God's Canvas

God's Canvas
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.~~John 15:13

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I know it seems I keep repeating myself regarding the lapse of time between new posts, but life keeps getting in the way of my wanting to sit and write something meaningful, reflective, fun, and informative.  I may not hit on all of those topics, but I do try.  To me, this is my communication to you, and I take it personally.  Therefore, the posts may be further apart than I would prefer, as I would like to do it daily, or at least weekly, but right now it seems I'm destined to just be here when I'm here.  Make sense?  I hope so.  I would truly rather there be some content than just a bunch of meaningless, forgotten words to you.  You are that important to me!

Let's see if I can catch you up on my ever-so-exciting life!!!  LOL!!!  My husband returned from a 26-day stay in Diego Garcia, a tiny little island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, some 16,451 miles from here!  I have to say that his being away was a true learning experience for me.  What I mean is that I learned a lot about myself in that I am capable of more than I realize at times.  Having a bum right leg and a very incooperative left foot/ankle, ambulating has not been my favorite activity of late.  However, when there's only you, then you do what you must.  While I tried to schedule my walking for the minimal route, there were times when I walked further than I knew I could.  The pain was the price, but I had no choice.  Again...there was only me...and the Lord.  He is the One who brought me through this, and strengthened and enlightened me regarding my ability to handle life without a daily partner doing the grunt work.  Wow...did I ever appreciate Tom more when he returned home!

Tom returned on the 1st of July and had the remnants of a wisdom tooth removed the next day, and I also visited the rheumatologist that same day to determine the type of arthritis my body seems to embrace.  Tom's tooth was a remnant because he had the dentist on the island attempt to remove the tooth.  She was not an oral surgeon and shouldn't have attempted to remove a wisdom tooth, for she was not properly trained to treat a patient with a tooth that can break off at the root during removal.  But, the truth is, she did do it and he walked around with this root in his jaw for about nine days.  Tom got along fine until his return.  The root removal was a breeze and the post-op course unremarkable.  God is so good!!!

Tom's middle son arrived from North Carolina the very next day with his family of five.  They stayed for five days and we enjoyed our time with them.  This was somewhat all-consuming in that it was difficult to do much else and I was too tired to write, so I am glad to say that today affords me a little time to update the blog and at least let you know I havent' abandoned you.
In the meantime, I have had several family birthdays which of course necessitates the knitting and/or crochet needles to come out so that I can make something "homemade" for them.  I have often made hand-made items for them, as they seem to like it, and I love doing it!  It keeps me sane.  The following is my latest baby ensemble, which is for my next-door neighbor's new granddaughter, Hailie.  I decided to use yellow yarn this time.  Hailie is a little "California girl," and yellow seemed very fitting for her.

As you can see, I chose black ribbons for embellishment, and I crocheted a pansy, without a pattern, because I had no pattern to follow.  I just began crocheting and prayed a lot!  This is what I got:

This photo (taken with a cell phone) doesn't really compliment the true colors used for the pansy, but I chose black yarn and yellow cotton thread to make the flower.

The back of the dress was detailed with a little white button for closure (I couldn't find black buttons) and a black bow to match the bow on the front of the dress, as well as the bows on the hat and booties.

I suspect her mother will send a photo of little Hailie donning this ensemble, and when she does so I will share it with you. 
My garden continues to thrive, and a couple of things have been added:  a hydrangea from my friend, Faye, which has yet to be planted because I cannot decide the perfect spot for it.  Right now, it is loving the front yard because it gets morning sun and evening shade.  She gave me some cuttings from her other hydrangeas, which are currently being rooted in my front yard garden too.  We'll see how that goes.  I added some petunias and portulaca to my front porch planter, which is nice and colorful (purple, white and yellow--happy colors).

My newest prize, though, is the "bleeding heart" that Faye also shared with me from her garden last year.  She gave me a cutting last summer, which I never planted.  I kept it alive all winter in water and planted it in a pot this spring.  It is gorgeous!  Making this all the more special is the fact that the cuttings came from her father's plant.  She, like me, is a total daddy's girl, so we share lots of things regarding fathers and gardens.
This is a close-up of the full bloom of the bleeding heart:

The plant is hanging full of these blooms and it is a delight!  Every time I approach our front porch, I marvel at its beauty!!!

I don't have a recent photo (this was taken a couple of weeks ago), but it is now about four feet tall and hanging full of these gorgeous blooms!  I think I will plant it in front of my living room window, as it will eventually require a trellis and provide me with much beauty through the entire summer!
I do have a better camera with which to take photos, but being digital and barely used, it requires a new battery in order for me to use it.  I am blessed in that my husband usually gives me his hand-me-down camera when he buys a new one.  This hand-me-down camera is no slouch!  I just need to get my confidence up to a point where I believe in myself enough to use it.  When I do, I promise you better photos.
Finally, here is an aerial view of my shamrock, which is faring quite well in spite of the heat.

