Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another Really Bad Video, Oh, and I May Be Giving Up Dairy

Lately I have been so tired, it seems I'm OK in the morning, but by about 2 o'clock, I am just dragging. Worst of all, my head seems to be all in a fog, I just can't concentrate on anything, I find myself just wandering around the house, not knowing what to do with myself. I feel pretty much useless all afternoon. Maybe I need to give up dairy or sugar or something... Naaah, I've got some fresh peaches here that I was going to use for homemade ice cream, so that wouldn't work.... I could try getting more exercise, but it's kind of hot out there.... Cut down on salt? Drink more water? See a shrink? If anyone has any suggestions about how to get my head out of the fog, please let me know.

Anyway, I was on YouTube the other day, and considering that there are, like, 8 kajillion videos out there, I find that there are very few that I find appropriate to post on this blog- go figure (and obviously, my standards aren't really all that high...) But I did find this one, a REALLY BAD music video, not quite as strange or Swedish as the last REALLY BAD video that I posted here, but still pretty BAD. (Have I mentioned that it's BAD??)
Sadly, the guy in it thinks it's really cool.... You know, I had some hair and clothes in the 70's and 80's that I thought were really cool, now looking back I wonder- WHAT WAS I THINKING??? Did you have a favorite outfit that now just makes you cringe? And let us ask ourselves- what are we wearing today that we think looks really fabulous that will make us just want to die when we look back at it in 20 or 30 years?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lazy Lazy Summer Days

I am working on a new quilt with these fabrics, very different from what I usually do. But I got this idea in my head, and when I headed out for fabric, these were just perfect. Now I just gotta get it done! I really seem to work better under pressure, and I'm kind of in "summer" mode- even though I haven't been in school for many many (many) years, I still kind of feel like summer is the time to kick back. And with no big shows or anything coming up in the near future, it's easy to feel like there's no hurry to get things done. I'm not sitting around doing nothing, but I sure seem to be less efficient and productive. I can't believe summer will be over in just about 4 weeks- honestly, where does time go?

I am also working on adding more stuff to my website, I just added a few recipes with lots of photos. And we're having company for dinner tonight, so if things work out, 1 or 2 of those recipes might show up on the website as well.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the blog giveaway is...... Lana! Whoo hoo! Congratulations, Lana!

Well, the kids are out all day, till after dinner, with their grandparents, so I have a whole day to myself.... Funny, these days I look forward to can kind of get overwhelming- what do I do with all this time?! I'm sure I'll find something to do!!!! I have a new quilt I started working on yesterday that I'll try to finish, some new design ideas to work on, some photography to do (though it's pretty cloudy today, so maybe I'll put that off for another day), the dog to let in, let out, let in, let out........ Then maybe hubby and I will go out to a quiet dinner, just the 2 of us, and then go get the kids. Sounds like a pretty good day, guess I'd better get to it!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Maybe Not So Sensible.....

I just love the Jane Austen era, also known as the Regency era (by the way, I just found that out a couple of months ago, quite by accident, so don't think I'm real smart or anything). I especially love the clothing, I can just watch the movies over and over again (this weekend I watched Pride and Prejudice on Oxygen 1 1/2 times, with the commercials, even though I own it on DVD, and I've seen it at least 10 times- what's wrong with me?) Then again, I consider my husband and children's slight obsession with X Men and Lord of the Rings (yawn) and I don't feel so bad.

So a little while back I was thinking wouldn't it be cool to have the patterns to make the clothing like they wear in the movies? So I found these patterns and ordered them, and I have to say that when they came in the mail it was just a little like Christmas, there were little squeals of excitement. I even ordered the "Regency Underthings" pattern, because I wouldn't want my undies to be historically inaccurate, that would really be embarrassing. My daughter looked at them and looked at me and asked, But what are you going to do with them? I must admit, I asked myself the same thing. We don't belong to any of those re-enactment or dance groups, I think I just imagined that I'd make the costumes and wear them around the house, perhaps try on an English accent. And I guess I'd imagined that I'd make them in some parallel universe where I had time for that sort of thing. But in the meantime, the patterns are here waiting.... Oh well, maybe I'll just go make some tea....

