Thursday, November 30, 2006

~All of a Kind Family~

I am a reader, and a rereader. If a book is good, it deserves to be read over and over! As an adult, I have enjoyed rereading books that I read throughout my childhood. I will discover things that I missed when I was younger, and enjoy the book all over again.

The All of a Kind series is such a set of books that I read as a child. I recently checked out the whole series, and have enjoyed rereading them! According to the dust jacket, the author Sydney Taylor wrote the first story for her own daughter, to tell about her experience in a larger family, growing up on the East side of New York in the 1900's. The first book was such a success, that she went on to write the rest of the series.

The first book, All of a Kind Family, follows five sisters through various activities and their Jewish customs. It's as if you can jump in the book and join Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte, and Gertie in their adventures! All the books are a fun read - a quick read for a fast reader. Girls of all ages would enjoy these books!

The other books in the series are:
All of a Kind Family Downtown
More All of a Kind Family
All of a Kind Family Uptown
Ella of All of a Kind Family

Image from

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


That's a contented sigh and a sad sigh all at once! My sister is off to California now. We had a wonderful time together! Just absolutely wonderful! I feel sorry for people who don't have sisters. My brother is so lucky, he has eight sisters! ;-)

Let's see, to sum up her visit...
late nights
more coffee
bookstore browsing

oh yeah, and talking!

Maybe a word of encouragement to mothers of children who fight and argue all the time? Holly and I argued up a storm all through our childhood. But then somewhere along the way, we became fast friends.

*Sigh* Having a sister as a friend is one of the best things in the world!

~Oh ddddddear~

Apparently when one does not post on one's blog, one does not get very many hits to one's blog. *Grin*

I'm back now!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

~Blogger Burped?~

If you tried checking my blog sometime today and it was "gone"...well, I saw nothing too! Very odd! I republished my blog, and thankfully it all came back! Whew!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

~I'm having too much fun...~ blog!


My sister and I are having a wonderful time together. It's so nice to have her here!

Have a great day!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

~Happy Thanksgiving!~

I hope you all have/had a wonderful day today!

Because my sister is coming (tonight!!!!) we are having our traditional Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Today? We had grilled steak and twice baked potato casserole...all made by my husband! Woohoo! =)

This morning I completed the household chores that were begging to be done, and then this afternoon I snuck in a nap on the couch. We went for a walk, and enjoyed the beauty of the late afternoon. I've done some knitting, but not as much as I thought I would.

And now, I'm heading into the kitchen to don my apron, and make some rolls and pumpkin pies!

God's blessings to you!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

~10 Random Facts Meme~

This meme is ten random knitterly facts about me, found at Keeping Me in Stitches.

1. The first project I ever followed a pattern on was a pair of socks. I didn't know that double pointed needles were "hard" to use. I just knew that I wanted to make a pair of socks! Well, I knew they were "hard" once I started in on my project, but I was so determined, that I didn't let that bother me!
2. I made a pair of socks before I realized that knitting socks was the "in" thing to knit. I had no idea that people were spending $20 and upward on sock yarn, or that whole blogs were dedicated to knitting!
3. I learned to knit, and continue to knit, English style. That means that the yarn stays in my right hand the whole time. I've tried knitting Continental style (yarn held in left hand) but I can't get the hang of it, and it makes purling (in my humble opinion) harder.
4. I don't have a yarn stash, and I don't really desire to have one. I like to pick out yarn based on the project I'll be doing. At least, that's what I say at this point! I guess I haven't come across any great sales yet!
5. I just figured out that stitch markers are a knitter's best friend. Now I need some fancy ones!
6. When I was 16 years old, I was taught how to cast on, knit, and purl by an older lady in my church. I went over to her house for several weeks in a row, and she taught me.
7. I never knew how to follow a knit pattern until I in my 20's. Even then, I still didn't follow a pattern, but I theoretically knew how to follow a pattern.
8. It took me three years to knit a scarf for my husband. For all that knitting, he doesn't wear it that often! *Grin*
9. I like to watch tv while I knit, especially if it's a simple knit. I often sit in the living room while Kevin watches football. I'm not watching the football, it's just nice to have the company.
10. I read through and imagine how the pattern is going to work out before I start on it. I'm that way with any project--if I know how it's supposed to go, I feel much better starting it!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


One of the things to accomplish on my 101 list was to take vitamins for one month. I have never faithfully taken vitamins, and I know that my health would benefit from regularly taking them!

