Sunday, June 29, 2014

You Will NEVER Guess What Happened!!!

I am so EXCITED, I can barely think of anything else!

The MOST AMAZING thing has happened.

Actually, I shouldn't think of it as amazing at all.  It is God who is amazing at answering my prayers.

Sometimes, it takes a loooooooooooong time to see an answer, but when you look BACK at the event -- such as selling Jerry's Mom's house -- you can see that the Lord knew EXACTLY what, where, when and how it was all going to turn out.

When Jerry's brother died penniless shortly after his Mother's death, the responsibility to handle everything fell on Jerry and me -- as usual.  Bob didn't go to church, so there wasn't a pastor or a place to have a service.  So I decided to use his Mother's house -- that had been for sale for over two years and hadn't sold -- to have a memorial service for Bob. It was just days after that when we got a call that there was a contract on the house.  So HOW PERFECT was God's timing after all?

Since it is Sunday morning, I must first tell you about the sermon.  IT WAS AWESOME!  If you need healing, and you aren't sure what the Bible says about it, this is the sermon for you.  Pastor Hagee broke it down into FIVE steps:

1 - Confess your sin.
2 - Expect a miracle.

3 - Believe healing is activated by the Word of God.

4 - Denounce the kingdom of darkness. 

Let me interject some "Queen Joy" here.  This is where I always get into trouble with my friends and my family.  Quija Boards, Tarrot cards, shows about vampires and witches and on and on I could go; and it is my belief that tattoos are in this category.  The Bible says "do not put marks on your body".

In case you don't believe that, here is the scripture: 

"'Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.  (Leviticus 19:28)

Does that mean I don't like you if you have a tattoo.  Of course not!!!  It means that I won't be getting any, and now, you know the reason why.

You can listen to Pastor Hagee talk about the kingdom of darkness and the occult and hopefully, not get mad at me.  I am just the messenger telling you about today's sermon.   

5 - Recognize ALL healing comes from the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:11)

So, now that a whole bunch of people are really mad at me, let me completely change the subject and tell you the most exciting thing that happened to me yesterday!

You KNOW how I have this sewing friend, Phylly, but she lives in Oklahoma City; and I live 150 miles south of there so I hardly ever get to see her at all, never mind sew with her.

And down here in the woods where I live, most people are here because they like to hunt and fish.

I guess you could say I like to HUNT if that involves hunting for fabric on line or in a fabric store. 

I have a very short fishing attention span.  I will throw the bait in the water IF someone will put the nasty thing on my hook for me, but if I don't get some action in the next 15 minutes, my mind is telling me to TURN AND RUN as fast as you can, as soon as you get the chance, right back up to your sewing haven!

My husband will complain that I didn't try very hard, or I didn't stay long enough, or I should LEARN HOW to bait my own hook and take off my own fish.

My reply to that is always the same:  I will learn how to bait my own hook and take off my own fish AS SOON AS YOU LEARN HOW to sew a blouse and make a quilt.  

And I STILL haven't told you what happened....  I'm getting there!

I live on this little 40-acre patch of ground that a friend developed many years ago.  My husband actually helped him do it.  Our friend's name is Dennis.  He cleared the land and chopped it up into plus or minus 5-acre tracts.  Since my husband was the first to know about it, he got to choose WHICH 5-acre tract he wanted to buy, and he actually ended up buying two of them totalling about 11 acres.  Jerry chose the land because it had two very good areas to build ponds on, which he did.  Dennis and Jerry chose the name "Stonebrook" for this development.

So, as you can imagine, there aren't very many people who live in here.  I think there are a total of six homes.  People have moved in and out and in and out and ALL THE WHILE, I have been BEGGING God to send me a SEWING/QUILTING FRIEND to live in one of those houses.  

And you have probably figured out what is SO EXCITING by now.

Jerry and I were walking down the "plank" (I call it that because it is a long, narrow wooden walkway that is at a severe angle right now due to the lake being so low) to our favorite marina restaurant.  Just as we were getting near it, another bunch of folks got there too.  I was on the phone with my daughter, so we let the other people get ahead of us.  When they did, my husband recognized the man in the group to be the new neighbor that moved in just a short time ago into one of the vacant houses here in Stonebrook.

