Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A little bit of this and that Tuesday

Alas, I missed my daily blog yesterday. I picked up a couple free videos at the library and one of them is The Phantom of the Opera. Michael and I started it one evening but didn't get to finish it that particular night. Well, it was luring me yesterday so I finished it while Abigail was napping. If you haven't seen it yet . . . get your hands on it! The music is outstanding, the costumes are beautiful, and the story is heart-wrenching. I went back and watched select scenes this afternoon so that I could fully understand the storyline. And yes, I cried even harder the second time around.

Abigail had her second day of pre-school today. She cried for a bit but was distracted by the bubble blowing so that I could slip out.

I had a very nice Goodwill shopping morning. I found a lovely 3/4 sleeve length Talbot top in red -- my favorite color. It is made from a nice substantial knit so it should launder well. I also found a nice long jumper made from a rayon print - black background with small dark rose flowers. I have a little black t-shirt that will fit well under it and some chunky black Mary Jane's. To top it all off I found a bread machine. =) Last week I read some reviews online about various models and this is one that was highly recommended. Yeah! It is great condition and even has the owner's manual.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Abigail's Favorite Books

Last weekend I weeded through Abigail's collection of books as part of my Fall de-clutter. I composed a list of her favorite reads and I am just getting them into my blog. Ok, ok ... I added a few of my favorites, too. =) As a side-note all of these books were purchased at Goodwill or another local thrift store for 10-25 cents a piece. What a bargain!

Play with Me by Marie Hall Ets
Sammy the Seal by Syd Hoff
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
There are Rocks in my Soxs! by Patricia Thomas
Thy Friend Obadiah by Brinton Turkle
Ox-cart Man by Donald Hall
Corduroy by Don Freeman
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
How I Spent my Summer Vacation by Mark Teague
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Don't Forget to Write by Martina Selway
Rabbits & Raindrops by Jim Arnosky
Good Job, Little Bear by Martin Waddell
Guess Who's Coming, Jesse Bear by Nancy White Carlstrom
Curious George by HA Rey
Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Humphrey the Lost Whale by Wendy Tokuda

Friday, September 08, 2006

Modest Mommy Shopping

Abigail had a playdate this morning with a little friend from church so I took the opportunity to take a quick trip to Target. Earlier this summer I bought a nice chocolate brown t-shirt. It is a nice knit fabric, washes well, and fits me nicely (longer torso and modest neckline). I wanted to see if there were anymore in different colors on the clearance rack. Jackpot -- I scored 4 (black, light plum, raspberry, and moss green) plus a lightweight button up sweater (light brown). This is the beginning of my late summer/early fall wardrobe. I've pledged to myself not to wear jeans anymore and to replace them with nice skirts and the occasional kahki pant.

'Tis a Gift to be Simple

This is a song on one of Abigail's tapes and I've loved it since I first heard it. The message of simplicity is so clear and beautiful.
'Tis the gift to be simple,'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.
To turn, turn will be our delight,
'Til by turning, turning we come round right

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Mission De-Clutter

I just put away clean sheets in the linen closet and decided that I needed to declare a Fall Deep Declutter. The linen closet is all-a-jumble with the bandaids mixed in with the sheets. The spare bedroom is crammed with unused furniture. The basement . . . oh dear, oh my! So that this doesn't interfer with holiday preparations I will give myself until Saturday, Sept. 30th to declutter the whole house. Get to it, girlfriend.

Houston . . . we have a clothesline!

Yahoo! Whopee! Yah-yah-yah!!! I feel like a true Dutch housewife. :) My mother, mother-in-law, grandmothers, and grandmother-in-law all have or had clotheslines. Now I can join their ranks. Can you tell I am happy? An added bonus is that I have my Momma's old clothespin bag. I remember standing outside bare foot in the dewy grass handing her one piece of wet laundry after another. Momma would sling it around her neck so the clothespins would be in easy reach as we moved along the line.
ETA: Um, I love the smell of sheets fresh off the clothesline. They smell of the wind and sunshine, something that laundry detergent and dryer sheets can NEVER duplicate.