In August or so, I bought vitamins. And they sat in my cupboard! Well, sometime last month, I decided that I was going to start taking them. It's been a month now, so I can cross it off my list. I do believe it's developed into a habit! I put them in the glass cupboard, and remember to take them sometime in the evening.

And no, they aren't intoxicating. ;-) They're just plain old vitamins!

Image source: Wikipedia

Monday, November 20, 2006


Elizabeth asked in a comment:

Hi Tammy,
I'm in a dilemma right now that you or some of your readers might have some solutions for. I would like to prepare nourishing and cost-saaving meals for my dear hubby. But, DH co-owns his own small company and has to be available to distributors and customers at all times. He is constantly bombarded by phone calls, emails, crises to solve, etc. So, he really needs to get out of the office for lunch in order to have any kind of breathing room at all (and even then, he has to carry his cell phone/pocket computer with him. The building where his company is housed doesn't have a nice quiet room or a picnic area where he could get away for a few moments. So, he ends up eating out most days -- which isn't so good for his health or our budget. Any ideas about how I can help him cut costs and eat better, yet provide a way for him to get out of the office. In warmer weather, I can always carry a picnic down to his office a few times a week and we can go over to a park. But, in inclement weather, I'm a little stumped for ideas.

So, my dear readers, do you have any ideas? This is a tricky balancing situation. For myself, I often leave the office during my lunch break and visit the library or take a walk. But, if one has to leave a cell phone on, the librarians would frown at that. *Grin*

Elisabeth, one possibility is that he eats a packed lunch at the office, and then takes a walk or stops in to a library or place where he can have a few moments quiet--maybe at a coffee shop where he buys a cup of tea or some such drink (I realize that suggestion means buying something, but it would be much less than lunch out!). If one bundles up enough, even frigid weather isn't that bad for a short walk! I often took walks during my lunch break last winter. Another suggestion is that he and the other co-owner implement a lunch break. ;-) As his helpmeet, I hope that you are able to help him have a less stressful lunch break!


Do you have some things to get rid of before the holiday season? You know, to make room for company? or perhaps you have a whole bunch of toys and you know that your child's grandparents will give them a whole bunch more for Christmas? Perhaps you might sell them in a yard sale, but you really don't want to wait all the way to next summer?

May I suggest Freecyle? I belong to our area's Freecycle group. The way Freecyle works is quite simple. To learn more about it, just click on the link, to see if there is a group in your area. Their rules are quite easy: everything must be free. If you offer something, it has to be free. You can't buy, sell, barter, or trade. It has to be honest-to-goodness free.

We have used Freecycle to our best advantage: by giving. I rarely look through and see what is being offered. It has been an easy way to get rid of things that would otherwise cost us money to take to the dump. Some examples of things we've given away: the sandbox that "came" with our house (thankyouverymuch), wire closet shelving (I can't tell you how many people begged for one section of closet shelving!), an old set of encyclopedias, fabric scraps, miscellaneous craft supplies, curtains, and a few other odds and ends. Chances are, if you want to get rid of it, someone will want it! Our most recent give-away was the couch and loveseat set that I had such a hard time with.

If you have a lot of things to give away, you might consider donating to a thrift store, because it does take a bit of time to sort through the e-mails and decide who to give your item to, and then arrange for them to pick it up.

Anyhow, Freecycle is a great tool to use! It has worked very well for getting clutter out of our house, and giving the items to someone who will (hopefully) put them to good use!

Friday, November 17, 2006

~Frugal Friday: The High Cost of Habits~

I came across this interesting article here.

It is quite a different spin on why one should quit smoking. Now, sometime last summer I made a comment in a post regarding cigarette smoke, and I got berated by an anonymous commenter for what I said. I honestly do not know any non-smoker who enjoys cigarette smoke. But, this post is not about smoking at all. If you want to attack anyone, write to MSN regarding their article, not me. *Smiles*

Basically this online article got me to thinking about habits and how much they cost us. Surely, smoking is an expensive habit. It gave the example of a pack-a-day habit costing roughly $4.20.
A large latte costs about the same! There are many people who get their one or two coffees from their favorite coffee shop on a daily basis.

