Saturday, November 29, 2008

I won?!?

See that button on my sidebar? The one about Coloradolady's Christmas spirit? She is hosting the most fantastic Christmasy giveaways right now... and... ohmygoodness, I can hardly believe it! I won the Week 2 giveaway! I am SO excited! Look what all is in my package!!
The best part is, there are 3 more weeks of giveaways... so you could win, too! She'll be announcing the next giveaway package tomorrow (Sunday) so be sure to pop over and leave a comment for your chance to win!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Must we exercise?

I have a love/hate relationship with my treadmill. Okay, to be perfectly honest, yes, it is mostly hate. I do not enjoy exercise just for the sake of exercise, but I have to acknowledge that it's probably necessary.

Recently we invested in a Wii Fit system in an effort to motivate the whole family to exercise more. I was somewhat skeptical of it's usefulness as a fitness tool. I figured Lyle and the kids were just lobbying for a computer game system and using the "fit" part of it as an excuse to make me think we needed it. After much research, I finally agreed to it, and I have been very impressed. There are a wide variety of different exercises (many in game format) on the program. One of the activities actually works very well in conjunction with the treadmill, so that's helping me enjoy exercising more.

We've made a rule for the kids that they have to earn minutes to play non-physical games on the Wii by logging minutes on the Wii Fit. That is a huge motivation! For Lyle, the motivation is trying to score higher than the kids on the fitness activities... which is quite the challenge! (I'm so far behind all of them that I don't even try.) The motivation for me is tracking my progress daily. I like watching my BMI gradually go down.

With all that huffing and puffing going on, I particularly enjoyed the card Lyle got me for my birthday this week!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Some People

Isn’t it strange some people make
you feel so tired inside,
Your thoughts begin to shrivel up
like leaves all brown and dried!

But when you’re with some other ones,
it’s stranger still to find
Your thoughts as thick as fireflies
all shiny in your mind!
-Rachel Field

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Birth Announcement


Thank you, Mother and Dad!
I'm glad God chose you to be my parents!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Turkey for Thanksgiving

I'll be roasting a Thanksgiving turkey breast this year, rather than a full-size turkey. My family plans to spend the holiday weekend at the Oregon coast, and as there are only 4 of us I decided just a breast would be plenty. My daughter and I plan to do most of the cooking ahead of time. We can just reheat the turkey and prepare the last minute things in the kitchenette of our hotel. I think that will be fun since it's "just us" this year!

My dad, on the other hand, is probably smoking turkeys as I write. For many years his holiday "specialty" has been smoked turkey. I think the secret is in the brine he uses... or maybe it's a certain kind of wood chips. I really don't know. I just know they're always pretty tasty!

Aunt 'Lene (Dad's sister) was telling on her blog this morning about frying a turkey. That seems to be the way they do turkeys in Louisiana (and probably other places, too) these days.

After hearing his family talk about how delicious fried turkey was, Dad decided to try it 3 years ago. My sisters and I and our families were at my parents' home for Thanksgiving that year. So while I fixed the vegetables and other side dishes, Dad was outside cooking the meat. He also had one in the smoker (as back-up, I guess, in case we didn't like the fried turkey), as well as some ribs and briskets or whatever else he was cooking while he had the smoker going.

Well, he got distracted... and calamity-of-calamities!! He burned that fried turkey! At least, he thought he did. He was quite upset! "It's just ruined!" he declared.

I offer the following picture as evidence that my sisters and I (and my daughter) disagreed with his pronouncement!
Here's hoping your Thanksgiving turkey is delicious! And that you enjoy your blessings wherever you happen to be!

[Alicia at Confessions of a Snowflake is hosting a 100th post giveaway and she asked for us to share favorite holiday memories. This was the last holiday I was with my extended family... and it just happened to be my 40th birthday!]

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Workbasket - (Installment #8)

It's been awhile since I shared a Workbasket with you, and I thought you might be needing some hokey gift ideas for Christmas... circa 1951!

I loved the edgings on those towels, but all I can think of is having to iron them to keep them looking nice. Iron bath towels? Uh... no, thanks!

I'm sure these are very sweet baby toys... if I could just make out what they are from the tiny picture. Maybe the instructions will help... "In single crochet, you simply copy any small toy animal or fowl as to size and shape." That's it? That's the pattern? "Simply copy"?? I'm an experienced crocheter, but get real! I still have no idea what it is we're trying to make here. But yet the article assures me, "It would be almost impossible to turn out one that isn't a 'nifty number.'" All righty then!

"Every year you may plan to make your own original Christmas cards but just can't find time. This year by tracing any combination of these designs you can make all of your cards in a comparatively short time." Is that so? Comparatively to what?

Now, be honest. Wouldn't you be thrilled to receive one of these "interesting and useful" paper plate holders? No, they don't hold paper plates. They are made of paper plates to hold... well, things like "pan holders, recipes that are used often, old razor blades, little pieces of soap, children's cutouts, pictures, etc." At the end of the article (which I didn't include in my clipping) it also says, "Besides making very nice gifts, these holders will make fine occupation for children on a rainy day." Yeah, I'd say that's more like it. I don't think Grandma really wants one!

These happy gloves are sure to "please any young lady you know, and any member of the sterner sex would get a bang out of them too." Not only that, "they would sell well at... a shop dealing in gifts or garments for the high school age." Gotta wonder about those 1950s teens!

Here's the Junior Workbasket page with ideas for things the kids can make. These are along the lines of the Paper Plate holder, so in the interest of keeping the kids busy, they are actually kind of cute projects. Just please don't try to pass them off as "real" gifts unless you're under the age of 8 or so!