I'll be adding a few new websites and/or blogs for you.  I hope that you'll enjoy them as much as I have and find inspiration in your creativity.

I wish you joy, peace, happiness, goodness, and kindness!  It is a privilege to write about my life, mostly to share it with you...my on line friends...who are gracious enough to read my blog.  I have a lot of things planned for the blog that will have to come later, but once I have had the necessary surgeries to heal my knee and foot, I'll be good as new!  I am praying for all of you!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Today, I celebrated a quiet day.  My husband is still 16,000+ miles away.  My father is in North Carolina.  Still, all is well.   Our church service was amazing today, with a special speaker from our church who serves the Lord with all of his heart!  James spoke about the "king" in all of us!  His sermon was fantastic, and I cannot wait to get the copy of it so I can listen again to his awesome wisdom!

The nice surprise I received today was my husband's twin brother, Mike, visiting our church.  He's here from New York, checking on his property and his father.  We all had a nice lunch together after church. Mike and I will definitely talk before he returns to New York.  He told me that he would be here when my Tom returns, and that's always a treat because of the way they spar between one another!  They are just too funny!

It seems that everyone is taking vacations somewhere this year...and not just one, but several!  I am very happy for them, and think it is amazing to be able to go and see new places.   Hopefully, when my broken body is completely healed, or at least somewhat repaired, I will be going too!

I'm going to keep this short tonight.   My sweet little dogs are with me, one in my lap and the other snoring on the floor, and they deserve to have their snacks before bedtime.  They know their routines so well!

They truly keep me going...okay, running...or at least as much as I can run.  They are my joy, and a treasure to love and care for.  Quillie, our bird, is also a great comfort to me.

I pray that your Father's Day has been a wonderful and warm day, and that you had fellowship with one another, if you were in fact close enough to do so.  Hopefully soon, I'll be further north where I can drive to see my Daddy once again, not just for days such as this, but all of the time!

In closing, I want to post my favorite photograph of my father.  This was taken while we were walking the lane leading to his house, approximately five years ago for his 70th birthday.  The way the morning light captured his face is so lovely, though it may not show here.  But, given the day and the celebration, I truly find it an honor to post this photograph of him!

Thanks, Daddy, for your unending love and for showing me that the true measure of a man is not who he is or what he has, but how well he is loved by those who know him.

I've posted a few new links (blogs) for you, and I'm working on writing my patterns to post here.  This is a bit more daunting that I'd originally thought, so please bear with me.

I wish you all an awesome week, and I ask that you lift me up in prayer so that I can perhaps finish the needlework projects I began several weeks ago!  I have to have at least three projects (and books) going at all times, you know, or I'm never content!  God bless you!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday...my favorite day of the week!

As you can see, I've made a few not-so-subtle changes to the blog.  I was growing tired of the prior image and felt  it needed lightening up, so to speak.  I've been blessed with so many gorgeous flowers from the yards of my friends, so rather than shower you with my latest stitching projects, I would like to share some of the beauties I've received in the past two weeks.

One of my dearest friends, Faye, surprised me with a gorgeous hydrangea that I would describe as somewhere between mauve and fuschia.  It is truly one of the prettiest colors I've ever seen and one that only our Lord could create, for it is perfect in every way!  I won't be able to plant it until my husband returns, as the digging would do me in physically, so I am truly looking forward to planning it's "home" in our yard and enjoying its beauty and the memories it conjures up of my grandmother's yard full of hyrangea bushes.  Every time we visited her, she would load me up with a bouquet from her hydrangea collection.  I couldn't wait to get them home and into a beautiful vase to enjoy for the coming week!

It's really late or actually early, nearly 2:00 a.m.  Sleeping is not coming easily since my husband has left the country, and I find myself staying up and, rather than going to bed, actually falling asleep with some form of handwork in my lap.  When did I grow old?

I will not post an encyclopedia tonight, but would really enjoy sharing these gorgeous flowers with you, my friends.  May they bless your heart as they have mine!

This is the color I remember most from my maternal grandmother's yard over 40 years ago.

This is the color that Faye chose for me.  I love it!

And this is one I've never seen before...such a delicate and pristine color!

Faye grows calla lilies, and they are sturdy and quite long-lasting.  Last year, she brought me one that was nearly a burnt sienna color that was stunning!  I really enjoy these delicate pinks, though.  Once a girl, always a girl, huh?

I am embarrassed to say that neither myself nor Faye can name these flowers.  If you are able to tell me what they are, please write and let me know.  Thanks!

Faye grows the most beautiful lillies I've ever seen.  This is a favorite of mine!

This dahlia is actually in my garden, having been given to me last summer by Faye.

