Sunday, December 28, 2008


Sunday the day of rest, yes that is surely all I have done all day. Mr.P. and myself went to see VALYKE this afternoon. We went to the early show, ( I hate movie theaters, but Mr.P. loves them). Going to the first show is cheaper and very few people in the theater, Both bonuses for me. Any who the film was slow, very slow. I do not care for Tom Cruise and he did not add anything to the film, but it is a true story and even though slow, it was interesting.

So today I signed up for the Quiltville mystery quilt that will start on NY day. Put lots of Christmas stuff away. And lastly started another knitted washcloth, finished the one I started yesterday.

Something that I WILL get done this week is to clean up and organize my sewing room. yesterday i did go on my last big fabric binge. I had set this money aside and bought some great things. Is this frugal, no of course not, but I had planned on this since last January. They say the more organized one is the more they can accomplish, well I plan on testing the theory.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Goals,Simply Living,cutting consumerism

Well we all made it through the Holidays again! How sad to think of "making it through the holidays" when actually whether religion or secular these days are a gift to us all. We get to spend time with family an/or friends, eat great food,and get a present or two. Happy Holidays

I know this blog is mainly for quilting but this year I am going to mix things up a bit. First of all I have been reading allot of simplicity Blogs and have always had a yearning to be "Caroline" on Little House on the Prairie, hence the name of the blog. So this year I am going to throw in some of my life style changes I want to put to use.
1 I will have 2days/week of no spending and move this p to 5 days a week by year end. .
2 Will lower my electric bill by, turning off lights,drying only towel in dryer,
3 Cooking 6 nights a week, my husband likes to eat out on Fridays and I will not take the one enjoyment he has away. i am the one who spends way to much of our income.
4. start to find recipes to make my own dishwashing soap/clothes soap/bar soap etc. The idea hear is to learn how to be better to the environment and how to do with less plastic as well as packaging.
6 Buy used before new
7. Make homemade gifts
8. ride bike more, use car less

Now I know this sounds like allot but I'm thinking soon we will have few options and be forced to live on less. Plus why should only Americans live so high on the earth and not China and India? Because if China alone lived liked Americans we would all be dead from pollution and Global Warming.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Well it is Dec.21,2008 and I have all the gifts ready for work tomorrow. I made several of the gifts this year, homemade soap,reusable veggie bags for the grocery store, then the old stand by of Christmas ornaments. Sure wish I had taken a picture of all this before I wrapped it, ( using little bags I bought last year). I am actually very, very low on my supplies that I had built up over the years. last 2 years I did not go out after Christmas to restock, wanted to use up what I had. And boy have I.

I also finished the top of a scrap quilt, string quilt is what I believe it is called. My sewing room needs alot of attention and it will receive it right after Christmas. I have about 4 tops ready for me to quilt and 2 tops ready to send to Denver.

Have been thinking allot about what I want to accomplish in 2009. Here are some of my thoughts:

1. One quilt a month
2. Finish hand quilting the Amish quilt
3. follow Simple Savings 12 mo. program
4. Put in a big garden (as big as I can with being in China in August)
5. Order all my seeds from the catalog
6. Eat out no more than once a week
7. Buy used first
8. Save save save
9. Loss weight by exercising and eating healthy

I know this sounds awful lofty but as I said I want to work on all these things. Maybe by writing them down I can review my list and actually accomplish some if not most of my wants/needs.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


It's snowing!!!!!! I love snow,I love winter. Yes it is true I am a winter lady not a summer gal . Winter is so clean, fresh with every new snow , and not to mention cool. I DO NOT like HOT!
Anyways, I turned on my Christmas lights outside this AM , Beautiful, the bushes with fresh snow on them are all lit up. 
I am off today and have lots to do, cleaning bathrooms,floors, shopping (food), and of course finish some binding on my Santa quilt. Tonight is Nano,Nano quilt group. Will be good to see everyone and what they all have been sewing on. We have some very prolific sewers in this group, makes me green, wish I had more time to get through that room of fabric.
Am going to take a scrap-booking class on line this month. Crazy, when I got married their were not even computers and now I have a blog and taking classes on line. Seems surreal!! The class is done by Melody Langsworthy, Candid Thoughts Blog. this is one worth checking out.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Seems along time since I have written here, sorry. Received an email from daughter in China and she sounded so lonely and depressed. She wishes the Peace corp had more hours for her to teach, feeling a little useless and having to much time to herself. She is going to see if she can volunteer in the primary schools teaching English.

