May 31, 2009

mr. obama... you've got nothing on me!

with all the talk of government motors bankruptcy, the nail-biting atmosphere here in michigan, the looming, glooming wonder about the north korean missile attack and kim dae jung's 5 million man army and wondering why obama and michelle had to fly to new york for a night on the town- her... in a knock-out-wow dress on "we the people's" money.. when most blue collar and yes, white collar families around michigan are eating grilled cheese sandwich's and canned fruit cocktail-off brand, i could go on and on. but why?
instead, i'll tell you about the shabby chic may fair, i went to yesterday. it was so very awesome! i know, i'm sounding like a drama queen here.. but, i am serious... i stood there alone shaking my head, hyper ventilating, wiping the drool from my chin and tears of joy from my cheeks. okay..maybe not all that...but the adrenalin rush running thru my veins and my heart rate could definitely be felt.
my mom and her friend shirley called to tell me about it. "drop what you're doing and come!" so, i did. i was happy to be going alone... tommie had the opportunity to spend time on a job site with brad.. where the amish have been hired to build a local horse country. so, that experience for him (and my husband) was also priceless.
okay, back to me and my day.
in between the sprinkles of rain...which only added to the atmosphere, i meandered around and around and around. walking in circles. i hoped nobody noticed. but i think a few people did. the prices were OUT OF THIS WORLD... not high-end at ALL. very, very, very affordable. which made me weep. i wanted to take pictures of everything..not to copy, but to blog...but i didn't. i didn't want to get in trouble.. but, i did take the snap above from my car.
i saw: countless vintage-shabby chic aprons...hanging on lines from tree to tree, i found beat up flower boxes made from old wooden junk and roughed up metal containers, dishes starting at .50 cents, penny rugs, primitive rug hooking, herb gardens, flower pots, vintage books, amazing homemade oriole feeders, banged up trellis's with moon flowers winding their way up, felted wool EVERYTHING, beat up picture frames, kitchen utensils, arbors made from vintage doors, and too much more to mention.
i walked through the event three times. each time seeing something different.
i was over-the-moon to have found sweet annie for $2. each. and came home with a couple of clumps. i stood at the booth, with my eyes crossed smelling the very fragrant smell. i must of looked like a little freak, because when i looked up, a nice looking man said to me, "you must like it."
i also came away with two silver serving utensils..just beautiful, for $2. each.
on the way home, i stopped and bought 14 lbs of asparagus to freeze. $14.
mr. obama and michelle... i bet my day was much better then yours! you see, i've done manhattan, i've done the broadway plays, i've lived it up in the city, i've stood with a bird's eye view at the empire state building,...don't get me wrong... i love new york immensely.
it doesn't hold a candle to the day i had. and, the bbq chicken (free bbq sauce from kraft with my double coupon) with asparagus and homemade potato fries, served with my $2. silver spoon. and, the table conversation about my boys seeing an amish barn being built....
i look down at my hands trying to wrap up this entry..i notice evidence of yesterday's garden dirt under my nails...smiling...i must sign off and head to my red neck church...where nobody cares what you look like..they're just damn glad you're there.
mr. obama...if you want to change america, then i extend my hand to you... and invite you to see how my little world works.
smile, wink, nod.
and the beat goes on.....

May 28, 2009

Shabby chic birthday gifts and party favors!

Check out these party favors I made tonight... they're for a family party I'm attending tomorrow! I took a yellow bandanna from Wal-mart ($1), made 4 batches of Lemon Poppy Seed cookie dough up, wrapped the dough in wax paper and foil and then tied the bandanna around it. The baking instructions are attached to a little homemade card. They are freezable, too!

I had a great time painting up more birdhouse gourds... for birthday presents! I found them unfinished at a local nursery for $4. a piece. So, tell me when is your birthday? And, I'll make one for you! smile, wink, nod.

From the wool sweaters I've been collecting and felting...I made a few crazy potholders up. See why I shop at thrift stores? I'm a cheap gift-giver!

I made the one below, today while at the doctor's office with my father-in-law. I was nominated to go with him to get the test results from his brain scan. My mother-in-law has a difficult time comprehending medical stuff, plus she was frightened to find out the results. And, is very intimidated by the medical world...The scan showed normal activity, no tumors but he has had quite a few mini-strokes and has been put on medication to eliminate future strokes. I'm glad.

