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Of Glimpses and Visions

New Mexico Organ Mountains

C.S. Lewis wrote: “A glimpse is not a vision. But to a man on a mountain road by night, a glimpse of the next three feet of road may matter more than a vision of the horizon.”

It’s all about perspective, isn’t it? Visions are good to have but sometimes we focus so much on them that we are paralyzed with taking the step right in front of us.

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Of Geese and Fake White Cranes

Our new house in Illinois is near a walking trail which is about 1.25 miles long.

The first time I walked this trail I noticed the beautiful white cranes sitting next to the fountain in the middle of the pond.

The second time I walked the trail I again noticed the cranes ~ so elegantly sitting next to the pond. They must like the fountain I thought.

By my third walk, I looked a little closer and noticed that the white cranes weren’t moving. That seemed suspicious to me. I started laughing as I realized that the white cranes were fake. I couldn’t help laughing all the way home.

Come to find out, fake white cranes scare away geese. You know ~ geese who leave their poop all over the place.

As I explore my neighborhood, I see more and more fake white cranes and few, if any, geese. The fake white cranes are working as decoys as geese do not get along with them.

Not til l moved to Illinois did I think this was possible. I wonder why Minnesota, where I’m from, has not figured this out yet. There the geese are protected instead of discouraged.

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Eight Things To Do To Sell Your House Quickly

After living in Minnesota for 9 years, we decided to move back to Illinois to be closer to my 93 year old mother.

My mother has never driven and has always walked or used public transportation to get around. Do you know anyone else who has never driven? There are few people left who fall in that category.

After we put our house on the market, we had an offer in 4 days. That was unreal. Here are eight things we did that I feel helped to sell our house quickly.

  1. Declutter. We went through the house, room by room, and removed any items that we had not used in the last couple of years. We took these items to the second hand store.
  2. Next we went through our clothes closet and got rid of anything that we had not worn in awhile. It’s amazing how many things stay in a closet for years just sitting in the back not “bothering anyone.” Get rid of it! Someone else can enjoy your 10 year old flannel shirt that you haven’t used in awhile.
  3. Clean the flower beds and weed. Anything that is dead should be removed. The yard should have a fresh and inviting look.
  4. Power wash the outside of the house and deck. Those cobwebs that you see in the front of the house that don’t really bother you might signify to someone else that you don’t maintain your house. Yes, I know it’s a little thing but little things not only add up but they make a big statement.
  5. Clean the inside of the house. Again, go room by room and make sure everything is clean. Wipe down kitchen cabinets and appliances. Our house was on a well and it took a lot to get the toilet rings removed, but it was important. (Although, when the photographer comes to take a picture of the house, make sure those toilet lids are down. It just looks better). Clean the inside of the stove and refrigerator (throw out leftovers).
  6. Clean your garage. Anything that you are not going to take with you should be donated. And make sure that if you have a two car garage that two cars actually fit in it. Wipe the garage floor and shelves clean.
  7. Make sure the driveway is swept. Remember, this is your first impression to buyers.
  8. Lastly, minimize what you have in your house. You need your rooms to look bigger so that buyers can visualize their furniture in your house. It’s okay to put things in a corner of the garage if you have the space. Box them up if possible so it will look neater.

There are some homes that have very bold paint colors on their walls. If it’s possible, the walls should be painted a neutral color but quite honestly, we had yellow walls through the main area and the bedrooms were a gray-ish blue and it looked fine because the colors would match anyone’s furniture.

Is there anything else you can think of to help sell a house quicker?

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A Beautiful Day In Our Neighborhood

Walking out the front door to go for a walk, I breathed in the fresh air as I walked across the street to the nearby park trail.

What a gorgeous day it was!

The trail is a little over a mile and I only saw one other person around who was sitting on a bench.

As I continued walking, I looked up and saw the beautiful blue sky and it reminded me of the song by Fred Rogers on his TV show “it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.”

Because indeed, it was beautiful!

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Bjorn Bear Quilt

I purchased the Bjorn Bear Quilt pattern to see how well I would do with all the piecing as I haven’t done much piecing as a “sometime” quilter.

I was surprised at how easy it was. It was delightful to see how each section connected with another and made the faces of the bears complete.

This is the start of the nose of each bear. Working in “assembly like” manner, it went pretty quick.

