Friday, August 31, 2018

Hints of Autumn

Hints of Fall are showing up early here and there...

  • Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino in the gas station drink dispenser
  • Pumpkin Spice Creamer in the stores

  • I saw one maple tree in town that has already turned mostly red! That's unseasonably early. We've had more rain lately and a break in the heat. That's the only reason I can think of that it might have had a jump start on the other trees. We also have sprigs of lilacs blooming! Nature doesn't know which way to turn!
The leaves aren't falling yet, but the tree looked like this kind.

  • Pinterest is already going crazy with fall inspiration.

  • I've already been contacted with a couple of offers to review Christmas items. The first review will be in the next week or so.  My favorite Christmas book is one I reviewed a couple years called An Endless Christmas  by Cynthia Ruchti
  • My bank had fall decorations on the counter and a jack-o-lantern dancing figure on the shelf. I told them it was too early for Halloween! 
  • We had a marvelously rainy day which brought the temperature down to 69°. It will be back up to 90° tomorrow. Want to make the little degree mark? Here's how to make it and four other cool symbols.
  • We've made soup three times in the last week. This recipe was printed in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook!

  • Autumn decorations are selling in the stores.
Yes, by the calendar Autumn is still weeks away, but it's showing early signs all around us.  Are you seeing any sign in your hometown?

Happy to be Alive
for my Favorite Season

P.S. Hey y'all! Will you please help me? I need to get back into blogging regularly. I lost a lot of visitors and followers during my cancer fight.  

1. Will you please share this post on social media or on your blog? I would truly appreciate your help! Please let me know how and where you shared!

2. Will you please comment and let me know if you have my blog listed on your blog? I would like to return the favor.

Thanks so much!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Tipsy Tuesday #1 at Harvest Lane Cottage

  Sometimes you find a tip that is just so good you've got to share it. I've decided to do so on Tuesdays. If you have a tip to share, please do so in the comments! 

  Today's tip is tried and true. We've lived in our home for nearly nine years now. It's an old bungalow style house that needs lots of work. Calling it a cottage makes me feel better about that. ~smile~ Over the years we've had lots of trouble with ants in the kitchen. I don't like creepy crawlies! That usually means a call to the exterminator and a check for $70. This summer, money's pretty tight.

  A few weeks ago, I shared a link to a do-it-yourself ant poison. It worked great. I wanted to share the link with you again, because it really worked. The little critters showed up again yesterday, so I had my daughter (20) mix up a small batch and set it out on the counter for their dining pleasure. Ooh sounds like something out of a murder mystery!


 The original recipe makes a large batch of poison. I cut it down quite a bit. I made 1/6 of a recipe since it makes so much. Here are my measurements for 1/6 of the ant poison recipe. 

1/6 cup of sugar, 
1 1/2 t Borax
1/2 cup warm water. 

Just mix it all together and put it on cotton balls. See the pin below for more details.  

Keep it away from pets and children. Borax is toxic!

Best wishes! Share your favorite tip in the comments!

Laura Lane
Blessed to be a blessing

Wonderful Wednesday Thursday Favorite Things Share Your Cup Thursday Modest Monday

Monday, August 20, 2018

Looking Forward

Breast cancer treatment has dominated my life since I found the lump April 22, 2017.  I completed my first round of chemo in September last year. Chemotherapy was one of the hardest things I’ve lived through.
I had a bilateral mastectomy with lymph node removal and reconstruction in October 2017.  I didn’t heal well from the surgery, but they did get all the cancer.  “No cancer in the lymph nodes and in the margins” is how they put it. They won’t declare me cancer free, but I am in remission.  The incisions finally healed just in time for radiation.
Radiation was quite an ordeal. I had to be treated every day. I left the house every day regardless of the weather at 8:45 to drive about twenty minutes for a treatment that lasted about five minutes. I did this alone for seven weeks. I cannot explain how it felt to lie beneath a machine that looks like a Kitchenaid mixer that has the power to heal or to destroy. One morning, my treatment was delayed because of a malfunction. Wasn’t that a nerve wracking morning! I prayed and sang (as best one can on one’s back) praises and worship to God “Thou of LORD art a shield to me—my glory and the lifter of my head.”  God was my only companion in that radioactive room. God was my heart and lungs’ only shield.
I completed my last chemo—Herceptin—last month.  I’d been going for treatments for over a year for that. It didn’t make me sick like the first round of chemo, but it did make me feel exhausted, thick headed at times, and weaker.
So here I am, August 20, 2018. Sixteen months after I found the lump that changed my life forever. I have pain. I still have stiffness and discomfort when I try to move my arm sometimes. I have scars from surgery and scars from the radiation burns. But I have life. I have something else, too.
I have a new boldness to speak to others. I have a new boldness to share my faith in Jesus Christ. I have a new burden to pray for others—right in the moment—right with them if possible. I have a new trust in my Jesus. I feel closer to him than ever before, and my faith has been built by reading His word and hearing His word come out of my own mouth in faith. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
“I will live and not die and declare the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”
I’ve learned that symptoms and tests are facts. The word of God is truth.
I will trust the LORD in all things.
Just a little of why I’ve not been here. 
God bless you all!
Laura Lane

