Wednesday, September 29, 2010

WIP Wednesday

My WIP Wednesday project is for my unborn great-niece who is due in November.  I found this fun material in TN last week at one of the wonderful quilt shops I visited.  I started hand-piecing it while I was there and finished it last night.  Today I added the borders and sandwiched it together and am it is ready for the quilting.  I am undecided whether to hand or machine quilt it.  I have plenty of time to hand quilt it and it gives it a vintage look in my opinion so I may choose that route.  Her parents are very "green-earthly" college professors so I think that completing it with the hand quilting might be pleasing to them as well.

Hopefully I can have this finished before next Wednesday so it does not show on the list twice.  :o)

I did not spend alot of time working on my poncho last week after ripping it out and starting over.  Here is the latest picture of it.

And here is a newborn washcloth that I just finished I need to weave in the ends and it will go in the finished stack of things to give to my niece and her husband.

You know, looking at this post and the pictures I actually did get alot done this last week without my beloved Internet!!!  Hmmmmm - is this something I might want to do once a month?  The answer is.............

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

No Internet for over a week!

A sudden unscheduled trip left me without internet  (and my beloved blog!) for over a week!  I could never imagine what that would be like and after having lived it recently I can tell you it is horrible.  Right up there on my top ten five things I never want to have to go through again.

However, I did find that without my laptop attached to me I was able to knit a newborn washcloth, get a third of a newborn quilt sewn together by hand since I did not have time to even grab a sewing machine.  I keep a bag of yarn and needles always packed and ready to grab but had taken apart my sewing/quilting bag.  Thank goodness two awesome quilt shops were within 10 miles from me and I was able to pick up the baby quilt kit, thread, thimble, needles and scissors for a very fair price. 

I am so overcome with the need for sleep right now but when I am back online later today I will post pics of the things I was able to work on as well as pictures I took while I was gone.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rip It, Frog It - no matter how you say it I still want to cry

My lovely poncho I have been working on and told you about.  My beautiful poncho I planned on wearing soon to stand between me and the chill that is coming.  My amazing poncho I recently shared
with you when I discovered I have been missing 4 key stitches on it for oh maybe 50 rows!

Well here is a picture of my lovely, beautiful, amazing poncho in the process of being Frogged, Ripped or however we knitters want to term it.  In short, here it is with hours of work ripped out.  

And oh yes, I felt a slight chill in the air this morning while I was having my coffee on the front deck.  What is going to stand between me and the forthcoming chill???  Several balls of yarn?  With curls in it from being knitted and ripped out?

 Stay tuned and send me good thoughts that I stick with this project and it does not end up in the UFO cabinet in my studio.  I would love to wear it this winter and for winters to come.

When we are asked to serve...

  In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”   Acts 20:35

This came to my mind when I was asked to help sit with Sheriff without a Badge's mother who had a massive stroke this week and was just moved from ICU.  I met this lady when I was a mere child of 14 and my sister introduced our family to her friend, who would later become her future husband.

Now she is 80 and it was the day for her standing weekly hair appointment of which she still drove herself to.  Her husband, 81, heard her say "Oh" and went into the bedroom and there she lay from a fall, unable to move or talk.  A call to 911 and she was transported to the local ER and was given a miracle shot, one that 4 days later even have the doctors amazed at her ability to move and respond to requests. 

She still has not been able to speak a coherent word but smiles when her son tells a joke or cries when the phone is held to her ear and a beloved family member from her home state says a few soothing words across the miles.

I had the pleasure/honor of sitting with her yesterday and knitting there instead of at home.

She is a fiercely independent woman still maintaining her spotless home and putting three meals on the table at the same time each day.  She is a woman from the earlier generation of helping to "bring home the bacon and cooking it too".  Still gets dressed up plus hair just right and makeup in place every day.  She was always a very kind, loving woman but I never remember her being a touchy freely person.  I went on trips to her beloved home state with her as a teenager, I spent many nights at her home - treated like the daughter she never had.

Nothing, NOTHING prepared me for who I saw when I opened the door to that hospital room!  

I think she must be thinking why are all these people seeing me like this - confused,  bruised and I mean bruised horribly from the fall, in a hospital gown that takes away any persons' dignity, what happened to my hair, my makeup and where are my teeth.  She is a tiny woman and she does not have the strength to pull that horrible gown up over her tiny shoulders.  

