Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fall Festival 7-3-08

Here is the Fall Festival quilt as of tonight's addition. I am liking it more and more.

Hope you have a blessed Independence Day tomorrow. Be careful...make memories!


Aquatic Family Fun

The family we have been walking with in the EARLY mornings is gone out of state. They said we could use their pool any time we wanted. Well, that was a no-brainer. My DH and the children have gone over many times after walking or in the afternoons. This was my first dip in the pool, however. My DH took this pic from pool-side. That's me in the blue innertube. My oldest son and 3rd daughter were working, so they did not join in the fun--this time.

Here's Elisabeth and I clowning around a bit. Although it looks like we're about to drown each other, we both could have just stood up!

Torpedos away! Isaac having fun. I am proud of the little nipper. He was very afraid of the water when we first arrived. I don't know how he did before as this was my first time in the water with him (not counting early bath days--it seemed I got as wet as him some times). By the time we left, he was going all the way under water and trying to "swim" from one side of the pool to the other. Much braver!

Off for another jam-packed day of duty and adventure.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fall Festival Quilt

Below is my progress as of last night... I really like it! This is how I get quilts pieced...I just had to see a few of the 9-patches sewn above the gold bar. I now have all the 9-patches pieced, but I just finished them, so they will wait for another day for being united with the rest.
The quilt finishes at 61" x 73". I might make it a tad larger, but that is a nice size for laps. Stay tuned!


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How Does My Garden Grow?

Whew--three posts in one day. Just like when I first started blogging.

Well, first of all, Bette is alive and well (hey--you didn't mention donating all your coupons to me in your email, Bette). When I mentioned the chair-kicking in an earlier post, it is because Bette sits right behind me in choir. We hold down the alto section. Or at least we like to think we do. We have a patriotic service on Friday this week.

I've had some curious folks email and ask how much of our food we grow ourselves. Zilch. None. Nada. I only wish.

I am hoping to have some small garden plots next year. One of my daughters will graduate from high school in 2009. I am giving her the project of planning and caring for our garden since she will have some extra time and would be fabulous at it. I have a book on order that should be here any day (Square Foot Gardening). We used this method at our first house and it was highly successful.

Here in the land o'cotton the ground is red clay. I mean red, and I mean clay. I don't know how they grew that cotton in the good ole day. I grew up in Pennsylvania, where the ground is rich and actually nourishes the crops. What a concept!

Some asked if we eat oatmeal for 2 meals a day. Nope! Breakfast is usually something hot (eggs, grits & biscuits, pancakes, baked oatmeal, etc.). So much cereal has been nearly free in the past couple of months that we have started eating it for a couple breakfasts a week with muffins, bagels, or homemade wheat bread toasted. Lunch today was homemade mac & cheese, chili sauce with hamburger in it, and hot dogs (on sale yesterday). Supper was baked scalloped potatoes and ham (scrumptious), sweet corn, and freshly baked homemade wheat bread with jams and honey for topping. Wanta join us? We eat very well and have meat with most meals. I thank God for keeping us so healthy for so little cost. To Him be the glory.

FWIW, we also have company frequently. My WH walks/runs/does upsie-downsies with another man and HIS son nearly every AM. The father nearly always stays for coffee and sometimes they both eat breakfast with us. We have company for lunch or supper often--like every week.


Attention--New Quilt Project Underway

There it the top right corner. No--not the table runner...the fall throw beside it. Ah, yes! This one!! I started piecing one of these today. Yes--that's right. I was really and truly sewing today. This picture is from the spring/summer 2007 Quilt Sampler magazine. It's my laundry day (stuck downstairs near the laundry room, so I make the best of it and hang out in the sewing room as much as possible) plus my DH took oldest daughter to work this AM, netting me an extra hour. I remember sewing (said in a dreamy voice). I have the picket fence and bottom row of pumpkins pieced and sewn together. I also have about half of the 9-patches sewn together. I'm in the process of cutting out all the leaves, stars, and flying geese for the outside border (out of many scraps, of course), so I'll cut the scraps into 2" squares to finish the 9-patches to make it all "match".


More on Grocery Savings

Here is a picture of my mailbox area, decked out in flourishing Black-Eyed Susans. They are more beautiful this year than last (that's when they were planted). Thanks to our mild climate, they are perennials instead of annuals. It's a balmy 81 degrees here, and it's nearly 1:30 PM. This 38'-long by 4' wide at the widest area was entirely weeds when we moved in here two years ago. After much exertion, it has been transformed into something lovely.

It was a pleasure to walk in such nice weather this AM. I think it was around 70 degrees at 6 AM. I had been having lots of pain and discomfort because my feet would swell in the afternoon/evenings. That has only happened one of the days I've walked. I'm sure the muscle workout has something to do with it.

So many have asked if I'm still doing the coupon-clipping grocery-saving thing. Absolutely. You have to keep in mind that there are 10 of us in my house. My DH is rarely gone for meals (maybe 4 meals a month). My 4 oldest children are gone for lunch a few times a week. I did some comparing of our costs for the past few months. Thank you, Bette.

I considered April a learning month because there was a lot to learn. Plus I had no coupons with which to save (at the time). I separate food from other personal expenses when keeping records. Thank you, Bette.

Including food, toiletries (shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.), and consumables for the whole house (TP, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, etc.)......

In May, we spent an average of $54/day for the above items. Roughly $5.40 per person for food, toiletries, and consumables. That's pretty remarkable considering that my 5 oldest children all eat more than either my husband or I.

In June, we were able to get by on $32/day!! That's 41% lower!! Whoo-hoo! And you should see our stockpiles. Just yesterday I asked Susanna (who is my most active partner in this) how much of different items (toothpaste, body wash, etc.) we have used in 3 months. Hardly any! So our out-of-pocket spending should decrease every month since we have been in the stockpiling stages for these 3 months.

Thank you, Bette. Thank you, Bette. Thank you, Bette. Bette is the one who got me started doing this. I'll know when she reads this. She might be so happy to see her name on the blog that she donates half her coupons to me. Probably not. But maybe so! I know she is going to be ROFLOL when she reads that. I expect a good kick in the back of my chair at the July 4th service Friday if she's there.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

It IS Finished!

This quilt is finally finished. I'll tell you, un-quilting and re-quilting is no fun at all. But finished is good. This is about 80" square, so it was not a little job.

Focusing on getting ready to go out of town in a couple weeks and making it a relaxing and enjoyable time for our family.