Saturday, May 30, 2009

DAV Meeting

We went to the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) meeting the other night. Hubby is a life member; and I am a member of the Auxiliary and our 2 youngest kids are Junior Auxiliary members.
There was a pot luck meal before the meeting. Then the men go in one room, the women in another and the kids in a third.
I was appointed the chairman of the community service committee, at least I think that is the right title. I am new and am still some what confused as to what I am supposed to do.

Garden update

We have some plants peeking through the dirt in our garden! One we are pretty sure are beans, the others we are not quite sure because the marking didn't go as planned when they were planted.
We came home the other day and found 2 tomato plants left on our front walk; so we added them to a corner of the garden; I think the landlady probably left them ... unless the garden fairy finally added us to her route, lol.
Also the herbs that I planted in the mini terrarium are up; as are the chives in the larger pot.

Update on 3rd Son & Fort Hood

My 3rd son has arrived at Fort Hood, Texas and seems to be liking it there. He has gotten base housing and is getting settled nicely. He is a tanker in the Army, by the way; if you haven't read my earlier postings about him.
Also it looks like he won't be deployed to Afghanistan just yet; now it might not be until next summer. If so, it will mean that he can be there for the birth of his first son.


Did a little on my stack of genealogy papers today. Still so many to go.

Entered the obituary of Marvin (Roy) Gift from Medina Co., Ohio.
He was the father of Marvin Gift that married my Aunt Juanita Brinker.
He was also the father of Pauline Gift that married my Uncle Clarence Tuneson Brinker (Grandma's brother) and then later married my Uncle Willard Norris (Grandpa's brother).

Summer Vacation

Well summer vacation time is starting, Thursday I drove my youngest son to Ohio; so he could spend part of his summer vacation at his buddy's house. Tuesday I will take my youngest daughter to Virginia to spend the summer with my oldest daughter. After all these years of raising seven kids, it will be weird to have no kids around all summer. I am sure the grandkids will come visit at times; but on a day-to-day basis there will be no kids.

Cookout Tonight

My oldest son called tonight and invited us to a cookout at his house. We had the usual hamburgers, hot dogs and deviled eggs. Then the sitting around and telling stories; and pushing the grandkids on the swingset.

Denim Quilt Update

Got another 2 rows done on my daughter-in-law's red bandana Denim Cathedral Window quilt. I like it when I get to the part of the project that the momentum kicks in and then it seems to go so much faster.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Perspiration Stains

My kids are into sports alot and they have t-shirts with stubborn perspiration stains. I found something that removed most of the stains from shirts that had been laundered and dried repeatedly.

I filled a 5 gallon bucket about 2/3 full of water. I applied white vinegar to each stain; thoroughly soaking it and working the vinegar into the stain with an old toothbrush; then I dumped the rest of the small bottle of vinegar into the 5 gallon bucket of water and soaked the shirts overnight and then laundered as normal.

This removed the vast majority of the stains and made what was left practically undetectable. I then refilled the small vinegar bottle from the larger gallon jug that I had gotten at Walmart for a little over $2.00.

Quilting Update

I managed to get about an hour or so of quilting time in Wednesday. Got 2 rows finished on my daughter-in-law's red bandana print Denim Cathedral Windows quilt. Her hubby (my oldest son) has a lap quilt exactly like it. When I asked her what she would like her lap quilt to look like, she decided to have it be exactly like his and then I can join it to his and they will have a twin size quilt. That is one of the really cool things about these denim cathedral quilts ... because each little square is finished before you butt it up to the main part and zip-zag in place; you can stop where you want as it is always finished and you can add another row anytime you want.
My second son did that with his lap quilt. Each time he saw me sewing he would bring the quilt and ask me to add just 1 row on 1 side. Since this didn't seem like much effort, I would slap a row on there. His quilt was twin size, when it got stolen while he was working in Louisiana.
So I have made him an Army print Camo Cathedral Window lap quilt; he says he plans on having me add to it until it is queen size and then it will be used on his bed.

