Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Little Poem I Wrote

Here is a little ditty (poem) I wrote up in less than five minutes for a Jolly Jabber Fat Quarter giveaway (fabrics) last night. (They wanted a poem).

Tossed rosebuds, stripes and dots galore,
Colorful, bright, and glorious.
How can you not sigh and adore
Red Rose Farm -- Meritorious!

Pathetic, huh? Ha! Hey, I tried! And, I came up with it in no time flat. I didn’t want to spend a whole lot of time on a giveaway comment. :-)

But, I do have to confess; I like playing around with words and have done so in the past. :-)

There is one thing I didn’t include in the poem and that was what I would do with the fabric. Oops! I was in a hurry and this part didn’t register in my brain until it was too late! Sheesh. Oh well. And besides, I wouldn’t know what I’d do with the fabric until it is physically in my hands. I’m weird that way. :-)

{By the way, there is still time to enter if you desire to. It's at the above link I provided.}

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordy Wednesday

Dan found this Angel Wing on our weekend getaway at Galveston Island. It's a beaut. He cleaned it up and took a picture of it for me.

May God grant you always
A sunbeam to warm you,
a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering Angel
so nothing can harm you,
Laughter to cheer you,
Faithful friends near you,
And whenever you pray,
Heaven to hear you.

~An Irish Blessing

Monday, September 27, 2010

Some Camping Pictures Posted!

I first posted about our camping trip here with pictures of us. This trip turned into more of a photography trip than anything else. We used the time early in the morning to explore and take pictures. I took many because I wanted to get used to using the Macro lenses.

I had a difficult time trying to come up with some way of organizing the pictures taken while camping at Garner State Park. I decided to just let it be random favorites in chronological order (in the order pictures were taken).

Since there are many favorites, I will be posting them in parts.

Camping at Garner: Day 1 & 2 There is a link within this post for Day 3 & 4

I will work on posting more next Monday. :-)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Friday...

I guess today is my Friday on this blog. My real Friday was busy from the get go.

Before I go on, if any of you talk to my Mother, please do not let her know what happened – she doesn’t need the additional stress or worry about her house.

I woke up as usual on Friday – around 6:30am. But, I was feeling sluggish and lazy. So, I snoozed for about 20 minutes more. I finally dragged myself out of bed and still half asleep, went downstairs.

Imagine my surprise upon stepping into a puddle of water while staggering toward the kitchen to get breakfast and Excedrin. I was suddenly startled awake. I looked up and saw water all over the bar and kitchen countertop. I looked up even further and noticed water dripping off the backside of the upper kitchen cabinets. I was galvanized into action. I almost ran outside in my jammies; but, I realized I wasn’t dressed appropriately. So, I ran upstairs to rapidly make myself decent and ran downstairs and out the door with a thingamabob to turn the water off with.

I didn’t know what the heck I was doing even though I had a slight inclination from my brother’s description to me in the past and watching Dan turn on the water once. The water didn’t stop coming through the pipes immediately and I panicked. I ended up calling Dan just a little after 7:00am, not once, but twice, making sure I did things right. Once I realized the water was indeed turned off, I relaxed. I immediately had the shakes and a headache from the stress.

I don’t think I can stay in that old rickety house alone again. What if it had been worse? Most of you don’t know that I am deaf. It’s a constant worry about things going wrong in the middle of the night because I will not hear anything. As a result, I’d want someone there with me if a disaster happened.

Anyway, It took all the towels in the house to sop up the water from the carpet not to mention up the bar and kitchen countertop. When I laid down the first towels on the carpeting, they were literally dripping wet within minutes. I threw them into the dryer to get them dried. By the time I used the last of the towels, the carpet was still wet/damp. But, it wasn’t splashing every time I took a step. I got the ceiling fans and the one lone fan I found going at the suggestion of my brother.

Due to the water being shut off, I couldn’t take a shower. I didn’t want to stay there at the house without any water anyway. So, I booked a hotel nearby. I packed up all my stuff and then left the house for lunch. I then went to see Mother and then went over to the hotel for an early check-in because I was desperate for a shower. This room is cool. I’ll have to see if I can take pictures later.

