Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Saturday

I updated my quilting page (see the tab to the right) yesterday. 

Saturday we drove to "Little Washington" (Washington, NC) to attend my niece's high school graduation party. While in SC, she was enrolled in a program that allowed students to take more classes than normal so their senior year of school they could take classes at a local community college for credit. Ellen had been heading that direction when her family moved to NC, where things are very different. She ended last semester only needing two classes and the county's required community service/research paper to graduate, but the school wasn't offering those two classes and was unwilling to work with her to allow her to graduate a year early. My sister teaches in a charter school, and the principal there graciously allowed her to transfer, take the one class they offered, leave school to do community service and work on her project, and take the last class online.

But then the mission trip Ellen signed up for last year, which wasn't a problem on SC school schedule, became a problem as NC public schools don't end until June. So Ellen decided she didn't really have a heart connection to her class or the school, and so she was skipping the graduation ceremony for her mission trip. As my brother-in-law said, "It's not like she's dropping out or taking a cruise or something..."  So they had a big party for her to celebrate instead. And the evening her "classmates" walk across the stage, she will have already had a week of training in Nashville and will have been in Uruguay for 2 days. I'm more than a little proud of her.

And here's Ellen Marie with her quilt. (For more pics, visit the quilt page.)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

old yet new

It's late spring/almost summer, so it's to be expected that turtle sightings are beginning. We saw a small one on the road last night en route to church, and today, we realized this not "old hat" to everyone.


Buster pawed it, tossed it, spun it, sniffed it, carried it around, jumped away from it, and then left it in one of his small hiding spots. We were watching him as he later searched for it, to no avail. I think he's a bit baffled as to where his new "toy" went. As huges as this dog is, he reminds me of a cat whenever he finds a new or small item. On the flip side, it's quite entertaining (as long as it's not a mouse). So what do you do when you find a turtle?

pics

My nephew has an aversion to having his face posted on the internet. This was his creative solution. :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Monday Madness (on Wednesday)

Today has been Monday, again and again and again.

My nephew fell on the trampoline, breaking both bones in one leg. He's in a lot of pain. They'll be x-raying the next two weeks to make sure the bones are staying aligned. If not, he'll have to have a plate inserted.

I had another encounter with our dog, so I now have another bleeding cut on my arm. My joke to Bobby that it's starting to look like I'm a cutter is no longer funny.

The goslings discovered they can poke their head out of the fence...and into the garden. Two of my green bean plants are stripped of all their leaves. :(

After taking some relatives to social services (for the second time in 2 weeks because they didn't take all their paperwork the first time), they found out their adopted daughter may not be totally adopted. I'll explain more on that one later. On a side note, they jokingly called me the "dwarf taxi" today. Not quite sure how I feel about that one, although it's partially true.

And somewhere between the house, the post office, and BJU, a very important form is missing. I think we've got things worked out enough that things will be okay without a lot of work on my part, but I'm more than a tad aggravated with it all. There's simply no way I left that form out of the box (or I'd have found it during the gazillion times I've cleaned the kitchen table since mailing that box), but there's no way I can prove it. I will say that the both they and the Iowa company people scoring the tests are being very gracious and accomodating about it. On the up side...it was just a form and not someone's achievement test lost!

And that is just part of the day.  Dark is approaching, and I need to lock the chickens up. I'm thinking an episode of Duck Dynasty is in order tonight.

Monday, May 20, 2013

laughter

We just got home from the funeral of a long-time friend. Well, it was actually a memorial service. His funeral will be in his hometown tomorrow, but the family held a memorial service here in Garner at the church they've attended for the last 50 something years.

Mr. Jack worked at the US Dept of Agriculture in Washington DC for many years. Like many people, he was gone during the week and commuted home on the weekends. Several of his co-workers spoke at the service today, and one had us all in shocked laughter.

Like most conservative Baptists, Free Will Baptists are tee-totalers. The speaker made the comment that he didn't know why he and Jack were friends, but they always had been. He laughed about how Mr. Jack would choose a restaurant that served seafood and sweet tea, but no alchohol, and how he'd always try to get it changed to a different restaurant. And of course, Mr. Jack didn't smoke, either and this paticular friend did. He shared a lot of other work and family memories, but this one about alcohol, which he referenced quite a bit throughout his talk, had everyone both shocked and laughing at the same time.

Saying goodbye is never easy, and my heart hurts for my friends and the adjustments that are ahead of them. But I'm so thankful for the positive memories they've had over the years, and how blessed they are to have had a husband/dad who taught them the truth, whether they've accepted it or not.

Mr. Jack wasn't perfect. He never pretended to be. But he was a good friend. I hope when it's my time to go that people will remember my positive traits much more than my negative ones, and that my family will find healing through memories that bring laughter. After all, Proverbs says laughter is better than medicine, right?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

sunshine

Last night on the news there was another clip about how tanning beds cause melanoma and how the cancer numbers on the rise among women in the 20-30 bracket. I've heard this all my life, and my parents were never thrilled the summers I had a nice tan (and I used sunscreen, most of the time).  My younger sister started visiting a tanning salon once she got a job, and had been doing so for several months before my parents found out. My mom was apoplectic.  Fast forward 20 something years, add two more melanoma bouts for Mom, and she's just as vigilant about how dangerous a sunburn can be. Every time my sister has to have a spot removed to be checked, my Mom starts preaching a sermon to all us girls about getting too much sun (or for my sister to get rid of her tanning bed).

