Monday, January 28, 2013

National Tea Month

January.  January has many contenders for National *insert your favorite cause here* .  Celebration of Life Month.  International Brain Teaser Month.  National Be on Purpose Month.  January is even California Dried Plum Digestive Month.  (Say what?!)

But, best of all, January is National Hot Tea Month!
I've purchased loose teas from Teaman on Etsy a few times, and have never been disappointed! 

My mom and I have a love affair with hot tea.  We drink it from morning til night. We are picky about what types of tea we drink.  And tea pots... ooooh how I love tea pots!
LOVE this lamp from Thistle and Jug on Etsy!  

"Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company." - author unknown

Did you know that tea was discovered purely by accident? In 2737 BC, in China, Emperor Shen Nung smelled the aroma from a pot of water, into which some tea leaves had fallen, and there it was!  The first pot of tea!  Then again.....some people say early Buddhist monks discovered tea.

"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." - C.S. Lewis

Tea helps bolster your bodies immune system.  It is packed full of antioxidants!
The prettiest thread catchers I have seen, from Beadinhandy on Etsy. 

It is time for another cup of tea!  Be blessed today!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day of the Beer

Remember I told you I found a list of some pretty crazy holidays?  Well, here is one that will raise your eyebrows.

Today is National Beer Can Day!  To celebrate, you will need to grab a can of beer, drink it down, and BOOM!  You have a beer can!

Seriously, though who comes up with these holidays?  And do they get paid for it?  (Because that sounds like not so bad a job.  I could come up with some good ones.)

Personally, when we finish a beer, it better go straight into the trash can.  I hate picking up dead beer cans the next morning!  If you are feeling crafty, you could make a few things out of those beer cans.  Because, the only thing better than beer is recycling.  Seriously!  If you aren't the crafty type, just head over to Etsy!

From Redneck Traysures on Etsy

I got one of these motorcycles for Barb Wire Man last year!  LOVE IT!  And be sure to read the descriptions and such....true southern!

From Rehabulous on Etsy

Candles!  Why didn't I think of this?!

From Pop Can Aviation on Etsy

Model airplanes!

While you are over at Etsy, please stop by my shop, 13 Plum Knitting!  I'd love if you "liked" my facebook page, too, and I am even on Twitter!

Be blessed today!  Now, if you will excuse me, I think I need a beer!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Why Yes, I am Pro-Life!

It is no uncommon fact that I am very much pro-life, and today is National Right to Life Day.
From DJammar  Maternity on Etsy

Now, I don't believe that government should dictate to us what we can and cannot do with our lives, bodies, etc., but I am, personally, very  much against abortion.  

I know people who have had abortions, and it isn't my place to judge another person's decision.  But, as for myself, abortion is not an option.  
From The Painted Monkeys on Etsy

There are alternatives to abortion!  Just because the birth mother, or father, doesn't want the child, doesn't mean it isn't wanted!

So many women in our country want children so desperately.  Adoption, to me, seems to be one of the greatest gifts a mother who is contemplating abortion could give to her child.  
From CCWD on Etsy

Did you know that the heart begins to beat at 6 weeks?
At 11 weeks, the eyes begin to form.
They can also begin to feel at 11 weeks.  That means that surgical abortions at 15 weeks can be felt by the baby!
At 26 weeks, the baby can hear.

But what about in cases of rape, or incest?  Well, only about 1% of abortions are performed for that reason. 25.5% are performed simply because the mother just doesn't want to have a baby yet.  (Facts according to
From Words of Truth Designs on Etsy

Allan F. Guttmacher, known as the Father of Planned Parenthood, said himself that "Today, it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive; unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as cancer or Leukemia, and, if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save life."  (

From Helen's Corner or Etsy

Babies are blessings.  If you feel a baby isn't going to bless your life at the moment, then bless another mama who desperately wants a baby.  

Be sure to swing by 13 Plum Knitting today!  Tweet?  Check me out on Twitter!  Facebook more your thing?  I'm there too!  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Deals of the Day!

EVERYTHING in my shop is 40% off!  The coupon code is listed in my "shop announcements!!  Check it out...the sale is today only!!
13 Plum Knitting on Etsy! 

20% OFF STARLIGHT ROOMS ENTIRE INVENTORY!  Use coupon code OMGSWEET when checking out!!
Starlight Rooms on Etsy! 