I immediately talk to her like I normally would - helping her to cover her shoulders and did something I have never done - I reached out to touch her - I stroked her hair and instead of the pulling away that I would have expected from this lady that was not one to cuddle, she pushed her head into my hand and a soft moan escaped her lips.  Two tears streamed out of the sides of her eyes and she did not pull away.  She pushed her head further into my hand.  I spent many hours with her yesterday, talking, stroking her hair until she would slip back into a soft sleep and talking. 

In the blink of an eye this woman and her family's lives changed.  No warning but changed for how long no one knows.  She was approved to move to Rehab yesterday.  Two weeks of rehab and then they expect her to be changed enough to go home or if recovery is not as expected than it will be a nursing home.

It is true that statement, 'we never know'.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Surprise Me Thursday - my blog was featured on two of my favorite blogs!

I have been busy today with dreaded chores:

1.   making sure money was in the bank via the internet
2.   making a token deposit in person
3.   paying bills online and in person
4.   giving the tag department $502.28, or so it seemed as I wrote a large check for tags, tags and tags!
5.   dropping "The Kind Life" off at one library so it could be shipped across the state for another lady wanting to be a vegan
6.   go to another local library to check out their copy of "The Kind Life" that had been returned by a local patron also wanting to be a vegan
7.   stop by and let Motorcycle Man take me to lunch at the newest Chinese Buffet in town
8.    forget to pick up his eye drop prescription
9.   come home and knit about 30 more rows on the WIP poncho
10.  Realize I have been missing four key stitches on the last 50 rows of the WIP poncho!!!!!!  Now I have to rip it apart and start over!
11.  Cry and give up and take a much needed nap!!!

However, there was a silver lining to the day believe it or not!  My beloved blog was featured on two of my favorite blogs!

Seams Inspired
Cozy Little House

I want to thank you ladies again so much for featuring my blog!  I love blogging and had made up my mind when I started this new one (I have been blogging since GEOcities was a host many years ago) that it did not matter if I was ever read by anyone but me as long as I wrote about my favorite things in life.  It is my way of journaling and sometimes just letting my hurts and frustrations out in a constructive way.  I write it just like I talk to my children, husband, grandchildren and friends. 

I am learning so much from the blogs I read and look forward to visiting them everyday.  This has turned what was becoming a not so good day into a blessing - Thank You ladies!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Welcome Wednesday 9/15

WIP Wednesday

I have not felt good for the last three days/nights.  Lack of sleep and pain register off the chart has taken away my desire to create.  However, while looking at the blogs I follow this morning, I came across today's post over on Zibeline Knits I was reading her WIP Wednesday post and was inspired to get my camera and take a picture of what I have been working on for several days in anticipation of cooler weather coming.

I am not a coat wearing person so I usually wear a large comfy sweat shirt jacket or a thin sweater.  However, last winter I was at a cute little yarn shop across town and found the Women's Poncho #246 pattern and some yarns to blend together and have been working on this shawl.  Hopefully I will have it ready by Thanksgiving which is when I will finally be cool enough to wear something besides long sleeves.  I can remember before middle age visited me I was bundled up in layers and layers just to be semi-comfortable.  Now, just long sleeves and I am good.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Can't sleep so I may be visiting your blog right now....

When I can not sleep I try first to turn over and go back to sleep.  Second, see what is on the Food channel or HGTV or, you get the picture.  Third, watch The Closer or any cooking show I have recorded.  Fourth, get up get a Fresca or glass of ice water and walk out on one of the decks and listen to all the night time animal sounds.  Fifth, if all else fails - grab the Mac and head to a comfy spot and start visiting folks that have visited my blog.  I have just finished leaving comments on 6 blogs and entering two contests and thanking Just Married With Coupons for an earlier win I had on one of their Brain TeaZers.  They are well worth a visit if you have never been to their page!

What do you do if you are not able to sleep???  Leave me a comment and let's compare how we all deal with this!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Golden Girl and The Menace waiting on their Mommy this morning

Pictures I took of my Golden Girl and The Menace while I was on the pool deck reading all the wonderful blogs I follow.

Such beautiful eyes
Hurry up Mama!
My spot on the pool deck for reading blogs
My Little Girl - The Menace

Homekeeper’s Journal ~ Struggling?

While visiting Cindy's site I was reading this post and decided to take the challenage myself even though it had been closed for over a month.  Here goes:

This week’s Journal is about struggles and what we do when we find ourselves struggling. 


I struggle in my kitchen with ….. what to cook for two people with totally different eating choices.  I am a vegetarian flirting with becoming a total vegan and my husband loves meat and hates vegetables and nuts and milk and..... 

