Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

We've got big festivities planned for New Year's Eve. My grandson, Christien, is spending the night. We're having our usual taco dip tray and sparkling cider. Then we'll play games and at midnight run outside to beat on pots and pans and shout "Happy New Year".

I may not be on the computer right at midnight so I wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year now. I know in my heart that 2010 is going to be a great year!!!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love, friendship, and prayers this past year. Even though I've never met many of you I feel you are some of my dearest friends - the kind of friends that you can always count on to be there for you. You have made my world a much happier place and I love you all!!

God's richest blessings to you in 2010!!

Love and hugs,

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dentist Update

I got in to see a dentist this morning - same one I saw about 2 years ago to have a tooth pulled. I had to pay upfront for the office visit, had an x-ray, and saw the dentist for about 2 minutes. The verdict was what I expected - root canal and crown for $1800 or pull the tooth for $200.

I immediately started crying in the dentist chair and felt like an idiot. They have no payment options (99% of dentists in this area don't) but I can apply for a no interest payment option through a third party company. I am applying for the payment option. If I can make payments then I will get the tooth fixed. If not, then I have no choice but to pull the tooth. I am trusting the Lord in this decision and I will be ok with whatever He wants me to do. I will let you know the outcome.

Thank you all for the kind notes and the prayers. They mean the world to me!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Finding A Dentist

In the last 3 weeks I have had two teeth break. One is a molar on the upper right side that has always been in crooked. I was eating a pretzel and the whole front of the tooth broke off. Thank God it has not started to hurt. Because I have no dental insurance and very little money I called a local community dental center. They will see you and bill you after you pay the first $40.

The first visit I paid my $40 and saw a temporary dentist who was filling in for the regular dentist who was on vacation. She looked at my tooth and said I'd have to come back to see the regular dentist. She did put some bonding material over the tooth so it would not be open. Last week I went back to see the regular dentist. He was not very friendly, to say the least. He comes in, pokes a metal instrument in the tooth which made it hurt, and tells me that I need a root canal and a crown to the tune of $2000. They don't do that there so he'd have to refer me out. I told him that if I had $2000 I would not need to be at a community clinic. He said the only other alternative was to pull the tooth which is fine with me. He said, in a very terse voice, that he would see what he can do to save the tooth and tells me to make another appointment.

I go to the front desk and they tell me they will have to call me when there is an appointment available! I still have not heard from them. I am trying not to be picky as I don't have a lot of options but I have to say that so far I've not exactly gotten a sense that this community clinic really wants to help.

Last night I was brushing my teeth and the back of the tooth on the lower left side broke off. This one is a problem because I have had two molars pulled on that side and have one tooth left next to the broken one. If I had this one pulled then I would probably have to have the one next to it pulled and would have no teeth left on the lower left side. I have to try and save this tooth.

I have been in tears all day about this because I know there is not a good dentist in Vancouver who would even talk to me with no insurance and little money. I have been praying and praying that the Lord would lead me to some kind hearted dentist who would fix my tooth and let me make payments. I am just praying that this tooth will not start to hurt and that I won't end up with an infection in either.

I just needed to share this and ask if you would pray for and with me in this situation.


End of Year Half Price Sale

END OF YEAR HALF PRICE SALE!! Everything in my Etsy shop is on sale at 50% off the regular price. Now is the time to stock up!! Limited to quantities on hand. No special orders accepted for this sale.

If purchasing multiple items please wait for a revised invoice with combined shipping to save you money!

The Rustic Cottage Etsy

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Beautiful Christmas Day!

While most of the rest of the country is struggling with snow, ice and rain we had a sunny Christmas day!

Last night Steph and I went to 11 pm Christmas Eve service at a little church down the street. It was a beautiful service and truly made it feel like Christmas. When we came out of the church there was fog that was enveloping everything and it just felt so peaceful.

This morning our little family opened presents at home. I got a new pink soap scale - my favorite color. I also got a new purse which I just love. Steph got new fur lined boots, moccasins (which she said was her favorite present), a new coat, and lots of goodies in her stocking.

We went to Missy's for dinner and had such a wonderful time. The two youngest grandsons got things to ride on outside so they enjoyed a dry day riding their new toys in the church parking lot across the street. We ate lots, opened presents, and visited. This time next year we will have a new little one to spoil with love and presents. I can't wait.

I am so tired of all the preparation the last couple of days. I didn't get much baking done so tried to do a marathon session last night and this morning. Tomorrow is definitely going to be a pajama and movie day.

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Sophie Kind of Christmas

We HAD our usual 7 ft tree in place with all the lights on it. In 24 hours Miss Sophie had knocked it over 3 times! Then she started behaving herself and only knocked it over once a day. Last week I came home from work to find the daily mess and decided that was it! Down came the tree. I had a small tree in the garage that had been in Steph's room. It had lights on it and all the decorations. All I had to do was untie the plastic bag. That tree went in the space about our gas fireplace.

This weekend, after the last of my orders were shipped out, I finished the Christmas decorating. I put the Nativity set under the tree (that is above the fireplace because of Sophie - see paragraph #1) and it looks beautiful. This set has great sentimental value as Steph's Great-grandma Jerry, who is 95 years old, made this in 1960. Someday it will look lovely in Steph's first home.

Last night Steph and I wrapped presents. I love this paper!! I have this thing about all my presents being wrapped in the same paper - I know, I'm a little OCD. But if you notice the picture of the presents you'll see shoes, plastic storage boxes and other stuff. That's because the presents are in my bedroom closet. Why? See paragraph #1!! And since we can't put them under the tree because the tree is above the fireplace, they will stay in my closet until Christmas morning. Otherwise we will find missing bows and shredded paper.

It's a Sophie kind of Christmas around here and we're loving every minute of it!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Introducing. . . .

Farmhouse Fresh Soap!!! Sweet Farmgirl Cyn has been learning how to make soap. She got in-person lessons from a lady that lives close to her in Michigan and then we have been chatting about soap via email and Facebook.! Aren't her soaps just adorable? She kept telling me that she didn't want to post pictures because they weren't neat and perfect! I love the rustic look of her soaps and I wish I wasn't so much of a perfectionist so that my soaps would look like hers!! You have to stop by her blog and read the story of her soaps. Please tell her I sent you over to visit!!! Cyn, I'm so proud of you!!!!

Stand For Christmas

I am one of those people that wants to hear "Merry Christmas" not "Happy Holidays". Christmas is about Christ and that's the way it should remain. While listening to Focus on the Family this morning they mentioned a website where you can take a stand for Christmas by rating retailers on how Christmas friendly they are. I hope that you'll take a moment to visit Stand For Christmas.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Night

I'm going to be working the rest of this week and three days next week. God is blessing with extra time and money just when I need it to help out at Christmas.

It was a very busy weekend as I was finishing up items to ship out today. But everything got done and taken to the post office. The treasures are on their way to places across the US to brighten someone's Christmas. Sometimes I wish I could be on the other end when the package arrives or the gift is given. I get so much joy from the things that I make and I'd like to see the joy that those things give others. I guess that's why I do what I do - for the joy!

When I used to make purses I would pray over every one as I was sewing it. I would ask the Lord's blessings on the person that would receive that purse. Since I don't make purses much anymore I'll have to start praying over bars of soap and bottles of lotion!

