Archive for February, 2007

A Normal Day or Two in a Country’s Girl(s) Life

Normal? What’s that? Who knows!

Alex has been sick off and on the last month, she gets sick for a few days then she is well for a few days. She started going to a pre-school a couple days a week last Fall, well, all mothers knows how that goes. A never sick healthy child starts to catch every germ around! It is either now or when she goes to kindergarten. This past month she has brought home

  • 1. A Mean Ole’ Stomach Bug
  • 2. A Upper Respiratory Virus (that’s what doctors call something they have no clue about)
  • 3. A Nasty Cold

Of course, she has shared with various people in the family. She started running fever last Friday night, continued through Monday. So I made a doctor’s appointment for her yesterday, at 4:30pm in a town 45 minutes away from our home. Now I have tried to make her an doctor’s appointment twice during the last month, but because everyone everywhere was so sick, there was no appointments available for the just kinda sick. The nurse called to relay the doctor’s advice, now, if she had been really really sick, she would have been in the emergency room (but who wants to expose an already  sick child to heaven only knows, if it is not necessary). Having raised two of my own children and helped raise many more, I know when it is time to head to the emergency room! Anywho, the poor baby had two severe ear infections! I guess all the yucky germs settled in her ears. The doctor gave us a prescription for antibiotics, which I had to fill in another town 20 minutes from our home. So yesterday was mostly just running across the country. Alex has had two dosages of the antibiotics and is already showing signs of improvement! YES!!

Today Rachael was home until 12:30 to watch Alex, so I went into Nowata to interview the 10-33 Ambulance for my other blog, Nowata, Oklahoma, go to the library, post office, etc. There is a secret hole in the wall for thrifting in Nowata, shhh! don’t tell!!! It is called the What Not Shop on Cherokee (main street, hwy. 60), a very nice gentleman runs it. There are no set hours so it could be kinda hit and miss. Sometimes you have to dig through boxes and get a little dirty (that is what hand sanitizer is for, right?) Well, he was there today and having a sale in the back room- a $1.00 a paper sack! Whipptey-ding-dang-do!!! Make my day!!  So without further ado’, here are some of the treasures:

A vintage oriental tin, I use tins for storage of my sewing and crafts bits.

Oriental Tin

A handmade 1970’s owl, love the needlecraft. Here we come Ebay!

70s Owl

I have not had time to clean some of things, because I have been busy outside blowing bubbles! Here is a cutey, Gum Pal, for kids to lay their gum on, does anyone save their gum anymore? I think that is a thing from the past when gum wasn’t so easy to come by.

Gum Pal

Book Children Playthings

A really neat 1975 Sunset Children’s Rooms and Play Yards book.

A Fire King Dish with a wooden lid. I have never seen a Fire King dish with a wooden lid! I like the simple gold design.

Fire King Dish

One last little one worth mentioning, is this bird picture! I like the bird.

Bluebird

Earlier when Alex and I was outside blowing bubbles and more or less just running around in circles, I realized my propane tank needs painting in the worse way! Take a look!

Propane tank

Does anyone know how to paint a propane tank? The loose paint needs to be scraped off, wonder how to do that safely? Why are propane tanks always either painted white or silver? Well, that is another late spring job to put on the to-do list. I am going to research this topic-How to paint a propane tank. I will publish my research in a later entry. Do I sound intelligent or what? (OK, I heard some of you say OR What!) 

Enjoy the day!

February 27, 2007 at 9:34 pm 2 comments

How to Make Thumb Pin Cushions

Well, I promised to show you how to make the Thumb Pin Cushions. This is my first “how to”, so if you have any questions, please ask me!

Step 1. Cut a template from cardstock. Template: 3inch circle. Use the template to mark the circles on the fabric. I use a #2 pencil to trace.

template for pin cushion

Step 2. I like to use small prints. Next run a gathering stitch around the outside edge of fabric, basically you are making a stuffed yo-yo. Gather up the edge but do not cut your thread. Stuff the gathered yo-yo, until firm. Now use the needle and thread to finish gathering and securing the yo-yo.

Step 2 stuffed Yo-Yo

Step 3. Drill two small holes in the top of bottle cap, approx. 1/4 inch diameter. I have use a electric drill and a hand push-type drill to make the holes. Cut a piece of elastic 5 1/2 inches in length. Insert both ends of elastic into holes, pull through and adjust to your thumb size. Make a knot in the elastic; cut off loose ends of elastic.

holes in cap

Step 4. Put a good size pool of hot glue in the cap and then push the stuffed yo-yo into the bottle cap. Decorate the outside of your bottle cap with matching ribbon; hot gluing the ends on the cap. Then cover the joining ends with a button, bow, or whatever. Now put 4 to 6 small colored ball pins into the finished pin cushion; I use matching ball pins to fabric. It’s done!

Finished Pin Cushion

Here are some examples of the color themes I have used. Strawberry print with green or red ribbon and a vintage red button, with red ball pins.

Strawberry

A lilac flowered print with either green/lilac flower edging or a lilac bow. Use white ball pins.

lilac

A dark green flower print with blue ribbon and a blue ribbon flower/blue butterfly.

