Monday, December 31, 2007

Snow, Nesting, Idea!!


There was a bit of a surprise this morning when I woke up. 8 1/2" of snow! That's not considered a storm where I live, though the media may paint it as one for the sake of a story. It's very lovely, nonetheless and once again, I'm gladly housebound. The picture is of the woods next door. Lovely!
I must be nesting because I've been rearranging furniture and staying up at night thinking about home improvements. Even this blog I'm not satisfied with the style and background color. So, bear with the changes, please. :)
One thing I always thought would be the bee's knees would be to have an official laundry room, preferably on the first floor. Right now I have a laundry area in the basement. I'm not complaining, not in the least. But, I am nesting and a laundry room always seems so charming to me.
Well, here's my idea. When we finally add the second storey on the house, we'll be knocking out the wall between the kitchen and the nursery to make an eat-in country kitchen. The nursery has a walk-in closet. It's not overly big, but it might be big enough. My first two thoughts for the closet were to either knock it out and square off the room completely, or turn it into a pantry. Both ideas have great merit. But now, I've added "laundry room" to the mix. Not only would I have the first floor official laundry room, but it would convenietly be right off the kitchen!
There are some glitches, though. I'd want at least one window in it and we'd have a bit of a mess getting the pipes where they needed to be. Still, it's another idea to throw into the Taigh Beag pot.
And just because my mind wandered this way, we're having hamburgers, fried potatoes and corn for dinner.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Resting

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, and I'm on a rest order from Hubby. I was all set to go to church, but pains in my lower abdomen (not womb-related, thankfully) and back kept me laying down. Hubby recommended that I stay home. Isn't he wonderful?!

He's also wonderful because I've been offered a piano for free! However, I lamented that we really have no place for it. Hubby is determined that I get that piano and is offering ideas for it's placement....one of which includes moving the TV to the basement. Now, THAT'S a motivation to get that basement cleaned out!

Anyone have any idea what it costs to get a piano tuned?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Resolutions, Laundry Detergent

Yes, I jump on the New Year's Resolution Bandwagon every year. And yes, every year, I usually break them. This year, though, I'm doing something different. I'm praying over them and trusting in the Lord to help me keep them. I printed out 10 of them and left 10 more spaces to fill in and I'm going to keep them in my Home Management Binder. Here they are:

1. Maintain a written budget.
2. Keep on budget.
3. No impulse purchases or odd spending without hubby's explicit permission, or with my own saved money for such purposes. (some may say I'm just doormatting myself, but this is an area that I struggle with and I need accountability.)
4. I love eating our and ordering out, but no more unless hubby asks to and we have the means.
5. Organize and declutter, especially the basement (I've got a head-start on this one!)
6. Keep on nutritional track.
7. Cut down on debt.
8. Avoid adding to debt.
9. Use cash more (and credit and debit less)
10. Find ways to reduce, recycle and reuse.

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I ran out of laundry detergent and was admittedly too lazy to make another batch. So, I grabbed a bottle of baby body and hair wash, baking soda and some borax. A respective squirt, handful and shake of the box and my laundry came out clean, soft and smelling lovely! I think I'm hooked! The nice thing is, I can get the baby stuff pretty cheap at the dollar store, or even Walmart or the local grocery store or discount job lot. My mom gets bottles free at the grocery store with coupons she accumulates. Of course, Bubby still has his own bottles for his baths.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Post Christmas Post

I had a wonderful Christmas full of so many blessings! Bubby made out like a bandit. It helps to be little a cute and have a large family. Now, I have to go through all his toys because he simply has too many. I'm also obligated to get this basement cleaned out and get an official playroom going for the little guy! Many great gifts were given to me, but three really stood out: Hubby got me a gun! Yeah, that's right! The preggy chick is packing heat! He got me a .22 mag rifle. Hey, we live in the country and we've had our share of rabid and dangerous animals in the area. With our growing brood of little ones, I'm not taking any chances! I'm a Grizzly Mama, not a Deer Mama. I also got a food processor! Woo hoo!!! Thirdly, I got the non-fiction "Olive Trilogy" books by Carol Drinkwater (All Creatures Great and Small fame).

Today is definately post-Christmas slump. After days of activities and energy, I'm a tired nutritional wasteland. I look forward to getting back on track. The wrappings are getting cleaned up and burned in our furnace. The decorations are slowly coming down. I'm catching up on several days of lack of chores and house tidying.