And this ends the walk through my faux garden for this morning.  I must try and get some sleep because tomorrow is my favorite day of the week...the day I go to worship my Lord in the fellowship of other believers.  I wish you all a blessed day...until we meet again!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Time is such a strange element.  In and of itself, we are dependent on it and no one is exempt from this strange and nearly co-dependent relationship.  In my mind, I will assess a time frame and suddenly realize that I've run out of time.  I've heard it said so many times, "We have all the time in the world," and yet there are days when I wonder where the time went!  I remember when I was a young child trying to assess time in my mind and thinking that there was such a wealth of time that I would never see the age of 13, 18, 21.  And then it was there, like a flash of lightening, and just as powerful in its arrival.  I was 13 and beginning junior high, 18 and graduating from high school, 21 and married, working in the medical field and loving my "young" years and life.  Then, I was 25, 30, 40, and 50!  A decade is beginning to seem like the lengthy, yet short, commercials we see between segments or scenes in a favorite television show.  I remember thinking that I would surely remember being 17, riding in my boyfriend's car, when I turn 40.  It seemed like lightyears away that the 40th birthday event would take place...and then I blinked...and there I was...and here I am.  Time...a precious commodity...something none of us really possess enough of...and we pray for more...and sometimes less...depending on our comfort levels.  It is yet difficult to believe that not all of those things on my "Bucket List" will be accomplished, for I have begun the painful realization that I haven't enough time to complete the list before my life is a vapor. 

Since my last blog post, Mother's Day came and went, my husband's birthday was celebrated, and we've had a guest or two wander in off I-95.  We are conveniently located near the Interstate going south to the fabulous Florida.  Mother's Day was once again not easy, but this year I was prompted to honor my mother in church on that Sunday.  I prepared a three-page presentation to honor Mom and just knew I would be fine...I would not fall apart...I would honor her with dignity and pride, and mostly with love.  Yeah...right!  When I arrived at the paragraph where I received the phone call telling me she had died...I totally lost it!  By the grace of God and through my sobs, I got through the presentation and the congregation was compassionate and loving.  I was so thankful for this, for I am by no means a public speaker, and I truly felt like I was going to melt on that stage!  I managed to remain in one puddle, and I honestly don't remember much after that until I was on my comfy sofa and napping, which is my usual m.o. on Sunday afternoons.

I finally felt like I would get the chance to sit down and share my projects with you and then before we knew it, it was time to begin getting Tom ready for his one-month sojourn to Diego Garcia.  There was medication to order, clothes to either purchase and/or launder, and prepare for packing, and all of the tasks that accompany the usual preparations for a long trip.  Tom has been gone since June 6th, and after resting and attending a doctor's appointment and my usual Tuesday morning Bible study, I made up my mind that nothing was going to get in the way of updating this blog!

Happily, in the interim, I have been experimenting with some new patterns, wanting to beef up the inventory for the Ladies Basket Ministry at church.  I find that if I am able to keep a few items made ahead of time there won't be 20 babies born in the same month or day and catch us empty-handed.  I have found some luscious patterns, and made booties, sweaters, hats, and even a bear for the Mother Bear Charity, which is listed in one of my newest gadgets, Favorite Charities.  I hope you will find time to visit some of these sites and learn of the wonderful things being done for those who are less fortunate than others.  Making charitible items is not everyone's preference...nor...ahem...do they have the time, but for myself it is perfect.  I often find myself buying into feeling like I'm useless because of being disabled and not working any more, so being able to do something like this blesses me more than the recipient!  The Mother Bear Project is dear to my heart, especially after seeing the brochure that accompanies the purchase of the pattern(s) for the projects.  For most of these children, the bears are all they have in this world!  To be a part of that is humbling and yet exuburant in it's aftermath.  There is something so special about making a child smile. 

In this photograph, the bear is shown nearly completed and will be seamed together and stuffed.  The organization furnishes you with a tag for each pattern which the knitter/crocheter ties on the wrist of the bear before shipping it.  This is the first project I have knitted that wasn't just straight and flat, although it is sort of like a scarf.  There was a bit of shaping and a lot of praying during its construction!  I am going to crochet the next bear and I'll let you know which I prefer.

As I mentioned, I have been experimenting with booties because they are always a nice little gift to have prepared in case someone slips up and has a baby without me knowing it, and of course they are perfect items for our basket ministry.  They have been such fun to make and at times maddening mainly because I am often dysfunctional when it comes to reading and actually working a pattern correctly.  Often, I will later find something on line where someone has wondered the same things I have wondered regarding a particular pattern, so maybe I'm not the village idiot I think I am!

I obtained this pattern from one of the charity sites but didn't copy down the name of the person.  As soon as I locate the name, I will publish it.

This is a little pair of moccasins that I sort of woke up in the middle of a rainbow while crocheting them...and...voila!  The pattern is from a book entitled First Crochet Projects For Beginners.  I have made this pattern for several friends and they love them!  The wonderful thing about these is that you can experiment with different yarns and colors, and the ribbon possibilities are endless as well.  Also, both boys and girls can wear these.

