One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One mother making ends meet and surviving today's recession by writing. One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hangin' Out

I am loving the warmer weather.  It sure dries my laundry faster.


I love the smell of bed sheets after they have been out on the clothesline.  I actually think it helps me sleep better too.

Speaking of sheets, I had to wash my bedding this morning.  Not because I am trying to de-germ the house, but because the two younger girls got Milo (our rabbit) out of his cage and let him play on my bed this morning.  They gave him a newspaper to rip up and play with, but while they were laughing at his excitement, he left me a little present.  The girls are now cleaning my mattress - ha ha ha!  No resting in there for me today.

I've gotten many "do's" this week from my 10 year-old daughter.  She wants to be a hair stylist when she grows up and she has been learning and practicing how to french braid my hair.  She's told me that I can't get more than 2 inches cut off, so she can continue to use me for practice.  I kind of enjoy it anyway.  It's pampering and relaxing.

We continue to fight off this nasty virus.  My 18 year-old daughter got it the worst I think.

Gus, our oldest dog, went back to the vet again this morning.  My son found another lump in the area of his recent surgery.

As for Peanut, she has not delivered as of this morning, but her utter is tighter than the previous day.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday Ramble . . .

 

I am working on sprucing up my front porch.  Here is my new addition - a wooden porch sign.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sewing Wonderful






I finished my hot pads.  These were fun to make.  I have been wanting to practice some cross stitch embroidery, and this was my chance.  I also used up some scrap material.  Hubby will be glad the "pile" is shrinking.

I'll post the other pattern tomorrow.  I had to take another daughter to the doctor, who also ran a fever most of the day and night.  This crazy weather (80° one day and 50° the next) is most likely causing our bad allergy issues and the spread of viruses from their public school.  

No baby goat(s) yet...my daughter said "any day now."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Monday Madness

It was a much colder day here on Monday. Brr!  Temperatures dropped about 20-30 degrees from Friday's temperature.

Monday is my all-out cleaning day, but I had to shampoo a few carpets (thanks to some naughty cats).  I'll have to finish the rest of the house later this week.  However, I was able to get about 4 loads of laundry done, including some of the goodies I bought over the weekend.  Here are a few more items I got:

 









 Here is the sewing box I found at an antique mall.  It's not stained and in great condition.


And because it wouldn't be right to return home without some "bling" (ha ha!) I bought this snazzy pair of pink dangles for $5.00 (also from the antique store).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Accidental Road Trip

I don't think my husband will ever let me crochet in the car again. He he!  We ended up going South vs. East over the weekend, and we had to stop to get directions. 

I trusted myself with my travel journal, and we accidentally, missed the correct exit.  However, it was all good.  

This guy wasn't in a hurry to leave, so he's in my photo (sorry guy).  See that cabinet in the truck?  This is all a funny story.  

We saw this antique store, once we were on the right road to our location.  We decided to stop and have a "look-see."  While we were shopping, and oohing and ahhhing the entire time, this guy came in to buy that large cabinet you see in the truck.  There were two women working, and they were on their phones attempting to get this guy help, but no one was available.  Hubby overheard, and offered to help.  Thankfully, he was there to help him out.  This was in Centerberg, Ohio.  So if you ever get there, you have to stop there.  Oh my goodness!

Prices ranged up and down, as in any antique store, but there were so many things to look at.  We have plans to return there.  

 Next, on the route, we drove through Mt. Vernon, Ohio.  You have to stop here for a meal if you ever get to this town.  This diner has been there for years, but had been closed to renovate.  It had just opened back up, and had delicious food!  Another awesome "accidental" stop.


I won't bore you with an entire post of good deals we found at thrift stores and antique stores, but one thing we bought in Centerberg, Ohio, was a porcelain light switch cover.


Before

After

Isn't it pretty?  It was on sale in a booth for $5.00!  Now I am on the hunt to replace all the covers in my house.  Look out hubby....more road trips!  At the same location I found a makeup case (small luggage case).  However, we could not get it open.  They called the seller, but could not get in touch.  This is one more reason to make a trip back.  I hope, when I call them back tomorrow, they will have found out the combination to open it.  I wish I had taken my camera inside, because there were so many things to put on our wish lists.

At another location, I found small plates to add to our kitchen ware.


We found the plates at a Goodwill store for $.29/each.  They are also made in the USA.  The table cloth underneath it was found at an antique store - $4.79 (40% off sale in one on the booths).

