Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March 2009 Links

Here are the links to all of The Goat blog posts for March 2009

March Links

WFMW - Free Printables

It's another Works For Me Wednesday. This is a blog carnival where hundreds of folks gather to share their tips for better living.

However, this week we are doing a backwards edition. This is where we ask questions and hope that our dear readers will help with answers.

The backwards edition doesn't happen very often, so it's a nice treat. Please be sure and read my request (and go visit the sites I mentioned to see if you'd like to download some of the free treats) and then go over to We Are THAT Family to see if you can answer other peoples cry for help.

It all started with Indie Fixx a blog that I found very interesting. One day a new idea appeared there, it was called Feed Your Soul and the idea was that a few artists each month would give away their art for free because art feeds our souls. The downloads so far are HERE and I have thoroughly enjoyed them.

I found Print A Day through Indie Fixx and she has some fun downloads, too. Her download section is HERE, if you'd like to see her work.

So my inquiry is ... Do you have a place where you find cool pieces to download interesting art? notepaper? index cards? even calendars.

Do you have a favorite something that you seem to print off again and again? The image of the watering can is one of my new favorites and I've really enjoyed the mushrooms recently. I've used a few of the cool note papers from Print A Day as a beautiful grocery list and also to leave a note on a neighbors door. It's an unexpected treat to a usual day.

I'm always looking for new places that share their work for free. Or even places that share a little bit of their artwork for free as a sample.

If you have a link - you can put it in this format and it will be a clickable link in the comment section - but if not, I'll put it in this post, so we can all use the information.

<a href="http://URL you want to Link to">Name Your Link</a>

Be sure and check back here through the week to see what others have found.

Thanks and have a great day!

Here are some free download pieces - thanks to your comments, I have a few new places!

One Pretty Thing
The Vintage Moth
DLTK - Kids Printables
Folding Trees
The Small Object Steno Pad
Kind Over Matter - Peace Blocks


I Skyped for the first time today.

I asked my sister, Alison, if she would get skype so that I could talk to her of course, but also so I could see my nieces and they could see me. I haven't seen them since November and with Stella turning one and Zora turning five, both in April - I feel like I'm really missing out on getting to know them.

So this morning, she downloaded Skype.

and this is what I saw...

Actually, Zora talked to me first and it took her a little while to get the hang of talking to me in the big screen - instead of looking at herself in the corner screen. But when she did figure it out she was a lot of fun. She showed me her new haircut and told me that her "...haircutter, Kim, is now working at another place. It's so big it's like an airplane!" Kids are so funny.

Stella was down for her nap when we first started the conversation, but soon had had enough of that and needed to get into the picture. Alison showed me Stella's new teeth, too. She's got two on the bottom that are in, but two little stubs can be seen on the top now. Stella mostly just looked at the screen, while Alison and I talked.

What a treat this morning. I thought I was going to sleep in this morning and it didn't work out - I'm so glad that happened because it was a true joy to see my girls.

Have a fabulous day!

Another Month in the books

I've done it. I've posted every day in March.

I did the same thing in February, January, December and November.

I have officially been keeping track since I joined NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month.) I thought that it was going to be a way to be able to keep up with people that posted something every day. There is this giant blogroll of people to ask to be linked in to participate.

I like to go through a lot of the blogs on NaBloPoMo each month and am shocked to see how many don't post every day. I just went through about 10 blogs tonight and a few of them haven't posted since the middle of the month.

So, it isn't a place to find LOTS of people who are serious about posting each day, but it is a great incentive for me. I want to blog every day. Even last week when I felt like I couldn't even see straight, let alone blog anything, I became happy and engaged when I sat down to write. NaBloPoMo has been wonderful for me and I am pleased as punch to be a part of it.

I'm a bit concerned about May though. My goal at the beginning of the year was to blog one thing each day of 2009. We are going to Ireland and the Isle of Man and I have decided I'm not taking my computer. I expect that I will write something each day, but it won't be a blog post unless we happen to stumble upon an internet cafe at an appropriate time in our travels. The rules of NaBloPoMo state that if you don't have access to a computer, physically handwriting the post counts, but I'm not sure if I can count that. So anyway, I'll see what I can do. I don't want to incur weird fees on my Blackberry, so I'll have to look into that closer, as that might be a way to blog from overseas.

I just wanted to toot my own horn. Toot Toot!

This is something I made from Wordle.net - I took a page of my blog and pasted it into the create section and then clicked random until I liked it. I think it's funny that DAY is such a huge part of the graphic. I guess posting each day is important to me - Look - it's right there in the middle!

Each day is important and I wish you all a great one.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Repurposing Recycling

I love a great idea & Make Do Monday's hosted by Ann Kroeker is a place where you can certainly find some great ideas on how to make do with what you have. "It’s a carnival you can visit to celebrate creative problem-solving, contentment, patience and ingenuity," says Ann.

Ann purchased something that came in a great box - so she has reused that into her jewelry box. I don't think I could have tossed away the box either. Speaking of not being able to throw things away. I have a few items I'd like to share with you today.

First up is this rather innocent looking tin. It's an olive oil tin to be exact. I purchased the oil in this tin for a very specific purpose. I needed a trash can to sit on my tiny little rolling laundry cart and I couldn't find a trash can small enough, cheap enough or square enough to put on this little shelf.

