Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My 24th Tea Pot and Tea Things Tuesday & Tea Time Tuesday for December 28th

Here's a really sweet tea cup that I had purchased at a yardsale last summer.  I still have the ribbon tied to the handle. Doesn't it make it look so much sweeter and more feminine?

Hi everyone,  Here's my entry for tea today. So today I'm sharing a recipe for "feel better" tea :) :) Why? Well, I went home early from work because I wasn't feeling good.  I have a minor form of ulcerative colitis called "ulcerative proctitis" Every once in awhile I have what I call "bad" days. This was one of them. So I decided to go home and I'm taking it easy. Here's my recipe for "feel good" tea:

One bag of chamomile tea (or tea of your choice)
A super cute cup
Add some boiling water
Have Daddy or  nearest beloved relative give you a great big hug
Rest and enjoy the tea....

See, don't you feel better already? That's the news from Oregon today. Love and hugs, Heather :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

365 Day Photo Challenge for December 4th till December 24th

Hi everyone... Here are my photos for the 365 day photo challenge...because I'm about 3 weeks behind so far...I'll just be posting the photos without any commentaries or dates...just 21 photos taken during that three week time period. You'll be able to tell fairly quickly what most of my time was spent doing..outside of work of course.  If you have comments or questions...you are always welcome to ask or leave a comment here :) :) The last photo....I was really hungry!!! Sorry...crazy life...and then blogger wouldn't  upload any of  my photos in the order I wanted them today !!!
Ready, set...go!!!

The last few weeks have been super busy.  So I don't really have much to say today. Sorry y'all....just need some time to relax :) :) That's the news from Oregon today. Love and hugs, Heather :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pink ZOTE Soap Makes Fabulous Homemade Laundry Powder

Hi everyone,
Okay, so one of the things that I've gotten sidetracked from is talking about how a single girl like myself budgets and makes things work or do without. Or to phrase it better how I have champagne taste and still manage to live on a soda pop can budget. Oh, no I don't drink..but you know  what I mean about having an eye for luxury, but still living on a budget :) :) :) 

This is a sweet little place that I spotted while out driving yesterday (Wednesday) with my father. It is actually an equestrian center. Isn't so beautiful and red with the typical Oregon skies? I would so love to have a place of my own just like this someday.

Do you remember me mentioning pink ZOTE soap? It's a soap that's made in Mexico. Apparently most  of my friends can buy it near them, except for me. So when I discovered the Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio sells it..well, I was very happy!!!  They are a fabulous business that caters to Amish and non-Amish. It's got all kinds of things for every need. I'd recommend browsing around their online website and even ordering a catalog or two. it's well worth the price :) :)

So I decided to purchase some of this soap. A really sweet blogger lady, Maryjane over at The Beehive Cottage has this fabulous recipe for pink homemade laundry powder.  In fact, I think it was because of her that I went in search of this wonderful product in the first place. So I'll give you the recipe here as well as the cost of materials. 

First you need ingredients, plus a few extras. You will need one full 4-pound box EACH of BORAX, Baking Soda and Washing Soda.  Borax and Baking Soda are very easy to find in just about EVERY store.  It's funny to think that one of my cleaning supply ingredients is actually found in the baking aisle, but hey, who am I to complain? Baking soda has many fabulous uses. Washing soda  is a bit harder for me to find. However, I can readily find it at my local Fred Meyer store in the laundry supplies section, right next to the BORAX. Here's a nicer bullet-point list of what you'll need to start:

- 1, 4-lb box of Borax
- 1, 4-lb box of Baking Soda
   (I use Arm & Hammer brand)
- 1, 4-lb box of Super Washing Soda
   (again, I use Arm & Hammer brand)
- 1 1/3 bars of pink ZOTE soap, 14.1oz/bar
   (or 3 full bars of Fels Naptha)
- 1 air-tight container large  enough to hold all this laundry powder.  I used a Rubbermaid container that holds 9.5 gallons...large!!!

