Welcome Home

My most recent posts have been about change. We have discussed physical change, dreaming and making a home. I have encouraged you to day dream and this is wear we come together to share. I have asked you to think about and to make notes about your favorite flower, color and places you have loving memories of. Now it is up to you to add these life touches to your surroundings. If you choose a neutral background for a wall color, you can add touches of the colors you love in places live pillows. Your favorite flowers can be replicated in silk at a reasonable cost. The places you have fond memories of can also be added. If it is the beach, gather some shells in a pretty bowl or basket. If you love the woods, have fun with pine cones, acorns, or a few feathers you may have found. There are laws that forbid us keeping feathers from owls, raptors etc. But we are allowed others. Black and white photos can be stunning. The thought hear is to create a grouping. You might decide to make this your focal point. A focal point is like a movie screen. It shows what is most important to you. In our home, the focal point is the shelf Patrick made. It holds heirlooms and is a place to display a quilt. If you love the city, have fun looking for items like a little statue of the the empire state building. Black and white photos of city scapes can be added. Just like ingredients come together to make a delicious dish these express your taste. Have fun looking in a thrift shop, flea market and dollar store. All living things evolve. A home is also a life story telling of memories, interests and what is important to you. In our home, music is important so instruments are a part of our home. Patrick has a framed copy of sheet music. It is a song his grandfather sang often. If you have decluttered then you will have a place for expressing yourself. Joy! You do not have to physically change your address. What I am encouraging you is to express yourself and the person you are. I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed this time together. God bless the special place you make for yourself and others called home. Trudy

Begining Anew – Making a Home

You have found a new place and you are ready to make it a home. What do you do first? First you pray. Next, you clean and paint. When we came to Crisfield, a pastor came to call and welcome us. We asked him to bless our new home. It was a great way to begin our life here. If you have been dreaming as I did, you have in your mind lots of ideas for colors. I would encourage you to create a foundation with paint in a soft neutral color. Think of a quilt. Even a scrap quilt needs one constant color like bleached or unbleached muslin to tie it all together. This wall paint color will be the foundation for all the colors you love. It is very important to know that all paint colors are different in different light. I once had a beautiful soft grey that I used on one wall. Depending on the time of day the wall color had hints of lavender. It was really pretty. White paint can have tones of yellow, tan, green etc. My solution was to find an item in the color I loved and bring it with me to the paint store. In our living room the focal point is a shelf with a quilt and pieces of Wedgwood. This blue I wanted to continue in the kitchen so I took a piece of the china with me to the paint store and the color was perfect with white trim. Joy! Blue and white has always been a favorite of mine. I love to decorate my home for each season. When I made my curtains I used white sheets so I could change the tie-backs. Picture the curtains pulled back with burlap for fall, a red check for winter and a blue gingham for spring and summer. I followed up the tie-backs by also changing the pillow tops on my sofa, the quilt I display and my old post-cards. Changing them out using the same frame. As with the paint, the light in the room changes with the time of day. Please wait to hang items on the wall until after all else is in place. I will admit I learned this the hard way. Plaster walls crumble! If you are renting you definitely want to make as few nail holes as possible. Mistakes can be fixed with putty for wall board but you will need to have saved some of the paint. I learned that there is a paint for covering water spots on the ceiling. Joy! There is also a paint made just for bathrooms with high moisture. Yea! While you are in transition, please do not make purchases. Make a pretty wreath to welcome folks, sew items like curtains, table cloths, napkins, pot holders etc. If you are lucky enough to have a handwritten recipe from someone you love google www.blesserhouse.com for ideas. Things like that really say HOME. Once the things you love are in place you might discover that something you now have can be used in a different way. We have a dry sink that has served as a pantry, an entrance piece and now serves in the living room. Live with things and then have fun looking for a need. God bless you, Trudy

