Illuminata by Marianne Williamson

Thoughts, Prayers, Rites of Passage
 A five star book.  Read how I came to this conclusion.
  I’m not into what is considered metaphysics and spirituality and the author is a well-known lecturer on those topics. Also, this book is describes as a compilation of contemporary prayers and medications. I’m also not into prayers to memorize in place of creating personal prayers as the time and need dictates.
First of all, the title reminded me too much of a similar word “Illuminati” referring to a global elite society that is either in control of the world or is seeking to take control.
 My husband saw this book and bought it for me, bookworm that I am! So, I decided I should give the book a chance. Instead of reading the prayers as prayers, I read them as poetry, expressing thoughts and dreams and wishes.
 I especially appreciate the one on page 95-96 because, whatever our circumstances, we all  feel a need sometimes to evaluate and start over. This one expresses this sentiment. She wrote verses that describe a person who feels a burden too big to carry. It includes a do-it-yourself for recognizing regrets and failures done and not done and the turning of one’s life over to God. Then there is the desire to improve those weaknesses.
  The prayers that I read as poems could encourage a reader to apply the words to personal needs and to turn to our Father in Heaven more often.
  I like what she said, “Read my prayers or someone else’s. By all means, create your own.” I can handle that. I encourage others in this time of turmoil to consider that. If someone decides to read this book, perhaps it might lead more people to do that.
 There are religious viewpoints that I do not share, but that is ok. I was able to appreciate the points that I can accept.
After my negative impressions were erased, I can recommend the reading of this book.
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Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without – Quilt patterns – Hot Pads

Use it up Wear it Out Country Threads Quilts SB New

https://www.facebook.com/Country-Threads-Quilt-Shop-and-Pattern-Company-125130740831378/

This book is very interesting and a pleasure to look at even if I never used one pattern of the 29 provided for a quilt.

Even the pattern names are fun: Chicken Gumbo, Butter Churn, Flying Geese, Little Farmer’s Daughter and Blueberry Patch.

I especially like Use It Up as the title of the book encourages us to do. The Use It Up pattern included has blocks: overalls front, canning jars, a candle, dog on a sofa and a toothpaste with brush.  Of course there are Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make It Do, Or Do Without applique blocks.  It is so interesting just to look at all the variety of blocks – quite a conversation piece. A quilter with a multitude of scraps would find a use for many of them.

I really enjoy making patchwork hot pads. They are mini versions of bed quilts and are great projects for a person who does not need nor have time and patience for them. A nine patch pattern is an easy first choice.

Do you want to make one?  You  will need two coordinating cotton fabrics, (scraps, anyone?) and some padding fabric and paper to make your pattern. Decide how big you want the hot pad to be. Triple the seam size. Make two paper pattern of the same size.

Cut one pattern into nine equal squares – this will be three squares in each direction. Decide which fabric you want in the (A) middle. Since hot pads are subject to kitchen soiling, you’ll be wise to choose darker colors. Cut five of those A squares and four B squares of the second fabric. Sew three squares together A-B-A to make two strips. Sew three square B-A-B together to make one strip. Sew the B-A-B strip to the side of the A-B-A strip matching the corners of each square. Now match the last strip of A-B-A to the other side of the B-A-B strip. The fifth A square will now be in the middle.

Cut a small strip about 2 1/2″ long and 1 1/4″ wide for a strap to hang the pad on a hook near the cook-stove.  Fold a narrow edge on each of the two side, lengthwise to the wrong side of fabric. Now fold lengthwise with the folded edges inside. Finger crease and sew the open edge lengthwise. Fold in half and press.

Lay the full pattern block on one of your chosen fabrics and cut a square for the back of the pad. Cut another square for the padding. Trim all four edges to remove a seam edge.

Lay your nine patch face down on the front side of the backing. Sew around three sides. Trim the edges of the seam on the backing. Turn right side out and press the edges with the open side seam edge folded inside.

Insert padding. Make sure the edged fit well inside the cover.  Carefully make sure the padding is not visible. Insert the strap inside the seam edge. Top stitch all around the pad making sure you are catching the pad on each side and the strap is securely stitched inside.

Stitching across the middle of the pad on all the seams will further secure the padding in place. You may need a larger needle for this part of the project. This is called stitching in the ditch. A google search will show you what this looks like.