My brother went over there late in the afternoon, estimated where the pipe broke, cut through the second floor and found the leak. But, since he didn’t have the time or the desire to attempt to fix it, he called the plumber and that guy will show up sometime today to fix the pipe.

So anyway, instead of my usual random thoughts, I’ll leave you with several links that I came across since last Friday.

Pancake Cupcakes with Maple-Bacon Buttercream Frosting

The Parable of the Internet Explained. {humor, inspirational}

Decorating Children’s rooms: Lucia’s Nursery
I love this cute little nursery. I bet it’s going to get trashed once the little one comes. LOL. :-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Have Been Featured...

Creations by Kara

I have been featured at Creations By Kara.

I am shocked. Just shocked. And thrilled.

That’s why you see a new graphic to the right. First one ever! How cool is that?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordy Wednesday

Which Way Shall We Go?

This pictures isn't all that great as it was snapped through a dirty windshield inside Garner State Park. Both Dan and I thought this view was amusing.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

WIP: Maxine Quilt

Maxine Fabric (The Beginning)
Design Wall

WIP == Work In Progress

It was agonizing working on this. I had no pattern and some of the panels were skewed. I was just winging it using my eyes and imagination. I am rather pleased with how these blocks turned out. I've gotten all of them sewn up and squared.

Next, I will be cutting up the coordinating fabric in the same size as the blocks - two each. And then, I will be arranging them all together...

I can't wait to get back home and begin working on it again...

Next Up: WIP: Maxine Quilt: 10/26/2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Frustrated & a Small Update on Mother

I wanted to post more pictures taken during our camping trip to Garner in the beginning of August. But, this broadband card is giving me grief - it's too dang slow. I'm a frustrated blogger here. Can't you tell?

So anyway, I will just postpone that until next Monday. In the meantime, I plan to work on arranging the pictures and writing it all out on my laptop. Hopefully, that will make posting it all the easier come next Monday.

For all of those who are interested and concerned about my Mother, she's is doing good. She has actually lost weight and looks healthier. She is also acting a bit stronger. She did mention upon being questioned about her ability to get up on her own that she thinks she's afraid to fall. I mentioned that she needs to get beyond that fear if she ever wants to get out of the place she is in. She agreed.
She appears to be doing rather well.

I'm off this frustrating broadband connection. Time for lunch and then I'll do a little shopping before going to see Mother. I hope y'all will have a wonderful day.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Indiscriminate Contemplations

Indiscriminate Contemplations == Random Thoughts

Well, it happened. Last Tuesday, Gracie lost her balance on the back of this chair and hooked me (back of my left arm/shoulder) in the process. It hurt so badly. At first, I thought there was only one puncture wound; but, after looking in the mirror, I noticed that there were three. What is amazing about it is that the wounds are spread quite apart from one another. She’s a tiny little thing and I never thought her toes (on one paw) could spread that far apart. I think she hooked me with two front toes and the one dewclaw. So anyway, I cleaned the wounds up and I’m fine. She’s fine too. But, she’s also banned from the back of this chair while I’m in it. I can’t indulge her – I have to protect us both.

Last weekend was kind of a spendy weekend. Yes, I know, “spendy” isn’t a word. But, it conveys what I mean. We went shopping. I had coupons. We bought stuff. Most were good purchases such as some needed clothes. Some were impulsive purchases such as fabric.

The bad thing is that Monday was also spendy for me. I noticed Michaels had a 40% sale on Bead Gallery strand beads in their ads. They also had a 15% off the entire purchase of Bead Gallery beads in the ads. So, I went, I found beads I loved and I spent. I also cut out a 50% off coupon and bought a cool pendant to hold needles. I needed something like that for when I travel and want to sew (such as in Mom’s room at her place).

Speaking of Mom, I’ll be gone for a week – going to visit with and stay at Mother’s house. We’re also going to take a Fly Fishing class Saturday. Yes, I’m a student. But, I think I most likely will be just taking pictures while Dan does all the work of learning. Ha!

So anyway, blog postings may be light because I will not have access to the internet except through the Broadband card only.

