Friday, July 31, 2009

Sewing & Packing / Packing & Sewing. . . .

I don't know about you out there, those with that creative side - but what is it about that part of your brain that seems to kick in when you're sooooo busy with other things - like packing. And, even if you don't think you're creative; there are things that you dream of and do that is of interest to you. Whether it be gardening or rearranging it's something that requires time and thought. Maybe its that you're wanting to do something else other than what you should be doing. Such has been my life recently.
I went into my room that I have fixed up for sewing (or hiding) to go through all the fabrics and notions that needed to be packed, sold or tossed. (I really don't toss and it's apparent I'm an avid collector of stuff). Of no surprise to many, LOL.
I have two beautiful machines to sew on. The first was purchased in New Mexico over nine years ago and I do sew on it and used to a lot; but it's more like in waves. For instance, you can get really into it the swing of things then sometimes your not motivated at all - then back again. I guess it's like being up and down with mood swings. I tell friends that I need to be motivated. Now most recently, well four years ago - goodness has it been that long? Jim bought me my first serger for Christmas. It's an Elna and for sewers - its something you dream of and wish for if you don't have one. Well I got one and never used a serger in my life. So it sat there and I looked at it for awhile - then called around for lessons. I took two. It was all basic things and most important to me was threading it. Threading a serger can be - well very intimidating. Well I got the lessons and still didn't use it - something always come up and after time went by, if the truth be told I didn't have confidence needed to use it. So I tried using it on a simple project - and failed. There it sat! :(
So with the move and all I had been considering selling it. I didn't really want to but I kept trying to rationalize the whole thing. I don't use it, I'm not sure where I'll put it and so on. Hey it's that back and forth thing! Jim finally told me NO you're not selling it. I guess I needed to hear that. Well being that this is turning into a long story I'll share the rest. . . It was about three weeks ago I wanted to sew a little dress for my friend's grand daughter. I had a pattern and obviously the machines but the dress had some serging as an option on the pattern. I thought about it long and hard. I'm sure somewhere I had to be oozing out I need help from you Lord. I believed he heard me since when I went to the mail box in there was a book on all the things you could do with a serger - which I hadn't order (besides I have many - so back it goes). I grabbed the manual and read up on a few of the things that I had the most trouble with. (Besides threading it / corners - curves & more). I cut the pattern out, turned on the Elna and it all came together. I wished I had a picture of it to share.
I haven't mastered everything but I've been in a serging craze. Practicing with the same stitch hoping to try something new soon. I have so many ideas and I'm planning to sketching them out to remember them. . . I do have to pack you know. Below are a couple things I've made. For the pillow I used both machines and I'm so pleased with how it turned out. The bag is reversible.

Things I've learned in all of this:

Trust the Lord for the help needed, I thought this shouldn't be hard - I sew. I was relying on my self - I wasn't confident to get it and I didn't. Then I was choosing the easier way out of it. I was disappointed in myself. I should have trusted the Lord all along He knew I was able to do it. Somethings we don't get in this life - we have help. Sometimes we don't have help because we don't ask. Sometimes we need to be specific about our request and not let fear inter the picture.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all you ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6


Delight yourself in the lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. Psalm 37:4-5


He is ALWAYS faithful ~

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Busy Day . . .

Years ago there was a song out called Busy Day, by Chuck Gerard. The song is ringing in my head this morning; it was such a catchy tune. My life feels like its been turned upside down with all the business of our time here. I can hardly wait to move though, I been finding myself overwhelmed at times and more often. A dear friend gave me a wonderful complement in her email to me; "You are so incredibly calm in all of this. You are a real inspiration!" She gives way to much credit, I pray a lot and have my moments of tears. I am trusting the Lord for the bigger picture in all of this.
Lately and mostly - I've had to go around with blinders on as to not see all the things I've had to leave undone. With my husband not being well - I feel I'm only one person. So I've been relying heavily on my inner strength from God. A few days ago I was listening to an old clip of Kenneth Hagin and he was talking about standing strong.

Be strong in the Lord. and the strength of His might, Ephesians 6:10

That's the key; I not very strong on my own, I don't believe most people are. When it's just us we struggle and we can make the job is harder than it needs to be. Even more stressful - we need someone to help us someone to rely own. Be strong she was told - I'm trying relying to much on self- (we/I don't have the strength but that's not what the verse was referring to) Hagin reiterated "in His strength!" That's what I've had to do. During that -
Am
Busy day, busy day, busy, busy, busy day
G
Busy, busy, busy, busy day
I have had to refuel my empty tank getting into the Word to refresh my mind and spirit; placing ALL my concerns in His care. When I'm not reading - listen to Him in word or song and sing yourself. And lastly, pray -
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Jude 1:20 And likewise -
So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. 1Corinthians 14:15

As I look at a few of the flowers growing in a bed of weeds; a once beautiful garden bed. I'm reminded that I'll enjoy my time with the Lord and the flowers I do see - being grateful for the time I do have. The Lord has ALWAYS been faithful to me and has given me many gardens to enjoy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Need Your Opinion Today!

