diggingupbonesbratkin

This blog is just me, talking about whatever is flipping my switch on any given day. Sometimes that will mean I’ll be exhuming things better left alone.

Frienemy — March 1, 2017

Frienemy

frienenemy

This morning as I was looking at Facebook I saw a post from a friend who said, “ I am removing  the fake person who tried acting like my friend but thought I wouldn’t find out about you running your mouth. Just wanna make sure you can see this and know why I will never have anything to do with you ever again.

Do you have people in your life that you just sit back and observe and think, “That’s my friend!”

On the other hand, are there people in your life that you know are only your friend when they are facing you but when you aren’t around they talk about you in unflattering ways?

Remember, no one is perfect. The difference between a good friend who happened to do something you didn’t like and a fake friend is that a good friend does not keep on doing or saying bad stuff about or to you.

How can you identify a frienemy?

·         They are two faced. They smile and laugh with you, but then slander you behind your back.

·         They always gossip about their other friends. 

·         When you’re alone with each other it’s never a problem, but when others are around they constantly try to make you look bad or they ignore you. 

·         They make fun of you. 

·         Everything is a competition to them. They always try to one up you.

·         They purposely give you bad advice so you don’t succeed or surpass them in something. I once knew a lady who, if asked for a recipe, left out a key ingredient so no one else’s food would turn out as good as hers.

·         When they are with others they don’t have time for you. 

·         When you make a mistake they always gloat. 

·         They use you for what you have or know.

·         They are never there when you need them. In your time of need and when you’re going through bad things they disappear. 

·         They never build you up and make you a better person, but are always bringing you down. 

·         They close their mouths at the wrong times. They let you go down the wrong path and allow you to make mistakes. 

·         They are critical. They always see the bad they never see the good. 

·         They are manipulative. 

 You will know them by their fruits.

1.      Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

2.      Proverbs 20:11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

3.      Psalms 55:21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

4.      Psalms 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

5.      Luke 22:47 While He was still speaking, behold, a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. 48But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

I know who keeps it real and who is only a friend to my face, and if you think about it you do too. I’m wondering why we do this.  Why do we not call them out? If you are like I, then you just smile and pretend you believe they are your friend and go on about your life knowing they will betray you the first chance they get. 

So here is a big THANK YOU to every one of you who are my real friends.  I know who you are. I know who motivates me and keeps it real. I also know who talks about me and then smiles in my face. I know who I can trust and who to keep at a distance. I know who’s really for me and who is being fake. Whether or not I let you know you’re fake, I know!  And so does the young woman I quoted at the beginning of this blog and who sparked this whole thing.

He Chose Me — February 8, 2017

He Chose Me

marriage-ours-is-my-favorite

It was always a puzzlement to me why a tall, dark, handsome man would choose me instead of a woman who was more eye candy than I could ever be. But he did.  He chose me. Not just to ask out for one time, but to be with for all time.

He chose me to for the first date and took me to see How to Murder Your Wife starring Jack Lemon. We both laughed all the way through it and I was hooked. He has such a big laugh that sounds so happy and merry I’ve never tired of hearing it.  And he laughed at all the right places in the film so I saw that he understood the subtle underlying humor in it too.

Then he chose to ask me out for another date, and so it went, from Mother’s Day in May, the day we met at the Dairy Freeze until the middle of September when we said, “I do” to each other.

He chose me again and again through the last 52 years and I’ve got to tell you it hasn’t always been easy.

marriage

Some people ask how a marriage lasts as long as ours has and what to do to make one last.  It comes down to choice always choose your mate, again and again.

We are headed as fast as we can toward Valentine’s Day and he asked me today if I would rather have roses or an orchid and I told him I would rather have purple fabric.  He understands that. And that is why I choose him. Every time, I choose him. He gets me.  He knows me.  And he loves me anyway. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Growing Older — January 24, 2017

Growing Older

Written by a 75 year old

“To celebrate growing older, I want to share some of the things I’ve learned in my 75 trips around the sun.  When your odometer rolls over one more time it makes you stop and think of stuff. Here is some of the stuff I’m thinking.

