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I just had the most awesome experience:
I was sitting on the back patio, drinking my morning coffee, & singing quietly.
A tiny hummingbird (I think it must have been a very young one) came & sat on the shepherd’s hook just a few feet from me. It sat there for half an hour!
I thank God for sending that little bird. He comforts me in my sorrow & fills my heart with joy.
While I was singing, the tiny bird sat there, motionless except for its little chest as it breathed. When I quit singing, it tilted its head and looked at me. So I started singing again and it turned its head back & continued to sit motionless.
This continued to happen for half an hour! My neighbors may think I’m nuts, singing on the patio at 6 AM, but I am so blessed!
I have been feeding hummingbirds for years and I have never seen one sit still for more than a minute, let alone half an hour!
Jon Franklin​ knows how much I love hummingbirds. I like to think that he asked God to send that little bird.


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This article was originally written in July 2008 but never published. I am publishing it now and will be adding a new post & some new photos which I was able to take of this garage this weekend on a visit back to Cape.

Front of house

This is how the garage looked when we lived there.

Grandma Ella

It was 1955 when Mom, Mark(2yrs old), and I(5 yrs old) went to live with Grandma on
Cedar Lane in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Grandma’s house was a one-room garage. She had it fixed up so cute though. It looked like a little doll house. There were lots of flowers growing down the drive and 2 beautiful rose trellises on either side of the walkway to the front door. The front half of the room was a bedroom/living room combined. The back half of the room was a bedroom/kitchen combined. There was a sink with running water in one corner. My brother and I slept in Army bunks in the back half of the room. Mom and Grandma slept in the front of the room. We listened to the Grand Ole Opry every night on the radio.


This is not our outhouse but it looks similar. Ours did not have windows however. Thank goodness for that! https://catfc.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/asphaltshack1.jpg

There was no bathroom in the house/garage. So we had to go to the outside john.We were poor, but clean. Our house garage was always spic and span; our clothes were always clean; and Mom made sure we were scrubbed every day. Bathing was in a tub out back in the summer.In the winter we had sponge baths from a wash basin. I can remember many stories from those days in the garage. I will be adding some of those stories as I get them written.



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2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Good Mornin’ Loves,

I have been doing a little cleaning this morning (emphasis on little). I needed to sit down and take a rest so I used the rest time to call and text people that I try to keep in touch with. I miss talking to my mom so much since she passed away but I have some other “mothers” that need a little conversation every so often.

The sunshine motivates me and makes me feel so hopeful. It’s like I have a shot of energy when I see the sun shining. I may even get some more cleaning done today! But, right at the moment, I just feel like rambling and blogging. I think I need to get me a cup of coffee to help me ramble. Hang on a minute……Oh, that is heavenly. I am addicted to coffee, I admit it. It is mostly Franklin Life Insurance Company’s fault (I worked there years ago and we had COFFEE BREAKS). Oh and my sister in law, Kitty, who lives in San Diego is also guilty of feeding my addiction by serving me STARBUCKS coffee long before it was ever heard of in the Midwest. I found out that I could order it and have it shipped to my home and that did it. Hooked for life!

Here’s how far I have fallen: I actually have a Starbucks coffee mug with a VELVET HANDLE. Not only does the coffee taste sublime, but the way that handle feels is just beyond words. So I can see it, smell it, taste it, and feel it. Oh, and also I can hear it when the coffee maker gives it that last sputter and sigh of relief after it pushes out that black magic.

You fellow coffee addicts understand the obsession. We should start a Coffee Addicts Anonymous. Hello, my name is Darla, and I am a coffee addict.

Enough of that ramble. I need to get something else done today besides boring you with my coffee stories.

My dresser in my bedroom is covered with all sorts of things. When I returned home from my last trip, all the little things that had no place landed on that dresser. So, my next small project is to clear it off and dust it.

There are other big projects that will have to wait until another day. Like, the kitchen cabinets….ugh, I hate to even think of that. I have so many dishes that they won’t all fit in the cabinet.

Ok, I am even boring myself with this uninteresting talk. If anything exciting happens I may post again today but I doubt it. I gotta’ got out of town to the doctor tomorrow, just a check-up on one of my many medical issues. I have a different doctor for every body part! 🙂

Enjoy your day! Thank God for sunshine!

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For 25 years I have been trying to find some dear friends that I met while working at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois in the late 70’s. We both lived at the married housing on campus. He was a transfer student from Bangladesh. His wife and I met at the laundry facility one weekend while doing our laundry. They had not been in the US for very long and had not experienced snow before. We talked and laughed while washing and folding our clothes.