I had read that these bars of soap are big. However, no one told me how HUGE each individual bar really is. Each bar is the size of a small brick. That is my hand holding a single bar of this pretty soap :)  :) :)

You will only need 1 1/3 bars of pink ZOTE soap for this recipe. Yes, it really is enough and  when you see for yourself how large  these bars really are, then you will understand why you only need that much. Each bar of pink ZOTE soap is 14.1 ounces.  You will need a knife to slice the soap into sections. I used a standard butter knife. The soap was extremely easy to slice since it has a minimum fatty acid content of 66%. You don't have to use pink ZOTE soap, any other soap of your choice would be fine...just make sure it's about 18 oz, give or take an ounce. You could also use three bars of Fels Naptha or another bar soap of your choice.

You will need something to grate the soap. I started out with a traditional grater. However, this soap is so soft, I switched to my rotating cheese grater from Pampered Chef. Note, I only use this grater for soap now and nothing else. You could probably use it for grating soap and cheese as long as you washed it really well in between. However, I prefer to designate my grater for soap ONLY!!! I did cut the pink ZOTE soap into sections to make it easier to use in this grater.

When you are all done grating the soap, this is what it looks like. It looks like finely grated cheese. I use a grate that is fine for parmesan cheese or something slightly softer. I don't think it really matters as long as it's finely grated. It'll also break up a little bit more when you mix it in with the other ingredients.

Then you mix in a full 4-lb box EACH of Borax, super washing soda and baking soda. Mix it all together well. I use a fork, but a spoon would work just as well.  Isn't this just about the "prettiest" homemade laundry powder you ever saw?  This makes nearly  16 pounds of soap all together. Actually more like 13-14 lbs. It only takes 2 Tablespoons per load of laundry. That's all you need.

I did read that if you have an HE front-loader washer, dissolve 1-2 Tablespoons in warm water to form a liquid. Then you can add it to the machine and it'll work fine. I've never tried that since I still use a tradition top-loading washer.  However, if you tend to wash your clothes with cold water, you could still do the same thing of dissolving the soap in just enough warm water until it becomes a liquid. Then add it to your cold water wash.

That's basically it. Now what did all of this cost me?  Not a lot at all...  Since I had to order the pink ZOTE soap from Lehman's , there was the matter of standard delivery shipping. Shipping was $7.95 from Lehman's. Remember, I did order something else..so I did some math and figured that the shipping for the soap alone would have worked out to about $2.07 cents for three bars of pink ZOTE soap. Okay, here's a breakdown list of what I used and what it cost me:

--- 1, 4 lb box of BORAX $4.49
--- 1, 4 lb box of Super Washing Soda $ 3.19
      (I used Arm & Hammer brand)
--- 1, 4 lb box of Baking Soda $2.99
      (again...I used Arm & Hammer brand)
--- 1 1/3 bars of pink ZOTE soap ca $1.76
      NOTE: 3 bars of pink ZOTE soap from Lehman's catalog cost $3.95. That's a GREAT deal. So 1 1/3 bars of this soap is about $1.76

This recipe is supposed to last for 150 loads of washing. That is a LOT of dirty laundry. So if I do NOT factor in the shipping I paid for soap, that would be:

$12.43 for EVERYTHING together
$0.08 cents/load

If I DO factor in the cost of shipping that would be:
$14.50 for EVERYTHING together (including shipping)
$0.10 cents/load

So I'll definitely be keeping track of this as the weeks go by...and when I've finally used up that last lovely tablespoon of pink laundry soap, there'll be a final tally to see what it really cost me.  Thanks for hanging in there with me. I  love talking about unit cost, especially when things are tight financially. This really helps me a lot.  I'm all about figuring out ways to get the job done for less and making my dollar stretch as far as it can!!! Oh, in case, I don't "see" some of you until the new year, I want to wish you all a very Happy CHRISTmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year !!! That's the news from Oregon today. Love and hugs, Heather :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My 23rd Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday & Tea Time Tuesday for December 21st

Hi everyone. How are you? I'm doing well. My tea offering is very humble today.  However, before I get to that...I sat in front of the tv last night making a nearly 16 pound batch of homemade laundry powder. My pink ZOTE soap finally arrived in the mail the other day...so I had to try it. I'll be posting about this late tonight.

