Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Supporting Those Who Matter

 With all that is happening in our world,
it has perhaps escaped your attention,
but there are only 45 days left until Christmas!

I am actually looking forward to the holidays this year.
I'm not entirely sure why,
but some years are just different than others.
We don't go over the top with decorations,
and we don't spend a lot on gifts.
It's more about the feeling~
the merriness and closeness of family
and kindness of community.
That's where I'm really going with this.
(It really isn't to freak you out about shopping days left.) ­čśŐ
Regardless of your opinion on the larger situations,
we've been pushed to do more shopping online.
There are a couple of very important things that happen
when this sort of purchase occurs.
The first is easily seen, and you may or may not care,
but everything you purchase is tracked.
There is a part of me that really doesn't care 
if the big-wigs know that I bought a package of quilting needles,
but there is a morsel within me that is rather creeped-out by it.
Thing two is that the communal connection that typically happens
between a merchant and customer is severed.
It's not impossible,
but how many times have you avoided a shop 
because "they are rude in there" 
or you purposely try a store first because they are so nice and helpful?

This year more then ever,
small businesses and independent craftsmen & women
need your support.
As I stated above, we don't do a lot of shopping,
but I have made a special effort this year
even with my online purchases to support "little folks."
Most of the events that usually take place before Christmas
have been canceled this year.
I know from years past that many of those vendors
rely on that "extra" income.
If you already know area craftsmen that you like to support,
you might reach out and ask if they have any inventory on hand.
My guess is they do.
If you are on social media and can ask for area vendors
to post a couple pictures of their wares,
even if you don't purchase the items,
others will see and possibly lead to a sale.  
This exhibits a kindness and caring on your part
and gratitude on their part
which strengthens your community.
Community is so important!
It's something that has taken a huge hit this year.
Neighbors are being pitted against one another,
and barriers raised both internally and externally.
If we each do our part,
even from a distance, 
our neighbors and community will know we care.
And that we care
is what is most important.
Especially as we near Christmas~
the day we celebrate because He cared enough to send His son.

Merry blessings to you all.

PS~ If you are an independent craftsperson,
I'd like to invite you to leave a way to reach you
in the comments.
For security sake, please leave a search name
so people can find you rather than a link.


Friday, November 6, 2020

A Happy Turn of Events

 Have you ever experienced a sequence of events
that just seemed to be set in place by a Higher Authority?
A few weeks back, I stopped in at an "estate sale."
I have that in quotations because it was really sketchy a yard sale.
I browsed around and actually found a couple things.
(No shock there.)
As I was looking over the tables where the books were,
I noticed a pile of letters so picked them up.
The dates were from 1919 thru 1943
which of course sparked my interest,
but what really intrigued me was the name on the envelopes.
I thought maybe it could be a variation of a family name on my mom's side.
So I ended up getting the letters.
The first thing I did was put them in order.
Most were from L.
In 1919-20, they were "courting letters" from her to her eventual husband C.
Those were innocent and entertaining,
but evidently held a place in C's heart as he kept them
to be read by me 100 years later.
Then came the later letters during the first part of WWII.
These were primarily from L to E,
the son of C and L.
(Hope that's not too confusing, but I don't feel right sharing the names.)
E was 17 turning 18 years old and had been sent to work on a farm
in order to be deferred from the draft.
He was at first homesick, but soon met a girl and bought a car
so was then otherwise distracted :-)
Through the letters, I learned that there was also a younger sister, Y.
I wasn't very far into the letters before I tried looking up some of the names.
Due to the dates, I knew C and L would be gone
so looked up E.
He passed in the 90's.
So I looked up Y.  She died as a young wife and mother in a car accident.
I then went back to E and read his obituary to see if he had any children.
The only survivor listed was his wife B.
Sooo, I looked up B.
I was stunned to find she had passed away
less than a week prior to me acquiring the letters.
My heart sank.
Her obituary listed no survivors, 
but it did state the funeral home that was handling the arrangements.
I called the funeral parlor and explained to a very nice lady
what I had and that if there was family that was interested,
I would like to give the letters to their rightful owners.
I didn't hear anything for a couple weeks
and thought maybe there were no heirs or if there were, they didn't care.
Then I got a call from "Don" who is a son of E and B.
He said who he was, and I was thrilled.
It was a couple of days before we could coordinate to get the letters delivered.
In those couple days I corresponded with Don's wife a little.
They were curious since they didn't even know the letters existed.
They were trying to figure out how they went from "Grandma and Grampa"
to a yard sale to me.
The only thing they came up with was that
C's brother and sister-in-law lived with them at the end of their lives.
After both C and L had passed and then the brother,
the S-I-L (Don's aunt) was left in the big ol' house alone.
When she moved, she must have had a yard sale
or just put them in a dumpster which someone pulled from.
I learned that the name was indeed a variation of our family name.
The story is that there were 5 brothers who got in an argument
and changed their names so they weren't the same.
I delivered the letters to Don.
He was a rather dry character, but he had just lost his mom
so I'm certainly not judging there.
There were a couple other letters in with the lot from L's father and brother 
which would be Don's great grandfather and great uncle.
I haven't heard from them since I delivered them which is fine.
I can't express how good it felt to deliver them.
Something in me feels like L was nudging the circumstances.
On a historical note:
It was interesting to read about some of the things 
that were going on during the early years of the war.
There was less rubber in her corslet as she called it.
They couldn't get a suitcase because leather was in short supply.
She and E must have had a sweet tooth.
She would make him cookies and candy,
but almost begged for sugar rations from him and her in-laws :-)
There were funny bits about cars and dresses etc.
It was fun to read "ironed a whole dishpan of sprinkled clothes."

