Monday, January 31, 2011

Is It Monday Again? Random

Next time you're at TJ Maxx, check out their selection of reusable shopping bags.  These are .99 cents each and are bright and beautiful.  The first one here reminds me of Cath Kidston and her style.

Besides being well-made (see the snap detail and woven handles) they are bright, fun and useful.


Over the weekend, I took that (very long, intense) class to be able to carry a concealed weapon, passed the written test, passed the shooting test, and am ready to go apply.  Phew!  That's a relief.  

I had a whole lot of fun at the class with a good friend and she was so cute for the shooting part of the testing.  She had only shot a gun one other time and during the test, she hit the target EVERY single time, from a standing position, sitting position, from one knee, from walking forward and backward...all of it.  Didn't miss ONCE.  Afterward, she said "That was kind of exhilarating!"  


Needless to say, her instructor was amazed, as was I.

 "To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them."

 "With guns, we are citizens. Without them, we are subjects."


Also, I did make time before it leaves the theaters and went with a friend to see the movie "The King's Speech" which I am now heartily recommending for fellow adults.  It does have an "R" rating because of some nasty language used by the king and his therapist for speech lessons.  

Other than that, it was a very, very good movie and for history buffs, there's nothing better than a movie based on a true story.  As a bonus, for those of us who love all things vintage, this movie is chock full of goodies to look at:  clothing, buildings, cars, all of it wonderful.  (This movie should win some awards!)


Busy, busy Monday for me (my mammary glands are being flattened into pancakes today!  Woohoo!) and another sports practice season (baseball!) starting this morning before the previous sport (basketball!) has ended by about a whole month!  

I had to have Luke to school at 6:30 this morning for batting practice.  After school, his doctor appointment (for knots on top of his feet!) is followed by another practice for basketball.

I can't tell you how excited I am (not)!


Oh, and the gal at the local (tiny) gas station says gas will be $5/gallon before March gets here --this is what they're expecting.  

Can you see the wisdom in having OUR OWN ENERGY SOURCES?!  Apparently, the
brains" that work in Washington, D.C. are so stupid, dumb and blind they CANNOT.  

And yet they'll laugh with derision at Sarah Palin for plainly stating that energy independence is an issue that is vital to our national security.  (As usual, their hate for someone who simply tells the truth overrides any common sense.)  

I am  so thrilled about the prospect of gas prices once again sending our economy completely into the swirling flush...and right on down the toilet.  

This is not rocket science.  This is simple.  We are supposed to be an independent country.  How can we be independent when we rely on nutcases in the middle east for most of our energy sources?  

It's just wrong.  Period.


How is your Monday shaping up?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

SCENIC SUNDAYS: This is My Father's World

This is My Father's World

This is my Father's world,
And to my list'ning ears,
All nature sings,
and round me rings
The music of the spheres
This is my Father's world,
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees,
Of skies and seas--
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world,
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their maker's praise.
This is my Father's world,
He shines in all that's fair,
In the rustling grass
I hear him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father's world,
O let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong
seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's World,
The battle is not done,
Jesus who died
Shall be satisfied,
And earth and heav'n be one!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Worth Repeating: Our Second Ammendment Rights

Tomorrow I'll be capitalizing upon my Second Amendment rights by taking a CCW class. Be ye warned, rapists, murderers, and thieves, because this girl is gonna be packin' heat! 

In honor of that, I am repeating this post from about a year ago...

I encourage you, as the world and our country becomes more and more lawless, to arm yourselves, too.  You are the first line of protection for your own family.

Take advantage of your rights while you have them, my friends.  The lawlessness is growing:  remember that in the last week alone, there were ELEVEN policemen killed in the line of duty.  Unreal.

We believe...

In the

Second Amendment




We appreciate that our forefathers saw the wisdom in the right of the individual. And even more their wisdom that the right of that individual included one to defend itself and its family and belongings.

It is not possible to regulate guns or outlaw guns for the citizens, and those including the outlaw and have good results. A criminal will always find a way to get a weapon. Therefore, we should always have the right to defend ourselves.

I find it complete ignorance to listen to someone try to argue away my right to a firearm. There is no defense for such a thing. None. I look at people who want to do away with gun rights as ignorant, weak cowards. It's a leg under our freedoms, without it, our freedoms are gone.

My little 5'2"sister once had to pull a revolver on a 6'4" nut that was at her door, threatening to burn down her house. Her little children and mine were in that home. She had no reason to believe this individual would not make good on his threat. Am I thankful she believed in the second amendment? You betcha!

I will always be thankful to my sister because she went and pulled out that revolver, loaded that sucker and pointed it at the violent piece of rage that was at her door and told him if he touched that door she would blow his head off, and she meant it.