Several years ago I wrote a weekly column of the same title. It was as much fun to write as it was fun for my readers to  read. 🙂

It was mainly a nostalgia article each week in a small-town paper. It included such topics as patches on jeans. Styles of clothing after that time include jeans with ready-made ragged holes. I suppose the manufacturers and the consumers are following the “Wear it Out” portion of the slogan.  But, why would people want to spend their “money that doesn’t grow on trees” on an item that was half-way there. I prefer to do my own “Use it Up” from start to finish.

However, I am perfectly willing to shop thrift stores and what I purchase  does not have holes, missing buttons, nor broken zippers. Clothing with the new tags get my attention.

I even squeeze the last bit from the tube of toothpaste, after-all, I paid for it the same as the first bit. And I rinse out my shampoo and conditioner for the same reason. How about you?

I am always interested in new frugal ideas. Use it up is just one of several frugal ideas that parents tried to teach their children back in the 50s and 60s and they are words of wisdom today.

 

 

 

Marathon – to be continued

 

via Daily Prompt: Marathon

This is a perfect word to describe the race I run every day between employment, house and family, and writing, never mind having time to read a book just for fun. And, exercise is a challenge, such a challenge that it is easy to put on the back burner.

Imagine trying to exercise while you stir oatmeal cooking on the stove. I think I will turn this handy word – marathon into a to-be-continued story.  Here goes:

Mom’s Marathon

  Mom dragged herself out of bed at the sound of the birdsong alarm that failed to bring a cheerful greeting for the day. The to-do list prepared the previous night would fill the day, with left-overs. Bummer! Half-asleep she made her way to the bathroom for a quick face wash and nasty mouth recovery.

Why did her daily marathon always begin an hour earlier than those sleepyheads snoring in their rooms? What would happen if she ignored that birdcall and let her night last another hour? She decided that list could wait since it wouldn’t get finished anyway. Dare she really do it?

Smothering a silly giggle, she made up her mind. She put a sticky note on the refrigerator, “Mom’s sleeping in, the rest is up to you”.

She gulped down a refreshing drink of water from the refrigerator dispenser and tip-toed back to the bedroom. Thank goodness for twin beds; this would be easier. She crawled under the covers and tucked in her ears. With a sigh and a smile, she closed her eyes and fell fast asleep.

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It’s your turn?  What happened next? Send your ideas about what you think should happen next and I will turn it into the next segment.

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Marthon – continued.    Part two

While all was quiet in the house, except for the soothing sounds from the cuckoo clock, tick tock, in the living room, and the mantle clock, tick tick tick, in the family room Mr. Sandman came and gently touched the cheek of Mother. And the years passed by in a flash!

Mother sat in her rocking chair, rocking back and forth. She watched the hands on the mantle clock and the time seemed to creep slowly. She and Grandpa were waiting for the children and grand-children to arrive to share Thanksgiving feast. This year Grandma did not have to cook anything. The girls were taking care of that. It had not been easy to convince her that she could take it easy. Her To-Do list had been gently removed from her hand when Grandpa reminded her the children had been taught well and she could leave the dinner preparations in the younger generation’s capable hands.

Finally, the kitchen door opened and a rush of air blew in with all the family racing to be first with a hug for Grandma. After the hugs and kisses the older grandkids returned to their vehicles and hauled in the goodies. In minutes, quick as a flash, the table and counters were covered with aromatic foods, enough to feed an army.

What was that, bakery labels on the desserts, store labels on the dressing and salad cartons? Humm.  Well, at least the turkey appeared to be in a roasting pan. Grandma was dying for answers to the questions rushing around in her head. She looked at Grandpa, but he seemed not to notice anything strange. She would have to wait – no sense in disturbing the excitement. Everyone was talking at once.

The table was extended and set with the China. Lovely napkins and real silverware were quickly in place. Holiday glasses were filled with water. All was ready. Dinner was served.

The chatter stopped when the blessing was said. Everyone was content, grateful for such delicious food, but most of all, just for being together.

Left-overs were covered or placed in take-home boxes or placed in the refrigerator for Grandpa and Grandma. Everyone’s help made short work of the task.

The satisfied cousins moaned their way with stuffed tummies,but recharged for playing games on the back deck.

Now it was time for the older bunch to relax in the family room. The conversation gave Grandma the answers she had waited for for hours, it seemed. A few of the younger kids had wandered back inside while they waited for a turn with the fooz ball game. Ellie started telling Grandma about all the fun they had planning the meal and about the games and activities their family had enjoyed during their break from school.

