Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hunter and Gatherer

First I hunt...
garage sales...resale shops...
my closet.
Then I closely inspect my finds...
for good quality construction.
Gather all my supplies
and Get Busy.
The essence of
Old Maid New.
Altered Couture.
Labelled conspicuously
so the customer understands exactly what
they are getting.
Some of the best
made better.

I love the way this shirt

turned out...

I was on the phone with my sister

while working...

(I'm not a successful


what I thought was a BIG mistake

resulted in this

very cool outcome.

Using a free


scary...but the walk on the wild side

paid off... my opinion.


going back to my safe

stenciling style...

For the more traditional

Old Maid New


These shirts were great finds

because they are longer

for layering


for staying in place

during down-facing dog.

In the studio or out...

looking good.

Looking unique.


Old Maid Cool.

The top is covered...

onto the bottoms.

The Yoga Pant.

With out-of-the-box


A row of altered clothing...

Available @

Harmony In Life.

Did I mention...

Harmony In Life

was rated Numero Uno...

That's No. 1...

Number One Yoga Studio

in the Toledo area?

The Best of the Best.

And that's where you can find

Old Maid New.
(shameless self-promoting...but
I'm just following
my boys lead!)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Young Scrappers

Joe and James Ondrus
Ambition ignited by a paycheck.
Young Scrappers
"We Collect and Haul All Things Metal"
The Logo on their business card!
Making daily runs and finding
valuable connections...
advertising and self promoting...
willing to work hard...
and always eager to please the customer.
No job is too small
too big.
A truck and a dream.
If you have anything metal...

Old dish washers...refrigerators...



(you get the idea...)

They can be reached at
An investment in the future!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rusty Can Candles :: Part 2

Rusty Can Candles...
These hefty 12 ounce soy candles
have a burn time of
80 hours! That's eighty hours of
beautiful Fall fragrance to fill your home.
When those eighty hours have come and gone...
what to do with the can?
You can recycle that can!
But before you do...
Why not extend its use and fill it with flowers?
A sweet farm fresh look
for Fall.
A touch of charm that will
put a store bought
to shame!
Simple elegance.
Get the neighborhood gang together
for a rip-roaring
fun evening of
Kick The Can.
Also know as Can Can, Kick-Can-Copper,
Tin-Can Bosher,
Tin-Tong Tommy, and
Kick the Bucket!
Regardless of what you call it...
Kick The Can is a great street game for a large group.

Quick Review:

Intended for 4 or more players.

You'll need a can and some chalk.

A small paved area with lots of running room.

Decide on boundaries...

keeping safety in roads!

Make a dot with chalk...

stand on the dot and take 2 giant steps.

Draw a circle from this point.

Place can on dot.

"It" stands ready.

All players stand on the circle.

At "GO!" the kicker runs into circle...

players run to hide...

"IT" runs down the can and replaces it on dot...

and yells "FREEZE!"

Those who are visible are captured

and must sit in the circle.

Unseen players are searched-out by it.

Tags them and they sit in circle.

If a player can sneak by it and

Kick The Can...

all are set free.

It must repeat all and play continues


all are captured.


if a player kicks the can

when there are no captured players.

That player yells...

"Home Free"

and the game is over.

Who would have thought...

an ordinary tin can could be so beautiful


so much fun!

Play friends!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Numbers And Sentences

My Two Dollar Flea Market Finds
When one of my nephews asked
for Racko last Christmas...
we were surprised to find
that it was no longer
So this little classic caught my eye
while browsing the Market.

Racko is a fun choice

for family game night.


It's fast-paced...

quick to learn...

and doesn't require hours to play.

This one in particular
is considered an
It is also our first purchase
for Christmas gift giving.
(we had to take it out for a test drive
to make sure it was in working
Happy to report...
it was!
Check-out that Racko win!
Mom shows 'em how it's done...
When I found this...
I was really intrigued.

Scrabble is our family's favorite.

