Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yarn for Stacie's Socks

These are what I call My Best Girls, the ones I left behind when I married and moved away nearly five years ago. Margaret is on the left, and Stacie is on the right. This was taken when they came to visit me a couple years ago.
Stacie has requested some socks recently, so there are pictures of the yarn choices below
from which she can make a choice.

Auburn is on the left, Spruce is in the middle, and Lily Pad Multi on the right.

I know you wanted dark brown or dark green, Stacie. If that is really the case, then you will have to wait for me to pick some up. And it will be easy, so don't hesitate to tell me that.

If you LOVE! one of these colors, I will begin them soon. I realize they will not be needed until next winter, so we have plenty of time. This is the softest wool you can imagine. It doesn't feel like wool at all, and the socks don't shrink. So, make your choice or tell me to wait.
Maybe Margaret likes one of these colors....or maybe she has another color in mind.
I have PLENTY of yarn colors from which to choose.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Not Forget the Poor!

We are called by God to remember the poor. Many scriptures support this in the Old Testament and the New. We are being taught out of Jeremiah by our pastor for the next several months, and I am studying the book of Daniel in my weekly Bible study with Beth Moore. In each of these OT books the Lord reminds us to regard the poor with love. In the book of Daniel, Chapter 4, King Nebuchadnezzar, is warned by Daniel to show mercy to the poor before the LORD deals harshly with him. The king disregards the warning, “resting in his house and flourishing, prospering”. A year later the king is disciplined by God, as he was sent to live with the beasts of the field for seven years. In the New Testament book of Luke in Chapter 16 a rich man feels good about himself because he lets a beggar take the crumbs from his table. The rich man ends up in Hades asking for a drink of water which will not be given to him.
I’ve wondered if we sacrifice enough for the poor…or if we think the mere crumbs from our tables are enough when we send a few dollars to help the poor, the orphans. I’ve been pressed to sacrifice; have you?
The poorest country in the western hemisphere is Haiti. I know that many of us have struggled with how to help the Haitian victims of the January earthquake. We wonder to whom we can safely send money that we may be helpful to the poorest of the poor.
I support an orphanage in Haiti which is run by two older Americans. Don and Doris have been there since the 1970’s. The following is part of the post-earthquake newsletter telling of their needs. I encourage anyone wanting to bring mercy to the poor, to help the victims of the devastating earthquake, to pray about whether God is asking you to give to Haiti. This is a reputable and financially accountable orphanage. They will be inundated with new orphans, with medical needs, and with providing food and shelter to those who show up after having left Port au Prince to find a place to meet their needs. As the rainy season begins and the refugees find themselves without loved ones who died, without their homes, without their children or parents Ebenezer Glenn Orphanage will pick up the pieces.
Quote from the Ebenezer Glenn Orphanage Newsletter:
“The relief effort is just beginning! People in desperate need are pouring out of Port-au-Prince and many thousands have made their way to Dessalines-many of those have come to our clinic as all the hospitals are overflowing. Since we are having these logistical issues getting supplies to them, cash donations are a more immediate need. Donations may be sent to: EGO, 3572 Quebec Trail, Wayland MI 49348.
The logistical issues they speak of in the quote are the fact that money can’t reach the orphanage right now unless it is hand-carried. This may have changed by the time you read these words. Two containers of supplies headed to the orphanage before the quake may not reach the orphanage now because the government is requiring a $10,000 fee to get them out of customs! Please pray for strength for Don and Doris, as the long days and increasing demands take a physical and emotional toll on all the adults helping at the orphanage.
You can visit the orphanage on the web at: and frequent updates are being made to their blog as well, at:
I pray the LORD will lead you, and I pray that you will follow.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Reminder Flame

