically raised myself.  I do have regrets that I was not attentive or compassionate enough with her. I can't change the past but I can change for the future.

I really have to work at serving others, caring for others, even talking to others, and I have to pray daily to help me be a blessing to someone who needs one. Some days I succeed, other days my own selfish interests win.

So today, I have cooked a meal for a young neighbor who came home yesterday from the hospital with her second child.  I hope she smiles and enjoys the food, and is thankful that someone cared enough to make her little family life a bit easier, if only for this day.  Thank you Father for the opportunity to serve.  Help me to focus outward and not inward and be thankful that you came to earth to save us from ourselves, to teach us a better way.

And for my heirs who may read this one day, here is my sanctity. My home. Where I long to have you visit, play games with me, talk to me, tell me about your interests, your loves, your work, your life.  Where you will let me teach you things I've learned over my 61 years.

 The pictures over the piano are you. It gives me so much joy to see them each day.
 This little bedroom was designed just for you. I long for the day you'll spend some nights here. I can almost hear the giggling, the wiggling that will happen in this little room.
 Here is where you'll bathe, and brush your teeth, getting ready for bed.
 This room, I hope, will be used to make crafts, to learn to sew....
 Here is where you'll sit and talk to me, at the island. Where I'll hear your stories. Where you'll eat food I prepare for you.
 Am I dreaming? Is this wishful thinking? Or just the simple longing of a woman growing older without little ones or family close by during the holidays.
So until you, my heirs, can come visit I will busy myself with others who may not have family living close, like us.

We shared our home with our Sunday School class last evening for a festive meal and fellowship. We will share a meal with my brother, sister-in-law, and two nephews on Christmas Eve. This is a welcomed event.  Since Mom passed we haven't gotten together at any holidays and I've really missed it.

I returned a couple of weeks ago from a visit with my son and his family, and my heart is still sore from the pain of leaving them, not to see them for several months.  I have to get over that, and I'm sure being a blessing to others will help me not to focus on my own heartaches. Everyone has pain of some kind in their lives. There are many whose heartaches are so great, I feel ashamed for being sad at this holiday.  However, feelings are feelings and we shouldn't compare heartaches.

So, if you are a casual reader, I apologize for my ramblings.  If you are an heir in my lineage, know I have loved you to the moon and back. I want you to know who I am, or who I was. Thank you for reading.
 (I print my blog every couple of years to document our lives for my grandchildren)

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Free Christmas Greenery

Of course, everyone loves free.  I've heard of going to places that sell Christmas trees to get free greenery.  Great idea, but I have one even better.  We have few trees in our yard and no woods, but our neighbor has a fence row bordering her property and a farm. She allowed me to scavenge the fence row for some beauties for holiday decorating.

I found lots of cedar, holly, and other plants with pretty leaves.

I didn't find pinecones, but I bet I could have.  I may have to do some more adventuring along the farm fence row. I hate spending a lot of money on seasonal decorations and the pressure to do so is great with Pinterest and Instagram showing us how beautiful we can make our homes if we just.....

There are lots of beautiful things out doors to bring in for the season. We just have to look around and be creative.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Post Thanksgiving Updates

We had a good time yesterday to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Started the day off right with a Hot-to-trot 5k race with friends.

 I was thrilled with my results.  It's been a while since a ran a 5k this fast.  I've been going to osteostrong and working out with weights 2x a week in addition to running 3x a week, with the goal of improving my bone density, but I think it is helping my running too.

 Of course after all that running, we were ready to eat pie! Apple, peach, almond, and Kentucky Derby (chocolate chips, pecans)
 I have so much to be thankful for but still it's rather hard getting older without family around at holidays. My grandchildren are in England with their momma and daddy, my brother was doing his own celebration I suppose, and the rest of our family lives out of town or in another state. We had a nice dinner with friends, who are kind enough to invite us to their family activities.  Afterwards, just came home, ate leftovers, and loafed around.  We watched The Help, which is a great movie although it brings me to tears.
I cozied up with the quilt I made my Daddy years ago, which came back to me when he passed away, my favorite kitty slippers and enjoyed the fire and the movie. A few days ago I pulled out the quilt I made from my son's shirts to help cozy up the place for Christmas.  of course that adds to my 'holidays without family' feelings.  :(

I recently finished the second of two Christmas throws I made for the twin bedroom.  I say, the "twins" are dressed for Christmas.  :)  I don't do a lot for decorating the holidays but I have enjoyed changing out the quilts on the twin beds for each holiday.

These were made from Little Tree fabric from Lella Boutique, using Cloud 9 and North Star patterns.  Buffalo Check fabric was from Hobby Lobby, and although I love it, it did fade in the prewash and I was unable to match the checks.  I kept telling myself that it won't matter, the flannel backing is for coziness not looks.

The husband is fishing a tournament today, and I don't do black Friday shopping, except a little online.  I've been packing for my upcoming trip to see the grands.  That will be an exciting time.  I long for the day when they can visit us and sleep in this little room, and enjoy time with Mamole and Papaw Jim.  "Mamole" is what they call me, it is their little English/Scottish version of Mamaw.

I've got to find room somewhere for my clothes and things.  This is full of just stuff for the kids, and a few kitchen things for Katie and Elijah.  Evidently they don't have good peanut butter there, so the humongous container of Peter Pan, along with pudding mixes, starbucks coffee, etc.  And of course way too many gifts and toys for the kiddos.  :)