to my readers

This blog is now all about my personal life, including updates concerning Jerry's health. For quilt and pattern related posts please visit

Friday, December 31, 2010


This is a rare thing for me...I am giving you an extra post today;
but if you are a quilter and you haven't heard about this...
you are going to want to hear about it.

I just stumbled upon it by reading another blog;
and it looks fun!
It starts tomorrow.

Puppies for Parole

I have spent a good part of the last couple of weeks making Prison Pooch Blankies. I really enjoy it! I actually think about the character of the dog when picking out the fabrics. And, of course they are super fast to make as they are just big squares. The back is batting, and pillow binding. Easy Peasy!!

All next week I will be featuring a dog and the blankie that I made for that dog. If you are a local reader, (I know some of you are from southern MO or the St. Louis area...they have the program at Bonne Terre); please consider adopting one of these dogs. It is a good program...and is good for all involved. I thought that you might like to see what the director of the state-wide program has to say about it. I copied this from an email. (Hope he doesn't mind!) 

Puppies for Parole is a unique program made possible through our partnerships with animal shelters and animal advocate groups statewide. Selected offenders have the opportunity to become trainers to rescue dogs in the program. Offenders work with the dogs teaching them basic obedience skills and properly socializing the animals, making them more adoptable. Once the dogs have successfully completed the program they will be sent back to their original shelter to be placed up for adoption. Last year in Missouri, more than 46,000 homeless canines were euthanized. Puppies for Parole hopes to reduce that number by producing loving, obedient, adoptable dogs.
The benefits of this program are three-fold. Puppies for Parole gives offenders the skills necessary to support successful rehabilitation, reentry, ultimately improving public safety. At the same time, this is an opportunity for the offenders to re-pay Missouri communities and repair some of the debts caused by their crimes. We have seen this program have a profound effect on the inmates and staff, increasing the safety and security of the facility.
“The dogs have a remarkable impact on MDOC offenders, improving offender behavior and giving offenders incentive to maintain excellent conduct records. Offenders not directly involved in the program are showing responsibility and selflessness by donating to support our efforts. Staff morale is also enhanced by the presence of the dogs.”
-George A. Lombardi
Finally, Puppies for Parole uses no general revenue and operates solely on private donations and donations from offender organizations.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Hot Pig Dance

Now it been some time since I be given' you 
one of my Hillbilly Handi hints! 
So, here be a good one:

Know don't be askin me for 
tips 1-36. 
Cousin Billy Bob forgot what they be.

It is cold round here tonight,
so I think I'm a gonna go fix
me one of them there cups of hot cocoa.

I am one of these people that just
can't stand it when I gets me a cup o chocolate
that be hotter than a hog
wearin a pair o' them daisy dukes

while doin a dance on one o' them there
roasting sticks!

Now thet be too hot!
So, you uns know what I do?
Why I jest freeze my mini marshmallows.
Then I fill my cup with em and pour my cocoa
right over em.
Them little frozen marshmallows just melt up 
and cool down thet cocoa so it be edible!

We specially be likin to make our very own cocoa mix.
Here be granny's recipe a bit cleaned up fer ya.
She had things like tonic, and all kinds of stuff
that I know you classy folks wouldn't want.

1 1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 cup powdered sugar (I substitute Splenda)
5 cup powdered milk
1 cup powdered creamer (My favorite is French Vanilla Flavored)

Combine all ingredients. 
1/3 cup mix to 3/4 cup water

We also like to add in 2 tsp cinn or a bit of mint.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

When it doesn't work out

Sometimes I think that I've created a brilliant quilt
in my mind's eye.
Then, when I actually get to working on it... just doesn't work out!

I had the lovely JUNE
make me this collage of 
my mom, daughter and myself:

I wanted to make a 'Generations' quilt,
Kind of medallion style.
I started with a simple brown border:

Then I selected some calico's and florals for the rest of the borders.
And, guess what??
I hate it!
Don't get me wrong,
I still LOVE the collage and the concept.
And I like the colors I chose.
But, I really dislike that triangle border.
This quilt should be something more delicate.
More curves than diamonds or triangles I think.

So what did I do?
Cut off the yucky border to start again.
When I am better at making my own designs.