And you still have 1 day for the blog giveaway- leave your comment to enter!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Meet Maddie

This is the new member of our family, Madeline, aka Maddie. She is about 4 months old, the local animal shelter rescued her from a home that had something like 50 unspayed cats. We had several names picked out before we met her, but once we got her, none of them seemed to fit. For seem reason, she seems like a "Maddie." She has quickly settled in, and the dog is starting to get used to the idea that she is sticking around- for the first couple of days, whenever Daisy saw Maddie, she had this look that said, "Oh, you're still here?" Now they can be in the same room together, even share the sofa. But Daisy is still jealous, she has been the "baby" around here for a long time.

Don't forget the Giveaway- you still have a few days to enter! These are fabulous prizes, folks- don't miss out!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Turn- The 40 Day Fast

Today it is my turn to fast and pray. Please also join Adam who is also posting today.

Let me start with this: I don’t like fasting. There, I said it. Now that that’s out of the way....

I don’t like fasting because it doesn’t feel good. It’s not comfortable. I’d really rather have the feeling of calm, slight sedation that a belly full of good food gives than the empty, hollow, gnawing, light-headed feeling that fasting brings. I like comfort. I like knowing what to expect. I don’t like surprises and I don’t like anything that makes me feel yucky or ooky in the least.

Of course, you know that expression about the box: think outside the box, get out of your box. Well, I will be the very first to admit- I like my box. I like it a lot, actually. I was thinking that maybe a better metaphor for my life would be that I like to live inside a bubble. But that really doesn’t fit because in a bubble you can presumably look out and others can look in. But in my box, I can avoid looking out, I only see what’s going on inside my box. When I take a peek out, if I don’t like what I see, I can close up the box again. And others can’t look through my box to see what’s really going on in here. Oh I might give them a peek through an air hole or something, but they’ll really only get to see what I want them to see, not too much, not enough to see what life is really like inside my box.

Like most of us, I don’t like thinking about the things that really go on in the world. It is too uncomfortable, too painful. When I really look at the lives that most people on the planet live, I realize that I pretty much live like royalty. That sounds silly to the average American, since I don’t live in a mansion or castle, and I don’t have servants (not even a cleaning lady once or twice a month, and believe me, it shows). But tell that to the couple of billion people who live on less than $2.00 a day. Think about it. Take your monthly expenses and divide them by 30 and see what you get- hundreds of dollars?

So anyway, this is the kind of stuff that I don’t like to think about here in my box. Because when I do I am faced with the responsibility placed on my shoulders through the Scriptures- From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48 Uh oh..... How am I going to live up to that responsibility? How can I, “just” a mom, “just” a wife, “just” a regular average person, change the world? The answer is, I can’t. I can’t change the whole world. But I am responsible to do what’s in my power. And it turns out that that’s way more than I ever imagined, anyway.

I am posting today about World Vision, specifically about their gift catalog. I love the gift catalog because it helps provide a tangible connection for the donor. If I write a check to an organization’s general fund, I know that it will be well used but I don't really know where the money went. Through the gift catalog, my family and I can choose how we want our money to be spent- livestock or seeds for micro-enterprise? Education for a child in Africa or China? Clothing and school supplies for a child in America? Clean drinking water? Medicine and medical supplies? The gift catalog is one stop shopping for life saving and life altering donations. And donating in someone’s name makes a great, meaningful gift for the special people in your life. If you request it, World Vision will send the recipient a nice card telling them about the gift donated in their honor.

