Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Big Give-A-Way!!

Ok.  I can't believe I'm giving away one of my new favorite books, BUT this morning I am driven to earn more donations for Blood Water Mission!! 

So what, you ask, is my new favorite book??? 
Sunday Morning Quilts
 by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison!
This book shares patterns, techniques, and TONS of inspiration! 
On this gray January morning, I'm happy to say that this book is full of COLOR.  (In the winter, my heart craves color!)

And is there fabric with the book, too?!  (and perhaps a ginsu knife!)
YES--Hooray!! (sorry, no ginsu)
The Super Fantabulous PRIZE Package!!

Included in the Prize Package is the Sunday Morning Quilts book and 3 cuts of fabric (complete with color to brighten your day!)

For those that haven't heard, I'm giving away a quilt to raise money to build a well in Africa.  The quilt has a long story involving my Dad, his failing health, and hand quilting (quite a combo, huh?!)

There are 4 ways to enter this giveaway:

1.  Leave a comment and share your favorite quilting book or fabrics to play with on a gloomy day. (worth 1 entry in giveaway)

2.  Visit the Blood Water Mission website and leave a comment here telling something that you learned. (worth 1 entry in giveaway)

3.  Make a $10 donation (or more!) to Blood Water Mission and also be in the drawing for the Living Water Quilt.  (each $10 donation is worth 2 entries in this giveaway!)

4.  Write about this give-a-way on YOUR blog.  Then leave a comment here with a link over to yours. (worth 1 entry in giveaway)

Sorry that this seems so complicated.  But I guess using a quilt in America to raise donations to build a well filled with clean water in Africa is a little complicated!

This drawing will take place Wednesday, February 6.  Hurry and enter!
Thanks for joining me in the effort.


(fine print--I am an Amazon affiliate, so if you make a purchase on Amazon after clicking on one of the book links above, this blog will earn a wee bit of affiliate income.)

Friday, January 25, 2013

today's name

In my dreams, I am a Braveheart type character wearing a cape (usually quilted, of course!) and standing up to fight the injustices of the world. 

Today, I'm not much of a Braveheart.  Today I am Tenderheart. 
When I am Tenderheart (yes, I've been named this on a number of other days, too), I grieve the sorrows of the world.  I grieve my own sorrows and losses, but also those of others.  I never particularly want to be Tenderheart (I want the cape, remember!), but once I'm in the thick of it, I usually find it an ok place to visit. 

Perhaps God needs for some of us to play the Tenderheart role each day.  Do you wonder what that role might be?  For me, the role includes some quiet time, some tears, lots of prayer, some puttering and cleaning.  Today will most likely include some charity sewing and finishing of Project 40 lap blankets, too. 

Tenderheart or Braveheart....God is good all the time. 

So what is your "name" today? 


And now for a few fun sheepy pictures that I took last fall. 
Two of my sheep were certain that my camera case contained snacks!

"Do you think she's got snacks in here?"
"I bet she keeps them under here!"
"Let's just drag off the whole bag....she'll never miss it!"
"Well fine then.  We didn't want your stupid old bag anyway!"


If you haven't made a donation to help build a well in Africa, PLEASE do it today!! 

May your day be blessed,

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I've had a deep sorrowful feeling brewing in me all day.  The kind where you probably just need a great big, blubbering cry.  I just couldn't pinpoint what was the matter. 

Then I stopped by my sweet local fabric shop.  I was telling the owner about the Living Water Quilt and picking her brain for ideas to increase donations.  I told her that I felt sort of dead about the whole thing and sluffed it off with a "probably just January" mumble.  To which she replied, "Or your Dad."


My heart felt like it would burst open.  She's sooooo lucky that the tears didn't start to flow. 

Even though I've been keeping myself busy with good things, my heart is still sad about my Dad being in a nursing home.  I wish I could care for him here and feel guilty that I can't.  I wish I could make him happy.  I wish we could go back in time to the days when he lived independently. 

Lord, please help me to love my Dad well and be at peace. 

May Dad also be filled with Your peace and love.

If you haven't already done so, please make a donation towards building a well in Africa.  Each $10 that you donate to Blood Water Mission gives you a chance to win this quilt 3 chances for each $25 donation!! 

Please make the donation now.  A village in Africa needs our help. 


Friday, January 18, 2013

chickens and quilts

the victim!

My children have been worrying about one of our hens who has been limping for a few days. 
She has no obvious injury, but today I decided to pay homage to my nursing education and apply a splint! 
custom made splint--only the best for this girl!

"I've GOT to get this thing off!!"

"I'll help you, Sister!"

Can you tell that I love living out here with hubby, kids, and critters?!!  I'm in heaven. 
Life is good.

Now a bit about quilting. 
I've been making more hand pieced stars.  These are soooo fun! 
If you don't know how to hand piece, you NEED to learn from Cindy Blackberg!  She's awesome!

Each block measures a little over 4 inches.  These are my 3 favorites so far.

May your day be incredibly blessed,

Post linked to Slow Sunday Stitching.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bottle Calf Update

Our little New Year's bottle calf has had a rough time getting a foothold in this world. 

At one week of age, her umbilical stump was obviously infected.  She was exhausted and puny.  The vet gave me an arsenal of shots to give her including antibiotics, an anti-inflammatory, and Vit B. She perked right up!  Hooray!

Then about 5 days later, she tanked again.  This time with a respiratory infection.  She became fairly lifeless and I thought she might die.  Our vet (Thank God for vets!) said that she needed a different antibiotic to knock this out. 

