31 October 2011

Old Homestead Tales

The Treasure adores these books, 
as we discovered when we found an ancient copy of
The Mallards and Their Neighbors
a few months ago, while visiting my dad.
My momma was (and still is) an avid reader,
and it is a joy to go back to my childhood home
and pick up books from her shelves that I loved way back when 
and share them now with our Treasure.

I don't remember reading the Mallards book when I was growing up,
so it was a fun read for me too.
The Treasure begged me to see if I could find the rest of the books in the series,
and I was fortunate to learn they are in print again.....
so she recieved the set for her birthday recently.

These read-alouds are a great supplement for Nature Study,
as they give the reader much information about each creature in story form.

The Bluebirds and Their Neighbors (1930) will encourage you to watch for God's creatures around your own home. These "Old Homestead" animals may very well live near you too. Sharpen your awareness of neighborhood animals through laughing Robin Red & Tattler Jay.

The Mallards and Their Neighbors makes learning about nature fun. The author, Neil Wayne Northey, describes the wonders of wildlife around the pond in a simple, understandable way. Character lessons are taught throughout each chapter. Elementary students through adults will enjoy this story of the life cycle of mallards and their friends.

Neil Wayne Northey continues to teach us principles of right living in his book, "Paddletail the Beaver and His Neighbors." The animals around Wildwood Pond are more timid, but help us learn to be open and caring, and show good manners, no matter where we live. God can teach us about ourselves through studying His works of nature.

"Wild Creatures in Winter" introduces animals that live on the Old Homestead during the wintertime. These creatures teach us to practice thriftiness and to work now and be prepared for the future. Most of all we can learn that God made the animals and loves them just as He loves us.

In "Wild Animals of Africa" Neil Wayne Northey, author of "Old Homestead Tales", brings the animals on the Broad Plain to life. Some of these creatures are strange looking, act strange, and eat strange food! We may meet strange and different people. The author advises us not to judge too soon by what we see and hear. Many lessons can be learned from God's animal creation.

Author isNeil Wayne Northey,
and the best price I was able to find is HERE.

30 October 2011

A Comment Form Trial

For you sweet blog readers who have tried and tried 
to leave comments here...

I have added Disqus on a trial basis 
as my new comment form.

Give it a try so I can know if it works or.....not.

Thank you kindly,
Missuz C

A Dome Home

Street-side view of the Dome home.

We enjoy perusing unusual housing alternatives and
recently had opportunity to attend an open-house featuring 
a monolithic dome home.

The cost of this type housing is about the same as traditional stick & frame,
but because the insulation is on the interior of the home, 
it boasts a higher energy-efficiency.

(Edit!!!---the man informs me that I was too busy ooohing and ahhh-ing
at the decor and taking photos to pay close enough attention
to the construction details..... ;D.....
So here is the corrected version: 
The interior of the dome is concrete,
and the high-R-rating rigid insulation covers the outside.
This enables the concrete mass of the home 
to collect heat and maintain it so that even if power goes out,
interior heat is lost very very gradually.
This also results in very low utility bills.)

The shape of the home is reported to be exceptionally stable
in turbulence such as hurricanes or tornadoes as well,
which makes it an attractive option for some folks.

Enjoy the photo tour...

Entrance door to dome house, with carport on right.
I like how the carport does double duty as a patio
for outdoor hospitality.

Living and Kitchen half of the home.
The entry door and  Dining area is to the left, just out of camera-shot.

Dining Area


Another Kitchen shot

From Kitchen end, looking into Living area.
Entry door is on right, dining area is even further right,
once again out of camera-view.

Bedroom side.
There is a large walk-in closet out of view to the right.

Bedroom side looking into the bathroom.
Note the white frame above the doorway:
access to attic storage space.

Looking into bathroom: unseen on R is toilet and laundry stack;
on L is shower/tub unit.
The yellow wall shelf is removable to expose the hot water heater.

Shower side of the bathroom.
There is an extra sink in the bedroom area.

