Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Family News

Greetings! I pray that all are doing well.

We are doing good. The weather can't seem to decide if it is going to be hot or cool. Oh it makes me long for autumn's cool days! I am looking forward to that first time I go out and find frost on the ground.

I am starting my autumn cleaning - you know that deep cleaning you do at least twice a year in autumn & spring? Ugh! It wears me out but the end result is always worth it. I am starting in the front of the house and going to work my way towards the back. I figure that if I work on it early this time, I will have more time for sewing this autumn.

One task I have to do sometime soon is refinish the dining table. It needs a good sanding, staining, and then a matte clear coat finish put on it. I plan to work on it on a day when the little ones are visiting their grandparents. Once done, the table will look good for a long time to come.
I want to be able to stop using a table cloth all the time.

Tomorrow we take Micah to the doctor for a check-up. He had an ear infection and this is the follow-up visit. He is such a blessing. Abigail just adores him and is often found playing with him. He really seems to enjoy her too.

Joe is still building more raised beds for the garden. May turn into an all autumn/winter project. He is building them from pallets now that the shipping crates are not available. I am looking forward to being able to use them in early spring. It will be interesting to see how large of a harvest we can get from the raised beds.

I was not able to can as much as I wanted so I am going to start taking advantage fo sales and stocking up on canned goods and other things like flour, sugar, etc. to build up the pantry even more. My goal is to eventually have at least 6 months of food supply in the pantry at all times. LOL I just realized - we don't have a pantry large enough to house that on shelves. I think I may have another challenge ahead figuring out how to store that much supplies!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What's in the Sewing Basket?

It has been a while since I posted about my sewing projects, so I thought I would catch up on that. In truth, there was little time for sewing for a while. Life is beginning to slow down however and I am planning out my next projects.

One that had been on the "back burner" for too long was making new coverings. I am going to start cutting out the fabric to make new Prayer Kapps to sew. My favorite one is looking a bit worn and being it is my only Prayer Kapp, I need to make some more. This time, I am going to make a special one for outings, such as going to church, and another for daily wear. I also need a nice warm one to wear when outdoors.

I plan to start making some other capes that look a bit like a snood to wear when working about the home or garden. If I find them to be easy enough to make, I will likely sell some along with the Prayer Kapps & Cauls. I will add pictures when I am able to do so.

I have been working on the PIFs and hope to have them ready to send out by the end of next week. I am also drafting up the pattern for my 8.5" square quilt blocks for the Friendship Quilt block exchange I am hosting. The exchange is really fun and easy. You make one 8.5" block to exchange for a block made by another person. Friendship quilt blocks are collected until you have enough to make into a quilt.

I am still finding time in the afternoons when the children are napping & the housework finished to be able to crochet a bit. I am learning to put edgings on handkerchiefs. I am finding it to be much easier than I had thought it to be. One personal project that I am wanting to crochet is a couple pair of wristlets. My wrists and hands get sore in the cold weather, so hopefully these will keep my wrists warm enough to ease the pain.

Soon, thoughts of the holiday season will be becoming more in the forefront. I would like to make table linens in a pretty autumn fabric and maybe a winter design also. I already have fabric, just need to get busy and make them.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ramblings & Thoughts

Greetings! What a blessing we have been enjoying. Night before last, we had a wonderful night long of thunderstorms. After having excessive heat the rain and cooler temps are a welcome blessing.

I had to buy more canning lids again. I think that I will buy the flat lids in bulk next time. Buying the lids by the small 12-count boxes at the grocery store just gets too pricey at the volume I go through each year. Not that I am complaining about all the canning. I love doing it. I just don't enjoy the frustration of running out of lids just as things are needing to be canned.

I am hoping the weather cools off some more soon. I want to plant more beans, winter squash, and root crops for late autumn harvest. Right now with the temps as hot as it has been lately, the tender little plants would easily be burned up. I just have to be patient a bit longer I guess.

I have been thinking on our non-electric lifestyle alot lately. It seems hard to remember a time when we lived any other way, although it hasn't been THAT long ago that we used electricity for everything. Life is calmer now and has a slower pace that I enjoy. Of course there are always those times when something happens that sets a faster pace, but only for a short time.

The quieter, slower lifestyle has blessed us in many ways. We read alot more, spend time together doing things as a family, and we actually have time to have quiet time with the Lord in prayer and Bible study. Right now, life is busier as we prepare for winter. Soon however, the pace will become slower as winter arrives and brings with it the cold weather. In winter, there is more time for the activities like quilting and other tasks that are not able to be finished when there is more pressing tasks to do in the warmer days.

I have had to awaken as early as 2am to be able to do the heavier tasks (such as laundry & cleaning) in the cool hours of the very early morning. I am considering continuing to do so in the winter months. It will not only give me a chance to get the work done uninterrupted, but also I will be able to better maintain the wood stoves to keep the house warm overnight. The only downside to doing this is that by 7:30pm I am feeling like I am becoming a pumpkin and needing to get some sleep. I go to bed shortly after the little ones....not such a bad thing!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


What a fast response!!! I already have 3 people wanting to participate. Mrs. CW Mouse, Deanna Smith, and Carrie were the first 3 to respond. Carrie, please email me at to give me the address so I can mail out your PIF once it is finished. Thanks!!!

If you are new to PIFs, here is how it works:

I wrote and invitation for 3 people to participate. Each one will receive a handmade item from me. Once I have confirmed who is participating, the participants then post about PIFs on their own blogs and ask for 3 people wanting to join in. They send a handmade item to each person and so on.

The handmade items can be anything. One time, I sent out crocheted dishcloths I had made. This time I am sending out something different. It is really up to the sender what they want to mail out.

There is no rigid time frame, but I recommend that you mail something out within a month so that you don't forget. Most small crafts can be made and shipped in that time frame. Participating in PIFs is a lot of fun....both for the sender and the recipient.

So, in a nutshell, the 3 ladies who are participating in this PIF will be posting on their blogs and asking for 3 people to join in. They will then make & send a handmade item to each participant.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Free Mulch resource & PIFs

I am so excited. this morning, we were blessed with a second dump load of mulch from a tree cutting service. They have been cutting down the trees that have grown too close to power lines along the roads near us. I spoke to them a couple of weeks ago and they agreed to drop off the mulch at our home. This is a free resource that you can check into. Many of the tree cutting service companies look for new places to leave the mulch made from the tree limbs and branches run through the chipper. We now have a small mountain of 2 loads of mulch sitting ready to be put into our garden. They are going to use our home as one of their regular dumping areas. this means that whenever they are in the area working, they will be bringing a load to us periodically.
The mulch works well in compost piles, or simply spread around your garden plants. In autumn, it makes a nice layer to place on your garden soil to add nutrients to the soil as well as prevent weed growth in the early spring. Definately worth checking out the tree cutting service companies in your area.

This morning, I had a comment waiting to be moderated from someone (Mrs. CW Mouse) who had missed out on the first PIF that I had held. For those new to PIF, I gather the names & addresses of 3 people wanting to participate. I send each participant a handmade item. In exchange, they gather from their own blogs the names & addresses of 3 people wanting to participate. They make a handmade item for each and mail it off to them. Each person participating is expected to continue "Paying It Forward" to 3 people on their blogs. If you are interested in participating, please email me at and let me know. Mrs. CW Mouse, I will assume that you are wanting to participate. Please email me to confirm. I then will have room for 2 more participants.