Did y’all realize it’s only 99 more days ‘til Christmas? That’s right. 99 more days ‘til Christmas. And no, I didn’t take the time to figure this out. A frugal blogger I follow did. So, are you ready for Christmas? Started shopping? Done with shopping? As for me, I haven’t thought much about it. I am going to reread Janet Dailey’s “A Capital Holiday” first. Maybe that will get me into the right spirit or frame of mind for the Holidays. It’s a very good book and surprising, inspirational.

Speaking of books, I finished “Let Them Eat Cake” by Sandra Byrd. There were moments that I got were “ah ha” moments. It is an inspirational/Christian fiction. It was a good quick read; but, not worth the full price. And no, I didn’t purchase it for $13.99. Yes, this book was that at regular price – outrageous, huh? I got it on clearance for $3.99 and even that is a little more than I usually want to spend on a book that I don’t know much about in the way of subject and author.

Here are some links that I found since last Friday that was interesting to me. Thought y’all might find them interesting too.

Your Financial Compass Knowing Which Way is North
Finance, Christian, Biblical Principles (need to check things out biblically)

Perfect Wizard of Oz Cake
Pictures of a Wizard of Oz cake – I found it cute

On the Go for God poem
A poem. Inspirational. May change your perspective on moving (exercising)…

Itty Bitty Apron Tutorial for Dolls
Sewing/Crafting. Tutorial. Aprons for dolls. For those of you who have little girls with Barbie (or similar) dolls. Too cute.

Well, I’ve got to go. I need to get started on packing and all that jazz. I hope y’all will have a blessed and safe weekend!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordy Wednesday

"Look, that rabbit's got a vicious streak a mile wide! It's a killer!" (Name that movie}

Ha! It is just an ordinary Eastern Cottontail that came several times near our campsite while we were at Garner State Park. In fact, see just how close he came:

This is the original picture that the first picture came from. The air compressor is right beside our tent. He/She would calmly chew on those seed pods that fell from the tree above.

Every single picture that I took of it came up as red eyed. Oh well.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On Frugality: Free Deoderant, Soap, & More

I’ve been asked how in the world I’m getting practically free shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, body soap, and more.

This is probably going to be the only post about this as it’s just a personal thing/challenge of mine and not everyone is interested in this. I can only hope that this post makes absolute sense to readers.

I’m going to just use this past Sunday’s CVS shopping trip as an example to try to demonstrate. I also take advantage of Walgreens, just not as much as I do CVS.

The one running philosophy I have is that if it doesn’t give me anything in return, I don’t consider it. However, there are exceptions to this philosophy of mine. If the product is on an excellent sale and if I have a coupon for it that will bring it to mere pennies or better yet free, then I will often go for it.

I have a pretty good memory of what manufacturer coupons I currently have. I perused CVS new ads online Saturday night and I noticed the following:

  1. Coke: 12 oz cans 12 pk -- 4/$13. This is not that great of a deal. But, there was a $3 ECBs (Extra Care Bucks) for purchasing these. And, we were desperately low on Coke. So…
  2. Nivea for Men Active 3 body wash 16.9 oz: $4.99. ECBs $4.99
  3. Gillette clear gel deodorant $3.99. ECBs $1.00
I had the following manufacturer and CVS coupons:
  1. $1.00 for any Nivea Body Wash
  2. Buy Gillette any deodorant and get Gillette Body Wash Free
  3. $3.00 CVS ExtraCare Bucks coupon
  4. $5.00 CVS ExtraCare Bucks coupon
So, I ended up getting all of the following (at the advert sale or reg. prices):
  1. 4 packs of 12 cans of Coke: cost $13.00
  2. Gillette clear gel deodorant: cost $3.99
  3. Gillette body wash: cost $4.99
  4. Nivea body wash : cost $4.99
Bringing the total cost to $26.97 before taxes.

WAIT! Remember my coupons? I gave the cashier ALL my coupons which saved me $13.99 bringing the total cost down to $12.98 before taxes.

Basically, I got the deodorant AND the two body wash products for free.

