“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage/journey to Zion.”- Psalm 84:5

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Getting Ready To Plant

It is that crazy, busy , not enough hours in the day kind of time. Things are growing (even the weeds...sigh) and we are moving as fast as we can to prep the ground to plant. In a lot of ways we feel so behind. But we keep putting one foot in front of the other as fast as we can. We hope to be planting in a few days. As my Handsome works so hard to weed I am re-potting the hot and sweet pepper plants on the plant table.

Here is our Lavage plant. You only need one of these per family. In the early spring we can use it in our food like celery. Later you can dehydrate the leaves to flavor stews. Go HERE to learn all about this plant.

Our apple and pear trees are in bloom. They are such a treat to see.

I had a lot of fun taking pictures of Handsome while he was making the 3 extra plant beds for this year. We are hoping to increase our green bean crop for the 3 house holds. ( MIL's, BIL's, and our households ) We are hoping to get enough to eat fresh and freeze for the winter.

While Handsome and the boys were reclaiming and building the area for the plant beds I was weeding and thinning the Asian green beds.

Fruits of my labor....greens for dinner.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tightwad Tuesday: Modest'izing A Slit Skirt

I had heard of this skirt alteration when I went to a family homeschool camp just over 5 years ago and I decided to try it. I was tired of how high the slits were and wanted a more modest alternative. I was very happy with my results and I will for sure be altering other skirts soon. A couple of things I learned...
  • don't pick too stiff of fabric for the slit panel
  • and if you want a wider slit panel use a medium light fabric for the slit panel so it will hang nicely.

What you will need....
  • a slit skirt
  • a 1/2 yard piece fabric of choice.( I suggest one that isn't very stiff)
  • Thread to match the color of the skirt ( Walmart sells a Denim thread )
  • sewing machine
  • strait pins
I was given a light orange corduroy skirt that was too small but perfect colour match to alter the slit on my garden skirt. Plus it was a perfect skirt to try this out on because it is a work skirt that didn't matter too much if it wasn't perfect the first try. [o=

First things first was I had to take apart the corduroy skirt. If you are not up-cycling some fabric then you need about a 1/2 a yard of fabric.

  • Lay the fabric under your slit and decide how wide a panel you want
  • and add two inches
  • cut out your triangle
  • zig zag around out edge
  • lay back under slit
  • pin baste
  • try it on to see if you like it but be-careful not to get poked.
  • if you like it then sew with the right sides facing up.
I used the bottom of the orange skirt to line up the jean skirt so I didn't have to do more hemming but if you are using fabric that doesn't already have a hem then I suggest to pre- hem it.

When I used this corduroy it was too heavy of a fabric for a wide panel and I didn't like how it hanged. So I ripped it all out and made the triangle more narrow. After I did that I liked it a lot better. This is why I suggest to audition your panel before you sew. What ever you sew so shall you rip, lol.

I wore my skirt all yesterday in our major garden work and loved it. I was very happy with my work. Also this alteration is very easy and quick. A wonderful way to alter all those pretty skirts you find in those second hand stores.

I am also joining my friend Trish in...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

To Cut Or Not To Cut?

When I bought this fabric with a apron in mind I though I would cut it up and sew a apron with a bib. But I am now thinking of just sewing a tie on the back , or a loop and button like the pattern in Weekend Sewing book , or even put a BIG snap on the back. I hate to cut up all the hemming that was already done. These pieces of fabric were two small table clothes and two table runners. But each one could be made into long, medium, and short aprons. I am not sure if I want to cut or not to cut...that is the question. If I don't cut then that means I have four aprons to use each week. [o=

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Shoestring Chic

I thought after all that shopping I did this week end. I get to show a out fit each week for the next couple of weeks at Thrift at Home's meme Shoestring Chic. I tried to get my young photographer to catch a picture of me amongst my long awaited cherry blossoms.

I paid...

$3.49 for the top

$3.49 subtract 25% discount = $2.44 for the skirt

shoes were on 50% off and got them for $35

Total= $40.93

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Went Shopping South of the Border

Handsome and I went for a quick get away on Sunday and Monday. What did we do? Well, we went south of the Canadian border to shop and used my hubby's free night that he won at a Travel Lodge Hotel. Sunday morning we visited a lovely church just outside of Spokane and then went mall'ing and then out for a lovely pasta dinner. It was a nice relaxing, slow moving day and then on Monday we shopped. We found a lot of neat stuff at two second hand stores , a kitchen store, and Hobby Lobby.