She was protecting her babies and mine; that big guy had no other reason to be afraid of my little sister. Thank you God, for the wisdom of our forefathers for preserving that right for us!

This is my heat-packin' daughter who's now 27, married and a mommy herself.   She got her CCW back when she had to work and drive in a very undesirable location in an old industrial part of town. She learned to shoot from dad since she was a little girl.

Our forefathers knew that armed citizenry is sometimes the only thing that will keep a government (and a roaming criminal!) honest.  

Here in Michigan, our recently replaced governor (Jennifer Granholm-D) thought that one place she could cut the budget was by releasing a whole lot of prisoners (felons of all kinds!).  

Brilliant, right?  Thousands of them are now on the loose and the crime rate is not going to go down.  Many of them have committed violent crime yet again...our unemployment is high and a lot of the larger cities they are released to are cutting police budgets drastically to the point of being dangerous.

We have budgets shrinking at an alarming rate--so the situation is not going to get better soon.  I don't think you'll ever be sorry to be able to protect yourself and your belongings and property.

These are some good words from John Adams:

"Be not intimidated....from publishing with the utmost freedom whatever can be warranted by the laws of your country; nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberty by any pretenses of politeness, delicacy or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery, and cowardice."

Friday, January 28, 2011


I know we're all gettin' just a lil' bit cranky over this winter thing.

Do you ever think things like 
"The snow sure is pretty, but why do people have to drive in it like IDIOTS?"

(Can you stand it?)

We all know in our hearts that we can't do much about the cold, the wind, the snow, being sick and tired of being cooped up, filling and refilling the humidifier, and we know we shouldn't--but we do it anyway.

We gripe about winter.

It's a sport, a contest.  
Who can be the most bitter about winter?  

All you need to do TO ENTER THIS DRAWING is in the comment section, leave your best 

and then go ahead, complain, whine and tell the worst about winter

 in the comments to enter yourself in a drawing for a new copy 

 of the

(the canner's Bible!)

I know a lot of us are going to plant gardens for the first time, or perhaps will be canning for the first time, and I'd like to help THREE of you out with a brand new Blue Book!  If your Blue Book is old and outdated, you might want a new copy!

Yes, I will choose THREE WINNERS!!
(Please, please make sure you have your email enabled or you leave your email within your comment.  The worst thing about contests is not having a way to notify winners, and having to "redraw"...)

So, don't be SHY!


It would be nice if you were a follower when you enter the contest, but as usual, there are no strings attached...nothing is required but a comment.

Just tell me your best and your worst about winter!

Kick those BLUES to the curb with a new BALL BLUE BOOK!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Patience Pays Off....

For a long long time I've needed a small-ish, plain sort of chair--one that can be slip covered easily by an amateur like me.  I didn't know that what I was looking for was called a slipper chair.  That might have helped me in my search!  So...there ya go, this is a slipper chair, people!

It had to fit a little corner in the living room that has to accommodate our Christmas tree in December.  There is only one spot that a tree can go in this old house!

Farmhouses were not designed with much furniture, or for that matter, a woman's needs in mind.  

I think they must have gathered more around the kitchen table as a family and gone to bed with the chickens, and they weren't, obviously, thinking much about sofas, chairs, shelves, lamps (and where they'd plug in when they had no power, no running water!)

And I know they weren't thinking about furniture placement and the inconvenience of the way they added on to the old place...with SIX doors and two gigantic windows they put in this old living room that is very much on the small side.

If you ever plan to buy an old farmhouse, DON'T buy the furniture first, or if you do, be prepared to use a lot of it in another spot, because you actually need to LIVE in an old farmhouse, with all of its quirks and idiosyncrasies to know what you're going to need.

We have not messed much at all with the footprint of the original parts of the farmhouse, because we wanted to retain the character of the place.  

Therefore, life isn't always easy when shopping for tables, furniture, curtains, shades (especially with window coverings.  NOTHING in this house is a standard size!).  

The cute, perfectly perfect farmhouses you see with never a cord showing must be the kind of home that was completely demolished inside and started over completely.

Not here!

This little chair fit the bill.  I'd been watching TJ Maxx for months and it finally paid off.  This little number was perfect and under $100 and it fit in the back seat of my Buick!  

(I have a plain-colored robin's egg blue quilt that I am thinking of cutting up to upholster it with!  It matches the little table perfectly!) 

Now I have one more part of this room that is just driving me nuts and I have to figure out what to do with it.

This, below, is too much darkness.

This is too much cord-ness.

I'm sure if I'm patient, I'll figure something out.

I know the guy that built this house had no idea we'd need to watch an occasional movie and play video games (that you dance to!) in here!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cozy @ Home: Make A Simple & Sweet Valentine's Gift

Would you like to make a sweet, simple Valentine for a good friend or a family member?  I have a fun little one to show you today.

