Thursday, December 25, 2008
It's been a busy day. We got so behind on Christmas preparations because of all the snow we've had this last week. It was officially measured at 16 inches. For somewhere that hardly ever gets snow that is a lot. Tuesday was nice and the roads were better so we ventured out to finish up last minute shopping along with everyone else in town. Christmas Eve we went to the Candlelight Service and then came home to finish up making goodies and wrapping presents. Both of our family get togethers have been postponed until Saturday due to bad roads. So we will get up tomorrow and have a quiet morning then go to my friend Kim's for a big Christmas dinner. I can hardly wait!
Merry Christmas to all of you! Thank you for being such a blessing in my life this past year!!!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp cocoa
3 cups uncooked quick oatsl
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
In a saucepan combine sugar, butter, milk and cocoa. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly, and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Quickly stir in the oatmeal, vanilla, peanut butter and nuts. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let set until firm. Makes 2 dozen.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I thought it would be fun to share a Homemade Christmas tip
I was reading through The Pioneer Lady's Country Christmas by Jane Watson Hopping. I came across this recipe for homemade Christmas snow. We used to make this to decorate our tree when I was little - it was popular in the 50's.
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup plus about 2 slightly rounded tbsps ssoap flakes (Ivory Snow is the best - can you still buy this???)
Plain silver glitter, optional
CAUTION: Make certain that children in the home realize the snow is made of soap and should not be handled or played with.
In a medium-size mixing bowl combine water and soap flakes or granules. (Note: Only gentle flakes or granules will whip up to a meringuelike consistency.) Stir to dissolve, then whip by hand or with an electric beater until homemade snow looks like stiff meringue and holds its shape when spread along the branches of an evergreen gree. Dust with glitter if you wish. The moist snow will dry out overnight and cling tightly to the branches of the tree. Makes about 3 cups.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I've had a horrible cold and was on the couch for two days. I slept all day on Monday and Tuesday but today I actually feel like I'm among the living again!
We're supposed to get from 5 to 8 inches of snow tomorrow so it will be a good day to get the tree up (yes, I'm very late this year) and get some decorating done. I got all stocked up on groceries today and will start baking in the next few days. Because of everyone's finances being extra tight this year we decided not to exchange gifts. We will buy for the children - my grandsons and Steph - and enjoy watching them open gifts. It's actually been very liberating! I haven't had to make dozens of lists, figure out what to buy, where I was going to get the money, fight the crowds, etc.
I will be making homemade goodies like cookies, fudge, and that kind of thing. I personally feel those are the best gifts anyway. They are gifts from the heart and it doesn't get much better than that.
I haven't been overly busy this holiday season but haven't sat down to visit other's blogs like I usually do. I'm going to spend time this evening getting caught up on what's been going on with my online friends. Tomorrow I will post pictures of our Christmas decorations!!!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
My friend Kim is having a Holiday Giveaway on her blog, Mrs. Morris Art! Pop on over there, leave a comment, and you're entered. She makes the most beautiful things - ceramic drawer knobs, ATC cards, Scrabble Tile Pendants, and more! You know you want this Gift Certificate! The deadline is Sunday, December 14th.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
It's a cold and rainy day here so I'm going to make some soup and homemade bread. Then I'm going try to get this house straightened up. It has been a wreck for the last week with last minute bazaar preparations. It's so bad I can't stand it anymore!!!
I hope that you all have a great Sunday!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
The bazaar that I'm doing is next Saturday so if I don't post much this next week it will be because I'm up to my eyeballs making snowmen, gift tags, and whatever else I can think of to work on. I've got all my soap done but still have to wrap it all. I don't like to do that much ahead of time as the soap always shrinks and the bands get loose. Wednesday and Thursday will be marathon wrapping days. Sure wish that some of you were here - we could sit around the table, wrap soap, and enjoy each other's company. Kind of like a quilting bee with soap!
Yesterday I got my big craft table moved into the dining room and rearranged my bedroom. Today the dresser will be moved into the bedroom and it will be done except for decorating. I have a swivel rocker in the corner by the window. I can sit there when I read my Bible and look out. I want to find an ottoman to put my feet on when I sit in the rocker. Maybe I can find one at the thrift stores or a garage sale. I'm not sure how I'm liking the size of the table in the dining room. It's about 10" wider than my other one so it sticks out farther. I've had to move the dining table over and things look kind of cramped. I was kind of thinking that I could take the dining table out and make the whole area my studio! I'll have to think on that for a while.
My oven is ready and I'm baking cinnamon rolls for breakfast - the Pillsbury Dough Boy was here this morning and left rolls for me! Have a great Lord's Day!!!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Lord, I come to you today to bring thanks. Thank you for loving me so much that you gave your only Son to die for my sins. If I had been the only person in the whole world you would have still made the sacrifice just for me. Because of Your grace and mercy I am a sinner who has been set free!
Thank you for your provisions. For a warm home to nest in, for food on the table, for the financial provisions that you provide. These things I have taken for granted in the past. This time of struggle has been a lesson that a loving Father has taught His child - to enjoy the simple things in life and be grateful for even the smallest things.
Thank you for my family. You have blessed me with two beautiful daughters who are the joy of my life. You have blessed me with two grandsons who I adore. My cup runneth over with the blessings of these children and grandchildren. I am blessed to have had the love of a wonderful father and mother who are now with You. I look forward to being able to see them again some day. Thank you for my brother and sister. I am so grateful to have their love and I ask for your blessings on them this Thanksgiving season.
Thank you for my many friends. Thank you for my nearby friends who I am able to be with on a regular basis. They know me, know my heart, and love me anyway. Those are the best kind of friends. Thank you for my far away friends and online friends. Most I've never met but they are so dear to my heart. They lift me up, encourage me, and share their love for which I am so thankful. Bless all of them Lord with your love and grace.
