Surprise! Free Grace Friday

In his well-known “Free Grace”, John Wesley said that the “grace or love of God, whence cometh our salvation, is Free in All, and Free for all”.

It has been a rather bumpy week in the health department.  Odd, how the health card or lack there of trumps all else?  In a real and overall sense, I have the  feeling of swimming However, instead of complaining and grumbling about that, after this week, I somehow found a slight, ever so small crack in the armor.  I have a feeling of relief.  I feel proud that I am swimming in a different direction.  The stream of sunlight is showcasing my growth.  WHAT?  Did I just say, I felt proud that I am swimming upstream?  Whoa!  When did that happen?  It is pretty dang tootin’ freeing.  Giving myself a little Grace here.  Yes, it is freeing.  I know I am going in the right direction.  It is nice to admit it.

umbrellaDid I do it by myself?  Heck, no.  I have some really great friends (angels really) , floating in and out of my life, that are poking me with an umbrella, in the fanny and encouraging me to get a move on.

If you read anything from JM Griffith, you look at friendship under a microscope.  She tries to figure out the friendship “thing”.  No, not the “how many friends do you have on face book”.

We are, all of us beholden to each person we’ve met and loved or wronged or ignored.

The friends you share secrets with.  The friends you can ask for help without actually asking.  The kind of friends that will read with you, learn with you, grow with you and sense when you need a little help.  Share your bittersweet moments as well as the best moments of your life.  You know, that moment when you need help and a true friend, laces their hands together for a step up?  Yeah, that kind of friend.

The word “friendship” alone can sound cloying, shallow, sweet, feminine.  JM Griffith said, she wanted it to be rough and gruff while sharing a pint of ale and debating theology.  I guess I want a bit of both.  Friendship as Grace are both free, so why not ask for the whole enchilada?

So on this Friday morning, I am rounding up my list of trusted friends who have bathed me in Grace this past week.  It is good to sit back and review.  Feel the love and pure goodness twice.  I am grateful, so grateful for the gift of Grace in the form of friendship.

This week, I received a jaunty homemade card.  Yep, she is there for me.  Phone calls and emails and a text here and there.  The friendship I receive from her is always encouraging and uplifting and she somehow manages to bathe me in Grace. She casually mentioned that she had gotten the book I was reading and will read it along with me.  Just by saying that, she lifted our friendship to another level of respect and Grace.    Without asking, this week, somehow, mysteriously she knew I needed a boost.  A pick me up.  She trusts me with her life’s stories.

After a mini meltdown about GMO’s and toxic laden foods, I reached out to a friend and she bathed me in the Grace of kindness and education.  She has an amazing way of listening to my spirit and reminding me to breathe.  She helps me with stories of real people and how they are worried too.  Even thou she lives on the other side of the country, she said she would hang out sarkin my sewing room with me and hide.  I took a couple of pictures to show her what I was doing.  She and I are twirling through a book by S.A.R.K.  , together.  Twice the goodness.  She trusts me with her life’s stories.

I was lucky to visit in person with a new friend.  She shared her passion.  It felt good to try out the “new” friend shoes.  Oh, my, they are a good fit and sassy.  Yes, very sassy.

I talked, strike that…………..I LAUGHED on the phone with my sis in law.  I almost couldn’t breathe, I laughed so hard.  She bathes me in Grace everyday of my life.  She trusts me with her life’s stories.

I received several emails this week,  from a friend who has walked with me through the muck and mire.  She is walking through a bittersweet week and has plenty of her own health issues.  However, she finds a way, a unique and lovely way of bathing me in Grace.  She has a kind and silly way of reminding me to laugh and giggle.  We celebrate our grands.  She is the one person I can brag about my Grandgirlies and Grandson on the way and she brags right back about hers.  It is a connection that helps me over the rough parts.  She trusts me with her life’s stories.

Another friend, made  two breathtaking beaded bracelets to give as graduation gifts.  (and did it right before her holiday)  Yes, I am supposed to take the class and learn how.  She did it for me for now.  She bought me a little time.  I really wanted to give those as gifts to two very special graduates.  She has a very unique way of bathing me in Grace.  She never makes me feel less, she always makes me feel like a better person.  We share girlie secrets and talk about kiddos and family and crafts and shoes.  She always has time to talk about shoes.  She is even kind enough to share a picture or two of her vacation while on vacation.  I get to “go with her” to the quilt shop or out to dinner.  Such a lovely thing to share.  She trusts me with her life’s stories.

Friendship is Free.  Friendship is pure Trust & Grace.  It means the world to me.  I try to be a good friend.  I try to Bathe my friends in Grace.  Because I was lifted up this week, I will be able to try a little harder next week.

Friendship ends up being another mystery, another place where God surprises us.

Take up the challenge!  Surprise one of your friends by bathing them in the Grace of Friendship.  It feels delicious. Go on, give it a try.