I hear a lot of folks talking about one thing and another being “fair.”  Well, I’m here to tell you that in 75 years I’ve never seen life be fair. And no one can tell me where it is written that it is supposed to be fair.  But I can tell you that it is good to be living, so to heck with fair.

Sometimes doubt sets in and I wonder what to do. After 75 years I can definitely say, “Take the next step and see where it leads you.” You may be amazed.

It is ridiculous to realize how short a time span 75 years is, it goes fast so quit wasting time and enjoy life. Just between us, life is too short and goes too fast, so enjoy the heck out of it.

And if I had not already discovered this, just rethinking the election we’ve recently come through would make me say that staying true to what you believe is important.

Don’t neglect family or friends because they are more important than you know.

If I could go back and re-do these years I would have saved more for retirement from the very first paycheck.

Irresistible describes something you cannot successfully resist.  That is why chocolate is described as irresistible. Go ahead, give in, life is short

Truly, it is all right to let your children see that you are not perfect.

Be like the flowers and don’t compare yourself to others. Bloom where you are with whatever kind of bloom you have. Daisies and roses don’t bloom alike but are both beautiful in their place.

Some old wives sayings are truer than you think.  I know for sure now that what doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

You cannot sit around waiting for others to make you happy, happiness is a choice you make, so if you aren’t happy don’t blame others.

happiness

You cannot make a quilt by looking at fabric.  You have to cut and sew to get it done and there will be a mess made while you do it. It is up to you to decide if the mess and work are worth the finished product.

Every day is special. Do what you can at the time to celebrate that specialness.

Really and truly it is better to be over prepared and then just go with what happens than it is to not be ready and get in a dither.

If you like purple and red, wear it now. Don’t wait until you are an old woman like I am. Some never make it to old age. Enjoy the moment.

Always choose life.

Let it go!  Remembering and clinging to old hurts doesn’t affect anyone but yourself. And that not in a good way.

Every thought in your mind doesn’t have to roll off your tongue. After 75 years, I’m still trying to master this one.

Nothing is forever except God, so don’t throw in the towel. The situation WILL change.

I have seen so many miracles it is easy for me to believe in miracles.

Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.  I’m doing the first, my sister did the second.

For those of you still raising children, our children get only one childhood, don’t make them grow up too fast. Clothes and faces will wash, scraped knees will heal, memories and adulthood last a long time.

 Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a “gift” and in the end the only thing that really matters in this world is whether you loved or not.  Love your neighbors, even when they are unlovable, love them anyway.

love-and-give

 

New Year Resolutions — January 3, 2017

New Year Resolutions

new-year-resolutions

A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other. At least that’s the way they seem to work for me.

But I do firmly resolve to be more careful in the kitchen and try not to drop things on my feet.  Especially heavy things.  And believe me when I tell you that a Club Aluminum lid the size of a dinner plate is heavy enough to do some damage. That’s what I dropped on my foot yesterday and wound up with this lovely new shoe.  Don’t be jealous!

foot

And since I know you are going to ask, yes, that is a stick between my great toe and the one next to it.  The lid hit just at the base of the big toe and I will tell you it HURT!

foot2

 

If I could just resolve to not fall this year, or drop something heavy on myself, and have that resolution keep me safe, how wonderful would that be?

 

 

Dreams and Resolutions — January 2, 2017

Dreams and Resolutions

god-gives-dreams-too-big

It seemed to me that growing up in a small town meant opportunities were limited, so all my dreams were of going somewhere else where there were more and better possibilities.

Looking back, I remember wanting to be a prima ballerina.  Mom tried to make me understand that I needed to have started with lessons before I was eleven years old, which was my age at the time, and there was nowhere to get lessons if one lived in Imboden, Arkansas.

Then there was the time I spent preaching to anyone who would listen for a minute because I was sure God was calling me to be a missionary.  I didn’t want to leave my country and I wanted to be a wife and mother, but somehow in that mix I felt the call to be a missionary. Hm-m-m-m.

