Thoughts of a Prairie Homemaker

Since I was asked if I blogged I decided to play with it and see what I came up with.This is a collection of my thoughts on a day to day basis. I hope it entertains or enlightens you even a little!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

What a glorious day it is today!

It has just a tint of chill in the air, dinner is in the crock pot, and football will soon be on.
This is a day when MJ and I will spend time together watching tv. We don’t really watch a lot of it, but on Sunday afternoons we both sit and visit while we enjoy the games!
Today we will watch the cowboys play. This team has had a rough time over the last several years and many have quit cheering for them. I am hoping they finally have the right mix to at least play decent games now!
Today I get to relax, not much cooking to do, no cleaning or laundry since I did it all yesterday. I even made bread yesterday, though it appears I will need to make even more tomorrow!
Tomorrow the pace picks up as I have declared it “finish undone projects day” and there will still be the usually Monday jobs to do, laundry, baking and such.
Once Monday is done I can begin to work on the fun stuff, the Christmas gifts I have in mind, the new patterns I have gotten and the new material to work on them with! I am really looking forward to a new skirt or 3 and that new old time apron I want to make!
Plus it is time to begin thinking on the baked goods I plan to do for the Christmas holiday, and to begin experimenting with new recipes! I love cooking and this time of year I begin to try new things.
Chris being not in school yet, will be my tester, a job he loves as long as it does not involve nuts!
The swaps on the web site are all set, each person matched with a partner and the card list is sent out. The newsletter will go to the printer and hopefully the mail next Friday, only 4 months late! I am thinking for January, the news letter will be online with a mailed copy available on request… it might be easier on me to get it up on time and others so they don’t have to wait so long!
Well off I go to get the seats ready for football!
Hugs y’all!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Monday, 10-24-05

Monday!

Well it is decidedly chilly this morning! Stiffness from my “sliding in to home” as MJ says kept me from getting up and about at 5. I won’t let it do so again though cuz I MISSED getting up at that insane hour and wishing my men-folk good day! I missed getting them a hot meal too!

Today will be busy, there are 2 load of laundry to do, my bedroom/office/sewing room needs a major over haul, the kitchen is minus any clean dishes, and if there is energy after that, the bathroom needs a deep cleaning!

During my breaks, I will be typing up some genealogy stuff to send to a new found cousin. I will also post more of my favorite links that help keep me focused on my goals, plus I think they are fun to read!

I used to work in 15s, and set up a yahoo group on that premise, but now I lean more to 20s or even 30s depending on the job. I do not recommend stretching beyond 15s for beginners; I found when beginning my journey to an organized, pleasant home, I was easily overwhelmed. There was so much to do, (there still is it just doesn't overwhelm me as much!) and got flustered just trying to make the list. Now I do not claim to have arrived at the goal, I have just gotten better along my journey!

OK now for links I read a lot.

Daily blogs continued.

http://armyoffive.blogspot.com/

Though Miss Kayla has not updated in what seems FOREVER!!!

http://homeschoolblogger.com/quiverfull/

Though I do not home school nor do I have daughters I love reading this ladies site.

another message board that I enjoy, when I get a chance to go visit

http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/

Crystal has a wonderful site, lots of information, and a store, plus message boards. Crystal herself impresses me; she answers questions freely, and doesn’t view other message boards as competition, rather as sharing in the gift of Christian bonding!

Miscellaneous sites I visit

http://www.genealogy.com/index_n.html

Lots of info for the beginner to advance family historian

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/index.htm

Miss Maggie is one of my closest friends and I totally adore her!

Well that is it for today, my timer dinged and nothing else gets done while I sit here yakkin!

Hugs y’all!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Gooood Morning!


LOL Today has dawned on and off sunny, with a cold wind blowing! It’s delicious!

Yesterday MJ gave me a surprise, well 2 actually. He came home from work, and had taken a buddy home, well he spied a yard sale and saw a beautiful table! He remembered how crowded my chair side table was and so he stopped and got it for me! It is a decently large rectangle table, with 2 shelves and a drawer, all for $4! Solid wood too that matches the paneling in the living room!