This flame is for you, Margy.
My sister, Margy, is only 14 months younger than I, so we have been close all of our lives, not that we really loved each other until we began living our own lives outside of our immediate family. We were raised almost as twins because we were the same size and assumed the same roles as darlings of the family, which, of course, neither of us could live up to.
Now she works out of her home as a nurse-consultant for an insurance group and is married to a fine fellow, a retired parole and probabtion officer, who longs to move nearer his brothers.
Margy and Mike have made an offer on a place in Central Oregon, but haven't sold their own home as yet.
This candle is a reminder for me all weekend long to pray for them and whatever the LORD has in mind for them. We hope for the sale of their drop-dead gorgeous piece of property which views Mount St. Helens, has a huge, well-appointed shop for Mike and a lovely 4-bedroom home for them and their three little white fluff-ball dogs.
So, I've place a large candle out here in my studio where I am in and out all day long. It will remain lit this weekend to remind me to pray for them. The cloth on which it sits is a beautiful embroidered and appliqued treasure Margy brought to me from her travels in Italy.
I treasure her so very much and would love to see her and her husband sell!
Praise God,
and please join me this weekend in prayer for their sale.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Heart Sings!

After a fabulous lunch of Fish Tacos (with chicken instead of fish) I suddenly felt like the serious low-down blues had taken hold of me. After a sunny morning where we were supposed to have snow I was delighted to imagine a brisk walk, but a sudden downpour of rain, sleet and hail prevented me. It lasted only a few moments, but just long enough to convince me I needed a ride to the store for a maple finger. Now, doesn't that beat all?
Anyway, the library is always a nice retreat, and I found an interesting article in the paper to copy for my students, and then I came home to sew, but my machine wanted to throw a conniption fit. Feeling even bluer than blue I stepped outside for a breath on the patio. My eyes spotted a tiny bit of pale green.
Wonder of wonders there are surprises coming up in my yard that make my heart sing. Before we get to that, however, this is some of the soft, bamboo yarn for the next socks. My dear and sweet friend, Stacie has ordered some in brown or green. This is as close as I have, and I think there may be too much blue in it for her...she'll tell me in the comments; I know ;).
Okay on to the surprises in the yard. Below is the first one: Iris, which is coming up all over where I set them out last year.

How about these velvety, thick and fuzzy Hollyhocks. These are in the nursery bed I began last year. I believe they are a dark, rich red.

Below is one of my favorites in the 'first' department: Leopard's bane. It gets tall stalks with bright yellow daisy-like flowers. When I saw these I KNEW spring was near!

Below is the tear-jerker. You may already have all kinds of stuff up, but in the high elevations of Idaho, this season is S-L-O-W. Can you see the small red buds appearing on these Primroses? I really did get tears in my eyes when these presented themselves for inspection.

And, last, but not least, below, Snowdrops are popping out: little, tiny, dear things that make my heart sing songs of praise to our Maker for all He has done for me! Giving me the nod to go out, to inspect, to be lifted up in this long winter of greys and browns.

I don't think I'll need another Maple finger for awhile. They are about a third the size of a maple bar...perfect for a snack when you are bluing things up royally. I'm going to get new hair tomorrow and plant lettuce on Friday.
I'll beat you to the garden; my heart is singing new songs!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2010 Winter Sowing and Sewing Projects

I just checked the containers on the back patio to see if anything is happening yet.
The 'sowing' project is in the waiting mode today.
However, since I've worked on being more wise with my time I've nearly finished the socks being worked in the picture below. Because they were too short for my stepdaughter they've been reworked...more than once. The toe is being woven together now on one, and the other toe is ready for finishing!
I love how they match the colors in the quilt behind me as I visited
my sister's quilting group in Vancouver.

The red socks below are nearly finished also.
They are for me, and I knit on them when I'm in a circumstance that
doesn't allow me to count stitches easily.
The bamboo yarn is sooooo soft!

The last project I've taken up this winter is a quilted wall-hanging.
I'd like to display my dear husband's fly-fishing poles, and it would be nice to hang
something 'fishy'
from them on a wall in the living room which needs some color.
I've chosen batik fabrics to work with,
and I'm embellishing the small quilt with embroidery, buttons,
and fancy stitches on my machine.

You can see that I am certainly a novice, and I am getting wonderful instruction and help from some experienced quilters like my sister and a couple of women from the quilting group in my town.
They meet every 1st and 3rd Tuesday for dinner, a business meeting, and a 'show and tell'.
I can hardly wait to show mine!

