Friday, December 27, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

New words for me....Organizing binders and zero balanced budget.....

Seems that I broke another promise to you guys and myself.
I promised I would be back with new and exciting tricks up my sleeve but life got in the way.
Too many things to even mention on here other than several days were consumed with family time as we had a death in the extended family. The sweet little four year old son of my son in laws sister passed away in North Carolina. Not sure if they will ever know what happened to him but we can rest assured of where he is today.
I also took on two new part time nursing jobs, one home health and one is as school nurse sub for our local school system. I spent a couple weeks orienting to both of these positions and now I am on a 13 day break! Am I accomplishing things around the house? Not really!
I am, however, working on an organizing binder to help me keep my head on straight.
 Between photography and two nursing positions I don't know whether I am coming or going! I know that's nothing new! I will try to share pictures of my binder as it comes together. Just having it started makes me feel more organized already! I never knew it was so much to slapping a notebook with a calendar together....GEEEEZZHHHH!!!!
I have been working on this one for over two weeks and it's no where near where I want it.
I have also, along with the binder, started putting together a budget. I do not plan to work these three jobs for long :-)
I have never ever ever ever made or stuck to a budget and never even knew where to begin with one. I have always been one to pay something as it comes due as the money comes in for it.....budgeting ahead was not in my vocabulary! This system only partially worked! Yes, on occasion there have been things pushing the deadline.....well on more than one occasion!
I have been doing my homework so to speak, consuming many many hours studying other peoples ideas that they have shared for making and sticking to a budget. WOW have I been enlightened! I feel sometimes as if there is no way that I can actually do this. Then I put it on paper and it looks as if I should be rich! I have always sung the words to that song there's too much month at the end of the money! On paper not the case tho! If I can keep my fingers out of that money until it goes on a bill or where ever it was allotted via the budget to go I will be fine.
I am trying to set up a zero balance budget. You know where every dollar that is going to come in has been earmarked for a certain destination....ie. mortgage, titheing, car, groceries......sounds easy but it's not easy to just sit down and remember everything that will come up in a years time to spend your money on. Dear Hubs is actually on a salary so his paycheck is the same each and every week, which is a huge plus when working on a budget. He also has an expense check that fluctuates each week. I have decided that it will be best for us to use his paycheck and for me to set an exact set number of $$$ to contribute each week and put anything extra that I make in savings or to pay off a debt. His expense check will be put in a savings acct to save up for him a new work truck, or down payment on one.
Thank goodness we only have one store card that will soon be paid off and we have no other debt beside a car and home mortgage. I had that pretty little Jaguar paid off and no payment for 6 1/2 years but felt like I needed something bigger and traded in December for a huge Chevy Traverse gas hog money sucking money pit! Yes, that has been a thorn in my side for all these months. Enuf said? I have to figure in car repairs in the budget now that was never an issue in the past.

So wish me luck as I get these new organizing tools underway and start to see a more organized life!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.....(a challenge)

    Here I am after all these months of no blogging realizing how much I have missed it. I have a void in my life and need some structure and this blog is discipline for me. So many things have been going on in my life that were certainly blog worthy but I still didn't take the time to slow down and post about them. I will regret that one day....I use this blog as my memory bank to look back and remember what year it was that there was a manhunt in our neighborhood, the season I made the best pickles or a special sewing project. My computer brain is failing me but my virtual "computer" brain is always here floating around somewhere in cyber land.

   I will start out today with an explanation of why today and then try to catch up with a regular routine of blog posts.......

WHY TODAY:

It's Monday.....need I say more?
Actually I am in a rut with no motivation....well maybe a lot of motivation but no real gumption or energy??? Not sure what my hold back is....INSPIRATION! That's what I have been missing. I know I have the www.'s and Pinterest and all sorts of inspiration out there but if I try to use those my ADD kicks in and I sit down to look up a new quilt pattern and before you know it I am baking a new cake or learning how to clean the grill the non toxic way!

