Thursday, November 13

Can you hear me smile?

You might be wondering what on earth I am thinking to ask if you can hear me smile? But think about it. Can you, in fact, hear someone smile? I can. I hear it all the time when I read something that someone wrote and they were happy when they wrote it. Smiles come through in words, just as sadness and anger do, too. Thank goodness, I hear more smiles than anger. I hear smiles from my friends when they e-mail me. When my friend Kate e-mails me, I see a big smile and a twinkle in her eyes. Kate smiles from just up the road from me. My friend, Sue, smiles at me from my home state of Iowa and not all that far from the town I grew up in. She brought me a smile when she came to visit me when my mother was in the hospital a couple of years ago. I was smiling the entire weekend of our retreat because I was so enjoying the time with my friends. There are lots of friends that make me smile, some nearby and some far away. Some are people I've known for a long time, some for a short time. A new friend is, Joanie, from Bible Study. We "clicked" right away, perhaps because we both graduated from high school the same year - okay, if you must know, it was 1967 - but she's just a joy to be around and she has a smile that just beams!! No kidding. In fact, I can see and hear it right now! There are blogging friends that I've never met in person but I can still see them smile across many, many miles. Nihal made me smile when I won her recent contest but I also smile when I read her posts because she shares such lovely stories and sights. I smile when I read Sharon's posts at RedGeraniumCottage. That woman has the best time with her friends! I have been smiling a lot lately and that's a good thing because it takes less exercise to smile than frown and I can tell you, I am not fond of exercise!
I am fond of smiles, though. They can do wonders for the soul.
Case in point........earlier this week on Veteran's Day, I was to sing the Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America for the local service in honor of our veteran's. I was a bit nervous, never having sung the anthem solo before, but there in the crowd one of the veteran's was smiling at me and singing along with every word and it just put me at ease. Afterward, I thanked him for smiling and told him that it had helped me relax. So, if you want to make a difference today - SMILE! It will make you feel better and I'll hear everyone of those smiles!!

So, since I'm in smile mode, here's a few things that have made me smile this week...........

On Monday, I went to my mailbox and found this envelope from Lee in Australia and inside was this lovely package and card. This is one of four or five ornament swaps that I am in (I love Christmas ornaments).
She had e-mailed me that it was on it's way and I could hardly wait to open it because I knew it would make me smile! Sure enough, look at the charming little felt ornaments she made ................ a little garland of felt "owlies" (I am sure they are wise old owlies) and a pink cupcake and a whole bag of stars!! I loved it all and it made smile then and now when I'm recalling it.

A few weeks ago, my friend Cindy made me smile when she sent this package filled with fabric. I didn't know she was sending it so it was a real surprise. That's right, made me smile. We have been friends for almost ten years. Wow, time flies. She's "down-sizing" so shared her "stuff" with me knowing I might find some new life for it. I can hear Cindy smile when she tells me about her daughter, Kaite, and then it makes me smile. :-)

The election made me smile for a number of reasons and so as not to get political because some of those I voted for won, so I smiled big and others didn't, so I smiled small smiles because I was glad all the campaigning was over. Just knowing there will be no more political ads for at least a few weeks is cause for some really big smiles.

I've been doing some smiling this week as I work on my patriotic crazy quilt piece because it is coming along nicely. No, it wasn't done by Election day as I planned, nor did I get it finished by Veteran's Day but I'm pretty sure it'll be finished by Inauguration Day!! Hee, hee. I write my goals in pencil so I can erase them when I don't quite make the schedule I set for myself. :-)

Another blogger that makes me smile and a whole lot of other quilting bloggers is Nanette of FredasHive. When she designed her little Christmas cottages, I doubt she realized how much fun they would bring to so many people. Mine came in the mail today and are pictured below. They come from the east to west in the U.S. and from Europe and Australia. Now is that fun or what? I have two ideas for setting the blocks but will do some playing with the blocks before I make up my mind for sure. Will add the other twelve that I made to these or perhaps make two separate quilts. I had so much fun making the Christmas cottages that I started some Halloween ones that you can see in the photo above. I changed the window placement a bit by cutting 1 1/2" strips to go on each side of the windows and I cut just one 4 1/2" strip for that bottom of that section instead of 2 1/2" squares.

As you can see, I've been busy and I am lovin' it. I made a lot of trips home to Iowa this past couple of years plus our move and everything else so projects sometimes got laid aside. I've been doing some more unpacking this past week and finding all sorts of stuff that made me box of sweatshirts I was looking for, my Christmas books, vintage quilts and old quilting magazines. It's like shopping but I'm not spending money! Boy, that's a really good reason to smile!!