 Flower

I sell these thumb pin cushions for $1.00 at the flea market where I work (in a glass case). When I go to an estate or garage sales, I pick up the little pieces of small print and scraps of ribbon for this project. I sit and make the pin cushions when I am watching tv in the evening.  I usually accomplish some of the steps in mass, such as, drill the holes in a bunch of caps, cut circles, sew and stuff the yo-yo’s,  and cut the elastic. Then I can sit down with the mass of parts and make the finished product. I also use colored elastic, which I pick up at sales or buy in bulk lots on Ebay.

Speaking of Flea Markets, I am currently putting together a small book on the resale trade. The often changed and temporary title is “The Art of Resale by a Insane Crazed Addict”. I grew up following my mother around at garage sales, church sales, etc. in the 60’s, when thrifting wasn’t cool! My daughters grew up following me to garage sales, church sales, etc. in the 1980’s, thrifting still wasn’t cool! However, they were dressed in the latest fad clothes (you know like Guess Jeans, Slouch Socks, etc.) that I picked up for pennies on the dollar (being a single mother and all). And now in 2000’s they are taking their daughters to garage sales, church sales, etc, BUT now it’s cool!! And I think that is fantastic!! Our consumer society throws away too many good items, most which are barely used.

Remember that someone you know needs a smile! Maybe a hug!

February 25, 2007 at 10:57 pm 4 comments

A New Project

I live by a small town, Nowata, in Oklahoma. I have had this idea for awhile now, so I decided to act on it by February 2007. The idea (business) is a blog about Nowata, with details and stories about the places and people there.  The name is: Nowata, Oklahoma, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Every place has a rich history and interesting people, sometimes it just requires a little digging.  Yesterday it was very nice weather so Alex and I spent time taking some pictures. The pictures below are of a mural on a side of a building in Nowata. I think a group of high school art students did this mural. I will check on the history and publish that in the Nowata blog.

Nowata Mural

Indian Part of Mural

Many of the streets in Nowata are still the brick lined, thus many intersting patterns. There have been several brick plants around Nowata in the first part of the 1900’s. Can’t wait to start to research all the history and publishing the facts.

Brick road with Sun

Curves in brick

Brick road

As with many a small town across America, Nowata has lost business and had hard economic times the past 15 or so years. I hope that with this blog, somehow, someway, it helps build Nowata and the pride the citizens have for their town.

February 23, 2007 at 12:25 am 1 comment

Take a Stand!

Take a stand against the wrong in our world today! I have always came to the rescue, defended the underdog and sticking my neck out for others! Sometimes I think why did I do that? Most of the time not. I know what I did it and I would do it again, no matter what. I have a philosophy that when I lay down at night and God and I are OK with my actions that day, then to hell with the rest! If we are not OK, then I must correct it ASAP. I have never regretted helping anyone. I often find myself up on the old soap-box, preaching about what is right and what is wrong. I don’t stay up there too long.

I have stood up to others for a very long time. It started in grade school, I have befriended many a victim of grade school abuse. Like the overweight big-boned girl that everyone else made fun of to her face. I think there but for the grace of God go I.   I have always been happy that I was a friend to her, her home life was not easy, she had to help her mother take care of a frail and elderly grandmother. She should have be running the neighbor, bike riding and doing fun things, like any other girl her age. She died at 18 due by being burn by hot water in the bathtub. I often wonder how that happened? God rest her soul.

We need as individuals to not follow or agree with someone just because it is the easier thing to do. Use your instincts and ability to think to stand up and say this is not right. If the German people had stood up and voiced their real opinion about the Hitler Regime, there may not be so many innocent people dead today. While this is an extreme example, it shows what can happen if people do not stand up to the crowd. Do not be so quick in your judgment of others. Do not be so quick and jump on the bandwagon until you know the facts.

I told myself that this post was just going to be a moment of acknowledging a part of my complex personality. So off I go to save the day! Mighty Mouse (Suzan) is on the way! Ok, I just probably dated myself. Oh, well! Do you remember the Mighty Mouse cartoons?

February 20, 2007 at 10:57 pm 1 comment

Some of My Gardens

I was reading some of my past posts and I realized that I mention the daffodils on the south side of my house more than once! Therefore, I needed to post a picture or two.

Clump of Daffodils

Daffodils

I really have a love for Gazing Globes, but my luck with them is lousy!!! It seems that either the dogs, hail or severe storms smash my gazing globes to little bits. However, the little green gazing ball with the turtles holding it up has lasted for about three years now. Maybe I will try again this summer, there are some very artful glazing globes.

This is a statue of cherubs I have had for about eight years, I bought at a moving sale for $2.00. I really love the sweet and gentle touch one cherub is giving the other. The cherubs bring to mind Alex touching Ruby, very loving. The weather worn aged look reminds me of a old “Secret Garden” statue; a favorite book from my childhood. I think I am going to seal the statue with a sealant this Spring.

