Saturday, June 28, 2014

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help and my God.
                                     -Ps. 42:11

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fasting Apple Cinnamon Biscuits

 Here is an easy fasting breakfast you can throw together in 15 minutes.

Fasting Apple Cinnamon Biscuits

Preheat the oven to 450. Throw together in a bowl some baking mix (I used Bisquick) and enough applesauce to make a sticky dough when stirred together. Stir in some cinnamon and sugar. Drop by large spoonfulls on a greased pan. Sprinkles the tops with a little more sugar. Bake for 10 minutes or until the tops spring back when you indent them.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thank God

Gabriel was born last night at 10:42 PM. I labored for most of the day, hopeful that it wasn't a false alarm. He wasn't born until the children were all tucked in bed asleep and Miss Moppet had finally conked out. What a considerate baby. He was born in the sac and I haven't yet taken him out to see him better. From what I can see through the sac he is beautiful and perfect. I was able to count five infinitesimal toes on one foot quite clearly. I don't know why he was with us such a short while, but God knows. In His infinite mercy He allowed me to deliver at home as I had wished. I avoided a trip to the hospital and am just waiting to hear when I'm supposed to go into the doctor's office. I've rested since then and will be taking it easy for the next several days.

Thank you so much for all of your love and prayers. At some point I'll write out his birth story and post it on Lost Innocents as well as photos of him. My beautiful baby. I miss him, but know that he is at peace in Heaven with his brothers and all the saints. May Gabriel's memory be eternal!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Yarn Along: Shroud for Gabriel

 As most of you know, when I lost Innocent and Andrew I made blankets for them. I make blankets for all of my babies and it doesn't matter whether they're living or departed. Because Gabriel will be two weeks smaller and thus that much more fragile, I felt he needed to be (for the most part) in a glass jar of water instead of swaddled in a blanket. So that he too would have some sort of a blanket, I knitted this shroud (or bag) to put the jar in. I crocheted a little cross to put on it. This is what he will be buried in. I also quickly sewed a tiny flannel blanket that you can see in a few of the pictures. I wanted to have something pretty for him to rest on so I could take photographs of him.

(Ravelry link)

I completed everything last Friday in a great hurry. I had a few hours of contractions and I thought that labor might be imminent. Unfortunately it wasn't, and I'm still waiting. Time is running out on the deadline the doctor has given me. I have until next week to go into labor and deliver on my own before I have to go in the hospital for an induction. I want to avoid that for a host of reasons, so please pray that labor starts soon.*

*[Update: My sweet baby was born the night I wrote this post.]

(Just to round out last week's yarn along post, here is the completed baby coat after it had been blocked and buttons sewn on:)

(Ravelry link)

One of the more interesting books I read this week was Admiral Richard Byrd's "Alone", describing the winter months he spent alone at a base in Antarctica. Quite a gripping tale.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Organizing the Hooks and Needles

   I have needed to do something to organize and contain my various crochet hooks and knitting needles for some time. Remember my old case? I repurposed a cervical dilator kit to make it. It wasn't too bad when I was only crocheting, but then I took up knitting too, and got a lot of needles, and got circular needles... anyway, it was past due.

   So the last few days I've spent (in between other things) sewing some new cases to keep everything straight. It's SO much better. I could have made things cuter with cute fabric and fabric that matched better, but 99% of my fabric is in the attic. It's crowded and hot up there. I grabbed a couple things at random last week when I first had the idea,and to round it off pulled some fabric scraps out of a hatbox dedicated to that purpose. I made it up as I went along. If you want to do something similar, I suggest you get out what supplies you have and decide what you need, designing a case around them. That's what I did. Also, you can look on Pinterest or Etsy for some ideas. (Those are much cuter than mine, by the way.)

 Crochet Hook Case

Double-Pointed Needle Case

Knitting Needle (and Notions) Case

Friday, June 20, 2014

One of "those" bloggers


I'm not one of THOSE bloggers. You know, the ones people speak of in hushed and reverent voices. The elite, set-apart crowd who eventually get publishing gigs. I don't go through life having the ability to pull together a painting, a photo of a flower, a conversation with a neighbor, a psalm verse and an experience from childhood into an award-winning post that brings people to tears and changes lives. Hopefully I make people laugh occasionally. At least lie to me and tell me I do.

Sometimes I wonder why the heck I have a blog. Any idiot can type drivel and then click "publish". Maybe the key is not to take it too seriously? If I know it's drivel, then I can't get puffed up about it, right? Sigh.

I can tell this is going to be "one of those days". Yesterday was a "day". I managed to make the bed, go to the library, sew buttons on a sweater, take care of a baby who screamed for an hour (??), and put together some supper anyway. Admittedly, I don't think I was one of those shining examples of saintly humanity when I was doing so, but anyway, it got done. One foot in front of another.