I pray for blessings for each and every person who reads this post. Bless them Lord on this Thanksgiving holiday and all the days ahead.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Please click the link to see an ABC News Report on The Army of Women. http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=6118891
I am supposed to share this award with 5 other amazing blogging friends. It's hard to narrow it down but here goes:
1. Peggy from ~The Simple Woman~ - Peggy gives so much of herself to others. She's so encouraging to women and shares her wisdom and love of Christ with all. She has been such an influence in my life.
2. Kim from Mrs. Morris Art - Kim is not only one of my dearest friends but she is so talented. She makes the most amazing altered art and has recently started making scrabble tile pendants. I would not have been able to go through the last few months without her encouragement and support. Thank you!
3. Lea from Farmhouse Blessings - I love to visit Lea's blog and feel her gentle spirit shining through. It is a place of quiet respite for me. I can only imagine what it would be like to visit her home in person!
4. Paula from The Fraker Farm - When I need to laugh I head for The Fraker Farm. There's always some kind of animal antics going on at The Fraker Farm - hostage holding chickens to a handsome rooster named Hamburger! Paula also shares her love of Jesus, family, and her land - things near and dear to my heart.
5. Aunt Jenny from Aunt Jenny's World - Aunt Jenny is like super mom and super farmgirl all rolled into one. She is who I want to be when I grow up. This woman accomplishes more in half a day than I can get done in a week! I love reading about her family life and the beautiful things that she makes. And the fact that she has the coolest Jersey cow in the world, Mona, is a plus too!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
This has been a tough year for my little family. Since losing my job in May, moving to Utah, then moving back to WA it seems like things have gotten so much harder. Of course, it's hard for everyone right now. I'm blessed to have gotten an extension on my unemployment so that is a huge load off my mind.
God has been so faithful through all of this. We have not gone hungry, have had a place to live, and have the love of family and good friends. There's not much more that one needs.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I always cook Thanksgiving dinner and this year wanted to be able to do that. I have been praying and praying for a way to have the food to prepare as I just didn't see it in my budget. Some weeks there's barely enough to buy the regular food that we eat. I went ahead and invited my daughter and some friends to share the day with us. I was truly stepping out in faith because I did not know where I was going to get the money to be able to buy a turkey and the trimmings.
Last night we got a call from a lady that was passing out Thanksgiving food baskets for a Portland church. She had an extra one and wanted us to have it. Praise God! But what I didn't expect was all the food that was in the box. Two turkeys!! Flour, sugar, rolls, celery, carrots, cool whip, yams, marshmallows, 5 lbs of potatoes, stuffing mix, aluminum foil, a roasting pan and a $15 gift card for a local grocery store!
To say that I wept over all this food is putting it mildly!! God blessed me with more than I even asked for. I even have enough flour and sugar now to be able to make Christmas cookies!!
In all my life I have always been the one that gave food for those boxes. Now I'm on the receiving end and I know the joy that the generosity of others has made in my life. There will be a time when I will be able to give again. I will do even more than I ever did before. I will truly remember this experience for the rest of my life. God is good and life is good!! This is going to be the best Thanksgiving ever!!!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I'm almost done though. I only have 5 more batches of soap to make and I hope to have that done by Thursday. Then all those supplies will be put away and I'll start on gift tags and snowmen. Of course, that brings out a whole new mess of stuff - quilt batting, glue, glitter, etc. I keep telling myself that the house will be back to normal in 2 weeks. Probably not but that's what I keep saying.
In the midst of all of this I got humbled big time! I usually don't color my soap. I just let it kind of do it's own thing. But I wanted green for the Citrus Basil and blue for the Blue Bonnet. Those are two that I do all the time so I have the process down pat. I decided to make a batch of lavender - which I never color - and thought it would be nice if it was a pale violet. I could just see these three colors together on my bazaar table. I was thinking how people would oooh and aaah over my beautiful soap. Getting kind of prideful, don't you think?? I think the Lord decided I needed to be taught a lesson.
I pulled out a cup of soap from the pot, added the violet color, and mixed it all up. It looked so pretty. My pride was swelling. I could just hear all the wonderful comments from people on the pretty lavender soap. I proceeded to dump this back into the soap pot and immediately it turned a light gray! Now that's attractive - NOT! The colorant reacted big time with the lye. The lavender soap smells heavenly and still feels wonderful to use. It's just not very pretty. That brought my pridefulness down a few notches!!
Point well taken Lord!!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
What a fitting scripture for the times we are all facing right now. God is our only hope. He is faithful and will walk beside each of us during these uncertain days.
Thank you Lord for giving each of your children hope. Walk with us today and during the days ahead. You know the plans you have for all of us. We are grateful for that and are peaceful because of it. In Jesus Name - Amen and Amen!!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I've decided to move my sewing area from my bedroom upstairs to the corner of my dining room downstairs. It will be right next to my computer table. I can look out the window while I sew. I also figure if I have the stuff in front of me all the time I will get motivated. The light here is really nice too so I think it will be a pleasant workplace.
I'm making my bedroom into a pretty girly room instead of a sewing room with a bed in it. Once the sewing table is gone I'm moving in a vintage dresser. I have a bookcase headboard on my bed which I'm going to paint white. Then, as funds allow, I'll start adding pretties like a new bedspread, curtains, pictures, etc. I want my room to be a sanctuary - someplace that I can go to for rest, to study my Bible, and read. My bedrooms have never been pretty. Every other room in the house got decorated but the bedroom was just a place for sleeping. I don't know what finally made me change my mind about that but I'm glad that I did.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I'm supposed to pick 5 favorites to give this award to but I hate to choose just five. So I'm giving this to anyone who visits my blog tonight! You are all special! Feel free to post the award on your blog!
