Friday, October 29, 2010

Blessings from the Lord on Fantastic Friday!

Good Friday to you all!  We have succesfully made it through another week!!!!

A dear friend of mine has been on my mind a lot for the last few days, and her struggle has made me realize that I need to open my eyes and see my blessings a little more clearly.   

The Bible tells us that children are a blessing from the Lord.  I don't know about you, but some days, I find that hard to grasp.  There are some days I just want to throw my hands up and yell "WHY DID I EVER WANT KIDS!!!!!!????" 

A wise woman (that would be my mom) once told me "What we do in moderation our children do in excess."  All I have to say about that is....oh shit.

My little 7 year old Flower is a challenge.  If she is this big a handful now, I am scared to death to face 13.  In fact, I know the problem.  She is just like me, and I see so much of myself in her.  And frankly, I just don't want her facing the same struggles I have.  I don't want her to be just like  me!!  My little Wild Man is just like his daddy.  Heaven help us all, because I know what my husband did "in moderation". 

But, then I think of my friend April.  She and her husband have been struggling with infertility, and want nothing more than a child of their own.  You can read about it at  It makes me take pause and wonder what my life would be like without my children.  At first I think of all the things I could do with no children, but each thought is followed by a reason I would rather have my children.

Why, I could jump on the Harley with my husband, without finding a babysitter, and never worry about how two little angels would be left alone if we were to have a wreck.  Then it dawns on me that they need me.  Only me.  Even Nana and Papa wouldn't suffice, and Nana and Papa are their favorite people in the world!

I could go to the store and spend literally a fraction of what I spend now.  But I would have no excuse to buy animal crackers, ice cream sandwiches, and play dough.  I wouldn't have a little girl walking beside me, who is learning even now how to be a mommy and make wise decisions.  Learning that from me!

I could sleep until I woke up on my own!!!  But I wouldn't have my little girl to smile and say "Good morning, Mommy!" and throw her arms around my neck each morning.  I wouldn't see the joy in my son's eyes when he realizes "YAY!  My mommy is holding me again this morning!"

I could go on and on.

I am not one to question God.  He has proven time after time that all things work out for my good, because I love Him.  But I often wonder why He chooses to bless people with children, and they don't care!  Why do they hurt their babies?  Why do they treat them like pains?  Why do they put themselves before their kids?  Why are there so many little ones just begging for a mommy and daddy to love them!?  WHY!?!?!?!

There are those who have decided not to have children, and in no way am I saying that is wrong....NO WAY.  I am talking about people who have kids and just don't care.  It makes me so angry!!!!

I shall step off my soapbox now, and go back to my previous statement.  I trust my God.  I know that He loves those babies, and He holds them in the palm of his hand-just as He holds me and my children.  Just like He hold the parents of those poor babies....just waiting for them to open their eyes to see the blessings in front of them.  "I'm sorry Lord for questioning are in control, and just want people to see how much You love us." 

Back to my friend.  I know God will bless her.  She knows God will bless her, too.  And if He doesn't choose to bless her with a child of her own I believe he will use her to bless the hurting soul of a child that was unwanted. 

"Thank you, Lord, for my children.  Thank you for blessing me.  Help me love my children the way you want me to."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Top 10 Ways To Save At The Grocery Store on Thrifty Thursday

I realized yesterday there are some simple ways to save money on groceries.  Some are funny, some are serious, but maybe you will get a few giggles!

10.  Never go to the store hungry.

9.  Always make a list, and stick to the list.

8.  Using a coupon for something you would never buy is NOT saving money. 

7.  Never take your children to the grocery store with you.  They tend to stick things in the cart when you aren't looking,

6.  Don't buy processed foods, that come with noodles and a sauce mix.  Its cheaper and just as easy to make them on your own, and typically have less sodium and are healthier. 

5.  Stop eating.  (OK, maybe not so much.)

4.  DO use coupons if it is something you would normally buy, even if it is a different brand.  First, check to see if your usual brand is cheaper without the coupon than the other brand is with the coupon.

3.  Keep your mind on the goal.  If you go grocery shopping, do not let the magnetic pull of the craft section pull your basket.  Seriously.  I need to mind my own advice on this one.

2.  Use circulars, but plan well.  If you have to drive all over hell and back to get good deals you are probably going to spend more on gas than you save on the groceries.

And the number one way to save money on groceries......

