Friday, August 29, 2008

my laundry quirks

It started out cloudy today with more rain on the way and folks, I'm home! So you know what that means, don't you? I get to spend the day being a homemaker! And how do I define being a homemaker? Playing, fluffing, nesting, shopping, organizing, rearranging, eliminating, thrifting and the usual sewing, crafting and scrapping, if I so choose. Notice I didn't mention vacuuming and dusting, which is more commonly associated with the art of homemaking. Well, my significant other has the market on those tasks. But he did lovingly encourage me to pick up the house while he was at work and being the dutiful homemaker that I am, I will oblige such a request. I mean, it's the least I can do. It is Labor Day weekend.

So, we had another huge storm last night. An electrical storm like no other! Constant strobe-light lightning with a thundering drone that went on and on throughout the whole storm. Not your usual loud cracking thunder. I have never heard such a sound where the thunder was non-stop! Rather eerie but also very exciting.

Speaking of homemaking, have I told you that I pride myself in being a Master Laundryman? I know, sounds lame. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of my laundry regime. So I thought I'd share with you some of my tips.. ok, more like quirks. You may even find they border on obsessive/eccentric.

- I wait to do laundry till I have a full black load... or a full white load... a full blue jean load... a pink, orange and red load... a dark delicate load... you get the picture.

- I do not wash clothes daily. Never have, never will. In fact, I do laundry more like every week or two, so that I can accumulate those full loads.

- I also do not mix stiff, heavy fabrics with soft, delicate fabrics. The stiff fabrics would break down the delicate fabrics and cause pilling. (small balls of fluff on the fabric) A big no-no.

- I only use the dryer for five minutes or so to take out the wrinkles. Then I hang up everything. And I use those IKEA rounded hangers that avoid giving you that pointy-shoulder look. Not fond of that look.

- items such as towels, socks and such are in the dryer till dry. A must. So they're soft & fluffy.

- I hang all my delicate unmentionables on hooks so they stay fresh and pretty. Nothing compromises a bra like a hot dryer.

- I love hanging clothes out on my clothesline. Especially my whites. Nothing whitens whites like the sun. I have never used bleach or whiteners of any kind. And my whites stay so crisp and white.

- I only use cold water in my wash... along with a short spin cycle so as to avoid misshaping the fabric.

- several years ago my sister-in-law Carol turned me on to MAGIC SIZING when ironing. And that has made ironing so much easier! And finding an extra-wide ironing board at a thrift store has made ironing go so much faster!

- I am known for being able to remove any kind of stain known to man. Seriously, it's a challenge I welcome and invariably conquer every time I am faced with the toughest of stains. The key is to work whatever you use into the stained fabric, let dry and then wash. I use a mixture of OxiClean, Dawn dish soap, and whatever detergent I am using and apply that mixture to the stain. Also, soaking the entire item in OxiCleam works like magic every time.

- lastly, when I do laundry, that is all I do. Otherwise I am apt to forget to take out a washed load, or remove a partially dry load from the dryer to hang up. Therefore I exclusively do laundry only.

So I can hear you already... "Linda and her family must have a lot of clothes to be doing laundry every two weeks!" Not really. They just last a real long time. I only buy quality brand clothes at 50 % off clearance racks or from thrift stores. I try to stay away from trendy clothes so my wardrobe can mix 'n match from year to year. Here in Phoenix we can wear some of our clothing pieces year round, which is why I am pretty passionate about keeping my clothes in tip-top shape. I can honestly say that they look as good as new because of the way I take care of them. Yes, I actually have clothes that I've worn for many, many years.

So, there you have it. I hope some of these tips inspire you to take the extra time needed in caring for your clothes. And in this economy, every little helpful hint can hopefully make your money stretch a little bit further.

