Please excuse the under renovations !

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Prepping the House

I love being a dinner party hostess.  It's so fun getting all the food in order for the big meal.  I just wish I had more space, more time and a bit more money so I could have these get togethers more often.  Of course, I'd also have to find some friends to invite over too.  I've always dreamed of doing that though and I make do with what I have.

I have a ton of cleaning and laundry on my to do list today.  I went out shopping all day yesterday with my mom.  We picked up the last minute items for the meal and spent a lot of time looking at books.  That's a passion we both share.  It's also a delight to see how excited my mom is to go a book store or even a store with a decent book selection.  LOL, she's so cute.  I hope I can share that love of books with my own child someday.  It's a fun thing to share.  Add to that a great deal on a book and it's almost like heaven!

I'd better get back to that laundry soon.  I'm also defrosting the turkey in some cold water.  I'm praying that my big bird will be thawed by late tomorrow night.  I slow cook mine overnight so its super yummy.

Happy Thanksgiving !

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sick Break

I'm sorry for my absence over the past few days.  The dreaded bug finally hit me.  Thankfully it wasn't the flu.  I think I got a little bit of the stomach virus and a cold.  The cold has turned into some nasty sinus stuff though and that's what's kept me down the longest.  Yesterday was probably the worst day so far because my ears were throbbing most all day.

Praise God I'm feeling better today and He took away the ear ache.  Ugg, ear aches and tooth aches are some of the worst pain.  Please continue to pray that I'll be able to get rid of all the yucky mucus.  I'm doing my best to get it all out so that I don't have to go get antibiotics to clear up an infection.  I haven't been to the doctor for an illness all year and I can't tell you how happy that makes me.  This is the longest stretch of good health of my ENTIRE life !  To God be the glory !  And my thanks also to the natural health route I'm on. 

I have a busy weekend planned.  Today I'm cooking for our church's annual Thanksgiving dinner.  I'm taking (the very mountain traditional) chicken and dumplings, a sugar free banana bread and cornbread.  So far I've only gotten the chicken cooked, but it shouldn't take long to put the banana bread together.  Then I'll fix the cornbread last and if I don't have time to make it, then it won't be any major loss. 

After the dinner, RL, Lou and I will have some family time together.  We're going out to a late movie and maybe some dessert. is not a healthy food day for me.  I'll try to pick out some good veggies at the dinner though.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Recycled Holiday Cards

Let's face it, as the holiday season approaches many of us will be faced with receiving a large amount of Christmas cards, most of which we'll look at once and put in a pile somewhere.  When someone writes a personal message to me, I'll keep the card of course, but what to do with all those random cards that you get from church and distant or unknown family members?

Here's a great craft tutorial that Vicky Howell posted.

There's many other options too.  You can make origami ornaments too. Here's a cute small star ornament template that you can download. I save a lot of the card fronts to recraft into new cards and scrapbook pages.  Reused card fronts also make excellent post cards.

Hope you'll join me in repurposing those unwanted cards.


Monday, November 16, 2009


Well after two days with no blog posts...I'm discovering that I'm not doing so well at this daily blogging thing.  Oh well, I tried.  I'm thinking that November is probably not the smartest month of the year to try to do this blogging for the whole month thing.  Saturday I put off blogging till right before bed and my internet connection decided that it just wasn't going to connect to the server.  I thought I could make it up on Sunday, but I wasn't able to do that.  My best friend (from high school)'s dad passed away.  So I spent some time with her and her family Sunday and earlier today.

My brain has been in Thanksgiving planning mode for days.  I'm excited to get started cooking my giant bird.  LOL. Thinking about this years' bird makes me laugh so.  We actually had to take my freezer door apart to fit the bird in there.  Yes we literally got out the power screw driver and removed screws and such.  I still had to wedge the poor thing in there.  Oh I'd love to have a video of my husband and I squeezing that 24 lb. frozen bird into a tight little space.  RL and I laughed the entire time.  It was just great; definitely an experience I'll never forget.