Wonderful Wednesday
Thursday Favorite Things

Monday, August 13, 2018

Home Education ~ Books, Charlotte Mason, and Karen Andreola

Counting from preschool, this is my twenty-fifth year of homeschooling. We have three high school graduates and one junior. Back when I started, in the 1990's, resources were significantly less available than they are to today's homeschoolers. 

For the Children's Sake, The Christian Home School, and The Successful Homeschool Family were some of the first books I read on home education. Together they sparked a vision in me for a different way to educate. I also read many reviews and books by Karen Andreola. She introduced me to Mother Culture and Charlotte Mason's real books based learning. Her book A Charlotte Mason Companion is an excellent introduction to the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling.  Mrs. Andreola was very influential in my life through her writing. She showed me a beautiful picture of what life could be like in A Pocketful of Pinecones. She now writes a blog at Moments with Mother Culture that is so good, I chose it to read from the beginning. Check it out. She's about to publish a new book soon.

I spent many hours reading to my children as they were growing up. Recently, my son Michael graduated in our home. We were talking about his growing up years and talking about learning to read.

Michael told his younger sister, "You didn't want to learn to read. I told you you'd love to read. I told you you'd love history!"

I didn't do everything right, but I raised kids who love to read and know how to learn the things they want to learn. By the way. He made As in his two dual enrollment classes and his older sister made all As in her four college classes this semester. They know how to learn even if their education very formal.

Laura Lane
Thankful for those who went before me

Wonderful Wednesday
Thursday Favorite Things

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Just a Little Update on Me...

  Just a little update on how I'm doing.  I feel better than while I was in radiation and Herceptin treatments, but this whole process has left me feeling pretty run down. I knit on Tuesday nights with one of my chemo nurses. I asked her about it and a couple other things. She thinks that one of the meds I'm on contributes to the general "not feeling good" feeling, aches and tiredness. Unfortunately, I'll be taking this med for at least 4 1/2 more years.  I'll have to try to figure out how to rebuild my health so that I can feel as good as possible. I just feel so tired, I don't know how I'll find the energy. ~grin~  Since I'm done with my last chemo treatment, I do expect I'll continue to improve. With God, nothing is impossible. I will just keep on keeping on and keep on praying and trusting Jesus.

  Thanks to all who pray for me!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Thrifty Things Lately at Harvest Lane Cottage #133

Thrifty Things Lately at Harvest Lane Cottage!

Dear Readers,

  The challenge to save money is never ending it seems. Sometimes we take a break, but the challenge just waits for us to embrace it again. As we approach school starting again, do any of you have any suggestions for keeping the back-to-school costs down for either homeschooling or traditional schooling families?

 God bless!
Here's how my family has been thrifty lately.

  • My new friend, Phyllis, is going to help me learn to make socks that fit. As it turned out, the cable was coming out of one of my needles. Just out of curiosity, I called Knit Picks. Kara, a real person, answered the phone after a couple rings! They no longer sell my wooden needles, but with only my name and address, she was able to confirm that I bought them directly from the company. She told me she'd replace them with the color I preferred! I chose the Majestic needles size 2 with a 32" cable. That's the same size I had before, but a gorgeous purple color. What a wonderful blessing! What a terrific warranty!  I told her what happened and that I couldn't remember when I bought them. She still replaced them. Thank you Knit Picks. Thank you Jesus! I'm not an affiliate, but after this, I'm thinking about it!

  • A couple of friends gave my Amy money so that she could go to church camp.  It changed her life. Thanks Sonya and Deborah!
  • Fried a little dry oatmeal in butter and added leftover pancake syrup and cinnamon. 
  • Poured a quart of almond milk in a jar for the fridge. Pushed air out of the carton, and put the rest in the freezer. We never go through a whole carton before it's questionable. ~smile~
  • Still using my second/second hand talk and text phone to save money. Yes, it was a hand-me-down from my son to my daughter to me!
  • My Amy was given a gift card. She decided to use it for a giveaway on her blog to help bring attention to the great need for ChildFund sponsors.

My Amy's giveaway ends 8/22/18.

What have you done in your home this week?
May you make the best of what you've got however much or little! 
 When we are faithful in little, God sees it.

...doing what I can with what I've got
where I am on a shoestring budget!

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God bless you all!