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Friday, February 10, 2017


No, not me! That would set records for sure!

I was sitting in my usual chair one day and suddenly noticed some new leaves had popped out on one of the stems of my dragon tree. I was shocked. I didn't even know the plant was pregnant and here it had already given birth to a new baby.

 I wish I had been on the ball and got a picture of it right after it had started, but you know my procrastination. It is a little hard to tell in ths above picture, but the leaves in the middle of the picture is the baby.

 Another angle of the new baby.

This shows a little more of the whole plant with the baby on the left. It is about in the middle of one of the stems (stalks?) There are 4 stems but you can only see parts of two of the heads.

I received this plant at my husband's funeral 12 years ago and this is the first time a baby has arrived. I guess this dragon tree likes this house as much as I do!

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Here are some pictures for a glimpse of the results of a big snow storm we had earlier. We got somewhere between 8 to 10" of new snow. Don't pay attention to the dates on the pictures. Somehow that got screwed up and I didn't realize it until now. I can never remember dates and didn't write down the date of the storm, but was toward the end of January, 2017.

I tried to get different angles to show the depth of the piles of snow after the scooping was done. I am standing in the front doorway as I did not have shoes or coat on, and it was COLD out there.

 This one probably gives the best angle for the depth. Notice the white 'cap' on top of my old cream can that sits right next to the front door. The wall of the garage goes all along the right edge of the sidewalk. I think it 'helps' some deeper drifts to form right on the sidewalk when the wind is just right. I am so thankful I do not have to get out there and scoop it myself. One of the perks of living in a managed unit.

 Now this picture is actually taken from my front window. Notice the drift overhang that formed on roof edge. The roof extends out a few feet from the house which is nice, especially in the summer as it keeps the hot sun out of the windows in the afternoon.

 Another view of that roof drift. You can see the strips that make the windows look like smaller panes. I cannot remember what they are called right now. Brain fog again?

I did take one step outside the front door for this one for another angle. You also see the light fixture at the front door. There is a matching one at the front corner of the garage.

I took the pictures at the right time because it was not very long afterward that the whole thing dropped off the roof!

Just another normal winter in Iowa.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


If you a fan of modern country music, and know who Thomas Rhett is, his current hit is "Start of the Show".

When I started working on this post I titled it CHURCH AUCTION, but "Star of the Show" was playing on the radio at the same time, and it fits.

This afghan/blanket was the star of the show at the church auction. It was again chosen as the featured item where the auctioneer asks for $20 bid donations from those who are not bidding to buy the item. They have chosen mine almost every year, which always amazes me. This one sold for $200 and made $600 in donations. It always makes me feel my time was well spent in making this.

This was not hard to make but did take a little bit of time in getting the squares to meet up 'perfectly' while sewing the strips together. And fringe always takes time, and I don't always add fringe even though the pattern calls for it. But I feel it adds a lot to this one.

 The one other project I managed to finish in time for the auction are the children's bear scarves.

 These came as kits with head and paws already made. All I had to do was knit the scarf and attached the head and paws to each end. The yarn is 'fur' or 'eyelash' type and worked up to a very soft and cuddly scarf.

They sold for $50 each, which made me happy as each kit cost almost $20 just for materials.

In this picture I tried to pose them as they would be worn to give you an idea what they should look like, but that didn't work out very well. I wish I had a child here to model them!

 If you are wondering about the white afghan used as the backdrop, that is one I made about 30 years ago, or longer. It has been an all time favorite over the years and I have made a lot of them from this pattern.

I have already started on some projects for next year's auction, though there is some talk about only have one every other year. But we do need some kind of fund raiser every year to help pay off our new building loan.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


UPDATE: I wrote this almost a month ago and thought I had posted it. Shows how much I check my own blog. I talk about brain fog in this post, and evidently I still have it. :(

Goodness! Here we are more than half way through the first month of the new year and I haven't blogged since August. Really? I guess that is what moving, surgery ten days later, and a second surgery 2 months after the first one does to a person. At least it did me. I was also kept very busy with doctor and clinic appointments during this time.

First, brain fog. I think I heard one time that surgery or the anesthetic can do that to you. So barely recovering from the first knee replacement surgery the end of July, and having the other knee done the end of September completely deleted any creative thoughts. I did not blog because it seemed I could not put two sentences together, and did not feel like sitting at the computer. I did not crochet or any other hand stitching either.