Preggy report: HEARTBURN! I had it with Bubby. I had it so bad just before giving birth that even water gave me heartburn. I ate Tums like candy and had to sleep in nearly a sitting position. Bubby had a full head of hair, so perhaps this one will, too! 4 more weeks and I can find out what I'm having! I've also still only gained a few pounds. My starting weight was 123. After the Christmas feast on Sunday, I weighed in at 126. I'm ok with this because I'm showing well and eating balanced. I can't really eat any more because I'm not that hungry. Besides, Bubby keeps me active. It feels good to feel stronger in this pregnancy.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

There's Something In Me!!!

Just a couple nights ago I felt my baby! What a wonderful feeling it is to feel that flutter. I can hardly wait until they turn into kicks, bumps and turns. Just before Bubby was born and he was in the head-down position, his little rump was at the top of my tummy on the right hand side. I could literally pat his little pointed bum through my skin. Thankfully, Bubby never beat the wind out of me from the inside. He's certainly making up for it now! That child wears me out! He's so much fun and energetic. It's hard to keep up!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Reminded of why I don't eat at McDonalds

Today was a busy day for Bubby and I. There was a lot of errands to run and then we visited great-grandpa in the nursing home (before I get comments, he was cared for in the home, but his illnesses have gone too far. He needs 24 hour nursing care and the medical advantages such a facility offers). So, it was well past lunch and nap time, so I figured McDonalds would be cheap, fast and easy. It was cheap, it was fast, but it was DISCUSTING! Bubby barely touched his food. He spit out the fries and the cookies of his happy meal. All he ate were two pickles off his burger and half his drink box. I had a cheeseburger, small fries, fruit and yogurt parfait and water. When I got home, I downed a mug of chamomile tea because my stomach was off. Blech..... He loved his happy meal box and the bionicle toy that came with it. I guess I've eaten too healthy too long to enjoy fast food any more. Even the fruit and yogurt parfait was too sugary for my taste.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Enjoying My Hermitage

With winter storms constantly coming on top of the cold, the bother it is to get not only myself but my son bundled up, and illness after illness (I now have a sinus infection), I've been enjoying life as a semi-hermit. Granted, I'm still getting out every week, but I'm in a lot more which is good for me. Not only does it save money and vehicle wear and tear, but it keeps me disciplined to stay home. That is something I've been working on.

It's nice to stand in the living room at 9 am and realize there's nothing pressing to do and that I can just sprawl on the floor and play with my son! It's nice to open my check book and see days go by without a dime spent.

Tomorrow, my hermitage ends temporarily as I have many errands to run. Errands, I know will take two days to do. Then Sunday is church and family dinner. Monday, I go get blood work done. Tuesday is Christmas and all it's visiting. Wednesday, I hit after-Christmas sales to stock up for next year. Then, I can become a quasi-hermit again.

I plan to hermit for most of 2008 as well, since I'll be preggy, then birthing and caring for a new little one. I look forward to it.

I put in a decent start to the basement cleaning yesterday. I'm STILL organizing patterns. The box of stuff to sell or give away is about half full already! I may be rid of some patterns, too. Complete patterns I sell. I think it would be wise for me to limit myself to one file drawer of patterns.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Basement Work Begins

The time has come. I cannot put it off any longer. Hubby wants the space. I want the organization. Bubby needs an area to burn energy since it's mighty cold and the snow is too deep for him to go outside. Thus starts the Great Basement Clean-Out!

This is going to be quite the project. Here's the problem: Since we live in a small cottage with limited storage, anything that did find a home in the main living space was thrown down into our basement. Our basement is PACKED!

I'm trying to start with what I know. I have a box for keeping, a box to get rid of, and a big garbage bag for the trash. I'll work from there. It's going to be a lot of work and a lot of motivation will be needed.

I'm not kidding when I say, "pray for me!"

Monday, December 17, 2007

My Blessed Birthday!

Over the weekend was my birthday! It was a blessed one. I had a good day and spent time with family. I received many wonderful gifts, all of which I'm thankful for:

My parents gave me: scented candles, a dictionary (I asked for one), cosmetic pads, a metal spatula (they heard me lament over my lack of one) and stationary.

My oldest brother and his wife gave me: Josh Groban's CD Noel.

My older brother and his wife gave me: A box of my favorite confections, and a forced bulb kit.

My little brother gave me: an Alison Krauss/Robert Plant CD

My little sister gave me: Burt's Bees lip gloss, potholders

My dear hubby gave me: two unique and beautiful, feminine blouses that I can wear pregnant or not.

My sweet penpal gave me: a drawing journal and a graphite pencil kit

I am just so blessed!

ladyscott

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Busy Day, Wrapping Up Christmas Prep

Busy, busy, busy! We're expecting foul weather, so I grocery shopped early on top of Christmas shopping. Poor Bubby was out past his nap-time and was getting out of sorts in the stores while mommy made her choices. I treated him to Subway to make sure he had a good meal in his tummy. I always get their veggie delight subs on whole wheat.

