Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Shelter in the Woods

We spent several hours geocaching while we were camping last weekend. One cache was hidden up a rather steep hill, with no trails to follow. It was an absolutely gorgeous location and the cache was appropriately named Nature's Cathedral.

Due to heavy tree cover we couldn't seem to get an accurate GPS reading, so we never did find the cache but we did come across this interesting structure someone had built some time ago.
I didn't try to go inside but it appears to be just barely big enough for one person to sit in with his legs tucked up.
We wondered who built it. A camper? A hunter? A boy scout?
We do come across the most interesting things in our backwoods exploring!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pretty dishes!

If you've been following my blog for awhile you may remember a discussion my aunt Rachel and I had back in the winter about a certain style of vintage china that we both like. (Be sure to read the comments on that post if you click back to see what I'm talking about.)

A couple weeks ago I was out garage-saling and happened upon this pretty serving bowl.There were no prices marked (one of my pet peeves at garage sales, as I hate dickering!), but it had a couple of small chips out of the side of it, so I was hopeful that it wouldn't be too expensive. When I asked the lady about it, she looked it over and then asked me, "What would make you happy to take it home with you?" Considering the chips, I tentatively said, "A dollar?" She was happy with that. "A buck? It's yours!"

Since I have red accents in my kitchen (and I love the dainty pattern) I was very pleased to get it. I had seen similar patterns in blue and green, but I hadn't seen the red before.

Imagine my delight to discover a "matching" sugar bowl marked 50 cents at another garage sale that same morning! It is missing it's lid, but look at the pretty flowers painted on the inside!The outside of the sugar bowl is half red like the "ribbon" on the bowl. But I couldn't figure out why the sugar bowl had the gold filigree on it and the bowl didn't.
Then I turned the dishes over. Turns out, they are not the same pattern at all! They aren't even from the same manufacturer. Imagine that! I would have never known.

Maybe that will double my chances of finding more pieces in either of those patterns, you think?

Stop by Kelli's House for more Show & Tell posts:
Show and Tell

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Seasons of Life

Well, I hadn't really planned to have a "seasonal" theme on my blog this week, but it seems that what it's turning out to be. My husband printed out these two pictures this morning and asked if I wanted to blog about them. (No, he won't start a blog himself, but every now and then he suggests things for me to blog about!)

We took this first picture of the Little North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River back in the spring, during the snow melt.Last week we returned to the same place on the river to take an end-of-summer picture.
Quite a dramatic difference!

It reminds me of the seasons of life. The exciting, enthusiastic energy of spring contrasted with the richer, calmer maturity of late summer. The rushing water in the springtime was so muddy, picking up all sorts of trash as it hurried along. By now the dirt has settled, and the still waters reflect the beauty around the river.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Word of Our God

[For more Word-filled Wednesday "scripture photos" visit The 160 Acre Woods.]

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Make Me a Blessing

I just love getting letters and packages in the mail, don't you? Last week I received a package from my friend, Laura, that included a hand-written note and two CDs of her beautiful music. As I popped the CDs into my computer to listen to while I worked, Laura's inspirational music was an encouragement to me.

Now, I'm not a gifted musician like Laura is. My talents seem to lie in other areas. But whatever my gifts may be (and I'm still considering that) I want to use them to be a blessing. I'm praying the Lord will show me areas where I can encourage those around me.

Thank you, Laura, for blessing me!

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all,
especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Galatians 6:10

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer is not over yet...

Early in August I read on other blogs of summer being over and children going back to school. I'm not ready for that yet! Remember that long, extra-snowy winter we had... and how late spring was in arriving? Summer can't be over yet!

As homeschoolers we can start school any time we want, but I'm kind of glad that public schools around here don't start until after Labor Day. Seeing the neighborhood children playing outside makes it still "feel" like summer.

The fields are turning gold... the wildflowers are beginning to fade... summer is waning, and fall will be upon us soon enough. I want to take time to enjoy this day... this season...

I'm savoring these last few days of "summer freedom" before we start school next week.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekend Getaway

It was a beautiful weekend to enjoy the national forest.
On Friday we had the whole campground to ourselves.
The kids thought it was fun to pump water!
Not native wildlife, but still picture worthy!
Crystal-clear streams for wading.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Workbasket - (Installment #6)

Yes, ladies (and any gentlemen who are interested), it's time once again for an irregular installment of The Workbasket magazine from almost 60 years ago. Send along your 15 cents (in cash or stamps, please) and you, too, (along with Miss A. L. Davitt--whoever she might have been) can learn how to make a cross-stitch rug, along with many other delightful ideas for "home and needlecraft for pleasure and profit."
What in the world are those designs our dear Susie Homemaker is so lovingly stitching onto her "attractive and unusual rug"? The only thing I could come up with was cattle brands, but that didn't seem quite right... so maybe some sort of Oriental or Indian characters? I was totally wrong on both guesses. Do you know? I'll tell you at the end of this post. Be sure and let me know in the comments if you recognized them. I'd be interested to know how many do.

