Monday, December 28, 2009

In With the Old, Out with the New

Well, my title has more to do with vintage stuff, than a time of year. But, this being the New Year coming up, I've been rushing this week to beat the new year. My tree's came down a couple days ago, and all the Christmas ornaments are put away. I think for another month of so, I'll leave my husband's lead skater figures out for a winter scene. In a month, I except spring to be here haha! I actually mowed the lawn on Monday! It was cold out, but I really did it just to suck the last of the leaves up in the bagger. I hate raking that huge maple tree up!

Beating the New Year for me also means getting my house organized a bit. Get a grip on things that have become out of order. My sewing/crafting room for instance. Here it is after midnight and I just finished doing some major cleaning in here. It doesn't look as good as it should yet, b/c I have boxes of stuff still set out to take pictures of and get on Etsy. But I do have a goal, and it will happen!

This holiday season has been very busy for me with baking bread. I'm really glad to be taking a break from it. It's giving me a chance to get these things caught up before we get back to homeschooling next week. I went out today and checked my greenhouse. Ooops, I lost a great big indoor houseplant I had left out there to repot. We'll see if it can revive itself soon. I've got a list of my seeds I want to order from an organic seed company this year and am anxious to get that all going, so I can be outside. Where it's bright. And warm. (As long as I'm in the greenhouse!)

You know how magazines often come a couple weeks before the month they are actually for? Every year when it's Christmas, I get the January Martha Stewart 2 weeks before Christmas. I told my daughter I was leaving it in it's wrapper until the day after Christmas. I always do. Before Christmas gets here, I don't want anyone or anything hurrying me through it. It comes fast enough as it is. But when you get the Martha magazine, it's usually all about cleaning, organizing, setting goals.....and I just can't face it until Christmas is over. Being silly, she went ahead and opened it early. OK, I finally read it. It wasn't as full of the cleaning and organizing as it usually is, so I was glad to see I was ahead of the game of cleaning and organizing lol.
I've got a lot of stuff to get put in my Etsy shop. I'm working on parting with some Valentines, too. I have a pretty big bunch of them. I have one box of vintage cards that I may have mentioned before; I got them from a trip we took to the Wallowa's, from Karla, at Jingle Bob Vintitques. Actually Randy bought me two boxes, and one was full of cards done by the same artist, many of them are her prototypes. I put a couple of the cards I got from Karla on my blog. I'll have to get out the rosy cheeked ones and share some with you. I'm a sucker for Valentines. I like them the way I like the Napco Christmas figurines, only they're easier to come by. I have a lot of Victorian styled ones, but my favorites?? Yep, the 50's or 60's! They have those cute little round rosy-cheeked faces. They remind me of the days when I was in school. We'd make big envelopes all decorated and when we had our Valentine's party (my mom always gave the party, because she was ALWAYS my class's "Room Mother") they'd be taped to the front of our desks and we'd put them in all the kids envelopes. I just thought that was the best! To bring them home and read them and somehow believe that the cute boy really meant what his card said. And what do you do with the ones that came from the boy that you absolutely DIDN'T have a crush on, but you feared he also meant every word on his card? Yuck! In my family, you sure didn't have the other family members get ahold of those "love letters", because at dinner time, I never heard the end of the teasing. My dad would tease me until I'd be crying. So, they were private treasures that you would keep, until your mother said it was time to throw them out. I sure wish she would have let me keep them now, though!

My husband is my Valentine now. He is actually more romantic than I am over cards. He IS very serious about what the card says, and he always adds something sweet to it. Cards are a really BIG deal to him! Which is why I was embarrassed when I was trying to write a sweet thought on his Christmas card, messed up, it sounded so stupid, so I scratched it out and started over. He of course asked, "What did you scratch out?" He's into details.

I had a convo today from a lady telling me that my green thermos in my Etsy shop made it to a Treasury! That's always fun, and a great way to end on year and start another!