AND, that is not all. In return, I received the following:
  1. $1.00 ECBs
  2. $3.00 ECBs
  3. $4.99 ECBs
This gives me a total of $8.99 ECBs to use in future shopping trips.
Result: More freebies in the future. :-)

AND, that is not all. I received a bonus coupon.
  1. $1 off any Excedrin that expires 9/26/2010
I also have a $1.50 Manufacturer’s coupon expiring 10/16/2010 for Excedrin in my stash of coupons.

I use Excedrin Extra Strength as it works best for me. The problem is that I need the tablet form as I have to chew the pills up (I cannot swallow pills). Only Walgreens and CVS carry the tablet form of Excedrin. (My Walmart and Target do NOT carry this particular product). So...

Knowing CVS track record, they most likely will have a sale on this product within the next couple of weeks. You can be sure that I’ll be getting this then along with the coupons. :-)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Our Camping Trip: August 1 - 7, 2010

On August 1st, 2010, we went camping at Garner State park. We stayed for a week and had a very good time. We took lots of pictures and I'm finally getting around to posting a few. More will come later.

{Note: All pictures came from either three different cameras: Mine, Dan's, and a ugly Vivitar digital water camera that I got on an extreme clearance.}

These are a few things we did:

Of course, before we left, we had to pack. Or rather, he packed up all our crap and I watched. Ha! Dan took the time to set up and take various pictures. And, he came up with this one picture which I thought was cool.

Upon arriving, the first thing we did was set up our tent. I'm loving the second picture above, it looks like the rain shield is overwhelming Dan. Ha!

And then, we had lunch. One of the many eating times we had together. We usually either had just a sandwich or some cold Pasta Salad -- easy to get together in the heat.

By this time, it was hot as blazes. So, we changed, lathered on suntan lotion, packed some snacks, and went down to the river to check it out.

Geez, it's cold!

What do you expect from the Rio Frio? Frio means "cold" in spanish.

We went down to the river practically every late morning and/or early afternoon and stayed for "hours" because it was so hot.

We also cooked up and made dinner every evening. This was Italian chicken which turned out delicious. We also had Camp Spaghetti, Cola Burgers, Hot Dogs, Pasta Salad, and Baked Taters.

Every morning, while it was still just warm, I would grab my camera, go wandering and shoot people, errr, things. :-)

And, this is my bodyguard. He would just quietly grab his camera and follow me.

And, we do yet more swimming...

We did a lot of reading late in the afternoons.

Or, in Dan's case, playing video games.

We also watched the birds late in the morning and whenever we were relaxing at the campsite. We had set up a platform bird feeder and a bell feeder to attract the various birds at Garner.

This was our campsite. It wasn't much; but, it was home for 7 days.

More cooking (for dinner). This time was for baked taters (fully loaded).

We also went tubing one afternoon. How do you like my "big yellow boat"? Ha!

We took off from near our campsite and ended up at the Dam. We were told it is a 2-1/2 hour float. Ha! It turned out to be a 4 hour float. We walked up to the camp store and spent $6 to catch a shuttle back to our campsite.

So, that was our camping trip in a nutshell.

And oh, one cannot go camping without doing this on some late evenings.

S'mores. YUM!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Indiscriminate Contemplations

Indiscriminate Contemplations == Random Thoughts

Our Labor Day holiday weekend was very lazy and unproductive – just what we needed. We did go looking at some model homes. Now that was cheap entertainment and dreamscapes (dream escapes). I don’t think we’ll be building a house even though our first home was built.

About the camping / Garner pictures, I’m working on it. I have all the pictures. It is just a matter of arranging them, writing it up, and then publishing them. I have to be in the mood for that. I want it to look nice.

The Pioneer Woman is currently having a photography assignment called "Funny". Take a look at these pictures. Scroll down and take a look at the cat. Hilarious. Also, scroll down even further and you’ll see a picture with chickens. Too funny!

“Embrace the Camera” concept is floating around in blog land. Basically, the concept is to take pictures of YOU with your kids. All too often, the person doing the photography is missing. The idea is that children will want to see YOU with them when they’re grown. This is too true. So, step out from behind the camera and snap a few of yourself with your kids and grandkids. They will thank you later.