Hmmm, Grandma thought” No cooking!? I see.” Ellie’s Mother noticed Grandma’s puzzled expression and quickly added, “We decided that our families would rather enjoy the kids’ vacation time doing things besides exhausting ourselves in the kitchen. We divided the menu and each of our families took an item and went to the store together to make their purchases. The children helped decide what to buy for their assignment.”

“That left us time to go to the park, the movies and just play games in the back yard.”

“That explains it, Grandma said. “But what about the turkey?” Ellie responded, “Dad took it to the church and it got roasted in a hole in the ground! Don’t you think that was smart, Grandma?” Someone called her to take a turn with fooz ball, so out the door she went.

Marie, Ellie’s Mom and Grandma’s oldest child, began talking about memories of when she and her brother and sister were that age.  “Mom, I’ll never forget the day you slept in. The family woke up with no smells of breakfast cooking. There was this little note on the refrigerator door. Dad read it and announced, “Well kids, I guess breakfast is up to us.”

“Since we had to hurry really quick,  someone grabbed the milk. Someone grabbed the boxes of cold cereal. Someone else brought bowls and spoons to the table. Someone made toast. We ate in a hurry and even cleaned up our mess so you wouldn’t have to do it. But we left out the cereal and a bowl and spoon for you on the table.”

“Jay sneaked quietly in your room and in the dim light ‘stole’ your to-do list. He knew where to find it! He said, “I hated those lists. You never had ‘spend time with kids’ on them.”

“Look at the clock,” someone yelled. The door opened and closed each time someone left, Dad to his car, Jean to the bus and Marie and Jay down the sidewalk.

Mother rolled over in bed and rubbed her nose and then her eyes as she tried to focus on the clock.

In the kitchen, she noticed one bowl, one spoon and boxes of opened cereal on the table.  Not a dirty anything was in site, but there was still a note on the refrigerator. It had more than her words on it. It said, “We love you Mom. Get some rest. BTW: look at your To-do list.” In Jay’s left-handed writing were added the words, “Take time for kids.”

Then, Mother was fully awake! She remembered that dream. It was more than a dream.

It was truly a ‘wake-up’ call!

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I am afraid I a guilty of creating a multitude of To-Do lists. It is a habit, or an addiction! But I must say, the items on my lists have changed over the years to include more IMPORTANT things.

This second portion , “part two” was the inspiration of Z. M. Jensen in which she referenced the Christmas Carol as a corresponding thought.

What next, readers?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Native American Female Doctor

This is a good book: interesting, simply written. It contains no fluff and unneeded description, just straightforward writing about a remarkable selfless lady of the Omaha Tribe in Omaha NE. It is very educational but clearly written. A youth could learn from her story. As Omaha Tribe Historian, Dennis Hastings stated, “It needs no embellishments”.
 She was the first Native American woman to graduate from medical school. I expected to read about racial challenges, but there were none.  Instead she had total acceptance and support from many white people. She made many friends who helped her experience the social ways of white people. She took what she learned to improve the lifestyles of her own people, which were not always accepted by them
 One interesting college experience describes her experience watching surgery. All the women students were in a balcony position with the male students in a circle below. This was apparently a “protection” for the ladies where expected to faint during the procedure if they got too close to the demonstration. That was rather silly since they had had weeks of experience working with bodies. Immediately after the first cut on the cadaver there was a thud on the floor. It was a male student who fainted and had to be carried out on a stretcher.
 After graduation from medical school she immediately returned home to become the only doctor for her people. They loved her and preferred to use her help over that of the government assigned white doctor whom they saw as uncaring.
She ruined her own health in her efforts to help her people with their health issues as she traveled across the reservation to tend the sick in extreme weather conditions for very long days. She had to temporarily give up her work until she had help from two other doctors.
There are many black and white pictures which add information. My copy of the book is in large-print which assists a reader with weak vision.

Family History

Family history is also called genealogy. There is one big difference between them. Family history is genealogy plus stories which makes the project much more interesting. Genealogy is basically names, dates, and places. Information is usually recorded on family group sheets and pedigree charts. Wikipedia has a good article on the subject. FamilySearch.org is a great resource for information. There are many others as well.

According to USA Today, genealogy is the second most popular hobby in the United States. I don’t know what I expected the second to be, but they said it is gardening. That puts genealogy as the second most visited category on the internet. Imagine that. Has it become an empty nesters hobby? Perhaps empty nesters also enjoy gardening even if only for flowers.

