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Thursday, January 15, 2015


What do you think of bobble heads? I never cared much for them.

One year for Christmas my son-in-law gave me two Elvis bobble heads because he knew I was a big fan of Elvis. I thought it was a crazy gift, but opened the boxes and was blow away with them. What do you think of these?

 Jailhouse Rock

1957 Year in Gold

I still don't care much for bobble heads but I do like these. They are much better quality than I expected, and not the kind you find on car dashboards.

Right now they are on the top of my computer desk in the bedroom. Maybe I should start displaying them in the public rooms of the house. I am sure they will make good conversation pieces. And maybe add a little whimsy?

"Thankya verah much."

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


I had planned two curtain projects months ago. I showed the first one yesterday. Here is the second:

This is the small bookcase beside my chair. My phone is on top so all the regional phone books have to be there, plus a dictionary, Bible, photo albums and some books that are still unread. Again, this is eye sensory overload and cluttered to me, so another curtain is desired.

Much better. I still don't know how to clear the clutter from the top since those are things I use daily in that area, and I must have things convenient. So I guess I will have to live with it. I made this curtain the same as the other one, and used a tension curtain rod to hold it. When I first planned this I was going to use one of those curtain springs that are usually used to hold the bottom of a curtain at a door window, mainly because I have one on hand. But when I got ready to work on it, I realized it would be impossible to use a hammer to get the hooks attached to the inside wall, and I did not want them on the outside. I LOVE tension rods! And everything is temporary and easy to remove.

There are the two UFO's that are finished! Now, where is my project list??

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Another "FINALLY!" happened around here during the holidays. The reason for UFO in the title is that this is an Un-Finished Object or project.I finally took the time to make the curtain for table in the kitchen. I never quite know what to call this table. It could be a sofa table - one that resides behind a sofa, as it is narrow and long. It could be a credenza, a hall table, and maybe there are other names and uses.

I like where I have it now, in front of the pony wall in the kitchen. But I don't like the clutter that is ever-present under it.
Actually, this picture is a cleaned up version. Usually there are several Bible study books, large pencil bag full of colored pencils and highlighters, many more empty shopping bags (that is what is in the otherwise empty tissue box), another full tissue box, plus whatever I need to have handy and have nothing else close where I can stash it. The mesh container on the left is where the recycles go until I can take them outside. The wicker chest is there because I can't find another place to put it, and it holds the bedding for the hide-a-bed you see in the left background. Not only does this spot always look messy, but it is eye sensory overload for me. And it is the first thing people see when they walk in.

So one day I was thinking about what I could do to hide it all, and then remembered one of the HGTV shows, it might have been Designed to Sell, or something similar, where they showed hanging a straight curtain over a tall bookcase to hide the little kid's toys when the house was to be shown to a perspective buyer. AH-HA!!

Then I had to decide what fabric to use, and then remembered I had a lot of fabric left from the kitchen curtain valance I had made for the previous house. And since I am able to use that same valance in this house, it would all be coordinated. So that is frugal since I didn't have to go out and buy more fabric.

I am embarrassed to say that I came up with this months ago and just never got around to working on it, until now. My procrastination at work again.


I didn't want it gathered like a window curtain, but just a flat panel. Then the question - how to hang it. I used a tension curtain rod. Works well, don't you think? It doesn't look so flat in this picture for some reason. It is easy to lift up or push aside when I want to access what is behind the curtain. And I can change it when I get tired of this. If I can find a dark brown to exactly match the paint, would it look more like a solid piece of furniture? Maybe. But for now, the clutter of essential things is hidden.

When making the curtain I doubled the hem and the side hems to give them a little added weight for stability.

Monday, January 12, 2015


Finally, here is the recipe for the gingerbread cake mix that I put in the Christmas gift bags.

