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Water Main Break

January 20th, 2019 at 11:48 am

Awoke this morning to a water main break in our subdivision. As cold as it is, I guess it shouldn't be a shock. We did make it to church, but decided to spend money and eat out since we weren't sure if/when we would get water. We tried a place for breakfast we had never eaten before and it wasn't bad. Not planning on making a habit of it, but it was something different.

We were supposed to get 4-7 inches of snow yesterday and we got a light coat of freezing rain. After last weekend's snow, it was a nice break, but sorry for those who had to be out in the mess south and north of us. We stayed in because we weren't sure how the roads were and we didn't need to get out. Instead of we cleaned house and I pulled some stuff out of the freezer for lunch.

I am trying to use up small amounts of yarn before I start new skeins. There's not enough to a hat or scarf, but I've made a lot of dish cloths as well as small facial tissue holders for one's purse and then two Barbie dresses. My two little friends are going to have quite a wardrobe for their dolls. Maybe I should start playing with my Barbie too. I bought one at a thrift store for 75 cents to use as a model.

Snowy Sunday

January 13th, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Yesterday we received over 9 inches of snow. A neighbor graciously used his new snow blower to clear our driveway. I'm so glad because I was really wondering how that was going to play out. We did get some snow last night and DH and I did manage to clean it off today. I don't want him shoveling much and I am asthmatic so it becomes a worry, but I think we did OK.

Many of the churches cancelled services, but ours didn't. We could get out and go and it was nice after being home yesterday. Not that we had any place to go, but I think sometimes when you can't go somewhere, you just want to go somewhere.

I pulled chili from the freezer for yesterday's lunch and made Italian wedding soup and homemade bread for last night's supper. I will be freezing the rest of the soup for another meal.

Alliecat79 blogged about trying to realize how much stuff was bought. I really understand that because I struggle with this issue, especially when it comes to Mason Jars. I guess I'm an addict. I really like them and in all sizes. I can so I use a lot of them. But I also use them for storage for other things. Friday we went to the thrift stores and there was a brand new case of them, unopened and I am ashamed to admit that temptation was strong. Brand new. Still in the plastic. Jelly Jars with lids and rings. It was only $4.50 which is cheaper than new. But, I'm proud to report other than picking them up to look at them (they were amber and I wasn't sure what color they were), I left them on the shelf. I don't need any more jars and it was silly to even consider buying them.

Besides cooking yesterday, I worked on looming and crocheting. I have bits and pieces of yarn here and there so I made some baby hats to donate to a local agency for preemies, crocheted some dish cloths, and then crocheted a Barbie dress. I also made a regular size hat for my group for church. We have made 252 hats so far for 2019. I have also been making scarves to go along with some of the hats. I won't ever have as many scarves as hats, but it also gives me a break from making hats. I have plenty of yarn, I just hate to waste any of it. So, I don't need to buy any, that's for sure.

I'm supposed to volunteer first thing in the morning at a school, so I'm going to get a pork roast with potatoes and carrots and put it in the Crockpot to put on before I leave. I have an afternoon appointment too so that will make supper easier when I get home. I know many of you are singing the praises of Instant Pots, but I think I'll stick with my Crockpots since I'm retired and really don't have to rush to get supper done.

This and That

December 9th, 2018 at 01:50 pm

I blogged earlier about crocheting some clothes for a friend's granddaughter's Barbie. Well, they were a big hit, and it seems the dress that has some glitter to it was a favorite. Seems the Elf on the Shelf even wore it one morning to greet the little girl.

Friday I found two skeins of yarn that had a silver cord running through each of them. One was Christmas red and the other was white. I found them at one of the thrift stores we frequent and the cashier asked me what I was going to use it for and I told her for a Barbie, she took off a dollar so I got both for $3. I made 6 dresses for Barbie and apparently that Elf is going to go "shopping" and surprise our little friend. What a hoot. I guess the lavender dress was not the right color for the elf according to our little friend so hopefully the Christmas colors fill fit the bill. Of course I have taken some verbal abuse from the grandmother asking me if I wanted to keep these clothes and play Barbie. All in good fun.

A few weeks ago I found some baby bibs that can be embroidered so I have been working on them. One of the young ladies at church is expecting her second child and I thought I would finish these and give them to her. My only complaint is who in their right mind would decide to have 5 different shades of pink on a pattern? Egad.

Tomorrow night a friend is coming over for his birthday dinner. He was given the choice of our meeting him some place of his choosing or eating here and he said he really wanted a home cooked meal. So, I need to bake a cake for his birthday and he requested meatloaf. It should be a fun time.

We did spent quite a bit at the thrift stores this week. Well for us we did. I think we spent close to $15. Some of that was for yarn for the hats. Plus the yarn for Barbie clothes. DH found a couple of kids' books he wanted for his personal library. He reads to 5 classes and he likes to keep an assortment besides the ones he get from the library. I'm sure if we had purchased these items at retail, it would have been far more.

