Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Mason jar

It's so silly... but I love this jar. It's old, really old. Through our gardening years, it held tomatoes, wild grape juice, and applesauce.

I always worried about it surviving the canning process... I mean, this is not a perfect jar! It has those air bubbles in the glass - and it's old! But, it's still here, ready for duty. Today, the call to action is for making yogurt. An easy job for an old trooper.

Silly as it seems, that familiar jar with the unusual shape, the bubbles, the homey color, add a sense of serenity to a mundane job. All is well at home.

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever. Isaiah 40:8

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Prayer Album re-do

I started work on a new prayer album. The old one was getting pretty worn, and there were friends who wanted to work on theirs... so Saturday, we met. The tables were spread with papers, adhesives, and varied embellishments. We each claimed an area and went to work.

Although a lot was accomplished that day, I came home with an unfinished project. Tonight... it's finally complete. Yay!

Because there are always a few pages that I really like, I decided to do show-and-tell. Well, hmmm, I'm not actually telling anything, so this would be show-and... well, OK, show!

I noticed in the close-up that the center gem moved on one of the flowers. Even that will not dampen my joy as I start tomorrow, praying with a fresh new album. Life is good.

My meditation of Him will be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord. Psalm 104:34

Friday, January 23, 2009

What do you think?

I answered the phone in the living room today, and as is my custom when I'm on the phone, I looked out the front window.

In the middle of winter, when the snow is not so sparkly white and the sky is dreary, this is what I see.

Many times while talking/listening, I have watched deer play in the lane - jumping the wire fence, wandering in and out of the trees, or just grazing.

Today... I was shocked to see this!

This is not a dog. My first notion was that it was a wolf. He jumped around in the snow, looked back at the trees and was joined by a second... um, wolf(?). I watched in disbelief for a couple of minutes and finally had the good sense to get my camera. "Wolf" #2 had disappeared, but #1 waited around until I finished the photo shoot.

I did some checking on wolves: they aren't very common in lower MI; they look a lot like coyotes; they are bigger than coyotes, but I wasn't close enough to measure their height and length.

So, what do you think? Wolf? Or coyote?

Me? I think I'll stay inside!

For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. Psalm 12:5

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Goals and vacations

I am a goal oriented person. While other people notice eye colors and facial expressions, I calculate how many steps to go until a task is complete.

A few weeks ago, I set a writing goal for myself - submit something, somewhere, every two weeks. Saturday is d-day (deadline day), so that means I have been staring at my monitor most of the day... polishing a finished piece, starting a new one.

Fortunately, I have a hands-on project that I can turn to when my brain needs a rest. It is a crocheted little acorn bag that I found on this blog. I have no idea what I will use it for, but right now that doesn't matter. It is providing a necessary mental vacation. Besides... it is just so cute!

This is what my little acorn looks like so far...

cute little acorn bag
As you can see, there have been quite a few "vacations" today.

I did reach my goal though. An envelope is ready for the mailbox... prayed over, prayed about, ready to go.

A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Book treasure

A few years ago, my daughter gave me a book. "You'll love it!" she said. She was right.

Within days, I heard myself saying to friends, "Have you ever read this? You'll love it!" They did. But in the midst of all the recommending, I gave my copy to someone and it never came home again.

Yesterday, I was wandering through an antique store, ever on the alert for books that are begging to be altered. I was drawn to this beautiful well-worn cover.

I loved the look of it. I checked inside the cover for the price - $1! That's when I noticed the title. It was Stepping Heavenward, the book loved and lost years ago. The copy given to me then was a brand new paperback, so there wasn't anything special about it. But the copy I held yesterday was a wonderful antique, printed in 1901.

It's funny how things happen...two weeks ago, a friend at church asked me, "Have you ever read Stepping Heavenward?" She loved it and wanted to share.

I plan to read it again. The details of the story have grown fuzzy with the passing of years. And, I'm thinking there must be a reason for it to be brought to my mind and hands at this moment in time.

Have you read Stepping Heavenward? You should. You'll love it!