I looked for a long time, when one day when I was grocery shopping I saw the olive oil tins. It was going to take me a long time to go through all of the oil in that tin, but I thought it just might be worth it. So I bought it.

It probably took us a year to go through all of the olive oil, but after a few months I transferred the oil to another container...I couldn't wait any longer!

I cut the top off of the can with a can opener and washed the inside carefully with about a teaspoon of liquid dishsoap and a drop of water - this cuts the oil - and then rinsed it real well.


It's a trashcan!

It fits perfectly on my little cart. It holds lint from the dryer like a charm and doesn't ever look like I have a trashcan sitting next to my designer bleach bottle. haha

Another laundry item that I have made-do is this bottle of distilled water. This is a bottle from a small container of dish soap. I have filled it with distilled water and I use it to fill my iron. It doesn't leak and gives a nice controlled stream of water into the iron. It also holds quite a bit of water, so if I'm doing a marathon ironing session I don't have to keep refilling the bottle.

(Normally I put labels on plastic containers that contain liquid, but since this just holds water, I have not labeled it.)

This whole post was inspired by this little gadget. I have always thought the charging stations for cell phones were so cool, but I don't have the counter space or the desire to fork out the money for something that is really not needed. However... When I saw this project at Zakka Life, I just knew I needed to make one.

I haven't yet - I don't have a container that is available right now, but I didn't want that to stop me from showing you all this tutorial. Please click on the link to Zakka Life to see the whole tutorial - it's really so easy.

I hope you have a fabulous Make-Do Monday!

UPDATED: Zakka life has taken down the tutorial because of comments over safety issues. Sigh.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Isle of Man

My family is going to The Isle of Mann in a few weeks and we are all getting excited. We are all brushing up on our history, or probably more appropriately, we are learning our history. My last name is Corlett. The Corlett name on the Isle of Mann is the 2nd most popular name. It's like being a Smith or a Johnson here in the United States. I have never met a Corlett that wasn't my relative. There aren't many of us around either and we didn't have any boys in our family - so our family name ends with us, in the United States.

For the next few weeks I'll be sprinkling in some IOM (Isle of Mann) tidbits. It'll be like you all are going with me, but a lot less expensive! haha

The Isle of Mann

The distinctive Isle of Man symbol, the Three Legs of Man, was first officially used on the Manx Sword of State in the early fourteenth century. Clad in armour and bearing spurs, the legs run in the clock-wise direction and as a testament to the islanders' independence and resilience, bears the Latin motto 'Quocunque Jeceris Stabit' or "whithersoever you throw it, it will stand". Notably, the symbol appears on the Manx Coat of Arms flanked by a Raven and a Peregrine Falcon.

Flora and fauna from The Isle of Mann website - Here

Loaghtan Sheep from the Isle of Man Government website

Best known amongst the Island's unusual Flora and Fauna is the Manx cat which in the pure 'rumpy' version has no tail at all while a 'stumpy' has a vestige of a tail. Loaghtan sheep - with four horns - are also unique to the Isle of Man. During the summer, giant Basking sharks are often seen in Manx waters. These huge creatures grow up to 35 feet long and two tonnes in weight but they are harmless to man and live on a diet of plankton.

Small animals not found on the Isle of Man include badgers, squirrels, snakes and moles. Foxes are forbidden by law but some were illegally introduced in the 1980s and a handful still survive. There are also small numbers of feral goats and descendants of red-necked wallabies that escaped captivity many years ago.

I'm excited the hear that the island is snake free. That's kind of a relief to know that if we do any traipsing around in fields, I won't have to worry about stepping on one. I guess we won't be falling into any mole hills either. Those sheep are incredibly interesting - 4 horns?!! I hope we see some.

As befits a country with Celtic roots, the Island has its own Tartan - a combination of pale blue to represent the sky, yellow for the gorse, white for Manx cottages, green for the hills and purple for heather

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Excellent Cake

The other day I posted the proper way to have a picnic from a book called Breakfast, Dinner & Supper. One of the items it suggested taking along was something called Excellent Cake. When I wrote it, I knew I needed to look it up in that book and see if there was a recipe...Well, I wasn't the only one.

Acinom, of 5 Cat Shy, left me a comment saying: PLEASE tell me there is an accompanying recipe for "excellent cake"! I NEED THAT

You would think that with all of the extensive instructions on how to fold a napkin, how to have a picnic and a whole chapter dedicated on how to behave, you'd think that there would be more instruction on how to bake cakes. There are 73 cakes listed on 11 pages. Most of the cake ingredients/instructions take up 4-5 lines. A few actually have two paragraphs. Here is where I thought I would learn how to make a cake. This was the opening page to the section.


The best recipes in the world will fail to produce good cakes at the hands of a careless cook. There are, however, some simple directions which, if followed with care, will enable the most inexperienced to meet with success at least after a few trials; for here, as elsewhere, the old adage holds good, "Practice makes perfect."

It is an indisputable fact that too little attention is given to a preparation for baking; which consists in having all the ingredients at hand, tins lined with greased paper, and the oven just sufficiently heated. Great care should be observed in maintaining a uniform heat, which, when the over is of a desired temperature, may be done by closing the draft and occasionally placing a stick of wood upon the fire. If necessary, cakes should be very carefully turned, and not exposed to the cold air, as either such a change of temperature or a sudden jar will cause the cake to fall and become heavy. When thought to be done, try with a knitting-needle, to which no cake will adhere when sufficiently baked.

