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 http://www.truenorthknitting.net when it is completed.

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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

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Pencil Mittens… cute eh?

I have the pattern on my website  www.truenorthcreations.net 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.

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Peel the 5 onions and chop into bite size pieces

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

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

Sauce:

3 tsp mustard (dry)

1/4 tsp tumeric

2 1/2 cups of white sugar

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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

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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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Celebrex, weight gain and reactions

Here is my story… It is only my observations but after a year of stopping celebrex and no big changes in my daily routine or eating.. (yes some changes but nothing drastic) I have lost 35 pounds.

I was prescribed celebrex for arthritis in my knees about 16 years ago. Now I must say it worked for a while but not wonderful. This was not a life saving omg I can walk again drug. It did ease the pain so I was happy with it. Year after year I took it. I was told it was better than taking Tylenol everyday.. or Aleve and that it was safe to take on a long term basic. So who was I to dispute this? My life went on.  I had gradually gained 70 pounds over 16 years. I just thought.. hmm  not very active… menopause.. getting up in years.. I am not in any way blaming my weight gain totally on Celebrex but I am saying it snuck up on me. I had pain (often wondered if I stopped the meds how much pain I would be in). The last few years I was getting lower leg swelling, sometimes my knees were as large as my thighs.. ok maybe not but that is how they felt. My feet would swell horribly and I was generally much heavier than I was 16 years ago.. WHAT?????.. how did this happen? What really prompted me was that I was having horrible sinus problems. Yes, I have seasonal allergies and was used to a couple of weeks or a month of allergy pills but heck, this started in November of  2016 and went on until about a month ago.  WOW  is all I can say.  I had turned to sinus sprays to sleep at night and this went on for a year. My doctor last spring started prescribing sinus sprays and it seemed I could not breathe at night unless I sprayed my nose before bed.  My sleep cycle was almost non existent since I was waking up so much with a stuffed nose and not being able to breathe. What the heck???  I started using saline spray, which I think is my life saver from catching colds by the way. When I go out in public, as soon as I get home I spray and blow my nose. I know,, sounds odd but it works, it clears the sinuses and gets rid of any germs I might have snuffed in while I was out.  ok I got off topic for a bit but I wanted to sing the praises of the saline spray as it has been my life saver.. So anyway, along with all this was the indigestion, headaches all the time, and  apparently newly developed adult eczema. WHAT????  My face was a mess.. I was a mess.   

Totally peeved off, I grabbed my laptop one day and decided I was going to find out about this drug.. do some research of my own.   I found this LINK

Well according to all the research it seems that YES celebrex can cause weight gain however very rare (so they say) plus now many more reported side effects that were not available when I started this drug.  Now the very rare, as far as I am concerned is attributed to the fact that no one is reporting this weight gain. When I did the research many years go it was not even on the radar so I figured.. yup good to go.  Well last year I started to see some people reporting the swelling and leg cramps and weight gain. So I went to the Dr and said.. time to change this medication what can I take.  He wanted to know why after all these years do I want to change and basically I said.. well.. time to change it up, I think I am having reactions to it, and after all it was written up that it is not meant to be a long term drug and I have been on it for 16 years. What can it hurt to change. So I am now on Meloxicam,  15mg and have been on it since last year. I very rarely have leg swellings, my feet will swell a bit in the heat or if I sit too much. It seems to be working just fine and the cherry on top is that I am down 35 pounds.  After 16 years of slow and gradual weight gain I am now on the downward slide. My headaches are very rare, my skin is all but cleared up ( have to be careful what I eat as peanuts, etc will cause me to itch) It took about a year for the celebrex reactions to leave my body. Yup a full year!.  

So in a nutshell, do your research!.. read up on the drugs you are taking, be proactive. It is your body, you know it best. The doctor can only work with what you give him and how YOUR body reacts to medications. I am in no way putting down Celebrex. It might be a good medication for most people but I had the extreme reactions to it and was on it for too long, so I opted to stop taking it. 

And if you don’t believe the weight I have lost, check out this picture.

may 30, 2018

So life goes on, I will always have arthritis but it will not have me! I am generally feeling better, sleeping better and able to eat without it constantly coming back on me.  My general outlook on life has improved, and I am a much more content person. I hope reading this will make you do your own research and compare your life with the possibility of  drug side effects, whatever drug you are taking. Keep a journal and write down anything you notice, how you feel, etc. The doctor is not is not the all seeing floating head and cannot magically predict how your body will accept or reject a certain drug. Work with him for your own sake. If he doesn’t want your opinion or working suggestions then maybe he is not the right doctor for you. You know your own body.. TAKE CONTROL OF YOURSELF!.