NEVER EVER EVER LET YOUR HUSBAND GO TO THE GROCERY STORE BY HIMSELF.  He will realize what you are "forgetting" to bring home.  I sent BarbWire man to the grocery store for milk the other day.  I give him credit for remembering the milk.  And the spray cheese, crackers, gallon of Neapolitan ice cream, box of cookies, toilet paper (running out is a huge fear of his),  and cokes.

~~~About Me!~~~

My name is Emily, and I am a late 20-something with no time on my hands to be writing a blog, but I somehow work it in!  I have been married to my best friend, who I call Barb Wire Man for 6 years.  When we were first together, we heard a song with the words "soft as silk she stands by her barbed wire man".  He is one tough dude, folks, and not a small man either.  He rides a Harley for fun, and drives a semi-truck for a living.  He looks downright mean, and most people think he is always mad at something.  Truth be told, he is a big old teddy bear when it comes to me, and the kids.  He would fight to the death for us.  He is my  man, and our love grows stronger every day!

I have two children, who are my everything.  My oldest, my little Flower, is 7.  I call her Flower because she was born in May.  The month (really, year) before she was born was quite a terrible time.  My first marriage was ending.  I always tell her that my April showers brought my little May Flower.  She is a handful...and just like me.
My son is almost 2.  He is the craziest, wildest, most destructive little boy I have ever seen.  He has his daddy's attitude, and his mommy's heart.  He loves football and motorcycles already.  You'd better lock up your daughters, friends!

There are a few things to know about me.  I am very passionate about the things I love.  They include my God, my family, my state and my country.  I am a uber conservative, Bible-thumpin', gun carryin', Texas girl.  I love knitting, riding motorcycles, all things vintage, hot tea and windmills.  I secretly want to be a 1940's housewife.  I run a daycare from my home, and love my daycare kids my own.  I own 13 Plum Knitted Creations, where I sell my hand-knit goods.  You can visit my online store at!  I also sew, and love to be creative.  I hate waste, and am an incredibly frugal person.  No one will ever be able to figure me out completely, except for maybe my mom, and I confuse even her.  Don't ask for my opinion, or I will tell you exactly how I feel about the situation.  I am right 98% of the time.  The other 2% I thought I was wrong, but realized later I was actually right! 

My favorite book in the Bible is Job.  I can't tell you my favorite verse, because as my dad said, "Emily, I could name you every verse in the Bible and you would say 'oh that is my favorite!"

I would be lost without music.  I love everything from Dan Fogelberg to Metallica, Beethoven to Flatt & Scruggs, and the Eagles to Charlie Daniels.  My daddy will always be my favorite musician.

I am sarcastic beyond belief, and there will be days, probably a lot of them, where my post will be written entirely tongue in cheek.

I hope this gives you some insight as to why I write, and what I write about.  Enjoy reading!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Winning Wednesday

Today is Winning Wednesday!!  Unfortunately, I am still looking for people who are interested in participating in a giveaway, and have nothing this morning!

So, I am reaching out to you for some help!

Now I know there are a lot of people out there who make things themselves and sell them.  I am a huge proponent of buying handmade, and I especially want to promote Mamas who make and sell their own goods.  Who do you know who would be interested in helping with a giveaway?

"So what is in it for me if I participate?" you ask.  SO glad you asked!  Here are the simple steps to be featured on my blog:

1. I do ask that you be a follower of this Blog.

2. I ask that you send me whatever it is you are wanting to donate.  Actually seeing the product will help me describe it, take pictures, etc.  I will never keep the item for myself, and I do not ask for two as some bloggers do.  (There is one exception to this, see number 4!)  I will always contact the winner for their shipping information, and ship it to them.  Likewise, I will let you  know who won the item.

3. I will feature you in a post!  Tell me about your business, what you sell, etc., and I will let people know about you.  I will also include links to your shop, and encourage people to visit you!  Not only will you be feature on my blog, but I will also promote the blog post and your shop on my personal and business Facebook, Etsy Forums, and Hyena Cart Forums.  I don't have the largest following on Blogspot, but have over 300 people who see my Facebook!

4.  If, in fact, you do want to send two of a product, I will also include a "sponsorship" ad on the side of my blog.  It will include your logo, which will be linked to your site.  Item value needs to be no less than $10.

It is just that easy.  I am asking for your help in either participating in the giveaway, and/or telling everyone you know who might be interested in doing so.  Please, either leave a comment on my blog, or, contact me at  I look so forward to "meeting" and helping promote your business!  Thank you everyone!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tea Time on Tuesday

My apologies, all, for not getting a Memory Monday post up!  I did have a plan in my head for what to write, however, my plans were changed!

One of my closest friends, if not my very best friend, came by house to see me yesterday, bringing her daughter, son-in-law, and brand new granddaughter!  Little Claire is only two weeks old, and they brought her by for me to see.  I was there when she was born, and it was, next to the birth of my own children, one of the most impactful moments I have ever experienced.  I saw them bring the baby from the delivery room, into the nursery to measure and weigh her.  I saw the tears streaming down her new mommy's face as they wheeled her into her recovery room to hold her baby for the first time.  I know that when I held each of my children, I had experience real, true love.  But this day, I saw real true love on another's face.  I am not generally given to "hokey" moments, but it truly was the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced. 

So, instead of writing, I chose to sit on my butt on my couch, holding a beautiful new creation.  Truly a blessing from above.

I also want to apologize for the fact that I still do not have pictures up of my new t-shirt scarves. I know you will all love them, and can't wait to show them off!  That, however, goes back to baby Claire as well!  Her grandma is my photographer.  We have set in stone, though, that the pictures will be taken tomorrow, and pictures will be posted tomorrow.  Its a good thing, too, because just by word of mouth they are going fast!  I thought they were really cute, and hoped others would as well.  Sure enough, people are loving them!  I hope I can keep up with demand!
