Sunday, January 31, 2010

Grateful for the "challenges" in my life

Right now, I'm participating in a couple of challenges. Most of them require secrecy until the deadline, so no pics for awhile. =)

This week, envelopes full of wooly worms have been arriving. I'll be mailing mine out tomorrow. Maria Barton of Starr Rug Company, who is also a member of AAPG(defined elsewhere) has graciously drawn up a couple of rug patterns, and we are all trying to do backgrounds for our designs in a color we've never used for a background. The ladies all sent more than the 5-10 worms suggested, and their worms are mostly quite long. It was wonderful to me, that much of the wool I had to share, had been given to me by other members for swaps or birthday gifts. My style is to combine upcycled wools with hand dyed wools. These ladies are all so generous.

We are also in the middle of a swap, with the theme being Secret Admirer♥ so lovely valentine handmades and pastel wools. Lots of fun, like picking out special valentines for friends when we were girls in grade school.

I'm also participating in a really large challenge with April of Red Jack Rugs. We have a theme each month, this month is heritage, this challenge will last through the remainder of this calendar year, but no shame if I don't finish my rug by New Year's Eve. This will be the second really large rug that I've hooked, once it is finished. My retirement rug opened the door, and this one will really be quite different, as we are hooking 12 smaller areas, more the style of a Block of the Month. There are many wonderful ways to hook a rug. The retirement rug was a challenge started by my dear friend and mentor, Kelley! Those of us in the group called them our BHRs which was short for (Big Honkin Rugs) because of the comment of a young neighbor to one of the participants.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Grateful for Avatar

My dh took us to see this wonderful movie for the second time. We both loved it and if you haven't gone to see it yet, it is one you really will enjoy more in 3D on the big screen. It will definitely be a future purchase for us, when it is released on DVD. The story is epic and has historical roots as well, even if it is imaginary and takes place on Pandora, a moon far away. Sad that the "improving" of our children's education has taken away the study of classical myths...

I expected it would be fun to watch again, but not as emotionally impacting as the first time. Well, when the bombs were released at home tree, I cried just as deeply as the first time. You may not believe in giant blue people who care more for their world than we do for our own. But the beauty of the place is worth the ticket price. Perhaps you'll find yourself wishing for those little tendrils to connect with our world...

The phrase "I see you" means seeing beneath the mask to the essential spirit of someone. Beyond that to accepting that spirit. So look at someone you love and really see them. ♥

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Grateful for technology

Our daughter's brother in law and his wife who is a true sister to her, will be moving to Alaska. They don't live in Houston, but D/FW isn't really all that far away. We touch each other's lives through Facebook, email, and on really wonderful occasions when they return home.

All of us are going to invest and install webcams, and even though I've never been all that interested in SKYPE, well, it just goes to show that there just wasn't a reason before. But then, if I can talk my sis into it, we can talk and see each other as well.

Back in the century before last(1800s) folks moved away, and you might never have heard of or from them again. The mail wasn't anything to brag about, even after the pony express. But now, we'll be able to plug in, find a time slot good for all of us, and see them even more often than before.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Grateful for being a mom and grandma

Last night, our daughter and I had a wonderful phone conversation, which is of course between us. But as much joy as a child can bring to a mother, is not even in the same ball park as the joy of being able to visit adult to adult with the child grown up. Our granddaughter is growing so quickly, and that makes us all "happy, happy" but also feel how quickly the time of her childhood is passing.

So enjoy as much of each day as you can, we'll be trying to do the same. Remember that years from now you can't get back the precious moments of your child's childhood. Our daughter makes me proud of her as a mother. I know she'll be a great grandmother someday, but thankfully that is YEARS away. Still many childhood firsts for all of us to enjoy. Personally, this grandma is looking forward to our first Leap Year Leap Day birthday...and that is still 2 years away.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Grateful for our President

I won't be going all political on ya, but today (MLK day) is a good day to say how proud I am of our country that we've moved beyond the way things were. When I was a high school and college student was in the days of the civil rights movement.

