Thursday, March 31, 2016

this and that on a Thursday

Lily turned 9 this week.


She got the guitar she has been wanting for 6 months or so.
She'd already learned a bit from Brandon and Daddy,
on their guitars
(have I mentioned that they are learning to play?)
but a full size guitar is quite tricky for a little girl.

Now that she has her own
suitably sized guitar
she is eager to learn more.


I have been plagued with 
yet another
pain in my foot;
my left one this time.

I honestly can't think of a thing I did to it,
or even remember when it first started hurting.
I know it was before I went to CA,
because I bought squishy insoles
in hopes of lessening the ill-effects of all that airport walking.

The 5 hour grocery shopping trip,
followed by all of the cooking,
and walking about on concrete floors at family camp
(not to mention all of the trips up and down the huge hill)
about did me in.

The more it hurts, the more I favor it,
which then leads to pain in other body parts.


I've started actually attempting to treat it,
rather than just trying to ignore the pain
and hope it goes away,
as that method isn't working very well for me...


It smells like Spring today.
I do love Spring!


Eva let me borrow the book I am Resolute,
written by Nancy Turner,
who also wrote one of my favorite books,
These is My Words.

I've had so much on my plate, that my reading has been very disjointed;
a page here,
a paragraph there...

Last night, I was tired, but not absolutely exhausted
when we went to bed
so I thought I'd get up and read a little.

Four hours later,
I went to bed.



I'm thinking (again) about giving up coffee.
(except on Saturdays!)

I really don't want to,
but that sorta tells me that maybe I need to?

I don't know...


Tony and Kacy and Hadley are coming in 3 1/2 weeks!
We can hardly wait!
We are already fighting over who gets to hold Hadley first.
Since I have already held her,
I've offered to go last.

We'll see if I can actually do that, though.

When our friends brought their adopted son
 home from China,
we went to the airport to welcome them.
I'd told the kids that we were to stay out of the way;
Jamin need to bond with them,
and he was certain to be overwhelmed with all of the changes 
in his little life.

We have a picture of me,
sitting on the floor in the airport,
with Jamin in my lap;
all of my good 'stay out of the way' intentions 
completely forgotten in the moment.

Like I said, 
we'll see if I can be so magnanimous
on the 25th... 


I haven't made any progress on my commission quilt in three weeks.
I need to remedy that!

I am finding it a huge struggle to fit in everything I need/want to be doing.


Lily made her own birthday dessert!

I still haven't decided quite how I feel about that...


My friend has been keeping bees for a couple of years.
(someday - she will teach me....)
I happened to see her honey-for-sale FB post 
right after she posted it,
and was able to stake a claim on 2 quarts
before she sold out.

I'd do a happy dance,
except I am resting my foot....


Speaking of feet...
I love how when children are learning something,
their entire body strains to grasp it,
right down to their feet.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

different strokes for different folks

I think I've mentioned before
that getting ready to go somewhere 
- even somewhere I want to go -
is stressful for me.

You got me.
I practically fall apart.
Every time.

I'm getting better
(now that I'm close to 50... rolls eyes)
but even my best 'getting ready' efforts
still include at least a micro-mini breakdown.

I did really good getting ready for the Family Camp,
especially if you take into consideration the fact that
1) I was voting to stay home for a little solo vacation
2) Our family decided to handle food prep and planning and purchasing.
(which sort of made option 1 impossible)

All in all,
Family Camp was good,
and I would go again.
(Although I still would probably vote to stay home by my lonesome)

On the way home, 
I told Tyler,
"Chris kept saying this was fun, 
but he wished it was 3 nights, instead of 2."

(I was thinking 2 nights was plenty)

Tyler said, "Chris is an extrovert!"

(He was thinking 2 was plenty, too)

I thought a minute and said,
"I had the most fun when I was cleaning those pans."

To which Tyler replied,
"And you, are an introvert."

