Saturday, January 28, 2012

January Blooms

Today I strolled around our yard in what is supposed to be the dead of winter. At first glance there certainly are a lot of brown, dead looking plants. But, after looking a little closer I found some signs of life. The earliest bloomers are gearing up for Spring!

This is an old flowering Quince Bush. Don't let the delicate blooms fool you. There are thorns in there!!

This is an equally old Camellia Bush.

Of course there are yellow daffodils in this spot every year this time.

Its been a very mild winter. You just can't beat days in the 70s in January!

Friday, January 27, 2012

On My Sewing Table Friday

Here are some things I've been working on this week.

This baby boy stacked coins quilt is pin basted and ready for machine quilting.

30 3 1/2 inch Cheddar Bow Ties made using leaders and enders. These are so much fun to make. I am able to use small scraps and the number of blocks grow without my realizing it. I'm not sure how big a quilt I will make using them, so I'm also not sure how many blocks I will need. But it will be HUNDREDS!

68 Jacob's Ladder blocks done. I have committed to making at least three blocks a day. The way I have been able to do this while working each day is to cut out three blocks in the morning before going to work and then sewing them together after I get home.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Two Never Ending Jobs

I know I am not alone in this, but at my house there are two jobs that are never ending and you have to stay on top of them....

One is laundry. I don't mind doing laundry that much. After all, the machines do all the work. Its not like I am washing clothes in the creek on a rock or like my grandmothers and mother, using a wringer washer on the back porch or in an outbuilding. I just have to put the laundry in the machines and keep it moving along.

When I am at home on Saturdays or other days off I love to start the laundry first thing in the morning and keep it moving all day until finished. It gives me something to do when I take a break from sewing or other activities.

My hubby says he has magic clothes. They just appear on the bed all clean, folded and sorted for him to put away into his drawers.

I also do my mother's laundry. At the nursing home we had the option of doing the laundry ourselves or if we put her name in the clothes with a laundry pen, they would do it. I said, no thanks. I will keep her clothes clean myself. That's just one small thing I can do for her that's no problem at all.

This is a recently made clothespin bag hanging in my laundry room. I will make a few of these all along so they will be available when the weather warms up this spring.

The other never ending job is keeping the dust bunnies under control on the hard wood floors!!! Isn't this terrible?!!! Its not as bad as it looks. We have a fan in this room and this spot is located on the side of the room where there is a draft every time the front door is opened. All the dust bunnies are either blown or sucked over this way and they congregate here. It only took a minute to get them up, but I couldn't resist showing you how I was NOT on top of this job for a few days!!! Believe me it was only a few days!!

What jobs do you have to stay on top of or they will take over your house?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Indoor Gardens

Its been a very mild Fall and Winter here so far, so I haven't really had a reason to get Spring Fever yet.... but I've been looking at my flower beds wistfully lately, planning out what I might do in the spring and summer this year. Most of the plans include beautiful flowers, but low maintenance!

I have too many plants that have to come inside during the winter. Just because my aloe plants have a zillion babies each summer doesn't mean I have to save them all! But, I can't stand to throw them out and I don't have enough plant-loving friends to take them off my hands!

In the sewing room:

And at my office I've become the plant doctor for plants that get sick. You know how you get a plant as a gift and you leave it at the office where it gets scanty light and water? Well it happens all the time at my office. I can't stand to see the plants just thrown out, so home with me they come to get well.

And a Spring resolution that I've made: I must NOT go to the clearance rack at Lowes because I see too many plants that are only $1.00, but have so much potential!

Current Food Lion Deals

Food Lion brand sale:

As you may know I live in a rural area, surrounded by lots of small towns. The only options I have for groceries are Food Lion, Walmart and Piggly Wiggly. I can travel to a couple of larger cities, but its just not worth the gas money to go so far out of my way. So, I have found that normally I can get the best deals at Food Lion, especially if I buy only what is on sale using my MVP card and use as many coupons as I can.

