Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!  It's a snowy one in central Illinois but it's beautiful.  I didn't take this picture but I love it and thought it was appropriate for this day!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Please Pray For Baby Tenlee

See the precious baby in the button on my sidebar?  Her name is Tenlee.  Linda from Prairie Flower Farm has been asking for prayer for Tenlee.  This is what Linda wrote:   She had heart surgery on Monday January 25, everything went wonderful and all day she responded very well. On Tuesday Morning the respiratory tech went to give her a breathing treatment and the machine got reversed and sucked all the air from her lungs. This stopped her heart. They put her on life support and gave her 50-50 chance of surviving. Thank you ladies for praying. 

Thank you for praying - I know it is appreciated!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It Could Be A New Record

I think I have set a new record for being away from my blog - 4 months is a long time!  I am having so much fun being back "home" that I just have let a few things go.

I am settled in my job and finally have my own place to live.  I moved into a small, 2 bedroom duplex the week before Christmas and am now in the process of decorating.  Or, maybe I should say, collecting home furnishings.  Since I don't have a garage most of the painting projects are going to have to wait until Spring.  I will have lots of before and after pictures to share.

When I left Washington, I only packed the necessities and things dear to my heart.  I have had to completely start over with furniture and many things like pots and pans, glasses, towels, washcloths, etc - the daily stuff that we just take for granted.  I am so grateful to my family and friends for their donations to my new home.  My brother and sister-in-law got a new flat screen TV for Christmas and I got their old one and the entertainment center.  My sister took me shopping for things for my living room and bathroom.  My bedroom outfit belonged to the parents of a high school friend.  Other things I have collected from used furniture stores and garage sales.

I love, love, love my new shower curtain.  It is Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic from Target and is pale gray cotton with vertical columns of white roses.  I even got the "bling" rhinestone shower curtain rings and darker gray rugs for the floor.  Now the walls will need to be painted as the tan color really shows a yellow cast next to the gray.

The bedroom outfit I got is mid-century blonde straight from the 50's or 60's.  When I get done with it, it will be a satin black with brushed nickel pulls.  I think it's going to look great with a pink and white rose theme.  I have a gorgeous quilt all picked out and am deciding what I want to do for window coverings - right now I have bath towels nailed up at the windows!

My sister and I have decided to open a booth at a local craft/antique mall.  I will start with my soap and things, she will add furniture that she has collected and wants to get rid of.  I will be on the hunt for things to "pretty up" and hope to be sharing pictures of that too.  It's been a long time since I've redone any furniture and made pretties - I am excited about our new venture.

Life is so good!  I do miss both of the girls and my grandkids, but I am so much happier here.  I truly did not realize how depressed and unhappy I was.  It had been going on for so long that it had become "normal".  It wasn't normal and now I know that.  It feels good to laugh, be happy and have things to look forward to.  God has blessed me beyond measure!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Finally Home!

I finally made it home to Illinois!  I arrived in St. Louis on August 24th to 100 degrees and high humidity.  By the time I got off the plane, got my luggage and got to a waiting car, I was drenched!  Welcome to mid-west weather.

I stayed in St. Louis for two days to visit a friend and am now at my friend, Pat's.  Pat and I went to high school together and had not seen each other for 40 years.  We picked up just like it was yesterday and are having so much fun together.

My car finally shipped yesterday and should be here by the end of the week.  I have pictures to upload but I won't do that until I get my computer set up.  I've already got some craft shows lined up and am anxious to get my soap supplies so I can begin working on Fall products.

God has blessed every step of this move, including providing me with a job right away.  I started work last Tuesday as an administrative assistant/part-time activities assistant at Pleasant Hill Village.  Pleasant Hill is an independent living center and also a nursing facility which is run by the Church of the Brethren.  I am working in the independent living center and loving it!  Because so many of the residents are from this area, I have met several that knew my parents and other family members.

Life is good and I wake up each day thankful that I'm finally back in Illinois. I have been blessed beyond measure! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Starting Over

I have been absolutely negligent of my blog for months now.  I admit that I have become a Facebook junkie!!  But I also have been at a total loss as to what to write about for a long, long time.  I finally have something I feel will be fun - my move to start my life over in Illinois!  Facebook has been a big part of making that happen because I've become reacquainted with so many childhood and high school friends who are helping me with this move.

When Stephany was 5, and my dad was starting to lose his health, I wanted to move back to Illinois to be near my dad and, hopefully, live a more simple life.  That was 12 years ago!  Throughout that time I have prayed and planned, begged God to make it happen, have gotten mad at God when it didn't happen, and, finally, resolved myself to the fact that it probably never would happen.  I never gave up on the dream.  I just decided to quit obsessing about it so much and live my life where I've been planted.  I should know by now that when you finally surrender something you want so badly that God will step in.  If it is His will, He will make it happen!

Through different situations, I am now getting to move back to the place I love more than anywhere!  My car will be loaded on a flat bed trailer on August 23rd.  It will be moved, packed to the ceiling, with the things that I am taking with me.  I will be flying out of Portland on August 24th.  God has provided the way for me to be able to afford to do this and I don't have to drive 2000 miles by myself!