We had HEARD about these people, and I promise you I never heard anything even resembling the subject of sewing or quilting.  We were told they were into collecting cars and boats.  I figured the Mrs. would be built like Raquel Welch and wear racing tights and leather boots up to her knees -- or would that be someone who rides horses -- whatever.  Sure didn't seem like a sewing machine would be in the house.

I very much wanted to meet them, so I got off the phone.  I walked up to the people that Jerry was already talking to, and I introduced myself.  I said, "Hi!, I am Joy".  She said, "Hi!, I am Terri".

GUESS WHAT MY NEXT COMMENT WAS??????????????????????


"Do you sew or quilt?"

YOU WILL NEVER -- IN A MILLION YEARS -- GUESS WHAT HER REPLY WAS!  I almost fell off the plank into the lake!

She said, "Oh, yes, I sew AND I quilt, AND I just finished WRITING A BOOK about rag quilts."
I don't know what a rag quilt is, and I don't care.  It has the word "quilt" in it, so how far off could it be from what I do?

I blurted out, "You HAVE to come to my house tomorrow so I can show you my longarm and we can talk."

She said she had more company coming, and they were leaving town for a few days after that.  She said she could come over Thursday.  

THEREFORE, I have to go!  I have to clean up my sewing room -- make a new dress -- make a new quilt -- and TRY TO CALM DOWN!

Have a BLESSED Sunday and come back soon.  I really will show you my new machine and the quilt I am working on.

Hugs, Joy

Monday, June 23, 2014

So Much Fun. Grab a Cuppa -- Lots of Pics.

Whew!  I feel like I just got thrown OUT of a whirlwind!

As I posted in an earlier blog, my soldier-boy, John, finally got to come home from Alaska with his wife Hollie.  They were kind enough to come down and visit the old folks for a few days.  John's sister, Lindy, arrived on Thursday just moments after Lauren and Walker were delivered by their other grandmother.  Papa and I and the three grandkids left our store in town and headed for our house 8 miles South of town.  Papa went in his vehicle to get gas.  I was alone in my car as the two younger kids wanted to ride with Lindy in her car.

While we had been sitting at the store, I was telling the kids how LOW the water is in Lake Texoma and how we had not had enough rain to even fill the tiny bowl on top of our bird bath.  One day, it rained for less than ONE MINUTE!  I was on the front porch.  I explained that we probably would not be able to go out in the boat because the lake was so low.

WELL, wouldn't you know it!  As we were driving home from our store, the skies opened up and it began POURING BUCKETS of rain.  It rained the whole rest of the day.  We had to fish on our dock in the rain.  We weren't complaining because we have been in a 3-year drought in these parts, and we LOVE the rain.  It put a damper on our activities though.

During the heaviest part of the rain, we decided to play a game, and I love that these kids LIKE to play games.  They chose Pictionary -- my favorite!  Lindy and Lauren were partners, so poor Walker had to be my partner because Papa hadn't gotten home yet.  When Papa did get home, he was on BOTH teams.

We had the PERFECT place to play.  Look:

 Can you GUESS what Jerry is drawing?  Walker got it right away.
When Walker and I won on the board, and Lindy and Lauren won the count of guesses, we decided to go fishing.

It was wet, but the fish were biting.  Walker caught the biggest one, but it got away.  He caught another big one later.

And his sister caught some too:
And Lindy, bless her heart, is the bait-putter-oner and the line untangler, and the Grandma helper.  I'm sure she caught fish too, but I didn't get a pic.  Remember, it was raining.  I wasn't getting out from under the roof!

After all tired of fishing it was time for Pizza --  Pepperoni and Supreme.  I made the mistake of putting both pizzas in the oven ON THE RACKS -- per the directions.  Take my advice:  DON'T DO THAT!!!  The pizza on the top rack wasn't getting enough heat -- or something -- and the bottom of the dough was hanging down BETWEEN the bars of the rack like very droopy dough boobs!  I had NO IDEA how I was going to get that thing out of the oven.  Fortunately, Lindy is a Pizza expert since she works at Hideaway Pizza, and she figured out what to do.

John and Hollie arrived about 2:30 on Friday, and that was very exciting for me, of course.  John was SO TALL and SO HANDSOME and SO WONDERFUL and his wife, Hollie was still SO BEAUTIFUL and SO SWEET.  This was the first of many hugs from my favorite Soldier:

That night we all had hamburgers and the fixin's before driving Walker and Lauren back to town to meet their other Grandma.  The visit with them was a very rare treat, and we are so thankful for all the other Grandmas arranging time for us!