Herbs Are Sprouted!

The herbs that I told you about planting in an earlier post have sprouted. Our enthusiasm was much bigger than their size, you would have thought we had grown a giant pumpkin or a mighty oak, lol.
The little terrarium is full of tiny green tips just poking through the soil.
And the larger pot of chives is greening up very nicely.
Looking forward to cooking with the fresh herbs that I have grown.

On the Road Again

Today I was back on the road; as I drove my youngest son to Ohio, so he could spent part of his summer vacation with his buddy. I was a 6 hour trip; but the day was beautiful and the trip was easy. The sky was beautiful blue and had the biggest, fluffiest white clouds all over ... absolutely gorgeous.
After I dropped my son off I went out to my dad's and he and I went to Golden Corral for dinner; we called my brother and he and his wife and daughter were able to meet us at Golden Corral and had a great time reminiscing. The prices there have been raised, although the quality wasn't and the waitress was rude. They charged $1.99 for drinks; and charged my dad an ADDITIONAL $1.99 for a cup of coffee. I will not be going back there.
Hanging out at my brother and sister-in-law's now; we sat up and had a good old-fashioned gabfest and then since I was wired from drinking Mountain Dew on the trip and at dinner I am still awake and so am taking advantage of their fast internet.
Amazingly, I no longer drink Mountain Dew everyday. Mostly around the house I drink a diet peach iced tea mix that I have been getting at Walmart.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bread Machine Update & Amish Store

The Amish store that I mentioned earlier in the blogpost about my bread machine is called,

Country Pantry
9 miles south of Elkton
9115 Guthrie Rd. Hwy 181
Guthrie, Ky 42234

Hours: Monday - Saturday 8:30-5:00
They have cheap bulk spices.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pro Active Face Cleanser Cheap Alternative

As I have been reading all these books and forums on thrift, I came across a mention that witch hazel is the main ingredient in the expensive Pro Active face cleaning stuff.
Since witch hazel is about a dollar and Pro Active is lots more than that; it might be worth a try.
It is up to you, I have not tried it, but thought I would let you know.
Check with a doctor and don't count my word as anything more than I saw something written and am passing it along.

Yard Sale Findings

I went yard saling with my daughter-in-law and granddaughter and found some great things.

I found a black fleece winter coat like I have been wanting for $6.00; which is more amazing since I do not usually find anything in my size at a yard sale.

I also got a lightweight fleece jacket for fall in like new condition for $3.00.

I got several really lovely fashionable blouses for $4.00 - $6.00.

Two pairs of pants for $3.00 and $1.00.

Five brand new t-shirts for $1.00 each.

I got a beautiful fluted edge large red glass vase for $0.10 ... yes a dime.

I got a silver twisted wire picture easel for $0.10 ... again a dime -- yeah gotta love that.

I got a bottle of Elizabeth Taylor's Passion perfume for $5.00 it was still brand new in the package with the plastic wrap on it even.

I got a multi-pack of Black & Decker drill bits for $5.00 ... shh this will be a Father's Day present.

I got a small fancy name brand (forgot the exact brand, but high dollar) handheld vacuum; it has beater brushes and empties without needing bags for $2.00.

It was just one of those days when you find the things you want at prices that are great. I love days like that!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Had to take dh to the VA Clinic down on Fort Campbell Army post; while I was waiting for him to get done I went over to the post library and got 3 books: The Complete Tightwad Gazette, a book on bread machine recipes and a money saving tips book. Sorry on the last two I forget the actual names and they are still in the car. Libraries are the coolest places; thousands of dollars of things that you can borrow for free. They have dvds, cds, books and much more.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Garden Planting

We got much of the garden planted today. Almost all the veggies are in and we put marigolds around the edge to help deter pests from getting in the garden. Also since we are so rural and animals are such a problem we are hooking it up to the electric fence.