Since I don’t have children and I know some of you don’t either, I was thinking that I could do the same thing doing the things I love. In other words, the concept can be taken to taking pictures of YOU doing things YOU love and/or with your critters. That is my take anyway. What fun I could have with a tripod! Plus, Dan could also get in more practice with his camera. Hmmm, another challenge to issue to Dan! Ha!

We made Maple Toast Eggs for dinner Wednesday night. It’s a keeper. I did spray the pan with a little olive oil – I was afraid of sticking. I also used unsalted butter (not margarine) and real Maple syrup (not that fake stuff with high fructose corn syrup). Speaking of real maple syrup, I need to shop at HEB and see what they have. My Walmart only had one brand. I may also go to Whole Food Market (a 20 minute drive) to check them out. I’m sure they have more variety.

I just found out that men’s pants are not exactly the size you may think they are. Are Your Pants Lying to You? An Investigation. This article includes a chart. Interesting.

I sent the link to Dan (while he was at work) and apparently, they were talking about it on the radio the other day. Dan said “…and I can still fit into size 32 jeans..... as long as I get them at Old Navy” - He was chowing down on french toast and sausage at the time (which his employer provided). Too funny. And yet, it is too sad because the reality is that many people are all too willing to deceive themselves. My Dan doesn't really (deceive himself). He does like to joke around sometimes though.

Gracie, one of our cats, remember her? The one that can balance herself on her hind legs real good? The one that did the freaky exorcist thing? Yeah her.

Well, she has taken to laying on the back of this office chair using me to sleep on in the mornings. It's kind of scary because she's a tripod. (She's missing her front left leg). And yes, she has fallen. Twice! So far, She and I manage to escape injury. I should make her NOT do this; but, she is just so happy to be laying on the back of the chair and on my "shoulders". So, I indulge her at my own peril (and hers too).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordy Wednesday

This Black Witch moth, also known as the butterfly of death, was roosting by our front door when we arrived home the day after my niece's baby shower.

I was dumbfounded by the size of this critter -- the wingspan is around six inches. I must confess that I was extremely nervous taking a picture of this thing. I couldn't have been more than four or five feet away standing on a step stool using a Macro lens. The thing didn't move at all.

There are many myths and legends surrounding this particular moth. Most of them are always associated with sickness and death. A couple deals with money and luck. There is one particular myth that I have read that has stuck with me considering the timing of this moth's appearance.

In Hawaii: "If a loved one has just died, the moth is an embodiment of the person's soul returning to say goodbye".

This creature showed up at our house two days after I said "I'll see you later" to my Dad AND one day after the Tiger Swallowtail made an appearance.

How can this myth NOT stick with you? And, how can one NOT be touched by it?

Let me clarify, I don't believe in myths, legends, and superstitions. However, I do believe that God can speak to you through people, other living creatures, and even through the myths and legends you hear or read about.

I felt touched by this event. I do believe God was telling me, through this moth, that "all is well".

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nice Buns!

I have been wanting to get away from processed foods. You wouldn't believe how many brands of breads and the like have "high fructose corn syrup" as an ingredient. It is shocking.

FYI: I've been trying to get away from foods that contain this ingredient and let me tell you, it hasn't been easy because virtually everything has it.

I came across this recipe for Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog and wanted to give it a try. We couldn't find any multigrain flour. So, we settled for wheat flour.

Dan and I made this one together on Saturday, August 14th. We just seem to like being together in the kitchen. It's fun.

This was the second time I used instant yeast. I did research and learned a little more about how to handle the stuff after my attempt at making pizza dough using instant yeast flopped (it didn't rise).

I must tell you that I had very little faith that the dough would rise this time. Imagine our surprise upon checking the dough to see if it rose. I couldn't believe it! Success! I was practically dancing around the kitchen. Ha!

So anyway, we haphazardly squeezed portions onto the cookie sheets. We didn't have a clue to what we were doing. We ended up with various sizes and baked them after letting them proof a second time.

Let me tell you, I was so pleased and thrilled with the results. I am hoping that the next time I make buns or bread that they'll be even better - I'll know more about yeast, making breads, and the like. At least, I hope to know more!