The next day was a fabulous day with John and Hollie and Lindy.  We went out in the "big boat" (compared to our small fishing boat) and played on Lake Texoma.  John helps us with everything.  He knows how to handle the boat and back it up and park the trailer and all that stuff Jerry usually has to do.  It is such a pleasure to have John help with all the tasks involved in boating.

I have a complex to start with having 64-year old parts that all want to head South, and it sure doesn't help to be in a boat with these two beauties:

You notice I am NOT in the picture.  They were lucky to have me in the same boat!!!

Fortunately, both of them hug me a LOT and say, "I love you, Grandma", so I tell myself I would rather be their Grandma than look like I did when I was their age.  A huge blessing indeed!

Here is Captain Papa:

We have this removable table in our boat that I LOVE, and I always pack sandwiches.

Here is the Sandwich Assembly Line before we left for the lake:
And here we are enjoying lunch on the water:

After lunch, John and Hollie and John and Lindy played on the tube and then the skis.  John had ENDLESS energy!  Lindy was next in show-off-ability.  Hollie got pooped after a ride with Lindy and then John on the tube.  I got pooped just watching!

 Here, John and Lindy changed to water skis.
I would like to point out that although I did not tube or water ski, I DID take all the pictures!

THEN was our dinner at Alberta Creek Cafe.  I was really looking forward to it because it is so nice now with the new managers.  I had made a special request for a slight adjustment to a pie they serve there.  It is kind of a cheesecake on bottom with strawberries and glaze on top.  I asked them if they could "throw a few blueberries on top" to make it red, white and blue for my grandson, and I explained he was a soldier coming home from Alaska.

We had a table reserved, so we sat down immediately.  The waitress had been told by management to scoot right on over to our table, and she was there before I had even adjusted myself in my chair!  I don't know WHY we got such preferential treatment, but we did.  Our dinner came quickly, and it was time for dessert.  I signaled to one of the staff that we had a special pie.  She said, "Oh, I KNOW!  I will take care of it."

In a few moments the lady that made the pie -- Wanda -- arrived at our table with the pie in her hands.  I squealed with delight that I'm sure the whole restaurant probably heard, and asked if I could take a picture.  John got up and stood next to Wanda.  This is blurry, but I'm so glad I got it.

Wanda had waited until that afternoon to make the pie so it would be very fresh.  She also made it look like an American Flag.  It was WONDERFUL, and I was SO TOUCHED that she did that for John.

Here is a cut piece so you can see it is kind of a real fluffy cheesecake inside.


And -- as if that wasn't ENOUGH of a surprise to make our evening extra lovely -- the waitress came to our table when we were ready to pay for our meal, and she said, "Your ENTIRE meal has been paid for!"

I couldn't believe my ears.  Jerry and I both ASSUMED it was the managers -- Wanda's daughter and her husband.  Jerry went to thank them, and they said, "It wasn't us!"

The kids said, "Grandma, you talk so loud, the whole restaurant probably knew John is a soldier."

Whatever!  As far as I'm concerned, the WHOLE WORLD should know it.  Evidently, someone was honoring his service.  Sure wish we knew who so we could thank them.

Then it was home again, a movie and another day.  By now, it is Sunday, and you know we always have church on Sunday.  We announced to the kids that we would have breakfast at 7:30 and church at 8:30.  They said to just wake them up at 7:30.  I went to their rooms and just lightly tapped on their doors.  In two minutes, they were all in the kitchen.  We enjoyed bacon and pancakes, and then we headed upstairs to church on the big screen.

Now, our "church" is very relaxed.  Recliners or the couch in your pj's.  Even Jackie came to church.  (EXCUSE Jackie's weird eyes.  I thought black circles would look better than bright light alien eyes.)

After church, the kids came to me and told me how much they loved it.  There was a guest speaker who was quite a comedian.  He could imitate John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and others.  I was getting a little disturbed at the comic act until he turned it into a good sermon about never quitting.

After church, Lindy had to go home.  She had come in her own car, so she left alone.  Jerry, John and Hollie decided to head back out for a short fishing trip in our other boat.  I thought Hollie would want to stay with me.  Nope!  She LOVED going fishing.

