Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Cherished Anniversary

Greetings from NW PA, the new frontier for this girl!

November, the month of Thanksgiving, and not just that one day. It's a month to show thankfulness for all things, but a very special something for me! November 14, 1978, a day I will never forget.

Thirty-nine years ago I said yes to Christ, and He changed my life. He gave me forgiveness, hope, purpose, mercy and grace, and continues to be an alive presence in my life. That's worth celebrating!

I think back to my early days when I first found Christ and all that I learned at my home church. My working at my home church and then with the Baptist Convention opened my eyes to Christian men and women who lived for Christ. The many pastors I sat under during those working years and the ones I worked directly with helped me understand truly serving Christ. The many friends I met who exhibited Christ in their daily lives and showed me what real friendship is helped grow me into the woman I am today. I am indeed blessed!

"It is best to be with those in time we hope to be with in eternity." Sir Thoma Fuller (1608-1661)

Since becoming a part of the Quilt Ladies Ministry, I've helped sew 39 quilt blankets to give away. (39 . . . a popular number in this post.) My part of adding the batting, backing and trim of tops that have already been sewn gives me purpose each week.

The ladies won't meet again until next April, but there will still be some sewing going on in homes. With most of the ladies in their 70s and 80s, and winter's here in NW PA , gathering together would be difficult.

My newest created quilt project is a fall covering which now sits on my table in the living room. With practice, I keep improving, although I did have to take out a few seams and make some corrections. But, again, I'm pleased with my newest creation, and so thankful for this new avenue of creativity.

Following are some fall scenery snaps I took while driving around.

This wishing well is calling me to come and sit by its side and dream the day away.

                                                                   King of the Dirt Pile!

Everywhere I drive I'm surrounded by mountains.
I just liked all that color behind the bare trees and the golden fields.

A new book is out in my Sweet Pea & Friends collection: A Farm for Maisie. Maisie lives on Moonrise Farm in Vermont. Her story tells the things all the animals are responsible for on the farm. The pictures are lovely close ups of all the animals and the story is sweet.

Yes, I'm a little too old for a children's book, but when I need a little "light" reading it's so much fun reading the stories and looking at something innocent! I love the Sweet Pea &Friends collection!

How can I thank God for all His blessings? Thanks-living.

Terry W York
"How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness ..." Psalm 116:12

"Our life and its sustaining breath and life that's promised after death come from God,
our heav'nly Father, He gives us freedom from our fears; food, friends, and purpose thro' the years. All the words of our Thanksgiving fail to say what we can show by our Thanks-living.

"A life of living thankfulness moves lifeless words to willingness; willingness to serve our Father, That service born of love, demands our hearts, our minds, our strength, our hands.
All the words of our Thanksgiving fail to say what we can show by our Thanks-living.

"Our deepest love and highest praise in both routine and festive days sing of You, our heavenly Father, Yet, while our songs of praise arise, deep in our hearts we realize
All the words of our Thanksgiving fail to say what we can show by our Thanks-living."

The month of Thanksgiving. Take a moment and ponder your life. We have much to be thankful for.

"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more." Psalm 71:14

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Autumn of Life

Greetings from NW Pennsylvania, the new frontier for this girl.

"Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all other seasons."  Jim Bishop

 I love this snap! It's the first time I went out to find fall color in PA. The light rain falling made it a mystical scene.

I'm still waiting for peak color in Brookville, The other week I drove into the forest in hopes of finding a little more. I wasn't disappointed. Light rain was falling as I drove through the forest, and peace was everywhere. Quiet, refreshing, beautiful. 

I hope you like some of my favorite snaps from that drive. 

I'm creating a new Shutterfly book of fall colors. I went through my journals to find quotes I like, and one particular quote caused me pause to ponder the words. C. S. Lewis said: "Yes, autumn is really the best of the seasons; and I'm not sure that old age isn't the best part of life. But of course, like autumn, it doesn't last."

I am in the autumn of life. As Charles Lowery said: "I am now officially too old to die young." But then he follows it up with: "It is the autumn of life . . . It's about dead and alive --- and I'm alive."

Autumn is truly a beautiful season of grandeur. And it's a season of dying. A cycle of life has ended, and a cold season of death follows. Too think, those beautiful colored leaves flying down to the ground and making a path of splendor is part of the dying process.   

I could have sat there forever listening to the water fall!

I celebrated six years of retirement this month. I'm so glad I was able to retire and enjoy a new season of life after years of working. Overall it's been good years, with my new season of life in NW PA finally over all the bumps and bruises.

