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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sweet Briar Cottage Journal: Hope Springs Eternal

Hello dear friends!  I truly hope that you are having a lovely first day of "daylights saving time".  We certainly could do with some of that saved daylight.  March is a bleak, dreary month here.  Snow is a welcome sight in late November and December, but in March, not so much.  While the cold single digit temperatures are brisk and invigorating in the depths of Winter, in March they are just annoying.  We had plans for the weekend, but when we awoke and saw the snow on the ground, we decided to stay put, little did we know the snow was only confined to the village limits, later in the day when we ventured out, we discovered just five minutes down the road, they hadn't seen a flake! Lake effects snows are so deceptive.   March is not my favorite month!

SEWING
To idle away some of the hours, I've been doing a bit of sewing.  I made this little sundress for my granddaughter Violet, hope springs eternal!  Do you think we will ever be in need of a sundress this year? 
The fabric says "life is just a bowl of cherries" and has little bunches of cherries on it.  I bought it at the St. Vincent's Thrift Store for 75 cents.  The rick-rack was picked up at a garage sale for a dime.  The pattern is a vintage one, McCall's 6501, a very easy beginner pattern.  I still have to hem  and press it and sew a button on.  No hurry, I'm sure we won't be needing Summer clothes for a while.

BAKING
It seems everyone is baking lemon things these days.  Or maybe I'm just noticing them more.  To top it all off, I got the King Arthur Catalog and it was chock full of lemony things.  This recipe  for lemon streusel coffeecake caught my eye in particular.  Just reading the reviews now, I see that many people don't understand that a coffeecake is supposed to be dense.  Coffeecakes are not cakes, more like giants muffins.  Anywho, the list for ingredients was ridiculous and expensive, so what I did was substitute some lemonade powder drink mix (which I had)for the lemon powder in the recipe and used lemon extract  (bought for $1 at the dollar store)for the lemon oil.  I also halved the recipe and baked it in a 8-inch cake pan.  Well, I liked it. Maybe I'm the only one.  Here's what mine looked like:
Having a cup of coffee and some little pastry in the evening is a tradition at our house.  I haven't been baking much, for the sake of dieting, but we always end up eating some store-bought thingies, which are always disappointing.  It's so much nicer to have something home-made,  I truly believe we eat less that way.  It's just more satisfying.
GARDENING
Our  little experiment of starting lettuce seeds in the cold frame is a success!  The seeds have begun sprouting.  I don't know how they are managing to find enough warmth, last night the temperatures were in the single digit, but they are.  We were very lazy about it.  Just threw a bag of potting soil into the frame, slashed it open and planted the seeds.  If we a get a jump on our Spring lettuce, that would be nice.  Green leafies are our major grocery expense in the Winter for us.  I also stuck the bottoms of some green onions that I had  into a pot and they are coming along too.  A gardening failure was forcing some pussy willow branches.  They just never did bud out.  But I might try forcing some forsythias.  Hope springs eternal! 

LIFE
I've had  several friends and family members come to me in the past couple of weeks with worries.  Seems a lot of people are going through life changes at the moment.  I always get the question of  how we knew it was the time for Ran to retire. All of life's decisions are difficult, whether it's what to major in college, to whom you should marry, to when or if you should have children.  Goodness!  If you overanalyzed everything, you'd be stuck in inertia.  Everything in life that matters, seems to take a major leap of faith.  I always tell my children you'll know it's time for a change when the misery of being in the situation overcomes the fear of the unknown.  It helps to have a belief in something far, far greater then ourselves, but I realize some people don't.  One of my favorite Psalms that I turn to often, is this:

121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Psalms 121

Just had the prompting that someone out there needed to read this today.

BLOGGING 
Blogging has been difficult for me lately.  Maybe you've noticed that my post have been a little dull?  There's not much going on here, as we wait for warmer weather.  Winter is too long in Michigan.  I feel I have written just about everything there is to say about thrift.  How many posts can I write about pantries, canning, grocery shopping and gardening?   So if you have any suggestions for things to write about, I'd certainly welcome them.  Also, I have stopped moderating my comments.  I lost too many of them between the time I hit the publish button and the time they appeared.  Hoping this makes it easier for you to comment.

