"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, December 16, 2011

last minute scritchies and last minute gifts

Today I received the 5 ounce pygora/wool/silk blend that I ordered from my friend who raises fiber goats.  It was a mistake to buy the first couple of ounces...  I'm now an addict.  It's soooo soft.  

I needed a pick me up since this morning I woke up with a scritchy throat.  I really don't have time to be sick! I did nothing wise today to try to keep it at bay.  I don't have time to take care of myself.  So much to do, so little time...  

I did finish a couple of gifts this evening.  Only about a gazillion to go.  I know, I should be done by now. What is the law that says that however long we have is how long we'll take?  So, although it makes sense (and I know some of you have mastered this) that you could be done a week before Christmas and then just relax...  Me?  I plot out how long it will take to finish what I need to accomplish.  Make the mark.  Then get excited about what else I now have time to make...  Actually I get excited about what else I can make when I realize that I'm about to make the mark!  This philosophy finds me up at 1:00am Christmas Eve morning putting the final touches on several last minute projects.  Ah well, that's me.

Blessings, Debbie   

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

on centipedes and advent

This is my stash bustin' stroke of genius... If you've seen it elsewhere, don't tell me or I'll cry.  I admit to seeing something similar at the department store and wanting to copy it.  But the eyes... those are mine. Knit in garter stitch until you have a square, break yarn at about 4 ", change colors, knit until you have another square, break yarn at about 4 ", change colors...  Just leave the 'legs' dangling.  When it's as long as you like, cast off.  Now, cut 8" pieces and tie 'legs' on the other side to match.  Sew on button eyes and call it the Centipede Scarf!

The first picture shows what it looks like wearing it's face.  The second shows it using the 'eyes' buttoned through the scarf to hold a shape.  Simple.

Our Advent Book by Jack and Kathy Stockman is a tradition that we've had for about 7 years.  When I purchased this beautiful volume it was a real splurge, but I was in love.  Now I wish that I had splurged double because I know 2 girls who will fight over it when it's time to start the tradition with their own children.

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along
Blessings, Debbie

beauty defined

Friendship is made perfect by good Mexican food... and presents!
This is a room full of beautiful people.  Some of the most beautiful people I know.  I'm even talking about myself here because when I'm with them... I'm beautiful.  Something about these people...

Monday, December 12, 2011

what I learned from the waltons

The other morning I found myself alone for a few uninterrupted hours and was excited to do a little present making for the ones that are always around.  I gathered my supplies and season 3 of The Waltons, put in disc 3 side A and watched the first couple of episodes.  It's the second one that got me.  I've seen it before and I like it.  Yes, they are all a little sappy, but I love the big old farmhouse.  I love wise daddy and mama.  I can relate to grandma who spends all of her time slapping away at grabby grandpa and pretending that she's irritated when all the while she loves her 'old man'.

So, at the end of this particular episode I found myself crying, and because I was alone I could actually put thoughts to my feelings.  John Boy has been 'asked' to tutor another scholarship student (who is in danger of failing) over the coming break.  He is outwardly gracious but inwardly he's frustrated to give up this time. Tom is embarrassed at the request and the time that will be sacrificed on his behalf.  They agree to meet after football practice (Tom's is a football scholarship).

John Boy invites Tom (since he's a dorm student) to stay at his house for the long weekend giving them more time to study.  Everyone likes the gentle giant and the tutoring is successful.  On exam day all is going well until the last question.  Tom is unsure of his answer and glances at the paper next to his to see if he wrote the same date.  John Boy sees.  Someone else sees John Boy see.  Therein lies the conflict.  The university exams are run by a code of honor.  There is no professor present and if you see someone cheat and don't report it, it's as if you cheated yourself... immediate expulsion.

Long story short, Tom gently but emphatically insists that John Boy turn him in.  In the end, the University's question is, "how can we let him stay on when he has broken our code of honor?  The argument is that this quiet young man (who wants to become a lawyer so that he can go back to his little town and represent the coal miners of which his gentle, uneducated father is one) who gets up early to work, stays late for practice and insists on justice for his friend is exhibiting honorable character.

I cry toward the end when I see the argument presented and imagine all of the injustices that happen daily.  I cry at the verdict.  I cry when Tom and his father (who though they have no money for travel, is present at the hearing) are talking at the end... but those are not the tears I wanted to remember.  I cried because I was thinking about all of the people that come across our paths.  Some to make an impact and move on, some to stay and become a permanent part of our lives... all making a difference if we allow it.  In uncle Tom's Cabin there is a part when spiritually sensitive Eva is moved by injustice and she says, "Such things always sunk into my heart; they went down deep; I've thought and thought about them."  Yes, Eva...

So the final summation by author Earl Hamner (speaking John Boy's thoughts) said pretty much the same thing... about people coming into our lives and touching us in a way that will always be a part of us.  I may be mincing this up a bit but it's what I heard at the same time I was thinking it, and just like Eva, it sunk into my heart and went down deep!  I was filled with that crazy joy that can only come from the Lord and the truth of His gifts.  He gave me a gift yesterday... and that's the long story short.