I did order a music CD for DH for Christmas. We tried to order it from a local CD place here in town, but he said he couldn't get it. I prefer shopping from brick and mortar, especially if they are small business, to support them. I kept checking Amazon and they finally got the CD in. I had some cash back money on my Discover card so I wound up paying $3.50 for part of the postage. My shopping is completed. Yay!

Like CreditCardFree, I finally got to $20 on Ibotta. It seems to take forever since I don't buy a lot of the stuff they give rebates on.

I found 14 cents in a parking lot yesterday. It goes in the wooden box DH has for change. We usually take the majority of the change in in the summer and apply part of it to Christmas and part of it the home improvement fund.

Guess I'm Boring

November 25th, 2018 at 11:41 am

Haven't posted for awhile. I guess it is because I didn't think I had much to write about. It isn't that I haven't kept busy; I have. Maybe this post isn't exciting either.

Our neighbor is a dichotomy. A couple of weeks ago she posted on Facebook she wanted a part time job...anything...cleaning, secretarial, etc. Then she leaves for a cruise. Just she and her friends. Her family stays home. When she got home, she posted about all the things she was doing out and about which was basically partying. She and the daughter went out the night before Thanksgiving to have a drink. The daughter is 16 yet she took her to a bar and said the daughter's drink was a virgin. Now she and the daughter are out of town partying with some friends while hubby and son are home. And the neighbor and her friend just got matching tattoos. Guess she didn't need that part time job after all...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not jealous of her life. I am not a party person. I don't drink alcohol simply because my mom was an alcoholic and I have read that it can be hereditary. I don't have a problem with someone having a drink or two, but the getting drunk part, not so much.

Have I kept busy? I think so. I crocheted two pairs of slipper socks for Christmas gifts for a local charity, have my Christmas cards addressed, just finished crocheting 100 dish cloths for the local food pantry to put in their Christmas baskets, and am now crocheting Barbie clothes for a friend's granddaughter. DH was laughing at me last night when I said I sure knew how to spend a Saturday night...Barbie and I playing dress up.



Busy, busy, busy

November 4th, 2018 at 01:41 pm

I haven't blogged for awhile because life has been busy.

My doctor's office called and said that my insurance had told them they would no longer pay for a cholesterol medicine I have been on. The medicine is over $300 and they were paying about $100 and I was picking up the rest. So, I spent a lot of time going to pharmacies asking what the cash price. I have found around here trying to call pharmacies is crazy because they put you on hold and then may or may not get back to you after 20 minutes or more. Anyway, I found the pharmacy at Kroger had the cheapest price in our city. I then was researching to find coupons or whatever to lower my cash price. Good RX had a decent coupon, but the drug company offered an even bigger coupon of $75 off. It brought it just under $300 for a month's supply. The generic stuff the insurance company wants me to take had a bad side effect -- it raises my blood sugar to the point where I am pre diabetic. Although the doctor's office explained why I was put on this other medicine, the insurance company wants me to try three other ones that have similar side effects before they will even consider paying what they were paying. At this point, we think my health is worth more than gambling with this.

I know this isn't the end of the year according to most calendars here in the states, but we are ending our hat making year at church because we want to deliver hats to the kids before the weather gets super cold. So, I spent time going over poverty rates for the local public schools, then presenting this to the ladies in the knitting group and decided on the schools we would "adopt." In the mean time I was also fending emails from a church member who graciously lined up funding to buy gloves to go with the hats. Once we decided on the schools, I contacted principals. Two were easy and responded. One I had to contact over and over. I know they are busy, but it shouldn't take more than a minute to say yes or no and if yes, how many students? Then to line up dates when we can drop off the hats, scarves, and gloves.

I also purchased facial tissue and hand sanitizer for each classroom. Then came the actual counting and sorting of the hats. Last week we delivered hats to three schools and then to two individual classrooms to people who are affiliated with our church and who teach in the public schools. The remainder of the hats will go to a neighborhood organization that helps in a high poverty neighborhood. So, we are cleaned out of hats for this year and what a glorious ministry it has become. We made 1202 full size hats for the schools. We also made a good number of scarves. Plus, every kid who got a hat got a pair of gloves. Good thing, because things are getting cold this week. Here is a photo of some of the hats, gloves, and scarves:



The local paper came out and did a story on one of our schools that we dropped off to:

https://herald-review.com/news/local/education/mount-calvary-lutheran-s-stitches-of-love-delivers-more-than/article_7af09cb1-c288-5be1-94d2-d9c47e2a1926.html?fbclid=IwAR1wECcBbYYSr_ikcjK6ICLazbYOgpr7Wo9eIRmZ-XsmIeRasLjkIInfmP4#1


The neighbor is helping her mother-in-law declutter her craft room so she brought over some cotton to make dish cloths. I have made 36 dish cloths to donate to one of the local food pantries. I can honestly say I'm seeing dish cloths in my dreams. Here are some of the dish cloths:



Our church is having a Christmas tea for the ladies guild and they are collecting baby items for a local non profit that helps moms. We have been asked to donate baby items so we are now making small hats for this. I don't think my life is going to get any calmer in the next few days, but that is OK. I'm blessed to be able to do all this.

