Today is a cold windy Monday at 1 degree and the wind makes it feel even colder! I just came in from cleaning out the chickens. They are happy campers now. Clean coop, fresh water, feed bowl filled and banana peels for a treat. As happy as they can be I guess being cooped up in the coop. They sure don’t like the snow and cold. The kitties have fresh water too and a bowl full of food and a nice warm insulated doghouse full of straw.

Today has been busy. A two hour delay at school due to the cold and wind. That means keeping Drew entertained and yet ready to go to school when it’s time. He doesn’t sleep in and he gets all settled in at home when there’s a delay and then it can be a fight to get him out the door. Today we played with legos and talked about school. I think that helped.I made chocolate chip cookies when I got home from delivering Drew. Eric goes back to Iowa today and I wanted to send him off with something yummy from home! Then I spent some time on the phone with my mom who is trying to help my aunt learn how to use her new iPhone. Mom doesn’t have an iPhone so it’s quite comical trying to get her to understand over the phone so she can explain to Aunt Konnie over the phone what to do. I think we might be running to Konnie’s house tomorrow afternoon. It’ much easier to explain in person than doing it this way.


I did manage to squeeze in a frugal pantry craft though. Am I the only person who will buy a product at the grocery store just for the pretty label? I loved this label on the store brand flour at our local grocery store. Now, in this instance I would have bought this brand anyway due to it being the cheapest. When you shop at the local grocery store in a small town, you tend to buy the store brand. It still many times is more expensive than anything you can buy at the bigger name brand store. But sometimes it’s just cheaper and much less time consuming to run to town which is seven miles away than it is to run to the closest Fareway or Hy-Vee which are 30 miles away.

I was in need of flour and when I saw this label on the flour bag I fell in love. It’s blue for one thing and I love the old time feel!  I thought it would be perfect glued to my flour jar. Now to find similar labels for my other jars – sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, powdered milk, rice, macaroni noodles, etc. I’m not sure that will happen at the store so maybe I can find something on Pinterest I like that will coordinate. I like the how cheery this looks sitting on my cupboard and would like to have all my jars look pretty. And I used wheat paste so if I need or want to I can take this off and replace it with something else down the road.

Linen and Needle and Thread

I’ve stitched for so many years I’ve lost count. My aunt taught me when I was a young girl and I’m so grateful to her for taking the time to teach me. I stitched on and off over the years and then for some reason I stopped for a few years. I just had no desire to pick up the needle. I did lots of other crafts and did lots and lots of scrapbooking for a time. I never thought I would get tired of scrapbooking but for some reason the desire just slowly went away. I have some beautiful books and we love to pull them out and look through them but now I hardly ever even print a picture.  I have so many pictures of Abby and even Aaron. Not as many of Eric but I still have way too many. And then Drew comes along and I had stopped taking and printing pictures. I started taking pictures again but I just don’t print them like I should.

Anyway, back to stitching. I picked up my needle again a few years ago and discovered stitching on linens and developed a love for the primitive patterns and the designers that are out there. Good bye Aida cloth and bright colors and cute designs. But along with this new love and more time to stitch again now that I only have Drew at home, I have run out of room for my creations. And I’m a pack rat and feel the need to keep everything so of course I can’t get rid of any of my creations!

Then I started following some primitive and country decorating pages on Facebook which led me to some primitive selling pages and I took the plunge. Joe has been pushing me for years to try and sell what I stitch but if it wasn’t for Facebook I don’t think I would ever have even tried. And low and behold – my creations sell! I’m not going to get rich by any means doing this but I can at least justify my stitching now. I’m not filling the house with unneeded creations and it’s not costing me anything to make what I do because I’m selling what I make. And now when I sit and stitch at night not only am I enjoying myself immensely I’m making others happy too! It’s a win win right??!!

Stitching is a form of therapy for me. To just sit quietly and pull thread through linen. The feel of it, the sound of it, and the creating process.  The beautiful colors of the threads and putting those threads together to make beautiful designs. And there’s something about the primitive designs that just tug on my soul. Their simplicity and dark muted colors. And then dying them in a coffee bath when I’m done stitching to make them even more muted. Picking out the perfect baking fabric – Civil War reproduction fabric is my fabric of choice. Just one more thing to draw me to the past just like these little pillow tucks, cupboard keeps, whatever you want to call them do. I like to think that even back in days gone by, even when our ancestors didn’t have much and they had to sew by hand out of necessity that they would stitch a little pin tuck and put a little primitive design on it to make it pretty to help lighten their load and have something pretty to adorn their home.  My stitching draws me to the past and gives me something pretty to adorn my home too – a little pillow tucked into a little bowl or the corner of a shelf. Just a little something to brighten the day!