ETA #2: I just read over at BWO that Crystal is starting a Frugal Friday column so I am going to tack that on to this post. In our last home (a condo), we couldn't have an outdoor clothesline, so my husband put 3 clotheslines in the basement. We used them faithfully the 6 years we lived there and our electric bill reflected that. When we bought our first house 4 years ago it was somewhat vague if we could have an outdoor clothesline in our community so we used a combination of a basement clothesline and 2 drying racks. Now that the electric rates went up, we bit the bullet and bought an umbrella clothesline from Home Depot. Here are some links for other alternative drying options in various price ranges:

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Simple Bathroom Cleaning Routine

Let me begin by saying I dislike cleaning. Ask my hubby, ask my sister, ask my mom. The faster and more efficiently I can get it done, the happier I am.

Clean the two upstairs bathrooms is part of Wednesday's house blessings and this is the routine I follow:
  1. Collect bath towels and wash clothes. Pile them all in the hallway. Reserve the hand towels to wipe up during cleaning.
  2. Get cleaning supplies bucket from laundry room. It contains 5 things - window cleaner, toilet bowl gel, soap scum solution, multi-purpose cleaner, and scrubbie pad.
  3. Move toiletry caddy to windowsill.
  4. Quick swipe of counters to pick up loose hair (I shed alot and really don't want that in my scrubbie).
  5. Squirt toilet bowl gel around inside rim of toilet bowl and let sit while I clean.
  6. Pull up basin stoppers, squirt with soap scum solution, and gently scour with scrubbie pad and tepid water; rinse and dry with one corner of reserved hand towel.
  7. Spray counter top and faucets with multi-purpose cleaner. Wipe dry and shine chrome with 2nd corner of reserved hand towel.
  8. Spray mirror with window cleaner and wipe dry with remaining dry half of hand towel.
  9. Quicky wipe windowsill, light switch plate, and tops of towel bars.
  10. Scrub toilet with brush.
  11. Wipe top of toilet tank lid, flush handle, toilet lid, toilet seat, toilet bowl rim, outside toilet bowl, and toilet bowl base with the now damp hand towel (I start at the top and work my way down so not to spread any germies on my clean toilet). Toss in pile with other towels.
  12. Sweep floor and deposit loose hair in trash.
  13. Empty trash and replace liner (ie. Walmart bag); replenish toilet paper as needed (I keep one on the holder and 2 in reserve).
  14. Hang clean towels.

The second bathroom is just the same except:

  1. There is no window in this bathroom and therefore no window so I set the toiletry caddy on the edge of the tub.
  2. There is a tub in this bathroom so I scrub it right after I scrub the toilet. I don't use a fancy tub cleanser -- just a squirt of anti-bacterial hand soap on the scrubbie pad. That's the way my Momma did it when I was growing up. :)

It seems like alot when you write it down but I can do both in 30 minutes. It is kind of weird but I always feel very domestic when I finish cleaning the bathrooms.

A Knitting Random act of Kindness

On Monday, I was in Walmart picking up some navy blue thread for a sewing project. The knitting needles were adjacent from the thread display. I happened to overhear a young woman say to her friend, "I really want to learn how to knit." She must have noticed my head pop up because she asked me, "Do you know how to knit?" I helped her pick out a pair of knitting needles and some good yarn. I told her about www.knittinghelp.com and the wonderful how-to videos on that site. We parted ways with a smile and "have fun!"

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Sewing Bug

Can it be?! I think I caught the sewing bug. :) The weather is getting cooler and I am itching to get started sewing some fall clothing for Abigail and perhaps myself as well. What makes it even sweeter is that I have so many lovely corduroy and cotton prints that will make beautiful outfits for her. Abigail loves to wear dresses so I am going to run with that and make her several jumpers that are play-friendly -- nice and roomy with patch pockets for her "treasures". I think I will line a couple of them with a nice cotton solid or print for added warmth so that she can wear them into the winter. If I get some girl sized knee socks, I can pull them up around her thighs like old-fashioned stockings and her legs will stay toasty warm.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Simple Living Part 2 - House Blessings

I can't remember where I picked up the phrase "house blessing" but I like it so much better than daily chores or house cleaning. Even though it is my job to take care of the house, I don't want my husband, daughter, friends and family to think that it is a drudgerous task. I want the daily activities that I do to keep my home clean and tidy to be a blessing to them.

