Thank You for Your Patience

It seems like I am always beginning a post with an apology for my terrible neglect of this blog.  And I am doing it again today!  Life is still busy in the household, and I find myself just cooking the same old things. The reasons? Either there are only 2 of us here for dinner, or I am so busy that finding a new recipe and actually getting it cooked are not on the schedule.

I did take advantage of some sales at the grocery store this week and made my hubby a favorite. Here is the link for some of the best cabbage rolls!

So, why have I been so busy?  The first event is the bridal shower for my dear daughter!  Barbi was able to drive back home a few weeks ago for an afternoon bridal shower.  Quite a few of her friends were also able to come to town and gave her another shower in the evening! Here she is with her best friend from childhood and her maid of honor.



Shortly after the shower weekend, I was finally able to share some very important news. I have known this wonderful news since the end of January but was sworn to secrecy.  Can you guess what it is?  Yes!!! I am going to be a grandma!  The blessed event should occur near the beginning of September!



And the final part of my busyness is getting ready for a Charleston trip tomorrow.  Our cadet earned a spot on The Citadel’s Summerall Guards!!  This so exciting for us all.  If you want to learn more about the Summerall Guards, here is a link to tomorrow’s event.

So, there you have it.  Thanks for your patience! I will try to get my act together for new recipes next week! (After I address wedding invitations!)  🙂


Random Thoughts and Laundry Detergent

I realized the other day that it has been several weeks since I have written a post for this blog.  So sorry about that!  I thought that once our home schooling was over (we finished 20 years in May), that I would have more time to devote to this blog.  Well, the summer proved to be busy, and I just didn’t get back here like I wanted to.  The garden is about finished…mainly because we have had too much rain and not enough sunshine!  We are just now getting our figs…about a month later than normal.

However slow I have been in writing, though, has not deterred my faithful readers from stopping by.  Just yesterday we passed the 10,000 views mark for this blog!!  I am totally impressed and thankful!

Quite a few views have been for 2 posts I wrote about mailing letters and packages to college kids at The Citadel and those going through Basic Military Training (BMT).  I am so glad that I can be of some help to wives, girlfriends, and moms who are learning the ropes of military life.

Since I posted last, Ben has gotten settled in at The Citadel for his 3rd year!  (How is it possible that he is a junior??)  He was  busy preparing for all the new Knobs to arrive, and then working with them now that they have.  The rest of the SC Corp of Cadets arrive in the next several days, and then classes will begin.  Ben has a full schedule this semester!!

Wedding plans for my two oldest are coming right along.  We are almost at the 2-month mark for Russ and Hope!!  They are busy with wedding preparations and getting their apartment ready.  Barbi and Sam have set their date for early May, so we still have some time for preparations.

My youngest has been working part time for the hubby and looking for another part time job to help fill his time. He is waiting for just a few minor details to be worked out and then should receive his dates for BMT with the Air Force. He is seeking to be part of the SC National Guard.  So, it looks like another trip to San Antonio will be in the works sometime in 2014!

The other day I decided to try making laundry detergent.  I had seen a recipe on Face Book shared by several of my friends, so I decided to give it a try.   I got the recipe from this website: I followed the recipe and directions exactly as they were written…no experimenting this time! It uses just  3 ingredients plus water…borax, washing soda, and Fels Naptha.

After the “cooking” part of the process, the jars sit a few hours upside down.

002While they sit upside down, the white part you see here gets quite thick.  After I turned them over, I removed the lid and used a knife to break up the thick soap.  The next step (step 8 in the recipe) totally amazed me!   I never knew that quart mason jars could be attached to the blade of a blender! Seriously, how did I never know that??  It could have saved me work and time over the years when I was making other things!

004Anyway, blend the mixture until it looks creamy…like mayonnaise!  Be sure to label your jars to prevent anyone from eating it!  I have used this laundry soap for quite a few loads of wash and no one in the family has complained!  Not even my one who delcared, “You aren’t using that stuff with my laundry!”  Oh, yes! I am! and he hasn’t even noticed!


Care Packages for my College Kid

Living in a college town has made it fairly easy for me to accept the fact that my children are growing older and beginning to make their own ways in their lives.   Barbi lived at home during her four years at college, so the transition of her leaving home didn’t hit me until just last summer.  Russ has also been living at home during his college days.  But Ben decided he wanted to attend The Citadel…the military college of SC located in Charleston, 3-1/2 hours away.  Having a child living in the dorms barracks has made preparing care packages a necessity.  However, Knobs at the Citadel are the lowest guys on the Totem Pole, so to speak.  Any Knob can be stopped by any upper classman and asked to do all sorts of crazy stuff, including opening up care packages and “sharing” any goodies.  So it became a necessity to figure out how to mail said goodies to my Knob so that he could have them for himself and not have to give them to upper classmen.  Packages must be small enough to fit inside Ben’s Knobbie bag so that he can slip them into his bag before he leaves the post office.  This means using a flat rate bag  or box from the PO…the smallest size they have!  But the package must also be sturdy enough so that home baked goodies do not get crushed in the process of going from here to there.

The workers at The Citadel post office were actually the ones who gave me the idea that I am about to share here.  I can use a small priority mail box and a small flat rate envelope together.

I fill the box with cookies, pop tarts or other items that could get crushed. Then I slip the box into the flat rate envelope and stuff other items around it.  This flat rate envelope costs me $4.95  $5.30  (postage just went up)  no matter how heavy it is!  If I mailed the box alone, it would cost according to weight.  The first and only time I did that cost me almost $7.00!

I got some really good deals last week on a trip to my favorite Bargain Food store, so this particular package doesn’t have any homemade goodies.  Here is what I put inside this package for Ben:

3 applesauce cups; 5 hot chocolate packets; 6 craisin snack packs; 2 Chex mix snack packs; 4 disposable razors; 1 regular size tube of toothpaste;  and 2 sticks of chapstick.  Oh, yes, also a letter from Mom!

I also discovered about half-way through the school year that knobs always share care packages. They will often go to the post office together and split up packages into several knobbie bags before they head back to the barracks. I began to send extra home made goodies to my son so that he had plenty to share!

**Edited for my new readers–The first picture below shows my son as a very scared knob on Matriculation Day, 2011. The second picture is when he received his ring in October,2014.The confidence he shows in the second picture is just amazing! The same transformation will occur in your cadets as you journey on the Road Less Traveled!