(There were several cast iron skillets in the kitchen, 
and most of them were in need of some TLC.
There was one that was so rusty,
I wasn't sure it was salvageable.

On the last day, after everyone had cleaned their cabins,
but it wasn't yet time to prepare lunch, 
I went in the kitchen.
I could still hear various games being played in the dining hall.

I scrubbed those skillets with salt
then oiled them until they shined.
Some I set on the stove for a few minutes.
I wiped away all excess oil,
and neatly re-stacked them on the counter,
ready for the next group to use.
And not a soul besides Tyler, (and now, you) will ever even know I did it! :-)

What can I say?!
I derive tremendous satisfaction from spotless pans.


Different strokes for different folks.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

getting our footing

This guy happens to be the nephew of the folks we bought the place from.
He has fond memories of fishing in our pond :-)

uh oh

This guy was the 'driver' of the concrete spout. (I'm pretty sure that's not its real name)

she'll be comin' 'round the mountain.....


The day was not without some drama.
but they were all met (and handled) quickly.

The porch footing hadn't been dug correctly, so that had to be fixed right off.

Because we didn't know concrete would go in today,
Tyler hadn't put in a pipe for water going into the house
in the footing,
so Brandon had to run to the hardware store to buy the pipe, 
then dig a trench for it.

(which is now, very clearly, going somewhere!! :-) )
wasn't sufficient to withstand the weight of full concrete trucks,
so he called in a track hoe (I think that's what they were calling it)
and a dump tuck load of something a lot bigger than what we had
to remedy the situation.

Our kitchen drainage pipe was messed up in the process,
so a "Do NOT Use" note has been on the sink all day.
And as the fourth (and final) concrete truck drove off,
it busted a water line.

The crew quickly fixed that,
and Daniel (aka the concrete guy) is working on the drainage pipe
as I type.
Which brings Day 2 of house-building
to a close.

getting going

We went to Family Camp
in Gentry
with a few families from church
(everyone had a good time, 
but the big people slept horribly - no surprise there)
and when we arrived home yesterday,
we found 


We didn't even know our concrete guy was coming!

It's very exciting,
but to be honest,
the youngests and I were a little bummed
to have missed
the momentous occasion.

We'll be here for the pouring of the concrete though.
(which is today - at 2:00!! :-)

Friday, March 18, 2016

I made a washcloth!

Never mind that it's tiny...

This time around, learning to knit
has been much less awkward feeling 

I have no clue why that would be.

a real knitter watching me
would probably still find it quite awkward indeed.)

Lily and Josiah have joined in the learning,
but so far
they are still at the 
starting over every few stitches stage.

I won't be giving up my sewing,
but it has been invigorating
to learn something new.

and, hey, look!
I made a washcloth!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

becoming Bess

Bess McGrew. 

She's who I want to be when I'm old.

I was thinking about  her the other day,
which led to lamenting about 
how very far I have to go
to be like her.

But then a thought hit me:
perhaps Bess,
hasn't always been Bess! 

Maybe Bess hasn't always been the epitome of beautiful her whole life??

Maybe - there is hope for me yet...

(but I think I will try to find lipstick that stays on my lips
 - if I bother to wear lipstick when I am 100 - 
so I don't leave kiss marks for people to discreetly wipe off ;-)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

learning together

Do you know the story of the persistent widow?

That's Lexi.

She has been wanting to learn to knit.

Every day.
All day.
"Mom, can I watch a knitting video?"

I tried explaining that a video was not the best way for a little girl to learn to knit,
but she would not be deterred.

It turns out,
I was right.
A video is not the best way for a little girl to learn how to knit.

But her momma can learn from it,
and then teach her.

Knit washcloths for everyone...

Momma loves you, you persistent little bugger!

(we need another set of needles, Mom needs to learn how to purl next...)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

team yard sale

Our church is raising $200,000 
(by Easter!)
to build 2 orphanages
in Kenya.

