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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Busy Bee...that's ME!

Oh yes! I have been very, very busy...

On the hook-- a zig zag afghan I have been commissioned to make.


On the sewing machine-- just finished a quilt for my friend's first grandson. Nine patch scrappy quilt with a cartoon bird back and low loft poly bat.

In the kitchen-- I made butter! If I had known it was that easy I would have been making butter years ago!
(1 pint heavy whipping cream, beat until it separates into curds and whey with hand mixer on low, pour off liquid, knead and rinse in cool water until water runs clear, blend in 1/2 teaspoon salt)

On paper-- A poem (growing things prompt) "Weeds" and two poems for an event in July and August.  "Seduction" and "Love Poem."


WEEDS





The weeds have grown tall in the back yard
The wind and the rain
Have planted seed deep and reaching
There once was grass
I suppose
Before we moved in
But for us the earth has granted dirt
Dust
And weeds
Thigh-high now
As spring emerges from sleep
The weeds have grown tall in the back yard
I track the rustle of green fronds
My dog is like a lion
On the prowl in the deep underbrush
Of the African tundra
He’s looking for a place to pee
Or sleep
Maybe he’s lost in there and is just
Trying to get back to the house
The weeds have grown tall in the back yard
My husband will wince from his armchair
Requests turn to nagging
The children suffer cabin fever 
They stand at the window long-faced
Staring wide-eyed and open-mouthed
They want to go
But they are afraid
Angry, thick, sticky stems
Furry leaves and foul smelling flowers
Engulf half of the see-saw
and the dismount of the slide
The weeds have grown tall in the back yard
Avoidance is one answer
While waiting for the dry heat of summer
When we will preserve water
And watch the struggle
The ultimate demise
Of each leaf and spine and tangled mass
Giving way to 
Little round stickers
Implanting themselves in socks
And the dog’s fur


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Book Review: "Max on Life" by Max Lucado

Insightful! Delightful! Straightforward! Honest but Gentle!
Those are the words I would use to describe Max on Life by Max Lucado. I have always enjoyed reading books by Max Lucado because of his gentle way of presenting God's Word. Max on Life was no exception. I had a hard time reading it cover to cover. When I first received my free copy of the book for review from Booksneeze I went straight to the table of contents. "HOME- Diapers, Disagreements, and 'Any hope for prodigals?'" I flipped to page 151 and started there. As the mother of seven; two teenagers, a young adult, two grade-schoolers and two pre-schoolers I have often wondered if they would make me lose my mind before they grew up. And of course we all wonder if we are raising a child in the way he should go who won't choose to go that way...we worry about our children, if we are making good decisions, we struggle with family relationships and personal issues. Max Lucado touches on some of these big issues and sets a biblical basis for his answers. You don't believe him? Look it up for yourself, pray about it, and meditate on it. As I read I found myself taking a good look at myself.

Each section of the book is the answer to a question from a real letter that Max Lucado has received over the years, addressing everything from purpose to promise.

When I put the book down my 18 year old daughter promptly picked it up. I caught her flipping back and forth through the pages. She seemed to be as intrigued by finding out the answers as I was. She isn't a reader but fondly remembers a gift book that still sits on our bookshelf, Just in Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado, and I think she has long ago made him her "friend."

My only complaint about the book was that I wished for more substance. The questions are answered in about one page and I often wanted more. Some of the answers seemed way too simplified and elementary and didn't really address the problem. For example, there was a letter about a person with a bad temper. The answer was a page long analogy about water dripping and causing erosion. The bottom line was prayer and forgiveness. Not quite what I expected.

Nonetheless, I recommend the book because of its overall positive qualities and the loving insight of Max Lucado. If nothing more, it's a good starting point for study and meditation.

Book Review: "The Final Summit" by Andy Andrews

I received a copy of The Final Summit by Andy Andrews from Thomas Nielson to review. You can get FREE books to review too if you sign up at Booksneeze.com.   This is the fourth book I have read by this author and I loved it. Andrews has a way of taking the natural and intwining it with the supernatural in a way that is magical and mystifying.  He makes the reader think that maybe this could happen and I wonder if, and what if it were me?  The book is about a group of people throughout history who have the task of convening to prepare an argument to plead the case of humanity before God. In the coming together the reader meets an archangel and several notables in world history, each given very likely characteristics. The main character, David Ponder, comes from our century and is assigned to be in charge of the summit. David has experienced his own devastating ups and downs in life and is a modern day Job. What will he do when he's called upon to extend his faith in God to all of humanity? The Final Summit is an easy read and, as is the style of Andrews, pulls you into the story and makes you see each character as personal and real.

If you read and enjoyed The Shack, you will enjoy The Final Summit. 





Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Stool Mat

My dear husband bought me a kitchen stool for Valentine's Day! 

I was at the yarn shop last night and saw a fabric crochet rug, hence the inspiration for my Stool Mat!  So...you got a naked stool, some scrap fabric and a Q hook? Let's go!

Cut 3" strips of fabric. I used 2 yards and had a few strips left over.
Start with a Magic Loop.

Throughout, to manage your ends crochet over them. When you start a new strip pull up a loop and take the tail end of that strip and pull it up and between the fabric on the hook and the working fabric. Let the end of the last strip lie with it on top of the sts to be worked. Work over them. 

Round 1 - Ch 2 and make 7 sc in the loop. (8sts)
Round 2 - Without joining make 2sc in each st around. (16sts)
Round 3 - (Sc in next st, 2sc in next st) around. (24sts)
Round 4 - (Sc in next 2 sts, 2sc in next st) around. (32sts)
Round 5 - (Sc in next 3 sts, 2sc in next st) around ending with 1 sc instead of 2 in the last st. (39 sts)

I stopped here for a 13 inch mat, but continue increasing or omit rounds for the size of your stool.

To finish off sl in the next 2 sts then weave the tail back and forth through the work.

To make the ties, use a few of your strips, cut to the length desired. Place your  mat on top of your stool and push the ends of the strip through and around a stitch on the last row of stitches. Pull them down, wrap twice around the leg and tie in a bow. Repeat for the other legs.