Okay, here is my humble offering for the week. I actually found this plate at a yard sale about 2 months ago. However, due to surprise gifts from friends etc...I kept pushing this back until today :) :) Here is what I found. It's an orphan.
I must have paid $2 for this. Definitely not more than that. When I saw this plate it reminded me so much of some similar items that many of you ladies have already in your homes :) :) Isn't it  beautiful with lots of detail? I LOVE the color red..and pink..and ...:) :)

Here's a closer photo of the detail on the plate. If you look really carefully you can see a young woman wearing a hat. She's sitting near the little stream with ducks swimming nearby. I love this quaint little scene. In fact, this makes me want to hop on a plane right now and fly to Great Britain!!!
I did actually clean and wash this plate before I took the photos. There are still some dirty spots on the backstamp. However, isn't this just about the prettiest backstamp you've ever seen? I think the prettiest one so far is on my little teacup that looks like it could have been made in the 1920s...

Here is a close up of the lovely detail on the rim of the plate. Oh, this plate is packed full of wonderful detail.   All of it is in varying shades of red!!!  Now I think I'll need to test a nice baked goody on this plate and report back to you ladies  next week about this :) :) Have a lovely day. May God give you the grace to  get through your days. I know that you are a huge encouragement to me!!! That's the news from Oregon today. Love and hugs, Heather :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My 22nd Tea Pot and Tea Things Tuesday & Tea Time Tuesday

Hi everyone, Oh  it was crazy busy at work. Good thing I was prepared .  At least it means job security at the moment.

Oh, don't you love it when someone you have never met in person sends you a goody box?  My sweet friend Dorothy over at "Notes from Mémère" sent me a lovely tangible gift of God's love to encourage my heart. There was also some fun girly stuff, too. That will be for another time.  Feel free to pay her a visit. She's a lovely lady, loves Jesus Christ, and she's just a wise, sweet lady...just like all of you :) :) :)

Okay, time to show off the tea things Dorothy sent to me. Here's the first photo...
These are just four of the items that Dorothy included in the goody box :) :) I received this care package in the mail yesterday. It was great.  My dad was just a tad "jealous". At least he was PRETENDING to be jealous. Usually the packages that come in the mail are for him. Don't you just love the delicate pink flowers?  I think there's a trend forming in my tea collection :) :) 
Here's just a little close-up view of the secret rose detail on the inside rim of the tea cup. This cup is really interesting. It's a little bit bigger than other teacups I've seen...of similar shape. Oh, but it's lovely and just the perfect size to hold in your hands!!! Oh, this would be a great hand warmer, a nice hot warm cup of tea ;) :)
Here's the flower and leaves detail on the side of the cup. It repeats on the other side of the cup, too. This reminds me of something really nice.  I just can't think of what it is just yet. However, once I think of it, I'll make sure to let you know :) :)
Here's the first of the three "plates". Although this is really more of a little dish. I'm not sure what it would be used for exactly . Now my grandmother would have used this for ice cream. Each scoop would be small, about the size of a golf ball.
This next plate is actually a saucer. It pairs very nicely with the teacup.   Wouldn't you agree?  Oh, I love it that a theme seems to be forming all on it's own :) :) Oh, and these are special now, because my friend Dorothy picked these out especially for me :) :) :)
 Here's the backstamp. In fact, only this plate and one other had the backstamp on it. I'll do some more research on this later this week. I'll add it to this post.  If you know anything about it, let me know. 

The angle on this photo is a little different. It makes this plate look a little oblong. Nope, it's all optical. It is perfectly round and perfectly suited for a nice slice of pie ;) :) :) Or maybe a nice scone with some clotted cream?   Something simple and lightly sweet :) :) :)

Those are my tea things for today. Thank you so much for stopping by. Oh, ladies (and one gentleman who follows my blog :), thank you so much for your friendship. It's wonderful!!! You all encourage me in ways you don't even realize ;) :) 

Oh, weather, it's raining and pouring. There is no snow on the floor. Hmm...it is a bit strange. However, I'm grateful all the same.  Other than that, work is BUSY!!!!  This last week will be the busiest!!!  After that, I'm not sure what will happen. 

