Thank you for visiting my blog

A casual blog highlighting my life with kids, grandkids and kitties...Also an avenue to show some items from my etsy shops.

**Please note..The other half of my life is dovoted to helping feral and free roaming cats in Walnut and the surrounding areas. You can learn more and follow our activites there at Walnut Iowa's Feral Cat Program! **

Saturday, September 27, 2008

This is Jeff!

Just wanted to post a new picture of Jeff( he's on the right...). This is him on a visit to Yokohama! I cant believe my son is in Japan. He must look tall. At about 6'3" he is most likely taller than most the people there. haha! I still havent heard from him (other than emails), but it should be soon. The cell phones are somewhat different over there and he wants to be careful before he buys one and gets stuck in a contract with a phone that wont work. Also, he will be going out again for 3-4 weeks and wouldnt be able to use it for now it will probably be phone cards and email. That's ok, it looks like hes doing fine!

"Quilt Tip of the Day!"
Try to relax while quilting. This is supposed to be fun! Dont worry if the points dont match or the seams are a little off. All that will come with time. Let this be an enjoyable hobby.

Thanks Bri!

This is Brian, my oldest son (Larry's oldest). He is currently serving in Iraq with the Army. He will be returning home in December. Im so proud of him. Its so hard to be away from his wife and 3 kids, but his 15 months is nearly over. Thanks Brian! We are praying for you and love you very much!

Be sure you are equiped for your project, with the basic sewing supplies. Your scissors should be sharp, thread, ripper, rotary cutter with sharp blade, cutting mat, acrylic rulers, pins, marking pencils, quilting and machine needles. Consider yourself a craftsman and realize that quality tools will give you a better product. Watch for coupons for the fabric stores (40-50% off) This discount really helps! Happy Quilting!

Before You Go - Thank You....

A Friend of mine sent this to my email yesterday....Please take the time to read it and be sure to click the website at the made my day...

Please read to the end and then click on the website -- this is fabulous!

The elderly parking lot attendant wasn't in a good mood!

Neither was Sam Bierstock. It was around 1 a.m., and Bierstock , a Delray Beach , Fla. , eye doctor, business consultant, corporate speaker and musician, was bone tired after appearing at an e vent.

He pulled up in his car, and the parking attendant began to speak. 'I took two bullets for this country
and look what I'm doing,' he said bitterly.

At first, Bierstock didn't know what to say to the World War II veteran. But he rolled down his window and told the man, 'Really, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you.'

Then the old soldier began to cry.

'That really got to me,' Bierstock says.

Cut to today.

Bierstock, 58, and John Melnick, 54, of Pompano Beach - a member of Bierstock's band, Dr. Sam and the Managed Care Band - have written a song inspired by that old soldier in the airport parking lot. The mournful 'Before You Go' does more than salute those who fought in WWII. It encourages people to go out of their way to thank the aging warriors before they die.

'If we had lost that particular war, our whole way of life would have been shot,' says Bierstock, who plays harmonica. 'The WW II soldiers are now dying at th e rate of about 2,000 every day. I thought we needed to thank them.'

The song is striking a chord. Within four days of Bierstock placing it on the Web, the song and accompanying photo essay have bounced around nine countries, producing tears and heartfelt thanks from veterans, their sons and daughters and grandchildren.
'It made me cry,' wrote one veteran's son. Another sent an e-mail saying that only after his father consumed several glasses of wine would he discuss ' the unspeakable horrors' he and other soldiers had witnessed in places such as
Anzio , Iwo Jima, Bataan and Omaha Beach . 'I can never thank them enough,' the son wrote. 'Thank you for thinking about them.'

Bierstock and Melnick thought about shipping it off to a professional singer, maybe a Lee Gre e nwood type, but because time was running out for so many veterans, they decided it was best to release it quickly, for free, on the Web. They've sent the song to Sen. John McCain and others in Washington . Already they have been invited to perform it in Houston for a Veterans Day tribute - this after just a few days on the Web. They hope e very vet eran in America gets a chance to hear it.