The time just seems to fly by and I am not sure what I get done. planted tulip bulbs yesterday for some extra spring color, will put crocuses in today. Have finished one cotton organic washcloth, yarn I found in Wyoming on the way to the Teeton's.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Am here in the Grand Tetons looking out over the range and they are magnificent. What a creator to design all this wonder. E. is here for a conference and I am tagging along . Stopped in Landers at a quilt store and it was so,so., would not stop again there. However in a another small town(not sure  of the name) we stopped in a yarn store. Bought some organic cotton yarn and some wool undyed. Tomorrow will go into Jackson Hole for a look around at a quilt store and do some Christmas shopping. Then I may mossy into Yellowstone National Park for a drive around.
The colors are all turning and they are brilliant golds, I love the fall. Have been taking lots of pictures and will upload them when I get home.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I know, I know it has been a long time since I have posted. Seems life is just going by and I am not getting to the things I enjoy doing. Work has been a bear, hard to get up and go everyday with a smile on my face. nothing like having to work more, harder for less pay and to top it all off to be patronized by the CEO. Does he not understand that nurses are professional and HATE being patronized like dumb little women. Some men just don't get it and will be eternally STUPID.

Enough of that, I did spend Thursday with Kathleen and we sewed all day. Had a wonderful time. This is what I enjoyed and to spend more time with friends I truly enjoy being with, doing things I enjoy spending my time on.

Am also trying to get my house more organized which will take me the rest of my life. my garden is great, lots of beans and tomatoes, not to mention the beautiful flowers. 
The soap I made last month is almost ready for using and it smells so good.
I have started about 4 weeks ago walking a mim. of 2.5 miles to 5 miles daily with Maddie. We are both starting to look and feel better at least mentally. 

Heard from Caitlin last noc. She sounds great and loves her new site. Hope to get pictures up soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Still on Vacation

I am still on vacation and loving it. Have been home this week sewing, canning , knitting and of  course some housework. Made some incredible zucchini blueberry bread. Went and saw a friend up in the foothills. What a beautiful home, so peaceful and is Peggy a great gardner. I saw a black bear on my way home from Peggy's on the side of the road, the site made my day.

Today I will quilt some more on Collin's quilt and get some blueberry jams made for Christmas gifts. I also need to check the garden for any more ripe beans and tomatoes. I have already put up 4 quarts of frozen beans. We seem to be able to eat the tomatoes so will most likely be unable to can any of those.

School starts here next week and it seems weird not to have any children to get ready to send off to school. Erin is all set up in her own place at her university and she is my youngest. So for the first year their are no children for me to send off to school. Kinda sad, another reminder that Mr.P. and I are entering a new stage in our lives.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Home from camping which as usual was wonderful. Very beautiful, peaceful, restful and just plain fun to spend alone time with Mr.P. I would write where we went but I do not want to let the best kept secret out regarding N. Colorado. We read, fished,watched the beautiful view,walked read and fished some more. I caught the biggest rainbow I have ever caught up in....... Eric of course caught several but not as many as usual. We noticed that this year the fish were much bigger and much smarter. It is always wonderful to stand in the middle of a river and cast, and cast then to my total surprise feel a fish on the end of the line.

We returned home to find our garden exploding!!!! It rained big time here while we were gone and the plants just soaked it up. So this week I will be freezing beans and tomatoes,( at least everything we eat. Also I will be canning peaches, pears and tomatoes.

