Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Little Everyday Things

 Hello Friendly Folk~
It is apparent that I'm not the only one struggling
to write when our world as it is seems to be in tumbles.
Over the past several weeks, I've started two different posts
but just couldn't finish them.
Blogland has been pretty quiet.
I hope people are finding home and heart.
Christmas was a new experience for so many this year.
When reflected upon,
may it be that kindness is chosen over the many alternatives.
It's been pretty quite at our home also.
We've been fortunate that we've been busy at work.
It's been a crazy, hectic, chaotic year, but we have work
and we are grateful for that.
It's only been the in past few weeks that we've been able
to have our winter evenings.
I love winter evenings~
Though, since the time change I've not slept through the night
more than a handful of nights.
(Things on my mind, I s'pose.)
So my evening activities usually end about 7:30-8PM 
when my eyes begin to water and tell me to go to bed.
We do wake about 4-4:30 so I guess that's eight hours.
I've been able to do a little stitching (finally!) and reading.
If you ever run across a copy of Della T Lutes "The Country Kitchen,"
snatch it up.  It is one of the funniest books I've read in some time.
She does share methods about the foods they prepared and ate,
but she has a knack for telling of the accounts in such a way
that has humored both Mr. LB and me.
When you laugh out loud while reading a book,
you know it's funny.
And right next to my book and glasses is a big hoop
with the quilt I'm quilting on.
This is the one on the hoop.
I told myself I had to quilt 2 quilts before I could start another. 
Did I listen to me?
Nooooo. . . 
Go ahead and roll your eyes at me.
I know.  Bad, bad, me.

I couldn't help myself.
Those Singers are like sea nymphs calling, luring me to stitch. 
I have yet to sew a whole quilt on Birdy.
I don't think you've met Birdy yet.
Here, let me introduce you.
She is a 1940 Singer Featherweight - my youngest Singer.
That's how she got her name.
Isn't she beautiful?
She was a gift from Hubby, and I love her.
(And him too by the way:-).

And go ahead and listen to that.
You can't hear anything can you?
That's one of the things I love about her.
She is soooo quiet and stitches like a dream.
I've only made a few blocks,
but I can't express how much good it did my soul.
I'm replicating a vintage pattern.
I kinda do my own thing so I have measurements like
2 1/8" x a generous 3 3/4".
It really doesn't matter as long as it's consistent.
It's just like cooking "a skosh more" or "just a smidgeon."
The Christmas decorations are gathered and ready to go back into the tote.
The tree will soon be out of the house.
I didn't do a ton this year.
More and more, I am finding that less really is more.
Not just in decorations, but in general.
Before Christmas, I finally went through a box of photos
from my friends who passed in '15 & '16.
I got all that I'm keeping into a very thick album,
sent some to their one living relative, those I thought she might want.
And the rest went into the burn pile.
There were lots of pictures of flowers etc. among the family pictures
so going through them took time.
I think we all have these projects.
I have a tote out in the garage that is full of photos
from when the kids were little.
Once the tree is out of the house, and I haul the Christmas tote out,
I will bring it in and begin going through them.
For some reason, I am feeling the need to get down to those things
that matter in the long run.
I still have a constant donation box though these days
it's slower to fill than it once was.
I still like to call it "editing."
I think I've mentioned that long ago when we were considering down-sizing.
I'm not sure we will ever go much smaller,
but I sure don't mind an empty shelf here or there.
And open space is refreshing.
Speaking of refreshing,
it's about that time~
A fresh new year.
Have you chosen a word of the year yet?
I've done this for several years now.
My 2020 word was "Grace."
God somehow knows what we need, doesn't He?
My word for 2021 is going to be "Flourish."
We don't know what lies ahead, 
but I hope whatever the year brings that I might find a way to flourish.

And for the new year, 
I'd like to wish every one of you a year filled to the brim with blessings.

Until next time~

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Farmyard Christmas

 Hello dear friends.
I hope you are all enjoying a joyful Christmastime.
We are well here ~ life always seems to have curves.
Blessings yet to discover, right?

I have a Christmas poem to share but want to first share with you~
I wrote this a few years back and haven't shared it with many
since I was "kindly insulted" for it.
The "moral" however is something I feel quite strongly about
having had family killed by a drunk driver going home from mass Christmas eve.
So gentle reader, if you are sensitive to such things,
I mean not to offend.
Feel free to pass over this.
It is meant as an entertaining reminder of something we all know better.

Twas the night before Christmas
When all through the shed
Not a creature was stirring
They were all snug in bed.

The stalls were all made 
With fresh, clean straw
All was in order
Thanks to Pa and Ma.

They knew what Christmas
Was all about
By the end of the day
They were all tuckered out.

The critters were thankful 
And rested their heads
They were all warm and cozy
In their freshly made beds.

When what to their
Sleep eyes should appear
But a chuck wagon loaded down
With grub and gear.

Their eyes popped wide open
And they thought they should dash
As the wagon it landed
With an ear-shattering crash.

The driver was pale
And kinda looked sick
They weren't quite sure
But thought "It might be St. Nick."

A bit stunned and dazed
His team they came to
He kicked and he cursed 
And he hollered "Why you..."

Ricken, Fricken, Dirty, Dyin
Mangy, Mongral, Sonova, Brawl
To heck with ya, heck with ya
Heck with y'all.

As a drunken sailor
Who's just come ashore
He stumbled and fell
And broke through the door.

The animals were stunned
They were really quite shaken
This wasn't St. Nick
They were surely mistaken.

He fell near the cow
But the bull quickly stepped in
With a mighty Kapow!
He set him a-spin.

He lit in the grain
By the grace of a horn
Half-witted, in stupor
All covered in corn.

The mule took a turn
With nary a care
Offering two hind feet
Sent him high in the air.

Pa heard the ruckus
And jumped out of bed
He said, grabbing his gun
"You'll wish you were dead."

He could see out the window
By the moon's yellow tinge
It must be St. Nick
On a holiday binge.

They ran to the shed
And found oh what a sight
St. Nick in his long-handles
Running off in the night.

Now everything might not be 
Just as it seem
Pa and Ma got a new wagon
And an eight horse team.

St. Nick, he was lucky
He got out alive
And the moral of course is
Don't drink and drive.

Wishing you all a very blessed and merry Christmas
and much kindness and laughter in the year to come.


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.) 😊
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~