These tiny little wonders are fun and easy to make, and so delicate and feminine.  There are buttons on each side to fasten the booties.  These are precious with a pair of baby socks on those sweet little feet before donning the booties.  This pattern came from the magazine, Crochet World, Volume 28, No. 3, copyright 2005.  I obtained the pattern from the Internet.  It appears somewhat vintage.

I am still in the process of designing a pattern for a pair of booties I have made in the past for which I cannot find the pattern.  They are precious, easy, and work up very quickly.  I will add my own touch to make the pattern mine and publish it by the next blog (hopefully....but no more promises!). 

Currently on my needle(s):

What you're seeing is a yellow baby dress from the May/June 2010 issue of Crochet Today Magazine.  I haven't attempted a lacy dress before, so please pray for me.  The yoke is what you are seeing on the right and it looks so much larger because of the photograph in the magazine being so small...but you get the idea, I'm sure.  I will post the finished product before it goes to my neighbor for her granddaughter.

On different note, I have been blessed with so many beautiful flowers.  On Mother's Day, my daughter, Dessi, blessed me with a beautiful bouquet of roses which lasted nearly two full weeks!  She surprised me with them the Thursday before Mother's Day so I was able to enjoy them early.  What a joy and sweet surprise!  She blesses my life in ways unimaginable!  Her mother, Sashka, will be arriving on July 23rd, and I am eager to see her again.  What a lovely woman!

There's the upright table view, one of the "sterling silver" roses, and then an aerial view of the roses blossoming into full blooms literally before my eyes!  I enjoyed these so very much and the colors and fragrance were incredible.  Thank you, Baby Girl!

Shortly after Mother's Day, my doorbell rang one day and there stood a man on my doorstep with a bouquet of flowers that I surmised were likely for one of my neighbors who were not home.  I am home most of the time, so I am happily the "go-to" person for deliveries belonging to neighbors.  I was mistaken.  This time, the bouquet was from the Yildiz family, a wonderful family of people from Turkey who own OPS Pizza Kitchen and Cafe.  We frequent their place often because we enjoy the food, but more importantly we love and enjoy the owners!  By the way, we were told by the owners that "OPS" is the Greek symbol for prosperity.  It is truly so for them, for they are loved and their restaurants are frequented often by the people of our small community.  I was in tears at their kindness and generosity.  I often sit and marvel at God's beautiful mercy over my life in the area of friends and their loving kindness.  I just cannot believe it at times!

Fast forward to May 29th and we have our "cell group" meeting, which is  group of people in our church who meet independently to worship the Lord and learn of His messages to us through His word and through each other.  This was nearly like a family reunion, in that my daughter, Dessi, was in town that weekend from Athens, Georgia, and my friend, Kai, who is now attending our church, along with a young man who has recently moved to our town.  They all gathered at our house before going to the home of the cell group hosts.  Kail brought us a gorgeous bouquet from her garden, consisting of hydrangeas and gardenias.  Mmmmmm...is there any other fragrance on earth sweeter than a gardenia or magnolia?  Not in my humble opinion.  The funny thing is that Kai brought to me the very flowers from her garden that I had used to make my wedding bouquet just five years previously.  She was gracious in allowing me to take a few cuttings for a bridal bouquet.  It was truly a sweet gesture on her behalf, and I have appreciated the flowers greatly!

I have a dear friend, Faye, who also is an avid gardener, and this is the time of year when I never know what I'll get, but I can bet on getting something!  Last week, the bouquets began and you will see the lovely surprises I received.


Faye and Kai both know that I am unable to spend as much time in my garden anymore, so they adorn me with the gifts of beauty grown in their gardens.  Only a true friend would do this for me, and I realize that, although I love the flowers, their friendships are far more valuable!  Thanks, girls...and you know I love you!!

To top it off, Sunday night in church, Faye brought me the most gorgeous hydrangea I'd ever seen!  The color is luscious, and I know that only our Lord could produce such perfection!  Faye did not identify the flower in the middle, so I apologize for this.


I am blessed to have friends who adorn me with the gifts from their garden.  The peace these blossoms bring to me is immeasurable.  I say this because I was brought up "playing in the dirt" with my grandfather--a master gardener.  His vegetables, flowers, shrubs, trees, and the gift God gave him to grow them were amazing!  They nourished our bodies and our souls.  I remember once, after planting a vegetable garden in my deep back yard, him praying and asking the Lord to bless and increase what he had planted.  He possessed a beautiful baritone voice that resonated like none other I'd ever heard, and he could be heard all over my neighborhood!  We had an unbelievable garden that year and it fed us and many other neighbors who were less fortunate.

I look forward to updating this blog soon when projects are completed and new opportunities arrive into my always surprising life.  God bless all of you!

Hang in there!

I'm feeling horribly guilty about the lag in my blog posts, in my promise to post patterns, etc.  I have no idea why humans make plans because life will happen and the next thing you know, you are apologizing for things like a sloppy blog schedule...yikes!

