Sunday, December 29, 2019

Wreaths in my future . . . and maybe in yours!

If you  have followed my blog, then you are aware of how much I like to make wreaths. This has been something I have enjoyed as a casual endeavor for over a year now. As I have been honing my skills and giving my handmade wreaths to family members and to various local charities for fundraisers, I have been asked by several of my readers if I ever sell the wreaths I make. The answer is "yes", but I haven't always had more than just a few to choose from. Now that we are beginning a new year and I have discovered that there are many people who like the wreaths I make and would like to buy them, I am going to go forward with sales on line and possibly at local events. I will be increasing my wreath inventory and will be posting them for sale locally here on my blog, and on my Facebook page.

I put a lot of effort into my designs and choosing the materials. I make each wreath with skill and care and owe much of my work ethic to the people who I have learned from, including my Aunt Mabel who taught me to sew and crochet, and my quilting instructors who have taught me about accuracy and finishing techniques. The wreaths I make are ones that I am proud of and would hang on my own front door. The people who have purchased wreaths from me have been very happy with them. These things, along with the support of my husband (and sometime design consultant) give me the security to take the next step to selling to the public. Online sales are in my future, so please stay tuned for that during the coming year. You may not realize it, but when you show interest in what I make and comment on my blog posts, it means a lot to me. So, as I start out on this venture, I want to say "thank you".

Now that the holidays are over, I can post photos of wreaths I made as gifts. If you want to view the photos closer, you can click on the photos and it will enlarge them. There are captions under the wreaths that describe them. Both wreaths measure approximately 24"x24" and are about 6" deep.

A gift for a big fan and his family.
It is now proudly displayed on their front door in anticipation of a successful run in the AFC wildcard playoffs.

My college-age grandson expressed an interest in the wreaths he saw me making when he visited this past summer.  He surprised me when he said, "if you make a wreath for me, I will hang it in my dorm room". So, of course, I was sure that he would receive a wreath. I used his college's logo for the sign.

Gnomes aren't just for the garden!
Gnomes were everywhere this Christmas season and my sources tell me they will remain popular for next Christmas season, too!
Approximately 24"x24"x8" deep
Local Sales Only.
Pickup or delivery location to be arranged within approximately 30 miles.
Let It Snow!
This  little snowman will greet your winter visitors with a friendly smile.
Approximately 24"x24"x7" deep
Local Sales Only.
Pick up or delivery location to be arranged within approximately 30 miles.

Thank you again for your interest and your moral support. Your questions and comments are welcome here on my blog and on Facebook. I read all of your comments and reply. As always, it is my wish that you and those you love are happy and healthy; and until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

It was 40 years ago today . . .

It was 40 years ago today . . . a cold December morning like just today, and about the same early hour as I write this at 4 a.m., when I received the call from my mother that my father was in an ambulance and on his way to the hospital. I gathered my things and my thoughts, left my dorm room, walked in the dark across the icy parking lot as the snow crunched under my feet, packed the few things I had gathered into my car and made the one and a half hour drive to the hospital.

When I arrived at the hospital, I stopped at the front desk to inquire in which room I could find my father. The woman at the desk looked down and then looked up at me. She looked down again at the papers on her desk. She looked back up at me, and through the window between us, she spoke to me through the little hole in the glass . . . like the ones at the ticket booth at the movie theater . . . and said, "Mr. Hawker is deceased". Any strength I had in my legs left me and I felt like I was about to collapse. I looked back at her and said, "What?" And in the same monotone that she had delivered the news the first time, she repeated those four words. No change of intonation, no emotion, no recognition that this must have been someone important to me, since I was there at six o'clock in the morning. I felt panicked and asked, "Where is my mother?" She didn't know was the answer I received. I asked her if I could use the phone and she directed me to a pay phone in the lobby. With my hands trembling, I fumbled for the change I needed to make a phone call, dialed my parents' phone number and reached my mother. She was sobbing, hardly had a voice, as if everything had been taken from her being. She spoke to me in a whisper and through her tears she shared her story of what happened in the past few hours.

