Bullets or . . .

Last week I opened my email to find a death threat. Whether this was spam or  the real deal is yet to be determined.

The officer asked if I owned a gun and suggested I might want to keep it handy and be aware of my surroundings. These words sent me scurrying to the closet to pull out my Smith & Wesson. I loaded the pistol with bullets my husband had stored all these years.

Realizing we were low on ammunition, I let my fingers-do-the-walking in an attempt to find replacement ammo. A number of calls later I located a store and told the clerk I’d see them first thing next morning.

I tucked the weapon into a safe hideout and crawled in bed for what I hoped would be a good night’s sleep. Before closing my eyes, I asked God to keep me safe through the night. My gun was loaded. I knew how to use it. I was prepared.

This is a wonderfully-written, true tale of fear and foibles by DiAne Gates. Read more, here!

My Grandmother’s Quilts

This is my most visited post, so far. It amazes me that folks come here, most. Enjoy.

I just want to tell you about my grandmother, Laura, this time.

I am a grandmother, and when I was little, I always wanted to be one. When I need inspiration, I remember my grandmother, Laura. Life is so different, now, though.

I know she was elderly because she had arthritic knuckles, gray hair, and a craggy voice. She wore a dress at all times, and she wore shoes with thick, high heels that tied on, sort of like men’s dress wingbacks, perforations and all. Do they even still sell those?

She sewed all her dresses. And sometimes, as a gift, she sewed my mother a dress, too. And she sewed the first dress I ever wore when I was very tiny. I know she made these dresses, because she made a quilt for each of her grandchildren. She did not go to a store for fabric for these quilts. No, she used fabric scraps from sewing dresses. When she made my quilt, she was careful to use many scraps from my mother’s and from my dresses.

I look at the quilt she made for me and I see the dress my mother wore to church in summer. I see a dress my grandmother wore. I see my very first, ever, dress I wore when I was tiny.

I don’t know how my grandmother found the time. She babysat three children, to make an income, because she was widowed when my mother was six. She used her entire, small backyard as a strawberry patch and put up all those berries or traded them for peaches and crabapples to put up. She made her own soap on the wood stove in the woodshed for all washing needs, for clothing, dishes, and bathing. She heated with wood or coal. She did laundry in the woodshed using a wringer washer and hanging it out in summer or in the woodshed in winter, when it froze.

And she prayed. I mean, she really took time out to pray. She would tell us not to bother her while she prayed, she would go to her room and shut the door, and she would pray.

When we visited her, we played with her one box of toys, leftovers from when our aunts and uncles were little. We loved these odd toys that didn’t do anything except prop up our playtime. She let us watch while she made us rolled-out sugar cookies in shapes like stars, hearts, and flowers.  When we asked for colored sugar, she told us it tastes the same. We didn’t believe it.

One wonderful time, I got to sleep with her because I was the oldest and probably would not kick too much. I got to watch her unbraid and comb her hair, which was far beyond waist length. Seeing my grandmother in her gown in the moonlight by the window, combing amazingly long and wavy hair, made her seem to me like an angel. I was in awe.

Then she broke the spell by rebraiding her hair. She never used a rubber band, but simply pulled a strand of hair and wound the end of the braid like a fishing lure. I was filled with questions, then. Why do you braid your hair to sleep? How does it stay in place with no rubber band? I don’t remember her answers, but only my awe and her amusement.

She died about 48 years ago. I still miss her. I still want to be like her when I grow up.

My Grandmother's Quilt

My Grandmother’s Quilt

Here is the quilt she made for me. You can see light red and white tiny checked fabric on the bottom, just right of center. That was my baby dress. It had teensy rickrack on it.

Just right of that is a sort of black and pink Tattersall with pink x’s. That was my mom’s summer Sunday dress for a while. It had white lace at the neckline.

Partly out of view on the left is a white with black swirls. My grandmother wore that. There we all are, in one quilt.

Sunday Scriptures – Dreaming

God, the Father watches us all everywhere.

God, the Father watches us all everywhere.

But I tell you, in this you are not right,
For God is greater than man.

Why do you complain to him that he answers none of man’s words?

For God does speak – now one way, now another –
though man may not perceive it.

