Monday, September 19, 2016

A Neighborhood is a Blessing!

It's been over a year since I've blogged.  It's crazy how time flies.  Some days I don't give blogging a thought.  Today is not one of those days.  Today I feel the need to tell a story of love, goodwill, compassion and generosity.  In these days of turmoil, hatred, violence and a general feeling of disharmony I feel compelled to tell of something good.  Our world needs to hear good things now and then.
My story starts with a new job for my husband.  Excellent  pay, crazy good benefits, decent hours and weekends off.  Who wouldn't feel excited? This after struggling with medical bills following a series of medical disasters for both of us over the past 8 years that wiped out our meager savings and floored us with the costs of medical care.  So this new job was such a blessing to us.
Right away, some things became evident. This job was anything but a dream.  What started out being described as,"current accounts we just want to upgrade services for" became nothing more than a fancy way of saying telemarketing. Managers, whose own job security came from making sure their crew sold, sold , SOLD made for a tense, stressful environment.  My husband began to be stressed and depressed.  He spoke to our family doctor and was prescribed an antidepressant.  Instead of it helping, he began having panic attacks.  Bad ones.  He collapsed at work one day and was transported to the hospital via ambulance.  Initially, they believed he might be having a heart attack or even a mild stroke.  More expensive tests.  The next doctor appointment I attended with him.  Turns out the antidepressant was causing the panic attacks.  So a medication switch.  But early on still having panic attacks and trying to bolster himself to return to work.  He couldn't do it.  He could barely find the strength to get out of bed without vomiting from fear of that work environment and the need to be at home where he felt safe and no pressure.  I made him quit the job.  I needed my husband to be okay and not tip over the edge with a nervous breakdown or worse.  Over the next couple of weeks we began to avail ourselves of local social programs to help us meet our needs.  I am disabled so it fell on my husband to do the food pantry trips.  While everyone was kind to him it is a humbling experience to stand in line outside of a food pantry waiting to be allowed in to be given bags of food.  Another local agency paid our water bill for us and gave us a gas card.  My hubby began to feel better and began applying for jobs.  Interviews followed but we're still in the process of finding employment for a 60 year old man with limiting health issues.  This is where we found out what kind of a neighborhood we live in began to happen.  Word began to get out what was going on at our house.  Two bags and a ten dollar gift card to a local grocery store showed up on our front porch for our pets. It's still a mystery to us who did this.  One of our neighbors gave my husband a bag full of frozen beef when she saw him out walking our dogs.  Another neighbor shopped for groceries and dropped off 2 bags on the porch.  The same neighbor who gave the beef caught my husband this morning giving him toilet paper, tissues, hand towels and offers of future support if there is need; just call them.  Our neighborhood is truly a blessing to us.  In times of trouble hubby has always been there to help.  He'd run to help clear trees following storms.  Clear sidewalks after a snowstorm.  Whatever and whenever the neighborhood was affected my husband has been there to help.  It's what neighbors do.  At least in our neighborhood.
  So to Pamela & Jim, Amy & Alicia, and our mystery provider, we love you all. Your kindness will never be forgotten.  As Pamela has pointed out, "everyone has been where you guys are.  If not now, in the past or one day they will be".  It's nice to know we're part of a neighborhood filled with people like these wonderful souls.  I would wish this on the world.  That everyone can make a neighborhood filled with loving people.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Busy past few days.  I babysat my youngest grandson, Wesley, for a few hours so his folks could meet up with some friends.  He is so darned adorable!  Kicking myself I didn't take pictures but my arms were busy holding the little cutie.  It seems he has an almost constant smile and I'm not sure I've ever been around a baby who is so attentive to things around him at the ripe old age of 7 months. It's the most time I've gotten to spend with him since I fractured my ankle a month or so after he was born and landed in a nursing home to recuperate.  It made me so happy to be able to spend some quality time with him.