Thankfully, that vision for my life only lasted a month or two.

I wanted to be a teacher, a counselor, a bookkeeper, and became none of those things.  Looking back I can see how childish these dreams were and I’m thankful God didn’t place those dreams into my heart.  But there seems to be a connection that each of these silly and childish dreams had to the real job God had for me to do.  He put those drives and ambitions into me to lead me to the place He ultimately intended for me to occupy.

So the obvious question is, “How does one know when a dream is from God?”  It’s an important question. Just think about it!   If your dream isn’t from God, it isn’t worth pursuing. It could lead you down a wrong path or into something that you never should have been tinkering around with.

We humans have a tendency to skew our selfish ambitions around to make ourselves believe they are God-given dreams and desires, but you need to run your idea through a filter or two to determine if it is truly God-given.

First, ask yourself if it will ultimately bring glory to God. “For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36).

Why is it so difficult to see that God made everything for His glory?  It is so everything, including your dream, will bring Him glory in the end!)

This doesn’t necessarily mean that your dream will involve ministry in the church, or mean that you have to wear some sort of clothes to set yourself apart from others so they can see how God-honoring you are.  No, it just means that what you do will bring glory to God.

For instance, if your dream involves something that isn’t quite ethical and you excuse yourself because “everybody does it,” then your dream isn’t from God and will not bring glory to Him. God will never ask you to do something contrary to His Word. But a dream that demonstrates hope, love, peace—God gets glory in that.

“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows” (Isaiah 1:17).

If you read that scripture you have to realize God’s plan for you includes you treating others well and nowhere does it mention it will result in material success or fame. God isn’t concerned with those things, so if your dream is for vast wealth, no matter what you have to do to get it, the dream isn’t from God.  Sometimes He rewards folks with material things, but those are not priorities for God. His main concern is for people and how we treat each other..

Any dream that involves taking advantage of people or capitalizing on someone else’s misfortune isn’t from God. Stay away from any business endeavor or plan like that. Instead, God will ask you to do something that meets people’s needs. That might mean becoming a foster parent, crocheting a sleeping pad from plastic grocery bags, making tiny soft baby quilts for a local NICU or any number of other things, but if it is from God it will benefit others.  If it benefits others, you are likely closer to achieving the plans God has for you.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).

A dream from God Will Seem Bigger Than What You Can Handle On Your Own.  God doesn’t give little dreams. God loves doing significant things through seemingly insignificant people, though no one is insignificant to God.

What would be a seriously audacious dream for you?  Do you want to start a home for elderly women who now live in a nursing home but could be in their own home if someone stayed with them?  Or one for men in similar situations?  Or is your dream big enough for you to dream both of these?  Are you trying to love an unlovable spouse because God has given you the dream to build a marriage like you didn’t get to see while growing up?  Maybe you are being called to foster a child or six?

Whatever your dream, dream it.  God gives us big dreams that we cannot accomplish on our own so that when we see them come to pass, we know it was because of God’s hand and not our own.

God used my dreams to turn me into a wife, mother, bookkeeper for the farm books, teacher of women in our church, teacher of my children and counselor to women who needed a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen. 

 

Take a moment to evaluate the dream that’s in your heart right now. Does your dream fulfill these qualities? A dream from God is not trivial. It’s vital. It’s not childish. It’s powerful.

If God gave you a dream, you should pursue it. You should fight for it. Don’t ignore a dream God has given you. Your dream matters.  So make that resolution today to follow that dream and be resolute in keeping after it.

Happy New Year everyone!

gods-plan

Ready for Christmas! — December 21, 2016

Ready for Christmas!

christmas-gifts

Ready for Christmas! Something made for each child, check. Something bought for each child,

check. Santa gifts ready, check. Baking and candy making done, check. Everything wrapped, check.

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I’m so-o-o-o ready! Or, wait, am I????? 

Ready For Christmas?

