Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My sisters

I have the best sisters. We are different yet so similar. The three of us were together last night for a while at our parents' house. We sat and talked and laughed and just enjoyed each other.

When I went home, I thought about the people who cannot relate to this blessing. There are broken homes with families who just cannot get along. Personalities that won't blend. Words and thoughts that hurt. Don't get me wrong, we've had our share of misunderstandings and said things that shouldn't have been said over the years. But we are able talk about it. Work through it. Restore and move on. When no one else wanted a part of my life, they were there. When things were going great, they were there. If I needed a place to go, their home was mine. The bonds of friendship only go so far. Family truly is for life.

I love my sisters. We have a bond, by blood and in Christ. I am so thankful to have them woven throughout the tapestry of my life.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gas price alert

The Country Farms convenience store on the corner of Route 9 and Grooms Road has regular gas at $3.99 a gallon. Fill 'er up!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


You've heard of U.F.O.s, right? Well I haven't had any sightings of them in my lifetime, but I have had sightings of several P.F.O.s at my house.

What's a P.F.O.? It is a Partially Finished Object.

I love to make things. I love to find the instructions for the perfect project that I want to make. Write down all the stuff I need to make the perfect project. Go to the store and buy the things that I don't have for the perfect project. Put all the things in a big basket and begin making the perfect project. After the thrill of the "honeymoon" is over, and the realization of the length of time that the perfect project is going take, the basket becomes neglected more days than not and a P.F.O. is born. Here's the one's I've seen lately.

This argyle one is a project that I have just started recently. It technically isn't a P.F.O. yet, since I am still working on it everyday. It has the potential, though, since it will be a pair of socks and I foresee the first one getting finished and the second one being the P.F.O.

This yellow blob is an example of what I have just stated. One sock, partially finished, and sitting in the basket undisturbed. Waiting patiently for me to find interest in it again.

This fair isle beauty is the mother P.F.O. in my house. Not only is this sweater partially started, but it is in a bin in my basement. Which is a shame because it is going to be so gorgeous when it is done.

I am hoping that blogging about this will encourage me to not leave these P.F.O.s alone. I would like to see them become F.O.s! It is up to me to make it so.

Friday, July 25, 2008

This versus That

A word keeps popping into my mind lately. The word is "compare". When I think of it, I get that red-flag feeling. Our good God gave us a wonderful mind. We have been given emotions and the ability to reason. Our senses can direct us to decisions of construction or destruction. Let's look at the scriptures where people compared "this versus that".

Cain & Abel presented their offerings to God. Abel gave what was acceptable to God and Cain gave what he thought should be accepted by God. Cain compared his disobedience with his brother's obedience. Since it was too late to change his brother's actions, he became destructive and prevented anything like that from happening again by killing his brother. Genesis 4

Mary and Martha had opened up their home for a big dinner party for Jesus and the disciples. Martha was running around making sure everyone had what they needed, cleaned up the messes, worked the kitchen. Mary on the other hand, was sitting at the feet of Jesus, enjoying His presence and His conversation. Martha started comparing their efforts, became destructive, wanted Mary to change and complained to Jesus about what she perceived as her laziness. Luke 10:38-42

Paul struggled with his sin nature when comparing himself to the righteousness of God. Paul's comparison made him become constructive and wanted to change himself. Listen to some of his thoughts: "God's law is holy, just and good... It is spiritual and I am carnal... I don't understand why I do the things that I do not want to do, or why I practice the things that I hate... I delight in the law of God... but I see another law in my members warring against the laws of God and bringing me to sin... Oh wretched man that I am - who can deliver me...? I thank God that I can be delivered through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Rom 7:9-25

Isaiah saw the Lord. He was high and lifted up and His garments filled the space of the temple. The heavenly beings cried out constantly of His holiness. They spoke of His glory being ever-revealed throughout the earth. This awesome scene brought Isaiah to a place of repentance. He compared his religious knowledge and speech to that which was just revealed to him. Isaiah saw he fell short, had so much more to learn of God, became constructive by letting God cleanse him and asking God to use him. We read that He did both these things for Isaiah. Isaiah 6

We all do it. We all see things and start to compare. Is the comparison being directed to a constructive outcome, or is it leading to an act of sinfulness or self-gratification? Is it bringing forth positive thoughts or a judgmental mindset? Will you act on improving yourself or will it wind up negatively affecting those around you? Tough questions but worth thinking about.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Musicians calendar

If you are looking for the musician calendar, you will not find it here.
I set it up in Google calendars. Several of you did not have a google account so I sent you an invitation to get into the google calendar area. Accept the invitation and you will be able to find it there.
The calendar is only available to be seen by our group. It is not open to the public.
I hope you enjoy having it and being able to use it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lawn neglected

