Saturday, December 29, 2007

Those Blessed Strangers

There is a verse in the Bible that says God is able to give us more than we ask or think. Over at The Bargain Shopper Lady there is a story about her Christmas and how a stranger gave her and her husband a real blessing. She has challenged us bloggers to share a story of when strangers helped us and blessed us so that our stories may encourage and bless others.

I decided to share two stories of the many with you. One is on this blog and then another on my blog Meet Me In The Garden.

Many years ago when my first husband was in Seminary we were a family struggling financially. If it were not for strangers we would have not made it. Our plans were for us to marry and me work while he finished college and seminary. This would make a total of 5 years before we started a family. Three months after we married we found out I was pregnant and when the baby was born we decided that my priority was our child. When Erik was 22 months old we found out another one was on the way. We had so little money, but knew if God was sending us this blessing then He would provide. Paul was due December 5th and we had no idea how we were going to get all we needed for a new baby (we had moved from PA to IN for seminary, so we got rid of anything we were not using when we moved). To our surprise the UPS man came and brought in boxes after boxes. When we opened them we were shocked! Everything we needed for a baby plus was in there, we could have had twins there was so much. Not only was there all this for a new baby, but there was toys and items for Erik as well "so he would not feel left out". Someone who knew us organized a baby shower in NY and strangers came and brought gifts for us. We were lacking for nothing, and even saved some new things for the next child as well as gave some away.

When God says He will supply and you trust Him for your needs HE does it ways that seem impossible to us as humans. If it were not for others, and their listening to the Lord, we would never have made it through the college, seminary and small churches. I praise God for each one of these people.

For more blessing stories, go here.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Laced With Grace Giveaway

Laced with Grace is starting out the New Year with a giveaway.

The package will include a Women of Faith study Bible (NIV/Hardcover); Lisa Whelchel’s Bible study tool for busy moms; a coffee mug from “Mugs of Truth“; the DVD “The Nativity Story“; the book “Love and Respect“; and a music CD by Becky Knight, who just released her first CD.

You do not need to have a blog to compete for the giveaway, just go to the site and sign up for a chance to win.

Giveaways are not only fun, but they give us all a chance to find other blogs to read as well as a chance to win some nice and useful gifts. I try to participate when I find them and then offer the chance to my readers as well.

Hope on over to Laced with Grace for full details and to sign up!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My special gift.

I know it is more blessed to give than to receive, but this year I feel so blessed by what was given to me. Yes, I had a lot of fun with my giving, I made gift baskets up of mixes in jars and had a lot of fun doing it. It was not cheap, but it sure was fun! The hunting for the grand kids was fun too.

The little ones were such a delight to see as they tried to open their presents and everyone else's as well. I sure love family gatherings!

Now, what did I receive? A trip to NC and Maine to see the kids and grand kids in those places. I am so excited!! As near as I can tell my husband was the instigator, but all the kids put in the money and made it possible. I will spend a few days in NC with one daughter and her family and then fly to Maine to see the rest of them and 13 grand kids there.

Thanks gang! I am so looking forward to the trip.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Friday I finally put up a Christmas tree. Here in the part of Texas we are in Christmas trees (real ones) are a bit hard to come by. I went one place and the cheapest was a small tree starting at $60. Another place had Charlie Brown trees from 69 to who knows what. Places that sell trees are few and far between so I was running all over. I finally gave up. I was upset, but did not have the money to spend such a fortune to get a tree (nice ones were over 100.)

I came home rather discouraged and yet decided it was not going to ruin my Christmas. A tree was not what it was all about. It was a symbol. Up in the north and Midwest you can find trees everywhere. The boy scouts sell them, all kinds of people sell them and the choices are great, and then there is the tree farms where you can get a really fresh tree and cut it yourself.

That night, when my step daughter came to get her baby, she told me they were not putting up a tree this year and I could borrow theirs if I would like. I was thrilled! I was so desperate this year I even will use an artificial tree!

Friday I put the tree up and did a bit of decorating. My granddaughter watched in awe. I put unbreakable ornaments and then candy canes. Why does every baby and dog know what is candy and what is fake?

She went to the tree and began removing the candy canes. She pulled on the long end but it would not come off the tree, she then pulled on the short end, same thing. Then she grabbed the branch and pulled it down and took the candy cane off by the hook part. Pretty smart for a 1 year old!

She and Makita then shared the candy cane(s) Scout ate them to the hook and Makita got the hook part while Scout went to hunt out another candy cane.

What fun to watch!

I hope you enjoy your kids discoveries with the tree and with all of Christmas.

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday or Christmas?

What does Christmas mean to you? Is it just another day for family? Do you get lost in the stress of the day? or the commercialism?

As we go shopping there is little mention of Christmas, let alone the Christ of Christmas. It is "holiday" this and "holiday" that. A holiday tree? Holiday ornaments?

This is Christmas. Celebration of Christ's birth. We are the reason He came to earth. The reason He limited himself by coming as a human, and yet we are now denying Him in our country and around the world.

As I watch even Christian families prepare for Christmas, they are caught up in the materialism, the business and the commercialism of it all.

Why don't we all rest and have the Peace HE brought to us and celebrate what He has done. He came to die for us, let's proclaim Him this Christmas. When faced with a "Happy Holiday" reply with a "Merry Christmas"!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Order

Today at Rocks in my Dryer it is a Christmas works for me Wednesday.

Christmas comes faster every year I think. I keep wondering what is happening to the days of the year and who is stealing them. There has to be fewer days each year with as fast as they are coming and going!

For my Christmas planning I care for my presents in order. First, I get all the ones that have to be sent in the mail. I wrap them and then categorize them by families. When I have one for everyone in the family I then seal the box and mail it out. I expect them to wait until Christmas to open them, but I know that is just too hard for some and they open them early. (Jessica!)

After I have all them done and mailed I then get the ones that are local ready. If I have purchased them along the way, they are set in a different place so as not to get mixed up with the ones that get mailed.

Right now, I have all my mailing out, but I have not even wrapped or put together the ones that are local. I think I will make it though!

My Christmas dinner is going to be simple, I hope. I have the meat and much of the food, and the kids will bring the rest. Should be a nice relaxing day!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Foolish Me

Sometimes I wonder about me, I think back on my life and just wonder. I was not popular in school, I always seemed to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. I wanted friends, had a number of them, yet was jealous of those that had more. I was not pretty, could not do my hair the way others could. My hair was curly, theirs nice and straight.

I did not get A's, in all my grades, some years I did not get A's in any. My self image was always bad, and I doubted I could do much. My fear of failure was awful and controlling.