My husband has left the country for a month, and the days surrounding his departure became crazier and wilder by the minute.  Now that he's gone and has safely arrived after a 30+hour flight, I'm going to have more time on my hands to get this blog updated and post some new photos of all things crafty and lovely.

So...hang in there with me and remember that I promise to keep my promise this time!  I promise!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!!

GOD said, "Build A Better World"
And I said, "How?
The world is such a cold, dark place,
And so complicated now,
And I so old and useless.
There's nothing I can do."
But GOD in all of his wisdom said,
"Just build a better you!"

I was going through a little basket which belonged to my mother.  It was on her dresser, but most of the contents used to be on her desk years earlier, before she retired.  She'd see a poem, quote or story and clip it out and put it with her little basket.  I am going to be speaking tomorrow morning at church in honor of Mother's Day.  Since my mother went to Heaven, I have desperately wanted to honor her before my friends and family.  Tomorrow is my opportunity to honor the woman who loved me so much that she sacrificed so that I could have the things I wanted.  Based on what I wrote, which is about three and one-half pages, I should be at the podium for five minutes or so.  It seems like such a short tribute to this larger-than-life woman.  Nevertheless, I think she would be proud for what is being said about her and how much she is truly loved and missed.

I am including a little craft project I completed several months ago.  I saw this on another blog in a photograph.  There were no instructions for the project, so I copied it as best I could from the photo.  It turned out very well, all things considered!  ...Certainly well enough for me to complete a mouse!

This is my Knitting Kitty!

The original project was a mouse, which I made, but did not wish to publish out of respect for the artist.  The knitting needles were made from fancy toothpicks (fun!) and then I attached yarn and cast on a few stitches and knitted a row so that the Kitty would truly be a "Knitting Kitty."
I have a photo of the two side by side, and the comparisons are cute!  The reason I made a kitty was because all I could think of was "Cat & Mouse."  I figured the little mouse needed a companion and I didn't want him to be lonely.  Ergo, the Knitting Kitty.

I met a very kind and Godly woman on line.  Her name is Marie.  She has a blog and I am going to include her url on my blog so that you can visit her.  She is amazing and has lots of beautiful yarn and wonderful prices.  Let's support this very special woman of God! 


My beautiful daughter, Dessi, sent me a bouquet of roses last Thursday that are simply elegant and refined.  Their colors are white, deep red, mauve and pink.  I know most people wouldn't think those colors would work, but when you use the rose as its' medium...LOOKOUT!

Arent' these heavenly?  I have enjoyed their beauty immensely!

A friend of mine from high school stopped by Friday on his way home to Florida.  We hadn't seen one another in five years!  He is like a baby brother to me, only he is several feet taller than I am at this point!

Doug is on your right-hand side.  His friend, Cary, is on the left.  They had made a business run up to our nation's capital and stopped by our house on the way home!  It was such fun to see Doug, as he hadn't been to our home before.  He is so complimentary, kind, loving and committed to me.  Friendships like that are few and far between.  Thanks, Dougie, for coming by and adding to the special events of my week!

And finally, I leave you with a photo of my Amaryllis that was given to me in 2008.  This is its second year blooming from my garden.  I truly enjoy it and am prepared to separate blubs soon, as i it is beginning to multiply.

I wish you all a wonderful Mother's Day!  I thank you so much for your support and understanding when it comes to my blog.  It is something that I am experimenting with and enjoying completely!
Wishing you blessings!!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I feel so slack for being unable to update this post these past few weeks. I have two Yorkies. In truth, one is mine and the other belongs to my dear friend (in my heart he is mine, though). The one whom I own has diabetes and pancreatitis and is considered a senior dog (age 8). Two weeks ago, he became very ill and, of course, this meant immediate attention to his needs. Pancreatitis, when ignored, usually ends their lives. Therefore, as in-love as I am about my baby boy, off he went to the vet's office and subsequently into the clinic's hospital for observation. Sammy hates being away from me. He is very co-dependent when it comes to me. This is a nature of their breed, not a behavior I enjoy nor encourage. The stress he feels from being away from home magnifies his diabetes and pancreatitis conditions. Therefore, we were able to bring him home after two nights and three entire days. His blood sugar monitoring is extremely important. For some reason, his vet will not allow me to check his blood sugar, although I am sure I could with no problem with my medical background. Nonetheless, Sammy is doing much better and seemingly adjusting to the addition of probiotic powder on his food (yum!) and his new insulin dose. He has to go back for a full day next Monday (May 10th) and hopefully after that he will be home-free for about 2-3 months. Rajah, our little boy who comes daily for daycare, suddenly developed gastroenteritis issues this weekend and today he was sick enough that he stopped eating. Last night, I was up with him just like a little child for nearly the entire night. His vet makes house calls, so she saw Rajah around 12:15 p.m., and by 12:35 p.m. he was back in the house having had his treatment for what she feels is a "little virus." He has eaten for the first time in about 16 hours and is resting in my lap. Okay...that's the Yorkie update and part of the reason for my absence.

