Day 1 of Marie Kondo organizing

This has been a pretty productive day for me. Usually I spend the morning catching up on recorded shows and drinking hot tea but I decided since it was garbage day I would go upstairs and clean my dresser. I planned to organize #mariekondo and get an early start on my spring cleaning. The weather is pretty nasty out there this morning with snow falling right now and it will soon be changing to rain, so you know what that means. Yup.. idiots not driving sensible on the roads.

So I went up and got started. Drawer #1 was a hot mess with things just shoved in and a pile on the dresser ready to join that hot mess. In I go, grabbing everything and dumping it on the bed. I then got a shoe box and cut the lid off , turned the lid over and made a small shelf in front of the shoe box. Sort/roll/set in box/repeat.

Drawer #2 was socks.. Dump on the bed sort/roll/set in box/repeat. This was really good as I was finding matches to socks I had totally forgotten about.

Drawer #3 was the sock overload drawer. Seriously did I need these many socks!!!!!. I think NOT. I started making a pile of socks that I for sure knew I was never going to put on my feet. This pile will be delivered to the shelter downtown when it is all said and done.

Drawer #4.. well… not sure about that drawer it just looked like I was throwing stuff in there just because. There was no rhyme or reason or category for the items in that drawer. So I designated it. unopened panties and stuff I might use this year, maybe,, kinda.

so below are the before and after pictures of my dresser. I am pretty pleased with it and how straightened up it is. I tossed out things that needed to be tossed. While I was at it I cleaned out the top drawer of my nightstand. wow.. why did I keep so many pieces of paper and receipts?  It is all a mystery to me. Now the big question. How long will this last?.. hahahahaha

top drawer before and after

This is the top drawer. underwear rolled and bras nicely folded and in a line and camisoles neatly folded and behind the underwear.

second drawer before and after

second drawer. shoe box on the right with the shelf part in front for the lighter weight frequently used socks

third drawer before and after

Third drawer has another shoe box on the left with the cover in front of it to hold the lighter weight, not so frequently used socks.

bottom drawer before and after

bottom drawer well.. the picture pretty well describes itself.


Pile of socks that will be going to the shelter the next time I go out.

Tomorrow I will hit the shelves and two drawers in my closet and get those done. I have decided to reuse and recycle something from my studio. I have a three drawer plastic cabinet (actually 2 of them) and I have decided to use the pull out drawers to put in my closet to put my tshirts in. As you can see below it is a clear drawer so I can just take it out and find what shirt I want and now the cat (Lady Fluffington) will not knock all my tshirts on the floor when she decides to climb onto the shelf.


I will take the before and after shots of the closet once I get started tomorrow. This plastic drawer will fit perfectly on the shelf. How cool is that, that I am able to reuse/recycle something that is taking up space in my studio.

So that is all for today. I am done with the organizing (need to pace myself…hahahahaha)

Time for lunch and hot tea. hmmm what to have?

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Holiday stress

“Our happiness often relies on contrast; we have to experience negative things in life, in order to really appreciate true gratitude and what is meant to be. I have learned so much from pain”~~~

That was in a blog post I read this morning and it was like a light bulb moment for me!

Even though this is the holiday season, a lot of people, including myself to a certain point, tend to slip into loneliness, rejection and unhappiness. That is in no way projecting fault or blame on the people who are presently in your life, it is just that memories, good and not so good tend to creep into your psyche when you least expect it. We go on day by day *happy happy joy joy*   while inside we are dreading the holidays. We avoid parties and crowds in fear that people will see that loneliness and unhappiness and honestly it is exhausting keeping up that false front all the time.  We hide away while we should really be going out of our comfort zone and mingling. We are afraid that people will judge us because we are not the “OMG it is the best season ever” type of person.

These difficult times over the years should have made me stronger, a little bit more fearless and forgiving (I am still working on the forgiving part of it). But through the years I carried all this on my shoulders wondering. “What have I done?  Why does this happen?” “Am I supposed to be learning something from all this?”  I can’t think of a better time in my life than where I am right now, although a lot of sharp burrs keep hitting me from every direction. I am tired of dodging and ducking to avoid them hitting me. Recently I have had a day that gob smacked me and set me back to a place I really don’t want to be anymore. Sometimes you just try too hard and that never works out in the long run if you are the only person doing the work.

A wise person once said that “Letting go is much easier than hanging on”.  I think I get that now, when hanging on kills you inside. Again the trying too hard thing comes into the forefront in BOLD FONT.  So here is a little word of advice. Just remember that if you are having a difficult time in your life, reach out to someone, and don’t shut yourself away because imaginary scenarios will overtake your common sense. Difficult times will only remain if you choose to hold on to them. They will burn into you until you lash out and hurt someone that has always been on your side through thick and thin. Words can be easily said but impossible to take back once they are out there.

