Feeling Frugal…Starch your $$$$

Ha! Gotcha’ didn’t I? I could call it STRETCH your dollars, but this was more fun!

Well, if you are a quilter…or love to iron things to a nice crisp finish…I am blogging about something I have been wanting to try for a long time.

Everyone…I mean EVERYONE knows how nice Mary Ellen’s Best Press is! I love it too!

best press

We all also know there is a plethora of info on Pinterest. Some time ago I saved this post about “Quilter’s Moonshine”  and finally tried it this morning. Maybe because I used my last spritz of Best Press and didn’t have a backup!! Woe is me!

The recipe calls for starting with a gallon of distilled water, but I wanted to test it out first so cut the recipe down, using only 1/4 of the ingredients.

Quilters Moonshine Ingreds The very expensive ingredients…NOT…use the cheapest vodka you can find.

Quilters Moonshine recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used 4 cups distilled water (I actually used filtered water), 1/8 cup (2T) starch, and 1/4 cup vodka.

 

 

The result is a little on the cloudy looking side…

 

 

So, I put it to the test. No sticky residue on fabric or iron. The finish is a bit softer than Best Press, but that would only mean adding a bit more starch to your recipe for your personal preference.

Quilters Moonshine 2

Just look how much it makes. If you are frugal and want to give this a try, I am thinking you will not be unhappy with the result. I pay $9.95 (if not on sale) for one bottle of the great Best Press. I am NOT knocking it AT ALL! This concoction, which I do not plan to drink, by the way, was just a few cents for this batch!

Happy Quilting…Happy Pressing!

I will post if I have any further results to share.

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Home Feels Welcome!

Flowers from IsraelFlowers from Israel…© Valorie Webster

We have just returned (very exhausted from the travel) after spending nearly a month in Israel and Greece. I looked through over 1000 images to find one to depict my feelings this morning. I decided on these flowers.

It takes me a while to sort through all the feelings I have after these trips, but today I want to say that I am grateful. We have so much in our country…some more than others, as in every country. Our worst days pale in comparison, however, to people who have lived their entire lives with religious wars, homes lost, all retirement funds stripped away and more. Yet, they continue…most with relative happiness.

If I write more blogs regarding this trip, there will be mixed emotions and differing opinions than you may have. That is okay. What I know, for myself, is that world travel points out all our differences…AND all our similarities.

Flowers seem to find a way to bloom everywhere! May we be at peace!

Are You There Yet?

light-in-heart-rumi(Image from the Internet)

Fred the Needle (aka Susanna Di Milo) posted a great and thought-provoking article on her blog last week.

Finding Your Passion…

https://fredthethread.wordpress.com/2017/02/19/finding-your-passion-you-actually-dont-have-to-find-it-it-will-seek-you-out/

If you read it, which I recommend, you will be certain to think about what you believe on the subject of finding your passion. Thank you for this, Susanna. I commented on the post and she asked me when I was a child, what did I want to be when I grew up. Interesting to remember that. I wanted to be a mom. I was very lucky to get to be that and honestly, it was probably my favorite job ever!

After that, I would say that I chose happy and have often said that the search for happiness led me down a long and winding road of, yes, some happiness, but lots of struggles and heartache too. It comes down to being all about choices and one choice might be to let everything be decided for you. I am not sure this is what Susanna means when she says your passion will seek you out. Or wait, maybe she does mean just that! I lived a long time just doing what came next…”one foot in front of the other” was my mantra, more or less. I think the Universe, or whatever you choose to call it…God, Spirit, Mother…may just know and keep directing us somehow.

Along the way though, you have to put yourself out there. You have to be open and try things and trust the guidance you are getting. You need to trust your own guidance too; your intuition, your gut. You will make some mistakes, most likely, but learn from them and get up to go again. It has been said that if you haven’t made some mistakes, you have not tried enough things.

