Thursday, October 9, 2014

Food for Thought

Just recently I have thought a lot about me not being "normal". On my way home tonight I was thinking it again. And the thought crossed my mind that part of my not being normal is how I eat, though Jim does try hard to change it. For breakfast this morning I had some oh so yummy Pickled Beets. A very dear friend of mine made them. The first time she gave me a jar she had canned I took them to be polite, but never really thought I would like them. Well I was wrong, I love them, the first jar I ate in less then 24 hrs. There was only a few beets left this morning which didn't fill me up, so on to the second course of Pepperoni Slices and Dill Pickle Potato Chips. Mostly filled up so off to work after all the critters around here were fed.

This morning while I was putting up the mail I snacked on some more Dill Pickle Potato Chips and ate a little bit of cake. At lunch time on my way to Jim's I snacked on the Cheddar Cheese Pretzels in my car. When I got there I had a handful and Jim asked me what kind of junk I was eating. I told him it wasn't junk, it's mostly made from the same ingredients as bread so I was just eating bread, he didn't buy it.

Time to eat lunch. Jim made Homemade Mashed Potatoes and Baked Cube Steak. I love his potatoes and the Cube steak was so delicious!!!! He insisted I take the leftover potatoes with me. I always agree because they are so good. I put them in the dish and smothered the top with shredded cheese.

Fast forward 2 hrs and I'm back at work and hungry again. Not really wanting any more chips or cake right now, so I zoom in the cookies a Co-Worker brought in yesterday. Maple Bacon, from a mix she found at the market and thought sounded good. Yesterday at work I ate 2, one in the am and one in the afternoon. I thought "not too bad, but too maply and not enough bacon flavor" Well today I ate one and the stomach said "try another I'm still hungry". Well if you eat 2 in a row, the bacon flavor comes out a little more. Maybe see if it gets even better after 3, well it did and before long I had ate 10 of them!!! I'm sure I would have kept eating them if I hadn't already ate them all :(

When the thought occurred to me on my way home from my second job tonight, I was actually munching on some Cheddar Cheese Pretzels in my car. They are in the same bag on the front seat as the Nutella. For supper when I got home I had the leftover potatoes. While I was eating them I made a couple hard boiled eggs, someone suggested trying them in my leftover beet juice. I thought why not, I'm sure if I don't eat them some critter here will. I think at this point I'm down eating for the day. Oh now, not just yet, I have to eat my daily Mounds Candy Bar yet, it's for my health so I can't skip it. Go grab yourself a snack and enjoy!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Too much good stuff for a Facebook post

Up to do chores this morning and then off to meet Jim for a few hours before work. When we get out to the farm he decided today should be the day I attempt to ride a bicycle. Growing up my best friend Becky and I put a lot of miles on our bikes, that slowed down when she got her driver's license and totally stopped when I got mine. I haven't been on a bike since then, well unless you count an exercise bike I had to have, for a month or so :) Russ assured me the other day I could still do it, even of it has been 20+ years. Jim was true to his word and held on to the handle bars and the back of the seat for me while I made my re maiden voyage. Which was all about 6 ft. and then I told him I couldn't do it myself it was best to stop. No arguments, he just put the bike away and said we'll try again another day. See why I love him?

When it's close to time for me to go to work he goes to the meat market to get some cheese, so I have a snack later. He buys a 3 lb block of Baby Guggisberg Swiss Cheese, expensive, but very good and he knows I'll eat it. One more stop, ice cream!!! He knows all my weak spots :) He orders us both sundaes, mine was blackberry, yummy. As long as it's not breakfast, he does okay me eating dessert first. He packs my lunch while I eat my sundae; steamed yellow squash, mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey, hot dog, dinner roll and of course a chunk of cheese. See why I love him?

Not a big deal, but it is for me. Today we have been together 9 months!!! Today, as everyday, I'm so glad I had to courage to say life is short, want to go out? I love him more everyday!!!

See why I love him?