In a dream, in a vision of the night,
when deep sleep falls on men
as they slumber in their beds,

He may speak in their ears
and terrify them with warnings,
To turn man from wrongdoing
and keep him from pride,

To preserve his soul from the pit,
His life from perishing by the sword.

Or a man may be chastened on a bed of pain
With constant distress in his bones,
So that his very being finds food repulsive
And his soul loathes the choicest meal.

His flesh wastes away to nothing
And his bones, once hidden, now stick out.
His soul draws near to the pit,
and his life to the messengers of death.

Yet if there is an angel on his side
As a mediator, one out of a thousand,
To tell a man what is right for him,

To be gracious to him and say,
“Spare him from going down to the pit;
I have found a ransom for him” –

Then his flesh is renewed like a child’s;
It is restored as in the days of his youth.

He prays to God and finds favor with him,
He sees God’s face and shouts for joy;
He is restored by God to his righteous state.

Then he comes to men and says,
“I sinned, and perverted what was right,
But I did not get what I deserved.

He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit
And I will live to enjoy the light.”

God does all these things to a man –
Twice, even three times –
To turn back his soul from the pit,
That the light of life may shine on him.

Job 33:12-30


photo credit: angel of sweetbitter 2009

LOST AND FOUND: One Large Closet.

Yesterday, I finally launched a work I meant to do last year.

And the year before.

Today I actually dragged half the contents of the master closet out into the bedroom and kitchen.

Kitchen? Yes; it’s a walk-through closet connecting the kitchen and bedroom. My side of the bed is exactly ten steps from the corner of the stove where the coffee pot sits each morning. Heh, heh.

just ten steps

Just Ten Steps from Zzz-land!

 But I digress . . .

There used to be no terrific place to put all my sewing project business. However, there was this enormously gigantic closet in the master bedroom. And we are the type that has a normal amount of clothing. So . . .

One new electrical outlet later, and voila! I had a lovely galley sewing room, with space for zillions of yards of fabric to hang on coat hangers around me. Excellent!

Except it was also still our closet and sometimes I put outgrown or off-season kids’ clothing in there. And schoolwork that needed filing. And large skeins of yarn for crochet projects. And gifts I’m hiding until someone’s gift-day comes along. And stuff-Mart bags stuffed with stuff I needed to deal with. And back-logs of un-ironed items. And a multitude of craft supplies.

It was becoming unnavigable.

So yesterday, I hit it.

However, I also needed to wash a couple of intricate loads of laundry, hard-boil a dozen eggs without ruining them, and fix myself breakfast and lunch on time, since I had a tutoring appointment in the afternoon. So I did all of it at once, listening to the washer while watching the eggs come to a boil, and taking bites of my breakfast and sips of my juice, between trips in and out of that closet, loaded down with boxes, etc., and at the same time, sorting contents according to what was throw-away, storage, or put-away. Also re-charged my cellphone, did chicken chores, and made a new pot of coffee.

We call it multi-tasking, and we are good at it because we do so much of it. So many aspects of keeping a peaceful home depend upon it.

Our home is not too peaceful, right now, though, but rather torn out and scattered, waiting for me to finish it. Oh, the worst is over; just have to fit a few things back in, the right way, then enjoy it again.

And when it comes to the soul, aren’t most of us also in that shape?


care to share a cup

Care to Share a Cup?

I just finished the most wonderful week, followed by an amazing weekend, and how exhausted I am! Does that ever happen to you?

A new friend visited me for a whole week. She stayed in our guest house and helped me with cooking and canning. One night I spent the night with her. What fun to talk like college girls until 2 in the morning! I say “like college girls” but really, we shared from the Word and from our lives like NO college girls I ever knew. I may be a bit too old for such a schedule, but it probably was for only one time, and was over too soon.

After lunch with an old friend that Friday, I caught up on shopping, found a new purse on back-to-school sale. No more BTS for me, but the sales are still a great idea.

Then it was off to our son’s house visiting with him and his lovely family, lunching on burgers and outstanding carrot cake, teasing and loving grandchildren, playing games; lengthening and strengthening the bonds we built in our son’s childhood.