I hate to tell you this... but if you ordered this "sensational" set of "solid stainless tableware", it is no longer under warranty. It was only guaranteed for 45 years, so it would have expired in 1996. Then where would you have been? Without silverware, I reckon! Well... what do you expect for $5.95 anyway? A lifetime guarantee? I mean, really!

Don't you want to join the "Fad of the Month Club"? Not only do you get the kit to make this "utterly charming" Ballerina Boudoir Doll for your bed, vanity or mantel, you will also receive a fascinating fad club picture bulletin, chuck full of lovely exciting things you make yourself. How can you resist an offer like that? (Did you ever watch the 1980s sit-com Mama's Family? Remember the prissy neighbor lady, Iola? This looks like something she would have been into!)

I know many stay-at-home-moms are often looking for ways they can earn money at home, and apparently homemakers in the 1950s were no different. That seems to be part of the idea of The Workbasket, and one monthly column was Women Who Make Cents.

Mrs. W.H. Young sent in an idea for clever little storks to use as decorations at "cradle showers". If you click on the article above it will enlarge it and you can read her instructions. I can't imagine that there would be much of a market for such a thing, but she claimed she sold several of them! All righty then.
Eula Owsley laments that she was literally throwing money away for years without realizing it. In case you might like to try her idea, I seriously doubt there would be much call for typed lists of names harvested from newspaper announcements these days. But maybe you could troll the internet for names and email addresses to send to spammers! Nah. Probably not. They have automated "bots" or "spiders" (or something) that do that already. Oh, well. So much for that idea!

Since there's not much call for shower storks or address lists, maybe you could make money by responding to this ad:

I'm not real clear on what you would have to do to make the money, though. Whatever it is, it's "amazing, new, and easy" and they'll give you all the facts for free! Oh, and they'll send you a beautiful plastic apron FREE for your trouble! I'm just curious to know if the money-making opportunity involved selling the beautiful aprons to your friends and neighbors, or if the apron was totally unrelated. *sigh* I guess I'll never know!

Here's another stumper. Why in the wide world would anyone want to "highlight your heels"?
Were heels considered especially attractive at one time, or what? I don't believe I care to draw that much attention to the back of my foot. My heels are usually kinda dry and ugly! Or maybe it was the heel of the shoe they meant? If you had a pretty pair of high heels, then the "self color outline heel" of your stocking would accentuate your shoe? Eh. I dunno. I just don't quite get it.

-=WAA~WAA~WAA=- Is this baby doll scary looking or what?

"Pat her, spank her, cuddle her--she coos--she cries. Hours and hours of play thrills."

I wonder what "lifelike rubber wonderskin" is?

Here's something else for the kiddies. A column just for them! This is the first one I've come across. I'm not sure if it was a new column this month, or if it was just an occasional one, when they could come up with some craft idea for kids.
What baffles me is how unoriginal the ideas are. I think just about any mother with an ounce of creativity could come up with activities like this. But maybe they were new and novel at that time?

As always I'll close with the pattern page. I love looking at the vintage styles, especially the aprons. Please note that the price has gone up from twenty-five cents to thirty cents (in coins). This will be important to know should you care to try to order these patterns.
More to come!

(The designs on the cross stitch rug on the cover are the signs of the zodiac. I would never have guessed! Did you?)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Percolated Coffee

I've been wanting an enamel-ware coffee percolator for a long time. When we go camping in the national forest we don't have electrical hookups, so I've been getting by with instant coffee or those "singles" bags that are like tea bags. I was happy to find just the coffee pot I had been wishing for at a garage sale last weekend for $3. And while I plan to put it to practical use, I just love looking at it!

The problem is, I'm not real sure how to make coffee in it! I know I need to buy a different "grind" of coffee... percolator rather than drip. And I know the coffee grounds go in the basket at the top. Then the water just goes in the bottom below the dry grounds? How much coffee to how much water? How do you know when it's done? Anybody know?

The print shop where my husband works has reserved a group campground for this weekend. It will be the perfect opportunity to try out my new coffee pot. But I'm sure I'll want to offer a cup of coffee to our friends. Hopefully I can master the trick to making percolated coffee and be able to serve something that tastes good!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just relaxing!

I recently received this fun mug from Lorrie Veasey at Our Name is Mud. (Thank you, Lorrie!) She offered me my choice of mugs from her site. There were so many cute ones that I had a hard time deciding, but I finally settled on "Lessons from the Beach". Not so much because I'm a beach denizen (which I'm not), but because I need to be reminded from time-to-time to just relax!

