About Me and My Blog

I am a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, friend and who ever else I am. I have been married for thirty-one years to my best friend, Greg. We live in a small town in East Texas. I am the FCS County Extension Agent. I enjoy sewing, camping, gardening, spending time with family, traveling, riding with Greg on his motorcycle. I am learning about beekeeping, soapmaking, rainwater catchment and other farmish type activities.
The name of my blog comes from a sermon I heard once about a time when Paul had been arrested and was being taken to Rome as a prisoner. The ship, on which he traveled found safe harbor, for the winter, at a place called Fairhaven. The captain of the ship wasn't content with staying so he set sail again and later was ship wrecked. I apply this to my life in that I want to be content with where God has me and what he has for me. If I am not I may end up like the ship that carried Paul, shipwrecked.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Go green for Christmas

This year we had a "Make, Bake or Retake (regift)" Christmas.  Our budget is rather small, so this was good for us.  I had bought some reusable shopping bags last year when they were on sale for less than a dollar.  On them was a saying about going green.  I took those bags and began to fill them.  Most of the items I had on hand, if I bought anything it only cost a dollar or two. I also included some information I found on the web about aloe vera and making car wash shampoo.  Each family recieved one with the following letter.

Since the colors of Christmas are red and green, we decided this year instead of focusing on red, as in our bank account after buying tons of gifts; we will focus on green, as in going green.  We are not talking about a tree hugger, global warming, Al Gore kind of green, but a responsible living green for the sake of Sean and London and any other grandchildren we might be blessed with in the future.

 To begin with we put the gift in a nice reusable bag.  Here are a few facts about plastic bags:

v Plastic bags aren’t biodegradable. They actually go through a process called photodegradation—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic particles that contaminate both soil and water, and end up entering the food chain when animals accidentally ingest them.

v According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States every year. Of those, approximately 100 billion are plastic shopping bags, which cost retailers about $4 billion annually.

So, with this in mind we have included a reusable sandwich container.

You will also find in your bag a carwash kit with homemade glass cleaner, to save you money, a cloth to use with the glass cleaner instead of using paper towels, and a sponge. I have included a recipe for different car wash shampoos.
Also in the bag is a movie and popcorn, some books, cloth napkins and just for fun, a whisk.  The aloe vera plant can be used for many different things and I have included a list of some of them.

We have been trying to reduce our paper use; the following facts can really make a person think.   

v 700 pounds of paper are consumed by the average American each year.

v The average American uses 18 cubic feet of wood and 749 pounds of paper – equal to a 100-foot tree with an 18 inch trunk – each year.

v Every tree provides oxygen enough for three people to breath.

 I try to buy in bulk as much as possible, there is a lot of waste in the packaging of smaller amounts and it is usually less expensive ounce for ounce to buy in bulk.  I have also been trying to make as many of my own products as possible.  There are so many chemicals in store bought products and organic is usually pretty pricey.

Merry Christmas and we love you,   Greg and Cathy

Monday, December 19, 2011


Our daughter's birthday is in November.  Years ago I started the tradition of giving her a gift a day for the week before her birthday.  This year I made several of the gifts.  I made two of these coasters out of felt and embroidered them.   I made an apron and hanger covers, but didn't get pictures before I mailed them.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Recycling soap

Today, I decided to take all those little pieces, of leftover soap, I have been saving for several years and melt them down and remold so we can use them.  After reading a bunch of different ideas online about how it should be done, I did it how I wanted.  Here is what I did.

First, I took all the little bits and pieces of soap and washed them off to get any dust and stuff off of them.
Next, I put it in my double boiler and covered it.
Every now and then I would stir and chop it a little with a knife.  I did add a small amount of water.
After a while it began to look like pea soup.
I sprayed a muffin pan with pam. I continued to stir the soap every now and then.  The more I stirred the smoother it became.   When most of the chunks had melted I poured it in the tins.  I then took a piece of waxed paper and smashed it down a bit and tried to smooth it on top.
After I figured out how easy it was I went and found some bars of hotel soap and novelty soaps that look pretty in a dish, but are really to small to use.   I melted them down as well.  The yellowish ones are the ones from the soap scraps.  I ended up with twelve soap muffins from soap that would have eventually been tossed, most likely.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall days

Since Greg has been working on Saturdays, I have had a lot of time to do the things I enjoy.  Fall is probably my favorite season.  These are some of the things I enjoy.

