If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jefferson thought like me......

"It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing. "

Thomas Jefferson

3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

the stockings were hung by the chimney with care....

The pie, cake and rolls are baked, the salads are chilling in the fridge,  the potatoes are baking in a crockpot and the prime rib is smoking outside.
Jeff is reading his Kindle, 
Jimmy is texting
and soon, 
Bobby, Bridgette, John, Nina and Elizabeth will here for celebrating.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Luke 2:1-14

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." (KJV)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Looks like a lot of alcohol, doesn't it?  well, don't worry, I can explain.

Do you do much baking and have your priced vanilla lately?  Then you know how expensive it is. 

I knew Nina had made some vanilla a while back and wondered if she had any to spare.  She did not have a whole lot of vanilla made up, but she did have 1/4 pound of whole vanilla beans.
 And she gave them to me!  of course she knows there will plenty of vanilla that I will share when I get this batch made. 

 So,  Jeff helped me pick out some vodka and rum at the liquor store.  He even split all the vanilla beans and bottled them all up. 
In 6 months,  we will have lots of vanilla! 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas here

Fresh green wreath made by my brother,  I think this is the 4th year he has made a Christmas one for me.  He has also made Thanksgiving and Easter wreaths.   

close up of a little bird on the wreath

green tree with lots of birds and mostly red ornaments

and a white tree - it looks better in person

Nativity set

the butler gets a Santa hat this time of year.
Theo is usually a good sport but he draws the line at wearing hats or sweaters for that matter

the cutest Christmas decoration at our house is Gavin, he is holding a Santa doll my mom made about 50 years ago. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Save your fork, there's pie


We do like pie at this house. but even we did not eat both of these pies on the same day.  I made a cherry pie for Thanksgiving and the Pilgrim Pie the next week.    Both of these pies are so good  so I want to share them with you all. 

To make a cherry pie in the fall in Oklahoma, you need a frozen bag of tart cherries.  They sell sweet cherries too but they won't give your pie that tangy sweet and sour taste.   I found mine at IGA for $3.65 for a 20 ounce bag.
Aren't the frozen cherries pretty?  So nice and red!

In a saucepan, combine a bag of  cherries, 1 cup sugar and 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring almost constantly.
Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the juices thicken and become translucent.
 Remove from heat and stir in the 1 tablespoon butter and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.
Mix thoroughly and let cool.   Then pour into unbaked pie shell.  Top with a top crust. 
Bake in the preheated 375 oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.  It will bubble alot so you might want to put something under the pie to catch any drips.

This  is Pilgrim Pie. I first made this easy and low-cost pie when we had 4 hungry children to feed.  It is kind of like pecan pie but with coconut and oatmeal instead of the nuts. 

If you click on the recipe, it will enlarge it.  You can see where I penciled in the increased amounts needed to make 3 and 4 pies from this recipe - I don't remember why I made so many but back then,  I seemed to always be cooking for a group at church or teenagers. 
It really is a good pie  and very easy.  I prefer to eat whole oats and you can use them in this recipe, but I think quick oats are the best to use for this recipe. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sewing for Baby Elizabeth

Above are 3 little outfits for Elizabeth.  2 pair of the pants are made from flannel scraps, the last pair started out as a pair of sleep pants that were too small for Nina.  
 Little baby pants sew up very quickly and use very little fabric.
The tops are just a pack of $6 onesies.  I decorated all 3 with rick rack, and used some of the pants scraps on 2 of them. 

Of course Elizabeth needed some Thanksgiving outfits.
I decorated this little onesie with a turkey made from some fall themed fabric scraps.  I sort of copied a design from another blog, then used HeatNBond to iron the pieces to the shirt, then machine stitched around them for a little more stability. 

Nina did this shirt.  She used brown Rit dye to change the white onesie.  She made the slice of pie from my scraps.  The "cutie pie" embroidery was done by some home-ec students practicing with a sewing machine that does monograming. 

Bobby's altered hoodie

This is my son, Bobby, the very helpful floor tiler.  He will try to do just about anything.  Right now, his wife is the singer for a hard rock band and they are doing lots of concerts and shows, not my first choice but their dream is to  make it big some day and maybe they will.....
Anyway, he grew up watching me sew and trying to do just about anything.  He showed me some very expensive rock-type clothing made by a company called Road Bone - I tried to link to them but their sites seem to be for friends only. They sell alter jeans, jackets and hoodies for $200+ 
Their clothes are regular clothing items that they just alter, by dying, adding patches from old jeans or leather clothing or fabric,  some ripping and fraying. 
I showed Bobby and Bridgette how it seemed to be made. They got a few fabric scraps and rubber stamps from me. 
Here is Bobby modeling his first original jacket, it started out as a plain black sweatshirt hoodie. 

a sleeve - he made the sleeve more fitted by taking in the inside seam, cutting off the knit cuff.  The design is made using a star stencil and spray bleach.

back of hoodie
he sewed stars and strips fabric inside the hood
front side - he added some brocade fabric and pockets from old jeans. 
very simple sewing - see the frayed edges?  that is how the expensive items at Road Bone are done too.

this is the bottom front. Bobby sewed on a jeans pocket but he left the top part unsewn so it still works like a pocket. 

