Almost retired…again

Seems I don’t do anything all the way. I retired…sort of…last year about this time. Just couldn’t seem to make that complete severance from the working world, though. I’m about to retire – again – in a few weeks, after I help train a new person in the office.

So, what have I been doing with this semi-retired state? Not a lot, it seems. I sure didn’t get into my blog very much!! I’ve probably read about a hundred books, a few of them actually good ones. Puzzle books have cringed in my presence. Spencer almost got into good physical shape, when he could guilt-trip me into taking him for walks. I kept the deck in working order and in place all last summer. Hey, somebody’s gotta be responsible for that task, so I volunteered to sit out there every single day and make sure it didn’t fall off into the creek or up and move next door when we weren’t looking.

I’ve also done a bit of sewing. Just a bit. We’re having a craft fair at the church this weekend, to raise money for our mission trip to Guatemala in June, so I’ve been burning the machine oil a lot. I started making what I affectionately refer to as “Poo Pals.” Those little bags that hang from the dog leash, that hold poo bags. Every self-respecting dog walker needs one of these!

Did I mention we’re going to Guatemala? Our church is taking a group to help a local church in Guatemala City. They provide breakfast to the children of their low-income area, and have classes of various types in the church, to give the kids a safe place off the streets and to help teach them life skills. We’ll also be helping put in floors and cook stoves in some of the outlying villages in the jungle, about four hours out of Guatemala City. I am really looking forward to this! I still need to get my work gloves (already wore out the pair I had) and some other stuff, and get another round of shots (ouch!!).

Here are a few of the things I’ve been working on – I’m hoping these sell on Saturday!!

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It’s coming

Be prepared.

Things are changing very, very quickly. Just look at what the world is attempting to do to Israel, which will no doubt bring on the last and greatest war, Armageddon. But if you are in the LORD’s hands, be hopeful. The Lord will not leave His people helpless. He will not leave us destitute, no matter what happens.

I believe the Lord has given Israel their homeland, and all the powers that are coming against it will not succeed in the long run. Obama, as I watch him in these last days, is doing his utmost to destroy Israel and the United States, and to start a war before he gets out of office. If a war starts, he will stay in power.

Even so, LORD, come quickly.

Sometimes I just feel a rant coming on, and it’s gotta come out. This is my final rant for 2016.

still here

Yup – still here…still pluggin’ away…far, far away.

Things have changed since I last visited this blog. I’m now semi-retired, so it would be reasonable to think I’d have the time, energy, and interest in blogging I had back when every second was filled with activity. So, what have I filled these seconds, minutes, hours, days, and weeks with, you may ask. Go ahead. Ask.

Not much.

Walking the dog. Now there’s a time-consumer.

Housework. Well, that’s a plus in hubby’s eyes. And it does stay pretty clean.

Senior swim. At least it gets my muscles moving twice a week, whether they need it or not.

Sewing. Not much, really…although I did manage to get a few bowl cozies, tea towels, and bibs made. And a couple of aprons.

VBS. Yeah, I found time to help with that this summer, and it was a lot of fun.

Work. Yes, I do still work a little…sort of a Girl Friday thing.

Sunday dinners. I have actually COOKED a couple of times since I retired. Yes, miracles still happen. Hey, I’m even doing Christmas dinner for the whole gang.

Reading. I’ve reread every. single. book I own. And even a few I don’t own. Plus I bought a few more for those dark days of winter. Yes, there are some days just MADE for reading and drinking tea. Or coffee.

Vacation. NOW we’re talkin’!!!

Daydreaming. AHA!!  I think I’ve discovered the time-snatcher!

What have YOU been doing with your seconds, minutes, hours, days, and weeks lately?

Well, that’s it……just wanted to drop by and swap howdies, and say

Merry Christmas

and

Happy New Year 

(that’s in case I don’t come back by here before January 1)

Owls and hearts and all the fun stuff

So – how ya doin’? It seems like a  L O N G  time since I’ve been here. Not that I’ve been idle or anything. Nope. Been busy. Very busy.

My friend’s son got married in AK, and she let me take part in her gift to them. I was so blessed. She wanted to give them a quilt with the double ring pattern, but instead of rings, she chose entwined hearts. She asked another friend to hand-embroider the 24 squares, and that lady did an exceptionally beautiful job. The squares are roughly 20X20, and there was a LOT of embroidery.

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this is what the squares look like (this is one of the finished pillows)

She then asked me if I’d put those squares together in a quilt top, using some lovely heart-pattern fabric she found at JoAnn’s. She got all there was to get, so I had to be judicial in how I cut it – plus, it was a directional pattern. I think it came out very nice.

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put together and ready for quilting

After I got the quilt top (and two pillows from the last 4 squares) done, my friend took it to another lady who did the quilting. It was a community effort – and her son and new wife liked it very much. I wouldn’t mind having something as lovely and full of love myself!

After this was done, I wanted to do something for my friend. So while they were in AK at the wedding, I looked at what I had left of the fabric. Guess what – I discovered the leftover fabric was EXACTLY the right size to make my friend two pillows for her guest room – a ‘sort of’ birthday gift, as she flew to AK on her birthday for the wedding (the day after). I just thought that since she had bought all the supplies for this quilt/pillow gift, she should have something of it for herself.

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But that’s not all.

I have some owl fabric I’ve been meaning to use for a purse for myself, which I finally got started on. I had a little scrap on the cutting table that another friend saw one evening and fell in love with. She asked if I could make her a little zip pouch for her upcoming women’s retreat, so she didn’t have to take her purse – just the essentials that would fit in her coat pocket. Well, of course I can! That little scrap was the perfect size for this.

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cheerful little pouch – fits a cell phone, cards, and even cash if you have any

Hmm…doing all this for other people…sounds like a saint, eh? Well, let me fill you in on a not-so-well-kept secret. I’m not all THAT unselfish. I made something for myself this weekend too. 🙂 Finally finished that owl purse, to replace my other one that I’ve literally worn out. I used some of the fabric I got from Crafty Staci in her giveaway for the lining and the pockets. I love it, and will be making a matching zip pouch soon – one that I’ll keep. 🙂

 

The man-apron

Well, so far I’ve been almost a stranger to the sewing room, although I did manage to get one thing made – and it wasn’t even from my new Christmas present! Plans are in the works for a purse with some of that fabric, by the way, and for a couple of tea towels…just didn’t want anybody to think I’d forgotten about it. 🙂

Anyway, just after the New Year, I was wandering around Outer Blogovia, looking at sites I’ve never visited, and came across a blog showing how she made a cute apron from old jeans. I’ve made a LOT of stuff from old jeans, so I thought this would be a good thing to try, just to get the ol’ creative juices flowing again. Well…it didn’t ‘exactly’ turn out like hers. She put cute little appliques on hers, and made it look really fun. I thought about doing mine the same way, but I used hubby’s old work pants – there just ain’t no dressin’ them thangs up!! He’s a plumber, and his pants get pretty . . . uhm . . . yah. But I figured I could make a decent work apron he could use in his shop or in the back yard, so it didn’t need any cute stuff.

I opened the inseam on one leg, and attached the widest part of the leg to the waistband. I cut a hole in the narrow end and finished it with bias binding, to keep the apron around the neck.  I even added an extra button to the waistband, in case I wanted to wear it myself. Think ahead, y’know!! I don’t even mind the worn-out spot near the neck hole. That used to be the knee in these jeans’ first life. 🙂

He likes it. I like it. So, whatcha think?? Do you like it?? 🙂

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final product

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hubby wearing his ‘new’ apron