Sunday, April 25

*after twenty four years (meet Freyja)

Six months or so ago and much to my amazement my dear husband started showing an interest in selecting a large dog for our family.  I mean, is he crazy? We are a cat family. A large cat family.  We have never in the twenty four years of marriage had a dog in our family.  Don't get me wrong, I love dogs and grew up with one by my side most of the time.  Eric comes from a long line of cat lovers and he has always had an aversion to having a canine as a pet.   Can I just say -He is in love and it was ALL his doing.

Through our search for a canine that would be the right breed for our family, Eric looked from German Shepherds, Kangals, Mastiffs to Great Danes.  We have a good friend who is a quality breeder of German Shepherds and had hoped that she would be breeding soon. She has, however, decided to take a break this season.  If she decides to breed in the fall, her pups will be available in October. You might think this would have been a better timing choice for us. I might tend to think it would have been a better timing choice too. But, here we are -new owners of a beautiful blue, pure bred, Great Dane.

She had a great first night. She is being crate trained from the start.  The night started with a bit of crying but only lasted a few minutes before she laid down to sleep.  The night was restful, but she put a new spin on "weekend sleep in".  We were up at six am going potty.  So the story begins...

 This is a picture of her when we first got home with her.  She is only seven weeks old.

Saturday, April 24

*call us crazy.. today another "blue" of sorts joined our family

Life as we have known it will never be the same.  We had an addition to our family this weekend, something in the color of "blue".  Most of the cats were quite put out and beyond disbelief with our decision.   The picture below shows just how most of them felt about it. Stay tuned  so you can comment on our craziness!

Thursday, April 22

*i like old

I have always liked old things. Old books. Old china or dishes. Old quilts. Old furniture.  It guides my sense of decorating style in our home. I have been thinking about things, you know, things in our home that really don't serve a spoken purpose. This is what I came up with.. the things in our home represent who we are, what our likes are to a degree, and what is important to us. For many many years I have purposed to create a safe refuge or retreat of a home for our family or those who visit us.   So in that, each thing in our home serves a purpose or represents something to us.

I have always enjoyed having people in our home, not as a show piece, because it is far from that.  For example.. our couches have places where our lovely felines have used it as a scratching pad, none of our furniture really "matches" and were either given to us or found on the side of the road at a yard sale. I feel that one of the gifts that God has blessed me with is the gift of hospitality. I haven't had much opportunity to use that gifting in our home lately. Sometimes gifts like hospitality can be taken outside the walls of our own home.  I look forward to the plans He has for me (our family) in the area of hospitality once we get settled in our new Floridian home.  I am asking Him for young girls in which I can lead in an area of home making skills such as cooking, sewing, quilting, couponing and such.

My maternal grandparents lived on a wonderfully large farm most of my childhood years. If you click on the picture it will enlarge some to see a bit more detail. The picture that is applied to the brick is an aerial photo of their farm in the early spring season. The brick itself was one of many that made the large fire pit and base of the cane juice cooker (to boil down to make  black strap molasses).  This is one of the very bricks that was near to  my grandpa's feet as he walked around stirring the juice as it thickened into the cane syrup that they were famous for making each year!

One of my last visits to my mother's house I came away with this sweet little butter dish. It was hers though she didn't use it much and was quick to push it my way.

On our last whirlwind trip to Georgia I was able to spend a brief time at my motherinloves house as well.  She had recently gone through her sewing room and thinned out her fabric to the tune of twelve or so large garbage bags full, many of which she listed on free cycle and some that she set aside for me. While I am very grateful for the fabric, I was tickled to find these crocheted table toppers that one of her friends had once made.  (note the old books here... these are wonderful stories written in the 1800's that carry such wonderful character lessons throughout)

Mr. Bear was made by Eric's mother when he was a little boy. (Sorry Mr. Bear for the clothes that you wear) On the back of the chair is another one of the lovely crocheted pieces.

This particular one is made of a smaller cotton thread and is more delicate and light. I LOVE IT.  The lamp here on this little antique table in our kitchen was given to me by Franziska, who found it at a yard sale at a steal of a price!

This bench is not in the greatest of shape, but a dear friend gave it to me several years ago and it serves us well at the front door when we need to sit to put our shoes on.  The crazy quilt that adorns the bench was made by one of the talented ladies or possibly several,  on my father-in-loves' side of the family.  It really is a piece of history and art!

Old suitcases just speak to me! I love them. What is great is you can use them to store things in if needed and you can find them at Salvation Army Stores or such thrift stores for very few dollars.

This razor belonged to my mother-in-loves' grandfather and it currently lives in Henry's bathroom space. I sometimes think of where he might have been getting ready to go after using this vintage razor.

