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. . . . 

Beautiful.

(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."

Or 

"She just walks so slow."

Or 

"I'm allergic to her cat."

Whatever.

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,

community.

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.











Tuesday, September 1, 2020

A Moments Peace

Well, it seems I'm not the only one

who has had a bit of a rough go of things lately.

My dad ended up back in the hospital for a few more days.

It was far less severe, but still.....

He is now home again.

We stopped by yesterday, and he is looking better - yay!

He is also getting grumpy about meds and all the fuss

which for him is a very good sign.

The month of August, he spent 24 days in the hospital.

Mom was only permitted to see him once during all that time.

The rest of us were not permitted at all - 

nor were we allowed to call for a period of time.

To me that is inhumane.

I am sooo grateful he is home and improving - again.

The blackbirds are flocking at sunrise ~ the introduction to autumn :-)

Our garden is going bonkers.

I know many of us are preserving the harvest right now.

I had several humungo heads of cauliflower that

are now all blanched and frozen in meal sized portions.

Yum!  I love cauliflower.

The tomatoes are insane.

I have canned almost enough for our own use.

Mom hasn't had much time to do much canning

so I canned a dozen jars of diced for her 

and will give her some for juicing and making into sauce.

I will probably do another batch of diced for them as they ripen.

The rest will be shared 😊

That of course is part of the joy of a garden,

the sharing of the bounty.

This is just one round of several.

Work has been insanely busy, long days and short nights.

We've all been to the point of nearly complete exhaustion.

Hubby was 'rummy' he was so stressed.

Between family and work and trying to maintain our own living/home,

we were spent.

I actually asked him if he tied our trusty K9 companion one evening.

He answered No.

I went out and tied him, then came in and told Hubby I tied him.

He said Oh thank you.

Not 2 minutes later he went outside.

I asked what he was doing.

He said he went out to tie up the pooch, but I'd already done it. Oy!

So we took what we could get and went camping.

We left Friday late afternoon and came back Sunday morning.

There is no service at one of our favorite spots not terribly far from here.

I told Mom where we would be and how to get a hold of us if need be.

Unluckily, the propane regulator went out on the trailer

so it took over an hour to make a pot of coffee!

That's almost an SOS situation!

But luckily, we had the little propane stove since there is a fire ban

during the dry months so we were able to get our fix.

Hubby caught 3 trout over 12" and several smaller ones

(all released.)

That's more than he's caught all up in the past year.

He also took a nap Saturday!

I took my stitching along and actually got to sit and stitch.

Needless to say, it had been a while.

We are back at it now, but that little break did wonders for us.

We had lots we could have done,

but sometimes sanity is worth more than plum pickin', weedin', cleanin', 

or a million other things calling our names.


I heard a saying many years ago~

When your basket is empty, you have nothing more to give.

So many are dealing with life issues

be it societal changes, health, relationships, or preserving the harvest.

If you are among them, take a moment, 

even just a walk out behind the garage and look up to the heavens.  

Inhale as deeply as you possibly can and hold it for just a minute.

Let it fill you up and give you strength for the day.

Prayers for you all.

We have today~




 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

An Explanation and A Little Excitement

I had this post nearly ready when life happened.
Thank you all for your patience, prayers, and kindness 
while our family dealt with my dad being sent to another city 
where he underwent two major surgeries in 5 days.
He was in the hospital for 17 days (? I think)
and was allowed only 1 visit from my mom 1 day before his second surgery.
He had never spent the night in a hospital in his life.
He has been healthy all his life.
This was so difficult for all of us who should have been there with him.
He was scared and knew nobody or nothing around him
and wasn't even allowed to have his shaving kit.
I just got to go get him and bring him home today.  
One of the first things Mom did was take the clippers to him
so he can shave later.
We are so relieved to have him home.
Again thank you.

And now the real post.

As many of you are aware, 
we moved about a year and a half ago.
It doesn't seem like it's been that long.
I s'pose that means I'm getting old.
About the time of our move, I put my Etsy shoppe on vacation mode.

A few months after moving, we had a huge yard sale.
We down-sized by about 40%.
I know I've shared that before,
but in doing so, I parted with a lot of vintage items.
I've spent a good part of my 29 years on this earth
(wink wink, gasp, cough - heehee)
attracting vintage items into my life.
Parting with some items has been difficult for me.
That probably sounds silly to some of you.
Anyways, we hope to one day downsize a little more.
Not quite as drastically as another 40%,
but continue to part with the excess.
Hubby and I each have our own areas of collectorism.
Yep, had to make up another word just for y'all.
It seems a little easier for me to part with things little by little.
Also, I finally have my sewing all in one room
which makes knowing what I have and have to do a bit more manageable.
Oh the UFOs I have discovered!
(un-finished objects) 
Up the mountain, I had shelves in the house
and totes on big shelves out in the shop, 
so I was constantly looking for things.
I am working to decrease my stash and have made some progress.
It's slow, but moving in the right direction.
(It's all up to God.)
And the last piece to all of this is: I have a goal.
And like so many lofty goals, it requires an investment.
I have recently begun a "Happy" fund.
It's really a savings.
I am saving to try to reach my goal - yay!

With that, I have decided to reopen my Etsy shoppe.
I am trying to figure out the best place for picture taking
at the new place and am not quite satisfied with the quality
(or lack there of) of photos I've taken.
As I get at least acceptable photos and appropriate packaging for mailing,
I am listing items both vintage and made by me.
I can't believe how the availability of normal mailing supplies
has been altered in recent months - nutty!
I've already made a couple sales - Wahoo!
And I have several listings in draft waiting for pictures
which haven't happened in the past 2 weeks.
Hopefully, things are calming down now
and I will be adding a couple quilts, bonnets, and vintage items
in the next few days.

If you would like to doddle on over and take a peek,
I am ever grateful.
If you have any questions about any of the items,
please feel free to contact me.
I don't mind questions at all and will do my best 
to answer them quickly and accurately.

So that's my "Little Excitement."
It's a fun outlet for me.

In the upcoming weeks, I am hoping to share
"A Big Excitement."
Well, at least for li'l ol' me.

And lastly, the photos above are of an old ghost town not far
from where I grew up.








Friday, August 14, 2020

She's ALIVE!

 Howdy All.

Just wanted to pop in and let you know

I've been dealing with a family emergency.

We'll return to our regular broadcast after these messages ~

or just as soon as things level out a bit.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020