A year ago last November, was a watermark moment for our country. Whether you agree with all of his policies, I hope you recognize that our current president works hard for the betterment of our country. I've quite honestly changed my view of our state representation in Washington, because they have opposed so much of the health reform. It may not be your cup of tea either, but because of illnesses in my sister's family, no preexisting conditions makes their insurance virtually unobtainable. So with all due respect, just saying no to reforms doesn't impress me in a favorable way.

It is still a proud day for our country that we have gone from the days of segregation to our first black president. Whether you are old enough to remember singing "We Shall Overcome", the days of separate but not equal, or Dr. King. we are blessed to provide more opportunity. If you are more like Archie Bunker, try to remember even he had a good friend in George Jefferson.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Grateful for the predicted return to normal winter temps

I won't brag, cause that would be just plain rude, but if the weatherman is right, we'll be enjoying days more typical of a Houston winter soon. Which means that Livvie and I will be able to spend more time outside, and not have to be bundled up like it is winter.

When we moved here from MO, folks said, "Houston has two seasons, summer and February" and by and large that is how we've found it to be. This winter has been cold, rainy, and in many ways a blessing. Those insects that slumber may not be returning, because of an extended time under freezing. The rain is certainly better than the drought of last winter.

In fact, it is more like the weather when we moved to TX, more than 25 years ago. BTW, I'll always be proud to be a native Nebraskan Go Big RED, however we raised our daughter in TX, so we're Texan too now. Livvie is a NATIVE TEXAN! That means a lot to Texans. :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Grateful for Online Resources...

Is a great resource for anyone who is interested in rughooking techniques. This particular one is from Wooly Red Rug. Laurie belongs to several of the online groups, and her picture trail site has some tutorial style pictures. Rug binding is always something that people discuss, with regard to what is their favorite method. When I started hooking, I did a single crochet all the way around the perimeter of the rugs. I whipped the first very small mat, and found it not my cup of tea, but others love that finishing technique. So it really is up to the artist creating the rug!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Grateful for Online Friends

This is a picture of a wreath that I won in a giveaway from our CPLG blog. We're just about to undecorate for the holidays, and so the picture needed to be taken today. Trish is a painter, and a friend for a number of years. We've never met in person, but I love seeing her post in our group. She is a busy mom and grandma, paints some incredible products, and stays way busier than me. This wreath was her giveaway prize on our group blog, and I was the lucky ducky to have my name drawn. Great decorative ribbon and picks on it. She painted the Santa on the sled just to the side of my smile. She paints on gourds, wooden shapes, mouse traps(memo pad), and even toilet seats!

Our group has known each other for years, and it is amazing how connected we've become. Fine women, who love their families, encourage each other, laugh and cry together. We often ask for prayers when a family member is ill, or having some type of trouble. We occasionally disagree, but by and large we are of a like mind.

I was lucky enough to actually meet with Marissa and her wonderful family a little over a year ago. Had seen a picture of her daughter, Katie, in a photo album in the group. When Katie and her brother came racing to the door, it was kind of cool and weird at the same time, to know so much about kiddos I'd never really met. Then Marissa and her dh came into view, and yep, it was Katie. :) They have a new son, who was born a few days before Christmas this year. Their family is dear to me, almost as if I had another daughter. But they live far away in Indiana, :( Marissa has been knitting rabbits and other wonderful items, resulting in quite a good deal of business, been highlighted on a couple of blogs. Hope their new year will be the most wonderful year they've spent as a family.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I woke up wearing a cat for a hat

It's been really cold here, so our two kats have had to spend more time than they like inside. In fact, they go out thinking it will be great to pussyfoot about, and within minutes they are staring at us through the window, next to my dh's chair.

