icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: March 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Snake Scarf

I am not an accomplished knitter.  I learned how to knit last year, and have made several very basic scarves and dishcloths since then.  My daughter Alyssa, who learned to knit the very same day I did, is already an accomplished knitter.  She has to rescue me from all my mistakes when I knit, plus reteach my old brain how to do the things I've forgotten.  So, last year my friend Cassie was making an adorable snake scarf for her son, and I asked Chad if he wanted one. Of course he did, and I started to knit the scarf.  Very soon, the problems arose.  I didn't know how to change colors, how to increase or decrease-all things my Alyssa was willing to teach me, but I got overwhelmed and started working on dishcloths for gifts.  When this winter rolled around, Chad started asking when his snake scarf would be finished.  Hmmmm.....that was a really good question.  So I decided to enlist Alyssa's help and get going on it again.  Due to my tremor in my hand, knitting can get frustrating at times, so we decided to make it easier on me by adjusting the pattern a bit so it wasn't so complicated.  I worked on it off and on during the winter (on when Chad asked me when it would be done, off when he didn't).  Then February came and I realized I really needed to get this done before another winter was over.  So I kicked it into high gear, and finished one week before the official first day of Spring!!  Now, here in Utah we can have snow through Memorial Day so I know there will be opportunities to wear it a few times this Spring.  The scarf has several flaws in it, one being it is way too wide-I switched to a thicker yarn and didn't consider how that would affect the pattern.  But, even with it's flaws, Chad was thrilled, and that makes me happy. 

I've decided to put away the knitting needles for a bit. I have lots of yarn and many things I still want to knit, but I would like to try crochet, and see how my hands (and I) do with that.  Here is a picture of Chad with his snake:     

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Target deal-mittens!

So, last night I did a quick trip to Target to check clearance items.  I didn't find much, but what I did find was a great deal-mittens!  These are just your regular black mittens that are one-size-fits-most.  They had a lot of them, so I decided to stock up.  Each set had two pairs of mittens, and was originally $1.50, now .37.  I got five sets, so ten pairs in all, for a grand total of $1.85! That was a 75% savings!  I figure these may last a year or two-it seems mittens get lost so easily.  I was in an artistic mood, so here is my '$1.85 Mitten Wreath' for your viewing pleasure:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cute idea for keeping kids busy while shopping!

Here is a great idea from Tip Junkie!  This site has TONS of great ideas and crafts!

Shop With Me Bingo {Printable Bingo Cards for Kids}

"Keep your kids busy while you are at the grocery store with this fun printable shopping bingo game. There is also an I Spy version for preschool age children. Print, laminate, and enjoy a shopping trip free of fits." (Wouldn't it be great if there was a guarantee with this??)

Here is the link to the post so you can make your own:
Tip Junkie Shop With Me Bingo Cards- I am definitely going to use these next time we go to the store!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Meeting Author Cindy Woodsmall!

Last Saturday I went to a book signing by author Cindy Woodsmall, who was promoting her latest book, Plain Wisdom.  You can read more about Cindy and the book in my most recent blog post.  I must say I have never been to a book signing but figured it would be a quick greeting and generic signing of my book.  It was just the opposite!  We chatted about the book and homeschooling (she homeschooled her boys), among other things.  We took this picture together, and I must say it was really a delight to meet her!  She is a very sweet, genuine woman, and now we are even Facebook friends!  I wonder if meeting her will make her books seem even more enjoyable than before?  I have a feeling it will, having that personal connection now.  Thank you Cindy for coming to Utah!!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Plain Wisdom

Cindy Woodsmall is an author who writes Amish fiction.  Miriam Flaud is an old order Amish woman. They live two completely different lifestyles, and they came together to write this book, "Plain Wisdom".  This is a unique book, and certainly a treat for anyone who enjoys reading about the Amish lifestyle.  These two women met each other several years ago, and began a friendship that has grown closer over the years.  As they have learned more about each other's lives, they realize that they both look to God to guide them through life's challenges and celebrations.  Each chapter begins with a relevant scripture; the chapters are short and each have a topic that the two women then address individually as to how it affects their lives.  There are many heartwarming stories,  delicious recipes scattered throughout, and a discussion guide in the back of the book. By the end of the book, it is obvious that these women have more in common than they (and we) thought.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I hope that these two talented friends will write more!
* Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
***LOCALS in Salt Lake-Cindy Woodsmall will be signing copies of Plain Wisdom Saturday, March 19 at Lifeway Christian store in Murray from 1-2pm.

