"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, May 17, 2012

HOME MADE STUFF

Have for a long time been wanting to quit buying cleaning products which I know are over priced and full of junk we don't need in our environment.

Since I've run out of dishwasher powder, I've researched a bit and am going to make some home made to try.  The recipe is:

1/4 tsp Dawn liquid
1/2 tsp baking soda

Dissolve in 1/2 cup of warm water and pour into dishwasher cups.  I'll report back on the results.  Never fill the cup with dishwashing liquid---my sister and I did that once and shoveled bubbles for a day.


Another recipe I'll be trying soon is for home made laundry detergent which I know works very well, as I know people who swear by it as the best.  I believe the recipe comes from Michelle Duggar of 19 kids and counting, and I suppose that woman knows laundry better than any of us!

Home Made Liquid Laundry Soap (Front or top load machines)

Ingredients:  4 Cups hot tap water, 1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap, 1 Cup of Arm and Hammer Super Washing soda, 1/2 cup Borax (although I hate WalMart with a passion, that's where you can find all of these items in once place)

Directions.  Grate the bar of soap and put into a saucepan with the water.  Stir constantly over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

Fill a five gallon bucket 1/2 full of hot tap water.  Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax.  Stir well until all powder is dissolved.  Fill bucket to top with more hot water.  Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap bottle half full with the soap and then fill rest of the way with water.

Shake before each used, as it will gel.

--You can add 10-15 drops of essential oils per 2 gallons.  Add once the soap has cooled.  Ideas:  lavender, rosemary, tea tree aoil.

--Yield:  10 gallons---so have a lot of empty laundry jugs on hand!

--Top Load Machine--5/8 cup per load (about 180 loads)

--Front Load Machine--1/4 cup per load (about 640 loads)


I'm going to make a great big attempt to live greener and more simply and cheaply.  I do believe you can keep a home clean and sparkling by keeping the following items on hand:  borax, baking soda, vinegar, tea tree oil (kills bacteria), bleach and ammonia (don't mix them together!)..... plus elbow grease and cotton rags made from old tee shirts.





Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A GRADUATION

Last week we celebrated a very special day, as Paul graduated from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a degree in Kinesiology.   We went out to Amherst for a few days and had lots of fun and visiting and were glowing with pride the entire time.  






What a dear son he is and always will be.  



























And, here they are, the two dear ones.  






















Here's the whole happy family.  David and I could not possibly be prouder.  

















While in Amherst, Paul and his girlfriend JoJo cooked us a dinner on the fire at Paul's house.  It was fun and delicious.  











One of the very special guests at the dinner..... one of the 5 laying hens wandering the land where Paul and his house mates live, in the country.  I was hoping someone would hand me a basket of freshly laid eggs on the way out, but that didn't happen.  








On April 22 we had gone to Amherst to attend the school of Kinesiology's Senior Recognition night.  It was very special, as we learned a bit more about Paul's major, got to meet a few of his professors, and saw him walk the stage (with honors.... I had to brag about that).  


WE ARE PROUD, SO VERY PROUD OF THIS WONDERFUL YOUNG MAN.  
THE YEARS HAVE FLOWN BY TOO FAST, 
BUT THERE ARE MANY YEARS AND ADVENTURES YET TO COME
AND I PLAN TO ENJOY EVERY ONE OF THOSE, AS I HAVE ENJOYED ALL 
THAT HAVE GONE BY.... TOO FAST.  
  

A BIRTHDAY









Today is Anna's 22nd birthday.  As I say every birthday, every year, WHAT?  22?  Yes, 22.  We celebrated last night, as one of her presents were tickets to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park tonight (last check, they are winning!)













One of the presents she requested is this dear phrase stenciled onto a canvas by one of those clever Etsy artists.   I was so touched that she wanted this, as it is from a book we read to the children from a very young age.

The first time I heard the book was when Paul was in pre school and his teacher, Miss Diane, read it to the parents and students on a special day.  There was not a dry eye in the house.