As for the ugly border?
I can't stand UFO's so...
for me, it's better to just cut it up and use it!
If it were a sheet of paper, 
I could wad it up and throw it away.
But, fabric is too expensive for that!
So, expect to see it in an unlikely place soon.
Let me know when you recognize it!

What do you do when you can't stand one of your projects?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Here he comes again!

I got some more mailbox surprises!
I actually received them before Christmas,
but didn't have a blog spot because Stephen
was a bit of a blog hog.
(He'll be back again tomorrow, too.
Told you he's a blog hog!)

First came a box from Melissa (click here to visit).
She sent a bunch of handmade ornaments,
aren't they fun?

But that's not all,
a friend of hers also included these wonderful
 hand-carved and painted gourds!

Then, a package from my good friend Pat.
She sent hand painted bookmarks for each of us:

Mine has a quilt wallhanging,
some flowers, and a classic book.

This is so appropriate for Jerry.
He loves His Lord!

Amy is our photography girl.
Bet you didn't know she photographed her first wedding 
at age 11.
She hated it. She decided to not follow a career in 
photography because she never wanted to do another wedding.
She did another at age 16...and sure enough,
that was the end of that!
She is so good at capturing people in the everyday life.

Seth is my herbal boy. 
He has flowers and herbs growing in our basement.
He's always mixing up some kind of remedy or another.

And finally, 
a bookmark appropriate for a busy little boy!

Aren't they wonderful??
when you have a moment!
She has become a very dear friend to me over the last year.

What a wonderful Christmas I have had!
What a blessing you all have been to me.

Have a Merry Christmas Everyone.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

This and bit of that

A few random thoughts this Christmas Evening:

Our Christmas was a quiet day at home for the most part.
Stephen and I did leave for a bit to go to the police dept
and take Jerry a little Christmas lunch.
It got cut a bit short because some stupid person
decided to cause a high speed chase down the highway.
But we are thankful that we got to eat together.


This afternoon I spent some quiet time reflecting
on what I was giving Christ for Christmas. 
Do you do that? 
I've encouraged my family to do that this year.
After all, it's His birthday!


Have you ever heard of
It is a great source to have your blogs printed.
I'll dedicate a blog post to explain it in more 

detail soon. 
But, Stephen comes first so that we can get his first 
years blogs printed into books for his grandparents.
Look for him twice this week.
I hope you don't mind!


To all my quiltsy followers,
I am sorry I haven't been quiltsy lately.
After this week, I promise there will be more.
I even have some fun tutorials planned.
I wish I could write pdf files,
but I've been looking into it a bit,
and I guess I might need to buy some software.
Sorry, that isn't happening!
Maybe I'll look into google docs to see 
if I can come up with something downloadable!


I have several requests for my quilt ministry.
This is quite exciting!
I do have to learn a balance because
I really do need to make a bit of money as a new
sewing machine is quite important.
Yes I'd love that Horizon over on the sidebar,
but it's not necessary. 
A new machine is. Soon.


I have worked out a deal with a company to buy 
fabric at wholesale prices.
Most importantly, I'd like to dye fabric again.
I think there might be a market for it, 
and our family could use a bit of extra income.
I do enjoy using my own hand dyes in quilts!


I want to think each and every one of you
for commenting and being such wonderful friends!
I love blogland. You all make my day!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Legend of the Christmas Spider

I received the most UNUSUAL and AMAZING ornament 
in the mail the other day. 
It was from another participant in 
The Great Holiday Ornament Exchange.

I tried taking photos with several backgrounds and NOTHING
does it justice. 
It really is very very pretty.
You'll have to take my word for it!

Yep, a spider. 
I saved its story until Christmas Eve on purpose.

The Legend of the Christmas Spider
(A folk legend from Germany and the Ukraine)

Once upon a time, long ago
a gentle mother was busily cleaning the house
for the most wonderful day of the year...
the day on which the Christ child came to bless the house.
Not a speck of dust was left.
Even the spiders had been banished from their cozy corner
in the ceiling to avoid the housewife's busy cleaning.
They finally fled to the farthest corner of the attic.

