Saturday, March 29, 2008

~Spring Cleaning my Bookcase~

Edited to add: the Vintange Homekeeping Book is taken.

I have two books that I hope might be helpful to someone else. If you'd like to purchase them, please send me and e-mail and I'll give you my Paypal information. Each of these books is in very good, like-new condition.

First, I am offering Queen of the Castle by Lynn Bowen Walker. This book is $8, which includes shipping.


Secondly, Treasury of Vintage Homekeeping Skills by Martha Greene, for $13 including shipping.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Hello! I've been a little quiet on the blogging side this winter. I'll open the page to create a new post, and it will sit open for hours sometimes. Finally I'll just close it because I can't think of anything to say. Interesting how different you are in seasons of your life.

I didn't get any spring cleaning done this week. I fully intended to attack the bathroom, but never did. Oh well. But the kitchen is still nice and clean. It is so nice to work in now. Next week I'll move forward in my spring cleaning!

I received my book (Knitalong) from Amazon this week. I was thoroughly delighted to see my knitted square fully visible in three different pictures. As it turned out, the knitters were not given full credit. Of course, we were all duly thanked, and my name is in the inside back cover. But so are a whole bunch of names. LOL It would have been cumbersome to list everyone who knitted each item, and realistically the only people interested in who knit each item would be the individual knitters. It is a fun book, and there are several projects in the book that I would like to make. I'm sure that there are some knit-alongs already started with the projects from this book! It would be fun to join one, I think.

Lately I've been listening to Old Fashioned Christian Music Radio. As the name clearly indicates, the music is "old fashioned." I love quality Christian music, and listening to this as I go about my housework has been very encouraging.

Well, for not having anything to say, I've rambled on quite a bit.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

~Groceries, part 2~

Groceries: gotta have 'em! The only way around buying groceries is to eat out for every meal! And well, that isn't happening--at least not at my house!

I heard on the news this morning that the U.S. grocery prices have increased by 4%. However, the prices in third world countries have increased by over 20%. So while I was busy complaining about spending a few extra dollars--there are literally people starving to death because they can't afford to buy food.

I really started thinking about why my groceries have gone up for me so much over the last few months, and then it dawned on me: we aren't eating out! That means that almost every single meal is coming from my kitchen. So of course, while we are spending practically nothing on eating out, we have to account for extra meals at home, which naturally means more groceries!

For now, it works best for me to read the sales and plan my meals around them. I went shopping yesterday and saved $41 just by shopping the sales. I think if I can gradually stock up on items here and there, it will really help in the long run!

A while back, I saved this list of books that Merideth posted. I went through the list the other day and reserved some of the books at my library.

Mrs H. recommeneded

Any other great books or sites that have helped you???

Saturday, March 22, 2008

~Spring Cleaning, Kitchen Part 5~

Well, I did it! I finished my kitchen today. I worked really hard in there and got everything clean.

Today I cleaned the oven, finished cleaning off the countertops, cleaned the cupboard doors, and mopped the floor--paying attention to all those corners. Then I broke out the paint and touched up my cabinets. They are all nice and white now!

I am so happy to have everything shiny clean! There are some areas of my kitchen that I keep on top of: refrigerator, microwave, counter tops. But then there are other areas that I don't "think" of as often: stovetop, oven, floors. So I'm going to write out a rotating list and make sure everything gets cleaned on a montly basis. This will make spring cleaning much easier--or perhaps eliminate the need!

Next up: the bathroom!

Friday, March 21, 2008

~Spring Cleaning, Kitchen Part 4~

First of all, somehow the "spring" dial switched back to "winter" and it has been snowing all afternoon! Totally not fair, though the weatherman is positively gloating!

Ok, where was I...oh yes, "spring" cleaning. Today I finished out the cupboards, and got the countertops cleaned. I also cleaned the sink, microwave, and toaster.

Still left: cupboard doors, oven, and floor. That will get done tomorrow!

~Floor problems~

It was not until we were doing our final walk-through of our home that I noticed the kitchen floor was not a linoleum, but rather sticky linoleum "tiles". So maybe that was why the previous owners had strewn dirty laundry throughout the house the day of our inspection? They wanted to draw attention away from the floors? (Seriously, there was laundry everywhere! Our realtor picked it up off the stairs so we could walk down without tripping! Baskets were everywhere all over the kitchen!)

I know that many designers on HGTV make use of these "marvelous" sticky tiles, and I have seen a job done correctly with them. But this is not a long-lasting floor solution! Unless the tiles are laid perfectly, there are gaps. Also, the tiles lose their stickiness and start to come up, or slip around.

So here's what the floor by my stove looked like:

I took off six tiles:

and now look (oooh, don't look too hard, I still haven't cleaned the floor/cupboard doors!):

There is still one tile in that area that has gaps. Honestly though, I could have removed the whole floor last night. Because once you start going, the rest of the floor looks bad too. But, I would have run out of tiles (at least the previous owner left a box and a half in the basement for us), and the tiles have lost some of their stickiness. So I'll be content that the huge gaps are gone!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

~Happy Spring!~


And look how they grow! Through the leaves, isn't that just fascinating? (Sorry, the focus is a bit off.)

