Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

It's after midnight - it's Christmas!! There is something so special about this late night - or early morning - of Christmas. It feels magical. It is a special night! The night that Jesus was born!

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

Homemade Christmas - No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Drop Cookies

My mother used to make these all the time. They are easy, quick, and delicious! The perfect cookie to tuck in a handmade gift basket. Enjoy!

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

Homemade Christmas - Christmas Snow



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

Preparing for Christmas

It's been so long since I've posted - I have a lot to catch up on! I got the last of my holiday shipping to my customers done today unless there are some last minute purchases. That sure felt good! Now I can start on Christmas preparations here!

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

Holiday Giveaway


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

Christmas Bazaar

Yesterday was the Hockinson Christmas Bazaar. I wore my new Holly Apron that I got from Grace (I featured her here on my blog - I love her aprons!) and it was so festive. The picture is not very good - I look like I'm worn out and I was! Four hours of sleep is not enough for a person my age! The day was fun but I sold less than half of what I did last year - not surprising given the economy. I'm grateful for what I did sell though. I met lots of nice people and made some new customers. I have lots of soap, lotion bars, and room spray inventory left over! I'm going to be putting sets together today and listing in my Etsy shop and on eBay.

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

Cobalt Blue Glass Giveaway

I love cobalt blue glass! Isn't this little hen adorable?? I've always wanted to collect these little hen dishes. Laurie from Laurie's Cobalt World Blog is having her First Annual Christmas Giveaway! How would you like to be able to choose up to $99 in cobalt blue glassware?? Just hope on over to her blog and enter! If I win I'm choosing this little hen!!! Please let her know that you found her giveaway through my blog. Have fun!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Merry Christmas Giveaway

I just found out about this great Merry Christmas giveaway at A Year From Oak Cottage blog. Hurry - today (11/30) is last day to enter!

I'm Awake From The Turkey Coma

I think I've finally revived from the turkey coma and am getting back to normal! We had such a lovely Thanksgiving and I hope you all did too. The company was wonderful, the food great, and it was just the best day ever! Of course, we ate like there was no tomorrow. I still have 1 pumpkin pie left in the frig - can't believe it's lasted this long!

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

After Thanksgiving FREE Shipping Special


After Thanksgiving Shopping and Shipping Special - through Sunday 11/30 - FREE shipping on everything in my Etsy shop!!! http://therusticcottage.etsy.com

This will be the only free shipping special before Christmas!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful


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

Army of Women

Have you joined the Army of Women? If you haven't joined or haven't heard of it please visit the website to get more information. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to be part of the research that helps to eliminate breast cancer. The goal is 1,000,000 members by the end of 2008. There's a long way to go to reach that number. Won' you please join the fight??

Please click the link to see an ABC News Report on The Army of Women. http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=6118891

I Got An Award

I got this award from sweet Betty at PrimitiveBettys. Thank you so much!!! You have to visit her blog to see some of the most amazing hand stitched items I've ever seen!

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

Thanksgiving Blessings

I just want to preface this post by saying that I hope no one will take it as whining. I truly am not doing that. I just have felt lead by the Lord to be truly open and, by doing that, share with everyone the blessing that He gave me.

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 Drowning. . . .

in soap!!! I'm practically up to my eyeballs in soap and soap making supplies. I'm getting ready for a bazaar on December 6th so crafting is in full swing around here. Since I don't have a separate room for making soap everything ends up in the kitchen and on the dining room table. It is much easier to leave all the supplies on the end of the counter than put them all away each evening when I'm going to get up and use them again.

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

Hope

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. Psalm 39:7 NLT

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

Hibernating and Moving Things Around

It's a blustery, rainy day here in SW Washington. The weather man (or am I supposed to say weather person? I know how important it is to be politically correct.) says we'll have 3 inches of rain by tomorrow morning. That's a lot! I'm hibernating today. It's a good day for soup.