The recipe says it yields 5 batches (10 cups total), but I got three quart jars filled, which should make 2 cakes each. I used wide mouth jars which makes it easier to fill.
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6  2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup + 1 TBS. nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup baking powder
1 TBS salt
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 - 1 1/4 tsp ground cloves (use lesser amounts if your cloves are really strong)
1 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
1 1/2 cups shortening

1 egg
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup molasses

In a large bowl, combine the dry Mix ingredients; mix well. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months. Yield: 5 batches (10 cups total).

To prepare the cake: Preheat oven to 350 F. In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg, water and molasses. Add 2 cups of the cake mix; beat until well blended. Spread into a greased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 F. for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Prep. time: 10 minutes for the mix; 10 minutes for the cake.
Baking time: 35-40 minutes
Serves: 9 per cake.

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If you are giving this as a gift, make sure you put a tag on with the directions for making the cake. If using a quart jar like I did, be sure to put on the label that it makes 2 8-inch cakes, or someone might dump the whole jar in with only 1 egg, etc and end up with a flop. (I might be the one that does that without thinking!)

I found the label designs on Pinterest. There are several online sites that have free printables. I printed them on 2"x4" mailing labels. And the final touch, the red grosgrain ribbon tied around the lid. If you think far enough ahead, there are many cute ways to decorate the jars for whichever holiday or event the gift is given. Go to Pinterest!

Friday, January 9, 2015


I am writing this after tossing and turning in bed for the past hour or so, not able to sleep -- again. I have not forgotten the recipes from the gift bag that I said I would give you, but that will come later.

This childhood friend has been on my mind recently, and tonight her sister-in-law called me. I was so surprised as we had not kept in contact for many years, and really only acquaintances so we never did call each other to visit.

This all started just before Christmas. The childhood friend, her name is Marilyn, and I have always kept in touch every Christmas with a card and letter. I did not get one from her a year ago and thought it odd but did nothing about it. I sent another one this year and after a week or more it came back to me saying the time was up for forwarding, and there was a new address listed for Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and she and her husband had lived in Columbus, Ohio for decades.

So now I am wondering what is going on. Why did they move to Wisconsin? So I thought I better do some checking. I first looked on Facebook as I remembered her husband had a page there some time ago but did not post much. That page is no longer there. She wasn't much for computers but I did find her page, with very little on it and nothing recent at all.

They had one daughter, so I found her on Facebook, and she is living in Eau Claire, so thought maybe Marilyn and her husband moved there to be closer to her. The daughter has never married. I sent a friend request to her. In the meantime, I realized that maybe Marilyn had died. I vaguely remembered she was having some health issues. So I did a google search and yes, I found her obituary, as well has her husband's. He had died a few months before she did.

The daughter did accept my friend request. I wasn't sure she would recognize my name as we have never met, but she did remember the name from the Christmas cards. Her cousins happened to see my posts on her page, and they asked the sister-in-law who called me, if she knew a Lorita. Of course she did! So that is why she called me, and to see if the daughter had responded to my request.

All this has stirred up many memories of our childhood. She was one month older than me, but she got to start school the year before I did because her birthday came before the cut-off date and mine came after.

We both grew up on farms about 2 miles apart, going to the same school and the same church. Her parents were friends with mine, but not the kind that came to visit. I guess Mom arranged play dates for us since I was an only child. Marilyn had two older brothers so she was the only girl in the family. I don't think the term 'play date' had been coined yet, but that is what it was. When little girls we played with dolls, played dress up in some of Mom's clothes, and did what little kids do.

I spent quite a bit of time at her house, and often that was because my parents had to go somewhere for a day or two, and I was in school, so I stayed at Marilyn's house during that time.

As we grew into teenagers, and not in the same class, we didn't spend as much time together. And then she went away to college while I started my senior year of high school, and the following fall I was married and started moving around to other towns. I did ask her to be one of the baptism sponsors when my son was born, so we did keep in contact.

