Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winter is FINALLY coming!

You know, the really cool things about Texas is that the weather is so crazy.  It changes by the hour, not the day. Today it was a relatively nice 50-some odd degrees.  Very nice, but too cool for me.  I'm the only person I know who could wear a wool sweater in August and be comfortable.  By tomorrow night, though, the temps are supposed to plummet, and we are looking at snow and freezing rain.  Frankly, as long as it is wet and hits the ground, no one around here cares.

One of the things I love the most about winter, though, are the meals.  Stew is my most favorite cold weather meal.  Last night I made my Shut Up And Eat It Stew.  Its my favorite, because it seems that no matter what I do, it always tastes the same.  I save leftovers, wrap them up real good, and freeze them.  Once I have enough, I throw it all into a pot, cover it with water, and let it stew all day.  The meal didn't cost an extra penny, because it was all leftovers!  The best part, is that this go-round it made so stinkin' much that I have enough stew for lunch tomorrow (and probably another whole meal if my family wouldn't go on stew-strike).  I also made some of my Granny's bread pudding to go along with it (which, by the way, since I cube and cut up bread that isn't bad, but isn't good either and freeze it, didn't cost anything, either!).  It doesn't matter how hard I try, that pudding never comes out as good as Granny's.  I think I'd like her to come live with me...just to make bread pudding!  Tomorrow, I'm making some homemade bread!

I also love the smells of winter.  The fireplaces burning....mmm! Me, little Mrs. Can't Get Warm, literally will pull my chair up in front of the fireplace, no more than 2 feet away.  And drink hot tea.  And knit.  And my hands are usually still just as cold as ice.

What are your favorite things about winter?

Before I go, let me share a few of the awesome new Etsy stores I discovered while wasting time  shopping   researching for this blog last night.

Like A Lamb
I know not everyone shares in my skirt conviction, and that is fine, but a lot of my readers do.  Personally, I wear long skirts almost every single day, partly because I think they are more comfortable than pants, and partly because I like the modesty and femininity of them.  I love how these skirts are named!  I looked at every single skirt they offer, and with each one thought "What a clever!"  (And she is being kind enough to make me one in my size...which is little and hard to come by!)

Super Gift
I came across this tobacco pipe as I was searching for a gift for my Daddy.  He smokes a pipe, and the smell always makes me think of him.  This shop has some really beautiful and interesting pipes!  I will say, however, that you might be surprised (or maybe you won't!) at what pops up when you search for "pipe".  I'll just say I had to narrow my search to include tobacco pipes.

Iconic Earrings 
I found these while shopping for my sister.  To be quite honest, I don't think I will ever understand her obsession with Leonard Nimoy, but they are only $16.00!  We are totally different, my sister and I, but I love the girl!  I have a suspicion she might like these.

Make sure you stop by Etsy, while doing your Christmas shopping!  Some things might be a little higher than you would spend at Big Chain Store, but they are handmade, and unique!

I do have some orders to fill, so I 'spose I should get off the computer.  Be blessed today!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Etsy is Becoming My Heroine!

Yesterday, I announced happily that I will not be spending an ungodly amount of money on Christmas gifts this year.  Further, I'm buying every single gift from a small business like mine, or, making it myself.  So, I spent last night searching on Etsy.  I really could have stayed on there all night!  

I thought I'd share a couple of my cool finds on there with you today!  Last night, my goal was to find something for Barb Wire Man.  He is the most difficult person I know to buy for.  So, if you are like me, and have a man's man for a man, here are some pretty neat ideas!


Barb Wire Man's "likes" can be summed up pretty easily.  The kids and me, Peterbilts, Harleys, and beer.  Depending on the day, the order could change!  

Redneck Traysures

Redneck Traysures: someone tell me how you can be from the South and not like this?!  And the way he writes on his shop?  We really do sound like that.  At least I do.  I know several guys who would really love this!