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Just leave me a comment on this post, a link back to my blog from yours would be nice, and you'll be entered. And don't forget to set your clocks back an hour tonight so you'll be on time tomorrow night to find out if you won!!!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Thanks to Cathy from Home Sweet Home, Noble for the BOO!
Who would you like to BOO??? Go to as many friends as you want and tell them they've been "BOO-ed". Have them link back to your blog to pick up their Halloween Treat (picture) and tell them to BOO their friends. Then put the picture in your side bar so everyone knows that you've already been BOO-ed.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday morning the doctor's office called and said that Steph had Strep C and they were calling in a prescription for antibiotics. She had to take two yesterday morning to jump start things and by tomorrow evening she was feeling so much better. Today was even better as she was hungry! I made her favorite - chocolate chip pancakes - for supper. She had 5!!
It's been another beautiful day here with lots of sunshine. However, it's supposed to start raining on Thursday and will be a little damp for Halloween. The rains are starting.
My friend Kim and I are taking the kids trick or treating on Friday. They are both getting too old so this will be their last one. It is fitting they should have the last one together as the kids used to go together when they were little. We are even taking them back to our old neighborhood where we owned our home. My elderly neighbor Pat always makes the kids do a "trick" before they can have their treat. She is a sweet Christian lady so she encourages the kids to say a Bible verse or sing a song. When Steph was little she would work on her "trick for Pat" for two weeks before Halloween. It's a sweet memory!
Kim and I will sit in the car with her dogs, drink hot chocolate, and listen to oldies on the radio. It's going to be a fun night.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Here are the ingredients in Dove:
sodium cocoyl isethionate, stearic acid, coconut acid, sodium tallowate, water, sodium isethionate, sodium stearate, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium cocoate or palm kernelate, fragrance, sodium chloride, tetrasodium EDTA, trisodium etidronate, BHT, titanium dioxide and
sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonateHere are the ingredients in my handmade soap and the same ones that many soapmakers use:
Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil , Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Fragrance or Essential Oils.
Yup, handmade soap might leave a little scum on your skin (nothing like what is depicted in the Dove commercial) but it also doesn't contain a bunch of chemicals that you can't pronounce. Chemicals that are absorbed through the skin and into the body. I know which I'd rather be using and it isn't Dove.
We're going to enjoy our sunshine for the next week because November starts the rainy season in the Western Pacific NW. November, December, and January are the wettest months with only maybe 5 days of sunshine each month - sometimes not at all. But that is what makes it so lovely and green here. I can endure those 3 months knowing that we have Spring much earlier than many parts of the country and our summers are the best! No humidity and no bugs!
Today is my youngest grandson's birthday party. He'll be 10 years old on Monday - too old for my liking. I love "My Little Guy" as I like to call him and I miss him being little. He doesn't like me calling him that anymore. He's getting too old he says!
Steph is still sick so we are off to take her to the doctor for a strep test. Hopefully it is just a virus. She hardly ate at all yesterday and slept most of the day. I don't it like when she's sick.
When we get home this evening I'm going to my room to sew some more zippered bags and herbal pillows. I got the cutest flannel at Joann's for the covers for the pillows. I made these last year. I fill them with flax seed and lavender. You just heat in the microwave for 2 minutes and you have a nice heat pack for sore muscles, for tummy cramps, etc. One of my customers got one last year and wrote to tell me that when her little Yorkie likes to sleep next to the pillow because it's warm!! I like to put mine under the covers to warm my feet.
Hope you all are having a wonderful Fall day!!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Steph is sick with a very sore throat tonight. She had mono from January to May this year. I certainly hope she's not having a relapse. It's probably just a virus but I still worry. I did the usual mom things - made jello, got her cough drops, chicken soup, and greased her throat with Vicks. I hope she'll be better in the morning.
I'm off to bed - pleasant dreams!!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
There were days when I was just too "down" to do anything. All I did was sit on the couch and watch TV or sleep. Bad, huh? I've also been making soap like crazy so I haven't been entirely lazy. That's a good thing as my sales have picked up a lot. Such a blessing!!
Now that I've taken myself to task and had an attitude adjustment, it's time to get busy. I still need to get more soap made but today is cleaning day.
Have you ever wanted more than one bathroom?? So did I until I had to clean all of them. We have 2 1/2 baths which equals 3 toilets. I don't like scrubbing 1 toilet much less 3. Kind of makes outhouses look appealing, huh? Just leave the stink outside and no scrubbing involved!!
Bottom line is I really do like to clean once I get started. The best part, as it is with any job, is when you're all done. You can stand back, look at what you did, and enjoy the accomplishment!
Now I'm off to find my cleaning bucket, supplies, and rubber gloves!!! Leave a comment and let me know what you're doing today. Have a great day!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Cathy from Home Sweet Home, Noble (and one of my favorite customers!) gave me The Blogging Friends Forever award. Thank you so much! You made my day!
The rules are:
1. Only five people allowed.
2. Four of them have to be dedicated followers of your blog and one has to be new and live in another part of the world.
3. You have to link back to who gave you the award.
Who to pick? I have such a hard time doing this as I just enjoy everyone's blogs so much and consider all of them my BFF's!
1. Theresa from Take A Sentimental Journey
2. Paula (and Hamburger the rooster) from Fraker Farm
3. Darlene from Stover Lane
4. Tina from Garden Goose
5. Marian from The Princess of Pink Creations in the Netherlands
Please stop by their blogs and say hi!
How cute are these? I am going to do some now for Fall decorating and these will definitely be on my Thanksgiving table.
This is my kind of craft - quick and easy. I got the instructions in an online newsletter I get and just had to share. How about some glitter on those pumpkins? I love glitter! If you have a Joann's near you they have bags of 100 tealights on sale for $4.19 a bag.
