Category Archives: family

Computer Gratitude

On Day 8 I’m thankful for computers, all computers. They have become so much a way of our life we often forget about them. Us mere mortals, hospitals, schools, law enforcement, airlines, travel agencies, and city halls, are among the few entities using computers. Of course there are small areas where computers aren’t commonplace, but I’m thankful for all of the ways computers have enriched our lives.

Recently my cousin Steve was in the hospital and his entire stay was computerized. Every time a nurse or tech entered the room to attend to Steven, or give him a procedure they’d first check his computer, instead of reading handwriting in a chart. Since some of the handwriting of medical staff is often illegible, this system of typing information into the computer seems to be a great improvement.

Watching the procedure each time gave me comfort, I knew Steven was receiving the correct care. Steven’s modern medical care reminded me of my cousin’s backwoods medical care.

It wasn’t really backwoods, she received the best care available at the time. The time though, was the middle of the last century. Despite her rudimentary care, she survived and thrived. Today she is a healthy, fun adult. The only lasting result of her computer-less hospital stay was the loss of her sight. She says that’s a small price to pay for having a good life. We are both grateful that babies today have a better chance of surviving and thriving with no lasting effects of their lengthy hospital stay, thanks to computers.  In fact, there are babies who faced near certain death before the computerized care.

Technology has come a long way enriching our lives. Computers are part of that progress.

The writer in me however, viewed the almost complete dependence on the computers from as a plot line in a story or two. I could only imagine what a writer of horror, suspense, science fiction, and the paranormal could do with a computer (working or not) in a hospital situation.

Since I don’t write in those genres, I don’t even dabble, I’ll leave all those possible ideas to others better able to craft such a story. However, thanks to the computer, those writers another possible, plausible, plot line for their stories.

The writer in me does appreciate, and is thankful for the computer for another reason. I can make changes, either typos, or idea changes easily with the computer. Making one little change doesn’t involve retyping an entire story, thanks to the computer. Plus, the computer has reduced the paper clutter in my house. Less clutter is always good. 🙂

What are you thankful for today?



Sewing and Family Thanks

Today I’m thankful for my sewing machine.

It allows me to make quilts for friends and family. I can sew on other projects that enter my little brain. The sewing machine helps me retain my sanity.

Any sewing machine could do that though. This machine is special, not special enough for a name, I don’t name inanimate objects. I guess I could call it Bernie? J

This sewing machine is special because it was a gift from my husband. Money was always tight for us, and a new sewing machine seemed like an extravagance to me.

I’d had a couple of used ones over the years. Then mom gave me a department store special. It worked well for several years. Finally, it was on its last stitches. In fact it was skipping stitches.

David told me to find a sewing machine. Yikes! Good new sewing machines were expensive! Prices started in the triple digit range, for a “cheap” one. One day in the local sewing store I noticed a machine on discount because that line had been discontinued. The price was still in that triple digit range, but at least it was a good quality machine, which made it an amount I could justify to myself.

I had no money with me that day. The owner agreed to hold the machine for me if I sent her a deposit the next day. I did. A couple of days later my daughter-in-law and I were shopping in another town and the store owner called.

She told my husband the price of the machine wasn’t what she’d quoted me, but three hundred dollars more. David said I still wanted the machine.

In the meantime, while shopping I had second, and third, thoughts about spending so much money on a sewing machine. I decided to try to get my deposit back and buy another cheap machine from the department store.

David had other thoughts. When I told him my decision, especially in light of the fact the new machine was now creeping toward the four digit area he said, “no, get the good machine.”

It’s not even a fancy machine. It sews fabric together. It does do a buttonhole, and it does have a limited zigzag stitches, but mostly it sews. It doesn’t embroider, it doesn’t sew by itself, it doesn’t come close to washing the dishes. There are machines that seem to do everything except the dishes you know, mine isn’t one of them. It stitches fabric together. That’s it, nothing special.

“But, honey,” I countered “It’ll cost almost $1000 by the time tax and everything is added.”

“Do you like that machine?”

