Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bread making problems

I should probably save this for next week when it is backwards WFMW, but I need help now, so I will not wait.

I make my bread using my kitchenaid mixer. It does great and even though I have carpel tunnel I can still make homemade bread.

My problem is my husband. He had a bread maker and thinks it is so much easier, but for me it is a pain. I put the thing away and never used it after I read the directions the first time. It has set away for 3 years now with him telling me "how much easier it is with the bread maker". Two weeks ago I dug it out and used a mix to surprise him with the bread. It did not rise much, was heavy and gooey even though I followed the directions. Several days later I tried again only using the recipe in the book with the bread maker. (It was harder than making it with my kitcheraid!) It rose over the top, down into the element and made quite the mess. Of course I did not know since you can't open the thing till it is done! When it started smoking black smoke I knew something was wrong and shut the thing off, but it was too late. I had burnt bread all over the inside.

It is now a week later and I can't get the smell or some of the burnt out of the thing. I set it out side, I have set the bread pan out, but still the smell. The element. or rather behind it, is burnt yet and I can't get it off.

Does anyone have any ideas to help me, or is it ruined?

For some real things that work for others, go to Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Mom!

This is my mom. She has flown out here to Texas from NJ. I do not get to see her much and am happy she has taken this trip.

She will be here until the 5th of March, with us going to a wedding in MO over this weekend. As a result, I will not be blogging too much until after that. I will read my comments and have time to write a little, but not like I want to.

Not everyone gets to have an 81 year old mom that makes plane trips just to see you!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Frugal Newsletters

Today is Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood. When you are done reading her go back to their site for may more frugal ideas.

I like to see what other people are doing and how they are saving money. It gives me ideas for things that may fit into my lifestyle. My husband and I are on a limited budget like most people and we all can learn from others.

I subscribe to a few newsletters that give me ideas. No, I do not use them all the time, but there are often things that I can pick out that I can do to help the budget.

One of them is The Dollar Stretcher Newsletter. There are ideas as well as links that will help.

Another is Saving Advice. They have a blog I subscribe to as well as a newsletter. Check out the site.

I also try to read faithfully as many of the frugal friday posts and other blogs that help with saving and amending my ways to help be more Frugal.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What is on your refrigerator?

Heart at home is hosting a what is on your refrigerator meme and has tagged me to be a part. I decided to play along , again, to a meme.

First, let me tell you my refrigerator gets rearranged by a 14 month old on a daily, actually more like a minute by minute basis. So here goes:

I have magnetic numbers, letters, fish and birds as well as just plain magnets.There is my memo pad for my shopping list, several pictures of grand kids, my CASA boy and Moose (I love moose and lived in Maine, so it is a part of me I have on the frig.

The dish towel is a hand towel to save on paper towels and I also have two friends that I pray for and want to be reminded.
Now, what is on YOUR refrigerator?? Hop over to Heart At Home and join the fun!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Blog Meme

I have never done a blog meme or any meme that I know of, however, I was tagged and I will play along. I am still learning who is who, and do not know all my readership yet, but I guess that is part of the fun too.

*Start Copying Here*

I have randomly selected 3 of you below to be tagged and I hope that you will similarly publish this post in your blog. You will have to tag 5 other bloggers and just keep adding on to the list. (Do not replace, just keep on adding! Yes we hope it will be a long list!) If you don’t know five people just put any you do know! I only managed 3.

It’s real easy!

Tag others and see your Technorati Authority increase exponentially!

The benefits of Viral Linking:
- One of the fastest ways to see your technorati authority explode!
- Increase your Google PageRank fast
- Attract large volume of new traffic to your site
- Build your community
- Make new friends!

