Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Sure Thing

Are you female?

Would you, being female, agree with me that there is one sure thing that can brighten most any girl's day??


I was driving up our lane and saw these blooming at my front porch and set my mind to go out and capture them with my camera.

My poor little gardens are in a terrible state of disrepair, but that hasn't stopped the tulips and phlox from coming up each year!!

I am so excited that my mom is coming to see me for a couple of days and perhaps she and I can get into the garden and get it cleaned up tomorrow!

The forsythia is in full bloom and it is such a sunny, cheery day, that you can't help but have your spirits lifted just by being near these beauties!

"And why do you worry about clothes?
See how the lilies of the field grow.
They do not labor or spin.
Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field,
which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire,
will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"
So, do not worry, saying,
'What shall we eat?'
'What shall we drink?'
'What shall we wear?'
...Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of it's own."

~~ Matthew 6:28-34 (NIV)

Two Wonderful Qualities

My mom passed this on to me today and I thought I'd share it with you!

Two of the most desired qualities....




Lord, please grant me both today!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Can you believe it - TWO posts in ONE day!  That's a record for me!!  I debated as to whether or not to write what's on my heart, simply because I didn't want it to get lost in the shuffle of other posts, but I just felt the need to explode onto my computer screen!

Have you ever noticed....

...that when you were younger you were more apt to catch onto the beat and rhythm of a song before you really listened to the words?

I remember when I was young and Olivia Newton John's song "Let's Get Physical" was a hit.  I must've been in grade school or something and I remember singing it around the house.  My mother stopped me one day and told me that was a 'bad' song and that I shouldn't be listening to that kind of music.


So what - I just liked the beat.

The conversation went on with her quizzing/challenging me as to why it was a 'bad' song.
I played dumb.

"Physical means she's exercising"

"You know what it means"


I begged and pleaded mercy so I could continue to listen to secular music.  No luck.
As kids, we were banned from listening to secular music on the radio and my father told us we could only listen to stations that played what we called "goat roper" music (country) or "elevator" music (classical).
That was long before contemporary christian music made it's debut on the radio...at least in Montana, that is.

I also remember a similar incident when my little brother, Mike, was singing a song by the J. Giles Band called "Centerfold".  I unfortunately happened to be in the room when Dad cornered him and told him the same things my mom told me about Olivia's song.  Mike was even more successful at playing dumb:

"I don't know what a centerfold is!"

So, Dad turned to me and said....(I remember this very vividly)....

"Jenny, tell him what a centerfold  is."

WHY ME!!!!??????  Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time!

Again - the beat got us -

"....nah, nah, na-nah, na-na-na, angel is the centerfold...."

Today at church we had a guest musical group called Joyful Sound.  They are a group of college kids with somewhat professional singing training who attend North Greenville University where my daughter attended for about 3 years.  They sing contemporary christian and gospel music and visit churches around North and South Carolina, ministering in music.  I have heard them many many times and mostly enjoyed their music, but have often been turned off by the somewhat 'plastic' appearance I've seen in some of them, with exaggerated eyebrow and facial expressions and dramatic gestures that you seen in television singers.
I know, I was very judgemental, but I'm being honest here and I have a point, so don't knock me too badly.

Anyway, I was a bit skeptical and negative today as we headed to church.

Have you ever noticed....

...that as you get older you tend to listen to the words of a song a bit more than when you were a kid?
Today I heard the words - loud and clear.

Words and phrases like:

"...YOU'RE good to me, good to me, and it's easy to see, YOU give to me, give to me, all that I need, the way you bless me, Lord, I just can't believe - YOU'RE SO good to me...."

"...there are no strangers, there are no outcasts,  there are no orphans of God!  So many fallen, but Hallelujah - there are no orphans of God..."

and probably the most impressing words I heard today were in the classic gospel song "Midnight Cry"

"...I can almost see the Father as he says 'Son - go get my children' - at the midnight cry, the Bride of Christ shall rise.  When Jesus steps out, on a cloud to call His children, all the dead in Christ shall rise, to meet Him in the air.  Then those that remain shall be quickly changed in a moment, at the midnight cry, we'll be going home...."

Powerful words.  Words that struck a chord in my heart.  That song is the culmination of my entire life - my very purpose on earth, and a description of a time I am looking forward to!!

Yes, I definitely heard the words today - the beat was there and the rhythms were beautiful, not to mention the sound of those young strong voices attached to truly joyful faces and genuine spirits - but the words came through loud and clear, and I'd be happy to explain their meaning to anybody!

Hello Again...

Yeah, it's me - I haven't fallen off the edge of the world.....yet.

It seems the bottom fell out last week - the bottom of my sewing basket, that is.  A rush of orders came pouring in in just a few days and stacked up quite high above my little eyeballs.

So, I've been working feverishly on custom orders and have had no time for "pleasure sewing".  Perhaps I'll remedy that today.  Not to mention that I have almost 200 unread blogs in google reader - I miss y'all!!!