I'm getting excited about Christmas. I'm going to start baking this week - that's one of my favorite Christmas things to do. I've got a few last minute crafts to get done and gifts to purchase. I usually knit dishcloths but didn't have time for that this year. Guess I'll have to start knitting after Christmas and give them for Valentine's Day!!!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Baby It's Cold Outside

We are in the middle of a real cold spell! Normally it barely gets below freezing. Tonight it's supposed to be down to 15. It's been that cold since last Friday and we've had winds to go along with it too. I've been staying snug and warm inside getting sewing projects finished for customers. They are finally done and I get to move on to some fun stuff now.

Today I made Cottage Rose soap and lotion. Tomorrow it will be Blue Bonnet. I have a couple more batches of soap to make but not sure what scents yet. I think that Peppermint Candy will be one - that is our new favorite scent around here. Maybe some Citrus Basil as I haven't done that one in a while and it's a favorite with the guys.

I got the tree up on Saturday and it has been a fight ever since trying to keep Sophie out of the tree. She knocked it over 3 times in less than 24 hours. Today I made a "moat" of aluminum foil around the bottom of the tree. She hates foil. That worked really well - until Sophie figured out that if she got on the back of the couch and leaned way over she could reach the tree. Out came the water bottle but it's a constant battle. She is one determined cat!

Steph and I have been having the nicest evenings. Sunday night I was sewing and she was laying in my bed. I put White Christmas in the computer and we watched that together while I finished some things. Tonight we watched Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - you know the old one with the clay looking characters?? Steph loves those old Christmas programs and so do I!

I haven't even started any shopping yet and need to get a little done. I have to get for Steph and for the grandsons. The adults are going to just wish each other Merry Christmas this year as everyone's finances are so tight. I kind of like it that way anyway. It makes more of the focus on Jesus and less on the presents.

I've saved the very best news for last! I am going to be a grandma again! Missy is pregnant with her third child and the baby will be here in July. Since I have two grandsons you can guess what I'm hoping for - a granddaughter! I can't wait until Missy is far enough along to find out the gender so I can start making things for the baby. Her youngest is 11 so it's been a while since we've had to think about babies around here. We're just thrilled to pieces. I'm already thinking about blankets, burp cloths, bibs, and anything else that I can possibly sew. This is going to be such fun.

I hope that you all are keeping warm and enjoying the Christmas season!!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Body Moisture Lotion - Finally!!

I have been wanting to add a skin lotion to my line for a long, long time - over 6 months. It's finally done!! I have to admit that I tend to obsess about things - it has to be just right down to the packaging. I've tried and tested until I feel like I have a wonderful product to offer! It's 96% natural and made with a paraben free preservative.

This lotion is thick, creamy and feels so good on the skin. It's made with my favorite shea butter, grape seed oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, aloe juice, and lots of other ingredients that are good for your skin.

I have two scents right now - Oatmeal Milk & Honey and Peppermint Candy. We are in love with the Peppermint Candy! I got that scent for Christmas but may keep it all year long. I'll be adding 3 more scents later in the week - I'm not telling what they'll be. You'll have to check my Etsy shop to find out!!!

Can you tell I'm excited about this??


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I pray that you will have a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving Day!!!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Soaps

I have been making soap like crazy this week - trying to get ready for bazaars and Christmas sales in my Etsy shop. I am so excited about the new scents that I have, especially the Christmas scents. I am finally going to be offering body moisture lotion - made with shea butter, cocoa butter, avocado oil, grapeseed oil and other ingredients that are good for the skin! These two new soaps will be in my Etsy shop on Sunday. Christmas scents and Body Moisture will be listed the day after Thanksgiving. Please stop by to see what's new!

This pretty pink soap is called Grace. This scent is comparable to Philosophy's Amazing Grace - a blend of lemon, rose, cinnamon and musk. Such a light, bright clean scent. I can't get enough of this.

Key Lime - I don't think there's any description needed for this one! Juicy and tart, just like key limes.

I've also set a flat rate of $5 shipping for the Christmas shopping season. You'll only pay $5 no matter how much you buy!

More fun stuff to come!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Just When You Think You Know Someone

Here's my sweet daughter Stephany. She is very artsy, dresses funky, loves black, has 2 piercings in her lip, and loves to listen to weird music (what teenager doesn't love weird music)! For a long time all this bugged me no end - especially the piercings. But I came to realize that you have to pick your battles. I've come to accept that Stephany is her own person and loves being different.

Yesterday we had to go to Battle Ground so Steph could get her new glasses ordered. I figured since we were out there I'd take a side trip to Old Town and visit the Vintage Gathering Christmas Emporium. This kind of event is something that I absolutely love and have not done enough of it for a long time. Anything vintage, cottage, shabby, pink and roses is right up my alley.

Steph and I stepped inside the store and both of us went crazy! I knew that Steph liked some things vintage - she loved her sister's store in Camas when she used to go there. But yesterday I saw a side of Steph that I never knew existed. She told me that when she gets her first apartment she wants to decorate it in cottage and vintage style!! Then she Tweeted that she'd love to have an antique store some day! A girl after my own heart (actually she had my heart from the first minute I laid eyes on her)!

On the way home we talked about how much fun it would be to have a store again. I told her that it was a big undertaking and the finances just weren't there for it right now. However, we could start junking again, re-do treasures, do sales, and maybe have a booth somewhere. Stephany was so excited! That's all she's talked about since yesterday. How much fun is this going to be to have a "partner in crime" to go to sales with!

Just when you think you know someone - especially your own child - they go and surprise you. This is going to be such fun!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Going Back To Work

I'm going back to work! Debbie, my boss (and friend) at my old place of work, emailed me to see if I'd want to come back. I called her this morning and said yes! It will only be 2 days a week but that's ok. Next week will be my last unemployment check and I will be starting back next Wednesday! God's timing is so good!!

I could get another extension on my unemployment but I just want to work. I need to be out in the world and working my brain. I will be working on Wednesday and Friday - the schedule will be great as I will have time to work on my soap business here at home the other days.

The best part is that I don't have to go get a work wardrobe because I can wear jeans! Yay!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Busy Weekend

We survived whatever it was that we had - I don't think it was the full blown flu - and are getting back in the swing of things. The weekend was busy but good.

I feel like I've been living in my kitchen for the past two days. On Saturday I finished up rearranging cupboards and got everything put away. You could actually see the top of the dining room table! Then I found one more box of dishes! I'm not sure where I'm going to put these so I'm going to have to do some rearranging again. I need a hutch or a cabinet as there just isn't enough storage space in my kitchen.

I made baked potato soup and Amish bread for dinner on Saturday. I love that soup and it is so easy to make. There are lots of leftovers so that's what we'll be having for dinner tonight. The family wanted chocolate chip cookies but I was just too tired so those would wait until Sunday.

Sunday we went to Steve's grandma's to help her get some boxes unpacked and sort through her closet. We stopped at Burger King and picked up lunch. She gets so tired of eating the food at the retirement center. It was so cute to watch her eat her cheeseburger and fries - she cleaned up every bite. When we got home from Grandma's I finally got the chocolate chip cookies done and settled in to watch my Sunday night TV programs.

There's lots to do this week as I have some purses to finish up and get more soap made. I got a few more fragrances in the mail on Saturday so this week I'll be making Citrus Basil, Bluebonnet (one of my favorites, and a new men's soap called Leather Jacket. It smells so yummy - kind of a mixture of leather and men's cologne - very masculine.

