a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thoughts ---- 'Till We Meet Again . . .

On our second date, Dave brought me a long-stemmed single red rose that he had plucked from the garden on his way to pick me up. To me that was more romantic than a florist-arranged dozen roses.  And, that has nothing to do with my being cheap and everything to do with him being creative.

For some unknown-at-the-time reason I saved that rose. Today, more than 50 years later, the simple single rose, now dry and brittle but still red-ish, is in a small clear plastic box, among other treasures tucked away in a brown cardboard box labeled with a felt tip marker:  Mom and Dad's Treasure Box.

Simple things of priceless value.

As I write this, our 50th anniversary is nine days away, the wedding of our first grandchild to be married is seven days away and on the 29th our only daughter (Siera is their only daughter) and her husband will celebrate their 23rd anniversary.

As you read this, along with celebrating the sacred birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, our family will be all together* for the first time in a long time --- celebrating the many simple things of priceless value that make our family who it is. When our kids told us, a few months ago, what they were planning we knew it  would take a lot of coordination and effort to bring this to pass. They couldn't have given us a greater gift!

It is my prayer that, wherever you are, whatever circumstances you are in or how complicated your life is, you will seek and find peace and joy in simply pondering the wonder of His birth and all the great and simple things that He has given to and for us.

When we count our blessings, one by one, we will be amazed at what the Lord has done.

I am Simply, Gail and I will check in again as we enter a new year.

May God be with you 'till we meet again.

*except for one grandson who is serving a mission in Chile (and who will call on Christmas), and the new bride and her husband (who probably won't!)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Two Purrfect Gifts for the Kitty Cat

T'was two nights before Christmas and all through the house,  
The cat was napping after catching the mouse

When suddenly the lady awoke with a start
Her mind was racing; sorrow filled her heart

She'd forgotten the kitty when she bought all the gifts!
Her dear little hunter, how could she have missed?

Off to her computer in middle of night
To read Simply Gail who'd answer her plight

This rhyme is sooooo dumb---but the message is such
the creative cheapskate tries to be, always, in "touch" ----

at just the touch of the other mouse.

Sock it to 'em
Next to the stalking of a real mouse, catnip is high on the list of cat favorites and is a totally safe and long-lasting treat.  Want to keep your cats frolicking for hours and days?  You can buy catnip toys but since you are visiting this blog that is probably not your usual way of doing things. So, sew little pouches yourself  or, simply fill baby socks with catnip and sew the opening securely shut.

Blow 'em a gift

Never in my wildest dreams (or cat naps) would I have thought anything like this existed! When I was "mousing" for catnip information it took me to this Wal-Mart site.

I tried to capture the picture but that didn't work.  I tried my scanner and that didn't work.  So, the best I can do, if you want to see and read about  the "pure frantic fun" Kookamunga Catnip Bubbles, is direct you to the site. And, you may want to check out the reviews.  I can't guarantee it but it sounds like lots of good clean fun.


Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Creative Cheapskate Discovers a Sham . . .

is good for more than covering pillows!!!

My last post showed you (literally) our dog Puppy's new-to-him              t-shirt to help keep him warm on cool days--- and how to simply and cheaply create a cool shirt to warm your pet.

But, like I had mentioned in the t-shirt post, since the hair on  his lower back and belly has thinned so much and the temperature keeps dropping we knew he would need something more than just a shirt for his time outdoors.

This past fall we bought a king size quilt from the thrift shop to protect plants in our garden at early frost. The $5 quilt came with two pillow shams which we didn't want --- but neither did the thrift store. 

I looked at the shape of dog coats at the store and made a paper pattern using Puppy's neck-to-tail and around-the-belly measurements from the t-shirt project --- remembering, this time,  to cut the thigh area higher to avoid accidents when he lifts his leg.

I cut the coat from the quilted top of the pillow sham, covered the raw cut edges with seam tape, and sewed lengths of velcro-type hook and loop strips to the front neck pieces and the straps that fasten over his middle.

For some reason the color doesn't show up here
as the maroon it really is.

Pillow shams are large enough to make a vest or simple coat or a robe for a toddler or even slippers for a larger child or adult.  These are the times (or finds) where . . . 

This is Puppy several years ago, and the first (and up to now)
only wardrobe piece he owned.
putting on your thinking cap comes in handy.