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This blog is a place for me to share thoughts, recipes, things I learn from my Bible, links and anything else I happen to want to post. It is in essence an extension of The Home Maker's Corner. I hope you enjoy it!
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Friday, May 29, 2015

Sew Happy Friday- Fat Eighth Frenzy Quilt Tutorial from the Fat Quarter Shop

 

Here’s a tutorial for a quick and easy quilt made from fat eighths.  These are half the size of fat quarters, so what you could do is get fat quarters and cut them in half lengthwise, saving the other fat eighths for another project, or make two quilts at once.


Here is the bonus video that gives an idea for using up the leftover triangles.  However, here’s a good tip to save time on this: When you make the diagonal line across the ends of the fat eighths for the “Fat Eighth Frenzy” quilt, draw a second line half an inch away on the small side where the triangles will be trimmed off.  After you sew the line for the fat eight “diamond” piece, whip it around the sew on the second line.  Now when you cut between these two lines you will have your unit for the “Fat Eighth Frenzy” AND a half-square triangle block all done both with a quarter inch seam allowance.  You will still probably need to trim the triangle blocks to make sure they are all the same size. This will save time and save you the trouble of sewing on the bias of the triangles.

And remember – you can do all kinds of things with half-square triangles.  Their idea is fine, but let your creativity flow. :-)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Thousand Word Project– Let Us Eat Lettuce


This is some of the beautiful lettuce my dad grew here last winter.  There are some foods I like just because they are beautiful!







Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Reader’s Comments – Why Do Americans Spring Clean?

 

About a year ago, the following comment was made on the post “Laying Aside Weights – Some Thoughts On Dealing with Things”.

Jo from Finding Joy In the Everyday wrote:  “Clara and I were talking on Facebook about spring cleaning, we don't do it in Australia like Americans do. We wondered why , Clara thought it might be the change in weather from very cold to warmer. Our temperature is not quite as extreme. I suppose we clean our homes all year round so there is no need for special time set aside for a more in depth clean. It's an interesting difference…”

From what I understand and have read, spring cleaning had a lot to do with the seasons.  These are just some observations I could think of in relation to that.  I’m by no means an expert on this subject! :-)

Painting by Henry Spernon Tozer

1. Smoke, ashes and soot.

During the dark, cold months of winter when the houses were being heated with wood and lighted for more hours of the day with candles and kerosene (coal oil), there was a build up of ashes, soot and smut.  My own family has heated with wood in a heavy winter climate and I remember how much more dust there was during the winter due to that.  Spring would have been a good time for a good clean up of some of these problems – the ones that perhaps were hard to deal with in cold weather.

2. Dirt, mud and other stuff.

In the winter in colder climates a lot of junk can get tracked into the house.  As wood (and at one time coal) is carried in a certain amount of extra dirt and debris will come too.  Depending on where the wood was gathered it can be quite dirty or quite clean.  Also, there are thaws which can produce mud in the middle of winter, and spring itself can be very muddy in some places.

Added to that, in the past more people had root cellars and stored large quantities of root vegetables, along with apples, cabbage and other things.  At the end of winter when some of these foods were mostly or all eaten, or when the remainder were starting to spoil, there would have been a huge cleaning job to get those storage areas cleaned thoroughly.  I’ve had a little experience with that as my family also has stored vegetables and apples and we had to deal with the clean up on a small scale.

3. No opportunity to clean some things.

Also, back in the old days people had area rugs and throw rugs on their floors.  These rugs were dragged outside to be beaten and cleaned from time to time.  After a long span of winter weather when it would have been impractical, spring was the obvious time to do this.

Heavy bedding might also be saved for a good washing in spring.  Heavy quilts, blankets and such like would not have been easy to wash with limited space and drying arrangements that were common in winter in average houses.  Also, since in many households there was a limited supply of these items and they were needed every night in winter, it wouldn’t have been a good idea to wash them in a situation where they couldn’t be dry by nightfall.  Airing might be possible, but washing would be uncertain at best.