I was made fun of by the more popular people. My last name was Weingartner, so I was called Hineygartner and other "nice" names. All this by the smart, pretty, popular people. What was wrong with me?

When I was young I felt "something" in my heart though. I wanted to be liked by them and wanted to be like them so I would be accepted. There was something that seemed to protect me from doing what the others were doing. A voice. A Power. Even when I wanted to go off and do, it would not let me go too far. Stopped in my tracks, by a voice.

Some years later, as I could see God's working in my life and His preserving me, keeping me and protecting me some verses hit me as to why. I am a fool. One of the verses that told me this was 1 Corinthians 1:26-28:
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen...
Consider my calling? God chose the foolish ones, not the most popular? The base things of the world? The despised? God chose me for His service?

Verse 30 says
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."
As a fool, I can't claim anything on my own, my wisdom, all that I am comes from Him.

If I had my way back in my younger years I would have been popular, had all A's, been homecoming queen with the best looking guy in the school at my side. I would have partied and run around, been rich and did whatever I wanted.

I am glad God's ways are higher than mine and that He has chosen the foolish things for Himself.

This fool has been chosen for a purpose and as such I have the best calling, the best future and life for His glory and honor. May I trust Him to live my calling.




Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Frugal Granddaughter

Today's Frugal Friday post is a bit different. I like to find the best deals for the least amount of money. I do not get junk because it is cheap, but rather look for the good at a bargain. I try to save money in any way I can, yet not be a scrooge or anything.

I babysit my granddaughter and today I took her to Walmart. She is a year old and one of the things I was going to get was her birthday present. I had been looking for a rocking horse but have not been able to find one.

In Walmart we looked at the rocking horse there and it was almost $30 for this small, plastic rockered thing that had a furry fabric covering for the horse. She grabbed it and was hugging and kissing the horse. I told her we were not getting it and that was fine with her. She is so good to shop with!

We walked up and down a few isles looking. I kept showing her things and then telling her we need to put it back and look at something else. I do this in the stores with her hoping that she will not get to be a beggar, but rather enjoy it for the moment and then let it go back. She was fine with this routine through the isles until we came to a xylophone type toy. She smiled so big and played it, she held it tight. I told her it was time to put it back and look at something else and she let me have it, looked at another toy, handed the other toy back and then pointed to the xylophone! She did this all the way down that isle.

Two isles over she was still asking to go back, so I did and she wanted to see it again.

I eventually stuck it in my cart and that is what she is getting for her birthday. A kid connection xylophone! All the expensive toys and she picks one that was cheap and fun. I guess I am doing my part in influencing her!

For more frugal ideas go to Biblical Womanhood!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Allergy Relief

This is the time of year I have the most problems. Giant headaches, eyes that will not focus and it all comes with a big pain in the neck.

Living in Texas has made it worse, I can't seem to get rid of it. I wake up and it greats me , a cup of coffee helps some, but then it is all right back.

No, I am not talking about my husband, the dog or kids. It is my allergies. My face hurts, I get low grade fevers and my functioning level is close to "non".

Last year I went to several Drs., had loads of meds and even shots. I still had it until the end of July.

This year I got a humidifier and have it in my bedroom at night. It is set on high and runs about all night with no break, but I wake up with only a tiny headache if any, very little face pain, if any and my neck is only sore from my pillow.

So many people are having trouble with allergy that I would like to suggest a humidifier. I found mine at Goodwill for $10. I saw it in Walmart for over 50. It is like new, but I looked around till I found a good one, so take some time and hunt.

It works for me and I hope will help you or your child. For more works for me ideas check out Rocks in my Dryer.



Keep Praying

I wanted to pass on a quick update about Carlie. They did an EEG yesterday and she is not having seizures so they stopped that med. They said what damage has been done is done, but she will need physical therapy to help her get her balance back. We are still unsure of a prognosis at this point, but she was playing today, knows who everyone is knows she used to be able to sit up and stand, she just can't do it and will need to learn all over. She shakes really bad when she tries to do much. It is like a weakness shaking, not seizure or anything. Her head still falls off to the side sometimes as well as her eyes a little, but she is way better than on Friday or the weekend.
Keep praying!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Prayers Needed

Many of you may remember Carlie and then all the excitement after her finalization. If not, see the posts here, here and here.

Jason is still recuperating from his accident and is not working yet and then Friday Carlie began acting strange. Her head was cocked to one side and she could not hold it up, her eyes would not focus and her eyes also would go back up into her head or else off to the left. She was not playing or anything so her parents took her to the hospital emergency room.

After sitting in the emergency room all day while they ruled out sinus infection, brain tumor and a number of other things, they finally admitted her at about 8:30 Friday night. Around 10:30 they took her for an MRI and found she has Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). Her brain has 3 0r 4 large lesions on it as well as 4 smaller ones. They told the from the looks of her brain you would think she would act worse than she is. Praise God.

I would like to ask for all those praying people out there to pray for her. They were told there is brain damage, but at this point they do not know how much. According to the Drs. 50% of children with this recover with little or no visible signs of a problem, the rest have anything from a slight learning disability to major problems or MS.

Carlie is 13 months old and is so precious. Her mom is pregnant with a boy due in March. The family has had so much between the adoption in September and now, yet this miracle pregnancy is still intact. Please pray for Carlie's healing, that the damage would be minor or none and for the pregnancy with all this stress on Misty.

My posts this week may not be regular, but I will try. We will be running to the hospital to see our granddaughter as much as we can and trying to help them where needed.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Bargain Books

Books, Books, Books. My husband and I both seem to collect books. I am embarrassed to tell you how many book shelves we have full; computer books, cookbooks, Bibles, study books, concordances, humor, how to, biography, craft, sewing and so forth.

We trade books on paperbackswap.com and get more at thrift stores and used book stores. Our favorite stores are the Half Price Books stores.

At Half Price Books you can find great deals on books, some even new. They have all different categories like the full price stores, but the books are used, overstock, discontinued or just bargain books. They have a clearance corner that is even cheaper. Last time we went my husband spent $6.00. He came out with 6 books, one new that was marked $150. plus others that were used or just older. We figured he had almost $400. in his hands. $6.00 spent!

Another thing they do is buy your books and give you cash for them. Sometimes they do not pay well, if they know they can't resell it for much, but sometimes there are surprises. I have heard people talking by the table where you make the exchange and was encouraged enough to give it a try our selves. We have just gone through our shelves to see what we can take down there and sell.

I also found another section in the store that had great bargains; the Children's Section! There are books, games, puzzles, crafts and toys. All are priced much cheaper than you would find anywhere else and I found myself getting some good bargains for some grand kids.

