Don't Be Shy!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007



I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

"Hello Barry, how are you today?"
"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good."
"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"
"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."
"Good. Anything I can help you with?"
"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."
"Would you like to take some home?" asked Mr. Miller.
"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."
"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"
"All I got's my prize marble here."
"Is that right? Let me see it" said Miller.
"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."
"I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?" the storeowner asked.
"Not zackley but almost."
"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble." Mr. Miller told the boy.
"Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller."

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store."

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts, all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

"Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size ... they came to pay their debt."
"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho." With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.

Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles.
A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself.
An unexpected phone call from an old friend.
Green stoplights on your way to work.
The fastest line at the grocery store.
A good sing-along song on the radio.
Your keys found right where you left them.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Holly Jolly Pineapple

Progress is being made! I am thinking about using the tri-rec ruler and making Christmas trees to place on the top and bottom before adding borders. I want it to be a little bit longer. Right now it measures 37"x48". If I add 3" trees it'll be 37"x54" without borders. Hmmmm...I'm not sure now what I'll do...thinking thinking thinking! LOL

Well, I am trying to make this quilt out of a fq tower. I wish I had some yardage of SOMETHING here (preferably the turquoise for the p/a centers and the tree backgrounds) to do a stop border. BUT...I do NOT want to buy more fabric. NO NO NO...this is the border treatment that I came up with. I'm not sure I like it, but then again, I can do some fun feathers on the wider borders to try to soften them. Any suggestions? Likes? Dislikes? Be honest with me...I can handle it! LOL...I am going to wait to proceed on this for at least a day or 2.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Ahhh...what fun we had!

What a great day we had yesterday! I have to say it was the BEST Thanksgiving EVER!!!
The pies were made...

The dog arrived...

The table was set...

Rock, paper, scissors was played to pick groups for...

Our Wii BOWLING tournament...

Dinner was FINALLY ready...
Dishes were done...

Naps were taken by HUMANS...

And CANINES alike LOL...

Now we look forward to leftovers! We were blessed...were you and yours?


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving and Safe Travels!

I want to wish everyone in blogland a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!! If you are travelling, please do so carefully!

Tomorrow, my dh and 4 kids will enjoy a great turkey dinner and probably play cards/games. I just love lazy days like these with the family!

Things I am thankful for:
1. good health
2. the love of family
3. fantastic friends
4. my husband having a job that provides for us very well
5. troops that are willing to put their lives on the line for our freedom

Of course there are probably more, but the most important is God, who gave me life and provides for me in ways that I don't even know about and realize.

I have all the pies made, potatoes prepped, stuffing made, and the table set. While doing all of this, it snowed for the first time today!! There is a light dusting on the ground but it SNOWED!!! Even better than that was my son Kevin, who is home from college, sitting with me and talking my ear off!

I just LOVE having the 6 of us one else...just MY family! It ROCKS!!!

PS(my goal this fall was to NOT turn the heat on until Thanksgiving oldest said he'd turn it on at midnight! That would work but it's already 30 degrees on our way to a low of 22...I was close!!!)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Today's accomplishment

I bought this pattern in Chicago about 3 months ago. I decided to make this apron for myself and then make the decision about whether to make it for my girlfriends here or not as a Christmas gift.

WELL...I am pretty happy with how this turned out. I still have to buy buttons yet (they go on the flap of the pocket and the top flap) but I think it's cute. I also have to buy some "tube turners" to speed the process up. It will probably take more time to cut things out than to put it together once I get the tube turners.

The pattern is called Four Corners Apron and is from It takes 2 yards of fabric, one yard for the front and one yard for the back/accents. You have plenty of fabric to play with the colors of the straps.


I promised to post this yesterday but somehow yesterday got away from me! But the RULER I chose to learn how to use was the PINEAPPLE RULER!!! I have the "Holly Jolly" fq tower and used those fabrics. 4 blocks done and 8 more to go. I think the pineapple pattern probably needs to be for a bigger quilt to get the full effect of the pattern, but I had limited fabric so 12 blocks will be as big as it gets. This ruler is easy to use though and it amazes that people can figure this stuff out!

Here are the pics I promised! One with the greens together and one with the reds.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

How many rulers can a quilter have?

I think the answer to that is AS MANY RULERS AS THE QUILTER WANTS!!! Notice I didn't say as many rulers as the quilter NEEDS!!! My problem is that I have rulers that I have NO clue how to use! YIKES!!! I have the "square in a square" ruler that I have NEVER used! I have Kaye Woods' "Starmaker" rulers that I have NEVER used! I have a "Lazy Angle" ruler that I have NEVER used! I have a setting triangle ruler that I have NEVER used! I have a "Pineapple Ruler" that I have NEVER used and don't even REMEMBER buying! I thnk I need a RULER INTERVENTION! LOL

I decided to pick one of the rulers and learn how to use it today. I wanted to make 4 blocks from the ruler of choice but didn't get them all done. I am having neck/shoulder issues and had to stop.

Stay tuned tomorrow! I will post progress then!

Til then...RULERS RULE!!!!! ROFL


Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom

Saturday was my mom's birthday. Mom would've been 78 but she died of ovarian cancer May 20, 1992. Gosh I miss her SOOOO very much! Mom was such a woman of faith, heart, courage, hope, perseverance and so much more. She shared such an awesome love with my dad and I know he misses her terribly.

Mom stayed at home and raised 5 kids. Not just any 5 kids, but 5 successful and happy kids! Mom kept the house cleaned, loved to cook, baked the best desserts ever, and never missed our activities. She was our #1 fan and supporter. Mom always told us to chase our dreams and believe in them. My dream was to marry and have children in a happy home. I have been fortunate to experience my dream and continue to live it.