We do have the furnace set at 72, but they still like to sleep on the bed. So this morning, the first thing I realized was that the cat had cozied up to the top of my head, stretched out his neck to rest his head on mine. But he was purring, which I'm a total sucker for! So instead of rolling over, I laid as still as possible, until the radio came on a minute or two later...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My favorite easy dinner on a cold night

I may come up with better posts eventually, it isn't all that interesting to know my favorite suppers, but although there are lots of things to be thankful for each day. Finding a parking place, while it may be worth of a prayer of thanksgiving to me, is even less exciting to read about than:

A hot mug of cream of tomato soup, with a toasted cheese sandwich. We're working on slimming down right now, so no Cheetos jammed into the soup soaking it up. If you like Cheetos and tomato soup, try it some time. It is just like being a kid! We use cheese slices just the store generic, whole wheat bread, and coat the bread with a light bit of olive oil. Browns them nicely, and better for us than butter or margarine.

I'm most grateful for having a warm home to return to this evening. I can't imagine how folks survive out in this weather. I'll be going to work on my sister's rug later, this is the best time of the year to be a rug hooker! :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Always complaining about the weather! :)

We have a Blue Norther on the way.:( So although I'm trying to be grateful about the events in my life, this is mostly whining about how cold temperatures in the 20s can be if you live in the South. My sis is in Wisconsin, mostly loves the cold, "It's a dry cold" and couldn't imagine living here in the summer. Summer is when I really complain about the weather, and remembering last summer of long hot days, and days on end without a drop of rain, but plenty of humidity, just makes me droop...

We are in an El Nino pattern, which means based on other years, more cold and more rainy days. Those are good to have as we were in a drought last winter, that pretty much continued until October or November. Of course, being Houston we had one or two downpours where we(somewhere in Houston) got several inches of rain in a short time bringing on limited flooding.

But the blue moon was gorgeous the other night. It hung in the sky glowing like an LED moon. There were wisps of clouds blowing by it quickly, and that really made it spectacular. This is my favorite time of year to look at the stars. I used to be able to spot several constellations, loved reading mythology as a girl, knew the stories for many of them. I can still find the dippers, the North Star, and Orion the Hunter most nights. It is amazing to realize that the light we see, travels so fast, and yet it has traveled light years for us to see it tonight. Our Universe is so lovely, and the Earth we live on so precious. I am grateful for that. :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My favorite Psalm: 139

My husband I just completed prearrangements for our deaths. Neither of us knows of an immediate likelihood, this has been in the works for awhile, and we just completed the arrangements before the end of last year. Neither of us plans to have a funeral or memorial service. Our thoughts on that may differ from yours, but I feel it is a strain on family members who are already suffering a loss.

I'm sharing my favorite psalm this morning, because I think it continues to be relevant to me at whatever age I've read it. Throughout my life, I've tried to do my best, but often seem to be a disappointment to others around me, especially authority figures. This is because at my core, is a streak of independence and divergent thinking. In other words, not an easy person to lead. Yet it has always comforted me to consider that I am as the good Lord made me, and as my savior, Jesus, knows me to be. Not a thought or action that I may consider is unknown. Sharing it fits within the framework of gratitude that guides my writing this year.

Psalm 139 (New International Version)

Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast
. my own emphasis

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
again my emphasis

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Only the good Lord knows whether my name is written in his book or not. Does our name pop on and off the list? Believing in free will, I've never felt constrained by this psalm. Is the list like the Egyptian concept of weighing our heart, with only pure souls admitted to heaven? I hope not, for my heart has polka dots! ;)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

How about that Rose Bowl?

Happy New Year! The first day of the New Year was filled with Football!!! The best bowl of the day was the Rose Bowl! My dh loves The Ohio State University, and is a native Buckeye although he did not get to grow up in the state and wishes he had. Personally, I'm glad his family moved to Kansas or our paths might not have joined. :)

He is wearing his spirit necklace, Rosebowl cap, and special commemorative Rose Bowl tshirt in the photo, which we really took to share with my good friend Mo! Maureen sent him the necklace which includes Olivia's name in beads. Grandpa will eventually pass it along to her, filled with his love and enthusiasm for The Ohio State University.♥

I added the final score to the photo this morning, so that we will remember it, and the wonderful game we watched. It was a great matchup with the Ducks going ahead in the 2nd half. That added to the thrill of victory at the end. My dh loves a good game, and doesn't usually pick a side. So of course, when he does have a favorite, we both want them to win! Go Bucks! Way to start the New Year off right!