I found shirts and jeans for the boys and Handsome found himself two pairs of pants and two shirts for $4. I gave him the "deal of the day award" for finding 4 things under a dollar at the store. Other than that we found sheets, hand towels, towel to make a dish drain towel, bread pan, and a dough scraper (for Essie and Philip), red table cloth, slippers , skirts, tops and a robe. I may have to join tomorrow (Wednesday) in on the Shoe String Chic meme @ Thrift At Home to show my outfits and how much I paid for them.

We each found a neat book which was under a dollar each. Ohh what a perfect price. ( Well, free would have been better. [o= I have been very curious about " The Maker's Diet" and can't wait to read it. I have been hearing about it for a few years now.

You can't really see the title very well of the book my hubby picked. It is called " More Food From Your Garden... The world-famed Mittleider Method of Grow-Box Greenhouse Gardening". I guess we will have to share what we learn because this book isn't easy to find online.

I was so happy to find a bread pan. It was on my list but I really didn't expect to find one and I did. In front of bread pan is the dough scraper for Philip and Essie. I hope they like it.

These are the two shirts and pants that helped my hubby find the deal of the day award.

I am soooooooo happy to say I found some fabric that I am going to make myself a pretty apron. It has been on my wish list to sew and finally I can make it become reality. I think I have some solid red fabric that I can make pockets on it with. Ohhh maybe this week end I can budget some sewing time for me.

I have been asked to teach a beading class at the woman's church retreat. I will be teaching them how to make some simple pretty earrings. I was tickled pink to find half the beads and the findings for 50% off.

And these pretty beads too. I am sorry the red table cloth doesn't show off the beads that well. The clear ones on the far left are neat but you really can see it. They have a silver coating on the outer edges and the ones on the far right have a neat two tone pink swirl in the middle. I had so much fun bead shopping.

I feel like these shoes were my favorite buy. I have wanted some pretty pumps but with a wider foot I have a horrible time finding them. At the first store I found a couple of pairs that were anywhere from $90 - $150. But then at the second store I was thrilled to find these $65 pairs on sale for $35. I was a VERY happy camper and they are so comfortable too.

We also found my answer to making 70- 100 quarts of apple sauce .... a saucer! I am now looking forward to making it in the early summer.

Last but not least is my new signs for my laundry room. I have been needing something to hang on the walls above my washer and dryer and now on a 50% off sale I found these two for $7. I can't wait to hang them up. On the second sign do you see the " Training Available" ? [o=
I thought that was perfect with 3 boys still in the house.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What's Happing In The Garden

Spring has finally sprung around here. It is such a treat to see so many things blooming and growing. We ate our first salad and greens this week after thinning the bed. What a treat that was! We don't buy salad greens from the store during the winter so when that first salad is eaten we really enjoy it. We are about to transplant the salad greens from my MIL's to our bed probably this coming week. The cherry tree is just starting to bloom. Ohh it's fun to finally show our cherry blossoms after seeing all those pictures a month ago of all your spring pictures down south of us. We have been patiently waiting for things to grow for it was a very cold spring.

Here is my one single red tulip. I hope to buy more tulip bulbs this fall and get some more. I have so much yellow everywhere that I need some more red for there is never too much red.

Here is one of our most favorite herbs, oregano. I harvest and dry 4 gallon jars for the winter plus use all that I can fresh during its growing season.

Here is some of my yellow tulips in bloom.

And here is one of our rhubarb beds. I harvest it to make rhubarb juice and rhubarb raspberry juice to sell . It is like lemon aide but it is rhubarb aide.

This is one of our kids favorite plants... Sweet Cicily. You can eat the stalks and when the seeds go black they are good to eat. It has that Anise kind of flavor.

This is my MIL's salad bed and we will be taking some to transplant out of here soon. These are the type of salad greens you can keep picking and picking from for a long period of time. We don't grow head lettuce on our homestead. I am reading up on cold frames and hope to grow some that will last us through the winter.

Water Update:

We are now on the old well system. There was a mud slide above our water box that was the result of poor logging practices. ( no we were not the ones who logged it) The government has been supplying us with drinking water. The creek is clearing up and we hope to be back on our permanent system again soon. I am soooooooo thankful we had a backup water system and we didn't have the problem of mud running through our pipes. We had enough time to fill some jugs and then turn off the new system before we had problems. Thank you Lord. Sadly there were quiet a few neighbors that weren't so fortunate. But I have heard there was no harm done and they have been able to flush their systems out. And the creek is getting clearer and clearer each day. I hope there is no more mud slides to deal with.