If you have some young adults needing gifts,  you might want to be like Bobby and try making some altered clothing. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

One way to spend a weekend....

Friday evening,  move all the furniture out of living room.  Then rip up the "white" carpet, tack strip and pads.  
Buy a big pile of supplies - many boxes of tiles, a saw. things to measure with, buckets, rags. sponges. grout, mortar, spacers, gloves, knee pads -

take all your furniture and smush it into other rooms -

more displaced furniture...

Be very happy and thankful that your hardworking son comes to help -I think "help" does not even describe how much work he did, he was so willing and did everything he could

We started just before 8 a.m. Saturday morning,  this end of the room has straight sides and it went pretty fast.

That end of the room has several angles and nooks and took lots more measuring and cutting.

The last tile was laid in place just about 3 Saturday  afternoon. 

The mortar dried overnight.
Then today,  we grouted it and cleaned the grout.  Later this evening,  we moved some the furniture back in.

Sorry, there are not "after" pictures.  We've put some things back but this house is no way ready for pictures.

Tiling is hard and messy,  not difficult though and no prior experience is really necessary.  However, we are sore and tired after completing this job.  Having the house in disarray is uncomfortable too
But we all feel really satisfied we accomplished this.

and NO MORE big jobs that involve any major effort will be going on at this house for quite some time.   

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Edited -I just don't have the time to blog right now. Maybe I'll be back later but I may not.

I hope to keep visiting you all at your blogs when possible. 

If you need to contact me,  just email me

See you all in CyberSpace.     bye for now!

Granddaugher Elizabeth

Grandson Gavin

October is just about over and  it was mostly painless - here is how I did on what I planned at the first of the month.

•The windows are open and letting in fresh cool air - I can still hear my neighbors A/Cs cycling on and off when I am out walking
October was mostly mild as far as Oklahoma weather goes.  We did run the A/C  a few days for very short periods.  The heater never had to be fired up.  I should get a utility bill in about a week and think it will be very small.

•our dishwasher is not getting the dishes clean so I will be hand washing as I don't want to buy a new DW right now. I know some studies say that dishwashers cost less and use less water than hand washing but I disagree. I even did it and watched my bill for a month and it went down about $11 that month.
I like the idea of washing by hand but most days I was just so busy with grandbabies or other house things that I did not do much handwashing.  I bought a different brand of dw det and it seems to do a better job of cleaning too - Cascade with bleach, it is a powder in a big green box

•cooking and eating all meals at home unless there is a really good reason to eat out
we ate "out" a total of 5 times,  we had takeout doughnuts for breakfast twice,  ate at Chipotle twice and had delivery pizza from Hideaway once.  All other meals were cooked and eaten at home.

•continue to shop sales and use coupons wisely  Yes!

•get started on Christmas gifts.  well, sort of but just barely!  I do have some ideas in the planning stage

•Stay home! this is no sacrifice at all for me. I like to stay home. Hubby likes to do errands on weekends anyway so I will try to do my shopping and errands with him. That will save gas and wear and tear on my vehicle.   I did this one.  I bought a tank of gas at the very first of October and did not buy anymore gas until Oct. 27th.  My vehicle was not really empty, just starting to get low and I don't like it to be too low.

•re-read my TightWad Gazette Complete - I've got it out and leafed through a few pages last night  - No, I still have this book out but have not re-read it all the way,  maybe 75 pages or so.  It has lots of good ideas but many of them just don't seem to apply to me right now. 

•my kitchen and household supplies are pretty well stocked. I don't want to totally deplete them because I think it is good idea if possible to keep a reasonable stockpile. But I will I use things on hand for meals and hopefully still continue to keep things bought on sale.      I did use a lot of on hand ingredients and the pantry is a little more empty but still pretty full.   My goal was to spend $100 or less per week,  I did go over that a little but I did some stocking up that I did not have to do.

•baking bread at home   Yep,  baked all our bread except for a few loaves I bought this week at Dollar Tree for $1 a loaf,  3 of them went in the freezer. 

•my stepson and his wife got 2 milk cows last week. They brought us a gallon of their fresh milk on Tuesday, fresh farm milk with a thick layer of cream on top. Very good stuff!  -  we've had 5 gallons of this "real" milk and I've used it for chocolate pudding, coconut pudding, cream gravy, pancakes, home made ice cream.  It is really nice.  I have not yet been successful making butter from the cream even though I have tried 5 times. 

•and the big "sacrifice" for me will be no or very little soda. I do love diet soda but I am only drinking one a day now and don't plan on increasing that and may even give them up all together. Iced Tea will just have to satisfy.     Really big FAIL on this one,  diet dr. pepper has been my almost constant companion.  Maybe I will do better next month.