I went to Redbox tonight, and we're currently watching Mall Cop. Not my choice...but my boys. It is quite funny... pre-teen humor with adult twists. Brad is making popcorn as we speak.

May 27, 2009

Yellow on Wednesday!


We've spent the better part of the last few days primping, plotting and planting the gardens. We planted the usual things that every greenhouse in Michigan has. And, darn happy to report... we did find a few new things to try: sweet potatoes, mustard greens, orange thyme, cinnamon basil and tarragon. What's with the bottles above you're wondering? That's the BEST homemade spray we've found to keep the bunnies, deer, wood chucks, etc. away!

The recipe:

1 egg, 1/2 c. milk, 1/2 c. hot sauce, 1 tsp. veg. oil, 1 tsp. liquid dish soap, 1 quart of water. Blend in a blender and put in a spray in the refrigerator. Spray after each rain and after planting.

In early Spring, I found this bag of 12 bright yellow glad's at Dollar General for $2.50. What would August in Michigan be, without glads?

Brad tilled up a plot for potatoes...we keep them far away from our real garden...the Colorado Potato such a pest to our other vegetables... anyone out there know how we can get rid of the swarm? Without using harsh chemicals? If so, leave me a comment and help me.

This time of year, our fields are packed full of these sweet little buttercups! My flowers are like long lost friends...who have been gone for a year!

Where has this been all of my life? Yeah, that's right...Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda. I haven't been using bleach for the past couple of years... too toxic for this girl! Some of our whites (okay most of them) needed perked up...especially Tommie socks! I remembered I had a box of this in the pantry... I use it when I make the homemade laundry soap... read the back, gave it a shot and WOW! I had amazing results....without the bleach! Arm and Hammer Soda is my new friend! smile, wink, nod.

p.s. Here's a couple of YELLOW songs to leave you with...hum along with me:




now... go about your day and try to get the irritating lyrics out of your head!

May 24, 2009


I really hope you're not thinking I'm boasting and bragging about my good grocery deals.... it's just that when I was a newbie, starting out and trying to self-educate myself on how other's do it... I was really inspired to learn how they did it by frequenting other's blogs and soaking up their tips! I love doing couponing, because it makes me feel like a contributing member of my family. A help-mate to my husband. A Proverbs 31 woman...well, with bleached hair and lipliner, anyway. That said... here's how I bought this table full of groceries for $20. (IT TOOK TWO HOURS!)

The key is to take advantage of the printable coupon sites like,kraft, general, and And, buy several Sunday papers or swap with family and friends. Look for peelies (coupons on products) and hangtags. Then sit down with the sale flyers and make it your "job." Match your coupons with what is on sale. I saved $118.00 yesterday at Krogers (the Krogers that doubles coupons).


May 22, 2009

one and the coon!

"ugh?" I said to myself, when I spotted this dead raccoon. let's investigate further....... gosh, I'd sure like the tail for my nature table... thought I. And, I have nothing thawed out for dinner...ummmmm?

i could tell the coon was dead... i even prodded it's foot. their paws/pads are soft like the bottom of our feet! just in case you wondered.

so i picked it up. it's much heavier then one would think. that is... if one ever thinks to themselves, "i wonder how much racoon's weigh?" not to worry MOM... i am wearing clear plastic gloves.

i would of loved some teeth, but remembered i already have a skull at home. so i had tommie chop off the tail. with an ax. how else?

when we were finished, we threw the carcass in the bed of my nephew's pick-up truck. i wish i could see his face when he finds the tail-less dead coon!

how did it die? well, a girl has to have some secrets doesn't she? especially when she doesn't want to offend any of her blog readers! smile, wink, nod.
now....what's for dinner?

May 21, 2009

freebie, deals found at Meijers this week!

$6.50 is what I paid at Meijers yesterday for $48. worth of groceries! I matched my coupons up with Sunday's flyer and also printed off several from and
2 loaves of Aunt Millies bread .50 cents each
2 strawberries $2.00 (they're having a big sale, a dollar each. I plan to freeze them!)
12 boxes of jello for .30 each
1 box of Ritz crackers for 1.50
2 Tabasco sauces for .18 each
A1 Steak Sauce/Marinate FREE
Wheat Thins FREE
Sweet Baby Ray's Maple grilling sauce 2 FREE
Sweet Baby Ray's sandwich sauce FREE
Sweet Baby Ray's dipping sauce FREE
If you're serious about getting started with couponing... cut out all the coupons that say "on any size"...that way when there is a sale... you can get the best value.
freebie of the day? click right here: walmart garnier free wrinkle cream and fill out the takes all of 30 seconds! plus, walmart free samples always come you're not wasting your time.