Friday, October 17, 2008
These is nothing I can do about the economy. All I can do is pray for our country and pray for all those that are struggling to make ends meet. There is nothing I can do about my job situation except continue to look for work. Thank God for His provisions!!
When I let worry and fear creep into my life then Satan has a field day! He loves it when God's children are afraid. It also means that I'm talking the will away from God and trying to fix things myself - something I have struggled with all my life.
No more worry, no more fear!! Just praying each and every day, letting God take my hand and walk beside me. I will keep plugging away each day doing what I need to do and wait for God's will.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
The October/November issue of Small Town Living is available online! Just click the magazine cover to go to the website and download a copy. I am honored to have my products featured in this issue (page 62) along with those of many other talented artists. Paul and Tina Wilson publish this wonderful magazine and each issue just gets better and better. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Please email me with your mailing address so I can send out your soap!!
Thank you to everyone who visited and left comments!
Friday, September 19, 2008
She called her husband in to fill his plate then asked him to eat with us in the family room. She said that we'd be a few minutes because the other pot of rice was not quite done. The few minutes ended up being about 10 minutes.
We filled our plates and went into the family room. As we sat down I noticed that her husband had not touched his plate of food. He was waiting for his wife to come before he started to eat. That gesture just touched my heart. What a kind thing to do! This man sat there waiting patiently for 10 minutes so that he could pray for the food and eat with his wife.
In this day and age how many men would have done that?? Waited for 10 minutes because it was the polite thing to do?? I don't think I've ever been treated like that by anyone except my dad and my brother. Kim's husband is a true gentleman in my book!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
When we were renting our home on 5 acres I had a pumpkin patch. It was one of my great joys to get up every morning to see how much the vines and pumpkins had grown overnight. Our first harvest we only had 13 pumpkins but they were wonderful! I miss that.
I long to be able to have that big garden so that I can put up food for winter. There is nothing better than looking in a pantry with rows of canning jars filled with all sorts of good treasures. In the middle of winter those canned peaches taste like heaven.
I long to get up early with my cup of coffee, go outside, and greet my Lord and the new day in the quiet of a country morning.
I know that at my age and in my financial situation (no job in sight) that I might not have a farm. Then I remember that nothing is too big for my God!! He tells us to ask. I have a hard time asking for something like a farm when there are so many other things and people that need prayer. My farm longing seems like it is a frivolous prayer. Yet it is a desire of my heart.
My prayers are a continuous conversation with God that even go into the early morning hours at times. I just hardly pray for myself - prayers for others seem more important. Do you find yourself having a hard time praying for yourself and your needs? Am I the only one that feels out of place praying for a longing of my heart when others are in such need??
The first day of Fall is Monday, September 22nd! In honor of my favorite season I've decided to give away one bar of each of my new Fall scents - Pumpkin Spice and Chai Tea. If you're the lucky winner you'll get two bars of soap!
Just leave a comment on my blog between now and Monday the 22nd, link back to my giveaway on your blog and I'll draw for the winner first thing on Tuesday morning.
PS I was playing around with my template and some of my widgets got deleted (can't leave well enough alone). Especially the one with all my favorite blogs. I've tried to recreate the list but I know I'm missing some. Please let me know if I've left yours off the list.
I have been busy making soap and finally got my inventory all caught up plus two Fall scents. Everything had gotten so behind when I was moving around all the over the place this summer. Bazaars will start next month and I'm so looking forward to that. I love doing bazaars. It's not even so much about the money but being in the pleasant atmosphere and seeing the treasures of other artists. Of course, I need to sell something so that I can visit booths and buy from other people!
Thank God for His many blessings this past week. My friend Kim had surgery to remove a cyst from her breast and is doing just fine. My brother's surgery went great and he was home the day after. It amazes me someone can have surgery on their spine and be home the next day! His walking is almost normal and the feeling is starting to come back in his hands. Daily blessings of shelter, food, dear friends, and the basics of life. God is good and life is good!
Stephany is in her 3rd week of high school and doing great. She hates getting up so early but said she truly does love being back in school. She is such a social butterfly and loves being around her friends. Homecoming is 3 weeks away and she was lamenting last night that she has not been asked to the dance yet. I don't think it's so much about the date but about the cute green dress that she saw at the mall!
Monday, September 8, 2008
Thank you all for your prayers! I know they helped.
This news just made my day!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I made a batch of Chai Tea soap this afternoon and just got done cutting the Pumpkin Spice that I made last night. My house smells like Fall for sure! I even had to spruce up my blog for Fall today. Can you tell I'm anxious??
Just put in a couple of loads of laundry. Steph is at a friend's watching a movie so I have to go pick her up. Then we have to go through all the school paperwork and get ready for another week. The first bell rings at 7:25 so our alarm goes off at 5:15. It takes that girl an hour and a half to get ready! I keep hoping she'll get faster in her morning preparations but I don't think that will ever happen. It's been too long ago since I was in high school for me to remember if it took me that long. It probably did.
We lived right across the street from the high school and I could see the kids standing outside waiting for the first bell. I could hear it ring and then I'd take off across the street. I can't use the "I walked 5 miles to school in all kinds of weather" story with my kids. They just laugh at me.
Occasionally I look at real estate in my hometown of Virden, IL. About 2 weeks ago I saw that the very house I lived in across from the high school is for sale. My mama and daddy paid $5000 for that house in 1965. When Mama died in 1970 Daddy sold the house for $8200. It had 2 bedrooms, 1 bath (a big old clawfoot bathtub), living room, and kitchen. The people that own it now have added another room on the back and also a 2 car attached garage. It looks completely different. They even took off the front porch and moved the entrance to the side of the house. The asking price now is $69,900. I just think of how fun it would be to buy that house!