The bittersweet part is that I am leaving both of my daughters, my son-in-law and my grandchildren behind.  Stephany is staying with her dad so that she can go to high school in Vancouver.   I am praying that this separation will help her to be more responsible as I have a tendency to mother her to death.  It is time for her to experience some life without Mom being there to "help".   I will get to see her at Christmas break, but I'm sure it's going to be a long four months for us.  Missy and I have only been apart for 6 months of her life when I moved out here and she lived with her dad in Iowa.  I have never been apart from my grandkids.  I will now find out what it is like to be a long distance Nana.  Emma just turned one and it so easy for them to forget you at that age. All of us will be on Skype a lot!!  Especially so that Emma can see her Nana and, hopefully, will remember who I am.  I get teary just thinking about the goodbyes!

I haven't been good about pictures in the past, but I got a new camera for Christmas and I plan on using it a lot to document everything. I hope that you'll stop by so you can read about my new adventures.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quick and Easy Pillowcase

Isn't this pillowcase cute?  I just love red and blue together - it is so 50's looking.  The fun part about this pillowcase is there are no exposed seams and it can be made in about 20 minutes.  Plus you get to use ribbon!!  Bonnie (we "met" when she bought a Quilter's Lotion Bar from my Etsy shop) from B. Clef Handmade Accessories is the maker of this adorable pillowcase and you can find the tutorial on her blog, Wonderfully Awkward.

I will be hitting my fabric stash tomorrow to see what I can come up.  I know that I have some beautiful vintage ribbon that needs to be shown off on one of the pillowcases!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Shabby Apple Giveaway

Katy at The Country Blossom is hosting a giveaway from Shabby Apple.  You could win this beautiful dress called Spanish Steps!  Please visit Katy's blog and find out how to be entered.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Breathe Easy All Purpose Cleaner

I was looking through my recipe files and found this one for a great breathe easy all purpose cleaner.  This a recipe that I got from a book by Sandy Maine.  I did make changes to the recipe and show those.  It works great and smells so good.  It actually makes me want to clean and that's something to say!  The recipe uses essential oils of sweet orange, peppermint and tea tree.  I have also substituted lavender essential oil for the sweet orange.  The benefits of the essential oils are the aromatherapy, sweet orange will cut grease, peppermint and tea tree disinfect.  An added plus is that these will actually keep bugs away - bugs don't like sweet orange or lavender.

If you decide to use this recipe on a regular basis I would recommend ordering your essential oils from a supplier.  You can get them in a natural foods store but they are horribly expensive.  Wholesale Supplies Plus is one of my favorite suppliers.  There is a $30 minimum order but shipping is included in the pricing.

I store the cleaner in a gallon milk jug.  It will separate after standing and sometimes will get thick.  I just shake and will add a little water to the jug if necessary.


Disinfecting Soft Soap (Herbal Homekeeping by Sandy Maine)

5 cups grated castile soap (I made my own but you could use a natural castile from the store like Kirks)
1/2 cup baking soda
1 tsp borax
6 cups hot water
1 tsp eucalyptus essential oil (I used 1 tbsp sweet orange, 1/2 tbsp peppermint, 1 tsp tea tree -- I like the scent stronger)

Put grated soap into a 3 quart stainless saucepan and add hot water. Simmer for 15 minutes on low heat. Remove from heat and add baking soda, borax, and essential oils. (NOTE: Here's the adjustments that I made to this recipe): Use a larger pot than 3 quart because when you add the baking soda and borax it will foam a lot (ask me how I know this -- had cleaner all over the stove). In fact, in my notes I wrote to let the soap and water cool for 10 minutes before adding baking soda and borax. I also am waiting to add essential oils until the mixture cools below 140 degrees, otherwise the essential oils will just evaporate from the heat.

Store in a labeled plastic jug or squirt bottle. Shake before using (mixture will separate after it sits). I use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup per gallon of water when cleaning counters, floors, fixtures, refrigerator, etc.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Sinner Saved By Grace

I've gotten in the habit of watching gospel music videos on Saturday evenings.  I love the Gaither Vocal Band and they are definitely my favorites.  I found this song tonight and it just touched my heart so much.

This song is my story - I am a sinner saved by the grace of God.  If you could have seen where I started and where I am now you would understand the power of God's saving grace.  I was an angry, bitter woman.  A heathen who loved to run around, drink, swear and I thought that was life. I was in a horrible marriage to an abusive man and had a 16 year old daughter who was pregnant.  I had nothing to lean on except myself and I was angry all the time.

I accepted the Lord when I was 15 years old in a little Baptist church in Virden, IL.  But I didn't live my life for Christ.  I continued in my sinful ways for many years.  In 1986 a co-worker asked me to go to church with her and her husband.  I was raised a Methodist and, while it was a wonderful church, it was not a Bible teaching church.  We never read the Bible at home and it was rarely taught from on Sunday morning.  When I walked into the Nazarene church with my friend I wondered what in the world I had gotten into.  These people were carrying Bibles, they were raising their hands in praise, and they said "Amen" whenever they agreed with the pastor's teachings.  That was not how people were supposed to act in church, or at least that is what I thought.

I continued to attend the church, bought a Bible, and found the joy of learning from God's word.  When the pastor would teach I would soak it up like a sponge.  On Easter Sunday 1987 I re-dedicated my life to the Lord and I have been living for Him ever since.  This song just brings tears to my eyes because I realize that without the power of the Holy Spirit and God's grace I would still be that angry, bitter woman.  That doesn't mean I'm perfect.  I am very far from that.  But the freedom that I enjoy in Christ allows me the opportunity to ask for forgiveness every day and I know that I will be forgiven.  What a joyful life I have now!!  I thank God for His loving mercy and for caring enough about an old sinner like me to send His son Jesus Christ to die for my sins.  It is the greatest gift I have ever been given.