I hope this year is a great one with many blessings!! I do wish we could take May through October and SSSSTTTTRRRREEETTTCCCHHH it out a bit, that would be my wish. Then again, there are things I've prayed for and am so glad God didn't give me! Have a safe and Happy New Year's celebration!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Officially Retired...For the Whole Rest of the Year haha

How Christmas got here so quickly, I sure don't know, but here it is, the eve of Christmas Eve. It's been a really busy season for me, I've haven't counted lately how many loaves of Finnish cardamom bread I've baked this Christmas season, but I know it's at least a few hundred. My hands show it, too! Between the cold spell we had here in the northwest a couple weeks ago, and the bread, my hands are in dire need of a manicure, and it doesn't look like I'm getting one tomorrow. I do have a great mixer, so I didn't actually knead the bread, but the braiding is enough. I'm very thankful for all my wonderful bread customers, too. It's so odd to think of how many places people tell me my bread goes. Yesterday, I had my last orders to fill, got them delivered, and breathed a sigh of relief, I got it done, and now, I'm officially retired, at least to the end of the year lol. Seriously, I really don't do this for a "real" job, and now things should definitely slow down.
Well, now I get to relax and enjoy the holiday with my family. I've actually been doing that all along, celebrating Christmas in all kind sof ways. Even though the time has flown, there have been some sweet times I've cherished this season. The other day, I was at the store, it was busy, people everywhere, and you know the thing, bumping into carts, etc. An elderly lady and I kinda collided going around a corner from different directions; we looked at each other and started laughing. It was as if we both were thinking the same thing, life is hectic all around us, people rushing, in a hurry, but we had time to laugh and appreciate a moment. We said a few words to each other, then started to part, and she said, "Honey, you have a real nice day!" I thrive on times like that, just the moment, you know? We have a little tiny church that we have a Bible study in on Wednesdays. Most of us have other churches we go to, but this little fellowship is special to our family. We have a lady there who is, I don't know how you'd describe her exactly, kinda needy. She is about my age, but had a sickness as a child that makes it hard for her to make some decisions, at least that's what she told me. How do we measure where we are in our lives, how competent we are?? Anyway, this lady has kind of adopted our family, she's really a sweet heart. She gave us a Christmas card that was so eloquent, so enduring really. It was just another one of the many ways that people have touched me this season with just a thankfulness, an appreciation for something so simple as a good word fitly spoken. My boys have been excitely making plans for the shopping they have in mind for me. I know that the potholders I told them I needed probably won't be the ones I would have picked, but, how long does a potholder last? I'll have them for probably many years, they won't match my kitchen, but what's a mother to do? I'm going to love them lol! No, I haven't snooped, I just gave them some inexpensive ideas of things they could get me when they've asked. So their dad's taking them shopping tomorrow, and I'll be surprised.
I really hope that you have a wonderful Christmas, wherever you will be. I'm amazed every time I celebrate Christmas, of what God has done for us, sending His own Son as a child-King, destined to suffer for His love of mankind, in order to give us a place in His Kingdom! What a gift!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

So, do you know what it is?

I got this a couple weeks ago at a thrift store, just had to have it. Don't you think it's kinda neat? I didn't even know what it is at the time. What did you think when you first saw it? I knew it was some kind of filing thing, obviously. I don't really yet know what I'm going to use it for. My craft room is such a mess, I almost don't think I deserve to put it in there. Luckily, I don't think I have that many bills to put in those sections, plus it would be a terrible reminder of bills if I were to put them in something so cute. Maybe Christmas cards for the holidays?? Hmm, lots of possibilities.