I'm learning that the stressful things in life are often inconsequential. I have a tendency to get all worked up over little things, and then, even just a day or two later, I'll look back and think, "Why was I so concerned about that?" I allow petty things to rob me of my joy for that moment, or day.

My life is busy. Sometimes the list of things to be done is overwhelming. Hopefully having this sunny little reminder to "relax" sitting on my desk will be a good reminder to take things as they come... and just do the next thing. (Having it full of coffee at any given time can't hurt anything either!)
Have a relaxing day!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...
Outside my window... it is a pleasant summer morning. While I'm not by nature a morning person, I am learning to appreciate the quietness of this time of day.
I am thinking... but trying not to think, about needing to start school in 2 weeks.
I am thankful for... modern means of communication which make keeping in touch so much easier than ever before. I love to blog... and chat with friends on Facebook... and email... and flat-rate calling. And I haven't even gotten into texting yet! (I'm sure it's coming. I just haven't been willing to pay extra for it yet.)
From the kitchen... I am trying to decide what to make to take with us camping this weekend. Maybe some cookies, trail mix, and some foil-wrapped stew packets to cook on the coals of the campfire.
I am creating... crocheted flower projects from a couple of new pattern books I got last week. So much fun!
I am wearing... a tan denim skirt and a tan t-shirt with embroidered flowers on the front
I am reading...
Fossil Hunter by John B. Olson, and First Place 4 Health by Carole Lewis
I am hoping... that we have good camping weather for our camp-out this weekend.
I am hearing... the neighbor's car starting.
Around the house... I need to get some things organized before we start school in September.
One of my favorite things... drinking coffee with my husband at the bistro table on our deck early in the morning before work.
A few plans for the rest of the week... The print shop where my husband works is sponsoring a company camp-out at a National Forest campground this weekend, for employees and their families. That should be interesting, and fun! I need to plan meals for that, and get the trailer stocked.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Moose sighting!

This afternoon we went for a family bike ride on a really great trail in our area that used to be railroad tracks. It winds through the mountains and the scenery is spectacular.
It was an unusually hot day for our area (right at 100 degrees) and since we haven't ridden bikes all summer (at least the parents of the family haven't!) we are somewhat out-of-shape... so we only ended up riding about 5 miles. When we got back to the air-conditioned pickup we decided to take the scenic route home over the mountains.

Exploring the back roads is something we love to do as a family activity... and today we had the special treat of seeing a moose!
We had lived in north Idaho for 4 or 5 years before we ever saw a moose, and I can count on one hand the number of times we've seen one since then (we've lived here for over 10 years now), so a moose sighting is always an event!

Fortunately I had my camera and there was a pull out handy, so we got a few snapshots before he ran off splashing down the river.
We decided this one was a male because he had the beginnings of a rack... or, as our younger daughter put it, "a young father"!

Friday, August 15, 2008

State Thimbles

As promised, here is a picture of the thimbles I collected on our trip last week. Just thought I'd show them to you as part of Kelli's Show & Tell.

I have the thimbles lined up in the order I got them.

The first one is actually not a state thimble. I picked it up at a garage sale earlier this summer for a dime! After I noticed how well it fit in the tiny lower cubbies of my type case, I decided I'd like to collect more thimbles.

The second thimble is metal. I got it at WalMart in Butte, Montana, not realizing that the prettier ceramic thimbles would be available at gas station convenience stores along the way, at a cheaper price. Once I discovered that, I decided to focus my collection on that style of thimble. Which explains why I'm missing thimbles from Minnesota and North Dakota. The places we stopped in those states that had thimbles only had the more expensive/less attractive metal ones. I decided I could hunt for pretty ones from those states another time.

That's a pretty good start, don't you think? I will enjoy adding to my collection as we travel.

Of course, I'll probably add Idaho and Washington this weekend!
Show and Tell

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Edition #30 - "R"

Continuing with my alphabet theme, here are 13 things in my life that start with R:
  1. Radio. I like listening to shows from the 1930s - 1950s.
  2. Ramblin' Roads. A really great blog! ;-)
  3. Read-Alouds. Our favorite part of the school day.
  4. Reading. My favorite activity.
  5. Rebecca. One of my favorite girl's names!
  6. Recipes. I enjoy trying new ones.
  7. Reminiscing. I love to listen to older people share their memories.
  8. Red. My current favorite color.
  9. Roads to Everywhere. My website.
  10. Road Trip. Our favorite kind of vacation.
  11. Rose and Gray. My wedding colors.
  12. Route 66. We'd love to follow as much of it as we can sometime.
  13. RVing. Something we love to do as a family.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Home Again!