Oh, my lawn. How can I mow you if it does not stop raining? The rabbits are enjoying the tall grass. And so are the mushrooms. Why do I have mushrooms in my grass? Something is plentiful in my dirt's chemistry and feeding them well.
At least when the grass is long, the dried out, dead patches are not as noticeable. I think I will get some gasoline tomorrow. Country Farms is selling it at $4.07 a gallon - best price I've seen around here.
Is my lawn neglected? Yes and no. I always have hope for tomorrow.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A time to give

I was invited to a baby shower last Saturday. I heard there were going to be about 45 ladies there. That didn't surprise me since the shower was for Libby and who cannot just love her to pieces? Anyways, I pow-wowed with my mother in law (who is the crochet-queen) and we got a purple and white baby hat-dress-coat-booties-blanket ensemble gift together that was fit for a little princess.

Oh, did you hear that Libby is having a princess? Well, she is. And from what I was told by the queen mom-to-be, there hasn't been a name that they found that is special enough to dub her with yet.

I got to the celebration, parked on the street, and found myself with a houseload of wonderful ladies. I didn't know everyone but that didn't matter. It was a starting point of getting to know the sisters in my church. We had delicious food, fabulous conversations, and Libby was given great gifts.

A time to give. What a wonderful notion. Libby was blessed by it and so were all 45 of us sisters.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Project completed

When I fell off the face of the earth a few weeks ago, I started knitting a deep v-neck vest. Remember? Well, I finished sewing the pieces together this morning, and here's how it looks -

The shirt inside of it is just to help show the neckline with the ribbon candy like trim. I really like the way this came out. After we get out of the dog days of summer, I will be able to wear this baby.

I gotta time my projects out better. This isn't the first time I've made something only to put it in the closet until I could actually start using it!

Friday, July 18, 2008

What is religion?

Is it giving great sums of money to the church? Is it faithful attendance in the house of God and volunteering your time there? Or perhaps it is knowing you are righteous and managing to let everyone know how unrighteous they are in comparison to you.

I would rather see what the Word says. And you can read it for yourself too. James 1:26-27 "If you claim to be righteous but don't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself and your religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."

It seems those verses say it all. Whatever is in your heart will pour out of your mouth. Is your heart going after God? And how you treat the afflicted says a big statement too. Do you love your brother?

The beautiful thing about God is we don't have to wonder what it is that He wants. Love God - this is the first commandment and love your neighbor as yourself. That is pretty clear, in my humble opinion.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Latest GF find

I have to admit, I really like organic milk products. If you have never tried a half gallon of organic 2% milk, you don't know what you're missing! It is more expensive, but I think the incredible flavor makes up for the cost. And for some reason, these products have longer "shelf lives". They don't spoil as quickly as their hormone and preservative filled, cheaper cousins. Interesting.

I was happy to find out that Stoneybrook Farm yogurt is now certified GF, without compromising their level of yumminess.
Check out their website It has all the details, alot of cool recipes, and some sweet coupons to print out.

It is always an ease on the mind when you can see that GF label on products you love to eat. Thank you, Stoneybrook Farms! I think I'll try your frozen yogurt next!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sparkie's makeover

Sparkie before:

Sparkie after:

He likes it!

Summer half gone......

Can you believe it is the middle of July already??? Summer is half over and I feel like it shouldn't have even begun yet. When we went to the local firework show, it should have start to sink in that the time is moving right along, but No!, it didn't.
We don't have any super exciting things coming up until August. That's when it will seem like it is summer. Got some birthdays to celebrate, then we're going to the Journey concert, then it is time to head north for a couple of days, then we got the fair, and then it is Labor Day weekend. Wow - that is all summer time fun!
How about you - has it hit you yet, that summer is half gone?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer showers

Dinner is done and the grill is off. Brisk breezes blow the white netting along the porch walls. The night is young but the sun has been overshadowed by the gray-blue clouds wafting in slowly from the west. A summer shower will overtake the town tonight.

Laying on the couch with no media polluting the air; silence is broken by the soft tapping of the drops on the back porch roof. Becoming more steady and swelling with the strength of the storm, you close your eyes to the peaceful noise of the rain.

There are no thunder claps or flashes of light putting on a show. Nothing fierce, no drama - this is a blue night. Just that clean smell in the air and the clear water replenishing the earth with moisture.

As night falls and the sun awakens the far away lands, the sweet summer shower calls you to a place of rest. Goodbye for now! I'll be happy to see you when you come again.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Legal Lingo

One thing that people don't like to think about is getting their affairs in order or estate planning. One way to do this is to set up a Last Will and Testament. If you have any asset to your name, you want to make a Will.