Check out Half Price Books if you can find one. Check out Biblical Womanhood for more frugal ideas.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Pink Elephant and other ideas

I just realized I messed up on todays topic. Please forgive me, this is not a quick fix for supper.

Christmas is almost here and some that are really on the ball have presents wrapped already. For those that don't I would like to make a few suggestions for wrapping and having some fun with the presents.

When my five kids were growing up we never had much money for Christmas. It was always a difficult time for us yet God always worked things out.

The kids, like most kids, would be all excited and want to know what they were getting, since we had little money we did not want to give hints.

Another thing I hate is spending money on wrapping paper and such, that just goes in the garbage immediately upon opening the present.

Here was some of the things we did to save and have fun with presents.
  • Wrap things in an unusual way, using parts of the present. My one daughter wanted a sewing machine. We could not afford new, but did find a nice, overhauled one, in a table, at a used store. We brought it home and had no idea how to wrap it. For weeks before Christmas, when she would ask or beg, we told her she was getting a pink elephant. So, I decided to give her pink fabric and I made the sewing machine look like a big pink elephant.
  • We saved our Sunday funny section and used those to wrap gifts in, saved a lot of money.
  • There is the usual towel, blanket etc for a set, used as the wrap, grab a pretty ribbon and it works looks great.
  • Trash bags will work with some gifts. White ones the kids can decorate with markers for grandparents, siblings etc.
  • One year my husband worked out a treasure hunt for one of their gifts, usually the one they wanted most.
This worked for me, but I am also interested in other ways you wrap gifts.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Meet and Greet

Today is Meet and Greet Monday at The Natural Mommy and I wanted to participate with my husband. No, he is not participating knowingly, but I want people to meet him.

This was Rick the first time I met him. I went down to Jessica's in TN and he came in from TX. (OK, yes we met online!) Rick and I had talked for some time, and things seemed to be going well, but I was so nervous. Isn't he a hunk!



This was our wedding, January 8, 2005. He planned it with my kids and surprised me. I know this might not go over with most people, but with him from Texas, me from, hmm not sure where to say I am from, I guess like the commercial I am from NewPaInJerPaMeInMePaTN or something like that, but I claim ME since most of my kids are there.

His kids could not get to ME, my mom and siblings in the NJ,NY,PA and MO areas and his whole family in TX and we could not find another time for my kids to all be together. So our Christmas together as a family ended up with a surprise wedding at my daughter's home.

I know I am not smiling, but I was happy, outside of wishing he had his kids here too. He assured me he had talked to them all and it was ok with them since we would be living in Texas.

Rick, the proud grampa. When he married me he automatically became grampa to 11 grandchildren. He was so proud of that fact. However in the almost three years since we married we have added six more! Here is is with Carlie when her mom and dad showed up at Rick's work. I think I might me in trouble when he sees this picture! He was working hard and so he looks a bit like , ahhhh, like he was physically working hard.



Here is Rick as a proud step father of the bride.



I hope you enjoyed my husband. I love him to bits and am very proud of him.

For pictures of special people, go to The Natural Mommy.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Free interior decorator

Last week I became aware of something I used to do to save money. There are many college programs that have a portfolio needed, hours of practice or student "training". I used to go to a Vocation-Tech school and get my hair cut. Sometimes it was free, other times only a few dollars. I offered to be one of the girls training "dummy". My hair grows fast and if she messed up while learning it would be hidden. When she needed to cut a hair for a new technique, she called me. Those were free times. If she needed a certain age child I had one of the younger ones. A man? my husband was there. We had 4 kids at the time and this really saved.

Dental schools, beauty schools, landscaping schools all need their Portfolios and practicum.

A week ago someone on a local yahoo group asked for people who would be willing to have someone come in their home as an interior decorator. I jumped on it! I have been upset with my home and trying to make it look nice.

Today we got together to talk about what we need to do. I know it will be a problem trying to decide what to get rid of, my husband and I both collect things and have sentimental things, but I know in the end this will be better.

Melissa is going through my home and we are decluttering and redecorating. I am very excited and the only cost to me is a bit of paint. She is offering her services for free as long as she can take before and after pictures.

Check into any tech schools or colleges and see what is available. You may get a professional for free.

For more frugal ideas go to Biblical Womanhood.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Baby's real toys

Today I will tell you what does not work for me before I tell you what does work! As you can see my wfmw logo is too small. I uploaded it and it came out like that, even though I had my settings for it to be bigger. No actually first was I am running late with my post and tried to upload the old one, could not find it on my computer so then had to go to the Rocks in My Dryer site and get the new one. While trying to upload it my computer decided to not work and made me gain even more patience all the while it was telling me that computers are the boss of me, not the other way around!

That is what is not working for me, so far, I have only been up for 10 minutes! Coffee is brewing, so maybe I will think better soon.

As I have said in previous posts, I babysit my granddaughter. I have had her since six weeks old and she is always investigating, checking out what she should not have, pulling things out of cabinets etc and all the while her toys are in a basket just setting there. She will grab the doggie toys and play with the dog, but only on occasion will she play with hers.

I am amazed, especially at this time of year, what new parents (and some older ones) feel they need to get their child. What works for me are some simple toys, car, dolly etc and then the box that the humidifier came in, the plastic box that used to have my fabric in, (the fabric that was in there makes a great toy too), the empty water jug (Please note I said empty, the full one works well for a toy, but yesterday I found it no longer works, she figured out the cap!). If I am cooking, the pots, plastic containers etc make great toys. Two chairs with a sheet make a tent. I give her things that not only cost me nothing, but also she likes better than the toys and she gets something new almost every day! It works for me!

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Grumbling Heart

Holidays, they are so wonderful but so tiring. I find that I need rest after them and do not feel like doing anything. I love having the kids over and Rick's sister and her two son's were here too. It was fun. I wish all the kids could have made it, but this year we only had two of them, their spouses and babies. Even though they all brought food, I was still tired after. I must be getting old... nah can't be that!

I find when I get tired I also get a bit impatient and can be more of a complainer.

Sunday's are a hard day for me. My husband works for a church and is in charge of the building. This is clean up, repairs, updates and such, as well as in charge of the grounds and vans. On Fridays and Sundays I work with him.

Sunday I went in to start the coffee as I usually do. (I set up the communion and make four different kinds of coffee for before and during the service). What I found was my coffee table cleared and stuff not put back, I had to hunt for it all. The refrigerator a mess and I had just cleaned it out. The communion stuff all over and the cups thrown loose in the cabinet. Dishes in the rack and not put away and my coffee scoop gone. I was starting to brew at the coffee table not back, so you can only imagine how I was by the time I finished. The matzos were even gone and I had to hunt!