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

The Giveaway Winner

Marian from Princess of Pink!!! Congratulations! I'll email you to get your address. Thank you to everyone who left a comment and such nice words.

Hugs,
Kay

An Award

Caroline from The Simple Things was so sweet to give me this award. Thank you so much!

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

20,000 Visitors Giveaway!

My blog has had 20,000 visitors! Thank you so much to everyone for visiting and reading about my ramblings. I promised a giveaway so you have until Sunday, November 2nd at 9 PM to enter. I'll draw a name a little after 9. What am I giving away? See the cute little zippered cosmetic bag above? You'll get that plus I'll tuck in a couple of surprises inside.

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

Almost 20,000 Visitors

I've been watching the visitor counter on my blog (in the lower right hand column) and it now stands at 19,980!! That's a lot of visitors. When the counter hits 20,000 I'm going to do a giveaway for a bar of soap. The scent will be a surprise! Watch the counter and also for the giveaway post.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I've Been BOO-ed!


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.

My Front Porch

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers for Stephany. She is doing so much better. I took her to the doctor on Saturday for a quick strep test. It came back negative but they sent a culture to be tested at the lab. Over the weekend she was running a 101 temp so I knew that something was still not right.

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

Dove vs Soap

Have you seen the new Dove ads? The ones where they talk about how soap leaves a scum on your skin? And then shows an artistically enhanced picture of what soap scum might look like on your skin? It's pretty disgusting looking as the person stands there with all this white stuff all over their skin. Pretty good propoganda to get people to buy their product.

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 sulfonate

Here 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.

Beautiful Saturday

This is what I see outside my dining room window today! Lots of sunshine. I love this view. I see it when I'm on the computer. I love the way the tree looks at the corner of the window and the shade from the side fence.

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

Good Night

It's been another busy day and I'm tired. I ran errands all morning then came home and puttered around the house. I sat down this afternoon and knitted on a special project - it felt good to relax.

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

Miss Rhea's Blog Giveaway

Are these not gorgeous??? Just makes you want to dive in and eat. But they are not for eating - just decorating!! Miss Rhea makes these for her Etsy shop and is giving away a set in honor of the 100th post on her blog. Just visit SweetnShabbyRoses before Saturday, October 25th, leave a comment, and then cross your fingers.

What Are You Doing Today?

My list grows longer by the minute!! But the first thing I'm going to accomplish is to clean my dirty house. I have let it go - I admit it to the whole world. It's not filthy as in one of those shows on TV. I couldn't stand that!! But there are dust bunnies floating around the floors, dust on the furniture, and floors that need scrubbed.

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!

Hugs,
Kay

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Got An Award


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!

Tuesday Tip - Pumpkin Tealights


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.

Enjoy!

Hugs,
Kay

Friday, October 17, 2008

Where Have I Been???

I have been sitting at home feeling sorry for myself, feeling afraid about the economy, and just generally having a pity party. I didn't think it was a good idea to post when my attitude was not right. I figured out that I was just watching too much news. Especially the Fox Business Channel. Every time I'd see the stock market take a nose dive so would my attitude. Last Saturday I turned it all off.

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

Cottage Rose Soap for Breast Cancer

There are so many beautiful women who are fighting breast cancer or who are survivors. Two special blogging friends are in the midst of the battle - Cora from Hidden Riches Secret Places and Stacy from Stacy's Stuff. In honor of Cora and Stacy I have listed an auction on eBay with 100% of the proceeds to go to Susan G. Komen. Pink roses to help fight breast cancer! I hope that you'll bid and help in this fight. Just click the picture above to go to this special auction!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Small Town Living Magazine


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

Fall Giveaway Winner

I did the drawing the lazy way today! I went to a random number generator and put in the list. The winner is the #5 comment who happens to be Linda - Parker's Paradise blog. Congratulations!

Please email me with your mailing address so I can send out your soap!!

Thank you to everyone who visited and left comments!

