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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

National Day of Prayer

"If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I was tagged by Dorothy and will do my best to comply.

1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.

2. Post THE RULES on your blog.

3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.

4. Tag 7 people and link to them. (oops)

5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

Here are the 7 random facts about me:

1. I will have lived 70 years in 3 months and 2 days. [It just doesn't seem that long.]

2 I have 1 brother and no sisters. [Watching how close my 3 daughters are, I wish I had had a sister, too.]

3. Joe and I are one of those funny old couples that go around taking photos of headstones in graveyards. [Be careful, genealogy leads to all kinds of weird behaviors.]

4. If I had my druthers, I'd spend my time gardening, quilting, birdwatching, etc. instead of ever doing housework. [If the dust gets much deeper in here, I'll be able to dig and plant inside as well as outside.]

5. I have a mad crush on Sean Connery. [Those cute movie stars today, look like my grandsons, not anyone to have a crush on.]

6. I am a Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) groupy; I get their press releases, newsletters, and keep track of what's happening with their various space projects. [This couldn't have anything to do with the fact that my son was an aerospace engineer there in Pasadena for many years and worked on some of the most successful programs, like Galileo, the Mars Pathfinder, Hubble Space Telescope, and Deep Impact.]

7. I've had a life long phone phobia, which must be why I love e-mail so much.

I've just added #8 to my list: I find it almost impossible to tag other people for this kind of thing, so if you like doing these, consider yourself tagged.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Till We Meet Again, Gary

Gary with his cousin Fran and brother Dennis at Uncle Fritz and Aunt Evy's 65th Wedding Anniversary Celebration. Fowler, Colorado, January 2003.

Gary Francis Hernandez

February 18, 1947 - April 18, 2008

"And I'm glad I didn't know,

the way it all would end,

the way it all would go.

Our lives are better left to chance.

I could have missed the pain,

but I'd of had to miss the dance."

_Garth Brooks

Friday, April 18, 2008

Three More Names of God Blocks

Thanks for your comments about our wildfires. I am happy to report that the rain and snow allowed both fires to be stopped. 20 families lost homes, and 2 firefighters died in the Ordway fire. No structures were lost and I tanker pilot lost his life in the Fort Carson fire. The rain and snow helped but today the temp was back up in the 70s and will be hotter, drier and windy again tomorrow which will make for more Red Flag Fire days. I love the warm weather but could do without that everlasting, moisture sucking wind.

In spite of all that has been going on I managed to finish 3 more of my Quilting the Names of God blocks.

Week 12 The Lord Is Peace_Yahweh Shalom. "Shalom is a Hebrew word, so much richer in its range of meanings than the Enlish word 'peace', which usually refers to the absence of outward conflict or to a state of inner calm. The concept of shalom includes these ideas but goes beyond them, meaning 'wholeness,' 'completeness,' 'finished work,' 'perfection,' 'safety,' or 'wellness.' Shalom comes from living in harmony with God...When you pray to Yahweh Shalom, you are praying to the source of all peace." I plan to use the greeting "Shalom" more often in the future, it is a good word.

I chose the blue fabric to represent peace and the gold for plenty.

"So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The LORD is Peace. (Judges 6:24)

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petitions, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7.

Week 13. The Lord Is My Rock_Yahweh tsuri. I could not figure out how to paper piece this Cornerstone block [and I am terrible at doing set-in seams) so made it with fused machine quilting. I chose colors to represent stone. (Colorado means red and we do have lots of red rocks here, not to mention some gold rocks). I am pleased with the results of my color scheme; while being a bit hesitent to use the bright red with the more maroon reds, the effect is what I wanted to create.

"The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronhold, my refuge and my savior--from violent men you save me. I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies." (2 Samuel 22:2-4

Week 15. The Lord Is My Shepherd_Yahweh Roi. My Sheep Fold block is paper pieced with green fabric for the green pastures. I also like the little swirls that remind me of curley sheep's wool.

