Monday, March 30, 2020

Monday & Goals Update

Monday.....I am not going to get into the panic portion of what is going on in the world.  There is more than enough of that to go around.  Today let's focus on some positive things.

W had to run a few quick errands - bank deposit, pick up parts to fix vehicles, get animal feed.  He made a quick stop at the grocery store spending less than $9.  I wanted a couple of fill in items to stretch our pantry.  He noted that the store was still stocked overall.

Many of my favorite pattern designers on Etsy had 50% off sales over the weekend.  I ordered a few in an effort to support other small businesses.  I also have a huge amount of yarn so this will give me some variety of items to make over the next month.  I am focused on stocking up for when things are more normal, and they will be more normal.

The weather has been nice and I have gotten a start on the garden.  There is not much to show yet since it is mostly bare beds with seeds not yet sprouted.  I will try to do a post later in the week as I plant more things.  Several people have noted that this could have happened in the middle of winter rather than the start of spring.  While there is no good time, winter to me is more depressing than the early spring days.

Goals Update

1.  Save All of Our Change for the Year
Shopping is at a minimum so not much change going into the jar for now.

2.  Plan Ahead for My Business
I am thankful to still be getting orders and for having a list of local orders to wok on.  As I mentioned earlier, my plan for April is to work and make as many items as I can using yarn that I already have.  I am excited to try some new projects and may even work on a thing or two for myself.

3.  Use the Dehydrator More
I have taken two bags of peaches from the freezer.  I am letting them thaw so I can drain off the extra juice.  That will go into my hippie herbal fruit drink.  Then I will puree the peaches for fruit leather.  I expect it will take a bit of trial and error to get it right. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Weekend Book Reviews

Last Licks by Cynthia Baxter is the third book in the Lickety Splits Mystery series.  Kate, owner of Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe, is thrilled when a movie crew wants to use her shop to film a scene.  When the rising starlet in the scene dies in the shop, Kate sets out to solve the murder and save her shop's reputation.  This is a fun series both with the setting and the characters.  There are several twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end.  I look forward to more from this light-hearted series.

The eighth book in the Sarah W Garage Sale Mystery series by Sherry Harris is Sell Low, Sweet Harriet.  Sarah is happy to be contracted to do an estate sale for a couple who recently died.  She learns they were former CIA which intrigues her.  The job turns mysterious when the house is broken into and Sarah discovers a hidden camera.  She is also asked to help investigate a murder on the base.  This book was full of action and some twists and turns.  This series gets better with each book, and I am already looking forward to the next one!

There's a Murder Afoot by Vicki Delany is the fifth book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series.  Gemma and her friends are in London for a Sherlock Holmes convention.  What is supposed to be a fun vacation turns into a murder investigation.  Gemma discovers she has an uncle she knew nothing about.  The uncle is found dead in a coat closet with Gemma's dad who is the prime suspect.  Gemma and her friends begin their own investigation to clear her father's name.  I enjoy this series although it takes a bit to warm up to Gemma.  Her character is curt and condescending at best.  The supporting characters help soften the mood and bring the entire book together.

disclosure:  I received these e-books through NetGalley but was not otherwise compensated for these reviews.  All opinions are my own!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Back to Basics

I am not sure what things look like in your part of the world.  Life seems to change more and more from one day to the next.

Last week W and I did venture to the grocery stores.  We skipped the big box store and instead went to a couple of smaller stores.  I found them to be well stocked and was able to get everything on my short list.  We already had a good stockpile of most things.  Living so far out in the country, it has always been my nature to have extras on hand.  The only item I bought multiples of was flour.  I knew I could use it to make a variety of breads.  I chose to leave the pre-made breads for others.  I did not spend much over a usual shopping trip, and I planned to stay out of the grocery stores for at least three weeks.  Honestly we could hold out a couple of months or more although the meals might get a bit weird toward the end.

The main change here was no church services.  That was the norm here for all churches.  Instead the service was recorded and uploaded online.  It was a quick learning experience for me as I handle the technology stuff at my small church.  It was far from professional, but we managed with our inexpensive laptop. 

As I mentioned yesterday I went out quickly to pick up a few things for my parents and got a couple of items for us.  It seems we may be in for stricter restrictions in the coming days.  I used extra amounts of hand sanitizer and did my best to distance myself from others.  For now I am not planning to venture out at all for at least two more weeks.

A few gratitudes in all of this...

  • I am thankful W and I are able to work from home and that we are both content to do so.

  • I am thankful the weather is warming up which hopefully will help stop the virus spread but at least will allow us to grow some of our own foods.

  • I am thankful to see people being kind and courteous even during difficult times.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Goals Update Week 12

I did not mean to take a break from blogging.  I ended up getting a pile of Etsy orders as well as a rush local order.  I did nothing but work for over a week.  I finally have things under control for a bit.  It was hectic, but I am very thankful for the orders.