That evening, John asked if we could eat on the patio.  I was thrilled he thought of it.  An elegant dinner of grilled hot dogs and baked beans.

That not-so-bald-anymore guy was enjoying having his grandkids there.  I was loving watching him love them.

And a fuzzy pic of me and my tall soldier.  Behind us is a stack of my Crocs and a water hose used to wash all the mud off them over and over and over.  I had the kids just grab a new pair every time we went to the pond.  Sadly, about 8 pair are still out there waiting a more thorough scrubbing.

And the weekend ended this morning at about 11 AM when John and Hollie drove away.  They have more people to visit before they head to Arizona on June 30th to their new assignment at Fort Huachuca (?).  I told them not to DARE go across the border to Mexico!  Hollie said her Dad told her not to DARE leave her house!

Gotta go feed my hubby.  Tomorrow, I'll show you my new quilting machine!

Hugs, Joy

Monday, June 16, 2014

Two New Sure-fit Design Blouses and GUESS WHAT!?

Cross your fingers or your eyes or SOMETHING!  The internet seems to be working AT THE MOMENT!

I am going to hurry real, real fast -- my usual pace anyway -- to post a few pictures of the two blouses I just finished.  I need to make pants to go with, but I am putting sewing on hold until after our company comes and goes.  I've been cleaning house all day today.

Remember the bright daisy fabric that jumped into my cart while I was getting my aerobic walking exercise at Hobby Lobby.

I used my Sure-fit Designs blouse pattern recently drawn for a video that I can't upload yet, and I messed it up!  Wish I had a "BEFORE" picture, but I don't.  What I did was forget to add 5/8" seam allowance down center front for the facing.  I had added 7/8" for the button extension, and when I looked at it, I figured I was done with that part.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, my blouse ended up needing buttons smaller than flea eggs which, of course, do not exist.  I finally figured out HOW I could fix it, and I was so pleased with myself.  I cut the neckline much more OPEN which involved cutting below the top button and buttonhole in the blouse.  Since the buttons and buttonholes were already there, I then had UNEVEN button placement on the blouse.

Here is my CURE:
I ADDED MORE BUTTONS in sets of TWO down the front of the blouse.  Since the neckline was much more open, everything suddenly fit.


This fix made the facing VERY NARROW in the V area, so I top-stitched all around it so it won't pop out.

After I finished the bright daisy blouse and discovered my gigantic mistake down center front, I decided to try again.  This time I added the 5/8" seam allowance.  I then took in the v-neck area so it would not gap.
AND I decided to try the Cap Sleeve in Glenda's revised Dress Kit Book.

The Cap Sleeve came out really open and big.  Let's just say I would have had to wear a REALLY PRETTY bra and be sure my belly was washed good!

My CURE for the large open Cap Sleeve was to gather it.

Hopefully, I won't look like I'm wearing a 2-year old's blouse design.

I can always file it away with my "pajama" outfits.

Actually, I really like it.  It is DIFFERENT from any sleeve I've ever done.


My grandson, John and his beautiful wife, Hollie arrived at the OKC Airport this morning.  My daughter snapped this picture from the front seat of her car:

I kid you NOT!  I thought I was going to have to apply Super Glue to my bottom and attach it to a chair to keep from grabbing Jackie, my keys, jumping into my car and heading 150 miles North to get my arms around these two!  The cat -- not so much.  (-;

Jackie is giving me "that look"!  The one that means I better let her outside, OR ELSE!

Have a great week, my friends.

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day Sermon of the Century by Pastor Matt Hagee

I wish I had the words to convey how awesome this morning's sermon was.  It is Father's Day, so the sermon was about fathers. It is a sermon for EVERYONE, however.  I beg you to listen to it if you can.  It is about what America needs more than ever:  Godly fathers. (and follow the instructions)

Matt does not do the expected talk about his own father and what it was like growing up.  His father actually commented that he hoped Matt didn't bring too many skeletons out of the closet.

I could tell -- everyone could tell -- that Pastor John (Matt's father) was mesmerized by his son's sermon.  He never took his eyes off him.

I said to Jerry, "Look at the love and respect that man has for his son!"

Before the sermon was over, Matt had tears streaming down his face.  I had tears streaming down my face.  I looked over at Jerry -- who isn't one to show emotion at all -- and he was wiping a puddle away from under each of his eyes.


