Friday, February 25, 2011

What I’ve been up to..

A few things I’ve been up to lately…

a girls crafty retreat last weekend.  What a blast!  It wasn’t far from home but a great location.  A friend of a friend lent us her house for the weekend.  How cool is that?


I learned some new thingsIMG_5924

and worked on a few of my own projects, mostly baby “stuff” like this hat.IMG_5914

Our new granddaughter is coming soon and I’ve got so much I want to finish for her yet.

On the “to complete” list are a receiving blanket that matches the hat, a couple of headbands, a crib bumper, bibs and a knitted car seat afghan.   

On the completed list is


burp rags (my personal favorite is the one on top with the birds.  It has the giraffe print on the back – love that one!)



and a taggy blanket.

My “to complete” list is obviously larger than the “completed” one.  The items to finish yet are at various stages of completion so I should be able to knock them out pretty quickly once I get going on them again. 

We’re heading out in the morning to East Tennessee for a weeks vacation to “celebrate” a so-called monumental birthday.  I’m taking a few of my more portable projects along to work on when we get back to the condo in the evenings.  At least that’s my plan anyway.  I’m not sure how much I’ll actually get done but the intent is good, right?  

I don’t know how the internet connection will be, so if we don’t chat before, see y’all the end of next week!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday ponderings–Do I bring my best?

I’ve been reading through the Bible chronologically this year.  If you’re a person like me that a tad OCD when it comes to organization, I would highly recommend it.  It has really brought the Bible alive to me.

I’ve been in Leviticus the past week where God explains to the Israelites in great detail how to build the temple and everything in it.  Then He goes on to explain in more detail what to bring for burnt offerings.  One overriding theme was to bring him animals with NO DEFECTS.  Don’t bring him the gimpy goat with a bad leg, the bird with a broken wing or your moldy grain; bring him your BEST animals.  Your first fruits so to speak. 

This has been stirring down deep in me since I read it.  Now, I’ve read these verses before but I don’t think I ever REALLY read these verses.  Do you know what I mean?

Do I bring God my best? or do I bring him “the me” that’s leftover after the world is finished with me.  What are my actions showing Him?  Am I really present during my quiet time?  Am I fully engaged in worship?  or is my head already going on to the next “thing” I need to do when I’m finished with the present task?  Am I going through the motions so to speak or am I bringing my best?

It was really brought home at church this weekend.  God didn’t give us his leftovers.  He didn’t feed us the extra spaghetti from dinner the night before.  He gave us His first fruits.  He GAVE us His Son, His one and ONLY SON, His perfect Son upon the cross to pay for all of my sins including the leftovers I bring to Him on a regular basis. 

Does God demand perfection out of us?  I don’t believe so.  I’m sure He’d love it but He already knows we’re going to mess up.  The key isn’t about not messing up and being perfect.  Jesus already covered our imperfections by being painfully stretched on the cross.  The key is humbling ourselves and receiving the forgiveness & grace God offers for our screw ups.  We just have to humbly present ourselves to Him and ask. 

I, for one need to start over fresh daily and bring my best.  I need to bring my first fruits on a more consistent basis and not the leftover spaghetti from last night. 

Just some thoughts that have been rolling around in my head these last few days.  Have a great Sunday!

St Luke (26)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Random Wednesday

I’m participating in Joyce’s from “This Side of the Pond” random Wednesday again.  Kudos to her for coming up with great questions every week.  Pop on over and check out Joyce’s blog as well as the ones who participate.  It’s a great way to get hooked up with a new blog, not like I need any more in my reader that I already can’t keep up with. 

This weeks randoms…

1. Your favorite chocolate treat?

Lindt dark chocolate truffles, the ones in the black bag. Specific enough?

2. What more than anything else makes you feel loved?

Coming home from work and my house being picked up and vacuumed or supper started. DH is good to me that way.  It doesn’t happen all the time but once in a while it’s a wonderful surprise that makes me feel special and appreciated.

3. Cherries or blueberries?

Blueberries all the way… fresh, on salads, in baking, on ice cream, in smoothies, pretty much anyway a blueberry can go, I’m there. The only thing I might leave my blueberry for is a black or red raspberry, then Mr. Blue gets cast aside.

4. What is the one trait you most want the leader of your country to posses?

I’m going to cheat here and go with Joyce’s answer. It’s the same as mine and she put it into words so well, I couldn’t improve up on it so thank you Joyce, oh, Random Queen – “Integrity-I want that person to have a moral core. I can disagree with a leader's politics yet be supportive if I feel like they are a man/woman of integrity. I have no respect for those who bend whichever way the political wind blows.”

