Where are you?

I’m in real life, not on the internet. I have 2 teenage boys on the autism spectrum who need a lot of hands on parenting and a lot of help with homeschool. I am babysitting my 18 month old granddaughter for 10 hours a day. In addition my grandmother is nearly 90,her main care-giver, my aunt Linda is 60,  my parents (both in their 60’s) who used to live in Minnesota have moved nearby and my only sister is going through chemotherapy for rectal cancer. I cook 3 meals a day, because we are still on our gluten free diet and it takes a lot of cooking to maintain it on a budget. Fred has diabetes and I have PCOS. I’m 41 years old this year and to tell the truth my plate is full. Now I expect that in the next couple or three years that things will settle down. Our granddaughter will eventually start public school (her mom, an adult foster child of my grandmother’s, feels that public school is the best choice, and I defer to the mom, because God made her the mom for reasons that I don’t  have to understand, all I have to do is trust God). My teenage boys will grow up and start college, get jobs, or in the case of my oldest son, perhaps agree to a program that will help him develop independant living skills, and then eventually attend an institution of higher education.

Fred’s back, which was terribly injured earlier this year, is much better, he has been back to work for several months, but his back will eventually give out again, and when it does we’ll be retiring. Perhaps sooner than later. At that time, I’ll have more time to devote to all of my favorite interet projects. Until that time though, I have to maintain the  projects and relationships that I have in real life. For the time being, that takes all of my skills, all of my energy and all of time. If there was more of me to go around, I would devote more here, but there isn’t, so I have to adapt as best I can.

I have many thanks and much appreciation for all of the people who have been so kind and faithful over the years and hope to spend more time with you all when my schedule changes and my kids grow up. Until then, there are many, many quality sites online that can provide information on a variety of subjects, that for the time being, I cannot.

Hugs & Love all around

Maggie 🙂

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I can’t think up good titles any more

Fred is home from the hospital and has been for a few days now. The day after he came home Kia’s  (rhymes with PIE-uh) mom Carla, went to the emergency room and they kept her for 3 days. She had strep throat and the sack her heart sits in got infected. Gross isn’t it? Also there’s been more snow and more expected in a few days.

So anyway, we kept Kia for those days and had a lovely time. It’s pleasant having Fred home for the most part, except I do want to smack him around a little bit now and then, only I don’t do that of course. I just think about it from time to time. and then I remind myself how worried I was while he was gone and so I feel better.

My oldest son, the Asperger’s one, has had wheat this week and even with his digestive aids he’s having a hard time and being mean to everyone and yelling a lot and fussing about things that seem inconsequential to me. He is having an episode I guess. I will have to make sure his grandparents don’t give him any wheat this weekend, or he won’t be tolerable. As it is, I am hiding from him so he can’t find me and fuss at me. He’s 17, has the social skills of an 11 year old and is terribly angry at me for reasons I don’t comprehend. Sigh. The meaner he is the more I fantasize about smaking around his father. How’s that for messed up reasoning.

Oh well. This winter has had more stress than normal for me and doesn’t seem like it’s going to lighten up any time soon. On I plod. Heavenly Father grant me the gift of grace. Amen.

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Short Update

1. We have much snow. More than any year I can remember in my lifetime.

2. Fred has 3 herniated discs in his back. He has been at the hospital since Tuesday evening. He will come home today. I have missed him and will happy to get him home. He won’t be able to go back to work for a while so we’re getting all the disability and workman’s comp stuff figured out so we can still make ends meet.

3. The boys are at my folk’s house and are happy to be out of the house. I am doing all the snow shoveling myself and remembering when I was a teenager and had to do it all the time when I lived in Minnesota. I kind of like to shovel snow.