THRIFTY THINGS WE DID THIS WEEK

Sewed a sundress for our granddaughter form thrifted fabric, trimmings, pattern and thread.  Total cost less than $3.

Made a huge pot of chili from things we had in the pantry.  We ate it for two days as chili and on the third day as taco salad.  Three days of meals for less than a dollar.  We love chili, btw, so it wasn't a hardship for us.

Ran bought a brand new with tags still on them pair of Jesse James shorts for $3 at the local thrift store.  Guess he's expecting Summer to arrive. Jamie found two video games.

Went through a bunch of books and gave them to a charity.  Also cleaned out my closets and gave two bags to charity.  While cleaning the closet out I discovered a penny rug that I had been working on and shoved in there to get it out of the way.  So now I'm finishing that project up.

Stayed home from the trip we were planning, it was too cold and windy.  I'm sure that decision saved us at least $100.

Renewed our Walgreen's prescription plan.  This saves us a lot of money on prescriptions, as we have such a hugh deductible on health insurance.

Made a quiche for lunch today.  Extra large eggs are 69 cents/ dozen!  Now's the time to dust off all those egg recipes. 

Well, that's about it for another week at the old Zempel boarding house.  I hope your week is filled with sunshine and fun!

Hugs
Jane





72 comments:

  1. Our Okie weather has been up and down. Thursday it was 89 and this morning we had a freeze and heavy frost.
    Cherries and RicRac and little girls in dresses are all some of my favorite things.
    We like chili too, no matter the season.
    We like coffee cake too. My grandson couldn't figure out why we call it coffee cake when it doesn't have coffee in it 😂 In fact, I prefer the sturdiness of coffeecake to lighter dessert cakes.

    I hope you are having a good Sunday and you get some lasting spring weather soon.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. 89 degrees! That's too warm too soon. Kind of scary how the weather is fluctuating so much. If I were a farmer, I'd be tearing out my hair.

      Grandkids say the cutest things. He'll soon enough learn about coffee and cake. One of the greatest pleasures on Earth.

      Had a lot of fun sewing that little dress. Waited a long time to have a little girl to sew for. My other granddaughter is too much of a tomboy for dresses. I'm thinking of a chambray and eyelet one next.

      Hope you are having a fun Sunday. And I'm sure you are!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  2. Jane, your posts are always a pleasure to read!

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    1. Thank you Miriam. And it's always a pleasure to hear from you!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  3. The little sundress is adorable! Our weather was very nice most of the week but is rainy/ cold/ gray today- ugh! I think the density of home baked goods in general makes them more satisfying and filling. I have also read that your brain does not get a "turn off" signal with high fructose corn syrup. Good luck with the forsythia!

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    1. I read that somewhere too, Angela. Of course, my brain never gets that turn off signal. Ha!

      Hoping our sun returns. It's good to read it is nice somewhere in this country. This is typical March weather, butWinter sure is getting long in the tooth.
      Hugs
      Jane

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  4. Hi Jane! Such a beautiful sundress! Soon.....it will be warm. We get snow here even when it isn't forecast, and that big nor'eater is coming tomorrow night. I just made gingerbread with lemon icing...lemons are the thing this winter I guess! Your posts are interesting even if you just tell us what you paid for eggs (amazing price...I could just live on eggs). I like (and agree with) your advice on when you know you are due for a change. Luckily God works for us by closing doors a lot and guiding (or not guiding) us that way. Soon you will be eating that lettuce! Hugs, Andrea

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  5. Hi Andrea! That's an easy pattern. I saw it on Posey Gets Cozy.

    Well, I guess lemons remind us of sunshine, so maybe after so many months of grey, we look to anything to give us some. Yum! Gingerbread and lemon sauce sounds terrific.

