14 November, 2017

See The Light... While You Can

Mr. Goodneedle and I did something on Sunday afternoon that we don't do very often: we went to the movies! This movie is on a limited showing, you might need to search to find a theater and do it quickly, I am unsure how much longer it is being shown; believe me, it's worth the effort. You will be moved, you will cry, your heart will swell. You won't forget it. 
Life is Good!

07 November, 2017

An Expression Of A Deeper Order

Since my last post here, life consisted of, what I thought to be, a long string of events (random or otherwise). I struggled to keep up, it seemed as though I was hopscotching on one foot from one square to the next and barely keeping myself upright as I was doing it. There were momentary respites, here and there, exceedingly brief and all too fleeting. "Breathe", I kept reminding myself, "just breathe". I have been wearing many hats: wife, mother, grandmother, daughter-- all at the same time. In the course of the last four weeks we sold my in-law's home, said good-bye to our son's precious canine companion: Diesel, hosted my parents for a two week visit, kept our two youngest grandchildren during our daughter-in-law's scheduled surgery and recuperation, transported little ones to and from their designated schools and activities, celebrated our next to youngest grandchild's seventh(!) birthday and through it all endeavored to keep up with laundry, get meals on the table, and maintain a house that was, somewhat, clean and tidy. All of a sudden, it seems, life has slowed back down and a quick glance out the window reveals that the seasons have changed during all of the hub-bub of activity. Yes, through it all God has been there; strengthening, supporting and  revealing Himself in the most glorious way. This, from a Bible Study I am preparing for today: "we have talked about marriage and family as a vocation or calling from God. This calling is lived out within the struggles and trials of life in this world as God gives us to others as people to count on and receive help from." Today, my husband is spending his time at home doing all of those long postponed projects now that we have only one house again, our son and his family have begun to heal the hole in their hearts by welcoming a new furry friend into their lives and home, family relationships have been strengthened and fortified while making memories through time spent together and, our daughter-in-law is resuming her normal activities once again and daily life is settling back into a familiar rhythm; all while bathed in the resplendent golden glow of autumn (lest I forget who's been in control all along)! 
Thanks be to God!
Life is Good!

photo credit: Bill Voigt 
quote credit: Mary Alice Monroe, from The Butterfly's Daughter

11 October, 2017

Saying Good-bye

Saying good-bye is never easy. On Sunday we did a final cleaning of my in-law's home. The closing was earlier today, it now belongs to a new, young family. It's not hard to clean out an empty house; unencumbered by furnishings it's easy to make those final passes with the vacuum cleaner and dust cloths; that's the easy part, the head part-- but, when it's the home your children grew up in, celebrating family milestones and holidays, it is almost unbearable for the heart to let it go and walk out the door for the last time. I couldn't help but stand still for awhile and recall how many years the Christmas tree had held center stage in that very bow window and how many countless family celebrations had been observed, once upon a time, around the dining room table that stood beneath that chandelier. I am grateful, though, filled with humble gratitude that this home served its purpose for over four decades. Designed by my father-in-law in 1976, it was home-base for my husband's family for all of these many years. Thanks be to God, it remained the home of my precious mother-in law for as long as humanly possible, her final wish.  I rejoice today to think of a new family, one with young children, embracing this home as their own; filling the cavernous rooms once again with joyful voices and happy laughter. I wish them every blessing that this home has been bestowed upon us: happy homecoming!
Life is Good!

09 October, 2017

Bloom Where You're Planted?

A few weeks ago a friend presented me with two bags full of bare-roots Iris plants, the same plants I had admired at her home this past spring, in need of transplanting. I was grateful for the gift; but, since we were traveling that following week, I set the bags aside in a shady location to await setting in the ground upon our return back home. A few days ago, as I walked past the bags, I noticed a flash of color. Amazingly, one of the Iris was blooming! Right there, out of the bag, this bare-roots plant was not to be denied its moment of splendor! I have always embraced a "bloom where you're planted" life philosophy, but this Iris plant was doing me one better.  Rejoice in where you are, take full advantage of the gifts and opportunities that God has given you, give thanks and be grateful.
Bloom where you are, planted or not, simply bloom!
Life is Good!

06 October, 2017

Just In Case

 As a participant in this year's "Let's Get Organized" club at my LQS I have been busy keeping up (or attempting to!) with each month's project featuring patterns By Annie. All of the patterns are inspiring and the instructions straight-forward and simple to follow. 2017 will go down in history as the year that I have conquered my fear of zippers. I made this foldover carry-all for Mason. He can carry all sorts of treasures with him: a tablet and pencil, paper back book, whatever he chooses. There is a hidden magnetic catch that holds the case neatly closed.
This is made using the "Just In Case" pattern in the large size, 8" X 10.5". It opens up to reveal two zippered compartments; one mesh and one see-through heavyweight vinyl. The mesh pocket expands and will conform nicely to accommodate almost anything that Mason chooses to stuff in there. I will definitely be making more of these.
These photos are from the website. Couldn't you think of a thousand uses for one of these?

I will give Mason his tomorrow. We will be traveling to the Capital City to watch him play soccer in the morning and celebrate Lucy Ann's seventh birthday belatedly. Seven?!? How did that happen? As always, time is fleeting-- where did summer go anyway? I don't feel as though I even had a chance to say good-bye. I need to replace the withering annuals in the pots on the front porch with some fall color today. Did I say withering? That's not exactly accurate; decimated is more like it. I caught this guy blatantly devouring what was left of the potted Impatiens on the front steps earlier this week. Seriously; if he had been any closer to the front door he could have rung the doorbell!
I don't believe that he and his friends have a taste for Chrysanthemums.  At least I hope not. 
Life is Good!

04 October, 2017

With A Little Help From My Friends!

I recently celebrated a birthday; in grand style-- with a little help from my friends! My high school friends, to be more accurate. This year the day just happened to fall on the same day as our high school reunion! Mr. Goodneedle and I were in the same class so this event was great fun for both of us; we're still talking about what a terrific time we had visiting and catching up with classmates.
A specially decorated name tag greeted me at the registration table. The name tags, all bearing our high school yearbook photos were helpful for identifying each other but they make me laugh. Akin to one's "permanent record", like it or not, that photo will follow your every step for the rest of your life! I have heard that there were approximately 80 people in attendance, a great turnout. The event was held on the grounds of a classmate, it was the perfect venue on a gloriously clear and sunny fall day!
I was lucky enough to share a dinner table with my two best friends from all those many years ago. There's nothing like a reunion such as this one to take one back. It wasn't difficult to remember all those fun (and often not-so-fun) times when I was an insecure and tentative teenager worried about insignificant and trivial matters (which were anything but at that time!). What a gift it is now to reflect and realize that all these decades later maturity yields a secure and stable outlook freeing us from the fear and anxiety of our youth.  I believe that my parents and grandparents reassured me with similar words and encouragement at the time; but why would I have listened then-- I was a teenager after all. Now, I feel that responsibility, to offer reassurance and encourage. Surviving those teenage years is not for the weak and timid; but oh, the years after are God-given blessings, each and every one!
Life is Good!