Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Visiting the Country.....



As you probably know if you have read my blog very long, we live in the city and yet would love to move to a more country-type setting. Once in a while, we travel through country areas... and it is a joy. Over the holiday weekend, we traveled to spend time with family and went through Amish country... and also to the Amish store.   
 Trip to the Amish Store



What a beautiful drive... the rolling hills, the barns and tractors, the fields and animals....  Near the Amish store, we came across these horses grazing in a field that was yellow with flowers. It was so pretty and thankfully, my husband patiently allowed us to take pictures. :)



























As we stopped the vehicle and watched the horses (we did not get out or get close to them... they weren't ours and we respected that)....  the birdsongs were the only sounds. It was a beautiful and quiet setting on a country dirt road.



The horses weren't alarmed by us at all... they are probably used to the people coming by and snapping pictures.  :)

Since we were headed to see family, we couldn't linger long, but we sure enjoyed the time there.  Every once in a while, it almost seems that I NEED to get out of the city and see some country. :)   I am thankful for where God has us, though... and I am not complaining. If you live in the country, I hope you are able to enjoy the beauty.... if you live in the city, I hope you are able to have times of enjoying country scenes once in a while. 

Thank you for visiting my blog today... I hope you have a great week. :) 





Shared on:

Saturday Sparks
Totally Terrific Tuesday
Image-in-ing
What'd You Do This Weekend?
Mostly Homemade Mondays
Modest Mom
Art of Homemaking Monday
Home Matters Linky Party
Funtastic Friday
Foodie Friday and Everything Else
Paula's No Rules Weekend Party
Charm of Home
Thriving On Thursday
Thriving Thursday
Our Simple Homestead Hop
Homemaking Party
Homestead Blog Hop
Wise Woman
Hump Day Happenings
Wake Up Wednesday
Teach Me Tuesday
Making A Home Homemaking Linky
Roses of Inspiration
Maple Hill Hop
Tuesday Talk

Monday, May 18, 2015

My Roses Have Been Invaded!




My roses are beautiful every year... there are two large rosebushes by the driveway... they are a bright pink color. They put on quite a show and we sure enjoy them.


 I like the color... I like that they bloom more than once a year... I like that they are right out front so that we can see them from the living room... and every time we come and go. I love that they are so easy to care for.  They were a Mother's Day gift from my family several years ago... not sure how many... maybe 8-10 or so.  They have grown much in that time, but not excessively... just a nice amount. :)




 

Sometimes I will cut a couple of these roses and put them in a vase in the house... they look so pretty and last many days.  My husband has complained that they are not as big as the roses at the florist... he is thinking of the big long stemmed roses.  He's right... but I sure like these... in fact, I think I like these even better.  Each rose is about 3 1/2" in diameter, so they are not small ones... I think they are just right. :)




We noticed some holes in the leaves... hmmm...  it happens... not too alarming......
 BUT then we noticed a hole in a few flowers... at the base. In fact, we had to cut off several rosebuds that were totally ruined by a hole that was big enough to destroy it. 

Hmmmm, we wondered what that was all about. After looking around, we found a big hole in one of the big roses. We didn't like that!
 As I watched it, I noticed some green inside the hole and wondered what that could be... part of the inside of the flower? I didn't think so, and then it moved!  It was a WORM... IN MY ROSE!!!  One of my sons caught it and put it into a container so we could identify it... YUCK!

  It seems it is a sawfly worm... and they can have 1-6 generations a season, depending on what kind it is! That set off some alarms... especially when we found out that they can defoliate the bushes.  They will apparently drop down to the soil at some point and lay eggs which will hatch and come to do more damage to my roses. It is not something we can ignore as these could maybe even kill our beautiful bushes. 

I realized that though these roses look beautiful... they are being destroyed from the inside. Though the damage isn't easily visible... it is there and it is happening and will spread. Ignoring it will lead to increased damage and severe consequences.