Soon after that meeting I had to have surgery (a tonsillectomy). I was 29 yrs old and it was not an easy recovery. The day I came home from the hospital this new acquaintance came to visit me. I was unable to speak because my throat was swelled completely shut, literally. She sat in a chair beside me, neither one of us said a word; but that was one of the best visits I had ever had. Without saying a word, she comforted me by her presence and her shy smile. From that day on we were fast friends.

At the time of our meeting, my son and I lived in an area of the married housing not too near our new friends, but we often walked to their apt and they to ours to spend time together. They had a young daughter who was near my son’s age and they hit it off as playmates.

A short time later, the university called to tell me that my name had come up for an end apartment. The end apts were the biggest and best apts; consequently, it was difficult to get assigned to one, so there was a waiting list. My name had finally been reached and there was a vacancy – right next to our new-found friends! They were in the end apartment on the south side of the building and we were on exactly the same end on the north side.

I have many fond memories of our visits, trips, and meals together. They taught us so much about their culture and lives in Bangladesh. We helped them understand some of the strange customs in the US. (Such as, why on the first warm day of summer, there were young women lying all over the college campus with their bodies exposed!) That was not something they had ever seen in their home country since women there do not wear revealing clothing and also because they do not wish to get a tan. Another difference between their country and the US was the fact that we have speed limits and stop signs, something a traffic ticket or two taught them. LOL! I asked how they kept from having accidents in their country and they said that whoever gets to the intersection first gets to go through first!

That was in the early 80’s. I then met my soon-to-be husband and moved to another town and our friends moved on to Texas for a job opportunity. Unfortunately, we lost each other from that point on.

I often thought about them and wondered how they were, where they were. When we got the internet I started trying to find them but their name was a very common name and I was never able to narrow down the long list of people with the same name.

You know by now where I am going with this post…….I found them on Facebook last Saturday morning. Now we have all re-connected. My son and their daughter have long since grown up, but now they will be able to keep in touch via Facebook and I will likewise be able to talk to my lost friends again.

Amazing grace! Thank you Facebook!

(There was a crab apple tree right next to our patio on Eastern’s campus where my son played with their daughter in the spring and summer and where we had picnics together. That is why I have posted a picture of a crab apple tree in bloom.)

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It has been a long time since I have posted here. During the last 4 months many things have changed, some sorrowful, some joyful.

My mother, Mary Maupin, passed away on Dec 18th, 2010, after an extended illness. I am happy for her, but sad for me. We have spoken by phone practically every day for many years. I will miss those conversations. I was by her side when she passed. So were my siblings and many of her grandchildren. She knew we were there and that she was loved. We knew that she loved us. That knowledge is a wonderful comfort.

My brother and sister-in-law took me with them for an extended vacation to Florida. We spent the entire month of January in the “Sunshine State”. It was pretty close to being in heaven I think. It was warm,I went swimming,  I got a tan. What else could I need?

Thanks to Facebook and my brother, I had a glorious reunion with my good buddy from junior high (Kathy Roberts Alderman) who now lives in Florida (she was smarter than me, obviously, since she escaped the tundra). We had not seen each other for 40 yrs! We had such a wonderful time together, reminiscing and catching up. I stayed with Kathy and her husband, Russ, for a couple of days (not nearly long enough). We laughed and cried, and ate some great food that Russ cooked. I look forward to seeing them again, hopefully next year.

I am back home in the deep freeze that is Central Illinois. It was -5 degrees here this morning. My plan is to stay inside where it is warm as much as possible until the spring thaw – about April or May. I will be quilting and drinking coffee, and blogging about random things.

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Before March 13, 2009 I was so very content to sit in my rocking chair and do my hand-quilting, but not since then. What happened on March 13, 2009?

I attended a gathering of approximately 300-400 people in Springfield, Illinois, at the Route 66 Hotel. From that day on, I put down my thimble and have very seldom sat in my rocking chair since.

March 13, 2009 marked the beginning of the 9/12 Project as explained by Glenn Beck of Fox News. On that day I decided to join the effort to educate first myself and then others on the history of my home country. I was concerned about the direction we as Americans seemed to be heading. I considered myself a 9/12’er (as we have come to call ourselves), based on the 9 principles and 12 values presented as the guide for positive action on behalf of America.

I have been actively involved in the 9/12 Project for over a year and I plan to continue that effort.

BUT, I think that the time has come for me to re-visit the simple pleasure of quilting while sitting in my rocking chair, enjoying a slow cup of coffee in the morning, posting on this blog about faith, family, and quilts (of course) while, at the same time, drawing as near to God as I possibly can. I am so grateful to be an American where I am free to do these things.

From now on, this blog will be random, according to whatever is on my mind. It may be interesting or very boring. If you have comments, please be brave enough to type in that little box down below the post and hit the “Submit” button. If I like your comment, I will approve it. If I don’t like it, I will delete it. Simple. 🙂

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