The other project I need to get going is machine quilting. I have one quilt ready to put on the machine and I finished piecing another top today. So my last week off of work I will be kept very busy.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

No Spend - Greening Up- Birthday

I signed up for a challenge from Crunchy Chicken blog , No spend in the month of August. This is quite daunting to me. I can be a low spender but it seems the harder I try the more I find cracks in the foundation. Already I have eaten out with Mr.P. and went to an Irish festival with Mr.P. Maybe Mr.P. is the crack, no I can spend like an expert all by my self. All one has to do is look at my sewing room.

Things I have been doing to be a little more greener the past month:
- all water of out flower pots has been recycled water from showers or baths
-composting is up
-inside watering is from recycling of kitchen water.
-less driving, more biking
-only used the dryer once in July
-eating from what we have in the house and garden, plus left overs.
-last month savings am pleased with what the bank tells me.
- 18 hand knitted wash clothes

Today the Z. are coming over to celebrate youngest dghter's B day. She is 19yrs. Hard to believe that I am getting old, I mean that my baby is 19. She and Mr.P will be going to a movie this afternoon and then we are BBQing burgers and brats. Will also have some fresh green beans, bread ,tomatoes, motz. cheese with garden basil, and fruit or lettuce salad. I will make my famous chocolate cake and Fahey will be over to decorate it early afternoon. 

The rest of the week, weather holding( meaning no rain), Mr.P and I will be off camping and fly fishing up in the mountains. It will be nice to get out of this wicked heat here. As been 100+
here for several days now and above 90 for 23 days. I do not care for this kind of heat. kinda scares me with all the talk about about global warming, it certainly  appears to be happening.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The To Do List

I seem to be having trouble writing consistently on my blog, but what the hell no one reads it but me! I am a women who has too many things she wants to do and no plan to get them all done. Some of the projects/daily life habits I would like to accomplish are to finish about 8 more quilts this year, knit about 10 dish clothes, can peaches, pears, toms,beans and freeze zukes. Also I renewed my interest in getting allot "greener". Driving less, cutting plastic out , no corn syrup, cooking from scratch, bread making, soap making, sewing clothes....basically what my list gets down to is living like my favorite families I grew up with and raised my children on: The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie. These families lived on less, reused everything but most important they new they were rich. Rich with family love, a home that they were wanted and needed in, where their opinions and ideas were listened to and discussed. They were a family that was a community!  Self Reliant!!! Of course I know these are TV shows and that the these lives were written out on paper, that real life does-not happen this way.. As we say shit happens. It is the bigger picture that these shows represented that intrigues me. I also know I live in a different time, but I can always continue to work to make my house a HOME where my children will want to come and visit, I can learn to listen more to people, talk less, give my opinion less, and try to live a little greener everyday. 
Which brings up the next question that has been on my mind ; what do I do with all the plastic bags I have, and what do I line the garbage cans with if not the plastic bags?  I know I could crochet a plastic rug to use up some of them, but it is the lining of the kitchen can that has me most dumbfounded. 

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Water and More Water

Today I have stepped up the water collection thing to collecting the warm up water from our showers. ( Mr.P keeps giving me that funny look). My shower which I must say is normally short, but Saturdays are shaving days and I collected 4 gallons!! That was just the water in the bucket, not what went down the drain! Mr.P was a little concerned about the soap that was in the bucket, I said I am only using a half of a pump,( have not noticed any difference in the results of how clean my hair and/ or body is), so this is a double win, a win, win I believe what it is called. Well anyway that bucket watered all my outside flower pots, back and front yard. I was gloating. 

Talked with my sister today (one of the M sisters on the east side of the river) and she had an interesting question.  Can llamas be considered a pet in the burbs? This is something I want to pursue( I will not tell Mr.P just yet, don't want to push him over the edge), but I love to knit and I would have my own yarn source. Not that I do not have a yarn source in the basement, enough yarn I am no longer sure I can use up in my lifetime. Good thing DDC loves to knit, yes that it is, I am collecting for her future knitting desires.

Today is suppose to be wickedly hot so I will be spending my day in the basement quilting. Am working on several quilts, yes all at once, just depends on my mood and what is on top of the pile.