SADIES THE LADY is offering buy 5 bars of soap, get one FREE....PLUS $5 shipping!
Sadies the Lady on Etsy! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Rubber Ducky, You're the One!

I found the greatest list of holidays: common holidays, strange holidays, little known holidays, and holidays that make you raise your eyebrows and say "WTF?!?!?!"

I thought I'd use that as the basis for a few posts, and use it as a way to showcase some really great Etsy sites!

Yesterday, January 13, was National Rubber Ducky Day.  Or, as Little Man calls it, rucker ducker.  
From With Love Boutique on Etsy

I'm left wondering who in the heck came up with Rubber Ducky Day.  Bert and Ernie?  But really, where would be without the rubber ducky?
From Mad Monkey Knits on Etsy!

Sitting in a bath tub, all sad because we had no rubber ducky to play with.

No rubber ducky races for fundraisers.
From We Bring The Party on Etsy! 

No more...yeah....I can't..  I just can't come up with anymore.
From Ashito of Etsy! 

Doesn't matter.  Rubber Duckies are cool, obviously.  Check out these awesome Etsy shops, and go give your rubber ducky some love!!  (And check out 13 Plum Knitting, too!)  

Be Blessed! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Writing - Therapy for the Soul

I love to write.  I don't mean write, like, when I write a blog post, either.  I love to write things out by hand, and I am super picky about my handwriting.  I get compliments often on my handwriting, and, even if it is just a to do list, I will write it 50 times until it looks perfect.

I love finding the perfect pen, and I will use it until it completely runs out of ink. Then, I mourn the loss of my beloved pen as I set out to find my next perfect penmanship tool.
This pen, from OConner Wooden Pens on Etsy, is beyond beautiful.

I love writing on beautiful paper.  I love writing on post it notes.  I love the way writing feels, both physically and emotionally.  Don't laugh.  Some of you know exactly what I mean!  It is therapeutic.

I don't think there is anything more exciting than getting a hand-written letter in the mail from a friend.  I have saved nearly every letter my friends have written me since before I was in high school, and I love going back and reading them.
I love trees...get this note cards at The Ink Lab on Etsy! 

I would rather write something out, by hand, any day as to type it.  Something about physically putting my thoughts onto a piece of paper or a journal is calming, and rewarding.
Get this beautiful journal at Crimson Hollow on Etsy!

I found out today that January 8-14 is National Letter Writing week.  Take a minute to check out some of these lovely Etsy shops that have everything  you need to write the perfect letter, then start writing!  Everyone loves to get letters!

Be blessed today!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Valentine Gifts!

How is everyone's new year so far!?  It didn't take long for us to get back into the swing of things.  Flower was excited to get back to school on Monday, and popped out of bed bright and cheery.  She had her bed made, breakfast eaten, and was completely ready for school 30 minutes ahead of schedule!  On Tuesday, I darn near had to use a pry bar to get her out of bed!

The daycare is back in full swing, too!  Little Man was glad to have all his friends back, but we will miss the days of just Mama, sister and brother!  I'm blessed enough to have all the same vacation days as the school kids and teachers, since all my daycare mamas are teachers.  The hard part is going that long without a paycheck.  Certainly makes things tight, and gives new meaning to trusting in God's provision!  But, it always works out.

Over the break, I finished up three baby sets for a friend out in South Carolina.  She will be giving the sets to some new mamas who are going through a rough patch, so I hope they will bring a little bit of sunshine into their lives.  I also finished knitting an infinity scarf for Barb Wire Man's grandmother, Nena.  I still need to block it, and sew the ends together, but just the color alone I think is gorgeous!  Once I get it blocked, I will post pictures!

I'm making Barb Wire Man's aunt one also, but it is in a beautiful black, gray and white yarn.  This yarn is divine to work with.  I'm sick about it, though.  I got about 1/4 way through it, then discovered that I had slipped a stitch, just a few inches from the beginning.  I ended up having to frog (rip out) the ENTIRE thing.  I nearly cried, but, today I start it all over again!

I'm excited, too, because there is going to be enough yarn from each of those projects to make some other things with!  I think I see a head covering for myself, and I might even be able to squeak out another infinity scarf!

I'm terrible at remembering holidays other than Christmas and Thanksgiving, but as I was on Etsy today I realized it is getting close to Valentines day!  Around our house, we don't really do much to celebrate the day.  One reason is we just don't like spending money on things we don't really need.  Barb Wire Man doesn't like to send flowers, because he thinks it is silly to express one's undying love by sending flowers that, well, die.  I thought though that I might search and see what cute gifts I could find for the kids, and I came up with some super cute stuff!