    Yes, God guides us, we just having to have enough discernment to understand, what He is telling us. Hoping the lettuce flourishes. Have a wonderful and peaceful Sunday!

    Hugs
    Jane

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  6. Difficult? Dull ?? Never, I enjoy every word, recipes, suggestions, and even to find that down the road it was relatively snow free is a delight for me down here. Please keep writing, everyday life in another country , seasons that are so different, knitting patterns or links, I enjoy them all. Here, in NZ, further north from us, massive flooding yesterday, houses, cars, streets and shops, one brave man swam and waded through water up to his chest to make sure a neighbour was safe!!! Take heart, your real spring weather must arrive soon, after all we are in autumn down here. XXX

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    1. Hello Jean! I've read about your flooding. It always seems to be something. There's no really safe places. On the whole, I think I'll take my cold and wind, it sure beats living in tornado alley!

      I love Autumn. What is that quote about being a bird and flying about to eternal Autumns. Do you get the colorful foliage in NZ? How's your knee doing?

      Hugs
      Jane

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  7. Well I enjoy your posts whatever you write!
    Wish we had put clocks forward in the UK, we have to wait another couple of weeks until clocks change for lighter evenings. Our temps for the next few days are due to be around high 50 degrees F so a bit warmer than you!

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    1. Put the reply in the wrong place! Boy! I'm glad I'm not a traveler, Sue. I always assumed Daylight Savings was on the same day all over the world. That's got to be confusing. I'm mildly dyslexic and these sort of things drive me crazy. I once traveled to a different time zone on the day they change turn the clocks forward. I'm glad there were lots of clocks around because I had no idea what time it was. Ha! 50 degrees sounds like perfect tree planting weather! Hope you have lots of volunteers!

      HUgs
      Jane

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  9. Oh, that sundress is so sweet! I love the red rickrack around the pockets!
    Your posts are never boring, Jane--the same way a cup of coffee with the girls could never be boring (and yes, I AM having my afternoon pick-me-up as I read this!). Love hearing all the news from Michigan's mitten, whether it's the price of eggs or a new recipe or clothes/books sent to thrift (such a good reminder--I've got a bag of clothes and should sort through several bookshelves myself!) or just the color of the winter sky.
    Speaking of new recipes, I do believe I will try that Lemon Streusel Coffee Cake. I bought a small lemon-iced pound cake earlier this week (reduced to half-price!) and was so disappointed by the flavor. Such a bummer when a bargain ends up being a waste of money... :(

    Sue

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    1. It's an even bigger bummer when it isn't a bargain, Sue. Ha! What is it about lemons lately? Hopefully it the new taste trend. I could go for that. Sure beats everything being sriracha (sp.) flavored! I just discovered that my aging body can't take caffeine past 10 am.. Now I've joined the old people that drink decaf. Next stop Sanka! Ah aging!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  10. Hi Jane, I enjoy reading all your posts. It feels like visiting with a friend - not always earth shaking, but always comforting. Hope you get my drift on that. Really cute little sun dress - she will love it. Our weather has been crazy in southern Illinois. We even had a little snow yesterday.
    Take care.

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    1. I guess it's been crazy everywhere, Sheila. We have yet to get any of that really warm weather, but at least we aren't getting the Nor'easter that the Eastern states are supposed to get. It's been pretty even (cold) here.

      Hugs
      Jane

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  11. I always enjoy your posts. Just the day to day happenings are interesting & often inspiring. I'm with you on home baked goods. A decent store bought shortbread or Carr's wheat "biscuits" will suffice for me, but homemade can't be beat. You did a beautiful job on the dress. One of these days, I'm going to get my courage up, and try sewing a piece of simple clothing. Wishing you bountiful forsythia blooms!

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    1. You can do it, Laurie. There's a lot of simple patterns out there. Maybe start with something easy like an apron. Just like in Home Ec class. Used to love Lorna Doone shortbread cookies, so I bought some a few months back. Either they changed the recipe or I've changed. It seems things are never as good as you remember them. Hope you are having some nice weather!