But there's a catch. My Vitamin D levels are scary low. As in, last year I had to take rickets medicine for several months and I now have to take a Vitamin D supplement in addition to a multi-vitamin. It makes me feel old. So this spring/summer, my goal is to spend at least 10-15 minutes outside, in the sun, in hopes it will help. My arms and face are getting tan (or else my freckles are finally meshing), my legs aren't, and my neck just seems to stay red. I know that when I see my Mom, she's going to have a fit.

And that's okay. I can bear in mind that she loves me and is concerned, is fearful of what may come, and patiently smile and listen. Until she spots a red highlight, which I get from her and the sun, and she'll start to mess with my hair and offer to put in a perm for me which drives me absolutely insane.

So I'm enjoying the sunshine, checking all moles periodically and reviewing my ABCs of melanoma pamphlet, and rejoicing in today and the breeze and sunshine. If you've not ever seen what the ABCs of melanoma are and you a) have someone in your family with skin cancer or b) have a skin type the freckles or burns easily, then I urge you to google it (or visit wral.com).  It is one of those things where ignorance is not bliss.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

the wee ones

This was going to be the spring that we didn't incubate ANYTHING...at all. NO mess, no roosters, lots of extra time....and then we lost four hens in a month. One of them was one of our Easter eggers, and I had actually gathered eggs that morning but not refrigerated them yet. When we realized she was gone that evening, I just took all the eggs, including hers, from that day and pulled the incubator out.  Only two of the nine hatched, and the green egg that started the whole process began to hatch but never finished. :(
 
But of the two that did hatch, one of them has this thing about sleeping in the food bowl. Even after moving them outside to the brooder box with the ones we bought, it continues to do this.
 

Tuckered out...

and the one huddled by the waterer was the first born of the two
So life is always full of surprises and some of them make us laugh.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Memorial month

The first weekend May, the town of Garner celebrated the opening ceremonies of its War Memorial. It was incredible in its scope, incorporating EVERY war America has fought in, as well as the names of all Garnerites who gave the greatest sacrifice during each war. To help assist in the funding of the memorial, people could pay to honor those who served (but didn't die) by having their name and rank inscribed on a brick.
 
 
It was bittersweet. It was one thing to reflect on our heritage (and thank you to Congressman David Price for being the only one to include Scripture in his speech...Joshua 8), but it was also a little heartbreaking to hear names I knew and see grieving loved ones supporting each other. For the Webbs and the Sanchez families, "Freedom isn't free" has a totally different meaning.
 
And from there we moved onward to another memorial service, although similar, of a very different kind: Confederate Memorial Day.

My husband is a history buff. He had several ancestors who died fighting in the Civil War. It was my first trip to Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh (which has an entire section of nothing but civil war soldier graves). It's probably one of the most beautiful cemeteries I've been in. I love stone buildings, and the one below the hillside from the Gettysburg graves is absolutely stunning. I told Bobby as morbid as it sounded, I thought this cemetery would make an awesome place for a photo shoot.

 
Garner Sons of Conferederate Veterans had decorated each tomb with a flag. All the graves were originally numbered squares (which you can see near the tomstones), and historians painstakingly researched and validated records so each soldier could finally have a tombstone with name, rank, DOB and DOD. There's even a few Union soldiers who were mistakenly buried there. Their graves have a special footmarker with the details.
 
 During the tornadoes two years ago, many trees were blown over in the cemetery. Someone took the stump of this one and actually made a seat from it.

 And the irony of the old and new continuosly crack me up.
 A Marine came to pay his respects and visited the gravesite of his great (x3?) grandfather. He wasn't overly interested in the monologue of Stonewall Jackson's wife or much of the other stuff, though he did participate in all the militia ceremonies.

I was blown away by the differences in the two ceremonies. One a politically correct, patriotic meeting (with some new age stuff thrown in), and the other a historically, politically incorrect ceremony full of Scripture (and had more than Joshua 8), hymns, prayer, and heartfelt emotions (even from the Union ardist who yelled out during Dixie, the prayer, the flag ceremonies, but then escorted her children up to have their pictures made with the ones laying wreaths on the graves of ancestors).

It was an interesting weekend, and a reminder that we have a godly heritage that isn't perfect but is costly.We have so much to be thankful for.
 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Wake County Library Sale

This weekend I had the opportunity to do something fun/dangerous. Many of you know that I like to read. You also know that my husband likes to read as well. What you may not know is that between books for each other as gifts and the annual Wake County Library Sale, we've accumulated a little too much. So much so, that I've opted out of a book club I really enjoyed and we put ourselves on a moratorium for buying books. (Can you believe I have to wait for an anniversary or Christmas to get the Ducky Dynasty book?)