Many people don't make it to retirement. Many people die shortly after retirement. We don't know when our last day will be lived on this earth. But until that happens, we're alive! Don't you want to go out in splendor like the autumn leaves?

You turn a corner and find something beautiful!

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, my new inspiration and desire in this season of life has moved to quilting. The thrill of quilting something and giving it to someone to encourage their heart is exciting.

Many of you have seen my "Hope" fabric. I've made many small pillows with the help of my friend, Gail, to give to people going through cancer treatments, or going through other difficulties. Now I want to make "Hope" quilted covers.

My newest quilt project is complete. I added some brighter colors in the design,and I'm pleased how it turned out.

I love the"Hope" fabric. Having that little word in the design is special. I believe in hope. I believe in God's Hope. And I want to share it.

So I will try and shine using the skills God has given me until my days on earth are over.

Not sure what kind of ferns those are on the ground but they were a lovely frame to the colorful forest!

A little walk across the bridge into the forest.

 I loved the surprise of leaves growing from the trunk!

Much can be said about Autumn being the best part of life. "The gift of old age is remembrance." unknown.There are many bumps and bruises in a life time, but there are also many good and fun times. Remembering the good and fun is a special blessing we have. Thank you God for memories.

When I take a picture it captures a memory. I may never see it again in person, but looking at the picture relives that special time. I think that's one reason I enjoy taking pictures. When looking at a picture it takes me back to that day in my life and the thrill of a special snap.

 “God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.” J. M. Barrie

This pond was hidden from the road, but the map said it was here. So I walked just a few feet back into the woods and found it.

And writing is a form of remembering. I forget so many things in the process of living. But I can pick up my journals, and read my blog posts and remember what inspired those writings. It's all a part of my life. Never to be forgotten.

Yes, memory is a good remembrance of times gone by. Throw out the bad and hurt, and think on the good and happy. There's plenty of both, but dwelling on the bad cannot make it good. Dwelling on the good will bring smiles and peace.

Being older brings a lot of changes. You just have to laugh at all the strange things you do. But remembering the things of your life can bring great blessing.  Now that's something to ponder!

And a smile to leave you with . . .
"This is the first time I wallpapered a toilet seat cover," Jerry said, as he "installed" the picture at my Mom's request. And what does my 94 year old mother say: "Oh my, that's neat!"

"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more." Psalm 71:14

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October News

Greetings from NW Pennsylvania, the new frontier for this girl.

It was a beautiful day to drive around and this barn stood out as we drove by. I'm usually partial to red barns, but this gray one made a pretty picture.

I was delighted to find an Amish village not far from home. Smicksburg is Amish Country in NW PA, about 45 minutes away. We visited there recently.

A small settlement of about 300 people, with a few shops to explore. We were pleased to find the Country Junction Restaurant. It's mentioned as being among the top 11 restaurants in PA. The food was delicious, the staff and service was great and the atmosphere was fun.

It's been difficult finding good restaurants. In MD we ate lunch out twice a week, mostly to get Mom out. We would drive an hour or two to good eating places. The only restaurants here that we have in MD are Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday and Hoss' Steak House, and all of them are 45 minutes away in DuBois.

Looks like a lot of events take place in Smicksburg. A fun place to visit!

So finding this new restaurant in Smicksburg was a great find! There are a few other restaurants we go to, one in Brookville, two in Punxsutawney (yes, Punxsutawney Phil's home) and one in Clarion.  And a favorite restaurant 15 minutes from home burned to the ground at the beginning of the summer. They've already started building and will reopen next spring.

I bought a new quilt centerpiece from an Amish home. It was a small building on their property and rugs and quilt pieces were offered. The quilt piece looks nice on the living room table. The owner told me of another lady who sells quilts in the next town over. I plan to visit it when we return.

As you can see I've proudly hung my very first quilt creation where I can see it from the couch. And those little figures are an old farmer and his wife. I drew a beard on the man so he'd look like Jerry. I bought them years ago and have always had them out to enjoy.

Speaking about quilts, I finished my second quilt creation! I'm so pleased. It's a 32" x 40" piece, and I love the colors. For only my second quilt piece, it turned out fairly well. I must admit, sewing all those lines through the middle wasn't easy. The first four lines I sewed weren't very good; the second four lines were a little better, and the rest turned out fairly well. I'm so thankful for this new creative outlet!

In September I enjoyed a girlfriend weekend in MD! I spent five days chatting with 14 friends. The sun shone, the temps were lovely and the company was grand! I wish I could have visited all my friends, but I'm thankful for those I was able to connect with.