How was everyone's weekend?  Ours was very eventful!  The mini-me's and I spent time with my last living grandparents.  My father and his siblings had made the decision to move them into an assisted living center, due to their age and failing health.  They would be living in the same town as my dad, allowing him to go see them every day, versus the weekly visit he makes now.  I thought this would be the last time I was able to visit with them in the home I had grown to love so much.  You can understand, I am sure, that leaving the home you had lived in for all but 5 of your 67 years of marriage would be difficult, to say the least.  Let's just say they put up a pretty big fight about it.  I received a call from my dad the following day saying my grandparents won the fight, and would continue to stay in their home and receive in home nurse care. 

My dear sweet husband, Mr. Barbed Wire Man, decided to go riding his Harley Davidson with some of his riding buddies. 

I call him my barb wire man because I heard it in a song - "soft as silk she stands by her barbed wire man".  He is a rough man, and  most people who see him think he is a horse's rear and meaner then an old wet hen.  In all honestly, he is a big ol' teddy bear, but he has to act tough.  He does ride a Harley, after all.

Back to the story.  My husband went riding with 3 of his closest riding buddies.  My kids call them granparents and uncles.  They stayed in Amarillo literally all day, hanging out, having a few beers, and just enjoying the gorgeous Texas fall day.  He finally came home.  At midnight.  With a new tattoo.  His first.  I am not going to tell you how the rest of the story went.  It wasn't pretty, but what is done is done, right?!

My old sewing machine gave me hell all day Sunday.  It was my mom's when I was a little girl, and she gave it to me.  It hated me.  I didn't know machines had feelings, but this sewing machine hated me and the feeling was mutual.  After laying my head down on the kitchen table and crying because I couldn't get the damn thing to work, I decided to go buy a new one.  We have one store here in Hereford.  You may have heard of it?  Walmart, and I hate it almost as much as that old sewing machine.  I had to buy a pretty cheap machine, but hopefully it will tide me over until I can get the really nice, and really expensive one I want.

Then, I spent all day sewing while Barb Wire Man kept the kids.  I want to thank him for helping me out like that, but honestly, he knew he had to help me.  He had no choice.  I refer you back to the tattoo story.  It was in his best interest to make sure I got my things done.

I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend as well!  Thanks for reading my nonsense today!  And don't worry!  As promised I will have photos of the scarf up tomorrow!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fantastic Friday!!

Last weekend I was sitting in a parking lot, waiting to pick my daughter up after a visit to her dad and step-mom's house.  We always meet in this little, and I mean little, Texas town called Umbarger.  We meet at the town restaurant.  And yes, it is the only restaurant.  In fact, to the best of my knowledge, there is one restaurant, a post office (no post master, either, just postal boxes), a hair salon, one church (the Catholic church, which is quite beautiful and has a very interesting history), and a liquor store.  And not to be left out, a volunteer fire department.  It is right off the highway.  Regardless of the time we meet, my daughter's step mom and I have to stand and wait to talk, our conversation interrupted by a train.

As we were waiting, I looked up at the flags flying at the restaurant.  I didn't bring my camera - all I had was the camera on my Droid, and one cool app called "Retro Camera".

Now don't get me wrong here....I love living in the United States, and consider myself blessed to have been born here. 

But, my friends, I am a Texan.

I have lived all but 2 months of my 28 years in Texas.  I have no desire to live anywhere else.  Texas is so varied, in landscape, people, weather, everything.  The panhandle of Texas is not everyone's idea of beauty, but it is mine.  Mile after mile after endless mile of grassy plains.  It is no joke that you can stand on a Texas prairie and see for miles on end, because we have no trees.  Very few, anyhow.  And it isn't often that a hill will obstruct your view, either. 

It is usually pretty dry here, but when we do have a thunderstorm....hang onto your hats!  Lightning to rival the most expensive fireworks show.  Hail, and one of my favorite things, tornadoes.  Yes, I love them!  I hear the tornado sirens and first thing I do is grab a beer, and go stand outside and watch.  I have always been that way.  Two winters ago I saw the strangest weather I had ever seen in Texas.  We it started lightning, hailing, thundering, pouring rain and an hour later....blizzard.  Over a foot of snow.

I am going to assume here that you have heard or have some knowledge of Texas history.  I think part of the reason I love this state so much is because of how deep my roots run here.  My family has been in Texas longer than most families can trace their roots back.  My family has been in Texas longer than my husband's family has been in America!  The women in my family are in the process of becoming daughter's of the Republic of Texas, which means that our families were here before Texas was a republic.  They were here when Texas was still governed by Mexico.

On my daddy's side of the family, I am a 7th generation Texan.  On my momma's side of the family, a 9th.  I think that is pretty fantastic.  Not just anyone can claim that!  If my husband ever has the audacity to take me out of Texas, I will be coming back to ensure my children are all born here. 

I will end, now.  Thank you for allowing me to share a passion with you.  God Bless Texas!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thrifty Thursday

I have so many ideas, tips, and hints for Thrifty Thursday that it is hard to organize them into something readable!

Today, though, I think we will focus on cleaners, homemade and otherwise.  Oftentimes, homemade is far cheaper than store-bought, because you probably already have it all on hand!  In addition, there are far less chemicals that can potentially make you, and your family, sick.  Of course, they have come out with many new "earth-friendly" and far safer cleaners, but guess what!?  You are going to pay a higher price for these! 

Before you being making cleaners, there are a few supplies you are going to need:

Spray Bottles - you can usually find them at dollar type stores, or re-use the empty store-bought cleaner spray bottles.  NOTE:  If you re-use these containers, they MUST be rinsed VERY well!!!!
Palmolive Dish Soap - Get the original formula, and a big bottle!
Borax-naturally occurring!
Washing Soda-naturally occurring!
Rubbing Alcohol

Let's start with Kitchen Cleaning aids!
DishesFirst, I don't really prefer to use the dishwasher.  I feel like it uses too much water, and too much energy.  In my opinion, I get my dishes cleaner in a fraction of the time when I hand wash, plus I have "child-labor" to help me dry and put away!  However.....there are days when I am just so blooming tired I couldn't give a rats you-know-what about efficiency or cost, and I run the dishwasher.  There is absolutely ZERO need to spend all kinds of money on super expensive, earth friendly cleaner when you can make your own. 