All you people out there who list "making the bed" as one of your accomplishments, don't give up hope. Sometimes you have a month-long string of such days. But somewhere in there, I bet you said something to someone that made their day, even if you didn't know it. You fell down a lot, but you got back up too. Your kids love you anyway.

This is turning into a stream-of-consciousness blend of nothing, so I'll throw in this funny bit from a meteorology book I was reading last night and then stop. Maybe someone will smile, and then my job will be done.

(source - also includes related article)

The Weller method [of detecting an approaching tornado] consists of the following steps:

1. Turn on your television set and let it warm up.
2. Turn to channel 13. Using the brightness control knob, darken the screen so it is almost black.
3. Turn to channel 2. Leave the set alone. Do not reset the brightness after the initial adjustment.
4. Lightning appears on the screen as horizontal streaks or flashes. (A color TV produces colored lightning.) As long as the screen does not have a steady glow, the storm is not a tornado.
5. The signal of a tornado is an increasingly steady, bright, white light. Or, if there is a station in your area on channel 2 and the darkened picture becomes visible and remains visible, a tornado is coming.
6. Take shelter. Do not get so carried away in watching the screen that you forget to seek cover - fast.
Tornadoes, Thunderstorms and Building Damage, Eagleman, Muirhead, Willems, c. 1975, p. 22

Thursday, June 19, 2014

When the rubber hits the road

Remember my post from Sunday about being called to be saints? Well, when I wrote that I meant it. We're not just called to be saintly when times are easy and when things are going our way. If we can't put forth the effort to overcome temptations to small things, how do we think we will do when something big comes along? 

I'm not exactly having an easy time right now. Gabriel is dead and I still haven't gone into labor. I know that for those who have experienced the loss of a child during pregnancy, they understand how hard this is. For others, perhaps they can imagine (but I had to learn a long time ago to forgive those who don't understand).

I have to keep going. Keep taking care of Miss Moppet. Keep trying to drag Pickles through spelling and math and reading. Keep breaking up arguments, keep washing clothes, keep going to church services three times a week. Keep functioning and going to doctor's appointments weekly.

More importantly I have to keep praying. Keep resisting temptations. The demons hate us and want to destroy us. They don't take breaks out of compassion when we're suffering. They follow up to their own advantage. They use situations like this to sow seeds of discord, to tempt us to compare ourselves to others and thereby to feel envy. Every single time I have lost a baby, it was while I was due within days (or even on the same day) as someone else I knew. It was painful to watch someone else's pregnancy progress normally long after my baby had been buried and "Memory Eternal" sung. Long after people had forgotten, and thought I had too. This time is no different (of course) and I am struggling again. But we are not given a free pass.

On the one hand, people can say it is natural to feel this way. But it is also natural to feel anger, envy, etc., and we call those things sins. Just because something is natural doesn't mean it is good or acceptable. We are supposed to be, with the help of God's grace, overcoming our natures, not wallowing in them. On the other hand, we are not called to beat ourselves up either, feel self-hatred for entertaining the temptations the demons throw at us. God never wants us to hate ourselves. That too is from the devil. He has been around a long time and has a lot of experience. If we reject a temptation then he throws at us an additional temptation to pride. If we fall into it, and we later reject it, then we get a temptation to self-loathing. The important thing is to never stay down when we fall. Always get back up, ignore it, look to God and keep going. The slings and arrows of the evil one will not stop. In fact, they will increase. But they can only penetrate when we allow it.

I'm not saying this because I'm good; far from it. I fall down like everyone else. Every single thing I say not to do, I have done, over and over. As I said, I'm struggling. But the important thing is to keep struggling. With God's help and everyone's prayers, this too will pass.

Throw-back Thursday

 I don't have many words today. Just getting by one day at a time. I'm slowly working on some knitting projects and think I can finish the coat today, getting it mailed today or tomorrow. I still don't have any signs of impending labor; praying that it starts before too long. Thank you for all of your love and prayers. They mean so much.

Me, approximately 1977 or 1978

Pickles, 2007, AL

2007, AL

Ribby and Duchess, 2004, Sea-Tac airport

Duchess, 2004, FL

Ribby and Duchess, 2006, SC

Duchess, 2006, SC

Flopsy, 2006, SC

Duchess, Ribby and Ginger, 2006, Noccalula Falls

Pickles, 2007, FL

With Uncle Hunter, 2008, ATL airport

Ginger and Pickles, 2008, AL

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Yarn Along: Baby Coat

The baby coat is almost done. I have to block it then sew on the buttons. I hope to be able to mail it tomorrow or Friday. (The recipients don't read the blog so I'm not spoiling any surprises.) For the purpose of the photographs I just placed the buttons in their approximate positions.

Ravelry Link

As usual I've been reading a lot. I worked my way through some Michael Crichton (Prey, Micro and Timeline) but I'm featuring Timeline because I happened to pick up my own hardback copy at the thrift store. (yay!)