GOD BLESS every EVERY veteran...
and THANK you to those of you veterans who may receive this !


Friday, September 26, 2008

You will never believe it!

Ive been waiting for my grand-niece to arrive ( is that what you call your sister's daughter's baby?). She has been expecting this little girl to come for at least the last week. Finally this afternoon the baby came by c-section. Both mama and baby are doing well...only one hitch...the little girl is a boy! Oh the joys of modern medicine. Kids today have it all figured out...or so they think. They know within 3 days of getting pregnant. We had to wait 3 months to be sure. They know the sex (most of the time). We had to wait until the Dr said " Why, its a ----!!! Today the kids can almost pick their delivery date if their Dr. lets em. I hear there are even women who select the major surgery of a c-section to avoid the labor. I think some of the fun is the anticipation of what the sex will be and when the baby decides to come. Poor Heidi and Dan, they have been planning for a girl for so long. ALL the room decorations are girly and all the clothes of course are pink. We all bought girl baby gifts. They even have little wall decorations with her they don't even know what to call him. The important thing here is , mom and baby are fine and healthy. He was 7lb 3 oz...they have a romping, sweet little bundle of joy. She will now just have to do a little more shopping and some redecorating. What a great story to be told and retold as he grows up. Do you think God might be chuckling just a little bit?

Backwoods Boy

I got to thinking this morning about what people keep saying about Sarah Palin not being experienced enough to be president if needed. Experience helps in situations, but it isn't always needed. Have you heard of the phrase..."fake it you make it?" I've actually done that quite a few times during my lifetime. When I started working for an MD as office manager 26 years ago, I did not have the necessary experience to think I could qualify, but I knew I could learn. I knew I could draw on every little piece of knowledge that I had gained in my past jobs, put them together and be OK. I did OK alright. At the end of my career there I was managing four offices, 17 therapists, 4MDs and about six office staff.

Our library board meeting was yesterday. As I was sitting there listening to the "oh so interesting" matters of the meeting, I spotted a book on the shelf. I checked it out.

Familiar Quotations
John Bartlett
Original Copy rite 1882

I also noted that the book had not been checked out for 18 years! I felt sorry for it and here it is, snuggled up next to me! I opened it this morning and here is a notable quote from an "inexperienced" backwoods boy who liked to read.

"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of the Congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the last generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We...even we here ... hold the power and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free...honorable alike in what we preserve. We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last, best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just...a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless." Abraham Lincoln at his 2nd annual address.

I feel that the experience we need to succeed comes from what we pick up along the way, whether that is from the backwoods of Kentucky, books, previous jobs, serving your community as a civil servant (like mayor and city council) etc...NOT from sitting in the political circle on the "hill" or rubbing shoulders with the other good old boys.Add to this, integrity, strong values, a will to learn (fake it...) and a strong belief in someone other than yourself, you have the foundation to be good at whatever you attempt.

"Quilting Tip of the Day'

Take classes every chance you get! I have taken classes that I loved the outcome and some that I hated the project. I do, however always learn something. Don't be afraid to try new things or stretch yourself beyond where you think you are (fake it till you make it). One suggestion from one who knows, is NOT to buy the most expensive fabric to make a class project. There is that off chance that you wont like the block and it will end up in a bin never to be worked on again...I took a class once at a weekend retreat. I purchased all new fabric for it, thinking I would love the outcome. I even bought hand dyed batik fabrics...cut it all up into the small required pieces and then hated the project...I still have never found a use for this beautiful fabric...Have I thrown it away? Why, no, I keep trying to use it somewhere else and I just don't ever live it. The pieces have now gotten so small from cutting and re cutting...I will have to just get rid of it. Don't repeat my mistake. Happy Quilting!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cats Sleep Anywhere...