Today is Monday and it's a fresh start to my week and to my new life of living a cleaner life......and in cleaner, I mean:

A cleaner more organized house.
A closer walk with God and all things HOLY!
A cleaner diet and lifestyle.
A cleaner schedule......in EVERYTHING, work, hobbies, etc etc etc.....streamlined if I may.
A cleaner life in general.

(and not necessarily in any particular order were they listed)

It all goes hand in hand....a closer/cleaner life in any of these aspects will compliment each category tremendously. I think about how cluttered my mind and body and house and schedule and life are and wonder how I have time for God. If it wasn't for all HE has done for me and my family and a very persistent preacher who holds me accountable.......well I might not even make it to church regularly!!

So I have some great big goals that will obviously have to be broken down in little bitty goals.....like maybe on a daily basis ;-) I know me! I also have this STUPID Sarcoidosis and it wreaks havoc on my body when ever it wants to....(Maybe my cleaner lifestyle will help those bouts become more and more infrequent?) So be prepared for a lot of posts for my journaling of this new life one little piece at a time as I march thru it all one little piece at a time. Who knows maybe some of you will want to join along and share tips and ideas??? That would be great if not just remember me in your prayers as I start out on living the rest of my life.......

Now as I get started on this beautiful sunny morning I will start by becoming a "list maker"!
Once my list is made I will start on my journey but I will leave you with this......

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

.......to be continued

  

Monday, May 13, 2013

"I was featured" and a winner! Beautiful Buffalo Mountain, Floyd County, Va.

 
 
I never thought I could ever type these three words:
 
 
"I was featured"
 
I entered one of my many photos that I have taken of the view across the road in front of my little farm, into a contest for the best photo of Buffalo Mountain.
My photo of the mountain was from clear across the county but includes so many elements that depicts Floyd County perfectly, at least that's what I was told.
I won first place!
I won the cover shot!
I also landed a bio spot in the Floyd County Publications Magazine.
(My bio is on page 40)
This Magazine went out to 25,000 people!
I also won $100!
 
 
 
 
 

A Handmade Prom Gown, My beautiful grandaughter and her cute date!

 Yes, folks, I am THAT old...old enough to have a granddaughter who attended her senior prom 2 weeks ago.
 Her and her Mom went dress shopping and she picked out a dress EXACTLY like this one for $478
That was NOT happening, so we went to our favorite fabric shop in town, Schoolhouse Fabrics in Floyd, Va, and picked out fabric and began the construction. She couldn't have been happier with her dress!!

 I was able to have a very nice little photo shoot with these sharp kids in my studio!!
 Then we went across the county and grabbed a few pics of her best friend who is dating his brother. See any resemblance?
 We decided that this looks like a movie cover of a couple pistol packing detectives!!
Knowing these two like I do, there could very well be a pistol strapped around that thigh!

 My little tough girl cleans up pretty good doesn't she?
 Her little sister, Lillie, had to get in the pics, too.

 Morgan and Robin, of course prom is more for the Moms and Grandmothers!

and here's "The Kiss"
What ya think?


Out and About in Asheville, North Carolina

  • On Wednesday, Robin and I went on a little road trip to Asheville, North Carolina to visit a friend of hers who just had a brand new baby girl.
As we were traveling thru the Tennessee Mountains we were just in awe of the beauty before us.
 Good thing I had my camera.
This was taken at a rest area, nice place to stop and take a deep breathe, huh?

 At one of the beautiful scenic overlooks.
 The one above was at a very steep overlook that I endured but I have to say I did NOT attempt the upper steps due to lung capacity and the high elevation...yes, I am a wimp!!


 It was a nasty dreary cloudy day but I sure love me some clouds and I don't mind capturing them thru a car windshield either.
 The mountains just rolled on and on!

 and on....





It was such a lovely trip....really good to get away from home for the day.....great to spend some quality time with the girls and take in some awesome scenery at the same time! I am ready for another day trip!!
 
Lot's been happening around the farm and I am ready to blog about it all again so grab a cup of coffee and stay tuned!
I have missed you guys!

This is my favorite of the day!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Boat for sale, only way to get pics posted!