Rocks and Camping

I don’t know why he takes the dolls hair off but he seems to like them better this way!

Yesterday Drew and I were missing Eric and I could tell Drew needed a little extra attention. So, even though my house is a disaster and I had planned on doing some major picking up and cleaning – I instead spent the majority of the day with Drew. We played with his Playmobil camping toys – he has the truck, camper and tent and he has so much fun with them! Then we painted rocks! I had seen that our community had started a Sigourney Rocks project where you paint small rocks and “hide” them around town for others to find. If you find a rock you can either keep it and paint another one to hide or you can re-hide the one you found. You also share a picture of the rock you found on Facebook under the Sigourney Rocks group. What a fun project – something both adults and kids can enjoy together!

Then last weekend while at our family get together in Burlington my cousin showed me some rocks she had painted with her granddaughter that they were taking to Lake Geode (which is just down the road from Uncle Terry’s place) to drop off with the same principle behind it. Only she was a member of Art Abandonment on Facebook. The way she explained it they do the same thing only you can do more than just paint rocks. You can make anything you want and leave for others to find. I see it to be a way of spreading joy to others without expecting anything in return. Something I want Drew to understand and want to do. We are going to take our rocks to the campgrounds when we camp and leave them for others to find. And we’re going to be on the lookout to see if others have left rocks of their own for us to find!

Today picking up the house is on my agenda and then working in the camper and if time allows, maybe painting some more rocks. It’s kind of addicting! Tomorrow is Joe’s and my anniversary and we are camping, just the two of us, for the weekend in Pella. This is a yearly tradition for us. We don’t buy each other presents and we rarely, if ever, get away just the two of us except for the weekend of our anniversary. We tend to stay either in Pella or at a favorite campground outside of Des Moines. This year we will be heading to Roberts Creek in Pella. We always look forward to this weekend and this year is no exception. Drew will spend the weekend with Grandpa and Grandma, Eric doesn’t plan on coming home this weekend, so we’ll be off to spend a nice relaxing weekend on our own!


Learning a New Craft and A Rough Day

Soon to be a baby bootie!

During our first camping trip this spring the lady camping next to us was loom knitting a stocking hat for a baby and she showed it to me. I’ve never learned the art of knitting but this looked like something I could possibly do. So I ordered a set of looms off of Amazon and headed to YouTube and easy peasy – stockings hats and baby booties and these little dolls for baby girl. I enjoy it but it’s not something I want to sit and do all the time but  I can now make stocking hats for the little boys and baby girl when needed. They’ll make great Christmas presents this year.

On a different note – yesterday was rough. Rougher than I expected. We moved Eric to college. The move itself was wonderful. Everything went very smoothly and we had him moved in in less than an hour. Of course the fact that he would only let me make up his bed and do nothing else made things go a lot faster. Girls are so different than boys when it come to these things. Not only did we have a small load to move, he wanted to unpack and put everything away himself after we left so that didn’t leave much for mom to do! Moving Abby was a whole lot different!

After we had everything up to his room we left to run errands. We kept running into another family we had seen at the dorms. We saw them at the restaurant and at Walmart and the boys decided they would meet up later in the evening. He seemed nice and that made me feel better knowing Eric might have already made a friend in his dorm. We ate lunch at Hu Hot then onto Walmart for a fan, microwave, coffee pot, groceries and odds and ends. He shares a bedroom and study room with one other boy and they share a small kitchen and bathroom with two other boys. The kitchen has a refrigerator and stove but he wanted a microwave and coffee pot. His roommate is bringing a toaster and a TV so that seemed fair enough! Then we had to stop at the Hawk Shop to pick up his computer and then back to the dorm.

Eric’s roommate won’t be moving in until Thursday and they haven’t met yet. They have talked on social media. He’s from Chicago. The other two boys had moved in earlier but we never saw them. We did hear them in their room when we got back from shopping but they soon left without introducing themselves. Being a worry wart mom I immediately noticed when we first got in the dorm that it smelled like cigarette smoke. When I went into the kitchen I discovered an empty water bottle sitting on the table and it contained cigarette butts and the used cigarettes had been dropped on the floor down where the wall meets the floor. There is a gap there that doesn’t have a baseboard and I guess somebody thought that looked like a good place for used cigarettes. Along with that the kitchen window was wide open. I’m sure to try and get rid of the smoke. But – the air conditioning was on and although the bedroom was cool, the kitchen of course was not. I’m sure smoking is not allowed in the dorms but Eric wouldn’t let me go talk to the RA about the situation. He said he would wait until his roommate got there and they would work things out themselves. I get it. But I’m not happy with this situation. But, I’m sure everything will turn out fine. I don’t have a problem with them smoking. I do have a problem with them smoking in the dorm and leaving their mess in the kitchen like that. If just seemed rude to me.