We - I know have been moving and for what seems like an eternity but still need to unload some things. My husband built this and we haven't settled on a price yet. What do you think it's worth?

It is solid cherry console w/ some cherry laminate, it's finished all the way and beautifully handcrafted.

No PRIZE involved just a hardy THANK YOU! Vik

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Day So Far . . .

Today I had a some what busy morning and thinking about it when don't I have something going on these resent days. This morning I worked some dough for bread and went to Voytko Farms to pick blue berries. This year my picking companions were my friend Joan and little sweet granddaughter Rita. I was so happy Joan asked me to pick berries with her. we went for blue berries and was blessed with black raspberries. Little Rita was a trooper and not only did she pick and get pricked; she helped spot the good ones for us. This will be a wonderful memory for me. Thank you Joanie.

After awhile Rita wanted to head back so Joan took her home, as she was tired. Then Joan came back to the farm and we headed for the blue berries. This year the blue berries were not as thick as last years but, not all were ripe just yet. I think or I hope I can get back over if a few days or so.

We have down sized quite a bit but we still have a lot to do. Our hope is to be out on Ohio at this point by the end of the month or sooner. We have to leave it in the Lords hands. He is the only one that is keeping me sane.

Today's weather is also interesting - after I got home and got my bread in the oven; clouds of what looked like doom came up. Then all of a sudden at the sky opened up and it came down hard and fast. Within about 5 minutes or more it moved on. Hey that's Ohio!


Last years post Blueberry Heaven and be found here: http://refractedlite.blogspot.com/2008/07/blueberry-heaven.html
and, Voytko Farms is found here: http://www.voytkofarms.com/ I hope if you're in the area you make plans to stop in.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Last Harvest Here ~

I thought I'd take this opportunity and share a few pictures of my Lavender this year. Strange I really would not have imagined we'd still be in Ohio, though I'm happy I was able to harvest what I could get from the couple plants had. I also took cuttings off my Greek oregano. Out of the Lavender I was able to make a few cute bundles and the rest of the buds will be used for a hefty stress pouch. Yippee!


My herb bed above sure needs some help I was not able to give. The front pictures are of three different types of mint. But the Lavender seem to do better this year than last; through in some wild growing daises and you have a very pretty picture.





Here's my cuttings. Since this was my last harvest I just cut the plants off low. You usually get one good harvest possibly two. I hoping who takes over will have a healthy harvest next year.






I can't leave out the Greek oregano. It really was left a little long but new shoots are in there and I plan on getting them!







Miki is off digging and hunting so I have Sophie as my companion. She was enjoying the sunny morning. All the pictures were taken with my phone. My Gram never would have believed it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Hiding Place ~

For weeks a bird had been luring me to my window every morning by a beautiful song. I would jump from the bed and quickly get to the window, only to be disappointed not seeing the bird singing.
Here and there throughout my day I would look into the trees to see if I could see this bird. Nope - it was so secretive in it's movements; I was just stumped and baffled each time I went outside looking! Each time going out I would be ever so careful in my movements looking around in our trees but nothing. I could only hear it's beautiful songs - I sure loved hearing them too. But, every morning the same thing accrued - and with me always saying; "What is that bird!"

I would think maybe a mocking bird with all it's different sounds but then I'd think no - it's not it.
Then one day when I was outside I saw some moment in one our Birch trees. It was dark in color but I was only able to get a glimpse of it's size and outline of its form. "What is that bird!"
Again each day I'd go out - I'm sure the bird saw me and would just keep singing away. Then just out of my mouth I said, "I bet you're a catbird!" How odd is that to say catbird, I've seen and read about so many birds but a catbird - I really can't recall reading or even seeing one.
This became a quest!

So I checked Google for "Catbird," and eureka! Gray Catbird appeared!

It wasn't to long after this that I was able to see for myself the Catbird, and such a pretty bird and not just one but also his mate. My pictures really don't do them justice.
Needless to say I was excited but I will - I was excited for sure!
I would watch them often and would see characteristics as listed on the site. I also had the opportunity to watch as they built their nest together and in what I thought was an awesome location. All I needed to do was look out the window there I could see their daily happenings- with the anticipation of and possibility of their young hatching. How awesome would that be.