I worked this fish's mouth with too many stitches, so it will be taken out and redone.
It does give you an idea of what's going on in the sewing department over here
in the wilds of Idaho!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On Contentment and Doing Hard Things

I struggle with contentment on and off these days and wonder if you do too. I find that it is too cold outside and inside this winter. Our house is old and big and drafty. My husband doesn't understand that I want something really personal and lovely for holidays like the one coming up. And then there's my birthday, and he doesn't have a clue about the importance of the celebration. It is simply not in his DNA to provide for me in a way that is personal and lovely.
I gained a little weight this fall and winter. My prayer life is thin sometimes. My friends are too busy for me. My shoulder hurts. My students don't do all of their homework. My kids don't call me often enough. You name it, I've got a complaint about it.
In putting this down in words it becomes abundantly clear to
me that it is all about me!
I discovered a few weeks ago that I'd let slip my deep and abiding time with the LORD. Oh, I've prayed, and I've read my Bible, but that time where I genuinely commune with Him slipped past me as I carried out my daily routines.
I had been away from home serving as my daughter's caretaker during a complicated pregnacy. Her home is small, so there was not space for me to set out my stuff to study. My Bible was placed beside the bed. When I awakened at 3 a.m. to take my turn at feeding the tiny, preemie infant, I forgot to begin the day with His word. Don't misunderstand me; I praised the Lord for this perfect baby; I praised the Lord for many things that are easy and obvious for which to give God praise.
It takes some extra initiative to get on the bandwagon of contentment though. It takes extra effort to leave behind that path of least resistance to the easy stuff. Initiative and effort to do the small things which can make a difference in our emotional outlook and our physical output when we unplug ourselves from the abiding closeness of a relationship with our Creator leads us down the path of discontentment!
More recently I've read a book called Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris, about the teen rebellion against low expectations. I don't think this book speaks only to teens, but instead to all of us who have slipped and fallen into the pit of discontentment. I've read and studied this book along with a study of the book of Daniel in the Bible. Daniel was probably in his late teens when taken captive to Babylon. He stood firm in the regimens of his upbringing, and he brought pleasure to the king he served by doing very hard things. I'm fairly certain he was content even as he spent the rest of his life as a captive.
Since I've taken note of the discontentment in my life I've accomplished some small things in the "do hard things" department. I have made more of an effort to be in the Word, to be prayerful, to step outside my comfort zone to bless someone else, to forget about the small tings lacking in my life in order to make more room for God and His blessings. It has worked! I AM content and have new plans for my life. The plans include making more time for deeper relationships, being more organized, making the effort to make home visits to my friends rather than expecting them to stop by while they are in town. I've stepped more fully into some creative endeavors too.
Do some hard things with me, people! Read a whole chapter in the Bible, read a whole book (2 Corinthians, for example). Make short lists of people who need prayer. I've focused on those who need health and healing on Mondays, those who need employment on Tuesdays, those whose marriages need help on Wednesdays, those who are orphans on Thursdays, those serving in the military on Fridays, the President on Saturdays, and my husband on Sundays. Step into what you enjoy, what you have been called to do. Let us join the ranks of those who live in contentment this winter. Let us make a change in our own lives so we can bless others with our own contentment. Do some hard things with me!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Grand-Girls' Birthdays

Two grand-daughters turned "5" in January! Isabella celebrated with her school friends at the gym where she takes lessons.
Alina celebrated with her girlfriends in Tea Party style.
Below are some of the friends, with their mothers, who came for Alina's party.
Kate B., showing us the bracelette she made.

The only boy, and sibling, allowed at the Tea Party was Alina's big brother,
Evan from Heaven.
He was a fantastic moustachioed waiter!

Alina with Gramma Catherine all dressed for the occasion.

Dear Big Sister, Greta.

Alina the Queena the Tea Party
showing her bracelette.

Mother-daughter beauties in attendance at the tea party:
Cora Lynn and Erin.

Olivia tasting her tea sandwich.
You may notice the pink hot chocolate in the tiny tea cup at the lower left.

Mari, finally tasting the best part of the foodly treats.

And Isabella with her baby brother before her own party.
She could not have received a better gift!

I am blessed to have so many grandchildren, and to have two darling girly-girls the same age. Isabella and Alina are not only beautiful, but also blessed by incredible mothers (my daughter and step-daughter:).
All the girls have hearts of gold.
Being a gardener at heart,
I consider these girls some of the sweetest flowers in my garden!