After work tonight I went "pickin" with Russ and Peg, lots of laughing and joking around. They are so much fun to hang out with. We picked for about an hour and I ended up with another car load of "stuff". Can't wait to get it all cleaned up and sorted out, lots of cool old stuff to send to new homes.

Thinned out the carrots in the garden at Jim's tonight for the chickens. Kinda funny, but they don't like the little bitty carrots, they prefer the ones bigger then a pencil. I put the carrots in the outside run when I got home, so they will find them first thing in the morning, betcha they will think it's Christmas. I'm sure it will be a good egg day after they eat all of them.

The icing on the cake.... I got to stop at Catherine's to pick up my most favorite food, White Spaghetti!!! I still think she should open a White Spaghetti restaurant, Sir and I would eat there everyday. As soon as I got my car unloaded tonight I ate a big plate of it. Jim doesn't have to worry about me eating candy for breakfast tomorrow, it will be White Spaghetti!!!

Oh so yummy!!!

All in all it has been a great day, very tiring, but great. I'm very blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people!!! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


First person who made me think today was a guy, probably in his mid 50's. One of his Uncle's 80th birthday was on Sunday and he cooked 120 chickens 1/2's for the party, something one of his other Uncles who is now passed away taught him. His Aunt, one of my most favorite people had a 1/2 for me on Monday and 1/2 a pie for Jim. I told him today I thought the chicken was great. He thanked me and said he hoped his cousins and rest of the family realized how important his Aunts and Uncles were to them. He said they had such a big hand in who they are today. I told him how I had heard a bunch of stories about him and his child hood just the other day. Of course I also had to tell him how amazing I think his Aunt is and how I'm amazed at all she does at her age, 86 today. He told me how he sneaks around and does stuff for her to help out, because she doesn't like asking. He was raised in a generation where you take care of your elders and he does a great job of taking care of things for her, my hat is off to him!!!

Second person was another one of my favorite people, she will be 91 next month. When ever I see her coming to the Post Office if I don't have a customer I will go out and help her in, she doesn't get around the best. While I was walking her in today,  two guys came and went in the Post Office, do you know neither of them stopped to hold the door. I don't know what there hurry was once they got inside they had to wait for me anyways. On the walk in she said she would have been sooner, but she had to get out of her pajamas and get dressed. I told her I wouldn't have cared if she came down in her pajamas. She said "but I had to put on clean under wear in case I was in an accident" I laughed and said "yep that's what our Mom's taught us. Does anyone say that anymore? I got her in the lobby and went to wait on them while she made her way to the other door. Guess what when she got to that door, neither guy went to open it for her. Why? Were they really raised that way or are they just lazy? After they left I waited on her and we had a nice visit. She caught me up on all of her family and asked how the animals were. (I'm always amazed at her age she remembers all I have) She asked if I was ready to settle down and think about getting married yet. I told her I didn't think he was ready for that :) She said I was just joking with you, I didn't know you were dating and asked if it was anyone she knew. I told her who it was and she was just tickled pink and told me I was lucky and he was even more lucky and wanted all the details. She said "well when you get married maybe I'll take a little sip of whiskey." She said "you know I have never tasted whiskey, beer or wine, when I was 12, the Woman's Christian Temperance group came to my church and told us we would go to hell if we drank and alcohol and they scared me enough I never tried it to this day" I love stories like that :) We chatted some more while I walked her to her car and got her into it. She said "make sure you call me when you get married, if I can, I want to dance at your wedding" I told her if it ever happens, she will be one of the first people I call and she will be sitting in the front row. She said "oh I would have to sit in the back row, in case I have to go to the bathroom" I love her!!!

