Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wacky Words

Last night at our Friday Family Game Night we played Scattergories for the first time. We all enjoyed it and had some good laughs. The best one came when we had the letter "O" and the category Sports Equipment.  Dr. Hair was the only one to come up with something: "ovulating". WHAT? He said, "You know that piece of equipment that throws the tennis balls, it ovulates." "OHHHHHH you mean oscillates." "Yeah, that." Another one for the files.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Keep the Swimming Pool Full

Before I was pregnant with Noble I wasn't much of a water drinker; that changed when I realized that I had to "keep the swimming pool full." Since then I've become an avid water drinker, wondering how I got along without it.

Over the years I've used a couple of methods to keep track of how much water I drink: tally marks on a post-it note next to the sink, and beans moved from one side of the windowsill to the other (which worked okay until I was one bean over halfway and then I wouldn't remember which way I was going). The best method for me has been to use a container to measure.

I begin with a full gallon jug and drink until it's gone. No question as to how much. Simple, elegant; problem solved. I like my water at room temperature so I keep it on the counter. Others in the family like theirs cold so they keep a similar jug in the fridge.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sometimes Comparisons are Helpful

Often at church we're told not to compare ourselves to each other, and that's a good thing. We see each other at church and compare our worst self, the one we know intimately, to the best, Sunday self of the others in attendance.

Once in a while, though, a comparison is a good thing. I try really hard to keep my house clean, not just tidied, de-cluttered, and such, but clean, as in windows washed, walls dusted and washed, floors swept and vacuumed, bathrooms clean, kitchen scrubbed and clean, etc. Because I live with a bunch of males that don't see things my way it never quite measures up to my standard, but over the years I've learned to live with it. During the time I had lots of little children my standards had to be regularly retrieved with a posthole digger.

Sometimes I have gotten really envious of someone else's beautiful home, wondering why can't I have a well decorated, lovely home like theirs. Occasionally I go to someone's home and leave with the feeling that mine, in comparison, is absolutely wonderful.

A while ago I had occasion to go inside a home while waiting for a ride to an activity. Immediately stepping into the house I was overpowered by the smell of animals. It actually made my eyes and nose water. An area rug on the floor was so covered in animal hair that I couldn't see the color. Dust and debris covered all the furniture, piles of papers and books were everywhere. It was pretty disgusting.

Later when I returned home I felt better about my humble, but CLEAN, home. Sometimes comparisons put things in perspective and I find I'm on the long end of the stick!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Sunday evening Dandylion combed his hair back out of his face. Is it just me or is he just about the most handsome thirteen year old boy you've seen recently? By the way, he has decided to continue to comb his hair this way. I love it.

A Blessing on Valentine's Day

Breakfast on Valentine's Day: casserole, cranberry-walnut muffins, frozen berries, hot chocolate and heart shaped marshmallows.

We ate breakfast together and read our daily chapter of scripture, then TopDad asked me to say the family prayer. For the rest of the story about the miracle go to my other blog called Plain and Precious Things.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Skirt

Here's the finished skirt for the Sew Grateful Week. I think? my sister gave me this wool when she was cleaning out her supplies. I used Butterick #B5466, view B, which is an extremely simple pattern. I am please with how it went together so quickly. I plan to make more of these comfortable skirts. The only adjustment I made was to lengthen it by two inches (to cover my ugly knees).

I'm "sew grateful" for all the younger seamstresses, whose blogs I read, for their enthusiasm and inspiration. It's wonderful to see a new generation embrace the skills and creativity of making your own clothes. Seeing so many making and wearing vintage styles gives me hope for the future. We can dress in beautiful and feminine clothes of our own choice, rather than being slaves to the fashion industry a la Vogue.