4. Once-a-year jobs.

Some jobs needed to be done once a year, or every other year perhaps.  Things like sanding and oiling the floors (and possibly walls), whitewashing, and other things.  It probably only made sense to do them when other big house cleaning jobs were being done.  Why remove the rugs more than was necessary?

Conclusion

I’m sure that a number or all of these practices relating to spring cleaning came with various people from “the old country”.  Many of them came from cold climates to cold climates, so it made sense to keep on doing those things.  Added to that, the Puritan influence was heavy in New England and they were quite obsessed with cleanliness/tidiness as an evidence of piety.  (Another whole topic evolves from that.) 

I can see how spring cleaning would not be necessary in Australia’s milder and hot climates.  I couldn’t honesty tell you if spring cleaning was practiced by the early settlers of our southwest.  They may have dropped it as well where it wasn’t necessary.

There are many people who no longer practice spring cleaning.  Our modern cleaning abilities, more comfortable homes, cleaner methods of heating (in some cases), cleaner lighting, washing machines and dryers, etc. have made it possible to do heavier cleaning projects throughout the year.  Consequently, some of us choose to do this rather than making a heavy, labor-intensive project of it once a year.  Some of us are very random about it.  (Not mentioning my anyone’s name.)  :-)

A friend of a friend was complimented once on how tidy and she kept her house.  Her reply was, “Just don’t move anything.”  ;-)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

From Mom’s Collection: Thoughts On Being Kind


 

Ephesians 4:31-32  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

It is really easy in this life to get preoccupied with the troubles and trials, the hurts, the ugliness, the disappointments that we experience from other people.  It is easy to resent other people’s faults and accuse them, especially when those faults affect us.  I think we all feel it at times if we are honest.

This little poem from my mom’s collection struck me when I read it.

Why Not Be Kind?

So brief a time we have to stay
Along this dear familiar way;
It seems to me we should be kind
To those whose lives touch yours and mine.

The hands that serve us every day
Should we not help them while we may?
They are so kind that none can guess
How soon they’ll cease our lives to bless.

So many faults in life there are
We need not go to seek them far;
But time is short and you and I,
Might let the little faults go by.

-- Author Unknown

This reminds me of Proverbs 19:11, The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

Yes, there are surely things in this life that need to be dealt with.  There are offences that need to be addressed.  But, in all honesty, there are so many things we think we need to straighten out that either don’t need to be touched by us at all, or that need to be approached with more kindness than accusation or judgment.  Some may error on the side of letting things pass that should be taken care of, but I suspect that many of us tend toward dissecting other people’s faults that we could let go by.

From my own experience, I know there have been times when I wanted very much to say something to someone about a specific problem – as I saw it.  For one reason or another – perhaps a caution from my husband or family member, lack of opportunity, or just deciding to wait – I have sometimes not done so when I thought I “should”, only to find out later that either that person was not ready at that time, was hurting or overwhelmed by life, or that the Lord took care of it without my meddling!  Oh, how humbling to realize that my concerns and intentions to “correct” were totally unneeded by my Lord or were thwarted by His sovereign will.

We’re told that it is glory to pass over a transgression. 

I know.  Someone may be thinking that some things shouldn’t be passed over.  This is true.  But we need to examine scripture to be sure that what we think worth addressing is something God would want us to deal with.  Sometimes, even things that seem very important to us really are not in the economy of God.

But, it is to our glory to pass over some things, to let them go without comment, to cover them in love. 

Proverbs 10:12  Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

Proverbs 17:9  He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.

How quick we are sometimes to speak and expose!  This is something I need to work on myself.

Think how many things Jesus must have passed over while He was living with his disciples those three years of His ministry.  Surely He did not spend all His time with them picking apart everything they said, or they would more than likely have given up and left Him along with all the others who did.  He did correct them at times, but there is a great deal we can learn from His kindness, both to those He lived among and to ourselves.  We don’t get the correction that we justly deserve.  Why can’t we pass some of that kindness forward in the name of Jesus Christ?

Psalms 130:3-4  If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

This, of course, brings us back to our attribute of God for this month – Forgiveness.  And, after all, aren’t kindness and forgiveness unbreakably connected?

Colossians 3:12-13  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.