Sunday, December 19, 2010

Handmade Christmas next year

Hubby and I went out to my best friend's house  today so he could exchange gifts with them as he won't be home for Christmas.  (He will be driving to California with a load.)  Hubby and I will exchange gifts tomorrow as he has to go and buy mine tomorrow.  I will celebrate Christmas with my best friend's family on Christmas day.

Anyways, Karen (my best friend) and I got to talking today.  We have decided that we are going to teach both of our families the true meaning of Christmas and that it doesn't involve store bought stuff.  At all!  With  the exception of stocking stuffers that is.  Then I told her we needed to make each of the "kids", both grown and not grown, stockings and fill them with fruit and nuts just like in the "old days".  We will have to buy the fruit and nuts as my pecan trees will not produce very many pecans next year.

I think that we are going to spend at least one day a week together and sew.  It doesn't matter what we are sewing so long as it is for the "kids".  We are thinking of making purses, lounging pants, place mats, napkins, potholders, quilts, tablecloths, aprons, tops, pajamas, and stuffed animals.  I can make beaded things like ornaments, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.  I even have a basement full of old discarded wood so we could make doll houses (with the help of both of our husbands and her dad with his tools as I don't have enough of the right tools), bird houses, etc.

I have patterns for many of the items that we can sew and Karen has a ton of patterns, too.  I even have some stuff that I have bought here and there to use a patterns, such a single place mat that I found at a thrift store that was cute, and some other stuff that we can use.  Plus I can go online and find a ton of patterns for things other sewing.

The only thing I can think of that we may have to buy would be thread.  Granted, I bought a ton of thread when Hancock Fabrics went out of business here in town, but it is all funky colors.  We will end up needing the basic colors, white, black, blue, red, green.  Unless, of course, we want to just go wild with the colors! LOL

I have a huge chest-on-chest that is overflowing with fabric, bolts of fabric laying around, and even some old sheets that have thin places but loads of usable fabric still on them.  I even have three or four bags of upholstery fabric remnants out in the shed that we can use for purses or whatever we decide to make.  I got them for free on freecycle and gave away well over half of what I got and still have that much left!  Plus, I can advertise on freecycle for more craft materials of all kinds if we see we are running low on anything.

If anyone has any ideas or patterns that they can share with me and Karen, we would greatly appreciate it.  I think I will start making some more beaded bells for everyone in both families.  I enjoy making the Christmas ornaments with beads.  I think I like doing the beading better than sewing, but I still like to sew.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My weight loss so far

Well, I haven't been keep tracking of things on here too well, have I? I get so busy with life that I forget about my poor little blog.

Anyways, I am down a total of 70 pounds! I am so excited. I am over halfway to my to my goal weight! Only 64 more pounds to go. :)

I am actually ahead on all my Christmas stuff so far. I have almost everything bought (I need to buy one more gift for my best friend's husband). I have mailed out all the Christmas cards with the exception of my mother-in-law's because I have to mail her gift as well. I even have all of my gifts wrapped! They are hidden away in my closet ready for Christmas morning.

The only thing I really have to do for Christmas dinner is to make an apple pie and a peach pie to take to my best friend's house. That is pretty easy to do as I made the pie filling this summer when I was doing all my canning.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving was great!

I had a very  nice Thanksgiving this year. Tracy was home to enjoy it with me. We went to Karen and Wayne's for dinner. I brought the homemade apple pie and some rolls. We all ate turkey, ham, mashed potatoes (I ate the ones with the mashed rutabagas! Yummy!), green beans, stuffing, rolls, pumpkin pie, different breads, etc. We were all stuffed.

Friday, my youngest daughter and her boyfriend got into town. He is so sweet and nice. I hope this relationship is the one for her. Fingers crossed!

Anyways, they are up here for a week and we have lots to do. I  still have to drive the school bus for 2 days next week, as her sister is taking Monday and Tuesday off to spend with her, and I am taking Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to be with her. I know we have to make a trip to Concord Mills Mall so her boyfriend can go to the Bass Pro Shop.