Another of the pieces that came from Eric's side of the family. Eric's maternal grandfather was a great leather worker. There are quite a few things that he beautifully crafted with his hands that are still in the family. He made this needle case for his lovely wife, Laverne. I do not crochet, but I love the age of this case as well as the needles.

For as long as I can remember this teapot sat on top of the counter at our house when I was growing up. Many times it was filled with trinkets of this or that.. you know odds and ends that really didn't have a place. I don't ever remember drinking coffee or tea from this beautiful pot, but just the fact that it was  part of our abode brings sweet memories to mind.

Whatever it is that you like or that you are more drawn to, may you use it to create a space that says welcome. You don't have to have a large space or even your dream space but you can make the space you currently live in hospitable.   Our sons both enjoy the character of old things, so the apples didn't fall far from the tree!  How do you create a humble abode for all who enter?

Tuesday, April 20

*many hands make light work

Moving is never fun. Making ready a house for the market can be a chore. Since there are already a large number of houses on the market it behooves us to present ours the best as we are able. With this in mind we sat down and made a list of the things that needs to be repaired, finished or upgraded. A long list.

Henry took the list last week and wrote his name by each project he felt he could do by himself for our family to reach our goal.  I am so grateful for a hard working and involved son. This week he has taken on the "The Little Knights Fort".  Eric and the boys built this years ago for Henry. Although he did not play in it as much as we thought he would, he does have some good memories that took place up in this fort.

The tar paper had come off the roof due to weathering and storms in the past. He has replaced the tar paper and will paint the entire fort again soon. Then he can check it off the list. Glad to have many hands making this work light!

Sunday, April 18

*sweet temptations

Sweet temptations!

In 2003 my  darlin husband was diagnosed  with Type I (Autoimmune) Diabetes, also known as latent autoimmune diabetes.  In short, his body attacked his pancreas (thinking it was a viral strand) until it no longer works. It was very hard for him, firstly because he has always been very healthy and to a degree I think we sometimes think we are invincible.  He also has a sweet tooth. He was initially diagnosed to be a Type II diabetic, however nothing the doctors did helped him keep his blood sugar numbers where they should be.  We, as a family, removed all refined products from our cupboards. Sugar as we know it. Flour as we know it. Processed foods. Condiments. You name it, we got rid of it.  We worked very hard to keep his numbers where they needed to be and we never saw the results his body needed to be yielding for the protection of his other organs.  After a year of being treated as a Type II diabetic we finally pushed through the necessary steps to get him a referral to a specialist because he was simply not well.  Once we got him over to a specialist, he was properly diagnosed as a Type I diabetic -one who no longer has a pancreas that operates. No insulin at all to offset the sugars his body absorbed. 

Since having been diagnosed as a Type I, his life  has been more fulfilling. While he still has to not go  over board with carbs, he can pretty much eat what he wants. He now has a pancreas- an exterior pancreas.  Well that is, he has an insulin pump- we call it his "game boy".  If he should desire to eat a candy bar and drink a coke for breakfast, lunch and dinner while it would not be a wise healthy choice, he could do it. He would simply pull out his insulin pump and administer insulin through his catheter when needed.  He would never choose such reckless meals, but he might like a tasty cinnamon bun for breakfast every once in a while.

When I bake I often try to keep as many refined products out of the mix as possible. (BTW.. we did add some of the SAD items back to our cupboards) When a recipe calls for flour, I will mill wheat berries to provide the flour needed. Should the recipe call for sugar (white refined), I will use sucanat, sucanat with honey or honey itself depending on the recipe.  These changes will help the complex carbs enter into his blood stream at a slower rate.

Today we had cinnamon rolls!!  We used Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls recipe, but I did make a few changes in the ingredients. I did use fresh milled wheat for the flour, sea salt for the salt and sucanat in place of the sugar.  Warning: The recipe states that it yields for eight people. Um.. that would be some really large buns.. we turned out about eighteen LARGE buns.  This is one of the easiest recipes for cinn rolls that I have ever used. Enjoy!

Friday, April 16

*double T quilt

I thought you might like to see the quilt that made me fall in love with this pattern in the first place!  I love the contrast of the green and black block!  Why this is called the Traditional Double T quilt pattern.. I am not sure.  Seems to me it should be called the Traditional Quad T.

The one I am working on will not be as striking as this beauty above due to the contrast in my fabrics. Isn't it great how you can take one quilt pattern and make so many different end results based on the selection of fabric?