May 20, 2009

free coupon!

free package of hotdogs coupon from oscar mayer.
mailed snail mail.
today only, May 20th
click here for the quick, painfree sign up!
click right here:
even if you don't eat hotdogs. even if you don't buy the oscar brand...order a coupon anyway and give it to your family. or friends. or church. or local scout group. or... or...
smile, wink, nod.

May 19, 2009

earrings, napkin storage, groceries for .56 cents!

how about a picture of my favorite earrings? i wear them everyday! they were a gift from my cousin last Christmas!

since my kitchen is so tiny and my cupboard space is limited... i've been really needing a clever storage spot for our cloth napkins. i found this the other day at a local thrift shop! it matches my house perfectly and it was only $3.

all of this was practically free today at krogers!

2 bottles of kraft salad dressing
2 packs of hot dog buns
4 packs of ballpark franks
2 large bottles of bbq sauce
4 tubs of cool whip
(i would of been able to get 4 jars of lemonade kool-aid, too, for free, but the store was sold out!)

i visited a nearby kroger store, which doubles coupons up to $2., i printed most of them of the, then matched them up to the store flyer- which was offering a 10 for $10. deal.. and viola'- final out of pocket price .56 cents!

love this coupon game! smile, wink, nod!

May 17, 2009

about friday, saturday and sunday, which hasn't really happened yet.

about friday night:

ewww-weeeee! was i pumped up all day! i had planned to go to a "come and learn about couponing, cut grocery bills and other thrifty tips" at our church. with note book in hand, one last look in my rear view mirror, to make sure i didn't have lettuce stuck in my teeth, i skipped into the building. out of 200 emails, only six people showed up. okay, i thought...doesn't matter, because obviously these woman are hard-core clippers! my heart began to beat rapidly. i thought for sure, certainly... these woman were going to teach me things i never knew. the meeting started at 6:30. one lady spoke for about five minutes or so and then had to split. i listened to the other woman complain about their lives, their kids, their in-laws, their co-workers, their childbirths, what kind of butter they like and don't like...complain, complain, complain. my big blue eyes darting from one person to another...thinking what am i doing here? i lied. yes. right there in church. a big fat lie. God forgive me please, but I can't take anymore. i meekly and with much submission in my voice said... "thanks ladies, but i have to go... i told my husband i'd be home by 8." truth is, i don't think they missed me.

about saturday:

awoke early and fixed up to go to the .25 cent store. it's expanded you know. and it even has shopping carts. i found one brand new tee shirt for brad. just a plain old grey v-neck, for work. i stopped at a garage sale. it had a bright neon pink sign, that read huge garage sale. and, it was nice. i bought nothing. i'm thinking the person running it was pretending she had a retail store going on...since everything was overpriced. example: usborne first book of spanish $6. and a pair of used socks for $1. and well, you get the idea. i headed home.

stopped off at mcdonalds for a sweet tea and crispy ranch wrap. spent a good deal of time out in the gardens, transplanting iris' and planting onions.

i read on hot coupon world. com that if you go to and click on coupons, you'll be able to print-off $50. worth. i did. i printed out a ton. i will be saving most of them to use at store that double, since many are a dollar! i also spent a great deal of time on, printing off homemade mixes to make. there is even a link to copy cat recipes, where i printed off arby's bbq sauce.

sunday: my plans for today, church in a few minutes. couponing. harvesting the rhubarb in the picture. i plan to make jam out of it. hope to write more in my children's novel...lots of ideas consuming my mind and taking me to places i've never nose has been pressed against the pages of my research books... and then, back to church for free movie night. smile, wink, nod.

May 14, 2009

Glass jars, cupcakes and lilacs!

Who doesn't love lilacs? And, that first big inhale of the sweet scent....after a really long Michigan winter?

Our lilac "tree" is mammoth! I only wish the color and fragrance would last all summer long!

Take a peak out my patio window.... on the left hand side, you'll see an Oriole! The color is amazing! I also spotted a Ruffed Grouse near the park today! It walks like a chicken, only slower! It has a long neck and a fancy hat!

Tell me.... how do you like my vases on my window sill? Guess what they are? They're glass jars that bacon bits come in! I've been saving them all winter. My intent was to use them for spices... but for today...they hold lilacs. I love decorating cheaply!