"Cats sleep anywhere,
Any table, any chair.
Top of piano, window ledge,
In the middle, on the edge.
Open drawer, empty shoe,
Anybody's lap will do.
Fitted in a cardboard box,
in the cupboard with your frocks.
They don't care!"
Eleanor Farjeon

I took this picture a while back. I was in my sewing room in the attic and all 3 cats normally follow me up there. They pick the strangest places to "rest". Usually on the chair I want to sit on, or directly on top of the things I need to work with. I have ironed a complete quilt top, with a cat sleeping in the middle of it...But seeing Possum in this bin made me laugh. How could she be comfortable in this position?? She slept there for hours and didnt even realize I had gone downstairs... My sweet kitties...

"Quilt Tip of the Day"

The seam allowance required for your quilt to come out correct, is a "scant" 1/4". To achieve this you can put a piece of masking tape on your sewing machine so that whenthe edge of your fabric butts up next to it while sewing it is exactly 1/4" long as you are consistant with your seam size and you are the only one working on your quilt blocks and you use the same machine, you should be fine. Consistancey is the key here. My best advice is to spring for the $20 or whatever to buy a quarter inch foot for your machine. The reccommended sewing test is to sew three 1.5"x1.5". The width of these 3 sewn together side by side should be 3.5". As with anything practice makes perfect! Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jeff arrives at his new home!

Crews on the nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington form letters, which means ' Nice to meet you,' as it approaches Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008. The giant warship arrived Thursday at its new home port, welcomed by a mix of cheering crowds and protesters.

(AP Photo/Kyodo News)

Welcome to Yokosuko?

Well, not really a warm welcome from these people. According to yahoo news, the G-dub arrived in Japan today to a cheering crowd and a brass band, but also several hundred Japanese protesters. Many in Japan do not want the GW there..because they fear the nuclear power. I'm hoping to hear from Jeff either tonight or tomorrow. His time is 14 hours ahead of ours, so its more than a half a day ahead. He will only be in port for a few days and then out again for I don't know how long...yet...

I had a good day. My sister called, desperately wanting to get out of the house for a while. I went to Glenwood to pick her up. We did lunch and a movie (Righteous Kill)and then I took her home. It was fun. Still no grand niece! Tomorrow night, Heidi will go in and get induced, if nothing happens tonight. Poor thing. I hope and pray all will go well with her.

"Quilting Tip of the Day"

Finding fun fabric for those tiny inner borders can be kind of dull. Why not pick a plaid or a stripe??? Plaids and stripes give texture and movement to your otherwise perhaps "flat" quilt. Don't worry about all the lines being even and matching...just go for it and have fun. I try to put a little linear fabric in all my quilts...adds a ton of interest! Happy Quilting!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Are you Prepared???

This, another devotion from my friend Loren. I will be in Omaha all day and overnight, so enjoy your day!

Much in life seems to come against us. There is so much that is not in our control. Thus, we need to do what we can do to put ourselves in a position to succeed. Someone struggling to lose weight can’t stock the kitchen with junk food and expect to abstain, the one struggling to do well in school or at work can’t stay up late and expect to concentrate, another wanting to save money can’t go shopping every day and expect not to spend. Instead, the one wanting to prosper must put themselves in a position to do so. They must prepare. So often we expect to prosper without preparing. Preparation is something that has to be done so that something else can happen in the future. Make the things you need to prosper more accessible and that which hinders you from prospering less accessible. It’s a matter of position and preparation. What are you preparing for?

GOD View

I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible. “

I Cor 7:35

We have so many distractions begging for our attention. Even things that are seemingly good can be distractions for what is best, God’s best. Thus, we are to do whatever we can to prepare and put ourselves in a position to serve the Lord best. We are to do that which keeps distractions out of sight and the Lord in direct sight. Someone wanting to spend more time in the word would be best to keep their bible most easily accessible, another wanting to live like Jesus would be best to surround themselves with those who desire the same thing, and the one wanting to be held accountable would be best to invite people into their life to do so. Unfortunately the things we want don’t happen on their own. But, they are much more likely when we prepare and put ourselves in a position for them to be true. When we do whatever help us to serve the Lord best with as few distractions as possible. How can you best serve the Lord?

