September 30, 2009

on wednesday

fall flower bouquets on my windowsills. i just used odd clear jars. less is more, sometimes.

what is it about dropping stuff off at goodwill? i always have to take a minute and saunter through the store. pink tags were half off today. this skirt practically jumped into my cart. it even had a pink tag on it. making it just $1. i'm excited to wear it to church with cowboy boots! by the way, did i tell you that on church sunday.... the 5-pc. band played the beatles song, "when i'm 64?" when everyone entered. the congregation was just beaming and grooving. popular Christian songs followed of course.

tonight, i'll start this book. miss julia paints the town. it looks pretty quirky. and i'll welcome that, after my last read, light on snow by anita shreve... it was thought-provoking and heavy.

over the weekend, while attending the antique show in mid-michigan, my eyes spotted this amazing antique trunk! it folds up and the original doors pop out. turn your head sizeways and you'll see what i mean. i wondered where it had traveled and to whom it belonged to?
what do you think?

September 28, 2009

finding a few funky fall accessories:

i made a mad-dash through our local goodwill store this afternoon! i found this gypsy purse for $1.99. i can't hardly wait to use it! i keep looking and admiring it!

i also flipped these really-super-ultra soft men's long johns in my cart. they were $1.99, too. they're a beautiful ivory color! they'll be so comfy on a chilly michigan night!

the time has come for me to admit... i need reading glasses. as you know, i'm squeaky cheap... so, i picked up a pair at the dollar tree. ugh, yeah... just a dollar.

September 27, 2009


what is this? i don't exactly know. my boy and i, spent the saturday at a mid-michigan antique show! the day in itself, was a wonderful "homeschool" fieldtrip experience. we were both exposed to so many unique treasures from the past!

speaking of treasures from the past... i've recently reconnected with my cousin robin (not really my cousin, but we call each other that... long story!)... anyhow, she is sizzling... on fire with creativity... and invited me to flip a few of my shabby chic items in her cowgirl clozet booth! which she generously sold for me! how nice was that?

do you look for blessings in your day? sometimes i get so busy or so into my own world, that i take things for granted. this past week, i was overwhelmed with kindness that complete strangers and many good friends have shown me!

i thought i'd share a few unbelievable acts of kindness with you...

*i was in a huge hurry friday morning, on our way to homeschool co-op... jumped in the car and noticed i didn't have enough gas to make it there... rushing of course, i pulled into the gas station for some 87 and the pump didn't work... rushed inside... told the clerk and she mentioned it would take a few minutes... panic... i was already late! i grabbed a bottled water, tommie grabbed a package of doughnuts and we paid. when i walked out to pump the 87, another clerk was pumping my gas... "thought i'd help you out in your rush this morning!" she said! how nice was that? this complete stranger, went out and pumped my gas? did i thank her? of course. but even more, i blessed her with a good prayer.

*my dear friend rhonda, made me a birthday pumpkin scone cake! so nice to have after my birthday dinner! my husband didn't have to go out and buy me a sugary walmart cake!!

* my son made me a bracelet out of metal that was laying in the barn. very cool!

* our entire homeschool co-op, sang happy birthday to me! had to be about 100 people or more! either rhonda or lisa w., set this up!

* as i mentioned... my cousin robin offered to haul a rubbermaid tote of shabby chic items to sell in mid-michigan for me... no cost. no obligation. just a quick flip!

*she also made a business connection FOR ME with a lady from alabama... i am praying that the deal goes through and i can work from home for her! we're not talking big money... but something to keep my creative juices flowing.

* i was blessed with the sweetest birthday card from lisa w.'s daughter.... she out-of-the-blue made a keepsake card for me.

tell me about the blessings in your week. they're out there...we just need to be in tune with them! smile, wink, nod.