I know Flower would love this cross from Nail Crosses!  And really, there is no other love as worthy of celebration as the love Christ has for us.  What a great way to talk with our children about the greatest of all loves!

A bracelet to go with the new necklace maybe?  I love this little charm bracelet full of hearts from Linda's Original Jewels.

Flower loves to teach Little Man to play new games.  She is so patient with him, and he learns things faster from her than from me!  This heart shaped tic-tac-toe game from Twins and Crafts would be a great opportunity for them to learn and play together!

I won't lie...finding things for boys is so much harder than finding things for girls.  Doesn't matter if it is clothes or gifts!  These little gift bags from Black Crow Craft arrrrrr too cute! (Sorry, couldn't help it!)  Little Man loves anything pirate!

But, the only thing Little Man loves more than pirates is super heroes.  At this moment in his life, there is nothing cooler than playing with super heroes, or pretending to be super heroes.  These capes from Just Kidn Designs would be perfect for Little Man!

If Barb Wire Man would carry a bag (which he won't), I would so totally get this bag, from Invisible Crown, for him.  Back when he and I were just barely dating, he was sitting on the porch with my dad.  I walked up, with Flower, after a long day of work and my dad said "You should go make this boy a sandwich.  He's been at work all day and he is hungry!"  Would you believe I actually went in and made the boy a sandwich!?

Do you have any Valentine's Day traditions?  Maybe I should start something at our house, and I would love some ideas!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Very Geographical Supper

I love my husband, but let me tell you, he is picky.  And not just your run of the mill picky, either.  That man is picky.  Among the things he can't stand are anything not beef (excluding fried ham and bacon), unless it is roast, which he also cannot stand.  If a dish has onions it in, it is no-go, and anything that has green peppers, avacado, artichoke, olives, and mushrooms is entirely out of the question.  Does the dish have cheese in it?  Better be mozzarella, chedder, or colby, and if he even thinks there might be sour cream, feta, or cottage cheese in it, he won't touch it.  Eggs?  Yeah right.

My cooking life kinda stinks.  No Pinterest recipes for me, for the most part.  I can usually tell, just by looking at the picture, if it is something Barb Wire Man will or will not eat.  I have my tried and true recipes I know he will eat, and I rarely stray very far from them.  I figure, the man works his butt off for us, so the least I can do is make sure he has a meal he will enjoy when he gets home.  But it gets so boring for a person like me, who will eat just about anything.  In fact, I can only think of three things I cannot stomach: green peas, gorgonzola cheese, and blue cheese.  That is all.  

I did branch out a little, however, and tried a couple of new Pinterest recipes Tuesday night.  
Mississippi Roast - by far, the best roast I have EVER eaten.

Our menu was Mississippi Roast (from Pinterest), Arkansas green beans (also from Pinterest), and roasted carrots (totally made up in my head, spur of the moment).

Friends, I love roast, and I love my plain-jane, tried and true roast.  But I don't think I will ever make it that way again.  Because this Mississippi roast was uh-maz-ing.  Best part of all was even Barb Wire Man liked it.  He even went so far as to say it was good.  Normally the response is "Well, I was hungry, so I ate it."  He did say it was a bit too salty, and I agree.  Since no salt is added, I think I may toss a potato in to absorb some of the salt.

The green beans were delish.  Flower and I both had two huge helpings.  Barb Wire Man didn't even say anything at first, he just looked at me, nodded his head, and said "MMM."   Healthy?  Yeah, I wouldn't go that far, but definitely worth it!  One word of caution, however.  It makes a lot of green beans.  We will probably have them for lunch tomorrow.  And supper again tomorrow night.  And we will probably still have left overs!

I think I scored a home run this time!

You can click on the pictures, or the links on the names, and they will take you directly to the blogs with the recipes.  I cannot recommend them enough!  
Arkansas Green Beans....yum, Yum, YUM!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Land of the Free from Water Bottles

So I am taking one of my 15 minute breaks from household duties and kids (yes.  I actually do that.  I make them go play for 15 minutes so I can gather myself back up!), and I read this story that comes across my Facebook feed: Massachusetts Town Bans Water Bottles.

You just can't make these things up, friends.

