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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

coffee cupToday I am having lunch with one of my closest friends, something we try to do once a month. We could meet for coffee, only neither one of us drinks it. Of course, it is not about the coffee anyhow. It is about the connections. It’s about the companionship. It’s about the love.

I ran across this article again the other day. It has been circulated around the Internet for awhile now, and I don’t know its origin. It’s just a good reminder for when we think our lives are stuffed and unmanageable. When you get to that place, think about the mayonnaise jar and the two cups of coffee.


A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “YES.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. “Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things — God, your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions. And if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.  The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your spouse. Play with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with your grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner.  Play another 18 holes.  There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.  Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked. The coffee just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”


So, when you get the chance to meet up with your friends for coffee, take the opportunity. I am always grateful I do.


Photo credit: Hailey E Herrera Art Journey via photopin cc

Progress on Hailey’s Quilt

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

School started on Tuesday where I live, and on Monday my niece Hailey came over to work on her quilt. Next up was adding the borders, preparing the back, sandwiching the pieces and then tying the quilt. Here she is tying the quilt. She said she liked the tying part, as it’s easier than handling the whole top on the sewing machine. She has to finish tying and then bind the quilt before she can enjoy using it. I think she’s doing a fabulous job!

Nicole’s Sewing Adventure

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Tuesday evening my eight-year-old niece, Nicole, came to spend the night. After she helped cook dinner she wanted to sew, so we looked through The Best of Sewing Machine Fun for Kids by Nancy Smith and Linda Milligan with Possibilities. Nicole decided she would make scrunchies and a cloth lunch bag for school, which starts next week. She headed off to my fabric stash to select what I thought would be a couple of pieces for the scrunchies. Well, she came back with enough for ten. And that’s what she made. Here she is at the sewing machine.

Her skills have improved since she made her first skirt this spring. She’s more careful about the seam allowance and pays more attention to the project. And, while I cut the fabric, she followed the directions and worked without my guidance after the first few. She made two scrunchies that evening. The next morning shortly after breakfast she said, “I’m bored. Can we sew now?” Do you think she’s after my heart?! So she continued and made eight more. We took a break in the afternoon, went to the movies, out for ice cream and to visit the alpacas at the end of my street. After we got back, she wanted to make the lunch bag. She had picked out fabric for two bags, but we only had time for one. When her mom arrived about 6:15 to pick her up, she had just the top edge to turn and sew to finish the bag. She’s so excited that when people will ask about her bag or scrunchies, she can say, “I made it.” Here she is with the array of scrunchies.

Summer Sewing With My Nieces

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Sewing has been a joyful experience my whole life. Family legend has me threading needles for my great-great-grandmothers at the age of three. I want to share that joy with my nieces and nephews. For the past year my niece Hailey has been working on a quilt. She still has to add the borders and tie the quilt, but I wanted to share her progress. Her skills have improved and while I was relegated to presser in the past, now I just work on my own project until she asks for help. Here she is with the top ready for the borders. And, we’re hopeful to fit in a day before school starts to finish.

Her sister Nicole also wanted to learn to sew. She decided to make a skirt. She selected all the fabrics. I cut the fabric, but she did all the sewing. I also made a bag to match, using Lazy Girl Design’s Runaround Bag.

Quilting with my niece

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

My 10-year-old niece is at work on her own quilt. The one I made her years ago is just too short! She’s making a rail fence in yellows and browns. She gets better and better at cutting and sewing as we go along. I’m now the presser, so I actually have something to do while she sews.
hailey sewing
Instead of cutting all the strips first and then sewing strips and blocks, she’s cutting eight strips at a time and then making enough blocks to make a row. That way, she can see her progress. She’s already planning overnights once school starts so she can work on her quilt. Stay tuned….
hailey’s quilt

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