Hugs,
Kay

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Gentleman

I went to my friend Kim's for a while last night. I got there about supper time - lucky me - and she invited me to stay. We had sweet and sour meatballs, rice, and salad. It was so good!

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

Longing

Do you ever long for something? You want this something so badly that you can feel the longing deep in your soul? That's how I feel about having a farm. I don't mean a big farm but maybe somewhere from an acre to 5 acres. Just enough so that I could have chickens, a big garden, and a pumpkin patch.

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??

First Day of Fall Giveaway



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.

Good luck!!

Hugs,
Kay

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.

Busy Fall Days

Fall will officially be here on Monday and with it comes some rain. It has been hot here the past few days - in the 90's - and I want cooler weather. Next Monday and Tuesday I get my wish because it will be rainy and in the mid 60's. Just the kind of days to nest and get some Fall decorating done. I saw pumpkins at the store on Monday - excitement! Can't wait to get some.

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

An Answer To Prayers

My brother just called me and he does not have MS!! Praise God!! He has a herniated disk in his neck which is pinching nerves and causing his hands to be numb and difficulty walking. He will have to have surgery but, considering the alternative, he is perfectly happy to have it.

Thank you all for your prayers! I know they helped.

This news just made my day!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday Ramblings

We had a wonderful Sunday although it was hot - 90 degrees! I hope that's the last of it. I was just outside (it's 9:15 pm) and it's still so warm. But you can sure feel Fall in the air in the mornings.

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

Pumpkin Spice Soap

I made Pumpkin Spice soap tonight. My house smells so good! It's in the oven baking away for about 2 hours. I'll be able to cut it late tomorrow night. I'll post pictures on Monday. Tomorrow will be Chai Tea - that's a good one too.

I just love Fall and all this comforting spicy scents!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fall Is Here!

Well, Fall is officially here. I went to Walgreen's tonight and found Brach's Mellocreme Pumpkin Candy! I love these! Of course I had to buy a bag. My hips don't need them but they sure taste good!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gone Too Long

Every day I think I need to post on my blog. Then the day slips away and I didn't get it done. The last time I posted was 8/22! That's way too long to be away.

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.

Giveaway at Aunt Jenny's World


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

Fun Day

I went to Portland to pick up some soap supplies today. I need to get busy because soon it's going to be bazaar season and people will be Christmas shopping. I have my first show on September 27th in Portland. I got invited by the local Craft Mafia group and it will be held in the Secret Society Ballroom. I looked at pictures on the website and it is a beautiful, old historic building with wooden floors and red velvet drapes. I can't wait.

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

HELP! I'm Melting!

It has been so hot here!! 102 on Thursday, 100 yesterday, and 100 today - the first time we've had that many consecutive days of 100 degree heat in about 20 years.

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

Pineapple Blossom Soap


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

Starting My Day

I used to read blogs at night. It was how I relaxed before I went to bed. Over the summer that has changed. The kids are sleeping, one in the living room on the couch, so I'm confined to my bedroom for a while until they wake up. I get my coffee, have quiet time with the Lord, and then start my day by checking email and reading my friend's blogs.

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

Tickled Tuesday

Christian comedian Michael, Jr - he is so funny!! Enjoy!

Soap Winner

When we came back from Utah we brought back a new member to the family - Aaron. He is the son of the people that we stayed with there. Aaron and Steph have been friends for a couple of years. Aaron came to visit us last Christmas and just fell in love with Washington. He has a girlfriend here and decided that he'd like to live here. Since he'll be 18 in November, his parents felt that he could come now. So I have an "adopted" son!! He's a sweetie and did the drawing for the soap winner.

The is winner is Theresa at A Sentimental Journey! Congratulations!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Cinnamon Bun Soap

Here's my first attempt at Cinnamon Bun Soap! They are all handmade so no two are alike. They smell so good - cinnamon bun fragrance, sprinkled with cinnamon, and topped with creme' brulee icing!

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!

I've Been Tagged Again!