Mom's 7.5 year journey with ovarian cancer taught me about courage and facing a tough situation head on. Mom never said "why me" but just fought like crazy to live life to the fullest! She had chemo at a time when there werent' anti nausea drugs so she spent hours vomitting after each treatment...she and dad took a bucket and towel with them in the car because it hit mom that quickly.

I'll never forget the day that mom decided to stop the fight with drugs and just LIVE the rest of her days with as much vim and vigor as possible. She started calling all 5 of us kids as she always did, oldest to youngest. That means that since I am the youngest I got her at the most emotional time. She wanted to ask all of us if we minded that she stopped treatment. By the time mom called me she was pretty teary eyed and I tried ever so hard to NOT cry...I failed miserably. I did manage to tell mom from the bottom of my heart that this was her decision and that she had fought a valiant fight. I told her how much I loved her and supported her decision.

That was our last birthday, thanksgiving, and Christmas with mom. She failed slower than we thought and we began to worry about whose birthday she would die on. You see, from April 12 to May 25 mom had 8 different family member birthdays and of course mother's day in there as well that she could've died on. But being a mom to the end, she died on her own day and was buried a few days before that last bday.

On Saturday, mom's birthday, DH and I were in our hometown and we went to the cemetary to wish mom a happy birthday. While leaving the cemetary, DH grabbed my hand and held it up in the air and said, "And Joseph, they're STILL in love!" I giggled and kissed him! You see, the importance of that was from an experience about 26 years ago when we went to our hometown to tell our families we were engaged. DH and I had only dated 3 times before getting engaged and my dad said, "What brought this on?". DH was not sure what to say cuz he thought for sure that my dad figured I was pregnant (which I wasn't). My mom stepped in rather quickly and said, "Well Joseph, it's obvious they are in LOVE!" :oD Mom endeared herself to my DH FOREVER in that instant! To this day he still says, "I don't get how anyone can hate their mother-in-law. Mine was the BEST and I loved her so very much and miss her too!" (there are always tears in his eyes when he says that!)

SO Mom, even though tis is late, know that you are loved, you have 2 great grandchildren, and everyone is doing well! I LOVE YOU MOM!!!!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

WOW...Garth Brooks was AWESOME!!!!

it's hard to get good pics at a concert so this is blurry, but Garth is in the orange shirt and white cowboy hat!

Last night was the BEST concert that I have EVER been to! About month or so ago, Garth Brooks and Walmart announced that he would play one concert at the new Sprint Center in KCMO. Garth played his first concert in '89 at the KC Opry and he wanted to come back and play in the city where he started at! He hasn't toured for almost 10 years. Well, the tickets sold out so quickly that they kept adding shows...9 total! Last night was his 3rd night and DH was able to get us FREE tickets in the company suite! WOW WOW WOW...what GREAT seats! The picture above was taken from my seat in the suite.

We were treated to the night of our lives. Trisha Yearwood, Garth's wife, opened and was great. Then Garth was on stage for 2.5 hours! YEP...Garth finished singing at 11:45pm!!! He opened with "Fever" and then said, "They say the big party is in Nashville tonight!" (he was referring to the CMA Awards) Then Garth said, "The HELL it is!!! The PARTY IS RIGHT HERE IN KANSAS CITY!!!!!!!" And what a party it was! I am telling you, if you EVER get the chance to see Garth matter the cost (I am hoping to go again) JUST GO SEE HIM!!!!!!!!!!!

Gotta go, his CD is playing and I need to S-I-N-G!!!!! Thanks for an unforgettable night Garth! YOU ROCK!!!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Accomplishments...and a new ADDICTION!!

I have become addicted to the quilted postcards! I do my own goal is to journal quilts that I make from here on out! Barb asked me in a previous post about the process. It's pretty some PELTEX in the interfacing section of your favorite hobby store and cut it into 4x6 pieces using your rotary cutter. Use your favorite fusible web, fabrics from the project you want to journal about and a lot of imagination!!!! The key is to have fun! I haven't been able to use ALL of the fabrics in the following projects, but used a LOT of them. I try to use a lighter fabric on the back so that I can do the journaling on the back. I use a zigzag stitch around the raw edges using a 2.5 x 1.0 stich length.

This is the second one that I made journaling Dan's firefighting quilt. Dan liked the first one (see previous post below) so well that he wanted to keep it!'s ok cuz I got to make a NEW one!! This is the front:

This is the back:

This is a mystery quilt top from Glad Creations Quilt Shop in Minneapolis, MN. I was on a roll with the project until travelling got in the way, starting with our 25th Anniversary trip to Hawaii in June! I finished the top today! The colors don't show well here but it is yummy shades of browns/oranges/reds/greens with a neutral background. DH said, "OH COOL...a fall quilt!" All of Glad's mystery quilts becomes a pattern!

The day wouldn't have been complete if I hadn't done my journaling! Here is the front:

And here is the back:

Last, but certainly not least, is the adorable flip-flop quilt! It's small but is meant to be a lap, not a full size quilt. A friend asked me to make this for her SIL. It was easy to throw together so I did this today as well! guessed it...JOURNAL IT!!! Here is the front of the journal postcard:

And here is the back:

So there you have it! I have been back in my quilting room and am LOVIN' IT!!! It has been awhile and I have missed it! You might have noticed on the last 2 postcards that I put the date when the top was finished...leaving room for when it truly becomes a Q-U-I-L-T!!!! How is THAT for accurate journaling!!!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my accomplishments for the past few days!