Friday, July 18, 2008


The garden is doing oh so great. I planted, beans, beans and more beans, we love beans. I also put in some lettuce, tomatoes, herbs, cukes, and lots of flowers. Some of the beans are pole beans without the poles. Oops, did not realize they were pole beans, not real sure how they will do, life is an experiment. 

Have been taking some small steps to go GREEN. I have saved the "warm up" water from my showers and used it to water the flower pots on the back porch. Eric just raises his eye brow with my new antics. he can be slow in coming around to my thinking but he does come around eventually. You know boys don't go to kindergarden late for nothing.

Was able to get off work early, yeah, love my job but I prefer to be paid and stay at home. How can I make this work in the real world? I am working on it, will let you know as soon as I get it all worked out.

This last photo I am not sure is legal in my part of the world. Crazy, I say if I can not collect water from my roof, then I want to know who owns it so I can send all bills for any rain damage to my basement, stone walk etc., to them for repairs caused by their rain damage. Sounds reasonable to me. Yeah, now no one wants to own the water off my roof, oh and I only own the one bucket, how illegal can I be?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Eric is out mowing the lawn and the smell of fresh cut grass is a slice of heaven. This truly is one of life's simple pleasures. Today I dead headed some roses and then cleaned and I mean tear apart cleaned the basement. Ellen and Dan will be here at the end of the week so need to get things a little more organized.
Am reading alot on the internet regarding peak oil, living green and simply. I have been trying several of the ideas, like collecting the water in the shower while it is warming up, bailing out the tub water and using this for the garden and flower pots. it is not as much work as I thought, and I am savinf about 2-4 gallons of water each time. We also have not yet turned on the air. This summer has been very pleasantly cool with rain. Yeah for us.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Well we took Caitlin to DIA and off she went to China. OK it was not that easy, we all cried, and it was so hard to say good bye for 2 years. I know we have been waiting for this and it was soo cool when she received her invitation, but oh soo hard to say good bye. She is stopping in Washington D.C. for her "staging" and then on to China the 30th.  
I did well till I came home then I lost it, all day to all I think about is Caitlin!! Who am I going to stop in and see after work, have a beer....
Hopefully 2+ years will go by fast for us. Hope to fly to China next summer to spend a couple of weeks with her at the university she will teaching English. Oh my life is going to get quite. Eric said to me this morning this is what we raised the kids to do, be independent , follow their dreams, live with courage etc, and I replied yes but do they all have to leave their hometown to do these things???

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Here are a few things I have been working on, cleaning up the ragged edges of these kitchen rugs. I decided to put binding around them after trimming up the opposite ends. The Santa quilt is off today to Denver for quilting, and I made pies an apple  and lemon meringue. 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Have been looking at houses for my sister, they need to be here in 2 weeks and have no house because theirs has not sold in Chicago. They have to be stressed because I get stressed just thinking about their situation. 
Yesterday I quilted (machine) and I have the Bernina 440 machine. I am soo disappointed with this machine. When it runs it's great, but it is so picky that I spend more time trying to get it to run. It does not like delicate threads, and it is an embroidery machine! I think Bernina is just making cheap machines, not in price but in workmanship. I have several older Berninas that are all metal and I never have trouble with them, this new machine is plastic and runs like a cheap machine one would buy at Sears. No more fancy machines for me. Only the heavy metal tried and true.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Today is Fathers day and we are going to have a small family BBQ, just the girls , Eric and I. 
This is all Eric wanted for Father's day, time to spend with his family. It is hot today so hopefully we can have a comfortable dinner on the porch.
Last night we had Caitlin's going away party, it was allot fun, good food , beverages and of course people. Caitlin has so many friends and such a variety, so many from all sorts of walks of life. It was such an honor to meet all these wonderful people.
Am trying to scale way down on spending by drying clothes outside, using up old fruit in muffins and breads. Eric went through the freezer yesterday, cleaned out and organized. What a relief and now we have a great starting point. We are making a menu for the week, hoping this keeps us home and out of restaurants.
Down to Earth is a wonderful blog for anyone who wants to learn to live a simple life. I want to be the master she is at it, but I know this is a process.


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