Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Blue Ridge Parkway Tunnel Quilt

I haven't posted in months and now this morning, I decided to post twice... Hehe! Maybe I should make it three...Life in 3D can take on many forms...
Here we have a quilt that I made recently. It measures 20"x30". It was taken designed from a photograph taken by Eric McCarty of TriOutdoors.com. You can friend his page Blue Ridge Parkway Daily on Facebook and see his fabulous photos. He gave me permission to use his image in creating this quilt.
 The back looks so good, I have to show it off! My mom suggested using a black back with gold thread and I am really happy with it.
I am currently working on its big sister, who measures 44"x54" (or something like that). I'll measure again after it is finished.

What's in Your Name?

What is your name, O God?
Your name is Almighty God,
The God who sees,
the God who hears.
Your name is Good Shepherd,
Great Physician, Provider,
I AM, Jehovah and Abba Father
In your name there is power,
majesty and gentle shelter.
There is life, health and strength.
Your name gives light, hope and comfort.
Your righteousness spreads like
the warm rays of the sun.

Psalm 48:1 Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with righteousness.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Half Square Triangles

I'm making blocks for a block swap and they require eight half-square triangles (1/2 sq tri). Rather than do them two at a time by cutting 3 7/8" squares, I figured out how to make eight at a time. This is not something new, many others have demonstrated this technique. I just wanted to write my own instructions to refer to.

First, you need to know what size 1/2 sq tri you will be using. My block calls for a 3" square finished. Add 7/8" to that measurement equalling 3 7/8". Now multiply that by two, equalling 7 3/4".

I cut a 7 3/4" square from my light and one from my dark. On the wrong side of the light with a pencil, mark a vertical and horizontal line at the center. Then mark both diagonal lines.

Stitch 1/4" on both sides of the diagonal lines. Cut on all the drawn lines, taking care not to move the pieces until all lines are cut.

Press seam to the dark side and you have eight half-square triangles!

Suffering in the Will of God

I know it’s not near Christmas yet, but believe it or not, we are already practicing Christmas music in choir. We actually began in July! It takes months to prepare and develop a book of music into a complete program.

This year, there is a song, “A Baby Changes Everything.” It talks about Mary and her fear and possible shame in her pregnancy. How telling Joseph will be difficult and no one will believe that she has not been with another man.

This touches me personally in a place that is healed but always still tender. You know how a scar is still sensitive, years after healing? Mary’s situation was special for she was in the will of God, but not so different from a young girl outside of the will of God, unmarried, pregnant wondering what to do next.

Now, Mary was willing, “I am the Lord’s servant…May it be to me as you have said,” Luke 1:38. And Mary found joy in the situation, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,” Luke 1:46. But, Mary was concerned, “How will this be…since I am a virgin?”

At that time, in fact not so long ago in our own time, a woman who bore a child out of wedlock was shunned and called all sorts of unpleasant names. People would even call her child names and treat him like dirt.

I feel Mary’s private suffering, even though she was in the will of God. She may have cried herself to sleep. She probably didn’t sleep well anyway. She crossed the street with her eyes to the ground when certain people were nearby. What would her parents say? What if she tearfully told Joseph of the angel’s visit and he bowed his head and walked away. What would she do? Even if Joseph took her home to be his wife, there would certainly be gossip and sideways glances thrown at her.

It goes to show you how being square in the middle of God’s will is not always the easiest or most comfortable spot.

Many people in the Bible suffered for being in the will of God: Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Jesus’ disciples and the list goes on. Even Jesus himself endured suffering while living as a man.

The angel who brought the news to Mary was reassuring. He said, “For nothing is impossible with God,” Luke 1:37. She also took strength from Elizabeth’s words to her, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” Luke 1:45, and she exulted in what God would accomplish through her:

And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers."
Luke 1:46-55

Mary realized that humbly accepting the will of God was most glorifying to Him and that serving Him would bring her the most satisfaction. She trusted Him to help her through whatever lay ahead.

I need to have the same mind. Accepting God’s will for my life and living as He requires is not always easy, but it is satisfying. Best of all, it is joyful!

Heavenly Father, I bow humbly before you, for I am nothing without you. Help me to know your will and to accept it, no matter what. Give me strength to meet each day and let me see how you are glorified through me and my circumstances.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What a Winter!

First, let me complain that we have had WAY too much snow this winter! We live in Upper East Tennessee and in the eighteen winters I have spent here, this is the worst...snow, ice and very cold...I am over it. Winter temperatures are usually around 40 or so, with colder temps at night, but not this year! Twenty-five years ago, we lived in Eastern Washington State, where it snowed on Thanksgiving day and the snow hung around until March...I was grateful to leave that weather behind.

The worst thing about this winter is that I had an accident last week on the ice and broke my leg.  Yes, I said broke my leg. I still have a hard time saying that, as these kinds of things have always happened to other people, not me.