Kent Carwile

Why do I love this?  Because frankly, if you haven't drank out of a Ball or Mason jar, you are missing out.

Spotted Owl Leather
Not that Barb Wire Man, or anyone else I know ever drinks on their bikes (ahem.), but I think some of our friends would dig this!

Embellished Bayou
That this is a small, personally owned business is good.  That the bracelet is $8.50 is better.  That is it made by a veteran of our fine Armed Forces is best!

Hopefully these shops gave you some ideas!  I hope I get some time to get on later this evening and do some more searching, and can share more with you tomorrow!

Until then, be blessed!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Craziness

I've never been a black Friday shopper.  Once, I had to go to the Big Chain Store for milk on Black Friday and to this day, that trip still haunts me!  To be fair, I have considered going shopping with some friends on Black Friday of years past, but never did.  Watching people sacrificing valuable family time on Thanksgiving day to sit outside of stores, followed by grown men and women scrambling, bickering, and all out fighting for items on sale really annoyed me.

I love, love giving people gifts.  I love to listen to them talk all year long, then surprise them with the things they mentioned.  I love seeing people realize that someone was listening to the little details, and got something specifically for them.  I do not like giving gifts just because gift giving is the socially acceptable thing to do.  I'd rather buy a person nothing, than to buy them something with no meaning behind the gift.

I began making a mental list of all the things I wanted to buy for my family for Christmas.  Flower is getting older, and while she has asked for very little, they happen to be big ticket items.  But as we were driving home from Colorado after spending Thanksgiving with family, she said "Mom, do you spend a lot of money on us at Christmas?"  I told her that yes, we usually do spend a good chunk of cash on Christmas gifts.  She responded by telling me that she felt like God wanted her to show love to someone else.  

"Mom, there are so many families who can barely even have turkey for Christmas.  If they can't buy that, how can they buy gifts?  This year, I think that instead of me getting tons of presents, we should give them to a kid who doesn't have what I have.  Maybe we can go shopping, and you can use that money to buy presents for another kid.  I won't feel left out at all.  I will feel love in my heart because I'm showing someone else that God loves them.  But you better go ahead and buy presents for Brother, 'cuz he is little and doesn't understand yet."

There are a lot of adults who don't understand this concept.

I definitely know that God was speaking to me, and to my little girl.  

This year, nearly all gifts we give to family will be either homemade, or, purchased from individuals with home based businesses.  They will all still have meaning, and be just as special, but there will be less of them!  Just because we have the ability to spoil and buy frivolously doesn't mean we should.  Certainly doesn't sound like good stewardship to me, anyway.

I'm so grateful for my daughter's heart.  I'm thankful she knows already how to tell when God is speaking to her.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This is the time of year we everyone is bombarded with reminders to be thankful.  For some reason this year, it is incredibly annoying me to!  Don't get me wrong...being reminded to be thankful isn't what is annoying.  It is the fact that in general, we have to be reminded to stop for one single day out of the year to be thankful!  What about the other 364 days of the year!?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 "In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

By nature, I am a very thankful person.  Everyday, I notice something that I am so grateful for.  God has blessed me abundantly, and far beyond anything I deserve.  Then again, what do I deserve?  What does any sinful human being deserve?  Not one thing other than death.  God doesn't owe you or me one single bloomin' thing!  But, because of His son, he graciously pours our blessing after blessing to each of His children.  Personally, I believe that is where all our thanks should begin.

I've been walking around this morning doing my usual household duties thinking of all the obscure things I am thankful for.  I've been making a mental note, and thought I would jot a few of those things down today.

I'm thankful that I woke up this morning with a song in my heart-
"Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!  Oh my soul praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!  All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near; Praise Him with glad adoration!"

I'm thankful for modern medicine, because my son's fever has broken, and the infection is leaving his body.