Then he surprised me again, by telling me the new to him printer he got with his new to him dell computer was for me! He knows that I am trying to get some genealogy things printed out to file (I have too many pc crashes to trust solely hard drive storage!) and my printer is out of ink, and I am NOT one to spend $35 on something not a NEED. This printer is awesome, it is an all in one, scanner copier printer and we have printed out a pic of my dad to send to a newly found cousin, and it looks just like the original!

Then, for #3! I had found a lady in a local trade paper who fixed sewing machines, and since mine needed fixing I had asked him to take me to her. The trouble is, she lives in Miles, which is near an hour from me! Well she told me what was wrong, and when MJ came home, he looked at the machine. He had had no time to do so this week until yesterday. It turns out she was wrong, and my friend G’s DH, H was right! I still want to learn to time my other machine, which is what it needs, but I am sure there is a way to do it on line or in a book.

MJ found a place where the wire had broken! He soon had it fixed and my machine is running again! Tomorrow, Monday, I will sew the aprons I have to do, and then I can get them sent out toot sweet! I showed him the fabric I need to redo my kitchen, and he didn’t seem too flustered by the 1940s type print, nor the cost, a huge (to me, $1 rack Ruby) cost of $3.96 a yard! I figure I need at least 6 yards, but I plan to buy 10, so I can make hot pads to match and have some left for an apron and quilt scraps. I have a pattern for old fashioned aprons I am dying to use, but I have to get the bought aprons done first!

Well I am about to watch a bible study show for a church I am thinking of trying. It is hard for me to find a church. I am liberal on some things, like music, I prefer accapella but find no biblical demand for it, and yet I am so conservative on others, like dresses and head covers. I find it rare to see a church anymore that is dresses and head covers. And the ones I find that are not accapella only allow women up on stage, which is forbidden by Peter and Paul. So MJ and I are watching this preacher on tv. He is local and MJ and I have friends that go there. He has a good message and definitely a zeal for God. We are studying his words before we go to town to visit.

My allergies were bad last night, trying to turn into a migraine, so MJ took me to the little mom and pop shop for some pepsi. On the way there he surprised me again, by saying he wanted to order pizza from the tiny shop. So we stopped in there and placed our order. It is a nice little place, and I would love to do a date night there! So we ordered and went and got the pepsi, then went back to get the pizza. Well one of the ladies had made one pizza wrong, so we had to wait an extra few minutes. When the brought out our order, they gave us the mistake pizza too! So we got a bonus! Then walking to the van I fell! I am not hurt, just sore today where I jarred my back and shoulder. There was a… lump in the parking lot I did not see in the dark and I did not lift my foot high enough to step over it, so down I went! Thanks goodness MJ was carrying the pizza! I am also thankful my glasses did not fall off or break!

Well I need to get ready to watch. This has been an exciting weekend. I am ready for a somewhat calm day, though with football this afternoon, ya never know!

Hugs y’all!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Things I am enjoying lately

1) reading Created to be his helpmeet by Debi Pearl

She gives bible study life, not a boring lecture type book but fill with humor and love. A++++

2) Gorgeous cooler temps, highs in the 80s last week and high 70s this one

3) Having an electric bill under $200!

4) Sitting on the porch at night in my rocker dreaming with my MJ

5) Watching the butterflies hover over the wild grass flowers

6) Listening to the horse neigh down the road, the goats bleating next door and the cows across the way.

7) Sharing a cup of coffee mid morning with my youngest son

8) Sending MJ off each morning with a decent breakfast

9) Snuggling in the cold (all windows open) room at night with my MJ

10) Keeping home in my little house, I love every nook!

11) Sharing life with the husband God gave me (or as Judy says on her blog, THGGM, I love that!)

These are just a few of the things I love about my life here on the Texas prairie!