For a couple of years now, I have been making wool pins and donating the money through World Vision’s gift catalog to buy sheep for poor families around the world. A sheep provides wool for warm clothing, milk for nourishment, and lambs for market. It is literally life saving for a family with no means of supporting themselves. This is a sustainable livelihood for the family, with tremendous ripple effect. Children are healthier, have the opportunity to go to school, then contribute significantly to their families and communities- you know what I mean. It starts so small, so seemingly insignificantly.......

The physical metamorphosis that takes place in a family which is given the opportunity to support and sustain themselves is unquestionable, but in speaking to Jeff Eichenlaub, New York Area Director for World Vision, I discovered something even more significant. Jeff frequently uses the term transformational to describe what micro-enterprise does, but he is speaking of something much deeper than the physical and financial benefits. In giving a gift of $105 to purchase a sheep, or $30 to purchase 5 ducks, or in purchasing some other form of livestock or micro-enterprise supplies, you can “send a little package of hope to someone. For people that the government and no one else cares about, it is like Christmas a hundred times over. It makes them realize that ‘I am not worthless, somebody from America cares enough about me to send me this gift, this hope.’”

Hope. For the cost of a couple of pizzas, I can not only help bring dignity to a household and affect literally generations of people, I can give real, honest to goodness HOPE. I guess that kind of is changing the world, isn’t it?

And isn’t that what the Gospel is all about?

Nik is a hard working man, but life is hard if there is not a stable income. Both Nik and his wife have been unemployed for fifteen years now. They live on what the land produces. Many times Nik and his sons have had to migrate to Greece and Italy for seasonal work, leaving the rest of the family behind. However, life for the Doshi family has been much better since the family received four sheep from World Vision's gift catalogue. Each of the sheep produces one litre of milk a day which Nik's wife uses to make cheese, butter and yoghurt. Some of the goods they sell, and the leftovers go to the family for daily consumption. With the income brought in by the four sheep, Nik has bought five more sheep. "It has helped our financial situation and it has kept the family together," says Nik.

Photo and story provided by World Vision

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Website Grand Opening/Blog Giveaway!

The website is finally up- hubby and I have been working long and hard on this, and we're pretty happy with it. We have a shopping cart and everything- yippee!!!

To celebrate, we will be doing our first ever Blog Giveaway. To enter, leave a comment up until 6 pm EDT next Tuesday July 22 (this gives you a whole week, folks! Make sure there is some contact info in there somewhere). We will draw the winner on Wednesday July 23. The winner will receive all of the fabulous prizes you see pictured here, plus whatever other goodies I can round up around the house! If you are a quilter (or would like to be) let me know in your comment, and if you win, I'll also throw in a pattern or two.

Monday, July 14, 2008

We're Back

Just back from vacation at the beach on Virginia's Eastern Shore (on the Chesapeake Bay). A few of the highlights...

Dog meets crab on beach.

Goats on beach (I kid you not!) Don't miss the babies napping in the lower left corner.

Illegal fireworks on beach (shh- don't tell anyone!)

Kids on beach.

Glorious sunsets.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A "Little" Art

A couple of "mini" watercolor paintings (each 3" x 3") I did a little while back.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Shout Out

First of all, do people say "shout out" any more, or am I showing how hopelessly dorky I am?!? Anyway, I ordered this necklace for my daughter for a graduation gift. It is hand stamped, you can get it personalized with any name or words you want. I found it at Lisa Leonard Designs, she has lots of cute, cute items- perfect for gifts (or for yourself). Love it! I'm sure you will, too!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Today's 40 Day Fast Post

I thought this was a great post for the 40 Day Fast today. It is by Jason Gray, and he discusses his involvement with World Vision (you must choose today's post date 6.30.08 in the left side bar to read the World Vision post). As I have written in the past, I have been involved with World Vision for several years, selling my hand made wool pins and giving the profits to World Vision to buy sheep for impoverished families. Jason's is a long post, but well worth reading. The posts for the 40 Day Fast have been inspiring, challenging, thoughtful, and heartfelt. If you have not taken a look yet, I encourage you to do so.


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