This is my Sammy

And this is tiny Rajah...don't let his size fool you!

I have begun to notice that the bone in my left ankle has shifted. What I thought was swelling is actually the result of osteoarthritis. The bone has shifted and it is incredibly painful. So, now along with my other maladies, I am dealing with crippling arthritis...yet another surprise in my life. But, I will deal with it like I have dealt with all of the other things thrown at me. One day at a time, and through my faith in Christ Jesus, along with His eternal grace and favor, I am living my life regardless of the physical threats. It may be different than I had planned and certainly more painful, but nonetheless I don't give up easily!

Sadly, all of these circumstances cost me time at the computer, and it takes a lot to keep posts up-to-date and photos current. I will make no more promises regarding this blog, other than doing my best to keep it more current until my knee surgery happens in September, when I will undoubtedly be away for several days/weeks. Thanks to all of you who follow me and understand. I ask for continued patience with me, for this will become a much more interesting blog as my body heals and is relieved of some of this pain.

For the past few weeks, I have at least been able to crochet and knit. As most of you know, this brings me great pleasure and joy. The ladies of my church have developed a "basket" ministry. This involves making custom gift baskets for people who have celebrated a new baby, a new marriage, a new home, or on the down side, perhaps a health issue, a death in their life, or an ongoing need in their lives. This has been a pure joy for us as women of our church to bless others. In so doing, the blessing is truly ours. My part in this has largely been crocheting or knitting baby items. Since the blood clot in my leg has been an issue and I have been prescribed to rest, the needlework has been a real blessing for many reasons, mainly being able to bless others, but also the pure joy of creating something beautiful for a baby boy or girl to wear. I plan also to knit some dishcloths for other baskets if people ever stop having babies!

I have been diligently working on my friends' scarves and it is obvious that they will not use these until next fall/winter, but they are gorgeous and are a pure joy for me to work with and eventually complete. Two of the three are nearly done.

I do hope that this post finds you all blessed and happy, healthy and whole, and again I am so happy that you give me the time I need to heal and recover without being so critical of me. This has taught me a real lesson in being judgmental, such that when I see blogs that are not updated I have been frustrated by this; however, I now realize that sometimes there are circumstances beyond our control that dictate how much time we can afford at the computer and therefore designing our blog information.

You are all so special to me, and I adore the opportunity to pray for you. Blessings and joy to all of you who read this!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring Fever

Good Morning to all of you!  I have to admit that not a great deal of progress has been made toward getting photos posted, projects finished, etc.  I have been feverisly searching for the perfect bootie pattern (crochet preferred, but will take anything at this point!).  I have spent literally hours researching my patterns, online patterns, etc., and have tried perhaps five different bootie patterns to no avail.  Either the pattern is incorrect and I have to figure out what to do (which I don't really mind because I always learn from that), or the yarn and needles instructed are rarely spot on in terms of gauge.  This can be very time consuming!  I have completed another sweater (will post photos soon), and wish to complete booties and a hat or bonnet.  I have until the end of the month to do this.  At least the sweater is done.  If anyone has an easy peasy pattern for booties that you love, please feel free to share with me.  I am grateful to you if you choose to share!

Health Update:  I have seen four doctors in two weeks, and I'm exhausted from the process as well as the travel.  Ugh!  I am grateful to God for providing these professionals and do not in any way minimize their importance to my situation.  The knee surgery has been rescheduled for September 7th...Happy Birthday to me!  No matter..I am so eager to have this done that I would likely do it on Christmas day (not really)!  The vascular physician's assistant said that my left leg would never be normal and the swelling would never subside.  I told him that he has his medical reasons for stating that, but I have my personal and spiritual reasons for believing that God can and will change that curse spoken over me!  I have chosen to believe for a miracle and I believe that God will manifest my healing in His divine time.

I plan on getting to my main computer (this is my laptop) soon in an effort to post some photos I've taken of projects that have been ongoing for several weeks and some that I began and finished in a week.  People are having babies and getting married, which means out comes the yarn stash and the appropriate needles to complete the joyful task of creating something original for someone I love!

Spring is alive and well here, and the pollen is rampant!  I've never seen it like this in all of my 53 years!  Indeed, my sinuses are living proof of the pollen count, but nevermind that..I am in love with the cool weather and the birds singing, flowers blooming, etc.  God's amazing works are so evident in all of the little buds on the trees and shrubs, plants and flowers.  All of my plants are waking up and have been properly pruned for their new growth for this year's summer season.  How I love working with God's beautiful nature!  The rewards are priceless!

I went out on a limb this week and made homemade Rosemary shampoo.  I love it!  It is mild, fragrant, and my hair is as soft as silk.  I have a multitude of Rosemary growing in my herb garden, and because it is a perennial and an evergreen, I will continue to host a ton of it unless I give it away.  I have harvested it and cooked with it, and now the shampoo.  I've done so much with it that I feel like I should change my name to Rosemary!