We had a really good time, got a lot of walking in for exercise, including stair climbing, and relaxed too.  We took stairs instead of the elevator in the antique malls, and walked when we could.  

Oh....one of the best parts of all.  At one of the flea markets we went to, there was a woman giving massages.  We booked a ten minute massage for each of us, and felt so relaxed.  I guess the woman did not have one customer the day prior, and another woman was telling us that she was hurting for business.  So, my husband went over and paid for us to get massages - my first massage ever.

There were so many highlights on this trip that I don't now where to end the post.  We found lots of good deals, laughed at our mishap in driving there, ate good food, enjoyed good coffee, and bought locally made items when we could find them.

Monday is my all-out cleaning day, so I better go get some rest....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tea Time in Tanganyika

Have you ever wondered where the phrase "tea time in Tanganyika" came from?  I have yet to find out.

It's a saying my Dad used to ask me when I got overwhelmed, frustrated, or just plain upset about something.  He'd ask me, "is it tea time in Tanganika?" and I would profess to him "yes!"

Wednesday's "tea time" reminded me of those days, although I was not overwhelmed and frustrated. Having tea on the porch has been a long time enjoyment.  A lot of memories have been, and are, created there.
 A view on my porch 

A view from my porch. . .

... another view from my porch

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Day Off

Although I had a few errands to run, I pretty much took the rest of the day "off" for once.  I didn't even cook.  We enjoyed leftovers - spaghetti and corn on the cob.

 I took the afternoon to catch up on reading and writing both.  Getting "rejections" isn't my problem right now.  I haven't sent out enough to receive rejections.  However, this book is very inspiring and contains many writing exercises.

 Even the barn cats joined me for a relaxing afternoon on the front porch.


 Those jelly beans you see in the photo are made in the USA, do not contain high fructose syrup, and contain real fruit juice.  A girl has to have candy once in a while.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Early Spring

We all thought our winter here was strange.  Now we are shocked over this early spring weather.
My herb gardens are coming in faster this year.  Typically, I would not see my green onions looking this good (and needing thinned out) until April.


Even the chives are looking good in March.

My rosemary even shows signs of life.  In our climate, rosemary cannot withstand winter.  It has to be dug up and brought inside.  With last year's sickness, and stocking up, I never got around to digging it up.  The mild winter may have saved my rosemary plants.

Last year, I planted Swiss chard in my flower beds and herb gardens.  It is already coming up.  I planted some close to the house, so I could just walk out and pick some for breakfast dishes (and treat the female goats a few times).

Speaking of goats, my 15 year-old wants to plant a "goat garden" this year for her goats.  Then she can pick fresh produce to treat them.

...and speaking of my 15 year-old, she is back in school today.  Despite a horrible sore throat, bad cough, and not feeling well, we was diagnosed with a virus.  The strep test came back negative.    The good part is that she won't have to take antibiotics.  The bad part is that she will have to ride out the sickness.  Hopefully, she'll be over it soon.

Monday, March 19, 2012

After the flood


You can see the mud splatters on my daffodils.  The sun is shining and the flooding is over.


Short post today.....15 year-old daughter has been running a 102° fever all weekend.  


Have a Blessed Day!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Excerpts from a Journal Junkie

from the homesteading journal . . .

The seasons are changing again, so my daily chores are changing.

Peanut's getting closer and closer to her due date.  I admit, I am a bit nervous.


Spent a day sweeping patios and walks - tree buds everywhere.  We had excellent weather to dry all the bedding, then towels, then clothes - all in one day.

I am starting to clean out the flower gardens and herb gardens.

The garlic is up.


The daffodils and tulips are coming up. 




The thunderstorms came...and then the flooding.  For the first time ever, the field across the street caused flooding across the street, into our property.  It flooded all the way to the front flower beds, and then downhill to the creek.  Thankfully, a long, thin, flower bed kept the water from going further into our yard, and possibly up against the house.


We made signs out of cardboard and sticks, to warn drivers of the high water.  The state department of transportation had not come out this time, and we actually later had to call the sheriff.  They then called for the city to come out, and put up bright orange signs.  Even then, drivers barreled right through it, at an unsafe speed.

from the family journal . . .

..we ate ice cream cones on the front porch! In March!

 from the writing journal . . .