We're going to have a great week and I hope you do too!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Flu Came Knocking

The flu finally came knocking at our door. Steph started getting a sore throat on Friday and today is the first day that she feels better. I started with a sore throat yesterday and don't feel any better today. I'm praying that it won't get any worse!! I'll be back when we're all well around here!


Monday, November 2, 2009


I absolutely love the month of November!! The earth is settling down into it's winter sleep, the holidays are just around the corner, and I get to celebrate my favorite holiday - Thanksgiving!!

I love to plan and cook the whole meal. If I could, I would have a whole house full of people to share the day with me! The more the merrier. It is so wonderful to have this holiday where we can focus on what we are thankful for, eat a wonderful meal, and just the enjoy each others company. No gifts to fuss about, no parties to worry about, no pressure - just pure enjoyment.

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas. But it has become such a commercial holiday that, to me, the true meaning has been lost. If I could have my way about Christmas it would be 1 gift for each person and the day would be focusing on each other.

I feel sad sometimes that Thanksgiving has gotten lost between Halloween and Christmas. But it doesn't get lost at this house. I refuse to buy anything Christmas related, put up decorations, or even think about gifts until the day after Thanksgiving. It's my own personal way of savoring and remembering this beautiful holiday!

I hope that you will enjoy every single day of November and especially Thanksgiving Day. May you month be filled with blessings and happiness.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Facebook Fan Winner

The winner of oatmeal, milk & honey soap is Elaine Steinbach!! Thanks to everyone who signed up as a fan on my Facebook page.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

50 Fans Giveaway

I have 41 fans on my Facebook page - thank you so much! 50 fans by Halloween and I'll put everyone's name in a drawing for a bar of Oatmeal, Milk & Honey soap!! You can find The Rustic Cottage Facebook fan page here or by clicking the badge in the right side bar.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"I'm Thankful For" Giveaway

Cathy at Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much! is having an "I'm Thankful For" giveaway. All you have to do is visit her blog and leave a comment telling her what you're thankful for and your name will be entered to win this lovely bag and pinkeep. The deadline is Saturday, November 7th and the drawing will be on Sunday, November 8th. Hurry on over and leave a comment!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New to Me

Grandma Jerry moved into assisted living last week. She turned 95 on Octrober 4th and has been so blessed to be able to live in her own apartment all this time. I went over two days and helped get her moved into her new apartment. We were fortunate enough to have movers but we still had to pack many things. She is all settled in her new place which is very lovely with large windows and a very cozy feeling. It is a two room apartment with a living room and bedroom. She was able to use all of her furniture except for her dining table, a corner hutch, one chair, and the kitchen things.

I was blessed to receive the Kitchenaid mixer that she bought in 1965. It is like brand new! I am just so thrilled because a Kitchenaid has been on my dream list for many years. I have been baking up a storm. I am ordering a dough hook so that I can use it to mix and knead bread. I stand in the kitchen and just look at the mixer, not believing that I finally have one.

Grandma also gave me her gorgeous dining table. I have never had anything so nice in all the years that I've had my own home. Grandma always took such good care of everything that she had and this is no exception. She sent the custom made pads for the top and tablecloths. But the finish is so pretty that I couldn't cover it. I put a simple runner down the middle and put a vintage platter and a rose covered dish in the center. I bought the dish at a sale about 5 years ago - it looks like Limoge but isn't - and now I have a place to display it. It's now time to spruce up the dining room with curtains, pictures, and make a curtain for Justin's bookshelf so all the junk doesn't show!

Missy, Sammy, and Christien are coming over tomorrow evening for supper - we're celebrating Christien's 11th birthday - our whole family will be able to gather around the table together for the very first time. I truly am a blessed person!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's Late

Once again I thought I'd go to bed early. Then I got online to check Facebook and then the blogs that I love to read. Now it's after 1 and I'm still up. I did have a lovely chat on Facebook with a high school friend that I've reconnected with. It was worth it to stay up this late to be able to visit with her. Now I'm off to bed. Sleep tight!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Outlaw Craft

I've been invited to be part of a craft show sponsored by Outlaw Craft which is a group of local SW Washington artists! It's always exciting when you're approached by someone because they have seen your products and like them. The show will be November 28th in Vancouver at the Hazel Dell Grange. I love doing this type of thing - now I need to get busy making soap and lotion bars.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just A Little More Fall Color

I had to drive to Battle Ground this afternoon to drop something off at the eye doctor. It is a gorgeous sunny day so I put my camera in my purse in hopes of getting some good pictures of the trees. I stopped in the Maple Grove Church parking lot as the red and gold of these trees caught my eye. I took one picture and then the batteries died in my camera! I knew I should have stuck in extra batteries. So here's one last picture to enjoy until the next sunny day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Little Fall Color

This is my favorite time of the year. The trees are at their peak right now - absolutely gorgeous! This will probably be the last really good weekend because the rains have started. We had a really hard rain and thunder storm today which took a lot of the leaves off the trees. God is so good to bless us with such beauty to enjoy.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Autumn Memories

When I was a small girl growing up in Illinois we had a very large yard with lots and lots of big trees. In the Fall the yard would be full of fallen leaves. It was a family affair for all of us to help rake leaves. We'd work part of the day raking huge piles of leaves in the yard. Then my sweet daddy would let my sister and I (and any neighborhood kids) play in the leaves. What a time we'd have making tunnels in the piles, running and jumping in them, building forts and having pretend wars.

After we were all done playing Daddy would have to start raking again! But he never complained about it -- he enjoyed seeing us have so much fun. Then, as it would come on late afternoon, the leaves got moved to the ditch by our house to be burned. How much fun that was! Daddy would start the fires and then we'd ride our bikes in the street through the smoke. The smell of burning leaves was wonderful!

There are so few places that will let you burn leaves anymore. Too worried about air pollution or some such thing. Six years ago I made a trip back home in October. It had been many years since I'd been home in the Fall. I was driving through the little town I grew up in and smelled this very familiar scent. Someone was actually burning leaves! I had to drive down the street until I could find where they were burning. The sight and the smell brought back a wonderful flood of childhood memories!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

General Mills Pssst

I joined General Mills Pssst a while back to take surveys and test new products. Today I received in the mail a full size box of Progresso Panko Bread Crumbs. I was so excited! I've seen these used by chefs on the Food Network but have not taken the time to buy any to try. I also got 10 coupons for $1.10 off per box. Click the link and join Pssst - it just takes a few minutes and is worth it to get free products to try.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Amazing Faith

Blog Construction and A Giveaway!

Bear with me as my blog is in construction mode!! I think I have it all put back together. The whole process was really fairly simple. The only thing that took a while was adding all the blogs that I love back to my blog roll. There was no way to save that. If you look down the list and don't see your blog, please let me know.

So tell me what you think. Is it better? Too busy? You love it? You hate it? I value your opinion and would love your comments. See that little crow in the top right corner?? He's watching for comments all the time - even when I'm not here. So please leave one, ok? Even if you just say hi!

Let's celebrate me being able to pull off this whole blog construction thingy with a giveaway! If you leave a comment I'll put your name in a drawing to be held next Saturday, 10/17 at 6 pm Pacific time. I have two Noni knitting patterns for felted purses (the ones above - aren't they gorgeous?) that I'd just love to give to someone. After you leave a comment will you spread the word by leaving a link back on your blog??