Kayla asked about my sewing machine, MJ promises to look at it tonight, I am sure he can fix it! I have been assured by a friend who knows such things it ought not be a motor problem.

MJ got a neat surprise the other day. I got an email from one of the local groups I am on. The lady was offering a dell pc! Only 2 years old! Included dell all in one printer and everything! So he took off at lunch Wednesday to go get it, and boy does he love it!

Chris has recovered from his asthma, and we are so glad to have him home! He is learning to do graphic art on his pc, he is very good already! He has an innate artistic ability, and it just flat amazes and awes me!

Drew is involved in school, and having a decent time of it, he is enjoying it almost as much as I did back in my day!

MJ’s work schedule is picking up and we are missing him, but glad to get the extra cash to take care of some items.

I have been reading the blogs of friends and one in particular always up lifts me, even in difficulty she has a cheerful out look.

I have decided to list a few of my fave blogs here, since I ran out of room over there>>>>>

So here goes:

http://smarshmallow.blogspot.com/

this is Candi I love her outlook!

http://judyh58.blogspot.com/2005_10_01_judyh58_archive.html

I love the peeks into Judy’s life, she is also very uplifting! Check out the pics of baby superman!

http://likemerchantships.blogspot.com/

Check out Meredith’s blog and learn how to do great things with next to nothing!

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/SitcomMom/

I love Gina’s tongue in cheek humor!

There are more I read but these are the cream of the crop!

I hope you enjoy them! Drop me a note and let me know what you think!

Oh and I got an email about a contest for the 10 top mom sites to be featured on DR Phil. So I went to the site, and checked out the list. I found that all but 2 seemed to be some sort of money maker sites, either to get moms to send money to “work from home” or selling stuff the owner set up. Only2 were to my mind truly sites geared to help moms, and from what I heard from a friend who joined one and went to check it out it was pretty dead, 92 rooms and only 12 with activity. (She did it for me, so I knew whether or not to recommend it to others! I think not)

My picks for the show would have been:

Fishing for deals, not a Christian based site, but Christina does a great job keeping things safe!

http://www.fishingfordeals.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?Cat

Frugal Families

A site full of ideas and wonderful friends!

http://www.frugal-families.com/

Hearth and Home

Built my one of my long time friends, it is a friendly site for Christian women.

http://hearthandhome.proboards44.com/index.cgi

There are others, but this is getting long so I will post them later!

I love all these sites but rarely have time to visit them anymore!

Please let me know what you think!

Well I need to make muffins!

Hugs

mel

Thursday, October 13, 2005

For today..


Well I woke to rain today! I love rain, though it meant no laundry. It is nice and cool in the house too!

I got some neat genealogy info the last few days, always fun!

I decided today to sew, since we had some lightening and heavy rain about. So I went and finished the repairs I needed to do. Just as I finished fixin’ Chris’s jeans, my machine thunked. Then it stopped. Now it won’t do anything, it doesn’t hum, it doesn’t rattle, it is for now, a large heavy glorified night light. I am hoping my MJ can figure out and fix the trouble when he gets home tonight. Or at least pinpoint it so we can begin working towards repairs! I have 5 aprons to sew, and finally found a day free of worry over Chris, and no more drama over if he would soon be home or not, and it thunked. I need it fixed asap too, cuz I want to sew now that life has settled back down and I am not afraid I will sew my fingers into the aprons!

I am reading a discussion on my web site about the Duggers family… why is it anyone’s business how many children they have? Now I admit I have not thought a huge deal on it. I am adamant that abortion is wrong. I also however think if God closes a womb it is not a doctors prerogative to open it. It is not right to mess with life, God is the only one who truly understands how the miracle works. Just because we CAN do something does not always make it a good idea. I trust God had a solid reason for not allowing me the 6 children I desired. He gave me two wonderful boys, and I have learned to be content with that. He did bring other children into my life on a temporary basis, and I hope I provided what ever it was he sent them to me for. How ever, it is none of MY business who wishes to do what. The only thing that bugs me is folks who go the large family route and then do expect the government to help pick up the tab. No I do not mean in education, but depending on government programs to provide food and such gives the government the … ability to butt into ones life. I personally do not want them in my life. I think in too many ways people have allowed the government to become a replacement for God, and family, and if this nation is to keep going, that trend needs to be stopped and reversed. Fast!