I walked around with more and more steam coming out of me. Our filtered water does not refill fast enough for the coffee pot, and someone had obviously used the water the day before (sign on faucet saying not to use... but who listens?) grumble grumble. Can't anyone clean up behind themselves? grumble grumble. What is the matter with people? grumble grumble. And on it went.

There were other things that happened that morning at church that got me even more upset.

I thought about it later. I was right, but I also was all wrong. Attitude!

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26


Now, take the letters in attitude and the number under each one and add them.

Convert it to %.

What did you get?

100% ! Yup! Attitude is 100%
  • Philippians 2:14: Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
  • Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
  • James 5:9 Do not complain brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door

OOPS! Caught in sin again. Was my attitude humble like Christ or was I a grumbler and complainer? I think we both know.

To help your attitude:
  • Get enough sleep
  • Pray and read the Bible to gain God's perspective and how we should live.
  • Think before you say anything
Remember, man looks on the out side, but God on the heart. You may grit your teeth and smile, but God sees what you are really like, your attitude.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Recipe updates

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My husband and I had the Texas part of the family here and we had a wonderful time.

My day today has not been so wonderful! I have been going crazy (short trip) trying to figure out how to get a newsletter sign up on my blogs. After spending all day it is still not working and I never got a post up for today till now. I was so excited because I thought the newsletter sign up would not be that hard and I could announce it today. Now I am tired, frustrated and have very little to write about.

A few PS's I would like to put in here. First I made the Black Forest Crisp. I used sugar free cherry pie filling and crushed pineapple in it's own juice. It was soooo good! I am diabetic, so I was worried about it, but it did not send my sugar up at all. My sugar is watched carefully by me and I like to see what I eat will do to it. Since I am mildly diabetic I can probably eat more than others, but I was still surprised at the results.

Another "PS" is from my pizza Post. My brother sent me an email telling me the changes he makes to the crust. I told him I would pass it on to my readers

Happy Turkey Day
I saw your pizza recipe on your web site. I use 3 parts white flour to 1 part whole wheat. I sift all flour used in the dough as well as what I use to roll it out. Recently I started adding a teaspoon or 2 of oil as it is mixing, it keeps it from sticking.

I do hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, Be sure to tell God how thankful you are for all HE has given you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Black Forest Crisp

I am one to try my new recipes when people are coming over. I have no idea why I do it then, but I do. Not only do I try a new recipe, I adapt the recipe to my liking with never having tasted the original! I have yet to have a failure after 37 years of cooking like this.

Sorry if I sound like I am bragging. I do not mean to, it is just the way I do things and what works for me.

So, now I am going to give you a recipe and let you try the same thing for Thanksgiving!

Black Forest Crisp

Ingredients

  • 1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling
  • 1 can (8-1/4 oz.) crushed pineapple undrained
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 package (18-1/4 oz.) Devil's Food cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, cut up
  • Ice Cream or whipped topping

Directions

Layer cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple, slivered almonds, chocolate morsels and flaked coconut in a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle cake mix over layers and dot evenly with butter. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping.

Serves/makes 10

Yummy!

Adapt as you see fit!! Works for me!


Duck, Duck, Goose

OK, all the places I have lived the kids have played duck, duck, goose. Not in Texas. When we were at my mom's 80Th birthday party last year the kids were all playing Duck, Duck, Goose. My husband was so fascinated at watching them play.

Our one granddaughter was so good at it, however she very cleverly was cheating. It was hard for people to tell, but you could see the was not sitting down all the way, but her long skirt was hiding her legs. My husband laughed hysterically and had to tell everyone about it when we got back to Texas.

Today I found out Duck, Duck, Goose IS played in Texas, but not by people. I took our 11 month old granddaughter to the park today. I also took a loaf of bread for her to feed the ducks. We were hardly out of the car when the geese started running up. We fed some of them and then walked down to the water to feed the ducks.

Ducks and geese were all over, the ducks pretty much stayed in the water and many of the geese were up on the land and being hand fed by us. I realized the ducks were not getting much so took Scout down by the water and we began to throw the bread in for the ducks. The ducks were quacking with delight but the geese on land were starting to yell.

OUCH! It hit me, right in my butt. One large goose was not happy with not getting the bread and decided to goose me!

So, there you have it. Duck, Duck GOOSE really gets played in Texas, by the ducks, ducks, goose!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Stray Cats and People

As you can tell by my blog I am an animal lover. My husband is not. I feed every stray that comes to the door. He boots them away.


After almost 3 years of marriage he is finally getting used to the idea that animals are a big part of my life and that God teaches me things through them.

I would like to share about a stray that comes here. Let me back up. Since coming here we have had stray cats come to our door. Most run off, but once in the while one will stay. Some time ago a large Tom cat showed up, with a tiny kitten. This kitten could not even eat on it's own and was quite scared. It took a week to get her to come close to me, but the Tom came right away. He was super friendly, and was by the steps one day when my husband walked out. I told my husband that "he was a friendly Tom". (the cat, not my husband). The cat meowed, so I said Tom again, and he responded the same. I said "come here Tom" and he did. My guess was someone dumped them off and this was Tom. I fed Tom and he would climb on me for his loving all the time. The kitten was not so. She had to be coaxed and bribed to come, jumped away at every move and was a real scardey cat. She was so tiny I worried about her. She finally would come and let me pet her and after a bit would climb up on my lap, and then into the house (husband was not happy, but she was hurt and he realized how much I was feeling at the time).

Somehow the Tom would come back injured all the time, and then one day did not show up and has not been back. However, some time later another stray took his place. This stray started stealing the food from the original cat (Rick's from before all the strays). I finally started feeding him so that our cat could eat. No matter what I have tried he is there for food, but will not let me close. He is jumpy, runs off and does not want to get close. He has been here since June, and finally comes just out of my arms reach. He will cry at the door if I am not there on time, will eat the food, but not let me get close.

I look at the difference in these three strays. Kind of like people huh? They show up and some are friendly right away. Easy to make friends with and want to be friends. Others you have to coax out of their shell and finally they realize you are not out to hurt them. Then their are others that have been hurt so much in the past they will not come close to anyone, but are there for what you have to give them.

Here is my "mooch". He will not let me close, but here he is begging for his food.
He will not eat until he watches me go in the door and then hears it close. This pic was taken through the screen so it is not as good as the other.
He is all black with a white tip on his tail. A pretty cat. All three strays are black, but that was their only similarity.