You can hear it at 11:00 this morning, OK time, or a video of it will be available the rest of the week.  I am not affiliated with this church in any way other than we have chosen to attend it every Sunday via the internet.  Pastor Hagee, Sr. reminds me of my own Father.  Just go to if you are interested.

I promise you, it is a sermon every man and every woman needs to hear -- in MY opinion, of course.

Now I must run around the rest of the day getting ready for our family reunion next weekend.  #1 on the plan is for us to invite everyone to join us upstairs in front of the big screen for church next Sunday morning.  We put God first here, company or not.

Have a marvelous week my friends.

Hugs, Joy

Saturday, June 14, 2014

"New" Longarm and Family Reunion -- Sort Of

The internet here is SO SORRY!  I have 3 or 4 videos to upload, but can't do it.  I've forgotten now what they even were about.  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  Oh!  About the last quilt and my longarm.  And a tutorial about Sure-fit Designs for the lady that asked.  We are going to try changing routers this week per the advice of our computer-fix-it guy here.  We were going to change to another company, but he told us they were worse than the one we already have.  Nice to live in the woods EXCEPT for that!

I will be receiving a 2014 Demo Longarm in a few days.  I traded my 2006 in because mine ran out of warranty.  The "new" demo machine has a lifetime warranty.  I am happy and nervous at the same time.  It is very different than my 2006 model.  I may be making lots of phone calls for assistance for awhile.

Let me see if I can download a pic of Millie for you.............
Doesn't look like much to most of my readers, I'm sure, but it looks awesome to me!  For one thing, it is white instead of dark gray.  I really like that.  I am keeping my table, so it won't match, but I couldn't figure out HOW I would get the table OUT of my house since it came INTO the house through the window when we were building my sewing room into the attic.  There was a scaffolding outside the second story window then.  There is NOTHING under the window now but cement.  I better quit making blouses and start making some new quilts!

And, YES, we are having a family reunion.  Nothing like the family reunion we used to go to in Ohio when I was growing up.  I swear, every other person within 500 miles of Youngstown, Ohio is MY relative.  I kid you not.

When I was 17 years old, my parents sent me to Ohio to live with my grandparents for a year.  They did not approve of my boyfriend in Phoenix, AZ, and they had very good reasons not to, although at the time, I sure didn't agree with any of them.

I was sent away to my grandparent's house where I was supposed to be SAFE from all evil boys.  The very FIRST thing that happened was I made a friend at school.  Her name was Diane.  She was dating a boy named John.  John's parents owned a bar.  A real bar with pool tables and liquor and lots of wild customers every night.  GUESS where I hung out all the time?  Yep.  At the bar with Diane and John.  One night I was there -- only 17 -- and some guy came over and started flirting with me.  He wanted to take me on a date.  I asked him what his name was.

It was Ed Treehorn.

My name was Joy Clingerman at the time.

I told him my name.  He looked at me strange, and then he said, "I think we are related".

When I got home, I asked my grandparent about him.  Sure enough.  We were some number of cousins.  1st, 2nd or 3rd.  The next guy I met was a cousin too.  He said he didn't care.  He told me I made his toes curl up.  We went to visit cousins in Pennsylvania, and my third cousin there wanted to marry me!  I think there may have been a HUGE shortage of girls in those parts.

I sure was glad when I got to leave Ohio!

ANYWAY, we used to go there to family reunions.  They would be outside on the lawn of some relative's house.  The food was set out in dish after dish after dish down the center of table after table after table.  Every kind of meat and veggy and pickle and jam and salad and dessert were arrayed there, a whole bunch of which I had never seen before, and I wasn't too sure if I should eat them.  And the RELATIVES!  Women had so many children in my grandparents' day, and I think every parent -- every kid -- and every grand and great grandkid showed up for those reunions.  There were people EVERYWEHRE.

This coming weekend we are having a very small family reunion but it is GINORMOUS for this family.  There will be a total of 11 of us.  Two of our grandchildren will be gone by the time the rest arrive, but we were lucky to get to have them at all.  They are coming from California, and they have to make all the rounds.  There will be 9 of us gathering next Sunday for a day of just enjoying each other and celebrating our oldest grandson leaving Alaska where he has been stationed for three years.  I've decided our huge buffet on all the long tables will be at the Alberta Creek Cafe down the road.  We have already made reservations.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, yes!  Air conditioning and I don't have to cook -- at least, for that meal.