Here is a video about the book:


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book Review-'Seek Me with all your Heart' by Beth Wiseman

I had the pleasure of reviewing 'Seek Me with all your Heart' by Beth Wiseman, and it was a treat!  This book is the first in a new series, 'A Land of Canaan' novels.  The Canaan referred to in this book is Canaan, Colorado.  The Detweiler and Stoltzfus families have moved from their lives and families in Ohio and Pennsylvania to make new lives in Colorado, where there is a small community of Amish settling there.  Emily Detweiler and her family moved to escape a horrible crime that changed their lives forever, and Emily believes she will never heal from the emotional pain inflicted on her by this crime.  Her heart has hardened toward God, and she does not trust people anymore.  David Stoltzfus is dealing with his own secret, and does not want to stay in Colorado.  The two families come together and begin to help each other.  They also begin connecting with people in the community, notably Martha, a tough, lonely older woman who is seeking meaning and purpose in her life, as well as the comfort of friends.  Emily and David  have romantic feelings for each other, but neither of them thinks they can have a normal future with a spouse and family.  This book had some great twists and turns in it, and I enjoyed the storyline very much. It was refreshing to read an Amish story in a completely different setting than they normally are!  I will definitely be reading the next book in the series when it comes out in the Fall this year.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Booksneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Bible in 90 Days-Day 63!

Wow!  I have read more than 2/3 of the Bible since January!!!  That is so incredible!  I have been a Christian for many years and have never read all the way through the Bible, and now I'm doing it in three months!  I hoped I would stick with it, but really wasn't sure, with my illness and all that life seems to throw at me/us/everyone.  It has been a great experience.  I just started reading Daniel.  I've enjoyed the prophets, but I'm excited to get into the New Testament. 

I would definitely suggest this program to anyone interested.  It is a lot of reading, seven days a week, and always seems to be on my mind, but it's a good subject to have on your mind, right?  I really feel as if I'm retaining the information and putting it all together much better than when I have tried the Bible in One Year plans.  The way the program is set up with the teams is great, so you can be encouraging others and be encouraged by others who are going through it with you.  It sure makes you realize that you can find the time to read when you set a goal like this! 27 days to go!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Another good clearance trip to Target

The other day I went to Target, armed with coupons that would make several items either free or very close to free.  Well, some items were sold out, a few were there that I was able to use both my Target and manufacturer coupons on, and then I checked on all the clearance areas.  I found a bunch of winter tools/items on 75% off.  I know snow shovels and ice melt are not what any of us wants to be thinking of right now.  It would be much nicer to be thinking of gardens and flowers, but it is the perfect time to stock up for next year, or, for us in Utah who had snow until Memorial Day last year, for later this Spring!

Let me clarify the reason I am posting these deals is to encourage you to regularly check your clearance sections of stores, and in stores that allow you to 'stack' store and manufacturer coupons, do it!  You can come away with some incredible deals!

Here is my first transaction:

Kellogg's cereal, sale $2.50 x 2=$5.00-(2)$1.00 mfg coupons-(2)$1.00 Target coupons=$1.00 (.50 each)
Clorox 96oz splashless bleach, sale $1.66 x 2=$3.32- (2) $1.00 mfg coupons=$1.32(.66 each)
Kite   reg. $7.00 clearance $1.76
Windshield de-icer reg. $2.79 clearance $1.38
Window scraper reg. $5.99 clearance $1.48
Snow Shovel  reg. $8.99 clearance $2.24
Set of 3 Snapware heavy duty Christmas  cookie keepers-I got 2 sets of these clearance $3.48x2=$6.96
(I don't know the regular price of the Clorox or the Snapware)
My grand total was $16.14! The regular price of all items, using the sale price for the Clorox and Snapware as I do not know their regular price, was $40.05.  Just this is a savings of over 60%, but I imagine I really saved about 75% as I know the Clorox was more regularly and the Snapware was in the 75% off section. 

While I was pondering the snow shovels, I called my husband to ask if he wanted me to get one.  He said yes, and then just as I was finished at the cash register, he called me to ask me to get two more snow shovels and two more window scrapers for his co-workers.  I went back to get them, and while I was there I noticed a great savings on ice melt for the sidewalks/driveway, so I picked that up too.  So here is my second transaction that day:

8 lb. salt-free pet-safe ice melt regular $12.99, clearance $3.24
Snow shovels for co-workers regular price $8.99x2=$17.98, clearance $2.24x2=$4.48
Window scrapers for co-workers regular price $5.99x2=$11.98, clearance $1.48x2=$2.96
My grand total was $10.68!   The regular price of all items was $42.95, a savings of 75%!

Now we need some good kite weather to try out that new kite!!