Blessings, Debbie  

Friday, December 9, 2011

frosted blessings

When I try to imagine what it would be like to be stuck inside a body that won't cooperate or is in constant pain... or with a mind that won't remember anymore (not like I've been complaining about lately but real loss)... or the rest of my years in a small little room with no windows, even if the staff is loving and things are clean...  I cry.  When I think to take the time to bless these people who live just up the hill from me... I feel frustrated that we don't do it more often.

Being as this is the season when we are more apt to look for these opportunities, I love it that much more. Being as I am a selfish human being... I'm embarrassed that it takes this feel good season for me to remember what shouldn't be forgotten.

Our Keepers at Home group made and delivered gingerbread houses to make the tables festive.  We were able to visit several of the residents.  Some were delighted.  Some weren't very responsive.  The girls were unsure but willing to grow.

We've purposed to come back with valentines for every resident in February.  I pray I'm never a forgotten one.  And I pray that I will be better about remembering...

Blessings, Debbie

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

fairy-tale pranksters

Well, yes, it turns out they are elves and not gnomes.  And guess what the little pranksters went and did. They got creative and played dress up!  Now one of them is a gnome.  The naughty guys had a bit of fun and what a job they did.  I found the evidence before I found the fairy-tale woodsman.  Apparently all it takes to transform an elf is a pair of fur lined leather gloves found at a thrift store, a needle and thread.

When it comes to naughty fairy-tale pranksters I immediately think of the Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett.  Of course I love anything illustrated in her colorful, detailed style... but I think that this one is my favorite.  It's just one more of the books that comes out special for Christmas time.  The ending in this rendition of the old classic is definitely more friendly... therefore much more to my liking.  I like a happy ending!

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along
Blessings, Debbie  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

the light parade

So, we baked, dipped, wrapped and tagged until 1:00 am Saturday morning.  Everything had to be fresh you know.  We were at the school selling our wares from 8:30 until closing at 4:00.  This is where things got a bit glitchy.  We still had tear down but Erin and Audrey had to be on a float downtown by 4:30 bundled up and looking gorgeous as they would portray two of the 5 Victorian carolers on our fellowships 'Jesus ~ the same yesterday, today and forever' float in the cities Christmas light parade.  Thankfully my sister happened to show up at a quarter to 4:00 so I sent the girls with her to get ready.  Larry would be driving the float, so he could take over from there.  That left Hillary and I loading 2 booths ourselves and then trying to get to our designated meeting spot across from the courthouse before 5:00.  There we met up with family and friends.

I got these interesting, funky shutter speed shots of my niece on the dance float, some angel friends carrying the banner, and our crew waiting to see it all.  What I didn't get because by this time it was absolutely too dark, was a discernible picture of my lovelies donning their muffs and singing alongside their friend on their glittering float.  It was cold, and hectic, and magical...  Have I mentioned that I love this time of year?

Blessings, Debbie

Monday, December 5, 2011

a bazaar weekend...

First the girls dipped marshmallows in chocolate.  Then they sprinkled them with sprinkles or crushed candy cane...  After that they dipped candy canes in chocolate and sprinkled them with sprinkles or crushed candy cane...

Hillary came home for the weekend and she turned out some of her professional quality, decorated sugar cookies...  This is the fifth year the girls have done this craft bazaar.  It's the only one we do but it's a great venue for us.  You know what I always say.  Do something twice and it's tradition!

Mama put in a little bit of her goodness too.  Yes, you may recognize a couple of things that were designated as gifts.  But I figured, if anything sold, I still had a few weeks to replace it.  As it turns out, what did sell I have at least 9 months to replace.  No grandbabies on the way... yet.

Just wait until you see the fun things that the girls created (besides these yummies) and sold.  I didn't have my camera with me but I took pictures with Hillary's phone.  As soon as I figure out how to get them from there to here, I'll share.  Everyone did great and we had a wonderful time!  Have I mentioned that I love this time of year?  Mmm hmm.

Blessings, Debbie

Thursday, December 1, 2011

quilted heart ornaments

A trip to the thrift in late summer turned up this quilt.  One of the things that really upsets me is how this particular store defaces merchandise by writing prices on everything with black marker.  They are convinced that everything they sell is treasure and people will either want to steal it or pull off stickers so they can lie about the price.  I've frequented this local shop for over a decade now and it's always been this way... the people that work there too, for the most part, treat customers like probable felons.  If it weren't for the fact that I turn up the occasional overlooked true treasure, I wouldn't grace them with my money. Hmmph.

This may not be a true treasure, but I was delighted to find this cutter quilt.  There is a bin where blankets of little value are tossed.  This was peeking out the top, properly defaced of course.  Seeing as I'm just using it for crafting, I'm o.k. with it.

So, I whipped out some ornaments tonight and used only a corner of the quilt!  Did I mention that I'm really enjoying the season?  I am.  I really am.

Joining Creative Friday
Blessings, Debbie  
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