September 25, 2009

crockpot soup recipe treasure hunt!

how about a really good crockpot potato-onion soup recipe? one that is so darn easy, that even an 11 year old can make it! "sure you're probably thinking, that sounds great! i'd love it!!" well then, just click on over to my twisted education blog and find it on my latest entry.... you'll find a link on that entry... this is sort of like a recipe treasure hunt, isn't it? click: twisted education! for the record, we used fat-free evaporated milk and it was just fine, nice too since it didn't make us feel "pudgy!" smile, wink, nod!

today i am 45.
things i've learned:
life is too short to waste time hate anyone.
life isn't fair, but it's still good.
get outside everyday... miracles are waiting to happen.
forgive everyone and everything.
look for the good in everyone.
make peace with your past, so you won't screw up the present.
life isn't always fair, but it is still good!

September 24, 2009

13 things i have to do today!
no excuses!

1. run up to the store real quick and get milk for tommie's breakfast. what kind of mother am i? i should be there now, instead of blogging.

2. organize homeschool lessons today. it's "independent study" day. which means workbooks, workbook pages and review.

3. make a big bag of popcorn and a big batch of sugary kool-aid for my homeschool co-op class. i'm teaching "night at the museum," and have a fantastic movie on albert einstein.

4. organize things to sell at homeschool co-op. price them and find a good box to put them in.

5. finish some shabby chic projects (yep, i'll take snaps) cousin robin is taking them to a mammoth antique/vintage/retro show this weekend and plans to sell them for me. she'll be here tonight to pick everything up! thanks rob. i owe you.

6. clean my upstairs. everything has been dropped and plopped. you literally have to lift your leg up real high to step over stuff. it's making brad's ears steam and neck red. could be doing that now, except i'm blogging.

7. pick apples. okay, i think i'll send tommie out to do that.

8. pick end-of-the-garden vegetables and pop them in freezer bags.

9. make copies for my peter rabbit class, that i'm teaching at homeschool co-op. and groom the rabbit a bit... i'll be taking him in for the little kids.

10. tomorrow's my birthday!

11. clean my car. errrrr, maybe i'll have tommie do that too. makes him feel like a man.

12. dye my hair. my roots have done popped. my feet have been neglected, too. i need update my polish. a fall flavor. not a priority today, but would life my spirits everytime i look at my barefeet.

13. pack and ship that beautiful piece of roseville pottery i blogged about a few posts back. it didn't nearly bring in as much money as i had hoped, but, it will be helpful ($) for christmas shopping.

now, i gotta go get milk! smile, wink, nod.

September 22, 2009

recycled junk!

my neighbor, my good neighbor was cleaning and revamping his old horse barn. his hired men have been throwing junk in a big burn pile in the field between us. being the thrifty, dumpster diver i am.... my big blue eyes spotted these ventilated window frames! i knew they'd be shabby-chic perfect as trellis' in my garden. perfect for the late crop of snow peas and purple beans that are tendrilling. vocabulary homeschool word of the day: tendril. the windows were used in the barn that housed race horses! just think... race horses used to look out these windows.
i'm not horse savvy... but i do know the horses use to race in kentucky somewhere. i should find out the breed... it would just be nice to know. the window frames should winterize pretty easy, too. we'll slide them right into our barn!

and the windows, live on! smile, wink, nod!

September 21, 2009

bathroom organizing!

organizing in the bathroom for under $10.

my bathroom closet is usually a disaster. with three of us and one bathroom.... things get tossed, shoved, mixed up and scattered about.

so i realized that i have a lot of unused dishes and containers sitting on cupboard shelves.... not doing anything. just waiting to be used... and so i am. using them, that is. like this fishbowl above... it is a really handy container for band-aids!

and, for a nickle and a dime.... i found these two little dishes for q-tips and clippers and tweezers! i feel so liberated not having the blue q-tip box staring at me every time i put towels away in the bathroom closet.

a couple of creamers or gravy boats are containers for make-up brushes and various size combs. the dishes were scooped up at a garage sale this past summer. i don't recall how much i paid for them... but, i'm pretty cheap so i think under .50 cents each!

my friend lisa w., (her blog is in my sidebar: cornerstone home schooling), gave me this pink platter! it holds my favorite hair combs and clips! the chinese-style chop stick is a real true ivory frog. peta, hold your tomatoes ... i received it back in the early 80's...before ivory was outlawed!

and my very favorite summer yard sale treasure.... this little shabby chic cupboard, i picked up for $5. it holds toilet paper. the wire basket on top is useless. found that too, at a yard sale.. it sits empty. but, sometimes less is more when it comes to making a statement... right? right? right? smile, wink, nod.