 I also realized the obvious spiritual parallel. Wow, what a lesson to us.  How many times do we still look GOOD on the outside...  and yet have damage happening in our souls as we have allowed sin to have a place?  Maybe it is envy.... or coveting... or unforgiveness.... fear...  bitterness... or any other sin. Sin WILL hurt us and we dare not ignore it.... it will grow.... and spread and our heart will harden.  I sure don't want that... and I would imagine all of us would be sobered by the idea. 

 Maybe if we pictured the sin in our hearts as like those little green worms in the roses... we would be more diligent to watch for them... and get rid of them!



Maybe it is time to ask... what does my heart look like... inside? How is my walk with the Lord? Am I harboring any sins?   I love the verse in Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." 

Thank you for visiting today...  I hope the roses of your soul are beautiful....inside and out.  I hope you have a great week. :) 




Shared on:

Garden Tuesday 
Foodie Friday and Everything Else
Home and Garden Thursday
Paula's No Rules Weekend Party
Green Thumb Thursday
Homeacre Hop 
Thriving on Thursday
Wise Woman
Wildcrafting Wednesday
 Hump Day Happenings
Homemaking Party
Wake Up Wednesday
Teach Me Tuesday
Maple Hill Hop
Tuesday Garden Party
Roses of Inspiration
Tuesday Talk
Image-in-ing
Macro Monday Mixer 
Mostly Homemade Monday
What'd You Do This Weekend?
Good Morning Monday
Art of Homemaking Monday 
Soul Survival
Modest Mom



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Some Things to Ponder....





I enjoy quotes...  those few words that leave a person thinking.

For years, I have written quotes down... some from sermons or books, some in notebooks or the front pages of my Bible. Most of these are quotes I had written down years ago in my old Bible... and I paired them with pictures.














Shared on:















Modest Mom

Monday, May 11, 2015

Saving Money-Part 3-Buying Used



This is part 3 in our Saving Money Series.... Buying Used.  

I'm sure many of you already buy used items..... and some of you have never bought used and are actually put-off by the very idea. 

One BIG way to save money... is to buy used....  what a blessing it can be. :)








We have been buying used items for many years...  and instead of feeling deprived, I am so thankful to have this option. 

Buying used can happen at garage sales, thrift stores, on Craigslist, from a friend, or maybe in other ways. 



In this post, I wanted to share with you some of the blessings God has provided... that are used, and not new. 

I have bought hats... for 50c to $5.00 each. They can be MUCH higher, but this is my limit... and I have only spent $5.00 a couple of times. :)

These beautiful big fluffy towels were at a garage sale for $1 each. The hand towels and bath mats were 50c each and the washcloth was 25c.

The exercise ball is just one of a few that I have bought.... for $1-$4.00 each, probably. I don't remember all of the prices, but I am giving you an idea of what I either have spent on these items, or what I may have spent. 

The tray is metal and wicker and I have used it for a few years... I think I paid $2.00.

Jewelry is a good deal at used prices...  The prices can vary a lot, but I usually spend about 50c - $3 each, and sometimes a bit more than that. I have been able to trade out some of my jewelry and get things I like better... I just sell the ones I am getting rid of,  at my sale.

I have bought Sterling Silver items and even real gold. No, it isn't plentiful.. I watch, though.
This beautiful wicker dresser was at a sale with a matching desk, chair, mirror, stool and end table, I think... for $100 or so. My husband bought it all and I sold all of it, except for the dresser...  so the dresser ended up costing me very little. :)

The dollhouse was at a thrift store... for $5.00!!!! That is lower than their usual prices at that store, and I asked if that really was the price. It was... they just wanted to give someone an extra good deal for Christmas Eve. It became my daughter's gift the next day. :)
You cannot shop for used items in the same way you would shop for new ones.  When you go to a store to shop, you can be assured of a selection of clothes, tools, toys, books, shoes, furniture and whatever else you would like to look at.

Buying used is much different....  You may find many clothes at one sale... at great prices, but not in sizes or styles you can use. Hmm... you may find tools.... but not the ones you want. You may not find anything at all that you want or can use.