In The Mood

September 20th, 2018 at 07:59 am

I'm not talking about the Glenn Miller piece either!

It's funny how so many things revolve around how we feel about something. I know I have really been in the mood to can and fill up the pantry with home canned items as well as things that are on sale. I know by the middle of the summer when stuff starts coming on, I really am in the mood for canning.

I have also been working on Christmas gifts. I like to have them finished before Christmas. I'm not a person who handles working under a deadline that is stressful. I've finished all mine and I'm making some for a friend for her stocking stuffers.

DH is starting to clean up the yard and garden for winter. He surprised me today by cleaning the siding and the windows. He normally doesn't notice stuff like that, but he did. I do think "moods" truly effect many of our actions.

Tomorrow is garbage collection day and I've already planned on decluttering some things that cannot be recycled or reused. I'm in the mood for a tidier spot, that's for sure.

So, what motivates you?

Staying busy

September 19th, 2018 at 08:38 am

September is half over, and I continue to stay busy.

I feel really blessed to be retired. It enables me to have time to do a lot of things I wouldn't have had time to do.

We are still getting some tomatoes and bell peppers. I made and canned some more spaghetti sauce. I had given some to a friend for her pantry earlier.

Last year when I was making hats for our church group, I had leftover yarn that there wasn't enough to make another hat from, so I crocheted dish cloths. I have donated them to our church rummage sale. I know this may sound petty, but it kind of hurt my feelings when they only put a quarter each on them. I don't think they are worth tons, but at least 50 cents. But a quarter? The local thrift stores sell smaller ones that are just a mish mash of colors for $1 and I at least try to make mine pretty. Well, I decided this year I'm just going to make them for friends. That way I don't get my feelings hurt. I asked a couple of friends who like them if they would like some for stocking stuffers and they were grateful. So, I feel like I'm using up the yarn and it still does some good.

I have a bunch of rubber stamps. I decided to get them out and start using them again. I bought a blank ink pad and then stamped a design and then colored it with colored pencils. I can say I don't care for the stamp pad. It didn't really ink the stamp very well. Anyone have some suggestions?

We did spend some money, but hopefully it will benefit us in the long run. We paid a guy who does guttering to replace our downspouts with larger ones and to put gutter guards to hopefully keep leaves and debris out of the gutters. We had the money saved so it wasn't a debt inducing project. I called a company to come out and give us a quote on mending the ceiling in the family room where we had a leak a couple of months ago. They will have to patch it. We have popcorn ceilings and there is a small hole so it just isn't painting.

Monday Musings

August 27th, 2018 at 02:41 pm

We have stayed busy.

On Saturday we took a bus trip to a city about two hours away to go through thrift stores. We visited 7 shops. Four were actual thrift stores and 3 were consignment shops/antique malls. But it was a fun day. The trip also included a box lunch and it was really good. There was a choice of turkey and cheese, chicken salad, or ham and cheese on a croissant, and then pasta salad, a bag of chips, fruit salad, brownie, and a small peppermint. The lady who runs the travel agency also provides water for us as well throughout the trip.

DH and I did find a few things, but we were not the big spenders on the trip. I think we spent less than $20 total on our purchases, but it was fun to look around. We were on a different bus than what the travel agency normally uses. Sadly, the bus company she had been utilizing suddenly shuttered after 75 years. Two years ago the owner sold the company and the investment group that bought it ran it into bankruptcy. I just hope this doesn't make this travel agency owner also have financial problems because she had paid for many of the trips in advance.

The funny thing about the trip was the fact we were on a bus, but these folks shopped. At the end of the day, there was a church pew, a rocking chair, a couch (yes, a big couch), an end table, a floor lamp, and a child's ride on motorcycle toy under the bus besides all the boxes and bags. At the last stop, the antique mall folks said they would stay open past their closing time and they had bags of popcorn, cookies, and water for us. Pretty nice gesture, for sure!

Yesterday we had church and after we came home and had brunch, DH watered his garden and then picked tomatoes. Finally we are starting to get more tomatoes. He also picked bell peppers. I used a bunch of the tomatoes and peppers to make a spaghetti sauce. I canned that today and realized 2 quarts and a pint of it.

Our knitting group met last week and we are up to 895 hats. Our goal if 1000 seems attainable. We have had some problems though with people bringing donations of yarn. I am trying to think positive, and hope they are just being nice, but three of the last four donations of yarn were really nasty. One smelled of mildew and the yarn was filthy. Another smelled of smoke. The last one just smelled and the white yarn had yellowed. You would hope people would realize no one would want to work with the yarn in this condition and hopefully they didn't use this as a means to dispose of it. I would hope not. But, yuck.

It's really hot and humid here in Central Illinois. Many of our schools had early dismissal today and plan to do the same tomorrow. I no longer work in those schools, but I'm glad for the students and the staff because I remember how miserable it was working in those conditions.