Spring is here

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Happy Spring!

I hope your day is filled with sweet spring delights!

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Early spring cheeriness

Happy March!

It is so lovely that it is March!  Spring is almost here and there are signs everywhere.  We have enjoyed some wonderful sunshiny days and it has been so nice!  On Sunday afternoon we played bocce ball and croquet and we were even able to enjoy our first fire in our firepit and roast hot dogs for dinner ~ Amazing!  Truly a gift!

And have you heard the birds singing?  What a sweet and welcome sound!

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The daffodils are blooming!  A bit of spring cheer for sure!

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 I got some “farm girl boots” and I have to say they add a bit of cheer to the outside work! 🙂  I have so enjoyed getting a bit of a head start on some garden chores.

There are so many things to be thankful for!

Blessings!

Fine art

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One of Abbie’s school projects ~ an ink and watercolor sketch

Chicken love

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The chicken notecards Abbie made for me for Christmas ~ I love them!

I so admire those who are blessed with fine art skills.  I was thinking about this lately and kind of wishing that fine art was one of my gifts.  Although I love to make things, I don’t have skills in any of the fine arts.  Just after thinking about this, I came across this quote again, and oh, what an encouragement!

“Practise economy as a Fine Art:  make a duty and a pleasure of it…economy is a high Christian duty, that nothing be lost”. ~ From “The Complete Home:  An Encyclopedia Of Domestic Life And Affairs”

Can’t we all do this?  I just love how the Lord comes and encourages us!  And so now I am inspired afresh to “practise economy as a Fine Art”!  And it is pleasurable and rewarding!  It’s something that I can always grow in and work at improving, just as if I was painting or sketching!

What are some of the ways you “practise economy” in your home?

Blessings!

Economy in the new year

Happy New Year dear friends!

Last year was a year of challenges for us, and definitely was a stretching of the budget!  As things are continuing on into this new year, I am trying to be even more careful and find ways to stretch our finances, and yet to have the Lord grow in me a generous and giving heart.  It’s time for me to be more creative!  I have spent some time reading the chapter on Economy In The Home ~ in an old book published in 1884 called “The Complete Home:  An Encyclopedia Of Domestic Life And Affairs”.

“Practise economy as a Fine Art:  make a duty and a pleasure of it…economy is a high Christian duty, that nothing be lost”.

Here are some of the ways I am thinking that I can try to economize this year:

Making do as much as possible ~ creativity in using what I have

Being diligent on meal planning ~ Crystal at The Family Homestead has a pretty monthly meal planning calendar that can be found here

Being quick to use up leftovers so that nothing is wasted

Drying clothes by the woodstove ~ Bill suggested getting this clothes rack out of the garage and using it to hang clothes to dry.  No sooner did we get it out and had things drying when they issued a burn ban on our county! 😦  But it sounds like that may be over by Wednesday. 🙂  I am wanting to try dipping beeswax candles and I think it would make a perfect drying rack for that too!

Remembering to turn off lights in rooms that are not being used

Taking shorter showers & conserving water in general

Experiment with having some “reduced electricity nights” where we’ll use candlelight and maybe have some hot chocolate or tea with water heated on the woodstove

Planning trips more carefully to conserve gas

Making more homemade gifts & trying to be more purposeful in my gift giving ~ giving things that are useful & hopefully don’t become clutter for someone else ~ I guess I am wanting to simplify my gifts but still be a giver!

Making as many things at home as I can ~  last year was the first time in all my homemaking years that I have had success in making my own homemade broth ~ 🙂   I have made laundry soap, deodorant, lotion, and lip balm now; and homemade flour tortillas are one of our favorites!

Learning new skills & practicing some that need refreshing (like my crocheting) ~ things that could be used for gift giving possibilities

Dispose of disposables as much as possible.  I did make some homemade handkerchiefs out of flannel I had on hand and they are wonderful ~ well, at least some of our family thinks so!  I should have made them when our kids were small and they wouldn’t know anything else! 🙂

Continue on with using natural cleaning recipes ~ baking soda and vinegar are wonderful!

Being thoughtful and prayerful in spending and trying to consume less

Being content and enjoying simple pleasures fully

Doing it all with a joyful heart!

Do you have any thrifty tips to share?

May His blessings rest upon each of your homes this year!

Sharon

Cardmaking with a friend

 

~♥♥♥~

A friend came over today so we could work on cards together.  I had found a little gift book for sale inexpensively at the library awhile ago, and I thought the cute little pictures would be lovely for cardmaking.   Such a simple way to make cards quickly.

After I finished those, I still had time to make just a few more.

Cardmaking really is relaxing for me ~ I’m glad I made the time and welcomed a friend into my home today!

~♥♥♥~

I hope you have enjoyed a blessed Monday!

Grace & peace to you!

Sharon

Gratitude…a precious gift for giving

I am hoping my mom can come for Christmas…so I am preparing in advance, looking for small gifts to put in her stocking ~ something my dad always did for her.  She lives in a teeny tiny cabin…so I look for practical things ~ things she can use and that won’t just be clutter for her…but it would be a joy to find meaningful things as well.   And then I saw this post at A Holy Experience:

Make a Gratitude Jar: Gift Joy from the past

…and I knew it was perfect.  I shared the idea with Bill and he said he would work on one for his parents as well.  I think it will be a treasure for us all!

Now I am looking forward to going to the second hand stores & praying that we will find special containers to hold hand written messages of gratitude.  What better gift could we give to those who don’t need more things ~ but would be blessed by our thanks?

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“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Sweetest weekend blessings to you all!

Sharon

~ Farm inspiration ~

…to our day at the farm!

Today has been a picture perfect fall day!  A sunny Saturday seemed like a wonderful opportunity to make a trip to the farm!  We headed out to a small picturesque working farm that I had read about.  These sunny sunflowers greeted us warmly as we pulled into the parking lot!  Don’t sunflowers just make you smile?

It was filled with old-fashioned simplicity~

and beautiful colors!

We took a stroll out to the u-pick gardens ~

And spent some time browsing in the farm store!  I think this was one of my favorite spots!  It was small but it was filled with such beauty & color ~

And yummy sweetness too!

The many beautiful quilts that were on display around the little store were so inspiring!

I especially liked this one ~ a little cottage surrounded by flowers and a picket fence ~ doesn’t it just say “Welcome”?

And the old-fashioned displays were so pretty!

One of the things we found out while we were at the farm was that a farm tour was going on in the area and so we were able to visit a number of other farms as well.  We visited an organic farm, a CSA farm, a Christmas tree farm where we were able to tour a 1906 farmhouse,  and a farm that had a variety of animals and a historic barn.

So many delights to enjoy today!

One of the things I really enjoyed were the little flower gardens out on the farms ~ the simple rustic~ness of the gardens and paths.  They really inspired me for what I would love to do here at home.  It is so untraditional looking compared to what is usually found here in suburbia, and I think it has been a little hard for me to break out of that and just go with what I love!  I have so much inspiration from today to ponder!

Maybe I can be a farmgirl after all! ~Smile~

Thanks for spending time with me on our fun farm day!

May your Sunday be blessed and your heart filled with joy!

Sharon