Should you just give up? No... shopping for used items takes time... and a whole different strategy.


For one thing...  it can help to keep an ongoing list of what you need... whether that list is on paper or just in your head. I also like to pray about the items we need... 
My Garage Sale Prayer List

It also becomes important to anticipate what you may want in the near future.  For example... if your son is wearing size 10 jeans, it may be a good idea to also shop for size 12, 14, 16 jeans. If you find some... stocking up at that time can save time and money in the future.
The same is true with homeschool materials, with craft materials, tools, and more. 

If you go to a sale and find a LOT of good things at good prices.. that is the time to buy. If you wait until you NEED it, you could go to dozens of sales and not find what you are looking for.

Thrift stores and church garage sales can give you a better selection of things at one location. The price can be a little higher, but the availability can be worth it.. and these are good options for buying things used.




I have bought the globe, map, organizing items, wrought iron wall decorations, cookie jars, kitchen utensils, lamps, baskets, tools, garden items, shepherd's hooks and lots more.

I have found brand new items many times... new shoes, purses, jewelry, clothes, food, cleaning supplies and more.

Shopping at garage sales is a bit like a treasure hunt....  you never know what you will find.... and it is good to know what variety of things you can use.

If I NEEDED to get a pair of jeans for my son... and he needed them NOW...  I wouldn't bother with shopping at garage sales, I would go to a thrift store since I could be quite confident that I could find a pair I could use... on that trip, without extra shopping.
If I can be patient and shop...  I may find some nice things. If I know I would like to find something.... say a coffee table or a table and chairs or a rug, but I don't have a need for an exact thing... I can watch for what appeals to me and fits my budget.... and I can bypass what doesn't.

By the way there are many many garage sales that I go to and do not buy anything.
The table was a blessing and had chairs. I bought another table that had benches at another sale. I kept this table (it has 2 self-storing leaves, which I like) and sold the chairs. I kept the benches and sold the other table.... so my table and bench "set" had a lower price for me...and we enjoy using it. :)  

We like having benches because more people can be seated in at the table than with chairs... and with a big family, this works. We have saved 2 chairs... for our parents when they visit. :) 
This table was part of a set... 2 of these tables and a huge round matching coffee table, since it really was too big for our home. We used the set for a while... and liked it, but eventually we sold the coffee table. I think I paid about $45 for the whole set... and I sold the coffee table alone for that much or more.... so these two tables became free for me. :)

If I was determined to get what I want, when I want it, I would have missed such a deal. Waiting can really help. These kinds of exceptional deals are not the norm, but they CAN happen.... with diligence.

China and dishes are quite plentiful at garage sales and thrift stores. I have added to sets or bought sets and sold others.... keeping what I like the best.


I like cabinets and I found this one on Craigslist... it was one of 4.... the price was $80 for all of them. I liked them all, but one of them was old and had a musty smell that bothered my allergies, so I didn't want to even paint it.  I sold it for $45.00, I think.... which made the cost for the other 3 only about $11.67 each. WOW! 

 It isn't possible to go to find that when you want it though... this is something that only happens rarely. I have gone to a LOT of garage sales in order to get some of these GREAT deals.

I have had people say they wanted to go to garage sales with me... some want to learn how to do it... others think I "magically" find great deals wherever I go.


I have gone to many garage sales over the years... we would go quickly... quickly out of the van... in to the sale... quick evaluation... Are the prices good? I check a few things... if not, we leave... if they are good, I look... if they are REALLY good, I linger and look very thoroughly. 

Many times I would go to 10-20 garage sales on a Saturday morning. My record is that I one day went to 40 garage sales in 3 hours!!!!! I've never broken that record.

When my kids were little, my "needs" list was quite long... baby clothes, baby blankets, toys, games, hats, jeans, school stuff, .. and the list was quite general, so I could find lots that would work. 

I don't need as much now... we have most of what we need... I don't go to as many sales now... and I am much more selective. Maybe I need a specific type of lamp for a desk, so I wait for it...
Everything in the pictures on this post, except for the first picture of the garage sale... has been purchased used in some way.... mostly at garage sales. 