Struggles of any kind have a tendency to make me …… very tense.  And off-track.  When you are trying anything new it seems that anything out of the norm can throw you off track easily.  Plus I am a worrier and I do not need to borrow trouble.

I struggle more when ……. my family is in pain.  I remember hearing when my children were young that old saying "Now they are pulling on your apron strings, later they will be pulling on your heart strings."  Oh how I wish for the apron strings days back!

When it comes to people, I struggle ….. I have to agree with her post as well!  Dishonesty and trust by loved ones can do you in easily.  It does not matter if they are 2 or 82 - the pain is still the same!      

When it comes to struggles, I believe the Lord wants me to know ….. that I am always the one that walks the other way - not him.  That I need to slow down and hear his voice and place all my trust in him.

It is amazing what reading her post and then taking the time to stop and listen to my heart and my head and answer these questions did for my soul this morning!  Please visit Sylvia at Christian HomeKeeper Network to read what others were struggling with during the week of August 10th.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Finish Me Friday

I think I am going to start a theme for Fridays so why not be "Finish Me Friday"?  I have so many UFO's that I think I can keep this theme going for a month of Sundays with no problem.  Or, I could finish re-potting all the houseplants I got at such a great deal.  Or finish an item on my Fall Cleaning Schedule.  Or finish reading a book, sorting my digital photos, organizing all my recipes.  Get my point?  It could be anything - just Finish It!

If you chose to participate in the Finish Me Friday theme what would you do today?  Leave me a comment with your ideas.

And if you read my blog on a regular basis, you already know that I blog like other people tweet so I will be back on here several more times today.  :o)

Let's all work together on this today and come back tonight or tomorrow morning and post what you were able to complete on Finish Me Friday!  Look forward to hearing from all of you!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday Blog Hop Time

Update on Motorcycle Man's Eye Surgery and new Eye Prosthesis AND NEWER UPDATE

I want to cry!  We naturally feel so much for our family members and want to take on their happiness or their pain.  Yesterday it was going to be pain I knew.  A manila bubble protected envelope addressed to MM was in the mailbox along with the junk mail, a bank statement and a bill or two.  It had the return address of the artist, the miracle man with a paint brush, the man that makes eye prosthesis so amazing that no one can tell they are acrylic eyes and not the God given eyes.  We were both under the impression that MM had to return across town to pick up his new eye and of course make sure it was fitted correctly.  Surely to God he had not mailed it in the US Mail along with the Redplum coupouns!  

I mean he took great pains in making sure that it was going to be fitted correctly since it had been several decades since MM had had the first one made as a teen.  After all, he was only one in less than a handful of people in our area with his talent.  Just look it up and see how many are in your area - I was surprised to see that there are only 3 that I could find here.  And to make it even better we thought, he was the nephew of the true artist that made the first one for MM years ago that I have heard him sing his praises for years.  Plus, he trained under him so he has to be good!

Ok, cut to the chase now.  Motorcycle Man called me on his way home from work and asked several things and then asked one of his daily questions - 'Did we get any mail?'.  I told him all of the mail and then the envelope from across town.  He asked what was in it.  I replied 'You know I never open your mail (knowing that if it had been a check it would have been ripped open already)'.  He respects that I don't open his mail (whew!) and asked me to open this one because we both know it is not going to be his eye.  I hesitated and he asked 'Are you scared to open it cause if it is the eye it will be looking at you?' cutting up with me.  I told him that if it had been mailed that I really wanted him to be the first to see it plus I wanted to see his initial reaction too.  He asked me to open it anyway and that is when I wanted to cry.

Motorcycle Man has the most beautiful GREEN eyes with twinkles and sparkles and stars that caught my attention 28 years ago.  What I was looking at was a BLUE glazed over sad looking eye with no life, no twinkles and sparkles and did I say it was BLUE.  I could not catch myself as I mummered "Oh my God!"  Did I say that out loud?  Please God, don't let me have said that where he could hear it.  Motorcycle Man asked me 'What - what do you mean OMG?'.

He made it home and checked it out himself - his face dropped at the sight of it.  But being a trooper, he retreated to the master bath to see how he would look with a green eye and a blue eye telling me after all that our beloved Golden Girl has her brown eye and gold eye and we love her  cause it is one of the unique things about her.

He called me in to look and I honestly was speechless (this is a miracle all within itself too!) .  Do not ever ask me to play poker in your place cause I ain't got no poker face!  He told me that not even looking at the blue color, it looked like his eye did after the accident when his eye "died" and turned a glazed over dull blue.  He just put it back in it little white circular case to be returned to it's manila bubble protected envelope with the return address of the artist, the........

