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Thursday, March 24, 2016


I want to thank all of you wonderful people that took the time to leave me sweet messages of encouragement.   I am humbled and feel so very blessed.  All the glory goes to God if this blog has touched you in some manner.  I'll leave the comment section open so if you have  questions about any of the posts you can reach me or if you'd just like to drop by from time to time to say hello.  As a side note:  Remember a few weeks back that I wrote about having a bad bout of arthritis?  Well, I upped my dosage of turmeric to two capsules and it improved greatly.  Now I can climb stairs once again without wincing.   Just something for you to consider doing if you have that problem.

A big heartfelt thank you hug,

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


It's important to me to be "real".  In this blog, I've shared with you my struggles with my faith and weight loss, the depression I go through during the holidays,  and my failures with day to day life.  I'm not perfect, never said I was.  I was hoping that it might help someone else going through the same things, but perhaps that was vanity on my part, the thought that I could be helpful.   Every Sunday evening before I write this blog, I ask God to give me the words to help others and give me a sign that I'm on the right track.

And it is kind of funny, that every time I think about quitting, someone new will leave a comment or one of my old friends will leave me a sweet  message and I remember how nice those out there in cyberspace can be. I've met quite a few great people via this blog, some that will be friends forever.  That's the one reason, I'll never regret creating this blog. But every once in a while, I get a snarky comment that makes me question the entire point of blogging.  Usually they start out "I don't mean to judge, but..." You know, this makes me question the wisdom of laying it all out there for anyone to read.  Sometimes it's something as innocent as a post about Christmas decorations or the price of chicken legs ,heck  one  gal even wanted to argue (basically calling me a liar) with me about last winter (2014) being cold although the record would agree with me. You just never know what people will judge you upon.   And this may sound petty (hey I'm not perfect) but it really bothers me that those making the commenters usually don't have blogs for me to read and "judge" them upon.  Not that I would because I am a firm believer in letting people lead their own lives and if you ever met the diverse collection of people that I call friends, you'd understand that.  Long story short,  the last "I don't mean to judge" comment was the final straw, and I've decided that there will be one less blog out there for those that judge to judge.  I'll leave this blog up, so those that have recipes and patterns saved can use it, but I won't be posting anymore.   Thank you to all those that have left kind comments over the years, I'll continue to  visit  yours.

God Bless!

PS:  For those that read this post, thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


Hello dear friends! Did you remember to set your clocks ahead?  Guess daylight savings time is one sure sign of spring.   But the most exciting one for us is the return of the swans. Sorry the pictures are not very good, in advance.  I keep thinking of what my dear blogging friend, Andrea could have done with this opportunity, she takes such lovely pictures of birds and flowers, unfortunately, I am not a photographer. You'll have to zoom in on the picture if you want to get a good look at them.
There were perhaps  several hundred this time in the farmer's field.( One year there were so many that the ground was completely white with swans for acres and acres) I tried to get as close as I could, but when I got within a hundred feet of them they became skittish and started to take flight.
Here's another  picture of them to show you how many there were.  All the white areas are swans.
Here's what I couldn't believe; that no one even slowed down to look at them except for Ran and myself.  Everyone just sped past, completely oblivious to the miracle that was taking place right under their very noses,  an opportunity so rare that only a few people get to experience in their lifetime.  I believe that I live an enchanted life, but perhaps it is only that I take the time to enjoy what is there; a star-filled night, the warmth of the sun on my face, an baby's long eyelashes, the taste of the good earth from freshly-dug potatoes.  Everyone is always so busy with their lists and chores that it seems to me they miss the wonderful world that has been created for us. So many people think that they must spend money to find pleasure, when the truth is the very best things in life are free. The old saying is true. So many people think they must be busy, busy, busy all the time.  As Ran and I held hands and silently gazed over a field of swans, I knew that no cruise or diamond ring would ever compare to that moment and no completion of a task would ever be as important .  I'm sure that if I get to Heaven, there will be fields of swans,  this was just a glimpse of Heaven.  It is well with my soul.