Came home to view a large column of smoke rising from the woods about 4 miles from our house. Fire’s out, now, thank the Lord.

Then came Sunday, the day when we rest only from our own stuff, but highly concentrate on the Lord’s work . . . How I love the little church that has tripled in attendance since having a pastor, for a change! And how I love the one-hour drive to it, when I share my husband and he shares me with: NO ONE. Our talks have been so good.

That was yesterday, and we had a lovely visitor to grace our home for the afternoon. Made nachos and just relaxed together. So good.

Now it is just me, just this home. Such peace. Bed made. Laundry started. Cats fed. Chickens out. Headed for 105 degrees IN THE SHADE (that’s right at 40 C), today, down from the recent 110-ish week, with humidity from a brief rain last night. Air conditioner, set on 80, has run several times, already, this morning. Garden dead and tilled in. Jars of food all rinsed and stored in the basement.

Pear harvest waiting to be pear butter.

Second cup of coffee sitting at ready.

Join me! Bring your best knife and I’ll share some pear butter with you–it’ll be fun!

I’m Back–I think!

two minutes

Two Minutes

The long break has been full, just full. Doctor visits, 1000-mile trips in two cars, garden harvest, company, you name it, we had it. I never meant to stay away this long.

I have some new direction, though, and feel ready to finish what I started, here. Basically, though, the new direction will be posting about every 3 days instead of daily. Sorry.

However, all the excitement about my eyes led to the new discovery that my circulatory system seems to be in perfect health. Yea!

So, to start off with a big rush, let’s talk about multi-tasking. I’ve been doing some of it!

Do you remember from past posts, how long it takes to make a bed? The answer is two minutes. And that is exactly how long to wait after lighting your Lampe Berger. Combine the two and you have a tidy and lovely scented bedroom.

Instead of a musty mess.

Right now I am waiting, waiting, waiting for my pressure cooker to come to pressure. While I need to stay by the kitchen and pay close attention to the stove, I am using this time to catch up on blogs. I will keep at it until it is totally finished pressuring my jars of green beans.

Then I will damp mop my kitchen and laundry room floors while attending to some delicate clothing in the dryer. Do not want to over-cook these, as they become nearly impossible to unshrink and unpleasant to fold.

After that, it is off to the showers for me, where I will tend to the damp shower surround once I am finished with my self time. Everyone knows the shower is easiest to clean when it has had a good wet-down.

So how about it? Do you multi-task? Share with us how you get more than one thing done at a time.

And thanks for your patience and kind words while I was away. They mean more than you can know.

How to Take Care of Your Eyes – Rest!

Close your eyes and it will go away!This is my favorite treatment for every problem–just close your eyes! Maybe it will go away!

In the case of eye health, this is definitely true.

But no one tells us.

Study this set of posts. Link to them. Copy-paste them for your fridge. Someone you know needs this information!


When we do not get enough sleep, eye health breaks down. Do not let this happen to you.

1.  The only time your eyes get a rest or a chance to self-heal at all is when you close them. Open your eyes and they are on the job. Just as never resting would weaken a  soldier, so never sleeping could weaken the two guards you call your eyes. A good nightly amount is eight hours. If you cannot get that for some reason (sick children, etc.) then pay more attention to daily resting.

2.  You may need a timer for this one, at first. Every time you work for 50 minutes, rest your eyes for ten. This includes computer work, yes, but any reading or crafting is work for your eyes, no matter how fun it is. Give them a break.

3.  You know how tired eyes feel to you, When your eyes feel overly tired, try this: lie down and cover your eyelids with cool cucumber slices. Chamomile tea bags, boiled, cooled, and squeezed out, work too. Let the soothing compresses take you away!

So now you have it: Four ways to make for better eye health: nutrition, exercise, detoxify, and rest. Let’s all get going on taking care!

Okay, now comes the part we have to say in this lawsuit-happy world: This post is meant to inform and to satisfy curiosity, only, and is not a substitute for medical advice. Consult your doctor for information concerning your conditions. Much effort has been made to assure this information is accurate, however, medical research is always changing the facts, and new findings may supersede currently accepted data. I am NOT a doctor, only quoting several of them.