Sunday, September 30, 2007


Last Sunday, Deb posted about dishcloth she knitted which was also an entry for a little contest. The contest runs through today, and I just barely finished in time!

Anne, who designed the dishcloth and is running the contest, wanted the particulars, so here they are:
Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn
Size 8 straight needles (aluminum)
Method of knitting: English style
Finished size of dishcloth: 9 1/4" wide by 10 1/2" long
Name I chose for this pattern: Sailboats

It was a quick, fun knit. It has been a long time since I knitted a dishcloth, and I'm looking forward to using this one!

(Sorry for the wonky picture. The dishcloth is actually straight on the sides. It's late and I'm too tired to keep taking pictures!! LOL)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

~A Beautiful Fall Day~

Today was just lovely. We spent the morning hanging about the house, not really getting anything done, just enjoying the morning puttering about doing things.

This afternoon we went to a farm that has a barn turned into a store. They have lots of apples, decorations, homemade jams and applesauce, and a few animals to pet and feed. We got old-fashioned donuts. Yummy. Afterwards we went for a drive in the country. The leaves are just turning now, so we had an enjoyable drive. It is nice sometimes to just drive and not have a destination.

Later this afternoon I went for a walk.
***Birds chirping
***lawn mowers running here and there
***crickets chirping (there seems to be an overabundance of crickets this year!)
***weather that was just right!

Mmm! Loved the walk!

Now I need to focus on laundry and tomorrow's dinner! Have a great day!

Picture above taken last fall.

Friday, September 28, 2007

~Company Tonight!~

One thing that Kevin and I enjoy is having company over. I used to be quite flustered over having people over, but I have learned to relax and not worry so much about how things turn out.

Tonight's dinner went really well. We had:
Dripped Beef
Mashed Potatoes with gravy
Green beans with almonds*
Butter rolls with jam
Swedish Apple Pie with a scoop of ice cream

We had a wonderful time of fellowship!

*Here's the "recipe" for Green Beans with Almonds. I make them quite often when we have company.

Green beans (two cans)
butter (about 2 tablespoons, adjust as necessary)
slivered almonds (about 2 or 3 tablespoons)
lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon) (you can leave this out, but it does lend a tangy taste to the green beans)

Heat the green beans in a pan. In a separate sauce pan, melt butter and slightly brown slivered almonds. Stir and watch carefully, because the butter will burn easily. Stir in lemon juice and drain green beans, mix butter mixture into green beans.

These are so good! I never measure, so these are just estimates. It doesn't have to be exact!

~Motivation to Clean~

Playing maid on Wednesday was a change of pace, but I don't do that every time I need to clean my house. However, I have done it a few times. The money for coffee was a new twist this time around. LOL Here are some other things I have done to motivate myself:

***As I am finished cleaning each room, I light a candle behind me. Then as I come back through that room to put something away, I see the candle flickering, reminding me that this room is already cleaned! I usually start with the easiest rooms first, that way I can get a few candles going right away!

***I write a backwards list. Every time I'm finished with a task, I write it on my list. At the end, I have a whole long list of things I've accomplished!

***I write a list of everything that needs to be done, including things that don't normally make it to a regular list (i.e. make bed, water plants, or whatever). That way there are lots of things to cross off my list, in a short amount of time!

I don't do this now, but when I was little, my mom would send me to my room to clean it and I would:

***Play like I was a shopkeeper.

***Pretend my sisters and I were orphans. LOL

***Play like I was a housecleaning elf. I had to work fast and secretly! (As if it was a secret I had been sent to my room to clean it!)

So you see, I've always had an active imagination when it comes to getting tasks done. It can be soooo easy to get bored and tired of doing repetitive tasks, so taking your mind off the boringness of the job often gets me out of that rut!

Happy housecleaning!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

~Maid for a Day~

#1 Maid by Diana Ong
#1 Maid

Yesterday I decided that what I really wanted was for a maid to come clean my house. So I left a list of everything I wanted her to do on the counter, along with a $5 bill and a note that it was for coffee after she was finished, and I walked out of the house....

...and came around by the front door and let myself in and started working.

It may seem silly, but it got the work done! Maids, after all, do not stop every fifteen minutes to check their e-mail (and then end up getting hung up on the computer for the next hour!). Maids do not stop to read stray books and magazines. No, maids get to work and work.