I can't help but think of people and how some that are so standoffish may be that way for a reason. I am not going to give up on this black cat. I will continue to feed him and try. He has taught me a lesson about people maybe I can learn more as I keep on trying to befriend him.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Home made Pizza


I don't know about you, but my kids always loved pizza. They are grown now, but my husband likes my pizza just as much as they did! I have "fancied it up" to serve guests as well. It can be cheap if made simple, or adjusted if you have more money to spend.

I have tried to get the recipe on paper, as I do not usually use recipes for amounts, I learned by using my hands and fingers to measure dry and eye ball the wet. So, here goes for writing it down

Cheap Pizza
Dough - I use my dough hooks on the mixer, but you can mix by hand

1 pkg or two TBSP of yeast
1 1/4 C of warm water
3 1/2 - 4 C flour (may use white, unbleached or whole wheat or a mixture
1/2 tsp salt

dissolve the yeast in the warm water (for quicker working use a little bit of sugar to feed the yeast)
add 2 1/2 C flour and beat
add salt and then slowly put int the rest of the flour till it pulls away from the bowl. Knead till elastic (with the mixer this is not long, by hand I think it would be about 10 minutes of kneading.

let rise in a greased bowl for about 35-45 minutes. (If your kitchen is warm it will take less time)

Roll out and put on pizza or cookie sheets.

Sauce

can of tomato paste mixed with a little water. Add seasoning of your choice ( I use garlic powder, oregano, other Italian seasoning spread on top

Topping

For cheap pizza sprinkle cheese on the top

Bake at about 400 till done

More expensive but still not bad:

Add other toppings, pepperoni, onion, olives, ham etc. Leftover meats work well too

Vegetarian and more expensive:

For a really yummy pizza, but not so cheap cut up broccoli, tomatoes, onions, peppers, olives, mushrooms and any other raw veggies you like . Top with several kinds of cheeses and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

OK, now I am hungry! For more great frugal ideas go to Biblical Womanhood.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Helpful Links

It is Wednesday again. Hard to believe as this week is going by so fast.

So many times I wish I could fix something, find something that would work for a certain job etc. We have an Internet full of great ideas yet so often it is hard to find what we are looking for.

When sites come my way I like to check them out and then bookmark them for future use. This week it seems that I have had a number of them that have been worth the bookmarking and I decided to share some with you.

  • The Fix It Club. Ever know you should be able to fix something but you just do not know how? Well this site tells you how. Ones I looked at came complete with videos. I guess I can do that!
  • The Babycentre has all kinds of tips for babies. It is a UK site, but anyone can use the tips. Christmas on a budget is one of the pages and another on doing things with babies.
  • Dollar Stretcher.com has all kinds of hints for saving money.
  • Thrifty Fun. This site has newsletters with all great ideas, recipes, crafts etc. Worth poking around in!
There are a few sites that work for me. For more Work for me Ideas go to Rocks in My Dryer.

Dog Logic

My brother sent the following in an email. I thought it was cute and wanted to share it.






The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead
of his tongue. -Anonymous



There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
-Ben Williams


A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he
loves himself. -Josh Billings



The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
-Andy Rooney


Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people,
who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate.



Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.
-Franklin P. Jones



If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise .
-Unknown

My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a
can. That's almost $21.00 in dog money. -Joe Weinstein





If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not
bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
-Mark Twain


Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
-Roger Caras

If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your
pocket and then give him only two of them. -Phil Pastoret

Sunday, November 11, 2007

God bless America

I had written a post on Thank A Soldier. Today is veterans day and I would like us all to remember those who have served and those that have died for us. The following video came to me tonight and I wanted to share it with all of you.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Ink Remover

It is Friday already? This week my husband took off work to try to get some things done around here. We have had a stack of wood that we salvaged from a building we helped tear down and he has been working on getting the place ready for winter. So far we have only spent money on some caulking. In Texas where we are many of the houses are built up off the ground and you need to put a skirting on around them to keep the wind and cold from going underneath. This is what he has been working on with all the free wood. Hopefully it will save on heating this winter.

Doing the work on the house has seemed to make the week fly by. So here I sit on Thursday night trying to think of my Frugal Friday post. We certainly were frugal in what he is doing with the house, but I want to share more.

There is a site I like and I think I want to share what I have learned about ink stains. We all get them and sometimes end up throwing out the blouse, pants or whatever. Being someone who hates to throw out and loves to save money I try to find ways to save the outfit. I would like to pass on some frugal ways to handle ink stains.

10 Ink Stain Removers

Recipe #1

1 TBS Vinegar
1 TBS Milk
1 tsp Borax
1 tsp Lemon Juice

  • Mix together all the ingredients then apply to ink stain, leave for about 10 minutes. Dampen a sponge with cool water then dab at the stain until it is gone.

Method #2

Hairspray

  • Spray hairspray on the stain so that the spot is well saturated. Wait 30 minutes. Dab at the ink spot with a sponge first soaked in cool water. You may have to soak the spot in hairspray a couple times.

Method #3

Fingernail Polish Remover (plain, unscented)

  • Test a small unnoticeable area of the garment first before using. This could discolor some fabrics. The method for stain removal is the same as above, saturate the area with the fingernail polish remover, then dab at the spot with a cool, wet sponge.

Method #4

Toothpaste (Plain paste, not gel, no bleach)

  • Toothpaste can help lift ink stains from fabric too. Apply to the stain, let set for a few minutes, then run under cool water while gently rubbing the toothpaste into the stain. Repeat as necessary.

Method #5

Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol)

  • Saturate the ink spot with isopropyl alcohol, leave for 30 minutes, then try lifting the stain with a sponge first wet with cool water.

Method #6

Vinegar (Regular White Household)

  • Pour a teaspoon of vinegar directly on the stain and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Then dab a drop or two of liquid dish detergent to the stain. Rub it in gently with your fingers. Leave to rest for about 5 minutes. Rinse under cool water, gently rubbing the soap into the spot while the water rinses the area.

Method #7

WD-40

  • Spray it on the ink stain and after a minute or two, rinse off.

Method #8

Shaving Cream

  • This needs to be the foaming shaving cream, not the gel. Spray a bit of the foam on the stain, wait 30 minutes, then run under cool water while gently rubbing the stain away with your fingers

Method #9

Ivory Soap (bar)

  • Run the stained fabric under cool water so it’s good and wet. Rub the Ivory Soap bar into the stain (not too roughly or it will damage the fibers), make sure to rub a good amount of soap into the stain. Leave for 30 minutes. Add a couple drops of liquid dish detergent to the stain, rub in with your fingers (gently), then run under cool water and wash away the stain.

Method #10 (Not so frugal!)