Once home, I had to unpack the groceries and start working on all the gifts I had to put together. I also bought a cheapy wreath at Walmart and some bows and a string of lights for it. That got put together and hung in my picture window.

In my effort to keep my gift buying on budget, I managed to put together and nice gift basket for under $14.00 thanks to the Dollar Store and some coupons. The basket includes the basket itself, a box of gourmet biscotti, a wooden nutcracker ornament with candies, a bag of gourmet chocolates, a picture of Bubby in a frame and 4 Christmas-themed scented Yankee Candles.

The Dollar Store also provided me with stocking stuffers for Bubby. Hubby asked me the other day what we were filling Bubby's stocking with. I had no plans to fill it, but hubby wanted it filled. Bubby's stocking now contains: 3 bottles of bubble soap, sidewalk chalk, a bath puff with attached dog, and a farm scene sticker book.

I also managed to chat with my MIL about what to get FIL, the man who literally needs and wants nothing. I already got him gourmet popcorn, but MIL liked my idea of a dried fruit gift platter and yogurt covered pretzels.

This evening, I have Bubby's Christmas pictures to cut out and send out. I take a cute, posed picture of him with a disposable camera, get the film developed and then use the Kodak picture scanner at the store to make copies for family members. There's also a few more gifts to wrap.

So, I better get cracking!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's nice to have goals again

It's been a while. Summer and Autumn kept me busy. The harvest was plentiful and needed preserving. That left me little time for anything else. Then, becoming pregnant, though such a joy, I'm sure many a mother can relate that the goal of the first trimester is to just get through one day at a time.

Now, it's all behind me. I'm waltzing to Christmas music into my second trimester and joyfully enjoying the fruits of my harvest labor. Couple winter rest with the New Year, and I've got goals flying out of me! Granted, all the goals are pretty much intertwined, but they're happy goals I hope to acheive and maintain before my little one arrives late spring:

1. Go through all my collections. Keep an eye out for a possible online tag sale!
2. Reduce spending greatly.
3. Pay down debts.
4. Start an etsy shop.
5. Keep up on housekeeping and general homemaking.

It'll be nice to see these things come to fruition before my child birth and infant-rearing responsibilities put them on hiatus.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Busy Monday

It's been a busy day so far and it doesn't seem it'll lighten up any. I don't mind. It's nice to be this busy again and to be able to keep up! Laundry is almost done, too! It's been quite some time since I was able to get laundry done in half a day, let alone one day! I also cleaned the bathroom, bathed the dog, vacuumed, made a squash-nut bread and molasses cookies, took the garbage to the curb, burned cardboard and loaded the furnace, changed a lightbulb (it was outside and up a ladder), shoveled some of the driveway and path (just touch-up of what hubby couldn't finish this morning and it was only 1/2" of snow), and played with Bubby. It's 1 pm now.

The squash-nut bread emerged from an acorn squash I baked for dinner one night and it really did look unappetizing. No one ate it. Now, it's a yummy nut bread! I modified a recipe for pumpkin loaf. I my homemade unsweetened applesauce instead of the oil. I used whole wheat flour, 2 packets of stevia and only 1/2 cup of sugar (the recipe called for one whole cup). I added walnuts and raisins. Bubby helped.

Bubby also helped make the molasses cookies. Instead of butter and shortening (I'm low on butter and don't use shortening) I used coconut oil and applesauce. They came out chewy and yummy! Bubby had a molasses beard!

Tonight's dinner is homemade macaroni and cheese with ground beef and steamed wax beans or mixed veg.

Tonight, I think I'm going to curl up in bed with my brand new copy of Passionate Housewives Desperate for God!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Going Well....

The doctor says everything looks great! I did get an ultrasound and my little one danced for me! As for possible complications because of my miscarriage D&C, everything looks good and it shouldn't be a worry. Baby is exactly on target.

Today, I wrapped presents. It wasn't as fun as I thought it would be because Bubby kept stealing the tubes of wrapping paper to bang into the floor and unroll. I gave him the empty rolls, but apparently, they weren't as fun. :)

I also had him sit for Christmas pictures and he was miserable. Usually, he likes getting his picture done. Oh well. I'm pretty sure out of the MANY that I took, one of them will be a good photo.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Decorating Today and Lunch

Today is Christmas decorating day! My friend is coming over to help and I hope hubby is really pleased and comforted when he walks in the door. One nice thing about Christmas decorating is that when you clean it all up in January (I usually don't wait that long), it's like instant declutter! The house looks so open.