Debra at Sparrowgrass tagged me! Pop on over and visit her blog - it's lovely! Now to come up with six random and slightly interesting things about myself.

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.

Rules:

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

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged by Mrs. B at http://herpeculiarlife.blogspot.com/ . I have to tell my 5 favorite things excluding family things. So here goes!

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

New Soap!!!



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.

Hugs,
Kay

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Glorious Sunday

I have a laptop which I borrowed from my husband for our trip to Utah. Actually, Stephany says it is HER laptop. That's to be debated, but we let her think it is hers.

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

We're Here

We got into Vancouver about 5 last night! I was a nervous wreck coming down the mountain into Pendleton, OR. That is a huge downgrade with a hairpin curve. But I prayed all the way down and it went just fine.

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

Thank You!

Thank you all for your prayers and kind words of encouragement regarding our move back to WA! I can't express in words what you all mean to me. My heart is so blessed!

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

Going Home


Sometimes we think that after we've prayed about a situation and some doors open, then we feel we know what God is trying to tell us or where He is leading us. That's how I felt about moving to Utah. I had prayed, made job contacts, had positive responses, had a place to live with friends, and felt this is where God was leading me. I sold or gave away everything. I only brought the things that would fit in my car.

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

The Rustic Cottage Newsletter

Some time back I started a Google group so that I could publish a newsletter every month or so. I got lots of lovely people that signed up. However, now I can't remember my username and password to get into the account. Thus the reason for no newsletter!

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!!

Hugs,
Kay

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I Got A Job!!!

I am so excited - I got a job today!!! I have been sending out resumes like crazy. Last Saturday I drove by an Express Personnel office in Clearfield. I decided to go yesterday to drop off my resume. While there the manager told me about a couple of positions that I would be qualified for. One was as office manager for a company in Centerville that manufactures and sells a salon hair care line. The owner spends most of the time in England so she had to email my resume to him.

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

My Favorite Time of Day

The weather here in Utah is so different than what I've known for the last 23 years. In Washington the summers are cool - most of the time it doesn't get above 80 degrees. There are the occasional hot spells with 90, 95 and even 100. I would not be a happy camper when I heard the weather was going to be above 85. Nights would be chilly getting down into the 50's - almost too cool to enjoy being outside.

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

Our First Meal In Utah


The first town we stopped in once we crossed into Utah was Snowville. I had to fill up the car and then we decided to eat lunch. I looked down the street and saw Mollie's Cafe! It was just too cute. It was one of those places that you could just tell had great food. The inside was all done in red and white and had red stools at the counter. The kids both said they'd never been a restaurant like that before. I explained to them that growing up in IL it 's about the only type of restaurant to eat in - at least that was the case in the 50's and 60's.

The food was excellent!!

I Planted A Little Garden Today


I have this empty patio outside the doors to our room. It gets good sun and just needed some plants. I ventured out and found the Wal-Mart. I got a patio tomato plant, some basil and some Greek oregano. It looks so cute but definitely needs some company. Soon I'll add a few pots of flowers for color.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

We Made It!!

800 miles over two days with a car so packed we hardly had room to fit inside - but we made it! The car ran great, got good gas mileage, and at 1:45 PM on Monday we pulled into Layton, UT.

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.

.0

Monday, June 16, 2008

Soap Winner

This week's winner is Laura of Harvest Lane!! Congrats!

I won't have a drawing this next week as I am moving and won't have internet. Probably won't be able to find my soap either!

Stop back by to enter in two weeks!!

Moving On


I used to move at the drop of a hat. It was like a big adventure for me. A new place to live, new surroundings, and lots of excitement. I could pack a house in 2 days and off I'd go.

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

WIll You Pray For My Friend?

God has brought some really special friends into my life via the internet and blogging. Cora is one of those special friends. She is such an encourager and prayer warrior - a true woman of God. In my times of struggle these past months the burden was lightened because of her friendship and prayers.

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?