The Strategist Notebook ~ Link Addiction ~ Ardour of the Heart ~ When Life Becomes a Book ~ The Malaysian Life ~ ~ What goes under the sun ~ Roshidan’s Cyber Station ~ Sasha says ~ Arts of Physics ~ And the legend lives ~ My View, My Life ~ A Simple Life ~ Juliana RW ~ Mom Knows Everything ~ Beth & Cory’s Mom ~ A Mind Forever Voyaging~ enjoying the ride ~ Jennifer’s thoughts ~ Mom of 3 Girls ~ Amanda ~ Don’t Make Me Get The Flying Monkeys ~ ExPat Mom ~ Just Jessie ~ Wilson Six ~Krisitn ~ Nuttier Than You ~ Shonnte ~ Summer’s Nook ~ Laura Williams Musings ~ Melissa’s Idea Garden ~~ Eve at Confessions of an Everyday Housewife ~~ Blah Blah Blog ~~ Stop the Ride! ~~ Soap, Blings & Girly Things It’s All for the Best ~ Keeping Feet ~ Junky Love in Freehand ~ Getting Out of Debt ~ Free From Broke Knits and Knots ~ Two Kitties and a Puppy ~ ~ Retro Brett ~ Changing Seasons~Regan’s Weblog ~ Beauty from Chaos ~ The Natural Mommy ~ Charlie is Here ~ twentysixcats Drumbfaith ~ Aint no Place ~

Sting My Heart ~ Families Against Feminism ~

I can only think of two that are not on here, but I will give it a try!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Clear Plastic boxes to the rescue!

How was your weekend? Mine was so busy I am still hurting. If you are into all kinds of crafts like I have been you will know what I am talking about; Crafts take up space! Unorganized craft supplies take up even more space! Add to that your husband's craft supplies and you have a real mess.
My mom is coming out this Saturday and I need to make room for her. My back bedroom has been home to many things. Books, scrapbook supplies, photos in boxes and being sorted, ceramics in boxes as well as baby stuff like my granddaughters pack n play, as well as the swing and johnny jump up that she no longer uses all fill that room. Now I need to get my mom in there too!
Saturday I spent cleaning off the shelves in the computer room, throwing stuff away and organizing. You see, all that craft stuff belongs on these shelves, but... The BIG BUT... they were filled with all kinds of other things. Husband's old computers that he wants parts off of, papers that had to be kept, stuff I had to move quickly and did not know where to put etc were all piled on the shelves.
After I cleaned them all off, I went and got some clear plastic storage boxes. I already had my sewing stuff in some, so just got more and organized. Now, I have clear boxes on the shelves, can see what is in them. I may label them later for hubby, but I know where to find things now anyway.
My mom has a bed to sleep in too! I have to move out the baby things, but I found a bed under all the scrapbook stuff! I knew I had one somewhere in that room!
I would like to give all of you some advice. If you live in small quarters like we do, with no storage area, take care of things immediatly. Organize in the boxes right away, it is a lot easier and does not hurt the back as much as what I did on Saturday. When I get craft stuff, I am going to get a new clear container and put it together right away. These containers can fit on a shelf, under a bed or where ever you can put them. Put your bed on blocks of wood or bed risers and there is lots of storage there too.
Just a hint from experience.
I would have pictures, but I still do not have a computer and am on a borrowed one. Hopefully tomorrow night I will be writing from my own.. yipee!

This works for me! For more works for me ideas, go to Rocks in my dryer!

Friday, February 15, 2008

A fitting toy

Today is Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood. Since I am not on my computer I do not have the official logo. Oh for the day I get my computer going... well, that is another story.
My granddaughter made a discovery for some cheap toys. I do not know if your kids and grandkids are like mine were and are, but it seems that the toys you buy were not the ones they played with, it was the ones where they invented the toys and discovered things to play. The plastic storage containers, the pots and pans, the veggies from the drawer while you were trying to get out the milk etc.
The other day she got into something that has brought her hours of pleasure. My husband was doing some plumbing work and had a box of the white plastic elbows, fittings and such setting in the house. (Mind you the plumbing work was ages ago and these things have been in my way since).
She discovered that treasured box! She has been playing with the fittings, putting some together and having a great time. When you compare the cost of toys to the cost of some fittings it sure makes a frugal toy and a happy time for the little one!
For more frugal ideas hop over to Biblical Womanhood.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Softer Feet

Two weeks ago on Works for Me Wednesday Beauty From Chaos wrote about a simple way to have soft feet. Unfortunately for me my feet needed more help.

Like Jessica, I get cracked heels, and I mean cracks! My whole heel and the side of my foot gets dry and hard. I have tried so many things, but it seems like nothing gets through that hard, dry dead skin. I have filed it over and over and worked on them forever, but they are still ugly and when they crack and bleed it is painful to walk.