This afternoon was spent hooking up an xbox 360 and Kinect sensor to my TV set.  It was pretty simple but took me awhile as I'm still hobbling about so I had a good workout before I ever got to try the games out that came with it.  This was my latest thrifty purchase as I won it at an online auction for $65 plus s&h.  It is used but was in nearly brand new condition and works like a charm.  I am very pleased and thankful.  When you purchase used electronics @ auctions it's always a chancey proposition as you must rely on the seller's honesty regarding the item.  I feel better when I bid @ www.shopgoodwill.com as I know that if something does arrive and isn't working at least the money spent goes to a worthy organization.  I've bid and won many auctions over the years and I've never been disappointed with them.

It's been lovely here today with the sun shining and beautiful temps.  I hope wherever you are you enjoy your day!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Totally Tickled!

http://www.maryjanesfarm.orgSeveral years ago I had a magazine sample show up in my mailbox and I fell in love with it.  I poured over the outfits, recipes, ideas, family things to do together all the make do kind of knowledge every woman should have and decided I wanted to know more.  So I joined for free to start and found my way about the fun site with lots of helpers and posted solutions to many of my questions.  Women were sharing their favorite recipes and tips on how to make things.  I was blown over by how nice they all were. As I progressed I felt I wanted to be a farmgirl sister who would help others through her good works.  So I joined the sisterhood, ordered the magazine and one of the books and have never looked back.  I've come to love seeing how all the talented ladies solve their problems and how they step up to the plate when a sister or family member is under the weather and needs some help  Sisters always come through to help with amazing ideas, suggestions and if close enough right to your front door to brighten your day with a nice warm pie and some flowers.

Mary Jane built up her 5 acres and have turned them into a place where women can come glamping, harvest fresh organic crops, have a spa day and a day to just have fun with other sisters.It's all about socializing with fellow sisters and having a good time.

Today I'm happy because I was just notified I have earned my expert blogger merit badge, as well as my beginner and intermediate badge for crochet.  I want to earn the expert badge too if I can 5 people who would be willing to learn.  I will now have to find 5 women who show true interest in learning so I can get that badge conquered too.  Whoooppieeeee!

P. S. Once you're a sister at MJF and you have a blog you can get that lined up to go so your fellow sisters can see your projects.  Fun times :)


Sunday, June 14, 2015

DRESS A GIRL AROUND THE WORLD

While going through Facebook tonight I came across an article about making dresses for girls from all over the world who are in need.  You can donate to this program to help defray costs of shipping these garments to little girls. Dress a girl will also send you a pattern if you wish to participate in making dresses.  Their article tells about their mission and what countries have benefitted from the generosity of folks like you and me who want to help.  Please check out their wonderful site by either clicking the Dress A Girl button on the right hand side of my blog or following this link to their site.  http://www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com/  God Bless all who help! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Basket Weave Baby Blanket


The latest of my baby blanket projects is for a mommy due in August.  Obviously, she and her hubby are having a baby boy.  I was surfing youtube and found this wonderful basket weave pattern.  A bit more of a challenge for me, being what I still consider a novice crocheter, but after a couple tries I got the hang of it and it's actually much easier than it looks.  It's done in multiples of 8 stitches with 4 stitches showing as more pronounced and then 4 appearing more receded. The youtube tutorial was from http://thecrochetcrowd.com/ and I've come to really enjoy watching and following on Facebook @  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Crochet-Crowd/116482731742088  I added a simple single crochet border around the edge of the blanket when I was done to give it a finished look.  Overall, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out and when hubby saw it he said, "you outdid yourself this time," which made me feel like a million bucks.

