"We write to taste life twice - once in the moment and in introspection."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pulling It Together With My New Command Center

More than any other single way, the grace of humility is worked into our lives through the Discipline of service… Nothing disciplines the inordinate desires of the flesh like service, and nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh whines against service but screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honor and recognition.
~Richard Foster~

That quote is what I now have hanging on the front of the aqua hanging file folder in my new "command center." 

The challenges brought to our schedule and overall lives by my aunt's serious medical concerns as well as the busyness of the summer's beautiful wedding and my husband's erratic work schedule have combined to make my smoothly (or at least not so bumpily) running home not run so smoothly. 

So, after much pinning on Pinterest, and pondering our lifestyle, and snooping through Walmart, I have come up with what I hope will help us not feel so scattered.

We had a big dry-erase calendar, but it was old, stained, and took up too much space, so I bought an inexpensive one at Wally World as well as some frames and went at it.

The hanging paper pockets are a hopeful attempt to plan a Trim Healthy Mama type of menu. The blue cards are "Satisfying" meals and I'm working on pink cards to be the "Energizing" meals. Since I'm not so good at sticking to a regimented menu, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to pull this off, but I want to make an effort.

This six-part frame holds our daily chores (Round Robin Residence Restoration), weekly housekeeping, and monthly extras. Since they have glass over them, we can use dry erase pens to mark them off as we finish.

I also included some inspirational quotes, which I may change now and then since I love inspirational quotes. :)

The hanging file folder helps control the paper piles and helps me not lose stuff. ;)

Then in a stand-up frame is our daily schedule, in an attempt to get done all that we believe God wants us to do, or at least endeavor to do.

The basket holds lavender that I had cut fresh from the garden and made the corner an aromatic delight. The pen holder was made by Roo in her clay class and adds a touch of artsy character.

It might have been nice to have a small desk here instead of the bookshelf, but I don't really have space for a desk there, and wanted a place to still keep my recipe books and pottery since it's right beside my kitchen. This center has been a help to us already, and we've only had it a few days.

Maybe it will give you some ideas.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

July's goals - hmmm

Well, as I said at the beginning of the month, there were no guarantees that I'd be able to get any of it done and, sure enough, not much has happened in the crafting area.

Home has been busy with summer activities and then last week my aunt had a set-back mentally and I've needed to be at the assisted living home with her a lot, to the point of one of our family needing to be with her 24/7 since she was trying to wander away from the home. So no sewing happening.

So, thankfully, during one of my breaks from the home I was able to get some yarn and am working on a washcloth as I listen to her ramblings. Now and then we take walks together outside which are quite pleasant and this afternoon we have an appointment with her doctor. Please pray that God will soon clear up her mentals.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July Goals for A Lovely Year of Finishes

I'm going to take a leap of faith that life has slowed down now enough that I'll have some sewing time. But that faith is not so big that I'm going to tackle a big project (except the organizing project). Instead, I hope to accomplish several little things. Here they are:

1. Organize the quiltery.

I'm ashamed to even let you see it, but they say confession is good for the soul and admitting you have a problem is the first step toward fixing the problem.

2. Repair the Friendship Star pillow one of my daughters made in 2006.

3. Stuff and close the needlefelting another daughter did as a tea cozy for a tall teapot we had. When the teapot broke, I decided to turn her crafting into a couch pillow.

The front looks like a tall house (with a few snippets of white thread sticking to it).

The back has truffula trees. 

4. Make a quick project as a gift for my oldest daughter's upcoming birthday. That one will just have to stay a surprise for awhile.

5. Finish a baby quilt for a young couple in our church. They know they're having a girl, so the pink one I cut out last year should work well.
6. Choose a pattern and plan out the next wedding quilt (wedding in October).
7. Last, but hopefully not least, I told myself that when I lose enough weight to reach a certain goal weight (I'm not telling), I could make myself an elastic waistband layered skirt. That way as I hopefully continue to lose the weight, I can still wear the skirt. I'm not sure which of these two groups of fabrics I'll use and I'm not sure if and when I'll hit my target, so this one is only a semi-goal, depending on weight, time, and decision-making. I have lost about three pounds, just cutting down on carbs and trying to walk daily.

So, I may be thinking unrealistically, but these are my goals for July. The way things have been going around here, I may succeed at all of them, or I may not even get down to the quiltery. We'll see.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June's Finish

I did it! I met my Lovely Year of Finishes goal for June...just in the nick of time!

I finished this top/flimsy of a Double Irish Chain quilt which is my wedding gift for my daughter who is getting married toward the end of August.

The great finish happened around 11:15 last night and then, because of a storm, I didn't have internet to post my accomplishment. But I promise that I did finish in June.

She likes it a lot!

Now to go rummage about in the quiltery for the next project to finish in July.
A Lovely Year of Finishes

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Gardening and Quilting

It's been a good day! I actually got to play in the gardens...

...and I got to work on the wedding quilt for quite awhile while the rest of the family played Trivial Pursuit at the same table and planned wedding ceremony in the living room. Good times.

And then we finished off with a little silliness in the kitchen.
She finally proposed! And he said "yes."

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June's Sewing Goals

It's still being difficult to get much sewing in. But now that the sewing corner is not flooded, maybe I can get at it more. At least I can move my present project out of the dining room. :)

My goal for June is to finish the quilt top I'm making for my daughter's wedding. It's a queen-sized Double Irish Chain in their favorite colors and the colors of their wedding. The hope is to get Irish crosses and trinity knots quilted into the big white block.
Thanks to Eleanor Burns, the making of it is very simple; I just need to have the time.