So the letting go part of my life has begun and not as a New Year’s resolution by any means. Do this with me, for yourself and your own well being as a lifelong endeavor from this point onward.  It is something that all of us should do to gain peace and to let you concentrate on the great things you have going on in your life right now. This letting go will not kill you or change you in any way, it will only free up your soul to begin to live a life of acceptance of all things we cannot change. We cannot carry everyone else’s burdens on our shoulders for the rest of our lives without those burdens affecting us in some way.

Shake them off !

I for one am trying and will learn to let go (eventually this will fully happen). I must be honest though that I am not entirely comfortable with all of this. I am determined not to let the negative unhappy stuff dictate the rest of my life. You have to embrace life, hold your loved ones close because tomorrow is never promised.

You are not your * brother’s keeper* so to speak, especially if the door doesn’t swing both ways. You are not responsible for anyone else’s life except your own. You need to be a little selfish and take care of YOU.

*Breath deep and seek peace*

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my Kefir journey Day 1 million ?

Well UGH!!!!  this has been a learning experience to say the least.  Kitchen messes exploding kefir milk on the cupboards, new blender that was not sealed properly so when I removed it from the base the kefir poured onto the stove and cupboard. Yes.. the air was blue and I was ready to give up but I walked away after everything was cleaned up again, sat in the tv room,, relaxed and then said.. nope this battle between myself and the kefir is not going to break me. I will win over this foolishness because it it a healthy alternative for us!!!!..


So this morning I carefully tip toed into the kitchen.. on the stealth kefir attack.. I figured if I snuck in and did my thing it would not get the better of me.. right?  Well I got it strained and put into a jar, put said jar in the fridge and set some more kefir to ferment on the counter. All good so far.. Cleaned up the items I used and then decided to make a smoothie.. hey why not.

So I got the blender (made sure the bottom was secured on tightly to the container) added 1 cup of kefir milk, 1/2 banana, a handful of blueberries and about 1/2 tsp of organic honey.. whirred it up and poured it into a mug. Ok I have to say that it is awesomely delicious. The only thing was, the kefir milk hadn’t had a chance to get cold so next time I will wait a couple of hours before making a smoothie.  I plan to alternate the yogurt on one day and the next day have a smoothie. Only time will tell how all this healthy lifestyle will work out.

banana-blueberry- kefir- smoothie

On that note today is recovery Monday as we so affectionately call it. Warrior weekends are always followed by Recovery Mondays.. So off I go to work quietly on a new pattern design and maybe watch a movie through my eyelids.


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My Kefir Journey- Day One-EDITED

Well I was always one not to jump on the healthy kick bandwagon and jumping on the next new thing on the internet… nope not me. But after hearing about kefir from a friend I figured I would give it a shot. You see, we eat 3 containers of Greek yogurt every week and we pay $5 a container from Walmart. I have it every breakfast with bran buds and blueberries on top. That is my typical breakfast with a cup of coffee. It provides me with food in my stomach so I can take my daily medications.

So yesterday our friend dropped off some kefir grains to us to get us started. They were in a Ziploc baggie.. about a couple of table spoons of it. I poured them into a glass dish, added milk and now it is sitting on my counter for a day. It is like watching clothes in a dryer at this point, and I figured I can’t sit all day and stare at the jar.. right?  So I got my 5 pound box of blueberries vacuum sealed and put in the freezer. Two jobs done.. time for a bagel.  This healthy eating thing is new for me and has a whole new learning curve. But I plan to do it. It will be interesting to see how all this works out. Plenty of YouTube videos to watch about kefir but I did find a lady that makes sense so I am going to make the kefir milk first then when I get enough made I will make the Greek yogurt and add my sweetener and flavouring to our taste. Probably will be a lot of fails but you learn from fails and will get better. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

I will update on the first batch with pictures etc. Hey what have I got to lose right?


well this was  a trial and error process to say the least!!! A few failed attempts such as my yogurt not thickening,, etc. So I went on the search again to find out what happened.. WELLLLL who knew that when you set your kefir grains on the counter that you are NOT  and I say NOT supposed to put the lid on tightly when you have your first ferment so the fermentation will take place.. ok.. fail #1.. by the time I set it in the fridge for the yogurt to start setting I was doing that all wrong as well.. So after wasting milk on the first two settings I decided to do a small batch and go through the whole thing again.. Milk and grains.. set on the counter with a coffee filter over the top held with a rubber band, then as someone said.. cover it with a towel.. done!  I let it set for about 15 hours and then took the towel off.. VOILA.. this time it worked.. Now to drain it to get the grains out.. done!.. put the grains back into the original jar and covered them with enough milk, tightened the cover and put it in the fridge to store. ah ha.. worked.. now they say to put it in the blender to make it smooth.. Didn’t have a blender  so I just mixed it up with a spatula and then put it in a clean jar to ferment for a second time (they say 6 hours) so when that was done with the second fermentation  I lined a small colander with unbleached coffee filters (they were wet so they would stick to the sides of the colander)  ok.. so far so good.. Set the colander on a bowl and then poured the kefir milk slowly over the coffee filters.. covered lightly with plastic wrap and set the whole thing into the fridge to start draining.. Again  so far so good!!!!.. Well today I took the whole thing out of the fridge.. lifted the colander off and dumped it upside down into another bowl, scraped the extra yogurt off them and threw them in the compost. . It looked just like Greek Yogurt but was really sour.. so I added stevia and some vanilla extract and WOW   WOW.. I REALLY LIKED THE TASTE!. Now to figure out how to do a bigger batch once the walmart yogurt is gone.. Going to try some berry infused kefir or.. just maybe leave it vanilla and add some berries on top when I have breakfast.