Moral of my story: I love old people and I'm not such a big fan of the younger generation. And even though it's not a part of my job description, though I think it should be, I genuinely care about my older customers and look forward to giving them their hugs when I work.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Boys are Weird

I was just sweeping the kitchen when I realized my boys are weird. Since they are all big dogs they all have/had raised feeding stations. At one point I had 4 of them in the kitchen, I'm down to two. Butt's went after he passed away because it upset Bradley by being left there. Goober's was next to go, I decided since he didn't use it there was no need for it. He never ever drank out of the water bowl and no one else did either. He is a spoiled child and has to eat in front of the TV, so no need to keep a feeding station in the kitchen for him. Tub's leg is too bad for him to get to the kitchen anymore, so he eats in the living room with Goober. I can't get rid of his feeding station though because his is the only water bowl anyone will drink out of. That leaves Pogo to eat alone in the kitchen, which he is fine with, he won't drink out of his own bowl though. I don't know where they get their weirdness from :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The House with a Broken Heart

Ever since the first time I drove by this house I have loved it. Last week I drove by and traffic wasn't too bad, so I slowed to take a picture. I'm sure someday that it will be completely gone, so I will have a memory. It always makes me sad to see abandoned houses and I wonder the story behind them. I was talking to a friend today and he reminded me of a poem that AJ Covington recited to John Boy on the Waltons. I Googled it and it describes "my house" perfectly. And if I did have bottomless pockets I would so love to give this house another chance at life.

The House with Nobody in it
a poem by Joyce Kilmer

Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.

I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;
But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.

If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be
And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.

Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it has never known.

But a house that has done what a house should do,
a house that has sheltered life,
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,
For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary

I was listing a candy dish that says "50th Anniversary" tonight on Ebay. It made me think back to the other night when I shadowed at the nursing home. Two different rooms I was in, there were pictures saying "Happy 75th Anniversary" One was a widow on her own and another was a couple still together, they were both in their 90's. I thought to myself how lucky are they to be still together after all these years!!! The picture in the couple room was the photo from when they first got married. They looked so happy, the entire wedding party looked very elegant. How I wish I could have sat and talked to them about that day and the days since. What was it like when they got married? Were they in love? Was it a family arranged wedding? How much has changed since they first got married? Are they still in love? Or did they stay together all these years because that was how their generation was raised? And so many more questions.

In a way it makes me sad, because I will never know that kind of long time love. If I was lucky and got married right now, I might be able to eek out a 25th Anniversary, maybe even 50, but I probably wouldn't have a clue it was actually happening and 75 that is just out of the question. I guess for now I will just enjoy each month Anniversary I get with Jim and hope to be counting years someday with him.

I raise my glass to all the couples that have made it together through good times and bad. And if your looking for a 50th Wedding Anniversary gift, well you can even buy my glass.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

I hate them, I know hate is a strong word, but I really do. Right now I'm looking at making a bunch of decisions and changes in my life and the stress is costing me plenty of sleep. The biggest new addition to my life is adding another job. The Post Office has been keeping my hours down to less then 20 a week and I'm struggling big time with the bills. I have a couple prospects right now. One is at a local nursing home as an Aid. I don't think the job would be bad, it's just the hours and the low pay. It is only every other weekend on Sat and Sun nights 2pm-10:30 pm. Saturday's problem is I work at the Post Office from 7am-12:30pm. I would have to come home and hurry though chores to get to work at 2. Makes for a very long day for me, but also a very long day for my animals. Sunday night I know shouldn't be a big deal, but it would interfere with my time with Jim. That is the only night of week, he is always off and the longest time we get to spend together. It's still a new relationship and I hate to miss seeing him. I called today about a job at a local church doing paperwork. It's only 3 hrs a day, 4 days a week, the problem is that it is during normal Post Office hours, so I'm not sure how that would work out if I have to cover when the Post Master takes time off or calls in. I also won't know right away how much it pays, but know it won't pay as much as the PO. I'll have to discuss that with the Pastor on Wed when I go meet him. I'm not sure if any of the part time jobs are a good idea or not, they aren't going to be enough on their own to fix my problems. So do I take every part time job I can get and give up my life?