I only have enough money to buy a gallon of milk today. Yet, I must feed my dear friend! She prefers not to eat meat, though she's not a strict vegetarian. In her current displaced situation, she's been eating poorly and I know she'd enjoy a healthful, delicious meal. I have romaine lettuce, tomatoes, baby carrots, havarti cheese and pecans. SALAD! I'll also boil some eggs in case she wants to add an egg or have an egg salad sandwich.

I have tea and oatmeal cookies on hand, too.

Can you tell I'm REALLY trying to curb spending and work with what I have. My mom has a saying that keeps running through my head, "I do the best I can with what I have."

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Dinner Dilemma

I have a little dinner dilemma that I think I've figured out. Hubby and I are expecting guests tonight. However, when I went shopping for the week, I didn't plan a meal for Tuesday let alone plan for two extra people. (We were supposed to go to their house for dinner.) So, this morning, I opened up my freezer and stared at my selection.

I couldn't do chicken. I needed the chicken for another meal. I couldn't do venison, because they don't have a taste for it. I couldn't do tenderloin because it was already promised for another couple for a dinner party. I couldn't do lazagna because I didn't have enough milk to make the cheese filling and I can't leave the house today. My only option was the stew beef, yet I didn't want to make yet another batch of beef stew. Then it struck me...

BBQ'd steak strips and boiled potatoes with a side of squash. Now, I just have to come up with a dessert.

Monday, December 03, 2007

We're not supposed to love sleep....

But surely the Bible makes exception for pregnant women! Tee hee. :) I'm pretty sure Little One is going through a growth spurt. I can feel my womb stretching and I'm quite tired. It doesn't help that I'm up quite often at night to go to the bathroom. The advice I got was don't drink anything after 6 pm. HAH! What else am I supposed to do if I'm so thirsty!? It's ok, though. I really don't mind. I am reminded how truly blessed I am to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. I was able to sleep in this morning (before Bubby woke up screaming and throwing up...he's fine now) and I'll be able to lay down at Bubby's nap time. Also, I can go to bed anytime after 7pm if I need to.

Our "major snow storm" turned into a mild mess. Still, the media made a big craze about it, but you look out the window and say, "so what!" There's not even anything much to shovel.

Today, I'm going to clean up the house the best I can and move a couple of bookshelves in preparation for Christmas decorating. Tomorrow, we're getting our basement waterproofed and Wednesday my friend is coming over it help me decorate the house.

Tonight's dinner is a treat for hubby: cheeseburger pie!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

One Roast=4 Meals, Christmas Card Time, etc!

Yesterday, I started cleaning out my basement and found the offending dead mouse. I'm so glad to be rid of it. It was in a box of fabric scraps and it gave me a great excuse to throw it away!

Ok, perhaps this isn't the best segway....dead mouse topic to food topic, but bear with me. :)

Thank God for His provisions! I was able to stretch one bottom round roast into 4 meals! The roast was a blessing to begin with. It was given to me by my neighbors (they raise their own beef cattle) for free!

Meal #1: Crockpot roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies. I placed the roast in a crockpot and poured an undrained can of mushrooms over it. Then I added some water and beef bullion and seasonings. I let it cook. Then, I made a gravy out of the broth.

Meal #2: Lots of leftover beef and gravy. I sliced up the beef and added it to the gravy. I made a batch of buiscuts and steamed some carrots.

Meal #3: I had some beef and gravy left over, so I threw it into a stockpot with water, celery, potatoes, carrots, onions, bay leaves, worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper. I topped it off with dumplings and we had a wonderful beef stew dinner.

Meal #4: I have enough beef stew left over for lunch! Pair it with a sandwich or cheese and crackers and YUM!

It's December 1st and for me that means it's time to start Christmas cards. I have over 50 to write and send. Thankfully, last year after Christmas, I was able to get cards at a deep discount, so I stocked up. I have plenty. This morning, I wrote out 10 cards.

The snow we were supposed to get was disappointing. We barely got a dusting. I had insomnia last night and was up from 1:45 am to 5:30 am (and then officially got up for the day at 6:30 am). We just got a light dusting between 2:30 and 3:30 am. Regardless, it's cold and windy today. It's a great day to stay indoors!

Today, I hope to clean out some more of the basement and I have to make cookies. Poor hubby went cookie hunting last night and came up empty. I'm not sure what to do for dinner again. Thankfully, I have next week planned out already! The only thing I forgot was yogurt and I think the batch I have in the fridge is bad. So now I have to do without. I'll have to alter my salmon pasties recipe. I need yogurt for the dough and cream cheese for the salmon. I think I can work something delicious out, though. :)