Thanksgiving Wishes

“…I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow citizens wherever they may then be as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to Almighty God the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe.  And I do farther recommend to my fellow citizens aforesaid that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of events for a turn of the inestimable blessings of Peace, Union and Harmony throughout the land, which it has pleased him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.”

–Thanksgiving proclamation, October 20, 1864

From my house to yours, may you have a restful and joyful Thanksgiving Day!

Molly

from The Wit And Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln:  A Book of Quotations, edited by Bob Blaisdell

The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln Volume 8, Roy P. Basler, editor.  The Abraham Lincoln Association, Springfield, Illinois, and New Brunswick, New Jersey:  Rutgers University Press. 1953-1955.

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Acknowledging The Good

Father Bernard Kenvi helps a Muslim child climb down from an open truck in Bossemptele

Father Bernard Kenvi helps a Muslim child climb down from an open truck in the town of Bossemptele, west of Central African Republic March 8, 2014, as a group of mostly women and children flee sectarian violence in a safer container truck in a convoy escorted by African Union (AU) peacekeepers. Photograph: Siegfried Modola/Reuters. The Guardian.

As Thanksgiving arrives tomorrow, I think it is important to acknowledge the good in the world. Father Bernard Kenvi (Kinvi) is a Catholic Priest in the country of Central African Republic (CAR) who has been providing safety to Muslim people in his church and missionary area.  I first read about Father Bernard Kenvi last Spring. Whether you have a faith tradition or not, it is good to know there are people in the world who rise above tragic situations to do whatever they can to protect those who are most vulnerable. Read along with me about the good Father Kenvi has done.

Sam Jones from The Guardian writes:

 “In a predominantly Christian country terrorized by Muslim rebels as recently as January, Father Bernard Kinvi took his life in his hands when he resolved to protect Muslims threatened by sectarian violence. But the priest, who has won a Human Rights Watch award for his work, believes the conflict in CAR is misunderstood – and says his mission is far from over.

The Seleka terrorised the country’s majority Christian population, killing men, women and children until they were forced from power in January. Their fall was swiftly followed by the rise of the predominantly Christian anti-balaka (anti-machete) militia, whose campaign of vengeance has resulted in the murder of thousands of Muslims and forced hundreds of thousands to seek refuge in neighbouring countries.

When the Seleka fled Bossemptele in January – taking Kinvi’s precious car with them – the anti-balaka swept into the north-western town, slaughtering 80 Muslims.

Kinvi responded to the threat by opening the doors of the mission to terrified Muslims and looking for those hiding in the bush.

Despite daily threats from the anti-balaka, who could not understand why a Catholic was defending Muslims, he continued sheltering them in the mission’s church, hospital and school.

“It wasn’t a decision; it was just something that happened,” he says. “As a priest, I cannot support the killing of a man. We’re all human: religion doesn’t come into it. If anti-balaka come in wounded, I treat them. I don’t care who you are or what you do with your life or what your religion is, you are a human being and I will treat you.”

At one point, 1,500 Muslims were living under the protection of a man whose only sources of power were his faith and the black cassock with a large red cross on the chest that he wears as a member of the Camillian order.

When he went out in search of bodies to bury, the anti-balaka would taunt him: “We have our jobs, father, and you have yours: we kill them and you bury them.”

From mid-January to April, Kinvi barely slept, terrified that if he closed his eyes the militia would fulfill their threats to murder all the Muslims in the mission.”

Jones goes on to share the change that came to Kenvi from his work in a war torn area:

“When I became a priest, I undertook to serve the sick even if it meant putting my life in danger,” he says. “I said that but I didn’t really know what it meant. But when the war came, I understood what it means to risk your life. Being a priest is about more than giving blessings; it’s about standing with those who have lost everything.”

Alison Lesley for World Religion News says:

“Father Bernard Kinvi gives a glimpse into the world that not many give us anymore. He strove to save lives, and do what was right by his own morals and values. He valued human life before he cared what anyone’s religion was.”

Jones concludes The Guardian Article with these thoughts:

“Kinvi’s efforts to protect the Muslims of Bossemptele have been recognised by the international NGO Human Rights Watch, which recently bestowed on him its Alison Des Forges award, which honours “people of valour who have put their lives on the line to create a world free from abuse, discrimination and oppression”.

But even Kinvi, an optimist whose near-constant smile is undimmed by the depravity he has witnessed, knows that CAR is far from free of that triple scourge.

For now, more than 400,000 of the country’s Muslims remain refugees outside its borders while almost 175,000 are displaced within them.

“I thirst for peace in CAR,” he says. “I want to see people able to move around safely like in any other country. I want to see my Muslim brothers, who have lost everything, return to their homes. It’s their country and they need to be back home.”

Today, I give thanks for people like Father Bernard. People who have the courage to stand in the gap between violence and safety, life and death. People who stand with others through difficult and painful times in life. People who stand with those who have lost everything. People who make all the difference in the world.

More on Father Bernard can be found at the following websites:

Sam Jones The Guardian

Human Rights Watch.org

Alison Lesley World Religion News

Sights Around Marion County

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 I want to show you a few sights around my home area.

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The Wheatland Ferry runs on electricity and holds up to nine cars per trip across the Willamette River.

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 Platforms for Osprey nests have been built at the top of large poles on farms and telephone poles around the area.

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A Field of Berries in the fall.

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Oregon State Parks

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This is not snow. This is a filbert orchard that has just been dusted with the mineral lime to neutralize the acid in the soil.

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It’s duck and geese hunting season. The Goose Check spot identifies the particular species of bird has been killed. I found this sign to be unique to our area.