They filled me with love, encouragement and happy memories, and I'll always be thankful for the friends God has given me. It was a beautiful five days driving to familiar homes and sitting down with friends.

My friend, Diana, colored these pages representing the things God has given me to do: Sewing, writing and photography. And I came home with a lot of goodies my friend's gifted me with. Thank you, dear friends! My friend, Carol's, deer also treated me with a walk through her field!

Fall will be in full bloom soon. I'll be driving around looking for beautiful scenes to photograph. I hope I'll have some lovely scenes to show you next time.

"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more." Psalm 71:14

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

September News

Greetings from NW Pennsylvania, the new frontier for this girl.

The day of the eclipse I went out back to sit on the deck. When I looked up I found this stunning display of patchwork. It was mesmerizing. I grabbed my camera to get this snap. What a lovely display of clouds. Don't know if it actually has a name for it, but I loved looking at.

Charms.  Jelly Rolls. Layer Cakes. Fat Eighth Quarters. Fat Quarter Bundle. The new terms I've learned as I become acquainted with making quilts. Those names are how bundles of fabric are sold for quilt making. I've often seen these bundles in stores, but didn't really think much about them.

Quilting made easy. There's anywhere from 20 to 60 pieces of fabric in these bundles, all different designs but in similar shades, to make quilts. And now I've purchased some.

This is my very first created quilt project! I wanted to make a decorative piece out of the Hope fabric I purchased years ago from the Longaberger Company. My friend, Gail, helped me make many small pillows to give to those going through cancer treatments with this material. And I hope to make many more. I am so pleased with my first creation! A sales woman at the quilt shop just down the road helped me pick out the other two colors. A few little mistakes here and there, but overall I'm very happy with this first creation.

In my last post I mentioned the Quilt Ladies at my church, and the inspiration I've received as I helped with the quilt blankets. Two of the ladies sew the squares together, and another lady puts the batting, backing and trim on the blankets. At the gathering we all tie knots to help keep the batting in place. I've now been asked to help with attaching the batting, backing and trim work. It's nice to be needed

One of the quilt ladies tying knots to a blanket, and a new friendly acquaintance!

Tying knots doesn't sound exciting? Well, maybe not, but it was enough to inspire me to discover a new creative outlet, and give me time with other ladies. And I desperately needed that.

One Saturday morning I ventured farther north to the southern tip of the Alleghany National Forest on my early morning drive. A new road to explore through forestland with the occasional house and cabins. Many are hunting cabins and vacant. Quiet roads, no vehicles. Only deer, rabbit and squirrel were out and about. And I'm sure there were a bear or two that I didn't see.

I love this snap I got at sunrise. The sky was beautiful that morning, and having the deer at the tree was special.

I've enjoyed driving in the Alleghany National Forest and hope to spend many more hours on the roads. One of the best things about my new home is the driving around. There just isn't any traffic. I can drive an hour or two without one car coming up behind me. And most of the time when a car does come up behind, they stay a reasonable distance away.

I like the Joe Pye Weed that's everywhere along the roadside.

Wildflowers bloom all over. This snap is of the Clarion River in Clear Creek State Park. I've loved the summer wildflowers in the area.

I spotted the first leaves changing the last week of August, both on the road and in the back yard. It is a welcome sight to see. Sweatshirts are already out. I anticipate the beauty yet to come.

The summer has found a family of deer who visit our back yard for corn. I was able to watch two fawn with the 4 to 6 doe that come around. It was good to see them.

I'm excited about my next quilt project I'm creating out of the fabric below. I was hoping to make a trip to Lancaster to my favorite quilt shop, but have decided to try my hand in designing and sewing. This next one is going to be 40 x 40, a bite bigger than my first created attempt. All squares at this point. Triangles and other designs will come much later when I'm more experienced at making quilts.

I'm experiencing a new practice at our new church home. A Prayer and Praise book is put out each Sunday morning for the fellowship to write down prayer requests and praises. During the worship service, about 10 minutes or so is given to reading the entries in the book and taking requests from the floor. I'd never experienced this during a Sunday morning worship service, but have come to appreciate the personal touch of including all member's needs and praises. A woman writes down each request, and at the end of this time she prays for everything that was mentioned. It is a very personal touch. I like that.

I have been given the responsibility of taking the Prayer and Praise book home and typing up the requests and sending them to the two pastors and the elders on Monday mornings. Just one little duty that helps me fit into the new church.