I understand their heart behind it, really, I do.  In fact, I am one of those people who despises using something disposable when there is a better quality reusable option.  I use refillable water bottles.  I used cloth diapers on my son.  I reuse things to the point that my family think I am crazy.  Barb Wire Man uses plastic water bottles, though.  He drives a truck, and can't just pull over his big rig and fill up his water bottle.  Instead, he stocks his refrigerator with water bottles to keep from having to stop at a store.  (Although, at this point, do they even allow semi trucks in the north east!?  Just kidding!)

Let's weigh the pro's and con's of this silly bill:

Less waste in landfills                                            
Less plastic usage
Less business for convenience stores and grocery stores.
"Sorry kids.  We are on this road trip, and our options are fake fruit juices, sugar-laden cokes, or bathroom water in our reusable containers."

Less business for grocery stores.
Yeah, so I stock up on gallons of water, you never know what might happen!

Police must now start looking for people who violate traffic laws, thieves, drugs, criminals, and those pesky water bottle carriers.

I'll stop now.  I think you get the picture.  But really?!  Do we need our governments, be they simply city or national, telling us now that we can't even buy a bottle of water at a convenience store?!  Ridiculous.  They do say that in case of an emergency, the sell of plastic water bottles is allowed.  Well thank the Lord.  When an emergency hits, everyone in town can rush to the store at the same time and pray on the way that the store isn't sold out of water before they get there.  

Should we laugh at this, or should we be worried?  Seriously....I am asking.  Have we gone so far into the abyss that now we are allowing people to tell us what we can and cannot purchase food wise?

My sweet daughter, Flower, came to me this morning (before I even saw this story), and said "Mama, is 'America, land of the free and home of the brave' a factual statement, or is that an opinion?"

I'm sad that she even had to ask.  It was always drilled into me that America was indeed the land of the free, and the home of the brave.  Are we slowly becoming America, land of the free in theory and home of the pansies who can't/won't make decisions for themselves, or protect themselves anymore?

I don't know.  And that was my response to Flower.  "I don't know anymore, babe.  I really don't know."

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Etsy sell? And Etsy Sale!

Etsy, Etsy, Etsy.  We have a love hate relationship, but mostly, these days, just hate.

I love that Etsy offers an easy, straightforward approach to putting your items up for sale.  I love that my customers can use paypal, but can also use their debit and credit cards also.  I love that I can offer gift cards for purchase, and set up coupons.  I love that there is some pretty darn cool stuff, even though sometimes you have to wade through some somewhat strange stuff.

One of my many baby headbands at 13 Plum!

I hate that it is so saturated.  I hate that trying to search for something only pulls up the biggest and best of the shops, leaving the smaller ones with items that are just as wonderful in the dust.  I also hate that you can apparently sell things that aren't even handmade (even though the rules state otherwise), and that if you tack the word "vintage" it automatically becomes Kosher to sell.

One of my diamond scarves...I currently have it in 4 other colors

I have many sales locally, through Facebook, and through my booth at a gift shop in a town about an hour away, and even on Twitter.  But seriously, getting sales on Etsy is next to impossible, I don't really have the time to sit and constantly monitor and promote, and I don't like having to pay to keep my things listed.  I think I'm going to be doing things differently this year!

My favorite pair of barefoot sandals!

 This year, I would really like to get a few of my things into some local stores, and am going to take the steps necessary for that here soon!  My plan is to get my headbands into some local gift and boutique stores, as well as my dishcloths into some gift/kitchen stores.  Those are both things I can make fairly quickly (at least compared to things like blankets and shawls), and sell well.

I had no idea these little headbands would be as popular as they were...I could hardly keep up with orders!

I would love suggestions on other online venues for selling.  I know of Artfire, and HyenaCart, but am sure I am missing some others that are equally impressive.  Please comment and let me know if you have some favorites!

This scarflette is another of my favorites!

I will leave my things up on Etsy for a bit longer.  I'd like to sell them all before just pulling them down, though.  So starting today, everything in my Etsy shop, 13 Plum Knitting, will be 25% off, with the coupon code "JAN2013".  But only if you order through Etsy!  Stop by, take a look, and order somethings! Be sure to share with your friends, and please, what are your favorite online selling venues!?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!!

It is 9:21 PM on December 31st, 2012 as I begin to write this.