For more vintage goodies visit Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingy Thursday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Tale of a Stray Dog

Greg and Farrah were sure I would blog about this, and I hate to let them down... even though I don't have pictures to accompany this post.

Last Wednesday night, just before time for the Bible study we host at our home, the girls opened the front door and were startled by a large hound dog sitting on our front steps. After their initial "shock" they realized he was a very friendly dog so they sat down to pet him. He had tags on his collar and was very social so we thought he may have escaped from a neighbor's yard, but we had no idea whose. One of the tags had an 800 number, so Lyle called it to see if we could find out who the owner was. Unfortunately, the owner hadn't registered the dog with the tracking organization. They could tell us that he came from the county animal shelter, but they were closed for the day by this time. They asked if we could keep the dog overnight and then contact the animal shelter in the morning to find out where the dog belonged.

Lyle was reluctant to do that, but I convinced him. "He's such a nice dog! I'm sure it will be fine for him to spend the night with us." He was indeed very friendly, and even "submitted" to our smaller dog. The problem was that I hadn't realized that he was just a very large, playful, untrained puppy! He didn't sit down quietly at our feet during Bible Study like our own dog does. Nor was he happy being shut up in the utility room. Finally my husband made a bed for him in the garage. He was not happy with that either and howled in protest. We tried to ignore him as we continued our Bible Study. Poor puppy!

After our guests left we discussed what to do. Puppy had finally settled down in the garage, so we decided that he would be fine out there, and we hoped he would sleep all night.

Lyle started to tell me that I should be prepared for the owner to be mad at me when they finally got their dog back next morning. "Why in the world would they be mad? I would hope someone would watch out for my dog if she escaped, so she wouldn't get hit by a car or harmed in some other way! I'm only doing what I would want someone else to do!"

Just then the kids came running in to tell us that they saw someone driving around appearing to look for a dog. Lyle put his shoes on and went out to see if he could flag them down. Sure enough, someone a block down the street had been out hunting for the dog. They were so relieved that we had him! They had just got him a few days before and this was the first time they had left him in the yard while they went somewhere.

So we didn't end up having to keep him overnight... and the puppy was happily reunited with his owners.

When Lyle came back in we continued the discussion of whether or not someone might sue if a person took a stray pet in to care for it until the owner could be located. I think Lyle has a point. Some might do that, but I think most wouldn't.

Is it worth the risk to do the "right" thing? (I'm not saying that anyone who doesn't take in stray pets is doing the "wrong" thing. LOL! This is just an example of "doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.")

What do you think? Dare we follow the Golden Rule?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Golden Anniversary!

My Aunt 'Lene and Uncle Silas have been married 50 years today!

November 14, 1958 - 2008

Aunt 'Lene blogs at Meditations and Memories.
Stop by and wish them a happy anniversary!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Homeschool Bliss

My post today on the Homeschool Bliss channel at Blissfully Domestic is on "School in a Bag for Toddlers." This was a handy "trick" I learned way-back-when. If you still have littles underfoot while you're homeschooling, maybe you will find it handy, too!

Leave me a comment over there... or back here! I'll enjoy them either place!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Denizen of the Porch

Tabitha-the-cat is an outside cat. She prefers to be an outside cat, thankyouverymuch! Just ask her. She'll tell you! We tried keeping her in one winter and she nearly went stir-crazy. She is much healthier and content living outside, but she still stays close to home and is very fond of her family subjects.

Tabitha mostly lurks around the tiny deck porch just outside the kitchen. She has discovered that it is nicely furnished with cushy pillows and rugs. Not only that, the sunshine hits the deck just so, right about nap time in the afternoon.
It is a great place from which to survey her domain because she is a very nosy cat and wants to know everything that's going on. If Mom comes out with a camera, that's a good time to hide under the chair and observe the proceedings "undetected"!There is also a very handy cat-size ledge, just outside the kitchen window. She jumps up there and peers in the house if activity is going on in or if she needs to get our attention. Since she's a girl-kitty, we call her Peeping Tab instead of Peeping Tom!

Why am I showing you cat pictures, you may wonder? Well, it's because my deck porch gets to be the featured porch for November at Rachel's Romantic Porch! She wanted to honor me for my anniversary and birthday this month.

The thing is, I don't have a "real" porch, and my pictures are kinda boring compared to some of the lovely porches she has featured in the past, so I thought it would make it more interesting if I showed you that my tiny faux porch really does have a living, breathing personality!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Vintage Hankies

I like collecting small vintage items, so when I came across this bundle of old handkerchiefs this summer I decided they would be a great start to a vintage hanky collection! I have enjoyed looking at them and using them for decorating. Some are printed and some are embroidered. I was especially fascinated by the tiny Pluto child's handkerchief.
I remember my mother always had a pretty hanky in her purse when I was a little girl. I wonder if she still carries one? (Mother, do you?) Update: She does!
"I had to look to be sure, but yes, there is a blue print hankie in my purse right now. Kleenex just aren't always enough!"

A couple of weeks ago when I posted about the Junior Elf books I told about making hanky babies in church. Someone asked how it was done, so I decided to make a "tutorial" because everyone ought to know how to do this!

First, fold the hanky in half crosswise to make a triangle:The next step is to roll the two narrow points toward each other:Then, fold upper layer of the bottom corner up over the rolls, while holding the lower layer down.
The lower layer gets folded up behind the rolls.
The rolls are the twin babies, and when you hold the corners, you can swing the hammock and rock the babies to sleep!

For more vintage goodies pop over to Confessions of an Apron Queen for Vintage Thingy Thursday.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sovereign

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,

But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

--Isaiah 40:28-31, NKJV