My house is clean as a whistle, and after the maid I was finished working, I took my "pay" and went and got coffee!

Obviously I work for cheap. Anyone want a maid for the day? I only charge $5! ;-)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

~How Clean is Your House?~

I just read through the book How Clean is Your House by Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie. I had never heard of this duo until Mrs. U mentioned them on her blog.

After reading this book, I realize that I'm not the snappiest homemaker around (certainly not the worst! there's nothing like comparing yourself with the worst to make yourself feel better! LOL). There's room for improvement, that's all.

Yesterday I washed the quilt on our bed. It took forever to dry! At least we have a washer and dryer that will accommodate the spread. It looks and smells so fresh now! Next on my war against dust is my hand-knotted canopy. I didn't buy it from Country Curtains, but they sell the same exact canopies (I got mine for a fraction of the price on e-bay). So anyhow, I called Country Curtains, and they told me to just throw it in the dryer on no heat. The lady who took my call told me that she puts a dryer sheet in with hers.

Last week I cleaned my living room and dining room thoroughly (well, I'm saving the windows LOL). This week is the kitchen. I started last night. Today I worked my way around the top cabinets, pulling everything out and wiping down the shelves. It is amazing how dusty things can get inside a cabinet! I also did a bit of throwing away, and pulling things to donate at a thrift store. I shuffled things around, and now my top cabinets are all spic and span!

Tomorrow I'm going to try to wrap up the cabinets and odds and ends about the kitchen. Hopefully I can get it all finished!

Image source

Monday, September 24, 2007

~No Longer Puzzled~

Tonight we finished the puzzle. It took a bit of working on, those trees weren't easy, and the puzzle pieces weren't easy to work with either. They would go practically anywhere you put them!

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Have you ever read the Betsy-Tacy books? I read them when I was younger. I love to reread children's books that I enjoyed as a child! I have gotten all but the second through fourth books from my library. I'm waiting on them, and then I'm going to have a fun time reading! I read the first book last night. Such fun!

Here are the books in order:
* Betsy-Tacy (1940)
* Betsy-Tacy and Tib (1941)
* Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill (1942)
* Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown (1943)
* Heaven to Betsy (1945)
* Betsy in Spite of Herself (1946)
* Betsy Was a Junior (1947)
* Betsy and Joe (1948)
* Betsy and the Great World (1952)
* Betsy's Wedding (1955)

Wikipedia says:

The Betsy-Tacy series is a collection of books written by Maud Hart Lovelace. The books are written at progressively more difficult reading levels as the characters age. They follow the adventures of Betsy Ray and her friends and family from the time that Betsy turns five until she is in her early twenties. They take place in the very late 19th and early 20th centuries — the time period from about 1897 to 1917.

Reading these books is a fun way to learn about life during this time period!

There is a Betsy-Tacy Society. It's interesting to click around the sight. There is some adorable stationery for sale:

...and they have purchased Betsy's and Tacy's houses and are restoring them.

Now, nobody shoot me, ok, but I have never cared for the artwork of Lois Lenski. Since the first few books feature her artwork, I'm not too crazy about the illustrations. But it has grown on me a little! Isn't that funny?

The Betsy-Tacy books are worth reading! Unfortunately, some of them are currently out of print, so if you want to read the whole set, you'll have to obtain them from your library.

Happy reading!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

~Lake Michigan~

Today was a gorgeous day, just right for a last visit to the lake before the weather gets too cool. Last time we were at the lake, I wanted to go swimming so badly, but we weren't prepared. I waded anyhow. LOL

This time, we were prepared! The water was cold, but we got used to it after the initial shock! It was so fun to bob up and down with the waves. There weren't many people at the lake, it was so nice and peaceful. I don't enjoy crowds! We swam for about an hour or so, and then we headed back home.

We got a cup of coffee on the way home from McCafe. Pretty good coffee!

Now I need to go and prepare dinner for tomorrow, and get some ironing done. Have a blessed Sunday!

Friday, September 21, 2007


Tonight Kevin and I have spent a quiet evening at home. I made Easy Swedish Apple Pie for dessert, with some apples that I got at a produce stand. It is SO good!

After dinner we played Backgammon and then Kevin got out a puzzle. I didn't realize we even had an unopened puzzle in the house. It had a coupon in it that expired in September of 2000, so we've had it around since we were newlyweds! We're done with it for today, we'll work on it more tomorrow!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

~Why those tiny needles?~

I picked up my lace knitting again (after a hiatus of a year and a half!) and I've been making grand progress.