 Happy Friday, Friend, Happy Free Grace Friday!

pure chance, pure happy, pure grateful

police carBefore I was born and throughout my toddler years, my father was a policeman.  I used to love hearing his stories about that time of his life.  No, I don’t remember being an infant and sleeping in the back of his patrol car.  My mother had reached her limit and apparently I would “sleep like a baby” in a moving car.  So every once in a while, that was their solution.  Good thing they lived in a quiet tiny town and he didn’t have many high-speed chases or arrests.  Really?  I want to be all high and mighty and say, gee, that wasn’t very good parenting and yet, who among us has  not sat with a baby in a car seat on the dryer to imitate that car sound and movement?  I know for a fact that if I knew a policeman when one of our boys was an infant, I would have wrapped up that noisy bundle of joy and gladly handed him over for a ride in the patrol car.

On slow days he would stop every 7th car that went by that was red.  He said, he just picked a color (usually red or blue if that means anything to any of you embarking on buying a new car) at the beginning of his shift and that was the color he counted.  It was a border town, so all he had to do was wait for the cars to stream by.  He needed to meet a quota.  He chose his color, began counting and usually he could find a tail light out, a speeder or some other infraction on red car number seven.

I have been told a story of my brother-in-law choosing their first cat.  The story goes, a box full of fuzzy adorable kittens, he taps each one gently on the head.  Only one looks up.  Hello, Mittens!  Would you like to come home with me and live happily ever after?

One day, a couple of months ago, I was meandering through a jaunty quilt shop.  I saw their bulletin board and curiosity moved me in that direction. They had several business cards to choose from.   People offering their sewing skills, quilting and repair skills.  I was looking for a machine quilting lady in my neck of the woods.  I looked at several of the cards.  Only ONE had writing on the back as well as the front of the card.  done.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting a new friend.  The instant her door opened, I knew.  Friendly greeting, kind eyes, sweet happy dog, charming home, decor well-chosen and so clean and homey, I either wanted to sit and stay awhile or race home and run the vacuum around our home.  I found the end of the Rainbow.  Yes,that good.

First of all she called me by name and said it correctly.  Oh my goodness, music to my ears.  I knew the moment I walked into her studio, I had chosen wisely.  I had stepped into a place of passion and goodness.  My new quilting friend is one smart cookie.  Intelligent, obviously craves order, neatness and a splash of creative magic all swirled together.  All those traits and a warm personality with style and a dash of humor, seamlessly blended, so much so, that I got that  “good egg”  giddy feeling instantly.

DSCN1757She got me talking and smiling and asking all sorts of questions.  Yes, I was there to discuss a modern cross wall hanging in oranges, cream and a dash of aqua.  Somehow, it almost seemed secondary.   Her kind and warm spirit drew me in and encircled me with more than enough.  Within a couple of minutes I fell in love with her goodness, her uplifting spirit.  You know those kind of people? You feel better just by being in their circle.   They bring out the best in us.  In a flash, you know she is one of those people you want to add to your Christmas card list.

In this day and age of pairing down and deleting a name here and there, what a lovely, charming thought to want to add a name to your address book.

This chance (some would call fate, luck or good karma)  encounter has happy, blessed, thankful, grateful written all over it.

Yesterday morning, I wrote about looking  for happy.  I looked for happy. My eyes and heart were open and willing.  Last night, I wanted to take a HUGE red-letter stamp and mark the word THANKFUL over the whole day’s events.

I found it.   It came in the form of a hug from a new friend.  It came in the form of pure goodness.  It came in the package of a charming, intelligent, talented, lovely lady.

Last night, I slept like a baby. thankful




look for happy

bread peddler 3Don’t you just love those little moments in the day that make you giddy with delight?  The moment the phone rings and you see the name and you all but clap your hands together in glee.  You know the caller is the bearer of great news?   The moment when your friend drives into your driveway, and you are bubbling over with happy as you recognize her car?   That very moment when you hear/feel the dog’s tail swishing against your bed to say good morning, even before you open your eyes?  You smile before you do anything else.  look for happy.

Even when it doesn’t happen to me.  I look for happy in others.  We gather joy just by sharing in others goodness.

That moment when your seasoned, tough, rough, gruff,  Sargent Major of a brother-in-law calls and uses a word like “bubbly”.  One of the best phone calls of my life.  Yes, I am giddy with happy.   I adore that they shared their happy.  Sometimes, you don’t have to look very far, happy bops you on the head.

Yesterday a  friend and I were lucky enough to spend the day together.  Of course we stopped at “our” place to enjoy lunch.  The Bread Peddler is an amazing establishment.  The French food is so jam-packed with flavor and the breads and pastries are delicate with just a hint of European flare that you wish you could eat there three or four times a week.  I am beyond grateful and thankful that we got to enjoy another meal there.  I am healthy enough to go to lunch and enjoy every ounce of goodness.  bread peddler 4

The folks that work there are intelligent, informed and friendly.  By the time we stopped in for a late lunch, read that as 1:45 pm.  Those bakers were just about ready to call it a day.  To get that bread baked and on the shelves, their day must have started at 3 in the morning.  Oh, and we do APPRECIATE it very much.