The location of their nest was along a wall of the garage and where the house meet; picture if you will an L shape and there nestled in ferns and hostas - on a small tree a nest was fashioned.
Their nest was barely noticeable from the front walk or even the step into the house. You had to know what you were looking for and for most, the nest had to be pointed out.

I did my best being very careful as not to disturb them even when weeding around the general area. Oh the weeds! I really can't take it anymore with the weeds. Our yard was so beautiful, but it is what it is! My cousin suggested that I put a signs up here and there letting others know that's why I've let the weeds take over. "BIRDS ARE NESTING;" Humm - I wonder? The coolest thing about watching the Catbirds were how they seemed to get used to me, however, they still remained somewhat secretive.

One night I was letting the dogs out for the last time before bed and could smell a skunk in the vicinity. Yuck! and then it immediately got me thinking the Catbirds! I looked out front and didn't see any movement and the smell was still somewhat faint. I kept hoping the Catbirds would be safe. Skunks are a part of the weasel family and might be good for some things like keeping the rodent population down but, if they have the opportunity they'll eat birds also; as well as their eggs or young. So I check and made a bit of noise hoping to send the skunk into another direction and went to bed.

Morning came around and looking outside I was heart broken - the nest was torn apart and with no sign of the Catbirds! I'm and avid birdwatcher, I've even been known to joke sometimes about things - for example, I love using Clint Eastwood's line but change a word at the end - "I know things about birds." But truthfully - I love learning about things that interest me. However, after watching birds and collecting old nests I've often wondered why some birds build nests so poorly or in a spot that is not really that safe. And; as I ponder these thoughts - the Lord always shows me that we can learn a lot from watching birds.

One scripture has come to mind: Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it;

So many times we trust in our own devices to make our house a home failing to see that the Lord is not in it. We get wrapped up in the world and further away from the One who's shelter keeps us safe. As with some birds the nest is to flimsy. It's fashioned with weak small twigs and grasses barely woven together - from a distance it looks great but up close you will see it barely sets on a limb and surely is not safe from storm or enemy. Even up close and sitting in the nest the bird will often feel safe oblivious to the dangers around, believing no harm will come - maybe even hoping. But, a bird doesn't think so he continues to build as he doesn't not knowing any different.

Is your house a home the Lord has built? Even if you haven't a house where do you place your trust? Corrie Ten Boon didn't have a house that she lived in that was hers, even in prison she looked to the Lord - He was her hiding place a shelter from the storms and evils that came her way.
Psalm 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; Thou dost preserve me from trouble; Thou dost surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield;

Recently, I was part of a discussion on Facebook about some of the quizzes that people take and the negative effects it may have on some people. I was the one who started it by a statement (my opinion) I posted on my status. Even though the opinions of a few taking part in the discussion held firm to their belief "the quizzes are just for fun" and made up of others on Facebook; I believe I failed to get a point across. That it might not be harmful to some - but where it can be harmful - is when it reinforces how poorly those taking the quizzes see themselves. To my surprise (but not really) those who couldn't seem to grasp what I was saying were those I believed had a understanding of "unless the Lord build your house - they labor in vain who build it." This was the general consensus of some; though having the discussion with others not on Facebook and those I would consider having a belief in God but not a walk, understood the point I was making. It wasn't very pretty and that's alright. One comment was even made and I had to believe it was directed towards me was, they didn't care for "those who hide behind the Lord and the Bible to make their points or to convict others of wrong doing." I was not doing either just had an opinion of the possible harms.

To you out there reading don't take offense at what I'm writing I'm only trying to make a point on today's post of the importance of hiding in the Lord.

Like the Gray Catbirds I was watching they needed a safer shelter; a hiding place from the enemy and storms around them. When you allow the Lord (not fighting Him every step) to build your house it is a home. He does become that shelter and hiding place that you so seek from things in this world that can and will harm you.

Psalm 31:20 Thou dost hide them in the secret place of Thy presence from the conspiracies of man; Thou dost keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.

When you are in His hiding place you are with Him, David said "hide me in the shadow of Your wings." You are close. When you are close you learn because that's who you are spending your most intimate time with.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

How wonderful are Your ways oh Lord! Isn't this where you want to be? I've had trails of my own and He is the only one who's been there to get me through. I've had to hid in the shelter He has for me. I don't like the trails but grateful non- the same.

Are you in His hiding place;
that shelter He has for you?
Those of you who know Him;
You know what to do.
And,If you don't know Him;
He's there for you too.
All you do is ask Him -
He'll show Himself to you.

VLB 07/12/09



Let me know what you think about this or other posts, I'd love to hear from you.

The site below is a good one to check out this bird as well as other you may be interested in.
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/gray_catbird/lifehistory

Things you might not know about skunks:
http://www.projectwildlife.org/living-skunks.htm