Dish washing Detergent
1 C. Borax
1 C. Washing Soda
Mix well and store in an air-tight container.  I use an old Mason Jar.  Use 2 T. per load
I bet you can guess I am going to tell you not to use store-bought rinse aid, too!  Rinse aid is as easy as pouring vinegar into the rinse aid section of your machine.  Easy-peasy. 

I don't like using spray cleaners like 409 and such on my counters.  They smell like chemical, and my son can reach up and try to play in it.  I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, and take my word for it, her counters are clean.

All Purpose Cleaner
2T. Ammonia
1t. liquid dish soap
2C. rubbing Alcohol
2 qts. water
a few drops essential oil (optional)

Mix all together and shake well.  Spray on counters and wipe clean.  Doesn't take much at all!

I. Hate. Floors.  When they come out with an automatic mopper, I don't care if I have to sell a child to buy one!  I don't use things like Swiffers with the removable and disposable pads.  Each time one is thrown away, money is thrown away and more trash piles up in landfills.  Instead, my mom got me this cool little mop that has a removable terry cloth head!  It just slips right on.  (To be perfectly honest, if you have a swiffer, I bet it wouldn't be too hard to make a few terry cloths heads for that, too.)  I put the cleaner in a bucket, and soak the cloth.  Rinse in the kitchen sink, not the bucket, or your cleaner will be nasty.

Floor Cleaner
1C Vinegar
1 Gallon Water
The mopping part is harder than making the cleaner!


Carpets are easy to keep fresh by sprinkling baking soda on them, and allowing it to sit for 5-10 minutes before vacuuming.

Dear Baking Soda,
     I LOVE YOU!

Sprinkle baking soda, or Borax, on a slightly wet tub, and allow to sit for a few minutes.  I like to drink a few gin and tonics while I wait.  Its a good excuse.  If you aren't too tipsy from waiting (Sometimes I get carried away and wait a little too long, but that is another story.), scrub the tub with a cloth and rinse.

shameless promotion, time....
For some super awesome dish cloths that can be used for just about anything, click on over to my web page for some handknit dishcloths!

Baking soda and borax both work equally well on toilets.  Again, allow to sit for a good 30 minutes.  Might as well make yourself another drink!  Scrub as usual and flush! 

Use the All-purpose cleaner on the countertops.

I don't do windows, but if I did, It would be as easy as:
1/2 t. liquid dish detergent
3 T. Vinegar
2 C. Water
Spray on, wipe of and viola!  Clean, shiny windows.  Until the little hands wake up.  THAT is why I don't do windows. 

These are a few of the homemade cleaning recipes I use on a daily basis.  I will surely be adding more as Thrifty Thursday continues.

How about you?  Do you have cleaning recipes that you use?  How do you save money on cleaning supplies?  I would love to hear!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Winning Wednesday!

Good morning, folks, and welcome to another edition offfffff.......WINNING WEDNESDAY!!!!

I have always wanted to be a TV announcer, and spending time working in the radio industry only fueled that further.

But I digress. 

Typically, I do the giveaway on my blog,  but today I am doing it a little differently.  There are two reasons for this.  One, I am still searching for people who want me to feature them and their business on my blog, by participating in my giveaway.  And, two, I know someone special who is having a giveaway on her blog.

April Scheffler-Nall is a very dear friend of mine, and I have known her for quite some time.  We grew up in the same little Texas town, and were both home schooled.  She truly is a kind and gentle person, with a passion for writing. 

I could not be more proud of April.  She recently published her first book of poetry called Make Believe: Poems About Real Life.  I know how April writes, and knew it would be wonderful, so made sure to pre-order my copy before the book was even ready.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  April can take a mental snapshot, and turn it into just a few words that will touch the soul.  The poetry in this book has been written over the course of ten years.  I have known her for at least that long, and I cannot wait to get my copy!

YOU can score you own copy of April's book, and it couldn't be easier!  Here is what you need to do:  once you finish reading this, head on over and take a gander at April's blog,  I know she will appreciate it!  The exact rules are on her blog, but basically, you will need to follow her blog, and leave a comment that says "Plum told me to follow you!" (I will actually be exempt from winning, but this way she will know where you learned about her!) 

I know you will enjoy the words that flow out of her new book.  I do.  I have always loved her writings.  Hopefully, you will win this lovely book, but if not, I urge you to purchase a copy.  You will be happy you did!  Copies of April's book are just $15, and easy to order.  Email April at:  Thank you, friends, for allowing me the opportunity to gloat on a friend!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday's Tea Time - scarf weather!

Time for my hot tea!  My favorite time of day is nap time, when I can brew a cup of hot tea, and write, knit, sew, or clean.  Rarely do I choose clean. 

Rarely do I toot my own horn, either, but today I think I will!  Really, I just think the new things I have made are so cool I want to show them off! 

My friend saw some of these, and after she gave me the idea I just took off running with it.  T-shirt scarves.  I know, it doesn't really sound cute, but trust me, it is!

Before I post pics, I will explain some about these scarves.  There are several things that are great about them!  Most of my clothes I donate to thrift stores that help organizations, like women's center's, etc., but some aren't in the right condition.  I try to only donate things I would wear myself.  So, there may be one or two small stains on something, but I hate...let me stress that again.  I HATE throwing anything away, especially if it can be used for something...anything!  Enter, T-shirt scarves.  Each scarf is made from t-shirts cut into strips, then sewn together.  T-shirts with prints on them make especially cute scarves.  Have a favorite sports team and you have just worn the heck out of the shirt?  They make SUPER cute scarves, and are perfect for wearing to football games!  A lot of my friends are gladly going through their closest and giving me shirts that are no longer wearable, so I have been making scarves right and left.  On a good day, I can do several.  Of course, I haven't had many of those good craft days lately, so I am running a little behind, but hope to get caught up this afternoon. 

I couldn't find a model, so excuse my un-made-up mug and incredibly unprofessional look, but take a look at these!  Its hard to get a 3 year old to take good pictures, but I can't say my self photos are any better!

I have not posted these to my webpage ( just yet, so you are getting a sneak peak!  If ordered from my website, these scarves will be $25. No two will ever be alike, and there will never be another just like it.  One of a kind!