 
 
We have our boat listed on Craigslist but I am unable to upload pics to craigslist and this was the easiest way to put them out there for people to see. Sorry! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sunny Morning Farm's Italian Red Bean Soup

 I've been playing in the kitchen today, making up a new recipe.
I have to say it was a very successful attempt, this was very yummy!
 
 Of course this was made in my Electric Pressure Cooker.
This is such a multi purpose cooker and I use it practically everyday.
 Made a couple loaves of my Homemade Italian Loaves
(recipe another day)
 It was such a bright sunny day today and I was so happy to have that sunshine in my kitchen.
Getting ready for a big snow storm Wednesday.
 Not perfect but they sure do taste good!
Surprise Fruit Cake for dessert straight from Canada!
Danny's Aunt Dee sent this to us and it was in the mailbox today.
I guess she knew how much he loves fruitcake! He was so happy to get this, THANKS DEE!!!!
Isn't it beautiful, of course homemade, and delish!!
Can't wait for a slice with a nice cup of sweet creamed coffee in the morning!!
 
Sunny Morning Farm Italian Red Bean Soup
 
1 pound package Small Red Beans Dried (Minus a good handful, not really but I spilled that many of mine on the floor and had to toss them, lol)
Cook in electric pressure cooker with 8 cups water, salt and black pepper to taste, 80 lbs pressure for 40 minutes.
Or cook in pot on stovetop until beans are tender and make sure there is around 8 cups of bean juice in with the beans.
 
Add: 1 Quart Chicken Stock (I used my homemade Chicken Stock)
14 ounce can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
1 Cup tomato puree
1 pkg sliced pepperoni (I'm not sure what size pkg but it's an adult fist size, lol)
8 ounces dry spiral noodles, uncooked
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 small can diced green chilies
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons Taco Seasoning (I use some that I buy in bulk and it is very spicy)
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to taste
 
 
After beans are cooked until tender, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until pasta is tender and soup is slightly thickened. Serve with Green Olives, grated fresh Mozzarella Cheese and sliced Italian Bread. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

How did it happen, you ask?