I left the hospital, in a state of confusion, and drove the back roads to our farmhouse. It was still dark when I arrived. I went inside and found my mother sitting at the dining room table. There she sat, looking so very small and so grief stricken. She was in disbelief. She told me the head nurse asked her to leave because she was not allowed to stay in the room with my father overnight. He had been admitted only a couple hours before. It must not have occured to her that she could have stayed in a waiting room, so she walked out in the dark and on the ice to her car and drove home. The last words she said that my father said to her were, "Please bring my cane with you when you come back, Honey". She never imagined it would be the last time she would hear his voice. They had been together through every major event during their marriage. She was heartbroken that she was not with my father when he took his last breath. It weighed heavily on her because she had not wanted him to leave this earth alone. She could have been there, had she stayed. She was mad at herself and also at the nurse who asked her to leave. Nothing could be done to change it. It was a regret that she carried with her for the rest of her life. If there is any consolation, it is that my father actually got his wish that he would die in his sleep. My mother was told that he passed away while sleeping. That gave her comfort and she held on to that. 

I am sharing this part of my life story, not because I want attention or sympathy, but because it has been playing over and over in my mind this week. As the date of December 4th approached, I started to get very sad. It started on Thanksgiving. I remembered all the bustling activity at our house when a holiday meal was prepared. The arrival of my aunts and uncles and the familiar baskets on their arms with fresh rolls and pies in them, the crowded and noisy kitchen with hot dishes on the stove and hot discussions about how the gravy should  . . . and shouldn't . . . be made. And after dinner, the clean up and then either a game of canasta at the dining room table or sewing baskets and handwork in the living room while my father and uncles played cards in the kitchen or took a walk out to the barn. To some people, this may not sound particularly exciting, but to see my parents in a jovial and social setting was very special to me. To see them enjoying the company of their sisters, brothers and inlaws, seemed to bring them all so much happiness. They would often exchange books they had read and would pass them along so the others could enjoy them. They would write their initials and the date with pencil inside the front cover to note when they read each book, so when they were together again, they could keep the books moving among them, with the exception of one hard cover book that my father never loaned out. He kept Zane Grey's "Riders of the Purple Sage" all to himself and he read it every winter.

Some of the fancy dishes that we used on holidays. I have fond memories of getting these out of the china cabinet and still enjoy using them for special occasions. 

It is hard to believe that I am old enough to say these memories have been with me for many decades. As those who I held dear left me, the memories became more precious and I am glad I have them and can recall them. And as I contemplated writing this post as the date approached, I started to think about and value everything that has happened in my life to bring me to this place . . . emotionally, physically, philosophically and geographically. The effort my parents made to impart their values to me and provide a safe and happy home, the value of learning and trying new things, the good food that I get to enjoy at holidays and everyday, the beliefs and freedoms I have, and the place in the world that I call home all have great value to me, especially the home my heart has found. The life I share with my husband is unique and precious. It doesn't matter if others value the same things as me, as long as I can still enjoy my own life and my own memories . . . happy and sad . . . distant and sometimes ethereal .  .  . knowing life is not a guarantee, but a gift. Sometimes the memories are rich and sometimes they are mundane, but when put together, they make what I call my life. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I seem to have rambled a bit . . . or maybe a lot . . . while writing this. Without much editing, I will post this and send it your way. It is my wish that you will enjoy your memories, the old ones and the ones you will make today and this holiday season. I pray for all my readers and hope that you and those you love are well and happy. And until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.


Friday, November 22, 2019

Music, Memories and Emotions

While working in my studio the other day, I heard a familiar show tune playing in the next room . . . the love song that Tony and Maria sing to each other in West Side Story. My husband was watching TV and had stopped at the movie channel while surfing for a program to watch. It is a pretty normal routine for us. I quite often work in silence while he likes to listen to music or watch a movie as he chips away at his "to do" list. He can repair gadgets or put together items we order online from cryptic instructions, while I can't concentrate if there is a familiar tune within my hearing range. I have so many thoughts in my head about what I am trying to accomplish that if I hear music that has lyrics that I know, I will start singing them and then my concentration is broken. Not to mention, I will hum or sing the tune for the rest of the day . . . often to my husband's detriment! (Wink!)