I bet you have some old t-shirts at your house.  If you have some t-shirts you want turned into a scarf, the price will only be $12.50.  Feel free to contact me if you want one of these scarves made specifically for you.  All I need you to do is send 3-4 shirts per scarf you want made.  I will take it from there, and I will mail the finished product back to you within a week of receiving the shirts. 

Of course, if you see one you like already, I can save that one for you, too!

Tomorrow is winning Wednesday!  I am still looking for people who want me to giveaway something from their shop!  I will do a nice write up about you in trade, and make sure it is well advertised.  If you want to be apart of Winning Wednesday, please let me know!  You can contact me at

Monday, October 18, 2010

Memory Monday

I was awakened this morning, at 3:45, to a little girl tapping on my arm whispering "Mommy?  Mommy?  My throat hurts, mommy."  I had a flashback to when I was a 7 year old little girl.

I stumbled out of bed, transforming from sleeping beauty to Dr. Mommy.  "Open up wide and say 'ahhhh'."  I could barely see into her throat because the light was so bright I could hardley open my eyes.  "Looks like you have strep throat."  I gave her some left-over amoxicillan left over from her last month's bout with strep, sprayed some throat spray into her mouth, gave her a drink, then gave her the good news.  "Now, go back to bed and get some rest.  No school for you tomorrow."

I remember being sick as a little girl.  I needed mommy, but didn't really want to wake her up.  So I whispered, because maybe mommy would understand I didn't want to have to wake her up.  I think she did. 

I never liked being sick, but sure did enjoy missing school!  Mattie was quite happy that she got to stay home, but is so miserable she isn't enjoying it! 

keep hearing "MOMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYY"  coming from her bedroom.  "Yes, babe, what do you need?"  "Ummm, a drink."  Now, she is starting to call me in there for silly things.  "Mommy?"  "Yes, Mattie."  "Umm, I need to go to the bathroom."  "Mattie, if you seriously need me, holler.  If you just need to go potty, then GO!" 


I hate when my kids are sick, but am so happy that I am the one that hears those little whispers in the early mornings.  I hate that they do not feel well, but love that I am the one who gets to cuddle and make them feel good.  Nothing can make you feel better like a mommy's hug, and am so blessed that I get to do that for my kids. 

Tomorrow, I will get to remember what its like to catch up on homework!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Story Behind 13 Plum Knitted Creations' Name on Fantastic Friday

There is one thing about Friday's that I l-o-v-e.  It is that it is Friday.  WOOHOO!  But today's is even better, because thanks to my dear friend and faithful reader, April, I have something to write about that is close to my heart.  I get to reminisce a little about a woman in my life who had a huge impact not only on my life, but on countless other's as well.
April asked where I got the name for my blog, and my knitting business 13 Plum Knitted Creations. 

The Story Behind 13 Plum Knitted Creations

Next only to my momma, my grandmother was the woman in my life who made the biggest impression upon me.  Its hard even to find the words to start describing her.  She grew up in a very poor family, but I don't think there was ever a moment she didn't feel loved.  Her father is actually still alive, at the ripe old age of 90 and some odd.

Katherine, or as everyone knew her, Kathy, married my grandfather when she found out she was pregnant with my mom.  That man was one mean S.O.B., but was also a very loving man, just didn't know how to show it very well.  Think, John Wayne.  How my grandmother was able to put up with him for so long, I will never know! 

Grandma was frugal and thrifty WAY before it was cool.  She could put some of today's thrifty gurus to shame.  I mean, the woman didn't have a working OVEN for as long as I can remember, but she cooked every single night.  She was just awesome at "making do."

I was the first grandchild, but my grandma never picked favorites.  Ever.  But she did such a great job at making us all feel so special that we each feel a special and different bond to her.  My time with her was spent cooking, sewing, crocheting, needlepoint, and generally soaking up every ounce of wisdom she had.  Even when I was a little girl I remember thinking how important it was for me to learn everything I could from her.  I stood right beside her when she cooked on her cast iron skillets.  And, I did get my hand slapped a time or two for snitching food when she wasn't looking.  (If anyone had eyes in the back of their head, it was her.)  I can still remember how her house smelled when she fried ham steak in those skillets....... 

Crafts basically consumed my grandmother.  She could have been featured on a show about hoarding.  It was bad, but she was good.  She and my mom made my first wedding dress.  With no pattern.

My grandparents live way out in the country, and folks, I mean w-a-a-a-a-ay out in the country.  I get frustrated when people say the live in the country, when in fact they live a mile out, on the blacktop.  To get to my grandparents house, one had to travel 13 miles out of a small Texas town, down the highway.  At which point, one would turn off onto a farm-to-market road and travel a few miles.  THEN, one would have to travel down a God-forsaken, grass grown-up, 3-foot rutted caliche oil field road.  There were times we had to park our little car on the road so my Pawpaw could come pick us up in his 4-wheel drive just to see them. 

Jump forward with me, if you will, to 2006.  It was a typical Texas Panhandle Day in March.  We had not had rain since October of '05, so folks, it was bone dry.  Like the winds do around here, they were blowing.  When I say blowing, I mean 30 mph sustained, with gusts upwards of 60.  It would take too long to go into everything, and I just applied makeup, so let's just say some company nincompoops weren't paying attention and started a wildfire.  Fire+extremely dry conditions+wind = one effed up situation.  Over 1 million acres of the Texas Panhandle burned that day.  When I saw the warning on tv about the fire, I knew something was wrong.  I just had that kind of connected with my grandmother.  She wouldn't answer her phone.  I called my mom, who also could not get ahold of her.  No one knew where she was.  I called one of my oldest and closest friends, and said "Girl, I need you to pray.  I have a feeling my grandmother is gone, but just please pray that her house is spared."

Sure enough, my sweet grandmother was leaving her house to head to a safer area.  As she drove, she passed a "neighbor" who she knew would need help.  A very elderly family, with disabilities.  She stopped to help them, and in a very unfortunate situation was overcome by smoke and could not get back out to safety.  The smoke was too thick for her truck to run.  But, just as my friend prayed, her house was somehow spare.  It should have burned, because it burned all around it. 