The vet explained that cows have bacteria that live in their trachea.  The bacteria never cause a problem until the cow gets stressed and her resistance goes down.  The good news is that this too was promptly eradicated with antibiotics!  (Thank God for antibiotics!)

My sweet dairy cow, Bambi, has not officially adopted the calf, but does allow the calf to nurse just before I milk her. 

The calf doesn't seem offended that Bambi has to be restrained in a steel head gate before she will allow her to nurse!  I believe she is thinking, "Rich, creamy milk...Who cares how you get it!!"

It's no wonder that she loves it so much...Look at that cream line!  Can you see it just below the "Ball" logo on the front jar?!  Yum!  We are rolling in cream and today my daughter and I will be culturing some cream cheese (to have later this week with homemade bagels), making butter, and also making some mozzarella cheese if we have time.  Can you tell that I LOVE having a milk cow?!!

And here is a picture of the Living Water Quilt all folded up and ready to one lucky person! 
All you need to do is make a donation to Blood Water Mission and your name goes in the drawing for this quilt.  (one entry for each $10 donated)  You can learn lots more about it here.

Many blessing to You,

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Project 40 update

Two more finishes for Project 40.  I'm experimenting with different techniques for sewing strips together.  The top blanket is whip stitched.  The bottom was crocheted together.

Let me know if you have any suggestions. 

Thanks to all the strip contributors! 
If you would like to send some strips you can learn more here:
Project 40


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Living Water Quilt Raffle

Ok Friends,
I just set things up to raffle this quilt for Blood Water Missions.
ALL proceeds will go to Blood Water Missions. 
I will pay to ship the quilt to the winner.

My dream is for this quilt to raise enough money to build a well in Africa. 

How can you help?  I'm so glad you asked!
1.  Go here and donate money!  Your name will go in the hat once for each $10 that you donate to this ministry. 
Please send me an email after you donate and I'll add you to the drawing.

2.  Mail a check with your donation. 
Please make check payable to Blood Water Mission.
Then mail to me at:  Pam Stahl, P.O. Box 1875, Mt. Juliet TN 37121.

3.  Help spread the news!! Please share the story of this quilt and send this link to all your friends.

4.  Add Living Water Quilt fundraiser widget to your blog. 
Grab this html:  <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

Many blessings to you,

UPDATE:  You can read LOTS more of the story behind the quilt here!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year's Arrival

Have you heard the saying, "Be careful what you wish for?" 
I should edit that to, "Be careful what you mention to a farmer!"

Early in December (2012) I mentioned to a new farmer friend that we might want to raise a bottle calf this year for beef.  Of course I was speaking way ahead of being ready for said bottle calf and truly had no thought of this happening until MUCH later in 2013.

So guess who calls on December 31?!

This farmer had a cow that had delivered twins and was rejecting the female calf.  He was taking care of the calf that night but REALLY wanted someone else to take her the next day.  He reminded me that she would be sterile due to twin pregnancy with male/female combo.  A little research tells me that the female from this set of twins is sterile 92% of the time.  In other words, she is destined to be a beef cow.

I battled the pro's and con's all night.  I tend to work out dilemmas while I sleep.  When I got up I was certain the correct answer was "no" since we simply weren't ready, not to mention It's WINTER!

Then I went outside for chores.  The sun was bright and glorious.  I could sense God's hope and blessing.

When next I talked with the farmer, I said "yes".  He didn't waste any time bringing her and a bottle over to me.  She wasn't as vigorous as I had hoped when she arrived, but she was ok.  She had just been fed, so we snuggled her into a stall to rest for about an hour.

When I went to feed her, she was chilled and very weak.  She couldn't stand up or drink from the bottle. 

All my medical background and Mommy instincts kicked in. 

I picked her up and took her directly into the house.  We set up our ICU in the laundry room (which just happens to be my sewing nook, too!)  We warmed up hot packs and bundled her in blankets.  I started dripping warm colostrum (saved in the freezer from when our Jersey delivered in September) down her throat with a turkey baster (thanks Dorothy).  She couldn't even struggle.  Sometimes her eyes would roll back and I was sure she was dying.  She had no muscle tone. 

I called my Mom and asked for prayer.  I knew it would be a miracle from God if she survived the night.

This process all started around 4pm.  At 9pm she pulled her legs up under her.  Minutes later she stood up....wobbly, but up.  We put a dog crate in the laundry room and tucked her in with blankets. 

The next morning she was alive!  She even gave a little moo when I went in to feed her.  She took milk from my trusty turkey baster, but couldn't suck from a bottle.

Around 3pm on January 2, she took the last bit of her first quart of colostrum.  It had taken nearly 24 hours to get just one quart in her.  I knew she would get dehydrated if we didn't pick up the pace a bit.  Then another miracle occurred!  She latched onto the nipple of my calf bottle and started sucking.  Next thing I knew, she had drained her 2nd quart of colostrum!!  Praise God!  I broke out in songs of praise.  What a victory! 

This morning (January 3) I took the calf out to meet Bambi, my milk cow.  I had Bambi in the milking stanchion.  First I took the baby up to her head.  Bambi sniffed it and licked its nose, then promptly went back to eating.  I pushed the calf around to her udder and squirted milk on the calf's nose.  It took about 60 seconds for her to figure out the logistics and latch on! 

I don't know if Bambi will adopt and mother the calf, but even if she will just let the calf nurse at milking time it will be a BIG help.  I'm very hopeful for this little one, but I keep reminding myself and my children that she has an uphill battle for a while longer.  God-willing, the calf will grow in strength and health each day.

May your 2013 be filled wonder and many blessings from God.


Post linked to:
Simple Lives Thursday
Homestead Blog Hop