      Hugs
      Jane

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    2. Ha, I agree! Lorna Dune and Social Tea were my favorite cookies to have with a cup of tea as a kid (me being half Irish, we drank strong black tea). I've tasted both in the past 10 years, and I thought the same as you.

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  12. Jane, I just read about all the things that can get "healed" or repaired by putting lemon in your iced water so I am on that venture! As for you being dull, I just told my husband as I opened my e-mail "Oh, boy! Jane wrote today." Please don't ever think you are boring or dull. I love hearing about thrift as I practice it all the time and it is interesting, and I get ideas, by reading about others' thriftiness. After all, that is what God put us here for, to help each other. As for dull, it is the small everyday "dull" things that make up our lives. I lit up when I saw you had posted today. It made my afternoon! Thank you!!

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    1. Why thank you Cate! Well then, I'm going to buy a lot of lemons. By the time I fit in all my chia seeds, my two Brazil nuts to keep diabetes at bay, my hemp seeds, a handful of cilantro and now lemons, I won't have any room for ordinary food. Ha! And maybe that will be healthy too!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  13. Jane you are never boring as the others say it is like having a friend over. I just love the sundress, and summer will come. The end of winter is always a drag we want to get on and the grey wet or cold weather hinders us so we get annoyed, ha ha. I love lemon flavours always have, I must post my lemon delicious recipe soon, it is to die for. I have two lemon trees and thinking of putting in a third (a sweeter variety), I just love them so much. Your recipe look yummy. It is still raining here, but not as bad as up north. Have a great week and I hope that the forsythias flower soon, to me they are always a sign that spring has arrived.

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    1. Thanks Sharon. I'd love to have your lemon recipe. Everything you bake looks delicious. How nice to have two lemon trees.

      March in MIchigan is just an ugly time of year. YOu can see all the stubble and leaves now that most of the snow is gone and all the mud. It is definitely not our shining moment. Can't do anything about it because you'll sink up to your axles the ground is so sodden. Oh well, it will pass. Can't believe we'll soon be two weeks into March! Stay dry and I pray the flooding won't reach you!

      HUgs
      Jane

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  14. I love that- the misery of being in the situation overcomes the fear of the unknown. I'll always remember to quote that.

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    1. Thanks Vickie. It holds true in many situations in my life. Is it warming up any down your way?

      Hugs
      Jane

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  15. Hi Jane! Me oh my, our weather is usually a roller coaster, but this is a really early spring. We've already had a few day with temps in the 80s. Love the little sundress, it's adorable. You're such a good seamstress. I need to sew up my fabric stash, but I manage to make a lot of excuses not to. Your coffeecake looks so good. I prefer a dense, heavy laden cake over lighter ones. Who wants to fork air into their mouths? Not me. I never ask for cake for my birthday unless it's a Boston Cream Pie...which is/isn't a cake. Love it with dark chocolate frosting. I agree - homemade desserts are much more satisfying. Bought ones are so disappointing and not worth the money. Okay, now I'm hungry and have to go make a smoothie. I think it will be with frozen strawberries with all the cacao powder I can stand. ;)
    Have a great evening!
    Toni

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    1. Yum! Boston cream pie! Haven't had it in years. Thanks for putting that bug in my ear, Toni! Ha! Hope you are enjoying that smoothie. Poor substitute for cake, that it is.

      These little dresses are just the thing to use up fabric. There's only so many totes and patchwork pillows a person can make. If it's already 80 degrees, how hot do you think it will be this Summer? Hope the weather calms down soon!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  16. That's a lovely dress for Violet. Lucky girl. :- ) I hope you get warmer weather soon. I'm waiting for the heat to go here. I'm yearning to get back to basic soups and stews and have flannel on the bed again.

