Thursday, July 28, 2011

I love my Kindle!

 As a lifelong avid reader I debated for a long time over whether to get an e-reader or not. Initially I didn't want to spend the money-- first on the device itself, and then on books to go on it. That seemed an extravagant luxury to me, as most of the books I've ever read have either been from the library or picked up at a thrift store. So I just shrugged off the notion and decided I would keep reading the old-fashioned way.

About a year-and-a-half ago a friend told me that I could get a Kindle app for my computer, and that many titles were available for free, if one just knew where to look. One benefit that she pointed out was that I would have the books in my collection and could put them on an actual Kindle later, if I ever ended up getting one. I was all over that! I immediately downloaded the app and started looking for books.

After many months I realized that yes, there was definitely plenty to read on the Kindle without having to buy every title, and no, I didn't mind reading electronically, so I finally decided it would be worth the investment. I took the plunge about 2 months ago. I decided I could fore-go a smart phone (for now, anyway). The Kindle is my carry-around device of choice. I am thoroughly enjoying and using it every day!

I've collected several hundred free books by now. Many of them are current. The current ones are usually available for a limited time only. A lot of them are trash. I've deleted those as I've had a chance to look at them more closely. But there are a lot of good books available, too. It's been fun to build my collection. My Kindle fits in my purse, and it's very cool to be able to carry around hundreds of books to choose from at any given moment. (Ain't technology grand?)

There are a couple of websites that I watch for announcements of free books. I try to check them every day because of the limited-time offers. They are:
In addition to the current books, there are thousands of public-domain titles available for free all the time. I enjoy reading vintage novels on occasion so I've been collecting some of these as well.

Many classics, of course, by well-known authors such as:
And lesser-known favorites I grew up reading such as:
I also found a few more recently discovered "new to me" vintage authors:
So, yeah. I think I already have more books on my Kindle than I'll have time to read in this lifetime-- because, of course, I do still also read books the old-fashioned way, too.

Next I want to get a searchable Bible to put on it to try using for church. I recently had to start wearing glasses for reading. It is a nuisance to have to be putting on and taking off my glasses to look up scriptures during the sermon. With the Kindle I can adjust the font size so I don't have to have my glasses to read. Whether or not the search feature will work to my satisfaction remains to be seen. I don't know if I will like it for that or not, but it's worth a try!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Unto the Hills

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. 
--Psalm 121:1-2

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sonlight Blog

I'm blogging today over on the Sonlight Blog. Starting today I'll be sharing there once or twice a month. Today's post is on Knowing My Kids. I'd love for you to leave me a comment over there. Thanks!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ramblin' Thoughts

This past weekend we went camping Up the River.
 It was an uneventful weekend, as far as excitement goes. The weather was lovely. Sunny. Not too hot. Though the flies were nasty through the middle of the afternoon, for some reason.

It's always so good to get away from our normal day-to-day responsibilities and just enjoy some down-time deep in the forest. We drove over the mountain and stopped for a couple of short hikes. I particularly enjoyed the wildflowers. (Watch for those pictures soon.)
We spotted a few squirrel, a couple of deer, and a hawk soaring in the sky. We also came upon a strange bird sitting in the road perfectly still. None of us knew what kind of bird it was. We could see its eyes moving as it looked around, but it wouldn't get out of the way. So we crept closer (in the truck). Finally, it waddled off into the brush and then flew away. Anybody have any idea what kind of bird it was, and why it acted that way?
I miss living in the country, so I'm glad we are able to go camping frequently.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Priceless Heirlooms

This past week I've been updating a genealogy book I compiled about 10 years ago, at the request of my great-aunt who wants it for a family reunion in a couple of weeks. It had been awhile since I had taken time to work on genealogy, and I always enjoy it, so that was a fun diversion from some of the other projects that have been consuming my time lately.

