all the things I do in my hideaway

Archive for November, 2012

Musical alarm clock today…



I awoke early this Thanksgiving morning with the tune and words of a hymn running through my mind.  “For the beauty of the earth…” seemed to wind through those early moments of consciousness.  As I listened to the celestial choir in my mind, examples wove their way into my thanks.  The verses continued, and I felt the need to share with you this morning.  May your day be one of gratitude and rejoicing, filled with love from friends on earth and friends above.

For the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the skies.

For the love which from our birth, over and around us lies.

For the beauty of each hour, of the day (the incredibly bright rainbows I’ve seen this fall) and of the night

Hill (Mt. Olympus) and vale (Norris Geyser Basin) and tree and flow’r.  Sun and moon, and stars of night (the Milky Way from a secluded camp)..

For the joy of human love, brother Steve and Brent), sister (Kathy, Carol, Marilyn, Maurine), parent (Mom and Dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins), child (Suzanne, who added Glen, then Aidan and Ryan; Jenn, who brought Matthew; Deborah;  Robert, who added Katherine;  Ben;  Bekah; and Rachel).

Friends on earth (Marilyn, Nancy, Annette, Louanna, Carrol, Linda, Megan, Julie, Ethel, the list continues),  and friends above (Linda, Rene, Debbie,…) .  For all gentle thoughts and mild.

For the truths from teachers wise (too many to name) , for the words from fertile minds  (all the writers I’ve learned to love and read).

For the heroes I daily find, walking through the sands of time (Jesus, Enoch, Captain Moroni, Joseph Smith, Jean Valjean, Sidney Carton, Aslan,…).

For the gift of earthly life.  Body, spirit, heart, and mind.

Heart to love and hands to serve.  God’s good work to do on earth.

For the daily simple deeds, waking, sleeping, working, play.

Daily learning how to lead, how to follow the Master’s steps.

For the gift of ears to hear, voices speaking from the dust.

Leading to eternal life, teaching patience, truth, and love.

For the daily simple deeds, waking, sleeping, working, play.

Daily learning how to lead, how to follow the Master’s steps.

Lord of all to thee I raise, this my hymn of grateful praise.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights…”  James 1:17


Teachers – Life Changers

Teachers – Life Changers

Yesterday, I met a woman, Melanie, for just a few minutes, at a medical appointment.  We chatted briefly as she drew my blood.  She asked where I worked.  I explained that I work at the middle school, just up the hill.   “Are you a teacher?” she asked.

“I will never forget one of my teachers,” she said.  Her face lit up as she told me the story of her fourth grade teacher.  Her family had moved from Texas to California in the spring that year, and she was woefully behind her classmates.  Her teacher explained that she needed to catch up, and said, “If you will come to my home for four hours each day this summer, I will get you caught up.”  No pay, and many years ago when the world seemed much safer.  (We are both “grandma” age.)  She went, each day. “That teacher,” she said, “changed my life.”

Teachers… If I tried to list all the teachers who have influenced me, the list would be too long to share.  Not all of those teachers stood in front of a class, either.  But there are some who directed and, in one case, changed the course of my life.

First, and foremost, my parents.  Education was important to their parents, and it is still important to Mom and Dad.  I don’t remember my first trip to the library, I was too young.  My parents taught me to love books by reading to me and by their example of loving to read.  (My children can say the same thing.) Birthdays and Christmas always included a book.  And no excuses – I was expected to do well in school. Of course, there are the grandparents, aunts, and uncles who encouraged and taught me much that wasn’t included in “academics,” but in “life skills.”  Today, when many have passed to the “next room” of life, some, including an aunt in her nineties, continue to teach me.  In fact, my dear Aunt Ethel is a talented writer, and uses modern technology herself!  She may live 850 miles away, but she is just “one click” away.  Thank you….

Next to my parents, and always part of their lives, is my Savior, Jesus Christ.  His word, preserved in holy writ, the example of His life, and the works of those who serve Him, have become an integral part of my life, regardless where they choose to worship. All I am and have is a gift from the Master Teacher.

My teachers, as I grew, came in two varieties – my church teachers and my school teachers.

My “church” teacher, when I was a Laurel in church (16 – 18 year old girls) was Anne Pinnock. I was first her neighborhood “for hire” babysitter, and I spent many hours with her children.  Then she became my teacher.  I will never forget her, for she taught both by word and by action.  She practiced what she preached.  It is her actions that remain with me, not the words she spoke.  She cared about me, as an individual.  Oh, there were many others, men and women, but Anne…her name is first in my memory.

My school teachers were many, and most were good teachers.  But there is one, oh, what a life-changer he was for me.  I approached seventh grade and junior high with great excitement.  Then my class schedule arrived in the mail, and the joy became tears.  Science was my least favorite subject.  (I didn’t dare say I “hated” it.  After all, Dad is a scientist. But really, I hated it in sixth grade.)  My first period class read:  Science, Mr. Holmes.  It didn’t matter what I said, begging and pleading with my mom to “get my schedule changed so my home room isn’t science.”  I walked into Mr. Holmes’ room that morning, many years ago, butterflies in my stomach and knees knocking.  I took a seat in the back of the room. (If I hid back there, maybe he wouldn’t notice me.)  I don’t remember a word he said.   But I will never forget walking out of his room that day.  I was excited about science, I looked forward to the next day, and the day after that.  In eighth grade, I took a front seat the first day in science.  In ninth grade, I took science as an elective.  High school found me taking science every year, including a bacteriology class being offered for the first time.  College days, and I majored in microbiology.  Years passed, with experience in the science of motherhood as well as microbiology.  Other employment in the school district allowed me to work and be home with my children.  That job, however, led me to an opportunity to get my teaching certificate.  Fearing I was “too old” to be considered, I applied nevertheless.  I was accepted and asked where I wanted to intern.  “Sixth grade,” I told an incredulous administrator.  “Really?  Why do you want that age instead of high school?”  The answer was easy.   “Because I owe it to a teacher who never knew what he did for me.”  Then I told the story I just told you.  Ten years later, I still owe Mr. Holmes.  I keep trying to “pay it back.”  And someday, I hope to meet him in another place and tell him, “Thank you.  You changed my life.”

Who was the teacher you will never forget?

Turning scraps into….purses

Several months ago, I wanted a new purse AND I wanted to make that purse.  I spent some time searching for patterns online, and finally found one that was close to what I wanted.  I modified the pattern, and created exactly what I wanted.  I have received many compliments on my purse, and requests for the pattern.  So, I have finally written the directions.    Here are pictures of my  purse, as well as directions for making one.  Good luck, happy sewing.  Hope this will work for you.


Finished purse, with button detail

Finished purse

Directions for purse