My Avon business is slowly taking off. I have a few new customers and a few regulars now. I just wish I could get a few more. I have finally gotten a couple of my friends to actually place orders online at my website. If want to order from me, my website can be found here:

We have a special deal going on right on. You can buy the brand new Flip Camera for only $89!! That is an awesome deal. I am so excited by this deal. I already bought mine and I love it. It is so easy to use and I can upload the videos directly to Facebook, email, etc. I carry it with me all the time because it is so cool.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I am selling AVON now!

I have decided that I really need to make some extra money. AVON seemed the way to go. I started selling about a month ago, and so far I am doing okay. I am really trying to drum up some business for my online store. If you want to order anything from AVON, please visit

Right now you can get free shipping on any $30 order. There are some great deals coming up so be sure to check back often! And just remember, AVON makes great Christmas gifts!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Today was the first day of school...again...

Today was the first day of school here in Burke County. My bus route seemed to go off without a hitch. I have a bunch of kids who didn't ride this morning, so it should be interesting this afternoon. I am praying that our new assistant principal doesn't try to "shoe horn" the kids onto one load like the one we had last year!

There are still roads I can't go down, so I am just praying that the parents are too mad about their kids having to walk to the ends of streets, or home from the bus stop. The elementary bus driver was telling me about some of the "troublemakers" I will be getting, so I am preparing the first seats for them! Gotta love those "seats of shame"! :)

I normally only have trouble of the boys, but now I have three new cameras on my bus this year. No one will be able to get away with anything! Which is a good thing. I have started on my seating chart so I will be able to get to know each kid and where they sit. I have a couple of pieces of paper to hand out, and they will have to turn one in to me, and I am not really worried about the other because it should really be passed out by the teachers with the other paperwork that gets sent home on the first day. But then again, some of the info will be helpful in making my seating chart when it comes to medical problems.

I have baked lemon bars and raspberry bars this morning as well. I still have to bake some devil's food cakes tomorrow, too. Although, I might just bake these tonight so I can drop them off at the church tomorrow after WI. These will go in a bake sale at a yard sale for S.M.A.R.T. (Supplies, Materials, And Resources for Teachers) here in Burke County. All the proceeds will be used to buy school supplies for the teachers at all the schools. I only wish I could do more. I did donate three Explorer loads of stuff to the yard sale, made signs, and am doing the baking for the sale. I don't mind doing the baking, although there is a major weakness when it comes to lemon or raspberry anything!! I just keep reminding myself that the Points are just not worth it. Plus, they are just box mixes, so it isn't like I could actually rework a recipe to lower the Points.

When I get off work this evening, I have to rush over to my granddaughter's school and pick her up. My son-in-law works some crazy long hours at times being in the heating and air business and my daughter is back in school taking a phlebotomy class two days a week in the evening. In October and November, that will be a four day a week ordeal while she is taking two classes. I don't really mind though. I just hate the traffic near the local Walmart because it is always heavy between 3 pm until about 6 pm. I guess Walmart is the place to be! LOL

I am praying my granddaughter doesn't need anything extra for 1st grade other than what she took in at Open House. If she does, I guess I will be making a trip to Walmart or Staples to fill in the gaps. I bet she will have homework that I will have to make her do. It seems like that the is the first thing teachers do anymore, load the kids up with a ton of homework from day one.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Spent most of my day in the kitchen...

I spent most of my day in the kitchen today. I started first thing by canning 4 quarts of tomatoes.That meant washing the tomatoes, cutting an X in the bottom of them, cutting out the cores, dropping them in boiling water for about 30 seconds or so before putting them ice water and peeling them. Then I cut them up and put them in the jars and processed them.

Once those were done, I got started on my 3 pecks of apples I bought at the farmer's market Saturday. I had bought a peck each of Gala, Ginger Gold and Honeycrisp. I peeled and sliced enough to fill 6 quarts while making a thick sauce for them. I then added the sauce and processed them making 6 quarts of apple pie filling.