Have a great weekend!!


Friday, October 9, 2009

The Coolest Thing Ever!

Got this from one of my Twitter friends - Yard Sale Treasure Map. If you love to garage sale this site is like a dream come true.

You put in your address and tell how far you want to travel. It then lists sales in your area. You add your address and it maps the best route for you. Print out the directions and you're set to go. I'm not sure if it works everywhere in the US so try it out!! I've got my strategy all mapped out for Saturday!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

3 Column Blog

I've decided that I need more room on my blog. I have wanted a 3 column template for a long time but could never find an easy free one. Today I visited Six in the NorthWest for the first time. She has a lovely blog and guess what I found at the bottom? A link for a free 3 column blog template! It even has the instructions on how to do it.

It's going to be a bit of a process because I have to save all my widgets and then reinstall on the new template. But I'm excited to try it. I'm telling you all this so that if you come visit and, for some reason, there's nothing here - it's because I've messed something up!! I will back up this blog just in case! Hopefully I will have a new look by the end of the weekend.

Have a great day!!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Job Update

I got an email from Memorial today telling me that they had chosen another candidate. I'm a little disappointed but know that God has something better planned. Thank you all so much for your prayers!


Monday, October 5, 2009

My Phone Interview

I had my 2nd phone interview with Memorial Hospital in Springfield, IL this morning. The first was with human resources and this one was with the hiring manager. Right off the bat she told me that she had never done a phone interview before. When I talked to the recruitment department it sounded like they were making an exception to do my interview by phone since I was still in WA. From what the mgr told me this morning it sounded like that was true!!

Everything went really well and the lady that I spoke with was so nice. The position would be in patient pre-registration and I would be doing phone and computer work. Hours would be 8 to 4:30 and only 6 or 7 Saturdays a year. The job description said that it would every other weekend and hours of 9:30 to 6. I asked about that and was told what I'm interviewing for is a different position - fine with me because I love the hours and the no weekends! If they hire me I would be starting by the end of October!

Now I wait, which is the hardest part for me. I can truly feel God's hand working out all the little details of this. As He opens doors I am walking through. I can't imagine getting hired for a position by having a phone interview but I know that God works miracles. If this is truly His will then it will happen. I get so wrapped up in the job details that I forget about the finances to make this huge move of 2000 miles! God has those details worked out too and I am trusting. He knows the need and will provide.

I am praying and waiting - trying to be patient!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I've been reading the Old Testament lately. My In Touch devotional has led me there and it has been such a joy! I love reading the stories of God's people and God's miracles. This morning I was reading 2 Chronicles 20. It's about the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites that came to make war on Jehoshaphat. God had instructed Moses and the Israelites headed toward the promised land not to aggravate these people. They obeyed and avoided a confrontation.

However, during Jehoshaphat's reign the Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites marched toward Judah with the intent to attack. When Jehoshaphat learned of this the very first thing he did was call the people together in front of the temple to pray! He didn't try to think of what he should do, try to make his own plans, or even hesitate. He went to the Lord in prayer. The prayer in verses 6 to 10 is beautiful. The very last sentence of the prayer says "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you."

Jehoshaphat was waiting on instruction from the Lord to see if he should fight or not. He knew what God had told them in the past. The ending of the story is that God told them to fight, gave them instructions, and made them victorious over Israel's enemies!

When I read this it just touched my heart so much and has been with me all day. When I am in a situation that worries me where do I turn my eyes? What is the first thing I think of? I usually start running the scenario through my head, trying to plan things out, and wonder what to do. That is my humanness. The first thing I should be doing is calling out to God and keeping my eyes upon Him! God has the answers. He knows the plan. He is waiting for me to put my eyes on Him, pray and wait for His answer! I will only be victorious when I pray and wait on the Lord!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Beef Vegetable Soup

It was a chilly day here yesterday - perfect soup weather! I made a big pot of beef vegetable soup for supper and it tasted so good. I thought I'd share the recipe.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (I use the minced garlic in a jar)
1 lb beef stew meat, cut into bite sized pieces
1 2 lb bag frozen mixed vegetables
3 large potatoes, cubed
1 to 2 cups chopped cabbage
5 cans beef broth
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions in vegetable oil in an 8 qt pot. When onions are translucent add stew meat and cook until browned. Add garlic and cook for a minute longer. (Note: I salt and pepper the onions while they are cooking and then add more salt and pepper to the meat while it cooks.) When the meat is ready add the rest of the ingredients. If you need more liquid you can add more broth or water. Cook until the veggies are soft - about 30 minutes. The soup is better if you can cook it longer so, if I have time, I turn the heat down and simmer for an hour or two. You can also do this recipe in the crock pot and cook on low all day. Just before serving I taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. If you are hesitant to add the red wine I have to tell you that it adds so much richness to the soup! Try it and I bet you'll like it - merlot or burgundy are the best to use.

This makes a big pot of soup. There are 4 of us and I have enough left over for another meal tonight. Enjoy!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kind Words and Dear Friends

I received an email this morning from a dear friend that visited my blog a couple of years ago. I will not mention her name as I know that she is a very private person. I had decided that I wanted my blog to take a different direction from ranting and griping to glorifying the Lord. God lead me to write a post about the song "It Is Well With My Soul" (I can't find the post but I added the music). On that day the Lord led this beautiful person to my blog. Nothing is ever coincidence and those words that the Lord led me to write were what she needed to read at that moment. This lady has just touched my heart so much and I am humbled by her words. Here is part of what she had to say:

"Your posts have so moved me on several layers. You always inspire me, and if you inspire me you have to be inspiring hundreds of others. This is a big Thank You for being who you are, sharing your life with us, and the love and faith you have in our Lord."

It is because of the Lord, and all of you, that my journey through this life is easier. You all inspire me and you touch my heart. I read every comment that is left and am blessed by each one. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for blessing my life!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Closet is Done!

I finally got the closet all organized tonight. It looked like a huge job but after I got started it wasn't bad at all. I needed some cubbies but couldn't spend the money right now so I improvised with cardboard boxes. I taped them all together so they wouldn't be sliding around. I think it worked really well. I have a few more things to go back in - sheets and pillowcases on the shelf and the box of computer things - and then it's complete. I just wanted to show the area I set up for my sewing and craft things. The other end is plastic bins with pictures, office supplies, and other miscellaneous stuff. Now I'm ready to start cutting fabric tomorrow and start sewing.

I found some things that I had forgotten about, like 2 wonderful old flour sacks that are going to make the best pillows! You can see them in the top right cubbie. They are soft and faded - just the best!

Here's the Fall fabric I got today. I love the scenes with the barns, pumpkins, and baskets of fruit. It is much prettier in person and has gold metallic accents around all the pumpkins. I think this will make the cutest purses!

It was a beautiful day here today and supposed to be more of the same for tomorrow. Then starting on Monday it will be rainy and in the 60's - the Fall weather is finally getting here. Now it's time to get the porch decorated.

I am off to get the closet finished before I go to bed. Have a wonderful Lord's day tomorrow!!