Just thought I'd share it with you while I'm waiting for my 40 loaves of bread to rise. I still have the cakes and bars to go, BUT, it'll get done. The other picture is of the cute pumpkin that is going to go into jars in the VERY near future! I'm wondering if you can save the seeds or if it's a hybrid seed that will just not grow that same pumpkin.
Later I'll show you what else I've been working on, thanks to my creative and generous friend Natalie for showing me how to do this! I'll leave that for later. I have a sale tomorrow at the Canterbury in Longview tomorrow I'm getting geared up for. Last week I did the Monticello Hotel's Toy Soldier and did really well, and it's nice to see people are still eating! Guess I'd better get back to the breads and cakes!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tears in my Eyes

I'm a sucker for a tear-jerker movie! I've gotten a little "tougher" over the years, funny because my husband, at 54, is getting more and more emotional as he gets older. At least he shows it more! So, you get a tear-jerker and both of us together, well...
I was born in 1959, so, really the 60s for me, were the times when I was riding my trike, holding a piece of straw between my fingers, pretending it was a cigarette, and making a clicking sound that meant I was in my car with my turn signal on. When I look at magazines and movies from the 60s, they really seemed to make that look like a cool thing to do. My own boring parents didn't smoke (my dad had, but quit b/f I ever remembered it), only had 2 beers at one time at the most. When my friends had exciting lives, going to different parents houses b/c their's were divorced, I had just one home, poor me lol. They got 2 Christmases, too!
My dad owned his own business, so, when my best friend would tell me she was getting a pair of shoes on "payday", I could never figure out what she was talking about. I got shoes when I needed them. My mom was very good at setting aside for needs, so I never noticed a need not taken care of in our home. I thought we were rich, but my sister remembers it a lot differently. While I loved hand-me-downs, and thought we got them b/c people were just really nice and we really liked them (true, right?), my sister was embarrassed and hated it. I just could never wait to see what came out of those bags!
OK, I'm getting to the tears! So, I was going through my growing up years in the 70s. I graduated from high school in 77. Let me back up a few months, I got married when I was 17. Not because I "had" to, but....well, for some reason, that's how I started out my adult years. Married at 17. It wasn't a good time after that, except that I got 2 gorgeous kids, all by the time I was 19! I found myself having lived a LOT of years in the space of just a few years. And not a lot of good memories. BUT, the important things, I got my kids! AND, I began seeing my need for God in my life.
I don't know how many Christians might read my blog, but if you are one and were growing up in the 70s, you probably remember the "Keith Green Days". That was an amazing time for me. It was a time, when a lot of contemporary Christian music came from people who had grown up in the 60s, had experienced the drug culture of that time, and came out of it, and found themselves part of the "Jesus Movement". So, by the time I started giving God some thought, because of His persuit of my life, I gave my life to Him. And it turned out to be the sweetest time of my life in many ways. I had some awful things going on all during this time, but I saw so many miracles that God brought me through, so much heartache, and he held me up the whole time. He's done it many times since, but this was my first "true" love! So, I look back at those days, and when I hear the music of that time in my life, it still has a huge impact on me.
I've since re-married, actually by the time I was 25. I've been married almost 25 years, have had my share of trials in life, but consider myself so extremely blessed. So, that brings me to the tears. Tonight, my husband put on the "First Love" video. It is a documentary that has a lot of those singers and songwriters from the Jesus Movement, all brought together for a reunion, several years ago now. They talk about their lives back then, and they are in many ways, such a mirror to my own life. Every time I watch the movie, I cry, my husband gets teary, it's just like looking back into a memory scrapbook of those days. All those emotions come back, and..well, it's poignant. It reminds me of the Keith Green days, before he died in a plane crash, of his ministry, of the fresh new love that many people came to know in those days. His impact on my life, like a lot of people, still lives on.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Baking Season Begins

I know I'm not the only one who thinks the days are flying by, but still, I have a hard time believing that we're in the holiday season already! This time of year, I get really busy baking and selling my wares at a few local bazaars. This year, my first one starts on Saturday, Nov. 7th. It's the Toy Soldier, at the Monticello in Longview. I promised a few people I would post where my Finnish Cardamom bread will be, and gosh, it's getting pretty late already!
I had my kitchen licensed many years ago, in order to sell at Farmer's Market, but then, somehow I only sold there once. The license isn't as necessary in Oregon if you're only doing bazaars, but it sure is nice to be able to sell on the Washington side of the River, too!
After this sale, there is another the next week at the Canterbury in Longview, on the 13th (Friday), and one more in Longview, at 3 Rivers Christian School on the 8th of December. I'm tired already!
I haven't had a lot of time to post, or to read my favorite blogs lately, so I think I'll go get caught up with what everyone else is doing!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Getting into the swing of Fall

