Category Archives: family

Beauty Surrounds Us

According to the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ” But it is so much more. As I drank my tea on the porch this morning, soaking in the beauty pf God’s handiwork, I thought about what was beautiful to me.

The birds chirping and singing, add a beautiful sound to my world. The flowers blooming are beautiful to look at. The Honeysuckle growing on the pasture fence add a beautiful scent. The smell of fresh cut grass is almost intoxicating.

All of that is beautiful, but the most beautiful gift is time.

Time to help someone, time spent with another. Today, I watched my son sitting on the tractor as he cut the grass in the pasture surrounding my house. The little pastures aren’t big enough to bother trying to get a baler in them, and I don’t have any cattle to eat the grass down, so the tractor it is.

The gift of his time using the brush hog on my pasture was made more beautiful by the time spend driving to my house. My son lives over an hour away, yet he gave his time, on a holiday weekend to come and help me out.

Time. A beautiful gift.

Today I’m linking up with Lisa Jo Baker and Five Minute Fridays. Rules are simple:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog’s footer}.

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.

– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/2013/07/five-minute-friday-beautiful/#sthash.shEOgHzf.dpuf

Advertisements

Quilts are Magic

From A to Z Blog Challenge.

I love magic. Even when I know how a magic trick is completed, they fascinate me.

When I was a kid (yes, really I was) television shows that had a “how-to” segment  would often have the next step completed and they’d say, “through the magic of television we have one right here.”

Now, I knew they’d made the projects several times and stopped in various stages to have examples to show. Still, I loved that phrase, “through the magic…”

Not all television magic was fun. Miss Nancy’s magic mirror was a fake. I knew it then, because no matter how still I sat, or how hard I concentrated, her mirror never saw a “Nita.” It had to be fake, that’s all there was to it.

What does all of this have to do with quilt?

Simple really. There are magic quilts. Quilts that start out one way and end up another. Quilts with a disappearing name, the disappearing nine patch, the disappearing four patch, even the disappearing sixteen patch.  These start out as simple block quilts, a nine, four or sixteen patch. However, the end result looks nothing like a simple set of same – sized blocks sewn together.

The Disappearing Nine-Patch. Starts with all the blocks the same size

The Disappearing Nine-Patch. Starts with all the blocks the same size

Then there is the magical healing qualities of a quilt and quilting.

Designing, and/or sewing on a quilt calms cranky mommas, gives them a little time for themselves and is relaxing. Snuggling under a quilt when ill is comforting, and eases the pain somewhat.  Sew days give us the magic of time with friends  to sew, quilt and visit.

Quilts are magical in so many ways. Do you have a magical quilt?

This post is part of the A to Z blog challenge.

 

Quilts for Kids or Keepsakes?

Yes, I know there is a multitude of quilt categories between those made for children and those made to be heirloom quilts.

However, since I have six children and six grandchildren, most of my quilts are either for a child (even an adult child), or are kid-friendly. I like quilts that are made to be used, loved, and washed. If they wear out that’s ok, they were made with love, to share the love.

Few of my keepsake quilts are true heirloom quilts. They were made to be used, most are simple patchwork quilts. These are handmade, hand-stitched, made by someone no longer with us, so they are special and worthy of being kept. However they are not what many people today make to be saved and handed down.

I guess I’m just too practical, I want my family to use the quilts I make. That, and I’m impatient, I don’t want to take all the time needed to make an intricate, heirloom quilt.

We need both types of quilts, those meant for loving and using, and those for saving and treasuring, using with care, and handed down to the next generation. Although, sometimes a quilt falls in both categories. I still have the simple quilt my grandmother made for me, it’s used and worn, but I have it.

My children also have the quilts their grandmother made for them. Those quilts are not quite as worn. I had more blankets available, which meant the quilts weren’t used on a daily basis.

By the way, my children, those six I mentioned earlier? Three of them are my biological children, and three of them married my biological children. Now I have six children. See?

Whether you make keepsake quilts, or kid-friendly quilts, I hope you enjoy the process and your quilts.

Do you have a kid-friendly quilt that has also stood the test of time and is a keepsake quilt? Or, do your quilts fall into definite categories, those that are kid-friendly and meant to be used on a daily basis, and those that are meant to be displayed and passed down to the next generation?

