Saturday, July 14, 2007


Having yet another weekend off from work leaves me pondering what exactly I desire to do with my time. It's similar to how we spend our money, and just as important that we learn how to best spend it. My heart longs for the days that I squandered away, aimlessly pursuing whatever my little heart desired. I quickly am realizing just how precious ever fleeting moment of time is...

I, also, am learning to slow down and enjoy my life more with a refreshing bath after a hard day of work, a warm cup of coffee and savoring its aromatic aroma... especially, Millstone's Hazelnut Creme Decaffeinated. Yes, I've surrendered myself over to drinking decaffeinated in the early evenings as my bedtime comes very early when being required to arrive at work at 5 a.m., LOL! Sitting on the rear deck in the evenings, in loungewear or pj's, enjoying one another's company, listening to the sounds emanating from the watergarden, hearing the birds sing, and watching the sun as it begins to set in the sky. Seeing the sun rise and set is a rarity for me on days that I have to work, so enjoying them this weekend is truly a blessing from God.

Today's agenda is to spend my time puttering around the house doing a bit of cleaning. I never thought that you'd be hearing me say that I miss cleaning our home, but I do. Don is doing a amazing job keeping it up while I work, allowing me to rest when I arrive home, but there nothing as satisfying to me as sitting down and enjoying being surrounded by what I've accomplished and savoring those moments in a clean home. I so miss that! So today I intend to spend some time doing just that, wiping down the cabinets, cleaning my cherished home decor and knick knacks. I believe I'll begin in the kitchen and work my way right straight to the bathtub, LOL! Don is working until 4 p.m. this afternoon, so I'm thinking a short drive to some of our favorite places are on order... no real purchases in mind, just to do some browsing. Remember, we're still counting our pennies and saving money for a new to us vehicle.

Scott is still working our Jeep Cherokee and has determined what exactly the problem
is/was with it not starting. It seems our fuel pump was going out and required replacement, however, the reason it died so suddenly is that the fuel pump required more voltage to operate and the manufacturer supplies a 30V Ignition Control fuse to assist with that process. The problem lies within the wiring between the two... it isn't designed to handle the amount of electrical current required between the two so the wiring itself overheats and melts. Scott is confident that he replace the wiring, possibly bypassing some of the manufactures wiring, and replacing it with his own heavier electrical wiring. But before he decides to go through all of that he wants to hear it started and be certain that all the necessary components such as the headlights and brake lights are in proper working order. I don't know much more than that at the moment, but finding Scott, and him having the time to address the necessarily repairs is a blessing straight from heaven. He even managed to change the starter in Don's Ford Ranger this morning so it is on the mend once again. Don and I are however aware that these measures are only a temporary solution to a much larger problem --- we need a newer vehicle! So, therefore we're enjoying the simplier, more important things in life, and loving them! It's all in what you learn to embrace... {*smiles and waves} I'm off to spent some time on something very close to my heart... our home.

My Crazy Quilt Throw is beginning to come together...

I worked adding a few more patches to my crazy quilt throw last Saturday morning. I'm almost to the right edge and will have the center of the 50" x 60" quilt completed. I didn't realize that I would be returning to the workforce full-time when I began this project, so it is taking me some time to get adjusted to my new crazy schedule and back to working on it. I intentionally have left some small bare spots of the muslin backing showing here and there to be covered with some smaller scraps at a later date or perhaps some appliqued design details. My goal is to still continue working on this quilt, hopefully having it pieced together before the winter month's set in so I can focus my attention to adding all of the decorative stitching along the seams and in some of the patches.

On Thursday evening, Don and I took a road trip to the Dutch Heritage Restaurant and Gift shop, where there are a lot of Amish created quilts for sale and on display. One quilt in particular captured my attention with it's wonderful sun-washed fabrics, a mixture of a variety of width strips, with a ruffled border between them. The following day, I received the current Gooseberry Patch catalog in the mail featuring the above quilt so I "borrowed" the image from their website to illustrate a possible option for the binding of my own crazy quilt throw. {If you remember, I was previously drawn to the Prairie Point binding until I realized the number of squares I'd need to cut, LOL!} This option, I believe, will be a bit easier and accent my own more Victorian in nature throw, even with its more primitive and country homespun appearance. I believe it could be beautifully achieved in a crazy quilt patched border adding yet another design feature. So there is something else to consider, cherish, and love.... {*smiles}

The "Simple Life"