I've also been planning on purchasing a new set of pots and pans.  I've had my old ones for several years.  They are mismatched and most are from a cheap set I purchased to "hold me over".  Slowly over time they've become unsafe for food, so I've now retired them to craft project use only.  I wish there were a way to recycle all but one or two of them.  Anyone have any ideas?  I plan to keep the next set for many years because I'm hoping to purchase the Faberware professional stainless steel series.

Alright enough with my ramblings.  I hope to get back to my green series soon.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Love Through Technology

This is posting a little late because my internet connection kept going in and out while I was trying to post last night. I am dating it for 11-13 though because it was suppose to post then.

A few nights ago, or rather should I say, a few early mornings ago, I received a text from a young college age guy from our church.  He was first asking for scripture for a particular topic, but it became apparent to me that he just needed someone to talk to.  We chatted back and forth in texts for close to an hour and a half.  For days I've been contemplating my next cell phone upgrade.  I'm an avid texter, but have been reconsidering the amount of my texting lately.  I even *shudder* had serious thoughts about what it would be without so much convenient texting.

After the texting with this individual, I realized what a great blessing we have with all this modern technology.  I mean how often are we able to travel to where the person is just to be there for them.  Modern technology has its inconveniences, like the annoying "ok" or the random "what's up?" texts.  But what if we looked at these attachments as opportunities for ministry?  What if we used our cell phones and smart phones for God's glory?  Not to mention what about our Twitter and Facebook accounts.  God has opened up the world to us and we should be using these things to reach others for Christ.

So I'm going to challenge you all.....This week make it a goal to use these devices to reach out to at least 1 person. Try to make a positive impact on that one person, whether it's just a random person in your contacts list or some needy person on your church's prayer list.  I'm going to be joining you in this challenge.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Reusing Common Kitchen Trash

Occasionally curiosity overtakes me and I go web searching for strange things like how to reuse my trash.  I found this particular use a month or so ago. 

How to Reuse a Banana Peel

So does anyone else have any creative ways to reuse common trash?


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WiFi Problems and the Next Green Installment

So I'm sitting in a Wendy's restaurant at the moment.  I had hoped to directly blog this entry, but I'm writing it on a document file to save for later posting.  It really irks me that a restaurant advertises free WiFi but it doesn't work at all.  I'm techno-savvy so it's not merely an operator error.  I went to the front to complain about it and the lady looked at me like my hair was on fire.  She just laughed and then looked down at her register.  In hindsight, I'm almost certain she had no idea what WiFi is, but she should have asked someone else if she didn't know.  Oi !

Anywho, so that leaves me here a little preturbed.  At least there was a Frosty and some fries involved.  Everything is better when ice cream is involved.  (Although I'm well aware that Frosty's are far from being ice cream...but that's a different story for a different time.)

So to continue my green theme, I'd like to focus on paper and packaging waste for this entry.  Up until about 2 years ago, I was the world's worst to print out anything and everything.  I'd end up with enormous piles of paper on my paper tray and most of it would never even be looked at again.  I literally was putting all these print outs in boxes for "future filing".  Haha...I laugh at myself at the thought of that.  I clearly had a problem I was not willing to address.  I'm not sure what prompted me to change my ugly habits, but I'm so glad I did. 

I pay a lot of my bills online, but its a rare occasion that I print out those receipts now.  Instead I take a screen print of all the important info, like the confirmation number, date and such.   I periodically back up all these receipts to either jump drive or CD and file that away.  You can have the receipt emailed you as well.  I've cut my paper usage to nearly nothing.  In the past two years, I've bought one 500 sheet pack of paper and I have at least 75% of that left. If something is printed at my house, it must be extremely important and something that's going to be used immediately  (or business related). I also haven't bought any ink cartridges for my printer in that two year time span.  Saving money on ink cartridges is a great blessing, but it's also good for the Earth.  I plan to have my empty ones refilled in the future.

Now what about packing materials and tissue boxes?  Well I reuse most of those too.  Whenever I buy a box of tissues I make sure that I like design on the box because I cut them up to make cards and on scrapbook pages.  The cardboard can be reused to make things sturdier or to make the random pom pom or two.  I also reuse pretty packing materials on scrapbook pages or cards.  You have to be a little creative, but it can be done.  I like to see people's faces when they inquire where I got the materials for those cards.  Anytime you buy perfume or cologne there's usually some beautiful backing paper in the box.  It's one of my favorites to reuse.  And of course, all bubble wrap and packing peanuts get reused over and over again.  