 

 

Learning about New Friends

Cruising around the internet it’s fun to meet new people. In the last couple of days I’ve met several thanks to the sewing/quilting challenges and a blog building challenge, also known as the ultimate blog challenge.

For the ultimate blog challenge we are attempting to post every day to our blog for the month of January. Every.single.day. Whew.

Since Mondays are about introducing you to others, quilters, authors, inspirational speakers, I figured why not start with me? Here they are, ten questions I borrowed from another blogger.

1.What was the Happiest Moment of your life –

When I realized my boyfriend, later to become my husband, loved me and I loved him.

David & Nita 1972 cropped

2.What is your earliest memory?

Going to my great grandmother’s house with my mother when I was three or four. The house had hard wood floors and I wore those patent leather with hard soles. I liked the sound of the shoes on the floor. Most of the adults tried to get me to walk quietly, but grandma, from her bed would call out, “Leave that baby alone.” Later I’d go in and climb up in the bed with her. She had cancer and the bones in one leg were practically gone. It had to have hurt when I climbed up on that bed and jostled her until I was settled. She never said anything, just smiled at me and then we’d talk.

Great grandparents

Great grandparents

3. Is there something about me that you’ve always wanted to know but have never asked?

Probably, but I don’t know what it is at the moment.

4. What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?

We aren’t promised a tomorrow and there isn’t always an answer. Some things have to be taken on faith.

5. Do you have any regrets?

I try not to. Every mistake or decision I’ve made helped make me who I am and I’m a pretty cool person.

6. When in life have you felt most alone? The morning my husband left. We’d been married 34 years and now God had called him home. All I had left were the memories and our fantastic kids.

7. How would you like to be remembered?

As a caring and loving person. There’s a saying about being the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning satan groans and says, “crud, she’s up.” I want to be remembered at that woman.

8. What does your future hold?

I have no idea. Fun. Adventure. Learning. Books. Quilts. The future is waiting to be discovered.

9. When did you first fall in love?

I thought I was in love when I was 17. In hindsight I was in love with the idea of being in love. When I met my husband I learned about real love.

10. Can you tell me about your first kiss?

Now why would anyone want to know about my first kiss? I was in high school; I really didn’t have much to do with boys until then.

There you have it, ten things you never you needed to know about me. Anything I left out? What about you? Want to answer that last question and tell about your first kiss?

Opportunity Knocking

The saying is that opportunity knocks. Of course, the saying doesn’t specify if opportunity is politely knocking on a door, or viciously knocking the door down, forcing its way in.

Six years ago Opportunity knocked the door down and came barging into my life. I should have expected it, it’s been a way of life for me and opportunity.

Beginning when I was a child and my parents uprooted me and moved across the country. Did I seize the opportunity to meet new people, experience new things? I did not. As life progressed, in spite of my lack of welcoming the chance, I did meet others, and have educational, even fun experiences.

As I grew, my parents continued to move. Often within the same town, Dad had a job after all. Still, they managed to move me into different school districts. Again, I did not relish or welcome the opportunity presented.

Six years ago opportunity once again came barging into my life. I did not embrace, or welcome the opportunities that opened in front of me when my husband left to go live with the angels. In fact I tried to ignore them. Meet new people? Have new experiences? Learn new things?

No. None of that appealed. I wanted my life back.

Opportunity however, would not be deterred. As in my  youth, opportunity was persistent. I have met new people, people who only know me for myself, not as someone’s wife or mother. I’m embarking on new adventures, having new experiences.

The chance to join meet new people and learn new things aren’t a result of not being a wife, but embarking on these new experiences are. The opportunities were always there, I just wasn’t ready for them. God saves what we need until we need it.

Travel Thanks

Whether traveling a short distance, 100 miles or less, or going far away, I am thankful for my ability to travel.

Yesterday, and today in many places, we honored our veterans, and those now serving our country. Whether they served in time of strife or peace, they were always willing to put their lives on the line for the rest of us. They spent and are spending days, and months away from their families for our security and freedoms.

The right to travel when and where we want is one of those freedoms they secured for us, and allow us to continue to enjoy.

There are many modes of transportation available to us:

By foot:

By bike:

By air:

By boat:

Even by animal:

Now, to be honest, I don’t use all these modes of transportation on a regular basis. I don’t even use some of them, ever.

For example, I’m not getting on an animal, especially not to travel. That’s a long way to fall and I’m against falling.