Also I planted a pot of chives; and a tiny terrarium of herbs. It was a little kit with seeds and all included from Dollar Tree was only a dollar, lol.

Tried out the Bread Machine

Well tonight, I tried out the new bread machine. I made the express basic white bread; it was very easy. Just measure the ingredients, dump them in the machine and turn on. 45 minutes later there was 2 hot and fresh loaves of homemade bread. It was very yummy. Still have to try out the other variations of breads.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thrifty Research

I went to the library a few days ago in Hopkinsville and checked out about 9 or so books on thrift. I got The Tightwad Gazette I and The Tightwad Gazette II. I got America's Cheapest Family; 365 Ways to Live Cheap, the Urban Homesteader, Real Simple Organization, Never Throw Out a Banana, and Natural Formulas. I read through them with a pen and notebook to take notes. Also I have these little sticky post-its that are used to mark where to sign a contract. I draw an arrow on the post it note and I can place it exactly on the paragraph that I stopped at; I place a second post at the edge of the page to mark the page easily. I reuse these post-its until they aren't sticky anymore.
So far I haven't finished with any of them, but am half done with the first Tightwad Gazette; and about 2/3rds done with the Never Throw Out a Banana book.
I need to research Hopkinsville Library's Inter-Library Loan rules to see if they will order books for me that they don't have.

Got a Bread Machine

While I was cruising around the local grocery store lucking for bargains [nothing sadly, way overpriced, for people not willing to drive to save]; I picked up a freebie newspaper. Found someone selling a new dual bread machine for $25. Had to go to Clarksville [Tennessee] to get it; but it still had the packing materials in it. It can make two different types of bread at the same time.

Went to Sam's Club in Clarksville and got bulk yeast for $4.00 for 2 pounds; which is way better than Walmart's $0.87 for the little packet. Then on the way back found an Amish bulk food store that was ridiculously high on some things; but had excellent prices on bulk spices. Got a small butter tub size container of rosemary for $1.08; and the same size of caraway for rye bread for $1.08. They sell 50 pound bags of whole wheat flour for $28. I bought a loaf of bread from Walmart the other day that was herbed rosemary and it was awesome; so going to try and make something similar at home.

Garden Plowed

Well we got our garden spot plowed up finally. We have been having the wettest [is that a word?] spring. This is only my second spring here in Kentucky; and only my 3rd or 4th garden ever; so it is a learning experience. It is about 15' x 50' I am guessing. It seems late in the year to me; but maybe they have a longer growing season here. I used to live in northern Ohio and they have a short growing season ... some nasty weather happening up there. I'll keep y'all updated on its progress.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Paid from Associated Content .. WooHoo!!

Got paid again from Associated Content. Direct deposited into my Paypal account. If you like to write, check them out. They actually pay.

Cross-training approved

As I have mentioned here before, my oldest daughter is a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force stationed at Langley AFB in Virginia. She has been in the military for 6 years now. She was just accepted to cross-train. She has been working in the POL - Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants area. She will be cross-training as an aerial gunner. She starts training this fall. She is very excited, as she has been trying to get approval for this for about a year now. Again I am very proud of her, as I am of all my kids.

Off to Fort Hood

Well my third son has finished his Army basic training and AIT at Fort Knox and his leave is over. He and his pregnant wife and their 1 year old daughter are in the midst of relocating to Fort Hood, Texas. We will miss them; but are very proud of the sacrifices they are making for their country and their family. God Bless their journey.

Annual Training Completion

My second daughter has just finished her Annual Training with the Army National Guard in Florida. She has been a soldier now for 2.5 years and also does Honor Guard at the veteran's funerals. I am very proud of her.

Air Assault Graduation!

I am very proud to announce that my second son has graduated from Air Assault. He is the one that is a Cav Scout, stationed at Fort Campbell with the 101st Airborne, home of the Screaming Eagles. He leaves for a Warrior Leadership course at Fort Knox in a few days. It will be his second anniversary in the Army tomorrow.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Organizing Family Photos

In another chapter of my ongoing organizational efforts, I am trying to get my family photos organized.