~Spring Cleaning, Kitchen Part 3~

As mentioned on Tuesday, my refrigerator and cabinet under the sink are shiny clean. I started on the stovetop on Tuesday, and today I finally got the drip pans cleaned and back on. My stovetop is 30+ years old, so it is not the prettiest sight. (Hmmm I'm 30+, hope the same can't be said of me. ;-) ) It is not easy to clean, which means I don't do it often enough. I need to add this chore to my list and get it done on a regular basis, wouldn't that be smart?

Today's accomplishments: pantry and a few drawers. I had recently gone through them, so everything just needed straightening. Also I decided to let go of some canned pickles that I put up in the summer of '04. With all the salt and vinegar, I have no doubt that they were still fine to eat, but the trouble with them was that I never liked the way they turned out in the first place!!! So 8 jars--contents down the disposal! Now I don't have to look at them in my cupboard any more!

I did find some things to give to the thrift store, but not much. I also straightened my cookbook shelf. It is nice to have this shelf in the kitchen, but I admit it is a magnet for clutter!

I still have a few cupboards to straighten and wipe out, then I have general surface cleaning left.

My goodness, it feels so good to get things sparkling again!

~Spring Cleaning your In-box~

A few months ago, I decided to take control of my email in box. Personal emails went unanswered for months, buried amongst advertising and blogging e-mails (I get my comments sent to my e-mail address). I wanted and needed a better system!

Here's what I've done with my Yahoo account--I'm sure that most email programs have similar features that you can make use of:

1) I made folders for different family members and friends, and transferred all their e-mails into those folders. For some reason, I cannot bear to delete personal emails. Not that I ever go back and read them, but that's another issue to be dealt with on another day! *Smiles*

2) I deleted all the rest. Very easy, should have been done when I received them!

3) Now this is a feature which might be unique to Yahoo users, but I created an email "address" which is just for my blog comments, but delivered to the same email address. Now when comments come in, they are highlighted a different color and I can respond to them using this email address.

4) Here's the part which has worked the best for me: I keep my main in-box empty. If there is an email in there, I either need to delete it, respond to it, or it is there to jog my memory on something. Once I respond to an email, I file it in its appropriate folder or delete as appropriate, and then I don't have it staring at me each time I open my email.

I know this is a lot of detail for something as simple as email, but I have struggled with emailing for years! I have been such a tardy responder to emails, and in many instances this has been quite embarrassing to me. I am so happy that I have finally hit upon a good system that works for me!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Last night I went grocery shopping. Have you noticed a price increase in groceries? It seems as if everything is going up in price, all across the store. While I've been shopping the sales, it doesn't seem to be cutting the grocery bill enough.

I make almost everything from "scratch", with minimal processed foods. So I don't think couponing would work for me. Also, not too many meals are that fancy either.

Here's a chance to share your favorite books, websites and blogs for frugal grocery shopping! In a few days, I'll post all the links in a seperate post.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

~Spring Cleaning, Kitchen Part 2~

After the refrigerator I moved on to the cabinet under the sink. Since I already had my vacuum out (I vacuumed the coils on the back of the fridge), I vacuumed all the crud out from under the sink, and quickly swiped it out. I keep the trash under the sink, so I sanitized the trash can also.

I have a cabinet that is kind of off to the side of the kitchen, tall and large. I keep my recycle bins in here, as well as my cleaners. The recycles were towering in there, ready to become a monster and jumble about the house.
;-) Those were taken out to the garage and the recycle bins cleaned too.

The stove top has been cleaned - I just have to work on those pesky drip pans.

Amy's list looks like this:
Day 1: Clean refrigerator (inside). Vacuum coils.
Day 2: Deep clean floor.
Day 3: Organize pantries.
Day 4: Clean outside of fridge and under sink. Clean cooktop.
Day 5: Cut the clutter.
Day 6: Final tidy! (clean counters, stuff on counters, dining room table, windows, trash can, exterior of cabinets).

For Amy's full explanations, please visit her site!

As you can see, I'm mixing things up a bit. Amy suggested designating 1 hour per day, which is a good suggestion. However, with the way my week looks, I'm trying to accomplish more on several days, rather than spread out the tasks. Also, I'm saving the floor for last since I'm a messy cleaner! :-)

~Spring Cleaning, Kitchen Part 1~

It's quite dreary out today, what with the rain just drip, drip, dripping! The curtains are open, but the lights are still on today!

I realize the calendar hasn't declared that it is spring yet, but I've just begun my "spring cleaning". Amy over at The Mother Load has been working very hard and providing her readers with spring cleaning printables. Last week was the kitchen, and I wasn't really feeling up to it, so I decided to postpone until this week.