Procure good, sweet butter, which may be used either alone or with an equal quantity of drippings. If desired, the butter may be washed to remove a part of the salt. Baking powder or cream of tartar should always be sifted with the flour, and soda dissolved in the liquid. If sour milk be used, soda alone is necessary.

That wasn't what I expected, but I guess it was all a girl of the 1880's needed to know.

Here a few recipes and few hints on how to get the measurements that you need.

A Table of Weights and Measures.

3 level coffee-cups sifted flour equal 1 lb.
2 level coffee-cups pulverized sugar equal 1 lb.
1 1/2 level coffee-cups granulated sugar equal 1 lb.
1 3/4 level coffee-cups A sugar equal 1 lb.
4 scant teacups sifted flour equal 1 lb.
2 scant teacups soft butter, packed, equal 1 lb.
2 scant teacups granulated sugar equal 1 lb.
2 1/4 scant teacups brown sugar equal 1 lb.

Excellent Cake
Take 3 eggs, 1 1/2 c sugar, 2/3 c sweet milk, 1/2 c butter, 2 c flour, and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder.

Mutton Chop Cake
Cut jelly-roll in slices 1/2" thick; the slices cut in the shape of a mutton-chop, and dip one side in water icing. If properly shaped, the appearance of the cake suggests its name.

English Lady Cake
Beat light 9 oz butter and 1 lb sugar. To 1 pt. of the well-beaten whites of eggs add 1 lb flour in which has been mixed 1/2 oz baking powder. Unite the whole and beat thoroughly for ten minutes.

Fruit cake
Take 1 lb brown sugar, 1 of flour, 3 of raisins, same of currants, 1/2 lb of citron, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, same of nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground cloves. Stone the raisins, brown the flour slightly, and bake slowly for three hours. This cake will keep good for a year.

Sponge Cake
Weigh 1/2 lb eggs; break and beat with 1/2 lb sugar until very light. Add 1/2 lb sifted flour, season with lemon essence, and bake in medium oven.

Rub thoroughly 1/4 lb butter with 1/2 lb sugar and add 3 eggs. Dissolve 1/4 oz soda in 1/2 pt. milk, and mix 1/2 oz cream of tartar with 1 lb 2oz flour. Add the milk, then gently stir in the flour. Season with a few drops of lemon essence, put into patty-pans, and bake in medium heat.

I guess patty cakes were named because of the pan that was used. I don't know what a patty-pan is. Now that I'm a diabetic, it's not likely that I will ever make any of these cakes, but I have a very strong desire to do so. I have always loved to bake. I'm not much into cooking, but baking is what I enjoy. I like to follow a recipe. I like to have step by step directions. In this book, the steps are kind of missing - like the baking part! - but I bet this would be direction enough to satisfy me.

If anyone decided to make one of these recipes, let me know.


Friday, March 27, 2009


I have three condos that I rent to transplant patients and for the past year, I have had one consistently left unrented. Sometimes it has been unit 502 and sometimes it has been 504. Several times both 502 & 504 have been empty at the same time, but thankfully that has only been a couple of months.

My tenant Richard lived in my Avanti unit for 14 months and just moved out and moved home about 2 weeks ago. He got the first liver transplant of the new year, so I'm pleased he stayed a few extra months to get really healthy before moving home. I was however, getting fairly nervous about getting my units filled up again.

I seriously, honestly and truly put it out into the universe to send people to me and let me help them and house them. I have been paying the rent and utilities on one of the condos for almost a year now - all of the profits dried up a long time ago - and I'm nearly out of cash. I needed to hand the stress over to someone and just believe that I'd be blessed with tenants.

About 6 weeks ago a man contacted me and within a week he and his wife decided we had the perfect place and moved in. Two weeks ago Richard moved out. I now had one full and two empty. The day after Richard left I received 4 phone calls for housing and one email. The person in the email asked if they could move in on the 25th to the unit that Richard just left. Yes I said, YES! The people who called weren't right for my location so I gave them a list of other places to try that would be better for them. About 10 days ago I showed my last unit to a couple. She loved it, he wasn't sure. Since he was sick, she let him choose and he chose a hotel. I made sure to tell her to call me back if he changed his mind.

Yesterday he changed his mind.

Today they moved in.

I am so excited. I am so happy!

To say I needed the money is an understatement, but mostly I like to be able to help other transplant patients and the caregivers.

Having all the units rented, however, helps me to focus on the people renting and not on trying to figure out how to pay for everything.

Big Huge Sigh of Relief.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Improv Everywhere

Have you ever been to a place where you thought something odd was happening but you just couldn't quite figure it out. Almost as if there was some kind of a joke happening all around you but you weren't in on it?

I go to Target a surprising number of times wearing a bright red shirt. So the entire time I'm shopping, I get asked to help someone find something. I've been in an airport when a family reunion has just ended and it seems like everywhere I look there is a group of people wearing the same t-shirt. Bike week in Daytona Beach was interesting because all of a sudden many many thousands of motorcycles would arrive in town and our once car clogged streets were now teeming with motorcycles.