When you bequeath your possessions people, you can identity how it is to be disbursed with a couple of legal words. Let's assume you have two direct heirs. You want to leave everything to them and you want to have it split between them 50%-50%. What if one of them passes away before you? Here's where the lingo comes in. Basically put:

Per Capita This means the surviving sibling now receives 100%.
Per Stirpes This means the surviving sibling receives 50% and the direct heirs of the sibling who passed away (nieces/nephews) receives the other 50% share.

There are several ways to make sure that your earthly possessions get passed to the people or places where you want them to go. Since there are so many variables that makes our planning unique, it is worth setting up an appointment with your attorney to discuss your options. Take the time to plan - your heirs will thank you for it!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Entrelac Tote

During vacation, I had the inspiration to learn entrelac knitting. This technique is fun and surprisingly easy. After learning on my sample I posted a few days ago, I found this cute tote and finished it yesterday.

The 1st pic shows the knitted yarn before it is felted. Then the 2nd one is the wool being washed in HOT water to shrink it and felt it. Then the last one is how I laid it out to dry so it would have the folds on the sides.

Last night, I sewed on handles and can now use it as a tote or a purse. It was a fun and fast project. The longest part of it was waiting for the felt to dry. If you know how to knit, then I encourage you to try entrelac. If I can do you, so can you!

Fresh and easy potato salad

I don't know about you, but we eat so differently in the summer than we do the rest of the year. Fresh fruit, locally grown veggies & herbs are in abundance and they make a way to our table. As a matter of fact, I have a small herb garden growing in a flower basket just outside my kitchen window so I can get fresh cut herbs whenever I need them. There are some onions, cukes, carrots, beets, peppers and tomatoes growing outside too, but they are still a ways off from being ready to harvest.

Many thanks must be given to Alton Brown, since his show, Good Eats, has helped me understand cooking in a way I can relate to. I have tried making things that would have made me shudder before and have had (mostly) success. Can we say carrot cake, ribs, soda, and tenderloin? Mmmmmmmmm

An interesting thing has happened to us over the last couple of years. Premade foods in the grocery store are really starting to gross us out. I can't believe that people actually ingest so much salt, food coloring, preservatives, saturated fat, high-fructose corn syrup, and other things that cannot even be pronounced into their bodies. So, in the effort of not eating overly-mayonnaised potato salad from the store, I threw together my own and we think it is really good!

3-4 cooked and cooled potatoes, diced (use canned ones if you're in a hurry)
1 heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise (adjust more or less to taste)
pinch of kosher salt
a few grinds of fresh pepper
1 tsp. of fresh, chopped italian parsley
1 tsp. of fresh, sliced garlic chives

Mix together well. Chill and eat.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Good input

I was reading Steve Furtick's blog today. He said that you need to know who you are before you can properly serve. This is what popped out at me:

"Identity supersedes activity every time. Remember that next time you feel like you don’t have what it takes to do what God has called you to do. And let what you do flow from who you are."

This may be something that we know but we don't always remember. Getting burned out? Feeling unsure? Maybe you are serving beyond your identity.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

a sweet week

Here's some pictures that say it all. What do I see? Relaxation. Stresslessness (is that a word? it should be) No calls. No appointments. No e-mail replies. Ah, vacation.
It was one sweet week.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


This is something I have seen in magazines and as completed projects for sale in yarn stores, but have not had the time, or the gumption, to try it. As a matter of fact, about a month ago, I told my sister that I wanted to learn how to do this knitting. Entrelac is a french word for interlacing, and is also known as the basketweave technique. I found a very helpful web site that explained how to do it so I figured I'd give it a try.

After procrastinating a lot of time by looking over my yarn, messing around with what colors would match, finding the best needles to use, and just being generally unsure of what I was up against, I now have a feeling of success seeing my sample so far. I am really happy with the way it is progressing! I suppose it would make a nice scarf . . . but then again, every knitting project can be turned into a nice scarf. Or maybe it can be sewn into a cute little purse with snappy plastic handles from the craft store. Or how about a few of them for the kitchen as pot holders... Hmmm. If it's long enough, it can be the waistband for a sweater and smaller ones can be used as the cuffs and collar. Oh, the possibilities!

Whatever it turns into, Entrelac looks so great, and there are no seams to sew when you're done knitting. And it's a great way to get rid of all those skimpy blobs of left-over yarn that are laying around, but you just can't seem to throw out because it's enough yarn to make SOMETHING out of. Gotta love all that - I know I do.