September 20, 2009

the great seed swap!

the great seed swap!
i have a few handfuls of antique hollyhock seeds waiting to go to good homes! they are a beautiful pinky-peach and pop every other year! they're not minitures they're at least six feet tall! they do well in a sunny area.
i'd enjoy knowing what you could trade, too! i could especially use poppies or hollyhocks! any color.
if you're interested email me at!

September 19, 2009

feeling grey !

i'm suffering from saturday night blogger's block! i'm feeling the pathetic effects of not being creative! it's been a few days since i've done anything enlightening. i feel like the color grey. someone, quick toss me a life preserver! tell me what sort of things you're creating! crafts? good recipes? incredible thrift store snags? a good movie? a can't put down novel, a wild nature discovery! i'm waiting......

September 18, 2009

a week in review!

things that've happened in the last five days...
groceries... i've challenged myself to see if i could spend $30. or less each week for groceries. this week i spent $22. $6 dollars of that was a 12-pack of beer. although we don't drink at all.. i do need it for homemade basil beer bread! we're eating well and not going hungry. no pre-packaged food. no frozen packaged food. but i do spend more time cooking from scratch.
finished danielle steel's "a good woman" historical fiction novel. i've never ever been into danielle... but good golly i loved this one! very excellent! two thumbs up. i learned a lot about ww1 and the titanic.
i was invited to give a coupon-saving-grocery deal-freebie workshop, last night. it went very well! i think the ladies were inspired. and, i was inspired by their tips, too. a good night!
i'm working on a homemade purse... i hope to finish it up tomorrow and post snaps.
in the spring, i sprinkled a package of wildflower seeds. and would ya just look at this bright orange straw type flower? it's just about the size of my clenched fist... and has several more blossoms on it. i'll be pulling seeds from it... just as soon as i can!
this week, i applied the philosophy that less is more, with homeschooling. it's true. less is more. instead of a gazillion projects and workbooks and books and tight schedules... i was happy with the quality of what was learned... instead of the quantity.
tossing around a few good craft ideas in my head. they're cheap. they're quirky and useful. i hope to share them with you sometime this week.
will be making and canning apple juice this weekend. thinking maybe i should get a regular flu shot... not the h1n1. i'm anxious to start a new novel tonight.... just as soon as i click "publish post" on this entry!
smile, wink, nod.

September 16, 2009

my patio!

we've sure been blessed these first couple of weeks in michigan... we've had just beautiful indian summer days!
i've been submerged in homeschool lessons and activities, i went to a phenomenal homeschool writing workshop on monday night, a scout meeting on tuesday night and this afternoon found me decorating our patio for fall!

tommie and i collected old dead branches and wired them vertically to our deck beams. next, i strung a green heavy cord from branch to branch.... the east and north side are decorated!

i sent tommie out to the field to cut sunflower heads, gourds and sweet annie. the mini pumpkins above are a surprise from my friend rhonda (thank-you!)

the pictures sure don't do this earthly extravaganza justice! i used clothes pins to hang: basil, dill, peppers and sweet annie from the green cord! the very first picture shows a tea cup and old spoon i tied up to the mix!

i found a place for my hanging candle holder, too! i thought this mini-pumpkin would like resting here!

i marine glued a cake plate to a candlestick and made a sunflower birdfeeder out of it. i guess you'd call it a cake-plate-sunflower-feeder, ugh?

if this tin bucket wasn't so old... i'd love to paint a face on the front of it... couldn't you see some quirky looking picasso knock-off on the front and a sunflower head for hair?
smile, wink, nod!
p.s. click on over to my homeschool blog to see what we've been up to! click here

September 13, 2009

roseville pottery!