Jerry and I have been running around inside and outside all day long doing things we didn't care about until we found out all these people are coming to visit.  THANK GOD, a man named Stevie came to do all the mowing and tree trimming today.  Jerry would have tried to do it, and it would have been too much.  The guy that came would stand on the VERY TOP of his ladder with a chainsaw in his hand cutting down limbs!  We could NOT believe our eyes!  He trimmed dozens of trees, picked up all the branches and hauled them to a burn pile, and then he mowed and weed-eated our huge several-acre lawn.  He is coming back soon to do more.  What a blessing!

Jerry trimmed hedges and burned stumps.  I cleaned toilets, vacuumed, mopped, changed from boring hand soap to pretty scented handsoap for my daughter; made sure all showers had shampoo, conditioner and soap; made sure beds all had clean sheets and found the two blow-up mattresses; gave Jackie the best trim I could which isn't saying much; fixed lunch and supper and now I am typing this to you.

We are SO EXCITED to see our grandkids -- all of them except our great grandchild that we are not allowed to see -- but ESPECIALLY John who has been away for three years.  There WILL be pictures!

Jerry just announced he is exhausted and has gone to our bedroom.  I must follow.  Whither thou goest, you know.

Hugs, Joy

Monday, June 9, 2014

Please Remind Me WHY I Wanted a Dog!

I used to brag that I mopped my kitchen floor only two or three times a year.  It's true.  I would occasionally have to wipe up a spot or two, but other than that, it just never needed more than vacuuming.

But NOW, since I got Jackie, it would not be unusual to mop the floor two or three times A DAY!!!

It rained here yesterday and again really hard this morning for about two hours.  Not only did it rain, Jerry has just dumped new top soil in several big areas of our large back yard.   Usually, Jackie can go out when it is wet and come back in, and I just grab the towel I keep by the door and wipe her paws.  She knows to sit and lift them up to me, one at a time.

I have a routine for when Jackie comes in and her feet are real dirty.  I fill a bowl with water.  I put one paw at a time down into the bowl of water -- shake it around a bit -- pull it out of the water into the towel and wipe it off.  You may recall I got Jackie during the snowy season, so she was always coming in with dirty paws.

That wasn't too bad.

But yesterday and today -- the combination of the new top soil and lots of rain -- Jackie came in looking like someone had thrown mud balls at her while making her stand with each paw in a bucket of mud.

Yesterday, Jerry was here when she appeared at the door like that.  We turned on the hose on the patio and just sprayed her off with that.  Tonight, I am here alone.  It didn't seem THAT wet outside since it had not rained since this morning, so I just called Jackie in.  She came running in and landed on the towel just inside the door and got into her "sit down and lift up paws" position.  I looked at paw #1 and was IN SHOCK.  It wasn't just DIRTY, it was CAKED and FILLED IN -- like spackle in holes in a wall -- all over, around and in between her nails and her pads.  Little chunks of mud were falling faster than  I could catch them.

I led her QUICKLY into her room, which is our large laundry room, as she dropped chunk after chunk of little mud balls in a messy trail the whole way in.  There is a sink in there and a pitcher I use to fill water bowls for the cats and Jackie.  I put the drain plug in the sink and began filling it with water.  I grabbed a handful of microfiber rags and threw them in the sink.  I pulled one wet rag out -- gave it a good wring -- and I called Jackie to "come".  She sloooooooooowly walked over to me, not sure WHAT I was going to do.  She got in the "sit and lift paws" position, and I started washing paw #1.  I washed and washed, but it would NOT come clean.  The more I rubbed, the more mud appeared.  I was getting QUITE frustrated as I looked down at the navy blue rugs I had JUST washed a few days ago, now covered with brown water spots, and Jackie could tell.

THEN, I noticed the plastic pitcher on the counter.  I decided to fill the pitcher with water so I could put Jackie's leg down inside it and let the mud and dirt go into the water.  Jackie was off in the corner watching me.  I put the pitcher down on the floor with rag in-hand, and I called her.  "Come to Mama", Jackie.  She looked at me like I was about to stick her face in that pitcher and drown her.  She wasn't budging!