Sometimes things just happen around you.

What would you do in this case? Click the link and watch the video. It's a lot of fun.

Grand Central Station

That would have been so much fun to witness.

I am fascinated with twins and had I been on this train I think my mind would have just exploded trying to figure this out. But then again, I often wonder if I would have noticed!

Human Mirror

This was funny. A improv musical in the middle of a Food Court in L.A.

Food Court Musical

I hope you have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ironing Sheets

Sometimes the conversations on Facebook are just a hoot.

Most of you know about my rental condos. But I'll refresh your memory real quick. I rent condos (ones that I own) to people who are going through Heart, Lung or Liver transplants at the Mayo Clinic here in Jacksonville, FL. I clean these condos after someone moves out and I clean them from top to bottom. I furnish them and make them as nice as possible for the tenants because they've had a really rough few years probably and being in a home-like setting is real nice.

One of my very favorite things is to crawl into a bed with freshly laundered and irons sheets. It is just an incredible luxury that doesn't happen very often to me (because I'd be the one ironing!) but for each new tenant, I iron all 4 sets of sheets that I put in the condo. Two sets go on the beds and two in the closets.

So, the other day, I posted this message as my status on Facebook.

The responses I got from my friends were a hoot and generated MUCH more discussion than I ever dreamed possible.

Kristin Corlett is about to start ironing sheets.

Eric - I like messing them up better!

Amy - you need some kids to visit for a month to snap you outta that habit!

ME - haha! I don't iron the sheets for me, I iron them for my rental condos - so that the sheets in the closet & on the bed look beautiful :)

My sheets on my bed are not ironed LOL

Amy -I was beginning to worry about an ocd thank GOd!

ME - All my OCD issues are in the kitchen LOL I'm watching the Bristol race and Ironing sheets.

If you ever do want to iron sheets, iron them on the bed. It's so much easier than an ironing board.

ME - Eric, I'm sure you would prefer messing them up! haha

Amy - Kitchen OCDS I have a few. Many let go upon being married and certainly having children I just internalize the stress! I think Joes mom irons sheets.

Zonnie - Almost as fun as ironing curtains (nope)

Alicia - you really iron them on the bed!? I never thought of that. But I've never wanted to iron sheets!

ME - Sure do! I am usually ironing 4 sets of sheets all at once, so I put all of the fitted sheets on the bed and then iron everything on top of those. The flat sheets you only have to move a few times to get all sides and by the time you have moved all the way around the bed ironing, the fitted sheets have been ironed by accident lol or at least well enough. If not, I just give it a quick once over with the iron as I take off each fitted sheet and fold it. The last sheet, I leave on the bed :)

I only do it for my rental condos. It's just a nice touch and is so nice for them that first night or two to have ironed sheets.

Jennifer - OMG...Martha Stewart better watch her back...

Jennifer - And that's a good thing!

There ya go -- My fun facebook ironing sheets conversation. I guess it's a HOW-TO post as well. Iron the sheets on the bed. It saves a lot of work trying to use an ironing board.

Well, while I'm at it -- Wash your sheets on fairly gentle and then put them in the dryer for just enough to get them barely dry - take them out, put them directly on the bed or fold them. They will be SO much less wrinkled if you just fold them real quick. If you do iron them on the bed, leave the sheets a teeny bit damp and they will iron up wonderfully.

Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

WFMW - Coffee Caddi

It's another Works For Me Wednesday. This is a blog carnival where hundreds of folks gather to share their tips for better living.

It can be tips about kids, meals, laundry, or the best place to stay when you go to Memphis. You just never know what fantastic tips you will find. So when you finish reading my fabulous tip, please go visit all the other folks at the new host for WFMW -We Are THAT Family.

I used to manage a coffee house called The Dancing Goat Coffeehouse. (The Goat for short) We purchased a lot of coffee sleeves to put around those ToGo coffee cups. I was always happy when people would return with their used coffee sleeve because that saved us a little money and because the sleeves were rarely ruined after just one use.

So when my sister emailed me the other day and said that one of her Lansing "Old Town" friends, Barbara Hranilovich, invented something for coffee cups I was intrigued. She also told me that this product was featured on the Rachael Ray show! The RR show aired in January and featured cool gifts that people received for Christmas and my sister was so excited she had to tell me about it.

I'm always thrilled to hear about a small town entrepreneur but when it combines my family, coffee and something cute - I'm in!

Check it out! It's called the Beverage Caddi and you can read more about it here - Beverage Caddi - These little babies cost under $5 a piece.

You can choose from these fun styles of carriers or with the white one, you can stamp on it! (a craft project! -- can you see Mother's Day gifts from your kids? Father's Day gifts? Yep, it's crafty, too)

Here is an 8 second video - no sound needed for this one - it demonstrates how the Beverage Caddi and be used when you need to carry more than one drink.

and this is from the website - a testimonial.

Type A Mom Review:

Type-A Mom Gift Guide - Gifts for Moms
Written by Shannan Powell
Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Picture it: You’re getting out of the car with eight bags of groceries, a couple of whiny kids and trying to find the right car key to unlock the door. Add into this scenario the cup of coffee that you treated yourself to in an attempt to keep your sanity and you have a recipe for disaster. The odds are good that you’ll end up wearing the coffee, or at the very least, pouring it into one of the bags as you stumble through the front door.