What are some other expensive habits or indulgences? Soda on a daily basis. Eating lunch out instead of packing your own lunch/your husband's lunch. Buying produce and not using it. Purchasing magazines/newspapers at newstand price versus having a subscription. Buying "snack size" packages versus a larger package of the same product. I'm sure I could come up with many more!

One of the best ways to be frugal is to look at your current spending style and re-think it. Many times the word frugal is a dirty word to people because they think it will mean eating beans and rice and reusing envelopes, or going around begging for freebies instead of buying things at the store. But really, small behavior modifications can make a world of difference in your budget! Every thing adds up!

For more great ideas, visit Crystal's post here.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

~Whistle While You Work~

Do you know that tune? It's from Snow White.

My husband gave me this music box a few years ago for Christmas, and it plays "Whistle While You Work." That's what I'm doing tonight!

In one week I'm having company! My sister is coming all the way from California to visit us for a week. I'm cleaning and dusting, and guess what? I can see my sewing room floor! My sewing room has been holding our curio cabinet, china, and other odds and ends. We have moved them back into the living room, and now I'm cleaning up the sewing room, which will also function as our guest room. I have a lot of work to get done tonight, but I'm whistling all the while!

~Too Funny~

My sister sent me this via e-mail, and I just thought it was so funny.

Proverbs 17:22a A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

~Tulip Time~

Last Saturday I planted my bulbs that I have been waiting to plant. I was waiting for: a) warmer weather (hahaha--as if that was going to happen!), and b) time.

I finally got "b" last Saturday. "A" didn't happen! *Smiles*

I planted quite a few tulips, daffodils, and crocuses. I'm looking forward to next spring when they come up!

It gets even better though! My next door neighbor got hundreds of bulbs from her work, and she offered me some. Now, how could I turn an offer like that down? I'll be donning my coat and gloves and digging more holes this Saturday!

Do you plant bulbs? I think it greatly depends on what your climate is. Now, there are many people who plant bulbs in warm climates, but I would say a greater percentage of people in colder climates plant bulbs. Why? Because we want to see color as soon as possible after a looooong winter!

Image courtesy of Tesselaar Bulbs.

~My New 'Do~

Susie at Bluebird Blogs had a contest awhile back for a free blog re-do, and I was one of the winners!

I just love the new look! I need to get a few links up in the sidebar, but other than that, I'm all set. Isn't the new template just lovely? I adore the painting so much, and was ecstatic when Susie said she could incorporate it into my blog design!

Monday, November 13, 2006

~When I grow up...~

...I do not want to:

clean furniture for a living
move furniture for a living.

Many kudos to those who make their living that way. But count me out of those professions!

Several months ago, I stopped by a thrift store and saw a love seat/couch set in pretty decent condition. My idea was to buy them and get them reupholstered. They didn't have a price on them, and the gal at the counter told me I could have them both for $50, which sounded more than reasonable to me!

We brought them home and they have been residing in our garage ever since.

I decided to clean them, and use them "as is" for the time being. We got one of those handy-dandy carpet/upholstery cleaners tonight. I didn't count on the stains not budging, nor the fabric repelling water. It made for a mess, and frustration on my part.

So instead I cleaned our current couch and recliner. The difference is quite remarkable! They will suffice until we save the money to buy a different set.

Where did the furniture moving come in? Well, we moved the couch out of the kitchen into the living room, carried the love seat from the garage all the way around to the front door and through the living room, dining room and into the kitchen. Then, when the cleaning process wasn't going so well, we moved the love seat from the kitchen to the living room, and the couch came back into the kitchen! And then our final moving project was to get the love seat onto the front porch. Each piece of furniture had to be lifted above the kitchen counter in order to pass from room to room.

Not fun.

What is wonderfully fun is the fact that my kitchen no longer has a couch in it. I can move about in my kitchen!!! Hurrah!

Oh yes, and we bought felt pads for every single piece of furniture in the living room and dining room! We don't want our floors getting scratched!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

~Finished Floor~

The picture hardly does the floor justice. Every time I see the floor, I am just so pleased with how it turned out!

The beauty of these floors was absolutely hidden underneath a bad, bad sanding job and a thick, ugly coat of varnish! I had no idea how gorgeous these floors could be!

