Friday, April 30, 2010

When Company Comes....

Here is an idea we did while we had company over a while ago. In this situation, M. & Friend needed some quiet to do their Bible study, so Little Girl & I got to play.

It's not a very clear picture, but what we chose to do is throw a bunch of pillows, rugs, blankets, and boards on the floor and we had our very own "Green Sea" full of alligators and quicksand. (Yes, both in a sea)

We had treasure to keep away from the pirates, and so spent the whole evening jumping from lilly pad to lilly pad, squeeling away from aligators, and running breathless into our "cave" away from any pirates.

Above, Little Girl is trying to resuce Friend from said alligator....but it seemed a little late.

So there you have don't need a bunch of stuff to keep kids happy if you've got a little imgaination and a lot of engery!

Rain, Rain

So you see, it's been raining up here the last day or so. Everything is "misty-moisty" and nice.

Last night as I was walking home, I glanced at the sidwalks. Looks like pine needles doesn't it!
But here's a closer view. Can you tell what it is?
That's right, WORMS!
You have no idea how excited I was!
So I started up and down the sidewalk, picking them up. You see, worms are great for gardens. And I happen to have a garden. And I happen to think it doesn't have enough worms!

I was JUST thinking about them too....and how as a kid I used to go "rescue" the worms in our driveway from the puddles. I had been thinking that worms don't come out of the ground in town...but they do....and DID!

So I was quite proud to show M. my handful of worms when I got home.  I'm not sure that he was as thrilled as I was :)

Hope you have a lovely rainy day too!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Toh-may-toes, Toh-mah-toes...

These are my tomatoes. Well, these are my tomatoes a couple weeks ago.
My little neighbor friend helped me plant them way back in March.
They grew well.
So well in fact, that I have about 30 cherry tomatoe plants thriving on my window sill.

The iceberg lettuce didn't fare so well. Nor the cilantro.
They weep and wilt and make a big show about how little attention they get. I finally got fed up and just stuck them outside in my garden....even if it might still get cold.

But, as you well know, you can't grow 30 tomatoes in one little pot.
So it was time to transplant.
A sunny Saturday, some old egg shells, some used tupperware containers, and some dirt are all you need.

Now, I just need to tend the 15 more I have at work....


You know, after reading the book on simplifying, and having a weekend off to clean, and hearing stories of my sister's de-cluttering project, I'm in the mood to de-clutter too.

I was thinking alot of my husband in the process. We differ quite a bit on our view of "stuff." Of course, when I stop and think about Indian houses, and how simple they were, minamilistic really, I can understand a bit more.

I mean, really, their kitchens are small and their fridges are empty. Thier bedrooms are minimalistic, as well as most every other room in the house. You will not find many knick-knacks, no hobby stuff (i.e. books, crafting supplies, tools, etc), and even toys are scarce. They cook just enough for the meal, every meal, beacuse leftovers don't keep well. When you can get fresh veggies and fruit, just around the corner, every day, for cents on the dollar, you don't really need to "stock up."

They usually have one closet of clothes. Maybe one shelf of shoes for the whole family. They can watch movies on TV, so don't own a player or extra videos. They listen to all music on the TV also, maybe a radio, so don't have piles of CDs. Most bathrooms don't need toilet paper, and most kitchens have sponges rather than paper towels.

And then I look at our house, and there is so.much.stuff! *sigh* sometimes I just want to take a bucket and dump everything in.

But there is a time and place for everything. I like this article. And this one too.

There are a few things for me to remember as I feel the urge to purge.
  • There is a reason Indian culture is clutter-free. They really have only two and dry, and hot and wet. Either way, a pair of sandals is sufficient for shoes. They don't need winter boots. They don't need winter coats and fall coats and rain coats. They don't need tennis shoes, and tennis rackets, and fishing poles, and fishing gear. They don't need gardening supplies. They don't need 5 pairs of colored sandals to match every outfit. They have 2. That's it. I've got to remember, I can learn from India, but I can't be India. Minnesota is very different!
  • There is a time to keep things, and a time to give away. I don't need to keep every single souvineer from every trip and person. If I'm afraid of forgetting the trip or person, keeping the knick-knack isn't the solution to that problem. I don't even need to keep every single birthday card from every single birthday. Perhaps a few of the special ones, but every one? Probably not.
  • For us at least, it is okay to keep project & hobby supplies. We have time and space for that. It saves us money in the long run if we don't go out and buy new material or paint or glue every single time. But I need to remember, I don't need 10 glues and 14 toilet paper tubes. I don't need 5 rolls of tape that don't work if I can have 2 that do.
  • Labels, closets, and containers are life-savers. If it doesn't look cluttered, if it's easy to access, if I know we'll use it, then we keep it, right? If I loose it in the closet, of course I won't use it!
So hopefully, in the coming weeks, I will get started on my clutter-project. Auditing, minimizing, and maximizing what God has given us.

My to-do list:
  • Make a master camping list.
  • Sort camping stuff, and make sure it's in order, complete, and ready to use at a moments notice.
  • Sort winter clothes.
  • Make meat marinades to put in freezer for quick suppers & grills.
  • Sort tool closet....take inventory...keep list of useful tools and get rid of the rest.
  • Sort craft supplies.
  • Start rummage sale pile.
  • Clean kitchen drawers.
  • Make of list of "hope-to-dos" for this summer.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


 These pictures are late getting out....
 Our trees have leafed now....
 And our Dandylions have seeded....
 And these pretty flowers are gone and replaced by lilly of the valley shoots....
But the ants are still busy and building.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Angel Food Cake

 What to do with a dozen eggs?

The nice thing about this cake, is it uses both the whites & the yolks. I used a recipe from an old cookbook, but the one linked above is close.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Book Review

"Friendship for Grown-Ups" by Lisa Whelchel was a nice, easy to read book for me. I enjoyed the subject matter of making and keeping friends. The book itself is written mostly from personal stories. What I particularly liked was at the end of the book, there were study questions and then two appendixes. I found these better than the content of the book itself. The first appendix basically covers the same topics as each chapter, but in one or two sentences and in bullet point style. It includes tips and ideas for you from each chapter such as "Keep a box of assorted occasions and blank cards on hand," or "Ask God to provide the kind of friend you are looking for." The second appendix is actually just pages of conversation starters, or open-ended questions to share with a friend.

I was happy to see these simple helps at the end of the book, mostly because in her stories she uses language like "dear," "sweetheart," and"how is your spirit today?" I know I just don't use these on a daily basis so I was beginning to find it unrealistic. The appendixes were a great addition.

One other note, this book is definitely written from a Christian perspective to a Christian perspective. It only covers girl friendships, assuming that you are already working on your relationship with God and family.

If you would like to find this book, you can check it out at or here at

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from as part of their blogger book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bagel Bucket?

I saw this title for a bunch of bagels online recently, and it caught my fancy.

I would like to make a bagel bucket.

Wouldn't that be fun to have on hand?

Wouldn't that be fun to give?

I've heard bagels are easy to make....maybe I will try.


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