“Well, yeah. But…”

“If you like it buy it. We spend money on other things, you should have it.”

The look on his face, more than the words from his mouth convinced me. I went to town a few days later and purchased the machine. I even splurged and bought a walking foot at the same time. It did cost slightly over $1000.

I know, I know. I can hear you all going, “What?” Especially those of you who don’t sew, and are thinking “that’s a lot of money for a sewing machine.”

Maybe, but it’s not too much money for a cherished memory. And now, I can sew quilts, clothes (sometimes), and other projects.


train postcard for one of the grandboys.






I’m grateful for both the machine and the memory.



On the blog here, I listed my children and family on my list for Nov. 1.

Part of my family.

They keep me going and make me smile. Every day I’m thankful for every one of them.

My three children call and share their lives with me. They call to see how I’m doing and to invite me to events in their lives.

My six grandchildren give me lots of opportunities to sew for them. They make me laugh. They add color to my life.

My sister and brother keep in touch, and visit. Often siblings lose touch with each other after the parents are gone. Not us, we still call and check in with each other, we still add to each others’ lives.

Aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and other extended family members all add to the mosaic of my life, making it more beautiful.

However someone we are related, I’m grateful for everyone in my family and hope I add to their lives as much as they add to mine.


Cooking for Thankful Tuesday

Today I’m thankful for the desire to cook.

I know that sounds strange. But, I’ve a passable cook, when I cooked cooking for my family I enjoyed the challenge of preparing something nutritious, tasty, and economical. Cooking for my family was almost fun.

In recent years, there wasn’t much challenge or fun in cooking for just me. My plan had been to cook a meal that would feed four or six and freeze part of it for a later date. Sounds good. Right? Problem was, I just couldn’t find the interest in cooking.

Instead, I ate fast food, or convenience foods, not healthy at all. Now, I’m cooking more. I’m beginning to enjoy cooking so much I’ve started a 60 by 60 challenge for myself.

I’m going to try sixty recipes by the time I turn sixty. As I try them, I’ll be posting them here. Since I have plenty of time, recipes may show up twice a week.

An interest in cooking is a tasty thing to be thankful for, don’t you think? What are you thankful for today?

As promised yesterday, here’s my list for November. Since I missed the first five days, I’ll be including them as the month progresses.

1 – My children and the rest of my family.

2 – Friends, physical friends, online friends, those nearby and far-flung.

3- Love, the world is filled with love.

4 – Memories, some good, some bad, some just are.

5 – My house.

6 – The desire to cook. Today’s Gratitude.

7.- My sewing machine.

8. –My computer.

9. –The internet

10.- Ozziemy little Cairn Terrier.

11. – The trees around my house.

12. – Traveling.

13. My husband’s retirement check

14. My vision.

15.- Sounds of life.

16.-The ability to taste.

17. The ability to smell.

18. The gift of touch.

19. Communication.

Yes, I know, I just listed our five senses, but I’m thankful for each one and didn’t want to list them all together.

20. The rain.

21. Creativity.

22. Special days.

23. Routine

24. Change

25. Fresh food

26. Laughter

27. Health

28. Transportation

29. My husband

30. Pictures

As I mentioned yesterday, here, Melissa the Williamette Valley Wonderwoman has a list of items to be thankful for daily and her list can be found on her blog. Some of our gratitudes are the same but we each have our items we are grateful to have in our lives. What about you? What makes your heart sing? What are you thankful to have or experience?

Mariam Kobras- Word Scraps Create Novel- Under the Same Sun

What happens when a quilter starts writing?  Scraps of fabric make beautiful quilts, word scraps create wonderful stories. At least in the hands of former quilter, Mariam Kobras.

Mariam has gone from sewing scraps of fabric together to form a warm, comforting, cover to stitching words together to create an entertaining, enjoyable read.  Under the Same Sun, is the second in The Stone Trilogy, and follows Naomi, Jon and those close to them as they try to regain control of their lives after the shooting of Naomi. The event  affected  them all in different ways. Added to the mix is Naomi’s desperate wish to have a second child and her difficulty in conceiving.