As a point of contrast, following is a picture that I took previously this year. It shows the condition of the floor before we refinished it.

Friday, November 10, 2006


~I have decided to open up the comments to everyone. My comment policy is: keep it nice! If you disagree with something I say, that's fine. But please, no snarky comments. I will delete rude comments. Also, please leave your name if you don't have a blogger identity. It is nice to associate a name with your comments!

~Our floors are finished! We've spent the last two nights at a so-so motel, so that our floors could dry. Hopefully the smell from the varnish will have abated quite a bit by tonight, and we'll be able to sleep in our own bed again! We won't be able to move the furniture back into the living room for a few more days. I just *love* having my couch in the kitchen. (A bit of sarcasm there!)

~I have a new knitting project. I'm still trying to get it started, and trying to figure out if I've bitten off more than I can handle. I'll post pictures soon. I bought the project with some of my birthday money.

~Christmas is just around the corner, or so every store would like you to believe! The difference at Meijer from October 28 to November 4 was amazing! Halloween merchandise was gone, and in its place everything Christmas.

~Speaking of Christmas, do you know what you want for Christmas? I have posted before about my Froogle list. I'll repeat it again: I'm not greedy. I'm really not! *Grin* When I found out about the Froogle wish list, I thought it would be a great way for me to give ideas to my family. Each year before Christmas, I have family members asking me what I want for Christmas. "I don't know", "I'm not hard to please", and "Whatever" do not work for my family! (I wonder why???) So I'd think and think and think and then tell them an idea. It would be too expensive, not expensive enough, not to their liking, etc. So this year they have a list. They can look at it and get ideas from it. Good idea, hmm? What do I have on my list? You can see it here.

~Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

~Dusting off my Flute~

About a month ago, I pulled out my flute so that I could take a picture of it. My flute is a beautiful instrument that has been relegated to the closet for quite a long time. I played it a bit the evening that I pulled it out, and thought about practicing it, but I didn't pick it up again.

Last week, I found out about a lady giving adult flute lessons in a group setting, and I signed up! She's already gone three weeks, but she urged me to come anyhow. So last night I pulled out my flute and joined the group. It's a small group: just four students and the teacher. The funny thing is that three out of the five of us are named Tammy! Tammy isn't that popular of a name, so it's quite unusual to get three of us together all at once! =)

Anyhow, I had a great time last night, and learned how to hold my flute better. Ahhhh...scales! I never did practice those, and what do you think the instructor started the lesson with? You guessed it! Scales! I'll be practicing them this week for sure and certain!

My parents gave me my flute for my high school graduation, and I think they would be pleased that I'm pulling it out again! Even though my schedule is busy, this is definitely something I want to fit in!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

~Football and Knitting~

As funny a combination these may sound, they actually go hand-in-hand. Kevin watches football, and I knit. I do not watch the game, and Kevin does not knit. *Grin* But we’re both sitting in the living room, usually on the couch together.

Something that has carried over from my big-sister days, is the fact that I can tune most anything out. That fact has its good points and bad points. The good thing about it is that I can create my own little world in a room full of noise. The bad thing about it is that I might tune out stuff I need to listen to: like a sermon in church, for instance. (Not that I do that, I'm just saying it's possible! *Smiles*) As I’m sitting in the living room merrily knitting away, Kevin thinks I’m watching the game, or at least following along. I’m not. The only thing I remotely pay attention to is the advertisements. (hehe) When he makes a remark about something that has just happened, well, he has to tell me about it (or rewind it, since we have DVR now).

It's quite nice to have each other's company in the evenings, even if we are not enjoying the same things!

I realize that quite possibly there are knitters who enjoy watching football while knitting. But not I. =)

Football image from
knitting image from

Saturday, November 04, 2006

~Thank you!~

Thank you so much for all the warm birthday greetings! It was so sweet of you all to leave a comment for me! =) I had a very nice birthday, though a bit busy!

My parents gave me this adorable, most-cutest-pie-plate-ever-made:

I made an apple crisp in it today. I think it tasted better because of the dish! *grin*

Other gifts were: California raisins from my brother, some $$$ from grandparents and my in-laws, and a watch and sweater from Kevin.

