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Hello to all family & friends once again! I am quilting again….finally. I am working on a project from a website called Craftsy.com. The project I am doing is the Block of the Month, which is a FREE video class on different quilting techniques. The project began in January so I am just a wee bit behind 🙂 I am trying to catch up and enjoying this course very much. Thanks to my quilting friends (& Sisters in the Lord), Arlene, Sandy, and Jean, for telling me about this project.
If you have never quilted, I believe that Craftsy has classes for beginners also.

Here are the blocks I have finished so far:

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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.

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!

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.)

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.

I had all good intentions of getting an early start on doing some cleaning today, then quilting on the queen-sized white on white that I have been working on off & on for oh……about 10 yrs or so.

But it is raining, and thundering. For some reason, when it rains and thunders my butt just can’t seem to get in gear. I think it is psychological……or psychotic? One or the other.

Besides, it is Saturday morning. There’s another good excuse for getting nothing done.

I woke up at 5 AM for no good reason. Watched a little tv, checked on Caleb Brown’s status on Facebook. (2 yr old critically injured in a hiking accident last Saturday). Prayers offered up for him, then back to sleep.

My phone rang around 8. It was Lakeisha (dear friend of the family who helps take care of my mother). She said that Mom was being taken to the hospital and that she (Lakeisha) was going up there to be with her. I wish I were there.

My mom lives 4 1/2 hrs away in Cape Girardeau MO (my hometown). She has been in poor health for some time now and lives in an assisted living facility. My brother, Jack, also lives in Cape so he is also at the hospital with Mom.

I talked to Jack. They are doing some testing on Mom. Now I am waiting to hear further details. If necessary I will pack up and go down there.

In the meantime, I am killing time. I could start something (like cleaning) but I feel like I am glued to this chair, in an altered state, awaiting word on Mom.

I have appointed myself the family “town crier” when it comes to Mom’s condition so I have texted everyone to let them know that she is at the hospital. Many of them are praying for her as they have so many times in the last few years. Mom is 86 (will be 87 on Nov 7th). She has chronic health issues as do most people her age.

Anyway, while I am waiting, I decided to blog. I have had just about all the election talk I can stomach on TV. I do hope that many in the US congress will be heading back home to look for jobs come next month.

On a different subject, I can barely wait to go to a warmer climate in January. We have not had any cold weather here yet but already I am dreading it. I am such a wuss when it comes to snow and ice. I would not miss it one bit if it never snowed again in Illinois. But, hey, so far “global warming” has not progressed far enough here. (Oh no, there’s another political subject.) Since global warming has been debunked by factual revelations in the past year, the terminology has been changed to “climate change”.  Whatever it’s called, I need me some warm weather from December until about April.

My brother, Tim, and his wife, Patty, will take me away from this Illinois weather, at least temporarily, in January. We will head for Florida, the Sunshine State, and will stay for an entire month. I look so forward to being with them and to being in a warm climate and missing out on some of that nasty snow and ice. It puts me in the mind of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe where the white witch curses Narnia with it being “always winter, but never Christmas”. I love the part when the curse is broken and the snow starts to melt and the streams begin to flow after having been frozen for so many years.

Well, I still have not gotten an update on Mom and I am feeling increasingly guilty for sitting here doing nothing so I guess I will go do something. Be back later with an update.

Update: Mom is back at the assisted living. She was given medication and is scheduled to see the doctor on Thursday.

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. 🙂