Among the items I've been working on is designing a custom family basketball quillow

A Marquette quillow (when asked if I could make one, my response was: "What on earth is a Marquette?" - and, of course, that lovely thing we call the internet was a plethora of much-needed information and came to my speedy rescue)

and loads of wholesale baby and toddler clothes for a boutique in Texas (34 outfits total!)

Oh, and let's not forget all the dress modifications I've taken on as there's lots of proms and weddings happening in the Bonetown area right now!


Next week begins phase 2 of the sewing mega-storm!  I'm used to this happening in December and not March!  Guess I need to prepare myself for business growth, ya think?  Not a bad thing, right!!

I did get a chance to re-organize my packing area (much needed!)  It's a lot easier to find the different sizes of bags and boxes and such now.

This little gem was given to me by my oh-so-efficient husband.

It's a template for our mailbox.  All I have to do is hold the box I am planning on mailing up to the template to see if it will fit into the opening of the mailbox and also check to see if it will fit into the 22" depth.  Isn't he fabulous?!  :)

Well, at least I haven't been without entertainment in my dungeon sweat shop sewing room this week

I visited the local library and checked out several classic movies to watch.

My daughter gave me this one for Christmas and I'm saving it for today...now I just have to figure out what item I want to work on for my "pleasure sewing" project!

I also love to crochet, cross-stitch and embroider and recently I decided to take apart an old afghan I made several years ago and turn it into a more-useable afghan.  You see, the old afghan was extremely heavy, too long and the stitches were large so your toes poked thru all the "holes" and it really didn't serve a good purpose, thus, no one used it.

Recently I ran across a crochet ripple pattern I had saved from a blog and decided to give it a try.

It's just a one-color afghan (I know -  borrrrrring) but that's me - plain and simple - my favorite color happens to be brown!!  I decorate my house in neutrals because I get tired of color schemes after looking at them for a few months, so I went with neutrals and can always throw in a splash of color here and there.  I simply like earthy, neutral colors!!

In addition to all the sewing, last week was a flurry of activity at the construction project.  The trusses went on without incident, although it was a wet and rainy day to be climbing all over the top of this two-story house!  But, we reserved the crane and had to go on, regardless of weather.

Me and my man playing "truss monkeys"

I really shouldn't be griping about the loads of work I'm under - my husband has been working from 7:00 in the morning until sundown (that's about 8 PM here in the South) - 13 hour days!!  He's quite a trooper and I'm so proud of him!  I know we'll both be ready for a nice, long camping trip this summer when we finish the house!

OH!  I almost forgot - in addition to the new house we're building for Jason and Amanda (Bill's cousin) we're MOVING a house!!  Yep - a church in Lancaster is giving away their parsonage (a little 1100 SF brick house) so they can build a fellowship hall on the site.  Completely FREE - all they needed was someone to carry the house off.  Well, my husband couldn't resist!  This is something he's always wanted to do!  Luckily, we already have an empty lot in Kershaw that is absolutely perfect for this little house and the house is going to be moved either tomorrow or Tuesday.  The movers are only allowed to move a house between the hours of 11 PM to 5 AM so as not to hinder regular daytime traffic, so if you live in the Kershaw area, you might hear a bit of noise in the middle of the night - sorry!

We went up to the house last Thursday to patch up the hole in the roof where the chimney was in order to keep out the upcoming rain.

The house movers knocked all the brick off the house (beating myself up because I didn't get a 'before' picture) and pushed up the sidewalk - what a mess!

Bill is absolutey tickled because the house is really in great condition and very sturdy!  After he finishes Jason's house, he'll probably get started on this project - putting on vinyl siding and revamping the interior.  My husband is an excellent renovator - we initially started our little business as home flippers, and he named our company with a little play on the word 'builder' : Bill-der Renovations - He's Bill, I'm der, get it?  ha ha

So, that's another stick in our furiously-burning fire!  Like they say, it's either feast or famine!
Well, perhaps I've overloaded you with the latest Bonetown going-ons, so I'll stop right here - it's bathtime anyway!!  Perhaps a tiny piece of strawberry pie wouldn't hurt, too!

Talk at ya later!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Simple Supper for Smashed Fingers

My day started on a bright note yesterday - when I got to the jobsite I found a special surprise from Aunt Judy - she had left a few flowers clipped from her garden in a little vase on the saw table where I was working the day before.

It's ALWAYS nice to know that someone is thinking of you and takes the time to show it!!  Thank you, Judy!!!  You made my day a better one!

So, our youngest daughter, Rachel, has been here for Spring Break and she has been coming to help work at the construction project that last couple of days.  It has been a real treat having another female to work with as she has been a great helper with a positive attitude - knowing she's getting paid for her efforts helps with that, too!  :)

We've been working hard all week to prepare for the setting of the trusses which happens today.  The crane arrives at 9:00 AM so I've got just a short time to spit out a post - I've missed blogging this week and couldn't go another day without you!