So that's it for tonight's dose of green.  I must say I'm pretty proud of myself for keeping up with this daily blogging so far.  ;-)


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not So Inspired Tonight

I've been trying to get motivated to blog for a few hours now.  *sighs*  Alas there's just nothing inspiring me to write.  Ever have moments like that?  There's a ton of things on my mind that I could write about, but I just absolutely have no desire to pull them out tonight.

The rain has poured down here all day.  Today was the perfect day to lounge around with something warm in your hand.  I cuddled up on the couch tonight with some new wool and new knitting needles.  The knitting was pleasant and relaxing.  Sometimes you just have to relax a bit, no matter what's waiting on you to be finished.  There are times when one just simply craves the simple things in life.

*laughs* It's ironic that I just wrote that last statement, because earlier this evening I was looking at the new VW Droid phone.  It's anything but simple.  In fact, if I decide to get it I'll have virtually everything I could ever want or need technologically speaking at my fingertips at any moment.  The perks are definitely tempting.

Alright, I've done enough babbling.  It's time to call an end to this uninspired post.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Back to the Green

Now that we've discussed household cleaners and such, it's time to talk about my favorite green things.....repurposing.  Repurposing is finding a new purpose and reusing items.  You'd be surprised at how easy it is to repurpose many of the items you throw in the trash.  Before I throw something away, I do my best to think of a way to reuse it.  Sometimes I'm not quite sure what to reuse it for, so I wash it and put it away in my hallway closet/pantry.

I reuse a variety of things.  For this post, I'm going to focus on containers.  We all buy items in containers of all sorts, shapes and sizes.  There are so many storage options available when you simply take some time to clean out an old used container.  When buying things in the grocery store I often buy an item that's in a nice container.  Nice containers for me are made from a sturdy plastic or glass and have a sturdy lid (preferably a screw on lid).  On the rare occasion that  I buy an individually packaged product, like snacks or yogurt, I try to buy only the ones in a small plastic container.  These small little containers can be used for small crafting items like beads and screws.  Of course, jars are the best containers to reuse.

My favorite and most repurposed containers are large spaghetti sauce jars, jelly jars and peanut butter jars.  I wash all my jars by letting them soak overnight and washing them by hand.  I then run them through a dishwasher cycle making sure to run the sterilize function.  The peanut oils in the plastic jars are a bit difficult to get out sometimes.  I often have to wash these at least twice in the dishwasher to get rid of all the oils. 

Those tiny baby food jars and containers are great for holding spice mixtures in the kitchen or minced and whole garlic in the fridge. 

I keep many of our large juice bottles to store water or use for tea or Kool-Aid (when we have it).  Milk jugs are only reused for outdoor and garden projects.  They make excellent homes for new seedlings in the spring.  Or they will provide a nice little bird feeder in a pinch.   

For a crafty project, I sometimes use plastic bottles to make plastic beads.  Here's a great tutorial on how to make these beads here if you'd like to make these yourself.  It's a fun little project that does an excellent job of keeping all those bottles out of the landfills.

Many flimsy plastic bowls get cut up and used as craft templates.  A butter bowl can be turned into a loom to make a quick knitted scarf or the base for a child's play crown.  Small lids from those bowls usually end up being coasters in my living room, while the large ones are used as reusable paint palettes. 

Cans are also great to reuse too.  You can paint any can after a good cleaning and scratching up with some sand paper.  Here's a nice little link to show you some pencil cups and a few other container ideas.  
I'll try to take some pictures over the next few days of containers I've repurposed and share them here.  Until tomorrow......


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Back Home in NC

I just got home from my fabulous trip to SC.  The time with family was so great.  It's a weekend I don't think I'll ever forget, but oh how I wish it could have lasted longer.  If only we were a wee bit closer, I could visit more often.

Anywho, I'm exhausted from a long trip through the mountains.  But I thought I'd finally share the little beauty I've been working on lately.  It was a present for the birthday boy Grayson.