I'm thankful that, even though this is the first day of Thanksgiving break, Flower was up at 6:30.  When I asked her why she said "Because.  My Mama and Brother are awake, and I just wanted to see their faces!"

I'm thankful for the two beautiful children who call me Mama, and think I am the most amazing person in the world.  They overlook every fault I have.

I'm thankful that 6 years ago Saturday I made a covenant to love, honor, and obey my best friend, and that every day our love for each other is stronger than the previous day.

I'm thankful that my man has a great job.  

I'm thankful that, not only do we not have to worry about where our next meal will come from, but that our pantry has enough food to last us for a several months.  I'm thankful my children have no idea what is is to really be hungry.

I'm thankful for indoor plumbing, because I can't function well without a hot shower!

I'm thankful for my parents, and for the things they taught me.

I'm thankful for in-laws who have loved and accepted Flower and I since the first time they met us, and for the great relationship I have with them.

I'm thankful that as I wrote this, Flower and Little Man are sitting on the couch, snuggling, and just talking to each other.

I'm thankful for programmable coffee makers, and that I have liquid energy waiting for me from the second I wake up.

I'm thankful for the faith of my family.

I'm thankful for knitting needles, yarn, hot tea, and Gone With the Wind.

God has truly blessed me beyond measure.  If I continued to list everything I'm grateful for, this post would be an eternity long.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Out-smartin' the Substitute

Parenthood is a joyful thing.  It is also so incredibly stressful!

Yesterday, Flower's parent/teacher conference went great!  Her teacher went on about what a helpful, smart little girl she is.  I, of course, already knew that!  She then went on to tell me about how well behaved she was, and how well she listened and obeyed.  At this point, I asked if we were talking about the same child!  

It does make me happy to know that she responds so well to her teacher!  Her grades are amazing, and she is reading far beyond what a kiddo her age is expected to read.  

Then, I found out that she lied to her sub, and left school a few minutes early without anyone knowing!

The story is quite amusing.  And to be honest, if it was someone else's child, I would have thought it was the funniest dang thing I had heard in awhile.  Part of me was quite impressed with the smoothness with which she was able to pull this off.  Then the parent part kicked in.

I talked with the principal who himself was appalled that she was able to do this.  I assured him that she would be disciplined at home.  He assured me that she would be visiting his office today.

This morning, Flower had a "stomach ache", a "head ache", and a "sore foot".  She "forgot" to get herself completely ready for school.  She tired everything she could think of to keep from having to go to school this morning.  

Its great having a smart child.  Flower is so smart, and catches on to things so easily.  The problem is, she is just too smart for her age.  Too smart for her own good!  I can't imagine what her teen years are going to be like!

Be blessed everyone! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Small Business and Fat Cats

Good morning!  The kids are happily playing, so I thought I would seize the moment and get a few words out!  

Today, I'm actually going to venture out of the house!  WOOHOO!  I have parent/teacher conference with Flower's teacher, and some custom orders to mail (yay!).  Since I am mailing all already made orders today, I thought it a good chance to run a quick sale!  Anything, excluding custom orders, from 13 Plum Knitting is 20% off today only!  All you have to do is enter the coupon code "FACEBOOK20" when you check out!  I know I have touted the issue of buying from small, personally owned businesses before, but I will again!  Everyone is starting their Christmas shopping now, so please keep shopping small on your mind!  Some of the best, and thoughtful gifts come from Etsy, or any other small, locally owned business.  That is how we help our economy! So take a minute if you will, and visit my shop, or any Etsy shop! 

**shameless promotion over**

So, I rarely talk politics.  It just isn't my forte, and I don't like stirring things up more than I must.  But I have to say, the whole "Occupy Wall Street" thing is just really annoying to me.  