Friday, September 25, 2009

A Good Day

Let me start out by saying that the closet still isn't organized! I've been trying - not too hard - to get that done but the kids keep me busy running or I find some other excuse to put it off. However, I have to get it done tomorrow. About 6 years ago I started making purses and tote bags and selling them on eBay and at craft shows. For about 3 years I did very well on eBay until the market got saturated and the prices came down so much I wasn't even making my labor costs back. So I decided to turn to soapmaking and put the sewing machine away. I had actually gotten burned out on purses and was ready for something new.

Today I got a call from a former customer who wanted to know if I still made purses. I explained that I hadn't sewn any for 3 years. She said that she wanted one and had two gals at her office that wanted to buy too. She told me what she wanted, I told her the price and she paid - I sold 3 purses in a matter of 5 minutes! Now I'm excited to do them and have all kinds of ideas running through my head again. But the closet has to get cleaned out so I can see what supplies I have and what I need to get. Oh darn - an excuse to go to Joanns! LOL!

My purse business has been brought back to life and I'm glad. I needed something to get me out of the funk that I've been in. I've been praying for the Lord's help in this area and He gave me something to do. I will not be selling them on eBay though. I will have them in my Etsy shop and on my website along with soap and other goodies.

I got the cutest John Deere fabric for one of the purses that was ordered (see above) and, of course, had to buy another piece that is pink paisley with the John Deere logo. I love pink! That one I'm going to "girlie up" with rhinestones and ruffles.

But the day gets better! I was able to eat pizza tonight for the first time in a couple of months. I only had one piece because I didn't want to push it but it tasted to good!!! The kids were so excited that we were going to have a Friday pizza night. That used to be our usual Friday night thing. After dinner Steph got invited to spend the weekend with a friend, Justin got invited to spend the weekend with a friend, and the house is quiet. I have two days to myself - no running kids around, no kids coming over - it's going to be great!

I had a phone interview on Thursday with Memorial Hospital in Springfield, IL. They are forwarding my application to the department manager for review and I will know in a week if they want me for an in-person interview. While this is very exciting news, it's also a little daunting. I would have to fly back there for the interview. The cost of a plane ticket is not in my budget so I have been praying about it since Thursday. I believe that the Lord is going to help provide a way through my business here at home! I don't ever expect Him to just hand me money but it sure is nice when He shows you a way to work so He can provide that way. Of course, my family in IL is very excited about the possibility of Steph and I moving back there. We are excited about it too. We just have to get over this one hurdle. God will open the doors if this plan is truly His will for us - I know that with all my heart.

My weekend is going to be good and I hope that yours is too!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sunny Second Day of Fall

Who would have thought we'd have 95 degrees in Western WA on the First Day of Fall? Not me - but we did and it was hot! Today is another sunny day but supposed to be much cooler.

I'll be hibernating upstairs today as my grandson, Justin, has the stomach flu. He's downstairs so we're trying not to go into the germy area. Hopefully Steph and I don't get it! So since I'm going to be in my room I'm going to organize my closet. I have a pretty good sized closet that has to double as clothes and craft storage. I'd take before pictures but it is way to embarrassing!! I hate clutter in my house so I tend to be one of those people that gets rid of the clutter by shoving it in a closet. As long as I don't see it then it doesn't exist, right? At least until I open the closet door!

I truly am going to try and get better about posting pictures on my blog. I just have to get in the habit of carrying my camera around with me. Several times I've seen things I thought would make great blog pictures only to realize that my camera is upstairs and I'm downstairs. So we'll start with the closet re-do if I get that done today.

Hope you're enjoying a wonderful second day of Fall!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Miss This!

I miss junking, fixing up, and going to shows. It wasn't so much about making a lot of money - that was always nice - but about the creative process and the thrill of the hunt for the next treasure. We had a whole group of gals that we would do shows with. Then everyone drifted their own way. I miss it.
I've decided that I'm going to do this again - for myself. It will give me a creative outlet and I'll get out to meet new friends in the process!

I have the whole winter to create and get ready for Spring shows. I will share treasures as I get them done. This is going to be such fun!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's Hot Again!

This morning Steph and I left the house at 7:15 for her early morning counseling appointment. It was so cold! I turned the heater on in the car. This afternoon we're getting east winds and it's 90 degrees! It's supposed to be this way for the next 3 days. I'm hoping this is summer's last blast of heat. It's been a very hot summer here and we've had record heat several times. I want Fall!

I'm dying to start decorating for Fall but am going to hold back until at least October 1st. My front porch needs a good cleaning from the summer grime and cobwebs. That will be the first order of business. Then on to the pretty Fall colors and pumpkins.

Later in the week I'm hoping to get started on a baby quilt for a dear friend's grandbaby that is due to arrive in December. I'm trying to decide between a rag quilt or a regular quilt. Since I've not done a regular one before this might be the time to try since it will be a small project. I will post pictures of the progress. It will also be my first adventure in machine quilting but the pattern calls for straight line quilting through each square so that should be fairly simple. It will give me practice with handling the quilt in the sewing machine, etc.

Hope you're all having a great day!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Facebook Fan Page

I just finished a fan page for The Rustic Cottage on Facebook. If you're a Facebook member please become a fan! You'll get a sneak peak of new items before they are listed in my Etsy shop or on my webpage. You'll also find out about "Facebook Fans Only" sales and discounts! All you have to do is click on the box in the right side bar - it's that easy!

If you're not a Facebook member it's easy to sign up and lots of fun!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

All Is Well

I went to the doctor yesterday for my post-op visit and everything is great! I'm feeling so good that I can hardly believe it. The doctor said that I had a really nasty looking gall bladder and he's surprised that I wasn't more sick than I was. Life is good because I'm now able to sleep in my normal position - yeah!!

We've had really hot weather here the past couple of days but it's supposed to be in the mid-70's tomorrow. This has been the hottest summer that I can remember since I've lived in the PNW which is 25 years. I'm tired of it, want the AC out of the windows, and cool Fall air! That will come very soon I'm sure.

I'm anxious to get the front porch cleaned and get some Fall decorating done. I think that I'll buy fake pumpkins this year so I can avoid the Great Pumpkin Disaster from last year.

I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend!!

Love and hugs,

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Prayer's for Kim's Mom - Donna

I got an email from my friend Kim tonight asking for prayer for her mom, Donna. Donna is a mighty woman of God and has a full-time ministry. This beautiful lady lives to do the Lord's work and is constantly planting seeds of salvation everywhere she goes. Here's what Donna sent to Kim:

I've lost all nerve connection between my feet and my brain...and it has affected my walking and balance even when I'm standing this is what happens to diabetics, which I am not, but has been gradually increasing over the past few years. Now suddenly
its hit full force. I have no feeling in my feet, yet I have painful
electrical pains in them..which radiate up into my lower leg.
lots of deep leg muscle pain etc.

Also been having severe attacks of vertigo which often
goes with this. I was looking at the floor the other day
and it was I was on a carosel sitting still
but moving through space. The muscles in the feet
and the nerves, and the eye muscles all have to
work together to have balance.

It's been unerving to say the least, but I'm going to
have to learn to live with it.Nothing you can do to
restore dead neverves.

There are small muscles in between the toes that
respond to the nerves which then travel up the
spine into the brain. When this stops, you have
to learn to compesate for your balance all the time.

So, I've joined the neuropathy club...along with
a lot of seniors (altho I think I'm considered
way beyond senior) and like them I will have
to learn to compensate.