    Don't ever think your blogs are boring, Jane. Far from it. It's the ordinary, simple things that are the most important and I'm sure most of us love reading about your ordinary days. xx

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    1. Joan of Crystalview CottageMarch 12, 2017 at 5:19 PM

      Hi Jane! Your blog posts are always a welcome delight! We are preparing for 3-5 inches of snow starting tonight. I spent the afternoon ironing spring clothes and scarves. I must be in denial! The sundress that you made is so lovely. It is so nice to have granddaughters! We also have only sons.
      The poor robins!! First they almost blew away this week and now they have to deal with snow!!
      Wishing you warmth and spring breezes.

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    2. Thank you, Rhonda Jean for the kind words. I think there's only about one week out of every year when people are happy with the weather! LOved your post about your bottles. I so happy to know that I'm not the only one that appreciates a good bottle. Ha!

      Hugs
      Jane

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    3. You are the hopeful one Joan! And I thought I was being optimistic by bringing out a few short sleeved t-shirts. Ha!

      Don't know what those robins are thinking. Last year they arrived early also. The poor dears were stupified by the
      cold. I felt so bad for them, they didn't have enough energy to fly off the road when cars were coming. Oh! I forgot to tell everyone that I saw a flock of swans this week. Only about 50 or so, but still it was nice to see them again. As usual, I forgot my camera. BTW, thanks for the wishes, but be careful what you wish for when it comes to Port Austin, breezes are usually hurricane force! Ha!

      Hugs
      Jane

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    4. Joan of Crystalview CottageMarch 13, 2017 at 1:10 AM

      How exciting to see that many swans at one time. The swans are returning to our lake. A trumpeter swan spent the entire winter here. He or she was all alone. I never tire of watching them.

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    5. Hi JOan! We're in their migratory path here. It's not unusual to see acres of them. Not unusual but still magical!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  17. Debbie in the U.P.March 12, 2017 at 5:47 PM

    Hi, Jane!
    Like everyone else, I enjoy all your posts. I learn something new every week!
    That dress is adorable! I don't have the making clothes gene; I seem to have The so-so hand sewing gene. (Which I'm okay with. No room for a machine, anyway.)
    Here is the UP, it's been snowing for days. 28 was closed on Friday, as well as the schools. I've had just about as much as I can stand for this year. We've been back to single digits and snow pants. I'm looking forward to work just to get out of the house! Walking in circles at the Tribal center isn't as much fun as digging in the dirt and smelling earthy smells. I'm dreaming of moving South!!
    I hope this week brings warmer days and peaceful nights.

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    1. I always dream about moving South this time of year too, Debbie, but get over it when I hear about the heat.

      I'm watching a family that's homesteading in the UP. They are in over there heads. They were from downstate and I don't think they had a clue to how different the climate is over the bridge. You gotta be tough! Hope you have a peaceful evening too!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  18. That is a very cute little dress you sewed. My daughter would love that fabric as she likes anything with cherries or strawberries on it!

    Sounds like you are ready for spring! Winter does tend to drag on forever in the Midwest, doesn't it? I remember when I was in Wisconsin, I was so ready for spring by April and there was still snow on the ground and it was the dirty, slushy stuff, too. But spring will arrive soon and then you'll be busy planting your garden.

    That's an excellent price for eggs! I'm still waiting for it to go on sale for $.99, here.

    By the way, when I was growing up, coffee cake was just that - cake flavored with coffee - just like chocolate cake is cake flavored with chocolate! When I read an American novel where the lady made a coffeecake practically every other day, I wondered why she never made a different flavor cake! :D It wasn't until I came over in person that I learned about the American coffeecakes!

    Hope you have a good week and spring comes soon!

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    1. Ha! That's funny Bless! A coffee flavored cake sounds good too. I'm beginning to think eggs are priced especially well around here. 99 cents is the norm without a sale. We must have a lot of chickens.

      Yep, Springtime in the Midwest is nothing to get excited about. Thankfully I have blogs such as yours so I can experience a pretty one at least vicariously.

      HUgs
      Jane

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  19. Jane,

    I love the little dress for your granddaughter! I read each of your posts and don't find them boring at all. I enjoy them because they are real. They sound like my life. I love when you tell about your bargains.