Also I'm trying to decide what to do about my bird toy website For Birds Sake Toys I sell my bird toys as well as my other variety of items on both Ebay on Etsy. Neither one is doing great, but I have more sales there then my website. I do get sales from site from regular customers, but that can be months apart. I can't see keep paying $20 a month for a website with so little traffic. I like having an independent website and would like to find one that is a little less a month, but damn there are so many to choose from you can spend days trying to pick one. Every time I'm ready to list another item I'm also always torn about if I should put it on Ebay or Etsy, never sure which I stand the better chance of selling on. When you are a single income family, with so many other mouths to feed depending on you, every choice is so tough. I'll gladly take any and all advice anyone has to offer.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thrifty Thursday

Thrifty sounds good, doesn't it? People always try to say I'm thrifty or frugal, I always tell them "just say it already, I'm cheap!" What got me thinking of it just now was the temperature in here tonight, it's 63.1!!! I only have the heat set at 60 right now, but since it was a sunny day today, my solar collectors(painted tinfoil) brought it up an extra 3 degrees today. You can't beat that with a stick, well you could, but it would rip the tin foil :) This has been a very cold winter and on the sunny days the solar collectors have made a difference in the house temp, not a drastic one, but anything helps. I won't hesitate to do it again next year, but would like to try to come up with a way to make some external ones that will collect more of the southern sun. If it ever warms up here I can take all my painted tin foil down and take it to the recyclers, it may have only paid $.15 a lb last time I was there, but it's better then nothing. Have any money saving ideas you would like to share?

Stop by my shop and check out some of our vintage books, much better then buying new.  MichellesVarietyShop Vintage Books

Have a blessed day!!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Etsy Friends Sunday Spotlight

This week's featured shop: The Spider Lady

1. How long have you been in Business?
I have had an Etsy shop for a little over 3 years, but I have been selling my spiders for 15 years.

2. How did you get started in this Business?
Every year, my Mom gives each one of us a new Christmas Ornament. One year Mom gave me a blown Glass Spider ornament from Germany. It also had an abbreviated copy of the Christmas Spider legend with it. At the time, I was custom making jewelry for folks and just started playing around trying to make a spider. Believe me, my first ones were pitiful! I took some with my jewelry to a local craft show and they were a hit! The rest is history!! I work on coming up with new ideas for my spiders all the time.

3. Can you provide me with a description of your Business?
I make Beaded Christmas Spider Ornaments from the best quality glass and crystal beads that I can find. This year, I am also dabbling in dragonflies and some other things too. My sales are mostly concentrated around the Holidays, but last year, I sold spiders in all 12 months of the year.

4. How did you come up with the Name of your Business?
That one is easy! I did a few shows locally, selling both jewelry and my spiders. At the time, my business was called "Reflections of Light" - my last name is Light. When I was out and about around town people would recognize me from the shows that I did and say things like "Hey, aren't you the Spider Lady?" or "weren't you the spider lady at that craft show?". At that point, that was how I knew I would be known, so I changed my business name.

5. Is this your only Job?
I WISH! No, I am a Data Quality Analyst for an International Consumer Research Company.

6. Favorite Part of owning your own Business?
I would have to say that my favorite part is the creative aspect. I am only limited by what I can create! I love coming up with new ideas for not only my spiders, but other things that I think people may like!

7. Least Favorite Part?
Hands down, I would have to say, the administrative parts. If I could afford to hire somebody to pack and ship, inventory, list items, and leave me to create, I would be in Heaven!

8. What has proven to be the best way to market your Business?
I am very active in the Etsy Community and I think that helps a lot. I also get business from Pinterest and Facebook. I have a website, but I have scaled it down and link it to my Etsy show now as having both was too overwhelming last year. I think the biggest marketing tool that I have is simply my business cards. I include one with Every spider that I sell. When people give them as gifts they usually keep the business card with the spider and many, many times, I have gotten business from folks who have received a spider as a gift.