The panhandle was ravished.  My daddy called to tell me "officially" she had died, and I knew it was coming.  But when I heard the words, I screamed, dropped the phone and fell to the floor.  My husband had to talk to my dad to find out what had happened, because I had just lost one of the most important people in my life. 

When people would ask my grandparents where they lived, they would smile and say "13 miles out of town, plum in the middle of nowhere."  Hence, 13 Plum.  Grandma even painted a little sign to hang on their old, falling down barb-wire (or as we here in Texas call it "bobwar") fence!

These days, everytime I look at yarn, I think of all my grandma taught me.  I think of her while hanging laundry, while making jelly, but when I think of her the most is when I cook.  You see, after she died, I was given all of her cast iron skillets.  I now use them to cook for my family, and can only pray that the life I live today would make her proud.  I think it would.  I think she would be incredibly proud of me.  She loved my daughter so much.  She would have adored my son.  I know she would have love my husband because the man is more like my pawpaw than I care to admit.  Somedays I pick up the phone to call and ask her a question, then remember she is gone.  Yes, even 4 years later I still do that.  My aunt lives in her house now, so I still get to visit and remember the times I had with her.  But, if I had any word of advice for anyone it would be this: never think you will always have time with someone.  Soak in everything you can while they are there.  I didn't learn near enough from her, and she still had alot of things to teach me. 

On a lighter note...

How My Blog Got Named

As far as the blog name, True Cofnessions of a Knitaholic, it was truly inspired.  OK, maybe not so much.  It started on a day that I just needed to vent.  Frankly, I could have typed in word "$%^&" and it would have been relief.  It was just like going to confession (though, I am not Catholic so not entirely sure how that feels!?).  Anyhow, the knitaholic part?  Well, lets face it.  Knitting is my addiction. I could literally sit and knit until my house was in shambles arond me and not even get up to make anything to eat.  I do, however, stop eventually because me cup of tea runs out and I have to steep more.  I'm waiting for robots to serve my tea to me.  Then all will be perfect. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Saving Money on the Laundry

I think we could unanimously agree that laundry stinks.  Does anyone like to do laundry!?  Maybe having some tips for saving money will make it a little better?

I am an incredibly frugal person.  I hate spending money.  So I have lots of ways I save here and there, and they all add at to some pretty good savings.  Lets just start at the beginning of laundry, shall we?

One big money waster, water waster, and energy waster is washing small loads.  I have a family of four, and only do laundry twice a week...sometimes just once.  I keep it in baskets in the laundry room and shut the door.  (And yes, I am the only one who actually puts it in the baskets!  Like my husband or kids would?!) 

Next, I don't buy laundry detergent.  I have not  purchased any laundry detergent in about 7 months.  Instead, I make my own! Basically, I was spending about $15 a month on the detergent, which comes to $180 a year!  To make your own laundry detergent, you need Borax, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda, washing soda), and a bar of soap.  Walmart sells Zote, but there are other options.  I actually use Ivory, because I have a TON of it since I found it on sale.  It literally only takes 1 Tablespoon per load.  To buy all the ingredients for this soap, I spend $15.  I have only made it once because it lasts so long!  At this rate, I will be making some more in the next two months, but even so I am only spending $30 a year on laundry soap!  A savings of $150?  I think I can handle that! (This is a powdered detergent.  I will include the recipe for this, and the liquid at the end of the blog.)  Another thing about store bought detergent.  Have you ever done research on some of the things they put in there?!  Lots and lots of chemicals.  Most of them are to create suds (which doesn't equate to cleaning), color, scent, etc.  Borax and washing soda are both naturally occurring, so they are better on the environment, too!
Total savings - $150/year

I bet you can guess that I don't use store bought softener.  Purchasing fabric softener usually comes to about $72 a year.  Vinegar is one of my most favorite things ever, and I can get a gallon of the stuff for $5. For my laundry I buy about 3 a year, so $15. Using vinegar as a fabric softener is as easy as pouring it into the fabric softener cup in your washer.  It naturally removes odors, and won't build up on the fabric.  It actually helps reduce buildup on the fabric.  I do know some people who "make" their own dryer sheets.  I don't use the dryer enough to justify this, but I will include that recipe down at the bottom, as well.
Total savings - $57/year

I rarely use my clothes dryer during the summer.  I even get somewhat annoyed at having to use it, and have even been known to change my laundry day if it is rainy, just so I don't have to use it.  (I do however live in the Texas panhandle, so rainy days are few and far between.)  Line drying is the most basic use of solar and wind energy!  Would you believe it takes less time to line dry than machine dry?!  It saves wear and tear on your clothes.  Sun is also your white's best friend;  It naturally fades stains!  Nature even provides a nice, clean smell to your laundry.  How many of us purchase laundry scents such as "outdoor fresh"?  Why do that when you can get the real thing?!  My favorite thing, though, about line drying is being outside.  I can hang my laundry, listen to the birds, feel the breeze (Or gust here in Texas), and its actually somewhat relaxing!  Not using the dryer during the summer keeps the house from getting unnecessarily hot, and the A/C from runing too much.  In the winter, I do occasionally use the dryer, but it helps warm the house.  But, most the time I hang clothes from various places in the house.  The kids love it because its an obstacle course.  I love it because it saves me money, and even helps put humidity into my home. (Again, this part of Texas is beyond dry most of the time!)  I am NOT big on Math, I hate it.  So, I can't tell you exactly how much energy is saved, and all that.  What I can tell you is my experiment.  I ran the dryer for every single load one month, then the next I didn't use it at all.  It saved $30 on my bill! 
Total savings - $360/year

I think this is my favorite part, because there is a HUGE energy savings here, friends.  My energy.  If the kids are old enough, they get to fold and put their own laundry away. 

Just with these tips, we have saved over $500 a year on laundry, not to mention the energy and earth savings.  See how little things can add up?  I don't know about you, but that's enough to make an extra car payment.  Or an extra Harley payment.  Or a great shopping spree.