1.  Save all of our Change for the Year

Shopping is pretty minimal right now.  I did pick up a few things and ran out earlier today to grab a couple of things for my parents.  Otherwise we are staying at home.  I do not expect to have much change to add to the jar over the next month at least. 

2.  Plan Ahead for My Business

I did end up leaving the shop.  I am selling plenty of stuff through my Facebook page as well as on Etsy.  The shop was just not getting enough foot traffic, and that is not going to improve with the current world situation.  It was silly to keep pouring money into something that was not working.

The farmers' markets are currently not an option due to local restrictions.  My focus instead is on filling the direct orders I am getting and adding more items to my Etsy shop.  I am also going to make up items for the farmers' markets/craft shows when those reopen. 

3.  Use the Dehydrator More

Ummm...nope, not yet.  I still need to get started with the fruit leather.  I want to work on the garden this week so that I have herbs and vegetables to dry later this year.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sunday Book Reviews

Knot On Your Life by Betty Hechtman is the seventh book in the Yarn Retreat Mystery series.  Casey runs a yarn retreat and is a part-time dessert maker.  Her yarn retreat is sharing space with a group of tech people on a mindfulness retreat.  When she discovers one of the tech people dead, she begins to suspect he was murdered.  Even worse she thinks one of the members of her yarn retreat could be guilty.  This is the first book I have read in this series, but I was able to follow along just fine.  I enjoyed the book and would read more from this series.

The tenth book in the Tourist Trap Mystery series by Lynn Cahoon is Memories and Murder.  Jill's bookstore is hosting a discussion on elder abuse.  At the time she had no idea that she would be seeking the speaker's help regarding that very topic and he Aunt Jackie.  Meanwhile a murder in town has everyone on edge.  I love this series, and this book fit right in.  It also brought to light how anyone can fall for a nefarious scam artist.  I look forward to more in this series.

Sealed Off by Barbara Ross is the eighth book in the Maine Clambake Mystery series.  The clambake season is winding down.  Jill and her family are working with a skeleton crew for the last of the clambakes while another crew is working on the family mansion.  Several of the clambake crew are not getting along and without the buffer of the other crew members a fight breaks out between two of them.  When one of the fighters is found dead on the island, the second is the obvious suspect.  This book was full of twists and turns even though the clues are huge red flags to what is really going on.  I enjoy the characters and am anxious to see how things develop after this book.

disclosure:  I received these e-books through NetGalley but was not otherwise compensated for these reviews.  All opinions are my own!

Monday, March 9, 2020

Goals Update Week 10

1.  Save All of Our Change for the Year

I added a few coins to the jar.  I also rounded up all of our credit card purchases to put a bit extra toward the credit card bill

2.  Plan Ahead for My Business

This past week was spent on orders and a few small items that can be sold at the farmer's market later this month.  Until then I will put them in my shop booth.  Unless something dramatic happens in the next two weeks, I will be leaving the shop.  I will put focus on Etsy and local farmer's markets/festivals where I am actually selling some things. 

3  Use the Dehydrator More

We had so much rain this past week that I gave up on even trying to get out to the building where the dehydrator is.  I moved the peach fruit leather to this week. 

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Sunday Book Reviews

The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe is a collection of stories from his podcast.  It is a mix of history and personal stories from his life.  Readers will be reminded of Paul Harvey.  This is easily my favorite book of the year thus far.  I was constantly stopping to to say to my husband, "Hey, listen to this."  I especially loved the stories about Deadliest Catch star Phil Harris.  The stories are short and easy to read, but I found myself wanting to read just one more time and again.  I was truly sad to reach the end of the book and will be looking into the podcast series.

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Key is marketed as the secret diaries of a medical resident.  Unfortunately the title refers how I felt while reading the book.  I appreciate that medical residents have a strenuous and stressful schedule.  Mr. Key assumes that the rest of us are complete idiots who have never heard of any medical procedures or illnesses/conditions.  The fact that practically everything had to be explained was a red flag that he was searching for filler.  The secret diaries were just brief lines for the most part of things that may (or may not) have happened to the author.  Better books dealing with the same subject are available.  I am encouraging you to skip this one and avoid the pain I felt!

The Pollinator Victory Garden by Kim Eierman is a resource for those looking to attract a wide variety of pollinators.  I love seeing my garden full of bees, butterflies, wasps, moths, and other insects so I was anxious to read this book.  This book is better for beginning gardeners than long time ones.  While it had a variety of information, it is much too basic for those who have been gardening for years.  I do recommend this for general information, but I encourage people to find books geared toward their growing region for the best information.

disclosure:  I received these e-books through NetGalley but was not otherwise compensated for these reviews.  All opinions are my own!