Monday, February 24, 2020

Life Changes... A New Season

Hello friends,

 I wanted to jot you a quick note this morning. My season of homeschooling has come to an end. I graduated my last daughter Amy in January. I've spent the last month praying about what God wants me to do next. I recognize this as my year for redefining Laura.

 I have accepted a position as a part-time secretary for a local chiropractor. He was homeschooled, so I expect he will understand as I transition into the position. After all, twenty-nine years is a long time to be out of the work place. Oh, I've worked during that time, but it has always been working for my husband in his business or helping him in other ways. My husband came to me with this position and the possibility. I felt like it was God's leading for this season.

 So, hi ho hi ho, it's off to work I go. I'll write to you later.
 Be blessed y'all!


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

There and Back... A Few Thoughts on The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

I don't imagine that there are very many people who don't have at least an inkling of an idea of what The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien is about. Many people have seen the movie based on the book.

I homeschooled my children, and the rule for my kids was that they could not see The Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings trilogy until they had read the corresponding books. Strangely enough, I never read any of them.

My book club selected The Hobbit for their February 2020 selection. I was quickly drawn into the action. I did have pictures in my mind of some of the characters, because I had seen The Hobbit movie. Like every movie that's made from a book, the movie was just a small preview of how wonderful the actual book was. I had a bit of a concern about the spiders, but found that it was not nearly as bad as I had feared.

As it turned out, I was a little let down when the book was finished. I didn't quite understand why it ended the way that it did, however it was a very good tale indeed. Next I'm going to look for a book to read about The Hobbit and the influences of Christianity and the war in it. Two options I've found so far are Finding God in The Hobbit by Jim Ware and A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and A Great War by Joseph Laconte. If you have any recommendations, please write to me.

All three books are available on Scribd. You can read them and an unlimited number of great books for free for two months when you use my link. Then, you can continue to read for free. When others use your link to sign up for a two month free trial, you get one month free!

They have lots and lots of audio books, including the ones above, ebooks, magazines, even sheet music and other documents. It's all included for just one price of $8.99 a month. It's the best money I spend each month, because I can download books to listen to while I work around the house or commute to the next town for meetings, doctor appointments, or driving my daughter to school.

Give it a try! You have nothing to lose and a whole lot of good reading and listening to gain.
Get two months free now!

Be blessed,
Laura Lane

Monday, February 17, 2020

Thrifty Things Lately at Harvest Lane Cottage #148



 Welcome to another thrifty update from Harvest Lane Cottage. I am glad you've found me! I like to share my thrifty and frugal projects, ways of saving money, frugal cooking, and my blessings from God. 


 Hello everyone! Can you believe that we're already well into February? I've been keeping track of thrifty things we've done in the last few weeks.  I graduated my homeschooled daughter Amy at the beginning of January, and I have been busy with so many things while she is at school. I need to get myself back into a writing routine. I beg your pardon for the long wait between posts. I intend to set some time away every day for writing. 

 I've been sewing and knitting a lot. So far, I have only spent about $7 for cotton batting and seam binding. I am trying to sew and knit using only things that I or my daughter have on hand. That's another way to be thrifty. My fabric and yarn stashes are small, collected over many years, but they are of little value if I am not using them! I've put a link to my sewing machine below. She's a beautiful little workhorse. You can see my favorite Kitchenaid mixer and other products by clicking on the link in the pages above. I appreciate it when people share their favorite products with me, too. Please tell us in the comments if you have any you'd like to share.

Here are some of the thrifty things we've done lately.


~ I received my first payment from Amazon. It was $10.12. Thank you for using my link to Amazon! Every bit helps make ends meet. ~smile~ It's in the top right sidebar or here.

~ Four $.69 avocados made some delicious guacamole

~ $.39 lime

~ Served ham and beans and cornbread to guests after church

~ $6 thrifted picture in bathroom

~ $6 thrifted clock for living room. It's a really big one.

~ Three nice $2 sweaters at Treasures on Main

~ Used tire $47 instead of buying a new one.

~ Husband fixed table leg with things we had on hand

~ Husband fixed plumbing under kitchen sink with help from the neighbor

~ He unclogged bathroom sink with vinegar and snake

~ I joined the 52 Week Sewing Challenge Facebook group to jump start my sewing. It's working!

First I pinned the old apron in half.

~ I used the worn out apron in the photo above as a pattern to make a new apron.

 Next I pinned the old apron to the new fabric which I had folded in half.

I cut around the old apron to make a new apron. I then cut
and sewed the waist ties and trimmed it out in bias tape.

I love my new apron, and since I used fabric and thread
from my stash, I only spent about $4 on bias tape.

~ I mended one of my dresses. I'll be able to wear it for another season.

I was able to mend a hole in the shoulder
and repair an arm seam.
~ My daughters removed wallpaper with steam cleaner in bathroom and painted.

~ I made over one of my dresses that was getting worn. I made it smaller also. ~smile~ I forgot to take a photo of that one. 

~ I made soup bowl cozies for my son's birthday using leftover thread and fabric squares that my friend Cheryl gave to me a few years ago.
Thank you Cheryl Smith for the precut squares.
Thank you Karen Andreola for the chicken pin cushion.

Four made a nice birthday present for my son.

~ My husband bought quilt batting for me. I needed 12 inches off the long roll at Walmart. The associate gave him the remainder of the roll. There was nearly half a yard. I had enough for my project, and plenty left over all for about $3.

~ I used the leftover batting to make soup bowl cozies for our home with some fabric I've had for many years. It was a Debbie Mumm print which I love.

I adore this Debbie Mumm fabric that
I've had in my stash for over 10 years!

