Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bobble Diamond at a Snail's Pace


I've been working on this a little each day.

It is mostly single crochet, so the rows aren't tall and progress seems slow.


I guess I'm about at the 1/3 point.  

I thought I was closer to halfway until I laid it out to take photos.

It is going to be a warm blanket when it's all done.  And I think the geometric design is attractive and perfect for a guy; my brother-in-law in this case.


We got some good news this morning.  
Our builder has scheduled our walk through for next Thursday!  
Woo-Hoo!  

We still don't have a closing date yet as they haven't been able to pour the driveway with the cold-wet weather we've been having.  

I guess they can't issue a certificate of occupancy without the driveway.  

I'd appreciate your prayers.  
God is bigger than a driveway!

Blessings to you for a fabulous remainder of the week.

Happy hump day,

Heather

"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
Matthew 21:22
(KJV)


Linking up with Ginny at Small Things for the weekly Yarn Along.



Saturday, January 25, 2014

"The Long Winter"


"The cold and the dark had come again.  The nails in the roof were white with frost, the windowpanes were gray.  Scraping a peephole only showed the blank, whirling whiteness against the other side of the glass.  The stout house quivered and shook; the wind roared and howled.  Ma kept the rag rugs tightly against the bottom of the doors, and the cold came crawling in."
The Long Winter
Laura Ingalls Wilder

I was joking with my mom, via e-mail, the other day that I felt like Laura Ingalls Wilder in The Long Winter.

We've had such a cold and bitter winter so far.  I read somewhere that it is colder here in Ohio than it is in Alaska!

The furnace in the apartment can't keep up with the cold outside.  

When I woke up it was 58 degrees in the apartment.  Through the day it hovers around 62 - 63.  

We stay dressed in layers and wear our bathrobes over our clothes.  

Last night I just could not get warm so I put on my gloves and went to bed.

I have towels in all the windows to keep down the draft that blows through the windows.

But, with all this being said, I'm thankful that I don't have to twist hay to burn to keep warm.  

"All that day and all the next day, Laura helped Pa twist hay while Ma kept the fire going...Their hands were red and swollen, the skin was cold, and covered with cuts made by the sharp slough hay."
The Long Winter; Laura Ingalls Wilder

We have food in the pantry so we aren't hungry.

"How much more wheat is there?  I think enough for today's grinding,....There's no more in town....Then Laura braced herself, she steadied herself and she said, Ma.  Will we starve?"
The Long Winter; Laura Ingalls Wilder

We are having one blustering and boisterous winter.  But as Ma tells Laura...

"Don't complain, Laura!"....."Never complain of what you have.  Always remember you are fortunate to have it."
The Long Winter; Laura Ingalls Wilder

So I am.

I hope you are staying safe and warm today.

"It can't beat us!"  Pa said.  "Can't it Pa?"  Laura asked stupidly.  "No," said Pa.  "It's got to quit sometime and we don't.  It can't lick us.  We won't give up."  
"Then Laura felt a warmth inside her.  It was very small but it was strong.  It was steady, like a tiny light in the dark, and it burned very low but no winds could make it flicker because it would not give up."
The Long Winter; Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wishing you a blessed Saturday,

Heather

Excerpts taken from Laura Ingalls Wilder's book The Long Winter.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bobble Diamond Work-in-Progress


A few days ago, I brought out the Bobble Diamond afghan I started last year.  

I think I've mustered up the motivation to make some progress on this.  

I'm hoping to get this finished by the time we move.  Our builder committed to February 15th, so I have a little more than three weeks.  

Tall order, but something to work toward.


Dear son and I have four chapters left in Runaway Brook.  This is a sweet little book; but, I've liked the other two we've read from the series a bit better.

It is bitterly cold here today.  We are getting another one of those polar vortex fronts.  Two are supposed to be moving through our region; back-to-back.  The next ten day forecast looks like cold and more cold.  

Happy Wednesday,

Heather

I'm linking up with Ginny at Small Things for her weekly Yarn Along.








Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Couponing


Food prices are soaring along with everything else.  Have you noticed it?  We certainly have!  
It is expensive to feed a family.

A couple of months ago, I started watching Extreme Couponing on Netflix.  

After watching a few of these shows, I got really excited about saving money with coupons.  

Now, I haven't gotten into it like the people on the program.  And, the program shows a lot of coupon doubling.  

The grocery stores in my area don't double coupons anymore.  With that in mind, I think the days of getting things for "free" with coupons are about gone.  

But, all those things being said, I could see where I could help my family save some money.

A fraction of a price is better than a whole.


So, I thought I'd give more thought to my coupons...

I've been pairing sale prices with coupons to get great prices on things we need (or as in the candles), just couldn't pass up the savings!


I'll give you an example with these candles I bought after Christmas.

The candles were marked down to .79 cents...


I had a coupon for $1 off the purchase of 2...

.79 + .79 = $1.58
$1.58 - $1.00 (coupon) = .58 cents (for 2)
or
.29 cents each!

Wow, I was excited!

:-)

Last week, ALL laundry detergent was on sale for $2.49 at my Kroger.  I had an e-coupon for $1.50 off one.  
So I got laundry detergent for .99 cents!

January is the first month I've really put my mind to the "science" behind couponing.  