Below, I've cut and pasted the text of the book, in case you aren't familiar with it.  Get out your tissues and hug your children, regardless of their ages.

The book is originally written for a boy, but since this page is for Anna's birthday, I've changed it up a bit.


by Robert Munsch

A mother held her new baby and very slowly rocked her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she held her, she sang:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be. 
The baby grew. She grew and she grew and she grew. She grew until he was two years old, and she ran all around the house. She pulled all the books off the shelves. She pulled all the food out of the refrigerator and she took her mother's watch and flushed it down the toilet. Sometimes her mother would say, "this kid is driving me CRAZY!"
But at night time, when that two-year-old was quiet, she opened the door to her room, crawled across the floor, looked up over the side of her bed; and if she was really asleep she picked her up and rocked her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. While she rocked her she sang:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.
The little girl grew. She grew and she grew and she grew. She grew until she was nine years old. And she never wanted to come in for dinner, she never wanted to take a bath, and when grandma visited she always said bad words. Sometimes her mother wanted to sell her to the zoo!
But at night time, when she was asleep, the mother quietly opened the door to her room, crawled across the floor and looked up over the side of the bed. If she was really asleep, she picked up that nine-year-old girl and rocked her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she rocked her she sang:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.
The girl grew. She grew and she grew and she grew. She grew until she was a teenager. She had strange friends and he wore strange clothes and she listened to strange music. Sometimes the mother felt like she was in a zoo! 
But at night time, when that teenager was asleep, the mother opened the door to her room, crawled across the floor and looked up over the side of the bed. If she was really asleep she picked up that great big girl and rocked her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. While she rocked her she sang:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.
That teenager grew. She grew and she grew and she grew. She grew until he was a grown-up woman.  She left home and got a house across town. But sometimes on dark nights the mother got into her car and drove across town.  If all the lights in her daughter's house were out, she opened her bedroom window, crawled across the floor, and looked up over the side of her bed. If that great big girl was really asleep she picked her up and rocked her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she rocked her she sang:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.
Well, that mother, she got older. She got older and older and older. One day she called up her daughter and said, "You'd better come see me because I'm very old and sick." So her daughter came to see her. When she came in the door she tried to sing the song. She sang:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always...
But she couldn't finish because she was too old and sick. The daughter went to her mother. She picked her up and rocked her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And she sang this song:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my Mommy you'll be.
When the daughter went home that night, she stood for a long time at the top of the stairs. Then she went into the room where her very new baby daughter was sleeping. She picked her up in her arms and very slowly rocked her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she rocked her she sang:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

DESIGN WALL DEBACLE

I have abandoned the luxury of having a really NICE really LARGE design wall.

Here's why:

This is the ungrateful kitten named Poppy.  We flew her from California to our home in Massachusetts, in order to save her life, and this is the thanks we get.
She has absolutely destroyed my wall and now I need to get it out of the sewing room, as the large staples which WERE holding the fabric onto the wall are popping and they are dangerous.
She is so stinking smug.

I think I'll give her to my sister Christine, whose blog is catsonmyquilts.blogspot.com and if you go visit her, you'll see a picture of her cat Penny peacefully enjoying a nap on a quilt.  Christine is really "cat on my quilts" now, since her second cat Oscar died a couple of years back.  I think she needs to be "cats on my quilts" again, so next time she visits, I'm sneaking this black and white one into her bag.

Perhaps I should throw in this one too:
although I'm not sure my sister will accept a cat whose tail has been cut off by a rotary cutter, which is exactly what's going to happen if she (Reesie) continues to help me while at my cutting table.

This critter, I will keep.  She knows how to behave herself in the sewing room:

I have a bed in my sewing room, just in case I need an emergency nap in the middle of a project.  Misty makes good use of that bed, watching me sew the morning away.  The fourth critter, Cassy, couldn't be bothered with hanging out in the sewing room, there's just not enough excitement in there for her.