Be still and know that I am God
~ Psalms 46:10 ~


Ran built this kindling bin from free pallets:
We'll probably paint it once the weather warms up, if we can find any reasonably priced "mistints" at the hardware store.  Otherwise, we'll let it weather to a natural grey color. Had to laugh, we are known around the neighborhood for our love of free pallets.   Yesterday our two elderly neighbors stopped us on our walk to tell us they spied some pallets.  Now even the neighbors are on the lookout for us!

Got half a dozen free pallets for firewood and projects.

While out for our daily walks, we bring back branches and sticks that have broken off the trees this winter.  Our kindling bin is just about full from doing this and plus we have found some larger branches in the neighborhood that are excellent firewood.

Since cabbage is priced so lowly as we approach St. Pat's Day, I made a huge batch of vegetable cabbage soup, the only thing I needed to buy was the cabbage and celery, everything else came from the pantry.  I'm doing the cabbage soup diet this week to jump start my dieting.  I've been on a plateau for weeks. It always works for me.

Brought in the dried hydrangeas from the bush trimmings to decorate with.  You know I wouldn't spend good money on flowers but I still wanted some sort of flower arrangement.
Fortunately for me, I love primitive decorating and dried hydrangeas suit that style.

We started our seeds.  Most came from seeds we saved.

Went to t he doctor's and got a glowing report on my health.  Good health is so vital to having a good life.  Little things like daily walks,   abstaining from junk food, and spending part of each day in quiet contemplation can do so much to help you obtain it and they all are free!

Finished one sampler and began another from supplies I had on hand.  One will be a Christmas present.  It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas presents, especially when you make your own gifts.

Packed away my heavy winter clothes and started getting out my spring ones.  Hope springs eternal!  I never bring out everything at once, that way, when I get bored with my wardrobe, I just have to "shop" in my attic for something new.

That's about it for this week.  I will be taking a blogging break for a while, unless something truly remarkable happens that I want to share in the meantime.  Hope you all have a lovely spring!



Sunday, March 6, 2016


Hello dear friends!  Sorry I missed you last week.   Just had a bad bout of arthritis that left me too tired to do much plus it was a pretty uninspiring week just sitting about, trying not to bend my knee. Ha!  You never realize what a valuable joint a knee is until you can't use it, especially climbing stairs.  And I have to say walking about like Grandpa McCoy (from the TV show The Real McCoys) does nothing for making you feel attractive and feminine.  Oh well!  It's just part of growing old and when you consider the alternative, a small price to pay!

March came in like a lion around here.  We've had several snowstorms, and it looks more like Christmas now than it did in December.  But that's to be expected for March.   We awoke to snow fog this morning.  So pretty! 
Even in March, I never tire of the beauty of winter.  The cold, yes, but the snow, never.  Sure beats mud season!


While I was abed, I unraveled a sweater that I bought at the winter clearance sale at our local thrift store for seventeen cents.  Pretty gray marled lambswool and enough to knit a shrug  from a free pattern I've been saving for several years.  It reminded me that while I could just go out and buy some yarn and purchase a pattern on Ravelry, how much more enjoyable it is to take something from what I have on hand and  make it into something pretty and useful.  How much more fun it is to "discover" a pretty item of clothing at a thrift store or garage sale and make it into a uniquely-my-own-style outfit, rather than just ordering out of a catalog.  How much more satisfying a meal made from what is on hand is compared to just shopping for what I feel like making.  How our home is furnished in manner that is all our own, with it's revamped and homemade pieces, rather than just copying everything out of  the Pottery Barn catalog.   It's not just the frugality of it, it's the creative process that gives us so much pleasure.  I often wonder if I had all the money in the world, would I be any happier than I am now, in my  little cottage, filled with handmade furnishing and hand-sewn samplers, wearing my thrifted and homemade outfits and eating  a bowl of soup made from vegetables from our own garden and leftovers from the night before?  I doubt it.