So far, I've got my refrigerator sparkling - inside and out! I loved the suggestion for cleaning with baking soda. How much better than filling my refrigerator with cleaner fumes! Why didn't I think of that? I went a little farther and cleaned out my freezer too. I hate to throw "perfectly good" food away, but then stuff that's been hanging out in there for the past three years probably isn't "perfectly good", is it? LOL

As you can see from the picture, it is time to go grocery shopping! It is much easier to clean the refrigerator out when there isn't much in there to begin with.

I'm working through Amy's lists, and my next stop is under the sink. It feels good to get rid of grime!!!

~Dripped Beef~

This coming Sunday is Easter, and the last several years, I have made this roast for Easter dinner, and will be making it again this year:

Dripped Beef

3-4 lb. chuck roast
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. white pepper (I use regular pepper)
1 Tbsp. rosemary
1 Tbsp. dried oregeno
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 cup water

Place roast in crock pot. Combine seasonings, and sprinkle over roast. Add water. Cover crock pot and cook on Low 6-7 hours. Shred meat using two forks. Strain liquid and return liquid and meat to slow cooker. Serve meat and au jus over mashed potatoes, noodles, or rice.

Recipe from Fix it and Forget it.

I posted this recipe about a year ago--it is a great recipe, worth repeating! *Smiles*

Sunday, March 16, 2008

~Coming from

Oooh, I can't wait! Tonight I ordered this:

Which of course has this in it:

I'm looking forward to receiving it! I hope I like the other projects besides this afghan. LOL But at least I'll have a copy to prove that my knitted work is in a published book! Too fun. *Smiles*

Saturday, March 15, 2008

~Can it be? A post without mention of weather?~

I've been reading the sequel to Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster. Dear Enemy is the delightful story of Sallie, Judy's friend, who goes to superintend the orphanage that Judy grew up in. It is full of words like "heretofore, herewith, respectfully, etc." A very fun read! I have read it once before, but it has been quite awhile. While I've read Daddy-Long-Legs several times over, I haven't followed it each time with Dear Enemy. But really, I should have! I won't give away any details, so it is hard to talk about it! If you've read Daddy-Long-Legs, I urge you to read Dear Enemy!

Friday, March 14, 2008

~Sun! and warmth!~

Our high today was in the low 50's. ***Almost like paridise!*** I went for a lovely walk and didn't even need a coat. It was just beautiful out today. I choose to ignore the forecast for this weekend! (Hint, it is not more of the same.) ***La, la, la, I can't heeeeear you***

Thursday, March 13, 2008

~Through the snow~

I took this picture on Tuesday, and was going to add it to my post that day, but I never got around to it.

I just love to see the crocuses popping up through the snow! It is such an encouraging sight! And it reminds me of the verse:
Gen. 8:22 "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

So no matter how long and cold this winter is, we know spring is around the corner!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

~Signs of Spring~

When we moved from California to Michigan, I thought that winter would be many months of whiteness...that the snow would just keep piling up and up and up all winter long. So after our first winter storm, I was surprised that it all melted away several days later. That was the process: snow, melt, snow, melt...all winter long. Snow storms never came when there was still snow on the ground, or at least rarely.

And that was how winter was like our first three winters here. But this winter has been completely different! We had a very late fall, and unfortunately there wasn't much time between the last leaves falling and the first snow. Since our first snow, we haven't seen the ground--or much of it! (Which means that the lawn is covered in leaves still! Eeks--I'm not anxious to see the state of our lawn!)

In February, much of our area got either record snowfalls or close to it. It snowed almost every day!

But this brings me to the title of my post - the snow is melting off now, and since it was a little warmer yesterday, I walked around the house. I saw crocuses popping up, some tulips in a sunnier spot, and my grape hyacinths! Oh, I can't wait to see them bloom! :-)

Ecc. 3:11a:
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

~Pigs Monkeying Around~

Using Sunnyside Ellen's Pigs In Mud colorway, I knit a second pair of Monkey socks. I love this pattern--so fun to work up!

The foot ended up being just a smidge on the long side. I think next time I knit this pattern, I'll switch to from size 2 to size 1 needles for the toe, and that would take care of that problem. It really isn't that big of a deal though--I wore these socks yesterday and they are very comfortable.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


And this time, I'm not talking about the weather. (Though if you want to get technical, it is freezing outside. But I digress.) This video is hilarious!

Monday, March 03, 2008


Need something to do on a cold winter day? Here's an idea! There's a new "squiggly" puzzle (and normal puzzles) each day.

It has been a very hazardous winter. Snow and ice have piled up on a nearly daily basis. I think I heard that we had at least a trace of snow on over 20 days of last month. So I pull up my little electric heater that follows me about the house, and do a squiggly puzzle. *grin*

Saturday, March 01, 2008

~Friday's tea towel~


Hanging on my oven:

My two finished towels:

Have I mentioned how much I love these towels? The black-outlined shapes with the dotted words pleasantly remind me of coloring pages with words which were to be traced.

The binding I used for Friday's tea towel was out of the same bias binding I used for my polka-dotted apron a while back.