And I was making progress in my reading...
 Our dresser (my "to read" list) was becoming less daunting, and I was eliminating books that I would never read again or loan out from our stacks.

And then came the annual library sale. I almost didn't go. For those of you not familiar with it, library patrons donate books ALL YEAR long to the library just for this sale. And each library in the county pulls books from the shelves that haven't been checked out in three years or the extra "best-sellers" that they no longer need, and sell them. It takes hundreds of volunteers to pull this off, and in the 13 years I've been here, it has moved to a larger location each year, until the last few years when it wound up at the State Fairgrounds. And I came home with all this, plus 6 more books that didn't make the photo:
And I spent a whopping total of $20.

So the stack on my dresser now extends to the end of the dresser (again) and there's still a small pile on the kitchen table. I probably won't make my New Year's Resolution of finishing all the books on my dresser now that I've extended them, but I do hope to put a very good dent on some of those books that have been there for a few years.

And as if on cue, I'll be riding in a vehicle 4 hours this week, which will hopefully help me knock out a book from the stack. Can life get any better? :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

busy bees

I am actually sitting down. :)  Supper is almost ready. Bobby will be home from a CLE class in about 15 minutes (hopefully), and we should a few minutes after supper to feed the geese before heading out again.

Last week our riding lawn mower gave out. So we called the company to come pick it up for repairs. They've neither repaired it nor called us back yet. So the boys who normally cut our grass did exactly what Bobby told them HAD to be done and no more. :(  With all the rain this last week, the grass has been growing like crazy. Since last Saturday night (when we got home and found out they only worked a few hours), I've cut grass at least an hour every day. And I'm still not finished. I had hoped to finish it off today, but between aching feet and an afternoon appointment, that simply hasn't happened. Maybe it won't rain tomorrow and I'll be able to finish it (although the front yard already needs it again!).

On a better note, it is strawberry season in NC. I've made strawberry jam, and we're having cake topped with strawberries and cream cheese icing tonight. Last week we had strawberries in our salads for lunch, and we had them as our fruit this morning for breakfast. While I don't love strawberries as much as my sister and sister-in-law, I do think they're quite delicious. And if you don't know the story of the drama behind North Carolina's official state "red" berry, I suggest you read up on it. It's quite crazy.

Hope you have a berry good weekend! :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

more UnFinished prOjects

It seems I always have several UFOs around me (unfinished projects, as the quilting world calls them). Last month I felt that my sewing room was out-of-control-I-can't-even-sit-there-and-work messy, so I started tackling some of the smaller unfinished projects I had just to clean off a table. So yes, Bobby got to reclaim some pants that have been sitting there for a while waiting for various types of repairs, which I hate because I never feel like I do a good job.

Anyway, while cleaning off one of my work tables, for some reason I decided I needed to open a box of cut pieces for a quilt top that I've not worked on in quite some time. I finished cutting the material for the last section of piecing, realized I didn't have quite enough material, and so had to create a very quick Plan C  (plan B was back when I started this project and deviated from the original quilt pattern...WHY do I do that to myself?)

So here we are a few years later...

This was supposed to be a building block (see the blocks between the stars?) but as I tried to figure out fabric placement, I kept seeing stars, so I tossed the directions and made my stars. Thanks to youtube, I was able to figure out how to piece the stars together with the blocks (Y seams...not quite so bad). Now I just need to figure out how I want to quilt it.

And I still have a box of fabric. Turns out making stars doesn't require as many cuts of fabric as the building blocks pattern requires, so I have half a box of stars still waiting for the next burst of "let's semi-finish something!" I'm thinking they'll get either a pale yellow, denim, or pale blue background. The purple was nice, but I'm ready for something different. But it will have to wait. My niece IS graduating in a few weeks (as opposed to NEXT year when she was supposed to graduate!) so I'm trying to finish a twin size quilt before her graduation the end of this month. 

Crazy me. I actually thought this was going to be the year I wasn't rushing to finish a quilt in May. I almost made it!

Friday, May 3, 2013

long overdue

Since my nephew has an aversion to his face being on Facebook, but has not said anything about my blog, here we go. :)

From April 21, Townley Free Will Baptist Church in Townley, Alabama:

 Dad getting ready to dunk Carly. And despite all of our teasing that he'd hold her under until she turned blue or bubbled, Pawpaw brought her back up fairly fast.

 Mason, who surprised us by laughing the whole time before going under.

 Just the thought of this endless energy this child has makes me tired! ;)

 Left to Right: Mrs. Weems, Jamie (my bro-in-law), Naomi (my sis), Andy (my bro), and Amie, (my sis-in-law).
And the Weems family after the baptism. :)

Unfortunately I had WAY too much caffeine that weekend, so my hands were a little too shaky to be manuevering a camera. There are a whole lot  more pics, but the ones of the kiddos coming up out of the water are too blurry to post.

And as always, I am one happy aunt. :)