Homemade/Recycled/Free Dishcloths

Homemade dishrags

Ever since I can remember, my mom has used homemade ("recycled", if you will) dishcloths for washing dishes. Well, except when we had company over. ;)

When I got married, I quickly wore out all my flimsy store-bought dishcloths, and decided it was time to switch to something a little more durable... and cheap... homemade dishrags!

Here is how to make them.

1. First, take a clean old sock, preferably one with a hole in the heel or some other irrepairable place. The higher quality of sock you use, the longer your dishcloth will last!

2. Cut the sock down the back, through the heel, and out to the toe, so that it lays flat or nearly-flat when opened.

A sock cut into a dish rag

And that's it! You now have a brand new dishrag, which should last at least as long as any store-bought dishcloth!

Never heard of using socks as dishrags before? Don't worry, you're not alone. My dad was once talking about frugality to someone, and said, "We use old socks for dishrags." The lady laughed, until she realised he was serious! Then she was embarrassed! :D

However, even if the idea sounds a little crazy to you, I urge you to try it next time you have an old sock you're going to throw out. I find that the terrycloth inside part washes dishes just wonderfully!

Homemade Dishrags
5 Easy Frugal Recipes for Household Products:
Scouring powder, laundry soap, and more!

Guest Chef Jessica shares Chicken Parmesan recipe!

Chicken Parmesan recipe

This week's guest chef is Jessica C. of Oklahoma, and she's sharing a recipe that she likes to make as a romantic dinner for her and her husband: Chicken Parmesan! Read more about Jessica and her recipe!

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Photo tour of canning pears

Tanya's pears...

My friend Tanya has been busy canning pears, and took the time to blog about it! If you love to see sweet smiling children and lovely rows of canning jars filled with pears, or even if you just want to learn about how to can pears yourself, head on over to her great post!

Learn about canning pears!

Yehoshua reads Bible stories to me...

Yehoshua reads the Bible

Yehoshua gets very animated as he looks at the pictures. He can pick out pictures of people being hurt and of people being wicked. He points to idols and says "Bad. Idol."

Yehoshua tells a Bible story...

It's so fun to see Yehoshua telling stories!

And then....

And the all-time favorite, the Red Sea crashing down on the Pharaoh's chariots! :D "And the bad one... and the bad one... and the bad one... and the bad one... and THEN... .... and THEN..."

Here is a video clip of Yehoshua reading to me. This is an 8 MB WMV file and you can either right-click and save to desktop, or just click and it will stream.

Baked soft tacos, coffee-drinking poll, etc.

New poll: Do you drink coffee? Go vote! :D

I also added a recipe for Baked Soft Tacos!

Baked Soft Tacos recipe

Baked Soft Tacos is a quick and easy casserole sort of dish that I like to make when we're tired of regular tacos or burritos, or when I have some leftover taco meat to use up.

Today my neck is finally starting to feel better! My mom came this morning and helped me with some cleaning. I'm looking forward to feeling back to normal soon :D. Being injured is no fun, and I'm used to being able to get lots of things done... I don't like having to slow down or take things easy!

Meet the squash family? :)

Mrs. U posted all about squash in her blog entry titled Meet the Squash Family! If you were ever curious about the difference between winter or summer squash or wanted to know more about the different kinds, Mrs. U tells all about it!

Tea Review: Davidson's Cranberry Orange Tea

Davidson's Cranberry Orange tea

A tea fanatic like myself can't help but like a company with so many tempting flavors of tea, such as "Vanilla Cream Spice", "Tangerine Almond", "Caramel Peach with Coconut", and "Raspberry Cream Caramel". Davidson's boasts many unique flavors of tea. You can even request a FREE catalog through their website!

Davidson's recently became certified as organic, and ALL of their teas are now organic. They are also one of the few tea companies from which I have ordered tea directly (since none of the stores around here carry Davidson's). Their service was excellent! Their shipping was a flat rate of $4.95, and I ordered with my cousin so we could split the shipping cost. If you order over $100 of products, you get free shipping. (But only a tea-crazy person like me would ever dream of doing that!) ;)

And, for collectors, Davidson's conveniently and beautifully wraps their teabags individually. ;)

Now, about this Cranberry Orange tea. It is a caffeine-free herbal tea, and very delicious. It has a smooth flavor, and not tart or strong in the same way most other fruit teas are. The flavors are permeating but not overpowering. A delicate and soft lunchtime tea.

The one complaint I might have about Davidson's is that in their catalog or on their website, they aren't very specific at times about whether a tea is an herbal infusion or a true flavored tea. They call everything "tea" and I recall receiving a couple flavors which, on the envelopes said "caffeine-free" and clearly tasted like herbal infusions, but I had thought would be flavored black teas.