Welcome

Beginning Anew – preparing for leave taking

As you begin thinking about where you might be going it is important to clean and organize where you are now. This is the time to close this chapter of your life.  You have a lot of decisions to make.  It is also time to clean where you are living now and to decide what you want to bring with you.  Packing for a move is the perfect time to make room for the new that lies ahead. Begin with the area you sleep in now. That way you will have a clean organized place to rest! There are lots of resources available on line and books to help you with this organization.  This is a great time to create a pretty memory box. You will be going through items and finding treasures. If you have children, you could encourage them to choose a few special items for their memory box.  This is a wonderful way to teach them about taking care of treasures and how to let go of items that they have outgrown.  Make a special box of toys or clothes they have outgrown and take items to a charity shop together. It is in the doing that the lesson is taught.  The words need actions to take them to heart. 

At one time in our married life we had been moved out of state by the company my hubby worked for.  A health issue caused us to have to move back to Pennsylvania.  This situation forced hard choices to be made.  What helped me was to find a home for some things with the friends I had made in the area.  One neighbor was happy to receive a sled and a child’s table and chairs. Another took an old oak dresser and to my delight she removed the legs, added castors and put on a butcher block top.  This she used in her kitchen.  Seeing others happy made my transition much easier.

When doing my spring or fall cleaning, I would always keep a charity bag near where I was working.  This has always helped me to keep control on clutter.  I make my own gifts by baking or sewing.  I have grouped baking items in a specific spot and all my sewing supplies in another.  If someone shares fabric, I wash it immediately and add it to the bookcase I keep fabric in.  If someone shares something I cannot use it goes into the charity box.  If I know of someone who can use it I also share but do so without pressure. It is vital that when something enters the house it be useful and has a place.

Move through out where you are and keep only what you truly love, that you use regularly, is needed for daily life or is a treasured heirloom. Things are meant to be used, keeping something because you feel guilt is not something to move forward with.  Try to find someone who would love it or donate it to charity. It will bring value and joy to another’s life.

I hope you have been following my encouragement for planning for your new home. I will share my dream list with you:

1. Sunlight
2. Porch or somewhere to sit with flowers
3. A Home Church
4. An eat-in kitchen
5. A spot where I could sew and not have to take down my sewing machine

Vital – Affordability — A place where we would be comfortable and be able to live within our means.

I would say that the kitchen was the most important room to me. We love to have folks around our table. This home allowed us to create a country kitchen by using the original dining room. We did this by purchasing only lower cabinets and a free-standing pantry. I had a china cabinet for my dishes. With faith we moved. With the help of Patrick, family and friends we made a home.  God has truly blessed us and we have been here going on 30 years. Your list will be different.  This was my dream.  Know yourself and learn what is important for you to live and find the mission God has planned for you. I will be praying for you.

Blessings, Trudy

Welcome Spring

Happy First Day of Spring! Sunday I took miniature daffodils to church and I came home with a bunch of the taller ones. I enjoy putting flowers from our home on the alter. I then give them to someone after service. This time I received flowers. I have had fun as I continue to freshen our home. Mr. Pat took me to the thrift shop and to Michael’s on Saturday. I got three things at each place and was delighted to spend only the amount I had planned on. At the thrift shop I bought a small plate. You know I love dishes with roses, a little tin and a book on machine quilting. At Michael’s I got a tiny bird’s nest, tiny little eggs and a tiny little birds. I couldn’t wait till I got home. Remember the little branches I used for my Loving Tree? I used them again, this time in a blue bottle. Little silk blossoms had been hot glued on. I added the nest, eggs and two little blue birds. Joy! I had put aside earlier a piece of blue denim fabric. I used this for my table cloth.

A friend from church had given me some had stitched treasures. One was the round table topper you see on the table in this video. Another was a runner with baskets of blue flowers stitched at each end and a edge of blue
crochet. I placed this on top of the denim cloth and covered both with a clear plastic table cloth. I used some blue bottles for flowers. I filled a little wagon with carrots and added a rabbit and two china ducks. A sprinkle of blue silk flower petals completed my table. Joy! I looked among my rose dishes and found three tiny tea cups. I will fill this with jelly beans and set one at each place. I think I will tie a ribbon on the handle. The little tin I purchased is just the right size to hold all my sewing machine accessories. The little plate was a special surprise. I placed it in the center of the kitchen window and wow – it has cut work on the rim and when placed in the light it sparkles, truly! I place the book on machine quilting in my sewing nook. Both my menfolk checked at our local shelter today. We miss our little dog and we hope to find a rescue that we can spoil.