 ..started reading No More Rejections, by Alice Orr - very inspirational.  I borrowed the book Wicked Plants from the library - useful for writing too.
 

from the crafting journal . . .
...crocheting a Christmas lap blanket, and continuing to crochet dishcloths and my knitted blanket.  

from the exercise journal . . .
 ...still getting to the gym for a good work out with hubby.


from the gratitude journal . . .
 Today I am Thankful for:
~the table saw
~chicken wire
~the weather
~shovels and rakes
~iced tea
~my front porch
~my front porch furniture
~the gym
~cooking utensils
~God's Love

Saturday, March 17, 2012

We can't make this stuff up. . .

"Mom?  Do you know that "R" is putting the play station in the oven?"

 "Yeah, tell him not to blow up my oven."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Buckwheat Waffles ~ Thrift Store Find

I made these buckwheat flour waffles for the family, and they were delicious.  The kids love to top these with natural peanut butter.  

A week ago or so, I found a set of TV trays with stands, at our local thrift store.  


I spent the afternoon cleaning the trays on my front porch.  These are wider than your normal TV tray and will be helpful with meals on the porch, and to take camping.  I had planned to spray paint the stands on these, but I may just leave them as they are.


I spent time reading a book of writing prompts, and got a laugh out of some of them.  The kids and I shared quick and short verbal stories with these.  I do have a notebook to hand write these in, but would love to "jazz" it up with a fun cover.....adding yet another project to my "project" list (ha ha ha!).



While cleaning a bit in my room, I noticed that I left two flowers pressed in my flower press (from last summer/fall).  I really enjoyed looking through my scrapbook of wild flowers, and adding the last two to it.  I plan to add more this summer.



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Porch Furniture is Back

I was thrilled to move a few wicker rocking chairs back to my front porch again.  Not all of the furniture has been returned to it's rightful place, but enough for all of us to enjoy sitting out there.




The furniture will need a good cleaning, but for yesterday, and today, it will do as is.  The weather has been in the 70's, with cool nights.  It's been gorgeous and almost all of us took time to sit for a while, and enjoy the peace that the front porch brings.  Even the barn cats came to visit.

I finally submitted my most recent article.  This time it was a contest piece.  It sure felt good to be writing again.  I hope to be writing from my front porch today.

....of course that will be after chores are done.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Making Jewelry

 I dug through my beads and found a few that match the vintage necklace I bought.  The earrings are simple, yet elegant and will be perfect for a "date night" with hubby.


A Year of Quotes:
"The hardest struggle of all is to be something different from what the average man is."  ~ Charles M. Schwab

Monday, March 12, 2012

Green Dress Event

If you are a parent with teen girls, then you probably know how expensive prom dresses are these days.  I've been praying that the girls find a dress at an inexpensive price. 

Well, our prayers were answered for one daughter.  A friend told them about a dress event that a church held in another city.  

The event was a "green" event for giving a free donated dress to each girl that attended.  My second oldest daughter went also, but found a Homecoming dress. 

Each girl that attended also got one free piece of makeup and one piece of jewelry.  

A note came with each dress that asks for the recipient to donate the dress back, and help the program continue.
(my oldest daughter in her prom dress in 2011 - beautiful, yet very expensive and worn once)

I think this program is wonderful.  My girls only wear their dress one time, and most of the time, they can't be handed down to the next daughter.

And of course, today's dresses are not conservative as they once were.  However, the trend to wear long dresses to prom as returned in our area. 

Another prayer that was answered - a new well dug a the horse stable.  Evidently, the 120 year-old well at the stable went dry.  Water was brought in one day, and they were successful at digging a new well.  If they had not been, my daughter's horse would have had to be moved to a more expensive stable.  Phew!  Thank you God!

A Year of Quotes:
"I think the one lesson I have  learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention."  ~ Diane Sawyer

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Night Away


The younger kids really needed to get away for a night, which gave the older kids a break from Mom and Dad too.

We booked an inexpensive hotel, not far from home, and packed the bags for a night away.  

The kids got an entire night of swimming and fun, and we got the chance to rejuvenate.  

The pool was very busy with kids, but our three that we took with us, had a break from chores and homework.

While the kids, and Hubby, were swimming, I got the chance to stay up in the room to write.  I love to write in places that are away from home.  I have no idea why.  Possibly the "fun" in all of it, or the seclusion, or simply getting away from the same everyday "stuff."

Only seven miles from home may seem like a lame attempt to "get away" but for us it didn't matter. 

When we got home, we were talking about the fox that someone hit in the road, just down from the house.  As I was exiting our vehicle, I looked toward the open barn, and a big white dog walked out.

 Thankfully, the dog had current tags.  We searched the tag number on-line and called the owner.  Owner and dog were glad to see each other again.