"Only" 10 hours in the car today. We were grateful to get home safely. We had a wonderful time but we're exhausted... and it's back to work tomorrow.

We enjoyed spectacular scenery as we hurtled across the country. I was surprised at some of the pictures I managed to take from the car at 70 mph!

I-90 weaving through the mountains of north Idaho.

"Purple mountains majesty."
Taken from the WalMart parking lot in Butte, Montana.

Somewhere in Wyoming.

There were several prairie dogs along the highway near a toll booth in Colorado.

Crossing the Mississippi River near St. Louis.

Driving past the Indianapolis Speedway.

Chicago skyline.

Sunset in North Dakota.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Posting from eastern Montana

We traveled through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and are just barely into Montana tonight. It was a 15-hour day on the road, so we are more than ready to stretch out for the night. It helps to be traveling west as we have gained 2 hours just traveling through time zones... and we'll gain another one tomorrow.

I haven't had much luck finding thimbles for my new collection in these northern states. I got one in Wisconsin, but did not find one where we stopped in Minnesota and North Dakota. (Or I should say, I didn't find a porcelain one for those states. I've decided that's the kind I prefer because they are prettier and less expensive. I just can't bring myself to pay $8 for a thimble!) So far I have 7 from the this trip, I think. I've decided it's okay if I don't find one for every state, because that will give me something to keep looking for on future trips. My daughter said I'm just too picky, but that's okay. I don't like to collect things just for the sake of collecting. I want them to be what I like.

Tomorrow's destination: Home again!

What a whirlwind trip!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Westbound in Wisconsin

We had a fantastic time at our college reunion over the weekend. Lyle and I met at Bible college, so it was a nostalgic trip for us, back to the campus our romance began 25 years ago this summer. It was great to reconnect with old friends to share memories of that long-ago time, and get re-acquainted.

Now we're headed home. We left after lunch today and traveled about 7 hours today. We're in Madison, Wisconsin tonight.

Tomorrow's destination: eastern Montana.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Live from Missouri

We had a much shorter day on the road today. We drove a couple hours this morning and then spent most of the day visiting relatives in Kansas. Tonight we are staying in Kansas City. We were happy to get to our motel earlier in the evening tonight.

Since this road trip is such a rushed one, we don't have a lot of time to linger along the way. It's not as enjoyable as a more leisurely trip, but we are still having fun. The kids have the luxury of a DVD player in the backseat. They think that's great. We also have XM radio in the car, which is wonderful for as much as we travel. And, of course, we've enjoyed the scenery and the opportunity for conversation. So we're having a great time even though we haven't "done" much.

I decided before we left that I would like to get a collectible thimble from each state for the tiny lower cubby holes of my type case. I've been surprised at how many of the gas stations have them in their convenience stores. It's been fun to look for them. So far I have one from Wyoming, Colorado, and Kansas. I'll take a picture when I get home so you can see how many I end up with.

We are headed for our college reunion tomorrow. We will be staying on the old campus, which is now a church campground, so I don't anticipate having internet access again until Sunday evening. We'll see.

Tomorrow's destination: Greenfield, Indiana.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Welcome, Baby Allyn!

Our brand-new niece arrived on Wednesday, August 6. This is the second little girl for my brother and his wife. We are thrilled for them!

We have enjoyed having two daughters so much. We know they will, too.

Myspace Comments

Checking in from Kansas

It was exactly midnight Central Time when we checked in to our motel in Salina tonight.

1,120 miles today. Well, yesterday, I mean. Wednesday. Whatever day that was. In any case it was 16.5 hours in the car.

So that's my report for tonight.

Good night!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Reporting from Montana...

Just checking in from Bozeman...

I said I would, and our motel tonight does have internet... so here I am. So far we're on schedule and the trip has been pretty uneventful. Which, of course, is the way we want it, just doesn't make for very interesting blogging! LOL!

We stopped at WalMart in Butte and decided to pick up some sandwiches from the deli for supper to eat in the car. When we got out to the car we started unpacking the bags and realized that the kids' sandwiches were not there. Apparently we forgot a bag in the store. We went back in to look but it wasn't still at the check stand. We figured that whoever was behind us in line probably picked it up thinking it was theirs. So that was a bummer. We are hoping we don't have more "disasters" like we had on earlier trips this summer.

Tomorrow's destination: Salina, Kansas.

Long day in the car!

The Open Road

We're headed across country on a road trip this week! It's gonna be a lotta hours in the car. Our itinerary calls for about 4500 miles over 12 states in 7 days. Wanna come along?

I'll try to post an update each night, depending on whether or not we have internet access... and how late it is when we get to the motel.

Tonight's destination: Bozeman, Montana.