  • tidy and dust bedrooms
  • vacuum bedrooms
  • grocery shop


  • clean kitchen
  • vacuum living room, family room and rugs
  • errands


  • clean upstairs bathrooms
  • vacuum hall and stairs
  • change bed sheets and towels


  • clean 1/2 bathroom
  • swiffer wood floors
  • errands


  • vacuum kitchen floor and mop
  • sweep bathroom floors and mop


  • bake for following week
  • pick up sewing area


  • church
  • meal plans for coming week

Simple Living Part 1 - Daily Tasks

These 7 items are my DMR (daily minimum requirement) to keep my home in order:

Make beds
1 load laundry - dry, fold, and put away
Load/Run/Unload dishwasher
Walk with Abigail
Pick up toys
Straighten kitchen - wipe down counters, empty sink, change towels/dishie as needed, sweep floor

I've been following these DMRs for over a year and it's working well for me. Some days I might have a bad headache, Abigail might not be in fine form, or I'll have an unexpected activity pop up and I can fall back and just do these things. It keeps me from feeling guilty which is a very nice thing.

Happy Labor Day

Michael is outside sealing the new deck he finished several weeks ago, Abigail is still sleeping, and I am blogging. Sounds pretty laborious, right? :) I did throw in a load of diapers before I hopped on the computer.

List of TTD (9/4-9/9)
  • Pick up contacts - after 12 noon on Tuesday
  • Make medical appointments - physicals, blood work, dental, vision, etc. We are changing over to a Health Savings Account next year so we want to get all the expensive stuff done before Jan. 1, 2007.
  • Work on Gma Ruth's quilt - I'd like to get 10-12 blocks done this week.
  • Clean out spare bedroom - It's been a catch-all for junk since Abigail's birth 2 years ago.
  • Daily housekeeping tasks
  • Weekly library visit
  • Weekly thrift store visit - This week it will be Tuesday as we are going with friends from church. :)
  • Finish 2 wool soakers - All I have to do is kitchener graft the crotches on both of them and knit the cuffs.
  • Re-work LBW hyena cart - Take some new pictures, list some new items, etc.
  • Refill propane tank

That should keep me busy during naptimes and on errands.

Meal Plans (9/4-9/10)

Monday - sandwiches for lunch / church picnic for supper

Tuesday - sandwiches + yogurt + fruit for lunch / Lasagna for supper

Wednesday - leftover Lasagna for lunch / homemade chicken noodle soup for supper

Thursday - leftover soup + sandwich for lunch / sausage and oven fried potatoes for supper

Friday - leftover sausage & potatoes for lunch / out-to-eat for supper :)

Saturday - various leftovers for lunch / homemade pizza for supper

Sunday - BBQ chicken on the grill for lunch / various leftovers for supper

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Christmas Present Planning

In the past, I’ve made or bought presents for every single member of each family, but that was B.A. (before Abigail). This year I’ve decided to just make presents for the nieces, nephews and great-grandparents. So far here is my list:

Stephanie - 11 years old; small quilted messenger bag
Christopher - 9 years old; flannel lounge pants
Joshua - 5 years old; flannel lounge pants
Matthew - 9 years old; flannel lounge pants
Mikayla - 7 years old; small quilted messenger bag
Madison - 4 years old; knitted wool slippers
Makenzie - 2 years old; knitted wool slippers
Jesse - 5 years old; tangram set & tic-tac-toe game
James - 2 years old; bean bag set
Gpa Knoll - knitted wool scarf
Gma Knoll - knitted wool fingerless gloves
Gpa Molenaar - knitted wool hat

I have all the fabric and yarn that I need for these projects so all I have to provide is the time to make them.


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