I hope that you all had a great weekend!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
I just love Fall and all this comforting spicy scents!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
I've been making a little soap - Blue Bonnet and Cottage Rose. I got my order of fragrance oils this past week so I'll be doing more soaping soon. Including Pumpkin Spice for Fall. It smells so good! And it's time to start making lotion bars again. I don't do them in the summer because they don't ship well in the heat - they would be a puddle by the time they got to their destination.
School starts for Stephany next Wednesday. She's a freshman in high school this year. She had her orientation last Thursday. When she came home I asked her what she thought. All she could talk about was how big the school was - 500 kids in her class and over 2000 in the school. The town I grew up in IL only had 3200 people. Her school is almost as big as my hometown. When I told her there were 80 kids in my graduating class she just laughed.
We've put off school shopping due to finances but will be able to do some shopping on Tuesday. I love school shopping and so does Steph. Luckily we're past the "clothes wars" years so it really is a pleasant experience.
I'm still looking for work. With the economy like it is the jobs are not as plentiful as they were. I've been on several interviews but no offers. Luckily I'm still getting unemployment and can get a 13 week extension. That will help greatly. And I'll just keep plugging away - there's not much else I can do. God has a plan!!!
My brother lives in IL and is 9 years older than me. He called me today to tell me that he has MS. His hands have been numb for about 3 months and they were treating him for carpal tunnel. Then he started having some problems walking so the doctor ordered further tests. He has an MRI on Wednesday to confirm the diagnosis. There are medications out there that can help with the symptoms so hopefully he can get on something soon.
I would sure appreciate your prayers for my brother and his family as they travel this journey. We don't know what the future will bring but we do know that God is leading. I'm praying that he will regain the feeling in his hands - that seems to be the symptom that is bothering him the most right now.
I've also been watching the TV on and off today about Gustav. I have lots of online friends that live in the area that will be hardest hit. Some of them have left but a few are staying to ride it out. I've been praying for them, for the other people who live there, and for the emergency crews. It sounds like this is going to be a really nasty hurricane.
Aunt Jenny is having a giveaway of one of her beautiful hand embroidered tea towels! I have several and they are gorgeous. This one won a blue ribbon at the county fair.
You've got until Wednesday, 9/3 to leave a comment and be entered. Just click on the picture to visit her blog.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Here's a link if you want to take a peek for yourself. http://www.secretsociety.net/
I ordered from a different supplier than I usually use and it was the most pleasant experience. They have a very small warehouse and office. He and his assistant were so friendly. I asked if I could smell their lavender essential oil so she took me out in the warehouse. While I was there she showed me all around and I got to sniff and touch and try things - coffee butter, lavender butter, tangerine butter, and organic shea butter. Then she sent me home with a small chunk of raw cocoa butter - it smells so good that you just want to eat it. I put it on a little dish by my sink and will rub it on my hands after doing dishes. I'll definitely be getting some of that when my cocoa butter supply runs out. And I will definitely be buying from this supplier again - probably just so I can have another tour of the warehouse!
Tomorrow I'm helping my oldest daughter move - not fun! But Sunday I will get to make soap so that will make up for the hard work on Saturday. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I've been doing nothing but trying to keep cool. Luckily we have air conditioning and I've been hibernating as much as possible. But I still feel tired from the heat. It's even too darned hot to make soap - now you know it's hot!
Tomorrow it will be 90 and then down in the 70's for the rest of the week. Back to normal - YEAH!
And that's the weather report for Vancouver, WA. Tune in tomorrow, same time, same station!
Friday, August 8, 2008
I know that I should be thinking about Fall soap scents but it's just been too darned hot here! I need something fruity and refreshing to finish out the rest of summer.
If pineapple flowers had a scent this would be it! A beautiful tropical medley of island flowers and fruits with a juicy top note of the freshest pineapple you've ever smelled! This soap has become an instant hit around our house - especially with the teens. I wish the picture was scratch and sniff!
These bars are larger than I usually make them and weigh 5 ounces each. They are listed in my Etsy shop and will be in my Ebay store later tonight.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
You all bless my heart so much! What a joy to open my email to see that someone has stopped by my blog and left a comment. This morning it was Laura of Harvest Lane. She won one of my weekly soap giveaways and has been a regular visitor ever since. I went to visit her blog and read about how God has provided a new job for her husband, how her husband and sons put up a new wooden screen door, and was reminded of ways to use things up and save money.
My friend Darlene at Stover Lane is looking for her red recipe box. I wish I could be there to help her find it.
Sher at Old Crow Farm in Kansas is enjoying a much needed cold front that has given relief from all the heat and humidity. As I read her blog this morning I walked around her garden with her as she watered her flowers and enjoyed the cool of the morning.
I have to stop by Kim's blog, Mrs. Morris Art, to see what kind of ATC card she's come up with in the night while I was sleeping. Or to find out what the dogs have been up to. I'm lucky to have her live close to me so that we can see each other.
There are so many more people that I have visited this morning. I will probably never meet you in person. I wish I could. I 'd love to sit a spell with all of you and talk. But you are my friends of the heart. You share your world with me each new day. You bless my heart. Those are the best kind of friends to have. I'm so glad that God brought you into my life!!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The is winner is Theresa at A Sentimental Journey! Congratulations!
Friday, July 25, 2008
I admit I had a hard time because these are prim soaps and my perfectionist nature wanted to take over!
I'm going to do another batch tomorrow and those will go in my Etsy and Ebay shops.
Many thanks to Terri at Long Cane Primitives for the great recipe!
1. When I was little I had a cocker spaniel named Penny. My sister and I used to dress her up in doll clothes and push her around in a doll carriage.
2. I was always forming some type of club or business when I was a child. It ranged from a lemonade stand on the corner to the No Boys Allowed Club. Of course, I was always the boss - went along with my bossy nature. Guess much hasn't changed in all these years except I try to be less bossy.