... and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Friendly faces

The thing about making cards is the trial and error period. When you go out on a limb, push the "normal" envelope... there is a lot of error in the trials.

A few days ago, I created faces with my non-dominant hand. By the time I was finished, a few of the faces had personalities... then they became friends... they are starting to have names. (I know... I'm a bit wacky.)

The group
Can't you just see these faces arriving in some distant mailbox? So can I! See? I'm not so crazy!

So today, I'm building cards. Haven't hit the right combo yet, but the search is so much fun.

Meet Lucille
The verse for the day stopped me short with the first phrase... I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way... Psalm 101:2

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Occasionally, there is a company that exceeds all expectations when it comes to customer service. When that happens - because it is so rare - it needs to be shouted from the rooftop.

So, here I am on the rooftop... shouting.

The company is Simplehuman. Several years ago, I purchased one of their stainless steel "step cans" for my kitchen.

It was expensive compared to all of the previous products that had served time in my kitchen. But all of the cheaper products fell apart after just a few months. So, I bit the bullet and spent the money.

It was the best decision. Kitchen activity was simplified... didn't matter if my hands were full or sticky, a simple step and the container was open and ready to take my trash!

Until about a week ago. I stepped - and nothing. I was sick. I was ready to go buy a new one, but I decided to see if I could order a part from the company. I emailed their customer service, filled out the info required (no date for purchase since I couldn't remember how long I have had it), and waited. The next day I had a reply, answered a couple more questions and waited. The following day, I had an email telling me that the part was on its way. No charge.

The end of this story is that the "step can" is back in service. The part arrived with directions so clear that I repaired it myself.

What a company. I wholeheartedly recommend them and their products.

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches... Proverbs 22:1

Friday, January 16, 2009

Rainbow in winter

"To see a rainbow, one has to have rain and sunshine. In the winter, water droplets freeze into ice particles that do not produce a rainbow but scatter light in other very interesting patterns."
Why, you ask, am I sharing this fascinating tidbit of info with you? Because yesterday, I saw a rainbow. Now, there is no doubt about the fact that winter is here. There are no temps hovering around 32 (more like 32 below zero), no warm front moving in... baby, it's cold outside!

But there it was - a rainbow!

taken through a dirty windshield
Though the top of the bow disappeared, and I could only capture one side in the picture, this amazing sight has to be shared. (And, FYI, the photo is completely untouched except for the arrow.)

Whenever I see a rainbow, I remember Noah and God's promise to him after the flood, "I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth." Genesis 9:13

A beautiful symbol of God's faithfulness in the midst of life's bitter realities.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Getting started again

There are sewing projects that I need to finish, but I have been slow in getting started again after the Christmas rush...

You see, I have this master plan that combines sewing and exercise. It is called stair stepping.

Not this...

or even this...

It's this...

My sewing machine is upstairs. The iron is downstairs. You can't sew without ironing, ergo - I get exercise.

I have considered moving the iron upstairs. I have room for it. It would even save some time. But I would never burn any excess calories if I did that. So down, and up, I go.

I'm sure that it's as close as discipline and exercise will ever get in my life.

Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Proverbs 4:26

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The snow storm

This is for all of you people who live in places that don't get snow... or who didn't get this snow... or who don't have to shovel long driveways.

Yes, we have a snowblower. It won't start.


Changing landscape

What a difference two months make.

The last time I submitted something to a publisher, my world looked like this.

Today, with another manuscript in hand, I stepped out into this!

5 inches plus!
The mailbox seemed to be moving farther away with each step.

It's a long walk in snow this deep.
Finally... prayed over and mailed.

It's on the way

Now I wait. Aaaah, the writer's life. It's a wonderful way to live.

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


On Sunday, the last of the family left our driveway... I am still floating earthward after three days of grandkids, gifts, and goofy times.

Some highlights...

Before everything else, Grampa always reads Luke 2.

The reading of the Christmas story
Apparently, some of us are really into recycling!

Is she serious?
Letting the air out of the bed.

The tag said it was the right size... hmmmm.

style show
It doesn't get any better than this.

Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Proverbs 8:32