The rest of the apples went into my crockpot and a big stock pot and got cooked until they were nice and soft. I then put them in my food processor and processed them until there were only a few lumps. I managed to get 8 1/2 quarts of applesauce but I only processed 7 of them. The other 1 1/2 quarts I put in the fridge for use this week. (My hubby took the other quart from last week that I had in there out on the road with him!)
My back actually hurts from all that standing and peeling of apples. I had so many peelings and cores that I had to make 2 trips the compost bin with them all! LOL I am just glad that the grand kids were not here today because they like to be underfoot and it would have been impossible for me to get all the canning done. But I miss them at the same time. I am not sure what day they will back from their other grandma's house, but I am going to enjoy the peace and quiet while I can because school starts back next week and I will be surrounded by 80 +/- kids twice a day.

This is going to be a busy week for me anyways. Wednesday is my dentist appointment, Thursday is Weight Watchers and I also have a hair appointment right after my WW meeting. And supposedly my daughter is going to take me for a pedicure Saturday because I have lost 51.4 pounds since March. (That is when I joined Weight Watchers.) Oh yeah, and one day after my best friend gets off work, we are going to make a run to Hickory to A.C. Moore, Michaels, or Hobby Lobby to try and find goodies for her son's wedding. We are trying to help her soon-to-be daughter-in-law get everything ready. I am not sure if I will be able to attend the wedding because it is on the same day as my grandson's birthday. Everything is rather up in the air right now. I don't even have an outfit that I can wear if I do get to go to the wedding.

Wow. I think I need a vacation from my summer vacation! LOL

Sunday, August 01, 2010

What a crazy day...

Today was the day I expected it to be. I was informed first thing this morning that my son-in-law was going to be at my house within 30 minutes to pick up the lawn mower so he could mow his parents yard. Needless to say, I quickly mowed my front yard so it would be done even though the grass was wet from yesterday’s rain. (I did take the mulcher out so it wouldn’t get clogged up. I was supposed to go to my best friend’s house and help her can pears and make our apple butter, but he didn’t get back in time. But he did mow the rest of my yard for me. :) For that I am thankful.

Since I wasn’t going to my best friend’s house, I ended up freezing another gallon bag of okra and canning 4 quarts of tomatoes. I guess I will work on the apples tomorrow. I will not be babysitting my grand kids, but I think I will have another friend’s kids, but they will just stay in the spare room watching movies.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Canned Okra, Corn and tomatoes

I went this morning to the farmers market and bought a bunch of okra and tomatoes. I also bought a 1/2 bushel of apples, 3 bars of homemade soap (1 lavender and 2 lilac) and a loaf of cranberry walnut bread (organic of course).

I canned 7 quarts of the okra/corn/tomato mixture. Only 1 didn’t seal and lost its liquid. I am not sure what happened to it, so I will be taking it with my tonight to my best friend’s house for our dinner since she and I are cooking. It will be a surprise for her husband! She also gets 1 of the lilac soaps.

I froze the rest of the okra in a gallon baggie for future use. I will deal with canning the rest of the tomatoes and making apple butter tomorrow. I also want to stock up on some bananas the next time they go on sale really cheap. I found a recipe for banana butter (which of course I can’t find today) on one of the frugal living type websites. I knew I should have copy and pasted that particular recipe last night but I was too tired and ready for bed. Oh well. That’s life. LOL

I will be canning the rest of my pears tonight while at my best friend’s house as well. My pantry is really starting to look good! It excites me to know that everything I canned I did all by myself. I have truly become a “country girl” in this aspect. :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Feeling tired today...

I am  not sure why I feel so tired today. Maybe it is because I went to bed at a decent hour and got up late after getting to sleep in! I have been doing a lot here lately, too.

I have cleaned the bathroom from top to bottom and been working on the kitchen. I have cleaned the oven and stove completely. Cleaned off the tiny countertop and rearranged the few items on it, cleaned the washer and dryer so they look white again. I even took the curtains down, washed them, ironed them and put them away. I put up the new curtains I bought so the kitchen has a different look. I went so far as to take down the mini-blinds over the kitchen sink (the window behind the stove and dryer doesn't have one) and soaked it in the tub with some Dawn dish detergent. Then I scrubbed the heck out of them and hung them back up to dry. They look so much better now! I still need to move the washer, dryer, stove, fridge, etc. to scrub down the walls, but they way things are hooked up, I don't dare. I will probably wait until we can afford to paint to do that.

