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!!