Second, my three kids took turns being here during and after the surgery for the first 3 weeks, and did the same after the second surgery, which kept them busy trying to work around their schedules. It was truly a blessing that they could be here to take care of me and pamper me with their cooking, cleaning and talking. I was so spoiled after everyone was gone that it was (and still is) very hard to get back into a routine to get cleaning and cooking done again. So during that time there was no blogging or crafting done, though I did get a lot of reading done on my Kindle. The kids also did some more unpacking and trying to organize things for me after the move. I am still working on that, but very close to being done.

Both new knees turned out very well. Surgery went better than I expected, as did the quick recovery afterward. Physical therapy also went very well and was pretty easy. The therapists told me that I started out in better shape than most knee replacement patients, so that was good to hear. So I guess I did something right along the way. I have also lost over 40 pounds since the end of May so am feeling much better. I still have a long way to go but have a good start and hope to keep going downward and not gain it all back. Not easy!

I am finally starting to feel more 'normal' again and ready to blog again. I have also been crocheting an afghan for the church auction. I had a few other things planned for the auction but am fast running out of time! The auction is in two weeks. Help!

Many of my friends and fellow bloggers are doing pantry challenges this month. I have been sort of forced into doing that because of extra expenses last month and this month. I have already spent $430 for prescription meds this month. One good thing is that I have enough for 3 months, but it is a huge chunk of money going out at once for someone on limited income. I am hoping I can make my glaucoma eye drops last the rest of the month, but that is questionable. And that is very expensive too. I think I have met my deductible for the year already.

My fridge is suffering the most right now. I have about 3 apples, 4 Cuties oranges, almost a dozen eggs, 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar, 1/2 carton of vanilla yogurt, and less that one stick of margarine in the fridge along with many condiments and salad dressings. I do have dry milk on hand so have been making up 1/2 gallon of that at a time or making one cup at a time when needed. But the dry milk is getting pretty low and might get one more gallon out of what is left.

I have plenty of meat in the freezer but running a little low on frozen vegetables and I rarely buy or use canned veggies except green beans. I think I have two cans of green beans. I am down to one package of browned hamburger in freezer, plus about 6 hamburger patties. I have a whole chicken cooking in the crockpot right now so will have some cooked chicken to put in freezer soon.

Last week I cooked up a package of pinto beans and a package of great northern beans, both in the crockpot with chicken broth. I froze the beans in quart bags and use the liquid for soup base, which is also frozen.

As far as true pantry items, my pantry is small so I don't have a big stockpile to use up, but I still have plenty of pasta and jello. That doesn't make for a very good combination!

I ran out of bread some time ago and have made 3 loaves of bread in the machine in the last couple of weeks. It is too good! I eat too much of it, but often that is all I have for a meal, mostly because I am too lazy to cook, or just not that hungry. In the process I used up the last of my whole wheat flour and rye flour, and not sure I have enough white bread flour for another loaf, though I can use regular flour and add wheat gluten, too.

I am afraid my grocery cart will be piled high when I finally go to the store. I have not bought a single grocery item since December 12!

I am totally out of peanut butter, regular butter, sliced and block cheeses, jam, instant oatmeal and every other cereal, fresh veggies, and any other fruit that the few apples and oranges left. So I can't have a peanut butter sandwich or toast, nor a toasted cheese sandwich. I think I have one small can of tuna yet so can make tuna salad for a couple of sandwiches. So I am out of quick meal and snack items. I am also out of my favorite instant coffee mix and down to drinking only tea. Since I am out of the instant oatmeal packets I have been microwaving regular quick oatmeal with milk and adding my own things like brown sugar and walnuts. I usually add dried fruit but am out of that also. I find that using the regular oatmeal nukes as fast as the packets and much cheaper. I think it even tastes better.

So my favorite 'go-to' foods are gone and that means I actually have to cook!

Along with the pantry challenge this month, I am also going through old statements and other papers and shredding or filing, so am decluttering again. It has been a slow process since I have so many things I need to be working on at the same time. I have a long list of things I NEED to do and a long list of projects I WANT to do as well. I would like to get back to working on genalogy but that will have to wait awhile.

With that, this has gotten much too long and I really NEED to get back to work on other things for the day. I do hope to get back here more often. I don't think it will be daily yet, but am hoping that will come soon as well.