I will return soon with a newer post and some photos.  Until then...be blessed in all that you do.  You are in my prayers!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I thank you so much for showing an interest in this half-hearted attempt at blogging!  I find myself almost embarrassed at telling folks about my blog, but I am slowly but surely sharing it.

Each day brings me closer to healing and I am believing God for the miracles I need in my body.  I thank all of you who are praying and have prayed.  You are my blessings!

I wish for you all a blessed and awesome Resurrection Day as you remember what Jesus did for you, how He died for you, and how He rejoices in knowing that you love Him!

There is no other God before Him, and there is no God like Jehovah!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

An Exciting New Web Site!

Today is the birthday of my very dear childhood friends, Robin Stahura.  Those of you in the S.E. U.S. area may not know her, as she lives in Virginia.  Portsmouth to be exact, which is the town where I was born.  She is an amazingly creative woman who makes jewelry that is unique, one-of-a-kind and very beautiful pieces!  I have included her web address for you to refer to on my blog.  For quick reference, it is http:\\relicsbyrobin.com.  Be sure that you visit her web site.  It is still in the early construction phase, so please bear with her and know that it will be worth the wait!  Robin is one of the hardest-working women I have ever known and her ambition is matchless.  She has a beautifully creative style and mind.  I haven't seen a match for it yet, and I have lived 53 years!  Be sure you let her know what you think of her gorgeous creations.

Not much going on in my world except trotting to doctors and knitting and crocheting when I have a chance.  I love doing both, so it is a joy when I must travel to Jacksonville for a medical appointment.  Tom usually drives and I get to work on my current projects.  I always take a bag along with me that is equipped with yarn and needles, and a current project, on which to spend time working.

I hope your week is going well and you are creating things....beautiful things...with your hands.  Remember to send me photos of your recent projects, as I am inspired by the work that others do.

God bless you!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Finally...an update!

You have been so patient with me, and I appreciate it. These past few weeks have been a trial to say the least, and there are more doctors getting involved over this little blood clot than I could ever have imagined! I am on blood thinners and that has been an eye-opener, especially with my diet. I have to pretty much eat the same foods and amounts of them every day, or it can affect the Coumadin levels in my blood. The good thing is that it makes me want to eat healthier. The one thing that patients on blood thinners must avoid is foods rich in vitamin K. I knew this before with my medical background, but what I didn't know is that one may ingest foods rich in vitamin K as long as these foods are eaten pretty much on a daily basis and one does not deviate from that eating schedule. That's good news for my brother and step-father who had their aortic valve replaced several years ago.

I am probably going to be absent more than present in the coming weeks, but hopefully this clot will dissolve and I'll be good as new in a few weeks. Let's pray...okay? I have been knitting and Georgia's scarf has grown leaps and bounds! I have nearly finished her daughter's scarf too. Yay! Then, I will start on Jon's, who is Georgia's son. In the meantime, there is a wedding and a few babies being born, so I may have to sideline a couple of quick gifts in that regard. That will keep me entertained!

My sister visited me and stayed for nearly three weeks while my husband toured Italy. She was here long enough for me to teach her how to knit on a kntting loom, and really loved it! I sort of thought she would because she likes to do latch hook rugs. I sent a loom to her home upon her departure so that she can have one of her own and begin making some blankets, scarves, etc.  Her projects are only limited by her imagination.

I am going to post a new website and blog with this post.  I was looking around for a baby bootie and sweater pattern when I ran across a site that makes acrylic eyes for Amigurumi figures. This site is called "Suncatcher Eyes." These little eyes are the most beautiful, haunting things I've ever seen to be used as eyes on critter projects.  While perusing this site, lovingly created by a nice person named Michelle, I discovered free crochet patterns for enchanting little Amigurumi creatures. The eyes are really what give them their personalities. The boundaries are endless in terms of creativity, so I encourage you to visit her site and purchase the eyes she makes. You won't be sorry, especially if you enjoy creating little "babies" for your children or grandchildren, or even a niece, nephew or cousin! Let me know what you think.  My mom used to tell me that the eyes are the windows of the soul.  Seeing these creations makes me think of that phrase.

I will keep this shorter than usual tonight, as I am growing tired and need to get some rest. Thank you all for reading my blog, for being patient, and for tolerating my lack at this time. I promise to make it up to you when I have recovered. I won't be having knee surgery until some time in September now that the clot is present, so I have some time to research and share sites, patterns, etc. Until next time, be blessed!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Miracles and other things on the horizon

I went to see the vascular surgeon yesterday.  He explained to me that I had experienced a pulmonary embolism and lived without the aid of blood thinners...pretty much unheard of.  He also said that I was the only patient in his entire medical history who ever experienced this without the aid of blood thinners and lived to tell about it.  He then went on to tell me I was lucky to be alive.  I had to tell him that it wasn't luck, it was God!  There is no way I can sit here in the wee hours like this and not give God the glory, honor and praise for saving my life...thank you, Lord!!!