One thing I added was pictures of headstones for various ancestors that I found at the very fascinating site. When I came across the headstone for my great-great-great-grandmother, Lucinda Catherine Ratterree Bock, I broke out in goose pimples. In order to explain why, I want to rerun a blog post from Mother's Day 2009, then I'll show you her headstone.
"100 years from now it will not matter what my bank account was,
the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...
but the world may be a better place
because I was important in the life of a child."
Four Generations- July 1967.
The pensive tot in the center is 19-month-old Little Karla.
My mother, Pallie Sue Ezell, is behind me holding me up.
Great-grand Mother Shumaker is on the left holding Baby Sister Naomi.
Grandmother Ernesteen Easley is on the right holding Baby Sister Dorcas.

My sisters and I are mothers of growing families now. Our mother is the "grandmother"... and Grandmother and Mother Shumaker are in Heaven.
Four Generations- August 1922.
The thoughtful little tot in this picture is Grandmother Ernesteen Easley.
Behind her is her mother, great grandmother Liffa Shumaker.
Beside Mother Shumaker is her mother, Martha Maberry, my great-great grandmother.
And seated is Mama 'Berry's mother, my great-great-great grandmother, Lucinda Bock.

I suspect the world is a better place today because each of these ladies was important in the lives of her children!
Her children rise up and call her blessed...
Proverbs 31.28
And here is Great-Great-Great Grandmother's headstone from 1929:
Do you see the epitaph?

I wonder if it ever crossed her mind that her influence would reach across so many generations?

May I follow her example.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My stack is growing...

Presenting the next installment on my 99 Little Doilies project...
Doily #14
Doily #15
Doily #16
Doily #17

Favorites? I have to say #16 was especially fun to make... and I think it's fun to look it. Which one do you like?

Friday, July 15, 2011

When life gives you lemons... make lemonade, of course!
I like to make old-fashioned lemonade.
Okay, I cheat a little bit, in that I use bottled lemon juice rather than fresh-squeezed lemons. It's a lot less work and tastes almost as good. I also like to use raw sugar which adds to the "old-fashioned" flavor.
My recipe is:
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar (Can use regular white sugar, if you prefer--- and you might want up to a cup of sugar. We like our lemonade on the tart side.)
  • 1/2 sliced lemon (This is really just for garnish. The lemonade tastes the same without it.)
  • 2 quarts cold water
Serve over ice... and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Inexpensive Centerpieces

 Back in the spring, when I was decorating for the Senior Banquet, I was trying to come up with an inexpensive idea for centerpieces in the class colors of red and silver. I found red roses on clearance after Valentines Day for 99 cents for a bunch (7 flowers). Then I found vases at the dollar store. I pulled the little bits of fake baby's breath off the rose stems, and hot glued streamers of silver curly ribbon on instead. I liked the way it looked, but my next dilemma was what to put in the vase to weight it down and help hold the flowers in place. I considered glass marbles, and found some in silver that looked very nice, but it really added to the expense. Then, my clever sister-in-law suggested salt! I bought it in bulk (for something like $4 for 20 pounds, or some ridiculously cheap price) at Costco... and then I had the idea of mixing in some red and silver glitter. That was perfect! The glitter didn't mix evenly with the salt like I expected. Instead it settled in swirls, which made it even prettier, I thought.

More great tips at Works for Me Wednesday hosted by We are THAT Family.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Making exercise fun

 In an effort to get more exercise I've set a goal of walking or hiking on a regular basis this summer. (So expect to see lots of blog posts featuring hikes and geocaching in the next few weeks. Taking pictures and looking for caches make it seem more like an adventure, and not so much like exercise, you know!)

Saturday evening we decided to drive over to Coeur d'Alene and walk along the lake.
 Lake Coeur d'Alene has the reputation of being one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. I don't know who has been to every lake in the world to make that judgment, but in any case, the scenery is outstanding. Not only that, we've been having just gorgeous weather... sunny, in the 70s. Just perfect for a late afternoon walk.
We walked about 3 miles that evening, and found 3 micro-caches right along the walking path.

