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~

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~


Thursday, September 10, 2020

Of Old Friends and New Tales

There is an old nursery rhyme or song that's come to mind lately.

It's rather short, kinda like Row Your Boat.

It goes~

Make new friends

but keep the old.

One is silver

and the other's gold. 

There are many quotes and sayings

advocating the importance of friends.

And I would venture to say, 

not one of them is an exaggeration.

We need friends no matter who we are or what our character.

I view myself as an introvert,

but I've been told by several employers in particular

how easily I speak with clients.

The thing is, I don't have problems talking.

(Just ask any of my grade school teachers:-)

It's the getting to know me bit that's a challenge

so my friends are real treasures to me.

There are those rare occurrences when you will meet someone,

and it's like you've known them all your life.

Those are the easiest and often the closest friendships.

There are also the friends that develop over time.

Those are nice in that there are typically few expectations

about what's ahead. 

They can become valuable in that each person knows

the habits and norms of the other person so they know well

just how to help or get along with the other person.

There are some "firey" friendships.

I'm not so sure those are real friendships.

And lastly,

there is a new kind of friendship.

Those found here online.

In a way, it's not really a new kind.

In years past, there were pen-pals that created friendships.

These friendships are a different kind of valuable

because there is no keeping up appearances.

There is no:

"I don't like going to the store with Jane because she wears too much perfume."


"She just walks so slow."


"I'm allergic to her cat."


Those things don't matter one iota if you aren't there with him/her.

(By the way, I actually like the name Jane and cats among other critters.

Too much perfume and slowly meandering through a grocery store

might get to me a little though.)

So what of these friends of different sorts?

What actually makes them important?

Well, you see~

humans are a herding animal.

I know there are some out there who don't take fondly to being called an animal

and others who take it as a compliment.

But we are creatures on this earth, and we were created with instincts.

Hubby and I were talking a while back, and he made the comment 

that he wasn't sure why but religious communities have lower crime rates.

The uncertainty was because people who are religious 

are just as likely to commit crimes from a statistics standpoint.

I said two words:

It's community.

He looked at me kinda sideways.

I continued~

Acceptance is what every person seeks deep down

 be it gang members or church members.

You follow the rules of what is acceptable in order to be accepted,

and you don't hurt your own.

If you break those rules, you are kicked out of the heard, gang, church,


That's where those friends come into play.

Our friends accept us.

They still love us even if we snort when we laugh,

even if we spill down the front of our shirt every time,

even if we aren't super stars,

even if . . . well, you get it.

Our friends accept us for who we are.

There has been quite a bit of discord in 2020.

Communities have been shattered.

Families have been separated.

Friendships have been strained.

These things are more important now than ever.

I guess the point of this post is just don't forget.

I know different areas have different mandates in effect,

but there are still things you can do.

Leave a bag of tomatoes hanging on the door knob of a neighbor

then call and let them know it's there.

(If you don't have any to spare, just let me know.  I have tons!)

Send a quick note or card to a friend or family member.

By all means hug your kids and grand-kids!

The risk of them feeling abandoned, unloved, or neglected

far outweighs that of a virus.

I worry about the unintended consequences 

of some of the things that are happening around us.

There are ways to make new friends also.

There is always someone who could use a friend.

Ask a pastor if there is an elder who can't get out much.

A phone call or dare I say even an old-fashioned letter

can go a long ways in brightening someones day.

Or, a couple other ideas:

a nursing home director - sorta adopt a grandparent

a childcare provider or family member with munchkins 

(kids love a phone call to them rather than to Dad or Mom)

Obviously, that one would need parental approval.

Teens!  They need reassurance as much as any 2 year old.

The last thing they need is to hibernate in their room for a year.

There might be someone who has a family member in hospice.

They are typically exhausted and could use a nicety.

I really think most of you are pretty kind and creative.

If you have more ideas,

please share in the comments.

So all of this to say,

remember to remember 💝


By the way, I'm one of those folks who loves to do those little 

random act of kindness.

They often cost very little, but can be very meaningful.

Okay, I'll stop (see told ya I could talk.)

I just want to encourage folks to be friendly.

Have a beautiful day.