Buttermilk

  • Let the stain soak in Buttermilk for 24 hours, then rinse under cool water with a bit of Ivory soap or liquid hand soap. If that hasn’t removed all the stain, soak in Buttermilk again and repeat the process.
I find Tipnut.com to be a helpful site and often has frugal ideas and hints. I get their newsletter and love some of the information they send.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Marriage: Please comment


This is backwards Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer, I guess we could call it works for you?

I am needing some suggestions for my other blog Meet Me In The Garden. Some of you have read the post From My Heart and as a result of what is on my heart I started another blog.


In order to give me ideas to work with, I would like to know :


  • How did you and your husband meet and how long did you date?
  • What do you do to keep the spark in your marriage?
  • What works for you when you disagree on things?
I know this is not a usual Works for me, but I am needing the thoughts of others and hope the wonderful people who read this will give me an idea of what works for them. Thanks!

For some normal works for me questions see Rocks in My Dryer!

Thank A Soldier

I was planning my blog for today when an email came. It changed my post for this morning.

We have soldiers away from home and some deploring soon. With the holidays on us this is a hard time of year to be away from your family. I know. I live in Texas, my kids are in Maine and North Carolina; my mom in NJ and siblings mostly in the NJ area. It hurts. However, I am not also getting shot at, nor facing a sniper, bomb etc in every move I make.

In moving to Texas I moved near the largest base in the US. Soldiers are everywhere and our church has a number of them. The heartache and loneliness is evident as they plan to deploy.

This is where what came in my email this morning became so relevant and important. YOU can send a soldier a message or prayer and encouragement.

Here is the email:

"Something cool that Xerox is doing
If you go to this web site, Let's Say Thanks you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services.

How A MAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!! This is a great site. Please send a card. It is FREE and it only takes a second. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these? Whether you are for or against the war, our guys and gals over there need to know we are behind them..."

I sent mine, will you?

Monday, November 5, 2007

My Grandfather

I would like you to meet my grandfather. Here he is with my grandmother at one of our gatherings. We always went to their house for the holidays.




Let me tell you a story that will give you an idea about how much he loved life and fun!

When I was a teenager we would go to their house after church. It was a fun time and many times included a "picnic" in their yard. My grandmother made the best pies, cakes and cookies. This one Sunday I never changed after church. We had to get to his house sooner than normal and did not go home first, so I went in my dress and heels. Mistake #1.

Mistake #2 was asking my grandmother if I could borrow a pair of her sneakers for the afternoon. She was wearing them and did not have another pair. So I grabbed my grandfathers garden ones to wear outside. He wears a 14, me a 5 1/2.

Mistake #3 was telling my dad I would go to the store for him. It was just down the corner from my grandparents, so I was walking.

Mistake #4? Taking a bet with my grandfather! He bet me a dollar (big money back then) that I would not go down there in his sneakers. I could not refuse. I went down, slipped in the door (did I tell you this place had a soda fountain and all the teens hung out there?). Well, I got in and tucked my feet in the little spot by the cash register and got what I needed. I went to pay, when the door to the store flew open and in walked my grandfather making a big ruckus. He told everyone I stole his shoes and took off out of his yard and he wanted them back! He pulled me out of my little spot where no one could see my feet and kept saying how I stole them! I paid and took off, but never forgot that day!

The rest of these are just pictures I wanted to share.



His favorite past time, besides the garden, was ocean fishing.





Christmas fun




He and my grandmother in younger years




His favorite dog Cuddles.

My grandfather died a few years ago at 103 yrs old. I miss him.
To meet more people go to The Natural Mommy.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Lessons from an Armadillo

I live in Texas. I have not always been a Texan, in fact I only moved here about 3 years ago when my husband and I married. I have always been an animal lover though. Weird thing is, animals love me also. Tame ones, wild ones, they both seem to not be too afraid of me.

Since moving to Texas I have come across many different critters that I had not seen before. Among my favorite are roadrunners and armadillos.

Texans look at armadillos like we from the north think of groundhogs. However, to me they are cute.

The little fellow pictured here is what my husband called a juvenile. I got up one morning and he/she was wandering around just off my patio. Being the type of person I am I wanted to get close... real close. I walked to the end of the patio and bent down to try to touch it. Actually I picked it up a little bit just to feel it.

I then got my camera, walked in front of it and called it, well talked to it. Sure enough, it started walking right at me, that is when I took this shot. I then went over and felt it again. Look at that nose! And those cute ears. He is adorable!

I have learned some things about the armadillo since moving here. Touching it taught me things, and then from watching it I learned more.

Armadillos have a hard shell, this is on the outside, but unlike a turtle they can't crawl into it. They have nine separate pieces that make up that shell.

They are not real fast, but can go pretty good when they need to.

When I went to pick up the armadillo I put my hand over the top of it's body to lift it up like you would a turtle. As I touched it it hopped up, so it actually landed in my hand. I found out this defense mechanism is actually what gets them hit on the road. They are short enough that a car or truck can go right over them, but fear makes them jump into the bottom of the car and gets them killed. If they did not hop, they would just have the car go over them.

Armadillos dig holes. They nose around, will turn over rocks, dig up plants and make lots of holes in the yard. You can see by this little guy here that as he digs down he is really into his work. This is because they eat bugs. Lots of bugs. We have fire ants and armadillos will eat them. I would rather have them than the fire ants!

As I watch the armadillo and think about that day, I think about how God made each animal with it's own characteristics. They are all unique in the way they are made and live, the way they are made to protect themselves.

The Bible says God created everything, and that his attributes can be seen in His creation. (For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:20).

When I look at animals and creation I look at what God made. I look for what me, as a man, can learn from watching the animals.

What have I learned from this armadillo? A number of things. For one, so many of us put on a hard outer shell to protect ourselves because we have so many fears. Yet when danger comes, instead of being still and knowing that God is God, we jump and run right into the very thing that can hurt us.

Like the armadillo, we need to dig for our food. Spiritual food that is. We need to dig into God's word and pour through it to get all we can.

There are many other things we can learn, I just shared a few. Look at life differently, watch creation and learn about it. God has so much to teach us if we will just listen.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Grammie's E-mail

I was going through some email and saving some of it when I came across this picture. Having grand kids big enough to do computer drawings and write emails is great when you live so far away. This was done by Anna. She is 5 years old and the middle daughter of my son Erik.

I just wanted to share it with everyone!

What Every Step Mom Wants To Hear

As I have written before, I am now part of a blended family. I am realizing more and more how much it means and how fortunate I am. It is not easy being so far from my side of the family, in fact it is very hard, but I can't imagine life without my husband Rick. He is one of the most loving men I have ever known and I am so blessed. As I said before, I am twice blessed in husbands. (NO, I do not currently have two husbands! Willie and I were married for almost 30 years when he went home to be with the Lord.)

