Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The project that I wish I had time for...




I have a square table in my dining room. A rustic, extra large square table. 54 inches by 54 inches to be exact. Until last month, I did not sew. Prior to that, dressing my table could be challenging or expensive. Most square table cloths are 52 inches by 52 inches, and difficult to find, so for years I used a pretty shower curtain (70" inches square). Since I didn't sew, my only alternative for table cloths was to order from a restaurant supply catalog or from Williams-Sonoma (expensive and only available in plain white). Skip that.

Tonight as I was web surfing one of my favorite blogs, Nesting Place, I found a link to this adorable table cloth that you can make very inexpensively. You have to look here. It's frugal, simple, and makes a nice statement. I love it!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pear Honey...well, kind of


I like to give credit for the recipes, especially since this one is not my own. I found it at Recipezaar. I have been craving it for weeks, and I am not especially fond of any kind of cooked fruit! I tried to be diligent and respond to a post on our local craigslist.org for free pears being offered before the freeze, but the lady never responded to me. I purchased some pears at a 99 cents/pound price. I did learn a lesson about purchasing something for a specific recipe: hide it! My fruit foragers of the family devoured my pears in one day! I grumbled a little bit when I noticed this, because I had already combined the pineapple with the sugar and lemon juice...no turning back now! I improvised and used apples instead, but the result was still scrumptious!

Pear Honey
  1. In a 6 quart stainless steel kettle combine all ingredients.
  2. Bring to boiling, stirring occasionally.
  3. Simmer 40 mins.
  4. Spoon into sterile jars, leaving a 1/2 inch head space.
  5. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids.
  6. Process in boiling water for 10 mins.
  7. Makes 7 half pints.
Just a note: In my opinion (and I have a terrible sweet tooth too), this is way too much sugar. I would reduce it to 3 1/2 cups the next time. I only made 1/3 of this recipe, because I'm not into canning preserves and had none of the canning supplies (I usually make freezer jam!). Therefore I only went through step 3 of the recipe.

Monday, November 3, 2008

What's the big deal about $25?

Due to some unforeseen medical expenses over the past few months, we have had to pull from other budget areas to keep up with our obligations. For instance, our lawn needs to be reseeded and the gardens need to be mulched, but that will have to wait due to the medical bills. I was feeling a little bit grumpy about it because it needs to be done in the Fall of the year. We missed it again this year.

My older son's pants seem to be unable to keep up with the length of his legs, and my youngest son's hand-me-down pants need to be altered to keep up with his waist. So, I pulled out the sewing machine and learned to hem. Still, there have been some clothing expenses this month as the weather changed. They both need shoes, but only because of extreme wear and not for lack of fit, thankfully.

That's just one example of the many wants and needs that seem to be waylaid due to the struggling economy. More than once recently, I've felt more gripey than thankful, thinking that things never seem to go my way and I never really have been able to get ahead.

And then...

The mail came today with $25 in an envelope as payment from an in-depth survey that I had taken about television viewing. That $25 came on a week that is 4 days shy of my paycheck, but just in time to pay for my son's music lesson payment due on Wednesday. A $20 payment, I might mention, that had the potential to put a crimp on an already strained budget.

And there's enough left over to buy a gallon of milk :)

Matthew 6:31-32

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’
These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.