Now, don't get me wrong.  As a family who lives paycheck to paycheck, it is disgusting that some of these CEO's get paid millions upon millions of dollars.  Personally, I don't think there is any one person who is worth that much money.  Is it fair that there are fats cats raking in the big bucks while most people in America are like Barb Wire Man and myself?  No way.  Unfortunately, I'm reminded of a saying I heard as a kid:

"Fair?  Fair is a place where you show pigs and win blue ribbons.  Life is not fair."

Life just isn't fair.  Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  No where do I read "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit to take the things others have worked for so that we can all have the cash we want."

Yes, something should be done to stop people from being able to take all these millions.  However, sharing their wealth is just ridiculous.  Would I like to have a mere $100,000 out of their stash?  You betcha!  But frankly, it is theirs, regardless of how they obtained it.  

Barb Wire Man and I don't have a fortune.  We don't even have a small fortune.  OK....truth is we have what we need to pay our bills and a few little extras here and there.  But we work hard for what we do have.  And, when we have extra, we give to people who might have even less than we do.  Not because we have to, but because its just the right thing.  But by golly, I refuse to be forced to give what little extra I have simply because it isn't fair that its more than the next guy.

When Barb Wire Man and I run short on funds for whatever reason, we don't belly ache about not having enough.  We wouldn't go stand on the street, rallying because there are others who could help us "get out of the hole".  Nope.  We would get off our tushes, and do whatever it takes to come up with the money that we need.  

My advice to the people wasting precious time protesting would be to go look for a stinkin' job.  Yeah, they are hard to come by these days.  So instead of depending on someone else for a paycheck (often the very people they are protesting against!), make your own future.  Get over it.  Life isn't a fair.  

OK, I'm stepping off the soap box now.  Maybe not be the same as yours, but that is my two cents worth (trust me, that is all it is worth...don't ask me to share!).  Be blessed today!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Its Friday People!

Here comes the weekend! 

First of all today, thank you, thank you, thank you to all the Veterans out there.  If it weren't for our Vets, we wouldn't have the freedom to get on our blogs each day and rant, rave, and write about whatever we so chose.  There are numerous other things we wouldn't be able to do, either.  So, to my many family members and friends who have served, and are still serving, thank you!

My in-laws will be here tomorrow to help celebrate Barb Wire Man's birthday on Sunday!  The house is clean, my kids are napping, I've gotten some new items listed on Etsy and Facebook, and I'm feeling quite accomplished today.  Tomorrow, I'll be baking a cherry cheesecake for the Mister.  

I'm going to take a few minutes and do a little shameless self promotion.  Check out what I just added to my shop:

Sorry about getting my mug in there, too.  I was the only one here to take a picture, so I was forced to work with what I had!  Anyhow, this is a pistachio green scarflette with a big, brown button.  I love this thing...seriously.  I'm almost secretly hoping it doesn't sell soon, just so I can claim it for myself!  But, honestly, if you do like it and want it, I'll sell it.  I can always make another for myself! thing I always forget is to tell you guys all the different ways to keep up on what is going on in my life, and business.  Soo....
You can like me on Facebook. (I like when people like me!)
You can follow me on Twitter. (I'm a leader.)
You can Heart my shop on Etsy. (Aw!)
And, you can follow my sweet little Blog that get neglected far too often.

I'm going to go enjoy my clean, quiet house for just a few minutes before the little ones wake up from the nap.   Looks like I might have just enough time to make a cup of tea and sit down before one of them wake up!  

Have a wonderful day today, and be blessed!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I thought the world ended this morning, and I had gotten left behind.

My cell phone didn't work!  

It is so true that a person doesn't realize just how much they depend on something until it is gone.  Barb Wire Man left super early this morning, so I went back to bed.  He usually calls me and wakes me up, but not this morning!  Thankfully, I woke up with just enough time to get myself ready.  

I tried texting.  They all came back as undeliverable.  I tried to call out from my phone, and into it,  but got only dead air.  My very first though was "Oh crap.  I forgot to pay the bill!  Barb Wire Man is going to be some kind of mad at me!"  (Thankfully, I did not forget.  Its not even due yet!!) 