Blessings and Hugs, Miss Trudy

Thinking about Love

Today I will share some ideas for showing your love and remind you how very much God loves You! Truly!

“Lift up your face to God.” Job 22:26 Now Job had a quite a face to lift up to
God. It was red, festered, teary, grieving. He had seen sorrow and he got the tee shirt of misery. Yep! His friends were commiserating about his woes. Almighty God heard their moaning and he stepped in to ask Job a question and it was a doozy! Ready, Where were you when I made the world? Kind of puts things in perspective doesn’t it? Wow! I have been sharing how much I enjoy my writing books. The last two scripture quotations are written near the photo of me and my dad.
It was our last dance together. “Because you are precious in my eyes and honored and I love you.” Isaiah 43: 4. I prayed for my dad. I knew he was in God’s hands and I knew he was going where there would be no more sickness and his bride was waiting with God to welcome him. “Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 I hope these thoughts warm your heart this cold January day.

I have also begun to create my valentines and some pretties for Valentines Day. Patrick took close up photos so you could see what I have been doing.
You know I enjoy crafting with old greeting cards, well I cut out a heart
pattern using the back of a card. Then placing the pattern on the front
I cut out hearts. I made a dozen different cards with glue, paper scissors and the fronts and backs of old cards. Joy!
I also made hearts using cross stitch, another was made with buttons and felt and the last was a hand stitched into a crazy patch heart. I started with scraps of fabric and placed the first piece in the center. I continued to add scraps until the piece was the size I wanted. Do not cut this pieced piece of cloth. Make a pattern a heart and use it to draw on top of the pieced fabric. Now embellish with embroidery, lace and buttons. Mine even has a blue bird pin. Now you cut out the heart shape and cut another piece of fabric using the heart for a pattern. I blanket stitched the two heart pieces wrong sides together. You can then and finished by sewing a pin or a ribbon on the back.
Lastly, I am using a grape vine wreath to create a special anniversary piece
which I will hang on the front door. I promise to take a picture when it is
done.
Oh, here is the web site information for 58,000 e books I was talking about.
https://en.wikpedia.org/wiki/projectgutenberg.org Enjoy!
Blessings and warm hearts,
Trudy

Piecing Thoughts and Dreams


The colors – blues, rusts, and lavenders radiate from the center of the quilt outwards. The play of lights and dark’s remind me of the sunlight and shadows that dappled the old porch floor where the quilt design emerged
from a jumble of fabric triangles.

This quilt would not exist if years ago someone hadn’t taken the time to share. They took the time to give me their knowledge and enthusiasm. I was taught how to sew. I learned to express my deepest feeling with needle and thread. I have sewn grief, prayers, love and joy to create a heart gift that speaks for me of my deepest feelings.


Kindness given long ago surrounds me now with color and warmth in the
form of a quilt. Think of this blog as a collection of cotton fabric scraps given to you. You spill the contents out and begin to sort the scraps that appeal to you. Colors of life experiences, interests, beliefs and gratitude are
spilled out in front of you.


At the center of all these is the dominate color of me. love. I am a daughter of God and of Albert Groff. I am a wife of 50 years and a mom. I am comfortable with this time in my life. I have peace, time, joy and great love. As you read the scraps of thoughts that I write to you, discover the ones that add beauty and richness to the quilt fabric of your life. It is my prayer that you will use these to express your true self. Use whatever medium stirs your soul. Create and grow. Discover what enriches your faith. Share
the blessing that is you with others.

Joy!
Trudy

When a woman’s about twenty,
With a baby about two,
She begins to wonder what the years will do.
Baking a cake for a community affair
She pictures herself with silver hair.