5. Are you a saver or a spender?

I’m not sure how to answer that. I’m not much of a saver but then I’m not much of a spender either. We try very hard to spend our money wisely and by God’s grace & blessing we have always had enough.  Not always an abundance but enough for what we need.  Notice that I said “need” not “want”. 

6. If you gave a party for all of your friends would they already know each other?

No, but if they would talk with each other, they would probably find out they knew the same person from somewhere. That’s what happens when you live in a small town rural area.

7. Are you interested in antiques?

Yes, but not the hoity, toity fancy antiques. Give me a primitive, well worn piece any day and I’m thrilled to my toes!  Like this one my son came across while helping a neighbor.  They used it in their shed to store oil cans and told him to take it to the burn pile, but Jon has always had the ability to see a gem under the dirt so he brought it home and cleaned it up for his momma.  He’s a good boy that Jonny!  However, now that he’s married with a house of his home, I know he’d like it back but I’m not giving it up just yet.


8. Insert your own random thought here.

I am so incredibly, anxiously awaiting a few days away with my DH for a (uhhh) monumental birthday of mine. Let’s just say there is a hill involved and I’m cresting it rapidly. I’ll be over it two weeks from tomorrow and we’ll be celebrating it in my favorite place, east Tennessee for a full week.   We’re hoping to take the motorcycle along and praying for warm & dry enough weather to get some riding in.  A friend of mine, more like a father to me than my own father was blessed us with a weeks use of a condo.  I’m pretty excited about the whole deal but I’ll bet you couldn’t tell that could you?  I can’t think of many better ways to spend my big 5-0 than in my favorite place with my favorite person enjoying a favorite activity.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I’m in love….

I’m so in love with


the new Camaro’s.  Oh my goodness – love the look and the sound!  Swoon!  I was next to a black one (burnt orange metallic would have been better)  going through the car wash on Saturday.  When it started up to pull ahead, I had to roll the window down to listen.

I think my friend who was with me thought I’d gone over the edge!  I tend to teeter there sometimes.  I told her that I think I should have been born a guy.  Pickup trucks and muscle cars  - these are two of my favorite things!

Oh, and I’m in love with DH too!  Happy Valentines Day honey!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Surfs Up!

Just because I am way past in the mood for warmer weather, I’m sharing pictures of Auto Body son’s latest project. 

A surfboard!  Isn’t that what every Chicago suburbanite needs? 

But this isn’t just any surfboard.  It’s a made from scratch mini-board.

It’s about 3 feet long and made from foam overlaid with fiberglass and paint.  What looks like wood, isn’t.  It’s paint!  Amazing!  I would think it’s amazing even if it wasn’t my son.

Surf board 2-12-11

Surf board 2-12-11 (2)

And to finish it off, what every good surfboard needs, a polished aluminum fin.  The picture below shows the metal flake green color the best.

Surf board 2-12-11 (3)

What a fun project.  He’s making it for a charity auction at the Chicago World of Wheels show.  If you happen to be in attendance, bid often and bid a lot!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A dose of Springtime

These little beauties arrived at my desk Monday morning very much to my surprise.  If it wasn’t for the florist who delivered them I would have thought they were for someone else.  She’s a family friend from out of the town I work in.  Pretty much everyone else at work uses in town florists.   They were from my DH.  He said he told her he wanted Springtime in a vase.  This works!  


Maybe he was feeling a tad guilty escaping sub zero temps for 70 degrees and leaving me here??  Possibly?

DH left last Sunday for a mission trip at New Tribes Homes in Sanford, Florida.  New Tribes Homes is residential living for retired missionaries.  They spent most of their week putting a roof on a new pavilion. 

He’s due home tomorrow night and I can’t wait!  Once you’ve lived together this long, it seems really strange to be apart for a length of time plus being alone isn’t my favorite thing to be.  It’s not that I’m afraid but I just really, really don’t like it thus I don’t sleep well when DH is gone.  So not only am I emotionally & mentally ready for him be home, my body is more than ready for a good night’s sleep! 

My hats go off to you ladies whose husbands travel on a regular basis!   

Monday, February 7, 2011

Getting back in the swing of things

Due to last week’s snowstorm, the college I work at released us at 3pm on Tuesday and  called off on Wednesday as a snow day.  I love snow days by the way, such an unexpected gift from God!

Thursday morning we were called off again due to many area roads still being impassable.  TWO snow days in a row!  We’ve never gotten two consecutive days off for snow in the 13 years I’ve worked at the college.

Then the phone rings late Thursday morning and guess what?  We now have a broken water main so the powers that be also called off school for Friday!  Yup, that’s right, an unexpected 5 day weekend!  Did I mention I LOVE snow days?