I am also an avid scrapbooker, so have some photos that are in scrapbooks. Most of the other photos have long since been removed from those destructive magnetic photo albums that were so popular in the 1970s. They absolutely will destroy your photos. These photos are stored in 3 photo boxes made specifically for photo storage. Originally I had divided the photos in the boxes, placing all of my dh's family pictures in one box, all my family's pictures in a second box; and then all of us and our children and grandchildren in the third box. This has gotten a little unorganized over time; since when the kids look through the boxes they see no need to return them to the proper box. I have also made an effort to label each photograph on its back. I include who is in the picture, where it was taken, when it was taken, any occasion that it may be of, etc. Again this is not 100% completed, as I occasionally find unlabeled photos in the boxes.

The biggest problem for organizing photos is trying to organize all the digital photos as they number into the 1000s. With digital cameras, no requiring any expensive developing, to see our images, we shoot infinitely more pictures. A birthday party now can have 200 photos; instead of the 24 that the roll of film limited us to.

Also being a genealogist, I have scanned 100s of family photographs from near and far family members.

The problem comes in labeling, organizing, and ultimately being able to easily and quickly locate a picture when I want it. And I admit that I am probably only doing a C- job of digital photo organization.

I have made many stabs at getting them organized. Some of my efforts have been:
  1. I created a folder on my desktop that I named Pictures; and I drag all pictures on my computer into it. So that they are at least all in one place.
  2. I have created subfolders in the Pictures folders in the following categories:
  • Crafts - pictures of crafts I have done, or pictures of crafts I have seen that I would like to do or use for inspiration. There are sub-folders within this sub-folder for the various types of crafts I do; such as: Quilting, Crocheting, etc.
  • I have a subfolder for each family surname that I research, and place all photos of that family in each folder. Within the Talbert folder I have a subfolder for each of my children, one for pets, one for places we go (trips, vacations, etc), one for reunions, etc.
  • Scrapbooking - I am hugely obsessed with scrapbooking and have a massive folder with numerous subfolders about scrapbooking, such as: Sizzix, Cricut, Titles, Tags, Page Layouts, Pages I Have Done, Alphabets, Fonts, Borders, etc.

Now this may seem very organized but not really so much so. As there are 1000s of photos in there and there are many, many folders which are only labeled by the date that the computer imported them from the digital camera. Also when one of the kids stops by they pull their memory card out of their cameras and download a copy of all their photos onto my computer. Which is good because I have all the pictures and also good because they have a backup else where of their pictures. However, if they don't delete the photos from their camera after downloading to my computer; the next time they download it will download not only the new pictures they have taken since then, but they will redownload additional copies of the photos that were downloaded last time. This makes for tedious matching up to find the duplicates and delete them.

I guess, to put it into perspective. Yes, organizing is a necessary but tedious part of this; but that is only because we are blessed with the technology to save our littlest memories so easily. Our ancestors, would have priced as a priceless heirloom even one photo of that dear baby or of mother and father. So we are blessed, just overwhelmed. Like anything else, working on it bit by bit and having an organizational plan can help us get organized and remain organized.

Good luck with preserving those visual memories.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to everyone.

All four of my sons are here and one of my daughters. So five of seven is pretty good. Thankfully none of the kids are currently deployed; although my third son is here on leave.
He has to report to Fort Hood, Texas next week and is probably going to deploy to Afghanistan for a year soon.
My oldest daughter is still stationed at Langley, so she is in Virginia today.
Second daughter is currently at her Annual Training with the Florida National Guard.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Cardmaking Elements Session

Since my recent organization efforts that I just blogged about, I was able to have a session of cardmaking elements. I yanked my tin of cardmaking rubber stamps and my caddy of inks and turned on a movie I had tivoed.
While I was watching it, I rubber stamped one of almost every rubber stamp in my cardmaking tin.
I used mostly black and a sepia brown color.
I tore around each image for the effect.
I have them all stored in a large 8x10 envelope; and while I am waiting for a webpage to load [I have way slow dial-up]; I will pull one out and color it with markers or colored pencils or chalks. Then I will have these elements all finished and ready to use on a card.