Carrying her efforts to a church nearby
A huge truck salutes with an air horn’s blare
Which confection he is complementing
She just couldn’t care.

Acknowledgement is made with a lady like wave,
But the thrill of impropriety is saved,
Put by against what the years will do.

Trudy Groff Costello

The First Year of Life 6 to 9 Months

There is a lot of learning going on. Baby continues to grow and gain weight. His feeding/wake schedule may change because he has hit a growth spurt and he is hungry. Ask your medical provider when to begin to introduce solid foods. It is also during this time baby begins to teethe. This could affect his appetite and his sleep routine. Most babies this age are starting to crawl, You might be surprised at how be maneuvers himself about.

Safety – If you have not yet taken a floor level search of your home – now is the time! Do you have safety plugs in unused outlets? Tie up blind cords.
Where do you keep cleaning supplies? Can they be moved to an upper cabinet? Cabinet locks and “bumper pads” for sharp corners on your list? What about stairs? Need a safety gate? Emergency information on your
phone is great, but what if something happens and you do not have the
phone or are unable to use it? Please create an emergency information sheet. List on this sheet emergency contact numbers, medical provider contact, any medications baby is taking, Dad’s work number and maybe even the number of a neighbor who would help in an emergency. Keep this in a protective plastic sheet on the fridge.

Teething – Babies may begin to teethe between 4 to 7 months, some later.
Teething may be painful, but it doesn’t usually make baby sick. Contact
your healthcare provider if baby has diarrhea, vomiting, rashes on the body, a high fever, or cough and congestion. These are not normal signs of teething. www.webmd.com
* Researching on teething information I learned that the liquid filled teethers, and teething necklaces should not be used. Numbing gel products,
containing benzocaine like “orajel” should not be used on children under two years of age. Learn more at www.mouthhealth.org a web sight of the American Dental Association.

Baby is learning ways to get from one place to another. He is curious and eager to explore. He may crawl, scoot and pull to a stand. He will look for a toy that is hidden. He can drop things intentionally to see what happens. He is also watching your response to this activity. *Remember this activity is developmentally appropriate for this time period.

Stranger Anxiety – Your baby now understands the difference between you and a stranger. You can help baby get comfortable. Baby will watch you for cues, show how him that you like and trust the new person.

Separation Anxiety – Your baby will likely cry when you leave to persuade you to stay. I encourage you not to sneek away. Tell baby good=bye and that you will be back to get him, then leave. If you are concerned you can always call the caregiver to check on baby. I encouraged parents to have a picture of themselves and tape it to a spot baby can see.

Stress – It is important to understand that babies are tuned in to our feelings. They know when we are happy or upset. Even if baby is asleep
angry voices and conflict can raise stress levels of babies as young as 6 months.

God Bless you and this young life you are caring for.

Trudy

Long Ago letter

Dearest child, 3/1995
This letter is written so that you may know that I love you.
Feel the warmth of my love as you read my words. Know that
there is a God! He made you and me and He loves us dearly.
God is. He is in, about, around, beside and inside. All of nature,
the vastness, the depth, the beauty and wonder are His creations.
Seek the path through the wood, watch the sunlight on the water,
see the flick of bright wing, hear the call of an owl and thank Him
with all your heart.
When you are hurt, confused, leave the trappings of man and
seek a quiet spot to sit and share with Him. He’ll be waiting for you.
Remember not to lose yourself in things. Share what you have
been given. If you put God first in your life, then, I truly believe
you will be blessed. Do the best you can. Hurt no animal or beast if
you can help it. The only thing we own, truly is what we share: our-
selves, our love of God, man and nature.

Praise, blessings and much love,
Mom (Trudy)

The First Year of Life – 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 Months

From helpless newborn to active toddler takes only twelve short months.
It is important to remember that each baby in an individual and their progress in reaching milestones of development is unique to the individual child.

Tummy Time – When baby is alert and ready for play introduce this activity. It can be done on the floor with baby on his tummy. If baby does not enjoy this activity you can try placing him on your chest. A few minutes at a time doing this activity with you will help build baby’s neck muscles.