We have all been encouraged to give generously
and even sacrificially,
and our family has done that,
but we also wanted our 242 group to do something collectively.

We decided on a yard sale,
and scheduled it for this weekend.

Wednesday evening,
instead of our regular meeting,
we all got together to price and organize all of the junk stuff 
that we'd collected.

There was a moment when we were all in the garage;
everyone working,
and talking
and laughing.
I  just stopped, hands midair at the back of the garage
(I was hanging up clothes)
 and looked around at them all,
and thought, "I really love these people."
I wanted to go grab my phone to take a picture,
but decided against it;
I sure wouldn't have wanted anyone snapping a picture of me at the moment,
so I just took a mental snapshot.

My attitude last night though
- um -
 less than stellar
about the sale.
The forecast wasn't great, and I thought we'd all be wasting our day,
get wet and soggy,
and barely raise any money.

I was so wrong.

The weather was great for a sale,
(although - our hair did get a bit frizzy...)
we had a steady stream of customers,
we had fun,
multiple people said *they* felt blessed
(our prices were so stinking cheap!)
and we raised almost $1,200!!!

yay team!

Friday, March 11, 2016

success, mostly

I didn't see it until mid-January,
but I haven't been able to get it out of my head since.

Go look at it  ~ I'll wait...

See what I mean?!
Isn't that striking?!?


it's paper pieced.
Foundation; not English
paper pieced.

And if you know me,
you know that I 
am not much 'into' foundation paper piecing.
At all.
Neither is my Juki
(which is, quite possibly, the biggest reason I am not a fan)

But gosh.

I tried to think about how I could make it without the blasted paper part,
and I sat down more than once with graph paper, pencil, glue, and scissors.

But nope, that wouldn't work for this block.

I googled every combination of words I could think of,
but the only pattern (free or otherwise) that I could find
for an inside out pineapple block
And - as previously noted -  it's paper pieced.

I reeeeally don't like paper piecing.
(I may have mentioned? ;-)


Nettie posted her mountain majesties quilt.
And I thought "those mountains look an awful lot like a pineapple..."
so I followed her link to the tute.
The way they were created was quite clever,
but it wouldn't work for my needs.

Not long after that,
Hmm. The spikes look similar to what I needed 
for an inside out pineapple block.
I asked her about the method for making them, 
but she didn't get back with me,
so I just continued puzzling over it.

My mind kept going back to Nettie's black and white quilt
and those hedgehog spikes.
I could figure this out....
I sat down
- yet again -
with my graph paper,
but after 20 minutes 
of more erasing than writing,
I said, "Screw it.
I'm just going to have to figure it out with fabric.

And you know what??

I did!

I figured out 
how to make a non-paper-pieced inside-out pineapple block!!

For my first one, 
the colored sections were a half inch too short
and when I made the final 'round' I had a triangle instead of a trapezoid.
(I didn't bother to finish that block)

My second block, I increased the length of the colored sections appropriately
but when I got the block finished,
I thought maybe my strips weren't quite wide enough,
so I made another block,
adjusting measurements as I went.
(so.much. math!)

I wanted a larger block,
so I could still use the same 4x5 configuration that Louise used,
but have a larger quilt.

Now, though, 
at 15.5",
I'm wondering if maybe it's a little too big...

And maybe I should go back to the 1 1/4 inch colored strips,
but decrease the center square.
(it's the proportion of the colored strips / strip section as a whole
 to the center square that I think feels a little 'off')

I think I'm going to leave these up on a my wall for a while
and get back to my commission project,
while I decide.

What would you do??
 the center square
 or leave it as is?
Go with the thicker color strip sets
or use the thinner?

Whatever I settle on,
it won't be paper piecing,
and I'm pretty tickled about that.

Linking up with Amanda Jean.
It may not be a finished quilt
or even a finished top,
in my little world,
it's a big finish
all the same.