I changed the needle type and size, and things went so much better than the first time around. I started completely over, and I have about 22 inches of lace now!


And the previous attempt (shown below the piece I'm working on):

Oh, and the answer to the question? In part it is a mystery to me. I just love to make lace, be it with a tatting needle, crochet hook, or knitting needles. It takes more time, and the end result is small, but I enjoy the process, and I love the finished product!

Any ideas for what I should do with the lace once I finish it? I'm thinking of edging an apron. I don't want to make yards and yards, just enough for a smallish project!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

~Flowers in my house~

After many months, my African Violet finally has some flowers!

Mums in my husband's grandpa's shoe shine box.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

~Mail Box Blues?~

Do you get anything but junk mail and bills when your mail is delivered? It can be discouraging to throw out every piece of mail (or worse yet, get unexpected bills!). In this modern day of e-mails, text-messaging, and instant messaging, I think we often forget the power of the written word. As in, hand written word.

When was the last time you sent a letter or card to someone? There are times when I'm terrible about writing, and then there are times I'm a little better. It doesn't have to be an epistle! A little note of encouragement can mean the world to someone!

Challenge: pull out your stationery and write a little letter to someone you care about! I just did - my hand is a slightly sore from all that writing, but I know that my letter will brighten someone's day!

Image from


What an original title, eh? *Smiles*

Today is supposed to be nice and warm, in comparison to the last few days of fall-like weather we've had. I looked at the forecast, and it looks as though we'll have warmer weather for the rest of the week. That's nice! I wasn't ready to get my fall/winter clothes out yet anyhow!

My mother-in-law sent me a pressure canner! I'm SO excited! I can't wait to use it! And speaking of canning, our gas bill was $10 more than last month. I guess boiling ketchup down for six hours does have a price tag attached to it. LOL I have been cooking and baking a whole lot more since I haven't been working, so I'm sure that has something to do with it too! I'm sure I've saved more than $10 by cooking more at home!

What's to do today?
***Make applesauce
***Run a few errands

I'm sure more will come up! But those are the big things for today. What's on your "to do" list today?

Monday, September 17, 2007

~Just Say "No!"~

Last Sunday dinner (the lunch meal) was a disaster! I tried a new recipe out (sooooo glad it wasn't for company! LOL), and the recipe was a complete flop! The vegetables were practically raw, while the biscuits were burnt on the top and soggy on the bottom. It was just GROSS!

So I said, "That's it! I'm not cooking on Sunday any more!"

No, we're not starving on Sunday! and no, we're not going to start going out to eat either! I'm planning on cooking dinner on Saturday so that the food prep is easy!

Saturday rolled around and I made ambrosia (half the recipe), butter rolls, and a corned beef roast and potatoes in the crock pot overnight. In the morning I just stuck the roast and potatoes in the refrigerator. My husband was excited about the good dinner we were going to have and I was excited that I wasn't going to have to cook it after church! It worked out very well for me!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

~Writing Contest~

Scribbit has a monthly writing contest, and one of the nice things is that you can submit older posts if you wish. The topic this month is "Learning" and my entry is ~Ask for Directions~.

~Camera Frustrations~

My camera hasn't been focusing correctly for the past few months, which has resulted in way fewer pictures, because I get so frustrated trying to get a focused picture! Tonight I did a little digging around online, and wound up calling the Canon technical support line.

Basically, I found out that, though my pictures weren't blurry at Christmas time, dropping the camera then jarred something loose in the lens, and as I continued taking pictures, the lens continued further and further off course.

I can pay $107 for Canon to fix the camera, or I can buy a refurbished model (same as mine) for $85. Neither option sounds attractive to me. I looked online, and I can buy the same model I have for $90. So why pay more than the camera is worth to fix it, and why pay just $5 less for a used model?

I'm going to look into a local camera shop fixing the problem. Then I'll work from there. So if you've wondered why there are fewer pictures around my blog in the last few you know. *Smiles*

~My name~

T A M M Yellow background Y

To make your own, click here.