 French onion soup

 Mixing ingredients to make the soap recipe from the latest MJF magazine. 

 This was my third attempt to make soap and this recipe proved to be a success.
 I have two planters growing with lettuce.  I actually was able to pick some and we ate it.  I still have something eating it.  I was seeing little worms, but now I don't see them.

 Apples are on sale this week so I bought a bag.  I remember when I was a little girl and we used to go as a family to Colorado so my dad could hunt.  There were these little dug out fruit stands and we would stop and buy fresh apples.  I love that smell.

 I went to a garage sale this past weekend and found all kinds of sweet things for Sean and London.

 Laundry drying in the cool breeze.  It surely doesn't take much to make me smile.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pesky little worms

I was so excited that my lettuce was almost big enough to eat. One morning they looked beautiful, that evening worms had eaten a bunch of the leaves. I picked some of them off and will look again when I get home. I am so grateful we don't have to depend on what I grow for survival, we would be mighty hungry or peckish. Peckish is a new word I learned while teaching one of my classes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Weekend with the grandchildren

I went this weekend with my grandchildren's other grandmother to keep them for the weekend.   We had a very good time, but it was very tiring. Here are a few pictures. 

I made it a month

I did make it for a month without going to the grocery store very much.  I did buy dairy products, bread and fresh produce.  For the most part, that is all I bought.  My freezer is emptier, but not all the way.  I am going to try to keep getting rid of the old so I can add some new.  I buy most of my meat from the reduced meat section in our grocery store; it is very hard to walk by there and not buy something we could use.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

30th anniversary

This past weekend was our 30th anniversary.  We didn't have time to do much, but we did the thing we love to do most - camp.  We went to Artisian Springs for a night. 
We rented a little cabin.  I went out early and set it up so it would be more like home.

It was a nice relaxing time and we enjoyed it.  We plan on going back again.

Breakfast cooked outside.  Is there anything better?


I bought this three pound package of bacon pieces.  It is a good price and I get to use it for several different things.

I divide it into three different bowls.  One bowl is used for bacon, one is fat used in beans and peas, the other is pieces of ham.  I have used it in breakfast burritos, cabbage, and with hashbrowns.  We ate the bacon for breakfast a couple of times.  It goes a long way.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Eating what we have

I hav decided for the next month I am going to try and only eat the food we have here in the house. To not go to the grocery store except for milk, fresh fruits and vegatables and maybe bread. I have gone throught my freezer and written down the meat I have and other things.  I should be able to do it with out having to go to the grocery, but I may have to get very creative.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer days are gone

Well, summer has passed and we are back in school.  I have some very good classes and I am excited to be teaching more Home Ec. classes this year.  We have a new class called Family and Community Services.  The main point in the class is teaching the students to get involved in the community through community service projects and volunteering.  It is a real challenge for me because I am not exactly sure what all we will do.  the fiirst thing we did was look at things through the eyes of our student in a wheelchair.  We went around the school trying to see things from his perspective.  After doing this we sent a letter to the principal making suggestions on what should be done to make a difference for our student.  He told me some of these would be considered.  I know my students will be excited and I hope motivated to do more when they see things changing that they have suggested.
I have learned something about myself.  One of the first things I am going to teach are leadership skills and qualities.  Through my studying I have learned I am not a leader.  Really, I have known this for a long time.  I would much rather follow than lead.  What I have learned though is that I need to be a leader in more areas of my life.  So, not only will my students be learning; I will, too.
Tonight, is our first football game.  We are playing Kirbyville.  It has been three years since Newton beat Kirbyville sooooo we are hoping we win.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Package from Lehman's