It was exceptionally hard to get up when the alarm went off at 5am this morning. (yawn-o)  just sayin….

In case you didn’t catch it before…I LOVE snow days!  But is there a way we could get them without dealing with all this white stuff???

just asking….

Sunday, February 6, 2011


The Deer Ridge project we were involved with is finished!  Friday night was the “Reveal Party". 

The kitchen is gorgeous!  Yeah, I think I’d use it, wouldn’t you?  Love, love, love that big clock on the wall!


This space will serve them so well when they have their retreats and other events.


Love the powder room too.


Bedroom #4 is so warm and inviting.


Jodee and I thought we’d try it out for a quick nap.


There were some very distinguished guests there but for some reason they were hiding in the closet.


Louise sets a gorgeous tables don’t you think?


Some of the team that came to celebrate with the Deckers.  Everyone in this picture had a part in the project plus more that weren’t able to make it.  Many hands make light work.


Great project – finished! (at least for now).  Smile

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blizzard residue

A few more pictures of our blizzard which has called Snowmagedon, Blizzila and numerous other names I’m sure that aren’t appropriate for ink on paper.

These were taken Wednesday morning as the storm was winding down.

See the dark spot up the road on the right?  That was a service van.  I’m not sure how long it had been there.  When we went to bed, we couldn’t see anything past our garage, let alone our neighbors.  That’s how we gauge things out here in the rural areas when it comes to storms or fog…if we can see the neighbors or not? 

When I got up at 4am I saw a vehicle with flashers on.  Then when I got up the second time – a few hours later – SNOW DAY!, the flashers were off so am guessing the battery died by then. It might have been sitting there all night, but we couldn’t see it.  This road (a state highway) was closed down by 7pm Tuesday night.  There are State roads today that are still impassable, let alone all the secondary roads.


The snow was over and the sun had come out but it was still blowing & drifting everywhere.


This is what we do around here when the state plows haven’t been by, people take matters into their own hands.  There was a huge drift across the curve and our neighbor took his skid loader and cleared it off the road.


There’s a driveway in there somewhere…


We even had to scoop out the shed.  With the wind out of the east, it made a real mess of things.


DH is 6’ 4” tall and this drift was almost as tall as he is.


And the clean-up begins…



We have a Snow Day again today so I’m hoping to get to the sewing room after lunch.  Yesterday was spent de-Christmastizing the rest of the house.   Yes sir, Winter?  I am so over you!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard sounds

I thought some of you who don’t get to experience a snowstorm might enjoy a quick clip.  This was shot this morning as the blizzard had more than wound down.  The snow was over but it was still blowing.  I was trying to stand out of the wind, more for my sake than the video but sorry, I still got a fair amount of wind noise.  You’ll get the “drift” though (pun intended).  Smile

2-2-11 Illinois blizzard winding down

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

and so it begins…

This is what the “beginning” of a Midwest blizzard looks like.


I was able to leave the college early today before the roads got too bad and work from home this afternoon.  What a huge blessing to not have to drive in this.  I can do the snow part but I have this thing about being able to see where I’m driving.  Yeah, I’m funny like that.

New finds

or at least new to me.

While working on the Deer Ridge project I was privy to some of Louise’s fun kitchen gadgets and you know what a weakness I have for gadgets.  In fact, I started making a list of “must have” items while I was there.

This is hands-down the best Salad spinner I’ve ever used.  It has a ratchet handle instead of a pull rope or a crank.  The last one I had was a Wally World cheap-o and as I would turn it, water would gush out around the edges.  I ended up with wet clothes on more than one occasion.


And the lettuce keeper seems to really work!  It has a dial on the front that you can set the airflow and moisture level.  I’ve never been able to keep lettuce but a couple of days but now I’ve had some that has made a week with this dandy little contraption.  Both of these items are by Progressive.  I bought the Spinner at Bed Bath & Beyond (it was cheaper) but it’s available at Amazon too.  Amazon is where I purchased the Lettuce Keeper.  Have I mentioned that I love!  It’s my go-to place to find almost anything.


Along the food lines, my friend, Joyce turned me on to this wonderful cocoa.  In fact it’s called WonderCocoa!  It’s made from 100% ground cocoa beans.  It makes a killer cup of hot chocolate.  Just heat up your milk, add a little sweetener(I use a packet of Splenda) and a teaspoon or two of Wondercocoa.  Luxurious, I say, luxurious!  Even DH said it’s the best he’s ever had.  It tastes like hot cocoa used to taste instead of pure sugar like most of the instant mixes that are available now.  And guess what?  Wonder Cocoa is available at too!

I’ve got a few other new finds up my sleeve to share in the future (when I get the pictures taken).  Smile