The Beverage CADDi is a cool little gadget that will allow you to hold beverage cups with one finger, freeing up your hands and arms.

I was given the opportunity to try out the Beverage CADDi and was really surprised at the results. My first thought when opening the package was that it looked too simple to actually work. Rather than to try it in a precarious situation initially, I tested it out in the house, just to get a feel for it. It is almost impossible to spill anything when a cup is in the CADDi. I used an unlidded cup, ¾ full of water and swung it around, unlocked the door, picked up the kids and all kinds of things. It never spilled a drop! I had the same results when I tried it out, coming in from a big grocery shopping trip.

The Beverage CADDi will be a permanent fixture in my purse, from now on. These are a must have for everyone, from busy moms to college students. I will definitely be purchasing several to give as gifts this Christmas!

Having my hands free works for me! If you purchase a Beverage Caddi (or several!) please spread the word to others. I love to help out entrepreneurs.

Have a fabulous day and be sure to head on over to We are THAT Family and more WFMW tips!


Monday, March 23, 2009

Breakfast, Dinner & Supper

I found this book at an auction that I just couldn't let get away. The book was on a flat bed trailer with several thousand other books. There were boxes of books, plies of books, stacks of books and books tossed from people digging through the piles.

I walked over and stood back a bit and just looked.

There were a lot of old books. I don't remember who's house they came from, but I'm thinking it came from the old house that didn't have an indoor bathroom in the 1990's. The woman who had lived in that house had lived there since she was a small child and didn't want to change the house at all. Her parents had put in running water in the kitchen and electricity (barely!) throughout the house, but a bathroom was not included in the updates. The auction was an estate sale. There were no heirs, as she never married, and the other family members either ran far away from there or had died - this woman was over 100 when she passed.

She never threw anything away and neither had her parents. This auction was a study in decades. In fact, when possible, that's how the auction was set up, from Pre WWI to the 1990s. The books, however, were on this flatbed truck.

I spied "Breakfast, Dinner & Supper" copyright 1884, within seconds of walking up to the trailer. I didn't even open it. I knew I wanted it. When the auctioneer came over to the books he first had us pull out single books that we wanted to bid on. I didn't touch the book. I waited until he called last call for individual books before I motioned to it. There was a book dealer there and I gave him a look. I had not bid on any books yet, so he knew that I wanted it. He bid against me for a few rounds and I finally just said to him "It's mine, I don't even know what's in it, but it's mine." He stopped bidding thankfully at $40. He had purchased other books for over $200 so I was hoping he'd realize that I wasn't going to bid on every book...I just needed THAT one. Someone bid after him, but I got the book for $50.

I love this book. and you will too. and if you don't, come back tomorrow when I chat about something else :)

There are so many favorite parts to this book, but this is an incredible section that I simply must share. I have typed this exactly as written, with all of the hyphens and run on sentences and semicolons! I'm so excited to have you all read this. Enjoy

Picnic Baskets

pg 116 of Breakfast, Dinner & Supper

Have two of them by all means; one for provisions, and the other for the utensils you may need.

Pack your plates, sauce-dishes (old-time stone-ware, not the glass berry-comports you use a the home-meal), and cups, at the bottom of the basket, with towels and table-linen (unbleached damask or colored table-cloth, with napkins to match) in between, to prevent breakage; tumblers on top, and the knives, forks, spoons where they will go best, with a piece of oil-cloth over all.

Don't forget to take a big tin pail for water; you can carry your lemons, bananas, or other fruit in it; also a can of rich cream for the coffee, without which an open-air picnic-dinner would be incomplete; so bring along your coffee-pot without fail. If you use the bean from "Araby the blest," have it all ready ground and measured, in a small tin box, and empty spice-box will do; also to carry tea, salt, and sugar. "Golden coffee" (see p. 456), or other "hygienic" substitute, will answer nearly or quite as well; some think better. Chocolate, all ready prepared with milk and sugar, but with the cocoa-butter which gathers on the top when cold carefully removed, is a pleasant and slightly stimulating beverage, and need not be warmed unless you choose to do it; but the lovers of "the cup that cheers" will clamor some for hot, and some for iced tea, so carry along a well-blanketed block of ice in the northeast corner of your picnic-wagon, with a tin box of butter close as its side, and if you can add a freezer full of frozen cream, so much the better. But pack ice all around it, and heavily cover it with carpeting, or the contents will be melted when you want to use them.

Have freshly-baked biscuit, rolls, etc, even if it necessitates very early rising, and pack them in the second basket, with the rest of the good things provided. We subjoin a sample list of suitable articles for a picnic lunch or dinner, from which, if at a loss, a bill of fare for spring, summer, or fall can easily be selected.

Poultry - Chicken, cold, baked or roasted, or in a salad; broiled cold rooast turkey, sliced thin; broiled partridges.

Fish - freshly caught, fried or broiled on live coals; sardines; canned salmon; canned lobser; lobster rissoles, cold ; oysters, raw, stewed, or pickled; clam chowder.

Meat - Chipped beef; pressed veal; veal loaf; cold roast veal; smoked tongue; canned corned beef.

Pickles - Cucumber; mixed pickles; piccalilli; sweet pickled pears and peaches; catsup.

