Breathe

Yesterday was a dreary, rainy day which prevented my morning walk. 

Today, however, is a much nicer day. 

Having just returned, I can say that the fresh air during my morning walk was great.  The birds were singing, the spring bulbs are starting to pop in my yard and the rest of the day looks to be very nice. 

In fact, this afternoon it is supposed to be about 57 degrees outside.  So, after my office video conference, I am planning to spend a couple hours outside cleaning up some of my planting beds to start getting them ready for spring.

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Lemonade and Brownies

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InstaCart is a really nice service when you are self-quarantined at home.  Yesterday I had some groceries delivered. 

One of the items I had ordered was powdered buttermilk, which I use in many of my baking recipes.  While I know how to make replacement for buttermilk, the powdered stuff is really handy.  When the order arrived today, I received powdered baking cocoa instead!

Well, remembering the old adage about lemons and lemonade, I decided to make the most of the situation.  So, I made brownies for my boys.   

Maybe tomorrow, I will also make some lemonade

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Home

Over the past days, the governor of Minnesota has issued numerous executive orders that have impacted my life, the latest of which is Emergency Executive Order 20-20.  This order directs Minnesotans to “Stay at Home” for the next two weeks. Since my dental office is shut down and my son returned from NYC,  I have already been staying home.

With some of my unexpected free time, I have finally finished a quilting project that I started a while ago.  The inspiration of this quilt came from my sister-in-law.  Last summer, she asked me to design a wall quilt of the Paris skyline for her to make.

ParisPattern
Brief directions to make the background of a skyline quilt.

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After I designed her quilt, I thought I would make something similar – a wall quilt of the twin cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul.  For the background of the wall quilt, I followed the instructions I had written for my sister-in law, except I used blue batik fabrics from my stash, rather than purple.

The background was loaded onto my quilting frame and quilted with evenly spaced horizontal lines.

For the skyline, I found several images on-line.  By combining ideas and removing most of the white areas,  I had a nice skyline of Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

After importing these images into my Cameo software, I cut the pattern of the skyline out of starched black cotton fabric that was sandwiched between Heat-N-Bond Lite and freezer paper.

These silhouettes were then ironed onto the background. Using several different quilting fill patterns, I then quilted detail to differentiate each of the individual buildings.IMG_4391IMG_4392

Because the Twin Cities are known for the numerous parks and parkways, I added  green fabric along the bottom edge to depict the landscaping of the cities.

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The wall quilt was then bound and ready to hang. 

Over the past week while looking at the wall quilt, I felt it needed something more.  Last night I augment the design with some “bling”.

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With the help of one of my sons, I found a Star Constellation Chart. Using 3 mm heat transfer rhinestones, I replicated the constellations that would be visible over the Twin Cities. I also added some rhinestone on a few of the towers. 

Hometown wall quilt complete!

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As I went for my walk this morning, I was reminded that this may be my “hometown” for now.  And, my home may be impacted by the events of today. But I need to look past today’s news and worries about tomorrow, and take comfort in the fact that my hope is not bound to the circumstances of this world. In short – this world is not my home – my home is indeed in Heaven. 

 

 

Sleep!

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It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep will do for your mental health!

My husband and son have arrived home from New York.  After they returned, I isolated myself in my sewing room because I was on call for my dental office and needed to be able to go in to my office.  The set-up of this room was perfect for this.  I had an attached bathroom and a sleeper sofa (description of this room can be found in an earlier blog post).  

Unfortunately, this room is also the place that my cat, Onyx, spends most of her time.  Sleeping in the room was not as peaceful as I would have liked. The first night I slept in the room, I tried shutting her out.  This lead to her sitting directly outside the door, meowing loudly and scratching at the door for two hours.  I finally gave up and let her in.  After that she wanted to sleep right by, if not on, my face.  The past two nights I slept in my own bed and have had a couple of good nights of sleep.

While on call, I was also unable to go for my daily walk due the number of calls I was receiving and needing to spend time at my office.  Now that I am off call, I am able to get out and go for a walk again – it is really beneficial.  Once again, it was amazing to have a song come on my playlist that spoke to me and calmed my mind and heart. 

Sleepless Night Fernando Ortega
Another sleepless night
I’m turning in my bed
Long before the red sun rises
In these early hours
I’m falling again
Into the river of my worries
When the river runs away
I find a shelter in your name
 
Jesus, only light on the shore
Only hope in the storm
Jesus, let me fly to your side
There I would hide, Jesus
 
Hear my anxious prayer
The beating of my heart
The pulse and the measure of my unbelief
Speak your words to me
Before I come apart
Help me believe in what I cannot see
Before the river runs away
I will call upon your name
 
Jesus, only light on the shore
Only hope in the storm
Jesus, let me fly to your side
There I would hide, Jesus
 
Sleepless Night lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc
 

 

You Are Not Alone

When I left for my morning walk, I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about today. The first song to play on my music shuffle was “Oh My Soul” by Casting Crowns.  The words perfectly expressed my thoughts. 

Oh, my soul
Oh, how you worry
Oh, how you’re weary, from fearing you lost control
This was the one thing, you didn’t see coming
And no one would blame you, though
If you cried in private
If you tried to hide it away, so no one knows
No one will see, if you stop believing
 
Oh, my soul
You are not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
‘Cause you’re not alone
 
Here and now
You can be honest
I won’t try to promise that someday it all works out
‘Cause this is the valley
And even now, He is breathing on your dry bones
And there will be dancing
There will be beauty where beauty was ash and stone
This much I know
 
Oh, my soul
You are not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
 
I’m not strong enough, I can’t take anymore
(You can lay it down, you can lay it down)
And my shipwrecked faith will never get me to shore
(You can lay it down, you can lay it down)
Can He find me here
Can He keep me from going under
 
Oh, my soul
You’re not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
‘Cause you’re not alone
Oh, my soul, you’re not alone

Less Stress, More Gratitude

Over the past week, I have been trying hard to keep my stress controlled and to eat healthy,  get exercise and fresh air each day and to spend time on some of my hobbies. Sunday, however, my day started out with way, way too much stress.  Unfortunately, this stress led to my eating four frozen brownies for breakfast – not a good idea!  Fortunately, the stress cleared a few hours later. 

To make me feel less guilty about my overindulgence, I spent a couple hours scrubbing the tile in all of my bathrooms.  My bathrooms are now cleaner than they have been in years. I had planned to do some sewing yesterday.  But, those plans changed.  Now that I see how clean my bathrooms are, I am happy I completed that task instead.

Looking back over these past rather tumultuous days, I kept thinking about what the week would have been like if it had occurred as planned.  But, yesterday, I decided I needed to let go of what I lost. I need to focus on what I have and not on the things I had been wishing for.  Yes, a vacation in Palm Springs with a day to surprise my mother would have been nice.  But, the fact that I still have my mother living is something I am grateful for.  Yes, my wish for some relaxation time with my husband and a couple of our sons would have been nice.  But, I now have an extended period of time with my younger two sons and husband at home for us to do things together.  Yes, my wish for a smooth running and prosperous business was nice.  But, the fact that I have had a successful career that has allowed me to help lots of children have better oral health is another thing that I a grateful for.  And there are many, many more things I am grateful for.  

Sometimes, events don’t turn out the way we wish. Sometimes, we wish for more and wonder why we can’t get to where we want to go. It’s times like these we must realize that God has bigger and better plans for us. We must trust in Him to guide us and lead us to the right path. Lauren Daigle’s Song “Trust in You” has been going through my mind over the past couple days.  I hope you enjoy it. 

 

The Goodness of God

Ephesians 3:14-21 New International Version (NIV)

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.