But hearing the love song from West Side Story had a surprising effect on me. I became very emotional and teary. I had to sit down and take a deep breath. I listened and it brought back a vivid memory from when I was a very young teen. I am not sure I had even seen the movie yet, but I asked for the West Side Story record album for Christmas. On Christmas morning, I could see the wrapped album under the tree and I knew right away what it was. I was so happy and after all the presents had been opened, I removed the album's cellophane wrapper, read the back of the jacket and put the album on the turntable of our stereo console record player that was in the living room. I don't know what it was about the music that day that came out of those speakers, but I had an overwhelming and very emotional reaction to it. I cried and cried and my mother was rather confused by my behavior. I remember her saying to me that if she'd known the record would make me cry all Christmas day, that she wouldn't have given it to me. Of course, I reassured her through my tears, that it was a wonderful gift and I loved listening to it. And even though I cannot recall when I actually saw the movie, I do know it was when I became enamored with George Chakiris and Rita Moreno. The undercurrents of the gangs and the tragic story of the modern Romeo and Juliet were new to me. I was a little farm girl, living in a rather insular setting, where we were far removed from a city. But the story hit me in a place in my emotions and psyche that had not been reached before by any musical score. Was it the tension in Leonard Bernstein's tempo? Was it the instruments? Was it the key the music was played in? I think it was a combination of these any many other things. What strikes me the most though, is how much the effect of the music on me is the same as it was over fifty years ago; so much so that after my husband told me he recorded the movie for me on our DVR, I haven't wanted to view it. Not quite yet. I will need to make time to enjoy it with out breaks. I need to be still and enjoy it from beginning to end. Yes. I will enjoy it and have a good cry that will probably tire me out to the point that I'll need to take a nap!

I did a Google search on why music makes us cry and among the many articles I found, I thought the one linked below was good, except for it's abrupt ending.

Have you ever been riveted by a surprising visceral reaction to something triggered by a long-ago memory? It has happened to me only a handful of times, but each one is deep-seated in my psyche. For me, the musical score from West Side Story is definitely one of those memories. Another is the events of this day in history in 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated. Black and white footage of the news stories that aired for what seemed to be days and days evokes a strong and sad emotion from deep inside and it was when our entire nation was rocked from our foundation. There are personal memories and those that we share with others, but for me the feelings are similar, all encompassing and they always give me pause.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this post. As always, your questions and comments are welcome here on my blog or on Facebook. I will read them and respond.

It is hope that you and those you love are healthy and happy. I pray for all of my readers and until we meet again, it is my hope and my prayer, that the Lord will hold you in the hollow of His hand.


Thursday, November 14, 2019

And just like that . . .

I was amazed at the delicate pattern the snowfall created on our fallen arbor that was blown over a couple weeks ago during a terrific windstorm. ♡

And just like that, fall was over. The autumn days were delightful and I had hopes of more beautiful crisp and colorful days, until the weather made a very abrupt change to extreme cold and heavy snows. As I write this in the early morning hours, while waiting for the sun to rise, the temperature is in the mid-twenties and it is snowing lightly. It is a bit early for this kind of weather to arrive and stick around, and earlier than I originally planned, our fall decor will be coming down, spurred on by the weather. My husband and I agreed that we are both ready to begin decorating for Christmas. By our own admission, we are not fast decorators and if we want to enjoy the season, we need to have our house looking festive so we can relax and partake in the events that are meaningful to us without feeling behind and in a rush to decorate.

This idea meshes with my thoughts on being more intentional in my life. For many months, I have been trying to enjoy each moment for what it offers without thinking about what I will do next and minimizing the importance of the here and now. That includes daily chores, such as cleaning the house, as well as memorable outings with friends. Is cleaning fun? Not really. But as I set out to clean a room, I try to remember how important it is to surround myself with meaningful things and enjoy taking care of them. As I dust the pretty little dishes that I inherited from friends and relatives, I am blessed by memories of the those who I loved and of the hours we spent together. While folding laundry, I am thankful for clean clothes I can wear to keep me warm. When I look through windows after I wash them, I am thankful for the view of my neighborhood, where we watch over one another. I think to myself about the friends who are currently hospitalized and how much they would like to be enjoying the simple everyday things that I am doing. What would they give to be back home making their own bed instead of lying in an uncomfortable hospital bed, hooked up to gadgets that prevent them from even rolling over and getting comfortable, and having to ring a buzzer for help with everything they need to do? I am grateful, and as I take down the wreath I made for the fall season, that has a sign on it that says "thankful", I am just that. Thankful.

