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Sunday, January 27, 2013


Watch for a picture of my latest project - the afghan that will be donated to the church auction. I am not quite finished with it yet. I need to block and attach fringe. Once that is done I will get a picture taken and post it.

I haven't been posting much lately because of trying to get the afghan finished, work on preparing my Bible study materials to teach, keeping my house cleaned and picked up because, not only do I have that Bible study here on Friday mornings, but now also have my church small group meet here on most Sunday nights. HALP!

And I had started doing some decluttering but had to put that away so things are neat for Sundays. So now my bedroom closet is full to overflowing until I can get back to it. I really do want my flat surfaces cleaned off when small group is here. In order to do that it all gets shoved into the closet because I haven't had time to clear spaces where those things can find a home that is convenient for me.

Time. Yes, I have wasted a lot of time, too. I have gotten addicted to playing Dark Dimensions Mahjong. So when I don't feel like doing anything else, can't seem to stay reading email, or need a rest break from cleaning/cooking, I play my game. And if I can't seem to get far enough and run out of time before all the levels are completed, I must try just one more time, and then one more time. And then. . .

I am only writing now because small group has been cancelled. We have had freezing rain and roads are very slippery. Tonight they talk about a chance of freezing fog and it is either foggy now or it is a light mist. Either one is not good once the temp goes down a a couple of degrees. It has hovered at 34 most of the day so far.

Anyway, if you are interested in seeing the completed afghan, keep checking back.

Left in a Right World

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Yes, I am left in a right world. I am a lefty. I and other lefties are the only ones in our right minds, you know. And that is because the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body.

Actually I am ambidextrous with many things and maybe that is because I play piano? It is the right hand that usually play the melody and the left is mainly accompaniment. I iron right handed, bat right handed when playing softball. Some things I can do with either hand.

I do write with the left hand, and was fortunate to learn to lay my paper correctly so that I do not write upside down as I see so many lefties do. That looks really awkward to me. But with a little practice I could write in mirror image as that the normal reverse of writing right handed. Righties write from left to right. So I would write from right to left and it takes a mirror to read it. Is that weird?

But this is a right handed world. Everything used to be made for right handed work, though today you can find many things made for lefties. Except, that I learned to adapt to right handed things, using my left hand. And now, to try to use the same thing made for a lefty does not work. Non-electric can openers are one example. I am able to turn the handle with my right hand as it simply does not work any other way. The computer mouse -- I have tried switching the buttons and using it with left hand. Doesn't work for me. Again, it may be the piano training.

I do require a left handed scissors and especially a sewing shears. I can sometimes use a scissors that has equal size finger holes that aren't angled but they are harder to cut with, plus wears a grove in my thumb.

I crochet left handed, but learned knitting right handed. Surprisingly, when I watch right handed people knit, the way I do it goes much faster than they do it. I do hold the right needle more still and make the left needle move more.

Trying to think of other right hand only things and not coming up with much right now. One thing is starting the push mower. The cord can only be pulled with the right hand while the left holds the handles together. Keys in the ignition - right hand only.

These are just some of the examples. If any of you are lefties, leave me a comment on other examples, or how you have adapted or what has complicated your life because of it.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Thoughts of a Faithful Couple

Below is what some good Christian friends wrote in their Christmas letter. My intention was to put it on this blog at that time, but you know how life can get in the way sometimes. But now that I wrote the previous post, it seems quite fitting to do it now. I first asked permission to use it and that permission statement is first. There may be some things in this writing that you do not believe in, but that is okay. We don't need to argue those points here, just take note of the basic thoughts they have put down.
You certainly have our permission. It was a joint effort and has jelled in our brains as the result of reading a little devotional by Randy Alcorn called WE SHALL SEE GOD. It is based on writings from Charles Spurgeon.
First – for a believer in Christ a funeral is not death, but a birth celebration and a transition from earth to living forever with the triune God in the third heaven until He creates heaven on earth. Except for the final trial (unless He takes us up in the Rapture) and related pain, the transition is not all bad. We believe it is better than the pain we are experiencing in America now. (Revelation 2:11)

