HAVING THE PRIME OF MY LIFE
My mother, Lila Mae Brinkmann, age 82, is an artist. Mom tells me that she has enjoyed drawing sometimes, but mostly her art has been shown through different kinds of sewing—quilting, crocheting, embroidery.
My mother belongs to a quilting group. When her twice-monthly shopping trips on a local bus route threatened to interfere with this group, my Aunt Geraldine, Mom’s sister, also a part of the quilting group, said they’d have to change the quilting day to a different day of the week. “We need Lila Mae to be here,” Aunt Geraldine said.
Mom is a quilting artist. She has made many quilts, for our family growing up, for herself, for my brothers and I in our homes, for her grandchildren.
Many people who have put together a quilt themselves hire my mother to do the finishing quilting process for them. Other people who want to make their own quilts have come to my mother for advice on how to design them.
Mom has collected many quilting patterns over the years. She has blocks around the house that she’s worked on and plans to put together into a quilt in the future.
She also crochets and embroiders—pillowcases, dresser scarves, table coverings, doylies, hot pads, dish towels, chair covers.
I inherited this desire to make pretty things from my Mom. I tried doing some embroidery when I was younger, but using lighter thread never worked well for me. I always did better with thicker yarn.
Because of my visual impairment, I never tried to quilt. However, whenever we visit my mother, I always go to her quilting group with her and take whatever knitting or crocheting project I have with me.
My mother, a teacher in middle school, and friends have taught me how to crochet and knit, and I love this.
I make afghans, large ones as well as for babies. I love making hats and scarves and slippers, as well as dishcloths, face cloths, and pot scratchers out of brightly colored tulle lacy material. Like my Mom, I love finding and learning to make new patterns.
I also like drawing. I have learned about braille tables, making drawings which can be felt with braille symbols. These drawings can be enjoyed by sighted and blind people. Sighted children like filling these tactile drawings with many multiple bright colors.
I have braille drawing patterns for Christmas trees, snowmen, a variety of animals, fish, birds, spiders, boats, trucks, much more. Since I inherited a love for making pretty things from my Mom, I am so glad I’ve learned different ways of creating beautiful and fun, visual and tactile projects. I will always thank my mother for giving me this love, as well as passing down her talent.
ABOUT KATHY MCKINSEY
Kathy McKinsey grew up on a pig farm in Missouri. Although she’s lived in cities for nearly 40 years, she still considers herself a farm girl.
She’s been married to Murray for 31 years, and they have five adult children.
She’s had two careers before writing—stay-at-home-Mom and rehabilitation teacher for the blind.
Now she lives in Lakewood, Ohio with her husband and two of her children. Besides writing, she enjoys activities with her church, editing for other writers, braille transcribing, crocheting, knitting, and playing with the cat and dogs.
ABOUT ALL MY TEARS
Five women search for God’s hope through sorrow and deep troubles.
Meet five women who struggle with life’s deep sorrows. Beth fights to recover from alcoholism and to mend her relationships with her family. Ann doesn’t believe God will forgive her. Kathleen wrestles with a years-old fear and with saving her marriage. Cassie needs to learn to deal with chronic depression. Martie finds herself the single parent of the eight-year-old niece she barely knows when the child’s parents die in a car wreck.
See how God gives them the gifts of hope, healing, and love.
ABOUT MILLIE’S CHRISTMAS
Tagline: Ruthie says Millie will love Christmas. Ruthie is Millie’s best friend, so she’s sure Ruthie’s right, but why does Millie keep finding Ruthie and her brother Jake crying?
Millie, an orange kitten, shares about her first Christmas. Her best friend Ruthie, six years old, teaches Millie about Christmas—food, decorations, music, presents, and Jesus!
Millie’s friend Bruce, the family dog, also helps her celebrate Christmas and sometimes gets her in trouble.
When Ruthie’s big brother Jake breaks his ankle, Millie learns about sad things, like divorce, when Jake can’t visit his mommy for Christmas. Millie watches Ruthie’s family love each other through the sadness and find joy in Christmas.
Share this story with a child you love, struggling with sadness at Christmas. Jesus’ love and truth remain solid.
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