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I like that Oregon Agriculture identifies what is growing in the field behind it. Many crops thrive in the Willamette Valley from nursery plants, various fruits and berries, vegetables, hay, hops, grass seed, peonies, tulips, iris flowers, and many more crops! There are also several wineries that grow several varieties of grapes and have produced award winning wines!

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Hope your Thanksgiving week is going well!

Wishing you the very best!

Molly

Winter Star Quilt

Over the years, I have met many people who do not like to decorate their homes in red and green for the Christmas holidays.  With these people in mind, I’ve taken the Christmas Star Quilt pattern and turned it into a Winter Star Quilt.

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This has been a fun project to work on. I enjoyed laying out the pieces and working with the different color combinations.

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This is what the quilt looks like sewn together and put in a quilt frame.

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Cheddar wanted to check out the new project.

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This hand quilted Winter Star Wall hanging Quilt will be ready by December 18. It measures 24.5′ x 24.5.’ It is for sale for by clicking the STORE button found at the top of this post. If you are interested in purchasing this wall hanging, contact me at marionberryquilts@gmail.com.

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Nesting

What is Nesting?

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Nesting can be a word to describe someone who makes their living space a home, not just a house to live in with others. Someone who is a nest-er has a need for their living space to feel like a home by adding creature comfort features like comfortable beds, pictures on the wall, pictures of loved ones on the refrigerator, and creating a welcoming space.

Nesting can also be a phase a woman experiences in the last trimester of her pregnancy. This is when a woman has a flurry of energy and begins preparing the house for her baby to come home. For example, an expectant mom will want the crib is set up then moved around several times to find just the right placement in the room. With this sudden burst of energy, even the most unorganized mom suddenly becomes focused. She becomes attentive about her shopping, fussy about organizing her home, and intense when organizing her time in preparation for her baby coming.  But when it comes to quilting, nesting means something totally different.

Have you ever wondered how to get your seams on a sewing project to come out perfectly matched?  Nesting is a simple way to match the seams together of two fabrics, so there is a match in the seam line. I learned this tip from a woman named Ginger at a Hancock Fabric Store block of the month class.

This is what Ginger showed me how to do, and it works perfectly!  I begin by ironing the seam of each row in opposite directions.

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With the rights sides of the fabric together, I keep working with the fabric until the seams match together.

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I put a pin in place horizontally to hold the placement.

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It’s good to check the seams to see if they line up correctly.

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When I have the seams the way I like them, I pin the seams in place. Before sewing, I remove the horizontal pin.

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When quilting, I do not press the seams open. I iron the seams towards the darker color. Especially when I’m hand quilting, pressing the seams towards the darker color is important so I’m not quilting through three layers of fabric plus the batting.

That is how to nest your fabric to get perfect seams!

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Fabric From Japan

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This fabric was bought by a relative on a trip to Japan.

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This  42.5″ x 42.5″ piece of fabric will be the backing of a quilt I’m making for a family member.

Now that I have the backing, I am making the quilt top. I’m sewing a block pattern with five primary colors of fabric. To make the blocks quickly, I cut out 4 1/2 inch strips of each of the colors. The strips looked like this:

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I sewed the strips together. After I evened the fabric across the top, then I cut a 4 1/2 inch strip.  The blocks are now 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ and look like this:

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I made two different shades to break up the solids. P1050545

And began sewing the rows together.

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Putting the pieces on my felt board, a pattern emerged that looked like this:

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 I plan to sew the rows together and put the top in the quilt frame very soon. I’ll keep you updated.

Hope you’re doing well!

Dating Tips For Teens Part III

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This is the final entry on dating tips for teens. These tips were shared over several years to high school students at a private school. They were primarily used as attention-getters and were collected by my students.

23. The coolest trait about someone can also be the most frustrating.  For example, is someone is great at cooking, but not very good about cleaning up after themselves; it can become very frustrating.

24. A slug is a slug. They won’t change and you can’t make them change!  The way people are when you find them is usually the way they really are. Maya Angelo said, “Believe people when they tell you who they are the first time. They know themselves better than you do.”

25. Dating someone hot is cool, but will they be a good parent?  Will they be nice to your (future) kids’ friends?

26.  Loving someone is to give them space.  Don’t put them on a leash. Let them have freedom.

27. If they are high maintenance, cut them loose.

28. If you cut them loose, there is no need to worry about them, because they will find someone else to annoy.

29. Do they get back to you? How someone your care about gives you feedback or gets back to you is important.

30. If you are breaking up with someone, be honest about it.

31. We tend to marry someone like our mother or father, or just the opposite.

32. If you date someone from your home town or around the area you grew up, you are likely to stay in that area. If you date someone from out of town, from another state, or another country, there is a very good chance you will move away from your home town.

33. It is good to go over expectations when you’re dating. Do you want children? Is so, how many?  Will you go to your children’s soccer games together or not?  It’s good to talk out your hopes are and what you want to do together and not do together.

34. To the men in my classes, I would say, “Women are not objects. They are people.”  To the women in my classes, I would say, “If you don’t want to be treated like an object watch how you carry yourself.  It’s up to you to let a guy know what your gifts, talents, and dreams are…and whether you want to listen to country music or not. Speak up for yourself.”

35. Live your life as if you were already in love. I believe good things come to people who are reflecting what they are looking for already, because they have a positive, open, and hopeful attitude towards the future.

A resource suggested to me by one of my students for tips in talking with young people and relationships is the following book:

Guys Are Waffles, Girls Are Spaghetti by Chad Eastham and Bill and Pam Farrel