This week as I was using the foot file I was thinking I need something more to get through this. What I am going to say next will probably make you think I am crazy, but I got out sand paper! I sanded my heels and the the side of my foot. The side I did not press so hard on as it is not as bad, but the heels I sanded like I was doing a piece of rough wood. I could not believe the difference! Now the vasoline gets through and is doing it's job.

If your feet are like mine, give it a try. It works for me!

Give me back my cookies and firefox!

I am so thankful for a borrowed computer, but I sure am missing mine. This one uses Internet Explorer, mine has Firefox. I find the difference in the browsers to be a big pain, I love my firefox.

My spellchecker on blogger is not working and firefox has one built in, so I know I have two, now I have none.

Don't you hate it when something comes along and rocks your boat? I do. I have learned though, that when we trust the Lord, He has a purpose and will use it for our good. How He is going to use me losing all of this I do not know, but He will. I am trying to learn what I can from the struggles and move on.

My posting may be patchy, my email is a mess, I have no idea how to pay my bills since my sites were all bookmarked, and I have lost some "cookies" that let me into sites. But, as my husband's favorite saying goes "It'll be alright".

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I have really lost it now

Sometimes we all feel like we have "lost it". Things just make our brain swim and we can't seem to figure out what we are doing or what we did with something.

Well, I know where I had it, know what I was doing with it, but I have lost it. Lost it all apparently. Gone. Kaput. Outta here.

Yesterday my APC backup started ringing. Not beeping, but one constant long beep. It was driving me crazy. Then I was using the bread maker and that was beeping now and then. Then, something else started beeping and I still can't figure out what that was.

By now my ears were ringing on their own!

I went out of the house and figured I would buy a surge protector for the computer. After all, the battery for my backup was about $50 and the thing is 6 years old and will not work right with my XP anyway.

Came home, turned off the computer and plugged everything into the surge protector.

Turned on computer. At that point I knew I lost it. Everything! My computer would not boot.

Tried again.

Tried with the boot disk.


Tried again.

Nothing, just a blue screen of death staring at me.

All my pictures. Gone.

All my blog info and research. Gone.

My family cookbook. My working on another project. Gone.

My Biblical Womanhood ebooks. Gone.

My emails, my email addresses. My affiliate passwords. My brain.

Yup, all gone!

I have lost it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Heating tips

I subscribe to Thriftyfun for ideas for saving money and doing things in a frugal way. Some things are not what I would call frugal, but some are very helpful.

Recently there was some great tips on there from a woman who called herself "mom in Missouri" I have copied her suggestions since I think they are worth considering.