Remember a few times when I was "complaining" about the pain in my right shoulder? Well, last Friday it was so bad, it was hurting my shoulder, my right arm and my neck. After my last break at work, it felt like it was going to travel right up to my head. In any case, I just left work early and told my boss. My father took me to the hospital. No worries there.  I fall into that group of Americans that doesn't have health insurance, yet. So I sat in the hospital parking lot for awhile deciding whether to walk in or not. 

My family can sometimes have a fatalistic sense of humor. So my father said  and I quote " You can go to the hospital or you can go home and die"..all with a smile and laugh. Well, dying was not an option, so I walked into the hospital. It was a good thing. It turns out I have BURSITIS. WHat????? How did I get that?  So the doctor gave me a prescription for some pain killers, which have helped!!!  Plus some  pages filled with stretching exercises. Ladies (and gentleman), I haven't felt this great in about two months.  So your prayers have helped!!!!  This is God's reminder that I definitely need to take better care of myself!!! 

Oh, I'm feeling a bit long-winded today :) :) That's the news from Oregon!!! Extra bonus love and hugs, Heather :) :) :)       

Tea is on the House today :) :) :)

Hi everyone,

Oh goody....I got the sweetest little gift yesterday from a dear blogger friend. I'll be posting about it late this afternoon. There are some really sweet tea things in there among other things ;) :) :) 

In the meantime, my previous post was actually from last Tuesday...and you can see my "tea house" that my dad put up on the wall for me ;) :) I'm not sure what it's like where you're at, but here it's RAINING!!!! That's the news from Oregon at the moment. Love and hugs, Heather :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My 21st Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday & Tea Time Tuesday for December 7th, 2010

Hi everyone, 
It's been a busy week at work.  Yesterday was absolutely nuts when I walked into work. There all sorts of voices chattering at once, which tells me it was  B-U-S -Y.  Oh, one day when I came home from work, I found a surprise :) :) This is also my tea-related item for the day :)
I came home from work and this is what I saw when I walked in the door :) :) Do you remember this sweet little house? As you probably noticed, I'm really slow to get this cleaned up. It's a bit low on the priority list at the moment...mainly because of work. This house I picked up at a yard sale. It even still has the stickers on it. My dad hung it  up on the wall STRAIGHT. It's just my ability to take photos at this moment was a bit lop-sided. I put up some of  my tea things in my "tea house"...plus a few extras.
Both of these items are some of my favorites Even though the atomizer on the left has nothing to do with tea. It still looks  cute on the shelf :) The tea can is super cute. I love vintage and vintage-looking items. I thought this would look cute on the shelf with my tea cups. What do you think?

Here are some cute teacups all in a row. I might switch things up later. However, this day I was so delighted and touched by the loving gesture  my dad did for me today. Have you ever had moments like that? Especially when it comes to tea, I think special things like this just make tea even better.

Okay, so that obviously very cute coffee cup is trying to masquerade as a tea cup and doing a very poor job of it, too :) :) I can't help it. It's cute and it belonged on the shelf. I might add more tea items as I come across them. It's fun to add what makes you smile and brings some beauty to your life.

This was the only teacup that would fit WITH it's accompanying saucer on this house. The shelves aren't deep enough otherwise. That's okay, though, because there was only one other teacup with a saucer  that I tried to put up there. I'll just have to put the saucer in my cupboard and leave the teacup here ;) Oh, yes, this house definitely needs a good washing. Thanks for not running away from these photos today :)
Here's my little sugar bowl and the tea strainer. Both are items I found at yard sales. Aren't they just the sweetest things? The minty green silk ribbon was from my friend Miss Antoinette. She used that to gracefully decorate some dishcloths that she had sent to me awhile back. The ribbon is so nice, I couldn't throw it away. So I kept it!!! I love silk ribbons, don't you? I like the way they drape.