~ We were getting low on groceries this month because of tuition. I pulled out my KitchenAid and made honey oat bread from things we have on hand.

The tea pot was a gift from my daughter Amy. Thank you!
The butter dish was a gift from my daughter Emily. Thank you!

~ The next day I made wheat bread with some wheat berries that we've moved from the other house with us. I used my Bosch to mix it and My Wondermill to grind it.

I put out a family text that I was putting bread in the oven,
and 15 minutes later both my adult sons showed up at my door!

~ Friends shared guacamole and queso with me at Knit Night. 

~ I made eggless, milkless, butterless cake. I haven't made it for years. My husband loved it!

~ I used gift cards to buy iced tea at McDonald's and a drink at the local coffee shop on book club night.

~ A friend gave me a knitted tote bag as a late Christmas gift.

~ I won some fragrant Bath and Body shower gel in my book club's bingo game. We had to read certain types of books to mark off a spot on the sheet.

~ Free ice cream at the Cancer support group.

~ I made soup twice during the month using free venison from a friend. My guests never knew it wasn't beef!

~ I repurposed the bottom of a denim dress from the '90's. I made a denim skirt. I used leftover thread and elastic. Cost $0 Estimated purchase price $40. WIN WIN!

~ I used Scribd to listen to The Hobbit. I've listened to several other books on Scribd lately.

~ I made a lentil soup with cut up onions, celery, carrots, Knorr chicken bouillion, and water. I added a bit of thyme, too. Simple but delicious.

~ I made more wheat bread with the last of the wheat berries and a little white flour.

~ It was snowing nicely, and my son called me and said, "Is it a chocolate chip cookie day?" We made cookies with Nestle chocolate chips he bought for a dollar.

~ I borrowed books through interlibrary loan rather than purchase them.

~ I received a book through the mail for review.


God is so good.
Praise God!

What have you been up to lately?

Blessed to be a blessing

Do you like my blog?
Please share!

This post has an affiliate link for Amazon. 

*I love my Singer One sewing machine. I call her Miss Singer. She has done everything I ask her to do including stitching through multiple thicknesses of denim fabric. She's a little workhorse with style!


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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

My Battle Plan for Colds

Colds are often an unwelcome part of winter. Battle hard with the symptoms as soon as they start. I recommend drinking lots of liquids and resting as much as possible. Here are some home remedies you might find helpful. I'm not a doctor, just a mom. These things have helped my family. You'll need to decide for your family.

For the cold:
echinacea and golden seal 3x day
elderberry drops 3x day
I cut up pieces of garlic and swallowed them like a pill a few times a day.
Zinc losenges help if started the first day of the cold.
Vitamin C 1000 mg/day divided morning and evening (adults)

For general health/immune system:
2 T apple cider vinegar in glass of water 3x day (Bragg's)

For an earache:
I peel a clove of garlic and put it inside the outer hollow portion of the ear. I cover it with a bandaid to hold it in. Then we just leave it in as long as we can stand it. It works as a natural anti-biotic. We have found it helpful for my Emily's earaches.

I hope this helps you. Unusual ingredients can usually be found in a health food store.
God bless your family with good health and healing,

See the comments below for more great ideas.

Monday, February 3, 2020

What I'd Like to Get Done This Week ~ February 3, 2020 ~ Updated 2/8/20


So good of you to drop in today.  

I've been thinking of things I would like to get done over the next week or so.  You know how it is. Always something to do. So, here are some things I hope to do this week. I think I'll come back here and change the items to italics as I do them just to give myself a little encouragement along the way.

  • menu
  • grocery list ~ My sweet man did my Aldi shopping for me! I ordered some grocery items online for pick up at Walmart, too. They'll bring it right to my car Saturday at noon! I got $10 off my first order. You can try it too if you use this link:
  • projects ~ I've got a list of ideas and it's growing!


  • wheat bread ~ Monday
  • baked chocolate chip cookies with my eldest son
  • jalapeno jelly - I'll have to put this off until next week. 

Reading:  I need to make a service announcement here. ~giggle~ I am not going to finish all of these books this week. I am merely reading a bit of all these books this week. I'm not a speed reader. I just thought I'd put them all here so that I can make some progress in each of them. This list is just to motivate me.
  • YouVersion's Canonical Reading Plan. ~ Reading Jeremiah now. It's a long book!
  • The Hobbit by Tolkien for my book club ~ I've listened to a a couple of chapters.
  • An Island Christmas by Nancy Thayer. Yes I'm that girl who loves Christmas stories year round! I did finish this one.
  • God's Will for You by Gloria Copeland ~ I've read a few pages.
  • Mother Culture by Karen Andreola to pg 96
  • Walden by Thoreau 
  • Papa's Wife ~ read a bit on Monday
  • Knit with friends Tuesday evening
  • Finish the socks on my needles ~ All done! They're laying in my gift box waiting for Christmas.
  • More bowl cozies ~ I made five!
  • Blogging resources
  • List two items on my Ebay
  • Lots and lots of laundry
  • Look for mending that needs to be done. I actually threw out two items that were too badly worn to be mended.
  • Work on cookbook
  • Blog post planning
  • Write two or more blog posts this week.
  • Enjoy candlelight
  • Prepare lamps with new wicks and oil.
  • Spend a couple hours with a good book and a nice candle
  • Meet a friend at the local coffee shop

If I finish all this list, I'll have been very busy indeed. I also need to spend time with my kids and do some ironing and cleaning. Thanks so much for dropping in! I'd love to hear some of your plans for this week. It's so nice to have a chat over the back fence  internet with you today!

Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Happy at Home

May I suggest?