Ready for Christmas, she said with a sigh,

As she gave a last touch to the gifts piled high,

Then wearily sat for a moment and read,

Till soon, very soon, she was nodding her head.christmas-stocking

 

Then quietly spoke a voice in her dream,

Ready for Christmas? What do you mean?

Ready for Christmas when only last week

You wouldn’t acknowledge your friend on the street?

 

Ready for Christmas, while holding a grudge?

Perhaps you had better let God be the judge.

Why, how can the Christ-child come and abide

In the heart that is selfish and filled with pride?

 

Ready for Christmas when just last week

To your mother and father you wouldn’t speak?

They do so much for you and ask so little

But you can’t spare them a jot or a tittle?

 

Ready for Christmas when only today

A beggar lad came and you turned him away

wIthout even a smile to show that you cared?

The little he asked – it could have been spared.

 

Ready for Christmas? You’ve worked, it is true,

But just doing the things that you wanted to do.

Ready for Christmas? Your circle’s too small –

Why, you are not ready for Christmas at all!

 

She awoke with a start and a cry of despair,

There’s so little time and I’ve still to prepare.

O Father, forgive me, I see what You mean,

To be ready means more than a house swept clean.

Yes, more than the giving of gifts and a tree,

It’s the heart swept clean that He wants to see;

A heart that is free from bitterness, sin –

Ready for Christmas – and ready for HIM.


This is a revised version of the poem by:
Alice Hansche Mortenson

vintage-christmas-card

The Last Christmas Gift — December 18, 2016

The Last Christmas Gift

When I was twelve years old, all I wanted for Christmas was a basketball.  Had I understood more about life, what I wanted would have been my daddy with us at Christmas.

It was 1954 and my dad was in the Veterans hospital in Memphis, Tennessee dying with lung cancer. I only knew he was in the hospital, not that he was dying. Mom made trips back and forth to be with him and to try to take care of the three children who were still at home.  My brothers, Donald and Milton, and I put up the tree that had been cut on our uncle’s farm.  We surprised Mom when she came home and found all the Christmas decorating done.9a034dc4fbd30bc164a4463d5be77c9d

Mom surprised us the next day when we came home from school. She had been making Christmas candy and cookies all day and the house smelled like Christmas. You know that smell, cinnamon, cloves, evergreens, apples, and oranges all combined to make that unique smell that we associate with this one time of the year.  Yes, and throw a little chocolate in there too!  A house with a Mom in it is a different thing from an empty house or one with just kids, even if those kids are 12, 15, and 17 years old.

After supper that night, Mom told us what the doctors had told her. There was nothing else to be done for Dad.  He simply wasn’t going to make it through this. None of us kids had any inkling what that really meant. We did not even think of how this would mean there would be no income.  I’m sure Mom thought of that but it never crossed our little brains that Mom would struggle from this day forward to feed and clothe us kids with only a Social Security stipend and what she could earn sewing for others or cleaning windows or whatever odd job could be had in our town of four-hundred.

Yet, somewhere in the chaos that must have been Mom’s life at that point, she found time and energy to see that her kids had a Christmas.

So not even the approaching death of a beloved husband and father could hold back Christmas. It arrived right on time and there was a basketball under the tree from Dad to me.  The last gift of a daddy to his baby girl.

Thank you, Mom.

icicles-on-tree

 

It’s a Wreath! — December 6, 2016
It’s a Wreath! —

It’s a Wreath!

A hot item in many Etsy craft shops seems to be a folded fabric wreath.  It looked interesting enough that I decided to make one for a ladies Christmas party and gift swap I was attending.

Christmas fabric, check.fabric-and-fuse-and-shape

And I had some Fuse-N-Shape on hand so I was good to go.  But let me say here, you don’t have to have double-sided fusible.  It really just needs to fuse to one side but I had this on hand so used it. Yes, it worked fine, but if I was buying some for this particular project I would buy a lighter weight, this was pretty heavy.