I will leave you with one more picture.... our Forsythia and that is our house behind it.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Very Full Spring Run Off

This area is just above our water box.

Yesterday around here at the homestead was a quite eventful. The spring run off is full force and so much that it is MUDDY waters. Others who have their water boxes below us came up to see if we were experiencing the same. I don't know how high up the creek and what exactly happened but it is a lot more muddy waters than normal. We had to switch off the new water system back to the old well system till the waters clear up. We are in the midst of waiting for my BIL to switch us over so till then ... no water is flowing from our pipes.

I had to take a picture of this unknown mushroom to my hubby and I and today I hope to look it up and find out what it is. I would assume it is poisonous so we did not touch it. In the picture down below shows some all in a row.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook ...May 10th

::The Simple Woman's...Daybook::


Outside My Window...
It is finally sunny and we can see blue skies and spring green again. The tulips are in full bloom and the barn swallows are diving around. We have seen wood peckers and a pair of eagle too. Things are starting move around here. There is a lot of weeding and raised beds prepped for the May long week-end for planting.
( we don't plant before then because of frost concerns. Unless it is something like snow peas and cold hardy plants) Also we have picked the new spots where we want build some new raised beds.

I am thinking...
of how to reach my goal one day of growing up to 95% of our veggies. I know that sounds astronomical but one can have a goal and dream. I read that the author of The Tightwad Gazette and her family were able to do that. It is now my hopes and desires to attain this in a couple of years. Starting to read about how to make and use cold frames to extend our growing and harvesting season is part of the plan.

I am thankful for...
being able to easily use my clothes line again.

From the learning rooms...
we are enjoying our Canadian History historical novels.

From the kitchen...
my sour dough starter is now ready to make into Serene's Sour Dough Bread today. ( and part 2 is HERE )

I am wearing...
my brown A-line skirt with a brown t-shirt and my Shalom Cardigan.( pattern is HERE I used Soulemama's alterations HERE )

I am creating...
a pair of pretty lace knit wooly socks for me. HERE is my first one. [o= (just scroll down)

I am going...
to hopefully paint a fresh coat of paint on the bottom of my tub ( I just noticed the post I first shared my tub is from Sept. 2008...boy has time flown ! I think this bathroom is about time [o=)

I am reading...
my worn out copies of The Tightwad Gazette books Vol 1, 2, 3 ( if you are looking to read them I recommend to looking for The Complete Tightwad Gazette)

On my mind...
about this year being a another full year my MIL is getting married, going on another hike like this one, getting back into helping with that garden again, planning another school year to name a few.

Around the house...
is crying out for a spring clean. ((sigh)) I need to thoroughly clean and dusting the down stairs library after a long winters use of the wood stove.

One of my favorite things...
is the fresh spring green of new leaves budding and the planning stage of things like a new year of the garden.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

paint the tub a final coat

clean the home library

make Serene's Sour Dough Bread

try to stop being nervous and just start sewing. Take it one step at a time and start easy.

And work on 2nd sock for me.

try to take more pictures to post in future posts. [o=

Saturday, May 7, 2011

right now...

right now...

:: listening...to my youngest vacuuming the the living room.

:: thankful for...the gifts that the Lord has supplied us when we needed it.

:: embracing...the role of of homemaker and making my home a blessing to me and others with the help of my men.

:: enjoying...all the spring flowers that we have planted over the last five years. I am hoping to plant a bush called Bridal Bouquet.( click to see a picture)

:: marveling...at all the things that the Lord is showing me in how I can cut more corners to save money. I have said in the past that I have cut so many corners that I am down to a circle. Well I guess I have more corners I can cut. [o=

::watching..our surroundings transitioning into spring time. It feels so good after a long winter.

:: thinking...of what I need to tweak in our homeschool lessons to make it flow better.

:: moving... and getting in shape for the 4 mile hike each direction from the lodge we are going to in August.

:: planning...what sewing projects I want to tackle first.

:: finishing... my lovely pair of socks for... me.

::reviewing...my books that have mentored me in my frugal journey.

:: anticipating...the hopes of converting a pair of pants into a skirt.

:: Wishing you ... Blessings and ((HUGS))

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