3. From 2nd grade to 5th grade I lived in Scottville, IL - population 200! My dad was the local blacksmith and my mom ran her own restaurant.
4. I am always doing some kind of craft or thinking about doing one. It's hard for me to sit still for very long or to keep my mind from thinking up new creative things. Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes it's not.
5. Lists, I live by lists. My friend Kim says it gives her comfort and pleasure to come to my house and look on the counter to read the latest list. Some days the list gets completed and other days it just gets transferred to the next day.
6. My first name is Melva - names after my dad Melvin. I'm not especially fond of the name and wonder what my parents were thinking. The only person that uses my first name (and has my persmission to) is my older brother.
Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Write 6 random things about yourself.
Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
Here's who I'm tagging:
Kim at Mrs. Morris Art
Dalyn at Muckbook and Aprons
Darlene at Stover Lane
KKJD at Farmgirl in GA Style
Carol at Fifi Banjello
Katy at Country Blossom
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
1. First, and foremost, is Jesus! I am grateful every day that He loved me enough to die on the cross for me - even if I was the only person in the whole world!
2. The cool Washington mornings.
3. My morning cup of coffee with Hazlenut creamer.
4. Gardening - flowers, veggies, just about anything you can put in dirt.
5. I love watering - it's my favorite thing to do right after supper when the sun is starting to set and the heat of the day is disappearing. It's my alone time with God.
Now I have to tag 5 people. I hate choosing as I have so many friends with blogs. So if you'd like to participate please leave a comment and let me know! Tag - you're all it!!
Monday, July 21, 2008
I finally got some soap made!! There's more to come but I just had to do two new scents that I've been wanting to try for summer - Good Mornin' Mint and Sugared Lime. They're both in my Etsy shop. I've also opened an eBay store (yes Kim, I will leave it open this time).
Stephany was gone for a while when I was making the mint soap. She came home and was very excited that I had made soap. I asked her why and she said "Now everything is normal again." She is right - everything is normal again. It's funny the things that our kids find comfort in. Our lives have been so topsy turvy for the last couple of months that it blessed my heart when Stephany found comfort in the minty batch of soap.
Good Mornin' Mint has spearmint and peppermint essential oils and I also added ground mint leaves. This one will definitely cool you off on a hot summer day!
The Sugared lime smells so good too - reminds me of a cool, frosty marguerita!
I haven't done a soap giveaway in a while either! So just leave a comment on this post and tell me which new scent would be your favorite. I'll draw on Sunday for the winner.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Since I'm in a temporary place right now I get to go to different places each day to use free WiFi with my laptop. It's kind of neat. Right now I'm sitting in the Battle Grounds Coffee shop drinking an Orange Crush soda and typing on my blog.
It's fun to sit here, surf the internet, visit my favorite blogs, listen to music playing over the stereo system (classical at the moment), and watch people. Maybe I will not get internet at home when I have a permanent place. Maybe I'll just keep traveling around enjoying the company of strangers while I surf!
What a glorious Lord's Day!! The sun is shining here and it was so nice and cool this morning. I got up about 8 AM and went out to the patio. Missy's plants are in need of some serious TLC. So I picked off spent blossoms and watered them. After that I did my Beth Moore Bible study. I was going to join the study at the church in Layton but then we came back here. So I have the book and am doing it on my own. It's about the Fruit of the Spirit. Each day is about a 35 minute study. I'm going to like it because she really makes you dig into scripture. I even had to do a time line this morning!
God bless you on this Sabbath Day!!! Many hugs!!!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Eastern Oregon is very barren to me. It's brown, no trees, and rock. As I drove further west it slowly got more green. When it was finally to the point where there were pine trees everywhere I was so excited! I almost felt like crying.
It is so good to be home! I still don't have any internet at my temporary home. Right now I'm sitting at Kim's using my laptop. Not only do I have internet connection here but she fed me a wonderful dinner - marinated tuna, rice, and salad. Good food and good company!!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
We are in Nampa, ID tonight and I'm in the lobby of the motel using the computer. It is very hot here. I talked to two friends in WA today that said it was 75 degrees there. I can't wait to get back and see the green pine trees.
We have about 6 hours to drive tomorrow and then we'll be home!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I've been here almost 3 weeks, none of the job contacts have worked out, I've sent out 30 resumes with no responses, and we are homesick for WA. The job that I had lasted for one day and there were some issues that went against my moral standards. I decided not to go back.
I have been discouraged the last couple of days. Patience is not my virtue and I have such a hard time waiting on the Lord. This morning I laid in bed and just turned this whole thing over to God. I asked for His forgiveness for not trusting more, for trying to take control of this situation, and for being prideful about what kind of job I wanted. I told Him that whatever job He wanted me to have I would take. No matter what the pay, hours, or where it was. I let go of it all.
I got online and posted my resume on Craig's List in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. About two hours later I got a call from a lady in Vancouver who saw my resume on Craig's List. She wants to interview me on Monday at 10 AM. I've received 4 other contacts from companies in Vancouver regarding positions that they have open. These are more responses than I've received in the 3 weeks that I've been in Utah.
Don't get me wrong - it is beautiful here in Utah. The hot days, warm nights, and sunshine have been so appreciated. Steph and I are even getting a tan! Well, except for my legs - they never tan even when I wear shorts.
Tomorrow we are packing the car and Thursday morning at 8 AM we are heading back to WA. I truly do feel foolish that I've spent all the money to get here, uprooted my daughter, and on and on. But I also know that in every situation God is teaching us a lesson.
I have lived in WA for 23 years and for the last 9 years I have been discontented and wanted to move somewhere else. I whined and complained about the rain, the cost of living, and more. So I moved to Utah. God's lesson to me, and to Stephany, is that WA is our home. It's the only place that she's ever known. My family is there, my dear friends are there and soon we're going to be there.