Now I am looking around the rest of the house at all the boxes and totes sitting around thinking I really ought to go through them all and start putting things together for a yard sale. But that sounds like an overwhelming chore! I do have one tote started of yard sale stuff, but it isn't full yet, only halfway. I do relish the the thought of having a yard sale by myself. Too much work to keep up with people coming and going and to make sure I am not being ripped off. I told my hubby that S.M.A.R.T. (Supplies, Materials, And Resources for Teachers) is having their second annual yard sale next month and that I think I am just going to give them everything to sell. We can take a tax write-off because one of the local churches is who actually deals with it. They will take all the proceeds from the yard sale and and buy school supplies for teachers and kids in our county. It was a big hit last year, so I am praying that it goes as well this year. I am not sure how much work I will be able to do for them because of the grand kids, but I will do whatever little bit I can. I will deliver supplies to the school I work for, and perhaps help to separate out the supplies after they are bought and/or donated. I can't afford to go buy anything this year for them because I don't even have the money to pay my house payment. :(
It is not helping that I have to pay to be a member of Weight Watcher's right now, but since it is actually helping me to lose the weight, I think the $39.95 a month I am paying is well worth it. The $20 for the gym membership is not right now. Simply because of babysitting and the gym doesn't offer daycare during the summer months. Which is really stupid. Who needs daycare when school is in session? Like hello!! Once school starts back, I will be able to go to the gym every day if I want. And most likely will so long as it is not Thursday morning which is when my weigh-in is. And I don't want to do anything to weigh more! LOL I am losing and want to keep that trend going. After all, as of last Thursday, I had lost 44.6 pounds since April.

I can't believe how good I feel. I also can't believe how much 44 pounds is! We stopped at Sam's Club Thursday or Friday after I picked up hubby, and I needed to buy some cat litter while there. They had my brand in a 42 pound bag. I could barely pick it up! And to think I was carrying that around on my body plus 2.6 pounds! I was shocked to say the least! I know my poor body is happy to be rid of that much excess weight, but it still has a ways to go. Like about 86 more pounds, give or take.

Well, Dr. Oz is on, so I am out of here!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Okay, I am bad about keeping up with my blog, but...

I have had a ton going on. I have a small garden and grand kids to keep up with. Summer tends to keep me busy.

My poor little garden is full of tomatoes which I am hoping will produce a lot so I can them. I have been canning green beans, beets, carrots, peaches, zucchini, squash, and made peach butter.

Lets see, 6 pints of carrots, 7 pints of beets so far (I will be buying about a half bushel next Saturday to can), 9 quarts and 21 pints of green beans, 4 quarts of zucchini, 2 quarts of pattypan squash, and 2 quarts of mixed squash. Then I made 3 pints and 9 jelly jars of peach butter, canned 9 pints of peaches, and then got the bright idea to use up all my blueberries. I made 4 pints of blueberry freezer jam. I ran out of blueberries and had to substitute a cup of strawberries but it is still quite tasty!

That is not counting all the canning I have helped my best friend do. Beans, beets, carrots, zucchini, peaches and peach butter for her.

I am freezing okra for me and hubby. I won't get much out of my garden, but my best friend's husband has a bunch of plants in his! :) I also froze some corn on the cob I bought at the local farmer's market. Super sweet stuff and boy is it yummy. I froze strawberries earlier this spring and pulled out one bag for the jam and the grand kids to eat.

This is the book that I used to get my peach butter recipe from. It is so good and I substituted Splenda for the sugar in the recipe.

Got some canning done today...

Today I went to the farmer’s market again. We have had so little rain that it was rather slim pickins. I did buy all the beets again, and it was enough to can 4 pints. He is supposed to have a half bushel for me next week. I am the only one who eats beets in my family, so I will gladly can them and eat them myself! I am not a big fan of pickled beets.