I know I am a very conservative person (some say I make the right look left) and many will not agree with me. That is fine, we each have our own path, and I am following mine!

Now my eyes are tired and it is near supper so I bid you all good afternoon!

Hugs

mel

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Do You ever...

Lately I have been looking back over my life. I have had many jobs over the years, usually to do with child care. One thing I notice in those times. Stress. I just am not cut out to work at home AND in the work place.

As I sit today working on some genealogy stuff, in between loads of laundry, and other cleaning duties, I hear the birds singing, and the chickens next door clucking. I hear the horse down the road neighing. MJ hooked me up a short clothes line on the end of the porch, so I see my clothes fluttering in the breeze as well.

Over the years I have watched when I worked, we had more income but still never enough, our “needs” seemed to grow with our pay, and we were never up to date whether I worked or not.

The boys had more in school difficulties when I was working and not there to deal with teachers. One of Drew’s teachers used to send home homework, but only gave a 0 when it was not turned it. After Drew and I spent hours working through it after I got home from work, if it was turned in, there was no grade for it given. She insisted it was my job to make sure it came home from school, even though I was never there to pick him up. I was very glad when MJ told me to quit that job, it was high stress, and on top of it my health and Drew’s was awful that year, and with the calls form school, the nosey neighbors waiting to catch me when I got home… I was a wreck!

I have done a lot of childcare in my home too, just one or 2 children at a time, since you are not required to have a license to do that. Usually though the parents were low income, and I tried to keep my rates low, so they had a decent, safe place for their children. Unfortunately many of them just built up a debt, and then disappeared. I have trouble saying, “You can not drop Stacy off unless you pay me first” when I know they have no alternative! This last one was a Marine, even though I was assured her “CO” would make her pay the bill, she is now out of state and I did not get paid. So no more childcare for me unless it is an emergency, and temporary!

Over the years we have done with out things many folks take for granted. Credit cards, nope, we use cash. Cable, nope we use an antennae. We only get clothes or shoes when we need them, I personally hate shopping for such things so to me this is a huge benefit!!

Our problems usually came about from trying to keep up with others in our age group. We fell short often. We have learned the hard way over the years the truth of Paul’s statement in Philippians 4:11-12

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

God has met our needs and has taught us to distinguish them from our wants. We like Paul have learned to be content with what we have.

I read the posts of the women on my web site and I am in awe at how different our lives are. All strive to be frugal homemakers, but some’s idea of frugal is so different than mine! There is a challenge on having days when you spend no money… I giggle cuz I don’t spend much, maybe 9-10 days a month are spending days for me, where as many others struggle to not spend for 9 or 10 days each month. Of course since the money is not here to spend, I have an advantage! Plus I do not drive our van, it is too big for me, so I only go to town when MJ is off, which is Saturday and Sunday. I miss not driving myself, but why do I NEED to? A second car requires more insurance, more gas, more space and maintenance, plus payments if we do not have cash to buy it with. All that means is we have to cut back on groceries, or retirement, since those are the only variable bills we have, every thing else is pretty well non negotiable!

Well it is time to get back to work; there is more kitchen stuff to do, supper to begin and dusting to finish.

I love these days when its just right out, no ac or heat needed! The sun is out a light breeze blowing, I need to spend some time outside in it all!

Hugs

mel

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Lets see...

where did I leave off…

The last week has been wild, an emotional roller coaster to say the least.

We did get the lawnmower running, long enough to mow a small section of the front yard. When Drew went to mow again, the oil pan seal had broken and it is now kaput.