It felt almost like Christmas when I went to the post office yesterday. I had ordered some things from Lehman's and they were waiting for me there. I have been wanting a manual ice cream maker and have been looking at junk and antique stores. I never could find one that looked like something I would want to use, so I broke down and bought a new one. I figured if it was manual we would have to work for the ice cream and since I want a nonelectric house one day this will fit right in.
I also bought some pant stretchers. My mom used to use these when I was a kid. The metal pieces slide inside the legs of pants and then they are pulled tight to stretch the pants while they dry. Since all I use is my solar clothes dryer (clothesline) I am hoping these will cut down on some ironing. I will find out in the morning I have some pants drying now.
I bought some plastic covers with elastic in them to use for bowl covers. They look like little shower caps.
Lastly, I got a reuseable sandwich cover. We go through so many plastic sandwich bags I decided to try one of these and reuse it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Greg's southern breakfast

I got up and made Greg a day after birthday breakfast and served it to him in bed First, I made bisquits using my trusty Farmgirl Oklahoma Pastry Cloth.We had bacon cooked in the oven. It is much less of a mess if baked - a trick I learned from Courtney.I also made tomato gravy for the bisquits. I wasn't in the mood for eggs, so I didn't make any. Pretty sorry I guess, make breakfast for Greg and cook what I want.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A day in East Texas

Today, it finally rained; I am so grateful to the Lord for that.  Hopefully, it has put out all of the forest fires.  Yesterday, I was watering our poor struggling tomato garden and noticed how the grape tomatoes grow in little clusters like grapes.  I always thought they were called grape tomatoes because of the size, but I guess it is also, because of  the way they grow.
I also picked some of the cucumbers my mother in law had planted. I was thinking, God sure has a sense of humor.  Look at the funny shapes of these cucumbers.

Bell peppers are on sale around here.  They were .50 a piece when I went shopping, yesterday.  For this area that is a good price, so today I am chopping up a bunch and putting them in the freezer.  I used to buy the frozen onions, bell peppers and celery seasoning mix in the frozen section.  The problem was there were a lot of onions and very few bell peppers.  I decided it would be a much better use of our money if I waited until the fresh went on sale and chopped and froze them myself.  I put them in separate bags so I can use as much or as little as I need.
Last but not least, these are the clouds as they began to build yesterday.  A welcomed sight.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Perfect summer day

Today, was the kind of summer day I enjoy.  I slept a little later than usual, got up and worked in the garden for an hour or so.  Once I got back home I did some laundry, read a little, took a nap, worked on getting the living room back in order and organized, and then I organized all of my farmgirl books in one place on the bookshelf.  I enjoy straightening my books and going through them.   I find ones that I forgot I had or others remind me of certain times and events in my life. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Homemade granola

Last night I made granola from a recipe from the King Arthur Flour website.  It turned out very tasty.
Here I was mixing the ingredients to be baked.

Here is the finished product after adding the dried fruit.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pickled Squash

I made pickled squash yesterday and tasted it today, it was very good. I got the recipe from www.southernfood.about.com

Friday, May 13, 2011

Making soap

I went to the health food store hoping they would have what I would need to make soap. They didn't, but the lady there had made soap before and told me I needed to get some good soap making books and decide what kind I wanted to make and then order the supplies online. I have made soap in the past, but it has been a long time ago. The type I made was with lard, lye and I guess water. I want to use maybe olive oil and some fragrance. So, I bought three books, if they are good or not I do not know. I would like to make natural soap for Courtney to use with the two grandbabies and well as for personal use. Surely, I can make it for less than $4,$5,$6,etc. a bar. We will see, this is one of my summer projects.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Countdown to London's arrival

I am getting pretty excited, grandbaby number two's arrival is only six weeks away. Next weekend we will go help Courtney and Darrell move into their new house. It is an exciting time in their lives. So many changes, little Sean isn't going to know what is going on; he will just need more Nonna and Boompa time.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter weekend

My weekend was pretty busy. Friday morning I got up and went to the Pearson's to water the tomato plants, after that I cleaned the house and that afternoon mom and dad came to Kirbyville to get their car worked on. I spent several hours visiting with mom at the shop. I left to go to Jasper shopping and we ended up meeting them at the Katfish Kabin for supper. Saturday, I cleaned house and that afternoon we went to a wedding. Sunday morning I woke up early and made two pans of enchiladas and spanish rice. We had church at the Pearson's and then spent the afternoon at their house. I watered the tomatoes before I left to come home. Courtney and Darrell spent the night and Dawn came down, too. I cooked chicken strips and potatoes for supper. Then I cleaned the kitchen. I got up and went to school Monday, but got off at one. Dawn and I took Sean and Courtney to Beaumont to meet Darrell. We did a little shopping as well. Needless to say I was tired; I stay up too late at night.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My sweet valentine