Cherub Statue

One of my projects this Spring is my Butterfly Garden. My husband rototilled the spot last Fall, so it is ready for planting and putting in the items for butterflies. I plan on putting in a birdbath with a resin frog or turtle for the butterflies to land on to drink water. I also have my list of plants that attract butterflies, such as Black-Eyed Susan, Butterfly Weed (a nice orange flower, native to region) and Coreopsis (yellow flowers, native to region). A shrub I am planting in the space is the Butterfly Bush, which has nice long clusters of purple flowers. A Golden Flame Honeysuckle is planted by the trellis; the creamy yellow flower is a deep scarlet before buds open. Many of the same plants will attract hummingbirds and butterflies, so that is a bonus! I may put a hummingbird feeder in the tree.

Winter Butterfly Garden

My other main project is the East Flower Bed by my house. It has been neglected way too long!Weeds and old drift wood pieces! I want to put in a mixture of perennials and annuals. On the Southeast Corner I am planting a purple clematis vine and a trellis for it to climb up.  I planted a brillant pink miniature rose there last year. The only rose I probably will plant, roses require way too much care for my schedule!

Neglected Flower Bed

We are waiting for Spring to arrive here, how about you?

February 19, 2007 at 1:21 am Leave a comment

I am One Artsy Crafty Thrifty Babe!!!

OK , everyone laugh! Moving on now, to some of the thrifty finds of this week. The first one is a platter and I have seen this pattern thrifted on many of the blogs. On the back it reads “Hand-Decorated, Made in USA, Oven Proof, Detergent Proof????, Underglazed”, but no indication to maker or pattern.

Blue Leaf Platter

I really love this pattern, and I am keeping it! This dessert plate is made by Harmony House, the pattern is Farmer in the Dell (appropriate, don’t you think?).

Farmer in the Dell

I was never really a fan of most 60’s 70’s dishes until lately, now the happy patterns are beginning to grab my attention. Here are some groovy flowery little salt and pepper shakers.

Orange Flower S & P’s

Here comes the artsy crafty part of this post. I have made my first ATCs, Artist Trading Cards. This first one is for a blog friend, we both have interest in Bento Boxes. She is sending a postcard to me. The background is a paper napkin and the cut-outs are from a Anime page.

Bento ATC

The next one is inspired by a Pencil Swap on Swap-bot, in honor of National Pencil Day. The requirements are to send to your swap partner two pencils and a Pencil Themed ATC. I found this blog article about the growth of pencil sales in Japan because of a Haiku book. This haiku was downloaded from a Japanese web site (could not get link to work), Magdalena Dale may be the author of this fantastic Haiku. The background on this one is tissue paper. The cutouts are detailed with a silver metallic pen.

Pencil ATC

We all had a great Valentine’s Day around here! Here are the gifts for the two little sweeties in my life.

Alex’s Monkey and treats.

Alex Valentine

Ruby’s Elephant and treats.

Ruby Valentines

Now, I like technology and all, but I do not have to have all the new little toys. Yesterday, Mr. Valentine bought me a new Red Razr Phone that has a camera, now I am excited about that! I can take pictures of my babies and send the cuties to people, download into computer, etc!!!! He bought himself a new silver Razr.

I gave him a heart shaped Snickers!

Red Razr

February 15, 2007 at 5:35 pm 2 comments

The Best Ever Cornbread and Steak Stew

Do you love cornbread? I do, especially with a good hot soup or stew, and, of course, butter and honey. The wind chill factor here is 14 degrees, so my mind is on warm comfort food!

This recipe was produced by Zoe Medlin, from the War Eagle Mill in the Ozarks. My son-in-law’s grandparents live a few miles up river from the War Eagle area. War Eagle also holds a very popular craft fair and there is always nice bluegrass music on the agenda. When baked the cornmeal and flours will separate into layers, making a yummy texture, kinda like spoon bread.

Ozark Three Layered Cornbread

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light oil or melted butter (if you want to be naughty)
  • 3 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a two-quart souffle’ dish or casserole with melted butter.

Combine the cornmeal, whole wheat and all-purpose flour with the baking powder and salt, mixing well. In separate bowl beat the egg, honey, oil and milk together. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour batter into prepared dish and bake about 50 minutes or until the top is springy when touched. Serves 6 to 8.

Cornbread, requires a nice hearty stew, right?

Steak Stew

  • 1 1/2 pounds steak (sirloin, if budget allows)
  • 1/4 cup oil (healthy kind)
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 16oz can chopped tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup of celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Sea Salt to taste

In a heavy pot brown the steak in the oil, drain off excess oil. Add 2 cups of broth, tomatoes and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook 30 minutes uncovered. Add the celery, carrots and onions; simmer another thirty minutes. Combine 2 cups of the broth, the butter and flour in a blender, blend until smooth. Add to the stew, stirring until smooth. Blend in the last 2 cups of broth. Simmer until hot and steak is tender. Serves 8.

That will certainly warm you up! If I want to make the stew special, I will substitute the chopped onions for small pearl onions and add mushrooms.

Stay warm and  well!

February 13, 2007 at 8:45 pm 1 comment

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