    I love that you quoted my favorite Bible verse

    I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
    2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

    Keep on writing...I appreciate it so much.


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    1. I'm so glad that's your favorite Bible verse, Mary Ann. I find such solace it the words. Every time I read it, I find courage. Well, if you all aren't getting bored then I guess I keep writing about my little simple mundane life!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  20. Hello from Idaho and found your blog though "Down to Earth" We had a lot snow this year and it came in late.
    I love thrift stores and yard sale.
    My Dad came from Michigan the southwest corner of the state.
    If you have time stop in for a cup of coffee

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    1. Will do Dora! I hear there's been a lot of flooding out your way. Hope you are safe and dry!

      Jane

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  21. It sounds like you have spring fever, Jane. That's what we call it when everything seems dull and colorless and all we want is for spring to come! I love reading your blog. One of my sad times was when, a while back, I somehow got the idea that you weren't going to write it any more and I didn't check it for several months. One day, I thought I'd just look back at it, because I enjoyed it, and there you were, writing again. It was a happy day.

    I love those Bible verses, too. We have made huge changes several times in our lives because circumstances forced us to. I've always gotten a lot of comfort from the Bible, especially the Psalms.

    I love the little dress. I love anything with cherries on it, because it reminds me of the countess hours I spend growing up, on top of a ladder in our family cherry orchard, picking cherries with my sisters and grandma, to earn money. I also love sewing, and sewing for a small price--win-win!

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    1. Yes, that's exactly what I have, Becky. Ha! There is always something in the Psalms to comfort or teach us. All the self-help books in the world can't compare! Your family had a cherry orchard? How wonderful. On the west side of the state they grow a lot of cherries and it's just beautiful there when they are in bloom. I know that you like to sew and I think it's wonderful that Patsy is making a skirt. It's good to see someone so young taking an interest in it.
      Hugs
      Jane

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  22. I never find your posts dull, although I agree that sometimes it seems to us that life doesn't change much week to week. I like to think that at least reading, pondering, seeing how others manage to live creatively keeps us bumping along the daily road.

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    1. I love the way you write, Sharon. I guess as Becky wrote, I just have Spring fever.

      Hugs
      Jane

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  23. Just thought I'd let you know that I don't find d your posts boring. I look forward to them.

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  24. Dear Jane,
    Let me add my voice to the chorus: we love your posts! You could write about painting a fence and I would be happy to read it.

    That sundress is darling. Sewing for little ones is so satisfying isn't it? Everything is done so quick and (for me) before I start to get aggravated. (Sewing is not my favorite).

    The weather is getting to me too. This past weekend was the second in a row when it was bright and sunny but below zero and frigid with strong winds. It's frustrating when its too cold for even a walk. I'm no fan of spring or summer but it has been just too cold.

    I haven't been very thrifty as it was my birthday last week as well as 5 of my family members but I did manage to cook from scratch, bake bread, sew a rip in my sweetie's coat, mend some of my daughter's clothes, pack up some things to pass down to my niece, order more books from inter-library loan and put most of my birthday money into savings.

    Stay warm and be well!
    Cheers,
    Dana

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    1. Happy belated birthday, dear Dana! I hope that you will have many, many more.
      It's the cold and winds that are getting to me too. Well, actually, the wind. It just goes right through you! No walking here either and jogging on a rebounder is so boring. Such is life! Hope you have a pleasant week and warmer weather!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  25. Thank you for the scripture verses. I needed to read them!