One more look before I take our "thankful" wreath down to make way for Christmas decorations. It may end up hanging on the front porch for Thanksgiving. 
Since I didn't post to my blog in October,  here's what the mantel looked like. You'll see we had some pet bats in the birdcage, but we liberated them so I could replace them with dried flowers. 🦇

And now, as we approach the season of advent, I will be hopeful. I have been making Christmas wreaths and have enjoyed opening up the storage totes where I put all my supplies that I purchased last year at the after-Christmas sales. It is rewarding to shop in my own stash and only go to the store if I need a certain color of ribbon or mesh. I made a few bases for wreaths to make the process smoother and free me to be more creative. With the base of a wreath in hand, I can view my ribbons, ornaments and signs with fresh eyes and often something will catch my eye and spark a new idea. As I complete wreaths this month, I will list and sell them. I had planned to have more made by now, but a few health related things cropped up for my husband and for me that slowed me down. Life has a way of doing that. However, I am trying remain hopeful and make what I can before the holidays.
Blog posts will be more regular now that I am spending time inside. In the summer and early fall, I tend to go outside for hours and hours. I lose track of time when I am outdoors. There is always something to take care of in the yard, as well as taking the opportunity to sit on the bench in our garden to drink in the view. I never tire of watching the garden grow. The song birds and the butterflies that kept me company all summer are gone now. When I venture out in the morning, the only sounds I might hear are the occasional screechy greeting of a blue jay or the sharp chirps of a cardinal. It occurs to me that the word I would use to describing this phenomenon is "acceptance". I need to accept the silence, the snow cover, the bare trees with their dark trunks silhouetted against the white background, and the time to live inside the walls of my home instead of outside in the yard and gardens.

One of my dress forms stands guard at the hallway table. The basket of dried hydrangeas beneath the table was a gift from a friend last fall. They are still in great shape and I love the shades of pink and burgundy on the petals. ♡

I picked a few of the blooms from one of our hydrangeas and put them in the birdcage for safekeeping. The Chinese lanterns on the right have seen better days, but I can't seem to part with them just yet! ♡

The birdcage keeping my hydrangea blooms safe. ♡

Thankfulness, hope, and acceptance will keep me intentional and grounded as I go about my days. I hope you will take sometime after reading this to consider what is important to you today and this season. I think you will find the simplest thoughts and smallest plans can be very comforting. We all deserve to be kind to ourselves in this way. We all know from experience, the world around us can dish out more than enough harshness.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to stop for a few minutes and read this post. As always, your questions and comments are welcome here on my blog or on Facebook. I read all comments and will respond. If you'd like to enlarge any of the photos for a closer look, you can tap on them on your screen.

It is my hope that you and those you love are happy and healthy. For those who are struggling with illness or difficult situations, please know I pray for you. And, until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

High Summer

The Garden in High Summer
The greens tend to become more yellow in the middle of summer and the blooms dry out a bit in the mid-day sun.

This time of year, in the middle of July, the term "high summer" comes to mind and, for me, it describes the sights, sounds and the feel of the outdoors here at home in Alexander. I pretty much live outside once the nice weather arrives in late spring. I would be okay with closing up most rooms in the house until fall. We could drape the furniture in big white sheets of muslin, the way I have seen in the movies when people close their homes in preparation for a long absence, and uncover everything when the brisk fall air returns. I like seasonal rituals and that would work just fine for me. As the cicadas sing in the bower overhead and the leaves on the trees start to have more of a dry sound when they move slightly on the breeze, I begin to get the sense that the summer is half over. And, as much as I love autumn, it does make me a little sad. The recent heat wave forced me inside for about five days because it was just too hot and humid to do anything outdoors, but it didn't change my feelings for summer. I still love summer.

In spring, summer and fall, I get hyper-focused on my gardens. We have such a short growing season here that many plants don't get growing and blooming until about now and my garden seems to really take off from July until the first frost. Yes, some of the early bloomers are finished with their show, but now the cone flowers, phlox, day lilies, black-eyed Susans, butterfly bushes and hostas are in bloom. The birds, butterflies and hummingbirds stop by and I am entertained every morning when I look at the garden while I have my first cup of coffee. Yes, gardening adds a whole lot of additional work with planning, shopping, planting and maintenance, but it adds much joy to my life. Gardening has taught me many lessons, just as my other hobbies of quilting and paper crafting have. I have learned to follow my own path, enjoy the journey, the surprise outcomes that come my way, and have learned to be more accepting of myself and what I create. I've learned to strive for what I consider to be beautiful . . . not perfect . . .  and not make myself crazy trying to make things look like they are in a magazine or someone else's garden. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. It warms my heart that my husband takes joy in creating our gardens. He cares about the things that are important to me and offers his time to help me work on planting, pruning and even shopping. It was at his urging recently, that we went for a ride and discovered two new-to-us nurseries where we picked up some beautiful things.