I've never followed fashion and didn't recognize designers clothes (why should I?) so when I watched the film The Devil Wears Prada I wondered what all the fuss was about. I then subscribed to Vogue to get a better understanding of the fashion world. It's a good thing the subscription was cheap. In the two years I got the magazine I think I tore out pictures of only two outfits that were attractive to me. Most of the clothing, as well as the models, was UGLY! I wondered what happened to the Vogue of the Fifties where the models looked healthy and happy, glamorous and successful. The girls I saw now looked sick, on the verge of death, depressed, drowning in sorrows. SICK! (Sorry for the mini-rant)

So, thank you again, to all you who sew your own clothes for looking healthy, happy, and successful in life. You inspire me to keep honing my skills, trying new challenges and having lots of fun doing it!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Making it Do

I missed posting this yesterday on Frugal Friday because I was busy sewing my Valentine's Day skirt. It's almost done and looking very nice. Then last night TopDad took me out to dinner and a movie for my Valentine's gift. We had a great time.

Here are three examples from my home of "making it do":

First, my new skirt; I took the Seamless Pledge so I didn't want to purchase anything; when I got to the zipper I checked my stash and found that this was the closest I could get to "match" in the right size. I put it in and you can see that the color isn't an issue from the right side, so I was able to make do.

Second and third are in my kitchen, the place where I have to do the most "making do."

This is the extent of counter space in the entire kitchen, all 19 3/4 inches to the right of the sink.

By adding a piece of 1/4" plywood, I create a temporary counter over the sink so I have more room to prepare food.

On the other side of the kitchen I use two methods to improve efficiency.

I use our chest freezer as a counter, not only for extra appliances (they are stored elsewhere), but as a prep counter when cooking at the stove. There are only three electrical outlets in the kitchen, one for the stove, one for the fridge, and one by the sink. I use an extension cord from behind the stove, looped over the oven handle for my extra appliances, such as fry pan, griddle, crock pot, and popcorn popper.

The lid to my electric frypan got knocked off a counter resulting in a broken handle; I asked Eagle Scout  Elder PW, to make me a new one. This is the result of his effort, which has worked great for the past four years. All that whittling at scout camp paid off and he shaped this fabulous handle for me.

The old saying "Necessity is the mother of invention" can be seen all over our home. We just don't have money available to buy new, replace old, and remodel to suit, at the time we think we need or want it. Making do is a way to postpone a purchase until something is well and truly used up, non-functioning, or otherwise unavailable.

What clever "make do's" do you have in your home?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mom's Cafe

When our chuns were very young we ate at lot of fast food. So much that our pre-schoolers knew the names of the restaurants better than the church we attended. Sad, I know. We have lots of funny stories from that time, such as, Elder PW saying "No!" to the question did he want to go to McDonald's; he wanted to go to "Mc O'Bells", the name stuck and we refer to it as our favorite Irish Mexican restaurant. (Except I try really hard not to eat at fast food places, for about the last 15 years)

One day while running errands the chuns asked about eating out and I said, "We're going to Mom's Cafe." Ohhhhh, a new place, they were so excited; until we drove into the driveway. But the name stuck and my kitchen and dining room forever after have been known as "Mom's Cafe." My children tell me I'm the best cook, but that's only because they haven't eaten at really fine restaurants. I accept the compliments gracefully and gratefully.

A while ago I began putting together a cookbook/homemaking book with recipes, tips and practices from Mom's Cafe. It is a long process and could consume all my available time. My goal is to have it finished to give to the chuns when they get married and establish their own homes.

Today I sorted a whole bunch of loose recipes into file folders representing the categories within the book:
Beans, Lentils & Rice
Breads, rolls, muffins
Cakes, Brownies, Sweet Breads
Casseroles & One Dish Meals
Dessers: Cobblers, Jellos, Tapioca
Drinks & Smoothies
Ethnic & Foreign
Meats: Beef, Fish, Lamb, Pork, Poultry
Pies & Cheesecakes
Salads, Dressings & Dips
Snacks & Appetizers
Soups, Stews & Chowders
Vegetables & Fruits

There are other sections for meal planning and shopping, as well as cleaning and laundry, including recipes for homemade cleaners.