I've spent virtually this entire day contemplating life as we have come to know it these days, and frankly, it has given me one hell of a headache, because all I have been able to dwell on are the negatives: the government in a state of disarray, joblessness...the list could go on and on.

As I was trying to gather my thoughts to put on paper, so to speak, I struggled with which direction to go with this post.  Most would consider me a "clinger"...I'm clinging to my Bible and my guns.  I won't deny it, I am.  I considered going a political route, after reading a story about a young Austrian girl named Kitty Werthmann.  You can read her story HERE.  But, I won't.

You see, Ms. Werthmann's story hit me hard.  The subtle, between the lines part.  The little part of the story that could have been summed up by simply stating that so, so many had turned from their faith.  Faith was no longer popular.

Ms. Werthmann's mother sent her to a convent, where she was shielded from the humanistic ideals that were permeating the world around her.  She didn't want her daughter to lose sight of God; to become wrapped up in the idea that government held the answer.  She didn't want her daughter to be blinded by the ideal that "free" was equivalent to "freedom", or that choosing to stay at home and care for her children and her husband put her on a wrung lower than women who were working.  She wanted her daughter to know the joy of having a family, not just of having a baby.  And how dare her mother send her somewhere that wasn't "fun", where indoctrination and politics wasn't the curriculum! (Please, sense the sarcasm here!)

After I finished reading the story, I looked over at my dear Barb Wire Man, who was glued to his computer.  Indeed, he is an incredibly wise man.  He knows many things about many things, and is the first person I go to with a question about anything.  

I looked over at my two beautiful, wonderful children.  Little Man was glued to the Rocking New Year's Eve bands playing, dancing and playing in his wonderful, innocent 3 year old way.  Flower was annoyed at his mere existence, and wanted to know why I wasn't allowing her to stay up until midnight, when "all her friends got to".

Have we been slowly sucked into believe things contrary to the Word of God?  Yep.  Heck, we are even giving in, slowly, to believing the Word of God is nothing but fairy tales.

Have we been slowly sucked into believing the women who stay at home with their children are rich, lazy women who can't get a job? Yep, many times.  At the very least, we hear "Oh, your husband won't let you work?  You are so oppressed!"

Have we slowly been led to believe that country comes before all things, including God? Indeed.  Need something?   Don't ask God, ask Big Brother!

God is in control, whatever the future may hold, but we have to do our best to prevent anything that is contrary to our beliefs.  Isn't that what we all want, whether you believe the same as me or not?

So, as I sit here watching my husband and children, writing this post, I consider my New Year's Resolutions.

I will train up my children in the way they should go, so that when they are old, they will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

I will teach my daughter to be noble, to love her future husband, to work hard at whatever she does, to open her arms to the poor, to have no fear for her family, to laugh at the days to come and to be clothed in strength and dignity.  I will teach her to speak with wisdom, watch over the affairs of her family, and that a women who fears the Lord is to be praised (Proverbs 31).  I will pray for her every day that she will be a true, Biblical woman of God, and will be blessed with a true, Godly man who loves God more than her, or their future children.

I will teach my son to be slow to anger (James 1:19), and to teach his children about the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).  I will teach him to love his wife, just as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25), and to treat her tenderly (1 Peter 1:37).  I will teach him to keep his way pure, by living according to God's word, by seeking  God with all his heart, and hiding God's word in his heart. (Proverbs 119-11).  I will pray for him daily, that he will be a Godly man, who loves his children, adores his wife, but places nothing above God.

I will focus more on my marriage and my husband, that my husband will continue to love me more than himself, but God more than me,and that I will continue to be submissive and loving towards him (Eph. 5:25-33).  I will pray that our marriage will be held in honor (Hebrews 13:4), and that our home will be filled with love (1 Corin. 13).  I will pray over myself all the things I pray for my daughter, and I will pray over my husband all the things I pray for my son.

I will continue to store up food, and other things, though I will not store these things up in my heart (Matthew 6:19-20).  I will continue to place my faith in God, that He will provide (1 Timothy 6:17, Phillipians 4:19), regardless.

In short, I will continue to guide my family towards God, but with stronger zeal.  I won't send my daughter to a convent (yet, unless she continues to grow up and get prettier!), but I will be damned if they grow up not knowing the Lord because I don't teach them.  They may not like all the new ideas I have, but I don't care.  This is my job, right?  And I will do it to the best of my ability!

Happy New Year, everyone!  May your new year be blessed!