Anyway, leaving him was harder than I thought it would be. No roommate, the neighbors just don’t seem friendly, he has no idea how to use the bus system, he doesn’t know anyone in his dorm . . . And yet he seemed fine. I’m just a worry wart! And then Drew was crying and refusing to put his seatbelt on because he thought that way we wouldn’t be able to leave Eric. I had to sit in the back with him and he cried himself to sleep. When we got home I texted Eric to let him know we stopped and picked up his car, which had been in the shop, and that it sounded great. The exhaust had needed some work along with the alternator. He said he was with Allie and they were at Target. I should have known. Allie is a friend and classmate from high school who also moved in yesterday only in a different dorm. Funny how much better it made me feel knowing they had hooked up already! And now I’m trying to stay busy and not worry and not text him. I will at some point today but I have to let him do what he needs to do without constant interruptions from mom!

Stuck In A Rut

I seem to be stuck in a rut. This happens once in awhile. I don’t want to stitch. I don’t want to crochet. I can’t think of anymore signs I want to paint. I’m in need of a good book or series to read. I have this desire to be doing something but I just can’t put my finger on what it is I want to be doing. I know this will pass. It always does. I just wish I could figure out what it is I have a “need” to be doing!

Drew is not stuck in a rut – he stays busy from sun up to sun down. We have dinosaur families all over the house right now!

Joe will be home today. Hurray! He’s been gone since Monday. We have t-ball tonight and we’re camping with Dad and Mom at Belva Deer starting today through Sunday. Then Monday and Tuesday will see Joe, Eric and I in Iowa City for college orientation. Not sure I’m ready for that but it’s coming whether I’m ready or not! The University of Iowa. A big place. Scary to me but Eric is looking forward to it. It will be fun to get a closer look at the college. Then three t-ball games next week to end up the season and it should be nice and quiet around here for awhile. I’m definitely ready for that.

He made what he calls a “spikey ball” today. Pretty cool!

Yard Art

Not sure where I’m going to put this one. It still needs a little sanding and maybe some stain. Whether I actually get that done remains to be seen!

Last Friday Mom and I went to Wellman to The Barn. A flea market/craft show that’s held periodically. It’s out in the country at a private home and it’s such a neat place. They have a beautiful Quonset hut style barn where vendors set up and then vendors are set up all over their yard. We had a fun time looking around. Mom bought a sign for her dining room. I bought a little old picture frame, an antique basket that’s in rough shape but it’s nice and prim and some white picket fence.

This one also needs some sanding and staining. They are just too bright for me!

There were lots of signs there but signs can be expensive and I hate spending money for something that is going to be outside and will weather. So, yesterday I raided the crib for some boards and made my own. It was a beautiful day to be outside. Drew and I spent the afternoon painting, listening to music and Izzy kept us company and I now have yard art that didn’t cost me anything but my time.  I just hope Joe didn’t have plans for the boards!

Lights For The Pergola

I’ve been seeing lots of ideas on Pinterest using solar lights and jars for outside lighting. When I came across one using ceiling fan shades and solar lights I thought they would be great for my pergola. We put the pergola up a few years ago and although we love it, it hardly gets used. At the time we didn’t have it in the budget to put in a floor so we used rock instead. This is okay but unfortunately the kitties think it is a litter box sometimes, the weeds like to grow in it even though we put landscape paper down under the rock, and it’s the perfect play area for a six year old and his Tonka trucks. So, we really don’t use it much. We do hope to get a wood floor put in this summer sometime. Then next year we’re hoping to put a clear fiberglass roof up and I have big plans for all the tin Joe has stockpiled and has never used. I want to put sides halfway up the pergola using the tin and old wood. Then we could really use the pergola – it would be a great place to sit when it was raining, my lawn furniture would be somewhat protected and wouldn’t blow away, we could eat some meals there. Lots and lots of plans for this area. I haven’t landscaped around it because I want all the work to be done first but I can see in my mind how pretty it will be – someday! Until then, I dressed it up a bit with my homemade solar lights and they look so pretty at night!

I found these ceiling fan shades and loved them. Other people must have liked them too because they only had three in stock and I need six. Hopefully they will have more the next time we go to Menards. Then when we got home I realized I could have saved myself some money and just used canning jars – I have plenty of those and they would have matched my flag. Oh well – I have another project planned for canning jars and solar lights anyway!