Greg is so sweet. He brought home a bag of peanut M&Ms for my Valentine's present; he knows they are my favorite. Then he wrote me the sweetest letter. I love you Greggy poo.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 32

Today, I am glad for a day at home to get somethings done that needed doing. The milk leaked in the refrigerator last night, so I had to empty out a few shelves and clean. I decided to clean the whole thing. I took out all the shelves and cleaned and emptied all kinds of stuff. Before that I fried some bacon to put in breakfast burritos for the freezer and made a big pot of beans to eat with mexican food within the next few days. I have done quite a bit of laundry and a little goofing off, too. It has been a great day and it is only 1:16.

Day 31

Yesterday, I received these beautiful roses from my
dad for Valentine's Day. The white one smelled so good. I am very thankful that my father started the tradition of getting the girls in his life gifts many years ago. I love you, Dad, thank you.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 30

Today, I am grateful I was born in 1959 and grew up during the decades of the past. I look at my students and all they have to deal with and wouldn't want to be a teenager in the 21st century. I know people who are older than me probably thought the same thing about my generation. There seems to be very little shame, moral purity, honor or respect amoung this generation. The Lord, Jesus is the only hope and I hope I can show his love to these lost, wandering kids.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 29

Today, I am grateful for heat. When I was in the car earlier the thermometer said it was 20 degrees. Us east texans are not use to such cold temperatures. I put a light on my chickens last night and they were still alive this morning. I put wood shavings in Chisum's doghouse and this morning he came climbing out, so he survived, too. It is supposed to stay cold for several days. We are okay as long as the electricity doesn't go off.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 28

I am so grateful for the Lord showing me, again tonight, how much he loves me. I was coming home from Jasper feeling very-I don't know what-. I was praying and crying and crying out to the Lord. There is a song that has been playing on the christian radio station, lately, that has really been ministering to me. I reached up to the radio and prayed I sure would like to hear that song; when I turned it on that was the song playing. Only God could have done that. Thank you, for loving me so much. At times I feel like there is no one in the world I can talk to and who will understand, but you are always there and ever so faithful.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 27

Today, I am grateful for my son-in-law, Darrell. He is such a good husband to Courtney and he loves Sean. He is a hard worker and desires good things for his family. I wish I could take some of the stress out of his life, with a new baby on the way, getting his career going, buying a new house and leading his family, it just seems like a lot of stress. Maybe I'll buy him a massage for his birthday in May. I love you, Darrell and am very proud to have you as a "son".

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 26

I am so grateful to the Lord for allowing Don to get to the hospital in time after his heart attack Tuesday. Our friend Don Gunter had some pressure in his chest Tuesday. After it eased off he went outside and helped the guy painting his house. Wednesday night we had a meeting at their house. Thursday Greg called and Don was headed to Beaumont because he had had a heart attack Tuesday and didn't even know it. It ends up he had 6 bypasses done yesterday. At least four of them were over 90% blocked. If the one main artery had gotten 100% blocked he would have died instantly. God is so good. Don had just gone in for a check up at the clinic and to get a referal to the diabetic doctor. The doctor sent him to the hospital in Jasper and they sent him to Beaumont. God isn't finished with him yet and I am very happy about that.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sidetracked gratitude

I got side tracked on my gratitude journal. Not that I am not grateful, but I didn't take the time to post. So, I am going to just pick up where I left off.

Day 25
Since I last posted one of my very best friends ever, was killed in a car accident. I am so very grateful to the Lord for having allowed us to be friends for the last twenty plus years. Through those years we would go through times in which we were very close and involved in each others lives and then we may go a few years with very little contact. Then God would allow us to be in each others lives again and so the cycle would go. Recently, they were responsible for getting us into FHTM and we had spent time with them visiting.
Debbie was one of the most spiritual people I have ever known. It wasn't that she was just a Christian, but she had allowed the Lord to be intermingled in many areas of her life. She was a great example and I am truly blessed to have been able to call her my friend.