I learned the connection between thrift and creativity the second day as a married woman.  I wanted to make something special for my husband for our first meal in our new home, but all we had in the house was some eggs, milk, flour, butter, bread and some homemade jam my mother-in-law had given us.  So what's to do?   I made a Dutch Pancake.   More elegant than scrambled eggs and toast.  Dutch pancakes rate right up there with potato soup and potato pancakes as the ultimate nothings-in-the-house-and-there's- one- more-day-until-payday meal. I lost my recipe, but I found the directions here.
I made mine in a cast iron skillet and served it with the jam over the top.  


We endeavor to learn something new every week.  Last week, we watched Victorian Bakers  and learned how bakers made bread in the 1820s.  I wasn't aware that they didn't have yeast back then.   The bakery was located next to the brewery and they used the leftover yeast  at the bottom of the keg when bottling the beer  to bake bread.  Since Ran had just made a batch of beer, we happened to have the yeast, so we gave it a try, using ancient grains, such as, spelt, quinoa, rye and oats.  It made a beautiful loaf with a slightly sour dough flavor.  Very good!  And lovely too.
Just goes to show you, even an old dog can learn a new trick!  Unfortunately, (or fortunately) Ran only makes one batch of beer a year, so we'll have to wait until next year to have another loaf.


This past week, chicken legs with the thighs attached were on sale for thirty-nine cents a pound when you buy ten pounds.  That's an offer too hard to pass up!   So I cut up the chicken and separated the legs from the thighs. I also removed the skin, as I don't care for it.  Threw all the skin and the thighs in a big pot and boiled them until the meat was cooked.  Strained the broth and culled all the meat from the bones.  This made two very full quarts bags of chicken meat to be used for casseroles. The broth was refrigerated and the fat was skimmed off to be used in soap making.  Got about 3/4 of a quart.  The broth was frozen and is enough for two good sized potfuls of soup.  I cooked the legs in a teriyaki sauce and served them with some stir-fried vegetables and some fried rice that I had in the freezer.  There was enough for two meals plus plenty for snacking on.  This week my dear blogging friend April wrote about Cheesy Chicken Hashbrown Casserole and since I had all the ingredients except for the hash browns, I made that, (I cut the recipe in half) which was plenty for two meals.  With the other bag of chicken, I'll probably make chicken enchiladas or maybe chicken and dumplings, again it will make enough for two meals,  That combined with the broth which should make at least four meals of soup, out of that $3.90 purchase, I  will get  ten meals plus the fat for soapmaking. And that is how we only spend $150 a month on groceries.


Bought chicken for 39 cents/lb.

Baked bread from the yeast leftover when bottling beer.

Ran plowed out a couple of neighbors and they paid him. (He just did it out of the goodness of his heart, but they insisted on paying him)

I cross-stitched a sampler from materials I had.  Now I need to find a frame for it.

Unraveled a thrifted sweater for the yarn.

Watched several movies for free on YouTube.

Bought 4 yards of homespun fabric for an apron for $1/yard on Etsy.

Enjoyed the beauty of my Christmas cacti.  These plants were bought at the after-Christmas sale for $1 or less each.  They give me so much joy and I think they are just as pretty, if not more so, than costly orchids that are all the rage these days.
And they're a lot easier to care for, just give them a drink whenever you think about it and set them in a sunny window.  Pick off the blossoms as they die.  That's it. They bloom several times throughout the year so I never buy cut flowers in the fall and winter.

Bought some craft bins at a thrift store and am now spending my spare time organizing all my embroidery floss.   What a tangled mess!  Why is it that no matter how many skeins of floss you have, they are never the ones you need for your next project?

So what exciting things have you been up to this week?  Hope this coming week is filled with joy!  Sending you all an extra big hug because I missed last week!