If you want to try this pattern for yourself please check out the linked sites about and have fun!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Babies Galore :)

It would seem that babies are being born in rapid succession in my neck of the woods.  A young couple from our neighborhood had a beautiful baby girl while I was recovering from my ankle fracture and I'd not gotten their baby's gift made so I've had a few busy days whipping up a stroller blanket, sandals and sunbonnet. There are so many pretty patterns on the net and I've finally gotten to the point I can follow easier crochet patterns but haven't yet mastered reading diagrams.  The sunbonnet was a bit of a combo of some nice patterns I looked at but found some of the instructions a bit confusing so I winged it. I am hoping it will fit and not be a total embarrassment exhibiting my meager abilities.  I still have baby gifts to make for four more mothers-to-be and my current WIP (work in progress) is a blue blanket using the basketweave pattern.  Right now it's in the early stages and so I am not totally confident that will be my final design choice.  I do find it fun trying new patterns and giving myself a bit of a challenge to further my learning since I am a self taught crocheter.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

It's been a longggggggggg Winter

January ended with a bang, literally.  I fell in my kitchen and dislocated and fractured my right ankle.  So after having surgery to pin me back together I have been rehabbing in the new wing of the nursing home I worked in for 15 yrs. It's been a long ordeal but I'm so happy I chose to be @ OGNC.  The staff is knowledgeable, kind, compassionate and have a great sense of humor.  They have to be able to bring smiles to so many who are recovering from surgeries and broken bones.  We need a friendly smile to get us through some painful days.  I have progressed well and am looking forward to a return to home sometime in April.  During my time in rehab I was able to crochet a lovely baby blanket for one of the nurses who is due in early April.  Obviously, it's going to be a boy :)  I've enjoyed having a way to keep my hands busy during this long spell of boredom while waiting for my leg to heal.  I've also made friends with an 85 yr. old lady who keeps me laughing at her antics.  She's sharp as a tack and loves to play Scrabble so we have a game a day usually.  I hope you've all been able to spend the cold months of Winter in a happier, healthier way.  I for one, am looking forward to Spring and going back home.  I'm ready to dream of gardens and bbq's and warm summer nights spent laughing with friends.  :)

Friday, December 19, 2014

My adorable new grandson :)

I know I'm a bit prejudiced here but I think this little guy is pretty danged cute!  His name is Wesley David and he's the newest member of my youngest son and his wife's family. He was born Dec. 4th but because I've been sick with the flu bug I've had to stay clear and haven't gotten to see or hold this little darling yet.  It's killing me!  I am on the mend now though and hope to remedy that soon.  Welcome to the family dear sweet Wesley!  Grandma loves you!

EASY Christmas Gift and fun to make!

I want to share an easy Christmas gift project I just finished.  Shhhh don't tell anyone, but both my sons will be receiving this wall art as part of their Christmas this year.  Things have been a bit tight around here as my husband is out of work but I don't fret.  God provides and he's also provided me with a wee bit of talent and I love making fun things for friends and family.  All you need is your printer and a nice sheet of cardstock in the color of your choice.  I used a shimmery ivory cardstock to give it a bit of glamor.  Here's what you need for this project:

One 11x14 framed artist's canvas.
Black matte acrylic paint or black chalk paint.
One 8x11 sheet of cardstock
Photo corners used in scrapbooking
Spray adhesive (repositionable works best.)  Printer

Directions:  First paint your canvas completely including the edges.  I chose chalk paint as I thought it might be fun for my gift receivers if they could write messages around the image if they chose.  It's fine if you want to go with a matte black paint, or for that matter you can change the paint color to fit your decor but I thought the black looked a bit more elegant.   I applied 2 coats of paint, letting the first coat dry before painting on the 2nd coat.
        While waiting for the paint to dry upload the image you've saved from here to your printer and print out on your cardstock.  Let the ink dry.
         Once your canvas has dried and your image is printed spray adhesive spray on the back of your cardstock image and center it on your canvas.  Once in position smooth across the surface with your hand to make sure it is all adhered to canvas.  Place a photo corner sticker in each of the corners.  That's it!
         In my opinion you don't need to put a picture hanger on the back since it's a framed canvas that you've used it will hang nicely over a hook or nail.
                            To save the image right click, open in new window and save to your computer.

         The nice thing about this gift is that you can whip out several all at once in an assembly line fashion if you have lots of gifts to give friends, teachers, or anyone you wish.  You can also resize the image to make it a 5x7 and just place inside a black picture frame or use a smaller canvas.  Easy peasy, just the kind of craft I enjoy.  I hope you will too!  Merry Christmas!