I also bought two of the small round white with purple stripes eggplants. I plan to roast them for dinner one night. I also got three tomatoes for slicing, although I may roast them as well.

I have picked 4 zucchini out of my garden. I may can them, or I may steam them. I haven’t decided yet. Depends on what I am in the mood for in a day or so.

I am having to really watch the weather. It is getting somewhat rainy and I may have to figure out how to keep my pumpkins from rotting on the bottom. I have been told to use coffee cans and put the pumpkins on them, but I don’t drink a lot of coffee so I don’t have any cans. Any suggestions?

Friday, July 02, 2010

I lost some more weight!

I lost more weight this past week. I am down another 1.6 pounds for a total weight loss of 37.8 pounds. My clothes are all too big and the next smaller size is too small. My rings are turning freely on my fingers, too.

I no longer have to crawl over to the couch for support to get up off the floor. I am feeling so much better about myself. I still have along way to go though.

I wish I had more Weight Watcher's cookbook, but I am trying to take ome of my favorite recipes and redo them using

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Another day...

Today is another day. Today I feel like spending as much time munching out as possible, but I am not hungry. It must be boredom. Or lack of adult companionship! I haven't figured out which yet. LOL Having a hubby on the road all the time and friends who work full-time doesn't leave much adult time.

I just came back in from the back yard. I picked two more zucchini and sprayed my tomato plants down with a product to help them bloom and produce more tomatoes.

I have three tomato plants in a Tospy Turvy Tomato Tree. I am not real impressed with it. The tomato plants do not seem to do too well. I don't know if it is too much water or what but the leaves and stems seem to keep turning yellow and dying and I have only harvested a few tomatoes. Not worth the $50 I spent on the stupid thing. I did better growing tomatoes in pots!

I have a SASE in the mail today to a friend. She is going to be moving overseas before long and is sending me some of her seed stash. I don't have very many seeds so I don't have a stash worth sharing. I am hoping that in the future I will. I love this site though. I can find answers to all kind of questions and keep track of my plantings, both veggie, herb, flowers, etc. Whatever I want to grow. I can trade seeds with all kinds of people both near and far.

I put a roast in the crock pot for dinner tonight. I think I might just have to have some zucchini to go with it since I have a huge Tupperware bowl full of it! LOL I am working on trying to clean out the deep freezer. Granted it is the smallest chest style freezer, but I am trying to eat what it is in it. I just keep transferring food from it to the freezer in the fridge and then cooking from there. Of course, eventually I am going to have to find the money to go grocery shopping when it gets fairly empty again. But I will deal with that later when I have too. Of course, the kids don't know that there i two tubs of ice cream in there either! They need to finish up the ice cream sandwiches first! 4 Points each so I don't eat them unless I am really, REALLY craving them. Which I tend to crave ice cream A LOT! I also like the Weight Watchers Ice Cream Sandwiches, and they are only 2 Points, but I think I am going to go to ALDI tomorrow and get some of their Fit & Active brand ice cream sandwiches which are also 2 Points. And I can save a ton of money in the process! :)


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Losing weight

It has been quite a while since I lost posted to my blog. Not that anyone really reads it anyways, but oh well. That's another story.

Anyways, school is out, and I am babysitting again for the summer. I not only have my grandkids but another bus driver's daughters. Every little bit helps! :)

I now have a nice small garden in my back yard in a couple of raised bed kits that we bought this spring. I need to buy three more whenever I have the extra money so I can raise the bed up higher and make one bed just for squash next year because they take over! :)

I have been harvesting quite a few zucchinis and a couple of tomatoes here lately. I have already gotten all the radishes and lettuce. Carrots didn't do too well this year. Maybe next year when the bed is deeper.

I have adopted another dog this year as well. Well, technically it was two, but the first puppy, a full blooded pit bull got parvo and we had to put her down. She is buried in the back under the trees. The newest puppy is half lab and half pit bull. She is an excellent watch dog!