Overall, it was just an overall blessing.
I know one more little tid-bit about our family tree
as well as everyday morsels of life in the past,
and the letters are back with their family.

Hope each of you has a blessed day~

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Long 'nuf I Suppose

 Once in a while, it's nice just to have a chat.

Have you noticed how folks don't just drop by anymore.

I've had friends say,

"We wouldn't just stop in on somebody without calling."

Why not?

My friends are always welcome.

If I'm in the middle of peeling spuds, 

pull up a chair and dig in :-)

Then, let's chat.

Some of the best conversation happens over snapping beans

or bucking hay, or digging a row.

So pull up a chair or tip the bucket over, whichever suits you.

Have a seat.

I'm so sorry it's been so long since my last post.

It's just been that B word (busy).

Our tomatoes went crazy again this year and supplied

not only for our needs, buy my parents, my in-laws, and one of the guys at work.

Hubby discovered he looooves homemade salsa.

So we've made about 17 gallons! (I think?)

We've also been busy at work and trying to deal with all the challenges

this year has presented to small businesses.

Hubby worked 8 weeks straight and finally took this past Sunday off.

We are still slammed, but I think we are beginning to see the light.

I have been trying to stitch a little in the evenings when I can.

I have been quilting on the first quilt I have ever made.
No, it's still not finished!
I will show you that more in depth another time.
But I had to take an intermission in order to make a baby quilt
for some friends who were expecting.
I got it made, hand quilted it and to them before baby arrived.
The little one was a month early so I'm glad I didn't wait until the last minute.

Not great pictures but, it's Pooh Bear fabric and the full collection book
to go along with it.
I like Pooh Bear for little ones because there is no bad guy.
There are only situations that they work through.
When I mentioned that to hubby, 
he said "Well, of course you would notice that." :-)

We aren't even to Halloween yet and I am thinking about Christmas.

There is an odd feeling about it this year,

both gratitude and sadness.

I am so grateful my dad is recovering and doing a little better each day.

But my grandmother (his mom) is 96 and probably won't be with us much longer.

I'm not sad for her, but for my own selfishness.

She has lived a good 96 years, and it's only really been the past year

that she's had many issues.

And I am comforted in that as much as I love her,

I know God loves her even more.

I also just received news that the man who is like my second father

is now on hospice.

I'm not sharing this to make you all sad.

The opposite really~

We should be grateful for the time we have with our loved ones.

And so I am looking forward to Christmastime.

We cannot stop the circle of life - nor would I want to

as difficult as it might be at times.

But this year, I might try to make a special effort to make

Christmas even more meaningful.

I just placed an order for a little surprise I am planning to make.

As soon as it arrives, I will share in case you would like to do so also.

As we head into the holidays, especially this year,

I'd just like to encourage everyone to remember kindness,

be appreciative for all of our blessings and loved ones,

and be as generous as your circumstances allow.

I've begun adding Christmas items to my etsy shoppe.

Am certainly enjoying having it open again.

Also, do any of you know what's up with line spacing on the new blogger?

I can't find spacing - oy! 

Monday, September 28, 2020

Make It So

 Autumn is upon us~

And it is becoming. . . . 


(All those little white spots are ladybugs.  They looked like faeries.)

We are still having end of summer weather

rather than the beginning of autumn weather.

It's a little cooler but is supposed to be back in the 80's this week.

I am enjoying the season we are in regardless of what we label it.