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i've never.... in my wildest dreams, ever expected to find a piece of roseville pottery in any goodwill or salvation army store. until last week. and, get this.... it was at our local goodwill!

upon spotting it, i let out a loud gasp... embarrassing enough to make other customers around me take note! this gem, which is about 12 inches long, had absolutely no chips or flaws.

my hands shaking and eyes closed, i turned it over to find the price! i opened one eye... it was (drum roll)..... $2.99! exhale, gasp and holding tightly, i no doubt bought it.

it's a perfect match to my house. but, i know this babe will bring in a whopping couple of hundred dollars or more on ebay. so, while i'm enjoying it now... within a few weeks, i'll say goodbye and put it up for auction.

perhaps i could make this picture my screen saver? that way i'll sort of still "have it," right? smile, wink, nod!

September 11, 2009


"drying herbs"
my row of dill is fading fast! the rest of my herbs are following close behind. i froze what i could... but still have enough to dry, too.

so.... late today, i pulled on my wellingtons, grabbed a few paperbags, a good knife and starting cutting.... i just love the smell of fresh dill!

i took the flower part of the dill, stuffed it into a bag, leaving the stems out and rubber banded the bag. the seeds will continue to dry and fall off inside the bag... you just need to give a good shake now and then. i'll put them in a pretty jar and sprinkle them on salads, bread and in soups this winter. (i'd like to do this with a mixed bunch too!)

September 10, 2009

spot the chickadee!

see if you can spot the chickadee in each picture!

yesterday, we had four of these beauties.... flitting around our patio. try homeschooling when so much excitement is going on. yet... it was too cool to ignore.
the stacked glass scuplture is a homemade bird feeder i made, with garage sale finds!
i've been enjoying this antique drying rack. all i did is ask how much the price was at a garage sale and the older man said my favorite word: free!
speaking of free... how about surprising the man in your life with a free sample? don't have a man in your life? then how about ordering the sample and diluting it a bit with H2O, put it in a spray bottle and use it as an air freshener? i do stuff like this all the time. you can especially find used sprays at salvation army and goodwill. works wonderful! oh, the sample... i almost forgot.... click here!

September 09, 2009

what's new wednesday?
a new book: a good woman by danielle steele. i've never read a danielle steele book, but this is on loan to me from my aunt. and it's very good.
what book is in your hand's this week?
more tomorrow... today, wednesday was overwhelming.

September 07, 2009

the simple woman's daybook for labor day:

outside my window: it's dark. i hear frogs and crickets chirping and more then likely... will be smelling our friendly skunk who just happens to spray every night while we're enjoying a good movie or relaxing!

i am thinking: how much i love my new bracelet and earrings (vintage) i bought at my neighbors yard sale. .25 cents each.

i am thankful for: all of the good crops coming into fruition. like the raspberries above. broccoli. tomatoes and lots of honey.

from the learning room: a choppy homeschool week. homeschool co-op. finishing up last week's lessons and looking forward to using karen andreola's "story starters," this week.

from the kitchen: bowls of fresh, garden vegetables waiting to be made into something.

i am wearing: grey sweat shorts, wet hair, brad's black flannel shirt.... just got out of the shower.

i am creating: little wool sewing projects: purses, cell phone holders and hopefully raspberry pie, tomorrow.

i am going: to the dermatologist tomorrow for my melanoma skin check.

i am reading: the book listed on my sidebar. and the read-aloud: the victory garden to tommie.

i am hearing: tommie whining to use this laptop to look up new websites his cousin told him about.

around the house: to the front of me: brad in the recliner chomping on ice, tommie really whining more now, dog on the floor and nothing more.

one of my favorite things: the relationship tommie has with all of his older cousins: calling them out of state, college cousins calling him, older 21 year old being a big brother to him and girl cousins giving him a hard time. i am grateful he has them. they've taught him so much that he couldn't of learned being homeschooled.

a few plans for the rest of the week: scout meeting, homeschool co-op, homeschooling A LOT. okay, i'd like to type more, but tommie needs the computer... NOW!