Sandwiches of tongue, fresh or smoked; steamed beef; sausage, sliced thin; or of hard boiled eggs, sliced length-wise and sprinkled with grated cheese, laid between buttered bread.

Vegetables, in their season. Roasting -ears; sweet or Irish potatoes, roasted in hot ashes; cucumber-salad, or tomatoes, sliced with vinegar, and garnished with cold boiled eggs sliced and laid on top.

Bread - white; Boston brown; graham fruit-bread; lemon biscuit; quick soda biscuit; French rolls.

Cake - Pound; sponge; chocolate layer; cocoanut; excellent cake; sultana; hermits; lemon snaps; macaroons.

Nuts - Mixed; English walnuts; Brazil-nuts; hazel-nuts; pecans.

Canned Fruit - Peaches; pears; plum-jam; grape-jelly, etc.

Drinks - Tea; coffee; chocolate; lemonade; pine-apple.

Can you imagine packing up even 1/4 of that for a picnic lunch? I can't imagine getting the 6 kids, the wool clothing, the heavy blankets, the block of ice packed in the northeast corner of the basket! Oh goodness.

The women in that day and age lived such a different life.



Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cleaning the condo

I have been cleaning one of my rental condos this weekend. It is, in some ways, a lot of fun. OK, maybe fun isn't the right word...more like satisfying.

Whenever a person leaves they take all their personal stuff with them and just leave the bare bones of the condo and the items I had originally put in there. I take out all of the linens, towels, bedding and wash it all. Then I go through and I clean everything from top to bottom. It is so easy to do because there is no clutter, nothing in the dressers, no clothes in the closet - everything is empty.

I vacuum out the dressers, wipe down the TVs, clean every tabletop, the windows, the blinds and the curtain rods.

I use a paint brush to get the dust off the baseboards, a Magic Eraser to clean the tub, sink and the faucets.

I take off all of the glass globes from the light fixtures and clean those. I even clean the lightbulbs.

I iron the sheets for the beds and the extra sets that I put in the closet.

This time around, I have to get the carpets cleaned, too. My last tenant was there a year, so good carpet cleaning is necessary. If I don't have a professional come in and clean the carpets, then I vacuum and spot clean the carpets, as well as clean the tile floors.

I take everything out of the kitchen cupboards and wash everything. The dishes, the glasses, the silverware, everything. I want everything to be "Tide Clean" for the next tenant.

The fridge gets cleaned, which is a total breeze because there is literally nothing in the fridge.

It should only take a real long day to clean the condo, but it takes me three days. I usually end up taking nearly an entire day to iron the sheets, the duvet covers and the pillowcases. Sometimes I get caught up in a movie that I've got on the TV or I start reading my emails and replying -- or even reading my favorite blogs. So it takes me several days to get the condo ready for a new tenant.

Tomorrow I need to call a plumber to help me fix the toilet tank that is not working properly. It's being finicky. I wouldn't normally call for just that - so while I have him there, I'm going to have him fix the shut off valve to the toilet, fix the drain plug in the sink and then go over to our other condo a few blocks away to fix another plumbing issue. I always have a list of projects!

I will be calling the carpet cleaner folks and scheduling them. I need to spray the oven (I just noticed it as I was leaving this evening, that it needed cleaning) and that's about it.

I have someone moving in on Wednesday. I'm going to have to pull some strings to get that carpet cleaning done, I think.

So that's my cleaning routine for my rental condos for people going through the transplant process.

I just found out this evening that one of our friends, who has been waiting since the Fall of 2007, had his liver transplant this afternoon. Ooooh goodness, we have been praying for him to be next for a long time. He was really missing his home in the mountains of Colorado...he hadn't been home since he left in 07. We all needed to hear this news.

I hope you all have had a productive weekend. Or a lazy weekend. Or whatever type of weekend that you wanted.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Books, Airplanes & Packing

I'm going to do it.

I'm going to get the Kindle.

In October I wrote a post about how I was thinking about the Kindle but wasn't sure if I could justify the cost. And I wasn't sure if the books I would want to read would be available on the Kindle.

I looked up a few dozen books that I might like to get and they were all available on Kindle. The last time I looked, they weren't, so that's great!

In a few weeks I am going to Ireland. (I know! I'm so excited!) There will be 6 of us, lots of bags, 12 hour flights (each way) and not a lot of room to store stuff.

I think I'm going to get the Kindle for the trip. I love to read books on airplanes, but I like to read several per flight. On a two - three hour flight I will switch books at least twice if not more. I used to buy magazines but several times I have gotten quite ill from the smell of the ink or the perfume tabs in the magazine. Same thing with newspapers - the ink smell does a number on me. This only leaves a few options. I either take one book at a time and force myself to read only one book on the plane or I take a chance with magazines and hope that I don't get ill. Or! I can get a Kindle and put a whole bunch of books on it and not have to worry about carrying a lot of heavy books and enjoy a variety of books. The Kindle weighs 10 ounces.

I'm getting the Kindle.

Now...what shall I read??

I see that Kindle offers several Travel guides to Ireland....hmmmm

I think I need to make a list.

About packing...