In my lifetime, I have been a daughter, sister, mother, wife, aunt, friend, homemaker, sewist, photographer, writer, crafter, seeker, adventurer, lover, seller…gee, I have been blessed! And if I look back, I do believe something was guiding me. I am grateful. I am loved. I can finally say I am HAPPY!!! Happy is not about ego. Happy is not just about taking care of yourself. Happy means you can do much more for others. Happy means you can share light and joy in this world that really needs it.

How do you perceive the quest in your life for what you have been looking for? What has your greatest lesson been? Are you open to possibility? Do you have your blinders off so you can recognize the nudges you are getting?

a-year-from-now-karen-lamb(Image from the Internet and Karen Lamb)

 

Merry Christmas!

At book club this week there was a new member who asked about the members. I guess some people out in the blogosphere also want to know more about the people they follow, so here is a recap of our year…

It is two days before Xmas and all around our house, there is so much snow we can hardly get out!

2016-shoveling

As we sit by the window watching the flakes blow, we decided to bore you with some things you may not know.

One of us (guess which one) really doesn’t like this endeavor, but when she puts on her thinking cap she thinks she is really clever!

Cuteness aside, let’s get on with the telling, it’s been a pretty good year, as we’re no longer selling!

Yes, indeed, we are both retired as Val turned in her papers and will collect Social Security starting Jan 1!  This leaves us fancy free to do whatever we want.  It seems like the thing we do most is travel.  Our trips this year included…

Travel from Vancouver, Canada on Via Rail to Toronto in March……beautiful scenery, great food on the train and in Toronto and met some really nice people.  It was COLD everywhere we went.  Got to see the Hockey Hall of Fame and a great play, Disgraced.  Also on the train trip we stopped in Saskatoon and had a brief visit with Val’s Facebook friend she had never met.  Mavis Ens…it was a pleasure!

In July our grand-daughter, Ali, visited for 10 whole days!  We are so pleased that even at the advanced age of 20 she found enough time on her schedule to visit Granny and Gramps!  She is a junior at Kansas University, studying Psychology and Dance.

Dear friends visiting us throughout the year were the Potts, Ehrlichs, O’Connells, Sevciks, and other Websters.  Speaking of Websters, we had a family gathering at Lake Tahoe in August with Roy, Sandy, Randy, Val, Chris, Madelyn, C.J. and Ty.  The favorite event was baseball!

In early September we went with Michelle and Dave Mindolovich to the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness for a few days of back-packing.  We hardly ever saw them on the trail as they are much faster than we are, plus Randy was battling gout (I don’t recommend getting this!)  Next year will see some leadership changes to this group, as this might be an annual event!

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Our longest trip of the year took us to SE Asia where we spent three weeks in Laos and Cambodia.  We went with Roy and Sandy Webster who still aren’t sure whether to forgive Randy for some of the planned events, i.e. an elephant ride and river crossing, bike riding in the jungle in what seemed like 115 degree heat, and an overnight stay “off the grid” with only solar power (no AC)….and in tents!  But they never complained about the cooking lessons they took on the last day of our trip!

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In all honesty, it was a trip of a lifetime, with some great experiences!

Our final trip of the year was a last minute hop to Maui with Roy and Sandy (they are good sports)!

Val continues to stay active at home with quilting, genealogy, Spirit Sisters, and she joined a new book club.  Randy continues as a mediator for Deschutes County Court System and Community Solutions as well as golf (love/ hate relationship) racket ball, pickle ball and genealogy.

In 2017 the big trip on the books so far, is Israel and Greece.  Val is also excited about a long overdue visit to Kansas City in early January to catch up with family and friends on their turf!

merry-christmas-card-design-base-deer-34943390(Image from Internet)

We hope that you and yours have a happy, healthy, holiday season and that you have something to look forward to in 2017.

new-year-cheers(Image from Internet)

Love and good cheer to all!

 

 

 

Word for the Day – Witness

blue-stripe-dropImage © Valorie Webster

 

If you read the Parade Magazine on Sunday, wherever you live, you may have seen a little article this week, Sunday With…Tony Bennett. As he is turning 90 years old, the final question was What are your thoughts on turning 90? His reply…

“I’m happy to be alive. I think the greatest gift you could have is to witness your life on earth.”