Twas the Christmas Eve at last!!
The tree was decorated and waiting for the children to see it.
But the poor spiders were frantic,
for they could not see the tree,
nor be present for the Christ child's visit.
But the oldest and wisest spider suggested
that perhaps they could peep through the crack
in the door to see Him.
Silently they crept out of their attic,
down the stairs,
and across the floor to wait in the crack
in the threshold.

the door opened a wee bit 
and quickly the spiders scurried into the room.
They must see the tree closely, 
since their eyes weren't accustomed to the brightness
of the room...
so they crept all over the tree,
up and down,
over every branch and twig,
and saw every one of the pretty things.
At last they satisfied themselves completely
of the Christmas tree beauty.

But Alas!!
Everywhere they went they had left their webs,
and when the little Christ child came to bless the house
he was dismayed.
He loved the little spiders,
for they were God's Creatures too,
but he knew the mother,
who had trimmed the tree for the little children,
wouldn't feel the same;
so He touched the webs and they all turned to 
sparkling, shimmering, silver and gold!

Ever since that time,
we have hung tinsel on our Christmas trees,
and according to the legend,
it has been the custom to include a spider 
among the decorations on the tree.

Isn't that an amazing story?
I am so happy that Beth from The Bea's Knees
decided to join in our exchange.
She doesn't blog,
but please take a moment to visit her store
where she has Bea-Utiful Custom crafts!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas in the Hills

Now it sure has been forever long
 since I brought you uns some good Hillbilly stories.

I actually had a request for some real live Hillbilly wordn's 
like I used ta do. I surely do apologize for gettin
all proud n everythin an forgettin my Hillbilly her-i-tage!

We folks here sure be lookin forward to Christmas!
We even got a sleigh all ready for Santy Claus this year.
An' course we been readin to the young uns

Why even the men folk are gettin gussied up:
We hill folks be lovin music. 
You all be knowin that.
Here's a mighty fine song for ya.

Monday, December 20, 2010


It has been quite some time since you heard from my son, Seth. 
He used to contribute almost weekly,
but life has been busy for him.

Today Seth is going to blog about a science project that he did.
Before I give him the 'floor' so to speak,
I want to tell you that this blog post is not for the faint of heart.
It is about dissecting a pig and it includes photos.
Also, please, no negative comments about animal rights, etc.
All negative comments will be deleted.
I could argue points as to why allow him to do this,
or why it is wrong...but I just don't want to get into it. 
So, either read on, with a tough stomach,
and enjoy seeing a young person excited about learning,
or move on along and come back tomorrow!

This is Seth. 
This year  for my birthday,
I asked for a pig to dissect.
The photo below shows the pig 
and all the tools that I need to dissect.
I have a scalpel, a tray, 
dissection scissors, and a probe.
I also have surgical gloves.
Also I have a guide to help me dissect it correctly.

This is what the pig looks like out of the package.
The blue color is dye that they put in
to help me see where all the veins are and stuff.

First I cut it open,
and here is a photo of all the internal organs

I carefully cut out each organ
and dissected them each separately to learn more about them.
Below is a picture of the intestines...and yes, that is feces!

I really needed a bone slicer tool.
I ended up dulling my scissors while I was cutting the skull.
Here is the brains.

Next after that,
I opened up the eyes.
It was weird to look at the inner eye.

Lastly, I removed all the internal organs,
broke my scalpel in the process,
and here is a picture of the ribs.
(Note the blue dye).

That is the end of my dissecting.
This was a very fun and interesting project.
I did find out that I should have used eye protection, 
for the stomach acid likes to jump into your eyes unexpectedly.

Hopefully I won't wait so long to blog again.
And, I promise, next time won't be so gross.

Snowman Dentures

Ornaments just keep coming in
from our Great Holiday Ornament Exchange.
I am having so much fun running to the mailbox each day.
(I am pretty sure my mail man is not enjoying it though). 

This last week,
I received this cute little Christmasy red bird

from Sherry over at
The sub-title of Sherry's blog says it all,
"Reflect upon your Blessings, 
of which man has many.
--Charles Dickens."

Then, came this adorable sleigh.
She included a set of wrapped little fabric squares.
They look so cute on the back of the sleigh!

Go visit Colleen over at 
Poke around a bit and see why she is a lucky duck herself!

came this beautiful quilted look
fabric star ornament.
Rhonda said that the ornament required a bunch of tiny fabric squares
and a bunch more straight pins.