Wonder where we'll hike next?

Monday, July 11, 2011

July Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods:
Just beautiful! We had 3 uncomfortably warm days last week. Otherwise, we've had no hot weather to speak of.

Things that make me happy:
Sunshine with temps in the 70s!

Books I'm reading:
Don't laugh. I almost always have this many going at once...
  • Perfectly Invisible by Kristin Billerbeck (by my bed)
  • A Matter of Honor by Kay Martin (on my Kindle)
  • To Darkness Fled by Jill Williamson (on my Kindle)
  • The Friendship Doll by Kirby Larson (in the downstairs bathroom)
  • Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery (in the upstairs bathroom)
On the menu for dinner:
Chicken-and-broccoli rice casserole. I think. Or maybe fast food. Depends on what we end up needing to do this evening.

On my To Do List:
Finish reorganizing our bookcases.
See if the neighbor lady is still planning to have a neighborhood garage sale this weekend.
If so, get ready to have a garage sale on Saturday. Ugh.
Work on a blog post for (Look for it there July 26.)

New recipe I tried or want to try soon:
I want to try making some mixed-berry muffins using my friend Judy's recipe for Whole Wheat Oatmeal Blueberry Bread.

In the craft basket:
I'm almost finished with the curtain for my bedroom! Can't wait for the "ta-da!" moment.
Still working on the 99 Little Doilies.I think I'm working on #22, so I'll have some more pictures to show you soon.
Started an embroidery project of a vintage postcard to frame for my room.

Looking forward to this week:
Enjoying the beautiful weather and working on various projects.

Blog Hopping:
Here are blogs for some of the young ladies and moms I got to know this past year through yearbook staff and graduation--
No words needed:
Lesson learned the past few days:
I can walk further than I thought if I just pace myself... and I actually enjoy it! Yay!

On my mind:
Missing my daughter who is gone for the summer!

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father... I Thessalonians 1:2-3

More Happy Homemaker Monday posts @ Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Daisy Season

 My favorite wildflower is the daisy. They are in full bloom around here right now, and I have been enjoying seeing them blooming all along the road as we've been out and about. Living in town, we don't have any growing in our yard. Wonder if they'd come up again next year, if I transplanted some from the wild?

On Friday evening we stopped by to see some friends who live out in the country. They invited us to take a walk with them "down to the creek." It was a gorgeous evening for a walk in the woods. I couldn't resist picking a handful of daisies as we walked along. They were just growing everywhere. Five-year-old Michael noticed what I was doing and asked the obvious, "Are you picking flowers?"

"I am!" I told him. "Is that okay?"

"No!" he declared. (We've learned that he likes to be obstinate just to get a rise out of people. It's quite funny... and very cute!)

"Too late," I said, faking regret. "Your mama said I could."

"Okay," he said. "Then I'll pick some, too. But I'm gonna scrunch mine up."

So he did. Tossing the pieces hither and yon. What else would you expect from a 5-year-old boy?

I brought my flowers home and put them on a vase on the table. I love looking at them in the sunlight coming in the kitchen window.
I'm enjoying summer. Are you?

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Workbasket (Installment #11)