Oh, my goal is to pack in one very small suitcase and my rather large bag/purse. This is going to be interesting. I'm not normally a very light traveler. I'm thinking that I'm going to pack enough clothes for 5 days but underwear & socks for 10 days. I have to take my pillow and blanket, medications, camera and charger, too. I must have my pillow and blanket, especially if we are going to be in an airplane for 24 hours. I may be able to get comfortable with a travel pillow -- I'll practice with it for the next few weeks. I'm already thinking about the best way to arrange my purse.

I need to get back down to earth.

I also need to figure out who's going to take care of my cat while we are gone.

I think I need to make a list.

and buy the Kindle.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Annie & Jake

I wanted to talk about Annie and Jake a lot on this blog. I fell head over heels for that family. You can catch up with them here in this post. I got to know them for just a short time before Jake had to go home, but once he got home they only talked to me one more time. I actually didn't find that to be a bad thing - they had a lot going on. I think it was just overwhelming to try to introduce a new person into their lives at that moment. I have sent several emails and a few cards to them since September. I just had to let them know that I was still praying for them.

Today I got this message and it breaks my heart.

I thought he would have more time.

morning........Mr fighter is still with us.......(daughter) and i held his hand and talked with him all night and told stories of us and gave him visualizations of being on lake superior.......he is comfortable.........so bitter sweet.....

....my friend, whose house we stayed at over thanksgiving, showed up unannounced this morning at 8 and has taken the day off to help us and take some of the pressure off....so glad she is herre....the hospice nurse who is here has already trained her with all the meds and things and so we get a reprieve...........she said he is close to comatose......still responds some.................

i am lost for words...just wanted to give you a quick update........we know your hearts are hurting as well...........

.....the earliest the funeral will be is wednesday and most likely that will be the day.........(the kids) are trying to find flights during this busy spring break time.........the town's spring break starts friday and many people will leave town and so we want it before then as many want to come............

love you

Please send some prayers of comfort to this family whose hearts are breaking right now. Jake was too fragile to have a second liver transplant. (Edited - he would have needed his 4th transplant. - He had three in short succession but that third one was wonderful for him for several years.) He'll be stronger in Heaven, but he will be missed beyond measure here on Earth. I wish I could go be with them, but I just can't leave, so prayers and a card are all I can give right now.


EDITED: March 21, 2009
He died this morning at 9:30am at home, in peace with family.
The funeral will be Wednesday.
Prayers to you. Prayers to you.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Egg Deco

Have you ever seen this? It is (or was) THE BEST egg coloring stuff ever made.

My sister bought me a few boxes about 5 years ago - possibly longer ago than that. I used one of the boxes and misplaced these two boxes. I knew I had them, so I went on a search the other day and found them. Dried up. Totally dried up.

I googled them today, to see if it was still being produced somewhere. Nope. Couldn't find a thing. In 2007 someone asked in a forum if it was still around and someone replied that the company went out of business and that no one had picked up the product line.

I'm so bummed.
This was seriously the best color kit. The eggs came out with this weird marbled look that was kind of sticky for a few days, but then turned into a soft glaze on the egg shell. I remember keeping the marbled shells in a box.

One year I even made some small jewelry boxes prettier by gluing some of those fabulous shell pieces all over them like mosaic tiles. I sold a them in an East Lansing Art Gallery.

If you happen to see these in a grocery store near you, let me know. I may just need you to buy out the store or possibly just a package or two. It's already been proved that I didn't use the two extra that I already had before they went bad.

I really like to color eggs. No matter what, I'll have some fun coloring eggs this year, I can guarantee that. It is one of my very favorite things to do each year.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What Shall I Be?

Ahhh, Thrifty Thursdays. A fun little time to hunt around the house, the garage, someone elses house and garage or even a thrift store or two to dig up some cool finds. So far I haven't found much thrift in my stash - mostly just thrifty ways of using something. This week I have true Thrift!

Leigh says that Thrifty Thursday is...
... a show and tell of sorts. It is time for you to showcase your thrifty find. It can be an old find or a new one. It might be something that you found at a thrift store, a consignment store, flea market, garage/yard sale, antique store. It's it was a thrifty find, then it meets the requirements. I am not picky, It can be a great pair of boots & a killer vintage dress, jewelry, home decor, even fishing lures. It is your thrifty find. Tell me about it. Where did you find it? What is it? What do you plan to do with it or how do you plan to use it in your home? Do you want to sell it? Thrifty Thursday's are about the thrill of the hunt...and the treasure you found. So....do show and tell!

This week, I have thrifty, I have a hunt and I have decorating. I've got it all. This is Chutes and Ladders. One of my very favorite games as a kid. I used to play it alone most of the time, but I loved it.

I loved the kids on the board, the happy ones and the sad ones. I really liked the kid who drank his milk and got strong. (I always assumed he drank milk lol)

This one was my favorite. The poor little boy who can't climb the ladder because he needs to have his knee bandaged up.

One day in 1999 - 2001 I decided that I wanted to have Chutes and Ladders. I don't have kids, so I can't remember why I wanted it, but I did. I went to the toy store to find it and the board was all wrong. The kids didn't look right to me - way too modern. It almost seemed politically correct somehow. I wanted my original game.

So I went to eBay. It was my very first purchase. I paid 25 cents. I paid just a few dollars in shipping - it was under $5 for the whole game. I love it.