Working 10 hour days doesn't allow for too much time for other things during the week, but I was fortunate to be offered another Saturday off and grasped the opportunity with open arms. I'm desiring to share some photographs taken from our previous weekend spent with my family. Don and I had a wonderful time on Saturday having dinner at Bob Evans with Karen, Chuck, DJ {Karen's grandson}, our parents, and my brother Keith and significant other, Sharon. Also, to feed my "need" to spend some time with own grandchild, Alexxis, aka "Miss Adorable", Don and I kept her all day Saturday, Saturday night, and enjoyed the day with her on Sunday. I'm quickly realizing that I need to savor the snuggles when the opportunity to do so presents itself as the world is so interesting to a wonderful, full of life and curious 15 month old; so those moments are becoming fewer and far between.

After dinner with my family, we ventured out to Don's mom's and sister's home. This is the first opportunity that Elenor, Cindy, and Sammy have met my grand-daughter and they seemed to enjoy her as much as we do. She definitely captures your heart and attention! Alexxis enjoyed the picture window, the hummingbird feeder lovingly placed just outside of it, and squeals of delight could be heard throughout their home as each and every hummingbird visited the feeder. To add more excitement to Alexxis' visit, throw in Princess, Samantha's cat, lounging peacefully on Aunt Cindy cars and our little one's world becomes a place of magic! Needless to say, we all returned home, happy, content, and our hearts filled with love.

On Sunday, my family worked together to share a simple cookout at my parents. We set up table and chairs beside Dad's garage in the shade of an old tree, while my brother, Rick provided a canopy for additional shade. Even the ever-changing Ohio weather cooperated wonderfully providing a nice cool breeze and plenty of sunshine. Plenty of hamburgers, cheeseburgers hot dogs cooked on the grill, baked beans, cool sliced cucumbers, and a fruit salad provided a delicious meal, but the time spent enjoying one another's company was the highlight of the occassion. Of course, no family get-together is complete without the obligatory "family" photograph session so on to the pictures....


Pictured from left to right is my older than me, but the youngest of my four brothers, Keith and his significant other, Sharon. Next is the love of my life, Don, who fills my heart with much love and laughter. Standing next to and to the right of him is my older sister, Karen, and her grandson, DJ, who kept Miss Adorable entertained. {Thank you, DJ, and it was so nice to have the opportunity to meet you!} Behind my sis, is my wonderful father, John, and my mother, Elsie who provide the glue to getting us all together! Tucked in behind my mother is Me and towering above me is Chris, Amber's beau, holding Miss Alexxis Makenzie, and my grown dear daughter, Amber. My oldest brother, Ronnie, who has captured Alexxis' complete attention in the line up, and my older brother, Rick. There are more of us not featured, my younger sister, Mary who resides in Texas and an older brother, John, whom I visited last Oct/Nov. in Charlotte, NC. and many more children and grandchildren of those who are present.

A "moment" with Mommy

Okay, maybe a bucket of ice and cold soda is a bit more enticing...

Alexxis and her daddy, Chris

Family resemblances continues...

What happens when Daddy is ignored...LOL!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A Weekend Off Work! {Amazing!}

When asked if I'd like to "volunteer" to work overtime today by our production manager, my immediate reaction was "do I have stupid tattoo-ed somewhere?"; deciding to play nice, I simply refused and reveled in the possibility that after six weeks of working six days a week, I might be entitled to actually enjoy a bit of my life, I was elated! Somewhat confused about how I'd like to spend my weekend, either visiting Headlands State Park or browsing through antique stores in some small, but quaint neighboring towns, or actually adding some more patches to my crazy quilt, the decision was made for me via a telephone call received from my sister, Karen, the weekend before.

Karen and her husband, Chuck, decided to make a road trip from their home in Wolverton, MN to Ohio and arrived yesterday. Don and I got to visit with them for a few hours in the evening yesterday at Mom and Dad's. This is the first opportunity that Don has had to meet my older sister and everyone seemed to hit it off very well. My brother-in-law, Chuck, couldn't get over the "family" resemblance between our mom, Karen, and I and was in further shock while looking at pictures of my daughter, Amber, and grandchild, Alexxis! We spent a few hours catching up and made additional plans for dinner at Bob Evan's at 4 o'clock today. On Sunday afternoon, we'll have another family get-together at Mom and Dad's having a cookout. It's been almost 8-9 years since Karen's last visit home so we've plently of catching up to do.