Again, thank you for your part in brightening my day!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

~Happy Birthday to Me~

Today is my 30th birthday. Thirty random things about me...
1. I learned to drive on a stick shift. My dad lived to tell about it, and did he ever talk!
2. My shoe size is 7 1/2.
3. I don't bound out of bed in the morning with a smile on my face. It's just not happening, folks. I've been trying (and trying the patience of those who are waking me up in the morning) for 30 years now.
4. I've been snorkeling in Hawaii. Very fun, as long as the fish food was no where near me. I couldn't handle the fish swarming around me!
5. Roller coasters and I are not friends. In fact, if a ride entails a shoulder harness, count me out!
6. I have a bit of a southern accent, just every great once in a while. It came from having two southern friends in the same period of time. Those "ings" got shortened to "n"; you know: makin, fixin, shoppin, etc. Funny how friends can influence you, isn't it? (My family is all saying right now, "she does NOT have a southern accent!" LOL)
7. My first job was working as a church secretary. I absolutely loved that job! The only reason I left it was to marry my husband. (Well worth it, of course!)
8. I have had several jobs since then that I have hated as much as I loved my first job.
9. The only time I've been out of the USA is a short little jaunt over the Canadian border last spring.
10. I've never dyed my hair.
11. I've never gotten a ticket, though I'm sure I have deserved more than one!
12. I like my coffee with two sugars and some creamer. I go back and forth from not drinking any coffee, to drinking it every morning.
13. I'm totally addicted to knitting. When I go out, I end up staring at people because I'm trying to figure out how their sweater was made!
14. I used to mow my grandpa's lawns every week when I was a teenager. When my dad told my grandpa that he was giving me the same amount that my dad's grandma had given him for mowing lawns, my pay got upped. Cool. *Grin*
15. My favorite fast food is Taco Bell. My order is usually for a bean burrito, no onions, and a hard shell taco. I always use a whole packet of mild hot sauce for the hard shell taco.
16. I'd rather be hot than cold. My husband would rather be cold than hot. As you can imagine, this will sometimes cause problems.
17. My sisters and I had pet ducks when we were younger. Ducks are fun and have personalities. We played for hours with our feathered friends.
18. When I was younger, I almost always turned my chores into a game or make believe. I wasn't cleaning my room, I was the fairy straightening up someone else's room. Or I was the storekeeper, or I was the maid. If my sisters were helping, we pretended that we were orphans and the head of the orphanage was mean. We'd sing, "I wish I had a mother" to a tune all our own. (As our mom, who wasn't mean, and who was our mother, worked out in the kitchen and heard everything!)
19. I was 21 years old when my baby sister was born.
20. I taught 2nd and 3rd grade (a combined class) at a Christian school, for one year.
21. I love traditional, old fashioned Christian music. I like to hunt through old records at thrift stores and buy them to listen to. (Yes, I have a record player!)
22. I don't store stuff under my bed.
23. I have four siblings who were also born in November, but none of us landed on the same day. There are three of us right in a row though!
24. I do not like shopping for shoes. Or purses. Or clothes.
25. My favorite ice cream is chocolate chip cookie dough. Yummmmmy!
26. Whenever anyone sees a picture of my family, they always tell me how much I look like my dad.
27. I'm terrible at returning e-mails! I do try though!
28. I'm a night owl. Maybe that's why I have problems getting up in the morning!
29. When other bloggers post lists like this, I just scan through them--I don't read every word. So don't worry, if you don't read them all you're not hurting my feelings. LOL
30. Today's my 30th birthday. Oh wait, you already knew that, didn't you? *Smiles*

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

~Five Minutes~

Five minutes till the 2nd. Oh, wow, I'm up late tonight!

Tomorrow is my birthday. My 30th birthday. Ooh, I'm getting old! (LOL)

A few months ago, my husband and I were going through the drive through at Burger King, and the gal at the window had a bunch of one dollar bills pinned to her shirt. My husband asked her why she had the money pinned to her shirt, and she grinned and said:

"It's my birfday."

Do you think I should pin $1 bills to my shirt? Maybe I could get some extra presents that way???

Now I'm going to go to bed and get my "beauty rest" so I can open all presents in the morning! =)


I finished my socks tonight!

They're nice and comfy. What's next? Hmmm...I have two books by Nancy Bush checked out of the library, and they are chock-full of wonderful sock patterns!