It involves a little hand-stitching.

All you need is:

quilting thread and needle
felt in two colors
cookie cutter or something that you can trace and cut the shape out
pinking shears
ribbon for hanging
a small amount of  stuffing, I used very little just to barely puff it.

The recipient of this little periwinkle heart with a Scottie dog on it loves the color periwinkle and Scotties, so she'll be pleased, I think.

Cutting with the pinking shears seems to help the thread to have a place to rest when the stitching is done and makes it look a little bit neater, I'm not the best hand-stitcher.

I cut the dog out first.

The heart shape (cut two) I first cut with a piece of paper--free handed--then cut the felt with the paper heart pattern, AFTER making sure the shape would fit nicely inside the heart.

First, stitch the shape onto the front of one heart.

(Tiny buttons could be added at this point for accent if you'd like.)

I secured the ribbon to the back heart on the inside before starting to stitch the hearts together.

Start stitching the hearts together.

Sew almost all the way around, stopping on a flat side on bottom to gently push just a little stuffing in before finishing your stitching.  

Words could be stitched on, but I thought the simpler, the sweeter.

They're almost as fun to decorate as a Valentine's cookie!  And I don't think you'll be able to stop with just have fun!

Simple + Sweet = LOVE!

It's Jamie's Birthday!

To My Silly Girl:

We love you and all the grins you have brought to this family. We hope you have a great day and know that you are loved and that we sure wish we could be there today to celebrate and grill that big fat steak for you!

What a BIG year it's been!  All kinds of wonderful things have happened for you and the best is that you're a mommy now yourself.  It's been a wonderful thing to watch you bloom in that wonderful new role and be the most beautiful you've ever been!

Mom and Dad
(And your poor little brothers.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Dog Days of ... Winter!

"Mommy, when will it be over?  When can I go out and chase birds, butterflies, and roll with joy and full abandon in the green, green, grass?

"You say 'Soon, soon!'   And I keep a watch, and things still seem the same.  All white.  All cold.  It all makes my paws hurt!"  

I don't see the rabbits, the squirrel, all those friends who are so happy when it's green and pretty outside.  Just birds and birds and more birds.  I'm tired of birds!  

JuneBug doesn't even chase them much anymore!"

"But if you say springtime will be here soon, I will wait.

How ever long that takes!"

Yes, we are in THOSE days....the "dog" days of winter:  when the animals look like they cannot stand another minute of it.  

You must admit, it gets a little old.  Especially for creatures who must go outside to use the "facilities".  Crunchy cold.  Numbing cold.  

The good part?  We have snow to go with it, unlike brown winters--give me the white ones that brighten up the world a whole bunch.


Are you dreaming of a "spring break" with some warmth, sunshine, lapping waves to hypnotize you and the feel of those gentle salty breezes, too?  

(In the summer, Michigan is a great place to be, but NOW?  Not so much...)

So...if you could get away to somewhere warm that has all you crave this time of year,  WHERE would you like to go?  

(Our favorite beach getaway is Gulf Shores, Alabama.)  

Let me know your favorite sunny spot where you like to sit in the sand...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunset: Shadow Shots

Since first noticing how beautiful indoor shadow shots can be, I've been trying to take the time to notice good opportunities.  

In the winter, it's easy, because there are rare days of beautiful sunshine, and when that sun is out, it's easy to notice the fun ways it plays with the interior of our homes: bouncing off windows and onto furniture, wood trim.

All quite fun.

The morning sun throws a different color of shadow--more white and illuminating, the afternoon colors are richer, darker:  more yellow/orange, and, like the sunset itself--just a pleasure to shoot because by only waiting a matter of just minutes, the sun is in another place and the light different yet again!

And the best part of shadow shots?  Nothing can make them look more stunning than they do coming straight out of the camera.

But you have to be quick...!

Sunsets wait for no one.  ;-)

Sunday, January 23, 2011


The birds have a way of letting you know if the feeders are getting low, or empty.  
Here our flock, sits patiently waiting for the fill-up.  
I love that even the biggest, burliest of men love to make sure the birds get fed in the winter.

Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, 
and not one of them is forgotten before God? 
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 
Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. 

(Luke 12:6-7 KJV)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Little Spring...

On a January morning with below zero temps with wind chills on top of that, I set out in the morning to get my five mile walk in (at the mall) and stopped on the way home to hunt for a few blooms I had my heart set on...

A few primroses for $2.50 each from the home center were brought home and wrapped in foil from the kitchen, set out on vintage saucers from a garage sale, then plopped in a tiered wire planter found at the Amish store years back.

It's just a little somethin' to tide us over until there are buds bursting on the trees and blooms coming out of the ground.

It makes me smile each time I walk past...

(And the primroses say:  "Any survival tips would be appreciated.")