In other news, Don and I had a wonderful Fourth of July visiting with Dennis and Sheila and their family. We cooked out over an open fire in the woods, drank a few margarita's, visited with their son and his family. We also spent a few hours watching and observing two American Bald eagles who have made their home near there. So beautiful to watch them, catching fish in the stream, flying in the sky, and perching in the trees. I've definately got to take my camera or the video cam recorder over on our next visit, they are so amazing to watch! {The picture above was taken from the internet, but hopefully, I'll soon have some of my own to share.}

Today, I'm simply enjoying the peace and quiet of our home this morning. I'm taking a break from sewing a few more patches to my crazy quilt throw before I do some much needed cleaning on our hardwood floors, spending some time throwing ball for Chaos, and enjoying our backyard and deck. Since returning to working outside of our home, there's very little time for enjoying these things, so I'm taking full advantage of this weekend. Of course, the additional income is nice {especially the near 100 incentive bonus I received that almost covered the taxes taken out from all my overtime hours!} but it certainly isn't everything. I'm definately learning to enjoy small quiet moments, spent with family and friends, watching an eagle fly, and catching a glimspe of Alexxis's sweet smiles. {*waves*}

*Edited to add* We also stumbled across a riding lawn mower for sale on our way home from Dennis and Sheila's on the 4th. After several telephone calls, we purchased it on Friday evening. Our Ford Ranger pick-up truck had it's brake's repaired, prior to the starter going out, LOL! The Jeep Cherokee is still being worked on and God only knows how much longer it will be before it runs again, if ever! Our jacuzzi is still broken, but all in all, life is good. We have our health, our family and friends, and are once again able to save up for the necessities in life - and are dealing with them these obstacles one at a time. Anyways, Cheers to a better tomorrow!*

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

It's Independence Day!!!

Today, I will celebrate... the freedom I have in my country, to worship whomever and whenever I please, to celebrate for all of those who have sacrificed so much, and enjoy a well-deserved day free from working outside of my home. Our plans may not be fancy, but they will be enjoyed, a cookout with family and friends and the possibility of seeing the fireworks late this evening.

Since returning to work, having "stolen moments" of time, borrowed here and there from my need to obtain some sleep, lol, leaves me rejoicing and embracing each and every little moment. I find myself embracing all the little things in life, catching myself saying, "slow down and savor this moment". I think about the the things that are truly important in my life so I can discover where it is best to place the free time I have and have come to realize that I desire to spend every minute with my family and closest friends. My heart longs for more time; time to be creative, to sew a few more patches on my crazy quilt, to write a hand-written and heartfelt letter, to stamp a few more rubberstamped cards ... just because.

Along with the issue of how to spend my time, comes the issue of money. With little time left to spend any of what I'm making, I'm certainly saving. How and what to spend it on is also very much in my thoughts. I'm thankful that we now have the things we need, the necessities in life, but what to do with what's extra. Savings plays a huge factor of course, but hey, I deserve to enjoy some of it, too. However, I find myself asking, "will give me the same pleasure later on as it does now?" I've done some "online window shopping" and what once ignited a fire within my heart, barely ignites a spark. I find myself often wondering and thinking that down the road I'll have more time but will I enjoy it as much then as I seem to now? I worry that my interests my change, that somehow I'll not find the inspiration when the time is there, so I'm not stock-piling anything new, but the desire to do so, still lingers. I have reached some clarity in that I need to use what I have, and purchase very little and only for the things that I truly desire to create. Realizing this, has been so very liberating! It's freed me from the desire to hoard, LOL!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Twenty-seven years ago...

I gave birth to the most precious, beautiful baby girl. Little did I know then just how much having a child would enrich my life, fill my heart and my life with more love in one lifetime than my heart would ever fully be able to contain. As my baby girl continued to bloom, grow, and thrive so did my heart and my life. I saw life once again through the eyes of a child, I made discoveries all over again and pondered more on the mysteries and the meaning of life. As the years passed by, we celebrated the smallest triumphs, overcame some of our greatest fears together, and held one another a little more closely through it all. And today, we will celebrate once again; thanking God for the life he has so generously blessed us both with. We'll celebrate each and every tear, be more thankful for the smiles, and look forward to each new step that we'll make together into the future. Amber, I love you, more than the sun, moon, and all the stars in the heavens and I wish you the most beautiful birthday. May it be more than you could ever possibly imagine and bless your life as much as your life has blessed mine.

Love, Mom