I have never seen this game before.

Don't you just love the

insert picture of a young couple,

dressed so fine,

to play a game of Sentence Scrabble?

Another Classic...

this one is more of the vintage variety.

It comes with 20...

(oops, it was supposed to have 21)

worded dice...

that you shake and toss

and create sentences before the sands

of time run out.
This reminds me of

Banana-grams with words.

It sounds easy...but when the sand

drains down...

you feel the pressure.
Scoring is based off length

of sentences...

so you find yourself making

some quirky

First to 500 (or agreed upon total)


I wonder who won this one as well?


Squeezing in some Math and English...

sprinkling in a little Grammar and

Creative Writing.

Not a bad way to start our

Homeschool Day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rusty Can Candles

Nothing says old like rust.
These cans were rusted the old fashioned way.
Left outside in the elements.
The perfect color for a Fall candle.
I know some think making candles is as easy as...
I'm gonna say it...
apple pie.
But some would be wrong.
A good quality candle takes experiment
with the craft and knowledge
of the supplies.

I have been making candles for nearly

10 years now.

Today, my candles are a reflection of that investment.

Using all natural soy...

clean burning...improves the air quality in your home...

fragrances that are the best in the business...

for a superior scent throw...

proper wick...

to assure a good burn quality...

right to the edges.


a container that compliments the design.

Fireside...Grandpa's Pipe...

Farmhouse Cider...

Grandma's Kitchen...

Harvest Pumpkin.

Bringing the Best of Fall indoors!

Giving each a dust protector

and a burlap bow.

A tisket a tasket...

soy candles in

my basket.

When all is said and done...

And your candle has burned it's last breath...

what do you do with what's left behind?

Toss it in the recycling bin.

It's that simple.

Did you know...

many of the candles you purchase in jars

are not recyclable?

That's why people hold onto them...

not sure what to do with the empty jar...

too pretty to throw away...

and yet few re-use them or have

them refilled.

It's easy with a rusty tin can...

no emotional attachment.

Sure, you could play a good round of


or use it as a vase for a hand-picked bouquet...

BUT, when you're done...

Please Recycle.

Earth Friendly in so many ways.

Simply Beautiful!

Simply Old Maid New.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Random Connections

It's as easy as apple pie!
I'm not sure who said it first...
but, I'm 99% sure it was a man.
A man who has never made an apple pie in his life.
Let's face it...
an apple pie isn't difficult...
but it does require a good chunk of time.
Valuable time!
That's why I was tempted to stop.
As I was driving the boys home from a
computer class in Ida, Michigan...
there was a bakery that advertised
"The Best Pies In Town"
At 12:45 p.m. my stomach rumbled...
" one..."
Homer Simpson like.
I don't even remember the name of the bakery.
All I recall is that compelling thought
of homemade pie!
Well...says I...I have all the fixings
a bag of sour apples that no one wants to eat...
flour, sugar, Crisco...
(yep, I use Crisco crust)
cinnamon, nutmeg...and time!
Onto dinner...
We were expecting brrr-cold night-time temps...
I gathered all the Roma Tomatoes I could...
before they were damaged.
Now, let me back-up to say...
Wednesday nights are confirmation nights
for James and myself.
Due to weird scheduling...
it became pizza night for the family.
I decided to break our much-loved pattern
and make Jacob's Spaghetti Sauce.
(A recipe he learned from his days stationed in Italy)
I am going to attempt to alter the
this week and make a pizza sauce.
But... I wasn't very popular when I broke from
tradition and made spaghetti when
pizza is ingrained on their taste buds come Wednesday.
Without much complaint they ate the pasta.
It was delicious as always.
Maybe doubly good when you have apple pie
waiting for dessert!
What thread binds this story?
Dave Ramsey's
Financial Peace (I want me some of that!)
The whole gang is taking it together.
It's never too early (or late!) to learn and SAVE!
With Dave as my back seat driver...
I was able to speed right on by that bakery...
able to find the time to make...
not buy, dinner!
It's going to be a difficult journey...
but I am excited to see where it will take us!
Prayers needed!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Morning Routine:
The pit stop...a quick straightening up...
get the coffee going...
head to the living room where the couch
is molded perfectly to my rump.
To plan the day ahead.
Study. Sing.
Today...after that first sip of coffee...
after the prayers...
I found myself reflecting further on Luke.
That'd be Luke of the Bible...Luke.
One of the main focuses of my Beth Moore weekend.