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you may remember the batch of Workbasket magazines that I found at a garage sale a few summers ago. I love looking at the patterns and studying the old ads. I scanned  and shared select clippings from several issues, but it's been a couple of years now, and I never made it all the way through the stack, so I thought it would be fun to share some more.
 This issue is from 59 years ago-- June 1952. Such a pretty lacy crocheted doily on the cover. I can't quite make out what's in the dish, though. Can you? I think maybe it's candy and/or nuts. I can't think of anything else a 1950s housewife might keep in a fancy dish on the side table.
 "I'm proud to show you mine." Our prissy model "has no wish to be conspicuous by being shouted at" but apparently she goes around flipping her hair back because she's so proud to show us her hearing aids. If you're interested in more information, all you need to do is clip out the little coupon and send it in. Can't you imagine the Sonotone company getting hundreds of envelopes with all these little scraps of paper in them? I suppose they really did.
 "Keep furniture clean and still let your family use it without keeping after them to 'be careful'." I don't b'lieve I'd care to sit on that plastic stuff every day, thank you. And, of course, you wouldn't bother to take it off when company comes. Everybody just has to look at your "lovely upholstery" through the plastic.
 If you find yourself in the "family way" and are looking for summer fashions, Crawford's assures us that the catalog for maternity styles will be mailed in a plain envelope. Wouldn't want to mailman or the neighbors to know you were expecting, now would you?
 I love this crocheted edging. Wonder if I have something that needs an edging? I'll have to keep that in mind.
 Or maybe I need a sunbonnet. "Make 'em to match your housedresses, your gardening outfits, even your sports clothes or your square dance costumes."  Wouldn't I look cute trotting around town with a sunbonnet to match each of my outfits? The pattern is included right in the magazine.
 Another hearing aid ad-- "Oh, what a blessing to come out of that lonely world of silence... to enjoy music, movies, church and social life again as I hadn't done for years!" Once you get your Beltone, I expect you'll be inspired to go to church again, too. (Interesting that "church" and "religion" are used as selling points, isn't it?)
 Here's an article on how to make Nylon Corsages out of, get this, old nylon stockings! Seriously! The directions tell how to bleach out the color, and re-dye the nylon, and then use the crinkly wire from window screens to fashion these fancy accessories! I wish I could see what they really looked like, not just a drawing. But I don't wish it bad enough to try making some. What an idea!
 Don't have enough surplus of old nylons for making flowers? Well, then, you should become a stocking salesperson, and help add to John's pay check! "...right now I do most of my 'business' on the telephone. I've made many new friends and my old friends feel that I'm doing them a favor..." Oh, I'm sure they do! Only because this was in the days before Caller ID or answering machines so they couldn't screen their calls!
 Yet another ad for making flower "for pleasure and profit." Oh, wait, that first one was an article. This is an ad. I guess if you really get into it and want to branch out into wood fiber bouquets, corsages, and plants then you can write for a HANDSOME INSTRUCTION PORTFOLIO with 15 flower patterns for just 50 cents. Gotta spend money to make money, you know!

The ad below it encourages you to SERVE THE LORD AND EARN. The world is in danger and it behooves us to "spread the Lord's word everywhere" by taking orders for Religious mottos. Why, it's practically our Christian duty!
 This pattern for Tatted Earrings is for my tatting friends: @ Tatting Chic and Tatting and Not a Lot Else. My tatting has not progressed to this level yet. Not that I wear earrings anyway. But I think they are cute. Notice that it says, "These are tatted of yellow thread..." but the picture is red. Okay, so that's their spot-color for that page. However, other pages have a spot-color of yellow, so I gotta wonder why they didn't use yellow on this page? Or put the pattern on a yellow page? Or change the thread color in the pattern to red? I dunno. It's all very confusing!
I guess that's enough little gems for one issue. I'll try to do another one soon. As always, I'll leave you with the dress-pattern page. I lovelovelove the old dresses!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's a Twin birthday!

See the babies in the box? They are my twin sisters. That's our sweet Mother feeding them ice cream. Actually, she's feeding Naomi ice cream. I expect she alternated mouths with each spoonful, because Dori doesn't exactly look like she's suffering from lack of ice cream, does she? That's me in the red dress behind them. (And Uncle Cecil in the chair, if you wondered.)

The twins are about a year old in this picture. I don't know if it was their birthday the day this picture was taken... but today is their birthday! I won't tell you how old they are, but the picture was taken in 1968, so you can do the math. ;-)

Happy birthday, Dori and Naomi!