While you're here.... how about a cupcake? They melt in your mouth!

Here's how our kitchen table centerpiece will be for the weekend! The vases are used apple juice jars, I picked up at Goodwill. My mom found the round, mint green candles at a yard sale and picked them up for me!

Another shot of my window sill. Gotta love those glass bacon bit vases!

Here's a snap of a Canada goose egg! It keeps me company in my kitchen. It sits on top of an old glass baby food jar!
Now, next time you toss out a glass jar or give it to the recycling center... see what you can do with it and come back here and let me know!
P.S. Wipe the white frosting off your face! smile, wink, nod!

May 13, 2009

furniture decorating and meme!

In my last post, I mentioned I had spent some time on Mother's Day painting a table I found for $1. At a garage sale. This is how it's turned far! I think I need to dot the inside of the daisy. And, the legs need a little more life as well. But... I knew you just couldn't wait any longer to see this, so here it is! I do not plan to keep it in the main part of the house... it will go in my basement laundry area.

Did you get a newspaper on Sunday? If so, there is a coupon in one of the coupon flyers/booklets that has Kraft salad dressing for $1.50 off a bottle. Take it in to Kroger's, this week, because they're running a sale on it for $1.58. You pay .08 cents for it. I bought a bottle of the Tomato Vinegarette.... great for marinating chicken on the grill!

I found this meme on Penny's blog- Diosa Del Desierto on my sidebar... and thought it looked fun! Here I go:

1. What are your current obsessions? writing my children's novel, thinking about the story line of the novel, painting furniture, decorating, flower gardening and blanket stitched felted crafts.

2. Which item from your wardrobe to you wear the most? holey levi's, anything black.

3. What was your favorite childhood meal? school lunches that my mom packed: salami with mustard sandwich, frito's and Little Debbie snack cake! And, an apple I always threw away, but told her I ate. I lied.

4. Last thing you bought? After my mammogram this morning, in Penny's neighborhood.... I stopped at Goodwill and bought: a pillowcase for .50 cents and a pink-earthy hoodie and a stack of new white linen napkins to embroidery on.

5. What are you listening to? Fox news. Runs all day long. Love the libertarian views.

6. If you were a god/goddess who would you be? God.

7. Favorite holiday spots? Traverse City and I miss Manhattan.

8. Reading right now? Blogs and my new Simple Living magazine.

9. Four words to describe yourself? dependable, crazy imagination, over-thinker, bleached.

10. Guilty pleasures? reading blogs, garage sales and thrift shops.

11. Who or what makes you laugh until you're week? My cousin Jeff and my cousin Cathy. Although, when my dad was alive.... he could make me laugh until my stomach hurt and tears streamed down my face...ALL THE TIME! I miss it!

12. Planning to travel to next? Camp with the scouts!

13. What is the best thing you ate or drank lately? Arby's FREE fruity Mandarin Peach tea and homemade chocolate zucchini bread with white chocolate chips!

14. When is the last time you got tipsy? 1983? I just don't drink.

15. Favorite film of all time? Fiddler on the Roof, Being There and Evita.

16. Care to share some wisdom? He who leaps into the void, owes no explanation to those who stand by and watch.

17. Song you can't get out of your head right now? God is an Awesome God.

18. What one object you would save from a house fire? Videos of my dad. Videos of Tommie's childhood.

19. What is your aim in life? To repay all the kindness people have shown me...

May 12, 2009

foxglove, tacky furniture and me, an author?

My favorite flower of all time ever, are foxglove! I would be forever happy to have an entire field full of these beauties! But, I am equally happy to have received three of them from the boys, on Mother's Day. They bloom every other year, so I'm thinking next Mother's Day I will need more. I also received the nicest garden shovel, a shabby chic ,roughed up, white trellis and an oriole feeder. Yesterday we had a hummingbird, our first of the year! And, an oriole... who looked pretty scruffy... maybe she was loosing her feathers?
On Sunday, I started a fun project...something I've never done, but really wanted to... I found an unfinished 3-legged table at a garage sale for a dollar and thought I'd paint it. But wait! This isn't going to be just another table that blends into the woodwork... no, this is a real work of art. Hand-drawn, with out a pattern! My own ideas. Slightly tacky. Tacky but fun....

You can't beat the price of the acrylic paints at Joann Fabric's. Just .50 cents each. And, they work very well. Sponge brushes? .39 each.