Please pray for Donna's healing.

Hugs and love,

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Almost Normal

Well, I'm getting back to normal. I've felt pretty good this week and have had to take fewer rest breaks (i.e. naps). In fact, I'm ready to start Fall cleaning. It's all I can do not to tear into something but I know I need to be careful for a bit longer.

I have let this house go the whole time I was going to school. After that I was having so much trouble with my gall bladder that I just felt bad most of the time. Then there was the surgery which has been such a blessing. I'm really feeling good - didn't realize how bad I felt until I started feeling so good now!

Tonight I went into the "boys" bathroom to get some shampoo out of their shower. Steph and I share a bath, Steve has his, and Justin uses it to shower in and then finishes up his stuff in the downstairs bathroom. I pulled back the shower curtain and almost fainted! The boys have not been cleaning their bathroom. It's been an understanding that since I have 2 1/2 bathrooms to take care of that they would clean theirs and Steph and I take care of ours. Justin does the one downstairs.

It is beyond all comprehension how anyone could get into a shower that dirty. Men must not care if they shower in filth - at least the men in this house. If it hadn't been so ugly I would have taken before and after pictures. Needless to say, when I got done with my bath I went into theirs to clean. I took down the shower curtain liner and threw it away. Pulled the shower curtain down, pulled up the rugs and threw those in the washer. Then I started on the shower walls and tub with Comet. I filled the tub with hot water, added bleach, and let it sit. After that was done I put on gloves and tackled the toilet including using a pumice stone on the hard water stains. Tomorrow I will do the floor and the sink - figured I better not push my luck by doing any more cleaning tonight.

But that shower is so clean now that it just sparkles. Hopefully the rest of my house will look like that before long!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Quick Update

Sorry I haven't updated for a few days. I am starting to feel better. I have hardly any pain now but I just don't have any energy. My grandson and daughter have been great while I'm recuperating. Justin is a great cook (he worked in a restaurant for 2 years) so he has done all the cooking. I sent him to the store with a list and he even did the shopping for me! Stephany has been keeping the laundry done, kitchen cleaned, and is my errand girl if I need water, etc so I don't have to go up and down the stairs.

I'm still having a hard time sleeping because I have to either sleep on my left side or my back - neither of which are my preference! I would love to lay on my right side but that's going to be out for quite a while. So I'm awake every couple of hours and have even slept in the nice soft swivel rocker in my room with my feet propped on my office chair. It's actually quite comfortable.

I'm still on a low-fat diet but have many more choices now so that's been a treat. I even had beef one night for dinner - it tasted so good! I still have some issues with nausea each day but I'm sure that will go away in time too.

I think that's enough whining for now!! I'm ready to get completely back on my feet so I can get serious about job hunting. Thanks so much for all your prayers and notes!! Love you all!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gall Bladder Surgery

Monday night about 11 my gall bladder said "enough is enough." I went to the ER, was admitted and had surgery last night at 6. I just got home from the hospital and am doing pretty good. I was lucky that the doctor was able to do laproscopic surgery so I only have 4 small incisions. My tummy is very sore and I'm not getting around very well. But I'm so glad that this is finally over and I'm home to sleep in my own bed tonight. And I'm able to eat solid food which tastes so good! Thank you to everyone who has been praying. I'll update again in a couple of days.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

From Dappled Shade to Nothing

See this sweet maple tree? This WAS the view out my dining room window. It had grown much since last summer when I took that picture. It came over more of the window and when the sun would come around in late afternoon, the little tree would provide dappled shade for my window. We also have a very large pine tree in the back yard with branches that hung very low.

This afternoon the lawn people came. I was laying down in my room and heard what sounded like a chain saw. I looked out to see them trimming the large pine tree. I was very happy because not only did the tree look too big for the yard, there were lots of spider in the low branches. We couldn't even enjoy the patio. They trimmed it way up and it really opened the space. Once the sawing stopped I drifted off to sleep.

When I got up from my nap I rushed outside to see the finished work. I looked over to the left and the little maple tree was gone!!! They had cut it completely down. I don't think that little tree was one that was planted on purpose because it was a bit too close to the fence. It was more like a wayward seed that got dropped and the tree grew. It still was ok in that spot and only needed a few branches trimmed. Now it's gone and the space looks so bare. But, since I rent, there is nothing much that I can do about it. I'll just try not to look over that way when I go outside.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm Done!

Classes are done!! I am so happy I could just bust!! I won't know the final grades for a couple of weeks but pretty sure I ended up with an A. Thank you so much to my angel benefactor for making this quarter's classes possible!!

Now I'm ready to have a life back which includes making some yummy Fall and Christmas soaps and bath products, maybe getting some sewing done (I'm in the mood to make pillows), finishing up a knitted prayer shawl and starting to learn needle punch embroidery. My dear friend Sher in KS got me the needle set and I have yet to use it. But the weather will be cooling off soon and I am ready to start punching! Plus it's time to start thinking about craft shows - my favorite time of year!

Of course I continue the job search - things are still not promising on that front. But I am praying that things will pick up soon for everyone who is looking for a job. My unemployment lasts until the 3rd week of November. If I don't have a job by then I guess I will be 100% self-employed!

Best of all - I'll have more time to read blogs and post on my blog. I truly am going to try and take more pictures to add. Photography is not my strong suit but pictures make a blog so much better. I've missed being able to "visit" my blog friends and will enjoy catching up.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New Sophie Pics

It's been a while since we've taken some new pics of Sophie. She's getting so big and was especially cute today. She decided that she loved the Walgreen's bag on my bedroom floor as a place to nap. The look she gave me was "just put the camera away and leave me alone."

After that she moved to Steph's bed and crawled inside the pillowcase! Silly girl! No getting away from the camera. We just followed her in there! It is just totally sickening how crazy we are about this kitten!

It's been a busy month of August around here what with helping with Grandma, getting Steph ready for school, and getting my school finished up. My last class is next Wednesday and I am so ready! I can't wait to do crafts again and make soap. Steph asked me the other day why I didn't make soap anymore. I told her I haven't had time.

The job interview that I had was postponed 3 times! Finally after the 3rd postponement I wasn't real encouraged with the doctor - seemed pretty unprofessional to me . Time to move on to something else. I have an interview on Monday with an employment agency in Portland. They have a position open in Vancouver. I know (at least I hope) this one will not get changed!

Grandma is doing so good and moved to the rehab facility last Sunday. I saw her yesterday and she was looking bright and chipper. God has been so amazing through this whole ordeal. Grandma has had very little pain and that is directly from the Lord! That's what we were praying for along with her speedy recovery. She is an amazing woman and surprises us all! Thank you all for your prayers!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Quilt Giveaway

Isn't this a gorgeous quilt??? You could win this handmade beauty. All you have to do is go to Marie-Madeline Studio to leave a comment. You can also find a button in my sidebar that will take you there. There are other ways you can earn entries too - posting on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. So head on over and enter your name!!

When It Rains

Grandma is doing much better! Steph and I spent the morning with her on Tuesday. When we arrived the physical therapist was getting Grandma up in a chair for a bit. We stayed until she had her lunch and then left. I could tell she was worn out and needed a nap! She may be going to the rehab facility tomorrow if her blood counts stay up.