To me that was profound. How many of us actually “witness” our lives? How many of us just move from moment to moment, event to event, thought to thought without really seeing, hearing, feeling, absorbing those things?

Dictionary.com defines Witness as…
a verb (used with object)
1. to see, hear, or know by personal presence and perception

Just a thought for today. Hope you are IN-joy!

Memorial Day

it is getting late on Memorial Day in the U.S. I have had a post in mind for a couple of days but must confess I did not get it done. 

There have been many posts about remembering the military people who have died in service. I agree that they have paid a great price and am very grateful for the freedom we have here.

What I have only seen once in all the posts about Memorial Day is any remembrance of non-military people who have died. 

The real reason I did not get this post done before is that I wanted to get out and scan old family pictures of visiting graves and “decorating” them on Memorial Day…sometimes called Decoration Day. From childhood I remember this as an annual trip to cemeteries in Kansas City, MO and Herington, Kansas. This was important to my grand-mother and we did not miss it. I am not sure how I felt then. I knew there were babies and moms and old folks missing from the family. I knew this made my parents and grand-parents sad. 

Today, as an adult, I miss many who have passed…way too many. I can’t even imagine the loss of a child, as my parents and grand-parents endured. As many things do, it seems the way people are memorialized has changed. Some folks have opted to leave behind no place to visit. For me, it has proven true that I don’t need a place to go and set wreaths or flowers, though that would be good. And I enjoy the peacefulness of cemeteries. I can remember and talk to those that have passed before me from anywhere…and I do. I have asked my children how they feel about it…what they might want when I am gone, but they have not wanted to discuss it.

So, this rambling…what am I getting at? Mostly that I think Memorial Day is for remembering all who,have died. Whether in service, military or otherwise, in love or in friendship, may we all have reasons to remember with respect, gratitude, honor, pride and joy those who are gone now. And may we think of them much more often than on a certain date the calendar says we should!

Thank you to,those who have served this country and given their lives. Thank you to those who have loved, laughed, played, sang, danced, cried, listened and otherwise shared life with me. Each and every one of you is missed and remembered on this Memorial Day!

Jars, Junk or Just Great?

IMG_0658This is an empty jar!  It is a very nice jar though. Bet you expected me to say it was full of something. It was a candle, which I actually bought because of the jar. (I really didn’t like the candle wick…one of those wood wicks that is supposed to sound like a real fire…I digress, that is another story.)

I think this jar with the wooden lid is just waiting for some exciting contents to start filling it up! Now, some would say that saving jars is ridiculous and that filling them is even worse…maybe close to hoarding. I, on the other hand, say “phooey” to them!

button jarThis jar holds buttons. I thought this was quite a cool jar too, so I saved it, of course. You can see that the top is sitting ajar (no pun intended), as it is full, so maybe the empty jar will hold more buttons. Probably not.

cork jarThis rescued jar (also a candle jar) holds wine corks…for now. These are just from this month and this baby is almost full, so the corks will be moving to some BIG jar I am on the lookout to find. And no, I am not a wino!!!

So, why save jars and fill them up? Well, one reason is just to recycle. We need to be kind to our planet! Another reason is because they look so neat when filled and could be décor pieces that speak to your interests. Then there is the fact that I am a crafter and keep all kinds of stuff that I MIGHT want to use later. (I often times do use that stuff too!)

So, the next time you think about getting rid of an empty jar, think of me. Or better yet, think of some cool thing you could use it for…shells, matches, bottle caps, yarn scraps, rocks, screws, nuts, bolts, the possibilities are endless!

And one last little thought…you know another thing that makes me really happy when I find a jar I love? A manufacturer that uses labels that peel off easily! (Maybe that will be another post too…how to get those pesky labels off.)

Happy collecting…jars, junk or just great stuff!!! Thanks for listening to my ramblings. What do you think?