How do you explain all of this to the artist, the miracle man with a paint brush, the man that makes eye prosthesis so amazing that no one can tell they are acrylic eyes and not the God given eyes?  Do I send him an email with a link to this post?  It goes without saying that it has to be returned and remade but how do you tell him that the pictures he had in his office for us to look at that were breathtaking and this eye are at two total ends of the spectrum?  

My man is a "you get one shot and I am through" kind of guy when it comes to things like this.  I have to stay on him and try to convince him that it will be fine - that no one is going to make a fool of him or take advantage of him.  After having spent years as a child with other kids making fun of him he still has that one little sore spot that does not need to be punched - and when we get results like this it is so so much harder to get him back up there again and finish.  I am putting this in God's hands and know that the artist will do a wonderful job on the next (and last!) one.

Please pray with me that this will turn out with another beautiful GREEN eye with twinkles and sparkles and stars to match the God given one that he has.

(I pray I did not gross anyone out with this post but after being married to this man for 28 years I can only see the beauty in his eyes and always look for that in others we encounter that have other obstacles in their daily path as well.)


I took it upon myself to call the artist and calmly explained to him that the eye was BLUE and not GREEN and the pupil which was supposed to be black was a glazed over gray.  He immediately apologized and said he would make it right and asked when was MM available to come in starting at a spot he had open at 9:30 tomorrow morning.  I knew that Motorcycle Man had appointments at work tomorrow so I booked the next available spot of next Tuesday.  I asked him to please look at his eye like I did to see the amazing colors and stars, etc and he kinda laughed and asked me to be sure and accompany MM to the office too.  Say tuned as it will only come out right - remember - this is in God's hands - it does not have any other choice!

Fall Cleaning Schedule

Click here to get the Fall Cleaning Schedule

Thank you so so much to House of Grace for posting this awesome Fall Cleaning Schedule!  Click on the link to her blog to see her more detailed list of how she cleans her home.  Also, if you want to get in on this cleaning party link it to her page too.  Let's all keep each other motivated and up-to-date on how our cleaning is going!  I love, love, love to clean! (What is wrong with me and who has taken over my mind and body???)  Think of all the fun we are going to have and what an amazing and clean home we will have!

Also, please leave me a comment if you decide to join this too so I can follow you!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What to do Wednesdays?

I am starting my "What to do Wednesdays" thread today.  I am sitting in my studio having just finished reading my emails and find myself wondering what to do today.  I have so much I need to do and plenty I want to do but what will I do?

 1.  Do I read another chapter or two in the books I am reading which are:

The Kind Diet - Alicia Silverstone
Suddenly Frugal - Leah Imgram

All of these are great books and I am taking away many positive findings from each on.  Alot are just plain common sense and some are ideas I would have never dreamed of.

2.  Do I work more rows on the Socks for Soldiers tension blocks?
3.  Or work on the gusset on the Self Striping Socks?
4.  Finish re-potting my houseplants that are root-bound?
5.  Wash 2 loads of clothes in my new Homemade Laundry Soap?
6.  Just get back in the bed for much needed rest that my body and mind is screaming for???

What would your vote be?

Card Making Tuesdays

I took my first ever Stampin' Up Card Making class yesterday at the house of a fellow knitter.  She is a Stampin' Up demonstrator and gives classes at her home at least 3 times a month.  I was so impressed with all of the inventory she had but more so with the knowledge and the amazing teaching ability she has.  Hmmmm?  I wonder is this has anything to do with her being a retired school teacher???

She had each of our stations set up and fresh popcorn popped and met us at the door to welcome us to her home.  I had visited there once before and felt very welcome by both her and her husband and was again met with that same warm feeling.  

She had our kits pre-made an ready for us to get right to work.  Three kits, three different layouts and two cards in each kit.  She had a premade kit/card ready for us to use as a guide and walked around to each of us for personal one-on-one attention.  I will definitively be returning for future classes!  Thank you Card-Teacher that Knits.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Strawberries by the quart for 99 cents!

We stopped in a local small grocery to pick up a bag of dog food for Golden Girl and Holy Terror and as I passed the produce section (which is on the complete opposite side of the store from the dog food aisle  OMG) I noticed a huge display of very large, fat, beautiful strawberries for only 99 cents!  Normally we have to pay $2.50.  Needless to say I stopped immediately - no brake lights - no warning signal - just another frugal shopper that found a fantastic deal that I could not pass up.  I grabbed 8 of the best looking one while using my best double-elbow block moves to keep any other like minded frugal shoppers at bay.