If you are looking for an affordable, quality source for organic teas, and especially enjoy caffeine-free flavors, Davidson's is the company for you!

Red Clover Sprouts

My friend Elizabeth just posted about her first batch of red clover sprouts (with pictures)! I found it fascinating, and now I want to start making my own sprouts, too! I think I will add it to my list of things to learn more about! :) Her breakfast burrito picture looks yummy!

Weekly Menu -- October 1, 2006

Sunday

  • Pan-scrambled eggs (with pastrami), carrot-granola muffins, and toast
  • Black Beans and Yellow Rice, cooked peas, pumpkin cream-filled cupcakes
  • Fasting for Yom Kippur starts Sunday at sunset

Monday

  • Fasting for Joshua and me until sunset (Yehoshua can eat something light during the day)
  • Toasted bagels, scrambled eggs, and applesauce

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

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Things YHWH has been teaching me this past year

Don't wait to be joyful and content.

I can't wait for more money, more time, or an easier life. I can't wait for my house to be perfectly cleaned, or for everything to be crossed off of my to-do list before I decide to be happy. The time to be content is right now, wherever I am and whatever is happening. I can't keep dreading what is coming "tomorrow" and waiting until "tomorrow" looks comfortable to be joyful. "Tomorrow" keeps getting clouded with unpleasant things, so now I try to be joyful today.

Don't take anything for granted.

I am learning to be thankful every day for little things like a healthy baby, food in the fridge, runing water, and a warm house. None of these things are "guaranteed" to me, and I feel so blessed. I also want to be thankful every day because...

Life can change in an instant.

I don't think I understood this very much until the day that Yehoshua broke his leg. Things had been going okay in my life. Eliyahu was almost 3 months old. Things were settling down, running smoothly.

I thought I had my days all figured out, and I was more than a little upset when my one-year-old fell on a trampoline and broke his femur. Here we were driving around to hospitals and doctors, and then caring for a child in a hip spica cast for 5 weeks.

We were busier than we had ever had been before, trying to care for two children who each required an unbelievable amount of time. (Thankfully, we had someone at our house almost constantly that first week to help us, and we all managed to get a couple hours of sleep each night!)

My life completely changed during that time, and I didn't like that. I didn't want to be staying up all night caring for an injured child. I didn't want all the struggles of dealing with the cast and injury. I just really wanted things to go back to how they used to be. I remember sitting on our couch, thinking of how I longed for how things had been "before", when I could put Yehoshua to bed for the night and only have to care for Eliyahu at night. When Yehoshua could run around... feed himself... take real baths in a bathtub.

But I realised that wishing wouldn't change anything, and life was happening right now, and YHWH never asked my opinion about allowing Yehoshua's broken leg, and the only thing I could do was start enjoying life right then. And I also learned...

YHWH can use "unfortunate" circumstances to bless us.

YHWH blessed us with so much encouragement, and so many supportive and loving friends and family during Yehoshua's injury. We would never choose to go through some things in life, but then we would also miss some really great blessings. I'm not sure how, but YHWH got us through those months (while Joshua was looking for more work, as well) and all I can say is that we're where we are now only by His grace and kindness to us.

It's humbling to receive.

I love to feel like I'm the one helping people... sending a little care package, writing an encouraging note, or blessing someone in some way. When someone does something nice for us, I like to be able to reciprocate right away. When Yehoshua was injured, I had to do a lot of receiving. People sent us cards, and toys, and came to visit, and let us borrow all sorts of things for him, and all I could manage to do in return was write thank-you notes. I felt so blessed, and so humbled... because I had nothing to give -- no time, no money, nothing -- and all I could do was receive.

Just when you get comfortable... along comes a challenge.

At least, that is how it has seemed in our life this year. If we've had a week without needing to take the children to the doctor's, or without any major things breaking down, I start wondering what's around the corner. ;) But I've also learned...

YHWH gives us strength daily, as we need it (not always before we need it), when we obey Him.

I'm learning to lean on Him moment by moment... even when the skies look dark.

YHWH can provide for me in the most unique ways when I need it.

It just might even mean waking up to find a like-new name-brand jean skirt folded and sitting on my front steps. Or someone "just happening" to have something they no longer needed and wanted to give to me. When you really need something, you really pray hard. And when you pray, YHWH answers. I love it even though it's painful. :)

And lastly...

Potty training can last 6 weeks. Or longer. With a 2.5-year-old. But it sure is nice when it's over! :D


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