I still don't know what God has in store for me. I don't have a home to go to now. I'll be staying in my daughter's apartment until her lease is up at the end of August. After that I have no idea where we'll live. I only have unemployment until the middle of November. All these uncertainties! But God is in control! I gave all of it up to Him this morning and am not taking it back. He is leading now and I am gladly following.
Monday, July 7, 2008
I've opened an account with iContact (and wrote down the username and password) for my newsletter. There is a sign up box in the right hand column of my blog. If you'd like to receive my newsletter please feel free to enter your name and email address. You'll be taken to a "Thank You" screen and all you have to do is hit the back button to get back to my blog!!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
I went back in today to complete some paperwork and they said they were waiting to hear back from the owner. I got part way home when my cell phone rang and she told me I had the job!! I had to turn around and go back to get time cards and directions.
I start tomorrow at noon and it is for the same pay I was making in Vancouver. God is so good!!! I am just so grateful for this job. Now we can start saving and hopefully can be in our own place within the next month or so.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
It has been 95 every day that I've been in Utah. That is hot! But, because the air is drier, it doesn't feel that bad. I'm actually enjoying it. It feels like summer. Time for lemonade, iced tea, salads, and other hot weather food. But my favorite time of day is the evening when the sun is setting. It stays warm, which makes it so enjoyable to be outside. It's 11:45 PM and it's still 75 degrees. I was just out on the patio, in my bare feet, enjoying the night breeze.
Yup, I'm definitely liking this!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I tried to get a picture of the Welcome to Utah sign for my blog but we were moving so fast (and not allowed to stop by the side of the road) that all I got was the elevation sign. - which is 4500 feet by the way.
The landscape is totally different although still green. I hope I don't offend anyone but I have to say that from Eastern WA all the way here is pretty ugly - brown, dry, and no trees. Once we got closer to Layton it started to get more green. And there are trees. The mountains are absolutely breathtaking. Right down at the end of the cul de sac are mountains and they have snow on top!
But boy is it hot here! 90's every day since we arrived - but we're loving the sunshine. Tonight it has cooled off and there is a strong breeze. I opened the patio door to let some fresh air into our room.
Steph and I are in the basement of a 3 story house. It is one large room with our beds at one end and a little sitting area at the other. Well it's supposed to be a sitting area but right now there are clothes and bags scattered all over. There is no closet so I'm going to get one of those hanging racks to put our clothes on. There is also no bathroom down here yet. So we have to climb one flight of stairs to use the half bath. Then when we want to shower we have our own bath that is up another flight of stairs.
Seems like I'm constantly going upstairs then needing something from our room. So back down I go. I'm either going to lose weight or my knees will give out!
I got my computer set up last night and got high speed internet today. I feel like I'm in the real world again. I didn't realize how dependent I am on the the internet. Not just for casual stuff but for banking, job hunting, applying online, etc.
I went on a job interview today. Didn't get much of a feel for how it went. Sometimes you can tell and sometimes not. I won't know if I'm in the final 3 until next week. I'm continuing to send out resumes to lots of places. Having my computer up will make it so much easier.
The most exciting news is that I found a Hobby Lobby!! I love those stores. When I went to IL to visit my brother I'd always go to the one there and stock up on purse handles. I contacted the corporate office to see if they'd ever be in WA but they said the farthest west they went was Utah. So now you know why I almost drove off the road when I saw the sign. I haven't had a chance to go yet but that's on the agenda for Saturday.
Another revelation I had today is that I'm living in a very warm (hot) climate and I can actually grow tomatoes! There is a little patio off our room that gets sun during the day. I cleaned it all off tonight and am going to get a tomato plant and some herbs on Saturday. Then it's off to the thrift store to see what I can find for planters. I'm so excited!!
Thank you all for your prayers for us while we traveled. I could feel God's protection over us every step of the way.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I'm in the middle of getting ready to move to Utah on Saturday. I was going to rent a truck but when I found out the truck only got 6 miles to the gallon and it was going to cost almost $600 in fuel, I changed my mind. That would have been almost $1000 including the truck rental. I can buy a lot of good used stuff for that much money.
I've sold a few things, given lots away, and thrown away a little. Now it's down to sorting closets and deciding what to keep and what to donate. You'd be amazed at all the stuff that you keep thinking you're going to use it "someday". Then when you realize that you only have a minimum of room in the trunk of you car your perspective changes a lot!
As excited as I am for a totally new start, new job, new place to live, I've decided that I don't like to move anymore. It must be an age thing. Familiar is better to me now. But it's too late to turn back, so off I go to a new state. I promise to take pictures and update you on the move.
Now I'm off to go sort more closets!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Now this dear lady is having to deal with a diagnosis of possible breast cancer. You can read about it on her blog. Would you please join with me, and many others, as we pray for Cora? Would you leave a note of encouragement on her blog and let her know that you are praying?
Green, Tea & Willow is one of my best sellers. It is clean "green" scent - perfect for guys too.
Just leave a comment and I'll draw for the winner on Sunday!
Sunday, June 8, 2008
I found a place online called random.org where you can make random lists of number, names, etc. I typed in all the names from the comments, hit enter, and the person at the #1 spot was the winner.
The winner of the blue bonnet soap is Lisa! Congrats!! Thank you to everyone that stopped by and left a comment.
Stop by tomorrow to see what the soap will be for next week.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Hugs and blessings,
The past month has been hard in lots of ways. I'm a very independent and self-sufficient person. Almost to the point where I try to take control of what I should be letting God do. Sometimes I forget that He is even in the picture. It's very hard for me to ask for help. I was raised that you work hard and you take care of yourself. This past month has been a lesson in true humility for me. I've had to ask for help from many places, I've gone to the food bank to get food for us to eat, and I've not had much money. What I have had is total dependence on God's provisions - something that I should have had completely all along.
