Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sail Away!




I found this fabric a couple years ago at the Fabric Shack. We were on our first Mother/Daughter trip with our friends. I saw it and thought it would go well with one of our bedrooms that has a sailing/lighthouse theme. The previous owners painted the walls to look like a sea complete with little sail boats, lighthouses and clouds. So I bought what I thought would be enough fabric (later I went back and got a little more). I made my own pattern, which is not original, but at the time I didn't know that. I drew it on graph paper and had dh help me with the math to know exactly how much fabric I would need (thus the reason I went to get more, for borders, mostly).

A couple weeks ago I started cutting and sewing. Then I laid them all out on the floor and actually made no changes (shocking). I finished sewing all the blocks and rows together a week ago; all I need to do is put the borders on. After that I'll have another quilt top that needs to be quilted. :) I've got a stack!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Our red squirrel

It's so much fun to watch this squirrel crawl all over this bird feeder.





Sunday, May 22, 2011

My blueberry bushes

The first two pictures are the new blueberry bushes.

This one just might make it.

The next two pictures are the two original blueberry bushes.

This poor thing looked pretty dead after winter. All the tiny twigs were broken off and I couldn't tell if it would make it. Then on Thursday I want out and looked at it only to discover the smallest of new growth. After dh got done mowing, I wanted to show him, but he got a rather sheepish look on his face and said something might have happened to it. Yeah, like his weed-whacker accidentally chopped the whole thing off!

Then Friday while on our date he saw blueberry bushes at Lowes!

Assuming this one lives, it's got a better start that the others since it's bigger.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lily of the Valley


Taken in between raindrops.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fungi grows



I've never seen the second one before. And a preliminary online search turns up nothing.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Recent flooding

We have had so much rain lately! Anytime it rains and rains there is flooding. We've not been in danger having water reach the house, but the roads have occasionally looked like this:


The pond is totally full, which is good because it was at least a foot down.


The forecast is for rain all next week also. Thankfully, dh was able to get the lawn mowed this afternoon. The garden is currently growing on the deck. It had been in the kitchen until today. I haven't been able to set the plants out to get them acclimated as much as they need. We won't be able to plant seeds directly to the garden until it dries out some.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Table topper

This is a gift for a friend. I quilted this one on my machine. The small size is so much easier to quilt than a larger quilt!



Happy Birthday, Christine!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Out with the old, in with the new

The second to last time it wasn't raining I heard a pop and suddenly there was no more lawn tractor sound. Eventually, I went out to see what was up. I found out that the lawn tractor wasn't working at all. DH took something apart then pretty much pronounce it dead. After he push-mowed the portion he had left, he cleaned up then got online to find himself a new lawn tractor. One does not go without a lawn tractor in spring. Here's what he found.


That thing is most difficult to drive. I was really good at going in circles. Even hubby said he almost drove it into the pond. He did not do that, however and finally got the hang of it. Now we need another dry day so he can do it again. It's been raining and raining and raining.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Quilting-Second longarm quilt

Here's my second attempt at longarm quilting.


I'm surprised by how thin the green Kona backing is! I'm hoping it will wash well.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Quilting-First longarm quilt

I've been busy finishing up quilts and starting new ones this week.



All the parts to this quilt were provided by the quilt shop for the longarm quilting class.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Googling Ourselves to Death

I find many of the things mentioned here true about myself. I hardly ever take time to put very many thoughts together anymore. :( There are many snippets and fragments of ideas running around in my head. I find it a chore to put them together into a blog post. This article presents a challenge. Will I work on it or not?

Googling Ourselves to Death

by Jason Stellman

I distinctly remember the period after I first began to embrace Reformed theology while a pastor with Calvary Chapel in Europe. The Bible had come alive to me as a result of having discovered that “the gospel” was not just the “Roman Road” down which we take unbelievers in order to get them to “pray the prayer” and accept Jesus into their hearts, but it was so much more. The gospel as I came to realize, refers not just to our evangelistic tactics and formulae, but to all of the doctrines of grace that shape our lives as Christians: election, regeneration, saving faith, justification, sanctification, and glorification. In a word, I was overwhelmed with the new insights I was gaining. For this reason I would sit and study God’s Word for hours without interruption, often pursuing a biblical or doctrinal question as far as I possibly could, and exploring it as deeply as I possibly could, until I was satisfied that I understood the matter satisfactorily.

But now? Now, things have changed.

I still have the same love for God’s Word as I always have (and I hope it’s even greater than it used to be), but what has changed is the ability to study it without distractions. The reason for this, I think, has to do with the all-pervasive role that the Internet has come to play in our lives as Americans. We are constantly connected and thus susceptible to incessant email notifications, Facebook friend-requests, and inane texts and tweets. If I may wax somewhat self-incriminating, after finishing my last paragraph and beginning this one, I took a break to check the score of the Lakers game (they’re losing). My point is that the context in which one can sustain a single uninterrupted thought is much rarer and harder to create than it was only ten years ago.

In his book The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains, Nicholas Carr argues that the way we often evaluate the effects of the Internet is by considering its content, but ignoring its nature as a medium. It is the way that information is being relayed and processed that stands to harm us more greatly than the information itself. Carr quotes Wired’s Clive Thompson, “The perfect recall of [Google’s] silicon memory can be an enormous boon to thinking,” and then writes:

The boons are real. But they come at a price. Media aren’t just channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. Whether I’m online or not, my mind now expects to take information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in a sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.

As Neil Postman and Marshall McLuhan have argued in times past, the message is important, but so is the medium, and the medium of the Internet and other forms of modern technology may indeed make things quicker and easier (and in case you were wondering, yes, I did a Google search to find Carr’s quote above rather than type it in by hand from the book sitting here on my desk), but at what cost to our brains, our minds, our study habits?

There’s something unique about Christian disciplines — and especially the study of Scripture — that renders them altogether distinct from other pursuits. And what’s more, those things that tend toward growth in the faith, whether public means of grace or private devotions, can even be immune from the supposed aid and ease that technology may offer in other arenas. For example, a graduate student may truly benefit from being able to access mountains of information at the click of a mouse, but I am not convinced that the minister will equally benefit from the same. Unlike in other fields, the pastor who labors over the Greek or Hebrew text of Scripture, or the theologian who forces himself to dig deeply into the writings of some saint or early father, actually undergoes an inward and spiritual change as a result of these disciplined pursuits, and the depth of that change may very well be related to just how painstaking his research really was.

In a word, there are just no shortcuts to true piety. The more we attempt to achieve our spiritual goals quickly and painlessly by circumventing the old ways trod by those who have gone before us — such as time spent in prayer and in study of God’s Word — the more shallow our spiritual lives will become. As inconvenient and time-consuming as our spiritual disciplines may be when pursued without the aids of modern technology, we can rest assured that the effort will be more than worthwhile.

It is easy to lament the ill-effects of texting and tweeting upon punctuation, spelling, and the English language as a whole, but have we stopped to consider that such grammatical shortcuts and shortcomings may end up serving as a metaphor for twentyfirst century Christian piety? What may be bad for the secular goose is much worse for the sacred gander, and lazily abbreviated text-messaging can become a steppingstone for a lazy and abbreviated prayer life.

From Ligonier Ministries and R.C. Sproul. © Tabletalk magazine. Website: www.ligonier.org/tabletalk. Email: tabletalk@ligonier.org. Toll free: 1-800-435-4343.