I hope these tips have helped.  Do you have tips that I haven't included in here?  I would love to hear them!  Have a wonderful day friends!

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent Recipe
2 cups Fels Naptha Soap, Ivory or Zote (finely grated-don't use the same grater you use for food!!)
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax

Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container. (I use an old Gain Box)
Use 1-2 tablespoons per full load

Homemade Gel Laundry Detergent
1 quart Water (boiling)
2 cups Bar soap (grated)
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted. Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir well until all is dissolved. Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed. Cover pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. Stir the soap each time you use it (will gel).

Homemade Fabric Softener
1 Bottle of store bought softener of your choice
Pour softener into a LARGE container.  Mix with 2 containers full of water, drop sponge in, and cover well.  To use, squeeze the sponge out gently, and toss in the dryer with the clothes. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Alrighty!  As promised, every Wednesday I am going to do a giveaway!  Today, you can win a set of Christmas colored, knitted dishcloths!  These are handmade by me out of 100% cotton.  Two sets is actually 3 different dish cloths!

Please forgive the terrible picture!  I got so busy sewing I forgot I hadn't yet taken pictures!

Today we will have TWO winners! 
1.)Be a follower of my blog, and be the first to answer the trivia question below!
2.)Tell as many people as possible about my blog.  When they become a follower, tell them to leave a comment under this post that reads "____________ told me about your blog!"  Whoever gets the most people here, by midnight tonight will also win! 

If you are the trivia winner and get the most posts, I will throw in a surprise!

Also, I am looking for people who are interested in donating items to give away.  I like to giveaway handmade items.  In return, I will do a write-up on your business, with links to your web page.  Please just leave me a message if you are interested!  Also, tell everyone you know!  At the moment, chances of winning are pretty good because I don't have many followers, but hopefully next week will be a little harder!

****************TRIVIA QUESTION******************

In addition to a spear and a dagger, what other weapon were gladiators allowed to carry?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tea-time Tuesday

Tuesdays are just my randomness day, and all my kiddos were SO AWESOME this morning that I was able to write early!  (YES!!!  I get to spend naptime transforming my closet into a sewing nook!)

People who know me well know I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut.  Sometimes, it gets me in trouble.  Sometimes it makes people laugh.  Sometimes, it does both.  So today I am going to fill you in on some things I learned yesterday, some things that made me laugh, and some things I realized.  Here are just a few:

I just followed a new blog,  She has a giveaway, and I SOOO need what she has!  A knitting shirt!  People don't look at me strangely enough when I tell them I knit.  I need to advertise better!  So, I need you to GO NOW and Follow this Blog, because if YOU win this shirt, I want it!!

Somedays, I need to just keep my mom on the phone and not hang up.  Had I called her everytime I had a question for her yesterday, her phone would have rung no less than 50 times.  And that was just while I was at the craft store.

I don't always know everything.  About the time I made a wise-crack about Brett Farve ruining the Vikings, he threw his 500th TD pass.  OK, so maybe he doesn't need to be put out of our misery.  Still, I am usually right about 98% of the time.

I am happy that President Obama signed some stuff about space exploration.  I nominate him, Pelosi and Biden to do said exploring.

My husband makes me laugh.  In no way would anyone confuse him for being romantic, but he writes, on average, 4 songs a day about me.  They all make me laugh til I almost wet my pants.

Uptopia is a spotless house with no kids, no husband, two knitting needles, a ball of yarn, a cup of hot tea, and my playlist.

The Lord has blessed me beyond all belief.  I don't have a fancy house, brand new car, or money in the bank.  But I don't deserve the house I have, the car I have, or the little bit of money I do have. 

My son is just like my husband.  Heaven help us.

My daughter is just like me.  Be forwarned, world.

I caught a frog yesterday.  In my kitchen.  I picked it up and when it peed on my shirt, I squealed like a little girl. 

When you walk around the house in your bra because a frog peed on your shirt, expect your husband to make comments.

No one will ever figure me out.  I can go from being the perfect, 1950's domestic godess to a leather wearing, body-pierced, Harley riding Ol' lady in 10 minutes.

It is true what they say about rain in the Texas Panhandle.  Yesterday I drove down a dirt road after it rained.  Only my front tires got muddy.  The back ones were dusty.

I secretly want to be Amish because they shun modernity, and Jewish, because to truly understand what Christ has done for us, we have to understand the world before Christ.  

I cannot figure out how my house can be spotless when my family is asleep, and just the mere act of telling the family its time to wake up sends my house into a state of disaster.

I think I have been blacklisted by the Jehovah's Witnesses, and that makes me sad.  I always loved when they came to my door.

There is nothing I hate more than a person who says they will do something, then don't.

I ate chocolate pudding for breakfast.  I hid in the laundry room so my kids wouldn't see.
This just just a fraction of the things I realized yesterday.  My head spins everyday! 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Memory Monday!

Apologies for the late post, as I normally have them up by 2!  Today's pre-children.

I remember the days when I felt like shopping.  I could see how much I had in my checking account.  If I had $100, that meant I could spend $99.99 and be OK.  I could leave my house the second I felt the urge to shop.  I could either shop all day, or run in to make a quick purchase.  I could always find someone I knew.

Today, I left my house with my 7 year old, my 2 year old, and one of the little boys I babysit at 9AM.  I felt accomplished at just being ready to leave that early.  I made one stop at a consignment store, where I loaded up on some jeans and winter pajama's for my son, as well as a pair of boots for him.  (I only spent .89, but its not my thrifty blog day, so I will save that story!)  We loaded up, and drove to Target, then went and had lunch with a friend and her two children.  Had a very enjoyable time, too!  She was so kind to have us for lunch!  Then, my brood, Jamie, and her kiddos loaded up and went to JoAnne's Fabrics.  I didn't need a dern thing, and left with more fabric than I should have, plus a knitting pattern book. (It was OK, though...I had a coupon!)