~Drain Issues~

When I felted my purse, I unwittingly clogged the drain that the laundry tub empties into. Actually, the lint from the purse just closed the clog, I'm sure. (I have never felted anything before, and I didn't know that you're supposed to put your items in a pillowcase so that the lint doesn't clog the drain! Lesson learned!)

We called a rental place and got a snake to clean out the drain. It worked! We were thankful, because while the snake cost $11 to rent, calling a plumber would have cost over $100! Eeks.

It is nice to do laundry without the basement flooding!

~Bloggy Giveaway Winner~

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway for my second blogiversary! *Smiles*

The winner is: Deb from Mountain Musings!

Deb, please e-mail me your address and I'll get the package out next week!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

~Page Turner~

I know this is quite long, but it is hilarious! I was introduced to Victor Borge by my grandfather, and have enjoyed him since.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

~Snake Quilt~

When Kevin was a young man, his grandma wanted to make him a quilt. So Kevin drew up a design, and went to the fabric store with his grandma. He was really into snakes at that time *shudder*, so the quilt would be of a snake, of course!

His grandma made the quilt just the way he wanted it, and then she made it just the way she wanted it. You see, the snake is quilted as any snake should be when they are quilted, but the rest of the quilt was her domain. The cream background is filled with quilted pictures. It is truly a work of art!

The quilt is for a queen size bed. It was a labor of love!

It is on display in our living room, with several other quilts that his grandma made.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

~For My Sister~

I wanted to share what I made for one of my sister's birthdays:

Her name starts with "S".

I had a lot of fun making this set for her, I hope she enjoys it!

~Ducks at the Park~

Last week I cleaned out the fridge and had a ton of stale bread and hamburger buns. I didn't want them to go completely to waste, so we went to the park and fed the ducks and geese and sea gulls. The sea gulls were so loud they hurt my ears!

It was hilarious to throw a large piece of bread towards the sea gulls and watch them all fight over it.

At one point I found myself surrounded by Canada geese. If they would have been ducks, I would have been completely fine with them, but the fact was, they were geese. And I know how mean geese can be if they want to. One of them started pecking at my leg, and that's when I shooed them farther from me.

I had a male duck eating out of my hand. If there is one animal I have a overfondness for, it is ducks. I just cannot tell you how much I love ducks. When I was growing up, my family lived on 10 acres, and we had pet ducks. Anytime I can be around ducks, I take the chance. I was thrilled to have one eating from my hand!

Incidentally I can now cross off #40 of my 101 Things in 1001 Days list.

Pictures by my sister, from her visit here a year and a half ago.

Monday, September 10, 2007

~It's a Bloggy Giveaway!~

As promised, I'm back to host a little giveaway to celebrate my 2-year blogging anniversary!

Please just post a comment to this post, and your name will be entered in the "hat". If you do not have a blog, please leave me your e-mail address so I have a way of contacting you!

What's that? Oh! You want to know what you're entering your name for?

A little zipper pouch, of course!

It has a vinyl pocket on the outside, is fully lined with green lining. It's the perfect size to keep your lip stick/gloss in, as well as those tiny little things that like to hide out in the bottom of your purse.

I will draw a name on Friday afternoon.


Friday and Saturday I went with a group of ladies from my church to a retreat at Camp CoBeAc. I've never been to Camp CoBeAc, and it was exciting to drive up and see the marvelous campgrounds the Lord has blessed the camp with.

We were priveliged to hear Debi Pryde speak, besides which there was lots of yummy food, fun activities (including the zip line - and yes, I went down it!!!, and a great time of fellowship together.

Now it's back to "real" life, and tackling the pile of laundry! *Smiles*

Friday, September 07, 2007

~For Me~

I still have delicious scraps left from my fat quarter win from Sew, Mama, Sew! and I decided to make myself a zipper pouch!

Last time I went biking I seriously considered taking this wristlet out of my Etsy shop so I would have something to put my keys and phone in. But I didn't, and then later it sold.

Yesterday I made myself a wristlet:

Lined it with plaid (but didn't think to match the plaid! LOL

It matches my bike perfectly, don't you think?

Of course, I had to try it out! I hopped on my bike and took a spin. It conveniently holds my keys, phone, and camera.

I know I will get a lot of use out of this! It is the perfect size for many different purposes.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

~Oldest worker in America~

Hats off to Ray Jenkins, who at 101 years old, has never retired!

Watch the video here.