Here is Elijah.....

Edited to Add:  Elijah is a Ysolda Teague pattern.  You can check out Ravelry or her website for pattern info.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bullets of the Day

* It's amazing how the body is able to run on such little sleep.  I'm certain that this is surely the grace of God.

* Children brighten even the smoggiest of days.

* There's nothing quite like the look of a proud Momma.  Daddy's delight comes in a close second.

* Blind ambition is a great motivator.

*  I've never wanted someone who looks like me more......

My appologies dear blog readers.  Tomorrow I will write a longer post to document the weekend and I hope to have a few pictures too.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Girl Time is Lovely

Adrian and I have had some great girl time tonight....a little cooking, a little shopping, and finishing up with a little crafting.  Oh how I miss having close girl friends.  It's very therapeutic and necessary to experience life together with other women.

We've been preparing for Grayson's big 1 year birthday party tomorrow.  I can't wait to see the enjoyment on his face.  It's going to be a beautiful party.

I'm a bit tired from the travel and all so you'll have to forgive my short entry for tonight.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sore Finger Thursday

Tonight I'm going to take a break in my green entries.  I'll resume these on Monday because I'm going on a little weekend gateway.  I'll be surrounded by family and celebrating a dear sweet little boy's first birthday.  Today I've been preparing for the trip and finishing up some last minute knitting.

I learned a valuable lesson today : my fingers and small needles don't make for a good match.  My poor fingers are so sore from knitting that I can barely stand to type.  Oi I'm telling you I'll never forget this one.  But I guess that's what life is about; living and learning.

Tomorrow morning I'm hoping to have time to do a nice and sunny fall mini photo shoot with my latest knitting pretties.  I can't wait to share with you my latest creation.  It's one of the cutest things I've made in a while.

So this is short and sweet.  Tomorrow night I'll be blogging from a different state.  Prayers for a safe journey are much appreciated....


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Green Household Continued

To continue last night's topic, we've also done a few other things to keep our home as chemical free as possible.  As I mentioned in last entry, we do a few household maintenance things in a more green way now.  In addition to the routine maintenance on our air condition, we also purchased reusable filters for our heating and air systems.  These can be purchased relatively inexpensively if you buy them out of season.  Each reusable filter can be used for 5 years.  We bought extra large ones that we can cut in half so we saved in cost there as well.  Once the filter can no longer be used inside, I'll probably repurpose it as a door mat or scrub pad for our little patio. 

We've reduced and almost eliminated the use of any pesticides by planting catnip around our home.  Catnip also will protect your home from rat infestation.  Occasionally we still use a sweet borax trap inside for the periodic ant problem.  To combat any fleas, we sprinkle 20 Mule Borax soap on our doormats and around the perimeter of our home.  This can also be used directly on your pet to help them get rid of fleas and ticks.  Lavender is a good plant to use to keep insects at bay too and a drop of lavender oil on your pet's neck will rid them of fleas as well. 

Hope this gives you some ideas for useful things in your own homes,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Green At A Young Age

My green roots began back in the early '90s with a group called Kids F.A.C.E.  It was an environmental awareness and activist group for children and was sponsored by Walmart Stores.  I had my own club, complete with local chapter meetings and sponsored clean up events.  I have fond memories of spending hours cleaning up local neighborhoods and trying to educate others on the importance of taking care of our Earth. 

It was a nice start for me.  I don't remember the exact years that I was involved in this club, but the lessons I learned through it have stuck with me my entire life. 

Today environmentalism is dubbed being green.  Back in my early days, I was dubbed a tree hugger. *chuckles*  There are actually a couple pictures floating around out there of me hugging trees.  Even before my Kids FACE days I always felt a closeness to the Earth.  Maybe it's my Cherokee background or maybe it's because my family always honored the land we were using at the time, with either case I feel like I am supposed to take care of God's wonderful creation.

A few years ago I began really thinking about how I ran my household and what impact that made on the Earth.  I started looking at the chemicals I was using to clean my house, the amount of disposable containers I used and the amount of paper we wasted. 