I am really proud of myself but I must admit that I was ready to quit a few days ago when the second batch didn’t turn out. My wife said, don’t give up it will will worth it in the end, give it another try and yes she was correct.. it was frustrating but worth it. I just hope that this healthy alternative to the store bought yogurt will make a difference here.

My next back will be fully documented with pictures although I really should have taken some the other day when I decided to give the container a bit of a shake only to realize that the cover leaked and it exploded on my counter top, cupboard and stove.. Good thing I was not taking a video as you would have seen and heard the air turning blue. On the upside, my kitchen has had it’s fall cleaning early.. and looks mahvelous dahling!!!

and on that note!! have a great weekend everyone


Information : Benefits of Kefir


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New pattern!!!!

Here it is,,,,, the middle of August, I have sort of survived the heat wave without melting into the pavement. This has been by far the hottest summer that I can remember. What the heck is with that????.. My A/C died last year and  I decided.. heck.. we are on the east coast.. I am sure we won’t actually need it.. HA! By the time we got back from a vacation we were soggy towel deep in the heat wave here. No problem I will go out and get a new A/C.  Well,, NOPE.. no A/C’s available either locally or online!.. had I known that I would have picked one up in the states and brought it home. So the panic set in. Phone calls.. internet searches,,, no luck. but I was not giving up. I found on on our local kijiji and got so excited that I bought it that evening without actually measuring the window.. big mistake… it was too high for our bedroom window.  oh dang.. oh dang.. I just paid for something that I could not use.. so.. back to kijiji to relist it …. guess what.. it sold in 1/2 hour and was picked up shortly after that!.. yup that is how bad the situation is here. After about a week of searching I found another one at Bed bath and beyond,, and had it shipped in. (Yes I measured to make sure it fit).. So now I am a happy camper.. I have had a cool sleep every night and now my brain is starting to function again.

Anyway. It is time to get back to business with my patterns. I have come up with a new pattern in my head and started writing it down last week. Anyone that does patterns knows this is a long process as we have to write them down then do the prototype for it, knit, rip out,, fix,, knit.. rip it out again.. measure,, remeasure,, rewrite.. you get it right?

Well here is a sneak peek at my next design that will be found on when it is completed.


Any guesses?.  huh?.. ok off I go to finish knitting up this prototype, work on getting my pattern into my template for sale and then list it for sale. Thank heavens that it is cooling off a bit so I can at least function around the house.

On that note. I am going to refill my water and get back at it again

update… here is the finished project


Pencil Mittens… cute eh?

I have the pattern on my website as well as Ravelry truenorthcreations and Etsy.. truenorthcreationsns



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Aunt Evelyn’s Mustard Pickles

It has been a while since I have made these pickles but our gracious neighbor gave us a bag of Cukes so I thought.. hey.. why not!..I got busy trying to find the recipe and finally found it in my original puritan cook book I got ummm over 40 years ago.. yup I am that old!.

So I got my canning guru on today and got busy

So I decided to take pictures and post the recipe so everyone can enjoy the Madore family pickles.

The first thing is peel 7 cucumbers and take the seeds out.




Peel the 5 onions and chop into bite size pieces


Add the cukes and onions into a pot and add 1/2 cup of coarse salt and cover with water


Let that sit for 3 hours and then drain saving 1 cup of the water (for the sauce)


3 tsp mustard (dry)

1/4 tsp tumeric

2 1/2 cups of white sugar


Mix these together: Add 1/2 cup of flour and mix all that together. Then add 1 cup of water (you saved that right?)  and 3 cups of vinegar into your pot. Bring this to a boil and then dump your cukes and onions into it. Let it boil for 10 minutes. Stirring until sauce is thicken a bit.

DSC05402Wipe the excess water off them and place them on your chopping board to cool.

As you can see I don’t waste any jar I have around. Waste not want not!

