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Crafts are Coming!

I have gone through my house and found everything that I’ve ever made, which is a lot.  I’ve been sewing since I was 10 years old–my parents let me take sewing lessons at a Singer store, and I learned so much!  Of course, I learned on a Singer machine that I kept until I was about 35.  The new Singer machine I bought was a piece of junk compared to my heavy-as-lead first sewing machine.  I still have the junky machine, but also have a new Singer Quantam XL 6000.  Can’t decide if I like it or not and whether it was worth what I had to pay for it–it’s very hard for me to remember all of the little steps when I want to monogram something, and I am always having to pull out the manual (which, by the way, is way too big and does not have enough detail for me and my geriatric pea brain).  I took 3 lessons and have 2 more to take in order to complete my instructions on how to use the thing–I’ve already forgotten what I learned! 

Anyway, after I get pictures taken and some step-by-step instructions of my projects, I’ll get those posted.  I hope you will find them interesting and easy to copy!

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How Big is Too Big?

My sweet sister, Jean, and I got into a discussion about what size congregation is too big for a church to be effective.  Of course the goal of any church or Christian is to convert as many people as possible to believe in Jesus Christ as the savior.  Without that basic belief, you are not going to make it into heaven.  You can be just as good as you can be, help as many people as you can, love everyone to pieces, take care of everyone like they are family, but if you do not believe in Christ and accept Him as your savior, well, heaven will not be open to you.

Anyway, my sister goes to a large church and they built a huge facility a few years ago hoping, I’m sure, to attract more people.  But the situation has turned into a catch-22 in that more people did start coming to the church, but now the congregation is so diversified and cliquish that many of those who were the backbone of the church have left and joined other churches.  A larger church is usually more able to provide a bigger youth program, have more Sunday School classes, and to take on more mission projects.  Participation in these activities puts you into a situation where you can get to know people better and establish relationships with those of a like mind.  However, if you are new to a large church, you might feel too intimidated to join in if you are not feeling part of the crowd.

The church I belong to is a growing church.  We have just voted to build a bigger facility in order to accommodate the current membership, attract new members and, therefore, have more people to convert.  It was not a unanimous vote, and I think that those who voted against building are worried that our little church is going to change into something we don’t recognize.  Is that a good or bad thing?  Is it right to stay small and intimate?  Better yet, is it the path that God wants us to take to stay small or to grow?  I don’t know.  All I know is that things are going to change at my church, and I hope it will be for the better.

Maybe it comes down to the leadership in the church.  If the leaders are open to including new people in church activities and missions, then they set an example for the rest to follow.  But if they are just part of an elite clique in a church, this turns people off and very few will join in.  Fortunately at my church, our leadership is friendly, open, inclusive, and aware of the ultimate goal.

What has been your experience in such a situation?

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Moms Work No Matter Where They Are

We have all heard the old saying that “men work from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done”.  I think this is why we women cry at weddings–we know what the poor bride is in for, and it isn’t a life of bonbons and champagne.

The flap in the media this week has been over what some liberal observed about Mrs. Romney in that Mrs. R had never worked a day in her life and that she would have no idea about economics.  How absurd!  I feel sure that Mrs. Romney made daily decisions about how her household was run, even if she had nannies and servants.  Somebody has to be in charge, and it certainly is not the man of the house (in general, that is).  And she raised five (5) boys!  I’ll bet that she was in charge of buying all of the gifts at Christmas and for birthdays.  Raise your hand if you have ever been sitting around the Christmas tree and had your husband whisper, “Did we get my mother anything?”

Mothers work all of the time.  Why, even when they are sleeping, mothers have one ear open to hear the softest cough or sneeze from their offspring.  Men are just not born with that gene.

I dabble in genealogy and I have studied the history of activities that women have done over the last few centuries.   In the “old days”, women were expected to do some type of decorative stitchery, to play an instrument or sing, to do household accounting, to direct the “help”, to cater to their husband’s every need, and to be the perfect and loving mother.  And if the woman was not in a household that had servants, then SHE was the one who did all of the cooking, cleaning, educating of children (usually 10-14 of them), and the catering to the husband’s every need.  She was also to lead by example in religion, and to attend church regularly.

A lot is still expected of mothers, whether they are stay-at-home moms or out in the workplace.  Women have come a long way in being treated equally (remember that it was only about 90 years ago that we were given the right to vote, for heaven’s sake), but apparently we still have a few more people to educate about just exactly what “women’s work” is.  And isn’t it ironic that the criticism of Mrs. Romney came from a woman?