As soon as I realized the phones were working again, Barb Wire Man called me.  I was so happy to talk to him.  Just knowing that it wasn't possible for me to get in touch with him drove me crazy!  I started worrying about him.  I thought of a billion things I just had to talk to him about.  I was going through withdrawls because I couldn't talk to him!

This morning taught me two things: 
I talk to Barb Wire Man entirely too much during the day.  Seriously. We are like two teenagers who can't go 3 hours without calling the other.  Sometimes, all we do is remind the other how much we love them!  But, that is how wonderful a marriage we have!  I can't imagine what it was like being a truckers wife before there were cell phones.  I would loose my mind worrying about him!  I always know right where he is, and where he is going next. 

Secondly, it taught me that I worry too much, and instead of depending on a cell phone to keep in constant contact with my man, perhaps I should just trust that God will take care of him.  I mean, really.  Does knowing that I can talk to him at any moment keep him any safer?  (Actually, probably the opposite, since he should be driving, not talking!)

Still, I've talked to him 3 times since 9:00, and its only 1:00.  And I bet he calls me again around 1:30 or so!  Its nice being married to your best friend.

Looks like my next few weeks has gotten pretty busy, too!  In a good way!  I've gotten several knitting orders just in the last 2 days, and they will keep me occupied for a bit.  I'm also going to be teaching a few ladies how to knit soon!  My in-laws are coming this weekend, and Barb Wire Man turns 32 on Sunday!   He is getting from me what he gets every year...a new video game.  (Don't worry, its no secret.  He has to tell me what the name of the stupid game is while I'm at the store anyway!)

Now, I better get to knitting.  The little ones are all sleeping soundly, and the house is oddly quiet.  Better enjoy it while I can!

Be blessed!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

No Rest For The Weary

Yes, I have been MIA.  But, let me show you a little of what I have been doing lately!  It has been a little crazy at my house!

I've been knitting neck cowls.  I have had so many orders for these, so luckily they knit up pretty quick!  Plus, I have a craft show coming up.  I'd like to make sure I have plenty on hand!

I've been knitting IPod and cell phone holders like crazy, too!  I've had a lot of order for these too, because they make such great stocking stuffers.  I'm sure the fact that they are only $5 helps too!  I also have some kindle, and other tablet-type electronic covers in the works!

Wrist warmers.  I've made several pair of these, because they are just so darn cool.  Functional, too!  This green pair sold within 10 minutes of my posting them, so that made me happy!  I've got several other pair ready to go out, too, I just haven't had time to get pictures yet!

Baby blankets.  Everyone I know, except for me, seems to be having babies lately!  This is one of my favorites!  I don't have a picture of my absolute favorite....oh well!

But, here is the real reason I have been off the computer so much.....

My mom's 50th  29th birthday was on November 3rd.  My dad, aunt, sister and I planned a surprise party for her!  Honestly, I had no idea it would take as much time and energy as it did, but every bit of it was worth it!  
My cousin, me, my aunt, and my sister  Just noticed every one of us has the same smile!

My mom's brother drove down from Colorado, my cousin drove up from San Antonio, and several friends drove long distances just to come to mom's party.  I was so pleased with the way it turned out!  By the end of the party, I was so tired I could barely stand up! 

My great-uncle, my aunt, my mama, and my uncle.

But, the absolute best part of the entire party was after everyone went home.  It was just, dad, two cousins, aunt, uncle, my kids, Barb Wire Man and me.  We took all the helium balloons down, and proceed to suck the helium out of them.  We took turns reciting famous quotes and speeches in tiny little squirrel voices, and I swear, I haven't laughed so hard in a long time!  

I know my mom had a great time, and was completely surprised.  I'm so thankful for my Mama, and am so happy we were able to treat her to a special day.  Hopefully, I will be able to get back on this blog a little more often!

Have a great day blessed!