Mariam’s characters and situations, while figments of her imagination, are real and she could be telling the story of their lives were they actual living, breathing, people instead of just “real” characters from her fertile imagination.

She expertly stitches events and feelings together to form a tapestry that one can almost reach out and touch. Her descriptions are beyond good. She writes with layers, much like a quilt.  Each sentence another stitch in the written quilt, the story.

Mariam’s beautiful sensory descriptions of each new venue allow her readers, even the most frugal of us, to feel as though we’ve traveled the world with Naomi and Jon. Whether we are dancing on a lakeshore in Geneva with them, shopping at Harrods in London or decorating her house in Brooklyn, with Naomi, we are there. We can see the area, feel the smooth wood of the Steinway or the rough cobblestone road, the local aromas waft around us, as the sounds mingle with those of our real surroundings.

Real life drama fills the book and the resolutions are satisfying and make sense.

Sometimes in reading the story I wondered, “how did she know about that?” Because a portion of my life so closely followed the happenings in the book. There are so many real life situations in the book, that most people will be able to relate to at least one of them. Even if we have no idea what it’s like to be a rock star and have more money than we could possibly need.

While Under the Same Sun is the second book in the series, it also stands alone. That is you can read it and understand who everyone is without reading The Distant Shore, but why would you want to? Reading the books are a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

And of course, Mariam needs to buy a Porsche. How can she do that if we don’t all rush out and buy both books?

I am so happy  to be a part of Mariam’s blog tour, that way I got to read the book sooner. I’d been looking forward to reading it as soon as I finished, The Distant Shore. Now, I am eager to read the final book. Oh. My. Gosh. It won’t be out until next year !

This was the sixth stop in Mariam’s Blog Hop celebrating the launch of her latest book, Under the Same Sun (Book II in the Stone Trilogy) which hit the bestseller list on its first day on sale!

There’s only a few left, so order yours now, then while you’re waiting you can go to our blog and click the link to read the first two chapters for free.

But first, write a comment below about this blog post for a chance to win one of three copies of Under the Same Sun (plus some pretty gosh, darn, yummy chocolate)! You can get additional chances by following Mariam at every stop on her hop and leaving comments after each post. And hey, while you’re here, why not follow this blog. You won’t regret it.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, 10/23, Mariam will be visiting Carrie Bailey.  Join us there!

Check our blog for the full calendar and more details!

about the author: Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Mariam lived in Brazil and Saudi Arabia with her parents as a child before they decided to settle in Germany. She attended school there and studied American Literature and Psychology at Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, where she met her husband. She lives in Hamburg, Germany, with her husband, two sons and  two cats.

Join Mariam on Facebook,  her blog, and her publisher’s website.

I am linking up with The Nester during the month of October and posting about one subject each day (more or less). My subject is “scraps”.  Check out her website for other blogs writing on the subject of their choice.

Changing the Focus

Joining up with Lisa Jo at The Gypsy Mama and Five Minute Friday.

This is when we write for 5 minutes, using a prompt from Lisa Jo. Just writing what we think, no editing, what we think is what we write. 🙂

Today’s word: Focus


“Focus on the moment,” I told myself repeatedly. Focus on the good things. Focus on what you have.

I tried. Really I did. The stupid internet and my computer didn’t make it easy. It seemed every site broadly proclaimed the day as Sep. 12.

I didn’t think to take the calendar off my desktop. So every time I logged on to write, or play a game, there it was front and center, the date, Sep. 12.

Of course, the fact that the historic date of Sep. 11 was discussed, and memorials mentioned everywhere, on television, on the radio, and of course on Facebook. Sep. 11, was bad for all of us. Too bad Sep. 12 follows it.

Today is Sep. 14; I will focus on my grand-daughter, whose birthday is today, two days after her grandpa’s and her brother who will turn 3 on Sunday.