DSC05403Wait for them to pop their tops, 🙂  …make sure the lids are tight and let cool.

Store in a dark cool place.

This is the original recipe I had in my book, you can tell it has been used not so gently…hehehehe


So there is my recipe for August pickling season. Enjoy and feel free to share it with your friends.

Wonder what I will make next????





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Debt, Debt and how I plan to pay it off – UPDATE!

Ok this has worked out really well!!!!

When I posted the blog in January (link)  I was really a tad sceptical. I wrote it knowing that I had to take control of my finances. Being on a fixed income I had to come to grips that things had to change, plus I was really scaling down my craft stuff a whole lot.. so.. The first thing I said I was going to do was stop spending on Amazon unless I had the money in my account to immediately pay on the credit card.. So YES! that worked. It is so easy to find something on Amazon and hit the buy it now since my credit card is on file there for all my purchases. The only thing wrong with that is that it is too easy to just click and buy without really thinking.. omg.. “I just put that on my credit card, I so hate myself right now”  I started  using my daughter’s 48 hr rule.. if you see it and want it,,,, WAIT 48 hours and after that if you still want it, need it or (and this is the big one) can afford it?.. then go ahead and buy it. The winter is a particularly bad time for surfing on the internet and finding stuff you don’t particularly need but.. Hey.. why not.. Why NOT?   well because you probably like what you see but honestly do you really need it?.. So with that in mind I made a few purchases and as soon as I received notification that it was shipped, I went into MasterCard and paid the exact amount that I had just spent. ( I did not buy anything unless I had the money in my account)

So that was the first life change for me and you know it worked!.. The second one was….. I have an Etsy store and once a week they send me the payments I received. So on Monday morning I would get a notification from Etsy saying funds are on the way. I would take that amount, round it up and put that immediately on MasterCard.   So that worked. No extra money coming out of my account,,,seriously… I was only putting the money that was being deposited by Etsy.  I purged my room, sold 2 of my sewing machines because like I said I was downsizing. That money went directly into MasterCard. Every time I had some extra money in my account I would put it on the card. I was never short in my account, I didn’t want for anything and this extra money was being put directly on the principal amount which was beneficial to me.  This was a great time to start all this because my expenses are the lowest in the winter/spring because I usually hunker down and not go out unless I absolutely have to.  I also run and organise craft shows and I just finished my biggest one the end of May. The profit from that show went… ready for this… yup.. right on my MasterCard.  I no longer feel the need to go right out and spend it on something I don’t need.   

Now on a slightly non related story.. I had some savings that were available to me.. Sitting down with pencil in hand (yes I do it old school) I figured out it if was more beneficial for me to leave it there, or take out the amount I had put on MasterCard to pay for my newer car that I got last June. Finances figured out, I went in today and took out the money that would be enough to pay off the cost of my car. DONE!  I now officially own my car!!!!!!!! The savings were there earning very little interest so it was more prudent for me to take that out and dump it on the credit card therefore lowering the interest costs. 

So with the MasterCard at an extremely lower balance that means that the payment owing will be significantly lower each month since the interest rate is based on the amount you owe on your card.   WIN WIN…. All this time the payments I was making were going to the interest on the balance and not the actual principal. This is how these cards keep in business. You pay.. you pay,,,you pay and unless you pay way more that what is required each month, you are just putting the money into their pockets.. NO MORE!!!..

for example.. you receive your credit card bill… the payment due is $342.00. Now look closer at your bill. (usually at the bottom part of your statement)  The interest accumulated on this payment is $196.00 leaving $145.00 for the payment on the principal.. so yes it looks good that you are paying $342.. but in actuality you are only paying $142. Just think how long that will take to pay down your card while they are pocketing almost $200  a month just for the privilege of using their card.   

So with the lower payments I will have to pay I still plan to keep paying what I had been required over the past year.  That way it will be paid down faster and hopefully soon to be a zero balance. I want to have it gone by January of next year.. Then I can call it my One Year Plan Success!!!.. it will be hard but I want to do it. I can do it.. maybe.. you think?  Heck.. over the past 4 months I have paid $3600. That is including offsetting purchases I made and paying extra when I could.  But that also shows that I can pay that much at least to bring it almost to a zero balance. It will come down faster because I will be paying more on the principal. Does this make sense to you?  Am I explaining it enough? 

And on that note I am off to have a well deserved coffee and give myself a pat on the back for a good job done. 

And this is my disclaimer:   I have never been really good at math,  either in school or in life. It wasn’t that I was not capable, I  guess I just didn’t care one way or the other. I had more of an artist brain and finances didn’t matter to me.  I never worked in the finance field. I was a stay at home mother with no money for many years, who went a little nuts with her new found freedom and no one telling her if she could spend or not.  🙂 One day it just dawned on me and this is how I got it all to work for me.  Hope it helps you in some way.

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