It doesn’t matter how the travel is achieved, thank goodness for the right and ability to travel.

What about you? Do you travel often? Far or local? What’s your favorite destination, or your favorite trip?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playing Catch-Up with the 30 Days of Thanks

Time to play catch-up. Again. Sometimes I think I play that game much too often. The last few days have been spent working on Christmas projects and writing, which left my little blog neglected.

So, today I will catch up on at least the last couple of days of gratitude. My list for the month is listed here. The last “thankful” post was for my computer, all computers, here.

Next on the list are, the internet, Ozzie (my dog), and trees. Here we go.

The Internet

Our connection source. The world has become much smaller in my lifetime thanks to the telephone, television, and air travel. These are all good tools to help us reach others, but they have their limits.

We only call, or receive calls, to chat and visit from people we’ve previously met. Seldom do we call a random number and strike up a conversation and friendship with someone.

The television is passive, we don’t interact with it and we view only what others want us to view.

Travel is expensive and time consuming. Whether we travel by plane, car, bus, train, or boat, there is a cost and time factor involved. Limiting how much we connect with others far away.

Enter the internet. We can meet others online. We can go to sites, and meet others with similar interests. I “met” several friends at Absolute Write (AW). We have writing as a common factor, but we differ in many ways.

I’ve even found quilters I visit and follow at the Quilting Gallery. Who knew people moved away from their sewing machines long enough to post their sewing progress online?

Then, of course, there are the social networks, Facebook, Twitter, and Pintrest that allow me to meet a variety of people from all walks of life. Online friends are an eclectic group, a more diverse group than can be found in any neighborhood, or social gathering.

The internet also allows me to do research for my books, or just for my information easily. The closest library to me is 15 miles and only open in the afternoon, my next choices are both 30 miles away. Doing research at the library requires planning (something I’m not good at), and travel. The internet allows almost instant (assuming it’s working) access to a larger research pool.

Of course, nothing is perfect and the internet has its flaws. Among other cons, the internet can cause people to abandon their real lives and families, that’s not good. But, for most of us, the internet has been a benefit and I am thankful to have it.

How about you? How has the internet impacted your life?

Next up on the list for Saturday is Ozzie my little dog.

Ozzie was a ‘gift’ from my little granddaughter Paisley. He was her dog.  Mom and dad had their hands full with their jobs, Paisley, livestock, and the new baby on the way, they needed a new home for Ozzie.

Paisley, of course, did not want to get rid of her dog. However, she was willing to let Grandma Nin take him, for awhile. It’s been three years. Now,  she’s okay with him living at my house.

Ozzie may be four years old, but he’s a little like having a two year old in the  house. He gets into everything that is within reach. Drop a pin cushion on the floor, or just forget and leave it on the ottoman and it’s his. I’ll be running the magnet over the entire floor to pick up pins, and gathering up what’s left of the pin cushion after he chewed it.

It’s common for him to hear, “Ozzie, what do you have?” Then he tilts his head and gives me that innocent, ‘what are you talking about?’ look.

Ozzie loves people. One year my dog-sitter was unavailable so Ozzie attended the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. (OWFI) conference with me. He loved all the attention from the other writers. Amy Shojai shared a video of him playing which Paisley enjoyed watching.

Ozzie makes me smile and I am so glad he’s in my life. Thank you Paisley. Do you have a pet?

Finally, for today, trees are on my list.

I’m lucky to live in Southeast Oklahoma which is full of trees. I can’t imagine living in a place without trees.

Right now the wind is blowing, hard. Not tornado hard, or hurricane hard, but hard enough to rock the chairs on the porch, and blow unsecured items around the yard. The trees buffer a lot of that wind. Sitting in the security of my house the wind howls and sounds horrible. The trees however, stand their ground.

In the summer the trees offer shade and relief from the blistering heat. I’m often the last  of my friends to turn on the air conditioner, because the trees surrounding me help keep me at a comfortable temperature.

Although I no longer climb trees, in my youth I did. Today the trees remind me of that time when my brothers, and neighborhood friends would climb the trees. We climbed and hid among the leaves, creating our own worlds high above the real world and our parents below.

In the winter, the trees offer refuge to wildlife, and the bare limbs remind me that spring and new life is coming.

So, there you have it. I’m almost caught up, and three things I’m thankful to have. What about you? What are you thankful to have in your life?