September 05, 2009

i made seven cents & chicken tortilla soup recipe you can freeze!

i had a great experience in wallyworld today. with coupons in hand and a little planning... i was able to get 5 items FREE... and if that wasn't enough...walk out with .07 cents extra!
here's a snap of the products i came home with: 1 smithfield bacon (it's BLT time here in michigan, ya know!)m, 2 klondike ice cream bars, 1 glade soy candle and 1 glade essential package of vanilla candles!
well, then i sauntered by redbox... feeling sort of cocky with the money i saved... and thought we deserved a saturday dvd... so i checked out "the life of bees." have you seen it? i hear it's great!

over the next few days, i'll be posting a few soup recipes... that you can freeze! i did. i added various end-of-the-garden vegetables for extra oooooomph! the one i'll share tonight is excellent! It's CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP! (i also served herbal beer bread in place of the chips and sour cream.)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 c. chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, mince
2 c. shredded chicken
1 c. frozen corn (i used fresh)
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 (14.25oz) can no salt added chicken broth fat free
1 (14.5 oz) can diced peeled tomatoes undrained
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed reduced fat reduced sodium tomato soup
1 1/4 c. of crushed salted baked tortilla chips
1/2 c. fat free sour cream
Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. add onion and garlic: saute for 2 mintues. stir in chicken and next 9 ingredients (chicken through tomato soup): bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer one hour.
to freeze: ladle soup into family sized rotions, into freezer containers.
to reheat: reheat from defrosted or frozen, in a covered pot. ladle into bowls and top with tortilla chips and sour cream.

September 04, 2009

dirty carrot!

imagine what i thought when i pulled up this carrot, tonight? it gave me a good laugh out in the garden & i just had to share it with you! i hope it brought a smile to your face, too. smile, wink, nod.

September 03, 2009


i could of ate this entire spread of grilled garden vegetables. i picked white eggplant, green beans, dug up potato's, cut up a green pepper, and one big onion. tossed it with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and fresh basil. grilled it for 20 minutes. oooooh-la-la! and the burnt ones were the best!

other stuff? i made freezer soup with our garden vegetables: chicken tortellini and tomato-dill. we homeschooled.... not an easy day. click here for the justified details... and a little bit- ummm, i mean a lot of pre-teen attitude raging around and then ran errands. is it friday, yet?

September 02, 2009

happiness to me is.....

happiness is... hauling an old ladder out to our apple trees and picking our own un-sprayed, un-fertilized apples. my old, white, tin container filled up quickly. i was able to pick 2 bushel baskets full. able to can about a dozen pints of applesauce. and will be canning more. how much applesauce does one family of three need? you might be thinking. ahhh well.... but i'll be giving it to neighbors and friends and our pastor.. for a winter-perk-me-up-prize!

so go ahead... play the game: happiness to me is_____________ (leave me a comment!) smile, wink, nod!

September 01, 2009

10 sweet things!

ten sweet things on tuesday:
2. are you in the market for a couple of i love lucy era vintage aprons? check out my etsy shop! click here!
3. i enjoyed the rough housing of four boys in my home today. sounds of air soft guns, duck tape, wrestling, giggling and boy talk. and burping contests.... which i rolled my eyes and ignored. i have to be kids, right? no school today. click on my twisted education blog here for today's update.
4. while number 3 was happening, i managed to list bunches of junk on ebay, craigslist and etsy.
5. wearing a pink hoodie
6. a good trip through our local goodwill.
7. a shabby chic show opportunity to sell some of my treasures. which is a dream come true.... just out of the blue!
8. a pan of homemade brownies. ate up immediatley by the four boys and brad. okay, i ate one, too.
9. learning michelle duggar is pregnant with number 19.
10. another freebie here bear naked sample!