About 6 yesterday evening I got a call from my mother-in-law. She and Don (the FIL) had been in a car accident! They were on the way to the hospital to see Grandma when their car tangled with another at an intersection. MIL was calling to tell me they were being transported by ambulance to the hospital - not the same one as Grandma unfortunately.

We hopped in the car and got to the hospital about the same time they did. Several x-rays and some CT scans later, we were able to take them home. They both had bruises from the seat belts but were otherwise ok. By the time we got home it was midnight.

This morning I got a phone call from the doctor I was to interview with. She had to postpone our appointment again! I am supposed to meet with her Thursday at 1:45 - the way things have been going I'm not going to hold my breath!

Enough of hospitals and enough of postponed appointments! At least the weather is blissfully cool.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Update on Grandma Jerry

Grandma is not doing so well today. Yesterday when we left her blood pressure was very low and they were going to give her a unit of blood.

When the doctor examined her this morning he determined that she is having some internal bleeding from the area where the metal rod was put in her thigh. She had been on Coumadin to prevent blood clots but they had to take her off that because of the bleeding. Her blood pressure and heart rate were very low this morning and she needed another unit of blood. Grandma refused at first because she was confused and thought she might die if she had the blood - she said that's what someone had told her. The doctor said no - that she needed it or she could have a heart attack because her bp and heart rate were so low.

She was doing a bit better late this afternoon and we're praying that the bleeding will stop. I'm not sure what the next step will be if it doesn't. Steph and I are going to the hospital in the morning so we can be there when the doctor comes in. We don't want her to be alone - I wasn't aware that no one had been with her all day until Steve's parents went to the hospital at 5 this afternoon! I was not happy about that at all.

We would sure appreciate it if you could remember Grandma in your prayers. I'll post an update tomorrow.


PS My job interview got postponed until Wednesday at 2!

Words of Wisdom

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday News

What a blessed Sunday - very busy but blessed! The only bummer is that the weather is still 95 degrees and supposed to be 90 tomorrow. I don't want any more hot weather. I seriously need a 70 degree, cloudy, drizzly day!! Looks like I won't get my wish until about Friday.

Yesterday my husband's 95 year old grandmother, Grandma Jerry, fell and broke the lower bone in her hip and her femur bone. This lady still lives in her own little apartment, cleans, cooks, and keeps house! She lives in a retirement center and was at the dining room getting a sandwich to take home to eat. She turned her foot the wrong way and fell flat on the floor. Grandma had surgery this morning at 8 and came through with flying colors. The doctor put a steel rod from her hip down to her knee. She was doing fine and resting comfortably when we left the hospital this afternoon. It's going to be a long recovery and there is a possibility that she may not be able to live alone anymore. But we've thought that twice before and Grandma proved us wrong.

At 5 am this morning I was having a serious talk with the Lord. I was praying for Grandma and many other people when I just felt so convicted. Like there was something that I needed to confess before I could continue praying for others. I asked God's forgiveness for my worry about my job situation and that I was trying to take the control away from him ( a constant problem that I have). Anyway, I gave it all up to Him. I said that whatever He had in mind for me, wherever He wanted me to be - I would follow and do it with my whole heart! If I still didn't have a job when my unemployment runs out in November that I was not going to worry because I knew that He would provide. I left all this at the foot of the cross and walked away.

While at the hospital waiting for Grandma to get out of surgery I got a phone call. At first I thought it was a prank call as the person said they were calling about a job that I had applied for. There are so many scammers out there that I get suspicious when I don't know the person. Not to mention that it is Sunday morning and you don't get many calls about a job on Sunday.

The call was from a doctor who wanted to speak with me about a resume I sent a month ago!! She is a pediatrician in Portland who is opening a holistic pediatric office! She will combine both kinds of medicine in order to treat kids the best way possible - focus being on natural medicine. We chatted for about 15 minutes and I have an interview tomorrow at 1! I am so excited. She wants to keep her practice on a very personal level and will only be seeing about 10 patients a day. That way she can really get to know her patients and their families.

It's exciting for me to just be able to talk to someone about a job - I've only had one other interview in the last 15 months. Just to have an interview is such a blessing! I don't know if the job will work out or not - God is in control of that. But at least I have an interview!! I will keep you posted on the outcome.

I hope your Sunday was blessed too!


Monday, July 27, 2009

Heat and More Heat

The weather guys have been forecasting this heat wave and they weren't kidding! We were supposed to get to 100 today. It reached 103 in Vancouver which set a new record. It is 11 pm and still 91 degrees. Usually when we get this hot the air is very dry but it is so humid. I am blessed to have air conditioning so our house is cool. But not many people in this area have A/C as we usually don't need it. I am sure they are suffering tonight and I have been praying for them off and on all day.

Tuesday is supposed to be 105, Wednesday 103, and then we will cool down to 98 on Thursday - if you can call that a cool down. Hopefully it will really cool off by the weekend like promised.

I didn't get much done today - just stayed inside, watched TV, did some homework, and read a library book that I got last week. It will probably be more of the same for tomorrow.

I will have to run some errands tomorrow because I desperately need a belt for my vacuum. I'm also craving watermelon so I'll go to the store and stock up on things we can eat so there won't be any cooking involved. When it's this hot I don't want to cook and I don't want to eat a hot meal! Sandwiches, fruit, and raw veggies will be the menu for the next few days.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday Evening

It's almost bed time for me but I had to take a few minutes to catch up on some blogs. I didn't get all the rounds made but hope to visit more on Saturday.

I bought a new vacuum in April and it works great. However it's not working now. I sent Steph to her room to vacuum last night and made sure to tell her to get everything up off the floor. Five minutes later I hear a funny noise coming from the vacuum and Steph squealing. She wears clip-in hair extension sometimes and had left them on the floor. They got sucked up in the vacuum, wrapped around the bar, and broke the belt!

I think that sounds like as good an excuse as any to not do housework for the rest of this week, right?

It's been nice and cool here the past few day but things are heating up. It is supposed to be mid-90's to over 100 for the next 5 to 7 days! They are forcasting 104 on Monday. We do have AC so that's a blessing. But there are many that live here that don't because it's normally cool. I'm just dreading it and will spend lots of time inside. I have some sewing projects that I want to work on so those hot days will be a good time to do them.

It's off to bed for me - sleep tight!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sophie Goes To The Vet

Sophie had her first vet visit today. She was such a good girl and everyone remarked what a laid back kitten she is. She weighs 2 lbs, 5 ozs! The vet said she is very healthy and, after I told him the story of what she was like when we got her, he said that we've done a remarkable job with her in 1 month. I know that he probably thought I was nuts having a picture taken of her on the table. But I had to have one to put with the blog post!

Friday Albertson's Savings

You know how some women meet their girlfriends on Friday night to go to dinner, play Bunco, quilt, etc?? Well, Kim & I find our excitement from going to Albertson's for the latest coupon deals! She sent me an email to tell me about a great deal on Coffeemate creamer. This is one of my favorite things in the whole world so I was all over that. She said she'd meet me at Coffeemate cooler in the back of the store to share coupons with me.

I get my stuff and I'm hanging around the cooler waiting. I'm walking around trying not to look like I'm shoplifting or something. I had this thought that it was kind of like waiting for a drug drop - although I really wouldn't know what that is like since I'm never waited for one, just watched a lot of cop shows on TV.