Here's a snapshot mid-sort of the recipes:

Now everything is in labeled file folders and the plan is to use the recipes and decide if it's a keeper; if it is I'll type it up, print it off, put it in a sleeve and add it to the master copy of the book.

At least at this point, recipes will be easier to find than looking through a three inch stack!
How do you organize yours?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I'm Dreaming of a White Valentine's Day. . .NOT

After a unseasonably mild winter we had our first big snow last Friday, with cold temps forecast for all this week so no thaw in sight. We got six inches here in Audubon, other areas around us got up to twelve.

My winter wardrobe is sorely lacking and I want something new for Valentine's day, so I dug through my stash and found a nice piece of wool with red in it to make up a new skirt to wear to church on Sunday. (Just about the only time I get to dress up.)

View B - Skinny waistband

Very Pretty Wool!

Cut out and ready to sew.
 Any suggestions as to blouse color?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Parental Paydays!

Motherhood is an unpaid, many times unappreciated, more than full-time career. I chose it and have given my very best efforts. My husband and I count parental paydays as anytime we are praised, shown love or appreciation for our jobs as father and mother. This can be as simple as a slobbery kiss and an "I love you" from a toddler to a comment like the one we received at a symphony concert to which we had taken our five children ages 16 to 7. At the intermission, a woman sitting behind us said "You have most well behaved children I have ever seen. You really have done a good job with them." Cha-ching! Parental Payday!

Today I got one from our missionary:

Mom, I want to once again thank you for putting up with me for 19 years and diligently teaching me. I know I put you through a lot of hardship, bad days, tough times, and I may not have always been as respectful or loving as I should have been; However, therein lies the beauty of the Atonement and the gift of forgiveness. I have changed. I have learned. I am trying hard to be better each day, and frequently Elder F lets me know of improvement. He also has a few nicknames for me, as in Elder Einstein, Elder Nigh (Reference to Bill Nigh the Science Guy TV program), and Elder Emerson (I hop I spilld that rite!).
He makes a comment and I back it up with science. thus the nicknames. They are all good-natured and he never does it without humor, so I take it nicely. And he is the one that attended BYU before the Mission. I am the Utah Red-Neck/ Midnight-Shift worker. But I did read encyclopedias as a child, so there is not much to be said. Except maybe "Thank you Mom, for putting them on the bottom shelf of the bookcase, within easy reach of hands driven by a hungry mind."
Also, "Thank you Mom, for teaching me a little cooking before the Mission. I am SO teaching you how to make Argentine Empanadas while conversing in about 2 months!"

So, today is a good day!

P.S. I don't know why the spacing is so weird and don't know how to correct it. Sorry.

Would You Look At That!

One hundred posts in just over a year. Who would have thought. I hope to do much better than that in the coming year. This weekend I asked TopDad what my strongest talent is and his answer was "Writing." I take that as permission, as well as encouragement, to keep going.

Blogging is enjoyable to me for two reasons; I get to write about my life, my interests, and express my opinions, and secondly I've "met" so many really interesting and knowledgeable people.

Thank you dear readers. I wish you'd leave more comments, but I understand time limitations.

So here's to another year of exploration, musing and expression.

BONUS: Just received and email with this picture -
Behold a Royal Army - Elder PW is in the back row, third from right.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Noble's Blog

Noble has posted some delightful pictures of her "Immersion" day where she and fellow students spoke Korean for 8 hours, enjoyed Korean food and got to try on traditional Korean costumes. Although she doesn't think she looks good, I do! It looks absolutely natural on her.

Take a look for yourself at The World According to Noble.  I just ordered a pattern from Folkwear to make her a Hanbok of her own. When I first saw the Hanbok (a long time ago) I wasn't impressed, but this past year I watched a Korean Historical Drama and saw them worn and decided they are beautiful. What do you think?