I can feel a bit of a shift, though, in my thoughts and I am mentally preparing to get back into my studio for sewing, wreath making and paper crafts. I have neglected my workspace to the point that the table has become a storage area, which made it impossible to use as a work surface. So, it is time once again to clean it out and reorganize it. I think it is a never-ending struggle for most creative people to get their work spaces just the way they want them.

Late afternoon rides in our old convertible . . . when the sun is lower and not so hot . . . is a real treat for me in the summer. We take to the back roads and enjoy the changes in the landscape. The ripening of the wheat to deep gold, the green windrows of freshly cut hay, and the tall stands of corn are a feast for our senses. Of course, this sometimes includes a stop for ice cream. And yes, as my mother would say if we ate a snack in the late afternoon, "it'll ruin your supper",  . . . but we don't care! If my mother was still here, I would bet money that she would eat the ice cream, too!

I've wandered around a bit in this post, not having a well-planned and thought-out message to share. It is a nice cool morning and as the day is breaking, I am consumed with thoughts of weeding, watering, and battling Japanese Beetles on my rose bushes. I can see bright sky out my window and will close here so I can get that second cup of coffee on the deck and look out at my garden. Now . . . isn't that a surprise?!?!

As always, it is my wish for you and those you love that you are happy and healthy. You are in my morning prayers and for those who are dealing with special issues, I keep you close in prayer all day long. Your questions and comments are welcome here on my blog or on Facebook. I always read your comments and will respond. And . . . until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.


Saturday, June 8, 2019

Spinning Plates

Melmac. Say that word to anyone who grew up in the 1950's or '60's and they'll know exactly what you are talking about. I think there was a set of Melmac dinnerware in every mid-century American family's home. Ours was light green. It was a complete service for eight with serving dishes plus one additional small yellow plate, cereal bowl, cup and saucer that was mine. I loved having my own little plate and bowl. I felt very special whenever it was set at my place at the table. For more information about Melmac, here's a link:

I hadn't thought of those plates, bowls, cups and saucers for a long time until yesterday. I reached up and took a bowl out of the kitchen cupboard to use for some avocado slices. As I set the bowl on the counter, it spun around on its base making a sound that brought back a special memory. It sounded a lot like the Melmac dishes we used to spin when we set the table for dinner. It was a funny little thing that we did to amuse ourselves as we made our way around the long formica kitchen table. But what struck me today, as I recalled the sound of the spinning  plates, was how much joy my mother took in doing it with us. As busy as my mother was in the kitchen, she took the time to play along with us. She could really get those plates spinning!

My heart was warmed with the memory of those days in our kitchen at home on the farm and I began to think about other things that I do regularly that remind me of my mother and father. For example,  when I clear my throat, I sound exactly like my mother. Sometimes the sound startles me. When I am pensive, I tend to fold my hands the same way that my father did; and when I am having a conversation with someone and need to listen intently so I can respond, I fold my left arm across my body and rest my right folded arm on the back of my hand at a right angle, while I hold two fingers to my cheek, and my thumb beneath my chin. I remember my mother holding that very same pose when we would have heart-to-heart talks. And it isn't only things about myself that remind me of them. When I was on the phone with my cousin, who I haven't seen in decades, I teared up when he uttered a very familiar chuckle. His father and my father were brothers and very close all throughout their lives, and at times, you couldn't distinguish which one was speaking unless you were in the same room. They sounded that much alike. When I heard my cousin's laughter, it was such a familiar sound, but one I had not heard in almost 40 years. He sounded so much like my father that it took my breath away and I just sat there listening and smiling through my tears. What a gift it was to hear him laugh!