After getting back to school (homeschool, that is) we've had adjustments to schedules, frustrations and small triumphs, long days, short days, you name it. It didn't help that I'm still waiting on a few teacher's manuals so that I had to do it the hard way and work out each problem on my own. Good exercise for MY brain, too lol.
I've spent time thinking how I can keep ahead of things I need for me. I find that the older I get, (turned 50 this year!) the more I need light in my life. Yes, the Lord is my first Light. And I need sunshine. I really had a hard time thinking fall was coming and the days were shortening again. The thing I try to remember is spring will be right around the corner, trying to be optimistic, you know. I find that I need brighter light in my home. I plan to be in my greenhouse more this season and in the winter. I think if I get outside every chance I get, enjoy planting stuff in my greenhouse, and keeping the brighter bulbs in the fixtures, I'll do well.
It's time, too, to work on those projects I've collected in my head all summer. Although it was hard letting summer go, I was reflecting on all those bright orange and gold leaves everywhere here in the Pacific NW. I'm thinking that the reason they're so bright is that they're full of summer! Just a little different!
So, projects, here I come. And baking! The holidays are my busiest baking time. I'm all signed up to do a few bazaars in the Longview area. Kristin and I really, really wanted to do the Vintage Winter show at the Church again this year, but just ran out of time. Maybe next year. For now, I'll be at the Toy Soldier, the Canterbury, and the 3 Rivers Christian School holiday sales. So, nothing boring about the winter coming!

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm a proud Mom...

I'm a bit chatty, yes, I know this. I wrote a ton of sentences in school; never could figure out how the teachers thought practicing penmanship was going to have an effect on my ability to hold my attention steadily on something, but I tried. Trouble was, something would pop into my head and my best friend sitting behind me would know in about 10 seconds what had popped into my head. I secretly thought the teacher had set me up, always putting me in FRONT of my friend. I was always the one in trouble. I see this with at least one of my grandchildren too, this inability to not flit around in my head. Attention deficit? Oh, I don't know, maybe just an active imagination, and I think we need that in our world, instead of the drug to make us slow down and get sleepy.
Anyway, I digress...again. My eldest daughter is a sweet kid, if you call a 30 year old daughter a kid. She is mom to 3 or my 4 grandkids, is a great wife to my super son-in-law, and most importantly, I'm proud of her walk with the Lord.
She and I are actually good friends! We get into discussions on deep subjects like cooking, canning, home stuff, home schooling, raising kids, crafts, sewing, gardening....we actually have a LOT in common.
I was just going through my blogs I follow and noticed that she has finally been posting blogs! I was amazed at how much alike we actually are ! Our thoughts are pretty similar on subjects, and I have to say, it is soooooo nice to be friends with your kids. Just thought it was time to take that plastic accordian folded thing out of my purse that women are known to use to brag with, and give you a glimpse of my beautiful daughter!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Gathering a Harvest of Vintage Stuff

Gosh, it's been awhile since I went through a lot of my stash of stuff I've hoarded! You forget you have things and it's like Christmas getting into it again. I'm getting ready for the Uncovered Ruby Outdoor Gala! I can't wait for the weekend, but I'm also trying to get my stuff together. I have it in too many places I think. If I have enough space in the car (hoping I can borrow my dad's trailer), I want to bring my bike...and my old sewing machine...., the old metal chairs I was going to make planters out of but never got to it...well you get the idea. I can't wait to see what everyone else brings!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Friends at Vintage Gathering

I made Kristin pose, telling her she looked like a pin-up girl, lol.

Chantel even came with us this time, although she would probably rather ride her horse or something else.