I'm still canning like a crazy person

though I've cleaned up the kitchen and put some things away.

We had a horrible wind storm that blew the smoke in

from all the fires.

That was Labor Day weekend.

Everything was coated with dust and ash.

I finally got the summer kitchen cleaned (mostly).

One thing about cleaning and canning,

there is usually little interruption or offerings of help

so it gives one time to ponder.

I like to ponder actually~

you know while doing those little mindless things

like washing dishes or stirring a pot.

Recently, I was thinking not only about my own life and happenings,

but the state of our environment and society

and some things that I've read on other blogs as well.

I came back to something I already knew inside.

If there is something I don't like, change it.

Well that's all fine and dandy except for the things that are out of my control.

Oh yea, that list:

Fires set by angry individuals.

The health and well being of loved ones.

Things I disprove of being forced upon us.

Obviously, this list could go on for a while,

but let's just stop there.

That could end up being a very depressing rabbit hole.

First, and many of you probably already realize this,

but I very much appreciate nature so it hurts me when

our Earth is abused so blatantly.

I much prefer to see a vibrant thriving Earth

with kind people enjoying her bounty.

Make it so.

I went out and took care of some areas of our garden that I'd neglected.

It might not be much, but it is what I have control over.

There are no fires in my garden,

and having happy vegetation growing helps clean the air.

And those angry people don't exist in my garden.

And I think folks catch on or we send out vibes,

because I can't wear a mask.

A month or so ago, I was accused of being okay with killing people.

That stung!

I still wash my hands and respect other people's space and distancing, etc.

I had to go to the store for a couple of things and stopped by the thrift shop

to see if I could find a couple shirts for Mr. LB.

I wait before entering and make sure it's okay that I go in.

I had more people speak to me than I think ever before.

One lady I kept "running into" introduced herself 

and asked my name.

She was entirely kind and bid me fun looking.

(Well, we can't just look at men's shirts can we - heehee.)

Another woman in the craft section said she usually did shows

and was really going to miss them this year.

One person told me of a valuable mosaic bistro set she almost sold too cheap.

There were a few others.

When I went to the grocery store,

I ran into a friend I haven't seen in a couple years.

She asked if I was giving hugs - yep!

(Not to strangers of course, but friends you bet.)

The point is - there was tons of kindness going on.

Made is so.

Changing the health or hurting of loved ones - Oy!

It's so difficult to see, hear, . . . feel.

Wanting them to be well.

Make it so.

I mentioned in my last post that my dad had been in the hospital

having two major surgeries in a 3-4 day span.

He actually ended up going back in for 2 more minor surgeries.

After not going to a doctor for 40 years,

he made up for lost time.

He's now getting better - YAY!

I've been having to step into the parenting of my parents roll a little.

That has been a little tricky.

To any of you who take care of your parents - bless you!

From finances to diet, training one's parents while trying to remain respectful

can be a fine line to walk. 

I also have a friend who has been struggling with losses.

Her losses are not mine.

I don't know the same people or have the same feelings,

but I do care that she was hurting.

She lives alone and was feeling alone.

I acknowledged how she felt and told her 

it is difficult not to be with those we care about at times

 when we feel we should be closer, and

that sometimes folks just need a hug.

She said "You nailed it."

I think just identifying that helped her feel a little better (hope).

Made it so.

And that last one, 

all I can say is I'm countering it with love and kindness.

Make it so.

It's easy to be grumpy about others trying to force us

to believe certain things.

My solution to that is just find a diversion.

I've been trying not to share my opinion on much of anything.

That might sound a little silly,

but it seems to me that we've become so accustom 

to sharing our opinion without it being sought and

without much consideration of how others

might feel or respond, we've become non-communicative.

Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of opinions.

I've just been trying to keep my big mouth shut.

Sometimes I'm more successful than others - am still so human.

I'm trying to remember that it is much more pleasant 

to communicate in a positive manner than to force my opinion on others

or have them force theirs on me.

It works both ways, you see.

It does seem to be working.

Made it so.

So all those things that are out of my control,

well, maybe I just need to look at them sideways.

Seems like I'm making some progress.

I will falter (will just go ahead and ask forgiveness right here and now)

as I know I am so far from perfect.

And only One has control,

but if being grumpy or discouraged or depressed wasn't working,

why not do my itty-bitty part in attempting to right the wrongs.

I might only be one person,

but it's one less grump spreading negative.

Guess I would rather be one person spreading joy.


If your autumn isn't absolutely beautiful,

Make it so.

And whatever joy you seek,

Make it so. 

Blessings dear friends~