I dislike the boring hamburgers and would rather eat a hot dog. So, we found and made several different hamburger recipes over a period of time. So far, I like the Cola Burgers recipe from Taste of Home best. Yeah, yeah, I know, Coke has "high fructose corn syrup" in it. But, what's a girl to do? Except keep on looking for more hamburger recipes.

Anyway, I had made up some several weeks prior and froze half of them. We took the ones frozen out of the freezer.

And, we had Cola Burgers with the Homemade Burger buns on Monday night (August 16th) for dinner. Yum!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Indiscriminate Contemplations

Indiscriminate Contemplations == Random Thoughts

I am not sure if I will continue this “random thoughts” posts as I don’t really know if people care to read about my thoughts, what I or we have done, etc., and etc. However, I will keep doing the Wordy Wednesdays, the occasional Crafty posts, and the photography stuff -- I really enjoy doing those.

Our “no spend month” is almost up. It officially ends this coming Monday, September 6th. I just realized that, in my previous “random thoughts” posts, I got the day counts wrong. Oh well, sue me. Ha! We did great this week – no unnecessary splurges or spending. Yay!

I am currently subscribed to 222 blogs via Google Reader. Holy Moly! Not all the blogs have a post every day. In fact, some are extremely sporadic. Some are comics, pictures, and/or short posts; so, very quick reads also. Many of the blogs are crafty ones. Some are Inspirational/Christian. Some are frugal. Some are photography. Some are cooking. Some are animals/pets (one is by a Veterinarian). And, yet others are authors/writers. I don’t know what else (subjects) I’m missing from this list.

We’ve been looking at houses and it’s giving me a headache. It’s been frustrating.

I’ve been sewing up some blocks for Mother’s Maxine quilt – also frustrating.

I had a headache and/or migraine for an extended period of time this week. Frustrating.

We don’t have any plans for the long holiday weekend (It is Labor Day here in USA) – also frustrating. (Dan has Monday off.)

The last day of summer is officially September 21st. Fall begins on September 22nd. That isn’t right. It should be October or November for us Texans, especially for those living in the southern part as we don’t usually get cooler weather until then. I may have to bite my words because it stormed last night bringing both rain and cooler weather. But, I am sure it’ll get hot again in a couple of days as it usually does.

I went hunting for Nifty Nine Patch blocks yesterday. There are a total of thirteen different blocks to find. The fourteenth block will be offered as a download at the end of the month. I have found all thirteen blocks and sixty-one bunnies (visited sixty-one online stores to accomplish this). Most of them bunnies are easily found – too easy.

I will need to find at least 69 more bunnies in order to qualify for the Grand Prize drawing. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to do that or not. I wouldn’t mind winning one of the grand prizes – The Perfect Caddy. I’ve been trying on and off over the years to win one. And, I just noticed that there is a new grand prize -- Accuquilt GO! Fabric Cutter. Cool! I just may have to hunt for 69 more bunnies just to qualify for this drawing.

I did win a minor prize once – a $10 gift certificates to one of the online shops. I didn’t use it. I know, shocking!

Speaking of shops, I came across one online quilt shop that has all profits going towards a Humane Society. How cool is that?

I came across Pencil Lead Sculptures and my goodness, what a time consuming work!

I also ran across Like Mom Like Dad blog which posts pictures that are either mirror images or very similar to one another. It’s amazing how much children look like their parents at the same age.

For those of you in the USA, be safe this holiday weekend and have fun. For those of you outside of USA, have a wonderful and blessed weekend.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wordy Wednesday

Do you ever get the feeling that you've been blessed upon seeing certain things?

I had said "see you later" to my Dad and then the following day, we all attended my youngest niece's baby shower. It was a very emotional two days for me.

A big ol' Tiger Swallowtail butterfly made an appearance when we all returned to Mother's house after the baby shower. And, I felt blessed. I don't know why, I just did. Seeing critters like these (and finding coins on the ground) always makes me feel blessed by God. And, I have to confess, I immediately thought of my Dad upon seeing this critter.

I think it must have been amusing to the rest of the family to watch Dan and me. Dan spotted it first and then we both scrambled to take pictures of it. It was such a big beautiful butterfly. I do believe that some people even took pictures of us taking pictures of the critter. Ha!