Thursday, February 2, 2012


My favorite picture of me.
I'm Rozylass, can you guess of Scottish descent?  My grandpa Joe left Dundee, Scotland to go to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1922.  My other grandpa left Norway for Salt Lake City in 1908.  My grandmothers were already there!  I love all things Scottish.  I hope someday to visit Norway and discover that side of my heritage.

I was born and raised in San Diego, California.  I've traveled to or through 45 states of the contiguous 48, as well as most of Canada (we drove from Montreal in the east to Vancouver in the west), Tijuana, Mexico, England, Scotland and Iceland (an adventure in itself!).  I've lived in California, Utah, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Washington, Virginia and currently reside in Iowa, where my husband is from.

Topdad is a retired Marine, we have one daughter and four sons.  We homeschooled them for a total of 14 years ( I wish it could have been longer).  Noble, the oldest is in the Air Force; Elder PW is serving as a missionary in Argentina, with two months to go;  JET is a freshman in college, Dr. Hair/Doc Brown is a freshman in high school; and Dandylion is in 8th grade.

I began this blog with the help of my daughter, Noble, to motivate me to lose weight by making my journey public.  It quickly evolved to be a forum for posting whatever I felt like. 

I am a devoted follower of Jesus Christ!  He is my Savior, friend and guide.  I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I love being a homemaker; it's what I wanted to become while growing up.  I'm fairly old-fashioned in many ways: I use hankies, I love to iron, I make many foods from scratch, etc. But I truly love and am grateful for modern conveniences like refrigerators and washing machines, running water and electricity.

I'm a student of history and love to read biographies and memoirs of pilgrims and pioneers.  I have dreams of making historic clothing (but NOT in size 20).  I know how to sew, quilt, knit, crochet, cross-stitch and embroider, but I don't do all of them equally well.  I love to read; I enjoy writing and have participated in National Novel Writing Month twice with the result that I have two unfinished novels.  I did have one short story published in The Friend magazine in 1995.  My husband likes to introduce me as an internationally published author because that little story was subsequently translated and published in the Liahona magazine in 22 or 23 languages.  I had the grand experience of speaking at the 2005 BYU Women's Conference.  That was one of the best experience of my life! (Outside of motherhood)

Thanks for visiting, I hope you find something of interest.  Blessings to you in your endeavors.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Random Thoughts

Yesterday I went for a walk to buy eggs at the grocery store. The boys had requested cookies and I was out of eggs. The weather is WONDERFUL! The walk felt good and the persistent pain in my right knee is almost all gone. That means I've been sitting down too much!

I'm suffering from pile-itis at home. There are piles of paper all over. Little notes to myself (LOTS), handouts from church, newspaper articles to share, letters, bills, misc. stuff, all waiting for some action. I'm pondering how to deal with the ongoing inflow of paper to get it under control and help me take action, find things when needed and decide what to throw out. Please, inspiration, strike soon!

I have always loved being a mother; being a mother to adult children is the best! I feel successful to have three adults making good choices, doing what they're supposed to, and they're such fun friends! We have great conversations and good laughs together. Those years of training that seemed endless have paid off. Three raised, two more to go.

Tender Mercy! I rearranged some things in the freezer and uncovered three packages of ground beef that I didn't know I had. Hallelujah, I don't have to buy more until it goes on sale again.

I found, on-line, some fast growing willow trees to plant in the space between us and our noisy, nasty neighbors. Reportedly, these willows grow eight to fifteen feet per year. Fantastic!

For Family Home Evening on Monday we de-cluttered our movies, judging them by two criteria:
1) Is it virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy?
2) Do we want to watch it again?
We cleared out about sixty movies, which was enough that the rest fit nicely on the shelves, all alphabetized for easy access. We have lots of movies, mostly because we don't watch TV, and haven't for the past twenty years.

The boys (and TopDad) are going on a scout campout this Friday. It's girl's night! Anyone want to come over and enjoy a good chick flick with me? I miss my Noble!