Have a great week!


Be Encouraged,

Loren Thornburg

Quilt Tip of the Day

Preparing your fabric for use in a project is sort of a personal preferance. Some say wash it, some say dont. I prefer NOT to wash it first. Why? The sizing in the newly purchased unwashed fabric has a sizing in it that makes it easier to cut and helps it to hold its shape better. If I have a color (like reds or blues) that I think might "run" and then ruin all the other fabs in the piece, I test it. Boil a little water in a dish in the microwave, put in a small piece and see if the water changes color, or wet it with really really hot water, and lay the scrap on a paper towel...if it fades wash it first. Another reason I like not washing it, is that there will always be a tiny bit of shirkage to the fabric. I LIKE that on my quilt. Once the piece is totally finished, quilted and everything, throw it all in the washer and dryer...I like the pucker it gets and the softness that insures... Happy quilting!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I Really Am Blessed!

I had such a good weekend. We were able to attend a wonderful church event (Step Up to Life Banquet), spend the night at our son Ben's and his family. Have breakfast (and work a puzzle) with 3 of my grandchildren. Spend lunch with my daughter and her little boy and then come home to a wonderful email from Jeff.

This picture was taken in July at my grandson's birthday party. This is the last time I saw Jeff before he headed back to San Diego and then on to Japan. If you could see me close, you'd know I was crying. It is such a strange thing to give a hug and wonder when the next time will be. I sure tried to be strong, but I failed.

Isn't Lauren beautiful? She just looks so happy now that she has found Josh. Her life just gets better and better.

Just in the last week, Jeff's emails have taken a turn for the better. He sounds excited and strong and ready for his future. He is making plans for school and a business after he gets out of the Navy. I have no doubt his dreams will be realized.

Being a mother is not an easy job, and while we are in the midst of it, we cannot wait for it to be over. But as any mother will tell you, it's never over. Lauren will always be my strong independent spunky little girl. She may have been "beaten down" for awhile, but she's back! I remember her at age 3 wanting to walk to the babysitters all by herself, and she bugged me until I let her. I only let her walk about a block and I was driving right next to her the whole way, but she thought she did it alone and she felt good about it. Now she has a plan for a good future for herself and her little boy. I wont let her do it alone now either. I will be right at her side, watching, ready to catch her if she falls. She wont, and she will feel good about herself. Jeff will always be my sweet, soft hearted little boy. When he was tiny, he would sit on my lap and we would rock until he was comforted. We went thru broken arms, broken lips and broken hearts together. Now he is far, far away, but our hearts are still connected in a special way. I have struggled to figure out how to comfort him from so far away...and he's too big for my lap anyway! But, I will be here to listen, support and encourage him as he too plans a future and builds on his dreams.

This motherhood thing is a strange role. You start out fearful because you have no idea what it will all entail and I guess that fear never ends. Everyday is a new discovery of what it takes to be a mom...even now. With grown children and grandchildren, motherhood never ceases to surprise and amaze me. I am not equipped. Never have been. What I have is what I have been given by God...wisdom from His Word and a ton of love for these two. What Ive learned over the last 27 years is that is all you need. Wisdom from above and LOVE.. 1Cor 13:4-8 says:.
  • Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
  • It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
  • Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
  • It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
  • Love never fails.
These verses are usually reserved for weddings, but aren't they appropriate for parents too? God is so good to give us everything we need. I am truly blessed!

"Quilt tip of the Day!"

LABEL YOUR QUILT! This seems to be one of the most difficult things for quilters to do. It isn't hard, so do it! I just picked up two quilts from my daughter, one from her graduation in 2000 and one from her wedding in 2003 and neither one has a label. They don't have to be fancy. If you don't want to turn the edge, I have been known to just top stitch it to the back with a pinked edge! You don't need to put a biography on it either...maybe just the event, the date, who it was made for, who made it and who quilted it...voila! done.. This will be important someday, so please "sign" your work. I have two to get done tomorrow! :)

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