It does take a little planning time to look through the weekly ad, match up the sales with the coupons, and make a list.  

But, this month alone, coupons enabled our family to save $100 dollars on our grocery budget.  

That was a real savings we could put in the savings account.  

I thought I'd share a few sites with you where you can print coupons and a couple of blogs I follow that show deals at different stores.  

and

Here are a couple of coupon sites I like:

and

I've kind of made a game out of it to see how much I can save each week.  

It's been fun.

The snow is flying here in Ohio and all the schools in my area are closed.  

We are plugging away though; snow doesn't stop a homeschooler!

Stay warm and carry on,

Heather

"A man's heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps."
Proverbs 16:9
(NKJV)







Saturday, January 18, 2014

Baby Blanket Complete


I finished up the little baby blanket last night.

It felt good to get one of my works in progress complete.

I used Bernat Softee Baby in White for the body and to add a little interest, I used Bernat Softee Baby in Prince Pebbles in the border.  


Each year our church has a Sanctity of Life Sunday.  They have a speaker from the pregnancy care center they sponsor and take donations for the young mothers.  

I'll be donating this baby blanket on behalf of the Guardian Grandma's that Debi Y. sponsors.  

We got snow yesterday and right now it's 14 degrees outside.  The interior lighting isn't the best for photos, but I'm not brave enough to venture out in the cold for photos.  

:-)

My only other work in progress right now is the blanket I started for my brother-in-law earlier last year.  I'm going to get that out this weekend and try to get back to it again.  

Maybe I can finish it before we move....

Wishing you a blessed day.

Stay warm,

Heather


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Baby Blanket Work in Progress and Yarn Along


I dug out the baby blanket I had started back in October.  


I'm about done with the body of the blanket and hope to have it complete in the next couple of days.

I'm still reading the book I started last week Believing God by Beth Moore.  I've been reading it a little each day with my morning devotions.  I'm just past the halfway mark and have found it to be insightful.


We are getting some snow up here in Springboro.  The grass is just peeking through and the cars in the parking lot are covered.  

Our weather has been really up and down this year.  I read on the news that we may get another polar freeze toward the end of the month.

Mid week blessings to you and yours,

Heather

I'm linking up with Ginny at Small Things for her weekly yarn along.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dainty Facial Cloths


I finished up my second facial cloth this morning while dear son was doing his school work.

I like the way they look in the cream colored cotton.


I didn't have time to write up a formal pattern, but this is what I did for mine.

For the first one (with the eyelets on the sides),I used a repeat pattern of double crochet, half double crochet and single crochet across.  (Multiples of three + 5 for beginning chain; turning chain counting as a double crochet).

For the second one (no eyelets on the sides), I used a repeat pattern of single crochet, half double crochet and double crochet.  (Multiples of 3 + 1 for beginning chain; turning chain doesn't count as a stitch).

For the border, I just did a picot edging.

Now to try to finish up the baby blanket I started back in October (oh my!).

:-)

Hope you are having a good day.

Heather



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Small Joy


In one of my earlier posts, a few of you had asked about my crochet work.  

I honestly haven't had anything to share.  My creativity seemed to have dried up.

But, the past couple of days, I thought I'd see if I could "prime the pump" so to speak and started playing around with the yarn I have on hand at the apartment.


I wanted something small that would give me a sense of accomplishment.  

So I'm making some facial cloths.  I'll make at least one more and then see if I can get back to one of my works in progress.

On the reading front, I started reading Believing God by Beth Moore; it was a free Kindle download last week.  I'm only in the first chapter, but I've always found something from her writing that I can apply to my life.

Dear son and I are reading Challenge at Runaway Brook by Elizabeth Phelps (1852), it's a Lamplighter book.  If you haven't heard of these books, I highly recommend them.  We've read Sir Malcolm and the Missing Prince and Teddy's Button so far.  They focus on character building and I've found them to be excellent books.

And, lastly, I got the new Burpee catalog in the mail and have been dreaming of my future garden.


I'm joining up with Ginny at Small Things for her weekly yarn along.

Happy Hump Day,

Heather


Monday, January 6, 2014

Chicken Soup, Pumpkin Bread and Frigid Temperatures


I made some homemade chicken soup this morning.  We had some for lunch with oyster crackers.  

There is plenty leftover, so we'll have it for dinner too with some pumpkin bread I made while dear son was working on his math worksheets.


Yup, we are back to school today after the long Christmas break.  

It's been a little hard to get back into our routine, but I'm sure we'll settle back in after a couple of days.

All the schools in my area are closed and many local businesses are closed as well (hubby's included).  

Weather.com is registering the temperature, in my zip code, to be -5 (F) with a wind chill of -20 (F).  That is cold....very cold.  You can hear the wind howling around the outside of the apartment and cold air is sneaking it's way around the closed blinds.  

Today is one of those days I really miss my fireplace!

:-)

My Christmas cactus bloomed this year.


I don't think it bloomed last year, so I was excited when the buds started to emerge on the tips of the cacti "leaves".  

The pretty blooms remind me of:

HOPE

I've seen a lot of people picking words for the year.  If I had to pick one, it would be HOPE.  I'm filled with hope for 2014 and looking forward to the days ahead.

Stay warm and carry on!

Heather


"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

Jeremiah 29:11
(NKJV)