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes - April Goals

Since things are settling into a new normal now that my aunt's medical problems are under control and she's moved into our home, I think I can think about sewing more than just a pillowcase.

So, my goals for April are:

1) Sew two checkbook covers for the education checking account and for the rental/assisted living account.

2) Choose a pattern and plan what to make for my newly engaged daughter's wedding quilt. Maybe even buy the fabric and start cutting. But maybe not. We'll see.

Spring is springing, which means that melting snow makes my basement wet and my sewing corner is in the basement. So I might not get down there for a few more days.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Hard Times Flooded with Blessings

Our family has been going through a rough time lately. My beloved 82-year-old aunt, who has been the nearby grandma for my kids for 16 years, was ambulanced to the emergency room two weeks ago, totally unresponsive to anything. After several hours she was able to say "God, God, God" and later could say my name. The upshot of all this is that after immense amounts of tests and two weeks in the hospital, she seems to have slipped into a psychotic delirium, or rapid onset dementia.

So I've been at the hospital nearly every day or arranging to be able to pay her bills while the girls have been keeping things going here at home along with packing up her apartment. We've moved a lot of her stuff into our little house, so it's feeling cluttered and cramped in here, but that won't last. And all that stuff is helping hold the house down though the winds are blowing furiously outside.

While this has been a horrifying and sad journey, I'm so thankful for the many little blessings God has tucked into each day. Here's the short list:

  • that the girls are old enough to run the home as well as pack up stuff from her apartment
  • unity in prayer by several churches
  • that I was able to be blessed by Aunt B chanting her prayer list and hearing her pray for each one of the clan as well as many missionaries and her pastors and church family
  • sunshine in February
  • that I have a GPS that helped me to find her hospital in an unfamiliar area of the big city to which I drove the hour and a half nearly daily
  • kind, helpful nursing staff
  • good visit time with my brother on the day he was able to visit
  • a care manager (social worker) who affirmed with us that God is in control
  • much Scripture already planted in Aunt B's mind that came out in her constant ramblings after she was able to talk again
  • the humor of her conceding that there could be Christian brothers on the Detroit Tigers baseball team (she's a die-hard Cleveland Indians fan)
  • that it turned out that her doctor was a friend of my brother and sister-in-law
  • that we had times of worship, praise, and immersion in God's Word in the hospital room
  • good food at the hospital
  • that I found a little cafe in the hospital that made good lattes
  • safety in travelling on snowy roads
  • that I had a recording of Larnelle Harris singing "His Eye is on the Sparrow" (one of Aunt B's favorite songs) on my Kindle and could play it in the hospital room
  • the player piano in the lobby which offered auditory beauty photography of the great outdoors on the hospital halls which offered visual beauty
So, as we get her settled into a nursing home, because she really requires 24/7 care, we continue to trust in God's care and acknowledge Him and lean not to our own understanding and know that He will direct our paths. Sometimes we get down, but as I was reminded in another blog, we shouldn't listen to our own feelings but instead tell ourselves again and again the promises and characteristics of our great and faithful God.

Friday, January 24, 2014

First Finish of the Year

After a very long but beautiful day of flying, we made it happily home, though we would have loved to have brought three certain people back with us. :)

 After a day of resting and recovering, I was able to spend some time finishing my January project per
A Lovely Year of Finishes.

A Lovely Year of Finishes

My project was to finish the annual wallhanging I make for our church fellowship hall. I needed to complete the one for 2012. Here's where I told about it: http://homepiecing.blogspot.com/2014/01/coming-out-of-mothballs.html

I decided to use the flip-inside-out sort of way of finishing it instead of doing a binding. Then I put a four-inch sleeve on the back into which I will insert a dowel and hang it from there.

I think if I use this block pattern again I'll put sashing between the blocks. I think they'll stand out better that way.

It's nice to have a first finish for the year.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Last Day

After spending some time  in the pool and packing up most of our stuff, we had a nice lunch at the Pita Pit. Good food! And you got to choose your condiments like at Subway.

Then we were off to the bowling alley for awhile and back to the hotel before meeting Daniel, Claire, and John for supper at Applebees.

We had a friendly, interesting waiter  who looks like Tom Hanks did a few years ago.

Then it was off to their apartment to say our sad farewells to Claire and John. Daniel hopes to pop in at the hotel in the morning.

My mom wanted some pictures of Johnny in the baby bunting and hat she had knit, so of course Daniel had to get goofy with it.

Yes, it was hard to say good-bye. Yes, I puddled up.

But we have so much for which to be thankful and that far outweighs the difficulty of leaving them.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monday's Doin's

Well, Sarah now has a "first day at school" picture (with blur of someone dashing in at the last minute in background).

She, Phil, and I sat in on Mr. Nate Wilson's Rhetoric class where we gleaned much about presenting gospel truth to naysayers, got to hear the annual "Fools Lost on the Mountain" speech because every year a group of freshmen get lost on Moscow Mountain and this year's bout had just happened the past weekend complete with ambulance, listened to some critiques of Orthodoxy by G.K.Chesterson, and learned what stasis is. Ask Sarah.

Then it was off to A & W for lunch, a quick clean-up of Claire's kitchen, and then a drive in the country while we waited to meet Daniel at Jamms Frozen Yogurt while Claire and Johnny went to choir practice. He was happy in his wrap-thingy. And he knows how to sing from the Messiah.

I just have to show you this onesie I bought. :)

We decided to do pizza in their apartment for supper over a well-fought game of Axis and Allies.

And we got to enjoy getting to know Claire and Johnny a little more.