4. I have a new granddaughter named Kia (rhymes with PIE-uh). She is now almost 9 months old and I have been watching her during the day which is a wonderful thing for me to do and makes me very happy. Fred and I have decided that grandchildren make us feel successful and wealthy;  like we’ve done well in the world. Kia has curly red hair and she is beautiful.  Her mom, Carla, lives not too far away and works as a private nurse so I get Kia every week day and we have the most fun playing with girl toys and singing silly girl songs and terrorizing her teenage uncles. It’s a good life.

5. I have been sewing. A new light blue jumper for me and a new light brown jumper for Kia. It’s a little big for her, but she is growing like a weed. I will make some more for Kia too. I find it very fulfilling to make jumpers for her and she looks so pretty in them. I will share pictures soon. I have lots of pictures to share and hope to do so eventually. My intentions are always good but my work ethic is slow.

6. I still intend to blog on headcovering eventually. It’s just a matter of the discipline to do it.

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Foamboard and Duct Tape Barbie Size Doll House

This is a simple portable dollhouse that is really designed for play, not display. It comes apart for easy storage. It’s the perfect size for one of those plastic tubs that fit under your bed and have a lid to keep the dust the out. This is a great winter or rainy day project.

It’s starts out with 2 sheets of foam board that are 20 by 30-inches.  I had never heard of foam board before . A  relative was talking about it and how it was sturdy and easy to cut with an X-acto knife. Then I was at Walmart looking for printer paper and saw the foam board there with the poster boards and thought “Well this is nifty stuff.” So I bought two pieces without much knowledge of how to use it.

Then I got home and remembered this doll house from the 70’s that was owned by The Sunshine Family Dolls. It was 4 rooms with a removable roof. It’s pictured here on an ebay listing.

Another lady who had a similar idea for a 1:12 scale doll house posted her pictures here.

This is how it’s done.

1. Buy 2 sheets of foamboard. 2o” by 30″ each. Measure halfway up the 30″ side. Draw a line bisecting it. Cut on that line giving you 2 pieces  that are 20″ by 15″ each. Do this for both sheets of foam board so you have 4 pieces that are all the same size. Below is a picture of one large foamboard that has been cut into 2 pieces. The doll is a Darice Craft doll, the same size as Barbie.

I couldn’t find our X-acto knife set so I used a bread knife with a serrated knife to saw my foam board in half. It worked very nicely.

 

2.  Lay two pieces next to each other, about 1/2-inch apart. Keeping the gap, lay a piece of duct tape over the boards. Add 2 more pieces of duct tape too, so there are 3 pieces making the “hinge”. Flip the thing over and make the other side of the duct tape hinge. After hinging the first two pieces, do the same thing to the next two.

Now you have 2 pieces of foamboard, hinged together with duct tape. They open and close sort of like a book.

3. Lay the hinged boards out flat. Measure halfway the hinge, or 7-1/2 inches. Cut the hinge up to this point. I used a large serrated edge bread knife and sawed back and forth to cut the tape. Scissors just wouldn’t work.

 

4.  Fit the two together by shoving one down over the other with the openings in the hinges meeting an slipping together.

5. Decorate with contact paper, fabric scraps etc. I’ll do that in the next installment. This is just the beginning, the building of the skeleton, so to speak. Each section of the “X” will be a different room. I want to make a kitchen, bedroom, living room and I’m not sure what to make the 3rd room, maybe a bathroom, maybe something else.

If you prefer soemthing more sophisticated that takes more time (and more cash) but is really cute looking then take a look at these pictures and patterns from Morrisey Dolls (scroll halfway down to see pics).

Foam board is definitely a fun thing to play with. I hope to play with it some more when I furnish the house. I’m not sure how clear I made this, so please ask questions as needed. I’ll be happy to answer.

 

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Making ends meet . . . on Ebay

I never thought I would sell on ebay, but that’s exactly what I’m doing. You can see my listings HERE. They are all for Topper Dawn dolls, and specifically her guy friends. These are dolls from the early 70’s so they may not be especially popular now, but they are fun to sew for.