I prefer family history which makes those ancestors of mine “live” in my heart. Part of the information often ignored in the past concerns financial circumstances. Have you noticed employment information? Property ownership/value or rental? Education level? Have you searched for deeds? What about burial records?

I have also begun investigating what was happening in the world around them during their day

I invite my visitors to visit my website myralarsen.com and read an article I posted on this topic. I do not wish to summarize it here and it will be much better if those interested will read it there.

In case you do not have time to visit today, I wrote some about my search for cousins who are also descendants of my great-grandfather Shadaway. Make a note to visit this week.

Therefore, I have a family history challenge for my visitors, try it – you’ll like it. Like my posts and share. We just might make it the number one hobby in the U.S. Spread the word.

BTW: I am trying to keep up with my other goals of posting on my website every Saturday and my blog every Monday. Maybe I got that backwards. However, this time, one was late and one is early! Oh well, at least they are both accomplished. How are you doing?

 

 

Into the Canyon

Into the Canyon Seven Years in Navajo Country

by Lucy Moore

When I borrowed this book from the library, I expected to read more about Lucy’s experiences with the countryside and the people and less about politics. I thought I might even learn some of their traditions, recipes, clothing making, work, etc. The author glossed over those topics, presenting little depth. Additional detail would have made them more interesting.

There were a few interesting stories that kept me reading and hoping for more. She described white sofas turning red from the dust, performing a wedding, getting stuck in the mud, avoiding quicksand, climbing a mountain and acting as a coroner to witness the remains of a person with his face blown off by a gunshot, self-inflicted.

As a retired teacher with some experience teaching Navajo students, I appreciated her stories in the classroom setting. One thing that surprised me was the lack of knowledge the native teachers had about their own history and culture. They were totally committed to preparing the Headstart children for white man’s schools.

She became really involved as a political activist and presented events in great detail, filling 51 pages. It seemed over-done for my interest. That would be OK if the reader was looking for that information and needed the details about the conflicts between the Indians and the US government. For me, it just wasn’t what I expected. Perhaps, that was simply an expression of what was most important to her at that time of her life.

She included several black ad white photos which were nice. A photo of her with her tiny baby in a cradleboard was interesting because it showed her lack of experience – baby’s hands were sticking out. A Navajo baby would have had its arms enclosed in its blankets. Many were more appropriate for a family album, but that’s OK.

I see this as a book that could interest a variety of readers, those interested in Navajo people and politics.

Book Worm : Hattie Big Sky

Hattie Big Sky is by Kirby Larsen.  It was published in 2006 by Delacorte Press in New York.

It is a work of fiction, but this first-person narrative sounds so real the author had me fooled. She actually based her story on the life of her great-grandmother who did begin a homestead effort all alone in eastern Montana.

Hattie, in the story, was an orphan who had been shuffled from one relative to another until she ended up in the home of an older couple who were shirt-tailed “relatives” willing to take her in. It was not a good situation and when she was only 16 her aunt who was not aunt at all tried to pawn her off on a totally unrelated person as a boardinghouse maid of sorts before she could graduate from high school.

This was a mixed feeling disturbance for Hattie who didn’t like school and didn’t want to be a maid either.

She was saved by a letter. Uncle Holt, not really her uncle, who suddenly interrupted the discussion by remembering he had picked up a letter for Hattie at the post office. Aunt Ivy attempted every maneuver she could manage to snatch that letter and then to peek over Hattie’s shoulder to read it.

The letter was from the neighbor, Perilee Mueller, of a real Uncle Chester whom she had never met. Inside was a will/letter from Uncle Chester. It informed her that she was heir to his house and contents, a horse and cow. Included was the claim to his homestead property if she could only meet the requirements.

Finally, Hattie would have a place to truly belong, with a house of her own. Little did she guess the price she would pay for that blessing. She summoned the courage to make this step much to the chagrin of Aunt Ivy who thought she was totally crazy.

When she arrived at her new home she quickly believed Aunt Ivy might me completely right. Would she be able to handle this difficult experience? Time and many surprises put her to the test. Build a fence? Plant rye and wheat? Would she succeed in saving the claim?

It was a book that made me want to take a flashlight beneath the bed covers like I did as a child before my dad caught me and told me to go to sleep.

MyraSaitIt