I will leave you with my collection of miniature Camping Clothesline. Enlarge and take note of the cute art work and also that they're made in West Germany. These were most likely a County Fair give-away or a freebee from your local Natural Gas Company (the pink one).
How cute are these tiny, plastic, colorful clothes pins!
Hey, I found one for sale on eBay HERE!
I only paid a quarter for each of mine.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

odds 'n ends

Ain't she's a cutie! I love putting anything on a pedestal. So, that's just what I did, along with some pretty pins.

These are all IKEA containers except for the Berry Sugar Rim Trim container. The packaging was just too cool to throw away.

I am continually trying to creatively camouflage my boring sewing chair... and recently came up with this. I know, it's probably only temporary... but then again, it may stick. It's a pink vintage crinoline. I couldn't resist.

And finally, one of my favorite finds... the gravy boat or maybe it's a creamer. Anyway, I adore the design on the outside and the aqua on the inside just sealed the deal. Underneath it says Salem for 60 years ovenproof 58 U. Oh how I would love to find the other pieces to the set. And someday, I'm sure I will.

Monday, August 25, 2008

29 years of wedded bliss

My husband of 29 years is the kindest man I know... he's thoughtful, sensitive and wise... an incredible father to our three kids. His ability to communicate truth, to council and comfort the hurting is a testament of his love for Christ and others. Oh, and he is the smartest man I know... I swear he has retained everything he has ever heard. I am serious!

I met Randy 6 months after moving to Phoenix. I was two months away from moving back to WI for good. I had only wanted to come out here for a year, grow in my faith, and go back home. But then I met Randy at a Hand in Hand concert that we were both singing at. I heard his voice, singing his amazing songs and they made me cry. (believe it or not, back then I rarely ever cried)
We went to the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" on our first date. We talked for hours in the parking lot. I quickly became aware of his deep love and commitment to the Lord. I felt so safe with him. And then one night he made me laugh and that is when I knew... he's the one. I still went back to WI that summer... we wrote letters and talked on the phone... and then I returned to Phx. Aug. 28, 1978 and we were married a year later on Aug. 25, 1979.
We have lived happily ever after ever since.

Dear Randy,
I love that you love Christmas and Disneyland like no other.
I love that you gas up my van.
I love that you decorate like crazy for Halloween.
I love that you enjoy giving my blog a new look.
I love that you add extra memory on my Mac to surprise me.
I love that you like to vacuum. Cuz I don't.
I love that you fix all the cars to save money.
I love that you get up early to hike with me.
I love that you accept me just the way I am.
I love that you are honest, patient and trustworthy.
I love that you love Jesus.

*** Randy & I like to grasp our pinkies to tell each other "I love you" ***
Thanks Amy for the sweet pic. Check out her photography web site on my sidebar.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

50 cent waffle iron

We have been without a waffle iron for the past year. And I miss it. We're a waffle-eatin anytime-of-day kinda family. In fact waffling goes way back on Randy's side of the family. (sounds like an Olympic sport, doesn't it) Randy's Dad would make waffles each time Randy's Mom would be in the hospital with a new baby. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when his parents gave us their beloved waffle iron soon after we married. (btw, 29 years ago this Monday) Think about it... the very waffle iron that Randy's Dad used when Randy was born was also used when each of our three kids were born! I love when tradition happens.
Anyway, that waffle iron died a year ago. And it's been Eggo waffles ever since.
But that all changed this morning.
As I did my usual yard saling throughout our neighborhood, I came upon this Toastmaster's waffle iron. Because the gal wasn't sure if it worked, she said I could have it for 50 cents! Oh ya, music to my ears! No waffling coming from this here girl!
Well, I immediately came home... washed and seasoned it... whipped out my waffle recipe... plugged in the iron... poured in the batter... and held my breath as I slowly lifted the lid and... yes, pure perfection! Randy & I celebrated with hugs and high-fives! You would have thought we had just won a waffle cooking contest! Come to think of it, they tasted THAT good!

Friday, August 22, 2008

I got a haircut!