"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." (Psalm 23:1-3)

These names and scriptures are more meaningful to me this evening than they even were when I did my daily studies. As I was finishing photographing the blocks, I received a phone call that one of my very dear cousins, who has been bravely fighting pancreatic cancer for the last 14 months, went to his room this evening and shot himself to death, with absolutely no warning to anyone (wife, son or 2 close brothers) that he simply couldn't take any more pain and suffering.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tragedy in My Section of Colorado

Monday was a gorgeous, warm, sunny day here as Joe and I drove to Colorado Springs to buy a truck for the business. In the late afternoon driving home we saw smoke from a small wildfire just east of Hiway 115 in the Pinyon/Juniper forest land on Fort Carson. I was concerned because it seemed to be just behind a hill by the Juniper Valley Restaurant.

Tuesday was a hot (85 degrees), windy(40 mph), low humidity (4%) critical fire danger day here and the smoke from Fort Carson continued to grow. I was having a rest and recuperate day and hadn't paid much attention to anything other than my book, when my daughter Kat called and reported that there was something on TV news about the town of Ordway in danger from a wildfire. I turned on our TV and discovered that in addition to the Fort Carson fire there was also a huge grass fire that was burning homes in and around Ordway, which is a small town slightly northeast of my home town of Fower, which is 75 miles southeast of us. The entire town had been evacuated, over 20 buildings and homes had burned and 2 volunteer firefighters had been killed.

The Fort Carson fire had jumped the hiway [this is my own preferred colloquial spelling] forcing evacuation of all the recently built large homes on large wooded lots on the west side. Hiway 115 was closed between Florence and Colorado Springs until the fire could be contained; and a fire fighting tanker airplane had also crashed near the hiway, killling the pilot.

Luckily today was much cooler, and by afternoon snow had begun falling on the Fort Carson fire helping them get it somewhat contained, without losing any structures. By evening it started raining over the Ordway fire allowing the evacuated people to come back to their homes, which in several cases had burned to the ground leaving families homeless, having lost everything they owned. The Governor visited Ordway and declared it a disaster area which will provide funds to help clean up and rebuild.

We mourn the loss of our neighbors as well as the loss of family homes and heirlooms. But, as in previous disasters to some of our small towns, people are already helping those in need and plans are being made to rebuild and go on.

It is just crazy that after having so much snow during the winter (the Arkansas snowpack is currently at 150% of normal in the mountains) that the officials are currently working on plans in case of some very possible flooding along the river if the snow melts fast later in the spring; yet here on the plains and foothills we have not had much moisture this spring and with the nearly constant winds the grass, shrubs, and trees are extremely dry leading to these terrible wildfires. This is a volatile climate here in the rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains (the early explorers called this land the great American desert, unfit for settlement.)

"In the world, ye will have tribulation, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world."
(John 16:33b)
Photos from the Colorado Springs KKTV Channel 11 website.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Latest Family Photos

We had to take Mandy back home this past weekend and came home with some new photos.

The first one is grandchild number 15, Evan, who is 5 and in preschool. A few months ago he was fitted with bifocals (?) to help him with his reading. [I didn't have to have bifocals until I was nearly 50 and they still bug me.] Daughter Kat had chosen a different pose but he like this pose better. He usually has a very artificial "photo moment" smile when camera is pointed at him so this one is natural and adorable. [After all, he is my grandson.]

The second photo is of our fourth great grandchild, a boy, and this is his first photo. When I look at this I wonder how they can tell he is a boy. Look at that precious bead backbone. Maybe I could do another of my photo transfer journal quilts with this one. We think it is cute that Brian and Tabi are so proud that they had copies made for all the grandparents.

Today I took Mom to her Opthmologist in Pueblo and going and coming I got to see a Red-tailed Hawk sitting on her big, twiggy nest in a rare prairie tree on the north side of US 50. She nested there last year and I often see 1 or 2 hawks sitting in that tree when I drive by.