I am also doubly bless with family. While I cry over missing my children and grand kids in ME, I know this is where God wants me now. God has answered my prayers with step children that love me and I them. One of them trusts me with her most precious possession, her daughter.

I have written about Scout in a previous blog, and the joy she brings, the easing of my missing family by watching her learn and the keeping me busy which wards off self pity. However today I want to tell you that I am so fortunate as a step mom also. This week I received a note from Scout's mom. It is a note that every step mom would love to get and I want to share some excerpts with you. I hope Katie does not mind, but I cry every time I look at this note.

"... I Love Scout more than I ever believed possible. She is such a beautiful child in every way and I know that is with your help. We are absolutely the blessed ones to have you looking after her every day. I can't imagine having to take her to anyone else. She is growing so fast and learning so much and I know if she were anywhere else we wouldn't know what all she was starting to do because to anyone else Scout would just be a job, and I know that isn't what she is with you. The older she gets, the more I want to stay home with her, but knowing she is with you makes all the difference. We truly are blessed to have you in our lives. Not only as Scouts' Grammie but as our mom also. .... from that first time I met you when I had gone to help Dad clean the house before you got there, any uneasiness I had went away. It was amazing how well you just fit from then on. So now I feel just as lucky to have you as I do Jay[her step dad], what society labels as a broken home is now two whole, happy homes. ... This family needed your loving, giving spirit. I know we can't fill the void you have from not seeing all your kids and grand kids all the time but I hope you do know that we love you and are thankful that you are in our lives. "

She started by saying she does not have a way with words, well, she sure does to me, It is what every step mom would love to hear. Thank You Katie (and please do not be mad at me for putting it in here!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

You Can Do WHAT with Kool Aid??

First let me say I have not tried these so I can't say they work for me. It came across my email this week and I thought it was interesting. If anyone has tired them and they work, let me know.

1. Make Easy, Flavorful Kool-Aid Frosting
I discovered this unusual use for Kool-Aid powder when I had a can of
vanilla frosting one day and a cherry chip cake to frost. I stirred in
a package of cherry flavored Kool-Aid and the result was a delicious,
creamy topping that everyone loved!

If you need to make a tasty frosting for a gelatin cake, all you need
to do is fold in a pack of Kool-Aid into a container of thawed Cool
Whip®. If the frosting tastes a little tart, add in sugar, a little at
a time until it tastes good to you.

2. Make Kool-Aid Brand Lip Gloss
This is an unusual use the girls will love! All they need to do, to
make a fruity lip gloss, is to place a small amount of petroleum jelly
into a microwave-safe bowl. Stir some Kool-Aid soft drink powder into
the jelly- enough to make it the color they desire. Stir in a little
sugar, then, place the bowl in a microwave oven for about five or six
seconds- just enough to soften the mixture up a bit.

3. Make sand Art With Kool-Aid Brand Soft Drink Mix
Kool-Aid is perfect for the kids to make safe Sand Art with! All you
need to do is provide them with plenty of paper and pencils. After
they draw pictures on the paper, give them several different colors of
dry Kool-Aid and Elmer's® Glue. Then, instruct them to spread a thin
layer of glue over one item in their picture. It's better to start at
the top of the pictures so they don't get their arms in the wet
mixture. They can then sprinkle Kool-Aid on that area and press it
down gently. After the kids shake the excess soft drink powder off,
they can continue onto the next section.

Once their pictures are done, let them set until the Elmer's Glue
dries completely.

4. Temporarily Dye Your Hair With Kool-Aid
If you're going to a party, or, you just want a new look for a short
period of time, use Kool-Aid!
Choose the color you want to use and pour it into a glass container.
Add a teaspoon of corn starch and just enough water to turn the
ingredients into a paste. Apply the paste to your clean, dry hair and
let it set for five minutes. Then, rinse the paste out. Your "new do"
will last until you shampoo your hair once or twice.

5. Make Eerie Party Decorations
Another unusual use for Kool-Aid Brand Soft Drink Powder is to make an
eerie Halloween decoration with it. Just place some dry ice- don't
touch it with your hands!- into a glass, and pour a packet of any
flavor Kool-Aid into it. Kids will watch with fascination as the dry
ice and Kool-Aid bubbles and mists. Make up several of these glasses
and set them around for an eerie effect at your next party!

6. Make Kool-Aid Clay for the Kids
You may already know how to make homemade clay for your kids to play
with. But, did you know you can make clay using Kool-Aid brand soft
drink powder as well? Mix together a cup of white flour, a fourth cup
of salt, 2 tablespoons cream of tartar and a package of Kool-Aid in a
pan. Stir in a cup of water and a tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat
the pan over medium heat on your stove top. After several minutes, the
mixture should clump together in the pan. When it does, remove the pan
from the stove and let it cool slightly until you can touch it. Knead
the Kool-Aid clay with your hands until it's not lumpy anymore. Place
it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator until use.

7. Remove Chlorine From Your Hair
If you swim alot in a chlorinated pool, you may notice that, after
awhile, your hair color will change. It's especially noticeable on
people who have blond or light brown hair. To remedy this problem,
there are two things you can do. First, anytime you swim in a
chlorinated pool, wet your hair with non-chlorinated water first
before you get into the pool. This will help keep your hair from
absorbing the chlorinated water. Second, to help change your hair back
to its original color, use a pack of lemonade-flavored Kool-Aid. Pour
a little Kool-Aid in your hand if you have short hair; use more if
your hair is long, or if it's really changed color. Then, add a dab of
shampoo and lather your hair up. Let the Kool-Aid set on your hair for
fifteen minutes before you rinse it and the shampoo out well.

Note: Try not to get the Kool-Aid brand soft drink powder in your eyes
or it will sting.

8. Kool-Aid Brand Water Colors
Are the kids bored? Why not mix them up some Kool-Aid brand water
colors? It's fun for them and safe to use as well. Even if the little
ones stick their paint brushes in their mouths, this homemade paint
won't hurt them!

Pour several packets of different colored soft drink powders into
individual glass bowls. (Don't use plastic or the Kool-Aid can stain
them.) Stir a tablespoon of water into each bowl; stir until the
powders are completely dissolved.

Then, provide the kids with plenty of paper and some thick artist's
paintbrushes, and they're ready to have some fun!

Seal up any leftover Kool-Aid tightly and keep the containers in the
refrigerator to use again.