~Labor Day~

Kevin had Labor Day off from work, and we spent some time doing stuff around the house. One thing Kevin did that I greatly appreciated was that he fixed the kitchen drain which was leaking.

After lunch we decided to go visit a nature preserve that isn't too far from our house. We took the 1.9 mile hike around the lake, and had a great time together.

Here are some pictures:

We saw a pair of swans (such pretty birds), geese, some unrecognizable water fowl, a beaver lodge and plenty of evidence in the surrounding forest of beavers cutting down trees, and a blue heron. The only disappointment was that the position of the trail obscured the lake for most of the hike.

It was such a nice day for a hike and we weren't bothered by pesky mosquitoes. It wasn't busy either. We only saw a few people during our hike. "A lovely time was had by all."


I missed my blogiversary! =) September 3, 2005, I started this blog on a whim. I've really enjoyed blogging! Two years have flown by!

Come back next Monday for a giveaway to celebrate my two-year anniversary!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

~Spring Fall Cleaning~

Do you deep clean in the fall? I typically do my deep cleaning in the spring, but this spring I didn't, and I find my house in need of some serious cleaning now. I don't want to wait till next spring! My house is picked up and surface cleaned, but there are too many dust bunnies running about my house! ;-)

Next week I plan on cleaning my house "from top to bottom" and then decorating for fall. Last fall and winter we were right in the middle of home improvements, and I couldn't decorate with either my fall or Christmas decorations, so I'm really looking forward to decorating this year!

Some things I plan to do:
***Pull off the heater grates and vacuum the ducts.
***Clean out my kitchen cabinets and touch up the paint on the doors.
***Clean out the bathroom cupboards and clean under the bathtub. (One of the bonuses for having a claw foot bathtub is that you get to clean under your tub! LOL)
***Thoroughly dust and vacuum in each room.

That'll keep me busy next week!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

~Redbirds and Rubies and Rainbows~

One of the goals on my 101 List is to read all the books on my bookshelf. I finally have a book finished!

Redbirds and Rubies and Rainbows by Marlene Evans is an excellent book for any Christian woman. Mrs. Evans deals with having proper attitudes, mind control, and true joy in the Christian life. She writes using many examples from her own life and those around her.

I think the lesson that stuck with me the most was that of "bronzing" good memories and not "bronzing" the bad moments in life. I have thought back to that many times since I read that, and I thought it was a whole chapter in the book. When I went to look for it just now, I had a hard time finding it, because it is only several pages in the book. My grandpa had a bronzed baby shoe and that really impressed me when I was a little girl, which perhaps is why this lesson stood out so much to me. In any case, I have been working to only "bronze" the good things. As Mrs. Evens pointed out, it is so easy to cast the bad memories in bronze and forget the good things.

I had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Evans, as well as hear her speak, at a ladies conference in California about a year before she passed away. I could see that the lessons she taught in this book were lived out until her death. Her ministry to women was remarkable.

I highly recommend this book! It is well worth the read!

Monday, September 03, 2007

~Gooseberry Patch Recipe Books~

Do you enjoy looking through recipe books? I do! Over several years, I have both purchased and received several Gooseberry Patch cookbooks.

Besides recipes, the cookbooks are full of hand-drawn art and they have little ideas sprinkled throughout for decorating and gift-giving.

I got out my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks today and set them on my coffee table. I plan on looking through them in the evenings so I can find new recipes to try.

Here is one recipe that I made twice recently. It is the perfect thing to take to picnics, gatherings, potlucks, and it makes a pretty salad for company!

My Sister's Ambrosia

8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
2 t. lemon juice
2 t. pineapple juice
2 medium bananas, sliced and quartered
14-1/2 oz. jar maraschino cherries, halved
15-1/4 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved
1 c. chopped nuts
16 oz. whipped topping

Blend cream cheese, sugar and juices well. Add fruit and nuts. Fold in whipped topping and refrigerate before serving.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

~Felted Purse~

Ever since I've been knitting, I've wanted to make a felted purse. I found this pattern recently, (accessible if you join Knitting Daily), and kept it in mind. I bought my yarn at Hobby Lobby.

Here's the bag all knitted up, pre-felting:


As you can see, it did shrink, but not too much. The handle could be longer, but oh well. Now I need to find a perfect button and I'm all set. Overall, I was pleased with the pattern, though it says "beginner" but doesn't really have "beginner" instructions.