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    1. Well then, I'm glad I could furnish them for you, Pam!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  26. Oh dear - that dress is just the sweetest Jane. You have such a good eye for seeing the possibilities.
    I love your posts. Like I said before- they are like a warm blanket fresh from the dryer. You write so well. You can always write about George or the kitties.
    I just made Andrea's orange rolls as lemon rolls. They lasted a day. Nothing lemon and is a baked good is safe in my house. We even use fresh lemon spritzed over food in lieu of salt. Works pretty well.
    Thank you for the verse. I just started reading the bible for the first time, and even picked up a children's bible to help with comprehension. I have been relying on people like you to drop a verse - that needed to change.
    Hope you have a wonderful & good weather week! Hugs, Jen

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    1. Hi Jen! Andrea's orange rolls are so tempting. I don't dare bake them. That's nice that you are reading the Bible. It's difficult to get through, I've found, especially in the King James version. I know that a lot of people say it is the only version, but I say, whatever helps you understand is the best.You can talk about which verses have been changed after you get the gist of it. I never read directly through the Bible. I like to study things I've heard in sermons and on the internet, then go back and study it. I'm a Johnny Come Lately to really studying the Bible myself, in spite of attending church every Sunday of my life, it wasn't until their was a real crisis in my life and didn't have anywhere else to turn.

      As for the kitties, we've been nursing a new one, Big Boy, who came to us with a sore leg. He won't let us get close enough to inspect his wound, but we are giving him silver in his water to fight off any infections and he is starting to put weight on the leg again, so must be getting better. He's a cutie with big round eyes. It's really cute how the other kittens are helping looking out for him. Yesterday they all went out and cuddled with him in the kitty condo to keep him warm. I thought that was very sweet. Wish it would warm up so the strays wouldn't have to suffer in the cold. Breaks my heart.

      Hugs
      Jane

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    2. That surely must be good news on BigBoy. Our office stray Lester might have gotten into a fight with a raccoon. He was taken to the vet, and treated, but I think he didn't recover. But maybe he'll come sashaying around after this snow storm. They are resilient.

      As a kid, I went to various churches to try and find one, but never found a fit. I find it not coincidental a verse falls in my lap when I need it the most, so I figured it was time to know them on my own.
      Hugs, Jen
      Ps. Those rolls, if you make when guests are coming over....well then you have to share.

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    3. Hope Lester returns, Jen. We get so attached to these strays.

      It's hard to find a good church, I've been looking for one too. So many these days are involved in un-Biblical practices (circles, yoga, finding the kaundalini spirit, meditation, to name a few) , perhaps it is better not to even bother, but study on your own. There are no coincidences, you were meant to read/hear those verses.

      Oh the rolls! One day I shall bake some. Right now I'm struggling with losing weight. Just can't seem to get past this point. I just need to be more active. This weather isn't helping any!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  27. That sundress is so adorable Jane and I'm sure your granddaughter will love it! We are not dealing with all the snow here now...just lots and lots of rain and flooding of the lowlands, rivers and creeks. I'd rather have snow, at least it is pretty. ;) I do love the advice about how you know when it is time to make a needed change...thank you and very well put. :) Be blessed!

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    1. Thanks Debbie! Hopefully all this crazy weather will calm down soon and we all will have a lovely Spring and Summer.

      Hugs
      Jane

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  28. MERCY! what is the weather doing up in your neck of the woods?? Looks like some pretty bad snow/blizzard stuff headed up new york way and cold and snow in other parts as well. We are gettin alot of rain here. And ususual cold temps for us. we are bundling up! And ready for our spring to come back! LOL Love the little cherry dress...that is so sweet! I do have some of my seeds started in pots---nothing up yet. Holding off putting anything into the flower beds til sure spring is back to stay. Wow, I can't figure out why you would say your blogs is "dull".....I've never found it dull at all! I very much enjoy it! If people didn't enjoy it, they wouldn't keep coming back! Sometimes we dont all have "big news" or exciting things to write about , or exciting "reveals" etc.---but sometimes we dont' need that every day of our lives anyway---many times it's real nice to just talk about normal noneventful events and what our lives are like, a quiet and peaceful chat between friends with a good cup of coffee and a GOOD PIECE OF COFFEE CAKE in a "normal" kitchen not done up by designers and with all the latest decor and gadgets. Alot of us are just real people. LOL Hope your Tuesday is real nice and if you have any weather---stay warm and safe okay