I have been baking zucchini bread and muffins for the past two weeks. I have been using my mom's recipe (not sure where she got it but it is the best recipe!) and I have had to modify it. You see, I joined Weight Watchers almost 16 weeks ago. I have lost 35.4 pounds as of last Thursday! I have been working on modifying several recipes that I love so that they are lower in fat and calories. I am bound and determined to get back to my normal weight! I figure I still have 98.6 pounds to go. One week, one day at time, it will come off.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thinking about my next diet...

I have been spending everyday watching Dr. Oz on TV and thinking about how much weight I need to lose.

I got on the scale the other day and I weighed in at 270 pounds! I am only 5'5" tall and from what I have found I should weigh no more than 159 pounds at the top end of the scale. So, I need to lose at the very least 120 pounds. I know that if I do I will not only look better but I will feel better.

I have already purchased the Alli starter pack so I can start that closer to the summer. (Since I drive the school bus and the side effects are not pleasant, I want to wait until I know I can be near a bathroom! LOL) I already bought a bike last summer, so maybe my daughter and I can go bike riding more often. My best friend and I want to start walking at the local Greenway so we can both lose weight and get fit. I also need my hubby to hook up our VCR (yes, we still have a VCR and tapes) so I can start exercising to the first 3 Sweatin' to the Oldies tapes. Of course, I do have a DVD Recorder, so I could always record them to a DVD to back them up for future use because I am sure the tapes are pretty worn. I also think I might order Sweatin' 4 and 5 and any other DVDs that Richard Simmons has out.

I did buy the book by Dr. Oz and that other doctor called "You on a Diet" and the workout DVD by them as well. If it wasn't so darned cold and icky this winter, I might have already been out and about!

I will have to be careful working out in the house because the house was build in 1924 and the floor is NOT level! I can just see me now, I'll be on my exercise ball and go flying! ROFLMAO!!! Yes, I do have the ball, some wrist weights, a stretch band thingy, and maybe a DVD for the ball. I'll have to look and see what all I do have because I am determined to get this weight off. It is hell to carry around an extra "person".

I know that I will be fighting some genetics as well as my own laziness. All the women in my family (on both sides) have always been heavy, so genetics play a big part in my life. I wish I liked salmon because that seems to be a big ingredient in diet recipes. I will have to find a decent substitute for it. I like all kinds of fish, but no salmon. Maybe tilapia would be a good substitute...

Friday, January 15, 2010

What a week so far!

Oh my goodness. This has been a week from hell. First off on Monday, my school bus breaks down less than 1/2 mile from the school, on the busiest road at the busiest time of day! And do you think I could get the bus off the road? Hell NO!!! The garage had to send a tow truck out to get me. I felt bad for all the drivers who had to go around me.

I got a spare bus but the horn doesn't work and of course the law states that when backing a school bus, you have to honk the horn twice. I wrote it up and the mechanic came and fixed it yesterday. Yep. Horn still didn't work when I pushed the horn, but it sure worked every time I turned the steering wheel and didn't want to stop! It was funny and embarrassing all at the same time. (I wonder how many people called the garage and complained about me blowing the horn at them?! LOL)

By the time I got back to the school and got parked the horn was stuck on. I called the garage for the mechanic to come fix it but right before he got there, the horn finally blew the fuse.

Hopefully, I will get my bus back Monday. I found out it had an injector that went bad on it and of course the dealership had to order the injector. My bus is still under warranty, thank goodness. Another bus recently blew an injector and it wasn't under warranty so the garage had to deal with that one.

Hopefully today will be better. I get to get my hair cut at 10:30 this morning and pay a few bills. I pick up my granddaughter after I get off work because her mom and dad both will be working late.

Tomorrow I have a baby shower to attend and it cost me $68.25 to put together a basket full of goodies for the baby and mom. Plus I went through all my grandson's old clothes, toys, etc. and pulled out all the good stuff to give them. I bleached out the potty chair yesterday and will bleach the toys this evening. My grandson hates the potty chair and would rather use the big toilet, so we let him. I was going to put all that stuff in a yard sale, but I would rather give it to my friend's son and girlfriend for their baby to help them out. I know that the potty chair won't be needed for a couple of years, but it will save them money in the future!

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