Hey, I got a haircut!! My sister's will be thrilled to see these pics, as I have had my hair the same length for years.
I am probably exaggerating if I tell you I go to a salon a couple times a year... ya, I rarely ever go! I tend to chop at it myself. I even gave myself perms throughout the 80's and 90's. And yes, I even taught my husband to roll the rods in areas I couldn't reach!

But this time I wanted a change... a big change. And I must say, I am loving it! I feel so free and sassy!
Thanks to Laurie at Ragtops in Tempe! Check her out HERE.

I actually went to Cosmetology school right out of high school and worked a couple years in a salon before moving to Phoenix 30 years ago. I never worked in a salon again. But man oh man, I have saved our family a ton of money over the years by cutting their hair.

Guess what!! Emolyn Kate is 6 months old today!!! She was born on a Friday evening, Feb. 22nd, weighing 2 # 7 oz.. Her Mommy just called to tell me that today she weighed 10# 4 oz. at her 6 month check-up! YEH! She's our little miracle baby!
And my oh my, what a cutie pie!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Emolyn time

When the family gets together, it's pretty much all about entertaining the "pretty princess". Ya, her Mommy is afraid Emolyn is going to think her name is "pretty"!
Do you get a sense that she is highly adored?

When the family gets together, we also sing.
No doubt about it, Emolyn is going to be musical.
(umm, do you think I could have gotten around to dusting the coffee table shelves sometime this year!)

Emolyn is teething something fierce! Check out the latest in teething... a raspberry textured teething pacifier. No, it's not raspberry flavored.

She is sooo passionate about devouring her banana... and oh so entertaining watching her every expression.
However did we fill our time before Emolyn came along! I can hardly remember.

Friday, August 15, 2008

West Nile Virus story

OK, I am so bummed. They wouldn't take my blood this morning. My hemoglobin count is too low. It usually is, but after they spin it, it's usually OK enough for me to give. But not this time.
This is especially hard for me because it has been 3 years since I last gave blood. This morning was a big deal. I was so excited to finally start giving blood again.

Three years ago this Labor Day, I gave blood. It was a mobile unit at our local Mall. I vividly remember walking down the steps of the mobile unit and feeling kinda weird. In fact, I woke up that morning feeling kinda weird. But hey, it's 110 degrees, I just gave blood. What did I expect. So three days later the Blood people call to tell me that I have the West Nile virus. By then I was very sick. In fact, I started crying so hard that I couldn't talk, so I climbed out of bed and ran to hand the phone to Randy. I was convinced I was going to die. Cuz, you always hear of those few that die from West Nile... and being the drama girl that I am... then I too, was going to die.
Well, I didn't die. I was just very sick for a week and then too weak to get out of bed for another week. In the mean time, I am getting calls from several agencies that are asking me a million questions. They put me in a study where they take blood from me every month for a year. Best part, they pay me $30.00 each time I go in. The first couple months I go in every week. So that adds up to some well deserved compensation for this here drama girl.

So how did I get West Nile? I'm glad you asked. Interesting story.

Exactly two weeks before I got sick with West Nile, we are visiting friends, sitting in their back yard and something weird happens. Something that has not happened to me in many, many years... I was getting bit by mosquitoes! People, I don't get bit by mosquitoes! We don't have mosquitoes in Phoenix! We don't have bugs in Phoenix! In fact, I commented to our friends that the whole time I was in Wisconsin the month before, I had not gotten bit even once! Everyone else did... but not me!
Well, come to find out, next door to our friend's home was a slimy, green, infested swimming pool that was a breeding ground for West Nile.
Two weeks to the day, I start getting sick. I give blood. It's West Nile. I live.
Learn more about the West Nile virus HERE.