So, last Wednesday, about 3:00 in the afternoon, the little boys were sleeping and I had put the dog in the back yard. Our yard is shaped like a bowl and putting him out means going out the garage door, crossing the driveway and walking precariously down a walkway that slopes like the Bristol Speedway, built of small concrete slabs from the garden center. On a good day, it is not an easy walk. But that day, it was snowing and on top of having rained like cats and dogs the night before, creating an icy underlayer, it was windy and cold. The snow had drifted up about 8-10 inches down by the gate. I made it there with a few slips, let the dog out to run to the garage, turned to go back and my right leg slid out from under me. That meant my left leg tried to slide too, but it ran into the concrete block edge and stayed there...while my body flopped face down in the snow...breaking the left fibula, near the ankle.

It's amazing what kind of thoughts go through your mind at a  moment like that. I have fallen down there before and had no injury, other than a bruised pride, I suppose. Deep down, I knew this was bad, the ankle was immediately numb. I asked myself if I was nauseous, because I knew people who said they were at the instant of a broken bone. No nausea. I tried to get up and walk...no way. The ankle felt like rubber. I felt like I was in a disaster movie, where the characters have to do superhuman things to get out of danger. I knew I couldn't lay there and yell for help, no one is usually home around us. My knees were okay, so I began to crawl. I crawled up the slope and across the driveway, still carrying the mail that I had retrieved from the mailbox moments earlier. The dog was waiting at the garage door, panting and slobbering over me as I tried to raise the door. We got inside and I sat on the floor for a minute, catching my breath and beginning to shake with the stress.

I called for Big D, who was upstairs watching a movie. He came down to help me. Not wanting to scare him, I sent him for an ice bag and my cell phone and crawled into my sewing room to think of what to do next. My husband K was on his way home from Canada that day and I couldn't reach him. He wouldn't be home until 10:30 at night, IF his plane could land. After all, it had snowed all day and who knew what the airport was like? Well, to make a long story short, I called my friend PJ. I didn't know if she would be able to come and help, but I knew she would be a good resource, because I was beginning to panic a little. To stay calm while waiting for rescue, I had Big D read the story of Jesus calming the storm from the Jesus Storybook Bible...a great children's Bible, with stories that all point to Jesus and God's plan for salvation. It was so helpful to focus on Him for a few minutes.

I've decided that while God allows things like this to happen, He also provides everything to solve the situation, if we trust Him. PJ and her husband, Victor, were able to come right away in his four wheel drive. She had the presence of mind to bring her dinner and shared it with my family. Victor took me to to ER, while PJ stayed with the boys. I was also able to reach my son, the boys' daddy, and he came and helped PJ. In the ER, the x-ray technician was a young lady from church, it was so nice to see a friendly face! K was able to get through Atlanta and landed at our airport on time. (He called from Atlanta and I had to tell him that I had broken my leg. He was incredulous...things like this don't happen to me.) My son stayed with me until we knew K was on his way home from the airport. Our friends have provided food every day so that K doesn't have to cook. God is very good to us!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cabbage Rolls

Funny, when I started this blog I wanted to post mostly quilting things, but life gets in the way all the time. So tonight, I feel like posting the recipe I fixed for dinner tonight. Packed with nutrition and definately delicious, the effort to put these together is well worth it. I spent about 50 minutes getting it into the crock pot, but then it was ready when we got home from basketball practice tonight. Yay!
Big D kinda groaned when he heard "cabbage rolls for dinner", but then he told me they were delicious when he was eating them. Even Little D (Mr. Picky) ate his plateful of dinner! Yay again!
Sorry that I didn't think to take any pics as I was cooking, because this is really good looking comfort food.

Stuffed Cabbage

1 small head of cabbage
1.3 lb ground turkey (1 to 1 ½ pounds will work, I prefer white turkey)
½ pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
½ small onion, finely chopped
½ cup oatmeal
1 egg
2 tblsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp seasoning salt


½ small onion, finely chopped
½ cup chopped bell pepper (any color)
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped carrot
2 tblsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
½ cup water (as necessary)
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
Dash pepper

Core cabbage and carefully remove eight whole outer leaves. In large skillet add about 1” of water and bring to a boil. Simmer leaves for about 5 minutes or until pliable enough to roll without tearing. Drain and run cold water over them. Carefully cut out thick vein if desired.

Thaw frozen spinach and squeeze in a towel to remove excess liquid. (May chop spinach further at this point if it seems stringy. Smaller pieces mix better with the turkey.)

Mix ground turkey with spinach, onion, oatmeal, egg, olive oil, garlic and seasoning salt. Incorporate ingredients, but do not over mix. Set aside.

In large skillet or sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat, add onion, bell pepper, celery, carrot and sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes, water, sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes. If using crock pot, put 1 cup of sauce in bottom of crock.

Place a handful of turkey (1/3 to 1/2 cup) in the center of a cabbage leaf, fold in sides and roll. Place seam side down in crock pot or into sauce in skillet. In crock pot, pour remaining sauce over cabbage rolls. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6 hours. In skillet, spoon sauce over cabbage rolls, cover and simmer 1-2 hours, as desired. (Add the 1/2 cup of water as needed to keep sauce bubbling in the pan or crockpot.)

Notes: Remaining cabbage can be chopped into chunks and placed into tomato sauce with cabbage rolls, if desired or used for salads.

Leftover sauce, cabbage and even the rolls themselves (cut up) can be made into a soup by adding chicken broth and other leftovers such as green beans, zucchini, pasta or whatever is on hand.

I served it with corn bread and green salad.