Here are a few more of my finished blocks:

So I decided to do a little "research" and find out the origin of the block name or how it came to be the Double T.  The picture below should explain why it is called the Double T.   Once you have the pattern down you can arrange it in a block like I the one I am currently working on.. or you can  make it as below, which reveals the "double T".   The Double T block has a long history in antique quilts. The women of the Temperance movement made a difference in their time by standing with determination for what they believed was right. The Double T stood as the symbol of their resolve. Just FYI!

*going back on my words

After saying I would not start any more projects until my last three tops were set in, quilted and binded.. I have started another quilt.  I am still in class and not learning anything new, so I sort of  had to do it.  One of the quilt patterns that our teacher has available to guide us through is the "Double T".   I had seen this quilt made up in black and white and loved it! 

Since we are going to be moving in the fall I have also thought that perhaps, I shouldn't buy any new fabric either. Less to pack, right?  Confession: I did purchase a few fats to finish what I would need to complete this top. Most of the fabrics below were cuts that I picked up at Hancocks of Paducah last year at a great price!  I love Amy Butler's fabric lines and most of these are from several of her lines.  Doesn't it just look so sweet! 

Tuesday, April 13

*happy birthday daddy!

Today, April 13th marks my fathers sixty-fifth birthdate!  Happy Birthday Daddy!

My father, though with his own faults, has always been a good father. He is a man with family near to his center. His "girls" have always been his world.  My father has battled drinking for many years, he is a functional alcoholic. He never missed a day of work and taught my sisters and myself to have a good work ethic.  He is a hard worker. Beyond his hard exterior that he sometimes puts up, he is a very compassionate man.  He never harmed us physically - ever, when he was drinking.  As I sit and think of him, I am brought to tears.

When he was a young boy, he heard his mother speak words about his "accidental conception" to some of her lady friends one day over iced tea in their home. These words impacted him in a negative way and he held them inside, only telling my mom about them many years later.  Sometimes the words spoken can negatively effect the hearer in ways that were NEVER intended.   My father at the young age of twenty , lost his own daddy to a heart attack.  While I realize many things come our way which will shape and form us or crush us, I am sometimes not too far from amazement that my father chose alcohol to be his coping mechanism.  

When our father was ours, totally - he was ours totally!  We had great times being made to feel like daddy's little girl.  We had pillow fights. We went water skiing every weekend in the summer months. We had cookouts, sorry you didn't get to taste his grilled meats!  We had oyster roast.  We took vacations together. We went fishing often. We learned under his guidance to work hard. We had a good time.

I hope on this day that my earthly father will begin to understand the depths of the Heavenly Father's great love for him.  May it be so that my daddy will yield himself to Christ Jesus and even at the age of sixty-five that my daddy will come to the understand of his purpose that has yet to  be filled  here on earth.

Monday, April 12


So today, I did just this - believed a number of impossible things; at least they seem "impossible" to me at this time. 

Monday, April 5

12-N-12 March beauties

Let us all gather around to view the handiwork for March in the 12-N-12 Quilting Challenge. Some have surpassed the three (which is how many months we have been going with this) and some have yet to make a submission - either way, do not dismay! Let this be a place of encouragement, to spur on your own creativity for your own projects that you have in the works. I am sure some of you have several tops finished but are not to the setting in stage yet. For some of us, life may be "setting in" and taking place. Surely this will be a challenge for me (our family) before the year is up!

This month Jenny has been a pace setter!  She completed a spring table runner earlier this month, as well as a couch throw for a friend and another quilt.  I love the vibrant colors in all three of her projects!
Spring table runner (click on any picture to enlarge)

This couch throw was delivered to one of Jenny's friends upon completion!

I love a pieced back! The colors in this line of fabric is just delicious! Beautiful work.

I have had the opportunity to be pretty occupied with sewing this month as well.  (This will likely not be the story next month!) I completed two quilts this month!
Finished and mailed out.  This is a picture of Tori with her quilt.
 This one will be mailed off this week to a sweet friend, I can hardly wait for her to get it!!

Before Cheryl left the area this past summer we went shopping together to pick out fabrics for her to make this quilt. She was to call it her Lynette Quilt.  Anyway, I am sure it will be a reminder of many good memories from many good friends from this area over the coming years. I love it!

Franziska submitted this table topper.  Several of us who are participating in this challenge were at the "class" or Midnight Madness group the night this quilt was started. What a great feeling to have a started project for several years ago finally finished!  I do like this pattern and I bet it adorns her dining room table nicely!

Robyn, Sharon and Nicole if I missed your submissions please let me know right away and I will add them to this post or I can hold them until April's update (either way is fine with me). 

Until next month.. keep that pedal to going!