Thanks for stopping by for tea today. I had fun showing you my tea house.  It will probably be awhile before I get this house painted. Yet, it is somehow really nice to see things slowly come together.  My daddy did this with love and every time I look at my little "house", that is what I will remember.  Have a great week everyone. I'm off to work. Oh yeah, add a cup of coffee in there this morning, too.  That's the news from Oregon today. Love and hugs, Heather :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My 365 Day Photo Challenge Photoso for Saturday - November 27th till Friday - December 3rd, 2010

Hi everyone....oh, tea...I forgot again...I was going to do a late post and it just isn't happening. HOWEVER, I do have something all ready for this coming Tuesday...It's really cool and I think it'll make up for last week.

Oh guess what else? I found out my dad reads my blog on a regular basis and he thinks it's just the cutest thing. He told me today he's waiting for the next installment :) :) Okay...here are my photos for this  week's portion of the "365 day photo challenge" :) :)
Saturday - November 27th, 2010 The beginning of those "toasted almond" socks that I was knitting.

I finished the socks Thursday night and wore them to work on Friday. My feet were really nice and toasty warm. I knit the cuff large on purpose. Now the next pair, I'll knit the cuff much more form fitting. My socks came out beautiful, but the cuff was slouching a little bit. I'll show a finished picture sometime this week :)
Sunday - November 28th, 2010. (photo actually taken on Saturday)

This is just one of the many views I see as I'm coming into Ashland, Oregon. It's such a cute little town...and I always LOVE to come here for a visit.  My favorite knitting shop is here, so there is ALWAYS a good reason to make the drive down here :)
Monday - November 29th, 2010  (also taken last Saturday)

This is one of three Queen Anne style houses/Bed & Breakfast places in Ashland, Oregon. These are up on a hill...and a little hard to get a photo of from the main street here in town. This was the best photo I could get. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these types of houses  and would love to have one of my own someday. If I ever find the backstreets, I'll get some better photos ;) :)

Tuesday - November 30th, 2010 (also taken last Saturday)

This is the last place to get a good cup of coffee "tax free" before entering Ashland's city limits. Ashland has a 5% restaurant tax. That includes all fast food and coffee purchased at drive-thru coffee stands. Strange, I know. I think that is the only city in the entire state of Oregon that has that kind of a tax.  You can see Dutch Bros in the front and  The Human Bean a little further back.

Monday - December 1st, 2010.

I do love me some Oregon mountains and grey skies ;) :) :) I never get tired of this scenery. So you'll probably see lots of similar photos up here on my blog from time to time :) :) :) There's something majestic and mighty about these mountains!

Thursday - December 2nd, 2010 (actually taken on Wednesday)

My dad hung up my house for me while I was at work on Friday.  I still haven't cleaned it yet. My housekeeping skills are really shameful when it comes to this item. However, I did pile some random items up there, just to see how I like it. I like it a LOT. What do you think?  I might try to mix up some of the pieces to make it  more varied. However, it's really cool to see more decoration up on the walls. Random objects of loveliness are always a necessity :)

Friday - December 3rd, 2010

I really love it when the skies take on this blue/black tint. It's only for a few minutes between when the sun goes down and the skies turn completely dark for the night. It's really pretty!!! What's your favorite time of day, if you were to pick a time?

I started another pair of socks out of this crazy/brightly colored Noro sock yarn. It's so much fun to knit with because the colors are so bright. My dad looks at these socks and smiles. I'm wondering if it reminds him of the sixties somehow!!! Not sure. Maybe I'll ask him . Thanks for your prayer about work. It's a challenging environment. My coworkers are awesome. Friday I kept humming "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" to myself while I was working at the computer. It kept me sane and happy :) :) Oh, I'm thinking about opening  a store to sell some of my knitted items. It would just be for fun.  If you have your own Etsy, eBay or  personal website for your items, what has been your experiences with that?  Well, that's the news from Oregon today.  Bonus love and hugs, Heather :)