Thursday, March 21, 2013


I love to read. At home I have an enormous collection of books. Almost every wall has a bookshelf, yes even in the bathroom. I am one of those people who will re-read a book, more than once.

In South Dakota I haven't stopped buying books but I treated myself to the most basic model Kindle and now I am reading more downloaded books than 'real' ones. I enjoy the convenience of being able to carry it in my purse. If I am waiting for Lori who likes to shop a lot more than I do, I can find a place to sit and read.

Although I am told repeatedly that this is a very mild winter it has been cold. Some days I only go outside because Boysie needs to 'go' outside. On days like that I read more.

This week I have finished reading The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig. It is a novel set in rural eastern Montana 100 years ago, written from the view point of Paul who is thirteen years old. I enjoyed it so much that I bought a paper copy, it is a keeper.You can read the publishers blurb and the reviews via the link above.

If I had to describe this book in one word I think it would be "evocative".

It is set in the era of homesteading prairie farmers and their children who attended a one-room schoolhouse. Although the family is not dirt poor their way of life was hard enough to make me very grateful for what we have today.

I am sure the quality of schools 100 years ago was dependent (as it is for the most part today) on the quality of teaching, but I can't help feeling that children were better educated in their eight years of compulsory schooling than many are today after twelve years. Where did we go wrong? What do you think?

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Monday, March 18, 2013

On My Design Wall Today

This is "Cotton Garden" by Margaret Languedoc of the Pattern Basket. It is a UFO and I wrote about it previously here and here.

The pattern called for 30 blocks set 5 x 6 with 1-1/2" sashings between to yield a 56" x 74" quilt.This was a bit smaller than I wanted, so I planned changes, including upping the sashing width to 2".

It wasn't until after I had carefully set out all my blocks, adding an extra row of five that I realized I would then have a very long and still very skinny quilt. Ooops! Rearranged to a 6 x 6 setting my quilt will finish to at least 70" square, possibly larger depending on my border width choice.

I will finish the last three blocks today. Then I will wait for the batiks I ordered from Hancocks of Paducah to arrive so I can cut and piece the sashings and borders. See many other design walls at Patchwork Times

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Take Care of the Pennies

Lori introduced me to the wonders of Clorox Kitchen spray last year. I love the stuff, it works miracles on stained tea cups, sanitizes surfaces and kitchen tools (I eat a lot of chicken) and is easy and convenient to use.

Unfortunately it is a bit expensive and I go through quite a lot. I have bought generic brands which seem to work just as well, but they are not exactly cheap either!

I was looking at yet another empty bottle and saw the ingredients. Basically water, chlorine bleach and a surfectant. Those ingredients are cheap.

Here is my recipe for home made bleach kitchen spray. It makes enough for one recycled 32oz spray bottle:
4 tablespoons bleach
1 tablespoon of liquid soap
Fill with cold water (hot water decreases efficiency of bleach) and use.

Caution! be sure your liquid soap is just soap. Adding anything containing ammonia to a chlorine product can produce harmful chlorine gas.

Approximate cost is about 6c a bottle based on $1.49 per gallon for bleach. Now that is some serious saving!

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

No, You Will Not Sew

I had planned . . .

. . . but Bella had other plans.

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