I am so thankful the tide has turned, and I'm feeling accepted and hopeful. It's not an easy thing to leave all your friends, support, church, surroundings and where you've lived for all your life (up to this point of course).

In the last week I've learned that two friends will be moving to new frontiers. I can thankfully say to them, "You'll Survive!"

"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more."
Psalm 71:14

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A New Season

 I have fulfilled one of my wishes. I've now seen two sightings of bear and was fortunate to get this snap of the second one. The first bear I saw was in the spring on an old hunting road. A mother and two cubs.
Summer is ending. I like summers in NW PA. Most mornings were cool and refreshing. We never reached the 90s, and humidity was seldom.

It's was a summer of pondering about my new life in this new land. It is different, and I've had to readjust and rethink many things. After six months of struggling I now have a refreshed spirit.

It was a joy to find doe and two fawn one early morning recently. One fawn stayed near the road and I was able to get this snap. It was the same morning I got the bear snap. What a thrill!

This blog has been an ongoing weekly journey where I have shared my thoughts and the words of others since my first post on February 19, 2009. As a lover of photography, I've also shared the pictures I've taken of God's marvelous creation. It has been an interesting and fulfilling venture.

I've posted over 400 posts over the eight year experience, and I feel the need to change the number of posts I create. I won't be creating a weekly post anymore. I'm going to strive for once a month.

This road caught my eye one morning and invited me to travel its path. Was a refreshing stroll along a quiet lane in the joy of early morning.

My energy is now going to a new adventure. I've been drawn back to a creative outlet from my earlier years . . . sewing.The desire to make quilted blankets, and pillows of hope to give to others is where I'm being led. I've loved and admired quilts from afar, and most recently have been given a small taste of creating them myself.

My church has a ministry called "Quilt Ladies" and I've been pleased to attend. Quilt blankets are created and given to various nursing homes, children's ministries and sent overseas. So I purchased a sewing machine and I'm learning the skill once again.

 My first sewn seam in over 30 years!

I'm looking at the renewal of long ago sewing skills and learning new steps in this field. It seems like an overwhelming task to undertake, but I plan to be slow and steady. My life Scripture verse is ". . . he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." (Proverbs 11:25) I've accomplished that through the written word, both on this blog and the ministry of writing encouraging notes to others. Now I hope to accomplish this through the making of blankets and pillows to give to others to encourage their hearts.

I've seen an amazing number of turkeys driving around. What a delight to come across this family in the early morning. It was the second time I enjoyed seeing baby turkeys. I had to look up and find out what baby turkeys are called: poult or turkeyling.

Thank you for being a faithful friend to me as I've shared from my heart each week. There are many posts for you to reread that were written to encourage your heart and bring a smile to your day. I hope you will visit frequently to refresh your soul.

Thank you also for the many encouraging remarks you've shared. They truly blessed my heart.

 I came around a bend one morning and was delighted to see this display of the sunrise. My early morning drives refresh and always delight. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

This Season's Thrill

This will be my last blog post for awhile. I will be taking a summer vacation, maybe posting a few readings every so often. I will be leaving you with "this season's thrill" of the less than three day old newborn fawn I got to photograph.

About 15 minutes from us in Cook's Forest there is the Double Diamond Deer Ranch. It houses three generations of deer, a museum of mounted taxidermy called "Buck Barn," a gift shop and some play areas for children.. You can walk around their fields and enjoy seeing deer up close and personal.

What's that lying in the tall grass? What every photographer hopes to come upon in his look for fawn. The first time I walked around the corral, I didn't see them. But the second time I found them.

Up close and personal I found Parker and Peggy Ann resting after some nursing.

I had visited that morning, but the fawn had just finished nursing and were down for rest and a good snooze. When I came back later that afternoon, I found them in the tall grass together relaxing.

The owner took pity on me and picked the fawn up so I could meet them and photograph them.

This has to be my favorite snap. Peggy Ann giving kisses to Mommy. You can see her pink tongue.

Looks like a good time to nurse.

I watched them for an hour and so enjoyed watching them around Momma and sometimes going off together.

The Buck Barn was loaded with exhibits. Bear, Caribou, moose, many small animals and lots of deer.

And these were some of the deer in the field.

They're posing. Must have heard something.

But, of course, my eyes were only for those two baby fawn. I got to pet both of them and see them up close and personal.

 This will be a thrill I will never forget. I hope you enjoyed seeing these two cuties.

Tummy time!

Yesterday morning I was out early and found some "wild" fawn. This is always a thrill too!

Enjoy your summer. Until next time . . . God's blessings to you.