"An individual calling can only be fulfilled in a we context."

Luke was intimately familiar with this concept.
In the Book of Luke...which he penned...Luke is never mentioned.
Even more intriguing...
in his Book of Acts...he finds a sense of belonging.
"Paul and his companions travelled...when
they came to the border...they tried to enter...
the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to...
so they passed...
we got ready at once to leave...
God had called us to preach the gospel..."
Acts 16: 6-10

Moving from they to we.

I felt that of the group...
as I sat in a sanctuary surrounded by 250 women.
Women are emotional creatures.
I saw hugging, crying...
heard laughing and singing.
I felt a softening in my own heart.

That's a tough one for me.
I live in a house filled with boys!
Too Cool To Be Blessed
Beth pointed out that often times we stand
in our own way.
So self absorbed.
How can we help it when we are constantly in our
own heads?!
I don't know about you, but mine is loaded down
with personal dialogue and commentary...
all day long.

I was able to let go of myself long enough
to feel the we.

Let's face it...we don't like looking stupid!
But as Beth pointed out...
we can guard our dignity right out of our epiphany.
Even with our approach to the Word.
We may leave our churches with thoughts like...
I didn't get anything out of that sermon...
what was up with that music?!

Have you ever opened your Bible...
"Surprise me, Lord!"
Approaching The Word to hear what He has to say?
Taking me-me-me out of the equation.

The women in attendance were at the simulcast
to hear the Word.
They sang praises...raising their arms...lifting their voices
to God. And when all was said and done...
we left feeling renewed in the Spirit...
and connected through the experience
we shared.


Monday, September 12, 2011

I And Love And You

This past Saturday I...
along with 179,999 women
and a few brave men...
went to hear Beth Moore speak at a
simulcast event.
180,000 women gathered together
to hear about
No bells and whistles...
lunch in a brown box...
Bibles and minds and hearts
open to the
Beth would be right at home at
my Mom's kitchen table
where the sisters gather and talk...and talk faster...
and talk louder.
Not only that...
but her thought process...
a kind of all over the place and still on point
type of thinking would fit perfectly.
She would say things that would make me laugh and say to myself...
I know exactly what she means
because I think that way!
These little tidbits...little gems...
are what I hope to share with you this week.
Thoughts that resonated.
The Thought For Today:
I and Love and You.
Beth pointed out how she has noticed
these three little words
have been condensed in our high speed twitter existence.
Love you...
or just love...
as a send off.
It's like saying...somebody might love you...
it could be me...maybe...maybe not...
but I'm sure somebody must love you.
The "I" gives ownership...
responsibility, and is ultimately
very vulnerable.
Risking not hearing it said in return.
I laughed. 179,999 women laughed along with me.
Making me believe that I'm not alone in my way of thinking.
We all understood...
because it was true.
I will say "love you" to my husband on the cell ...
or text "love" when I am ending an e-mail...signing a birthday card.
What happened to "I"?
Beginning today...
"I" will be put back into that equation.
Say it:
I and Love and You.
Leave out the "and's", but say them in your head
so as to pace it right.
Placing emphasis on each and every important word.
I (pause) Love (pause) You (smile like you mean it).