So why am I telling you this?
Maybe someone out there will give blood on my behalf this week. Maybe this little blog will cause someone to give blood for the first time... or remind someone they haven't given in awhile.
I'm telling you, it's the best feeling! Knowing that your blood may be saving a life. Or helping a life.
Do it for yourself. Or do it for me. Or do it for someone you love.
The United Blood Services website is HERE.
Make your appointment today. You will be glad you did.
And a big thanks from me.
Now excuse me while I gorge myself on red meat, beans and raisins.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

simply aqua

I love aqua. So needless to say, I have an overabundance of aqua pics, and thought... why not feature those aqua pics in a post every now and then.
My favorite Pyrex refrigerator container is the aqua one of course. Very rare. But my dear, sweet, generous sister Ginny gave me her pink & aqua refrigerator containers, in which I am forever grateful! Thanks Gin!

I found this hatbox along with both of these aqua hats... for one dollar! Enlarge the pic so as to see the exquisite detail in the hat on the glass cloche.

My beloved aqua phone happens to be one of my most prized possessions. But it was not found at a yard sale, or a thrift store... umm, not even an antique store, or an eBay auction. Trust me, it's a great story! Read all about it HERE.

I knew pretty quick in my quest for Pyrex, that I was not going to be collecting any of the 'Cinderella' bowl Pyrex. It would just take up more room than the standard round Pyrex bowls. But then a couple years ago I saw this pattern... the aqua blue Cinderella bowl Balloon pattern. A Pyrex promotional from 1958. I absolutely loved the color, pattern and design! But like I said before, it would have to find me, when I least expect. And sure enough, I stop at a yard sale down the street one day and there it was... for one dollar!

I love vintage sewing notions and sewing baskets. So my aqua one is a favorite.

Yesterday I found this aqua ice cube tray at a thrift store for a quarter. Why not find other uses, when not freezing ice cube roses! And why not buttons!

Me & Emolyn. Emolyn in aqua. Precious is she.

Hey, I actually featured aqua in earlier posts while we were in CA HERE and CO HERE. Check them both out!

Monday, August 11, 2008

cute as a button

I love buttons. I love looking at them. Sorting them. Hoarding them. Ya, I have a hard time using them on projects.
I have actually bought several garments at thrift stores and yard sales, just for the buttons.
I especially love big, old coat buttons. The vintage jar below holds all my treasured coat buttons.

But the cutest button of them all? Well, that would be my granddaughter Emolyn of course!
So I'm thinking, all Grandma's should have a button basket, right? Mine did. So I'm looking forward to the day that Emolym is old enough to play with all of my buttons... sorting them by color and size, counting them. Just as I did. She will love the sparkles in my rhinestone buttons. Oh, and all the crafting and sewing we will do together. OK, I may even let her use some of my buttons.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Tyler singing "I'm Yours"

So I've had this song stuck in my head for days. I'm either singing it out loud or I'm singing it in my head. all. day. long.
Here's the problem, the song is so wordy. I don't know all the words. But I love the tune, so I make up my own words.
Much to the chagrin of my son Tyler.

So this morning Tyler tells me he was up all night recording that very song and it's up on his MySpace. Oh my gosh. Ya, it's that good!
Now I will never get it out of my head!
Btw, it's "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz. Tyler's singing and playing everything you hear.

Click HERE. The song automatically starts playing.

Turn up your volume and enjoy! (check out "Kiss from a Rose" too)
Great job Tyler!

Here's Tyler with his little niece Emolyn. Oh, he adores her!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

my PYREX collection

I LOVE PYREX!! I've been collecting PYREX for over 25 years and I have found every single piece at a yard sale or thrift store. (I don't shop antique stores or eBay) I know that eBay has oodles of PYREX, but what fun would that be?
For me it has always been about the thrill-of-the-hunt... AND finding each piece for a song!

I can honestly say that I have never paid more than a dollar for any piece in the above pics... mostly a quarter or fifty cents... especially for the colorful refrigerator containers that I simply adore. These were used for left-overs in the 50's... before Tupperware.