Visit Rhonda over at

At the time of this writing,
she has some beautiful photos posted of an ice storm
that she had last week.
Here's a sneak peek at one of them.
(I hope you don't mind, Rhonda...
but I knew that when people saw this they couldn't resist
hopping over to your blog for more!)

I feel so blessed this year!
The ornaments for the ornament exchange are still
coming in. 
If you didn't get in on the fun...
you should have!

Friday, December 17, 2010

How does she do it?

Our first
ornament arrived last week while I was sick.

It is from my sister, 

Isn't that beautiful??

Heather is so talented.

We are both self-taught
on our sewing and crafts,
but she is much more gifted than I. 
She knits, crochets,sews,quilts,
cooks, and the list goes on.
She's also a Military wife with two young boys.
How does she do it all?

You can visit her

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Who would want him, anyway??

We have been working like crazy around here 
trying to get the ornaments done for 

It's been a tough go.
I had planned some intricate quilted snowflakes.
But, then machine problems changed that.

No matter,
we had a great time making ornaments
as a family!

LOTS of yummy smelling Apple Cinnamon Gingerbread Men.

Seth enjoyed drilling their little heads.
Look at his facial expression.

We also cut circles upon circles upon circles out.

Hundreds of circles became hundreds of triangle thing-a-ma-jigs

Little triangle things became ball ornaments.
These are really cool I think!

They are being shipped all over the world.

 And, NO Stephen,
you can't go too!

Who would want him?
Doesn't matter.
I think I'll keep him!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"A Mother's Masterpiece"

Remember when I won this?

Well, guess when it came in the mail?
Last week, when I was sick.

Perfect timing!!

Check out all the stamps she had to use!

And look how pretty it was wrapped:

She included some elements to get me started
 on making my own ATC's.
I love ATC's!!

to see her wonderful artwork.
She does amazing ATC's.
It is hard to imagine they are drawn
on a tiny 2 x 3 inch card!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Two Birds on my first day of Christmas

These beauties arrived a few weeks ago.
But, I didn't have a Christmas tree,
and I wanted you to see them displayed on the tree.
Can you see them?

The above bird is purple with gold trim.

And this pretty lady is all white,
covered in white buttons.

Melissa from Ardeas Nest
mailed them to me just because.

They are absolutely beautiful,
and I LOVE them!!
Thanks, Melissa!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Melinda's Quilt

I've never met her,
but I feel I know her.

Let me help you get to know her a bit, too.

Melinda is 35 years old, and lives in Kentucky.
(Or Virginia. I get confused with this family.
They are always popping over the state lines 
to go to docs, hospitals, etc. Whichever,
she spends alot of time in both places!)

Melinda's father has been fighting COPD 
for quite a few years.
Melinda and her mother have cared for him tirelessly.
Even when he got to the point where he could no longer move.
Melinda would lift him, turn him, etc.

Not an easy task for anyone. 
But, Melinda was born with a back disability.
She's had several surgeries,
And has to go to the ER every few days
for pain shots. 
She is scheduled to have another back surgery here this month,

Melinda's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer
a couple of months ago.
She was supposed to have surgery the Monday 
after Thanksgiving.

she was admitted to the hospital
Thanksgiving weekend.
Her body is full of infection. 
Most of her major organs are infected.
She has diabetes, and now has a drain in her back
to drain the infection. 
She needs to have her cancer surgery,
and get on with her radiation,
so this infection needs cleared up soon!

As if that wasn't enough,
Melinda's father had a major stroke
Thanksgiving weekend.
Melinda's mom is in the hospital on one side of the state line,
her dad on the other. 
And here is Melinda in major pain,
and needing surgery herself!

For obvious reasons,
Melinda is at the top of the list 
for the first prayer quilt.

Melinda likes tans and earth tones.
I started with these diamond stars:

And then added in tan all around.
There are still pins in it, 
as I am not hurrying the praying process.
Here is what the back looks like:

Each of those knots represents prayers
being lifted for her, her mother, and her father.
Seth has been helping me 
and praying for her as well. 
This quilt will be done and sent by the end of the week.

I am linking up for
Feel free to check it out,
And please, pray for Melinda!!