Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Scrappy Cat

Still not finished!
A few years ago I taught myself to crochet. I wish that I would have learned to knit and crochet from my Great-Grandma Nannie. As a child I didn't see the value in it, another missed opportunity. I really enjoy it and just wish that I had time to work on bigger projects.
 Back in May I started working on a crochet project using only scrap bits of yarn. My son, Vincent, loves cats so I wanted it to have an alley cat feel to it. I followed a pattern that I purchased off of Etsy.com from Ludys shop.I did modify it using a US size H hook and worsted weight yarn. Her patterns call for perle cotton thread and are very small. You
 should check out her shop if you enjoy crocheting.
Well here we are at the end of July and the cat is still missing a leg and eyes.  It took me all but 30 minutes to finish him.  Vincent is thrilled and so am I since that is one more project that I completed.  I do think that Scrappy Cat needs a garbage can to sleep in now. Maybe once the girls go back to school!
Thanks Mom!
I'm done.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Long Six Months

Today the house officially goes off the market.  We listed in January with hopes of moving to a few acres or more. We even hoped to build until we ran into one wall after another with the way they finance new construction loans. Often the home is devalued 10-30% before it is even complete and ready to convert to a permanent mortgage, not a good fiscal move.
Through the whole six months we only had three lookers. The first couple actually were probably ready to make an offer but when they got to our driveway for their second showing they changed their minds. I guess they decided to join the great exodus out of Illinois.  Although I was upset I completely understand because that is our plan too.  This state, like a few others, has decided to rape its people in taxes and there is no sign of a reversal. Illinois is on the verge of bankruptcy and its politicians are corrupt for the most part. For now I guess we are stuck.
My husband and I will still keep our dream of a home on a few acres or more and if this country doesn't follow the fate of Argentina back in 2001 maybe we will even be able to build in a few years. I have always wanted to have some chickens and even a few goats. My children need to know the importance of living more in sync with nature and how to care for the land instead of always taking from it. A little cottage farm may still be possible.
While we are here I will continue to garden and to learn all I can about self-reliant living. I just hope the world does not go to hell in a hand bag between now and then.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mason Jar Sun Tea

 A few days ago I got a taste for some sun tea.  It has been a few years due to the fact that I melted my container making it the last time and I can never seem to find large glass pitchers.  I decided to go ahead and use my Ball glass canning jars.
I put 2 cups of water and two tea bags into each jar and then cap them. After they sit in the sun for about an hour they are ready. Add sweetener to taste and refrigerate until cold. Enjoy!


before
after about 1 hour

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Time to imagine

A different sort of tea party

I took this picture of my two girls playing on the front porch about  three years ago.  It is one of my favorites. You see, we have not had cable for at least six years now. When we had it they were being robbed of their own imagination.  When they played it was just a reenactment of what they were seeing on the tube. It took a short adjustment for them but it was well worth it in so many ways.
We have never had to get them the latest Disney kid item of the month, or is that week now? Their attitudes come from home and not TV land. When they play it is almost always something they uniquely came up with on their own. All of these things are priceless to me and my husband.
As they grow up now I am proud to see them staying true to themselves and not following the media mindset. My prayer for them as they enter their teen years is for them never to become followers but become leaders that will stay true to their hearts.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Simple Iced Coffee

I have a weakness for coffee, especially Starbucks. That green mermaid calls to me when I am out and about. She lures me in with her song just like the legend of sailors who would follow the song only to find their ship's lured onto the rocks and they to their death. Although there are no rocks to find your demise on there is another kind of death, financial. At around $5.00 a drink (grande peppermint mocha anyone) I am not doing myself or my family any favors. My hips have also paid a price for her sweet libations. Well thanks to my younger sister I have found a pretty decent alternative.
  • Brew 12 cups of your favorite coffee. I like mine strong.
  • 3.5oz of Sweetened condensed milk.
 After your coffee is done brewing allow it to cool a bit. When it is still on the warmer side add the sweetened condensed milk and stir well.  Allow it to cool to almost room temperature and put in the fridge. After it is chilled enjoy!
I buy the 14oz can of Carnation sweetened condensed milk and divide it into little containers and freeze the extra.  You may like your drink sweeter than I do so just play with the recipe. I have not tried any flavorings yet but I think mocha is in the near future.