 I have drooled over this little Dream Home of mine for a couple weeks now, and you all know how I love campers and could so live in one in my mind, but I must put him away today for yet another year. However, as of lately I have felt as if I was living in a tiny house or a tiny camper! I have accumulated so much junque....yes "Junque" is a way nicer description of it than my husband gives it! Makes me think it is all worth something with such a pleasant title to it!!
So I have jumped on my bandwagon to change things, for good, not a New Years resolution, in fact I started it on Friday December 28th, even before if you count searching for inspiration and ideas.
 Just to share my newly/recently finished painted kitchen island. I had dropped a pot of spaghetti with sauce on the floor in front of the fridge and it went everywhere and on the vintage linens that are hanging here, I washed them immediately but just got them pressed and back up yesterday. I have been going full force at this reorganizing/purging deal. Danny is not sure what I am smoking but he loves it! He comes home to a foyer full of garbage for the dumpster each day and is very eager to carry it off for me. Not sure why I had to beg to get the kitchen garbage taken off? hmm??
 Have to do a little on-a-shoestring decorating as I go, as a reward for all my hard work. Found some really cute Fat Chef stuff at Family Dollar yesterday, like 10 pictures and 2 packs of wall clings for $31....I think so!!
 This little Rabbit Cage was the second area hit by Storm Becky. My father-in-law made this for us in about 1985, made each of his 5 children one for Christmas and I think I am the only one who still uses them. Why not, I ask? You should have seen my foyer after I cleaned this out! Danny had just left with a truck load of garbage from another area and came back home to yet another....he just glowed with pride! This has always been used as a telephone area and housed phone books...yes, all the way back to 2002.....shut up....no comments.....and plastic grocery bags. OK I am not sure how many million plastic grocery bags were in there but I am sure that I could smother one of the islands in the Bahamas with my plastic waste.....for that I am very very sorry. I pledge to do better and always carry and USE my homemade grocery bags from now on!! I even found a vacuum cleaner in here that I do not remember owning. I know, I know my house was that bad! Out of sight and out of mind!
 The doors on this were wire only but I had a great idea to cover the inside with my FAVORITE fabrics, Tufted Tweets collection...can't wait to get some sewing room time to make something else from that fabric stash! Now this little cubby houses casserole dishes and baking pans! Clever, no? I have a strong urge to paint this white but the dearest hubby will chop me up for chicken stew if I did but next spring I do plan to update the natural finish on it. Maybe go a bit darker with some cherry stain, he agreed to that one.
 Here is my first project that I pounced on. My "basement" no I do not have a basement but that's what I have nicknamed this area due to using it to store items that would ordinarily be stored in a basement. This is the hallway from my kitchen to the master bedroom and is a straight shot to my bed. My side of the bed to be exact and each morning I woke up and my eyes hit this eyesore area first and I vowed it would be tackled first, and it was. I went to Target on Friday and found these awesome handled tubs shown below and came home and went to town on this area. Shown above are part of my nice collection of Sam Toft prints....I have a new one coming today....I have vowed to buy one a month until I get all of them that are available, they are so cute and cheery! Danny said they look stupid....MEN!!! The new one will go in my kitchen area cause it has ducks in it!! teehee
 Yes this is organized, very very very organized.......VERY! I keep empty canning jars, canning supplies, Foodsaver and it's supplies, etc etc etc in this corner. I am so proud of myself and I just want to sit and stare at it! Yes there are a few things in the floor but they are where I want them!
 I used this cute little ladder to hold my late Aunt Eleanor's hand embroidered towels and to hold my aprons. The enamelware bucket holds my homemade goats milk soap, pretty and functional. The gallon jar holds pickles cause that's how I bought them at Walmart....LOL! I plan to make some Kool-aid pickles with them soon!
 Upclose of the cool utility tubs that fit perfectly on these shelves.....ahhh bliss!
I also purchased this shelving paper at TJMAXX and lined the shelves and used some to cover a little cardboard box that now houses the handmixer and get this......the beaters are also in the box!!!! No more searching thru the utensils to find the beaters!! I'm so smart!!
This was just a little taste of what's to come. Soon, I will have covered my entire house in reorganizing/purging. I forgot to mention that I have a truck load of Goodwill stuff packed up ....yes, it's in the middle of the kitchen floor but so be it!!
******
Now I want to share some other way over the top excitement.....I have a new Grandbaby , Caraline, on the way on or before 1/15/2013!!! I have mentioned Lillie getting a new little sister a few posts back and that time is upon us. I want to ask all of you to join us in praying for this little booger to get off her butt and turn head down so Robin will not have to endure a Csection. As a nurse she knows just enough to be scared to death to be awake for the surgery! Please and Thank You!
*****
Now as you all know I am a nurse and you have been with me the past many years in and out of jobs......you all know I really just want to be a housewife but that is so hard to do in this tough economy and I have a champagne taste,,,,,,you know the rest of the story. So I go back into the partime work force tomorrow! PRAY FOR ME!!! I am excited tho about this, 12 hour shifts are for the strong nurses but I can do it and it is private duty in a nice little gentlemans home only 2 days a week.....if I tell myself that it's ONLY 2 days a week I will be fine, right? I can still do my photography....which I need to catch you up on some of my recent shoots, that were awesome. The money is good and needed to replenish the savings acct since I depleted it all this past year. The GOOD LORD ABOVE did provide for me to be able to not work and be there for Leslie and to that I am eternaly grateful. So now I will pay it back. I do not want for anything at this time in my life except my bills paid and a few sam toft pics mentioned above and a nice little cushion in savings......I will let ya know how that goes!........possibly not so good considering I just bought myself a new car.....well it was time as I have had the jaguar shown in my sidebar for 6 1/2 years. I needed something with a lot more room so I got a Chevy Traverse like this one. Not this one but just like it!
Hey, If I have to work anyway I might as well get there in style! Also plenty of yardsale room....did I say that? LOL
Hopefully you guys will see some great things out of me as part of this "non-resolution/resolution" is to share with the world all my projects so I am held accountable!
Happy and prosperous new year to all of you out there in blogland!!