A lot of what we learn in childhood and throughout our lives are not things for which we have had instruction, but from observation and mimicking. I am sure there is a scientific name for this kind of patterning. I don't need to go to the Internet and research it right now. I am writing from my heart and don't need a wordy definition or to spend an hour wandering around Google for specifics. What I am trying to convey is that we probably could stop and listen or observe our habits and find that there we are very much like those who raised us, including teachers, clergy, and even neighbors. Every time I wrap leftovers in wax paper, I make a fold along the top that I call my "Dorothy fold", after our neighbor and good family friend. I spent a lot of time with her and her family when I was growing up. While helping clear the table and put away food one summer night, she showed me that clever fold and I use it to this day. It is a funny little memory, but one I hold dear.

Do you have habits or characteristics that remind you of someone from your childhood? If you do, I hope that they bring a smile to your face when you realize where they came from. We never know the effect we have on others. I guess that is why it is good to try to be on our best behavior at all times, not that we can be . . . but I will leave those other learned habits and behaviors to your (and my) own private thoughts. What I say or do when I drop an open gallon of milk on the kitchen floor isn't the kind of patterning I am writing about! 😉

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this post. As always, your questions and comments are welcome here on my blog or on Facebook. I will read them and respond.

It is my wish that you and those you love are safe, happy and healthy. And, until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

April Showers and Sunshine

It finally looks and feels like spring! It has warmed up nicely over the past week, the grass has greened up and many of the spring bulbs have bloomed. Outside my studio window, there is a large lilac bush with tiny leaves unfurled and our forsythia survived its drastic pruning last summer and is full of branches of delicate yellow blossoms. In between April showers, we managed to dig holes this week on a sunny day with our handy gardening auger that attaches to our cordless drill and plant the bulbs that never made it into the ground in the fall because of the constant rain. We said a prayer over them and hope they will survive. We will know next spring. I have learned that if given a chance, most things in nature will grow, so I am hopeful! We have lots of plans for our garden spaces, so there is always something to do outdoors and the fresh air and sunshine feel so good on my face. The perennial garden is waking up and there are a few plants emerging. I spotted foxglove, delphinium, Asiatic lilies, sedum, and cone flowers leafing out. It is time to trim back the rose bushes so they can fill out. I waited to do any pruning, but I think we are past any damaging frosts. Let's hope so!

We completed our goal of 40 days of giving as one of the ways we observed Lent this year. We put items we wished to donate in a special box for the observance. For me, it has become a habit to look for things in ordinary places that I no longer need or want that could be a blessing to someone else. I am sometimes surprised by the things that are sitting out in plain sight that can be shared this way. The boxes for our donations are getting filled and it is a very good feeling.

And speaking of donating, I am so happy that I have found a new way to support organizations in the local community. My husband and I have always enjoyed putting together gift baskets for charity events. We know how much fun it is to attend a basket raffle and come home with something wonderful that someone donated. These events help organizations raise money and awareness about their causes. There will be two basket raffles in May to which we will be donating, but instead of baskets, we will be donating handmade wreaths.

The first event will be on May 5th to support the St. Jerome Guild at the local hospital. You can learn more about it here:

You Had Me At Meow
Approximately 24" across and 7" deep, this wreath will be included in the raffle to support the work of the St. Jerome Guild at the United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia, New York. Information about the event can be found above the photo. For a closer look, click on the photo to enlarge it.

The second event will be on May 11th to support Crossroads House, which is a hospice facility. You can learn more about it here:

Welcome To Our Patch
This handmade wreath is approximately 24" across and 7" deep. It will be raffled to support the work of Crossroads House in Batavia, New York. Information about the event can be found above the photo. For a closer look, click on the photo to enlarge it.

There is another wreath in the making right now on my work table and this one will actually be for our own front porch. Sometimes I feel like the cobbler's wife whose children have no shoes! I constantly make things to give away or sell, but don't make things for our own home. There is a long-neglected hand applique quilt that will be getting finished soon, too; and it will be for us  . . . to keep!

I hope that you are enjoying springtime and that you feel the gift of hope that it offers. For those of you who are in need of prayer, please know that I pray for my friends, family and our world every morning and include you in those prayers.

Thank you for stopping by to read this post. Your questions and comments are welcome. You may leave a comment here on the blog or on Facebook. I will read it and will respond. And, as always, until we meet again, may the Lord hold you and those you love in the hollow of His hand.