Little did I know that the dishes we used while growing up were PYREX! They were the gray-rimmed dishes. Well, over the years I found out that they made three other colored-rimmed dishes from back in the 50's. My dear friend Joyce gave me two place-settings of the blue rim dishes for my birthday one year. Let me tell you, the blue is so hard to find! I was beyond thrilled! And then I find out that my Mom had two place settings left of the gray dishes and I later find two place-settings each of the red and chartreuse. My dishes collection is complete.

These are the nesting bowls that started it all.
When Randy & I married 30 years ago, we inherited Mamaw Bean's PYREX nesting bowl set. I instantly loved them. But what made them extra special? The first time I met Randy's parents on Mother's Day 1978, I also met Mamaw Bean. I barely knew Randy, but instantly fell in love with his parents and his Mamaw Bean. Two weeks after that visit, I moved back to WI for the summer. A week later Mamaw Bean died peacefully in her favorite chair. I am forever grateful to have met the one that mixed many meals in these beloved bowls.

Last but certainly not least is my PYREX cookware collection. Do you see that awesome stove-top percolator coffee pot? My Mom used one for many years back in the 60's when I was a kid.

Here is a photo I found of that Pyrex coffee pot, taken in 1961. (clic the pic to enlarge) That's my Mom (wearing glasses) to the left of the coffee pot. I love this picture!
The glass insides eventually broke and replacement parts were hard to come by in those days, so they just threw it away. I was thrilled to find one several years ago for $12.00. In perfect condition. All the other cookware pieces were no more than a dollar each.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my PYREX story!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

first family photo

Our first family photo with our granddaughter Emolyn! (thanks to my tripod)
Let me introduce you to my family- Miranda (23), Tyler (19), Nicole (26), Emolyn (5 months), Shawn (26), Randy and I.
Randy and I are so thankful that God has given us such a wonderful family. I pray for them often throughout the day, that they would be so aware of His presence, His provision, His love. I am humbled to have had a part in growing them up, and now seeing them becoming all the God created them to be. They continue to teach me to walk by faith, as I watch them trust in the One that is bigger than themselves. They are wise beyond their years. My heart is full.

How cute is our little Emy in the last pic!
Be sure to clic the pics to enlarge.

Friday, August 01, 2008

meet Mrs. McGillicutty

Introducing... Mrs. Lucy McGillicutty! Isn't she lovely!
I have always wanted a dress form. But I wanted a vintage dress form. So I started looking on eBay and that is where I found her. She was perfect. But as I patiently awaited her arrival, I found myself creating an identity for her. I know that sounds weird but it was so fun imagining her past. And let's be honest, I have quite the imagination. So if you want to read about what I came up with, read HERE.

Lucy seems to enjoy modeling some of the garments I designed back in the 70's.
The winter before I moved to Phoenix in 1977, I made this patchwork denim jacket and matching vest, using old jeans that my Dad and my brothers wore on the farm. I was all about recycling even back then. I even stitched a Levi pocket on the back of the vest. It was always fun to see what I would find in that pocket after a night out with friends... money, ticket stubs, bottle caps, candy wrappers, you name it!

You can read more about this cute little rick-rack number HERE.

Lucy loves aprons, so I often let her wear the aprons that are too fancy for me to wear. She always manages to keep them so crisp and clean. She's persnickety like that.

I gotta be honest with you. If I had a body like hers, well... I would wear her clothes. But in the mean time, I will live vicariously through her and long for the day I can borrow her clothes and look as cool, young and hip as she does.

My 23 year old daughter Miranda was a Princess at the Princess Party that our church put together for all the little girls in our church this past Spring. Mrs. McGillicutty has been wearing the gown ever since. And she may never take it off. And I can't say I blame her. Read all about the Princess Party HERE and HERE.

Thank you for visiting Lucy & I. Thank you for leaving a comment. Because then I can come visit each and every one of you!