Anyhow, those few stops lasted until 2:30.  I was drop dead tired by the time we drove home.  I spent the whole time keeping a running total in my head of how much I had spent to make sure bills would all be paid.  the kids were so fussy on the way home.  I prayed I wouldn't see anyone else I knew (Jamie totally understands the "I didn't get a shower today because my kids won't leave me alone look, so she doesn't care!), because I looked like some serious crap. 

Yes, shopping with children is not as easy, or fun, as without kids.

I lost count of how many times I heard "Mommy, can I have this!?"

To all the moms out there:  We know we would never change having our children for the ability to shop til we drop.  However, it would be nice to have a little time alone to, I don't know, go buy some new unmentionables alone?  Which leads me to one of my favorite memories. 

I had taken my daughter with me to Walmart to buy a new bra.  Being the "helper" she is, she was what we were looking for.  I told her it.  She walked through the store, yelling 34A!  34A!  Oh look, 32B!  32A....."  Finally, I heard a man a few rows over shout, "BINGO!!!!!"  Oy.

To all those who will be moms, want to be moms, might be moms:  Enjoy it! 

I am comforted by the fact that my children are so sleepy, they will probably be in bed by 7. 

I hope everyone has a great week!  Tomorrow is Tea-time story.  Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I will have a cup of tea while the babies sleep, and have something great to write about.  Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Up-coming changes!

What a beautiful fall day it is in the Texas Panhandle.  Just a slight breeze (which, in the Texas Panhandle us anything under 15 mph!), sun-shiny, and just 75 degrees.  On days like this, I could sit outside all day long.

Today, I officially took everything down off my Etsy site.  Frankly, it sucked.  I have moved everything to  It looks so much more professional, much cleaner and streamlined, and alot less expensive in the long run. 

I am also actively looking for help in making this little blog look a little more professional too!  If you, or anyone you know knows a little about html, I would gladly trade blog advertising or products I make for a little help! 

Now, some sneak peaks as to what will be coming up in future posts! 

Mondays will be "Memory Mondays"!  I like to look back on my life and reflect a little.  Its always good to remember where you came from!  I would love hear your memories as well!

Tuesdays will be my "Tea-time Tuesdays.  Basically, this will just be my chance to rant, rave, gloat, gossip...basically write about whatever the heck I feel like!

I have a feeling the day that will be the most fun will be our Winning Wednesdays!  I am actively on the search for people who would like for me to do reviews on their homemade/handmade/handwritten/whatever you made yourself product.  I know there are LOTS of people out there with hidden talents that just want to get their names out.  So, if you, or any friends, are interested, let me know!  All I ask is to send two of whatever you want me to review. I will keep one to test, the other will be given away to a lucky reader!

Thrifty Thursdays will be one of my favorites.  I know, there are like, a gazillion blogs out there that give money saving hints.  I have some, some that I have compiled, and would like to put a few out there for you to consider!  I am a SAHM.  Yes, I do have a daycare.  My husband works incredibly hard for our family, but his paycheck is always unpredictable.  (When a truck driver gets paid, they rarely get a salary.  Typically, they are paid a percentage of the load cost, meaning, when he hauls alot of loads, he gets paid great!  However, if he doesn't have many loads, well, paycheck isn't very big either.)  Its feast or famine around here, folks, so I have learned to make a dollar go a l-o-n-g way.  Many of these ideas are also SUPER earth friendly!

Friday.  Hmm. about you guys give me some ideas for Fridays!? 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A crazy few days!

I was told once, by a police officer friend that these days, police no longer profile white, middle age men in the evenings when it comes to drunk driving.  Instead, the look for young to middle age stay at home mothers with multiple children.  All I have to say, is "good call!"

I am relatively certain that my children somehow connect with my daycare children.  It must be through ESP.  They collaborate on which days they are all going to act like, well, hellians.  Today was their chosen day.  This morning was pretty rough, folks, but its nap time now.  And rather than brushing off another day of writing instead of a nap, or knitting, or a nice stiff drink, here I sit.  Typing away for therapy.  Not all of the little ones are sleeping, though. 

Type.  Say "Today will be a good day."  Take a shot of whiskey.  Repeat.

Anyhow, yesterday was my birthday.  I turned 28, and as I have said before next year I will be eternally 29.  Not that I mind growing old.  The Bible reminds a few times that the older people are usually the wiser people.  But 30 just sounds so harsh.  Seriously.  I should still be some spunky 21 year old who gets hit on by lots of guys while out having a good time.  Make-up always perfect, hair done just so, and boy did I look cute in some jeans.  In my husband's and my group of friends, however, I am now the older married woman that the other ladies come to for advice on marriage, children, housekeeping, recipes....etc.  I never wear makeup, wear baggy blue jeans and a t-shirt, and brush my hair before putting it in a ponytail.  And that is on a good day.


I really should be flattered.  I mean, I have a wonderful marriage, two awesome-for-the-most-part children who I would trade for nothing, a house that is kept up most of the time and I cook just about every meal we eat.  And my friends want their families to be like that too, so they come to me for advice.

After school was out yesterday, and all the daycare kids were gone, my kids took me shopping for my present.  We went to Walmart, and they had one helluva sale on material.  I got a total of 20 yards in 5 different prints, two patterns, and all the notions to accompany, as well as a new tea strainer (since I use loose-leaf tea).  Oh yeah.  And a package of diapers.  All that for $59 bucks! 

Not too shabby!

I made my own birthday dinner, which turned out to be disgusting.  And I like everything, but hear me again.  This. Was. Nasty.  Won't use that recipe again.  Good thing Mike got stuck drinking beers with his boss in Amarillo and came home late for supper, so he didn't have to eat it.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it was a true housewife's birthday.  But you know what?  At the end of the day, my children were safe in their little beds in an incredibly loving home, with everything they could possibly need.  My husband was sitting on the couch snuggling with me, then winked at me at 9 pm and said "Let's go to bed!"  It couldn't possibly be any better than that.  At least I don't think so.  Its all I have known for the last several years, and honestly all I care to know for the next 90. 

"Thank you, Lord, for these incredibly blessings, and please forgive me for bitching so much.  Amen."

God understands, doesn't He?!