Moving Sale In My Etsy Shop

In one week I'm moving! I need to travel light so I'm selling everything - including my soap inventory! Everything in my Etsy shop is HALF PRICE through Wednesday, June 18th. Take advantage of the sale and stock up!

Soap Giveaway

Sorry it's taken me a week to post the giveaway! I've been dealing lots of pain in my jaw where I had a tooth pulled.

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

Soap Winner

Sorry I'm late with this! I had a tooth pulled on Friday so I've been kind of out of it today.

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.

Hugs,
Kay

Monday, June 2, 2008

Weekly Soap Giveaway


The day got away from me yesterday! I forgot to post the soap giveaway. So here it is - sweet smelling Blue Bonnet! This is one of my favorites - floral and clean at the same time.

Leave a comment here from now through Friday at midnight. On Saturday I'll draw the winner.

If you'd like to post on your blog about the weekly giveaway that would be great too. Just link back to me at http://therusticcottage.blogspot.com/. Feel free to use the picture too.

Hugs and blessings,
Kay

God's Blessings

If you've read my previous posts you know that I lost my job a month ago. Being a single mom and sole support of my little family makes that a hard situation to be in. From the very beginning of this journey I knew, and kept telling myself, that God would provide for all our needs. In all my life and all the hard times I've never had to live on the street or gone hungry.

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

The Winner of the Cottage Charm Giveaway is. . .

Joanne Kennedy! Congratulations!! Please contact me via the email link on my profile page so I can get your mailing address.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Bar A Week

I have had so much fun with the Cottage Giveaway. It's wonderful to have so many new visitors to my blog - thank you to all who have visited and entered.

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

Apron Giveaway at The Simple Woman


Peggy at The Simple Woman does THE best giveaways!! This time it is for a custom made apron. Please pop on over and enter your name. While you're there be sure to read her lovely blog.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day! This day never passes without thoughts my sweet daddy. He was a veteran of WWII and it was the proudest accomplishment of his life.

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

2nd Annual Cottage Charm Giveaway

I'm joining Kim at The Twice Remembered Cottage - One Woman's Cottage Life for her 2nd Annual Cottage Charm Giveaway. Be sure to check out the list of all the participants - there are 35 and growing. I thought it would be a fun way to meet some new people and maybe I'll win some cottage treasures for my home. The lovely items you see in the picture above are the treasures I'm giving away on May 31st. The gorgeous porch pillow is made from vintage barkcloth, trimmed in fringe from a vintage chenille spread, and stuffed with a squishy down and feather insert - perfect for any cottage decor! This romantic pillow was made by eBay Seller Judith Ann Cottage Designs whose pillows have been featured in Romantic Homes Magazine. I purchased it a couple of years ago and am now passing it on for someone else to enjoy.


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

Half Price Lotion Bar Sale


I'm having a sale in my Etsy shop! All my 2 ounce lotion bars are on sale for half price - now $3.50 each (Twinkle Toes Foot Bar is $4)!

The larger 2 ounce size is being phased out for a smaller 1.5 ounce purse friendly size. I even have a mold for the smaller bars with a honey bee on it - so cute! They will come in a smaller flat tin that fits perfectly in your purse! And, unlike commercial manufacturers who make a smaller size of something and then raise the price, I'm lowering the price on the smaller bar. It will be $5.00 as opposed to $7 for the current larger size.

So click on the picture above to visit my Etsy shop and take advantage of the sale. Good while supplies last.

Goings On

Lots and lots going on around here lately. I went on a job interview a week ago - A/R position with a construction company. I got called to come for a second interview this Thursday. Thank God for that! I'm just praying that this is the job that God wants for me. Otherwise I'll keep looking.

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

At Last!

Spring is finally here at last!! The rhododendrons are blooming along with lots of other things. The picture of this beautiful red rhody was taken by my grandson, Justin, with his cell phone! He was at Clark College signing up for photography classes. The grounds at my apartment complex are so pretty now that all the trees have leaves and the flowers are blooming. June will be even more spectacular.

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!!!