Toilet and washer/dryer stack in bathroom.

For more images and information on Monolithic Dome homes,
check out the link HERE.

28 October 2011

How to Make a Simple Knitting Journal

Another organizing project I've been wanting to accomplish 
for far too long is a knitting journal.....a book to keep/record:

*skein labels & garment care instructions
*pattern notes and changes
*yarn swatches
*needle sizes used
*photos of completed projects
*stitch directions
*lists of projects I have stash in hand for

I know you can purchase pre-made knitting journals,
but I'm a free spirit and wanted to make my own and 
not be limited by someone else's pre-printed parameters...

Neither did I want to spend much.....
nor wait long.....

Fortunately, I ran across a post at 
Homespun Living by Deb, and one of her photos
(fourth photo down on this post)
made my creative juices flow.....
(Thanks, Deb!)

And here is my result: quick, simple, inexpensive
free knitting journal instructions.

Take a 94 cent composition book, in your favorite color,
 from your favorite discount store, 
and while you're there, pick up some cardstock to match your book.

Do a Google Search for graphics of your choice...
I think I typed in "free sheep clip art."
(Or just go here to find the graphic I used.)

Grab you favorite image and copy and paste it into a document,
play with the size, add a font you like,
then print it out onto cardstock.

Cut and trim to your heart's content,
(I layered mine because I liked the look)
then glue it on the cover.

I considered decopauge-ing the cover, 
but went with clear contact plastic instead.
(Applied after I took these photos...)

And there you have it.....
200 or so pages to doodle away in till the ewe's come home.....
all for a couple of bucks.

No pun intended.

27 October 2011

Looking for Color

We went for a short road-trip last weekend,
hoping to view some autumn glory,
but we were a few days too early.
The foliage has just this week hit its peak.

It was fun to soak up the rich colors while running some errands yesterday.
Love, love, love how the rain intensifies the colors!

Hope you are squeezing the last drops of goodness
out of autumn wherever you are!

26 October 2011

Organizing Knittin' Sticks

I've wanted and needed make a knitting needle organizer
for years, and this is the year!
I was totally inspired by this post from Deb at Homespun Living---
and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one for me!
(Thank You Deb!)

Above you will see the one we created for the Treasure,
and below is mine.

I made a few changes to the online directions for making this that I found HERE.

1) I decided to make mine wider, it measures 36" wide by 10" long, 
as I use some larger needles.

To do so, I purchased a yard of 60" wide canvas.
(Hancock Fabrics, $9.99/yd)
I cut it in half so I had two pieces, each 30" x 36"
and followed the pocket instructions at the link above.

From L to R, here are the pocket sizes I chose to make:
(1) 2" pocket for scissors 
(1) 1-1/2" pocket for crochet hook 
(6) 1-1/2" pockets for sizes 1-6 
(2) 1-3/4" pockets for sizes 7 and 8
(3) 2" pockets for sizes 9 and 10 and 10-1/2
(4) 2-1/2" pockets for sizes 11-14
(1) 3" pocket for size 15

2) I didn't care for the raw edges on the ends of the original, so chose to finish mine with seam binding.

3) I wasn't able to find 1" wide twill tape, so used 1" cotton seam binding instead.

4) I used a doubled tie on the end instead of single--makes it easier to tie.
(see photo directly below)

I also made a couple of mistakes.
Live and learn.

I got distracted and forgot to mark one pocket for my 10-1/2" needles,
and ended up with a '16' pocket. 
(I don't own size 16 needles.)
Eventually, I will find some iron-on tape, cover these numbers with it,
and reprint them.
And when I do, I will NOT use pigmented scrapbooking ink--
I noticed it rubs off on the back when rolled up.

One more thing--
when you go to print the numbers on,
make sure you clean the ink off that gets on the stamp around the numbers,
otherwise you'll end up with the "look" above.

Thankfully, the Treasure isn't a perfectionist 
and so she doesn't really mind.