We finally meet up, make the "drop", and are off to the checkout. Here's what I got:

(4) 32 oz Coffeemate liquid creamers $10.00 (on sale for $2.50 ea)
(5) pints Breyers ice cream $ 5.00 (on sale for $1.00 ea)
Less Nestle Savings for spending $10 - 2.00
Less $1.50/2 coupons x 2 - 3.00
Less $4/5 catalina on Breyers - 4.00
Less 2 doublers for $1 each - 2.00

Total Paid $ 4.00

Plus I got another Catalina for $4/5 on Breyers, $1 Catalina from Nestle, and a $2 off for an Albertson's survey – these will be used on my next shopping trip. Today I'm off to get more ice cream and a killer deal on 12 boxes of Kraft Mac n Cheese and 10 boxes of Deluxe Mac n Cheese for FREE!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Waitin' On A Woman

I know that you've probably heard the Brad Paisley song "Waitin' On A Woman". It brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. If not, here's the video from YouTube.

Today I saw this kind of love in action. I took Steph and a friend to the mall. They were in Macy's and I went outside in the mall to sit on a bench and wait. Across from me was a white haired gentleman who I'm guessing was around 70. He was sitting there patiently watching the people walking through the mall.

About 5 minutes later a beautiful white haired lady comes walking out of Macy's with a shopping bag. She looks over at the bench with the sweetest smile and expression on her face. She was looking at her husband. He smiled back, got up, and said "Did you get what you wanted?" She shook her head yes and he placed his hand on her back as they walked away smiling and talking to each other.

I was almost blubbering right there in the mall. It was so sweet to see so much love on the faces of two people. He was such a gentleman and was so kind & patient. I imagined to myself that they've probably been married forever and he's waited for her many times! It was so precious!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sophie Loves Toilet Paper

We keep Sophie in the downstairs bathroom at night. That's where her litter box, bed, and food are. This is a temporary thing until we're 100% sure she's litter trained.

This morning Steph went downstairs to let her out and Miss Sophie had found the roll of toilet paper. The whole roll was laying on the bathroom floor and Sophie was right in the middle of it! Guess we'll be keeping the toilet paper up from now on!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sophie Update

I weighed Sophie today - on my soapmaking scale - and she's at 1 lb. 13.5 ozs. Only 3 more ounces and we can take her to get shots! All that good kitty food must be agreeing with her. Right now she's asleep in the pile of stuff in the rocking chair in my bedroom. That has become her favorite late afternoon nap place. That's my reason for not cleaning out the chair - it would mess up her nap routine. Well, it sounds good anyway!

Hope you're all having a great day!


I Apologize

I apologize for my blog post yesterday about our family issues. I have always strived to keep my blog positive and upbeat. Yesterday's post was negative, bitter, and our family issues should not have been aired here.

I have deleted the post along with the comments - not to censor but to get rid of my negativity. I appreciate every comment that was made and am taking all of them to heart. I appreciate your prayers for us and love you for caring.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Checking In

It's been a great week but a busy one! I'm sure glad that the weather cooled off. We had overcast skies most every morning last week and then sun in the afternoon - my favorite kind of days!

School is going great. I'm actually remembering medical terms! I have lots of flashcards and just go over and over them every day.

Steph starts her first job on Monday - picking blueberries. She's excited about it. My friend Kim's son will be picking too. I don't think they realize what a tedious job it's going to be but it will be good for both of them. The picking will last for about 3 weeks so Steph will have some decent money to put towards school clothes and savings.

Sophie is doing great - growing every day and cuter than ever! I think she's finally completely litter trained but as soon as I say that we'll have an accident. She loves to play and we all laugh when she gets into an attack position and then dives for our feet. She thinks she's a big attack cat but she's so tiny that it's hilarious to watch her. She's also a snuggler and loves to take her naps in your lap.

I went to Kim's house tonight and I think we finally got her Singer embroidery machine figured out. That model of machine has a very sensitive thread guide and we kept getting error messages when we'd try to use it. I read on a forum how others have to floss the thread into the machine and it worked! We did 2 practice designs with no problems. Now that we've got that figured out we'll just keep practicing. I can't wait to scan designs into the program. I've got some really cool vintage designs that I want to try out.

Tomorrow we're celebrating my oldest daughter's 39th birthday. I can't believe that I'm old enough to have a daughter almost 40!!! Seems like yesterday she was just a little girl. The years go by too quickly.

Hope you all have a blessed Lord's day and a wonderful week next week!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Cloudy and Cool

After 4 days of 95 degree temps and blazing hot sun, we have cloudy and cool weather today. What a blessing! I love the sun but only if the temperature stays around 75 degrees. It's supposed to be like this until Friday and that's just fine with me.

I had a very uneventful 4th of July. Steph was gone with friends and I was home studying. There were so many fireworks going off in our neighborhood it sounded like a war zone! I finally gave up about 9:30 and went outside to watch the festivities. I've decided that next year I'm going home to IL for the 4th. My SIL always has a party for the 4th when I'm there and then we'll go watch fireworks. We used to always plan our yearly IL trip so it was over the 4th. I'm not sitting home by myself one more year!

I don't know how much I'll be on here this week as I have lots and lots of homework. I'm really enjoying both of my classes and have great professors. They're very easy going and make the learning fun. I was surprised how much terminology that I remembered in just once week!

Soap and lotion making have also gone by the wayside. I'm not even going to think about it until classes are over in August. Then I'll be ready to get back into it full swing with Fall scents and getting ready for the bazaar season. That really excites me!

Don't you love the pearls on my new blog background?? They are so me - reminds me of my favorite pearl necklace.

I hope you had a wonderful 4th and I pray you'll have a blessed week!


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Another Sophie Picture

Yes, you all are going to get sick of me going on and on about Sophie. But this picture is just too cute for words!!! I think she's the cutest kitten in the world!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sophie and More

Just had to post a new picture of Sophie. This was taken last night - she's sitting in Steph's hand. She's doing so good! Weighs 1 lb 4 oz now, is almost totally litter trained, and is eating dry kitten food. She just looks so healthy - her coat is shiny, eyes bright, and she plays all the time. But the best part is that she is just such a lover - anyone that is near will get loves from Sophie. We are all just crazy about her.

School is going great! I had class on Monday and Wednesday. Love both of my professors and have made some friends already. One lady recognized my name from the online computer class last quarter so we sat together. In medical terminology our professor had each person tell a little about themselves. I would say that at least 50% of the class is age 45 and up, most have gotten laid off from jobs, and are training for a new career. I don't feel like such a fish out of water!

There is going to be a lot of work with medical terminology but I think it's going to be fun. I was a great speller in school, loved English grammar, loved to diagram sentences, etc. This is a lot like that. I have about 100 flashcards made up already and am working on more tonight. Steph will get to help me study!

It has been so hot here the past couple of days. I've basically stayed inside in the air conditioning. This morning we all got up and got the upstairs cleaned. Everyone pitched in and the whole thing was done in an hour. Tomorrow will be the downstairs and then we're going to relax the rest of the day. I'm making beans and potato salad then we'll cook hot dogs on the grill later. Steph is gone to a friend's so it will be quiet (well except for the fireworks). That's ok because I have homework to do. Even though it's loud I just love the 4th! Red, white, and blue is so cheery and it's so wonderful to live in a country where we are free!!!

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!!!!!