Monday, November 30, 2015

Does Santa Need Beard Oil?

If you are looking for a fun gift for a bearded loved one, please check out 

I'm not sure how long my husband will be running his Free Smells promotion, as he is doing some serious advertising in December and might get swamped with requests for samples.  If you are interested, please order soon.

How long is his beard these days?  About this long:

He has been growing it since September of 2014.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Weekly Round Up


.... I got my hair cut and permed.  A little too corkscrew (not at all what I asked for), but I rather like it.



.... Arwen came to play at the House of Endless Fun

We aren't that big on being conventional.  This was our Thanksgiving dinner for just the two of us.

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Stay warm and count your blessings!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Garden Totals

I just did bunches of math....

Total pounds last year = 138
(The relevant blog post from last year said 147, but I added them up again and got 138.)
Total pounds this year - 142

That looks really good, but totals were down in almost every category except cucumbers and beans.  (We forgot to log leeks, which was too bad, as we actually got some this year after completely disregarding the directions on that package and popping seeds into the ground months after they were supposed to be started indoors.)  I was particularly bummed about the tomatoes, which were 86 pounds from six plants instead of the 102.94 pounds last year from 5 plants. But the tomatoes did not go as planned all summer--our transplants were snipped off by birds (we think), and so we bought tomato plants from the garden center in June, plus we had way too much rain.... not ideal.

We added quite a few new beds, but more than half of them were planted in flowers.

We also spent quite a bit this year: $369.29, instead of last year's $192.24. However, I don't think that number is quite accurate.  There were entries in the log like this one: "Menards-? $38.56."  Somehow I doubt that all of that $38.56 went toward the garden but since we didn't keep track carefully enough....

Our cost per pound for garden produce was $2.59.  Granted, it is organic and local, but still, that seems high.  Belovedest did a better some of using stuff while it was fresh, and the grocery bill did dip a little, although it varies so much anyway that it is hard to tell.

We did do some "capital improvement" --i.e. stuff that only has to be done once--like the tomatoes cages.  Next year we hope to build a new garden shed, so if that gets factored in we are going to have very expensive tomatoes!

We did do much better with spices this year, though.  We had at least 12 baby food jars filled with ground oregano, thyme, and basil, as well as freezing some basil.  I'm planning to use many of those as gifts for Christmas this year.

Next year:

  • Harden off tomatoes more carefully and wait to plant them until the seedlings are bigger.  Protect from birds.
  • Try Bolero carrots for fall growing and long-term storage
  • Let carrots grow longer!
  • Skip planting lettuce when it is hot.
  • Find a different cultivar of yellow wax beans.  These were too stringy.
  • Grow some beans specifically for drying.
It's definitely a learning experience.  I am hoping that when I am home and freelancing full-time that will coincide with our having mastered our learning curve and then we can really be productive.  

It was fun and healthy, too, which I shouldn't forget amid all my penny pinching!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Keep Tugging!

I’ll bet you’ve never…
…. Accidentally glued a bowl in your sink.

(It’s the craft room sink. I figure in the long run I’d rather replace the sink than futilely attempt to keep it from getting paint-splattered.)

I had rinsed out the bowl, which I use to mix glue and water for decoupage, etc.) and placed it upside down in the sink to dry.  Happily, some hot water and judicious tugging freed it eventually, but I had a few anxious moments when I was imaging having the bowl stuck there for the long haul, until I broke it.  Glad I didn't have to do that!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Let Us Eat Cake!

I had a ton of fun with Susie decorating cakes for a Cake Walk at the parish fall festival.

This was her idea of how to prop up a sagging cake—add a flat chocolate marshmallow and cover the whole thing up with copious quantities of frosting.  Later we had a good laugh when we realized that we add all kinds of cake on the counter that she had trimmed away to flatten poofy cakes.  We didn’t have to use something that eaters were going to wonder what in the world it was!

 Here's me getting sprinkles all over the counter.  The yellow frosting was added after all the other frosting had dried, so I thought, "Cool!  The sprinkles will just still to the yellow frosting!"  It didn't even occur to me that flinging sprinkles randomly at the cake would make a mess.  Susie teaches grade school, so she knew just what kind of mess I was going to make.  :)

Thanks, Susie, for having me over to play!


Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I… keep remembering a simple idea my friend Darcy once told me – that all the sorrow and trouble of the world is caused by unhappy people.  Not only in the big, global Hitler ‘n’ Stalin picture, but also on the smallest personal level.

So true!  My first thought is that sour and nasty co-worker.  You know, the petty one who takes smug satisfaction in snide comments and anything else that makes others uncomfortable.  She's unhappy.  

But there's not much I can do about her, other than try to treat her with compassion.

My big goal is not to be that unhappy person or not to let my unhappiness spill over onto other people.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Craft Fair Update

I made $23.50 for basically a day of crafting.  I had to throw together a bunch of gift bags in order to have something for my table.

Mr. Beard Oil, on the other hand, had his best fair day ever--18 bottles in less than 8 hours.  Not sure how he did that!

The alcohol inks are more fun than gift bags, and I think they will sell much better, if I can just find a sealant that I am happy with.

The testing continues….

Here I'm leaving wine glasses on the tiles all night.  The tray is so I can easily move them out of the way, and the paper towel is to see if there is any bleeding of the ink.
Here's me testing with hot tea.  I really hope I can find a good sealant!