Imperfect though it is.....the price was right
(about $6 each)
and this little organizer makes my heart sing!

With that task accomplished, 
my sticks are now hot---working on projects!!!

25 October 2011

Apparently, A Problem Exists

A couple of you sweet readers have notified me recently
that there is a major problem with the "comment" section 
on this blog.....it is not cooperating and won't let most folks 
leave their thoughts and ideas.

I've checked the settings on my end, 
and everything seems to be in order.....
so I apologize, I am at a complete loss.

Are any of you out there smarter and more technologically savvy than I?
Do you have any experience with similar problems...any suggestions?
I am all ears!!!

Meanwhile, at someone's request,
I have added two options to the sidebar on the right, 
providing the options to follow by email or subscribe.

Until I can figure out what the problem is
and and take measures to correct it,
I hope the extra options will soothe frustration.
Yours, that is---but probably not mine!

Blessings, and 
Thanks for stopping by!
Missuz C

24 October 2011

Who Knew???

Not two miles from my Poppa's place
(where we are moving to)
we recently discovered a field of this!

Cotton bolls.....growing in the Heartland.

Who knew???!!!

Tea for Two

The Treasure loves tea-time with mom,
and she orchestrated this one all by herself.

"Breathe Easy" tea and corn nuts.


continues to metamorph
and makes the perfect setting.

Such a big girl she is.....and what joy she brings.
I am blessed among women.

23 October 2011

The ABC's of Life

Here's a gorgeous autumn display we found 
while at our favorite natural foods store this past week...

I liked the message displayed front & center on the mantelshelf.
(As always...take what you like...leave the rest.)

21 October 2011

Under Contract

Little Rock House

We are under contract---
Praise the Lord!!!

If all goes well,
our closing date is scheduled for November 14.

Keep those prayers on our behalf rising, please!

(and Thank You for taking time to pray!!!)

20 October 2011

Poppa & Momma

I know they're mine.....but I can't help it:
Aren't they sweet???!!!

He grins.....she glows.

How blessed I am to have had them all these these many years.

Still together after almost 60 years of marriage.


14 October 2011

Minimizing the Year-Round Wardrobe

And why take ye thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field,
which today is, and to morrow is cast into the oven,
shall he not much more clothe you.....?
Matthew 6:28-30

Back in early spring, while looking on-line for inspiration

(and motivation) to do more purging and de-cluttering 

in order to fit the stuff we use in our every-day lives into a fifth-wheel,
I ran across Project 333 and decided to try it.

The challenge of the project is to limit the clothing in your closet to 
33 items which are to be worn for 3 months.
After 3 months, you can choose another 33 items, 
which allows for change of seasons, etc.
The purpose of the challenge is to simplify one's life,
by determining what one truly needs,
and give one pause to reconsider spending habits.
(For details on "rules" of the challenge, see link above.)

Now, I'm not really keen on displaying 
all the innards and unmentionables of our closet.....
but as I am grateful for those who have shared 
their photos and challenges of their journey.....
(and because a few of you have asked.....)
here's my contribution in hopes of encouraging others considering a similar path.

Here is our closet when I was just starting Project 333.....

.....and here is the stuff I had just pulled out of the closet, 
hence the bare space in the photo above.

(Please forgive the poor quality cell-phone photos--

my camera had an accident.)

I tried every single item on and got rid of everything
that did not fit or did not make me feel good 
about how I looked while wearing it.

I also put much thought into what pieces I really needed,
and how to mix and match those remaining things to prevent boredom.
(Turns out the boredom is MY problem.....
nobody else really cares what I wear!)

Here is the same closet after purging it 
for spring/summer Project 333.
(The top half is mine, bottom half the Man's.)

The pared-down wardrobe worked very well for me,
but I was quite intrigued that I still didn't wear every item 
in the 3+ months of the challenge.

As you can see, when I put my 33 choices back into the closet,
I put all the hangers in backwards.
Three months later, it was very easy to see what had been worn
and what had not by looking at which way the hangers were left hanging on the pole.