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    1. Ha! Thanks Debbi! You are a bright spot on a cold and windy day. Maybe Winter has decided to show up after all. Typically if we have a mild Winter, March is a bear. Seems no one is happy with the weather. Glad I don't live out east! Hope your Spring is staying soon!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  29. Jane, I have to say that I never find your posts boring. It is interesting to me to read about other people's lives and experiences. I also learn quite a bit from other people's experiences. The sundress is absolutely adorable and just screams summer. It's cold here in Virginia for the next few days with daytime temperatures in the 40s and nights in the 20s. I'll still take this over the hot, muggy (and very miserable for me) summer weather. It has been so strange though because all my spring bulbs (daffodils and hyacinths) have bloomed and the blooms have faded. Bradford pear trees have already bloomed and azaleas will soon be in bloom. With the cold weather the next few days, it will be tempting to try the recipe you referenced. Thanks for all you share!

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    1. Hope that cold front doesn't wreak havoc with your garden, Shirley. I think that recipe you make lovely muffins. Lemon is such a sunshiny flavor, we have to get some cheer into our lives, even if it is only coffeecake. Ha! More snow here today, but at least it covers the mud.

      Hugs
      Jane

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  30. Jane, I found your blog several months ago and have read every one of your posts! You write beautifully and I enjoy everything you have written, you are never dull and boring. I get excited every time I see a new post and can't wait to get settled and soak it all in!

    Jeanette

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    1. Why thank you Jeanette! That's quite a commitment to read them all. I appreciate your encouragement!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  31. What a darling dress!

    I think I have the winter blahs, too....and my southern winters are nowhere near your winters. We actually had snow this weekend though. It didn't stick around, but still.

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    1. Looks like we both have been sewing. That was an adorable little dress you made. Isn't it fun to sew for little girls?

      This is what March is like in Michigan. I need to stop reading blogs from my Southern friends. I get Spring envy. Ha!

      HUgs
      Jane

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  32. I think the dress is adorable and I really love the name of your granddaughter!

    Totally over March as well. That amazing tease of spring like weather has made the returning cold all the more unbearable!

    I have been on a streak of knitting dish rags. Bundled in a set of three with some hand lotion ( a freebie from Bath and Body works) makes a simple, unique girlfriend gift.

    Stay warm!

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    1. That does make a nice gift, Anne. Spring is always a tease, you'd think we'd be on to it by now.

      Hugs
      Jane

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  33. Love the dress, Jane! It looks perfect for a wee person named Violet! The red rick rack is precious!

    March. It can just move on right out the door. It hasn't been a pleasant month in any way, shape, form or fashion. Don't let the door hit you in the behind on the way out, I say!

    I have broccoli, cauliflower, and brussells sprouts sitting on my kitchen counter to put out... when we hit above 40 again... today we have a wind chill of -6=degrees. Ick...

    Stay warm! We are in week three of the long stay that won't end...

    as ever.. m

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    1. I guess I shouldn't complain, Matty,today I was writing a check at the dentist's office and I started to right March 8th on the date line. I lost an entire week! It's speeding right along and soon we'll be saying adios to it! We haven't even started our seeds yet. This week!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  34. Your dress is adorable! I can imagine a happy little girl in it. So glad all my girls love dresses. Of course, I have them wear knit leggings so they can play without worry. I liked your apron from a few posts back. I prefer to make my aprons, too. So easy and the butcher aprons are more suited to my cooking.;)
    Now that I live in Ohio, I'm struggling more with waiting on the growing season. We just had snow and I was hoping to get my potatoes in by St. Patty's Day.
    Thanks for the coffeecake recipe.
    Blessings,
    Leslie

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    1. Hi Leslie! Thanks! Last year we tried planting our potatoes in the Fall, but they still came up the same time as the ones we planted in the Spring, we thought that the experiment was a failure, so we planted more. Boy did we ever have the potatoes! Ha!

      Hugs
      Jane

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