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Altered Dog Crate

Well we have a new puppy.. yup  his name is Tucker!.. (aka Kracken) poodle/terrier mix.

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Cute little bugger but I have been  crate training him so this crate has been in front of my end table beside my chair in the living room. Everyday I have walking around this crate thinking.. geeze something better has to be done about this.

So I kept thinking and came up with an idea to use my end table over the top of his crate. Well you know about best laid plans.. yup the table top was 1/2 inch to short for the top of the crate.. oh no!  what?.. I hate when this happens.. hahahaha.. Wouldn’t it have been awesome if the table had slipped exactly over the top of the crate?  So I went to the shop and got the screw driver and proceeded to remove the legs from the table.. yup.. that should work right?.. well NO… by the time I put the top on the crate the end table was about 4″ taller than I wanted it and it just balanced on the top of the crate. You can see all kinds of potential catastrophes right? Also you want to be able to have the crate be as inconspicuous  as possible.. This would not do for me.. so.. back with the screw drivers and decided to remove one of the shorter pieces under the top part that connected the legs.

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That side would be the front side of the table. It was easy enough.. take out the screws that held it to the top, give it a little snap and off it came.  VOILA!!!  Now it fits nicely over the crate..It had three sides that go down over the top of the crate ( the two sides and the back) hence eliminating the chance of the table top sliding around.  The  one thing.. now the table is too short… hahaha.. I know I am OCD when it comes to that so I had to figure out what to do next.  GOT IT!.. I had to find something to lay on top of the crate about 1″ in thickness so the table would be at least almost to where I wanted it to be. In to my studio I go.. I found a cork board.. 3/4″ thick I think.. didn’t measure..I was just happy it would work, and it did!  Here are some pictures of the finished (not quite happy yet but it will work) project. Tucker doesn’t seem to mind that the cover is on top, the door will swing open flush to the couch so no more running into the door. Easy peasy!!!!…

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The first picture is the crate sitting on the floor in front of my end table. That really bugged me sitting out that far into the living room but I wanted him to feel comfy by going in his crate and still be near me. So.. the last picture proves he approves the new digs. Just have to find a deeper board to put under the table top to raise it another inch and I will be a happy camper. yay me!

Now to move the catch all basket that was under the table in the first place. And it truly was a catch all so now that problem is also solved. Next to tape the plastic bag with the screws in it to one of the legs and then store the table legs in my studio so I can reassemble the table when the crate gets moved to another area.

That was my morning and now I plan to sit back now with a hot cup of tea and watch a movie while I work on a pattern that I am designing.