In addition to unpacking boxes, I unpacked this chest that my mother-in-law gave me and brought it upstairs to my sewing room. I want to use it for storing the small quilts that I have made. She won the little chest in the early 1930's. It was a raffle in a store window and her dad bought tickets for her and so did her uncle and she won it!!

Here's a tip that I learned from the staff at the Scott County Historical Society. If you are planning to store textiles on a wood surface line that surface with heavy duty aluminum foil. It will serve as barrier to the acids in the wood. I line shelves with it, too. Adding this chest to my sewing room, makes me smile because my quilts are out of the light and dust now.

Just a couple more things and then I'm done with the smile topic. Earlier this afternoon, I was giving a little sewing lesson to our neighbor girl and I was thinking about supper. I had hamburger cooking but wasn't quite sure what I would do with it. Then I came up with this concoction and it tasted so good that, of course, it made me smile so I have to share it with you.
I call this ...........
Lazy Girl's Poor Man's Muffin Pie
You'll need:
1 lb. ground beef
1 can Veg-all (drained)
1 can Campbell's Lentil soup
2 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix
Spray two pie plates with cooking spray so you can eat one and either freeze the other so you'll smile later when you don't have to cook or give to a friend so that they can smile because they won't have to cook. Set oven to 350 degrees.
First, cook 1 lb. lean ground beef - I brown my ground beef, then slow cook it on medium low for almost two hours. I just season with salt and pepper but add what pleases your palate. When the ground beef is cooked, drain if necessary and then add one can of Campbell's Lentil soup and one can of Veg-all (drained). Mix this all together and cook for ten minutes on medium high heat, then pour half of mixture into each pie plate. If desired sprinkle half cup of shredded cheese on top of mixture. (I desire cheese on most any hotdish that I make!)
Last step - Mix one box of Jiffy cornbread mix per package directions then spread (like frosting a cake - see photo above) over ground beef mixture. Repeat for second pie plate. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until top of cornbread is golden brown. Every oven is different so judge your time according to your own oven.
And this is what it looks like. Nothing fancy but I sliced up a piece very quickly and enjoyed it very much. Yep, it made me smile.

So, that's about it for tonight. Oh, except one last thing. Now that the cottage exchange is done and my Stitching Angel gift arrived in Australia, I need to focus on a couple other swap projects. I am working on ornament swaps and also something special for Chooky's Secret Santa swap. Then yesterday, I started working on the little Doll Quilt for that swap. Here's a little peek at the fabric I bought for this project. It just made me smile because it's so bright and cheerful. It's kinda Christmasy but I also think you could use this right up through January.

That's all, folks. This was waaaaaaaayyyyyyyy long, but I have been so busy and it just makes me so happy and yes, I am smiling as I write that. Hope you have many things to smile about in your day today!!
P.S. The little Christmas Sample pattern will be posted later tomorrow.


Mam said...

And your entry made me smile! Thanks for passing along so many happy thoughts......take care......Mam

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

sandi, your post made me smile! Your cottages are so cute. Thank you for your words. They mean a lot to me. I loved your owlies from Lee. What a fabulous swap. She sent such nice things. You have lovely friends Sandi because you are a wonderful friend and you attract people with your graciousness. The chest is beautiful. What a family treasure.

Valerie said...

My husband came in my room where I was reading blogs last night and saw me smiling and asked what was making me smile. I said I am reading about what all these bloggers are doing in their homes and making my mental list of what I want to do also. It does make you smile. Your post is great. I can hear you smiling!

Just like Martha said...

I am so glad I made you smile, I have a feeling you might make people smile everyday....have a wonderful Christmas Sandi and keep smiling - thanks for the lovely post, Lee x

annemarie said...

You made me smile also - love reading about your adventures! Everytime I read your blog it brings Minnesota smiles to me - you are the first blogger I have come across who is a Minnesotan. Guess I get homesick at times!!

Chookyblue...... said...

OMG you have so much happening in this post.........keep up the smiles.........and enjoy working on the SSCS

Nihal said...

Oh such a lovely great article, Sandi. Definitely agree with you that Love is love til' you give it but ''the smile'' is the beginning of LoVe:)

Nihal said...

Oopps, correction:
Love is not love til' you give it away but ''the smile'' is the beginning of LoVe:)
In other words, Love begins with a smile:)

Red Geranium Cottage said...

Thanks for the mention on your blog. I'm glad I make you smile. That makes me happy. I love the little cottages. I've gotta make me some of those. I love house blocks. And that is a nice easy one.

Jacquelynne said...

Hey Sandi- you always make me smile! I love that recipe idea- I try to keep corn muffin mix in the pantry, and I could use that idea with whatever is in the fridge/freezer/pantry! I bet a Mexican version would be good- ground beef or turkey, salsa, cheddar cheese, and top it with sour cream.... MMMM sounds like tomorrow night's dinner!

"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
©SEA 2001-2011