Second- In heaven the barriers between those who are forgiven and therefore redeemed will be gone forever and relationships will be healed. The groaning of creation and old age will be replaced by seeing heavenly things very clearly for the first time. It will be the fullness of eternal life and seeing the only true God face to face and enjoying Him forever. (I John 3:2; Zephaniah 3:17)

Third – The joyful anticipation of being with God will not only be utterly fantastic but it won’t end and it will not be boring. It will be without the temptations of the flesh, the world and its values, and the evil one. Best of all there will be no sin present. It will be seeing the face of Jesus for the first time and being with loved ones forever. The key is to “Have the confidence to enter the Most High Place through the blood of Jesus.” (Hebrews 10:19) It will be wonderful beyond all earthly comprehension.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Most Disliked Month of the Year

January. . . . .the one month I really want to end as soon as it starts. Why? All the most important people in my life died in January. First, my dad, who died January 23, 1967. I can no longer remember the exact date and had to look it up. But the year is easy to remember since I was 3 months pregnant with my third and last child. He had a heart attack as he was coming in the door at home, dying instantly. My mother found him in the door of the breezeway. Dad was 60 years old.

One year later, my father-in-law died. That was January 20 I think. The way I remember is that his funeral was on the anniversary of my dad's death. But I have to admit, I am not certain if I have the date correct. That was in 1968. He was 55 years old. He had a badly diseased heart and the doctors said at that time the only thing that would save him would be a heart transplant. But doctors had not achieved that type of transplant at that time.

Three years later, January 16, 1971, my mother died of cancer at age 62. It had started in a muscle of her thigh and metastasized and eventually was in the brain, affecting her language memory. She knew what things were if you said the name, but she wasn't able to say the word. She called my kids by names of long-time family friends. She ended up having a stroke and in a coma for about a week before passing.

I was 24 when my dad died, and 28 when Mom died. I have no brothers or sisters so the whole load was on me. I did have a husband and 3 kids by then which probably saved my sanity to some extent, though in the year after my mother died and while I was handling the estate, my husband decided to have an affair with his boss's wife. I could go into a long story about that, but that is not the purpose of this post.

The last January death was my second husband who passed away on January 12, 2005 from pancreatic cancer. He was 86 years old. Yes, he was 24 years older than me. We were married 15 happy years, much happier than the 26 years I was married to my first husband and father of my kids.

My former mother-in-law didn't quite make it to January. She died in late December a few years ago and she was in her 80s.

Now I am curious how many of my ancestors died in January. I did find that a great-grandmother died January 20, 1919, one 5 generations back died January 11, 1825, one 8 generations back died January 24, 1725. Those are all on my dad's side. I didn't find any on my mother's side, but my records are very limited.

So you can see that I might greet each January wondering who in my life will die this time.

It is also usually one of the dreariest months here in Iowa, some years hardly seeing the sun all month, many years having a week of below zero temps for highs, and a snow storm or two. Days are short as well, though they do start getting a little longer this month, and we know spring will get here eventually. I really don't allow myself to dwell on it otherwise I could get deeply depressed. Too many years have gone by now to allow that to happen. But it does remind me that life is short. I have lived beyond the years that  my parents did for which I am very thankful. Thanks be to God!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Angel of Summer

It is finally finished! I wish I had kept track of all the hours involved, but that is rather hard since I would pick it up and work on it for just a few minutes at times, and at other times I would spend an hour or two.

I was trying to show more detail so you could see all the beadwork but this just didn't do it justice.

So I tried close-ups of some of the sections. Notice all the metallic gold stripes on the vest and the dots on the rest of the dress. The large seed beads on the background are actually metallic gold as well but seem to show up more silver here. Maybe it is just my eyes.

 The flower garland has lots and lots of beads of various colors - pale gold, pale pink, light blue, dark rose.
Even a few beads above the skirt flounce and a few scattered on the skirt itself, mostly gold.

More of the skirt and flower garland detail.
It took using a magnifier hanging around my neck to get all the very fine details done. There are mistakes. Can you find them? I doubt it, since it was mostly in the shading areas where I didn't count right so might be one square off. I didn't bother to change those since it doesn't make a big difference in the overall picture. This was a lot of work and occasional frustration, but it was really fun. Next project? Get it framed!