I Love You.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Quick, Easy, And Delicious

Cheesy Chicken and Salsa
A Skillet Dinner
in an e-mail...from Kraft Foods.
I tweaked the meal to use my
bountiful garden harvest.
Singing praises!
I prepped all the food before getting started.
All in little bowls.
It was like I was on the Food Network...
except I did all the work!
*2 Cups Rotini Pasta (penne)
1 Chicken Breast cut into bite-sized pieces
*1 Onion chopped
*2 Ears of Corn removed kernels with knife (frozen)
1-2 Green Pepper cut in strips and halved
*1 Can Black Beans drained
*1 1/2 Cups Salsa (I used Pace) (taco bell)
*Fresh Tomatoes
1 Cup Mexi Cheese Blend (made with 2% milk)
First get the water ready for the Pasta.
Spray a large skillet with Pam.
Heat pan.
Add chicken and onions.
Saute for 2 minutes and add everything else
Except: Beans, Fresh Tomato, and Cheese
Bring all to a boil.
Reduce heat to med-low.
Cover and stir occasionally for 10 minutes.
Add Pasta to boiling water.
In the last 2 minutes add Black Beans and Tomato.
Continue to simmer.
Add drained Rotini Pasta.
Toss together.
Remove from heat.
Top with Cheese.
Serve it up to your hungry family. From skillet to plate to stomachs
in less than a half hour!
The Bonus:
This meal is under 500 calories.
*all asterisks show additions or changes I made
to the original recipe...
their suggestions in ( )...
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ready Or Not

Labor Day marks the end of summer
in so many ways.
Here in Michigan the weather
instantly changed from balmy to Autumnal.
That easy breezy schedule free life...
a thing of the past.
Most importantly...
homeschool is in session.
I would like to report that I have
everything planned and organized.
Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Yes, I have our first week
figured out...
but beyond that...
not so much.
It will sister Sue reassures...
it always does!
I will sit with that one for a while and pray...
a lot!
As for being organized...
well, check this out!
New shelving...
books where they belong...
filed alphabetically...
For those of you who know me
you are looking at that picture and thinking...
is that really Jenny's house?
To which I will respond...
absolutely not.
I have tried organized and it just doesn't
fit with my family.
Font sizeDon't get me wrong...
periodically I like to try and buck their system
but, somehow we always fall back
on what works best...
the clutter technique.
Learning is rather organic for that it must
be readily available...
be it while watching TV (gasp!) and one
wants to fiddle on the guitar...
practice drawing...
play a game.
Therefore...books are everywhere...
as are games and musical instruments!
What can I say...
learning is messy.
Ready or not it is upon us...
I will rest in my sisters words and feel
And I will continue to pray.
Not just for our little family, but for all
families who have begun
this yearly trek.
My prayer...
That this year will be one of growing, learning and
loving the process.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Failed Attempt

Fun none the less.
We had the desire...
we had the ambition (in spite of the rain!)...
we had the technology.
So it wasn't for lack of trying.
The boys constructed the perfect fire pit
with spare bricks from the yard.
Rudy got the new trash can
that I scrubbed and bleached.
(as instructed online)
And while they stoked the fire... (and built an awning to keep it going) I was in the house cleaning corn...
scrubbing potatoes...
chopping carrots and onions...
cutting cabbage into wedges and topping it
all with smoked sausage!
Poured 2 bottles of beer and 1 bottle
of water (per online recipe)
over it all and put the lid on.
Hobo Dinner

The fire heated up nicely.

Steamed cabbage wafted through the air.

As soon as I saw the steam shoot

out the top...

I set the timer for 2 hours...

(per online recipe)

That fire was red-hot...

just like the recipe said it should be.
Maybe a wee bit too hot.
I spared you the burned dinner picture...
anti-climatic to say the least!
I should have pulled it off the fire when I
noticed the change in fragrance...
yummy to smokey...
But NO! the recipe said 2 hours and
two hours it must be!
Most families would say
"It's pizza night!"
Not us...
we salvaged what we could
and ate the much anticipated meal.
Some even fibbed and said it was good.
Ah's all about the process...right?
(Hobo dinner recipes welcomed)