  • Make sure fireplace dampers are closed when not in use, and cover the opening.
  • Insulate light switches and receptacles that are on outside walls
  • Insulate attic and pipes
  • Use ceiling fans, remember to use the winter setting to force warm air back down.
  • Use plastic on north windows. Other windows also if necessary.
  • Skirt trailers. Make sure crawl spaces openings are covered.
  • Keep garage doors closed
  • Use insulated or thermal backed curtains and drapes.
  • Do your baking either in the morning to help warm up the house, or during the coldest part of the day that you are home.
  • Try to run your clothes dryer during the coldest time of the day.
  • Boil water. Moist air feels warmer.
  • Keep closet doors, cabinets, pantries closed. Why pay to heat an un lived in space.
  • Make sure that if you have a room above the garage, the garage ceiling is insulated well
  • Use rugs on the floor
  • Drink warm drinks during the day; tea, coffee, cocoa, jello water, etc.
  • Keep thermostat down during the day, and set it lower at night.
  • Layer your clothes. Right now I have on long johns-makes a huge difference
  • Wear slippers and socks.
  • Use flannel bedsheets and an extra blanket.
  • Sweats are warmer to wear than jeans
  • I have a hook hanging in my bathroom above a heat register. Before I shower, I hang my towel on it. My towel is toasty warm when I get out of the shower. I also hang my nightgown on it and then change into my nightgown a few minutes after I hear the heat blower turn on. Again, its toasty warm to put on.
  • Do your vacuuming, dusting and other exercises that require movement when you get to feeling cold. This may mean you spend 15-20 minutes every 60-90 minutes cleaning--kind of in spurts.
  • While sitting at the TV or computer, cover up with a comforter. Or, several family members on the sofa can benefit from sharing an electric blanket.
  • Leave home! Turn down the thermostat and go to the library where its free and warm. You can get online there, read the paper there and study there. Or check out your local community center, go walking if they have an indoor track.
  • Make sure all windows are closed tight. Lock them to be sure, a window that is open if even a tiny bit usually will not lock.
  • I love to crochet in the winter. My blanket or afghan I am working on keeps my lap warm!
  • If your heating system is the type where you can close off a room, close off what you don't need. Right now one of my daughters is sleeping in with her sister because her room has its own heater and hers is turned off.
  • Open the curtains and drapes when the sun is hitting them. Close them back when temps start to drop and the sun moves on.
  • Get a lap cat!
  • Wear warm PJ's to bed, or sweats or long johns, instead of some thin materialed short nightgown. Wear socks to bed, or at least until the bed feels like it has warmed up.
  • If you heat with oil or propane, watch your prices. If prices drop during the summer months fill up then. Add up your total bill for a year, and try to budget that out over 12 months. When you fill your tank, take the money budgeted to that point and use it. For our family, our propane comes out to around $72 a month. Yet we only fill the tank twice a year. But, I try to tuck that $72 a month away for the next tank filling.
  • Use door gaskets around doors and windows that have air coming in through the cracks. To find where you have air coming from, CAREFULLY hold a lit candle and go around your door and window frames. When the flame flickers, you have found an air leak.
  • Do what you have to do. Right now it is so cold and windy, I have a blanket tacked up over a door that currently feels like ice. The blanket is stopping some of that cold air. May be ugly, but its working.
  • Try to combine your trips in and out of the house to one trip. This saves you from opening and closing the door.
  • Insulate pet doors or block them off
  • Eat warm meals instead of cold ones. Hot cereal in the morning instead of cold cereal. Hot ham and cheese sandwich instead of a cold one.

For more Frugal ideas check out Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Online Shopping

This week for Works for Me Wednesday we are supposed to list the places we like to shop on the web. I told my husband and the first thing he told me was that I had to tell you all about a place he loves. He said there is no shipping charges and he just placed his last order last night, late and it is already on UPS and scheduled to arrive in the next day or so.

So what is this place he recommends? Royal Discount. It has computer software and supplies.

For me, I love ebay! I look there and check out auctions and then from there I go to the ebay shops. Most anything can be found reasonably.

Also high on my list is Amazon, and then free shopping places like for coloring pictures, e-cards etc.

What online shops work for you? For more ideas, go to Rocks in My Dryer!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Clear the lines

OK, I admit it, I am a computer addict. I love my computer! I love it online most, and especially when I can get my email.

I had a bad day yesterday. Why? I could not get my email. Oh, I was online ok, but my email would not download. I tried everything I could. Reboot, close and open the email program, boot (no, not reboot, but use my boot!) — nothing worked.


I wrote the mail server and found out it was someone spamming and they were trying to locate the person. The lines were too cluttered and it slowed everything down to a stand still. My mail was there, I was sitting here trying to get it, but it was all cluttered between and it would not come.

This morning the line was open and all my mail came through. Ahhhhhhhh, but now I have two days worth to go through.

I do not know about you, but God speaks to me through these times. This morning as I was thinking I realized the same is true of us.

God has the answers, He wants to talk to us, and maybe we want to listen. However, our minds are cluttered and we can't get the message.

How can we be cluttered when we want to hear?
  • Sin keeps us from hearing. Regular patterns of sin that we do not want to give up, or sin that is such a part of us we do not even think of it as sin. Any of it will keep us from hearing Him.
  • Our thoughts. Maybe we are not giving time with Him a clear mind. We have our to do list setting nearby. Or some problem. Something just cluttering.
  • Not spending time in His Word. If we do not know the principles He has set for you and I then we can't hear clearly. We will be "hearing" with our own agenda, thoughts, desires etc. and think we are getting communication. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."
There are other things that can keep the lines cluttered, but these are the most prominent ones. De-clutter and keep things open between you and God. Do not have so much going out and in the way that you can't hear Him clearly and openly.

Listen to Him and for Him.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Watch out for Left Behind

I love Jeff Larson and his Back Pew comics. I found this today and thought I would share it.

Used with permission.