You'll have to check back tomorrow, to see the finished treasure!


p.s. For the first time ever.... I'm attempting to write a children's novel. With my son's encouragement and my husband's wide-eyed-dang-that's-good- head shaking support, I sat down and the words flowed. I have no set deadline. I managed four pages, effortlessly. I am in love with each of my characters, I know this sounds weird, but true. And, the funny thing is... although my body is in the kitchen at my laptop, feverishly typing away... mentally, I am in a totally different world. It's surreal. I'm feeling much needed personal growth when researching, too. smile, wink, nod.

May 10, 2009

Shabby Chic, thrift stores and garage sales!

$1.30 cents plus tax! That's how much it cost me to decorate my kitchen table this weekend!

I found this shabby chic, vintage, hand-embroidered doille (and others) at a garage sale up the street, for a dime. It washed up beautifully! There is crocheting around the edge!

The apple juice bottles above caught my blue eyes, when I spotted them on a shelf at Goodwill. They were .29 each. and I knew they'd make adorable vases to keep or give away! I have two beautiful Bleeding Heart plants at their I brought a few clippings to enjoy inside!
Other treasures found while I was out garage sailing and thrift store shopping?
A pair of Hollister camo-pants for me, a Michigan Football hoodie for Tommie for next Fall for .99, a Young Indian Jones video, Dessert Storm video, and canning jars.
I stopped off at our homeschool groups curriculum sale and was overjoyed to find a new WW2 curriculum, complete with unused maps and workbook style reading comp. questions. Also a good WW2 book. (Missed seeing you, Lisa...but asked about you! I know you were getting rained on at the soccer field!)
My mom stopped over and the best deal of the week? All of this thread for just .50 grand total! It will be great for felted wool projects!

Well, Happy Mother's Day if you're a mom. Happy Spring Sunday if you're not. I am hoping the weather holds out, because I'd really like the boys and I to go on a 10-mile bike ride. Off to church, I am really looking forward to it. Missed last week.
smile, wink, nod.

May 08, 2009

Garden snaps, Freebie and Friday Fill-In!

My flower gardens are at their Spring peek! Here in Michigan...I wait so long to see color, fresh new life-whether it's birds, butterfly's or the smell of familiar old friends: lilacs, lily of the valley, and apple blossoms! I even enjoy my old friends, garlic and chives and prairie violets! The smell of cut catnip made me smile, tonight. And, I spotted two brown thrashers this week.. they're huge brown birds with real long tails, running around the road like road runners.
Here's a fun freebie that I found, I hope it comes! Click here to order one for yourself:
Scroll all the way down... I'll be playing along with the Friday Fill-In meme!

(note: my answers are in black)
apples are to oranges as Toby Keith is to Willie Nelson (I love them both!)
He who leaps into the void, owes no explanation to those who stand around and watch and that's all I have to say about that!
I think I hear a World War 2 movie on The History Channel.
I saw a pair of flip flops with the American flag on them, and giggled to myself when they said made in China. When will it end?
Do what you want to do but, do it with kindness and charisma!
In my childhood neighborhood, a neighbor boy would walk down the street and behind him was a Radio Flyer wagon; in the wagon was a bucket filled with vegetables he had grown in his mother's garden. My mom always bought a lot from him. I think it's a wonderful idea! The kid probably grew up and owns half of Microsoft!
And... as for the weekend, tonight I plan to take a good hot shower and turn in for the night, tomorrow need to package some Ebay stuff up and take it down to the Post Office, maybe go hit some garage sales and Sunday church, yard work and maybe a 10 mile bike ride at a local park, Tommie and I took my mom out today for Mother's Day lunch, since I break out in hives when I have to wait in a crowd and line, and lesson plan.

May 07, 2009


Thursday Thirteen: made vanilla cupcakes, shopped for mother's day, went to home depot they have amazing plants...the foxglove are out of this world, went to goodwill and found a sweater to felt and a couple good educational videos, trudged through fabrics and wondered how the recession is affecting scrapbook sales?, meandered through big lots and was impressed with their garden trellis' and patio umbrellas, sauntered into kohls- love their jewelry- the clothing all looks like maternity, visited our local library, glad i had put lasagna in the crockpot this morning, listed only one thing on ebay, made pink lemonade, enjoyed having a friend's five year old daughter over today...girls are so much different then boys... if your curious to read more, click HERE: TWISTED EDUCATION BLOG