Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Paradoxical COmmandments

The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway. Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway. © Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001 Please visit Dr. Kent M. Keith at www.paradoxicalcommandments.com

Here is my handle, here is my spout!

Nothing special, just a little blue tea pot. But all I have to do is see it and I am reminded of the hot summer day that I bought close to 20 years ago. My mom had come to visit...never mind...it's just a little blue tea pot. I keep it up in a special place way up high in the very back of the cabinet behind mugs that no one ever reaches for. When the children are grown and the puppy is an old lazy dog, it will come out of it's hiding place from way up in the back of the cabinet where it waits for me.

But while I am waiting for that day to come, there is a whole lot of swapping going on. This week, Rhonda over at Down to Earth has announced her newest swap. Each person will make a tea cozy and send it off to her partner and in return her partner will send one back to her. The cozy may be knitted, crocheted, quilted, felted or sewn. The possibilities are endless. I can't wait to see what partner I am matched with and the tea cozy she makes for me. I look forward to working on something special for her. I hope she will show a photo of the teapot I will be making a tea cozy for. Hurry! go visit Rhonda today. Even if you don't sign up for the swap, she is a must read blog! Sign up ends this Friday.

In the past, Rhonda has hosted swaps for cloth napkins, aprons and dishcloths. I missed Rhonda's swap for the dishcloths so I began hosting my own over swaps over at Swap Bot. You can join Swap Bot by setting up a free account. When sign ups close the system randomly assigns partners. The swap is for two dishcloths to one partner. There are no size requirements and the cloths may be knit or crochet. The first swap is just finishing up and we've all received wonderful packages from our partners. If you are interested in joining the next swap sign ups end on the 14th of January. There are a total of 6 Dishcloth swaps that I am hosting from now until June through Swap Bot. The pretty dishcloths and amazing soap in the photo are from a private swap I did with another blogger. She should be getting hers in the mail any day.

If you are new to my blog, you may be wondering what the Four Seasons Quilt Swap is all about. This swap is a four part swap for a doll/wall quilt sized quilt that is your interpretation of the current season of the swap. The first swap was held for the fall quilts and you can see the quilts that were exchanged if you visit the Fours Seasons Quilt Swap blog. So the blue, purple and cream LeMoyne stars that are running down the side of my blog are photos of the progress I have been making on the blocks for the winter quilt swap. LeMoyne stars are one of my favorite blocks. I learned to piece them by hand in a class I took from Jinn Beyer. The blocks remind me of snowflakes when worked in blue and cream. I threw in some purple to brighten things up a bit. The quilt needs to be mailed off by January 31, 2008. I need to spend more time stitching and less time blogging. Partners were secretly assigned so I won't know who is making a quilt for me until I receive it. You can see a list of all the swappers and visit each of their blogs by visiting the Four Seasons Quilt Swap blog.

The Wise Grandchild

THE WISE GRANDCHILD (a tale from Korea)

Once upon a time in a little village there lived an old man, a widower. He had lived long and well. He had worked hard to make a good life for his family. When his son married, he welcomed his wife into their home. There the three lived happily together, and then the son and his wife had a strong, strapping son of their own. The old man was delighted with his grandchild, and the child loved his grandfather.

The years passed. As the child grew older, he became more and more fond of his kind grandfather. But the old man had grown frail. His sight was failing and his hearing was weak. He trembled when he walked, and sometimes, when he lifted his spoon to his lips, his hands shook so hard that the soup spilled from the spoon onto the tablecloth.The grandchild did not care. He loved his grandfather with all his heart, and did all he could to look after the old man, just as the old man had looked after him when he was a baby.

Sad to say, the old man's son and his wife were not so kind. "He's become so difficult," the son said as he watched his father hobble to his room. "Good for nothing," his wife said, shaking her head. "He can barely hear a word I say, and he soils all my cloths and all his clothes." Although the old man did not hear their words, he saw the coldness in his son's eyes, and when he touched his daughter-in-law's hands, he felt a chill.

After some months, the wife grew still more displeased with her father-in-law. One night at supper, she took her father-in-law's hand in her own. "Come, father," she said as loudly as she could. And she led him to a corner of the room. "Sit here," she said. From that night on, the old man ate his supper in a corner, hidden from the others, behind a screen. There he silently grieved, for he understood that his son and daughter-in-law no longer enjoyed his presence.

Day after day, the son and daughter-in-law grew more cruel. One night as they were cutting a cake, they refused the old man a piece. "His teeth will fall out altogether," the wife said. "He doesn't need sweets. Save them for those of us who can enjoy them best," said the old man's son. "But father --" the young boy began. "Shhh, you know nothing of what is best. We are adults," said his father. The boy fell silent.

One night, the son took away his father's blanket. "It's a beautiful blanket," the wife said, "but he can barely see. Surely we'll get better use of this than he." The old man wept, and his grandson stood over him. "I love you, grandfather," the boy said, and he wished he could change his parents. But he did not know what to do or say.

Another day the son moved his father's chair from the window. "Better that we should sit by the window," the daughter-in-law said. "He's too old to appreciate the sight of the flowering trees and the birds." The old man wept once more, and again the boy tried his best to comfort him. He thought and thought about what he could do to help his grandfather.

One beautiful spring day, the son and daughter-in-law came to their father. "We're all going to the mountains," they said. "We'll have a picnic." The son carried a great basket in one arm, and the old man's heart was full of joy at the thought that he might enjoy the beautiful countryside.
"I'll come, too," the grandson cried. "I love the mountains."

And so all four set out, helping the old man on his wobbling legs. When they arrived at the top, the son and his wife turned to their father and said, "Here, father, climb into the basket."
The old man did as his son asked, for he believed in obedience to family. And when he was tucked inside, the son and his wife carried the basket to the side of the mountain. Just as they were about to hurl the basket over the side, the young boy ran to their side. "Don't toss the basket," the boy said. "This is not the business of a child," the father said coldly. "But father," said the boy, "I know you want to toss grandfather over, but please, keep the basket." "What for?" the child's mother asked."I'll need it for you when you are old," the boy said.

The man and his wife looked at each other, and then at the poor old man lying in the basket. They began to softly weep, for they understood, at last, their cruelty and their folly. They lifted their father out of the basket and hugged him tightly, remembering all the generosity and love he had showered upon them. From that day on he was welcome at their table, and sat by the window whenever he wished, and slept peacefully beneath his blanket.

Copyright 2000 Universal Press Syndicate