The first step toward green living came with changing the cleaning products I used.  I'd like focus on that topic for this particular post.  I keep a vinegar and water spray bottle on the back of my sink at all times.  We use this cleaner as a sanitizer in the kitchen, to clean the bathtubs and sinks in the bathroom, and a nice window and glass cleaner all over the house.  We own a bird and the vinegar solution is also safe enough to use around her cage.  There's a world of uses for vinegar and I encourage you to do your own research to find some uses for your own home. 

We use a natural laundry detergent that is free of dyes, phosphorus, enzymes, ammonia, naphthalene, phenol, sodium nitilotriacetate along with numerous other chemicals. Not only are our clothes cleaner, but they are also much safer for our skin.  We don't have to worry about rashes caused from leftover chemicals in our clothes, plus we aren't wondering what we're flushing into the sewer system.  I fill my Downy ball with pure vinegar.  It does a wonderful job of softening, whitening, and preserving the color of our clothes.  We don't use bleach at all.

All our mopping is done with hot water and pure vinegar.  You'd be amazed at how shiny and clean your vinyl and hardwood floors can be with such an inexpensive cleaner. 

Baking soda is used for tough stains (as a paste) and for deodorizer (just sprinkled or in the box). 

We've also reduce chlorofluorocarbons by no longer buying aerosol or propellant cans of any kind.  We also do regular maintenance on our air conditioning units to make sure we aren't leaking freon into our home or air outside.  (This is about to go off topic.  So I'll continue this discussion in another post.)

There are a few other natural cleaning products and options we'd like to incorporate, but for now we are pleased with our progress so far.  The environmental benefits are great, but the fringe benefits are even better in most cases.  The air quality inside our home is dramatically better which has almost eliminated any asthma problems I previously had.  We are also overall more healthy now than when we used those chemical based cleaners. 

Green to be continued.....


Monday, November 2, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 2

Lately I've been doing a lot of reminiscing and contemplation about my past.  I'm trying to bring out the happy memories.  It's too easy to always focus on the bad memories, which does nothing but bring you down.  Why is it that bad memories stick better in our minds than the good times?  As I get older, I'm finding that memories of good times are fading quickly.  In fact, there's times when I have difficulty even remembering anything about my childhood.  Oh how I wished I remembered those times that I swore I'd never forget. 

I also wish that I had wrote in a journal or a diary on a more consistent basis.  I love to write so that wasn't the issue.  The issue has always been that I haven't taken time to write.  Goodness, so much of my life has revolved around learning how to take time for myself.  I still am very guilty of missing the mark.  God has tried to show me the consequences of being in too much of rush, but I'm constantly pushing His wisdom and leading aside.  Why must we be so stubborn when we know better?

So that leaves me here, making a conscious decision to take time to document life; the good and the bad, to be more open to experiencing life; not just merely existing, and to enjoy the whole experience.  Life is far too short to just go through the motions.  Wouldn't you agree?


Sunday, November 1, 2009

National Blog Posting Month

Or NaBloPoMo as some like to call it.  I've always wanted to join in the National Novel Writing Month, but just haven't felt like I'd have time to commit to such a large task.  So here I am trying something a little less daunting.  I hope I can complete a whole month of blogging.

So for tonight's first post, I'll talk a little about my weekend.  Friday night I had a great time with our youth group at their lock-in.  It was so fun and incredibly stress relieving to be with those teens.  There was only about 35 of them so we were able to split up into a couple groups for games and such.  I just enjoyed the carefreeness of being with them.  I laughed and felt like myself again.  Goodness it's been so long since I felt like me.  Give me a bunch of teenagers or preteens anyday. I much prefer them to adults.  ;-)  Well except my closest friends  (too bad most of you live too far away from me to hang out.).

Saturday morning I taught my first craft class.  It was just a small group of women at my church.  They seemed to have a good time and learned quite a few new things.  I had hoped that it could be an ongoing thing, but I don't think that will be possible.  Maybe some other time, who knows.

Tonight I am thoroughly exhausted, but I feel fulfilled.  It's nice to feel like you've done something with your life and truly lived.  I feel like I lived this weekend.  And much to my surprise, life is good.


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