It was necessary to straighten the edge of the fabric before beginning to cut. For all of you who wonder where I get those strings that I sew into quilt tops, this is where many of them originate. See how wide the strip is in the right picture and how narrow it gets in the left picture?

The video I watched on YouTube showed to cut the back piece 6 1/2 inches square, the fusible at 5 1/2 inches, the top 4 1/2 inches and the trim around the top 1 1/2 inches.  Some of the wreaths in videos I watched did not use a trim piece and just had a front and back with fusible between. If you do a search for folded fabric wreath on YouTube you will see several different ways to do these.

When I looked in my stash I saw three Christmas fabrics I thought went well together so decided to add the striped piece to the top fabric. The only thing I would do differently another time is cut the stripe on the bias.  But for a quick and easy project this worked fine.

I cut one and one-half inch strips of the striped and laid it face up on the sewing machine with the four and a half inch squares face down along the edge of it and sewed them together. Then off to the ironing board and then cut them apart.

back-of-squares

I sewed the top squares with the stripe around them to the bottom squares with the fusible ironed to them.  You put the two fabrics face to face and sew almost all the way around and then turn them right side out.  Somehow I missed taking a picture of this step but I began about an inch from a corner and sewed a quarter inch seam all the way around until I came back to the side I started on and turned the last corner and only sewed for about an inch and stopped.  This open side is where you reach in and turn the fabric to the outside.  Then I sewed an eighth of an inch from the edge all the way around the block to close up the opening and keep anything from shifting.

Then I sewed the squares together to make the wreath.  I marked them an inch and a half from the corner at the bottom and two and a half inches from the top corner drew a line with chalk from mark to mark and used this as my sewing guide.  I actually cut a cardboard square at 6 inches, marked it and then used it as a template to mark the squares.

template-for-sewing-together

And then it was finished!

finished-wreat

I packaged it up and took it to the ladies Christmas party at our local church and someone got it who was very pleased with it.  Who got it?  My niece, Vanessa. It was fun, quick, and easy to make and I’ll probably do some more.  Depending on the fabric they could be used for most anything.  Think of white ones made of mom’s wedding dress used on the doors and as pew markers for your wedding.  Or Valentine fabrics, or fall fabrics or whatever your imagination can come up with for using these.  Endless possibilities.

 

It’s a Mystery! — November 30, 2016

It’s a Mystery!

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Not just because families come together, though I’m glad we do, nor the anticipation of the fun times associated with the Holidays, though we have lots of them, but because every year on Black Friday Bonnie Hunter releases the first clue for her mystery quilt.  If you are a quilter and like to work on mystery quilts this one is for you.  Can you believe it, it is free!  You can find the colors needed and the first clue here: http://quiltville.blogspot.com/p/en-provence-mystery.html

The colors are unusual this year and absolutely gorgeous, but the first block of the quilt is made of all neutrals.

squares-for-mystery

Yes, those are 2 inch squares of fabric that I had tossed into a box as I cut fabric for other projects.  When something calls for a certain size square I always check my pre-cut boxes first.  So I sewed these squares together to make a 3 1/2 inch square.

squares-for-mystery-sewn-2-by-2

Here are those squares sewn together so there are two squares in each segment.

squares-for-mystery-sewn-4-x-4

Then the two squares sewn to another 2 squares so there are four 2 inch squares sewn together giving me a 3 1/2 inch square that will finish at 3 inches.

mystery-quilt-strips-sewn-together

Next I pulled out my neutral 2 inch strips an sewed them together to make more squares. This is much easier and faster than using the single squares.

mystery-quilt-squares-being-ironed

Then to the ironing board with all those four patches sewn together the pressing started. You can see my first ones pressed at the back with a clip on them.

mystery-quilt-spun-seams-2

Yes, those seams are spun clockwise on the back as instructed by Bonnie.  This makes the bulk much less and the patch lies flatter.

mystery-quilt-neutral-blocks

Viola! Here are the bundles of 25 to a bundle just waiting for the next step.  I feel I’ve accomplished something this week!  Go me!