I think maybe the last time we saw each other was at her wedding a few years later, and then they moved to Ohio and did not come back to our home town very often, and neither did I.

As I talked with her sister-in-law, I found that Marilyn needed a kidney transplant but never got one soon enough. She spent the last year or so in a nursing home. It starts to really hit home that you are getting older when your childhood friends begin to leave this world, knowing that one of these times it will be you that leaves.

It is a shame that we never got to see each other again over the years. So if you have friends or family that you have not seen for awhile, why not contact them and try to meet soon, if at all possible, before it is too late. I have missed opportunities to visit with relatives and now they are gone. You don't have to be as old as I am to do this. My daughter just went to the funeral of a good friend that died of a heart attack and he was only 49. We each get so wrapped up in our busy lives that we never make time to visit like we used to. Sure we may be in contact through Facebook or email, but that is not enough. That is one reason why I am trying to set up this family reunion for the summer. If nothing else, call up an old friend and have a visit on the phone.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


I have some couples that see to it my lawn gets mowed in the summer, and takes my garbage containers to the street and back each week. I appreciate that so very much, and wanted to show my appreciation in some way at Christmas time. I did not write about this earlier as I didn't want to reveal anything until after they had been given.

This is the bag and what was in it.

 Cracker toffee in the front.
The tall, thin object, back right, is Christmas scent reed diffuser.

 A spa cloth with body butter.
(thanks for this idea, Susan!)
 Gingerbread cake mix in a jar.
Label is a free printable found on Pinterest.
Homemade light whole wheat French bread. 
I apologize for the poor pictures.

Recipes will be shared in future posts.

Maybe this will give you an idea for future gifts, and they don't have to be for Christmas, but any time and any reason.

Monday, January 5, 2015


This is embarrassing!! No judging, please. Unless you are a super clean, cleaning freak (like a late sister-in-law of mine), I can bet you have a spot or two that gets ignored, too. I have been looking at this shelf in the kitchen for quite awhile, intending to get to it soon, but it just didn't seem to happen . . . . until today.

I show two pictures as the top one is a better picture, but later I had taken the frame down and put up the old enamel strainer in it's place, and that is how it looks today.

I decided to somewhat get back on the Flylady schedule, at least for zone cleaning, and this week it is the kitchen. Usually when I get myself psyched up for cleaning, I start in the bedroom, and that doesn't make sense since others don't really see my bedroom except when they walk by the door to get to the living room. But, the kitchen is as good as any place to start. Therefore, the first thing I knew I HAD to do is that shelf. Here are some before pictures, and if you look closely you will see the fringes of 'hair' on the edges, as well as the thick dust that settled on things. I did not take a picture of the empty shelf and how dirty that was, because I would have had to get the step stool out, and my knees won't let me get up on that anymore. Look at this gold ladle. The inside of the cup part is supposed to be shiny!

Look at the 'hair' fringe on this little pitcher, not to mention the thick dust on the rest!

Lots of hair on this large spoon, and the poor little owls have turned 'grey' and almost blinded by the dust over the eyes.

Easy to see the hair on the left side of this place, and if you look close, it is there at the front as well.

Yes, more hair around the edges of this plate. The other dust isn't so visible on the pictures.

And this poor dried arrangment is just totally covered with the fuzz.

I am not sure if I can even get this to look half way decent. The dried stuff is very fragile. I happen to like this and can't replicate it as some of the stuff I picked outside several years ago, so I really hate to dump it and put something new in the jug. I know, it isn't the most beautiful arrangement, but I still like it.

I pulled as much of the fuzz off as I could without causing too much damage. Then I tried a tweezers to pull some more out of the smaller spaces. But there is still quite a bit left. I will try tweezing a little more, then put it back up on the shelf for now. If, or when, I find something I like for a replacement, then this will go out.

Everything else is washed, including the shelf, and put back up. At least I know it is clean and hopefully smells a little fresher.

Now to decide what I will work on tomorrow.