My sister arrives tomorrow from New Jersey.  She will get a little break from the snow and shoveling.  It will be in the 70's while she's here, and that delights my soul!  My husband is going to Naples, Italy on Saturday, and he felt I should have someone with me while he's gone in case this clot decides to travel any more, which is highly unlikely.  I guess it just eases his mind to know I'm not alone in his absence.  I am never alone, though....as I have a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to accompany me through my day!

I have been knitting away.  Georgia's scarf is now over 30 inches in length!  Only 54 more inches to go!  Yay!  The completed scarf will have over 15,000 stitches in it.  I think that is amazing.

I am going to pick up my sister in the morning, and then we are off to my orthopedic surgeon's office for me to speak with him about the DVT, and address this horrible pain that is in my left ankle. I am so hoping it wll not be a surgial issue.  I spend half of my life waiting, but I have no choice.  The doctor is afraid of putting me in the operating room this close to a DVT and pulmonary embolism.  I agree with him and admire his candor in telling me how close to death I could be in a surgical situation, and also that he is planning on waiting six months before even considering the surgery.  He has never lost a patient to a blood clot in his life and I don't think he wants me to be the first loss.  Neither do I.

I wish you all happiness and fun this weekend, and I encourage you to tell people you love them, smile often, speak to a stranger with kindness, and love like there will be no tomorrow.  I know I am going to practice this advice because I was closer to death than ever before, and I value having the opportunity to improve someone else's day.  I'm starting with you...you are all amazing, and I appreciate your reading my blog and being my friend!  God bless you!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Surprise, Surprise!

I know it's been a while since I posted anything, but I'm a little under the weather.  I discovered last week that I have a blood clot in my left leg.  There's been a lot of swelling and pain in that leg, and my orthopedic surgeon who will hopefully perform the total knee joint replacement in May referred me to a vascular surgeon.  I had some testing last Thursday and lo and behold there was a little friend hiding in my popliteal vein!  Since I have a bevy of diagnoses, they did not know exactly how to handle this.  Protocol is hospitalization (yuk!) and blood thinners.  The jury is still out on what they will do with me, as I have to see the vascular doctor Tuesday.  He happened not to be in the office last Thursday, and I received the news from his physician's assistant.  Needless to say, I am on bed rest and compression, which I have basically been doing and which likely has attributed to the fact that this clot didn't throw (that, and Jesus being on my side!).  I am sharing this with you because the new posts will be sporadic for the next few weeks.  I ask your forgiveness and patience with me.  I know that the blog is not getting a lot of hits now, but the few I recieve I appreciate greatly!  You are all such warm, friendly people.  I am so pleased with the comments that have been left by you all.  I have always said that crafters are the nicest people in the world, and you all are living proof!

In my current situation, I haven't let knitting or crocheting pass me by.  I am not finished with Georgia's (slip stitch) scarf, but I would say about 1/3 of the way through...yay!!!  I have almost finished the scarf for Gabby that I mentioned in an earlier post.  I offered to put pom-poms on her scarf as an embellishment, and she liked the idea.  I am going to have lots of fun making those while I'm resting...thanks, Gabby!!!  I will begin her brother, Jon's scarf and work on that as soon as her scarf is finished, and I promise photos.  Here's a photo of Georgia's scarf in progress:

The following photo is the public and wrong sides of the scarf. 

The colors in this yarn are amazing, and it's such fun to keep knitting to see what unfolds!

I have lots of new ideas running around in my head for patterns that I hope to post before my surgery in May..so hold on...I promise to give you more than just updates, photos and links.  I don't want to lose the followers I have because of boredom!  I've actually got a list of things I want to create and finish so that I can post the patterns here, many of them I will store up for after the knee surgery.  I promise to have something in the coming weeks, though.

I have one more photo of my Yorkie to share with you, and I know you've seen him before, but I love looking at him.  His beauty and sweet company never cease to amaze me.  Thanks for indulging me.

And, we cannot forget Sammy's little friend, Rajah, who stays with us quite often.

It's hard to believe that March is on our heels, but indeed it is.  When I married my husband, I learned that his mother was a wonderful crafter.  She had a thimble collection, many of which my husband purchased for her during his travels.  Last year, I found a shelf for the thimbles, and was then able to clean them and display them with great pride.  I would like to share them with you in the coming months.  This month, I am going to show you the St. Patrick's Thimble.  It's ceramic.  I have no idea the age of the thimbles, nor their worth, but I know they are priceless to my husband and me.

My sister, Kimberly, will arrive this week from New Jersey, and I think she'll be glad for the respite from all of the snow (15 inches last Thursday and Friday).  She's coming to stay with me while my husband travels to Italy, and to help me recover from surgery.  She will stay through the end of June, as my husband will be traveling to Diego Garcia again for most of that month.  I have no idea when I'll be back to post new information, but I will definitely try to be back soon.  Thanks for all of your kindness, prayers, and loyalty to me!