Rachel and I have been working on putting some vinyl siding components on the end rafters.  My husband prefers to go the extra mile and make things easier on himself by assembling things on the ground before they are lifted into place.  This is a valuable lesson he's learned from previous projects.  For example, he pre-framed the walls of the house so all we had to do was set the panels in place and secure them.  This pre-framing was being done while the masons were laying the foundation blocks, so Bill was keeping busy even while he waited for the foundation to be built.

When you put trusses on a house, the end truss, also called a Barge Rafter, has to be constructed to secure the roofline and to create the "eaves".  Normally, this is done once all the trusses are lifted onto the house.  Again, Bill chooses to build these on the ground, where you can easily get to them!  Makes a lot of sense since we don't have a lot of scaffold equipment.

Another thing he likes to install at ground level is the soffit.  This is what Rachel and I have been working on all week.  First, the OSB gets wrapped - this is required by code in our county and is supposed to be a sort of vapor barrier.  Then we staple up J-channel around the top border of the barge rafter

and then we're able to install the soffit pieces in those channels and nail them to the outer rafter beam.

The outer edge of the rafter is then covered with metal that bends over and covers the end of the soffit we just installed.  We've been working with very short and small nails all week so our fingers are literally smashed!!  Our backs are tired from bending over to reach the far ends of the rafters, too!

So, every night it's a blessing to come home to a hot bath and settle into a good meal.  I'm really tired after a day of physical labor so I make sure I've got something supper easy to fix for dinner.  On Tuesday I made one of our favorite dishes, although Rachel was a bit mad at me when she found out I was making it, because SHE doesn't think it's good at all!  She dislikes cooked tomatoes, and bell peppers and anything spicy.  Oh well, you can't please everyone!

Here, let me show you how easy it is...

First you chop up some onion and bell pepper and saute them in a skillet with some olive oil

Then you add sliced smoked sausage

And a can of chopped tomatoes - I like to use the "flavored" tomatoes - with garlic, onion, etc....

I like to add some of this seasoning to give it a bit of a "kick"

Let that simmer a bit

Then you add about 1-1/2 - 2 cups of dry wide egg noodles and about 1/4 - 1/2 cup water.

Cover and turn the heat down to allow the noodles to soak up the tomato juices.
20 - 25 minutes later you've got a great dish to serve - top with parmesan cheese.

We also had broccoli and cheese bread to accompany it....not to mention the last of the Butter Pecan cake!!


Well, it's off to the jobsite for me....pray for our safety today ~ we don't want anyone hurt since we'll be working in some precarious places today!  :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010


It's Sunday afternoon and everyone in the house is having a nap.  Isn't that what you're supposed to do on lazy days like today?

My youngest daughter is home this week because it's Spring Break...she's here in the computer room with me - snoozin' on the futon.

So, I turned around and snapped a picture of her...

"Did you just take a picture of me?"


So then she turns around and sees me blogging about her....


{insert evil laugh here}

I've been pretty constructive today so far....I baked a cake

Butter Pecan
I just took a butter pecan cake mix,  made up my own buttercream frosting from scratch and substituted 1 teaspoon of maple flavoring for the vanilla extract, frosted the cake, drizzled it with caramel ice cream topping and chopped pecans.

Voila! ~ you get something that looks like you found it at the bakery!!  Tastes great, too, although quite sweet!  I might have a cup of coffee or a glass of milk with my next piece!

I also did some sewing today.

I found some cute fabrics and wanted to make a couple of baby quilts.  These are just basic charm squares sewn together and bordered.

I could've done something a bit more challenging but I wanted to churn these out pretty quickly and I wanted to show off the fabrics a bit...especially the rose ones - I love those fabrics!


I still fall back on a meandering stipple quilting pattern - it's safe - especially since I plan on selling these and I don't really want to sell my mistakes!

I also don't need to keep them because there are no babies in the Baker family right now.

We had another Mexican Pizza Party on Friday.  Everything was great and it was a lot of fun.

Uncle Harold (aka "Jorge") made a special request to do it again, even offering to pay for the ingredients!  He liked the last one so much, he asked for another!

Gramma Baker always eats a lot...she's so tiny, but as she says, she can "eat like a hog!"  :)  She really loves food and I think that's one of the reasons she's still around at 94!  She enjoys life!!

This is Jason and Amanda - they are the ones we are building the house for.
Judy is next to them - she is Jason's mom.
Harold is Jason's dad - also Bill's uncle - also Gramma Baker's son.

Someday I promise I'll tell you about everyone and this big crazy family we have.  I have learned that my husband is related to many many folks in this neighborhood...sometimes he's not even aware he's related to certain people, but Gramma and Johnnie Mae (Gramma's daughter - Harold's sister) always set us straight about how they're all related and where they "stay" and who died when, etc, etc, etc....

Aunt Johnnie Mae

So, now, I'm thinking it's time for me to go find a nice snooze myself while it's still Sunday!  I need my rest because it's going to be a big day tomorrow at the jobsite!  We've set the walls on the second floor and hopefully this week we'll be setting trusses!

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