I knew I would have to freeze them as soon as I got home and I am very proud to say that out of all those strawberries only one was bad!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Happy Birthday to The Matriarch and 'lil Jarhead

My mom and 'lil Jarhead are both celebrating their birthdays today!  She turned 82 and he is 30 - no wait - 22 - no, no, no - he is just 9 today.

Happy Birthday to you both and love you lots!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Almost finished with Self-Striping Knitted Socks

I am knitting a pair of self striping socks on size 2 dpn (double pointed needles).  They have actually been very fun to do and the pattern was free!  It can be found here and I am using the Red Heart "Heart & Sole" No. 3965 Razzle Dazzle yarn.  Although it is rated as Intermediate skill, I found it to be very easy and comfortable - especially with this being the first time I have used dpn's.  Knit on! as Vickie Howell of Knitty Gritty always says!!

Made my first batch of Homemade Laundry Soap

I first heard of making Homemade Laundry Soap when I was watching an episode of 18 Kids and Counting and have wanted to try it ever since but was skeptical.  Would it clean like I wanted my clothes to be clean?  Would it get the stains out of Motorcycle Man's clothes that seem to appear by
days end?  Would it really get all those grass, chocolate and who-knows-what stains in the darling grandkids clothes?  

Well, the more reading on other folks blogs I did, I found that quite a few of you had already started using this soap and was raving about it - even doing visual tests for us to see with white shirts smeared with yellow mustard, grass stains, juice drinks and chocolate.  That was more than enough confirmation for me and the last time we were at the store I picked up the few - yes - very few items needed to make this wonderful money saving and cleaner clothes household miracle.

I bought a box of:

20 Mule Team Borax - use 1/2 cup per batch
Arm and Hammer Baking or Washing Soda - use 1/2 cup per batch
1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap (you can also use Zote's pink or Ivory or any all natural soap)
5 gallon bucket with lid (I bought mine at Lowe's)
6 cups water
4 cups hot water
1 gallon plus 6 cups water

Use 1/2 cup per load

I grated 1/3 bar of the Fels Naptha soap and poured it into a large saucepan.  I added 6 cups of water and stirred over medium heat until the soap melted.  Then I added the baking(or washing) soda and the 20 Mule Team Borax and stirred over low heat until dissolved.  Remove from heat.

I added 4 cups of hot water into the bucket.  I had already heated this water in my tea kettle and had it ready.  Then I poured in my soap mixture and used a whisk and stirred until it was mixed well.

Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir well.  Let the soap sit 24 hours and it will gel.  It will have the consistency of  something like "chicken noodle soap liquid".  It will not gel completely. 

 This is how it looks under the suds.   BTW, this plastic glass is one of our iced tea glasses that we have only had a few months and it had turned a dingy brown color from the tea stain that even the dishwasher could not get out.  After dipping in this this picture, I poured out the soap and rinsed the glass and it was amazingly clear!  I of course had to the all the others and dip them in the soap too before putting the lid on the bucket.

I will post pictures in the morning of what it looks like after the 24 hour period.  This only took me 20 minutes to make too.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Coupons and savings...Can anyone help me out there to learn this magic?

I have done very well with getting back into the organized way of life that I always loved so much. I have done alot of reading on other blogs and websites, checked out books at the library and browsed through books at Barnes and Noble and have also started a Household Notebook that is coming in very handy.  It makes so much sense to watch every penny that we have, live on a budget, look for creative and delicious recipes and anything else I can do to manage our home more economically.

Over and over I keep reading about saving dollars with coupons but having never really been one to use them I really do not know where to start.  I have paid careful attention to the other shoppers for the last two weeks that are standing there going through stacks or wallets of coupons.

I have a question - who out there can lead me to a place that will help me learn this art of collecting and using coupons?  I am honest enough to admit that I see this is bigger than me and I will need some help.

Thursday Blog Hop

Motorcycle Man has follow-up with Eye Surgeon and ends up in ER tonight

I realized while I was not able to sleep tonight that I had not posted in several days and felt the pull to the laptop and my "comfort zone of journaling".  Now to catch you up... 

 Motorcycle Man had his two follow-up appointments with the eye surgeon and he is on the road to recovery and his eye is doing great!  He is able to see with such clarity now as well as be able to see
colors too.  I had no idea that he had not been able to see colors - only white and gray tones.  He had kept that part to himself.  Plus, he has 20/20 vision in now - they implanted a contact lens and with each day of recovery he sees clearer and clearer.