9. Tie Dye an Old Tee Shirt
Because Kool-Aid brand soft drink powder contains artificial colors,
it makes a great tie dye for an old tee shirt, or even a pair of
cotton socks. Actually, your kids can dye most anything by using
Kool-Aid. Curtains, bed sheets, towels, doll clothes and more can
quickly change colors if you have some Kool-Aid and these instructions:

First, make sure the tee shirt you want to tie dye is clean and dry.
Next, open up several packages of Kool-Aid. Pour each package into an
individual glass bowl. Stir an ounce of white vinegar into each bowl;
make sure the powders dissolve completely.

Take the tee shirt and twist the fabric up however you want. Hold it
into place with several rubber bands. Before you begin to tie dye your
item, you'd better put a pair of rubber gloves on so your hands don't
get tie dyed too!

Now, grab the shirt at one side and dip into a bowl of Kool-Aid. Then,
grab it at another place and choose another color to dip it into. Keep
doing this until your creation is finished. Leave the rubber bands in
place and set the tee shirt outside in the sun.

Once your tie dye tee shirt seems to be dry, remove the rubber bands.
Then, spread it outside in the sun so it can completely dry. Then, pop
it in the clothes dryer by itself and dry it on "high heat" for
fifteen to twenty minutes. This will help set the colors in. Now, your
new tie dye tee shirt is ready to wear!

Note: The colors can still run, so it's best if you hand wash your
creation and hang it up to dry.

10. Use Kool-Aid to Check for Toilet Tank Leaks
Do you hear water running inside your toilet tank in between flushes?
There's probably a leak in there that needs to be repaired. An easy
way to detect a leak is to use Kool-Aid. The darker colored soft drink
powder works the best because you can see it better.

Carefully lift the lid off the toilet tank and set it aside. Open up a
pack of Kool-Aid and pour it into the tank. The test can take as
little as ten minutes or as long as thirty minutes, depending on the
size of the leak. Don't flush the toilet! Just watch the toilet bowl.
If you see the colored powder float through from the tank, then
there's a leak present. It's quite possibly the flapper piece. But,
you'll have to investigate further to determine the exact cause.

Note: For all of these ideas, use unsweetened Kool-Aid only.
F0r more works for me hope on over to Rocks in my Dryer!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Best Things In Life ARE Free

My husband and I are CASA for a 13 year old boy and today was his court date. We go together, but because I need to bring our granddaughter along my husband does the talking with the judge.

As we were waiting to go into the court room I was telling Scout that she needed to be quiet in there. She is not quite 11 months old so I was not sure how much she would comprehend, but she gets a lot more than many kids her age so I thought I would give it a try. We sat outside the court room door and I told her in a whisper "shhhhhhh we need to be quiet in here. We can't talk". She looked at me and started to talk. I again said "shhhhhhh we have to whisper, we can't talk in here". With that she she put her bottom lip under her top lip and somehow made a shhhhh sound (it was more like a sssssssssssssss with a little bit of h in there). So I repeated it again and she did her version of shhhhh once more.

We went inside and she started to look around, so I reminded her of the shhhh rule. She was really good, but I knew she got it when the couple behind us began to talk in a normal voice. She stood up, turned around and very nicely told them "shhhhhhhhh", then smiled at them.

We ended up having a good day after court by going to Austin and running around the thrift shops. I love thrift shops and need a computer desk. Some of these shops have things so cheap. I had no luck on the computer desk, but a lot of laughs with Scout. She wanted to go into the "tore" with us. She would ask for a "tore" Then we heard her saying something in the back seat, and finally realized that "tocks awv" meant she was taking her socks off.

Watching a baby eat a donut hole for the first time was a delight. She was not sure what to do with this ball, and I told her to put it in her mouth and eat it. She did and we got a great big "mmmmmmmmmm"

I was getting a bit housebound lately. Just felt like there was 4 walls and the only time I got out was for things that had to get done. I don't know about you, but being in the house with a baby can get to you after a bit. I wanted so much to get out and have nowhere to go, but just go. We did a bit of that today and, even though I bought nothing, I had the best of times. God knew what He was doing when he gave us kids and we can see the joy of discovery on their faces and it brightens ours. Ahhhh simple pleasures. The best things in life are free.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bloggy giveaway

This morning I found the bloggy giveaway on Rocks in My Dryer and got so excited entering that I thought I would join in the giving. Why not? It sure is fun. You can join in too. It is easy and you do not need to have a blog to try to win.

First let me tell you what I am giving away. I have a book that is Treasures for the Christmas Tree by Carol Taylor.




It is loaded with ideas for decorating your tree, complete with patterns and pictures. It has many ideas and will help you have a different and unique tree this year.


How do you attempt to win this book?
  • Read my post from earlier and tell me what critter I am referring to that does not want it's picture taken.
  • Write a comment telling me what your guess is
  • I will use a random number of all correct comments and mail the book to the winner next week.
  • NO duplicate entries
  • You must have an email address or blog address for me to contact you.
  • That is it!
I will pick a winner on Saturday Nov. 3rd.

Now, go to to Rocks In My Dryer and try for more goodies!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Meet My Neighbors

Since moving to Texas I have some different neighbors.

First, I would like you to meet my mail sorter, She moved in to our mailbox and sorts our junk mail for us. Anything pooped on just goes in the trash bag.




Next is mama. She is sweet and comes over when I come home from the store. She is a begging neighbor, always borrowing carrots or other veggies and not returning them.



Here we have our bird dog trainer. This cute guy sits about 2 feet from my bird dog and torments her. I am sure Makita is thinking "What is it? I thought ALL birds flew".



This is the baby that hangs out with mama. She will not let you come close, even when mama wants her to.




We also have some neighbors that do not like their picture taken. In fact one is downright nasty. It just rattles at you when you look at it.

Ahhhhh Texas!

Check out The Natural Mommy for more meet and greet photos.

A Pink Dyson

Have you ever won anything? For some reason I have trouble winning. Unless there is a bunch of something being given out. you know how it is where you go and about everyone goes home with something, I am usually not a winner. I open bottle caps where it states almost everyone is a winner and am sure the inside will say "You are a loser, don't bother trying again".

Well, I am trying again to win something. Why not give it a shot? You can try too at the Domestic Diva.

Dyson is giving away this great pink vacuum in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. I know it is fun to win things, and fun to try, but the fact that breast cancer is something that needs a cure and is taking lives is not fun. The fear and suffering that goes into women and even some men when they find they are a victim is something that makes us all know a cure needs to be found.

I want to thank Dyson for making this available to make it fun to spread the word and also to The Domestic Diva for giving us the challenge.

Why not give it a shot and try to win yourself by spreading the word!

I would like to also ask that if you know someone who is a survivor or suffering from the cancer at this time that you embrace them, support them and, most of all, pray for them.