The rocker and ottoman above were bought for $50 at a garage sale when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant... and miserable. That rocker has been used with all of my kids. I want to sell it and get something else... it has been used in our home for about 18 years... but my kids want me to keep it... they all remember being rocked in it. :)

So, to summarize.. I wanted to show that buying used doesn't mean buying trash.... you can find very nice things at garage sales.... and if you have never bought things used, I hope you will re-consider, since it can really help the budget. 


Thank you for visiting today. :)





SAVING MONEY Series:

The NUMBER ONE Way I Save Money! 

Saving Money-Part 2-Grocery Shopping 

Saving Money-Part 3-Buying Used
 

Shared on:

Dishing It and Digging It
Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make
Scraptastic Saturdays
Simple Saturdays
Family Friday Link Party
Vintage Charm
Share Your Cup
Paula's No Rules Weekend Party
Home and Garden Thursday
The Homemaking Party
Wise Woman Link Up
Friends Sharing Tea
Homestead Blog Hop
Penny Pinching Party
Wow Us Wednesday
Tuesdays w/ a Twist
Tuesday Talk
Project Inspire(d)
Modest Mom Monday
Art of Homemaking Monday
Vintage Charm Party


Featured on:

Simple Saturdays 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Are There Any Uses For Columbine?





Columbine flowers are quite unique... and pretty.  Every year I enjoy their appearance in mid spring. The colors are beautiful amid all of the greens that are growing by this time.



 They are actually rather odd looking also.... and delicate. A contrast, of sorts. 

I have noticed that it seems I am getting some I haven't seen before.... and I didn't plant them.  I do enjoy them, though... and after a bit of research, I found that they are good at self-seeding and if they self-seed, many times they will combine with others nearby and make natural hybrids. This can be prevented, if desired, by deadheading the flowers.


I don't plan to do that.... as I like the surprise of wondering what the flowers will look like. :)  

Some of them, I have every year... others vary.... and I like all of them. 

They are a woodland plant when they grow wild... I guess that fits in parts of my yard since we have a lot of shade. 

 As I do with so many plants that grow in my yard, I searched to see if it has any herbal uses.

Surprisingly, I found that it does, although they are not really used anymore since it belongs to a family of plants that can be toxic.



 It has been used as an astringent... and externally as a poultice to treat ulcer and skin conditions. 

The flowers have been used as a tea.

 The seed has been used to rub in the hair to get rid of lice.  The flowers have been used in salads. 

The crushed seed also has a pleasant smell and has been used as a perfume. 

Very interesting information.... but again and again I found that it is not used much today because of concerns of the toxicity, so I am not at all recommending it... just sharing what I have learned.


As I have said before, I am not a health professional, nor am I recommending you use this plant in any medicinal way... and I have never done so. 

I am interested to learn about the plants in my yard... and if necessary, I would do much more research before I used them, but I like knowing that they do have uses... other than just being pretty.  I also love seeing continuing evidence that God has provided what we need... even through the plants that He has created.  I plan to just remember the possibilities for using this one, but I do not have plans to actually use it... at least not this year. Maybe another year... and after more research, I will... but for now, I sure enjoy their beauty in my yard. :)



Shared on:



Foodie Friday and Everything Else
Charm of Home
Green Thumb Thursday
Paula's No Rules Weekend Party
Homeacre Hop
Create It Thursday
Thriving On Thursday
Wise Woman
Homestead Blog Hop
So Much At Home
Wordless Wednesday
Wake Up Wednesday
Tell It To Me Tuesday
Maple Hill Hop
Tuesday Garden Party
Roses of Inspiration
Tuesday Talk
Image-in-ing
Monday Macro Mixer
Good Morning Monday
What'd You Do This Weekend?
The Art of Homemaking
Saturday Sparks-Pieced Pastimes
TGI Saturday
My Favorite Things Saturday
Friday's Blog Booster Party
Frugal Friday
Funtastic Friday