Let’s all pull together, girls.  WE are  not the enemy.

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This House is Clean

Whenever I am done with my cleaning for the day, I always say out loud, “This house is clean.”  If you have ever seen the movie Poltergeist, then you know the line I’m referring to.  Now I’m not ridding my house of any ghosts or evil spirits (except maybe the dust devils that reside under the bed), but it feels good to have accomplished some level of organization and sanitizing where I spend most of my time.

I live in a big house:   four stories, lots of rooms and bathrooms, lots of antiques to keep dusted.  On top of it all, in addition to being avid antique collectors, my husband and I are both packrats.  And on top of that, we both lost our parents in the last few years, and that generation never threw out anything because of their Great Depression mentality–we have had to put a lot of their things in storage because we have to have room for OUR stuff, for heaven’s sake.  We are not to the hoarder stage yet, but fast approaching.

We only have one child, so I cannot in good conscience leave all of this debris for him to clean out when we are gone.  I keep saying that I have just GOT to declutter, but when I start in on a box or bag, I get bogged down remembering.  Soooooo. . . I thought I would see what hints and tips are on the Internet for situations like mine.

Apparently there are millions of people like me because there are so many blogs and websites on cleaning and organization out there that it is close to ridiculous.  I looked at many of these helpful websites and settled on two or three to get me going.  I copied their lists and schedules, and one even has an app for my iPad (Motivated Moms).  Now I know what I am supposed to do each day of the week, including weekends.  The only problem is that some days I am not at home, and this throws off the whole schedule of watering indoor plants, cleaning the dining room chandelier, and inventorying my refrigerator so that I can plan meals that I am not going to cook (even though I now have enough wonderful recipes from to last the rest of my life).

I’m going to have to get ruthless, go medieval on this stuff, and then I’ll really be able to say, “This house is clean!”

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Fiery Challenge

Several months ago, our wonderful beach cottage on St. Simons Island burned.  The cause of the fire remains a mystery, but there is a train of thought that the air conditioner condenser (the thing that makes a lot of noise and that is outside) overheated.  And it didn’t help that there was a gale blowing on the night of the fire.

My son, his wife, and their two little girls (ages 6 and 2) were taking a much-needed vacation at the cottage when the fire exploded at the back of the house.  They had just arrived that very day, and they had been to the beach and had a nice time playing in the little waves and running around in the sand.  The parents were just getting their kiddies all settled in for a restful night when the fire started.  So much for getting away from it all.

My son grabbed the oldest girl, and my daughter-in-law grabbed the baby and ran out the front door just in time to see the flames blow up under the house.  From that point, there was not a chance to save the structure, even though the fire department arrived in less than 5 minutes.  Thank goodness everyone was safe and that no other cottages were damaged.

We are rebuilding, redecorating , and reassessing.  Much of my time these days revolves around looking for new furniture and accessories, sheets, towels, lamps, rugs, kitchen stuff, etc.  (I love doing this, really, but it would be nicer not to have to do this under duress).  I have found Pinterest to be an enormous help in keeping up with what I find on the Internet.   My basement here at home is filling up fast with purchases, and we also have a storage building that is loaded with some of the things we hope to save from the fire.  I am not sure if we will be able to get the smoky smell out, so we may end up trashing it all.

I’ve never been involved in a house fire except for the kind you build in a fireplace.  I would not wish this on anyone, and I completely understand how awful it must be to lose everything in one fell swoop (even though it was not our primary residence).  Whenever I hear of a family in our community whose house has burned, I make a donation of money, clothing, or both.  It is so easy to take things for granted until you go through something yourself.

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Welcome to My Blog

Hello, and welcome to my blog.  I hope that you will find something interesting here from time to time.  I’ve done a lot of writing, but most of it has been with pen and paper.  This is a new experience for me!

I plan to have several categories based on the various things that I have done, my interests, my family life, and other things that have influenced me in my considerably long life.  As you can see, it’s a typical blog that is all about me, me, me.  Well, okay, I do hope to avoid total narcissism and give out some hints and tips that might help others as well.

Check back in a few days, and I should have my act together.

Oh, you might wonder where the name of this blog came from.  When I was a little girl, I loved to sing (and still do love to, but not many people want to listen).  One of my favorites was “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”.  You’re probably already singing it now that I’ve mentioned it.  Anyway,the part that goes “life is but a dream” was a complete enigma to me, and the only thing made sense was “life’s a butterbean”.  That’s the way I sang it for years, and I still do it that way when singing to my grandchildren who always groan and say, “Meme, it’s ‘life is but a dream'”.


Meme Coop

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