And on that note. Have a great weekend and enjoy the Olympics

~~~MSH

 

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Debt, Debt and how I plan to pay it off

Well I saw a segment on GMA this morning how a lady paid off her credit card debt in 15 months. They didn’t go into it a whole lot but they explained how she did her reverse debt. I sort of understand how she did it, I think. It is all so confusing.. lol. Her way was a bit extreme as she paid off $24000 in debt in 15 months.. Now being retired I would love to say that I  actually earned $24000 for a year…hahahaha.. so she and her husband are making decent money to be able to rethink her finances and start dumping money onto her card to be able to do that. That is not an option for me so I plan to at least start somewhere. Every little bit will help.

Here is how I see her doing it.. it is like when I am out and I am doing my errands and I think.. geeze.. I am hungry.. maybe a short trip to McDonalds?.. Now last year that would not have been an issue.. I would have gone through the drive through and spent over $10 for a meal that firstly was not good for me but totally unnecessary at the time. This year I think twice because my eating habits have changed mostly from necessity. Meaning, my stomach cannot handle fast food anymore so the decision to go through the drive through makes me gag. But.. had I been able to, it would have been $10 out of my pocket and I wouldn’t think twice about it.  So.. what the lady was saying,,, is… don’t do the fast food, keep track of what you would have spent on the trip out that day and put that money on your credit card debt.  Ok.. I see what she is saying! I think that can be done.. so instead of swiping the debit card for that drive through meal, go home and take that $10 and put it on your credit card.. right?  is that was she is suggesting?

That will take a bit of a life style change and that also should not be a problem for me. I will just come home.. and transfer the money directly on the credit card. I plan to do it right away because knowing me I will leave it in the account and then find something else insignificant to spend it on.. “oh lookie  I have extra money in my account”!.. right?.. you see what I am getting at?

So to explain how I will be doing it,,, here goes… I am a seller on Etsy.. digital downloads.. so there is no expense to me except the listing  minimal renewal costs once every three months.. I have my account set up that my sales get deposited into my bank account once a week.. SO!!!!.. every week when that direct deposit comes in, I will put that money received onto my credit card. ( I will actually be rounding up the money) On top of that I will pay the monthly payment requirement. That way I am dumping extra money every month onto my card. Paying down the principal.  All the money from my Etsy account will be paying down the card each month!… I can certainly see how this will benefit me. I am going to see how long this will take. I know I don’t owe much on my credit card, not as much as some people are dealing with, but being retired does not allow me a lot of extra cash flow and I really hate credit card companies making money on the fact that I am just paying the required amount, therefore extending the length of my payments to their company. What can it hurt?.. 

So today is the first day that I took my weekly sales and payed that amount on my credit card.. Let’s see how this will work . After all, how can it hurt.  I plan to set up a reminder on my calendar to check my account for the etsy deposits and take time to immediately pay the credit card with that amount deposited. As well I plan to get an excel sheet started for a reference to see how the new plan is working.   If I have no deposits for a particular week (yes I do have weeks that I don’t sell or the money goes into paypal for the payments) I still plan to put a minimum amount of $10 on the card that week. You really don’t miss $10.

Time to take control!!!!!!!! It’s a new day.

 

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Reflections of 2017

Well I guess it is my time to reflect on 2017. All in all it was a year of discovery, acceptance, and realisation.

 For those that have known me over the past 10 or so  years know that I have put my heart and soul into the local craft/artisan business. Organising these shows as well as participating in some of them gave me the best as well as the worst times of my life and sometimes both on the same day!

Well all that is coming to an end this year. I have made the decision to retire from shows as they got to be more than what I bargained for, or can deal with.  Lately the new slot of vendors and venues have become a whole new breed of entitled all about me people that took all the fun of doing this from me. The last really big show I did really sucked the life out of me. Seriously,,,, I don’t know how I survived it. Anyway it all comes down to respect for each other  and  that respect is gone. I am hoping the next generation that comes up is a better lot of people than the ones I have been dealing with over the last 5 years. Every year it seemed to get progressively worse. God I hope this changes or our society is in a heap of trouble.  This year has been a test for my tolerance.. and I failed that test. I no longer have any tolerance for it.  

 I am truly thankful for all the respect I got from the  long time vendors who truly get it!  They know how much time goes into organising, booking tables, arranging vendors so they complement  each other. Not just the first come, slap them anywhere mentality.  I thank these vendors for standing behind me,, and some in front of me during the good and bad times. It is still up in the air about one show I organise but that might be the only show that I will even think about organising  in late 2018. I think I just need to step back and take a breath. I need a break.

 Over the past years I might have lost sight of some family and friends. I am truly sorry for not trying harder to break the control I was under years ago. I was not strong enough at that time to fight for myself and keep connected with  all these good people.  I should have been stronger.  It was easier being complacent and not make waves to keep peace in my life but I should have realised that by doing that I was losing the peace I was seeking.  With that being said, I have made some good friendships over the last few years but I am still a guarded person who truly has a difficult time being around people (just the introvert in me I guess).  Negative nellies will no longer exist in my life.  This will be the difficult part as I do not like to hurt people but seriously when someone doesn’t take your feelings into account then it should be easy to do,,, right?. I want to do this without having to  crawl into a black hole trying to hide away instead of facing it head on and saying, “I don’t need this anymore.. I can do this!” yes I can!!!!!!

 So What I am trying to do,, no.. what I WILL do this year is work on being a better ME. I have already completed the first goal in my personal weight loss journey  and will continue slowly as that is working for me.  I will be  letting  go of people and situations I have no control over.

Breathe deep~~~~~

I will spend the next month or so cleaning and purging both my studio and my soul.  I am going to take time to relax, reflect and figure out what the next chapter of my life will be. Right now I am just too tired to even think of turning that page but when I am ready it will be easy I am sure of it.

 As a very wise, special person in my life says.. MORE time for ME, my Health,  my Marriage, my Family and most of all my Happiness.  That sounds totally selfish but in all honesty if you don’t take care of yourself first, nothing else can be taken care of, right?

So on that note, I am wishing everyone a Happy, Prosperous and Respectful New Year.

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