After noting how many clothes I still was not wearing,
and then reading about

36/365: A New Fashion Project inspired by Project 333

and decided I was up to taking on a new challenge.

When the heat of summer finally broke, 
and I was inspired to open up the stored winter clothing,
it didn't take me very long to pull out my favorites 
and fill all 36 hangers.

So, (because you asked,) here is my "Wardrobe of 36"...my choices at present.

Far left (above, partly hidden) are  "dress" clothes & winter wraps.
3 Drawers=unmentionables, jammies, workout wear, xtra sheets, etc 
Everyday wear (hanging)
Shoes (some in boxes, some on floor)
(Black travel bag on shelf is for personal toiletries)
(#36=)Black bag on top of shoe boxes is backpack/purse.

Everyday & casual:
1= Denim jacket/blazer
2= prairie skirt
3= prairie skirt
4= drab green skirt
5=denim skirt, A-line
6=denim skirt, straight
7=denim skirt linen khaki skirt, not pictured
8=white short sleeve t
9=gray short sleeve t
10=black short sleeve t
11=brown peasant blouse
12=blue button-down shirt
13=red 3/4 sleeve t
14=brown long sleeve t
15=black long sleeve t
16=plum long sleeve t
17=green long sleeve t
18=red 3/4 sleeve t

19=Brown Cowboy boots
20=Black boots
21=Black flats
22=Blue teva sandals
23=Black sporty Mary Janes
24=Brown Mary Jane slide-ons

The only things that "count" for this challenge
in the 3 drawers shown above 
are the scarves, bottom right.
And at present, I'm not counting them.
I wear them so rarely.....I'm waiting to see what or if I actually use them.
(I also have a black and a brown belt that are rarely worn...
I'm not counting, yet waiting on those as well.)

Winter Warmers on left:
25=Down Coat (which will be replaced with a black knee length one 
when I find it.....it is "lost" in the moving process at present.)
26=Green wool cardifan
27=Snowflake wool sweater
28=Blue wool cardigan

Dress clothes (for church, weddings, funerals)
29=teal sweater
30=red sweater
31=black cami
32=black cardigan sweater
33=black skirt
34=black ballerina dress
35=denim dress
(#36=)black bag, listed above

In top-of-closet storage are 3 hats:
gardening hat
cowgirl hat
straw bonnet
I rarely wear any of these, excepting the gardening hat,
but am keeping them around just the same, for that occasional event,
or until I'm ready to pass them on.

<pic or remains to store>

And here's the remains that will go to temporary storage.

I hope to be able to let all of it go within the next few months.

So these are my choices for now.
If something isn't working, I will trade it out for something that does.
My goal is to permanently downsize my wardrobe to (around) 36 items, 
to cover four distinct seasons.

I am challenging myself to choose contentment and humility,
instead of always acquiring more out of boredom or prideful vanity.

I truly do love having an abundance of space
rather than an over-abundance of things.

Here are some of my personal parameters that have helped me make my wardrobe choices:
(My clothing choices are personal and reflect my way of living. 
Your choices will doubtlessly be different, and I'm perfectly ok with that!)

~~I 'm definately  NOT  a fashionista,
nor am I afraid of the fashion police. 
I don't follow fashion fads, but rather, 
I base my choices on  principle and personal taste.
~~I live a home-based, agrarian life. 
(That means I work in the dirt and with animals a lot.)
~~I am a wife and mother who works at home
by keeping our home, home-educating our child, caring for elders,
and many other miscellaneous titles/roles.
~~I love wearing skirts and dresses and I love dressing modestly.
~~I don't wear jewelery...which greatly simplifies my life and gives me more clothing choices!


11 October 2011

Our Treasure Turns Eight

Every year I wonder if I can pull it off again.....
This year, she helped decorate her own Birthday Table 
using bits and pieces that still remain here where we are.....

I think maybe it made it even more special.
What a treasure we have.
I am so grateful for the eight years she has blessed our life!