I picked up the pitcher and walked over to her.  I lifted up her leg and stuck it down into the pitcher.  She realized what I wanted to do, so she stood up and let me do it.  The water in the pitcher quickly turned dark brown with streams of dirt dribbling off Jackie's leg.  I had to do that at least 3 times per leg -- with new water each time -- before it quit turning dark brown.  Then I had to do her face and her tummy and her behind!  By now, everything in the room had dirty brown water splashed on it!

I'm thinking of going to and ordering a bathtub to put in the back yard.  Only problem with that is, I couldn't lift her 50 pounds into it, and I doubt she would volunteer to do it herself.

You should have seen the floor in the laundry room and in the kitchen after that fiasco.  Of course, the new miracle mop and bucket were already there from yesterday when I had to clean her up.  I then vacuumed and mopped the path from back door to laundry room for the THOUSANDTH TIME since I got Jackie!

Soooooooooo, if I had known THEN what I know NOW, would I still have gotten this dog???

I sure would!

I wouldn't trade her for a pot of gold!

Hugs, Joy

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Yesterday morning, life was as usual around here.  Just Jerry and me going about our daily chores with no exciting plans at all for any change of pace or any visitors.

Jerry called me about noon and informed me that our two grandchildren are coming from California to visit all their various Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.  Jerry said we were going to get to have the kids for maybe one day.

WELL!  Let me tell you.  That may not seem like a big thing to most people, but to us it is H U G E!  We hardly ever see these grandkids because they live so far away.  When they do come to town, there are no less than a thousand people who adore them and want to see them.

Jerry asked me to "make arrangements".

I set about doing that by #1, trying to figure out WHAT day the kids would actually come to our house.  Their very nice other Grandma called me several times and was very generous in making plans for us.  We will have them one night and most of the next day.  My other granddaughter, Lindy, who lives in Oklahoma is very fond of the California granddaughter, so I wanted to be sure she could come down to our lake house on those same days.  She is older and has a job, so she had to ask for time off work to come.  Still not positive she can get off, but we are very hopeful.

RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL THAT, I received a call from my Army Grandson in Alaska.  He told me that he and his wife, Hollie decided to make a stop in Oklahoma before heading to their next post in Arizona.  WOW!

 Another HUGE event in our lives.  This young man is at the very TOP of the special list in this family.  I tell you the truth -- and only Moms and Grandmas will understand this -- a hug from this grandson heals my soul.  He knows it too, so he gives me really good hugs!

I have called him "Boo Bear" since he was a baby.  This is a picture of a picture I just snapped.  I keep this on my frig where I can see it every day.  It was taken several years ago when I wasn't QUITE as ancient as I am now.

He caught his first fish when he was 2 or 3 years old.  Papa brought it INSIDE our mobile home and put it in the bathtub with a big branch from a tree.  That fish was there all day.  Boo Bear was SO PROUD of it.  I have pics of that too, of course, but I won't make you look at them.

His proper name is John.  John told me that he and Hollie wanted to come to our house while they were in Oklahoma.  GREAT!  I'm hoping they can come the day the other kids are here.

Later that day, I heard from my daughter -- John's Mom.  She texted me that she and her husband and maybe her other son were all coming down to join us when John is here.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  We have a fun family reunion OUT OF THE BLUE to look forward to.

Do you remember in just my last post, or maybe the one before, I said it would take a MIRACLE for Lindy and Lauren to be here together at the same time.  Here it is just days after I typed that sentence, and the girls will be here in two weeks.  ISN'T GOD GOOD?!

Gotta go.  Need to go to the patio swing and tell Jackie how adorable and pretty she is.  She will be so excited to have company coming.  She goes insane when my daughter, Tammy, comes.  Tammy nursed her back to life when she was a puppy and had parvo.  Tammy and Len have a kennel and make puppies to sell.  I should be able to buy a half-brother for Jackie in 6 to 8 months.

Jackie asks that you please forgive her hair-do.  She says if I would EVER quit sewing and making jewelry, perhaps I could comb her hair for photos!

Isn't she big?

She loves her new quilt.

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunshine on Sunday

It has been cloudy ALL WEEK LONG, and the sun is shining bright today.