Once you start cutting and sewing the pieces together, it goes quickly.

Bjorn Bear Piecing

Isn’t it cute?

And here are pictures of the finished quilt. I decided to use a modern square type quilting pattern for this quilt.

Bjorn Bear Quilt
Bjorn Bear Quilt

Here’s the final picture of the finished Bjorn Bear Quilt. Our granddaughter, who is not yet one year old, enjoyed the colorful quilt. I decided to use a baby blue in the back so it can be used by a boy or girl.

Bjorn Bear Quilt

What do you think?

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Scrappy Quilts

Awhile ago, my sister-in-law sent me a Facebook post from a nursing home in Fargo that was looking for quilts for their residents. I had lots of fabric left over from other quilts that I had made so I decided to make two and will be delivering it to them this weekend.

Hopefully the two residents who get them like them. I didn’t worry too much about the binding and sewed them both on the machine instead of hand sewing it. They came out quite beautiful.

I used the Fast Four Patch Quilt Pattern by the blogger Diary of A Quilter. I change the pattern some but use the same measurements.

What do you think of these scrappy quilts?

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Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

A recent trip to Las Vegas afforded us the privilege of visiting the Red Rock Canyon.

Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, Nevada

What a beautiful park this is! We went in late morning/early afternoon and the beauty here is spectacular.

Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, Nevada

Have you visited here at a different time of the year? Our visit was in November.

Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, Nevada

Our trip back to town also had a beautiful view. Wow! Isn’t it beautiful?

Las Vegas, NV
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Split Decision Quilt

My sister-in-law had requested a queen size quilt about 3 years ago and I finally was able to complete one for her.

Part of the “problem” is that when I first started learning how to sew and quilt, I asked people if I could make quilts for them so I would be able to practice. My sister-in-law was way down on the list of people who requested a quilt as I did them on a first-come first-serve basis.

The Split Decision pattern I used is by Weeks and Ringle from Modern Quilt Studios.

The pattern is very easy as it’s mainly long different sized strips of fabric. My sister-in-law chose her colors and I shopped for fabric. I used a tan color in the back.

Split Decision Quilt in Brown – Modern
Split Decision Quilt in Brown – Modern

On this quilt, I asked the long-armer to quilt it with long curves.

Split Decision Quilt in Brown – Modern

I think it came out quite nicely, no?

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The Cascade Quilt

It’s been a little while since I made this modern Cascade Quilt which turned out beautifully.

I purchased the kit that included all of the fabric except for the backing from the Craftsy website. It was easy to put together and I’ve received many compliments on it.

The Cascade Modern Quilt
The Cascade Modern Quilt

I love the bold colors of the varied fabrics.

For the backing, I chose a variegated green fabric. I sent the quilt to a long-armer and asked her to do swirls for the quilting.

What do you think of this quilt? Do you like modern or more classic style quilts?

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The Boxcar Children – A Favorite Children’s Book

Somewhere in my early teen years I came across a book called The
Boxcar Children.

This book, written by a first grade school teacher by the name of
Gertrude Chandler Warner, was aimed at children in grades 2-6
yet I can’t remember reading it as a younger child.

I must have stumbled across it at the local library near my home.

We never had books in our house growing up. My mother, who
didn’t make it too far in grade school, never read us story books.

I fell in love with the book and the story it told of 4 orphaned children who fled what they thought was a cruel grandfather although they had never met him. They found and made a home in an abandoned boxcar and thought they were being self sufficient when it was a doctor who the oldest boy was working for who was helping to supply odds and ends for them in addition to what the older boy was able to get on his own.

The grandfather had put an ad in the paper looking for his grandchildren but the doctor remained silent until one of the young girls got sick. The doctor then notifies the grandfather of the situation and when they meet this kind man they move in with him and he, being wealthy, moves the boxcar to his backyard for them.

There are so many ways I enjoyed this book. Although not a negative word is said about the children’s decision to run away from their circumstances, I sense the stubbornness in them ~ one that I also was familiar with growing up. Yet, the way the book tells the story, it was more about the children learning and being given opportunity to work things out for themselves.

I read the series of these books to my boys while they were growing up.

Sometimes, as an “older” adult in need of sanity in this world, I’ll go back and get the 1st book and re-read it a few times.

Do you have a favorite children’s book?

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