By 3 ½ months: Baby will turn his head to locate a sound. He will respond when he hears his name. You’re getting a little closer to a solid sleep routine. Rest when baby does and know that waking several times at night to feed is completely normal. After four months of age babies will likely sleep 12 to 15 hours a day including naps.

Baby development four to 51/2 months:
Baby is learning to reach out and manipulate. They are discovering their hands and their voice. Baby will reach out to grasp, swat and manipulate
objects. They will babble and laugh. The game of “Peek-A-Boo” is a great way to help baby learn that things exist even when we don’t see them. Baby is also learning to sit up.

Safety:
Baby is learning to roll over. Have a play mat on the floor or place baby where he will be safe if he rolls over. Baby is using his hands and mouth to explore things. It is vitally important to keep small items that might be a choking hazard away from baby. If an item fits through the cardboard toilet paper tube it is too small for baby to play with.

Ear infections:
www.nidcd.nihgiv/health/ear-infections-children
National Institute on Deafness and Communicative Disorders
If you suspect your child may have an ear infection, please contact
your medical provider immediately. The peak time for ear infections is 6 to 18 months. An ear infection is an inflammation of the middle ear, usually caused by bacteria, that occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum. Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections. The eustachian tubes are smaller and more level in children than adults. This makes it more difficult for fluid to drain out of the ear, even under normal conditions. Also, a child’s immune system isn’t as effective as an adult’s because it is still developing.
Currently the best way to prevent ear infections is to reduce the risk factors associated with them. Follow your medical provider schedule for immunizations. Studies have shown that vaccinated children get far fewer ear infections. Avoid exposing your baby to cigarette smoke. Babies who are around smokers have more ear infections. Do not let your baby drink from a bottle while lying down as this may allow small amounts of formula to enter the eustachian tube and cause blockage.
www.webmd.com

God bless,
Trudy

The First Year of Life – Newborn to three months

Mom – Yes that is you. Please remember that you are experiencing physical and emotional changes. You are now a 24/7 caregiver. It will take time for your hormone levels to return to normal. You might feel blue. It is vitally important to you and your baby’s wellbeing to be aware of how you are
feeling and talk to your medical provider about postpardum depresson.

You and your newborn will be on a six week learning curve. A newborn’s
tummy is really small so baby will need feeding frequently and you will be exhausted from lack of sleep.


Crying – Birth to 3 months
Crying is baby’s way to communicate hunger, discomfort, distress or a need for your attention. Babies under 6 months cannot be spoiled. They do not understand that you are another person. Responding to baby’s cries reasurres baby his needs will be met. Soon you will be able to read your baby’s cries and cues. Newborn’s reach a crying peak at about 6 weeks and then their crying starts to decrease. By 3 months babies typically cry for about 1 hour a day.
Colic – Colic is defined as crying that begins and ends for no reason lasting at least 3 hours a day, happens at least 3 days a week and continues for 3 weeks to 3 months. Please discuss crying with your medical provider if you suppect colic.

Relationships – So much is changing and it is important to find time for being with your hubby. This is a big change for him too. Encourage him
to get to know baby. Baby knows the sound of his voice and he will soon
recognize his scent too. Try to carve out time to be together.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMTION: Baby’s need you to support their neck.
It is also important to place the baby on his back to sleep. Never shake baby.

Breastfeeding – This is your decision. Please talk to a lactation specialist and
your medical provider. If you can give your baby the colostrum that comes
before the milk that would be a special gift for the both of you.

2 months – Read baby’s cues. Moving head toward breast or bottle – I’m
hungry. Eyes bright, awake and alert – Time for play. If baby turns his head away, cries, or arches his back – I’ve had enough. Baby recognizes faces, voices and smells.

3 months – Baby is learning to trust. He relies on you for comfort. This helps baby learn to comfort himself. Baby babbles and opens his hands.

God Bless, Trudy

Resources:
www.zerotothree.org
www.parents.com
www.webmd.com