The ac is still not running, though it is not so bad, we did get a couple more rolls of screen, just need 2-3 more and we can finish and have all the windows useable! We have decided to start saving for repairs on it next spring instead of scrambling to try and fix it now. Hopefully what ever is wrong with it will not affect the heater, though we do not use that near as much as the ac!

The dryer is also still kaput; I put it on free cycle. MJ does not have the knowledge to fix it and the cash we have is reserved for a special trip, which I will explain in a minute. We have seen several for about $50 advertised and we will see about one later perhaps. I do like hanging the clothes but having wet clothes all over my home is not fun. Perhaps I can talk MJ into getting me a solar dryer, since the winter here is usually mild (now watch us get a 4 day blizzard!)

Well I have got to say, I respect the job the Marines do in war, but on a personal level, the ones I have met lack in many areas.

Chris went for his testing and the Naval Doctors say he does indeed have asthma and that he got it in boot camp. The MRP doctor says that’s impossible. In any case he is being discharged, we have yet to find out if he will get VA care for the problems boot caused. He sounds much better on the phone. He says they have given him meds and prescriptions to help his asthma. I am hoping it is mild like mine, and he can do normal stuff with little thought.

Now the fun part. As soon as the recruiter found out about the discharge he did an about face, he quit trying to help us get info, and basically became rude.

Finally Chris called today, he left San Diego at 530pm CA time and will be in Abilene (the Dallas greyhound hub is closed they said due to the hurricane…) about 10pm tomorrow night. MJ has taken 2 days vacation and we will be there to get our boy! I am glad to be done with the Marines.

We have been working on Chris’s room these last several days, fixing it up, setting up his desk and bed and such. MJ is donating his pc so Chris has one to use immediately. New sheets and pillows have been purchased, shades hung and drapes fixed to block sun. (He has a huge picture window in his room) Papers to file for him to get financial aide for school in January have been procured and will be sent off next week. Do you think we are a little excited to have him back?

I am happy to say we are cooling off a little, average temps are in the low to mid 90s now. (Of course the week the ac died we had temps of 105-107 all week long!) My favorite part of the day is about 10 pm when MJ and I sit out on the front porch and star gaze and talk. Things are so peaceful now, and I finally feel I can rest and begin again to do my daily tasks, knowing my boy is ok and on his way home! I tried to explain to the recruiter, if it was just an attitude he had then he needed to get over it, but since it was physical illness, he needed to come home. They said they view him as one who just quit, regardless of the reason. *sigh* To me that sounds insane. That is ok, God has another plan for Chris, and we will follow it!

I spent today rearranging things so Chris can have a dresser, and my sewing stuff can all go in the dining room. I had some stuff in his closet but I in no way want him to think he is in the way here! I just want him to go to college and get his degree and get a good solid start in life!

OH yes, and we worked out the problems with vonage and our isp. The vonage folks sent us a new box and it works beautifully, the sound is clear and static free. The isp folks bumped our bandwidth, but even though they bumped it to 256 upload, we only upload at 110 -112. So they changed our bill, and left us at the higher service side while charging us the lower rate! Since we do not get even the 128 speed we ought not to have to pay for 256, it is nice when businesses are not so stuck up as to think there is no compromise! We also got cell phones, so we have them to go to Abilene with. It adds to our monthly isp bill, but it is nice to know we have them when we need them!

Well here it is 1 am and MJ is snoozing. I have a hugely busy day tomorrow, but I am so anxious I can’t sleep just yet. On the other hand my energy level is so low I can not get anything done either! So here I sit, typing!

I just got an email about my dryer, and the guy says maybe he can help... Might be nice if we can fix it, though I will still air dry the towels, I like them rough!

Oh and we think we have the Parisienne sold! A neighbor that fixes and sells cars wants it for parts, for $350. That ought to cover our trip nicely, and groceries when we get home too!

I must say I am relieved not to be going to San Diego in November; I would rather be here with my MJ and my boys!