I am jealous of all of you have access to double coupons and other promotions like that!

But, I will concentrate on getting the best deals at my Food Lion.

1. Food Lion has a good deal going on right now until February 7th. For each Food Lion Brand you purchase, which includes My Essentials, Home 360 and the Food Lion store brand, you earn 25 cents which will print out on a coupon to be used on your next order. The minimum is 4 items, so make sure you buy at least 4. The maximum in one shopping trip is 40 items.

On my trip yesterday I earned a coupon for $7.75 on my next order. This can be rolled, which means I can use the coupon to buy more Food Lion products and earn more coupons.

The best way to "do" this deal is to buy items you actually use and would buy any way. But the biggest deals are those items that don't cost much anyway. These items include yogurt, vinegar, mustard, macaroni and cheese, canned vegetables, tomato paste, etc.

Store brand yogurt is only 22 cents, so if you buy 4 containers you spend 88 cents, but earn a coupon for $1.00. Then on your next trip, buy 4 more with the coupon and get another coupon for $1.00.

Another good item to stock up on is tomato paste which is 39 cents. After you receive your 25 cents per can, the price is only 14 cents. I like to put a tablespoon of tomato paste in things like soup, chili and spaghetti sauce. So, once I open a can and use what I need at the time, I freeze the rest in "heaping" tablespoon size portions. I wrap each one in plastic wrap and place them in a zipper freezer bag. Then I just take out what I need later when cooking.

I also bought some small bottles of vinegar. Did you know drinking a tablespoon of vinegar is helpful for leg cramps? I don't normally have cramps, but my hubby and his sister do and this home remedy helps them. Of course, there are lots of uses for vinegar, so its a good thing to have in the kitchen.

2. Its also a good week for some basic meats. I don't know about you, but I refuse to pay as much for hamburger or chicken as I would for steak!!!

So I'm stocking up in the freezer this week split chicken breasts that are 99 cents a pound and ground chuck which is $1.99 per pound. This sale is only good through Tuesday.

3. For some reason the Food Lion brand "Lite" coffee is still marked $2.97 a bag, while right next to it the regular Food Lion coffee is $5.99. We like the half caffeine coffee and so every time I go to the store I pick up 3 or 4 of these to stock up on. Coffee is another item whose price has gone sky high! And these will qualify for the brand sale saving you another 25 cents on each one.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Heading Home

When I was making our daily pot of morning half-decaf coffee today I looked out the kitchen window seeing mostly darkness, a little fog, a car or truck headlight or two, lights in distant neighbors' windows and the above items.

The picture is one of my favorites simply because its title is "Heading Home". The Amish horse and wagon is heading down the path to home. There is a winter landscape and a barn quilt on the barn.

The picture gives me a bittersweet feeling. I head home as often as I can and I'm never there enough. But, after all, aren't we all heading home in a more permanent sense?

The plants, chicken and snowman/star round out my daily view. In the daytime I look beyond these items to see fields which change with the seasons. Its not unusual to see some deer foraging for food. The bird feeders and birdhouses also provide some entertainment.

What do you see out your kitchen window?

I hope you are safely heading home today!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Some Recent Sewing.....

A Christmas quilt in progress, doing one block a month. It should be finished by Christmas 2012.

A cloth grocery/tote bag.

I've started sewing clothespin bags for Spring and Summer. This one and the grocery bag are in my Etsy Shop.

The Pillowcases I worked on during 2011 and gave as Christmas gifts:

Some of the 26 Jacob's Ladder Quilt blocks I've made so far. Not sure how many I will need for the entire quilt... but lots more!

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Good Thing To Remember

I received this picture as a Christmas gift. Immediately upon opening the gift I realized that this would be the perfect Bible verse to be my theme for the year 2012!

... and in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:6.

Glimpses of Home - A Little Bit of Fall

I've been enjoying Fall.  I love this time of year. Having a hubby who is retired is great.  He does so many things around the house. ...