 We've been talking about re-doing our floors for quite some time and we're undecided about buying new carpet and trying to get hardwood or a Pergo type floor.  All those options would of been at least $2500, probably quite a bit more.
Well,  if you have been reading my other posts,  you know we are laying ceramic tile all by ourselves!  It has been some trial and error,  there is still the (big) living room and the a hall way to do.  But we finished the dining room and other hall way today. 
I think laying tile could be done by most anyone but it is messy, takes lots of figuring and some patience. 
Our DIY option of laying the tile should cost less than $1000.  We are having to work for it but the significant savings is worth it. 

November is a new month but I expect to continue on and hopefully complete some of the undone tasks from October.  How about you?   

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tightwad October - do it yourself - we hope!

Remember just a couple of weeks ago that I posted this dining room's makeover was done?
well, not quite!  Our house has white carpet in most all the rooms and after 8 years of hard living on it with messy adults, dogs and now grandbabies,  it was not as fresh as I would prefer.
I've never much liked carpet anyway because of how hard it is to clean and to know if it is clean. 

So - after 3 trips to Lowes this weekend, one trip was just to look, second trip was to buy one box of the tiles we thought we liked to see if they would coordinate with our current tile and the 3rd trip was to buy 32 boxes of tiles, borders, etc. 
We plan on replacing the carpet in our dining room, living room and one hall.
Jeff ripped up the carpet in the dining room and it came up easy with no glue holding it down. 

So, if all goes well,  I guess we will start tiling soon.  Nope, we have never done it before except for some peel and stick tiles we put in our old house. 
And if it goes badly when we try to do it,  I guess we will do all the prep work and then hire someone to do the tiling.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tightwad October - Office/Craft room redone -

For about a week now,  I've been working over our "office" that is mostly my craft room.  I did not take any before pictures, it was just starting to look like a junk room with nothing hanging on the walls.  This room was Nina's bedroom and I don't think it ever got decorated after she moved out almost 5 years ago. 
All the furniture pieces I had to work with were good.  The room just needed some cleaning and organizing, as well as some color coordination and things to put on the walls.
I looked through what I had and ended up reusing some window treatments, thrift store fabric, and a bunch of frames from my craft closet. Apparently I never get rid of frames and I have a lot that came from yard sales for 25 cents or so. 
The only new expense for this room was 2 cans of black spray paint.  It was used on a wood chair, piano stool, several frames and a bulletin board.

Before - just an average office-type chair

I did a search for tutorials to recover office chairs and make slipcovers

Office chair make-over.  For the fabric, I re-cycled some black and white checked curtains that I sewed for a house Nina and John lived in as newlyweds. The skirt "was" a black toile valance that used to be in our master bedroom.   

the pieces pinned on and the sewing line marked with a pen with disappearing ink.


Thrift store fabric - a big piece of blue and black toile bought more than a year ago.  I used it to cover the glider rocker and footstool. 
glider rock with a new slip cover

I guess I could stay busy with this fabric stash and all these magazines and books for a long time!

this toile valance used to be in the dining room.

I  like this new room very much and I think I will do lots of crafting and sewing in here. 
I know I have different things than you have - but I also know that most of us have more stuff than we are using. 
If you are wanting a makeover, try looking at what you have in a different way.   

My chair has arms - so to cover them, I cut out an oval shape, sewed bias tape around the edge and used that as a casing for elastic.  I just pulled up the elastic to get a snug fit, then tied it in a knot and hid the ends under the cover.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dining Room re-do update

Way back in August,  I started a re-do of this dining room.  Then in September,  I sewed up the new curtains and swapped around some furniture.   This weekend,  Jeff did this woodworking project of building a pair of shelves to hold his plate collection.

He stained the shelves to match the buffet table and the dining room chairs.  He worked hard and measured and measured again.  He was worried they would be crooked or off-center but I think all his efforts paid off, and he got them straight and even. 

His plates are the Professions, a line of plates put out by Royal Doulton. 

Jeff's grandmother had a huge plate collection.  A big wall in her farm house was covered with plates, many were gifts from friends and relatives.  She had a  lot of souvenier plates and state plates and holiday plates.  She let all the relatives pick out the ones they wanted  and she wrote their names on the back with permanent marker. 
I think Jeff picked out the classiest and most valuable of all the ones she had, at the time, he was just a kid and had no idea what they were, he just liked them. 
After he got them,  they pretty much went into a cabinet.  Years later,  we saw one of the plates on a British tv show called Bargain Hunt and Jeff started doing some online research on them.  He bought a few on Ebay and then we found 2 more at the Antique Mall in our town. 
This summer, he got the oldest and hardest to find one, The Bookworm, on Ebay and it completes the set.
I really like the plates on the shelves,  and how nice that they are mostly green and red and match my green yard sale table cloth and the vintage rose fabric I used on the curtains and stool!

the 93 was Grandmother Pearl's numbering system.  She had over 200 plates and Jeff's were 93 and 96.

So making this room pretty again has taken awhile but I am really happy with it.  There is still one huge blank wall but I can live with it. 

This project really went with my Tightwad October theme too.  We did spend money on the wood, stain and hangers to make the shelves.  But everything else was just re-used and things that we already had.

I am linking this to Cottage Instincts Make it 4 Monday.  This is a wonderful blog with lots of links to other decorating projects.