It took 3 weeks for my unemployment checks to start coming. I've gotten two checks so far and they fall very short of being enough to even meet half of my rent. I've had more online soap sales this past month than I've ever had - praise God! All those little bits of money have been so appreciated - they've helped to buy milk, bread, and put a little gas in my car. But the rent was due on June 1st. I've been praying for the last two weeks because I knew that I was going to be very short on my rent money.
Saturday was not a good day for me emotionally. All of this has come crashing down around my head. I had not lost faith in God's provisions but was having a hard time because I knew the rent was due the next day and I didn't see an answer. To not be able to have a place for my daughter and I to live is very scary for me. If my rent is not paid by the 3rd I will be served with an eviction notice.
Late this afternoon I went to get my mail. In there was an envelope from a dear friend. I wondered what she had sent me. When I opened the envelope there was a check for $700!!! I just sat and cried and cried. Praise God!!! He knew this was coming but was making me wait - another lesson learned! Now I'm able to pay my rent and will actually have some breathing room. I never doubted that God would provide but I was having a hard time waiting.
This is still going to be a long journey as I still don't have a job and no lead on any yet. I've sent out resumes but not a lot of responses. God does know the plans that He has for me and has reinforced to me again that I just need to be patient. I continue to wait.
Life is good! God is good!
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
It's been so much fun that I've decided to do a giveaway every week! I have to admit that it was not an original idea. I got it from my friend Kim at Mrs. Morris Art. She and her husband make the most beautiful ceramic drawer knobs. She has a beautiful set for the Cottage Giveaway and will be giving away a set of 4 each week!
Every Saturday will be Soap Saturday at The Rustic Cottage. On Sunday night I'll post of picture of the soap giveaway for that week. You'll have until midnight (Pacific Time) on Friday to enter by leaving a comment on that post. On Saturday night I'll draw the winner of that week's soap. This is going to be such fun!!!
So come back on Sunday to see what the first week's soap giveaway will be!!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
The day also holds fond memories of my granny and how we would pick peonies from her yard, put them in foil covered coffee cans, and go to all the cemetaries to decorate the graves of family members. Granny called it "Decoration Day". I miss that. I'm here in WA state and all my family is in IL. I wish I could be there today to put some peonies on Granny's grave.
In the midst of all the cookouts, picnics, and other fun activities, please take a moment to pray for those service people that have passed away and remember those that are still serving. It is because of them that we are free to celebrate this day.
God bless America!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
You'll also receive a bottle of my very own Rustic Cottage Lavender Linen Spray and a bar of my Cottage Rose soap. The linen spray is scented with pure lavender essential oil and can also be used as a body spray. The Cottage Rose soap is one of my best sellers; it smells so good and comes with pink rose petals pressed on the top.
I will hold the drawing for these lovely items on May 31st at 6 PM. All you have to do to enter is visit my Etsy Shoppe and then come back here to leave a comment by midnight on May 30th and tell me which soap in my shoppe is your favorite! If you'd like to mention the giveaway on your blog and link back to mine that would be nice too! Be sure to stop by Kim's blog (click the link at the top of this post) and see all the other lovely giveaway entries. Have fun and good luck!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I've been busy making soap this week. I had Farmer's Market the last two Saturdays. The first Saturday was good but I doubled my sales this past Saturday. I was very happy with that. Even had a return customer that came looking for the booth! That was exciting.
So this week I'm replenishing stock. My online orders have been picking up too. God is blessing and providing in different ways. But I'm certainly busy trying to keep up with things. My kitchen counter and dining room table are full of soap making supplies and shipping supplies!
I will admit that it's been nice to be home. Although I tend to stay up late (it's almost 1 AM and my soap batch just got done in the oven) and then I get up fairly early. In the afternoon around 3 it's time for a nap. When I go back to work I wonder if my new employer will let me have a nap at 3 every day??? LOL! I'm enjoying spending time with Stephany and she likes having me home.
It was rainy and cool today but that's going to be the end of that for several days. It's supposed to be 92 on Friday. I like sunny weather as well as the next person but that's too hot for me. I've lived in the NW so long that anything over 80 and I'm complaining! Guess I better get the fans out of storage and clean them up. We'll be needing them I'm sure.
It's off to bed for me. More soap to make tomorrow, inventory to take, and then take Steph to group at church tomorrow evening. Take care and God bless!
Monday, May 5, 2008
There have been even more changes in my life. Last Friday I was laid off my job. I worked for a small diesel truck repair service and had been there for 15 months. There has been almost no work for the past month and the owners had to make the very hard decision to lay some people off due to finances. There is no work because of the high price of diesel and truck owner's having to make the decision to pay for fuel and put off repairs until it's an emergency. I know that it was very hard for my bosses to make this hard decision as they are such loving and caring people. They have had the business for many years and I'm praying that things will pick up so that they will be able to continue to be in business for years to come.
I am very much at peace with all of this. God is so good and He is so faithful. In all my life I've never been without shelter and food because of God's provisions. That's about all anyone really needs. Everything else is just "frosting on the cake." I'll be able to get unemployment and I have child support. Things will be ok. In fact, they will be great!! I do have a job interview tomorrow at 11 AM at a local construction company. We'll see how it goes.
Saturday was my first day at the local Farmer's Market. Two of my friends joined me in the booth and we had a good day. I sold some soap and gave out lots of samples and business cards. One lady that's been there for 4 years said to not get discouraged because if you're there every Saturday people will start to look for your booth. I wasn't discouraged at all. I had a blast! I love doing markets and venues like that because I love to talk to people.
I smell the chicken that's in the oven for dinner. Best go get the rest of the meal fixed.
Life is good and God is good!!!