I drove home, from Mom's place in Canon City, on a county road at the base of the foothills (of Pikes Peak) north of Highway 50, where I was pleased to see many brilliant Mountain Bluebirds flocking in this area as they wait to head into the lower mountains to make nests and raise new broods. There were also quite a few Western Meadow Larks perching on the fences along the road, singing their hearts out. For the last 3 years, since the bad West Nile Virus summer, I haven't seen or heard as many of these favorites of mine. I know that several types of birds were hit badly by the virus and would like to see a study about the effect on the Meadow Larks. I always love to hear their beautiful song and have missed them. I also saw a Northern Harrier (Marsh Hawk) hunting low over the prairie and then had the thrill of seeing a Scaled Quail run across the road in front of me. Even though it was a cool, gray, sprinkly day with clouds leaving snow on the front of the Wet Mountains (south of us), these birds were proof that Spring is here.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

(1) Vivian, Harold, Evy (Mom)

April 4 is my mother's 88th birthday. We will share her birthday cake and ice cream with her neighbors at Friendship House and her youngest sister and niece from Colorado Springs and then take her out to dinner to celebrate.
Mother was born in a farm house in Carroll County, Missouri on Easter, 1920. It was snowing so bad that the doctor couldn't get there, even on his horse, so the local midwife, who was at my great grandmother's house, came over and delivered her. Granny said that the snow was so deep and drifted that the doctor didn't get there to see them for 2 weeks. The family moved to Colorado when Mom was 2 years old.
(2) 17th Birthday, Poppa is threatening to "spank" her with his hammer

(3) Before ill health weakened her

(4) Mom 2 years ago
This will be another happy/sad day because Dad's birthday was April 5th and we always celebrated their birthdays together, often with Easter part of the celebration.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Quilt 10 Minutes Every Day!?

What is it with WebSurf! I never know what I'm going to find when I go to the Quilt Studio WebRing list, and today my blog listing had been removed from next to Rian. I started through all the blogs to see if I was still there, somewhere. Guess what, I'm now on page 6! Why? Originally we were listed in order of when we became a member of the ring. Have I done something to offend the Lord of the WebRings? Has anyone else been relocated? If I had trouble finding me how is anyone else finding me? Weird!

It's also opening the blogs in the RingSurf page which shows the RingSurf address instead of the address of the blog. It's frustrating me! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Now that I have that off my chest, I'll go the subject I had intended to blog about.

At the beginning of March I accepted the Quilting Diva's challenge to quilt for 10 minutes every day in March. I decided to spend these times piecing the blocks for the vintage airplane quilt I am making for my pilot son. I guess my resolve was not as strong as all the impediments. To meet my goal I would have worked on the blocks for a total of 310 minutes. I managed 175 minutes on this project. I did work on some of my Bible blocks but did not keep track of the time. The 2 major impediments were a oral surgery that had me down recuperating for a while, and working with granddaughter Mandy on her quilt projects while she spent spring break with me.

Here is my progress on the paper pieced airplane blocks. I pieced one block and some small Windmill blocks (symbolizing propellers) to use as corner blocks with the sky blue sashing. I am adding the sashing on 2 sides of each airplane block as I piece them so I can then assemble the top easier. I also chose some depression era repro fabrics and prepared the tissue paper templates for 3 more blocks. At least the challenge got me this far, which motivates me to keep working the the planes.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Latest Quilting the Names of God blocks

Here are my two latest blocks for the study.

Week 10 is the Modern Flame block for the Consuming Fire/Jealous God_Esh Oklah, El Kanna. I chose the fabrics to symbolize the colors and swirls seen in a flame.

"Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden. For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:23-24)

Week 11 is the Peace Dove for the Holy One of Israel_Qedosh Yisrael. The white dove in a blue starry sky appeared quite peaceful to me. The gold always represents the presence of God, the Holy One of Israel.

"The LORD said to Moses, 'Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I the LORD your God am holy.'" (Leviticus 19:1-2)

"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." (Isaiah 6-3b)

I was struck by the contrast between the Flame and the Dove. Our Almighty God is so awesome and incomprehensible to we finite beings that His attributes sometimes seem to us to be almost contradictory. I am glad to have a God who is so huge that we mere humans can never limit or manipulate Him. [Athough, I am sorry to say, that at times I find myself trying to. What a waste of time and energy!]

I remembering once reading in some AA literature a quote something like this:

"I found out there was a God; and He wasn't me." "Let go and let God."