Cardmaking Organization

I have been organizing and decluttering all my crafting items. Giving away any that do not work for me, to make way for what does.
My dh seen how much I was getting rid of and asked if I was getting rid of all my good stuff. But I told him that I wasn't getting rid of my good stuff; I was decluttering so that I could find and use my good stuff.
I went through all my rubber stamps and on the first cut got rid of anything that I didn't like or could not imagine using.
Then after they were pared down some; I went through them a second time and separated the ones that I would use for greeting cards or ATCs or for mail art; from the others that were mostly for scrapbooking or altered art and art journaling.
Then I found a very large decorative tin and I put all my cardmaking rubber stamps in the tin; so even while they are just sitting on the shelf they are decorative looking. Plus when I decide to work on cardmaking I can just grab the tin and move it to wherever I am going to work at.
All my blank envelopes are in a box, standing on edge so I can flip through them to get to the one I want.
I got the majority of them at the local flea market; the lady had a large box about the size of a medium microwave and it was full of envelopes also all were Hallmark greeting card envelopes. She had a sign on it saying $4.00; so I asked her how many do I get for $4.00? She said the whole box and naturally I snatched up that deal.
I have also found at the flea market embossed greeting card blanks; using some of them last Christmas to make my own Christmas cards.
The scrapbooking rubber stamps I have stored in 3 drawer white plastic cabinets that I got rather inexpensively from Wal-mart. I have them organized by theme; like frames, Christmas, doodles, etc.
My idea is that the easier it is to grab my things and get working on a craft project when I have a few minutes, the more I can accomplish.

Ongoing Genealogy Organization

Since the dial-up internet at my house is as fast as an arthritic turtle on crutches; I am at my oldest son's and he has dsl; so I can actually post.
On the other hand, not being able to get online has helped with real life. My house is clean all the time.
I have been doing some major genealogy organizing lately. I have discovered that some of my old files haven't been touched since 1996-1999. Doesn't seem possible that it has been that long.
What I Have Accomplished
1. Have located all genealogy papers and notebooks.
2. Cleaned off 2 rows on the bookshelf and have all the genealogy research notebooks arranged on there.
3. Gathered all genealogy files on my computer and moved them all to a folder named "Genealogy".
4. Gathered all loose genealogy papers and sorted them by family name.
5. Took all sorted genealogy papers and placed them in plastic page protectors and stuck them in proper surname binder. At this point I simply want them in the right binder; I am not trying to deal with them another further than that. So I stick multiple papers in each page protector.
6. On the computer I opened the Genealogy folder and made a subfolder for each surname that I am researching plus a subfolder titled "Organization". Then I moved each file into the appropriate subfolder. On a side note, some of these files have not been accessed since 1996-1999.
7. Now that the files are organized and the notebooks in place; when I have a few minutes to work on the genealogy; I either open a file and work on entering the information from the file into my genealogy database program or pick a paper and enter that information.
Ongoing Plans for my Genealogy
1. Eventually, all the random papers in the page protectors in the genealogy research binders need to be entered into the genealogy database program.
2. All the information in the random genealogy files in the Genealogy folder and subfolders needs to be entered into the genealogy database program.
3. Once all this hard, boring, and tedious paperwork and files are organized and entered into the genealogy database program then I can get back to the fun part which is the research and actually finding the missing pieces.
Inspiration and Guidance
Dear Myrt genealogy column has a monthly genealogical organizational advice post that is most helpful to getting your genealogical life / business in order. Just google Dear Myrt + genealogy; and I am sure that you will find her most helpful.

Expecting a Grandson

Found out that my third son and wife are expecting a little boy. We are all excited, and are awaiting his arrival late this summer.

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