Eventually I will sell some stuff for more modern dolls but I have to do this first and see how the process works. It’s nerve wracking, but then I remember God’s in charge, so the rest doesn’t really matter so much. the sweet security we find in Him, absolutely priceless.

On a similar topic Anna over at Veiled Glory has opened up her own etsy shop selling her homemade snoods. They are really pretty snoods and very easy to wear. She wears them all the time and they always look nice.

She’s having a free snood giveaway and the deadline is Monday, so get over there and sign up!

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I have tried . . . but

I have tried to blog, but I find I don’t have much to say. I wish I did. Maybe if I keep at it I will find more to write about.

So it seems my intentions were bigger than my motivation once again. Ugh! My mortality fills me with angst.

Here’s the best I can do today:
I stopped watching the news again, about a year ago. It never proves profitable to my spirit. More often than not it fills me with things I would rather not know. About 2 years ago, I stopped watching most  (not all, but most)  TV altogether. Fred bought these cool headphones that wire up to the TV and then he can watch it with the headphones on and mute the actual TV proper. That way I don’t have to listen to it at all, I just get my peaceful silence.

In return I have been using an e-book reader with a backlight. This allows us to keep the bedroom dark for Fred (he can’t stand the light on when he’s trying to sleep), while still allowing me the necessity of reading myself to sleep at night.

I can’t even explain how much these two pieces of technology have eased our relationship. We’ve been doing it this way for over 2 years now and I can honestly say, I don’t know how we lived without them. Funny how small things can be so annoying, such as the noise from a TV and the light from a lamp. We’ve worked it out though, and as long it works, I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

ON the website update front, I’m getting closer, but am not finished yet. Also, I’d like to blog some more about headcovering, but I’m still working out what I want to say.

Greetings to cousin Chris from all the VA family. Everyone just talks about you all the time and how proud they are of you for being so brave and facing your dragons with faith and strength. Hugs & Love—M

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Cool Weather

Hey yall, good to see everyone again. I’ve been working on some updates and I’m about ready to just update everything and then let the readers point out any thing I’ve missed or messed up. Let me know what yall think of that idea. The updates aren’t enormous, but they are a little more tidy recipe format, and hopefully some of the new recipes we’ve been using.

We are still Gluten and Casein free and hopefully will be for the rest of forever. My kids are still on the autism spectrum, one with Asperger’s and one with ADHD, but they both respond well to dietary therapy and I wonder now if I have celiac sprue, or maybe some other form of wheat or gluten intolerance because I feel better than I ever have since setting gluten and wheat by the wayside. It’s hard, yes, but wow are the results life-changing.

I’m working on some doll stuff. I collect and sew for dolls and I’ve not shared much of that over the internet, but I hope to share more as I’m inspired. I’ll probably get up a subdomain to Frugal Abundance and focus my doll stuff on it. I love to sew and making doll clothes is easy for me, so I’m hoping to put a few doll thing up for sale on the Doll subdomain. If I had daughters who played with dolls I wouldn’t enjoy dolls as much as I do. In my house though, it’s all boys, all the time. Sewing for dolls helps me increase the estrogen level in the atmosphere, even if it’s only vinyl estrogen, every little bit counts.

I’ve been visiting with Anna from Veiled Glory on a weekly basis. We have coffee while my boys are at Karate. I cannot describe the encouragement it is to share an entire hour every week with another christian, headcovering lady who shares the same values and the same desire to serve the Lord while living deliberately. I thank God over and over again for his generosity and grace.  I’m much better able to focus on my goals and zero in on the things I want to do, instead of getting lost in all of my options and not being able to see any specific tree because the whole forest has me overwhelmed.

All is well on the home front. Boys are doing better. Fred’s diabetes in under good control, my PCOS has improved, although I still hope to work towards improving it more. My Granny is healthier than she’s been in years and at last check my cousin is doing very well. The Lord blesses us so abundantly.

Hugs and affection all around. I hope to be blogging regularly, perhaps once or twice a week.

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