The twelfth is past, now it is easier to focus on the good things of life. The things I wouldn’t have had, had he not been born. Now, I can celebrate his birthday. I can focus on the good of knowing him, being married to him, and yes, fighting with him.

Now, the focus can be taken off the hole he left in my heart and life when he went to live with the angels.


Five Minute Friday


A Quilted Goodbye

        Fifteen year old Ceaira (pronounced sierra) is on her way home and the people of Henryetta Oklahoma are working to fulfill her last wish. Ceaira grew up in Henryetta and that is home to her. Two years ago her step-father had to move the family out-of-state to follow his job. Unfortunately family finances were not going to stretch to include the ability to return Ceaira to her hometown for her final resting place. While Ceaira will not be there, but will have gone to her true home, she wanted her body resting near her friends.

Her friends in Henryetta have done several projects to raise money for her, including a benefit quilt show.  I tried to line-up the three pictures at the top of the blog. As you can see, WordPress and I don’t speak the same language.

The first picture is a collage of Ceaira that greeted attendees when they entered the show. The middle is the sign outside advertising the show, and the last picture is one of Ceaira looking happy and healthy.

The show included a silent auction, a concession stand,  as well, over 48 quilts or quilt tops for display, and this hand embroidered, hand quilted lap size quilt:

Each embroidered picture is an icon from route 66. Also on display were these quilts:

A quilt of strips, using up leftovers to make a quilt of comfort and love.

More scraps. This one was a group project. Members sewing the strips, and the assembler would tell them what colors she needed to make it all come together and look like it was planned.

No, the one inch squares were NOT strip pieced, or sewn on a machine. She cut her small scraps into 1 1/2 inch pieces and hand stitched them when she had a few minutes. Before long she had enough to surround the other blocks.

I just love the look of this quilt. Combining log cabin blocks with fan blocks makes a fun quilt.

A fun quilt made for a granddaughter who was in a black and white phase when the quilt was started. As you can see, she embraced color before the quilt was finished. Each block is used twice, the pieces are turned making them reverse blocks. The blocks are all squares or half-square triangles. Definitely going to try this one. 🙂Love this quilt. It’s called the Underground Railroad. Before Saturday I thought the Underground Railroad referred to a sampler quilt made with specific blocks. However, the name on this one identified it as an Underground Railroad quilt. Further study, with a couple of other ladies, revealed that it could be a Jacob’s Ladder quilt if the pieces were turned different.

I’ll finish up with two Wedding Ring quilts. That pattern is one of my favorite, and the one I haven’t had the courage to try yet. I have some ideas, so I may try it soon.

Hope you enjoyed this abbreviated view of the quilts on display. The money raised at the show, and various other avenues in recent weeks, help the family fulfill their daughter’s last wish. In addition the hope is the family is comforted by the caring and love shown by the people who supported the effort. Ceaira and her family are in God’s hands, he just them feel our hands of love.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.  John 5:24





A Taste of Stillwater OK Quilt Show

Saturdays are for showing and sharing as this blog gradually get revamped. Today is quilt show day, I’ll be attending two shows and am sharing pictures from a quilt show I attended earlier this summer.

These Oklahoma State Quilts were done by different quilters all have interesting stories, unfortunately right now I can’t make heads or tails of my notes. That’s what happens when the photos and notes aren’t immediately transferred to the computer.  In the meantime enjoy these quilts made in the colors and with the emblems of Oklahoma State University, The college of Oklahoma.


Also, on display at Stillwater were these art quilts which caught my attention. Normally, I spend a few minutes looking at art quilts, because while they are pretty, and I admire the work and vision of the quilters, they aren’t something I have a desire to make. This small quilt series, by Jan Holzbauer fascinated me though. Luckily, I was able to meet and talk to her. More about these quilts in a later post, but for now I’ll share two of them with you.

Aren’t they all fabulous? I’m off to visit two quilt shows today. With any luck, there’ll be enough energy left at the end of the day to come back and post recent pictures with descriptions.  Next week, will be more photos from the Stillwater Quilt show, with descriptions.

Have a great weekend. Do you have quilting or writing plans?