I grew up in Phoenix, AZ so you can pretty much figure out why I am a SUNSHINE lover!  Back in the olden days when I grew up, children played outside as much as possible, because being inside -- at least, at my house -- meant you had to work.  I was so dark-skinned in those days, people thought I was Mexican.  When I moved to Ohio when I was 16, someone asked me if I was Italian.  Are Italians dark-skinned?

We didn't get to "go to church" this morning because our internet service decided to move SLOWER than a turtle going backwards.  We couldn't watch Roku last night, and I couldn't read my email this morning.  I decided to call AT&T -- our internet provider -- and after 30 minutes talking to some technician guy, I handed the phone to Jerry as the guy started asking me hard questions I could not answer.  Jerry was on the phone with him for TWO HOURS.  I am able to type this post to you on my DESKtop computer, but my LAPtop isn't picking up any signals today.

Since we couldn't do church, and I felt bad leaving Jerry alone up here in the sewing room talking to the guy that I had gotten on the phone in the first place, I decided to finish the project I started yesterday.

I had NO INTENTION of making this item anytime in the near future, but you know how I cleaned up my sewing room last week so I could make a new video.

Well, when you clean up your sewing room, you find all kinds of things you forgot you bought.  Plus, Phylly told me I should show you where I keep my fabric -- like there is enough battery life in my camera for that -- but I decided to start looking around to SEE where I keep it all.

I opened one of the closets and found a stack of cute fabrics I had purchased to make aprons with.

My Mom always wore an apron.  Did yours?  My Mom wore the most beautiful clothes to work and to church, and she had to have an apron to cover them when she cooked or cleaned.  My mother didn't own a pair of jeans, and I'm not sure she owned a pair of slacks until I was older.  I NEVER saw her in a tee shirt in those days.

Look at this actual pattern of aprons on top of fancy dresses.  One lady has PEARLS on!  The aprons in the picture are fancy enough to wear to church as a skirt!  I would have to wear an apron OVER my apron if it was that gorgeous!

Anyhow, I like aprons, and OCCASIONALLY, I have a decent outfit on that requires a cover-up.

I had lined up about 10 empty bags that I keep from Braum's.  Nice, strong paper bags with sturdy handles.  I got out my fattest, darkest marker and wrote "GOODWILL" across all the bags.  Then I started filling them up.  I started by putting ALL the apron fabrics except for one into one bag.  I continued filling all the bags with clothes I kept for "just in case" the grandkids came when they were young and forgot something and clothes for great grandkids in case I was ever to keep one or more of them.  As you know, I'm not permitted to see my only great grandchild, so I decided to get rid of all the baby things and little kid things.  There were books and gadgets and socks and toys and shirts and jeans and ....

BUT, I decided to keep ONE of the apron fabrics and make an apron.  I figured it would only take an hour at the most.  After all, is it really necessary to do fitting adjustments to an APRON?

Let me answer that question for you.


Now ERASE FROM YOUR MIND the aprons in the picture above or you will throw up when you see mine.  This one will actually have wet hands dried on it, doggy hairs wiped off on it and Kleenex in the pockets.  You KNOW my "non-shedding" dog, Jackie?  Well, that was another one of life's big jokes!

First FITTING issue, was I had to put in some short bust darts to keep things from falling into the sides of my apron into the gaping fabric on the sides.  The pattern gave five choices of pockets.  I chose these cute gathered ones.  I shortened the apron by four inches.

 ANOTHER fitting issue:

The side of the apron and the cute pocket again.

I did NOT have any double-fold seam binding in a color that matched this fabric.  I had this SINGLE fold narrow seam binding.  It took me hours to put this stuff on, and I ran out.  I had to put a piece of white binding at the center back neck.  Fortunately, it won't show.

You can almost see it in the picture below up under my hair.
I didn't do anything -- obviously -- to make the apron go straight across my back waist.

I have a RTW tee shirt on, and it shows you very plainly WHY I sew for myself.

I could sign up to be a ski slope for fleas and ants, I suppose, but I would rather make clothes that are crooked so they make me look straight.

The RED lines are straight.

The blue lines are ME.

The good news is, I am not the only one.

You probably have something crooked too.  Or maybe something bigger than something else.  A foot or a boob, for instance.

I need to get ready to go fishing with my husband.  I am so very THANKFUL that I still have a husband after that awful cancer, that I will do most anything for him.

Actually, he JUST walked in.

Hugs, Joy