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sunday Dinner...From Close to Home


Eatin' food grown close to home.  It's the way I was raised, and I'm sure it's the same for many of you, too.

The ham is from a side of pork we bought from a neighbor's hog.

The corn is from my friend's garden (ours didn't do well last year.)  I taught her to can, she sent me home with a few grocery sacks full of corn.

The potatoes we grew in our back yard.  I was amazed at how long they lasted through this winter and last, we are still using them.  We will grow them every year, as well as onions.

The rolls are hidden in the basket.  We didn't grow the wheat or produce the milk ourselves.  I wish we had a milk source.

The strawberries for dessert were grown in our back garden. 

The pride I feel when a meal is mostly grown close to home is immeasurable.  I wish more Americans could know what this could mean to them.  More independence and pride is something we could all use.  

Those who are "less fortunate" and those in government making a fuss about "food deserts" should learn to grow their own food and not count on someone else to get it to their table for them.  

Sorry, but that's how generations of Americans have survived and the government didn't have to do everything for them.  Even the city dwellers had garden plots in their back yards.  

This spirit of dependence instead of independence, well, it's just plain pitiful to watch.  This is not American, to have the government thinking of and doing everything for our families.

The way the coming "food shortages" are becoming bigger and bigger news, I think we'd all do well to grow more of our own food this coming year.  (The above link will take you to a news story recently that talks about everything that's coming together that is creating this problem.)

Have you heard these news reports about the military being ordered to prepare for "food riots" because the food supplies are LOW, and the price of food is going to skyrocket?  I know you've already noticed prices of groceries going up, up, up.  

There are stories all over the news about this.  I'm starting to notice them picking up.  I am shocked at that.  The dollar is becoming more and more worthless and that means commodities will be more and more expensive, including food especially.

I am thinking I'll order my garden seeds early this year and stock up on more canning supplies.  I have some cuts from our side of beef that need to be used and am considering canning a lot of vegetable and chicken soup with it as well as some of the veggies we still have left from our garden that we stored in the freezer.

These days are sure full of fear and uncertainty.  

Are you worried?  Are you planning on a bigger garden and preserving more of your own food?


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Good Morning, Good News!

Today, my sister is all done with her radiation treatments, and is cancer free!



Thanks for your concern and all the prayers you offered for her.

We celebrated a little last night with family and friends...

A large sigh of relief was collectively breathed.

She has one more physical therapy appointment for her arm on the side where the lymph nodes were removed, other than that, she's all done with treatments.  


How are you on this cold, cold January morning?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Vintage Farm Table for Sewing...

Now that Christmas is over and done with, I have a big bunch of stuff to catch up on:  the main one is sorting to do in my sewing room.  It's sorting like thread, fabric, doodads and whatsists, stuff that is super-dee-dooper annoying to think about sorting.


Yesterday, I got some inspiration started for that when I accidentally bumped into this table at my favorite antique mall.  It's a little porcelain-topped farmhouse table, painted in brilliant red, glossy paint.  It came with two solid oak chairs, also red.  What a set!  And under $75!

It's a sweet lil' thang...

All red and white and cheery.

Even the man that helped me load it into the truck asked me if I planned on leaving it red and white.

I told him yes.

He said "Well that's good, because it's so cheery."

A man.

Said that.



I was amazed.

And then, of course, I recovered from the pure shock of his observation to me and agreed with him --"It IS cheery!"  I said, and then, like a good girl, I helped him load it, said thank you, waved and was off to home.

I lugged it in the house and up the steps after I took out the old table and unloaded the stuff that lived underneath it.  (Like I said, I must SORT.)  

The old table is a 6' white plastic banquet table I made a skirt for from Sam's Club.  It worked for a long time, but it took up way too much room in my small area.  I'd been on the lookout for a little farm table like this.  

After I moved the old table out, I vacuumed up three complete generations of Asian beetles that lived (and died) under my sewing table.   

(Oh, have I mentioned that I would like to personally wring the neck of the brilliant governmental official who thought it would be beneficial to import these ANNOYING, USELESS bugs into our environment to drive every housewife in the state INSANE!??)

This little set has to remain red.  Besides being cheerful, it matches the curtains!

MOTIVATION, that's what this little set is.  Now I am obligated to sort and organize because my old table was WAY bigger and hid way more under its skirts.  

My sins are all out in the open now, with this little number.  I don't think it will wear big old long skirts well like my big table did.  She's a petite little thing, and her legs should be shown off.



(Oh, and a little side note, for those of you who'd like to "follow" Old Centennial Farmhouse on facebook, you can do so and have my blog pages sent right to your wall as they're posted there.  Click here, or go to the facebook icon on my left-hand side bar!)

Old Centennial Farmhouse
Promote your Page too

Please tell me that you hate Asian beetles, too, Michiganders?!