A woman that lived across the street from me at one time in my life, used the playing pieces from this game in some collages she was making. I fell in love with this game from that very moment. I needed it. At the time that I saw the artwork, I had no idea about eBay, so I just stuck the picture of the game in the back of my mind. I looked for it every time I went antiquing, but never found it.

The day after I bought the Chutes and Ladders game, I remembered "What Shall I Be?"

There were a few to choose from, I was shocked! But the perfect one finally caught my eye and I won the auction.

$1.25 for this baby. Once again, it was under $5 for it to come to my home.

I loved the game cards. Talk about Politically Correct! Huh! These are just the opposite.

The only careers available to the up and coming woman of the 50's was Drama, Charm School, Teacher, College Student, Nursing Student, Ballet Dancer and Airline Hostess. On the cards they say Model, but there aren't any Model cards.

Can you read these? They are too funny -

You are Clumsy - Bad for: Airline Hostess, Ballet Dancer, Model and Nurse.

You are not considerate - Bad for: Airline Hostess, Nurse and Teacher.

I guess it's perfectly acceptable to be inconsiderate and be in charm school!

I have these two games stacked up on the shelf above my TV, with a basket on top. I bring these down every couple of months and read through them. I've even been known to play a rousing game of Chutes and Ladders.

Hope you have enjoyed my Thrifty Thursday. If you ever decide that you'd like to find a childhood toy or game - run on over to eBay. Sometimes they aren't nearly as expensive as you thought. In my case, I purchased two 30+ year old games for less than $10.

There will be lots more Thrifty Finds over at Leigh's place (Tales from Bloggeritaville)- I'll meet you over there!

Have a fabulous week!

WFMW - What you love

It's another Works For Me Wednesday. This is a blog carnival where hundreds of folks gather to share their tips for better living.

It can be tips about kids, meals, laundry, or the best place to stay when you go to Memphis. You just never know what fantastic tips you will find. So when you finish reading my fabulous tip, please go visit all the other folks at the new host for WFMW -
We Are THAT Family.

Hey Everyone - My tip for you this week is so easy. You may already do it. You may already have it all around you. You may live next door to it. You may collect it. You may sleep with it.

My Tip is to surround yourself with what you love.

I have posted pictures of my family, my kitty and Burger King here on my blog today.

My Mom's side of the family started a Burger King franchise just before I was born. It has been a part of my life and I love all of the nostalgia of remember it, of working there, etc.

I love my family. I'm truly loving Facebook and seeing all of the photos that my friends and family are loading in there and sharing with me.

I live about 1200 miles from my family and I am truly missing them. Seeing pictures of them and staying connected through email, phone calls, Facebook and instant messaging chats.

It makes being away a lot less painful and keeps me connected to those that I love.

I don't have photos of everyone that I love and care for on this post (It would stretch for miles!) - I don't have pictures of my grandparents, my husbands parents, my friends and cousins. There are lots of people and things that I love.

I do however, like to keep these pictures in my mind.

When I start to feel a little down, thinking about my nieces laughing perks me right up.

So my tip, once again, is to keep those that you love in your mind. It is such a wonderful thing.

Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Luck of the Irish

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

As you may recall, I had a GIVEAWAY the other day to mark my 500th blog post.

I put all the names into a hat

and drew out a name.

Now, I haven't contacted the person yet

because I know they are going to stop by.

and I want to surprise her.

So today, on St. Patrick's Day,

a very lucky day indeed

I am very excited to announce

that the Winner of the $25

Target Card Giveaway is



aka...The newly-wed

aka...Mrs. S

Congrats Jeannie!!

I'll get that card in the mail to you!

Thanks so much and have a great St. Patrick's Day.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Big Blue Bath

Yesterday I spoke about the giant master bathroom we encountered. I didn't have any pictures last night, but I do today. Hold on to your hats.

First off, the exterior of this house is one that I just dislike. (This is the actual house that we toured) I'd live in this house, but it would be real low on my list of favorite home types. Many many apartment complexes in Lansing, MI are in this style. I just don't get it. It was a trend, that's for sure. I asked my husband (the man who knows everything about every style of roof out there) and he told me this type of roof is called a Mansard Roof. By golly, that's what it's called. I googled it and the huge giant mansions with this type of roof are gorgeous, but the look gets totally lost on a two story home. Very Lost. I don't see it coming back into vogue anytime soon.

I think this bathroom is something that will never come back into vogue either.

Here, let me take you on a tour.

This is what you see when you walk through the double doors.

You could have a dance-off in the amount of wasted space in this bathroom.

To the left of the sink is the bright blue shower, the toilet and behind the door, which you can't see, is a blue bidet. I guess at some point the toilet needed to be replaced. I'm shocked they didn't get another blue toilet.

Now turn to the right...


Columns at all four corners. Mirrors on three walls. A chandelier above the shallowest tub I've ever seen. A two foot walking area around the back and sides of this monstrosity.

Here let me give you a better look.

Oooh, you can see the bidet in the mirror. What a lovely sight.

So what do you think? Do you think you could use a 26 foot by 14 foot space more efficiently than this?

Yeppers, that's what I thought.

The entire second floor in this house would need to be totally demo'd. The whole place was designed badly.

If it wasn't for that roof, I'd almost think this was a great flip. almost.

Please don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY - it ends Monday March 16th at Midnight eastern time.