9. Your advice to someone just starting out?
Perseverance. You will make mistakes, but you learn from those mistakes. Believe me, I still make a lot, but I don't give up. I learn and move on. Always be looking for ways to improve your product or business. A stagnant business will die. Be open to constructive criticism. Remember, that a successful business takes time and effort. You can't just hang a shingle, say "here I am" and expect to do well in business. Finally, provide excellent customer service. I can't stress that last point enough - it can make or break your business.

10. I love my business. The day I stop loving what I do, is the day that I think I should move on to something else.

Thank you to Kimberly for taking the time to answer my questions today. I just love her designs, make sure to stop in and check out more of her creations at: The Spider Lady

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tuesday Treasury

Time to get back to Tuesday Treasury again, where I showcase items from other Etsy sellers in my Treasuries. Click on the title of the Treasury to go to Etsy for a larger more detailed view.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Etsian Friends Sunday Spotlight

New Year and a new start on featuring fellow Etsians and their shops. This weeks featured shop is Renee Originals

1. How long have you been in business?
We have been in business for about a year now. We started towards the end of December 2012.

2. How did you get started in this business?

For as long as I can remember my mother and father always did creative things with my sister and I, so when we really started coming in to our own style and honed our skills it was only natural that we would try and support ourselves with our creations. Our father is also a very business minded person, so when the choice was to encourage his girls to get a job or work for themselves it was a rather cut and dry decision. We started off in the usual ways giving items to friends making things and wearing them, as well as getting involved in community events.

3. Can you provide me with a description of your business?

We specialize in unique, hand crafted fashion accessories. My sister and I are drawn to a sophisticated, classy and yet unique sense of style, thus we create items using a rather vintage method... crochet. We specialize in items such as shawls, hats, scarfs, gloves and even wire crochet jewelry. We also share the idea that the items you wear should be just as unique as the wearer, thus many of our items are customizable to each individual patron. On the jewelry side of our business unique and one of a kind is everything. So we really endeavor to bring unique items that have an elegance and beauty about them.

4. How did you come up with the name of your business?

Well ReneƩ is my middle name (Sarah ReneƩ Jones) and we like to create original items.

5. Is this your only job?
Thanks to the support and love of our family, yes this is. We are actually in college and we are actively involved in a volunteer work and so staying focused and organized has let us have the opportunity to work on making this our full-time job.

6. Favorite part of owning your own business?

I would have to say the freedom of being able to decide how we use our time. It always seems like there are not enough hours in the day and while owning our own business does not change this, it has provided us the freedom to still have our independence and not neglect really important things like our health and family.

7. Least Favorite part?

I would have to say the uncertainty. There is no guarantee that people will like what you do and actually buy which is a scary prospect. When you own your own business everything is dependent on you, if something breaks or someone is unhappy or even if you just can't meet an order all of the responsibility fall on you as the owner.

8. What has proven to be the best ways to market your business?

Being your brand is certainly one of the best ways that we have found to market. We like most people interact with others on a regular basis, so actually doing things like wearing our creations and not being afraid to talk them up has helped. As well as being involved in local events and of course social media.

9. Your advice to someone just starting out?
Be realistic, starting a business for most people is not an overnight endeavor, it takes time, so be patient and persevere.
Talk yourself and why you do what you do up, you are your business so be sure that the image that you portray is the image you want to give off.

10. Anything else you'd like to share about yourself or your business?

Our business is truly a melting pot of my sister and I's differing personalities, we kind of cover all the base's that way. We've really appreciated this opportunity to share what we love with everyone and wish all those who read this the best.

Thanks to Sarah for taking the time to answer my questions this week. Make sure to stop by and see more of their wonderful creations.  Renee Originals

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Wow have I been slacking on keeping up with the blog :(  Life has just been busy, I know that's not a good excuse, but it's the one I got. Real excuse.... I met someone and started dating, the first time in forever!!! I have devoted a lot of time to him, maybe more then I should, time will tell on that. Today's the first day of 2014 and this is my new slate to get my life restarted and back on track in so many ways. Getting back to the blog will be one place I start. I wish everyone nothing but the very best in 2014, may it be a wonderful year for all of us!!!