The floor.  The well-worn dark wood.  Oh, it makes me smile.  Yesterday, I looked down and saw my shocking pink tootsies peeking out of my bling covered sandals, resting atop that gorgeous wide planked floor.  I actually think the smell of bread and goodness baking has woven its way into the grain of all the wood.  look for happy.

bread peddler 2Besides a window seat, amazing food, delightful company and a treat for no special reason………….one of those little moments of goodness happened.  If you are not watching and looking for them, you might miss it.

As we were eating and laughing and talking and eating some more, just outside the window were some outdoor tables and chairs.  We happen to notice one of the workers from the bakery was taking their break.  He sat down with a lovely plate full of lunch.  The SAME lunch as we were enjoying.   look for happy.

Our daughter in law, started her new job (they are so lucky to have her).  look for happy.

The grandgirlies new play group is located right on campus & they all love it.  look for happy.

A friend accomplished her goal of hiking out of the Grand Canyon.  look for happy.

Mr. Right left a delightful card on my computer this morning.  look for happy.

A friend’s husband interviewed and was offered a new job.  look for happy.

A gorgeous yellow rose bud brought by a friend.  look for happy.

I am meeting a new quilting friend today.  I am looking for happy.

Laundry and chores are done for the day, dinner plans are decided.  look for happy.

Don’t you just love it when a worker from the bakery you are eating in,  sits down and devours the same food as you have ordered?  He obviously knows a good thing when he smells, sees and sells it.   Makes me swing my legs and smile while I finish my lunch.   look for happy.

When you look for happy, you find it.  Enormous and life changing or small and sweet,  happy surrounds us, we just have to seek it out.

Bon Appetit!

are you saving bacon grease?

flagFew of us save bacon grease or lard.  Even less of us have given up eating meat or butter so the United States Troops can eat better.  Do you know anyone at all who has planted a Victory Garden so they won’t be a burden on the food supply and their portion can be utilized for the troops?  None of us, that I know of,  have ration cards for sugar, gasoline or rubber.

To date, 1, 404 United States Troops have died while fighting in Afghanistan.  Our government calls it a Limited Military Engagement.

To be quite clear, I am tired.  Tired of sending cards and letters and care packages.  We have been doing it for years.  Yes, YEARS.  However, the military powers that be, have not asked for my opinion as to when to bring our troops home.

As we move along through our daily lives, there are United States soldiers who are defending our right to do just that.  We drive where we want to, eat what we choose, recycle or not, mow our yards with gas fed mowers, we plan big Bar B Ques, we plan our summer vacations.

I honestly do not know one girlfriend who has gone over to another girlfriend’s home and used a ball point pen to draw a “seam” down the back of her legs.  That is affirmative.  NO stockings, girls.  During past wars, the nylon was used for parachutes for our troops.

We have another soldier we are supporting.  He is a man of honor.  He leaves behind a young daughter and son.  This is his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.   By supporting I don’t mean I am all of a sudden cooking bacon and saving the grease  to use over and over.  I am not planning a party with girlfriends and sharpies to draw stocking “seams” up and down our legs.

By supporting another honorable soldier, that means we will do several things.  We lift their names up in prayer.  I write their name on a rock near my prayer candle so we remember.  We pray for the family and friends he has left behind.  We address cards with postage affixed and we ask others to sign.

Take a pre-stamped addressed card to your work, your quilt group, your 4-H Horse club, your car club.  Ask people to sign the card.  Yes, it is that easy.  No, you don’t have to give up bacon or use a ration card.  No, you don’t have to give up butter or limit your gasoline use.  You just need to send a card.

If you want to take it a step further, you can send a care package.  Or you can attend a little league baseball game and support his son or daughter.  You can do as little or as much as you wish.  But please, for the sake of Patriotism & being a Grateful American, DO SOMETHING.

Yes, I will gladly share the name and address of our latest soldier.  The more the merrier.  Please share with your friends.  I guarantee you, if he gets a care package or a couple of cards…he will share.  It’s what they do.  It’s who they are.

May God Bless our Troops and keep them safe until they all come home.

Sincere and Heartfelt thanks from Mr. Right and I.

 “We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.”  Winston Churchill


May BOM, take 3

Why the title, take 3?

DSCN4591Block one was reading too dark and mysterious to me.

Block two was most assuredly lighter and more cheerful, yet, had a mistake.     Same pattern, same block, different fabric placements.

I must say, I am not a fan of using the handy-dandy seam ripper, however, I do love my new one.  It gets the job done lickity split.  (hardly any cuss words needed)


Ah, take 3, just right.  DSCN4596

DSCN4600Following along with a Block of the Month is a challenge and a mystery all rolled into one.  I am not sure the direction of this piece.  I want it to be balanced, so I am trying for equal blocks of light and dark.  I am trying to incorporate enough of the same fabrics that it will blend nicely.  On the other hand, I want to have unique and different fabrics to keep the interest alive.

Block of the month for May, is called London.  I made it way more difficult than it needed to be.  Looking forward to June’s surprise.

I am headed outside for some fresh air, sunshine and work.  This quilter needs to clear her head.