Isn't Kristin's car cool?
What a wonderful weekend I had with my daughters taking part in the Vintage Gatherings flea market in Battleground! We baked a lot of stuff ( raspberry and marionberry coffee cakes, the Finnish Cardamom Bread, caramel corn, strawberry and apricot bars, and Swiss Bratzeli cookies) and took it up, didn't take much vintage stuff this time, but next time, we definitely will!
Lisa, at Uncovered Ruby was great with getting us involved; gosh, she even set up our tent, b/c there was no way I'd get there on Friday to set up due to the fact that I bake to the last minute. Thanks for all your help Lisa, and we DEFINITELY want to spend some time getting to know you better!
I took a lot of photos, and there was so much cool stuff, I could hardly take a bad picture, though I'm pretty good at that! Forgive my jumbled photos, they won't be in order with what I'm blogging about probably. I need to spend some serious time figuring out blogspot and how I can work with the photos better. It drives me crazy trying to move pictures around on my blog.
I loved everything about this show, but there are a few things that stand out BIG!!!
1) I met some really nice people! The vendors were all so friendly, I don't know if I've ever done something like this with a group where EVERYONE went out of their way to welcome us and be so friendly. Laid back, too! I liked that. Here we are on a gorgeous farm setting, everyone's having a good time, tons of stuff going home with customers, it was just great. I finally got to meet my blogging friend, Florence, too. And Monica, it was great to see her again. She's a loyal cardamom bread addict lol.
2)Like I said, it was a friendly group, and Kathy is a very hospitable hostess! I kinda wanted to sneak and take some pictures of what I could see of her home as I went in to use her restroom and get a cup of coffee in the kitchen. It smelled so good in her house, too, with candles everywhere! Her covered porch was a place we made good use off, in shifts (my daughters and I) I wondered at first where Kristin had gone for the longest time....she was taking a nap on her porch! Well, I had my turn later in the afternoon. I had gotten 2 1/2 hours of sleep, due to the stupid computer/printer/program problems I was having for my labels the night before. Kathy also had a huge, I mean HUGE apple tree that I spent a lot of glances looking up at, thinking YUM! Huge, gorgeous apples! Anyway, thanks Kathy for your hospitality!
3) Something I have spent days soaking in, pondering on, taking in......
There was a mom, probably in her 30s I'd say, with a little girl, probably under 10, shopping with her father and mother. There was just something about them that touched me. They were at our tent, looking at my Finnish Cardamom bread, and they were mentioning Challah bread, kinda comparing recipes, what type of bread Challah was. Being inquisitive, I asked if they were Jewish. The mom said she was, I asked if there was a synagogue near here that she went to, and she said, actually, my husband is Jewish, and they were Messianic Jews. Well, that started a great conversation in itself. but the thing that totally kind of mesmerized me (I know, I'm always spacing like this) was how they were as a family, as people. There was just this peace I felt. The father was just so friendly, and so encouraging. After they left, I kept watching them, feeling just "blessed" somehow. In a little while, I saw the little girl packing out this hamper that was almost as big as she was, the mom was laughing, telling her dad "she got a hamper!", the grandpa and grandma were smiling, kinda touching her with affirmation without actually touching her, saying, "you got yourself a hamper". You would have thought she got a doll, or a bike, but no, it was a hamper. They just had this thankfulness about them.
As they were walking away, I told Kristin I was going to go after them and ask them to adopt me. Somehow, they had blessed me. I'm not sure if they knew they had, but I had this sense that God had done this, given me this euphoric, peaceful, content feeling, to just enjoy. I have not gotten over it yet, and I hope I don't for a long time!
Here's that little girl's hamper.

I kept seeing Michelle, we'd visit, very nice person!

We were close to Lisa and Sally (Uncovered Ruby), had a lot of fun watching stuff fly out of their booth. Even more fun watching people trying to fit their finds into their car! By the way, they are having their show on October 3rd in Battleground, so put it on your calendar. We're going to be there, too!